Ch. 19: Dobiegniewo to Wloclawek.   Posted by Cap'n Rae.Group: 0
Minh Quyen
 player, 679 posts
 Spec-4
 U.S. Army Military Police
Sat 19 Jan 2013
at 20:59
Re: The Crossing
Quyen returns quickly to her bunk and ditches her AK74. She then makes her way to the armory and grabs the PKM and two cans of ammunition for it before going back topside to meet up with Tuck. "Took the gun." Quyen tells him as she loads one of the belts into the weapon. "Front security right?"

Taking:
PKM x1
7.62mm Belts x2

Cap'n Rae
 GM, 2782 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Sun 20 Jan 2013
at 03:08
Re: The Crossing

The tug, now pushing the first of the jury-rigged rafts, begins the crossing, large snowflakes swarming through its floodlights. Looking back towards the hamlet on the shore, you can see a dozen bonfires burning and hear the bite of axes as more trees are felled for additional rafts. Griet's done a few calculations, determining that, given the speed of the Krolowa, the width of the river, and the carrying capacity of the tug and the single raft, it will take at least a couple of days of nearly constant operations to get the whole of the 89th CD across the river. To speed up the operation, the tug crew donates a substantial supply of cordage to the work parties responsible for constructing the first raft. Given a few more hours, they should be able to complete a couple more rafts, more that doubling the number of men and horses that can be transported in a single trip.

About half-way across the Vistula, disaster strikes. Something spooks one of the horses. It rears suddenly, pulling its reigns from the hands of one of the two men detailed to the raft. Fully loaded, the raft is already riding about six inches lower in the water than it was empty, and it sinks even lower as it's pushed obliquely through the swift current at a cuatious and steady 8kph. The shifting weight of the panicked horse worsens the situation, and its back hooves slip off the downriver side of the raft, toppling the rest of the terrified mare overboard with a heavy splash. The raft overbalances and another horse, startled and jostled by the first, follows in its hoofsteps. The men on board the raft do their best to keep the other horses steady, several times barely avoiding being pushed or pulled overboard themselves.

The River Princess, acting as a rescue boat and crewed by a team of three cavalrymen, reaches one of the horses and attempts to guide it to shore. The other horse screams as it's pulled downriver by the current. The rescue crew does its best to help the second horse, but the water is too cold and the current is too strong. Exhausted, the horse founders, straining the Princess' outboard motor and nearly capsizing it. Regretfully, they release the beast, and it is pulled away, disappearing into the darkness.

There's nothing that the Krolowa can do to help without risking the rest of its cargo. It continues on the far shore, arriving without further incident. The perils of transporting horses across the wide river on rafts have been painfully revealed. One of the two minders now has a broken foot, having been stomped on while trying to control the surviving horses. The raft is unloaded on the east bank, and the two score cavalrymen begin ascending the white slopes of the bluff up to set up an OP/overwatch position. The orange glow of firelight is visible across the water and through the steadily falling snow.

The Krolowa returns to the west bank, where the construction crews are still working on the first of two new rafts.


Next Moves?
Mrityunjay Byanjankar
 player, 508 posts
 Naik (Corporal)
 Gurkha Rifles
Sun 20 Jan 2013
at 08:45
Re: The Crossing
Jay nodded to Anders and practiced the drill as best he could. Pretty soon they had a fair idea of what they were doing, and we're ready to act if needed.

When the Queen moved off on it's first run, Jay couldn't help but watch in fascination as the operation was executed. The fascination soon turned to horror as the horses panicked and went in. His own experience in the river told him that they wouldn't last long, and a rescue would be futile. He watched helplessly as they were dragged down river to their fate.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:54, Mon 21 Jan 2013.

Craig Sutherland
 player, 614 posts
 Lieutenant
 42 Commando Royal Marines
Mon 21 Jan 2013
at 08:16
Re: The Crossing


From his position on the port side of the tug Craig watched the proceedings with a sort of muted awe. He felt like he was seeing a scene more from his great grandfathers time in the army during world war one.

