The ULF had been monitoring this activity, particularly the number of convoys moving troops and supplies toward the border. ULF leadership decided that disrupting the convoys would be the best way to interfere with the Uwandan build-up.
The first of these attacks was located just west of Objective A55 (toward the bottom center of the map), where a Uwandan infantry platoon was ambushed by a large ULF force, while moving toward the border town.
Wakili had run a couple of small operations since taking control of the local ULF, but they had been harassment against local, unsympathetic civilians, loyal to the Uwanda central government. Today would be different. Today he would attack enemy soldiers. Today he would make the oppressors pay!
ULF forces deployed along side the road with carefully defined fields of fire. The plan was simple; force the convoy to stop, kill the soldiers, destroy everything that couldn't be carried away.
An easterly view of the convoy heading toward Objective A55.
The Uwanda convoy consisted mainly of an infantry unit, heading to Objective A55 to relieve infantry that had been stationed there since the fighting had begun. It was escorted by a few armored cars, and also included some cargo trucks.
The head of the column with two Ferrets,
followed by Lt. Zuberi's Saracen APC.
Lt. Zuberi was riding in the turret of his Saracen, behind two armored cars leading the convoy. It wasn't very comfortable, but at least he wasn't stuck in the oven that was the interior of the APC. His eyes were closed, but he wasn't asleep when the explosions startled him...
The ULF deployed primarily on the south side of the road to Objective A55, hitting the convoy with four RPGs in the opening seconds of the ambush. Those first seconds were absolute chaos, as the Uwandan troops tried to figure out what was happening and what to do.
Actually, a photo on the second turn of fighting, showing a 5th
plume of smoke from yet another RPG victim.
Survivors bailed out of the burning Saracens, getting cut down quickly, while trying to get into cover and return fire. More RPGs flew, blowing up the fuel tanker in the middle of the convoy. AK and machinegun fire raked the cabs of the other trucks, bringing them to an abrupt halt.
A large plume of smoke rising from the destroyed
fuel truck as fighting continues.
Infantry from the remaining Saracens began to return fire, and quickly cut down many of the ULF fighters near the front of the convoy. They tried to provide covering fire for the men from the stricken Saracens, but without much success, given the chaos and congestion of the situation.
Troops at the head of the column trying to help those toward the rear.
As the ULF took casualties, their morale quickly crumbled, and fighters began to run back into the forest, rather than push the attack on the convoy. The Uwandan LT did well, manning a machinegun, and regrouping his men to successfully fight off the attack.
ULF fighters beginning to waver,
as the Uwandans stand their ground.
As abruptly as it began, the fight was over. Wounded were tended to, but not quickly enough for some. Half of the vehicles burned, two thirds of the men were wounded or dead. A few wounded ULF were captured.
Damage done, the ULF simply melt away into the forest.
A young Lieutenant was commended for exhibiting great leadership during a hopeless situation. He would never rest his eyes while on duty again, and would spend many nights off duty, wishing he that could close them.
Losses were heavy on both sides with the Uwandans receiving the worst of it, lost were:
2x trucks (supplies and fuel)
23x men KIA (10 were vehicle and truck crew, the remainder infantry)
12x men WIA
ULF losses were:
Back at the base camp, Wakili was unmoved by the death and suffering that he saw on this day. Instead, he pondered the lessons of his first real fight. Casualties inflicted on the enemy suggested a great victory, but losses were unacceptably high. A smaller force, using faster, and more simple hit and run tactics could have caused nearly as much damage with no more than a handful of casualties, if any. The mistakes would not be repeated!