A game of IABSM set in Indochina, 1951…and on a wargame table six meters long!

The scenario: the French, commanded by Celle, are having to give up more and more ground, and decide to evacuate some outposts.

From the north, a column comprising a company of the Regiment d'Infanterie Coloniale (the outpost garrison) and a group of civilians marches on foot towards a PA or Point d'Appui held by a company of the BEP (Batallion Etranger Parachutiste).

From the south, a mobile column of Bison (Chaffee tanks), Greyhound Panther armoured cars, and truck-mounted Algerian infantry (RTA) drives towards the PA.

Willie commanded the Vietminh: see his picture with typical Indo Chinese headdress! Their job was to make life difficult for the French.

The French convoy marching from the north was ambushed by local Vietminh forces and suffered heavy losses. The PA came under sniper and light mortar fire. The mobile French convoy was ambushed.

Eventually, however, the superior firepower of tanks and armored cars, and the successful intervention of a Hellcat Aeronavale, gave the French the casting vote, and the Vietminh were forced to retreat with heavy losses.

by Karim Van Overmeire of the Stipsicz-Hussars