In the battles during the fall following “Market-Garden” the Germans were able to
hold onto a bridgehead west of the Maas River, to the south of Nijmegen. For three straight months
attacks were made to reduce this, and by the end of November the Germans had only three footholds on
the west bank of the Maas. One of these was the town of Blerick, across the river from Venlo. The First
Fallschirmjaeger Army had left a detachment of troops to garrison the town, which had been turned into a
fortress complete with minefields, trenches, and fortified buildings. Furthermore, an anti-tank ditch ringed
the town. It fell upon the 44th Brigade of the 15th Scottish Infantry Division to wipe out this stronghold.
After a night of rain, the attack opened at dawn with a tremendous bombardment of over 400 guns. The
Scottish vehicles began to churn through the mud. After a Fall season of heavy rain, there was hardly any
dry ground anywhere in Holland. One whole squadron of Churchills and several flail tanks bogged down
even before making it to the starting line. With fire support from the Churchills, the flail tanks blasted
lanes through the minefields and the A-T ditch was bridged and filled with fascines by engineer tanks.
The infantry, due to murderous mortar, shell, and machine gun fire, was under orders to ride the
Kangaroos all the way into the town itself; the vehicles were then to drive back and load up the second
wave. Although in places the attack went so poorly the A-T ditch was not breached, in general the infantry, with armour support, cleared Blerick by the mid-afternoon, capturing 250 prisoners.
Close co-operation between the infantry, armour, and armoured engineer vehicles kept Scottish casualties for the entire day to about 100.
Attacker: British (Royal Scots Battalion, 44th Brigade, 15th Scottish Division)
Defender: German (Festung Blerick detachment, 1st Fallschirmjaeger Army)
Turns: 9.5 Players: 2 OBA: None Night: No
Blerick, Holland 1944-12-03
Squads: A:15.0 D:10.0
AFVs: A:17 Ram Kangaroo(a) x 10 Churchill Crocodile x 1 Churchill AVRE [With Facine] x 1 Sherman Crab x 2 Churchill VII x 2 Churchill Bridgelayer x 1
Guns: A:0 D:3 7.5cm PaK 40 x 1 8cm GrW 34 x 1 7.5cm leIG 18 x 1