Following up on last session’s Kill List, my brother and I exchanged emails to set up the situation and his strategy. I wrote to him:

3-4 Nov 2000

Your train travels to Kalisz per your agreement with the Sov 21st MRD.

[See map on Roll20. Make notes as needed.]

Carrying: 2 T-80 hulks (sans turrets).

Escorted by 2 BTR hi-rail conversions. Sov 21st MRD does not currently have trains, but they possess quite a few smaller vehicle rail conversions.

Colonel Egorieva travels with you in your train, along with her security detail. She is chief-of-staff to Gen Rubachenko, and is very, very interested in what Maks knows about the political players in the region.

She has dictated a Kill List to you of Polish 10th TD leadership, captain or above. (CO is Colonel S. Maczek). And ZOMO leadership, captain or above. Most of the Summer the Soviets tried to wrest control of Kalisz away from the Pol 10th TD. They reduced the 10th TD down to the urban core, but were ultimately unsuccessful beyond that.

To further the Kill List mission, Egorieva wants to send an observer along with your assault party(ies), since that’s the only way for them to witness successful kills and asset destruction. She also offers for the 21st MRD to conduct probing attacks to draw Polish forces during your mission, if you wish.

The 21st MRD is already offering safe passage through their territory for what you’ve done thus far. For successful mission parameters in Kalisz, they offer obsolete artillery pieces or equivalent and American POWs (4). For outstanding success, Egorieva hints at intel-sharing of Warsaw Pact positions along your routes of travel.

Kalisz is heavily damaged from this fraternal strife between the Soviets and loyalist Poles, adding to the considerable destruction in the aftermath of the Battle of Kalisz last July. Civilians who have escaped the city are given a meal by the 21st MRD, questioned, and released. They tell of hunger and brutality by ZOMO riot squads.

4 Nov 2000 WSK PZL-KaliszEgorieva sets you up on a rail spur leading up to the WSK “PZL-Kalisz” plant and offices [noted on map]. Pre-war, the plant designed and manufactured aviation products. There is a small 21st MRD garrison guarding the facility, and it is off-limits to you. But there is plenty of empty warehouse space nearby you can utilize if needed.

Its products include aircraft piston engines; engine components, subassemblies, and assemblies; thin-walled and compressor housings, and seal rings for flow engines; aircraft screw gears; oil pumps; push rods; pump housings; and other products, such as tools, winches, and autonomous transportable inert gas generators. The company also provides crankshafts; connecting rods, including forks, blades, and pins; turbocharger housings, rotors, and diffusers; oil gear pumps; transmission box and pump housings; and gears and timing gears for high pressure engines and automotive industries. In addition, it offers aircraft engine overhaul and repair services. WSK “PZL- Kalisz” S.A. was founded in 1952 and is based in Kalisz, Poland.

4 Nov 2000 Kalisz situation map

Unfortunately for your Kill List mission, Egorieva does not know the current locations of either Pol 10th TD HQ, or the ZOMO HQ. The Soviets flattened the previous HQs with artillery.

The orange line on the map represents the furthest extent of Pol 10th TD patrols. The loyalist Poles have a firm grasp in the “island” formed by the Prosna river channels (blue). The channels are highly developed. They present little impediment to infantry, but frustrate passage by vehicles. Pol 10th TD holds all the little bridges into town.

Prosna river bridge

Your best lead in the city is the Klasztor OO. Franciszkanów – Sister Basia‘s convent in the city core. Egorieva notes that on your map. [This is also your best lead to the MREs, but I assume you’re not mentioning that little detail to Egorieva.]

She also points to the former camp of the US 5th Div (mech) in the NW quadrant, but tells you it was sacked, and little remains but scraps to the best of her knowledge.

Remember that Maks has ~300 former American POWs with him. They are recovering from an extremely poor diet in the Soviet camp at Łódź, but have had a few days of full meals. So they are running at 2 to 4 points of fatigue. My brother is using them in a support role appropriate to their ability. They all have AKs, so even if they can’t fire accurately, they can certainly empty magazines in the right direction.

