Lt Monk’s Diary continues on… from here.
0520 With the light came some glimmer of hope, some respite from the fear of the dark.
As I mentioned earlier on, filling in what happened on East Hill took some time. Here is what I learnt.
The HQ team from Division and an MG section were overrun by a swarm of Chi-comms. The died to a man. The ragged remains of D-10 Eng and attached units fought back aggressively pushing the Chinese back. They then hunkered had down in the lee of the north side of East Hill.
As twilight washed away and it rolled to 0600 the early light revealed very little! The snow had picked up again reducing visibility to about a 100yards.
With tanks re positioned to support at range this was a big problem for the defenders of East Hill.
The 240th had rounded the Northern tip of East Hill and disappeared in a swirling maelstrom of snow.
Below them a small handful of weakened squads tried to climb up to flank and spot for arty – they took heavy fire doing so.
Meanwhile I set to with the men to counter attack across the barren airstrip. Arty flew in Danger Close, pounding anything we could see.
(SYR and -1 step) at the NW end.
We lost another tank in a furious counter close assault; H&S supported retaking the SE end of the airstrip and Howi exchanged continued fire on the northern end. The US cleared all but the last 50 yards of the airstrip.
The Command started peeling off units to reinforce East Hill.
2 battered Ad-hoc platoons of cooks, electricians and painters who had just arrived on East Hill were engaged in desperate hand to hand fighting against the elite 240th. They hung on, repelling the attack, and retrieved the bodies of the fallen.
It went quiet…things seemed to be settling down now that we had better light. We were all less jumpy and jittery for sure. The snow was still hindering visibility for both sides.
The Chinese had reversed course in the blinding snow, and before we knew what had happened had occupied the SE side of the hilltop! Div HQ bravely sought to get into spotting range, they were taking a lot of fire but managed to get co-ordinates down and transmitted, monitoring fire for effect.
It appeared that we had more company. East Hill radioed down an update.
Another ful Battalion of fresh troops had taken up positions on the slopes…
The 240th were ready for what appeared to be a final assault, they were not going to be dissuaded . If they were successful and the snow died down we were doing to get shot to pieces in Hagaru, and our own arty would be at risk too.
0620, Division HQ realized their mistake, took decisive action and surprised the Chinese with
an attack covered under a ferocious Barrage that barreled right down on the new advancing Battalion from 240. The Engineering platoons regain the dug in positions although surrounded by Chinese. They hoped to hold on long enough to get sighted in on the Chinese down the Hill, so that the 105’s could be brought to bear.
We on the other hand were kick’n ass in town. Despite losing another tank we cleared the runway and pushed the Chinese well back from our perimeter. SE of Hagaru the frozen paddies were being cleared out. Our last tanks in this part of the camp were covering additional troops who were trying to flank 240 on East Hill.
The roar of the 105’s that had zoned in danger close again to the top of East Hill shook up both sides.
The Chinese units hugged the ground.
B-1 Eng recklessly close assaults and kills an MG section that had been suppressing them. Valour under fire!
The Regulator platoons follow up and move into the previously abandoned Dug in positions.
The airstrip was cleared of Chinese, and they hovered back out of range.
At the base of the Hill the tanks advance and kill another platoon of Chinese in the paddies.
Even with the sunlight it was neither warmer nor had visibility improved much. This played havoc with the barrages on the Chinese, causing potentially dangerous scatter for the troops on the hill.
Desperate to regain a strong footing on the hill a platoon of the 240th suicide attack the Divisional HQ and die under their resolute defence.
Then they were done. Like a fire doused in water, they disappeared into a haze of snow.
At this point I decided to call the game. Even though I think the Chinese could have made a last turn dash for territory it seemed manipulative. As they really lacked any ability to hold anything they took
Post Game Notes:
Visibility played havoc with learning the rules. If I play this again I would drop the snow impeding visibility ranges. Unless I was using it incorrectly. I understand the difference between spotted range and visibility.. but sheesh, several turns were at 1 hex in daylight.
So spotting arty in was impossible and get any suppressions to allow assaults meant the Chinese got torn up getting close enuff!
Position, timing moves, SFA and leaving enough firepower available for Opp Fire (OW) is a delicate dance.
Tanks are powerful, not being able to stack hurt, as several ( way more than I thought ate it at the hands of AT attacks from determined 172 troops!
I have not done a full body count, but 172 is a shell, and the 240th had maybe 2-3 pull platoons, every other one had one step loss or more.