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Posted on Nov 19, 2007 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features

Interactive Combat Story: Korea: The Next War, Part III

By John Antal

You chose Course of Action One: Fight From Present Position.

Stone decides that there is no time to maneuver; the platoon has to be ready to fight now. He keeps his tanks in their present position at the east edge of the valley, overlooking the Route 51 bridge.

“Red-Leg, this is Charlie Two-One,” Stone radios the artillery observer with Captain Braddock and the rest of Charlie Company.

“Charlie Two-One, this is Red-leg, over,” the observer replies.

“Red-Leg, give me Target 100, right on the bridge. I’ll call you when I need it. Over.”

“Roger, Charlie Two-One,” the observer acknowledges. “Target 100. Standing by for your order.”

Stone keys the transmitter and radios the platoon. “We’ll stop the North Koreans from this position as they try to cross the bridge. Scan for targets. As soon as you identify infantry or vehicles crossing the bridge, you have permission to fire. Keep firing until they go away.”

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“Wilco,” Sergeant Buckner radios. “I’m sure we won’t have long to wait.”

Stone takes a deep breath. Buckner’s prediction soon proves correct.

Koslowsky moves the turret to scan the area near the bridge. “Here they come!” the gunner says excitedly. “Identified. Infantry and tanks, on the bridge! Tanks leading.”

“We see ‘em,” Buckner’s voice sounds over the radio.

The four American tanks fire nearly simultaneously. The shock of the barrage hits the cautiously advancing North Koreans like a hammer. The lead enemy tank catches on fire on the eastern side of the bridge. Others soon burst into flames. Follow-on enemy tanks and APCs move off the road seeking cover. Groups of North Korean infantrymen run forward firing their AK-47 rifles wildly in the dark.

“They’re shooting flares overhead. I see more tanks coming,” Buckner warns.

24_ICS_02c_d_JP_coa1R.jpg
Image Credit: PETHO CARTOGRAPHY
Course of action one ends with unfavorable results for the Americans.

“Keep up the fire!” Stone shouts into the radio.

The sky above the battlefield lights up as enemy flares pop overhead.

A loud volley of North Korean artillery shells explodes 100 meters north of Stone’s tank, shaking the ground. An enemy tank moves around the wreckage and charges onto the bridge.

“Gunner, sabot, tank on the bridge!” Stone yells over the intercom.

“Identified!” Koslowsky shouts back.

“Up!” the loader announces.

“Fire!” Stone commands.

[continued on next page]

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