|Concentric attack by infantry and armour against |
a fortified machinegun post.
|Beleaguered BARFist infantry at the south end of |
of the trench line.
|18th Siliputti Battalion - still scarcely engaged |
apart from 'D' Coy assault on the trenches.
For their part, the Siliputti Battalion was having an easier time of it, only slowly and in piecemeal fashion coming into action. Only 'D' Company was in close action, 'B' Company engaging the remaining BARFists in the town with a long range small arms fire. In rear of this part of the line, the platoon of BARFist machineguns left the shelter of the oasis and pushed up towards the fieldworks to bring their fire to bear. At once the Silliputti commander, Major Inzamam Laghari, ordered up artillery support against the menace.
|The second time the government gunners |
demonstrate their skill...!
|... and the machine gunners bug out to a new |
position out of artillery range.
At end of the line the remnants of the BARFist 'A' Company continued to hold out, even as C/18th (Siliputti) joined their companion 'D' company in the assault. As both sides' 'B' Companies fought it out in the town, 'A' Company pushed up through the gap. The BARFists in the town were coming under pressure now from three Government companies: 'A' and 'B' Siliputti Rifles, and 'D' Choklit Ghandhi. Surely the BARFist resistance must soon collapse?
|Siliputti Battalion closing in. 'D' and, especially 'C'|
Coys have taken heavy losses...
|The Government assault seems to have stalled |
on the south flank...
Suddenly, the BARFist line gave - at little. The resistance from the machine gun nest collapsed, whereat C/17th Choklit Ghandhi forced their way further into the town, into the left rear of the BARFist 'B' Company. 'D' Squadron ran through the earthworks into the rear of the BARFist 'D' Company, where they engaged the rebel armour in flank.
|The MG nest cleared, 'D' Squadron pushes |
into the rear of the trench line.
This was too late for 'A' Squadron, its tanks left smoking wreckage in the plain, and 'B' Squadron was also left depleted. Yet, for all their stout resistance, the BARFists on the south flank were now in parlous case, the infantry, reduced to 75% surrounded by enemy armour and soon to come under infantry attack.
|Northern trenches overrun|
|What happened to the Siliputti Battalion?!|
|Southern trenchline finally overrun.|
|Government armour enters the eastern suburbs|
'We will fight on,' quoth Colonel Buttahjars to any news correspondents who were brave (or foolhardy) enough to venture into the fastnesses of the upper Maimajikwand valley.
I admit to being very tempted to end the whole campaign here, with the collapse of the Revolutionary movement. Had the revolting Colonel been captured or killed, that certainly would have been the end. But no - there is still one more battle to fight. A last stand - or a resurgence? Who knows?
To be continued...