Savage Streets is a two-player or one-player little game covering the fighting in Stalingrad on September 14-25, 1942 (a turn is not exactly a day). This is the AAR of my first play of Savage Streets, using the solo rules, from the point of view of General Alexander von Hartmann, commander of the 71. Infanterie-Division.
September 14, 1942. Outskirts of Stalingrad.
"The Volga lies out there".
I have to take the ferry landings. The Russians are using these ferry landings in the Volga to ship their troops inside the city. When we take the ferry landings the Russians won't be able to ship more units inside the city and Stalingrad will have fallen.
But it won't be an easy task. We have to cross the rail yards and the fortified train station of Stalingrad-1. We have to cross either the Lenin square or the Red square, with nowhere to hide. We have to take the imposing buildings of the state bank or the specialists houses and then and only then we will be able to take the river shore and the ferry landings.
For this task my 71st Division will attack with two regiments on front, 194 led by Oberst Fritz Roske and 191 led by Oberst Johannes Schmidt. 211, led by Obert Hermann Barnbeck will be the reserve. 244 and 245 StuG Abteilungs will provide the punch to our schwerpunkt and our pioneers will clean any isolated pockets.
I had been promised that the 518 Regiment from the 295 Division will come to our aid but they are arriving late. We will start without them.
This is our situation before the attack.
My plan is to press stronger our left flank in order to quickly get to the river. From Rodimtsev's HQ we can then attack the main ferry landings and defeat the Russians by controlling the line through Lenin square and the rail yards to our secure positions in the rear.
September 15, 1942. Downtown Stalingrad.
Yesterday our attack was too slow. We only crossed the rail yards and the rail crossing with very few casualties, but we've bypassed the train station and we have not gotten into Lenin square.
My regiment commanders say they don't have enough resources yet so today four more battalions will cross the railroads. I've warned Roske to cover his exposed right flank but he answered that he "needs every available man" to reach the Volga.
This is our situation:
As you can see, Henze's regiment has finally arrived and will also cross the railroads today. They will attack through Lenin's square and reach the Volga while my division cleans up the train station and the downtown district trying to lure the main Russian counterattacks and free the 518 to accomplish his task.
September 16, 1942. Downtown Stalingrad.
Yesterday we had our first big scare. While Henze's 518 was mopping up Lenin's square the Russian guards launched a wide counterattack using their 133 Tank Brigade armed with the fearsome KV. Luckily, their main infantry force was entirely NKVD militia which was dissolved by the lead of Henze's machineguns like tears in the rain. Then he advanced his pioneers to take care of the KV and consolidated the rest of the area.
This is a picture of the Russian counterattack:
On our right flank there was bitter fighting in the train station Stalingrad-1. We have entered the building but there are some defenders we have not dislodged yet. They are using Komsomol Park and the Univermag as supply routs. I have ordered Roske to clear the train station while Schmidt defends the downtown district.
The rail crossing is defended by a platoon of StuG and a company of pioneers.
The main line of attack is still our left flank.
September 19, 1942. Lenin Square, Stalingrad.
After three days of combat we have finally taken the first ferry landings! Henze's 518 has been fighting for three days in Rodimtsev's HQ and now the zone is secure.
The 518 is totally exhausted and some combat units are rendered ineffective. To make things worse, the HQ of one of his battalions was wiped out when a Russian sniper killed the four commanding officers and their escort soldier. It seems that the Russians are using this sniper's exploit as some sort of war propaganda.
To consolidate our positions I have moved the 71's three regiments to northern positions in order to block the Russian reinforcements from the north that menaced Lenin square.
Bernbeck defends the square, vital for our objectives, Schmidt is still holding the downtown district against Russian counterattacks, as a flanking defense and Roske has divided his 194 in several groups of attack in order to provide covering and disrupt Russian operations.
Roske has proven invaluable as he has taken the train station and the Red Square including the Komsomol Park. He has left some units defending our outer right flank and has crossed behind Schmidt's units to attack by surprise the Russians in the U-shaped building they call the State Bank.
I wanted Roske to replace Henze's units but the 194 is so scattered now that I will use Bernbeck's 211 to leapfrog from Henze's position and attack the main ferry landings. I don't like exposing my reserves like that but this is our only opportunity to cut the Volga shipments before the Russians receive stronger reinforcements.
I will call the reserves to the front for an schwere angriff.
September 23, 1942. State Bank, Stalingrad.
Yesterday there was a decisive battle. Siberian troops from Russian 284 Division crossed the Volga during pre-dawn and counterattacked our regiments as they launched our offensive against the main ferry landings.
The shock was brutal. Some infantry battalions fell to Russian ambushes, our StuGs were attacked by hidden Russian NKVD militia with molotov cocktails and the damned Russian snipers killed some of our commanding officers. We'll have to do something about these Russian snipers if we want to improve our soldier's morale.
We had heavy losses and could advance no more, but victory will surely be ours as now the Russians have no place to ship reinforcements. Some of their units have been unable to ship and we will not allow them to reinforce their isolated units!
September 25, 1942. State Bank, Stalingrad.
Victory is ours!
After some days of heavy combat, the 71st Division has finally controlled the rest of ferry landings and now our positions are secure!
I sent Henze's 518 to the rearguard to cover for Russian counterattacks as his regiment was no longer able to press forward, so the three regiments of the 71, with no longer distinction of forward and reserve units, with all men fighting side by side in mixed companies and battalions, united in the spirit of the 71st have finally destroyed the Russian resistance and achieved their objectives.
There are some Russian strongholds that have not surrendered in the specialists' houses and the supply depots, but I've sent the pioneers there to mop up the sites.
Our task as 71st Division is now complete. I hope the rest of our brothers achieve their objectives fast and the whole 6th Army can be sent home by Christmas 1942.
I hope it all was worth it.
Alexander von Hartmann, 71. Infanterie-Division.
Thanks for reading!