Turn 11 in freeze-frames: Sergeant Nemchik (Charles Bronson) hosing a halftrack with Crabmeat 2’s .50 cal. Captain Lynch (Harrison Ford) wriggling through a hole in a brick wall. Sergeant King (Carl Weathers) on his knees, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth. Hauptmann Steiner (Wolf Kahler) sprinting down the gangplank of the getaway U-boat, Schmeisser in hand.
(Colonel Croesus is an open-to-all game of Combat Mission: Fortress Italy in which Allied forces are orchestrated by commenters while German units are computer controlled. Each daily turn covers one minute of WeGo action. For a scenario outline and accounts of earlier turns, click here).
Well and truly cornered, the Sd.Kfz. 251 in SILVER dithers as Nemchik’s tank skirts the rubble heap searching for LoS. The indecision proves fatal. Predator locates prey and begins savaging it with MG fire. The hail of .30 and .50 cal rounds is, of course, merely the prelude to a more swingeing blow.
The first 75mm shell eviscerates the halftrack. The second – somewhat unnecessary in the circumstances – punches straight through the flame-wreathed carcass – detonating against the rock wall at m24.
3rd Squad arrive, bazookas at the ready, to find SILVER comprehensively pacified.
Things go less smoothly for the Americans next-door in the row 17 tunnel. The first Allied unit to set eyes on the U-boat and main quay at GOLD is the two-man portion of 2nd Squad that survived, by the skin of its teeth, the mauling from the Panzer III in Turn 6.
The pair don’t get to enjoy the view for long. Accosted by both the j16 pillbox and the U-boat’s flak gun (not observed for long enough to be properly identified), the scouts stop scouting – and breathing – a few seconds after the dock defenders open fire.
The eagle-eyed pillbox also manages to espy the rest of 2nd Squad further down the tunnel and give them something to think about. By the end of the turn the unit has lost its Thompson-toting figurehead and is down to just three men (BAR, Bazooka, Garand).
It’s another frustrating turn for Ashbridge’s Achilles. After trying and failing to establish LoS to the pillbox, Roger Moore orders his driver to back up and head for the southern passage into SILVER at top speed.
The news from up North is essentially good. While trundling to the briny end of the row 3 tunnel, Crabmeat 1 uses its AA MG to bodkin the helmet of at least one rifleman on the northernmost quay.
Rocca pots the goon on the BRASS catwalk, who, naturally, plummets from his perch post-mortem.
Our pint-sized firestarter skid-steers into BRASS as one of Squires’ breaching charges detonates, liberating Lynch and Bishop.
The situation at T+60: