Reuters reports that Captain Goodwin’s US Marines have been caught up in an unfortunate incident of Blue on Blue. Your intrepid reporter was there to witness the scenes as US forces clashed with West Germans in village to the South of Berlin.
Our brave boys from the Corps, having put to flight a column of East German armour hours earlier, and having resumed defensive positions on the outskirts of the village, found themselves facing another force of armour advancing on their position. Despite attempts to hail these new arrivals by radio, no response was received, and given the speed of their advance, Goodwin and his men had no choice but to assume this was a quick reaction force of Soviet-aligned Germans coming to support to their comrades, unaware of their earlier annihilation. Our boys did what any good Americans would, they shot first and asked questions later!
The unknown forces rapidly rolled into the village in force. Hearing only german voices on the radio, and receiving no friendly acknowledgement, the M60s on the hill open fire on the Leo1s. Seeing their targets burst into flames as easily as the T-55s engaged earlier, the USMC assume they are engaging Opfor with their inferior Russian equipment and press the attack!
The West Germans, panicking under fire, engage the M60s, whom they can barely make out over the rise of the hill on the west side of town. Meanwhile, the M60s in the eastern woods leave their concealed positions in an attempt to flank the enemy positions.
The Leopard 1s were hopelessly outclassed by the engineering prowess of the old US of A, and more of their number are turned into burning wrecks. The West German scouts meanwhile, having veered too close to the Marine artillery, are swiftly annihilated by direct fire from the M109s “Big Guns”.
Both of his platoons destroyed, the Leo 1 commander flees the field. Having been unable to identify his enemy, he reports to his high command that communist forces have overrun the southern flank of the Berlin advance. The confusion at high command grows, as Goodwin radios for air support to help him repel an advance of soviets that intel must have missed.
The commander of the mechanised elements of the West Germans seeks sanctuary in a nearby church, corralling his Gepards outside and frantically crossing between radioing and praying for support to arrive!
Whilst the Germans are in disarray, Goodwin orders his troops to regroup at the approach road in the forest to the west of the village.
As the USMC gathered, they were taken unawares by the arrival of more enemy tanks! Goodwin has a vague sense of recognition, as his tank rolls down the slope towards the road, but his scopes are soon obscured as the new arrivals, without missing a beat, wiped out the platoon escorting him to the rally point!
Enraged, Goodwin commands all of his forces to concentrate on this latest group of enemy targets, before ordering his own gunner to retaliate, killing one of the Leo 2s. LAVs and VADS then arrive from the north, coming in to support Goodwin’s position by providing security against the Gepards prowling in the village.
The Gepards, having been held at bay by the LAVs, withdraw behind the church and put fire on an M60 foolish enough to expose his rear armour to them, punching holes in the tank and causing it to burst into flames.
Despite the loss of one of their number to a sly Gepard, the remaining M60 platoon advances westward on the road, pouring fire on the Leo 2 platoon. Buoyed by their advance, the rifle platoon moves towards the German infantry who had taken up positions in the forrest, ultimately closing with them and wiping them out, just as Uncle Sam trained them to do. Overhead, Harriers continued to harry the Leo 2 platoon, whilst our artillerymen also lobbed shells their way. Another Leopard 2 was destroyed in the hail of fire, and the final Leopard 2 started to pull away from the swarming, angry Marines.
It was only as Lieutenant Ericsson, OC of the rifle platoon closed with the enemy tank that he realised the terrible mistake that had occurred. Grabbing his radioman, he quickly put the word out, the USMC in their blood-lust were slaughtering friendlies!
Capt. Goodwin reigned in his men, and radioed high command to advise that of the misfortune to have befallen his men and the West German forces. High command chalked this one up to the fog of war, and ordered Goodwin to move out. His next destination - Berlin proper!