During late September 1944, the Hungarians fought a defensive action against the Soviet 27th Army around Turda in Translyvania during the campaign in Romania.
By the end of the month the battered Hungarians were reinforced by the German 23rd Panzer Division in order to perform small local counter attacks in order for Axis troops to withdraw and shorten the defensive line.
Our game represented one such small counter attack by a platoon of dismounted panzergrenadiers supported by a platoon of Panzer IVs and the battalion 120mm mortars with other elements, trying to disjoint and force back Soviet units around the destroyed hamlet of Copãceni.
The battle was a simple attack-defence scenario, with the initial Soviet defence based around some hastily dug trenches and an ad-hoc Pak Front who did not have time to dig in… which would, it was hoped, make them vulnerable to German mortar fire. The German first wave consisted on Panzer IVs, German MG
teams and the Luchs, acting as a flank guard with an infantry patrol equipped with MP43s in a hope to boost their firepower.
Initially things went well for the Germans, as a slow and deliberate attack edged forwards, hoping to use mortar fire to reduce the enemy defences while waiting for the rest of the German forces to arrive, hoping this would all occur before Soviet reinforcements would also arrive on the battlefield.
Although the Panzer IVs, supporting the German MG
teams managed to get forward and cover the infantry who fought a short firefight with some Soviet infantry in the fields, and caused them to flee after heavy losses, the rest of the German attack did little. The German mortar fire was spectacular in its ineffectiveness, proving unable to hit anything, and when it did, doing little.
As the German second wave arrived, it was hoped this would push forward with other units, but some rash decisions to move up cost the Germans their recce patrol, with all the infantry team being cut down by flanking fire from a dug in Soviet MG
Team on the hill in the tree line. This MG
would prove a thorn in the German flank as it was able to sweep the entire German left flank, forcing infantry to be penned into a limited area of advance until it could be knocked out. It was never put out of action…
The first Soviet reinforcements began to arrive, and much the the German relief, it was only a single ISU122. However with its first shot, it destroyed the leading Panzer IV, and with its second, hit the following tank. The German attack suddenly wasn’t so sure about things.
The German remaining armour now swung around the low hill in the fields, hoping to use it as cover from some of the Zis-3 guns, but after managing to do nothing, the arrival of a Soviet SU76M battery, and their initial blaze of fire, the remaining Panzer IV was burning, as was the StuH42 supporting its advance… to add insult to injury, the Luchs was hit and knocked out by a long range shot from the 100mm AT
gun. It was now up to the German Grenadiers to win the day.
It went well at first, the Sdkfz 251/22 knocked out one of the SU76s, and the infantry pushed forward, but this was as good as it got. A Zis-3 accounted for the German half-track and Soviet assault guns began advancing to engage the infantry, while Soviet infantry left their trenches.on the hill and began to counter-attack.
With the Germans now penned into a small corner of the battlefield, they took cover and hoped to inflict heavy losses on the Soviet attack. At first it seemed to work, one Soviet infantry section being cut to ribbons, but then Soviet supporting 82mm mortar fire began suppressing the German infantry taking cover among the hedges, and a nasty stonk suppressed the German commander and his communications team. It was too much for the Germans. They broke and pulled back from the battlefield, having lost all their vehicles and a good number of men. Soviet losses had been small in comparison.
The game was one of the Soviets rolling all sixes and the Germans rolling all ones! It was a disaster for the Germans, nothing worked and then rash moves out of frustration made things worse. Even when trying to go on the defensive, the Soviet sledgehammer kept on pounding. A great game, but showed how tough the Soviets can be.
Rules used are Battlegroup. Figures are mainly AB
, Xan, Elhiem and Battlefield. Vehicles from various manufacturers. Buildings from Battlescape and the mat is from Cigar Box.