Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kokoda - the non-action at Fela?

Unfortunately I couldn't make the game last weekend due to unforeseen (by me it seems) family commitments.  The scenario had a small PIB unit virtually surrounded by Japs coming from possibly three directions and cutting us off from our base in Isurava with other Allied forces led by Doug and Ian coming to the rescue US cavalry-style.  I'm reliably informed it didn't quite go that way.

I dunno how it went other than the Japs got what they were after (whatever that was) and withdrew.  I think we may have lost a section but otherwise were able to withdraw back to Isurava.  Not a lot of action it seems.

Nonetheless my wargaming pal and redoubtable Jap commander Greg sent some of his beautifully Photoshopped pictures of what action there was - from a Japanese perspective of course.  One shot appears to be of Andrew's Aircobra - implying we (the Allies) may have had some air cover?  Wonders never cease as 'Dugout Doug' MacArthur had only recently withdrawn all combat aircraft to the Australian mainland - just in time for us to make the forlorn assault to retake Kokoda (yeh, right!)

The table set-up with Allied commanders deep in conference with game umpire Andrew - where are those bloody Japs?
[Note all photos in this post are by Greg Blake]

Oh, there they are!

And there...

And finally, there!  That's a lot of bleedin' Japs Sir! Er, Sir?...

(Jap commander) Big George picks his nose... er, sorry contemplates his patch of jungle and realises just how bloody annoying those (Jap) starshells can be!

A much-vaunted Aircobra makes a tree-top run - hope he plastered some of those Japs with cannon-fire or dropped his bloody great 500 pounder bomb right on top of 'em! (although fat chance of that unless Ian was flying it!)

The next game promises to be more of a real battle as it'll be the campaign-turning battles at either Isurava or Milne Bay - the latter of course being the first serious Japanese defeat of WWII.  As it was achieved by the Australians and as his Marines were in pretty dire straights in Guadalcanal at the time, MacArthur ensured that we got none of the publicity and little of the kudos such a victory would have otherwise received (had it been by the Americans).  It remained that way for 50 years as few war histories - and virtually no American histories of the war in the Pacific and even of the Papuan campaign mentioned it or accorded it any significance.  But of course with our wargaming, if the Allies loose either battle it could be the end of the campaign - so big stakes at play for us!

The following is totally unrelated to the above but is a link to the Angry Lurker's blog, which has recently achieved some dizzying heights in blogdom with now over 800 followers.  As Mr Lurker is also a fine deranged wargaming enthusiast like the rest of us, I thought I'd make a link to his site and give it a plug.  He's a zombie movie affectionado too, which further commends him to us!

The Angry Lurker: 800 Followers and the One.

Definitely a quality blog.  Mr Lurker produces great wargaming figures, movie reviews and as a bonus, the most tasteful shots of a pneumatically-endowed lady or two.

Nice.

So be a lurker at Angry's blog - you won't regret it!

Cheerz,
          Doc

16 comments:

  1. Never regretted following the lurker, although I have had to wash my eyes out a few times. He's a big scary oirish bundle of fun.... !!

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  2. Faith 'an begorrah! A man after me own heart so he is!

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  3. Wow - fantastic set up and the photography is superb! Love the SFX - everything looks like they're shooting & moving. Best, Dean

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  4. Dean - yes, I've posted plenty of Greg's photos before - he is very talented photographer. And a bloody canny Jap commander too - but don't tell'im I said so!

    Cheers,
    Doc

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  5. Wonderful stuff on this great blog but I gotta tell you I'm a little misty eyed, thanks brother.

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  6. just found your site and I will be back....

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  7. Thanks Doc for the report and photos from Greg.

    Cheers,

    Helen

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  8. No worries Angry - got a little misty-eyed myself gazing at the Pammy pic on your blog!

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  9. Great photos of a very cool game.

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  10. Now that brings back some memories of playing with the Arfix Japs and yanks.

    Very tasty layout and game.

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  11. That looks fun, sadly miniature figures were never readily available where I live.

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  12. R.gers - that's tragic! Couldn't handle no soldiers to play with mate! Paul - the next game set for early October should be a major clash - Milne Bay (first Allied victory over the Japs in WWII) or Isurava. The latter was the first time our exhausted militia started to come up against main force Nankai Shitai - all seasoned veterans of course. It was amazing how they managed to hold them off and retreat intact (after horrendous casualties of course) I dunno how we'll go trying to emulate that feat on the gaming table!
    Cheers,
    Doc

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  13. Hi Doc

    As you wern't there here is a very brief synopsis of teh battle.

    The Japanese started their assault after surrounding the allied position early in the morning of the 3rd August. they opened their attack by creeping to within 15 inches of the village and then fired two star shells that lit up the allied positions.

    Defending the village was two sections of Australian troops, a section of Militia and a section of PIB. Once the first star shell had been fired an Australian Company located at Kanadara began to move back to rescue their besieged troops in the village a distance of only 1km.

    By round 4 of the game the Japanese commander now knowing that their was little in the way of opposition ordered a charge which swept away the Australian section. the PIB still held their position to the north of the village but did not engage.

    By round 6 the fresh Australian company had indeed arrived but the Japanese commander sensing that what he wanted to achieve had been completed gave the order to withdraw.

    The rest of the game a further 3 round of movement saw the Japanese melt back into the jungle no further fighting took place except for a few stray pot shots from each side.

    The supreme allied command seeing how easy it was for an entire Japanese company to slip around an isolated Australian position ordered a withdrawal back to Isurava where the Australian troops could be concentrated and where the terrain would now funnel any future attack towards prepared Allied defences.

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  14. The air battle

    Two P-400 aircobras were send from Darwin to attack kokoda and Oivi (one to each with Ian commanding)

    The attacks went well, the two aircraft caused 5 Japanese artillery Caualties and caused a great deal of damage with their straffing and bombing runs.

    The Japanese failed to score any hits on them

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  15. Thanks Andrew! If Ian was 'flying' the Aircobras I'm not surprised at the result! Outstanding.

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  16. What a cool site, Really you have design you site very nicely. Its look is such beautiful and so much attractive that if some one mistakely opened this site and don't want to enter inside but i am sure in this website case he will must be attracted by that Kokoda Track

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