Facing an End Run

By TBS Staff

You are the company commander of Company D, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines. Your company is mounted in assault amphibious vehicles.

The enemy has landed forces east of the Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) and has been attacking west for the last three weeks. Far superior in numbers and equipment, the enemy’s advance has been delayed through deception and an almost constant rain that has turned the road system into a quagmire. Vegetation is relatively thick along the river, with cultivated areas farther inland.

Your regiment is fighting a withdrawal under pressure when you discover that an enemy force of battalion size mounted in armored personnel carriers has now gotten across the river at Eltham’s Landing and presents a threat to your withdrawal route.

Your battalion is providing screening forces to the regiment’s flanks. Prevention of enemy interference to the regiment’s movement for the next 24 hours is critical for its survival.

You are tasked with delaying the enemy force that landed at Eltham’s Landing until the regiment can reach its new defensive position. One artillery battery and a section of 81mm mortars are in direct support. What do you do now?

The Requirement

Within a time limit of five minutes decide what actions you would take to cope with this threat and prepare the frag order you would issue to your subordinates. Include an overlay and a brief explanation of the rationale behind your plan. Both the frag order and the rationale should be brief and to the point. Send your solution to the Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #91-4, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134. The Gazette will publish the authors’ and other solutions in the June issue.