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

Sunday, 24 November 2013

AAR - Storming The Waidhaus Gap Part 2, Soviet Air Land Battle

The Soviet offensive into Southern Germany at Waidhaus erupted in the early hours of the morning of 17 August 1988 with an intense artillery barrarge from the Divisional Artillery Group of 18 Gvardejskij Motostrelkovaja Divizija (18 GvMSD) heavily reinforced from the army artillery regiment of 22 Obchevoyskovaya Armiya (22OA) and coordinated with the fires from the two battalions task organised with the Army Forward detachment 468 Motostrelkovyj Battalion (468 MSB). At about the same time broad band Jamming from the divisions reconnaissance battalion commenced across allied radio frequency bands and airborne jamming of the Gepard and Roland radar frequencies was instigated by Mi 8 PPAs of 199 OVE BU flying in with the air assault group.

The fighter regiments of 131 SAD's 114 IAP rapidly established local air superiority over the Waidhaus battle field to enable Mig 27 and Su 25 Fighter bombers of 236 APIB and 100 ORAE to commence Air Interdiction activities against the the German air defence assets of FlaRgt 200 and FlaRgt 4 located West of the Haggenwald.

Despite the vulnerabilities of the radar equipments on the air defence vehicles and the exposed Red Eye teams in their soft-skin Unimog trucks the skilful deployment of the German air defence assets meant that the initial artillery suppression missions were less than effective.  This left a large amount of work for the Fighter Bombers of 236 APIB and 100 ORAE who struggled to gain control of the landing zone for 901 Otdel'nuju Desantno-Shturmovye Batal'on (901 ODShB). 

East of the Haggenwald and in close proximity to the advancing armour from 468 MSB the air defence suppression task fell to the Attack Helicopters of
490 Otdel'nyy Boevoy Vertoletnyy Polk (490 OBVP).

The 6 Flights of Mi 24s and 2 Flights of Mi 8 TV Hip E from 490 OVBP pushed up the Northern and Southern Ingress routes for 901 ODShB making best use of available cover and concentrating fire on the clearance of air defence assets covering the routes.  These aircraft were also supporting and supported by the ground forces who were now starting to move North and South of Waidhaus. 

Once air defence assets were suppressed or destroyed the aircraft pushed on west  in order to suppress any remaining opposition on the landing zones. With a level of control being established over the ingress routes, 396 GvOVP crossed the border escorted by Mi8 TV Hip Cs of 490 ODVP.  The Air assault group also included elements from 199 OVE BU, which provided a Mi 8 PPA ECM aircraft who's jamming systems reduced the effectiveness of the German Panzerflugabwehrkanonenbatteries and an Mi 8VZPU command and control aircraft that controlled the whole air assault group and coordinated with the supporting fighter bomber and artillery units

Simultainiously with the clearance of the Northern and Southern ingres routes Recce elements of 18 GvMSD started to push up through the wood line South of Waidhaus, whilst North of Waidhouse clearing through the eastern extent of the Haggenwald moved 468 MSB the army forward detachment, whose primary objective was to create a cleared route for the passage of 18 GvMSD through Waidhaus and beyond.

As 468 MSB started to outflank FschjgBtl 251 and PzAufklBtl 4  detachments in Waidhaus the transport aircraft of 396 GvOVP carrying 901 ODShB commenced their approach along the cleared routes  to the LZ escorted by Armed Mi8 Hip C from 490 OVBP who would provided suppressive fire in the immediate vicinity of the LZ and deal with any unexpected threats on route. Artillery fire  from 18GvMSDs DAG was called down an already identified NATO positions in proximity to the flight path by an Mi 2 Observation Post aircraft with the air assault group.

In the Schwalmwald to the south of Waidhaus FschjgBtl 251's Luftlandepanzerabwehrkompanies commenced engagement of Soviet Ground Recce elements and the aircraft of 396 GvOVP as the Soviet Artillery continued to prove ineffective against the lightly armoured Wiesels and dug in infantry.  At around this time NATO fighters of 1 ATAF started to became decisively engaged with the Soviet fighters from 114 IAP challenging the fragile local air superiority established over the Waidhaus area.

