Tuesday, 20 March 2012

AAR Week 8 - Return to Sender

Mark and Kevin played Return to Sender, we swapped the USMC for US Army, otherwise we played it as it was in the mission.
Under apocalyptic clouds...
Let me introduce myself, Staff Sergeant Franklin, been out here in the Malika for one month too long.  We should have got out in 2014.  Anyway, enough crap.  When we saw the Lieutenant leaving Major Zaster swearing, like a Haqiqa terrorist who just realized an Apache was on his ass, we realized we were on another ridiculous mission.  The lieutenant told us we had to capture a bunch of terrorist kids so Heidi Clare could send them home for bonus points with her boss or some bull.  The lieutenant ended our briefing with a "if we did not capture a terrorist bastard he would not lose any sleep".
The insurgents were in four groups on the compound roofs and a further group in the shrine.
A sand storm blew up turning the sky into an apocalyptic orange.  A few men made jokes about the end of the world, though you could see it did make them nervous.  I joked that this was normal weather in the Dust Bowl.
The initial approach, the middle US team suffered two casualties and the insurgents on the roof saw discretion the better half of valour and ran.
The Humvees, the weapon squad team and one squad approached from the NW, while the HQ and the remaining two squads approached from the SE.  The bastards must have been forewarned (I bet it was our interpreter).  The assault fireteam approached the NW compound through the corn field and immediately came under intense fire.  Two of our men went down, severely wounded.  We soon were able to bring all bring down fire on the insurgents on the roof of the compounds.  There fire was more dangerous when it was not aimed at us.
Took 6 Halibut Corporation breaching charges to make 2 holes!
Three of our fireteams moved up to the walls to place breaching charges…or sparklers.  The Halibut Corporation breaching charges are crap, the first five failed!  Two of our HUMVEEs were hit, but the crews escaped with minor wounds, we could hear the bastards cheering.  In the middle of the fight a group of old men herding sheep crossed right through the centre of the battlefield, unfortunately shrapnel or a ricochet dropped one of the men.
The sheep appear around the compound corner and proceed along the main US firing line!
The weapon’s team was caught by the insurgents to the east of the NW compound and all went down wounded, we had to maneuver the whole platoon to secure them.

The lieutenant may be an ass, but he is a damn good shot, the insurgent resistance soon started to collapse under our heavy fire.  Squad 1 eventually breached the SE compound and pursued the running insurgents, in a quick but furious close quarter fight we managed to grab one of the kids.  The few surviving insurgents ran wildly to the west.  We had four seriously wounded and one killed, but we sent several dozen of those bastards to hell.  This war is going nowhere fast, the sooner we leave this hell hole the better.

In a letter found on a dead insurgent three days later:
It was mid-morning, and my brothers and I were sat in the warm spring sunshine, reciting from the Surat Haqiqa.  The clouds of dust appeared to the NW, we climbed to the roof of the compound to watch the clouds approach. We had come far on pilgrimage, and were staying at the Shrine to the memory of Hajji Mirwaiz Hotak, a place of peace and prayer. Suddenly, someone called out 'The infidels are coming ! They mean to destroy the Shrine !' We rushed outside to hear gunfire coming from the fields to the north of the madrasa, and the sounds of truck engines. Uncle Siraj and his men were shooting back from the roofs, and I heard them giving thanks when one of the Americans' trucks was disabled. Bullets were flying over our heads - the unbelievers were shooting wildly - then there was a bang !

A rocket - fired from across the wadi - had hit another American truck, and destroyed it. All we could see was a column of black smoke rising from the other side of the wall behind us. Then I noticed my cousin, Jalaluddin - he was on the roof of the Shrine itself, shooting at the advancing Americans. I waved to him, but, as he waved back, there was a loud explosion. I have not seen him again. Another explosion destroyed the roof of the building which we had just been in. Uncle Siraj shouted to me to follow him across the fields to the west; there were lots of soldiers everywhere - to the north and the south east - shooting at everything that moved, and too numerous for our few men. We ran through the gate of the madrasa as the Americans blasted their way into the compound behind us. Outside was chaos, as bombs and bullets flew over our heads, and damaged the Shrine; we could do nothing about it. Several men tried to buy time for us to get away - my brother says they were likely to be martyrs. The rest of us - about twenty in all, mostly boys like myself and my brothers, or old men like my Uncle - escaped. When I looked back, smoke was rising from every roof of the village; I could not see the Shrine, as my eyes were filled with tears. It was then that I swore revenge for Jalaluddin and the other martyrs, and for the desecration of the Shrine.

The fight around the shrine proved to be the last fire fight before the invasion, while the fight was unfolding already the Hotakistani forces were boarding their planes, their tanks were reaching Azmakassar and the insurgents were readying themselves in Malika City to overrun the UN HQ.

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