Colonel Croesus: Turn 14
Last year's conflab of Comment Commanders almost committed a war crime. This year's actually commit one, albeit accidentally.
(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).
It's the penultimate turn. What's left of Colonel Croesus' victimless crime syndicate is now so close to the twice-stolen gold bullion, they can smell it (for those who've never been in close proximity to large quantities of Au, burnt sugar and damp ferrets are the dominant notes). Steiner's Tiger was dispatched last turn. Foes in need of attention in this one, include an armoured car, pillbox MG, and U-boat deck gun.
None of the small-scale encounters and exchanges that catch the eye early on, go well for the defenders. Colonel Croesus' HQ team switch from dressing wounds to inflicting them when a lone Italian attempts to use the row 17 tunnel as an escape route.
Crabmeat 2 thins out an already seriously depleted deck gun crew with her coaxial MG.
Debussing behind the pillbox, 3rd Squad fells a sniper team fleeing GOLD's two-storey building.
A more balanced firefight seems to be in the offing, but fails to materialise, when enemy grunts start streaming towards the p4 cottage.
Pinned down by LMG (?) fire north of the building...
...ex-tenants Lynch & Bishop can do nothing to discourage the bid, but, hidden by Crabmeat 1's smokescreen, their replacements, the remnants of 1st Squad and Rocca's HQ team, reach cover in time to stall the assault.
Rocked by an Achilles delivery in the opening seconds of the sixty, the troublesome pillbox that settled Nemchik's hash yesterday, plays dead until the open-topped AFV starts reversing, and a tempting target appears at the corner of row 17 and column r. 2nd Squad's tank hunter has his deadly drainpipe on his shoulder and the armoured car in his sights when he's spreadeagled by an MG 34 burst.
But this is the last time the pillbox troubles the Montaretto Millionaires. As the bazooka man draws breath for the final time, 3rd Squad's frantic efforts to blow open the fortification's rear door with pineapples, finally bear fruit.
Corporal Singh is the accidental war criminal mentioned in the intro. After embarrassing himself in BRONZE with some atrocious pistol marksmanship (the German in the picture escaped uninjured), the Wasp superintendent orders his miniature AFV to advance.
The first napalm candidate identified by the Wasp on arriving at s12 is the U-boat's deck gun. What isn't appreciated until a dripping bow of fire is on its way is that the men in the vicinity of the four-barrelled flak gun have their hands in the air.
The turn's final act is another execution of sorts. Busy riddling Rocca and 1st Squad (Nelson's squad is down to 1 man by the time clock stops) the eight-wheeled armoured car on the slipway fails to notice that there's a green Quick-Firing finger of doom pointed at its backside.
The shell that scuppers the Sd. Kfz. 231 has sufficient energy left after doing the deed to exit through the vehicle's front armour and chisel a hole in the northern quay, close to Rocca's crib.
The situation at T+60:
The pillbox, deck gun, and AC are all hors de combat. Progress on the north quay continues to be hampered by an HMG and other unidentified infantry units near the gatehouse.