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Looking for an opponent for a PBEM game of Korsun Pocket?

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Postby sorcerer » Wed Jun 21, 2006 6:02 am

January 29th 1944 (pm) (turn 10)

The trusty old Sd Kfz 223 was waiting as close to the unloading area as possible and there was no time to waste. In my absence there had been some alarming developments on each front that needed to be dealth with urgently.

In the East reports had come streaming into HQ from the 3rd Panzer Division that this morning the SS Wiking (in my absence) had launched a divisional strength attack on a significant portion of the Russian line. With the Russian conscripts almost unsupported and lacking in anti-tank weapons it was no surprise that the now efficient Panther tank and the battle hardened SS infantry hammered home the attack. The equivalent of a unit worth of enemy infantry was destroyed for no losses.

However due to this continued lack of co-operation between the SS and the Army an alarming position had occured in the defensive positions. While the opposing Russian forces in the area had not quite exploited this, the majority of the line was forced to play musical chairs for the afternoon. Thankfully the situation is now in hand.

Developments in the West were also of a questionable situation. During the morning a mechanised probe had escaped the attentions of our supposed local air superiority and had punctured a hole in the defensive positions of a unit of the 198th Infantry Division. While some similar units would have yielded the same ground, it shold be noted that this division is already at half strength due to its poor performance.

In the late afternoon a heavy Ferdinand unit, was brought up to help restore the lost ground. Some Stug IVs were also scraped together from quieter areas of the front and from the repair shops. While the opposing mechanised infantry had great mobility on paper which would have made the fixed guns of the Ferdinands and Stugs largely ineffective, the attack was going into a forested area where the enemies mobility was negated. Thus while the heavy guns pounded away from afar, the Stugs supported by the infantry moved up to the Russian positions. The heavy guns were then trained on the edge of the tree line and soon they were firing upon the enemy infantry retreating from our forces infiltrating the woods. Once the attack was complete the decision was made to form a new line further back and not take up the re-captured ground as the Russian had destroyed many of the important defensive structures.

Just before dusk a final attack went in. A recon probe from a Stug unit, just north of Votylevka had found a weak spot in Russian lines on the extremity of its operating range. Despite this downside the very high chance of destroying the weak enemy conscript unit that was holding the line tipped the balance of opinion here at HQ. With the light fading fast, our troops moved fast and with the Russian unit in the locality at a bare minimum of strength, there was little other opposition to these movments. This enabled the attack to be executed perfectly, the enemy unit destroyed and our forces then retiring to defensive positions before darkness descended.
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Postby sorcerer » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:35 pm

January 30th 1944 (am) (turn 11)

Throughout the night a constant stream of messages came through from the Stug IV unit which had participated in the previous afternoon's attack. At first it seemed the Russian forces in the first wave were just part of a recon probe but as wave after wave of enemy attacks fell on the positions of the assault tanks it became clear this was the enemy spearhead.

Limited by their almost fixed field of fire, battle weary and including a large number of vehicles that had been taken from the repair shops, it was not long before the situation was out of control. Wave upon wave of enemy units attacked, T34s, mechanised infantry, conscript infantry and even engineers bore down upon the defensive positions. With the success of the first wave of Russian attacks, the defenses were now alerted and just had enough to repulse the second attack. But returning with greater strength the Russians swamped the fields of fire before breaking through the defenses. By the morning only a few battered assault tanks limped from the area, each one requiring significant attention before it can return to the line which will not be for some weeks.

However as the sun began to break through our other forces in the vicinity noted that there were far more destroyed Russian tanks and dead Russian bodies than the losses among the ranks of the assault tanks. With a weakened spearhead this was the chance to hit back; the Ferdinands combined with a newly arrived unit of Tiger tanks to quickly push back the lead elements of a T34 unit.

Elsewhere, action was limited allowing our forces in the West to recuperate and ready for more offensive action. With the Command structure re-affirmed with the comanders of Wiking, this unit in combination with the 3rd & 11th Panzer Divisions launched two attacks on Russian units to the north of Shpola. By the end of the morning, three enemy units had been destroyed, a tank unit, an anti-tank unit and a unit of engineers. Other Russian infantry identified as having the Guards status were also forced back with heavy casualties.
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Postby sorcerer » Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:00 am

January 30th 1944 (pm) (turn 12)

Casualties were quite high along the front with Russian attacks in almost every local area so there were no attacks this turn.

The forces to the East of Korsun are now dug in along the final defensive line of pickets but the units are mostly of high quality and between 60-100% of full strength. The forces to the West of Korsun spent the afternoon creating new defensive positions.

Fortunately the promised Panzer Divisions are starting to arrive at the rate of about one a day. With these units entering the field there is scope for a little more defensive flexibility.
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Postby sorcerer » Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:34 pm

January 31st 1944 (am) (turn 13)

The Russians are applying pressure in almost all sectors of the front line. Casualties were high again, although thankfully fewer in number than yesterday evening. With the temperature rising notably over the past few hours, it is expected the snow will turn to mud in the coming days which means these Russian attacks are one last throw of the dice to break through our lines.

