Hidden Network Mystic Bratyuzhka
New to this story? Click here for the Beginning Previously on Song of the Venturing Owl Donations to my Patreon, paid for this image of the Captain drawn by this artist (A warning, they have an nsfw twitter as well, and I don't claim to have any input on what they draw. Merry Christmas. Here's an update! While you're reading, could you go vote for this story, or even other stories on the end of the year poll of best? Finale time. Afternoons I often spent in Valis company. Not because she necessarily needed it, but because most of the birds were interested in fighting and training, and the professor was perpetually busy with side projects. The three eyed siren was easy to talk to, when she wasnt in a murderous mood (which was often. “- And the Captain took one look at the great beast and declared it wasnt an ephemera of the ocean after all, just a particularly overgrown squid. ” Sev clapped his hands together, and the chef glared at him until he went back to peeling. The food was building up behind us, prepared batches of soup, smoked foods, siege supplies. Just in case. Just in case, I was trapped on an island with a ticking deadline less than a week away, and we hadnt yet even rescued the others. My hand slipped, and the chefs hand flashed out and caught the blade before I could stab my palm. He glared. I swallowed. “Whatd you do then? ” I asked, to change the subject from how delicate I was. “She rammed the ship into it, ” Vali said. “Decided it could choke on it if it wanted to, and just rammed it in until it was forced to wrap around us. The rest was easy, cannonshot and the rest of our powder made a hideous bomb, and we detonated it. ” “Any wounded? ” “Hestia had to return. She took shot to the leg, and her limp got bad enough that even with our surgeons help we had to leave her at port to find a real doctor. ” I winced. The chef sauteed for a bit, glaring down at his pan, then handed it off to Sev. Sev obediently repeated the gesture. “Wheres Jerome? ” I asked. “I think shes off doing her training. Shes very handy with a staff, ” Vali paused, a suspicious look on her face. “Why do you ask? ” She had a strange tone to her voice. “Ive been trying to piece together her signs, ” I said. “So I could know what shes saying. ” “You dont have the wings to speak it, ” Vali said, “but shes using a modified version of Siren flag language. It has letters, concepts, and names, though youre not expected to know all the names. Most every Siren knows it so they can signal when they need help from another ship. ” She closed her eyes for a moment, all three of them. “When were out of this… Ill show you the language. ” “Thats nice, ” Sev said. The Chef looked over the lot of us with no small amount of suspicion, then shrugged. “I wont question your decision, sister. ” “Good, ” Vali said. “I wasnt looking for a second opinion, anyway. ” The chef laughed. In the distance, a door opened, and Vali cocked her head to the side. “Ill be back, ” She said, then stood up, walking past the open door. After a moments thought, she closed the door to the kitchen behind her. “Whats that about? ” I asked, looking over at the chef. “Valis always been strange, ” The chef said. “Shes from the islands outside of our empire, where our colonies are. I never know what shes thinking. ” Strange how the island could create backstories. If I died- would it do the same for me? Would people come here, and see me as if I were just another part of the story? How many people here were stranded, stuck, with backstories conjured up to fit them? Would I ever knew the difference, as long as they werent beastmen? I didnt want to think about that for too long. An eternity being tortured and nearly saved, only to die before anything could happen. Sev mustve noticed my discomfort and shifted from foot to foot before offering me an apple. I bit down into it. The chef slowly stiffened, cocking his head to the side, and held up a hand to get me to stop crunching. Then, with a strange look on his face, he drew the largest knife from the set on the wall and crept towards the door. And then the alarm bells went off and all hell came loose. Sirens screeched, birdlike calls, sharp and fierce enough to raise the hairs on the back of my neck, and Sev backed up until he bumped into the wall before remembering to turn off the stove. The chef crept towards the door, knife raised. Three armored boots slammed into it, clipping him across the face (his nose burst into a spray of blood and he fell to the ground. A sword came down, pointed at his throat, a silent command inherent to it, and then the others pointed at the two of us. The humans had arrived. How had they gotten past- It was dark, and they mustve- “Hands up, ” one of the men barked. “We will run you down if you dont surrender. ” I put my hands up. After a moment, Sev raised his massive arms. The chef did the same, knife tumbling limply from his fingers. “Get up, ” the same man barked, and the chef stood up. “Stay, ” they commanded, and a few soldiers flanked the door, swords still drawn. Then the column of the soldiers stepped through. They were countless in number, shining armor and swords. The chefs breath came out in sharp little ragged gasps, his hand still in the air while blood ran down his face, dappling across his feathers. Fat drops of it decorated the floor in front of him. Our eyes met. His were decorated with fat tears, and they moved from mine to the men in front of us. How did they get in? They mustve… There were many passages into the fortress. They mustve found one and made their plans to use it. The Captain wasnt here to save us. She was off stopping easy reinforcements. It was up to us, and we were already captured. Minutes passed, and my arms ached from holding them up for so long. My hands shook by the time half an hour passed, and my breath started turning ragged from nervousness and growing anxiety. Sev was in mostly the same shape. The chef on the other hand… he was only growing more and more determined. I could read it in his eyes, in the way his arms didnt move, in the way his breathing stilled and the bleeding stopped. The professor was thrown inside before I could get anywhere, and the doors slammed closed, guards on the other side. He was bloodied, his snout dripping with blood, and his eyes were unfocused, though that didnt last long as he stood up. “Just the four of us? ” “They captured us together, ” Sev said. He couldnt look anyone in the eye. I couldnt blame him. We were low, lower than ever. The professor breathed in, looked over at the chef and raised an eyebrow. The chef huffed, shaking his head, tilting an angry glare into Sevs side. “Are you alright? ” I asked him. “Alive, ” The professor replied. “Thats about all I can hope for at this point. The entire buildings overrun; they got in behind our guard. ” His eyes closed, and we counted his breaths. I put a hand on his shoulder. He almost fell to the ground, but he straightened, wiry muscles flexing against my fingertips. “Were alive, ” I said. “We are, ” he agreed. He straightened enough that I didnt feel like hed fall over if I breathed on him too hard, then started pacing back and forth across the room. “And… were not too hurt. Sev, do you think-” “I cant fight, ” Sev cut him off, his voice small. “Sev, ” The professor said, and the chefs eyes fell upon Sev as well, but he turned away from both of them to look down at me. “I cant do this Charm, ” Sev said. “I just cant. I get nauseous, I get, I get weak, alright? ” “Theres a time for that. Theres a time for restraint, ” the professor said. “Thats not now. Were going to die if were not all in this together, and youre one of his Majestys finest. ” “Thats exactly what my father said, ” Sev said. “Before he threw me out. Now, now Im not like that. Im a baker, a cook. A chef. A handyman. ” “Even a chef keeps his knives sharp, ” The siren chef said, his voice low. “I dont know where you come from, Sev, but-” The professor held up a hand, and the chef sighed, rolling his angry eyes, and went silent. “I understand, ” The professor said. “I gave up on fighting long ago. A decade, almost, to be precise. ” Sev breathed, a sharp little hiss that told me all I needed to know on how he was handling this. Listening to those three was all I needed to do to keep calm. If I didnt focus on myself, if I didnt remember how bad it was, I could keep breathing. “Whyd you stop? ” The professor shrugged. “Your captains right. I was a brute, and His Majestys army liked brutes. But when I plunged into that last ship, I shattered a work of heart wrenching beauty just inside. A chunk came down and hit me on the head. ” Sev blinked at him. “Two weeks in bed waiting for the concussion to go down, two weeks of listening to my commanding officer scream at me, and two weeks punishment duty sorting everything we stole, it made me think, ” The professor said, pacing. “And I realized I never wanted to raise a hand in anger again. ” “But, ” Sev said. “Youre still-” “He gets it, ” The chef said. “Its not about him. ” “This isnt about me, ” The professor agreed. “This is about the enemy either. This is about fighting for what I love… and the students I led astray here. ” He looked up, and then over at me. “Your Captains right. I did horrible things. But Im going to make it right, Im going to save them. ” There was resolution in his black eyes, a stiffness to his shoulders as he looked back at the door. “Are you going to join me? ” He asked, looking back at Sev. “I-” There was something in the air again, building like an electric charge, heavy, thrumming passionate, and it made my ears ache and my teeth rattle- Before it could build up enough, a man stopped outside the door. “Come, ” he barked, and when we did not move fast enough, he dragged us out with many arms and legs, armor and clicking steel. Down the hall we went. Here and there were smears of blood, and here and there were the dead, sirens and man alike. They were tossed over top of each other without regard. I didnt recognize any of the number, and I knew there were far fewer of the sirens than there ought to be. But there were many maze like passages into the earth. This was an administrative complex for a civilization that straddled dozens of islands, and the tunnels had been dug deep into the ground. I hadnt seen more than half of it. If theyd taken the top half, there was a seedier lower half to worry about. They forced us into a narrow room, a set of offices that reeked of blood and metal polish, and then we sat there in relative silence. The chefs eyes glazed with a deep heavy bloodlust, his muscles shaking, but he didnt say a word, not for more than a second. My heart flickered in my chest like a writhing snake. Nobody said a word. Another hour, and the guard relaxed. My eyes flicked over to Sev. His pupils were so wide, he was so scared that I could see myself reflected in their inky depths. I looked back at the guards, then back at Sev. He shook his head. His hands were shaking. I remembered what hed said with Thyn. He couldnt fight. He was too scared. My mouth was too dry. Vali was… I didnt know where she was. I didnt know where any of them were. But I knew full well that if we stayed where I was, they wouldnt make the mistake of taking me prisoner a second time. Not this time, certainly. I shook my head a few times. An hour passed, and the room smelled like blood and nervous sweat and unpreened feathers. Rank and heavy, misery and nausea. A man walked over to the door. There was conversation, drowned out by the throbbing of my heart in my head. I could remember the darkness, and I could remember the man standing over top of me, demanding that I scream for mercy. Then he pointed at me. All the blood in my body rushed into my heart and I felt it like a sledgehammer beating at the delicate bones of my ribcage. It felt like a boulder. “Get the kid. The Commander wants a word with him. ” My eyes flicked over to Sevs eyes, then back to the chefs. Sev wouldnt meet my eyes. The chef had an expression that mightve been pity on another creatures face. He reached out and gently squeezed my fingers, like he did when he adjusted my grip on knives, and patted me on the back with a wing. Then I stepped forward to join the guards. Remember to comment! Want to be notified through discord? Click here! My zubreddit, if you want to read more of my work. Next.
Soldiers Sortie 士兵突击 Genre Military drama Created by Huayi Brothers Media Group (华谊兄弟电视娱乐有限公司) Written by Lan Xiaolong (兰晓龙) Directed by Kang Honglei (康红雷) Starring Wang Baoqiang Country of origin China Original language(s) Mandarin No. of episodes 28 Production Producer(s) Zhang Qian (张谦) as chief producer Wu Yi (吴毅) Running time 50 minutes (approx. Release Original network Xi'an TV (西安电视台) Original release December 24, 2006 Soldiers Sortie ( simplified Chinese: 士兵突击; traditional Chinese: 士兵突擊) is a 2007 Chinese TV drama based on a novel by Lan Xiaolong. It was co-produced by the 8-1 Film Studio, Chengdu Military Region Television Arts Center, Huayi Brothers Film Investment Co. Ltd., and Yunnan TV Station. The production cast includes Kang Honglei as director, Wu Yi as producer, Qian Zhang as chief producer, and Lan Xiaolong as script writer. Cast [ edit] Wang Baoqiang (王宝强) as Private, later NCO (Class 1) Xu Sanduo (许三多) A shy village boy, nicknamed to fellow villages as "Idiot the Third" due to his avoidant and introverted personality. He was forced to quit school (despite being a model student) and drafted into People's Liberation Army by his alcoholic and bad-tempered father, who considered him "turtlish" and hoped that military life would toughen him up. After boot camp, he was assigned to the remote 5th Squad of the "Red" 3rd Company (known notoriously as "commanders' tomb, dunces' heaven" due to the extreme slack culture there) because of his very poor performance in boot camp. At 5th Squad, he irritated everyone with his dedication to duty. Slowly, however, he was appreciated by his squadmates who eventually changed their ways, led by the squad leader Lao Ma. Sanduo was later reassigned to the 3rd Squad of the famed "Steel" 7th Company" an elite scout company of mechanized infantry, where he was generally perceived as the greatest liability to the company. But through encouragement by his squad leader Shi Jin and his own determination and effort, he made a lot of progress and was accepted by the company as one of their own. After the split of the "Steel" 7th Company, Sanduo was later drafted into the ultra-elite special operations "Unit A" eventually became a core member of the elite force. Chen Sicheng (陈思成) as Private, later NCO (Class 1) Cheng Cai (成才) A boy who came from the same village as Sanduo, he was a childhood bully but a very talented soldier. He joined the army with Sanduo and went to the Third Squad of the famed Steel Seventh Company (a squad renowned as the long-term performance champion) immediately after boot camp, where he was trained into an excellent marksman. Cunning, ambitious and eager for promotion, he arranged for his own transfer from the 7th Company in the hope that he could show off better as an elite somewhere else, earning the disgust from the entire 7th Company as a traitor. Ironically he was assigned to be the leader of 5th Squad of 3rd Company (Sanduo's old squad known for being a delinquent's heaven) much to his own chagrin. He was later invited to the drafting for the "Unit A" special ops with Sanduo, but was rejected despite being the best performer because of his lack of commitment to his comrades. He went back to 5th Squad alone in disgrace, and spent the next year cleansing his own soul. He was later recommended by Captain Gao and went to the elite force again, eventually earning the appreciation of Lieutenant Colonel Yuan Lang, the commander of Unit A and was allowed to stay. Xing Jiadong (邢佳栋) as NCO (Class 2, later Class 3) Wu Liu-yi (伍六一) The deputy squad leader of the 3rd Squad, the renowned best performer of the Company. He was unfriendly and untrusting to Sanduo at beginning due to the latter's extreme clumsiness in boot camp (he was the impatient, frustrated drill officer) but accepted Sanduo when Sanduo proved his abilities. He participated in the elite force selection contest along with Sanduo and Cheng Cai but forfeited after a bad leg injury caused him to become a liability for Sanduo, who insisted to carry him on the back. He released himself from the army after the contest. Zhang Yi (张译) as NCO (Class 3) Shi Jin (史今) The commander of the 3rd squad. He was the recruiter who drafted Sanduo into the boot camp after getting drunk and unable to tolerate the domestic violence which Sanduo received from his father when the initial request was rejected. He volunteered to transfer Sanduo to his squad despite frustration from Captain Gao. He is the one who often encourage Sanduo to prove himself. Before the 7th company was disbanded, he discharged from the army due to his age and a hand injury (caused by Sanduo. Fan Lei (范雷) as NCO (Class 3) Ma (老马) The squad commander of the 5th Squad of the 3rd Company. He used to be a model commander who trained many distinguished soldiers like Shi Jin and Wu Liuyi, but deteriorated to a slacker from his disappointment after he was assigned to the 5th Squad, a remote, insignificant post on the grassland. He was surprised to see Sanduo's naivety and idealism. He "suggested" that Sanduo build a road in front of their barracks in the hope that this would wear out Sanduo's dedication. However, Sanduo surprised everyone by completing the road all by himself (sometimes enduring sabotage attempts by his fellow squad members) Lao Ma was inspired and reignited his sense of duty. He retired from the army not long after, receiving an (unexpected) honoring farewell from his former subordinates. Zhang Guoqiang (张国强) as Captain, later Major Gao Cheng (高城) A proud and demanding CO of the "Steel" 7th Company. He is the son of a high-ranking Corps CO but rejects any help from his family. However, he is clueless that much of his fame and achievements owes at least partially to his father's influence. He despises Sanduo as the "surrenderer" due to an incident at the boot camp) and wanted to kick him out from the very beginning but did not do so at Shi's request. After the company split, he had a tough time accepting the reality, but he eventually accepted Sanduo after the latter remained more dedicated to the duty than he ever does. He was later transferred to the reconnaissance battalion in the same division as deputy commander and was promoted to the rank of Major. He later helped to cure Sanduo's depression from the drug-bust incident. He was the primary opponent of "Unit A" in the final war game. Duan Yihong (段奕宏) as Lieutenant Colonel Yuan, Lang (袁朗) Leader of the "Unit A" special ops. During the first battle simulation, Yuan's detachment (serving as the aggressor) dealt significant casualties to 7th Company, with himself single-handedly taking out several of 7th Company's top troopers, including Cheng Cai. However, upon withdrawal he was pursued and captured by Sanduo due to the latter's dogged determination. Impressed, Yuan personally invited Sanduo twice to join his unit, eventually convincing him to participate in a selection contest. He was seen as