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9 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

Good luck causing much damage with that .30 cal. You're gonna need a few lucky shots. Might be better off dismounting the jeep and lobbing some grenades over those armored skirts.

no luck, It's hitting the exposed crew already

Edited by user1000
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Thanks! Here is one more: A Firefly waits in a hull down overwatch position overlooking the eastern outskirts of Buron, having just knocked out a German Jagdpanzer

AT guns to the left of me, Shermans to the right, here I am...

"It says here that a lot of men fire their panzerfausts too early." "Yes, my Heinrich has the same problem."  

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Knappe rides the front of the column.  Intel from the CO is that the Amis are pouring through the Siegfried Line.  They've used some of those English contraptions to beat their way through minefields.  They have an attachment on the front that slings around chains and beats the ground, setting off the mines.  The front line is breaking open and he and his comrades are being thrown in to stop the flood.

He sees what he thinks is one of those English contraptions and orders a halt.  His gunner sees it too.  The driver adjusts the hull slightly, like he's done hundreds of times before and the gunner drops the sights right on target, anticipating the hull movement as if reading the driver's mind.  Knappe didn't have to give any orders.  The crew is working like a perfectly balanced watch.  He smiles to himself.

"Sir?" calls out the gunner.  "Fire," he says gently, almost reluctantly, into the microphone.  The gun roars and smoke fogs the interior in an instant.  The clang of the empty casing, the slam of the breech, the burned powder smell, all so familiar, so well rehearsed, a deadly ballet to his eyes and ears.

 

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Knappe can barely see the explosion, but he is sure it is a hit. 

"Treffer!" roars the driver.  He has seen the flames of the hit. 

 

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As the smoke inside his assault gun vents, Knappe can now see the deadly results.  He sees blackened shadows climbing out of the flames and falling to the sides of the burning tank.  He shakes the horrifying vision from his eyes.  He has seen too many friend and foe alike burned in the flames of war. 

"First shot hit, clean through the rear of the turret.  Excellent shooting," he compliments his gunner.  The crew momentarily basks in the praise from their commander.

"Eyes sharp, there are more out there," he cautions.  The men instantly return to their deadly craft.

The war goes on...

Heinrich505

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Into Germany

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Lt. Williams’ tank is burning, the victim of a shot from somewhere near the town ahead.  He and his crew dash to safety as their part of this battle is over.  Sgt. Rogers sees this, and calls to his crew, asking if anyone has seen who let off the killing shot.  All reply in the negative.

Sgt. Rogers can see Big Joe’s tank just beyond the burning wreck of Williams’ tank.  He is still okay.

Rogers is impatient.  He doesn’t like to be back in the pack.  He is used to leading the column.  His tank was the first into Germany behind that crazy flail thing, which hardly qualifies as a tank, in his mind.  Their progress got held up a little as they pushed towards a series of bunkers and pillboxes.  His gunner, Mikey, punched round after round into the pillbox slit, until the Krauts fled out the back and were cut down by Cleveland on the front machine gun.

They saw the ground pounders get chewed up a bit by enemy mortar fire.  They left them behind, cowering in ditches for cover.  Tanks up front; that is Rogers’ creed.  Let the others duck and run.  He is supremely confident in his armored beauty. 

While he worked over the pillboxes, other tanks edged ahead of his, so now he is behind everyone else.

 

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Rogers has had enough.  “We ain’t cowering around waiting for the Krauts to cut us up.  Cry-Baby, gun this puppy up and take us into the lead.”

“You got it, Sarge,” yells the driver.  He is the youngest of the crew and he is constantly complaining about something, anything, so Rogers started calling him Cry-Baby.

The tank lurches forward as Cry-Baby works the clutch and they motor past Big Joe’s tank and into the lead.  There is an explosion off to the left, and Cry-Baby yells out a warning on the intercom.  Rogers yells “GO GO GO” and Cry-Baby punches the gas.  The tank lurches forward, everyone on high alert to try and spot the immediate threat.

 

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Rogers hears the scream of a shell that rips over the top of his tank.  A miss, he thinks to himself.  Even with the engine roaring wide open, the sickening claaannggg of shell hitting steel is heard in the distance to their rear.  No one sees this though, as it happens behind them and they can’t afford the luxury of sightseeing.  The shell has missed Rogers’ tank and hit Big Joe’s. 

 

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A bright spot in the distance, around 10 o’clock but no one spots it.  The focus is elsewhere.

 

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“Sarge, left left left,” shouts Slick, the loader.  No one beats him at cards, so they call him Slick.  He has seen figures through the vision slits on his side and believes they are the threat that caused the earlier explosion.

“Gunner, 9 o’clock personnel,” shouts Rogers.  Slick is already shoving a HE shell into the breach as Big Mike smoothly rotates the turret left at full speed, then backs off with practiced efficiency as the turret markings show he is almost at 9 0’clock.  Big Mike hears the slam of the breech and doesn’t need any signal from the loader.  He is in command when the Sarge is not around, so everyone has taken to calling him Big Mike, even though he is rather short in stature. 

Cry-Baby had just rocked the tank through a shallow ditch and he is hitting the brakes when Big Mike trips the arming switch and slams his foot on the pedal that fires the cannon.

It is a snap shot, one that is not aimed but fired quickly in the hope that the enemy will duck for cover, giving the tank crew time to line up for an aimed shot next.  There was no time to wait for the Sarge to give the command to fire.  Big Mike took the initiative.  The gun roars as the shell rips from the barrel.

Rogers smiles with approval – he’s discussed this with Big Mike in the past, telling him that he has permission to punch off a snap shot if he deems it necessary for the safety of the tank.  The tank lurches to a halt and Cry-Baby drops the gear levers into first while clutching in to idle, anticipating a rapid start forward.

