Over the next few weeks I’ll be playing a mini-campaign featured in WSS magazine issue 74, based on the British Paras at Arnhem trying to break through from their landing zones and link up with the forces in Arnhem under Lt Col John Frost.

The games will be played with Chain of Command, using the campaign supplement At The Sharp End. It’s four linked games, with the British obliged to push hard along a main road and try to drive the defending Germans back. The British must win all four scenarios to claim a victory, but do have the advantage of having a second platoon available should their first one get too beaten up. The Germans have minimal reinforcements and can afford to give ground, so can afford to be choosy about whether they stand or fall back.

The Ground:

Four games follow the route of 3 Para eastwards along the road to Arnhem

Four games follow the route of 3 Para eastwards along the road to Arnhem

 

The Paras are advancing from their landing zones along the Utrechtseweg road towards Arnhem, where they are attempting to link up with the friendlies holding the bridge. The terrain is flat, lightly wooded and verging on the suburbs of the town.

The Germans have identified the bridge at Arnhem as the key objective of the Paras, and have deployed Kampfgruppe Krafft, an SS training unit consisting of an understrength battalion, into a blocking position. The Germans must prevent the British from linking up. If they can achieve this the airborne forces can be defeated in detail.

The games

The four games will be:

  1. Patrol
  2. Probe
  3. Attack and defend
  4. Attack on an objective

The British must win through all four tables to succeed, so it’s an uphill slog. The Germans can play a wild card in game three or four, which turns that game into Attack/defend with them as the aggressors (for which they get enhanced support).

The forces

Germans

The German force consists of a platoon from an SS training unit. These are a mix of raw recruits and few veteran cadres.

Platoon CO:

Oberscharfuhrer Jan Strassensperre

Age: 25

Attitude: Secure

 

1 Section:

Unterscharfuhrer Helmut Lipp

Age: 19

MG Team: 4 men with MG42

Rifle team: 5 riflemen

2 Section:

Unterscharfuhrer Rudolf Dreyer

Age: 21

MG Team: 4 men with MG42

Rifle team: 5 riflemen

3 Section:

Unterscharfuhrer Heinz Beanz

Age: 19

MG Team: 4 men with MG42

Rifle team: 5 riflemen

The British

Platoon HQ:

Platoon CO: Lieutenant Jimmy Cleminson

Platoon Sergeant

PIAT team: 2 men

2″ mortar team: 2 men

Sniper

1 & 2 Sections:

MG team: 3 men with Bren Gun

Rifle team: 5 riflemen, 1 man with Sten gun

Weapon Section:

MG team: 3 men with Bren Gun, 1 man with Sten gun

MG team: 3 men with Bren Gun, 1 man with Sten gun

Sniper