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This is the twenty-eighth in a series of posts on the Vietnam War. See here for the previous post in the series and here to go back to the master post.

Only after I had written some complaints about the historical setup for the LZ Blue scenario, I realized that I’d downloaded a user remake for that battle some time back.

The modified LZ Blue is called The Battle for Hill 43. The scenario clock shows it starting at 7AM which, like the original scenario, is at the time of the initial landings. What the scenario actually depicts, however, is action that took place later in the morning. Perhaps close to 10AM.

When Company H* landed they were unaware that they were within the area held by a battalion of Viet Cong. Taking fire from multiple directions the company commander, 1st Lieutenant Homer Jenkins, ordered his platoons to separately attack in multiple directions so as to quickly secure the landing zone. Despite some initial success attacks on Hill 43 and Nam Yen (3) became bogged down. Jenkins decided to regroup and concentrate his forces on the threat to his rear, Hill 43, from which the majority of enemy fire was coming.

Ironically, the decision to regroup and cover that withdrawal with an artillery strike, a sound tactical decision I think, was part of the problem with linking up with Company I on the right flank. The less-than-perfectly-accurate artillery fire came too close to the advancing Company I and wounded two marines near An Cuong (2).

hill1

The assault on Hill 43 begins.

By mid-morning, Company H was now supported by armored vehicles and made a concentrated assault on Hill 43 and was this time successful.

This revised scenario has a roughly-accurate order-of-battle and a proper time scale for the assault depicted. The drawback is that, unlike the original, there isn’t room for maneuver. The fight is a rather straight-forward advance up the hill toward the three victory locations at its top. While 12 turns isn’t a short scenario, by Squad Battles standards, dismounted infantry advancing under fire need nearly all of that time to make it to and engage the victory locations. Tactics come down to the rather complex lines of sight covering the approaches to the hill.

It is fortunately for me that there are those who don’t just complain about the game’s shortcomings but actually do something to fix them.

Return to the master post for Vietnam War articles or move on to the next article, for a look at one more strategic level version of the Vietnam War, as depicted in TOAW.

*I had some extended discussion about the units involved in the original Landing Zone Blue scenario. Important here is that, while Companies H and I were assigned adjacent zones in the attack, they were from different parent formations.