Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Review - Web Resources, Soviet 16th Air Army

For the last few months I have been working up a fairly large Helicopter force, in order to represent Soviet Air Assault operations.  As I have been building and researching this force it has become increasingly apparent that you need to develop a fairly good model of Frontal Aviation in general in order to play out a decent Air Assault Game.

I have known of the 16 Air Army site for a year or so but it is primarily presented in French and my interest in Airplanes to date has been at the bottom end of limited.  Today I discovered that they had a fairly extensive Orbat for GSFGs Army Aviation component which looked somewhat different to the model I was working.  Having now sorted translate for my browser I realise what a jewel this site is.  Not only does it include the Orbat of GSFGs 16 Air Army including its aviation components but also maps out the evolution of the force and its equipment throughout the 80s.

This is a truly first class resource it includes deployment details, Unit evolution and  Equipment evolution which when combined with other web resources such as Air Power Australia and the good old wikipedia pretty much allows the bulk of the picture to be assembled.  In addition to a lot of facts and some great pictures the site includes translations from Soviet Air Crews experiences during there time in Germany which includes interesting descriptions of exercises and other deployments that provide insite into their mode of operation and the support they would offer to the land battle.

Interestingly for me at least Hugo also references most unit titles and abbreviations in Russian (latin rather than Cyrillic alphabets), something I will probably take up myself.  A gem of a website that should be high on your hit list if cold war games are your bag.

Liebster Awards



Here are the Liebster rules as I got them from Dougies Wargaming Blog, Gowans 1/72 Scale Models and Hurry up and Wait


Copy and paste the award on your blog linking it to the blogger who has given it to you.

Pass the award to your top 5 favourite blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.

Sit back and bask in that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing that you have just made someone's day!

A Big thankyou for the Nominations and on to mine

  • First up Rusty over at Hurry up and Wait - a superb blog about the Falklands war breathtaking in its scope and covering all aspects of the conflict in a variety of Scales
  • Next up Richard Cs Cold War Hot Hot Hot, a great blog and a guy that gave me a good leg up when I started and a man with a shared obsession
  • Then There's Stopping The Red Tide a Campaign based blog recently started by Mwnciboo down in Cardiff based around a 15mm Cold War Hot Campaign with some great pics and Scenario background detail
  • Another relative beginner in the blogosphere but not to writhing is Richard B over at Barber on Wargames, a collection of interesting 20th centuary conflicts covered with Richards inevitable eye for detail and History
  • And Finally another new blog by Queeg, entitled Musings from the Warp, some superb 20mm vehicle modelling and painting in 20mm.

These babies are getting around, a great way to highlight some of the rich content thats out there in blog land - very 21st Centuary


Saturday, 24 November 2012

AAR - Wiesenberg Counter Attack, Part 3 Counter Strike

The final instalment of the Wisenberg counter attack covers the fighting that occurred between 18 Guards MRDs reserve and 12 Panzer Brigade on the afternoon and early evening of the 19th August 1988. As we know now this was the opening move in what was to become one of the larger and more critical meeting engagements of the war. It represents an attempt by both the German 4 Panzer Grenadier Division to stabilise a deteriorating situation from their perspective, whilst at the same time represents the beginnings of the same for Major General Khrenov of 18 Guards MRD the ensuing action would ultimately lead to the committal of 22 Combined Arms Armies 31 Tank Division as an Operational Manoeuvre Group, deep into the rear of VII US Corps, threatening the defence of The Fulda Gap and of Western Europe in a battle that would engage the Germans, French, Canadians, Americans, Czechoslovakians and the Red Army.

Following the initial exchanges of fire with 12 Panzer Brigades Recconaisance elements, 122 Panzer Grenadier Battalion in the West launched attacks to clear units of 79 MRD and 151 Air Assault Battalion holding Weimensheim and the Eastern Edge of the Hochwald, Whilst two flights of BO 105P HOT armed Attack Helicopters from 26 HeersFliegerRegiment deployed in support of 121 Mixed battalion and the elements of 4 Aufklärung Battalion in the East with the aim of assisting in clearing the Soviet Anti Tank Batterys located To the North East of Weimensheim and the Infantry that had been identified dug in South of Schmalwiesen that together dominated Fire Pocket Александр.

The BO -105Ps caught 280 MRR's Anti Tank battery in the process of relocating from its exposed position North of Hattenhof to its new position astride the Weimensheim/Schmalweisen Road, although the effectiveness of this initial attack was disrupted by SAM 7 engagements from the Anti Aircraft Platoon of 79 MRB dug in to the North.

