After Action

North Africa

A Social Event:

18 players showed up on a fine October morning. They all were in good spirits and were eager to get on to gaming. I must say everyone had a good time and all conducted themselves with integrity and good humor. I believe it was a success as a social club event.

The Players:

The British were commanded by Mark Decoteau , armored division commander was Dave Bostwick, infantry division commander was Bob Ouellette. The various British Bn. Commanders were

Don Miller, Leo Murphy, A.J., Mike Buck, Dave Mesquita , Bob Rogers and Peter Sablock.

The Axis were commanded by Billy DiGillio, Infantry group commander was Byron Champlin, German armored group commander was Ralph Gero, and Italian armored group commander was Phil Hammond. The various Axis Bn. Commanders were Mike Coppinger, Robert Rousse, George Zanni, Steve Lowell, Mike Bailey,Kevin Kane and Mike Griffin.

The e-mail campaign:

Two weeks previous to the October event I ran an e-mail campaign. The various group commanders or divisional commanders gave orders to their battalions. Then the fun began.

The Axis chose to advance on Benghazi with all their infantry. Part of their German armor move to the East to encircle Benghazi. They sent the Italian armor towards Mechilli. All the forces followed either roads or tracks.

The British Infantry was located South of Benghazi. The British armor and motorized infantry were stretched from Charubba to Tmimi.

The British infantry division moved North to defend Benghazi. The British armored circled around Mechilli to defend. A British armored Bn. and a motorized infantry Bn. advanced towards the pass at El Abiar.

There were various times when opposing forces saw each other and almost ran into each other. I set up thje tables in response to these encounters. I must say, some of you were shaken by these encounters, but all of you followed through on your orders.

The campaign:

Even though the rules were somewhat complex, most players got the hang of them and play ran smoothly. There were 10 tables spread out about the room. They were not connected and placed in random order.

The day started very promising for the Axis players. They had all but cut off Benghazi , El Abiar was occupied by the German recon battalion and Italian armor was bearing down on Mechilli with initial numerical superiority.

The British infantry commands were able to entrench around Benghazi and their light armored bn. was just barley keeping the road out of Benghazi open. British armor and 1 motorized bn was located at Mechilli. There was 1 motorized bn. racing from Tmimi to join the other forces at Mechilli.

A British armored Bn. and a motorized bn. headed towards El Abiar in an attempt to relieve Benghazi.

The battle for Benghazi lasted all day. The British held on and made it very difficult for the Italians. The initial position of the Axis forces changed around Benghazi when the German armored was sent to El Abiar to bolster the recon bn. The battle for El Abiar ended with a German victory which forced the British back to Charubba. There was another battle at Charubba with the Germans out flanking the British positions. The British were forced away from Mechilli. The German armor was free to advance on Mechilli in support of the Italian armor. They were having a hard time with the British at Mechilli. One by one the Italian battalions were driven back. It was too late for the main German armor formation along with the recon battalion to support the Italian attack on Mechilli. Although there was a small German armored formation with infantry support that was able to reach Mechilli in time to support the attack. However it was to little to late. The Germans were able to drive off the British armor, but was not strong enough to take Mechilli.

Meanwhile the German armor and recon battalion flushed with victory at Charubba decided to race across the desert in the hopes of cutting off the supply to the British by taking Derna. The Germans were able to get to Derna before the majority of the British forces could get there. The only force standing between the Germans and Derna was the Headquarters battalion. This was a small collection of infantry and tanks. Significantly outnumbered by the German formations.

While the German armor engaged the HQ battalion, the German recon battalion slipped into Derna, this forced the British to evacuate Benghazi and Mechilli. It seemed that the Axis might win. However a well placed air sortie and British reinforcements forced the Germans out of Derna, thus pulling victory out of the jaws of defeat.

It ended up being a British minor victory, with the Axis holding Mechilli and Benghazi. However the gateway to Tobruk, Derna was held by the British.

Comments:

I think it went very well. I want to thank all the participants for treating my figures well. Not one was damaged. The movement from table to table and the replacement mechanism worked very well and was responsible for the campaignís success.

There were some failures. Too much smoke and air power. All and all these problems didnít take away from the game as a whole. Iím looking forward to the next one. Itís already in the planning stage.

Gregory Symko

October 2000 Game Day Photos