Order of Battle Pacific: US Marines – AAR, Scenario 10 Part 2
As the march to VE floats across the Pacific, the Marines are set to attack Palau ~
Avery Abernethy, 13 February 2017
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The second phase on Palau combines a very narrow road to the north of the island and the remaining victory hexes. The high hills cannot be entered by armor. The road over the hills cannot be used by either heavy artillery or armor.
Infantry will have to slug it out one hex at a time. After the first set of hills were captured my heavy artillery was out of range for the rest of the battle. I have naval gunfire and ground support aircraft, but these are inferior to concentrated heavy artillery. But the Japanese are outnumbered and the Marines ground out victory after a slow and difficult advance over excellent defensive terrain.
In retrospect, my strategy was bad. I should have committed more troops to Palau and fewer to Angaur. Capturing two Palau objectives unlocked the reinforcements which are essential to completing this scenario. But my bad strategy was eclipsed by even worse tactics. Failing to secure South Angaur first was unwise. Splitting my Angaur attacks into three groups was dumb.
My Palau tactics were reasonable, but insufficient forces kept me from advancing off the beach for many turns. I took far too many casualties due to poor strategy and worse tactics.
I got a little emotional about this battle. E.B. Sledge wrote With the Old Breed, one of the most famous books about the Marines in the Pacific campaign. Mr. Sledge was an Auburn University graduate. The copy of With the Old Breed that I read was autographed by the author with a note to “Dear old Auburn….” E.B Sledge’s mementos including captured Japanese flags are housed in the Auburn University Library. The digital collection can be found online here.
If you have not read With the Old Breed by now, you should pick up a copy.
Next time, the attack on Iwo Jima –