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"Two Brothers Fight #14" Topic

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Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2021 8:48 a.m. PST


1800 Local Time
4 March 1966
Near Hill 50, Quang Ngai Province, RVN
Operation Utah

2nd Battalion, 7th Marines had been in contact all day; even before they were landed via helos they were taking fire on the way in, heavy enough that two Marine choppers and an F-4 Phantom had been shot down, and more than 20 helicopters had been damaged badly enough they'd had to head back for repairs, necessitating another helicopter squadron be committed to the fight. Once on the ground, the Marines joined an ARVN battalion that landed before them, and it was being mauled by North Vietnamese Army (NVA) defenses on and around Hill 50. 2/7 sprung into action, basically coming online and pushing east, with Fox Company to the left (north), tying in with the ARVN, Golf Company in the center, and Hotel Company on the right (south). The ARVN were hard pressed and weren't keeping up with the Marines, so Fox Company was pulled farther and farther north as Golf and Hotel struck the NVA defenses on Hill 50. Now it was the Marines turn to be mauled; the enemy were numerous, well-armed, and dug in, letting the Marines get close enough so that it was very difficult to leverage supporting air and artillery ("hugging the belt"). The Marines, Golf Company in particular, were able to breach the enemy defenses on Hill 50 in several places, but they were spread too thin and didn't have any reserves to exploit the success. And then battalion realized another problem brewing; while Golf and Hotel were essentially 'stuck in' and not going anywhere on Hill 50, a gap had opened between Golf Company and Fox Company, with NVA pouring into the gap, near the village of Khanh My.

The boys had accompanied Golf Company on its assault of Hill 50, reaching the enemy trenches but not able to push past, while suffering heavy casualties. They settled into a bit of a stalemate (like the rest of Golf and Hotel), but were then pulled back and sent north to reestablish contact with Fox Company, where they had a short, sharp firefight with a squad of NVA, sent them packing, and linked up with Fox. But now Hotel Company was being counterattacked by NVA on the southern side of Hill 50 and was in danger of being overrun, so the boys were sent south to help them out.


Overview, north is up. Enemy entrenchments atop the southern tip of Hill 50 are visible at far/top right, while the northern tip of the village of Chau Nhai (5) (not to be confused with Chau Nhai (3), which we'll see tomorrow), and the rest is scattered jungle. The beleaguered Marines of Hotel Company have withdrawn into a relatively small defensive perimeter to fight off the marauding NVA, the northern tip of which is visible at bottom left, while the squad will be entering from the northwest (top left), seeing to relieve pressure on Hotel Company.

You can see several Marines from Hotel Company in the jungle to the southwest (bottom left); the rest of their perimeter stretches off camera to the south, where they are already heavily engaged by attacking NVA infantry. The squad is entering in the northwest (top left), as the NVA Platoon, split in half, is entering through the village (bottom center) and streaming down Hill 50 (center right).


The NVA push through the dense undergrowth (top left to bottom right), closing in on the Marine positions (top right)…


Where they launch an RPG!


Doc is treating the wounded (far left)…


As Nik (bottom left) keeps the M-60 hammering away…


And Danny moves to the flank (bottom right), where he's able to catch the NVA (top left) with enfilading fire!


But the NVA have already dispatched three men (far right, from bottom left) to flank him (just visible at top right, behind the bamboo)!

To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:

Next fight coming soon.


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2021 10:10 a.m. PST

Hot and heavy action – great AAR!

Bismarck03 Mar 2021 1:39 p.m. PST

Dxxx, Jack!

Book, hxxx! This is worthy of a movie! That was really intense. It is amazing that they didn't take more casualties.
Hate to see Sgt. Garcia go. Your follow up with his rotating out was so typical. One of the hardest things about Vietnam,
and even for us POGs, was seeing friends depart. You were glad for them, but knew you would miss them. And all too often,
you never got the chance to keep in touch. Back to the story,
HM3 Johnson should have gotten at least a commendation for his actions. He did more work rallying the lads than the squad
and fire team leaders. You could picture Nik, blood in his
eyes going forward spraying the NVA to get even for Danny.
Think Animal Mother in Full Metal Jacket.
Jack, I would have never thought about getting excited
reading an AAR. You are writing some great, intense stuff.
If this keeps up, gonna have to take one of my heart palpitation pills before reading the coming chapters.
This one needs multiple readings. Lotta stuff hitting in
a short period of time. Another masterpiece.

Semper Fidelis.


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2021 3:30 p.m. PST

This is real great!… I enjoyed it a lot!….

Thanks for posting…


Personal logo Cardinal Ximenez Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2021 6:05 p.m. PST

Enjoyable as always.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2021 6:06 p.m. PST

Frederick – Indeed it was!

Armand – Thanks, I'm glad you liked it, and it's my pleasure!

Cardinal – I appreciate it!

