Panzer Campaigns Scheldt ’44 – Research and References

Hi All,

I know we keep talking about our next release – Panzer Campaigns Scheldt ’44, but we are genuinely close to being finished.

We spent a lot of time in our last blog post talking about the scenarios included. That has not changed though a lot more play testing has been done. That has resulted in several additional variants and in some cases specialised scenarios built for HTH or vs the AI play.

A lot of effort has also gone into trying to balance the new campaigns and there have been changes to both Herbst Sturm and Market Garden. The playtest notes have been fascinating reading

For this post, we are going to talk about the Order of Battle (OOB) and the trials and tribulations in pulling them together. There are five OOB’s included with the game.






Here is an image of a typical high level OOB.

The Scheldt ’44 OOB was particularly difficult to research because the events covered fall in the middle of the larger campaign in Northwest Europe. The Allied and German orders of battle on the eve of the Normandy invasion are thoroughly documented and are laid out in detail in numerous sources. Many changes, however, occurred between June of ’44 and autumn of that year and no single source, either in print or on the internet, outlines the Allied or German organization for this period in sufficient detail and accuracy to create a Panzer Campaigns order of battle. We had to piece together the order of battle using a variety of both primary and secondary sources, many of which contained incomplete or contradictory information. Creating the Scheldt OOB involved putting together clues, assessing the validity of different sources, and reconciling conflicting accounts – it very much felt like detective work. Compounding the difficulty, it became apparent early on that a single OOB file would not suffice as significant changes occurred on a weekly, sometimes daily basis, particularly in the German army.

While many changes had occurred within the 21st Army Group since Normandy (several divisions had switched from one corps to another, many artillery units had been swapped between various AGRA, certain units had been disbanded, and others had arrived), overall the Allied armies were not as difficult to research as the basic structure and divisional organizations remained intact. The 2nd Tactical Air Force had undergone more significant reorganization, but this was well-documented in Chris Thomas and Christopher Shores’ work on the subject. The principal difficulty was in realizing the German 15th and 1st Parachute Armies, both cobbled together from the remnants of battered divisions that had retreated through France and Belgium plus various security, training, and other rear area units.

The most valuable sources were digitized copies of microfilm rolls containing German war diaries, situation reports, strength reports, organization charts, maps, and other miscellaneous documents. These provided the most precise and trustworthy information regarding the German OOB, though it was always important to keep in mind that any given report is only a snapshot of a particular moment and can’t necessarily be taken as being representative of the campaign as a whole. Here are some excerpts from the LXXXVIII. A.K. rolls:

This is Kampfgruppe Müller, within 719.Infanterie Division (all images can be clicked for full size);

And the equivalent entry in the Order of Battle;

This report covers the various components in Flak-Rgt.100

And the regiment in the Order of Battle

This image shows the frontage of 245.Infanterie Division.

And here is the make-up of Kampfgruppe Weichsel, one of the Divisions subordinate units;

Unfortunately, NARA only contains relevant records for LXXXVIII. A.K. and Korps Feldt, as well as some fragmentary material for LXXXVI. A.K.

Where German records were not available, the most important sources were Allied documents. The Canadian government has made digitized copies of all manner of World War II primary source materials free and available to the public, including war diaries, patrol logs, situation reports, and most significantly, intelligence reports. These intelligence reports were compiled roughly every other day and contain identifications of German units. Identifications were principally made through POW interrogations but also through captured documents, intercepted messages, and reports from the Belgian and Dutch resistance. The Canadians did not always accurately assess the composition of the forces in front of them and their assessments evolved over time as more information became available. While no single intelligence report can be considered authoritative, when viewed in a sequence and compared to other primary or secondary sources, a picture emerges of which information is likely accurate, what is questionable, and what is most definitely inaccurate, and from that reasonable inferences can be made. Here are some excerpts from Canadian intelligence reports:

This report allowed us to determine the components for Kampfgruppe Martin;

Also useful was the Canadian document Information from German Sources Part III: German Defense Operations in the Sphere of the First Canadian Army (23 August-8 November) and the American Foreign Military Studies (FMS) series, both of which contain postwar interviews with German generals. The utility of the FMS reports varied as they were compiled well after the events and are based on recollection. Some interviewed generals provided very precise information while others were vaguer.

