The weather was terrible, torrential rains pounding the men's helmets as they double-timed it toward the road. Sgt. Victoria, the Sandinista squad's leader, still didn't have a solid plan. They had only just found out about the platoon of Contras marching along the road, and he wasn't sure if he should have Sgt. Vasco fire a rocket at their front or wait until they passed to shoot them in the back. By the time they reached the road, he decided on the latter plan.
They could already see the rebels coming along the road, so it was too late to cross it. The ambush would have to come from the south side of the road only. They hid themselves and waited. Finally, what appeared to be two squads of Contras passed their position, fewer than what had been reported. This was good, since they hadn't had time to set a mine. Lt. Palomo could take most of them with his machine gun, and the rest of the squad could mop up.
At just the right moment, Sgt. Victoria gave the order to step out from their hiding places and attack. But the rebels were ready and didn't let the Sandies get the jump on them. Lt. Campuzano and Lt. Soza were taken out by machine gun fire right away, and Lt. Torno, the assistant squad leader, was badly wounded by a skilled Contra rifleman. Sgt. Vic was lightly wounded, and then Vasco, the rocket launcher operator, was killed. Lt. Blancas, seeing his comrades go down, retreated to the safety of the trees momentarily.
Palomo, the Sandy machine gunner, returned fire without aiming and hit no one, but he caused a few Contras to duck into the woods north of the road. The rest of them lay prone in the road, trying to distinguish soldiers from trees. The Sandies went prone too and were rejoined by Blancas. They unleashed a barrage of lead on the Contras in the road, killing the machine gunner, a squad leader, and a rocket launcher operator and seriously wounding the other squad leader and two riflemen. The remaining Contras retreated north, and the Sandy squad regrouped in the woods.
Sgt. Vic took stock of his squad. He had two dead and two wounded, and more than half were still ok. They had done well. They turned their attention to the wounded, Lt. Torno and Lt. Campuzano. Suddenly another shot rang out, and Sgt. Gallo was dead. There must have been a Contra sniper in the woods.
Before Sgt. Vic could even think, four Contras who had been hiding north of the road crossed and came at them, dropping prone when they came into sight.
This time the Sandies reacted first. Palomo sprayed them with machine gun fire, killing one, while Vic wounded two and Palacios one with their AKs.
Then Vic heard voices and what sounded like men running. "Blancas, Palacios," he said in Spanish. "Cross the road and wait. The rest of the platoon may be coming after all."
"Sir, shouldn't we retreat?" asked Palacios.
"We can't leave these men to those dogs. Fight hard. Be strong."
Will the Sandies survive? Visit the blog to find out: http://missilesinmanagua.blogspot.com/2014/10/hunters-and-hunted-ambush-scenario.html
1945 - 1991 AD
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