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IDF Vs Polish

IDF Vs Polish 
With Gary Wait

Call sign Gideon 21
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1600hrs Zulu - Lebanese Border 1985

IDF Seren (Captain) Yitzhak “Zakky” Bar ran his hand through his thick dark hair, his face an inscrutable mask of hidden frustration.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Udi. I don’t mind going back into Lebanon but trusting for support with those shtuyot (stupid) Militia guys ? That’s messed up.  Why can’t we have the Golani boys in support again ?”

 Rav Seren (Major) Udi Shlomo shrugged his shoulders knowing how futile this discussion was becoming.

“Zak, this is above both our pay grades. Tel Aviv have decreed we are to have greater co operation with our South Lebanon Army friends and they have new toys their friends Saddam Hussein has given them. Just work with them. It will be fine. “. This last comment was punctuated with the waving of a hand theatrically.

“And you mean to tell me that I won’t even have a full company ? We have one breakdown and on top of this a Merkava platoon detached ? How am I supposed to sort out the Arabs alone ?”

Shlomo shrugged his shoulders again.  This was not a fight either of them could win.  Best to make the most of it.

Bar sighed.  This was going to be a tough mission.  At least his brand new Merkavas would be up for the task. He still wasn’t sure about the Christian Militia of the South Lebanese Army.

Task Force Gideon was going to need to make tracks.

Two hours later, Zak found his depleted company of seven Merkava II’s lost on a road junction with an understrength Christian Milita company of five BTR60PB’s who were armed with looted Milans, Iraqi supplied SA7 Grail and supported by a unit of four Iraqi supplied ZSU 23-4 Shilkas.  

Heaven only knows  where his recon platoon along with the other Allied infantry company, their AT platoon of Spandrel and 122mm howitzers had ended up.  He had even been promised a platoon of 120mm mortars from HQ. They seemed lost also.

IDF Vs Polish

On the bright side, somehow a unit of top secret Tammuz missile launching Pereh’s had turned up.  Maybe they had the same Michelin maps he was struggling with ? So that’s half my force, needed to bust through to take the approach to this village.  Right, that’s not going to be hard.

“Zak, I’m getting a radio message from our Allied commander. He says he has found the perfect place to provide overwatch and is digging in” reported Benny, his radio operator. Zak groaned. He knew this might be the last time he got any activity out of the allied infantry.

IDF Vs Polish

 “Very well, but tell them I need the support of their Shilkas. Oh and tell them to keep the Grail launchers awake, they are going to be crucial if reports of enemy Helicopter activity are true”.

As Zak pushed forward with his two units of Merkavas, the radio net scrambled with contact reports.

“Polish ?  Seriously ?  This gets weirder and weirder   OK,David, light them up”

In response to Zak’s advice, David Goldberg’s platoon of three Merkava II’s poured 105mm sabot rounds into the advancing BMP-1 recon screen they’d run into.  Two dead BMP’s and the third was hastily abandoned.

Before Zak could digest this, his own tank and the platoon he was supporting crested a rise and saw to their astonishment three T72M tanks.  

“Gunner, lase and engage. Target tank front 1200m. FIRE FIRE FIRE”

In response to Zak’s Merkava II firing hastily, the three supporting Merkava II tanks of Yossi Gantz joined, adding their fire. All three T72 turrets sprayed their contents across the sky, upended rapidly from accurate and rapid fire from the Israeli tankers.

Before Zak had time to register, radio reports from the Allied South Lebanese infantry reported a laager of entrenched Soviet infantry blocking the second of the two exits he had in mind. 

Little chance of any action there, he thought. They’re along to keep the Poles loyal, not to do anything decisive.While Zak tried to digest this new information, a smoke screen magically appeared beside his tank, base ejected 152mm chemical smoke rounds popping around his head. This was a bad sign.

In the distance, David Goldberg heard the whopping sound of heavy rotors and called his three attentive crews to scan the skies. They were immediately rewarded with the appearance of four dull tan and green camouflaged Mi 24 Hinds undertaking a sweeping attack. Despite the spray of 0.50” MG fire directed at them, the Hinds kept coming in, aiming for missile shots.

Three lazy shots of SA7 Grail arced overhead, spinning crazily towards a combination of actual targets and a panicked dumping of flares. One Hind was unlucky, ingesting a SAM into the exhaust port and imploding spectacularly. The remaining three Hinds delivered their Spiral missiles though the unnerving effect of the destroyed wingman put off two of the missiles. The third impacted upon a Merkava but failed to detonate. After a moment to check their bearings, the crew announced they were OK and good to go. David ordered his vehicles to pull across to link up with the rest of the unit.

IDF Vs Polish

While Zak and Yossi’s platoon were furiously pouring rounds into the entrenched and cowering Soviet tanks, the Pereh crews squinted into their screens, trying to track the enemy DANA artillery which had been hidden In an olive grove.

