We decided to allow each "column" to do one counter-attack each during the campaign. During a counter-attack, the platoon that won the last game has to fight again. This means that they don´t have the opportunity to defend their gains with soldiers that got the "miss one turn" as a casualty result in the previous battle.
Lieutenant Grechko lead his platoon during the company's push down the east side of the railroad. He had just seen Gapanovich's men and Ponomarenko's armoured car withdraw. Apparently they got the worst of the first encounter with the Germans, and Gapanovich was carried by his men, soaked in blood. Grechko crossed himself, hiding the gesture from his comrades: as an Armenian Christian, his habits remained even as an officer of the Workers and Peasants Red Army.
To oust the Germans, two hellish flamethrowers (rightful retribution to the Germans, according to Grechko) and a Maxim gun accompanied them, aside from armor from the tank batallion. Now the 15th Tank Brigade was down to serious business.
The lead KV tank rumbled down the the street behind him. It was the tank of lieutenant Remezov, the commander of the Tank Brigades Heavy tank platoon. The crushing sounds and armored might of the heavy tank gave Grechko and his soldiers confidence in their attack, notwithstanding the retreat of Gapanovich.
Captain Koltjugin and Commissar Tzyganov surveilled their steps as the men spread out in the gardens from a position immediate to their rear. Apart from Gapanovich, the attack's command cadre was in place. A short prayer to not let an artillery concentration land here slipped through Grechko's mind.
The men went crouching into the gardens, and soon enough Sergeant Ivanovich's section come under fire and several men got hit. They sought shelter in a house and let the Maxim gun behind them open fire. Grechko saw two grey-clad figures in a gate opening on the other side of the road go down, but the enemies hit the dirt and returned fire. Bullets were whistling by and several of the Maxim crew were hit, and they panicked and withdrew their machine gun out of the fire.
But now the KV came up along the road. Grechko dispatched Sergeant Petrov and the flamethrowers to attack on the left side of the road, were the German machine guns fired from. The KV's guns were still silent as it drove slowly down the street, not seeing anything to open fire on. The Germans withdrew before the KV came into firing position.
Then Grechko heard a frightful scream from the left flank, and a big black cloud rose over the yards. A German had been grilled, that was for sure. Petrov's section disappeared into the building before them. Soon enough "Petya", the platoons runner, came back from Petrov's direction,
"Petrov says the Germans have withdrawn" Petya reported."What happened with the flamethrowers?", Grechko asked. Petya put on a grim smile "They left one Fritz to take out the tank, but the flamethrower men scorched him… only ashes left". Ashes to ashes (he was interested in liturgy, not only from his own branch of Christianity), Grechko thought as his loud voice tried to overcome the noise from the tank. "Push forward! The Germans are withdrawing, the gardens are ours!"
WW2 Campaign Blog
This blog follows the second Chain of Command club campaign, set in the intense fighting over Stalino in October 1941.