The Soviets having redeployed 280 MRR'S AT Battery now had to slow the rate of advance of 121 Mixed Battalion and 4 Aufklärung Battalion moving into fire pocket Александр, In order to keep them in the kill zone they engaged with all three battalions of the RAG, which slowed the german advance but did little to destroy their tanks. Despite the AT fire and indirect fire the Germans continued to fight forward into the fire pocket.

The combined effect of the flights of Anti tank Helicopters together with the Leopard 1s of the two units proved too much for the Soviet Infantry and Anti tank batteries and as there resistance was worn down the pace of the German advance in this sector accelerated. Colonel Rokovski in his war diary records at 14:30 that things were becoming critical around Fire Pocket Александр and had warned both his reserve tank Company of T72As and the Divisional Helicopter Squadron for action in the vicinity of Schmalwiesen.

Col Rokovski's other pressing concern was the lack of availability of the Divisional BM27 battalion that had been on call to provide a SCATMIN attack to seal the exit of and disrupt movement through Fire Pocket Александр. Given the clear indication that 12 Panzer Brigade was avoiding Weisenberg he ordered the Regimental Recce company in that location to pull back to the rear of the fire pocket. The Mobile Obstacle Detachment enhanced the city as an obstacle by cratering road junctions as it withdrew whilst it's anti tank mine laying capability laid a hasty minefield across the principal exit from the fire pocket. 28 Battalion of the Regimental Artillery Group commenced preparation to deploy onto the forward edge of Weisenberg for a direct fire engagement into the depth of the fire pocket

122 Panzer Grenadier Battalion in the West had commenced clearance of the Hochwald supported by the battalion mortars in Weimensheim, in an attempt to reinforce the success of this attack Leopard 2s of the Battalions attached Panzer company pushed forward. As they did so they discovered the depth of the Soviet positions in the Hochwald and took further casualties.

122 Panzer Grenadier battalion's other company together with reconaisance and anti aircraft elements supported by the fire of 4 Artillery Regiments M110s had successfully cleared the elements of 79 MRB who had resolutely defended an area that was to become known in the histories as the Lidel cross road at the western end of Weimensheim and were consolidating their hold in that area.

Concurently with this the Mixed Battalion was completing its clearance of the forward AT positions but had started to draw fire from infantry believed to be from 79 MRB positioned around the watertower at the Northern edge of the light industrial estate on the outskirts of Weisenberg.

As its Infantry companys formed up to clear the western outskirts of Weisenberg from an FUP on the Weisenberg - Hattenhof Road the area selected between Hattenhof and Weimensheim seemed secure and Brigadier General Wittenberg ordered Panzer Battalions 123 and 124 to Form up to the South East of Weimensheim ready for an attack North towards 18 Guards MRD. At around the same time 16:30 in Colonel Rokovski's war diary it was noted that the reserve tank company and the Divisional Helicopter Squadron entered the fight around Fire Pocket Александр to the North of Schmalwiesen. With his available reserve committed he requested that 31 Independent tank battalion be prepared to counter attack into his area of responsibility approaching from the Northern end of the Hochwald.

by 17:30 121 Mixed battalion together with the remenents of 4 Aufklärung Battalion had just about reached the Northern edge of fire pocket Александр. In order to halt its onward advance Colonel Rokovski moved 161 Artillery Battalion's 2S3s into position to engage with direct fire from the Southern edge of the woods they were located in North of Schmalwiesen . With Mi 24 Hinds from the Divisional Helicopter Squadron committed along with armoured reserve the Soviets still strugled to have any great effect on the fast moving armour that had spread out onto the open ground North of Hattenhof and West of Schmalwiesen

With the bulk of the Soviet forces now committed on fire pocket Александр and the villages of Weimenshiem and Hattenhof neutralised or secured the NATO artillery focused on the Russian farm and 27 Battery's Spruts, with their fire power suppressed the conditions to launch 123 and 124 Panzer battalions had been met, and despite the late discovery of a 151 Air Assault Battalion Ambush on the Eastern end of Weimensheim the Germans were ready to launch their Armoured Strike.

At around 18:00 hours Panzer Battalions 123 and 124 launched North through the Gap between Weimensheim and Hattenhof into the cleared space created by the exploits of the Brigades Panzer Grenadier Units. With their Eastern Flank secured by the deepening penetration of Fire Pocket Александр by the mixed battalions Leopard 1 s and Panzer Grenadiers Marders they drove North and West aiming to pass between the Hochvald and the Russian Farm.

