Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Vancouver Salute 2016 Smolensk!

Hey All!

Finally got around to posting a few pictures of John Atchison and my game hosted at Salute 2016 in Vancouver this year. We used Schwere Kompanie rules and a mix of PSC and Battlefront 15mm minis.

The Background: Smolensk, July 1941:
 Realizing that the first Western Front was shortly going to cease to exist, the Stavka committed virtually its entire strategic reserve to the Minsk-Smolensk-Moscow axis. Stavka realized (even if Hitler didn’t) that losing the Moscow region would potentially result in losing the war, and wholly expected the Wehrmacht to pursue this objective before the autumn of 1941. Consequently they realized that the ‘Battle of Smolensk’ was critical and assumed its outcome would determine if an offensive against Moscow could continue.
On July 6th, the 5th and 7th Mechanized Corps in conjunction with the 44th and 69th Rifle Corps, elements of the 2nd and 4th Rifle Corps, and the 4th Airborne Corps. attacked with over 2 000 tanks. It developed as a meeting engagement with the 3rd Panzer Group’s 39th Panzer Corps and the 2nd Panzer Group’s 47th Panzer Corps. In five days of fighting the 7th, 12th, 17th and 18th Panzer Divisions defeated and decimated the 5th and 7th Mechanized Corps and supporting rifle forces, and continued their advance on Vitebsk and Orsha. The 5th and 7th Mechanized Corps lost 832 tanks, many personnel and much heavy equipment in the battle, withdrawing in disorder eastwards across the Dnepr river.

The idea was to have light German forces occupying former Soviet defensive positions and for the Soviets and German main forces to attack from off map.

We adjusted the force composition during or three-game playtest-by-fire but overall we used:

For the Germans:
x 2.0cm Sd.Kfz. 10/4
Panzer IIF
2 x Panzer IVE
3 x Panzer IIIH
Two Platoons of 1st Line Infantry with Light AT/INF gun and MG support

For the Soviets:
T-26S M39
BT-5 M34
T-34/76 M40
A full Company of 2nd Line Infantry with MG and AT rifle support. 

First some poses...

Battlefront plastic T34/76 M41 - backdated to M40.
Fenders thinned and rounded, saw, grab handles and lights removed...added weld seams, turret roof ventilators, tool boxes, wooden blocks, spare tracks, hull headlights, shovels and tow cable.
The front drivers hatch and the rear engine hatches are wrong but I was in a rush...with a deadline...

Battlefront Resin BT-5's...

Extensively reworked with a smattering of scratch-building.

PSC Plastic Panzer III's...with a BF commander...oh the horror!

Action Shots...

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