11 January 2018

Battlegroup Barbarossa Campaign - Day 1

Over the Christmas break Alan and I have been playing "The Last Line" campaign from the Battlegroup Barbarossa book. The campaign centres around the June 1941 Russian defence of the township of Ostrog and the critical river crossing sites in its vicinity.  I Command the Heroic Defenders of the Motherland against Alan's Fascist Invaders.

Each day is broken up into 3 strategic turns (AM, PM, Evening) and we have now completed day 1.

To: Commander 309th Motor Rifle Division
From: Commander 381st Rifle Regiment


Comrade General,

The Ostrog sector has been heavily engaged throughout the day and with one minor setback, has held up well to enemy probing attacks. Fascist recon units have made a number of thrusts, particularly to the North of Ostrog in an attempt to seize the rail bridge at Brodivs'ke.

The morning saw my infantry blocking force deployed in the vicinity of Khoriv where they encountered motorised reconnaissance elements of the 11th Panzer Division.  The enemy's more mobile elements were unable to penetrate our defences despite using heavy indirect fire support and withdrew in good order.  Their attack resumed in the afternoon after being heavily reinforced by at least two tank platoons.  After significant fighting throughout the afternoon, the enemy was again repulsed with heavy losses.

Late afternoon saw an separate enemy recon force attack further south at Rozrazh. Despite the deployment of two tank platoons the enemy was able to force the position but we inflicted significant casualties upon them.  Notably, Luftwaffe dive bombers had complete dominance in the air.  I reiterate my request for anti-aircraft guns and Sturmovik support.

I wish to bring to your attention the acts of heroism performed this day by Comrade Serjent Alaninski, who commanded a T-26 Light Tank in the Rozrazh action.  While bravely advancing against more numerous enemy forces, Serjent Alaninski's tank came under fire from a much more heavily armed German tank. Despite being hit and immobilised, the Serjent continued to fight his vehicle, destroying the heavier Panzer as well as a heavily armed scout unit at very close range. Only when his position was untenable and after direct orders did the Sergeant abandon and disable his vehicle to rejoin the main force.  For his courage and heroism against overwhelming odds, I recommend Serjent Alaninski be awarded the Order of the Red Banner. The appropriate paperwork will be forthcoming in due course, should I survive.

While the enemy now hold the approach to an area assessed suitable for bridging operations, German engineering units have not been detected in this sector.  In  the meantime, the bridges at both Ostrog and Brodivs'ke remain in our hands and are strongly defended. Additional reinforcements are expected to arrive in this sector overnight.

Attached to this report are photographs of operational activities which may be of use for propaganda purposes.

Comrade Commander Paulinski 

Morning action at Khoriv

The German avenue of approach
Panzer Recon elements cautiously advance
Panzerkommander Alan consults his feldmanual  to request artillery support
Vorwarts! Angriff!
A hidden Russian AT gun strikes hard!
Red Army Infantry reinforcements arrive
As does an armoured behemoth  

Heroic defenders of the Rodina in action!

Afternoon action at Khoriv

The Germans return to Khoriv - with heavy armour! 
German mortars zero in on the defending infantry who heroically did their duty and stayed at their posts
The battle is not to be one sided as the Panzertruppen were to find out!
Fascists pay the price of their Imperial ambitions

Afternoon Action at Rozrazh
Scene of the late afternoon meeting engagement 
Recon 222s led the German advance
But Soviet Heavy mortars quickly take a toll
Luftwaffe intervention inflicts retribution 

Red Army light tanks advance to met the Invaders

And a swirling engagement ensues on the steppe

Comrade Serjent Alaninski in heroic action against the Invaders!
The detritus of war litters the battlefield
(this awesome game which came down to what chits we both pulled in the last turn.
Alan pulled a 1, me a 5 - it was that close!)
 Overall, I have found playing the Red Army in 1941 to be quite a taxing experience.  I can select only from the Rifle Division force lists, with some additional restrictions imposed, and then have some some challenging command and control restrictions.  As a result, it feels like playing with an army you don't want and then not being able to employ that army that way you want; So a very historical recreation :-)  Not that its not a fun game, just a damn hard one!

Most enjoyably, I have been using a certain Comrade Commander Stepan Patrovich gifted to me by Steve W a few years ago.  Ivans have Landed!

With a Day 1 record of 1W-1D-1L I think he is doing well compared to his 1941 predecessors!


  1. looks like a great game - I'll have to check out the battlegroup ruleset

    1. Thats was 3 games in total for Day 1 of the campaign.
      Do check out BG - I think they are the best WW2 rules out there above the skirmish level

  2. Great report Comrade! I'm loving the campaign.

  3. Looking good Paul! I love the battle narrative report sent to higher and of course Stephan Patrovich! Happy to see him in action!

    1. Thanks Steve - its certainly been fun to get the campaign going. We are up to 5 games in 2 weeks with a 6th scheduled today. Comrade Stephan Petrovich is a stalwart of the Defence of the Motherland!

  4. Good to see a Battlegroup battle report - I’m in the process of collecting both sides for the Battle of Kursk.

    1. Thanks Steven! Looking forward to seeing your ZITADELLE forces in action!

  5. Great report Comrade!! I am loving the campaign...
    so good