Grossdeutschland 1943:
Additional Scenarios, Part One

By Mike Bennighof, Ph.D.
September 2014

Note: Gold Club members have a last chance to pick up Grossdeutschland 1943 by September 15th, 2014: click here to join!

The Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Division went into action at Kursk with enormous combat power, probably twice that or more of a full-strength panzer division. The German high command expected great things of the elite division, but it proved no more capable of breaking through the Soviet defenses than the plain old panzer divisions. While that would cause some later writers to question the division’s elite status, to paraphrase George Pickett, I believe the Red Army had something to do with it.

Our special Grossdeutschland 1943 set of Panzer Grenadier pieces for Gold Club members gives you the pieces to play all seven of the scenarios in Kursk: Burning Tigers featuring the Grossdeutschland division:

Scenario 30: Forward at Last. 4 July 1943.
Scenario 33: Inauspicious Beginning. 5 July 1943. (Note that the Panthers that appear with Grossdeutschland are attached from 10th Panzer Brigade, and are not part of the Grossdeutschland Division.)
Scenario 36: Ferocious Fight. 6 July 1943. (Same note about the Panthers applies.)
Scenario 37: Struggle for Sirtsev. 7 July 1943.
Scenario 38: Bad Moon on the Rise. 8 July 1943. (Again with the 10th Panzer Brigade’s Panthers. Can’t believe I let that scenario title slip through editing – for a daytime scenario.)
Scenario 39: Foregoing Good Sense. 9 July 1943.
Scenario 40: Eve of Destruction. 10 July 1943. (Once again, 10th Panzer Brigade Panthers and a Perryman song title.)

Use the SCH pieces in place of the INF for which the scenario instructions call, when the Grossdeutschland 1943 set is in use. The Panthers in Scenarios 33, 26, 38 and 40 should use the plain old Regular Army Panther pieces and have a morale of 7/6.

Those are still “only” seven scenarios, and gamers can never have enough. Of anything. So here’s one more (you'll need the Armored Train piece from Eastern Front):

Scenario GD-One
Dimming the Star
13 March 1943
The Soviet “Operation Star,” carried out by the Voronezh Front, successfully recaptured the key cities of Kharkov and Kursk. The German Fourth Panzer Army and Army Detachment Kempf launched a counterattack that seized Khakov and surrounded several Soviet divisions. The Grossdeutschland Division, roused from its refitting to join the effort, struck the seam between the Soviet 40th and 69th Armies in an effort to break apart the Soviet front and seize positions along the key Kharkov-Belgorod rail line.

Game Length: 24 turns

First Turn: 0630

Other: Treat the east-west road as a railroad.

Elements, Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division
Enter anywhere on the south edge:
10 x SCH
5 x HMG
4 x 81mm
5 x PzIVH
3 x Tiger
13 x truck
6 x SPW251

Leaders: 1 x LT COL, 1 x MAJ, 2 x CAPT, 5 x LT, 1 x SGT
Initiative: 4
Morale 8/7
Off-board artillery: 3 x 16, 1 x 24

Elements, 100th Rifle Division
Set up first, anywhere on or north of the east-west road. All eligible units may begin Dug In:
20 x INF
4 x HMG
2 x 82mm
2 x 45mm
2 x 76.2mm
4 x wagon

Leaders: 1 x COL, 1 x MAJ, 4 x CAPT, 4 x LT, 1 x KOM

Elements, 26th Armored Train Battalion
Set up first, in any railroad hex:
1 x Train

Elements, 5th Guards Tank Corps
Starting with Turn Two, the Soviet player rolls one die at the beginning of each turn. On the first result of 6, the following enter anywhere on the north edge. All units are RKKA:
6 x T-34C

Leaders: 3 x Tank Leader

Initiative: 1
Morale: Tanks 8/6; all others 7/6
Off-board artillery: 2 x 10

Special Rules
1. The German initiative level is lowered by one for every four steps lost (tanks count double, trucks don’t count).
2. The Soviet initiative level is lowered by one for every seven steps lost (tanks and the train count double, wagons don’t count).
3. The Soviet 5th Guard Tank Corps is represented by RKKA pieces and rules for their use (it has not had its new status long enough for qualify for Guards benefits in game terms).

Players score victory points (VPs) as follows:
• One for each enemy step eliminated (Tiger tanks count triple, all other tanks and the train count double; trucks and wagons don’t count).
• (German only) One for each German step exited off the north edge (Tiger tanks count triple, all other tanks count double; trucks don’t count).
• (German only) Ten if at the end of play, the German player can trace a path at least four hexes wide from the north to south edge which contains no Soviet units. The path may take any direction as long as it is at least four hexes wide at every point.
• (Soviet only) Ten if at the end of play all hexes of the east-west road are Soviet-controlled.

Minor Victory: Achieve eight to 14 more VPs than your opponent.
Major Victory: Achieve at least 15 more VPs than your opponent.
Any other result is a draw.

Despite the commitment of the newly-minted 5th Guards Tank Corps (the former 4th Tank Corps) and an armored train, the Soviets could not hold back Grossdeutschland’s attack. The division took all of its objectives and forced a serious split between the two Soviet armies, prompting the release of 3rd Guard Tank Corps late in the day to try to reverse the situation. About the only positive the Red Army of Workers and Peasants could take from the debacle was the orderly withdrawal of 100th Rifle Division and both tank corps.

Click here to order Kursk: Burning Tigers.

Mike Bennighof is president of Avalanche Press and holds a doctorate in history from Emory University. A Fulbright Scholar and award-winning journalist, he has published over 100 books, games and articles on historical subjects. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, three children and his dog, Leopold.