10/01/2015 at 00:26 #15447
It’s 1500, 1 Sept 1939, and KG Klink has regrouped. To review, on the movement towards Warsaw, the KG encountered defensive positions on the northern edge of Mokra, and the Recc elements fought a vicious battle, knocking the Poles out of their defensive positions there. This was followed by a mechanized attack on the northern edge of the town, which was defeated in vicious, close-in fighting. On the heels of that defeat the Poles launched a bold, armored counterstroke, which defeated panzers of the kampfgruppe. However, bold action by the Executive Officer, Major Schultz, exploited the gap between the counterattacking Polish armor and its supporting infantry, halting the infantry in more bloody fighting and allowing elements of 4th Panzer Division to pocket and eliminate the Polish armor in fighting to the southwest.
The 4th Panzer’s commanding officer had decided to strike once more on the village of Mokra, where the Poles’ final defensive line has consolidated on a railway embankment on the backside of the town (where, further to the south, 4th Panzer has had a hell of a time dealing with an armored train). LtCol Klink has decided to personally lead another mechanized attack on Mokra.
The opposing forces: once again we have dug-in guns vs tanks, which hasn’t worked out well for the Germans so far…
The Poles have their CO, four 37mm ATGs, an MG, an 82mm mortars, and six rifle squads, while the Germans have their CO (Col Klink), the Panzer Co Commander (in Pz III, 1st Lt Bohm), 4th Panzer Platoon (led by Officer Cadet Kleiber, with 3 Pz IV and 2 PzII), the bulk of 2nd Gren Plt (led by 2nd Lt Klugmann, recipient of the Iron Cross 2nd Class, with his 1st, 2nd, and 4th Squads, led by Sergeants Aust and Hasselbach, and Cpl Lutz), and two squads from 3rd Gren Plt (Sgt Schlessinger’s 1st Squad and Sgt Lowenstam’s 2nd Squad, as Lt Tausch and Cpl Kamphaus were on flank watch).
Overview, north is up, Germans on the left (west) and Poles on the right (east), with Poles dug in defending the railroad embankment.
It all comes down to the Poles’ fire stripping away the German infantry from their tanks, then rushing Cpl Kapp’s Pz II, with Officer Cadet Kleiber’s Pz IV nearby, low on ammo (blue bead).
To see the whole report, please check the blog at:
While the KG carried its portion of the Polish defensive line, the 4th Panzer Division fell back at 1700, minus the 12th Schutzen Regiment, which remained in the village. However, due to 1st Panzer Division pressure in the southeast, the Poles withdrew during the night of 1/2 Sept 1939. Following the capitulation of Mokra the 4th Panzer Division regrouped until 4 Sept 1939, allowing several vehicles to be recovered and put back into action, as well as a reorganization to take place as the KG received no real reinforcements.
Thus ends KG Klink’s fight at Mokra, and now on to the outskirts of Warsaw!
Jack10/01/2015 at 02:41 #15448
Mortars, never leave home with out them. Good AAR Just Jack .10/01/2015 at 14:34 #15472
Yeah, the Polish mortars really made life difficult for my infantry in the south. I’ve got some ‘real life’ intrusions, so no gaming today… I’ll try to get some writing done on the last two fights I’ve done.
Jack10/01/2015 at 21:53 #15488
Look forward to reading them JJ !!10/01/2015 at 22:03 #15489Rod RobertsonParticipant
Yikes, six battles in twelve hours. The troops of KG Klink must be exhausted and it’s only half a day into the campaign! The Germans must learn how to use smoke to shut down enemy ATG’s and Mortars. An interesting game but without understanding the mechanics of the Five Core rules which you are using, it seems like a pretty much heads up frontal attack with little in the way of supporting firepower or oblique maneuver. Why didn’t the Germans set up a fire-base with the Panzer IV’s and use HE and Smoke to degrade the Polish defenses. Then they could attack with the Panzer II”s and III”s in direct support of the Pz. Gren. Ptn’s from the Polish flanks and avoid some of the casualties they seem to be taking in these frontal attacks they keep doing. Is there something about these rules which forces the Germans into such frontal assaults (movement limitations or time/turn restrictions) or are these “kick in the front door” tactics yours Just Jack? Why not set your Pz. Gren’s riding on your panzer II’s and III’s and avoid the road as much as possible during the attack?
