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Book One World War Three 1946

Book One World War Three 1946
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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Not Enough and Too Late

The barrage started at 0330 hours and continued until 0456. By that time most of the frontline Turkish troops facing the Soviet Union’s forces on the Armenian border were dead, maimed or running to the south. Zhukov had gotten all the toys in the west to force the Turkish Straights and Bagramyan got more artillery batteries and Katyusha rocket units.

The Turkish soldiers sent to the Armenia border, were poor quality even by Turkish standards. They were to be sacrificed and the Turkish commanders did not want their best units to be wasted. Even their unit names have been erased from history. They were just 15,000 poor souls, who were soon ground into the earth by over a thousand tanks that quickly raced to the South. Some of the better Turkish units turned the Reds away during their initial assault when the Soviet commanders got too aggressive and ran into some well laid traps and ambushes.

The Turkish Colonel could tell that the tanks being thrown at him were the older but faster T34-85. He knew that these tanks were more than a match for the few old tanks he had gotten recently from the Americans. The Soviet tanks were just as fast as and maybe even faster than his more lightly armored Shermans with the 76 mm gun. His problems were many. He had very few tanks, his tankers had not seen combat, and they had no air cover. They held their own, however, in the first brush with the T-34s. His unit gave as good as they got.

The T-34s withdrew a few kilometers and then came the flying tanks of the Red Air Force. The Il-10 Sturmovik Beast had a large number of ways to kill a tank and they used their repertoire very quickly on his dozen tanks. The one Bofers unit, he had been given, actually did a good job and took down two Beasts before being destroyed by 23 mm cannon fire.

The Turkish Colonel’s own tanks died to more exotic weapons such as floating bomblets and liquid flame. One by one the tanks died and back came the Soviet T-34s.

This time, the Turks special anti-tank groups did their job using Molotov cocktails and, once again stopped the Red’s advance. A quick Soviet artillery and rocket barrage put a stop to these Turkish tactics as well as killing much of the supporting infantry. Again, the few men the Turkish colonel had alive performed extremely well. If they would have had some support, they might have even staged an effective counter attack. But, they had had no further support. His commanding General had decided that discretion is the better part of valor and had run to fight another day.

The General actually did perform quite well weeks later near the village of Bitlis where his division put up stiff resistance. The Turkish unit held up the Soviet advance for almost three days before the General was killed and his troops overwhelmed. On this first day of battle however, the General was on the run and this meant a quick death for the colonel and his battalion.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Border Patrol

A number of the riders on truck were veterans of rough roads. Many of them were from California where driving off road on the beaches was commonplace. Someone even made special vehicles that were designed to drive on the sand dunes near the beach and also in the desert. Nothing in their wildest imagination prepared them for what they were experiencing now in the duce and a half. The ride was the roughest imaginable. The road had ceased to exist days ago or when they were now just following a donkey trail. The guide seemed to know where they were going but he couldn't drive. So each of the passengers took turns. Half of the truck was filled with fuel as there were no filling stations within 100 miles.

They were on their way to the border of Russia and Turkey, and what is called Armenia. The men were all volunteers from United States army. Some were of Turkish heritage that most were not. They were here to train the Turkish army of the north. The north being this god forsaken expanse country. The terrain is nothing but sand and rocks with the occasional goat herd and human companion.

The men were on a mission to train some of the best individual fighting man in the world to become a cohesive fighting unit. The mission to train the army of the west was well underway. An invasion from north coming from between the Caspian and Black Sea seemed like a very remote possibility two months ago. But with reports of Russian forces moving into the area, the possibility is quickly becoming a reality.

In the truck were six men and the guide. They had been on the road for four days and would reach their destination tonight. Two other divisions on their way to the same spot they were heading towards. These 15,000 men did not have trucks to ride in and were marching towards the border. One hell of a way to wage modern war thought the captain.

The situation reminded him of The War to End All Wars where everyone walked, including into machine gun fire. He didn’t know what was worse, the American Civil War, where you marched up to the enemy standing straight up. Then, took a few volleys before you either ran from or charged at the enemy. Or, as in World War One where you marched into fire and hoped they ran out of bullets before they got to you. Imagine being in that first wave.

On the border were just under 15,000 soldiers of the Turkish army. Their commanders had just started to take the threat of the Soviet seriously. Reports were that they were facing 15 divisions under one of the best Soviet leaders. The Turks were feverishly digging trenches, placing antitank mines, and praying. The men on the truck were “advisors” to the Turkish Army. They were supposed to explain how to stop modern armored equipment and survive the proven tactics of the Soviet Deep Battle. Oh, they had plenty of equipment to work with. The only problem was that it was 30 years old and left over, for the most part, from World War One and about twenty percent from early 1940s. Five years makes a hell of a lot of difference in times of war.

Captain Marsh didn’t even make an effort to learn his men’s last names. If he had time later he would make an attempt. But it didn’t look or sound like they had much time left or even that much time together before the shit hit the fan. From the report this morning it was really going to be a lot of shit to deal with and fairly soon as well.

Sargent Bill was supposed to be an expert in mines and tank traps. Sargent Clem was supposed to be an anti-tank wizard who could kill a Tiger with a spoon. Corporal Jim was an artillery magician. Corporal Frank was an expert in small group tactics. Corporal Mike specialized in heavy weapons and he was scared shitless and an expert in strong point defense. All he knew for sure was that they were there for show and not much else.

What could they do with no supplies and heavy weapons or trained troopers to man them anyway? From the short conversations he had with “his” men he ascertained that many and possibly all of them were screw-ups. Perfect for this job. Corporal Jim had taken swings at a few of his Sergeants in his career. Sargent Bill was frequently drunk. Corporal Mike might have murdered a fellow soldier over a card game but he could not confirm that before he shipped out. Corporal Frank was rumored to be a homo. Captain Marsh had no idea about Sargent Clem. He looked completely benign yet he must have done something to be put on this operation.

Captain Marsh, was a general’s wife fucker. He was caught twice and busted twice. Not the thing to do for an officer and a gentleman, but hey they wanted it more than he did. Was it his fault that their husbands couldn’t get it up any more? He was just providing and long overdue service to keep up the moral of the women behind the men. Besides, General Cooper’s wife had a mighty fine behind as well.

His dalliances were what had landed him here. Here, was exactly nowhere and nowhere was where it looked like he was going to die.