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Scenario 17/42: The Third Day – Lots of time to take Hill 53

Introduction

January 11, 1943 – The 3rd Battalion of the 27th Infantry Regiment had one last objective to take. Hill 53. The problem? No water was brought forward and no drinking water could be found! At 0900 without the thirsty troops pressed against Hill 53 and failed to capture it.

Scenario 16/42: Battle Without Water – Thirsty American troops lack energy to take Hill 53

The following morning, F and G Companies of 2nd Battalion were sent in to take the hill. E Company is being held back in reserve.

American Goal
Take Hill 53 with minimal losses.
37 turns = 9 hours, 15 minutes.

Plan: Hit Japanese entrenchment with artillery and combined fire until sufficiently broken. When E Company is activated, they will advance through the jungle and take the objective with F and G Companies providing covering fire. No hurry as they have all day and lots of water!

Japanese Goal
Inflict casualties (at least 3 steps). Hold Hill 53.

American Casualties will be presented by (#).



The Battle

0630 – OPEN FIRE!!! Early in the morning the American artillery and HMGs begin the attack. The opening attack reduces half a Japanese platoon.

0645 – Direct fire scores another hit against the Japanese!

American comment: This should be easy! Just keep them under fire. If results were anything like the previous day this shouldn’t take too long!

0700-0715 – No significant results. American large off-board artillery is re-assigned. It’ll be up to the ground pounders to finish the job.

0730 – Americans suffer their first loss from direct fire from the entrenchment. They decide to dig-in. (1)

0745-0800 – Digging in mostly complete as direct fire is exchanged.

0815 – Japanese off-board artillery (OBA) scores a direct hit against the American infantry! (2)
Comment – Oh oh! All of a sudden the Japanese are one lucky hit away from winning!

0830-0845 – Entrenchment is under heavy fire, but no casualties are sustained.

0900 – Easy Company still held in reserve.

0915-0945 – Americans hold back as small arms fire is exchanged. No casualties. Japanese OBA is problematic.

1000-1045 – Still no Easy Company. Americans decide to still sit tight and not risk a rush unless they can demoralize the Japanese first.

1100 – American direct fire eliminates a Japanese half platoon! Japanese reinforce the entrenchment but the reinforcements are demoralised. Americans call for air support.



1115 – Japanese in the entrenchment are completely demoralized from continued direct fire. American Lt and platoon advance through the jungle.

1130 – Japanese win initiative and their infantry recover in the entrenchment before the American Lt can assault!

1145 – American direct fire reduces the Japanese HMG. Japanese Infantry holds the American Lt back.

1200 – Still no Easy Company (The Americans could REALLY have used them!) and the Japanese complete their recovery.

1215 – Japanese artillery hits the American attackers!



Americans suffer their third step loss! (3)



JAPANESE VICTORY!!!

Aftermath

Unlike the previous day’s attempt, the Americans didn’t get very close to achieving their objective. Instead of rushing forward, they were intent on using F and G Companies to reduce and demoralize the Japanese and have E Company come in and take the objectives.

Attrition went the other way though, and the Japanese were able to cause too much damage to the Americans before their reinforcements arrived.

A completely different strategy would be to set-up ADJACENT to the Japanese entrenchment and get some “45 STR” attacks in first. This is very dangerous as the Japanese counter-attacks would likely be almost as deadly (and with only 2 losses acceptable, the risk to American troops seemed too great). I wouldn’t mind replaying it with this set-up, as, one way or the other, it would certainly be a short game!

Suffering too many casualties and unable to make significant headway, regimental staff called off the attack (again). The Americans would need to send in the troops one more time! The Japanese were in dire-straights with reduced supplies and significantly reduced troops. Could they hold out?

COMING SOON!!!: The Fourth (and Final) Day – Does the 27th Infantry Regiment finally take Hill 53?

Reader Note: A full review of Panzer Grenadier: Semper Fi! Guadalcanal is currently under construction. This review will compare and rate all the different campaigns in the scenario book. Specific issues and final opinions will be covered in that review.
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