Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (Full Version)

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Crossroads -> Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (8/18/2016 4:37:55 PM)


Updated 23 January 2018: All Ode To Divided Ground scenarios have been converted to Middle East 2.0 standard and are included in the game. No need for a download anymore



Alan R. Arvold's Ode To Divided Ground

Remember Divided Ground, Talonsoft's PC game of Arab Israeli Wars in the early 2000s? A project, despite of being resourced by a bunch of truly talented individuals, that resulted in a somewhat troubled release due to the project schedule being shortened dramatically as Talonsoft hit the financial dire straits.

Alan R. Arvold has since gone through each of the Divided Ground scenario, revising them to modern standards as a scenario pack for the game, for those who still have the Divided Ground CD (and the Windows OS to run it).

No worries, Middle East aficionados, for Alan has created his first CS: Middle East scenario from the set: A Special Vengeance. Here's hoping for many more! I am making it clear though Alan is not committed to any release schedule, and is solely making these conversions for the love of the era and the battles depicted at his own time and convenience.

Thank you Alan!



Contents of the cumulative Zip file:

  • Update 5 June 2017: Added the Sinai 1973 scenarios - Commando Raid on Romani; Crisis of Overconfidence: Yaguri's Last Chance & Learning How to Retreat; Canal Crossing: Assault at Hizayon & Shovach Yonim; and Most Terrible Night - to the download. Thank you Alan!

  • Update 8 May 2017: Added the remaining Golan 1973 scenario "Uphill All The Way" to the download. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 25 March 2017: Added all Golan 1973 scenario revisions by Alan - The Valley of Tears; Rafid; The TAP Oil Road; Bnot Yaackov Bridge; Across the Purple Line; A New Enemy; High Water Mark - for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!

  • Update 12 Feb 2017: Added five 1956 scenarios - Operation Kadesh, Khan Yunis, Kusseima, Mitla Pass, Rafah - for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 15 Jan 2017: Added four 1948 scenarios - Latrun, Mishmar, Rafah'48 (Bloody Epiphany) and Lydda - and 2x three Bootcamp missions for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 30 Dec 2016: Added three 1948 scenarios - Etzion, Jerusalem and Faluga - for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 04 Dec 2016: Added 'Battle of Rafah South 1967' for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 28 Nov 2016: Added 'Battle of Jenin 1967' for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 22 Nov 2016: Added battles of 'Jebel Libni', '2nd Bir Gifgafa', and 'Nakhl' for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 11 Nov 2016: Added a release of 'Battle of Rafah Junction 1967' scenario for CS Middle East. A biggie it is! Thank you Alan!
  • Update 30 Oct 2016: Added a release of four 'Battle of Khan Yunis 1967' scenarios for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 23 Oct 2016: Added a release of three 'Battle of Bir Lahfan 1967' scenarios for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 19 Oct 2016: Added a release of three 'Battle of Jiradi Pass 1967' scenarios for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 9 Oct 2016: Added a release of four 'Battle of Jerusalem 1967' scenarios for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 19 Sept 2016: Added a release of 'Abu Agheila 1956' and 'Abu Agheila 1967' for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!
  • Update 15 Sept 2016: Added a release of seven new 'Valley of Tears 1973' scenarios for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!

  • 8 Aug 2016: Release of 'A Special Vengeance' for CS Middle East. Thank you Alan!


    Download the latest archive for the full scenario pack:

    DOWNLOAD THE LIVING "ODE TO DIVIDED GROUND" SCENARIO PACK HERE!

    It is a Zip archive containing all the scenarios as a JSGME MOD package. (Re-)Download the complete zip to receive the latest additions!





  • Download, unzip, place the Ode To Divided Ground folder into the \Mods folder.
  • Activate the mod, then enjoy!

    [image]http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/00F9FB7DF8EE4D2BB717878257D77E27.jpg[/image]

  • For instructions of use of JSGME, see the JSGME How-To post (with a video!) in this sub forum.

    Easy as a cake!




  • Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (8/18/2016 4:42:01 PM)


    DESIGN NOTES FOR A SPECIAL VENGEANCE (REVISED)

    By Alan R. Arvold

    The original scenario “A Special Vengeance”, which came with the game, is another example of a flawed masterpiece. Like the other scenarios in Divided Ground it was started when there was plenty of time to do it, then hurriedly completed to meet the demands of a highly accelerated game release date. The map was excellent in depicting the area in question, namely the northern most part of the Israeli-Syrian border along the Golan Heights. However, the orders of battle, especially for the Syrians, are badly flawed and do not reflect the actual forces involved. Thus it was time to correct this scenario.

    Map

    The map was based on maps from the British War Office series of 1960. These maps were mostly done in the 1950s, with the Sinai maps actually being done during World War II. The ones for the Golan Heights were done in the late 1950s and were pretty accurate in 1967. The game map is depicted in Desert terrain because the Golan Heights was for the most part a dry place. Yes there were farms in the Heights but these were few and far between as water sources were at the time pretty scarce. This is in contrast to the more modern maps of the Golan Heights in Middle East which are depicted in the Mediterranean terrain. It should be noted that the Israelis did not start to develop the Golan Heights until after the 1973 War. It was then that they opened the land to civilian settlements. The Israelis made an effort to develop many water reservoirs in the Golan and it was then that the land started to take on a more Mediterranean look in the terrain. It should be noted that the terrain in the Huleh Valley at the western edge of the map should be in Mediterranean mode but even maps in Middle East can not be depicted in both
    modes at the same time so I stuck with Desert mode.

    Orders of Battle

    Syrian

    In the original scenario the Syrian defense consisted of two infantry brigades, the 12 th and the 24 th . Neither of these brigades exited in the Syrian Army at the time. In addition, their internal composition was not only identical, but also included just about every combat platoon in the game’s organizational chart for 1967. I researched the Syrian Army of 1967 which consisted of eleven infantry brigades (seven regular and four reserve
    brigades), three mechanized infantry brigades, and one armored brigade. It also had at least ten National Guard battalions of which seven were deployed in the Golan Heights in 1967. The infantry were supposed to be motorized, in other words truck borne, but in reality was only motorized part of the time. The Syrian Army, like most Third World armies of the time, had spent a lot of money on building up its combat elements and very little in establishing an efficient supply and repair infrastructure. As a result in 1967, about a third of all vehicles in the Syrian Army were non-functional, either in need of repair or waiting for replacement parts. Thus the infantry brigades shared trucks. Those infantry brigades on the front line of defense in the Golan Heights were stripped of their trucks (save those of their headquarter and artillery units) as they were in a static defense.
    In the section of the Golan Heights depicted in the scenario the primary defensive unit was the Syrian 11 th Infantry Brigade. It was composed of three infantry battalions (the 241 st , 242 nd , and 243 rd ), the 2nd National Guard Tank Battalion, and a host of supporting units. It was screened along the actual border by the 47 th National Guard battalion. The Syrian artillery in the Golan Heights had its own organization and was organized into
    brigades containing multiple artillery and rocket battalions of various types (including anti-tank and air defense ones as well). The artillery brigade and battalion numerical designations were guesswork on my part. (Every time the Syrian government underwent another military coup, the new regime would change the numerical designations of the battalions and brigades, thus driving military historians and Israeli Intelligence crazy
    trying to figure out which designations were current.)

    Israeli

    The original Israeli order of battle was much better, though still not perfect. The Mendler (8 th ) Armored and the Golani (1 st ) Infantry Brigades were indeed the assaulting units in this section of the Golan. The Golani Brigade had three infantry battalions (12 th , 13 th , and 15 th ), an armored company (French Shermans), a self-propelled mortar battalion, and a dismounted artillery battalion. The Mendler Brigade, which was originally deployed down in the Sinai, had its internal composition changed when it was transferred to the Golan Heights. For the battle in the Golan it had two armored battalions (the 81 st being equipped with Super Shermans and the 124 th being equipped with Centurions), the 87 th Armored Infantry Battalion, an artillery battalion, and an engineer detachment of eight bulldozers. These two brigades were organized into Ugdah Laner, a
    divisional command unit, which also had under its control an engineer battalion (which had bulldozers). The original scenario only had part of each brigade in the order of battle, due to being a shorter scenario.

    The Scenario

    Although the original scenario showed signs of being quickly put together, it still had a pretty good structure. Still I had to make some changes to it in order to make it more historically accurate. To begin with, I added more Improved Positions to the Syrian set up while keeping all of the original fortifications and minefields in their original locations. All Syrian units, save the artillery, headquarters, and leader units, are fixed in position at
    the start of the game, with a released turn of Turn 20. This is to reflect the ugly fact that when the word came down to withdraw, the Syrian leadership frequently pulled back without informing their subordinate units, leaving them on their own. In the Syrian setup, units in the 243 rd Infantry Battalion and in the two companies of the 2 nd National Guard Tank Battalion start the game at reduced strength. This is due to them being involved in
    an abortive attack upon Israeli territory on June 6 th . The Syrian force was rather easily beaten back across the border with over 200 casualties and six destroyed tanks. This precipitated a two day long artillery duel between the Syrians and the Israelis, which resulted in just about every town and village close to the border on both sides being wrecked, hence the reason why most of the villages on the map are now rubble. I placed six wreck markers east and southeast of Dan to reflect the locations of the six Syrian tanks that were destroyed during the June 6 th attack. (The Israelis had not been able to clear them away before the June 9 th attack.)

    The Israeli set up deserves mention. I set up the Israeli artillery battalions off map as that was their true location on June 9 th , although the Golani Brigade’s mortar battalion is set up on the board by virtue of the shorter range of the 120mm mortar. Most of the Mendler Brigade, save the 124 th Armored Battalion, is set up on the board but the Golani Brigade only has its 12 th Infantry Battalion, plus the mortar battalion set up on the board
    at the beginning of the game. The Israelis have the rest of their battalions coming on as reinforcements, with the 124 th Armored coming on starting on Turn 5, the 13 th Infantry coming on starting on Turn 9, and the 15 th Infantry coming on starting on Turn 15. Historically the 13 th Infantry Battalion came in behind the Mendler Brigade and followed it up the road all the way to the top of the Golan escarpment, then turning north to encircle part of the Syrian force. The 15 th Infantry Battalion was the division reserve for Ugdah Laner and historically did not come on the board, but I have made it available for the Israeli player to use. I have increased the game length to 35 turns, in order to give the Israelis more time to achieve their objectives, the original scenario was just too short.

    Conclusion

    I hope that these design notes give players a better understanding on why I made the changes that I did. Enjoy the scenario!




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (9/14/2016 6:11:31 PM)

    DESIGN NOTES FOR “INTO THE VALLEY OF TEARS THEY RODE”

    By Alan R. Arvold

    Back when I first got the game Divided Ground, one of the first scenarios that I played was “Valley of Tears”. I found the scenario to be intriguing but was plagued with some historical inaccuracies. I also tried the linked campaign series for both sides of the 73 War up in the Golan and again found the scenarios in them filled with inaccuracies. I then resolved to correct these inaccuracies and make the Valley of Tears scenarios more historically accurate. But first I had to do some research on the subject. I found that there were six separate battles over four consecutive days, although some histories tend to blend these battles into three or four. Another factor was getting the equipment and vehicles right for each side. Divided Ground does have some inaccuracies in its orders of battles for the various sides, despite the work of various gamers in improving them over the years with numerous patches. While its successor Middle East does correct those inaccuracies, there are some units which must be converted as those same units in both games represent different numbers of personnel in them. Also note these scenarios, which were created in 2005, reflect what was known back then. As newer information has come out since then which can cause some serious changes in the orders of battles for both sides, I feel the newer scenarios in Middle East are better able to portray them. These scenarios in this set were created for Divided Ground and will remain in Divided Ground. Their conversion to Middle East is only for their preservation, not to compete with the more modern interpretations of these battles.


    Map

    The map was based on maps from the British War Office series of 1960. The maps for the Golan Heights area were done in the late 1950s and were pretty accurate for the 1967 War. By the 1973 War there were some changes but these were done by the military forces of both sides and were defensive in nature. The Golan Heights was largely denuded of civilian population and many farms and towns were abandoned, including the town of Kuneitra which was a ghost town. Because of the high elevation, the Golan Heights was dry place with few water sources so the Desert terrain suits the depiction far better for the time period than the more modern depiction in Middle East which uses Mediterranean terrain which is more indicative of the area from the late 20th Century to the present.


    Orders of Battle

    The orders of battles needed improvement and so I that’s what I did on both sides. I will discuss each side separately.

    Syrian

    The Syrians used a number of different APCs in their formations. Their primary APC in the 73 was the BTR-60PB. It was used primarily by the mechanized brigades, both divisional and independent, in their line mechanized companies. In Divided Ground, the Syrians do not have BTR-60PBs in their orders of battles and available unit listings, so I had to use Egyptian BTR-60PBs in their place. This is why one sees Egyptian units in the order of battles for most of the scenarios. The next most numerous APC in the Syrian army was the BTR-50. These were used by the support units in the armored and mechanized brigades and by the armored engineers. They were also used by the mechanized battalions of the armored brigades, based on the idea that armored infantry should be able to keep up with the tanks and the best way to do this was in tracked, not wheeled, armored personnel carriers. The next APC in numbers was the BTR-152 series. These were the first APC that Syria used and they had many left over from the 67 War and the period thereafter. These were used by the support units in mechanized and motorized brigades (there were never enough BTR-60s to supply every unit in the mechanized brigades). The Syrians had enough left over to equip one line company in each line battalion in the motorized brigades with BTR-152s. (With the advent of the BTR-60s and 50s in the Syrian army, the Syrians came to regard the BTR-152 as some sort of armored truck and thus had no reservations about using them in motorized units.) The last APC in numbers was the BMP-1. This was reserved for special elite units such as the Assad Armored Brigade. Of course during the course of the fighting during the 73 War, the Syrians would re-equip their shattered units with what ever was available and frequently one would see mechanized units with two or more types of APCs being used in the line as well as the support units.

    The Syrians used three different main battle tanks, the T-54, the T-55, and the T-62. The T-54 was primarily used in the armored battalions that were part of the motorized and mechanized brigades. The T-55 was primarily used in the armored brigades of the infantry divisions and in most of the independent armored brigades. The T-62 was used in the armored brigades of the armored divisions and in a few elite independent armored brigades like the Assad Guards Armored Brigade. (The Syrians had over 800 T-62 tanks so they were able to more lavishly equip units with them than the Egyptians.) Incidentally, the armored units in the motorized and mechanized brigades used four tank platoons while the armored units in the armored brigades used three tank platoons. However, it was not uncommon to see armored units equipped with more than one type of MBT in the latter part of the war as they were using whatever was available to refit their shattered units. The T-34/85 was still used by reserve units but during the war was frequently used in dug-in stationary positions.

    Players will note that in the support units of the armored battalions I have changed the type of vehicles present. In the orders of battle that come with the game, armored units have MTU-1 bridge-laying vehicles in their support units, while in fact they had tank- dozers. This mistake on the part of game developers at Talonsoft is easy to understand. In fact, the Syrians at the beginning of the battle had the tankdozers of the various assaulting units leading the way in order to clear the way through the minefields under engineer control, while the bridge-layers were initially held back and brought up when paths had been cleared through the minefields to the Israeli anti-tank ditches. This meant that they were usually placed with the armored unit waiting to come up as well.

    Israeli

    In the Israeli 7th Armored Brigade, the primary tank was the Centurion. It is possible that one battalion, the 71st Armored Battalion, had M-48 tanks in the battle as they were hastily mobilized only days before and had to use the tanks that were immediately available in their mobilization area. (In other words, they used another unit’s tanks and when that other unit mobilized, it used the 71st’s Centurions.) In the scenarios I am equipping the 71st with M-48’s.

    One will notice Lookout Post 3 on the map, the Pillbox up front overlooking the road to Syria. This was an actual observation post which overlooked that section of the border. The unit inside it was about a platoon in strength. Besides overlooking the road, the unit sent out patrols to look over other sections of the border which were not immediately visible to the outpost. While not exactly infantry, being border guards, they had infantry training and thus I used a rifle platoon to represent them. (Historically this outpost managed to hold out for four days, with ever increasing casualties, until it was relieved by the Israeli 7th Armored Brigade as it moved into Syria.)

    Players will notice a series of improved positions, along with a couple of trenches, set up on the Israeli side. These were prepared defensive positions which were constructed before the war. Most of these were firing ramps for the tanks, which is what the improved positions represent. The rest were a few trench systems for the Israeli infantry, set up in key locations. These defensive positions are set up in every scenario as they were prewar construction, and therefore more solidly built, as compared to defensive positions that are constructed during a scenario, which would be temporary in nature.

