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

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.


1 comment:

  1. The errors of both sides really constitute the casual chances of war - often one doesn't realise a mistake has been made until the consequences are brought home. Which makes this look like the way a real action would develop, feeling one's way in an environment in which nothing can be taken for granted.

    That is such a pretty wargames table...!