The only things that bark during the first sixty seconds of hands-off WeGo action are restless farmyard dogs. The only thing that booms is a faraway bittern in search of a mate. Although free of weapon reports, Turn 1 isn’t, I’m happy to say, entirely free of interest. Through gaps in the shrapnel-holed roof of the Koffiehuis De Onionmancer, concealed Luftwaffe celebrity Bernhard Brinkmann gathers some potentially useful information, and above the squeaky rumble of the nearby SPW U304(f)-10 halftrack, Feldwebel Bulau’s fusilier squad discerns the sound of an enemy vehicle on the move.
(Brinkmann’s Bridge is an open-to-all game of Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy in which the commenter-controlled Axis forces are out to recapture a Dutch canal spanner recently snatched by Red Devils. Each daily turn covers one minute of WeGo action. For a scenario outline, click here).
Before secreting himself in the attic of the cafe by the bridge, Brinkmann had the foresight to grab a Feldfu backpack radio. During Turn 1 he uses this device to share the following information:
“Four Red Devils have just emerged from the orchard and are walking west. It looks like they are making for the pumphouse.”
“There’s also activity on the drive of the monastery. I can make out two, no, three Britishers and a deployed 3-inch mortar.”
“Something is going on at the western end of the bridge. I can hear voices and footsteps emanating from that vicinity.”
Trees and an embankment mean none of this activity is yet visible to the two groups of fusiliers cautiously probing in the east, or the Panzer 35(t) and scouts approaching the monastery from the west.
Other than Brinkmann the only Axis unit to get a sniff of the enemy in turn 1 is the NE fusilier squad. As Bulau’s men advance they hear the sound of a small wheeled vehicle on the move beyond the embankment. The way the sound contact icon shifts during the sixty, suggests that the Allied vehicle started its journey near the windmill and left ‘The Island’ via the railway bridge. If it maintains its current heading it could be visible to the SE fusiliers within the L-shaped wood shortly.
^ 3 Squad in the easternmost of the two L-shaped woods.
^ 1 Squad (Bulau) on the island.
^ 2 Squad skirt Van Barneveld farm.