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Old September 12th, 2010, 07:09 PM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default DAR: USSR vs Finland II

USSR vs. Finland

Mission: Delay, Finland, 3/1940 - scattered objectives.

Enemy: Battalion Strength – 1 Armor Plt, 5 Infantry Co, 1 Artillery Btry, plus Cavalry, ATG and AAA. Strike aircraft possible. Average force experience, ~75.

This enemy force estimate is based on the last delay I fought against Finland. In that battle, my force was 1740. This battle has my force at 1766. Since the numbers are so close, I suspect a similar enemy sized enemy force.

Terrain: Map = 100x100. The battle area is composed of terrain that has low rolling hills and 50% covered by trees. Scattered about the map are a lot of what I will call medium sized lakes. The lakes are typically 500m long and 150m wide. Much of the area immediately around lakes are either marshy or muddy. There are some rough areas around which will make nice positions for infantry. Spring is on its way, so there is only one small area of snow. Of a man-made variety, there are two roads, one bridge and a handful of houses. One road is roughly East-West and the other North-South. The EW Road starts from the west edge of the map 250m from the south edge. It heads basically east, jogging north once in a while, crossing my deployment line 500m from the south edge. At this point, it turns more or less east north east and exits the eastern edge of the map. Just before it crosses into my deployment zone, it crossed one of the lakes. This is where the one bridge is located. The NW road runs mostly 200m from the east edge until it turns north northwest 1200m from the top of the map. Visibility = 83.

Troops: Battalion Strength – 1 Armor Co. (7xM26 1939, 5xM26 M1931), 3 Infantry Co., 1 Support Co (3xHMG sec., 2x45mm ATGs, 2x82mm Mort. sec., 2xBA6 ACs, 2xScouts w/trans., 1xEng. Plt, 1xAAMG sec. and 2xSupply Trucks) 1xSpotter Plane. Average force experience, ~65.

The only "upgrade" to my core was to swap out one 12.7mm AAMG with a quad 7.62mm. Standard for this group would have been two 12.7mm AAMGs and one Quad 7.62mm, but the OOB didn't allow this, so I started out with three 12.7mm AAMGs. I finally got around to "upgrading" to make this what it was supposed to be.

Time: 36 Turns

Analysis

Starting with the roads, the NS road is unimportant. It is roughly 1000m beyond the furthest flag. The EW road is different. It provides the enemy a high speed avenue of approach. With the bridge just before entering my deployment zone, there is something of a choke point. Just beyond this bridge is a hill designed at Hill 4. This hill is 50% covered with trees and is level 20. Unless occupied, it provides a screen to enemy units advancing up the road.

Just north of Hill 4, there is another hill designated as Hill 3. This hill is also level 20 and mostly clear. On the eastern slope, there are some trees, but that is basically the extent of it. The west of the hill is a large wooded area. Assaults on the hill can move up to the slope in relative cover. North of the hill is a good sized lake. This would provide a hindrance to shifting troops north, but also protects the flank of the hill.

North of this lake is Hill 2. It is positioned about 500m east of my deployment line. There are several lakes to the west, creating several choke points for access to this area. Also west of the hill are a lot of swampy ground, so movement through the area will be difficult. Hill 2 has only one long tree line on it, so fields of fire are very clear. To the north and northwest of the hill is a large area of trees, so any concealed approach will likely come from this area.

Further north is Hill 1. It is a large hill, with two peaks or plateaus. The western slopes are fairly wooded. These woods are the same one near Hill 2. The is a lake between the two hills and the hills are actually joined just west of the lake. Controlling the peaks of Hill 1 don't help much because the only open fields of fire are to the east. The enemy can approach the hills from the west under good cover. To the north of Hill 1 is a lake and a large open area and to the northeast is large forest.

One other hill of note is Hill 5. It is mostly just forward of my deployment line and actually is conjoined to Hill 3. Any enemy units coming over this hill will be in sight of Hills 2 and 3. If the enemy placed tanks and crew served weapons up there, they would provide coving fire for any advancing infantry.

The remaining areas of the map not reviewed are open enough to allow rapid advance or shifting of units from one area to another as needed. With no snow of consequence, movement will be faster than in previous battles.

Plan

I'm doing this DAR since my last delay was a blood bath. Here are some of the lessons I learned from that battle:

1. When you have less experienced troops, don't deploy in the woods. In a one on one fight, the enemy usually doesn't run if it takes a casualty or two, but the less experienced force tends to bolt.
2. When your infantry has no/limited tank killing capability, your armor needs to be closer to or on the front. It took my way too long to send in my armor, which was kept in reserve. The snow and terrain were contributing factors, but my tanks should have been closer to the front.
3. Forget about counter battery fire if you have limited indirect capability with respect to the enemy. In that last battle, I would have done better to harass the enemy infantry instead of going a couple of mortars. By the time I started targeting infantry, they were in knife fighting range with my center and right.

