Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Our truckload of American Advisors sent to the border almost made it to the front before the attack began. Their truck was quickly commandeered at gun point and the aforementioned General used it for his escape. As the Captain and his men were standing there stranded and trying to figure out what to do they heard their first, of many, T-34s coming from around the buildings. Sergeant Clem took an ordinary grenade from a dead body and sprinted towards the sound. What the hell, thought the Captain, might as well get it over with. And, for some reason, the rest of the squad followed him as he ran after Sergeant Clem.
Sergeant Clem was crouched behind some rubble when the Soviet tank came within sight. It was unsupported and out in front of the infantry, who were huffing and puffing their way towards them. Without saying a word, Clem dove in front of the tank letting the treads pass on either side of him. The Captain lost sight of him but when the tank passed over what should have been his body, the sergeant got up and sprinted back to their hiding spot minus the grenade. The captain kept waiting for the grenade to at least go off. He never expected it to even scratch the tank but it didn’t blow.
He looked at Clem who just indicated that they should wait, and then about 10 seconds after he rolled out from under the tank it suddenly started on fire from underneath. It wasn’t quite a spoon but somehow Clem had killed that tank with a standard frag grenade. The captain looked at Clem who just grinned and winked. Well I’ll be damned, he thought.
The few surrounding Turkish soldiers, who saw all that had happened, seemed to be very impressed by what they saw. They motioned the group of Americans to follow them as they made their way to the next strong point. The Turks chattered all the way, pointing at Clem to whoever they met. He had no idea what they were saying, but they all started to look at Clem with new found respect.
The group made a sprint to the rear and ended up in a trench line that was well hidden. A Soviet column of vehicles, led by one of the oddest armored cars the captain had ever seen, was going to drive right by their position. They were unaware of the group’s location and the column was just moving forward like it didn’t have a care in the world. The Captain decided to give it a few cares.
He yelled for Corporal Mike and grabbed a bazooka that one of the Turks was carelessly holding with no intention of using. He looked into the terrified eyes of the Corporal and winked. Then, he threw him the bazooka and grabbed a round, stepped behind him, loaded the round, and tapped the Corporal’s helmet.
Without thinking further, Corporal Mike found a gap in the rubble, took aim and launched. It was the longest and best shot anyone had ever seen on the lead armored car. It was easily at the extreme edge of the bazooka’s capabilities. The rocket fired grenade had just enough energy to go through the lightly armored vehicle which erupted with a very satisfying explosion. The warhead continued to travel on its own momentum with a mane of flames streaming backwards. The armored car must have been going 80 kph.
Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been in combat in an armored vehicle but if you have you will know that it is very hard to get situational awareness. You are partially blind to what is going on and are even devoid of the sense of hearing when you are buttoned up. This flaming torch continued to roll for a good 100 yards on a slight incline without even slowing down. It finally ended its death roll with a loud bang that snuffed out the flames.
The rest of the column seemed not to notice the calamity that had befallen their lead vehicle for a good five seconds. Then, panic ensued as three of the lead vehicles veered to the south and the remainder turned north with two of them colliding knocking the smallest vehicle on its side which started it sliding. The slide was interrupted by a large bolder that started the small armored car rolling. After two rotations, it stopped back on its side and exploded.
Two of the armored cars stopped and started to look for the perpetrator of this attack. By this time, the contrail of the bazooka round had dissipated. The smoke from the flaming torch and exploded slider hid our group and the armored cars had no idea of where the attack had come from. The Captain looked at Corporal Mike and smiled. They ran back to their next defensive strong point. All were smiling like maniacs and the Turks with them were as well.
Unfortunately, the salient fact was, that in the end, they were still running backwards as the Soviets continued their rapid advance virtually unchecked. The remainder of the Soviet troops didn’t even blink as they passed by their still smoldering, former comrades. The rout was on and it did no good to think about the fallen. There would be many more smoldering wrecks to pass, all by created by the bodies of their comrades and enemies.
For our group of misfits they had seen how each would react under pressure and were pleased with what they had seen. At their next resting stop point, the captain made a point to ask and memorize everyone’s last names, including the 7 Turks who had adopted the little group of Americans.