19 December. Defence of Wellin

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19 December. Defence of Wellin

Post  Moortz on Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:16 pm

took a Cru II from Feschaux out to interdict enemy armour moving from Rochefort down into Wellin.

Wellin was under heavy infantry attack, but as Axis had no forward bases to the town I knew they would need to bring armour up from Rochefort. As I moved into the forest to the NW of the town to take up a position overlooking the road, a french sapper (using the codename bfoura) radioed me to warn me of enemy panzer activity in the woods.

I assumed he had mistaken my engine sounds for that of an enemy tank, but proceeded cautiously nonetheless. I moved forward again, scanning the edge of the woods for signs of the enemy tank but could see none. suddenly the sapper radioed me again frantically, telling me I was right next to the enemy. Sure enough, 100 yds away to my right partially hidden by trees was the rear wheel of a Panzer III. I could not tell if it was an F or a H series, but I was sure he could not have seen me for the thick clump of trees between us. As I radioed back his location, I inadvertantly transmitted on an open channel, which must have startled the Panzer crew as they immediately started their engine and began rolling. As soon as he left the safety of the trees I hit him with 2 AP rounds, the second one causing a massive fatal explosion.

Having cleared the edge of the woods, I moved the Cru II down into a position overlooking the Rochefort/Wellin road. A single Panzer IV was moving across the road towards the town, but he was at too extreme range to hit and as we moved closer to the road I lost visual on him. A couple of matildas from Wellin finished him off as I heard later on.

now at about 1200yds from the road I waited for my next victim, but this one was to have sharper teeth than the last. Moving across the road from North to South came another Pz.IIIH followed by a halftrack. At about 1000yds I hit him with AP, tracking him and amazingly causing the Halftrack to stop. I hit him with several more AP rounds, but failed to do any critical damage as he began to return fire, incapacitating the commander. As I fired more rounds into the Panzer, some of my shots deflected or dispersed into the halftrack destroying it completely. The Panzers 47mm gun was getting good range, and with the commander out of action I decided to withdraw from my position but as I pulled back the tank I was hit in the left track. Luckily the hit had caused the tank to turn slightly behind the berm and tree I was using as cover and the incoming fire stopped.

Friendly sappers were informing me that the Pz was now immobile but still firing, so I gunned the engine and pushed the now single track Cru back into a firing position. As soon as I got back into position the Pz opened fire again and through the smoke and blast I managed two more AP shots, the second hitting the Panzers turret and causing it to catch fire and finally explode.

German infantry were moving up through the woods to our rear so we abandoned the tank and proceeded to RTB at Wellin on foot.

Moortz
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