Airborne: The Battle of Carentan review.

I’ve only been wargaming seriously for about six years now, and have only been playing 28mm WWII for three years. Compared to a lot of people I’m like a babe lost in the woods. After a year of playing Bolt Action my desire for something more historical lead me to Chain of Command and growing interest in the battle for Carentan shortly after D-Day. The problem with Carentan seems to be that it was a relatively short battle and, although pivotal in securing Normandy and linking several forces together, it went fairly quickly and without too many problems. It seems to get glossed over and aside from some chapters in what amount to biographies of men or units there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of academic style writing on it with maps and non-anecdotal reports. This past year was rough and I was planning on picking up a couple of books I had found out about and doing some more research to make a series of linked scenarios around Carentan for Chain of Command and Bolt Action. I was just starting to think about it again and trying to figure out when to start to get ready for an October convention when I see an ad on The Miniatures Page for Britton Publisher’s Airborne: The Battle of Carentan, procrastination won out once again! After a little searching and an unkind utterance in regard to the website I plunked down my $11 and bought the PDF.

The book has 12 scenarios ranging in size from a single squad to company level engagements. A quick count shows 1 squad level scenarios, 4 platoon level scenarios, 3 company level scenarios and two scenarios each that are either platoon vs company or squad vs platoon engagements.

It starts off with several pages describing the background to the battle, the German forces involved, how they rate the troop qualities, and describes a number of important considerations such as the hedgerows, marshes, bridges and the Belgian Gates that held off and funneled the American troops as they approached Carentan. Throughout the book there are some very good contemporary military maps, aerial reconnaissance photos and modern satellite images and in a couple of places some photos of gaming table setups.

Every scenario has a paragraph or two of the setting and lead up to the scenario, a solid breakdown of the forces involved, the victory conditions and the historical outcome and aftermath. It also has GM’s notes and deployment rules where needed, and also has footnotes and citations to the books referenced in the sources section. This book is well researched and a treasure trove of information for the battle of Carentan.

This is the fourth book in their Airborne series chronicling the battles from D-Day though Carentan. They’re $11 for the PDFs or $17 for the printed versions. With 12 scenarios in each book you could spend years fighting these battles out! This is the first scenario book I’ve read that wasn’t from a games manufacturer and I’m very pleased and the variety of scale included in these scenarios, a friend of mine wants to try out Nuts! and I think the smaller scenarios would be perfect for it. I’m very happy with this book and will almost certainly pick up the rest in the series.

 

Forgot to add links to the books the first time around!

Britton Publishers Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/brittonpublishers/?fref=ts

Britton Publishers storefront

http://brittonpublishers.com/Skirmish_Scenarios.html

 

 

 

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