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147 Joe's Bridge

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Joe's Bridge is the nickname given to Bridge No.9 on the Maas - Scheldt Canal in the Belgian city of Lommel just south of the Belgian-Dutch border. The bridge was captured by British troops in September 1944, becoming the springboard for the ground offensive of Operation Market-Garden.
The original bridge had been destroyed by the Belgian Army in 1940, but the Germans had constructed a wooden Pontoon bridge to the west of it. This bridge was taken on the evening of 10 September 1944 by the Irish Guards under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J.O.E Vandeleur. While the Welsh Guards engaged the German forces around Hechtel, the Irish Guards advanced rapidly north-east through the villages of Eksel, Overpelt and Neerpelt, and launched their combined infantry-tank assault, with artillery support, from the grounds of the zinc processing factory in Overpelt. They succeeded in taking the bridge undamaged.
The bridge became known as "Joe's Bridge", after Lieutenant-Colonel Vandeleur, or possibly because the RE troop who repaired it were known as "Joe's Troop".

The losses were heavy, but all ranks would willingly undertake another operation under similar conditions. We have no regrets.
Major General Robert Urquhart Commander of 1st British Airborne Division
(Commenting on the British defeat at Arnhem)


  American German
Division 1

9 Squad Bases
- 25 Regular Infantry
- 5 Elite Infantry
- 2 Officer
- 1 Mortar Crew
- 1 Machine Gun Crew

4 Sherman Tank
1 GMC CCKW 353 Truck

2x Engineer

8 Squad Bases
- 20 Regular Infantry
- 4 Elite Infantry
- 2 Officer
- 1 Mortar Crew
- 2 Machine Gun Crew

1 Panzer IV Tank
1 Opel Blitz Truck

1x AntiTank

Division 2

9 Squad Bases
- 26 Regular Infantry
- 6 Elite Infantry
- 2 Officer
- 1 Machine Gun Crew

3 Sherman Tank
1 M3A1 Half Track

1x Engineer
1x AntiTank

7 Squad Bases
- 19 Regular Infantry
- 3 Elite Infantry
- 2 Officer
- 2 Machine Gun Crew
- 1 Panzer IV Tank

1 SdKfz 251 Half Track

1x Medic

Strategy Decks Artillery 1
Command 1
German Reinforcements 1
Morale 1
Starting Strategy Cards 2 1
Operations Cards 018 Seize the Initiative 003 Shattered Morale
Deployment Zone Any hex with a blue border. Any of the hexes on maps 4a, 6a and 9b and any of the two hexes with a grey border.
Starting Initiative Initiative Token  
Objective The Allied forces must get at least one engineering squad on the bridge before the end of round 5. The Allied forces must then prevent the Germans from recapturing the bridge until the end of round 6. German player wins if the Allied forces are unable to fulfill their objectives.
Rounds 6
Actions per turn 3 3
Reinforcements - -
Special Rules - -
Terrain Features The Maas - Scheldt Canal (Stream) is "Deep".


Tags: German Army, British Army, Complexity: Medium, Rounds, Boards, Year: 1944


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Like so many of our people, we have now had a personal experience of German barbarity which only strengthens the resolution of all of us to fight through to final victory.  (September 1940)
King George VI