Pages Menu

Categories Menu

Posted on Jul 17, 2007 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features

Interactive Combat Story: Korea: The Next War

By John Antal

You chose Course of Action Two: Defend in the West.

Second Lieutenant Stone rests uncomfortably in the commander’s seat of his M-1A1 tank. He glances at his loader, Corporal Park, and at his gunner, Sergeant Koslowsky. He would not want to put any of his men in any unnecessary danger. Therefore, he sincerely hopes he has made the right decision – to defend from the western side of the valley, at its exit.

Restricted maneuver space at the valley’s western exit means that Lt. Stone’s outnumbered tanks can even the odds by engaging only a few of enemy vehicles at a time.

Stone based his decision on two important factors. First, he believes the North Koreans will want to take the valley quickly to follow up on the shock of their artillery bombardment. Second, he realizes that his platoon stands a better chance of killing them as they try to depart the valley since the narrow defile will deny them room to deploy their superior numbers. The outnumbered American tanks should be able to take out the North Korean vehicles piecemeal.


"Koslowsky, keep a keen eye out for any movement,” Stone says. “If you see anybody out there, sound off immediately. Just remember, tank Blue Two is north of us, and Blue Four and Blue Three are to our south.”

The crew aboard this M-1A1 Abrams main battle tank engages targets during a live-fire training exercise in South Korea. These exercises help tankers hone their gunnery skills in preparation for a possible invasion from the north.

“Wilco, Sir,” Koslowsky responds, his voice betraying his nervousness.

The rain continues as the seconds slowly pass by. Suddenly, Koslowsky announces, “Sir, I see a vehicle moving toward us. Looks like an enemy APC.”

Stone peers through his thermal sight. “Observing one APC moving west in the valley at grid CT217849,” he states without emotion over the platoon radio net.

“This is Blue Four. We see ‘em too,” Sergeant Buckner reports. “He’s coming right down the road with two more behind him.”

“Blue, direct-fire hot,” Stone alerts his platoon. “Blue Two, you and I have these first three APCs. You take the nearest one; I’ll take the two at the back. At my command, over.”

“Roger Blue One, we’re ready,” the tank commander of Blue Two radios.

“Fire!” Stone commands.

The two tanks open fire. Within seconds the three VTT-323 APCs are destroyed. They blow apart in terrific fireballs, leaving behind nothing but blazing masses of jagged metal.

“Cease fire,” Stone orders abruptly. “Scan for targets.”

[continued on next page]

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7