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Action at Chervona Hirka - An After Action Report


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Good day everyone. This AAR is based on a PBEM of a quite interesting scenario created by @Rinaldi, "Action at Chervona Hirka", and based on the (quite well-made, I would say) master map by @H1nd.

 

SITUATION AND BRIEFING

It's the early hours of June 11th, 2017. I have command of the Ukrainian 15th Mechanized Battalion of the 58th Mechanized Brigade, deployed to hold up the brigade's northern shoulder around the town of Chervona Hirka.

My primary objective is to retain control of the town itself, as it sits adjacent to the enemy's MSR and controls access to side roads that could let the Russians bypass Krolevets. This is Objective Aleksej.

A roadblock positioned astride the road to the south is a secondary objective, designated Objective Vasilij. It is held by the battalion recon platoon occupying Battle Position 1. I do not expect to hold the position for very long against enemy attack, if it comes to that. However, forcing the enemy to deploy to destroy the roadblock will cost him precious time, and hopefully, the recon platoon will provide me early warning of enemy movement.

My third objective is to attrit and delay the enemy as much as possible: inflicting losses and forcing him to deploy a significant amount of forces to overcome my position will cost him time and weaken his ability to continue the thrust. In this case, the priority is to engage and destroy his infantry and their carriers, with armor and logistical vehicles to be engaged as targets of opportunity.

At my disposal is the aforementioned 15th Mechanized Battalion, reinforced by a platoon of armor (BM Bulats) from the Brigade and a platoon of MT-12 antitank guns.
The enemy force is a BTR-equipped motor rifle unit with armor support, and the incoming attack is likely going to be in battalion strength, though possibly somewhat diminished: a company-sized enemy force was repulsed yesterday, leaving behind several BTRs and T-72s.


PLAN

There are three probable routes for the enemy to attack down, by my estimation. Map is hopefully legible enough to interpret.

QL2emI4.png


My intent is to cover all three probable axes of advance:

The field, Axis Alpha, is the fastest and most direct approach to the town.
However, it is covered from three sides, forming a fire sack to attrit the enemy as much as possible if they choose to advance there. The Bulats and antitank guns will engage from BP 3, ATGM teams of the battalion antitank platoon are situated in BP 2, and the right flank is covered by infantry with RPGs as well as their BMP-2s, occupying BP 4.

Axis Bravo, along the river on my left flank, would potentially allow the enemy to maneuver very close to Objective Aleksej while remaining out of my view. A rifle platoon is deployed on the north side of BP 2 to keep the area under observation. If the enemy chooses to focus his main effort down this axis of advance, that platoon is to act as a delaying obstacle so I can shift my forces accordingly.

Axis Charlie, the road on the south, is the third potential route for the enemy to take, and the one I judge to be least likely: it is constricted and forces the enemy to drive straight along a fairly narrow path, directly into any potential ambushes. Nevertheless, if the enemy chooses to move through here, my intent is, much like with Axis Bravo, to delay them with the limited forces I have at BP 6, to buy time for shifting around other forces to BP 9 at the south end of Chervona.

The artillery has pre-registered target points on positions on the east edge of the field: these are where I expect the enemy to position support by fire elements in case of an attack along Axis Alpha. Artillery fire on the TRPs will hopefully obscure the vision of and damage/disrupt any SBF elements on these positions.

Phase Line Forward is the first position where the enemy is likely to be engaged, by the battalion recon platoon at BP 1.
PL Midfield is the forward line of the battalion's main body.
PL Stop is the no-pass line.

 

If the enemy attacks along axis Alpha:
Forces at BP 2 and BP 4 are to put flanking fire on enemy forces as they move across the field, and then withdraw to contract the line when the enemy approaches PL Midfield: the forces at BP 2 will move to BP 8, and the units at BP 4 to BP 9. Alternatively, units at BP 2 and BP 4 will be kept in place to strike at the enemy's trailing elements, if he chooses to pass them by.
Forces in BP 3 just past PL Midfield will be the first to engage the enemy when he breaks into Chervona Hirka from the field, and will if necessary cede the edge of the town and attempt to conduct a fighting withdrawal to BP 12.
BP 8, 9, and 12 are the final fighting positions, being directly in front of PL Stop.

If the enemy attacks along axis Bravo:
Forces at BP 2 will engage the enemy first, and fight to delay the enemy as long as possible.
They may attempt to conduct a fighting withdrawal toward BP 10, and then either fight in position there or withdraw a second time to further strengthen BP 3.
Units at BP 3 and BP 8 will reorient to face a thrust from the northeast. If they can be safely pulled out of their position, forces from BP 4 will move to BP 12.
If necessary, forces at BP 8 will conduct a fighting withdrawal to BP 12.

If the enemy attacks along axis Charlie:
Forces at BP 6 will be the first to engage the enemy, to delay and attrit them.
Units at BP 4 will move south to strike at the enemy's flank where they are strung out along the road, and units at BP 8 will move to BP 9 to receive a thrust from the south.


In the event I fail to stop the enemy and lose control of Chervona Hirka, I am counting on inflicting enough losses to leave the enemy unable to effectively take advantage of the ground they have taken.

