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"Operation Currahee, into South Leon" Topic

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396 hits since 12 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Wolfhag12 Sep 2017 12:34 p.m. PST


First up, let's get an overview of what's going on: South Leon is a (fictional) country on the west coast of Africa, and while no saints are they, they are quasi-democratic and were a lynchpin in the Western military outlook of staving off the 'Domino Theory.' So while Communism worldwide has taken some fiscal hits and Westerners have thus lost their interest in helping out South Leon, who is surrounded by a neighbor, Fédération Socialiste Nationale de Leon (FSNL), which is Communist insofar as it gets them money from Soviet Union in order to carry on their tribal/territorial antagonism of South Leon.

FSNL, in concert with a domestic insurgency fronted by the "Free Leon Army" (FLA), began turning up the heat on the South Leon government and so on 1 May1990, Free Cuba dispatched a Task Group under Major Fulgencio to South Leon. A company of Marines was sent north to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with FSNL, a company of paratroopers was dispatched to the insurgency's hotspot in the east-central city of Diwala, and various other assets were deployed around the country in order to bolster South Leon government and military efforts. The Cubans began training host nation forces and patrolling, and the Cuban Marines drew first blood in a series of sharp clashes with troops crossing the border through the DMZ in early June. Things died down again until mid-July when the Cuban paratroopers were flung into a sudden maelstrom of violence in Diwala. Casualties were heavy on both sides, so the Cuban paras (Task Force Razor) were pulled out of Diwala to rest and refit, and the Cuban Marines (Task Force Redleg) were pulled back from the DMZ in order to cover TF Razor.

Which was a stroke of extraordinary fortune, because on 24 July 1990 the armed forces of FSNL staged a full-scale invasion of South Leon, pouring men and tanks across the border, crushing South Leon Army elements in their way. South Leon armed forces made their stand just short of the capital of Pendrakenville, halting the Communist advance, but the dagger was thrust deep. Presidente Waraldonez and Defense Minister Estevante held emergency meetings to decide whether to evacuate Task Group Fulgencio or reinforce them; reinforce was the unanimous decision, and Cuban forces were mounted out immediately. A mechanized company, a second Marine company, a second para company, and various armor, air, special operations, intelligence, and support elements were immediately dispatched by air (heavy lift capability rumored to be provided by the US Air Force). But due to the FSNL/FLA penetration of South Leon, it was determined forced entry operations would be necessary in order to secure locations to bring Cuban heavy equipment ashore.

A plan was quickly hatched for an airborne assault, in two pieces: Operation Geronimo, a combat drop by E Company, 6 Para (covered separately), and Operation Geronimo, a combat drop by 1st Lieutenant Villagrosa's ODA 212. Lt Villagrosa's 20 special forces operators will jump on the city of Gimbala, serving as the command and control center for the FSNL's 3rd Infantry Division, possessing a key bridge over the Ruhala River, and a key crossroads for traffic to and from the port city of Skarsenyi.

It is now 0330 on 27 July 1990, and the twenty paratroopers of Lt Villagrosa's ODA-212 are descending to earth below silk canopies, having just departed a loaner C-130. Upon landing they will immediately form up and assault any and all enemy positions identified (in the event, it would turn out that intelligence information provided by South Leon government elements, via Task Group Fulgencio, would prove quite accurate).


Overview of the South Leon town of Gimbala, north is right, and please forgive all the garbage I have lying around (I need a bigger wargames room!). At center, running top to bottom (east to west), is the Ruhala River. This fight will take place in the top left portion of the table, where the enemy has a defensive position atop Hill 60.


The enemy troops (bottom) have spotted the Cuban paratroopers and are laying down heavy small arms fire. To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:

Next up, a Little Group of Paratroopers assault an enemy bunker just south of the Ruhala River.

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