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Old 03-01-2015, 08:49 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Next part...and a note: the ALA is the American Liberation Army: a military force raised by a collaborationist government in the occupied zone, recruited from inmates of various prisons and jails, people who joined to get more food for their families, those who were press-ganged off the streets, and true believers. The PSD is the Political Security Department: an attempt at creating a KGB-type service by the collaborationists. Not only did is spend more time purging "counterrevolutionaries" from the government or the ALA than anything else, it also created more resistance activity than it managed to squelch.

0730 Hours Central Time:


General Alekseyev looked at the map once again. Contact with the East Germans had been reestablished, and they had fought their way out of an encirclement, but they had lost half of their remaining armor in the process. And some of the Cuban 2nd Army had also managed to escape east to rejoin the perimeter, but there was no denying the Nicaraguan Corps had totally collapsed. Though Malinsky had put in an independent tank regiment to shore them up, it was too late. Shaking his head, he turned to Chibisov. “Now the Nicaraguans are the Americans' problem, Pavel Pavlovitch,”

“Comrade General?” Chibisov asked.

“I remember the GRU showing some clips from CNN. One of their reporters was interviewing a captured Nicaraguan officer. The reporter asked the man why his whole battalion had surrendered without firing a shot, and he replied with sound civilian logic: 'We did not fire back because it would have been a mistake.'”

“Ah, yes, Comrade General. I believe that was in West Texas last year. But I do remember it,” Chibisov said.

Alekseyev looked at the map again. His eyes focused on the entrance to the shipping channel into Brownsville. “Any word from the Navy on the two convoys?”

“Not yet, Comrade General. The morning is still young, however.” Chibisov pointed out. “Would you like me to bring Admiral Gordikov?”

“Not yet, Pavel Pavlovitch,” Alekseyev said. “For those on the ships, it must be a trying experience. You and I have experience of air strikes, artillery fire, and so on. But imagine being on a freighter, and not knowing whether there's a missile or torpedo coming, until it hits. At least on a warship, you can fire back.”

“Exactly so, Comrade General.” Chibisov agreed. The phone rang, and Colonel Sergetov answered. “Comrade General, it's our Naval Infantry on South Padre Island. One of the freighters is moving through Brazos Santiago Pass. Another freighter has run aground on South Padre Island itself.”

“Only two? There's sixteen ships in the first convoy alone.” Alekseyev remarked.

Admiral Gordikov came into the Operations Room. “Comrade General, perhaps the convoys had to scatter. There may be additional arrivals later in the day,” he said.

“At least it's a start,” Alekseyev said, turning to Gordikov. “Have your Naval Infantry on the island get whatever they can out of the ship that's run aground.”

“I've already issued that order, Comrade General. We don't have any salvage tugs, and even if we did...” his voice trailed off.

“I know, Admiral,” Alekseyev said. “We'd never get her off before either American ships or aircraft arrived to finish the job.”

“That's correct, Comrade General.” Gordikov said.

Alekseyev turned to Colonel Sergetov. “Get to the Port of Brownsville, and find out what's on that ship. And get it unloaded as soon as possible.”

“Comrade General?” Sergetov asked.

“I need to know if the cargo on that ship is what we need, or is quite useless to us.”

“Yes, Comrade General.” Sergetov said, saluting as he left the room.


0900 Hours: Port of Brownsville, Texas.

The Soviet freighter Cherepovets came into the Port of Brownsville, and her captain felt, based on what he'd experienced the past two days, that he had brought his crew out of the frying pan into the fire. His ship had left Cuba in the lead convoy, and though they had six escorts, only two, an Udaloy-class destroyer, and a Krivak-class frigate (whose names he didn't know) could really protect the ships. The other four consisted of three old Koltin-class gun destroyers and a Riga-class gun frigate, and he well remembered his own naval service, and knew those ships had no chance against an American submarine- or air-launched missile attack, let alone a sub firing torpedoes. And he was right. Now, as he tied up, he wondered how long he'd be here, because he wanted to unload, and as his orders said, get as many wounded aboard, to make a run back to Mariel. And I might as well deliver the moon, the captain thought. He was interrupted as his second officer brought an Army Lieutenant Colonel to him.

“Captain, I am Lieutenant Colonel Sergetov, aide to General Alekseyev. What have you brought us?”

“All that I was told to load, Colonel, and I resent your tone of voice,” the Captain spat back.

Taken aback, Sergtov said, “Captain, you do realize that whether the Army here lives or dies depends on the cargo you have brought, and what the other ships are carrying, when they get here.”

