In the process of falling out the door I grabbed at an M16 that was in a rack. It had a bandoleer of loaded clips attached to it. I had grabbed several slings instead of one. I had fallen beside Vicky just as all hell broke loose over us.
The Humvee disintegrated, the doors and top landing barely past us. The same happened to the rest of them. We were wearing IDF supplied body armor and helmets. The heat and fire from the explosion over us was so intense that it had set Vicky’s hair that was not under the helmet on fire. I was trying to put it out.
I could smell and feel my hair and skin on the back of my neck burning from the flash and shrapnel.
I looked around and my men were lying on the ground. They had either made it out of the Humvees or were blown out. Some of them were moving; a temporarily good sign I hoped.
The terrorists had started shooting with small arms again. I started pulling my men away from the burning vehicles and down the embankment out of the line of fire. The Humvees were high clearance making it easy for us to be picked off under them if we stayed beside the burning vehicles.
Vicky was helping and so were some of my men as soon as their heads cleared from the blast. Of the sixteen JBG men with us six were dead and I was unsure if three more would make it. Several had started first aid on the injured.
Those of the IDF in the front armored truck were all dead. They had been trapped because they were unable to open the rear doors to escape; those that survived the explosion were burned to death.
Four of the six IDF drivers of the Humvees were alive and were desperately trying to get help.
The terrorists started chanting then demanding we throw out our weapons and surrender.
We did not need to have a discussion about that; it was not happening.
I threw the bandoleer over my shoulder, picked up one of the M16s and made my way along the embankment until I was hidden by the wheels of one of the Humvees. Then I made my way up the bank to hide behind the wheel to look under the Humvee.
There were about thirty insurgents slowly making their way towards us. Along with them were several men in uniforms that were out of place. They reminded me of pictures I had seen of foreign advisers to various factions, Russians to the Afghanistan’s, Chinese to the Viet Cong and North Korea, the US to South Viet Nam.
Back with my men we dragged the injured further away behind rocks and formulated a plan. We left the dead lying where they were for decoys. We had an M16 for each of us that were able.
I had seven of my men including Ed – Bill was one of the dead, five IDF and their commander were in the first vehicle among the dead – plus Vicky and me. The IDF – all of private or corporal rank – quickly decided they were going to follow my orders.
I left four of my men to protect the wounded, that left ten to carry on the fight until reinforcements arrived. I sent two to each end of the remains of the convoy to make sure that no one slipped around the end to pick us off.
The six of us worked the embankment until we could be hidden by the large wheels of the vehicles and play dead. When the insurgents were close enough we would roll left and right and shoot around the tires.
“Do not kill the two uniformed ones unless you have to; take their legs out,” I ordered.
It was a waiting game that I detested so much; if I was going to die, bring it on.
They were moving closer, yelling for us to come out and surrender. They were occasionally putting rounds into the burning vehicles.
“Go ahead, waste your ammunition,” I thought, “It will be that much less to shoot at me.”
Off in the distance I could hear helicopters and other heavy equipment coming. If they were going to come and get us they better do it soon so they can get back across no man’s land.
They heard the helicopters and threw caution to the wind. They decided to storm the vehicles looking for survivors and possible prisoners and ran towards us.
They were fifty feet away when I yelled, “NOW,” all of us rolled and started firing.
We had caught them by surprise; they must have thought we were all dead or injured by our silence. A minute later they were all on the ground, many of them dead or dying.
The two in uniforms were on the ground trying to crawl back in the direction they had come from; their legs would no longer hold them.
“Let’s go make sure they are dead,” I yelled.
There was no need. All of them were dead, my men and I had vented our anger on them. As it was I had used two clips on them, shooting some while they were on the ground; if they moved I put a three shot burst in their body.
I stepped on the hand of the first uniform and removed a sidearm from his hand; it was a nice one with lots of gold inlay and ivory grips. I removed the clip and the round from the chamber and put the items into a pocket on my gear.
I tied both hands behind his back and then he was screaming and yelling as I rolled him over, bleeding from both legs. I put tourniquets on both legs and pulled them tight. All those straps and cords on the combat vest of the IDF came in handy.
I finally had a chance to take a good look at him; there was Iranian IRG patches on the uniform and he had full set of General stars on the collar; he was a Major General.
“You’re an American, what are you doing here?” he asked in Persian.
“I was on vacation but I guess I am working now. What the hell are you doing here besides getting ready to fill a coffin?” I asked in Persian.
Ed had done the same thing to the other one; he was a Colonel.
Ed went to check the area they had come from to see if there any vehicles or other men waiting; he arrived at the top of the hill in time to see a cloud of dust. The drivers had abandoned their officers.
By now there were helicopters landing and IDF trucks coming. When they arrived I had time to finally sit down and get my thoughts together.
I called the girls and paged Andy to the call when they were all on line.
“We were attacked again, Bill, Brad, Sandy, Chaffee, Manfred and Harold are dead. Tom, Alan and Walter are critical; I doubt they will make it. Six more are seriously wounded. Vicky and I – well, the rest of us have all have some injuries.”
“Send a jet capable of getting us and the caskets home. Have it land at Tel Aviv; put a rush on it,” I said.
Just as I was about to say more the arriving IDF forces raked the hillside with heavy machine gunfire.
“Call you later when I know more,” as I hung up.
There was a line of helicopters picking up the wounded and dead. I had lost men before but this hurt.
We had dragged the two Iranians closer so there would be no mistake in them getting killed accidentally. It was going to be a slow painful death for them.
A General had arrived and Director Dorian of the Mossad, “Stop the bleeding on the Iranians, don’t bother to do a whole lot else. I want them to go back to America with me; they are my prisoners. Ben-David can help with the interrogation there. I will get more out of them in day there than you can in a month here,” I said.
“We have notified your government that you were attacked, they want you to call,” he replied.
My satellite phone had been constantly ringing. I finally turned it off a while ago.
I called Troy, “Six dead, three critical and won’t make it, the rest of us are wounded or injured.” The IDF was raking the hills again at things they saw moving – or not – as I hung up the phone without saying anything else.
I took pictures of the burning and damaged vehicles; I knew there would be questions. I also walked around to take pictures of the dead insurgents. The IDF was doing the same thing.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.