Category Archives: Wargames

NQM Soviet Summer Offensive 1943 (Part 3) VORONEZH Front

Bf 110s catch the 61 Army headquarters

The following briefing was given to the online player

You are the commander of 1 Tank Army, comprising:

6 Tank Corps

31 Tank Corps

3 Mechanised Corps

You also have Army level artillery and engineer assets and are attacking west along the KURSK-POLTAVA Axis. You expect to meet the defeated remnants of LII Armeekorps. To your north. 5 Guards Army has defeated XXXXIV Armeekorps .

To the south, 23 and 2 Tank Corps are engaging Fascist tanks, and have identified the SS Wiking Panzer Division and 23 Panzer Division.

Your mission is to strike Northwest from POLTAVA and break out into the Fascist rear areas. If you succeed in this aim it is likely that the enemy front will collapse in disarray.

As the Army Commander, It is important to maintain the aim. Your corps commanders will undoubtedly want to protect their flanks and settle for lesser gains. It is your task to ensure that the Front Commander’s will is enacted.

The game is planned for tomorrow with players online and “on table”.

Previous intelligence briefings are available here, should you wish to avail yourself of them.

1 Tank Army Summer Offensive 1943

The Great Patriotic War


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Soviet War Diary, Wargames, WWII

NQM Soviet Summer Offensive 1943 (Part 2)

Soviets advance to the attack

“Obergefreiter, are those Ivans?”

To the north of the Steppe Front, the Voronezh Front advanced on a broad frontage through the increasingly hilly country towards the more open region of the DONETS BASIN. Here, as further South, the German line was stretched thinly, and in some depth, concentrated around the obvious axes of advance.

Soviet Summer Offensive 02 VORONEZH

Voronezh Front.

From KURSK, the Reka (River) SEYM lazily winds its way west, joining the River DESNA to the east of CHERNIHIV in the Ukraine. Although the river valley itself forms a meandering flood plain with numerous oxbow lakes, the surrounding countryside is closer and hillier, with low rolling contours and forests. Although there are no major settlements, the countryside is dotted with villages and small towns.

It was here that the commander of 2nd Panzer Army (2PzA), Rudolf Schmidt, dug in his forward infantry divisions, 134ID to the north of the river and 296ID to the south, both from LIII Korps. Facing them were 4o  Army (40A) north of the river and 5 Guards Army (5GdA) to the south.

Bridge blown in the nick of time

Second bridge over the River Seym blown in the nick of time.

At the time of the attack however, Schmidt had been arrested and replaced by General of Infantry Heinrich Clößner, a solid and highly decorated commander. Clöβner still retained command of LIII Korps. Consequently, the army headquarters was in some disarray, as Schmidt’s brother had just been arrested for having sold Enigma secrets to the French in 1940!

StG 2 Stukas on target as JG 52 chases the VVS off.

The Soviets came on in the same old way, chewing through both lead divisions, taking moderate casualties themselves, but not being slowed down overly much.¹

As the first advanced outposts of the German defensive lines were being met, scouts were infiltrating around them to reach the first of the major bridge crossings. The German assault pioneers were quicker though and the bridge was blown in the face of the advancing Soviet scouts. Soon the Soviet pioneers were equally busy throwing prefabricated bridge units and anything else to hand over the tangled wreckage to make the bridges passable.

Pioneers well to the fore with well-rehearsed drills.

Stormoviks from 2VVS added their weight to the corps artillery … with less than impressive results! LuftFlotte 4, JG 52 (2 Bf 109s) and StG 2 (1 Ju 87 D) managed to intercept some of the sorties, mitigating the damage that might otherwise have occurred.

With less than impressive results

Heavy dice doing their job … with less than impressive results!

The depth of the German defences was enough to blunt the momentum of 40A, and 38A took over the lead. 5GdA had been advancing north of the River SEYM at a slower rate, having fewer obvious lines of attack.