“They won't be arriving-at least my convoy. Besides my ship, only the Minsk Komsomol survived. And she ran aground at South Padre Island,” the Captain said.

“The rest?” Sergetov asked.

“Sunk. Comrade Colonel, it was a massacre out there. When we left, it was at night, and all was well. However, the first morning, there was a submarine attack. Our only modern destroyer-an Udaloy class ship-and I don't know her name, was sunk by torpedoes, and our only antisubmarine frigate met a similar end. And then American carrier aircraft attacked: missiles, laser-guided bombs, rockets, they threw all they had at us.”

“The tankers?” Sergetov asked.

“Sunk, or left dead in the water and burning.” the captain said. They got half of the convoy, and sank all but one of the remaining escorts in the process. Only a gun-armed destroyer was left. And we thought we were safe as the second night fell, and then morning came with no attacks.”

“But you weren't,” Sergetov observed.

“Yes. We weren't. She came out of a squall line in the afternoon. The Americans have reactivated some of their old heavy cruisers: Des Moines, I think this one was. That cruiser came out, guns blazing. Ever see what twenty-centimeter shells do to unarmored freighters? She blew two of them to matchwood, Colonel! And her secondary guns: twelve point five centimeter at least. They set two more ships on fire, and then she turned those heavy guns on the destroyer,” the Captain said, shuddering at the memory.

“And the destroyer?” Sergetov asked.

“Blown to pieces, Colonel. She never had a chance. They tried a torpedo run, but those twenty-centimeter guns must have been radar-guided: they just zeroed in on the destroyer and opened rapid fire. The destroyer was just torn apart, she blazed briefly, then she just broke apart and sank. They then finished off the two burning freighters.”

“How many left after this?” Sergetov asked.

“Four. But there was another air strike, and one of the ships was hit: she was carrying munitions, I think, for she just exploded: one huge bang and there was just a cloud of smoke, fire, and pieces of the ship flying,” the Captain said. “And during the night, there must have been a submarine attack, for the Brest-Litvosk just blew in two with no warning.”

“So just you, and your comrades who've run aground, are all that's left.” Sergetov commented. It was not a question.

“That's right. As for my cargo, I was told to load a general cargo for Texas. That, Comrade Colonel, is all I know,” the Captain commented.

“Very well, have you started unloading?” Sergetov asked.

“Have a look for yourself,” the Captain said.

Sergetov did. He could see crates being unloaded and placed on the dock. “Thank you for your efforts, Comrade Captain. We'll make the best use of whatever you've brought us.”


1020 Hours: South Padre Island, Texas:

Major Andrei Lazarev of the Soviet Naval Infantry had a job on his hands. Nothing in his officer training days had prepared him to unload a freighter that had run aground, but his men were doing the best they could, with the assistance of the cranes on the freighter and the ship's crew. He looked around the beach, and noted the PT-76 light tanks dug in there: with little fuel available, his 175th Naval Infantry Brigade-which had come originally from the Northern Fleet-had dug them in as pillboxes to guard against an American amphibious assault, and he had seen American ships come in close on occasion. Oh, not enough to draw fire, but they had made run-ins to within their gun range, before pulling away.

“Comrade Major, you're not going to believe what's been unloaded.” his brigade's supply officer, who'd been put in charge of the unloading, told him.

“Humor me, Comrade Captain,” Lazarev said.

“We've found a crate filled with two tons of pepper, several cases of preprinted propaganda leaflets, and several crates filled with Cuban rum.” the man told his commanding officer.

“What? What asshole prepared this load?” Lazarev roared.

“The freighter's crew doesn't know, Comrade Major,” the supply officer said. “All they were told was to load a general cargo.”

“'General cargo' my ass,” Lazarev said. “Most of this is garbage we can't use.”

“Well, the medical officer says we can use the rum as an anesthetic, and we've just found some crates filled with RPG rockets.”

“That we can use, Captain.” Lazarev said. “All right, sort it out, and separate what we can use from what's quite useless.”

“I've already started, Comrade Major.”

Lazarev swore. He wondered if those in Cuba knew what they really needed, or if they were hoarding supplies: it didn't take a fool to guess that once the war here in Texas was done, the Americans might decide to settle accounts with the Cubans. “Do the best you can, Comrade Captain. Take as many men off the beach defenses as you need.”

“Yes, Comrade Major.”


1050 Hours: Soviet Headquarters

“Comrade General, Colonel Sergetov is on the phone,” Alekseyev's operations officer called to him.

