Thursday, 9 September 2010

Ctesiphon, November 1915

This was another game played with Richard Brooks's Op14 rules.  It was played at Sheffield Wargames Society on 25 August 2010.

Ctesiphon is located around 20 miles southeast of Baghdad, and by mid-November 1915 a division-sized British force under Gen. Townsend was approaching the town from the south.  Townsend's main column comprised a small flotilla of river boats and a brigade of infantry with some heavy guns marching along the eastern bank of the Tigris.  On the photo of the table setup below north is to the left.  The other part of the British force (under Hamilton), consisting of 2 brigades and some field guns was to approach from behind the eastern sand hills.  Townsend had decided his objective, or 'Vital Point' was to be the small sand hill in the loop of the river next to Ctesiphon village (near the bottom of the map).  In our game the Brits were led by Martin Rapier (who also provided the toys).

'Johnny Turk' meanwhile was played by Jerry Elsmore, with advice and interference from John Armatys.  The Turks had a corps (4 brigades) and some field guns were deployed in and around the village.  One brigade was on the western side of the Tigris (there was a pontoon bridge near the village) with the rest dug in.  The front row of trenches were well prepared while those on the hill (where most of the Turks deployed) were temporary affairs.  A further corps (3 brigades and guns) was to arrive on the 23rd.

Unfortunately I kept forgetting to take photos and thus the records are a bit scanty. 

The Brits advanced in their two forces and while the main column engaged the tough defences...

...Hamilton was drawn into open battle with the Turkish relief force.  Not even an appearance from the Flying Corps could turn the tide of battle and a shamefaced Townsend ordered a full retreat.

Meanwhile the Turkish brigade on the west bank consistently drew Clubs throughout the game (as a detached unit this meant it was unable to move) and never saw (even from a distance) action.

Both Martin and Jerry were keen to revisit the battle and swapped sides for the re fight which took place last night (8 September 2010).  Happily I remembered to take more photos and this will be the subject of a future posting.

No comments: