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Operation Varsity - March 23, 1945 - March 26, 1945

Crossing of the Rhine
Western Front By: nemesszili - Last update: 08/24/2009
Allied Player: Axis Player:
x6 x7 x3 x7
first You play first    

Historical Background:
Operation Varsity was a joint American-British airborne operation that took place in March 1945, towards the end of World War II. It was planned to aid the British 21st Army Group in securing a foothold across the River Rhine in western Germany by landing two airborne divisions on the eastern bank of the Rhine near the towns of Hamminkeln and Wesel. The operation took place on the morning of 24 March 1945 as a part of Operation Plunder, the overall effort by 21st Army Group under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery to cross the river and from there enter Northern Germany. The operation involved two airborne divisions from US XVIII Airborne Corps: the British 6th Airborne Division and the US 17th Airborne Division.

Operation Plunder began at 9 pm on the evening of 23 March, and by the early hours of the morning of 24 March Allied ground units had secured a number of crossings on the eastern bank of the Rhine. In the first few hours of the day, the transport aircraft carrying the two airborne divisions that formed Operation Varsity began to take off from airbases in England and France and began to rendezvous over Brussels, before turning northeast for the Rhine dropping zones. The airlift consisted of 541 transport aircraft containing airborne troops, and a further 1,050 troop carriers towing 1,350 gliders. The 17th Airborne Division consisted of 9,387 personnel, who were transported in 836 C-47 Dakota transports, 72 C-46 Commando transports, and more than 900 Waco CG-4A gliders. The 6th Airborne Division consisted of 7,220 personnel transported by 42 Douglas C-54 and 752 C-47 Dakota transport aircraft, as well as 420 Airspeed Horsa and General Aircraft Hamilcar gliders. This immense armada stretched more than 200 miles (322 km) in the sky and took 2 hours and 37 minutes to pass any given point, and was protected by some 2,153 Allied fighters from the U.S. Ninth Air Force and the Royal Air Force.At 10 am British and American airborne troops belonging to the 6th Airborne Division and 17th Airborne Division began landing on German soil, some 13 hours after the Allied ground assault began.

Allied Player ( United States & Britain ): Take 6 Cards
You go first.

Axis Player ( Germany ): Take 3 Cards.At the end of turn 1 and 2 take 2 cards until you have 5 cards for the rest of the battle.

Conditions of Victory:
7 Medals.

The Allied victory locations are: Bienen, Wesel.
You have to secure at least one of these locations.

Special Rules:
German units with 3 figures are Volkssturm units. They are composed by young, fanatical boys and old men. They have 3 figures.

German infantry units with 3 figures and an elite badge are part of the 1st Parachute Army. They move two and battle.

German tank unit with 4 figures in an Elite Panzer unit.

German infantry units with 4 figures and an elite badge are SS units.They move 2 and battle.

Collapsible rafts rules apply for all Allied infantry units.

Tanks and infantry cannot shoot over the Rhine.It's too wide.

Allied units with a British elite badge are effected by the Commonwealth Rules.

Battle Stars - At the start of the Allied turn, drop one figure per battle star.
If the unit is not fallen of, or has not fallen on a river hex, leave it on the board.Put 3 more figures next to it and an elite badge.They move 2 and battle, and can be activated on the fist turn. (These are the 17th US and 6th British Airborne Divisions. Their objective is to capture Diersfordter Wald until relieved by the crossing units.)

Air rules are optional: If are activated, give 2 air sorties to the Allied Player. But Allied airplanes are effected by plus 1 air check if they are next to a German unit, because of dense AA fire.

German tank unit cannot be ordered on turn 1.

Pontoon Bridge building is available for the Allied Player: He/She may place a pontoon bridge with the use of 1 attack card, and may place it in the corresponding section. Tanks and artillery may then cross the Rhine there.The bridge can be built only after a regular infantry, or the British 1st Commando crosses the Rhine. Maximum 2 bridges can be placed on the map.

Scenario Bibliography:

Please note that this scenario was not approved by Richard Borg or Days of Wonder, so you have to check yourself about playability, potential gaming issues, etc.

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