Supreme Commander: Re-live

Chapter 5: Villers-Bocage

e… Wake up… FRANCO! ”

A palm slaps the unresponding Franco, startling him awake. With blurry vision, Franco tries to wipe away the dirt and grimes that went into his eyes.

” Hey, you
e finally awake, pal. ” The voice grabbed his attention as his head swiveled in fright. Seeing the friendly blue cape, Franco sighed in relief.

” What happened? ” That was all he could ask.

” .. The Belkan got us with our pants down. They sabotaged most of our radios, and by the time we figured out that our outposts and patrols are down. They shelled us with everything they have. ” Helping me up to my feet, Corporal Louis, says. ” I pulled you out of the now-demolished HQ, thankfully you only got knocked unconscious. ”

” … Thanks. ”

” Don thank me yet, I don think this is over. The barrage stopped a few minutes ago. ” The Corporal said with a grim face.

” What do you mean? ” Still groggy, Franco still can connect the dot.

” Arms up, we
e about to be attacked. ”

” Huh? ” It takes a few seconds before realization dawns on Franco. ” … Shit. ”

” You don say. ”

—————————————————————————-

” FIRE! ” The whole tank recoils. ” Short, add 50! ” With my binocular, I can see the HEAT shell failed to gain purchase by a margin.

” Up! ”

” Fire! ”

” On the way! ” The process repeats. ” Hit! Target! Load HE, traverse left! Hit that MG nest! ” I called out a new target for Zimmer. For the sake of the Grenadiers behind us, that thing is a high-priority target.

” Ammo up! ”

” Identified! ”

” Send it! ”

” On the way! ” The shell hit true, I can see the wooden fortification disintegrate by the explosive force.

” Target! Gunner, engage at will! Rubert, whats the situation on that air support? ”

” They
e already here! That, mortar position will be bombed soon! ”

” They better do it quick otherwise we won have any Grenadier left to escort! ”

The battle for Bocage is in full swing. The vanguard for the assault is divided into five groups with us being part of Group 2. Of all the groups, only Group 5 is not contesting for Bocage as they are responsible for intercepting reinforcement.

Our task is to create a breakthrough for the soldiers behind us to storm the town. It isn going well as they
e pinned down by mortar fire. Fortunately, relief comes in the form of the very familiar Stukas siren. It seems like our aerial observers directed the Stukas true as they didn take that much time to drop their payloads.

Not sure how many ordinances they were carrying but I can feel the shockwave over here, inside a tank.

” Seems like that silenced them. All elements, advance! ” I said on comm. With renewed vigor, tanks and half-tracks pave the way forward while infantries follow closely behind. Occasionally, suppressing fire will come from the MG34s mounted on the half-tracks.

Facing only light resistance, we soon reach the Ustian trench. The formation stops for the Grenadiers to move up and clear the defense line. While we
e covering for them, reports come in from the other group.

” Group 3 and 4 breached the Northern defense line. ” Rubert turns around. ” They will meet up with us at the enemy HQ. ”

” Noted. ” I pop out of my hatch, using my binoculars to scan the buildings ahead.

Bocage roads are well paved but lacking in width so maneuvering vehicles in there isn the best of ideas. All the more so when each road is flanked by brick buildings with some having a noticeable height advantage over us.

While musing on our approach, I was approached by Major Stauffenberg.

” Good work back there, Lieutenant. The trench is secured, up next is getting into the town proper. ” I can see that he saw some action before coming to meet me.

” Yes, sir. What are you planning, sir? ”

” We don have time for formality so lets just skip it. ” He said with a laugh, hoisting his rifle on his shoulder, he continued. ” Armor will split up with each vic picking a route as an entry point. Infantries will cover you boys by clearing ahead. Should we come across any tough nut we can crack, which I think is very likely, you will take point to flush them out. Sound okay with you? ”

” More than okay, sir. It should work out nicely. ” This way, we can prevent unnecessary losses. And I can imagine the later battles, we will use this tactic a lot.

” Thats great then, ” The Major waves for a radio guy, he then disseminates the plan for the rest of his troops. No reason I shouldn do the same.

” All elements, this is 1. ” I communicate with the other three tanks in my platoon. ” Check your map, we will split up and push inward to the center of Bocage. 2 will take the road that flanked the marketplace. 3, you will take the road that goes straight to the town hall. 4, head a bit north, theres a dirt road that leads to the town granary, cooperate with the Grenadiers and clear it. Bit by bit we will make way to the enemy HQ and the other side of the town. Any escapee will be dealt with by Group 5 so you don need to pursue them, less you run into an ambush yourself. While its true that we need achievement to promote, theres no point in that if any of us die. Copy? ”

” ” ” CRYSTAL! ” ” ”

” Good, now get a move on. Grenadiers will fight alongside you so watch your fire! ” I concluded my impromptu briefing. As for our route, we will be heading directly for their military warehouse. And if possible, bag any loot for the record.

With our preparation done, the Major and I return to combat status. All possible entry points on the Southern side of Bocage are about to be breached by either tanks or half-tracks with a lot of grey coats as the vanguard. Suddenly, I remember the briefing I received before we set off.

” You may not know it yet, but what comes next will change the nature of warfare. ” The Princess said. ” Never had the world seen a division like us, one that is so heavily mechanized, so I want you to remember this. Take note of each engagement, learn from them, extrapolate from them what works and what won in a specific situation. And from it, formulate a proper combat doctrine for the later generations of soldiers to marvel at. You heard it correctly, all eyes are on us right now. The Empress is counting on me to answer her trust, and I am counting on you all, to be my sword and shield. So help me be the future of our army and bring glory to Belka! ”

I feel motivated whenever I remember her speech. Our division got a second leash in life thanks to her. We are strong right now, also because of her. And if we perform well, no doubt all of us will be greatly rewarded with honor and glory. Best of all, we can have a page of history dedicated to us only.

