A little while ago, the Minions and I decided to get the tanks out for another clash in West German, circa 1984. This would be a first run out for my newly-painted British armour…
However, I brought the wrong box, so we had to use West German armour as substitutes (bah!). So where you see a Leopard 2, it’s meant to be a Chieftain, an M113 represents an FV-432, etc…
The year is 1984 and the Soviets have broken through 1 (Belgian) Corps on the right flank of 1 (British) Corps. A small Soviet reconnaissance force from the 40th Motor Rifles Regiment races to the town of Hafeneinfahrt, to establish a bridgehead on one of the four crossings of the River Teiwi. A scratch British force from 4th Armoured Brigade races south to head them off…
Above: The infantry of 1 Irish Guards approach Hafeneinfahrt and dismount from their APCs.
Above: The force commander, Major O’Rasmussen from the Royal Irish Hussars, parks his Chieftain next to the factory, covering the westernmost bridge.
Above: A Soviet BRDM-2 scout car noses round a corner and immediately comes under fire from a West German Home Guard Jagdpanzer, though by some miracle, survives.
Above: “They should have called Fred Dibnah for this bloody job…” Pilot Officer Prune, the attached RAF Forward Air Controller climbs the factory chimney for a better view of the countryside…
Above: …and not a moment too soon! Pilot Officer Prune spots a troop of T-64s and calls in a strike from a 54 Squadron Jaguar. The Jaguar manages to suppress one T-64 and disorder the other, which soon falls victim to a lurking Chieftain.
Above: A lurking Shilka fires at the Jaguar, but to no effect.
Above: Two can play at that game, Comrade… The Soviet FAC calls up a Mi-24 ‘Hind D’ gunship, which immediately moves to engage the Chieftain troop. The Hind is suppressed by Royal Artillery Blowpipe SAM teams, but still succeeds in slamming an ATGM into one of the Chieftans. British infantry frantically dig in nearby… However, the victorious Soviet crew don’t survive to celebrate their victory, as the Royal Artillery Blowpipes swiftly end the Hind’s rampage.
Above: The Chieftain burns…
Above: The surviving Chieftain duels with the surviving T-64.
Above: The T-64 also now comes under fire from MILAN ATGM teams, though Soviet artillery soon deals with one of the MILANs.
Above: Meanwhile, back at the town, Motor Rifles dismount and move through the town supported by BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles and another T-64.
Above: The Motor Rifles are wary of lurking German Home Guardsmen and they know that a Jagdpanzer is prowling the streets.
On the northern edge of town, a Soviet BRM-1 recce vehicle locates some German Home Guard, but comes under panzerfaust fire.
Above: In the town centre, a T-64 moves to secure the central bridge, but bumps straight into an ambush:
Above: At point-blank range, the Jagdpanzer can’t possibly miss and astonishingly, hits something vital, destroying the T-64!
Above: At the church, things also go badly for the Soviets, as the BRM succumbs to panzerfaust fire. The Motor Rifles manage to knock out one of the German Home Guard sections, but are soon repulsed and running from the town, preceded by the BRDM scout cars.
Above: Elsewhere on the battlefield, the duelling T-64 and Chieftain are both soon burning and prowling BMPs emerge from the town, only to be engaged by British infantry armed with Carl-Gustav 84mm recoilless rifles.
Above: Two BMPs are soon burning in the town.
Above: The British infantry advance to finish the job. The RAF Jaguar returns and finishes off the Soviet artillery OP vehicle with a volley of rockets. The Soviet FOO survives, but is soon running for the hills as fast as his jack-booted little Socialist legs can carry him.
Above: The rest of the British infantry stop digging in and join the advance.
Above: Soviet vehicles burn as the Irish Guards move into Hafeneinfahrt.
Above: An overview of the battlefield.
Above: Major O’Rasmussen of the Royal Irish Hussars (on the left) accepts the surrender of Podpolkovnik Ashcroftski of the 40th Motor Rifles Regiment (on the right).
Thanks to all, especially Connor Jones for the photos.
The models are all 15mm models from my own collection: The British and West German infantry, along with the T-64s, Shilka, Jagdpanzer and Fuchs are by QRF. The BMP and BRDM variants are by Skytrex. The M113s and Leopard 2s are plastic kits by Flames of War. The Soviet infantry are by Hurasan. The Mi-24 Hind D is a plastic kit by Revell (actually painted as an Angolan Mi-25 – I’ve since got some Soviet Hind Ds and Es). The Jaguar is a 1/100th die-cast model by Italeri.