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D-Day German Forces In Normandy 1944

D-Day Germans Spotlight

D-Day: German Spotlight
In early 1944, the situation in France was clearly the quiet before the storm. An Allied invasion would come, probably in the summer, but until then it was a quiet place to rebuild divisions shattered in the desperate autumn and winter battles on the Eastern Front behind the ‘Atlantic Wall’ fortifications lining the coast. The challenge faced by the German commanders, Rommel and von Rundstedt, was how to combine these disparate forces into a battle-winning force. Should the panzers support the beach defences closely? Or should they operate with complete freedom, seeking to strike a battle-winning blow to cut off and destroy the Allied armies once ashore? What would be the best way to handle the massive Allied superiority in numbers, artillery, especially heavy naval gunfire, and aircraft? They made their choices and failed. Can you do better, defeating the Allied invasion and saving Germany?

D-Day: German Spotlight...

Hit The Beach (FWBX09) Hit The Beach (FWBX09)
With a thunderous crash another shell smashes into the wall above you, showering your trench with rubble. Looking around, your entire position resembles a cauldron of fire—every roof ablaze, black smoke billowing into the night sky. As the echo of the blast dies away, the crack of rifle fire breaks out, and an ominous clanking and rumbling… Suddenly, out of the flames roars a Tiger tank! Leaping from your trench you run forwards. ‘Bazooka! Bazooka, now!’ Even as the din swallows your shouting, you see a trooper levelling his rocket launcher at the great beast’s tracks. It may not be enough. You are in command. Take control. What are your orders?

Hit The Beach (FWBX09)...

German Panzer Kampfgruppe (GEAB18)
Like a phoenix ascendant, Germany has risen once again from the false defeat contrived by our traitorous leaders in the First World War. The Treaty of Versailles was foisted upon an undefeated army and a nation willing to do anything to achieve victory. We must all be willing to do anything, anything to have the Fatherland rule the world!

German Panzer Kampfgruppe (GEAB18)...

German Panzer Kampfgruppe (GEAB18)

Tiger Tank Platoon (GBX140)

Tiger Tank Platoon (GBX140)
The Tiger tank has such a reputation amongst Allied tankers, that any tank that held up their advance became a ‘Tiger’. With armour capable of stopping nearly all Allied anti-tank rounds, and a gun that penetrates Allied tanks with ease, its reputation is well deserved.

Tiger Tank Platoon (GBX140)...

Panzer IV Tank Platoon (Plastic) (GBX142)
Although various marks of the Panzer IV have been in combat since the beginning of the war, the latest models used in Normandy are far more powerful than the originals and still out-gun most enemy medium tanks.

Panzer IV Tank Platoon (Plastic) (GBX142)...

Panzer IV Tank Platoon (Plastic) (GBX142)

Fallschirmjäger StuG Assault Gun Platoon (Plastic) (GBX143)

Fallschirmjäger StuG Assault Gun Platoon (Plastic) (GBX143)
The StuG (short for Sturmgeschütz, or assault gun) mounts the same 7.5cm gun as the Panzer IV tank, making it effective at both knocking out machine-guns to assist the infantry to advance and knocking out enemy tanks.

Fallschirmjäger StuG Assault Gun Platoon (Plastic) (GBX143)...

Panther Tank Platoon (GBX161)
While the Panther tank is nominally a medium tank, its gun can penetrate any Allied tank with ease, while its own armour is difficult to penetrate in return. Their doctrine requires the panzer divisions to use their Panthers in heavy punches, smashing anything in their way to the objective, then withdraw them from the front line to prepare for the next attack.

Panther Tank Platoon (GBX161)...

Panther Tank Platoon (GBX161)

Fallschirmjäger Company (Plastic) (GBX136)

Fallschirmjäger Company (Plastic) (GBX136)
The paratroopers of the Fallschirmjäger divisions saw themselves as the best of the best. After jumping out of aircraft, combat held little fear for them, whether stubbornly defending or launching their own attacks to push the Allies back.

Fallschirmjäger Company (Plastic) (GBX136)...

Fallschirmjäger Rifle Platoon (Plastic) (GE768)
Fallschirmjäger rifle platoons are larger than normal rifle platoons to allow for expected parachuting casualties on landing. This added manpower gives them greater resilience in prolonged ground operations. The esprit de corps of the Fallschirmjäger together with their extra team per squad make them the toughest and most feared German light infantry.

Fallschirmjäger Rifle Platoon (Plastic) (GE768)...