At around the same time the leading elements of 18 Guards MRDs 91 independent Tank battalion started to appear in the vicinity of the Russian Farm Driving Hard into Fire Pocket Влад. Setting the stage for one of the most confined and intense tank actions of the war.

As the leopard 2s of the two panzer battalions accelerated through fire pocket Влад they ran head on into the T72Bs of 91 Independent tank battalion, with scenes reminiscent of the vicious close range tank battles around Prokhorovka at the climax of the battle of Kursk the two tank forces became decisively engaged.


That completes the tale of the game and indeed the Wisenberg Counter Attack Project, which I have been playing with for around 6 months this included building additional forces, generating the scenario, building Terrain playing the game and writing it all up. Which to my mind is a bit of an in depth gaming experience. It has been an absorbing exercise and has extended my knowledge of Soviet operational concepts and doctrine significantly.

Models and Terrain

The models and terrain were provided from the collections of the Guilds Panzerfaust 200, Mausman, Elhiem and myself.

Who won,

Well it's quite difficult to say, in the finest traditions of most gaming experiences we didn't quite finish, the German team delt methodically with the problems that they were presented with whilst the Soviets in hind sight made some interesting unforced errors. The wide deployment of the Soviet Force presented a stimulating challenge for the Germans that they could have capitalised more on by concentrating their assault on one rather than both of the sectors, which in fairness, in the execution of the armoured attack they did. The large gaming areas and quite low density of the initial forces engaged allowed for a degree of Manouver that has been missing from previous big games.

What worked,

phased deployment, different opposing force structures, gaming space, terrain density

What could be improved,

creating a mini campaign rather than a single game, speed of movement off road, weapon and acquisition ranges, artillery play.

What's Next,

At the moment we're debating that, but it could well be: "Securing The Weidhaus Gap"

I hope you have found reading about the experience fun, useful and informative.


TTP - Soviet, Forward Detachments as a Covering Force

Scenario - The Wiessenberg Counter Attack

Saturday, 17 November 2012

AAR - The Wiessenberg Counter Attack, Part 2 Opening Moves

The Soviet Army's 280 Motor Rifle Regiment had by 13:00 hours on 19 August established a hasty defence around the area of Weisennberg where they intended to block 12 Panzer Brigades continued movement North into the flank of 18 Gds Motor Rifle Division which was driving towards Stuttgart. 18 Guards Motor Rifle Divisions anti tank reserve, 136 Independent Anti Tank Battalion had been heavily reinforced by elements of 280 Motor Rifle Regiment and the resulting combined arms force had built the blocking position around two fire pockets, fire pocket Влад in the West and Fire Pocket Александр in the East. Both lay between the Western edge of Wiessenberg and the Hochwald.

79 MRB's HQ and support weapons occupied a position at Schmalwiesen, whilst the motor rifle companies deployed to a number of forward ambush sites. The position was prepared by 18 Independent Engineer Battalions field fortification detachment who also provided defensive works for the two gun batteries of 136 Independent Anti Tank Battalion.

The first of these batteries was located in the lea of Weimensheim effectively astride the two fire pockets and capable of engaging targets in both, forward of them was a company of 151 Air Assault Battalion in an ambush position (marked with a Blind) In post action debriefs the Commander of 136 AT Battalion was to note how very exposed this battery was.

280 MRRs Anti Tank Battery also sat forward in fire pocket Александр in what would turn out to be a disastrous position that fundamentally failed to exploit the capabilities of their weapons, some have speculated that they ended up in this position through an error of navigation. The battery had ceased to exist by 14:00 hours on 18 August.

To the rear of fire pocket Александр sat two of the 3 Artillery battalions in the regimental Artillery group, 28 Battalion the regiments own 122mm battalion was located on the North Western Edge of Weisenberg whilst 161 Battalion a 152mm battalion Allocated from the DAG sat in the Wald to the North of Weimensheim both were to end up in a shoot out with the leopards of 12 Panzer brigade by the end of the days fighting.

Weisenberg itself was covered by the regimental Recce company whilst one of the Motor Rifle companies from 79 MRB occupied a position in the industrial area covering into fire pocket Александр

The defence around Fire Pocket Влад in the West had been similarly structured by Colonel Rokovski. Forward in Weiemenshiem and in the Hochwald were elements of 151 Air Assault battalion located in ambush positions, to there rear in both locations sat the remaining two motor rifle companies from 79 MRB and the ATGW battery of 136 independent AT Battalion.

The hardstop on Fire Pocket Влад was provided by 136 AT Battalions second gun battery excellently positioned in the Russian farm along with its PSNR 5 Radar equipped observation post and an SA9 platoon from the regimental air defence battery. At the rear of the Hochwald sat the second battalion of 122m guns in 280 MRRs Regimental Artillery Group.

