The ‘Old Chapel’ – A Crossfire Scenario featuring the Blue Division

A Crossfire scenario with two companies of the 1/269 battalion (Spanish Blue Division) attacking a Russian battalion at the ‘Old Chapel’ near the Vokhov River. This is an assault where the defender doesn’t really want to defend.

The scenario is draft at the moment.

Historical Situation

Setting: Lubkovo, Russia; 27 Dec 1941

During a general offensive against the 250th (Blue) Division positions to the west of the River Volkhov a Russian Battalion took the ‘Old Chapel’ – a half ruined church near Lubkovo. Toward the end of the day, after some hard fighting elsewhere, Commandante Rebull with two companies of the 1/269 battalion attacked the Russian position. The Spanish went in supported by German 7.5 cm artillery. The Russians fled relatively quickly back across the frozen Volkhov, but Spanish fire decimates them on the river.

Also see my general Timeline for the Blue Division.

Map/Terrain

Old Chapel Scenario Table

Old Chapel Scenario Table


Key features are:

  • Built up on the west representing the edge of Lubkovo.
  • The ‘Old Chapel’ and two adjacent buildings in the centre.
  • Otherwise woods, fields (out of season), rough ground, a few crests, a depression and a hill.
  • The Spanish deploy west of line A-A.
  • The Russians deploy between line B-B and line C-C.
  • The Volkhov River is off table to the east.

Pre-game preparation

None

Soviet Player (Defending)

Objective

Defend the ‘Old Chapel’ and preserve their forces.

Forces Available

A Soviet Infantry battalion.

  • 1 BC (+1)
  • 1 x HMG
  • 1 x FO for off-table 82 mm Mortar (6 FM)
  • 3 x Infantry Companies
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x on-table 50 mm Mortar (6 FM)
    • 3 x Rifle Platoons
      • 1 x PC (+1 for close combat but not for rallying)
      • 3 x Rifle Squads
  • Morale: Green
  • Command & Control: Poor, i.e. Russian
  • Total fighting stands: 38

Deployment

Deploys first with all stands visible between the line B-B and C-C.

Reinforcements

None

Spanish Player (Attacking)

Begins scenario with initiative.

Objective

Capture the ‘Old Chapel’ and inflict casualties on the Russians.

Forces Available

Two companies of the 1/269 battalion, 250 (Blue) Division, supported by German 7.5 cm artillery.

  • 1 x BC (+2) Commandante Rebull
  • 1 x SMG Squad
  • 3 x FO for off-table 75 mm German Infantry Guns (12 FM)
  • 1 x on-table 50 mm Anti-tank Gun (Pak 38) (optional tow)
  • 2 x Infantry Companies
    • 1 x CC (+2)
    • 2 x HMG
    • 1 x on-table 50 mm Mortar (12 FM)
    • 1 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+2), 2 x Rifle Squads
    • 2 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+1), 3 x Rifle Squads
  • Morale: Veteran
  • Command & Control: Good, i.e. German
  • Total fighting stands: 27

Deployment

Deploys second with all stands visible and west of the line A-A.

Reinforcements

None unless the Spanish player withholds a platoon (any platoon) off-table at the start of the game. This platoon is assumed to be infiltrating on a flank as the main force attacks frontally. They arrive some time after the first Russian stands exit the table. Throw a die at the start of each subsequent Spanish initiative. The infiltrators arrive on 6. They can appear anywhere on either long table edge.

Victory Conditions

Terrain and Casualty (D) objectives.

The scenario assumes the Russian player is making a token defence, but has to make it realistic enough so he is not shot for cowardice.

The game ends when all Soviet stands are off table or destroyed, or the moving clock reaches 1400 hours. At scenario end, tally victory points (VPs) for the Spanish player.

  • +20 VP if the Spanish have sole occupancy of the ‘Old Chapel’ at scenario’s end
  • +1 VP per Soviet fighting stand destroyed.
  • -2 VP for every Soviet fighting stand that successfully escapes across the River Volkhov. Bear in mind there are restrictions about when a Soviet stand can try to escape. Getting shot on the river does not count as a successful escape.

Fighting stands are any squad, heavy weapon, CC, or BC, but not a PC or FO.

VP Result
20 or more Decisive Spanish Victory
10 to 19 Minor Spanish Victory
-9 to 9 Draw
-19 to -10 Minor Soviet Victory
-20 or less Major Soviet Victory

In other words, for the Soviet player to win they must hold the Old Chapel and get at least five fighting stands across the river. Alternatively, they can forfeit the Old Chapel, but must then get 15 fighting stands across the river. In both cases this is without losing any other stands, which may be a challenge. In contrast the Spanish player needs to take the Old Chapel and roughly kill as many Soviets as escape.

Scenario Special Rules

  • HTD Special Rule 4: The Moving Clock is in use. The Scenario begins at 1000 hours and ends 1400 hours. The clock advances 20 minutes on 5+ at the end of each Russian initiative.
  • Once the the moving clock has reached 1200 hours the Russians can retreat off table across the River Volkhov, with the following provisos
    • A platoon asset (PC, Squad, attached HMG) can exit the table if any stand in the platoon has fought (close combat, direct fire, been under fire).
    • A company asset (CC, detached HMG, FO) can exit the table if any stand in the company has been destroyed, and any stand from the company has already exited the table.
    • A battalion asset (BC, detached HMG, FO) can exit the table if any stand in the battalion has been destroyed, and any stand from the battalion has already exited the table.
  • It takes a move action to reach the table edge, then a second move action to cross the off-table river. Assume each Russian stand travels in a straight line once off table.
  • Spanish stands can reactive fire as Russian stands cross the off-table river. As per normal direct fire any shooting stands must be able to trace line of sight to the target, although in this case it is line of sight to the presumed path of the off-table stand. For reactive fire at stands crossing the river, a pin is ignored and suppressed becomes a killed.

Notes

None.

References

None.

Leave a Reply