Thursday, January 22, 2015

KG Klink, Poland Game 9


It's 1500, 12 Sept 1939, and KG Klink has rushed west from the Wola suburb of Warsaw, back to the juncture of the Vistula and Bzura rivers, where the Polish Pomorze and Poznan Armies have fought from north (through Guderian's troops) and west (through Von Kluge's troops) to reach each other, then counterattack northeast to relieve Warsaw, while simultaneously fighting southeast to reach the Romanian corridor.  With a mix of two German armies and two Polish armies fighting into and out of the pocket at the juncture of the two rivers, and arriving from all points of the compass, the fighting is necessarily confused, and, as the Poles are fighting for their very survival, necessarily fierce.

The situation is such: KG Klink is on the east bank of the Bzura river, where elements of various Polish units are seeking crossings to attack and breakthrough the tightening German noose.  2nd Lt Weider's 1st Motorcycle Platoon was dispatched west along the river, where it found the enemy; a call for reinforcements was immediately made, and 2nd Lt Wehner, the acting Reconnaissance Company Commander  led 2nd Lt Wendt's 2nd Motorcycle Platoon to reinforce them, and several tanks of 2nd Lt Gerhart's 3rd Panzer Platoon were dispatched from KG positions further south.  The Poles are moving directly towards Lt Weider's 1st M/C Plt, and Lt Wendt's 2nd M/C Plt has just arrived as we pick up the action.

The opposing forces.

The Germans have two understrength Motorcycle Platoons, and an understrength Panzer Platoon.

The Poles have six rifle squads, a .30 cal. MG, and two medium tanks.

Overview, north is up, Poles are on the left (west) and Germans on the right (east).  The Poles have one MG and some infantry in the woods at top left (that MG would cause serious problems throughout the entire fight), several squads south of the ford, and two tanks coming across the ford presently.  1st M/C Plt is in the buildings at top right, and 2nd M/C Plt is just pulling in, still mounted.  The German 3rd Panzer Plt has just entered the area at bottom right.  The German infantry has no heavy weapons and no means for dealing with the enemy tanks, save close combat.

Looking west at 1st M/C Plt in the buildings and 2nd M/C/ Plt on the road near the river.  The CO is on the road below the buildings.

Lt Gerhart leading two of his panzers forward.  They'd have a hard time getting into the fight, and didn't fare so well once they did...

Closeup of the Polish starting positions, with that damned MG at far right.

Let the games begin!  The action starts with Lt Wendt's motorcycles moving up (far right) and dismounting.

Then the enemy MG (far left) went to work, laying down a ferocious fire that eliminated Lt Wendt's squad and forced Sgt Behrendt's squad to fall back (casualty figure and red bead at top right), while two of their rifle squads rushed forward.

The CO, Lt Wehner, moved back and rallied Sgt Behrendt's squad (off camera to top right), while Sgt Sachs's squad (bottom right, from 1st M/C Plt) moves up and fires, forcing a Polish rifle squad to fall back (bottom left) and Sgt Janke's squad (center) moves up and fires, to no effect.

The enemy gun promptly goes into action again, forcing Sgt Janke and his men back (far right, red bead).  The Polish CO tries to rally a rifle squad, but fails (does get them from hunker to pin though), while the Polish tanks get through the ford and begin moving south.

Sgt Janke rallies his men, and his squad and Sgt Behrendt's squad move up and open fire, eliminating the Polish rifle in the trees at center left.  Both sides have lost a unit, so both sides are down to activating only two units on a normal turn.

Looking east: the Polish CO again tries to rally his troops, and again fails (bottom left), while the Polish tanks deploy to take on the German tanks (top right).

Then the tank fight gets hot: Lt Gerhart pulls his Panzer III forward, and the enemy (far left) snap fires, immobilizing Gerhart's tank and causing the crew to bail (far right, cotton on tank)!  Sgt Friessler pulls his vehicle forward (bottom right) and fires, pinning the Polish tank.

The Polish tank at far left fires on Friessler's vehicle (bottom center) missing, and Friessler's return fire gets an engine kill, forcing the Poles to bail!  I roll it up and the Poles are being very aggressive, so the other Polish tank moves forward to the road (top center, exposing his flank to 1st Motorcycle Plt at top right in the buildings), but it pays off: he acquires Cpl Harms' Pz II (bottom right) and promptly knocks it out...