With some Soviet units still out of position elements of 4 Aufklärung Battalion started to arrive along with 12 Panzer Brigades Aufklärung platoon in the Weissenberg area, unnerved by there appearance the Soviets unmasked a significant number of assets in an attempt to blind 12 Panzer Brigade. On the Western Flank the Soviets lost an Artillery observer which drastically reduced the effectiveness of artillery fire into Fire Pocket Влад. The did however manage to destroy and badly damaging 2 Luchs of 12 Panzer Brigades Aufklärung platoon.

On the Eastern Flank elements of 4 Aufklärung battalion approached from the South of Hattenhof pushing through the gap between Hattenhof and Wiessenberg. They two were quickly engaged from the MRB position south of Schmalweisen and lost two Luchs in quick succesion.

There appearance to the rear of 280 MRR AT battery, and the engagement of that battery lead to its rapid redeployment, not that this move would save the battery who continued to take casualties over the first hour of the battle. The remaining elements of 4 Aufklärung Battalion followed hard on the heals together with the lead elements of the 121 mixed battalion the force splitting with the initial units taking cover in Hattenhof. The two groups quickly closed down the Soviet AT Battery that clung on stubbornly just north of the Schmalwiesen Road.

On the Western Flank 122 Panzer Grenadier battalion pushed into Weimenshiem with its panzer grenadier companies whilst pushing on with the Panzer Company which lost a leopard 2 to the AT Battery at Russian Farm whilst destroying one of the forward deployed Motor Rifle companies.

The initial engagements caused problems to both sides and caused the advancing 12 Panzer brigade troops to pause to asses the problems that faced them before proceeding further.


In this game I was trying to examine the use of Soviet defensive doctrine in the context of a wider meeting engagement. On reflection a mini campaign would be better to look at this as the displacement to new positions was usually over significant distance a two stage game with the first focused on a forward delay battle and the second on the blocking action would work better. We used Rapid Fire with some amendments for Modern warfare, the principal difficulties with this approach are the relatively short weapon ranges, identification ranges and low cross country performance of the vehicles that probably need adjusting to better reflect modern armoured warfare, this was brought out by the size of the 16 x 8 playing area, which was supposed to represent a 4km x 2km playing area, but with the reduced weapon ranges was more like 8km x 4km and the terrain density was therefor a little out.

Whilst the general deployment of the Soviet force worked I didn't really consider the artillery in sufficient detail so in my mind failed to exploit there potential although the German players had a different view. Whilst terrain and artillery fire slowed the Germans down, the Soviets didn't really manage to capitalise on this particularly in the East where the forward deployment of the GW battery was a significant error. The initial phase of this game produced an interesting battle with the Germans attempting to secure the forward urban areas whilst duelling with long range ATGW fire. The Soviet concept of using the SP batteries to cover secondary approaches and provide depth to the defence seemed like a useful concept. The final post in this series will focus on the ensuing tank action.


Friday, 9 November 2012

Review - Product, Coresec Flight Stands

Corsec Engineering are a US company offering a wide range of flight stands and other gameing accessories.  As I am currently working a large Soviet Airmobile force I thought I would take a look at what they have to offer to see if they were worth buying.  The Aircraft I am aiming to mount using the Corsec system are 20mm or 1/72 plastic aircraft from the cold war.  The majority are helicopters which suit quite small stands in the 1" - 3" category although the aircraft needed something with a bit more height.

In addition some of the models notably the Mi 26 Halo and Mi 6 Hook are not small and you need a degree of assurance with larger models that what your building is robust.  Having reviewed the product range I went for:

  • 20mm plastic bases

  • 3" screw top flight stands
  • 17" Telescopic Flight stands

  • Mounting pegs

The flight stands have been made by attaching the 20mm bases to either CD Roms for the large Helicopters or High Flying aircraft and 60mm laser cut MDF bases from East Riding Miniatures.  Whilst I have yet to use the product and the resulting stands in action I have been very impressed with the service, the quality of the products, the ease of use and the ease of storage.  

Drilling a 5mm hole in the base of the aircraft and inserting and gluing a mounting peg sorts the aircraft end of the problem.

Glueing the plastic base ti the CD ROM or MDF base sorts the other after that you just screw in the rod to the base of the aircraft and the stand and your done.  Which is an immensly time efficient solution compared to most methods I have tried.  In addition it all collapses for storage - so in summary:

  • excellent product
  • excellent service
  • simple time efficient solution