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[Operation Crusader] Ariete resistance - January 01, 1970

Battle of Bir El Gobi (I)
By: benedetto70 - Last update: 11/06/2006
Axis Player: Allied Player:
x5 x6 x5 x6
    first You play first

Historical Background:
Operation Crusader began on November 18, 1941. The British 22nd Armoured Brigade was tasked with taking Bir el Gobi, an important defensive position located on a desert crossroads. The Ariete division was in the process of preparing defensive positions around Bir el Gobi. General Balotta (Commanding Ariete) ordered his troops to prepare for an attack. The defence was reorganised into a more compact arrangement, with the Bersaglieri battalions anchoring the defence. The III/8░ Bersaglieri with a group of 75/27 guns of the 3░ Artillery was positioned on east of the ridge; and the XII/8░ Bersaglieri with the I/132░ Artillery to the west. Immediately to north of the ridge were a group of 105/28 guns of 24░ Artillery and seven 102mm naval cannons truck mounted (Milmart). Further north was the 132░ Tank Regiment. So the 22nd Armoured Brigade arrived in front of the Ariete positions. The V/8░ Bersaglieri were in well prepared positions, but XII/8░ Bersaglieri had yet to finish its preparations and the III/8░Bersaglieri had only just arrived and was still dismounting from their trucks. The heavy fire forced the tanks of the British to divert their attack towards the flanks of the Italian defences. The XII/8░ Bersaglieri forced the 4th C.L.Y. (County of London Yeomanry) to withdraw; but the III/8░ Bersaglieri’s line was in danger of being broken by the 3rd C.L.Y’s attack. In the afternoon the Italian launched a counterattack. Two kilometres north of Bir el Gobi appeared the M13/40 tanks 132░ Ariete Tank Regiment supported by the 102mm portee guns. The VII/132░ and VIII/132░ tanks attacked 3rd C.L.Y. and after an hour of indecisive fighting the XI/132░ tank battalion attacked the flank and rear of the British tanks. The Crusaders were forced to withdraw in disorder. Ariete lost 40 tanks; the 22nd Armoured Brigade lost 60 tanks. It stopped the British 22nd Armoured Brigade in its tracks from its defensive positions, and had inflicted heavy losses on the British in the process.

Axis Player: Take 5 Command cards. Allies Take 5 Command cards. You move first.

Conditions of Victory:
6 Medals.
Depot and barracks hexes count as Victory Medals for Allies. Place Objective Medals in these hexes.
For the allied player: one of Victory Medals must come from captured Bir el Gobi buildings (so, the allied score from italian casualties cannot exceed 5).

Special Rules:
Armor movement is amended as follows:
An ordered Axis Armor unit (Ariete Italian tanks) may move up to 2 hexes and battle.
An ordered Allied Armor unit may move up to 3 hexes and battle.

If an ordered Italian infantry unit moves onto Oasis hex may recover lost figures, by applyning the exact same procedure as a Medics and Mechanics command card.

North Africa Desert rules are in effect (see p. 3).

Scenario Bibliography:
VV.AA. Soldati & Battaglie della seconda guerra mondiale - Africa settentrionale, vol. 1, Milano 1999.
Petacco A., L'armata nel deserto. Il segreto di El Alamain, Milano 2001, pp. 71-77.
Krieg E., La guerra nel deserto, Barcelona 1970, pp. 188-191.

Please note that this scenario was not approved by Richard Borg or Days of Wonder, so you have to check yourself about playability, potential gaming issues, etc.

Set-up Order