The Race for Amman

24/9/70

V1.1

Pictures from V1.0

On the 21/9/70 the Syrians fought the Jordanians south of Irbid (see Black September). Historically the Jordanians won the battle, but what if they had lost? King Hussein of Jordan was convinced he was doomed and had asked the US for help. he was so concerned he even invited the Israelis to to attack the Syrians. Historically US forces were poised to intervene, indeed the first plane load of paratroopers was on its way when it became clear the Jordanians had won. The British and Americans had a joint plan (see references) for intervention in Jordan, should it be needed, though historically the British PM declined to be involved.

This scenario is a what if. The Syrians are on the way to the Jordanian capital Amman to effect regime change and put their allies the PLO in charge. The British and Americans have scrambled light forces to block the road to the capital. A confrontation is inevitable.

Soviet map of the Battlefield

Map and Order of Battle

Allied Deployment

A, B & C Companies. 1/325th Airborne and No 1 (Guards) Independent Parachute Company are deployed in the heights touching a road. They may not be deployed within 9" of any point where the road enters the table. They are in foxholes (1L cover)

The majority of 2nd Brigade Group and the Composite Battalion 40th  Tank Brigade are deployed anywhere on table within 6" of the low ground  or 6" of Safut. They may not be deployed within 9" of points A to D and I.

The 60th Tank Brigade arrives from turn 7 onwards one battalion per turn in any order. Any battalion can be accompanied by the Brigade HQ. The brigade enters down road E

Syrian Deployment

The Syrians and PLO (with the exception of the recce) enter down roads A, B or I. Those committed to roads A or B start entering turn 1. Those committed to road I start entering turn 3, Two battalions per group enter per turn.

The Eastern Group enters down roads A or B, and consists of  the Nittin Brigade, 88th Armoured Brigade, 67th Mech Brigade and the AA Battalion. Note that they enter two battalions a turn total not 2 battalions per road per turn. the Divisional HQ enters down road A or B once all other battalions have entered.

The Western Group enters down road I  and consist of the 91st Armoured Brigade and the 112th Infantry Brigade.

The 5th Recce enters down the tracks C or D. Track C on turn 5 or D on turn 6.

Terrain

The table is 8ft x 5ft if playing 6" = 1km

The open terrain on the flat is rather parched and sandy farmland.

The redlines are roads and the red dashed lines are tracks. They have no game effect except to obviate the terrain penalties of the terrain through which they pass. Units using the roads are considered in a defile.

The brown areas are level two hills. The hills in the dark brown areas are steeper than the light brown areas. Both are covered in small rocks and scrub. Units within three inches of the border with the lower ground (pale green) are considered elevated and have a 24" LOS out over the lower land.

The green areas are scrubby pine forests.

The grey squares are dense town centre BUAs.

The brown squares are widely dispersed individual buildings (Scattered BUA).

Terrain

Movement

Cover

ZOC

Fire Power

Leg/non-motorised

Wheels/ motorised

Tracked/ mechanised

Inf

Towed Guns

Vehicle

Inf & Cav

Towed Guns & Vehicles

IDF

BUA Scattered

-

-

-

1L

1L

1L

Cluttered

-

-

-

BUA Town Centre

Difficult

Difficult

Difficult

2L

-

-

Cluttered

-

1R

Zero

Fortifications: Foxholes

*

*

*

1L

1L

-

*

*

*

*

Hills (Light Brown)

Difficult

Impassable

Difficult

1L

-

-

Cluttered

-

-

-

Hills (Dark brown)

Pure*

Impassable

Impassable

1L

-

-

Cluttered

-

-

-

Open

-

-

-

-

-

-

Clear

-

-

-

Woods Managed

Difficult

Impassable

Difficult

1L

1L

1L

Cluttered

-

-

Zero

*See special rules below

Terrain

Movement

Cover

ZOC

Firepower

Leg/non-motorised

Wheels/ motorised

Tracked/ mechanised

Defile

-

-

-

-

-

1R

Aircraft

As the Syrian air force deigned not to be involved in the invasion due to internal Syrian politics this left the sky to the Allies. Both RN and USN aircraft were active as was the tiny Jordanian air force. Only low cloud prevented an all-out effort by the allies.

Roll 1d6 each turn: 1-2 low cloud prevents operations. 3 one RSAF Hunter. 4 two RSAF Hunter. 5 RN Buccaneer. 6 USN A-6A.

Special Rules

The game is 12 turns long.

Syrian units automatically activate with a full move on the turn they enter the table.

British or American units may only exit the table down E, F, or G once a Syrian unit has exited the table via the roads.

No unit exiting the table via the roads may return.

The US and British companies (not battalions) can maintain their "mixed" status within the the dark brown hilly area as long as they are touching a road.

Victory Conditions

There are three roads leading to Amman - E F & G. If the Syrians exit more large based units off table touching any of the roads than the British or Americans (not Jordanians) by the end of the battle they win.

If the Syrians have the only unit (not including HQs) within 9" of any of the road exits at the end of the game the game is a draw.

In all other cases the Allies win.

References

Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948-1991, Kenneth Michael Pollack: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=sSHYdGR_xvoC&lpg=PA344&dq=syrian%20infantry%20division%201967&pg=PA335#v=onepage&q=syrian%20infantry%20division%201967&f=false

Green March, Black September (RLE Israel and Palestine), John K. Cooley: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ID-sCQAAQBAJ&pg=PA116&lpg=PA116&dq=%22Black+september%22+irbid&source=bl&ots=JRB1oVk-7H&sig=8BKXdd48UYuFXGhnO8zSUbQlZqE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwixzt-3pvTaAhUQPsAKHaZ7Cr04ChDoAQhBMAU#v=onepage&q=%22Black%20september%22%20irbid&f=false

3 Para: https://www.paradata.org.uk/unit/3rd-battalion-parachute-regiment-3-para 

82nd Airborne Division, Steven J. Mrozek, https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=0_j1VTNOh5gC&lpg=PA75&dq=%223-73rd%20armor%22&pg=PA76#v=onepage&q=%223-73rd%20armor%22&f=false

Jordan and the 1967 War, Samir A. Mutawi

Jordan, September 1970 - State Department: https://2001-2009.state.gov/documents/organization/113360.pdf

No 1 (Guards) Independent Para Company: https://www.paradata.org.uk/unit/no-1-guards-independent-parachute-company

Parachute Squadron RAC: https://www.paradata.org.uk/unit/parachute-squadron-rac

Syria’s 1970 Invasion of Jordan: www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA515566

TO&Es Yahoo group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/TOandEs/conversations/messages/58963

US Carrier Strike and the Mediterranean, 1970-89 – Lessons In Littoral Crisis Response for the United Kingdom’s Joint Expeditionary Force - http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a603160.pdf

US-UK Military Study on Jordan (S) - DEFE5/153