The Change of mission has diverted the Union Battle Group and the 3rd Division from advancing North East and onto Berlin! Instead, they were now “advancing” South East and onto Leipzig!
Major Reilly could think of only two reasons for the change; one logistics, problems had finally overcome operational capability or there supply line was going to get cut in the North. Or two, The American forces were having a rough go and need to clean house in West German before advancing into East German.
Either way, it really doesn't matter, His squadron was still going to be in the lead of the Union Battle Group, who in-turn was the led of the 3rd Division! At this point, he wasn’t sure what the remaining corps elements were doing?
The Good news was the return of 5th Troop with their Still Brew Chieftains; the 4th Troop and its standard Chieftains were return to the right Squadron.
Major Reilly, a student of the American Civil War, was thinking that his present situation was very similar to the Grierson’s cavalry raid of 1863 into the Deep South. The initial reason was different the end result was the same. Ty down a large amount of enemy’s force, disrupt the supply lines and then escape back through to his own or in this case the American lines hundreds of mile from where he started!
The Squadron Sergeant Major walked up and began to say
“Sir, Captain Shaw has found a BTR Company and support elements about 10 Kilometer ahead, He says it looks more like an assemble are then a battle position. He also said he found an open flank to the South East where we can hit them from. If we are going to attack we need to get on with it. Raven is tracked a BMP company coming from the east by southeast, about three hours out.”
Major Reilly called for a quick orders brief and laid out the plan.
Captain Shaw’s scout, 9th Platoon and Himself would work around to the South East position that Captain Shaw had found and would attack west across the objective.
Charlie Battery, the Mortars, and the FO would set up in the North East and provide fire support as direct by the FO and or The Major.
To the east of Charlie on a rocky hill, the Milan section would set up to cover the East approach where the BMP mostly likely would come from and to the south-west to cover 9th Right Flank.
1st Platoon and the Chieftain of 5th Troop would move to the North West and once Major Reilly gave the signal would advance south taking the enemy in the flank as they shifted to face 9th
The attack went according to the plan with one except! The attack from 9th platoon caught the enemy completely off guard!
Within a few short minutes, the combined missiles and small arms in coordination with the artillery and mortars had destroyed all the vehicles and killed or wound most of the infantry. Once the 9th platoons’ squads took the hill overlooking the enemy position, all resistance faded away.
Major Reilly was securing the area and adjusting the Squadron to meet the BMP Company from the East when the Sergeant Major walked up with a smile on his face.
“Sir, Raven just called, the BMP has changed direction and is now moving to the South East away from us”
Then Captain Shaw drove up in his Scimitar.
“Sir, The welsh just reported making visual contact with the Americans”
That was it they had cut off and surrounded the bulk Russian force present in the central region of West and East German. He later found out that the press called it the “Thuringia Pocket.”
He also found out the real reason for the change of mission, the official reason was that the East German Authority had declared Berlin a Cease Fire Zone.
The real reason was quite the opposite, in all likely hood if the British hadn’t turned south and attacked from the East the American forces would not have been able to close the pocket.
The news never printed the real reason and the Canadian weren’t present to blame this time around.
History does repeat itself!