In addition to the primary source documents described above, many secondary sources were consulted in designing Scheldt ’44, both for OOB and scenario design. Here is a list of most of the books and articles referenced:

Beale, Peter. The Great Mistake

Bernard, Henri. L’armée secrète

Brooks, Richard. Walcheren 1944

Buckingham, William F. Arnhem: Battle for the Bridges.

Cerfont, Noel. L’armée secrète: historique de la Zone II

Chevalier, Hugues. Les combats de la Libération du Pas-de-Calais

Copp, Terry. “To the Last Canadian?: Casualties in the 21st Army Group,” Canadian Military History, vol. 18

Davis, Gwilym. In My Father’s Footsteps

de Jong, Loe. Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, Deel 10a - Het laatse jaar

Delaforce, Patrick. The Black Bull

Delaforce, Patrick. The Fighting Wessex Wyverns

Delaforce, Patrick. Monty’s Highlanders

Delaforce, Patrick. Monty’s Ironsides

Delaforce, Patrick. Monty’s Marauders

Delaforce, Patrick. Monty’s Northern Legions

Delaforce, Patrick. The Polar Bears

Delaforce, Patrick. Red Crown and Dragon

Delaforce, Patrick. Smashing the Atlantic Wall

Didden, Jack and Martin Swaarts. Herbst Sturm/Autumn Gale

Didden, Jack and Martin Swaarts. “Highlanders in the Low Countries,” After the Battle, no. 120

Didden, Jack and Martin Swaarts. A Thorn in the Side of Market Garden

Doherty, Richard. Hobart’s 79th Armoured Division at War

Everitt, Chris. The Bomber Command War Diaries

Ford, Ken. Operation Market Garden 1944 (2)

Ford, Ken. Operation Market Garden 1944 (3)

Frisius, Friedrich. "Mein Tagebuch," Le Journal du Vice-Amiral Friedrich Frisius

Greentree, David. British Airborne Soldier Versus Waffen-SS Soldier

Gullachsen, Arthur Willoughby. “An Army of Never-Ending Strength: Reinforcement of the Canadian Army 1944-45.” Western University.

van der Haar, R.G. “De Stoottroepen,” Het Grote Gebod, vol. 2

Haasler, Timm. Hold the Westwall

Hart, Stephen Ashley. Colossal Cracks

Hill, E.R. and the Earl of Rosse. The Story of the Guards Armoured Division

Kershaw, Robert. It Never Snows in September

Korthals Altes, A. and N.K.C.A.A. in’t Veld. The Forgotten Battle

Kraandijk, Th. and J.N. Lodders. “50 jaar regiment Stoottroepen,” Militaire Spectator

Macdonald, Charles B. The Siegfried Line Campaign

Marchal, Jean-Paul. Gent September ‘44

Margry, Karel. “The Battle of Den Bosch,” After the Battle, no. 64

Margry, Karel. “The Capture of Le Havre,” After the Battle, no. 139

Marquet, Victor. “La sauvegarde du port d’Anvers,” Cahiers d’Histoire de la seconde guerre mondiale, vol. 13

McGilvray, Evan. Black Devil’s March: A Doomed Odyssey

Moberg, Stig H. Gunfire!

Moulton, J.L. Battle for Antwerp

Mulder, Toon. “KP-Noord-Brabant-Oost,” Het Grote Gebod, vol. 1

Naert, Jan. “Het Gentse Onafhankelijkheidsfront in de naoorlogse Jaren. ‘Une victoire sans lendemain?’” Universiteit Gent

Naninck, Joep. “KP-Noord-Brabant-West,” Het Grote Gebod, vol. 1

Northwood, Arthur and Leonard Rapport. Rendezvous with Destiny

Nordyke, Phil. All American All the Way

Oddone, Patrick. "Dernier 'Seigneur' de Dunkerque," Le Journal du Vice-Amiral Friedrich Frisius

van Ojen, G.J. De Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten I

Pellerin, R. Daniel. “‘You Have Shut up the Jerries’ Canadian Counter-Battery Work in the Clearing of the Breskens Pocket, October-November 1944,” Canadian Military History, vol. 21

