British 1st Airborne Division, 1st Parachute Brigade Group:

For Operation Market Garden, at Arnhem and Osterbeek

Extra support weapons
Extra Infantry
spare 6pdr ATG
20mm Polstern AA guns
1st Airlanding AT Battery (6pdrs and 17pdrs)
1st Parachute Bttn
2nd Parachute Bttn
3rd Parachute Bttn
1st Airlanding Light Regiment (RA) 75mm howizters
Brigade HQ (+ jeeps and defense pltn)
Airborne Recce Sqdn (MG armed jeeps and mortar)

Extra support weapons
Extra Infantry
spare 6pdr ATG
20mm Polstern AA guns
1st Airlanding AT Battery (6pdrs and 17pdrs)
1st Parachute Bttn
2nd Parachute Bttn
3rd Parachute Bttn
1st Airlanding Light Regiment (RA) 75mm howizters
Brigade HQ (+ jeeps and defense pltn)
Airborne Recce Sqdn (MG armed jeeps and mortar)

 

 

1st and 2nd Paratroop Battalions

2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment, most figures Pithead, command stand at front left is mainly the Pendraken Arnhem command stand consisting of Frost (with hunting horn) Tatham-Warter (with umbrella) and radio op. Bases with the addition of ruined walls.

First Battalion Parachute Regiment, most figures Pithead with some Minifigs and a few Pendraken commandos (in berets).

 

Close Up photos

A Company 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment - figures for street fighting in Arnhem with broken walls on the bases.

Same figures but a higher point of view

A Coy 1st Bttn with grassy bases for fighting in woods on the approach to Arnhem

 

A rear view of the same figures - showing the webbing. On the Pithead figures this is probably quite out of scale, but it does make painting easy. The Minifigs figures (far left, and 2nd from right) have no web kit at all.

 

 

1st Battalion HQ Stand. Pithead Figures and airborne jeep with trailer. The decals are home made.

 

 

 

2nd Bttn HQ Stand. Lt-Col Frost blowing his hunting horn, and Tatham-Warther leading with his umbrella. The two officers and the radio operator are from Pendraken's rather nice Arnhem HQ set. The extra rifle man is Pithead.

 

1st Parachute Brigade HQ Stand - a mix of Pithead and Pendraken figures, with Pithead airborne radio jeep and airborne carrier, with load of wicker baskets. This photo is about 4x the actual size of the figures. Decals are a mix of home-made and Scale Specialties.

 

 

 

Brigade command stand, Pithead radio jeep, Pithead airborne carrier, Pithead radio operator and standing rifle man. Pendraken kneeling officer at front.

 

Pendraken & Pithead Comparison

Figure in beret is Pendraken, others Pithead.

 

Total Count

I have model the 1st Parachute Brigade Group (less 16th Field Ambulance), I have chosen to model the full complement of 1st AL Light Regt, and the 1st AB Recce Sqdn.

I have also a few extra stands that can be added to one of the Para Bttns so it could represent an Airlanding Bttn

 

3 Parachute Battalions, each - 1 x HQ, 9 x Infantry, 1 x 3" Mortar, 1 x Vickers MMG (36 stands)

CO Stand, Brigade defense platoon, infantry recce stand (3 stands)

3 x Engineers (3 stands)

4 x 6pdr, 2 x 17pdr, 2 jeep towed 6pdrs, 2 Morris tractors (10 stands)

6 x 75mm howitzers, 2 FOOs, 2 jeep towed 75s (10 stands)

Recce Sqdn, 6 MG Jeeps, 1 jeep and trailer, 1 x 3" mortar (8 stands)

Extras (11 stands)

 

386 infantry

21 guns + 22 vehicles

 

Work In Progress Shots

Photo of actual denison smock scaled to about the same size as the figures, full size photo is at end of the page.

All have had brown added to the smocks. The jeep on the lighter base used a darker red/brown that is clearly visible. Photo taken at the weekend with more natural light.

 

Various Pithead para jeeps (and carrier) most still at WIP stage.

 

Overview of 1st Battalion, most blocked painted, but awaiting camo and a dark wash.

2nd Battalion with ruined walls added.

Photo of real denison smock from IWM Duxford.

Painting

Bases in a dark brown, Pinecone homebase emulsion with added black, dry brushed in Sunburst emulsion

Figures painted overall in Tamyia Khaki XF49

Smocks base coat of GW Desert Yellow, Camo of GW Catachan Green and GW Bestial Brown

Berets GW Scab Red, Helmets GW Catachan Green

Flesh GW Bronzed Flesh

Weapons GW Scorched Earth (wood) Vallejo Black for automatics, GW Boltgun Metal for bayonets and other metal bits (including muzzles of Brens) GW Catachan Green for mortars and PIATs.

