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Old 03-06-2015, 09:03 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Auberry, CA
Posts: 860

Anyone pick up some of the other characters yet?

GDLS has promoted the 120S to several real-world M-60 operators, but received no orders.

And on with the show....

0815 Hours: Soviet Headquarters, Brownsville

General Alekseyev knew it before he'd gotten the report. Powell was coming. Not just through McAllen and Edinburg, but also from the north as well. Malinsky had relayed General Trimenko's information, along with that coming from the Cuban 1st Army. They were facing II MAF, and two divisions of Marines were coming after them. And just as they'd done with the Nicaraguans, a Marine battalion had landed behind the Cuban lines in small rubber boats, prior to first light, and the Cubans had found out too late. Though the Marine landing had been contained, the pressure on the Cuban line from the north was building, and soon, they'd have to fall back.

“Comrade General,” Chibisov said, “We've gotten a message from General Andreyev.”

“What is it?” Alekseyev asked.

“It reads: 'Mission success One. Proceeding to second objective. Minimal casualties.'”

“Good, Chibisov. It's time I let you in on a secret. Come to my office.” Alekseyev then walked his Chief of Staff to his office, closing the door behind them. Then he went to his own map. “Pavel Pavlovitch, I've been keeping this secret. Not even Colonel Sergetov knows.” And Alekseyev briefed Chibisov on what General Voltov had told him, and his decision to send Andreyev after the culprits.

“Of all the.....Not only do we have a Chekist as General Secretary, just as we did with Andropov, but these....what are they thinking?” Chibisov asked.

“Who knows, Pavel Pavlovitch? Perhaps it's a desire to be remembered by the survivors of a nuclear holocaust as those that started it, or some other mad scheme. Still, sending Andreyev and his men was done on my authority. Not even Marshal Ahkromeyev in Moscow knows,” Alekseyev said.

“Prudent, Comrade General. Who knows if someone on his staff is in the KGB's pay?”

“Precisely. Now, once Andreyev has secured the warheads, he'll bring them here, to this headquarters. And we'll get rid of them. That freighter that arrived yesterday will do,” Alekseyev said.

“I see. Load the warheads on the freighter and then scuttle the ship.” Chibisov said.

“Yes. And we can say that the warheads were denied to the enemy when it's time for our final report to Moscow. And when the Americans arrive, we can point out the wreck, and their own salvage teams will recover the warheads.” Alekseyev told his Chief of Staff.

Then Alekseyev's phone rang. It was Colonel Sergetov. “Comrade General, your presence is needed in the Operations Room.”

“I'll be right there.” Alekseyev hung up the phone and both generals returned to the Operations Room. Admiral Gordikov was there. “Comrade General, I've got some really bad news.”

“We've already had some this morning, Admiral. What is it?” Alekseyev wanted to know.

“The Americans have mined the entrance to the shipping channel. Either by aircraft, or by a submarine. At any rate, a corvette was going out to bring a harbor pilot to the destroyer Boiky, and he set off a mine, most certainly a bottom mine. No survivors, Comrade General.” Gordikov reported.

“Last week, you were mentioning that as a possibility, Comrade Admiral,” Chibisov said.

“Yes, Comrades, I did,” Gordikov replied. “I'm surprised it took the Americans this long to do so.”

“Then how did the Cherepovets and the ship that ran aground on Padre Island get here?” Alekseyev asked.

“A bottom mine can be set to ignore, say, the first one or two ships, Comrade General. But the third....” Gordikov's voice trailed off.

“That's it for convoys, then?” Chbisov asked.

“I'm afraid so. I do have a couple of minesweepers, but they're short of fuel, just like the other ships.”

Alekseyev paused, digesting the information. He turned to Chibisov. “Notify Havana. No further convoys. All resupply in the future to be by air.”

0840 Hours: Hidalgo, Texas.

Major Mendoza looked around. The remnants of his First Battalion were now deployed just north of the International Bridge, but what was left of Third Battalion were nowhere to be seen. He ordered Captain Gonzalez to find them and get them into the perimeter. Nodding, the Captain put on his steel helmet and left the old U.S. Customs building at the bridge, and headed out to where Third Battalion was still fighting-he hoped. And there was something else to worry about: not just American helicopter gunships, but also American aircraft, for A-7s and A-10s were loitering overhead, searching for targets. And when they found a target, they rolled in with bombs, rockets, and cannon fire. Then his radioman came to him. “Comrade Major, there's a message from 2nd Army HQ.”

“About time,” Mendoza said. He went into the building, where his regiment's staff was working. “The message?” He asked his Chief of Staff, Captain Ernesto Lopes.

“They relayed a message from Front Headquarters, Comrade Major. Blow the bridge, at all costs.”

“That's good enough for me. Captain, get the command group across the bridge. Now,” Mendoza said.

“Immediately, Comrade Major,” Lopes said. And the staff gathered up their materials. They'd already destroyed their classified documents already, so it didn't take long. While that was going on, Mendoza went outside, and found the acting commander of First Battalion, Captain Bernado Soto. “Soto, cover us when we go across the bridge. And any word from Third Battalion?”

“No word, Comrade Major. I think they're done for. We'll cover you,” Soto assured the Major.

Nodding, Mendoza motioned the command group to get across. There was a lot of fire directed their way, from both American ground forces and from aircraft. Lopes asked, “You're coming, Comrade Major?”

