[Civil Affairs] AAR of the Month - Baker Company
The following is a fictional invasion of an island in the Pacific theatre of World War 2. A German volunteer division is deployed on the island and is fighting under Japanese control after the defeat of Nazi Germany, and the division is not aware of it.
29th Infantry Division has unsuccessfully attempted a naval invasion at the island of Tanaku. To my personal and the division's great surprise it was not Japanese forces we were fighting, but Germans. We captured a soldier telling us the exact reason for them staying there. When we told him Germany had surrendered he looked at us with great disbelief. The soldier believed we were simply trying to trick him. We put him back into his cell as he wouldn't answer any questions.
The assault plan was split in three waves going ashore. From the northwest side the first wave would go ashore. Infantry supported by an M8 Greyhound would go ashore and quickly and aggressively rush the beach and up the hill to the first hostile keypoint. The keypoint was a hill on the northwest side of the island. When I and the rest of the soldiers landed we met no resistance. Our headquarters gave us orders to seize the airfield on the western side of the island. The first platoon and my squad made it to the airfield and were around the hangars before contact was met. A presumably lone sniper on the far ridge that no one could see was picking us off soldier by soldier. Person after person fell to the sniper, but eventually he stopped shooting. He may have been out of ammunition or been wounded.
Then HQ radioed in that the second wave had started. Each squad would assume command of an M3 Half-track, and continue to assault the island. The remaining key points were another hill on the southwest corner of the island, a munitions dump on the western side of the island and a hill on the northeast with a lighthouse on it. My squad, BP1S1, was ordered back to the north west hill and attempt to assault the munitions dump. I was assigned as driver and started driving toward the dump, but as we drew closer resistance became tougher and I mistakenly thought I heard the order to stop. Without thinking of the consequences I stopped. The same instant the crack of a German K-98 and the whistling of a bullet. A soldier in my squad, PFC Bagge took a bullet and was dead on the spot. The squad yelled at me to drive and I slammed the foot on the pedal. The sound of 9mm Parabellum rounds hitting the side of the half-track was rather scary. We made it to a safe spot and disembarked. We were pretty close to the volcanoes by then. We got closer to them and as we drew closer we started seeing holes in the volcano walls. We got close and heard German voices echoing through the room. We put fire in there and heard them scream, but then a grenade landed by us. As it exploded I was thrown on the ground unconscious. I woke up in the half-track on the way back to the newly established headquarters back at the northwest hill, and the squad told me how lucky we all were. Back at the base we were told that the third phase was about to be initiated. In the third phase the Greyhound was replaced by a Sherman tank. We got told that Third squad had thankfully taken the munitions dump, but we were falling behind as the Germans refused to give in to our attacks. The lighthouse hadn't been reported captured nor the other objectives, and now we apparently had this volcano system to take care of as well. Third phase was the last chance for us, and we gathered up all the ammo we could find and headed back to the volcano. Once there we were greeted by rifle fire from somewhere on the volcano itself which thankfully killed no one. First when we got inside of it, a Panzerschreck was heard and I was knocked unconscious, for good this time. I later heard that PFC Egelund had also been hit by the rocket's blast but had his leg blown off. He died shortly after the incident. Sgt. Ternby, T/4 Kabeya and T/5 Pike had also been reported KIA in the attack. PFC Branco was shot in the arm and leg but I saw him just a few minutes ago and the doctors said he would make it. Cpl. Blouin was also injured, he took a piece of grenade shrapnel to the chest, I have not been allowed to see him.
The attack was a failure and the 29th Infantry Division will likely not be in combat shape for a good amount of time. I heard reports from other squads and it seems they have all lost brothers in arms. No squad is still intact.
Total casualty numbers from the 29th Infantry Division total 300 dead, 600+ wounded, 26 MIA.
God bless the dead.
Private First Class Daniels, reporting on the invasion of Tanaku.
August 5th, 1945, 5 PM
Report: PFC Daniels
Edited by: Cpl. Langford and Pvt. Dethfield
Approved by: CoCA and Bn. S1