Friday, 27 March 2015

Arnhem, Part 3

Well done for persevering with my convoluted report !

In the gap between Arnhem and Oosterbeek, a German attack is punished by Para Engineers holed up in one of the buildings

But German resistance facing XXX Corps remains stubborn

The Poles are now under sustained attack the other side of the river

and German armour is threatening all positions

battle royal in the streets leading up to the bridge

Para artillery doggedly taking on German armour whenever it can

and the infantrymen grimly hang on in the houses and rooftops

In Oosterbeek, the artillery has retreated within the town 

as German armour over-runs the LZ

followed by plenty of infantry

for now, the fight goes on

but there are just too many of the enemy to contend with

The Germans finally gain the north end of the bridge

all resistance is over

but the Germans have had to pay a heavy price

... and of course, no sign of XXX Corps !

A great time was had by all and we have all vowed we will return next year for the Donald Featherstone Memorial games weekend - who knows what we will be playing - well, I guess Mark Freeth does but he's not letting on yet !

Arnhem, Part 2

Picking up the story again, XXX Corps are up against stubborn resistance at every twist and turn with hidden German units suddenly opening fire from unexpected quarters

each bridge is a bottleneck and it is here the Germans try to cause the maximum nuisance by hitting armoured vehicles to cause a pile up

Outside Oosterbeek and Arnhem more and more German units are arriving

so the paras disperse to make the most of what cover there is

 German armour starts to winkle its way into the cramped back streets

and panzer grenadiers dismount from their half tracks to join battle

a nasty nebelwerfer battery is deployed way beyond Oosterbeek but more than able to rain down some vicious fire on the defenders

There's never enough cover

truck loads of German infantry arrive and attack the buildings 

and there's heavy stuff like this Tiger II as well

more shots of the streets in Arnhem where the hand to hand fighting takes place

with all thats going on, how come Mel has got time to watch the Six Nations Rugby on his iPad ?!!!

Here is veteran war gamer and author, Charlie Wesencraft in the background, who seemed to take great delight in plotting the downfall of my brave paras around Oosterbeek, guided by Rapid Fire! expert, John Smith

Here's Charlie addressing us at the Featherstone Memorial Dinner held on the Saturday evening. On his left, Ron Miles, who gamed with Don down at Southampton for all those years.

Another one of our characters, Paul "General Whiskers" Wisken who won an award for being the nattiest dresser.  Paul is also well known on the re-enactor circuit here in the UK and on the continent.

Here's Charlie showing he's a man of the modern age - instructing Steve Clarke on how to use an iPad !

But we digress - back to the battle ! A Para gun takes out an armoured car but has casualties amongst the gun team

plenty of activity going on around Oosterbeek too with John and Grant upsetting Brian Fish by the look of things.

I enjoyed this moment, when one of my hidden anti-tank guns

took out a Tiger II in spectacular fashion

Well done, lads !  Good dice rolling.

I'm going to bring Part 2 to a close now, hopefully Part 3 will follow this evening.

Oh, and Carlo, yes, it was played in 1/72 or 20mm and as you will gather from the text above, the rules used were Rapid Fire!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Arnhem at the Wargames Holiday Centre

Last weekend eighteen gamers from around the UK got together for the annual Donald Featherstone Memorial Weekend at Mark Freeth's centre at Kingsclere, near Basingstoke.

XXX Corps start off from the base line

and immediately run into trouble !

A tail back develops

because a tank has been brewed on the first bridge

Meantime, British paras and glider borne troops are dropping near Oosterbeek

Casualties were light

and the troops quickly dispersed to protect their landing zones

Guns and jeeps were quickly assembled and companies formed up

Arnhem remains peacefully unaware at this stage

whereas Paras are now moving into Oosterbeek

Airborne recce jeeps are sent out to investigate fire coming from a nearby factory building

Yep, its full of Krauts !

Suddenly, some truck borne German infantry dash into the other side of Oosterbeek

Whilst across the river, a German armoured column approaches the bridge

with an arrogant looking officer leading them !

Paras start to enter Arnhem 

and take up defensive positions

The recce squadron are sent to investigate the Germans getting established in Oosterbeek

an exchange of fire takes place between them

and the jeeps get hit one after the other !

The Germans also took casualties but they could afford to with more and more arriving

as East of Oosterbeek proved - another column of trucks arriving

Hold on - whats coming up with the columns of trucks - old French tanks - what ?

There's something ominous about these old tanks.

Across the Rhine, forward German units move into position

In fact, there are Germans appearing everywhere.

Close to Arnhem itself, an AT gun is placed and attack teams briefed.

These Germans are getting dangerously close to the bridge.

What about XXX Corps ? I hear you cry. Well, not much change really

Despite the best efforts of the "fly boys" to assist them

Now we see Brian Fish sorting out the newly arrived Polish paras

They spread out amongst the buildings and pump works and deploy anti-tank guns too.

On the bridge itself, British paras have deployed a gun of their own to deter the armoured units building up across the river

The paras in Arnhem prepare themselves for the onsaught to come

German units beyond Oosterbeek advance towards the British LZ

as units build up behind Arnhem too

Footnote : I think as I have so many pictures of last weekend's battle, I will publish these tonight and continue the story in the days to come ... call me a tease all you like but I've run out of time right now !