Murray Grelis
Australia
Surry Hills
NSW
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Recently Saucybugger and myself tried CoH for the first time, playing through Firefights 1 and 2. This is an account as told by one of the Russian squaddies unfortunate enough to be under my command in Firefight 1. A closely fought and erratic battle that ended in a draw.


The Commissar told us we had to ambush a German convoy at some crossroads up ahead. There were 3 squads of us on the mission, Ivan Turnyahedankov and his rifles, Alexanda Putyaleftfutin and his machine gun crew and us, also with rifles.

We were on the left flank and advanced into a thicket of trees overlooking the crossroads. To our right the road leading to the crossroads wound back through the woods. We could see Ivan and his mates trying to look like trees on the other side of the road.

"If I stand like this do look more like a tree?"
"You look more like an idiot!"

I pointed out to our Commissar that if we could see them surely the Germans could as well.

"The Germans are still miles away Pyotr" he says to me.

He must have been talking about some other Germans because there were some with machine guns firing upon poor old Ivan and his buddies already. They didn't stand a chance, the German attack was brutal. I saw Ivan cut down, his blood spraying the ground. It was a tragedy, he owed me money.

"That's 50 kopecks I'll never see again"

There was a large open field to the right of the crossroads, the Germans were on the other side of this unseen by us, but not by Alexanda's machine gunners. They were in the trees to the right of poor Ivan and started firing upon the Germans who withdrew in disarray. Meanwhile more German infantry had moved into the trees opposite us, they obviously had better training in tree impersonating for we had not noticed them. Between us lay the crossroads.

The Germans opened fire on us. Bits of leaf and bark flew about, somebody was screaming. Gregor Plotkin tried to climb inside his pack. The Commissar was screaming at us to pull ourselves together, was he mad? These Germans were trying to kill us!

"Pyotr Ivanic why are your trousers wet?" he asks me.
"A German bullet must have hit my canteen" I suggest.

The vital crossroads is before us, it must not fall. We decide to ponder that from behind some trees a little further away.

At that moment Sergei Riptisarmov and his squadmates arrived. They had been guarding our rear with another squad. They gallantly took over our abandoned position overlooking the crossroads.

"has somebody pissed here?"
"I was shot in the canteen!"

Meanwhile Gregor was almost entirely inside his own pack, one of the other soldiers was crying and the Commissar was still telling us to pull it all together. Easy for him to say, he hadn't been shot in the canteen.

"Oh for godsakes, dry yourself" he says to me. I tried to but my canteen was still leaking, Mother Russia supplies us with bountiful canteens.

"Where is Victor Biskitin and the other squad that was with you?" asked our Commissar of Sergei.
"They are guarding our backs from some German pioneers that have been trailing us, they are over there" he points to our West.
"Oh look, they are pretending to be dead"
"They are doing a bloody good job of it too"
"Oh dear!"
"That's 50 kopecks I'll never see again"

We watched as the German Pioneers stepped over our dead comrades and into the woods. The same woods that sheltered Alexanda and his machine gun. The Commissar implored us to shoot at them but our best shot was still headfirst inside his own pack.

The German machine gunners, 2 squads of them, obviously encouraged by Alexanda's erratic aim decided to charge across open ground towards the crossroads, still miraculously under our control. This time Alex's shooting was better, one of the squads is hit and turns to face the woods and Alexanda's machine gun. This exposes their flanks to Sergei and his brave riflemen who charge across the road and finish them off.

Before Alexanda could fire upon the remaining German machine gun squad he was attacked from behind by the dreaded Pioneers. At first panic ensued but Alexanda rallied his men by singing a stirring Cossack battle song.

Our Commissar turns to us "You should follow their brave example, gird your loins and return to the fray"
"You could sing better"
'What's that?"
"Nothing"

There were now 3 squads of Germans around the crossroads, two rifle units and a machine gun. Alexanda and the pioneers, deep in the woods, are toe-to-toe and making a wonderful display of poor marksmanship. Sergei decides to abandon the crossroads and dives into the woods and flank the pioneers. More poor marksmanship ensues before the sun sets and we withdraw.

"Well that went well!" I said.

The bloody Commissar put me on report.
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Christian Richnow
Germany
Jena
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Thanks a lot, what a wonderful battle report. I nearly collapsed while reading for laughing out loud. Me thinks my canteen nearly leaked a bit, too , must've been a stray bullet from all the "display of poor marksmanship".
Thanks again, my day just started a whole lot better.
 
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Graham Greek
Canada
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Hey tovarisch, can I possibly borrow 50 kopecks? Hilarious.
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Marcin Woźniak
Poland
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this is one of the best AARs I've read. There are canteenes that ought to be shot, there are books ought to be written. Yours is!!!!
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