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

A second VTT-323 is hit; the impact of the high explosive shell spins it 90 degrees.

Watching the action unfold through his tank’s thermal sight, Stone feels that the battle has taken on an eerie, unreal character. Smoldering pieces of metal litter the ground, but more North Korean vehicles churn over the narrow bridge and push through the debris.

Suddenly, Stone sees a bright flash – the North Koreans are targeting his M-1A1s with deadly AT-14 anti-tank missiles. His platoon blasts away with everything it has, but there are just too many of the enemy.

“Gunner!” Stone yells, “ATGM team, in front of the bridge.”

“Identified!” Koslowsky shouts. “On the way!”

22_ICS_17_d_USA_2146.jpg
SPC. CHRISTINA HORNE
An M-1A1 Abrams main battle tank maneuvers over the South Korean landscape during a training exercise. Stone and his men were on just such an exercise when they were called upon to respond to the invasion.

He fires an M-830 120 mm HEAT-MP-T round at the target and the ATGM team disappears. However, other anti-tank missile teams take aim at Buckner’s position on the northeastern slope of Hill 555. Within seconds, Buckner’s tank is on fire.

{default}

Three T-62s emerge from the smoke and shoot at Stone’s tank. A 115 mm shell hits the M-1A1 on the left front of the turret. The vehicle shudders and Stone is knocked against its wall.

Undeterred and still in the gunner’s seat, Koslowsky curses as he fires at the center North Korean tank fewer than 1,000 meters away. The HEAT round smashes into the T-62, causing smoke to pour from its hatches.

Park loads another 120 mm round and announces that the gun is ready to fire. Koslowsky aims and destroys the second T-62. He nails the third one at only 500 meters away. Yet the North Koreans keep coming.

As Koslowsky engages other enemy tanks, Stone observes a group of personnel carriers move behind the burning T-62s to disgorge their infantry. He scans to the right and sees North Koreans setting up anti-tank missile launchers.

“Gunner. Coax. Troops!” Stone screams. He immediately opens his hatch and mans the .50-caliber machine gun. “Fire and adjust!” He sprays the area around the enemy infantry with the powerful half-inch diameter bullets.

Koslowsky dutifully switches from the Abrams’ main gun to the coaxially mounted machine gun, adding to Stone’s firepower.

Squads of North Koreans now roam all over the east side of the valley, like angry ants emerging from a disturbed nest. They scramble, trying to dodge the bullets from the Americans’ machine guns. Controlling the turret from his gunner’s position, Koslowsky sprays the targets with deadly fire – but there are just too many of them.

Stone realizes that engaging the full force of the enemy at the valley’s eastern entrance was a mistake; his men just can’t kill the North Koreans fast enough. However, he barely lives long enough to regret his decision. Two brilliant explosions erupt on his M-1A1 nearly simultaneously, with one of the high explosive anti-tank warheads penetrating the tank’s armor. Struggling to escape the stifling smoke and raging fire, he pulls the hatch open and gasps for air. At the same moment, machine-gun bullets slice into his torso, sending him crumpling back down into the blazing turret.

Second Lieutenant Stone has fought and died. Go to page 6 and read Course of Action Two: Defend in the West.

[continued on next page]

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *