Operation Undeniable Victory  (Fath ol-Mobin)

22-23/3/82

On 22 March 1982, precisely 18 months to the day of the Iraqi invasion, the Iranians launched Operation Fath ol-Mobin. They intended to use a pincer movement to encircle Iraqi forces who had halted outside the Iranian town of Shush. Under the command of the young Iranian Chief-of-Staff, Lieutenant General Ali Sayad Shirazi.

The scenario depicts the western part of the offensive by the Qods Group attacking the Iraqi 10th Armoured Division. Although overall the offensive was a stunning Iranian success the battle in this sector was much more closely fought.

Wartime Iranian plan of the attack

US 1990 Map of the area. Note that the Iranian map shows roads the US map does not

Map and Order of Battle

Iraqi Deployment

All Iraqi infantry and artillery units start dug in (entrenched 2 left shift). These are not holes in the ground but raised up on earth berms (see pic below)

The 99th Infantry Brigade starts within 12" of Dasht e Abbas or 12" of point Y. They may not be deployed north west of the Chikhaab River.

The 55th Infantry Brigade starts within 12" of point or within 12" of Eyn Khvosh. They may not be deployed north west of the Chikhaab River.

The 4th Corps Artillery Brigade is deployed within 12" of corner H.

I/60th Tank Regiment and III/10th Artillery Battalion are deployed in the area JXZK.

The reinforced 60th Commando Company and IV/60th mechanised Battalion are deployed touching road MX or within the area MXZ.

II/60th Tank Regiment is a reinforcement which enters the fray on turn 4 day 1. It enters within 9" of road J.

The elements 4th Assault, Transport, Training, and Special Operations Squadron enter the battle turn 1 day 2. They may enter anywhere between L and H.

Most of the 30th Tank Brigade enters the battle on turn 2 of day 2. The artillery enters on turn 3 day 2. Units may enter within 9" of roads I, J or L (and may enter on different roads)

Iraqi defensive position

Iranian Deployment

The 1st Brigade 84th Infantry Division enters the battle turn 1 day 1 between points A&M.

The 14th IRGC Brigade (excepting the infiltration groups) enters the battle between points B&D on turn 1

The 41st IRGC Brigade (excepting the infiltration group) is deployed on table touching roads EW or FW. They must be over 6" from any Iraqi unit.

The infiltration groups can be placed anywhere within the area DXJZWE. They must be placed over 3" (exclusive) from any Iraqi unit. They may not be placed closer than 9" to any other Iranian unit.

The 22nd Artillery Group is deployed off table. It is not in support of any unit. It may start firing turn 3 day 1. All guns and rockets have sufficient range to cover the entire battlefield.

The 2nd GSG enters the table on turn 3 day 1 anywhere along edge AF. The transport flight is carrying the 1st Battalion 27th Brigade.

Terrain

The table is 8ft x 5ft if playing 6"=2km

The ground around the villages is open farmland. The other open land is scrubby and sandy. The game is set a couple of days after the end of the rainy season so the terrain will be looking pretty green.

The tan areas are exposed rock (see pic below).

The brown areas with the dashed border are level 2 hills. Units on the hills within 3" of the edge have their LOS extended to 24" over the lower ground (turn 3 onwards). Near point Z is a darker tan area with a brown dashed line around it. This is exposed rock on a level 2 hill.

The brown square is a scattered BUA.

The grey square is a suburban BUA.

The red lines are roads, the dashed red 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 thick blue line is a river. As its is soon after the rainy season its in full spate and a difficult obstacle. Only the 1/84th and 14th IRGC can cross the thick rivers as they have boats with them. If they do so they will go to "pure" status. The thinner lines are streams. These are a lesser obstacle which all units can cross.

The black doted line shows the route of the power lines suspended on pylons. This has no game effect except that a unit touching the line has LOS to 24" for the purposes of calling artillery only (turn 3 onwards).

Terrain

Movement

Cover

ZOC

Fire Power

Leg/non-motorised

Wheels/ motorised

Tracked/ mechanised

Inf & Cav

Towed Guns

Vehicle

Inf & Cav

Towed Guns & Vehicles

IDF

BUA Scattered

-

-

-

1L

1L

1L

Cluttered

-

-

-

BUA Suburban

Difficult

Difficult

Difficult

2L

1L

1L

Cluttered

-

1R

Zero

Fortifications: Trenches

*

*

*

2L

2L

-

*

*

*

*

Hill

*

*

*

-

-

-

Clear

*

*

*

Open

-

-

-

-

-

-

Clear

-

-

-

Rocky

Pure

Impassable

Difficult

1L

-

-

Cluttered

-

-

-

 

Terrain

Movement

Cover

ZOC

Firepower

Leg/non-motorised

Wheels/ motorised

Tracked/ mechanised

Bridge & Defile

Obstacle

Obstacle

Obstacle

-

-

1R

Stream

Obstacle

Obstacle

Obstacle

-

-

-

River, Wide

Some Iranians Only (Pure)

Impassable

Impassable

-

-

-

Iranians cross an area of bare rock

Aircraft

The Iranians were active both days. The Iraqis were not very active until day two and most of their effort when to the sector east of the battle depicted in the scenario.

On day one there is no air-support turns 1 & 2. On turn three the Iranians get 2 F-5E and 1 F-4D ground attack. These must strike targets within 12" of the LZ for the 1st Battalion 27th Brigade. Turn 4 onwards the Iranians may roll for air support (d6) every turn: 1-4 none available, 5: 1 F-4E, 6: 1 F-4D

On day two both sides may roll for air support.

Iran: 1-4 none available, 5: 1 F-4E, 6: 1 F-4D

Iraq: 1-4 none available, 5: ground attack deterred by Iranian F-14A, 6: 1 Su-7B or Su-17M (50/50 chance)

Special Rules

The game is 14 turns long. seven turns for day 1 and seven turn for day 2 with a night interval between.

Iraqis deploy first, Iranians move first.

The first two turns of day 1 are in darkness.

Both the Iranians and Iraqis have off table logistics.

The Iranian 22nd Artillery Group can be taken under counter battery fire by the Iraqi 130mm Guns only. It may also be attacked by Iraqi planes.

Victory Conditions

There are 6 victory locations: roads I, J, L & M; bridge X and junction W. All objectives are considered to be in Iraqi hands at the start of the game.

To win the Iranians must hold at least three objectives, including one of the roads I, J, L. If they only hold M, X, W the game is a draw. Any other result is an Iraqi victory.

For the Iranians to hold road M, bridge X or junction W there must be no Iraqi units within 9" when the game finishes.

For the Iranians to hold roads I, J & L there must be no Iraqi units within 9" when the game finishes and the Iranians must have at least one large base unit within 9".

References

Desert Warriors: Babak Tagvaee.

Holy Defence: http://defamoghaddas.ir/fa/units?f[0]=field_unit_type%3A729

Iran-Iraq War in the Air 1980-1988, Tom Cooper and Fazzard Bishop

Wars of Modern Babylon, Pesach Malovany