This battle is awarded with Battle of the Season medal.
Halloween might be over, marking an end for the festival of vampires, ghosts and demons. However, what continue to lurk around the surface of our planet, are the horrors and fears within mankind itself, with wars and schemes burning on every continent. Today we pick two of the most iconic examples of the horror of mankind from Kubrick's satirical take on Nuclear war and Coppola's modern tale apocalypse. Walter.E.Kurtz, a man broken by war; and Jack.D.Ripper, a man that started the worst war in an attempt to end all wars. Which one of these sons of cold war will claim victory in this battle of madness, fear and insanity ? Let's find out.
General Jack D. Ripper is a general in USAF and the commander of Burpelson Air Force Base in the movie Dr. Strangelove.
Due to the strong belief that Soviet infiltration had already polluted the water system in USA and caused his own health problem, Ripper put the base on condition red and ordered B-52 planes in US military bases around the world to attack their targets inside Soviet Union at one night. In order not to let the government foul his plan to eliminate the Russians, Ripper warned the soldiers in his base that the Russian invasion troops might disguise as US army. In this way, when the government sent troops to disarm the base, Ripper led the soldiers in his base to fight against government troops coming towards the base, resulting in great casualties on the government's side.
For those unfamiliar with the plots of Doctor Strangelove, check here. I personally regard this movie as the best film ever made.
- .45 ACP
- 70 m effective range
- 7-round standard detachable box magazine
- 2.44 lb (1.105 kg) empty weight
- 830 ft/s (253 m/s) muzzle velocity
- Browning M1919A4
- Kept in his golf bag
- 14 kg in weight
- 37.94 in (964 mm) in length
- 7.62×51mm NATO
- 400–600 round/min
- 1,500 yd (1,400 m) (maximum effective range)
- 250-round belt feed
- M3 "Grease Gun"
- 30 round magazine
- Fires .45 ACP rounds
- Weighs about 8 pounds
- 450 rounds per minute
- M1A1 Thompson
- 30-round box magazine
- Fires .45 ACP rounds
- Weights about 10 pounds
- 600-725 rds/min
- M1 Garand
- 8-round en-bloc clip, internal magazine
- Gas-operated, rotating bolt
- Effective range 457 m
- 7.62×51mm NATO
- M1 Carbine
- 270 m effective range
- 15-round detachable box magazine
- .30 Carbine
- The soldiers at the Burpelson Air Force Base
- All received standard US military training in the 1950s and early 1960s
- Some of them might be Korean War veterans, while the only actual battle fought by the majority of the soldiers were the resistance against other American troops coming to take over their base, which they believed to be USSR troops in disguise.
- All in good physical health and stable mental condition.
- Well-supplied by the base.
- Brutal against outsiders because Ripper brainwashed them into taking any coming troops as Russian invaders.
- Respect Ripper and willing to follow his orders.
Colonel Walter. E. Kurtz
Colonel Walter.E.Kurtz was a career officer in the United States Army; he was a third-generation West Point graduate who had risen through the ranks and was seen to be destined for a top post within the Pentagon.
In 1964, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent Kurtz to Vietnam to compile a report on the failings of the current military policies.
Later Kurtz returned to Vietnam in 1966 with the Green Berets and was part of the hearts and minds campaign. On his next tour, Kurtz was assigned to Project GAMMA, in which he was to raise an army of Montagnards in and around the Vietnamese–Cambodian border to strike at the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army. Kurtz located his army, including their wives and children, at a remote abandoned Cambodian temple which Kurtz's team fortified. From their base, Kurtz led attacks on the local VC and the regular NVA in the region.
During this period, Kurtz employed barbaric methods not only to defeat his enemy but also to send fear, resulting in the deterioration of his mental health. Eventually, Kurtz would cut off his connection with the base and establish him as a demi-god. leading his troop in a cult-like fashion before meeting his doom in 1969 at the hands of Captain Williard.
Check here for the complete story of Apocalypse Now.
- Unspecified weight.
- Approximately 35 cm in length
- .45 ACP
- 70 m effective range
- 7-round standard detachable box magazine
- 2.44 lb (1.105 kg) empty weight
- 830 ft/s (253 m/s) muzzle velocity
- Fires 9×19mm Parabellum
- 32-round detachable box magazine
- 600 rpm
- Weight 9.3 lbs.
- Madsen M50
- 9×19mm Parabellum
- 32 round magazine
- 550 rpm
- Weight 3.15 kilograms (6.9 lb)
- Remington 700 (70s model)
- 6-round internal magazine
- Bolt-action, rotating bolt
- Effective range unspecified
- .308 Winchester
- Norinco Type 56
- 7.62x39mm round
- 300-400 m effective range
- 30-round detachable box magazine
- Semi Automatic
- Kurtz's Children, a motley crew consisting of villagers (mostly children and teenagers) from nearby Cambodian/Vietnamese villages and United States soldiers (from either marine corps or Green Berets) that were brainwashed into joining Kurtz's crew, most noticeably Richard Colby, a Green Beret Captain.
- Villagers received little-to-none training (Some of the villagers might have received limited training from Kurtz and the soldiers), while soldiers received their standard training. Some of the villagers received limited training from Kurtz and the soldiers)
- Almost all of the soldiers present in Kurtz's crew, including Kurtz, fought in Vietnam War against NVA and Viet Cong, as well as commando teams sent by US government to execute/capture them, while the villagers didn't really fight in any open conflicts apart from shooting random intruders/bypassers around Kurtz's base.
- Not really in top health, both physically and mentally. (will be discussed in X-factors)
- Picking up leftovers of both sides of the war,while still keeping the initial limited amount of supply Kurtz gained from US government.
- Brutal against intruders.
- Most soldiers respect Kurtz, while villagers fear him. Most of the time they are willing to carry out his orders, but with reluctance, due to Kurtz's mental state.
X-factors (Ripper - Kurtz)
Experience (55 - 90 )
For Rippper and most of the troops at the base, the only battle they fought were the defense of the base against forces from other military bases, which was a mid-to-large scale conflicts with air force, artillery and armored vehicles involved and heavy casuatly (mostly on their opponents' side, according to the book), however, this battle is shadowed by Kurtz and some of his men's experience in the Vietnam War, which is a modern and realistic war that can top the battle of air base in many ways.
Average Training (80 - 67)
While Kurtz and some of his men are well-trained Green Beret/Marine, most of Kurtz's men are teens and random villagers with little-to-none training, while Ripper and his men are all trained soldiers at an air base. However, bear in mind that Kurtz, alongside several other of his subordinates (who will all be present in this battle) are Green Berets and marine corp soldiers.
Ripper is respected by his troops and has proved himself to be a skilled orator, manipulator and leader, effectively convincing his men of the Russian invasion and leading them in the defense of the base, while Kurtz establishes himself as a cult leader, puts too much fear and pressure on his men, leading to the fact that most of his troops followed him out of fear, with a few exception (Colby). Apart from this, Kurtz's mental state results in him always giving vague orders and not being very stable when it comes to making decisions.
Tactics (75 - 85)
Ripper scattered his troops around the road leading to the base and ambushed the forces from other bases from multiple directions, destroying the first wave of attack. When later waves arrived, although his troops put up a decent fight, he didn't showcase any particular talent in tactics and spent most of the time in his office observing the fight and talking with Mandrake. Kurtz, however, was a described as a genius in both anti-guerrilla warfare and guerrilla warfare, being able to defend his base from Viet Cong harassment and commandos sent to capture him. However, due to his deteriorating mental state, his score is adjusted from 95 to 85.
Logistic (90 - 79）
Sure, Kurtz has managed to built up a remarkable small mountain of supplies through scavenging and picking up left-overs, but this is certainly no match for an actual military base. A clear example that showcases their gap in logistic is that almost every soldier on Ripper's squad is seen armed with rifle/carbine in the film, while only the core members of Kurtz's cult have access to Type 56, and the rest of the children are usually seen with SMGs and pistols.
Mental Health (65 - 40 )
Ripper starts a nuclear war because he thinks Russians has contaminated the water supply in US, resulting in his bodily fluid being polluted. Apart from this he's sane and stable enough, being able to remain calm and calculating while leading his troops against government troops. Kurtz suffers from PTSD and is mentally unstable, even secretly wishing to be killed so that he could be freed from the horror of war.
- As mentioned by voters, the way Ripper holds his machine gun will result in severe burn. However, considering the fact that he was shown to be capable of handling the machine gun without suffering from any injuries in the film, the wrong holding method is likely the result of the director/film crew's insufficient research, therefore, voters are encouraged to ignore this small detail.
Ripper is in a state of confusion. He has no idea about how he's got here, in the center of a large room similar to those control centers back in his base, heavily-armed, and accompanied by roughly twenty equally confused grunts. ( x 21)
"Soldiers, keep your nerves on. I know you might be confused, but there's a high possibility that we are in the midst of a Russian invasion, and the Russians have dosed us with their memory-erasing gas, which can temporarily erase our memory thorough infiltrating our precious bodily fluids." Says Ripper, who manages to instantly figure out an explanation that not only suits his nature and the situation perfectly, but also proves to be right, to some extent.
"Sir I haven't heard about such memory-erasing gas."
"Mandrake, how many times do I have to tell you that those commies have no regard for human ethic and life, not even their own. And for this reason, men, it is prudent for me to say that they have invented such a form of gas and put it into use. Just like what they did with our water supply," Ripper states, in a serious tune, " And for the same reason, my fellow soldiers. I hereby order you to fire at any individuals or groups attempting to enter that door in front of us. The enemy probably have already broken through our defense when we were under the effect of the gas. "
Highly alerted by their commander's orders, the soldiers from the air base grab up their rifles, carbines and SMGs, aiming them at the door. Seconds later a loud banging noise erupts and a female entity of anime nature, MP5 in hands, comes bursting into the door, who is immediately taken down by the joint effort of five M1 Garrand and two Tommy guns.
"General she's just a girl --" Remarks Mandrake, almost angrily. However, Ripper simply dismisses me by ordering his men to march forward. Upon exiting the door, they find themselves in a long, wide and dark corridor. On their left, in a short distance, several other corpses of anime girls are on display. Standing between the dead bodies, trying to picking up their firearms, are Kurtz's scavenger squad. ( x 21)
Recognizing the Norinco tied to one of the men's back as a commie weapon, Ripper orders his troops to attack.
Quickly ducking to one side of the long corridor the soldier soon realizes that winning this skirmish is no longer possible, as the remaining members of his team of scavengers flee from the scene, dropping their pistols on the ground and running back towards their temporary headquarter. Running out of bullets and being trapped in a corner, the ex-commando raises his pistol and takes aim at his temple, stirring up a red mist and marking an end for his war-torn life.
"What else do you know ?" Says Kurtz, as he stares at the young man tied to the pole in front of him, who was seen aimlessly riding on a hippo and captured by his children earlier that day. Being the only sensible entity he has encountered ever since waking up in this alien realm, Kurtz acknowledges the value of this man, and decides to keep him alive, at least until he could snatch any pieces of useful information that may enlighten him about his whereabouts from the hippo rider. So far, he hasn't got anything of particular value, except seemingly mad chants and rumors about a huge conflict happening around.
"That's all I can say. Look, sir, I suggest you releasing me immediately, or else you'll be dragged into something beyond the comprehension of your mind. And I'm definitely super serious about this, if you don't let me go, you will either be ripped about by those anonymous devils, or be terminated by the wraith of HIPPOMAN, after I regain my power." Yells the young man, in anger.