My briefing does not indicate that force preservation is a critical concern, but ideally, I want to keep losses below 30%, to ensure the battalion remains capable of further combat operations.

 

And well, that's it for the opening post.

The next update (and first actual AAR content!) should be along fairly soon.

Edited by Saint_Fuller
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Chervona Hirka is a superb base map for so  many different scenarios. I'm using it right now, building a very unusual scenario. 

I'll be interested to see how you approach this valley fight. They can be absolutely lethal to an attack! Hope you can control at least one side of valley high ground... 

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6 hours ago, Saint_Fuller said:

At my disposal is the aforementioned 15th Mechanized Battalion, reinforced by a platoon of armor (BM Bulats) from the Brigade and a platoon of MT-12 antitank guns.

The enemy force is a BTR-equipped motor rifle unit with armor support, and the incoming attack is likely going to be in battalion strength, 

The next update (and first actual AAR content!) should be along fairly soon.

Wow.  So about a battalion on each side!!!  What a big battle.  This must have taken a lot of work to put together.  Will your opponent also be posting an AAR?  Looking forward to more posts!!!  +1. 

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https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ObJh26eNn73_pP_ca8v4uYEEhmzwpHwf

A link to the scenario. I haven't published yet because I need to see if I have to make any balance changes/scoring changes. It took forever to get Power Hour balanced (it favored the Russians too greatly) and I'd rather not have to constantly re-upload. Right now the scenario still probably favors REDFOR too much. 

Unfortunately, Aer0mat (who was my opponent in my last AAR),  is @Saint_Fuller's opponent and doesn't have an account so he probably won't be giving us an account of the Russian attack. So crack open the scenario if you'd like to see the balance of forces.

Edited by Rinaldi
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17 hours ago, Rinaldi said:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ObJh26eNn73_pP_ca8v4uYEEhmzwpHwf

A link to the scenario. I haven't published yet because I need to see if I have to make any balance changes/scoring changes. It took forever to get Power Hour balanced (it favored the Russians too greatly) and I'd rather not have to constantly re-upload. Right now the scenario still probably favors REDFOR too much.

Thank you! I was just about to ask for this. Does this one work well when playing against the AI?

Edited by The_MonkeyKing
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As promised, here's the first actual AAR content, featuring the first five minutes of the match. Bit short, as there's simply not much happening this early in the game, but there was some action I felt were interesting enough to warrant a post.


The first minute or so is fairly quiet from my end.
However, it does not take long for that to change: unconfirmed AFV contacts are spotted moving north across the fields, in the direction of the river. Potential indication that the enemy is moving to attack along Axis Bravo?

Soon after, the shooting begins. One of the unconfirmed contacts from the previous turn is resolved into a BTR. A Bulat quickly engages.cKTA3NN.png

The first shot somewhat miraculously fails to kill the BTR, the APFSDS dart only wrecking its wheels. The BTR, its wheels badly damaged, continues to crawl forward at a snail's pace.
EqvO6bg.png


At least until it is hit and destroyed by a second shot from the Bulat. Its luck did not last long enough to save it from a second shot, evidently.pNnpR3s.png

A second BTR is spotted just as the first dies, and it is engaged by the recon platoon's two BMP-2s. It is knocked out in short order.ub6XGDK.pngyn6syYm.png

 


A third BTR is spotted soon after: the BRM-1K that caught sight of it takes the shot, but it goes high. The BTR manages to pull behind some trees and break contact before the BRM can fire a second shot.
13q1uSN.png
This more or less concludes the brief engagement.

With the direction the BTRs I have spotted were moving, I suspect the enemy may be moving his forces to attack along the river (i.e. axis Bravo).
But as the location of the enemy's forces, besides those three BTRs, remains unknown to me at this time, I can't really draw any firm conclusions about the enemy's chosen axis of advance yet.

Edited by Saint_Fuller
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13 hours ago, H1nd said:

Hey guys, nice to see the map put to a good use! Looking forward to seeing the carnage that is surely about to unfold :D

Cheers!

-H1nd

It's so large I'm actually building a mini campaign across it by chopping it into directly related maps. 

I love its very real terrain flow. Have you made any other maps? 

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Only other published maps from me are are to CMRT (and convertable to CMBS): http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/tsd3/cm-red-thunder/cm-red-thunder-add-ons/communal-farm-nemanitsa/ and http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/tsd3/cm-red-thunder/cm-red-thunder-add-ons/byelorussian-rough-marshy-terrain/

But alas since I probably suffer some degree of OCD these are "quite a bit of effort" to make plus I tend to divide my attention in to too many projects and activities. Otherwise there probably would be couple more of them. There is this one fancy "D-Day in Russia" style scenario that I have been fiddling with on and off for the past year and I probably should get around to publish the map even if the scenario is not really playable nor ever will. 

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vi7mmyv.png

Sorry about the lack of updates, been somewhat busy over the last week, haven't managed to work much on this.

So!
I don't have an actual content post ready yet, but here's a wide angle view of the battlefield as of the conclusion of the last post. Marked the area where the BTRs were engaged, for reference.

This is hopefully helpful in forming a better view of what's going on at the moment, and of my current disposition.

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