A Wargaming blog chronicling the campaigns of the Israeli Defense force from 1948's War of Independence through the Border Wars, the 1956 Suez Crisis, the War of Attrition, the 1967 Six-Day War, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 1982 War in Lebanon, through the various incursions one way or the other in the present day. This will be done at skirmish scale in 15mm.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

War for Independence, Fight #4


AKA, the fourth and final fight in the Battle of Mar Gush

It is 0630 on 31 March 1948, and Danny Tzur's 2nd Platoon is preparing to finish its fight on the northern edge of the village.  Two days ago, 1st Platoon fought the company's first fight in the War for Independence; Jordanian Army troops advanced on Mar Gush and the Jews were able to deflect it.  Rebuffed, the Arabs returned the next morning, and Danny's platoon fought them to a standstill, with both sides falling back.  While that was happening, 1st Platoon was manning the roadblock on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road, east of the village.  They had not received any direct contact from Jordanian infantry, but as of 0630 on 31 March they'd been under intermittent shell fire for about 24 straight hours.  Additionally, yesterday morning, while Danny's men were fighting on the north side of the village, 3rd Platoon was involved in a desperate fight on the southern side of Mar Gush, barely turning back the Jordanian advance. 

Overnight, Jordanian infantry infiltrated back into the northern end of Mar Gush, and now that morning has arrived, Danny is leading the counterattack to eject the Arabs from the village.

Overview, north is up.  At center left is Cemetery Hill, and at center right is The Orchard, both the scenes of much bloodletting during the fight yesterday morning.  Strewn across the bottom of the map are various homes and shops on the north side of Mar Gush.  Of particular prominence are: Dor's house at bottom center left (Dor is the platoon commander fro 3rd Platoon), Giora's house (far right, just above the road), the Mayor's office (bottom right), and the Post Office (bottom center right, just right of the fruit stand).

The opposing forces, with Jews on the left and Jordanians on the right.  This is an even-up fight, 9 on 9.  The Jews are attacking, the Jordanians defending, and unless something really crazy happens, neither side will be receiving reinforcements.

All the figures are 15mm troops from Peter Pig, and I'm playing these fights using Ivan's "Five Men at Kursk," modified slightly.

Danny Tzur's 2nd Platoon, or the remnants of it.  Danny a former US Army paratrooper suffering a broken jaw from the first fight, is at far left.  Then we have:

Adriel Barak, age 24, village butcher, Mauser
Ephraim Gur, age 25, former member of the Palmach that returned home, Sten
Gabriel Bar-Lev, age 30, former British Motor T, Lee-Enfield
Aram Mofaz, age 18, a village youngster, MP-40
Eli Yadin, age 18, a village youngster, Sten
Davi Yaklef, age 27, refugee from the Soviet Union, Sten
Hiram Laskov, age 50, refugee from Poland, MP-40
Hanan Elazar, age 25, former British Army clerk, Mauser

The Jordanians, with two Bren teams and five riflemen.

Another look at the map, this time with troops.  The Jewish platoon (squad, really) is split into two sections (left, coming up Cemetery Hill, and bottom center left, coming up on Dor's House).  The Jordanians are spread across the right (east) side of the map: a Bren team on the north bank of the Nelani River (top right), a Bren team on the 2nd floor of the Mayor's Office (bottom right), two soldiers on the roof of Giora's House (far right), and three pickets.  One is on the road at top center, one is in The Orchard at center right, and one is on the 2nd floor of the Post Office (bottom center right, right of the fruit stand).

The Jewish initial deployment.

In the south, or on the Jewish right, we have (from right to left): the platoon leader, Danny Tzur, Aram, Eli, and Davi.

In the north, or on the Jewish left, we have (from right to left): Ephraim, Hanan, Adriel, Gabriel, and Hiram.

A look at the Jordanians, who crept into the village under the cover of darkness and are expecting trouble.  The Jordanians, having lost two fights in the north already, are weaker here, so their plan is simply to hold on until their brothers in the south can break through and link up with them.  If the Jordanians manage to hold here there will be another Jordanian assault in the south, but if the Jews can kick the Jordanians out of the village, the Jordanian Army troops will fall back to the east and the battle for Mar Gush is finished.

A look at Giora's House (left), with two enemy riflemen on the roof, and the Mayor's Office (right) with a Bren team on the 2nd floor.

A look at the northern end of the Jordanian positions, where they have sentries at top left and bottom center, and a Bren team at top right.

And in the south, you can again see the sentry in The Orchard (far left), and another on the 2nd floor of the Post Office (right center).

Let's get it on!  The Jews win the die roll for initiative and are up first.

On the right, the youngster Aram (bottom left) creeps forward, peering through the fruit stand, just short of Dor's House (bottom right).  The sky is not yet fully light, but he spots a flash of movement in The Orchard (top right).  Aram raises his MP-40 and fires, sending 9mm parabellums smacking into the stone wall and suppressing the Jordanian sheltering there.

Danny and Ephraim, the former Palmach commando (bottom left) were aware of the enemy machine gun in the Mayor's Office (top right), and were in agreement about getting as much fire on it as possible.  Ephraim starts it off, leveling his Sten and squeezing off short bursts of fire, putting three to four rounds at a time into each visible window...

And though he can't see the results, it's working!  Both the gunner and assistant are suppressed!

With Ephraim (center) squeezing off short, disciplined bursts at the Mayor's Office, the former British Army clerk, Hanan, comes down off of Cemetery Hill (bottom center).

But an enemy rifleman on the 2nd floor of the Post Office (bottom center) spots him (top left) and fires...

Suppressing Hanan (red bead at far left).  Aram (bottom center) continues firing on The Orchard (top center) as Danny sprints into Dor's House (center) and returns fire on the Post Office (top right).

The Jordanian in the Post Office (top center) drops to the deck as rounds smash the window and frames, suppressed, but the enemy riflemen on the roof of Giora's House (bottom left) spot Danny (top right) and cut loose...

Their rounds thwack into the stone of Dor's House (bottom left), but Danny is cool under fire, calmly pressing a fresh clip into his M-1 Garand and returning fire, though his rounds also fail to adversely impact the enemy soldiers (top right).

The firefight is in full effect; Eli, another village youngster, and one who performed very well in his first fight yesterday morning, moves up (center), towards Aram and Danny in Dor's House (right)...

But again the enemy soldiers atop Giora's House (bottom center) are sharp; they spot Eli (top center left) and open fire...

But Eli is tough as nails: he moves up to the corner of Dor's House (bottom center) and returns fire, pinning one of the Arabs (top center left).

While Adriel, the village Butcher, moves up past Ephraim on Cemetery Hill (left center) and puts more fire on Giora's House (top center), pinning the other Jordanian rifleman there.

With Adriel and Ephraim laying down covering fire (right), Gabriel, the former British Army truck driver, dashes to Hanan and rallies him (bottom right).  Then Hiram, the 50-year old Polish refugee (top left)...

Moves up (bottom left) and adds his fire to that directed at the Jordanians on the roof of Giora's House (top right)...

Forcing one Arab to fall back, dropping down off the roof, out of the line of fire.

Back on the right, Aram and Eli (center) continue laying down fire as Davi, a refugee from the Soviet Union, dashes up the right side (far right), stopping at the road, adjacent Dor's House.

Though pinned, the Jordanian rifleman still atop Giora's House (bottom center) sights in with his Lee-Enfield and fires on Gabriel and Hanan (top center)...

Gabriel falls, and Hanan is pinned, as Hiram (bottom left), Ephraim (top center left), and Adriel (top center right) look on!!!

And then the Jordanians set about getting their men back in fighting shape.  Four suppressed troops (Post Office at top left, two in the Mayor's House at bottom left), and in The Orchard (top center right) attempt to self rally.

All are good but for the assistant gunner in the Mayor's House, who fails and falls back outside (far left).  The rifleman that fell back off the roof of Giora's House successfully self rallies (bottom right).

In the north (and this photo is looking northeast to southwest at Cemetery Hill), the enemy sentry there is still unseen by the Jews.  He creeps forward (center, from trees at bottom right), sneaking towards the hill.

But the Jews do their best to keep up the momentum of their attack: in Dor's House, Danny (far left, with Davi just below him) slaps another clip into his M-1 and pops at the Jordanian in the Post Office (top right), suppressing him again!

