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Relief Of Vilnius

The Relief Of Vinius, 12/7/44 - Scenario Link
Using Blitzkrieg Commander 2 rules by Specialist Military Publishing
An adaptation, by Peter Ball, of a scenario from the Rapid Fire book by Richard Marsh to BKCII.
 
This scenario depicts the Germans relief and extraction of the Valkyrie Regt/Paras from Rukantai just south of Vilnius.

 

Note that "U" on the scenario map means Built Up Area. This is missing from the Key.

 

My forces didn't exactly match the scenario, but it was close and I think I kept the balance.

In place of the two German 120mm Mortars I had two off-table 150mm Artillery Units with one smoke & two HE Assets each.

In place of the Soviet Katyusha, I had a 122mm Artillery Support Unit

 

I added about a foot length to the layout South of the river to allow the Germans to deploy and provide covering fire for the advance.

Hedges and extra woods were added to the north bank, by a randomising method, to ensure the Germans didn’t have a completely free line-of-sight at the Russians.

 

This picture doesn't show the extra hedges and woods, but they will be seen further down.

 

This photo looking North

The only Russian forces deployed at the moment are the initial defensive forces in and around the BUA just north of the bridge, and around the hill.

The only Germans deployed are the trapped Germans in Vilnius at the far end.

The rest are just lining up ready for deployment.

At the far end of the table the Valkyrie Regiment had to wait for the relief forces within the area around the outskirts of Vilnius. The area is marked by the yellow markers.

The Germans used smoke at the exit of the bridge to conceal the initial advance across the bridge.

With the Holding Force in position to give covering fire, the Panthers and Jagdpanzers line up to move off.

The Panthers burst out of the smoke and are met by Opportunity Fire.

Cream markers are Opportunity Fire or Initiative used.

Orange markers are for suppressed units.

A Russian blunder exposed their 45mm ATG and some infantry and resulted in a Close Assault of a Panther which was already suppressed. The Panther was pushed back and the infantry consolidated back to its dug-in position.

The German Holding Force fired on the dug-in infantry from the South of the river and the Panzers closed for the kill. A Panther Close Assaulted the trench which was blocking the way.

A Jagdpanzer IV rolls over the exposed 45mm ATG but the following up Relief Forces fail all three Command Rolls.

Russian Reinforcements arrived on the East Flank near Vilnius.

The SMG troops got hit quite badly by the Germans in Vilnius, but the Germans were giving away their positions to the SU-76s which were pulling up.

The German armour engaged the Russian second line of defence - a 76mm ATG, a couple of T34/76, two infantry with bazookas and some light vehicles. This should be easy.

Some of the Russian infantry from the first line is still being a nuisance.

A Jagdpanzer IV is first suppressed and then pushed back straight into a waiting infantry unit.

Using a combination of Initiative moves and Command rolls the 251s pushed onwards but the Russian second line of defence is still solid.

 

At this point the Panzer's Command rolled a blunder pushing some of them backwards - two of them almost back to the start line.

Around Vilnius the Russian Reinforcements start hitting the besieged Germans ...
... and forming a third line against the German Relief Force.

German infantry and Assault Engineers are clearing any remaining Russians dug-in near the bridge.

More Russian reinforcements have arrived on the West flank and are getting into position to cut off the last approach to Vilnius.

The hapless Panzers are mixed up in the mass and can not concentrate their fire power on the Russian second line.

The transports despair at the Panzers' lack of progress and decide to make a dash for it down the road...

 ... which ends rather badly.
At last a break was made in the second line.
Aided by a German Command roll of double one, the Russian second line breaks up completely. Panthers pull up on the hill and with only a few turns remaining, the transports are pushed on.
 The holding force, intended to hold the area between the bridge and hill, now have room to cross over to take positions.
But Russian lorried infantry is closing from the west to harass any last minute escape attempt if the German transports do get to Vilnius

Three Panzers mount the hill to be met by a hail of fire.

Just three others are left at the near end of the hill, out of picture.

The transports make a last bid to reach Vilnius but the leading lorries were destroyed by flanking fire ending any hope of extracting the Germans trapped there.

 

The Soviets have twice as many AFVs as the Germans, but not until about half way through the game. The Germans should have fared better but they were dispersed and picked off.

It may have been better for the Germans to try going down one flank, or place the smoke differently. Try the scenario and find out.