Colonel Vandeleur & Forward Observer (BR885)
Lieutenant Colonel J.O.E. Vandeleur, DSO & Bar
John Ormsby Evelyn Vandeleur was born in 1903 in Pakistan, where his father, Lieutenant Colonel C.B. Vandeleur, DSO, had been serving. J.O.E. Vandeleur was commissioned into the Irish Guards in 1924 and quickly rose through the ranks where he gained a reputation as a well-liked, intelligent and insightful officer.
Major Vandeleur was stationed in Egypt and saw combat in Palestine between the wars. In 1940 he returned with his experience to the Irish Guards in England. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in May 1943 and given command of the new 3rd Battalion (Infantry), Irish Guards formed from the training battalion.
‘Joe’, as everyone called him, and his 3rd Battalion landed in Normandy in late June 1944. During a German surprise attack on his headquarters in Normandy, Joe rallied his men as he fought his way to his scout car, jumped onto the vehicle’s machine-gun and fired on the Germans, yelling “Mow them down!”. The battalion pulled together and fought the German attack off.
When the Guards battlegroups were formed Joe was placed in command of the Irish battlegroup. Fortunately, his cousin, Giles Vandeleur, commanded the 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards. The two Vandeleur cousins operated together seamlessly.
After leaving Brussels, Vandeleur and his Irish battlegroup secured the vital bridge over the Meuse-Escaut Canal on the Dutch-Belgian border. The guardsmen named the bridge they had seized JOE’s Bridge in honour of their beloved Lieutenant Colonel.
After the bridge was in the Guards’ control, Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks visited Vandeleur and informed him that his Irish battlegroup would lead 30th Corps, or 30th Corps, into Holland during Operation Market Garden.
On 17 September 1944 at 1435 hours, the first of Joe’s tanks charged onto the road that would soon be called Hell’s Highway. Vandeleur was never far from the action, dashing from platoon to platoon in his Humber scout car, keeping the column on the move and calling in Typhoon aircraft to knock out German strongpoints.
However, despite the Herculean efforts of the Irish battlegroup the Guards Armoured Division was halted just over a mile from the British 1st Airborne Division which had parachuted into the Arnhem area.
Joe Vandeleur commanded the Irish Guards battlegroup until November 1944, when he was shifted to command the 129th (South Wessex) Brigade of the 43rd (Wessex) Division. He returned to the Guards Armoured Division in July 1945 as commander of 32nd Guards Brigade. He retired from the army in 1951. He later served as a technical consultant to the movie A Bridge Too Far, a popular account of Operation Market Garden. He lived out his life in England.
In Flames Of War
Lieutenant Colonel JOE Vandeleur is a Warrior mounted in a Humber scout car, and is a Higher Command team rated as Confident Veteran. Vandeleur is an Independent team.
Vandeleur may join an Irish Guards Armoured Squadron or an Irish Guards Rifle Company for 50 points. Add an RAF Forward Air Controller team for +10 points.
Press On Regardless!
Vandeleur knew that the success of the operation relied on keeping his troops always pressing forward toward Eindhoven to link up with the US 101st Airborne Division.
If Vandeleur has not moved At the Double and is not Bogged Down or Bailed Out, he can attempt to push his platoons forward using Press On Regardless.
Guards Combat, Weapons and Brigade Support Platoons that are within 8”/20cm of Vandeleur and are not Pinned Down may attempt to move again at the end of the Movement Step after all other movement. Roll a die for each platoon attempting to move again:
If the result is 5+, the platoon may move up to another 4”/10cm, regardless of its normal movement distance.
Otherwise, the platoon remains where it is.
The platoons may still shoot and assault as normal after making this extra move.
Platoons cannot make this extra move if they moved At the Double.
Bogged Down or Bailed Out vehicles cannot make this extra move.
Vandeleur’s tank commanders expected a hard fight along the sides of the road. As they advanced the tanks poured intense machine-gun and cannon fire into any scrub or patch of grass that might be hiding a German!
A force including Vandeleur does not use the Semi-indirect Fire special rule. Instead, Sherman V and Firefly VC tanks that moved in their Movement Step may re-roll failed rolls To Hit when shooting their main guns at teams up to 16”/40cm away. Guns Left! does not apply when conducting Defensive Fire.
When confronted by the stubborn German Fallschirmjäger, or paratroopers, Vandeleur called down 84 Typhoons screaming in at tree-top level, firing 455 rockets, and causing havoc among the defenders.
A Forward Air Controller team is a White scout car and an Independent Team rated as Confident Veteran. Unlike normal Independent teams, it may never Join a platoon or