He couldn't help but snatch a glance up river every now and again looking for the monitor.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:55, Mon 21 Jan 2013.

Daniel Larue
 player, 272 posts
 Technical Sergeant
 USAF Pararescueman
Mon 21 Jan 2013
at 14:29
Re: The Crossing
Danny, unable to affect events on the raft from his position at the rail, watches the loss of the horses with a clenched jaw.  Through whichever translator is most convenient, he orders the Russians to help the injured cavalryman aboard the Queen, then passes the man's rifle back to the raft before helping him into the galley, pouring him a shot of vodka, and beginning treatment.

Once he's finished doing what he can for a smashed foot, he flips on the intercom.  "Coyote for Sunray," he says, then waits for Bayer to acknowledge from the bridge (or wherever else the commander's gotten to).

"Sir, the guard boat has at least a chance of recovering personnel, and," he rolls his eyes, "I can do another swim if I absolutely have to.  We just proved we can't recover horses.  What do you think about shifting the horses to deck load and putting the men on the rafts?  Also, please advise the Russian commander that I've got his guy here and he's gonna be fine if they keep him on light duty for about six weeks."
Anders Mattson
 player, 34 posts
 Kapteeniluutnantti (res.)
 Finnish Navy
Mon 21 Jan 2013
at 15:48
Re: The Crossing
Anders worked with Jay to get the mortar clips loaded in quantity. The deck was a little less covered than he would have liked, but if he was going to join these people, his first job would be to improve that. Surely, he could obtain some steel plating and perhaps construct some kind of a well for the ammunition so that the mortar rounds could be stored below deck, where the likelyhood of being hit by a stray round or two would be far smaller.

"Let's set the rounds so that they are protected from enemy fire as much as possible without it getting in your way, when you load. And let's not load the weapon until we really need it. I don't know for sure if this thing can be properly unloaded without firing."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:09, Mon 21 Jan 2013.

Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 736 posts
 Polish Navy - CPO
 Krakow ORMO
Mon 21 Jan 2013
at 16:41
Re: The Crossing
Griet frowned as the Queen steamed into the harbour again. She turned to the Russian liaison officer and said, "Get a hold of your engineers and your load master. Tell them we need more rafts. I can handle two or three more. Also, using the raft for the horses is suicide. Move them on to the fantail, we can fit eight on there and put troops on the raft, they'll be better balanced and easier to pick up if they do go in."

She looked at the man and continued, "If your engineers can figure out how to use the material they have to extend the fantail and put a rail around that extension I'd be willing for them to modify the boat. Also tell your commander that I want the 82mm rounds loaded now, we may need them to defend you. There's a good position for the Zoo-2 on the other side, I want that ready for the next trip."
Dominique 'Boots' Connolly
 Secondary PC, 15 posts
 Major
 USAF MH-53 Pilot
Wed 23 Jan 2013
at 01:30
Re: The Crossing
Squeezed into what's become her customary corner of the bridge, Connolly glares upriver, willing the monitor not to appear.  She suppresses a flinch at the mention of the ZSU.  Checking her watch and the temperature, she keys the intercom and says, "All stations, sound off," listening carefully to the responses for the slurred speech that might indicate incipient hypothermia - or the silence that might indicate a Russian backstab.

Mentally checking off personnel, she turns to Griet.  "If we're loading more personnel on the raft, let's sling a cargo net over the railing next to it.  It'll be an extra safety measure if the raft starts to break up.And if the monitor shows up, we can get a couple dozen extra meat-shields aboard before the raft gets shredded, she adds mentally.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:44, Wed 23 Jan 2013.

Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 1488 posts
 Platoon Sergeant
 10th Mountain Division
Wed 23 Jan 2013
at 01:38
Re: The Crossing
Dominique 'Boots' Connolly:
Squeezed into what's become her customary corner of the bridge, Connolly glares upriver, willing the monitor not to appear.  She suppresses a flinch at the mention of the ZSU.  Checking her watch and the temperature, she keys the intercom and says, "All stations, sound off," listening carefully to the responses for the slurred speech that might indicate incipient hypothermia.

