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Kharkov ’42 Scenario Overviews

#00-Started.scn - #00 Getting Started - "Staging for the Main Event"

**SEE the "Started.HLP - Shebekino, 70km NE of Kharkov, April 27th, 1942: In preparation for Stalin's Summer Offensive at Kharkov, Stavka ordered several new Tank Corps to be formed from organic Tank Brigades throughout the Army. Many of these units had to traverse the front laterally as time was short and the Spring Razputitsa (thaw) had caused many creeks to be swollen beyond capacity. These hasty regrouping orders were often made on short notice and resulted in careless movement, dangerously close to the front lines. Furthermore, this activity did not go unnoticed by the ever vigilant Germans. This scenario depicts one such historically based hypothetical situation wherein the Soviet are redeploying troops south for the big offensive. Your mission is to move your Guards Brigade off the south edge of the map at the exit objective. However, along the way you my encounter enemy units which will have to be dealt with. [825 sq Km – 10 Turns]

 

#01-BarvenkovoW.scn - #01 A Bulge is Born

**WINTER(3x Night turns) - Barvenkovo, 125km SE of Kharkov, January 22nd, 1942: Initially, the Russian Winter Offensive of 1941-42 was the one that stopped the German offense on Moscow. This success lead the Soviets to consider other options in regards to recovering the ground lost in the previous summer. One such operation took place here, near Kharkov where the Germans were weak and lulled into thinking the Russians had spent all their forces in the (Operation Typhoon) winter offensive around Moscow. On January 1st, the Russian attack began in this quiet sector, and luckily for the German 17th Army, the Offense was conducted in a piecemeal fashion. The Russian 57th Army made steady progress but the Germans managed to form a new defense line from Laager/strongpoints by fortifying towns. On Jan 22nd, Marshal S. K. Timoshenko, the Russian Commander, sent in the Cavalry to break the line. Three Corps strong they attacked with the goal to penetrate the German lines, driving deep into the rear. It was this operation which was destined to be the "Birth of the Bulge" that later would become the focal point for the disastrous summer offensive at Kharkov. To this end, the 5th Cavalry Corps was ordered to take Barvenkovo and continue driving south. *Designers Note: In Winter, map may be more clear using "View | Map Contours" ON & "Settings | Hex Outlines" OFF. Also, a special Thanks to Mike Avanzini for his research assistance with this scenario. [1800 sq Km – 26 Turns]

 

#02-Campaign-Full.scn - #02 Campaign Game - The Second Battle of Kharkov

Kharkov, May 12th, 1942: In 1941, the first year of war in Russia, the German Army plowed their way across much of the Soviet Union and was stopped at the very approaches of Moscow the Soviet Winter Offense. Much has been written of this Moscow counteroffensive, but a lessor known, but rather successful Russian Winter Offense also occurred near Kharkov and resulted in the formation of the Iyzum Bulge. Both of these successes lead Stalin to feel that the momentum was his. It turns out he was wrong on both cases. Nevertheless, by the spring of 1942 he was planning a bold move to encircle Kharkov and surround the German Army in the Ukraine with a two pronged attack. His attack was also to preempt the German Summer offense that was expected to happen in the Moscow region. This Soviet Summer Offense was know as the Second Battle of Kharkov. [84,500 sq Km - 140 Turns]

 

#03-Campaign-1stHalf.scn - #03 Campaign Game - The Soviet Spring Offensive

Kharkov, May 12th, 1942: This scenario, features the same historical setup as the full Campaign Game - #02 The Second Battle of Kharkov, but it is terminated after the Soviet Offense and before the German counterattack known as Operation FRIDERIKUS. This counterattack is featured in scenario #17. [84,500 sq Km - 80 Turns]

 

#04-Staryy Saltov.scn - #04 Bridgehead on the Northern Donets - Historical Day 1 North Area

Staryy Saltov, 30km ENE of Kharkov, May 12th, 1942: The Russian Kharkov offensive in the Spring of 1942 consisted of two parts. In the north, the 28th and 38th Armies were to attack to the north of Kharkov. The attack began on May 12th with infantry divisions augmented by tank brigades hitting the thin German defenses on a ridge overlooking the town of Starry Saltov. By the end of the first day, the Russian forces would advance 10km and stretch the German defenses to the breaking point. [1000 sq Km - 6 Turns]

 

#04a-Staryy Saltov.scn - #04a Bridgehead on the Northern Donets - Soviet advantage Day 1 North Area

Staryy Saltov, 30km ENE of Kharkov, May 12th, 1942: The Russian Kharkov offensive in the Spring of 1942 consisted of two parts. In the north, the 28th and 38th Armies were to attack to the north of Kharkov. The attack began on May 12th with infantry divisions augmented by tank brigades hitting the thin German defenses on a ridge overlooking the town of Starry Saltov. By the end of the first day, the Russian forces would advance 10km and stretch the German defenses to the breaking point. This alternative version of scenario #04 has a Soviet advantage using early release of forces in the area. [1000 sq Km - 7 Turns]

 

#05-Velikaya Bereka.scn - #05 Out of the 'Izyum Bulge' - Historical Day 1 South Area

Velikaya Bereka, 50km SSE of Kharkov, 12 May 1942: Lt-Gen Gorodniansky’s 6th Army, which was massed on the northwest corner of the ‘Izyum Bulge’, to carry out the initial attack in the southern sector. Its task was to smash through the German and Hungarian defense line and drive northwest to Velikaya Bereka while opening a hole for the Tank Corps in the second wave to pass through and continue the push north to Kharkov itself. [450 sq Km – 7 Turns]

 

#05a-Velikaya Bereka.scn - #05a Out of the 'Izyum Bulge' - Soviet advantage Day 1 South Area

Velikaya Bereka, 50km SSE of Kharkov, 12 May 1942: Lt-Gen Gorodniansky’s 6th Army, which was massed on the northwest corner of the ‘Izyum Bulge’, to carry out the initial attack in the southern sector. Its task was to smash through the German and Hungarian defense line and drive northwest to Velikaya Bereka while opening a hole for the Tank Corps in the second wave to pass through and continue the push north to Kharkov itself. This alternative version of scenario #05 has a Soviet advantage using early release of the reserve regiment the forward rifle division and the attack force augmented by additional tanks from 21st Tank Corps. [450 sq Km - 8 Turns]

 

#06-Mironovka.scn - #06 Into the Breach - Historical Day 1 South Area

Mironovka, 60km SSE of Kharkov, May 12th, 1942: At 0730 hours the whole front erupted as the Russians poured to the west. The Germans, taken by surprise, reeled back from the onslaught holding where they could, using strongpoints located in numerous villages and small towns. In this south sector the gains were the most spectacular. Facing the Russians on the Krasnograd axis was the 454th Security Division. It had been pressed into the line as the Germans prepared their own offensive. This weak link was found, and exploited almost immediately, by the highly mobile cavalry of Army Group Bobkin that dashed into the breach lacking air support due to poor co-operation at the boundary between the South and Southwest Fronts. [700 sq Km - Length: 8 turns]

 

#06a-Mironovka.scn - #06a Into the Breach - Soviet advantage - Day 1 South Area

Mironovka, 60km SSE of Kharkov, May 12th, 1942: At 0730 hours the whole front erupted as the Russians poured to the west. The Germans, taken by surprise, reeled back from the onslaught holding where they could, using strongpoints located in numerous villages and small towns. In this south sector the gains were the most spectacular. Facing the Russians on the Krasnograd axis was the 454th Security Division. It had been pressed into the line as the Germans prepared their own offensive. This weak link was found, and exploited almost immediately, by the highly mobile cavalry of Army Group Bobkin that dashed into the breach lacking air support due to poor co-operation at the boundary between the South and Southwest Fronts. This alternative version of scenario #06 has a Soviet advantage using early release of Cavalry from Group Bobkin and some armor of the 23st Tank Corps. [700 sq Km - Length: 8 turns]

 

#07-Grushino.scn - #07 Left Hook to Kharkov - Historical Day 1 South Area

Grushino, 55km S of Kharkov, May 12th, 1942: Simultaneously with the Northern Shock Groups attack from the bridgehead on the Northern Donets, a Southern Shock Group, consisting of the Soviet 6th Army and Army Group Bobkin lunched forward. The German front line at the northwest corner of the Izlum Bulge was quickly shattered from Verkhniy Bishkin, through Grushino and to Mironovka. Backed by powerful mobile Tank and Cavalry Corps, the goal of this thrust was to drive northwest to a depth of 25 km before turning north to Kharkov. Here, this "Left Hook" was to meet with the North Shock Army and encircle the German 6th Army in Kharkov. [1700 sq Km - 7 Turns]

 

#07a-Grushino.scn - #07a Left Hook to Kharkov - Soviet advantage Day 1 South Area

Grushino, 55km S of Kharkov, May 12th, 1942: Simultaneously with the Northern Shock Groups attack from the bridgehead on the Northern Donets, a Southern Shock Group, consisting of the Soviet 6th Army and Army Group Bobkin lunched forward. The German front line at the northwest corner of the Izlum Bulge was quickly shattered from Verkhniy Bishkin, through Grushino and to Mironovka. Backed by powerful mobile Tank and Cavalry Corps, the goal of this thrust was to drive northwest to a depth of 25 km before turning north to Kharkov. Here, this "Left Hook" was to meet with the North Shock Army and encircle the German 6th Army in Kharkov. This alternative version of scenario #07 has a Soviet advantage by releasing reserve forces for the intial attack. [1700 sq Km - 8 Turns]

 

#08-Murom.scn - #08 Bypass to the South

Murom, 45km NE of Kharkov, May 13th 1942: Dawn broke on the second day of the battle to find Lt-Gen V. N. Gordov's 21st Russian Army renewing the offensive toward the west. The 76th and 233rd Rifle Divisions were linking up to secure an overall bridgehead on the west bank of the Northern Donets river. All attempts to penetrate deep into the German defenses in the Murom area were met with stubborn resistance. Col Ter-Gasparian commander of the left flank 227th Rifle Division decided to try a different strategy. [450 sq Km - Length: 8 turns]

 

#09-Ternovaia.scn - #09 Trouble in Ternovaia

Ternovaia, 40kms NE of Kharkov, May 13th, 1942: Some of the most heavy and frustrating fighting in the Russian 38th Army sector occurred when they tried to seize the key German strongpoint in Ternovaia. Parts of two divisions attacked the town from the northeast, east, and southeast. The German garrison stubbornly continued to defend the town. Unfortunately, for the Russians, this scene was to occur more and more as the advance moved onward. [325 sq Km - Length: 8 turns]

 

#10-Privole.scn - #10 Panzers from Privole

Privole, 20km E of Kharkov, May 13th 1942: For the first part of the day, Lt-Gen K. S. Moskalenko's 38th Army formations advanced successfully along their entire front. But the situation was about to change abruptly. Initially the Russians had caught the Germans by surprise, but their own intelligence had completely underestimated the German reserves in the area. A German counter attack was launched, with the 3rd Panzer Division, the Panzers from Privole, in the lead! [600 sq Km - Length: 9 turns]

 

#11-Hill 214.3.scn - #11 Hill 214.3

Near Petrovskoe, 24kms E of Kharkov, May 14th 1942: A part of the 3rd Panzer Division's attack was centered on Hill 214.3 in the 13th Guards Division's sector. Both sides were determined to have this vital ground. Vicious hand to hand fighting took place, with the Russian artillery pieces firing over open sights, typifying the grim struggle for the high ground. *Designers Note: This scenario is best played as Axis Human vs. an Allied AI Opponent. [225 sq Km - Length: 6 turns]

 

#12-Ternovaia.scn - #12 Relieving the Ternovaia Garrison

Ternovaia, 30km NE of Kharkov, May 15th, 1942: The Soviets from the north Donets Bridgehead was beginning to run out of steam by the morning of the 15th. As the morning attack by the Southwestern Front started, a steady stream of reports began flowing into Army HQ claiming stiffening German resistance and finally around noon came reports of strong German panzer forces - one eastward from Borshechevoe and the other south from Nepokrytaia. There were even reports of 300 German paratroopers dropping northeast of Ternovaia to reinforce the surrounded garrison. But such reports were likely only beleaguered Germans recovering food and ammo from a supply drop All offensive action was halted and units were ordered to defend along existing lines. *Designers Note: The unplayable regions in this scenario are used to focus the action along the historical SW to NE axis. [650 sq Km - Length: 10 turns]

 

#12a-Ternovaia.scn - #12a Desperate Drop

Ternovaia, 30km NE of Kharkov, May 15th, 1942: *Paratrooper* "WHAT IF" In the Soviet archive it is reported that on the 15th of May "300 German paratroopers dropped northeast of Ternovaia to reinforce the surrounded garrison." There is no German record of this event and in all likelihood what the Russians witnessed were beleaguered Germans recovering food and ammo from a supply drop. But on this day the Germans were indeed surrounded in Ternovaia and a two pronged attack, supported by a combined force of 120 panzers was launched to relieve them. Surely it would have been a "Desperate Drop." This scenario depicts a historical situation with a stronger than "Soviet reported" Germans paratrooper component added for player enjoyment. *Designers Note: The unplayable regions in this scenario are used to focus the action along the historical SW to NE axis. [650 sq Km - Length: 10 turns]

 

#13-Veseloe.scn - #13 Prickly Krikly

Veseloe, 32km NE of Kharkov, May 15th,1942: The 13th Guards Rifle Division were in the thick of the battle again. The day before they had to contend with fierce assaults from 3rd Panzer Division, and now 3rd Panzer was on the offensive again. This time they were smashing the 244th Rifle Division on the right flank. The command post of the 42nd Guards Rifle Regiment was located in a thicket with the artillery battalion of Captain Ivan Il'ich Krikly. Krikly's men and the entire 42nd were to have their work cut out for them on this day. [250 sq Km - Length: 6 turns]

 

#14-Krasnograd.scn - #14 Timoshenko's Choice

East of Krasnograd, May 15th, 1942: Marshall Timoshenko was extremely cautious in releasing his Tank Corps into the penetration achieved by Group Bobkin and 6th Army. He was fearful of making a mistake and suffering from the German armor. "WHAT IF" he had taken advantage of the penetration and committed both 21st and 23rd Tank Corps, before the reeling German units could organise a defense along the Berestovaya riverline. [3250 sq Km - Length: 24 turns]

 

#15-Chuguev.scn - #15 Charge to Chuguev

Chuguev, 35km E of Kharkhov, May 16th, 1942: By the fifth day of the Soviet offense, the Germans had gradually weakened their defenses in the Chuguev salient in an effort to stop the Russian thrust in the north at Staryy Saltov. Indeed only up to 10 infantry battalions remained on the 60km front opposite the 199th and 304th Rifle Divisions. Furthermore, there were no Axis armored units in the area. The Soviet 38th Army on the north side of the salient had the fresh 114th Tank Brigade plus its own army reserves. To the south of the salient, the 6th Army had not yet committed the 21st or 23rd Tank Corps." WHAT IF" the Russians had recognized this opportunity and had taken the chance of committing their second echelon, plus their reserves, in a charge towards Chuguev and Zmiev creating their own pocket. [4500 sq Km – 24 Turns]

 

#16-Karlovka.scn - #16 Hero of the State

West of Krasnograd, May 16th 1942: "WHAT IF" the Soviets had the skill to react quickly to operational situations. "What if" Timoshenko had the flexibility of the Germans and had put the 21st and 23rd Tank Corps under command of Army Group Bobkin. They’re new orders to exploit the bridgehead of 49th Cavalry Division at Krasnograd and push north and west to the Orchik River. Timoshenko hoped this would divert the attention of at least one of the German Panzer divisions away from the northern thrust. If it worked he may have even become a "Hero of the State". This Scenario features a number of Soviet Lend Lease tanks, including Valentines, Stuarts and Matidas. [1400 sq Km - 20 Turns]

 

