Iraq 1941 - Scenario 5





This scenario represents the assault river crossing of the Euphrates at Falluja.  It is a planned assault on prepared positions defending a 177 foot long iron bridge.




The British, having removed the immediate threat to Habbaniya and staged a break out at Sinn el Dhibban, two weeks ago are advancing on Baghdad.  To do so they must cross the Euphrates and the most direct route is along the main road.  The bridge and the town behind are held in some strength by the Iraqis. 




The ground for 4 miles in front of the bridge is flooded as a result of the deliberate flooding of the low lying areas.  The incomplete road running along the top of Hammond’s Bund is cut and the water is roaring through the gap.  The engineers and Gurkhas crossed it during the night.  About a mile from the bridge and extending towards it are fields and orchards.  The ground that is not flooded or arable is mainly open desert covered with low bushes and mounds.  The main road runs along the south side of the Euphrates.  The town is on the far bank and it has the main road running trough it to Baghdad, to the north are marshes and three good tracks.  To the south are some low hills and two more good tracks.


The most significant features are the River Euphrates and the steel bridge.  Beyond the bridge is the town of Falluja.  The Iraqi forces are dug in around the bridge.

General Outline


The British are approaching Falluja in strength from the west.  The defenders are expecting an attack by a large force from the west and south.  The British have air superiority. 


Brit Force Briefing


Mission:  To capture Falluja bridge intact and take the town beyond.


Execution:  The operation has three phases.

Phase 1:  Air Landing to east of Falluja - entry Point C

Phase 2 South:  Assault the bridge and town - South Entry Point

Phase 2 North:  Assault and occupy town - entry Point A and B

Phase 3:  Occupy the town



Air Landing Force

1 x Vickers Valentia

1 x Company 1/KORR + 1 x Vickers MMG

Southern Assault Force

2 x Coy Assyrian Levies

2 x 3” mortar, 2 x MMG, trucks

2 x RAF Armoured Cars

2 x 3.7” How, mules

2 x OP teams

Support (off table)

2 x 25 pdr

2 x OP teams (on Table)

Air Operations

2 x Hawker Audax

1 x Blenheim IV Bomber

2 x Oxford

1 x Blenheim IVF

2 x Gladiators

Northern Assault Force

3 x Columns each:

1 x Coy 2/7 Gurkhas & 1 x platoon KORR, on foot

1 x Coy Assyrian Levy, on foot

1 x 3” mortar, 1 x MMG, pack mules

1 x 3.7” How, truck

1 x RAF Armoured Car

The Iraqi defenders are estimated at a weak battalion in strength with possible militia support.  They have been “bombarded” by leaflets telling them of the large forces approaching them. 


The northern columns are late, delayed by difficult ground.


About dawn the RAF ill cut communications from Falluja by flying Audax sorties through the telephone wires. 


After dawn Vickers Valentia transports will land a company of 1/KORR to the east of the town to prevent any reinforcements reaching it from Baghdad.







Iraqi Force Briefing


Mission:  To hold the town and the bridge until enough explosives arrive to destroy it.


Execution:  The troops are in their night positions at the bridge, the south of the town in the low hills and in reserve.  The British are expected to attack from the west and the south.  You are to maintain a reserve of at least 1 company. The battalion has suffered casualties and has now only 3 of its 4 companies and has lost its mortars.


The reinforcements including the engineers with explosives are expected at any time from Baghdad along the main road.


First Line Infantry Battalion

(all transport is horse drawn unless stated)

HQ Coy, 1 x HQ car, 1 x HQ truck

1 x wagon with twin Lewis AAMG

2 x MG platoons each cart and Vickers MMG

3 x Inf Coy



2 x Batteries each

1x horse drawn 3.7” How and 1 x OP party

Iraqi Reinforcements

HQ: 1 x car

Support:  1 x Boys ATk Rifle, 1 x MMG, 2 crew, driver, 1 x light truck

2 x Rifle companies

Transport: 4 x drivers, 4 x 3-ton trucks

Armoured Car troop:

2 x Crossley armoured cars

Artillery Battery

OP Car, 1 x 3.7” How and truck with crews.

Engineer Section

Officer, 1 x LMG, 8 x Rifles, driver, 1 x 3 ton truck with explosives.























Playing the Game


Before the game starts determine the arrival time of the northern column if you are allowing it at all.  Though if you don’t then it will be very tough the attackers unless the defenders are really demoralised.  In a balanced wargame they will probably need to arrive as it will be little fun for either player if the Iraqi troops run away as the Assyrians attack the bridge.  So in this scenario we will expect the Iraqis to fight.  Therefore, roll a d6 and the column arrives on its own track(this table may need to be adjusted for your favourite rules):



Left column

Centre column

Right column



















































The Iraqi reserves will never arrive.  At some stage, towards the middle part of the action, probably as the fighting at the bridge is about to begin, send a signal to the Iraqi commander; “Reinforcements delayed by air attack.  Imperative you hold bridge and current positions”.  At this point release the air landed force to the British commander.  Then as the British forces approach send the Iraqi commander another signal, “Reinforcements delayed indefinitely.  Hold until relieved”.  Actually the reinforcements have been destroyed by RAF air attack along the Baghdad – Falluja road.  You may add some “eye witness” reports of smoke on the horizon and the sight and sound of heavy air raids.  They may be allowed to arrive to balance things out (see below).


The RAF  may use up to 2 aircraft loads of “Screaming Bombs”  these force an immediate morale throe o the Iraqi forces subjected to the attack.


Winning the Game


The British win if they take the bridge intact.


The Iraqis win if they hold the bridge at the end of the game.


There is no other result.




The Assyrians have very high morale and can be considered elite as can the Gurkhas. 


Alternative Actions


Allow the British forces to be complete at the start and allow the Iraqi reinforcements (depleted by air attack) to enter the fray.


When this option is played allow the air landed force to be in ambush positions near their arrival point.


Historical Action


The northern force was divided into three columns each made up of a company of Gurkhas and Assyrians, some captured 3.7” howitzers and armoured cars.  They crossed the Euphrates on a pontoon ferry at Sinn el Dhibban.  However the crossing and the flooded land beyond through the village of Saqwaliya was so difficult that the battle was won before they reached Falluja.  


A company of 1/Essex was flown in Valentia transports without mishap beyond Falluja on the track leading to the sluice at Notch Fall.  Here it was to prevent reinforcements reaching Falluja from Baghdad and to prevent the sluices being opened to flood the low lying ground. 


A relief column was despatched from Baghdad and its vehicles were destroyed on the road by air attack.  The wreckage included a truck laden with explosives that were probably destined for the destruction of the bridge. 


In the action the Iraqis were demoralised and fled after a token resistance at the bridge.


Note on Terrain Models


The long bridge can be represented by the Airfix/Dapol girder bridge, Airfix pontoon bridge or similar. 












Iraq Scenario Intro Page

The Escape of the Regent

Night Patrol at Habbaniyah

Battle at Sinn el Dibban

Clearing the Port of Ashar

British Assault on Fallujah

Iraqi Counter Attack at Fallujah

The Raid Across the Jezireh

River Crossing at Habib Shawi and Qrmat Ali

The Battle at Kadhimain

The Fort at Khan Nuqta

What If the Arab Legion and Legion Freies Arabien Met?

Mercol in Action

The History

Building Your Forces

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