Amongst the most elite of German troops, the German Airborne – the Fallschirmjӓger – Fall from the sky today in hard plastic!
The world’s first paratroopers to be used in large numbers, the German Fallschirmjager were at the tip of the spear when war broke out in 1939 leading with the first airborne invasion when they assaulted Denmark on the 9 April 1940. They went on to lead daring assaults on strategic targets, such as the successful airlandings of Norway and the assault on the fortress at Eben Emael, enabling the following panzers to overrun Europe.
As a paratrooper force the Fallschirmjӓger’s greatest achievement would be the intense fighting they performed as they spearheaded Operation Mercury and seized Crete in the face of more numerous British and Commonwealth forces during 1941. However the heavy casualties suffered meant that they were never again used en masse as an airlanded force.
Small units still operated by glider and parachute, famously rescuing Italian leader Mussolini from his mountain top prison, and raiding behind American lines in the Ardennes. With a distinct moral perhaps their finest hour would undoubtedly be the bitter fighting as they occupied the monastery at Monte Cassino for months in the face of overwhelming odds, earning themselves the nickname ‘Green Devils’. The German Paratroopers were arguably the toughest in a tough army.
For those of you wanting to make earlier German Airborne troops you can utilise the uncovered helmets and paint the models in plain uniforms rather than camouflage jump smocks.
Unlike their Allied counterparts these German Paratroopers were attached to the German Luftwaffe rather than the army. Fallschirmjager were highly trained, invariably veteran troops!
Warlord Games Fallschirmjӓger miniatures are ideally suited for battles in North West Europe and can also be used in actions on the Russian Front. Being totally compatible with our other German sprues, such as the Grenadiers, German weapons sprue and Blitzkrieg plastics, the new plastic Fallschirmjӓger are perfect for individualising – perfect for recreating legendary battles such as Eben Emael, Carentan (we’ve all seen Band of Brothers haven’t we?), Monte Cassino and Arnhem. Wherever the Fallschirmjager were found a bloody struggle was sure to be had…
The rules within the Bolt Action Rulebook deal with paratroopers and glider troops by assuming that they have dropped/landed outside the playing area and regrouped by the time they arrive on the table. We feel that the reserve rules (and specifically the Outflank option) allow the player to simulate the situation where these troops arrive on the battlefield from an unexpected direction. Check out The Eagle Has Landed scenario.
However, you may have watched movies where paratroopers land under fire (such as The Longest Day, or A Bridge too Far) and indeed there have been a few such instances in history, Operation Mercury and most notably during Operation Market-Garden. The optional rules presented in this article ‘Geronimo- Using Air Landing Reinforcements in Bolt Action’ are an attempt at recreating those few dramatic occurrences in your games of Bolt Action.
Following her excellent tutorial on painting a US Airborne figure, Christy Beall, from Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy, has turned her hand to Bolt Action German Fallschirmjäger and specifically the Splittermuster camo pattern.
Read more about this elite force in Osprey Publishing’s Warrior series Fallschirmjӓger German Paratrooper 1935-45
Complete your collection with a full Fallschirmjӓger Starter Army:
With such an excellent range of troops your Fallschirmjӓger army will have all the equipment it needs to launch your next offensive!