Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kharkov '43: It was indeed Poluboyarov's swan song

Just finished up scenario #0218_01_Krasnoarmeyskoye - Poluboyarov's Swan Song against the Russian AI. When I first loaded this 10 turn gem up I thought for sure that there was no way I could take three 500 point objectives in 10 turns and win this game. Then I noticed that despite my lack of armor and his large stacks of units my men were all Morale A seasoned troops. The Soviets faced a lack of supplies and a lot of their men were low morale poorly trained soldiers.

Needless to say by Turn 7 I had surrounded the key objective of Krasnoarmeyskoye and in the next turn Grishino was doomed to fall to the men of Grenadier 681 (left side of the shot, light blue). The scenario had played out just like history and I was looking at a win with 3 turns to spare. I had one unit of armor. 5 Panzer IV's that locked horns with 5 T-34's and barely came out the winner with the help of some artillery and well placed air strikes. Down to two tanks the 5th SS would have to fall back and lick its wounds.

All in all a fun scenario and another good time with the recently released John Tiller title Kharkov '43 which is available digitally from his site at Click the image below for the larger picture and mini AAR.

4th Guards Tank Corp commander Poluboyarov implored Vatutin, South Western Front's commander to allow him to retreat from the German forces slowly encircling his corp. In response both Vatutin and Stavka demanded that Poluboyarov 'destroy the retreating German forces' as it was assumed that the Germans were pulling back to the Dnepr River. The Soviet High Command had little understanding of both the conditions and lack of supply reaching the Soviet spearheads. The Germans attacked in earnest on Feb 18th and had essentially taken Krasnoarmeyskoye and shattered the Soviet forces by the 19th.

Then end result? I got the win by 17 points. Still no easy feat despite taking all but 2 100 point objectives. Casualties put me over the top for a minor victory: