Ras Destà Strikes Again
Conquest of Ethiopia #30
|(Defender) Italy||vs||Ethiopia (Attacker)|
|Overall Rating, 2 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 607|
|Parent Game||Conquest of Ethiopia|
|Maps||3: 85, 89, 91|
|Layout Dimensions||84 x 43 cm
33 x 17 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Conquest of Ethiopia||maps + counters|
Soon after the ceasefire, Marshal Badoglio turned over control of Ethiopia to General Graziani, the new Viceroy. Graziani’s first task was to pacify the newly-declared Italo-Ethiopian Empire that still simmered with discontent. Two small but well-armed armies, each counting 15,000 men, still held out in the hinterlands. To make matters worse, perhaps as many 20-30,000 soldiers from the Negus' defeated armies had returned to their native regions and formed bandit gangs. The regions of Galla, Borana and Bale were particularly turbulent. In those areas, Italian forces engaged in several minor but costly clashes before a major incident occurred. A large group of Ethiopians closed in on the town of Neghelli, where Graziani claimed his new heraldic title (Marquis of Neghelli). The Regia Aeronautica bombed the rebels for two days using large amounts of mustard and phosgene bombs in addition to conventional explosives. At that point the impetuous General Annibale Bergonzoli felt confident enough to attack the enemy.
The Italian force, composed of two battalions, advanced into a wooded area. The leading battalion was ambushed and suffered heavy losses. The other battalion could not provide help as it was blocked by Ethiopians as well. The first battalion fought hard to disentangle itself and eventually rejoined the second battalion. For the first time the Italians faced Ethiopia’s most successful guerrilla chief, Dejazmach Gabre Mariam, and Ras Destà had entrusted him with the command of the most disciplined troops available. Snatching up a rifle, Bergonzoli fought in the front rank and was seriously injured when an Ethiopian bullet struck his weapon’s breech. “You’ve destroyed the best rifle I ever had in my life!” the bleeding Bergonzoli shouted at the Ethiopians, but he confirmed his foes’ bravery in his memoirs. Evacuated over his strenuous objections, Bergonzoli would grow his famous “Electric Whiskers” while recovering from his wounds.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
Played in about 5 hours against young Daniel (Hugmenot) this scenario has a small Italian force trying to battle across 2 boards while surrounded by Ethiopian INF. The Italians can expect to get reinforcements at some stage these may include armoured cars and one aircraft bombing run, the Italians have slightly better morale and have MG. The set up is interesting as the Ethiopian player can set up adjacent and has automatic initiative in the first turn. As the Italian player I massed my MG at the front of my column hoping that I would shrug off the initial attacks by the Ethiopians and then use firepower to disrupt and demoralize the native troops and just push through them and then use fire and movement to get on tot he VC board without losing to many casualties. Well I was wrong on every count. Far from shrugging off those first attack my units Disrupted and Demoralized themselves, Daniel then surrounded my force using the terrain and his limited leaders well. He then proceeded to wipe out the entire Italian starting force with the exception of one LT who ran to the rear. My reinforcements arrived far too late to influence the battle and the Ethiopians moved off into the Hills and Woods to celebrate a famous victory. So want went wrong, well almost everything, the Italians starting forces do not have the strength to push through the Ethiopians and therefore should try to out flank them if possible. In fact in our post game chat both Daniel and I agreed that winning the game of the Italians looks pretty tough and perhaps it would be more prudent to play for a draw by retreating the Italians and forcing the Ethiopians to advance to attack them. **To sum up this scenario is an interesting puzzle for both side but looks to favour the Ethiopians far too much, however Daniel played well using his native troops to pour fire into the Italians and only assaulting once the enemy were disrupted or demoralized. Well done to him as for me back to the drawing board.*