Slick is already slamming the breech shut, having loaded another HE round in anticipation of more action against enemy personnel.

 

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“Gunner, three degrees to the left.  Kraut bazooka.  Just fired.  Get on him NOW!” shouts Rogers.  He has spotted the enemy gunner at the moment he fired his weapon.  It was the jet of smoky exhaust streaming from the enemy gun tube that catches his eye.

Rogers sees the enemy rocket is not heading towards them.  This means they are still targeting Big Joe’s tank, so that earlier hit must not have been fatal.  “They’re after Big Joe,” he shouts.  “We can’t let them fire again.”

 

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At that moment the sound of one thousand sledgehammers pounds the front of the tank, just as a roar erupts from behind them.  The panzer schreck gunner has scored on Big Joe’s tank, but no one in Rogers’ crew is aware of that. 

Cry-Baby is screaming something and then yelling for someone to tell him he is okay.  If they were outside of their tank, they would see the gouge in the tank skin where a shell hit and ricocheted off their tank, just missing the driver’s vision port by scant inches. 

Somewhere inside his head, Rogers sees numbers counting down and he feels cold sweat running down the center of his back.

 

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The tank shudders as the turret machine gun opens fire on the enemy gunner.  Deadly rounds stream towards the man, tearing up the earth around him.  Rogers is trying to get a handle on everything that is happening at once.  There is a German bazooka threat to their flank and they’ve just taken a round off the front glacis and his friend’s tanks are burning behind him…too fast, things are happening too fast…

 

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Cry-Baby is still screaming but now it is a torrent of obscenities.  He has dropping the gear levers into reverse as his first instinct is to back away from the threat.  He has not waited for the Sarge to call out this command, as they’ve done exactly the same maneuver time and time before, saving their bacon many times in the past.

Big Mike slams his foot on the gunner’s pedal once more, again not waiting for Rogers to give an order.  Let him yell at me later, thinks Big Mike.

 

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“Yeah!” shouts Big Mike, seeing the enemy gunner disappear in a satisfying gout of smoke, flame, and dirt.  He knew he had the range and distance dialed in to a Tee.

 

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Suddenly the tank screams in agony as an enemy shell slams into her side.  Rogers is stunned as it seemed the whole tank, all 33 tons of her seemed to shove to the right.  He must have hit his head on something.  He can’t hear anything, and his vision is blurred, or is that from smoke billowing through the tank interior?

 

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A clean shell hole has ripped into the tank interior, just behind Cry-Baby and right where Slick was standing.  Rogers hears a high-pitched whistle in his head, and then his hearing starts to come back.  He doesn’t hear Cry-Baby screaming anything, but there is a curious gurgling sound coming from the driver’s position.  Rogers sees shiny metal strewn about the tank interior, and the gun has a curious cant to it.  His mind is having trouble processing all the horror that is splattered around him and he struggles to control himself and take command of his crew.

 

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A second explosion rips his tank.  He can’t see for all the smoke in the tank interior.  He can’t hear anyone calling for help and he feels wet and sticky, all at the same time.  Have I been hit? he wonders. Are the others okay?

 

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An overwhelming, primeval urge to survive comes over him now.  Clumsily he slips to a standing position and slams the hatches open on the top of the tank.  He hardly realizes he did this, as his training has turned him into an automaton.

“OUT, EVERYONE OUT!” he screams as he rips the headphones off his head and starts to climb out of the tank.  At this point it is everyone for themselves, to hell with the women and children, abandon the ship.  They’ve taken three hits, one of which bounced off.  Someone has their number.  Again Rogers sees numbers running through his head, and they are counting down very fast.

From inside the tank Rogers can’t see the deadly German Stürmgeschutz, just to the left of the tree line.

 

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Rogers sees the numbers hit zero and he hesitates for a moment.  There are no sounds in his tank, and now he sees the bloody rags that used to be his friends, most of their presence smeared like paste around the tank interior, and covering his hands and legs as well.  He has not been hit, he discovers, with great relief.

A brilliant flash of light blooms from the enemy tank’s gun…

 

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…The explosion rips through the stricken tank’s interior, shrapnel tearing through the tank, breaking both of Rogers’ legs and dropping him to the floor of the turret basket.  Flames erupt all around him now.  The tank is burning.  There is no one to pull him from the Hell that he now resides.  There is nothing left to do but scream for as long as his tortured lungs will allow before the flames consume him.  His last thought is I was so close

There are three puncture wounds in the side of the burning tank.  The enemy gunner put the second shot through almost the same hole as the first.

 

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Flames billow from the tank interior.  The march into Germany will not be an easy one.  Rogers won the race to be the tank that was the furthest into Germany this day, but it is a Pyrrhic victory.

 

The war goes on…

 

Heinrich505

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Great read, Heinrich505! :) Interesting that you picked this particular scenario stage, but getting rid of the US armor with the meagre german resources is key for sure. You appeared quite lucky in this regard! Even during my countless playthroughs, I mostly received a 50:50 chance to gain the upper hand. Looking forward to next part and particularly how you approached the overall tactical situation.

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Re Nijjmegan campaign.  Have loved this campaign and am on 2nd to last mission (I think) where the US paras have to defend a village by the wrecked bridge against a massive German assault.  Have played this mission over 6+ times and with lost of saves and restarts after a massive loss of units.  But, I cannot figure out how to get the final objective in the town, and always lose - so the campaign ends and I can't finish the camp.  :(

Please... any hints on strategy or tactics on how to win the defend vs enemy assault??? 

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