Friday 27 July 2012

Save The Brigade - Poland 1939

On choosing the forces for a play-through of my Save The Brigade scenario, I decided that the Warsaw Armoured Brigade would be just the job for the defenders. I've represented its brother unit, the 10th Armoured Brigade ('The Black Brigade') in previous games, so I had the models needed. Whilst this would be an imaginary battle, I also still wanted opposing forces that were at least potential historical opponents. In the end I came up with this...

The Warsaw Armoured Brigade, 3rd week of September 1939

The Warsaw Armoured Motorised Brigade was one of only 2 such units in the Polish Army in 1939, the other being the better known 10th Armoured Motorised Brigade. The Warsaw Armoured Brigade was not fully combat ready when the Germans invaded, but on 5th September it joined Army Lublin and took part in the defence of the Vistula river line south of Warsaw, in the vicinity of the city of Lublin. Later it was ordered further south towards Lvov. 

This completely fictional scenario pits the brigade against elements of 2nd Panzer Division which were also active in the area south of Lublin towards Lvov at the beginning of the 3rd week of September.

Scenario (see previous post for map and detailed conditions)
The Warsaw Brigade must extricate itself from a potential encirclement by the 2nd Panzer Division by leaving its positions in a wooded area and retreating across a river. An armoured train supports the move, under command of the Brigade CO. Game length 10 turns. 6’ x 6’ table.

The Warsaw Armoured Brigade can ignore the 'penny packets' rule normally applied to Polish forces of 1939, but the 'poor combined arms' rule will still be used - it seems their training may have been incomplete. 

Warsaw Armoured Brigade. CO, CV8
Armoured Train 
Bofors AA unit with tow

1st Mounted Rifle Regiment: HQ, CV7 
6 infantry units with ATR upgrade 
2 mg units 
1 mortar unit 
1 37mm ATG unit with tow 
3 transport units (trucks)

1st Foot Rifle Regiment: as 1st Mounted Rifles 

12th Light Tank Company: HQ, CV8 
2 Vickers (47mm) 
1 Vickers (mg) 

11th Scout Tank Company: HQ, CV8 
2 TKS (mg) 
1 TKS (20mm) 

2nd Motorised Artillery Battalion: FAO, CV7 
2 75mm artillery units 

Breakpoint/50% = 16.   25% = 8.   Points 2255.

The brigade deploys in the central wooded area, the train and Bofors deploy across the river. Units must retreat off table via the base edges enclosed by the river. Save 50% of the units for a major victory, 25% for a minor victory.  

2nd Panzer Division (elements) CO, CV9 

Panzer Kampfgruppe 

Ist Battalion, Panzer Regiment 3: HQ, CV8 
3 PzI, 2 PzII, 1 PzIII, 1 PzIV 

IInd Battalion, Panzer Regiment 3: HQ, CV8 
2 Pz1, 3 PzII, 1 PzIV 

Infantry Battalion: HQ, CV8 
9 infantry units with ATR upgrade 
3 mg units 
1 mortar unit in truck 
1 37mm ATG unit with tow 

Artillery Battalion: FAO CV8 
3 105mm artillery units 

Schnelle Gruppe 

5th Aufklarungs Battalion: HQ, CV8 
1 Sdkfz231, 1 Sdkfz221, 1 Sdkfz222 (recce) 
3 m/c infantry units with ATR upgrade 
1 m/c mg unit 
1 37mm ATG with tow 

Kradschutzen Battalion: HQ, CV8 
6 m/c infantry units with ATR upgrade 
2 m/c mg units 
1 7.5cm IG with tow 

Ground Attack Staffel: FAC, CV7 
1 HS-123 unit 

Breakpoint = 21     Points 3440 

Panzer Kampfgruppe arrives on eastern table edge using mobile deployment. Schnelle Gruppe arrives on western two thirds of northern table edge using mobile deployment. Germans break the Polish force for a major victory, or destroy 25% for a minor victory.

The Game
The heart of the Polish position at game start. The mighty Vickers tank company waits on the road.
IInd Battalion of Panzer Regt. 3 attacks the north eastern corner of the Polish position. They were successfully delayed by a Polish 37mm AT gun and the Vickers company.
We only had time for 5 full turns (2 and a half hours gaming). This was the position on turn 3, with the Poles already on the verge of being surrounded by outflanking tanks to the south, and motorcycle and recce troops to the west. The Polish retreat had hardly begun - the command rolls had not been kind.
Only the TKS company managed to get back over the river in the time available.
Turn 4. The armoured train provided effective supporting fire against the light German units moving around the western table edge. In turn it was the obvious target for a couple of air attacks by Henschel HS-123s. In the foreground the German infantry battalion cracks the line of the defending Poles at the edge of the woods.
It was a shame we didn't have time for more moves. None of the victory conditions had been achieved - the Germans had lost 5 units, the Poles only 2. However, after 5 turns the German recce battalion had already cut off the Poles from the wooden bridge, and the 1st Battalion of Panzer Regt. 3 had reached the river not far from the road bridge. The Poles looked certain to be trapped and they were judged to have lost.

The Poles should probably have concentrated on immediate retreat rather fighting a delaying action. Certainly with reasonable command rolls the Germans can get around the Polish position quite rapidly, and the scenario may need tweaking to give the Poles a better chance of victory. Perhaps the German main force could be restricted to arrival only in the northern two thirds of their table edge. Or, with my selection of forces, it might be that simply removing one of the German panzer battalions altogether would make a more equal game. 


Steve J. said...

The table looked great Kieth, just a shame that you were unable to finish the game. Mind you things didn't look too rosy for the brave Poles.

I still hope to try this out at home at some point and will take note of your post game comments.

Al said...

Great Blog Kieth, link added

Dan said...

Nice table....:)
I like BKC and am looking to play more in the future, but at the moment have only played the light version.