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About the Scenario

This scenario recreates one of Lt. Otto Carius' engagements made famous in his book 'Tigers in the Mud' on page 166 'The Ambush'.


The scenario map size is around 2.9km x 3.4km. Both sides have around a company+.
You have around 01hr 40 Minutes (+0-15 minutes variable time). However it’s unlikely, playing against the AI that you’ll need all this time, although playing H2H it might be useful.
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.
It is also playable Soviet Vs German AI - given the tactical situation and the game engine limitations of the AI - the German AI struggles with the situation. Still if you want to blow up Hitlerite Bandit Tigers – knock yersel out!
AI Plans
There are three distinct Soviet AI plans and one German AI plan – thus allowing some level of re-playability.
Those who want the true historical ‘feel’ then play Soviet AI Plan 1. It is the closest to how the Soviets reacted in the actual action. To access AI Plan 1, open this scenario in the editor and ‘switch off’ whatever other Red AI Plans you don’t want to play. It won’t affect FOW unless you take a peek at the other info.

About the Action

On the 22nd July 1944 Tigers of 2 Company (under the temporary command of Lt. Carius) from schwere Panzer-Abteilung 502  ambushed the spearhead of the Soviet 5th Tank Corps, the tip of 4th Shock Army’s spear, which had just cleanly broken through Army Group North’s defences. What is arguably unique about this action was the initial bold attack made by Carius and Kerscher into the village which was occupied by T34s from 41st Tank Brigade, made destroying a number of them.


Subsequent debate focuses on the exact kill tally - claimed by Carius in his book - in and around the village, the subsequent 'ambush' of the remainder of the Soviet tank unit some km east, and the part played by a nearby German Stug battery or batteries. The debate around the facts of this event I'll set aside for now but if you are interested there is a Historical Action PDF contained in the zip file that outlines the facts behind the engagement and subsequent research and opinion.


To Play

You can grab it from the repository or the Scenario Depot in a zip file (which contains the scenario game file, historical action PDF with sources and a master tactical map to help orientate yourself).


As always I'd appreciate any feedback etc. If you can post any comments etc in this thread that would be hugely appreciated ta! :)




The Battlefield


You can find the real world place (Malinova or Malinovka) in Google earth at the kmz file attached below.




This image shows the view looking west towards the village of Malinova/Malinovka. In Carius' account Kerscher's and Carius' Tigers engaged twenty Soviet tanks (T34s and IS-2s). They quickly destroyed 2 T-34's and one IS-2, (according to Carius' memoirs). Some remaining tanks were destroyed in the village, others were forced out into the field to the southeast of the road (foreground as you see in the above image above). As the attack was taking place, Carius and Kerscher were joined by Nienstedt as well as some assault guns coming from the north. Most Russian tanks were destroyed, but a few did escape. 




Close up view of part of the village of Malinova/Malinovka.










Carius and Kerscher charge into the village to engage the waiting Soviet armour.

Carius at Malinava Historical Background.pdf

Edited by George MC
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Sweet! Are your only units those two Tigers? Cool challenge. Tank battles is the best part of RT IMO.

No you'll have other Tigers from Carius' 2nd Company - I haven't got around to verifying the exact number of runners, although one report states 17 Tigers i.e. a full strength company I'm not convinced they'd have all of them running maybe more like 6-8 runners. Still we'll check this with a variety of sources. Suffice to say you'll have more than two! :)

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Thanks for the kind words guys.


Starting to dig deeper into the background of this action and it makes interesting reading. The more you dig the more questions it poses. I've also done some very quick playtesting (no AI plan - just basic OOB and seeing how units on the map interact. 'As is' it's immediately apparent that a/ Carius and Kerscher were really, really lucky; b/ the Stug unit that had made earlier contact with the same Russian vanguard appears to have relaunched it's attack (according to sources) at about the same time or when they knew Carius was attacking. This small group of Stugs (who lost seven of their number earlier in the day trying to breakthrough to their lines at Malinova) create a diversionary attack. This causes many of the Russian tanks to be orientated to the NE. Carius supported by Nienstedt is attacking from around the SE. In game this makes a massive difference to how it plays out. c/ the Russian crews can't have all been in their tanks - some or a few must have been outside or in the village 'taking it easy'.