While Davi (bottom left) leans out and lets rip with his Sten at The Orchard (top center)...

Dropping the Arab sentry there!

Seeing him fall, Davi sprints across the road, taking cover behind a fruit stand (center right, from bottom left).

Meanwhile, Eli (bottom center, with Danny in the house next to him and Davi at far right) continues to stand tall, firing his Sten at Giora's House (top center)...

Then sprinting out into the street (center), towards the Post Office (top center, with Danny at bottom right and Davi at center top).

Aram moves up to Eli's former spot (left), firing his MP-40 at Giora's House, keeping the Arab rifleman there pinned.

Hanan, though still pinned (yellow bead at bottom left, with Adriel and Ephraim to his left) plinks away at the Bren gunner in the Mayor's Office (top right) with his Mauser, to no effect.

As Ephraim moves up to the sedan (top right)...

But the Bren gunner in the Mayor's Office (bottom left) spots him (top right) and opens fire...

Ephraim goes down (right), and Hanan is suppressed, dropping prone behind he bushes (red bead, with Adriel at top left)!

The old Pole, Hiram, dashes through the incoming fire up to Hanan.  He screams at Hanan to get up, and he does, though he's still unwilling to move (rallied up to pinned).  Hiram slaps a fresh magazine into his MP-40 and rips off a long burst at the Bren gunner in the Mayor's Office, suppressing him!

Hiram is still screaming and firing (bottom center left, next to the pinned Hanan) when Adriel (bottom left, on the hill) turns his Mauser on the Post Office (top right) and fires...

Despite not hitting anything, Adriel boldly charges forward (center right, from far left)...

And that is when the Jews became aware the Jordanians had a second Bren team (bottom left), on the north bank of the Nelani River.  The enemy light machine gun team quickly brought the gun into action then cut loose a string of tracers at Adriel (top right)...

Instantly killing the village butcher (top right)...  Adding insult to injury, a machine gun round ricochets off the hill and strikes Hiram, knocking him down (white bead at bottom center)!  The left is looking like it's in very bad trouble: Ephraim, Gabriel, and Adriel are out of the fight, Hiram is knocked down, leaving only Hanan, and he's pinned.  They're aware of the northern Bren team now, but they still don't know about the enemy's northern sentry, who is just on the other side of Cemetery Hill (off camera at top center right).

That damned plucky, pinned Jordanian atop Giora's House (bottom left) continues to stay in the fight and try and make trouble for the Jews; he fires on Hanan (top center), and though he misses, he keeps the former British Administrative Clerk pinned down...

While the Jordanian northern sentry creeps up the back side of Cemetery Hill (top left, from bottom center).

But the Jews catch a massive break when the youngster Aram (bottom center), on the south side of the street, next to Dor's House, spots the encroaching enemy infantryman (top center), spins, and fires his MP-40...

Dropping the enemy soldier!

Shaun, if you're still out there, I'm expecting to start hearing about 'magic dice' again ;)

Back in the east, the previously suppressed Jordanian that jumped off the roof of Giora's House climbs back up to help his pinned buddy (note the suppressed Bren assistant at top left, from the Mayor's Office)...

But Eli (bottom left) spots him and cuts loose with his Sten.

But Eli (top right) needs to work on his marksmanship!  As his rounds start high and climb higher, the enemy atop Giora's House (bottom left) return fire...

They pin Eli (yellow bead), and finally unpin the Arab on Giora's roof.  Davi is at right.

With Jewish small arms fire so far very effective, the Jordanians are having to spend a considerable amount of time working just to get their men back in the fight: the pinned rifleman in the Post Office (far left), the pinned Bren gunner in the Mayor's House (center right), and his pinned assistant (bottom right) all try to self rally, and all are successful. 

Dammit, it's a lot of work to get those guys in buildings (hard cover) pinned/suppressed, and it sucks no one failed their rally rolls and fell back.  That would have been a good time for it; as it is, they're all back in the fight, able to react fire when my men move/shoot.

Previously Hiram (white bead signifying him being knocked down) had rushed forward into the fire to rally Hanan (yellow bead signifying him being pinned); now Hanan decides to return the favor.  Hanan dashes forward, grabs Hiram by his collar, drags him to the cover of the sedan, and checks him over.  "Wake up, Old Man, we've got a war to fight!"  "What the hell happened, where am I?"  "You took a spent round to your old melon, but you're alright."  "Thank you, Hanan, you're a true friend."

Feeling a bit saucy after having just gunned down the Jordanian climbing up Cemetery Hill (off camera to far left), the youngster Aram gives a wink to Hiram and Hanan (left, behind the sedan), then pivots east, raises his Sten, and rips off a burst at Giora's House (top center), knocking one of the Jordanians off his feet!

Danny (bottom left) also fires on Giora's House (top right), but his typical Army in his marksmanship capability and doesn't hit anything...

Nevertheless, he dashes forward (center left) to help the pinned Eli (yellow bead, with Davi at bottom right)...

The remaining enemy rifleman on Giora's roof (bottom left) sights in on Danny (top right) and fires...

But Danny runs through the rain drops, arriving safely at Eli's position.

Danny rallies Eli (left) as Davi leans out and fires his Sten up at the enemy soldier in the Post Office...

But, suddenly, Davi (left) spots the Jordanian in the other window, he was firing at the wrong one!  He begins to swing his Sten towards the new target just as he hears the solid crack of the enemy's Lee-Enfield, which knocks Davi to the ground!

Without hesitation, Eli sprints forward, grabs Davi, and drags him forward, out of the line of fire (bottom right, from far left).  Eli rolls Davi over, and the Russian breaks out laughing; "young man, don't you ever do something so foolish!"  Eli, shocked, embarrassed, and enraged at his comrade's flippant attitude all at once, yells "you shit!" then throws Davi's hat back at him.  "Eli, I guess you've never heard of 'playing opossum'?"  Davi asked with a grin, slowly grabbing his weapon and getting to his feet.  Eli looked at him, angry and confused.  "Well, thanks anyway, Eli, you're a good man."

And though Hiram and Hanan are both back in the fight, chilling out behind the sedan (top center), the happy times are about to come to a close.  The Jordanian Bren gunner in the Mayor's Office (bottom left) sights in and squeezes off half a magazine, turning the sedan into Swiss cheese and suppressing both the Jews hiding behind it.

While the enemy soldier in the Post Office turns his sights on Danny and fires, suppressing the platoon leader, who's busy trying to find solid cover amongst the plums, pears, and apples, as Eli and Davi (bottom right) flinch, hoping he's alright.

Then the rifleman still in the fight at Giora's House (bottom left; the other is knocked down) lines up on Aram (top right) and fires, before moving across the rooftop to his buddy to check him...

But the Arab (top center) missed, and Aram's MP-40 (bottom center, with Hiram and Hanan suppressed at left, Danny suppressed at center right, and Davi and Eli just above Danny) rips...

And Aram's return fire knocks him down, so both Jordanians on the roof of Giora's House (far right) are knocked down.  Meanwhile, the previously suppressed assistant gunner moves back into the Mayor's Office, next to his gunner (bottom left).  He moves over to the left, where he has eyes on Davi and Eli (off camera to top left).

While I'd prefer to have those two guys out of the fight, it's still good news as knocked down troops can only be gotten back into the fight by a buddy moving into base contact and testing to get them back into the fight, and the Jordanians should have a very hard time getting anyone over there to help them.

And Davi and Eli (bottom left) have eyes on him (top right)!  Eli's Sten comes up and barks, pinning the assistant gunner.

In the northeast, the Jordanian Bren team at the river (bottom right) realizes how big of trouble their buddies are in.  The gunner sends his assistant to go and help out, and so he dutifully splashes into the river (center left), on his way to Giora's House (to left).

With the assistant (top right) pinned, Davi scoots past Eli (bottom center left) and fires his Sten at the enemy Bren gunner in the Mayor's House, as the Jordanian rifleman in the Post Office (far left) continues firing at Danny (off camera to left)...

The assistant remains pinned (yellow bead at left), but the Bren gunner is unfazed.  He turns and lets rip at Davi (top right)...

And Davi falls, out of the fight, as Eli is pinned.  "Davi!  Davi!  Come on, tell me you're only playing opossum again.  Davi?"

The real pisser is that when Davi fired, I actually rolled up a single 'pinned' result, but then I rolled to see if it affected the gunner or the assistant (who was already pinned), and, of course, I rolled up the assistant, so the real effect of the firing was nothing, which allowed the Bren gunner to turn on Davi and gun him down.

Meanwhile, in the rear, Aram gets a little crazy, wanting to help his buddies.  He dashes north across the street (center left, from bottom center, at Dor's House) and helps out Hanan and Hiram.  Hanan is good, Hiram only gets up to pinned.

Aram (bottom left) then turns his Sten on the enemy Bren gunner in the Mayor's House (top right) and fires...

The Bren (bottom left) returns fire, but the two simply exchange fire ineffectually.

Which does allow the former British clerk, Hanan, to dash across the street (top right)...

Where he (bottom left) sights in and fires, pinning the Bren gunner (top center right)!  Danny is still suppressed at bottom right, and you can see Eli pinned at far right.

Hiram then dashes up to Danny (far right, from far left), and helps him get his marbles back.

Danny only gets up to pinned (bottom left), but he immediately gets back to making good use of his M-1 Garand.  The former Screaming Eagle raises up and empties an 8-round clip into the Post Office (top right, with Eli at far right).  Unlike Davi, Danny is firing at the correct window, and his fire is accurate, which is enough to force the Jordanian to decide to fall back downstairs...

Where he and Eli run smack into each other!  Both men open fire at point blank range...

And of course you'd rather have a Sten then a bolt action rifle in close combat.

Eli (center) makes sure the enemy soldier is out of the fight, then steps out of the Post Office (left), pausing to take a breath and reload his submachine gun.  He even grabs a fresh peach and takes a bite.

In the northeast, the Jordanian Bren gunner (bottom right) at the river shifts left, watching the eastern end of The Orchard (top center), as his assistant emerges from the river (center left) on his way to Giora's House (top left, with two riflemen knocked down on the roof, needing assistance).

Back in the Mayor's Office, the enemy Bren gunner (bottom center, both he and his assistant are pinned) lines up a shot on Hanan (top center right) and cuts loose with a burst...

Please note that Eli is sheltering behind the building just above the Bren gunner, chomping on his juicy peach.

Forcing the former British Army admin guy to fall back, suppressed (red bead).

Calmed and ready to go, Eli peeks out (left), drawing fire from the assistant gunner in the Mayor's House (bottom right).  The .303 rifle round slaps into the wall, inches from Eli's face, pelting him with stone splinters and pinning him. 

On 1D6...

But sensing his buddy Eli in trouble (the Post Office is at right center, Eli is between that building and the smaller one just above it), Aram (bottom left, with Hanan suppressed at left center and Danny and Hiram pinned at bottom center right), rests his elbow on the shot up sedan, places the MP-40's ring sight on the window of the Mayor's House occupied by the Jordanian Bren gunner (top right), and begins squeezing off short bursts, suppressing him.

Aram then dashes forward, up to the intersection (far right).  Nearby, Hanan self rallies, and he's back in the fight, peering over the wall of The Orchard (top right).

Simultaneously, Danny and Hiram get themselves back in top fighting shape (bottom center).

And then Danny charged up to the Post Office (center), sights in on the Mayor's Office (top right), and fires empties his M-1 Garand...

But again his (top left) Army marksmanship is on display, and the Jordanian assistant gunner (bottom center) laughs as the rounds come nowhere near him, then returns fire...

Forcing the platoon commander back around the corner, suppressed.

Dammit, why can't I get anything done with Danny!  In the first fight, he whacked a guy, then charged up Cemetery Hill, fired, missed, and got butt-stroked by a charging Jordanian rifleman.  Now he can't hit anything, and has spent most of the fight suppressed.  And with all this messing around, I don't think I've got anyone in position to keep the northern Bren team's assistant gunner from reaching Giora's House to check the two knocked down riflemen on the roof!

And then I apparently was cheating...  As I type this up I realize that the old Pole, Hiram, just self rallied (Danny, too, but I'm cutting a little slack for the platoon commanders), and now I allowed him to act as well.  So, Hiram dashes up to Danny and helps him rally (bottom left), then leans out and fires his MP-40 at the damnable assistant gunner that just won't die (top right)...

But the assistant gunner (bottom right) is still giggling, because not only did Danny totally miss, but Hiram did too!  He slaps another strip into his rifle and bangs away, sending .303 rounds back at the Jews at the Post Office (top left)...

Knocking Hiram down (bottom left, white bead)!!!  But with the enemy assistant gunner's (top right) focus on Danny and Hiram (bottom left), Eli (center) is able to lean out and fire his Sten, suppressing the enemy assistant gunner.

The enemy Bren gunner in the north can't actually see Eli (between the Post Office and small building at top center), but he can see the flashes of his firing, so, with nothing else to do, he (bottom center) rips off a long burst.  The rounds skip off the east wall of the Post Office, ricocheting all over the place and causing quite a ruckus, keeping Eli pinned.

Meanwhile, his assistant climbs atop the roof of Giora's House (top left), though he just got up there, he hasn't actually been able to check either of the knocked down guys yet.

In the Mayor's Office (top right), the two Jordanians attempt to rally: the assistant is good, the gunner gets back up to 'pinned.'  But Aramy (bottom left, with Hanan above him, at The Orchard) keeps up his fire on the building...

And we've finally struck gold: the Bren gunner in the Mayor's Office (center right) is struck in the head and goes down, and his assistant recoils in horror, suppressed (red bead at bottom right). 

Here you have a good view of the roof of Giora's House (top left): the assistant gunner has just gotten up, and two riflemen (white beads) are lying knocked down and needing assistance.

Aram (bottom left) continues hosing down the Mayor's Office with his MP-40, as Hanan gets up and starts moving forward.  But as soon as he gets around the corner of The Orchard...

The assistant gunner that just got on the roof of Giora's House (bottom right) spots him (top left) and fires...

Rounds zip by the former clerk's head, narrowly missing.  Hanan turns and fires, pinning the Jordanian!

Danny drags Hiram back in and checks him; for the second time today Hiram has been knocked down and gotten back up!  Eli can be seen lurking at top right.

Danny reloads and begins pounding out rounds at the Mayor's Office (top right), keeping the Bren assistant suppressed...

While Eli dashes forward to the door.

On the roof of Giora's House, the pinned assistant gunner low crawls to a knocked down comrade and checks him over...

But Hanan (bottom left) spots the Arab soldier and fires his Mauser...

The round sails high and the Jordanians have managed to get another fighter back into the combat!

But things aren't going nearly as swimmingly at the Mayor's Office, where the Bren gunner is dead (top left), Eli is at the door (yellow bead), and the assistant gunner is suppressed (red bead).  The enemy assistant gunner tries to self rally...

But fails!  He falls back, downstairs, and for the second time in this fight an enemy soldier has run smack dab into Eli at the full gallop!

And once again the Sten gun barks and Eli smites his enemy!

The Jordanians on the roof of Giora's House (bottom right) can hear muffled gunfire coming from the Mayor's Office (left), but they don't know what's happening inside, and besides, they have their own problems, what with one man being pinned, another still knocked down, and then having Hanan, Aram, Danny, and Hiram still out there.  In the confusion, Eli slips out the back door (left), unnoticed.

At the northeastern Bren position, the gunner (bottom right) can see something, see that someone just came out the door of the Mayor's Office (top left), but can't tell if it's friend or foe.

Atop Giora's House (bottom left), the Jordanian rifleman that just recovered from being knocked down fires his rifle as fast as he can cycle the bolt, targeting Aram and Hanan (top center),, covering the pinned assistant gunner as he crawls over to check the other knocked down rifleman...

The rifle fire pins down Aram (yellow bead), and Hanan is knocked to the ground (white bead)!

And now the other knocked down Jordanian rifleman is back in the fight, so they have three men atop Giora's House (right), but Eli (bottom left) lines it up and opens fire with his Sten...

And at such close range, the submachine gun is extremely effective: the Arab that just got back up is knocked down again, while his buddy is suppressed and the assistant it pinned again!  Eli fishes a hand grenade out of his pocket and pulls the pin...

