Monday, July 25, 2011

AAR4 - Mugabia Enters the Fight

Though the ULF leadership didn't see it, the ULF had always been a weapon of the Mugabian government to use against Uwanda. After the failures at Objective A59, the recent ULF victory had come as a welcomed surprise. This in turn had spawned a rising protest in the Pettu villages along the southern border with Uwanda, another welcomed surprise, and an opportunity that Mugabian President Upepomfuko could not pass up.

The Uwandan leadership simply did not understand the situation, insisting that the troops on the ground had enough resources to squash the ULF, and did not consider the local ULF support and unrest as serious. The ground commander at A56 appealed to his superior for more forces, was denied, and conceded the village to the ULF, ending his short career as a Uwandan officer.

Above - The solid black line is the border with Mugabia to the east,
and Uwanda tot he west.  The red are roads, the blue is the  Ukingo River.

The Pettu villages in Uwanda, east of the Ukingo River are isolated by the river, with the only access to the rest of Uwanda being across the road leading from the village at A58 to the village at A59, where the first two ULF attacks failed. Mugabian leadership decided that it would assist the ULF in securing A59, and help rescue the Pettu people oppressed by the Uwandan government. In doing so, Mugabia would gain a secure foothold in Uwandan territory. The ULF was quite happy to receive the aid that would no doubt lead to a self governed Pettu nation.

Above - A view looking west from the border with Mugabia.

ULF forces, about 60 strong, would attack the village from the south. Initially forces would go in on foot, and once Uwandan troops were committed to the fight, the second force of ULF troops would attack up the south road into town advancing with the captured M3 halftrack (from A56) and in trucks. They would be supported by Mugabian army mortar teams, and finally in an attack by Mugabian armored infantry from the east.

Above - A view of the border post, a ferret armored car sets along the road,
and a couple of old Bren carriers are parked behind the main building.  
A handful of these carriers still serve the police, mostly as cargo carriers
and sometimes in SAR operations in the field.

After the chaos at A56, The Uwandan leadership decided to commit more forces to secure the area, using A59 as a base of operations. The border post was strengthened and even given light armor, just in case any more ULF craziness manifested. A heavy recce detachment consisting of Saladin armored cars was based at the village along with the infantry company already committed to protecting the village.

Above -  ULF fighters engaging Uwanda Troops in the distance.

The initial attacking ULF force was sighted at significant distance by observant Uwandan troops at the east roadblock, resulting in early casualties to the attackers. This sighting provided much time for Uwandan army forces being drawn off of the strong southern roadblock to help break the attack to the east. Saladins caused significant ULF casualties until getting caught in a crossfire of RPGs. Mugabian mortars continuously pounded various targets and gnawed away at the defenders. By the time the second ULF force advance up the road from the south, Uwandan forces had taken notable casualties and were struggling to understand the situation.

Above -  Saladin armored cars hunting ULF fighters in the brush.

With Uwandan forces mostly destroyed to the east, and crumbling to the south, the main Mugabian attack began, quickly over-running the border post and border police defending the station. The border police sent a small force of infantry supported by Ferret armored cars to search out the mortars that continuously pounded Uwandan forces. They never found the mortar position, and found themselves hopelessly out of the fight, when the Mugabian personel carriers advanced.

Above - Uwandan troops prepare to fall back into the village.

As Mugabian forces advance toward the town they were surprised by the persistence of Uwandan resistance and the effect of Uwandan LAW rockets. Their nose bloodied with burning BTR60s, the Mugabian infantry halted their advance, while ULF fighters continued to close from the south. Though they fought hard, and held against over whelming numbers, the Uwandan Captain finally ordered remaining forces to withdraw. The village at A59 was finally in the hands of the ULF, and shortly would be claimed by Mugabia.

Above - Mugabian BTR60s burn as their advance stalls.

The implications of Mugabian involvement were yet to be understood, but it was obvious to those caught in the battle, that this was more than tribal unrest.

The Uwandan army lost much of their force, 2 Saracens, 2 Saladins and 22 men missing or KIA, additionally 3 WIA were among the 11 men returning. The border police returned with 5 of their original 12 men. The cost of ULF victory was high, lost were 1 M3 halftrack, 23 KIA, 9 WIA. Mugabian forces fared the worst relative to the scope of their fighting and successes, losing 2 BTR60 and 14 troops while being stopped in their tracks (or wheels) by less than a squad of Uwandan regulars.

The inability of the Uwandan president Ajizi to fend off the ULF and settle the unrest began to domino.  The unrest grew in the east, civilians of other than Pettu affiliation began leaving the region in question, outbreaks of violence began between different tribal groups in the east, and there was a general failing of confidence in the Uwandan government.  With the upcoming fall elections less then two months away, the burden of the ULF threatened to be the president's undoing.

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