As 468 MSB started to clear the Eastern End of the Haggenwald immediately due North of Waidhouse, the fighter ground attack and fighter bombers of 131 SAD completed the suppression of the air defence systems around 901 ODShB's landing zones West of the Haggenwald although parts of the Haggenwald itself were still occupied by German Leopard 2s from 1./PzBtl 123 and the schwere Panzeraufklärungskompanie and  gemischte Panzeraufklärungskompanie of PzAufklBtl 4 still occupied Waidhouse itself together with elements of FschjgBtl 251.

Despite intense 20mm fire the bulk of 396GvOVP made it through to the landing zone. Only an Mi 6 flight containing the 901 ODShB's 120mm Morters was unsuccessful in running the gauntlet of fire South of Waidhaus.  Brigadespähzug 10 and Panzerjägerkompanie 100 were still deployed West of the Haggenwald although none of these vehicles were in a position to directly engage the LZs.

The landing site of 901 ODShBs 1st parachute infantry company was however brought under fire from the M109s of Panzerartilleryregiment 12 supporting the covering force, who lost the bulk of 1 Platoon whilst clearing the LZ. Enough of the force remained for them to secure and clear with the assistance of the attack helicopters the south western end of the Haggenwald.

In conjunction with the air landing the BM 27 Uragans of 18 GvMSD successfully covered the eastern of the two prominent gaps in the Schwalmwald that created the most direct access for reinforcing companies from PzBtl 123 at Moosbach.  Critically the gap was not closed and the 901 ODShB elements assigned to cover it were about to be engaged to devastating effect by aircraft from Heersfliegerregiment 26.

With the bulk of the Air Assault units on the ground 4 ATAF managed to regain air superiority over the battle zone and a number of the aircraft of 396 GvOVP and 490 OBVP were lost clearing the LZ and routing back to there base locations. it took little time for the MBB 105Ps of the Panzerabwehrhubschrauberstaffel of Heersfliegerregiment 26 to get into action with dramatic effect against the armoured company of 901 ODShB who lost 50% of there armour and were forced North West away from the blocking positions they should have occupied to cover 18 GvMSDs southern flank just as 2./PzBtl 123 arrived at Waidhaus, although their initial deployment was slowed by the Soviet scatmin deployment.

The delay in clearing the Panzerflugabwehrraketenbatterie of 2./FlaRgt 200 and Panzerflugabwehrkanonenbatterie of 2 and 3./FlaRgt 4 covering the LZs of 901 ODShB was to prove critical to the success of the NATO mission allowing as it did, Heersfliegerregiment 26  to disrupt the otherwise successful landing of 901 ODShB and preventing it from blocking the likly reinforcing routes in time to prevent 2 and 3 Kompanie from PzBtl 123 attacking into the flank of the leading elements of 18GvMSD as they attempted to move down the route being cleared for them through Waidhaus, a story that will unfold in the 3rd and final part of this historical account of the Waidhaus Gap battle.  The final chapter of the battle sees the NATO tank reinforcements arrive under NATO controlled skys and the Soviets needing to commit elements of the lead motor rifle regiments in order to maintain momentum.


Breaking down the Door the first 6 days of the Campaign against CENTAG

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  1. Wow- amazing stuff. I'm staggered by these pics.

  2. Another excellent battle report with superb photos - great stuff!

  3. Thanks for the comments, not all my work either by any stretch of the imagination, the Guilds Mausman supplied the Germans and a pile of the Terrain and Panzerfaust 200 also of the guild helped out with some of the nicer bits of scenery

  4. really cool! seems like the read tide was more like a freak wave and that despite the shock of it all the germans have control of the situation.... but was it a wave, a tide, or a tsunami. tsunami's are often come in groups one after another, will the germans hold them back or will the red waves flood the german heartland behind the armoured sea wall. honestly this analogy is not the best but it'll do. cool account so far of this 'historical' event.

  5. Outstanding pics, table, and gaming pieces. Very good write-up with it.