Sunday, July 4, 2010

Changes in Plan...

While looking for information on Guards heavy tank regiments, I found this .pdf file from Battlefront on their Flames of War site.  Unfortunately, it looks like the 36th Guards Heavies used the Churchill rather than KV-1's, so a change in the force I want to represent is in order.  Bugger.

So I diligently scoured all the Internetz, which led me to come across another article, this one on the 12th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment.  It served with the 9th Guard Rifle Corps in the offensive launched after the Battle of Kursk.  An interesting order of battle, as it had a tank brigade in support as well.    

9th Guards Rifle Corps ( 61st Army)
12th, 76th and 77th Guard Rifle Divisions
68th Independent Tank Brigade
12th Guards Heavy Tank Breakthrough Regiment
1539th SU Regiment (with twelve SU-152s)
16th and 17th Artillery Divisions
13th Mortar Brigade
310th and 311th Guards "Mortar" Regiments (twenty-four BM-13 “Katyusha” rocket launchers each).
310th Army Engineer Battalion
Lots of goodies there. Along with the12th Guards Heavies and the 68th Tank Brigade, I'll focus on recreating the 12th Guards Rifle Division, which stayed with the 9th Rifle Corps for the whole war.  According to R.G. Poirier and A.Z. Conner in their very useful book The Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War,  the 12th Guards Rifle Division consisted of the 29th, 32nd, and 37th Guards Rifle Regiments and the 31st Guards Artillery Regiment.  

Originally raised as the 258th Rifle Division, it was used to form the 9th Guards Rifle Corps April 1942.  It saw fighting around Bolkov, on the Dnieper River, Belorussia and Poland, as well as in Riga and Berlin.  It served a number of times as a "breakthrough" division, for major offensives, and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for its combat service.

For the 68th Independent Tank Brigade, I'll be needing some light tanks.  For a number of reasons, I settled on ordering some Pegasus Hobbies BT-7 tanks

Now these were on the way out by late 1942 let alone 1943, when they really should be replaced by T-60's, T-70's, or even Lend-Lease Stuarts or Valentines.  They aren't even in the BKC II stats for a mid-war Soviet army.  But there were a number of practical considerations that made me decide to get them;
  1. The Pegasus models are cheap- and easy to put together.
  2. While absolutely Kat food, the BT-7 looks cool, and has always been one of my favourites.
  3. I can also use them in games set against the Japanese, where they were used right up to 1945.
So I ordered three boxes' worth- six vehicles in all.  I can assume that in the aftermath of the high losses taken at Kharkov and Rhzev, reinforcements have been sent from the Far East, and that due to supply and/ or administrative reasons the 68th Tank Brigade has not yet the chance to re-equip it's light companies with something more modern.  At some time in the future I can get some Valentines or T-70's if I want to set the games later in the war.

Summer is here, the heat is increasing, and I'm off on a teaching intensive for a week.  So updates may be slow in coming for July.  When I get back from that business trip the pace at work picks up considerably, and I have to get working on some stuff for July's game as well.  Blogging may well have to take a back seat for a while.

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