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Saudi74: A War Diary

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These are excerpts from the personal journals of, "Lutfi Saif-al-Jabbar Fahd" (*), a soldier in the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces (Victory! Game 74)...




Dateline: My Enrollment



It was always easy for me to learn things. I can conceptualize and formulate ideas very well. But we had no money, and I did not attend school for very long. I went to work on my father's small date grove and goat farm, near a little village, in the province of Medna. It was hard work, and we were always very tired, for what small earnings we received. My father always said, that if the government would only develop some irrigation, that we would have a good life. I wanted to help my struggling family more, so when my younger brothers were old enough to help, I left my family home to find work in the city of Jidda. Maybe as a laborer in the iron foundries there. I would send them part of my salary, to help support them. My mother cried, but my father did not resist my idea. He said that he was confident, that I would eventually find a way of living, where I could use the gifts given to me from Allah...


When I got to the big city, I looked around where I could find some work. I would sleep in the fields, until I had enough money to rent a small flat. I was told that there was no work in the foundries, but that the King was asking for volunteers for the Saudi Home Defense Force. People said the pay was better than the foundries, with food and shelter provided, for hardly any physical work. I did not want to be a military man, but this alluring information, drove me to the local recruiting office. I just wanted to hear if this was all true...


The line was very long. It took me most of the day just to get inside the building. The military officer in charge of recruiting, told me there were great opportunities for someone such as me. I would be assigned to the close by port of Jidda, if I wanted to. My uniform and equipment would be all paid for. And if I proved myself capable and intelligent, be able to pursue my education. I wanted to think about it for a few days, but he told me that if I didn't sign up now, it would probably be too late by that time. There were too many people wanting to apply. There was no talk of war then. I had a hard enough time simply finding something to eat every day, and besides, I had no reason not to trust our King. So I signed my name onto the documents, wherever this officer pointed me to...






(*) Note: I made up this name. It is purely fictional. I make no pretense on knowing anything about the spelling or nomenclature of Arabic names. If any one discovers that this is an offensive word or something, please let me know so that I can correct it.

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Now if this guy was an American he would have won the war by now all on his own and become President.


Thats how it happens in the movies anyway :)

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Dateline: Basic Training



Basic training was very grueling. Every morning was strenuous military drill and exercises, and then we would work in the fields during the afternoon, in order to help the farmers which had to give part of their crops over to the military. We did not get paid, because we were not yet part of the army, we were told. I was already doing this before leaving my home, and at least got some rewards for my work! One night, three of the men fled the camp. They were caught the next day and dragged around the parade yard, behind an officer’s horse. They were then tied by posts and flogged till they begged for mercy. We were all forced to stand to, and watch. It was a horrific scene, and unsettling sensation for all of us. One did not survive this, and the other two died over night from their wounds. There were no more attempts at desertion. Not that I was aware of, any way. My enthusiasm for enlisting, what little I really had, was quickly dashed from these experiences…


Finally, basic training had finished, and I was sent to the city of Yenbo for assignment. I asked to be sent to the port city of Jidda, like the recruiting officer had mentioned months ago. But all I received in response was a scowl from the staff officer giving out the assignments. We walked, amongst some sort of horse drawn supply column to the aforementioned city. It took six days for this journey, and we were fed only once a day. What have I gotten myself into? Some of us had considered desertion again, but the armed and mounted men in black uniforms [1] escorting the column, kept this idea in check...


Once arrived, we were all asked different questions, about our schooling, if we had had any, and civilian working skills. I was given a glimmer of hope, that this was where the military could put me in a decent line of work. I told them that I could read and write, taught myself mathematics and was a quick learner. Besides, I did not like, or want to do any actual fighting, and knew that I would be better in administration or staff work. I had joined the armed services, because my family needed the money I would earn. I was certain that the pay would be better than just a soldier with a rifle. I did, very ardently, try and explain this to the person filling out the forms. He nodded and approved all I was saying, finished his notes and called for the next person in line. I was ushered to a nearby courtyard, where we all sat and waited in the sun, for many hours…




Editors Notes:


[1] Before the great reorganization of the Saudi military service, there were no so called military police units. This was in all likelihood, a contingent of the “Arabian Knights Divine Night Riders Brigade”. The same group of thugs and assassins that helped Krysia’s Krusader depose the old Saudi king, and attain the throne, in the coup prior to the great world conflict which shortly followed.

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Date Line: Assignment

Fall; Tuesday, November 23, 2004



Finally, someone came out and called names from a roll. We were all being split, and then herded into groups. We then all waited some more. It took a long time. How come everything is done in such a fashion in the military? Hurry, hurry, and then wait? Eventually, the groups of men were led towards designated equipping areas. When mine came up, I was directed towards a building where we were outfitted in new uniforms and given our gear. This was already heavy, but since I was in good shape and looked strong, I was given additional equipment to carry. Later on, I found out it was some kind of mortar. Some of our equipment had writing in a language other than Arabic. Ends up, I was assigned to a heavy weapons section, in infantry company C, to the 136th battalion, of the 26th regiment, 9th Frontier division, belonging to the III Corps, SHDF (Saudi Home Defense Force) [2]. So much for the army to give me anything near what I wanted...



III Corps         (2 divisions)   is located at xYenbo 
Division Name                  Experience  % Effective 
9th Static, Frontier              Green        100%    
10th Static, Frontier             Green        100%


We were inside some makeshift military camp, within the city, and weren’t allowed out. Strange that we stayed here, being part of a frontier defense unit. Why would we have to ever defend the city of Yenbo? [3] It is quite far from any border, and an inland city, from over the Red Sea. We never did any military exercises or training, just parade ground drill and sentry duty. Besides the rudimentary knowledge received in basic training, we did not know how to use our equipment…


I felt that my life was being wasted here, so I asked our commanding officer how long before I could apply for a discharge. It was a naïve question, I should have known better to ask. Our officers were just as mean as the sergeants in basic training. I was sent to the stockade for four days, and then had to clean the stables for the rest of my time here…


We finally got paid, although but once a month. The money was a pittance, but that was because we weren’t actually engaged in defending our country, we were told. Since I had no immediate need for my earnings, I sent all I had to my family. This, by paying (bribing) one of these men in the black uniforms, who often voyaged in and out of the camp every day. Later on, I would find out that my family never received any of this…





Editors Notes:


[2] I’ve only left this information in, for historical and archival purposes. As what is generally known, is that the Saudi army was re-organized a short while later, into units that pretty well kept their same designations for the entire war.


[3] An interesting anecdote, as the city fell in the war with Egypt.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Did your author die in a freak training accident?


No. He's still going strong. In fact his unit recently recieved an equipment upgrade!



Couple of other people asked me, also.

Don't worry everybody, the story will continue (I just need to find the time).



You are really working to hard Krysia's Krusader!


Yea. It's my busy season. Coincided with a couple of big projects, forced me to deal with real life - nearly all the time, lately.

Give me a week or two, and I'll get back to this.

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  • 6 months later...

Give me a week or two, and I'll get back to this.




next chapter please


pretty please









please please please please :D



Unfortunately Krysia's Krusader has dropped and his country is being run by Dezert Camel.


It would have been great to hear the whole story. Herbie is a very good writer.


Not bad at the game either, but game 74 has been a strange one.

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