Looking around the room, Evans saw a motley bunch. The officer in charge was a terrified looking Ensign who looked barely nineteen. Evans was the most senior NCO in the room. And, of course, there was the fact that most of them hadn’t eaten today because they were trapped behind enemy lines.
Evans had though. He had only encountered this group today. Well him and Polly had encountered this group. The two of them had managed to stick together since the inland advance. And, well, technically they were the regiment, most of the survivors from the sinking of the Steven’s Point were too injured to take part in the assault, and the ones that did were mostly killed or wounded. It wouldn’t have been a great showing for Major Kestel’s first battalion command, if she wasn’t currently in Medway with a broken leg. But, besides almost everyone from the regiment being dead, wounded, or reassigned, the assault was going well. Besides the fact that Polly and Evans were now stuck behind enemy lines with this other unit.
The Ensign walked to the center of the room and held his candle over the crude map he had drawn, “Alright, I was listening on the wireless earlier today, and apparently, there is a column of troops and supplies coming up along the main road tomorrow. It seems their estimates for the soldiers at the roadblock is significantly lower than what we’ve observed.” He paused, “For you army people joining us tonight, my radio was damaged in an advance and doesn’t transmit, so I can’t warn them.” He then went back to addressing the group, “So, we have to break the roadblock somehow. Tonight.” The Ensign chuckled, “Any volunteers?”
“Me Sir,” Evans raised his hand.
“That was a…” The Ensign shook his head, “Nevermind, what’s your plan… Sergeant?”
“Corporal Evans Sir,” He smiled, “I was thinking, there were a few trucks outside. If we could get one operational, I could use that to make a surprise hit on the roadblock. While that’s happening, we’ll have the rest of your sailors divided into two teams. One will provide harassing fire from the Northeast, signalling the commencement of the truck attack from the Northwest. Once my truck hits the roadblock, the final team will assault the roadblock from the Southwest. If you like the plan, I can go into more detail.”
“Yes…” The Ensign paused, “This is a very well thought out plan.”
“Yeah, it’s almost like I’ve done this before,” Evans laughed, “So, first off, what’s the weapon situation in this unit?”
The Ensign took out his notepad, “Twenty two rifles, two automatic rifles, my submachine gun, five pistols, two dozen grenades, a dozen rifle grenades. Plenty of ammo for everything.”
Smiling, Evans looked at the Officer, “I’ll need your submachine gun, an automatic rifle, a pistol, and the rifle grenades. I can drive, so I’ll take the submachine gun. I’ll need a volunteer to act as the auto rifleman.”
A Gunners Mate Third Class raised her hand, “I can Corporal.”
“Thank you sailor,” Evans smiled, “And I’ll need whoever is the best shot with a rifle grenade.”
There was some muttering around the room before a Boarder Third Class spoke up, “Alduino’s pretty good.”
An Able Seaman raised his hand, “I guess I’ve been volunteered.”
“Alright, And Polly?” Evans looked at Polly, “How about you act as the loader with the pistol?”
“Sure Evans, you haven’t gotten me killed so far.”
“OK, so my team will start the truck once the Northeast team starts up their suppressing fire,” He pointed at the map to something on the roadblock, “The ammo dump for the anti vehicle guns is here, so that’s where the truck will be hitting. Alduino will be firing as many rifle grenades as he can at that, and hopefully it will go up like last time. The Gunners Mate and I will provide suppressing fire until we hit the weakened roadblock and hopefully break through. And, Ensign, I figured you would want to plan the rest?”
“Uh, yes Corporal. Very good. Um, what should I be doing in this attack?”
“Well,” Evans shrugged, “Some officers would stay with the fireteam to coordinate that. My CO would lead the assault team, from the front, sword in hand. It’s your choice really.”
“I don’t have a sword Corporal, but I could use the pistol and a club I guess,” He paused, “Does midnight sound like a good time to start?”
“It’s your call Ensign, you’re in charge you.”