With Berto's latest Coder Diary out, I thought I'd put together a During Action Report showcasing some of the new features the new, free 1.05 UPDATE will include.
First, disclaimer: I am just a beta tester and a Forum Member, the views presented here are mine, and mine alone. Also, please keep in mind the print screens shown here present alpha and beta code, and may or may not be what the final version of the game will look like.
That done, I will first present the designer view to the new scenario.
1. Choosing your Battles
I have a little history project under way, mapping a select few Finnish front battles into EF. First, under my and Warhorse's Forgotten Battle Mod, and now, bringing them into EF 1.05. At the moment I am working on a few early Continuation War battles.
The scenario in the making here is the 18th Division 1941 crossing of the Vuoksi river, a battle that has hardly received even a footnote in the history books, yet very decisive for the continuous advance in the sector. The Finnish push at Karelian and Olonets Isthmuses during the late summer 1941 are viewed as smooth advances, yet it was nothing like that. RKKA units put out a dogged defensive struggle, not willing to lose any ground, launching determined counter attacks, and things often hang in the tightest of balance. This battle was such that if gone wrong from the Finnish point of view, the whole sector would have faced a great struggle to launch an offensive across the river should the RKKA forces been allowed given time to dig in on the southern shores of the river.
So, here we go. First, here's the location of the battle, on Karelian Isthmus:
1:100 000 map of the area from 1938. (c) Karjalankartat.fi
What Panzerblitz might have said about this East Front scenario:
18 August 1941: Elements of the Finnish 18th Division attack a rag tag battle group of RKKA across the Vuoksi river.
Mapboard: C-B-A. Setup: Allied set up first anywhere on the map but Hopeaniemi. Axis set up second, only north of Vuoksi river, and not closer than 4 hexes to any Allied unit. Turns: 30.
What I rambled on, instead:
** ARCTIC FRONT: ON FAMILIAR GROUND
Complexity: 9 - Turns: 30 - Modified complexity: 9 * 30 = 270 - Size modifier: 6
First side: Axis
Turns: 1-6[n] 7-30[d]
Visibility: 1-2 3-3 4-4 5-5 6-6 7-30
Allied Air 3; Ammo 70; Smoke 10
Axis Air 4; Ammo 75; Smoke 20
AI Allied 35; Axis 75
Major Loss 600; Minor Loss 900; Minor Win 1200; Major Win 1500
18 August, 1941
[Hopeasalmi, 40 km E of Viborg, Karelian Isthmus Finland] [H2H] [HIS] [GD]
10 July 1941 marked the beginning of a Finnish push for the reconquest of Karelian Isthmus, ceded to Soviet Union after Winter War. River Vuoksi marked a formidable object to these plans, and on August 16, Col. Pajari's 18th Division was given orders to secure a bridgehead south of the river. Moving forward, they soon identified a weakly defended sector some 10 km west of Vuosalmi. As it happened, the location was by the narrow Hopeasalmi straits the 18.D was intimately familiar with from their peacetime wargames in the area. Engineer Capt. Tuurna, responsible for arranging the crossing, was first to say what everyone was thinking: "Yes, let us hop this river as we always do!"
During the night of August 17th, Pajari send his 27th IR to silently cross the river, with orders to secure a bridgehead south of the river. Then, as the regiment artillery would join in support, they would continue towards the vital ground of Kylä-Paakkola heights, a location fiercely contested during the last days of Winter War. At the same time, the 49th IR would advance towards Vuosalmi from North.
In the morning of August 18th Colonel Koptevski begun to realise the grim situation of his rag tag battle group, put together from various bits of surviving Red Army units in the area. Having finally received the permission to form a new defensive line south of the river, albeit with orders to still maintain a bridgehead on the northern shores, he had planned for a determined rearguard action against a Finnish attack from the North. Instead, he faced an imminent danger of encirclement before the reinforcements he knew were already on their way would reach the area.
[ALL: N AF: N VV][1.05]
"Assault boats cross the river at Hopeasalmi straits (Major Turkka's Battalion). Hopeasalmi 1941.08.18" Source: www.SA-kuva.fi
Major Turkka's 3rd Battalion of 27th Regiment was the first to cross the river. The land to the right consist of a small peninsula reaching into river Vuoksi, while the hostile shore is to the top left corner of the picture, some 750 meters from the point of origin. The shortest distance to cross the river would have been from the tip of the peninsula, some 400 meters, but as the major road led to this location this is where the crossing started from.
According to 27th Infantry Regiment HQs War Diary, 3/27th crossed the river during the 2300-0230 hrs of night 17./18. August.
If the original picture description quoted below the pic is correct, and these really are men of 3/27th, then the visibility is not that bad: white nights of Nordics are not quite over yet in August. Something not possible to represent with the Dawn Attack of the earlier game versions, and something the 1.05 enables us just perfectly. More of that in the coming posts
EDIT: Sunset - sunrise? Full moon or not? It is possible to find out, I did: Sun set on 17 Aug 41 at 20:58, and rose again on 18 Aug 41 at 05:23. Dawn and dusk (sun is within 6 degrees below horizon with decent visibility) is 0:52 hrs. Moon rose at 23:58 but was already at its last quarter (20% visible). I wonder if the photographer named the right battalion here? The second boat seems to have its engines on, something that was only allowed when second battalion crossed the river, from 03:30 on. Could be that the text is wrong, and this is already 2/27th instead?
More pictures can be found from www.sa-kuva.fi with search string "Hopeasalmi", and with dates say 19410801 - 19410830.
< Message edited by Crossroads -- 12/25/2013 11:40:19 AM >