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About the Campaign This campaign covers a short and sustained period of combat operations taking place over a period of less than 72 hours, in Poland, on the Eastern Front in early August 1944. Although fictional it is heavily based on actual events. In the campaign you take the role of 1 Kompanie Commander Hauptmann Hans von Schroif, of the 3rd Panzer Division’s (Known as the Berlin Bear division – the bear features on the city coat of arms) I(gep)/PzGrn Rgt 3 equipped with half-track carriers (SPW). Hauptmann von Schroif - AKA you - has been tasked with commanding a small kampfgruppe, to which has been attached the 6 Kompanie (Panzer IVs) under the command of Hauptmann Eric Faust. You have a sister kampfgruppe – commanded by Hauptmann Krüger – with roughly the same make-up, SPW and PzIVs. Krüger is a glory hunter with a desire for a Knights Cross. Correspondingly his unit is very aggressive. Other elements from Division will be attached given the situation – mostly recce units from Aufklärungs-Abteilung 3 (AA3). Reinforcements; Resupply and Refit It is worth noting that the player receives no reinforcements and little in the way of refit in the 72 hour period. Therefore you, the player, have to use your forces wisely, especially your panzergrenadiers. Keep your casualties as low as you can, for as long as you can. The key to success is close co-operation between your SPW, panzergrenadiers and panzers. Key characters, including platoon leaders, are all named individually and are tracked throughout the campaign. You’ll notice, as casualties mount that key names slowly start to disappear. Don’t get killed yourself though early on, as it may lead to you ending the campaign, like your life, prematurely. Player Campaign Briefings and Tactical Maps The briefings take the form of an immersive narrative. Therefore they tend to be fairly lengthy, Not everyone’s cup of tea but I like that. To help process the info I compiled all the campaign briefings into a PDF file titled Kampfgruppe von Schroif Campaign Briefing Handbook. Each brief is linked via the Campaign Flowchart so you can quickly access the briefing you want. If you don’t like reading then the Operation and Tactical Maps in each mission provide the key info required at a glance. There is also a table showing your unit, its commanders and their ‘soft’ values e.g. experience, morale etc. In addition there are Force Tracker graphics which allow you to track casualties and effectiveness of your unit as the campaign rolls on. In addition there is a pack of Tactical Maps included in the zip file. These are maps of all the main missions and are blank unannotated JPGs. They offer the player the ability to use them to plan their actions either on paper (print them out) or digitally on your PC/Laptop. Mods There are no mods required to play this campaign. It’s playable “out of the box” using the base CMRT game. If you are interested in what mods I use (and you’ll see in the screenshots) then I use the following: Aris' vehicles (both German and Soviet) Kieme's buildings and terrain mods Tanks a Lot buildings (these just add more 'skin' options for buildings but they are great!) Veins' German and Soviet soldiers Veins' tracers and special effect s(smoke, flame and dust) Rambler's CMBS Trees and Hedges (yup CMBS mod but it works in CMRT). Acknowledgments Huge shout out to SeinfeldRules for the kind permission to use his “Assault Position” scenario in this campaign. I owe a huge debt of thanks to the guys who did the playtesting. So a big shout out and thanks to the following for playtesting, feedback, proof reading and critical comment: SeinfeldRules, Raptorx7, mjkerner, RepsolCBR, TAKODA. BarbaricCo, olliwa, SlowLarry, Reech, borg, bangalor44, Chudacabra. Special mention goes to Combatintman who painstakingly proof read and checked all the briefings for every scenario and their associated tactical and operation maps. I think the words Oberleutant and Oberstleutnant will be forever etched in his brain! He also provided the “Force Tracker” graphics. Any subsequent errors, omissions and weirdness are entirely my fault! You can grab a slightly tweaked version 3 (some minor changes made to the first mission and corrected some typos in the brief) from TSDIII HERE.
This scenario covers the following action (as recorded by von Plato in his history of 5th Panzer Division) in the closing stages of Operation Bagration. Smorgon is on the main rail line from Minsk to Vilnius – hence it was strategically vital for allowing Germans to bring units into action. They were low on fuel/transport so railways were a vital component for keeping armies supplied and flow of reinforcements/moving units etc. The Soviets had just cut the rail line. 5th Panzer Division under the command of Major -General Karl Decker (His General Staff Officer or Ia was Lieutenant-Colonel Anton Detlev von Plato) or at least what was left of it, was concentrated into one group for a last gasp attack. "Early on 6 July an armored group with I./ Pz. Gren. Rgt.14 and I./ Pz. Gren. Rgt. 13 and Pz.Rgt. 31 is formed under Colonel Lippert. The II./ Pz. Gren. Rgt.14 takes Sakowice and II. / Pz. 13 the section west of it on the road of advance. The armored group moves out at about 11.00 am. After short, heavy fighting the enemy is thrown north of Sakowice. The armored group thrusts above Krasne Osinowka until just before the railway, southwest of Smorgon, nearly 10 km deep. Then our power is exhausted at Osinowka - Bialkoszcyna as the enemy throws new armored units against us." The scenario covers later part of this attack i.e. the armoured kampfgruppe's thrust to Osinowka - Bialkoszcyna. By this stage in the fighting 5th Panzer had been in continuous heavy combat since 27th June, moving to and fro across a huge area. By the evening of the 5th July it had endured several cycles of full on combat. By the 6th July and was starting to show signs of strain and this final throw of the diec was to be it's last major offensive and combat cycle during Operation Bagration. Many of the panzergrenadier companies were down to 35 men. Their armoured strength had gone from 70 Panzer V Panthers and 55 Panzer IVs to a recorded strength on the evening of the 5th July of 25 Panthers and 25 PzIVs. From a CM perspective such heavy casualties mean it's possible to simulate this without having hundreds of units on the map. Correspondingly the map is huge - 3km wide x 4.5km deep. The map is based on a contemporary Russian map of the area. What it highlights is this area was at least fairly suitable for a large scale armoured attack. It's one of the few areas in this part that's not bog and wood infested - being mostly rolling terrain with patches of wood but generally fairly open sight lines. The down side is several rivers/streams run across the terrain which mean the Germans had to attack across these natural barriers. The attack did make headway but the Soviets managed to very quickly push armoured units (from the 3rd Guards Cavalry Corps and 3rd Guards Mech Corps under General Oslikovski) into the area. These are the attacks that halt the tired and run down 5th Panzer. Playing the Scenario This scenario was originally designed to be played first and foremost from the perspective of the German side against the Soviet AI. It is playable head to head (H2H) but has not been playtested for balance in this regard. I suspect it’ll be a tough one for the German player – so if playing H2H let the less experienced player take the Soviets. When playing this do so with the mindset you are playing a min campaign. Due to the size of map and tactical challenges you’ll need to tackle this as a linked series of actions rather than one decisive action. It's now available for download at the following links: Scenario Depot III The Repository The image below is taken looking north. It shows the first water barrier a mainly marshy/boggy stream. Behind is a low ridge and rolling terrain. The village ahead is KARAVAI Another shot - this time looking east across the German line of attack. This is further north. It's the small hamlet of LIAUKI about 700m south of OSINOWKA. Another full scale view of the map. Again looking north. From the Soviet side of the hill. T34s from 3rd Guards Mech Corps counterattack the German armoured spearhead. This view is looking south towards LIAUKI/CHADAKI