Showing posts with label Monty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Monty. Show all posts

30 September 2014

Operation Market Garden: Fiasco to Equal Dunkirk ? Part 1 The Protagonists

Market Garden: The "Bridge Too Far" Fiasco

Battle of Arnhem: dropping in on a bridge too far

I first saw the movie of the same name (A Bridge Too Far, in 1975. I was 10 years old. The movie gripped me so much that I remember it too the day, and have seen it several times since then)

Having recently played the D-Day Landings, the natural follow-on would be the race and battle for Caen , the Falaise gap, and then Hell's Highway and The Bridges at Nijmegen, Eindhoven and Arnhem. I had occasion to visit the area in the late 80s .

Operation Market Garden (17–25 September 1944) was an unsuccessful Allied military operation, fought in the Netherlands and Germany in the Second World War. It was the largest airborne operation up to that time.

The Allied forces that had landed on the Normandy beaches on June 6 had already liberated Brussels and were hovering on the Belgian-Dutch border like those arrows in the opening credits of Dad’s Army.

Monty’s plan was for them to make a swift, narrow thrust up through the Netherlands, bypassing the Germans’ defensive “Siegfried Line”, then swing east to advance on Berlin. Airborne troops would pave the way, capturing and holding bridges for the ground forces to pass over. The Nazis would be crushed by Christmas.

Codenamed Operation Market Garden, it was an ambitious plan – too ambitious, feared Lt General Frederick Browning, who is said to have remarked (perhaps apocryphally) that Arnhem, the northernmost bridge the Allies were required to capture and defend, was “a bridge too far”.

Order of Battle:

Allied Forces


1st Allied Airborne Army
Commander : Lieutenant-General Lewis H. Brereton



1st British Airborne Corps
Commander : Lieutenant-General Frederick Browning

  • 1st Airborne Division and attached units
  • 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade Group
  •  52nd (Lowland) Division (NOT USED)
18th U.S. Airborne Corps
Commander : Lieutenant-General Matthew B. Ridgway

  • 82nd U.S. Airborne Division
  • 101st U.S. Airborne Division
Air Transport Forces
  • 38 and 46 Groups RAF, RASC Air Despatch Units
  • 52nd Troop Carrier Wing, USAAF
  • IX Troop Carrier Command (Less 52nd Wing), USAAF
21st Army Group
Commander : Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery



2nd British Army
Commander : General Sir Miles Dempsey


Dempsey, Front row 2nd from R
  • XXX Corps
  • VIII Corps
  • XII Corps

  
German Forces

Armed Forces Command (AFC) Netherlands
Commander : General der Flieger Friedrich Christiansen


II S.S. Panzer Korps
  • Kampfgruppe 'Von Tettau'
The Commander-in-Chief German Armed Forces In Holland at the time was Luftwaffe General Christiansen (above)  and it was he who ordered Lt. General Hans Von Tettau to form a 'Battle Group' to combat the Airborne landings.


Lt Gen Hans von Tettau

 In the initial stages of the battle, fought around the landing zones, Von Tettau was able to collect the following forces.
S.S.- N.C.O. School Arnheim (Col. M. Lippert)
S.S.- Training and Replacement Battalion 4 (Lt. Labahn)
Naval Manning Battalion 10 (Kapitan Lieutnant Zaubzer)
S.S.- Surveillance Battalion 3 ( Sturmbannf├╝hrer Paul Anton Helle)
Tank Company 224  
Fliegerhorst Battalion 3  
Soesterberg Fliegerhorst Battalion  
Regiment Knoche 
S.S.- Battalion Eberwein 
Regiment 42 

Heeresgruppe B {Army Group B}
Commander : Feldmarschall Walther Model


Fifteenth Army
Commander : General Gustav von Zangen


  • LXVII Korps (General Otto M. Hitzfeld)

        346th Infantry Division (Generalleutnant Erich Diester)
        711th Static Division (Generalleutnant Josef Reichert)
        719th Coastal Division (Generalleutnant Karl Sievers)
  • LXXXVIII Korps


First Parachute Army

Commander : General Kurt Student

  • II Fallschirmj├Ąger Korps
  • XII S.S. Korps 
Arnhem


German SS Polizei in position in the woods outside Arnhem ready to repulse Allied Airborne troops. 

