The Battle of Asun 11th December 1941 AAR
Following the defeat of the Punjabs at Changlun, the Japanese continued their drive towards Jitra, which they assumed would be the next defended position. However, they quickly ran into a battalion of the 2/1st Gurkhas, outside the village of Asun, who had been sent north from Jitra to further delay the Japanese advance. The Gurkhas had wired the bridge north of the village for demolition but the rain had dampened the charges and it remained intact when the Japanese tanks arrived on the field.
This was the situation at the beginning of our second battle in the Malayan campaign. Following on from the defeat at Changlun, it was up to a single battalion of Gurkhas to try to hold the Japanese. Unfortunately the only anti-tank capabilities they possessed was the Boys AT Rifle attached to the headquarters company. I placed this at the front of my defence line, so I could at least get a few shots at the Japanese armour and hopefully take some out. We set the game counter to eight runs again and the victory conditions remained the same; the Japanese have to reach the southern base of the board before the counter runs out; the British forces have to hold them.
Dean's Japanese force was the same as in the previous encounter with the loss of a single tank, so the odds were against me straight away. However, there was a river to cross and this would slow the Japanese advance and may give me a bit of chance to hold them until the game turns ran out.
I spread my handful of units across the plantations surrounding Asun, I used the protection of the treeline to keep my forces out of the sight of the enemy.
The headquarters company was brought to the northern edge of the trees with the Boys AT rifle.
The Japanese soldiers began their mass swarm down the main road, using the tanks as a covering screen.
The bridge created a natural bottleneck for the attacking force.
My Boys rifle opened up on the tanks and my luck was in! I hit and destroyed a Type 95!
As the Japanese poured across the bridge, I scored a second hit and kill on another Type 95! The Gurkhas were making their mark!
However, it wasn't all going my way, the headquarters were soaking up casualties from the tanks and infantry crossing the bridge. The Gurkhas responded with mortar fire, which also caused casualties amongst the Jap infantry.
My defence wouldn't last for long as a company of Japanese broke off to close assault the headquarters.
In response to the hordes of Japanese, I started moving one of my other companies into a better position in the village of Asun, and held the treeline along the road edge.
It was looking overwhelming from the British lines.
The Gurkha headquarters was quickly overrun and destroyed to a man with the Japanese victors swarming their positions.
This was the overall situation about half way through, the Japanese were over the bridge and charging down the main road!
I got two companies into position, one in Asun and the other in the treeline.
At the same time the Japanese infantry attacked my northern-most Gurkha company with their bayonets.
More Japanese soldiers attacked the village buildings, using grenades to try to shift the defenders, but the rains must have affected the fuses as well, as there was no casualties caused.
The Gurhkas in the trees were quickly ejected from the trees and pushed back south, whilst the defenders in the village remained strong with Japanese grenades raining down on them!
More Jap infantry joined the grenade attack with support from four tanks, it was looking grim for me, but the Gurkhas kept up their rifle fire and still caused casualties.
The Japanese infantry pursued the defeated Gurkhas and engaged them in close assault again.
The remains of this company was destroyed to a man and the grenades were taking their toll in the village on my beleaguered defenders.
The men in Asun were now surrounded and under attack from grenades and tanks, but still they clung on!
More Japanese close assaults allowed them to penetrate the treeline where the last of my Gurkhas were standing.
The grenades finally did their job and the Asun garrison was totally wiped out. Further south the final Gurkha company was assaulted from their positions and fled from the field.
That was it, it was all over, the Gurkhas retreated south back towards Jitra, shattered and less than half strength. another very similar outcome to the real encounter, when only 200 Gurkhas survived the battle. The Japanese held the field before the counter ran out and their advance looked unstoppable at this stage. I had caused many more casualties on Dean's forces than the previous game, but it still wasn't enough to stem the tide.
The next game would be the final encounter in this part of the campaign, the climactic Battle at Jitra.