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» The General - Chapter 10

At first Conrad had decided to drive from New York to Baltimore, but they couldn't find enough jeeps to put all of 4th Army's stuff in, paperwork, etc. So instead Conrad went to LaGuardia Airport and commandeered an US Airways 737 to fly him and his staff to Baltimore. They arrived in Baltimore around 0730 and an escort was waiting to take them to their new HQ in the south side of Baltimore a mere 30 miles away from the capital. Just before they left Conrad ordered Major Tate to meet them in Baltimore as to go over the attack plans. The bulk of 4th Army which had been transferred to southern-Pennsylvania was now, as of 0700, twenty miles north-west of Washington. Half an hour after he landed (0800) Conrad's 4th Army HQ was up and running.
"Well Major, how are our boys doing?" Conrad asked Maj. Tate.
"They're ready, sir." Tate responded. Conrad acknowledged this by patting him on the back; he then turned his attention to the rest of the group in the room.
"Okay people lets get this on the road." Everyone was seated and Captain Klimec took his position at the front of the room.
"This is Washington, (a map of Washington appeared on the video projector) the area you see in red is controlled by the Russians as of thirty minutes ago, so it may be larger. Satellite recon has distinguished eight divisions, two armor, two mech infantry, and four infantry, another infantry division holds Annapolis, to the east. We have seven divisions, one armor and one infantry on the south side of D.C. and Major Tate's force of two armor and three infantry to the north-west."
"Don't forget the 27th Marine on its way from New York." Conrad interrupted.
"Yes, of course I almost forgot. We've decided on a three-prong attack. Major Tate will lead his force directly into Washington, with the objective of causing as much chaos and confusion in the Soviet lines. Using this distraction, Col. Cooper's 9th armor division will move north into Washington with the objective of destroying a smaller Soviet supply base in south-eastern Washington D.C. and in the ensuing panic the 27th Marine will swoop in from the north-east secure the President and await evac via Blackhawk helicopters out of Andrew's Air force base." Klimec wrapped up. "Any questions?"
"Not a question but a comment, none the less. Your plan calls for no contingency if the Russians decide to pack it up and retreat. Under my plan you [Klimec] will take Tate's 41st tank platoon and 4th infantry battalion and attack and cut off the Soviet retreat and supply route at Annapolis."
"But sir that cuts into my strength." Tate objected.
"Nonsense, the Red's won't be expecting an organized counter attack for at least another twelve hours, besides the soviet force is spread thought the city and will take some time to organize against you, that's why we have Cooper coming from the south to cause more confusion." Tate then withdrew his complaint.
"Sir, who will lead the 27th, if I'm going after Annapolis?" Klimec asked.
"I am." Conrad replied. The room exploded into objection, after the room calmed down Klimec spoke up :
"Sir, I think I speak for the rest of the people in this room and must fully object to that."
"Thank you, Major your objections have been noted, but I am still doing it. You have your orders...the attack begins precisely at 0930, dismissed." Conrad then turned and walked out of the room with out saying anything else.

*    *   *   *   *   *

The sleepy town of Lewes, Delaware had turned into the heart of Soviet Army Division 'East's' Headquarters. There General Vladimir and Admiral Heulizi were having a drink of vodka to celebrate their victory. General Timoka had just returned from northern-Delaware where his army was bogged down.
"Celebrating a little early are we?" They [Vladimir and Heulizi] had not been expecting Timoka to return for sometime and where taking a few "liberties" with protocol. "Shouldn't you be in Washington, Vladimir?"
"Timoka, come have a drink, to the conquest of America." Vladimir said raising his glass and then having another round.
"I don't believe in indulging while there is still work to be done." Timoka snapped back.
"Loosen up, Comrade. We have the American capital, they will be laying down their arms in masses rather than fight this hopeless cause. How goes your campaign to the north?" Vladimir responded, half drunk.
"Perhaps, you should go tell the Americans the war is over. They for some reason seem to think it isn't. Imagine that." Timoka responded, still furious at the lack of concern on the part of Vladimir and Heulizi.
"I think you should sit down, comrade. Vladimir is right this war is all but over, as in our glorious conquest of Washington had captured a prize far greater than the city itself...its leader. And initial interrogations have been more than useful; it appears the nearest American army is Conrad's 4th Army in New York, at the minimum another twelve hours before he is in a position to counter-attack. By then we will have more than enough forces to deal with him and his pathetic band." General Timoka began to loosen up a little at the sound of this latest news. Just as he was about to take his first shot device beeped from the inside of Vladimir's jacket.
"Ah, my sub commander with more great news." Vladimir said reaching in for his device. "Go ahead, comrade. What good news do you bring us?"
"Comrade General, I am just informing you that we are under a counter-attack from the north-west. From my estimates, one maybe two tank divisions and two to three infantry divisions. We have been pushed back several streets, but are forming strong defensive positions along our resupply base." Vladimir turned from jubilant to enraged in a matter of seconds at this news.
Comrade, if you know what's good for you, you will allow the Americans no more ground. You will find everyone you can and you will push the Americans back were they came from. Vladimir out." He turned off the device and shoved it back in his jacket.
"So much for the Americans 'laying their arms down in masses' eh, General." Timoka said with a smirk as he sipped his vodka.

