SCENARIO 6

COUNTER ATTACK AT FALLUJA - 22 MAY 1941

Scenario

This scenario represents a deliberate counter attack involving the attempt by the Iraqi 6th Brigade to recapture Falluja.

Introduction

 The British column crossed the Euphrates and captured the town of Falluja two days ago.  Since then they have been improving the defences on the north, north east and south east outskirts of the town.  The Iraqi defenders mostly fled though a few stayed behind in the civilian population. 

Ground

The set up is similar to that in the last scenario with the action on the western side of town. 

 General Outline

The British have been improving the captured Iraqi positions and adding their own along the northern and eastern edges of town.  The Iraqis have assembled a mixed arms force based on the 6th Infantry Brigade supported by tanks, engineers and artillery for the attack.   The attack at 0300 came as a surprise to the British. 

 

 

 

 

 

Brit Force Briefing

Mission:  To hold the bridge over the Euphrates intact.  The defending forces are on table, dug in and hidden.  Only those fortifications visible to the enemy need be placed on the table.  These include wire entanglements, road blocks etc. 

Text Box: Defending Forces
A Coy 1/Essex (southeast)
C Coy 1/Essex (northeast)
Mortar Platoon 1/Essex
MG Platoon 1/Essex
Carrier Platoon 1/Essex (screen)
No 2 Coy Iraq Levies (Bridge)
Coy Gurkhas (reserve)
Text Box: Relief Column (all motorised)
C Sqn Household Cavalry Regiment plus Arty OPs
Brig Kingstone and escort
Bty 25pdrs 
Bn HQ 1/Essex
B Coy 1/Essex
D Coy 1/Essex

 

 

 

 

 

Execution:  Conduct a deliberate defence of the town.  The positions are strongly made and mutually supporting.  In front are belts of barbed wire.  Four target areas are registered Defensive Fire and two as Final Protective Fire task for the mortars and so they may fire on them at a bonus despite it being dark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iraqi Force Briefing

Mission:  To destroy the bridge over the Euphrates at Falluja and hold the town.

Execution:  The Brigade will conduct a deliberate assault from the march in the dark.  Because of the limitations of navigation in the dark the attacking forces are to be compact.  The vehicles will take the troops to the drop off point as close to the British line as possible.  Vehicles will move without lights.  This will sacrifice surprise for speed.  Artillery and battalion mortars will provide a short but heavy bombardment as the attack goes in.

Text Box: Supporting Arms
No1 Armoured Coy (CV-33)
1 x Company Engineers
1 x Field ambulance
Field Artillery Brigade (motorised)
HQ
3 x Batteries 18pdr




Text Box: 6th Infantry Brigade (carried in trucks)
Brigade HQ
Brigade anti-tank company
Brigade signals and admin troops
1/6 Infantry Battalion
2/6 Infantry Battalion
3/6 Infantry Battalion





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing the Game

The British hear the approaching the motor column at about 0230 and so have manned all their positions. 

The British reinforcements arrive d6+2 turns after the Iraqi artillery bombardment starts.  The order of march, unless otherwise stated,  is Household 

The Iraqi player allocates each part of his force a Forming Up Point (FUP) and a physical objective that can be seen from the FUP. 

The Iraqi movement is limited by the dark though the player need not be told.  The speed for infantry and trucks is at a quarter normal rates to allow for navigation.  If this is exceeded then the unit or subunit may get lost.  Keep a track of where they move and how fast they are going.  When they reach their designated FUP roll a d6:

Distance moved

25%

50%

75%

100%

1

Lost

Lost

Lost

Lost

2

OK

Lost

Lost

Lost

3

OK

Lost

Lost

Lost

4

OK

OK

Lost

Lost

5

OK

OK

OK

Lost

6

OK

OK

OK

OK

 Now work out where they actually are.  Roll one red and one black d6, subtract the red from the black and multiply the result by 5 if moving at 25%, 10 if moving at 50%, 15 if at 75% and 20 at 100%.  This gives the percentage of move to be added of deducted  from the actual distance from table edge to FUP along the route used.  Then roll another d6:

 

Deviation

1

Left 50% of total

2

Left 25% of total

3

Over 25% of total

4

Under 25% of total

5

Right 25% of total

6

Right 50% of total

Until the Iraqis have their OPs in position they may only engage in map or area fire.   Signalling by Very Light is permitted.

Demolishing the bridge is achieved by having the Iraqi engineer unit of at least 1 officer and 4 men lay the charges on the centre of the bridge.  This takes 2 complete turns once the explosives are in place.  The officer then fires the charge rolling a d6 and it fails only on a 1 unless the charge as laid under small arms fire then it fails on a 1,or 2 and if under artillery or mortar fire then it fails on a 1,2 or 3.  After a failure the charge must be reset taking another turn once it is reached by at least one engineer figure. 

Winning the Game

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

The Iraqis win if they capture or demolish the bridge. 

Alternative Actions

This could be fought as a day action.  With air support on both sides and in this case Id allocate the better Iraqi aircraft the Douglas 8A and the Breda Ba-65 to them.  The British would have the usual Blenheims and Gladiators.

Notes

This action may need some force adjustments depending upon the rules that you use.

Historical Action

The action started with an intense mortar and artillery bombardment on the north east of the town followed by an infantry assault supported by CV-33 tankettes.  The defenders were pushed back into the houses at the edge of the town and two of the tankettes and some infantry penetrated the town before being destroyed.  Some heavy close quarter fighting ejected the attackers.  The British reinforcements were despatched very quickly with Brigadier Kingstone taking personal command. 

The next assault came in on the south east.  This, too, had tankettes support.  The artillery and mortar fire does not seem to have been quite so intense here.  The Essex were pushed back and then supported by the reinforcements launched a counter attack.  The Iraqis were driven back but held on along the east side of town.  It was not until 2100 that the Iraqi infantry and snipers were finally evicted from the town.

The battle was hard fought and had it not been for stout defensive action and the quick despatch of the relief column then it could easily have been an Iraqi victory.

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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