Battle of Elst

23rd September 1944

v1.1 - brought up to latest standard, KG Knaust OB revised

The Market Garden operation is reaching its climax. The British paratroops still have a toe-hold over the upper Rhine at Oosterbeek. XXX Corps is still pushing north and the Germans of Kampfgruppe Knaust at Elst are in the way. The 7th Somerset Light Infantry Battalion and the 1st Worcestershire Infantry Battalion of the 43rd Wessex Division have been tasked to remove the Germans from the town. The Germans have been reinforced by elements of the 10SS Panzer Division including a handful of new Panthers.

At the start of the day both British battalions were still some way from the intended battlefield. Deployment was delayed by the sodden ground, pockets of resistance and German shell fire. It’s raining. At 1600 hrs the attack commences.

Map and Order of Battle

British Deployment

The British deploy as shown within the pink dashed lines

German Deployment

KG Knaust deploys behind the the pink dotted line At least one company must be deployed within 3" of pint X. The Germans are not dug in, the ground is too wet.

The Kampfgruppe Stab must be in a BUA

The FO/Cmd for the Nebelwerfer is at the top of the church tower. He is accompanied by a mortar FO which may call the German battalion mortar (one stand represents both FO's but the stand may make a request to the mortars and the nebelwerfer in the same turn).

The Panther of 10SS is deployed within 3" of any BUA in Elst.

Panzer Kompanie Meilke is a reinforcement. Start rolling as soon as the Brits pass within 3" of point X or have any troops 12" East of its position. Roll every turn: it arrives on a 5-6 (d6). The stand enters between points A&B If there are British units within 12" and LOS of the entry point the tank will not deploy until they are removed. Demoralised stands do not prevent entry.

The 280 StuG Abt is a reinforcement. It arrives the turn after British stands move further east than point Y on the map. It enters the board between points D&C. If there are British units within 12" and LOS of the entry point, the StuG will be delayed a turn, the turn after they may deploy anywhere along the east board edge as long as the entry point is not within 12" and LOS of a British Stand. Demoralised stands do not prevent entry.

Terrain Notes

The map (black rectangle) represents a 5ft x 6.5ft table. the grey line represents a 6ft length. North is towards the top of the page

The open terrain and orchards are wet. All tracked vehicles are half speed off road. Wheeled vehicles will mire.

The green areas are orchards. Speed in the orchards for vehicles is quartered (halved for wood then halved for mud).

The green dotted lines are tree lines (actually they are thin orchards with hedges around them). They break LOS except against touching stands. They give +1 cover

The black dotted line is a railway, stands moving down it are exempt from the movement penalty for moving in the open

The red lines are roads

The grey areas are dispersed stone buildings. Personnel get +3 cover within. Vehicles and towed guns get +1 cover. They are not subject to ROF penalties

The church in else is indicated with a blob and cross symbol. It's tower dominates the surrounding countryside and can see over all intervening terrain. As the woods are mostly orchards the tower can spot units in the orchards even if they are not on the edge. Only BUA block LOS. If the LOS passes over a BUA any stand who's front is 6" or less from the building measured along the LOS is presumed to be in its shadow and can not be seen from the tower.

Special Rules

Game the game is 11 or 12 turns. At the end of turn 11 roll d10. 6+ there is another turn.

Its raining: maximum visibility is 20" except to or from the tower where its 30"

The FO is automatically spotted in the tower, the Allies had a shrewd idea where the artillery fire was coming from.

The Nebelwerfer are limited to a maximum of 4 shots in the game

Victory Conditions

If the British have a stand in good morale touching the railway line BC at te end end of the game they win. Any other outcome is a German victory

Historical Outcome

The attack started too late. The 7th SLI didn’t make it to the town proper. They were held up by the Panthers of the 10th SS and the HQ platoon was unfortunately shelled by their own mortars. They ended the day south west of Elst. The 1st Worcestershire Battalion fared somewhat better entering the outskirts of Elst against fairly light opposition. However no one fancied house clearing in the dark and the attack was called off for the night.

It took another two days of hard house to house fighting to clear the Germans from Elst and to reach the railway line, by which time operation Market Garden was officially over