Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

Story 2692
Southern Okinawa, December 11, 1944

Patrick stayed low in his fighting scrape. The company had made good progress that morning. They had advanced over eight hundred yards from dawn to mid-day. And then the Japanese held line erupted with automatic fire and well spotted artillery. The company to the south of him had gotten plastered. However, his men were still being targeted and the advance had come to an end. American artillery was already inbound.

Two miles off shore, Jack heard the radio shack squawk. A fire support mission was needed. USS Gamble and her division mates had the inshore gun line duty for the day. Within minutes, every gun was manned aboard the minelayer and the four inch rifles started to bark. Corrections were called and soon a steady thrum of shooting began as the gun crews would fire six or eight or twelve rounds at a time and take a moment to police the deck and bring up more ready ammunition as the observers called for a new target and a new set of spotting rounds.
 
Story 2693
Eastern Poland, December 12, 1944
Two tanks were burning near the crossroads. Three dozen bodies were scattered like drift wood after a winter storm had come ashore along the southern Baltic coastline. Eighty yards away another trio of tanks were disabled. One would never run again. Another would likely be dragged to the rear where mechanics could decide to euthanize the machine and use it as a donor for a dozen other slightly less damaged tanks. The third would be heading east in a few hours once the remains of the tank commander, gunner and loader were pulled out, a few critical parts replaced and readjusted and a replacement crew inserted into the beast.
 
Story 2694
Attu, Alaska, December 13, 1944

The soldier smiled as he thought about the Senator's daughter once again. She was worth this posting as he leaned over and attempted to move forward against the ever shifting wind.

Ten minutes later, the battered team made it back inside the Quonset hut. The afternoon weather readings would be sent back to Dutch Harbor on time.
 

Driftless

Donor
Attu, Alaska, December 13, 1944

The soldier smiled as he thought about the Senator's daughter once again. She was worth this posting as he leaned over and attempted to move forward against the ever shifting wind.

Ten minutes later, the battered team made it back inside the Quonset hut. The afternoon weather readings would be sent back to Dutch Harbor on time.
"There are no brains in the head of a pecker...." :rolleyes: :biggrin:
 
Story 2695
Eastern Poland, December 14, 1944

There was silence for a moment.

It was broken by the cry of a young man who had been drafted over the summer and now he could see the entire length of his left femur.

The flames crackled around the general and his divisional headquarters. A half dozen Panzers were burning at the crossroads. The divisional HQ had been set up four hundred meters from that strategic crossing. If the Germans had been able to seize and use the road networks, the seams between two rifle corps would come undone. They had failed here at least. The bakers, truck drivers and clerks who had been hurriedly handed rifles and reminded which way to shoot had held the line as most of the divisional staff counterattacked the few trucks worth of German infantry while the rest coordinated the direct fire of two dozen divisional guns. The division was barely functional as a regiment anymore, but the German Panzer brigade that had destroyed it was now perhaps a reinforced company.

Overhead, a dozen attack planes headed west looking for poorly camouflaged tanks and unprotected artillery to hit.
 
Story 2696
RAF Fauld, England, December 15, 1944

An ambulance driver slowly picked his way down the narrow track. Four broken bodies were in the rear with a single attendant. An oncoming truck pulled to the side of the road to let him pass.

It would be days until the ammunition buried deep underground stopped exploding. It would be months until the investigating commission would learn that someone likely started the conflagaration that would destroy two weeks worth of bombs by using a bronze chisel instead of wooden wedges to split open packages.
 
Story 2697
Bastogne, Belgium, December 16, 1944

The quartermaster battalion was exhausted. More supplies were flowing forward to support the 12th Army Group's advance. The attached MP company had to keep two truck convoys from shooting at each other as they both arrived at the crossroads at the same time.

Today was just another busy, cold and cloudy day on the Western Front.

At least there was a promise of beer and perhaps a flirty word from a Belgian barmaid.
 
RAF Fauld, England, December 15, 1944

An ambulance driver slowly picked his way down the narrow track. Four broken bodies were in the rear with a single attendant. An oncoming truck pulled to the side of the road to let him pass.

It would be days until the ammunition buried deep underground stopped exploding. It would be months until the investigating commission would learn that someone likely started the conflagaration that would destroy two weeks worth of bombs by using a bronze chisel instead of wooden wedges to split open packages.
Is this based on a real incident?
 

Driftless

Donor
Bastogne, Belgium, December 16, 1944

The quartermaster battalion was exhausted. More supplies were flowing forward to support the 12th Army Group's advance. The attached MP company had to keep two truck convoys from shooting at each other as they both arrived at the crossroads at the same time.

Today was just another busy, cold and cloudy day on the Western Front.

At least there was a promise of beer and perhaps a flirty word from a Belgian barmaid.
Foreshadowing of a different BotB? Or a marker for how much things have changed in this universe? Stay tuned and Fester will reveal all in his good time....😊
 
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Bastogne, Belgium, December 16, 1944
Today was just another busy, cold and cloudy day on the Western Front.

No Battle of the Bulge in this storyline. I think at this point it's taking almost everything the Germans have left in the West to keep the Allies out of the Ruhr.
 
RAF Fauld, England, December 15, 1944

An ambulance driver slowly picked his way down the narrow track. Four broken bodies were in the rear with a single attendant. An oncoming truck pulled to the side of the road to let him pass.

It would be days until the ammunition buried deep underground stopped exploding. It would be months until the investigating commission would learn that someone likely started the conflagaration that would destroy two weeks worth of bombs by using a bronze chisel instead of wooden wedges to split open packages.
One moment of carelessness results in a lifetime of being dead.
 
No Battle of the Bulge in this storyline. I think at this point it's taking almost everything the Germans have left in the West to keep the Allies out of the Ruhr.

I’m thinking that post 2695 is implying that those forces went east, so there might not be a Battle of the Bulge ITTL.
 
Story 2698
West of Warsaw, Poland December 17, 1944

The division was coming out of reserve. It had been mauled twice in the past year and now it was barely an organized rabble compared to what it had been the previous Christmas when it had counter-attacked into the flank of the Soviet assault. The quartermasters and military policemen were conferring with the divisional staff. Warsaw was closed. Partisans had either occupied or blown every bridge across the river. Perhaps the 116th Panzer Division could fight their way through the city, but by the time they had taken the east bank of the Vistula, there would be no regiment capable of completing a company's mission.

Instead, the division would head south for several hours and then east on another set of tracks before offloading on the southern shoulder of the Soviet offensive where the ninety four tanks of the division would attempt to pierce and run wild through the Soviet rear before the Soviets could reach the German strategic rear.
 
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