So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:16 pm

Methinks that might cause a mutiny!
Never fear! The Forum Heroes deserve more than that out of me!!! :up: :up: :up:

Bestens,
David
Death is lighter than a Feather, Duty is heavier than a Mountain....

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Jan-Hendrik » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:02 am

Yeah Tom, you and me both! At 138 pages, this has to be the longest thing I've written in a decade and a half. Hmmm, how about this for a next episode:
What about selling that in printed form...or at least store it on a Website were you may download the complete story as pdf?

:up: :beer:

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:35 am

Hey Jan-Hendrik!!!!! Great to see you here!!!!!!

:up: :up: :up: :D :D :D :up: :up: :up:

Your character has lasted about two years on this Thread! :shock:

Tom and I have talked about what to do with this story, but i think I have to finish it first! :wink:

Bestens,
David
Death is lighter than a Feather, Duty is heavier than a Mountain....

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Jager1945 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:01 pm

David,

I second what Tom said. Words like: Great, superlative, and excellent just don't seem to cut it...

This will make a great bit of fiction.

It sounds like you are formulating a game plan.

Now you're talking....

Best Regards,
Jaeger

‘There are no desperate situations, there are only desperate people.’ - Heinz Guderian

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by john1761 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:50 pm

Great F***ing story. Don't get lazy.Keep up the superb work. Hanging on every word. This is the first site I check everyday for an up date. John.

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:57 pm

ULRICH'S REVENGE

Hansen and the Latvians were old hands at this job. They spread out in a long crescent and waited silently in the snow for the Russians to appear.

The Guards Reconnaissance Company didn’t disappoint them. They weren’t exactly pushing themselves, Hansen noted. There were half a dozen T-70s followed by a score of jeeps and American lend-lease scout cars, but the crews were relaxing, either smoking cigarettes or singing. Whatever they were looking for, it wasn’t trouble.

Which was unfortunate for them, as Hansen’s only goal in life at this time was to cause the Reds trouble.

The Soviet unit had sealed off the western escape route from Bad Frostberg, deploying many of their vehicles in support of an infantry battalion hastily rushed to that area for the same purpose. What mission remained to them, they thought was being carried out by the Cossacks, so their advance was unguarded and a bit naive for experienced troops. Not a one of them expected to see deadly combat, considering that hey had been told that the escaping Germans consisted overwhelmingly of unarmed civilians dragging their children along after them.

The Latvians cocked the triggers of their panzerfausts as the lead T-70s drove ignorantly into the ambush.

Hansen gave the signal to fire and four panzerfaust rockets arced into the Soviet tanks, blowing them up. The Latvians quickly threw those empty rocket launchers aside and replaced them with new ones strapped to their backs. Without waiting for Hansen's order, they launched these at the next row of tanks. No T-70 ever made could withstand a panzerfaust hit, so in moments, the remainder of the Russian tanks went up in flames, broiling their two-man crews alive. To their credit, the Russian infantry hit the ground running after dismounting their jeeps and scout cars, but by that time, Hansen’s little group had faded back into the forest and was close enough to Leutnant’s Jaeger’s perimeter that they were covered by its MGs.

Instead of fighting it out, Jaeger decided that a bloody nose was enough to inflict on what might be only the recce elements of a much superior Soviet force. Loading as many men aboard as possible, he sped off to the next position on his map and established himself there well before the walking infantry in his tiny force arrived. But Leutnant Jaeger didn’t fool himself; he knew that his insufficient force was now locked into a fight with a rapidly advancing and fully mechanized enemy. This was a fight he was bound to ultimately lose, but he wasn’t so much worried about his own fate, what troubled him was the thought of the damage a triumphant Soviet mechanized force might inflict on the still exposed civilians in front of him.

As the Cossack cannon blasted the pitiable civilians, a lone Hetzer shook off its snowy camouflage, attracted to the sound of high-velocity fire. Feldwebel Michalik’s Hetzer had remained, its’ engine turned off to conserve gasoline, on the very edge of the forest behind the refugee column for the last few hours, before the sound of Grusinov’s indiscriminate shelling awakened it. Now it moved quickly to the scene of the slaughter. No one, either German or Cossack paid any attention to the trail of snow its tracks threw up in its struggle to close with the refugees and discover from where the shells were being fired.

