Posted by: TheAuthor | 16/04/2011

Longest Day Part 1

William came to, a round cracked over head, “Contact front!” he took to the ground and began returning fire. His platoon rapidly advanced on the compound building 100 meters away and proceeded to clear it after receiving the incoming fire. Nothing, an empty compound – aside from a domesticated dog who barked and snarled at William and his platoon. Sounds of the war now erupted throughout the town, aimed at the entire company of men advancing through previously secure areas of the Taliban.

The platoon held fast, sentries posted to keep watch but adopting a low profile, the enemy were extremely close by. A caged pair of birds were set free, some of the members of the platoon fed them water and perched them on their shoulders. The dog, still opposed to the foreign occupiers of his home, had continued its aggressive posture to the soldiers before being forced to retreat to a small room. A small stash of raw opium was uncovered, played with and then left as it bore no interest to William and the ragged soldiers within his platoon.

Before long, as the sun continued to climb in the sky, William was on the move again, advancing deeper into the village along enclosed paths and blind corners. “Crack, Crack, Crack!”. Shots fired, heard from above the platoon in a high walled compound, aimed by the Taliban at another unit within the company, “They have no idea we are here, keep alert and watch your noise” whispered the boss over the radio. The platoon edged down a narrow pathway beside the compound where the enemy were situated, “Crack, Crack, Crack!” sounded the AK47’s from the roof above, so close you could hear the empty cases bouncing on the floor. William and his colleagues held their breath, hearts pounding wildly, fear of the unexpected racing through every cell and microbe of their body. Eyes darting in controlled unison to observe any potential targets or something that could give away their presence, rifles ready to use within a millisecond.

William and his section moved quietly to clear the street outside the compound door, the open fields to the right provided limited cover from that direction. Once secured, a section of men efficiently assaulted the compound with grenades. However, the compound was much larger than expected with far too many rooms for 7 men alone to clear. The reserve section echeloned through at the speed of a thousand gazelles to assist in the clearance operation, the dull thud of the grenades resonated throughout the town as they mingled with the rest of the sounds of war hanging in the air.

William’s section, still outside, was now pulled in to regroup with the platoon and assist in securing the remainder of the compound. They filed through the large wooden doorway (providing the only means of egress) which were shut behind them.

No sooner had this happened all hell broke loose on the compound. Rounds and RPG’s were fired and impacted on two sides, including the doorway, of the compound. The sentries posted within the compound began returning fire as a battle ensued to defend the area. Meanwhile, a terrifying radio communication between the Taliban command and it’s soldiers was intercepted by William and his platoon;

“Once you have the infidels trapped, move in and destroy them all”

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