Lines are held in the majority of areas by strong units and good divisions and it is only the numerical superiority of the enemy that will bring them success. However in one area troops were critically short and an infantry unit's right flank had to be held by an engineer unit stationed in a village without support. Unfortunately under cover of darkness the Russian tanks managed to discover this weakness in the front line and attacked the village.

Expecting an easy local victory the T34s roamed the village taking little advantage of cover. So while our engineer unit took 100% casualties as it valiantly defended its positions, it did managed to destroy a considerable amount of enemy tanks.

Elsewhere two Panzer Divisions were moved forward to the front line to help offset the final hours of the Russian attack. With little or no ground to yield the pressure has been building steadily over the previous few days and until the mud arrives every single hour will be critical.
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Postby Noakesy » Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:07 pm

This sounds really exciting - well written. Any chance we might see even an historical screen shot (if you are able to doctor that so it doesn't give away any sensitive information)?
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Postby sorcerer » Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:58 am

January 31st 1944 (pm) (turn 14)

As the Pathers, Half Tracks and Panzergrenadiers came roaring out of the line of defensive pickets the Russian forces were caught completely off guard with their anti-tank guns not yet gun in. In the ensuing melee almost a unit worth of Russian conscripts were cut down with the anti-tank guns beating a hasty retreat. Under strict orders not to chase the fleeing enemy units our attacking units then moved back to fortify the defensive positions and await the full weight of the Russian attack.

In the East a Panzer Division is assimilated into the front line and other units begin to arrive.

However it was in the West where the vital action occured on this afternoon. A few days ago the 417/168th Infantry unit. that was stationed to defend Boguslav received no orders to take part in the strategic withdrawal. Unfortunately after some retrospective head scratching at HQ, it seems that the other areas under more pressure had diverted attention away from this quieter sector therefore causing the orders to be misplaced. While not in immediate danger the cumulative effect of this lack of movement meant that this morning the Russian spearhead caught up with the unit, now stationed in a village.

Russian mechanised infantry quickly managed to seal off the village through complete encirclement and so hoped to seal the fate of our troops. Rapidly the infantry was under heavy attack from tanks, mechanised infantry and conscripts from all sides. The first attack was beaten off with some casualties and the unit held fast in the village, its fearless men prefering to stay under the cover of the remaining buildings instead of retreating. The second attack followed quickly and this time the infantry excelled themselves, completely holding off the enemy with no casualties. However the men were soon down to their last rounds and any further strong attacks would have been impossible to hold off. But as midday came and went the Russian attack petered out, and an exhausted unit of Guards T34 tanks remained in the clear terrain to the South of the village.

With the Russian attacks halted, our forces in the vicinity immediately went over to the offensive to break through to the infantry and rescue the beleagured but heroic men. The only way through was the clear terrain to the South and the attack was made with two local spearheads. On the left the Tigers lead the attack annihilating the exhausted crews of the remaining T34s and providing protection for the infantry which peeled off to protect the left flank. On the right, faster assault tanks raced forward and linked up with the village. The relieved men in the village acknowledging that to stay in their positions was fatal, raced out to join the assault tanks. With this move complete the Tigers and screening infantry withdrew back to their original positions. By the end of the afternoon the rescued men and the assault tanks were almost back to defensive positions. While remaining exposed and liable to some further casaulties, the core of the unit has been rescued and will be able to continue the fight.

Under other circumstances the men of the 417/168th would be taken out of the line and medals awarded, but with the critical situation it is imperative that their experience remains on the front line.
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Postby Kingpin » Fri Jun 23, 2006 5:04 am

Great Post Sorcerer! :o
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Postby sorcerer » Fri Jun 23, 2006 5:17 am

Memo To Other Commanders

Due to the Russian attacks and the constant high pressure of operations along this critical sector of the front, all of our cartographers at HQ are working around the clock, drawing and redrawing the situation on the ground. In addition the notorious 'Lucy' ring might be in operation in the local area and so the threat of information falling into the wrong hands could be disasterous not only for the forces under my command but also for myself and those at HQ.

Therefore maps are and will be unavailable for the forseeable future.
Perhaps you could send your requests to the administrative department of Heeresgruppe Sud.
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Postby Noakesy » Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:29 am

sorcerer wrote:Memo To Other Commanders
Therefore maps are and will be unavailable for the forseeable future.
Perhaps you could send your requests to the administrative department of Heeresgruppe Sud.


Understood - maybe when operations have ceased it will be possible to have a few operational maps of the situation as it developed.
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Postby sorcerer » Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:44 am

February 1st 1944 (am) (turn 15)

With the dawn of a new month there is one final hope placed in the influx of reinforcements. Panzer Divisions, Infantry, Engineers, Artillery and Supply Trucks are all arriving in unheralded quantities, often unheard of since the failure of the final great offensive the previous summer. Rumour has it that those at the very top have designated this area vital to future offensives, designed to strike north and the recapture of Kiev and that even the 1st SS are on their way.