The German second defensive line astride the river comprised 56ID  “Schwerter (Swords)” and 112ID and the defensive battles here were as fierce but equally as doomed to failure as the forward divisions. The reserve line lasted longer, as it was bolstered directly with artillery fire and the remnants of the previous two lines that had managed to retreat this far. The second bridge was destroyed.

Luftwaffe sees off the VVS (2)

40A logistic transport pushes forward to maintain momentum in the midst of air attacks.

The Soviets had broken through the main German defensive crust, but had exhausted two armies in the process.  7 Guards Army (7GdA) was still well to the east, having just cleared VORONEZH on a very congested supply route that was currently being asked to support four armies. The game ended with the two main lines having been breached, and the Soviets pushing densely packed columns along the road in an westerly direction.

Div HQ in the front line

An obvious choke point!

Game Notes.

  1. Phil is good at this sort of thing, having been playing for at least twenty years, and probably more. He prefers going round the flank with cavalry though, given a choice.
  2. This battle was fought at Front Scale (FSO), so a Division comprised two or three infantry stands representing regiments, an HQ and a medium artillery stand. Recce and engineers were managed at corp level. You can see antitank guns pretending to be lefH 10.5 artillery pieces.
  3. YesthatPhil took the Soviets and I ‘plumpired’ the Germans. As a point of courtesy, I will always try to give the most interesting side to a guest player. It doesn’t always work, but did on this occasion. Besides, I like a lost cause!
  4. I had been mulling over comments regarding the use of pins from the previous post. It dawned on me that the NQM casualty mechanism and Niel Thomas’s four step reduction are similar in all the important details, (he of One Hour Wargames fame). I tried putting all three casualties onto one stand instead of spreading them around evenly, then removing the stand on receipt of the fourth overload casualty. It works, of course, but importantly it has no overall ratio change of effect on a typical combat and it removes the need to stick pins into the bases of your figures. YesthatPhil has always just laid them on his nicely sculpted bases. After Phil had left, I finished off the north using the ‘no pin’ method, and will try it in the next game.
    • It also has the benefit of removing the need to paint traffic light stripes onto the back of every single base, and will reduce the overall numbers of Dead Freds and his mates that are littering the battlefield.
    • Because all the casualties belong to one stand, it is easier to see the state of a unit. They may be less likely to be left behind.
    • The point at which morale checks are needed are easier to see.
  5. Reorganisation will now remove all casualties on a base. I’ve done a quick number crunch, and the effect is similar enough overall to halving casualties, but with the following benefits:
    • It is quicker to do, with less moving around of markers and pins.
    • It is less likely that ‘zombie units’ will be allowed to exist. A zombie unit is one that is carrying more casualties than is permissible, or  that has gone past the point where it should have taken a morale check. In the past we just reasoned that the units ignored their officers, or were inspired by them, or whatever. Zombies just don’t know when to lie down!






Filed under "Rules" Explanations, 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Soviet War Diary, The "Rules", Wargames, WWII

NQM Soviet Summer Offensive 1943 (Part 1) Steppe Front

5 Army advances west through close hilly country south of ORYOL.

The Rasputitsa gave the Germans much needed time to recover, with reinforcements reaching the front and tenuous lines being stabilised. The Soviets had not been idle either, with resupply pushing forward along rail lines to reach overextended formations. The failure to capture BRYANSK was felt keenly due to its position on the rail network, but further back, the recovery of MOSCOW meant that rail networks were working smoothly further east.

The thinly held forward defensive line  was quickly bypassed.

Little Hitler was, as usual, pinning his hopes on the new Panzer Vs and VIs, with increasing numbers of Jagdpanzers to mobilise the Schnelle Abteilungen. The promise of even larger tank destroyers – Hornisse (later Näshorn) and Elefants – was mesmerising him and causing him to be optimistic about the prospects for the coming summer. His generals were not so sanguine, looking anxiously to their overextended defensive lines, and shortages of fuel. Nevertheless, they were broadly confident that their reserves massing behind the lines would seriously disrupt any plans that the Soviets might have for the coming summer. Perhaps if the enemy could be tempted to overextend himself, then a return to the glorious days of summer 1941 could be envisioned!

