Category: Kharkov 1941-43

Kharkov in the Ukraine was the focus of four major battles during World War II:
20–24 Oct 1941 – First Battle of Kharkov – German took the city
12–28 May 1942 – Second Battle of Kharkov – Failed Soviet attempt to retake the city
(2-19 Feb 1943 – Operation Star – Soviets retook the city)
19 Feb to 15 Mar 1943 – Third Battle of Kharkov – Germans armoured forces counter-attacked and retook the city
12-23 Aug 1943 – Fourth Battle of Kharkov – Soviets captured the city for good

Chuck Noland’s Crossfire Table – And playing some Balagan Scenarios

CN Coxlombina 1

Sometimes I feel that I post my stuff into a silent void. So it is great when people respond and particularly to discover that people actually play my scenarios. I’m always keen to get feedback about my scenarios, whether good or bad, so I can tweak them. In this case Chuck Noland emailed and ended up sending me some great photos of his Crossfire games. I particularly like the black and white ones.

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Kharkov 1942 Map for Deep Battle with 20km hexes

Kharkov 1942 Map for Deep Battle with 20km Hexes

I’ve drawn a new map for the Second Battle of Kharkov with one hex per 20 km. As you probably know, I’m focussing on the Second Battle of Kharkov as I develop my thinking on Operational Wargaming and my own Deep Battle rule set. A map is an essential part of this.

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Rasputitsa – Quagmire on the Eastern Front

Wehrmacht soldiers pulling car from the mud, November 1941

The rasputitsa are severe weather conditions occurring in Eastern Europe, particularly in areas that were part of the Soviet Union during WW2. The rasputitsa occurs twice a year, in the spring and autumn. The spring rasputitsa occurs when the surface level ice and snow starts to melt over ground that is still frozen. The Autumn rasputitsa occurs because of the rainy season. Although the cause is different the effect is the same. The ground, including unpaved roads, dissolve into mud and rivers can become enlarged. The result is transport bogs down, making troop movement and logistics very difficult. The Russian

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2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2017

I have noticed that my The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian of 2015 was literally a confession, describing my overly inflated ambitions and incomplete projects. But the 2016 edition was more a reflection on my progress against those goals. It has been a 23 months since the 2016 edition and it is time to revisit. But I’m going to split the reflection aspect from the confessions bit. So this is my reflection on the 23 months from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017.

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Kharkov 1942 Map for PanzerGruppe with 10km Hexes

Kharkov Map for PzGruppe

In a moment of enthusiasm I drew a map for the Second Battle of Kharkov at one hex per 10 km. Perfect for PanzerGruppe. I thought I’d share it, although I’m no longer sure I’ll use it.

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Kharkov 1942 – German Order of Battle

Kharkov 1942

Next up in my grand scheme to refight the whole of the Battle of Kharkov 1942, on a table using Megablitz, is the historical German order of battle.

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Kharkov 1942 – the Soviet Order of Battle

Kharkov 1942

I’ve got a grand scheme to refight the whole of the Battle of Kharkov 1942 on a table. Probably using Megablitz. The first step is a historical order of battle for the Soviets.

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2016 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac surveying all those unfinished wargaming projects in 2016

It has been a year since my Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian so definitely time for the 2016 update. I figured that, by sharing what I’m working on (far too much) and where I was up to with it (not far enough), I’d feel bad enough about my lack of progress to limit my work in progress and get some projects finished. Well, it worked, but only partly. I still worked on seven projects this year and finished none.

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Papa Eicke – A Crossfire Battle Report

Germans reach crashed plane

Chris Harrod and I played my Papa Eicke Scenario for Crossfire.

Summary: Chris, playing Kampfgruppe Masarie, recreated history and secured the body of Papa Eicke and his insignia and consequently won the game. However, he did this at the cost of a half his armoured fighting vehicles. The scenario had the right elements but could do with some tweaking.

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Timeline of the 2nd Battle of Kharkov 1942

After reading David Glantz’s book on the 2nd Battle of Kharkov I started writing up some notes on the timeline.

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Order of Battle for the 2nd Battle of Kharkov 1942

Orders of Battle for the the 2nd Battle of Kharkov.

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Sources for the Battles of Kharkov

Annotated bibliography for the Four Battles of Kharkov.

2nd Battle of Kharkov 1942

The Soviets started the 2nd Battle of Kharkov of May 1942 but the Germans finished it. The Soviets lost a quarter of a million troops and the Germans only about 20,000.

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Geography around Kharkov in WW2

I’d like to collect some information about the geography around Kharkov in 1941-45.

Papa Eicke – A Crossfire Scenario

Table for Papa Eicke Scenario

This Crossfire scenario is really an excuse to use my crashed Fieseler Storch objective lovingly painted by Roland Davis. The scenario starts when the Fieseler Storch carrying Obergruppenführer Theodor Eicke is shot down near the Russian lines outside Kharkov. SS Division Totenkopf mount an assault to secure the crash site and recover their commander’s body.

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