James Rosone, Miranda Watson
This is a fictional story. All characters in this book are imagined, and any opinions that they express are simply that, fictional thoughts of literary characters. Although policies mentioned in the book may be similar to reality, they are by no means a factual representation of the news. Please enjoy this work as it is, a story to escape the part of life that can sometimes weigh us down in mundaneness or busyness.
“Battlefield Korea” picks up right where “Battlefield Ukraine” ended, so that we can learn about the fate of the U.S. forces stuck in Kiev. However, the next chapter takes a jump back in time, and begins about eighteen months prior to the start of hostilities in Ukraine. The timeline moves forward from there as the story goes on. We took this leap backward so that some of the additional back story to the conflict in Korea could be explained, and so we could focus more of each of these first two books on the battle theater after which they were named. We hope you will enjoy this second book in our Red Storm Series.
Surrounded — Nuts
Lieutenant Taylor looked at the remnants of his platoon, sprawled out in the back room of the store, trying to get some sleep. He wished he could join them. He was exhausted, but his presence had been requested by the area commander, a major from one of the 173rd Airborne units that was also trapped in Kiev. The Russians had broken through the Ukrainian and NATO defensive line and rushed units around the city in hopes of trapping the retreating forces before they could escape. Their speed and exceptional air support had allowed them to quickly get behind the retreating NATO forces; they had successfully trapped nearly a third of the Allied forces in the city. A German tank and infantry battalion was trapped in Kiev, along with part of a British armored unit, a battalion from the US 1st Armor division, a battalion of paratroopers from the 173rd, a battalion from the 82nd Airborne, and what was left of the 2nd cavalry regiment.
Lieutenant Taylor poked his head out of the door in the alleyway, doing a quick check to make sure he didn’t see or hear any Russian helicopters or aircraft, and then walked out into the alley to head to a building not far from where his platoon was sheltering. As he was ambling through alleyway, Taylor looked up and saw that a new storm was rolling in.
As he walked into the main room, he saw several soldiers talking on a couple of different radio systems to some group or another.
A captain waved to Lt. Taylor getting his attention; they were meeting in a nearby room and he wanted Taylor to join them. As he walked in, he received a warm welcome.
“Lt. Taylor, I’m glad you were able to make it. For a little while, we thought your platoon might have gotten cut off,” said Major Graham, an Airborne officer from the 173rd who was acting as their battalion commander. Nearly all of the units trapped in the city were at 50 % to 60 % strength and short on officers and experienced NCOs. Major Graham just happened to be the most senior officer in this sector of the city they were held up in, and he had assumed command of the units operating in his area. The prior evening, Lt. Taylor’s platoon had carried out a dangerous mission to blow up one of the major bridges crossing into the city. They were successful, but they had lost three more soldiers and were nearly cut off by a nearby Russian unit.
Lt. Taylor just nodded, too tired to say much. All he wanted right now was to get some sleep. He had been running on fumes since they arrived in Kiev. He didn’t know how his platoon sergeant could run on so little sleep; he had to remind himself that he was also a former Ranger. It was probably his Special Forces training that enabled him to be able to operate on so little slumber.
Turning back to the rest of the officers, Major Graham began the meeting. “OK, here is the situation. We’ve been cut off now for five days. The Russians seem to be more intent on chasing the remaining NATO forces out of Ukraine than they are on finishing us off. Our drones and the intelligence that we are receiving from the outside confirmed that several Russian divisions moved around our positions and began to move throughout the rest of the country. They are not massing for a major attack on us, at least not right now.”
The room filled with a collective sigh of relief at this news.
“This morning, General Fenzol received an offer for surrender from the Russian Commander. Well, just like General McAuliffe from the 101st told the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge, he said, ‘Nuts,’ and sent them packing.”
Everyone started laughing at that reference. During the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans had the 101st Airborne Division surrounded in Bastogne. German General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz issued General McAuliffe an ultimatum to surrender or be destroyed. The American general simply sent back a one worded reply, “Nuts.”
Returning to a serious tone again, the Major continued, “General Fenzol is working to organize a breakout. With the Russians placing so much focus on other parts of Ukraine, they have left a few points in their defensive line weak. Tonight, under the cover of darkness, the few armored vehicles and tanks we have will move towards those parts of the line and will attempt to punch a hole for us to go through. Even before that attack though, our group has been tasked with trying to infiltrate the line to see what kind of chaos we can cause. We are specifically going to look for anti-tank guns or other strong points that might cause the armor some problems.”
A British captain interrupted to ask, “So once we start this ‘chaos,’ is that when our armor attack is going to start?”
Major Graham looked at him and nodded, “Exactly. Once we start to sow our disorder and confusion, the armored units will make their move while the Russians are distracted with what’s going on behind them. If things go well, they will be able to punch a large enough hole through the enemy positions for the other units to collapse the outer perimeter and escape through the hole in the line we’ll have created.”
He sighed for a second, taking a drink of some water while everyone appeared to be hanging on to what he might say next. “I’m not going to sugarcoat this. If we are not successful, then a lot of us are probably going to die, and everyone will most likely have to surrender at some point. I, for one, would rather try and break ourselves out of this cursed city than have to surrender to the Russians.”
Major Graham could also see the long, tired looks on their faces. These men were exhausted, and he was about to demand a lot from them tonight. He knew they would need some sleep before the festivities started. “We push off for the attack around 1800, and we’ll cross into the Russian lines around 2100 hours. Right now, I want everyone to go back to your units and get some rest… just have your men moved to this location and ready to push off at 1800 hours, understood?”
The meeting broke up after a few more orders were handed down. Lt. Taylor walked back to where his platoon was sleeping and planned on joining them. However, upon approaching the alleyway door to where his platoon was sacking out in, he suddenly smelled something amazing. Then, Sergeant Childers walked up to him as he entered the room and handed him a bowl of some piping hot Borscht.
“Where did you get this?” he asked as he gratefully took the bowl and spoon being offered.
Smiling, Sergeant Childers replied, “One of the families staying above us came down with a pot full, and even brought some bowls. There is some bread over there, and some beer, if you want it.” He pointed to a table, where several of his soldiers who should have been sleeping were helping themselves to some bread. One of the soldiers held out a beer for him as he walked towards them.
“I suppose General Order Number One doesn’t really matter if you are surrounded by a division of Russian soldiers, does it?” the lieutenant said jokingly as he took the beer, lifting it to his lips and taking a long drink. Typically, US Forces are not allowed to consume alcohol in a combat zone, but being surrounded and cut off from the world did have its advantages.
As the soldiers ate their soup, bread and beer, their exhaustion returned. Many of the men who had finished eating now found a spot to curl up on the floor and quickly went to sleep. Soon, Sergeant Childers was the only person left at the table with him.
Lieutenant Taylor thought back to their conversation a couple of days ago, about why they had joined the Army. “Hey, you never did get to finish telling me why you joined the Army. I told you my story,” he said jokingly as he took another drink of his beer.
“I suppose it’s only fair. I still can’t believ ...