Hells Wings….The Devil is in the details. Really. Waw AAR v2

Hells Wings -EB scenario #6.

Dawn, May 14th

Eisenbach Gap vicinity.
Balakirevs men swept in low and hard over the tree tops in the Hinds, they prepared to offload into Birghoff.

May 15th Tannenhause, 08:17

2nd Airborne had landed, secured the airfield and dug in.

Colonel Balakirev’s 2nd Airborne Division had secured Tannenhause easily, far more easily than their efforts just a few days ago.

May 20th 21:43

Balakirevs felt cold, his hearing was muffled,  he wept blood profusely. As his sight faded away he was not afraid to die, yet no one should have seen those beasts, no one. Flesh rending, bone snapping, gut pulling brutality. His men, literally torn to pieces. His soldiers had been right, beasts from hell.  They were beasts from Hell.

May 14th 05:40
They were boarding Hinds and headed into the Eisenbach Gap. The 1st tank had smashed its way thru the porous NATO line, now the Soviets needed access to bridges and roads. Control of the bridges meant the difference between winning and losing. Balkirev had chosen Birghoff as the landing point. Securing that junction would allow his mean to slow any reinforcements. He then had the ability to attack Eisenbach or the smaller village of Klapennbruck, for control of the bridges. If he was lucky he could secure both.

Just before dawn as their Hinds closed on the LZ, they took fire from Eisenbach, that did not bode well. Losing a Hind and a platoon of men before we landed was a complication. Nothing he could not adjust to, but a bitch nevertheless.

The rest of his men landed safely near the hill overlooking Birghoff. The local police were no match for his crack troops. But the Territorialheers were another story. It took a full 40 minutes to root them out, kill them and secure the road junction. That had cost him valuable time.

He was going to have to take the smaller village of Klappenbruck now due to these constraints. The 1st Tank was due in just over an hour.

“Incoming” some one shouted as they marched across open ground between Birgoff and Klappenbruck. They took cover in the fields and dove off the road. Munitions pounded around them. Balakirev shook dirt from his face and stood up. “Have the platoon leaders check in. It looks like Klappenbruck is occupied too…” A mine explode 25m away. “ FASCAM” came the call. “Everybody, hit the deck.” One of the Captains shouted.

In the distance Balakirev could see an M113 approaching – “ Get some fire on that vehi….” His men were well trained a shot was already away. The sicken crunch of the hit and the resultant fireball told him all he needed to know. Time for some Americans to die.

“Americans were crossing the bridge and heading into the woods? Well that’s the first piece of good news.” He thought. 2 of his platoons diverted and made short work of the suppressed soldiers after waiting for a mortar fire mission to get the Americans heads down.

Balakirev’s mens first assault across the bridge was met with heavy resistance. He need more men to take this position. One under strength platoon was taking fire from Eisenbach, whilst guarding his rear. The other guarded the junction at Birghoff. The Americans appeared to be everywhere. But he knew there were not a lot of troops here. Unless intel was wrong. Again.

Time enough to argue that. He was here in Germany, surrounded and cut off from support. Just how he liked it. 5 years in Afghanistan had taught him one thing. Don’t be afraid of overkill!

May 14th 06:12
He requested a chemical strike on Klappenbruck.

The Demon smelt fear. Where there was fear, suffering was not far behind. Suffering meant feeding. The Russians were killing civilians and Americans alike, with some sort of gas…..Oh how wonderful, the presence thought. It had indeed been a long time since it had fed like this. The gas would cause them to die slowly, he could help protract that agony and improve the feast.

The soldiers all wore suits and masks, he had watched them struggle into that gear. This may end up being a charming distraction. He sat on the clock tower to watch.

Balakirev heard it along with his radio man first. The distinctive whomp of the Cobra. Nothing like our Hinds he thought but deadly to men exposed on the road and bridge. He was more worried about the twin multi barrels 7.63mm guns than the M200 launcher, those guns would keep him pinned . “Sagger Team” he called out “Get that piece of shit out of my sky!”. This would be a tough shot, if his men had a chance to deploy in time. A crack team could deploy in just under 3 ½ minutes. He didn’t think he had that long.

From Eisenbach he saw dust trails of tanks. He had heard the earlier volleys exchanged, assuming 1st Tank was on its way. “This is fucked up,” he thought to himself “why haven’t I heard from 1st yet?”.