    Conversion:

    When converting from Divided Ground to Middle East, as I noted earlier there are some units which represents different numbers of personnel with in them. For example. in Divided Ground Syrian armored infantry and engineer units have a maximum of three strength points with each strength point representing 10-12 men. Israeli armored infantry, engineer and recon units have a maximum of four strength points with each strength point representing 8-9 men. In Middle East all these units have a maximum of six strength points with each strength point representing about 6 men. Not only that transport units in Divided Ground only carry one strength point of passengers for each strength point of transport unit. In Middle East most transport units can carry two strength points of passengers for each strength point of transport unit. So when comparing scenarios from both games, the strength points of these units will be different.


    Scenario 1: The Opening Round

    Since this is the first battle of the whole war, the terrain on the map is intact, with no damage what so ever. Thus the towns have no rubble and the Israeli anti-tank ditch has no breaks in it, save for the hexside where the road is, and this is blocked by a minefield backed by a series of block hexes along each fork in the road as it goes into Israel. The defending Israeli unit is the 71st Armored Battalion of the 7th Armored Brigade. This unit was the unit that was supposed to be there because of the prewar planning (the 77th Armored Battalion started the war set up south of Kuneitra). The Israeli artillery was limited to a single battalion that was in the 7th Armored Brigade, which had to be shared with other battalions in the brigade. The Israelis have no airstrikes as the majority of the Israeli Air Force is running missions down in the Suez against the Egyptians.

    The Syrian main assault unit was the 85th Motorized Brigade, supported by various engineer elements of the 7th Infantry Division. The brigade only had a battalion of regular artillery, plus a rocket artillery battalion in direct support, despite the fact that they were attacking along a planned main axis of advance. Players will notice that some of the tank platoons are under strength. This is due to the fact that the 7th Infantry Division only had about 70-80% of it armored fighting vehicles on hand. Due to the lack of Israeli airpower in the Golan, the Syrians had temporary air superiority and so was able to get in a number of airstrikes along the entire Golan front, five of which are in this scenario. The 85th’s mission was to capture the Israeli anti-tank ditch and breach it, so follow up second echelon units could assault into the Golan Heights.

    Historically, the 85th captured the anti-tank ditch but were unable to breach it as Israeli gunners were shooting up the engineer assets as they were being moved up to the ditch. None of the tankdozers and regular bulldozers made it to the ditch and only three bridges were laid across the ditch and these quickly became unusable as they were shot up. Although the Syrians had the ditch in their possession, they could not advance further during the rest of the day, save for occasional infantry patrols.


    Scenario 2: The Second Wind

    When darkness fell on the first night of the war, the Syrians were able to bring up more engineering assets and thus work could finally begin on breaching the anti-tank ditch. By 2200 hours, at four different sites, bridges had been laid and bulldozers were filling in the ditches. On the map, this is represented by four single hexside breaches in the anti-tank ditch. Along the main road, the minefield had only been partially cleared, although some road blocks immediately behind it were cleared away. The 85th Motorized Brigade was ordered to advance west and capture the outlying villages so as to provide the second echelon forces with an adequate springboard to begin their assault the next day. Although the 85th had taken some serious losses during the day, it was still a viable force and so it advanced.

    On the Israeli side, the 71st Armored Battalion had to be shifted north in order to stabilize the line up there and so the 77th Armored Battalion was brought up from south of Kuneitra to assume the 71st’s former positions. Only the armored scout company from the 71st remains on the map as the rest of the battalion is off the board to the north. Because of this, the Israelis were able to hold back one of the tank companies from the 77th in reserve. The 77th was special in that it was the elite unit of the brigade and so had four tank companies instead of the usual three (the fourth tank company formally being the armored scout company). Only the Israelis had a supply of starshells but it had to be rationed out among the defending units all along the Golan front.

    Historically the Syrians managed to widen the gaps in the anti-tank ditch during the night, enough so that there was no more need to work on them. They also captured enough ground on the other side of the ditch to serve as the springboard for the second echelon forces. They might have gone further and taken some towns but fierce Israeli resistance in the towns prevented the Syrians from securing them. A few Syrian armored vehicles did get up to Israeli positions before being knocked out. The Israelis managed to stop the Syrians while keeping casualties to a minimum, but this would soon change.


    Scenario 3: The Main Event

    The Syrian 85th Motorized Brigade had done its job but it was a spent force. Thus it was sent back into reserve to rebuild. Taking its place was the main combat force of the Syrian 7th Infantry Division, the 1st Mechanized and 78th Armored Brigades. This scenario is based on the Valley of Tears scenario that comes with the game, with a few modifications of course. Both sides now have smoke rounds and the Syrians still have five airstrikes. (The Israeli Air Force was trying to make airstrikes against the Syrians but the Syrian missile shield was preventing them.)

    It is this scenario that players will start to see the Egyptian BTR-60PBs being used by the Syrians. The Syrians have combined elements of both brigades in their assault formations. Their artillery assets have not increased due to commitments further north along the front lines.

    The Israelis no longer have a reserve company of tanks as it had to be put into the front line to cover a gap left by the departure of the 71st Armored Battalion’s armored scout company to the north. In addition, the 77th Armored Battalion is five tanks down due to them being withdrawn to division headquarters to help form a reserve there. Rubble is beginning to appear in the outlying towns, including Kuneitra, due to the fighting that occurred the night before. The minefield and several of the blocks on the road have been cleared the previous evening and along with the four filled in parts of the anti-tank ditch, can no longer hold up the Syrians. So the Israelis must depend on their tanks to stop them.

    Historically, the Syrians launched several attacks during the day with the two brigades, this one being the first. The Israelis managed to stop them but some of their own tanks were knocked out in the process. The Syrians lost about half of their combat strength from the two brigades, but were still a viable force come the darkness.


    Scenario 4: The Moon of Blood

    After several daylight attacks the Syrians regrouped in the late afternoon for a night attack. Having noted the night before that the Israelis seemed to be deficient in night vision devices on their tanks, the Syrians felt that nighttime would be the best time to take on the Israeli tanks in an even fight.

    The Syrians may seem a little strong for having such a decimated force but the mechanized infantry battalion of the 78th Armored Brigade did not see any action during the previous day, being held in operational reserve by the 7th Infantry Division commander. Now he committed it to bolster the rest of the assault force. There is no increase in the artillery commitment, which is kind of surprising considering the priority given to this assault. The Syrians have managed to clear away all other obstacles on the roads during the day, so their way into the Golan is un-impeded, save for the Israeli tanks.

    The Israeli 77th Armored Battalion is down by eight tanks from the day’s fighting. This in addition to the five they had to give up to the divisional reserves, puts them down to about 75% combat strength. Their artillery support is still the same, but at least they have star shells. There are more town hexes that have been turned into rubble. The Israelis still have most of their knocked out tanks still in position, they have had so little time to evacuate them that only a few have been sent back for repair. Lookout Post A-3 was still holding out but was down to 50% strength.

    Historically, the Israelis were able to beat back most of the Syrian assault force in the single night assault that occurred. However they were forced to evacuate the town of Kuneitra, thus yielding this objective to the Syrians. The Syrians for their part noted that there were fewer Israeli tanks firing at them, so they know that they were wearing them down and so made plans to renew the assaults in the morning with fresh forces.


    Scenario 5: The Wrath of Allah

    Both the 78th Armored and 1st Mechanized Brigades were spent forces. The 78th was sent back into reserve to rest and re-build, but the 1st Mechanized has to be kept up front, holding the line. However, the Syrians noted that Israeli tank fire was substantially reduced from the previous day and so Brigadier General Abrash, the 7th Infantry Division’s commander, urged the Syrian high command to release more reserves to him so he could continue the attack. The 20th Armored Brigade, from the Syrian 3rd Armored Division, was released to Abrash in the early hours of the morning of the 8th of October.

    In this scenario, the Syrians begin to get some more modern equipment. The T-62A and the BRDM-3 with the Sagger ATGMs make their appearance here. The Syrians have surrounded the Israeli Lookout Post A-3 to keep it from causing any more problems but would not deal with it any further until after they had made the breakthrough into the Golan Heights. Due to the closing down of their offensives further north, the Syrians had allocated an additional battalion of artillery to this attack. The Syrians still receive airstrikes but not quite as many as before as the Israeli Air Force is beginning to make inroads against the Syrian missile shield and starting to go after the Syrian Air Force.

    The Israeli 77th Armored Battalion is at about 60% strength. However, the Israelis have moved the 75th Mechanized Battalion up from the south of Kuneitra and it has cordoned off the western approaches to that town. They have also moved the whole of what is left of the 71st Armored Battalion down from up north to help bolster the defense of the area. The 7th Armored Brigade has established a small four tank reserve at its headquarters to handle any breakthroughs. The 7th Brigade has also been able to bring up its mortar battalion in order to increase the Israeli artillery assets. Due to the inroads that the Israelis have made against the Syrian missile shield, they have been able to get a couple of airstrikes in on this battle.

    Historically, it was basically a repeat of the day before. They Syrians tried to bludgeon their way through and got smashed in the process. But the new T-62A tanks and the Sagger ATGMs took their toll on the Israeli tanks and the Syrians noted this. The Israelis were close to their breaking point and one more attack should do them in.


    Scenario 6: The Final Fury

    Sensing that they Israelis were close to their breaking point, General Abrash pleaded with the Syrian high command for more reserves. The high command yielded to Abrash’s requests and pulled out all the stops for this final attack. Not only did they give him the best armored brigade, the Assad Guards Armored, but they also gave him a helicopter commando battalion to insert behind the Israeli front lines. With this force, Abrash was sure that he would break through to the Jordan River.

    The Syrians not only have the T-62A again, they also have the BMP-1 APC, complete with Sagger ATGMs. In addition, they have a complete commando battalion, transported by helicopters, which arrive on Turn 4. The morale level of the Assad Brigade and the commando battalion are the highest in the Syrian Army. Given the priority that this attack received, the entire artillery brigade of the 7th Infantry Division was allocated to it. The Syrians only have two airstrikes though as Israeli planes have damaged the Syrian missile shield and are intercepting more Syrian planes. However, a helicopter attack squadron has been attached to the commando battalion, and it can roam around the Israeli rear area looking for targets of opportunity. As before the Israeli Lookout Post A-3 is surrounded, but the Syrians have no plans to take it.

    The Israeli situation has improved from the night before. During the night they were able to repair some of the lightly damaged tanks and re-crew them. The Israelis are at about 50% combat strength overall which was better than the 35% they were the evening before. However they have no on-board tank reserve due to every tank being needed in the front line. But they do have a composite tank company coming in on Turn 10 as reinforcements. The most important thing is that they now have six airstrikes with which to deal with the Syrians. Their mortar battalion is still on the board but is in danger from the Syrian commandos should they be landed close by or from the attack helicopters themselves. The morale of the Israeli units is no longer uniform due to the fact that these men have been going through three days and two nights of constant combat and/or the threat of it and are worn out.

    Historically this attack was supposed to have happened the night before. However, as General Abrash was organizing the attack, his command tank was hit by Israeli fire just before sundown and he was killed. The attack was postponed until the next morning so another general could be flown down from Damascus to take over the 7th Infantry Division. The new commander General Berakdar, was not the equal of General Abrash, though he did use Abrash’s plan for the attack. As it were this attack did break through the Israeli front line and there was a wild tank melee behind the line with the Syrians getting the upper hand. However the Israelis received reinforcements in the way of a composite tank company made up of tanks of several destroyed units and this temporarily turned the tide of battle. But then the Syrian commando landed near El Rom and the Israelis were face with the possibility of withdrawing to the Jordan River. But then the Syrians, with victory in their sight, started a general withdraw from the Golan Heights, events further south having forced this upon them. The Golan Heights, and Israel, were saved by the sacrifice and courage of the Israeli 7th Armored Brigade.


    Scenario 7: Hypothetical

    This scenario is hypothetical version of the previous scenario which explores what could have happened if the attack went through the night before and General Abrash was not killed earlier on and still in command. The Syrians have the same forces as in the previous scenario but the Israelis are down to 35% combat strength, plus they have no airstrikes (it being night) and no reinforcements coming in. The Syrians too lose their airstrikes but this will not hurt them as much as the Israelis. The Israelis have little chance of winning this, given equal opponents but they will certainly acquit themselves well. This scenario gives the Syrians their best chance of victory.


    Conclusion

    I hope that these design notes give players a good idea of the reasons behind the structure of these scenarios. Players should feel free to experiment and make changes to see if they could make them better (beyond what they were historically). Enjoy the scenarios.




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (9/15/2016 4:14:34 PM)


    DESIGN NOTES FOR ABU AGHEILA 1956

    By Alan R. Arvold

    Back when I first got Divided Ground, one of the first scenarios that interested me was “Adan Takes Abu Agheila…again”. To be honest the scenario was not very good. It only portrayed part of the battle. I wanted something bigger. I found in the game a bigger mapsheet for the whole Abu Agheila area, but no order of battle or scenario to go along with it. Obviously a bigger scenario was going to be done but was not before Talonsoft went out of business. Left with just a mapsheet, I took up the challenge and decided to make a scenario for the whole battle.


    The Mapsheet

    The mapsheet was based on the maps from the British War Office series of 1960. The maps of the northern Sinai were done during the Second World War and there were no
    updates to them in the post war years. Not only that, these maps were done in a hurry and so there were mistakes on them which were never corrected. The map that came in Divided Ground was based on these maps. Thus the first challenge was to correct the mapsheet. The main change was the main road that ran from the east to the west side of the map. This was labeled the Turkish Way but in fact it was the Central Route which ran through the center of the Sinai Peninsula. Research indicated that this was a paved hard surface road in 1956. Thus I had to change the road to hard surface for its length. The real Turkish Way, which was a desert track, was south of the Central Route and so I placed it on the map using the unpaved road for it. Next I changed the spelling of several of the names of the locations. In actuality, most of these names had several different spellings and any of them were acceptable. I just used the names for the main map that I was using. I also relocated some of the names to where they should be on the map.


    The Opposing Forces

    Egyptian

    The main defending unit at Abu Agheila was the 6th Infantry Brigade of the Egyptian 3rd Infantry Division. The 6th Brigade had three infantry battalions, the 16th, 17th and the 18th. However, the 16th Infantry Battalion was detached for duty along the Suez Canal so it was replaced by the 289th Reserve Infantry Battalion. The 289th was not a complete battalion as two of its line companies, plus some anti-tank guns from its support company, were detached for service elsewhere. The 6th Brigade also had under its control two anti-tank batteries, the 78th and the 94th, which each had eleven Archer tank destroyers for a total of twenty-two. For reconnaissance duties the 6th had the 2nd Cavalry Troop which had four Staghound armored cars and the 34th Reconnaissance Company consisting of two platoons of reconnaissance jeeps. For anti-aircraft protection it had the 6th Anti-Aircraft Battery which had twelve 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns. Rounding out the ensemble was the 3rd Artillery Regiment which had three under-strength artillery batteries with a total of sixteen “25-Pounder” Howitzers. The original commander of the 6th Brigade as Colonel Yassa, but when he became a casualty on the 30th of October he was replaced by Colonel Mutawalli.

    The Egyptians were reinforced by two outside units. First was the 78th National Guard Infantry Battalion. This unit had been defending Kusseima to the south but when they were forced out of there by the Israeli 4th Infantry Brigade they retreated towards Abu Agheila and joined the 6th Brigade, as per their defense plans. The second unit was the 12th Infantry Battalion from the 4th Infantry Brigade at El Arish. It did not join the 6th Brigade but remained independent. It was reinforced by a company of T-34/85 tanks. (Different historical sources disagree as to the identity and composition of the reinforcing units from El Arish. Some Israeli sources claim that it was the 10th Infantry Battalion, not the 12th. Other Israeli sources claim that both the 10th and 12th Battalions were present. However, Egyptian sources all clearly insist that only the 12th Battalion was sent. Israeli sources state the reinforcing armored company consisted of Archer tank destroyers, not T-34/85’s. However most Egyptian sources insist that they were T-34/85’s, with a abstaining ones stating that there were no armored vehicles attached.)

    Israeli

    There were three Israeli brigades involved in the battle of Abu Agheila, the 7th Armored, the 37th Armored, and the 10th Infantry Brigades.

    The 7th Armored Brigade was organized in the following manner. It had two armored battalions, the 9th which was equipped with AMX-13 tanks, and the 82nd which was equipped with Sherman tanks. Together these two battalions totaled six companies of about 96 tanks. It also had the 52nd Armored Infantry Battalion which had three line companies and a support company, all halftrack mounted. It further had the 61st Motorized Infantry Battalion which had four line companies and one support company all truck mounted. Rounding things off was a mortar battalion of 120mm mortars, an artillery battalion of “25-Pounder” howitzers, and a scout company.

    The 37th Armored Brigade was organized similar to the 7th with two exceptions, it had no mortar battalion and had only one armored battalion (the 31st) which was equipped with Sherman tanks, plus one additional armored company (the 247th) which was equipped with AMX-13 tanks, for total of four companies of about 64 tanks. Some historical sources identify the 37th as a mechanized brigade, not an armored one.

    The 10th Infantry Brigade, which was a reserve unit, was not at full strength at the battle of Abu Agheila. It had three infantry battalions (the 103rd, 104th, and 105th), a mortar battalion of 120mm mortars, an artillery battalion of “25-Pounder” howitzers, and a scout company. Two of the infantry battalions (the 103rd and 104th) each only had two line companies and the other infantry battalion (the 105th) had three. This was due to the hasty mobilization of the brigade, as the remaining line companies were still in Israel being assembled. In fact, due to a shortage of transport, the 10th had to leave most of its light mortars behind, using the personnel from the mortar sections to fill out its line platoons. The 10th Brigade was a provisional motorized infantry unit, meaning that it was normally a foot infantry outfit with occasional motorized support when it was available. This usually came in the way of whatever vehicles were available at the time, be they military or civilian vehicles. The 10th was mostly supported by civilian vehicles, which upon unloading them in the Abu Agheila area promptly made a beeline back to Israel. The 103rd Battalion was fortunate though. It was supplied with halftracks, enough to carry both of its line companies, which stayed with the unit throughout the campaign.

    The 7th and 37th Armored Brigades were not present in their entirety. Of the 7th Armored, only the 61st Motorized Infantry and the 82nd Armored Battalions were present, the rest of the Brigade was off the map to the west, moving across the Sinai. The 61st was a pure unit but the 82nd was in a mixed combined arms configuration, consisting of two armored companies, with an armored infantry company, and a support company from the 52nd Armored Infantry Battalion attached. Of the 37th, which was being held in GHQ reserve in Israel, only the 31st Armored Battalion was present. It too had a mixed combined arms configuration, consisting of two armored companies, with two armored infantry companies from the 33rd Armored Infantry Battalion being attached.

    One important note, the Israelis were using five tank platoons during this time. While the old Sherman M1 and M4A3E8 platoons have a maximum strength point of five, the Sherman Mk 50 platoons only have a maximum strength point of three. While I could have given those companies equipped with Sherman Mk 50’s five platoons so that they would have the correct amount of tanks, I found that this gave them far too many firing opportunities per turn. So what I did was give those companies three platoons, saved the file, then opened the scenario file on MS Word and changed the strength points of each of those platoons from three to five, then saved the file. Worked like a charm in Divided Ground. In Middle East they do have five tank platoons so I don't have this problem there.


    The Scenario Set Up

    Historically the battle of Abu Agheila lasted four days, from the 30th of October to the 2nd of November, 1956. However most of the combat occurred on the 31st of October. During that day the four principle Israeli units involved in the battle, the 82nd Armored and 61st Motorized Infantry Battalions of the 7th Armored Brigade, the 31st Armored Battalion of the 37th Armored Brigade, and the 10th Infantry Brigade, made a total of six separate attacks against various defensive positions of the Egyptian 6th Infantry Brigade. Unfortunately all of these attacks were uncoordinated with each other and the Egyptians were able to defeat each one in turn. The Israelis were hampered by the lack of an overall commander of the operation. The various commanders of the major Israeli units were supposed to coordinate with each other, but they frequently did not. The 7th and 10th were under the 38th Ugdah, a divisional command unit, but this unit was more of an administration and logistics unit and did not really coordinate the actions of its brigades as it should of. To make matters worse, the Israeli Army’s Chief of the General Staff Moshe Dayan kept personally interfering with the operations of the 10th Brigade, ordering it to attack twice when it was not ready. The Israeli General Headquarters is also partially to blame as it promised the 31st Armored Battalion to the 10th Brigade in support of its attacks, yet repeatedly delayed its departure so it did not arrive in the area until nightfall, after the 10th had shot its bolt in two failed attacks. When it did arrive, it was ordered to make an attack from the march, with its vehicles headlights on since it was dark, in order to intimidate the Egyptians. However, all the headlights did was to provide the Egyptian gunners with convenient aiming points in the dark and the 31st was beaten back with heavy casualties. All in all it was a disappointing performance for the Israeli Army.

    To make an historical scenario of 240 turns (24 hours), with most Israeli units either arriving on the map or being fixed in place until it was their historical time to attack, would make for a very boring scenario. Therefore this scenario is pseudo-historical in nature. To do this I made all Israeli units that were present, save the 61st Motorized Infantry Battalion, immediately available to the Israelis at the start of the game. This is certainly historically possible had the Israelis better coordinated their actions and the 31st Armored Battalion was allowed to depart when first requested. The 61st’s arrival on Turn Four is also historically possible if it delayed its historical attack so it could attack the Egyptian right flank at Umm Qatef while the 10th Brigade and 31st Armored kept them occupied by a frontal assault. I set the scenario for late afternoon on the 31st when all of the Israeli units would have been ready for action.

    The Egyptian units are set up where they were historically. A few comments about the Egyptian defensive positions, or the lack thereof in some cases. At Umm Qatef, the defensive positions seem weaker than many historical accounts make them out to be. In fact, a lot of historical accounts give them the trenchlines and pillboxes that they had in 1967. In truth the defensive positions at Umm Qatef consisted of a series of bunkers overlooking the Central Route and the Turkish Track. These bunkers were connected by a line of improved positions, both those preexisting and those constructed by the 6th Brigade when the unit occupied the area. The minefield in front of the defensive position was a standard one for the time period, with blocks on the roads to allow easy removal should the Egyptians have needed to use the roads.

    Contrary to popular belief, the Egyptian position at Ruafa Dam had no defensive positions, save for those improved positions constructed by the 6th Brigade when it moved in. Also all other improved positions on the board were constructed by the occupying units before the start of the game.

    The Egyptian 12th Infantry Battalion is fixed in place until Turn Ten to reflect its relative passivity during the battle. The commander of the 12th interpreted his orders to mean that he should block the route to El Arish, not attack in support of the 6th Brigade. The attached tank company was brand new, with the crews having just received their tanks before moving out with the 12th Infantry, so they were unfamiliar with their vehicles, hence the very low starting morale level.

    The 78th National Guard Infantry Battalion does not start the game in any defensive positions, though they may construct improved positions during the game. The 78th only arrived during the night of 30-31 October and was placed on the right flank of the Umm Qatef position. However, its placement there proved to be beneficial historically as it ambushed the Israeli 61st Motorized Battalion as it assaulted Umm Qatef from the south.

    The morale levels of the different units reflect their morale at the time of the battle. The Israeli 10th Brigade may seem slighted by only having a Morale Level of 4, but then this unit was composed of reservists, most of whom were over 40 years of age. Note only that, the hasty mobilization of the brigade caused many soldiers to be placed into units not their own because their own companies had not assembled yet. Thus they were working and fighting with people they did not know and train with, thus lowering morale. The Egyptian Reserve and National Guard units always had lower morale than their regular Army counter parts although the 78th got a slight raise in its Morale Level over what it had in the Kusseima scenario due to its successful retreat from there while managing to remain intact as a unit. In contrast, most of the units of the Egyptian 6th Infantry Brigade retained their full Morale Level of 6 to reflect that they were a well led by their leaders who knew what they were doing, a rare occurrence in the Egyptian Army at that time. In addition, the various Egyptian units start the game with lower morale levels than what their maximum levels are. This is to reflect the boredom that these units suffered by being stationed out in the desert for a long period of time, prior to the start of the hostilities.


    Conclusion

    I hope that these design notes give players a better understanding of the rational of the many factors that influenced the making of this scenario.







    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (9/19/2016 6:45:22 PM)


    DESIGN NOTES FOR ABU AGEILA 1967

    By Alan R. Arvold

    Having done the scenario for the battle of Abu Ageila in 1956, it seemed only natural to also do a scenario for the battle of Abu Ageila in 1967. This was easier said than done. For one thing this was a night battle which made things a little bit more complex. Another thing was that the opposing forces were larger this time on both sides, thus making this a bigger scenario. There was a lot of information on this battle, but the unit designations and, for the Egyptians the commanders’ names, were very hard to obtain as both sides in this war are being very secretive about this matter, even to the present day 38 years later. Still I could not pass up the challenge of making this scenario.


    The Mapsheet

    Making the mapsheet was very easy. I merely took the mapsheet for the Abu Ageila 1956 scenario and used that for a basis. I did have to make some changes though. For one thing I had to extend the mapsheet four columns to the right (north). This was done to include the whole of Hill 181 as this was a major Egyptian position during the battle. Since the four extra columns consisted of sand and other barren desert terrain, it was very easy to fill in the new columns. There had been one major change in the area between the wars. The Batur Track, which ran from Umm Tarafa up north into the desert until it turned west towards Hill 181 and continues on until it meets up with the road to El Arish in two places, was constructed during this time. However, it was a desert track, just like the Turkish Track, and so warranted an unpaved road. Also two connecting unpaved roads were constructed between the Turkish Track and the Central Route and so they too were included on the map. Other than those changes the map is the same as the one for the Abu Ageila 1956 scenario. One thing that one will notice about Hill 181 and the Batur Track is that they are about three kilometers south of what they are on the more modern Middle East maps of the same area. This is because the map is based on the old maps of the British War Office series of 1960. As the maps of the north Sinai were done in a hurry during World War II, there were some errors on them that never got corrected. Ironically, both the Egyptians and the Israelis based their maps of the Sinai on this old series and at least the Israelis never got around to updating their maps until after the conquest of the Sinai in 1967.


    The Opposing Forces

    Egyptian

    The main defending force at Abu Ageila was the 12th Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division. The 2nd Infantry Division was given the responsibility of defending both the Abu Ageila and the Kusseima areas. Considering Abu Ageila to be a fortified strongpoint, the commander of the 2nd Infantry Division set up his headquarters down the Kusseima, where he also stationed the 10th Infantry Brigade and 338th Artillery Battalion of the 51st Artillery Brigade. The rest of the division was stationed at Abu Ageila.

    The 12th Infantry Brigade consisted of three organic infantry battalions, the 37th, 38th, and the 39th. In addition, it had the 352nd Reserve Infantry Battalion, which was the normal peacetime garrison of Abu Ageila, attached to it also. In addition, the 12th had an Anti-Tank Battery of six 85mm anti-tank guns, a battery of self-propelled Snapper ATGM vehicles, a company of 120mm mortars, and two companies of 14.5mm anti-aircraft gun systems.

    Also at Abu Ageila was the 6th Armored Regiment (identified as the 6th Armored Brigade in some sources), which had two tank battalions (the 288th and 289th) equipped with T-34/85 tanks, a tank destroyer battalion (the 59th) equipped with SU-100 tank destroyers, a reconnaissance company and an anti-aircraft battery. Altogether this regiment totaled 66 tanks and 22 tank destroyers.

    For artillery support the 12th had one brigade, plus two additional battalions of artillery, all equipped with 122mm howitzers. (Most of the old sources identify these howitzers as the old A-19 and M-30 howitzers, while some more modern sources identify them as the D-74 howitzers. I used what the majority of sources say.) The 52nd Artillery Brigade had three battalions, the 330th, 332nd, and 334th. The two additional battalions were the 299th and the 336th from the 51st Artillery Brigade.

    There was a small possibility of reinforcement from Kusseima, though historically none came. For this reinforcement I have used the 28th Infantry Battalion from the 10th Infantry Brigade.

    Israeli

    The Israelis had an entire division size unit at Abu Ageila. Ugdah “Sharon”, named after its commander Brigadier General Ariel Sharon, had the 14th Armored Brigade, the 99th Infantry Brigade, the 80th Paratroop Brigade, an engineer battalion, the 147th Reconnaissance Battalion, and six battalions of artillery in the Abu Ageila area. It also had the 226th Armored Battalion that was located in the Kusseima area whose mission was to keep the Egyptian 10th Brigade tied down and thus played no part in the battle.

    The 14th Armored Brigade, also known as the “Zippora” Brigade after its commander, consisted of two armored battalions (the 25th and the 96th), the 35th Armored Infantry Battalion, the 20th Artillery Battalion with self-propelled 155mm guns, and the 14th Scout Company. (Some sources claim that the brigade had a third armored battalion and second armored infantry battalion but this error comes from observers seeing the mixed battalion sized task forces that the brigade formed for the operation and assuming that there were more units involved.) The 25th battalion was equipped with about 50 Centurion Mk 5 tanks in three companies. The 96th battalion had about 50 Isherman tanks in three companies. The 35th battalion had three line companies and a support company.

    The 99th Infantry Brigade, had three infantry battalions, listed as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions. The 1st and 2nd Battalions were regular army but the 3rd Battalion was composed entirely of reservists. The brigade also had the 7th Artillery Battalion equipped with 25-pounder howitzers, the 99th Mortar Battalion equipped with 120mm mortars, and the 99th Scout Company.

    The 80th Paratroop Brigade consisted of three paratroop battalions (listed as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions) and a scout company. The 3rd Battalion had been detached for service elsewhere and so it is not listed in the order of battle.

    The 147th Reconnaissance Battalion had two squadrons, one which was composed of AMX-13 tanks, and the other composed of armored recon troops, plus some additional support platoons. The engineer battalion was a standard combat engineer battalion with three line companies and a support company.

    As previously mentioned, Sharon had six battalions of artillery. These were composed of 25 Pounders, 105mm, and 155mm guns and howitzers, both towed and self-propelled. Two of the battalions were already assigned to the armored and infantry brigades but the other four were in the 214th Artillery Regiment, directly under the Ugdah headquarters. As the sources do not agree as to which battalions had which types of artillery or how much of each type of artillery were present, the artillery mix and make-up in this scenario is a best guess on my part. All sources do agree that the total number of artillery pieces present were 96 though.

    One important note. The Israeli Army was using four and five tank platoons in their tank companies at this time. Which type was used in an armored brigade was up to the respective brigade commander. In the 14th Armored Brigade, the five tank platoon was standard. For the Centurion tanks this was not a problem as they come in platoons with a maximum of five strength points anyway. However the Isherman tank platoons only have a maximum strength point of three. Again like in the Abu Ageila 1956 scenario I merely placed the Isherman platoons in the order of battle then opened the order of battle file on MS Word and changed the strength points of the Isherman platoons from three to five. Again it worked like charm.


    The Scenario Setup

    Historically the battle of Abu Ageila lasted about 24 hours, from the 5th to the 6th of June, 1967. However most of the combat occurred at night after midnight on the 6th. It consisted of a series of coordinated attacks on various Egyptian positions in the area by Israeli units that had spent most of the previous day maneuvering up to the attack positions. In contrast to the battle in 1956, the battle in 1967 was a well executed affair with the Israelis well prepared and well rehearsed for the operation.

    I set the scenario to begin after midnight, about the time the historical attack began. To begin it before would have led to a boring scenario with nothing happening as the various Israeli units move up to their attack positions.

    The Egyptian units are set up where they were historically. The 37th and 39th Battalions were set up in the Umm Katef position along with most support elements of the 12th Brigade. In addition, they were also supported by two platoons of T-34/85’s, one platoon apiece, from the 288th Tank Battalion. The Umm Katef position had been extensively improved since the 1956 battle. Instead of improved positions, there were two trench lines, one behind the other. (Note: Many histories state that there were three trench lines at Umm Katef. This was based on the Israeli assumption that the Egyptians, using Soviet defensive tactics, would have three trench lines. However, this proved to be false. The Egyptians were planning on constructing a third trench line in 1968 though.) Several of the original bunkers were replaced with concrete pillboxes. The minefield in front of the position was extensively wired with barb wire, thus making entry into it much more difficult. However they neglected to protect their left flank, falsely assuming that nothing to traverse the desert to the north except by desert track.

    Behind the Umm Katef position was the artillery park where the 52nd Artillery Brigade had set up shop along with two of its artillery battalions. Further to the west behind the artillery park was the 288th Tank Battalion, minus two platoons, in a central position to either counterattack Israeli attacks against either Umm Katef or Ruafa Dam. At Ruafa Dam was the 12th Brigade headquarters, protected by the 352nd Reserve Infantry Battalion. There were also two battalions of artillery positioned there.

    To the north at Position 181 was the 38th Battalion reinforced by a tank company from the 289th Tank Battalion and by a battalion of artillery. Its mission was to block the Batur Track, so as to prevent Israeli movement from that direction. The 38th was initially more spread out around Position 181, but an attack by the Israelis during the late afternoon of the 5th of June caused them to contract the defense to the top of the position.

    Way off to the west on the road to El Arish was the remainder of the 6th Armored Regiment, poised to support either Position 181 to the east or Abu Ageila and Ruafa Dam to the south.

