This was a game we played last year involving British forces in Syria in action against the Vicky French. I have included the players briefings.

The Commonwealth troops faced the biggest challenge as they had no anti-tank guns apart from a couple of Boyes rifles, and their 25 pdr battery will not be available either, no matter how many requests their FOO makes.

Historically the anti tank guns (only 37mm Bofors anyway) and the supporting 25pdr battery had been withdrawn by Brigadier Lloyd to support the attack on Damascus, and despite several urgent/desperate calls to have them returned when the fusiliers realised they were in deep trouble with French tanks advancing on them, they would not be returned until the action was over.  The battalion were captured or wiped out after a day of fierce fighting in the streets, houses and orange groves of Kuneitra between the outnumbered and out gunned Fusiliers and Vichy French Senegalese supported by Renault R35 tanks.

The game followed history quite well. Roughshaft's Fusilier company put up a spirited defence against the French, and kept their left hand platoon pinned in the orchard in front of the town for most of the game. However when the French attack on the right flank supported by the R35s got into the town, it became a series of small fights with the Brits unable to stop the French.

Unfortunately (as usual) I only took a few pictures of the earlier part, getting too wrapped up in events to remember to take any pics of the finale.

One benefit of doing this AAR is that I have found my missing 8th Army company command stand which has been AWOL since this game. I realised it had been put inside one of the buildings and forgotten. 

British Briefing

It is June1941, and we have launched an offensive to take Syria from the Vichy Frenchand their German allies before Germany decides to send more than just a few squadrons of aircraft out here to threaten the oil fields of Iraq and Persia.

Sadly, as this is something of a backwater and most of the troops are needed in Egypt and Libya to fight the Italians and the newly arrivedAfrika Korps (Operation Battleaxe is in full swing there), this campaign is being run on something of a shoestring.

General ‘Jumbo’ Wilson has settled for a three pronged advance to Damascus, the main attack is being delivered by a reinforced Australian brigade driving up the Bekaa valley, whilst an Indian brigade is advancing up the road over the Golan Heights through the town of Kuneitra. The eastern flank is being covered by a horsed cavalry force of yeomanry and arabs advancing up the road from Deraa through some place with the unpronounceable name of Ghabaghab, which the entire army calls Rhubarb!

You are Captain Roger Roughshaftin command of B co. of the Royal Fusiliers.

Your unit, 1st Battalion the Royal Fusiliers captured the town of Kuneitra yesterday from the Vichy forces, after a hard action with some very tall African French troops, and your company has been tasked with securing the northern sector of the perimeter against possible counter attacks, while we wait for the rest of the brigade to catch up.

British Forces:

Company HQ

  • Captain Roger Roughshaft Level 3
  • CSMCorky Caldwell Level 3
  • 2 x Vickers MMGs with5 crew each

Platoon 1

  • Lt. Edmund Slack-Bladder  Level 2
  • 1 x 2” mortar and Boyes ATR
  • 3 x 8 man Sections

Platoon 2

  • 2nd Lt. Reg Butler Level 2
  • Corporal Knocker Dawes Level 1
  • 1 x 2” mortar and Boyes ATR
  • 3 x 8 man Sections

Platoon 3

  • Lt. Hugh Jarce Level 2
  • 1 x 2” mortar and Boyes ATR
  • 3 x 8 man Sections

Royal Artillery

  • 1 x FOO
  • 4 x 25 pounders (off table)

Vichy French Briefing

It is June 1941, France has fallen, Les Anglais abandoned her in her hour of need and now they are trying to take her Colonies!

TheBritish have invaded Syria from Palestine, it is now becoming apparent that their main thrusts towards Damascus are coming up the Bekaa valley and across the Golan heights.

General Deverdilac, the Vichy commander in Syria has held back his reserves and armoured troops whilst trying to identify the main axes of attack and waiting for the british to commit their tanks. The british have now advanced up the Bekaa valley as far as Merjayoun and Jezzine, and yesterday after a hard fight with our Senegalese troops they threw us out of the town of Kuneitra, here on the Golan Plateau. 

It has become obvious that our spies can’t tell the difference between those little carriers the British use, and a proper tank, and that the stories of hundreds of tanks waiting to attack us are rubbish.

They don’t have any tanks here at all!

It is now clear that the British have attacked French Syria with an insultingly small and under equipped little army. They are taking the piss, treating us as if we were Italians! Well we will show them that Frenchmen are not to be trifled with!

You are CapitainPierre Choux, you are in command of acompany of Colonial infantry and have just been joined by 2 platoons of R35 tanks.  You and the rest of your battalion supported by the newly released tanks are to retake the town of Kuneitra and send the Anglais scuttling back to Palestine!

Allons, Vive la France!

French Troops

Company HQ

  • Capitain Pierre Choux Level 3
  • 2 x MMGs with 5 man crew
  • 1 x 61mm Mortar with 3 crew

Platoon 1

  • Lt Pierre Visage-du-Vache Level 2
  • 3 x 10 man Sections

Platoon 2

  • Sergeant Francois Legume Level1
  • 3 x 10 man Sections

Platoon 3

  • Lt.  Ilies LaKaz Level 2
  • 3 x 10 man Sections

Tank Platoon 1

  • Lt Andrea VillefortLevel2
  • 3 x R35 Tanks

Tank Platoon 2

  • Sous Lt. Edmond DantesLevel1
  • 3 x R35 Tanks

NB:  The R35s operate on individual cards, have no radios and one man turrets

The Game

The picture below gives the view of the table towards the French entry point, the British managed to keep the two French Blinds on the far right (one infantry platoon and what turned out to be a dummy) pinned down in the orange grove in front of them, though they had a couple of sections very battered in the process. The Blinds on the left of the road sneaked along the edge of the table screened by the hills and managed to get almost up to the town before they were spotted.

Another view of the british blinds in the town

The hand of god...well, alright, Colin telling his unit to fire.

The damning picture of Colin hiding my command stand in the building!

And finally, the French attack breaks into the town:

Sadly at this point I forgot to take any more pictures!

 The hall we meet in had just bought new trestle tables which have a slight ridge around the edge which rather annoyingly makes buildings/ roads etc.  sit at an angle when they are over it, I shall have to try putting some underlay under the cloth.