"Worse than devils. They are ultimate source of horror in the multiverse....I'm pretty sure you have absolutely no idea about what that means, lol, wait and see you insolent mortal..."
"Horror ? You have no right to claim that. I've seen horror that no words could describe. I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream. It's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor, and surviving. That's the source of horror. Horror beyond words, horror beyond judgement...." Abruptly cutting off Pygmy's complaint, Kurtz once again begins lecturing strangers about his rather unique personal understanding about terror and fear in his usual tone, low but sinister, dumbly calm but staggeringly abnormal. However, this time he doesn't have the chance to finish his "awe-inspiring" speech, because several of his subordinates are rushing back, yelling about an invasion involving American troops. Almost instantly, Colby picks up his Type-56 and sprints out. Watching his most-trusted followers rushing to aid, Kurtz turns back and draws out the machete from his belt, placing it right next to Pygmy's neck. "So that is the invasion you talked about. They have no right to murder me.They have no right to judge me of my faults. They trained young men to drop fire on people, to drop horror....You have no right to judge me as well.....THIS IS THE END, is it ? Or isn't it ?.......No, this is not the end. We must kill them.We must incinerate them. Pig after pig, cow after cow, village after village, army after army...."
"Hippo after hippo ?" Says Pygmy, in a joking tune, "Wait for a couple more minutes and see what happens. If nothing happens, you have fun chopping off my head with that giant blade you are holding."
"What do you mean ?"
Back to the front line
The moment Ripper's men break into the simulation room where Kurtz's troops have been stationed, they are immediately engulfed in a storm of bullets, which tears through the first groups of soldiers within seconds, leaving several riddled bodies on the ground. . Two of the airbase grunts manage to make their way further inside, emptying the remaining rounds of their M1 carbines into one reloading ex-Marine Corp's chest, only to have a large group of villagers gang up on them, ferociously beating them down with the farming implements and homemade machetes. One of the grunts manages to shoot down a villager with his M1911 before having his skull smashed open by a hoe, while the other grunt simply bites the dust after a crude spear pierced his heart.
Their efforts are proved to be not in vain, as the rest of Ripper men pushes through the villagers' amateur defense line consisting of their improvised tools and bandit-style maneuver over second-hand MAT-49s, which ceases to function properly after the death of the marine corp. Two villagers go down in the process.
"Eh...Sir, look like we've found some strange dead bodies in the forest." Reports a soldier.
"Bodies of more commies ?"
"Some of them might be the same branch of Asian commies attacking us, but as for the rest...Based on our observation, I'd say they are Waffen-SS, judging from their military uniforms."
"Nazis, eh ? I don't think so. They are probably commies in disguise. Continue to push forward, America's finest soldiers. I can't allow anything to distract us before the world is clean of communist subversion."
"YES SIR !"
Colby can't believe what he is seeing. A group of soldiers, dressing like they are from 10 or 20 years ago, armed with WWII antiques, are marching through the woods, coming for their temporary HQ.
"When and where am I ? I thought we were still in Vietnam...anyway this land, these trees...and the temperature...all feel so damn like Nam. But...these bizarre Korean War crew...Am I still conscious ? Are those in Saigon trying to play some sort of tricks ?"
Heedless of the absurdity and strangeness the crew in front of them possesses, he proceeds to follow Ripper's army, seeking for a proper chance to strike. As the air base defenders crosses the bridge leading to Kurtz's main base,Colby takes notice of several grunts struggling their way through the small marsh on the bank. Recognizing it as a fabulous chance to attack, he launches out from his cover and furiously opens fire with his Type-56 at the soldiers,almost instantly taking down two shaky grunts. The remaining three grunts on the bank immediately turns back, however, before they can make a single shot the ex-Green Beret has already made his way toward their marsh, emptying the remaining rounds of his Norinco into the first grunt's abdomen. Too shocked to move, hardly has the second soldier reloaded his carbine when Colby switches to his M1911 and land a solid hit on his chest. The third man, obviously more prepared than his friends, has already draws out his pistol when Colby approaches him. However, before his could pull the trigger a nasty feeling of slippery overwhelms him, as he finds his left foot sinking into the marsh, instantly depriving him of balance, resulting in a bullet blowing up his brain. Swiftly avoiding the dangerous part of the marsh by observing the feet situation of the three men he has defeated Colby manages to reach the bridge and opens fire with the remaining rounds of his pistol at Ripper's men on the other side, massacring two other careless grunts.
