Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Banzai Charge - US Marines and Japanese Infantry in Action
Guadalcanal, Fall of '42. The American Marine garrison is isolated in this far away island. The Japanese high command wants to quickly eliminate this thorn on its side and severely underestimates the American capabilities which have improved substantially since Wake Island and the Philippines campaign. The Japanese military doctrine, built around the ancient Samurai code of Bushido, believes that fighting spirit alone is enough to overcome their 'softer' adversaries and fails to understand that weaponry, logistics, tactics, and leadership also play a very important role in 20th century warfare. As such, they send thousands of their countrymen to their deaths in full-frontal atacks which are terribly costly relative to the damage that they cause. These attacks became known as Banzai Charges because of the Japanese battle cry 'Banzai!'. Here is how one might have unfolded.
American Marines, aware of the Japanese tendency for surprise attacks, watchfully man their perimeter.
Japanese Infantry, experts in infiltration techniques, stealthily approach the American lines.
A few Marines pick up some light sounds and begin to get ready for what might be coming up.
Suddenly the jungle explodes with cries of 'Banzai!!' and bursts of gunfire.
The Japanese officers lead from the front, sables in hand, like their Samurai forefathers.
Their colors follow shortly behind, corageously heading into what might be their last charge ever.
The American men, hearing the sounds of battle, rush to man their positions.
However, it is hard to see the enemy through the dense jungle.
The Marines take some random shots into the jungle.
And throw grenades in the direction of the oncoming cries and enemy fire.
Suddenly, the first Japanese soldiers appear in front of them.
They come charging with fixed bayonets...
And firing from the hip as they rush forward.
In a few seconds they are on top of the Marine outposts...
...and a savage life and death struggle ensues.
Luckily, the outposts have managed to call back to the Marine's main line of defense.
But within a few minutes it's all over for the men at the outposts.
Nonetheless, the struggle at the outposts has bought the Marines enough time to shift men from another sector of the line to meet the Japanese attack.
A .30 caliber machine gun is rushed to the threatened sector.
And the men at the line are ready.
The Japanese continue to press forward with the attack, at the height of their battle fever.
Suddenly they come into full view of the defenders.
Where they finally meet their end.
Featured figures: Airfix Japanese Infantry, Atlantic Japanese Infantry, Glencoe Japanese Infantry, Marx Japanese Infantry, MPC Japanese Infantry, Toy Soldiers of San Diego Japanese Infantry, TSSD Japanese Infantry, BMC Marines, Glencoe Marines, Marx Marines, Toy Soldiers of San Diego Marines, TSSD Marines. Not featured: BMC Japanese Infantry and CTS Japanese Infantry.