The Romanian main defensive line was quickly overrun.

Stavka had activated the Steppe Front, comprising 4 and 5 Guards (GdA) , 47 and 27 Armies (A) and 5 Guards Tank Army (GdTkA). This front attacked on a narrow axis with the two guards armies leading.  5 GdA  on the southern part of the front hit thinly spread Romanians backed by lightly equipped German infantry.  Phil executed Soviet textbook tactics to perfection, and after a spirited defence from a  Romanian divisional headquarters, the remaining Romanians either folded quickly and were overrun, or retired on zero strength.

Romanian divisional artillery failed to delay the advance.

295 Infantry Division (ID) on the main defensive line (MDL) stood until overwhelmed, with very few Landser making it back from the trenches to the reserve line. This held longer, but 47A broke through the line after a sharp exchange of artillery fire, having passed through 5GdA when the guards executed their third attack and had to pause to reorganise.

Game Notes:

  1. YesthatPhil took the Soviets, I took the Germans. We elected to only game one of the two leading first wave armies in Front Scale Orbat (FSO), meaning that a division was 3 or 4 infantry bases strong with one artillery base.
  2. The countryside is closer and hillier than the steppes. We decided that visibility extended only into the square that the unit was in, unless adjacent to the road/river valley, or on a major hill, when visibility was 2 squares.
  3. I tried a checkerboard defence to spread the line out further. It didn’t work! Phil was able to attack and assault the lead units from three sides at once! I only took a few photos as the game was over fairly quickly! The whole game lasted from 1430 to 1630, with Phil commanding two armies, and with a weak corps under my command. Phil hit lucky as he was up against Romanians playing to form rather than at the top of their game. The defenders were only placed on the board when unmasked by recce. I marked them with shrublets to remind myself where they were. Phil probably worked it out pretty quickly!
  4. We last saw 295 ID here.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, NQM Squared, Wargames, WWII

NQM Soviet Spring Offensive 1943 (Part 21) – Second BRYANSK

17 and 18 Panzer divisions bear down on the unsuspecting Soviets of 1 Army17  Panzer division bears down on the unsuspecting Soviets of 61 Army

It was clear to the commanding General of Heeresgruppe Mitte, Generalfeldmarschall Günther von Kluge  that the breakthrough of the Soviet 2 Tank Army had been blunted by 2 SS Pz Division and 47 Motorised Division (renamed PzG).

The ORYEL road is severed by 502 schwere AbteilungThe ORYEL road is severed by 502 schwere Abteilung and 17 Panzer Division.

He  ordered Generaloberst Rudolf  Schmidt of 2 Panzer Armee, to send 17 and 18 Panzer Divisions from XLVII Panzer Armeekorps on a wide encirclement, deep into the rear of the breakthrough, to blunt any reserves that might be attempting to reinforce the attack.

The breah widens and confusion reignsThe breach widens and confusion reigns

The Panzer divisions made good progress, meeting no opposition until they sliced into the flank of 61 Army at ORYEL, hitting 2 Breakthrough Artillery Corps (2BA)¹. With 17 Panzer Division and 502 heavy battalion hitting from the south and 18 Panzer Division contacting from the north some hours later, chaos reigned.

A perfect pincer movementA perfect pincer movement.

In a rare example of coordination at this stage of the war, the Luftwaffe had mustered three Geschwader of fighter bombers (two Bf 110 and one Ju 87 with 2cm anti tank cannon). By good fortune, the attack also surprised reinforcement battalions of tanks heading to 2 Tank Army and a heavy battalion of KV-1s, although they did not go down without inflicting significant casualties on the Panzers.

Die Luftwaffe kommt!Die Luftwaffe kommt!

