Setting: Malmedy, Ardennes; 21 December 1944Panzer Brigade 150 was formed In 1944 as part of the preparations for the German Ardennes offensive. It was a mixed force of containing 2.500 men from all parts of the Wehrmacht, 1.000 from the Heer, 500 from the Waffen-SS, 800 from the Luftwaffe and 200 from the Kriegsmarine. Their intended role was to capture the vital Meuse Bridges in advance of the main German force. Because of the special nature of their operation they were assigned Otto Skorzeny - Hitler's favourite special ops man - as commander and were more or less disguised as an American force. All their transport was painted olive drab, with prominent white stars. The Panthers were disguised with a steel plate in an attempt to look like M10 Tank Destroyers. They carried the markings of B Company, 10th Tank battalion, 5th Armored Division. Some infantry would have used elements of American uniform.
Panzer Brigade 150 contained three Kampfgruppe (X, Y, Z) but Skorzeny could only organise two for the attack. On the right Kampfgruppe Y (with 5 StuG IIIs) under Hauptman Schref confidently set off along highway N32 toward the town, but was halted by mines and fire from the defending 1st Battalion and their supporting artillery.
On the left Kampfgruppe X under von Foelkersam had more success attacking from the direction of Ligneuville. Foelkersam's 5 Panthers and two companies split into two columns when they approached Malmedy.
The main body with 2 Panthers attacked the road bridge which formed the weak junction between the 120th and 117th Regiments. The battle centred around a house containing the HQ of the 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, plus men of an Engineer unit and K Company of the 120th Regiment. As the German armour began to bypass the house the defenders were forced back to the road bridge and Paper Mill. A Panther and some German infantry forced their way across the bridge and overran a artillery battery attached to 117th Regiment. Despite this success a hail of American artillery forced the Germans to withdraw back across the river.
Meanwhile 3 Panthers and more German infantry tried to storm the Railway embankment blocking their route to Malmedy. Alerted by trip flares and aided by mines and artillery, the 99th Battalion managed to hold the German assault and eventually drive it off.
TerrainCan be played on a 6' x 4' table with the long sides being North and South.
The table is divided into several zones which are marked on the map:
- Observation Post (OP) on the high ground to the north-west.
- Tank Destroyer (TD) House
- Paper Mill including the nearby road bridge
- Malmedy including the embankment south of the river
- No mans land - which includes the rest of the table
American Player (Defending)
ObjectiveTo hold the Warche Road Bridge and the railway embankment south of the river.
Forces AvailableElements of 120th Regiment, 30th Infantry Division.
B Company, 3rd Battalion (as per rules including HMG and FO)Elements of 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion
K Company, 99th Battalion (as per rules including HMG and FO)
1 x 57mm ATG
1 x 76mm ATG
1 squad per Platoon has a Bazooka.
1 x M18 HellcatElements of 291st Engineer Battalion
1 x BC (+1 for rallying and close combat but only for the BC stand itself)
1 x Engineer Platoon (with 1 squad having a Bazooka)Elements of 117th Regiment
1 x on-table 105mm howitzer2 x Minefields
1 x FO for on-table 105mm howitzer
2 x FO for off-table 105mm artillery
2 x Rifle Platoons
Any number of entrenchments required
DeploymentDeploys first as follows:
- B Company must deploy in the Malmedy zone
- K Company must deploy in the Paper Mill zone
- One ATG must be attached to each of B and K company.
- The elements of the 823rd and 291st must deploy in the TD zone, with the BC inside the house.
- The elements of the 117th must deploy in OP zone and can not move outside it - they only have a supporting role in the battle.
- The minefields must be deployed in No Mans Land.
German Player (Attacking)Begins scenario with initiative.
ObjectiveTo capture and hold the Warche Road Bridge and the railway embankment south of the river.
Forces AvailableKampfgruppe X of Panzer Brigade 150 under SS-Hauptsurmfuhrer von Foelkersam.
1 x BCAll rifle squads have early panzerfausts and one squad per platoon has a late panzerfaust.
1 x SMG squad
1 x FO for off-table 120mm mortar
1 x FO for off-table 81mm mortar
1 x MG Company - 3 x HMG
1 x SS Assault Engineer Platoon - PC (+2), 3 x Rifle Squad
1 x SS Infantry Company (as per rules including HMG and FO)
1 x Fallschirmjaeger Company (as per rules including HMG and FO)
5 x Panther Gs disguised at M10 Tank Destroyers
2 x Panzergrenadier Platoons
PC (+1), 3 x Rifle Squad1 x Schwimmwagen to attach to any rifle or HMG stand
1 x American M3 halftrack or Hanomeg halftrack
DeploymentDeploys second entering from the south through Falize.
Victory ConditionsThe game lasts 10 Turns (0600 hours to 1100 hours). Turns 1-3 are in darkness and Turns 1-6 in fog.
There are two Terrain objectives each worth 1 Victory Point (VP) to the side holding it at the end of the game:
- The Warche Road Bridge (protecting U.S. artillery positions off table)
- The railway embankment south of the river (blocking the approach to Malmedy).
- You could also consider destroying the on-table 105mm Howitzer as an objective as well. Historically the Germans did this, even if they didn't achieve the other two objectives.