Monday, July 13, 2015

Cuba Libre - Liberation Batrep 20


It's 1030 on 2 Feb 1990, and the CLA's F Company, 2nd Airborne Battalion is in the center of the island, in hot pursuit of the regime's 84th Infantry Company, 4th Infantry Battalion, in order to carry out Generalissimo Waraldonez' orders to eliminate the enemy's 4th Infantry Battalion.  F Company has been hot on the heels of fugitives all morning, but lost contact briefly.  The enemy, finding itself up against impassable cliffs (at least in terms of scaling them an opposing force right behind them), and so the 84th Infantry Company digs in to make a last stand against the CLA forces.

So far we've had:
1) B Squadron SOF destroyed a radar site in support of amphibious landings at Playa Colorada (5).  B Sqdn then egressed and linked up with CLA rotary wing assets for their follow-on mission in Havana (6).
2) C Squadron SOF destroyed a the Cuban military's communications center.
3) 1st Para Battalion dropped in and seized a bridge to screen the landings at Playa Colorada (5).
4) 2nd Para battalion dropped in and eliminated a Castro-regime garrison to screen the landings at the Bay of Pigs (just west of (4).
5) 1st Marine Company, 3rd Infantry Battalion, made an amphibious assault at Playa Colorada.
6) A Squadron SOF attacked a Castro-regime SAM site near Havana, which failed to clear the way for B Squadron's helo assault into Havana.
7) 2nd Marine Company, 6th Infantry Battalion, landed at the Bay of Pigs then turned east and ran into a strong enemy force, which it handily defeated.
8) B Company of the UWG pursued and destroyed an enemy garrison in the Escambray Mountains.
9) B Squadron SOF conducted an aerial insertion into Havana to seize a radio station and broadcast news of the invasion.
10) 10th Popular Force Battalion seized and destroyed the Pedroso bridge to protect the Bay of Pigs landing site from the Matanzas garrison.
11) 1st Airborne Infantry Battalion successfully fought off a regime counterattack near the bridge at Sandino, protecting the western (Playa Colorada) landing site from the Pinar del Rio garrison.
12) 6th Infantry Battalion fought through an enemy ambush while pushing inland from the Bay of Pigs landing site.
13) 8th Popular Force Battalion ambushed a mechanized column of the enemy 2nd Armored Battalion, just west of Havana.
14) 2nd Airborne Battalion engaged enemy armored forces of the 6th Armored Battalion in the village of El Rincon, en route to the Bay of Pigs landing site.
15) 4th Infantry Battalion's 1st Air Assault Company conducts an air assault southeast of Sandino to counter enemy mechanized forces of 3rd Infantry Battalion (forcing 1st Airborne Battalion's right flank).
16) 9th Popular Force Battalion conducts a spoiling attack on the regime's 7th Infantry Battalion in the Matanzas garrison.
17) 2nd Air Assault Company, 7th Infantry Battalion, inserts east of El Rincon to block the escape of the regime's 6th Armored Battalion.
18) C Company of the UWG fought a running battle in the Escambray Mountains to delay/halt the regime's 12th Mechanized Battalion moving west.
19) A Squadron SOF holds off the regime's 2nd Airborne Company, 1st Airborne Battalion at the Radio Station in downtown Havana, while B Squadron SOF and 8th Popular Force Battalion move to reinforce.
20) F Company, 2nd Airborne Battalion, attacks north of Sandino to eliminate the regime's 4th Infantry Battalion.

The opposing forces, with regime troops on the left and CLA troops on the right.  The CLA force is made up of Brits from Pendraken's Falklands Range, while the regime force consists of Argentinians from Pendraken's Falklands Range.

Commander, F Co, 2nd AB Inf Bn: Captain Guerrero

The CLA force has a Command Stand representing Captain Guerrero's HQ section, seven rifle teams, an 81mm mortar team, a .50 cal HMG team, a MILAN ATGM team, and a single leader figure representing their Battalion Commander.

2nd Airborne Infantry Battalion, Commanding Officer: Colonel Salvino Carreno

The regime force has a Command Stand, five rifle teams, a .50 cal HMG team, and a .30 cal MG team.

Overview, north is up, the cliffs are just off table at top.  The regime troops are dug in at the top, on the north side of the river, which can be crossed only at the two fords (far left and center).  The CLA force is at bottom, fanned  out and moving forward to contact, though they don't know exactly where the enemy line is.

The Castro forces win the die roll and open up the fight.

The ambush is sprung by the enemy's HMG, which opens up on the CLA center...

Putting heavy casualties on Team 3 (center, white bead) and forcing Tm 4 to fall back (bottom left, red bead, next to the mortar team).

Almost simultaneously, the enemy .30 cal MG opens up (top right)...

Knocking out one team, and pinning another and the CLA's HMG team.  Colonel Carreno (the single figure) looks on in astonishment.

An enemy rifle team (top left) fires, forcing Tm 1 to fall back (bottom right, from white puff).

Team 5 (bottom left, with yellow bead), already pinned by the enemy MG, shakes off fire from a regime rifle team.

As does Team 2.

But another enemy team picks up the slack, putting heavy casualties on Team 2 (white bead at bottom right, next to Team 3, who is also 'men down').