“I'll take it here,” Alekseyev said as he picked up his phone. “Yes, Comrade Colonel?”

“Comrade General, the cargo is a mixed one. Half of it is quite useless, but so far, what we can use includes 500 RPG rockets, filled magazines for AK-74s: total of 25,000 rounds, and 50,000 rounds of 12.7 ammunition, belted.”

“Of all the....How much have you unloaded so far?” Alekseyev asked.

“We've gotten started, but it's going to be an all-day job, Comrade General,” Sergetov said.

“All right. Let our people there do their jobs. Bring the freighter's captain here. I'd like a report from him.”

“As you wish, Comrade General.”

Alekseyev hung up the phone and swore. He turned to his supply officer. “I take it you informed Moscow of our exact needs?”

“Absolutely, Comrade General.” the man replied.

“Go supervise the unloading. And what we can use, see that it's distributed fairly. Any hoarders will be shot,” Alekseyev said.

“Yes, Comrade General.”

General Chibisov came into the Operations Room. He'd just talked to General Malinsky. His forces would be on the second line of defense by noon. And so far, the Americans were content with pushing them there. Though they'd tried to exploit the gaps in the line, the Soviets and their Cuban and East German allies had managed to hold things together. But, as Chibisov knew, it couldn't last. He came up to General Alekseyev. “Comrade General, Malinsky reports his forces will be on the second line of defense by noon.”

Alekseyev turned to his Chief of Staff. “Good, Pavel Pavlovitch. Some good news from this morning. I take it you've heard about the ships?”

“Yes, Comrade General, Admiral Gordikov has informed me. He's just as angry with our people in Cuba as we are with him-and those same people in Cuba.” Chibisov said.

“I'm not blaming him, if that's what he's afraid of. Like us, he's been given an impossible job,” Alekseyev said, seeing Chibisov nod. “What's the status of the airlift?”

“Edinburg International Airport was overrun, General Pavlov says, and both Miller Airport in McAllen and Rio Grande Valley International in Harlingen are both under artillery fire. The Air Force is still able to operate from both, however, but they'll have to mount the whole airlift out of Brownsville-South Padre International before too long,” Chibisov reported.

“And priority to the wounded and the certain....specialists, Pavel Pavlovitch?” Alekseyev asked.

“As you ordered, Comrade General.”

“And air cover?” Alekseyev wanted to know.

“That's out of Brownsville International, Comrade General. However, the number of serviceable fighters is dwindling with each passing hour,” Chibisov said. “And the heavy transports can only come into Brownsville International, Pavlov says.”

“I imagine it was like this in Saigon, Pavel Pavlovitch,” Alekseyev said. “Now, in a way, the roles are reversed for the Americans,” he observed.

“There's one other thing at the moment, Comrade General,” Chibisov reported.

“Yes?”

“There's some ALA officers and members of their Political Security Department here, They're demanding seats on the airlift.” Chibisov said, his voice not hiding his disgust for the whole bunch.

“Ah.....them.” Alekseyev said. “Of all the mistakes we've made here, that's near the top of the list. I'd like to find who came up with that idea and have him shot. And do the Americans a favor.”

“Shall I have them turned away?” Chibisov asked.

“No. I'll speak with their senior officers. And have the headquarters guard on standby. These...creatures may not like what I have to say. Bring them to my office.”

A few minutes later, two ALA officers were escorted into Alekseyev's office. The PSD officer, Alekseyev knew from the GRU, was high on one of the “Most Wanted” lists the Americans put out. The man was responsible for several massacres in Texas and Oklahoma, and he'd been denounced by his own wife, no less-probably to save her own skin, Alekseyev thought. The ALA man had been an aggressive “recruiter”, either press-ganging people who'd been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or recruiting criminal elements from local jails and several Texas and Arkansas prisons. He, too, was high on the list, and had the words “dead or alive” next to his name-as did the PSD man, along with $250,000 on their heads. I might be able to save the Americans the trouble, if they give me any sort of problem, Alekseyev thought, as the two men arrived.

Commissar Robert Porter had been a professor at some small college in Illinois, and had been on a research sabbatical in Texas when the war began. He'd made no secret of his leftist views, and joined the PSD-much to his wife's horror. He'd told her that he was trying to “Save America from itself”, and had eagerly carried out his work. When the counteroffensives began, she had left him, and gone over to the reactionaries' side, and had denounced him as a traitor-on CNN and over Radio Free America no less. He came into Alekseyev's office, though, with a calm outlook.