Fallschirmjäger Rifle Platoon (Plastic) (GE768)

Grenadier Company (Plastic) (GBX170)

Grenadier Company (Plastic) (GBX170)
The troops assigned to defend the beaches of France against the Allied invasion had been deemed unfit for front-line service. They spent more of their time building fortifications than training, but their lack of combat skills mattered less when they stuck to their intended defensive role, but did limit their capability in offensive operations.

Grenadier Company (Plastic) (GBX170)...

Panzergrenadier Platoon (Plastic) (GBX169)
The motorised panzergrenadier battalions have much more firepower than the rifle battalions of the infantry divisions, allowing them to launch attacks and counterattacks without the need to wait for outside support. When they have panzers and artillery attached, they are difficult to stop without a layered defence in depth.

Panzergrenadier Platoon (Plastic) (GBX169)...

Panzergrenadier Platoon (Plastic) (GBX169)

Sd Kfz 251 Transports (Plastic) (GBX152)

Sd Kfz 251 Transports (Plastic) (GBX152)
The Sd Kfz 251 half-track gives the panzergrenadiers the speed and armour to attack at the same pace as the panzers. Suppressing the enemy defences with their on-board weapons, the panzergrenadiers can be on top of the enemy positions before the defenders can reposition their reserves and bring fire to bear.

Sd Kfz 251 Transports (Plastic) (GBX152)...

Armoured Panzergrenadier Company HQ (Plastic) (GBX168)
The mobility and massed firepower of the Armoured panzergrenadier companies allows them to overwhelm the enemy before they can respond Their integral support allows the panzergrenadiers to fight with their own resources, freeing the panzers to continue with their own attack.

Armoured Panzergrenadier Company HQ (Plastic) (GBX168)...

Armoured Panzergrenadier Company HQ (Plastic) (GBX168)

Armoured Reconnaissance Company HQ (Plastic) (GBX150)

Armoured Reconnaissance Company HQ (Plastic) (GBX150)
The light reconnaissance company is organised along the same lines as a panzergrenadier company. The biggest difference is that they are mounted in the smaller Sd Kfz 250 halftrack. While this is often small enough to avoid detection, they need nearly twice as many of them. If they do get into a full-on fight, this can prove to be a blessing as the Sd Kfz 250 half-track is as heavily armed as the panzergrenadiers’ bigger Sd Kfz 251, meaning that they have nearly twice the firepower.

Armoured Reconnaissance Company HQ (Plastic) (GBX150)...

Sd Kfz 250 Transports (Plastic) (GBX129)
The Sd Kfz 250 half-track is a smaller version of the panzergrenadiers’ Sd Kfz 251, carrying a single MG42 team. Although faster than its bigger cousin, the Sd Kfz 250 has a much shorter wheelbase, limiting its ability to cross obstacles. The smaller size and greater speed of the Sd Kfz 250 makes it much easier to conceal and ideal for reconnaissance operations.

Sd Kfz 250 Transports (Plastic) (GBX129)...

Sd Kfz 250 Transports (Plastic) (GBX129)

Sd Kfz Scout Platoon (Plastic) (GBX176)

Sd Kfz Scout Troop (Plastic) (GBX176)
The Sd Kfz 250/9 2cm-armed half-tracked armoured cars, and their Sd Kfz 250 command vehicle with its powerful radio, scout ahead of the panzer division, spearheading its advance. Although well-enough armed to tackle enemy armoured cars, they attempt to avoid combat with anything bigger, using stealth to complete their scouting role.

Sd Kfz Scout Troop (Plastic) (GBX176)...

Puma Scout Troop (Plastic) (GBX172)
With their 5cm guns, the big eight-wheeled Puma give the light armoured cars of the armoured reconnaissance battalions some heavier back up. However, worried that commanders would start fights rather than scouting as they are supposed to, later production switched to the Sd Kfz 234/1 with a 2cm gun.

Puma Scout Troop (Plastic) (GBX172)...

Puma Scout Troop (Plastic) (GBX172)

Armoured Flame-thrower Platoon (GBX156)

Armoured Flame-thrower Platoon (GBX156)
Armoured flame-throwers like the Sd Kfz 251/16 half-track are successful terror weapons. With a flame-thrower spewing fire from each side, enemy infantry abandon their positions rather than be burned to death, clearing the way for the panzergrenadiers.

Armoured Flame-thrower Platoon (GBX156)...

Gun Platoon - Mortar Section (Plastic) (GBX177)
The Sd Kfz 251/2 half-tracks from the heavy weapons platoon carry 8cm mortars in the passenger compartment to support the infantry with fast, accurate artillery fire. The half-tracks carry the weapon and ammunition together, ready and able to quickly provide support for the panzergrenadiers.

