The time is September 1941, the place a battered village with a railhead on the outskirts of Leningrad. A single platoon of Germans with a teeny tiny 37mm AT gun, and a couple squads of engineers with a flamethrower need to hold the road through town to keep out the occasional heavy (impenetrable) Soviet tanks that have been showing up on this front the last few days and ranging around in German rear areas. To stiffen this little force, the Luftwaffe has sent up a forward observer who might be able to bring in a Stuka, if needed.

Hauptman Rick and Sgt. of engineers Mark deployed pretty far out on the edge of town, in hopes of triggering the Soviets early, slowing them down and fighting them all the way through town. Well, trigger them they did!  

Captain Lee dropped a heavy preliminary barrage on the center of town and clobbered (although he did not yet know it) a squad of infantry, and a MMG team. The barrage disabled the 37mm gun, but left its crew unharmed.

The Soviets had three platoons of infantry and the hope of a KV-1 heavy tank coming up soon to batter through town. Their orders: clear the way for the tank or die trying. Well, they did their part. The Germans quickly lost an entire squad on the edge of town as the Russians poured out of the woods. The Germans sent their right squad scooting back as fast as possible to avoid that fate. Bad luck prevented the Russians from nipping closely on their heels, but they did catch them eventually and annihilate them too. The Germans dished out plenty of casualties while getting killed, of course. The tough nut to crack was the squad in the orchard along with their MMG team. The walled orchard and two story wreck of a house held the left of the German position and had to be taken to clear the road. The Russians with Lt. Phil and Captain Lee went left…taking a squad or so of casualties from the 2nd floor MMG, assisted by the German Captain himself. The platoon under Lt. Bernie’s direction pressed on the German right, driving off the crew of the destroyed AT gun and wiped out the German squad, then came around the back of the building with the MMG in it and drove it out of the building and down the street. Bernie did a great job of moving his battered and far flung platoon along, repairing moral and keeping up the push.

Meanwhile Lt. Phil and Captain Lee drove left into the engineers who now popped out into the open for a “High Noon” style shoot out on the back end of town. It turns out a flamethrower is a mighty thing and a couple of squads ceased to be effective after they tangled with it. Numbers and a vigorous offensive mindset prevailed, as the Germans just kept dropping before the relentless attack. The only survivors were the lucky halftrack driver and his machine gunner, a couple of the AT gunners and the Luftwaffe man who hopped a truck in the motor pool at the train station and hightailed it back to safety.

So whatever became of the vaunted KV-1? It only got a couple hundred meters down the road and, the predator loitering above swooped down, and put a 500 KG bomb through the roof. Oh well. Its tiny cousin the T-26 came up after and drove through the annihilated Germans and into the rear areas to cause mayhem.  

Joe Patchen