Tragedies of War | Teen Ink

Tragedies of War

December 19, 2019
By DazWeirdboy63 BRONZE, Wilmington, Delaware
DazWeirdboy63 BRONZE, Wilmington, Delaware
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

‘We’ve been fighting this war for over seven years now. Civilian casualties have been through the roof. Trooper casualties have been ever-increasing as the war rages on. There has been so much pointless death in this war, and yet there is no end in sight. My name is Colonel Morgan, and I have been leading my men in this war for seven years. I lead one of the most decorated units in this war, the 212 Highlanders. I’ve seen so many of my men die that I’ve lost count, but we always get the job done, no matter the cost. What were the Russians even fighting for? Wealth? Land? Resources? I just wish this war would end, I wish I could just…’. 

“Sorry to interrupt you colonel, but Major Jones would like to speak with you”. I looked up to see a young corporal by the name of Chris Rogers standing at crisp attention before me. “Thank you, corporal. I’ll be out in just a second to join you and the rest of the men”. He snapped a sharp salute and ran out of my tent back to the front lines. I promptly closed my journal and placed it back into my satchel. I picked up my rifle and walked out of my tent to the jarring sound of artillery shells slamming into distant positions. I glanced to my left and saw my most trusted captain. Major Takir Jones. I have fought beside this man since the beginning of the war. “Good to see that you’re still well sir”. I smiled. “Same to you Major”. He was a nice man, loyal, hardy, and determined. He may have appeared rugged to others, but to me, he was the closet thing that I had to a friend in this godforsaken war. “Anyhow, I came to inform you that our forces to the East have broken through their left flank”. I turned towards him, seeing a grin start to creep up the corner of his mouth. “That is good news, Major. I shall take my reserve forces and meet you and the rest of the men down on the eastern flank for a final push for the Russians supply depot”. He snapped to attention and faced me. “Very good sir, I shall see you there”. He smiled and started back towards his men. I rounded up the finest men that I still had on hand and soon followed the Major for the final push.

When I finally arrived at the scene, all I saw was bloodshed. I looked around and all I saw were corpses. Some of these men weren’t even recognizable anymore. I turned around to see some of my men throwing up due to the sheer gore of the scene before them. I ordered them past the scene to the staging area of the final push. I saw Major Jones in the distance and was soon met by his men, who were all bouncing in anticipation for the end of this battle. “Glad to see that you made it here in one piece colonel”. I smirked, but I could barely hear him over the sound of some firefights still raging on. “What happened to the men that we passed major?”. He just shook his head. “They were trying to rest when they got bombarded by artillery fire”. This wasn’t anything new to me. These Russians had no sense of honor or pride. “We will have to bury our dead later, but for now we must quickly prepare”. “I agree colonel. What is the plan?” I looked around to see what resources I was dealing with. We had the two companies that were left under the major’s control, as well as my personal regiment. There were also three platoons of tanks along with two platoons of mortars. There was also the addition of our own artillery. I quickly came up with a plan and quickly debriefed the men.

“Alright, listen up men. We are going to have a quick bombardment of their positions before deploying our tanks to act as the spearhead of this attack. Our tanks will be followed up by my regiment, which will be in turn followed by major Jones companies. Following up behind us will be the two platoons of mortars”. I then heard a young first sergeant by the name of Grant Thompson speak up from the back of the debriefing. “What do we do if the fire is too heavy sir?”. “If this is the case, our tanks will tighten up their formation and we will use them as crawling shields until we are in the range of a full assault. Under no circumstances are any of you to turn around or surrender. Highlanders would rather die than surrender to the enemy. Now everyone, move out!”. The response came with a thunderous boom, “Sir, Yes Sir!”. Jones then came up to me with a worried expression on his face. “With all due respect sir, are you sure this plan will work?”. I smirked. “Yes Jones, it has to...or else we lose everything”. We promptly moved out and began final preparations. At 19:00, our artillery unleashed hell upon the Russian positions for ten minutes straight. Once the shelling had stopped, the roar of the tank engines screamed to life as they lurched forward. They were quickly met with rapid machine gunfire coming from the Russian positions. Some of these positions met a swift end when our tanks began firing upon them. With confidence, I ordered my men out of our positions and behind the tank. “Let’s move, let’s move!”. Shouting over the explosive claps of our tanks firing and the rapid pings of the shells bouncing off of their armor. We began moving forward with great speed, quickly being followed up by Jones and his men and finally the mortar platoons. All seemed to be going well...until everything turned around for us.