A very one-sided battle ensued in which the Soviets fought bravely, but took heavy casualties as the army HQ was disrupted, and units scattered. The Soviets singularly failed to interdict any of the Luftwaffe, or to support their own troops with Stormoviks. Hastily mounted counterattacks to reopen the road foundered with heavy casualties.

Bf 110s catch the 61 Army headquartersBf 110s catch the 61 Army headquarters. The purple dice show a further nine hits on the HQ and surrounding units.

Crucially, the supply route to the breakthrough army and troops attacking BRYANSK was severed. Unusually for NQM heavy assets, the Tigers of schwere Abteilung 502 (heavy battalion) failed to roll many ones initially.²

Hans-Ulrich Rudel perfecting new antitank tactics.Hans-Ulrich Rudel perfecting new antitank tactics.³

Softening ground and rising temperatures led to the counterattacking troops being pulled back to BRYANSK, leaving ORYEL in Soviet hands. YesthatPhil took the Germans. He is back on the scene after a trying winter, and is making slow, steady progress. When I asked where the Panzers should aim for, the answer was “about where the ambulance is”. Bless their black little Nazi hearts! They hit light tanks and the breakthrough artillery instead.


  1. Historically, schwere Abteilung 502 stayed with Army Group North until August 1943. In our campaign, the Northern Front has been very quiet, and 502 has been sent south to where the action is.
  2. It did exhaust its ammunition eventually, but not before racking up a considerable score of light tanks.
  3. At this stage of the war, Hans-Ulrich Rudel was still flying a 2cm armed Ju-87, not the 87G shown here. However, my G doesn’t come out to play much, so …


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Wargames, WWII


SEVASTOPOL looking north

SEVASTOPOL looking north with German air assets

This Week’s post is just a quick picture dump of my mocked-up SEVASTOPOL board. The idea is to have a multiplayer game outdoors, providing that the Delta Variant of Covid levels off over the next few weeks in the UK.

SEVASTOLOL looking east

SEVASTOPOL looking east with fleet and assault boats.

The plan is to play the game at Front Scale Orbat (FSO) with three or four stands representing a division, and one stand representing a regiment or brigade. My band-saw is up and running again; it took six months to source a replacement blade due to lockdown shenanigans. I have cut a few more river sections and painted them a lurid icy blue, the better to stand out in pictures.

SEVASTOPOL looking south. The central hill represents the Maxim Gorky naval gun batteries.

SEVASTOPOL looking south. The central hill represents the Maxim Gorky naval gun batteries.

The 14 x 8 squared board is being used for convenience, but the game should play better on a non-squared board. Squares distort the terrain too much, making everything more rectilinear than it should be. For mocking up a game though, squares are unrivaled.

Airfields to south of SEVASTOPOL looking east

Airfields to south of SEVASTOPOL looking east


BALAKLAVA looking east

BALAKLAVA looking east


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Soviet War Diary, Wargames, WWII

NQM Soviet Spring Offensive 1943 (Part 18) – RYAZAN Falls

35 Infantry Division in RYAZAN

RYAZAN lies on the west bank of the River OKA, and by this stage of the spring offensive sat at the southeastern edge of what was beginning to look like a pocket, bounded north and east by the OKA and 13th Army.

8 Rifle Division 15 Corps 13 Army on the E Bank of the OKA

Attacking from the south-east was 42 Corps (16 Lithuanian, 202 and 399 Rifle Divisions) from 48th Army.

48 Army - 42 Corps 16 202 399 Rifle Divisions advance to contact

61st Army comprising 9 Guards Rifle Corps (12, 76 and 77 Guards Rifle Divisions) and five more rifle divisions (97, 110, 336, 356 and 415) marched rapidly to close the pocket along the southern border.  The sprawling town¹ boasted its own Kremlin but was otherwise undistinguished beyond being the birthplace of the famous psychologist Ivan Pavlov. Guarding RYAZAN, was 35 Infantry Division. This unit, comprising troops from Baden and Württemberg, had been in continuous action since 1940 on the west front, and then in the drive to MOSCOW, where it had suffered heavy casualties in the winter of ’41-42.

