In short, the Americans are trying to punch through my lines. From the northwest to the southeast their column of mechanized infantry is trying to dig deep into German lines. My job for the last two battles has been to stop them, and this engagement is no different. Except it's a huge battle, easily twice as long as any we've fought so far. We join the action with my scout teams along the eastern flank running a delaying action with MG support.
Stacker’s team was left behind to cover the retreat of Stager’s scout squad and supporting medium MG team. They’d already lost a man making contact with the Americans, so I figured Stacker would take the hard-bitten duty to cover the rear. Stager’s team were already behind a hedge, set to provide cover fire for the Stacker’s mad dash even as the supporting MG-34 rounded the corner.
Stacker gave the order and just as they leave the building a US rifle squad pops it’s head from around a corner to the West, gunning a man down. There’s no turning back though; squad leader Stacker is on his own running for cover. The only way back to his two wounded men is to make the Americans retreat.
The MG-34 team comes under fire as they round the corner of the hedge. Stager’s team opens up from the hedge on the lead rifle team as two more US squads appear, a second rifle squad and an HQ detachment. They’ve advanced too quickly though and pay the price. As the third man is wounded a brave sergeant moves up to provide first aid. Stager pretends not to notice and shoots him in the side.
A total of four Americans lay dead before the round is over. Stager does some quick math in his head. The Americans are falling at a rate of four or five to each of his men so far. They must be mad, or suicidal, or both. It’s going to be a long afternoon.
Meanewhile, Polak at his 88mm flak gun along the eastern hill nearly 2,000 meters away can see the American’s moving but not long enough to draw a bead. Better to wait until they show themselves to the MG bunkers. His targets are armored, and so far there are none.