Brinkmann’s Bridge: Turn 15

During this minute of WeGo action a mortar team is decimated, two men fall foul of the same handgun, an anti-tankist uses the F word, and I marvel at CMx2’s glorious unpredictability.

(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).

The cussing tankophobe is part of the 6-pounder crew and utters his expletive in the first few seconds of the turn. The trigger is the sight of a hefty German self-propelled howitzer muzzle brake traversing in his direction.

A 10.5cm HE round is on its way long before the pinned AT gun crew has got its act together.

The round misses. It appears our howitzer needs to raise its barrel a smidgen. No problem – a second shot should do the trick.

But there is no second shot – not this turn anyway. At almost exactly the same moment the SPH lets rip, its unbuttoned commander, Gruber, is spreadeagled by a British bullet. Spooked into reversing, the howitzer retaliates as it backtracks. The reply treebursts well short of the target, – a foxholed mortar team in the orchard – showering them with shrapnel, foliage, and pulped fruit. No casualties are caused and, later in the turn, the orchard mortarmen demonstrate their top-notch marksmanship again by sniping one of the fusiliers in the pumphouse.

Amazingly, the APC that starts the turn alongside the SPH also ends up reversing in blood-spattered panic. Using his weapon’s Lee-Enfield rear sight and fancy wooden stock to excellent effect, the wounded pumphouse Stenographer drops the distracted SPW 251/1’s gunner, provoking the retreat.

Thankfully, here endeth the bad news, and beginneth the good.

At T+20, utilising the narrowest of LoS keyholes, our medium mortar further depletes the 6-pounder crew.

At T+25 a fusilier from 6 Squad briefly illuminates the gloomy interior of the black l38 cottage by squeezing the trigger of his MG 42. Result? One less Allied scout slayer to the south.

At T+30, one of Woikin’s pathfinders hears suspicious noises while entering the garage and unholsters his Walther P38. A two-man PIAT team perishes in a flurry of pistol shots.

At T+40, the pumphouse tenants spot the 3-inch mortar in the monastery courtyard and rake it with SMG and rifle fire. Two of three crewmen are neutralised. The tube has just started bombarding the SPW 251/1.

The two portions of Bulau’s squad shift south successfully, and the tardy U304 halftrack finally makes it across the rail bridge.

Hirsch’s duo quit the southern cottage without attracting the attention of this chap at red r47.

Granatwerfer 36 fire claims at least one scalp in the vigorously suppressed canal-side foxholes.

The Panzer 35R ends the sixty with LoS to the pumphouse, orchard, bridge, and sections of the monastery grounds.

20 Comments

  1. Turn 16 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following units (A maximum of TWO units per commenter. Embarked infantry and their taxis count as single units until separated. Split squads also count as single units. Units on the west side of the canal answer to subscribers only.)

    (anyone)
    – NE group –
    *SPW U304(f)-10 halftrack (54HE, 45AP) unbuttoned, moving [blue k25]
    *Fusilier squad 1, Bulau (7 men) split into two teams – Bulau (4 men) fatigued [blue l32] and Griess (3 men) tiring [blue l35]
    *Light mortar team (30 HE) deployed [blue k25]

    – E group –
    *Fusilier squad 2 (5 men) split into two teams – Meister’s team (3 men) [blue j37] and Woikin’s team (2 men) tired, in single-storey garage [blue a37]

    – SE group –
    *Fusilier HQ (4 men) [blue k42]
    *Fusilier squad 3 (3 men) split into two teams – Hirsch’s team (2 men) [circa blue i52] and Wilberg (1 man) [blue k47]
    *Light mortar team (11 HE) [blue k54]

    (subscribers only)
    *Panzer 35R (32HE, 22AP, 2CAN), buttoned [black l39]

    *Platoon HQ (4 men) [circa black l28]
    *Fusilier squad 5 (5 men) split into two teams, 1 man, tiring, at [black q21] and 4 pinned in the pumphouse [black y27]
    *Fusilier squad 6 (9 men) split into two teams, both tiring [black j42 and black l37]

    *medium mortar team (4 men) (13 HE, 6S) deployed [circa black b25]
    *Kubelwagen(black b24)
    *SPW 251/1 halftrack, commander incapacitated (red k16)
    *Truck (black e19)

    (latest reinforcements)
    *Major Belin (4-man battalion HQ) [black z19]
    *Sniper team (2 men) [black z20]
    *Self-propelled howitzer (16 HE, 2 HEAT, 2 SM) commander incapacitated [red f15]

    Please start all order comments with ‘ORDER’ and any later revision comments with ‘REVISED ORDER’. This will help me distinguish firm instructions from suggestions and advice.

  2. The armoured thrust in the north has turned into a shambles. I can already feel the impending court-martial.

    I’ve never regretted an Unbutton command more.

    To be clear, our howitzer honcho was felled by rifle fire coming from the pumphouse and the orchard, not the stables, yes?

    Would a valiant commander like to salvage the situation with our halftrack and howitzer duo?

    • A rifleman in the orchard got Gruber seemingly with his very first shot. Don’t blame yourself. If he’d missed I suspect Gruber would have buttoned automatically and all would have been well. With three crew still available the SPH should still be able to contribute. The halftrack on the other hand may be useless as a mobile MG now as there’s only the driver left.

      • Mounting up a split team in the halftrack should allow them to man the MG, though whether we have a split team to spare is another issue.

