Thursday, January 24, 2013

Outskirts of Stalingrad, August 1942

Ralph invited the Brothers around for a Flames of War (FOW) game. I know this is a very popular rule system and all the Brothers have vast arrays of troops, from Paul's Polish trains, to Chris' Afrika Korps companies. I don't have any...but I hope to remedy that soon!
The situation was simple- a Russian battalion with armour support- well 3 very understrength companies, a pioneer platoon, two SMG platoons and two platoons of T-34s were to retake a series of buildings with a large building at the far end of the table, beyond the park area- was to be the main objective.

The Table: The big building in the center front of the photo was the Soviet objective- They started at the far end.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Polygon Wood- September 1917

I had the privilege of walking the ground that was covered by the attack of the 5th Australian Division in September of 1917. I started at the point known as Black Watch Corner and walked along a track that followed the path of the 5th Division's assault.

The capture of this wood by the Australians and the neaby by town of Zonnebeke by the 4th Australian Division enabled British and Canadian troops to then advance on Passchendaele. The battle of Polygon Wood was the I ANZAC component of a larger British and dominion operation staged as part of the third battle of Ypres. This operation was the second of the "Plumer battles", a serious of well-planned, limited advances supported by large volumes of artillery, masterminded by the British general Herbert Plumer. The name "Polygon Wood" derived from a young plantation forest that lay along I ANZAC's axis of advance.

The Forest Today......there was no undergrowth in 1917 and just a few shattered tree stumps.