Rawling, Gerald. Cinderella Operation

Reed, John. “The Cross-Channel Guns,” After the Battle, no. 29

van Reest, Rudolf. “KP-Zeeland,” Het Grote Gebod, vol. 1

Rely, Achiel. “The Battle for Merksem,” After the Battle, no. 85

Ryan, Cornelius. A Bridge Too Far

Schulten, J.W.M. “De strijd bij Meijel,” Militaire Spectator

Shores, Christopher, and Chris Thomas. Second Tactical Air Force, vol. 2

Stacey, C.P. The Victory Campaign

Thomas, Chris. Typhoon Wings, 2nd TAF 1943-45

Thomas, Graham. Attack on the Scheldt

Verney, GL. The Desert Rats

Weiss, Stephane. “Le jour d’après : organisations et projets militaires dans la France libérée : août 1944 – mars 1946.” Université de Lyon

Wheeler, Nicholas. “I British Corps and the Battle of the Scheldt: A Reassessment,” Canadian Military History, Volume 28

Whitaker, Shelagh. “Eugene Colson and the Liberation of the Port of Antwerp,” Canadian Military History, vol. 3

Whitaker, W. Denis and Shelagh Whitaker. Tug of War

Williams, Jeffrey. The Long Left Flank

Zaloga, Steven J. Operation Market Garden 1944 (1)

Zuehlke, Mark. The Cinderella Campaign

Zuehlke, Mark. Terrible Victory

 Special attention should be drawn to Didden and Swaarts’ Herbststurm/Autumn Gale and A Thorn in the Side of Market Contain. These volumes, covering the actions of Kampfgruppe Chill, Kampfgruppe Walther, and their opponents, are exquisitely detailed and were invaluable to both order of battle and scenario design.

Several online resources were also helpful, including the Lexikon der Wehrmacht, Leo Niehorster’s Order of Battle site, Axis History, Feldgrau, WW2Talk, and Defending Arnhem.

Here are a few more examples from the Order of Battle. This entry shows the corps structure under the various armies (all images can be clicked for full size);

This image shows the units within the Dunkirk Fortress;

And this image shows some of the French Resistance forces;

Our next post will cover the representation of the resistance forces in Scheldt '44 with a specific focus on the Belgian resistance.

Till then!


  • Richard Binkhyusen

  • Richard Binkhyusen

    The You-Tube Series about the small Resistance Group my Granddad belonged to and their 2 German opponent they had to face; Fallschirmjäger Regiment 6 and Marine Einsatz Kommando 40.
    During the episodes of Battle for Bergen op Zoom the Resistance Group itselve will come into view.
    Note: The Isle of Tholen was innundated a German anti-air & sea precaution in Febr.‘44 and most of it’s population evacuated.
    Only the sea-, inland dikes and some parts of villages kept dry.
    Also the City of Tholen itself.
    Only appointed essentials were forced to stay to maintain or repair defense works or dikes & sluices.
    An estimated 30 Resistance men were at Tholen City, 2 at Oud-Vossemeer, 11 at Stavenisse and totalling some 60 for the entire Island forming 2 untrained and even unseasoned light platoons.
    Barely armed with what they could find and at the most one entire clip.
    On paper absolute no match to either one of these two German elite units.
    They even could barely defend themselves.
    Dressed in civilian clothes up to the end, meant torture and execution being captured.
    If lucky on the spot.
    That happend to Rini Elling.
    One of the OD-Halsteren near the German Main Battle line.
    They themselve never knew about what kind of troops these Germans were.
    And after 136 days on the front line of which 6 against FJR.6, they were sent home never to hear from it again.
    Most even didn’t receive the Dutch Resistance Cross.
    Between them and the entire frontline up to the Port of Antwerp were only a reserve Coy. and some small Allied units on leave in Bergen op Zoom.

  • Richard Binkhyusen

    Episode 14: The Struggle for Woensdrecht

    Greetings Richard Binkhuysen

  • Richard Binkhyusen

    I see you are busy with the Dutch Resistance in the Scheldt area.
    If you follow the paved trail of info about that, you’ll most likely miss the most important part about that.
    While the Canadian Black Watch Btl. almost was wiped out at the ‘Woensdrecht Narrows’ railway dam on Friday the 13 of Oct. 1944, the small Dutch Orde Dienst-Tholen was ordered to take and hold the ferry of Oud-Vossemeer on the 30th of Oct. by 4th Canadian Armoured Div.
    They complied within 5 hours and fought against the same amount of German paratroopers of the same Regiment 6 for 6 days.
    On the 31st of Oct.(3rd fight) they ambushed the 9.Coy. and reduced them into half over the remaining 5 days.
    The entire ‘thing’ goes in history as a skermish, but actually the most important one of the entire Scheldt Estuary.
    Because at the same time the bulk of German Parachute Regiment 6 was to embark for the first attempt Walcheren-Causeway and North-Beveland convoy some minutes later.
    It’s easier to defend a small long dike like the Walcheren-Causeway, then a 8 Km wide railway dam at Woensdrecht.
    The Canadian reached it on the 9th within 150 meter distance, but it took 3 weeks of bitter fighting to overcome that distance.
    If the Germans had been able to sent FJR6 sent to the Walcheren-Causeway straight away, a repeat of the ‘Woensdrecht Narrows’ would have delayed the opening of the Port of Antwerp.
    Now it was reached on the 28th of Nov., but only became fully operational on the day the ‘Battle of the Bulge’ began.
    It gave the Allies just 18 days the use the Port to withstand the ‘Battle of the Bulge’.
    The distance from Normandy to Bastogne is twice that of Antwerp and 5x to Nijmegen.
    Fighting kept going on until March 1945 in the northern part of the Scheldt Estuary, where raids took place by the German equivalent of the British Royal Marines Commandos.
    All this time the barely armed local small Dutch Resistance Groups kept on serving for long stretches on this part of the Western Front.
    Still dressed in worn torn civilian clothes they formed nothing more then a thin observation line.
    Not even able to defend themselves.
    Capture meant torture and execution.
    After a brief parade the were sent home on the 14th of March 1945 after serving 4,5 months (136 days) on the Front line, of which 6 days behind enemy lines against German Parachute Regiment 6.
    They just wanted to support the Allied advance and never realized what they’d done.
    Never received any credit and most of them never even the Dutch Resistance Cross.
    My Granddad was one of them.
    And only opened up about it in 1994 for a short while.
    Student lied about the first attempt and covered it up, most likely to prevent reprisal from Berlin.
    But he did mention the second attempt from Numansdorp.
    Although they stil had to sail via the fair lane in front of WN.402 at Stavenisse in the dark, knowing they would be spotted by the OD-Tholen.
    Which would report to 4.CAD HQ straight away.
    But Student couldn’t blow his ‘Golden Opportunity’ to keep the Port of Antwerp inoperable for the Allies until the ‘Battle of the Bulge’ a second time.
    Unfortunately just before the convoy would sail, he received word 2nd Canadian Infantry Division crossed the Walcheren-Causeway.
    He only mentioned the second attempt after his capture and was spared the same faith a Monty with Arnhem related to Market-Garden.
    He now goes in history as the one who halted the German remnants from Normandy at the Albert-Canal and savior of the German 15th Army from being trapped at the French/Belgian coast.
    Unbelievable story?
    Yes indeed.
    Luckily I have all the necessary documents and even a photograph of WN.402 and film to proof all.
    Who am I?
    I’m A.C.E. van T.
    Those are the initials of my Granddad.
    And because what people like Chris van Kerkhoven and I published at forums, the German 1st Parachute Army could began being reconstructed since 2008.
    Here is a preview about the Resistance Group my Granddad belonged to I filmed with my cell phone.
    That’s the reason it’s often blurred and out of focus.
    And bare in mind that these men hardly slept for over 2 weeks.
    In the end the Canadian pills only worked for 15 minutes, so that’s the reason most are stunned or pose in a Carnavalesk way ( Carnaval is somewhat to your Mardi Grass).

    And here are the You-Tube episodes that are finished about the Resistance Group and it’s German opponents.
    The Resistance Group will appear after the episode about Bergen op Zoom.
    And their other German opponent after that when the winter front starts on Nov.9 1944 to March 14 1945.
    So please contact me if you are intersted.

    Greetings Richard Binkhuysen

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