10 DECEMBER 1844: SOMEWHERE IN THE ARDENNES
A pale dawn is just breaking over the distant tree-lined hills when your M4's radio receiver suddenly crackles to life: "Charlie two, Charlie two, this is Charlie one... Message... over." Reaching down through the open turret hatch your gunner hits the transmit button. "Charlie two... You will proceed to and secure sector coordinates 5206... Confirm... over."
All five of you breath a collective sigh of relief. No mention of counter attack. No mention of Tigers nor Panthers on the prowl. While the other four members of your crew load and store a new supply of armor piercing shells , you hunker down in front of the transmitter and dial up the recon company four or five clicks down the road. "Recon One, wait... I got nothing to the North of you... I got light weapons, personnel carriers, trucks due East of your position..." No sweat. A quick glance at the map, a weather check with the Met office in Paris, and you are ready to go. Sector 5206 reveals itself to be the village of St. Hubert, half a days drive to the East along pretty good roads. No need for air support today; no need to call in the artillery. You can handle the next few hours on your own.
"Load a round of HE in the main gun, Harry we're moving out in five minutes."
Your Gunner, Loader, Driver and Assistant clamber aboard and settle in.
"Driver due East."
The engines roar to life. The tank pivots out of it's hiding place in the tree-line. The familiar squeak of the track links lend a rhythmic note to the motor's rumble as you move slowly down the road -- one day closer to Germany. One more day of trying to stay alive. One more day of never really knowing what lies ahead.
Is this a game? Was WWII... a game?
By Bomber author, Rene Vidmer