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03 April 2014

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SteveG

Fred

We're you ever at the sub pens at
Point Loma or North Island Dego.
Have a couple of Midnight stories
from OB(0cean Beach)

The Twisted Genius

Ah yes, the Legionnaires. Great story, Tyler. One of the greatest joys of my career was working with foreign soldiers.

During a Flintlock SF exercise when it was still focused on defeating the Soviet hordes, my team was paired with a team from the Italian 9th Parachute Assault Regiment. The Incursore, as they were known, were more like the SAS than our SF. We formed two new teams composed of half Incursore and half Green Berets. Getting the oplans coordinated was sometimes comical since we had no Italian speakers and they had only a few rudimentary English speakers. We managed. The brief back was given first in English and then in Italian and they both came out the same. Dick Potter, the Group Commander at the time, noted that soldiers speak a common language.

Before we jumped we were visited by the Group chaplain. After he left, my trouble making, boyo from the boggs, Irish intel sergeant told the Italians that the chaplain was a Protestant. The Italians demanded a Catholic priest. Especially because our DZ was surrounded on three sides by high tension lines and a quarry in the middle. Not that we'd get within five kilometers of it anyways. The chaplain brought in a priest from the Catholic shrine in Walshingham, East Anglia. The Italians didn't quite know what to think when I told them that Pat Benetar was the patron saint of our ODA.

We jumped into the Black Forest from an Italian G-222, a Transall variant. By the time we linked up with our Berlin Detachment asset, I already made contact with one farm family and arranged a safe house. The Berlin Detachment asset had another safe house arranged for us. We changed into German farm worker clothiers complete with gummiboots. We did a lot of mucking out cow barns and even a few calf birthings and anything else the farmers needed. In exchange we were fed, clothed and housed. More importantly, we organized the kids into intelligence cells and auxiliaries.

This was not the normal mode of operating for the Italians. One morning, a sergente maggiore and I were standing up to our calves in a sloppy manure pit shoveling away. The sergente maggiore, who looked quite dashing with his trimmed beard and mustache, black silk cravat, farm coveralls and gummi boots, leaned on his shovel and in tortured English exclaimed, "Capitan, thees es not work for Incursore and Special Forces." I kept shoveling and told Roberto to just be patient. It'll all work out in the end.

One night our mission was to raid a microwave site. There was a platoon from some mech battalion waiting for us. We knew it, but we had to try anyways. We approached the site in several cars driven by our German auxiliaries carrying on and blowing horns like typical fussball revelers. As we approached the site, we lept out of the cars and attacked the mech troops. A serious fist fight ensued. Suddenly, one of the mech troops butt stroked one of the Italians. He went down. The other Italians than pulled their Beretta M-12 machine pistols out of the back seats of the cars. I had them leave them in the cars because they didn't have blanks... only live 9mm ammo. At least our AKMS' had blanks. "You move, I blowa you head off." I heard Roberto say. I and my intel sergeant told the mech troopers to back down immediately because they were now facing pissed off Italians with live ammo. It worked, luckily. We jumped back in the cars and left fast, but not before the Italians grabbed four prisoners. We put the prisoners in a dank cellar room in a farmhouse. The Italians and my Irish intel sergeant were the only people that spoke around the four young prisoners. We purposely tried to convince the young troops that this was no exercise and that they were captured by Red Brigade and IRA terrorists. The ruse worked. The interrogation with an Italian-English phrase book was a sight to behold. We learned stuff about that battalion that would curl your toes. We gave the poor bastards back after a few days. They cried enough for a while.

A few days later, we stole the mech battalion commander's jeep from their CP in a local village. We had their CEOI and a copy of their opfor oplan in an ammo box in the jeep. We gave the jeep and the documents back after a few days, but only after driving the jeep behind one of the farmers honey wagons for a while. If you haven't smelled the fermented bull piss that Germans spread on their fields, thank your lucky stars.

The final insult we delivered to that mech battalion was some fake intel we planted about our location through our auxiliary. They thought they finally had us and employed two full companies in a cordon and search operation that, of course, yielded nothing. God help us if they ever caught us.

We met that Incursore team again in Lebanon in 1983.

Fred

SteveG,

Sadly no, I was based out of Groton and Norfolk. Point Loma would have been a nice change.

Fred

TTG,

".... The other Italians than pulled their Beretta M-12 machine pistols out of the back seats of the cars... they didn't have blanks... only live 9mm ammo."

That reminds me of the time a seal team came to the sub base for a 'training' excise to see how well the submarine force and the marine detachment did in spotting potential saboteurs, including men using scuba gear (a mean feat in a river with a seven knot current). I should do like Tyler and put together a book.

Tyler

Was anyone here involved with Operation Paul Bunyan? I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen stuff as crazy with my own eyes, especially the parts about South Korean commandos with Claymore mines strapped to their chests screaming insults at the Norks across the bridge.

Tyler

Nah, my book is about humans going to war alongside intelligent dinosaurs armed for bear.

So about as nuts as some of the stories here.

Fred

Dinosaurs are great, except for the ones in Congress.

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