Anyway a few more screenshots from some rough and ready playthroughs.



Soviet IS-2 covering one of the approaches to the village. In the background you can see a Tiger (from Nienstedt's support group) moving in. This IS-2 had been abandoned by the crew after taking multiple hits.




Stug's eye view of Malinova. Carius does not mention this unit taking part in the action (apart from making contact with one of their officers on the road).


However the 502 AAR report (in Carius' book) and a German journalist's account (a certain irony here - for once the propaganda was likely more on the money!).


One Russian AAR states: "At 12.00 from the region of Malinovo the enemy opened organized fire of tanks and SP-guns. The regiment taking cover in terrain folds started a firefight with the enemy. Enemy aircraft actively operated in the air..."


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Hi Heinrich

Thanks Heinrich :)


The LOS is very varied. The terrain is a gentle sloping valley (sloping down from east to west) with numerous folds and hollows.




Kerscher IDs one of the Soviet tanks guarding the entrance to the village and engages. First shot, first kill.




Whilst Kerscher engages the Soviet tanks Carius rolls into the village at full speed.




Where he spots another Soviet tank and engages and destroys it.

Edited by George MC
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Hi George,

The landscape is offering many opportunities like overwatching the tanks going into the village and interdicting any escape from the Russians. It looks like the map is as close as it could be from the transcription made at the time by otto Carius and others.. 

I had no time to answer to your message,  before you left for your biking in the pyrennees, being myself away. I shall do it tomorrow.

Cheer,  Mate

Edited by snake_eye
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Hi Greg

Cheers mate :) Yeah the map is based on a 30s Russian map (I also have a 1944 German map of the area). There are some tweaks to get the map to 'fit' a CM map e.g. some diagonal roads have been straightened, foliage and field patterns are based more on the modern day location. I also used some photos from the battlefield that were in Otto Carius "Mein Dienstzei!" So I'm happy given the tools it's a realistic representation of the actual battlefield.


This map (although it's a modern map) has the locations of the Ko'd Soviet tanks from that action.



The five red rectangles are KO'd IS-2s. It does appear, despite Carius' account, that the IS-2 unit launched a counterattack from the east, just after Carius launched his attack.


The bulk of the T34s were KOd outside the village. The other T34s further south (Nos 9-19) were from a latter engagement. There does appear to be some doubt as to how this action actually was fought. There are a great many theories regarding how the Carius unit pulled this off. It also appears that the Stug battery played a significant role in this action. 


There is a really useful Russian website that has some very detailed accounts based on Soviet casualty returns that seeks to explain this action. Also, ironically, a German propaganda piece ties in with this Russian post war account that it does Carius' own account!


Anyway back to the scenario I'm testing an AI Plan, which seems to, by default, give the above spread of KOd Soviet tanks (this based on placing everything i.e. units on the map where the evidence ties in). I've done the points scoring, whilst Charlie is working on the briefings. So nearly there.


I'm heading off on holiday for two weeks so further development will stall until I get back.

Edited by George MC
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  • 1 month later...

This is on the home straight now.


A few wee screen shots - another one showing Carius and Kerscher attacking into Malinava - you can just see the support Tigers under Nienstedt in the background, hull down.




Soviet JS-IIs from the 48th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment move up to assist their stricken comrades at Malinava.




Only to fall victim themselves...



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To quote Morrissey: "How soon is now?" - I want this, well, now :)

Will it be both H2H and vs AI?

I know you've already waited too long but before all your hope is gone - it'll be soon. I'm shooting for this weekend. RL allowing. It's been played (tested) both sides vs AI. Reckon it's playable H2H although the better player should take the German side.
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