Ch. 19: Dobiegniewo to Wloclawek.   Posted by Cap'n Rae.Group: 0
Cap'n Rae
 GM, 2868 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Tue 14 May 2013
at 01:23
Re: Raising the Crocodile
Dominique 'Boots' Connolly:
"Our charts show some deep channels here," Connolly replies smoothly, pointing at the offending notations that support the rehearsed half-truth.  "We don't want to capsize if our repairs fail and the Crocodile sinks rapidly."  She shrugs.  "I'm not happy about the potential for collateral damage.  A quick-release shackle for the chain would have been better, but we don't have one."


The officer doesn't look particularly pleased by Connolly's explanation, but he seems to accept it at face value.

"Hm. I see. My repair crew assures me that the monitor will not sink but I understand your concern. It is a reasonable precaution. May I propose another? Would you please ask your security crew not to point their weapons at the monitor, especially as that bloody great anti-aircraft cannon [the ZU-23-2]? It's making my men uneasy, and they have unloaded their rifles at your request. Also, I wish to stay aboard [the Krolowa] to act as liaison between my men and your tug crew."
Dominique 'Boots' Connolly
 Secondary PC, 65 posts
 Major
 USAF MH-53 Pilot
Tue 14 May 2013
at 10:26
Re: Raising the Crocodile
Connolly doesn't bother to suppress a twitch at the mention of the Zoo.  "I hate that thing myself, Captain."  She turns to Jan.  "Jan, please tell the gunners not to cover the Crocodile."  The subtext of Unless they give us a reason goes unstated, but she doesn't think any of the crew will misunderstand.

Turning back to Grinkov, she continues, "Feel free to stay aboard, and bring over a radioman if you need.  Would you like to check in with your troops who are aboard the Queen?  They were a little nervous during yesterday's attack."
Mariusz Tokarski
 player, 1161 posts
 Polish
 Teenaged Partisan
Tue 14 May 2013
at 16:18
Re: Raising the Crocodile
Mariusz looked at the Russian Captain and said, "Captain, provided you have brought rations for the men we have on board here, I can make them a meal using our galley."


Mariusz assumed that since they'd explained to the Torun garrison that the men hadn't been fed in a few days that the salvage boat would have some extra supplies, "Would you like to dine with them?"
Jan Cerny
 player, 1615 posts
 Czech/French
 FFL
Tue 14 May 2013
at 22:02
Re: Raising the Crocodile
"I will get the Zoo crew to not aim at the Monitor," replied Jan with a nod to Boots, understanding her intentions.

Before leaving however he turned to Captain Grinkov and asked him a couple of questions. "Capitaine, do you have any idea who might have attacked us yesterday morning?  Do you know of threats in this area and on this side of the river?"
Cap'n Rae
 GM, 2869 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Wed 15 May 2013
at 01:05
Re: Raising the Crocodile
Jan Cerny:
Before leaving however he turned to Captain Grinkov and asked him a couple of questions. "Capitaine, do you have any idea who might have attacked us yesterday morning?  Do you know of threats in this area and on this side of the river?"


The officer raises his eyebrows and gestures towards the Czech as if to suggest that Jan already knows the answer to his own question.

"They were probably deserters from the 89th cavalry division. I believe you have already met some of their comrades." The Red Army officer smirks knowingly.
Jan Cerny
 player, 1616 posts
 Czech/French
 FFL
Wed 15 May 2013
at 13:11
Re: Raising the Crocodile
Jan glared at the Russian officer.  Grinkov's comment had been fair but the smirk was unnecessary.  It demeaned the losses they had suffered.

Rather than let his temper get away with him Jan left the bridge instead and went to re-aim the Zoo.  As he thought about it further he wasn't sure that he agreed with Grinkov however.  Deserters didn't attack like that as their ambush served no real purpose, at least none for deserters.  They would have wanted to either capture prisoners to trade for a ransom or they would have tried to capture the Queen.  An ambush designed to kill as many of the Queen's crew as possible did not aid them with either of those objectives.

The attackers had also been dressed in winter whites and had had the discipline to approach and set up their ambush in the middle of a snow storm.  That also didn't sound like the work of deserters.

