|X Marks the Spot|
On May 12, 1943, troops from the 7th Infantry Division were tasked with taking Hill X from the Japanese Adak-Attu Occupation Force. Most of the US units advanced through the fog south toward the well-entrenched Japanese positions, with a small contingent attempting to move east for a flanking option. Slowed by trudging through the muskeg, the primary group wasn’t fired upon until 0645 hours. The US began to assault the ridge at 0800 hours, and by 0930 they had taken the east end of the 40-meter hilltop. Major Ibata was killed in the skirmish, and Captain Kobayama took command. Several exchanges of fire took place along with hand-to-hand fighting over the next 90 minutes, and the Americans finally controlled the hilltop at 1230 hours. The Japanese warriors mustered and formed two groups that attempted separate banzai charges; however, both were repelled by 1315 hours with all Japanese troops eliminated.
This scenario attempts to capture the taking of a critical hill in the Aleutian campaign. The objectives include 40-m hex control and step loss. In the historical briefing, it is noted that the American troops were disoriented due to the heavy fog and captured the wrong ridge first before proceeding to the actual Hill X. This is not really reflected in the scenario, although they need to trudge their way across muskeg, they are not really disoriented. This is probably due to the fact that the scenario was written during the period of 3rd edition rules, and it would seem more historically correct if the US were required to either capture an alternate ridge, e.g. hex 0933, prior to ascending the 40-meter hill or use the disorientation rules of the 4th edition for at least the first 10 turns or so. The final outcome of this scenario was a major victory for the Americans with 23 VP’s to 4 for the Japanese, which is not reflective of the difficulty of the real action. The skewing of the outcome can be attributed in part to the weakness of the Japanese leaders that were randomly drawn (there was only one leader that was 1-0 with all the others 0-0) and the preponderance of US initiative, which they held for 21 of the 30 turns.