I have got to say Erwin Rommel would applaud the moxy of the KG command which led the attack down the road. Very proactive but very dangerous too until the defenders’ positions have been fully identified.
As usual a great a report and even I will admit that the pictures are great too. Don’t let your head swell-up, this is not an endorsement for digital pictures, posted online; just a statement that they add a certain marginal je ne sais quoi to the report. Well done!
Cheers and good gaming!
Rod Robertson.11/01/2015 at 03:56 #15497
“Yikes, six battles in twelve hours. The troops of KG Klink must be exhausted…”
Yeah, it’s been busy. Of course, those are the fights that actually occurred, but they were spread across an entire 4th Panzer Division, so I suppose KG Klink didn’t have to participate in all of them, but I am playing games so I didn’t mind pushing the boys a little hard.
“The Germans must learn how to use smoke to shut down enemy ATG’s and Mortars.”
It comes down to force structures limiting what’s available, and random events (simulating an in-game artillery smokescreen) limiting my ability to use smoke. I’ve only had mortars available in two or three fights, and even then you have to understand you are very limited with regards to what is able to activate, so you’re really in a bind (and having to constantly prioritize and make decisions, which is a big plus for me, i.e., you never get to do anything even close to all you want to do) as to what you’re going to do: do I shoot mortars, move tanks in view of ATGs, or move infantry in view of MGs, and if I shoot mortars, do I drop smoke or HE? I’ve gone with HE. Smoke from three 37mm or 75mm tank cannons isn’t all that effective, don’t have smoke generators (Cold War Soviet-style), or the numbers to pull that off even if they did. So it’s take your lumps with fire and maneuver.
“…pretty much heads up frontal attack with little in the way of supporting firepower or oblique maneuver.”
“Is there something about these rules which forces the Germans into such frontal assaults…”
I would submit that, at this low echelon, i.e., severely zoomed in (a handful of tanks and a handful of rifle squads) on a portion of a regimental-sized battle, there’s nothing but head-on attacks. At a higher level of play, any maneuver threatening the flanks means there’s not a fight, the threatened unit falls back rather than die in place. At the micro in these fights, the enemy has had too many units, meaning there were no flanks, they could mount a table edge to table edge defense. No one has yet commented on the fact that each of the games has been even (or just off even, i.e., 12 elements to 9) in terms of force numbers, there have been none of the accepted attacker favored 3-1 odds. I did this on purpose and for two reasons: 1) in real life these fights were brutal, and the Germans actually lost a number of them (all of the ones I’ve played so far, minus the one at the frontier); and 2) as a solo gamer given the enemy more troops ‘handicaps’ (to a certain extent) to off-set (my) player control and knowledge.
“Why didn’t the Germans set up a fire-base with the Panzer IV’s and use HE and Smoke to degrade the Polish defenses.”
“Why not set your Pz. Gren’s riding on your panzer II’s and III’s and avoid the road as much as possible during the attack?”
Because that doesn’t match my understanding of German mechanized doctrine (though I know the Germans took to tank-riding, somewhat, later in the war). From my reading, there’s a remarkable lack of flair or even tactics: it’s a lot of “there’s the bad guys, form line abreast on me and charge,” stopping only to fire and CONSTANTLY leaving behind their infantry (which, usually, they were supposed to be supporting). I’m reading “Panzer Aces” right now, and that’s the story of every one of them, from Bolter to Ribbentrop to Wittman to Carius.
Regarding Pz IV’s supporting Pz IIs and IIIs, because of the force structure in the rules (which I’m a tremendous fan of), there will never be more than a single platoon of tanks on the table (eh, maybe later in the war I’ll some tank only fights?). But I’m just getting at the idea that these fights (at least my plan for them) are infantry fights with some armor in support.
“…are these “kick in the front door” tactics yours Just Jack?”
Cant’ blame anyone but me, and I’m nothing if not simple 😉
Having said that, the rules are very limiting with regards to a player’s activations, and please don’t read that as a criticism, it’s a feature! You have to prioritize, you will not get to do everything you want to do, so you must constantly make the best of a bad situation. It’s beautiful! It’s great for fog of war, without descending into utter chaos and turning the player into a spectator (in my humble opinion).
“…Rommel would applaud the moxy…”
And that’s been a bit driver in how I’ve handled the Germans. Their motto appears to have been “in the absence of orders, when in doubt, and/or when in the face of the enemy move forward aggressively. And sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. And sometimes when it worked, a Sgt or Lt made an initiative-based decision at the local level, which succeeded and had a consequence all out of proportion to the forces involved or even the reason why the decision was carried out. But sometimes, at the operational level, it was amazing and dislocated the enemy’s entire defensive plan.
“Very proactive but very dangerous too until the defenders’ positions have been fully identified.”
So, in game terms, if I’ve got a recon Lt looking at an undefended/lightly defended bridge, or a tank Sgt looking at a group of ‘standing’ enemy vehicles, or an infantry Cpl spies an isolated machine gun, they will make haste to move aggressively for that objective, even if the ‘smart’ thing to do was wait for reinforcement (though history is replete with examples of doing just that and still losing because the enemy brought up reinforcements too).
“As usual a great a report…”
Why thank you Sir, I’m always glad to hear there are folks out there enjoying these.
“…and even I will admit that the pictures are great too.”
You may be onto something there 😉 You and Kyote are depriving the world!
Take care Rod!
Jack11/01/2015 at 04:21 #15498
Hey now I got a camera and took 4 pictures which are on my facebook page for right now…still don’t know what I’m doing….but I’m trying.11/01/2015 at 04:34 #15500Shaun TraversParticipant
Last year I could see some photos you had posted to your facebook timeline but I can no longer see much, so I have sent you a friend request. Just so you know it is not some other Shaun.11/01/2015 at 04:51 #15501
Shaun I friend ed you.11/01/2015 at 05:03 #15502Shaun TraversParticipant
I can see the photos now. It all makes sense.11/01/2015 at 13:26 #15519Norm SParticipant
Jack, I am really enjoying this round of battles.
It made me did out my copy of ‘Price of Honour’, an expansion for the Conflict of Heroes series (boardgames). This is the Polish module and they have a Mokra scenario, which is something of a whopper, using 3 game boards.
it has an armoured train in it.
The overview says “North of the village, the German panzers mounted an assault on the Polish 21st Uhlans Regiment, taking the village of Wilkowieck and then heading for the village of Mokra. Outside the village, the Germans ran into well positioned defences of the 19th Uhlans and the regrouped 21st Uhlans. A vicious battle ensued for the control of Mokra village”.
Halfway through play the Polish armoured train arrives and can use its 2 x 100mm howitzers.
The Wolynska cavalry brigade and elements of 4th Panzer Division count as elite.
also halfway through the game, 3 x TKS MG arrive as Polish reinforcements (recon tank platoon).
It looks a really interesting scenario – your narratives have given me an interest in having a go at it.11/01/2015 at 15:54 #15529
Thank you Sir, I’m glad you’re liking them. Mokra did indeed have an armored train, but 1) I don’t have one, and 2) I didn’t want to deal with tackling it (it was very effective, apparently), so I shifted my kampfgruppe’s focus to other areas of the Mokra fighting. Due to it being a divisional-sized fight, I figured there was plenty of wiggle room.
“…also halfway through the game, 3 x TKS MG arrive as Polish reinforcements (recon tank platoon).”
So, I don’t know if the boardgame is focusing on a narrow part of the fight (as I did), or it’s ‘bath-tubbing,’ but I believe there was much more in the Mokra fight in the form of Polish tanks. At 1000 (or 1030, don’t remember off the top of my head) the entire Polish 21st Armored Regiment counterattacked and threw the Germans out of Mokra, so plenty of tanks (just wish I didn’t have to proxy, but I’ll get over it 😉 ).
As you see, I’ve been having plenty of fun with this, and there was plenty of ferocious fighting in real life to base the stuff on.
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