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 22, 2017

War for Independence, Fight #2 Part 2


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.

Previously we'd seen the Jews and Jordanians struggling over two objectives, Cemetery Hill in the west (left) and The Orchard in the east (right), with the Jordanians owning the north (top) and the men of 2nd Platoon the south (bottom).  So far the Jewish platoon has Danny, the platoon leader, and Binyamin, one of his men, down on Cemetery Hill, and the Jordanians have lost about half a doze men.  We pick up the action on the Jewish right, with men under Avi's command moving to press their advantage (or, perceived advantage; they are unaware the enemy has just gotten  machine gun back into action on the flank).

Hiram (bottom right) keeps pumping rounds out of his MP-40 while Sagi (red bead at top) self rallies.

But Hiram's (top center) rounds are wide of the target (bottom center), and enemy return fire knocks him down!  You can just see Davi above the tree at center right.

With the Jordanian rifleman focused in on Hiram, the former Soviet dashes around the corner, straight into the Arab!  The two grapple and fall to the ground...

But only Davi gets back up!  However...

Davi ( center top left) was unaware the Jordanians had gotten the right-flank Bren (bottom center) back into action.  Until he began to roar and spit bullets at him.

Davi took one step right, then dove behind a fruit stand, suppressed, while Sagi was forced to drop back down behind the wall, pinned (yellow bead)!

In The Orchard, the pharmacist, Abel, can't see anything, but he can hear the right-hand Bren going again, which means his comrades on the right must be in trouble, so he shuffles forward to the north wall, while Avi continues to look after Hanan (bottom left).

But one of the bad guy reinforcements in the field north of The Orchard (top right) spots Abel (far left) as he gets to the north wall, and fires...

Despite rounds hitting mere inches from his face, Abel (bottom center) raises his Mauser and returns fire, pinning his target.

Suddenly acutely aware the Jordanians might have soldiers sheltering on the other side of the wall, Abel tosses a Czechoslovakian-made fragmentation grenade over (blue bead)...

Which claims the life of another enemy soldier.

With Abel doing his thing at top left, the center enemy Bren gun team (bottom right) continues firing on Avi and Hanan (top center left)...

As enemy tracers zip by harmlessly, Avi (bottom center) leans holds his Sten above the wall sprays blindly, missing too.  The three enemy soldiers in in the field north of The Orchard (top) prepare themselves...

They rise to their feet and charge through the smoke of Abel's grenade.  A fierce melee breaks out at the north wall...

Abel takes one enemy soldier down, but then succumbs to the two remaining Jordanians.

But as the Jordanians hop the wall and move into the citrus trees (left), Avi (bottom right) spots them and opens up at point blank range with his Sten, knocking one enemy soldier down!

With hellfire brewing in The Orchard (top center right), the enemy's right-hand Bren team (bottom left) continues its fire on the Jewish right flank, targeting Sagi (top left).

The young man, not yet 20 years old, falls in the street, with Hiram knocked down at bottom left and Davi suppressed at top right.  Things are looking bad on the Jewish right, though the enemy doesn't have the manpower available to exploit the situation.

Back on the left, a pinned Jordanian on the west slope of Cemetery Hill (bottom left) leans right and fires on Eli (right)...

The tough, young figher dives forward, sheltering in the lee of the southern slope, suppressed.

Seeing the Jew roll forward, either dead or suppressed (red bead at center), another Jordanian creeps forward to finish Eli off, but as he pops through the trees he comes face to face with Ephraim, and the former Palmach commando levels his Sten and cuts loose...

Forcing the Arab back into cover (red bead at center, from explosion at bottom center left).  The Jordanians have had two riflemen knocked down on Cemetery Hill (white beads at far right and top center) for quite some time, but have been unable to reach them to attempt to get them back in the fight.

Ephraim moves up to Eli at the base of the hill, to rally him...

But courage is capital, and Eli had spent quite a bit of it earlier in the fight, standing in the street, slugging it out toe to toe with the Jordanians.  Clearly shaken, the 18-year old falls back across the street (red bead at bottom right, from top center left).

Nonplussed, Ephraim keeps his Sten going, this time targeting a Jordanian on the west slope of Cemetery Hill (top left)...

Driving him back, suppressed (red bead at left, from explosion at bottom right).

Aside from Ephraim, the remainder of the Jewish left wing is in bad shape and needs to be rallied.  With the hardened former Palmach fighter laying it down at top center, Adriel the Butcher climbs up to the roof to check on Gabriel, and the former British truck driver is back in the fight!  Having taken a breather, able to clear his mind and again focus on the mission, Eli is back in the fight as well (bottom right).

On the far left, Aram (bottom center) is also able to rally himself back into the fight.

And the right isn't any better!  Abel is down in The Orchard and Sag lies in the street, while Hanan and Hiram are knocked down (white beads), and Davi is suppressed (red bead).  Avi checks Hanan (bottom left), an the former British Army clerk is finally revived and ready to fight.  Davi (top right) starts to think about getting back in the fight...

But the Bolshevoi thinks better of it, figures he needs a change of scenery, so he falls straight back, hugging the building, then hops the wall, still suppressed.

But as Hanan comes to (still has the white bead on him) Avi spots more movement in The Orchard.  "Dammit, I thought I'd cleared you out of there!"  Avi's submachine gun spits death...

And another Jordanian falls in The Orchard, next to Abel and a knocked down comrade.

On Cemetery Hill the Jordanians have two knocked down soldiers and two suppressed soldiers.  Nothing to be done about the knocked down troops for the time being, but the two suppressed men self rally themselves back into the fight.

Which represents a major setback for the Jews, as there were four men laying up there on the hill, ripe for the taking, but just couldn't get there...

And to add salt to the wound, more Jordanian reinforcements arrive, three on each side of the north-south running road dissecting the battlefield.

As luck would have it (and it was luck, I rolled to see where the Jordanian reinforcements would come on the table), Gabriel (bottom center left, with Adriel) had just gotten back into the fight after being knocked down.  He spots the enemy troops: "more Arabs on the way Avi, north of The Orchard!"  Gabriel then began banging away with his Lee-Enfield...

Knocking a rifleman down (white bead) and forcing a Bren gunner to fall back (red bead)!

And with that, Eli (bottom center) tossed away the plum he was snacking on, raised his Sten, and opened up on the enemy troops north of The Orchard, dropping one.

Before climbing on the roof of Dor Peleg's house (the leader of 3rd Platoon).

But doing so brought Eli (top left) into the field of fire of the enemy's center Bren team (bottom right).  They quickly shifted fire off Avi and onto Eli...

Eli threw himself down on the roof of Dor's house (bottom left), while Hanan (far right) popped his head over the wall at The Orchard and delivered some accurate rifle fire on the Bren (top center right)...

Killing the gunner (bottom left)!

Yeah, I ran out of Modern USMC casualties and now am using VC casualty figures.

With Hanan (bottom center) cracking away with his Mauser, Avi pops up (just right of Hanan): "Boys, we've got more enemy reinforcements, north of the hill!"  His drew his Sten up to eye level and began firing on them (top left)...

The inaccurate Sten fire managed to pin a Bren gunner (bottom left), but a Jordanian rifleman nearby returned Avi's fire (top right)...

Suppressing the Company commander (red bead at bottom left).  Davi (top right) tries to get his mind right...

But with that damned Bren on the far right (off camera to top center right) still barking rounds out, and nothing of comrades but those lying motionless on the ground nearby, he falls back again, crossing the street and hunkering behind another house (from top center).

On the roof with Gabriel (bottom right), Adriel the Butcher sights in on one of the freshly rallied Jordanian riflemen on the backside of Cemetery Hill (top center)...

Dropping the enemy soldier (bottom left)!

On the far left flank, Aram scales up onto the roof of the garage...

But he (top right) was unaware the Jordanians had troops north of Cemetery Hill, one of whom raised his Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle and fired on the kid...

Forcing him right back down to ground level. 

Dammit!  My attempts to get someone on the left flank just have not worked out; I should have sent more than just Aram, but without Danny's leadership they've been a bit disorganized, and certainly more focused on assisting each other than pushing forward.  Additionally, that's four times this game where the enemy has 'fired' with 1D6 and scored on one of my troops.  A bit frustrating to be sure, but c'est la guerre. 

Let's try it again.

As Aram is falling back (bottom left), Ephraim (top right) is pushing forward.  Hardened by years of fighting in and around Jerusalem, he is perhaps a bit too aggressive, a bit too sure of himself...

As he crests the hill he is sky-lined (top left), presenting a perfect target for a previously hidden Jordanian soldier (bottom center).  The sharp crack of a Lee-Enfield rifle rings out...

Close enough to hole Ephraim's hat!  He falls back down the hill a bit, suppressed, but still very vulnerable to enemy action.

North of Cemetery Hill, the pinned Bren gunner (yellow bead at bottom right) gets his gun into action, pouring fire into Avi and Hanan's position (top left).

