Annihilation of the 101st and 82nd
"Well, did they ever return?
No, they never returned and their fates are still unlearned
They may fight forever near the river of Rhine
And they're the troops who never returned".
- - "M.I.A." by the Truth Singers, a Network-aligned garage band.
"They are sophisticated yes, tenacious to the point of fighting even when their continent was lost as well. They have formed a solid, powerful doctrine rather similar to our own. They are admirable in their beliefs in antiquated political ideology and whimsical romanticism. But they are ultimately, a dying beast. They fight a thousand battles all over the world while their enemies can safely lick their wounds and gather strength. A million insurgencies rise against them; every solution simply birthing another problem. It's beautiful really, the inevitability, they rise, only to fall. These allies, they shall be our meteor, our swift and terrible sword and the Earth will crack with the weight of their failure. Let them fight to the death for the love of their freedom, shout to the heavens in the name of equality; it means nothing. When the dust settles the only ideal living in this world will be ours."
- - Turuk Vil-Ervanik Jugak upon reflecting on the battle nearly sixteen years later, believing it to be a sign of the Allies' weakness.
The human forces were technically speaking; enemies. With the start of the Allied push across Europe against Stalin's war machine, Ivana Belanova was expected to hold this position against a push by the 101st and 82nd supported by two Panzergrenadier brigades, settling into well defended positions. As a Guards division, her formation was quite large and had plenty of Mammoth tanks and Anvils dug well into positions and supported by grenadiers operating in ICV-3s, while the Colonel had many a Maul, Katyusha, and V2 at the ready. Further more, she could count on substantial air assets in the form of Hinds and MiGs and her chameleons and array of SAMs helped defend against air attack. Her own base was heavily guarded by flame turrets and Tesla coils along with numerous cleverly placed walls all meant to dash the Allied attack to nothing. Though she certainly was not expecting an alien assault, her base was one of the best defended in occupied Germany.
Facing her were the heavily air supported and air mobile forces of the famous 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions and two Panzergrenadier brigades working as heavy support for the aircraft and airdroppable assets of the two divisions. Without an overall commander, Higgins, DeWitt, and Werner all frequently had their rather heated disagreements about how to face the Stalinist threat facing them. At this point in the war, the Hammer and Sickle still ruled the skies, but they were still more than capable of fielding their own assortment of aircraft in support of their operation. With a substantial number of tanks and artillery as well as mechanized assets to transport the Panzergrenadiers along with the largely ranger, STOL cargo plane, and bluejay mobile light infantry they felt confident of being able to drive through the enemy base.
Despite being a Vil-Ervanik in the Enforcers, Jugak. 's status as a part of the Enforcers meant that he outstripped Uvuldinok and Verogol in command authority, and thus was in overall command of the operation. Jugak was a notoriously vicious commander who had served in many operations across the Ecumene over his long life, and had chosen to remain at the rank of Vil-Ervanik to continue to command field operations close to the front, though he was given a secondary "Xor-Xunuvik" (Field-Marshall de facto) rank by Vra'Kul'Mal. At his command was a combined arms force of mercenaries, observation troopers, and enforcers, all meant to ensure the secrecy of observation operations remained uncompromised by the encroaching of human presences at the base. Newly activated improved versions of the vehicles and weapons the fleet had utilized had been issued; and even a number of "capital ships" were at Jugak's command. Their own base had its own substantial defenses meant to keep away nosy intruders as the Ecumene watched the conflict unfold with great interest.
When the allied assault on Belanova's base began, Jugak decided that he could not long risk an intensive battle happening so close to his operation base and endeavored to quickly crush both sides. Waiting until both the Allies and Soviets had fully committed themselves against one another, he endeavored to only strike down the humans when they had left themselves no easily accessed routes of retreat so as to ensure as few survivors as possible would live to see another day and report the truth of what had actually happened. The Allies advanced quickly under artillery fire from both sides and soon both forces were engaged in mortal combat for the fate of their little patch of the Rhineland.
When Ecumenical scouts confirmed that both factions were fully engaged, Jugak decided to strike. First a kinetic strike was ordered where the factions were at their most concentrated, immediately liquidating their centers as sir Isaac Newton brought down his mighty hand onto the battlefield. In an instant, what had once been a chaotic front for an intense battle between two well armed combat formations had become a crater filled with the atomized particulates of the combatants with the firing of one of the point defense guns of the fleet from Jupiter's orbit. Though an overall minuscule loss, this strike did destroy much of the forward elements of both armies and almost immediately incited panic, just as per the Ecumenical commander's design.
A blanket of interference went around the combatants to silence any word they might have gotten out, these human soldiers would die alone and the world would be none the wiser. And to ensure that no witnesses were allowed to escape the Ecumenical cordon, Foo-fighters and Avalanches would be deployed along with anti-air assets to ensure that no aircraft could ever speak of the fate of the humans who had fought here. Though the Hawker was thought to be the best fighter in the world, against the Foo-Fighter and Windscythe it may as well have been a Sopwith Camel. The Foo-fighters and Windscythes screamed downwards from the heavens and opened fire with lethal results, tearing Nimbuses, Ramhawks, Hawkers and Firebolts from the sky with abandon. Rascals, Skyfortresses, Bluejays, and Longbows all swiftly joined their comrades on the scrap pile as Ecumenical aircraft and anti-air swatted the Allied planes out of the sky.
The dumbfounded Soviets thought that Stalin himself had created some miracle, until the Ecumene's forces turned on the Mig-9s, Bears, and Yakolevs sharing their air space with as much ferocity as they did the allies. Those aircraft that were still in play that were not flying the lightning bolt of the Ecumene or the Skull of the Enforcers were those who weren't in the air at all when Jugak made his moves to punish the Allies and Soviets for the crime of existing. Then came the message. "Those of you fighting for the Allies." It said in speech well translated into each language. "Turn your arms to our service, we are a superior, anti-communist culture who will put an end to the Soviet Union in due time. We are a fair but fearsome power, and shall give you order and security if you but submit and join us in slaying these beasts."
"Go fuck yourselves and the high horses you rode in on." Came the response, and with that the Ecumene's forces struck like lightning.
Avalanche carriers dropped from orbit, accompanied by other capital ships who immediately sought out the destruction of the forces on the ground while Vivesector bombers sought out their targets, hard-light raining down from the sky while men and machine were lifted into the air by flayer orbs and disintegrated into nothing more than free-floating particulates. Then came the dropships, making bombing runs that brought not explosives, but pods filled with soldiers and vehicles who almost immediately deployed to engage Allied and Soviet forces at every turn. Escape was soon found to be cut off by walls of defensive fortifications created to ensure that none would live to report what had happened to their comrades. The cauldron had been set, and now it was time to boil it.
Jugak had made his orders quite clear, kill them in ways that leave no bodies behind and terrorize as many of them into surrender as possible. Ecumenical forces had moved to completely cut off the Allied and Soviet forces from outside help, with orbital strikes being designated to further pound and disorientate the human soldiers. With confusion and disarray preventing effectual response from the humans, the slaughter on the ground was to begin in earnest. Paul Adams was to be killed first, and as the American general had formed a pocket of resistance to the brutal Ecumenical assault, his location was now obvious to the Ecumene's fighting forces.