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Posted on Dec 26, 2006 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features

Interactive Combat Story: First Night in Normandy

By Brandon Neff

22

You maneuver to within 20 yards of the battery, the Germans so intent on their task that you retain the element of surprise.  Greene assumes a flanking position to the right of the battery and you approach from the rear.  You signal Greene and you both hurl grenades into the mix before laying down a field of fire.

The grenades detonate with a bright flash and one of the Germans is split in half by the blast, his body thrown backwards.  The remaining three Germans prostrate themselves and reach for rifles and handguns.  You unload 8 rounds into the enemy position before the clip is ejected from the rifle with a distinctive “ping”.  Greene then fires as you reload.  This continues for several seconds and Greene scores a hit on one of the Germans and he falls backwards, struck in the upper chest.  As soon as his clip is kicked out, Greene begins to reload and you press the enemy.  One of the Germans, shielded from your fire, draws a bead on Greene and his pistol strikes true, dropping Greene before he could reload.  Unflinching, you continue to fire and one round enters an ammunition box, triggering a chain reaction.  The concussion from the blast rattles your teeth and you shield your face from the explosion.

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Your ears continue ringing for several moments, but you see no sign of life from the gun battery.  You approach cautiously, and grimace at the gruesome sight; remnants of living beings coat the ground and sides of the guns.  You turn away and quickly check on Greene.

The gunshot wounds have proven fatal and you only hope Greene went quickly.  You kneel by your fallen ally and promise yourself you’ll send his parents a letter and tell them he died bravely, serving his country.  You leave Greene’s body in the grass and head southwest.

You continue for several minutes, passing the bodies of several soldiers, both friend and foe alike.  It would appear a firefight took place here not long ago.  Boot prints lead off to the southwest and you hope that some of your allies are heading that way.  If you hurry, you might be able to catch up with them and find strength and comfort in numbers.

The walk remains treacherous, for the enemy could be everywhere, but for the longest time, you walk in silence.  Even the ever-present sounds of artillery and anti aircraft fire seem muted.  The grassy terrain suddenly ends and you find yourself on a narrow dirt road heading in the direction you hope to travel.

If you follow the road, Go to 4.

If you stay off the road, Go to 28.

[continued on next page]

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