Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jungle Outpost: Site Delta

Now a brief departure from my regular posting on 54mm ACW plastic soldiers. I'd like to share with you an account, entirely true in every detail, of the length each of us may one day have to go to in the name of freedom, liberty, and a nice looking lawn.


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The photographic evidence was chilling; Soviet-made missiles literally in my back yard!  Tensions were piano-wire taut and we may have been mere moments away from Armageddon. The only option, distasteful though it may have seemed at the moment, was embodied in those two desperate words:

"preemptive strike".




This was over the Independence Day weekend in 1999. I was home with my family in Grand Rapids Michigan when a telephone call summoned me from the garden and into a nuclear near-nightmare.

I was informed of the satellite and U2 photos. Concerned but not yet convinced, I authorized a quick covert mission by an operative inside our Havana network to infiltrate and take photographs. Those few grainy snapshots, taken at close range, gained the free world crucial information and, sadly, cost that operative her life.

Thus begins an only-recently declassified saga of desperate courage in the face of nuclear annihilation that I dubbed:

"OPERATION BACKYARD BARBECUE"


Photograph exhibits 13 through 17, taken on  7-3-99  of Site Delta, gathered by field operative NAME REDACTED .

This crucial piece of photographic evidence clearly shows the missile (Sovietski plastikon 334) deployed with support and fuel trucks arriving at launch site.


The launch site was a beehive of activity with Cubano paramilitary and Sovietski advisers hurriedly making preparations for what can only be assumed to be a first-strike against Tampa.


This photo was one of the last gathered by operative NAME REDACTED from the heights overlooking Site Delta.  This view would have been sufficient evidence upon which to have initiated preemptive strike implementation sequencing.  However, operative NAME REDACTED, in the highest tradition of the AGENCY NAME REDACTED moved ever closer, at great risk and in selfless devotion to duty.  Below is the final photo.  Moments after attaching the microfilm canister to carrier pigeon NUMBER REDACTED the operative was terminated by Cubano sentries.




Final close-up with approaching Cubano paramilitary (blurred image) in lower right  corner.
Of interest in this shot is the U.S. manufactured jeep dating from pre-Marxist revolutionary days.




Within 50 minutes of receipt and processing of the microfilm the president authorized a strike.  Emergency funding was couched in an appropriations bill providing for Federal funding of high school Future Farmers of America exchange programs with Saudi Arabia. 

A two-member strike team infiltrated the Site Delta perimeter at 1115  hours on July 4 1999.  Sequential photos taken from agency operatives accompanied the official report of which selected views are included below.



Photo 37

- Site Delta guard tower.  Deployed missile on right.





Photo 42b

- Initial attack assessment shows superficial damage inflicted by Naval gunfire support (NGS)  provided by destroyers U.S.S Dehaven (DD-727) and U.S.S. Higbee (DD-806).   hardened and concealed bunkers remain intact, missile is overturned but still operational and threat-positive.



Photo 76 

- Photo recon flight recorded Cubano personnel down and missile overturned though undamaged. One six-pounder field gun (previously unobserved) now evident and disabled. AAA vehicle is intact and tracking recon flight.


Photo 38

- Strike team begins overt operations. Smoke from NGS pre-strike shelling rises to the right.





photo 80

- Strike team deploys close-in incendiary charges including white phosphorous and shaped thermite charges.


photo 83
- Strike team assumes "brace" protocol for imminent shock wave.



photo 87

- Photo recon flight records abject devastation on Site Delta. All aggressor personnel neutralized, all vehicles rendered inoperable, missile detonated by thermite and incinerated.

photo 91

- Site Delta eliminated as a threat.  Cubano delegation opens negotiations within four hours of stand-down of operation.  Sovietski advisors recalled to CCCP within 72 hours.  Pravda reports:

Программы земледелия Cubano научные работники модельной теперь самодостаточные, радушные домашние камрада земледелия большой и победоносной родины!

                                                                 (translation)
"Cubano model agriculture program now self-sufficient, welcome home comrade agriculture scientists of great and victorious motherland!"  


 Threat averted.




As I returned to my back yard celebration with the family, my wife commented that I was absent overly long for just having gone out for ice and condiments.  She also noted that I smelled of kerosene.  

My secret and irrevocable loss of my own humanity was a small price to pay for the security of the free world and the safety of my own backyard.
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                                                    Heart of Darkness



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See you on the 15th

Soldier on!

Mannie

3 comments:

Dane of War said...

That was an awesome post, Mannie. I really enjoyed it!

Mannie Gentile said...

Thanks Dane of War!

CraigSpiel said...

So much melted plastic...

Oh! The Humanity!