    Although the Egyptian units seemed to be well positioned and capable of a credible defense, there were several flaws in the Egyptian set up. For one thing the Egyptian 12th Brigade had only arrived a few days before the battle and did not know the area all that well. Only the Umm Katef position was heavily fortified, all the other positions had no fortifications and the Egyptians had to make do with hastily constructed improved positions at all the other locations. Also the commander of the 12th Brigade, who was also the commander of the whole Egyptian force in the area, was inexperienced and got his command more by political connections than by actual experience. The troops were of low morale and were not expecting a war, thinking the whole operation there to be a result of political maneuvering on the Egyptian government’s part against Israel (which it was). Still they could have performed well if they had been well led like they were in 1956, but the Egyptian Army officer corps had been slipping very badly in recent years in terms of proficiency and was not up to the task.

    The Israelis after crossing the border on the morning of June 5th, Ugdah “Sharon” occupied Umm Tarafa by the early afternoon after pushing aside the outlying Egyptian outposts along the way. The main force at Umm Tarafa conducted a limited recon in force against the Umm Katef position, then spent the rest of the day preparing for the battle to come, making sure that they were seen by the Egyptians so as to keep their attention. Meanwhile two separate Israeli forces were making their way across the desert to the north, using the sand dunes to mask their movements from the Egyptians. One force was the 25th Armored Battalion under Lt Col Nir (also named Natke in many sources, it was in fact his first name). This battalion was reinforced by a line company and the support company of the 35th Battalion. This force while on its way to its attack position, ran into the right flank of the Egyptian 38th Infantry Battalion on Position 181 in the late afternoon and a fierce firefight broke out between the two forces. After having eight tanks knocked out, the Israelis broke off the engagement and pulled back a ways before doubling around to the south and resuming their movement to the attack position. As mentioned earlier, the Egyptians on their part contracted their defense of Position 181. The other force was the entire 99th Infantry Brigade, with most of its vehicles, artillery, and heavy mortars remaining behind at Umm Tarafa. It moved without incident and made it to its attack position after dark.

    By late evening, both Israeli forces were in their attack positions, the 25th Battalion poised to attack Raufa Dam and the 99th Brigade poised to attack the trenchlines at Umm Katef. Late in the evening the Israelis transported by helicopter the 1st Battalion of the 80th Paratroop Brigade into the desert and landed it north of the Egyptian artillery positions behind Umm Katef. Due to harassing artillery fire only one company from the 1st Battalion was poised to attack, the others being spread out to the north in the desert. The paratroops were to attack the artillery park and keep it from supporting the forward trenchline.

    Once the main attacked had begun and the 99th Brigade was working its way through the trenches at Umm Katef, the main force at Umm Tarafa would then launch their attack on Umm Katef. The Israeli reconnaissance battalion had a special mission of guarding the southern approaches to the battlefield in case of the Egyptians launching an attack from the direction of Kusseima.

    All Israeli forces in the scenario are in their historical positions at the start of the battle. The Egyptian forces are all frozen in place until Turn 10 to reflect the Egyptian commander’s indecision and confusion during the battle. Also starting on Turn 10, the Egyptians have a 10% chance of receiving as reinforcement, the 28th Infantry Battalion from Kusseima to reflect the small possibility of an attack from that direction. This gives the Israeli recon battalion a purpose for fulfilling its historical mission instead of joining in on the attack on Umm Katef.


    Conclusion

    I hope that these design notes give players a better understanding of the factors that when into the creation of this scenario. This scenario, together with the earlier Battle of Abu Ageila 1956 scenario, will show how much both sides changed between the wars, one side for the worst, the other side for the better.





    Phoenix100 -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (9/24/2016 12:09:01 PM)

    Just picked these up and they look excellent. They are all marked for H2H play, but when I started one up it seemed to have an AI that was working, even as Syrians in the attack. Are they designed for play against HAL too?

    Peter




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (9/24/2016 1:11:50 PM)

    From their look I believe they are designed with H2H in mind, but again, should work OK should you pick the attacking side. Looks like a blast (pun intended) as playing IDF as well, certainly a target rich environment there [8D]




    Phoenix100 -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (9/25/2016 9:31:35 AM)

    OK, thanks. From experimenting with a few, some seem to work better than others with HAL as Syria.




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (10/15/2016 3:12:47 PM)


    DESIGN NOTES FOR BATTLE OF JERUSALEM 1967

    By Alan R. Arvold


    When Divided Ground came out there were a bunch of unfinished scenarios in the game. One of these was the Battle of Jerusalem 1967. Like the others it had a rather well done map, but unlike the others it also had a partially complete order of battle. Of course there was no scenario per say, but parts of the map were used for two smaller scenarios, “Assault on the Ancient City” and “Hill of Evil Council”. Still there was a need for a scenario for the battle of Jerusalem and I finally got around to doing it here.

    Because the actual battle lasted for three days and thus could not be presented in a single scenario, it was necessary to break it down into four separate phases, with a scenario for each. Before discussing the four scenarios I will first discuss the map and the order of battle.


    The Map

    The map was based on maps from the British War Office series of 1960. The actual maps of the West Bank area were done in the early 1950s. It looks very good considering the various hex symbols available for the terrain being depicted. The Old City may look rather strange in its shape on the map but then the real Old City walls have an irregular shape for their boundaries and trying to fit it in correctly into the hexes of the map is an impossible task. Indeed, some have questioned the labeling of the directions on the map. When the map was originally done for Divided Ground, the top of the map was labeled West, the left side South, the right side North, and the bottom side East. Obviously this was wrong. Not only that, the labeling of the various quarters in the Old City were incorrect too, plus the Dome of the Rock was in the wrong location. I have since corrected all of this. The top of the map is now due East, with left side being North, the right side being South, and the bottom being West. But if you use the Old City as a reference, the top is really Southeast, the left is Northeast, the right is Southwest and the bottom is Northwest. However that is the price you pay for converting a real life map to a hex based system in Divided Ground.


    The Order of Battle

    The order of battle provided in the game was at best incomplete. Because of this I had to completely rebuild it. I had to look into many sources to get the numerical designations of the units on both sides as most units had a proper name by which they known, and subsequently identified as in most historical accounts. As the opposing sides were Jordanians and Israelis, I will deal with the units of each separately.

    Jordanians

    One will note that the various Jordanian units have a variety of morale levels. This is a reflection of those particular units historical performance in the actual battle. Some units had good morale but were overwhelmed, others gave the Israelis a very tough fight but once their morale broke, never recovered because of their low morale levels..

    3rd Infantry Brigade: The 3rd Infantry Brigade, also called the King Tatal Brigade, was the main defending unit at Jerusalem. While an infantry brigade it was also a garrison unit and so had a few alterations to its makeup. For example, its recon squadron was converted to a reserve company to react to any emergency, it did not have an engineer company, and its AT Company did not have any 17 Pdr ATGs, but instead had 106mm Recoilless Rifles mounted on Jeeps. It had two infantry battalions occupying Jerusalem itself and the third infantry battalion deployed along the northern edge of the Jerusalem Corridor. While normally it was a motorized brigade, during the battle, the trucks were largely absent as they being used by other brigades and being a garrison unit, the 3rd Infantry was frequently equipped with light transport vehicles for patrol purposes within the city.

    27th Infantry Brigade: The 27th Infantry Brigade, also known as the Imman Ali Brigade, was originally part of the Jordanian reserve on the West Bank at the beginning of the 67 War. However it was gradually transferred to Jerusalem starting with its 31st Infantry Battalion just before the beginning of hostilities. It was soon followed by the 28th Infantry Battalion and then the rest of the brigade within the first 24 hours of the war. The brigade is not represented in its entirety in the scenarios as part of it was deployed off map to the north. Only those units that involved in the battle of Jerusalem directly are portrayed in the game. It should be noted that the 27th also had Jeep mounted recoilless rifles in place of the 17 Pdrs ATGs in its anti-tank company and had machine-gun armed jeeps in place of the Saladin Armored Cars in its Recon Squadron.

    29th Infantry Brigade: The 29th Infantry Brigade, also known as the Hittin Brigade, was only marginally involved in the battle for Jerusalem. The brigade defended the southern part of the West Bank (Judea) and only had two companies of its 29th Infantry Battalion present on the map, defending some towns just south of Jerusalem.

    60th Armored Brigade: The 60th Armored Brigade was also part of the Jordanian reserve on the West Bank. It was earmarked to support the units at Jerusalem but was prevented from arriving by constant Israeli airstrikes throughout the war. Of the units in the brigade, two squadrons from the 5th Armored Regiment came the closest to arriving, being stopped by losses to Israeli airstrikes, just off the east edge of the map. But they could have made it, if the Israelis had been late with their airstrikes. As a compromise for play balance purposes in the third scenario, I have given those two tank squadrons a 50% chance of entering the board, along with some brigade supporting units, and the Israeli player can deal with them with the airstrikes he has in the scenario.

    Jerusalem Militia Battalion: The Jerusalem Militia was the local militia unit in Jerusalem. It was mostly deployed in the Old City, although one of its companies was used to surround the Israeli garrison on Mount Scopus.

    Israelis

    16th Infantry Brigade: The 16th Infantry Brigade, also known as the Jerusalem Brigade, was an oversized brigade with eight infantry battalions. Four of these were regular army battalions (161st through the 164th) and the others were reserve battalions (165th through 168th). Of these the regular battalions were involved in the battle of Jerusalem, the others being deployed off map, one assisting the Israeli 4th Infantry Brigade in the battle of Latrun to the west (the 165th) and the other three deployed around the border of Judea, keeping the Jordanian 29th Infantry Brigade in check. The 16th also had a tank company of 21 old Shermans, armed with the 76mm gun, a recon company, and a mortar battalion. In addition, there was an “Academic Reserve Company” which was a line company from one of the reserve line battalions which was composed of students and teachers from various colleges in Israel, who were called to duty.

    55th Paratroop Brigade: The 55th Paratroop Brigade was a reserve paratroop brigade, originally scheduled to be parachuted into El Arish on the first day of the war but the quick capture of the town canceled that mission. It consisted of three paratroop battalions (the 28th, 66th, and 71st), an engineer company, and a combination recon/anti-tank company. The paratroop battalions were unusual in that they still had four line companies per battalion whereas the other infantry brigades in the Israeli Army had gone over to three line companies per battalion. After the battle for Jerusalem was over, the 55th sent two of its battalions north to participate in the battle of the Golan Heights.

    10th Mechanized Brigade: The 10th Mechanized Brigade was a regular Army brigade with the usual two mechanized battalions (the 104th and 106th) and one armored battalion (the 95th). The 95th Armored Battalion was unusual in that it had five tank companies, four of them equipped with M50 Super Shermans and the other one equipped with Mk3 Centurions. Prior to going into battle, the 95th gave up two of its companies, one to each mechanized battalion, and received two mechanized companies in return. Thus each battalion was in reality a combined arms force and this is how they are organized in the scenarios in this battle. The brigade also had an artillery battalion equipped with 25 Pdr howitzers and a mechanized scout company.

    Mount Scopus Garrison: The Mount Scopus Garrison was the name I gave to the combined security forces in the two main structures on Mount Scopus, namely the Hadassah Hospital and the Hebrew University. Both were approximately platoon size. I made them as militia units as this would about commensurate with their abilities.

    Middle East Version: When this scenario was originally created, I used mobile headquarters units for almost all battalions on both sides as all of them were either armored, mechanized, or motorized. Further research showed that most all of the infantry and paratroop battalions had shed their vehicles prior to going into combat in the city of Jerusalem, including those for their headquarter units. So I changed the applicable battalion headquarters to dismounted ones as well as a few mounted leaders to dismounted ones.

    The Scenarios

  • Scenario #1: Scenario #1 depicts the action on the first day of the battle for Jerusalem, namely the battle for Government House in southern Jerusalem and other areas south of there (The Sausage, the Bell, and village of Sur Bahir). However, I have the entire forces on both sides set up on the board in case either player wants to try to conquer Jerusalem with the forces at hand. All of the Jordanian forces on the board are fixed in place though as their mission was primarily defensive in nature and are not released until they are attacked. The Israelis are free to move at the beginning but the sides are too evenly matched for them to accomplish much. Both sides are free to fire though and that is about what happened with units engaging in firefights but no real maneuvering save those units of the forces in and around Government House. The victory point hexes reflect the actual Israeli objectives for that day. The minefields, blocks, and defensive positions on the board are an approximation of the actual layout of the Jordanian defensive scheme for Jerusalem and the surrounding area. The Israeli set up reflects how they were before they started massing for the attack on Government House so the Israeli player will have to spend the first few turns moving his units into their attack positions. The victory levels reflect the historical Israeli objectives for the day and can be exceeded greatly in either direction if either side decides to attack all across the board.

  • Scenario #2: Scenario #2 depicts the night attack by the 55th Paratroop Brigade into the suburbs in northern Jerusalem on the second day of the battle. These would include the actions at Ammunition Hill, the Police School, and the Rockefeller Museum. Historically the attack lasted into the late morning, well after dawn, but I am presenting it as a night attack as the plan was to have all of the objectives captured before dawn. However, city fighting being what it is, the fighting usually takes for longer to finish than if it was in the country. The victory point hexes again reflect the Israeli objectives for that attack. In addition, the 55th also had to relieve the siege of Mount Scopus (if one could call it that considering that there were only Jordanian militia units surrounding it). Again the Jordanians are fixed in place at the start of the scenario and can only be released by being attacked. The Jordanian 28th Infantry Battalion, which was pushed out of Government House the day before, was transferred during the night to road north of Jerusalem to Ramallah where they start the scenario, having just moved in. One will note that Israeli units are set up in southern Jerusalem in Government House and there about to reflect the area captured the day before. One will also note that the obstacles in that area have been removed and the minefields have either been removed or reduced. This reflects the actions of the Israeli engineers to remove them during the time space in-between scenarios. The artillery battalion that the Israelis have on the west edge of the board belongs to the 10th Mechanized Brigade. It was historically set up there so as to be in a centralized location where it could both support the 10th Mechanized (which is off board to the west) and the on-board 55th Paratroop Brigade. Again the victory point levels reflect the historical Israeli objectives for that attack.

  • Scenario #3: Scenario #3 depicts the daylight battle to surround the Old City and to drive off the remainder of the Jordanian forces during the second day. The biggest problem I had with this scenario was that historically it began while the battle depicted in Scenario #2 was still raging. I solved this by treating the second scenario as being over, with the Israeli forces holding all of the objectives that they had at the end of the real battle. Another problem is that all of the actions depicted occurred during the course of the whole day and even part of the second night, yet I have compressed them all into a scenario that lasts 30 turns, which is three hours in real time. Still there are some starting differences. For one thing, the Jordanian 4th Infantry Battalion is in the process of pulling back. This is represented by its right most company setting up in the town of Beit Hanina and its battalion headquarters pulled back even further. All of the 4th Battalion's units are also unfrozen to accomplish this. This is to prepare for the arrival of the Israeli 10th Mechanized Brigade which will arrive on board in a flanking position on the Jordanian 4th Infantry. The Jordanian 28th Infantry Battalion who we saw set up on the Jerusalem-Ramallah road in the last scenario now has Improved Positions as there was more than enough time to construct them between the scenarios. The 28th also has one if its companies unfrozen so it can shift to cover the gap on the road going off the north edge if they need to. The Jordanians also have elements of the 60th Armored Brigade with a 50% chance of entering the east side of the board behind the 28th Infantry Battalion. The Israelis have 20 airstrikes that can really make things tough for the Jordanians. As before, the Israelis have removed obstacles from recently captured land, yet they use the captured defensive positions from the same area. The victory point objectives are the historical Israeli goals for this stage of the battle and the victory point levels reflect those goals.

  • Scenario #4: Scenario #4 depicts the final phase of the battle for Jerusalem. The Jordanians have been driven away back to the Jordan River, where they were crossing to escape to the east. All that is left is the Jordanian garrison in the Old City. Just about all of the units in there are of reduced strength. Mostly because these were soldiers and militia men who chose to make a last stand or who did not get the word to retreat. Most of the militia simply melted away as the men simply went home since they lived locally. The tank wrecks near the Lion's Gate are Israeli tanks from the 16th Tank Company that got lost in the streets of Jerusalem during the battle the day before and ended up by the Old City where Jordanians rained RPG rockets down upon them from the city walls, taking out eight of them. The scenario is only 15 turns long (90 minutes) as this was how long it historically took to capture the Old City. However the victory point levels reflect more than just that. The Israelis must also exit a large number of units off the board to the east and south in pursuit of the retreating Jordanians. Fortunately, a battalion of the 10th Mechanized Brigade is set up on the Jerusalem-Ramallah road, ready to do just that. Although the Israelis have again removed obstacles from the land captured in the previous scenario, the minefields on both shoulders of the Jerusalem Corridor remain as it took several weeks to remove them all after the war. In essence, the Israelis are really completing against history in this scenario. The fall of the Old City is a forgone conclusion. The scenario just sees if the Israelis can do in the same time as they did historically. If it takes longer, in other words, if they do not end up with at least 1400 victory points at the end of the game, then the Jordanians can be considered to have won a morale victory.


