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Hollow Legions (MMP)

ASL Long Play: Khamsin (37)

Module: Hollow Legions
Scenario Publisher: Avalon Hill/MMP
Designer: Eugene Murrell
Date: June 13, 1942
25 miles SW or Tobruk, Libya
Attacker (Neal): Germans – Elements of Panzer-Division 21
Defender (Scott): British – Elements of 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards & Queen’s Bays Armor

The History

The British Eighth Army, under the command of General Neil Ritchie, was engaged in a fierce struggle with the German Afrika Korps led by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. The objective for both sides was the strategic high ground of Rigel Ridge, which offered a commanding view of the surrounding desert and crucial control over the supply routes.

Panzer III on Overwatch

The khamsin, characterized by scorching temperatures and blinding sand, played a significant role in the battle’s dynamics. Visibility was drastically reduced, often to mere meters, making coordinated maneuvers and effective communication extremely difficult for both armies. The relentless sandstorm clogged weapons, machinery, and vehicles, causing frequent malfunctions and breakdowns. Soldiers struggled against the abrasive sand, which penetrated every crevice of their equipment and clothing, exacerbating the already harsh desert conditions.

Despite the adverse weather, Rommel’s forces demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability. Utilizing the cover provided by the sandstorm, they launched a series of surprise attacks on the British positions. The reduced visibility worked to their advantage, allowing them to close in on the enemy with relative stealth. German tanks and infantry units, moving under the cover of the khamsin, managed to flank the British defenses and create significant disarray within their ranks.

Khamsin (37)
Forces Finally Engage!

The British troops, disoriented and struggling to maintain their lines, found it nearly impossible to mount a coordinated defense. The khamsin rendered air support ineffective, grounding the RAF (Royal Air Force) and depriving the British of crucial aerial reconnaissance and bombardment capabilities. Communication lines were severely disrupted, leading to confusion and delays in receiving orders and reinforcements.

By the end of the day, the combination of Rommel’s tactical prowess and the unforgiving conditions of the khamsin led to a decisive Axis victory. The British were forced to retreat, leaving behind valuable equipment and positions. The fall of Rigel Ridge significantly bolstered the German hold on the region and paved the way for further advances towards Tobruk, a critical Allied stronghold.

Burned Out British Valentines

GET TO THE CHOPPA…!!! Get To The Choppa...!!!

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