Attack towards Valkenswaard
17th September 1944
Pictures of the V1.0 game
On Sunday 17th September 1944 General Horrocks unleashed XXX Corps up the road to Valkenswaard with the ultimate intention of linking up with the 1st Airborne Division in Arnhem. The attack was preceded by a bombing raid by RAF medium bombers, 11 Squadrons of Typhoons and an rolling barrage by nine regiments of artillery. Following the bombardment it fell on the 2nd & 3rd Battalions the Irish Guards to lead the advance up what would later be known as Hells Highway. At the tip of the arrow was Lieutenant Keith Heathcote in his Sherman tank
The maelstrom of fire unleashed by the British was not without effect, severely disrupting the movement of the German forces in the area, however they were well dug in in the woods and prepared to put up a fierce resistance. The opposition to the Guards was Kampfgruppe Walther a rag-tag of SS and Fallschirmjäger soldiers. Guarding the road was Fallschirmjäger Training Regiment von Hoffman. Despite being a training regiment the Fallschirmjäger cannily held their fire and let the Guards' initial spearhead pass and then ambushed the column in the flank with Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck
The scenario starts at the point of the German ambush
Order of Battle and Map
All German non-vehicle stands are entrenched (-3 cover)
Units are deployed as indicated on the map by the pink dashed lines.
A maximum of three stands of I Kp Regiment Von Hoffman may be adjacent to the road they may be placed after the British tanks are deployed
Stab Regiment von Hoffman is deployed back with 2 or 3 Kp
The Panzerschreck stand can be deployed with any Kp of Regiment von Hoffman
Stab Kampfgruppe Walther is deployed with the SS Artillery
The 559 Panzerjäger are a reinforcement. They enter the table turn 2 (issue orders end of turn 1) They may enter along rods C, E or F. Each stand after the first will have its move reduced by 3" for each stand that entered before it
The 2nd Battalion Irish Guards is deployed in single column along the road AD in the order indicated on the map, with no more than 2" between vehicles. The first vehicle must be within 2" of point D where the road leaves the wood. 3rd Battalion Irish Guards is tank riding on the Shermans of the armoured companies, excepting of one company which brings up the rear which riding in trucks. Historically the AT guns were distributed to the infantry companies; the British player may attach the guns to any company. The 3rd Battalion HQ can be placed at the British players discretion. Any guards units that do not fit on the road will enter at point A turn 2. Each stand after the first will have its move reduced by 3" for each stand that entered before it
The Dorset Battalion is protecting the flanks of the Irish Guards and enters the table from point A to B on turn 2 (issue orders end of turn 1). Point B is 12" from point A
The map represents a 6ft x 4ft table measured at 1" = 50m
The red lines are roads. The roads have ditches running along each side. Personnel stands (but not towed guns) touching the road but not on it get -2 cover
The woods are dense woods except close to the edges which are open (roads through woods do not count edges). In order to count as moving through an open wood stands must be touching the edge.
Where roads go through the woods visibility is 6" down the road but stands on the road still count as -1 cover. For air to ground purposes vehicles on the road may be spotted an attacked
The green dotted lines are tree lines which give light cover (-1) and breaking LOS
All the built up areas are stone (-3 cover). The 2x2 BUA's take on one personnel stand. The 4x4 BUA can take all stands but vehicles and guns are assumed to between the buildings and only get -1 cover
The open ground is fields. This was very soft. Tracked vehicles cross at half speed. Wheeled vehicles and man handled guns are prohibited. Infantry are unaffected
The British have a Typhoon "cab-rank" on call. Each turn the British FAC stand can call an air strike of two rocket firing Typhoon on a 1-4 or a single Typhoon on a 5-8. These must be directed on targets within LOS of the FAC. If no target can be seen a single Typhoon can be called on 1-4 or less. The British player get a roll for a visible target OR a non visible target not both.
The game starts at 2:30pm and runs until last light at 7:30 - 10 turns. Sunset is at 6:30pm, for the 9th turn visibility is reduced to 12" and 4" for turn 10
The movement phase for turn 1 is assumed to have occurred. All British units are assumed to have made a cautious advance. German units are assumed to have been halted. The turn starts with the opportunity fire phase
The SS Artillery starts the game demoralised. Its position was well known to British planners and is considered spotted for the entire game unless it moves position. The staff of Kampfgruppe Walther is adjacent to the artillery, but its morale is OK. The staff may start issuing rally orders at the end of turn 1.
Just south of the table are the entire staff of XXX Corps, the Guards armoured division and many other higher formations. Any British unit that retreats off the bottom of the table may be given a "free" rally order.
The British artillery is still in the final stages of firing the pre-programmed rolling barrage. This means that both the SS Artillery and the Staff of Kampfgruppe Walther must check morale at the end or turn one. It also means that no British artillery may be fired at targets turn 1
In order to win the British must have cleared the road AF and advanced at least three tanks off point F
The road is considered cleared if there are no German infantry in good morale adjacent to it and no AT guns (inc StuG) in good morale within 18"
Good Morale is not shaken and not demoralised
Historically the British at cleared the road and advanced north by 5:30pm (end of turn 7).
I'd like to thank Jake Strangeway for his research and sending me information from Arnhem Then & Now
Hells Highway by Tim Saunders
It Never Snows in September by Robert Kershaw
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=140322&start=0 for information on 559 Panzerjager Abt
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=83&t=101380&st=0&sk=t&sd=a organisation of Regiment von Hoffman
Pictures of the game