OAF 21.3 "The Kholm Pocket" (board 1)

updated 051127 rev 0

Modification of the ON ALL FRONTS 2nd Place COI design contest, by James Bilankenship. 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: The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. Points are awarded as follows: 1 point per each stone building hex between rows J-Y inclusive; 1 point per each stone building between J-Y complete controlled. Building Y7 and it individual building hexes have no value.

German Setup First
Russian Move First
  • Major General Scherer's 281st Local Defense Division; Setup between rows I-Y, inclusive (ordinance may use HIP).
    • 1x10-3, 3x467, 4x247, 1x248, 1xMMG, 5xRoadblock, 8xWire, 2x75*INF (no heat), 2x37L ATG (H5#6), 1x50L ATG
  • 386th Infantry Division & MG Battalion 10 of the 218th Infantry Division; Setup between rows W-Y, inclusive.
    • 1x10-3, 1x8-1, 1x8-0, 8x436, 2x247, 1xATR, 1xHMG, 1xMMG, 1xLMG
  • 553rd Infantry Regiment of 329th Infantry Division,; Setup between hex rows I-N inclusive
    • 1x9-1, 1x8-1, 1x7-0, 1xMMG, 2xLMG, 10xConcealment
  • 123rd Infantry Division; Setup between rows P-V between numbers 5-9 inclusive.
    • 1x8-1, 1x6+1, 5x467, 2xATR, 2xLMG
  • Commando 8; Setup in any hex of buildings U2, S1, Q3 and.or with the 553rd Infantry Division
    • 1x9-2, 4x548, 2xATR, 2xFT, 2xDC
  • Field Observers (FOs) of the 536 Heavy Artillery Battalion; setup up an any whole hex.
    • 2x8-0, 2xFP, 4xRubble, 3xT34/76B Wrecks
  • AT START: 332nd Rifle Division with armor support; Setup north of hex row AA inclusive
    • 1x9-1, 1x8-0, 1x7-0, 4x628, 8x447, 1xT23/76B, 1xT60
  • TURN 1: 358th Rifle Division with armor support; Enter on any south edge hex
    • 1x9-2, 1x8-1, 1x8-0, 6x628, 14x447, 1xMMG, 3xLMG, 1xDC, 2xT26s, 1xT23/76B, 1xKV1A
  • TURN 4: 360th Rifle Division; Enter on any north, south, or west edge hex on turn 4.
    • 1x10-2, 1x9-1, 2x8-0, 8x628, 16x447, 1xHMG (6-12), 2xDC, 3xLMG, 2xT34/76B, 1xT60
  • SSR1: 1st Lt. Feist and 2nd Lt. Detimann, the two FOs fob the 536th Heavy Artillery Battalion, were in contact via land lines field phones. they have contact on any DR <12, the field phones may not be moved or repaired. Both the FO and FP may setup hidden. COI Supplemental rule H applies. The rubble and wrecks are locations of repeated previous fire missions and may be called in again without use of the AR/SR sequence. DR on the OBA caliber table for each module has a +2 DRM for the module caliber. The German filed phone friendly board edge is East (down) for purposes of the security area.
  • SSR 2: German 436s of the 386th Infantry Division are not green troops but untried units recently relocated from Denmark and are replaced with 467s upon passing any enemy generated morale check. When cooperating with or adjacent(see SQLA conventions for definition of 'adjacent') to Colonel Matius (10-2), they have their morale increased by one, even after replacement. The 548s are the Mountain Jagers of Commando 8 and are considered assault engineers with regards to use of FT and DC, but lack smoke making capability. The 248 is an elite crew (not SS) with a broken side morale of 8, and must setup with the 50L. This unit represents Sgt. Behle's crew which, even after losing their sights, aimed their ATG looking through the bore to good effect.
  • SSR 3: Stuka rules are in effect, snow and battlefield integrity are not. Standard SQLA conventions otherwise apply. (Stukas: 12MG/360+ bomb).
  • SSR 4: The German units were so well acquainted with the city they fought for so many times that any German unit may use sewer movement without the use of a leader and will only get los on a dr of 6. They may also use sewer movement in the rout phase if no other legal rout path exists.
  • SSR 5: the German guns and crews may setup up HIP if in appropriate terrain. Guns may define their covered arc as they wish when first revealed unless previously defined for TEM determination when HIP.
  • SSR 6: The Russian 628s are engineers for purposes of using FT and DCs but lack any smokemaking capability.
  • SSR 7: Units of Commando 8 may make use of the 553rd's '?' counters, provided they are stacked in the same/level as a un tin of the 553rd which is under a '?' counter.
  • SSR 8: 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.