Wake Island, December 1941
The second assault by the Japanese on poorly defended Wake Island was a telling moment in the battle for the Pacific.
The American Marines are defending a few urban hexes, field bunkers and an old airfield with only a few units of Marines and an old battery of 5” naval artillery. The beach is lined with wire strands.
Meanwhile the Japanese marine force is landing ashore in force with 2:1 odds.
The Japanese begin by storming the beaches to the right flank moving thru a gap in the wire while others worked thru the wire. It seems that the Japanese are seeking to occupy an older field bunker and use it for cover.
The Marines surged forward al across the battlefield, occupying all bunkers and the artillery began to fire on the Japanese invaders seeking to make it off the beach….with only a small amount of success.
A few turns of battling on the Japanese right flank saw the Marine artillery become flanked and the squad of Marines forced from the bunker and slowly destroyed….with some Japanese losses. Accepting these loses at the same time moving the Japanese Center up and into the wire as well.
The Marines once again decided to surge the entire battlefield. A Marine squad on the Japanese Left, which units were still fighting the current and waves to get ashore, opened fire on the unit in the water and afflicted light casualties. The Marine Center inflicted some other casualties, but maybe not enough. The Artillery continued to bombard unit, even lowering their guns and firing directly into the Japanese forces. The Marines reduced the Japanese force’s effectiveness, but failed to rout any or eliminate many at all.
The Japanese numbers proved to be effective as they finally took their right flank and begun the slow process on taking the center, while finally landing troops on their left.
As the Japanese began to crawl all about like tiny ants, HQ airlifted another Marine unit into the fray at the airfield…but would it be enough. The artillery continued to hold and direct fire at enemy forces. The newly landed Marines joined the beleaguered force on the Japanese left flank hoping to stem their advance while the artillery held down the right and the right center. They surged forward and retook the seaside village and pushed the Japanese back to the shoreline.
The Japanese called in naval bombardments that proved effective against the artillery unit which damaged one gun section and made some of the men hunker down away from their gunlines. This proved to be the final nail for the Marines as it was only two turns before the Japanese forces took the artillery positions and destroyed the remaining Marines.
Wake Island fell to the Japanese on this game early on the morning of December 24th….an early X-mas present for Yamamoto and the Emperor.
Japan wins 6 medals to 3 medals.