The End of the Es Salt Raid May 1918

Background

Es Salt, a village some 14 miles west of Amman, was the scene of heavy fighting between 30 April and 3 May 1918. The fighting occurred as part of a raid mounted east of the River Jordan by ANZAC and British forces. The aim was to secure a launching point for operations against the key railway junction at Deraa. The operation progressed well initially with Es Salt being seized by the evening of 30 April.

But increasingly determined Turkish resistance, including counter-attacks that threatened the flanks and rear of the advanced elements of the raiding force, eventually forced a withdrawal back to the Jordan on 3 May. The raid failed in its objectives but did serve a purpose in that it encouraged Turkish commanders to believe Allenby's next major effort would be launched across the Jordan, when in fact it would be launched along the coastal plain.

Designer's notes

The Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade was given the task of helping to guard the left flank as the raid took place. This scenario recreates the Turkish attack to which the Brigade was subjected.

During the attack all the guns of ‘A’ Battery, HAC, Notts Battery and one gun of ‘B’ Battery, HAC were captured by the Turks. These were the only guns lost to the Turks during the entire Palestine campaign. Additionally, with the exception of the guns abandoned at Gallipoli, they were also the only guns covered by Australian troops to be lost in the whole war.

The table area for this scenario has been scaled down from the size of the historical area represented on the map where the engagement took place. The table size is approx 7’ x 6’ and the scenario length is 16 turns.

Objectives

Victory is determined by Victory Points,

Difference between Victory Points

Deployment

Both players' forces are deployed according to the instructions given in their OOBs.

Terrain

The map for this scenario is one adapted from the Australian Official History and shows the position of the Australians once the Turkish attack started in earnest.

image

Click on the Thumbnail for the full sized map.

  • Red Hill can be represented by one hill. The Northern and Southern Hills can be represented by one main hill and two or three smaller hills. These hills count as rough ground and are impassable to camels and vehicles.
  • Crossing Wad es Sidr imposes a 2” movement penalty.
  • The remaining terrain is generally flat but should include a few small hills, rocks and areas of vegetation that provide cover and block line of sight.
  • The River Jordan can be crossed by the pontoon bridge or ford at normal movement rates, both crossings are one stand wide. Otherwise it takes two complete turns to cross the river.

OOBs

The OOBs for each commander can be downloaded as pdf files using the links below. I recommend that the OOBs are downloaded separately, as there are some variations that would best be kept to each player to provide an element of surprise for the opponent.

ANZAC OOB

Turkish OOB