November 14, 2003

Untold stories ...

Take a look at this article on the fight for Objective Curly. It's titled Meet Capt. Harry Hornbuckle

"When American troops were attacked on April 7 on a road to Baghdad, a battle broke out at a dot on the map Army commanders called 'Objective Curly.' Eighty U.S. soldiers, expecting little resistance, were met by 300 well-armed Iraqi and Syrian fighters. Grenades and bullets flew for eight hours. The U.S. counterattack killed an estimated 200 enemy fighters, according to the commanding officer who oversaw the battle. The American team had never trained or fought together, but all its men got out alive. The team was headed by Capt. Harry Alexander Hornbuckle, a 29-year-old staff officer who had never been in combat before.....

...."He ordered his team to encircle the cloverleaf to repel an assault from any direction. There were 22 vehicles in all -- five Bradleys, four armored Humvees, four mortar-firing vehicles and three ambulances. 'Wow, that was easy,' Capt. Hornbuckle recalls thinking during the first 30 seconds of silence. Then came chaos: bullets pinging off trucks, grenades kicking up clouds of dirt and concrete, and, he says, noise louder than anything he imagined possible. The Fedayeen were firing rocket-propelled grenades from nearby buildings and driving pickup trucks with machine guns mounted at the back.

"The biggest threat came from just beyond the circle of U.S. troops: The enemy soldiers had dug trenches under the highway overpass. The men in the trenches seemed invisible, and they were shooting at close range, Capt. Hornbuckle says. 'It was like we kicked over an anthill.' Air support was out of the question. Any attempt to bomb the enemy from the sky would kill American soldiers, too. There would be no help from the forces at Larry and Moe, because they too were under heavy attack. This battle would be fought on the ground, the old-fashioned way, with guns, grenades and mortars....

Posted by John Weidner at November 14, 2003 6:54 PM
Weblog by John Weidner