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"Hochwald Gap scenario planning" Topic

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Dan Wideman II Inactive Member29 Dec 2012 10:07 a.m. PST

I'm trying to work up a scenario for a Hochwald Gap "like" scenario. I've found a few sources in ospreys etc, but they only show things down to the brigade level. Now when you see on paper that a location was defended by a panzer brigade it sounds impresive. In my original exposure to this battle (Greatest Tank Battles on "history" channel) it seemed there was a relatively small, but well positioned, german force involved.

So my question: Is there any book out there that covers this attack in detail?

I know on the allied side the attack was founded on multiple divisions, however the reading I've done so far seems to indicate it was on a fairly narrow (single Battalion?) frontage. I am hoping to turn this into a large scale FoW game.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks all


Sundance Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2012 10:11 a.m. PST

Don't forget that late in the war, German units, though called brigade, division, or what have you on paper, were pretty understrength – some as small as the next smaller echelon. A German brigade in late '44 or '45 was probably only battalion strength with some small unit assets.

Dan Wideman II Inactive Member29 Dec 2012 10:44 a.m. PST

That was my thinking, Sundance. I figured when it says "Panzerbrigade" on the map it might actually consist of a "company" of 4 Tiger I, and a platoon or two of Panthers with a little infantry support. :)

Ryan T29 Dec 2012 11:43 a.m. PST

Hello Dan,

I covered this battle in the Canada In World War II scenario book I did for GHQ a number of years ago.

Here is the OB for this engagement. The organization assumes that each stand is a troop/platoon/battery.

I think the variety of late-war German armour really makes this a "wargamer's" scenario. If you need any additional information you can contact me at


4th Armoured Brigade – 1xSherman (HQ)

No 2 Sqn/21st Armd Regt (GGFG) – 2xSherman, 2xFirefly

Composite Sqn/22nd Armd Regt (CGG) – 2xSherman, 2xFirefly

Algonquin Regt – 1xHalf-track (HQ)
A Coy – 3xInfantry
B Coy – 2xInfantry
C Coy – 3xInfantry
D Coy – 3xInfantry
Support Coy – 1x6pdr/Carrier, 1xEngineer, 1xCarrier, 1x3" Mortar/Carrier, 1xWasp Flame-thrower

The Lake Superior Regt (Motor) – 1xC15TA (HQ)
A Coy – 3xInfantry, 1x3"Mortar/Carrier
C Coy – 2xInfantry, 1x3" Mortar/Carrier
D Coy – 2xMG/Carrier, 2x6pdr/Carrier, 1xWasp Flame-thrower

15th Field Regt, RCA (Off Map)
17th Bty – 2x25pdr Gun-Howitzer
95th Bty – 2x25pdr Gun-Howitzer
110th Bty – 2x25pdr Gun-Howitzer

23rd Field Regt (SP), RCA (Off Map)
31st Bty – 2x25pdr Sexton
36th Bty – 2x25pdr Sexton
83rd Bty – 2x25pdr Sexton


Kampfgruppe Hόbner – 1xKubelwagen (HQ)

II./Fs.Jδg.Rgt 24 – 1xKubelwagen (HQ)
1. Kp – 3xInfantry, 1x80mm Mortar
2. Kp – 2xInfantry, 1x80mm Mortar
3. Kp – 2xInfantry, 1x80mm Mortar
4. Kp – 2xMG, 1x80mm Mortar

Sturm-Btl Hόbner – 1xKubelwagen (HQ)
1. Kp – 3xInfantry, 1x80mm Mortar
2. Kp – 2xInfantry, 1x80mm Mortar
3. Kp – 2xInfantry, 1x80mm Mortar
4. Kp – 2xInfantry, 1x80mm Mortar
5. Kp – 2xMG, 1x80mm Mortar

Kampfgruppe Tebbe – 1xPanther (HQ)
Pz.Rgt 16 – 2xPanther
sPz.Jδg.Abt 655 – 2xJagdpanther
Pz.Jδg.Abt 228 – 1xJagdpanzer IVB
Pz.Jδg.Abt 751 – 2xHetzer

Sturm-Mφrser-Bt 1002 – 1xSturmtiger

II/Pz.Art.Rgt 146 (Off Map)
4. Bt – 1x105mm Howitzer
5. Bt – 1x105mm Howitzer
6. Bt – 1x105mm Howitzer

Werfer-Rgt 86 (Off Map)
I. Werfer-Abt – 3x210mm Nebelwerfer
II. Werfer-Abt – 3x210mm Nebelwerfer
III. Werfer-Abt – 3x210mm Nebelwerfer

Dan Wideman II Inactive Member29 Dec 2012 7:06 p.m. PST

Thanks, Ryan. That is going to be a BIG help. Now I just have to decide if I want to take a portion of the attack and use Flames of War as is, or if I want to rescale FoW into one vehicle = one platoon. Has anyone tried this? Does the system break down?

I was looking at using a large force (about 45 shermans and or fireflies) so I might just play it out with the lead squadron of armor and a couple companies of infantry vs a panther company supported by some other platoons from the list.

I'm less worried about duplicating the exact OOB and more concerned with getting the "feel" of the situation.

Thanks again for the help.

Martin Rapier30 Dec 2012 7:05 a.m. PST

There is also a scenario for the Hochwald in 'Great Battles of WW2'.

This covers the entire battle, a multi-day affair involving several divisions. We ran it using Megablitz.

Dynaman878931 Dec 2012 6:40 a.m. PST

Ryan, you didn't forget some Canadian forces did you?
The odds look about equal in number of vehicles but 5 regular shermans and 4 Fireflies against 9 German tanks of which 3 are Panthers, 2 are Jagdpanthers, and 1 is a Sturmtiger… (no wonder the Canadians had such a rough time of it in that battle).

Infantry and arty are roughly equal as well, I would NOT want to be the Canadian commander in this one.

Ryan T01 Jan 2013 3:18 p.m. PST

Hello Dynaman,

When I originally did the scenarios I was not looking for exact troop parity but rather I wanted to present the players with historical situations. At the Hochwald the Canadians found themselves in a bad way when their assault went wrong from the start. The following is my background for the scenario. As you can see the Canadians have a hard fight ahead of them.

"Operation Veritable", the initial phase of the overall effort to clear the Rhineland of German forces, ended after an advance of 15 to 20 miles. Circumstances had prevented the Ninth US Army from taking part in the attack, so the Germans were able to concentrate their resources against the British and Canadians with predictable results. Plans were therefore drawn up for a new attack, "Operation Blockbuster", with the aim of regaining lost momentum. The 2nd Canadian Corps was given the task of breaking the German line, advancing through the Hochwald, and exploiting this penetration further towards Xanten and Wesel.

The attack opened on the 25th of February. Despite poor weather and muddy ground, the initial assault by the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions and the 4th Canadian Armoured Division quickly achieved their objectives and opened the way for the main blow against the Hochwald defences. On the 27th the first assault went forward. Though suffering heavy losses, it managed to open and secure the mouth of the gap in the Hochwald which was traversed by the Goch-Wesel rail line. Additional attacks the next day pushed the Germans through the centre of the gap, but again at a heavy cost.

Major-General Chris Vokes, commanding the 4th Canadian Armoured Division, ordered the advance to be pressed forward in spite of these losses. An additional assault by the 4th Armoured Brigade, under Brigadier Robert Moncel, was therefore planned for the pre-dawn hours of the 2nd of March. The Lake Superior Regiment, carried in Kangaroos and supported by a composite squadron of the 22nd Armoured Regiment (Canadian Grenadier Guards), was to advance to the crossroads at the eastern end of the gap. When they had secured this position the Algonquin Regiment and the tanks of the 21st Armoured Regiment (Governor General's Foot Guard) would then pass through them and capture a bridgehead across the Hohe Ley.

The Canadian attack almost immediately ran into trouble. Delayed by impassable roads, the Kangaroos never arrived. With daylight approaching, the Lake Supes were finally mounted on their accompanying tanks and sent forward. Heavy resistance halted this force short of its objective, but a mix-up in orders erroneously sent the Algonquin Regiment forward. Riding the Governor General's Foot Guard's tanks, D Company advanced through the Lake Superior's position before it too was pinned down by heavy fire from both flanks. The rest of the Algoons struggled forward on foot to reinforce D Company, but were unable to reach their beleaguered comrades. The majority of these were captured by the counter-attacking Germans. Twenty-four hours later the Germans abandoned their position and fell back toward their bridgehead at Wesel.

Losses for the troops involved in the struggle for the Hochwald Gap were high. The last day of fighting alone had inflicted 268 casualties on the 4th Armoured Division. Even worse was that the frontal attacks were unnecessary. German accounts stress that the entire Hochwald position was vulnerable to being outflanked. The insistence of adhering to the established plan of attack by Division, Corps and Army commanders, however, led the 4th Armoured Division to take crippling casualties in repeated and unnecessary frontal assaults.

Last Hussar01 Jan 2013 5:42 p.m. PST

German units being understrength is an understatement- I seem to recall some panzer 'regiments' during Market garden were half a dozen StuGs

Dynaman878902 Jan 2013 1:50 p.m. PST

Thanks Ryan. Sounds like what little I knew of the battle, gaming it would be like pulling your teeth out though (for the Canadians). You know before you go in your going to get trashed. It would make a good situation to spring on my game group though, give them one set of VC and really have a secret set instead.

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