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Author Topic: New Blog on Arab-Israeli Wars  (Read 2884 times)
bigjackmac
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« Reply #45 on: 10 July 2017, 03:29:15 PM »

All,

AKA, the third fight in Operation Nachshon

It is 1100 on 7 April 1948, and Dor Peleg's 3rd Platoon is attacking south to north on the eastern end of the Arab village of Al-Qastal, its objective: the Arab Liberation Army headquarters in the village.  This attack is in support of the Etzioni Brigade's attack, which has bogged down in the west end of the village.  2nd Platoon had just taken the old Roman Fort south of the village, but casualties have been so bad that 1st and 2nd Platoons have been combined, and they are manning defensive positions there while 3rd Platoon assaults into Al-Qastal from the south.


Overview of the eastern end of the village of Al-Qastal, north is up.  Lots of dwellings and shops made of stone, numerous stone walls, the Jews will attack from the south, and their objective is the Arab Liberation Army headquarters, which is the building at top center. 

You can see Palestinian Arabs spread across the top of the map, occupying the HQ (top center) and the buildings to its left and right.  3rd Platoon is spread across the bottom: Dor has a certain tactical flair.  If you recall, his platoon fought in the south of Mar Gush, where he split his forces in the face of an attack by superior numbers, leaving several men to occupy a trenchline while he led the remainder on a 'right hook' to flank the enemy attack.  It worked then, and now he's trying an equally risky plan: he has placed his machine gun team in the center, but then he decided on having two small (three men each) enveloping elements (bottom left and bottom right), rather than a more traditional, and more tactically sound, single enveloping element of six men.  Aside from the fact they are more of assault elements than enveloping elements as the enemy's front is too broad to be flanked (due to tactical considerations: friendly fire to the left as the Etzioni Brigade is there, and not wanting to have an exposed flank as the edge of the village is just off table to right).  We'll see how this goes...


The platoon commander, Dor Peleg, spots an enemy soldier dashing across the road to help a comrade.  Dor sights in with his Lee-Enfield, and fires.  To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
http://swordofgideonwargaming.blogspot.com/2017/07/war-for-independence-fight-7.html

The remaining Jews of the company quickly consolidated their positions in the village of Al-Qasat; lack of manpower dictated they abandon their positions at the old Roman Fort, though they sent messengers to inform the local Palmach commander, Yitzhak Rabin, of the situation, and he was able to spare some troops to cover the southern flank, though he was unable to spare any troops to reinforce the company, now whittled down to a nub and expecting an Arab counterattack to re-take their headquarters.  Which arrived mere hours later.

V/R,
Jack
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mad lemmey
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« Reply #46 on: 10 July 2017, 04:05:31 PM »

Thought they weren't going to make it, blimey, that was close!
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« Reply #47 on: 10 July 2017, 05:38:05 PM »

Anther great report....I'll have to come back...as I've had to rush through it, so quickly
Time to go and feed the MIL.  Roll eyes

Cheers - Phil  Smiley
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bigjackmac
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« Reply #48 on: 11 July 2017, 08:51:04 PM »

Thanks fellers, next fight coming right up!

V/R,
Jack
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bigjackmac
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« Reply #49 on: 11 July 2017, 08:52:21 PM »

All,

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).  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.


The newly promoted Sergeant, the 18-year old Eli Yadin, goes on a rampage!  To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
http://swordofgideonwargaming.blogspot.com/2017/07/war-for-independence-fight-8.html

There are still Arabs in the northeast, busily fortifying and reinforcing a home between their former headquarters and the food storage facility.  Eliyahu responds: "Men, prepare for a counterattack, we must eject the Arabs from Al-Qastal!"  Which is the next fight, of course.  

V/R,
Jack
« Last Edit: 11 July 2017, 09:04:58 PM by bigjackmac » Logged
mad lemmey
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« Reply #50 on: 11 July 2017, 08:58:06 PM »

Getting a busted link on this one Jack.  Cry
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Chekov's Gun, Occam's Razor, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle walk into a bar. You won't believe what happens next!

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bigjackmac
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« Reply #51 on: 11 July 2017, 09:05:26 PM »

Thanks Lemmey, it's fixed.

V/R,
Jack
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bigjackmac
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« Reply #52 on: 17 July 2017, 07:22:04 PM »

All,

AKA, the fifth and final fight in Operation Nachshon

It is 1530 on 7 April 1948, and the Company is preparing a counterattack.  It's been quite an eventful couple of days: Operation Nachshon 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.

Eliyahu Rabat assumed command of the Company and organized a defense, west of the Arab Liberation Army's headquarters building.  The enemy came in strength, but they were channelized by the narrow village streets and the Jews were able to bludgeon them with small arms fire.  With practically the entire enemy force suppressed by Jewish fire, Sergeant Eli Yadin charged into close combat and practically single-handedly broke the back of the Arab counterattack, personally killing four enemy soldiers and capturing another four.

