It's 1400 on 1 Feb 1990, and the CLA's 1st Airborne Battalion, which dropped into Cuba early this morning, is hard pressed. Having fought two battles already (#3 to seize a bridge, and #11 to fight off a counterattack) it finds itself occupied by the enemy's 3rd Infantry Battalion, which is now surging forces south to outflank the paratroopers' lines. Captain Olejandro, acting Battalion Commander for 1st Airborne Battalion (Colonel Lucastro, decorated for valor during the bridge seizure, was seriously wounded in close combat during the enemy counterattack) puts out a call for help.
Having come ashore at Playa Colorada only minutes prior, Colonel Estevante of the 4th Infantry Battalion, responds. He immediately provides a Warning Order to Captain Bronchovio, Commanding Officer of the 1st Air Assault Company: stand by to conduct a helo insertion into a hot LZ to counter enemy mechanized forces skirting 1st Airborne Battalion's southern flank. Captain Bronchovio quickly briefs his men, who gather their equipment, break into their sticks, and mount their flying taxis...
1) B Squadron SOF destroyed a radar site in support of amphibious landings at Playa Colorada (5). B Sqdn then egressed and linked up with CLA rotary wing assets for their follow-on mission in Havana (6).
2) C Squadron SOF destroyed a the Cuban military's communications center.
3) 1st Para Battalion dropped in and seized a bridge to screen the landings at Playa Colorada (5).
4) 2nd Para battalion dropped in and eliminated a Castro-regime garrison to screen the landings at the Bay of Pigs (just west of (4).
5) 1st Marine Company, 3rd Infantry Battalion, made an amphibious assault at Playa Colorada.
6) A Squadron SOF attacked a Castro-regime SAM site near Havana, which failed to clear the way for B Squadron's helo assault into Havana.
7) 2nd Marine Company, 6th Infantry Battalion, landed at the Bay of Pigs then turned east and ran into a strong enemy force, which it handily defeated.
8) B Company of the UWG pursued and destroyed an enemy garrison in the Escambray Mountains.
9) B Squadron SOF conducted an aerial insertion into Havana to seize a radio station and broadcast news of the invasion.
10) 10th Popular Force Battalion seized and destroyed the Pedroso bridge to protect the Bay of Pigs landing site from the Matanzas garrison.
11) 1st Airborne Infantry Battalion successfully fought off a regime counterattack near the bridge at Sandino, protecting the western (Playa Colorada) landing site from the Pinar del Rio garrison.
12) 6th Infantry Battalion fought through an enemy ambush while pushing inland from the Bay of Pigs landing site.
13) 8th Popular Force Battalion ambushed a mechanized column of the enemy 2nd Armored Battalion, just west of Havana.
14) 2nd Airborne Battalion engaged enemy armored forces of the 6th Armored Battalion in the village of El Rincon, en route to the Bay of Pigs landing site.
15) 4th Infantry Battalion's 1st Air Assault Company conducts an air assault southeast of Sandino to counter enemy mechanized forces of 3rd Infantry Battalion (forcing 1st Airborne Battalion's right flank).
Commander, 1st Air Assault Co, 4th Inf Bn: Captain Bronchovio, leading the air assault to counter the enemy threat to 1st Airborne Battalion's right flank.
The CLA force, with a Command Stand, seven rifle stands, a TOW ATGM, and a single leader figure representing...
4th Infantry Battalion, Commanding Officer: Colonel Cledado Estavante.
In any case, time for some payback.
Under this covering fire, the TOW team decides to displace (bottom center, from building at right). They forced the BTR in the east to fall back, and there's not a great opportunity to get that vehicle back in the fight, so the TOW is looking to get into position to go after the Panhard and BTR in the west.
Colonel Estevante takes a good look around, sizes up the situation, and doesn't like what he sees. "What is it Colonel?" "It's a cluster@#$%. Time to improvise, adapt, and overcome." ;)
Whew, another ridiculous fight! Again the back and forth was exhausting, though I'm a bit ambivalent about Colonel Estevante's success. On the one hand, the situation has to be just right: a string of enemy troops/vehicles that are withing about 6 inches of each other and are all either 'men down' or 'hunkering.' On the other hand, I like winning ;) But on the third hand, it's kind of strange that this has happened in back to back fights, and I'm starting to worry that I'm playing the close combat modifiers wrong as it shouldn't be easy to march off four or five straight wins in close combat. I'll take a look.
Regarding the employment of the enemy armored vehicles, these close quarters are simply not best suited to their strengths, but please recall the regime's plan was not to use them here. The enemy was mounted up, rolling down the highway into the rear area of 1st Airborne Battalion, when 1st Air Assault Company helo'ed in to start the fight. In any case, the enemy vehicles in the southwest pretty much totally whiffed on Teams 3 and 4 with their first round of fire, then finally put them out with their second; the point being, they should have been able to take care of those teams with one round of fire, then turn their attention to the CLA's center. But the TOW did miss two different shots, though the enemy was unable to rally their vehicles (the first because it was so far away from the rest of the force when it fell back to the northeast, and the second because it ended up falling back well away from everyone in the southwest).
CLA: ~20 KIA/WIA
Castro forces: ~40 KIA/WIA, one knocked out BTR-60, ~15 POWs, one captured BTR-60 and one captured Panhard.
The following awards were issued:
Colonel Estevante, Commanding Officer of 4th Infantry Battalion, awarded the Medall de Honor, dubbed "El Leon de El Sandino"
Captain Bronchovio, Commander, 1st Air Assault Co, 4th Inf Bn, decorated for valor with the Estrella de Bronce
Sgt Guillardo, Team 6 of 1st Air Assault Co, 4th Inf Bn, awarded the Cruz Servicio Distinguido
Sgt Segovia, Team 2 of 1st Air Assault Co, 4th Inf Bn, decorated for valor with the Estrella de Bronce
Three more fights to get written up!