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.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

War for Independence, Fight #8


AKA, the fourth fight in Operation Nachshon

It is 1430 on 7 April 1948, and the remains of the Company are preparing for the inevitable Arab Liberation Army counterattack.  Operation Nachson has been a real bastard so far, really racking up the casualties: it began yesterday with an attack by 1st Platoon on an Arab machine gun position that was holding up the advance of the Etzioni Brigade's attack on the Arab village of Al-Qastal.  Things got tough when it turned out the Palestinians had a second machine gun covering their flank, which caught 1st Platoon in a crossfire.  Despite this, Avi Peled's combat leadership carried the day, though the 1st Platoon leader, Baruch Eitan, was wounded bad enough that he would spend the rest of the war recovering.  Early this morning, Avi led a second attack, this time on an old Roman Fort; the attack got off to a rough start when three Jewish soldiers, including 2nd Platoon's leader, Danny Tzur, stepped on landmines.  Avi pushed the remainder of the platoon forward, but then he was wounded, with Eli Yadin and Hiram Laskov stepping up to take the objective.  And then a few hours ago Haganah High Command tasked the Company to assault into Al-Qastal and take the Arab Liberation Army's headquarters.  Dor Peleg, the 3rd Platoon commander, led his troops into the assault, but his plan was probably contained a bit too much tactical finesse.  The left-hand assault element, including Dor himself, was torn apart by enemy machine guns, as was the platoon's base of fire; the attack succeeded purely on the personal bravery of Boaz Efrat.

Once Boaz secured the enemy headquarters building, the remainder of the company, now only twelve men, consolidated in preparation for an enemy counterattack.  With Avi wounded, his friend and former comrade in the Jewish Brigade, Eliyahu Rabat, has assumed command, promoting himself to Lieutenant.  He then put it to the platoon to elect two Sergeants and, in the face of their demonstrated valor, the picks were unanimous: the youngsters, Eli Yadin and Boaz Efrat.  Out of respect for his former Jewish Brigade comrade, the machine gunner, Alon Shahak, was recognized as a Corporal.

In any case, the Company reorganized and prepared its defenses, and it wasn't long before lookouts reported Arab troops approaching from the east and northeast.

Overview of the Arab village of Al-Qastal, north is up.  Not much to say: The Plaza is at center, the Arab Liberation Army headquarters is at top center, and the food storage facility is at far right.  The Jews are defending from the western (left) side of the table, while the Arabs are attacking from the east (right).

Opposing force, with Jews at left and Palestinians at right.  All figures are Peter Pig but one, using WWII French Resistance for the Jews and WWII British 8th Army for the Arabs.  For rules I'm using Ivan's wonderful "Five Men at Kursk," slightly modified.

The entirety of the Jewish Company at this point, from bottom left:

Lt Eliyahu Rabat, age 31, former Sergeant of the Jewish Brigade, Sten
Elijah Davidoff, age 49, a refugee from Czechoslovakia, MP-40
Asaf Horowitz, age 19, a village youngster, Mauser
Dagan Narkiss, age 17, a village youngster, Mauser
Sgt Eli Yadin, age 18, a village youngster, Sten
Daniel Eisentkot, age 51, refugee from Bulgaria, Sten
Sgt Boaz Efrat, age 20, a village youngster, MP-40
Cpl Alon Shahak, age 35, former Jewish Brigade Corporal and Palmach member returned home, MG-34
Aaron Chaplin, age 44, a refugee from Belgium, Sten
Avigdor Galil, age 18, village youngster, Mauser (shot in bicep during Battle of Mar Gush)
Aram Mofaz, age 18, a village youngster, MP-40
Guy Rabin, age 40, village metalsmith, Springfield 03

The Palestinians.  They'll start with a certain number of troops on the table (I don't know how many yet, that's up to the blinds system I use from Joe Legan's "Platoon Forward"), and they may or may not get reinforcements, depending on how the fight is going.

The map, now with troops: you can see the Company spread across the far left side of the board, with outposts in the center and bottom center left buildings, while the Palestinians are advancing all across the far right side of the map.

Looking west to east at the Jewish lines: at bottom left is the machine gun, with troops in the buildings at center, right, bottom center, and bottom right.

At left, Alon mans the MG-34, accompanied by Boaz Efrat and Avigdor Galil.  At bottom right is Aram Mofaz.

With Aram at top left, we've got Eliyahu Rabat, the acting Company Commander, and Guy Rabin, while at top right we have Dagan Narkiss and Aaron Chaplin.

At bottom left we have Asaf Horowitz and Daniel Eisentkot, and at bottom right we have Eli Yadin and Elijah Davidoff.

Looking east to west at the Arab starting positions, with an all-out, straight up, overconfident attack.  Four separate groups on the roads, two of which have Bren teams, and two separate Bren teams.

The northeast corner, where there are two groups on the road (left and right) and a Bren team looking to get atop the building at bottom center.

Looking at the southeast corner, where again we have two groups on the road and a Bren team looking to get up on a building and into position.

And the game is afoot, with Palestinians in the northeast moving west up the road (center).

Alon (bottom left) opens fire on them (top center) with the MG-34...

One Palestinian is knocked down (white bead) and one is forced to fall back, diving over the wall to seek cover, suppressed (far left).  But one rifleman stands tall in the intersection and returns fire...

The rounds hit the thick stone walls, but Boaz (bottom left) opens up with his MP-40...

And a second Palestinian dives for cover behind the wall (bottom right).  More Arabs move up (top center).

In the center, Aram (bottom left), a village youngster, spots them (top right) and opens fire with his MP-40.

But his rounds are all over the place, and the Arabs (bottom right) calmly return fire...

Driving Aram from his perch (red bead at center, with Eliyahu and Guy at bottom left).

This is actually the exact spot where Dor, Abel, and Aaron were shot up by enemy Bren guns...

Further up, another youngster, Dagan Narkiss (bottom left), sights in with his Mauser and fires...

He (top left) drives back one enemy soldier (red bead at far right), but the Bren barks in return.  But Dagan is unfazed; despite being only 17-years old, he is now a veteran of several firefights, accustomed to enemy bullets whizzing around him.

With hell breaking loose on the left (off camera to right), the Palestinians move up in the southeast, on the Jewish right.

But Jewish soldiers await them there, as well.  Eliyahu (bottom left) fires his Sten...

The Bren gunner is forced back (red bead at bottom left) and his assistant is knocked down (white bead at center left), while a rifleman returns Eliyahu's fire (top center).

And the fire is accurate, knocking Eliyahu (bottom left) down!  Guy, the village metalsmith (next to Eliyahu), fires his trusty Springfield.

The enemy soldier that knocked down Eliyahu is forced to fall back, suppressed (bottom left, next to the suppressed Bren), while more Arabs move up (center right), firing.

The young villager, Asaf Horowitz (bottom left), fires his Mauser as fast as he can manipulate the bolt.

The Jews aren't actually hitting anyone, but they sure as hell are suppressing a lot of Arabs!  Another enemy rifleman is forced back (bottom right).

Return fire sings by, harmlessly, as the old Bulgarian, Daniel (bottom center), raises his Sten and gets in on the action.

Another Arab falls back (top center) as the brave new Sergeant, Eli (bottom center, with the Czech, Elijah Davidoff, adds the weight of his Sten's fire to the growing battle.

Eli's fire puts down one enemy soldier (top left), and forces a previously suppressed Arab to fall back again (bottom right)!

In the northeast, an Arab Bren team climbs up on the roof and gets their gun ready for action (bottom left).

And the same occurs in the southeast (bottom center).

But in the center, the old Belgian, Aaron Chaplin (bottom left) spots the southeast team (top right) and fires his Sten, pinning the gunner and his assistant.

With Aaron just below him, the youngster, Dagan (bottom left), adjusts his shooting stance and engages the northeastern Bren team (top right) with his Mauser.

Forcing the gunner's assistant to fall back (bottom center, red bead).

With Dagan banging away at the northeastern Bren team (off camera to top left), Aaron (bottom left) slaps a fresh magazine into his Sten and continues pouring fire into the southeastern Bren team (top right)...

The assistant stays pinned (bottom center), but the gunner is forced to fall back, suppressed (bottom right).

With Dagan and Aaron kicking ass (far left), Guy (bottom left) calmly reloads his Springfield and engages the southeastern Bren team (top right), putting the gunner's assistant out of the fight.

Guy then moves over to check his knocked down boss, Eliyahu (white bead): he's good, back in the fight, as is Aram (red bead), who self rallied.

