Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Troubled Shores of a Soviet "Island of Resistance" - Part 1 - Iron Front Liberation 44

Soviet anti-tank defenses in World War II were always in depth, organized in so-called "islands of resistance". These islands were interconnected, mutually supported strong points organized around fortified villages or natural accidents of terrain that were favorable to the defender.

This custom, single player scenario features of such islands and the command post that coordinates the defense from it. The other topic of this scenario is the Soviet use of combat engineers in anti-tank warfare. Upon the identification of the enemy's axis of attack, each combat engineer would carry 5 anti-tank mines onto the enemy's path and deploy them to slow the armored advance. In this scenario I'm playing as the commander of a group of 3 combat engineers assigned to an anti-tank strong point. The readers are urged to take the outcome of this scenario with a big grain of salt, as the outcome of the anti-tank gun vs. tank duel turned out to be questionable.

A panoramic view of the command post. Located on top of premium real estate, this high-ground point is more about observation and coordination than anything else. Only two anti-tank guns are located here. The two likely enemy avenues of approach are the roads marked with arrows.

A few meters below the high ground, one of the islands of resistance is around a village (arrow). This village has six 76 mm anti-tank guns divided in two groups facing the enemy's avenues of approach.

Around mid-morning, and as a prelude for the upcoming battle, a German Ju-87 dive bomber shows up above our position in the command post. 
The German bomber makes no less than two passes upon our and the position below. It is then downed by our anti aircraft artillery located elsewhere.
A few minutes later, the first German tanks are spotted. They are moving from the north, towards the village. Our anti tank guns open fire from the high ground ...
I load my team into this reconnaissance vehicle and we move to the village. Although the enemy has only been spotted advancing from the north, there is always the possibility that he may advance from other directions too. But we already made up our minds to focus on the northern flank.
When we arrive to the north flank of the village, we stop our vehicle on the main defensive line (three AT guns plus three machine guns). The AT guns on both our sides are engaging the enemy infantry combat patrols (note explosion in the background). That MG on top of our vehicle will come in handy against the infantry.

We ready up to deploy AT mines in front of the main defensive line. The distance ahead is relatively short because the north flank defenses are on a reverse slope. But we don't want to rush into an infantry firefight. Note the AT gun in the background.
To be continued, stay tuned.



Anonymous said...

I'd love to play this scenario: any chance of uploading it for us?

GunnyHighway said...

It is interesting to see that soldiers use the arcade floating gun sight, and not the iron sight of the weapon accessed when shouldering the weapon.

JC said...

@ Anonymous: this scenario would require some serious editing before being released and sincerely I'm flooded.

@ Gunny: iron sights rarely make good screenshots.