Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Megablitz Memories: Kick In The Door!

The first big MEGABLITZ games were set on the Eastern Front during 1941 ... hence the title. (Albert Speer reported that in conversation about Soviet Russia, Hitler had stated 'We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.')

The battles were fought out over a series of large tables, and in the first battle the fighting took place around Ulyanousk whilst the second battle was fought in and around Ketteringrad and Wellingrad. The following photographs are mainly from the second battle, and are presented as a series of vignettes.

The Battle for Wellingrad
Wellingrad was heavily garrisoned, and its defenders included a large number of Heavy Artillery Regiments.

Whilst Rifle troops and heavy Artillery hold off the advancing Germans, Soviet forces attempt to withdraw into Wellingrad.

Reinforcements flooded into Wellingrad to counter the expected attack across the river.

German troops begin to cross the river and advance into Wellingrad.

The Germans advance into Wellingrad from two directions whilst more Soviet Rifle troops flood into the town to mount a counter-attack.

A close-up of the confused fighting in the centre of Wellingrad.

The fighting was particularly fierce around the bridge over the river ... and I seem to remember that the bridge was blown up in rather unfortunate circumstances!

Ambush ... and counter-attack
In one instance a Soviet force of Tanks and Infantry caught a German column on the road and ambushed it but ...

A Soviet Rifle Division, accompanied by Units of Light and Fast Tanks, attacks the flank of a German .column.

... right behind the German column were two Regiments of Panzer Grenadiers, who counter attacked with considerable vigour. The German counter-attack was supported by Artillery fire and air attacks by Ju87 Stukas.

Six Battalions of Panzer Grenadiers and supporting mobile Artillery mount an all-out attack on the Russian Rifle Division whilst Ju87 Stukas of the Luftwaffe attack the Russian forces rear echelon.

A close-up of some of the fighting.

Italians in the East
Not all the invaders were Germans. Several Axis allies also fielded troops, and the largest contingent was the Italians.

An Italian mobile column advances east.

An Italian Armoured Division. It lacked quality and quantity ... but it had mobility.

The Italian Armoured Division's commander.

If You Go Down To The Woods Today ...
The big advantage of MEGABLITZ is that it is possible to field and use some of the more unusual or exotic military Units that armies sometimes have. For example, Cavalry can be used to reconnoitre, to patrol, to protect flanks, or even to act as a mobile attack force.

Some German Cavalry patrolling a forest.

A close-up of some of the German Cavalry.

Woods and forests are also great places to concentrate troops before mounting a counter-attack or from which to launch ambushes.

Soviet Rifle troops await orders to attack. Judging by the uniforms, they are probably a Reserve or Militia Unit ... or their Quartermaster had a large supply of old uniforms in stock.

A Soviet Machine Gun Unit hides in the woods. The Maxim Machine Gun was heavy ... so heavy in fact that it was mounted on a small wheeled carriage to enable it to be pulled around by its crew rather than carried.

Some Odds and Ends

A Soviet column on the move. The leading vehicle is a T-34 Tank (an old ROCO Minitank), and it is followed by two trucks. The latter are conversions from Majorette Ford A trucks that have had the original wheels removed and replaced by smaller ones. The mudguards and running boards have also been cut off flush with the side of the model to reduce its width. The lead truck has also had a scratch-built quadruple Maxim Machine Gun mount added to its rear body.

A KV-2 Heavy Tank. Meeting one of these sitting astride your line-of-advance can seriously ruin your day as its armour is thick and its 152mm gun packs quite a punch!

A German Motorcycle combination. These were mainly used for reconnaissance.

Soviet Heavy Artillery. This is a 203mm Howitzer L-25, and it was in service throughout the Great Patriotic War. It was even used in direct-fire mode during street fighting as its shells could demolish entire buildings!

The bulk of a Soviet Rifle Division moves forward. Its horse-drawn supply Units follow in the rear.

A Soviet Tank Brigade advances through enemy-occupied territory.

Another view of the Soviet tank brigade.

Yet another view of the Soviet tank brigade. This particular Tank Brigade actually made its way through a gap in the German front-line, and was well on its way towards the rear areas when the battle came to an end.

2 comments:

  1. Very cool.. seems you have quite the forces there, and that clash in the top photos looks like traffic in Turkey on a Friday after work... horrific to say the least!

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  2. Mr Lee,

    The fight around Wellingrad was confused to say the least ... and the vehicles and figures featured in the photographs are only a fraction of what was actually used during the battle.

    All the best,

    Bob

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