The radio cracked on my new Chieftain. Radio communications have improved as Soviet jammers were hit by NATO EW aircraft. Usually at night. Last night we saw several flashes from aircraft arcing across the night sky as their Shrike missiles took out radar and jammers. Glad the air force has time for that at least, for they surely have been absent from close air support! On the radio was Captain Dickens. He passed us our orders. Proceed to Grabenburger east of Dortmund in the hotly contested Ruhr. We had never intended to be this far west, having started the war east of Osnabruck. But like all soldiers, we are glad to be alive after two sharp actions, one of which I had my trusty mount shot out from under me. Luckily the powerplant was struck, so we checked out fine.
Our road march to Grabenburger was uneventful. We made contact with Major H Jones and his Welsh Company. Jones had a twinkle in his eye as he pointed to the map and described a McBurgerchicken restaurant on the right center quadrant of our sector. Having subsisted on ten year old tinned rations, a hot meal sounded like an excellent reason to go to the right in our hasty attack. I sent our attached infantry platoon and the Scorpion troop to right while I covered the approaches on our left with the HQ tank. Two more troops of Chieftains and an Abbott battery was still in route, and expected anytime. I believed it was worth the risk to send the infantry platoon in on the right with the Scorpions, secure the restaurant and take the objective that a pair of BMP-2s and half an infantry platoon guarded. Intel reported it would be some time (three turns) before Soviet reserves could arrive.
The infantry platoon advanced urging the always too slow Scorpions to follow. For some reason our Scorpions can never keep up while moving tactically, being 20% SLOWER than our foot infantry! With only half our force available, I had to personally cover the left objective with my lone Chieftain, pensively waiting for the two Chieftain troops and the Abbott battery. Unexpectedly the Soviet commander, seeing my lone Chieftain, decided to his T-64 company against my lone Chieftain. We of course shot at them, but missed. On the right we lost a Scorpion to the BMP2’s autocannons and the infantry and FV432s advanced on the Soviet infantry. We assaulted and pushed the infantry off the objective and captured a bailed-out BMP-2. (Turn 2)
The T-64s advanced and were close to the objective, but not quite in range to contest. They did however send two hits into my concealed Chieftain’s front armor, killing my brave lad driver and my second Chieftain. Meanwhile the Soviet Battalion Commander drove personally to the objective held by my infantry platoon to contest. If my reserves don’t arrive I will be in serious trouble, with no unit to contest my objective. Luckily for me, I got a Chieftain platoon and was able to kill one T-64 and park on the objective. Having moved out of reserve, being reduced to one shot each was a severe handicap. On the right, I considered not digging in and going around the flanks of the Soviet Commander’s T-64 with Charlie G’s and LAW’s, but decided to dig-in to hold and then kill him with Milans. Little did I know that the Milan’s would miss horribly in the next two turns.
The next two turns went much faster. The enemy T-64s went around my flanks and shot two of my Chieftains killing them. Leaving his two T-64s on the objective versus my lone surviving Chieftain. At precisely the right moment the Abbot battery showed up, leveled their muzzles and shot one of the two T-64s killing it, and the sole surviving Chieftain swung it’s turret through the burning Chieftain of his Troopmates, killing the remaining T-64. We had both objectives in our uncontested hands.
The crafty Soviet commander had taken a chance as well. He sent the reserve T-64 company not to the close objective to feed them into the contested right one with British infantry, but dashed to the left one at breakneck speed in hopes of killing the Abbots and Chieftain there. The laws of time and distance were not in his favor with Turn Six breaking with us on both objectives uncontested. This battle proved one thing. That the UK fighting man will go to extraordinary levels to avoid British food in favor of anything foreign, even McBurgerchicken! Bon Appetite!