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Battle of the Bulge - Bolt Action Campaign by Andre77 and Bothi

Battle of the Bulge - Bolt Action Campaign by Andre77 and Bothi

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Mission 2 - Battle for Hürtgen Forest

Tutoring 1
Skill 1
Idea 4

Though mission 2 was played on the same day as mission 1 it took me a while to get the photos. The posts will be in anti-chronological order again, as I was informed that there is a button on the left to reverse the order of the posts. So if you want to read this in chronological order hit “View Oldest Entries First” to the left.

The second mission is also a prelude battle to the Battle of the Bulge and depicts the opening fighting in the Hürtgen Forest. During September ’44 the Americans tried to circumvent the Siegfried Line by pushing through this forest. The 9th Infantry Division ran straight into fortified German positions within the forest and got bogged down in bloody fighting for nearly half a year. It took until February and over 30.000 U.S. casualties (24.000+ combat losses and 9000+ losses to fatigue) to drive the Germans (supposedly comparable losses) from this area.


This missions depicts the opening fighting of this campaign with the Americans assaulting a fortified German position and trying to capture a pillbox. The scenario has some harsh rules for digging in on the German side and limited visibility due to the dense forest. This would be some bloody close quarter fighting. The Germans – played this time by Andre ( @andre77 ) and Sven – had 800 pts of a “normal grenadier force” to defend. The Americans – played by Chris and me ( @bothi ) had 1200 pts of GIs to attack.


We placed a pillbox on the German side covering a small clearing and two trenches. To the sides were two gun pits as further German fortifications. We placed some woods all around the table to provide some cover. But as the table was supposed to be completly wooded, we decided to play open ground as light cover and the actual wood bases as hard cover. Also any line of sight was blocked after 24″.

The Germans then deployed their forces occupying the fortifications and lastly placed two minefield to the sides of the pillbox (the pillbox could only be attack from the rear).

The Americans didn’t deploy anything as half their army would enter the game on turn one as their opening wave. The rest would appear from turn 2 onwards.


German pillbox covering two trenches.German pillbox covering two trenches.

End of turn 1

Due to the maximum viewing distance of 24″ and the Americans entering the field about 36″ away from the German position turn 1 was more of an extended deployment phase. The Americans brought all their support weapons (artillery, machine guns, sniper, mortars, bazookas and a hellcat) as their first wave and held their attacking forces (3 full 12 men squads, a medic, an officer and a chaplain) back.

Artillery entering the fieldArtillery entering the field

End of turn 3

Turn 3 saw the first fighting actions. The Americans managed to bring their complete second wave onto the table in turn 2. They advanced one squad to the far right, one through the middle and a third in between those two. The officer went with the squad in between, the chaplain and the medic with the squad in the middle.

During turn 3 the first Americans came into LOS of the German positions and the Germans didn’t waste a minute to open fire. The Medic was immediately shot by a German sniper and the squad in the middle took heavy casualties due to the two German MGs inside the pillbox. Also an US MG team left the field after receiving a direct hit from a German mortar.

On the otherside only the Hellcat managed to score a hit on the German troops in the trenches. But the Ameicans where able to call in an artillery strike, which hopefully would hit next turn.

Squad middle (with heavy casualties) and squad in betweenSquad middle (with heavy casualties) and squad in between
Squad far rightSquad far right
Another view of the dire situationAnother view of the dire situation

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Great to see the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest get some attention, @bothi and @andre77 . So often overlooked by the Battle of the Bulge that immediately followed. Poor 28th US Infantry, truly one of the unluckiest divisions in this war.

Ever see “When Trumpets Fade?” It’s a great HBO movie about the Hürtgen Forest.


That is a great film if you have never seen it folks.

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