Last night my crew and I fought a Russo-Japanese battle pitting the Japanese 2nd Division from the 1st Army, against the 3rd East Siberian Rifle Division of the Russians.
The 2nd Division had assistance from one brigade of the Japanese Imperial Guard! That two more regiments with 6 more battalions of elite infantry to attack the entrenched Russians. I took over 100 photos of the game, but I'm only going to put about 25 to 30 in this post as we will be refighting this battle again next week.
Figures: 15mm from Eric's collection
Rules: playtesting battalion scale of Barrage (Piquet supplement)
Terrain: Mal made the Chinese buildings and they look awesome!
The commanders ...
Japanese 2nd Division (3rd and 15th Brigades) - Eric C.
Japanese Imperial Guard Brigade - Paul
Russian 1st Brigade - Phil
Russian 2nd Brigade - Jan
I was the umpire as I'm breaking in some new rules.
Click below to see the orders of battle for each side along with the morale chip totals.
Here are a couple of photos of the battlefield (Russians defending a series of ridge lines) before the game began. This is the view from the Russian side of the battlefield. Most Russian battalions are entrenched, while the Japanese are in extended formation, getting ready for the advance across the valley. I labeled the photo to show where each command is located.
Lieutenant General Zasulich - 3rd East Siberian Rifle Division survey's the ground. Will his Siberians hold against the much larger Japanese army? The cherry blossoms are in bloom!
We are ready pa-pa!
Here you can see the 9th East Siberian Rifle Regiment entrenched overlooking Fushun and the Kialiang fields. These fields are 8 to 10 foot high and provide concealment (DOWN1) for units moving through them.
Period photo of Kialiang fields
The Japanese commanders met and decided to lead the attack with artillery barrages from the 9 supporting batteries and let the 2nd Division's two brigades launch their attacks first, with the Imperial Guard slightly delayed.
The prime artillery target for the 2nd division was in from of the Japanese 16th regiment on the Russian far left. Thirty six guns (or six batteries) opened up on the Russian trench line to the left of Fushun. Eventually that artillery would destroy the battalion manning the trenches there.
Found these two extra photos showing the effects of the bombardment and the Japanese assault on the empty trench line:
All across the front shrapnel rained down from Japanese batteries, and the Japanese infantry started their advance. Here is the 16th Regiment moving towards the pounded Russian lines.
As the Japanese 16th and 30th regimented advanced on Fushun, the Russian's opened fire with a battalion from the 10th ESRR that was hidden in Fushun. (Due to Phil's terrible rolling as the Russian commander on the left wing, little damage was done) The Chinese market in Fushun will never be the same!!
Paul sends his Imperial Guard brigade into battle. Here they are wading through a shallow but broad steam in front of the 21st and 34th ESRRs.
In the center Eric has advanced his Japanese 4th infantry regiment (in their new khaki uniforms!) into the Kialiang fields, while the Russians have taken 2 stands of damage on the far left battalion, the commander will have to check for survival (heart), and all the Russian units have fired (shell casing).
The Japanese 30th infantry regiment reaches Fushun and attack the Russians with bayonets!
Japanese 16th regiment rushes forward. See the empty trench (just Russian dead bodies there), and the other Russian unit has two stands lost already!
Overrun! Japanese move through the Russian trenches and Russian commander, Colonel Schwerin, dies on the field.
The Imperial guard reaches the river, but now the Russian guns start to find their range.
In Fushun, the Japanese are routed out of the town, but the next Japanese battalion pushes out the Russians.
Getting up-close and personal in the center as the 4th and 29th Japanese regiments come to grips with the Russia 9th ESRR.
Russian reserves heading to the trenches at the Japanese 4th pushes one battalion of Russians out of their trenches.
Russians launch a counter attack against Fushun, and push back the Japanese. Too little too late.
Japanese 16th regiment sweeps into the flank of the Russian 10th ESSR battalion and charge towards the Putilov Fields guns.
More fighting near Fushun.
The guns are overrun by the Japanese!
On the other flank, three Imperial Guard battalions are routed by Russian artillery fire! The shame!
Reforming in the center to hit the 34th ESRR.
Cut down! Russians are massacred by the Japanese crashing into their unprotected flank.
Little hope for the Russians now.
There may be a new Japanese Imperial Guard commander next week. :-)
At this point the battle was over. The Russian left flank was completely rolled up, their center was about to break, and the right was just about to get attacked by the Imperial Guard. The following photos show the situation at the end of the evening. All from the Japanese point of view.
The Japanese 16th and 30th regiments overwhelm the remaining units from the 10th ESRR.
Japanese 4th and 29th push in the center.
Not much left on this sector of the battlefield for the Japanese.
Japanese Guard is ready to finish off the 21st ESRR
Final shot of the center and my homemade Japanese flags for this period.
We had a fantastic time and will be fighting this again next week. This is really a typical RJW battle as the Russians were on the defense in trenches while the Japanese attacked. Later in the war the Japanese would switch to night attacks as these became too costly.