15/06/2017 at 14:05 #64843
Greetings, and welcome to another new wargaming blog, in which I’ll play out various actions of the Arab-Israeli Wars, from the War for Independence to present. We start in 1948: It’s 28 March 1948 in the Palestine Mandate. Times have been rough in recent years between the Jews and Arabs, but now, with the pending British departure from the territory, the violence has escalated. As the Brits prepare to leave, both the Jews and the Arabs jockey for position, with former neighbors picking up weapons against each other. To add to the volatility, Arab volunteers from the nearby Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon are arriving in the area, while the Jews are added to by refugees from war-ravaged Europe seeking asylum.
War of Independence Campaign Plan
War of Independence Roster
The firefight is intense, with both sides taking casualties. I’ve already played the second game and am working on the batrep, so stay tuned for more fun.
Jack15/06/2017 at 17:25 #64860
Tov meod!15/06/2017 at 20:05 #64877
The names and background add a lot, I like the old WWI veteran best so far. Hope he survives to a happy retirement. But what happened to those experimental rules you were using in the Angola games?15/06/2017 at 22:43 #64886
Ok, had not guessed this one. Lets see where it goes. ( Note I was almost sure you where going to do a King Kong/ Skull Island game.)16/06/2017 at 03:58 #64907
Iain – Glad you like it, I’ll do my best 😉
Vicki – Yeah, I’m trying out making it a bit more personal than I have in the past, I’ve never really messed with back stories. Regarding the ‘experimental rules,’ they were more of a proof of concept for some guys that were having an interesting conversation on TMP about fire and suppression. There was a lot of talk about how folks thought it should look and work on the tabletop, so I just kind of threw that together to show everyone how I thought it would/should work.
They’re pretty cool, but they slow the fights down and I want quicker stuff; I have plans to go back to it at the company level, but that’s a whole different project I’ve been painting up! 😉
John – What the hell are you talking about (part VII)!? King Kong??? Sorry man 😉
Jack16/06/2017 at 04:32 #64908
Just me thinking you where going to do a Pulp Action type game. But Arab Israeli works.16/06/2017 at 08:23 #64914
I’m sure you will Jack, your campaigns are always excellent to follow so I’m really looking forward to more of these.
A fascinating conflict, I lived in Kibbutzim for a few years so have heard plenty of stories and met quite a few people who were around at the time.16/06/2017 at 15:44 #64953
John – I actually have given some looks at Pulp stuff, but I’d want to do it in 28mm due to all the amazing figures out there, but the hold up has been not wanting to get into another scale, particularly more/new terrain.
Iain – No kidding? That’s fantastic; if you’ve got any anecdotes that would help with the story arc or with tabletop scenarios, please let me know, that would be awesome.
Jack16/06/2017 at 16:52 #64956PatGParticipant
Looks great – consider yourself followed. In a trade for WWII western desert forces I received a few AXM-13s and some other assorted allied and Soviet vehicles so I have been contemplating doing some early AIW in 6mm.16/06/2017 at 19:21 #64963
Thanks Pat, I appreciate you! And your 6mm stuff sounds cool, I’d love to check it out, though I must admit, I always hated the look of the AMX-13 😉
Also, I saw your notes on my blog and answered there.
Jack20/06/2017 at 15:17 #65207
It is 0415 on 30 March 1948, and the Jordanians have returned to the northern edge village of Mar Gush. Two days ago they approached further east and were treated rather roughly by Baruch Eitan’s 1st Platoon. The Company commander, Captain Avi Peled, had been switching out the platoons on watch at the roadblock east of the village, on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road. As of 0415, 3rd Platoon was manning the roadblock, 1st Platoon was manning outposts in a 360 degree perimeter around the village, and 2nd Platoon was located in the center of the village, acting as a quick reaction force, able to move against threats at all points of the compass. At 0405, member of 1st Platoon manning the outpost to the northeast, across the shallow (fictional) Nelani River, came in to report movement to Avi, the Company commander, and he immediately summoned the 2nd Platoon commander, Lt Danny Tzur. Danny was a 29-year old, American born Jew was drafted into the US Army in May 1942. In boot camp he was recognized as having leadership potential and so upon the completion of boot camp he was sent to Officer Candidate School, minting a new 2nd Lieutenant in time to drop into France on 6 June 1944. Danny served as a platoon commander, company executive officer, company commander, and battalion operations officer throughout the campaigns in Normandy, Holland, and Belgium, returning to civilian life in mid-1946. Back home in Toledo, it was his parents that first pointed out the plight of the Jews in Palestine, and with a steadily deteriorating situation in 1947, Danny crossed the ocean and arrived in Tel Aviv just after the New Year, 1948.
