Available forces for the reconnaissance and demolition mission: see below
LRDG – Briefing: Raid or Mission Aims
a) investigate increased enemy activity at the railway halt and old desert airstrip at the old oil prospecting camp, Wadi-Yu-Min.
b) put out of use any military or transport equipment, railway, bridges as appropriate
c) destroy stores
D) remove any interesting weaponry and documents of interest to Intelligence Officers, including captured service personnel for internment and interrogation.
‘Ragtag’ and ‘Bobtail’, two LRDG (D) modified desert extended jeep type trucks with additional external fuel tanks, stowage and demolition equipment – 2 LRDG (D) man crews with LMG Bren Guns, pistols and rifle plus spotter / spare armed with pistol.
Being more small truck than jeep, several commandos can be carried by each ‘jeep truck’.
Note: Numbers with names are not their ages!
Ragtag’s crew of 2 – driver and LMG gunner Desert Commando Privates Foster (35) and Marrion (34) and Spotter Pte Sheppard (32)
Bobtail’s crew of 2 – driver and LMG gunner Desert Commando Privates Gough (36) and Smith (37)
Desert Commando Section 1 LRDG – D
Officer Commanding Captain Younger (14) with pistol and commando knife
Photo caption: Three plucky Desert Commandos pictured with HMG Section gunner Privates Curry (38) and Stonefeather (39) and spotter Lance Cpl. Blease (7) and LRDG-D Truck LMG teams.
20 Desert Commandos under two Officers (Hyde and Younger), commanding 9 rifles and 4 SMGs from various regiments and the Royal Angrian Defence Force (West Africa) and technical teams.
2/Lieut. Hyde (40) with pistol,
Riflemen – Lance Cpl Kaufman (6), ‘Fluffy’ Mitton (9) Privates Fremantle (5), Hemingway (10), Faulkner (12), Learoyd (14), Chandler (18), Dangerfield (24), Clayton (33)
SMGs – Lance Corporal Maclean (8), Privates Young (17), Weller (20), Scruby (27)
Commando Technical teams include:
- Royal Signals Regiment operator with radio, Private Sissons (25)
- Small antitank weapon (Bazooka type) Private Chamberlin (26) and second crew member Private Dickinson (31)
- Royal Engineers Demolition expert Private Maitland (30) with detonator
- Two ‘grenadiers’ equipped with Mills Bombs and knives Privates Steinbeck (11) and Gammage (29)
Each of these ‘Technicals’ carries Commando knives and pistol.
Donald Featherstone’s Wargaming Commando Operations gives a good idea of weaponry that early raiding teams carried.
Desert Forces: Yestershire Regiment Regulars with two officers with pistols, 10 riflemen under Sergeants Brittle (40) and Bland (2)
Officers Lieutenant ‘Paddy’ Camberley (1), and 2nd / Sub-Lieutenant ‘Tubby’ Bath (41), attached from RNVR
Riflemen – Sergeants Brittle (40) and Bland (2), Corporals Stone (3) and ‘Daisy’ Ridley (4) and Privates Pollock (13), Mulvaney (15) Ortheris (16), Grant (19), Mahoney (21), Wallingford (22),
Bombers / Grenadiers – Private Hunt (28).
1 HMG team of two gun crew Privates Curry (38) and Stonefeather (39) and spotter Lance Cpl Blease (7)
Royal Engineer Private Appleby (23) with mine detecting equipment and pistol.
Insertion points 1-5 for each team to be advised (chosen by d6).
Recon and Demolition Mission Reminders
Yestershire Regiment to be inserted close by truck and carrier, (off table) arriving into the area on foot. They will be carrying water, rations and ammunition in their packs.
Commando teams will be carrying no packs. Ragtag, Bobtail and the truck logistics teams carry extra explosives and detonators. They have also established several caches of survival supplies nearby with map refs to ensure that commando teams can escape on foot as needed.
A radioman signaller is present to keep links back to base teams for rescue and retrieval at prearranged points in the surrounding desert.
Reminders: Civilian casualties are to be avoided or minimised.
Local people may be present along with unarmed railway staff.
No blame for the raid should attributable to the local population by the enemy. Where possible, ‘Dummy’ maps and equipment to be deliberately left behind.
Enemy prisoners and technicians are to be disarmed, taken captive where possible and escorted back to base for interrogation.
The raid game is now played and the account of it can be found here: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/18/desert-commando-raid-on-wadi-yu-min-1941/
Personalised Wargaming: What’s in a name?
John Curry noted in the reprint edition of Donald Featherstone’s Advanced Wargames that the list of names in the ‘Personalised Wargaming’ chapter included the names of various 1960s wargame opponents, illustrators and figure manufacturers – Russell Gammage of Rose Miniatures, Neville (Minifigs) Dickinson, Illustrator R.J. Marrion, Jack Scruby, Brigadier Peter Young, Roy Belmont-Maitland (Tradition) etc.
You also get a possible glimpse of Featherstone’s bookshelf of rugged literary tastes. Several others appear to be novelists or writers – Chandler, Faulkner, Hemingway. Others include ‘The Soldiers Three’ or ‘Three Musketeers’ characters in Rudyard Kipling’s tales of army life in India during the Raj, one of Featherstone’s colonial gamingn interests, Kipling’s alter ego Ortheris, Learoyd and Mulvaney.
After introducing Learoyd and Mulvaney, when asked who the third musketeer was, Kipling reputedly said Ortheris (‘the Author is’).
Other bloggers who commented on my Personalised Wargaming blog post created their character names lists using the names of actors, politicians and war leaders (“See here, Private Johnson!” – insert name of …), film characters and ingeniously, villains from acquaintances (with names scrambled).
The ‘Saints’ Southampton FC teams of the mid to late 1950s to early 60s would be another such useful or appropriate Donald Featherstone inspired list of names to collate and choose from, as he was their team physiotherapist and wrote several books on sports, work and dance injuries.
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 18 January 2020