Up the Euphrates, Nasariyeh 1915


It is 1915, and British forces have taken Qurna and Shaiba from the Turks. Now they push up the Euphrates to capture the town of Nasariyeh from the defending Turksih forces. Anglo-Indian forces, with support from artillery and river gun boats, make the push up the river. Can they take the town from the defending Turks?

The scenario can be found here.

 


The British commander decided to concentrate two brigades on his right, and one on the left. The action started with the gun boats pushing up stream towards Nasariyeh. The models were made to approximate 6mm scale in order to keep the base sizes in scale. In the foreground can be seen elements of the left British Brigade which the British commander decided to cross immediately to the other side of the river, in order to bypass any defending Turkish forces on that side of the river. In the background are the defending Turkish troops (with some allied Burdhoo Arabs lying in wait in front of the Turkish entrenchments... these boys were really keen to get to grips with the infidel British!!)
The gunboats quickly spotted the Burdhoo Arabs fighting for the Turkish commander, and brought these troops under fire. One stand of the Arab troops is already suppressed.
The river gunboats steam up the Euphrates past some of the fanatical Burdhoo Arab infantry that fought alongside the Turkish forces before Nasariyeh.
The Turkish commander couldn't restrain his Arab allies, who charged head long into the flank of the British Brigade crossing the river. Their fate was probably never in doubt, the Turkish commander wringing his hands in despair at such a waste. The surprise was that the Arabs survived the defending fire of the British troops (bad die rolling!) and made it into contact, but all were eliminated in the close assault phase.. Whew!!! from the British commander, and.. Damn!! from the Turkish commander)
Anglo-Indian infantry advance towards the shadowy Burdhoo infantry defending the bluffs above the Euphrates on the British right. These bluffs had to be cleared if the passage up the Euphrates was to be cleared.
Anglo-Indian infantry on the British right seen here advancing with one of the supporting river gunboats seen dimly in the background. Mixed wth the Indian troops were several battalions of regular British troops, but for 'gaming purposes one entire British Brigade is designated as regular British, while the other two are rated as Imperial troops,
Meanwhile the British right advanced steadily over two miles alongside the Euphrates before coming across the first Turkish defences defending the town of Nasiriyeh itself, as the Turkish commander had chosen to defend back on the objective. The British commander was quick to deploy his reserve battalions onto the flank of the entrenched Turkish troops: the flanking forces can be seen at the top of the photo advancing through the palm plantation.

The Turkish commander seen here removing yet another stand from his defences. The foremost British stands were quickly eliminated (you'll notice that there are no British stands quite as close to the Turkish trenches in this photo, when compared with the previous one), but their flanking forces were quickly able to 'do the business', bringing effective fire on the defending Turkish stands.

Here the Turkish defences are seen finally crumbling as the flanking British battalions advance through their entrenchments (the British commander at this point had the benefit of some dazzling die rolling). The fate of Nasariyeh was sealed, with the morale of the defending Turkish troops crumbling under mounting casualties. The town of Nasiriyeh is just a short distance behind these Turkish defences, to the left of the photo. History wasn't re-writen on this evening!!!!
This brief account follows the first play-test we fought of this scenario. We played a second game with some modifications, which you will find in the scenario as presented on the scenarios page. This second game ran to over 20 moves, at which point in time we ran out of time, with the game still too close to call, although I have to admit that I think the British commander had the edge (I played the Turkish commander). The moral of the story: this scenario definitely warrants several games.
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