SS Captain Viktor Gräbner had been awarded the Knight’s Cross just hours before the British landings. His valuable armoured recon group was soon rushed south to check foe paratroopers near Nijmegan. But after Gräbner crossed the Arnhem Bridge late on the 17th, the British 2nd Para Battalion captured it behind him. When Gräbner returned he found the way bloacked. He decided to rush the British in the morning to catch them napping. At 0900, Gräbner signaled the charge from his captured Humber AC by pumping his fist in the air. The leading three or four armoured cars quickly weaved around wrecks from the previous night’s action and disappeared into downtown Arnhem, untouched. The half-tracks struggled to keep up, while behind them rolled a few hapless trucks with the last SS troopers. When these vehicles neared the first houses, the carnage began. British antitank guns, PIAT rounds, and grenades demolished the opentopped vehicles. The ‘small’ group of British paratroopers turned out to be a full battalion well dug-in and prepared for his assault.
Somewhere in the confusion Graebner himself was killed, but it is uncertain when exactly.
Attacker: German (SS) (9th SS Reconnaissance Battalion)
Defender: British (A, B, Support Companies, 9th Field Company and B Troop, A-T Battery)
Turns: 5.5 Players: 2 OBA: None Night: No
Arnhem, The Netherlands 1944-09-18
Squads: A:14.0 D:8.0
AFVs: A:21 D:0
Guns: A:0 D:2 OQF 6-Pounder 7-cwt x 1 OML 3-in. Mortar x 1