Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Flashpoint Latvia Episode 7 - Steel Beasts ProPE - Hit and Run

This narrative is fictional. No political point is intended.

D-day. The Russian mechanized brigades have crossed the border at Morozovka and Terehova. The Russian spearheads inexplicably paused for one hour just a few kilometers after the crossing. There was no real opposition from the Latvian National Armed Forces, just a few incidents with civilians throwing harmless household projectiles at the Russians. The Russian soldiers endured this with remarkable stoicism. It was clear this was not the Russian Army of yesteryear. Professionals, very conscious of their relationship with civilians.

Sensing the lack of resistance and aware that not a second was to be spared, some Russian detachments started to detangle from the main advance guard. The Russian detachment in this blog post (3 BMP-3s) was racing through a secondary road in the vicinity of Nirza when it met a Latvian recon platoon of (FV 107) Scimitars.

The Latvian light armored vehicles were on alert about Russian armor near their position, but the distinctive sound of the BMP-3 engines caught them by surprise. With their backs to a deep creek, they  had no other option than to hide in the low terrain of the creek's bank (see screenshot above).

The Russian BMP-3 platoon. Note the vehicle commander watching the back of the column.

After hearing the Russian column passing by, one of the Scimitars emerged from the river bank and found the BMP-3s moving away at high speed. The Scimitar vehicle commander thought his vehicle was not detected, which turned out to be incorrect as judged by the BMP-3s turret orientation. Nonetheless he ordered his gunner to acquire the target. This is a nerve-wrecking exercise because the turret control for the Scimitar is manual. 

And two armor piercing shots from the 30mm L21 RARDEN auto-cannon were enough to kill the BMP-3. It was a miracle (the Scimitar is a recon vehicle with lots of weak spots in the fire control department) that a recon vehicle not meant to put up with moderns IFVs had such a lucky shot.

So the Latvian commander quickly ordered the platoon to withdraw at full speed (the most precious asset the Scimitar has to offer). In this screenshot, the commander's view of the destroyed BMP-3.
The platoon commander's vehicle, leading the team out of danger.



Anonymous said...

Nice vignette, THX, Koen

JC said...

THX to you for reading it, Koen.