        Maybe the good Major might want to earn his Knight’s Cross?

    • I read it as the mortar crew at [N,31] sniping the SPG. Edit: I stand corrected!

      OMG these paras are so OP

    • Ok, time for our luckless vehicles to get back in the game.

      ORDER: *Self-propelled howitzer (16 HE, 2 HEAT, 2 SM) commander incapacitated [red f15] to TARGET for a full minute either the Orchard mortar group or the AT gun if it can get LoS from its current position. (Priority is the AT gun). Revenge for Gruber!

      ORDER: *SPW 251/1 halftrack, commander incapacitated (red k16) to FAST to Major Belin’s position at Black Z18 (I think), so we can get a replacement MG crew.

      Correct me if I’m wrong: Major Belin doesn’t have a radio, so isn’t super useful for command and control over the squad leaders unless they’re in LoS (and currently the squads are spread out all over creation). He can’t call in Arty for the same LoS reasons. So we might as well mount his squad in the halftrack and maybe his feckless adjutant can man the machine-gun.

      Does anyone disagree with this assessment? If not, would a commander like to order Major Belin to Embark on a medal-earning adventure?

  3. Hmm, we now have most of the opposition sighted and scouted, i think (with perhaps the exception of the SW scout killers). We have been fairly but not irretrievably mauled. We have 5 turns to go before the allied cavalry arrives on the eastern map edge, for which we need to get ready/out of the way/in the way, and 10 turns till battle end…

    So basically, about 5 turns in which we need to deal with the paras before their friends turn up…

  4. Ok, it’s time for Bulau’s squad to move forward.

    ORDER: Griess’ 3-man team from Bulau’s squad – Pause 30 seconds, then quick to the east-facing side of the building by the Canal Bridge [blue b37]. Bulau’s team to move to an adjacent grid on the rail line if they do not have LoS to cover Griess’ team.

  5. ORDER: Fusilier squad 3 (3 men) split into two teams

    Hirsch’s rump [circa blue i, 52]
    – (Two seconds; less than 20 metres, and they might be safe again for a while).
    – Their current destination should be [blue i, 48]. If the destination point can be adjusted without breaking their stride, please move it to [blue h, 49].
    – Next waypoint, still moving fast: [blue f, 48].
    – Hunt to [blue d, 47].
    – Stealthily into the bocage at [blue c, 46].

    Wilberg [blue k, 47]
    – Will attempt to join up with his squadmates by following the same path:
    – Move fast to [blue f, 48].
    – Hunt to [blue d, 47].
    – Stealthily into the bocage at [blue c, 46].

    ORDER: Light mortar team [blue k, 54]
    – If they can, area target the enemy HQ foxholes NW of the bridge [red t, 37].

    @Tim
    – what does a mortar team do when it runs out of ammo? Does it dump the granatwerfer and act as a small infantry squad, or keep firing at a reduced rate?

    • > what does a mortar team do when it runs out of ammo?

      I can’t remember, but reduced rates of fire are very unlikely. Battlefront doesn’t tend to fudge/abstract stuff like that. The ‘small infantry squad’ scenario is most likely.

      • They stop lobbing bombs. They can still be told to move around and use their rifles, and will just lug their tube around so don’t ask them to sprint.

    • REVISED ORDER: Light mortar team [blue k, 54]
      – If they can, area target the enemy HQ foxholes NW of the bridge (approx [red t, 37]) for 40 seconds and continue as instructed below. If not possible, move on immediately to the next instructions.
      – Move fast NE off the railway embankment [blue l, 53].
      – Move normally north to [blue l, 47].
      – Hunt onto the tracks at [blue k, 46].

  6. a) OMG! HAX!!
    The orchard so-called-mortarmen are clearly running aimbots and wallhacks.

    b) Could we shuffle Brinkmann to get a view to his northeast? It might identify the numbers in the orchard mortar team, and riflemen + HQ in the sandbags; plus let us know when those are eliminated.

    c) Just spotted another sandbag emplacement under the balcony. It does appear to have a bush in it, so maybe it’s a shrub in a raised bed in the cafe’s garden.

    d) Woikin’s squad is now out of command range of the HQ.

    • Woikin’s squad are going to have to wing it for another turn or two. There’s an enemy HQ supported by 2-4 squads covering the bridge and its approaches. Mortar fire and our HQ are the things keeping them remotely under control.

      Once the half track has reached the road (hopefully end of the next turn) we can advance with its fire support.

      It would’ve been much easier with support from the West bank but all I’m hearing over the radio are muttered curses and the clanking of tracks.

  7. ORDER: NE Light Mortar Team [blue K25] haven’t fired a shot since getting there so they must be unable to see the multiple targets. They are to sprint to Blue K30 and unleash a barrage at whatever they can see near the bridge.

    Let’s hope it’s not ours.

  8. It seems Meister’s hunters must have gotten distracted on the way to the house. Now Bulau’s team is cutting in front of us! Instead of risking a logjam, I’ll switch up their orders to cross the road to back up FS3’s move into the bocage.

    ORDER: FS2 Woikin’s team in the house at [blue a, 37], look out the window to the west and fire on anyone they see out there.

    ORDER: FS2 Meister’s dawdling hunters at [blue j, 37] to instead move quickly south to the grassy patch around [blue j, 41] and face west. I trust they’re smart enough not to get into the firing line of the HQ.

  9. Turn execution underway.

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