Lessons of Tzalingrad

Written by Chad Thumann (thumann@soca.com).


Citizens, as you know on July 8 a Hattin raiding force made planetfall on the penal colony Tzalingrad and successfully penetrated planetary defenses long enough to perform a mindscan on several political prisoners. Although this is a military foundation, and is not privy to the nature of the stolen memories, Securitat reaction to the incident suggests that the data was extremely sensitive. On July 9 a military tribunal, headed by Marshal Kokorovich, forwarded all recorded data pertaining to the seminal battle of the raid--the battle in administrative sector 413 of the colony--to this foundation for review. We have reviewed the data and have arrived at our conclusions.

Although the forces called upon to repel the Machine invaders were military units, the colony itself was a Securitat institution, and therefore the military operation was under Zampolit kommand. Specifically, it was under the kommand of Kommissar Ludzek. Although our komrades in Securitat are infinately wise in matters pertaining to counter-subterfuge and intelligence, their military training is somewhat inadequate. It is the conclusion of this foundation that ultimately the blame of Tzalingrad disaster must be laid at the feet of public education, who failed to indoctrinate Securitat personell with basic military strategy. Examine the evidence:

  1. Sergeant Tzumansky's Drop Section, a military unit working off demerits on the penal colony, was positioned well in advance of the machine planetfall during a military review of Marshal Kokorovich. This unit almost succeeded in halting the Machine offensive but lacked the support to be ultimately successful.
  2. Kommissar Ludzek held his K2-Shaw Battery and BT Squad in reserve, preferring to send a Heavy Shock Squad led by Starshina Brondsky relieve the Drop Section. Radio recordings indicate that he told Brondsky "Tzumansky's Drop Section will be the anvil, and you will be the hammer."
  3. Kommissar Ludzek failed to inform the Starshina that the Machine assault force contained over thirteen Thumper Grenade Launchers, a Blitzer Catapult and a Manticore Missile Rack. Brondsky only learned of this artillery when he was within scan-range, at which time it was too late for him to seek cover within the colony's buildings.
  4. Although the Machines were confined to a narrow Boulevard, neither Brondsky's nor Tzumansky's units had K2-Shaw support to take advantage of the packed machine troops.
  5. Four of Brondsky's seven T85 chassis were destroyed by disruptor grenades as they ran for cover.
  6. One of Brondsky's seven T85 chassis was destroyed by a mis-placed gauss grenade.
  7. Only three of Brondsky's T85 chassis ever came within range of the machine forces to engage them with the ZSU mini-guns.

Judging from the above mistakes it is the conclusion of this foundation that a set of strategic guidelines should be written so that Zampolit are better prepared when forced to comandeer military forces. These guidelines are as follows:

  1. No Fantasian force facing a threat of level 1,000 to 1,500 UPVs is to engage said forces without the support of one T85/35 K2-Shaw trooper.
  2. No Fantasian force facing a threat of level 1,500 UPV or greater is to engage said forces without the support of one T85/35 K2-Shaw battery.
  3. No Drop Section is to engage an enemy force on an assault mission without the support of at least one Powered Infantry Squad. Said Powered Infantry Squad is to lead the Drop Section in the assault, in order to bleed-off enemy heavy weapons fire. The Powered Infantry Squad's primary objective in the assault should always be to destroy all enemy armor-piercing weapons, such as WASPs, Scorpions and Hornets.
  4. No Fantasian force facing a threat of level 1,000 UPV or greater is to engage said forces without the support of at least two RPGs, KPVs or AT-4s. Four Maslaws or Sagger missiles may be substituted for one of each of the aforementioned weapons.
  5. Neither Shock Troops nor Stormtroopers are to engage an enemy on the open battlefield in any but a purely auxilary capacity. Said auxilaries should advance BEHIND line troops and reserve themselves to specialized close-combat duties, such as clearing rubble, buildings or woods.
  6. No trooper is to throw a defensive gauss grenade further than 4 meters (2") on the run, 8 meters (4") on a walk, or 12 meters (6") on a run.
It is the belief of this foundation that were Kommissar Ludzek to have followed the basic strategic guidelines outlined above, Tzalingrad would never have fallen to the Machine raiders.
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