After a successful first mission Sgt Adams was assigned to advance on Chasoul, a small French village near the German border. He was happy to have all of his men back for his next mission, he was starting to feel that they respected him and would follow him through thick and thin.
Consulting Cpl Brown, Adams decided to advance on Chasoul from the forest to the west of the village. That meant they had to cross a stream before reaching the outskirts of the village but the intelligence suggested there would be no resistance.
Cpl Brown's squad reached the river before the Sgt could extricate himself from some pretty nasty thorny undergrowth. Brown stepped foot into the stream and hoped that the morning's intelligence was accurate. After an uneventful crossing Brown beckoned the rest of his men over.
Adams squad has started to cross by this time and on the other side of the river Pvt Gordon raced ahead and scrambled up the embankment on which the main road into the village sat. A sharp rifle retort was heard but Gordon couldn't identify where it had come from. He dropped prone, but was still vulnerable on the top of the embankment.
The sniper had wounded Pvt Doyle of Browns squad. He was still moving but much slower than before. Adams decided to put his squad on point to advance into the village and skulked into the tree line on the south of the village. Adams could just make out a wreck of a Panzer in the middle of the village. He pointed it out to his men, the reputation of the German tank was fearsome, they all hoped that there weren't any more to deal with. They had only brought grenades and Adams didn't want to lose good men trying to take out a Panzer with a grenade.
Adams stopped in the tree line to brief his squad whilst Brown and his squad caught up and received the latest bad news. After the short brief Adams asked Pvt Gordon to scout ahead, almost immediately Gordon dropped to the floor and he indicated that he had seen two enemy manning a light machine gun ahead.
With the initiative he had he chose to throw a grenade as close as he could get it. It was an excellent throw and it wounded both of the machine-gunners. Seeing the opportunity to protect Brown from withering LMG fire Brown motions to Clarke to join him in assaulting the enemy.
Cpl Brown led Clarke as stealthily as possible into the enemies location, thankfully the approach was quiet and they ambushed the machine gunners. Brown incapacitated one and Clarke's assault took the other enemy out of the equation.
Pvts Ellis and Fisher decided to take the LMG, although Ellis had to give up his semi-auto to Gordon to do so.
Adams sent Gordon off to investigate the house they skirted round on the way up to the machine gun nest. Sure enough there was a sniper inside whose first shot narrowly missed Gordon. A grenade through the door was enough to deal with that nasty piece of work. The men were convinced that was the sniper who had clipped Doyle's shoulder earlier.
Adams and Brown then led their respective squads on a house to house crawl confirming each was empty. They moved through the village in a counter-clockwise direction systematically clearing each residence. On this path the wrecked Panzer would be near the last house. There was no resistance, maybe the sniper and machine gun nest were all that were left of the crumbling German line.
Gordon was the first to cross over to the Panzer as soon as he did, Clarke noticed the glint of a scope in the doorway, he tried shouting to Gordon but he was too pre-occupied with the Panzer.
Fisher started to prep the LMG, whilst he was doing this a Kubelwagen dropped out of the tree line and and started to drive out of the village towards the East. Clarke notices the vehicle and with the now prepped LMG lets off a hopeful medium range but well aimed shot. At the rate that the wagen was going they only had time for one, maybe two well aimed shots.
The shot found its mark, it could have been the driver considering how erratic the steering was for a few brief seconds. Although unfortunately it didn't crash.
The LMG fire made more enemy appear in the tree line off to the East of the village; Adams and co were now facing potentially 5 enemy. Things were getting out of hand.
In order to quickly remedy the situation Adams elected to assault the sole sniper, opposite the wrecked Panzer. That would buy his squad enough time to decide what to do with the enemy off to the East. The retreating car didn't appear to be too much of a threat. Unfortunately just as hew was getting into position and ready to launch his assault, he must have stumbled on a loose brick, as he stumbled into the house and fell over at the enemy's feet. He quickly rolled onto his back with his hand in the air but he was summarily dispatched with a single shot to the head.
Sgt Adams will be sorely missed be all his men and is a great loss to the regiment.
The command and mission fell to Brown. There was no way to retreat the enemy surrounded them. Fighting was their only way out. A lucky grenade over the Panzer into the building were Adams was killed stopped all offensive fire. The enemy must have been caught by the shrapnel.
The vehicle could be ignored, Brown only hoped it wasn't going to bring reinforcements. The only way to get near to the East side of the village was to go back through the houses and get to a good vantage point from which Brown decided to move the LMG. Let them have a taste of their own medicine.
As if the village didn't provide enough 'entertainment' a dogfight above the men between a P51 and an Me-109 resulted in one less enemy, if nothing else it bolstered the morale after losing their squad leader.
The LMG was moved into position and started laying down fire into the trees, it was difficult to see the enemy as they were doing a very good job at staying prone. After a while of trading fire two of the enemy were seen to start moving, or running away. It was difficult to be certain.
The remaining enemy was taken out by some superb shooting by the LMG boys, next time out maybe they'll get their own LMG... Taking the opportunity to investigate what happened, there was no incoming fire, Brown took Clarke and Ellis to investigate where the two enemy that ran away had got to.
It didn't take long to find them, skulking in the woods, although they did continue to put up some resistance. a few grenades back and forth and a firefight in the woods dispatched the remaining enemy. Just as that fight finished a jeep entered the village over on the west, across the stream. Why didn't they turn up sooner, maybe Adams would still be alive had we had that MMG earlier.
There was little mopping up to do after that last fight, Brown elected to RV back in the village train station and then wait for further reinforcements. The village of Chasoul was theirs now, and an MMG arc down both main roads would soon stop any retaliation.
Victory with 27 points -2 for Adams loss, 25 point required. Phew, that was close one! Shame to lose my Commander and his replacement has -1 Weapon Skill, things could get harder from hereon in!
Rancho Palos Verdes
I actually put this game away after the 7th scenario because I had become too attached to my soldiers and couldn't stand them dying...time to revisit the game again. Howard, you will never be forgotten.
Confusion Under Fire
A brilliant article. I felt for your loss.