Operation Ramadan, the Battle of Fish Lake

13-14/7/82

V1.1

Operation Ramadan was an Iranian offensive to retake the east bank of the Shat el Arab river near Basra. It was highly optimistic in its objectives especially as the Iraqis were aware an attack was immanent. In certain places the attack went well, the the Iranian attackers broke through the Iraqi defences and started to close on the banks of Fish Lake. The Lake was an artificial flooded area created by the Iraqis festooned with barbed wire and even electrified in places. It was essentially impassable.

The scenario starts on the 13th July after the Iranians have achieved a breakthrough. They are progressing well but darkness will soon be descending.

No photo description available.

Soviet 80's map of the battlefield with fish lake shaded and the area of flooding shown. From: https://maps.vlasenko.net/soviet-military-topographic-map/map200k.html

No photo description available.

Iranian wartime map of the area

Map and Order of Battle

Iranian Deployment

The Iranians deploy second and move first

Battlegroup Conquest 1 deploys within 6" of points F, Y or Z, but not within 9" of W

Battlegroup Conquest 2 deploys within 6" of berm DY

Battlegroup Conquest 4 deploys within 6" of point G, but not within 9" of W

The Elements of 22nd Artillery Group are deployed off table, they have the range to reach everywhere on table.

Battlegroup Nasr 2 enters starting turn 1 of day 2. Two units per turn within 6" of point G.

The CSG Heavy Flight is available starting turn 1 of day 2. It may enter anywhere between points C & G

Iraqi Deployment

The 35th Armoured Brigade starts within 6" of points W or X, with the exception of the artillery which is touching road IH. The artillery is in gun pits (-2 cover)

The 43rd Armoured Brigade starts within 6" of points V or J, with the exception of the artillery which is touching road IJ. The artillery is in gun pits (-2 cover)

The GHQ artillery is deployed touching HJ. The artillery is in gun pits (-2 cover)

The 4th ATTSOS (helicopters) enter the table turn 1, day 1

The 5th Mountain Brigade enters the battle turn 2 day 1, one battalion per turn down road H. Any units that have not entered the battle by the end of day 1, will be placed as reinforcements in the night interval  touching road HI over 12" from an Iranian unit.

The DHQ 6th Armoured Division, 16th Armoured Brigade and 10th Armoured Brigade are placed on table as reinforcements in the night interval. They are placed anywhere north of road EJ that is over 12" from an Iranian unit

The 30th Armoured Brigade enters the table turn 3 day 2. One unit per turn enters within 6" of point J.

Terrain

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

The open ground is featureless desert

The turquoise areas are flooded and impassable

The green area is cultivated and lightly wooded with palms

The brown dotted lines and red lines are embankments, they all break LOS and mostly count as obstacles to cross. The thick lines are impassable except where cut by roads. All embankments count as elevated so LOS in creased to 24" until it encounters another embankment. However the thick dashed lines are higher than the others and may see over the intervening thin lined and red embankments. The red embankments have roads atop, these have no game effect except to obviate the effects of the surrounding terrain.

The thick blue line is the Shat al Arab river and is impassable

The thin blue line is a creek and is an obstacle

Terrain

Movement

Cover

ZOC

Fire Power

Leg/non-motorised

Wheels/ motorised

Tracked/ mechanised

Inf & Cav

Towed Guns

Vehicle

Inf & Cav

Towed Guns & Vehicles

IDF

Cultivated

-

Difficult

-

1L

1L

1L

Clear

-

-

-

Flooded Impassable Impassable Impassable - - - Clear - - -
Gun Pit * * * 2L 2L - Clear - - -

Open

-

-

-

-

-

-

Clear

-

-

-

 

Terrain

Movement

Cover

ZOC

Firepower

Leg/non-motorised

Wheels/ motorised

Tracked/ mechanised

Embankment (thin & red)

Obstacle

Obstacle

Obstacle

-

Cluttered

-

Embankment (thick)

Impassable

Impassable

Impassable

-

Cluttered

-

Creek

Obstacle

Obstacle

Obstacle

-

-

-

Shat al Arab

Pure

Impassable

Impassable

-

-

-

Aircraft

The Iranian air force struggled to support the offensive, roll each turn it isn't dark or in a sandstorm for a air support (1d6) on a 6 an F-5E arrives

The Iraqi air force was more active on day one roll each turn it isn't dark or in a sandstorm for a air support (1d6) on a 6 an Su-22 or MiG-27BN arrives, on day 2 this increases to a 5-6. Unless there is a sandstorm turn 1 day 2 the Iraqis automatically get a an pair of Su-22 or MiG-23BN

Special Rules

The game is 4 turns long in day 1 and 8 turns in day two. The last two turns of day 1 are in darkness (LOS is cluttered and berms no longer extend LOS). Helicopters do not operate in darkness.

The battle is plagued by sandstorms. Roll d6 at the start of every Iranian turn. On a 5 or 6 a sandstorm is raging. All LOS becomes cluttered. All helicopters move off table (they can return when the skies are clear). No air attack roles can be made. During a sandstorm army armoured brigades count as passive (the Chieftain's engines overheated)

At the start of Day 2 the Iraqis (but not the Iranians) may make a pre-programmed bombardment. Any of the participating batteries may fire tear gas instead of HE. This is rolled for as a normal bombardment but all kills are converted to disruptions. Where a unit is subject to a combined attack (HE & Gas) they are rolled separately. Any unit subject to a chemical attack has a green counter placed on it. This counts as a disruption and must be rallied as a normal disruption. If the unit has a green counter and is "normally" disrupted both disruptions must be rallied. Only one can be removed a turn and the green gas counter is removed first.

During the night interval the Iranians may make a defile (opening) in both berms DY and EF as long as there is an Iranian unit nearer the defile than an Iraqi unit. This is done during the rally phase.

IRGC HQs do NOT give an activation bonus to army units

Victory Conditions

Victory locations are Berm DY, and area enclosed by JVWXHI

If the Iraqis have the only large stand units touching berm DY, they win

If the Iraqis don't make their victory conditions and the Iranians have any large stand unit in area JVWXHI, the Iranians win. To be clear the area JVWXHI is on the west of the Fish Lake.

If neither side make their victory conditions the result is a draw

References

Arabs at War - Kenneth Pollack

Desert Warriors, Iranian Army Aviation at War: Barak Taghvaee

The Iran Iraq War Vol 2: ER Hooton & Tom Cooper

Ramadan: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=fa&sp=nmt4&u=http://defamoghaddas.ir/fa/fight/%25D8%25B1%25D9%2585%25D8%25B6%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586&xid=17259,15700022,15700124,15700149,15700186,15700190,15700201,15700214&usg=ALkJrhh1lnpSS5yh5QAQOjeemNz86ooCug

Operation Ramadan, July 1361 (1982), Colonel Seyed Yaqoub Hosseini (عملیات رمضان
تیرماه 1361سرهنگ زرهی ستاد سید یعقوب حسینی  )
 

The Wars of Modern Babylon - Pesach Malovany