4th September 1939. Part 1

The Polish counter-attack

The Polish

2nd Infantry Corps, supported by the 1st Tank Corps, attacked the German 1st Tank Corps in grid square BH25.


The battlefield was clipped from an “Advanced Squad Leader” board using dice for the centre point and orientation.  It turned out to be an urban setting.  This was transferred to the battle board.

This is the battlefield view from the north (i.e. the above map inverted)


The main attacking force was the Polish 2nd Infantry Corps (strength 8).  German defenders were the 1st Tank Corps (strength 5).  If required, reinforcements could be called in from surrounding map squares.  The detailed order of battle was decided by rolling Memoir ’44 dice against a pre-prepared conversion table.

Detailed order of battle

Polish 2 Korpus Piechoty (8 dice)

3 infantry, 3 tank, 2 grenade.

For an infantry corps this translated into:

Three units of 3 rifle bases and 1 MG base.

Three units of 3 tanks.  Secondary rolls determined that they were:

1 x 3 7TP with twin MG 

1 x 3 TK3 with 20mm cannon 

1 x 3 TKS with MG

Two units of 2 artillery.  Secondary rolls determined that they were:

                1 x 2 105mm guns, horse-drawn

                1 x 2 75mm guns with tractors.

German 1.Panzer Korps (5 dice)

1 tank, 2 grenade, 1 infantry, 1 flag.

One unit of three tanks (Pz 1).

Two units of two SP guns (150mm SIG on Pz I chassis). 

One unit of 2 horse-towed 105mm howitzers.

One unit of three SdKfz231 armoured cars.

This has the potential to be an interesting battle.  One side is trying to defend a town with no infantry available, while the other is assaulting with a reasonably balanced force against lots of artillery with limited visibility.

The game plan

When I started this mammoth campaign about six years ago – and I have reached day four! – I planned to use Memoir ’44 as the gaming system, but I have a new plan.  Indeed a cunning plan.  Since this campaign is progressing so slowly I will use it as a chance to review, replay (and investigate the possibly of conversion to 6mm/hexagon terrain), every set of gaming rules that I have.  As well as I can remember I will also use the rules in the sequence in which I encountered them.

And so, 4th September 1939 – the Polish counter-attack – will be played using the rules from “Introduction to Battle Gaming” by Terry Wise, which was my Christmas present from my parents in 1969.  We were staying with my grandparents for Christmas and nobody thought to buy me any soldiers, or even dice, to go with the book.  I suppose that 10/6 (£0.52) was a high enough cost for a gift without adding two boxes of Airfix soldiers at 1/3 (£0.06) each!  If my parents had known what that initial expenditure of 10/6 would cost me in the future!

And so, back to the game in hand.  Although I am playing on a small table (about 90cm x 60cm) I am using Terry’s movement and firing distances as published.  The slowest moving are infantry at 5cm and the fastest jeeps at 40cm on roads.  Firing ranges are from 5cm for a pistol to 60cm for artillery.  For the first game I will ignore the hexagon grid and the fact that my infantry are based in (generally) fours.  Each figure will be treated as an individual.

In a similar format to Terry’s “Battle for Bratwurst Village”, described in the book, the Germans will be deployed in depth as defenders of the town, and the Poles will advance onto the table from the north.

To be continued.

Part 2.  The game

Part 3.  Post mortem

Published by

General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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