But the Jordanian Bren gunner in the northeast (bottom right) is now able to make a determination on the whole 'friend or foe' thing.  He shifts position, sights in, and fires the light machine gun...

The sudden burst of enemy machine gun fire, and the proximity of the swarm of angry hornets to his head, caused Eli (bottom left) to muff the throw.  The hand grenade didn't even make it up on top of the roof, just bounced off a wall and exploded harmlessly at the base of the building (right), while Eli decided discretion was the better part of valor and ducked back into the Mayor's Office, pinned.

But with all that going on, none of the enemy soldiers noticed the old Polish refugee, Hiram (center left) ascend to the second floor of the Post Office.  He found himself above the enemy soldiers on the roof of Giora's House (top right), with a perfectly unobstructed view.  He forced himself to slow down, to reload his MP-40, sight in, and then he let rip, emptying the entire 30-round magazine!

Killing two of the Jordanian soldiers outright and forcing the third to jump off the roof, suppressed!

At which time the suppressed Jordanian (far left) and his comrade north of the Nelani River (bottom right) decided enough was enough and legged it east to safer ground, thus ending the threat to the home village of Mar Gush!

Man, what a fight!  That was a lot of fun, very sharp, and a real pain in my ass.  The Jews had an extraordinarily difficult time coming to grips with, and cleaning the enemy out of, the Post Office, the Mayor's Office, and Giora's House (particularly the last two).  It was just a helluva time trying to keep the counterattack from stalling out, and I was really on pins and needles wondering if I was going to be able to pull it off.  The only thing I question about the enemy's tactics was leaving the Bren up in the northeast corner, but if they hadn't I sure as hell would have swarmed around the north side of The Orchard and enveloped Giora's House and, at the least, made the Bren position in the Mayor's Office untenable.  After the Mayor's Office fell, I was really quite aggravated with my inability to keep the northern Bren's assistant from getting atop Giora's House and getting the two knocked down riflemen back in the fight, and then, when I thought Eli had it solved with the hand grenade, the damn northern Bren lit him up.  At least it didn't get him killed!

In any case, Danny quickly advanced his remaining men up, consolidating and occupying the Mayor's Office and Giora's House, then turned to tending his casualties.  Luckily Avi, the company commander, showed up with a couple men from 1st Platoon to help out, as 2nd Platoon has suffered quite a bit in its two fights.  While the enemy lost seven soldiers in this battle, Danny had to look after:

Gabriel Bar-Lev, the 30-year old former British Army truck driver, succumbed to his wounds three days after the battle.

Adriel Barak, the 24-year old village butcher, was gunned down by the northern Bren as he came down Cemetery Hill, dead before he hit the ground.

Ephraim Gur, the 25-year old former Palmach commando, is now the 'butt' of his comrades' jokes, having received a .303-caliber bullet in his right ass-cheek.  He should return to duty in about a week's time.

Davi Yaklef, the 27-year old Soviet refugee, now sports a rather hideous scar, but is otherwise alright, so long as they can keep an infection from setting in.  He was struck by a Jordanian rifle round that passed through one cheek and exited the other, removing several molars with it.

2nd Platoon is now down to half strength after its two fights in the Battle of Mar Gush, and Avi needs to do some reorganization of the company in order to keep manpower up, particularly as there are rumors in the wind of an upcoming operation to re-open the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road, which the Palestine Arabs and Jordanians have closed.  Overall, casualties in the Battle of Mar Gush were as follows:

3 men killed in action
3 men discharged due to permanent injury
7 men wounded but able to return to duty within 30 days
2 men wounded but able to return to duty immediately

55 men killed in action
10 men captured

A tremendous amount of arms and munitions were also captured, and it was all passed along to other Palmach/Haganah units, not even a single Bren was kept in the company (that's for you, Kyote).  Avi was quite proud of his lieutenants and his men, they had proven themselves in the crucible of combat.  And while this entire ordeal had begun only as a means to defend their homes, to a man they now understood the task that lay before them, the mission to establish a state of Israel.  So as Avi, Baruch, Danny, and Dor began reorganizing and preparing the company for action to open the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road, no one complained, all moved with a sense of pride and purpose.  The operation apparently already had a name: "Operation Nachshon," scheduled to begin on 5 April 1948, only days away.