Jan continued to ponder while he organised the Zoo as Boots had suggested.
Daniel Larue
 player, 333 posts
 Technical Sergeant
 USAF Pararescueman
Thu 16 May 2013
at 00:52
Re: Raising the Crocodile
With all his patients stable and little to add to the salvage operation, Danny has time to brood.  He finds himself leaning on the railing by the port Dishka, noting that a few of his teammates are wearing painfully oversized body armor and trying to figure out if he has the tools to fix that without wrecking the laminate.  Thoughts of sewing inevitably lead to thoughts about sutures, which naturally free-associate to casualties.  He blinks, attempting to banish the mushy feeling of Warren's skull under his fingertips, and then frowns, replaying the ambush's aftermath.

He's still frowning when he finds Tuck, who has the dubious fortune of being the first member of the command group to cross his path.  "Heya, Tenth Mountain," he greets the infantryman, "you got a sec?"  He glances around to ensure none of the Russians are within earshot.

"Something's bugging me about that fight yesterday," he says once he's sure of not being overheard.  "Need you to check me on this.  Anyone who knew enough to set up and wait for us right there had to have seen the Queen and would've figured out that our gunners would blow the shit out of 'em.  So they made themselves targets but they didn't really have much chance of winning the fight after the first ten seconds, which sounds kind of stupid.  And we did blow the shit out of that whole treeline and only found two bodies.  That has me thinking they opened up and then pulled back after the first volley.  And if that was the plan all along, what else was goin' on while we were all focused on them?"

He turns and gazes across the river toward the east bank.  "'course, I could just be paranoid," he concludes.
Cap'n Rae
 GM, 2873 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Thu 16 May 2013
at 19:43
Torun, Ho!

Having been assured that the monitor is no longer under the Krolowa's guns, Grinkov politely decline's Mariusz's offer and takes his leave of the tug, boarding the pilot boat for the trip to Torun.

The Krolowa presses slowly forward, pulling gently but insistently at the stuck monitor. The towing cable stretches taught between the two vessels as Griet applies more power to the tug's screws. Her props bite into the cold water and her stern droops as she gives it all she's got. The Krolowa's rebuilt engines strain against the load, thick smoke pouring from her stack. The monitor seems to balk for a few seconds, held fast by the sucking mud. A sudden lurch and then it breaks free. A couple of the salvagers lose their footing and fall heavily on the damaged sheet metal roof that covers most of the former landing craft's troop bay. They quickly regain their feet and raise a brief cheer.

The Krolowa tugs the refloated monitor out into the middle of the broad river and then turns its blunt bows downriver towards Torun. The pilot boat is out in front, about 50m ahead of the tug. The monitor is at the end of its tether, about 30m directly aft. Griet eases back the throttle, bringing the Krolowa to a safe, steady 10kph. With the shallow-draft monitor free from the mud, the river tug seems to have no problem towing it along. The ZU-23-2 mounted on the Krolowa's broad poop deck is pointed at the west bank- the last direction from which the tug's people had been attacked.

The first obstacle in the little river convoy's path is the shattered barrage at Wloclawek. The pilot boat has no problem negotiating the wide gap blown in the concrete shelf. The tug's a bigger vessel, and with an ungainly burden besides, but Griet expertly steers the Krolowa through the breach, pulling the monitor safely through as well. With the Vistula no longer tamed by the destroyed damn at Wloclawek, the channel widens again, the sandbanks that used to choke this stretch of the river washed away by the water's unrestrained, unrelenting force. Still, on a couple of occasions, Griet has to slalom through a couple of shallows.

A little over four hours pass as the colorless banks glide by on either side. A couple of inches of snow still cover most of the ground, despite the last two days of steady sunshine. Past a sharp left turn in the river, Torun comes into view on the bridge- it's large town, spared by most of the heaviest fighting, currently home to several thousand civilians as well as the 1000 or so troopers of the loyalist Soviet 93rd cavalry division. Most of the town is on the east/north side of the river. An intact highway bridge spans the river up ahead. The radio on the bridge crackles to life,

"Krolowa, this is Captain Grinkov. Make for the dock on the north bank, about 250m past the bridge. Over."

The jetty that Grinkov mentioned is still about 2.5 km away, just visible through binoculars. Anticipating their imminent arrival back at their warm Polish lodgings, the salvage crew aboard the monitor begins to stir.


Updated tac-map: https://maps.google.com/maps/m...pn=0.041367,0.132093


Next Moves?

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:13, Thu 16 May 2013.

Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 804 posts
 Polish Navy - CPO
 Krakow ORMO
Thu 16 May 2013
at 21:08
Re: Torun, Ho!
Griet stood at the wheel and kept the boat moving steadily toward the dock she looked over at Boots and said, "Tell them to have the dockside crew ready at the mouth of the dock where we arranged the drop off, they can cast lines over to the Crocodile before we cast off. I'm going to swing the monitor by her stern so that we're as far from the shore as we can be when they catch her. Get ready to cast off if the Torunians don't."


She spoke softly to Bayer, "Do you think we should have some of the hostages with their hands secured on deck? They would serve as a detterant to any snipers or heavy weapons."

She kept moving, getting reaady for the tricky manouvre she intended to attempt.
Thijs van Lincklaen
 player, 138 posts
 Sergeant-Majoor
 Dutch Marine Commando
Thu 16 May 2013
at 21:59
Re: Torun, Ho!
Most of the trip down the river, Thijs stood by at the side of the starboard DShK with a hand atop the Degtyarev-Shpagin's receiver, the barrel in an elevated position.  He kept scanning the bank on his side of the tug, sparing an occasional look at the Crocodile, making sure everything was kosher.

As the Krolowa approached Torun, he shifted to a position behind the gun, but had not yet brought it to firing position.  In all other respects, the gun was ready for action.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:00, Thu 16 May 2013.

Dominique 'Boots' Connolly
 Secondary PC, 67 posts
 Major
 USAF MH-53 Pilot
Fri 17 May 2013
at 00:13
Re: Torun, Ho!
Connolly mentally runs through the checklist of things she'd meant to do on the voyage downriver:

• Send Mariusz to prepare a hot meal: done.
• Rotate everyone through the galley long enough to sit down and eat: done.
• Send Larue around to check everyone for cold-related injuries: done.
• Ditto for checking status on the already-injured: done, though I'm pretty sure Mac is lying about being ready for full duty.
• Clear decks for action and damage control: done, as much as we can.
• Make sure the prisoners aren't staging for anything: done, though I wish we still had Warren to talk to them…
• Go through Warren's effects to see if he had any intel about Torun he wasn't sharing with us… shit, I knew I missed something…


She banishes the thought with an irritated toss of her head as the radio crackles with Grinkov's directions.  Acknowledging Griet with a nod, she picks up the microphone.  "Queen acknowledges.  Please tell your shore party to stand by to throw lines. We'll swing the monitor into position with a hard turn to port.  Over."

Waiting for Grinkov's response, she turns to Griet and interjects, "They already know we have their men on board.  I'd rather not give them the chance to run around and cause mischief when Jay's kukri can keep them penned up in one compartment."

She raises her recently-acquired field glasses to her eyes and scans the bridge's span and abutments, then gazes past it to the pier Grinkov indicated.  "Although," she observes absently, "if these guys are hard-line Soviets, they may think losing a dozen expendable sailors is worth the chance of getting their hands on this boat."

This message was last edited by the player at 00:14, Fri 17 May 2013.

Cap'n Rae
 GM, 2875 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Fri 17 May 2013
at 00:30
Re: Torun, Ho!
Dominique 'Boots' Connolly:
She banishes the thought with an irritated toss of her head as the radio crackles with Grinkov's directions.  Acknowledging Griet with a nod, she picks up the microphone.  "Queen acknowledges.  Please tell your shore party to stand by to throw lines. We'll swing the monitor into position with a hard turn to port.  Over."


"Negative, Queen. The monitor's steering equipment is damaged and she has no power to stop. Please pull in directly to the dock and do so slowly. Over."

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:31, Fri 17 May 2013.

Dominique 'Boots' Connolly
 Secondary PC, 68 posts
 Major
 USAF MH-53 Pilot
Fri 17 May 2013
at 00:55
Re: Torun, Ho!
Connolly lowers the glasses and silently raises an eyebrow at Griet.
Minh Quyen
 player, 693 posts
 Spec-4
 U.S. Army Military Police
Fri 17 May 2013
at 02:04
Re: Torun, Ho!
Quyen keeps the prisoners under guard. When she hears that they've arrived at Torun she tells them to sit on their hands and face away from her and the door. By now she has on all of her fighting gear and is armed with her rifle. She keeps as far away from the Russians as possible to avoid any of them making a move at her.
Mrityunjay Byanjankar
 player, 566 posts
 Naik (Corporal)
 Gurkha Rifles
Fri 17 May 2013
at 05:36
Re: Torun, Ho!
Jay stood quietly with Minh on guard duty with rifle in hand. He said nothing, giving off a mean and moody vibe. This was not some gung-ho macho bullshit, more that he didn't speak Russian or Polish, and they probably didn't speak much English, and he had nothing to say to them. Still, it didn't manage to convey a fuck with me and I'll cut your fucking head off and spit down your throat atmosphere. Over many years the Gurkhas had built their reputation as ruthless killers and fanatical warriors, and he had no intention of letting that slide today.