having an exceptional appreciation of Sanduo's qualities, and supported Sanduo through his period of personal and family difficulties. He fired Cheng Cai from the final round of Unit A's selection process because of the lack of teamwork spirit, but eventually accepted Cheng Cai after the latter changed his personal traits. Li Chen (李晨) as Lieutenant Commander Wu, Zhe (吴哲) A fellow "Unit A" recruit, he is one of Xu Sanduo's best friends in the detachment. Wu is a distinguished marine officer, graduated with honours from college, and holds double bachelor degrees in military philosophy and language and a master degree in Optoelectronics. Wu, along with an arrogant elite paratrooper named Tuo Yonggang, share the same living quarter with Sanduo and Cheng Cai during Unit A's drill camp. Though he is the highest-ranking officer after Yuan Lang, he is very easy-going and befriends almost everybody. Silently enduring the intentional abuse of trainers from the Unit A, he openly trashed Yuan Lang's training strategy during Unit A's final selection panel assessment, and he threatened to file a misconduct report to the Chief Headquarters. However, Yuan saw the strength in his devotion to his team mates, and thus still offered Wu a spot in his unit and welcomed his challenge. During the final war simulation with Gao's men, Wu is a valuable member of Yuan's 4-man squad (Yuan, Wu, Sanduo, and Cheng Cai) and is in charge of hacking/ information warfare. Gao Feng (高峰) as Captain, Qi, Huan (齐桓) A member of "Unit A" and the trainer for the entry training. He was involved in the entry exercise for Unit A and later the training process (where he was in charge of deducting points from recruits as well as keeping order. He is nicknamed "the cleaver. coffin nail" in the book) due to his cold manner, attitude, and voice (often scolding the new recruits as "stinky pumpkins. as well as his "point-book" when all 100 points of a trainee are deducted, that candidate is eliminated from the training process. After the first major exercise which he, two other members from the Unit A, and Sanduo took part, his cold attitude and manner disappeared (as it was a façade to provoke the candidates into pushing themselves) and befriended Wu and Xu Sanduo as a fellow team member, and volunteer to share a living quarter with him. Li Bo (李博) as Private Gan Xiaoning (甘小宁) A soldier of the 7th Company and a friend of Sanduo, he entered the Selection exercise for Unit A but forfeited by a suicidal attack at the "enemy" because he could not bear his hunger. Zuo Tengyun (左腾云) as Private Bai Tiejun (白铁军) A soldier of the 7th Company, he is one of the playful members of the Company and frequently made humorous jokes. He left the army prior to the splitting up of the Company. Li Liang (李梁) as Private Ma Xiaoshuai (马小帅) A relatively new squad member of the 7th Company, he had joined the 7th Company few weeks before it was disbanded. He joined the selection process for the Unit A, but he forfeited despite being given a chance to carry on due to his strong adherence to the rules. Plot [ edit] In the beginning, Xu Sanduo was a shy village boy. He used to be bullied by almost everyone in his small village. Sanduo's father was disappointed at him for being weak and made Sanduo through cursing and beating. One day, Shi Jin, a Non-Commissioned Officer from the People's Liberation Army, appeared in Sanduo's village as a recruiting officer. Under the sincere request by Sanduo's father, Shi Jin accepted Sanduo to give him a chance to change. Shi Jin also recruited Cheng Cai, so Xu Sanduo and Cheng Cai went to the boot camp together. In the boot camp, Sanduo's performance was terrible and he was immature. Sanduo's poor performance made his squad become the worst one in the boot camp. Captain Gao, the commanding officer of the 7th Company of Regiment 702 and the course officer of the boot camp, did not like Sanduo. Also, NCO Wu Liuyi, an elite soldier and the second in command of Sanduo's squad, tried his best to train Sanduo but ended in disappointment. Sanduo and Cheng Cai became friends in the boot camp even though Cheng Cai used to bully Sanduo back in the village they were from. Sanduo completed his training in the boot camp and was dispatched to the 5th Squad of the 3rd Company of Regiment 702, a squad stationed at a desolate fuel outpost. Although Shi Jin, the recruiter, attempted to take Sanduo to his own squad, but was disapproved by Capt. Gao. Cheng Cai, the other boy who was enlisted together with Sanduo, was sent to the 7th Company (as known as "the Steel 7th Company" due to its highly decorated history. That was because the boot camp's course officer, Gao, appointed few top trainees for his own company, and Cheng Cai was one of them. The base of the 5th Squad was located on a remote grassland, so the members (including their squad leader, NCO Ma) felt that they were a "forsaken team" and lost their discipline. They felt uncomfortable when Sanduo kept maintaining his discipline that he had learned from the boot camp. Sanduo kept his routine physical exercises and drills even there was no supervision in the desolated 5th Squad. The soldiers of the 5th Squad wanted Sanduo to be out of their sight and told him to do anything he wanted but not to bother them. Ma gave Sanduo an idea of building a pathway between the barrack and the post of the 5th Squad, where there were no pedestrian roads. Sanduo's effort initially looked funny to the other soldiers, but later they were all moved by Sanduo's attitude, energy, and persistence. They eventually joined in the building of the roads with rocks and made a red star in the intersection. Their effort was spotted by a military helicopter and caught some attention from the headquarters of Regiment 702. One day, Zhang, a military journalist from Regiment 702, was sent to interview the 5th Squad. Ma told Zhang the story about Sanduo, and Zhang told the Commanding Officer of Regiment 702 Sanduo's story when he went back to the headquarters. The Regiment's CO, Colonel Wang, was surprised at the story and arranged a meeting with Sanduo. Col. Wang asked Sanduo to talk about himself, but Sanduo was nervous and speechless. In the colonel's office, a Type 90 armoured personnel carrier model caught Sanduo's eyes. Wang noticed that and told Sanduo that he would give him the APC model if Sanduo did something meaningful. Also, the regiment leader decided to send Sanduo to the motorized infantry company - Steel 7th Company. Gao refused to accept Sanduo to his company, but Shi Jin, who recruited Sanduo to the boot camp, convinced Gao to give Sanduo a chance. Finally, Gao agreed reluctantly. During their training, Sanduo felt motion sickness when he and his teammates were riding on a real APC. It made Captain Gao outraged, so Sanduo tried hard to overcome this weakness until Gao recognized Sanduo's efforts. A newly founded SOF unit, A-Unit, participated in a military exercise with Regiment 702 as the opposing force. During the battle, Cheng Cai showed his talent in marksmanship. Also, Sanduo captured Lieutenant Colonel Yuan, the leader of "Unit A. Sanduo could not have done so without the exercises he had on his own. After that exercise, Cheng Cai thought that there were too many competitors in the 7th Company and decided to be transferred to the 3rd Company for easier chance of promotion. His decision and action shocked the squad and hurt Gao who always liked him. Unfortunately, after over a year with Sanduo in his squad, Shi Jin, now a Class 3 NCO, had to be released because the duration of his contract of service had exceeded that in the regulations of PLA. Moreover, his degradation of performance was another reason for his discharge. Shi was honourably discharged from the army. Sanduo did not want letting Shi go. Shi's right-hand man and best friend, Liu-yi, felt that Sanduo occupied too much time of Shi Jin in the training and caused his discharge. Liu-yi became more hostile toward Sanduo. Gao wanted Sanduo to learn more and grow up, so he made Sanduo to take Shi's place. Sanduo became the acting squad leader of the 3rd Squad, although his rank didn't change. The entire PLA was undergoing a reform for the new era of warfare in order to improve combat efficiency. The entire Regiment 702 was ordered to be set as an example to the rest of the T-Division. The 7th Company had all the best soldiers in the Regiment 702 (which had caused an uneven distribution of force as a whole) so they were ordered to be reorganised, which means to give up their resources, to re-dispatch their personnel, and to disband. All of men in the company were dispatched to other units; however, Sanduo and Gao had to stay and guard their empty barrack and equipment. Gao was heartbroken when the last platoon of the 7th Company left. Sanduo kept the barrack clean and continued training by himself as he did in the 5th Squad of 3rd Company. Day by day, Gao was moved by Sanduo's positive attitude and tenacity because he had always looked down upon San-duo before. Sanduo and Gao were chosen to stay for special reasons. One day, an order from the high-up was sent to Col. Wang to promote Gao as the Division Recon Battalion Second In Command. Gao was then promoted to the rank of Major. Before Gao moved to his new position, he confessed to Wang that he underestimated Sanduo and said. Sanduo) takes everything as a lifesaver, things that everybody else ignores and things that are as minuscule as grass. He is now grown up. I now realize that whatever he grasped wasn't grass, but a tree as high as the sky. He proposed to take Sanduo with him, but Wang did not approve. Gao accepted Sanduo as one of his most trusted soldiers. Liu-yi (the best of the former Steel 7 Company and most respected man by Gao) was asked to visit Sanduo by Gao's demand because Sanduo is the only one who was left behind to guard the empty barracks of the 7th company. Liu-yi found that Sanduo was confused about his future. Sanduo told Liu-yi that the human resources department told him that he will be promoted to NCO if he extend his service contract, but his father asked him to go home. He was unable to make the decision. Liu-yi helped Sanduo to find out what he wants. Then, Liu-yi helped him to tell his father that it was better to let him stay in the army. Sanduo was promoted to Class 1 NCO for extend his service period in the army. One day, a colonel, the CO of A-Unit, came to Col. Wang's office and wanted to pick some soldiers through a screening process. Gao came, too and saw that Liu-yi wasn't in the best condition. Sanduo told Gao that Liu-yi's back pain was bothering him, so Gao gave Liu-yi a bottle of medicine to relief his back pain. When Sanduo went back to his room during a break, he was sneaked and jumped by a man he knew - Lieutenant Colonel Yuan Lang. He told Sanduo that his team is looking for new members. Yuan invited Sanduo to participate the test that Unit A set up, he claimed that he only wants the first three of the candidates from the contest. There a lot of soldiers eager to participate the contest. The contest was conduct by both Yuan's men from the Unit A and Gao's men from reconnaissance battalion. During the contest, Sanduo teamed up with Cheng Cai. Many ex-members of the 7th company still regarded Cheng Cai as a betrayer, but they let Cai come with them anyway. The contest was not easy: in 72 hours, the candidates had to steal a map from a heavy fortified camp site that guarded by Yuan's men. They also had to avoid being arrest by Gao's patrols. A lot of candidates even cannot "survive" more than 10 seconds from the start due to "heavy fire" from both Yuan's and Gao's men's sniping posts, but Sanduo's team overcame the difficulties and got the map. Liu-yi injured his leg in the contest at the very last moment, so Sanduo carried him while Cheng Cai provide fire cover. They were rushing to the finish line, but Sanduo had not enough stamina to dash for finish while carrying Liu-yi. They saw a candidate reached the line, and that mean only two vacancies left. Cheng-cai began to run to the line because there are few teams in the sight and they may take the places. Liu-yi thought that it was meaningless to carry him to the finish line and forced himself to quit because he didn't want Sanduo to carry him while other competitors were catching up. San-duo left Liuyi to Yuan's medics to reach the line after Cheng Cai. At the end of the contest, Sanduo, Cheng Cai, and the third man (who did not join Unit A after the contest) were the only few candidates able to reach the finish line. Sanduo blamed Cheng Cai for abandoning Liu-yi in the last moment. Although from 7th-company, Cheng Cai did not follow the creed. Never Abandon, Never Give Up" 不抛弃，不放弃. They later visited Liuyi in the hospital and overheard that Liuyi's leg won't fully recover. Sanduo and Cai followed Yuan to the Unit A. Just before their departure, Wang gave Sanduo his APC model which caught Sanduo's eye during their meeting two years ago. When they arrived at the base of the Unit A, they are surprised all of the members are officers because they were the only two members with NCO's rank. In the first day, they met fellow trainees and also their roommates Wu Zhe, a young Lieutenant Commander from the Navy, and a paratrooper named Tuo Yong-Gang. They became friends on the first day. The trainees were called by their numbers instead of names. Xu Sanduo was the last one - 42. The selection process wasn't easy, and there were some candidates failing everyday. Tuo Yong-Gang was the first out because he challenged Yuan at the firing range and lost on the bet where Yuan scored a 25/25 whereas the candidates only got 3 or 4 out of 25. Yuan cannot accepted a man with hot temper in his team. There were only 8 or 9 out of 42 made through the 3-month training, both Xu Sanduo and Cheng Cai were among them. Although Yuan told the remaining candidates that they were accepted as a member of the Unit A, there was a final test ahead, but no one knew about it. One day, Yuan told them to get ready to deploy into a chemical factory to eliminate a group of terrorists who claimed to have weapons of mass destruction. The deployment became chaos and the candidates' team members were out of contact. All candidates believed that they were in a real situation. Sanduo showed amazing abilities by sneaking into the location where the "weapons of mass destruction" were and "destroyed" it after he "lost" all of his teammates. Wu Zhe saw some evidences showing that the operation wasn't real, but he still participated in it until he was "killed. In other hands, Cheng Cai, the best trainee, gave up right after he thought his teammates were "died. During evaluation, Yuan gave a heart-pound talk to Cheng Cai and revealing that Cai treats everyone else as his competitor and getting ahead was his only focus in life. Cai failed to recall the creed from "Steel" 7th Company when asked by Yuan Lang, and Cheng Cai was convinced that he had treated everyone in a "cold" way ever since enlisting. Yuan said, To you (Cai) the 'Steel' 7th company is nothing more than a stop, you will move on when you find a better place if you later find another better stop, then the Unit A will be just another stop of yours. We can't go with comrades like you to the battlefield. Cai was dismissed and sent back to the 5th Squad of the 3rd Company of Regiment 702. Sanduo knew that Cheng Cai loves sniping, but there was no sniper rifle issue for the 5th squad, so Sanduo bought a sniper rifle scope and gave it to Cheng Cai as a farewell gift. The training with the Unit A continued day by day. During an ambush against armed drug-smuggling groups, Sanduo killed a female drug smuggler. Sanduo felt guilty of it, and he could carry on his morale after returning to base. After hearing that Sanduo wanted to go back home, Yuan gave Sanduo a 30-day vacation to explore the world outside the forces before making the final decision. Yuan let Sanduo to have his own way to cure his inside pain. Sanduo left his barrack and went to the cities. He changed clothes and tried to act as a normal civilian but he still caught the attention from people passing by. Sanduo realized that he is somewhat different from the people outside no matter how he acted, so he gave up, put back on his uniform, and went to his previous unit, Regiment 702, to visit his former comrades. Unfortunately, all his friends were transferred. (He didn't know that most of the ex-7th Company members were transferred and became Gao's men. ) Sanduo met the newly promoted Maj, the former Politruk of the 3rd Company. Sanduo later learned that Liu-yi was discharged after Sanduo and Cheng Cai went to the Unit A. The CO of the 1st Company, his neighbour, handed Sanduo a letter from Liu-yi while they were having dinner together. Although Sanduo didn't talk much about his trauma after killing the smuggler. He soon realized that Sanduo needed to see someone to help him. He called Sanduo's former superior, Gao, possibly the only one able to talk him out of stress. Gao sent two ex-roommates of Sanduo to bring him over. Gao didn't say much when Sanduo arrived at his training site. Gao told Sanduo that they were going to make a stop at Cheng Cai's barrack for the night. Cheng Cai impressed Gao's Recon Unit after beating them in a shooting contest with the Type-81 rifle (with Sanduo's scope taped on it) whereas Gao's men used the newest QBZ-95 rifle. After that, Cheng Cai met Gao who was still disappointed with him, but the two men got themselves straightened out after Cheng Cai admitted that he was wrong for leaving the "Steel" 7th Company. Gao later shouted at Sanduo to motivate him. Sanduo was cheered up and decided to go back to A-Unit. Gao said that life is full of problems overlapped with other problems, and you can't be ready for all of them, so you might just move forward to solve them one by one along the way. When they were talking, a bad news from Sanduo's family arrived. Sanduo learned that his home had an accident when his father got into trouble with some dynamite (for mining) that exploded and injure the neighbours. Sanduo went back to his home and saw that it was destroyed. His father was sent to jail, and his brothers could not see hope to restore their home. Sanduo had to seek help from the Unit A and borrowed RMB 200, 000 from almost everyone in the base with the help of his CO Yuan Lang. Sanduo insisted on repaying his comrades with his salary over a period of 17 years although some members of the Unit A said there was no need to return the money. Cheng Cai once again joined A-Unit after being recommended by Gao, but Yuan was upset because he had not found a single thing he appreciated in Cheng Cai. Sanduo tried to persuade Yuan and told him that Cheng Cai had changed and was no longer arrogant and self-oriented as before. Yuan gave Cheng Cai a chance in the end. The story concluded in a training exercise called "Operation Silence" where Cheng Cai proved to Yuan that his is a worthy member of the Unit A after defeating Maj. Gao's team. Sanduo was happy to know that things were getting better for his friend. There are no female characters in the series. See also [ edit] People's Liberation Army QBZ-95 Type 07 My Chief and my Regiment External links [ edit] The official website of Soldiers Sortie.
World, A Soldier's Story Dispatches BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 9 - One of the enduring images of the war with Iraq was the sight of American M1A1 tanks rumbling through downtown Baghdad. But in this war there were many dramas that took place out of public view and away from the front lines. The saga of Pvt. Kelley Prewitt was one of them. Private Prewitt joined the Army last May and served in an armor support platoon, which hauls ammunition to tanks in the fight. I heard the story when I visited the Third Brigade of the Third Infantry Division, which is now headquartered in a former Iraqi petroleum institute on the outskirts of Baghdad. It was a small episode in a big war. But it reveals a lot about the nature of that war. In a conventional conflict the tanks take the fight to the enemy and supply troops operate behind the front lines. But in this war there often was no clear front line. American forces were pitted against paramilitary fighters, who often let the tanks and the Bradley fighting vehicles pass so they could attack the vulnerable logistics troops that followed them. Supply troops and even headquarters staff, who were not designated for combat, sometimes found themselves in the thick of the action. Hauling ammunition for the tanks was sometimes more dangerous than fighting in them. That certainly was the case when Private Prewitt was shot on a stretch of highway and Staff Sgt. Jimmy Ealon Harrison, an Army medic, rushed to his aid. The story begins on April 6 when the Third Brigade moved to cut off the northern approaches to Baghdad. The brigade had set up its tactical headquarters in a fenced compound that housed the institute. A convoy of four HEMMTs, large Army trucks used to haul ammunitions and fuel, was up front and the private was driving one of them. Private Prewitt, 24, of Birmingham, Ala., was trained as a tank crewman. But he was a newcomer to his unit and by the time he arrived all the tank crews were at full strength. So he was assigned instead to the seemingly safer job of driving ammunition and supplies to the tankers. As events unfolded that day, an Iraqi was moving toward the American troops apparently trying to surrender. As a precaution against suicide bombers, the Americans ordered him to lie prone on the ground. But as the Americans kept their guns trained on him they came under fire. Most of it was directed at the supply column. The Iraqis were trying to blow up the fuel and ammunition used to support the American advance. As the fire intensified, the drivers were ordered to abandon their vehicles and to take cover inside the compound. As soon as Private Prewitt got out of his truck, he was hit by a tracer round, which bored a large hole in his right thigh. He tried to keep moving, dragging himself backward from his HEMMT using the palms of his hands. The tracer rounds that hit him also struck the ammunition on his vehicle, igniting a fire and eventually an explosion. He was in the middle of a shooting gallery, severely injured and alone. Specialist Eliodoro Molina, who worked in public affairs, sought to come to his rescue but was restrained by a superior, who told him there was too much shooting and that he would become another casualty. As the bullets whizzed across the highway, Sergeant Harrison, the medic, heard somebody yelling for a medic and was alarmed to see Private Prewitt crawling in the street. I looked around. he recalled. Nobody was going to get him. The sergeant scaled the fence and headed toward the injured private. He handed his M-16 rifle to a comrade, told him to give him covering fire and then scaled the fence of the compound and headed for the injured private, first by crawling, then by sprinting. The firefight was intensifying and Private Prewitt said he felt numb. So the sergeant handed him his 9-millimeter pistol and told him to shoot any attackers. I can't see. Private Prewitt said. The soldier's pupils were dilated and he was in shock. You'll be O. K. Sergeant Harrison responded. If I tell you just squeeze the trigger. As the medic worked, three soldiers rushed forward with a stretcher: First Lt. Derrick N. Pray, a chemical officer whose job is defensive preparations against a poison gas attack; First Lt. Keith M. Eppers, an administrative officer; and Spec. Edmond S. Wesley, another medic. Specialist Molina and another soldier raced out into the street and drove away two of the HEMMTs before they blew up. Half of the supply column was saved. After Private Prewitt was carried to headquarters, a helicopter was summoned. The private's artery appeared to have been severed and he needed be to taken to a surgical team in the rear. The soldiers marked out a landing zone and waited. Eventually, the soldiers got the word that the weather at the helicopter airfield was too bad to fly, according to Army aviation officers. The news went down hard. Now, after waiting and struggling to save the private they would have to drive him to the rear. A convoy was organized and the soldiers began to take Private Prewitt back, taking fire as they moved down the same road they had just fought their way up. Private Prewitt died on route. On that day the battle was not waged by tanks or attack helicopters. The soldiers were medics and headquarters staff, the kind of officers who usually deal with supply issues, public affairs and administration. All the infantry and tanks were in combat down the road fighting. Lieutenant Pray said. There were no infantry types. Just straight S-1 type staff officers and two medics. Staff guys. We had to defend ourselves, so you go back to your instincts. he said. But it was a day that still weighs on some of the soldiers. Asked if he still thought about Private Prewitt, Sergeant Harrison said he thinks about him every day. I see him. Sergeant Harrison said. I see him crawling back. I see him there by himself. I see him looking up at me for relief. I see him all the time. I did not know that much about him. I never lost anybody until then. FEEDBACK: Michael R. Gordon welcomes your comments about the Dispatches column.
New? Start here! “So I heard Liarans are all part dwarf, ” Freddy shared as the party marched. “Just miners and earth mages. ” Sarah scoffed. “Did Brian sell you that horse-shit? ” “I—maybe? Is it another one of his tales? ” “Sounds like it, ” Declan said. “The Dwarves all disappeared underground before humans even existed. I have a hard time believing were similar enough to produce offspring at all. ” Were it not for the inexorable march of the army around them, the mages mightve stopped and stared at the comment. Instead, they just stared. “What? I told you about the Fae historian didnt I? ” “Yeah, ” Sarah said, “that doesnt make it any weirder. ” “Im still reeling from Brians face when you told him about that, ” Jess laughed. “Looked like he was about to throttle you for those stories. ” The medic was not among them at the moment—the organized marched forced him to remain with the healer corps. “Im sorry, did you say Fae? ” Shit, Declan cursed, Miranda. After considering for a moment, he decided to share the tale with the new member. Hed already chosen to trust her. He spoke in hushed tones, stepping closer to the blonde to keep the conversation away from neighboring soldiers. “My, you are an interesting one, ” she remarked at the end. “Im glad I joined up. Ill want to see this to the end. ” The comment was uncomfortably foreboding to Declans ear, but the feeling passed when Freddys voice called out: “is that Pluctin? ” Craning his neck to peek over the soldiers in front of him, Declan spotted the earthen fortification in the distance. Already the front of the column was arriving at the outpost. The march ground to a halt as the garrison ahead filled. The soldiers waited patiently, breaking formation to mill about while squads of earth mages expanded the walls to fit the new arrivals. It wouldnt do to camp without defenses this close to the enemy. A flash of violet pulled at Declans attention, and he turned to see Miranda channeling a scrying spell. He supposed hed get a closer look at the construction too if he knew how. The sound of music wafting down the column inspired Declan to pull out his own instrument and practice a few tunes. If nothing else, the lute was an incredible tool for passing time. Nearly two hours later, the column again began to move. When Declans team stepped into ‘Camp Pluctin, an administrator directed them to the very center of the outpost. Upon arrival, they found their tents already setup. Another perk of lodging close to the General. The first thing Declan did was offer to rearrange the cots to distribute the sleeping arrangements. Having his own tent while the four soldiers under him shared one didnt sit right with the mage, but Miranda promptly vetoed his plan. “As much as Id love more room, the General has you set up here for a reason. Its important you keep up the appearance of being ‘special. ” Declan stared at the girl. “Ive watched a lot of strategy meetings, ” Miranda explained. “Youd be surprised how much time they spend squabbling over who sleeps where. ” Declan looked around, finding shrugs from his other soldiers. “Alright, guess well keep it as is then. ” With a nod, Sarah turned and led the others into one tent while Declan stepped into the other. The lodging was an exact mirror of the one hed had at Camp Zaste. He whistled at how quickly the military mages had transported everything from his old tent, and how accurately theyd recreated the exact positions of everything hed left there. Unpacking the supplies hed carried, Declan noticed a slip of paper upon his desk. Come see me. 20th bell. —FC The order left him a few hours to rest up and eat dinner, so Declan elected to do exactly that. Removing his boots and armor, he reclined on the plush bed to relax after the long march. A few hours later, he stood before Lord Croveus in the mans well-decorated tent. “I have a job for you, ” the General said. He forewent pleasantries, small talk, and greetings to jump directly into his orders. “Think of it as a test run. Something easy to remind your troops what action is like. Im putting you on patrol. ” Patrol? Seriously? Declan refrained from voicing his surprise. So much for ‘the appearance of being special. “Liaran scouts like to hide in the brush and fen, ” he gestured to the map on his table, “your job is to comb through the northeast quadrant and take out any hostiles you come across. You leave at 2nd bell. Dismissed. ” Declan almost protested. He almost complained about the miserable task wading through the marsh in the middle of the night searching for sleeping Liarans. He almost asked if the task was a punishment for some unknown offense. Almost. Instead he simply saluted, uttered a polite “yes, sir, ” and left. He had a bit under six hours to notify the others and get as much sleep as possible before his first official mission. The water chilled Declan to his bones. It wasnt necessarily cold out. The late summer night was downright pleasant, but the chill of the mud into which his boots sank with every step somehow managed to climb up his legs to his core. He shivered. Theyd been wading through the chest-deep marsh for an hour now. The cloudy night paired with the grass and fronds which sprouted from the fen made vision past a dozen feet nigh impossible. Already Declan depended on Mirandas guidance. At regular intervals, the violet mage ducked beneath the water to mask the light and cast a detection spell. Theyd discovered nothing so far, but without her aid Declan was certain theyd find their first scout by stepping on him. Progress was slow. The general had given them an area to search, not a return time. At least, Declan figured, any hostiles trying to escape cant move any faster than we are. The thought brought little comfort in the face of the fact itd take at least another three hours to get back to camp. They traveled in silence. Declan took the lead, flanked by Sarah and Jess. Miranda stood in the center, with Freddy at the rear. The formation had been Sarahs idea; Declan elected to allow the lightning mage to direct the troop however she wanted. For all his magical expertise, the girl had far more military experience than he. Declans heart froze when Mirandas hand gently tapped his shoulder. “Three hostiles in the brush ahead, ” she whispered into his ear. With a nod, Declan cast a quiet Message—shifted to two thousand Bouls for stealth. He whispered into the spell to alert the others. Following Mirandas gesture, Declan extended his hand and cast his first spell. The shift-delayed Living Grasp passed silently through several ferns before reaching the hiding Liarans. By the time they knew what had happened, they were each gagged and tied in bindings of wound grass. Declan had nearly reached the captured scouts when a thin beam of lightning arced pierced the dark night. One by one, the Liarans collapsed. Declan opened his mouth to quietly yell at Sarah for attacking captured mages when the girl preemptively explained. “Theyre unconscious. Cant risk one of the fuckers managing a cast while we cart them back. ” Her logic was sound. As they gathered up the three Liaran mages, Declan couldnt help but wonder at their situation. Sarah was clearly a more experienced, better leader than he, but for magical prowess alone hed been placed in charge. He resolved to let the girl take more of the lead, or at least pay close attention to her advice. Then again, if he was technically in charge, there was nobody to stop him ceding control to Sarah when they were away from his fathers watchful eye. Taking initiative, Jess and Freddy waded forward, each grabbing one of the unconscious Liarans. Declan followed, getting his first good look at their enemy. They scouts were short. By Declans reckoning, not a one could be taller than five foot four. He could see from whence the rumors of Dwarven heritage arose. They wore dark brown uniforms, ideal for hiding in the mud of the Pluctin Marsh. Pale skin evaded notice under a smeared layer of that very mud. Declan imitated Freddy, grasping the remaining captive by the wrists and hoisting him onto his back. Immediately he careened forward, falling face first into the murky water. Heart pounding, he righted himself, wiped mud away from his eyes, and hastily scanned the surroundings. It took Mirandas nod confirming the absence of further hostiles to reassure him the splash hadnt alerted another party of Liarans. While he frantically searched for threats, Sarah had the wherewithal to turn the captives face out of the water. Once shed stopped him from accidentally drowning, she heaved the Liaran onto her back and again set out. Declan made a note to work on his carrying technique. That or his upper body strength. He blushed. So much for the strong and skilled leader, he thought. So far the others had done pretty much everything for him. For all the effort it took to haul the captured mages back to camp, Declans decision to keep them alive did allow the squad to return to camp a few hours early. None could fault them for returning with valuable captives. When the party arrived, Sarah again took charge, leading them through the dark camp to an unmarked tent near the center. A guard stood outside. “Evening, Mark, ” she greeted. “Whatd you do to get this shitstick of a post? ” Capable leader or not, the girl still had the mouth of a sailor. “Slept through an inspection, now I get to play guard dog all night. ” “Well weve got some more for you. ” “Great, ” he said, stepping aside to allow them through, “step into my parlor. ” The prisoner tent was dark. Declan didnt get a good look at the mages within as the guard pushed a ledger into his hands. Reading through, he entered his name, rank, and a few details of the scouts capture. Looking up, he watched Jess and Freddy bind the prisoners with inscribed chains, similar to the ones hed worn at the Vestriam Tribunal. No doubt theyd be more effective here than on him. “Alright, ” Mark said, “thats all I need from you. Id say go get cleaned up but we all know theres no escaping the muck. ” “Such is life in the marsh, ” Sarah answered, “forever covered in shit. ” Declan politely thanked the man, and the party adjourned to their tents. He cleaned his muddy uniform as best he could, changed into a dry set, and settled in to sleep through what little remained of the night. “You let Sarah knock them out? ” Brians volume drew a number of looks from the occupied beds. The healer lowered his voice, “that kind of electricity can wreak all sorts of havoc on the nervous system. I wouldnt be surprised if half of them turned up paralyzed. ” Declan blanched. “How would youve done it? I didnt want to just kill them. ” Brian stepped away from the patient to which hed been administering, speaking in hushed tones directly to Declan. “Elementally the safest would probably be air. Cut off the air supply just long enough for them to pass out, but that doesnt last long, and its really easy to accidentally do brain damage or flat out kill them. There are herbs you can use, but youd need them to willingly breath in a smoke or swallow a capsule. ” “Ive experienced that one, ” Declan thought back to the healer at Belstead and the smoke hed used. “Is there a spell for it? Something quick and safe? ” “I—um—yes, ” Brian turned his head to search for eavesdroppers before stepping closer to whisper. “Theres a Tier 3 healing spell for knocking patients unconscious. Some mages prefer it to the herbal methods. ” “Do you know it? Can you teach me? If Im going to be taking captives I want to do it safely. ” “Im not good enough to cast it myself, ” Brian sighed, “but I can get you a copy of the form. Declan I really dont know if this is a good idea. You know how strict the laws are about misuse of white mana. ” “As if mine is any more humane, ” Declan said. “Get me the spell. Once Ive adjusted it, nobody will recognize it as healing magic anyway. ” “Alright, ” Brian whispered, “Ill get it for you after this shift. Have a few more hours of work to do still. ” Declan stepped away, returning to his normal volume, “Ill let you get back to it then. I ought to check in with the General anyway. See you at dinner? ” Brian muttered his assent, already turning back to his patients, and Declan exited the field hospital. Lord Croveus was not in his tent. It took Declan twenty minutes of aimless wandering around the command center to come across Carlyle, who kindly directed him to the prisoner tent. The General was already aware of the new captives. Two guards stood where Mark had the prior night. Declan figured one to be the Generals escort, but it was just as likely the extra man had been assigned to accommodate for the additional prisoners. “Ah, Special Lieutenant Declan, ” Lord Croveus said upon Declans entrance. “Now you can witness for yourself the value of the information youve earned us. ” Already one of the new captives lay face down in the dirt. The others were on their knees, bound and gagged as they stared down their captors. Two Teralian soldiers stood behind them, awaiting the Generals command. A moment later, it came: “the next one. ” One of the soldiers stepped forward, removing the cloth gag from the captives mouth. Terror clashed with defiance in the mans eyes as the General asked his first question. “How many scouting parties are there? ” Silence. “Where is the main Liaran army? ” Silence. “Well? ” The man spat. “Fuck off. ” Lord Croveus sighed, looking up to his men. “I dont have time for this. Take them to Wilhelm. ” The soldiers saluted and knelt to bring the captives to their feet, re-gagging the one in need of it. The General spoke again, “Declan, accompany them. Youll need to meet Wilhelm eventually, may as well be today. ” “Yes, sir, ” Declan rigidly replied. He did not like the sound of this ‘Wilhelm. He followed the soldiers on the short walk to another unmarked tent, into which they led the captives. Declan felt ill the moment he entered. It wasnt the bloodstained chains, or the leather straps, or the stench of death which unnerved the mage. It wasnt the wide grin on the face of the man inside, and it certainly wasnt the eerily pristine condition of his hands and clothes. What sickened Declan was the color of Wilhelms robes. Healer white. From the looks on the captives faces, they knew what was coming. Not once in Declans life had he ever done anything as fast as he left that tent. Had he eaten breakfast, he wouldve lost it the moment the screams began. Instead he sat in the mud, refusing to reenter the tent just as he refused to run away. He let the sounds of torment wash over him, accepting the remorse, the turning of his stomach, and the lesson it wrought. When Brian delivered the Anesthesia spell formula later that evening, Declan shoved it into his desk. He would have little use for the spell in the coming days. General Croveus had sent his message loud and clear, whether or not hed intended to. At the hands of the Teralians, capture was no mercy. Previous Next Discord, Patreon.
