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Byte Battle Tchaikovsky AAR

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September 1941: a Co from a German Recon Battn advance, supported by two light tanks (37mm gun), aided by Stukas, through valleys, towards high ground, a N-S road perpendicular to the German axis of advance, and an enemy-held crossroads, next to which stand a church and some houses.

A curious thing happened to Schmitz as he enters, with his half-squad, SMG at the ready, the tall inn facing the enemy held cross road : the floor suddenly explodes into flame, without warning. The fire spreads, then dies down. "Out !". The half-squad bursts out of the building, into the brush covered slope. A look back: the LMG element of the squad has set up in cover, they wave.

Schmitz gestures to his small command: they move forward cautiously towards a clump of woods. An enemy team spotted inside the woods: mortar ? Move and fire, fire and move. But as the half-squad approaches the woods, a hail of enemy fire, close range SMG, pours out. The half-squad is wiped out.


The main effort: two plts (minus Schmitz's squad, sent as a flank guard and with instructions to probe aggressively), and one light tank, and heavy weapons support. Everyone sets up in woods, support elements at the ready, assault elements at jump off points. A Stuka zooms overhead, drops bombs on unseen enemy units. 81mm fire on suspected enemy-held woods. The enemy responds with mortar barrage of his own, which falls on squads as they leap frog forward: disorganization, then consolidation and advance. Enemy outposts spotted: concentration of LMG fire, at 100-150 m. The tank moves forward boldly, to support. Suddenly, without warning, fire bursts out around the tank; the turret is punctured, the TC killed. No way the tank can support infy now; it'll have to be done the hard way, with concentration of infantry light arms fire.


Muller's plt has come late to the fight, He moves forward, up slopes, 400 m to the right to the other platoons. A tank comes later on the scene, from earlier fighting. Muller sets up in woods: firebase, 50mm mortar. The tank draws up. Muller decides to accompany the tank forward. "Oh, look, there's Schmitz on our left". Schmitz goes down; as Muller deploys to engage the elements that wiped out Schmitz's half-squad, more Soviet infantry appears to his front, supported by MG fire from a tankette. As the firefight flares up, a curious thing happens to Muller: the woods around his position suddenly burst into flames. He retreats. Some of his squads are firing on the troops that destroyed Schmitz; a half-squad peels forward for the assault-- and is shot up by a hitherto hidden HMG.


The commander of the light tank accompanying Muller knows he should hang back, and support Muller, who is now engaged in a none too successful firefight. Instead, he rushes forward, destroying a Soviet tankette, past spotted enemy squads, reaching a road which sweeps north-south, swerves left onto this road, and drives through the enemy position, between the enemy's two lines, forward line of contact to his left, support elements to his right. Once he has passed through the enemy position, he turns round-- in time to engage and destroy enemy armour which has appeared in his tracks.

[ May 11, 2007, 02:39 PM: Message edited by: jtcm ]

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