Bolt Action - Ostfront: Barbarossa to Berlin
Disclaimer: This is not a physical product. You will receive a digital download of your eBook after your purchase.
This is a supplement to the tabletop wargame Bolt Action. It deals with the sprawling Eastern Front conflicts between the Soviet Union and its neighbours between 1939 and 1945. We begin with two conflicts, Khalkyn Gol and the Winter War, which did much to shape military and political thinking prior to the outbreak of The Great Patriotic War in 1941 when Nazi Germany and its Axis satellites invaded Soviet territory.
Winston Churchill, in his masterful The Second World War, bemoans the fact that the 'battles' of his period are no longer the clear-cut, single-day affairs of his illustrious forebears, but complex operations extending over broad swathes of territory for weeks or months. Nowhere is this more true than on the Eastern Front. The scale and intensity of the battles fought in that conflict – Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk and a thousand others – almost beggar belief in Western eyes. Tens of millions died in fighting that raged virtually without pause for four years across thousands of miles of territory.
The staggering scale of the Great Patriotic War means this lone book cannot hope to be a definitive account of it all. The size and sheer anarchy imposed by the fighting means that records of it are often poor or non-existent. Fortunately, we do have many anecdotal accounts left to us by the men that survived the fighting in the east and this book draws heavily on these wherever possible. The military history of World War II is a fascinating topic and if anything you read about here intrigues you, there are many resources to find out more. Imagine this book as your pointer towards some areas of potential interest, there's much more to be found.
Our hope is to provide some useful context for games of Bolt Action set on the Eastern Front because even across such a vast battlefield the Great Patriotic War was ultimately decided by small groups of soldiers fighting at the 'sharp end' to clear a wood, hold onto a single house or to take a bridge. Even now we remember the actions of a few brave men and women who made all the difference in the midst of armies that could be counted in the millions.
In that spirit you'll find several Bolt Action scenarios within this book. Some depict events from historical battles, while others are representatives of typical actions to illustrate the sort of fighting commonly found in the east. For the benefit of collectors and historians we've included details of various units that allow you to construct armies from specific time periods and areas of the Eastern Front. On the other hand, this book also allows for lots of 'what if' battles to be fought out, using equipment that was on hand at the time. Where appropriate, Bolt Action game rules for unusual units, vehicles and weapons used in the east are produced here, although in this regard this book should be considered as supplemental to the appropriate 'Armies of…' books for that theatre. The scenarios in this book are written with the assumption you will be using reinforced platoons from either the rulebook or the relevant historical Theatre Selector from an appropriate 'Armies of…' book. However, feel free to use armoured platoons from the Tank War supplement where you feel it appropriate – this will allow you to play the same scenario using either reinforced or armoured platoons (or a mix of both!), with a resulting great variety of feel and balance to the scenarios played.