A very good short story published in a military science fiction anthology - possible 25 years ago. Protagonist was a female officer trying to get her ragtag platoon through the jungle. There had been a world war between the Muslim countries and the rest of the world - largely in the southeast Asia region.

Story featured high-tech gear/vehicles and great writing. For example, I seem to remember the skin of the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) they had able to change to fit the surrounding environment. There was a particularly deadly river crossing that was a real challenge for the group. I'm thinking loosely modeled on Homer's Odyssey - a military unit trying to get home or at least to the nearest friendly base.

Can't remember the ending but presumably the officer and her platoon end up good. The writing was so good that I'm thinking the author has been published more since then.

  • 1
    Hi! See our guide to improve your question. Sep 3, 2019 at 23:34
  • Was the APC powered by a cold fusion powerplant? This reminds me of a vaguely recalled story where said APC comes under fire from a GigaWatt (X-ray?) laser.
    – DavidW
    Sep 4, 2019 at 1:28
  • Note that "beleaguered company/platoon must fight their way to safety" is a bit tropey. Drake has done it more than once, so has Pournelle...
    – DavidW
    Sep 4, 2019 at 1:35

1 Answer 1


This sounds like the "Lost Legion" by S.M. Stirling first published in the anthology, Bolos: Honor of the Regiment, Baen Books, 1993. The main protagonist is Lieutenant Bethany Martins. In this story, Bethany's unit has to traverse a Latin American jungle countryside harboring enemy guerillas. The unit's main armored vehicle is an intelligent tank, the eponymous Bolo Model MK. III. The unit is ambushed as they cross a river with the Mk III getting blown into and submerged into the water. Thinking it lost, they and the attackers are surprised.

There were two subsequent stories published in the succeeding Bolos volumes, Ancestral Voices in Bolos Book 2: the Unconquerable and The Sixth Sun in Bolos Book 4: Last Stand.


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