Sgt Friessler advances his vehicle then halts behind Lt Gerharts knocked out tank, in place for a flank shot: the enemy tank is immobilized, and its crew bails!  I want to be happy about Sgt Friessler's performance, but I already lost Lt Gerhart and Cpl Harms' vehicles...

Sgt Sachs' squad (bottom right) moves up and fires at the MG (finally someone is in range), but misses.

And the MG (top left) made them pay, forcing Sgt Sachs, Sgt Janke, and Sgt Behrendt's squads to fall back (top right).  Yes, one MG just forced back three German squads...  The Polish CO moves up (center left) and rallies the rifle squad there, then leads them forward, where they fire on Lt Weider's squad, forcing them to fall back (they were in the buildings, now they are on the road to the right of the buildings).  This is crap!!!!!!!

Sgt Janke and Sgt Behrendt's squads rally (Janke is a 'Hero,' wearer of the Iron Cross), while Sgt Gradl's squad and Sgt Friessler's tank (bottom center) link up.

The Poles roll up a firefight, and the MG (top left) fires again, forcing Sgt Janke's squad to fall back again (far right).  No other Poles can shoot, and no Germans can return fire, as all the rifles are out of range, and the German tank can't see anything.

Then the Germans roll a scurry, which is alright with me (I get to try to rally everyone that needs it, and move everyone else without drawing reaction fire), and I also roll a random event: reinforcements arrive (strictly speaking they were supposed to be infantry, but as all the rifle squads in this fight are from the motorcycle platoons, I made them Cpl Zuckert and Cpl Pankau's motorcycle squads)!  Unfortunately they don't get to act this turn, which would have been very handy with the scurry...  But they did give me more units, which gave allowed me to activate a third unit each turn.

Sgt Janke rallied his squad and the CO rallied Sgt Sachs' squad, then Lt Weider rallied his squad, while Sgt Gradl and his squad led Sgt Friessler's tank forward.  In the north, the CO led Sgt Behrendt and Sgt Sachs' squad forward.  The Poles straighten their line in the north, and maneuver aggressively in the center (three squads at far left).

Then the Poles roll another firefight (good grief): the @#$% MG (far left) rattles, and Sgt Behrendt and Sgt Sachs' squads are thrown back (top right) again!!!

And then poor Sgt Gradl's squad, leading the panzer, finds itself in the open, staring down three Polish rifle squads.  The German rifle squad is eliminated, but the German tank roars back, getting a 'man down' and and pinning the other two Polish squads (yellow beads).

Then the Germans roll a damn firefight!  The tank is the only one who can fire, so he shoots at a rifle squad (top left), managing only a pin...  There is no return fire as the Polish MG has already pushed all the German rifle squads out of the area.

Then the Poles roll a scurry (that's quite a few 1s and 6s in a row, eh?), and the Poles decide to move on Sgt Friessler's isolated tank (they can't rush it on a scurry, but they can use the scurry to get close without drawing fire).  At bottom left, on rifle squad upins, the 'man down' squad recovers, but the other pinned squad runs for the hills!

In reaction, Lt Weider (top right) moves south in the buildings, and Sgt Friessler decides discretion is the better part of valor (his tank is now at center right, having fallen back from bottom left, where those Polish troops are).  A lot of my troops can't react because they've fallen back so far they couldn't see any Polish movement...

The two reinforcing motorcycle squads move up and dismount to support the panzer.

Then the Poles rolled a regular activation and a random event, smokescreen.  So I dropped a massive smokescreen in the center, figuring this would allow the Poles to move up and try to overwhelm the Germans there, while their MG covered the northern sector.  The Polish CO leads three rifle squads forward (center/far left).

Then I get extraordinarily lucky: the Germans roll a scurry!  Seeing what's up, Lt Wehner maneuvers all but a small holding force south to counter the Poles' thrust, and the beauty is that, because of their own smokescreen, the Poles can't see anything and thus are unable to react during the scurry!

The Poles move a squad forward (bottom center), rounding the smokescreen, where they run into Cpl Pankau's squad, which spots them and snap fires, eliminating them (1D6, rolled a 6)!

The smoke lifts, and it's a slaughter: Sgt Friessler's panzer opens up, knocking out an enemy squad forcing another back.  Cpl Pankau's squad (bottom center) chases after them.  The Polish CO decides this is where he'll make his stand, and so close combat ensues (Poles are -1 to roll, Germans +1).  Good roll for me, bad for the Poles, and the rifle squad and Polish CO are eliminated!  The rifle squad at top right surrendered, but that damned enemy machine gun (off camera to top left) slipped away back across the ford.

