BARAQUE DE FRAITURE, BELGIUM, 20 December 1944: The German effort to encircle or bypass American forces in the Ardennes offensive required aggressive, even reckless exploitation of any breakthrough. Invariably, this strategy resulted in unexpected and vicious confrontations. One such conflagration involved the leading force of the German 560th Volksgrenadier Division and the recently deployed American 203rd AAA Battalion at a tiny Belgian crossroads called Baraque de Fraiture. A small company sized patrol of the 560th’s Kampfgruppe Schumann encountered heavy automatic weapons fire at the small crossroads while traveling north along the N-15 highway. The 80 men of this bicycle-mounted reconnaissance unit lost 12 men dead and 14 captured from the deadly M16 (nicknamed ‘Meat Choppers’) and M15A1 anti-aircraft half-tracks and the men of the 203rd AAA Battalion. In this instance, German aggressiveness proved costly. Although this first battle of Baraque de Fraiture was to be an American victory, the German forces to follow were determined to take this vital position.
CH has teamed up with Front Line Productions to bring you a Battle of the Bulge battlefield recreated faithfully for our ASLComp customers. Just how did this come about? Aw, c’mon! You know here at CH we’re all about recreating 20th Century military history at 50 yards scale. And that means maps, LOTS of maps. In the case of the fateful engagement at the Baraque de Fraiture crossroads, that meant taking the original Front Line prototype and honing it through an onsite research trip, creating an detailed historical map in the process. Add tanks, guns and men and voilá, tactical-level gaming has a new battlefield.
BARAQUE DE FRAITURE documents the onsite visit and its conclusions in the expanded 12 page booklet included with the product. You also get a batch of well-crafted and cool scenarios to use the new 24x 36 map with. A total of nine scenarios are provided, all printed on 110 lb. heavyweight card, and two using geomorphic boards.