Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Messing About with Soviet Maps

In working on the Second Battle of Kharkov Chain of Command supplement, I have found a perfect map that covers most of the actions that I wish to model for the campaigns. It is a Soviet 1:50,000 scale map of Nepokrytaya (M-37-62-V). Here is the extract that I am playing with.

Here is a section that features the town of Federovka and Hill 199 behind it. These were the initial German positions on May 12th, 1942 that the Soviets overran. The detail offered by these maps is fantastic. Especially if you grab a copy of TM 30-548 Soviet Topographical Map Symbols.I ended up with the 1958 edition of the Technical Manual but it works well. The Map is based off of earlier maps notably the 1930-31, 1949 and 1951 maps. This raises a couple of questions on some of the map features. Specifically the burial mounds on Hill 199 and those in front of the town. Were these present prior to the war or were those a product of the war?

The German accounts of the battle for Hill 199 does not mention the presence of burial mounts in their defensive positions. Honestly, they don't mention much about their position other than the limited amount of anti-tank guns that they had.

Of the town it tells us a considerable amount. Since most of the buildings are shown with a black square with a yard with lines through it, those are not fireproof construction (I am assuming wooden construction). At the far north of the town there are a pair of buildings with and empty square surrounding the black square of the building. This denotes a fireproof structure (I assume stone or brick construction).

The roads of the town itself are dirt with several dirt paths leading out of the back of the town through the swamp. The swampy areas have some grassy areas (denoted by the ||), a few trees (the small circles) and some reeds (the three lines grouped together like \|/). The road running east to west through the center of the town is an improved road. The bridge over the small river running north to south is 38 meters long and can support 10 tons.

On the front edge of the north side of town is a small cemetery. Another is on the south side away from the town proper. These are denoted by the squares with a plus in the middle. The one feature that I don't see in the town is a church of any kind. This is possibly because the church had been closed or re-purposed by the communists prior to 1931 and its designation was lost in the creation of the maps.

Either way, it provides us with an excellent resource for setting the scene for these battles. I am trying to map out the scenarios for the first campaign now. So far I have just scenario 1 completed. Progress has been glacially slow but still there is progress. I hope to have a rough draft done by Mid July if all goes well.

No comments:

Post a Comment