Panzergruppe Guderian – Battle for Smolensk

  • Conflict: WW2
  • Theatres: Eastern Front
  • Battle: Battle for Smolensk
  • Commanders:  Heinz Guderian & Hermann Hoth for Germany – Semyon Timoshenko,  Georgi Zhukov, Fyodor Isodorovich Kuznetsov, Andrei Yeremenko for USSR
  • Scale: Operational
  • Players: 2
  • Publisher: SPI (1976), Avalon Hill (1984)

Panzergruppe Guderian is a board wargame designed by James F. Dunnigan and published by Simulations Publications, Inc. in 1976. It simulates the 1941 World War II Battle of Smolensk, between the German Wehrmacht and the Soviet Red Army, on an operational level. The game pieces mostly represent German regiments and Soviet divisions. It is played on a hexagonal grid board, where each hexagon represents 10.5 kilometers and each of the 12 turns spans two days.

The game follows the most common wargame structure. The Soviet player moves his units first, then conducts attacks, then the German moves, attacks then moves his mechanized forces a second time.

The Battle of Smolensk was a largely successful encirclement operation by the German Army Group Centre’s 2nd Panzer Army led by Heinz Guderian and the 3rd Panzer Army led by Hermann Hoth against parts of four Soviet Fronts during World War II. The Soviet formations were the Western Front commanded by Timoshenko, the Soviet Reserve Front commanded by Zhukov, the Soviet Central Front commanded by Kuznetsov, and Soviet Bryansk Front commanded by Yeremenko. Ultimately, the Soviet 16th, 19th and the 20th Armies were encircled just to the south of Smolensk but large parts of the 19th Army managed to escape the pocket. As a result of large parts of Soviet soldiers escaping the net, Hitler called off the operation for encirclement as the premier means of defeating the Soviet Union and concentrated on inflicting severe economic damage to the Soviet Union.



Reviews of Panzergruppe Guderian


  • Moves #29 – Panzergruppe Guderian: Assaulting the Mystery: Redmond A. Simonsen (Strategy)
  • Moves #33 – Panzergruppe Guderian: A Dissenting Approach:Bill Dunne,Mike Gunson, and David Parish (Strategy)
  • Moves #50 – On the Eastfront: Twenty-Nine Games in Print:A Survey: Steve List (Review)


  • S&T #57 – The Smolensk Campaign, 11 July-5 August 1941: Victor Madej and Shelby Stanton (Historical)

GENERAL Magazine

  • General Vol.21 #4 Is Smolensk Burning?: Panzergruppe Guderian
  • General Vol.21 #4 Re-visited: Henry C. Robinette (Analysis) Series Replay: Panzergruppe Guderian: Stance Nixon, Jody Clukey II, and Andrew Lockton (Replay)
  • General Vol.22 #4 – The Quagmire Defence: Playing the Reds in Panzergruppe Guderian: Brett Murrell (Strategy)
  • General Vol.24 #6 – By the Book: A Manual of Advanced Tactics for Panzergruppe Guderian: David S. Bieksza (Strategy)
  • General Vol.25 #3 – Storming Smolensk via the Postal Route: Panzergruppe Guderian by Mail: Jim Lutz (Variant)


  • F&M #5 – Der Russlandkrieg: Friedrich Helfferich (Review)
  • F&M #12 – Panzergruppe Guderian: The Battle of Smolensk, July 1941: Ralph Vickers (Analysis)
  • F&M #63 – World War II Anthology: Chapter 3: The Eastern Front: Rick Swan (Review)


  • Campaign #79 – Panzergruppe Guderian: Larry Lippert and Gregory Mumm (Analysis)
  • Campaign #82 – Panzergruppe Guderian: A Rebuttal: Charles Starks (Rebuttal on previously mentioned article)

PHOENIX Magazine

  • Phoenix #7 – Panzergruppe Guderian (SPI): The Battle of Smolensk: Graham Wheatly (Strategy)
  • Phoenix #11 – Panzergruppe Guderian (SPI): Modified Victory Conditions: John Beardsworth (Variant)
  • Phoenix #15 – Panzergruppe Guderian (SPI): The Minsk Pocket: John Beardsworth (Variant)
  • Phoenix #32 – Fighting on the Estern Front: Tactics in Panzergruppe Guderian (SPI): Paul King (Strategy)


  • Jagdpanther #15 – Panzergruppe Guderian: Stephen V. Cole (Review) (Battlefield) Smolensk: Byran Madsen (Variant)


  • Strategist #182 – Panzergruppe Guderian: Ryan Schultz (Review)
  • Strategist #186 – Panzergruppe Guderian Strategy Part 1 (Strategy)
  • Strategist #187 – Panzergruppe Guderian Strategy Part 2 (Strategy)
  • Strategist #193 – Panzergruppe Guderian Review (Review)
  • Strategist #199 – Panzergruppe Guderian Tournament Rules (Variant)

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