Monday, 28 April 2008

The Sand War

Another little war gamed conflict is that between Morocco and the Polisario Front fought in the Western Sahara from the mid seventies through to a cease fire agreed in 1991. After the withdrawal of Spain from the Western Sahara the region was split between Morocco and Mauritania but the indigenous peoples desired independence and with the backing of Algeria and Libya formed the Polisario Front. Mauritania dropped out and signed a peace agreement with the PF but Morocco annexed the area and the conflict continued.

By the mid to late eighties backing for the PF from Libya and Algeria had declined due to their own internal problems. Up to 1985 the PF had been well equipped with BMP1s, BTR50s,T55s, BM21 and SA7s. They were organised and equipped along similar lines to the Libyan military.

Morocco had received equipment from the US and France amongst others including M48A3, M60A3, M113, Ratel, Steyr4k, jeeps with TOW, VAB, AML90 and AMX10RC. The armoured cars were organised in squadrons and were the main striking force with the tanks used mainly at company strength parcelled out to support the infantry battalions.

This is one of those conflicts I have wanted to have a go at for quite some time and have now finally got round to it. The fighting was mainly over sparsely populated areas and in theory ideal terrain for a fast moving armoured conflict. The AML90s have languishing in my micro box since the late eighties with only the occasional outing as Recce units. The first game will take place this week hopefully.

Moroccan Army

Armoured Car Squadrons were 17 strong 4 platoons of 4 plus 1 command.
EBR 75, AMX10RC, AML90, Eland 90.

Mechanised Companies 3 platoons of 4 APCs plus 2 Command and 2 with 81mm mortar

Attached AT section one per company 2 jeeps with Milan

Brigade AT platoons 4 jeep with TOW

Brigade Support platoons 4 M56 Scorpion or 4 Kurrassier

Attached Tank Platoons 4 M48A3 or 4 M60A3

AA sections were 2 M163 or 2 M48

SA7 teams could be attached to HQ

Towed 120mm mortars
SP 105mm(M108) or 155mm(M109 or F3)
SP 122mm MRLS(BM21)

Polisario Front

Organised along typical Russian lines

Tank companies of 10 vehicles.

BMP1 10 vehicle companies.
If BTR50 additional Sagger or Milan teams per platoon.

Motor rifle style companies in EE-11 or OT64A

Recce units BRDM2 or Fiat 6614

AT platoons 3 BRDM-2S
AA 2 ZSU23-4
SA-7 or SA-13


120mm towed mortars
SP 122mm (SAU122)
SP 152mm (SAU152)
SP 122mm MRL (RM70)
towed 122mm Howitzers
towed 130mm guns

For additional info see the attached links