Battle of the Garagiola River


You are the commander of an infantry regiment advancing generally west along the lakeshore to reestablish contact with the enemy. Your regiment, the 2d Marines, includes the 1st and 2d Battalions on amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) approaching the Garagiola River, the 3d Battalion on trucks at Androida, and a tank battalion east of Androida. Steep banks make it infeasible for your AAVs to swim the river. The regimental TOW platoon is distributed equally among the three infantry battalions. Your mission is to defeat any enemy forces in your sector, or, failing that, at a minimum to delay and disrupt the enemy advance.

For the last 2 weeks you have been facing large enemy mechanized forces and have been forced to fall back in the face of superior numbers, slowly wearing down the enemy while conserving your own combat power. You have learned that the forces you have been facing are from the 1503d Mechanized Division, commanded by MajGen Bludski N. Gutsovich, which consists of a tank regiment and two mechanized infantry regiments. Enemy tactics emphasize attacking aggressively upon contact and maintaining the momentum. The enemy will generally try to overrun resistance with tanks and prefers to dismount infantry only when necessary for close combat.

As your leading elements approach the river, a light armored infantry (LAI) company (reinforced with assault guns and TOWs) passing westward through Tragedia reports a sizable enemy mechanized force to the west approaching Checkpoint 68. The LAI estimates an enemy division with a tank regiment in the lead. At this stage the LAI commander does not believe he has been detected by the enemy. You have an artillery battalion in direct support, but your fire support coordinator assures you he can also get reinforcing fires. Your air officer says he can get you "a couple of sorties of A-6s."

At this rate, enemy tanks will be approaching Tragedia or Garagiola in about 30 minutes. What are your orders, colonel?


In a time limit of 10 minutes, give the orders you would pass to your subordinates. Provide a sketch of your plan, any guidance for supporting arms, and a brief explanation of your plan. Submit your solution to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #92-10, P. O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134.

Quote to Ponder:

On Tactics

To move swiftly, strike vigorously, and secure all the fruits of victory, is the secret of successful war.

-Stonewall Jackson: Letter, 1863