Friday, January 9, 2015

KG Klink, Poland, Game 6


It's 1500, 1 Sept 1939, and KG Klink has regrouped.  To review, on the movement towards Warsaw, the KG encountered defensive positions on the northern edge of Mokra, and the Recc elements fought a vicious battle, knocking the Poles out of their defensive positions there.  This was followed by a mechanized attack on the northern edge of the town, which was defeated in vicious, close-in fighting.  On the heels of that defeat the Poles launched a bold, armored counterstroke, which defeated panzers of the kampfgruppe.  However, bold action by the Executive Officer, Major Schultz, exploited the gap between the counterattacking Polish armor and its supporting infantry, halting the infantry in more bloody fighting and allowing elements of 4th Panzer Division to pocket and eliminate the Polish armor in fighting to the southwest.

The 4th Panzer's commanding officer had decided to strike once more on the village of Mokra, where the Poles' final defensive line has consolidated on a railway embankment on the backside of the town (where, further to the south, 4th Panzer has had a hell of a time dealing with an armored train).  LtCol Klink has decided to personally lead another mechanized attack on Mokra.

The opposing forces: once again we have dug-in guns vs tanks, which hasn't worked out well for the Germans so far...

The Poles, with their CO, four 37mm ATGs, an MG, an 82mm mortars, and six rifle squads.

The German force: their CO (Col Klink), the Panzer Co Commander (in Pz III, 1st Lt Bohm), 4th Panzer Platoon (led by Officer Cadet Kleiber, with 3 Pz IV and 2 PzII), the bulk of 2nd Gren Plt (led by 2nd Lt Klugmann, recipient of the Iron Cross 2nd Class, with his 1st, 2nd, and 4th Squads, led by Sergeants Aust and Hasselbach, and Cpl Lutz), and two squads from 3rd Gren Plt (Sgt Schlessinger's 1st Squad and Sgt Lowenstam's 2nd Squad, as Lt Tausch and Cpl Kamphaus were on flank watch).

Overview, north is up, Germans on the left (west) and Poles on the right (east), with Poles dug in defending the railroad embankment.

A look at the northern end of the Polish line, with two rifle squads in treeline at top left, ATG in bunker at top center, trench with ATG and two rifle squads in center, CO at far right, and bunker with ATG and mortar at bottom right.

Southern end of Polish line, with ATG in bunker (bottom right), and trench with rifle squad and MG at center (and rifle squad of pickets returning just below it).

And the German deployment: at bottom we have 2nd Gren Plt in trucks, let by Col Klink's command stand, while on the left we have Lt Bohm (Pz Co Cmdr) leading 4th Panzer Plt and two squads of 3rd Gren Plt, in trucks.

Fight's on!

The Germans start, and no scurry this time (seems like I've been doing that a lot lately)!  The 4th Pz Plt commander (Cadet Kleiber, far left tank) moves up and exchanges fire with ATG1, to no effect (I've numbered the ATGs 1-4, left to right- bunker, trench, bunker, bunker, as we're looking at them),  Sgt Mangold's vehicle (to Kleiber's right) moves up and fires on ATG2 (trench), and forces the crew to fall back!  Sgt Jurgen's Pz IV moves up and fires on ATG3 but misses, and return fire knocks the tank out...  Lt Bohm's (Panzer Co Commander, on right) moves up and fires on ATG4 (top right), getting 'men down.'

The Polish CO moves to ATG2's crew (behind trench) and tries to rally them, but they run, so one gun down!  ATG1 (top left) fires on Cadet Kleiber's panzer, missing, and his return fire pins the gun crew, while ATG3 fires on Lt Bohm's vehicle and misses, and his return fire destroys the gun (just left of the highway bridge) and pins the enemy mortar (in the same emplacement).  Two guns down, one 'man down,' and one 'pinned,' so things are looking good.  But at top right, ATG4 recovers...

At center, Cadet Kleiber moves up and fires on ATG1 again (top right), getting man down, while the two 3rd Platoon squads move up in their trucks (bottom left).

Then the Poles roll up a firefight, which kinda sucks for me...  ATG4 (far right) fires on Lt Bohm's panzer (center left, next to burning tank) and misses, and Bohm's return fire again gets a 'man down' hit on ATG4.  The enemy MG (in trench at center right) opens up on 2nd Plt's trucks, forcing Lt Klugmann's vehicle to fall back (bottom left).  Cpl Graebner's Pz II (far left, still on baseline) returns fire on the trench, to no effect, but then the enemy mortar fires on 2nd Plt, and manages a hit on one of the trucks, putting Sgt Hasselbach's squad out of the fight and forcing another truck to fall back (bottom left).

And then in the north, the two enemy rifles in the treeline (top left) open fire on the two 3rd Plt trucks, and manage to shoot one of them to pieces, putting Sgt Lowenstam's squad out of the fight...  Cpl Kapp's Pz II (off camera to right) returns fire and pins one squad, while Sgt Mangold's Pz IV (bottom right) fires and puts one squad out of the fight.

And Cadet Kleiber's Pz IV (bottom left) opened up a hot fire on the enemy trench (top right), putting one rifle squad out of the fight and forcing the other to fall back (the ATG was already abandoned by the crew running off the map).

And then I roll the traditional German scurry, which is not bad usually, but sucks right now when I've got so much of my firepower in great position and so many of the enemy units are in bad morale states (pinned, hunkered, man down); I get to move, but can't shoot (this is how I always end up getting my tanks too close to enemy infantry), and all the enemy units in bad shape will get to try to rally/recover...

In the south (right), 2nd Gren Plt rallies then moves up and dismounts, while Lt Bohm and Cpl Graebner move their panzers forward (bottom left).

In north, Cadet Kleiber and Sgt Mangold move their Pz IVs forward (bottom right), while Sgt Schlessinger moves his squad up and dismounts and Cpl Kapp's Pz II moves over to support them.

The Polish CO tries to rally a rifle squad, but they stay pinned, but the two @#$% ATG that were 'man down' both are back in action.  In the good news department, the enemy mortar tries to unpin and runs off the map!

Lt Bohm moves his vehicle forward (center left, yellow bead) and fires on ATG4 (bottom right); with return fire they end up pinning each other, while Col Klink moves up to support 2nd Plt (bottom left).

While Cadet Kleiber (bottom left, on left) moves up and smokes ATG1 (top center)!

And I hit my customary bout of reckless stupidity.  Things are going so well that I decide to screw them up: there is only one enemy rifle squad left in the north treeline, and they're pinned.  But pinned means they still can snap fire if charged.  But what they hey, let's charge!  So Sgt Schlessinger's squad gets on its feet and moves aggressively on the enemy rifle squad, who musters all the strength and courage it can find to defend itself.  It rolls a single kill die, and on that die we find a... 6.  Sgt Schlessinger's squad is gunned down in its tracks, not only meaning more casualties, but also that the Germans have no infantry left in the north, and Cpl Kapp's Pz II is now left dangerously close to enemy riflemen.  And if the enemy rifle squad can take Kapp's vehicle down, they will be in the rear of Cadet Kleiber and Sgt Mangold's vehicles (off camera to right).

In the Poles' turn, once again ATG4 (far right) and Lt Bohm's Pz III (top left) trade fire to no effect, while the enemy MG (in trench at center right) fires on 2nd Plt (bottom left), also to no effect.  The Polish CO rallies the rifle squad at center then moves south.

Meanwhile, Lt Bohm (center) left continues his duel with ATG4 (far right), of which he finally gets the worst of it: Bohm fires and misses, and return fire knocks his tank out.  Sgt Mangold's vehicle swerves south (just above Bohm's burning vehicle) and fires on ATG4, causing the crew to run off the map.

The Polish MG (far right, in trench) fires on Lt Klugmann's squad, forcing it to fall back (bottom left), while their CO moves up in support.  In the north, the lone rifle squad in the treeline rallies (the one that gunned down Sgt Schlessinger's squad).

Lt Klugmann (off camera) rallies his squad, while Sgt Mangold's Pz IV moves up (far left) and blasts the trench, forcing the MG to fall back (top right).  In the north (off camera at top left), Cpl Kapp's Pz II fires on the Polish rifle squad in the treeline, to no effect.  Uh-oh, that means the enemy rifle squad is free to charge...  But before that, the Polish CO falls back and tries to rally the MG team, but they've had it, and run off the map.

And with that, the game-ends in a virtual explosion of sweet revenge: the Polish rifle squad in the north gets its guts up and rushes Cpl Kapp's Pz II, but Kapp is a tough hombre, and steels his crew: Langke, enemy infantry, 12 o'clock, 10 meters, fire!  And again a single die is rolled, and again a '6' is arrived at, and the Polish rifle squad is ripped apart by a torrent of 7.92mm slugs from the panzer's bow machine gun!

With that, the two rifle squads in the trench at upper right surrender, whilst the Polish CO and rifle near the highway bridge run away.

-1st Lt Bohm (Pz Co Cmdr), Wound Badge, campaign, F6)
-Sgt Lowenstam (2nd Squad, 3rd Grenn Plt, Wound Badge, campaign, F6)
-Sgt Jurgens (V3, 4th Pz Plt, Pz Co), Wound Badge, rtn next fight, F6)
-Sgt Hasselbach (2nd Squad, 2nd Gren Plt, Wound Badge, campaign, F6)
-Lost ~50 KIA/WIA, one Pz III, and one Pz IV.
-Caused ~50 KIA/WIA, captured ~20 EPW, destroyed four 37mm ATGs.

So, another costly victory.  Things were really going my way until that damned scurry, which I followed up by a damned charge that got gunned down.  But the Poles' forlorn hope (everything going against them, all heavy weapons out of the fight, let's charge a lone tank and, if successful, put two other tanks in a precarious situation) was slapped down, and so the Germans carried the day.

While the KG carried its portion of the Polish defensive line, the 4th Panzer Division fell back at 1700, minus the 12th Schutzen Regiment, which remained in the village.  However, due to 1st Panzer Division pressure in the southeast, the Poles withdrew during the night of 1/2 Sept 1939.  Following the capitulation of Mokra the 4th Panzer Division regrouped until 4 Sept 1939, allowing several vehicles to be recovered and put back into action, as well as a reorganization to take place as the KG received no real reinforcements.



  1. Charging means winning big or losing big. Sometimes a little bit of both :)

    Nice game. For some reason the curved road on the south edge of my table really caught my eye. Goes a great way to make the table look more "alive"

  2. Yes, charging is decisive, and I love it, the whole 'live by the sword, die by the sword." It shouldn't have happened but for the fact the German infantry in the north got waxed; I thought about putting more up there, but decided against it due to the open terrain.

    As it worked out, I put the bulk of the infantry in the south, looking to take advantage of the close terrain to get into the enemy line and start rolling it up. But the enemy rolled a firefight before I rolled a scurry, and so they were able to use their mortars to bust up the infantry pretty good before they could get into action. Which is kind of what supporting fires are for...