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Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive

Operation Watch on the Rhine
Introducing The Ardennes Offensive
With Wayne Turner

The Battle of the Bulge: Allied Forces on the German Border, Sep 1944 – Feb 1945 and The Ardennes Offensive: German Forces in Lorraine and the Ardennes, Sep 1944 – Feb 1945 are the two newest hardback compilations for Flames Of War.

They take the forces from Blood, Guts, and Glory, Devil’s Charge and Nuts, update them and compile them in two useful volumes. To this we have added new content, some of which is familiar from digital and PDF Briefings, while the rest is entirely new.

Check out The Ardennes Offensive in the online store here...

Limited Edition

A limited edition featuring both The Battle of the Bulge and The Ardennes Offensive in a special slip case is available now.

Check out the Bulge Compilation in the online store...

Between the two books you will get 445 pages of action from one of the most famous and important campaigns of World War II.

Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive
Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive
The Ardennes Offensive
New Content in The Ardennes Offensive
The new German compilation, The Ardennes Offensive: German Forces in Lorraine and the Ardennes, Sep 1944–Feb 1945, is full of exciting new content. We have added a Gebirgsjägerkompanie, which covers 2. Gebirgsdivision and 6. SS-Gebirgsdivision. As the Germans needed more men to fill the gaps in their lines, troops like the Gebirgsjäger were deployed as normal infantry. Both these veteran divisions had seen hard fighting on the Finnish front and were moved to the German-French border as US forces threatened to break into Germany.
Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive

The popular Panzers to the Meuse PDF Intelligence Briefing has also been included. You can field a Panzerkompanie, a Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie, Gepanzerte Aufklärungsschwadron, and a Panzergrenadierkompanie. These have options to field them from 2. Panzerdivision, Panzer Lehr Division, 9. Panzerdivision, or 116. Panzerdivision.

These divisions represent the armoured power of the German Heer (Army) concentrated in the west for the Ardennes Offensive. Topped up with the latest equipment if available, none of these divisions would be as powerful again for the rest of the war. Panzer IV, Panther, StuG, Panzer IV/70, and Jagdpanthers all fought to make the Ardennes Offensive a success. These formations are all well supported with infantry, artillery, armoured cars, anti-tank, anti-aircraft, and engineer platoons.

Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive
The other armoured formations committed by the Heer were the Führer Brigades: the Führerbegleitbrigade and Führergrenadierbrigade. From these you can field a Führer Panzerkompanie, Führer Panzerfüsilierkompanie, Führer Panzergrenadierkompanie or Führer Grenadierkompanie. These troops come in a variety of ratings, from Confident Veteran to Reluctant Trained, reflecting the hasty nature of their formation. However, they have some excellent equipment and troops.
Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive

We have added a Fallschirmjägerkompanie to represent 5. Fallschirmjägerdivision.

Unlike 3. Fallschirmjägerdivision who operated with SS-Kampfgruppe Peiper, 5. Fallschirmjägerdivision fought on the southern flank of the 'Bulge'. The 5. Fallschirmjägerdivision was mostly made up of recently transferred Luftwaffe ground crew, though many of their Officers and NCOs were hardened Fallschirmjäger.

They are rated Confident Trained and have access to a good selection of support, including the support of the Fallschirmjäger’s own 11. Fallschirm-Sturmgeschütz-Brigade.

Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive
Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive

To expand on SS-Kampfgruppe Peiper, we have added two additional 1. SS-Panzerdivision Kampfgruppen: KG Hansen and KG Knittel. SS-Kampfgruppe Hansen covers the group formed around the motorised SS-Panzergrenadiers of the division with the division’s Panzer IV/70 tank-hunters attached as their armour.

They can also be supported by the Königstiger heavy tank, as they absorbed a number of these as they followed behind SS-Kampfgruppe Peiper.

This force can also be used to field the other motorised panzergrenadier group SS-Kampfgruppe Sandig.

You can also field SS-Schnellgruppe Knittel. This group was form around SS-Panzeraufklärungs-Abteilung 1 and was equipped with Sd Kfz 250/9 and Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma armoured cars. This group initially took a more southerly route, but was eventually forced on to the same roads as Peiper, who they eventually fought alongside.

Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive

The Ardennes Offensive Changes to Existing German Forces

We’ve take the opportunity to review the Panzer Brigade briefings that first appeared in Blood, Guts, and Glory.

106. Panzerbrigade had a relatively long career for the panzer brigades, and we though it worth representing it with improved ratings as its troops became more experienced. 

Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive
To reflect this we have added an option to take a 106. Panzerbrigade FHH Panzerkompanie as Confident Veteran (in addition to the original option of Reluctant Trained). We done the same with the brigade’s other fighting companies (FHH Panzersturmkompanie and FHH Panzergrenadierkompanie).
Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive
Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive 111. Panzerbrigade has also gained another option. Although 111. Panzerbrigade didn’t last as long as 106. Panzerbrigade as a separate entity, they did gain some confidence after their initial engagements. So, as well as their original Reluctant Trained rating, we have also given them a new Confident Trained option.
Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive
We have also updated the painting guides for the Colours Of War painting system. Inside both books you will also find terrain guides and optional weather rules.
Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive

Find out more about the Allied companion to this book, The Battle of the Bulge, here:

On a Midnight Clear: Introducing The Battle of the Bulge...


With these two books you’ll be able to recreate the battles of the autumn and winter of 1944 to 1945 across the Western Front.

Enjoy!

~ Wayne.

Operation Watch on the Rhine: Introducing The Ardennes Offensive


Last Updated On Wednesday, September 7, 2016 by James at Battlefront