Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Stalingrad: The End

 The best guess, according to the statistics historians and military types bandy about, is that about 340,000 mainly Germans were caught in the Stalingrad trap.

However many it was the Russians had certainly made a success of this operation even though the other three major offensives, starting more or less contemporaneously, showed no particular results i.e. Rzhev (Mars), Demiansk and, to some extent, the Briansk Offensives of January/February

The Stalingrad effort certainly paid great dividends even if the others were sort of forgotten by (Soviet) history
In our slice of the action the Russian artillery is replete with ammunition and proving it!
 The last of the defenders must cower...
 ...and await yet another push
 The Russians move past vehicles knocked out many weeks before
 They are closing in on the last of the hold outs
 The Germans still have teeth and use the last of their ammo to sweep the road one more time
 With infantry in close support the tanks blast away at point blank range reducing each position's just a matter of time
 Artillery fire works its way through the factory buildings...
 ...and everything not dust...burns
 Even at this late hour the Russians are careless of casualties and follow their bombardment up closely
 Last magazine and grenade
 The stream of Russian kit and men looks endless
 As the workers houses are trashed and the cellars become burial mounds...
 ...the suviving Germans have nowhere to hide...
 Infantry filter though like rain through a grate...
 The last Germans in the open are cut down to a man
 ...and the Russians are everywhere
 Finally and officer goes out to negotiate with an advancing Political Officer
 ...and the game is up. Out of the cellars and makeshift bunkers the survivors come
 They form up...and march out
When we started this game the Germans had a oversized RF infantry Division plus supporting elements of artillery, engineers, AA. They also had a Pioneer Battalion and a tank Regiment of two Battalions with its own Assault gun Brigade and an anti-tank battery plus, initially, air support.

This is what's left.

At the beginning the re was a battered Russian Division with a tank Battalion. Then we chucked in a full size Division, a tank Division, lashings of artillery and some air support.

In the actual battle around 110,000 went into captivity. About 6,000 were left to be repatriated from Siberia in 1955. The total Russian losses are unknown.

My thanks to the guy's for this game - Mark, Colin, Ross, Alan, Tom and everybody else who knows me.