|The mission for today is to clear the village of Sultansafe, which is under the control of insurgents.|
A mission like this could use an extra platoon. There are many tasks to perform, the first one being isolating the objective. I am a bit short in man and fire power, so I decided to waive that and put all my men into the assault task. The approach route was chosen because the hills offer some defile in case the tactical march goes awry, the vegetation west of Sultansafe provides some modicum of concealment and enough space for 30+ men in the assault position. Moving directly north would mean an early assault through 500+ meters of relatively open terrain. A right flank approach would have been good too, in my opinion. But I always choose left when in doubt!
The tactical approach march was mostly uneventful. We could spot some hostiles approaching from the NW but they quickly got out of sight into the village. A missed opportunity to catch some insurgents in the open ... That's why you isolate the objective, I guess.
Once in the assault position, some 200 meters west of Sultansafe we started to assemble for the assault into the town. We were interrupted by enemy fire coming from the village. Another folder for the lessons learned cabinet: an assault position with just good concealment is prone to both kill plans and men. Assault positions need good cover.
Fortunately, by the time we got fired upon, my men were already deployed and they quickly dispatched the insurgents.
|Moving ahead for the assault on the village. One insurgent position could not be neutralized and I was forced to use some smoke to deploy the GPMG.|
|That guy with the GPMG is Cpl. Martin. You may argue that he was a tad exposed, but he had an excellent field of fire. There is a fire team already moving forward on our left (blue and white icon).|
My two fire teams in our left (north) flank were wrecking havoc among the insurgents, so I let them loose beyond the crossroad (up to their way points 2). Not so for my two fire teams on our right (south) flank. Multiple enemies engaged ... I could see them moving away (southeast) from us.
|Redeploying the GPMG towards our right (south) flank. Always remember that suppression is a full time job and must be provided by weapons not involved in the assault (i.e. the two fire teams right behind me).|
With just a toehold on the village, me and the right flank of the assault forces were still on the west side of the road that bisects the village from south to north (see map above, way points 2 and 4). The terrain on the other side of the road quickly sinks in a relatively steep slope. As we advanced and descended through that terrain feature our luck went also downhill.
|... But unfortunately, LCpl Murphy (on my left) got shot and killed. Screenshot taken after completing the mission.|
|This screenshot is to show how the terrain slopes down east of the road. Screenshot taken after completing the mission.|
That smoke grenade I threw after the shit hit the fan should have been used a few minutes earlier at the critical point of showing ourselves to the bad guys down the hill.