It's 0530 on 29 June 1990 and members of the Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force are on the move in the Balkan state of Cronistria, where the Fall of the Wall has led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia and democrats are fighting communists to determine the future of Cronistria. Cuba sent a small detachment of Special Operations forces to assist the Cronistrian Democratic Movement (CDM) back in April, and since that time the Cuban-backed CDM has made steady progress. Most recently, the CDM pushed into the village of Brezno, several kilometers southwest of the capital of Miran. While the assault ultimately devolved into a stalemate, the fighting proved the CDM had matured into a bona fide force capable of succeeding, and so Cuban leadership decided reinforce the CDM with conventional armored forces. A battalion-sized element consisting of two mechanized infantry companies and a tank company was dispatched to Cronistria, arriving on 20 June 1990.
Nine days later the force, now combined with the Cuban SOF and identified, by the name of its commander, as Task Force Galban, is ready to move. TF Galban is broken down into the SOF element and three mixed battlegroups, each named after its commander. Each battlegroup has a platoon of tanks (actually, wheeled armored vehicles packing a 105mm cannon), two platoons of mechanized infantry (in wheeled armored vehicles), attached heavy weapons (mortars, machine guns, and ATGMs), and reconnaissance elements (in HMMWVs and Scimitars). TF Galban is set to begin Operation Chokehold, wherein the Cubans will skirt Brezno to the northwest, semi-isolating it and Miran, allowing Brezno to be reduced by CDM troops and opening the road to taking the capital.
TF Galban plan:
North is up, the village of Brezno is at bottom right, the capital of Miran is off map to the right, directly east of #5 on the map. Each number is a village/town; you can see buildings (black boxes), roads (tan lines), rivers (blue lines), lakes (blue circles), hills (green humps), bridges (gray pairs of lines), and forests (green shaded areas). TF Galban will enter the tactical area of operations in the southwest (bottom left) corner.
In this, the opening fight of the operation, Battlegroup Aguilera is attacking the town of Kacak, in the southwest (bottom left) corner of the map. The yellow arrows on the map show TF Galban's axis of attack.
Time to fight!
Lt Aguilera begins to panic; his attack is faltering, hasn't even really gotten off the start line!
Well, that's a helluva way to start an operation! The enemy defenses proved a much tougher nut to crack than anyone expected, causing heavy casualties and pushing Battlegroup Aguilera out of Kacak. Lt Aguilera and his men fell back; he ordered the XO to re-form and reorganize the men, the Company Gunny got busy distributing ammo and refueling vehicles, and the 1st Sgt got the casualties triaged and evac'ed. Lt Aguilera went straight to the Task Force CP and reported in to Colonel Galban, who told him exactly what he expected to hear: "Lieutenant, you get your @#$% together and get back in there. You take that town, and I mean NOW, LOOTENUT!!! You are putting me behind schedule you dumb sonuva@#$%, and every second we delay is a second the enemy uses to strengthen their defenses and marshal forces for a counterattack. Now move!"
Wow, that kinda sucked. My shootin' dice continue to be cold, while the enemy was having a pretty good time. Here are the casualties:
HMMWV w/TOW ATGM, total loss
Oh, and Lt Aguilera went and found the Sergeant in charge of the Milan ATGM team, performed a summary court marshal, and administered the sentence for cowardice in the face of the enemy.
I played a total of four fights this weekend for Operation Chokehold. I figured the entire Op would be about six or eight fights, but it's looking like it will be even more than that, as I hadn't really planned on getting kicked off a map. But I don't care, I'm having a blast, feels like the old Cube Libre "War of Liberation," in which I went for 32 total fights. I figure this Op will last me another two weekends. So stand by for the next three batreps from this weekend.