US Support Teams take up positions in Chain of Command Wargame

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


(With apologies to Bill Rutherford & John Lewis)

Needing a last minute scenario for 4 people, Jack Breen chose to do a version of "Roadblock on Highway 120" from “Hit The Dirt”©. At the moment we have mostly Korean War troops so the action was moved to Korea, 1950 and some changes made because of limitations in vehicles and terrain.

The Americans received 2 Sherman tanks and the N. Koreans received a T34-85 and an extra 81mm mortar rather than the 65mm IG Gun and the 2 Semoventi L40s of the original scenario.

The map does not show the last foot north of the river as no action took place there. There were some changes in terrain with the orchards being replaced by woods and some other woods of the original being left out or moved somewhat. In general, I believe that for all practical purposes the scenario we played was near as can be to the original.
Dick Bryant (yours truly) commanded the NKPA defense as Major Lo Funk and decided to defend forward with the roadblock well in advance of the bridge with the T-34 “hull down” behind it.. Two platoons defended either flank of the road block with barbed wire set so that the enemy could only attack around the extreme flanks. The time it would take to come that far would give us time to withdraw across the bridge if necessary. The NKPA 2 HMGs protected the approaches to the bridge as well as the extreme flanks described above. Our left had less terrain to hide an advance by the enemy on that side so we stationed the reserve near the bridge on the right where they could counter  the stronger US attack  expected from that side. Cpt. Nomo Luk (Dick Messier) was in command of the right and the reserves.
Finally, in a genius moment, Major Funk hid a sniper in a house well in advance of the main lines to await targets of opportunity- and what an opportunity there was!

The Americans advanced cautiously from their right occupying a field, some woods and a small bldg. (NOTE: on the map the solid arrowed lines show the first moves of the units, the dotted lines show subsequent moves). The NKPA 1/306 pinned the US in the field and eventually took out their HMG. They did get an observer into the bldg, however which was out of the LOS of the NKPA forces. Next a bold attack down the highway by a Sherman tank section led by Lt. Vyle Habet (Rich Bryant- the 2nd of 3 of us!) ran afoul of the T34 and was flamed on the first shot. The NKPA was winning the initiative battle and the clock was advancing quickly  - at 20minutes for every 4,5, or 6 on the die after an NKPA initiative loss, we were already 1 hr and 40 minutes into the 3 hour game when Lt Habet tried an end around to the NKPA right with his 2nd tank, alas with the same result.

One down, one to go

The U.S. decided they must push hard and Cpt “crawl ahead” Dick (Dick White) whose brother, “Iron Bottom” Dick’s naval exploits have dotted these pages. – advanced Company D on the right, using “recon by fire” BUT never discovering the hidden sniper!

2nd US tank down - NKPA reserves move up on right

Having essentially lost one platoon the rest of Company F under Capt. Bud Tocks (Rick Bryant – the 3rd of 3 of us) advanced cautiously along the west side of the road. Now Company F’s mortar was down to its last round or two so they had high hopes for Company D’s mortar to provide smoke to cover the advance up the right flank of the NKPA! (The smoke seen in the center of the photo above is NKPA smoke used to screen an observer and rifle squad move to the right copse of woods and a better position to contend with the move by the US Company D). 1/D advanced cautiously, leapfrogging from wood to wood, dragging the last observer with them. But they did not anticipate Capt. Lo Funks sniper! Co. Ds observer crept  into the open between the copses of woods –A SNIPER SHOT with the target in the open – 3 d6; …6,6,5 DEAD! and the U.S. had lost the use of their last mortar!

Cpt. Nomo Luk  advanced the NKPA reserve (3/306) and the HMG to the right and shot up the American 2/D. With only 40 minutes to go on the game clock the U.S. retreated, carrying their wounded with them.

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