To Embark Upon the Great Crusade 11

 The two marks (Mark and Marc), continue their chronological newsreel AAR series thru the sands of time  with Combat Commander as the metaphor of their exploration of squad level combat in WWII.

Stand and Die: The Mamayev Kurgan Campaign, September 27, 1942

The Germans continue to press the Soviets in and around the city of Stalingrad. A battle has broken out to control the Mamayev Kurgan region of the city, a hill overlooking the city and a formidable position to hold. Reports are now coming in of the fighting in this area…

First Battle: The Soviets Hold

Along a shallow valley midway down the hill, the Soviets have set their positions, a bunker holding their Medium Machine Gun and the surrounding gullies hiding their forces. The Germans has set up with strength but have a lot of wire to cross unless they decide to advance across the Soviet fire lanes. Here is the initial disposition of the troops:

The Russian MMG was a pain and there were several melees as the Germans finally crossed the wire and made the gullies. On the right, the Germans advanced steadily, eventually throwing the Russian troops back. Vogel got his HMG squad in between the Soviet bunker (MMG) and Kovalev’s squad with ampulomet. More melees hit the Germans hard. As Vogel brought his men through the woods, the units in the Soviet bunker emerged to pursue them. Vogel was taken down. The Germans couldn’t hold together then and time was up for them! The Russians had held their ground and could gear up for a counter-offensive!

Final results on the battlefield:

Second Battle: The Soviet Attack Stalls Badly

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To Embark Upon the Great Crusade 10

The two marks (Mark and Marc), continue their chronological newsreel AAR series thru the sands of time  with Combat Commander as the metaphor of their exploration of squad level combat in WWII.

1942: The Shadow Lengthens…

In a series of victories across the globe, the foul powers of the Axis nations drive back our own troops and those of our allies.

A Gray Tide Washes Upon Stalingrad, September 18

All around a major grain elevator, the Soviet troops attempt to fend off their German aggressors. Here they are, their men holding key buildings and the bulk of their forces in the grain elevator itself. The Russians don’t have any fire lanes extending from the elevator but key portions of the building must be held at all costs.

The Germans fire and advance with textbook precision and regularity. On the right, one squad of Soviets fights a delaying battle until he must give up the objective building. But he is able to retake it when the Germans clear out to advance on the elevator. On the left, the lone squad (leader and team have been killed) fights for every inch of the objective building but the superiority of German numbers finally overwhelms them.

Time is rushing by but then it seems as if everything is in slow motion. The Germans breach the grain elevator. The Russians fight and fire but are rushed by their enemy and killed to the last man. A final, valiant squad bearing a flamethrower makes its way to the building. They are able to avoid a mass of troops that tries to enter melee with them but then are cut down by heavy fire. The last few men lay down their arms and the Germans have advanced that much farther into Stalingrad. Here is the bloody result:

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To Embark Upon the Great Crusade 9

The two marks (Mark and Marc), continue their chronological newsreel AAR series thru the sands of time  with Combat Commander as the metaphor of their exploration of squad level combat in WWII.

News from the Pacific Islands, September 1942

The war continues to rage in the Pacific as Allied forces attempt to stem the tide of Japanese aggression.

New Guinea, September 4, The Kokoda Trail

Along the rough and mountainous terrain of New Guinea, Australian soldiers are set to receive the Japanese advance while withdrawing their men down the hills. Here are the ANZACs, strung out along the trail, ready to fall back against the enemy advance.

The brave troops attempt to hold the hill crests but the Japanese wave advances. The soldier along the highest crest hold back the advance slightly, firing as Japanese troops approach via a gully. Suddenly enemy troops appear at the bottom of the hill! They rush the squad down below and grab the trailhead before exiting the area. The next group of troops were holding fast but were soon overrun. It fell to Lt. Thornton and his men to hold the last line. A team arrived with a 25 pounder and began hammering the approaching enemy. But it wasn’t enough. The Japanese were able to close and jump our allies, forcing them to surrender. Bad news from New Guinea!

Here is the aftermath recorded by war journalists.

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To Embark Upon This Great Crusade – Part 7

The two marks (Mark and Marc), continue their chronological newsreel AAR series thru the sands of time  with Combat Commander as the metaphor of their exploration of squad level combat in WWII.

It has been a while since we had  some posts from the 2 M’s. Lets dig in and see where we are at in the chronological walk thru of Squad level combat in WWII.

News from the Fronts, August 1942

From the sands of North Africa to the malaria-infested swamps of the Pacific to the dense woods blending Europe into the Soviet Union, we witness a world at war! The Nazis, well into their drive into the Soviet Union–some say Hitler is Napoleon reincarnated–battle against Soviet defenders who often take their fight to the last man. In the Pacific, our own American boys have a foothold on Guadalcanal but must hold tight against waves of suicidal Japanese soldiers. In the hot sands of the African continent, our brave Allies are hounded by Mussolini’s troops.

Egypt, August 11

A road in the middle of nowhere. British troops facing off against Italians in this “no man’s land.” The British have set up a position from which to harass their enemy.

Suddenly, orders come in that the road must be taken and held at all costs. The Italians apparently have the same order as they begin to fire and move. It’s a race to claim the center of this barren strip of highway. The Italians are able to send a squad to take out the British HMG. But a hero appears who dashes without a thought for himself to take and hold the road. Mortar fire seems to end him but he reappears! And he takes the road again. But the Italians who are close by now are too strong. He is killed. The remaining British forces run forward but are hit by Italian fire. It’s a disaster and our Allies cannot retake the road before the Italians call in additional forces to secure the area. A bitter day for the Brits under the hot desert sun! Smythe was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.

On Guadalcanal, August 21

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To Embark Upon the Great Crusade – Part 2

The two Marc(k)s continue their adventure:

Fascist Aggression Continues! Europe overrun! African Colonies in Peril!

Nazis in Norway!

Hitler has sent his armies north into Scandinavia with an attack upon the country of Norway! Footage obtained from these battles shows this one near the Gratangen Valley on the Narvik Front. Here, Norwegian soldiers attempt a breakout to drive back the Nazis during a blizzard.

The Norwegians advanced steadily, dispersing the Germans slowly but surely. But a German Team with an HMG appears on the Norwegian side and blocks there efforts. Tracers zip through the blowing snow and the Norwegians prepare to advance but cannot do so in time.

Here we see the Norwegians, hampered in their efforts, a victory for the Fascist invaders!

Fierce Fighting in Fallen France!

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