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George MC

New scenario for test - Strachwitz at Kharkov 43

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The beta version of our latest CMBB scenario, "Strachwitz at Kharkov 43" in “The Panzer Count’s Ostfront” series is now available for testing over at The Proving Grounds ,

It's a static operation which provides a challenging tank battle.

“On the 19th March the Panzer Count’s panzer kampfgruppe goes head to head with Kravchenko’s 3rd and 5th Guards Tank Corps near Orlovka during the winter fighting around Kharkov in 1943.”

You can view some screenshots of the scenario HERE

Historical Background

Graf Strachwitz’s victories in Barbarossa in summer 1941 and the drive to Stalingrad in summer 1942 [see our Strachwitz at Dubno and Kalach scenarios] are dim memories by the spring of ’43. After recovering from being wounded at Stalingrad Count Strachwitz, now a full Colonel in the Reserves, was named in January 1943 to command the new Panzer Regiment of the German Army’s most elite unit, the Motorized Infantry Division Großdeutschland. The 1st Abteilung had been serving with the division since May of 1942; the 2nd Abteilung, formed from the veteran Panzerregiment 203, and a Tiger Company joined the Division in February of 1943, just in time for the beginning of von Manstein’s famous counter-offensive to re-take Kharkov and stabilize entire southern wing of the Ostfront after the Stalingrad debacle.

Beginning on 7 March 1943, Großdeutschland formed the left wing of Armee Group Kempf and opened an offensive west of Kharkov aimed at Belgorod. In a stunning series of tank battles at Bogodukhov, Gravyron, and Borrisovka, Oberst Graf Strachwitz led his Kampfgruppe built around the panzerregiment to a string of victories in the face of fierce opposition from the 5th and 3rd Guards Tank Corps in the gentle rolling hills of the Vorksla river valley northwest of Kharkov.

The newly honored 5th Guards Tank Corps was commanded by one of the Soviet Union’s rising stars, Major General Andrei Grigorevich Kravchenko. Under his leadership, the former 4th Tank Corps had spearheaded the Soviet Stalingrad counter-offensive and the drive to the Donets. Kravchenko was ordered to gather all remaining tank forces, including elements of the newly arrived 2nd Guards Tank Corps, in the Vorksla valley and form a shield in front of the desperately fleeing Soviet infantrymen.

With the thawing terrain making infantry force movement impossible, Strachwitz was ordered to advance from Dolbino northwest towards Tomarovka.

Strachwitz vs. Kravchenko at Kharkov.

Playing the Scenario

This is a static operation, which, while it has a large map (6km x 4km), unit sizes are pretty manageable to allow a manoeuvre type action.

Best played as H2H or as Human against Soviet AI with AI sticking to ‘computer player uses scenario default’. The AI provides a tough fight in this so will not need a CEB bonus.

If played as H2H more experienced player should play the Germans.

Before playing please check your side specific brief very carefully – there is critical information contained therein.

Designers Notes

The zip file contains a command map. A full Strachwitz bio to accompany the series will follow in due course.

Feedback regarding how the scenario plays out would be most welcome smile.gif

About the Panzer Count's Ostfront

Blowtorchscenarios.com proudly introduces our second CMBB series, ”The Panzer Counts Ostfront” following our series on Jochen Peiper’s Kharkov 1942-43 campaign. As always our aim is to present interesting scenarios with as much historical accuracy as possible.

“The Panzer Count”, of course, is the legendary German tank commander Hyazinth Graf (Count) Strachwitz von Groß-Zauche und Camminetz, who survived the war as a Generalleutnant of the Reserve and holder of the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, Germany’s highest award. We have chosen to focus on another German commander for the same reasons we focused on Peiper: the availability of information, not any political or national agenda. As with our Peiper series, we are devoting great effort to presenting the Soviet side with as much authenticity and detail as possible.

In this series we will try to present a cross-section of his Ostfront battles from 1941 to 1945. We have chosen those battles which, in our opinion, best characterize his military genius while offering interesting and reasonably balanced challenges.

[ September 08, 2006, 10:45 AM: Message edited by: George Mc ]

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