Ernst Barkmann was a farmer's son born in Holstein, Germany, on 25 August 1919. At the age of sixteen he applied for service with the elite Waffen-§§, the armed force of the Nazi Party.
Barkmann saw his first action of the war as a machine gunner with the 9. Kompanie/III. Bataillon of Germania. Distinguishing himself, he was promoted to Rottenführer (Corporal) and received the Wound Badge in Black. He next saw action in 1940 with the invasion of France, earning the Infantry Assault Badge for his participation in three days of battle.
Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, saw Rottenführer Barkmann seriously injured near Dnieprpetrovksk, for which he received the Wound Badge in Silver. He spent the next year recovering and training §§ volunteers. Late in 1942 he returned to the Eastern Front.
Assigned to the second company of the "Das Reicht" §§-Panzerregiment as a gunner in a Panzer III tank, he proved himself an excellent shot. He was subsequently promoted to Unterschafführer (sergeant) and given command of his own Panzer III just in time for the Third Battle of Kharkov.
He continued to distinguish himself during the mammoth tanks battles around Prokhorovka during the Kursk offensive. In August 1943, "Das Reicht" was withdrawn into reserve. Barkmann was transferred to the fourth company and given a new Panther D tank for the defensive battles in Southern Russia. He was awarded both classes of the Iron Cross for his actions during this time.
In January 1944, "Das Reicht" was ordered to southern France for refit and Barkmann's battalion was upgraded to the new model Panther. Unfortunately the Allies choose this particular time to mount their invasion of Fortress Europe and "Das Reicht" quickly found itself embroiled in the fighting. A month after D-Day, elements of the division went into action against American forces near St. Lô. Here, the legend of Barkmann's Corner was born and he received the Knight's Cross and a promotion to Oberscharführer (senior sergeant) for his actions.
During the Ardennes Offensive in December 1944, Barkmann spearheaded the main attack against the US 2nd Armored Division. He finished the war knocking out Soviet T-34 tanks near Stuhlweissenburg in March 1945.
Deploying Barkmann's Workshop -
Oberscharführer Barkmann repeatedly brought his badly battered tank back to the workshops when other commanders would have abandoned it for later recovery. His most famous battles were fought while returning to the front after having emergency repairs made to his tank.
At the same time as Independent teams are deployed, place a Workshop in your deployment area. The Workshop must be in German hands for Barkmann's Panther tank to be repaired. If the enemy take the Workshop (in the same manner they would take an Objective, see page 195 of the rulebook), they capture it and the Workshop is removed from the game.
Oberschafführer Barkmann is a Warrior mounted in a Panther A tank, and is a Platoon Command team rated as Fearless Veteran. Barkmann is an Independent team.
Oberscharführer Barkmann may replace a Panther Platoon Command team for +60 points in an §§-Panzerkompanie or may join any other §§ Company on his own with his Panther tank for +275 points as an §§-Panzer Platoon support choice.
Special Rules -
Ace: Barkmann is known for his ability to target and destroy Allied tanks.
Barkmann always gets to re-roll misses with his Panther's 7.5cm KwK42 gun.
Stalker: Barkmann is able to use the terrain and find ways to attack his enemy from concealed positions, remaining virtually undetected while he destroys tank after tank.
If Barkmann is shot at he is counted as Gone to Ground if he is Concealed and did not move in his own turn, even if he did shoot in his turn.
Escape Artist: Over and over Barkmann managed to bring his broken, shot-up tank back to the rear to have it repaired so he could fight another day.
If Barkmann is Destroyed while commanding a Panther tank, place his Panther tank adjacent to the Workshop (see below) instead of remaining where it was destroyed.
His platoon may appoint a new Platoon Command team using the Mission tactics special rule as usual when they lose their Platoon Command team and continue to operate without him.
In each Starting Step when you would roll for Reserves to arrive, if there are no enemy teams within 4"/10cm of Barkmann's Panther tank or the Workshop, roll a die.
- On a roll of 5+, his vehicle is repaired and is ready for battle. It is no longer Destroyed. Remove the Workshop when Barkmann is repaired.
- Otherwise, the repairs are still progressing.
If the Workshop has been removed or captured, Barkmann is removed from the table when he is Destroyed.
As a Warrior, Barkmann will normally attempt to take over another tank if he is Destroyed. You may choose not to do this and have him Destroyed in his own tank to take advantage of the above rule if you prefer.
Barkmann's box comes with his Panther A, the repair Workshop with spare engine, and mechanic, and a Barkmann tank commander model.