Sunday, April 5, 2015

Megablitz: Operation Arctic Fox (Part 1)

      Yesterday Christian, Ziggy, and I played a game of Megablitz. The scenario was operation Arctic Fox, also known as the Battle of Salla. This was the German's little known attempt to cut the Murmansk rail link to Leningrad. An interesting battle that was quit different from what most people think of the East Front. Did you know that there's an actual tactical reason for Russia invading Finland in the winter? The German's found that out the hard way. Here take a look at the map.

Note the many woods and Lakes.

Terrain is usually not a big deal in most Megablitz games. But in North Russia it was critical. When researching for this game, I found an old army manual on arctic warfare. While only a few dozen pages it was an interesting read on the effects that the time of year and terrain could have on a battle. In Finland and North Russia, the terrain favors the defender in the summer and this battle happened in the middle of July. So the German's were going to have a tough time of it. Here's what the actual table looked like.

The table prior to deployment.
 On the left is the small town of Salla. In the middle is Kayralla a one horse hellhole with no purpose but to be a dot on a map. In the upper right was the large town of  Allakuritti. The Germans had three days to take all three.

The forces in were as follows:
   German Forces
   XXXVI Corps, with:
           196th Infantry Division
              SS Division Nord (Substituted with SS Das Reich)
              6th Finnish Infantry Division
The Germans Luftwaffe had 2 fighters, 1 dive bomber, and 1 medium bomber

Russian Forces
  42nd Rifle Corps
       104th Rifle Division
       122nd Rifle Division
       1st Tank Division (Attached)
The Red Air Force had 3 fighters and a light bomber. The Russians also had the 72nd NKVD border regiment.

I ended up playing the Germans with Ziggy while Christian got the Russians. Ziggy hadn't played before, so in the interest of role-playing I gave him the less experienced SS Nord division.

Here was the initial deployment with infantry division and Ziggy's SS division right on the Finnish border (The string). Right behind the border was NKVD in their forts. The 122nd rifle division was set defend Salla as well as the nearby forest.

Further back the 104th rifle division and 1st tank division were set up around the tiny village of Kayralla.

We started the game with a pregame barrage, then one regiment each attacked the NKVD forts.The Red air force, sent light bombers but the German Me109s were there to met them. After clearing the nearby fort Ziggy sent the Deutschland regiment to take Salla. I sent my 211th panzer battalion to help. The attack was also supported by Dive bombers and Corps artillery. Despite all this the Russians would hold the town for most the first day.

A aerial view of the fight for Salla. Ju87s escorted by Finnish Buffalo fighters attack the while being countered by a small hoard of
 As the battle for Salla raged on, my 196th Infantry Division cleared out the remaining NKVD forts.

Meanwhile the Russian engineers were blowing up bridges and making road blocks.

The 42nd's Corps engine battalions setting up near the 1st Motorized Brigade. They would have better luck set up roadblocks than blowing bridges
 My infantry then attacked the remaining enemy regiment in the woods. Being the last turn of the day Christian threw his entire fighter force at the dive bombers that had come to support the attack, but it was for naught as rifle regiment was destroyed
The Russian LaGG-3 as well as the Bi-planes attack the Luftwaffe. The 8 sided die is a SP marker.
 With Most of the 122nd Rifle division now destroyed, I sent one of my regiments with the AT battalion to secure two nearby bridgeheads.

Towards the end of the day the Finnish 6th Division arrived from the South. Ziggy now had a good grasp of the game so I gave him control of this unit as well.

At the end of the first game day things had gone well for the Germans. Salla was taken and most of the 122nd Rifle division was destroyed. Ziggy's 11th SS regiment was hammered pretty hard but in most other area's casualties were light. I'll posting days 2 and 3 of this battle at a later date.


  1. Good to see a Megablitz game in something smaller than 1/72!

    1. doctorphalanx

      I like playing Megablitz in the smaller scale as it allows me larger battlefield with minimum space.

  2. A very interesting scenario. I love the terrain and the models, and I am looking forward to seeing how the next two days of battle unfold.

    All the best,


    1. Robert

      Thank's! I really like the way the terrain came this time.

  3. The scenario looks great. Thanks for sharing. I think I'll give it a go. I guess your ground scale is 1:50,000. Correct?

  4. Thanks. Yes, I was using 2cm per 1km.