Continuing with a more detailed look at key parts of the battlefield:
Starting with the tip of the spearhead in the centre - the LAH positions:
First the terrain without the units:
And with the units showing:
Rudolf Von Ribbentrop - the commander of 6 Co from the Panzer Bn - was the son of the famous German diplomat. He was only 22 years old. His unit has 17 PzIV s in the game - a full compliment - but in reality he was down to 7. In the 1990s his driver - Walter Schule - corresponded with the survivors of the day and got together accounts of their experiences. Ribbentrop described the day as his 're-birth'. None could understand how they had managed to survive an attack in which they were so outnumbered. Ribbentrop decided finally that the reason was that the Soviet commanders were moving rapidly to close with them, and were buttoned up, giving very poor situational awareness. The practice for Axis commanders was to be out the top of the tank, spotting (a reason why the tank commanders suffered so many casualties). The Soviets couldn't do this, of course, as their commander was also their gunner.
As first light came, Ribbentrop was asleep under his tank. The unit was positioned a little further south of where I have placed it on the map, on the reverse slopes of the western edge of the hill. He was awoken to report to the Bn commander, Gross, and there learned of the intel about a soviet armoured build-up right across from his position. 5 and 7 Cos were further west, covering OSF, and his was the only panzer unit covering the gap between OSF and Hill 252.2. He rushed back to his unit - on a motorbike - and whilst he was drinking a coffee the sky was suddenly filled with violet 'tank warning' smoke shells. He realised that this meant that over the slope in front of him a tank attack was beginning.
He immediately started to get his unit on the move, moving up the slopes of the hill to a position roughly where I have placed his unit, in front of a soviet anti-tank ditch built to stop attacks from the Axis. This ditch would soon play a significant part in helping Ribbentrop.
This is the google earth view towards his positions:
We'll come back to Ribbentrop and his unit in subsequent parts of this AAR.
Moving further south, now, we get to Das Reich's sector:
With the units showing:
And then up to the crucial central corridor area, the gap between LAH and TK:
And finally, Totenkopf's bridgehead and the banks of the Psel:
In the next part I'll start on my initial orders and show some more photos of the present-day battlefield, to give a better understanding of the terrain.The scenario is available in the Resources section
Kursk, ComOps 1, AAR, Part 2
Part 2 of this AAR covering Thunder at Prokhorovka, a CO 1 scenario about a crucial part of the Prokhorovka battle during Operation Citadel. Played as Axis v AI