Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

PMZ Campaign: Gorzow

Report from General Dietrich,
commanding Sixth Panzer Army

The battle for Gorzow, dated April 8th 1945

As part of operation Spring Awakening, I had been given the task of driving the Russians back from the borders of the Fatherland. The Fuhrer had allocated all the armoured reserves to this attack and great things were expected, we were not to disappoint him. Poor weather had grounded the Red airforce so we attacked under a ferocious artillery bombardment which however proved fairly ineffective. I had been promised all available aircraft, but apparently the bad weather made them ineffective as well. The Russians were occupying a line of hills with a large area of wooded ground in front of them.
The 1st SS Pz Division attacked on the right with the few tigers available, their task being to outflank the main defences. The 3rd SS Pz Division with attached PzIVs advanced through the woods. On the centre left the 16th Panzer Division with its Panthers and half of the Jg Panthers advanced cautiously against the centre of the Russian position keeping concealed as much as possible. The 232nd Pz Grenadier Division with PzIVs and the remainder of the Jg Panthers swung round the left flank.
The 1st SS engaged T34-85s at the far side of the woods and confidently outmanoeuvred them, destroying many in the process. These Soviets now came under pressure from the 3rd SS advancing through the woods and were forced to withdraw.
Meanwhile in the centre the 16th Pz had taken up position behind a crest line and awaited instructions. On the left the 232nd PzGren were advancing rapidly and beginning to push the Soviets back through the woods on that flank.
At this point the Soviets committed their reserves, Guards with sherman tanks against 10th and 30th SS. As soon as they did this, the 16th Pz attacked in the centre, slowly driving yet more T34s off the high ground. Meanwhile the 232nd PzGren were emerging from the woods into the Soviet rear area. The guards fought a bloody battle with the SS at close range, both sides eventually losing most of their tanks and being forced to withdraw.

The view from behind the German positions. The 1st SS is advancing on the right having driven off the T34s. The guards have moved forwards to oppose them. The 3rd SS have moved through the woods on their left. 16th Pz have moved up onto the high ground and are about to drive off the T34s and Polish infantry in front of them. The 232nd on the left are advancing into the soviet flank. Wrecked Soviet units can already be seen streaming to the rear.

The 16th Pz had now cleared the high ground and were advancing directly into the centre of the Soviet position at the same time as their remaining units were being surrounded by 232nd PzGren. At this point the Soviet command knew all was lost and began a headlong retreat. We pursued them as far as Lodz, where we were forced to stop for lack of supplies. We had retaken all the ground lost since February. It is rumoured that the Soviet front commander has been shot and that I will receive another addition to my Knight's Cross.

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