Tucker turns towards the bridge and gives a thumbs up and keying the radio.  "Tucker.  Good to go!"
Konrad Bayer
 player, 1824 posts
 Hauptmann
 Panzergrenadier
Wed 23 Jan 2013
at 01:44
Re: The Crossing
Bayer acknowledges Larue's transmission about the loading switch and passes it on to Griet. He then steps out of the wheelhouse, finding it cramped, and unable to see what's going on down below as well. Moving between the security team posted outside, he informs them that the Russians and horses will be swapping places for all crossings now on.
Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 1489 posts
 Platoon Sergeant
 10th Mountain Division
Wed 23 Jan 2013
at 02:01
Re: The Crossing
Konrad Bayer:
Bayer acknowledges Larue's transmission about the loading switch and passes it on to Griet. He then steps out of the wheelhouse, finding it cramped, and unable to see what's going on down below as well. Moving between the security team posted outside, he informs them that the Russians and horses will be swapping places for all crossings now on.

"I gotta better chance of communicating with the horses than I do the Russians," Tucker says to Konrad and lighting up a cigar as he shifts the weight of the RPG over his shoulder.
Daniel Larue
 player, 276 posts
 Technical Sergeant
 USAF Pararescueman
Wed 23 Jan 2013
at 02:07
Re: The Crossing
"I think the new lieutenant speaks a little bit of Commie," Danny volunteers in passing as he emerges from the galley.  "Hey, Tenth Mountain, how'd you learn to ride in the Adirondacks, anyway?"

This message was last edited by the player at 02:07, Wed 23 Jan 2013.

Jan Cerny
 player, 1524 posts
 Czech/French
 FFL
Wed 23 Jan 2013
at 09:26
Re: The Crossing
Jan watched events unfold, rather frustrated at his inability to do anything to help the man and the horses in the river.  He didn't like sitting idly by but boats and rivers in general were not his areas of expertise.

When Boots transmitted her radio check Jan waited for a gap and then replied.  "Jan checking in," he answered.

He stayed in his position with Craig, covering the Port side, occasionally enquiring if any of the Russians had anything to trade.  That became much harder when the only Russians on the Queen were those handling the horses.
Cap'n Rae
 GM, 2786 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 01:44
Re: The Crossing

For the next nighttime load, the tug crew makes some seating adjustments, placing the horses aboard the tug itself, and the bulk of their accompanying riders on the raft. Although the humans show more signs of nervousness on this trip than the horses do, all of the passengers, man and beast, make it across safely. In the meantime, the work parties in the west bank hamlet complete the second raft and  prepare the ZU-23-2 for the crossing.

When the Krolowa returns, the ZU is lifted aboard the first raft, along with its crew, while the second raft is secured to the port bow. After a small herd of horses (10 seem to be the most the tug can safely carry on her main deck, without interfering with the operation of the Vasilek) is brought aboard, a couple of squads of cavalrymen crowd on to the second raft, and the tug sets off. About mid-way across the Vistula, the second raft begins to come apart. The men on board remain calm and the rescue boat moves in to respond should the raft deposit any of its human cargo into the river. Fortunately, no one is lost and the crossing completed, but the second raft is useless, at least temporarily. The tug returns to the west bank while the one party of cavalrymen begins hauling the ZU-23-2 up the bluff and another begins reassembling the raft.

The crossings continue through the night and well into the next day. The snow stops shortly before daybreak. There's at least three inches on the ground and the sky seems to hint at delivering more before the day is through. About a quarter of the 89th's men has been deposited safely on the east bank, but less than an eight of their horses have made the crossing. The tug crew has been going non-stop for nearly 24 hours, and accidents are starting to happen- nothing serious, but the danger of a major mishap are becoming apparent to the exhausted crew. It's decided to suspend operations for a few hours so that everyone can get some rest. The ferrying operation will resume shortly after sunrise the next day.

Dawn breaks cold but the sky is no longer completely overcast. There are breaks in the clouds, allowing the sun to appear periodically. The tug begins its day's work, ferrying three loads of men and horses accross before lunch time. As midday approaches, the snow covering the bluffs on the east bank begins to glisten, as the sun's rays start to melt the topmost layer. It's a beautiful sight.

The Krolowa is just returning to the pier on the west bank when, on the bridge, the radio suddenly blares to life (it's been tuned to the 89th's frequency for the duration of the crossing). Yvgenny, a constant fixture inside the bridge since before the ferrying operations began, looks alarmed. He tranlates (into Polish),

"The observation post on the hill says the monitor is coming!"


Next Moves?
Dominique 'Boots' Connolly
 Secondary PC, 16 posts
 Major
 USAF MH-53 Pilot
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 02:17
Re: The Crossing
"Fuck ass," Connolly mutters in her best Cartman voice.  She adjusts her sunglasses and peers at Dobiegnieow's small harbor.  "Griet, there's no way we can hide the Queen in here.  They'd have to be blind to miss the plume from the boilers.  Do you think we can drop a team here with the launch, then maneuver out into the channel and hold their attention long enough to get boarders alongside?"
Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 1490 posts
 Platoon Sergeant
 10th Mountain Division
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 02:20
Re: The Crossing
Daniel Larue:
"I think the new lieutenant speaks a little bit of Commie," Danny volunteers in passing as he emerges from the galley.  "Hey, Tenth Mountain, how'd you learn to ride in the Adirondacks, anyway?"

Tucker smiles at Danny, "I grew up in New York.  I ain't no 'city slicker' or nothing like that."

This message was last edited by the player at 02:22, Thu 24 Jan 2013.

Ryan W. Carlisle, III
 player, 11 posts
 1st Lieutenant
 USMC Combat Engineer
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 03:32
Re: The Crossing
Carlisle had observed the first set of crossings with equal parts wild-eyed horror and attention to duty. Even though he'd spent considerable time on his grandfather's bison ranch in his youth, horses continued to terrify and confuse him. So, when Larue suggested a change of station, he bit at the chance.

"Yeah, sounds great. I'll play crossing guard with Ivan," he had confirmed to the PJ and, Tucker, the mountain troop. "Just keep me the fuck away from the horses."

Despite losing one of the rafts, the remainder of the evening's activity maintained a taut, but barely manageable, level of chaos. He had stolen a good couple hours of sleep before resuming operations the next morning. He was well on his way to establishing a good rhythm and headspace when word came down the line of the approaching monitor.

"Well," he uttered to no one in particular, "this should suck a lot."
Jeff D. Warren
 player, 521 posts
 American - CIA
 Special Operations Group
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 06:31
Re: The Crossing
Jeff watches the horses with a weary eye.  As some sort of reward, one relieves itself all over his boots.  He swears in Russian "Chyort!" and mutters a string of obscenities at the beast.

Stepping away, he dips his boots in the water and considers yelling at LaRue who is wearing a shit eating grin.  Just as he does though, he is called to the radio room to confirm the translation of the warning of the monitor.

"What is our next course of action? We do not have much time."
Thijs van Lincklaen
 player, 94 posts
 Sergeant-Majoor
 Dutch Marine Commando
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 11:56
Re: The Crossing
Watching from his station at the starboard Dushka, Thijs chuckled softly to himself as Warren received a load of horse apples on his boots.  He was glad he was on the upper deck and away from the horses.  Being the son of a fisherman, he would have been uncomfortable among the hairy beasts.

When tne message came that the monitor was en route, he returned to full alert, stepping up the scan for threats.
Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 739 posts
 Polish Navy - CPO
 Krakow ORMO
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 16:20
Re: The Crossing
Griet listened to Connolly and said, "It's not a bad idea but might not work here as the monitor might know of our existence and be wary. There's a small overgrown set of jetties a few kilometers upriver that might work. I'd suggest we steam back that way, drop of the boarding party and Princess there. Then we draw them past and try to hit them a few times with indirect fire. Once they're just past we'll turn and fight and fire WP on or near the monitor. Once they're engaged and hopefully confused by smoke we can release the launch. Anything less risks it getting shot up before they can close. We'd need a forward observer in the launch in case we can't see fall of shot."