#17-Petrovka.scn - #17 Noskov's 6th Cavalry

East of Krasnograd, May 16th, 1942: The Russian steamroller was gradually losing steam. Numerous German counterattacks had prevented the Russian juggernaut to continue on the offensive. This was due to Marshall Timoshenko's erroneous assessment of the strength of his opponent and his refusal to commit his own second echelon forces. He assumed the Germans were exhausted, in fact, his own troops were being worn down by German operational reserves. The only bright spot on the 16th was the performance of Gen Noskov's 6th Cavalry Corps at Krasnograd. [900 sq Km - Length: 14 turns]

 

#18-Friderikus.scn - #18 Operation Friderikus

Barvenkovo, 75km SE of Kharkov, May 17th 1942: The German High Command's plan, Operation Friderikus, to cut off and destroy Soviet Forces in the Barvenkovo bridgehead, was due to start on May 18th 1942. On May 12th, when the Russian two pronged attack on Kharkov commenced, German forces had already completed their concentration in the Kharkov region and south of Barvenkovo. The Soviet attack surprised the Germans and, initially, the Op Friderikus' forces in the north were used to counter the northern thrust. As the situation stabilized, the Germans decided to continue with their plan, starting with an offensive in the south towards Izyum and, as forces became available, to attack from the north to join up and "pocket" the Russians in the Barvenkovo bridgehead. [33,500 sq Km - 86 Turns]

 

#18a-Friderikus.scn - #18a "Hands Free" Friderikus in Hindsight

Barvenkovo, 75km SE of Kharkov, May 17th 1942: Alternate Version: The German High Command's plan, Operation Friderikus, to cut off and destroy Soviet Forces in the Barvenkovo bridgehead started on May 18th 1942. Even after the assault commenced, the Soviet High Command's response was uncertain and to an observer unclear. This lack of information and command paralysis can only be duplicated in design by "Fixed" units. We have made this version as we recognize that many players appreciate being given a "Hands Free" approach. Therefore, in this alternate, we have removed the "Fixed" status from all Soviet forces, allowing players to redeploy units at the onset of the German attack. This will allow the movement of all Soviet forces, in particular, the highly mobile 2nd Cavalry,and 21st and 23rd Tank Corps to immediately respond to the threat of the Axis threat from the south. [33,500 sq Km - 86 Turns]

 

#19-Barvenkovo2.scn - #19 Roar of Thunder

Barvenkovo, 125km SE of Kharkov, May 17th, 1942: While the Russians continued to drive northwest from the bulge toward Kharkov, the Germans quietly went about assembling the forces they had in the south for their Summer Offensive to strike a blow along the south of the bulge. The existence of these mobile reserves in the south was unknown to the Soviet Intelligence and so it was when the counterattack began, the "Roar of Thunder" caused as the German artillery began to fire along the line, was a complete surprise. One such pressure point on the line was here, south of Barvenkovo against the boundary of the 341st and 106th Rifle Division. Here, spearheaded by the 14th Panzer Division, the Germans bust through the line and drove for Barvenkovo where a hasty defense line was established by elements of the 5th Cavalry Corps. [1150 sq Km - 8 Turns]

 

#20-Slavyansk.scn - #20 Anatomy of a Military Disaster!

Slavyansk, 90km SE of Kharkov, May 17th, 1942: The Russians were completely unprepared for the German attack - Operation Friderikus. It drove mainly from the south flank of the Soviet Bulge, towards Izyum, creating yet another pocket in which to destroy the Russian Army. This scenario features the first three critical days along the southern face of the Izyum Bulge. Two powerful German Army Corps cut though the unsuspecting Soviet defenders in what was to be an anatomy of yet another Soviet military disaster. For the full Operation Friderkus see scenario #18. [7000 sq Km - 30 Turns]

 

#21-Slavyansk2.scn - #21 Escaping Castastrophe

Slavyansk, 90km SE of Kharkov, May 17th, 1942: The failure of Russian Intelligence to identify the mass of mobile German forces staging for Operation Friderikus was certainly one of the causes for the military disaster at Kharkov in early summer of 1942. 9th Army HQ squandering the only available reserves in attacks in the Maiaki area compounded this event. "WHAT IF" the Russians had detected the movement of the German Panzers poised to strike? "WHAT IF" the Russians had not squandered those reserves? This scenario examines these "WHAT IF" situations using a historical Axis placement, but allowing a Soviet deployment in anticipation of the German attack. For the complete historical version of this scenario, see #20-Slavyansk or for the full Operation Friderikus see scenario #18. [7000 sq Km - 30 Turns]

