Part 2. …..Soviet Regiment 143rd had its own problems to deal with.
“multiple targets close range…they are firing, firing……” The Sheridan evaporated. The vibration registered in all the units along the crest of the hill. 2 precious vehicles were smouldering… The 143rd struck at the thin skinned enemy.
“BUG OUT!!!, lets roll to some cover” The remaining forces backed away from the crest. “Team 2, SITREP?” said the tense commander.
“This Charlie 1, we popped as many as we can at the bridge, they are rolling hard. Suggest alternate locations ASAP”.
“Roger that, go. Charlie 2 I need you over here North of Rahms with the rest of Team 1. Bravo 2 has taken losses I need him at range”
“On our way” was the reply.
Luchen surveyed the carnage on the hill in the distance. He could imagine the dismay of the enemy commander. They were just Sheridans, we would slice through them like lukewarm Russian butter he mused.
“Move out, go, go, go, they run from us!” He cried. He had them now he thought to himself.
The 143rd was hit hard again crossing the bridge over the Rhine. Wrecks were pushed aside. Strangely the rate of fire tapered away.
“Yes, move men, move. Get those dam wrecks out of the way!” The Soviet commander of the 143rd was eager to get out of the open ground.
The US commander could now hear the rumble of enemy tanks to his rear. This was going to be close.
“We are ammo out..” Moving to re supply and cover. Those Russkies are moving hard on your rear over”
” Acknowledged, I got a surprise for them then we are outta here ” Said the Commander of the 3/73.
“This Task Force……..” As he peer peered out he saw approaching tanks, “Shit.. Scratch that – target 600m, ahead engage engage”..
“Sir its too close…”STFU and fire soldier! Screw the manual – FIRE.”
” Sweet mother..f’er – Get me Battalion FOB, Fire Support ASAP”.
Crucial moments passed.
“Incoming. Hatches gentlemen DANGER CLOSE. FOB, you are 5by5 , Fire for Effect, pour it on! Repeat Fire for Effect”
“Eyes, peeled hit ’em hard when they roll thru that DPICM strike.” The message squawked in across the din of the arty strike to all the units.
DPCIM Strike! + 2 Adjacent hexes.
His tanks lurched forward, turrets swiveling looking for targets. With no radio connection his forces were scattering, running for the town. One platoon veered right and headed for the trees!
Headed for the Sheridans…brave men… but dead nevertheless.
KABOOOM…”Get my comms back up dam it” Said Luchens…He broke thru the scarred and blackened hatch, then frantically waved at the units around him – pointing forward emphatically.
They had been lured into the tight space along the towns approach and paid for it dearly.
Luchens tank regiment was disintegrating around him. The Americans were supposed to run. He never saw the inbound that separated him and the turret he stood in from his crew.
“Sir command tank, 340 degrees 500m. Engage? “Fire away” came the quick reply….
All four platoons now opened up on the 65th, missiles fired at close range like this had less effect, and many were duds. But the US forces held their ground.
AFTERMATH: Seeing the flames, smoke and hearing the secondary explosions as munitions explode on board Luchens crushed Regiment the 143rd advanced on the rear of the now much respected Sheridans.
The tankers fired nervously at close range…..missing all but a few of the thin skinned vehicles who darted among the woods.
Other US forces raced across the plateau to the safety of the burning soviet vehicles and took up positions to finish off the 65th.
It was a disaster. The 143rd turned tail, it could see from the distance that the 65th was no more. Stunned the Soviet commander ordered the withdrawal to Rahms.