And so, under the light of a blazing desert sun (or rather under the light of a blazing high wattage bulb), the refight commences. By a strange coincidence, it is 68 years almost to the day since the actual battle. See the previous post on this blog for details of situation and forces. I'll describe the refight by using captioned photos.
desert flavour! Italian baseline to left, British baseline to right.
The British were commanded by Paul James. Foolishly, I mentioned in the previous post about this battle that the tracks were really only there for visual effect. Paul rather disagreed with that and decided to attack down the track in column! This is the end of move 1. As there was only one British artillery unit (just 3 attacks in BKC) there was not much chance of inflicting significant damage with the artillery, so Paul decided that using smoke might be more useful. The British FAO is seen on the hill in the foreground.
Move 4 and 11th Hussars arrive on the Italian right flank. Discerning readers will note that 2 of these Rolls Royces have had a quick conversion job to give them an open topped turret with anti-tank rifle. This gives them some fighting power against Italian tankettes and armoured cars.
End of move 4. The smoke has been taken away. The Bersaglieri and the 75mm guns of the 12th Artillery Regt have managed to make a move forward from their deployment area.
The Italians in Mechilli are reacting with some return fire - one of the MkVIs in the column has been suppressed, and will be knocked out next move. The British tanks are now head to head with the Bersaglieri, who are desperately trying to clear the line of fire of their anti-tank gun and bring it into action. Behind the smoke, the strong V Tank Battalion have finally passed a command roll and are heading over to counter the British tanks. Any thoughts they had of advancing across the Wadi el Ramla have been abandoned.
The Italians must abandon the area.
A good game, which took three hours to play. The scenario fulfils a number of the conditions mentioned by Bob Mackenzie in his blog article - most importantly, although an attack/defence game, the defence is a mobile one and there are many decisions to make on both sides. Both players had plenty of opportunity to move lead and roll dice. I congratulate Paul - his determination to push up that track, and keep pushing until he was right in amongst the Italians paid off in the end.