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The forgotten battle for Overloon


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In September 1944, the Allies had launched Operation Market Garden, a major offensive from the Dutch-Belgian border across the south of the Netherlands through Eindhoven and Nijmegen toward the Rhine bridge at Arnhem, with the goal of crossing the Rhine and bypassing the Siegfried Line in preparation for the final drive toward Berlin. Allied airborne forces were defeated at the Rhine bridge in Arnhem and the advance stopped south of the Lower Rhine, resulting in a narrow salient that ran from the north of Belgium across the south-east of the Netherlands.

German forces attacked this salient from a bridgehead west of the bend in the river Meuse (known as Maas in Dutch and German) near the city of Venlo. The bridgehead was established by retreating German forces who were reinforced with troops arriving from nearby Germany by crossing the Meuse in Venlo. The western edge of this bridgehead ran through the Peel, a region with bogs and several canals blocking an Allied advance. The Allies decided to attack the bridgehead from the north, and this meant they had to capture Overloon and Venray, which were on the road toward Venlo.

Operation Aintree (named after Aintree racecourse) had the goal of securing the narrow salient the Allies had established between Eindhoven and Nijmegen during Operation Market Garden and destroying the German bridgehead west of the Meuse, in preparation for the eventual Allied advance into the nearby German Rhineland.

The battle of Overloon ensued as the Allies in Operation Aintree advanced from nearby positions south toward the village of Overloon. After a failed attack on Overloon by the U.S. 7th Armored Division, the British 3rd Infantry Division and the British 11th Armoured Division took over. Suffering heavy losses the Allies captured Overloon and moved towards Venray. The advance on Venray resulted in heavy losses, especially around the Loobeek creek, which was swollen due to heavy autumn rains and was flooded and mined by the Germans. Casualties were heavy here among the First Battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment. During the battle, the village of Overloon was destroyed. In and around Overloon, some 2,500 soldiers died, making it one of the bloodiest battles in the Netherlands during the Second World War. It was also the only major tank battle ever fought on Dutch soil. Dozens of tanks, mainly British, were destroyed.

Despite the fact that both Overloon and eventually Venray were taken by the Allies, the advance toward the bend of the Meuse near Venlo was postponed. This was due to the number of casualties the Allies had sustained and because troops were needed to secure more essential targets: the Scheldt estuary, leading to the vital port of Antwerp and the west of the province of North Brabant, in between Antwerp and the salient that had been established. The offensive was eventually resumed, and by early December the German bridgehead west of the Meuse was destroyed.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Overloon

This map/battle will focus on the British part of the battle. The map is about 95% historicly correct. It's size will be 2kmx2km. At the moment I'm about 65% done. Here are some screens of my work so far.

I'm from Holland and I live about 20km to the north of Overloon. I visit the war museum very often.

A Panther from the 107. Panzerbrigade in overwatch


Fallschirmjager tankhunters await their prey


Destroyed US armor is left behind on the battlefield


More destroyed US armor


US Sherman tank destroyed in the dense forrest by a tankhunter


I'm trying to make this map full of battlefield scars and historicly correct. More will follow soon


Brits vs German (AI)

Small audio teaser


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Great job, Bram. I remember visiting the museum at Overloon, especially that Panther made a huge impression upon me. Ga zo door.

Then you should be glad to hear that they changed the Panther back to its original colours and numbering. Also they will start a new exposistion about the battle of Overloon. Starting from April 17th I believe.

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Looks really great. There was tremendous fighting for Overloon and it is largely forgotten. I was thinking of having a go at it when the Bulge module was due. But this will be a while I guess, since Black Sea and the Eastern Front are first on the BFC to do list. The museum is superb, been there 2 times last year.

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Ziet er goed uit, Bram!

BTW, I didn't know the Overloon museum was still in business. Is it still worth visiting? I remember it looked rather 'verwaarloosd' the last time I visited, back in 1995, IIRC.

The museum is even beter!!! You should also visit the Militracks each year in May. Loads of vehicles that drive around and for a fee you can drive along.

en btw Eindhoven is nie zo heul ver weg ;)

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Done so far:

-map 98% (only Overloon itself needs to be done)

-German forces picked (95% historicly correct)

-British forces picked (95% historicly correct)

To do list:

-setup zones for the H2H version (this version shall be released @ the beginning of next week)

-placing of the land mines

-scripting and playtesting (will be done by members of the Few Good Men)

-fine tuning...

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