ARNHEM, THE NETHERLANDS, 17 September 1944: Of the three British routes for the march into Arnhem from the drop zones, only the 2nd Battalion’s ‘Lion Route’ by the Rhine were the British able to actually reach the bridge. The Germans obviously understood 3rd Battalion’s intentions along the Utrechtseweg, so Lt. Col. Fitch detached Major Lewis’ “C” Company and sent it along a side road in a flanking attempt. The instructions to the lead platoon commander, Lt. Wright, were simply “That’s the bloody way. Get moving!” Following the railway as the evening light failed, “C” Company made amazing progress while taking out an armoured car, dodging other enemies and losing only one man. The company finally neared the bridge from the north in total darkness. Major Lewis went forward to report to Brigade Headquarters as the company closed on the perimeter. Unfortunately, a reserve from Kampfgruppe Knaust was forming up nearby. A short-range firefight broke out, forcing the paras to fight their way forward. Large numbers of the inexperienced Germans were cut down. On the British side, several men were killed and wounded as they maneuvered through the gardens. As the German command established order, they were able to cut off and capture most of two platoons. Thus, of the “C” Company men who had so nearly reached their objective, only some 45 managed to slip into the perimeter.
Almost 20 years ago CH launched the independent publishing movement with its first Arnhem historical module—and now things have come full circle. The famous battle was the result of Montgomery’s bold plan to force the Rhine by coup de main using an airborne operation like none seen in the annals of military history. If successful the greatest natural barrier protecting Nazi Germany would be breached—shortening the war dramatically. If it failed, the ‘Red Devils’ of the British 1st Airborne Division would be at the far end of a tenuous supply line, in the midst of enemy territory. Allied planners had failed to take note of two elite Waffen SS divisions resting and refitting following the rucksmarsch, the headlong flight that followed the German collapse in Normandy. This intelligence failure would place John Frost and his men of the 2nd Parachute Battalion in a precarious position in the urban battlefield of Arnhem.
THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE GAME! Ownership of the ASLRB, and any modules providing the Germans and British, plus standard system marker counters is required to play this historical module.