[Civil Affairs] Baker Company AAR - March 6th, 2016

Drill March 6th, 2016:
War –

What a difference this war made to the rest of history. Mass killings, executions, immense battles that made your eyes hurt. Everything was ideal for the German soldiers: moving into this Polish town; killing all its civilians to use it as a command post. Few civilians remained after the massacre in August 1941, but those who did remain were the smart ones. Admittedly we were not brave but nonetheless, we survived. The Germans recruited us as town guard, despite them wanting to kill us. We lived our life from day to day; for that is all you can do in war. No heroics. No resistance. Total control. It was only in late 1944 that things started looking brighter for us: the Germans were being pushed back. The Soviets were closing in on the town and the Germans stationed with us were getting fearful. Fear. What fear could possibly come to a man who so willingly kills near 2000 civilians in cold blood? What fear comes to a man who condones the torture of his own people? The fear of rape and death would be a satisfying answer. Stories did not cease to come. Rumours crept in from the East, where Josef Stalin was spreading terror and grief in all the land he could find. What man does not fear it; a fear so grueling it shivers your insides.

Our story begins here: A small cottage, a man who invites death to him and a Soviet Army mere meters away from him. The Soviets attacked in full force, and we did not stand a chance. So what did we do? Turncoat. I stole a Russian uniform off a dead soldier’s body and started attacking the little Polish town. My rifle in hand, I charged the quivering German ranks with a full, fighting, heart. The Germans were thusly pushed back to the centre of Kolno: a hotel by the name of Homestead. Fortified and deadly, the Germans took care of how they shot, not wanting to waste ammunition. Of course, futile attempts at survival are brave - but remain to be futile. The Russian tanks blasted through the buildings in seconds, killing Germans along the way. A sniper shot a comrade who was charging alongside me. As everyone went to ground, we were left to spot the sniper before he dealt too much damage. In no time at all, with eagle-like eyes, the sniper was spotted in Ternby’s Farm, on the northern side of town. I couldn’t warn the Russian or my disguise as a Russian soldier would be up so I decided to flank. I couldn’t speak Russian anyway. Following the River, I remained hidden in the shrubberies that would never cease to pop up in this town. I moved my way toward the Silo tower in the farm, where the Sniper lay. Getting close, I used smoke, not to conceal myself, but to distract the Sniper. I threw it to his left and advanced on the right. As expected, the German was completely dumbfounded and I managed to move inside the farm. The Russian army had lost interest in him, as he had stopped shooting, and thrived on through the town. I, however, remained true to my target. He knew where I was and I knew where he was. I needed to make this quick and precise, for I had no proper military experience. I threw a grenade towards the German and, as expected, he jumped up to avoid it. It was then that I took my rifle, aimed for his pretty blonde head, and shot. Silence. The battle was over. Was it not?

A tank. A very bright blast. A weapon: Soviet? German? British? Polish? An explosion. A tower toppling. A body, with bright red fluid flowing from his wound. Clouds. Rain. A church. A box. Wood. A coffin?

Kolno; a Polish town. It’s very last civilians killed - slaughtered by German adversaries. Not one survivor. Mass graves and endless carcasses scattered around town. It is now available to us in History so that we may study it and learn from it.” – BBC News, February 1945

Written by: T/5 Lacey
Edited by: PFC Winchester and Cpl. Langford
Approved by: CoCA and Bn. S3

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