Motivated by their instructor's success the villagers hidden behind the bushes soon emerges, and attacks Ripper's troop with the crappy firearms they have been armed with.
The situation is not looking good for Ripper. His men are dying too rapidly, and he has not yet met the head of his enemy. From the faces of his remaining soldiers, all he could tell are fear and despair, as the villagers flanks them on both sides, slowly forcing them back to the river where a war-torn madman is unleashing his rage.
"The commies are gaining the upper hand, Mandrake, and I'm not going to let that happen." Says Ripper, as he takes off his golf bag and unzips its side, revealing his beloved personal toy. "Help me hold this belt Mandrake !"
"What - "
Before the British officer could get down to his knees, the nuclear lunatic has already stands up and initiates his performance, firing at the charging villagers with extreme prejudice.Two of the men go down almost straight away, while two others bite their dust as they runs backwards, petrified by the machine gun that literally appears out of nowhere. Encouraged by their commander's yet another courageous act, the men of Burpelson Air Base that have been forced to shelter themselves behind huge rocks and car remains raise their rifles to aid their head, tearing apart another escaping villager with grease guns while pulverizing the last attacker's skull with 7.62×51mm NATO from an M1 Garand.
"All communists must be eliminated, regardless of their race, religion and nationality !" Shouts Ripper, as he turns moves the machine gun backwards with Mandrake's reluctant help, smacking Colby on the muddy terrain of EA's simulated Vietnamese jungle.
Overjoyed, the Burpelson crew are too distracted by the victory to notice a beast of great size flying past the sky above, heading towards Kurtz's headquarter at a relatively high speed.
Kurtz is fed up with the mess unfolding around his camp. As the noises of the grunts slowly closes to his campsite, the colonel decides that dealing with the invaders is now his first priority. Leaving the tied-up young man alone, he gathers the remaining of his men and prepares for a final defense. The villagers, as untrustworthy and unreliable as they have been, have already been exterminated by Ripper's men, and what are left in this damnable camp are the moving husks of the best of the best, ex-Green Berets and special op agents as broken and traumatized by the war as himself. With this crew of skilled psychopaths, Kurtz feels confident enough that they'll come on top and defeat the invading grunts.
Hiding himself in the abandoned temple in the camp, Kurtz watches in silence as two grunts approaches the dust-covered ancient building.
"This place looks unoccupied, Jack. " Says the leading grunt, as he steps into the temple hall, moving his eyes from the exotic mural depicting gods and fairies from some ancient oriental folk religion to the newly-established bas-relief standing in the middle of the room. A quick stare on the grotesque statue is enough for him to rebuke the statement he has just made, for the branches supporting the idol seem rather fresh.However before he could make another move, Kurtz reveals himself from a column in the left wing, shooting the grunt in the chest with his pistol.The second grunt responds quickly by firing his carbine at Kurtz's spot, however to his shock the ex-commando has somehow vanished in a matter of sheer seconds. Slightly dumbfounded, hardly has the grunt taken the noise coming from above seriously when Kurtz descends from above where a ventilation raise covered in bushes and branches is revealed, and lands on the man's back, chopping off his head with his blood-stained machete.
On the other side of the camp, another grunt gets plunged into a melee brawl, as a formal marine emerges from one of the seemingly empty tents, machete in hands. Quick enough to draw out his combat knife, the two men struggle against each other, as they tumble down the muddy slope, trying to press their blades into each other's neck. What puts and end to their death match, however, turns out to be a large, scary-looking green-skinned hippo, which falls down from the sky and lands on their bodies, crushing both of them to death.