Gun Platoon - Mortar Section (Plastic) (GBX177)...

Sd Kfz 251 Transports (Plastic) (GBX152)

Fallschirmjager sMG34 Machine-gun Platoon (Plastic) (GE770)

Fallschirmjäger sMG42 Machine-gun Platoon (Plastic) (GE770)
The MG42 is a powerful weapon capable of firing 1200 rounds per minute at ranges up to 1000 metres. This makes the tripod-mounted sMG42 heavy machine-gun ideal for establishing a defensive line, covering your flanks, or suppressing the enemy's fire before an assault.

Fallschirmjäger sMG42 Machine-gun Platoon (Plastic) (GE770)...

sMG34 Machine-gun Platoon (Plastic) (GE784)
The sMG34 heavy machine-guns of the battalion machine-gun platoons form a base of fire for the infantry to operate around. They dig in and dominate the ground in front of them, pinning the enemy down so that the infantry can counterattack and wipe them out.

sMG34 Machine-gun Platoon (Plastic) (GE784)...

sMG34 Machine-Gun Platoon (Plastic) (GE784)

10.5cm Artillery Battery (Plastic) (GBX145)

10.5cm Artillery Battery (Plastic) (GBX145)
The 10.5cm leFH18 light field howitzer's main mission was to support German attacks and to shatter enemy counterattacks before they reached their objective. They also provided a base of fire in a last-ditch line of defence.

10.5cm Artillery Battery (Plastic) (GBX145)...

15cm Nebelwerfer Battery (Plastic) (GBX146)
The six-barrelled 15cm Nebelwerfer rocket launcher terrifies Allied soldiers, delivering six screaming rockets per launcher, scattering rockets, packed with 31.8 kg (70 lb) of high-explosives, across a wide area.

15cm Nebelwerfer Battery (Plastic) (GBX146)...

15cm Nebelwerfer Battery (Plastic) (GBX146)

8cm Mortar Platoon (Plastic) (GE785)

8cm Mortar Platoon (Plastic) (GE785)
The battalion mortar platoon reaches out and touches the enemy at long range, either bombarding their assembly areas to hinder their attacks, or knocking out their machine-guns.

8cm Mortar Platoon (Plastic) (GE785)...

12cm Mortar Platoon (Plastic) (GE771)
The big regimental 12cm mortars fire a heavier bombardment at a longer range than the light 8cm mortars. However, they are less versatile as they lack the capability to fire smoke screens to blind the enemy as your troops manoeuvre.

12cm Mortar Platoon (Plastic) (GE771)...

12cm Mortar Platoon (Plastic) (GE771)

Fallschirmjager Mortar Platoon (Plastic) (GE769)

Fallschirmjäger Mortar Platoon (Plastic) (GE769)
The Fallschirmjäger use light 8cm mortars as company and battalion mortars. These are nicknamed Stummelwerfer or ‘Stump mortar’ for their short barrels. The Fallschirmjäger found their mortars useful in breaking up American assaults on Hill 192 in Normandy, firing into the gullies where the Americans formed up. The big regimental 12cm mortars fire a heavier bombardment at a longer range than the light 8cm mortars. However, they are less versatile as they lack the capability to fire smoke screens to blind the enemy as your troops manoeuvre.

Fallschirmjäger Mortar Platoon (Plastic) (GE769)...

7.5cm Tank Hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX148)
No anti-tank gun has earned its reputation more than the 7.5cm PaK40. These guns started to arrive in large numbers on the front by the start of 1944, replacing the older 5cm guns.

7.5cm Tank Hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX148)...

7.5cm Tank Hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX148)

Jagdpanzer IV Platoon (GBX151)

Jagdpanzer IV Platoon (GBX151)
The Jagdpanzer IV is the first fully-armoured specialist tank-hunter to enter mass production. Combining the mobility and firepower of the Panzer IV tank in a low-slung, well-armoured chassis, the Jagdpanzer is well suited to its role.

Jagdpanzer IV Platoon (GBX151)...

Fallschirmjäger 7.5cm Tank Hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX139)
Although they only have a handful of anti-tank guns, the newly-equipped Fallschirmjäger have been issued the latest 7.5cm PaK40. This powerful gun is often mistaken for an '88' by fearful Allied tankers.

Fallschirmjäger 7.5cm Tank Hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX139)...

Fallschirmjager 7.5cm Tank Hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX139)

5cm Tank-Hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX144)

5cm Tank-Hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX144)
The lightweight 5cm anti-tank gun may have been relegated to second line divisions like the beach defence formations, but it is still effective at giving the infantry close protection against Allied tanks, leaving the tanks and the big ‘88’s to do their work unencumbered by the need to protect the infantry.

 

5cm Tank-Hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX144)...

15cm Infantry Gun Platoon (GE570)
The 15cm gun offers super-heavy firepower to the infantry. A single shell from one of these guns can easily pulverise a foxhole, level a building, or shatter a bunker. By German standards, this gun is heavy and hard to move, but it is still easier to get into position than most Allied weapons, rolling forward to destroy enemy defences at point-blank range.

15cm Infantry Gun Platoon (GE570)...

15cm Infantry Gun Platoon (GE570)

7.5cm Infantry Gun Platoon (GE579)

7.5cm Infantry Gun Platoon (GE579)
When the German Grenadiers need high-explosive shells launched downrange, they bring the 7.5cm Infantry Gun. Not only can the 7.5cm Infantry Gun break up Russian formations, it can also launch smoke to cover German advances or to block out Soviet strong-points, forcing them to reposition for a shot.

7.5cm Infantry Gun Platoon (GE579)...

Grille 15cm Gun Platoon (GE151)
Unlike the lighter 7.5cm gun, the 15cm gun cannot be mounted on an Sd Kfz 251 half-track, so the Germans built the Grille (Cricket). This gives the panzergrenadiers some serious firepower to knock out bunkers and a heavy artillery piece to bombard stubborn defences.

Grille 15cm Gun Platoon (GE151)...

Grille 15cm Gun Platoon (GE151)

Wespe Artillery Battery (GBX155)

Wespe Artillery Battery (GBX155)
The Wespe (Wasp) self-propelled howitzer first saw action at Kursk in 1943. Based on the reliable Panzer II chassis, the vehicle quickly proved itself well suited for supporting armoured units. Its weapon is the standard 10.5cm howitzer, which provides powerful mobile artillery firepower to the panzer divisions they support.

Wespe Artillery Battery (GBX155)...

Hummel Artillery Battery (GBX158)
The Hummel (Bumblebee) has seen extensive since Kursk, where it entered service. Built on the Panzer IV chassis, the Hummel mounts a powerful 15cm howitzer that gives excellent service in support of panzer attacks.

Hummel Artillery Battery (GBX158)...

Hummel Artillery Battery (GBX158)

8.8cm Tank-hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX175)

8.8cm Tank-hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX175)
The new 8.8cm anti-tank gun is a tremendously powerful gun, capable of destroying any tank on the battlefield. The latest version is mounted on a cruciform chassis like the famous 8.8cm anti-aircraft gun, but is much easier to conceal.

8.8cm Tank-hunter Platoon (Plastic) (GBX175)...

8.8cm Heavy AA Platoon (Plastic) (GBX149)
There are well over 100 heavy 8.8cm anti-aircraft guns in Normandy to keep the Allied air forces at bay. When needed, they are also capable of devastating Allied tank attacks.

8.8cm Heavy AA Platoon (Plastic) (GBX149)...

8.8cm Heavy AA Platoon (Plastic) (GBX149)

Möbelwagen AA Platoon (GBX174)

Möbelwagen AA Platoon (GBX174)
Recognising the need for something heavier than the light 2cm, the Germans have started building a self-propelled 3.7cm Flakpanzer (anti-aircraft tank) on the Panzer IV chassis. The Flakpanzer IV is nicknamed ‘Möbelwagen’ or ‘Furniture Van’ for it’s slab-sided appearance until the armoured shields are folded down to give its 3.7cm AA gun an all-round field of fire. The tank chassis gives the Möbelwagen the mobility to keep up with the panzers, while the 3.7cm gun gives it the punch to bring down any aircraft.

Möbelwagen AA Platoon (GBX174)...

Sd Kfz 10/4 Light AA Platoon (GBX147)
The Sd Kfz 10/4 half-track's 20mm gun is one of the most common anti-aircraft guns in the German army and is equally useful against both Allied air strikes and ground attacks. When defending, the panzergrenadiers often dismount their guns and dug them in for better protection.

Sd Kfz 10/4 Light AA Platoon (GBX147)...

Sd Kfz 10/4 Light AA Platoon (GBX147)

Sd Kfz 7/1 Quad AA Platoon (GBX159)

Sd Kfz 7/1 Quad AA Platoon (GBX159)
The Sd Kfz 7/1 half-track is armed with quadruple- mounted 20mm anti-aircraft guns, giving each vehicle a tremendous rate of fire of 1800 rounds per minute. With that much fire in the sky, any Allied aircraft will have a very difficult time attacking panzer spearheads.

Sd Kfz 7/1 Quad AA Platoon (GBX159)...