Further losses followed in the retreat from MOSCOW, and by now the division was burned out and Commanded by Major General Baron Rudolf von Roman.²

48 Army Recce meeting engagement

The opening round of the battle commenced with 48th Army scouts clashing with the forward defensive line south of RYAZAN. They were repulsed with significant casualties, forcing 16 Lithuanian Division to deploy and mount a formal attack.

16 Lithuanian Division Deploys for a formal attack

This eventually succeeded, as 202 and 399 Rifle Divisions worked their way around the west and north of the town to surround it.

16 Lithuanian Division drives in the German outpost line

The Commander of 42 Corps was in no hurry, waiting for his corps artillery to position itself before launching a heavy bombardment prior to a well-coordinated simultaneous assault from three sides of the town.

RYAZAN is surrounded and surrenders

The defenders, already low on ammunition, with failing morale, had been pushed beyond the limits of endurance and surrendered.³

Game Notes:

1. I rated RYAZAN as a medium defensive position.

2. The Germans were rated as Regular (3morale steps), the Soviets Conscript (two steps).

3. The Germans failed their first morale roll spectacularly, with a one!

4. I fought this as another solo game, thinking it would not hold much interest, other than as part of the campaign.

5. The Front Scale Orbat (FSO) was used for this game.

6. I shall take the opportunity whilst the toys are out on the table to do some more detailing and sticking magnetic tape onto bases.


  1. This didn’t stop me using the heavily industrialised IKEAGRAD on its first outing on the wargames table.
  2. Hence the regular rating, rather than veteran.
  3. The artillery rolled a one first time around! The town had no integral logistics to replenish losses, and the division could not trace a line of supply back to a railhead, due to being surrounded. I was surprised by how quickly the Germans folded, but they had already taken over 50% casualties from the preliminary bombardment.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Axis War Diary, Eastern Front, Soviet Army, Soviet War Diary, Wargames, Wehrmacht, WWII

NQM Soviet Spring Offensive 1943 (Part 17) – 2nd OREL (ORYOL)

P&GM STZ-5 with PP crew and metal 122mm M1931-37

 As he pondered his operational maps,  XXXV Korps commander had an insurmountable problem to solve. To both north and south, the Soviets had established bridge crossings and were holding them in strength. His only armoured reserve was heading south to try to stem the flood of Soviet armour heading east. Even if this succeeded, he had the depleted remains of two divisions to hold off six, with half the city of OREL lost already. If he delayed ordering an evacuation, his divisions would be cut off, with Soviet air superiority dashing any hopes that his garrison might be supplied by air. If he withdrew, he would be falling back on his lines of communication and might hope to counterattack when the Soviets reached the limit of their supply chain.

2 Tank Army heavy armour moving forward

2 Tank Army heavy armour moving forward

 17 Panzer fortuitously failed to intercept 16 Tank Corps, with its T-34s, and hit instead  19 Tank Corps, still equipped with T-70s. The lighter tanks were no match for 17 Panzers‘ Pz IIIs and attached StuG IIIs,  and suffered heavily. The stream of Soviet armour  heading west lost momentum and stalled as it reached the limits of its fuel.

Retreat Begins

The order to withdraw had been issued by XXXV Korps Commander, knowing that it would probably cost him his career, but judging it better to save his troops. Headquarters and artillery began to crowd westward as pioneers and infantry began a systematic destruction of anything that could not be carried with them. As 1 Guards Artillery Division arrived at the front and began to pound the west bank, it was already clear that the Austrians in front of them were withdrawing.

Being short of engineers, it took the Soviets some time before bridges in the city centre were able to take heavy enough traffic for supplies and vehicles to cross. As they pursued the fleeing Fascists, a cat and mouse game of rearguard ambush and retreat developed, with the Wehrmacht strewing booby traps and mines in the path of the advancing Soviet tanks. This timely account of the Battle of OREL makes interesting reading

It can be seen that far fewer forces were involved in my battle than the real operation.