“Comrade General,” Porter said. “I've come on behalf of the Political Security Directorate. I'm wondering if there's going to be seats for some of us on the evacuation aircraft.”

“There may be, Comrade Porter,” Alekseyev said, his voice not hiding his contempt for the man. “Perhaps you should tell me why you deserve a space on a plane that should be taken by a wounded Soviet or Cuban soldier.”

“Comrade General, you know as well as I do,” Porter said. “My pacification efforts have made the Imperialists put a price on my head. I have made every effort to assist the Socialist Forces here in America, and....”

“Carrying out massacres of your own people, I should point out,” Alekseyev said coldly.

“Only those who were counterrevolutionary elements, or those criminals who committed offenses against public order,” Porter said.

“A pathetic excuse for mass murder.” Alekseyev pointed out. He turned to the ALA officer. Colonel Michael Flounders. “And you?”

“Comrade General, as you know, I am also a wanted man, and would prefer to go anywhere, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Korea, the Soviet Union, even Sweden, to avoid the FBI and CIA,” Flounders said.

“Yes, and for 'recruiting'. Press-ganging unfortunates off the streets, or giving convicted criminals a choice between staying in prison-and either execution or being worked to death-or joining your force. Murderers, rapists, armed robbers, and such.” Alekseyev reminded the colonel.

Both ALA men looked at each other. This was the first time they'd had the truth from a senior Soviet officer told to their faces. The KGB had assured them that the Army and the GRU would approve the ALA's creation and its' activities. Oh, there'd been talk of the GRU questioning the wisdom of that, but the leadership felt that when the ALA proved itself, the Soviet Army would come around. Not this day, it appeared.

“Comrade General,” Porter said, “We have done whatever was asked of us. We have never heard talk of this sort from any senior Soviet officer.”

“That's because those you associated yourselves with were KGB. Not to mention your ties to the Cuban DGI and the Germans' Stasi.” Alekseyev reminded the pair.

“Comrade General, all we ask is that we have a chance to escape,” Porter said. “We...”

He was interrupted by Alekseyev standing up in a rage. The General grabbed Porter by the collar and shoved him against the wall. “Both of you....perfect examples of those who would sell out their own people. The Soviet side has made a number of mistakes and miscalculations in this war, and you two are living proof of one of them! Why we allowed Hall to form his own army and security service is beyond me. And when the end comes, people like you want to run away, while executing those who are caught doing what you're doing now. Lying hypocrites! Well, there's something that can be done about that.”

“General...” Flounders pleaded, “We just don't want to be here when the Fascists arrive.”

Alekseyev turned and glared at him. The unspoken word was “You just made a big mistake.” He let go of Porter and went to his phone. “General Chibisov, send Major Korenko to my office. He's to take care of these two ALA officers.” Alekseyev then hung up.

Major Korenko and several of his men arrived a few minutes later. He was in command of the headquarters guard company. “Comrade General?”

“One moment, Major.” Alekseyev turned to Porter. “How many are with you?”

“With the two of us? About twenty or so. Why do you ask?” Porter replied.

“Major,” Alekseyev said, pointing at the two ALA men, “Arrest these two. Take them, and select four others with their group at random.”

“For what purpose, Comrade General?” Korenko replied.

Alekseyev glared at Flounders and Porter. Without taking his eyes off them, he said, “They are cowards and deserters. Have them shot.”

“NO! You can't do this!” Porter wailed as Korenko's men grabbed them.

“I imagine your victims said the same thing, Porter,” Alekseyev sneered. “And Major, on your way out with these two...scum, you will relay an order to General Chibisov.”

“Of course, Comrade General,” Korenko replied. “And that order is?”

“The ALA and PSD are to be on the bottom of the evacuation list. Only those specifically requested by the KGB or GRU are to be allowed on the aircraft,” Alekseyev said.

“Yes, Comrade General,” And with that, Korenko's men dragged the two men, still screaming, out of Alekseyev's office. The General looked out the window as the two, and four others Korenko selected, were lined up against the ruins of one of the campus buildings and shot. After the job was done, Alekseyev went back to the Operations Room. Too bad we can't shoot the whole lot of them, he thought. He came up to General Chibisov. “Major Korenko did relay my orders?”

“Yes,Comrade General. I imagine you're not the first to have such feelings about those....people.” Chibisov said. “And that was an order I was glad to carry out.”

“Not just the GRU, but the General Staff was against the idea, Pavel Pavlovitch. Now, in some small way, I've made amends for that.”
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