Part II of the “Nazi/ET Connection” Takes a Closer Look at the Possible Alien Agenda in World War II We reported in Part I that, strange as it might sound, the case could be made that German advanced scientific knowledge and weaponry was supplied by extraterrestrials somehow connected with a purported underground civilization in Tibet. Exactly how this information was conveyed is not clear, but some argue that the connection was established through the mediation of Karl Haushofer, and that a group of monks from that underground Tibetan city came to live in Berlin to assist with Hitlers war plans. They were, reportedly, known as the “ Society of Green Men. ” There is some evidence to suggest that this situation evolved to the point that aliens were actually working “shoulder-to-shoulder” with German scientists. Hitler envisioned a New World Order to last a thousand years. With the help of architect Albert Speer he designed grandiose buildings and monuments to accommodate his new one-world Aryan civilization, to be supported by the slave labor of the “inferior” races. However, it now seems that this reputed alliance with extraterrestrials was a marriage of convenience, since apparently they had a similar goal and, indeed, may have been using Hitler as some kind of straw man to facilitate their intended takeover of the planet. If all that is true, it puts the European war in a totally new light - just one piece in an elaborate worldwide campaign of alien design, which included the participation of Japan in order to control the seas. From this perspective, the outbreak of World War II can be viewed as a push by the extraterrestrials to impose a fascist dictatorship of the entire planet, under their control. If that is the case it appears that the planning may have begun in the early years of the 20th century, and that Hitlers rise to power was coordinated with Mussolinis in Italy and the emergence of Hideki Tojo in Japan. Such a scenario would help to explain many strange similarities between the three fascist movements, especially the militarization of the governments, and the imposition of elaborate and sophisticated propaganda machines. Propaganda, after all, is nothing more than a form of national mind control, and we suspect that the aliens are very skilled in these techniques. Cloned Storm Troopers? At the close of World War I in 1919, under the terms of the Versailles Treaty, Germany was allowed to keep only 100, 000 men in the army and 15, 000 in the navy. They were not permitted to have submarines or military aircraft. This situation remained basically stable for the next 14 years until Hitler came to power in 1933 and then, in March of 1935, instituted conscription and renewed military training in open violation of the treaty. To achieve the extravagantly ambitious goal of world conquest, Germany would need a bright new army of young, ruthless, efficient, well-trained storm troopers numbering in the millions. In 1933 that seemed like an impossible dream, since the army then consisted mainly of 100, 000 aging, dispirited veterans of WWI, and some raw recruits. It seemed especially hopeless in view of the depressed economic conditions in Germany at that time. Yet, in September of the very next year, six months before conscription began, at the Nuremberg Nazi Rally of 1934, 160, 000 stalwart German soldiers with backpacks and rifles stood silently at attention in precise ranks as Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and SA chief Viktor Lutze walked down the wide center aisle towards flaming columns bordering a gigantic wreath honoring German soldiers killed in battle. This fantastic scene was captured in the now famous documentary, Triumph of the Will by legendary film photographer Leni Riefen-stahl. Where did those 160, 000 perfect young soldiers come from? In October of 1935, Hitler supplied the answer to that riddle when he made public that he had kept 21 infantry divisions "under wraps" in 1934, and he announced that they would now become the core of the new German army - the Wehrmacht. So that's where the 160, 000 came from, but where did the 21 divisions come from? An infantry division can be as many as 20, 000 troops, so it seems that somehow Miller magically got his hands on an instant army of about 500, 000 soldiers, with no explanation of where they came from or how they had been trained. He announced also that an additional 21 divisions would soon be added. One may be for given for wondering just how was it possible for all this to be accomplished only one year after Hitler became chancellor of Germany? Now that we have evidence of alien involvement in the war preparations, a startling explanation presents itself. It is now believed by many that the aliens have mastered cloning biotechnology, and in fact that the small grey ETs of abduction fame are clones themselves. Could it be possible that Hitler's alien friends presented him with a ready-made million-man army of cloned storm troopers? We have already seen that the planning for World War II probably began in the early part of the century. Was Hitler's army secretly growing up in spaceships or underground cities even as real soldiers were dying by the millions on the battlefields of Europe? Perhaps George Lucas knew more than is commonly believed when, in 2001, he wrote Episode II of the Star Wars saga titled Attack of the Clones. When it comes to fantastic possibilities for the Nazi/ET connection, though, that is only the beginning. A Nazi Moon Base According lo Vladimir Terziski, the Germans succeeded in reaching the moon sometime in 1942, and established a base on the dark side. Terziski is a controversial figure in the UFO community, but he has impressive credentials, lie is a Bulgarian born engineer and physicist, lie graduated cum laude with an MS degree from Tokai University in Tokyo, and reportedly is conversant in English, Japanese, Russian and German in addition to his native Bulgarian, and is therefore uniquely able to do research in all these languages. He says, “The Germans landed on the moon probably as early as 1942, utilizing their larger exo-atmospheric rocket saucers of the Miethe and Schriever type…. The Schriever Walter turbine powered craft was designed as an interplanetary exploration vehicle. It had a diameter of 60 meters, had 10 stories of crew compartments, and stood 45 meters high. ” Terziski claims that after establishing the initial surface base they tunneled underground, “and by the end of the war there was a small Nazi research base on the moon. The free energy tachyon drive craft of the Haunibu-1 and 2 type were used after 1944 to haul people, materiel(s) sic) and the first robots to the construction site. ” He claims that the moon has an atmosphere, water and vegetation, and it is possible to get around without space suits, despite NASA propaganda to the contrary. If Terziski is right, it seems reasonable to suspect that the aliens played a large role in the Nazi moon adventure. While obviously this fantastic accomplishment would have had little wartime strategic value, it should be remembered that, in 1942, the Germans were supremely confident of winning the war, and were projecting their space travel (conquest. plans well ahead into the thousand-year Third Reich. Vladimir Terziski A Proxy War Needless to say, sources of information about extraterrestrial involvement in WWII in book form are hard to come by but Exopolitics is the title of at least two large books, one by scholar Michael Salla and another by former Carter administration staffer Alfred Webre. But still, if you want details on how the alien factor sorts out, you must go to the Internet where a veritable cornucopia of such information presents itself. Whether such material is to be relied upon is, of course, another question, but that has not slowed the production of complex scenarios arguing for consideration of alien involvement in the politics and wars of earth. Among those offering supposedly detailed information concerning the extraterrestrial intervention factor typical is someone called “ Branton. ” All we know about him is that he claims to have been abducted many times since the age of 12, and that his information accords with David Icke and some other such sources. The following is taken from Brantons material: A formal treaty was executed in 1933 between the Nazi-Bavarian Intelligence Agency, which eventually became the S. S, and the “Greys, ” an alien race living in underground bases in Tibet and elsewhere in the world, facilitated by the Thule Society. The Greys are said to be from Zeta II Reticuli. The Greys, in turn, it is said, are subservient to the Reptilians, and are believed to be implanted with biochips to keep them under control. They are mostly a cloned race, having lost the ability to reproduce aeons ago, due to radioactive fallout from nuclear wars on their home planet. There is a group of about 2000 original Grey prototypes from which the clones are copied. Many abductees have commented on their robotic, totally unemotional behavior. The Reptilians are a fierce, tyrannical race from Alpha Draconis, sometimes referred to as Reptiloids because they are human-like in basic form, but their skin, it is claimed, is scaly, and their faces are lizard-like with vertical-slit eyeballs. They are up to 8 feet tall, and very strong. They are considered by some extraterrestrials to be master geneticists, but others claim that they have botched many of their genetic experiments. Their most powerful capability is mind control, and in this they are considered undisputed experts. This accounts for their ability to “shapeshift, ” or to take on a human appearance, because they can plant that illusion in the mind of the observer. They are in league with other Reptilian races from Rigel Orion and Bellatrix Orion. Together they are referred to as the Draco-Orion Imperialists, and have taken over many of the star systems in the 21 star cluster in this section of the Galaxy, comprising the Draco-Orion/Grey Empire. The Draco-Orionites are referred to as “interventionists” because they boldly seek to enslave other races. Like the fascists that they sponsored, they are cruel and merciless. Their ancient enemies are the humanoid races from Andromeda, Arcturus, Lyra, the Pleiades and Sirius. The main Pleiadian faction is from the planet Erra circling the star Taygeta, one of the Seven Sisters. Taken together, this group of civilizations comprises the Galactic Federation. The DAL Universe is also part of the Federation. Raphael: How was the Universe created? Billy: Our universe, the DERN Universe, was created by the „Big Bang“, a reaction of chemical elements which - by the way - are the same everywhere in the universe. All life forms, galaxies, suns and planets etc. are located in the fourth belt, the „solid belt“. Just to complete the picture: The DERN Universe has got a twin universe, the DAL Universe which is connected through a kind of „Doorway“. Raphael: What does D. A. L. mean? Billy: Nothing special, a name like any other name. Raphael: Perhaps you can define the DAL universe? Billy: The DAL Universe is a parallel or twin universe to our DERN Universe that came into existence the same time as ours. Simply, each one a counterpart of the other. One Universe could not exist without the other. from " The DAL Universe " The Federation races are “non-interventionist” in that they believe deeply in freedom, and will never try to influence or persuade other developing races, or to block or violate their right to make free will choices, and, in fact, they seek to assist in spiritual development. The Federation forces on earth are based under Death Valley and Mt. Shasta in California. The star wars began when the Draconians attacked Lyra and the Pleiades. Branton says, “The stories that contactees tell of the devastating battles and galactic massacres - in almost every case initiated by the collectivist-interventionist reptiloids/greys - between the two galactic superpowers are integral although controversial elements within the annals of Ufology. ” Whew. Tesla While the Draco-Greys, it is claimed, gave the Germans fantastic weapons including jet propulsion, rocketry, television-guided missiles, anti-gravity aircraft, nuclear technology, and possibly even a cloned army, the the allies were not completely without alien assistance. The ETs, it is said, gave the Allies one man - Nikola Tesla. It was Tesla, according to this line of argument, who first saw the promise of radar in 1917, and was instrumental in its development and use in the war. Consequently, the British and the U. S. had sophisticated radar defenses deployed early in the war using Teslas patents, while the Germans gave it scant attention, and it was radar that won the Battle of Britain. Tesla and Roosevelt met in 1917 when FDR was Secretary of the Navy, and Roosevelt was very impressed with Teslas genius. In 1936, according to some reports, he put Tesla in charge of the Invisibility Project, working with the navy. In 1940, as the story goes, they succeeded in making a ship disappear in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Whether or not invisibility was secretly used in the war is unknown. Tesla also invented, it is claimed, particle beam weaponry which he publicly referred to as the “Death Ray. ” It was not, it seems, developed soon enough to use in the war, but satellite-based versions have since, it is believed, become potent weapons in both U. and Soviet arsenals. Tesla is also said to have been offered a large amount of money to go and work for Germany but that he refused, and that he remained an American patriot to the end. Tesla often made mention of his “off-planet” friends, say some. Sometime in the mid-thirties, they say, he arranged a meeting between Roosevelt and Pleiadian representatives, which supposedly took place on a ship in the Atlantic. Within the alien-tracking Internet community it is believed that some sort of agreement came out of that meeting, and that a Federation representative may have consulted at the Pentagon for most of the war. Suicide Mission to Mars? Sometime in late 1944, the story goes, when it became apparent that they had lost the war, the Germans moved the main components of their antigravity aircraft technology and their top scientists to their subterranean base in the Antarctic called Neuschabenland, which they had been preparing since 1938. it is suspected that an extraterrestrial base had already existed there, and that it was inhabited by their compatriots, the Draco-Orionites. The Germans had been assiduously patrolling and defending the sea lanes to Antarctica since early in the war as they moved men and materials there in U-boats. They stationed their largest battle cruiser, the Graf Spee, off the coast of Argentina some time in 1939, and they were known to be sinking even merchant vessels sailing in those waters. If true, this might explain why the Allied armies found only superficial remnants of flying disc development as they overran Germany, and none of the important scientists. Could Antarctica have been the destination of the so-called “Lost Battalion” of 250, 000 German troops that could never be accounted for? Could these have been perhaps carefully kept and maintained cloned storm troopers, to be used as genetic prototypes for the new Wehrmacht? By April of 1945, the European war was winding down as the Allied troops converged on Berlin. At that point, it is claimed, all the antigravity technology and scientists had been transferred to Neuschwabenland. It was from that Antarctic base that the Germans decided to launch a mission to Mars, jointly with the Japanese. Vladimir Terziski says, “According to the authors of the underground German documentary movie from the Thule society, the only produced craft of the Haunibu-3 type - the 74 meter diameter naval warfare dreadnought - was chosen for the most courageous mission of this whole century - the trip to Mars. ” The trip reportedly took almost 8 months because the large Andromeda-type tachyon drives were turned off immediately after the escape from the earths gravitation, and the ship coasted the rest of the way in an elliptical orbit. Terziski believes that the crew probably numbered in the hundreds. The huge craft crash-landed on Mars in January, 1946 severely damaging the tachyon drives and making return impossible, but according to the documentary, the crew knew from the beginning that it was probably a suicide mission. Terziski says, “The radio message with the mixed news was received by the German underground space control center in Neu Schwabenland and by their research base on the moon. ” Evidently, with the war on earth lost, the Axis partners decided to position themselves off-planet in readiness for the next round, and the advent of the Fourth Reich. All the chroniclers of World War II agree that the German soldiers were very tough and courageous, and almost robotic in terms of efficiency. They obeyed orders without question, even in the face of certain death. As the Blitzkrieg rolled over Europe, they could do no wrong. It was their insensitivity to human suffering that made the atrocities in Russia, and the concentration camps (the Einsatzgrupen were taken from the ranks of the Wehrmacht) possible. Maybe, though, it wasnt that they were sadistic - maybe they just didnt care! But, on the other hand, they showed no resourcefulness, whereas the British and American soldiers could be relied on to come up with ideas even in the worst situations. Ultimately, the thinking soldier with a heart prevailed. Apparently, the moral of the story is - if you expect to win a war with an army of clones, you better have someone with great intelligence directing them, and Hitler just didnt fill the bill. When it came to intellect, he was no match for the combined brain power of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and an allied army of citizen soldiers from free societies.
“They discussed the Irish Question; but they never seriously contemplated the Irish Answer. ” -G. K. Chesterton, Irish Impressions 1919 99 years ago, on November 28, 1920, 36 IRA men under the command of Tom Barry laid an ambush just south of Kilmichael in West Cork for an 18 man British patrol and slaughtered them. 16 of the paramilitary policemen were killed outright. One was wounded, stumbled away from the carnage to seek shelter, and was summarily executed with his own weapon by two IRA men (not involved with the ambush) who were hiding nearby. The last one so severely injured that the IRA shooters thought he was dead; 24 hours later, he was scooped up by his comrades from the ambush site and nursed back to health to give the only British recollection of the fight. It was the largest and bloodiest IRA action of the Anglo-Irish war. It was thought that the British superiority of numbers, logistics, and equipment made any stand up fight hopeless and so dictated that the IRA must skulk about sniping at tower guards and hitting isolated individuals and teams. 18 veteran soldiers being gunned down in the blink of an eye by some backwoods bushwhacker gang seemed to change everything. ————————————————————— The Military and Political Situation in Ireland I am going to attempt to give the background to the Anglo-Irish War of 1919-1921 in as broad of strokes as possible. My intent is to maintain focus on the ambush itself, which precludes delving too deeply into politics. However, military actions are welded firmly to political goals, and any discussion of fighting that does not give political context to them is inherently incomplete. Let them this extremely brief description suffice to satisfy both purposes. As it stood at the end of the nineteenth century, Ireland was part of the UK the same as Wales, Scotland, and England, and was therefore represented within the British Parliament. For various reasons that convinced a decent sized majority of Irishmen (and a fair number of other ethnicities within the UK) people became convinced that Ireland needed its own Parliament to pass its own laws in order to prosper, which would give it a measure of self-sovereignty within the British Empire on par with Canada or Australia. Accordingly, Ireland had been demanding more and more insistently for Home Rule. For a variety of reasons which would needlessly elongate this section, Britain alternatively refused point blank to grant it and made false promises that Home Rule was just around the corner. On Easter 1916, a coalition of Nationalists and Socialists joined forces in a rebellion centered in Dublin city to shove the envelope as far as it could go, asserting that mere Home Rule was insufficient. They declared the birth of a new Irish Republic, as distinct from Britain as France or Germany was. The Easter Uprising in 1916 was utterly crushed by the superior British infantry and artillery within a few short weeks, but when the Nationalist leadership who had dared to declare independence right in the middle of the Great War were executed, their martyrdom sparked mass sympathy among the populace of Ireland. In 1918, the separatist party Sinn Fein ( Ourselves Alone" campaigned for Parliament seats on the promise they would secede from the UK if elected. They won the vote and, true to their word, they seceded to form their own Irish Parliament. The British naturally disagreed that such an action was legal or indeed possible and so declared Sinn Fein an outlaw political party. They sent troops over again to dismantle the nascent government and to keep order in the face of the simmering, belligerent rebellion, which in turn led the provisional government of the Irish Republic to organize resistance in 1919. Local militia units across the country, who swore allegiance to the Irish Republic as proclaimed on Easter Sunday 1916, formed a loose and decentralized guerrilla movement; the armed wing of the Republican movement was named, fittingly, the Irish Republican Army. The decentralization was necessary, for the leaders of IRA had no reliable and secure lines of communication and supply to their soldiers spread throughout the country. Every population center self-generated its own cadre of leaders and fighters and conducted the fighting as it saw fit- the West Cork IRA was for all intents and purposes on its own. The violence bubbled up sporadically in fits and starts as the various police, paramilitary, and military units loyal to the Crown feuded with the various “flying columns” of the IRA. The same population that had voted for Sinn Fein mostly supported the Republican cause, and this conviction only deepened when naked violence was employed against them to root out the insurgent forces. On November 21st 1920, the de facto Commander-in-Chief of the IRA Michael Collins upped the ante of violence. Acting at last on two years' worth of carefully collected and organized information of enemy identities and movements, he sent assassins to murder every British intelligence agent and informant he could find, which turned out to be about 21 men all killed on the same morning, mostly at their own doorstep without warning. This stroke of violence not only shocked the British, it would also leave them blinded and almost incapable of detecting IRA members and helpers for the rest of the war. The British backlash was clumsy, emotional, and undisciplined. That same afternoon after Collins gunmen did their bloody work, the Dublin Auxiliary branch of the Royal Irish Constabulary surrounded a Gaelic football match with the apparent intent to mass search all 5, 000 of them for weapons. Someone starting shooting, so all his mates started shooting, machine guns opened up on the crowd, and it was all in all about a minute and a half of pure craziness. 14 civilians died and about 65 were injured. ”Bloody Sunday” marked a significant uptick in the level of violence in Ireland. Tom Barry of the West Cork IRA Brigade would match it just one week later at Kilmichael. ————————————————————— So Who Are These People, Anyway? The Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary were recruited and formed in 1920 to add firepower and spine to the Royal Irish Constabulary, who were trying to suppress the insurgents. Demographically, the Auxiliaries had a type. They were all former Army officers, mostly jumped up from the enlisted ranks in the First World War for valor and to fill dead men's shoes- not many blue blooded noblemen among them. They averaged about three years in the trenches each. They sprang primarily from the lower and upper middle class, the sons of merchants and shopkeepers. Ethnically, they were almost a perfect cross section of the UK with Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England being proportionately represented. Barring one or two individuals, none of them had criminal records. The average age was around 30 years old. They simply couldn't find work after the war ended and so jumped at chance to serve in Ireland. The men of the IRA also had a type. They were mostly young men from a working class or laborer background. Most had avoided the First World War, unwilling to die for a country that denied them Home Rule, though Tom Barry himself was an exception that tested this rule; he had served in the British Army in Iraq before his exposure to Republican politics following the 1916 Easter Uprising, and had been initially distrusted in the IRA for flying the British flag over his home when he returned home. They were overwhelmingly Catholic, though interestingly there were a couple of Protestant members scattered here and there. In the face of the experienced and well-equipped British war machine, the IRAs primary task was to survive, for as long as they could produce “flying columns” of guerrilla fighters to harass the British forces, assassinate British civil servants, and intimidate loyalist informers, the cost of the war to the government would act as a powerful inducement to recognize Irish sovereignty. They therefore rarely took any immense risks that might lead their units to being cornered and wiped out; they could afford to have individual volunteers snatched up, arrested, and often killed, but the apparatus that recruited, organized, and directed them was fragile and almost irreplaceable. ————————————————————— The Ambush Itself To set the stage for the Kilmichael Ambush, the West Cork Auxiliaries based in Macroom were out raiding after Bloody Sunday. They hopped in their lorries every day and rode out to burn homes, terrorize women and children, assault men with rifle butts and pistol grips for speaking Irish, and murder suspected members of Sinn Fein in cold blood. That's the folk memory of how the Auxiliaries conducted counter-insurgency, and it is relatively accurate in spite of frequent exceptions. Much has been said about their brutality and lawlessness, framing them as a bunch of psychotic, sadistic hooligans. Like many stereotypes, this is based on reality, but there are many reasons to cast some doubt on the folk memory of the Auxiliaries. Many of their barn burnings and raids and killings were said to be official British policy, and this was a solid 25 years before army men found out that "just following orders" was a not a proper excuse. According to one IRA spy named who had embedded in their ranks as a sleeper agent, they were mostly good guys, but about 10% were "bad eggs" obviously, the actions of a "bad egg" wearing a distinct uniform will be attributed to everyone wearing the uniform. Counter-insurgency too has the tendency to bring out the worst in people, as the frustration of dealing with a hostile population and not being able to separate the guerrillas from the civilians takes its toll. Finally, they are often conflated and confused with their sister unit of the Royal Irish Constabulary Special Reserve (known slangily as the Black and Tans, because their uniform was an irregular mix of army khaki and police black) who were also paramilitaries recruited from the army to bolster the police presence, but who were a) recruited from the enlisted ranks, not the officers; b) far more deserving off their reputation for brutality and lawlessness; and c) far more numerous than the Auxiliaries. These distinctions and mitigating traits were, of course, blurred a bit for the population who suffered under state sanctioned violence. Tom Barry paints this specific ambush as an absolute necessity for the war effort. As long as the Auxiliaries can roam at will and terrorize entire counties with impunity, the population that the IRA depends on for sustainment (food, clothing, shelter, intelligence, volunteers, etc) will start to waver in their support. After all, if the IRA cant fight back, why allow our houses to burn and our children to be threatened by armed men? Whats the point of declaring independence if we lack the strength to defend ourselves? From there, its but a short skip and a jump to “Why am I giving up the last of the food in our larder to provide dinner to a group of raggedy insurgents? ” and “Itll go easier on all of us if we give the police the names and home addresses of the guys in the flying column, ” at which point the war is basically lost. As such, a dramatic counter strike was desperately needed. Through intelligence given by sympathetic locals, Tom Barry noticed that the Auxiliaries were committing the cardinal sin of counter-insurgency work; they fell into a predictable pattern, taking the same route home every night. There were two stretches of their route where they were vulnerable, but one was far too close to a British outpost filled with reinforcements for comfort. The other was a country road just south of Kilmichael. I have made an effort to recreate the ambush that Tom Barry planned: an improvised L-shaped ambush. For those who never lovingly leafed through FM 7-85 “Ranger Unit Operations”, chapter 6 of it describes it succinctly: “The L-shaped ambush is formed with the base (bottom) of the L perpendicular to the expected enemy direction of advance. This is a good ambush for a road, jungle trail, or an area where the enemy is canalized and his approach route is known. ”. Indeed, this matches the situation to a tee. I have no idea if Tom Barry instinctively sussed out how to set up a decent ambush from first principles or if he picked up the concept during his stint in the British Army. I suppose it hardly matters. He divided up his force of 36 fighters into three distinct sections with some minor detachments. They were armed with captured rifles, shotguns, revolvers, bayonets, and a couple of grenades. His three man “Command Post” (helpfully and expertly marked on my screenshot of Google Maps) adopted concealment behind a stone wall to the east of the ambuscade, staring west down the headlights of the advancing lorries. This CP would form the little leg of the L of the L-shaped ambush. Their task was to instigate the firing, for to preserve the element of surprise nobody would occupy their fighting positions until after the CP opened fire. Section 1 with ten men was positioned mere yards away on the reverse slope of a big boulder, unable to see anything until they stood up and inched forward to peer over the top. They would function as the lower part of the long leg of the L of the L-shaped ambush, tasked with pouring flanking fire into the lorry once it was stopped. They would also be the assaulting element once the ambush was sprung. Section 2 with ten men was strung out along the military crest of the hillside, hidden and protected by the rocky terrain. They would be the upper part of the long leg of the L. Once the patrol was fixed in place, they were to engage the second lorry in the convoy. I have no clear idea where exactly they were ensconced in, hence the question marks. Section 3 was divided up into two groups, which I have arbitrarily labeled group A and B. Group A with six men was stationed behind some rocks to the south of the road in case the Auxiliaries dismounted and sprinted into cover on that side- trying to solve a problem before it developed, you see. Google maps shows no rocks that they could plausibly hide behind as Tom Barry said they did, so Im not clear on where exactly they were either. Im assuming that the field to the south has been cleared in the decades since the ambush, because this contemporaneous photo shows that the terrain south of the road was far rockier than it is today. Group B, also six men, were held in reserve somewhere north of the ambush site- they were expecting two trucks, but if there was a third or a fourth then Section 3B was tasked with maneuvering against them to prevent them from interfering with the ambush. The remaining men were spread as scouts in all directions to provide security and advance warning of enemy movement. Tom Barry himself would take center stage, standing openly in the road in between the CP and Section 1; he's the green dot on the linked map. Well get to his role shortly. This ambush was notable in two ways. First, it would be conducted at excruciatingly close range. The disparity of training between the IRA and the Auxiliaries was considerable. Due to ammunition shortages, there had only been enough bullets to allow each IRA man four live bullets to practice their aim before sending him into action, in contrast to the hundreds and thousands of rounds shot to hone marksmanship in the British army. Since there really arent any sharpshooters at a distance of five to ten yards- you either line up your sights onto the target or you dont- the chosen tactics and starting positions neutralized the British advantage in arms. Second, and very much related to the first, Tom Barry deliberately violated the cardinal rule of guerrilla warfare by selecting an ambush site with no easy exit. Every other premeditated skirmish they had ever staged had had an escape route to take if things went wrong. This time, however, neither the Auxiliaries nor the IRA would have any plausible opportunity to break contact after the first shot was fired. It was going to be (as Tom Barry gravely informed his men as they set up the ambush) a fight to the death- either the Auxiliary patrol gets wiped out, or the flying column perishes. To raise the stakes even higher, the West Cork Brigade were neither numerous nor well-stocked with weapons. At no point in the war did Tom Barry and his men have access to more than 116 rifles, and those 36 men were the cream of the crop of the whole county. If killed, and their weapons seized, they could not easily be replaced. Every egg they had was to be placed in the same basket for this fight. The 36 IRA men got their battle plan from their captain that morning, then trudged off to take up their positions and wait. Theyd marched on foot all night to reach the killing field to set up first. The owners of the house just to the south were sympathetic to the cause, but had no food for themselves, let alone a gaggle of frozen and weary riflemen. They sent a bucket of tea around instead to give the guerrillas something hot to drink. Thats how Tom Barrys men passed the daylight hours of November 28th: soaked through from the dew and frozen in the Winter winds, empty stomachs gnawing at them, and with plenty of hours to sit still and think about what might go wrong. ————————————————————— The Jaws Snap Shut Francis Crake had been a clerk at an insurance firm, and he married his sweetheart in the same month the war broke out. On September 3rd, 1914, Private Crake enlisted with the 1st Hampshires and went to war in France. Three years later, he was Lt. Crake. A year later, in 1918, he was being mentioned in dispatches for conspicuous gallantry and leadership under fire. February of 1920, he was discharged from the army. October 3rd, 1920, seven years to the day since he joined the army as a private, Captain Crake joined the Auxiliary Division. Two months after that, he was leading the 18 man Auxiliary patrol through West Cork. He sat in the lead vehicle, riding shotgun, heading home to Macroom after a day of raiding. At approximately 4:05 pm, just after sunset, his convoy took the curve of the road around the darkened, rocky hillside at about 40 mph. Even without the headlights, the moon was almost full, so visibility was pretty good. He saw a man standing in the middle of the road wearing a military uniform, waving his hands as though to ask for help. Cpt. Crake ordered his driver to slow down to see what the problem was. That man in the road was indeed wearing a military uniform, but not a British one. It was the official tunic of the IRA, though Tom Barry knew perfectly well that no British soldier would recognize it on sight. The man in the uniform with the military webbing and equipment over it was easily mistaken for a fellow Auxiliary. Once Crakes convoy had slowed down, the ambush was sprung. A grenade was flung into the cab, killing and mangling the driver and Crake alike. Rifle fire from the front and the left raked the men in the lead vehicle in a murderous crossfire. Behind them, the second lorry was being riddled with bullets by Section 2. Men shot rifles (designed to be accurate and deadly at a thousand yards) at men so close they could have spit on them just as easily. The men of the lead vehicle (helpfully marked as a red square in the accompanying map) tried to dismount under fire. The survivors who did manage to get solid ground under their feet were hit by a charge as ferocious as any theyd seen in the trenches of France. They were alternately shot with pistols at close range, ran through with bayonets, clubbed down with rifle butts, and blasted with shotguns. At some point, Temporary Cadet Cecil Guthrie escaped from the mayhem, crawling away from the rear vehicle with presumably non-fatal wounds. Guthrie was a Royal Air Force veteran, a pilot who spent the war all over the Middle East- in fact, its not impossible that he and Tom Barry were posted to the same base at some point, for although Tom Barry was an enlisted artilleryman and therefore unlikely to mix with the pilots, they were on the same front in roughly the same battle space and fighting the same Ottomans. Guthrie was mentioned in dispatches in 1919 for his service in the Afghan war, where he met and fell in love with a nurse named Irene Peach. They had married earlier that year and the Mrs. Guthrie already had a child on the way; indeed, she was mere miles north of him at his base in Macroom, waiting patiently for his patrol to return. He scrambled into the dark, away from the Kilmichael ambush. He would make his way on foot four miles across the countryside towards safety, but two miles short of Macroom, Guthrie would try to get help at a civilian house. Unfortunately for Guthrie, two IRA men were hiding there, and they recognized the ragged, wounded man by face. You see, a month before, an unarmed man named James Lehane has been snatched up by Guthries unit in a raid and murdered without trial on suspicion of being an IRA volunteer. Witnesses had fingered Guthrie as the man who had emptied his revolver into Lehane at point blank range and in cold blood. Its like I told you, counter-insurgency brings out the worst in people. Guthrie was executed with his own gun and his body was tossed into a nearby bog. Years later, after the Treaty, the Irish government had his remains dragged out and given a proper burial in deference to his widow and daughter, though there is no real way to know if the body they buried was in fact his or not. As you can see from this updated map, the Auxiliaries of the lead truck were all killed. Those in the rear truck were at a lethal disadvantage. Tom Barry organized his CP and Section 1 and led them west down the road to fire into the enemy rear. The survivors of the second truck now were under fire from the hill to the north, the rocks from the south, and the road to the east. They had no cover at all save for the broken down lorry, which was not even bullet proof to start with. The next day, when a sister company from the Auxiliaries mapped out the battlefield and marked where the dead had dropped. The lead trucks dead were bunched up in a tight clump, and the rear trucks detachment were scattered across the fields. This indicates that the dismounted survivors of the rear truck scattered and were hunted down as individuals. Here, presumably, Temporary Cadet Frederick Forde was dropped by a gunshot wound to the head. Forde was born to be a soldier; he grew up as a military brat in India and applied to the Royal Military Academy before the Great War even broke out. He commissioned in 1915 and served as an artilleryman in the Balkans, Egypt, and Palestine; at some point, just like Guthrie, Forde might well have bumped into the very man who had organized the ambush hed been driven into. By both Fordes and Tom Barrys account, the IRA finished off the wounded and stripped the bodies of ammunition, grabbed the dropped rifles, and searched the bodies for papers that might bear valuable intelligence. Two of the Irishmen- Michael McCarthy, the leader of Section 2, and Jim OSullivan- were stretched out dead in the damp grass. They had died from Auxiliary shots from the rear truck. Sullivan in particular died under highly controversial circumstances that I will get to in a minute. Patrick Deasy, aged 16, was also hit, and hit bad. Pat Deasy was the little brother of 22 year old Liam Deasy. The two brothers had served in the West Cork IRA together, and when the Treaty came into effect the following year Liam would bitterly reject it. Both Liam Deasy and Tom Barry alike would end up on the Anti-Treaty side in the coming Irish Civil War, dodging policemen and soldiers of the Irish Free State instead of British policemen and soldiers, ambushing their former IRA comrades in arms instead of the Auxiliaries. Tom Barry would be cooling his heels in a Free State prison cell when his friend Liam Deasy set a long range ambush that would see Michael Collins shot to death in 1922. However, all of that is in their future. That evening of the 28th of November, Liams little brother Pat was begging his commander for a drink of water. Tom Barry knew that giving water to a man with such a stomach wound would be lethal, so he promised him a cup of tea when they got to safety. Pat Deasy didnt survive long enough to drink it. Many of the IRA men were physically sick to their stomachs by what they had seen and done- by Tom Barrys account, one IRA man had been standing so close to his victim that he had had blood splashed into his mouth when he shot the Auxiliary in the neck. The men of the West Cork brigade had learned the same lesson that the dead had learned in the Great War- violent death at close quarters was an intense and emotional experience. Noting that they had been shaken badly by the sheer violence of their own attack, Tom Barry found it necessary to spend valuable time parading them around the ambuscade site in close order drill- left, left, left right, about face, present arms, forward march, left face, right face, shoulder arms, left, left, left right- purely to settle their nerves and restore discipline. The drill was concluded by saluting their three slain comrades who were laid out before them. The whole business took about a half hour from the initial shots until the flying column was marching off into the dark with their newly captured arms and ammunition, using their head-start to avoid the inevitable counterattack that would come once the results of the ambush were discovered. The rains poured down heavy that night; black clouds blocked out the bright moonlight. When Fordes comrades saw that Crakes patrol had failed to return on time, they sent out a search party but in the dark and stormy night had found nothing. They tried again in the morning and found the site of the massacre easily this time. It is nothing short of miraculous that Forde survived until morning, and then survived the trip to the Battalion surgeon. He would end up with a medical discharge at the highest pension rate available at the time, which was only fair, for he would be paralyzed for life. ————————————————————— The Controversies and Mysteries That We Are Never Going to Solve The real problem here is that there are two primary sources for the Kilmichael ambush- Tom Barrys memoir Guerrilla Days in Ireland and similar recollections from surviving volunteers given years or decades later, and the British account based on Fordes recollection and on physical evidence collected the following day. I am happy to assume the truth when they are in agreement with each other, and even reasonably on board with details given by one account but not the other. However, when they assert conflicting facts, we are forced to play the part of the courtroom lawyer and the armchair psychologist by questioning sources and applying logic and unraveling unlikely alibis. For instance, just after the ambush, a local coroner conducted a “superficial examination” and concluded that some of the bodies had been mutilated post-mortem with “an axe or some kind of similar heavy, sharp tool. ” Fordes personal account seems to confirm it- a fellow Auxiliary speaking of Fordes private recollection claimed that “[t]he leader appeared to be an enormous red headed Irishman who personally inspected each body for signs of life. He was armed with a pistil [sic] and a small axe. The last thing Forde remembers was lying on the road with the red headed giant bending over him taking a swing at his head with the axe. ” Whereas Tom Barry stoutly denies any axe swinging or mutilation whatsoever, labeling it a vicious piece of British propaganda. So just what are we to make of this? Well, one, Forde was confused about a lot of things. He thought that there was about 100 IRA dressed as British soldiers, when there was only about 30 shooting in total and only one had a a uniform on. He thought that they had a machine gun and a mess of Tommy guns, when they absolutely didnt. The guy walked into a maelstrom of chaotic violence and then got shot in the head, so how good could his memory possibly be? Not to mention that he described Tom Barry as an enormous, red-headed giant, while in real life he looked like he might go into a food coma if you fed him half of a ham and cheese sandwich. And its not like the British Empire held itself to a high moral standard when it comes to propaganda and spreading lies; the story that the West Cork IRA had mutilated the bodies hit the newspaper the day after the ambush, long before Forde was able to be properly debriefed. Come to that, Fordes medical discharge stated that his head wound came from a gunshot with no mention of any other cause. Then again, Tom Barrys account may also be unreliable. He denied the allegation, sure, but he was also completely unaware at the time of his memoir in 1949 that Forde had survived at all. He was under the impression that 17 men had died by their trucks, and the 18th has escaped only to be hunted down and tossed into the bog the day after. So his account was made under the impression that no British eye-witness could possibly gain-say him. One might ask, whats the point of desecrating the dead to make a point only to deny it later? The obvious answer is that the axe chopping was a spur of the moment, adrenaline-pumping-through-his-veins kind of thing. That is the exact kind of thing that an insurgent commander would need to stringently deny and cover up if he wanted to win the propaganda war. If I had to make a call, which I really dont want to do because Id be standing on very shaky ground, Id say that any post-mortem mutilation was a natural result of close quarters violence and not a deliberate attempt to subject the fallen to dishonorable degradation. I can kind of construct a timeline of it- the coroner takes a peek at a series of badly damaged corpses, ravaged as they were by grenades and bayonets and shotguns, and comments, “Jeez, it almost looks like someone took an axe to this guy. ” Some savvy British spook then spreads the story far and wide that the savage Irish chopped up the dead like wild Injuns, Fordes memory is influenced by the official story, and Tom Barry has to try to ignore all damage he ordered done to the enemy after they hit the dirt to counter the accusation. A nice, neat, clean interpretation of events, which is as plausible as any other fictional story because we simply dont know. Weve already covered the controversial use of a uniform in an act of deceit. The British were convinced that the IRA used stolen uniforms to deceive Crakes patrol, which infuriated them to no end. Tom Barrys stance was that it was not only a practical strategy, but also perfectly above board because the IRA was a proper army under the leadership of a legitimate government, and the fact that the British couldnt recognize the tunic on sight the way they could recognize a German or Italian uniform was their problem, not his. Deciding how foul and dishonorable a trick it was probably depends on your politics. But the pinnacle of the controversy revolves around the narrative of “the false surrender”. Just as the British accused the IRA of mutilation, so to did the IRA accuse the British of faking a surrender to kill their attackers. Tom Barrys account is a clean cut narrative- once the ambush was sprung and Section 1 pushed west down the road to engage the rear truck, the British called out to surrender and threw down their rifles. The firing stopped, the Irishmen exposed themselves by walking forward to collect the prisoners, and the Auxiliaries opened fire with their pistols, killing Sullivan and mortally wounding Deasy (McCarthy had been shot and killed in the initial outbreak of gunfire. Tom Barry, in a fury, ordered them “annihilated” for their dishonorable fake out and had his men keep firing into the dead bodies for a minute or two to make sure of them. There are reasons to doubt such a story. One, Forde contradicts it. He claims the IRA did capture individuals after the fighting stopped and then executed them all one by one. Two, other volunteers who had taken part in the ambush being interviewed years after the fact offer a slightly different story- that they enemy tried to surrender and then drew pistols, sure, but not all of them. One volunteer, Jack O'Sullivan, testified that he disarmed a wounded Auxiliary but “[h]e was walking him up the road as a prisoner when a shot dropped him at his feet. Another volunteer recalled that Jim Sullivan had been shot before the surrender, not during. And three, frankly, Tom Barrys story of the false surrender simply makes no sense. How on earth could an ambushed squad, squirming about desperately under fire, possibly have concocted a plot to fake a surrender solely to get a confirmed kill or two? Why the hell would they? The West Cork Brigade had an established pattern of taking prisoners and letting them go again- it was broadly understood that if the IRA caught you flat-footed theyd take your rifle and ammo and send you off- so why commit suicide by opening fire after the shooting stopped? What kind of fast paced discussion among the dismounted and scattered men of the rear truck led them to think that faking a surrender would work out? The ugliest explanation Ive heard is that Tom Barry intended from the start to give no quarter- after all, if youll recall, the whole point to the ambush was to make a dramatic counter attack and prove that youd couldnt raid West Cork without paying for it. What makes the point clearer, jumping a couple of guys and disarming them, or slaughtering them all to a man? By this theory, after the initial volleys, the surviving Auxiliaries had tossed their rifles and given up only to be massacred as prisoners. Tom Barry wrote his account in 1949, almost thirty years after the fact. His story is neat and clear cut and flows logically from point to point: the exact kind of clarity of vision that is deeply implausible during the rapid clash of arms that was the Kilmichael Ambush. I just dont believe it. Based on the volunteers testimony, I can believe that in the confusion, some Auxiliaries tried to surrender at the same moment when others tried to keep fighting, and that the IRA vengefully slew them all in the heat of the moment, and that Tom Barry had decades to mull it over and decide that since those Auxies had sneakily murdered Jim Sullivan and young Pat Deasy with their false surrender, they had deserved what they got. But I really dont know. All the witnesses are dead and nobody involved had any great interest in the Truth for Truths sake. ————————————————————— Reflections The question naturally arises about why I bothered to do this write up. After all, not only did the Kilmichael Ambush happen before my grandparents were even born, but its not even my heritage. Im neither Irish nor British; I lack a dog in this fight. The honest but surface answer is that Im a nerd and I like reading up about wars. Even so, as an American, I have plenty of material to geek out over- Saratoga, Gettysburg, Iwo Jima, the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir. Why this time and place? An answer that cuts a little deeper into the issue is that I was once involved at the ground level with a counter-insurgency myself, though my role in the proceedings was not terribly dramatic. The ethnic and cultural differences between us and the insurgents were considerable, and it takes an immense amount of effort for me to even try and step into the other guys shoes and see the world from their point of view. It is fascinating for me to study another insurgency from not too long ago with an entirely different cast of characters, both of whose cultural backgrounds are present in my own society. The patterns of the Anglo-Irish war are similar enough to Afghanistan that I find them achingly familiar, and yet altered enough to startle me at the same time. As well, I was deeply impressed by how small of a scale this ambush was on. Twenty men killed and one wounded was considered a major event. Compare that to the Somme, or to Austerlitz, or God save us all to the charnel house of frozen hell that was Stalingrad. Twenty deaths wouldnt even show up as a blip on the radar in a big war. It is easy to reduce humans to mere numbers when the scale is big enough. 20, 000 marching there, 5, 000 dead and twice that wounded, a small detachment of 200 sent to hold that bridge, a big push of 60, 000 attacking the left. the human mind cant handle the amount of empathy it takes to process that many people suffering and dying. But with so few people involved, you can put names and histories onto corpses and get a proper perspective on how God-awful and cruel the whole business of war really is. A few weeks back, I got into an argument with someone who suggested half-seriously- purely as a hypothetical- that we ought to send troops to Mexico to stamp down on the cartels to help reassert the Mexican governments control. I pointed out that such an action would be pretty pointless, since the starting conditions that created the cartels would remain after we came, killed, and left. He responded that the number of the cartels potential recruits would run out sooner or later. In effect, he argued that if we killed off enough military age males, potentially tens of millions of people, the cartel crackdown would be permanent. And I thought to myself, “I would bet money that this guy has never so much as been in a fistfight before. If he had ever hurt somebody bad, or seen them hurt bad before his very eyes, or gotten hurt bad himself, hed know just how criminally insane his suggestion was. ” It worries me that people whose only exposure to war is video games, movies, and gushing reports of steely-eyed elite commandos taking the fight to the jihadis are so instinctively enthusiastic about it. It bothers me that people without skin in the game will happily vote their way towards armed conflict without bothering to think through whether people truly need to suffer and die en masse over the issue at hand. Im no pacifist myself, you must understand. It just seems to me that people who are disassociated from the reality of war have a tendency to ruin things for everyone else. However, all such moralizing is ultimately secondary to my purpose. The impulse to tell the tale of the Kilmichael Ambush is an old one, for the telling of war stories is an ancient tradition. As far back as Homer's Iliad, people have been huddling around campfires to gush about this hero's courage, to scorn that villain's cruelty, to mourn the death and agony inflicted upon the innocent, and to retread in the footsteps of the dead and buried soldiers of yesteryear. Undoubtedly there is some clever sociological explanation for why humans of all cultural backgrounds do this, but I need no justification for it. The campfire is replaced by a computer screen and the audience is full of strangers instead of kin and allies, but the form is the same, and in my opinion that is what matters.
