A tale of two sides-Fog of war
We were going out on a footpatrol. It was almost pitch dark. We were a reduced tem of five men. We knew the enemy would be present in the area we were going to and through. We were a reecon troup, consisting of a team leader, a machine gunner a designated marksman (me) and two privates. My rifle was close to useless (because of no nightvision goggles), So I had to rely on my teammates pretty much. I was there because I was a good navigator and because I could- and would- carry a lot of weight.
Making way through forest terrain in the dark without making to much sound is hard enough in daytime. At night it's a order of a magnitude harder. It means that you move about very slowly, and making your way just a couple of hundred meters could take hours. I was pointman the whole time. The psyghological aswell as the physical stress of walking point made me sweat. I could have been standing under a shower- thats how it felt; even though the nighttime temperature was just a couple of degrees over the freezing point.
We were on pretty high altitude, making the effort even harder. We had some waypoints to go through and finding them in the darkness without the help of a compass or a map (we did not dare light a flashlight) was very hard.
At last we made it through to the last waypoint. We had not made any contact on the way. The team leader wanted to report in to base about our progress. We could not make any contact with the base. because of radio shadow. We were now in some sort of a valley or an old riverbed. Our teamleader descided to climb up one of the "riverbanks" ´to try to make contact and took the two privates with him.
I and the machinegunner hid ourselves beside the dirtroad (that was now giong through the river sink). Waiting for our fellow soldiers to come back.
Suddenly we heare footsteps on the road. The enemy clearly was well organized, but not wery good soldiers as they were all walking on the road in march beat. The sound from their boots could be heard from a long way off. By the sound of it I estimated the enemys to be of team siezed (around eight men). We layed silent in the bushes. When they had passed I was sweating even more. We were in a combat zone, where we officially had nothig to do in. If we were discovered- we're toast.
After five minutes or so we hear the noice of people trying to sneak through the woods to our left. Apparently the enemy forces had seen our comrades on the ridge and now was trying to sneak back to take them out. We had strict orders not to open fire if we allready had not been shot on. They were coming our way! We crept down and tried not to breathe. But they were coming right at us! When they were only an estimated ten meters from us, the machinegunner on my left suddenly yells;
It took a couple of seconds before the other side reacted. At first they just shouted, but then a shot went off from their side. A fraction of a second later, both I and the machinegunner opened fire.
In the stroboscopic light from the muzzelflash of the MG I could see the enemy running about, running for cover, falling down, like in a really low- budget stop motion animated movie...
I shot at them blindly- my scope useless. After a world of eternity, the machinegunner shouted that he was out of (linked) ammo. I had only one mag left (The rest was in my backpack). It was time to get the hell out of Dodge. I'm not shure to this day if any of the enemy was KIA, either by me or by the machinegunner. But he had fired off 200 rounds and I managed to get off 90! And when we ran off no shots were being fired from the other side.
We later met up with the rest of the team and had quite a adventurous march back home. But that's a story for another time.
Be good now!