Tuesday, 24 June 2014

WWII - BG Kursk - Scenario 1 (Preliminary Moves - Part 1)

The SS Panzer Korps operations during Operation Citadel occurred later than their Army counterparts.  The German operational art involved preliminary attacks as part of any operation to dislocate the defender and place the attacking forces on a strong footing.

The Plan for the preliminary attacks was for a night assault on the Soviet outpost line.  Starting at 2300hrs the German assault units drawn from II./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt 2 with attached Pioneer units began infiltrating towards the soviet outpost line.

GENERAL IDEA For this scenario I am looking at the operations of this single battalion from the LAH.  A similar attack by III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt 1 found abandoned positions and they then occupied the positions until first light. So will be trying out some ideas for the II./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt 2 attack.

What do I know about the II./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt 2 attack then?

The objective was the outpost on Hill 228.6.  George Nipes 'Blood, Steel & Myth; Page 56' describes the objective as  "The hill was located adjacent to a main road that extended seven kilometers north to the town of Bykowka (Bykov)".  Glantz and House 'The Battle of Kursk' has a good map (Map 5) which shows the village of Bykov (Bykowka) and measuring back the 7km would put the hill approximately where 2Bty/1008ATR strongpoint is, however forward of that is another hill which is where I think 228.6 is and even further forward is a platoon forward post but no defensive positions are shown on where I thought 228.6 was in the immediate vicinity.  I may be mistaken but it appears that the scale ruler at the bottom isn't correct.  The distance between this attack on the one on Jachontow (Iakhontov) is about 1km but the rule seems to put this a huge distance apart.  if I use the mile ruler and measure it puts 228.6 where I think it is.  I have since downloaded the Kursk Map for Google earth and using the measuring tool does indeed show that the Glantz map scale of Page 5 is wrong.  The soviet map overlays are from 1942 and use 2km grid squares and you can now see the area in its glorious colour.

Nipe's account states that 8./II.SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt 2 is the first company into the position which is then reinforced by the rest of the battalion before being counter attacked by up to two companies of Soviet infantry who assembled in an Anti-Tank ditch.  Other accounts state it was 9.Komp which is what Karck commanded when he won the Knights Cross in August 43.

I wouldn't think that an AT Ditch would be well forward as it would be easy to breach if it wasn't covered by fire. So sort of tempted to think this is on the main defensive line in the 151 Guards Rifle Regiment area and is the one in front of Hill 220.5.  If so then it makes the game a little bit more of a contest at Company level .  Neither side are going to have any armour involved in it at this early stage.

More to follow..as usual and when i remember that I am working on WWII and not another project ;)

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