SOVIET VERSION OF EVENTS.
With an assignment to bring up a second echelon force of reservists and late doing so, Col. Vladimir Brusilov didn't expect an effusive welcome. The division commander was curt and to the point. An American force of unknown strength was holding a road junction where forward supply dumps were located. Attack, destroy the covering force, exploit and be sure to preserve any stocks of fuel and lubricants. Since the colonel half-expected to be sent back immediately for a bunch of third echelon reservists with completely obsolete equipment, this combat assignment counted as a stroke of luck.
US VERSION OF ACTUAL EVENTS: Nato High command called. They said If I ever want to drive a Mercedes Benz again, I better not lose Stuttgart.
The sector commander was preoccupied with West Germans to clarify.
and hung up.
Division staff recommended a night attack but drawing in stragglers and getting a full load of fuel meant the colonel was still deploying forces as the sun rose. The defenders position was fairly easily discerned since they had dug in quickly using mechanical assistance and hadn't been able to fully camouflage their positions. Prisoners and locals had confirmed that the defenders were mechanized infantry deployed in an arc behind a ruined village. The roads of the village were heavily cratered and most of the buildings were rubble or well started on the process of collapse. The highway forked in the village center and there were smallish supply dumps along each side of the forks in the left and right flank centers. A mine field shielded the enemy's right flank with a covering force dug in behind, while some APCs extending the line to the extreme right. The enemy's left flank had more infantry, in somewhat greater numbers. Behind the front line of dug in infantry were I
mproved TOW vehicles and boxy M113 APCs. The force seemed rather undersized for the frontage
US VERSION OF ACTUAL EVENTS:. I managed to assemble 3 Fully Mechanized , 1 'attached' mechanized platoon . (since I didn't have enough to makea full formation). A full M1 Abrams platoon 2 ITV's... 1 VAD .. 1 full Cobra squadron and the same 4 A10 pilots from last week . The Russians already leveled a town with arty so we knew that was their intended approach . I placed my infantry on my left with all my fast elements on my right. My plan was to try and punch a hole on his right with my a10s and tanks and force his tanks to turn giving me valuable side shots on his tanks.....
After consideration, Brusilov decided against flanking the position. He had a tank battalion and a motor rifle battalion with two understrength companies. Neither was a particularly good choice to probe the wooded hills on the extended flanks. Instead he deployed the tank battalion in the center to work down the main street of the village while the motor rifle battalion swung in on the right where scattered woods and a line of building promised some concealment. A covering force drawn from both battalions on the left protected the battery of Carnations and could exploit some relatively long lines of visibility to provide fire support. The single company of T-64s available was expected to do good work with their Songster missiles here. Although one company of T-72s had mine rakes, the minefield looked formidable and Brusilov was inclined to work around the edges. With three reconnaissance units, the lead units were able to push the start line forward a bit on each axis.
Since the battlefield was congested, the deployment had to be extended to put more units on the firing line. The limited number of anti-air assets were spaced along the line.
The Soviet attack started with a light bombardment of the enemy's ITOW units and long range fire from tanks and APCs. Not much damage was inflicted. The return fire shredded the leading line of BMP-2s, leaving a lone survivor. In what would be a pattern for the day, the remaining BMP-2 simply continued fighting.
US VERSION OF ACTUAL EVENTS:. Soviets opened up early nearly missing every shot at my M113s and ITV's... An ITV bailed out.....
As the Soviet center and right probed forward, lead by the recon assets, an overenthusiastic lieutenant attempted to win the battle on his own and tried to overrun the dug in Americans with his 4 BRDM-2s. The results were catastrophic but amazingly one BRDM survived the debacle and battle. Meanwhile, the left flank became the target of a well coordinated counter attack. Four A-10s, four Cobra attack helicopters and a platoon of Abrams tanks pincered the Soviet left. Only a minor pilot error on the part of the attack helicopters gave relief. What anti-air assets could reach concentrated on the now visible Cobras and managed, with great expenditure of ammunition and time to shoot them down. The A-10s swept overhead and proceeded to eliminate several vehicles with a combination of guns and missiles. Despite one sergeant claiming he had shot the tail off a plane with his heavy machine gun, they departed the battle field unscathed and returned again. The American tanks swe
pt in on the scouts, T-64s and Spandrels, using their stabilized guns to deadly effect. A T-72 company attempted to intervene and was wiped out, the T-64 company was reduced to a single tank but return fire managed to kill two Abrams. As the Americans closed, the Carnation battery came into view and returned fire. Amazingly the artillerists managed to mount up, maneuver onto the American's flank and kill the two remaining tanks with well placed HEAT rounds only loosing a single gun in return.
US VERSION OF ACTUAL EVENTS:.
My air assets and M1s went after every BMP I could find in the hopes of shaving off his numbers into something more manageable . Mu opponent had to choose, the A10 or the cobras. I think the entire Soviet force fired at the cobras and succeeded in killing 3 of them. The last pilot made his save only to be shot the next turn. I must confess I love my a 10s as 16 dice of AT11 does wonders to MPS.
As the Soviet left threatened to unravel, the American force started to pull out the town, leaving fewer units to cover the supply dumps. Alternate Soviet T-74 and motorized infantry assaults pushed the American infantry off the right hand objective and into open ground. Soviet losses were significant and one tank company turned tail and ran. Despite determined defense the Americans were now trying to plug too many holes in the dike with too few assets; the Soviet morale appeared unshakable and while their fire was inaccurate the volume was impressive and eventually effective. The end came when the units covering the left flank supply dump departed. Although a single Dragon team managed to shoot the first scout BMP off the objective there, more were closing in and the right hand objective was down to a few infantry teams. The skies remained empty after first few A-10 runs and the Americans had no choice but to withdraw.
Soviet Losses: 4 Units Destroyed, 24 points.
Comment: The Soviet player had amazing good fortune in keeping units reduced to single vehicles on the board. With a bit less luck in that department he might have lost one or both battalions due to morale effects.
US Comment. This game was a nail biter. I reduced 3? more units down to 1 vehicle or 4 stands .. My opponent rolled so many dice but had trouble hitting me. However He made EVERY moral check and in the end, that's what mattered. I should have choose to remove M1s and save 32 points however I became obsessed trying to inflict morale checks. I love my A10s as they have managed to make a lot of aircraft saves and my opponent never got the 5+ firepower.