    Conclusion

    I hope that players find these scenarios pleasing and exciting. As it is, another scenario (or in this case a series of them) that was originally supposed to be in the game is finally there. Enjoy the scenarios.





  • Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (10/15/2016 3:14:08 PM)


    DESIGN NOTES FOR THE BATTLE OF JIRARDI PASS

    By Alan R. Arvold


    One of the scenarios in Divided Ground on the 1967 War in the Sinai is “Running the Gauntlet”. It’s about the contested run through Jirardi Pass by elements of the Israeli 7th Armored Brigade on June 5, 1967. Actually there were three runs, two which occurred during the daylight hours and the other which occurred that night. As was the case with all the other original scenarios in the game, this scenario was done in a hurry and as a result, was full of inaccuracies. I originally was going to correct the one scenario, but then realized it would be better to depict the three runs in three separate scenarios.


    The Mapsheet

    The original mapsheet was based on the maps from the British War Office series of 1960. In that series most of the maps of the Sinai Peninsula were made during the Second World War. This was evident in the maps of Jirardi Pass. The coastal railroad (a post war construction) was missing from them. So I added the railroad to the map. Doesn't really make any difference as there are no trains to affect the battle.


    The Order of Battle

    Israeli: The main unit in the three scenarios is the 7th Armored Brigade. It consisted of two armored battalions (the 79th and the 82nd), one armored infantry battalion (the 75th), one self-propelled mortar battalion, and one armored scout company. It was supported by two artillery battalions from 215th Artillery Regiment (but only in the last scenario). It also had attached to it a tank company from the 46th Armored Battalion (the Armored School Battalion). The 79th Armored Battalion only had two of its three tank companies and so the attached tank company from the 46th was assigned to it for this battle. The 82nd Armored Battalion had four tank companies instead of the usual three.

    Egyptian: There is much contention on which units actually defended Jirardi Pass. Different historical sources over the years have listed different units. Among the main units mentioned were the 112th and 117th National Guard Brigades and the regular 11th Infantry Brigade. As the 112th was down at Bir Lahfan I have discounted them and as I have not been able to locate the 117th’s position during the war I have counted them out too. That leaves the 11th Infantry Brigade which was located north of Rafah Crossroads at the start of the war. However it had sent back one of its infantry battalion (the 90th) and its organic tank battalion (the 118th) to defend Jirardi Pass. The 118th Tank Battalion was unique in that it was equipped with Sherman tanks, some of which had AMX-13 turrets mounted on top of them (a French innovation). (Various Israeli units which passed through Jirardi Pass reported seeing both the British and French versions of the long barreled Sherman tanks among the Egyptian defenders.) The various anti-tank units were independent units and not part of any particular brigade. There were no artillery units in Jirardi Pass so in this case the original scenario was wrong. It was supported by artillery units located off map at El Arish to the west though and I have included those. The 130mm guns represent the shore batteries that defended El Arish from attacks from the sea. It is uncertain whether the 316th Artillery Battalion was an organic part of the 7th Infantry Division or just an attached unit. For this scenario I am assuming it is an attached unit.


    The Scenarios

    As I mentioned earlier, there are three scenarios now to replace the original. These will be described separately.

  • Scenario #1: The First Run Through: This scenario is a hypothetical one. Historically the Israeli force depicted passed on through with hardly an action taking against it, the element of surprise upon the Egyptian garrison was so total. Only the last few vehicles in the Israeli convoy drew fire, causing a few losses. However this does not make for a very exciting scenario so I made the Egyptians more capable of resisting. Still I wanted to give some of the element of surprise to the Israelis, so I made all of the Egyptian units on board, except the leaders, disrupted at the beginning. Not only that, they are also fixed in place until they are attacked in any way. The only Egyptian units that are not fixed and disrupted are the trucks. The placing of the defensive positions and minefields matches that of the original scenario. The original Israeli force to pass on through was the 82nd Armored Battalion (minus one of its companies) and the 7th Scout Company, all under the leadership of the 7th Armored Brigades deputy commander. The Israeli units come on the board in less than full strength, to reflect losses incurred earlier in the day. The victory point levels are based on what Egyptian units the Israelis can destroy and more importantly, how many units they can get off of the board on the road by the end of the game.

  • Scenario #2: Running the Gauntlet: This scenario is a revision of the original one in the game. Because the first scenario did not really happen, the Egyptian units are still all at full strength, save for a few AT guns that were historically knocked out by the first Israeli group. The Egyptians are now fully alerted so none of them start the game in a disrupted state, though they are all still fixed in place. The Israeli force that went through this time was the 79th Armored Battalion (minus one of its companies), later reinforced by the attached tank company from the 46th Armored Battalion. Again the Israeli units are not at full strength to reflect earlier losses. Note that though the 7th Armored Brigade’s Headquarters and Commander are present in this scenario, historically they did not go through the pass on this run, but instead stayed at the entrance to coordinate the entrance of later arriving units during the night. Like the scenario before, the victory point levels are based on number of enemy unit strength points the Israelis destroy and on the number of friendly units that they exit off of the board by the end of the game.

  • Scenario #3: Clearing the Pass: This scenario depicts the final clearing of Jirardi Pass by the Israelis. The scenario is much longer than the other two combined (40 turns – about four hours) as it took this long historically for the Israelis to clear the pass. Because of the losses incurred in the fighting of the day before, the units of both sides start the game at reduced strength. It is a night scenario, which will be an advantage to the Israelis as it will reduce the effective firepower of the defending Egyptians. The Egyptians again start the scenario alerted so none of their units are disrupted, but they are all mostly fixed in place. A few units have changed their starting position from the previous scenarios. The Israeli force that attacked this time was the 75th Armored Infantry Battalion with a tank company from the 82nd Armored Battalion attached to it, directly supported by the 7th Mortar Battalion, and indirectly supported by the off map 215th Artillery Regiment. Again the 7th Armored Brigade’s Headquarters and Commander are present in this scenario as historically they did not go through the pass in the second one. In this scenario the victory point levels are based on how many enemy units the Israelis destroy by the end of the game.


    Conclusion

    I hope that these three scenarios give gamers a better understanding of the battle for Jirardi Pass that what the original one attempted to do.




  • Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (10/15/2016 3:20:25 PM)

    Two new scenario packs from Alan now available for download in the Opening Post. Thank you Alan!

    Enjoy!




    budd -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (10/15/2016 5:55:04 PM)

    Locked and loaded, thanks to Alan and yourself for making these available.




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (10/16/2016 9:54:02 AM)

    The missing Abu Agheila 1967 scenario design note added to the thread. Also, I forgot to mention this scenario was added to this download pack as well, so be sure to check it out!




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (10/23/2016 4:23:51 PM)


    DESIGN NOTES FOR THE BATTLE OF BIR LAHFAN

    By Alan R. Arvold


    In Divided Ground there is a scenario entitled “Capture or Death”. It is about the battle of Bir Lahfan, but is a very poor scenario at best. Like most of the other original scenarios in the game it was done in a hurry in order to complete the game for a moved up release date. As a result several mistakes were made and the scenario does not really portray the battle as it really happened. So some changes were in order and I intended to make them. Therefore I have decided to divide the battle into three separate engagements, thus requiring three different scenarios.


    The Mapsheet

    As with the other maps of Divided Ground, this one was based on ones from the British War Office series of 1960. As we all know, most of the ones of the Sinai Peninsula were made in World War II and the ones of the Bir Lahfan area definitely show this. To begin with, the building in hex 5, 30 does not show up on maps made after the 1973 war. Was it there in 1967 when the battle occurred? No one knows for sure, but that hex was definitely the site of a radar station, hence the name the hill had acquired by then, Radar Hill. Another discrepancy is the location of airfield north of the Bir Lahfan intersection. The newer maps have the airfield located a few kilometers further north than where it is located on the old maps. Are these two different airfields or just one. I think that they are two different airfields. The Egyptians found the old airfield inadequate for the jet aircraft they were starting to fly in 1950s so instead of improving it, just built a more modern one to the north of it. The old one was destroyed. So in a way the map sheet is wrong, the airfield should be off map just to the north. But I think that the original designers of the scenario decided to compress the battle a little by using the old airfield and the forces that historically defended it. The original mapsheet has some other serious errors in it. For one thing, the map direction is wrong. The top of the mapsheet should be south, not west. Now the mapsheet matches the real terrain. Second, the labels on the roads exiting the board should be changed to reflect this. The road exiting in Hex 5, 0 should be labeled “to Abu Agheila”, the road exiting in Hex 19, 0 should be labeled “to Jebel Libni”, and the road exiting in Hex 15, 39 should be labeled “to El Arish”. After I made these corrections I realized that there was not enough room to the south to contain part of the battle so I extended the map ten hexes to the south and filled the hexes with the appropriate terrain and elevations. Now the mapsheet was ready.


    The Orders of Battle

    There were some errors in the orders of battle for both sides so I had to make corrections on them also.

    Israelis: The Israelis started off in the original scenario with full strength units either on the board or soon to enter. This is just not right. The 7th Armored Brigade, which enters from the north, was much reduced due to losses from the previous day’s battles, although some repaired vehicles had rejoined it by then. Not only that, the 79th Armored Battalion was missing one of its line companies, which was attached out to the 202nd Paratroop Brigade. I am keeping the same order of battle for the 7th that it has had in the previous scenarios that I have done involving it (Jirardi Pass, Rafah Junction, Khan Yunis). The 215th Artillery Regiment I set up as off map artillery as it was in El Arish, supporting the 7th Armored from there. The 200th Armored Brigade (Sela’s Brigade) also enters the game with reduced units, not from combat losses as it spent most of the first day of the war traversing the deep desert, but from mechanical breakdowns and vehicles getting stuck in the sand during that same long trek. However, during the course of the scenarios, it seems that it is getting slightly stronger, despite losses incurred, due to these left behind vehicles eventually rejoining the brigade between the fights. The unit designations should be considered to be fairly accurate, though not totally as the Israelis have the habit of changing the historical designations of their battalions about every ten years as they still want to keep some secrets from the 1967 War.

    Egyptians: The Egyptian order of battle was more problematic. First off was determining which was the actual unit that defended the junction as different historical sources state different units. I settled on what most of the sources state, that is the Egyptian 112th National Guard Brigade. Even here there is not agreement on how big the force was, different sources giving forces sizes ranging from a small company outpost to a full reinforced brigade plus. I settled for a reduced brigade force as one of its line battalions was stationed up in El Arish and one of the companies from another battalion was stationed at a road junction 20 kilometers to the east of Bir Lahfan (in fact by the time of the first scenario, it had been destroyed by the Israeli 200th Armored Brigade). The two artillery battalions that the Egyptians had in the original scenario I reduced to a single artillery detachment (more than a battery but less than a battalion). This agrees with most historical sources. Players will note the extremely low morale rating that units in the 112th have. The 112th, being a National Guard unit, was more suited to quelling civilian demonstrations and uprisings then in engaging in actual military combat. Its equipment consisted of hand-me-down weapons and equipment that was used by the regular forces in the War for Independence and the the 1956 War. It was mobilized to national service mainly to fill out the Egyptian 7th Infantry Division and the troops knew it. Because of their low combat potential, the 112th was put on what was considered at the time, rear area security operations. But the shifting tides of war would soon put them on the front lines.

    The Egyptian 4th Armored Division was a regular army unit. It had two armored brigades (2nd and 3rd), one mechanized brigade (the 18th), one artillery brigade (the 46th), and an engineer battalion. While it was a trained unit its combat performance in the several engagements it was in during the war was inferior to the that of the Israelis. This was mainly due to the overall low quality of its leaders. The unit designations for the 112th Brigade and the 4th Division are fairly accurate only because the historical sources of them are from the Israelis. The Egyptians to this date (2011) still refuse to release an official order of battle for the 1967 War.


    The Scenarios


  • Scenario #1: The Approach: This scenario depicts the Israeli 200th Armored Brigade’s initial arrival into the area. The short length of the scenario depicts of the amount of daylight left before nightfall. The Israelis arrive on the map via the Wadi Haridan as that was the route they took crossing the desert. I have kept the same defensive positions and minefields for the Egyptians from the original scenario. The Egyptian 112th Brigade is set up fixed in place and with all units in a disrupted state to simulate surprise. Historically the Israelis captured the radar site on the hill during this battle and set up to defend against the impending arrival of the Egyptian 4th Armored Division. They did not bother with the 112th Brigade and for some unknown reason the Egyptians did not bother with them. However in the scenario the Israelis have the option to attack some of the units of the blocking force, but will not have much time to accomplish much. The victory point levels are based on capture of objective hexes and of the destruction of enemy units. Frankly, the Israelis would be hard pressed to get a draw in this one because of the time limitations.

  • Scenario #2: Night Engagement: This scenario depicts the initial meeting engagement between the Israeli 200th Armored Brigade and the lead elements of the Egyptian 4th Armored Division. It is a short scenario, only ten turns, as the initial engagement only lasted an hour before the Egyptian commander decided to pull back and go into a defensive laager for the rest of the night. The Israeli 200th starts the game set up on the board but one of its armored battalions is gone due to being diverted to Abu Agheila. The Egyptian 112th National Guard Brigade starts the game still frozen in place in its defensive positions, although its units are now fully alerted and therefore not disrupted. They are short another company now that the Israelis have possession of Radar Hill. The Egyptian 4th Armored enters along the road on the south edge of the board. Only two battalions from the 4th enter the board as these were who historically fought the night engagement. The 112th National Guard Brigade historically spent the night hunkered down in its positions, essentially doing nothing, although its indirect fire units did engage in harassment fire against the Israelis through out the night. For their part, the Israelis were fully preoccupied with the 4th Armored and did not give the 112th any trouble that night either. The victory point levels seem rather low, but remember that it is the Egyptian who move first in this scenario and so have a smaller enemy force to deal with. As before the victory point levels are based on possession of objective hexes and the destruction of enemy units.

  • Scenario #3: Capture or Death: This scenario depicts the grand battle that should have been the original scenario in Divided Ground. It depicts the morning attack of the Egyptian 4th Armored Division and the Israelis 200th Armored Brigade’s defense against it, and the Israeli 7th Armored Brigade’s attack on the Egyptian 112th National Guard Brigade. The Egyptian 112th Brigade again starts the scenario with its units fixed in place. (It is amazing that during the whole historical battle, the 112th in essence did nothing but hold its positions, thus giving the Israelis a free hand in maneuvering around the battlefield.) The Egyptians will have more artillery in this scenario, with the addition of an off board artillery battalion to the south but the Israelis will have two off board artillery battalions to the north supporting the 7th Armored Brigade. The wrecks along the road in the southern part of the map are left over from the battle of the previous night (Scenario #2). All forces from both sides will have units of reduced value to reflect losses suffered since the war began. The Egyptian 4th Armored Division enters the board from the south during the first eleven turns (ten in Middle East) to reflect its attack at the beginning of the battle. The Israeli 7th Armored Brigade enters the board from the north starting on Turn 15 to reflect its historic entry time of about 90 minutes after the battle began. The Israeli 48th Armored Battalion (from the 200th Armored Brigade) enters the board from the southeast along the road to Abu Agheila starting on Turn 25 to reflect its historic entry about two and a half hours into the battle. (This is the battalion that was missing from Scenario #2 because it had been sent to Abu Agheila.) The scenario last for forty turns as this was a four hour battle. The Israelis have twenty airstrikes to aid them in the battle. The Egyptians move first as they started the battle off. The victory point levels reflect the Egyptian battle objectives of destroying Israeli units and hold or recapturing objective hexes. All in all, the scenario is what the original scenario in game should have been, but was not due to time restraints caused by the early release of the game.


    Conclusion

    I hope that players enjoy these three new scenarios for Bir Lahfan which give a more accurate picture of what really happened there.







  • Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (10/23/2016 4:24:36 PM)

    Three new scenarios covering the battle of Bir Lahfan were added to the download in the Opening Post. Thank you Alan! [:)]




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (10/30/2016 2:37:25 PM)


    DESIGN NOTES FOR THE BATTLE OF KHAN YUNIS 1967

    By Alan R. Arvold


    In the game Divided Ground, there is a scenario entitled “Red Sheet”. It is about the initial battle for town of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. Like all of the scenarios in Divided Ground it was done in a hurry and without much research into the actual battle. In my program to update the Divided Ground scenarios I came upon “Red Sheet” and found a flawed product. Oh the scenario set up generally follows the historical one, but the unit designations for the Arabs were way off. Not only that, I found also found that there were four separate engagements to take the town during the first three days of the 1967 War. Instead of just updating the original scenario, I decided to expand it into four separate scenarios, one of each engagement.