 

#22-Iyzum.scn - #22 Cutting the Turkeys Neck

Izyum, 125km SE of Kharkov, May 18th, 1942: The city of Izyum on the Donets River was a key Soviet supply and communication center for the whole Kharkov bulge. By this stage of the Russian offensive, a disaster was in the making. The Soviet drive westward from the bulge was turning out to be another huge pocket reminiscent of the previous summer. The Germans, using forces poised for their own attack, Operation Fridericus, struck on the exposed Russian southern flank on the morning of May 17, and quickly slashed though the front line lead by the 16th Panzer Division, with strong infantry support. Their goal was to cut the off the neck of the bulge and trap two Russian Armies in a new pocket. The Soviets had other ideas. Elements of the 51st Rifle and 30th Cavalry Division fiercely defended the river crossings of the Donets. [2200 sq Km - Length: 14 turns]

 

#23-Lozovaya.scn - #23 A Day Trip for 16th Panzer

10km NW of Barvenkovo, May 20th, 1942: Successful operations of the Russian 2nd Cavalry Corps on May 19th caused apprehension in the German command. They saw the possibility of a counter attack from the area of Lozovaya towards Barvenkovo. Therefore they quickly moved 16th Panzer Division to the west to pre-empt this threat. Once there, in co-operation with 100th Light and 1st Mountain, they went over to the offensive and broke through the 2nd Cavalry Corps. On their right 60th Motorized was also making good progress. So after dark, von Kleist turned them back around to the Bereka bridgehead behind 14th Panzer. [1950 sq Km - 10 Turns]

 

#24-Balakleya.scn - #24 Stiletto to the Neck

75km SE of Kharkov, May 21st-23rd 1942: 14th Panzer division took Protopopovka on May 20th reducing the mouth of the bulge between there and Balakleya to only 18km. The German High Command reacted swiftly to the news. Von Kleist turned 16th Panzer, 60th Motorized and 1st Mountain divisions around to follow 14th Panzer into the Bereka bridgehead. Then, on von Bock's urging, 3rd and 23rd Panzer divisions were given orders to move and attack south of Andreyevka to seal the pocket. [4000 sq Km - 26 Turns]

 

#25-Lozovaya2.scn - #25 The Price of Combat

25km E of Krasnograd, May 23rd, 1942: Stalin's huge gamble based on the successful winter offensive was all but lost. There was still hope that the encircled armies could break out of the ring cast around them, but the Axis high command were masters at this art. As the days went by demoralized and disorganized Russian units fought stubbornly against constant attacks. Add to this the fuel and ammunition problems and it seemed that few would see their loved ones again. But the Soviet breakout attempt continued unabated to the end. "What if" you were tasked to clean up this pocket, or defend it? [6300 sq Km - 40 Turns]

 

#26-Petrovskaya.scn - #26 Combat Order #00330

25km W of Izyum, May 24th,1942: Marshall Timoshenko had decided to penetrate the ring of encirclement around the 6th and 57th Armies. For this purpose, "Group South" was to be formed from the remnants of the two armies. Timoshenko issued Combat Order #00330 to this force directing them to regroup and strike to the east towards the Northern Donets. Once clear, they were to cross into the Soviet lines between Proropopovka and Petrovskaya. Unfortunately, the Germans renewed their offensive preventing the force from regrouping in time to execute the order. "What if" "Group South" had been allowed the time to carry out this order, especially as the German 60th Motorized Division was stretched perilously thin here to contain the pocket. [700 sq Km - 18 Turns]

 

#27-Bishkin.scn - #27 One Piece at a Time

40km E of Krasnograd, May 24th,1942: The German command knew exactly what to do, they had done it before in the not too distant past. But could they do it again? They had to cut the main pocket into smaller pieces, then destroy them one piece at a time. So the 23rd Panzer Division was on the move again, to the west, to try and chop off another piece. The Russian units trying to defend the northern sector were in for a surprise! [720 sq Km - 18 Turns]

 

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