by John Galt
July 30, 2016 23:30 ET
Ah yes, the joys of war in Europe.
Think it can not happen again? This fictional account is to remind everyone just how close America and NATO are to engaging in a conflict it is neither ready for nor desires. While we brag about our whiz-bang technological advantage, there is a difference between starting a conflict with Russia and finishing it conventionally on their territory. Many a nation have tried to conquer the Russians and many have failed. Without the American public being whipped into a frenzy, as they were for World War I and gradually for World War II, there will be little support for engaging in a conflict with Russia and/or China much less one which could into an exchange of nuclear weapons. Now that the first two days have passed in this fictional conflict have passed, the Federal Government faces a choice which in this story and as in probable reality, proves to be fatal; to de-escalate or gamble that they can intimidate the Russian government and people. God help us should that choice ever have to be made by this current slate of American leaders.
ALL OF THE CHARACTERS OTHER THAN POLITICAL LEADERS ARE FICTIONAL. ANY RESEMBLANCE OR DIRECT USAGE OF ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL IN THE STORY IS PURELY RANDOM AND BY COINCIDENCE.
November 12, 2016 05:00 Local Time Estonian-Russian Border
The sound of loud popping noises in the sky terrified the border guards and forward units of the American Army battalion sent to monitor Russian activity. Suddenly the sky was illuminated with hundreds of parachute flares on the Russian side of the border and an excited PFC screaming into his radio back to headquarters, “POST 18 TO HAWK THIRTEEN, ACKNOWLEDGE, POST 18 TO HAWK THIRTEEN ACKNOWLEDGE, THEY ARE COMING, THEY ARE COMING, DO YOU RECEIVE?” No sooner than the private first-class released the transmit button on his radio and looked into the spotter’s scope again that he saw the unmistakable silhouettes of dozens of T-80 and T-72 tanks rushing at his position. Sirens began to blare, spotlights were fired up, and men were running to positions all around him. Within the loud noises the radio responded to the PFC, “Post 18, this is Hawk Thirteen, what do you see, give us an accurate report while you can.”
The excited PFC, feeling the need to scream loudly into the radio over the noise replied, “THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF MEN AND AT LEAST 60 T-80 AND T-72 TANKS HEADING TOWARDS US. THEY HAVE NOT FIRED YET, BUT WE NEED REINFORCEMENTS IMMEDIATELY!” Major Frank Willis was the commander on duty that morning and was clearly aggravated by the PFC’s screaming. He took the microphone from the corporal on duty and said, “SON, you need to calm down. This is Willis and I order you to calm down. There is no war so they are testing you. Stay calm, give us unit numbers, insignia, anything you can see and speak slowly and clearly. THAT’S IS AN ORDER!” The PFC responded on the radio albeit calmed down a tad but still excited, “Yes Sir! It is too dark for insignia or unit numbers yet. Switching to night vision and will contact you in…” And just like that, the radio died. Major Willis grabbed his secure line but it was dead also. He grabbed a private by his arm and ordered him to stand still for orders. Willis began writing down orders for each platoon and handed them to the private and said, “Private, what is your name?” The nervous private replied, “Private James Lewis Hankson sir!” Major Willis looked him in the eye and started to speak in slow, plain English, “James, I need you to keep your head about you. You are now my runner. Communications are down and everything you and I do together could mean life or death. I want you to get each of these orders to all commanders as stated on each piece of paper. After handing them the paper, tell them that I need a reply and you are to drive, run, hell, I don’t care sprout wings and fly back here immediately. Do you understand?”
“Yes Sir!” the private replied and with the orders folded up and placed in his front pocket, he ran out the door.
Meanwhile the poor PFC at observation post 18 was completely losing it. The rumble of the tanks and vibration of the ground around him caused his coffee cup to fall off the ledge of his hastily built shelf and shatter spilling coffee all over the bunker he was in, and the noise was getting deafening. “300 meters,” he screamed out, then looking into his scope, the PFC yelled back and into the microphone of the now apparently dead radio, “200 METERS!”
Without warning the vibration stopped and so did the tanks, 150 meters from the Estonian border. Two Su-24 jets roared over the line at an altitude of about 500 feet above the tanks on the Russian side of the border to cheers from the Russian troops and almost as if in a symphony, the tanks all turned their spotlights on to the American and Estonian defensive positions. Then just as fast as they rushed the lines, a loud sound began again but it was different from the rumble of the rush towards the NATO positions. The Russians began to back up their armored vehicles and play music; Russian heavy metal music which the PFC could not make out. The PFC, shaking like a leaf picked up the microphone and reported in as instructed, “Hawk thirteen this is post eighteen, enemy armor is retreating and playing loud music. I repeat, they are withdrawing from their border region, current position 500 meters out and increasing.” The radio crackled back, “Post 18, this is Hawk 13, did you say music, over?” Staring into his scope and shaking still, he replied, “Yes sir, it sounds like heavy metal of some sort.”