Avi quickly explained the situation and what needed to happen; Danny immediately gathered his men and began moving towards the enemy. Avi stated: “Danny, I’m not sure what exactly is out there, so I’m coming with.”
Overview, north is up, looking at the north edge of the village of Mar Gush. At top right is a portion of the Nelani River, at center right is a citrus orchard, at center left is what is now known as Cemetery Hill (and it will be referred to as such here). Spread from left to right across the bottom of the photo are various homes and shops of the villagers of Mar Gush.
At top left (northwest) and top right (northeast) you can see Jordanian Army elements approaching Mar Gush from the north. At bottom left (southwest) you have Danny leading half of 2nd Platoon forward towards Cemetery Hill, and at bottom right (southeast) you have Avi leading the other half towards The Orchard.
Bodies are stacking up atop Cemetery Hill, as Ephraim (bottom left), a former Palmach commando returned home to defend his village, turns his Sten on several Jordanians (top right) moving across the fields into The Orchard. To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
And this is such a long fight that I’ve decided to split the batrep into two parts. Sorry, but we’ll pick up again soon, the situation very much in doubt, things not going overly well for either side, the Jews about to make another push on the far right, skirting The Orchard. Coming right up, so stay tuned!
Jack20/06/2017 at 16:16 #65218
Brilliant report. 🙂
I must admit, I have a bit of a soft spot for the Jordanians, so I’m sort of seeing this as a fight between two lots of good guys. Maybe it’s the British uniforms?
Really nice scenery, the market stall is particularly impressive.20/06/2017 at 19:07 #65229
Good one, ready for part 2 !!! Question when the Jordanians where defeated in the first battle, why didn’t the Jews get their weapons ???20/06/2017 at 19:10 #65230
Good one, ready for part 2 !!! Question when the Jordanians where defeated in the first battle, why didn’t the Jews get their weapons ???
Because he doesn’t have the right figures?
Or because any weapons captured were sent back to area headquarters to equip units which needed them for more urgent operations.20/06/2017 at 20:40 #65236
D’oh !!!21/06/2017 at 11:32 #65263
Jack sorry for not getting back sooner. Most of the stories are about people being hungry or being worried about ammunition. One that has always stuck with me though was about the day before the Arabs attacked.
A kibbutznik had gone to the neighbouring Arab village to drop off milk, as they did every day, to find it abandoned. He found a note pinned to a door telling them that the Arabs had been warned to leave as the Kibbutz was due to be attacked and that they wanted to pass on the warning to the Kibbutz as they had always had friendly relations. The Arabs never returned and the guy who told the story said that it was one of the saddest aspects of the whole war for him as he lost friends from the Arab village that he had known all his life.
One thing that does strike you when you are going round the country though is just how small it is, it beggars relief that the Israelis managed to hold on to it. You can totally understand why the Israeli’s didn’t want to give the West Bank back to Jordan without a proper peace treaty being signed, the hills completely dominate the coastal plain and could be used for shelling any movement on the roads there. How the Israeli’s took the Golan is a marvel too when you see it, it is a great defensive position although I don’t think that they will ever return it to Syria. My old Kibbutz on the Israeli side of the Jordan (which is disappointedly a stream about the same scale size as the one in your last game!) never used to have windows on the Syrian facing sides of buildings as the Syrians had a nasty habit of taking pot shots at the kibbutz so it was safer not to have them. It also meant that all paths and roads had to be laid out to ensure that they were safe as possible from fire. After the Golan was taken they made an exposed knoll at the top of the Kibbutz into a ‘Peace Park’, but as it used to be their OP it still had the trench system and MG cupolas along the eastern edge, just in case. They put new windows in too.22/06/2017 at 21:35 #65389
Kyote – Vick is right on both accounts. Besides, what equipment do the Jews need from the Jordanians? Maybe the Brens, I suppose, but I don’t have the figures 😉 Other than that, they took the food, water, and ammo!
Iain – Cool stuff, I appreciate you sharing. I was on ship and we put into Haifa in the late 90s. We did some training with the IDF, and I got to travel around a bit, a very interesting experience for us. As you mentioned, it’s absolutely incredible how small the country is, especially as an American, where it takes about 48 hours of driving time to get from one coast to the other.
Jack22/06/2017 at 21:44 #65391
Here is the second part of fight number two in the Israeli War for Independence, where the men of 2nd Platoon are fighting off soldiers of the Jordanian Army on the northern edge of their home, the village of Mar Gush.
Fighting at The Orchard is ferocious! Abel stands alone, charged by three Jordanians. To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
So, a heck of a fight, lots of fun, despite being more of a stalemate than a real victory. I’m treating this as both sides falling back; the next fight will be 3rd Platoon fighting in the south, and then either 1st Platoon or 2nd Platoon will have to counterattack to re-take the northern edge of the village, which the Arabs have reoccupied during the night. More fights on the way.
Jack22/06/2017 at 22:19 #65396
Way too many Jordanian reinforcements, which side are you on?
And tell them to quit smoking, it’s bad for their health…23/06/2017 at 00:52 #65399
Good one, but I still think the Jews should at least get a Bren gun off the Jordanians !!23/06/2017 at 19:44 #65493
Vicki – Hey, I’ve got to keep things interesting! And so far the Jews have had some pretty good dice going, so reinforcements are a must! The smoking thing is a relic of my personal life; damn I miss cigarettes! If I somehow manage to live to be as old as John I’ll start again 😉
Kyote – Okay buddy, but I need you to send me one figure in civilian clothes with civilian (or no) headgear and a Bren. They’re hard to find, I don’t do headswaps, and I’m not spending money on a squad or platoon of new troops to get the one figure I need! So, hurry up, or the War for Independence will be over!
On that note, I still have to figure out what I’m going to do for IDF in 1956, though I’m good for 1967, 1973, and mostly good (need an MG) for 1982.
Jack23/06/2017 at 21:23 #65504
Let me look and find my BF Free French Figures and I’ll get back to you, Jack.23/06/2017 at 22:02 #65508
Damn damn damn…can’t find them, found my Russian Partisans but no French.23/06/2017 at 23:47 #65513McKinstryParticipant
I am really enjoying this. Thank you and keep up the great work.
The tree of Life is self pruning.24/06/2017 at 03:01 #65522
Found my French, alas no Bren Guns…One guy has a Bazooka would that work ??24/06/2017 at 18:24 #65559
McKinstry – thanks a bunch man, I appreciate it, and I’m glad you’re enjoying them!
John – thanks buddy, I appreciate you looking. I tell you what: I don’t really need a bazooka, but if you want, check your Russian partisans and see if there is a suitable LMG figure. If there’s a DP-28 or MG-34, ideally not prone and without headgear that’s out of place, and you’re willing to send him (I only need one), that would be awesome.
Jack24/06/2017 at 22:09 #65567
Jack after looking at the Russians and French, one of the French has a MG-34 firing from the hip !!! He is on a 3 figure stand for FOW thou, and I hate to break those up…but if ya need him….25/06/2017 at 01:45 #65572
Nah, dude, if it’s something you need it I don’t want it. And I don’t need it, it’s just a nice to have, so if you don’t have singles/spares then don’t sweat it man.
Jack25/06/2017 at 02:54 #65573
No singles..and I thing the BF Free French pack is out of production now.25/06/2017 at 03:37 #65574
No problem man, and that’s what I’m talking about: I’m not buying a whole platoon of troops just so I can get a single machine gunner!
In any case, I’ve played games three and four, working on the batreps, should have three ready for Monday and four ready around Wednesday/Thursday, my normal ‘schedule.’ I’m having a great time, need to back to my Cuba Libre dogfights, and then on to some WWII USMC dogfights, which should get me back to my WWII USMC platoon, but I’ve also been eyeing some modern USMC (actually, probably play it as Cuba Libre, but using US Marine figures) using the old Ambush Alley rules.
And Vicki, if you’re looking, I really want to do Israeli air, but I just don’t see how I have time! I keep looking at PicoArmor’s website, seeing what I’d need to pick up, but then I look at all the projects I’ve already got going on, and all the stuff on my painting table (I’ve made a lot of progress on my 10mm Napoleonics!).
Jack25/06/2017 at 03:43 #65576
Ditch the Nappy’s and go for the Marines !!!26/06/2017 at 15:38 #65720
AKA, the third fight in the Battle of Mar Gush
It is 0505 on 30 March 1948, and while the 2nd Platoon is battling soldiers of the Jordanian Army on the northern edge of the Jewish village of Mar Gush, pickets have alerted Dor Peleg, former Sergeant in the Jewish Brigade, Palmach member returned home, and commander of the 3rd Platoon, of enemy soldiers approaching from the south, where the Nelani River, passing east of the village, cuts back to the west. The Company commander, Captain Avi Peleg, is in the north with 2nd Platoon, and 1st Platoon is manning the roadblock east of the village on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road, so the 38-year old platoon commander does what he must: he immediately deploys his unit to the southeastern corner of the village, where they occupy prepared positions and steady themselves for the coming onslaught.
