Peiper’s Charge

The Ardennes Offensive

Peiper’s Charge:
Running the Gauntlet in the Ardennes
with Mike Haught

In December 1944, Hitler launched his last great offensives against the western Allies. The largest was Wacht Am Rhein, or Watch on the Rhine, and would be forever known to American historians as the Battle of the Bulge. The goal was simple, punch through to the Meuse River, then take Antwerp to encircle four Allied armies. This would hopefully force the Allies to the negotiating table and end the war on favourable terms for Germany.

The Ardennes Offensive
In December 1944 the German forces on the Western Front made one last major push in the Ardennes and Alsace-Lorraine, trying to split the Allied forces in half and force them to negotiate a peace treaty. It was a daring all-or-nothing gamble.

Learn more about The Ardennes Offensive here...

The Ardennes Offensive: German Forces in Lorraine and the Ardennes, September 1944 - February 1945
Peiper’s Charge: Running the Gauntlet in the Ardennes, 16-25 December 1944
To accomplish the offensive, Hitler gave the most critical task to his most trusted unit: the 1. Liebstandarte SS-Panzerdivision, which in turn gave its most important objective to its best panzer regiment led by SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) Jochen Peiper. Peiper’s epic drive is detailed below on the maps.
Peiper’s Charge: Running the Gauntlet in the Ardennes, 16-25 December 1944
Peiper’s Charge: Running the Gauntlet in the Ardennes, 16-25 December 1944
To recreate Peiper’s daring march to the Meuse, we’ve put together a scenario. The format is a gauntlet scenario where the German player starts the game with a seriously huge task force and tries to make it to the end of a long table through roadblocks and demolished bridges. The American player has a series of small forces to spring on the Germans.
Peiper’s Charge: Running the Gauntlet in the Ardennes, 16-25 December 1944
The scenario is designed to be played along three tables which represents the path Peiper took in the cold
winter of December 1944. It begins at Lanzerath, where the heroic stand of 18 men and four artillery observers from Lieutenant Lyle Bouck’s Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon held up the entire 3. Fallschirmjägerdivision for 20 hours.

Peiper’s Charge: Running the Gauntlet in the Ardennes, 16-25 December 1944
Only the arrival of Peiper put the offensive back on the road. This is where our story and scenario begins. It ends at Targnon and Habiémont. These small villages mark where Peiper’s last obstacles stood before his goal along the Meuse. Securing these points would mean that the Germans had nearly unfettered access to the Meuse. The Americans knew this and poured everything they could into Stoumont and Cheneux. This was the defining moment for both sides of the fight.

~ Mike.
Peiper’s Charge: Running the Gauntlet in the Ardennes, 16-25 December 1944
Peiper’s Charge: Running the Gauntlet in the Ardennes, 16-25 December 1944 Peiper’s Charge Scenario
The quintessential image we all see in our minds when someone mentions the Battle of the Bulge is that of a line of King Tigers with Fallschirmjäger troops riding atop and Jochen Peiper pushing them forward with words of ‘encouragement’. You can refight this epic encounter with this scenario.

Download a PDF version of the Peiper's Charge scenario here...
Peiper’s Charge: Running the Gauntlet in the Ardennes, 16-25 December 1944


Last Updated On Wednesday, August 31, 2016 by James at Battlefront