"Look like scattering around isn't a brilliant idea, is it general ?" Says Mandrake, as he points to the last of their men running back with a bleeding shoulder, as a crazed marine chases him, firing his rifle in a random fashion with his eyes wide open due to the effect of herbs with which Khun Sa the Prince Prosperous will make an empire decades later. Lifting his pistol, Ripper takes a deep breath and opens fire, which pierces the marine's throat.
The three remaining air base crew fords through the hellish camp and finally arrives at the temple in which Kurtz has been waiting, with his last man holding a Remington 700 on the roof.
"General, this has already gone too far. We've lost most of our men. I believe retreating back and informing the outside world of all the things and madness going on here is the right choice here." Shouts Mandrake, in a pleading manner, however,a bullet from Remington interrupts his words by blowing up the head of the poor bleeding grunt whom he is supporting with his shoulder. With blood splattered all over his face, the British officer shivers in fear, as a second bullet from the sniper rifle pierces his own chest. Crumbling down, regret, regret and regret are all over the man's thoughts.
Although he has lost all of his men, Ripper is still far from giving up and surrendering. Still tirelessly carrying his most trusted Browning, the fact that the sniper chose to eliminate Mandrake before him grants him with enough time to set up the machine gun and empty the remaining rounds onto the small rooftop of the cult temple, hurling the sniper over the Asian-style peak.
Now that every of their troops have been massacred, the two madman comes face-to-face. Dropping the machine gun aside, Ripper switches to his pistol and recklessly tears into the temple, only to have Kurtz dodge Ripper's shots and forces the last round of his M1911 into Ripper's leg. Groaning in pain, Kurtz launches himself forward and attempts to press Ripper to the floor.
However,a quick swing of his shoulder is enough for Ripper to block Kurtz's attempt with his golf bag and wrap it around Kurtz's head. With this done, the nuclear warhead delivers a solid punch to Kurtz's rip, which sends the colonel backwards and crashing onto the wall.
"Every second in my life, I've been worrying about communist pollution, communist indoctrination, communist subversion and communist infiltration of the free world. Every communist like you should perish under the flames of atomic bombs, perish between the beautiful mushroom clouds which should be erupting every where in USSR right now, from Leningrad and Moscow to Omsk and Far East, from Kiev to Riga, from the Urals to Astana." Ripper shouts, as he staggers to Kurtz and press his hands firmly around the man's neck in an attempt to suffocate him. However, the ex-commando has yet another trick in mind.
Hardly has Ripper steadied himself for suffocating Kurtz when the demigod lifts up his empty pistol and swings it across the space above him, hitting Ripper in the head. Yelling in pain, the general hasn't finished his self-blaming centered around his lack of actual combat experience when Kurtz removes the golf bag and picks up the machete dropped nearby, slashing Ripper's throat.
Lifting himself up, Kurtz's joy of victory turns out to be short-lived, as the man in front of him somehow instantly recovers from his wounds and stands up as well.
"What.. what are you ?" Kurtz shouts.
"I'm something beyond your twisted comprehension. Remember me as Battlefan, if you want, remember me as that twitching sound in your worst nightmares,remember me as one of the gods above you, your ruler, your observer, your temporary author, and the apocalypse you are experiencing now. Although I must say I'm appreciative of you for killing my avatar, which sets me free from the Puppetmaster's trick." Says the entity in Ripper's husk,before Kurtz vanishes in a trice.
Greeting the young man and his hippo outside the temple, "Ripper" jumps out of the abandoned terrain, and ventures back to aid the burning fandom. Winner: Walter.E.Kurtz
Although Ripper's men are in general better trained and better supplied, the fact that Kurtz and his followers have been through Vietnam War and successfully held their place in the harshest part of Cambodian jungles with their deliberate tactics secured them the victory.