But the enemy is holding onto a position in the northeast, and Lt Rabat has determined it is up to his men to eject the Arabs from the east end of the village.


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 attacking in the center, west (left) and south (bottom) of The Plaza, against the Arab strongpoint in the northeast (top right), which is a home they are hurriedly fortifying and reinforcing.  The Jews are again being a bit careless about concentration of force, yet there's not much tactical finesse as the plan essentially to have the machine gun team (bottom center right) engage the Arabs (top right) while one assault element charges up the street on the left (left center) and the other charges up the street on the right (center bottom). 

I guess this is what happens when your Company Commander and all three Platoon Commanders are recuperating from their wounds...


Dor's assault, some might say predictably, is not going well.  To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
http://swordofgideonwargaming.blogspot.com/2017/07/war-for-independence-fight-9.html

Operation Nachshon continued for another week, succeeding in temporarily opening the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road, allowing several convoys to reach the Jewish Quarter.  But it wasn't enough, and Arab forces soon blocked the road again, this time further east on some dominating heights near the village of Bab El-Wad.  In Al-Qastal, the village changed hands multiple times, and the Arab Liberation Army local commander, Abd Al-Qadr Al-Husayni, was killed.  The Palestinians retook the village in order to recover Al-Husayni's body, but then withdrew for several days in order to grieve their fallen commander.  Following this the Arabs returned to Al-Qastal in force; the Jews withdrew from the village without a fight, but leveled every structure before leaving. 

The re-closing of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road was a pressing issue, and once again Haganah leadership began drawing up plans for another offensive to re-open the road, christened Operation Harel.  As part of this process, and in the process of better organizing the Jewish forces, on 16 April 1948 a new unit was created, the 10th Brigade, AKA, the "Harel Brigade."  The Harel Brigade was comprised of four Palmach Battalions and commanded by Yitzhak Rabin.  The Company made quite a name for itself in the Battle for Mar Gush and in Operation Nachshon, and so when the Harel Brigade was formed, Yitzhak Rabin himself asked Avi Peled if he would join them.  Of course Avi agreed, and so that day Avi's men became part of Company A, 4th Battalion.  And the men became a part of Company D because part of becoming a 'real' infantry unit was understanding their numbers placed them at the platoon level, not the company level; this also meant that some of the promotions were going to have to be walked back, in order to conform to the brigade's table of organization.  That is, the men became 1st Platoon, Company A, 4th Battalion, 10th ("Harel") Brigade, and "Captain" Avi Peled would soon become Lieutenant Avi Peled.

As part of Operation Harel, the Harel Brigade, of course, would be leading the way.  It was set to begin that same day, 16 April 1948, but of course 1st Plt, D Co, 1st Bn was not ready due to casualties.  Their Company commander, Rafael Eitan, sat them out of the beginning of the operation to convalesce and absorb some replacements.  But very soon Avi would be leading 1st Platoon into action as part of Operation Harel.

V/R,
Jack
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mad lemmey
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« Reply #53 on: 17 July 2017, 07:49:25 PM »

Nice report to finish this series Jack.
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« Reply #54 on: 18 July 2017, 07:18:09 AM »

Hear, hear.

Cheers - Phil
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bigjackmac
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« Reply #55 on: 18 July 2017, 08:49:13 PM »

Thanks guys!

These troops get a little bit of a break to rest and re-fit, but don't worry, there's still a long way to go in the War for Independence.

But next we're heading back to Cuba Libre for a bit, where things are heating up in South Leon.  We'll be following a Cuban paratrooper company through a series of fights in a city just east of the capital of Pendrakenville, where a homegrown insurgency is being bolstered by Commies from FSNL.  I'm using the old Ambush Alley rules, so stay tuned, should have the first one posted on Thursday.

V/R,
Jack
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Womble67
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« Reply #56 on: 18 July 2017, 10:13:56 PM »

Yeah good report

Take care

Andy
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bigjackmac
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« Reply #57 on: 18 July 2017, 11:22:02 PM »

I appreciate it Andy, glad you liked it.

V/R,
Jack
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« Reply #58 on: 19 July 2017, 02:46:05 AM »

But next we're heading back to Cuba Libre for a bit, where things are heating up in South Leon.  We'll be following a Cuban paratrooper company through a series of fights in a city just east of the capital of Pendrakenville, where a homegrown insurgency is being bolstered by Commies from FSNL.  I'm using the old Ambush Alley rules, so stay tuned, should have the first one posted on Thursday.

Sounds good!

 Cool
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