The Lions of Lodowice: Turn 4

Aged seven, Leonid Ivanovich Arkhipov fell from a speeding express train near Dnipropetrovsk. Three hours after the accident he was found unconscious but otherwise unhurt laying between the rails of the adjacent track. During his time on the sleepers, ten trains had thundered over his bruised body without harming him. The lad went by the nickname ‘Lucky’ from then on.

Thirteen years later, Leonid finds himself in the war-mauled Polish city of Lodowice, gazing down the barrel of an 8.8cm Kampfwagenkanone 43. He’s so close to the muzzle brake of the massive shell spitter, for a mad moment he contemplates tossing one of the RGD-33s he keeps in his turret into its dark maw. Then sanity returns and he begins bawling instructions at Andrei, his driver.

The fact that he’s able to finish the first of these instructions feels faintly miraculous to the dizzy-with-fear Leonid. The fact that he gets to utter a second and third, seems borderline supernatural. As the T-34 commences a curving turn to starboard, and starts swinging its 85mm main gun in the same direction, the King Tiger’s weighty finger of doom struggles to keep pace.

At T+9 seconds mutual destruction looks like a distinct possibility.

At T+12, of the two commanders, the German TC is most alarmed.

At T+14, the death dispensers align for a second.

At T+16, the T-34’s momentum and a moment of hamfistedness (?) from the KT gunner, irrevocably desynchronise the turrets.

At T+23, the Soviet MBT vanishes into an alley on the arena’s southern fringe, and Leonid kisses the scratched gold locket he wears round his neck.

Elsewhere this turn…

The Panther lays in wait for the IS-2 while the IS-2 lays in wait for the Panther.

The Tiger pads to the northern end of Fish Street.

The SU-100 beetles south to a new riverside sniping spot close to the KOed Sherman.

^ Rough guide to movement and positions (see screenshots for more accurate info)

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  1. Thats hilarious! Only in Combat Mission could you get a certain death tank dual turning into Wacky Races.

    • I had to chuckle at this. Speaking as the unfortunate K.T commander it does feel like a Dick (Dastardly) is at the gun controls.

  2. Someone inside the King Tiger is spouting out a series of increasingly rapid and implausible excuses!

    In the interest of alternate histories and futures: is there another unofficial version of this turn that involved shell-slinging?

    • As an experiment, I ran the turn again with slightly adjusted T-34 waypoints and the results were, for all intents and purposes, identical. No rounds were fired. I suspect a CM expert might be able to shed some light on the strangeness. The fact that the King Tiger stopped rotating its turret when the gun was abaft was particularly mystifying.

      • The game programmer in me has so many ideas, and I’m very probably wrong, but if I had to guess it’s a bug:
        When the turret is at 180 degrees the sine of the angle from the front is zero, same as when it’s pointing straight forwards, so you can’t tell forward from back unless you make an additional check. So maybe the AI “loses” line of sight since the enemy is now “behind it? ”

        I’m “definitely” not going to play around with this and try to reproduce it when I get home. 😀

        @Tim I’m sure the Battlefront folks would love a copy of your save game for testing if you think it’s a bug.

  3. Slightly on topic and no idea if you accept book recommendations, but reading through this series reminded me of Battleground Prussia by Buttar. It’s easily one of the best late-war accounts of the war I’ve ever read. This includes anything by Beevor.

    • Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for Battleground Prussia and other Buttar tomes in the secondhand book emporiums I frequent.

  4. I think some clean laundry is going to be needed in both those tanks, although I suppose most of the crew have no idea how close they both came.

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