He looked relaxed, but was ready to spring if anything happened. If any of the prisoners tried anything they would get a burst of hot lead to the groin.
Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 1535 posts
 Platoon Sergeant
 10th Mountain Division
Fri 17 May 2013
at 12:52
Re: Raising the Crocodile
Daniel Larue:
He's still frowning when he finds Tuck, who has the dubious fortune of being the first member of the command group to cross his path.  "Heya, Tenth Mountain," he greets the infantryman, "you got a sec?"  He glances around to ensure none of the Russians are within earshot.

"Something's bugging me about that fight yesterday," he says once he's sure of not being overheard.  "Need you to check me on this.  Anyone who knew enough to set up and wait for us right there had to have seen the Queen and would've figured out that our gunners would blow the shit out of 'em.  So they made themselves targets but they didn't really have much chance of winning the fight after the first ten seconds, which sounds kind of stupid.  And we did blow the shit out of that whole treeline and only found two bodies.  That has me thinking they opened up and then pulled back after the first volley.  And if that was the plan all along, what else was goin' on while we were all focused on them?"

He turns and gazes across the river toward the east bank.  "'course, I could just be paranoid," he concludes.

Leaning over the rail of the Queen trying to enjoy one of his cigars trying to deal with the loss of another crew member in an ambush that really didn't make sense, Robert turns his head to Danny when he calls out to him.   "Well, well, well!  If it isn't Uncle Sam's favorite Para Jumper.  What can I do for ya Danny?" Tucker says with a smile as he pushes off of the rail to talk to LaRue.

"The shit did cross my mind Danny.  I can't put my finger on it but, I don't know how it's related.  It just seems too much of a coincidence that we got hit when we went ashore.  It was almost like a probe to see we would do.  I would like to think it wasn't the 89th we just helped across the Vistula.  I think when we get into Torun we need to keep on our toes."
Konrad Bayer
 player, 1871 posts
 Hauptmann
 Panzergrenadier
Fri 17 May 2013
at 12:59
Re: Torun, Ho!
Griet Niewiadomska:
She spoke softly to Bayer, "Do you think we should have some of the hostages with their hands secured on deck? They would serve as a detterant to any snipers or heavy weapons."


Bayer shakes his head a little, "No. If they are going to try shooting at us then they've already decided to throw away the lives of those men." He then adds, "I'll be outside. Get us out of here as soon as you can."

Bayer then leaves the wheelhouse and grabs Jan, Tucker, and Danny. "Jan, reinforce the starboard side and keep an eye on the dock. Robert, stand by to light that charge Quyen rigged up on the cable. La Rue, I need you to get up to the bridge and watch that Russian."
Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 805 posts
 Polish Navy - CPO
 Krakow ORMO
Fri 17 May 2013
at 18:09
Re: Torun, Ho!
"They don't need to steer," Griet said, "we can push the monitor close enough to shore for them to secure it and tow it into the dock. If we actually sail into the dock we'll be surrounded on all sides and our ounly route of escape will be a narrow channel. I specifically said that we would not go into the dock and if they're trying to change things now I'm very reluctant to do it."
Craig Sutherland
 player, 652 posts
 Lieutenant
 42 Commando Royal Marines
Fri 17 May 2013
at 21:25
Re: Torun, Ho!

Craig took up his assigned position behind the HMG on the port side. He orientated the heavy gun to face the monitor and waited behind the gun shield. The Gun was slick with the melt from the night before as was the deck where he was standing. He gave  it a quick visual check and then lifting the receiver cover made sure the belt was seated properly.

When the town came into view he lifted his binoculars to take a long look at their destination. It was rare to see a town or city not partially seared off the face of the earth through fire and violence. He thought to himself it was a shame that they could not do some trading, but looking again to the monitor it looked as starting trade with river traffic was not on their minds. More a legitimate pirate operation similar to the one they had smashed before Warsaw.
Jan Cerny
 player, 1620 posts
 Czech/French
 FFL
Fri 17 May 2013
at 22:52
Re: Torun, Ho!
Jan nodded at his instruction from Konrad and quickly moved over to the starboard side of the boat.  There he found himself a good position where he could hunker down and use the gunwale for cover and then pulled out his binoculars.  He then started to scan to dock area, looking for any troops who seemed like they might be up to some kind of double cross.

He had his rifle near to hand, just in case mayhem broke out.
Dominique 'Boots' Connolly
 Secondary PC, 69 posts
 Major
 USAF MH-53 Pilot
Sat 18 May 2013
at 01:40
Re: Torun, Ho!
Connolly nods at Griet and keys the mic.  "Captain, we'll bring the monitor into dock according to plan.  We can slow her with tension on the chain until your mooring lines are secured."

Releasing the transmit key, she growls, "'Do so slowly.'  Jackass, do we look like a Viper in full burner with a six-foot hard-on?"

This message was last edited by the player at 01:44, Sat 18 May 2013.

Daniel Larue
 player, 334 posts
 Technical Sergeant
 USAF Pararescueman
Sat 18 May 2013
at 01:56
Re: Torun, Ho!
Danny frowns at Tuck's analysis.  "Yeah, if somebody wanted to see how we react, they got a pretty good look."  He tilts his head toward the approaching city, then turns at Konrad's approach.  "Yessir.  Hey, Tuck, keep that cigar goin'.  We may need to see if Butch used enough dynamite."  He tosses the platoon sergeant a tight grin and heads for the stairs.

He pushes into the bridge in time to hear the end of Boots' comment.  "Whoa!  Sorry to interrupt the girl talk," he deadpans.  He swipes Griet's binoculars and focuses them on the pilot boat.  "Hauptmann wants me to keep an eye on our little buddy out there," he explains belatedly, ignoring Connolly's growl.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:58, Sat 18 May 2013.

Cap'n Rae
 GM, 2878 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Sat 18 May 2013
at 02:35
Re: Torun, Ho!
Dominique 'Boots' Connolly:
Connolly nods at Griet and keys the mic.  "Captain, we'll bring the monitor into dock according to plan.  We can slow her with tension on the chain until your mooring lines are secured."


There's a long pause before Grinkov's voice breaks the silence, "At least slow down first. I don't want the monitor swung hard into the concrete. You're going too fast. Over."

He doesn't sound happy.

Looking through Griet's binoculars at the pilot boat up ahead, Connolly spies someone crouched down low behind the smaller vessel's stern gunwale. The other visible crewmen aboard the pilot boat pay the motionless hunched figure no mind. Perhaps he's doing some mechanical work or something to that effect.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:58, Sat 18 May 2013.

Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 806 posts
 Polish Navy - CPO
 Krakow ORMO
Sat 18 May 2013
at 15:13
Re: Torun, Ho!
Griet pushed the power until the tug had crossed the currents and the monitor was out of the main drag of the river. Then she reversed the power and brought the stern of the tug so that it bumped against the prow of the minitor and she used the thrusters to kill the salvaged vehicle's momentum whilst keeping the stern facing toward the bank.

As the monitor slowed to a halt in the stream she said to Boots, "Get the salvagers as far away from the prow as they can go. Keep an eye on them as we begin to close with the shore."

She switched to the intercom and said, "Deck Crew, be ready to cast off manually on my orders."
Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 1537 posts
 Platoon Sergeant
 10th Mountain Division
Sun 19 May 2013
at 00:32
Re: Torun, Ho!
Daniel Larue:
Danny frowns at Tuck's analysis.  "Yeah, if somebody wanted to see how we react, they got a pretty good look."  He tilts his head toward the approaching city, then turns at Konrad's approach.  "Yessir.  Hey, Tuck, keep that cigar goin'.  We may need to see if Butch used enough dynamite."  He tosses the platoon sergeant a tight grin and heads for the stairs.

"I wouldn't be surprise if we got hit when we got closer to the dock."

Konrad Bayer:
Bayer then leaves the wheelhouse and grabs Jan, Tucker, and Danny. "Jan, reinforce the starboard side and keep an eye on the dock. Robert, stand by to light that charge Quyen rigged up on the cable. La Rue, I need you to get up to the bridge and watch that Russian."

"I'll be on it Boss.  We going full kit on this right?"