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"Partisan Operations" Topic

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Jim Webster02 Jan 2022 10:20 p.m. PST

This scenario looks at putting together a multi-battalion anti-partisan sweep behind the lines on the Russian Front in 1944.


It also acts as a bit of a walk through for the rules Hell in Microcosm

Cuprum202 Jan 2022 11:48 p.m. PST

Interesting. A fairly rare topic for games.
I can express some ideas for further elaboration of the game on this topic:
- in the partisans there are many professional military men of various specialties left over from the defeated Soviet units in 1941.
- as part of the partisans, there may be groups of professional saboteurs of the NKVD with extremely high combat training
- Partisans often have the advantage of being very familiar with the area, and among the local population they always have "eyes and ears". It is unlikely that you will be able to catch them by surprise with large forces. And enemy troops will be waiting for perfectly prepared ambushes and traps (mines, barriers, etc.)
- the forest for tanks and vehicles is virtually impassable, especially in those areas where partisans create their bases
- full-fledged combat units were rarely used to fight partisans. Usually these were either allies (Hungarians, Slovaks), or various units created from local collaborators. The Germans consisted of police and security units. The best fighters were jaegers, specially trained for combat in the forest

Jim Webster03 Jan 2022 1:47 a.m. PST

Some things matter more at different scales. So in this case the partisans had the advantage of 'prepared defence' which includes the ambushes etc.
As well as NKVD there appear to have been a lot of regular army cadre flown out to join the Partisans, on top of those 'left behind' by the collapsing of the front.

One useful source, looking especially at the German Regular Army response to Partisans is THE SOVIET PARTISAN MOVEMENT
1941-1944 BY EDGAR M. HOWELL

PDF link

It was written back in 1956 so it had better access to German material than soviet, but is at least available as a free pdf :-)

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2022 8:06 a.m. PST

The first thing that I think of for anti-partisan operations are the police battalions. Some even got obsolete French armor. I recall reading about a German police battalion in the Balkans with FT17s.

Jim Webster03 Jan 2022 8:51 a.m. PST

Apparently the FT17s were not merely shipped to the Balkans from France but were also those captured from various Balkan forces in the first place.
But it does seem that they were used more in Urban areas, given they were too damned slow to use in the countryside :-)
But SS-Freiwilligen-Division Prinz Eugen did get French armour when it was formed. It got B2s but later may have swapped them.
I found this link

"In August-September 1943 the division transferred 16 B2 tanks to Panzer-Kompanie z.b.V. 12 in exchange for 9 Hotchkiss 38 tanks. "

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2022 1:58 p.m. PST

Interesting idea – Romania and Yugoslavia had FT-17s and I suspect some of the FT-17s used for anti-partisan work came from there

This is a very under-gamed part of WWII – be interesting to see how a game goes!

Jim Webster03 Jan 2022 10:33 p.m. PST

I agree with you about it being under-gamed. I think books like 'The Guns of Navarone' and Fitzroy Maclean's book Eastern Approaches got me interested in it.
I picked up Eastern Approaches many years ago for about £1.00 GBP in a second hand book shop and never regretted it :-)


When the Second World War broke out Fitzroy Maclean wanted to volunteer to fight but worked for the Diplomatic Service, who wouldn't let him saying he was too valuable.
So he resigned 'to go into politics' which mean that they had to let him. He immediately enlisted as a Private in the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders :-)
But in 1941 he stood as MP for Lancaster and was elected on a ticket of "Vote for me, you'll never see me again because I'm off to join my regiment"

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