The Battle of Gemas 14 January 1942 AAR

It has literally been years since we last played a scenario in the Malaya Campaign, so recently we tackled the next engagement in the Japanese advance down the Malayan Peninsular. The Battle of Gemas was fought on the 14th of January 1942 around the bridge over the Gemencheh river. Australian soldiers of the 2/30th Battalion ambushed a Japanese force from the 5th Infantry Division and killed or wounded around 1,000 Japanese soldiers in a twenty minute attack. The scenario was centred on the top right of the map below, with the bridge being in the centre of the table.

Map of the Battle of Gemas
The game began with a Battalion of four companies of Japanese infantry along with a Medium Machine Gun advancing down the central road. The Australians were positioned in the jungle and consisted of a battalion of four companies along with supporting mortars and a company of infantry and universal carriers.

The Battle of Gemas

The Japanese had begun to cross the bridge, which had been previously set with explosives by the Australians. 

Japanese infantry cross the bridge at Gemas

Strung out in a line as their vanguard pushed forward, the Japanese were unprepared for an attack.

Japanese infantry move slowly down the road

Meanwhile, in the jungle the Australians waited for the time to strike. 

Australian soldiers wait in the jungle to ambush the Japanese

Using the jungle tracks an Australian carrier appeared and began firing at the Japanese engineers setting up the supply dumps at the bridge. 

The Japanese Engineers take fire from an Australian carrier

Suddenly the bridge was demolished in a massive plume of smoke and flame!

The Australians demolish the bridge!

The Japanese units east of the bridge come under fire from Australian units on either side of the road. 

The Australians attack east of the bridge

Meanwhile, two Japanese companies are almost wiped out to the west of the destroyed bridge. 

The Australians attack west of the bridge

Japanese infantry flee off the table to the east, whilst their centre holds against Australian attacks. Meanwhile, Australian support begins moving down the road.

Heavy fighting sees more Japanese casualties

The final Japanese defenders try to hold out in the small building, but fire from the universal carrier and Australian infantry whittle down their numbers. 

The Japanese grimly hold on in the buildings

On the other side of the bridge, the Australians destroyed the remaining Japanese defenders and began their advance across the river. 

Australians crossing the river

The game was over, with a total wipe out of the Japanese defenders, either through casualties or morale collapse. The Australians only lost a handful of infantry, so the game was a complete victory, pretty similar to the historical outcome. This was the first Malaya game for a while, but it was nice to have an Allied victory for once, the previous games having been Japanese roll overs. The Australians withdrew across the Muar river after heavy fighting on the 15th for the next and last major engagement on the Malaya peninsular at the Battle of Muar. 

This blog has been a bit slow for the last month or so, but that is because I have been working away and then my wife was home from Vienna for a week and a half, so my attention has been elsewhere. However, I will pick up again in the next few weeks! Please subscribe to it, if you haven't already and enjoy this playthrough of the PC version of The Great War, it will give you an idea of how the board game version plays: 

And here is the Battle of Gemas AAR as a video:


  1. Great looking game- thanks for posting.



    1. Thanks Pete, I am glad you liked the AAR. It was a great game to play!

  2. It was a great little action. I was always going to lose and there was a moment when the main force could break out but the gods of dices were againsr me . Great looking table

    1. It was a minor blip in the run of Japanese victories, and the last that will happen...

  3. Hi, can you advise the source of the 'Gemas battle map', please?


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