From: European Union
Shortly after 4 a.m the Soviets launched their attack. As expected, positions of battalion 1-26 under command of LtCol Raymond "Koz" Kozinsky, suffered the most. It was not only the artillery fire and air strikes. Worst of all, the position on the ridge was subjected also to chemical attacks. The direct loses during those opening minutes weren't that high, but the readiness of US mechanized
companies and platoon has been significantly affected. Fighting with MOPP gear isn't what you really would like to do under such a circumstances. American infantrymen had to keep their heads down pinned by the enemy barrage and their ability of interdicting the movement of enemy columns has been severely degraded. Kozinsky, a Vietnam veteran had never seen such a fearsome display of firepower.
-”This is definitely not 'Nam' - he thought to himself. The godless Reds have a clear superiority, at least in terms of numbers”.
'Koz' was trying his best to maintain the control over his unit, but the Soviet fire was just too intense. If not destroyed, his 1-26 battalion has been effectively neutralized.
Higher up the chain the command, at the brigade HQ, soon it became pretty obvious to the commanding officer Col Reynolds, that the Soviets were indeed trying to outflank the positions of TF1-26. Their mechanized columns were moving along the predicted northern and southern routes. The advance gained most ground in the south, where Kozinsky's troops on the ridge had been hit particularly hard by a heavy chemical attack. In the north, the advance along K73 towards the town of Olderup was a little slower and the recon elements of 2-67 managed to delay the attackers.
A particularly worrying development took place in the south. Or recon units have encountered what has been estimated as Soviet tank battalion, advancing from a unexpected direction, along the difficult terrain towards the town of Warmsen. If the Reds succeeded there, they would manage to unhinge the whole position of US brigade! Col Reynolds knew that he had to react fast.
Two platoons of M1A1 tanks have been dispatched to stiffen the position is Warmsen. Also the artillery deployed FASCAM mines where the Red armor was spotted. Soon, few secondary explosions could be heard in the woods on the ridge.
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-”I love the smell of burning fuel in the morning - muttered Reynolds to himself, while ordering another artillery strike”.
Not all was going well for the attacker during the opening phase of the battle. While some of the US units were unable to fight effectively, especially few anti tank platoons managed to inflict heavy loses on the Red armor.
Hidden in a smoke fired by friendly mortars, those two platoons managed to destroy about 20 enemy machines. This is an impressive feat and yet another proof that American made equipment is the best in the world! Also the Soviet southern pincer suffered heavy loses due to the anti tank fire, after the initial success of the advance. What's worth mentioning, is the effectiveness of US artillery. The first battery of M109's arrived 10 minutes after the battle commenced and almost immediately it managed to detect and strike enemy battery of 2S1. Also this time, sweet secondary explosions could be heard. After that the Soviet artillery fire become less frequent. Fearing our counter-battery capabilities, the Reds probably limit each battery to one barrage per turn. Lastly, by now, the US command cycle is slightly shorter than the Soviet one. It gives us an opportunity of issuing the orders to our units more frequently. The additional command phase has been used to order two ICM strikes where enemy tanks immobilized by the FASCAM mines.
Despite the initial shock of enemy attack, it have been the Soviets who suffered heavier loses during this phase of combat:
-"Hold still gentlemen! If the enemy is in your rear - let it be. You're gonna fight and destroy him right there. We're US Army, the best fighting force this this damn world has ever seen! We embrace chaos and we never give up"!
Col Reynolds with no doubt was in his element...
< Message edited by katukov -- 11/8/2015 11:42:46 PM >
Lest we forget.