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Hell’s Highway Forces
The Fallschirmjäger have been updated and a few new options added, such as a Fallschirmjäger Scout Platoon, and a few other changes to the support platoons. The biggest change is that I separated the 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment from the 3rd Fallschirmjäger Division, and renamed them Veteran Fallschirmjägerkompanie and Ersatz Fallschirmjägerkompanie, respectively. This was done to broaden their use to cover all of the various FJ units running around Holland. I’ve also made Von der Heydte and his Panzerfaust Trap teams available to the Trained FJ to better represent Kerutt’s training battalion, which actually used them (though they are still available to the 6FJR based on their actions in the Scheldt).
559. Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung
The 559th Heavy Tank-hunter Battalion was in action along the Dutch-Belgian border and provided the bulk of the German tanks available along Hell’s Highway in the early days of Operation Market Garden.
The company expands the single Jagdpanther support platoon available in Hell’s Highway. The battalion used StuGs to supplement the low numbers of Jagdpanthers, so players now have the option to take the smaller assault guns as well.
KG Chill and the 59 Infanteriedivision
Kampfgruppe Chill and the 59th Infantry helped secure the western side of Hell’s Highway. Both were instrumental in the counterattacks along the corridor. This adds a Grenadier and a Pionier company to the book.
The Pionierkompanie has been designed to also allow players to field the Pionier-Lehr ‘Glosgau’ unit that was especially flown in to deal with the British paras in Oosterbeek. So that is why it will have some slightly different support options than the Grenadiers.
Panzer Brigade 107
The brigade is one of the most anticipated forces in the book. We wanted to include it originally in the old books, but we also expected to release the Lorraine book to bridge the gap between Market Garden and the Bulge. Obviously, plans changed and Blood Guts and Glory was more sensibly linked to the latter campaign than Holland. So while working on this compilation, Panzerbrigade 107 was the first on the list to be included.
After reading a bit more on the 107th, it was clear that these guys were actually quite a bit more gung-ho than their southern sector comrades. Their attacks along the corridor were fast, furious, and tenacious, leading me to rate them Confident Trained, rather than Reluctant. So players will now be able to rush Son Bridge or cause unnecessary damage to private property in Neuen with Panthers, Panzer IV(70)s and assault rifle-armed panzergrenadiers.
Euling’s defense of Nijmegen is legendary. His small battalion, reinforced by SS-Pioneers, Fallschirmjager, and other Luftwaffe troops, managed to hold off the US 82nd Airborne as well as the British Guards Armoured Division for several critical days. This force is a fortified company, organised around SS-Panzergrenadiers or SS-Panzerpioniers. You’ll be able to dig in your assault guns, set up some street barricades, and lay some mines to prepare for the inevitable Allied assault.
Kampfgruppe von Furstenberg
This force was purely added for flavour. Each of its platoons were already support platoons for something else, so it seemed to make sense to turn it into its own unit on the battlefield. Based on an Aufklarungs training and replacement battalion, the force features Confident Trained panzergrendiers, a few armoured half-tracks, and a solid artillery park. It’ll be a fun force to field for those who are completists like myself!
Joe put this one in front of me and at first I wasn’t convinced that it would make for an interesting force—that is until he suggested we look at it from a battalion organisation viewpoint instead. The force in the book is essentially a different way of fielding Kampfgruppe von Tettau, for those familiar with that list. However, Harzer introduces a fortress machine-gun battalion into the mix, making it a tough force to dislodge! That combined with:
Kampfgruppe von Swoboda
This was one of the more popular forces with the playtest groups. Who wouldn’t want to field 12 8.8cm FlaK36 heavy anti-aircraft guns? Wait, you also can support that with a platoon of eight 2cm FlaK38 light anti-aircraft guns? And backed by Harzer’s denizens? And an SS artillery park? Sign me up please!
Brinkmann’s SS-Aufklarungs battalion was actually the first to test the Arnhem bridge, and the first to report Frost’s British paratroopers firmly held the crossing. This force is comprised of infantry mounted in II SS-Panzerkorps’ precious few Sd. Kfz 250 armoured half-tracks. They’ll help you get in close and see if you can force your way across the Arnhem bridge!
Graebner’s dash across the bridge is one of those iconic moments in the battle for Arnhem, made famous in the book and movie A Bridge Too Far. I’ve cleaned up the force’s rules as well as the warrior, Viktor Graebner, to give him a better shot at pulling off a daring coup-de-main assault.
After the two SS-Aufklarungs battalions failed to budge Frost’s paras, Knaust’s battlegroup took command of the area. His unit, a training and replacement Panzergrenadier formation, also failed to push the British off the bridge, but quickly sealed them into a tight perimeter, gradually grinding them down until they ran out of ammo and supplies and forcing them to surrender.
Knaust’s force is made up of Confident Trained Panzergrenadiers, backed by some older Panzer III and IV training tanks. Knaust himself can take command of your force. Despite his wooden leg (having lost his own in Russia), he’ll offer encouragement to your troops as they force a battle of attrition on the enemy.
One of the more colourful units in Arnhem was Kampfgruppe Hummel. This was a “Frankenstein” unit of old Tiger IE heavy tanks, many of which were older training and replacement examples. They were highly unreliable, and it took several days for the company to make the 50-mile (80km) journey from the train station to Arnhem.
Despite all of these disadvantages, we’re able to deliver Tiger IEs to players at the rock-bottom price of 145 points each! Back them up with Knaust’s or Brinkmann’s troops and you’ll have a formidable assault force (provided you don’t push the tanks too hard!)
Historically, there was no such force called SS-Kampfgruppe Arnheim. What is represented here is a hypothetical organisation that allows you to assemble what the Germans called an Alarmheitenkompanie (Alarm Company). These companies were quickly raised by an officer with whatever troops were on hand. Their mission was to investigate suspected enemy activity, assess and report the enemy’s strength, and then immediately attack. There were many such forces in Arnhem in those early hours and several proved to be very decisive in denying the British 1st Airborne Division’s initial objectives.
Spindler’s battlegroup incorporates all sorts of various formations that were in the Arnhem area. He took them under command and wedged his troops solidly between Frost’s men in Arnhem and the rest of the division in Oosterbeek. His decisive action meant that the enemy had no chance to reach the bridge.
The force has changed little from its original format. Players still have the chance to field SS-Panzergrenadiers, SS-Pioneers, and SS-Tank Crews, as well as a mix of any of those types. I have allowed players to field full companies of tank crews fighting as infantry. There were a lot of these types of formations, from Spindler’s own command of dismounted self-propelled artillery crews to Reinhold’s dismounted tankers north of Nijmegen.
280 StuG Batterie
The 280th performed exceptionally well during the campaign and talking with Joe, we decided to promote them from their previous rating of Trained to Veteran as well as expand them into a full company. The battery’s guns supported the SS in Oosterbeek, so many of the forces will be able to take advantage of their added firepower.
506. Schwere Panzer Abteilung
The 506th supplied several King Tigers to the battle in Oosterbeek. They were unique in that they still had a mix of the old Porsche turrets along with some of the Henschel ones. They also worked closely with the SS and the 280th to launch one of the most successful attacks on the Oosterbeek perimeter. The only reason they were pushed back was because of the intervention of 30 Corps’ long range artillery.
Kampfgruppe von Tettau
Nothing major has changed with von Tettau’s group. It’s still the same old German horde of average to low quality troops or hardened veteran SS-NCOs. However, they have gained a few support options, such as a battery of four 88s and an expanded SS-artillery park.