[Tarawa] Bloody landing on Betio - November 20, 1943 - November 23, 1943

Operation Galvanic
Pacific Theater By: jdrommel - Last update: 06/08/2011
Axis Player: Allied Player:
x8 x2 x10 x2
    first You play first

Historical Background:
At Fall 1943, Gilbert Islands were a strategic objective for the US Command because of its geographical position, on the road of Carolines and Marshall Islands. Operation Galvanic was to capture the Tarawa atoll and more precisely the small island of Betio where the Japanese Navy had built an airfield. On the 20th of November 1943, the 2nd US Marines Division landed on Red Beach 1, 2 and 3 under terrific enemy fire. Only some survivors of the 1st wave reached the shore and established a bridgehead on the beach protected by a wooden seewall. On the second day, in spite of heavy losses, the US Marines reached the south coast of the island (less than 600 meters wide). At the twilight, the Japanese launched a suicide bayonet charge which was repelled by the US Marines. On the 23rd of November, Betio was definitively in US Marines' hand. Only 17 wounded Japanese were taken prisoners, more than 4 800 were killed as well as 1 000 US Marines. Many losses for a so small island !
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.

Allied player [USMC] : 10 command cards, you move first.
Axis player [Japan] : 8 command cards.

Conditions of Victory:
15 medals. The two ammunition dump and the HQ bunker of Shibasaki are each a temporary medal objective for the Allied player.

Special Rules:
- Use "Japanese Imperial Army" rules (Nation 3).
- Use "US Marine Corps" rules (Nation 4).
- Use "Combat Engineer" rules for US engineers (Troop 4).
- Use "Landing Craft" rules (Troop 15 - Landing Craft).
- Special Weapon Asset rules (SWAs 4 - Special Weapon Assets) are in effect for the Japanese units equipped with Mortars (SWAs 6 - Mortar Late War) and with Machine Guns (SWAs 7 - Machine Gun Late War).
- Sandbags are permanent and symbolized the wooden seawall built by the Japanese defenders. Use "Sea Wall" rules (Terrain 12).
- Air rules are optional: the Allied plane is a Vought F4U Corsair (Strafing & Air Support). At game start, give the Allied player one Air Sortie card and shuffle the other in the deck. The airfield is not usable in this scenario.

Scenario Bibliography:
- Militaria Magazine hors-série n°19 - Les Marines débarquent à Tarawa.
- Magazine Champs de Bataille n°6 - La bataille de Tarawa.

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