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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

Koslowsky fires, and the tank rocks backward from the recoil of the powerful 120 mm cannon. Stone presses his eyes to the thermal sight and sees a burning T-62 tank.

“Target! Fire and adjust,” Stone shouts to Koslowsky.

The platoon radio frequency quickly fills with battle chatter as the American tanks blast away as fast as gunners can identify targets and loaders can load.

Stone pushes the radio transmitter switch on his tanker helmet. “Red-Leg, this is Charlie Two-One. Fire for effect, Target Alpha-Foxtrot-One-Zero-Zero!”

“Charlie Two-One, roger,” the observer replies. “Fire for effect, Alpha-Foxtrot-One-Zero-Zero. Out.”

Stone looks into the thermal sight again and observes the action at the bridge. Enemy tanks move forward and push more smoldering wreckage out of the way just as the ROK artillery explodes on Target AF100.

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The area around the bridge is engulfed in fire as high explosive shells detonate on and around the bridge. Through the tank’s thermal sight, Stone observes several direct hits on enemy tanks.

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Image Credit: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
An M-1A1 Abrams tank crew scans the area for targets during a training exercise.

“On the way!” Koslowsky shouts.

Stone soon sees another North Korean tank burst into flames. Koslowsky’s aim is excellent. The uranium depleted sabot round slices through the enemy tank like a nail gun through cardboard. As the tank explodes, pieces of burning metal are thrown into the air.

Stone feels a sense of exhilaration, of total victory. He believes he can stop the enemy. Suddenly, a bright flash erupts to his right.

Stone pops up from his hatch and sees Buckner’s tank on fire. His heart sinks, but before he can react, he sees a volley of missiles launched from the southeast and aimed at his tank.

North Korean infantrymen have moved into the woods south and north of the bridge to provide precision fire support for the North Korean attack. In an instant, Stone knows that he should have realized this would happen. He did so well in the last two battles, only to fall for this.

The last thing 2d Lieutenant Robert Stone realizes is the impact of two enemy missiles on the turret of this tank.

Stone has fought and lost. The enemy is badly mauled due to his heroic defense, but two AT-14 anti-tank missiles tore into his Abram’s turret and, despite the tank’s excellent armor, Stone was killed by the blast.

Go to here and read Course of Action Two.

[continued on next page]

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