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By the Beautiful Blue Dniepr

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Time for another adventure in Southern Ukraine!  Best read while humming Strauss. B)


We return to the same AO at dusk the day of the invasion.  The Russian advance has been amazingly swift.  By the end of the first day, Kherson is already under threat of Russian forces.  The Ukrainian defence is in shambles and is prepared to make another heroic stand at the small town of Prydniprovs'ke just to the west of Kherson.


From the briefing:


Thanks to the successful battle and crossing of the canals near Pryvitnoe by 2nd Battalion, we have been tasked with exploiting the gap in the Ukrainian lines.

We have one final barrier to cross before the total colapse of the Ukrainian defenses occurs on the southern flank: the river Dniepr.  Ukrainian forces are dug in deep alon the major crossings near Kherson and 1st Battalion has encountered stiff resistance further north of us.

Intelligence has identified a weak spot by the town of Prydinprovs'ke.  This will be a tough one, since there is only one bridge in the area.  We'll have to force a river crossing.  Thankfully, the Ukrainian units have only just arrived and not had time to dig in properly.


Our job is to cross the Dniepr and move troops further north to further stress the fragile Ukrainian defense.  Thus, we have two main objectives for this engagement:

1. Cross the river and penetrate the enemy lines and continue to Kherson

2. Eliminate the defenders on the river crossing for follow on forces to continue at speed

3. Minimize casualties.  It should go without saying that sacrificing too many of our boys will reduce the effectiveness of our crossing, and no one wants to write those letters.


Our 2nd Battalion, 18 Motor Rifle Regiment has the following assets in the area:
- Reconnaisance platoon
- ATGM platoon
- Grenade launcher platoon
- 2 combined arms companies
    - 3 platoons of BTR-82 mounted infantry (amphibious)
    - 1 platoon of T-72B3 tanks
Support assets are as follows:
- 3 platoons of 2S3M2 152mm howitzers, a total of 18 guns on call for this crossing
- 1 platoon of 2S7M2 203mm howitzers, a total of 4 guns on call from the divisional resources.  We're lucky to have these, so use them wisely.
- 1 flight of Mi-24PN gunships from frontal aviation


Enemy forces consist of elements of the 28 Mechanised Brigade that our sister battalion previously faced at Pryvitnoe.  These guys are tough, so be careful!


There are three crossing points that we have identified.

The first, and most dangerous is the bridge leading into Prydinprovs'ke.  This is a long and wide open approach so should be considered only a last resort until the overlooking areas are cleared.

The second and primary crossing point is Landing Zone Boris, across from the Dachas at point Elena.  The dachas provide decent cover for the approach to the river and point Boris is a fairly flat area also covered by trees.

The final crossing point is to Landing Zone Vasiliy.  There is a narrow path up through the area, but it may be an unexpected direction.



And finally, the map of the area:


Coming next, initial disposition, further briefing, and terrain reconnaissance.  I also just realised that it is not highway E97 that leads here - bah, I'll fix it tomorrow

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I meant photobucket.. sorry.. was early and I've been a little sleep deprived!

Photoshop on the other hand makes for a fantastic aar. 

Edited by Artkin

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As always, in case you're unfamiliar with Russian/Soviet tactical symbols:


From the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979)

And now a continuation of the briefing...


3. Battalion Command : KOROL (king)
    1. Company Command: GERTSOG (duke)
        1. Platoon : TATIANA
        2. Platoon : ULYANA
        3. Platoon : FYODOR
        4. Platoon (weapons) : KHARITON
        5. Platoon (tanks) : CENTR
    2. Company Command: MAGNAT (magnate)
       1. Platoon : CHELOVEK
       2. Platoon : SHURA
       3. Platoon : SCHUKA
       4. Platoon : ZNAK
       5. Platoon : IGREK

    Reconnaissance Platoon : STOROZH (watchman)
    Antitank Platoon : STRELETS (archer)
    Grenade Launcher Platoon : ROGATKA (slingshot)

    Organic Mortar Battery : NOZH (1, 2)  (knife)

Regimental 2S3 howitzer battery : SHPAGA (1, 2, 3)  (sword)
Divisional 2S7 howitzer platoon : PALASH (greatsword)

Mi-24PN flight : ZVER (beast)



GERTSOG (1. Company) will approach the dachas along the western path through the woods in column.  Upon reaching the buildings, they will deploy in line formation and prepare to cross the river.  CENTR (5. Platoon) will take position along the axis of the bridge to provide fire support.

MAGNAT (2. Company) will also approach the dachas along the eastern path through the woods in column.  Upon reaching the buildings, they will also deploy in line formation and prepare to cross the river.  IGREK (5. Platoon) will advance alongside 1. Company and take positions near the dachas to provide fire support to the crossings.

STOROZH (Reconnaissance) will advance through the dried creek to the west and prepare for their own crossing to the west of the bridge.  They will form a distraction for the enemy, to disrupt the enemy defense as GERTSOG and MAGNAT cross the Dniepr.

STRELETS (ATGM) and ROGATKA (weapons) will deploy among GERTSOG, MAGNAT and STOROZH and provide a base of fire for each crossing.

Once the main body is across the river, fire support elements will mount and make their own crossings.  Once the area is cleared of heavy weapons, the tank platoons will storm across the bridge.


