Wednesday 4 January 2017

Crossing the River Damour, Syria, July 5-6 1941

The first of our Christmas games in Spain :)

Damour, Syria July 5-6th 1941

The River Damour was the last natural defense line south of Beirut, after several months of surprisingly hard fighting (surprising to the Allies), the Vichy forces were finally tiring and the end of the campaign was in sight.

The lead Allies units were elements of the Australian 7th Division under Major General Arthur "Tubby" Allen, the basic plan was to cross the Damour River and seize several key villages and high hills before moving onto the town opening the coast road to Beirut.

Map of the actual battle

Our table

For simplicities sake we started the game at dawn on July 6th with 2 Australian companies already across the Damour and a third in the process of crossing along with some support (a 3" mortar and a Vickers) these hvy weapons too difficult to move at night over such rugged terrain.

25lbrs ready to support the attack

In the two villages El Atiqa & El Boum the Vichy await a mix of local militia/gendarmerie stiffened by Legionnaires and Senegalese.

The first few moves saw the Aussies advance under harassing mortar and `75 fire

Once they reached the track they began to received rifle and MG fire also

A nasty surprise appears out of El Atiqa

Quickly dealt with by a Boys AT rifle

the Aussies push across the track against stiff resistance

French `75 battery wiped out

French reserves form up in Damour

The Aussie 6th cavalry waits for the bridge to be fixed

French reserves form a new line north of El Atiqa

6th cavalry crosses the Damour

And engages the french armour

The Aussies seize both villages

Aussies seize point 560

and move to out-flank the new Vichy line

Game-over :)

Obviously we scaled down both sides to make a reasonable game, but it played out pretty much as it did in 1941, the only difference was the French counter-attack which was never committed in the actual battle.


  1. Great looking game, and especially good as the Aussies won :-) I recognise the broken bridge pieces as I have done exactly this for a game as well - great minds think alike!

  2. Cheers Shaun

    Nothing wrong with old Matchbox diorama bases :)

  3. A nice looking set up and game report.

    Good to see the less well known theatres of WW2 getting an outing too.



  4. Thanks Pete

    You know me - I don`t do normal :)

  5. Awesome looking game! What rules do you use? How did you determine the OOB's?

  6. Thanks for the comment :)
    We use a time served version of Charles Grant`s "Battle" rules published in the 1960s (the first proper rules I found way back in the 1970s when I was about 13). The OOBs are based on actual returns and a little research scaled to the rule-set. A platoon is about 10 figs, a company = 3 platoons plus a small HQ. Then a battalion is 3 companies + support. We rarely have more then a battalion on table, but it suits the level of game we play.

  7. Richard,

    Would you mind sharing the OOB's and scenario data so I can shamelessly copy and play the scenario?


  8. Let me have your email and i`ll send something over ;)

  9. Hi Richard,

    I've always been interested in this theatre.

    Jbaumal at yahoo dot com