Sunday, 6 March 2016

Still Crazy After All These Years (Part 1)

Second Lieutenant Bright (Army Reserve) checked his watch again; his men, 3 sections equipped with SA80 assault rifles and Osprey body armour, were spread out around the factory.One section was in place behind a wall on the east side, covering the main entrance; the second was with him, on the south side; the third was split into two fireteams, one to provide overwatch from a small workshop to the south; the other to climb up the railway embankment, and observe the back of the factory.
The 'factory' from the south
'They're here' - Corporal Hansen's voice spoke softly into his earpiece. A black Mercedes GLS had just driven through the factory gates; earlier, there had been a false alarm when a large truck had arrived, and reversed up to the loading bay, but the Krays had not been with it.

Gunmen unloading the truck
Bright gave the order to go; one fireteam moved up to the southern wall of the factory, covered by the second, and the overwatch team. As they did so, some desultory shooting came from the upper windows of the factory. Bright found himself shouting 'Return fire'; a scream told him his men's shooting had found a target. However, he realised that any surprise he had thought he had was now gone, and that the 'simple plan' had not survived first contact...
The Krays heard the gunfire, and drew their weapons with long-accustomed practice. They had known, when they branched out into 'pharmaceuticals', that they might have to defend their business interests from other, rival, gangs. The goods in the truck represented a major investment, and no-one was going to take it away from them. 'Len's been hit. They came out the woods', shouted 'Dodge' from the gantry. 'There's more of 'em out front', yelled Johnno, by the main doors. 'Give 'em hell, boys', Reggie Kray growled. 
Charlie fireteam provides covering fire as Delta cross the road
Rising up from behind the wall, Charlie fireteam fired on the four heavily armed civilians who had been unloading the truck, skittling three of them. 

Delta fireteam take 'cover' behind the chain-link fence
Encouraged by this, Delta fireteam charged across the road to the chain-link fence, thinking to take cover behind the containers. However, they were clearly visible to gunmen in the upper windows of the factory, who shot two as they ran. Private Mills lost part of his earlobe; Private Fratton was dragged across the road, his colleagues trying to stem bleeding from a serious leg wound, and calling for a medic. Bright reassured them that an ambulance was on its way, but the area would have to be secure.
The fireteam covering the back of the factory
Meanwhile, the fireteam at the back of the factory were surprised by shots as they poked their heads over the top of the embankment; Private Charlton clutched his face, while his mates quickly returned accurate fire. A piece of gravel had embedded itself in his cheek; he wiped blood away, and sent aimed shots back at the windows on the upper floor.

Bright began to wonder just how many armed men there were in the factory, and if he had enough men to do the job. He ordered his overwatch teams to shoot at the upper windows, while the team by the wall climbed over into the car park, under the cover of smoke grenades. A reduced hail of fire came back, but it missed its targets.
The Krays attempt their escape
Inside the factory, the Krays' men were getting the worst of the deal; Len and Bruce on the south gantry were wounded, and Dodge was reduced to shooting wildly out of the window. Big Bob had taken a shot to the head on the north side, and lay awkwardly, face down, on the floor. And only Johnno was still shooting out the front door, the rest sprawled wounded by the truck. Only Mac's team on the upper gantry over the loading dock hadn't taken casualties. Ronnie quickly took stock; 'Time to get out, Reg. They've got us out-gunned today. We'll get the bastards who done this another day'. Calling to Mac to move his men to the north side, he and Reggie moved to the back door of the factory. 'A quick sprint, and we'll be away through the woods; I'll cover you', Ronnie said, clapping his twin on the back. 

On the embankment, Private Charlton saw movement at the rear of the factory, and shot instinctively, dropping the man. Renewed fire from the upper windows distracted him; at least one more 'enemy' was hit in return, he reckoned. When next he looked, the man he had shot running from the back of the factory was no longer there.
On the south side of the factory, the assault was going well, Bright joining his section in the car park, and stacking up outside the side door, ready to burst in. 'Just like we were taught in training', thought Bright. There was a burst of fire to his right from the front of the factory, followed by Corporal Hansen saying 'They're surrendering, sir'. Bright felt himself relax momentarily, then more shooting coming from the north and east sides of the building told him it wasn't quite over. He nodded, and his men kicked in the door, while he shouted 'Army. Drop your weapons'. Hands began to be raised, and guns were thrown to the floor by the survivors. Bright could see a number of wounded, and a least one dead, and allowed himself a moment of grim satisfaction.  
Delta fireteam storm in to 'take prisoners'
It was swiftly broken by more shots from the front of the factory, and Hansen yelling 'Stand down ! Stand down !' Delta fireteam had stormed through the gate of the factory, and, incensed by the shooting of Private Fratton, had shot two of the surrendering prisoners by the truck. Bright was horrified at this callous act of revenge, and berated the men - he could see his own career ending in a military court. He believed that he had successfully achieved his mission, despite there being heavier opposition than was anticipated, and now his soldiers had murdered men after they had surrendered. As sirens heralded the arrival of an ambulance, he turned to the surviving prisoners; 'Which of you lot are Ronnie and Reggie Kray ?' he asked. 'They're gone', spat the one called Mac.  Bright cursed; the day had just got worse - he couldn't even claim to have captured the Krays. 


British Army Reserves TQ/Morale D8/D8, Body armour, Confident
1 Lieutenant w/SA80
6 fireteams of 4 w/SA80, smoke grenades

Casualties - 1 seriously wounded, 2 light wounds.

Krays' Gang TQ/Morale D8/D8 (Morale drops to D6 when Ronnie and Reggie are not there), Confident
2 Leaders (Ronnie and Reggie, on ground floor of factory) w/SA80
Team 1 (on south gantry) - 3 Riflemen w/SA80 or AK74
Team 2 (on north gantry) - 3 Riflemen w/SA80 or AK74
Team 3 (on upper gantry) - 3 Riflemen w/SA80 or AK74
Team 4 (unloading truck) - 4 Riflemen w/SA80 or AK74

Casualties - 3 dead, 4 serious wounds, 1 light wound.

A short game, meant to provide the link to Part 2; British Army concentration of firepower won the firefights; the Krays were spread out to cover all options, but were outgunned, and quickly realised that discretion was the better part of valour.


  1. Great looking table! Love the factory: 'Pietersen Fabrications'! I'm sure I've been on the receiving end of some of those.