Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Team Yankee - Showdown at Schellerten


In the early hours of Wednesday 7th August 1985, the Third World War was approaching its third dawn, but already the night had been torn apart by the violence of full spectrum, high intensity armoured combat...



but the full fury of the storm's epicentre in the NATO Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) AOR was to be the now infamous town of Shellerten…



In the predawn darkness a company sized Air Assault detachment of Afghantsi Desantniki 



had landed at the nearby village of Heinde and seized the strategic bridge over the Lehrbach river.




Simultaneously, the NVA Motor-Schutzen of the 11th Motorisiertes Schutzen Divisionen launched a daring night attack to brush aside the NATO covering force and seize two bridges over the Mittleland Kanal.



Their success would then be exploited by Soviet Motor Rifles...


and Tank formations. The plan, dreamed up by cunning Soviet General Staff strategist Colonel-General Bryanovitch Brianski was to combine elements of the Covering Force, Defence of Schellerten and Hell's Highway scenarios into one single war winning mega game...but was it - you know how this goes:

A Bridge Too Far?


At all events, the highly skilled yet horde like Motor-Schutzen of the National Volks Armee led the whole ambitious undertaking off to a flying start...


By dint of skilfull infiltration and spearhead tactics the wily Ossies were able to sneak very close to the vital Mitteland Kanal bridges 


before being detected by the lightweight US Cav covering force...


Resistance was fierce...


but soon became futile as the Warsaw Pact emphasis on amphibiosity and fast river crossings paid off... 


and the objectives were soon outflanked then seized!


As dawn started to lighten the western sky the Soviet Motor Rifle and Tank Columns passed through the jubilant Ossies - it was now their turn to shoulder the burden of liberation...Western onlookers were shocked at the speed and ferocity of the Warsaw Pact onslaught..


But could it maintain its momentum in the face of heavy opposition?



Initially both the Tank and Motor Rifle columns made good progress on the open road network, with the glimmering light of dawn hampering some NATO long range missile fire...



But with the Soviet main effort soon identified, opposition of a more traditional kind revealed itself in masterfully sprung ambushes...


With dawn in its full glory revealing the cost of high intensity operations without due regard to flank security...


Opposition was particularly stiff in the village of Schellerton, with doughty British infantry rising to its ages old traditions of tenacious defence...


The traditional Soviet remedy was applied in increasingly desperate quantities...



But with negligible results...



Firepower of a more direct kind was marshalled around the unfortunate village...


Meanwhile the armoured columns were held up, still very far from the increasingly desperate Desantniki in far off Heinde…


Finally, the ruined village's stout defenders were finally deemed sufficiently pinned down to make an assault worthwhile...



Schellerten had been liberated from the imperialist yoke, but at what cost?


The armoured thrust had ground to a halt, well short of Heinde, leaving the gallant Desantniki survivors, abandoned and out of ammo, no choice but an honourable surrender...

My thanks to Bryan Sallans for all the hard work of organisation and for his daring Afghantsy coup de main, my fellow Warsaw Pact commander Trevor, and the gallant NATO commanders Stephen, Colin and Marc for a great and memorable game!

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