Today's game, my first in nearly two months, was WWI in the Middle East. The scenario had a British battalion, supported by an armoured car and several motor vehicles advancing on a Turkish outpost guarding an oasis just east of the rail line to Damascus. The British advance was preceded by a reconnaissance by two companies of New Zealand light horse, with a number of light machine guns in vehicles. German reinforcements were known to be moving to support the Turks. The capture of the outpost and the oasis is vital to the allied operation to take Damascus.
At the same time a mixed force under Lawrence were charged with destroying a culvert that carried the rail line to Damascus over a gully. That culvert was protected by a company of Turks and a machine gun team.
The game started with the New Zealanders advancing from the west. They soon located the Turks in the outpost beside the oasis and engaged them. About the same the British arrived also from the west.
The New Zealanders arrive
With thier vehicles
At the same time the Germans, supported by an artillery section, marched up from the south.
The New Zealanders quickly dismounted and engaged the Germans. Two German companies took up positions south of the outpost and dug in, while a third company moved to take post north of the place.
Meanwhile, Lawrence arrived and quickly located the Turks near the culvert. Dismounting he engaged the Turks frontally with one company, while the other swung around to flank them from the north. Lawrence's plan works a treat and after a brief skirmish the Turkish company was dispersed, although the machine gun team, in a railway carriage, was able to withdraw to the south.
And located the Turks
The New Zealanders and the British armoured car cut up one of the German companies badly and when the Kiwi's charged, the Germans quit the field. But the charge proved costly to the Kiwis and the German supports cut them to pieces. The Kiwis soon decided that they had had enough and quit the field. The British infantry pressed forward to fill the space.
The third German company was recalled from the ground north of the outpost to try to stabilise the line. But the second company of Kiwis mounted up and moved around the outpost, forcing the Germans to halt and turn back. The Germans opened fire with virtually no effect, but the New Zealanders did not made the same mistake and shot the Germans to pieces, driving them from the field.
Meanwhile by the railway culvert, one company of Lawrence's command was cut up badly by the Turkish machine gun, and eventually forced from the field. At the same time a train carrying another Turkish company arrived. Despite inflicting some heavy losses on the Turks, Lawrence's second unit was finally driven off.
To the west the British destroyed the last German company and then turned their attention to the Turks in the outpost. Sheer weight of numbers began to tell and when the New Zealanders charged the shaken Turks, they easily took the post.
The Kiwis storm the outpost
The Turks on the railway decided that their time was up and headed off to Damascus in their train.
The Kiwis and British troops rested and resupplied with water from the oasis. The success of the Damascus operation was assured.