Overall wash of 50% brown ink, in 25% water, 25% Klear (future)

Vehicles, black base coat, dry brushed with white, then painted with fairly thin Tamiya Olive Drab XF. Canvas covers Tamiya NATO Green XF67

Figures and Model Vehicles

The majority of figures and support weapons are from Pithead, from all their various Para packs. To add some more figures in berets, I have used Pendraken Airborne Officers (2 poses, 1 standing and 1 kneeling) and Pendraken Commandos (2 advancing poses, one with rifle and one with Sten). Pendraken Engineers were also used to round out the Pithead figures with Flamethrowers. The Pendraken Arnhem Command pack was used as the majority of the 2nd battalion command base.

Vehicles and guns are all Pithead. These are all airborne versions of the equipment, rather than just using 'normal' models.

British Airborne Division Organisation for BKC

I would agree that the PIAT armed pltn as part of the para bttn should be counted as dispersed amongst the rifle pltns. They did have some more PIATs as well. But it is possible that these troops were used to form an assault pltn -- in BKC terms this could be engineers???

The para bttn support is interesting -- as they had 12 weapons (8 x 3" mortar, and 4 x vickers), but only crew for 8. Most accounts speak of both in use, so 1 pltn of each per bttn would seem reasonable. But once the sea tail caught up, if wouldn't surprise me if all the mortars would be put into service.

There is also a brigade defense pltn to add 1 more rifle stand.

Middlebrook shows 1st Airborne Div arranged as 2 parachute brigade groups and the AL brigade.

The para brigade groups each have 1 AL AT battery and 1 Para RE sqdn attached.

The RE squadron would be 3 engineers with jeeps

The AT batteries still seem somewhat ambiguous -- I think because they changed over time.

But 4 x 6pdr troops and 2 x 17pdr troops seems reasonable -- though it is possible the 2 AL AT battery only had 3 x 6pdr troops.

Some sources mention 6 gun troops -- but then the total number of guns given is only enough for 4 gun troops.

Of the 8 17pdr carrying hamilcars that landed on the first lift at Arnhem 2 crashed. Its unclear if the guns were able to be eventually recovered or were lost.

Another example of conflicting sources is shown in both Bourcherie and Forty. Both give a table of total weapons both list 27 x 75mm howizter, but both also have a org chart that shows 3 batteries of 8 guns! The latter fits with narratives.

This would give a para brigade group of the following

CO, 3xHQ, 28xPara, 3xMG, 3xmortar, 3xEng, 4x6pdr, 2x17pdr
A good 1750pts

Though the 17pdr were often grouped as a divisional reserve. And there is the option to add 3 more mortars.

The airlanding battalions were much stronger than the para ones with 860 men compared to about 580.

Each bttn had 4 companies of 4 platoons, but the platoons were of 24 men compared to 34 in the paras. I think a total of 12 BKC pltns per bttn is a reasonable representation.

The support was very strong with both a support coy and a AA&AT coy per bttn:
12 x 3" mortars -- sometimes grouped together, sometimes split to the rifle companies
1 Pioneer pltn
The AA pltn initially had 20mm Hispano guns, but these were little used, and were replaced with 8 x vickers MMG.
The AT pltn had 8x6pdr AT guns
A jeep borne recce pltn was on TOE -- but not used at Arnhem.

Which gives a battalion of
HQ, 12xPara, 2 x MMG, 3 x Mortar, 2 x 6pdr and 1 x Eng
This is an extra 3x Para, 1xMMG, 2xMortar, 1x6pdr above a Para Bttn

And an AL brigade of
CO, 3xHQ, 37xPara, 6xMG, 9x Mortar, 6x6pdr, 3xEng
Nearly 2000pts

 

Other units of 1st AB

1st AL light Regiment RA
24 x 75mm howitzers, which would be 6 units in BKC, + FOOs

1st Recce Regt
3 troops of 8 jeeps (in 4 sections of of 2, although the pegasus archive site shows 3 sections????)
Which would give 6 jeeps for BKC (either recce or support)
+ they had 4 x 3"mortars with jeeps, so 1 more mortar stand + transport jeeps.

Glider Pilots
2 Wings, each of over 600 men. This could be used to give 20 infantry units for each wing! The pilots had personal weapons, but no heavy weapons -- could maybe use the rules for SMG units for them.

The glider pilots are probably better represented as extra replacement capacity for airborne units, rather than as extra infantry platoons.

I originally posted the above on the BKC forum

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