At 1,500 meters, Michalik’s gunner identified the four 45mm guns set up in the barrenness of the winter wastes. At 1,000 meters, the trajectory of the L48 75mm gun carried by the Hetzer was basically a straight line. Beyond that, gravity and velocity entered into the equation. And that was for an anti-tank shell—a high explosive shell, on the other hand, being much more underpowered, required much more skill to land on a target 1,500 meters away.
But Michalik’s gunner only said, as he calculated the range and trajectory, “Bet on the long shot Feldwebel!”
The gunner pressed the trigger and looked into his sights in anticipation.
The first shell fell slightly short, but the second was in the air before the Cossack artillerymen could react.
“Whompf!” That was the sound of the second shell impacting on the armored shield of a 45mm cannon. Finding the range, the Hetzer gunner lobbed shell after shell into the artillery position, smothering it before it could fire back. He was grinning in satisfaction as the Red ammunition began to explode behind the guns.
The Hetzer crew slapped each others' backs in triumph as each gun was knocked out in its' turn.
But Grusinov had more guns in reserve and was bringing them up to replace the lost ones. The German column was severed, as he had planned, and he could afford the loss of a mere four guns. Especially as his powerful and fearless cavalry regiment was forming up in the snow behind him.

What he simply hadn’t counted upon was Ulrich’s 234/1. Like Michalik’s Hetzer, the sound of high velocity fire brought it running like a moth to a flame. Unlike the Hetzer, it was neither on the edge of the woods nor was it slow.

On a good day, with a new vehicle on a perfect road, a skilled Hetzer driver might be able to squeeze 40 km/hr out of his mount. Ulrich’s armored car, moving across uneven, snow covered ground, hit well over 60 km/hr during its dash at the Cossacks.

Seeing the armored car lunge at his regiment, Grusinov hesitated. The part of him that believed in the superiority of numbers and the courage of his mounted men couldn’t reconcile with the part of him that knew just how serious an armored opponent possessing that kind of speed and firepower might prove to be.

And in his momentary hesitation, fate cast its ballot irrevocably against the old and on behalf of the new.

The insane sight of a lone German armored car charging the better part of an entire Cossack Regiment was met first with incredulity by the Cossacks, then with derision. Aside from the annoying bombardment from the Hetzer, the Cossacks were in their element and didn't feel threatened. After all, they were every one of them strong, fit, hardened, men, sitting astride strong, fit horses in ranks and columns straining to begin their own charge.

But Ulrich himself may have been partially insane by then. All day long he had seen the bodies of old men, women and even babies dead in the snow, their corpses frozen into inhuman shapes. He hadn’t been able to intervene then or save a single one of the unfortunate innocents. Now he could intervene and his targets were standing in the open. Being a man short after the death of his gunner, Ulrich’s radioman and rear driver, Dieter had been “promoted” to crew the car’s guns. Neither he nor any other member of the crew realized the madness of their actions at the time. All were deeply enveloped by their mutual hate of anything Russian. When they were close enough to see the Russians laughing at them, Dieter opened up with both the 20mm auto-cannon and the coaxial machine gun.

The nearest Cossack ranks simply dissolved in front of the eyes of Ulrich and his crew. Horses were cut in two and men were decapitated or dismembered by the 20mm. The machine gun fire dropped horses and men alike in great heaps. The Cossacks broke ranks almost immediately. Grusinov, who had been laughing with the rest, suddenly found himself on the ground, the hindquarters of his horse having been blown away. He didn’t stay on the ground long though—there were many, many riderless horses to choose from and he quickly grabbed the reins of one.

But fleeing from an enemy, with just as much speed as a horse, presented its own problems, especially when that machine was operated by maniacs bent on mass murder. To add to the mess, the Hetzer stormed out on to the snow and closed quickly with the now disorganized and confused Cossack squadrons. Dieter fired as rapidly as Ulrich could feed magazines into the 20mm. The car literally hacked a path through the ranks of cavalry, firing to all sides and running down individual horses and fallen men.

An uncontrollable panic seized the Cossacks as their comrades fell in windrows. They attempted to scatter in every direction, but their own formations trapped many of them. Ulrich pushed into, blew apart and then pursued the larger groups, running them to ground and slaughtering them at will. The Hetzer fired its entire load of high explosive shells, aiming them at any group larger than five riders.

Grusinov, realizing that his command was irreparably shattered, rode off with a few of his personal guards, not daring to look back at the disaster that had fallen on his proud troops.

Ulrich hunted the Cossacks relentlessly, until his ammunition stocks grew low and the barrel of the 20mm over-heated. By that time, the little hill and the surrounding terrain was awash in blood. In fact, the car itself was soaked in blood picked up by the tires and spat back by them on to the mudguards and lower hull.

For the first time in longer than he cared to remember, Ulrich felt a deep sense of personal satisfaction. As the car pulled up next to the Hetzer, German civilians and soldiers began to cheer and clap in spontaneous celebration. Michalik and his crew quickly dismounted, as did Ulrich and his men. The two crews hugged each other and raised each others’ arms triumphantly into the air to the ringing applause of the civilians.
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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by David W » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:24 pm

very engaging writing David. :up:
Thanks. Dave.

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:55 pm

TREK

Wirblewind was seeing to it that things would be done right this time. After landing and enduring the inevitable jokes about p**sing his sweat-stained uniform from head to toe, he went straight to the "black men", the aircraft mechanics and threatened them with bodily harm. So, at last, the left engine was removed and rolled unceremoniously into the scrap heap. A "new" engine was retrieved from the wreckage of another HS-129 and installed during the night into his jabo. Kohler had returned unscathed and watched this all with some amusement, as it was his private opinion that the "jinx' was not the engine but the airplane itself.

Throughout the day and into the evening, Jahn and W.F. hid and watched Colonel Artem Tarasov’s Tank Brigade flow across the rail yard heading North. The Reds weren’t lingering, they were pressing on with as much speed as they could manage. First the tank battalions crossed, then the mechanized infantry, then the artillery and then great numbers of American-made trucks, jeeps and light vehicles. It was a thoroughly depressing sight and the length of time it took for the Brigade to cross only served to impress upon them exactly how vast the Soviets resources were.

Bad Frostberg itself was undergoing its death throes behind Jahn and W.F. But they didn’t look back at the dying city, they looked ahead and prayed that their escape route would not remain permanently blocked. Luckily, the Russians showed little interest at all in the rail yard itself. Their orders were to cross it and that they did. Not that the immediate area wasn’t swarming with them, but once the Brigade had passed, they were able to slip past the sentries in the dark, mainly because the sentries were less than alert because the fight had moved past their sector and the only real annoyance they had encountered that day was keeping the German civilians from leaving on the breakout trail forged so many hours before by Rath.

This trail was on the Northern edge of the rail yard. W.F. and Jahn made their way around the Southern tip and followed the tracks West in the darkness. They soon reached the burnt out hulk of Erika, the German armored train, and camped discreetly a few hundred meters away from it, in the trees. W.F. planned to head off Northwest in the morning, counting on the forest for shelter and completely unaware of the massacre that occurred in is environs earlier in the day.


“BAP! BAP! BAP!” “BAP! BAP! BAP!” “BAP! BAP! BAP!”

It took the sound of Araj's MG-34 to awaken Hansen, who was usually a light sleeper, but hadn’t heard a thing until the gun began firing.

A Russian tried to board the armored half-track. Arajs shot him through the mouth with the Russian pistol given him in the hospital. Another heaved a grenade over the side of the vehicle, but Arajs managed to toss it out. The explosion knocked him off his feet and shook the half-track, but its armor saved him. He scrambled back to the MG and opened fire again as the men, confused and half asleep realized that they too were under attack.

These Russians came looking for trouble.

They had quietly slit the throats of four sentries and just as quietly infiltrated the German position. Arajs, already awake from the pain of his wounds, spotted the shadowy intruders first and fired on them as soon as he realized what was happening. The Russians inside their lines attempted to knock out the half-track and then the entire perimeter flared up as the firing became general.
Some men were locked in vicious hand to hand fighting, others died in their sleep, and the one-armed Leutnant Jaeger rushed, pistol in hand to what seemed the most threatened part of the line.

Like the Latvians, Hansen crawled back to the half-track and began ripping off bursts from his assault rifle into the woods. The fight lasted nearly a half hour until Jaeger organized a small group of men and swept into the woods to root out their attackers.

Jaeger’s circular defense had enabled them to survive, but it was Arajs who had saved their lives. It had been a costly affair though. Nearly half of the men were dead or wounded. They took one prisoner and, before shooting him, extracted an explanation for the attack.

Apparently, Hansen’s ambush earlier in the day had served to shake the Russians out of their complacency. Now more forces had been assigned to the decimated Guards Armored Reconnaissance Company and they had orders to eliminate the German rear guard.