The SS IX and X Panzer Divisions of the II SS Panzer Korps were, as Dutch Intelligence had reported, refitting and regrouping to the north and east of Arnhem and proved a formidable opponent despite the surprise of the airborne landings
  • LXXXVI Korps
  • Wehrkreis VI
Luftwaffe West



28 May 2013

Beyond D-Day: The Battle for France

Beyond D-Day: The Battle for France

On the 30th June the Kapiti Wargames Club will have an open day. We hope to showcase a range of demonstration games, from WWII and Napoleonics through Warhammer Fantasy Battles and 40K.

We are also looking forward to "Armourgeddon" in August to Remember the Battle of Kursk, the greatest Armoured Vehicle Battle ever.

The WWII contingent will (hopefully) feature Flames of War in both 15 mm and 20 mm. My son, Luc, and I will play a demo game using FoW rules, and Mid/Late war armies.



We chose 1944 in Western Europe, as I have a complete German Army from this period (albeit painted more for the East Front) and sufficient Allied Armour. I have been repainting some of the Italian Front Allied vehicles for Western Europe, and have re-based (sigh) all my 20mm Germans on scaled bases FoW style. I have stuck with the Autumn theme...kicking our way through a carpet of autumn leaves.






Alled troops may be a different kettle of fish though. I only have a fully painted company of British soldiers, based for Warhammer WW2; and American Paratroops that are painted.My other allied forces consist of Desret War ANZAC Aussies and Indian. I do have a veritable treasure trove of unpainted 20 mm figures. I will likly have to do a huge amount of batch-painting in the weeks to come.

So I got stuck into my pile of shame: First up Monty's Caravan, a Model I recently acquired as part of a bulk deal. The old 1/76 Matchbox kit, a Japanese edition. Luckily you can simply follow the diagrams... Comes with a city street diorama and a Dingo scout car. Just perfect for my "Monty's Meat-grinder" campaign.



6 December 2012

Allied Commonwealth Forces start to muster for El Alamein

Allied Commonwealth Forces start to muster for El Alamein


Being as enthused as I have been of late with gaming  El Alamein and the Desert War on the one hand, and Kursk on the other has led to some confusion. Having just converted all my Desert Themed armies to European theatre of war the Desert Lust grabbed me again. so here I find myself building Gun Tractors, 6pdr guns and painting Desert Rats again...

Thought I might convert some Aussie Jungle Fighters to Desert Fighters, and Some regular  8th Army and Ghurka figures into Indian Troops, giving my 8th Army a bit more Colonial flavour. 


My Indian Division have received a couple of coats, and have been glued to their bases. Still a way to go before they are ready for the table.


Turbans and Kukri, cold steel and conquered warrior tribes, all in service of the Empire


While on arriving from down under, we have a boat load full of Aussie cobbers


In the confusion of a dust storm on my workbench Friend and Foe seem to have been thrown together: Luftwaffe Gunners, Heer Artillerymen, Regular English 8th Army Sappers, and Aussie Infantry mill about, waiting to be based.

I have struggled to find figures in 1/72 scale with the obiquitous tropical pith helmets that both sides were issued with, until I stumbled upon some Hong Kong made copies of the old Airfix figures that were not too badly cast, except for their over-sized tin hats. Just perfect for converting to tropical helmets!

The South African troops in particular seemed to have been issued with these useless items (did block the sun, but no protection against flying metal). The conversion to Indian headgear is relatively straight forward, and the turbans are drying as we speak. The Aussies came with bush hats, and most of the Ghurkas too, so no issue there. Some Ghurka also wear a fez or kepi-like cap. No hope of finding a NZ Lemon squeezer hat though ! The truth is that all of these exotic headgear saw little use in battle.