With these three things in mind, here is my basic plan. I will have three basic groups around three infantry companies and they will cover three areas.

The first area covered by Alpha Company is the woods northeast of Hill 1. Since the western slopes of Hill 1 have a lot of trees, I opted to stay generally to the east. It allows me open fields of fire on the western and southwestern sides of the hill. My expectation is the enemy will cross this hill in small groups and I will be able to destroy them in detail. This area is too large for one company to cover it all, so one platoon from Bravo company will deploy on the eastern side of the eastern peak of Hill 1. Half of my tanks are scattered among my infantry to put the on the front. They will be able to add their fire power to that of the infantry and will prevent enemy tanks from over running my infantry like they did on my right flank during my last delay. The right flank is open so anything coming through here will be engaged at a distance. One HMG section has also been attached and positioned to add their fire to anything crossing the open on Hill 1.

The center section is the smallest. Bravo Company's remaining two, most experienced platoons will deploy on and around Hill 2. This will allow them good fields of fire to the west. The ground is open, swampy and with some lakes. Anything coming over Hill 5 that is seen can be engaged from Hill 2. All units will be deployed with some distance between them and the woods to the west of Hill 1. I don't want any enemy infantry to end up next to one of my squads without first begin engaged. Two armored cars are supporting this group. They are highly experienced and should help significantly in this area.

The southern sector will be covered by Charlie Company, reinforced by a platoon of engineers, six tanks and two ATGs. Two platoons will cover Hill 3 and two platoons will cover Hill 4. In both cases, they are going with something of a reverse slope defense. HM Gs will be cover the peaks of the two hills from a distance. Each group will be able to some fire on the peak of the hill they aren't behind, in addition to covering the peak to their immediate front. The area between the two hills is open, so that area is covered by HMGs and tanks. The road crosses Hill 4, so ATGs to the southeast will be able to engage tanks expected from this area.

In addition to those deployments, one scout team and Kosmolets will be deployed on each flank. The scout teams will provide eyes for any enemy approaching and the Kosmolets will engage any infantry sighted as long as it doesn't have tank support. Finally, my AAMGs were deployed so they can provide air defense and support ground troops as well.

One final note. I'm not covering three flags, so the enemy can take those without firing a shot. It was necessary to deploy to confirm to the terrain and not deploy to cover the flags. Deploying on inappropriate terrain means I probably lose and save no flags. On the other hand, if I do blunt the enemy attack well, I might actually be able to counter attack and take back the three flags I surrendered out of the gate. From a somewhat gamey angle, those three flags will act as indicators and let me know when the enemy is there, even if I don't happen to see them.

I've attached a map with my basic plan outlined on it.
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  #2  
Old September 12th, 2010, 07:19 PM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs Finland II

Turn 0 (Prep Fire)

No prep fire by either side.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.


Turn 1

No enemy sighted.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.
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  #3  
Old September 12th, 2010, 07:29 PM

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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs Finland II

Turn 2

Hmmm...three enemy BT-7 tanks seen advancing a fair distance away. I don't have BT-7 tanks and didn't expect the enemy to have them. Maybe I need to check to the encyclopedia and find out what the Finns had available in 3/1940.

Anyhow, they have infantry with them, because one of the tanks isn't centered in the hex. If they continue straight east, they will cross over Hill 1. I'm going to see if I can drop some mortar fire on them and separate the infantry from the tanks.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.
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  #4  
Old September 12th, 2010, 07:42 PM

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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs Finland II

Turn 3

It's getting better. Now I see three T-28E tanks. Those I can only take out from the front at point blank range. They are advancing along the same general line as the three BT-7s, which are 1000m outside of my deployment line. The T-28Es are about 500m further back.

I plotted mortars near the projected axis of advance of the enemy. Additionally, I'm going to get my spotter plane out there so I get a better look.

While I really want to move more tanks over there, I'm resisting the temptation at the moment. I have three tanks there and might be able to destroy the enemy in detail. The BT-7s should outrun the T-28Es.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.
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  #5  
Old September 12th, 2010, 08:08 PM

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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs Finland II

Turn 4

My spotter plane is down. Two shots from AAMGs and both hit. The plane almost dropped on an enemy infantry squad, missing it by 50m.

