Alaska's War #5
|(Attacker) United States||vs||Japan (Defender)|
|Japan||303rd Independent Infantry Battalion|
|United States||7th Infantry Division|
|Overall Rating, 7 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 568 of 607|
|Parent Game||Alaska's War|
|Layout Dimensions||88 x 58 cm
35 x 23 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Battle of the Bulge||counters|
On the left flank of the Southern Force, 3rd Battalion of the 17th Infantry had the task of breaking through the Jarmin Pass and allowing the Northern and Southern landing forces to link up for the final drive on Chichagof Harbor, the island's only settlement. The Japanese had other ideas; they do not seem to have prepared Jarmin Pass as a defensive line before the landings, but the terrain was such that they really didn't need to.
The American soldiers, suffering badly from the cold, spent the day first finding the Japanese fighting positions, and then assaulting them with little success. With the terrain on their side plus warm clothing and cold-weather training, the Japanese had many defensive advantages, but absolutely no hope of relief.
|Alaska's War #5 Jarmin Pass or Absolute misery in the muskeg|
This is with out a doubt the most flustrating scenario of PzGr I have ever played. Nothing else even comes close. There was this endless cycle of advance, demoralizaton, disruption and recovery for the Allies, for turn after flustrating turn. During which time, needless to say, there was not much going on offensivly. The axis had setup at midboard at the point where the hills come closest to the road. As the Allies advanced the Axis put two platoons on the road with a Lt. and dug in. This axis position along whth those covering from the Arctic hills stood up to all the Allies could muster for most of the game. The Axis were assisted when a thunderstorm broke out for two turns just adding to the already miserable cold weather conditions. Finally about 1030 a demoralized Axis leader and platoon failed their recovery check and routed away. This allowed the Allies to approach adjecent to another Axis position and finally get some column modifiers. This is how the log jam was finally broken. The Allies had decided by this time (somewhat belatedly) that the whole Axis force would have to be totally eliminated if the Allies hoped to win. This called for assaults whenever possible. In the end that is what happened. With only two turns left the final Axis unit (which was still in a winning postion) was eliminated. I'll be glad to finally get out of the muskeg, but not nearly as glad as those members of the 7th Inf. Div. I'm sure.
|Squeezing the Jarmin|
On May 12, 1943, troops from the 7th Infantry Division tried to break through the Japanese defensive line formed by the 303rd Independent Infantry Battalion guarding Jarmin Pass. As they moved north along the track, they took fire at 0645 hours from Japanese troops that had been lying in wait east of the pass. The Japanese leader was killed at 0845, which put the ranking Lieutenant in charge of the Japanese defense. Three separate Japanese pockets of defense were identified by 1030 hours, and two were under assault. One on a ridge in the southern portion of the track was eliminated at 1130 hours followed by another in the center falling at 1215. At that point, the two remaining Japanese infantry platoons retreated to the north with four American infantry platoons in hot pursuit. Both OBA and mortar fire fell on the Japanese, as well as direct fire from the pursuers, but one Japanese unit remained in good order covering the track at 1330 hours, resulting in a draw.
The objectives of this scenario include step loss and a track free from Japanese fire at game end. A cursory overlook of the scenario objectives might make it appear impossible for the Americans to clear the track of any Japanese fire unless all units were eliminated; however, this playthrough brought tension to the end as the Americans were within one unit, and possibly 1-2 turns of achieving the victory. Initial placement of the hidden dug-in Japanese units was similar to that of other AAR’s posted on the HQ site, with units in 0518, 1018, 1317, and 1517, and those last two northernmost infantry units proved difficult to spot and then neutralize. Since the Japanese still had firing range to the track, but had lost 11 steps to the Americans 4, the match ended in a draw.
|Alaska’s War, scenario #5|
Not to much to say about this one, as there was too much ground in this kind of terrain for the Americans to cover and so the Japanese come away with another victory. And it was very cold weather as well!
|Don't squeeze the Jarmin|
US forces enter from the south along the track. The Japanese are hidden in the Arctic Hills. After 30 mins, they come under attack from Japanese mortar fire.
