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2017 - Number 32


The First Panzer Assault Pushes Back the Soviets

Flames of War v4:
Barbarossa Campaign / Battle for Kozyn

Our Flames of War Bloody Triangle campaign, set during the opening days of Operation Barbarossa in the western Ukraine, has continued to generate some very interesting battles. This weekend saw us fighting out the German assault on Kozyn, from June 29, 1941. German forces, led by 9th Panzer Division, had pierced the Styr River line, and were attempting to encircle the city, and were met by elements of the Soviet XV Mechanized Corps.

The tabletop action this generated was fought out between a German force based around a Light Panzer company, supported by two bunkerflaks, against a Motostrelkovy battalion, supported by a single KV-1 tank, some artillery and a plane from a nearby Soviet airfield. The mission generated was bridgehead, with the Soviet forces defending. The table featured a small village, outside Kozyn, near a large wood and surrounded by open terrain and fields, providing good tank country. One objective was pretty secure in the village, the southern one was close to the edge of the wood south of the village, and more exposed.The Soviets anchored their line on the village, and used some minefields and a dug in, unarmed pioneer unit to cover their southern flank and objective. Two batteries of 76mm artillery were intermingled with the infantry in the village, to slow the German advance and allow time for their scattered reserves to come up.

The Soviet Position - Objectives are Behind the Minefields & in the Village

Bunkerflaks Issue Supporting Fire

With a small but very good force, the Germans saw Soviet position as looking very tough to crack. In a bold move, they elected to flank them, and drive a rapid, desperate tank assault through the woods and into the Soviet flank, while the bunkerflaks pounded the Soviets to keep their heads down. Timing awas important, as more and more Soviet reserves would arrive as time went on. The bunkerflaks started firing at the Soviet guns. As they outranged them, they stayed outside their range and tried to whittle them down to support the assault. In return, they endured repeated bombardments, including several rocket attacks from Soviet Air when it came in from reserve.

The main German force needed to pass cross checks on a 3+ to move through the wood, and made most of them, but inevitably their force became spread out. Reaching the edge of the woods, they managed to attrition, and then destroy the Soviet artillery unit supporting that flank, and then turned their attention to the unarmed pioneers holding the closest objective. If they could shift them, before the Soviet reserves arrived, they could pull out a victory.

Soviet Forces Hunker Down

The Panzers Finish off the Closest 76mm Battery

After several back and forth assaults around the objective, the battered Soviets hung on, despite losses. The critical momemnt came when their commander / komissar had to shoot a team to get the pioneers to stay in the fight. It was close, but Soviet stubbroness eventually won out. Just as the assault reached a climax, the Soviet KV-1 appeared, and rolled for random entry to arrive exactly where it was needed. Quicly dispatching the German commander from the rear, it secured the Soviet win. Although Kozyn did not fall today, the German forces will undoubtedly be back!

The Panzer Assault Almost Succeeds

The Soviet KV-1 Arrives to Save the Day

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