Command Operations Across the Tartar Ditch Soviet AAR

This is a semi-historical scenario designed by Chris from The Sharp End Gaming in which the German LIV Army Corps is driving towards Sevastopol against the Soviet 51st Army that is augmented by air superiority and naval infantry reinforcements. The Tartar Ditch was an important defensive terrain obstacle in the Crimean Peninsula though ancient, still proved difficult for armies to traverse (in many cases makeshift bridging had to be constructed to facilitate transport).

It is interesting to note that (although I am playing as the Soviets) the German forces include the semi-infamous 73rd Infantry Division, a group that was destroyed, reformed, destroyed again, banished, brought back from the dead to reform yet again, and ultimately destroyed a final time during the fighting around the city of Danzig in 1945. In a brutal final knife in the back , the surviving officers of the divisional staff went down with the liner Goya in April 1945.

The objectives for the Soviets are: Perekop (24 Victory Points, 12 Occupation and 12 Completion), Armyansk (24/0/24), Aleksandrovka (12/6/6), Chaban Rail Station (12/6/6) and Konstantinovka Bridge (12/6/6). Thank goodness for copy and paste…

Scenario Selection


Scenario Parameters


Initial Orders – Primary Combat Forces


2/865 Bn (590 personnel) are ordered to perform a delaying action along a minor road network while falling back over several 2km steps to the Aleksandrovka Objective.


1/248 Bn (581 personnel) are ordered to perform a delaying action along a major highway network while falling back over several 2km steps to the ditch obstacle.


3/867 Bn (527 personnel) are ordered to perform a delaying action along the same highway while falling back over several 2km steps to the Chaban Rail Station Objective.


2/867 Bn (579 personnel) are ordered to defend at the Konstantinovka Bridge Objective utilizing an All Round Defense formation with a 1,500m Frontage and Depth modification.


Tartar District Militia are ordered to perform a delaying action along the other major highway network while falling back over several 2km steps to the ditch obstacle, just above the Armyansk Objective.

Initial Orders – Secondary Combat Forces and Supporting Units

The 865th Rifle Regiment and its attached heavy mortar and base units (367 personnel) is ordered to Defend just north of the Aleksandrovka Objective.

The 867th Rifle Regiment and its attached heavy mortar, base and engineer units (492 personnel) is ordered to perform a delaying action starting just south of the Konstantinovka Bridge Objective while falling back over several 2km steps to the Perekop Objective.

The 850th Artillery Regiment and its remaining 122mm Arty Coy and base unit (394 personnel) is ordered to a defensive location to the west of the Supply Entry Point below the Armyansk Objective.

The 271st Rifle Division and its base unit (544 personnel) is ordered to Defend at the Perekop Objective.

The 51st Army HQ unit (178 personnel) is ordered to Defend at the Armyansk Objective.

Notable Detachments

2nd Coy 45mm AT Gun is detached from the 865th Rifle Regiment and ordered to take a defensive position outside the small village of Kovalenko.

2nd Coy 45mm AT Gun is detached from the 867th Rifle Regiment and ordered to take a defensive position outside a small farm that runs parallel to one of the main highways.

865th Sapper Coy is detached from the 865th Rifle Regiment and ordered to take a defensive position below the left side of the Tartar Ditch terrain obstacle.

3rd Coy 3rd Bn Mortar is detached from the 3rd Bn 867th Rifle Regiment and ordered to take a defensive position on the Chaban Rail Station Objective.

Various artillery companies are detached from the 850th Artillery Regiment and placed in positions that will to thwart the final thrust southeast by the Axis forces that is sure to come. The majority are staged behind the ditch itself.

The Big Picture


5,934 troops with a combined anti-personnel firepower rating of 2,037, an anti-armor rating of 625, a bombardment rating of 748 and an infantry value of 3,007 (plus two battalions of naval infantry and a task force) are all that are available to delay the German assault on the Isthmus of Perekop. 


D01 10:55 2 Bn 7th Naval Infantry comes ashore and is ordered to perform a delaying action starting at the intersection of a road and highway outside the small village of Ingiz while falling back in two 2km steps to the Perekop Objective.


D01 15:01 1,500 Germans are pouring down a main highway to the west of the Konstantinovka Bridge Objective smashing directly into the delaying action of the Tartar District Militia, splintering the head of that force into multiple fragments.


D01 18:01 A concentrated application of artillery against the fattest parts of the Axis thrust against the Tartar District Militia temporarily shakes the Germans stalling their momentum for the moment.


D02 01:00 The Konstantinovka Bridge Objective has fallen to the enemy (note the intelligence silhouette on the west bank).


D02 06:00 The delaying action by the Tartar District Militia has culminated with that force sitting behind the ditch obstacle with the center main highway wide open for the Germans to stream south towards the Perekop Objective. A quite liberal application of Fire Support artillery will negate much of the threat (at least for a few hours).


D02 06:46 1 Bn 7th Naval Infantry comes ashore and is ordered to move to an area just behind the ditch obstacle in close proximity to the Tartar District Militia force.


D02 07:07 Task Force Kuznetsov arrives in the east and is ordered to attack the Axis forces that have taken the Konstantinovka Bridge Objective.


D02 08:11 I order the 865th Sapper Coy and 3 Coy (45mm AT Guns) forward of the ditch obstacle along the main highway to bog down the German advance.


D02 12:00 The Chaban Rail Station Objective has fallen sometime after the 6 AM status update, however the Soviets are still hanging on to a possible Marginal Victory outcome for the moment.


D02 18:23 I order 1/248 Bn to attack north and exploit past the Chaban Rail Station Objective.


D02 19:30 I order 2/865 Bn to fall back to a defensive position above the Armyansk Objective and below the Tartar District Militia position behind the ditch obstacle.


D03 00:00 The Win-O-Meter is still in positive territory as I desperately hold onto three objectives.


D03 06:00 I adjust the fall back order for the 2/865 Bn to an attack into the Perekop Objective which has fallen.


D03 12:00 The Aleksandrovka Objective has fallen to the enemy.

After-action Report


A Draw outcome is actually satisfactory here as the aim of the Red Army was to stop the German advance, which they did at the ditch obstacle (only a few units made it past into the Soviet rear area by sweeping wide left coming around the ditch on the coast line).

The Soviets lost almost three times as many personnel as the Germans did (art imitating life) yet managed to stop the Axis at the ditch to hold on to the Armyansk Objective and achieve more Victory Points, 42-39.

Review Final Situation


The enemy was amassed at the Chaban Rail Station Objective and at the Perekop Objective but could not effectively break through the terrain barrier and seize the Armyansk Objective, so in my defensive game play book I count this as a win.

1 comment:

  1. Another great AAR. Thanks for playtesting this!

    ReplyDelete