Saturday 24 February 2024

Arnhem 'Tiger' Route - OOB

As mentioned previously, I've been working on a mini-campaign for BKCII based upon an article in WS&S Issue 74, namely the 5th Platoon Scenario by Richard Clarke (p 38). Whilst this is more of a skirmish action and for Chain of Command, it is pretty easy to tweak it for a larger scale action.

Reference Books
For more background reading to get a better understanding of the early phase of the Day One landings, I have consulted the following:

'A Bridge Too Far' by Cornelius Ryan
'It Never Snows In September' by Robert Kershaw
Osprey 'Operation Market-Garden 1944 (2) The British Airborne Missions' by Ken Ford

All provide plenty of useful info and so, based upon these, I have come up with the following OOB for both sides:

British 3rd Battalion, 1st Parachute Brigade
1 x CO (CV8)
3 x HQ (CV8)
9 x Paratroopers (3 with PIAT upgrades)
1 x MG
1 x 3" Mortar
1 x 6pdr ATG + tow

This is Lt-Col Fitch's Battalion that advanced along 'Tiger' route from the landing zones. Normally in BKCII the British Airborne Commanders have higher CV ratings, but I have reduced these slightly as historically their performance lacked a certain 'va va voom' on Day One.   

SS Panzergrenadier Ausbildungs-und-Ersatz Battaillon 16, 9th SS 'Hohenstaufen'
1 x CO (CV9)
3 x HQ (CV8)
9 x Waffen SS (classed as Heer Conscripts but deduct one die when rolling for suppression/fallback)
2 x MG
2 x 81mm Mortar
1 x 120mm Mortar
1 x 50mm ATG + tow
1 x Sd Kfz 250/9
1 x Sd Kfz 250/10
1 x Pz IV

This is based upon SS-Kapitan Krafft's 'Kampfgruppe' that famously reacted quickly to the landings, halting the Airborne advance almost at the start. Sources are not clear on the exact OOB, other than it consisted of the 2nd, 4th & 9th Kompanies, with some saying the 2nd & 4th were Infantry Kompanies and the 9th the Heavy Weapons Kompanie, the latter which formed the Battalion Reserve. I have chosen that for BKCII they are all Infantry Kompanies with any Heavy Weapons already assigned out to them.

As they were a Training Battalion, I have classed them as Heer Conscript in terms of stats, thus giving them slightly less firepower than normal, as they were understrangth at this time. However they fought exceptionally well, so have classed them as Waffen-SS, which deducts one die when rolling for suppression or fallback.

In Ryan's book, there is mention that Krafft had a new experimental weapon at his disposal, a multi-barrelled rocket propelled launcher capable of throwing over sized mortar shells. This was not a Nebelwerfer, but witness accounts describe the scream and impact of these oversized mortars. With no other information to go on, I have simply given the 'Kampfgruppe' a 120mm Mortar to reflect this weapon.

Quite quickly armoured elements of the 9th SS 'Hohenstauffen' began to arrive to support Krafft's kampfgruppe as and when they became available. AA guns on half-tracks were certainly used early on and other light guns too, before heavier AFV's began to arrive, most likely in the form of Pz IV's. These certainly bolstered Krafft's defence and aided them in performing a fighting withdrawal as their positions threatened to be out flanked.

Next up will be the first action of the mini-campaign.



  1. The hard, groundwork is in place. Time for battle!

    1. I love the research for a game and comparing various accounts etc. In this case not too much hard work for once! Another wet day tomorrow (quelle surprise) so hopefully the first scenario will get played...

  2. This sounds promising. The Kershaw book is good (I say that as a non-WWII specialist, so take that with a pinch of whatever). It really gets across the scratch nature (albeit heavily armed) of a lot of the German units.

    1. Hopefully it will fulfil my expectations and more, which is pretty easy when playing solo! Not sure whether I want to play the Krafft or Fitch yet. Kershaw's book is brilliant and lovely to get a view of the campaign from the German point of view and a nice contrast to Ryan's book.

  3. Ooh, tough opener for the paras. look forward to seeing it played out.

    1. I should clarify Norm that the above OOB cover all 4 scenarios that will be played, so not all will be on the table at the start. In fact the first scenario is quite a small scale affair, slwoing building up from there.

  4. This should be another exciting BKCII campaign to follow, Steve! Market Garden is one of those operations screaming out for a wargames campaign - you could play ten games, with all the bridges, XXX Corps breakthrough and fighting advance to link up all the bridges AND the desperate defence of 6 Airborne Div at Arnhem, waiting for the "cavalry" to arrive!

    1. Well I hope it will be Keith! Some years ago I did look into boardgames to try and game the campaign, but with little success. FoW did one but hard to find copies that were not stupidly expensive. Ideally you want one that covers both flank operations too, as they were rather important. I have notes somewhere for doing some linked scenarios to keep things simple, which I could update. Something to certainly consider...

  5. You’ve certainly got all the prep work sorted - so now you can sit back and enjoy the tabletop action. I’m unconvinced, however, that the Paras will enjoy it as much as you Steve 😉

    1. The prep was fun and pretty easy for once Geoff. The Paras need to get off to a good start and to keep the pressure on, before the Germans can form a decent defensive line. I think the outcome of game one will give a good idea as to how this will unfold.