Suddenly, still playing as gunner, I hear the tank commander calling out a target - an SP sun over on our right. Unfortunately, SF uses an odd (Soviet?) system for target indication (improved upon in SABOW), on the face of it using compass bearings. Just to confuse things properly, the German crew voices use the clock code instead, just for the audio. This makes it hard to play as gunner without enabling the little orange target markers.
Anyway, the mention of an SP gun (Russian audio, English subtitles) wakes me up and traversing right, I see that a Jagdpanther has taken up position between two houses. I have an HE round up the spout and let him have that, followed by an AP round as soon as it's loaded. Both hit; the former seems to knock him out and the latter sets him on fire.
There's still quite a lot of what sounds like tank or A/T gun fire over on the right and the infantry are now milling around nervously. So I keep traversed in that direction and await any developments.
It's not long before first one, then a second Jagdpanzer IV drives into view. They present nice side-on targets and I knock them both out, although this one took a couple of rounds before I was sure of him.
Within minutes, the firing dies away and the order comes through to switch our axis to the right and attack the second and final objective. By this time, none of the IS-2s seem to be still in action, and one of my own IS-3s is lagging, possibly damaged. My two other tanks and the surviving infantrymen are therefore what's immediately available to finish the job.
The target village lies just behind another low crest. On the way there, we shoot up a Panther and some motor transport which has unwisely got itself onto the forward slope. With the Panther burning, I quickly switch targets to what looks like a hull-down King Tiger a little further off.
There follows a short duel between my two tanks and the big panzer. Our lower rate of fire makes it an open question as to who will win, but in the end the King Tiger goes down and we resume the advance. Feeling more cautious, I order our force to change direction slightly to the left, into the end of a stretch of woodland, short of the objective. I halt my own tank to give them cover while they make the move.
My infantrymen reach the woods and start putting down MG fire at the fascists...only to come under attack from a multiple rocket launcher which is out of sight in a copse to the objective's left. The rocket fire is not just noisy and scary, it's surprisingly accurate.
At this point, the screenshots dried up for some reason until the battle was over. Probably, I was too busy to take them. I tried to run down the nebelwerfer (for that's what was firing those rockets) but had to pull back in a hurry when I ran into some dug-in fascists on the left who hit me with a rocket of their own; a panzerschreck, probably. I then went wide on the right flank and shot up these Germans, only to be hit in front by another panzerschreck as I tried to reach the little village and clinch the objective by destroying the enemy HQ reported there. Fortunately my tank's thick hide shrugged off the hits until I could back off and get out of the line of fire. A few main gun rounds into the enemy positions ahead caused their occupants to run away, only to be shot down with my co-ax as they fled. At that point, I was at last able to press on and destroy the kubelwagen radio car used by the enemy HQ, completing the mission.
It remains to review some of the results. I can see that both my other two IS-3s made it as far as the knocked-out Panther, which was a very late-war F model. One of my tanks, 173, was obviously immobilised with a broken track.
To our rear, in and around the first objective, lay the immobilised or burning IS-2s.
This is one of the Jagdpanzer IVs.
These fellows were luckier, having come all the way from the Start Line - some of our boys in a captured German half-track.
I didn't even see them myself, but the defenders included two of these 8.8cm Pak 43/41s, 'barn doors' as their crews called them, being basically a howitzer carriage fitted with the 'long 88' pending delivery of sufficient of the lower, cruciform carriages designed for the weapon. These are likely the guns that got the IS-2s.
There were also two of these nebelwerfers, both also knocked out; and assorted enemy motor transport, including this immobilised Opel Blitz fuel truck.
So a success it was, although if I hadn't stayed behind the IS-2s during the original advance, it might have been a very different story!