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Team Yankee Fulda Gap 86 - Bulletin number 7


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Team Yankee Fulda Gap 86 - Bulletin number 7


<Driving cross-country, westward, from Vacha, East Germany, to Philippsthal, West Germany>

Red Army Junior Lieutenant Plinnikov wiped at his nose with his fingers and ordered his driver forward. The view through the vehicle commander's optics allowed no meaningful orientation. Rapid flashes dazzled in the periscope's lens, leaving a deep gray veil of smoke in their wake. The view was further disrupted by raindrops that found their way under the external cowl of the lens block. Plinnikov felt as though he were guiding his reconnaissance track through hell at the bottom of the sea.


The shudder of the powerful artillery bursts reached through the metal walls of the vehicle. Suddenly, the armor seemed hopelessly thin, the tracks too weak to hold, and the automatic cannon little more than a toy. Occasionally, a tinny sprinkling of debris struck the vehicle, faintly audible through Plinnikov's headset and over the engine whine. He could feel the engine pulling, straining to move the tracks through the mud of the farm trail.


"Comrade Lieutenant, we're very close to the barrage," his driver told him.


Plinnikov understood that the driver meant too close. But the lieutenant was determined to outperform every other reconnaissance platoon leader in the battalion, if not in the entire Second Guards Tank Army.


"Keep moving," Plinnikov commanded, "just keep moving. Head straight through the smoke."


 --- Red Army, by Ralph Peters, p. 56




<somewhere in a forest east of Bad Hersfeld, West Germany>



 (Captain Sean) Bannon (U.S. Army) snapped his head to the left. There was no need to use a map. There was only one place where the Russians would be, and that was on the hill 2,200 meters away. All the training, planning, and preparation was over. Team Yankee was about to learn if the Team’s seventy-nine men and twenty-five million dollars’ worth of equipment could do what they were supposed to do: close with and destroy the enemy by fire, maneuver, and shock effect.


The five T-72 tanks began their descent into the valley in a line with about 100 meters between tanks. One of them had a mine roller attached to the front of its hull. He would have to be taken out in the first volley.


As soon as the tanks started down, a line of Soviet armored personnel carriers, BMP-2s, appeared on the crest of the hill and followed the tanks down without hesitation. There were fifteen of these personnel carriers deployed in a rough line about one hundred meters behind the tanks. All moved down the opposite slope at a steady and somewhat restrained pace, as if they really didn’t want to go into the valley or get too far ahead of follow-on elements.


 --- To continue reading, go to " An Excerpt from Team Yankee Harold Coyle's Novel of World War III" at http://www.team-yankee.com/Default.aspx?art_id=5118

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