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  1. 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
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