Sunday, October 9, 2011
KOKODA WARGAME CAMPAIGN - BATTLE OF ISURAVA OPENING MOVES
We played the opening moves of the battle of Isurava in the ongoing Kokoda Campaign yesterday. The fight began at (in game terms) 0530 with a full strength Japanese attack against entrenched Australian positions (B Coy 2/14 Bn) to the west of Isurava Village. You can see the main thrust of the Japanese attack marked by the bold red arrow on the map below. This attack consisted of two companies of Japanese infantry with artillery and mortar support. A further company of Japanese were moving up behind the main assault and behind that another Japanese Battalion. This was a major effort to break the Australian line at this selected point which sat astride the main track. The Australian defense was set up in a linear fashion with no depth and a break in their line would mean the whole line would have to withdraw or face envelopment and annihilation. This is exactly what happened with B Coy 2/14 being severely mauled and forced to abandon its positions, resulting in A company to its left having to withdraw, thus forcing the whole left of the Australian line into retreat. The game ended with the Japanese pushing forward to exploit their success. This was the opening game in a series of games in what will be a long fight for Isurava. Australian reinforcements are arriving (2/16 Bn) and the 39th Bn was not engaged. So there is still a lot of Australian force out there. If the Australians can reestablish a defensive line they have a chance to halt the Japanese assault - if not the campaign may come to a sudden end with a Japanese victory and history will have been rewritten. Below are some photos of the game in progress. Above is a propaganda photo depicting the moment when the Japanese overran the first line of Australian trenches.