-Sgt Friessler (V2, 3rd Pz Plt) mentioned in dispatches for destroying two enemy tanks.
-Cpl Pankau (1st Squad, 3rd M/C Plt) recommended for Iron Cross 2nd Class for eliminating enemy commander and two rifle squads in close combat.
-2nd Lt Wendt (Plt Cmdr, 2nd M/C Plt) Wound Badge, KIA, F9
-2nd Lt Gerhart (Plt Cmdr, 3rd Pz Plt) Wound Badge, Panzer Assault Badge, KIA, F9
-Lost ~30 KIA/WIA, 1 Pz III, and 1 Pz II
-Caused ~60 KIA/WIA, two 7TP medium tanks

I'm telling you these fights just keep getting better and better.  That damned MG, it stopped me cold in the north, the tank fight was quick and violent, and finished with a charge; what's not to like?

More to follow.



  1. I'm really enjoying your write ups! One of the appealing things about you games is that you don't have the battle of the super-tank titans (not that I don't like those). Even the Germans have to rely more on tactics and maneuvering than on shear technological superiority.

    1. Chris,

      I'm glad to hear you're enjoying them, they've been a real blast. I've also enjoyed the 'tiny tanks,' and my plan is to keep them around as long as I can. That is to say, throughout the course of the war my intent is to have Pz Mk IIIs (37mm now, moving up to 50mm in Africa then to Russia) with Pz Mk IVs as the 'heavies' for as long as I can, then (for Kursk) introduce Panthers and Tigers, though the mainstay of my tank company will still be Pz Mk IVs.

      I have a total of 3 Tigers that will see action, 3 Panthers, and 3 Jagdpanthers for the end of the war. So I'll get to the titans, but my goal is to mostly use the the Pz IIIs and IVs, and when the heavies get on the table they can expect to be vastly outnumbered.

      Regarding tactics and maneuvering, I must be still learning, as it seems like a whole lot of my tanks have gone 'boom!' But I do what I can, and have a good time. I'm actually planning an all tank fight soon, just to see how it goes (as part of the Polish attempt to break out of the pocket at Kutno).


  2. Those machine gunners deserved to make it off the field :-)

  3. Yeah, they did great for their country, but they sure frustrated the hell out of me, and I really wanted to crush their @#$%... I really couldn't get anything done up there, he was laying it down. It was lucky that I was able to eliminate the Polish infantry moving up the road (my usually disastrous boldness actually paid off), or they'd have been able to simply waltz up on all the squads the MG had suppressed and knock them off one by one.


  4. I suspect that MG team will make an appearance again. And if you don't bag them get out via Romania and face off in France, the Western Desert and Northwest Europe to boot :D

    1. Good Lord, Toxic, I hope not! It was bad enough dealing with them here this one time. Hopefully they get bagged when the Kutno pocket is reduced...


    2. Nah, those guys aren't the sort to sit in a POW camp

    3. With my luck they'll end up in the Red Army and I'll see them in countless future campaigns...


    4. Fulda Gap, 1985. A Polish MRR is advancing across the fire of the Abrams and Bradley's, one seemingly bullet proof MMG team at the front.

      "Those guys are way too old for a Category A unit! They must be a sacrificial forlorn hope-argh-Aiee-whyhasmyM1exploded"!

  5. Holy crap, they'll have a hard time with gun drills by that age.

    I was thinking more along the lines of seeing them on the Eastern Front, when the KG gets there in '42.

    That reminds me, I don't think I've posted my entire war plan for KG Klink, have I?
    Poland, France, Desert, Eastern Front, Italy in '43, back to Eastern Front for Kursk and winter, Caen, Holland, Ardennes, Hungary, Silesia/Pomerania until the jig is up.

    Right now I'm trying to figure out how long to keep the KG in North Africa; I've got Valentines, Crusaders, and Matildas, then Grants and Stuarts, and want to use them all, which means I have to keep the KG in the desert for awhile.

    But then I also have T-26s, BT-7s, and BA10s for early war Soviets, so I don't want to get to Russia too late to use that stuff. But then I don't want to spend too long in Russia before pulling them out to counter the Allied landings in Italy.

    Need to work on my timeline.


  6. Jack,

    As you point out, MGs seems to the causing the Germans much pain in this campaign. As per real life.

    Keep up the AARs, the action is excellent!