Kempf I: Razumnoe Rumble
Kursk - Burning Tigers #1
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||Soviet Union (Defender)|
|Germany||19th Panzer Division|
|Soviet Union||1438th Self Propelled Artillery Regiment|
|Soviet Union||228th Guards Rifle Regiment|
|Soviet Union||262nd Tank Regiment|
|Soviet Union||4th Antitank Rifle Battalion|
|Overall Rating, 5 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 276 of 568|
|Parent Game||Kursk - Burning Tigers|
|Maps||2: 41, 43|
|Layout Dimensions||86 x 28 cm
34 x 11 in
|Enter & Exit|
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Kursk - Burning Tigers||maps + counters|
The opening of Operation Citadel found Army Detachment Kempf attempting to establish three bridgeheads over the Northern Donets River. The plan called for the panzer divisions to exploit northward once they'd secured the bridgeheads to protect the flank of the advancing II SS Panzer Corps. The 19th Panzer Division managed to cross the Northern Donets River at Razumnoe only to find unfavorable terrain occupied by a determined enemy. Their troubles multiplied when enemy armor approached.
As the engineers struggled to get the panzers across the river the grenadiers found themselves in grave danger of being overrun by the aggressive enemy armor. In response, the German soldiers began using the terrain to their advantage as small teams of grenadiers wielded Teller mines, flamethrowers, and whatever ever else was handy to hold the armor at bay. When the panzers arrived it relieved the pressure on the grenadiers and enabled them to surge a mile forward, securing the bridgehead.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|4 Errata Items|
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
All SS PzIVH tanks should have a movement of 8.
The morale and combat modifiers of German Sergeant #1614 should be "0", not "8".
All SPW 251s have an armor value of 0.
|Easy German win|
My first solo game for a while and my first from Burning Tigers. This scenario is quite curious as although this is Kursk and the German's are on the attack its the Soviets who will need to attack before the German armour reinforcements arrive. However the German commander in my game launched an attack on the small 40m ridge in the middle of board 41.With accurate artillery and machine gun fire the ridge was cleared with heavy Soviet losses. This led to an Guards counter attack on the ridge which was beaten off again with high Russian losses. The soviet commander then threw his T34's into the fray, alone and unsupported, they failed to make much headway at first but when recovering Guards INF and HMG units rejoined the battle the central ridge was once again in Russian hands although the German units had withdrawn with only light casualties. The Soviets and attacked both the German flanks bit finally the German AFV's arrived on the scene in the ensuing Tank contest losses were fairly even but coupled to the Russian losses earlier in the battle the Germans were always on top in VP's. The Luftwaffe then joined in, and finding a company of demoralized Soviet Guards sheltering behind the Russian lines, had great success with their Stukas. The game ended with the combatants back in their original positions, but with the Russian almost halved in numbers they would be unable to mount any effective defense should the German's mount further attacks. Not a bad scenario, if my game was any guide then it will be a very cluttered board around that central ridge, not sure if it is as unbalanced as my game panned out with the Germans having 20 more VP's than the Soviets. Still a bit of a slugfest IMHO.
At 1545 on July 5, 1943, elements of the German 19th Panzer Division of Army Detachment Kempf established a bridgehead over the Northern Donets River during the first day of Operation Citadel. Once the bridgeheads were secured to protect the flank of the advancing II SS Panzer Corps, the tankers could move northward. However, determined Soviet forces from the 228th Guards Rifle Regiment and 78th Guards Rifle Division were entrenched along with the 4th Anti-tank Rifle Battalion on a ridge East of the German position. In the area due east of the hill, elements of both the 262nd Tank Regiment and 1438th Self-propelled Artillery Regiment remained out of sight of the German advance. Both flanks below the hillside were also mined. As the German infantry probed the left flank, they were surprised by three platoons of T-34’s, which caused a rapid retreat along with significant casualties. The fighting then centered on a series of skirmishes between the two ridges on the hilltop east of the river. At 1645, the Panzers began to arrive to support the infantry; however, by then the T-34’s and an Su-122 had moved forward along the German left flank, and they caught the arriving Panzers in a vicious crossfire that destroyed both a Panzer IIIg and IIIj. By 1715, the Panzers had established their position on the battlefield and moved forward behind the Soviet troops on the ridge. They were able to inflict damage on the Soviet reserves east of the hills, and, by 1830, ultimately took control of the town and trail over a mile east of the hilltop. Then, a contingent of the German infantry, along with an engineer platoon, moved forward on the German right flank toward the village SE of the hilltop. Meanwhile, the Soviet troops on the hilltop had moved west with support from the T-34’s (the Su-122 had succumbed to fire from the Panzers by 1800). A series of clashes on the west edge of the hilltop resulted in the loss of Major Higgendorff, and Captain Faschenbader replaced him in command resulting in morale issues with two of the other officers. The Soviet progress had the German troops back on their heels, but a logistical shortfall that occurred around 1915, followed by a critical shortfall at 2000, compromised the Soviet opportunity to push the beleaguered Germans from the hilltop. During this period, the Panzers and the engineer platoon, now transported in an SPW-251, had moved eastward out of range. Based on victory points that were determined at 2030, the Germans had a 61-48 edge for a “major victory”.
This scenario has been described by others as a “slugfest” and I found it to be much the same. If I hadn’t used the shortfall optional rules, the Soviets would no doubt fared better, but could they have picked up the additional 13 points needed for a draw? Probably not based on the way the hilltop skirmishes played out. So, despite some remarkably fortunate die rolls for the Soviets throughout the scenario, they fell short. The final count on actual step loss points was 39-38 in favor of the Soviets. The Germans held the only town that was not contested at the end, while the Soviets claimed the hilltop hexes 9-3, with one still being contested. The big difference came from the 14 points that the Germans accrued from moving units off the east edge of the map (14 points) and a one-step engineer unit and full strength Pz.IIIn east of the trail at the end of the game (5 points). Both of the latter options seemed a bit gamey, since a real-life situation would have left those units isolated behind the lines with the Soviets reclaiming the bridgehead; however, these were the victory conditions, and the German army played it to win.