The Bren (bottom left) suppresses Hanan (top right), and his assistant joins the fun, as their third man dashes across the field, ending just short of the hill (center bottom, just below the tree and bush).  If the Jordanians can get him up the hill he can work on getting their knocked down men back in the fight, potentially adding two more guns to the fight.

On the Jews' far right, the enemy Bren their (bottom right) keeps up its fire on Davi (top left), keeping him suppressed.

In the center, the suppressed enemy Bren at top right (red bead) self rallies, and at bottom left the assistant gunner crawls over and mans the gun.

And things heat up again on Cemetery Hill: with Ephraim suppressed (red bead at top left), a bold Jordanian moves up to find him and finish him off (top center, from center)...

Gabriel (bottom center, next to Adriel) spots the Arab and fires his rifle, cycling the bolt as fast as he can...

Putting three rounds into the enemy rifleman and saving Ephraim!

In the center, Eli (bottom left) pops his head up, sights in on the Jordanians north of The Orchard (top center), and cuts loose with his Sten...

Dropping a Bren gunner!

But the Jewish right is near collapse: at left we have Avi and Hanan suppressed, with Davi suppressed at far right.  Hiram is still alive, but knocked down at center (you can just see his head poling above the corner of the bottom center building.  The good news is that Avi, Hanan, and Davi all manage to rally; the bad news is, anyone going out to help Hiram or moving into The Orchard is pretty much courting a death sentence due to the enemy Bren just off camera to top center right.

The left isn't looking so hot either: while Aram (bottom left) and Adriel (far right) manage to self rally, Ephraim (top center) decides he's probably pushed a bit too far...

So he falls back across the road (bottom right, from top center).  But now Gabriel (atop building at left) is feeling a bit froggy...

The former British truck driver hops down off the roof, sprints across the road, and up Cemetery Hill (top center).

The enemy's center Bren (on road at bottom center), without an assistant, sights in on Eli (top left) and fires, missing, while the assistant gunner at right moves over and helps his gunner shake off the effects of being pinned.

Though this movement (top left) draws Avi's (bottom right) attention; he sends more 9mm rounds their way...

But the enemy team (bottom left) remains calm and returns fire, suppressing Hanan (top right).

The enemy's right-hand Bren (bottom right) continues its fire on Davi (behind building at top left), to no effect.

And on Cemetery Hill, a Jordanian rifleman moves up the north slope, checking one of his knocked down comrades (far left), but he's still unconscious.

With Hanan curled into a fetal position at his feet, Avi (bottom right) slaps a new magazine into his Sten and braves the incoming machine gun fire.  He sights in on the enemy gunner (top left) and squeezes the trigger...

Knocking the gunner down (white bead) and forcing the assistant to fall back (red bead).  Avi then turns and gives Hanan a good, swift kick in the rear, and the former British clerk snaps out of it, picking his rifle up and chambering a round.

From up on top of Dor's house (bottom left), Eli sights in and tries to knock out the enemy Bren gunner in the street (top center)...

But he (top left) misses, and the Jordanian turns the gun on him...

Driving him off the rooftop, where he joins Ephraim, who's quietly smoking a cigarette and reviewing his tactical options.

Now back in the fight, Hanan (bottom center, with Avi) sights in on the Jordanian trying to revive his knocked down buddy on the north side of Cemetery Hill (center top left)...

The enemy soldier is knocked down (top center, falling next to his comrade)!  The Jordanian Bren in the center (bottom center) turns his gun from Eli (off camera to top center left) to Hanan (just off camera to far left) and fires, though he misses.

And now perhaps Gabriel's bold move will pay off: if you recall, he'd just hopped down off the roof and dashed up Cemetery Hill (bottom left).  Now he picks his way forward through the trees, lining up a shot on the enemy's far-right Bren team (top right), which so far had been unassailable, and tearing up the Jewish right wing.

But Gabriel's (top left) aim is a bit off, and the opportunity is gone: Gabriel's fire pins the Bren's assistant (yellow bead at bottom right), but the gunner quickly turns the gun and rips off a long burst...

Driving Gabriel back down the south slope (red bead at bottom center, from explosion at center).

In the center, Adriel hops down, giving up his great firing position (building at left) to move over and help rally his two suppressed comrades, Ephraim and Eli.  Eli only gets back up to 'pinned.'

But Ephraim climbs up on Dor's house, taking Eli's former position (center bottom), and opens fire on the enemy's center Bren (top center, on the road), knocking down the gunner!

Trying to seize the initiative, on the far left, the youngster Aram leaves the cover of the garage (bottom left) and dashes forward (center left), looking to isolate Cemetery Hill.

And on the right, with the enemy's far-right Bren (off camera to top) distracted by Gabriel on Cemetery Hill, Davi is able to sprint out of cover up to Hiram (center), and check on him.  After quite some time, Hiram is back on his feet!

At which point the three Jordanians still able to move decide to haul ass outta here!

Leaving behind a whopping seven soldiers knocked down (white beads at far left, top center, top right, in The Orchard, and three on Cemetery Hill!  Three would turn out to be killed in action, bringing the number of enemy dead to 19, and four wounded and captured.

Avi looked at his watch; not yet even an hour had passed since the beginning of the fight.  But the men of 2nd Platoon were exhausted; Danny, Binyamin, Abel, and Sagi are down and need to be treated as a first priority.  Additionally, water and ammunition are depleted, and while the Arabs have fallen back, they have a seemingly endless supply of men and munitions, and they'll be back. Avi needs to fall back 2nd Platoon to have them tend their wounded, regroup, and restock, and he wants 3rd Platoon to take their place in the line, but, as it turns out, the Jordanians have struck in the south, and thus Dov had to commit his men there. 

Avi himself climbed Cemetery Hill to find Danny, finding him among the trees and brush, and upon kneeling down he immediately murmured a prayer of thankfulness.  "Danny, you are not going to be happy when you wake up, but the good news is, you're going to wake up."  Avi splashed a little water from his canteen on Danny's face, then began rubbing and gently slapping him.  Danny came to with a start; "what the hell happened?"  "Well, my friend, from the looks of it, you caught a Jordanian rifle butt in the face."  "Oww...  I think he broke my jaw!  Wait; how are my men?"  "Come on Danny, let's check."

Three more Jewish fighters were down:
Binyamin Lipz: Shot while moving up Cemetery Hill to assist Danny Tzur, the Latvian was hit twice in the chest.  Evacuated to the hospital in Tel Aviv, it took multiple surgeries to save his life, and many more to return him to his some semblance of a normal life. 

Abel Dori: The village pharmacist bravely charged into The Orchard, where he killed three enemies amongst the citrus trees before falling close combat.  The enemy hacked and clubbed at him with rifle butt and bayonet, nearly costing him his life, but ultimately leaving him near blind and without the use of his right arm.  He, too, was evacuated to the hospital in Tel Aviv, returning to Mar Gush after the war.

Sagi Shamron: The teenager was part of the unit attempting to seal the right flank, hit by an enemy machine gun while crossing the street near The Orchard.  The bullet passed straight through Sagi's bicep without striking bone, so he will be laid up for a couple weeks but should re-join the company barring any complications or infection.

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.



  1. Wonderfully detailed game and story. Enjoyed it!

    1. Thank you Sir, I appreciate the kind words, and I'm glad you enjoyed the batrep.


  2. Great report, Jack. I like the phrase "They rise to their feet and charge through the smoke of Abel's grenade" - sounds like it's strait put of the Old Testament!

    1. Thanks Alan, glad you liked it. Though I don't remember any grenades in the Old Testament! ;)

      I'm working on the next two batreps right now.


  3. This is fantastic - always a theater that has interested me, although if I were to game it I'd look at either the Six-Day or Yom Kippur War. I'm very interested to see how you handle the War of Independence as it's not a period I've seen gamed before. If you want to do some deep background on the geo-politics of the region I can't recommend 'A Line in the Sand' by James Barr highly enough.

    1. Gareth,

      Thank you so much for the enthusiastic endorsement, I appreciate it! And don't worry, I'll be working through the War of Independence to the Suez War, The Six Day War, The Yom Kippur War, and at least up to The Lebanon War, if not beyond.

      I'll have to look and see if I can find "A Line in the Sand" also, thanks!


    2. Last year I worked with some middle aged Palestinians, who came to Britain on Romanian passports. One of them had very good English and he in no uncertain terms blamed us Brits for the state of his nation. He was quite surprised when I started talking about the Balfour Declaration and then 1948 termination of the Mandate. I think we Brits were in a fairly unenviable position in '48 ('a rock and a hard place' springs to mind!) and the Labour government at the time didn't exactly excel at foreign affairs (from September 1946 Attlee government allowed incredulous Soviets - Stalin was amazed! - to purchase eighty Rolls-Royce RB.41 Nene turbojet engines, which were reverse-engineered to create the MiG-15. You guys sure thanked us for that in the skies above North Korea!).

    3. As you mentioned, the birth of Israel is quite complicated ;)


  4. No grenades in ToTest, but IIRC, they had the Ark of the Covenant ! 8-O