Running short on viable targets, an enemy rifle team fires on the MILAN team (two figure stand at bottom right)...

Putting them out of the fight (bottom center).  You can see two teams hunkering (red beads) and two teams 'men down' (white beads).

On the far left, an enemy team and Team 7 exchange fire, to no effect.

Colonel Carreno (bottom left) springs into action, ordering the mortar team to fire on the enemy's HMG team, but they can't get the range.

Colonel Carreno then rallies the HMG team and Teams 5.

Captain Guerrero tries to rally Team 2, but they've taken too many casualties and dissolve, but Team 3 successfully rallies.

At bottom left, Colonel Carreno rallies Team 4, and the mortar opens fire again...

Targeting the HMG team and forcing them to run screaming from the fight (the problem with being dug in on the table edge is that there's nowhere to fall back to; perhaps not the best tactical move in that regard, but the position gave them the best field of fire with protected flanks).

Colonel Carreno then decides it's time to take the fight to the enemy; he leads Team 5 forward, drawing enemy fire, but they shake it off...

Then fire and miss.  Team 7 then moves up (on trail, with Colonel and Team 5 on the hill, all at bottom center) and draws enemy fire, which pins them.

The CLA HMG then goes into action, opening fire...

Which knocks out one rifle team (casualty figure at top center) and pinning another (yellow bead, with enemy MG at bottom right).

The pinned enemy team tries to self rally, but fails and falls back (red bead).

The CLA HMG (bottom left) again roars to life...

Putting heavy casualties on the enemy MG team, and pinning a nearby rifle team.

And the mortar team (bottom left) is now working like a well-oiled machine, dropping 81mm rounds on the enemy's far left (top right)...

Forcing the two enemy rifle teams there to fall back (top center left and bottom left, both with red beads).

Attempting to seize the initiative and push forward, Colonel Carreno (top left) tries to rally Team 7, but they fail and fall back (bottom right).

The Colonel says hell with it and leads Team 5 forward, nearing the stream (at center, with the enemy teams that got pounded by the mortar at far left, hunkering).

In the center, Captain Guerrero tries to rally Team 1 (bottom center), but they only get up to pin, so he also says hell with it and leads Team 3 forward (center), where they fire on the enemy team on the far right flank (top right), but they miss.

Trying to counter Colonel Carreno's bold move on the CLA's left flank (far right), the enemy CO moves over to rally the two rifle teams pounded by the CLA's mortar (far left).  One team successfully rallies, but the other team runs off the map.

The enemy CO then leads the successfully rallied team up to the river, opposite Colonel Carreno and Team 5.

On the CLA's right, the enemy tries to rally: one rifle team (top center) runs off the map, but the other rifle (bottom right) and the MG get back into fighting shape.

Team 7 (bottom left) tries to rally, but runs off the map!  The HMG team (top center) moves up to support Colonel Carreno's expedition (off camera at top left).  Team 4 (top right) also moves up.

Good grief, sorry for the terrible photo...  In the CLA center, Team 1 (far right) tries to rally, but they, too, run off the map.  Captain Guerrero leads Team 3 forward (far left).

On the far left, Colonel Carreno and Team 5 open up a ferocious fusillade on the enemy CO and rifle team at the western river crossing...

The enemy is forced back by the small arms fire, but Colonel Carreno leads Team 5 forward and the enemy surrenders!

Then the CLA heavy weapons go to work on the enemy on the CLA's right flank: the mortar team (bottom left) fires on the enemy MG team (top right)...

Forcing them to fall back (bottom right, from center white puffs).

Then the HMG team (bottom left) goes to work on the enemy rifle team at top right (with Captain Guerrero and Team 3 at center)...

Putting the enemy team out of action.

Captain Guerrero and Team 3 then sprint forward and police up the rabble, capturing the regime MG team and a hunkering rifle team.

Wow, another pushover...  But, once again, it's not my fault.  The enemy sprung a pretty ferocious ambush, putting two rifle teams and the MILAN team out, putting two rifle teams 'men down,' making two rifle teams 'hunker,' and pinning the HMG team.  When the CLA mortar team fired on the enemy HMG and missed, I started thinking about calling in reinforcements for the CLA paratroopers.  But then the regime force fell victim to the dice; not hot shooting dice by the CLA, like last time though.  This time, the enemy force was unable to capitalize on its initial shock of fire because they rolled three straight 'scurries.'  You can say that sucks, or it's not fire, or not realistic, but that's what happened, and I choose to look at it like this: the enemy force was already beaten up and exhausted, being pursued by a larger, better trained and equipped force, who, against the odds, pressed forward and did the job they were sent to do.

Shades of the Wehrmacht in France, 1940?  It's happened countless times throughout history.  And it's another victory in the campaign to liberate Cuba ;)

Regime: ~10 KIA/WIA, ~10 POW (another ~15 ran off into the jungle, no longer a military fighting force)

Colonel Carreno was awarded the Estrella de Bronce for his combat leadership, which saw him rally about five teams under fire, then lead the assault which collapsed the enemy on the left flank.  F Company got beat up a little bit, and the two leaders of the teams that ran from the field need to be dealt with, but the enemy's 4th Infantry Battalion ceases to exist.

Two more fights, which seals up the battle of D+1, to be written up and posted, so stay tuned.


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