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"Two Brothers Fight #7" Topic

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©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
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Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2021 8:56 p.m. PST


1530 Local Time
18 December 1965
Phuoc Ha Valley, RVN
Operation Harvest Moon

The operation began nine days ago, and it's been a real bastard. The boys helo'ed into the west end of the Que Son Valley, got into a helluva ambush, watched some B-52 "Arc Light" bombing raids pound the hell out of the valley, then got to walk around for another week looking at abandoned VC base camps before somebody finally realized the Viet Cong had pulled out of the Que Son Valley and were now inhabiting the nearby Phuoc Ha Valley. III MAF committed 2/9 and had them enter one end of the valley whilst 2/7, whom the boys were still attached to, entered from the other end. Both battalions soon found themselves in the fight of their lives.

The squad found itself at the tail end of the 2/7 formation; they could hear a helluva cacophony about a klick up ahead, and they tried to make sense of the chatter on the radio, but it was crazy. It seemed that the 8th Viet Cong Battalion had ambushed the Marine battalion and were trying to isolate HQ and Hotel Companies from Fox and Golf Companies, and 2/9 was in a very similar predicament. In any case, the boys were with Golf Company, which was ordered to move off to the in an attempt to outflank the VC defensive line and breakthrough to HQ and Hotel, but on the way their mission changed.

The Platoon Sergeant, Staff Sergeant Dunn, quickly briefed the entire squad: a section of HQ Company was separated from the main body and found itself in a running gunfight heading west. They managed to break contact but they're beat up pretty bad and they can hear Charlie out there in the jungle looking for them. They don't know exactly where they're at, other than 'in the bend in the river,' so you're going to go out there and be their cavalry coming to the rescue. Golf is moving east-northeast, so the rest of the platoon is gonna be the bridge between them and you, now go get'em, cowboys."


Overview, north is up. The Marines will enter the table in the southwest (bottom left) and follow the river northeast (top right), searching for the separated HQ Company Marines. Sergeant Garcia figures the bend in the river referenced on the radio is at top right, and there's a nice bamboo thicket that would be perfect to hide in if one were hurt and being pursued by the enemy. The Marines are in a narrow valley, with the jungle covered slope of Hill 304 present in the northwest (top left), and a finger of Hill 412 jutting northwest from the southeastern end (bottom right) of the area of operations.

Time is of the essence, the squad needs to find the HQ Company Marines before the VC do, or they succumb to their wounds. And Sergeant Garcia really hopes the HQ Company Marines are hiding exactly where he thinks they are, because if the squad reaches the bend in the river and hasn't found them, they're going to have to split up and search both sides of the river simultaneously, which is a recipe for disaster.


The initial deployment; "Alright, take five," said Sgt Garcia. "This fork in the river is about 100 yards south of where I'd be hiding if I was those Marines. It's awful quiet, not sure what to make of that. Maybe they found a place to hole up and the dinks can't find'em. Maybe they're all dead… Or maybe it's a trap. Alright, break time is over, on your feet!"


But no sooner had squad (top center) broke cover than a sniper's rifle (bottom center) rang out…


One fireteam pushes forward aggressively to flush out the sniper…


As the other polices up its wounded and begins falling back across the river.

To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:

Next fight coming up Thursday.


Personal logo Cardinal Ximenez Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2021 6:13 a.m. PST


Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2021 10:24 a.m. PST

you have outdone yourself with the terrain man. makes my stuff look like crap. I really have to get a "y" extension for my river.
to determine if a village is abandoned or a scenario is to be played do you use the AKOT or something else? for this scenario was it a variant of "one of our planes is missing" or something you concocted?
well done! are you sure you didnt do a joint tour with the air force?


Wolfhag01 Feb 2021 12:46 p.m. PST

Excellent work again!

Regarding Arc Light, it was not uncommon in I Corps for a Marine Recon Team to be inserted for BDA almost immediately after the bombing.

