Borodino 41 - replay


First day

The Germans put their Schwerpunkt on the left, in the clear terrain north of the road, swept half the map in two days and smashed two tank brigades in the process

The Russians dug in their heels at Uvarovo station with 19T while 18T held a line along the stream south of it and into the woods to block the Rollbahn - not a bad position to make a stand at, by the way. Hard to turn the flanks and decent defensive terrain, although lacking in cover a bit in its centre, and you need infantry in the town.

The Germans won all day initiative duels, bidding six or seven assaults to the Russians' two or three. The Russians won the night ini, which they resented as it set them up for a consecutive 8+12+8 German MP, three fires and two assaults before they could next lift a finger.

The photo shows the map after the fifth (German night) impulse of day one. 19T's KV-1 escaped out of Uvarovo but took a ZOC fire (resulting in a hit) from two Panzer companies, themselves in column, on the road through the woods behind. The Russian commander had thought they were dummies. 19T's T-34 are still in the village, have now been cut off, and will be out of supply shortly. They have no infantry with them and are going to die.

There was a bit of a shootout along the stream south of Uvarovo but the Germans had more fires and they flanked the position (there had been a few dummies in the woods towards the main road).

Situation after first day

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Second day

Now (before their afternoon impulse on the third day) the Germans are beginning to break into the fortifications where the Russians have more and larger units than before, trenches on top of bunkers and some artillery, and the average combat begins to look decidedly less pleasant.
They are far away from the victory conditions for the short scenario, which may be because they didn't push hardest along the road - they have already crossed the river/fortification line north of it (roughly in the middle of the map, I think the one behind hill 228) in strength towards the east (where they will probably end day three with two repaired bridges) and began to cross to the south (where they are taking the forts from the flank) with a second maneuvre group.
They are now trying to decide between using the southward crossing for a narrow and probably more manageable envelopment of the first line of fortifications along the road, and an all-out assault on Borodino and the stream behind it to turn the first and second line of forts in one sweep, resting their left flank on the Moskwa (obligingly made yet safer by the Russians when they dropped the two bridges next to Moshaisk).

What I should also have considered is going on along the Moskva, across the little stream and straight for Moshaisk. As noted below, this could have got me into severe trouble, however. Taking Borodino was probably still okay.

Situation after the second day

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Third day

I begin to ask myself whether I turned south too early since I basically wasted a day bulling through strong Russian units behind Borodino village. I should have been warned when the red stars directly to the east turned out to be dummies. His strong units had to be somewhere. On the other hand, the longer the flank you offer to these guys, the more of an opportunity you give to the Russians to strike back.

Situation after the third day

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Fourth day

At this point I am in front of the last Russian line in the woods behind Gorky and the Bagration Redoubt. The Russian commander is getting less and less pessimistic recently, which of course I find discomforting. The Russian chief of staff says he will run out of units (so will I but don't tell anyone!).

I now have a solid bridgehead (you want to occupy at least two hexes on the far side since this allows your troops to cross the bridge in column, then deploy in the next clear terrain field and move to contact - I had a hell of a time getting troops across before the Bagration redoubt had fallen and ended up dismounting several infantry batallions from their lorries to get them there) over the last stream between me and Moshaisk. In the process of creating it a few strong Russian units died, which is faint consolation for my losses of time and troops, but consolation nonetheless.

Had I pressed on along the Moskwa my considerably smaller spearhead could well have found itself out on a limb against 20 Tank Brigade, 322 Rifle Regiment and all that copious Russian artillery.

Situation after the fourth day

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Technical notes

I took digital photos of the map after almost every impulse (19 pictures for 20 impulses so far) with an Olympus C-800L, since superceded by the 820L (if you are truly nuts for digital photography, look at their 1400L - a wonderful machine!). I don't think many would have appreciated my putting high quality 1024x768 pixel JPEGs in true colour (which translates to ca. 400K JPEG or more than 2MB bitmaps) anywhere on the web, nor do I know of anyone who would provide the space. However, I don't currently have the computer to make something both nice and small out of these pictures in Photoshop or something similar. So I reduced four pictures to 256 colours, cropped the borders, and auto-balanced colours in MS Photo Editor and here you are. I know they look a bit gory and I would have liked to "pencil in" comments, but this is as far as it goes at the moment.

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This page was created by Markus Kässbohrer. Last modified Apr 30, 1998.