OAF 21.1 "The Kholm Pocket" (board 3)

updated 100717

Modification of the ON ALL FRONTS 3rd Place COI design contest, by Peter Wasmiller. Clarifications and modification have been made to the original scenario as published in OAF, issue 21.

March, 1942: After winter Leningrad offensive, the Russian army pocketed about 5.000 Germans soldiers at Kholm. On 21th March, OKW mounted a rescue operation code named: "Bruckenschlag". This heavy attack must do a breakthrough across russian lines and join the encircled garrisons which Hitler had forbidden it to retreat. In the meantime, Russian forces sought to crush the trapped German forces.

VICTORY CONDITIONS: At the end of the game, the Russian player must control a majority of the buildings or have removed all enemy units on or adjacent to the airfield. The German player wins by avoiding the Russian victory conditions.

German Setup First
Russian Move First
GERMANS FORCES: Set up between rows G and Z (Guns may setup using HIP)
  • Elements of the 281st Infantry Division; Set up between rows G and Z (Guns may use Hidden Initial Placement):
    • 1x10-3; 2x436; 5x247; 2x75*INF (H5); 2x37L ATG (H5#6), 1x50L ATG
  • Elements of the 386th Regiment, 212th Infantry Division:Set up between rows G and Z
    • 1x10-2, 3x467; 1xLMG
  • 123rd Infantry Division; Set up between rows G and Z:
    • 1x8-1, 3x468, 2xATR, 2xLMG
  • 553rd Infantry Regiment of 329th Infantry Division,; Setup between hex rows I-N inclusive
    • 1x9-1, 1x8-1, 1x7-0, 1xMMG, 2xLMG, 10xConcealment
  • Commando 8; Setup in any hex of buildings U2, S1, Q3 and.or with the 553rd Infantry Division
    • 1x9-2, 3x838, 2x548; 2xATR, 2xFT, 2xDC
  • Field Observers (FOs) of the 536 Heavy Artillery Battalion; setup up an any whole hex.
    • 1x8-0, 1x7-0; 2xFP,
  • MG Battalion, 218th Infantry Division; enter turn 1 at Q1:
    • 1x8-1; 1x436; 1xHMG
  • Fortifications; Set up between rows G and :
    • 4xRubble, 3xT34/76B Wrecks
  • TURN 1: Elements of the Third Striking Army; Enter hex P10 through U10 inclusive on Turn 1:
    • 1x9-1, 1x8-0, 1x7-0, 6x628, 8x447, 2xLMG; 1xT34/76B, 1xT26s
  • TURN 3: Enter hexes A5 through F10 inclusive on Turn 3 :
    • 1x8-1; 1x8-0, 6x628; 6x447; 1xMMG; 1xLMG; 1xT34/76B; 1xT26s; 1xKV1A; 1xT60
  • TURN 5: Enter hexes Y10 to GG5 inclusive on Turn 5:
    • 1x8-1; 1x8-1; 1x7-0; 14x447, 2xLMG, 1xT34/76B, 1xT26s; 1xT60
  • OAF 21.1.1: TERRAIN: Hills 534, 547, and 498 are frozen marsh. Hill 522 is an open ground airstrip.
  • OAF 21.1.2: German artillery consists of two modules of 150mm. Radio are Field Phones.
  • OAF 21.1.3: German receive random Air Support (Stukas are armed with 12MG/360+ bomb).
  • OAF 21.1.4: All rally attempts outside of building hexes are +1 DRM due to extreme weather.
  • OAF 21.1.5: All appropriate Squad Leader Academy Rule Conventions apply. This document states which Optional and Supplemental rules apply in addition to standardizing rule interpretations are in place for tournament settings.

AFTERMATH: Major General Scherer, with the support of the Luftwaffe and artillery units outside of the pocket itself, was able to put together a defense that stands out in the history of modern warfare. With little over 5, 000 men, he was able to stall the Russian war machine for over one hundred days before being relieved. Unfortunately this survival of encircled forces supplied by air with refusal to allow a retreat had a direct influence on a similar battler later in 1942, the Battle of Stalingrad.