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18.02.2021, 13:47 Uhr
AngrySwan
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29.05.2020, 14:45 Uhr
The 88 mm FlaK is one of the iconic images of the German army in WW2. In Germany at War the FlaKs are just defensive weapons and have their limits but some FlaK units perform well even in this situation.

A shorter version of the ''official'' 1941 campaign focusing just on the FlaK units and their support.

FlaKs have two roles: as air defense units, firing on enemy planes who happen to be in their sector.
FlaKs can also be used in ground combat either to defend an important position or as a part of the attacking force.
In the ground combat role, it is best to use FlaKs on roads (off road they are the very clumsy, the clumsiest weapons ever).
The best FlaK formation is a regiment - a separate battalion can also be used if you have nothing else - and a FlaK unit needs good artillery support.
The best places (or the only places) to use a FlaK are important locations you must take or the enemy must either defend or retake, like a bridge or an important city. There are not so many locations like this, you need to plan where and how to use your FlaKs - and where not to have them.
The best transport for a FlaK unit is a truck, it is faster than anything else and cheaper than a 251 halftrack - but if a FlaK comes to the frontline it must be ready to fight. A truck moving to the enemy lines will be killed by the enemy and the commander responsible for this decision will be killed by a firing squad for incompetence and his career will end in shame.
There will be other FlaK units (like a separate battalion defending an airfield or a city). They will be named in the AAR, although their role is not so important, or they may have no role at all.
So it is the evening of June 1941 and the FlaKs together with the rest of the force prepare for the campaign...
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20.02.2021, 10:51 Uhr
Ronald Wendt
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15.04.2003, 19:28 Uhr
Agreed, a FlaK (or other antiair guns) that digs in can control a limited area very well for a bit of time, even against flanking tank units.

But such units will need reinforcements soon as they wane under pressure and cannot escape too well without exposing them in most cases .
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21.02.2021, 17:15 Uhr
AngrySwan
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29.05.2020, 14:45 Uhr
Battle of Lwow, 22.06.1941.

Two FlaK units are initially deployed:

603. Light FlaK Battalion (20 mm FlaKs). After final preparations this battalion is not included in the advancing force.

A battalion of heavy Flaks (88 mm). In some records it is FlaK Battalion 610 but actually II. battalion of FlaK Regiment 42. It is a part of the force attacking Lwow.

22.06 - The battalion moves south behind the infantry lines. However, there is a gap in the German line that Soviet tanks could exploit; the battalion would then receive support of 430. light howitzer battalion.
23.06 - The area sees some an impressive air battle. While the pilots of JG3 ''Udet'' destroy a Soviet unit of I-16 (officially a division, in fact less than a squadron) the FlaK battalion destroys another ''division on paper, a weakened squadron in reality'' of Mig-1.
24.06 and 25.06 - The battalion moves south towards Lwow.
26.06 - The battalion reaches the road from Lwow-East to the bridge across the nearest river.
27.06 - The battle for Lwow begins! The FlaK battalion moves to the city, supported by 262.and 24. infantry divisions on the flanks and also supported by the 430. light howitzer battalion. The Soviets (138. rifle division) attacks the battalion but the FlaKs hold the ground, supported by artillery.
28.06 - Second day of the battle for Lwow; the FlaKs receive replacements just on time as the Soviet infantry continues attacks. Again, the FlaKs with support of the light howitzers hold the ground.
29.06 - Third day of the battle; Lwow is finally encircled with 2 divisions in it; receive the necessary replacements and FlaKs continue to hold their position.
30.06 - Infantry divisions clear the area destroying the remaining defenders of Lwow and another Soviet infantry division South-West of the city.

The FlaKs have proved their ability to fight against air as well as ground units and have also learned to cooperate with artillery. However, battalion size would be insufficient for larger battles, as well as the artillery support of only one light howitzer battalion. Also the transport of the FlaK battalion, while good enough for this operation, would be inadequate if the FlaK unit operated as a part of a panzer group.
Army Group South decides to form FlaK Regiments 6 and 42 mounted on trucks so that they can follow the fast moving panzer group; these units will be ready for the battle of Kiev. They would also need support from every artillery unit the army group will have by then.

Units destroyed by FlaKs: A Soviet fighter unit (squadron size, MiG-1).

A photo for the media taken by a press photographer, showing the last day of encirclement. The infantry divisions are close to the final victory; however, the Soviets fight to the last man and the infantry units as well as FlaKs are running out of ammunition after heavy fighting.
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22.02.2021, 11:49 Uhr
Ronald Wendt
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15.04.2003, 19:28 Uhr
A successful baptism by fire for the 610 Bn!

Actually i never used them as offensive as you did in this scenario.

Usually they are more of a rear guard to hold positions that count for victory in my matches.

