Mekensievy-Gory – Sharp shooting PAKs – A Crossfire Scenario

A Crossfire scenario that has, on 29 Dec 1941, Gottlob Bidermann defending Mekensievy-Gory with his 3.7cm PaK 35/36 and some very understrength infantry from 437th Infantry Regiment, 132nd Infantry Division. They are facing Russian infantry and light armour . It is based on an incident described in Bidermann (2000).

This scenario has been played a few times. See my Battle Report, plus Martin Groat’s Battle Report and Report from Salute 2012.

Historical Situation

Setting: Mekensievy-Gory, Crimea, USSR; 29 December 1941

Throughout the morning of 29 Dec 1941 the Russian artillery played upon the German positions within Mekensievy-Gory near Sevastopol. At some point during the morning the Russians put in a tank and infantry counter-attack. Bidermann’s 3.7 cm PAK was positioned next to the train station where the road crossed the railway embankment. This embankment had at least one culvert in it – which the Germans found some time later.

Bidermann opened up when the first Russian tank crested a rise about 150 m down the road. The first shot bounced off the tank’s turret. The tank’s return shot missed. Bidermann’s second shot, of “special armour-piercing ammunition”, blew off the tank’s turret.

A second Russian tank then attacked from the right. It’s machine guns failed to hit the PAK crew as it charged through a wooden garden fence towards the German gun. The tank stopped to rotate it’s gun toward the Germans, but Bidermann’s PAK sent a shell through its turret before it could fire, and the crew bailed.

A third Russian tank, with accompanying infantry, then approached past the burning wreck of the first tank. As the infantry reached the houses on the outskirts of the village, Bidermann’s PAK sent a shell through the belly of the tank, thus immobilising it. As the tank’s turret rotated towards the PAK, Bidermann put a second shell through the tank’s body, which then burst into flame.

The PAK then fired anti-personnel rounds into the Russian infantry, and in conjunction with a single machine gun, drove off the attack. The retreating Russian infantry then fell prey to blocking fire from German mortars and artillery.

Another two Russian tanks were seen to retreat to the shelter of nearby hills .

A second PAK was then dragged from the other side of the railway line to join Bidermann’s. A German self-propelled gun also rolled up.

Table - Mekensievy Gory - Crossfire
Table – Mekensievy Gory – Crossfire

Bidermann’s notes that by this time the rifle companies were sorely under-strength. In particular he mentions the 9th Company which had only 18 men under a feldwebel.

Source: Bidermann (2000). p. 75-79


Key features are:

  • Village, east of the line A-B.
  • Railway embankment – counts as 5 adjacent 1′ crests.
  • The road passes under the embankment via a culvert.
  • The lines B-C, C-D and D-A mark potential entry points for the Russian attackers.
  • The rough ground represents back yard gardens with fences, sheds, etc.
  • Fields are out of season.
  • There are two terrain objectives, marked with an X.

Pre-game preparation

  1. German deploys hidden.
  2. Russian deploys visible.
  3. Russian chooses deployment zone their reinforcements will arrive from.
  4. Russian fires Pre-Planned Bombardment (PPB)

German Player (Defending)


Hold the village.

Forces Available

Elements from 132nd Infantry Division

German Order of Battle

  • 1 x FO for off table Heavy Artillery (4 FM)
  • The much under-strength III Battalion, 437th Infantry Regiment, 132nd Infantry Division
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x FO for off table 81 mm Mortar (12 FM)
    • 3 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+1), 3 x Rifle (one with ATR)
  • A Platoon from the 14th Anti-tank Company, 132nd Anti-tank Group, 132nd Infantry Division
    • 2 x 3.7 cm PAK 35/36 anti-tank gun with option tow
  • Supporting armour
    • 1 x StuG III D or E
  • Morale: Regular
  • Total Fighting Stands: 15


Deploys first, hidden in the village (delineated by the line A-B).



Russian Player (Attacking)

Begins scenario with initiative.


Capture the village.

Forces Available

The Soviets launch the initial attach with an under strength rifle company plus light tanks.

Soviet Order of Battle

  • 1 x FO for off table Heavy Artillery (4 FM)
    1 x FO for off-table 82 mm Mortar (12 FM)
  • 1 x CC (+1)
    1 x HMG
    1 x on-table 50 mm Mortar (12 FM)
    2 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+1/0), 4 x Rifle Squads (one with ATR)
  • 3 x BT 7 and/or T 26
  • Russian PCs get +1 for close combat but not for rallying.
  • Morale: Regular
  • Total Fighting Stands: 24 (including reinforcements)


Deploys second. All stands must enter from from one deployment zone, ether line B-C, line C-D or line D-A.


The Russian reinforcements arrive on a 6 on 1d6 at the start of any Russian initiative after the first. They arrive from the deployment zone that was pre-planned before the scenario.

Soviet Order of Battle

  • 2 x BT 7 and/or T 26
  • 1 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+1/0), 4 x Rifle Squads (one with ATR)

Victory Conditions

Terrain and Casualty (AD) objectives

The game immediately end when the Russians control both terrain features or they lose 8 fighting stands. The Russians win if they have control of both terrain objectives at the game end; similarly for the Germans. If both control one terrain feature then the game is a draw.

Fighting stands include CC, HMG, Rifle Squads, Tanks, Guns, but not PC, FOs or on-table Mortars. AFVs count as two fighting stands each.

A player controls a terrain objective if their stand occupies the feature or was the last to occupy it, and the feature is/was not physically contested by the enemy. Both terrain objectives start controlled by the Germans.

Scenario Special Rules

  • Russians get six Pre-Planned Bombardment Fire Missions (PPB FM). For each PPB FM 1-4 misses, 5 is suppress and 6 is a kill.
  • Fields are out of season and do not block LOS, and provide cover to direct fire only.
  • Crests are in use.
  • The railway embankment counts as 5 x 1′ crests.
  • The road passes under the embankment via a culvert, so troops passing from one side to another along the road cannot be shot at from the embankment.

Optional rule:

  • “Bidermann” rule: The German player can select one Pak as being commanded by Gottlob Bidermann. He is +1 ACC and 0 PEN to reflect his real life tank killing capability. This is just to add flavour and isn’t necessary for game balance.

Weapon stats

Type When ARM ACC PEN MG HE/EFF Smoke HD Spd CC Comment
Anti-Tank Rifle -1 -3 0
3.7cm PaK 35/36 ATG 37-43 +1 -2 3/1 1 -2 Increased HE and PEN to reflect impact during scenario.
StuG III D-E 41 3/2 0 -2 0 4/2 N 2 +2
T 26 37-41 2/1 -1 -2 4 2/1 Y 2 +3 2 man turret
BT 7 37-41 2/1 -1 -2 4 2/1 Y 3 +3 2 man turret


  • Given a PAK 36 knocked out three of the Russian tanks I assume they were a light variety, and BT 7 or T 26 were the most common in 1941.
  • III Battalion, 437th Infantry Regiment, 132nd Infantry Division, was so reduced in strength it is represented by a single rifle company. The subordinate companies are represented by platoons.
  • See also my Battle Report, plus Martin Groat’s Battle Report and Report from Salute 2012. .


Bidermann, G. H. (2000). In Deadly Combat: A German soldier’s memoir of the Eastern Front (D. S. Zumbro, Trans.). University Press of Kansas.

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