Sam – A movie, eh? We'll sign you up to play the grizzled old Sergeant Major ;) I wasn't sure how enjoyable the batrep would be, it's the first time I tried playing/posting a game where there was pretty heavy foliage, which meant it was hard to get good pictures of what was going on, but it seems like a hit ;)

Pogues? You're killing me; I know you weren't an 03, but you were in a line unit, humpin' the bush. And hell, even guys that never went outside the wire would have to be looked at on a case by case basis; getting shot at is getting shot at. I was probably more hardline about that discernment when I was younger, but as I get older I realize there's much more tying us together than pushing us apart and, in our case, just wearing the Globe and Anchor is enough.

And don't worry; it sucks Sgt G is gone, but you'll soon see that Corporal Little is more than ready to pick up the slack, and there's much more in store for Doc Johnson. Patience, old man ;) And certainly don't blow your heart up!

And if you like this fight, just wait, it only gets better, I promise! At least through the end of Operation Utah; the rest of the fights were fun, but hard to live up to the intensity of Operation Utah. But having said that, the fights up on the DMZ for Operation Hastings have their own special appeal.


Bismarck04 Mar 2021 5:47 p.m. PST

The action and game flow stole all the attention. The terrain was outstanding. If it had not been for the bush and the "big bad bush", this would have turned out a lot worse for our
Marines. It photographed well and the use of cover even
intensified the scenario action. I woulda been screaming for a SPAD or artillery support from the get go. No worry about
how the pics came out, they were great and did a good job showing
positions and cover.

Didn't mention a bit back how you did a great job showing how the VC and NVA closed in as much as possible to negate artillery and air support. Sure you don't have an old Vietnam grunt looking over your shoulder as you play or write these?

As to playing the grizzled Sgt Maj. I have long passed the mandatory retirement age. My cane would not help as well. Besides, even at 50, I could not held a candle to GySgt. Elmo Haney.

Again, nice piece of work, Jack!


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2021 8:39 p.m. PST


Thanks a bunch, you're too kind, and I'm glad the story was easy to follow. The VC/NVA "hugging the belt" is not historic, but it helps keep my skirmish games from becoming unbalanced ;) Don't worry though, you'll see more reliance on supporting fires as the tour goes on. And sadly no Vietnam vet looking over my shoulder ;)

It's funny you mention Gunny Haney, I was just watching the Peleliu episodes of "The Pacific" this past weekend. Peleliu and Okinawa are where "The Pacific" really shines, in my opinion. Other than that, it was really a giant letdown after how well Band of Brothers was done. I thought Guadalcanal was grossly under-done, Cape Gloucester was a waste of time, Iwo Jima was barely touched, and Tarawa, Guam/Saipan/Tinian, and Bougainville completely ignored.


Bismarck05 Mar 2021 6:43 a.m. PST

I too thought that particularly Cape Gloucester was poorly done. There is little available about that campaign. My great uncle fought on Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester and Peleliu. Bear in mind that the Pacific only followed
certain Marines and centered on the 1st. Mar Div. The other
campaigns you mentioned were fought by other divisions.

The Vietnamese "hugging the belt" was indeed used!


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2021 9:11 p.m. PST


You're absolutely right, hard to find much on the northern Solomons in general. And you're right about them following 1st MarDiv, just wish it was spread to other units as well as Tarawa and the Marianas were so key. Hell, if you throw in the Marshalls you pretty much have the whole war, from the Marines' standpoint.

Like I said, ‘hugging the belt' definitely helps skirmish games. Having said that, I've been looking into higher echelon games. We'll see…


Bismarck06 Mar 2021 7:43 p.m. PST

When it comes to higher echelon games, I can't be much
help for Vietnam. The few games I have played in have
all been skirmish, commanding a squad plus, or in the
case of Low Level Hell a rescue chopper. At most a platoon using Disposable Heroes Long Road South.

If you are looking at WWII, including the Pacific,
Rapid Fire will do the trick. Command Decision has
had a large following in our local group, but now
either Battlegroup or Battlefront(from the Fire and
Fury folks) have been popular. Cannot speak for the latter
two, but Command Decision is a lot more detailed than
Rapid Fire. Hope that gives you some food for thought.


Wolfhag08 Mar 2021 9:24 a.m. PST

For a higher level status of the operation and where the action took place:

I was watching an old rerun of "Tour of Duty" and as they were walking through what I guess would have been the elephant grass it reminded me of the setup you have.


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2021 10:34 a.m. PST

Sorry Sam, just saw this, was at Little League baseball all weekend, badly sunburned two weeks after being 0 degrees ;)

I'm looking at "Charlie Don't Surf" for company-sized Vietnam games. It's got some stuff I'm fond of and some stuff I'm not so fond of, so we'll see.

My Rapid Fire concepts are all WWII, looking at Eastern Front, North Africa, and NW Europe. My Pacific stuff will be Lowe echelon, either company or platoon-level, not sure which rules I'm going to go with for Guadalcanal.

Wolf -Thanks, I should have probably posted that myself. I've leaned heavily on the Marine Corps' green books for this project.

And yes, I remember Tour of Duty, it was a good one for a bit, before they decided to add the romantic interests…


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