Monday, 10 August 2020

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Cairn Hill Liaoyang

28th August Cairn Hill Liaoyang 12.00hours to 29th August 06.00hours ten hours of fighting 20 game turns

General Oku, 2nd Imperial Army issued the following orders for the attack on Cairn Hill.  The front to be divided into three sectors the central sector Big Fish Hill 4th Division and the two flank sectors to the North focussed on the summit of Cairn Hill 6th Division  and to the south on Tassu Brook 3rd Division.
The central division to advance at 19.30 to seize Big Fish Hill, to hold this position preparing to give fire support onto gun Fort Hill is required then to advance the Russians have been attacked from behind by the flanking force
A division attacking down each flank sector in a night attack, (sunset 19.30hrs) the Tassu Brook Sector to flank the Russian trenches and attack from the rear.
Extra ration to be issued prior to the attack.  

Russian defenders Cairnhill

General Obuku 6th Division attacking Cairn Hill
Register artillery on all targets across the rear of Cairnhill and the Mandarin road and the Corp artillery on Gunfort hill.  To be used only as a last resort.
The attack to initially  concentrate on the centre with MGs supporting the assault.  If no progress change to flank support. Once the first line is taken consolidate then Push on until the main objective Cairn Hill is captured again with MGs support the point of the assault.  No weapons loaded return fire only when pinned and cannot advance.

Turns 1-3 saw general movement in the dark, 9th Siberian Division initial force was confronted by the wall of 6th and 4th Division and fell back through Gun Fort Hill. The Russian artillery pounded Big Fish Hill,  however 4th Division remained on the reverse slopes. 
Turn 3-10 Revealed at times by illumination round sees bitter fighting on CairnHill with the 2nd ESRR driven out of the first line trenches and the Japanese suffering high casualties.  Gun fort is giving fire on Japanese Companies pushing up the Mandarin Road under artillery fire. Gun fort itself is under fire from the Japanese Corp artillery.
On cairnhill  Obuku is with the MG Company almost getting caught by the Russian counter attack, this MG Company allows the Japanese to hold out in the 1st line trenches but quenching their attack.

throught the first line of wire

Second assault

Turn 11 1am Stackelberg leads 1st ESRR in a bayonet charge to clear the Mandarin  Road
By Turn 12 The fighting on Cairn hill looks burnt out with the Japanese holding onto the fist line trenches and delivering MG and mortar fire.  However the fourth Regiment is still infiltrating up the Mandarin road as Stackelberg retires. 

Japanese Flank attack

Whats that noise?

1.30am Brook fort on the other flank has been disturbed, the garrison commander has got illumination to revel 8 battalions of Japanese on the flank with much of the wire cleared.  The fort is swept with MG fire and HE but holds out reinforced by Big Gregory the divisional operations staff captain.  The initial attack is held on the summit by Kossakowski leading his own bayonet charge in the face of Japanese Banzai charges.  Kossakowski is wounded and taken prisoner with the regimental commander.  A mobile MG Company cuts down five Japanese companies on the Summit. 3.30am Stackelberg has sent in the 39th ESRR the last reserve and the Russians win the bayonet fighting but the 39th breaks due to its own casualties.

Kossakowski lead into captivity

Back on Cairnhill the Japanese have pushed right onto the Russian trenches from the flank of Cairnhill supported by the MG fire in the first line trench by 3am. Russian rifle fire is appalling.  Local bayonet charges are made by the Russian culminating in a two battalion charge which is cut up by Japanese rifle fire.  The Japanese artillery are now firing on the reverse slopes of Cairnhill hitting the forming up areas for the reinforcements,  Remarkably by Dawn the Japanese are in possession of Cairnhill.  The 1st Siberian Division has withdrawn.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Liaoyang Outer Defenses Mound Hill

Outer Defences

This was the first night action of the campaign with both sides giving decent plans.  This is the most interpetation I had to do for one battle.  There was a Japanese Army commander and a Japanese Divisional commander, I am focussing here on the Divisional Commanders Night action

Currently using word maps the players can draw on and send back to me.  In this battle the Japanese player had an order sheet amended from Great War Spearhead 

Order & Objective
Divisional HQ

Divisional cavalry
Support 3rd Regiment
MG Company
Advance & Capture The Mound
1st Regiment
Advance & Capture Mound Hill then advance and capture Cairn Hill
2nd Regiment
Advance & capture West edge of One Tree Ridge
3rd Regiment
Advance & capture centre of One Tree Ridge
4th Regiment
Advance & capture east edge of One Tree Ridge then advance and capture Brook village
Harrasement barrage on Cairn Hill and west edge of One Tree Ridge in advance of 1st and 2nd Regiment attack.

I also got a fantastic map which I printed out and annotated with casualty figures, the successful attacks were made by the MG Company and the 2nd & 3rd regiments

The Russian Player was really screwed by both flanks being left open the other Russian corps falling back under orders from Kuropatkin.  Russian commanders of the time started to question the thinking of "the Staff".  

It gives me a chance to show off the Pendraken figures I have painted up

winter uniforms

Japanese advance on Mound Hill

the Defences on Mound Hill
The gap was covered by machine guns in a kill zone

Russian riflemen

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Battle of Tashihchao July 1904

Okubo started with a dawn assault, moving up and engaging Big shadow Hill with one regiment, a second regiment out to the Flank and two right up the middle.  Three hours of fighting and 12 game turns saw Tashihchao with Big Shadow Hill taken.  The Russians had a withdrawal order in place and the two regiments forced the centre triggering a withdrawal by both the 1st and 9th East Siberian Rifle Divisions.
Then Okubo came forward to get a good look at Three Stones Hill Crawling with Russians. He ordered in his engineers to cut the wire in four places covered by his MGs.   Both sides spent two hours shelling each other and some sporadic rifle fire.  10am came around and the russian Artillery were totally exhausted of artillery ammunition with tempretures now soaring again, Zabieu calling time and heading north Kossakowski charging down the Kaiping road with his Cossacks.