Alon, the machine gunner (bottom center), scans for targets, but there are so many Arabs sheltering, suppressed, he's having a hard time.  So he levels his MG-34 at a section of wall (top center) he saw two Palestinians dive behind and cuts loose...

Forcing one of the suppressed Arabs to fall back (center bottom, from around the corner of the building).

Avigdor, his blood up, wants to get in the fight, so he leaves the machine gun position (top left) and moves east up the street (center right).

But the enemy Bren gun in the northeast (bottom right) is still in the fight!  The gunner spots the youngster (top center) and opens fire.

The machine gun rounds stitch a pattern in the dirt road, but Avigdor (bottom left) calmly sights in with his Mauser and returns fire, dropping the enemy gunner!

The other new Sergeant, Boaz Efrat, decides Avigdor (center left) has the right idea, so he dashes downstairs as well (far left), firing his MP-40 as he goes...

Forcing another suppressed Arab to fall back (bottom center, from around corner)!

On the right, Asaf (bottom left) fires on suppressed Arabs (top center)...

Keeping them pinned (top center), as Daniel moves up (bottom left), firing from the hip.

Forcing another Arab back!  There's quite a collection of Palestinians chilling out on the back side of the food storage facility!

Elijah, the Czech refugee, creeps forward and peers around the corner (center), with Eli looking on (bottom left).  "Elijah, how is it?"  "It looks clear, Sergeant, come see for yourself."  "Don't be a wise-ass, Elijah.  Watch this!"  And with that, Eli darted through the door and sprinted east, up the street!

Eli suddenly finds himself face to face with two suppressed Palestinians!

No problem for the young Sergeant!  He continues east, searching for my Arabs...

But as he's crossing the street (top left), an enemy Bren gunner in the northeast (bottom right) spots him and fires!

Eli (bottom left) stands tall, returning fire (top center)!

Eli's bullets knock the gunner to the ground (left) and pin his assistant (yellow bead)!

Not wanting to press his luck, Eli decides he'd better get his young ass out of the street!  He dashes east (right)...

Where he promptly runs into the enemy's southeastern Bren gunner, driven off the building by fire from Aaron Chaplin!

Eli finishes him off (bottom center), then hauls himself up on the roof of a nearby building to scope things out.  And what do you think he saw?

Wow...  Eli (bottom left) finds himself staring at four Palestinians cowering from Jewish fire behind the food storage facility!  A village youngster, having spent his entire life in Mar Gush, Eli speaks fluent Arabic: he fires a burst from his Sten above their heads, showering them with stone fragments from the building, to get their attention.  "Drop your weapons and walk this way, slowly!"

The enemy soldiers quickly threw away their weapons and moved his way.

Eli shepherds the Arabs west, back towards Jewish lines.

He (top right) hands them off to Elijah (bottom left).

And the Jews march their prisoners to the rear, with the old Bulgarian, Daniel, marching them to Yitzhak Rabin's men.

But the fight for Al-Qastal is not finished.  The Jews rally as Eli comes back, reporting to the commander, Eliyahu.

Eli reports there are still Arabs in the northeast, busily fortifying and reinforcing a home between their former headquarters (left) and the food storage facility (off camera to bottom right).  Eliyahu responds: "you're right!  Men, prepare for a counterattack, we must eject the Arabs from Al-Qastal!"

Which is the next fight, of course.  This fight went swimmingly, with Eli Yadin indeed proving quite the firecracker.  I was sure he was dead meat after he whacked the first two guys in close combat and then moved into the street, where the Bren in the northeast had him dead to rights but missed!  The Arabs suffered mightily: nine men killed and another four captured, while the Jews were quite fortunate in that no one was hurt.  That would not be the case in their counterattack...



  1. Again a great job ! Wonderful models, terrain, etc. And another win for the Jewish forces !

  2. It is always good to have a fight that goes like this. It is good for the heart pressure anyway! It is one of those where it all seems to go right. I have a felling you may be like me, you enjoy the tense games when it seems all over the place but good to have a break and a game that is less chaotic.

    1. Shaun,

      Yeah, this was a bit of a stress reliever ;)

      And I'm with you: nothing is better than a close fought battle, the issue is in doubt to the last moment, and victory only comes through someone's Herculean effort, or defeat with an incredible last ditch stand/effort.

      Hope all is well.


  3. Seems these '48 battles/games shows what generally occurred. The Israelis in most cases "bested" the Arab forces. And the trend generally continues to this day ...