However one must envisage that even this most powerful of units will play a defensive role over the coming weeks. In fact the Russian forces still enjoy a huge numerical advantage in manpower and artillery and in all areas of the sector the balance is on a knife edge.

One such area is to the West of Korsun, where the battle rages around the town of Kidanovka. This little town previously of little strategic importance has now become the center of a titanic struggle between the spearhead of the Russian forces - the redoubtable 5th Mechanised Corps and the cream of our defensive forces, headed by the 905 Ferdinand and 506 Tiger units.

During the night as the 417/168th was re-incorperated into the line, the 5th Mech supported by the 5th Guards Tank struck once more, forcing the infantry out of Kidanovka and into the clear terrain. However the infantry dug in on the left flank of Kidanovka importantly held their positions and provided the base from where an attack was made to recapture the town. Once more the Tigers provided the spearhead and as before succeeded in weakening the enemy forces before the infantry and assault tanks moved into contest the town. After some bitter house to house fighting in which a good number of structures were actually destroyed the Russian mechanised infantry was once more forced out.

Further South, just to the North of Votylevka a massed attack by conscripts had overwhelmed and destroyed a hopelessly outgunned fusilier unit. Anxious to strike back, units of the 16th Panzer moved forward to catch up with the retreating conscripts. When the half tracks of the 17th Pz recon closely followed by the grenadiers of the 40th Panzergrenadier caught up, the conscripts cowardly abandoned a unit of anti-tank guns and their crews. No prisoners were taken.
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And now the Facts ....

Postby Aberdeen » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:56 pm

Okay, now for some cold, hard facts ....

Having just returned turn 22 (almost half-way through) ....

North - everything except Korsun Town (which has lost its Fort) is owned.
East - ChicherKazovka held, and a line North including Vyasovok. Gorodische is still in Axis hands.
South - Large build-up of Axis forces .... awaiting developments.
West - Kidanovka, Medvin and Votylevka held. Large concentration of forces for both sides in this sector.

Dice - Axis 3.41, Allied 3.53
Kills - Axis 6, Allied 17
Score - Current (Allied +962 - decisive), Forcast (Allied +427 - marginal) :wink:
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Postby Noakesy » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:25 am

The flowing words were so much nicer :wink:

Thanks for the update Aberdeen, just checking do you mean 6 axis units are dead, or 6 have been killed by the axis (I suspect it's the former, but just interested).
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Postby Aberdeen » Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:00 am

Noakesy wrote:The flowing words were so much nicer :wink:

I totally agree! :oops:

Noakesy wrote:Thanks for the update Aberdeen, just checking do you mean 6 axis units are dead, or 6 have been killed by the axis (I suspect it's the former, but just interested).

The Axis have killed 6 Allied units; the Allies have killed 17 Axis units :shock:
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Postby sorcerer » Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:26 am

Of the 17 units here is what I can recall without waiting for the next turn.

...2 were down to personal mistakes.

5 were destroyed before I could move them,
3 were lost in the West due to very good dice, (for 2 see below)
3 in the East required a stream of 4+ and 3+ to be destroyed.
1 in the West was hung out because of 1 on an overrun.

While the East is stable, the West is the problem. Russian dice have been exemplary on the key attacks in the West.

5th Mech to get over river, 4+,4+,4+ (unit destroyed)
To take Krutiye Gorby in west, 4+,4+,6 (unit destroyed)
Korsun Strongpoint 5+ x 2. (destroyed in 3 or 4 turns)
Votylevka 5+ (first attempt)

No matter how well you play you cannot defend against this.

Last turn there was a further example of how dice in the West have been critical. The Panther's of the Baeke unit (3 step elite, 3+ shock, anti shock) moved into the line defending a hilltop supported by some infantry (1 step). This move was key to slowing and stopping the 2 large Russian Tank divisions which have recently arrived. The Russians could only mount an attack at the odds of 5-1, and so they did. Result, a '6' which equates to A2-D2R. Instead of the Panther unit losing just one step allowing it to be rotated with other units in the area to hold the hill, it is now shot through for about five turns and also requires reinforcements. Plus the hill falls into Russian hands and is yet more terrain that can't be taken back.

Now I don't want to take anything away from Aberdeen. He has played a game of the highest quality with a complete understanding of the scenario and executed his strategies very well. Faced with the same tactics I would do exactly the same movements again as I would be very likely to retain the initiative. This time, unfortunately all these little pieces of luck, 5th Mech, Krutiye Gorby, Votylevka, Baeke has made it nigh on impossible to defend.

What is your take on things Aberdeen?
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Postby Joe » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:18 am

A long time ago I made the point. Instead of a 6 sided dice a 12 sided dice with the results "smoothed out" would reduce the emphasis on luck (mostly bad)
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