This was not something Leutnant Jaeger wanted to hear. But, being a professional, he reacted as he was trained. The wounded were loaded into the half-track or helped along by their kameraden. When this was arranged, Jaeger moved the little group to their next pre-planned position during the night. He was worried that they might have to leave behind civilians, but the only ones they encountered on the path were already dead. Victims of raiding Cossacks or, more often, of the cold and exhaustion. Jaeger radioed a brief situation report to Hauptmann Rath as soon as they were set up in the new position. A few hours later, another armored half-track, Ulrich’s 234/1 and Michalik’s Hetzer arrived to reinforce them.

Ulrich brought word that an infantry company had been dispatched to further reinforce them and showed Leutnant Jaeger the rendezvous point on the map. But the real question in all their minds was what exactly did the Russians have planned, how many of them were there and what armor would be accompanying them.

They took some solace in the realization that the long column of refugees was proceeding relatively unmolested and would probably reach safety if they were able to hold the Reds off for any length of time.
Death is lighter than a Feather, Duty is heavier than a Mountain....

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Luftman129 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:00 pm

Commissar D, the Evil wrote:TREK
This path was on the Northern edge of the rail yard. W.F. and Jahn made their way around the Southern tip and followed the tracks West in the darkness. They soon reached the burnt out hulk of Erika, the German armored train, and camped discreetly a few hundred meters away from it, in the trees. W.F. planned to head off Northwest in the morning, counting on the forest for shelter and completely unaware of the massacre that occurred in is environs earlier in the day
Wow, wonder what happened to me and my darling Erika!

Thanks,
Chris

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:10 pm

:D :D :D :D

The Tale's not over yet Chris. Be patient my friend. :up: :up: :up:

Bestens,
David
Death is lighter than a Feather, Duty is heavier than a Mountain....

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Jager1945 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:18 pm

David,

Another great installment.
Even with all the adversity of power outages, Help desks, waisted hours and such your resourcefulness shines on through.

You are the man! :up: :up: :up:

Thanks again,
Jaeger

‘There are no desperate situations, there are only desperate people.’ - Heinz Guderian

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Me-109 Jagdfleiger » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:31 pm

another great chapter in the battle,
:[] Jahn
Cheers Jonathan,
Only the spirit of attack borne in a brave heart will bring success to any fighter aircraft, no matter how highly developed it may be.

— General Adolf Galland, Luftwaffe.

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:06 pm

Thanks Much Guys for the praise. I'll try to do everyone right by the Tale, whatever sacrifices the Forum Heroes have to make to save the civilians. You've been a greatly supportive part of this Tale and you have earned my sincere Best Wishes for your support. No one likes to write in a vacuum.

Very Best,
David
Death is lighter than a Feather, Duty is heavier than a Mountain....

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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:19 pm

By the way, I really had fun writing "Ulrich's Revenge", although I don't count it amongst the best pieces in the story.

Bestens,
~D, the EviL
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Re: So....My Tank Corps in Prussia...

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:28 pm

WEATHERMEN

Contrary to anyone’s expectations, the dying on the North road didn’t end by dawn. While Jam-Hendrik’s Jagdpanther roamed deeper into the forest, the die-hard troopers of Von Bellow’s now leaderless command fought it out through the night and into the cold frost of the morning, hemmed in as they were by the irresistible firepower of Sidirov’s T’34s and infantry.

But these Germans chose to die hard, rising up even in the light of a new morning to resist every attack.

Even the remote Northern Gods seated on their thrones in Valhalla couldn’t deny them this right of passage.

In Bad Frostberg, their total sacrifice was recorded by machines that only monitored their radio messages and omitted their suffering. General Rosselsprung was of the opinion that even this information should be consigned to the burning pile of communiques, but Gruber opposed him, trying his best to save the City’s last communications with their brave assault troops from historical oblivion.

It probably didn’t matter in the end for these men, as the inferno of Russian fire took them quickly into the next plane of existence, either singly or in groups. What did matter was that, whatever firepower the Reds used, these few men endured it through the night, through the morning hours and well into the afternoon of the next day before succumbing.

As a side-note to the nobility of their sacrifice, by the time that they were finally devoured by the Reds, Jan Hendrik and the survivors of their efforts were as safely ensconced in the woods as anyone could be, struggling their way North without so much as a working compass to guide them.

And those Germans fleeing West—Hansen, Jaeger, Jahn and all the rest, were in even worse shape as they had Red Army combat formations clinging to their tails……

The truth of it was that, no matter the direction in which the Germans fled or the strength in which they stood and fought, in Prussia of 1945, you didn’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the cruel winds blew, as they were clearly blowing in a Red tempest from the East.
Death is lighter than a Feather, Duty is heavier than a Mountain....

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