Yes, there's a new army in Battlegroup42: The Chinese National Revolutionary Army (NRA) ! It got the most votes during a poll on the Battlegroup42 website. In its creation we were able to use a freely available skin set from China and our forum member "Hong Kong Chinese Boy" recorded radio commands in Chinese language (Mandarin). We also have to thank our team member "Q" who did a lot of important research and translation work. The National Revolutionary Army was equipped with a mixture of German and Russian weapons of which most were already in the mod. A new addition is the Gewehr 98, the predecessor of the famous Karabiner k98, which was mass produced under license in the 1930's and was standard issue of the National Revolutionary Army. The model was created by Kraetzer and textured by our infantry weapon expert RuppDee.
One of the many conflicts which lead to World War II was Japan's invasion into China and the establishment of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo in Manchuria which lead to border disputes with the Soviet Union. Yamamoto created three maps dealing with the most important battles. The series starts in June 1937 with the Kanchatzu incident. Kanchatzu is one of the islands in the river Amur, which at that time was the border between Manchukuo and the Soviet Union. When Japanese troops occupied the island, Soviet gun boats of the Amur-Flotilla attacked them to drive them off the island. One the boats was sunk, two others heavily damaged. Finally both sides withdrew from the island, but the incident increased the Anti-Japanese mood in China, which was also interested in this vicinity.
Soon after this incident open hostilities broke out between the Japanese andthe National Revolutionary Army, today known as the Second Sino-Japanese War. First highlight was the battle for Shanghai in August1937 which lasted for several weeks. After the fall of Shanghai the capital city of the Republic of China, Nanking, was the next Japanese target. In December of 1937 Japanese troops lay siege to the heavily fortified city and shelled it for days. When finally the attack started the demoralised and badly equipped Chinese could only withstand the assault for three days. In his map "The Fall of Nanking" Yamamoto let's us relive the attack on the Guanghua gate, a strategically important opening in the 13 meter high wall around the city.
While the Japanese were successful in China, they had to endure a devastating defeat in August 1939 at the border to Mongolia, which at that time was allied with the Soviet Union. The Japanese claimed a strip of land on the Mongolian side of the River Khalkin Ghol, which lead to a series of skirmishes with Mongolian troops. Finally the Red Army started a large offensive with tanks and planes to drive off the Japanese. This battle too was recreated by Yamamoto in a highly atmospheric map.
Our mapper Sarge Surfat has also been very busy in the last few months and has created a whole series of new maps. Three of them, which recreate famous battles on the Western Front in May 1940 will be presented in this news. The first map is "Willemsbrug" which resembles the fierce battle for the Maas bridges in Rotterdam: On the early morning of May 10th, 1940 a unit of German infantry, carried by seaplanes, landed on the river Maas in order to capture the bridges. But the Dutch forces put up tough resistance and finally recaptured the bridges. German paratroopers which had landed on the nearby airfield of Walhaven weren't able to assist the surrounded troops as planned and as a result Hitler ordered the bombing of Rotterdam which is known to have hastened the Dutch surrender.
The next map is located in Belgium: On May 12 1940 German tank units encountered tanks of the 1st French Army in the vicinity of Hannut-Gembloux. This encounter became the largest tank battle during that time of war, with high casualties on both sides. While the French achieved a tactical victory by weakening the enemy and severely delaying its advance, the Germans achieved a strategic victory: By fighting the strong 1st French Army the route through the Ardennes became open.
Another famous battle in France concludes this news: in and around the village of Stonne the Germans got to know the superiority of French tanks. A few Char B1 bis tanks stopped the German advance for two days and inflicted heavy casualties. An outstanding performance was delivered by Captain Bilotte: He and his tank crew encountered a German tank column inside the village. In the following battle Bilotte destroyed eleven tanks and one assault gun as well as some artillery guns. His Char B1 bis was hit 140 times without sustaining any heavy damage.
On those two maps with French troops you will of course find all of our new French vehicles, to which another one was added recently. It is the Laffly S15TOE, an armored variant of the sturdy Laffly S15 artillery tractor. The Laffly S15TOE is a hybrid vehicle, being a scout car as well as a personnel carrier, and was designed mainly for the use in the French colonies. It was armed with a 7.5mm Reibel machine gun in a rotating turret and could carry up to six infantrymen. The S15TOE was also used in North Africa, but some also saw combat in the defence of France in 1940. In Battlegroup42, the Laffly S15TOE will take the role of the French APC, able to heal and repair own units. Model and skin have been designed by Krätzer.
That's it for today. This was only a small fraction of the new maps which will be in 1.7. Our mappers expanded the map pool quite a bit, with most maps portraying the early part of the war. More about that in the next news. As usual we're on the lookout for talented modders of all kinds - Battlegroup42 wants to continue developing and needs reinforcements. If you're interested visit our forum at www.battlegroup42.de