On this occasion I bring you another blast from the past, kept in the dossier marked "Top Secret" and only declassified today. The photos, by the way, don't do the game justice: it was an intense encounter that really absorbed the interest of all the players.

The scenario was a simple one: the Germans must take a small town defended by the Soviets.

The German set up, to the right of the photo to the right, was quite orthodox, but with some troops advancing onto the table not under Blinds: hoping to suggest, I suppose, that there were other troops we couldn't yet see.

The Soviets, with a much smaller force, concentrated their few troops within the town and its immediate surroundings. They didn't bother to conceal their artillery under a Blind, as they wanted it in action right from the start of the game.

As soon as the game began, the Soviet artillery began to punish the Germans for deploying some of their troops in the open.

The Germans, on the other hand, were totally committed to sending their truck-bound infantry straight into an assault on the town's defenders.

And from that moment, the surprises began! 

The Soviets thought that the Germans were going to have off-table artillery to hammer us, but what they actually had was airborne artillery! Fortunately, the Soviet artillery we had on the hill was very well hidden, so the German air attacks failed to take it out.

Taking advantage of the fact that his aviation was "distracting" our artillery, the German tanks and other fast-moving units, began their advance.

Even the troop transports were emboldened enough to drive straight through the small village and head straight for the town itself.

More surprises:  the Germans had brought artillery with them, 105mm howitzers, which they quickly deployed on a nearby hill in their deployment area.

Since the Soviets appeared to have no off-table artillery, the Germans gradually dared to reveal their troops, with the Soviets quickly following suit:

But the Soviets also had a surprise for the Germans, as they had also brought along some air support! In their first fly-pass, Soviet ground-attack aircraft let loose a stick of bombs right onto a unit of enemy armour that was getting dangerously close to the town.

The results were pleasing: as the smoke from the explosions dissipated, one German tank was on fire.

The German artillery found that it could only fire at our artillery, since the only elevated position where it could deploy was not suited to covering the advance of their troops.

Meanwhile, the Soviet guns, and the tanks hidden in the grove, did their job very well:  leaving the Panzer unit severely punished.

The German infantry, believing there to be no opposition within the town, "cheerfully" entered it...only to find the place full of a Soviet platoon that also received them "cheerfully", but in the Russian style!

At this point in time, on the verge of having to pack up, the Germans had suffered many casualties and were not in a very good condition to make another assault on the town. The Soviets, on the other hand, freshest and most fortunate in chance, were fully operational and ready to give more "love" to the Germans.

It was a good afternoon of laughter.

Burt Minorrot with pictures from Salva Rossello

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