Game notes:

  1. Nowadays, OREL or ORYOL (Орёл) appears on Google map as RAZGRAD.
  2.  I set the morale of the two Wehrmacht divisions to 4, and the Soviets to 2, meaning that each Soviet Division would be able to conduct two attacks and each Wehrmacht division four defences before becoming exhausted and disorganised. The early successes of the Soviets meant that these limits were not tested, and OREL fell without much of a struggle.
  3. Another solo game, with the dice deciding a number of things:
    • Would the Soviets reinforce the north (1,2) or south (3-6) crossing site?
    • Would the breakthrough armour swing north around the west of OREL (1-3) or make a deeper breakthrough (4-6)?
    • How much air support would both sides get, one, two or three sorties (1d3)?
    • Will the garrison be surrounded (1-3) or escape (4-6)?
  4.  With an active pair of players, most of these actions would have been decided or gamed by the participants themselves. I could have Skyped or Zoomed the game, but as previously mentioned, I’m pretty much all screened out by work at the moment.



Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Soviet Army, Soviet War Diary, Wargames, Wehrmacht, WWII

NQM Soviet Spring Offensive 1943 (Part 16) – 2nd OREL

102 and 106 Rifle Divs assault 262 Inf Div

262  Infantry Division was raised in Austria, having fought through the Ukraine. As Soviet 102 and 106 Rifle Divisions attacked the eastern approaches to the city, with heavy artillery and Sturmovik support, 486 Infantry Regiment and the divisional HQ on the southern edge of the suburbs caved in under pressure, letting 106 Rifle Division into the outskirts.

106 and 140 Rifle Divs assault 262 Inf Div

A fierce counterattack from 482 Infantry Regiment restored the situation for long enough for the division to withdraw to the west bank, but  with four Soviet divisions curling around the flanks, holding the east bank was out of the question.

262 Div counterattack and withdrawal

262 Pioneer Battalion conducted an exemplary bridge demolition. Nevertheless, the east bank had been lost relatively easily.

Bridge Demolition

Further north, ariel recce had observed activity on the river OKA. A substantial pontoon bridge was being thrown across, with a tank corps and infantry massing behind it.

3 Tk Corps 132 211 Rifle Divs on the E bank of the OKA

17 Panzer Division was despatched north to attack the bridgehead without delay from its staging area just west of OREL. Whatever the failings of their infantry brethren, the panzers fell upon the bridgehead, scattering armour and motor rifle troops, and destroying the bridge.

3 Tk Corps is caught at the N bridge by 17 Pz div

Undaunted, the Soviets were also bridging to the south of OREL. The first inkling that XXXV Korps Commander had that the river line had been bridged, was when infantry from 175 Rifle Division were sighted on the west bank, to the south of OREL. 17 Panzer had been recalled to their original staging area in a central position against just such an eventuality, but the Soviet attack began before they had reorganised and refuelled.

175 and 162 Rifle Divs on the E bank of the OKA

Now it was the turn of 293 Infantry Division to feel the weight of the assault as 175 and 162 Rifle Divisions attacked the southern edge of the city. Raised in Berlin, the “Bear” division fared no better than their Austrian Cousins. 175 Rifles drove the infantry back onto their artillery line before counterattacks from the reformed Austrians restored the situation.

293 Div Counterattacks

At this point, casualties had been heavy on both sides, with both Wehrmacht divisions down below half strength. Although they could not know it, the Soviets were fast outrunning their supply lines and needed more river crossings.

262 and 293 Div HQ and Signals

17 Panzer set off again in a wide sweep to the south, the plan being to catch the Soviet infantry in the rear. As they did so, fresh ariel reconnaissance intelligence was coming in: The second crossing had been located, and at least two tank corps were streaming west. To add to XXXV Korps commander’s troubles, the northern bridge crossing had been rebuilt and was being held by at least two rifle divisions with armoured support.