"There is no question that the ARC LIGHT strikes were greatly feared, as the aircraft flew too high to be seen or heard; survivors in the target areas report their first warning was the world seeming to explode around them. When the impact area was inhabited, the damage often was immense. In his book Force Recon Command, LTC Alex Lee of U.S. Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance, hardened after seeing much, would not write about details of a post-strike bomb damage assessment mission to an ARC LIGHT impact area."

A BDA at an Arc Light site has a lot of potential for a neat setup and terrain in addition to the "special effects".

That reminds me. A good friend of mine was in a Marine Recon unit in VN. In a firefight, an RPG hit next to him and knocked him out. His team thought he was dead as his face was shredded and he had a big gash in his neck. When they got him back they put him in a body bag. He said he remembers that but evidently the damage to his neck and vocal cords prevented him from speaking and he was too weak to move. When they opened the body bag at graves registration getting him ready for his coffin he was able to move his lips enough that an attendant noticed it and they shipped him to Germany where he recovered.


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2021 2:00 p.m. PST

Don Manser – Thanks!

Joe – Thanks man, and quit crying, your stuff looks fine! ;) I'm not using the AKOT, what I did was make cards for everything (which correlates to odds in the AKOT, so maybe yes actually?), and yes, the mission cards I created largely match up to the ones you have in Grunts Forward. Oh, and I've been around the Air Force plenty; the only positive things I can say is the chow was fantastic and they didn't accidentally bomb me (there's one more but it will get me kicked off TMP)…

Wolf – Already ahead of you on the Arc Light BDA, it's fight #10. That's a horrible story, I can't imagine actually being zipped in and waking up. When I was in Iraq two of my Lance Corporals got caught crossing a street by an RPK. We MEDEVACK'ed both of them (via HMMWV since we were in the city); one was hit in the head and died at the cloverleaf (where BAS was located), the other had been hit in both legs, but for some reason was in medical distress. Apparently he kept flatlining and they kept bringing him back (I say apparently because this is what he told me later, I wasn't there, I was still in the city), but they couldn't figure out why he was dying after being shot through both legs. They MEDEVACK'ed him to BIAP, still nearly dying, then MEDEVACK'ed him back to California. He nearly died a couple times on the flight, then once more in Cali, before they found out that somehow one of the 7.62mm rounds that hit him in the leg somehow ended up lodged in his throat! Yeah, no one can explain that one, but there were no other entry wounds. Once they pulled that round out of his throat he was fine, recovered in a couple months.

I don't know Dom well enough to say this, but Joe and Wolf need to drag their tired asses over here and read fight #6:
TMP link

Now normally I wouldn't complain about folks not reading or commenting on my batreps, but fight #6 is one of my favorite fights of the entire first tour. You know things have gone to hell if I'm handing out Navy Crosses!


Wolfhag02 Feb 2021 3:00 p.m. PST

I can really feel the Fog of War and command indecision.

H34 15mm in 3D: link



Not sure of the price but probably pretty expensive. Do you have any "Flying Bananas"?


Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2021 11:28 a.m. PST

Dont be whining about not reading your reports. You post em too fast. some of us are working amidst a global pandemic! speaking of that I dont think you are qualified to tell us what happens to the grunts once they leave the board and get to the aid station! ; )
again well done.


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2021 2:38 p.m. PST

Wolf – I actually ordered a model kit from Germany, via EBay. It's now listed as 63 days in transit…

Joe – Well, look at you getting all sassy, very officer of you. I suppose I'll just have to post them slower, or perhaps you need me to read them for you? ;)

And you're actually (finally) correct, I am absolutely unqualified to speak to what happens once the wounded get back to BAS or the Naval hospital, that's why I have dice and a table to roll on! ;)

In any case, again I say get off your tired asses and go read fight #6, it's one of my favorites!


Bismarck05 Feb 2021 10:24 a.m. PST

Hey Jack,
'fraid I am late to the party on this one. Another great AAR
and magnificent terrain. Seems that as your narrative progresses and readers begin to follow the characters more
the scenarios become even more intense. Another realistic depiction. Now on to read #8.


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2021 8:22 a.m. PST


No sweat man, just glad you made it and enjoyed it. The next fight is pretty quick, with not much drama. It was bound to happen ;)


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