Bridgeton Crossing, Part II

This scenario is a continuation of Tactical Decision Game #89-4, "Bridgeton Crossing," based on the author's solution to that problem published on p. 83 of this issue.


You are a rifle company commander in 1st Battalion, 3d Marines. Your company is mounted on AAVs and has been reinforced with a tank platoon, TOW section, combat engineer section, and Dragon section (attached to the rifle platoons). As the MEF advances generally north, your regiment has been ordered to swing west and seize a crossing of the Diesty River at Bridgeton in order to facilitate the continued advance. The previous night, friendly reconnaissance elements were driven from Bridgeton by an enemy mechanized force estimated to be platoon to company strength. Intelligence now reports an enemy mechanized battalion heading south on Highway 1 to reinforce Bridgeton, expected to arrive sometime midmorning. As the regiment prepares for a deliberate crossing, your company has been ordered to conduct a reconnaissance-in-force toward Bridgeton along Rte. 6 in order to ascertain the nature of enemy defenses and find possible river-crossing sites for AAVs.

The weather is lousy, and you doubt if much will be flying until it clears. You approach Bridgeton with 2d Platoon deployed onto River Bluff to protect your right flank. Gaining a vantage point to the town, you discover that Bridgeton seems to be unoccupied except for a reconnaissance patrol. Just then, 2d Platoon reports "enemy mech on the River Road about 3 clicks east of Bridgeton. So far I count 6 APCs and 2 tanks, but there could be more coming into view. They're heading for the town like a bat out of hell." You order 2d Platoon to engage and 1st Platoon to take the town immediately, with tanks and TOWs in overwatch at Bridgeton Rise and 3d Platoon and engineers in reserve. Your FO calls for fire east of the town. Once your platoons are on the move, you report your decision to battalion.

At 0850 you meet up in the town with your 1st Platoon commander who reports: "Town secure. We got 2 scout cars. One escaped north. Otherwise, the place seems empty." The battalion commander comes on the net: "Imperative you hold Bridgeton until we can reinforce. I'm getting you all the support I can, including anything that'll fly. You're now division main effort. Hang on; we'll be there as fast as we can. Good work." The firefight to the east has died down. You check in with 2d Platoon, which reports: "We knocked out one APC. Enemy has pulled back. We've got three tanks and an APC visible in the treeline 3 klicks northeast of the town. The rest of the column seems to have withdrawn; I can't tell where." The time is now 0900. Battalion still has no word on the enemy battalion to the north. What next, Captain?


In a time limit of 3 minutes, issue any instructions and make any reports/requests. Once that is done, provide a sketch of your plan and a brief explanation of your decision. Submit your solution to the Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #98-6, P. O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134 or fax 703-640-0823.

For more detailed information on the structure of Marine Corps units, Marine Corps equipment, and symbols used in TDG sketches, see MCG, Oct94, pp. 53-56 and the modification reported in Jan95, p. 5.