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Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Balls to the Waal rss

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Ground Pounder
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Here is the state of things as of end of turn 12 of this solo effort. I expect a German auto-win by reaching 12 VP before the Allies can get units north of the Rhine, but it could go either way. Germans are currently at 9 VP from nine airborne and two XXX Corps destroyed units.

Three Pockets are Better than One



Remnants of 1st Airborne slipped out of the Oosterbeek pocket to the west, stumbling on an intact bridge at Rhenen. This offers a very slim ray of hope for XXX Corps to utilize, but 10th SS Panzer will have something to say about that.



The Polish Brigade dropped on Turn 10, preventing the collapse of the Oosterbeek perimeter, but Turn 11 saw the 1st Airborne pushed out of the one hex of Arnhem that they had managed to occupy since Turn 2.

Men in Black



Since 1st Airborne never controlled the north end of the Arnhem bridge, 10th SS elements were able to reinforce Nijmegen, and with the collapse of the resistance north of the Rhine more have formed up along the Waal to face an expected river assault north of Weurt.

The assault will be by a reinforced battalion of the 101st which dropped outside Nijmegen on Turn 10, since the 82d has its hands full pummeling the south end of the Nijmegen bridge and holding onto the bridge over the Maas-Waal canal. The first XXX Corps armor arrived in Nijmegen by Turn 9, but British infantry and artillery have only just caught up, and are still strung out due to isolated but well-placed counterattacks by single battalions of German infantry south of Grave, plus horrendous traffic.

Drain the Swamp



11th Armoured is 2-3 turns from taking Venray and Overloon, with an assist from 101st and others. German failure to blow the Helmond bridge was a big help.

North of the swamp, 107th Panzer managed to get in two effective counterattacks on over-aggressive Welsh Guards recon and 101st Airborne elements, before losing half of its Panthers.

Failure to Launch



Of less consequence, but still tragicomic, the first attempt to blow the bridge east of s'Hertgenbosch failed. The elite Fallschirmjaeger garrison chanced a sortie across the canal to allow it to be rewired. They fought off an attack by 101st and British armor, allowing their engineers time to rewire the bridge which . . . again failed to detonate.
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Mark
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Great session title laugh
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Christophe Henry
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Great I Accept
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Alan Sutton
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I love the (to me) so far unseen strategy of 1AB marching West to take the other bridge. Doesn't look like they will survive as they are so outnumbered. One difficulty with this plan is obviously that any airborne reinforcements will land so far away.

Subscribed to see what happens.

 
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They're Gonna Break Their Chains . . .



Allied Turn 13 saw the first attempt to cross the Waal by two 82d Airborne battalions from downtown Nijmegen. Despite artillery and air support, the 3-1 attack was stopped cold (rolled 1 - engaged).

However, the 43d Division and its engineer battalion will almost certainly find a gap in the river defenses next turn, as 10th SS just doesn't have the manpower to cover 18km of the banks of the Waal where XXX Corps forces have concentrated.
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Allen Dickerson
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Great puns and witty writing throughout. We LIKE it!!!
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Ground Pounder
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No You Can't Stop Them . . .

Allied Turn 14



82d Airborne and 1st Grenadier Guards again pound the German foothold in Nijmegen.

43d Division and 1/327th Glider Inf are tapped for the second attempt at establishing a bridgehead across the Waal. Sloppy staff work by 2d Panzer Corps left one hex open for an unopposed ferry crossing by the Americans along with one squadron of 44th Royal Tank Regt Shermans. This makes the night-time river assault by two battalions of the 43d into a 5-1 attack against German conscripts supported by 88s.

Further west, 43d Div recon elements cross the ferry at Druten, and Gds Arm recon is positioned to do the same at Tiel and Ophemert (out of photo).



3-1 attack in Nijmegen yields an A1/D1, but German desperate defense and artillery allows them to hold out.

The bridgehead over the Waal to the west of Nijmegen is secured with one step loss to the 43d.

