Sunday, January 9, 2011

World War II - Battle of Maaten Baggush 1940

Sometime in November of 1940 the Italian II Motorized Corps was tasked with turning the flank of the Commonwealth forces entrenched at the port of Maaten Baggush.  A frontal assault by I Corps would be simultaneous against the 4th Indian Division.  Unfortunately for II Motorized, 7th Armoured Division stood in the way.

Our forces were divided into four battle groups per the Blitzkrieg Commander second edition rules.  Mine was the weakest with 4 M13/40 tanks and 4 CV33 tankettes as my mobile element.  In support I had three towed 47mm Anti-Tank Guns, two 65mm Infantry Guns, an 81mm mortar and off table 3 75mm artillery pieces.  For reconnaissance I had three armored cars.  The Italians moved first and each side got a free move on table before beginning to dice for activation.  Our idea was that my force with all the support weapons would anchor the left while the armor heavy groups swung wide and turned the British flank to drive onto the flank or rear of 4th Indian Division.

As my boys hit the table they were first greeted by this daunting sight:
While the British tanks aren't in any way superior to the Italian medium tanks in 1940, the numbers alone were intimidating.  An equal number are just off picture to my right facing my tanks.

Unabashed, the neighboring 3rd battle group roared on table and we linked up in mutual support, putting my faith in my towed guns and the weak anti-personnel ability of the British to hold my left.
Contact made, can we hold?  Battle groups I & II were delayed (real world considerations) so we were alone for a time.
 As our tanks kicked up dust clouds in the advance, the distant skies were dark and fore-boding.  Perhaps our string of victories would end here?
Ah, our other forces arrive and race to engage the enemy armor, which instead of rushing out to meet us as warriors took up hull down positions and waited for our approach.  Apparently past defeats have dampened the spirit of St. George in them!
Somewhere in here our dice began to fail.  BKC requires an activation roll to move or fire and I hit a dry streak where for two consecutive turns my leaders were unable to make a singe activation roll.  But for some desultory opportunity fire my command did nothing.  Meanwhile, the British who had wisely occupied some good defensive positions began picking off large numbers of tanks.  The involvement on my front of some support tanks mounting 3" howitzers spelled the quick end of my towed guns.  The battlefield was quickly littered with burning Italian vehicles and despite the individual courage of our forces, the end was inevitable and swift.
So the string of victories is broken here unless I Corps can break through along the coast.  That will be the next game in the campaign.  This flank action was a decisive victory for the Commonwealth forces.

As always, a good time was had by all (even we Italians) as the spirit of good sportsmanship and gentlemanly behavior ruled the day.  My thanks to the host and players, and just you wait till next time!


  1. A pleasant game and a shared enjoyable moment, obviously!

    But given the diversity of topics you should really 'label' your posts -at least those dealing with the Grand Duchy of Litharus, which, obviously, has a special place in this blog.


  2. An excellent AAR, and nice eye candy too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jean-Louis,
    I went back and added "18th Century" and "World War II" labels to the subject lines of the posting, what else might you suggest that would make it easier? I'm still rather new at this. I realize my blog has diverse interests, though I promise the next post will be on Litharus! We have a big battle pending.


  4. Michael,
    it seems OK, unless you plan to separate naval and land WW2 -the rules, scales &c... are quite different; but on the other hand if you plan to integrate both aspects in a same campaign, a single, common label is preferable.
    In the same way (you can give more than one label to a post) you may add 'Litharus' to the post devoted to your Imagi-Nation, the other 18th C. ones being automatically deemed 'historical'?
    'Ancients', 'Conventions' and 'Reenactments' will deserve labels of theur own if and when the corresponding posts multiply?

    Updated the link to 'Litharus' on my blog.


  5. Actually you used the subject lines rather than 'labels', but I suspect it works almost as well with the 'search this blog' utility?
    Already quite useful, anyway.

    Best regards,

  6. Ah, I see said the blind man. I never noticed the tab for true labels. I assumed it was just part of the subject line. Done and done! See, this old dog can still learn a new trick. :-)