This scenario is a raid on a railway in country between Baghdad and Samarra.  It can be played as a solo game with tables or chance cards created to cover the traffic on the road, Iraqi army patrols, farmers, random civilians, flocks of goats, a train and so on.  Equally it can be played by two players.


The land between the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates is known as the Jezireh.  The Arab Legion was tasked with raising a rising against the Government of Rashid and the “Golden Square”.  They were to cut the railway and inflict a series of defeats on the Iraqi forces that would encourage the locals to support the Regent and the deposed King of Iraq. 


The ground is generally flat with the river running along the full length of one long side.  A few narrow creeks run into the river.  These are crossed by small bridges which carry the railway and the main road that run parallel to the river.  The river banks are steep and about 15 feet high and lined by trees and bushes and the occasional small dwelling or farm. 

There are a number of bunds about 10 - 15 feet high that run across the land.  These are the remnants of an ancient irrigation system.  In addition there are ruins of buildings, animal pens and ancient sites scattered about.

General Outline

There is a considerable amount of traffic along the road in both directions.  This is both military and civilian though it is often difficult to tell the difference as many civilian vehicles are under contract to the military.

The Iraqi Army patrols the road at frequent but irregular intervals. 

The Arab Legion must not antagonise the local population by destroying their vehicles, livestock or property.

Arab Legion Force Briefing

Mission:  To cut the railway line between Baghdad and Samarra.

Execution:  The plan is to cut the railway using explosives at a suitable bridge.  If the Iraqi army show up you may engage light forces but this is not to jeopardise the mission. 

You are not to engage hostile forces unless you have a significant chance of defeating them or driving them off.

Arab Legion

2 x trucks each; driver, Officer, Lewis, 5 rifles

6 x trucks each; driver, Sgt, Lewis, 5 rifles

2 x Wagner Armd Cars each; driver, Sgt, Lewis, 3 rifles

2 x Fordson Armd Cars each; driver, Offr or NCO, 2 crew

1 x 15 cwt (RE det); driver, Officer, Sgt, 3 Sappers, explosives

Iraqi Force Briefing

Mission:  To keep the Baghdad – Samarra railway line and road open.

Execution:  Irregular and frequent patrols mounted in vehicles are to patrol the road.  Cavalry (motorised or horsed) patrols are to sweep the desert away from the road.

Playing the Game

There are no Iraqi forces present when the game begins.

The action may take place at any time that the Arab Legion player chooses.  The hot hours just after midday will be the quiet period on the roads and around the settlements as the locals carry out their midday prayers or take shelter from the heat.  Another quiet time will be at night.  The Arab Legion player is to be made aware of this.

The Royal Engineers have 2 explosive charges each worth 2 strike points.  This can be increased by spending time tamping and digging in the charges.  For each 2 turns spent doing this with 3 sappers the effect is increased by 1d6 to a maximum of 2xd6. 

Blowing a bridge is done by taking the value of explosives used with the strength of the bridge and adding the score of 3d6.  The bridge is broken if the strength is equalled and a gap of 1” blown for each point that the score exceeds the strength.  The strength of bridges are; Steel Bridges 19, Stone 18, brick 17.

Each bridge needs to be checked by the RE officer to determine which are to be attacked.

The traffic on the road at the beginning of the game is diced for on the table below:




1 civilian truck going north


1 civilian truck heading south


2 civilian trucks northbound with military loads each with 1 civilian driver and 1 soldier


2 civilian trucks southbound with military loads each with 1 civilian driver and 1 soldier


1 Iraqi army patrol south bound of 1 truck with 6 riflemen and 1 LMG.

Each turn thereafter roll  2D6


Convoy of 6 civilian trucks escorted by 2 military trucks and 1 armoured car northbound.


2 civilian trucks northbound with military loads each with 1 civilian driver and 1 soldier


1 civilian truck going north


1 civilian car going north








1 civilian car going south


1 civilian truck going south


2 civilian trucks southbound with military loads each with 1 civilian driver and 1 soldier


Convoy of 6 civilian trucks escorted by 2 military trucks and 1 armoured car southbound.

Around the settlements there will be small fields, date palm groves and flocks of sheep or goats.  In addition the locals will have donkey carts as their main source of transport.  Village women will move to and from the water sources to carry water, washing etc.  The settlements should be small and not be too busy.

After an explosion a strong Iraqi patrol will arrive from the north.  They enter on any turn that the Iraqi player rolls a 6 on a d6 (reducing by 1 each turn).  This patrol will have 1 or 2 x Crossley Armoured Cars and 3 or 4 trucks of infantry.

No trains did pass during the action but a random train could be sent either northwards or southwards at the umpire’s discretion.

Every moving vehicle on the desert should have a dust cloud placed behind it.  The length of this should be half the distance moved.  The dust blocks line of sight and any vehicle inside a dust cloud cannot be seen but also cannot observe.

Winning the Game

The Arab Legion win if they cut the railway or inflict a significant defeat of the Iraqi army by chasing them off, destroying them or taking prisoners.

The Iraqis win by stopping the Arab Legion from winning.

The Arab Legion lose if they are chased off or kill local civilians.


This scenario can be enhanced by replacing the tables with a deck of cards and having a different result for each card – though many, say all red cards, will mean nothing happens.  In the hours about midday or at night only spades lead to an event taking place.

The Arab Legionnaires were headstrong and delighted in launching vehicle mounted attacks on the enemy.  Perhaps this was a legacy of their Bedouin raiding history?

Historical Action

The Arab Legion reached the area and set up a camp in a hollow.  They deployed observers forward to watch the road.  They found the road to be quite busy and sent forward a recce party to examine the bridges.  None were found suitable for demolition because of the lack of explosives.  They did, however, take up some rails and throw them in the river.

A couple of days later a second Arab Legion patrol of  a few trucks visited the area when an Iraqi patrol of several trucks appeared and the Arab Legion chased them all the way back to Samarra inflicting some losses and capturing one Iraqi who fell out of a truck. 


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

Back to Iraq 1941

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