The tungsten-alloy 3BM44M rounds are deadly steel arrows. It does not cause a big explosion when it hits, like the HEAT rounds do. They use kinetic energy to burrow into armor and kill their targets. This one finished the enemy T-72 as well.
“Kursk, beware the infantry to your front. I am Winchester rockets but I can make a cannon pass.”
“Negative, Chaika. Stand your ground. We will handle the infantry.” Sergei swiveled his scope. “Vadim, can we move?”
By way of response, Vadim cautiously engaged the gears, and rocked the T-72 forward a few feet. “We’re mobile, Sergei, but after this action we’ll need to check the right road wheels, there’s damage.”
“Okay. Move us toward that first series of trenches. Pavel, load HE and stand by.”
The T-72 also has machine guns. Sergei’s is 12.7mm, and Pavel has a 7.62mm coaxial that he can aim with his main gun. “Sergei, I see them, enemy riflemen in the trench up there, and RPGs too.”
“Weapon free, Pavel. Use the coaxial.”
Their machine guns unleashed a torrent of fire. Their tanks gone, I could see IRLF fighters from the trenches around the destroyed T-72 fleeing north, toward the advancing 210th Regiment. In the tank below me, Sergei saw that the enemy facing him was holding fast, and the machine guns did not dislodge them.
“We’ll need more persuasion. The main gun, Pavel, target infantry, range 800, weapon free.”
“Identified infantry, range 780, firing.”
The 3OF26 round is the oldest one that Sergei’s crew carries. It is their antipersonnel fragmentation round, and they also use it against soft-skinned vehicles like trucks. A shower of dirt clods greeted the arrival of the 125mm shell, an IRLF fighter’s body flying into the air like a disjointed rag doll.
“Look at that! I blew him twenty feet high at least!”
Sergei surveyed the scene. The IRLF in the forward trenches now also were running. “Let’s go, Vadim. Slowly, carefully.” He keyed his radio mike, “Chaika, what do you see?”
I surveyed the target. No IRLF were in evidence, other than those running to the north, and the approaching column was taking them in hand. From one of the taller buildings, I saw a white cloth being waved. Frantic men, waving at Sergei’s tank. More coming out of the building, jumping up and down. “Kursk, we’ve succeeded! The enemy has dispersed, and civilians are visible in the compound. Approach with caution.”
Need I say the joy with which the men of Achandara greeted Sergei as he entered their prison? Free at last, the valiant 210th Regiment came with their trucks to bring them safely home!
I flew back to Sochi, there to catch a truck heading south to meet them there. The Gumista River is close to Sochi, it is less than a fifteen minute flight. It must have been like the Liberations during the Great Patriotic War that Grandmama has told me of!
The people were so happy to have their loved ones back. And I myself brought Nicolai to Natalya and herbabushka. It is not often that I see a story such as this end so well.
And now you know where my family will have the Christmas feast! In Achandara, with the men of the 210th Regiment, and my most loved ones, and those we rescued at the power plant. I hope that your holidays will be as happy as mine.
- AMD Athlon 3000+ processor
- MachSpeed N2PAP-Lite motherboard with onboard Aureal AC97 sound
- NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT
- 1GB Kingston PC2700 DDR DRAM
- Creative 12x CD-ROM
- Maxtor 40GB main drive
- DirectX Version 9.0c
- Windows XP Home with SP2
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