“As soon as Captain Gonzalez returns, or it's obvious he won't. Get across, and set up on the other side. If I don't make it, tell the engineers to blow the bridge.”

“Right, Comrade Major!” And Lopes and the command group went across, on foot.

Captain Soto came back to Mendoza, “Major, I think I see Captain Gonzalez,” he said, pointing to the east, along Spur 281.

Mendoza looked through his own binoculars. Sure enough, it was Gonzalez, along with thirty or so soldiers, and even a T-55, which had its turret turned to the rear, and giving cover fire. Then, all of a sudden, the tank exploded. Gonzalez picked himself up, and the two dozen surviving riflemen, and began to run towards the bridge. Just before he and the men got to the shrinking perimeter, a storm of fire came from the east, both tanks and Bradleys, and all were cut down.

“Comrade Major, that's it. Get yourself across, now!” Soto yelled.

“What about you and your men?” Mendoza asked.

“We'll do our duty to the end. Remember us in Havana.” Soto said, snapping a perfect salute.

Mendoza returned it, then ran as Soto's men gave cover fire. And the Americans sprayed the bridge with small-arms, machine-gun, and 25-mm fire as he did. Just as he reached the Mexican side, he caught a round in his shoulder, but he staggered across. Lopes came to him with a medic. “Can you stand, Major?”

Nodding, Mendoza did so. As he did, he watched as First Battalion was overwhelmed. And then he saw American tanks and Bradleys heading for the bridge. Lopes knew the order, and signaled to the engineers. Now.

The Hidalgo International Bridge blew up in Kozak's face, just as the lead tank from Third Platoon reached the old Port of Entry. As the smoke cleared, she saw the two spans closest to the American side fall into the river. Cursing, she called the Battalion Commander. The bridge was down, and there was no chance of a bridgehead in Mexico. She was ordered to hold her position, and assist in mopping up. For now, the battle was over.

0920 Hours: South Padre Island, Texas.

Captain Romonov brought the Boiky up to the former resort town, and he wasn't looking for a mooring. This was his ship's last voyage under power, and he was looking for a spot to put him aground. His AA gunners were at their stations, but apart from his engineering staff, everyone was preparing to leave the ship. Romonov was looking for the perfect spot, and he soon found one. Right opposite from a prewar hotel, he turned his ship so that his guns could face the sea, with a full arc of fire. Then he backed his ship onto the beach. The ship lurched to a stop.

“All stop.” he told the quartermaster.

“All stop, Comrade Captain. Engines answer all stop.”

His Exec came onto the bridge. “Everything is ready, Comrade Captain. First the wounded, then the rest of the crew.”

“Very well, Nikolay.” He turned to the gunnery officer. “Vassily, Boiky is yours, now. Make it hot when the Americans come.”

“We will, Comrade Captain.”

Romonov turned to the Exec. “All right, let's get the wounded off. Then the nonessential members of the crew.”

The grounded destroyer soon became a focus of attention. The Naval Infantrymen from the 175th Brigade came to the aid of the crew, and soon the wounded were en route to a hospital in Brownsville itself. The crew, under the Exec, became a scratch company assigned to defend the area near their ship, while Romonov was ordered to report to Admiral Gordikov and report on what had happened to the convoy and his ship.

0950 Hours: Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport:

General Petrov watched as the transports came in. Some were coming in from Mexico, and they were mainly the An-24s and An-26s. Though limited in what they could bring in, at least for the most part they didn't have to run a gauntlet of American land- and carrier-based fighters to get to their destination. Most of the An-24s were rigged for passengers, and many of the specialists earmarked for evacuation got on those aircraft. The An-26s brought in supplies, mostly food and ammunition, and were quickly unloaded. They, too,mainly took passengers, either walking wounded or specialists, sitting on the folding paratrooper seats, while stretcher cases were loaded onto the cargo floor. The heavy transports mostly came in from Cuba, and the losses so far had been serious. On some days, only one in three aircraft sent made it from the island, but on others, when the weather had been rough, the inbound and outbound aircraft had an easier time of it. The first aircraft in from Cuba was a Cubana Airlines Il-62, and it, too would take specialists out. General Voltov came up to Petrov.

“I take it this is my plane. Thank you, Comrade General.”

“No thanks necessary, Voltov. General Alekseyev wanted you and your men out first today, so thank him,” Petrov replied.

“Let me guess: low-level all the way to Havana?” Voltov asked. He was no fool: he'd heard how rough things were.

“Hopefully, that won't be the case,” Petrov said. “Here, give this to my wife. She's in Minsk. Just in case I don't get out of here myself.”

“Of course, Comrade General.” Voltov said as he took the letter. Saluting, he went to the ramp, where his staff and some of his missile techs were waiting. They had a priority pass, and the wounded glared at them with open hostility. The mobile stairway arrived, and the plane was quickly loaded with its human cargo. The plane then taxied to the runway, the pilot gunned the engines, and the Il-62 climbed into the sky, headed for Havana.

Petrov had another problem manifest itself: many of those trying to get on a plane wanted to take their ill-gotten gains with them. One GRU officer drew suspicions due to a heavy briefcase. When it was searched, it was found to be full of looted jewelry. Such behavior had been tolerated, even encouraged, in the early days, and up until the Americans' final offensive, but now, it was different. Petrov ordered such material confiscated, and those trying to smuggle it out were given summary courts-martial, and shot by the GRU Field Security unit. But that didn't deter some from trying.
Treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect, but always have a plan to kill them.

Old USMC Adage
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