Fallschirmjäger are a fantastic take ‘all-comers’ infantry force in Late War. Ably taking on other infantry forces with a withering hail of machine gun fire, backed up by mortar artillery, and Fearless Veteran StuGs rolling forward. Against tanks, they dig in, unleashing a hail of 7.5cm fire from their integrated anti-tank units, backed up by a wealth of supporting anti-tank weapons that the German Army can loan out at a moment’s notice. They are Fearless, Fearsome, and an elite force to be reckoned with.
But that’s on the Normandy Beaches in 1944; before then the Fallchirmjäger had established themselves as a tenacious assault force across the Mediterranean from Crete to Sicily.
With the upcoming release of ‘Death From Above’ Mid-War German forces will finally be able to call on the parachute troops of the Luftwaffe.
What’s new? Recoilless!
The Fallschirmjäger formation from D-Day Germans is your standard German force composition; HQ, three core platoons of infantry packing Panzerfausts and Panzerschrecks out the wazoo. The in-formation support coming in the form of a sHMG platoon, 8cm Mortar Platoon, a 12cm Mortar Platoon (Or second 8cm Platoon), and the aforementioned 7.5cm PaK40 anti-tank gun platoon. It ticks all boxes for dealing with almost everything bar the heaviest of tanks (Which the Germans mainly have themselves).
So naturally Panzerfausts and Panzerschecks aren’t going to be in the hands of your Mid-War Jungen, so what do they have instead?
Well, the infantry anti-tank weapons are gone, as are the 7.5cm anti-tank, dropped to a Support Choice instead. The HQ can call upon a pair of 7.5cm Recoilless Guns to dole out to the infantry platoons as per the old ‘Combat Attachment’ rule. These stubborn little pop guns pack a punch with a short range of 16″/40cm, but throw out a pair of anti-tank 9 shots, with a 3+ Firepower. Their big downside is of course the ‘Recoilless’ rule, which means that they cannot remain concealed while firing as the massive cloud of dust and dirt thrown up by the shot giving away their position.
But that’s not all!
The Fallschirmjäger bring along the 7.5cm’s bigger brother in a Support role; a hefty 10.5cm Recoilless gun, capable of dropping the equivalent of a heavy mortar round on top of dug in infantry, but also, should something armoured happen to roll by, belches out an anti-tank 10 shot, with a 3+ firepower, albeit with the same limitation in range, and Recoilless as its smaller brother.
So, a pair of tough little brawling guns to make those Shermans and T-34s have to consider their proximity to your dug-in platoons.
Old fashioned fire power
But, what if you want to hit something on the other side of the table, but you’re Hermann Goering and don’t want to use Heer artillery crews?
Throw a battery of 7.5cm Mountain Guns on the table.
Similar in many ways to a regular army artillery piece, but not packing the same punch, with a less than impressive anti-tank 6 direct and only fire power 4 in artillery.
However, if these guys get into a fight, and things are going badly, there’s a chance to get out of Dodge, and save your platoon, they have a trundling little Tactical Move of 4″/10cm.
It’s not much, but it can mean the difference between losing a platoon and being in a position to toss out some shots next turn. No Slow Firing, smoke, and two shots when sitting still, not only a flavourful inclusion, but also an adaptable one.
Its not all air deployable kit. The Fallschirmjäger also got issued some shiney new Marder II tank destroyers. Packing fearless crews, front armour 3 and an AA MG, the Marder II is pricier than the existing 7.62 Marder but does allow some mobility for a pure Fallschirmjäger force.
The final inclusion that makes the Fallschirmjäger a flavorful force is the return of an infantry observer! That’s right lads, prayers have been answered, you can stick down a pair of twits with binoculars on the table to range in your artillery barrages without a big, honking tank taking up a spot on a hill. I mean really, you can’t stick a tank in a bell-tower. a flavorful force is the return of an infantry observer!
So, that wraps up the new toys that the Fallschirmjäger will be bringing to the table. But bear in mind that they get to be a support formation for your standard German troops on the Eastern Front, and in the Desert, and of course you can bring a formation and Core Units from Afrika Korps, Iron Cross, and Ghost Panzers as Support Options for your Adler.
Considering the matching of equipment between the Late and Mid-War boys, making up a force for both eras should be a sinch.