The enemy was expecting the attack by American armored vehicles for hours. In the distance behind the low hills, they could hear the gas engines of the tanks as they moved to their positions.  They had time to prepare a frontal defense, and get their troops into their foxholes and fighting positions with anti-tank guns and guided missiles. The commander of the enemy force checked his watch, it would be dark soon and then the Americans would attack aided by the thermal optic sights that let them see and fight in the dark.  He had a countermeasure ready, flares.  Dozens of them would be launched as the American tanks approached, he hoped to blind them with light and rob them of this advantage.

Suddenly artillery shells and rockets began to fall around his position, was the attack starting early or was this just an attempt to soften them up before darkness fell? The commander ducked back into his command bunker to avoid the whizzing shrapnel flying everywhere.  The look of worry on the faces of his staff was unmistakable.  The Americans had very accurate artillery and rockets, but they had taken care to dig this command post into a side of a small hill which made a direct hit on it very difficult.

As he lit a cigarette and took a long drag on it, the radio came to life, the listening post on his left flank reported it was under attack, the only message they were able to get off before contact was lost was, “Many tanks are coming, we couldn’t hear them until they were right on top of us!”

The noise from the barrage was terrible, but how could the now overrun listening post not hear dozens of tanks coming right at them?  All that noisy demonstration by the Americans in front of him was a ruse, to conceal the movement of several dozen tanks to his left flank which they were now overrunning. He did not expect an attack by armor on that flank, it had a river on its border and the bridges across would collapse under the weight of the big American tanks, how could they have gotten across it? He stubbed out his cigarette on the wall of his bunker, grabbed his carbine, and stepped outside to get a view of his now crumbling left flank. He could see and hear the impact of 120mm tank rounds and 30mm cannon rounds on his flank’s positions even now.