Saturday, 19 September 2015

A Mostly Accurate Refight: Market Garden

Today we did a large scale battle refighting Market Garden. The large table (24' by 4') was split into four 6' by 4' sections, allow each section of the battle to go on at it's own pace. If stuff left one table edge, it could move onto the next section as a reserve at the start of it's next faction turn. Anyway onto the report.

With the sound of many engines, the Irish Guards lead the 30 Corp advance.

While 11th Armoured advance on the left

6th Airborne have seized and hold Arnhem and Osterbeek

Meanwhile 101st Airborne seize one end of the Son bridge

 Only to have it blown in their faces

82nd Airborne Division's assault gets pinned down on the Grave bridge
A situation which is rapidly made worse as the bridge is also blown!
Meanwhile 30 Corp try to blast a path through 6 Fallschirmjäger as the Grenadier Guards arrive on the scene.

 And Kampfgruppe Grabner respond to reports of allied paratroops in Arnhem

To make life worse for the Allies, 107 Panzer Brigade counterattack the Son bridge. The 101st ask themselves, "Where's 30 corp"?
 As it turns out, still engaged in a bitter fight in Valkenwaard forest.

Meanwhile 11th Armoured are also making slow progress vs 176th infantry division.

Kampfgruppe Grabner charges across the bridge

And armoured support has arrived to support Kampfgruppe Spindler in the shape of 3 StuH 42 and 2 King Tigers.

82nd Airborne division lay down heavy covering fire from the LMGs, 60mm Mortars and .50 cal AA MGs while some Paras prepare to swim the Maas. Their aim is to seize a bridgehead (and an objective) on the other side so the Royal Engineers can build a Bailey bridge across.

Reinforcement airdrop in to support the 82nd Airborne including Glider infantry, heavy weapons and jeeps.

US Airborne confront 2 SS Panzer IVs on the Grossbeek Heights

In the meantime, Kampfgruppe Grabner's assault is going significantly better than it did historically.

A bold charge by the Airlanding company holding Osterbeek, turns out not to be the ideal solution to kill Stugs and King Tigers.

Meanwhile Kampfgruppe Spindler is slowly clearing the woods.

11th Armoured continue to try and clear Heart Route.

And 30 Corp still can't smash through the Valkenswaard forest.

Meanwhile the Grossbeek Height are suddenly alive with the sound of 3 Fallschirmjäger, more specifically their Stugs. 82nd Airborne decide at this point that they didn't like the damn hills anyway and decide to dig in where they are, rather than continue the advance.

Kampfgruppe Grabner appears to be refusing to die and inflict heavy casualties on the paratroops in Arnhem. To make matters worse the first 2 Tigers of Kampfgruppe Hummel arrive, as Grabner clears the minefield which was holding them up.
 The view back down the table

 101st Airborne continue to resist 107 Panzer Brigade and also occupy Veghel.

Meanwhile 82nd Airborne assault and clear the other side of the Maas to secure Grave Bridge

The few to their front isn't looking so rosy through. Nijmegen bridge is still securely in German hands. Still the tanks are arriving soon right?

 Probably not from 11th Armoured by the looks of it.

And 30 Corp is still not going anywhere quickly. Still Arnhem will hold for a while yet right?

 In a!

Frost holds out alone, as Kampfgruppe Knaust storms the city.

The Polish Paratroopers arrive at Dreil, but too late. They run straight into Sperrverband Harzer, which doesn't end well for them.

And Osterbeek is also barely holding out!

 107th continue there attack (or should that be bombardment?)

 Meanwhile 59th Grenadier division turn up. Sadly even with their supporting Jagdpanthers, the waiting Americans at Veghel cut them to pieces.

 At Nijmegan the situation becomes worse as Kampfgruppe Grabner starts to arrive. You guys are supposed to be dead!

And Hummel's Tigers roll over Arnhem bridge.
 While at Osterbeek, Kampfgruppe Spindler is engaged in a mopping up exercise.

  11th Armoured continue the advance (we've heard that before!). They are now supported by the Welsh Guards who redirected onto Heart Route to avoid the traffic.

 You can see why!

At Nijmegan the Sd Kfz 250s engage in a flanking attack on the 82nd and their last armoured jeep is finished off.

11th Armoured are finally making some progress however.

As are 30 Corp!


11th Armoured have almost broken through! Just the artillery to go.

I think this scene is number one in the section, "Things you want to avoid", from the German Gunner's Handbook.

Meanwhile the Luftwaffe Penal Platoon clings on in the town of Valkenswaard.

But not without significant effort on the part of the allies!

The Stugs rush the 82nd Airborne and pay for it, there's still a lot of bazookas down there, even without the anti-tank guns!
 While German forces start to assembly a counter attack.

But what's this! 11th Armoured Division have beaten the Guards to Son bridge. There's still and 88 and the Panthers to deal with however!

The Guards seem to have become focused on crushing Valkenswaard. Advance and leave it to the infantry!

 As Hummel's Tigers roll forwards, the 82nd start to take heavy casualties. They are still holding but for how much longer?


At Son, the 11th Armoured engage the 107th in a duel and the line of supply is maintained

And 30 Corp finally drives the penal platoon out of Valkenswaard and can continue the advance. The damage has been done however, and the attack has been fatally delayed.

 The end result is that the Allies have managed to seize and hold a route up to Grave bridge but no further. Montgomery can't even claim this to be 90% successful (which would be capturing Nijmegan, the historical result) and the Allies have suffered an embarrassing defeat. Future allied efforts to penetrate into the Reich will now focus with the US further south, as Eisenhower no longer trusts Montgomery to achieve results with the scare resources.

All in all, a really fun day, if a lot of work to plan! Hopefully we'll do another battle in the future.

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