Travel is slow from the cold weather. The Americans continue down the track and at the 90 minute mark begin to head for the hills.
The Americans spread out and begin to uncover the hidden Japanese. At the 2 hour mark the first of the American infantry is eliminated.
As the Americans close in, 2 US platoons are eliminated by Japanese assault! The fighting is fierce as the Americans close in. The Japanese charge out of their dug-in position and survive multiple “45-power” DF attacks, they banzai and 2 more American platoons are lost! At the 4 hour mark, the Casualty count is 11-2 in the Japanese favour.
A third Japanese leader is killed and only one (still hidden) remains. The lack of leadership puts an end to the Japanese charges and over the next hour the Japanese begin to fall. At the five hour mark the Casualty count is now 11-6.
Americans start to trudge north through the Arctic Hills, but travel is slow. The Americans overrun the scattered Japanese and a lucky artillery strike takes out the Japanese mortar. With just over an hour remaining time is running short, as there are still 2 Japanese platoons hiding.
US continues north and with 45mins to go they stumble across the last of the Japanese. Americans take out a scattered Japanese half platoon, but the Japanese banzai attack again!
Americans are disrupted and demoralized and they are unable to rally and counter-attack quick enough. Time runs out.
This was actually almost a draw. It would be quite hard for the Americans to win. For Japanese victory they need to inflict more casualties, and the final casualty count was 12-11!
A combination of Muskeg, Arctic Hills and Cold Weather really make travel slow for the Americans. There just wasn’t enough time for them to fulfil their goal. The Americans have 11 INF/HMG platoons to the 7 Japanese ones. If they had a few more men and another hour or so, this could be a very close battle.
Scenario Rating 2/5 – I’m almost tempted to give this a 3/5, but the similarity with scenarios 2,3,4,5 push it to a 2.
|None Shall Pass|
This was a tough one for the Americans; with the terrain, time, visibility, hidden units, and cold weather all working against them. Objective was to secure a line of communication through Jarmin Pass by finding and neutralizing dug-in Japanese. The Americans have to think closely about order of march in order to stay on the track and avoid the muskeg as much as possible until contact is made with the enemy. The Japanese can position themselves well to launch a linear ambush against the advancing Americans.
The Japanese set their defense as follows: Hex 1018 - Dug in, LT (9-0-1), 1 x INF, 1 x 81mm Hex 0718 - Dug in, LT (9-0-0), 2 x INF Hex 0619 - Dug in, CPT (10-0-0), 2 x HMG Hex 0518 - Dug in, LT (10-0-1), 2 x INF
The Americans entered with a scouting patrol in front to make contact and spot for indirect fire, then HMGs to establish a base of fire, then INF to maneuver into assault positions, and then 81mms to provide indirect support.
Execution for the Americans went poorly, with good rolls for the Japanese. Contact occured on turn 3 with the lead patrol suffering its first step loss. On Turn 8 and 9, the U.S. lost 4 more steps and an LT leader. Even with good hits, the Americans couldn't force the Japanese morale to drop below disrupted and their leadership often helped them recover quickly. On Turn 11, the Japanese lost their first leader (LT 9-0-0). On Turn 13 the US began to manuever through the Muskeg to try and get on the high ground and lost its 6th step. By Turn 16, the a U.S. assault force had made it adjacent to Hex 0619, but lost initiative. The US inflicted 1 step loss on the Japanese, but lost 2 more steps, and then on turn 17, the U.S. lost 3 more steps and was strung out and combat ineffective and unable to hold any Arctic Hill hexes At this point the US. Commander decided to withdraw, and the Japanese commander held position and allowed for them to retreat into the fog.
VPs: Japanese Major Victory (14 net VPs)
Japanese = 4 hill hexes + 11 US INF steps = 15
US = 1 JAP INF step = 1