Friday, June 5, 2015

The Battle of Ameins Part II

Feisty Fire!

             On the morning of August 7th, 1918 the twelve man team would arrive at their designated time era and historical location in France in which they would prepare themselves for the upcoming attack the next day. Team one briefed with team two about the upcoming engagement then headed eight miles out to where the artillery units were set up and familiarized themselves with the other men they would be working with. The team would be operating the French built American designated M1918 155 GPF 155mm Field Gun. Their six man team would do their absolute best to operate the devastatingly massive gun and cause maximum damage to the enemy.Team one’s main objective was to provide calculated artillery strikes on visible targets which compromised team two’s objective thus covering their advancement. The second team would move up 5 miles from the drop point and station themselves just behind the British 4th Army where they also prepared using period weaponry. A French FT-17 tank, a Ford Model M1918 3-ton tank, and an empty flatbed truck were acquired for use the next day. Only two vehicles would actually be put to S.S.A. use. The French FT-17 Renault was internally covered with kevlar so as to provide just a little more protection while the flatbed truck would have to make do and follow behind the tank. The night was an uneasy one both for the allied units and the agents in the field. 

             The morning of August 8th came quickly and with it came the adrenaline and fear that would ensue. The gun crews began receiving coordinates for target areas while several miles back a massive strike force of 800 aircraft waited ready to devastate the enemy lines. When the time came for the artillery batteries to open fire the ground shook with their massive power. Team one manned their gun and when ready releasing 155 mm of explosive onto the target area. With every shot a cloud of dust rose from the ground as if a thunderstorm had come up from nowhere. After several minutes of bombardment the team adjusted their piece to the next set of coordinates. Again the 155 mm Field Gun joined the rest of the guns in their grueling bombardment. As the artillery crew’s part in the attack neared it’s end team two was simultaneously beginning their part in the battle.

             Team two would later be joined by team one. It was estimated that a force of 20,000 German troops would be guarding the Amiens positions and resistance was expected. The attack on the German held lines began slowly at first but then mounted up speed as the day wore on,casualties were mounting but the allied forces pushed on.Team two did their best to pick up the wounded and made constant runs from the battlefield to medical stations. The two man FT-17 Renault advanced with the mainlines of allied forces running into plenty of conflict. Team two's tank, nicknamed "Feisty Fire" not only covered the flatbed and the wounded but also helped give the British infantry cover and fire support when approaching the deathly trenches. Feisty Fire took multiple hits to its frontal armor but to no avail, the little tank courageously charged into the sheets of on coming enemy fire only stopping to return fire with its deadly S.A. 18, 37 mm Puteaux gun. Mile after mile yielded the allies ground and left the injured and dead from both sides behind. Team two was nearly overwhelmed with their task.

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