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Preview of the first Battle Pack

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Battlepack 1: The Great Swan

Northern France and Belgium

September 1944

 

In just two months, between 6th June and mid August, the Allied armies in Normandy destroyed the cream of the 1944 German Army. Following this resounding defeat the Allies bounded across France in just a few days. It is during this period of stunning advance that Battlepack 1: The Great Swan is set, following the advance of the British 2nd Army from the Seine River, through Belgium, and all the way to the high water mark of the advance along the Meuse and lower Rhine.

 

The first phase of the Great Swan occurred when the 43rd Wessex Division seized a crossing over the Seine at Vernon in an opposed assault crossing. The battle here lasted several days, and the first 24 hours in particular were considered to be very dangerous for the British troops. However the bridgehead was stabilised and then gradually expanded to make room for follow-on forces. Prelude, the first battle of the Campaign Amiens Tonight, is a semi-historical examination of the difficulties of pressing back the determined German resistance which was able to make good use of the thick forests along the Seine river banks.

 

Shortly afterwards the British forces exploded out of the bridgehead and began racing across Northern France and into Belgium. From the first German resistance to the breakout was weak and disorganised - they were too busy fleeing back towards France to form a cohesive front. Engagements during this period tended to be small scale, and highly confusing. The Copse is a tiny scenario that takes a hypothetical look at one of these minor engagements. Overnight the advancing Allies generally rested, and prepared for the next day’s advance, while the Germans continued their relentless withdrawal. Celer et Audax and Nulli Secudus look at what happens when small British force disposed in hasty defence finds itself in the path of some withdrawing Germans in the middle of a rainy night or on a misty morning.

 

During the advance to Amiens the 11th Armoured Division was ordered to advance through the night without rest, culminating in an astonishing advance of 48 miles in just 24 hours. Tallyho follows the vanguard of this drive as they approach the location of a temporary halt at dusk. The next day found 11th Armoured at Amiens, embroiled in bitter city fighting (The Somme), and then pushing out of the city into the open ground across the river (To the green fields beyond). This was not the end of the war, and the Division soon found itself heading east once more (And the beat goes on).

 

Within days the lead elements of XXX Corps, made up as always by the armoured cars, found themselves in the region known as ‘the Crossroads of Europe’, a place where famous battles to decide the fate of nations have been fought since time immemorial (A crossroads near Brussels).

 

Soon after reaching Antwerp and the Belgian boder the advance petered out, stopped more by the logistical strain of leaping forward 200 miles in a few days than by increasing German resistance. Field Marshal Montgomery famously tried to kick-start the stalled advance with Operation Market-Garden. Those battles have been dealt with elsewhere in Combat Mission. However, in the weeks prior to the launch of Market Garden there were about a dozen planned airborne operations, all opf which were cancelled when they were overtaken by events. But what if the advance had been halted in the vicinity of Brussels?

 

One of the planned and cancelled airborne operations was LINNET II, which was to seize bridges over the Meuse west of Aachen, and open a route into Germany. A group of “what if?” fictional scenarios looks at how this never-fought battle might have played out. The flat ground between the Meuse River and Albert Canal would have provided excellent landing grounds (Drop Zone CHARLIE), while securing the river crossings was dependant on holding the high ground just east of the Meuse against counter attacks (LINNET II). As this operation was never launched, the exact details of Operation Linnet II are vague, and this vagueness has been exploited to look at the effect of differences in the detailed organisation of British and American ground and airborne forces when given the same ground and objectives, fighting against the same enemy.

 

Following the failure of Market Garden the British made a concerted effort to close up to the Rhine along its lower reaches before the onset of winter. This phase of the campaign saw a partial reversion to positional warfare, and the re-emergence of deliberate attacks against strong defences (Swansong). Often these attacks were supported by the specialist armour of the 79th Armoured Division (Hobart’s Funnies). With the onset of bad weather at the end of September the frontlines became static, and the heady days of The Great Swan became an increasingly distant memory.

 

In total Battlepack 1: The Great Swan contains over 25km2 of brand new, highly detailed handcrafted mapping.

Edited by JonS

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Jon, that sounds excellent.  Very exciting.  I like the idea of two scenarios, one with US troops and one with British troops fighting on the same map against the same enemy.  Cool idea.

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Battlepack 1: The Great Swan

Northern France and Belgium

September 1944

The first phase of the Great Swan occurred when the 43rd Wessex Division seized a crossing over the Seine at Vernon in an opposed assault crossing. The battle here lasted several days, and the first 24 hours in particular were considered to be very dangerous for the British troops. However the bridgehead was stabilised and then gradually expanded to make room for follow-on forces. Prelude, the first battle of the Campaign Amiens Tonight, is a semi-historical examination of the difficulties of pressing back the determined German resistance which was able to make good use of the thick forests along the Seine river banks.