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Download preview Save to lightbox Add to cart Nazi German soldier of a supply column, 1941 Image ID: C453F2 File size: 14. 2 MB (0. 5 MB Compressed download) Open your image file to the full size using image processing software. Dimensions: 1839 x 2691 px, 15. 6 x 22. 8 cm, 6. 1 x 9 inches, 300dpi More information: This image could have imperfections as its either historical or reportage. Nazi German soldier of a supply column, 1941. On the Eastern front a horse-drawn supply column takes a break., 01. 10. 1941-31. 1941 Date taken: October 1941 Location: Russia, Germany. Author's notes: It's almost like Monday has become my new posting day, well no matter, I'm simply doing the best I can with my limited talent. Hope you enjoy the read and let me know if you spot any errors or have any comments! First, Previous, Next Seven Days of Fire: part 35, Skies Ablaze Day 7, Noon, Skies of Ecet “Theyve nearly reached our lines! ” Shouting filled the Enterprises bridge as the command crew tried to make sense of the flurry of reports streaming in. “Lucehem is under siege! ” Another radio operator shouted over the raised voices of the officers that commanded the fleet. “The radio band for calling broken arrow is full, cant hear anything over the shouting. ” The calm voice of an elven radio operator cut through the cacophony, magic elevating the mans voice to audible levels. “All those not currently operating a radio are to be silent! ” Fleur bellowed, smoke leaking from her mouth, highlighting the draconic features shed recently acquired. “Get a wave of fighters in the air and have them provide ground support for any nearby towns. Get recon planes in the air and prepare for enemy attack, I want every ship ready to defend itself at a moments notice. ” Fleur growled, causing the surrounding personnel fell quiet. “Whats the status of the 2nd armored? ” “They are reporting heavy fighting, the enemy has nearly closed to melee range. Theyre saying a wave of living fire is attacking them, most weapons arent doing anything. ” Fleur knew the Royal Guard wouldnt be overwhelmed easily but if their foe wasnt physical their effectiveness would be greatly decreased. Worse, all of their conventional weapons would be useless against magical flames, aside from the nuclear bombs stored deep within the ships armory and the Anti-Magic bombs that had rapidly dwindled in supply over the last few days. “Load up a wave of fighter bombers as soon as the current flight leaves the deck, I want them loaded with AM. Radio Mark and have him decide where the bombs need to fall. ” A quick salute was all the response Fleur needed as several radio operators leapt into action, turning her words into reality. Luke gave a thumbs up before grabbing the handle attached to his cockpits window as his plane was hurled into the air by the brute force of a steam catapult. He was quickly followed by Helethel, Emil and Jake as Flight Charlie took to the skies. Theyd been listening to the incoming calls for help from the radios of their cockpits and where the first ones ready to launch when the orders came down to provide ground support. Lighting his afterburners, Luke screamed through the heavens as he raced towards the nearest friendly position in need of support. Columns of smoke hung in the air over the once peaceful city of Emeralant. The peacetime population of 100, 000 had swollen to nearly half a million as refugees flooded the woodland city, its ancient walls reinforced with trenches and earthworks. The soldiers that defended the city were locked in a vicious melee having been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of enemies and Luke was having trouble deciding where was a safe target. Suddenly is radio crackled to life as the local garrison hailed his flight. “This is Emeralants local garrison. Thank god, we thought wed never get support. Are you carrying napalm? Our scouts say a large column of enemies are still moving through the forest about a half click from the walls. Over” The relieved voice of a young radio operator came through loud and clear. “Yes, just give us the coordinates. Over. ” As soon as Luke got the reply, he rolled his plane into the new heading and flew over the target area trying to get eyes on his prey. Below him a swarm of dwarven soldiers were marching towards the walls, towing artillery out from the divine portals theyd used to invade so deep behind Ecets lines. Luke smiled savagely, despite the heavy tree cover his targets flashy armor and gaudy enameled guns made them easy marks. A single olive drab bomb dropped from the bottom of Lukes fighter, followed a moment later by a pair of silver tanks as he dove on his target before yanking back on the stick hard and leveling out above the range of the enemys anti-aircraft defenses. Silver darts raced up towards the first bomb only to fizzle out as it exploded into black flames and crashed down onto the forest below burning through enchanted defenses with ease. A moment later a bright red inferno blossomed among the trees as the gods learned of napalms fury. “Good hit Luke, looks like you took out the majority of them. ” Helethel noted over the radio as the human pilot leveled out his plane. “Alright, lets radio the defenders and see if they need any-” Lukes words stopped suddenly as a chill washed over the battlefield. The hair on the back of Lukes neck stood on end as his instincts warned him of something just beyond his senses. Jinking hard, Luke scanned the sky dodging and weaving as he searched for whatever was the source of his unease. Trees and dirt where flung high into the air as the massive armored form of a dwarven Engine of the Gods emerged from underground, the earth shaking with its every foot fall. Beams of arcane light cut through the air narrowly missing the members of Flight Charlie as they scrambled for the safety of high altitude. “How the hell are we going to bring that thing down? We cant exactly dive bomb it. ” Jake shouted, clearly exasperated by the situation as the defenders fled the trenches for the temporary safety of the shielded walls. “I could ram it, if I pour my all into my forward shields I might be able to at least shatter its shields. ” Helethel was far to calm for a woman openly discussing using her plane as a weapon, sure she had a teleportation scroll but what if it failed? “Not a change Hel, were going to-” A flash of light and a thunderous boom interrupted Luke as something slammed into the shields of the Engine far below. The divine construct staggered as its shields shattered like glass. “Fuck kill it while its defenseless! ” Luke shouted as he dove towards the ground doing his best to stay mobile as he lined up his sights with the massive war machine. Behind him Helethel was hot on his heels having already prepared herself so a suicidal charge. Beams lanced through the air, occasionally striking the enchanted barriers protecting the twos planes as the screamed towards the ground, jet engines howling. Luke could see the silver flashes of light given off by arcane air defenses and he pulled the trigger, sending a torrent of high explosive shells into his target before he dropped his entire payload, Helethel following suit as soon as he cleared her line of fire. Explosions zigzagged across divinely crafted armor as human munitions pounded the Engines metal shell. A sheet of flame consumed the construct a moment later as the two pilots lit their afterburners, running for their lives as a swarm silver missiles doggedly pursued them. “Fucking hell I saw that from here! ” Came the excited voice of the radio operator as Luke looked over his shoulder to see the Engine of the Gods trying to escape the flames that covered it. Helethel could see flames blazing within the construct, napalm having gotten into the open gunports the vehicles crew had been using to fire on her and Luke. “Its only damaged not destroyed, theyve taken casualties but I cant imagine they wont replace them in short order. ” Helethel could already see gun ports closing and magic dousing the otherwise unquenchable flames. “Still weve bought some time. ” “Indeed you did. ” An unfamiliar voice came over the radio as a second titanic explosion shattered the metallic shell of the Engine. Pieces of divine steel and dirt flew high into the sky as the divine war machine was blown asunder. “This is the captain of the Warspite, you can leave this area to us. ” Luke could feel divine magic as a golden portal flared into life over the city, the armored form of a skyship coming into view. Luke didnt recognize the make of the ship, though it clearly wasnt a re-purposed Unification warship nor was it one of the mostly wooden skyships of the elves however, the blazing symbol of Mercime clearly identified its origin. “Damn looks like we got some divine intervention of our own! ” Jake exclaimed, happy to finally see their enemies get a taste of their own medicine. “When did Mercime build this? There couldnt have been enough time to since the war started, even for a god a week isnt enough time to build an entire ship right? ” Emil asked as he eyed the skyship that had clearly been designed for its roll rather than the stylized elven ships of yore and the re-purposed unification era ships Ecet now employed. “For now, doesnt matter. Were heading for the border to join the main fight. ” Luke ordered pointing his plane towards hell once again. Fleur watched as Flight Charlie took to the skies, leaving the fleet behind as they raced to help the various nearby positions in need of support. “Can you feel that? ” The draconic gods tiny avatar murmured as it sat on Fleurs shoulder. The answer was a definitive yes, magic was hanging thick in the air. Black holes of smoke and ash burned their way into existence among the blue skies as the gods made their move against the pride of Ecet. “All ships prepare for aerial attack and arcane bombardment! ” Fleur ordered as a swarm of wyven riding elves and orcs poured forth into the mortal realm. Flack cannons blazed as defense crews reaped a bloody harvest but their foes were beyond counting. Fire and lighting slammed into arcane barriers as the attackers tried to overwhelm Ecets airfleet through sheer numbers. The attacks were weak but Fleur didnt have an infinite pool of magic and eventually her ships would find themselves without magical defenses. “Ground any more flights, theyll simply get shot down while launching! Continue to head towards the battlefield, they can annoy us but they sure as hell wont stop us! ” The battle raged around the enterprise as the screening ships kept up a heavy barrage of flack. Black puffs of smoke filled the air along with the screeches of wyverns as the divine airforce tried to break through the defenses of Ecets fleet. The ground far below was littered with the corpses of the fallen and yet the divine soldiers continued their onslaught. Elizabeth watched the battle with a scowl, her fighters were delayed and her progress was slowed as all the ships in the fleet had to redirect their magic from propulsion into defense. They were still heading towards the battlefield but every second they were delayed was crucial to those desperately holding out on the ground far below. If things grew truly desperate, the ground forces had nuclear weapons however, Maethriens orders were clear, avoid the use of nuclear weapons on Ecetan soil unless no other option was available. “Well isnt this a surprise, gracing us with your presence. ” The small draconic avatar let out an amused laugh as Fleur felt a shiver run through her. A golden flash of light filled the bridge as a woman with with light brown hair, tan skin and golden eyes came into existence. Her body was clad in camouflaged fullplate, very similar in design to the suits currently worn by Ecets blade-masters. “Your ground forces are in danger of being over run and I felt it was time I intervened personally. I did not wish to show my hand, however the lives of my people take priority. ” Mercime replied as her golden eyes met Fleurs. “Admiral, would you mind if we coordinated? I can open a path for your fleet, take you straight to where you need to be. ” “Do it. ” Fleur spoke decisively, waving off the half panicked human soldiers who had reached for the rifles, while the elves in the room silently prayed. “Everyone back to your stations, Mercime has seen fit to lend her aid, dont let her down! ” Fleur walked over to the nearest radio controller and picked up the microphone. “Put me on the command channel. ” The Admiral ordered and the young man quickly dialed in the frequency, giving her a nod when he completed his task. “All ships, this is Admiral De La Fontaine speaking from the bridge of the Enterprise. Mercime here and will be opening a portals for the fleet. All ships be prepared to rush for them as soon as they appear, we cannot afford to squander this opportunity. ” Fleur returned the receiver back to its resting place and turned back to face her goddess. “When you are ready. ” Mercime closed her eyes and focused, a wave of power moving invisibly through the air, though all could feel its passage. Incredible arcane might was focused just ahead of the fleet, golden wells of light flickering into existence and rapidly expanding until they could fit the various ships of the fleet, even the titanic Enterprise. The small dragon on Fleurs shoulder let out a whistle at the sight, eyeing Mercime as he did so. “Well, well youve become talented. Not many gods could pull off such a feat, most would just make one massive portal. ” The small avatar noted as the Enterprise raced for towards the golden light. “And most gods wantonly waste their power assuming themselves invincible, I am outnumbered and must conserve my strength, if that means learning more complex magics, so be it. ” Mercime replied, her harsh tone almost alien to those who knew the warm and loving voice she used in times of peace. Alfhildr was counting the bullets left in her magazine as she sent shot after shot downrange. The enemy was so close she could feel the heat on her face, the sound of guns drowned out the roar of flame as the tide of fire burned its way through the barbed wire the men and women of the 2nd had set up only hours before. As the last round in her magazine shattered the flaming form of an Orc, Alfhildr reached for her sword, preparing to make a fighting retreat. A terrible surge of magic exploded into existence high above the trenches and the Veteran Blade-master knew it was time to retreat, Theyd done all they could here. “All Blade-master cover the retreat! ” Alfhildr amplified her voice with magic as the first divine soldiers sprinted to close the gap between the wire and the trenches, only to explode into sparks and ash as they were picked off one by one, the magic binding them to the world severed in an instant. ‘That must be Silent Alfhildr thought as she braced herself for melee combat. Elizabeth De La Fontaine watched as Adam carefully attached the nuclear warhead to the tanks recoil-less rifle. The airfleet was late and retreat was inevitable, all that was left was to ensure the valuable blade-masters didnt have to die making a valiant last stand so the tanks could retreat now that their ammo had run dry. Infantry tanks could handle, even without munitions, however living flames were another matter entirely and her soldiers were defenseless. A familiar tingling ran through the Royal Dragons skin as divine magic was cast overhead. Looking up the crownless queen saw golden portals rapidly expanding, the prows of armored warships gliding out into the open air, the flag of Ecet flying proudly over their steel conning towers. “Nukes loaded. ” Adam shouted, struggling to be heard over the din of battle, though thanks to Elizabeths blossoming power, words werent needed. “Good, hold your fire. It seems our reinforcements have finally decided to arrive. Be ready just in case, I need to get into contact with Ecets Admiral. ” Elizabeth replied, light shinning in her amber eyes as she slowly started to piece together what the goddess of Ecet was planning. Thanks for reading and happy holidays.
The Battle of Abu Hamed occurred on 7 August 1897 between a flying column of Anglo-Egyptian soldiers under Major-General Sir Archibald Hunter and a garrison of Mahdist rebels led by Mohammed Zain. The battle was a victory for the Anglo-Egyptian forces, and secured for the British the strategically vital town of Abu Hamed, which was the terminus for trade and transportation across the Nubian Desert. Abu Hamed was of critical importance to Lord Herbert Horatio Kitchener, leader of the Anglo-Egyptian campaign that commenced in March 1896 with the objective of destroying the Mahdist state that had occupied much of Sudan since the initial Mahdist rebellion broke out in 1881. The town was to be the railhead for Lord Kitcheners supply railway through the vast and inhospitable Nubian Desert, allowing expeditionary forces to bypass a great stretch of the Nile on their way to Omdurman, the capital of Mahdist Sudan. However, the town was occupied by Mahdist forces, and construction of the desert railway could not safely proceed without their removal. Accordingly, Kitchener ordered a flying column, led by Major-General Sir Archibald Hunter and composed of around three-thousand Egyptian soldiers, to march from Merowe to Abu Hamed with all possible speed. The flying column departed Merawi on 29 July 1897, and, marching north-east along the Nile for eight days, arrived at the town as dawn broke on August 7. Forming his battalions in a broad semi-circle that pitted Abu Hameds defenders against the river, Major-General Hunter ordered his troops to advance at approximately six-thirty that morning. In the action that followed, the outnumbered Mahdist riflemen were driven from their defensive positions through the town, while a small contingent of Mahdist cavalry fled south without engaging to report the loss. By seven-thirty, the battle was over, and Major-General Hunter ordered the news be delivered to Lord Kitchener. Major-General Hunter's column lost eighty killed and wounded, while the quantity of Mahdist casualties is estimated to be between 250 and 850. The Mahdist commander, Mohammed Zain, was captured in the fighting. Soon after news of the victory spread, work on the desert railway was resumed and Abu Hamed reached on October 31, where Major-General Hunter and his column had remained. With the completion of the railway across the Nubian Desert, Kitchener's general advance into the heartland of Mahdist Sudan was guaranteed, and the greatest issue of Kitchener's campaign, supply, resolved. Origins [ edit] Background [ edit] The Mahdist Rebellion broke out in 1881 when a religious leader, the self-proclaimed Mahdi, declared a jihad against the Egyptian government, which had been subject to British domination since the construction of the Suez Canal around a decade earlier.  Leveraging widespread resentment towards European influence in Egypt and preaching renewal of the Islamic faith, the Mahdi began to accumulate followers and soon presented a serious threat to the government.  Early Egyptian-led efforts to suppress the movement failed spectacularly, and their humiliating defeat at the hands of the outnumbered, outgunned, and undersupplied Mahdist force only increased their leader's fame and reputation.  By the time the British intervened directly in 1883, the Mahdi had set about conquering much of Sudan, at the time controlled by Egypt, and had won several critical victories that provided him great wealth and modern weaponry.  Colonel William Hicks, British officer appointed commander of eight-thousand Egyptian soldiers and an extensive supply train, was given the simple objective of crushing the insurrection. Colonel Hicks and nearly every man in his army was killed by an overwhelming Mahdist force at the Battle of El Obeid.  After this defeat, and facing immense financial difficulties in Egypt, the British government decided not to pursue further offensive action and instead selected General Charles George Gordon to lead the evacuation effort, as thousands of civilians and pounds of equipment were to be withdrawn from outposts throughout Sudan.  Gordon, operating out of Khartoum, helped extricate many loyal civilians who remained in Sudan, but refused ultimately to abandon the city. Contrary to his orders, he retained a small force in Khartoum and determined to give battle with the Mahdi before relinquishing control.  Accordingly, Mahdist forces besieged Khartoum in March 1884, isolating the city from the outside world and placing a dire timer upon Gordon to surrender. After much delay, the British government reluctantly dispatched a relief expedition under Sir Garnet Wolseley that would rapidly follow the Nile to Khartoum.  Wolseley's column arrived on 28 January 1885, two days after Khartoum had fallen and General Charles Gordon's head delivered to the Mahdi.  