Fallschirmjäger Gaming Aids
Even though they are toy soldiers, your troops react to heavy fire like real soldiers. Sometimes they get pinned down or bail out of their tanks. They can dig foxholes for protection or go to ground, hiding from the enemy. Tokens help you keep track of the state of your troops.

Fallschirmjäger Gaming Aids...

Fallschirmjäger Token & Objective Set (GE907)

D-Day: German Command Cards (FW263C)

D-Day: German Command Cards (FW263C)
Command Cards allow Flames Of War generals to field iconic warriors, build new types of units, field new types of equipment, enhance your commander’s capabilities, and bring new tactics and strategems to the battlefield.

D-Day: German Command Cards (FW263C)...

D-Day German Unit Cards (FW263C)
For a limited time only boxes of Unit Cards will be available for each Flames Of War Late War book. The packs will contain one of each Unit Card that relates to their book. The packs have been designed to assist existing players that have already bought our miniatures and built their armies under previous editions and want cards to help transition to V4.

D-Day: German Unit Cards (FW263U)...

Late War Unit Cards

Wolverines vs. Tigers

M10s vs. Tigers
In this battle I had the chance to field my first force from the new D-Day: American book. This is a fantastic book and along with the accompanying command cards it gives you great options  to customize your force. I was going for the veteran Armoured Rifles. Here I particularly like the subtle difference with the regular Armoured Rifles who are better at rallying (Blood ‘n Guts) and the veterans who are not as good as rally but are careful and have tactics. The Armoured Rifles have everything you could wish for, infantry, bazookas galore, support weapons, and their trusty half-tracks which can lay down strong supportive fire. This book is easily my favorite book so far. For this game we played 65 points, our group Burning Bridges is now playing Late War Normandy and gradually expanding our forces as we paint and get them ready.

M10s Vs. Tigers...

The D-Day German Reconnaissance Company
The greatest thing about being a wargamer is having opinions. While writing this article I saw that Phil had also written a piece on the Reconnaissance Company from the D-Day: German book, you will see his choices differ from my own.

The D-Day German Reconnaissance Company...

The D-Day German Reconnaissance Company

The Green Devils of Normandy: Fallschirmjager in D-Day: German

The Green Devils of Normandy: Fallschirmjager in D-Day: German
Of all the forces that the Germans had available in the defence of Normandy, few had the reputation of the elite Fallschirmjӓger. Also known as the ‘Green Devils’ by Allied forces who fought against them, these highly trained paratroopers were renowned for being tenacious in defence, unwavering in their efforts to hold the ground they were ordered to defend, even in the grimmest of situations. 

The Green Devils of Normandy– Fallschirmjager in D-Day: German...

Prowling the Bocage
With the release of D-Day: German, which details the forces available to the Wehrmacht in Normandy 1944, the two Big Cats on the table are Tiger and the Panther. Now it may seem at first glance that the Tiger at 12 points a model, with the same FA (9) as the Panther and a better side armour is a no-brainer. the Panther has the same gun, is slightly faster and normally 1 point cheaper. When you start taking a few of them, the extra points add up and can allow you a few extra goodies. I don’t know about you, but I find in German lists I am always scraping for extra points, and the points you can save by taking Panthers instead of Tigers can buy you some extra Recce units, an interesting Command Card, or an upgrade for a infantry platoon.

Prowling the Bocage...

Prowling the Bocage

Building a Reconnaissance Company Force

Building a Reconnaissance Company Force
The coolest thing about the new Reconnaissance Company in D-Day: German is its flexibility. It’s similar to an Armoured Panzergrenadier Company in many ways, but lighter, faster, and more flexible. If I’m building a divisional reserve type force, I want to create a battlegroup mixing tanks and armoured infantry for a flexible approach to battle.

Building a Reconnaissance Company Force...

Chris Builds a D-Day: German Tournament List
Normally when I put together a list, there is an aesthetic or historical reason behind it and I am able to give (at length) reasons why I have chosen that Army. Alas, and much to the relief of my wife, this time is a little different for the German D-Day book. I won’t be waxing lyrical about specific units or historical formations. Instead I have actually approached the book from a gamer’s point of view, albeit with some restrictions.

Chris Builds a D-Day: German Tournament List...

Chris Builds a D-Day: German Tournament List



D-Day German Live Launch

D-Day German Live Launch
While the D-Day German Live Launch is over you can still check out all the videos and articles we posted up on the week over on the Battlefront Live Launch website.

Click here to go to the Battlefront Launch Website...


Last Updated On Friday, October 25, 2019 by Luke at Battlefront