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Cold War Commander- Slimbridge defends the West (part two)

I’ve lived long enough for the events that I remember are now classed as “modern history”. Can it really be over thirty years ago that the Red Menace hung over Europe whilst brave lesbians stopped American missiles being stolen from Greenham Common. I remember it all so vividly. But, Mark Fry of course spends his time reliving such times of high tension. After much cajoling and not a little tickling, Mr. Fry consented to describing his weekend, but he did hold out manfully……

“There ain’t nothing like a Dane”

or “And Now For Something Completely Different” Part 2

 “There aren’t nothing like a Dane ……erm….dame!” 1949 South Pacific by Rogers & Hammerstein


Part 2 of our Cold War Commander weekend back in 1989; saw a slight shift to the terrain, with the main action on the Kiel Canal table moving slightly further East and both Canadian and Belgian reserves appearing in an attempt to hold the Soviet bridgehead in place or even throw it back. Likewise Soviet reinforcement also made an appearance as more pontoon bridges were thrown across the canal in the Canadian sector overnight.

And finally, Yes! The Danes have arrived, in the shape of the Jutland Brigade HQ and the Royal Danish 7th Armoured Brigade. Would NATO be able to hold up the Red Menace or even throw them back across the canal? Could the Poles make headway against a renewed British force? … Only a day’s hard play (with a distracting rugby match going on in the background) would tell.

[2] Danish Royal Airforce Saab Drakens fighters (central in dark camo) fly a mission over the German countryside, alongside their Belgian comrades (original 1980’s photo)


Overnight the Soviets had strengthened their bridgehead on the north bank of the canal, pouring in another 2 Tank regiment and another Motor Rifle regiment, putting extreme pressure on the Canadian defenders.


[3] Additional terrain added behind the Canadian’s (in case a fall-back was necessary) and to the Canadian left (to accommodate the arrival of the Royal Danish army)Elsewhere the Poles had consolidated their bridgehead on the coast and advanced further inland across relatively open countryside, into the teeth of 120mm AT rounds from the British Chieftains and a reserve force of Challengers.


[4] Polish Motor rifle Regiment (with supporting AA and ATGW assets) having consolidated overnight in front of the British.


[5] BAOR Challengers line a wood in wait for the Poles, whilst a Fox armoured car is positioned forward for early warning.


But what about the AstroTurf, I hear you ask? Well yes, back in the late 1980’s the Danish military experimented with applying AstroTurf to some of their Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) as camouflage, and the result can be seen in photo [6] below:

Inline image

[6] An original late 1989 Danish Leopard 1A3s with applied AstroTurf camo

[7] Two of my Astroturf covered Leopards plus a Walker Bull Dog light tank in distinctive Danish all-black Recce camo.


My very own Danes were starting to deploy to the left of the main Soviet bridgehead and below in photo’s [8] [9] [10] are the completed painted and based Danish elements you saw in Part 1 of this post; all finished and ready to fight to Communist enemy.

[8] An Independent Tank Squadron of Danish Centurions plus HQ Command (with the Centurion ARV this time)


[9] Danish Motorised Infantry company in Unimog trucks, with an HQ base and integral 40mm Bofors towed AA gun.


[10] Danish Mechanised Infantry HQ base with command M113, a M578 Light armoured recovery vehicle and an Iltis Jeep 4×4 scout car

[11] The Danish Jutland Battalion CHQ (centre) with 4 Leopards 1A3s in front, deploys in support of the Canadians. A 1 ton Landrover with Hamlet (Redeye) SAM AA team and FAO (Forward Artillery Observer) in M113 can be seen bottom centre and a platoon of Combat Engineers (under Soviet Sagger ATGW fire), with their Leopard Bridging unit, moves forward on the road top left. A Forward Air Controller (FAC) on his motorbike is just visible top right.

And so the battle progressed. The Soviets on the canal table continued to pound the Canadians in the ferry village with just about all the artillery they could muster, but dug in infantry in a Built Up Area (BUA) are really tough cookies. So whilst further Soviet infantry assaults were thrown in, again and again, the plucky Canadians held firm. Elsewhere, Soviet T72’s and T64 MBTs had hit the NATO hidden minefields but as their mine-roller tanks started to clear a path through, they were falling foul of more NATO 105mm AT rounds from hidden Leopard 1A3 MBTs dug-in at optimum range.


The Danish deployment was however sluggish. I had managed to fail my command rolls on all 3 infantry companies (in CWC you need to roll under your command value to perform an order) and so as the Canadians & Soviets worked out their artillery and air-strikes I grabbed myself a traditional Danish lunch at the bar.


[12] Lunch Break: Traditional Danish boiled sheep’s head with mashed swede & potatoes – a delicacy (apparently)


[13] The Belgian sector, with a Soviet build-up underway across the canal. Note the mine fields (these are the ‘marked’ visible ones!)


In the Belgian sector more Soviet forces started to line the southern bank of the canal. But this just turned out to be another diversion. The Belgians had set up in text-book NATO fashion with their tank guns trained at maximum effective range on the far bank of the canal, with a belt of minefields just inside optimum ‘killing’ range. It would be a very brave Soviet commander that attempted an amphibious crossing in the face of those sorts of odds. Especially as all the Soviet artillery assets were focused on the Canadian sector.

Stay tuned for part three tomorrow- all the action from Wargaming’s top correspondents.

Filed under: Wargaming

About the Author

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The wild ramblings of an infamous wit and wargames guru. One of nature's true gentlemen who devotes his time to the care of his two sons, i.e. watching episodes of Peppa Pig together, and recreating great moments of military history using toy soldiers. Currently a leading light in The Collectivo Despertaferres wargames and duelling association who meet regularly at Firestorm Games ( formerly Ali Baba's Carpet Warehouse). Find me also on Facebook "Despertaferres"!

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