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Fortress Italy Design Notes

Fortress Italy Design Notes
with Wayne Turner

Road To Rome and Fortress Italy are our two new compilations covering the Italy campaign for 1944 and 1945. However, as well as compiling the forces from Dogs & Devils and Cassino, we’ve added a whole heap of new forces. With those two books covering just Anzio and the battles of Cassino, we took the opportunity to add so much more to these two books, expanding the range of forces out to 1945 and the end of the campaign.

What’s Inside Fortress Italy?
Fortress Italy covers the Axis forces that fought in Italy. It contains German and Italian RSI fascist forces that fought to hold Italy against the Allied onslaught. It features German forces from Dogs & Devils and Cassino, as well as website Intelligence Briefings and brand new forces.

Check out Fortress Italy in the online store here...

Fortress Italy Design Notes
German
The German section is divided into division-themed parts. The first of these covers the troops and companies of the Hermann Göring Fallschirmpanzerdivision. It covers their history, background and special rules.

It is followed by companies covering the units and divisions that fought alongside Hermann Göring Division to contain and counterattack the Anzio beachhead. You can take a Grenadierkompanie for 715. Infanteriedivision or 362. Infanteriedivision. Included is an option to take the Warrior Oberst Ferdinand Gosewisch. You can also take the heavy panzers of 508. Schwere Panzerabteilung or the heavy tank hunters of 1. Kompanie/653. Schwere Panzerjägerabteilung.

Fortress Italy Design Notes
The next part covers the troops defending the Gustav Line and Monte Cassino. You can take a Fallschirmjägerkompanie of 1. Fallschirmjägerdivision, with or without their Warrior Hauptmann Siegfried Jamrowski, a Fallschirmpionierkompanie, a Reichsgrenadierkompanie of 44. ‘Hoch und Deutschmeister’ Reichsgrenadierdivision, a Gebirgsjägerkompanie of 5. Gebirgsdivision, or a Stützpunkt (Strongpoint) of 1. Fallschirmjägerdivision or 44. ‘Hoch und Deutschmeister’ Reichsgrenadierdivision.  The Fallschirmjägerkompanie also includes options to field 4. Fallschirmjägerdivision that fought at Anzio and then withdrew north to the Gothic Line. These infantry companies can also take field fortifications.
Fortress Italy Design Notes
The third part of the German section covers the mobile troops of the German forces in Italy. You can take companies from the four Heer Panzergrenadier divisions and one Panzer division that fought in Italy. These mobile troops formed the core of the German counterattack forces, as well as fighting stubborn and skilled delaying actions against the advancing Allies. You can take a Panzerkompanie from 26. Panzerdivision armed with Panzer IV or Panther tanks. Flame-tanks, looted Semovente Panzerjäger tank-hunters, and Self-propelled Heavy Anti-aircraft Guns are all available in support. Luftwaffe field troops also fought in Italy and you can field a Luftwaffe Jägerkompanie.
Fortress Italy Design Notes
The Divisional and Corps support includes the normal supporting armour, anti-tank, artillery, and anti-aircraft. Additionally you can take Radio-controlled tanks with StuG G assault guns or Tiger I E Tanks with Borgward demolitions vehicles, Hornisse heavy tank hunters, and Reserve Panthers. The Reserve Panthers are a little cheaper in points, but in trade they must be deployed in Reserves, even if the Mission has no Reserves rules.

Throughout the German section you will find histories giving backgrounds for the various divisions and their companies. There is also a four-page German painting guide.

Fortress Italy Design Notes
Italy
The final section of the book covers the Italian RSI troops (Repubblica Sociale Italiana, Italian Social Republic), the forces raised by Mussolini’s Northern Italian state and trained by the Germans. You can take a Compagnia di Fanteria (Infantry Company) or a Gruppo Esplorante (Reconnaissance Group). These troops are equipped with a mix of German and Italian equipment. Though initially used against partisans, parts of the four divisions saw action against the Brazilians, US 92nd Infantry Division and 10th Mountain Division on the Gothic Line, and against the French in the Alps.

Fortress Italy Design Notes
Also included is the RSI Paracadutisti (Paratroopers) that fought at Anzio and during the retreat to Rome. They spent most of their time at Anzio fighting alongside 4. Fallschirmjägerdivision and were heavily supported by them.

The Italian section includes background, special rules, and a painting guide.

Fortress Italy Design Notes
What's New?
A number of new Intelligence Briefings were added to the book, including options for completely new divisions or simply just new companies for the divisions in Dogs & Devils and Cassino.