” Panzer, march! ” With a passionate shout, I commenced the downfall of Bocage.

—————————————————————————-

” Captain, theres an enemy garrison by the corner. A red bricks building and from the look of it, a machine gun on the third floor, sir. ” A soldier reported.

” They sure picked the location well. That MG overwatches the entire square. ” With no cover at all, Captain Aleph Morrick would be hard-pressed to storm the location where he only had soldiers under his command. Thankfully, with the refit of the division, he can send in some bigger guns.

” Get the half-track upfront. Have them sling two shells at the building. ”

” Yes, sir! ” The Private runs back to their armed transport. The 251 is fitted with a Pak 37. More than enough to punch a hole or two in the garrisoned building. With the rumbling of tracks and engine, the grey armored vehicle steadily moves ahead of the infantry. It pokes out of the corner they are hiding behind, earning itself some scratch marks from the Ustian machine gun. The armor blocked everything so the Pak crew quickly engage the target building safely.

In a short period of five seconds, the cannon sang two times. Peaking out to check the effect, Aleph managed to catch sight of an Ustian that got sent out the window by the shell. Confirming the location MG is silenced, for now, he motioned for the troops to move in.

” Nice shot. ” He said to the gunner on the half-track.

” The guy went flying. ” Said the gunner jokingly. ” Good luck. ”

Nodding before following behind his soldiers, Aleph arrives at the now battered manor. Stacking up next to its walls, one of his men throws a potato masher inside according to procedures. After it goes off, the burly Oni under his lead kicks down the door then they storm in.

Back then, to clear a building, the luckier guy is the one with an **G which proves its worth in close quarter engagement. Now, all soldiers have a trusty sidearm they can rely on to make quick work of the cumbersome Ustians. As a Captain, Aleph has an Mp 28, so he doesn need to pull out his C96, yet.

Inside the manor, now fill with rubbles and corpses, the grey coats are overwhelming the blue ones. Firing a short burst to take down an Ustian soldier, Aleph and a squad of Grenadiers proceed down a hallway while another squad clears the upper floors. In the tight hallway, the C96 pistol has a decisive advantage over the long bolt-action rifle of the Ustian.

Aleph witnessed a Corporal ahead of him that was taken by surprise when an Ustian kicked open a door. The proximity didn allow for anyone except the Corporal to open fire. Fortunately, with his quick wit, the Corporal diverted the muzzle away with one of his hands while shooting the Ustian in the face with the C96. He then proceeded inside the room, a kitchen, and downed another two with the fully automatic feature of the pistol.

That is but one of many examples showcasing the value of a good sidearm the Grenadiers have.

” Clear! ”

” This room is also clear! ”

” The ground floor is clear, sir! ”

After kicking down many doors, Aleph confirms the ground floor is safe for now. A female Sergeant comes down from the floor above and reports.

” Sir, upper floors are cleared. We encounter some resistance and one of us receives a serious wound. ” With a troubled face, she added. ” Im afraid he might not make it. ”

” … Send him back, there may be hope for him in the hands of our medics. ” Losses are unavoidable, Aleph knows that. But he still wants to try, every live matter under his lead.

” Yes, sir. ” After a salute, the Sergeant runs back to her injured squadmate.

Aleph was about to order the rest of his squads to move out when he heard something.

” Wait… Check that wall over there. ” He points at the suspicious wall. Two soldiers come close to it and they confirm his suspicion.

” Sir, I can hear French from the other side. With the topography of this manor, behind this wall is another building. ”

” On the other side is should be a different street. Combat is still going strong there with all the gunfire and whatnot. ” Aleph pondered.

” Jirou! ” He calls out to the Oni behind him.

” Im here, sir. ” The Oni, Jirou, was the one that held two MG-34s back then. He now carries only one but is strapped to the brim with ammo for the thing.

” How good is your barrier spell? ”

” Enough to take a few shots from a rifle, sir. ” The Oni prided himself in being the toughest in the division.

” Good. Private, I want you to go back to the half-track, have them contact the guy on the other street, saying we will clear the Ustian behind this wall for them. Tell them to watch their fire. The rest of you, check your ammo and weapon. ” Aleph ordered.

” Oho, I like your thinking, sir. ” With his left hand outstretched, Jirou created a blue shield similar to a ballistic shield and grabbed it.

” I can just run straight through, right? ”

” And gun blazing, yes. ” Stacking behind the towering Oni, every one of his squad geared up.

” Damn nice. ORA! ” Accompanying by a battle cry, Jirou rams the shield through the brick wall and then some. He stomped an unlucky Ustian beneath his feet when the guy was knocked down by the unsuspecting shield bash.

Wasting no time to bask in the stunned gazes of the Ustians in the room, Jirous machine gun spits out bullets nonstop, clearing the room of another four Ustians.

” Hot damn, this is fun. ”

” Well done, ” Aleph commended. ” spread out, clear the area. ” With a wave of his hand, the group disperses. It didn take long for them to kill the leftover enemy since this is just a two-story building.

As this street isn part of their attack plan, Aleph and his squads only wave at the friendly Grenadiers outside before returning to their task.

” Huh, I guess this small engagement also counts as a learning experience for Close-quarter-combat. ”

Making a mental note to write the entire process down, he continues to give out precise commands for his troops.

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