Just as we began gaining confidence in our advance, there was a sudden hard thud felt throughout the earth as landmines began going off as my men stepped over them. The air was quickly filled with the screams of men in pain. I had to ignore these cries for help ad press the attack. Medics began running to their aid only to be shot down by enemy soldiers. We eventually made it past the landmines only to be met with another devastating blow, enemy anti-tank emplacements. There was a hard thump followed by a shrieking and then a thunderous concussion as the shell made an impact with our tanks. This concussion was followed by flames and more screams. The tanks began firing on the antitank emplacements, only to be met with numerous other tanks meeting the same fate. They were forced to split up, leaving me and my men out in the open for machine gunfire. No sooner than the tanks moved, the remaining enemy machine guns open fired upon us. Men began dropping like flies as bullets ripped through their bodies like it was nothing. Those of us remaining ran for the enemy’s emplacements with hopes of getting close enough to where the enemy machine guns could no longer fire upon us. We did make it to that distance, but only after losing numerous other men. Once we were in range, we began firing on the enemy with our rifles. I aimed and took shot after shot, each leading to a soldier dropping to the ground, lifeless. I turned to the sound of major Jones calling to me. I looked over to see him hunched behind a large piece of concrete. I saw him go to say something, only to be cut off as a mortar shell landed right on top of him...killing him instantly. “JONES!”. 

It was too late. He was gone, reduced barley recognizable pieces. I wanted to break down and stop the fighting, but I knew I had a job to do. I turned toward the enemy and rapidly fired my rifle at anything that moved. Clip after clip emptied from my gun. I fired until it began overheating. I cursed to myself and ordered the mortars to move up and begin firing upon the remaining enemy positions. They quickly began shooting off one shell after another, each resulting in a solid thud as they hit multiple different emplacements. Before I could move, I was stopped as one of our tanks drove past me with men following behind it, each man firing their rifles into the remaining enemies. Then there was the explosive force as the tank fired upon the heavily fortified positions. Once the tank had passed, I looked onto the battlefield, the enemy was beginning to retreat, we were going to win. “Everyone, charge those retreating cowards! Don’t leave any alive!”. There was a solid rallying scream as my remaining men charged at the enemy, bayonets affixed to their rifles. I quickly joined them, affixing my bayonet to the end of my rifle and charging in with them. I found myself a target, digging my bayonet into his gut, hearing his scream as his life left him. I didn’t care who it was, all I wanted was revenge. Revenge for those they had taken from me. Revenge for all the men they had killed. As the enemy’s numbers began to dwindle, I heard the joyous chorus of rejoicing coming from my men. We had won, we had won the battle...but at what cost?

Once the battle had ceased, we began gathering up what dead we could. We also began cleaning up the debris left over from the battered enemy’s emplacements. I crouched down beside what was left of Jones. I saw a glimmering piece of debris. It was his dog tags. I sighed and grabbed them. I looked down at his name and began sobbing. I had lost the only one that had been with me this whole time. The only person I could have called a friend, the only person I could have called family. I felt a hand come down to rest on my shoulder. “It’s going to be okay sir, we won. I’m sorry we had to lose so many men, including those closest to you, but we did win in the end, sir”. I looked up to see first sergeant Grant Thompson, covered in dirt and debris, but alive. I stood up and cleared my eyes. “Yeah, we did. If major Jones were here, he would be proud of what men like you did today.” He smirked. “Thank you, sir. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to continue cleaning up some of this debris”. I looked towards and grabbed him by the shoulder. “Thank you, Sergeant”. He smiled back. “No need to thank me, sir, just trying to help a fellow soldier”. He then walked off back to his duties. I stood up and finally took a deep breath. I had lost so many today, but in the end, the battle was won. This victory will push us closer to victory, but yet...victory doesn’t seem any closer than it did before.


The author's comments:

This piece is not for the faint of heart. It includes mild gore and graphic depictions. Read at your own discretion.


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