Saturday, March 29, 2014

Small Action - Siege Lines, Atbara (Sudan Campaign)

Turn 5
Major Forte has been tasked to move forward and off to the right of Major Manley on the approach to locate the dervish siege lines surrounding Atbara.  The Dervish are anticipating the large upcoming battle (Turn 6) and the Atbara defenses have one more season before they fall.  It is going to be close.  Osman Dougna has been massing his forces for one final battle at Atbara.  The ministry is worried about the casualties that will probably fall on not only the besieged armed Egyptian forces but to the innocent people of the town.  Major Manley has received orders from command to sortie out a force to see if it is possible to penetrate the siege lines to get the people out and provide supplies for the besieged troops.

The mission Major Forte must undertake will not be easy.  Scouts have found a path that will bring his force hopefully unseen by the ever watchful eye of the Osman's.  It will be a night march and an attack at day break.  Hopefully Forte will catch the dervish unprepared for an attack coming from behind them.

Good luck.

The Battle

Message from Major Forte to Major Manley (Outside Atbara)

I am happy to report that after fierce fighting and heavy losses, the 9th and 10th Egyptians  have opened a gap in the siege lines at Atbara. 
The battle opened with very accurate long range rifle fire from my 10th Egyptians into the Dervish earthworks.  That cleared the supporting troops from a position where an enemy gun was stationed. This allowed my 9th Egyptians to close with the position and storm it.  Unfortunately this brought enemy rifle fire from surrounding positions on the 9th with many casualties taken.  Despite this, the 9th twice tried to close with the gun stationed in the earthwork, but was repulsed both times taking close range cannon fire with more casualties reported. 

Meanwhile my veteran 10th composed of Sudanese Egyptians was attacked by large Dervish units storming out of the rough rocky ground on our right.  My 10th formed square and repulsed both charging units, despite presenting a favorable target to the Dervish gun position to our front.  If it weren't for the poor quality gun crews the enemy is using, our unit would have suffered heavy casualties.  As it was the enemy gun misfired at an opportune moment, and having been closed by my 9th Egyptians, the enemy gun had to switch targets offering my 10th a reprieve.  
With the dervish unit to our front wavering, I ordered the 10th to charge the enemy, while I rushed to the aid of the 9th.  After clearing the Dervish unit in the rough on our right, the 10th then continued its charge towards the gun position coming to the aid of the hard pressed 9th.  This was too much for the remaining enemy units and they cleared the field unable to stop my advance.

My gun crew throughout the entire battle performed admirably, switching to better targets supporting both my 10th and the 9th advance towards the enemy siege lines.  They were instrumental in causing large number of casualties to enemy units attacking both my two Egyptian units, I would like to commend their performance in the field.

I have consolidated my position and have occupied the siege works in this area in front of Atbara. We have captured an enemy gun as well.  Due to heavy casualties taken by the 9th, the unit is no longer effective as a fighting force, and we will need immediate reinforcements, or I fear we will lose our newly gained positions to an enemy counterattack.

Major Forte

1 comment:

Nate said...

Dan, love the pictures and comments. They captured the flavor of the battle very effectively. Great fun.