I'm done resisting moving my tanks. So far, three BT-7s, three T-26 M37s and five T-28Es have been spotted heading to Hill 1. My infantry has no AT capability so I'm moving vehicle with 45mm guns over there. That will give me seven tanks and two armored cars. I'll have a fourth tank there in short order. The two armored cars won't take long. The last three tanks are moving from the left flank and will tank a bit to get there.

Since I have a little time, I'm going to reevaluate my overall deployment. I've pulled all my armor except my light tanks off line, so I want to make sure I'm not vulnerable as a result of these changes. My ATGs will still cover the road on the left flank and I could move a few tanks back over to Hills 2 or 3 if needed. I need to make sure.

Casualties

Friendly: 1xPolikarpov U-2 plane destroyed.

Enemy: Zero.
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  #6  
Old September 12th, 2010, 08:25 PM

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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs Finland II

Turn 5

Moved two tanks up on east side of Hill 1 and opened up on enemy BT-7s, destroying one and punching a hole in another. The other two ducked into some low ground east of their previous location. This should put them in the woods on the other side of Hill 1. They should pop out soon. Mortar rounds are dropping on the hill they had been located on, so any infantry there will be slowed down.

I've got a fourth tank at the projected target of the attack. My two armored cars will be on site in two more turns. The remaining three tanks moving from the left are on their way, but have a way to go.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: 1xBT-7 tank destroyed.
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  #7  
Old September 12th, 2010, 08:38 PM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs Finland II

Turn 6

The enemy BT-7s popped up on east side of Hill 1 and took fire from my tanks. Another hole was punched in one of the BT-7s. T-28Es fired at my tanks from a distance and hit one with no effect. I think I'm going to have to go reverse slope, because I need those things at point blank range.

Enemy infantry sighted heading east along the north edge. I opened up with one of my Kosmolets, without effect. This flank is going to get ugly. No activity anywhere else along the line, but I have to believe there will be. My estimate has one tank and two infantry companies heading toward my right flank. That should leave three more infantry companies somewhere.

Random and lucky incoming mail. They are dropping 76mm stuff right on the path of my three left flank tanks. One will push on and out of the impact zone. The other two will have to find a different way. There isn't anything else in the area.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.

Last edited by RERomine; September 12th, 2010 at 08:56 PM..
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  #8  
Old September 12th, 2010, 08:55 PM

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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs Finland II

Turn 7

Busted open both enemy BT-7 tanks and then withdrew to the back side of Hill 1. I have one tank still deployed in the woods near the hill and it opened up on an enemy T-28E, without affect. The remaining enemy tanks are still advancing. I've deployed my armored cars on Hill 1, but behind the northern peak. The plan is to use them for flank shots on Finnish tanks once they show up. Hopefully, no enemy infantry will roll over the hill and catch them exposed.

Kosmolets still firing at one approaching enemy squad. It seems to be pinned, but isn't damaged. My scout is just watching the action at this point.

Moved my tanks from the enemy impact zone. Rounds are just falling on some hill behind my front. My mortar rounds are still dropping on the hill where the enemy lost their first BT-7. One decision I made during deployment is turning out to be bad. I separated my mortars so counter battery wouldn't get both of them. Now, I've lost contact with one and can't adjust. I need to remember most Soviet units don't have radios.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: 2xBT-7 tanks destroyed.
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  #9  
Old September 12th, 2010, 09:37 PM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs Finland II

Turn 8

Enemy artillery dropped on my position behind Hill 1, so I need to pull my tanks out of there until it stops. My mortars immobilized one T-28E, so that should reduce the number of incoming tanks to seven. There might be some I haven't seen, but I can't worry too much about it.

The enemy infantry that was advancing on my scout and Kosmolets has changed direction to the southeast. I guess it doesn't like the resistance it is meeting. The Kosmolets is in sight of an enemy tank, but I'm not going to move and hope it doesn't open up. There isn't anyplace safe to go, anyhow.

I'm thinking it is time to move my mortars. The enemy will eventually get around to some counter battery fire.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.
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  #10  
Old September 12th, 2010, 09:47 PM

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Default Re: DAR: USSR vs Finland II

Turn 9

Heavy incoming mail now. Receiving both on-board and off-board 76mm stuff. One of my squads turned and ran out of the impact zone. Three others held fast. I pulled my tanks out of the main impact zone.

Shifted my Kosmolets and engaged the enemy squad again. It had turned so it would move into range of my scout and I don't want it found.

Packed up my mortars. They move next turn.

Casualties

Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.
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