3 Tk Corps Rebuilds the N Bridge

Orders were hurriedly amended on the move, and 17 Panzer had a new target; the stream of Soviet armour  heading west.

to be continued …


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Soviet Army, Soviet War Diary, Wargames, Wehrmacht, WWII

NQM Soviet Spring Offensive 1943 (Part 15) – 2nd OREL

70 Army and 2 Tank Army Advance to OREL

The first battle for OREL was fleeting as the Wehrmacht swept east. This time the Soviets were on the offensive heading west. The land around OREL is largely flat,  fertile, grain-producing country, with OREL itself sitting astride the OKA river running north-south. The picture above shows the OKA running through OREL with north at the top of the picture.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking West into the Centre of OREL

For this game I used the Front Scale Orbat, with a stand representing a single regiment of two or three battalions. Below, we see Soviet 211 Division, with the divisional HQ front left, two regiments behind, and an artillery regiment to the right. The squares on my board are 150mm (6″) to a side.

211 Rifle Division

262 and 293 Infantry Divisions backed by 17 Panzer Division were facing 2 Tank Army less 9 Tank Corps, comprising 3, 16,19 Tank Corps, and 70 Army, comprising 28 Corps (132, 211, 280, 102, 106, 140, 162 175 Rifle Divisions, 1 Guards Artillery Division). Additional Support included 16 VVS.

70 Army was ordered to advance on a broad front to pin the German Defenders whilst 2 Tank Army bridged the OKA and cut it off. Engineer crossings were planned for the north and south of OREL.

OREL West Bank looking North


28 Corps HQ and 162 Rifle Division

As Soviet Army level recce advanced, the shape of the defence became clearer.

70 Army Recce advances

To be continued …


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Eastern Front, Soviet Army, Soviet War Diary, Wargames, Wehrmacht, WWII

Review – Paint and Glue Miniatures STZ-5 Artillery Tractor and 122 mm M1931 (A-19)

P&GM STZ-5 with 122mm M1931 two part print

P&GM STZ-5 with 122mm M1931 two part print – note spoked wheels

The Paint and Glue Miniatures STZ-5 Artillery Tractor and 122 mm M1931 (A-19) are reviewed here as they were commonly seen together. The STZ-5 is a beautifully-printed model, with excellent detail and the deep undercuts that only printed models can produce.

P&GM STZ-5 and 122mm Gun (1)

P&GM STZ-5 and 122mm M1930 rear and metal M1931/37 front with PP Crew


9,900 examples were produced, making this the commonest artillery tractor in the Soviet arsenal. By comparison, 2000 Kominterns, 1,123 Voroshilovets, an unknown (to me) number of Ya-12s and 13s, 1,275 Stalinets S-2s were built.

P&GM STZ-5 with 122mm M1931single piece print

P&GM STZ-5 with 122mm M1931 single piece print – note solid wheels and thinner recuperators

Garry at P&GM also sent me one of his early  single piece 122mm M1931 (A-19) prints with solid wheels before he decided to split the print by using the Deweycat version for better detail and add spoked wheels. They all have separate wheels for better detail, and they compare favourably with metal moulds, being superior in the area of symmetry (The comparison shown is the later M1931/37 with the sloped gun shield and recuperators) . Both metal and plastic guns sit well with the STZ – 5, seen here with Peter Pig Russian Civil War artillerymen, chosen for their Budunovka caps.

One area in which the metal guns have superior detail is in the rear earth spades. The metal versions actually look as if they would stop the recoil, and you can see what might be earth pickets hammered in. I have been unable to find any references to the A-19 having such, but am happy to be corrected or informed.

PGM STZ-5 and 122mm M1931 (L) and 1931/37 (R)

PGM STZ-5 and 122mm M1931 (L) and metal 1931/37 (R)


  1. Engines of the Red Army – see Reference Sidebar on right.
  2. ibid



Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Artillery, Modelling, Soviet Army, Wargames, WWII