The Hinds circulated noisily, attempting to avoid the roving Shilkas and attempted to engage Yossi’s platoon.   This time a 0.50” MG got lucky, clearing out the cockpit of a careless Hind. More missiles connected but were deflected by the excellent Merkava armour.   The Grails were this time all fooled by flares.

Realising the enemy’s Soviet infantry were too well entrenched to do much damage, Zak decided to take a different tack. Reports from David’s platoon indicated the arrival of reinforcing Soviet infantry added promise. Dismounted too.

IDF Vs Polish

“Let’s go hunting, boys” whooped Zak over the company radio net.

As the Merkavas accelerated towards the incoming Soviet infantry company and sprayed them with HESH rounds, they noticed a larger casualty toll this time. The trusty 105 was a great gun for clearing a position.

“Aim for the RPG’s, those are the real risk.  We can take their AK’s” joked Zak. Peals of laughter was his reply on the radio net.

Abruptly, one set of laughter turned into a scream. Looking to his side, Zak saw a Merkava explode violently.    Where did that come from ?

Frantic warnings from the Allied SLA infantry warned of the arrival of reinforcements.  Zak ordered the remaining six tanks to turn around and go clear out the new arrivals.

At longer ranges, only one of the three T72’s was brewed up. The remaining two T72’s turned their guns to engage when the Milan section of the SLA came to life, spearing the two T72’s with missile impacts.    

Silently cursing himself for his lack of caution, Zak ordered his units to close up and head for the choke point they had seen the Soviet infantry arrive in.  

The remaining two Hinds circled, preparing for another run.This time they wouldn’t get away lightly as the Shilkas scrambled to intercept their flight path. One Hind burst apart from 23mm rounds while the remaining pilot lost his nerve and climbed sharply. This was enough, he decided.

The Merkavas from David’s platoon saw the glimpse of some Shilkas from the Polish Army and crushed one vehicle with sabot rounds, while wheeling towards the enemy infantry.

Growing in confidence, the  allied Shilkas moved up to support the Merkavas when they noticed  a recon unit of three Soviet BMP-1’s creeping in single file around from the Merkavas. The sewing machine chatter of the 23mm quad guns tore apart the BMP’s, halting the unit and forcing the abandonment of the sole surviving vehicle.

All six remaining Merkavas then crested the hill, peering down towards the lone remaining Polish T72 in conference with a Soviet commander.

Zak directed the two tanks of Yossi’s platoon to clear the enemy command vehicle forcibly while directing the fire of David’s three tanks into the remaining three Polish Shilkas, reminding himself that somewhere in those olive groves were a battery of 152mm SP howitzers.

Gratifyingly, the T72M’s turret flipped with a show of fireworks. But before David’s platoon could open up, the three remaining Shilkas burst apart. The Perehs had finally sorted out the bugs that had plagued their Tammuz missiles all day. 

Zak exhaled, realising he had been clenching his fists against the seat rest. Things were going better now. As he considered his options next, he gazed out of the turret at the mangled remains of half of a Soviet Rifle company, torn apart from his unit’s fire. 

“Zak, I got this Soviet Major on the line. He speaks good English, better than mine. Says he offers his respects and wants to discuss safe passage for his unit to entirely withdraw in good order. If you’re agreeable ?”

Zak leaned back in his seat, rubbing his head and feeling the lifting of a weight from his shoulders.

“Pass me the handset, Benny. I’ll be glad to discuss this request. I gather the Poles have crumbled. Though I do wonder where our recon platoon ended up?”

IDF Vs Polish

The mission was Encounter, with total company break on turn 6 for the Polish with no combat teams left on table, only the supporting DANA’s. Only the Soviet BMP’s were completely lost.

Israelis lost one Merkava II, while the mortars and second infantry company never arrived.  6-1.

Israeli Tank Company

HQ – 1 Merkava II - 7pts
2 Platoons – 3 Merkava II - 42pts
1 Platoon – 3 Recon M113 - 2pts

Support
1 Platoon - 3 Pereh - 7pts
1 Platoon - 3 M106/120mm Mortars - 3pts

Allied South Lebanese Army (Iraqi)

HQ – 1 BTR60 – 1 AK team - 1pt
1 Coy – 5 BTR60, 7 AK, 1 RPG, 1 Milan team - 6pts
1 Coy – 6 BTR60, 7 AK, 1 RPG, 1 Milan, 1 SA7 - 7pts
1 Coy – 3 Spandrel - 2pts
1 Coy – 3 Carnation - 4pts
1 Coy – 4 Shilka - 4pts

Polish Tank Battalion

HQ 1 T72
2 Coy – 3 T72
1 Coy – 3 BMP1
1 Coy – 4 Shilka

Support
1 Battery – 3 DANA

Soviet Allies

HQ 1 BTR60 – AK
2 Coy – 9 BTR60 with two platoons of infantry and one Spigot 
1 Coy – 3 BMP-1 Recon
1 Coy – 2 SA13
1 Coy – 4 Shilka


Last Updated On Thursday, May 16, 2019 by Luke at Battlefront