The Mahdi died less than six months later, but not before establishing his Islamic state in Sudan and relocating its capital to Omdurman. A subordinate known as the Khalifa succeeded him after a violent power struggle, and prevented the collapse of the state following the Mahdi's death through ruthless and effective administration.  Kitchener's Expedition [ edit] Field-Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener The British and Egyptian governments would not again attempt major intervention until 1896, whereupon the government in Britain was impelled to act by several factors. The Egyptian economy had improved since British administrators commandeered the country's finances. Public sentiment towards Mahdist Sudan had been stoked by several embellished accounts of the Mahdists' savagery and the desire to avenge General Charles Gordon.  10] France, Britain's longtime competitor in the Scramble for Africa, was beginning to encroach upon the Nile river valley, alongside the Belgians.  Finally, it was politically advantageous in Europe for Britain to distract the Khalifa from the Italians in Eritrea, who had been made vulnerable by a recent defeat at the hands of Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia.  The government chose Herbert Horatio Kitchener to lead the new expedition, outfitting him with around ten-thousand soldiers and Britain's latest technology: Maxim guns, heavy artillery, and a small fleet of gunboats.  Map of Kitchener's supply and communication lines in Sudan Kitchener's expedition embarked in March 1896, leaving Egypt behind and entering Mahdist Sudan later that month.  His column advanced along the Nile, using the river for resupply and communication, while laying track around the unnavigable sections.  However, the expedition could not proceed in this fashion all the way to Omdurman. The river travels far south to Ed Debba before bending steeply to the north-east up to Abu Hamed, where it pivots once more to the south and winds on past Khartoum. The section of the river from Merowe to Abu Hamed is made unnavigable by continuous cataracts, and the ground along its banks is unsuitable for railroads. These conditions did not render the approach impossible, only difficult, dangerous, and slow.  Kitchener sought an alternative route, and settled on one widely thought to be infeasible: he determined to build a railway across the vast, dry, and scorching Nubian Desert that would connect Wady Halfa to Abu Hamed, a small town then under Mahdist control. Premier engineers in Britain deemed the railroad an impossibility for several reasons, foremost of which being the speculated lack of available water sources along 120 miles of the proposed 230 mile line.  Kitchener disregarded this impediment and all others, ordering the well-known Lieutenant Percy Girouard to make preparations to begin construction. The capable engineer conducted extensive surveys of the proposed line, and found that, although the terrain was certainly difficult, and water fearfully sparse, the line was possible. The decision was made in December 1896, and work on the railway officially begun 1 January 1897.  Despite the immense difficulties involved in the development of such a railway, steady progress was made, and by 23 July 1897 the track stretched 103 miles into the desert.  Here, however, progress was halted, for fear of coming within range of Mahdist raids from Abu Hamed.  Work on the railway could not resume until the town had been taken; the entire campaign was stalled, awaiting the completion of the line to begin the general advance.  As well, every delay offered greater chances for disaster; if the Mahdists were alerted to Kitchener's plans, the whole operation would be jeopardized and the catastrophic fate of General Gordon's expedition potentially repeated. In May a scouting mission under Captain Le Gallais had reconnoitered the area surrounding Abu Hamed, reporting that the town was weakly defended and the Mahdist presence throughout the area fairly slim, though the Khalifa's forces had been moving recently and no one could be sure reinforcements were not on the way.  Kitchener had to act fast; in late July he informed the respected and accomplished Major-General Sir Archibald Hunter that he had been selected to lead the assault.  Major-General Hunter's Flying Column [ edit] Major-General Sir Archibald Hunter The plan was for Major-General Hunter and a flying column of crack troops to race with all possible speed from Merowe north-east to Abu Hamed, where they would surprise the numerically inferior Mahdist garrison and win control of the town.  Speed was essential, for it was certain Hunter's column would be spotted by Mahdist scouts during the journey. If these scouts managed to send word and reinforce the town prior to Hunter's arrival, his column might find itself outmatched and forced to retreat.  The troops selected for the operation were among the best soldiers in Kitchener's army: the 3rd Egyptian, 9th Sudanese, 10th Sudanese, and 11th Sudanese Battalions, composing Lieutenant Hector Archibald MacDonald 's brigade.  Additionally, Hunter's column included an artillery battery, containing six Krupp twelve-pounders, two Maxim guns, and a pair of older British machine guns, a Gardner and a Nordenfelt. Finally, a single troop of cavalry was attached to the column along with a substantial supply of camels for transport and supply.  The column had rations for eighteen days, and telegraph cable was supplied in the hope that constant communication could be ensured as the column made the 146 mile journey through the desert. Overall, the force numbered around 3600 soldiers.  Major-General Hunter's flying column set out from Kassinger, a small town a few miles north of Merowe, at five-thirty the evening of July 29, marching only at night so as to avoid both the heat of the sun and the eyes of any Mahdist lookouts.  There was no road or path to follow, and the terrain upon which Hunter's flying column marched was nearly nontraversable; the route alternated between broken, rocky ground and ankle-high sand, ultimately proving extremely difficult to navigate in the dark of night. Added to these difficulties was the measure of speed imposed upon the column, as the mounted Major-General Hunter and Lieutenant MacDonald drove their units to their breaking points in order to preempt Mahdist reinforcements.  The column advanced until midnight, completing a march of over sixteen miles. Sleeping during the day was made impossible by the sweltering heat; only when adequate shade was found in the barren desert could the exhausted men of Hunter's flying column rest.  The advance continued in this fashion until the village of El Kab was reached on August 4, where a shot fired at the column alerted Major-General Hunter that his presence was known to the Mahdists. Fully aware that reinforcements would be on their way to Abu Hamed, Major-General Hunter further increased his column's pace, despite the deaths of three soldiers of the 3rd Egyptian Battalion and the loss of fifty-eight stragglers at various points along the route.  Hunter's forces were supplemented at Kuli by 150 Ababdeh friendlies on August 5. The night of August 6, the column marched another sixteen miles over exceptionally arduous terrain to Ginnifab, only two miles from Abu Hamed. Here half the 3rd Egyptian Battalion detached from the column to escort the supply train as it arrived and guard the reserve ammunition. After a two-hour rest from three-thirty to five-thirty, Major-General Hunter ordered his men to attention and began the final assault.  Battle [ edit] The town of Abu Hamed was a small, inscrutable network of houses and alleyways on the bank of the Nile river, surrounded on three sides by a slightly elevated plateau. Three stone watchtowers stood nearby, from which Mahdist lookouts spotted Major-General Hunter's force advancing from the north.  The reinforcements from Berber had not arrived in time, but the town's commander, Mohammed Zain, refused to flee. The garrison rushed to occupy the town's defenses; Mahdist riflemen took positions in the trenches in front of the town, melee infantry stationed themselves inside houses and throughout the streets, and a small band of cavalry stood by, ready to act. All told, the defense numbered between four hundred and one thousand soldiers.  31] Lieutenant Hector Archibald MacDonald Hunter's force advanced towards the town in a semi-circle formation, composed by the four battalions arranged from left to right in the following order: the 10th Sudanese, 9th Sudanese, the reduced 3rd Egyptian, and the 11th Sudanese.  The artillery battery was with the 3rd Egyptian.  The force reached the ridge of the plateau overlooking the town, about three hundred yards away, at a quarter past six. Major-General Hunter, finding the Mahdist garrison prepared for the assault and entrenched in their defenses, ordered the artillery to bombard their positions, which commenced at six-thirty. However, the artillery proved ineffective, as the guns were unable to strike within the narrow trenches or blast aside the cover behind which the Mahdist infantry waited. Hunter ceased the barrage, and ordered Lieutenant MacDonald to lead his brigade in a general advance.  The command to fix bayonets was given, and the troops began an orderly advance across the three hundred yards that separated them from their objective. However, facing a line of Mahdist riflemen well-protected in their trenches, the soldiers of each advancing battalion were compelled to open fire without direct orders.  The uncoordinated volleys of the advancing brigade were moderately effective against the Mahdist riflemen, who had not yet returned fire. When the battalions were about halfway across the three hundred yard stretch, their lines of fire began to converge due to their semi-circle formation, and the 10th Sudanese, on the left, was forced to halt to avoid coming under the fire of the rightmost 11th Sudanese.  Krupp 75 mm field gun similar to those used in Major-General Archibald Hunter's artillery battery The Mahdists in the trenches, equipped with outdated rifles and makeshift ammunition, designed to wait until Hunter's forces were well within range to open fire.  The entrenched Mahdists weathered the continual barrage of the advancing forces until the distance shrunk to one hundred yards. Together, the Mahdist line erupted in rifle fire, hammering the advancing battalions and, in particular, the stationary 10th Sudanese. Two British officers, Brevet-Major Henry Sidney and Lieutenant Edward Fitzclarence, three Egyptian officers, and a dozen regular soldiers were killed in the volleys. Over fifty were wounded across the brigade.  Following this exchange, the battalions abandoned their orderly approach and charged the trenches with their bayonets. A furious melee ensued, wherein soldiers of MacDonald's brigade poured into the trenches and through the town, engaging in vicious hand-to-hand combat with Mahdists wherever they were to be found in the winding alleyways and narrow houses of Abu Hamed.  In several places artillery was used to dislodge particularly stalwart defenders, while the Mahdist cavalry, looking on as Hunter's battalions swept through the town, turned to flee south towards Berber.  By seven-thirty, the town was firmly in the hands of Major-General Hunter's force.  Almost the entirety of the Mahdist garrison, excepting the cavalry, had been slain in desperate combats throughout the settlement. However, a few isolated pockets of Mahdist resistance remained in fortified houses, violently refusing to give up the fight.  Six men sent to capture a Mahdist sniper's position in a small house near the river were each killed, forcing Hunter to invoke his artillery. The building was shelled to ruins, but the sniper survived, evidenced by the shooting of another soldier sent to locate his body. Finally, a second barrage of artillery blasted what remained of the structure and the rubble fell silent, though the sniper's body was never found.  The local inhabitants had armed themselves with clubs and spears to defend themselves during the battle, but played little role in its outcome.  Aftermath [ edit] Sources differ on the number of Mahdists killed in the battle, ranging between 250 and 850.  36] On the Anglo-Egyptian side, twenty-three men were killed and sixty-one wounded. The 10th Sudanese Battalion alone accounted for sixteen of the twenty-three killed and thirty-four of the sixty-one wounded.  The Mahdist commander, Mohammed Zain, was captured in battle and held prisoner.  Major-General Hunter captured a substantial supply of weapons, camels, horses, and property from the town.  After the battle, the soldiers of MacDonald's brigade were berated by their commander for opening fire during their advance across the three hundred yard gradient between the ridge of the plateau and the town's defenses. Lieutenant MacDonald had not ordered them to do so, and considered it flagrant insubordination that botched his plan for a 150 yard bayonet charge.  Brevet-Major Henry Sidney and Lieutenant Edward Fitzclarence, great-grandson of King William IV, were the only two British officers killed in action throughout the entire campaign.  The dead of Major-General Hunter's column were buried near the town, the British officers in decorated tombs and the rest in unmarked graves. There is a legend which holds that the tomb of Lieutenant Sidney, one of the two British officers killed during the battle, is vigilantly guarded every night by the ghosts of those killed in his battalion.  The news of Major-General Hunter's victory was delivered by riders and telegrams to the officials of Kitchener's army, though several sources report that Kitchener himself learned of the victory when the corpses of several Mahdist rebels floated by Merowe on the Nile, downstream from Abu Hamed.  39] As soon as the news reached him, work on the desert railway was resumed, and the construction effort progressed rapidly, reaching Abu Hamed by 31 October 1897.  The success of the desert railway was of unparalleled importance to Kitchener's campaign; his army's advance towards the Mahdist seat of power and the necessary maintenance of that army wholly relied upon the trains bearing water, supplies, and reinforcements that arrived on a daily basis. The capture of Abu Hamed allowed for the completion of this railway across the forbidding Nubian Desert and made Kitchener's approach possible.  When Major-General Hunter won Abu Hamed from its defenders, the Mahdist reinforcements he knew had been racing towards the town since his force was spotted on August 4 were less than twenty miles away.  Running low on supplies and recognizing the severe exhaustion of his men, Hunter doubted his ability to hold the town in the likely event of a counter-attack from these approaching forces. However, the small troop of Mahdist cavalry that had fled the battle met the incoming detachment and informed them of the events, whereupon they immediately changed course due southwards in the opposite direction of Abu Hamed.  The commanding Mahdist officer at Berber heard of the battle on August 9, and, facing incoming Anglo-Egyptian forces as well as violent internal division, decided to evacuate the city in late August.  Major-General Hunter then left Abu Hamed, where he and his column had remained since the battle, and moved south to occupy the city and further advance the campaign.  References [ edit] Keown-Boyd 1986 p. 3-4. ^ Warner 2010 p. 38. ^ a b Keown-Boyd 1986 p. 6-7. ^ Pakenham 1991 p. 214. ^ a b Pakenham 1991 p. 215. ^ Perry 2005 p. 176. ^ Kochanski 1999 p. 171. ^ Fadlalla 2004 p. 29. ^ Simner 2017 Ch. 6. ^ Gleichen 1905 p. 253. ^ Fadlalla 2004 p. 30. ^ Holt 2011 p. 80. ^ a b Green 2007 p. 248. ^ Daly 1997 p. 84. ^ Churchill 2014  p. 180. ^ Simner 2017 Ch. 7. ^ Keown-Boyd 1986 p. 153. ^ Raugh Jr. 2008 p. xxxviii. ^ Daly 1997 p. 95. ^ Alford 1898 p. 163-4. ^ Churchill 2014  p. 201. ^ a b Keown-Boyd 1986 p. 180. ^ a b Alford 1898 p. 164. ^ a b c d Arthur 1920 p. 215. ^ a b Keown-Boyd 1986 p. 181. ^ a b c d Wright 2011, Dongola to Abu Hamed. ^ Churchill 2014  p. 208. ^ a b c d Asher 2006 Ch. 6. ^ Keown-Boyd 1986 p. 181-2. ^ a b Crabités 1934 Ch. 13. ^ a b Sanderson 1907 p. 346. ^ a b Alford 1898 p. 165. ^ a b Lamothe 2011 p. 53. ^ a b c d Churchill 2014  p. 210. ^ a b Warner 2010 p. 189. ^ a b c Alford 1898 p. 166. ^ Farwell 2001 p. 4. ^ Budge 1901 p. 220-1. ^ Lewis 2001 p. 189. ^ Raugh Jr. xxiii-ix. ^ Sanderson 1907 p. 347. ^ Spiers 1998 p. 44. Sources [ edit] Churchill, Winston (1902. The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan. The Floating Press. ISBN 9781776530618. Alford, Henry Stamford Lewis (1898. The Egyptian Soudan: Its Loss and Its Recovery, Volume 1. Egypt: Macmillan and Company, Ltd. ISBN 9781286580639. Asher, Michael (2006. Khartoum: The Ultimate Imperial Adventure. Penguin UK. ISBN 9780141910109. Warner, Philip (2010. Dervish: The Rise and Fall of an African Empire. Pen and Sword. ISBN 9781473813519. Arthur, Sir George (1920. Life of Lord Kitchener, Volume 1. Cosimo, Inc. ISBN 9781602063631. Budge, Sir Ernest Alfred Wallis (1901. Egyptian Magic. Egypt: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Company, Inc. ISBN 9780486226811. Keown-Boyd, Henry (1986. A Good Dusting: The Sudan Campaigns 1883 - 1899. ISBN 9780436232886. Sanderson, Edgar (1907. Great Britain in Modern Africa. Steeley and Company, Ltd. ISBN 9780837128603. Lamothe, Ronald M. (2011. Slaves of Fortune: Sudanese Soldiers and the River War, 1896-1898. Boydell and Brewer, Ltd. ISBN 9781847010421. Pakenham, Thomas (1991. The Scramble For Africa: The White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912. New York: Random House, Inc. ISBN 0394515765. Perry, James (2005. Arrogant Armies: Great Military Disasters and the Generals Behind Them. Castle Books. ISBN 9780785820239. Kochanski, Halik (1999. Sir Garnet Wolseley: Victorian Hero. A&C Black. ISBN 9781852851880. Fadlalla, Mohamed Hassan (2004. Short History of Sudan. iUniverse. ISBN 9780595314256. Green, Dominic (2007. Three Empires on the Nile: The Victorian Jihad, 1869-1899. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780743298957. Holt, P. M. The History of Sudan: From the Coming of Islam to the Present Day. Routledge. ISBN 9781405874458. Simner, Mark (2017. The Sirdar and the Khalifa: Kitchener's Re-conquest of the Sudan 1896-98. Fonthill Media. ISBN 9781781555880. Daly, M. W. (1997. The Sirdar: Sir Reginald Wingate and the British Empire in the Middle East, Volume 22. American Philosophical Society. ISBN 9780871692221. Gleichen, Lord Edward (1905. The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan: A Compendium Prepared by Officers of the Sudan Government, Volume 1. H. Stationery Office. ISBN 9781177775144. Wright, William (2011. Battle Story: Omdurman 1898. The History Press. ISBN 9780752478876. Raugh Jr., Harold E. (2008. British Military Operations in Egypt and the Sudan: A Selected Bibliography. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9781461657002. Crabitès, Pierre (1934. The Winning of the Sudan. ISBN 9781315444147. Farwell, Byron (2001. The Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-century Land Warfare: An Illustrated World View. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393047707. Lewis, David Levering (2001. Race to Fashoda. Macmillan. ISBN 9780805071191. Spiers, Edward M. (1998. Sudan: The Reconquest Reappraised. Psychology Press. ISBN 9780714647494.
Soldier Supplies Statistics Encumbrance: 72% 10 Cost: 80 Amount produced. 10 Produced in: Factory Production time (seconds/ 120 Uses: Respawning “ A standard issue set of supplies for foot soliders. „ — In-game description Soldier Supplies (also known as Shirts) are used to spawn players at a chosen building, instead of a random spawn point in the wild. It directly affects the respawn ticks for each respawnable structure: Town Halls, Forts, Keeps, Frontier Bases, and Outposts. Without these items in the inventories of the above buildings you can't spawn at them. Thus if you are fighting heavily and suffering a lot of losses, losing these supplies will prevent you from spawning and defending your location. It is essential that the respawn structures are stocked with these at all times. The supplies themselves consist of a uniform, Hammer, Pistol, and 2 pistol magazines; the loadout of a fresh spawn. v d e Items Weapons Pistol • Revolver • Rifle • Carbine • Storm Rifle • SMG • Shotgun • HMG • Sniper Rifle • Anti-Tank Rifle • RPG • Mortar • Light Machine Gun • Machine Gun Ordnance Smoke Grenade • Green Ash • Frag Grenade • HE Grenade • Satchel Charge • Sticky Bomb • Anti-Tank Mine Attachments Bayonet • Grenade Launcher Utility Hammer • Sledge Hammer • Wrench • Binoculars • Radio • Radio Backpack • Gas Mask ( Filter) • Shovel Medical ( Fists) • Bandages • First Aid Kit • Trauma Kit • Blood Plasma Supplies Soldier Supplies (Shirts) • Garrison Supplies Rocket Warhead • Rocket Booster.