Back in Black, the next free update for Steel Division: Normandy 44, will be available next week and will feature 2v2 Attack/Defense scenarios as well as six new units, as announced in the content roadmap. Let’s see which new units you’ll be able to deploy on the battlefield.
FIREFLY Ic (1. Pancerna)
Lacking its full complement of Sherman Vc Firefly (and even regular Sherman V!) when it was transferred to continental Europe, the Polish armored division had retained (two) old Sherman Ic Firefly, mostly used for training in England. Although very common on the Italian battlefields, the Sherman Ic was a much rarer sight in Normandy.
Ingame, it comes as two individual Phase B tanks, with the same gun as usual Fireflies mounted on a slower and less armored M4 (same as the one used by Lt.-Col. Creighton Abrams).
F-6C (3rd Armored)
This is the reconnaissance version of the P-51C Mustang. Although it retains its original version’s armament like the British Seafire L.III (and unlike the F-5A), the F-6C only has four machine guns, like the Polish Mustang Mk.III.
Ingame, it comes as a Phase A & B armed recon plane, with the same stats as the Polish Mustang Mk.III but half the ammo loadout.
VOLONTAIRES (2e DB)
The French 2e Division Blindée was unique among Allied divisions in Normandy in that it was the only division which faced no manpower issue to make up for its losses. It even ended up the campaign in Paris expanding its numbers by creating several new companies! For all along the way, in every newly liberated village, partisans or individuals volunteered to join the “Leclerc’s Boys” and rode East with them with whatever weapons they came with, until they could be properly integrated into the division.
Ingame, they are large (and inexperienced) Phase C squads, armed in equal numbers with captured German rifles & airdropped British Sten.
OX & BUCKS (6th Airborne)
Major John Howard’s D Company from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (a.k.a Ox & Bucks) was considered the best glider-borne company in the British 6th Airborne Division and therefore selected for one of D-Day’s most vital mission. Codenamed Operation Deadstick, Howard & his men were to land by gliders as close as possible to the bridges over the Orne river & canal (nowadays ‘Pegasus Bridge’), and storm them ahead of the actual landings.
Ingame, Ox & Bucks are Airlanding squads with two extra Royal Engineers per squad, granting them additional smoke grenades. They are few, but elite and come in Phase A (with a PIAT!).
PzH LORRAINE(f) 105mm (21. Panzer)
The 10,5cm leFH-18/40 auf GW Lorraine Schlepper(f), a.k.a ingame as PzH Lorraine(f) 105mm is a new model but will actually replace stat for stat the existing PzH 39H(f). We hadn’t modeled the former at release, wrongly believing it would be redundant with the latter. Yet it appears that, although both armed with the same gun, they weren’t used in the same way: the Lorraine variant was used as a regular SP howitzer in the division’s Artillerie-Regiment, while the 39H variant was actually part of Major Becker’s StuG-Abteilung 200, and was intended in a more “assault” role.
Therefore, PzH Lorraine(f) 105mm will now ingame occupy the exact spot once occupied by PzH 39H(f), while the later is now transferred to the SUPPORT tab as a direct-fire support vehicle. Short story: 21. Panzer gets a new assault gun.
le.FH 18M (716. Infanterie)
The 105mm le.FH 18M was the backbone of German divisional artillery. Although a merely modified WWI gun, it proved reliable enough to be used all through the war. It is the same field gun as the one mounted on the Wespe, PzH 39H(f) & PzH Lorraine(f) 105mm.
Ingame, the le.FH 18M will be available to the 716. ID in Phase B, granting the latter a welcome expansion of its artillery range.
Just a few days until “Back in Black” is released, and more content will be available later, so stay tuned!