It was time for the 30th Cavalry Division's 138th Regiment to probe down the outskirts of Stalino's West rail station. The mission was given to Lieutenant Morduchivitch and his platoon, as they had shown themselves to be the best scouts in the the Squadron on many occasions during the fighting retreat from the Black Sea coast. Now it was time to counterattack, and the Fascists should be driven out of Stalino!
Morduchivitch took with him a squad from Sjljapin's platoon to guard his left flank and the Maxim that was often attached to his platoon. He also wrangled a couple of SMGs from his comrades in the squadron, who were happy enough to not be sent on the reconnaissance and knew that Morduvitch's men would take down more Fascists by wielding them.
'Embarking on their mission, Sjljapins squad was stationed to the left as Morduchivitch surveyed the scene. To his utmost amazement the gardens in front of him were already overcrowded with enemies, aligned in firing position in houses and behind hedges. The few words he caught from the enemy were not German - this must be the Italians!
A short thought flew through his head - if the Fascists could show international solidarity in their wars and mass murders they should know that in his platoon there were Belarussians, Ukrainians, a Tzadijk, a Chechen, a Jew from Smolensk and even a Karelian! A true solidarity between the peoples of the Soviet Union, united in the struggle for peace and Socialism!
A engine roar abruply ended his speculations. What was this? Did the Italians field tanks? He went over to the left flank to observe, and yes, a T-26 painted with a italian flag came rumbling down the street. Morduchivitch swore, what kind of patrol was this? The gardens full of Italians, and tanks captured from his own land being used against him! Having no AT gun to back up the mission or even a couple of molotovs, this was going to be a patrol from Hell!
If you have played CoC before, this probably looks like some kind of rule abuse. A T-26, which is on Support List 4, in the "Patrol" scenario? You can´t normally take anything more than from Support List 3 if you have a higher platoon force rating than your opponent in the patrol scenario.
Now, Morduchivitch had to think fast and not about international solidarity. He detached one of the men of Sjljapins squad to peek around to corner and badly conceal a firewood log that could be mistaken for a couple of stick grenades. This ruse worked for a while, as the T-26 lowered its speed as it drove down the street. He then deployed Serzhant Borisov's Maxim to take the house with Italians under fire. The Italians withdrew into the building and, at least according to Borisov, several of them were hit by his well-aimed hail of bullets.
Morduchivitch went on to execute the second part of his (quite hastily made up) plan. Now, with the Italians in the house silenced, he sent in Serzhant Akselrod and his squad to take the grove at the right side of the built up area. Akselrods squad sprinted for the grove, and as they went forward they saw some Italians withdrawing into the gardens, unwilling to fight the cavalrymen. When Akselrods squad had established themselves in the grove, Morduchvitchs himself and the second squad under the command of Serzhant Jezijev (the Chechen) quickly followed.
With the Lieutenat in position, the flank attack enveloped. Morduchivitch's men pressed the Italians who fell back from both their positions after at hot but brief firefight. The men were reorganized for the final push aimed to force the Italians from their hidings. At this moment the platoon heard the characteristic sounds of 45mm shells hitting a house from a short distance. It was obvious that Sjljapin, Borisov and their men had come under fire from the Italian T-26. As they had no anti-tank weapons they could not hold out for long.
Morduchivitch had to make the bitter decision to call off the attack and retire, as the gardens still were full of Italians and it would take some time to dislodge them from there despite his platoon's favorable flank position.
The men withdrew from their positions. After a brief meeting with Sjljapin and Borisov they could determine that the decision was right, as the situation was untenable and Sjljapin himself was lightly wounded in the left thigh from an shell frament. The only wounded soldier in Morduchivitchs platoon was the quite bloodstained cavalryman Ivanovitj, who had been hit by an falling branch in the firefight in the grove (presumable the Italians had aimed high and shot it down). The wound was superficial and he should be back in the ranks as soon as he had a new uniform tunic. Then it was certainly time to find Kapitan Jegorov to call in some anti-tank support on their flank.
WW2 Campaign Blog
This blog follows the second Chain of Command club campaign, set in the intense fighting over Stalino in October 1941.