The Nato soldiers across the river hunkered down in the town had slackened off their fire. That meant only one thing. “ Take cover” he shouts. Just then the radio operator gets his attention “ 1st is calling, they are diverting to avoid heavy fire and headed our way, but delayed. They are concerned about the open ground near Lansamen”
“Concerned, concerned, give me that radio.” He growls.

May 14th 0640
His conversation is brief and to the point.

The chopper closed fast below the tree line, then swung along the river bank and propped right in front of Balakirev’s men. The Cobra’s guns and 70mm shells tore through their position.

“I need the dam Sagger now Krishnokovitch”…..” Get your ass up and shoot that thing or we are all dead men” screamed Balakirev.

The first round missed, firing at sub 500m was almost an impossible shot especially under fire.

Balakirev looked at his radio operator thoughtful. “ Get me on the line with the Central Command.”

May 14th 07:13
The Cobra had torn 20 men to shreds. His men, his comrades. “Krishnovitch this is not worse than the time in Kandahar. Do you remember that comrade?” He smiled, a tight desperate smile at the man.

“Da” was all his man said. Krishnovitch took off at a slow trot to the edge of the trees. He knew what he was about to do was suicide. Steady himself Krishnovitch fired and guided the AT-3 to its target. A 70mm shell detonated near him, that was the last Balakirev saw of him. A tear glistened in Balakirev’s eye, he angrily swept it away.

The fire had died away. It was silent. Balakirev smiled, unusual for him, his men looked at him askance? “Just wait” he said. He sat down his back against the road culvert. He closed his eyes and listened. He listened to the voice in his head. Hmm, today it sounded different.

The shells had a specific sound. 122mm rounds of Saman Gas made a certain sound upon descent from regular HE shells. “ danger close, danger close” his men called, frantically. He turned and looked at them. “ Get up get up, masks and suits on, lets go. Time for some fun ” His eyes glimmered wickedly. He men exchanged furtive glances?

He had ordered a further 2 barrages of gas onto the village. That what the voice in his head said he should do.

Once all were ready he strode towards the bridge at a casual pace, as the shells incessant raining noise pounded into the village of Klappenbruck. Too stunned to react his men scrambled into gear and followed. They could all see the gas billowing thru the town. They looked fearfully at each other then at their leader walking into the shelling like a stroll in the park!

The first that Balakirev knew that his extended barrage of the chemical agent Saman was largely ineffectual…..”well not really totally ineffectual ” he thought, he could see civilians twitching, vomiting in the street as they blindly sought escape….was the sight of full camo colored chem suits pointing guns at him.

A hard breeze picked up, blowing over his shoulder. His men were hampered as were the Americans, but the fighting was nevertheless vicious. In many cases hand to hand, men tore at masks, stabbed, clawed and shot. “The Americans had layered the defense nicely” he thought, with overlapping fields of fire , where his men had been forced into the fire-lanes the impact was tragic. He continued down the line of advance in the open.  Shooting enemies when he saw them. no bullets touched him…

But there was a cost to the Yanks too. He was surprised at how hard they fought. This was not their land, no Mother Russia just a little nonsense village in the Fulda Gap. They died hard. But they died anyway.

Then the momentum was gone. His men were pinned, channeled by cars piled high, Rubbish compacters you name it. Balkirevs men had too few routes to approach on.

High in the clock tower the Demon reveled in the terror, he visited many during the battle. He helped prolong the fear…..and the pain. No one saw him. He kept a tendril with the Leader.  He was strong, he should live for a while, the feast on him would be special. No bullets will touch him he decided. Most of the village was dead however. Time to move to new feeding grounds.

Balakirev was hunkered down in the living room of a well to do older couples house. He took stock. Amazingly he was unhurt, but his radio man was down, and over 50% of his men were dead or dying. How had this happened? Had he really ordered 3 chemical strikes? Every man woman and child was dead in Klappenbruck. The voice in his head sounded normal … well it sounded like it should, lets say that.

“Time to head to the rally point Alpha.” He thought, we are too few to hold and too few to go forward. “This is not a place we need to be tarrying” He thought. “1st Tank is on its own from here. Lets roll men” He called. They fought their way out of town, and headed for the woods, covered by the mortar team in Birghoff.

Dusk, May 14th Central Command.

Balakirev had finished his de brief. It wasn’t pretty. His unit was all but broken. There was no time however for recriminations. The remains of 1st Tank had managed to break thru and was now closing on Walkerburg. The NATO 1/171 PzG was fighting a holding action against them. Command were allocating him fresh troops, and he was to leave shortly to brief his officers of their new mission. The target; Tannenhause.

His death awaited him.

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