Nighttime replacements bring a British battalion out of the dead-pile, so Germans have 9.5 points, needing 12 for an autowin.

2d Panzer will need to throw every spare man between the Allies and the bridge over the Rhine at Rhenen.
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Ground Pounder
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Build a Wall with the Bodies of the Dead . . .

The butcher's bill has been heavy as of end of Turn 14.



The German half of turn 14 saw two Von Tettau attacks shrink the Rhenen pocket, but desperate defense saved the day for the glider pilots and troopers.

10th SS counterattack, spearheaded by its precious Panthers drives back 1/327th. Allied artillery was waiting for resupply of ammo so couldn't provide needed defensive support. Corps Feldt shrinks the 82d bridgehead, though it seems this is now a sideshow.

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JIM MCFETRIDGE
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A cliff-hanger. Great photos too. Looking forward to reading how this one ends.
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Alan Sutton
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mcfetridgej wrote:
A cliff-hanger. Great photos too. Looking forward to reading how this one ends.

Me too. I love the way this game allows some other cross-river assaults (with engineers).

Forcing the Germans to defend their whole river line dissipates their local strength.

This is THE game for this operation. Maybe not completely historical or accurate.

But, the Players like it.
 
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Ground Pounder
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Thanks for the kind comments. I don't always push through to the bitter end of solo games, but this one is managing to keep the drama going. It may not be a great historical simulation, but it's a helluva fun game.



Speaking of history, it seems like the 75th anniversary will see a great nod to the battle, with a reenactment of XXX Corps advance using a number of period vehicles. A number of these hail from the British Tank Museum at Bovington (see vid below), though is is the Royal Netherlands Army organizing the event as I understand it.



If You're in the Game, then the Stroke's the Word . . .



A.M. of 22 September -- Major Robert Redford shows he isn't just a pretty face, and rallies the 2/325th and 2/504th to grab their paddles and try for a second river assault to seize the north end of the Nijmegen bridge. The overcast weather denied RAF support, but allowed the Americans to catch the 10th SS with their mouths full of their breakfast stroopwafels, pushing them back to Remmel. The combined barrage of 82d Airborne and 5 AGRA artillery helped as well. A supporting attack cut off the German hex in Nijmegen from Corps Feldt.

Ferries Wear Boots



The 43d Division echoed the success of the American cousins, ferrying two more battalions and another squadron of Shermans across the Waal. Two 3-1 attacks have established Allied control over a contiguous 18km of Waal bridgehead, it may still be too little, too late.
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Five Days in Hell

With sundown on 22 September (Turn 16), Allied losses were too much, with the last two critical bridges at Arnhem and Nijmegen still in German hands, for the operation to continue with its original purpose. German auto-win achieved with 12VP and no XXX Corps forces across the Rhine.

The day had dawned overcast, but there had been a small break in the clouds in the afternoon which provided a few rays of hope for the Allies in the form of the RAF. Alas, it was not to be . . .



Allied hopes were dealt a critical blow with the collapse of the beleaguered glider pilots and 1st AB troopers which had tenaciously clung to the Rhenen bridgehead for nearly two days. It took a company of Tigers to overwhelm them, which they took with them to the grave (1/1 desperate defense result).



The last straw was murderous German artillery final protective fire against the combined 2/325th Glider Infantry and Gds Armoured attack on the south end of Nijmegen bridge. 82d Airborne held back several depleted battalions from the attack, but still had mustered four battalions, plus Gds Armoured tanks and infantry, plus divisional and corps artillery, plus the RAF to achieve a 5-1 attack. A DRX result followed by a successful desperate defense wiped out a two step battalion, sealing the German autowin and keeping the bridge in German hands.

The bloodshed was enough that a ceasefire was apparently reached on humanitarian grounds. No doubt, the population of Nijmegen and environs would have suffered tremendously in this version of history.

Looking forward to playing this ftf for the first time at Paris Wargaming Con.

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