Battle of the Blogs – WtP:Bzura AAR – Turn 5

Check out the Polish Turn 5 on Fog Of Wargames.

The weather for the German Turn 5 was very sunny. A good day for a battle!

Checking the Objectives for this turn, and you’ll notice the Polish have abandoned their retreat to the Warsaw/Modlin area, it seems they’re spoiling for a fight and are bringing it to the Germans. They would now need 836 powerpoints to make their Victory condition. I can only think they’re going to attempt a push to Lodz.

Here’s the lie of the land at the beginning of the German Turn 5.

In the interests of AAR brevity, I’m going to just narrate the recon missions, rather than throw up 3 screenshots for each run.

I run recon missions just behind the Polish front to see what lies just outside of Warsaw, then I recon the Modlin Fortress to see if they’ve moved many troops southwards to meet my Panzer incursion. Lastly, I run a recon in the middle of the amassed forces trapped inside the waistline bulge.

At the fortress the Poles have left 4 units of artillery holding the area. There are only a few infantry divisions behind the Warsaw Modlin line itself. The mass of troops in the center, seem to be fairly weak infantry/artillery and engineers units. With only one or two of them showing considerable strength.

My poor scouting Engineers, just north of Lowicz, have become encircled and stranded, out of supply and in deep trouble.

I’m afraid there’s not much I can do for them just yet, they’ll have to hunker down and hold on. But they are providing a bit of a distraction for the hive of buzzing polish troops in the waistline cauldron.

Meanwhile at the northern most gap in the Warsaw/Modlin line, I’ve pushed my troops as far forward as I could, and settle in to widening the gap. Laying down artillery bombardment, I attack the weakest points with the infantry that have action points left. Hoping to rout the Cavalry and isolate the infantry division obstructing clear passage through.

As expected the German 31st infantry Division makes short work of the Cavalry, and forces a retreat.

The Polish 28th Infantry are now cut off and mostly enveloped.

I continue to hit the sides of the gap wall with Artillery and Infantry attacks as much as I can afford. The bigger I can make this corridor the less of a chance the Polish will have to close it up and cut off my advancing tanks.

Here’s a point I’m not sure about and would welcome any input from the knowledgeable WtP players, on the map my 1st Panzer Division motorised troops have a relative troops strength of 71, but in the selection window they show up as relative strength 65. And I’ve noticed strengths change as chits are moved in and out of different situations. Are the numbers adjusted based on the counters surrounding them? On the map the Polish 30 Infantry are designated as 5 strength, but in the attack window as 14 strength. Are the numbers on the map adjusted for the presence of the 44 strength infantry also surrounding the Polish troops, reducing their effective strength and raising the Motorised troops of the 1st Panzer?

Here’s the result of the ground assault. As you can see the Polish infantry where overwhelmed and retreated. The German highway to Warsaw is becoming bigger.

Here’s the supply situation to the troops on the front line, after moving forwards. With my General stationed at Sochaczew the supply lines run along the road and up to the mouth of the gap, but struggle beyond that. Hopefully with subsequent turns and widening (if possible) I can get more supply to the Panzers at the front. You may notice I’ve also left a tank division behind to secure the entrance to the gap. If I can nudge the walls open, I’ll move him forward slightly to keep the pressure on and the momentum going Eastwards.

In the South, I have a small contingent pushing Northwards as a distraction mainly, but they have spread their defense out a little thin, and weighing up the links in the chain I decide the very small unit of Polish 7TP tanks is the weakest link (Goodbye!).

I utilised the games encyclopedic knowledge of the units involved to make the decision on where to strike.

My air attack from the Fliegerkorps VII consists of Dornier’s (DO-17) and Messerschmidt’s (BF-109E).

The blurb accompanying the information said they were good at swift bombing and ground attack.  Which sounded like the sort of attack that would make short work of the 7TP’s.

Here’s the information on the Polish 7TP tanks.

The line “It had 17mm of armour which was inadequate especially against aircraft” sealed the deal for me. So rather than strafing infantry with armoured car support, I hit the tanks from the air!

Sadly, all that work up to make the decision, and the air attack did little actual damage.You can see there was an AA Flak component to the Artillery unit adjacent to the tanks we attacked and they added their support to defending against the airstrike.

It does serve to illustrate the amount of detail behind the unit counters in the game, and with the ability to compare unit types against each other its  a very useful tool, if you’re not exactly au fait with all the unit types involved in a conflict. The troop type description always has little interesting nuggets of historical information in there, for the info hungry grognards.

I then hit the same Tank unit with my surrounding artillery. Which cuts the unit down with a couple of direct hits.

Finally pushing the nail in the coffin with my infantry division. The Polish 7TP’s are broken and destroyed.

Another gap has opened in the Polish Defense, and I take the liberty of exploiting it and pushing all I can northwards on the road to Warsaw!

My attention immediately jumps to the middle section of the line and the incursion I began last turn there. I may as well poke hard in all the places I’m stationed, rather than try and shuffle troops along the line of defense. I hit the weak point with Arty first, then set up an infantry attack.

The result is pleasing. The Polish 2nd Legion are panicked!

I pick away at the hole like a fidgeting child, and wider this gap also.

Here’s a view of the whole of the Warsaw/Modlin defensive line and the 3 breaches that have been made. I’m hoping that even if the Polish manage to stem the flow from one of the leaking holes, they won’t be able to stop the others from getting into Warsaw. If I have enough troops to push forward and fan out a little, I can cut their lines of supply to Warsaw itself!

Back to the drama unfolding at the Waistline entrance point of Wyszvogrod. Having secured a foothold across the river Vistula, I begin the attacks to push the encroaching Polish back, time to fill out the waistline.

The Polish crumble. I hit them with two infantry divisions at a time.

I finally add the  SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguard to the mix. Retreat and Panic is all around.

Finally using up all my action points in that area and driving the Polish line back a littleways.

You can see the depth to which I push below.

As the majority of my Northern Sweep force moves into the waistline, theres still this little matter of the Polish National Defense stationed outside of Sochaczew. Its time to hit them hard.

I hit them with Arty, and then follow it up with and infantry assault, adding the few troops in my Flak unit to the mix – just to make sure.

At the end of the turn, here’s the lie of the land.

A quick look at the Sectors. With all the condensing of the troops that has happened, I can cover this with two sectors now, Western and Eastern.

WESTERN Sector

I’ve not described the movements in the far west, suffice to say it mainly involved extending their reach as far as their action points would allow. The waistline enclosure is finally beginning to hem the Poles in. I probably haven’t got the manpower to decimate them, but I only want to hold them, without supply, in this volatile cauldron. I’m hoping I have enough strength in the South the prevent any of them spilling out and attempting to take Lodz (far South not on the map below). I have very little in the way of reserves. Everything I have is engaged in holding a line or pushing through to Warsaw.

EASTERN Sector

At the moment this is my pride and joy. I have managed to poke three holes simultaneously into the Polish defensive line. They have very little depth of reserve within Warsaw itself. One of my cold piercing fingers should be able to claw its way to and throttle the heart of Poland, and hopefully win the scenario. We shall see.

Stay tuned for Turn 6.

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