Chapter 290: Book 12 Chapter 3-2 A New Era: A Triumphant Entry to Tokyo!
The two Warthog tanks withstood the Black Dragon missile’s explosions. They started to fire their metal rounds from their railguns but photon rounds from out of nowhere made them catch on fire and explode. The 711 tank under the 7th company’s 1st platoon had come to the 712 tank’s rescue.
Meanwhile, the 16MJ class railgun’s X-16 metal rounds flew across the sky and grazed the 712 tank’s main turret. If this round had struck the turret, then the 712 tank would have lost all of its outer optical equipment, and it would be unable to conduct any further missions.
“Wow! That was a close one! Whew!” Master Sergeant Oh Young-taek emerged from the smoking Warthog tanks with its turret torn off and smoking and sighed in relief.
“Master Sergeant Oh! What do we do, sir? I think our old girl’s done for.” Sergeant First Class Kim Young-joo, the gunner, glanced at his turret’s turning plate while moving the levers. When he saw how severe the damages were, he asked Sergeant Oh.
“Hey! Our old girl’s fine. She can take some hits. I’m sure she’ll be up and running once we get repairs from the battalion.”
“God! Commander Oh, sir! Can’t you hear that noise? The creaking sounds. I think the turning plate’s gearbox is completely out, sir. Damn it!”
Lieutenant Park Ho-jun, the vehicle commander of tank 711 and platoon commander of the 1st platoon under the 7th company, asked the 712 tank’s status over the radio, “This is Crimson Ox 1! Crimson Ox 2, tank 712, what’s your status? Over.”
“This is Crimson Ox 2! The right caterpillar, main turret turning plate’s gears are out. Over.”
“This is Crimson Ox 1! Can you move Crimson Ox 2? Over.”
“This is Crimson Ox 2! We can move, but it is difficult for us to mobilize properly. Over.”
“This is Crimson Ox 1! Crimson Ox 2, we will call over the battalion’s rescue vehicle. Return to HQ and get repairs. The Crimson Ox platoon will now stand watch until the rescue vehicle arrives to take Crimson Ox 2. Over.”
“This is Crimson Ox 2, confirmed. Over!”
“This is Crimson Ox 3. Confirmed, over!”
“This is Crimson Ox 4. Confirmed, over!”
When Master Sergeant Oh Young-taek finished speaking on the radio, he rubbed his face with both of his hands and sighed, “Whew! Damn it! I wanted to be the first to march into Tokyo’s city hall… At this rate, another force will take our place. We are the division’s top gun tank. It should be us that leads the charge.”
“Sir! I for one don’t care about marching into Tokyo city hall, but just want to return home safely. The pressure we are facing against the enemy is completely different compared to the one from the war against China. Those Warthog tanks and their rail gun rounds, man…”
“Hey! How can you be so scared of something like that? Even though we were hit so many times, we didn’t suffer any internal explosions, did we? Have some faith in our old girl.”
While the crew of the 712 tank was taking an uneasy break under the 1st platoon’s watch, the rescue vehicle from the battalion arrived at its location. The 712 tank was towed away from the battlefield and arrived at the brigade’s temporary headquarters.
The march towards Tokyo started at 12:00. The 20th armored division had started their march from the city’s 9 o’clock direction at Hachioji. They continued through Sagami, Hara, Hino, and finally Tama, and widened their battlefield to hasten their occupation of Tokyo.
The 9th mechanized infantry division had marched from the city’s 11 o’clock direction. They started from Takasaki and moved through Maeba, Isesaki. They could not avoid the U.S. Marine’s MEAB forces and Japan’s eastern army’s 6th mechanized infantry division’s ambushes. But they had managed to mop up most of the enemy forces now.
The Corean Army finished marching through the enemy territory from both directions. Now they took some time to rest and get some relief to ease their fatigue. The capital armored division under the 7th mobile corps handed over the control of the cities to the 3rd mobile marine division after taking over Chukyo and Nagoya. They started to move towards Tokyo at high speeds to join the assault.
* * *
February 24th, 2021, 16:30
Seoul, Jongro-ku, Blue House national emergency situation center, underground bunker. The president’s office
Chairman Kang Ui-sik, his entourage, and the Minister of National Defense all visited the national emergency situation center’s underground bunker to give a briefing about the assault on the American mainland and the status of the march to Tokyo.
“Hmm, it seems that America’s western region suffered more damages than we expected. I know San Diego was especially affected after having half the city become flooded. How’re the civilian casualties like?” President Suh Hyun-woo, who was listening to the operation director’s briefing, seemed concerned about the civilian casualties and asked in a low tone.
Chairman Kang Ui-sik, who was listening to the briefing, answered instead, “Mr. President! Most of America’s western air force and army bases are all located far away from the major cities, but the naval forces were docked at San Diego Port. Therefore, we had no choice but to commence the attack despite causing civilian casualties. However, we did not make a direct attack on the port and city itself, but rather at the U.S. Navy’s fleet 8km away at sea with our SD-SLBN Gungnir-II missiles. The missile’s explosive power is great, but we did not expect it to cause a tsunami.”
The weapons developed by the 17th fighter wing’s underground research facility were manufactured in the Olympus base. However, since the nation was at war, these weapons were unable to go through thorough offline testing. Most of the weapons’ functionalities were tested in a virtual environment using a supercomputer. The defense industries approved the weapons for use based on the results from the computer alone.
The tsunami at San Diego was also caused by the lack of data from actual offline tests. During the virtual testing phase, the calculations concluded that the SD-SLBN Gungnir-II missiles would cause a tsunami of 4-6m after exploding 10m above the ocean surface in cruise mode. The test made it seem that the San Diego Port’s breakwater structures would be enough to hold the tsunami back.
Chairman Kang Ui-sik read President Suh Hyun-woo’s expression that hinted at his heart being weighed down with guilt, and spoke, “Mr. President! America launched over 500 rounds of ICBMs to our territory. The Apollo 3 reconnaissance satellite detected that over 80 rounds were armed with nuclear warheads. The unavoidable damages to San Diego are incomparable to what America did against a non-nuclear nation.”
“I see. I understand. We are at war, and that’s something we cannot avoid. Do we at least have a number on how many people were killed?”
“Do you mean in total, Mr. President?” Operations Director, Lieutenant General Kim Yong-hyun, stopped the briefing and asked the president.
“No. I mean the causalities of San Diego’s citizens.”
“Yes, the numbers are not exact, but out of San Diego’s total population of 1.3 million, we expect at least 200,000 were killed.”
“That’s not a low number. I see. Let’s continue.”
“Yes, Mr. President! We will now begin the briefing for the march towards Tokyo.”
* * *
February 24th, 2021, 21:00 (U.S.T 07:00)
The White House’s Presidential Emergency Operations Center (underground bunker), Washington D.C., U.S.A.
President Trump heard about Corea’s ICBM strikes across the entire country and immediately evacuated with his family and other government officials to the White House’s underground bunker and spent a sleepless night there.
Luckily the missiles falling onto Washington D.C. were all successfully intercepted. But since the interception effort was focused on the capital, EMP rounds exploded above New York City’s skies and the entire city was under a blackout. When President Trump heard about the report, he became anxious and continued to pace around his own office at the bunker.
“Mr. President! Secretary of Defense John Wayne from the joint staff is on the line for you, sir.”
When his secretary reported in, President Trump sat down on his seat and glanced at the large screen hanging on the wall.
Soon, the screen lit up and Secretary John Wayne, who seemed to have aged 10 years, came up on the screen. President Trump immediately started to shout at him.
“What has happened? What took you so long to contact me? Also, we have spent astronomical amounts of money to perfect our MD system. How could our mainland be hit by enemy missiles?” President Trump scolded Secretary John Wayne while making his unique expressions and hand gestures.
