I’m torn between permanently relaxing the “one unit per Comment Commander” rule and accepting its inevitable (?) consequence – a few untasked German units each turn – as accidental realism… a de facto activation system. The fact that the Panzer 35(t) and one of the newly arrived halftracks spent Turn 6 doing sweet Fanny Adams doesn’t seem completely inappropriate when you’re simming a battle as fragmented and multi-directional as this one.
(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 turn covers one minute of WeGo action. For a scenario outline, click here).
It has to be said, the inaction and indecision of certain German units in the west is more than compensated for by the boldness of two fusilier teams in the east.
When the clock stopped on Wednesday, Elm’s reduced-to-two-men half-squad was fighting for survival on the edge of one of the L-shaped woods. Early use of their MG 42 and the sight of comrades coming to their aid, suggests that both men might live to see Turn 7.
But it’s not to be. A few seconds before Hirsch’s flanking force eliminates the Sten gunner near the ditch…
…supported by previously unspotted pals firing intermittently from the embankment circa blue k51, the Red Devil with the SMG removes one of Elm’s two remaining boughs.
2 Squad’s turn is every bit as exciting as 3 Squad’s. To Woikin and his three companions the pasture between the high hedge and the low railway embankment seems endless.
Their reward, on reaching a patch of weeds near the armoured car is a greeting from the canal bridge Bren gun and a glimpse of bobbing HSAT on the other side of the tracks.
One wayward shot from a smartly levelled Kar98k elicits a response as lightning-quick as it is deadly.
Before the body of the riddled German rifleman has hit the ground, revenge, in the shape of a potato masher, is in parabolic transit.
The grenade blast suppresses the embankment defenders. Whether it reduces them is hard to ascertain. When the turn ends Woikin and his men are weathering further bursts from the LMG at red y40.
The situation at the start of Turn 7:
Woikin has eyes on the British unit that helped out the Sten gunner in the L-shaped wood. It’s a light mortar team.
Meister’s hedge huddlers drew some fire away from Woikin this turn, but provided little in the way of active support. As fine positioning of infantry is, sadly, all but impossible in CMx2 and bocage can be ‘occupied’ and fired through, they might actually fare better ‘behind’ the high hedge (blue x26-29).
While the SE mortar team fired a few speculative rounds at the railway embankment this turn, the NE one, for unknown reasons (they seemed on the verge of firing at least once in the turn) failed to execute its order. A slight tweak of aiming points might cure their constipation.
The halftrack at the head of the reinforcements convoy is a few seconds away from reaching its destination (black m26).
The Kubelwagen and Opel Blitz also reached the main road this turn.
After ending the turn occupying the same ‘hotspot’, the two halves of 1 Squad have rejoined.
There are signs that a squad of Britishers is moving westward through the strip of woodland south of the monastery.