Griet looked at the helicopter pilot and Kaptain Bayer, "How does that sound as a basic framework?"
Anders Mattson
 player, 38 posts
 Kapteeniluutnantti (res.)
 Finnish Navy
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 16:56
Re: The Crossing
Anders watched the rafts and wondered if he would have been able to improve them. He was no carpenter, so he didn't really say anything about it. The U.S. Marines' engineer officer he had spent time as a POW with, Ryan, was up to the task and there was probably nothing Anders could have done.

He didn't mind the horses - there had been horses near his grandparents' house and he had spent one summer hanging around the stables because of a girl, he had had a crush on but never really learned to ride them properly. The big animals reminded him of that summer and with all that had been going on during the recent years, any happy thought was a welcome one. Kristina, that was the girls name. The Finn could not help but to smile.

"So", he said to Jay, just to initiate some kind of a discussion, "How did you guys come up with this ship?" Breaking the ice wasn't maybe his best suite, but at least he was putting some effort in to it.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:57, Thu 24 Jan 2013.

Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 1491 posts
 Platoon Sergeant
 10th Mountain Division
Sat 26 Jan 2013
at 17:07
Re: The Crossing
Robert hears that the monitor has been spotted and gets the thought in his head, 'We're really fucked now!'
Cap'n Rae
 GM, 2787 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Sat 26 Jan 2013
at 17:24
The Crocodile and the Queen

The ominous and unexpected report of the approach of the Loyalist Soviet river monitor seems to cause a strange paralysis among the crew of the Wisla Krolowa. Looking through binnoculars, the shore-based OP's report is quickly verified- a large, green vessel, main gun turret clearly visible just a little forward of amidships, is motoring steadily towards the crossing zone. Accompanying the monitor, which the cavalrymen of the 89th have nicknamed the 'Crocodile', is a smaller vessel, also painted green. It looks like a modified water taxi of some sort, and appears to be armed with a couple machineguns. It's travelling significantly faster than the monitor, but winds its way ahead in lazy curls so as not to outpace its larger, slower companion. (Make successful observation rolls to see details.)

The hostile pair are a little over 4km west of the tug. If the reports are to believed, the monitor probably can't move much faster than 10kph. Considering the size of its current bow-wave, it's probably moving at or near its top speed. (Make successful small boat handling rolls to more accurately determine the hostile pair's current speed.)

Updated Tac-map: https://maps.google.com/maps/m...pn=0.040322,0.132093


Next Moves?
Anders Mattson
 player, 39 posts
 Kapteeniluutnantti (res.)
 Finnish Navy
Sat 26 Jan 2013
at 17:41
Re: The Crocodile and the Queen
"Bridge ahoy! Shall I open fire or do I let them get closer", Anders yelled up to the bridge. He was not very keen on facing the monitor as a single round from the 76mm cannon could easily penetrate the gunshield and turn him in to a purple cloud of bloody mist. Luckily, the other vessel in front of the monitor was probably blocking the shot a bit. As for the first vessel, it didn't seem too well armored, so Anders estimated, a 82mm shell would pierce the hull easily enough.
Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 740 posts
 Polish Navy - CPO
 Krakow ORMO
Sat 26 Jan 2013
at 17:53
Re: The Crocodile and the Queen
Griet scowled at the lack of feedback from the others. With little choice she turned the Queen toward the rescue boat, "Griet to engines, prepare for full steam. Griet to guns, hold fire for now, we'll wait till their closer."

She looked over at the Russian radioman and said, "Get your men in the boat to come back to us. If you can't radio them get out there and wave them in. They are dead meat on their own."

"Griet to crew," she said over the intercom, "stand by to pick up the princess."

Griet
Steering toward Princess at 10kph
Preparing for full steam

17:57, Today: Griet Niewiadomska rolled 13 using 1d20. obs.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:58, Sat 26 Jan 2013.