Khra 1914 - ITLSU

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Khra 1914 - ITLSU

Post by Martin1914 »

The Bank Holiday weekend saw the culmination of my Khra 1914 project and the recreation of this little action in Togoland using Pendraken WW1 figures and the TooFatLardies’ “If the Lord Spares Us” rules.
Below shows the table setup looking North. Khra village sits within a clearing on rising ground, astride the road and railway line. It commands the crossings of the Khra River where the two bridges have been demolished. The river is fordable but is ‘bad going’, as is the surrounding bush.
An Anglo-French battalion group of Gold Coast Regiment (3 rifle coys, an MG and 2 mountain guns) and Tirailleurs Senegalese (1 coy) have to seize and clear the village in order to continue the advance north towards their goal, the wireless station at Kamina.
The German commander in the village saw the main threats as being from the South and West and positioned the entrenchments for his 2 native police companies and 2 European-manned MGs, accordingly. He thought that if attacked from the East he could move an MG back to the railway cutting. Also, he knew that reinforcements were due from the North, but didn’t know when.

The British commander was unaware of this. On his arrival at the scene he was confronted with the setup below.
The German commander was ’concealed’ in the village. Both entrenchments were under ‘blinds’ and a ‘dummy blind’ was on each flank. So where exactly were they?
However, the British commander was an ‘Eton’ sort of chap and dismissing any reconnaissance by ‘spotting’ or use of ‘blinds’ as an unnecessary waste of time, deployed all his troops directly on to the table. For him, the bayonet was the only way to get the Hun on the run! At the first opportunity, he ordered his GCR infantry to ‘Attack’ the enemy ‘blind’ in front of the village. The German commander was amazed at the speed in which these ‘British bush fighters’ moved in successive ‘columns of march’, up the road to cross the river and then deploy into extended formation for the assault. The Germans cursed they had not ‘voluntarily deployed’ earlier and established different arcs for their MGs for they were unable to fire on the attackers whilst they moved across open ground. Which was just as well for the GCR, for they had never faced MG fire before and would have had to pass an immediate ‘They don’t like it up ‘em’ test.

The German police troops defeated this first assault in ‘close combat’ and made the GCR company withdraw back towards the road bridge. Feeling secure in their entrenchment they faced an assault by a second GCR company.

The German MG team, frustrated by the turn of fate (cards) preventing them from engaging the GCR, smiled when the French company in ‘column of march’ advanced up the railway line directly in front of them. In one burst of fire the French captain lost three quarters of his company, which was left ineffective through ‘suppression’. However, for the honour of France they succeeded in advancing up to the demolished railway bridge and from there………watched the rest of the action! The Allies had just lost the best troops they had.

The German police troops then got the upper hand over the second GCR company and stalled its assault by rifle fire, but this didn’t stop the third GCR company from moving through and entering ‘close combat’. The defenders passed another ‘TDLIUE’ test and again sent their attackers packing.
The second GCR company was left mid-slope to ‘spot’ and fire on the second German position in which the story of Jurgen the machine gunner was about to unfold. He became the target of continual rifle, MG and mountain gun fire which always missed and killed or ‘suppressed’ the unfortunate native policemen behind him.
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At this point the British commander remembered his military training and established a firing line beyond the road bridge with his riflemen and sole MG, ordering them to ‘Engage’ the first position so effectively that the enemy ‘suppression’ level forced them to leave their hard-defended entrenchment. The MG team valiantly stayed alone.

Fully recognising his initial attack had been a little rash without fire support, the British commander ordered his mountain guns to deploy before the road bridge and ‘Engage’ the enemy. Even if he was a tad slow climbing down off the bridge remains to allow them to fire. Soon both positions were feeling the effect of ‘suppression’ and the German commander realised he’d better stop drinking Schnapps inside one of the huts and deploy outside and use his ‘command points’ to steady his men.

His commanding presence allowed the withdrawing company to recover enough to turn around and head back into the fray, even when the MG team took a direct hit in front of them.

As one trench was re-occupied, the other was left empty apart from the steadfast Jurgen.

Yet the British guns now had the range, killing the returned occupants of one trench and forcing the abandonment of the first position for a second time.

Despite Jurgen being responsible for the destruction of two GCR companies and the opposing MG, the British commander saw his chance and ordered his remaining company to ‘attack’ the vacant first position under the covering fire of the mountain guns.

All the while the Germans had been nervously waiting for their reinforcements. Their commander was unaware that another police company was due on the tenth turn of the ‘Blank Card’. After 14 game turns and 9 turns of the ‘Blank Card’, he had no idea how close they were! With the final demise of Jurgen he took the decision it was time to go. Before leaving the village, he ordered his remaining troops to ‘Retire’, but after two turns of rifle fire into their backs at ‘dead close’ range, they didn’t need to be told. They were off down the railway track.

At the close of the action, the German commander looked over his shoulder and couldn’t see any enemy troops following him. Although he’d lost Khra and 70% of his force, he was content that he’d given the Englander a bloody nose!
The British commander ordered his guns forward towards the village. He claimed victory but he was all too aware of his 80% losses. His ability to continue to Kamina was now in doubt and he had some explaining to do to London. Scared of further infantry losses, he refused to order his remaining riflemen to leave their ‘hard cover’ and clear the village. He was convinced that an enemy unit still threated his right flank. But if you remember from the beginning of this despatch………it was a ‘dummy’.
Last edited by Martin1914 on Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Khra 1914 - ITLSU

Post by Martin1914 »

Uumm...the photo attachments didn't work. Any tips?

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Re: Khra 1914 - ITLSU

Post by c0cky30 »

Great stuff.

Charles Eckart
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Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:41 pm

Re: Khra 1914 - ITLSU

Post by Charles Eckart »

Nice use of relatively small forces with ITLSU in an ignored colonial setting.

Thanks for posting

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