For the Record: Bryansk 1942 – the other new Historical Battle
Hello everyone, you all probably know about the Tobruk historical battle, that came in 9.1. Originally, however, the patch brought two historical battles – that one and the one called Bryansk. Russian server, where the historical battles are more popular than on the EU server, got both, EU got only one, because it was felt by Wargaming that too few people are interested in HB’s to actually split the HB queues between too battles and so, only one was introduced, with the other one probably coming later. Here’s a bit of history behind it, as translated from the Russian portal. In May 1942, the forces of the Red Army suffered a serious defeat at Kharkov. After that, OKH (German high command) made new plans for the followup operations in the southern part of the eastern front. The general goal of these operation was the final destruction of the Soviet armies of the South-Western Front and Bryansk Front, followed by a dash to river Volga and Caucasus. One of the planned Germans operation was called “Blau”. The army that was to participate in it was called Army Group “Weichs”. The task of the Group was to attack Kursk and Voronezh. After that, the Group was to turn towards Kantemirovka to participate in the encirclement of the armies of the South-Western Front. On the other hand, the Soviet command was thinking that the Wermacht ran out of its offensive capabilities and planned a general offensive in all the sectors of the entire Soviet-German front. In the morning of 28th of June 1942, the German armies went on offensive and attacked the left flank of the Bryansk front. By the end of the day, after heavy fighting, the Germans managed to break through the Soviet defense and advance between 8 and 15 kilometers, reaching the river Gremyachaya. Soviet commanders made a series of mistakes, causing a lot of chaos and as a result, the Germans managed to deepen the breakthrough to 35-40 km. Soviet counterattacks by the tank forces from 30th of June to 2nd of July were not successful. Soviet tank corps entered the fighting piecemeal, the Germans were actively managing their forces and had air cover. By the 2nd of July, three Soviet divisions and two brigades found themselves encircled and by the 3rd of July, six more were surrounded by the Germans. On 6th of July, the Germans already reached the western outskirts of Voronezh, but did not manage to capture the city completely. The right bank of the river was controlled by the Germans, left bank was controlled by the Soviets, who tried to counterattack several times to capture two German bridgeheads and the Chizhovsky and Shilovsky forest. The attempts to widen the German bridgehead continued until Winter 1943, when the city was completely liberated. Between 6th and 7th of June 1942, the Soviet armies, specifically the 5th Tank Army of Major-General A.Lizyukov, counterattacked south 35 km from Voronezh in order to cut off the enemy communications and to disrupt the Germans transporting their forces over river Don. This counterattack managed to divert some of the German forces, but the 5th Army failed to defeat the Germans. Regardless of the fact that the way the fighting went for the Soviet army in Summer 1942 at Voronezh can hardly be considered a success, their fighting can also not be called a defeat. The Wehrmacht lost both men and vehicles and a part of its forces were tied up and could not be transferred to other parts of the front. This battle had one more outcome: Hitler finally decided to attack in two directions in the southern sector of the front: one was the Caucasus, the other was Stalingrad, which became the main direction of attack for the Germans. Only a few months remained to the German disaster at Stalingrad. And here’s where the Wargaming text ends. The battle itself is pretty straightforward. On the Russian side, you have the 76mm KV-1 and T-34 tanks with a couple of “small vehicles”, on the German side, you have Panzer IV and StuG. The probably least historical element of this battle is the appearance of Panzer IV Ausf.H, which is a 1943 model, simply because there are no alternative hulls (this is one of the very few instances in which alternative hulls actually make sense – historical battles). Simply put, for a Summer 1942 model, the vehicle has too much armor and the Schurzen appeared in March 1943 as well. As usual with every historical battle, people try to play the most powerful tanks and so the battle setup itself looks something like this: At first glance, it doesn’t look very well balanced, but the fact that the Germans are actually having the 75mm StuG’s and Panzer IV’s evens the odds and the armor of the Panzer IV Ausf.H is very resistant to the Soviet 76mm shells should make a difference, so we’ll have to see. My guess is, we’ll get this battle in two weeks or so, instead of the Tobruk one, so make sure you don’t miss your chance of getting a medal for the Tobruk operation (for that, you need to win at least once for each side). Got mine yesterday.