Monday, September 5, 2011

Aqaba 1917

This week’s big game was held on Saturday at RAF Leuchars. It was organised by Jed Harbride-Rose of the RAF Wargames club who is obviously a fan of the 1962 David Lean film Lawrence of Arabia.

Lawrence struts his stuff...
The day was a 28mm series of actions leading up to and including the Arab cavalry attack on Aqaba. It was an opportunity for people to field all their troops and terrain for this period.
Aqaba town - in distance the fort and railway
The three actions were:
Firstly an attack on a Turkish armoured train on the Hezaz railway by Arab insurgents. Stopped by a demolition on the track and then attacked by 3 units of Arab foot the Turkish unit manning the train soon abandoned the train and fled up the track back to Medina. This allowed Lawrence of Arabia to strut his stuff on the roof of the train.

Turkish airpower slows the column
Secondly an attack on the fort guarding Aqaba undertaken by Anzac and Arab forces. The imperial motorised force had to approach the fort in a long single column and came under air attack by the Turkish airforce. Despite this and a major action between each sides armoured cars the Anzacs assaulted the fort but were driven back by the garrison. However MG fire from the imperial armoured cars was sufficient to break the garrison and allowed the Hezaz regulars to raise the Union flag above the fort.

Anzacs scale the walls of the fort
Finally the massed Arab cavalry and camelry charge into Aqaba town supported by Royal Navy gunnery from offshore. The RN engaged and suppressed the heavy Turkish coastal guns which as per the film only looked out to sea.

Arab cavalry and camelry begin the great charge

Heavy Turkish gun - tragically only looking out to see

The Arab charge largely ignored the initial landward defenders and raced into the narrow streets of Aqaba. They quickly captured the Governor’s palace and the pompous governor and swept on to take one of the two coastal gun positions. At this point the Turkish players decided that all was lost and agreed a surrender with Lawrence.
Arab forces enter the narrow streets of Aqaba

In the twilight Arab forces storm the governor's palace

Link to Flickr photoset of the game

There were 5 players myself, Hugh Wilson, Jimmy Conquer, Brian Cunniffe, Chas Richards with Jed umpiring. The table was approx 20 feet long, 6 feet wide all down the narrow bit, and then 9 feet wide at both ends. The Royal Navy was on another table! We used Jed’s Home for Christmas rules.  It was fun and it looked great!  Many thanks Jed!

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic looking game. Pretty decent size too.