Sunday, February 7, 2016

Saving Basra - Steel Armor Blaze of War

December 1985. After years of war, the Iranians are feeling the pinch of social unrest. Determined to finish Saddam Hussein and his Army, chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani made it clear that the only way to finish the war would be an attack on Basra. The first phase of the operation would be crossing the the Shatt al-Arab river, south of Basra (Operation Karbala 4) and to turn the Iraqi defensive positions centered on Basra.

The lead tank of an Iraqi T-62 platoon moves west to be debriefed at the tactical command post.
The Iraqis understood the importance of defeating the Iranian offensive right at the onset of the operation. Iraqi General Maher Rashid led a successful clearing of the Iranian bridgehead. This blog entry shows how that fighting may have looked like from the Iraqi side.

The tactical situation on 25Dec1986. I'm playing as a tank platoon commander of the 3rd Corps (6th Armored Division). Blue graphics: Iraq, red graphics: Iran.
Leading a small force of armor and mechanized infantry, the Iraqi Army (green and orange icons) moves west to their first engagement (flame icon). Not shown in this screenshot are many infantry engagements taking place across the entire front.

The terrain is almost flat. I moved my platoon in an attack formation towards the objective. In the far background, the densely vegetated area around the Shatt al-Arab river can be seen.

The first contact came in full blunt as a mix of infantry supported by a tank. Thanks to my platoon's quick action, the Irani tank was dispatched at once. The enemy infantry took a some time to be destroyed by a combination of machine gun and highly explosive rounds. This is the view from the commander's sight. The Iranian tank is to the right of the sight, a tracer round is over it.
The smoke and dust cloud that every main gun round lifts obscures the sights quite a bit. Note the Iranian single tank burning in the left of this picture.

Such a fine day to roll armor in this desert! I moved my platoon very cautiously. Despite all appearances, the odd fold in the terrain can hide an enemy infantry team.
An Iraqi light armored reconnaissance vehicle roaming forward from our position brought some relief to the concerns of my men. There appears to be a lot of broken Iranian infantry men over there and it looks like it's going to be a quick and easy mop up.
Unbuttoned and looking for Iranian infantry, I moved my tank platoon forward.
A mechanized infantry platoon was on our tail, ready to help us.

We finally linked up with Iraqi infantry from another Battalion (background).

The tactical situation at almost the end of the engagement. Units are represented in Russian standard graphics (tanks are rhomboid icons). Objective Mithridates is in Iraqi hands now.

Cleaning up the last pockets of Iranian infantry resistance. Never put your guard down. Every crevice of terrain may hide an enemy portable anti-tank weapon.

Despite our successes, the debrief screen indicates a draw .

The Iranian tank shows a lots of beating. Moving away from us with his rear exposed was not the greatest idea.



badanov said...

I enjoy bridging scenarios, but they are so hard to get right.

JC said...

Hi badanov,
This DLC has a lot of that. Unfortunately, most of the action happens after the river crossings.