20 April 2016

The Battle of Tarawa: Mini Campaign, Day 3

Battle of Tarawa: Part III
With special guest writer, 
Dr. Michael L. McSwiney, Ph.D.

Day 3 – November 22, 1943 – Advance from Red 1

In this photo, you can see Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Jr (2nd Battalion, 8th Marines)
lead his heroic assault on 22 November 1943.  It's said you can see him fourth
from the right. More information on this Medal of Honor winner here...
On November 22, the 1st Battalion of the 6th Marine Regiment began a westward advance across island to meet up with the forces that had advanced from Red 2 and 3.  By the end of the day, they would reach the eastern end of the airstrip on the island.

The Mission
Play “Dust Up” with a Marine Rifle Company attacking a Veteran Hohei Chutai.  The battlefield should be the western part of Tarawa’s airfield along the south side of the atoll.  The airstrip should run along the long side of the board and there should be some support buildings and other features for cover.

USMC Force
The Marine force at this point should have access to pack howitzers and machine guns, but should still be bereft of most heavy artillery and amphibian tank platoons.

Japanese Force
The Japanese force should likely not include armor at this point, but they players can decide if the Japanese have a few Ha-Go tanks available.

Night of Day 3 – November 22, 1943 – Japanese Banzai Charge

The Japanese formed up for a counter-attack against the American Marines which was to commence on the night of November 22, but concentrated artillery fire broke up the attack.  At 3:00AM the next morning, the Japanese conducted a banzai charge against the American lines.

The Mission
Play “Hasty Attack” with a Japanese Veteran Hohei Chutai attacking a Marine Rifle Company. The battlefield should be the eastern end of the airstrip on Tarawa and include a partial runway, aprons, and some buildings.

USMC Force
At this point, the Marines should still lack heavy artillery, but may have light tanks and should have naval gunfire support as the destroyers USS Schroeder and USS Sigsbee provided vital artillery support to the Marines.

Japanese Force
The Japanese should largely focus on infantry formations with little in the way of heavy weapons or guns. This battle should use the “Hell by Day, Paradise by Night” rule.

Keep a look out, Marines!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for: Day 3 – November 22, 1943 ...
For Day 1 of the battle, check out: The Battle of Tarawa: Mini Campaign, Day 1...
For Day 2 of the battle, check out: The Battle of Tarawa: Mini Campaign, Day 2...

Be sure to check out Mike's blog: Miniature Ordnance Review for more excellent articles and painting guides!

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