Overview, north is up, the village of Mar Gush at top left, a small citrus orchard at top center, a Jewish trench line at top right, Cedar Hill at bottom left, and the Nelani River at bottom center/bottom right. 3rd Platoon is deployed in the trench at top center/top right (north/northeast), and the Jordanians are deployed at bottom center/bottom right (south/southeast). But things are about to get a little tricky on ya! Old Dor’s a cagey veteran, got a few tricks up his sleeve; let’s see how it shakes out.
The fighting is fierce as the Jordanian infantry pushes hard to take the Jewish trench-line. To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
Well, that wraps this one up. Next up is 2nd Platoon moving east to eject the Jordanians from their foothold in the village, stay tuned.
Jack26/06/2017 at 21:59 #65756
The hook just worked… I was sure they would all die as they came off the hill. Thanks Jack.26/06/2017 at 22:38 #65758
I get the feeling you ended the game when you ran out of casualty figures…
Great report, much tougher fight than it looked like being at the start.27/06/2017 at 00:47 #65761
One thing that keeps bugging me, why don’t the Jews have an OP on the hill over looking the river and village ??? Getting surprised once I can see but twice !!27/06/2017 at 15:44 #65816
John – “I was sure they would all die as they came off the hill.”
“One thing that keeps bugging me, why don’t the Jews have an OP on the hill over looking the river and village ??? Getting surprised once I can see but twice !!”
I’m not following you; what makes you think they were surprised? If they were surprised they wouldn’t have had the entire 3rd Platoon in the trench, awaiting the Jordanian assault. They were in place because enemy movement had been picked up and reported. The Jewish infantry company doesn’t have enough troops to man a 360 degree perimeter, so they’re manning the eastern roadblock (the most likely enemy avenue of advance, on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road) with one platoon, resting/refitting another, and the third is in reserve, moving to threats as they arise. Unless, of course, two of the platoons are engaged simultaneously, as is the case in this batrep, where 1st is manning the roadblock, 2nd is fighting in the north, and 3rd was in reserve and moved to engage in the south.
The Jews are mostly using civilians as their outposts/lookouts, but even if the OP is soldiers, when you’re expecting contact you pull them in so they don’t get overwhelmed or caught in the crossfire.
Vicki – “I get the feeling you ended the game when you ran out of casualty figures…”
Close. I ended the fight before I was sure to get my ass whooped 😉
“…much tougher fight than it looked like being at the start.”
Yep, those enemy reinforcements mean it’s always going to be interesting.
Jack28/06/2017 at 00:47 #65846
I guess so…but not having an OP on the hill is just wrong to me.28/06/2017 at 01:36 #65847Rod RobertsonParticipant
Oooh! These look interesting. When I finish up marking and grading tomorrow I will slump into a chair and have a read. Thanks Jack!
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.28/06/2017 at 01:40 #65848
Hey Rod, I been missing Ya !!!28/06/2017 at 02:13 #65849
Rod – Hey man, glad to see ya finally!
John – You’re killing me man: “I guess so…but not having an OP on the hill is just wrong to me.”
I don’t understand. There was an OP on the hill, they saw enemy troops approaching reported in (in person as they don’t have comm gear), Dor deployed his platoon into defensive positions to counter the observed movement.
Even if the OP had comms, you still bring your OPs in prior to contact. Hell, we could even say there were three men in the OP, and they sent one back to report to Dor while the other two sat tight. Dor would still send the messenger back to order the other two guys to fall back.
If you’re thinking of more modern reconnaissance and surveillance elements with long-haul comms, VFR to CAS, advanced optics, etc…, those guys will/can stay in their OP/LP, but that’s because 1) they are not organic platoon/company assets, they are at least battalion, probably higher-echelon assets (these days it’s not even Division or Corps, it’s a whole separate chain of command as the R&S guys probably belong to Special Operations Command, not ‘regular’ line units), and 2) because of their optics and comms capabilities, they are sitting miles away, not in the line of the enemy’s advance, in which case they would withdraw or be extracted depending on the mission profile and compromise.
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