    The Map

    The map was based on the maps from the British War Office 1960 map series. While most of the maps from that series were made during World War Two, it seems that maps made of the Gaza Strip and adjacent areas were made post war, as they include the coastal railroad that was laid down post war. The original map in Divided Ground had the wrong directions, which I subsequently corrected. Other than that I made no other changes.


    The Orders of Battle

    There are really two different kinds of orders of battle here. The Israelis had a different one for each battle, while the Arabs had the same one, albeit ever shrinking as the cumulative assaults were wearing them down.

    The Israelis

    The Israelis had a different order of battle for each battle as there were different units at each battle, except the last one where two previous units returned for a final go at the Arabs.
    7th Armored Brigade: The 7th Armored Brigade was the first unit to attack Khan Yunis. It consisted of the 79th and 82nd Armored Battalions, the 7th Mortar Battalion (SP), and the 7th Scout Company. Absent from the brigade was the 75th Armored Infantry Battalion which was being held back as the divisional reserve and one company from the 79th Battalion which was attached to the 202nd Paratroop Brigade. Also accompanying the 7th Brigade was Granit Force, a small force consisting of the 45th Armored Battalion and a scout company.
    11th Infantry (Mechanized) Brigade: The 11th Infantry Brigade was only recently converted to a mechanized brigade of two armored infantry battalions and one armored battalion. However it was temporarily stripped of its halftracks and self-propelled mortars just before the war so its infantry units became regular infantry again. This is why rifle units are used instead of armored infantry to represent the line platoons. One of the infantry battalions (the 111th), accompanied by a tank company from the brigade’s armored battalion, made the second attack on the town and returned to participate in the final attack, though the tank company was absent.
    202nd Parachute Brigade: The 202nd Parachute Brigade consisted of two parachute battalions (the 88th and 202nd) and C Company from the 79th Armored Battalion. The brigade was equipped with halftracks and self-propelled 120mm mortars in place of their 81mm mortars just before the war, thus making them mechanized paratroopers. (They did attached their dismounted 81mm mortar platoons to the 11th Infantry Brigade though.) Only the 88th Battalion, plus the tank company made the third attack on the town. In the final attack, both parachute battalions plus the tank company participated in the attack.

    The Arabs

    The main Arab unit in Khan Yunis was the 108th Palestinian Infantry Brigade. It had the 84th and 87th Palestinian Infantry Battalions and 27th Infantry Battalion (from the Egyptian 9th Infantry Brigade at Rafah). Attached to the brigade were two tank companies, one was the 3rd Company of the Egyptian 311th Tank Battalion (also from the Egyptian 9th Infantry Brigade) and C Squadron of the 53rd Independent Armored Battalion. The 53rd was one of the two tank battalions in the Egyptian Army still equipped with Sherman tanks and it was still using its old British unit designations. The 108th also had the 91st Palestinian Artillery Battalion of twelve 25 Pdr Howitzers as well as the composite 103rd Palestinian Anti-Tank Battalion which had an assortment of AT guns and the 119th Anti-Aircraft Battalion.

    The Arabs were supplemented by ad-hoc civilian militia groups that formed during the battle from the town’s populace who equipped themselves with weapons from dead Arab soldiers. The destruction of regular units also caused the survivors to form ad-hoc sniper teams which hindered the Israelis not only during the battles, but for days afterward, even past the end of the war.

    The force was received long range artillery support from the Egyptian 24th Field Artillery Battalion, which was stationed just west of Rafah. But the support was only during the first attack, by the time the second attack occurred the 24th was busy defending itself from the Israeli 7th Armored Brigade and by the end of the first day of battle it was destroyed.

    Players will notice one important difference between the Divided Ground and Middle East version of these scenarios. The medium trucks in Middle East leave wrecks while those in Divided Ground do not. Therefore there are additional wrecks in the Middle East version to account for the destroyed medium trucks.


    The Scenarios

    There are four scenarios, each which depict the four separate attacks on Khan Yunis during the war. These will be looked at separately.

  • Day 1, Part 1: In the first scenario we have the Israeli 7th Armored Brigade making its pass through the town. It enters on the east side of the board and must exit off of the south side, while destroying as much of the 108th PLA Brigade as it can in the short amount of time in the game. Historically the Israelis were not expecting much more than an infantry battalion and were quite surprised to see artillery and tanks in the town. Still they felt out of their depth here as they had no infantry to clear the town with. While they took out half of the artillery battalion and a good chuck of the Arab armor, they had to leave so as to keep with their schedule. Besides there was a lot of anti-tank rocket toting infantry hiding in the houses, taking pot shots at the tanks as they passed by. Seven knocked out tanks and a handful of wrecked halftracks were testimony to the effectiveness of this anti-tank fire.

  • Day 1, Part 2: The second scenario historically started about an hour after the first one ended. The 111th Infantry Battalion of the 11th Infantry Brigade, supported by a company of AMX-13 tanks, attacked from the northeast. While they made good progress through the outskirts of the town, once they got towards the center of Khan Yunis, Arab resistance sharply increased. Not only was the 108th shifting troops around to meet the most immediate threats, the town civilians were arming themselves with weapons from the dead Arab and Israeli soldiers and forming ad-hoc militia units. Four AMX-13 tanks were quickly knocked out by anti-tank fire from the surviving Arab tanks in the town and the Israeli commander realized that his unit was in over its head and withdrew after about an hour.

  • Day 2: After the second battle the Arab defenders pulled in their defenses to make a smaller, more manageable perimeter. Using a small supply of mines that were located in the town, the 108th planted some hasty minefields around their perimeter. Bolstered by the success of resisting two attacks the day before, the town’s populace formed more ad-hoc militia units and sniper teams, which the 108th’s commander used to fill in gaps in the defense. However, ammunition was in limited supply and so the artillery had to be used more sparingly. The next attack did not come until the late afternoon of the 6th of June. It was performed by the 88th Parachute Battalion of the 202nd Parachute Brigade, called away from their mopping up missions around Rafah Junction. They were supported by a company of Patton tanks from the 7th Armored Brigade. They attacked from the southwest and never really got through the outer defensive perimeter due to receiving a lot of heavy fire in a short amount of time. The Israelis withdrew to the beach to the west after an hour to rest and regroup.

  • Day 3: During the night following the third attack the Israelis decided to attack again, only this time with more units and from multiple directions. The rest of the 202nd Parachute Brigade became available during the night and actually linked up with it lone battalion on the beach. In the morning just before dawn, the 202nd split up and each battalion moved to its attack position, one attack coming from the beach to the west and the other coming from the southwest. The Israelis also got the 111th Infantry Battalion from the 11th Infantry Brigade, which had just completed taking the rest of the Gaza Strip, to attack from the northeast. The Arabs on their part were girding themselves for what they thought would be the final battle. Their ammunition for their tanks and heavy weapons was very low. While a few more ad-hoc militia units were formed, for the most part they were nothing but armed rabble. At dawn the three prong attack commenced and quickly broke through the outer defensive perimeter. Within an hour all three prongs of the attack met in the center of Khan Yunis. Once this happened most of the Arab defenders threw down their weapons and surrendered. By noon the town was secured and the 202nd Paratroop Brigade, along with its attached tank company, moved out to the west into the Sinai to join in the pursuit of the Egyptian Army. For the 11th Infantry Brigade which remained behind, the days ahead would be busy, routing out the last of the Arab sniper teams that refused to surrender.


    Conclusion

    I hope that these scenarios give better insight to the actual battle for Khan Yunis during the Six-Day War in 1967.




  • Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (10/30/2016 2:41:11 PM)

    Battle of Khan Yunis added to the download available in the Opening Post. History preserved! Thank you Alan [:)]




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (11/10/2016 4:32:24 PM)

    DESIGN NOTES FOR THE BATTLE OF RAFAH JUNCTION 1967

    By Alan R. Arvold


    If Divided Ground can be faulted (and it certainly has for many things) it is for its absence of a scenario for the battle of Rafah Junction in 1967. This was a critical battle at the beginning of the Six Day War and the Israelis needed to win it and win it fast if they wanted to carry the war to its conclusion. One would think that its inclusion in the game would have been mandatory and it probably would have been if the game’s development had not been cut abruptly short. Still there was a need for this scenario and I finally got around to doing it.


    The Map

    As there was no extra mapsheet for the Rafah area around 1967 in the Divided Ground game, I had to make one. I started with the map from the “Hasten Thou and Kill Him” scenario which portrays the battle of Rafah in 1956. This map was based on the maps from the British War Office series of 1960. Although most of the maps of that series were done during World War II, the ones for the Rafah area seem to have been done post war. This is because they include the coastal railroad which was laid down after the war. I expanded the map to the west and south and filled it in with appropriate terrain features for 1967. I increased the size of the town of Rafah itself to reflect its population growth between 1956 and 1967. One will notice that that there are more sandy areas on the map in 1967 than in 1956. This shows the gradual encroachment of the desert into the Rafah area that had been occurring in the Twentieth Century. This is probably best showed in the example of the big wadi that is near the western edge of the mapsheet of the scenario “Bloody Epiphany” which portrays the Rafah area in 1949. In 1967 it is shown just as terrain of a lower elevation. (The wadi had been slowly filling up with sand and dirt that had been blown in by the wind over the decades.) Another good example of the passage of time is the increase of cultivation as the Egyptians make use of what good land they have left before the desert eventually consumes it. Still it is a pretty good map for the scenario.


    Order of Battle

    Such a big battle deserves a pretty big order of battle for both sides. I shall describe each side in detail. Note that not all numerical designations of the battalions for both sides where list can be considered 100% accurate. The Israelis had the habit of changing the numerical designations of their battalions from time to time to confound enemy intelligence efforts and frequently historians use the post-war designations of some of the battalions when describing them in the war. The Egyptians, on their part, have just refused to release any of the designations of their brigades and battalions from that war to anybody, a policy that they have maintain to the present day and the numerical designations of their units, where known, have come from the Israelis. The Egyptians will not even let the soldiers and commanders of their forces of that war even be interviewed by historians and the like, although they will let their memoirs (no doubt heavily edited) be used as source materials as well as their official history of the conflict..

    The Israelis

    The Israelis had the 84th Armored Division, better known as Ugdah Tal, as its main unit in the battle. It had two armored brigades (the 7th and the 60th) a mechanized paratroop brigade (the 202nd), an artillery regiment (the 215th), and two independent armored forces of large battalion sizes (Baron and Granit Forces).

  • 7th Armored Brigade: The 7th Armored Brigade had two armored battalions (the 79th and the 82nd), one armored infantry battalion (the 75th), a self-propelled mortar battalion (the 7th) and an armored scout company (the 7th). The 79th Armored Battalion is frequently referred to as the 77th Armored Battalion in several histories about the war. This was because it had its numerical designation changed shortly after the war. It was equipped with M-48A2 Patton tanks. It was missing its third tank company during the entire battle because it was attached to the 202nd Paratroop Brigade. The 79th was unique because it still had five-tank sized platoons, whereas the other tank battalions in the Israeli Army had gone over to three and four tank sized platoons. The 82nd Armored Battalion was a Centurion tank equipped unit with four tank companies. Two of its companies had the Ben Gurion models of the Centurion tank with 105mm guns while the other two still had the old Mk III Centurions with the 20 Pdr gun. The 7th Scout Company was unusual in that it had a platoon of tanks assigned directly to it.
  • 60th Armored Brigade: The 60th Armored Brigade had two armored battalions (the 19th and 42nd), one armored infantry battalion (the 29th), a self-propelled mortar battalion (the 60th), and a scout company (the 60th). The 19th Armored Battalion was equipped with AMX-13 tanks and the 42nd Armored Battalion was equipped with M-51 Isherman tanks.
  • 202nd Paratroop Brigade: The 202nd Paratroop Brigade had two paratroop battalions (the 88th and 202nd), a tank company from the 79th Armored Battalion (C Company), and the 202nd Scout Company. The brigade had a third paratroop battalion but this was detached just before the start of the war and assigned to a force tasked with capturing Sharm el-Sheikh at the southern most point of the Sinai peninsula. The paratroop battalions were unusual in that they were mounted on halftracks. Normally they would mounted in trucks, but because they were supporting the armor of Ugdah Tal, it was felt that it would be better if they mounted in halftracks in order to keep up with them. There was no self-propelled mortar battalion in the brigade but each paratroop battalion had a battery of 120mm self-propelled mortars in their respective weapons companies, in place of their regular 81mm mortars.
  • 215th Artillery Regiment: The 215th Artillery Regiment had two self-propelled artillery battalions (the 19th and the 27th) assigned to it. Each of these had four batteries of AMX 105/50 Self-Propelled guns. Note that the Israeli Army at the time was just going over to three battery artillery battalions but most of the artillery battalions still had four batteries.
  • Baron Force: Baron Force consisted of an armored battalion (the 46th) and an armored recon company. Both of these came from the Israeli Army’s Armor School and were composed of both students and instructors mobilized for the war. The 46th Armored Battalion was equipped with M-48A2 Patton tanks and was unique in that one of its companies was equipped with Patton tanks recently up-gunned with 105mm guns. The Armored Recon Company was equipped with AMX-13 tanks.
  • Granit Force: Granit Force consisted of an armored battalion (the 45th) and a scout company (numerical designation unknown). The armored battalion was equipped with AMX-13 tanks. It would be interesting to note here that Israeli armored battalions equipped with the AMX-13 used four-tank platoons while the armored recon companies that used them only had three-tank platoons. The scout company used jeeps that mounted 106mm Recoilless Rifles instead of machine guns.

    The Egyptians

    The Egyptians had the 7th Infantry Division as its main force in the battle. The 7th had three infantry brigades (the 9th, 11th, and 16th), one National Guard brigade (the 112th), one armored brigade (the 14th), two artillery brigades (the 49th and 57th), a heavy tank battalion (the 1st) and numerous support battalions, including multiple anti-tank battalions. It had only been recently formed about a month earlier and originally had the 11th and 16th Infantry Brigades. However, as the month wore on, more and more units got added to it and made it into an oversize division. Despite its large size, the 7th was a poor quality division. Most of the brigades were missing their original battalions as they were down in Yemen fighting in the civil war down there. Therefore units from other brigades were added to the 7th Infantry's brigades when it was formed up. The brigades never had a chance to train up as a unit and the division as a whole never had a chance to train up since it was formed.

  • 9th Infantry Brigade: The 9th Infantry Brigade was a recent addition to the division and for a long time was thought to be part of the 11th Infantry Brigade by many historians. It was a standard infantry brigade although it was missing one of its infantry battalions. This missing infantry battalion (the 27th) was at Khan Yunis to the northeast as part of the 108th Palestinian Infantry Brigade. It seems that the 7th Infantry and 20th Palestinian Infantry Divisions traded infantry battalions as a sign of Arab solidarity just prior to the war. The 9th defended Rafah and the Army Camp next to it during the battle. However, the Israelis bypassed both of these places initially and the so the 9th was left out of the fighting at the beginning of the battle. Only its tank battalion got into the fighting by falling back and supporting the 11th Infantry Brigade. After the initial battle was over did the Israelis started mopping up the 9th Infantry Brigade which by that time was cut off and demoralized and its soldiers were surrendering in droves as the Israelis advanced into the Army Camp and Rafah.
  • 11th Infantry Brigade: The 11th Infantry Brigade was one of the original brigades in the division. It was a standard infantry brigade but was missing its tank and one of its assigned infantry battalions, both of which were defending Jiradi Pass. To replace the missing infantry battalion, the 86th Palestinian Infantry Battalion was assigned to it (received from the previously mentioned 7th Infantry-20th Palestinian trade-off). The 11th was positioned north of Rafah Junction, west of Rafah, at the start of the battle.
    16th Infantry Brigade: The 16th Infantry Brigade was the other original brigade in the division. It was one of the Egyptian Army’s semi-mechanized brigades, meaning that one of its infantry battalions was in fact a mechanized battalion. (This explains why many historians have listed it was a mechanized brigade.) The brigade was positioned south of Rafah junction at the beginning of the battle, though its tank battalion (the 213th) was positioned back at the town of Kafr Shan, acting as a divisional operational reserve.
  • 14th Armored Brigade: The 14th Armored Brigade was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division about a week before the war and was stationed at El Arish. It was equipped with T-54/55 tanks and one of the best independent armored brigades in the Egyptian Army, bearing the nick-name “Presidential Guards”. It was originally supposed to be the 7th Infantry Division’s strategic reserve. However, a couple days before the war started it was temporarily detached and sent down to the Egyptian 3rd Infantry Division where it ended up fighting during the war.
  • 112th National Guard Brigade: The 112th National Guard Brigade was the largest National Guard unit attached to the 7th Infantry Division. It was not in the Rafah area at the beginning of the war, but instead had its main body located at Bir Lahfan. However it had company and battalion size detachments spread out all over that area defending the various approaches. This included a battalion that was stationed in El Arish. It never figured into the battle of Rafah Junction.
  • 49th Artillery Brigade: The 49th Artillery Brigade was located west of Rafah, north of the main coastal road. It had two or three battalions of artillery present at the battle. (Israeli sources disagree on the number.) All of the battalions were equipped with 122mm howitzer, except one which was equipped with 122mm guns which allowed it to cover the town of Khan Yunis to the northeast as well as the Rafah area. It is also possible that there was another 122mm artillery battalion assigned to the 49th located all the way back in El Arish, but it is uncertain whether this was part of the brigade or a recently added extra artillery battalion to the division. For scenario purposes I am assuming that all three battalions were present on the map and that the extra battalion at El Arish was totally separate.
  • 57th Artillery Brigade: The 57th Artillery Brigade was located southwest of Rafah, south of the coastal road, and in the rear of the 16th Infantry Brigade’s operating area. It had three artillery battalions, each equipped with 122mm howitzers. It was present in its entirety in the battle.
  • 1st Heavy Tank Battalion: The 1st Heavy Tank Battalion was deployed within the 16th Infantry Brigades area, south of the coastal road. It was equipped with JS-III “Stalin” tanks. It was one of two or three heavy tank battalions in the Sinai. (Another battalion was located in the 125th Armored Brigade in the 6th Mechanized Division to the south. A third battalion was never positively identified and it is possible that it is an invention of many military historians who may have lumped together the various JSU-152 batteries that were spread out across the Sinai into this third “battalion”, due to the fact that the Egyptian Army classified both the JS-III and the JSU-152 as “artillery tanks”.)
  • 47th Tank Destroyer Battalion: The 47th Tank Destroyer Battalion was a self-propelled tank destroyer battalion equipped with SU-100s. Two of its companies were located in the 16th Infantry Brigade’s area and the other was located in the 11th Infantry Brigade’s area.
  • 79th Anti-Tank Battalion: The 79th Anti-Tank Battalion was a towed anti-tank battalion equipped with the modern T-12 100mm guns. It was located in the 16th Infantry Brigade’s area.
  • 143rd Anti-Tank Battalion: The 143rd Anti-Tank Battalion was an independent towed anti-tank battalion, recently attached to the 7th Infantry Division. It was equipped with the older D-10 100mm guns of World War 2 fame. It was located around the town of Kafr Shan during the battle.
    The 7th Infantry Division had other support units such as an engineer battalion (which was located in El Arish) and at least two air defense battalions (which deployed defending various airfields in the division’s operating area), but as these took no part in the battle I do not list them.