Always interesting to see different approaches.
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23.02.2021, 19:41 Uhr
AngrySwan
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29.05.2020, 14:45 Uhr
In this situation I took some risks and left the airfield and the deployment base in the rear without a garrison. The bridges were secured by infantry or security forces, one army corps moved to Dubno and the infantry advancing in Lwow-Brody direction formed a solid line so that the Soviet mechanized forces could not get through. The area of Lutsk and the bridges (rail bridge on the Kovel-Rovno line and bridge East of Lutsk) were secured by mechanized Army divisions. 2 infantry divisions in Lutsk and the area and 1 in Kovel and 1 division securing the bridge to Dubno. (There are undefeated Soviet forces near Lutsk, a brigade size formation, but in this scenario I just ran out of kill points after destroying the Soviet forces on the front line.)

The panzer group after it reaches Rovno has 5 panzer divisions, 1 Elite division, 1 Elite brigade and 2 artillery units (a brigade of NbWf41, consisting of 2 historical regiments, and a separate battalion of rocket launchers mounted on 251 halftracks). For the first scenario this group may even be too strong but it will be needed to encircle Uman - only fast moving panzer units can close the pocket.
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15.03.2021, 16:11 Uhr
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Battle of Smolensk - 602nd heavy flak battalion

As the offensive is in progress, the HQ sends 602nd heavy flak battalion to secure Mogilev area after the city has been captured. The flak battalion holds the bridge while the 137th infantry division controls the city.

Battle of Odessa - Romanian 1st heavy flak battalion

Odessa is taken by the Romanian forces with their own air support, which uses a battalion of German 88 mm flaks to secure the Romanian airfield. Due to aggressive tactics used by Romanian air force, Soviets never make it to the Romanan airfield, but they have enough planes for a raid if they wanted to make one. As the Soviets focus on close support to their forces on the frontline , the Romanian flaks do not see action.

Further north, heavily fortified Kiev still holds...
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27.05.2021, 19:06 Uhr
AngrySwan
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Speaking of flaks, they need to reload in their turn, in order to survive another enemy attack. Lwow is a typical flak scenario if you want to use them, as well as Kiev and Rostov (not Rostov itself but one of the small towns near the river with a bridge.)

In theory, an enemy tank unit can run into flaks holding a position, but that is theory, and will be a very rare exception if it ever happens. So a tank killer flak is more likely in Battle Academy or Close combat series with smaller units. But even in this game a flak will get its confirmed kills, mostly planes and bunkers, maybe some infantry.
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23.11.2021, 04:10 Uhr
AngrySwan
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Actually you can use flaks in any scenario where there is a road. If you bring a flak to Demjansk (after you cross the river and fix the bridge) it can be on the front line, infantry moves along the roads in the forest and n artillery unit behind. Just do not forget to support your flak with artillery and make sure you are stronger.

Mozhaisk map with its roads and bunkers is a good map for flaks but I do not use them it that scenario, there are too many surprises and you never know what the weather and the opponent may do.
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23.11.2021, 06:15 Uhr
Ronald Wendt
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15.04.2003, 19:28 Uhr
I do things the other way around - i only include Flak units to guard other units against air raids.

I do not compose a force around them.
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23.11.2021, 19:41 Uhr
AngrySwan
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A flak always has an antiair role in its sector. The heavy flak battalion in Lwow scenario, flak regiments 6 and 42 in Kiev and Rostov, flak regiment 151 in Staraja Russa and flak regiment 164 in Tikhvin scenario are in the first moves used as flaks, not on the first line and maybe guarded by fighters while the force moves (the worst thing is an unprepared flak on trucks attacked by enemy bombers).

When the fighters have shot all enemy planes (sometimes with help of flaks) there is change in roles, as fighters switch to recon missions and sometimes airstrikes, and flaks to bunker killing. So far my flaks have seen ground combat only in Lwow, Kiev, Rostow and Staraja Russa, and Kiev is the only bunker killing scenario. The same flaks have also fought enemy planes in the same scenarios.

Ground combat is also a good way to train a flak regiment and give it some promotions, like an additional company and heavy flaks. Maybe it is different in AA campaign with a smaller force going through all scenarios but in 1941 campaign each sector has a force of its own, and a flak only fighting enemy planes has few chances to be promoted.
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24.11.2021, 07:04 Uhr
Ronald Wendt
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Zitat:
AngrySwan schrieb :
Ground combat is also a good way to train a flak regiment and give it some promotions, like an additional company and heavy flaks. Maybe it is different in AA campaign with a smaller force going through all scenarios but in 1941 campaign each sector has a force of its own, and a flak only fighting enemy planes has few chances to be promoted.

Certainly different operations and campaigns need different approaches. Also my take on the Flak units is not an original one by any measure.

Maybe your tactics would help in AA if applied correctly in the right battles.
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