 

Great news JonS, did you by any chance read the book "Assault Crossing" by Ken Ford ? Its about the crossing of the Seine River at Vernon.

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Yep, I used that, as well as:

 

anon., The 8th Armoured Brigade (Hannover, Germany, 1946)

anon., 82nd Airborne Div, Field Order No.11, 13 Sept 1944

anon., The story of the Twenty-Third Hussars, 1940-1946 (Husum, Germany, 1946)

Beale, Peter, Tank Tracks, 9th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment at war 1940-45

Bellamy, Bill, Troop Leader, a tank commander's story

Blacker, Gordon A., Iron Knights, the U.S. 66th Armored Regiment in WWII

Boscawen, Robert, Armoured Guardsmen

Bouchery, Jean, The British Solder, vol 2: Organisation, armament, tanks and vehicles

British Army of the Rhine, Battlefield Tour, Operation Neptune, 43 (W) Division, Assault crossing of the River Seine, 25-28 August 1944 (June 1947)

Delaforce, Patrick, The Black Bull (p.134-168)

Delaforce, Patrick, Monty's Marauders

Delaney, Douglas E., Corps Commanders

Ellis, L.F., Victory in the West, vol I (p.465-476)

Ellis, L.F., Victory in the West, vol II (p.1-29)

Essame, H., The 43rd Wessex Division at War 1944-1945

Forty, G., The British Army Handbook

Guderian, Heinz G., From Normandy to the Ruhr with the 116th Panzer Division in World War II

Hargreaves, Richard, The Germans in Normandy

Hills, Stuart, By tank into Normandy

Hinsleym F.H., British Intelligence in the Second World War, v.3, pt.2

Holborn, Andrew, The 56th Infantry Brigade and D-Day (p.163-186)

Horrocks, Brian, Corps Commander

Jary, Sydney, 18 Platoon

Kite, Ben, Stout Hearts, the British and Canadians in Normandy 1944

Leakey, Rea and Forty, George, Leakey's Luck.

Luck, Hans von, Panzer Commander

Ludewig, Joachim, Rückzug, the German retreat from France, 1944

Meyer, Hubert, The 12th SS, the history of the Hitler Youth Panzer Division, vol 1

Meyer, Hubert, The 12th SS, the history of the Hitler Youth Panzer Division, vol 2

Middlebrook, Martin, Arnhem 1944, the Airborne Battle

Moulton, J.L., Battle for Antwerp

Nafziger, George F., The German Order of Battle; Panzers and Artillery in WWII

Peters, Mike, and Buist, Luuk, Glider Pilots at Arnhem

Picot, Geoffrey, Accidental Warrior, in the front line from Normandy till Victory

Reynolds, Michael, Sons of the Reich; II SS Panzer Corps; Normandy, Arnhem, Ardennes, Eastern Front

Reynolds, Michael, Men of Steel; I SS Panzer Corps; the Ardennes and Eastern Front, 1944-45

Roberts, G.P.B., From the Desert to the Baltic (p.200-212)

Stanton, Shelby L., World War II Order of Battle

Zetterling, Niklas, Normandy 1944

 

;)

Edited by JonS

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That is one impressive list ! BTW what does the abbreviation anon. mean ?

In my experience:

anon. = anonymous (writer is unknown/unamed)

 

It's also common for their to be lots of academic (and not so academic) arguments raging over "real" authors name.

 

p.s. impressive reading list, feeling slightly jealous. :)

 

- edit - beaten by 1 minute AND with a link to a real reference: damn, just not my day today! :)

Edited by zinzan

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No, there are 12 standalone scenarios, and the campaign (which has another 5)

Edited by JonS

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Excellent, been looking forward to fighting some of the gruelling winter fighting across Belgium and Holland in abysmal weather. Hope the allies get the proper amount of arty that constantly backed them up.

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Excellent!

 

Interesting subject matter; let's hope this is the first of many.

 

Will these scenarios feature the use of triggers and what proportion are playable from both sides? - obviously not the campaign ones.

 

Also, are any specifically H2H?

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They're all (the standalones) able to be played H2H and either way vs the AI :)

 

Triggers are used where it makes sense.

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Battlepack 1: The Great Swan

Northern France and Belgium
September 1944
 
In total Battlepack 1: The Great Swan contains over 25km2 of brand new, highly detailed handcrafted mapping.
 
Awesome Jon  :D

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Great news Battlefront! The H2H option is much appreciated. Together with an interesting time span and units involved should make for some long tough hours in the dark. 

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