    The Scenario

    The scenario is set up so that the various units on both sides are set up in their historically correct areas, if not their exact positions, at the beginning of the battle. The Israeli 7th Armored Brigade enters the map somewhat reduced to reflect the losses it suffered in Khan Yunis just prior to the battle. The Egyptian defense certainly looks formidable and it is in the scenario, despite the low morale of its units, and will certainly give a better account of itself than it did in the historical battle. Ironically, General Soliman did have a small opportunity in the few weeks before the war to get some training in for his division but he squandered it as he knew that the whole operation was nothing more than a saber rattling exercise by President Nasser against the Israelis. To his credit though he did keep his troops busy digging defensive positions which is why there are a lot of improves positions and trenches on the board on the Egyptian side. For the record, the Israelis had about 50 of the 300 tanks in Ugdah Tal knocked out during the battle. The challenge for the Egyptian player would be to exceed this amount of Israeli tanks destroyed, whereas the challenge for the Israeli player is to keep his tank losses below the historical result.


    Conclusion

    It is my hope that Divided Ground players find this to be an exciting scenario. It may have taken a long time to come about but a critical battle in the 1967 war is finally getting the coverage that it deserves.




  • Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (11/10/2016 4:33:19 PM)

    Battle of Rafah Junction added to Scenario Pack. Download available at the Opening Post. Thank you Alan!




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (11/22/2016 4:03:36 PM)

    Three new scenarios from Alan [&o]



    Battle of Jebel Libni
    Alan R. Arvold
    6 June, 1967

    [Jebel Libni, Sinai Peninsula]: [H2H] [HIS] [GD]: After a short rest after the battle of Bir Lahfan, the Israeli 7th and 200th Armored Brigades proceeded south towards the central road through the Sinai in the vicinity of Jebel Libni. Awaiting them at that location were the Egyptian 14th and 141st Armored Brigades. The town of Jebel Libni and the army base north of it were both abandoned but as they were obvious Israeli objectives, had to be defended. However, the Egyptian plan was not to defend them to the death, but instead to stop the Israelis long enough for the Egyptian 3rd Infantry Division to construct a series of roadblocks to the west of the town. Just after sundown on the 6th the Israelis reached the outskirt of Jebel Libni and a general engagement ensued. After an hour, as further Israeli reinforcements from Ugdah Yoffe arrived to bolster the attack, the Egyptians withdrew to the west. The Israelis, after securing both the town and the base, decided to rest of the night. [1.02]



    Battle of Nakhl
    Alan R. Arvold
    8 June, 1967

    [Nakhl, Sinai Peninsula]: [H2H] [HIS] [GD]: After capturing Abu Agheila, Ugdah Sharon lost most of its units which were regulated to other missions, leaving General Sharon with only the 14th Armored Brigade and the 147th Recon Battalion. (Although he managed to trade his slower self-propelled 155mm artillery battalion for a faster self-propelled 105mm artillery battalion before the 214th Artillery Regiment left him.) Despite the smaller size of his force, he was tasked with proceeding to the town of Nakhl and cutting off the retreat of the Egyptain Shazli Armored Force and the 6th Mechanized Division. Moving out early on the morning of 7 June from Abu Agheila, Ugdah Sharon got as far as Jebel Karem, about 30 kilometers northeast from Nakhl, where they were held up by minefields and the 125th Armored Brigade. As it was early evening, Sharon opted to rest his troops and attack early in the morning.

    However, during the night the 125th abandoned all of it vehicles and escaped to the west. The next morning Sharon captrued an entire brigade's woth of perfectly running AFVs and then proceeded on to Nakhl. As his forward units arrived at Nakhl about 10:30 AM on the 8th, Sharon was disappointed to learn that the entire Shazli Armored Force and one mechanized brigade, plus an artillery battalion and some units from the support battalions of the 6th Mechanized Division had already passed through Nakhl during the night. However, his reconnaissance units spotted large dust clouds in the distance on the road from El Thammand, indicating that a lage convoy was on its way. This
    was the rest of the 6th Mechanized Division, already demoralized because of the abondonment of it by its senior commanders, who were desperately trying to get to the Suez Canal. Sharon quicly deployed his units into ambush positions. The lead elements of the convoy ran into the ambush at about 10:50 AM and the battle was on. By 2:30 PM the main battle was over but mopping up lasted for another three hours. By the evening of the 8th of June, Sharon
    had destroyed three quarters of the Egyptian 6th Mechanized Division.


    2nd Battle of Bir Gifgafa

    Alan R. Arvold
    8 June, 1967

    [Bir Gifgafa, Sinai Peninsula]: [H2H] [HIS] [GD]: As the Israeli armored columns spread through out the central Sinai surrounding fleeing Egyptian units, certain Israeli Armored battalions were tasked with the mission of blocking roads from the Suez Canal to prevent Egyptian reinforcements from interfering. One such unit was the Israeli 19th Armored Battalion of the 60th Armored Brigade. Set up on the road west of the airfield at Bir Gifgafa, the 19th was to block reinforcements from the city of Ismailia. As it turned out, the Egyptian independent 1st Armored Brigade was enroute along that very same road with the mission of linking up with the 4th Armored Division. It was not a complete brigade as one of its tank battalions, and most of its support units, were diverted north towards Rumani to block the Israeli advance through that town.

    As it were, the 1st Armored planned on occupying Bir Gifgafa and the airfield and await the arrival of its other subordinate units before proceeding on. The 1st Armored Brigade ran into the roadblock manned by the 19th Armored Battalion shortly after midnight oof the 8th of June and a battle ensued. The Israelis managed to hold off the Egyptians for about two hours but after losing seven halftracks loaded with supplies and three tanks, performed a fighting withdraw towards Bir Gifgafa. The Egyptians surged forward and almost overran the Israelis, but reinforcements from both the Israeli 7th and 60th Armored Brigades arrived and after losing ten tanks to their fire, the Egyptians retreated back towards the Canal. [1.02]




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (11/28/2016 4:06:30 PM)


    DESIGN NOTES FOR BATTLE OF JENIN 1967

    By Alan R. Arvold


    The battle of Jenin 1967 scenario was originally created by Abu Ben Kappely (alias of Wyatt Kappely who was the chief playtester for Divided Ground). The scenario itself was an combination of the first two scenarios of the 1967 Linked Campaign Game (both the Israeli and Jordanian versions) by Edwin Conmy. It was one of the large scenarios and it was not part of the original game. Instead it was an independent scenario that was posted on Games Depot. However there were errors in the scenario. There was an error in the map that was corrected in the Divided Ground 1.04 Patch. The orders of battles were based on the those in the Linked Campaign Game, modified by changes in both the Israeli and Jordanian unit organizations posted in the 1.02 Patch, but not those included in the 1.03, 1.04, and 2.0 Patches. Thus I resolved to update this scenario some years ago using the information from these later patches.


    Mapsheet

    The map sheet was a combination of the mapsheets of the first two scenarios of the Linked Campaign Game. This was not hard as there was considerable overlap between the two mapsheets. These mapsheets were based on the British War Office map series of 1960. The maps of the West Bank were made in the early 1950s. One notable item that was missing from them was the abandoned railroad that runs through the area. Because the railroad was largely useless both Kappely and Conmy never put it on the maps. But it is a viable terrain feature so I added it in. Note that the absence of bridges on the railroad, except in one spot, is deliberate. The Jordanians destroyed the bridges in their area to prevent the Israelis from using it as means to enter Samaria after the 1947-49 War for Independence.


    Orders of Battles

    The orders of battle for both sides were largely unchanged except for additions mandated by the order of battles in the later Divided Ground patches. I did make one important change. The Jordanian overall commander was Brigadier el Jaza. But he was also the commander of the 40th Armored Brigade. Upon his arrival in the Jenin area he was put in charge of all Jordanian forces in the area. Thus he had to put his deputy commander in charge of the brigade and he took part of the brigade headquarters to make an ad hoc divisional command structure. This is why the Jordanian division headquarters has a strength of one (1) and the 40th Armored Brigade's headquarter unit is of reduced strength of two (2).


    Scenario

    The scenario itself is largely unchanged from the original author's design. The only real difference is Israeli reinforcement schedule in the Divided Ground and Middle East versions. Players will find that some of the later arriving infantry units may arrive a turn earlier in the Middle East version than in the Divided Ground. This is because of the difference in the carrying capacity of transport units between the two game. (Divided Ground still has the old system where one strength point of transport carries one strength point of infantry whereas Middle East uses the newer system where a strength point of transport carries two strength points of infantry.) But this will only affect a few Israeli companies.


    Conclusion

    I hope that Middle East players enjoy this scenario. See if you can change history and stop the Israelis from conquering Jenin.




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (12/4/2016 3:42:11 PM)


    DESIGN NOTES FOR THE BATTLE OF RAFAH SOUTH

    By Alan R. Arvold


    Rafah South was one of the original scenarios that came with the Divided Ground game. Designed by Edwin (Mick) Comny, it depicted the part of the battle of Rafah, south of the Rafah road junction. Like most scenarios in the game, it was designed in a hurry to meet the accelerated release date for the game, and as such, was filled with errors. I largely ignored this scenario as I designed the larger Battle of Rafah 1967 scenario which depicts the whole battle, including the southern part as depicted in Rafah South. But as I am converting every Divided Ground scenario to Middle East, I had to deal with this scenario sooner or later. So here goes.


    Mapsheet

    The mapsheet, as with all other ones in the Divided Ground scenarios, are based on the 1960 British War Office series of the Middle East. As is well known, the maps of the Sinai Peninsula was made during World War II. It definitely shows in the Rafah South mapsheet. The Rafah-Nitzana Road is depicted on the map as an unpaved road. Yet it was well known that the road was paved in 1967. I did not change it as I wanted to keep as much as Comny's original design as possible. The area is far more sandy than on my map, but I guess it is a matter of how one interprets the terrain on the map.


    Order of Battles

    Comny's original order of battle for this scenario can be summed up in one word, crappy. While he did get the major units correct, their internal organization left much to be desired. The Egyptian infantry units had no support weapons what so ever, just plain infantry. The tank units had no headquarter platoons and he used the basic generic large size platoons for the individual tank and anti-tank gun units, he did not pare them down to their historical proper strength. He had a brigade's worth of artillery under one battalion headquarters. I had to create a brigade structure for the artillery, fortunately the Egyptian 49th Artillery Brigade was historically deployed in the area so I used its structure as my guide. The anti-tank guns I reduced from a strength of four each to two each. This gives the anti-tank battalion a total strength of 18 guns, not 36 as Comny gave them. The JS 3 tank and SU-100 tank destroyer units which were at five and four strength points I lowered to three strength points each and I gave the tank units their respective HQ tank units. Now one would think that I am robbing the Egyptians of some of their anti-tank potential but I made up for it by giving the Egyptian infantry their support weapons which include 85mm anti-tank guns, 107mm recoilless guns and 82mm recoilless guns.

    The Israeli force was not much better. The infantry received their support weapons though in this case it meant just machine gun and mortar units. The tanks received their headquarter platoon units and the Baron Force which reorganized to its historical composition. I also corrected the units numerical designations to their historical ones.


    Scenario

    I kept the scenario largely as is. It did make some adjustments in certain unit locations for the Egyptians, mostly to accommodate the support and headquarter units I brought in in my OB adjustments. One change that I did not make was the deletion of the 33rd National Guard Battalion. Historically this battalion was defending the city of El Arish during the battle so its presence in the scenario is an aberration. For that reason I gave this scenario an HISB rating as the scenario type in Middle East. But this scenario is Comny's, not mine, and I want to keep his essence to make it different from my Rafah 1967 scenario. I feel that it would have been a better scenario if Comny had more time to complete it. Even with all the correction that I made, the scenario still has a strongly Pro-Arab flavor. The main problem is that Comny only gave the Israelis two battalions instead of a brigade plus worth of troops and weak artillery support. Its only saving feature is that it is shorter in length than my Rafah 1967 scenario, so players who do not have time for my scenario could consider this one to be a suitable alternative.





    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (12/30/2016 3:09:42 PM)

    Three new 1948 scenarios added to the Scenario Pack! Thank you Alan [&o]

    26 March, 1948
    [Gush Etzion, West Bank]: [H2H] [HIS] [GD]:
    Under the November 29, 1947 United Nations partition plan, the Etzion bloc of settlements were to be included in the new Palestinian Arab state. Its settlers however, were determined to keep the Arabs from obtaining their land before the May 15, 1948 expiration of the British Mandate. In this they were fully backed by the Jewish national leadership. If the Etzion settlements, deep in Arab territory, were successfuly defended it would provide a psychological boost to other Jewish communities, themselves outnumbered by hostile forces and facing similar dangers. Accordingly, a large armored convoy was sent from Jerusalem bringing reinforcements and supplies. It met only minor resistance on the road south to Etzion. Upon reaching its destination, inevitable delays were encountered in unloading and preparing for the trip back. Among these were difficulties in loading the settlement's prize stud bull, Zimri, being sent away for safe keeping. By the time the convoy started north again, the local Arab militia was alerted and mobilizing. The return journey to Jerusalem would face much greater hazards. This is a revision of the original scenario by Edwin "Mick" Conmy. [1.02]

    19 May, 1948
    [Jerusalem, West Bank]: [H2H] [HIS] [GD]:
    With the end of the British Mandate and the immediate declaration of the State of Israel. Jerusalem become the focal point of the War for Independence. The cultural and religious significance of the city toboth sides was enormous. The Old City of Jerusalem, the ancient capital of the first Jewish nation, was the site of their most sacred temple. A remnant of the temple's outer structure, the Western or Wailing Wall, was still an object of deep religious devotion. At one time, Jerusalem had also been the holiest of Islamic places. The early Moslems prayed in the direction of the ancient city in which was built, on the ruines of the Jewish Temple, a beautiful shrine known as the Dome of the Rock. In the middle of May 1948, the situation for the Jewish Quarter of the Old City was grim. Cut off from the Jewish stronghold in the New City to the west, their positions were being slowly reduced by Arab irregular forces. Worse, the British-led Arab Legion had crossed the Jordan River and was fast approaching the city. Desperate circumstances called for a desperate plan. The Palmach's Harel Brigade, which had been fighting in the Jerusalem corridor for weeks and was severely depleted, would make a secondary attack on Mount Zion. The Irgun and Stern Gang, radical Zionist splinter groups, reluctantly agreed to create a diversion at Herod's Gate. An engineer team was to use demolitions to smach through the Jaffa Gate at the foot of the Citadel, then the main assault by an Etzioni Brigade company would break through to relieve the embattled Jewish Quarter. The thick walls of the Old City, as they had many times in history, would once again be stormed in battle. This is a revision of the original scenario by Edwin "Mick" Conmy. [1.02]


    18 October, 1948
    [Faluga, Israel]: [H2H] [HIS] [GD]:
    The goal of Operation Yoav - The Ten Plagues - was to open a supply route south to the Negev. To do this the Israelis planned to break through the right flank of the Egyptian Army which extended from the Egyptian base on the coast eastwards tthrough Faluga. Operation Yoav would see the largest concentration of Israeli forces to date, elements of four different brigades backed by the weak armored formations of the 8th "Old Man's" Brigade, would participate in the attack. Supporting them would an unprecidented barrage of artillery, both 65mm and 75mm field pieces along with light, medium, and heavy mortars. In defense was the Egyptian 1st Infantry Brigade, headquartered in Faluga, with its battalions dug in on important objectives. Among these were the crossroads known as "the Junction" in the north, the Huleikat Hills to the south, and commanding the Negev Road, the police fortress at Iraq Suedan. Previous failed attempts to assault this fort caused the Israelis to refer to it as "The Monster on the Hill". Among the Egyptian officers in the Faluga "pocket" was Major Gamel Nasser, future leader of the United Arab Republic. This is a revision of the original scenario by Edwin Conmy. [1.02]




    demyansk -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (12/30/2016 6:28:24 PM)

    Hi, I have the map pack but which download do I do again for the new scenarios? THanks




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (12/30/2016 8:12:49 PM)

    There is a download link in the Opening Post, for the (so far) complete scenario pack. I keep adding to the zip archive, so just download the whole thing again as new scenarios become available.