He’s acting on the Egorieva’s Kill List, but his true goal is the potential stockpile of MREs believed to be in Kalisz, left behind by the US 5th Division (Mech.).

I have added map sections to illustrate his plans.

My brother’s reply:

I’ve marked up the map. Here is a general battle plan:

Insertion Team A
Wojciech and Eric Benson using the rebreathers, drysuits, aqua-sled & underwater carrier to (hopefully) infiltrate directly into the area of the convent bringing with them saboteur gear, details to follow.

Insertion Team B
This is likely to be Maks, Jeff Cullen, Bill Paxton, GDW and Barna Aron plus the observer (exact roster depends on further intel). Will move towards the convent (probably openly, wearing disguises). There they will link up with Insertion Team A. Their equipment, disguises and insertion route will depend on any available intel regarding the ability of civilians to travel into/through the city.

OP Alpha through Foxtrot

  • Each Observation Post is manned by a squad of about 7 men with a mix of weapons and at least one radio
  • R.O.E. for all OP are to avoid giving away their position unless:
    • If they see a enemy counterattack developing they can open fire at will, but are to conduct fighting withdrawal at first sign of trouble
    • If the Insertion Team calls out “Broken Arrow” they are to fire freely into the city to provide cover and distraction
  • OP Alpha
    • Kaliski Castle, a medieval fort. This is the departure/rendezvous point for Insertion Team 1, and establishes a defensive firebase against the northeast quadrant
  • OP Bravo
    • Looks like a slaughterhouse. More good vantage points against NE quadrant
  • OP Charlie
    • 3-story corner building at east corner of roundabout has great vantage points up roads to NW, N and NE.
  • OP Delta
    • Grade school, views across parking lot towards firehouse to north.
  • OP Echo
    • 4-story corner building, more good street views
  • OP Foxtrot
    • Hotel Bogdana, what is apparently a crappy 12 story hostel

4 Nov 2000 Kalisz Maks OPs

Feint Teams 1 through 4

These are mobile platoons of about 15 men each intended to confuse the enemy that a strong attack is coming from the east side the river
ROE for the Feint Teams are to wait for radio command “Dazzle” then pour on fire initially, but to then evacuate to the south at the first indication of accurate resistance or fire support coming from ZOMO. If they instead hear radio command “Broken Arrow” they are to fire freely and attempt to hold or even advance towards ZOMO positions unless resistance is too great.

4 Nov 2000 Kalisz Maks feints

Reserve Teams 1 through 5
These are platoons of about 20 men each ready to fight but will be held in reserve unless needed to help extract Insertion Team. They will be positioned about 50 to 100 meters behind the line of OP positions, in a staggered arrangement with a team in each gap between the OPs.

21st MRD Probing Attacks
I’d ask that the MRD probing attacks be commenced by radio signal “Dazzle” or “Broken Arrow” in the directions indicated by the three cyan colored arrows marked “P”. Ideally these attacks will be strongest towards the left arrow, weaker towards the right one. This will give the impression of a pincer attack when combined with Feint Team operation on east side of river.

4 Nov 2000 Kalisz 21st MRD probes.JPG

4 Nov 2000 WSK PZL-KaliszTrain Garrison
Aside from the combat teams described already there will remain about 100 men who are in the worst health, with the least combat expertise or with skills too vital to risk in combat. They will setup a secure perimeter around the train and guard it, keeping the locomotive engine “simmering” in case things go badly with this whole attack.

To fine-tune out exact plans, I’d like to know what we have learned from civilians regarding behavior of ZOMO, ability of civilians to move around, likelihood of being hassled or frisked,  any good cover stories, etc. My insertion team can handle varying degrees of German language. I was thinking of some kind of story where Maks is the only party member who speaks native Polish, but that he is the leader of this group of East Germans. Not sure if we would be pretending to be civilians or some group of foreign soldiers working with the ZOMO side (if that would even be plausible). Maybe pretend to be Catholic clergy/employees of some kind, facilitating our path towards the convent?