|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.|
The forces in were as follows:
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
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|
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|
|The Russian LaGG-3 as well as the Bi-planes attack the Luftwaffe. The 8 sided die is a SP marker.|
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.