Major Willis remembered his uncle telling him about stories like these along the East German border during the 1980’s and looked at the men in his command center. “Gentleman, we are going to remain at full alert until further notice. All cell phones are to be turned into the base security office and terminate all internet access. Remove all non-essential civilians from this base immediately and lock everything down. Ammunition is to be disbursed to all commands NOW. No outside communications will be permitted. Secure the perimeter and put us at Alert Condition Red and prepare as if are going to get the message that we are at DEFCON 1 from the Pentagon or Brussels any moment now.”
November 12, 2016 09:00 EET South of Donetsk
“FIRE!” and the order was given by a Russian Colonel precisely on the moment appointed. With that command over 500 rocket launchers, tanks, artillery pieces, and mortars opened fire on Ukrainian positions to the North, West, and South of the city of Donetsk without warning. As the Ukrainian soldiers began to realize what was happening, the panic set in as every radio they were using was jammed and no communications with their command centers in Mariupol, Odessa, or Kiev was possible. Worse was the realization that after almost two years of hit and run tactics by both sides that this was the long anticipated counterattack from the pro-Russian rebels. Or was it?
The militia leaders were finishing up a late breakfast in Kramatorsk when they heard the unmistakable rumble of aircraft and helicopters in the distance. A panicked young man rode up to the group of men as they stood outside their hotel looking up into the overcast sky only to hear him yell, “SIR! They are coming. The Russians have invaded. There are airborne units landing all around us and armor moving towards us as we speak. All of our forward units within 5 kilometers of Donetsk have been overrun or wiped out. We can not reach anyone in Kiev for instructions, what do we do sir?” The militia commander looked at his fellow officers and the Ukrainian military attaché and said, I’m retreating unless the Kiev government has our back. We can not hold out for five minutes if this is the big one and you know it. The Ukrainian officer looked at him and said, “Mikal, you do what you want, I’m going to the front. Son, let me have your motorcycle, you escort your commander please.
With that the Ukrainian officer rode off towards Horlivka never to be seen again.
Meanwhile, the militia leaders looked at each other and Mikal spoke up, “Let us clean out our safes of dollars and gold, burn everything else. Hell, I don’t care if the hotel burns down. Let us load up our Humvee and head to Moldova, we should be able to make that in six hours if the roads are clear.” As his soldiers began rushing south in their trucks, the militia commander muttered to his comrades, “A fool’s errand. They will all be dead before we eat dinner.”
November 12, 2016 1 p.m. CET Baltic Sea Northwest of Kaliningrad
The Danish patrol boat was working with NATO forces just outside of the recently declared Russian air defense zone of 50 kilometers when a loud explosion ripped the bow off of the boat. The Captain began to radio the ship’s position, situation, and “Mayday” call as the vessel began to sink rapidly and the men began to abandon ship. As his men piled into the rubber rafts which were their lifeboats, he saw a German helicopter coming towards their position. The men cheered as they rowed away from their sinking ship and as the chopper moved closer and slowed down to rescue the mean, the Captain saw a white streak across the sky and yelled at his men to “duck, take what cover you can.”
The missile brought the helicopter down in flames, with no possibility of survivors and the Danish crew feared what was to happen next. The Captain almost wept but gathered himself and said, “We must row southwest towards Germany. And pray a friendly vessel picks us up. Operator, only make a call on that radio once every fifteen minutes. We must assume we are at war and must limit our communications so we do not end up like them.”
November 12, 2016 8 a.m. AKST Elmendorf Air Force Base Command Center
“General Elmers, this is Omaha. We are currently tracking 12 Tu-160 Blackjacks and 14 Tu-95 Bears just outside of your ADIZ. Do you confirm?” Elmers responded, “Affirmative, we have a track on the incoming aircraft and have scrambled twelve Raptors to intercept. Do we have permission to engage?” NORAD command cut in, “Negative Omaha, Negative Elmendorf, do not attack. Intercept, identify, wave at them but do not fire unless fired upon. Big Dog 1 does not give green light, I repeat do not attack, intercept and confirm identity of incoming aircraft only.” The voice from STRATCOM in Omaha replied, “Confirmed,” as did General Elmers who ordered the fighter controller to issue those orders.
General Elmers then turned to his men in the command center and said, “Put us at Condition Red. Scramble all units. I want air cap over us in ten minutes. Repeat, no drill, no drill.”
As the Russian aircraft approached what was known as “the turn” they suddenly reversed course and began to head back towards Russian airspace when the F-22’s arrived. “Elmendorf, this is Ace of Spades, the bogeys are turning back. Do we continue intercept?” The voice on their radio replied, “Negative Ace, return to position Bravo Polo Nine, Niner for refueling. We are on red and standby for now.”
The aircraft radio then crackled in the headset of the lead fighter with a weird tone and unusual static, “Have a nice flight home Yanks and remember the ocean is very cold this time of year.”
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