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (1/15/2017 3:04:42 PM)


    More 1948 scenarios added to the scenario pack

    A Cruel Khamsin Wind

    25 May, 1948 [Latrun, West Bank]: [H2H] [HIS] [GD]:

    The Arab Legion was making slow but steady advances towards the Old City. Supplies and reinforcements were urgently needed but the road to Jersulaem was blocked by Arab Legion positions around Latrun. The Israeli General Staff, knowing that the fall of the Old City would have untold effects on the morale of the fledgling nation, formed a new brigade to attack the Latrun stronghold from the west and open the corridor to Jerusalem. The 7th Mechanized Brigade, like many other Israeli units, was an ad-hoc formation and was based on a small mechanized battalion (the 73rd) equipped with halftracks which were recently arrived in the country, and a motly collection of armored cars captured from the enemy. A second battalion (the 71st) was scraped together from various training cadres while a third (the 72nd) was formed using recently arrived immigrants from various European countries. The 7th Mechanized Brigade was given a bare minimum of time to organize and plan Operation Ben-Nun and faced a daunting frontal assault against a solidly entrenched, well led, 4th Arab Legion which was supported by the 3rd Arab Legion Brigade artillery assets and various Jordanian and Palestinian irregulat units.

    The 32nd Infantry Battalion, from the Israeli 3rd Alexandroni Infantry Brigade, was attached and tasked to make the main assault against the Latrun fortress. What few vehicles from the 73rd Mechanized Battalion that could be made ready in time wee to provide support from the rear. The 72nd Infantry Battalion was to move south of Latrun and then wheel north to clear the heights overlooking the Jerusalem road for the supply column waiting near Hulda to make the journey to Jerusalem. The Israeli operation was already risky enoungh with a planned night attack and became even riskier when zero hour was delayed and the attack had to begin at dawn. The day would see an agonizing heat borne from a cruel Khamsin Wind from Arabia and with it, clouds of biting black mosquitoes. This is a revision of the original scenario by Edwin "Mick" Conmy. [1.02]


    Fatih Allah

    10 June, 1948 [Mishmar, Hayardan, Israel]: [H2H] [HIS] [GD]:

    The Israeli settlement at Mishmar Hayardan controlled a vital entry into Palestine, the Bridge of Jacob's Daughters. These since antiquity, the Via Maris, a thoroughfare from Egypt to Damascus that was built by the Romans, crossed the Jordan River. Despite its strategic location, Mishmar Hayardan was unprepared for the Syrian attacks which began on the morning of June 6th, 1948. While it and other settlements in the Finger of Galilee were extensively pounded with artillery, Syrian units forced the Jordan River and advanced west towards the north-south road connecting the Finger of Galilee to Tiberias and other points south. The Syrians failed in crossing their armor to the west bank and their attack was repulsed. The Syrians pulled back across the Jordan River to reorganize and reinforce.

    Two brigades were assembled for the renewed attack. The lead brigade (the 2nd Infantry) would ford the Jordan River again, acting as the spearhead, while the follow up brigade (the 4th Infantry) would exploit the breakthrough. The Syrian objective was to drive a wedge across the Finger, cutting it off from the rest of Israel, before the anticipated truce froze the opposing forces in place.

    The Israeli 9th Oded Infantry Brigade was defending the area and though supported by the various militias from the local settements, was short of arms, ammunition, and men. Reinforcements from the Israeli 2nd Carmeli Infantry Brigade were sent to bolster the 9th Brigade's defense, but before they could arrive and have a chance to strengthen the positions, the decisive Syrian thrust was launched early on the morning of June 10th. This is a revision
    of the original scenario by Edwin "Mick" Conmy. [1.02]


    Never Go Far

    10 July, 1948 [Lydda, West Bank]: [H2H] [HIS] [GD]:

    When it became apparent that the truce would not be extended, the fate of Jerusalem was uppermost on the minds of the Israeli leaders. Their plan, Operation Dani, called for the envelopment of the strategic towns of Lydda and Ramle which were located between the southern flank of the Iraqi force at Majdal Yaba and the Arab Legion strongholds around Latrun. Success would give the Israelis control of the Lydda air and rail facilities and establish better positions from which to continue the offensive in the vital Latrun-Jerusalem corridor. Lydda and Ramle were defended by local Arab forces, well fortified and bolstered by small independent Arab Legion detachments, but the defenses were oriented against an attack from Tel Aviv to the northwest. Operation Dani designated the Israeli 8th Armored Brigade to penetrate in the north while the 11th Yiftach Infantry Brigade would assault from the south. This pincers were to meet at the village of Ben Shemen before jointly attacking Lydda-Ramle from the east. The 11th Infantry Brigade, beginning its movement first, fought its way to Ben Shemen the following afternoon.

    The commander of the lead unit, the 3rd Infantry Battalion, decided to attack Lydda alone rather then wait for the 8th Armored Brigade, which was being delayed by Arab Legion mechanized forces in the Beir Naballa area to the norrtheast. After encountering stiff resistance on the outskirts of the town, the 3rd Battalion sent a signal to the 8th Armored for armor reinforcements. In the confusion of the battle this call was not received by the 8th
    Brigade's headquarters, but instead by its light 89th Mechanized Battalion.The 89th's one-eyed commander, Lt Col Moshe Dayan, abandoned his unit's supporting position at Deir Tarif to race his jeeps and halftracks to the assistance of the 3rd Infantry Battalion. Led by a lone armored car nick-named "The Terrible Tiger", the 89th ripped through Lydda in a flying column, firing in all directions, then continued west to Ramle where its suprise appearance stunned the defenders. Learning that an Arab Legion armored reinforcements were being sent from Latrun, the 89th retraced its route, fighting its way through Lydda again. The shock of these audacious attacks allowed the 3rd Infantry Battalion
    to subdue the Lydda defenses. Ranle, now surrounded, surrendered without a fight the next day. Historical note: The 8th Armored Brigade's commander, commenting on the 89th's unauthorized attack which allowed the Arab Legion to gain temperary control of Dier Tarif, said that such disobedience to orders indicated that the 89th's commander would "never go far" in the Israeli Army. Moshe Dayan's subsequent career proved that prediction to be way off the mark. This is a revision of the original scenario by Edwin "Mick" Conmy. [1.02]




    Bootcamp Missions + Bootcamp Manual

    Available both with a Mediterranean and Desert maps:

    Bootcamp Mission 1 / Bootcamp Mission 1a

    15 October, 1948 [Fictional Terrain]: [Side A] [FIC] [GD]:

    Brigade Intel has determined that the area around Emanual Aldam is the weak point in the Egyptian lines. Take "Gimel" Company and clear out the road leading toward the town of Sinat. Your imediate objective is the hamlet of Barot.
    Reports indicate that it is weakly held. Hopefully you will be able to secure your objective with little loss. This is a revision of the original scenario by Matthew Kreager.[1.02]


    Bootcamp Mission 2 / Bootcamp Mission 2a

    17 October, 1948 [Fictional Terrain]: [Side A] [FIC] [GD]:

    After you captured Sinat, Intellignece has learned of a major effort to reinforce Chanting. In light of this situation, you are ordered to attack with "Aleph" Company and capture the town before enemy reinforcements have arrived. By the way, some "heavy Weapons" units are on the way, and will probably arrive witthin the hour. Keep your losses light, we do not want to be sending too many letters home. Move out! This is a revision of the original scenario by Matthew Kreager. [1.02]


    Bootcamp Mission 3 / Bootcamp Mission 3a

    19 October, 1948 [Fictional Terrain]: [Side A] [FIC] [GD]:

    Driving the Egyptians out of Chanting and that village was no easy task. Luckily the night passed without incident. Your men should be well rested. We do not believe that you will be blessed with quiet for much longer, however. Reconnaissance reports that Egyptians are approaching your position from the north. It is imperative that your and yur men hold onto the village. The old man is already on the radio trying to round up some reinforcements to send your way. Look for "Beth" Company to arrive, but it will be a half hour until they can move out. In the meantime, give "em hell'! We have confidence that you will be able to hold out. This is a revision of the original scenario by Matthew Kreager. [1.02]





    Please re-download the scenario pack from the Opening Post for some top new gaming enjoyment! Thank you Alan [:)]




    Big Ivan -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (1/15/2017 4:09:26 PM)

    Crossroads,

    You and Mr. Arvold are like 24-7, 365 Santa Clauses!!![&o][&o][&o]

    Thanks loads for your hard work and sharing!

    Big Ivan[:D]




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (1/15/2017 4:17:45 PM)

    Gotta keep them coming [:)]

    Thanks Big Ivan!




    berto -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (1/15/2017 9:08:19 PM)


    By my reckoning, at latest count, CSME now has 227 scenarios. [X(] 121 of them by Alan! [&o]




    Crossroads -> RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground (1/22/2017 10:05:20 AM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    More 1948 scenarios added to the scenario pack



    I had missed adding the Design Notes for another 1948 scenario that was added at the time, so here goes:

    DESIGN NOTES FOR BLOODY EPIPHANY By Alan R. Arvold

    Bloody Epiphany was originally a scenario created by Peter Hickman for Divided Ground. It was not part of the original game nor was part of the official updates or patches. It was instead an original scenario that was posted on the now-defunct Games Depot website. Now at first it looked like a great scenario, especially in its hypothetical concept. But as I studied it further I found several errors in its execution. For one thing both sides had a shortage of leaders. For another thing was a poor command and control structure in the order of battle for both sides. There were also errors in the set up of both sides on the board. Various level headquarters were located in the same hex, something that would not happen in real life. A lot of battalion headquarters were holding a place in the front line. There were gaps in the front of both sides. Within several battalion set up areas there were company subordinate units that were mixed up with each other in the set up hexes, so you have examples like a company that has one platoon set up seven hexes away in another company's area or and isolated company size force that has three platoons, each from a different company and still under control of their original units. (Yes, situations like this do happen in real combat, but the platoons would be under control of the companies that they are attached to, not still under control of their parent unit.) If that was not bad enough, he was also using units from the 1956 War in the order of battle for this scenario which would occur in 1949, before they were historically introduced to the using army in question. The fact was, this scenario needed some serious revision in order to make more relevant to the times which were being portrayed.


    The Mapboard

    The mapboard was really the best part of the scenario. It really looked like what area would look in the immediate post World-War-Two years. Players will note that the area looks a lot greener than the maps for Rafah 1956 and most especially for Rafah 1967. This is because over the decades the desert had been slowly encroaching into the area. Blowing sands were gradually filling in the depressions and gulleys, making them disappear from view. The sand also gradually covered some of the fertile farm land, making them wastelands. So there is nothing wrong with the map board, its just reflecting what the area looked like in the late 1940s.


    The Orders of Battle

    It was the orders of battle for both sides that certainly needed work. While the general size and composition of each force was pretty good, the organizational status was poor. There were battalion and brigade headquarters controlling the forces, yet there was a definite shortage of leaders. I remedied that problem. Then there was not an overall commander and headquarters for the Israeli side. Again I gave them a divisional one as the Israelis would have learned their lesson by now after the debacle at Faluga a few months before where each brigade operated on its own, loosely controlled by a distant headquarters in Tel Aviv. (Sadly they would make this mistake again at Abu Aghiela in 1956.) On the Egyptian side the force was controlled by a division headquarters which controlled four brigades. Yet its name, the Rafah Counter Attack Force was misleading as the two infantry brigades were clearly defensive in nature and the other two brigades (the 1st and 2nd Motorized Groups) were each really an armored battalion with a lot of supporting units attached, not worth being given a brigade command. So I relabeled the Egyptian force as the Egyptian Defense Force, made the two motorized groups as regimental commands, and put both of them under a brigade headquarters labeled the Egyptian Counter Attack Force, which itself is another brigade under the Defense Force headquarters. Now both sides have a more streamlined command and control structure. Next came dealing with individual units. On the Egyptian side we had an sIG II in their 2nd Motorized Group. In the Order of Battle Editor for Divided Ground there is indeed an sIG II for the Egyptians in the Israeli War for Independence although it is totally missing out of Middle East. I did some checking on this assault gun and found that the Egyptian Army did indeed have them, the only problem was that they were non-operational. (They were captured by the British from the Afrika Korps in 1942 and after shipping a few back to Britain for evaluation, left the rest in Egypt for the Egyptians. By 1949 they were being stored in a motor pool as there was no ammunition for the guns and no spare parts for the vehicles.) So I replaced the unit with a 25 Pdr howitzer troop and accompanying truck unit. There was also the numerous BTR-ZPU 14.5mm vehicles in the Egyptian order of battle. This vehicle was not available until the early 1950s. However I found that they were being used in Divided Ground to represent the self-propelled 20mm AA gun that was mounted on a truck. So I left them in the Divided Ground version and used the self-propelled 20mm in Middle East. On the Israelis side I saw that they had self-propelled 120mm mortars and 20mm AA guns. As it turns out, the self-propelled 20mm was available in the late 1940s, even if it is not in the Divided Ground Order of Battle Editor for the Israeli War of Independence, so I left them in both versions. However, the self-propelled 120mm mortar was definitely not available, so I replaced it with a ground mounted version of the 120mm mortar and a halftrack unit for transport. Also in the original scenario the author had different types of rifle units in some of the infantry units, in some cases they were rifle units from the 1956 War, in other cases they were militia units. I corrected both of these to the standard rifle unit for the Israeli War for Independence. (By this time in the war, the militia units were left behind to defend the settlements. As for the 1956 rifle units, they were used to create a fictional commando unit that the Israelis never had.)

    I also re-labeled several units in the orders of battles, giving them the appropriate numerical designations. Perhaps the most bizarre unit was the Israeli 7th Mechanized Commando Battalion in the original scenario. Such a unit never existed in 1949. (This was the unit that had the 1956 rifle units.) I made it into a regular infantry battalion that just happens to have halftracks as transport. One will notice that most of the units are understrength and missing subordinate units. This is deliberate. At this stage of the war most brigades on both sides had many of their subordinate units scattered all over the place fulfilling various missions. Also the Egyptians are still using the old British T.O.&E. Organizations for most of their units. Again this deliberate as the Egyptian Army at this time still had a strong British influence.


    The Scenario

    The scenario set up followed the general set up that Peter Hickman had in his original scenario. However, I had to switch some units around to cover gaps in his set up. Not just that, I had to move back some battalion headquarter units from the front lines to positions where they could cover all units under their control for command and supply purposes. Unfortunately, I could not always position the brigade and the divisional headquarters to cover all of their subordinate battalions and brigades. This was especially true for the Israelis who are set up in a wide outside arc on the map. The Egyptian set up is also in an arc but is in a smaller area and and command and control is total. Also with all of the changes that I made in this scenario I no longer classify it as a Hypothetical scenario for Middle East, instead I classify it as a What If.


    Conclusion

    Peter Hickman had a great idea for this scenario, but his execution was poor. I only strove to make this a better scenario worthy of both Divided Ground and Middle East.




    Again, my sincere thanks to Alan for his continues preservation of military history with these fine scenarios! [&o]




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