Tuesday 10 September 2013

Operation Battleaxe - OOB, BKCII

The previous post showed the GHQ figures & models for my Commonwealth Desert Force, the composition is (very loosely) based on Operation Battleaxe in June 1941. I took some (ok, lots of) liberties with scale to get the most varied composition I could on to the painting table, and this is what I came up with totalling 3000 points. (Purists may look away).

I also took the liberty of assuming losses had meant that 4th Armoured Brigade, which in real life was attached to the escarpment force, was reassigned to 7th Armoured Brigade group. (So I could use the Matildas). The total number of tanks assigned was up to around 190, so my scaled down version would be approximately 1:15 - approximately 1 model per squadron. (ToE was 18 tanks per squadrn, but you could assume non-runners would be at least 1 in 6 given the mechanical reliability (or not..) of tanks in the desert. The other compromise was using A9 models (because I like them) for 2RTR, which in reality was a mix. For administrative purposes during a game this would mean checking whether the model firing was A9, A10 or A13. A pain.

The challenge on table may well be coordination of the large support group mainly infantry with the separate armour groups. BKCII seems to favour the mixed battlegroup. Another notable thing for the period is that I can find no details of anti-tank capability.

British Western Desert - Operation Battleaxe, June 1941  
Description No
7th Arm'd Div - Maj Gen Michael O'Moore Creagh - CO (CV8) 1
Divisional Troops  
11th Hussars (Recce) - Vickers VI Light tank 1
11th Hussars (Recce) - Rolls Royce A/C 1
4th & 143 Sdn Royal Engineers (Pioneers) 2
Carriers (Pioneers) 2
Forward Artillery Observer (CV7) 2
Trucks (FAO) 2
7th Support Group - Brig John Campbell - HQ (CV8) 1
1st, 3rd, 4th & 106 Rgt RHA (25Lb - 4 gun battery) 4
Trucks (Art Towing vehicles) 4
1st Batt. Kings Royal Rifle Corps (Veteran) 6
Support Unit Vickers 1
Support Unit 3" Mortar 1
Trucks (1st Batt) 8
2nd Batt Rifle Brigade (Veteran) 6
Support Unit Vickers 1
Support Unit 3" Mortar 1
Trucks (2nd Batt) 8
4th Arm'd Brigade - Brig Alexander Gatehouse - HQ (CV8) 1
4th RTR - detached to Indian 4th Div.
4th RTR Vickers VI Light Tank 3
7th RTR - Lt. Col Basil Groves - Matilda II 3
7th Arm'd Brigade - Brig Hugh Russell - HQ (CV8) 1
2nd RTR (MkI, II, III/IV Cruisers) - count as A13 4
6th RTR (Crusader) 4  


  1. Thanks for this - it is a really handy translation of an OOB to BKC - it will help me with my force composition

  2. Glad to be of help, and I posted the list over on the BKC forums, and was immediately told about 2lb Portees, and 18lb used in an AT role.. amazing the knowledge out there: