It was time for a long hard look at my options for my various Fallschirmjäger proposals. When it comes down to it I’m well catered for in everything except the heavier mortars and Anti-tank guns. Vehicles are simple enough to add from existing stocks especially softskins where I’m blessed to be able to field as many Horch field cars as I should ever require. I am however a bit short in regards to the Opel Blitz type lorries.
As a rough calculation I can field three full strength FJ platoons for each of the four armies I have in mind, with the addition of at least 4 MG platoons. Other support weapons are a tad skimpy except for my horde of LG40 7.5cm Recoilless and LG42 10.5cm Recoilless rifles. As always the artillery has been the last on my list to obtain and nothing has changed in that regard.
0ne of the areas I should have little or no issue providing is supporting armour. Even the early war FJs will have their own matching Panzer IV platoon as help in the form of four Panzer IVDs. The later war FJs will naturally enough be able to call on armoured support from my mid-war/late war germans (notably stuff like Marders, StuGs and any tanks I can justify – there’s a reason I bought quite so many Tigers and Panthers) with some degree of plausibility.
Perhaps the simplest army of the lot to build, given its meagre supporting resources, will be the 1940 army with it’s almost complete reliance on infantry and man-packed heavy weapons. No recoilless rifles, Mountain howitzers or even light AT guns available for the Holland jumps after all.
The real centrepiece of the Holland campaign FJ army will of course be the gliders and JU-52s. I expect to spend a fair bit tracking down decent 1/144th scale JU-52s, Bf 109s, and 1/100th DFS-230 and Gotha-242 gliders.
Where this army will shine perhaps outside of the logistic components is that I will need to look at how I represent the various iterations of Pioneers, assault troops and specialist FJ troop types. I’m still going to use the original Diving Eagles source book as a guide for the early war organisation. Because Flames 2nd Ed has only really been worked up for Mid and Late war so far, and as I’m not looking to ever play the 1940-41 FJs in tourneys or even in points games per se, I’ve got a lot more leeway in how I organise them as a fighting force.
The basic premise for the 1940 FJ force is that it’s purely air assault. It’s not a ground based unit with heavy support except as a relief type column, so I can focus on the actual teeth arms.
- Kompanie HQ: Company CO Team, 2iC Team, AT Rifle (PzB785s) section, light mortar (50mm) section
- FJ Platoon 1: Three sections
- FJ Platoon 2: Three sections
- FJ Platoon 3: Three sections
- FJ MG Platoon: Two sections
- FJ MG Platoon: Two sections
- FJ Mortar Platoon: Three Sections (81mm GW34Kurz)
- Heavy Mortar Platoon: Two 10.5cm Mortar sections, one Anti-tank Rifle section
- Light Artillery Battery: Two gun sections
- FJ Pioneer Platoon: Three sections with three optional Flamethrower teams
- FJ Glider Assault Platoon: Three sections with the option of three Flamethrower teams and one HMG team
That’s pretty much it for the initial force. I’m thinking that the composition of the Relief Column for 1940 Belgium and Netherlands would be along the lines of maybe one platoon of tanks or an Armoured car troop, accompanied by some grenadiers on Bicycles or an aufklärungs motorcycle/sidecar unit, all of which I can easily accommodate from existing stocks. Given that the linkup for Rotterdam was made by elements of 9 Panzer, it’s pretty much straightforward to assemble the following force:
- Scout Platoon: Three Sections of 6 MG teams + Cmd MG team on M/c combos and a Kfz 15
- Recce Platoon: One patrol of 2 Sdkfz 222 and 1 Sdkfz 231(6rad)
- Tank Platoon: 4 x Panzer IVd
- Tank Platoon: 4 x Panzer II
- Krad Platoon: Three sections as per scout platoon
Optional Unit taken if only light Tank platoon of two used:
- SP Inf Gun Platoon: 2 sIG33 auf Pz1 Bison
Now the interesting points of Motivation and Experience crop up. For Holland 1940, the FJ were effectively untried while the units of XVIII Korps were almost all reserve units or even third wave. For that reason, I’ve decided to rate the FJs as fearless trained while the Relief unit being from 9 Panzer had at least been blooded in Poland and was one of the few front line units in Holland and thus are Confident Veteran. If I was using a non 9th Panzer Unit I’d be using either confident trained or conscript depending on whether it was one of the third wave reserve units. I know one thing, Bicycle mounted Germans would be a tad interesting if they were the infantry support for the panzers.
Next up some thoughts on the Crete force.