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Combat Commander: Battle Pack #4 – New Guinea» Forums » General

Subject: Scarlet Beach rss

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Paul B
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Big thanks to GMT Games for this scenario. My grandfather fought at this battle as a member of 2/28th Infantry Battalion, 9th Australian Division (Rats of Tobruk). He was positioned on the jungle facing perimeter which was being attacked in force. Brings history closer to home. Cheers.
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Chick Lewis
United States
Claremont
California
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Amazing link to history, Paul. Do you remember any of your Grandfathers' stories?
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Volko Ruhnke
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Virginia
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Wow! This is an honor. My gratitude to your grandfather for his service. -vfr
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Paul B
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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He did tell a few stories but I have in my possession his war diary which is a treasure.

My favourite story was the one about a giant python they captured on Labuan Island. It was kept penned in a huge shell Crater. The snake was fed a live pig every afternoon and all the troops would go and watch the snake chase this pig around.

This is an extract of his diary regarding the Labuan landings in 1945:

June 9th
Weather is lovely today, I hope it is as fine tomorrow when we make the landing. It looks like being a easy job, however time will tell.
June 10th
Landed at 0915hrs after two hrs intense naval bombardment, landing unopposed, struck stiffening opposition after advancing inland, feel rather blue at present, two of my mates were killed, Wil was one, I suppose Donna will feel cut up about it, causalities have been fairly heavy up to date and resistance is stiffening, however tomorrow should be a bit easier I hope.
June 11th
Going a lot easier today. No causalities today. I feel as if I’ve had it, no sleep last night and on the move all day, a bit of shrapnel almost got me last night, it was about five inches long and two inches thick. It missed over my back about a foot off me and landed about two foot from where I was laying down. I hope we can get some sleep tonight.
June 13th
Last two days have been very quiet, the Jap as a fighting force has been liquidated, there is one pocket surrounded estimated at 250, only two ways they can come out and they are well covered. I believe the M.G Bn had a birthday yesterday when a coy of Japs ran into 30 of their guns, it was a shambles. The campaign has now ended for us, it will be good to get some clean clothes on, I have been wearing these for a week. I am getting that high that it’s an effort to live with myself.
June 16th
Made a blue in saying the campaign had ended but today should be the last day, am waiting for the attack to go in on the last pocket of Japs, they have no chance of escaping.
June 18th
The campaign still goes on, the last pocket is proving a very tough nut to crack. “A” coy had a go at it, without success, casualties pretty high. They are now going to blast them out, it is the only way as they have extra good positions, but in my opinion they will take some blasting out, as they have caves and tunnels dug in the side of the hill.
June 20th
I’m afraid I made a bad mistake when I said the Japs were finished, the yellow bastards are still holding out in the pocket. I am out for a rest, it will be good to get a good nights sleep, we shelled him very heavily this afternoon, but it don’t seem to have much effect, he is well dug in the side of the ridge. I’m afraid we will have to go in again before we will be able to finish him, tomorrow should be the end I hope.
June 22nd
Flame throwing tanks have got the Japs out of the pocket, the arty did a good job on the positions, they had a wonderful place to defend, I can understand now why it was so hard to get him out. We took up his positions last night, and damn me if three of them didn’t try and get back, come to within three yards of the foxhole, but a few tommy gun bursts finished them, one of the boys got two swords and a watch, not bad souvenirs. Out on patrol today to see if we could find any stragglers, but couldn’t sight any, they must be all accounted for, and so ends the Labuan campaign after thirteen days fighting. And it was pretty costly for us, thirty nine killed and sixty nine wounded.


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Mark Buetow
United States
Du Quoin
Illinois
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Move! Advance! Fire! Rout! Recover! Artillery Denied! Artillery Request! Command Confusion...say what?!
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Wow! Thanks for posting that. It's so matter-of-fact.

Every time we play we seem to pause and say, "Can you imagine?" "No, I can't even imagine."

I still can't imagine, but I'm grateful for his willingness to go and do that for us (and yes, I mean even us Yanks.)

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Paul B
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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And many thanks for the Americans who came over and fought with us. The start of a mighty friendship. The US navy tipped the balance in the pacific.

I'm glad the Aussies are getting a little bit of recognition in the Pacific in the wargaming world. In 1942/43 Australia had 492,000 ground forces engaged in the SW Pacific area compared to 198,00 USMC and US Army. Not many people are aware of that.

New Guinea was a terrible campaign, no quarter was asked for and little given. The Japanese troops were fanatical and there were no surviving Australian prisoners in the entire campaign. By late 1942 Australian troops knew of the Japanese mistreatment of prisoners and few were inclined to surrender or to accept it either. The Japanese army sent over 150,000 troops to New Guinea with over 100,000 casualties. Australian forces only took 2000 prisoners.

Once again, thanks for the great Battle Pack.
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