For the Hermann Göring Fallschirmpanzerdivision we added a Panzerpionierkompanie, an Aufklärungsschwadron and a Gepanzerte Aufklärungsschwadron. This covers the full scope of the division’s operations in Italy.


Two new companies we added for the Anzio battles were the Schwere Panzerkompanie of 508. Schwere Panzerabteilung, and Schwere Panzerjägerkompanie of 1. Kompanie/653. Schwere Panzerjägerabteilung. Both these units fought as part of the panzer group that was assembled to push the Anzio Beachhead back into the sea. 508. Schwere Panzerabteilung was armed with Tiger I E heavy tanks, while 653. Schwere Panzerjägerabteilung was equipped with Elefant heavy tank-hunters. The Elefants in particular were heavily armoured, and armed with a powerful long 8.8cm gun.
Fortress Italy Design Notes
We also added options for 4. Fallschirmjägerdivision, covering the other German paratrooper divisions that fought throughout the Italy campaign in 1944 and 1945.

The Gebirgsjägerkompanie of 5.Gebirgsdivision will be familiar to some, and it is now part of Fortress Italy. These elite mountain troops fought all the way through the Italy campaign, fighting on the Gustav Line, Gothic Line and in the Alps along the French/Italian border.

The Stützpunkt is new for the Italy campaign, but it incorporates element of the old 1. Fallschirmjägerdivision and 44. ‘Hoch und Deutschmeister’ Reichsgrenadierdivision forces from Cassino. We wanted to separate out the normal infantry force options out from the determined dug-in forces of the Gustav Line. The Stützpunkt is organised like the other Fortified Companies of the more recent books. You building blocks are Stützpunkt Platoons that contain infantry, trenches, HMG nests, barbed wire and a bunker. The bunkers can range from a 5cm PaK38 nest to a powerful Panther Turret. Additional fortifications and obstacles can be added, along with mobile reserves and supporting weapons.

Fortress Italy Design Notes
A Luftwaffe Jägerkompanie has been added to represent the troops of 19. & 20. Felddivision (Luftwaffe). This company represents the Luftwaffe troops who were sent to Italy in May and June to try and help hold the Allied advance. These troops offer a challenging option. You can field a large force with good firepower, but that can be fragile. Luckily, they were backed up by tough troops from 26. Panzerdivision.
Fortress Italy Design Notes
Rules Changes?
If you have Dogs & Devils you will notice in the Hermann Göring section that the Motorised Movement rule has been removed. This is due to the changes in Version 3 Flames Of War making transport team more flexible and easier to use, thus rendering this old rule unnecessary. We also updated the choices in the HG Panzer Platoon to reflect the increase in the number of Panzer IV H tanks that became available, allowing the briefing to cover the Panzerkompanies' compositions during the whole of the division’s time in Italy. We also converted the HG Aufklärungs Platoon to Motorcycle Reconnaissance teams in line with other books and German forces.

Another change we made was to include Confident Trained options for the Grenadierkompanie that came out of Dogs & Devils. We felt that 715. Infanteriedivision was better represented as Confident Trained. However, you can still field the company as Confident Veteran by taking the 362. Infanteriedivision options.

The Never Surrender rule of 1. Fallschirmjägerdivision had not been pointed in Cassino, so with the addition of the 4. Fallschirmjägerdivision options we decided it was a good opportunity to review it. We decided the best option was to treat 1. Fallschirmjägerdivision like British Guards and add +10 points per platoon for this additional rule.

Points across the board have been reviewed in line with more recent late-war books.

Fortress Italy Design Notes

Sick of fighting in France or in the East?
Why don’t you pick up Fortress Italy and give the Italy campaign a try? Fortress Italy it packed full of updated and new content. Whether you are looking for an updated Intelligence Briefing for your existing Axis Italy campaign force or want something new to build, there is bound to be something inside to spark your interest. Alongside its companion volumes Road To Rome and Italy Battles, it makes up a complete resource for fighting the battles of the Italy campaign in Flames Of War.

More about Road To Rome…

More about Italy Battles…

Also keep an eye on the website for more Italy content, including updated to the Brazilians, Jewish Brigade, and Italian CIL, as well as new briefings for the US 10th Mountain Division and Indian Reconnaissance Squadron.

~ Wayne.

Fortress Italy Corrections

Since the release of Fortress in early 2014 we have noticed a small number of errors. Most are just incorrect or missing page references, but there is one platoon where the points are wrong. The following PDF compiles these for easy reference. 

Fortress Italy Errata…

We will also endeavour to correct these when we make these live on Forces of War


Last Updated On Wednesday, December 17, 2014 by Wayne at Battlefront