[Civil Affairs] Able Company Second Squad AAR - Hostage Rescue

July 5th, 1942
Operation Univermag 10
Hostage Rescue

This is a field report of the hostage rescue operation "Univermag 10" from PFC Vladimir Ilyin, Able Company First Platoon Second Squad aka "Hellhounds".

July 4th, 1942

Our officers, NCOS and engineers have been captured by a German elite squad from the 100th Jäger Division - a division our platoon knows all too well. They were captured a few hours ago while setting up a communications post in what was to become our new command building. We were still in our base - it was the main defensive location we held at that moment - until we heard some Kar98k and MP40 fire from the building our officers were in. We did not have any squad leaders nor any higher ranks than PFC with us as they all went with the officers. It was chaos on until one of the men from the first squad, PFC Alexei Kulik, took command of the situation. Seeing that the Germans were not opening fire upon us, we held our positions and surveyed the situation when, suddenly, the square's speakers came on. They said, "Soldiers of the Red Army, we have your officers! You have until tomorrow to retreat out of your current location or surrender, or we will execute your officers". PFC Alexei told all the men to prepare their gear and stand by for orders as PFC Vladimir Onegin took command of the squad.

July 5th, 1942

It's now the 5th of July. PFC Alexei ordered us to be battle ready - we were waiting for further orders while observing every single move of the Germans. The 100th Jäger Division is not a division to underestimate - we remember our first encounter we were advancing towards the front. Suddenly, a smoke screen appears. We did not think anything of it - after all, we were in friendly territory. We heard a hail of gunfire going of behind us, there was so much confusion that even some squads were laying down in the middle of the road. After about 4 minutes, it was silent.

Because we were the platoon at the front, S1 set up a defensive line looking down the road. S3 and S4 were setting up in buildings and clearing out any hostiles, and our squad went back to the squad behind us, AP2S1. The only things we found were German shell casings and bodies. AP2S1 was totally wiped out - they were stabbed and shot... we were shocked.

Our entire company held the position for 10 hours until one of the company HQ came to us and ordered us to advance to our next location.

It's not like we were scared more than usual, but the confusion and shock of losing a squad that was with us from the beginning of the war was unthinkable. A few days later, about 4 or 5, we had our second encounter with the Jäger Division. This time, on more even grounds so to speak, we had to clear out a station. When we heard it was the same people who attacked us a few days ago, our men where furious and ready to go into battle - saying things like, "Now they cant hide!" "We will destroy them".

How foolish of us, back then.

After some fearsome close quarters fighting, we lost over 70% of our company. It was then that we learned the name of those Germans fighting us... The "100th Jäger Division". And learned to respect it. After that we had a few more encounters with them, with every battle garnering more respect and hate.

Anyway, I have to finish this up. I don't think we will be moving out of the back of our building any time soon.

July 5th, 1942
Operation Hostage Rescue

Soon after I finished up my diary, PFC Alexei ordered us to the back of the building for briefing. Our orders were clear - attack the building from two sides across the street and also from a building attached to our targeted building. The targeted building was designated "foxtrot", the building attached to it was assigned "delta", and the building across the street was designated as "golf".

He also asked us to limit the use of grenades, and to prioritize the extracting of hostages - something that I doubt we will do. Not that we don't want to rescue our comrades, it's just all of us want to get the German bastards. Our objective was to go to the golf building, just across the street from foxtrot. S3 would stay as rear guard, and S1 would go to Delta. S4 would go right up to the building - from there on we will get the rest of our orders.

Soon after the briefing the speakers came on again. "Soldiers of the red army! We see you rejected our offer! Seeing that you Russians seem to be a little slower, and or drunk, we will execute an officer every 3 minutes... something that... pains me to do". We rapidly got to our staging ground. We luckily had an open sewer about 10 meters from our staging ground.

We dropped smoke in front of the sewer entrance - we were all a bit jumpy. Even our point man was anxious, telling us "Come on, come on, I want to go kill some of those bastards!", Almost walking in front of the line of sight of the foxtrot building.

The smoke formed, and PFC Alexei shouted, "advance"! All of us rushed into the sewers. It was a bit suspicious that we did not take any fire, but they probably didn't wanted to waste ammo.

We ran through a bombed sewer, crawling over rubble until we finally reached the crossing (was only 70 meters of the entrance but felt like kilometers). One went to Golf and later beneath foxtrot, and the other tunnel had an exit right outside of Foxtrot. Just before s4 was able to get to the exitn the Germans began throwing grenades into the entrance. S4 decided to go with us (S2 and S1) and they managed to reach the tunnel that went beneath Foxtrot.

As our squad got into golf, our squad leader ordered us to hold - and not to stick our heads out. We had to be ready to move on. Then my squad leader ordered PFC Groggy Volkov and me to get upstairs and see if we could kill any of the Germans in foxtrot.

Me and Groggy got upstairs. In the meantime, S4 and S1 were in position. I looked towards foxtrot, not sticking my head out of a window, but sitting at the back of the room using something called "jude's law" - something I learned from a sniper (but that is a whole different story any way).

When I raised my rifle up to my shoulder I was able to see two Germans - one with a kar98k rifle and one with what I think was a G41 - one of those semi-auto rifles or some automatic weapon of some sort. I pointed my gun at the one with the kar98k - when I pulled the trigger, he went down. I was able to see the blood spatter on the other side of the room. I expected the other German to get into cover, but he did not. I re-chambered my rifle and shot him with the same results.

The rest of the squad went across the street towards foxtrot. In the meantime, S1 and S4 cleared the bottom floor. Groggy and I were ordered to hold, and look toward foxtrot. I realized then that there were about 6 minutes over, so they would have executed 2 of our officers! I was thinking to myself "Dammit! We must be quick, before they kill all of them!". However, I had orders.

After about a minute or two, we had taken the first floor - taking quite some casualties. Our squad leader ordered us to move in (Groggy and I, that is).

When Groggy and I reached foxtrot, I'm not really sure what happened... but it involved an MG42 and S4 dying, then some guy shouted "I got him!". We were a bit confused, but we went upstairs and linked up with our squad leader. He ordered us to clear upstairs. In the meantime, he and S1 would come from the other side, and sandwich them.

Groggy and I moved. When clearing out room to room, we found the hostages. There were still three of them alive. Sadly, our squad leader was killed (our official squad leader) but it was weird; we did not find as many dead as we were expecting. They must have brought them away.

We were helping the officers get lose from their ropes, when a shot was fired very close to us. Our squad leader shouted "Got the last of them".

We scoured the command building and helped the officers. It was a funny and disturbing feeling to see so many comrades and Germans dead. In the back of my mind, I was thinking "Nice job 100th Jäger... that was a hard battle indeed".

Written by: PFC de Crom
Edited by: PFC Winchester and Cpl. Langford
Approved by: CoCA and Bn. S3

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