Friday 14 March 2014

Blitzkrieg Commander - Crossing the Narew, 23 June 1941

We played a multi-player 'Blitzkrieg Commander' last night, with Germans driving across the steppes, confident that they'd be in Moscow by tea-time. The Russians disputed this assertion, with some vigour.

Here was the briefing:

"Day 2 of Operation BARBAROSSA. Field Marshal von Bock’s Army Group Centre has the mission of enveloping Belostok from the N and S to envelop and isolate the Red Army in the Belostok salient. Field Marshal von Kluge’s 4th Army’s IX Army Corps leads the Southern pincer. Army Group Centre is opposed by General Pavlov’s Western Special Military District, with Lt-Gen Golubev’s 10th Army mobilising and taking over vehicles and equipment around Belostok.

Soviet command and control has failed. The Germans have achieved complete strategic and tactical surprise, all Soviet command and communications points have received constant and uninterrupted attention from the Luftwaffe. All radio links are jammed. Brandenburg commandos in Soviet uniform are active in rear areas and along the lines of communication, cutting telephones, redirecting traffic, assassinating senior officers and spreading alarm and thoughts of treason. General Pavlov’s HQ is paralysed and cut off. Pavlov despatches his deputy to fly through a swarm of Luftwaffe fighters to land at the last known position for 10th Army HQ to organise a counter attack with whatever is available, in accordance with pre-war doctrine that defence should consist of all out attack.

German Mission - Seize and hold the bridge over the Narew within 8 moves.
Russian Mission – Destroy two German Battlegroups within 8 moves.

I was one of the German commanders. Here's our objective:

On to the game. I had tanks. I had some infantry too, but they were in half-tracks and I never saw them. 

Here's my formation advancing towards Caesar. He was commanding heaps of infantry deployed along the river-band, and was under orders not to 'get killed on the first day' ...

My armoured formation prepares to advance.

Oh dear. A command blunder. This saw partisans, mines or a catastrophic equipment malfunction take out my lead tanks. Not a good start at all.

My recce unit had advanced though. It found something ... the hard way.


It got too exciting from that point, and I stopped taking pictures for a bit. We actually ignored the flanking Russian tanks, leaving them to artillery and 88s in the rear to handle, and pushed on to our objective. Peter's armoured force encountered the Russians first, and got badly shot up. My advance was more cautious.

Here's a view of the German advance from the Russian infantry lines.

And an aerial view.

Some lovely KV2s - burning.

My tanks swing into position to mop up the last of the Russian armour facing us, before turning their attention to the infantry on the ridge.

The bridge.

The German attack, from Peter's side of the table.

And that was it for photos. 

We ran out of time before we ran out of turns. The Germans still had a couple of moves left to reach the bridge and were fairly well-positioned to do so. As often happens in BKC, we seemed to spend a lot of time dumping large quantities of artillery and mortar fire on each other, before moving any survivors to engage in what was almost a secondary action.

High point of the game - John rolling three consecutive double-ones for activation on his 88mm battery, allowing it to limber up on the rear baseline and reach the main area of action in a single turn. 


  1. Thanks Alan - a great batrep of a fantastic game - good to see 6 players all having a good time and playing such a historical scenario. Frustrating for the Russian team of course, but then it was a frustrating time for them to say the least of it!

  2. Best game of BKC yet! Then again, I did enjoy El Alamein too. Well thought out scenario, great table and figures. I think we're starting to approach the force sizes for which this set of rules was designed.

  3. Awesome stuff.....i really want to try out these rules.....good stuff gentlemen....


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