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Monday, July 13, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 31

Most Venerable Parents,

It is my pleasure to let you know that I have been promoted once again. I am now an officer. I was promoted to lieutenant for bravery during the Battle of Lake Baikal. Baikal is the second important battle I've been in, after Ulan-Ude.

The Battle of Lake Baikal was not near any Russian town in particular, it was just on the banks of the lake after which it was named. Many of us feared that the Russians might try to attack us with ships from the lake while we were dealing with their forces on the ground. No such attack came, though.

The reason we feared naval attack is this: there was a Russian shipyard on the banks of Lake Baikal where we were fighting. At the time when we were planning the battle (and I was still a sergeant) we knew the Ivans were producing ships and putting them right into Lake Baikal. We believed it to be a relatively new shipyard. It must have been built since The Last War started.

Our commanders had decided that the shipyard was an important place to attack. Since the Golden Navy has suffered major losses from something unknown, they are relatively low on ships. There are rumors going around camp that an invasion of Australia is being planned. I don't really know for sure. I wouldn't be surprised, though, considering how successful the invasion of China was. Of course, that was not by sea.

We began our march at dusk. We reached the city of Irkutsk, which was occupied by another division, later that night. Our commanders discussed strategies with the commanders of the occupying force at Irkutsk throughout the night while we got some sleep. At dawn, our combined forces marched off towards where we believed the shipyard to be.

There were many, many Russian troops at Lake Baikal. Most of them were naval engineers and workers, inexperienced in battle, although a portion of them were true warriors. There were also several armored divisions, including a few leapers.

Those leapers were our main problem. I don't know where the Popovs got them from. By all accounts, they should have been almost devoid of leapers. I wonder if their Allies may have sent them the vehicles? I suppose it no longer matters.

We did have an advantage that the Russians did not have. We had air support. I think the airplanes did more to stop the Russian tanks and leapers than anything else. The price was high, though. The wreckage of many of our planes lie strewn on the ground alongside the armored vehicles they had bombed into destruction.

Our forces ground forward like the unstoppable machine they are. I was convinced once again of the superiority of Mongolian forces over any others in the world. Our men and women fought like ferocious animals. We were like shepherds, and the Russkis but sheep brought before us.

I pulled the trigger of my AS gun again and again, barely aiming, for the Ivans were packed so tightly almost any shot would hit a soldier. They tried valiantly to bring their armored forces into the fracas, but our tanks and leapers held them back off in the distance.

We pressed forward in great loping strides, the batteries behind us going off, "plunk, plunk, plunk" in a staccato and resonating monotone chatter of death. Gaping holes appeared in the blocks of Ivans, which they quickly ran to fill in, only to be blown apart again. I suppose it was mid afternoon before they finally broke. They are stalwart, but we are unwavering and God-like.

We captured the shipyard, and destroyed nothing in it. In fact, we began to produce with it. The engineers who had been specially air dropped from home were delighted to see the shipyard intact. We began by feeding the destroyed Russian war vehicles and weapons into the furnaces to build our own ships.

Most of the occupiers from Irkutsk stayed behind at the sight of the Battle of Lake Baikal to protect the shipyard from Russian retaliation. The rest of us, however, are now proceeding on to a small town called Angarsk. I just pray that things will be quiet there. May the imperial and the divine keep you.

Your son,
Lieutenant Darbet Kazakh, 76th Mongolian Heavy Infantry

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