Kossakowski in Rat Village with his MG platoon

Shadow Hill under attack

The Russian defenders

Ist Siberian Division falls back on Three Stones Hill

First Japanese wave held

Two peaks hill Cossacks v Japanese first wave
Cossack Pickets!

Occupying Tashihchao

Cossacks (dismounted) in trenches

General OKU

Major General Okubo

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Battle of Telissu 1904

More Saturday action for my Russo Japanese Campaign.  Spearhead is a good system for order execution. there was a lot of musing on whose left flank the Japanese General OKU meant.

Japanese Startline

Cossacks await the Assault

5th Siberian Cossacks ride for the Divisional HQ

Japanese break through

Advancing Russian columns  surpised

Japanese MG


Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Those Damn Cossack Women!

New month new campaign.  The Russo Japanese War 1904, chosen as it has generals that are looking at technology they dont know how to use. I wanted players to command armies and divisions.  The players give map orders and the battles are being played by me as umpire.

Battles are being played I went for the Great War Spearhead Rules. Players can improve their troops with minor changes to TOEs, training ideas and of course hindsight.

First battle was a bit of a test to see if the campaign would work, Mishchenkofuelld by vodka challenges Baron Stackelberg to a field exercise.  Stackelberg's Siberian Cossack Divison has it's own sotnia of women cossacks.  Mishchenko's Brigade of Cossacks and a brigade of infantry verses the Siberian Cossack Division.

Scenario Ragu River Fords was the scenario title.   Mishcenko made no attempt to look at the ground for a second ford was at the temple.  He went for a flank attack with a shock frontal assault with infantry covered by artillery over the river then a flank attack with his Cossacks.  

Kossakowski focussed on a plan of defence based on firepower sitting back to get the benefit of his artillery.  The female cossack sotnia crewed the MG covering the ford.   The artillery was off board.
Mishenko’s artillery pounded the centre village for three turns, got some suppressions but no kills.  Kossakowski’s artillery observer, his son in law, Boris  was wired up with a telephone directly to the off table batteries, sighted on Hill C.

In 2hours fighting the result was a resounding win for Kossakowski , losing two bases of Cossacks but inflicting 8 infantry (7 to MG and artillery fire on the ford) and 5 Cossack casualties on Mishcenko whose command broke.  His artillery were out of ammo
flank attack goes in

more cossacks from the east

MG lined up on the ford

companies of dead

Monday, 25 May 2020

Die Flottendammerung Explosive Finish

Pre dawn clash between British Battlecruisers and the High Seas Fleet 5am 31st October 1918

The German Battlecruisers have led their British counterparts into the classic trap to face the whole of the High Seas Fleet but heroic action from the lead ships and critical events save the day, turning the jaws of victory into a defeat.  At the outset of the battle the Germans heavily jam all radio communication and do so for a further 4 hours to aid their Uboat patrols

High seas Fleet enters!
Turn 1 The German battlecruisers double back, expecting to overwhelm the trailing HMS Furious and Courageous instead the Furious and Courageous are only hit by the leading three German battlecruisers

Turn 2 HMS Furious gains a critically hit on Seydlitz which explodes.  However HMS Courageous and Furious come under fire from SMS Seydlitz,Moltke and Bayern at close range.  1st Battlecruiser Squadron turns away abreast. British Destroyers from the rear and Light cruisers on the flanks close to cover this turn away
Turn 3 HMS Courageous and Furious turn away at high speed burning, Derfflinger illuminated by the exploding Seydlitz becomes the focus of Destoryer Flotilla 11.  British 3rd Light Cruisers blunder into the high seas fleet, totally destroyed by the Fire of SMS Thugrigen, Nassau, Moltke, Bayern & Defflinger, they still get off a close range torpedo strike on Thugrigen which suffers 10 flotation hits.  British 2nd Battlecruisers open up on the German battlecruisers. 1st Battlecruiser Squadron completes its turns away now steam in the wrong direction.

Turn 4 The battlecruisers steer 3 points to port off the battleline this is into the path of destroyers. Defflinger is torpedoed by destroyer flotilla 11 suffers a critical magazine explosion.  Flotilla 11 has lost 3 destroyers.  Baden suffers a critical bridge hit from New Zealand.  1st Battlecruiser Squadron turns back  abreast towards the 2nd Battlecruisers. Flank destroyers report the destruction of British 3rd Light Cruiser Sqaudron to Pakenham
Turn 5 with so much carnage the German High seas fleet takes mutiny roles.  SMS Baden turns away. SMS Konig Albert and Prinz Leopold mutiny and drop out. New Zealand and Hindenburg exchange fire. Flotilla 11 has lost 3 more destroyers 1st Battlecruiser Squadron completes its turn back crowding close to 2nd Battle Squadron.

Turn 6 Seeing SMS Konig Albert and Prinz Leopold dropping out of the battleline. Lead British battlecruisers fire on lead German battleline now illuminated by their own searchlights and two burning ships. SMS Nassau and Oldenburg Mutiny.  German battleline does engage HMS New Zealand , Australia and Lion all hit. Lion suffers a critical bridge hit. 

Turn 7 Both sides break off.  Pakenham is alive. Hipper in SMS Baden leads his part of the German fleet head for port.  The mutineers head for Keil.