Fire phases will be divided into three phases: DYNYA (melon) will initiate fire plans, with all batteries firing at designated targets with the objective of destruction.  When the order to cross is given, fire missions will shift to phase YABLOKO (apple).  Fire missions during this phase will be aimed at suppressing enemy ability to fire or maneouvre to protect our assets as they cross the river.  As our forces make landfall, fire missions will shift to phase GRUSHA (pear).  Fire missions during this phase will be designed to cut off the defenders from reinforcements as they are run out of their positions.

NOZH (mortars) will be on call to strike targets of opportunity, and will be providing smoke for the crossing at fire phase YABLOKO.  Upon fire phase GRUSHA, the mortars will fire on zones 112 and 113 to suppress defenders attempting to contain the beachhead of STOROZH.

SHPAGA 1 and 2 (2S3) will be tasked with striking target zones 211 and 212 respectively, until fire phase GRUSHA corresponding with the crossing attempt, after which they will shift their fire to focus on zone 213 as forces approach the shore.

SHPAGA 3 (2S3) will be firing on zone 111 until fire phase GRUSHA, after which it will shift fire to zone 112.

PALASH (2S7) will be firing in support of the main crossing effort and will hit zones 211 and 212 until fire phase YABLOKO.  The heavy guns will then shift to suppressing forces in zones 112 and 213.

ZVER (Mi-24PN) will be given free reign of the opposite bank, hitting any targets of opportunity the pilots can find.

A preliminary map of the plan is below, but as I further develop my fire plan I will create a new one.


I have an itching feeling I got carried away with the signals here...  let me know if it's too confusing and I'll lay off it!  I blame Sierra Nevada!  Tomorrow - terrain reconnaissance!

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Looking forward to this. Quick Q and excuse my ignorance - is this a battle pack scenario or another one of your own designs? 

You have a very organized fire plan. Stating the obvious but it will probably be the key to this battle. 

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 I'm glad you think it could be a battle pack mission! B) Nope, it's my own. I found I really enjoy making maps at least in CM. Still have to learn AI and flavor objects, but it's still fun!

I've been reading about Soviet artillery planning and tried to apply some in practice. If one thing is sure, I'm going to drop a lot of ammunition on the other shore!

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Weather & Environment

The initiation of Operation RUSALKA will be 1830 hours on 3. June 2017.

Ground conditions are damp and expected to continue to deteriorate.

Meteorological intelligence informs us that the temperature will drop from 20°C to about 18°C by midnight.  The light rain we are seeing is expected to continue until noon tomorrow.  There is a slight northwesterly breeze that will stay consistent until nightfall between 6 to 12 km/h with gusts up to 18 km/h.



The area of primary interest for the initiation of operations is the group  of Dachas.  Aerial photography shows a small complex of buildings forming a line along the river.  The properties are surrounded by hedges that may prove difficult for our BTRs to traverse. 2 Company MAGNAT will likely have to move around the dachas - the platoons will split on either side of the main group of dachas to make the crossing.


Scouts show that a large portion of the opposing bank has line of sight to the crossing point.  This crossing will require significant smoke munitions expenditure to guarantee a safe crossing.  Combined with heavy suppressive fire this should still be achievable.


In the centre of the area of operations lies the long bridge across the Dniepr.  Unit CENTR will take up positions here to neutralise enemy positions with direct fire.  They will be directed to destroy key buildings on the opposite bank that offer good lines of fire upon the river.


Finally, to the west there is a field of reeds at the muddy outlet of the river for STOROZH to reach the riverbank.  Provided they can avoid bogging, they will cross here under ATGM and mortar cover.

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If you are not photoshopping I am also curious as to what mods you are using.  (I think I have all available mods, but obviously can't use em all at the same time. So, the mod package used here is interesting.)

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IanL's tactical icons

Aris FX, with a few subtractions if I remember correctly

(Obviously the most important - HerrTom's explosions!)

Kieme's mods for the terrain and unit textures

A compilation of various sounds I no longer remember the sources.

On top of everything, I run ReShade to get the colour grading and ambient occlusion (the latter I think is super important to adding a lot of depth to the image)


@Haiduk sure thing! I'll PM you when I get a chance.

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23 hours ago, HerrTom said:

On top of everything, I run ReShade to get the colour grading and ambient occlusion (the latter I think is super important to adding a lot of depth to the image)

Care to share your ReShade configuration?

I do enjoy your AARs, I'm excited to read more.

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Looks fantastic (as in absolutely blown away by what you created and the depth of work in it), but I think there's a mistake in the Red OOB. You state support includes a platoon of 2S7M2 from Division. The problem I see is that this weapon is an Army or Front level asset, since, to my knowledge, Russian DIVARTY only goes as high as 152 mm. The 2S7M2 is a deep strike weapon, with reach far beyond how far the Division's recon assets can see.


John Kettler


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Sorry for the long wait everyone. My buddy is trying to figure out why he doesn't have any key bindings for the camera. How he played the last  game without WASD is beyond me.

  John, I believe you're right! Battions should have organic mortars up to 120mm, regiments howitzers lf 122mm and divisions 152mm. Unforgivable!:lol:

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Nonsense!  Ego te absolvo. Wait. Do I have the authority to do that? Guess so, since it was a lay, rather than ecclesiastical, offense. Ha! I find your FS elaborations in your latest suspicious, too. Believe it should be Battalion 82 mm mortars, Regiment 120 MM mortars and DIVARTY 152 mm howitzers exclusively for a front line, Category A, unit. This is only for tube artillery. 


John Kettler

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