Friday, December 1, 2023

Grumble Jones December Scenario GJ130 Emulate the Brave

And just like that 2023 was done...finito Benito! Herewith we find the final scenario of the 2023. The final scenario of 2023 will be a Stalingrad scenario. I am a huge fan of the TIK History Channel on YouTube. For the past few years, TIK has been providing amazing videos for his Battlestorm Stalingrad Series. This series will prove to be his Magnum Opus. In my opinion, it will be the greatest, most comprehensive study of the Stalingrad Campaign ever produced. If you haven't seen it...I can't recommend it enough. Currently, he is about two episodes from completion. TIK really put his blood, sweat and tears into this mammoth undertaking and twice nearly quit it altogether. It really overwhelmed him at one point. TIK's work relies on a host or resources and some of the best source material available from David Glanz and Jason D. Mark. The detail is so good, that you can watch this series and come away with a PhD in Stalingrad. Not even joking.

The December scenario comes from the Episode listed above. It covers some of the last active Panzer resistance as the Stalingrad Pocket as it was inexorably crushed by the Russian tide. In this scenario, a Platoon of Panzers from Panzer Abteilung 160 would successfully halt a Soviet breakthrough that threatened to overtake Pitomnik Airfield. The loss of Pitomnik would be catastrophic to the continued existence of the German defenders trapped at Stalingrad. 

This event is taken from Jason D. Mark's outstanding Panzer Krieg Volume 1. TIk references it and notes the page number, etc. 

Jason D. Mark has produced some of the finest books about Stalingrad available. They are chock full of excellent photographs and exhaustive detail regarding the participants and the event that would shape the Stalingrad Campaign and alter their lives forever. 

Panzer Krieg Volume 2 is still in works and should prove to be another compelling work that will shed still more light on the Stalingrad Campaign.

These resources coupled with MMP's amazing Red Factories and Valor of the Guards really bring the Stalingrad Campaign to life. 

Jason D. Mark's The Leaping Horsemen, Island of Fire, Into Oblivion and Angriff the German Attacko on Stalingrad in Pictures are also must have tomes.

The screenshot above is from TIK's episode entitled "Erhard Milch to the Rescue! BATTLESTORM STALINGRAD E48". It's a fantastic episode that brings to light the immediate impact Milch has on the aerial supply chain for Stalingrad. It's always interesting to see how much a single person can do, when they bring the right skillset to bear on a problem. And you will see that had Milch been involved sooner, things might have gone better for the Germans. It's doubtful that his early involvement would have changed the outcome, but perhaps more Germans would have avoided dying from starvation once they became captives of the Russians. 

Back to the scenario - the inset picture above is of Friedrich Sacha. He is the "hero" of this scenario. His leadership both in and out of his Panzer would allow the Germans to repel the initial drive on Pitomnik. SSR's have been added to try and give Sacha the potential to perform equally well in the ASL world. But it's very rare to successfully duplicate individual actions in an ASL game. 

The scenario title "Emulate the Brave" is taken from the newspaper article written about Sacha in his hometown newspaper after his exploits.

Sacha's tank is pictured in Jason D. Mark's Panzer Krieg. As the pocket collapsed, Sacha and his Panzer returned to the city limits of Stalingrad. His Mark IV would be immobilized in a shell crater and subsequently abandoned. 

Shortly thereafter, Sacha would become a prisoner of the Soviet Union. 

After captivity, he would serve in the Bundesheer and retire a Lt. Colonel. And he would always be that peculiar rarity...a German survivor of Stalingrad.


And before I go, there's one more scenario for your consideration. GJ014 The Field of Fury is a design that I completed in 2014. Not one of my better works. I was using an older font style and still hadn't figured out how to scan counters in a nice straight line.  Presentation left much to be desired in my early efforts. The scenario is based on the early scene when Fury attacks across an open field with pinned GI's to take on a German held wood line. It's one of the better moments in a movie that left me a bit flat. A couple great combat scenes and then a dubious interaction with a German family that you leaves you this side of disgusted. A movie should never make you want to root for the enemy. And then's there the immobilized Fury holding a crossroads against a company of Waffen SS. Panzerfausts galore as they march down the road and then can't seem to find them when confronted with a target. A whole lot of failed Panzerfaust check dr's!!! 

On this past Wednesday, Dan Best and I gave this 9-year-old scenario a playing. We played it to the final close combat and then worked out the changes necessary to make a more passable scenario. It was actually a lot of fun, but my Americans got slaughtered crossing the open field. Dan's AT Guns would do their job and a final Sherman would go down to a Panzerfaust shot. Despite my losses, I managed to get into close combat with the final German units on the final turn. 

Attached below is the updated version of the scenario. And with that, we bring the 2023 scenario year to a close.

As always, these monthly "Basement Quality" Scenarios are offered for fun only and as a thank you to the readers of this blog.

Remember to open pictures in a new window in order to maximize the size. 

All Grumble Jones scenarios are available from the ASL Archive website. 

(Just search on Grumble Jones)

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