*    *   *   *   *   *

The soviets, had done exactly what Conrad believed the would to an even greater extent. The decision to throw everything they had against the American attack would prove to be a fatal mistake. Elements of the soviet army that were on their way to counter attack got a surprise when a second armored element attacked from the south. Washington was a scene of mass confusion on the soviets behalf, just as was the plan. Now was the time for the 27th Marine to make its move.

A force of eighteen humvees left Baltimore 20 minutes before the attack was scheduled to take place. That way they get there after the fighting had begun and confusion was at a maximum. They drove past soviet elements that made up their outer perimeter with only offering a few shots from the M-60's attached to the roof. Conrad was in the middle of the column eight back from the front. The soviets they encountered pulling back at the first sign of the force rather than stay to fight, which suited Conrad just fine as he wanted his operation to be over as soon as possible and lingering around waiting for heavier soviet reinforcements was not his idea of a good time. Washington was filled with shells and smoke rising up from the battlefield. The primary advance had been stalled and brutal building to building combat ensued. The second thrust was causing all sorts of confusion, but order in the soviet ranks was beginning to be restored. Conrad arrived at the White House precisely twenty minutes after the fighting had begun. The first humvees to arrive created a perimeter around the lawn and White House itself with several marines getting out and preparing to enter the building. Conrad's vehicle pulled right up to the front door. Conrad's demeanor getting out of the humvee was quite interesting to say the least. He acted as if he was going there for a meeting rather than in the middle of a war, he was only armed with a 9mm, which he didn't even have in his hand. He stood by his vehicle and ordered the marines to proceed inside.
Inside the marines made short work of the soviets occupying the building, only two rooms group of soviets still controlled. When the "all clear" was given, Conrad strolled inside towards where the President was being held hostage. On the way Conrad stopped and pick up a soviet officer's pistol.
"What's that for, sir?" a marine asked. Conrad just went on as if nothing was said and the soldier decided not to push the issue any further.
"What's the SITRAP, Corporal?" Conrad asked.
"A lone soviet officer is inside with the President threatening to shoot him if his demands are not met." the Corporal responded.
"I'll handle this." Conrad replied. He then entered the room where the hostage situation was at.
"Conrad?" the President said. "What are you doing here? You're supposed to be in New York."
"Someone has to fight this war." Conrad responded.
"Both of you shut up." The Russian ordered. "Now I want out of here, or else..."
"Or else what? You'll shoot him? Go ahead, if you don't I will. Either way you'll get the credit for it." Conrad said.
"What are you talking about, Conrad?" the President interrupted.
"I didn't ask you to speak, shut up!" Conrad replied now pointing the gun at the President. The poor Russian couldn't make heads or tails of the situation. The American threatening to shoot his own leader? He thought that only happened in his country. In his confusion he forgot he was holding a hostage on momentarily let his guard down, long enough for Conrad to squeeze off a shot. Dugan had closed his eyes in fear that he was the target, yet moments later the Russian fell on his back and immediately jumped away with the soviet officer falling to the ground with a thud, blood was now pouring out of his mouth where he'd been shot at.
"What the hell was that, Conrad?" the President demanded to know.
"Negotiating strategy, sir." he replied.
"Oh, good work then." the President replied, still a bit confused.
"Of course, sir." Conrad replied. "Sergeant, escort the President to his helicopter." The Sergeant complied and disappeared a moment later with the President. Then a corporal approached General Conrad.
"Sir, that was a great job you did in there, I've seen a more well-constructed lie or joke or whatever that was."
"Who said I was kidding?" Conrad replied with all seriousness and then a wink. He then dropped the Soviet-style pistol and walked out of the building and back to his humvee.

"How are we doing, Harrison?" Conrad asked entering the make-shift 4th Army HQ. "Well, the soviets have pushed Cooper's 9th armored back across the Patomic, and Tate is stuck in western-D.C. in heavy urban fighting." Harrison responded. "How's Klimec doing?" the General asked. "He's met heavy soviet resistance and is in desperate need of reinforcements to secure the city." "Alright, get on the horn and tell him I'll have the 27th down their with in the hour."

Most of the 27th Marine along with their equipment had arrived from New York or had made it back from Washington where they were regrouping in a nearby supply depot when Conrad showed up.
"Listen up men, Captain Klimec has met serious soviet resistance near Annapolis, because the Reds are able to keep moving reinforcements across the Cheasapeake Bay. Our job is to derail their movements and assist in retaking the city. We'll be leaving in five minutes so load 'em and move 'em out. Dismissed." The marines immediately went there seperate ways making last minute preparations for the up coming battle. After everyone was set one, by one, the 27th began to move out.
"Corporal." Conrad blurted out.
"Yes, sir" the Corporal replied, Corporal Jones that is.
"Your with me." Conrad ordered. Jones joined the General in his jeep. "Where's your driver, sir?" Jones asked.
"Drivers are a waste of good soldiers. And the last time I checked I was fully capable of driving a jeep, besides I drive better any "driver" I've ever met." Jones seemed satisfied with that response and out of the corner of his eye noticed the stockpile of C4, weapons and ammunition in the back of the jeep.
"Bringing supplies for the troops, sir?"
"That's my personal supply. For emergencies only, of course." Conrad gave Jones a wink and he sped off to Annapolis.

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