“I apologize, Mr. President! We have successfully intercepted all missiles headed towards Washington, but we did so when the missiles were close to the atmosphere in the area. The powerful pulse waves prevented communication, but now we are back online,” Secretary John Wayne answered in a panicked tone.
“Regardless, what is going on out there? What happened to the ICBMs we launched, and what are the damages to our own soil?”
“I’ll use the video to give you a summarizing report, Mr. President.”
30 minutes later, Secretary of Defense John Wayne’s report was over. President Trump was at a loss for words and he was slumped on the sofa.
A moment of silence fell as President Trump recounted the conversation that he had with the president of Corea from last night.
President Trump could not figure out how to take in the situation and what he should do. Thoughts swirled around in his head.
* * *
February 24th, 2021, 22:00
The Asa River’s shoreline at Hachioji, Honshu, Japan (the 20th armored division’s 60th armored brigade’s HQ location)
Along the Asa River and under the Oowa bridge, the 60th armored brigade’s headquarters and its subordinate forces made their encampment and stood guard. At the fields on one side of the river, the damaged White Tiger tanks and armored vehicles from today’s battle were all lined up for repairs. The men from the brigade’s repair battalion were all hard at work, fixing the vehicles. The 712 tank under the 1st platoon of the 7th company under the 26th armored battalion was towed here as well and being repaired.
“Hey! Sergeant First Class Kang! Hurry up already! Do you need more discipline to work faster?” Master sergeant Oh Young-taek started to goad a middle-aged soldier who was fixing the right caterpillar of the 712 White Tiger tank.
Sergeant First Class Kang, whose face was covered in oil, dusted off his repair jumpsuit and frowned. “Hey! Master Sergeant Oh! Have you lost your mind? You’re just gonna ignore seniority because you were promoted?”
“What? How dare you threaten a master sergeant when you’re just a sergeant first class?”
“Goddamn it! Come here.” Sergeant First Class Kang started swinging his wrench and moved towards Master Sergeant Oh as if to strike him.
“Ah! Sergeant First Class Kang, sir! I’m sorry. It was a joke hahaha. Please let it go this time… hehehe.”
“God! You really have no fear of your seniors…”
Sergeant First Class Kang Hyuck-soo was Master Sergeant Oh Young-taek’s N.C.O. senior. However, since Master Sergeant Oh was promoted a rank, the whole ranking chain was mixed up.
“Sergeant First Class Kang, sir! Please get our old girl up and running again. We need to get back to our company’s location and be the first to enter Tokyo.”
“Hey! You turned her into scrap, and you expect me to repair her so quickly?”
“Damn it! Sir, you’re the best repairmen in the entire brigade. Isn’t this a piece of cake for you?”
“Hey! Stop messing around. This right caterpillar and scope can be finished before tomorrow morning, but the issue is right here!” Sergeant First Class Kang pointed to the main turret and the space between it and the body with his wrench.
“The turning plate, sir?”
“Yeah! This will take a few days!”
“Sir? A few days? The whole march into Tokyo will be over by then.”
“So what? Take a look at your tank! How many hits did you take? You guys went headfirst into battle from being the division’s top gun with overconfidence, didn’t you?”
The 712 tank’s turret and body were covered in dents from the dozens of metal rounds that struck it.
“Sir, how could you think we were so careless… You just don’t know it yet. The American’s new rail gun tanks are quite powerful.”
“Whatever, the continued shocks to the turning plate have caused the gearbox to give out completely! Other tanks need repairs as well, and we need parts from the division. So, it will take at least 3 days.”
“Goddamn it! Those American bastards. They shouldn’t have pissed me off.”
Master Sergeant Oh Young-take threw off his hat and spoke to Sergeant First Class Kang as if he made up his mind, “Sir! Please just fix our caterpillar and replace the scope by tomorrow morning. Leave the turning plate as is.”
“I have my own reasons! Please just leave the turning plate.”
“Fine! Do whatever you want.”
“Thank you, sir. I am going to head to the brigade’s headquarters.”