Tag Archives: Artillery

PSC Kickstarter 2 – CMP Tractors and 25 Pounders

4 Regiments of 25-pounders forming

The new CMP tractor sits nicely in size in between the Fow 1:120 and the Denzil Skinner 1:100 scale Morris Quads, so a crafty wargamer will place the Skinners closest, the CMPs in the table centre and the FoWs at the far end to give a false sense of perspective. John Sandars was a past master of this wheeze, except that he used 1/35th and 1/72nd models in his dioramas.

Manning the Guns

Here are the WIP photos. I was delighted to see that the British gunners look like people, and not Orkses. They are still a little short in the leg, but they fit in nicely with everyone elses’ caricatures. I should have gone in for fantasy gaming *sigh*

The Gun Line

I thought it would be fun to see if the kit could produce one of the cut-down narrow-wheelbase 25pdrs used in Burma. The nearest unfinished gun is a reasonable enough approximation. The cam net on the back of the CMP hides the fact that I struggled to get a close fit at the back of the tractor. It also frees up a spare wheel. I am going to need a total of 8 for the extra four 25 Pdrs that can be part assembled from the kit sprue, and will have to find four spare limbers from somewhere.

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

Storm from the Northwest – Days 2 and 3

Day two of the Soviet Winter offensive in the Northwest saw X, II and VIII Korps under heavy pressure along the whole of the line. By this stage of the war, German defensive positions had formalised into an outlying belt of minefields studded with MG42 nests, then a main defensive line backed by a reserve line, all of some considerable depth such that they could not all be carried in the same attack.

II Korps Artillery II Korps artillery in the reserve line supports the failing defensive line of Lt Gen von Seydlitz-Kurzbach’s distinguished 12 Inf Div.

Soviet doctrine was evolving to cope, and although not as tactically proficient as they would become later in the war, the early desperate days of throwing waves of unsupported infantry in to the attack were giving way to more coordinated offensives with artillery and tank support. They would attack along a line, then ruthlessly reinforce success, leaving failing attacks to flounder. Thus it was that Lt Gen Wandel found pressure on his 121 Inf Div slackening as troops were diverted to support the break-in to 32 Inf Div‘s main defensive positions.

This attack had been preceded by violent assaults on two flanks against the distinguished 12 Inf Div veterans of Lt Gen von Seydlitz-Kurzbach. The division fell back in good order, having sustained intolerable casualties in the first day of the attack.

Northwest Front 05The vital rail junction on the divisional boundary of 32 and 121 Inf Divs, looking southwest, before  coming under heavy Soviet attack

This relief was, however, only temporary. Day three of the offensive saw renewed pressure on this sector of the defensive line to break open the main railway to VELIKIYE LUKI (Великие Луки)

121 Inf Div Main Defensive LineAll along the northern half of the line, German infantry were falling back to their reserve positions; most in good order but some in disarray. Soviet flags could be seen fluttering over the main line, and in the odd quiet moment balalaika and accordion music could be heard!

More to follow …

The Attack Develops on Day 3Link to the map

Game Notes:

1.More of this battle from the Soviet side can be seen on YesthatPhil’s P.B.Eye Candy Blog

2. This game was planned for Trebian’s 5×11 foot table at Shedquarters. My pasting table is a quarter of the size, so although the length is adequate, depth has been compressed by half.

3. The marked roads are also railways, which is why a Chibi armoured train is parked at the southern end of the track by VYSHNY VOLOCHYOK Вышний Волочек.

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

Simplifying the Red god of War

Reading through some of the bewildering changes in the Soviet orders of battle in Zaloga and Ness (1998) leads me to the conclusion that simplification is needed when reducing everything to a 1:30 NQM scale. After all, LittleHitler and SmallStalin only have 15mm forces with which to wage their wars.

Part of me wants to faithfully reflect the historical campaign, but another part recognises that there are limits to what can be achieved. I think I really lost the plot when looking at RVKG (Stavka artillery reserve) artillery orders of battle, but the resultant simplifications have been added to the NQM Soviet Artillery page:

RVKG 1941 Anti tank Brigade. 2 Anti-tank rifle (S3), 2 76mm divisional gun (S3) + limber (L3), 2 85mm AA/anti-tank gun (S3) + limber (L3). These were all disbanded in 1941 in favour of artillery regiments, which were all lost outside the gates of MOSCOW in winter 1941.

RVKG 1941 Anti tank Regiment. 76mm divisional gun (S3) + limber (L3) or 85mm AA/anti-tank gun (S3) + limber (L3).

RVKG (Apr ’42) Anti tank Brigade. 2 Anti-tank rifle (S3), 76mm/57mm/45mm gun (S3) + limber (L3). This orbat remained until late 1943 with thirty 76mm brigades and one 85mm brigade being formed.

76mm Anti-tank Brigade with Peter Pig figures and scratchbuilt limber

57mm Anti-tank Brigade with Peter Pig figures, FoW  komsolets limber and stand-in for a 57mm gun

45mm Anti-tank Brigade with Peter Pig figures and FoW  komsolets limber

Anti-aircraft regiments went through several iterations as Stavka juggled with effectiveness against high and low flying aircraft. They formed orbats for airfield defence regiments without transport, and mobile regiments. For simplicity I only have one AA orbat :

PVO Anti-aircraft Division. 37mm Anti-aircraft gun (S3) [2 by 1943], 12.7mm DShK MG (S3), 85/76mm AA gun (S2), quad 48 MG (S3) [1942 only]. 1-0 of any of these weapons can be present in a division, each with a limber (L3) if mobile, or without if an airfield defence division. You can see a fairly thin airfield defence Division below.

Independent mortar regiments appeared from army, corps and RVKG in calibres of 120mm, 160mm heavy and 107mm mountain : all as 1 tube (S3) + limber (L3), or as …

Independent mortar Brigade. 4 tubes (S3) + limber (S3)

You can see three-and-a-half mortar brigades in this artillery box, together with General Chestikov and sundry other units that have been scraped together for a last ditch defence on an artillery gun line.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Artillery, Orbats, Soviet Army