Dull Garrison Chronicles, Part III: Last Stand R

By Carl F. Kusch


This is a continuation of TDG 08-16R. The enemy is continuing to press its assault of Dull Garrison Island. Against overwhelming odds and in the face of heavy casualties, the fight is not going well for our provisional battalion, which has begun to consolidate its survivors into a single perimeter here at Al Habib—a relatively large town and the regional communications and transportation center for this part of the island. The enemy’s main body is still many kilometers to the north but getting closer. Eventually, the enemy’s main attack is expected to come from that direction.

The battalion commander’s plan is to shrink the perimeter and fight a defensive battle within the town itself. The final stand will be a tight “shoulder-to-shoulder” position located at the very heart of Al Habib where the battalion command post (CP) is currently positioned. The 1st Company is deployed on the outskirts of the town and will constitute the northeastern section of the battalion’s perimeter with the 2d Company on the northwestern outskirts. Both will meet in the middle and refuse their outboard flanks. Meanwhile, 3d Company will continue to delay and frustrate the enemy’s main body in order to give the battalion as much time as possible to make these final arrangements. 3d Company will ultimately constitute the entire southern sector of the battalion’s perimeter once they fall back into town.

The 2d Special Infantry Company is currently deployed with its 1st and 3d Platoons positioned facing north and 2d Platoon facing west on the company’s left flank. You are Sgt J.H. Quick, the acting platoon leader for the 2d Platoon. Your platoon sector is shown on the accompanying map. Between being deployed from the States understrength and with the casualties you have sustained in the recent fighting, your platoon is down to 20 Marines, many of whom are walking wounded like yourself.

Although the company’s attachments from the battalion are located with 3d Platoon, you have been assigned one machine gun squad (two M240G guns) and one SMAW squad (two launchers) from Weapons Platoon.

Since 3d Company is doing such a tremendous job delaying the enemy, your company commander (Lt S.D. Butler, who was your original platoon leader until an enemy mortar attack hit the company CP a couple days ago) feels that he has a little extra time and has called his acting platoon leaders and remaining SNCOs together to discuss the tactical alternatives before he issues his final instructions.


In a time limit of five minutes, complete your suggestions for the company commander. Include an overlay sketch indicating the recommended positions for your platoon and provide a brief discussion of the rationale behind your actions. Submit your solutions to the Marine Corps Gazette, TDG 07-16R, Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134 or by email at gazette@mca-marines.org. The Gazette will publish solutions in an upcoming issue.