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Airborne Reconnaissance Platoon

Airborne Reconnaissance Platoon
Sub Category: Flames of War
Product Note: Middle/Late
Publish Year: 2010
Restockable: No
Mfg. part #: BFMBBX17
Type: Miniatures Box Set

Airborne Reconnaissance Platoon
Airborne Reconnaissance Platoon

Description

The 1st Airlanding Reconnaissance Squadron was formed in 1941 under the command of Major CFH ‘Freddie’ Gough and attached to the 1st Airborne Division’s reconnaissance unit in late 1942. The squadron had 250 men organised into a headquarters troop, four recce troops (named A to D Troops), and a support troop including the squadron’s heavy weapons.

The squadron first saw combat in September 1943 when it landed by sea in Italy with the 1st Airborne Division. The squadron led the advance up the Adriatic coast of Italy seizing German strong points and airfields along the way.

During the campaign, the squadron suffered heavy casualties and B Troop was permanently disbanded, its men sent to reinforce the other troops. The squadron accompanied the rest of the 1st Airborne Division back to England. Once there, the men were trained to parachute into action and land their jeeps by glider to help cut down on the overall number of gliders required for the squadron. To reflect this, the unit changed its name to the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron in early 1944.

The 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron was given a special mission for Operation Market Garden. Since the British landing zones were over six miles from the primary objective, the Arnhem Road Bridge, C and D Troops were ordered to launch a coup de main assault to seize and hold the bridge until they were relieved. Instead of perfoming reconnaissance missions, A Troop and the Support Troop would stay with the division’s headquarters in reserve.

Major Gough was concerned about the nature of the mission, arguing that his light recon troops were not well suited for an all-out assault against a potentially well-defended enemy position. When his arguments were turned away, he requested that his jeeps be fitted with twin Vickers machine-guns and a platoon of Tetrarch light tanks so that he could overcome any German resistance on the objective. Both requests were denied due to a lack of transport and gilder-space issues.

For the majority of the 1st Airborne Division, the 17 September landings were executed flawlessly. However, the reconnaissance squadron was not so lucky. Three of the unit’s 22 gliders failed to arrive and extracting the jeeps from crashed gliders proved difficult. As a result the departure of the coup de main force was delayed thirty minutes.

Within minutes of leaving the landing zone, C Troop was ambushed east of Wolfheze by SS-Sturmbannführer Krafft’s training battalion. The badly-mauled troop was pulled off the line and assigned to guard LZ S. Due to poor radio communications, the remainder of the squadron returned to the divisional headquarters. Only Major Gough with two jeeps from the HQ Troop reached Arnhem Bridge.

The squadron was then attached to Brigadier JW Hackett’s 4th Parachute Brigade to defend the Oosterbeek perimeter. The squadron fought until the evacuation order was given on 25 September and was ferried across the river with the rest of the 1st Airborne Division’s survivors.

In Flames Of War

The Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron is equipped with jeeps so that it can race to the objective and deposit its troops before the enemy can react.

If your opponent leaves the objective lightly defended, use these jeeps to make a quick run to capture it.