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Simulating the East Front with CMI

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Did you know that you can simulate at least one Eastern Front battle with CMI with reasonably accuracy. The units are not correct but you will probably get pretty historical results in any case.

The battle in question is the attack of the 30th Guards Corps on July 4 1944 at Ihantala. You should use Germans to represent Finns and Americans or British to represent Soviets.

Start by making a map. Put a large 500x300 meter hill in west side, cover it with scattered woods (originally heavy woods, but the Soviet artillery has mauled it for a couple of days already) and place some victory flags on top of it. On east side of it put a couple of hundreds of meters of open and then a forest with a few roads going through it.

Create two deployment zones for the side that represents the Soviets. One along the forest edge and fill it with direct fire guns and some 10-20 green artillery spotters (green to simulate the inaccuracy of Soviet artillery). The other zone is a 300x200 meter area in middle of forest. Cram this full infantry and tanks (you may have to use scattered woods so that the tanks can be positioned there). Two or three infantry batallions and 20 or so tanks will be enough. To make the Soviet side complete add 5-10 air supports to it.

On Finnish side there's one infantry batallion, II/JR12. The batallion was quite worn out by the time, so you can simulate it with a crack gebirsj├Ąger platoon (crack because only toughest guys could survive on that hill) or two and a couple of HMGs and panzerschrecks. Then, place 6 target registeration points in an even grid on the top of Soviet assembly area. Also throw some 20 or so other TRPs in nice clusters of four all over the map. Buy 63 veteran artillery batteries, 50% 75 mm and a nice mixture of 105 mm, 120 mm, 150 mm, and 120 mm mortars for rest.

In the first turn order all Soviet units in the deployment zone forward after a 30 second pause. Distribute the Finnish artillery fire evenly to the 6 TRPs and fire for effect for two minutes. After that, play normally.

Note: The Soviets didn't get off their deployment areas. Finns fired over 40 strikes (ranging from 60 to 246 guns) against 300x200 meter target areas. The Soviet losses are not known since the corps commander didn't dare to report the casualties to his superiors and actually falsified the unit diary to contain reports of heavy Finnish counterattacks during the next few days. The corps didn't attack Finns again and was completely refitted before being committed against Germans.

- Tommi

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