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Rosa: Queen of Hearts

written series fun little project

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Sgt Becket FEAR #1 Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:38 PM

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Hey everyone,

 

So, as I have mentioned a few times, I write stories as a hobby and I even make a small living doing it through a publishing company that I work with. I have had the idea to write a story about Rosa for a while but I finally decided to get started on it last month.

 

As I normally use a dedicated website for publishing these things, I am going to try to improvise as best I can.

 

I envision this being a fairly short series of maybe 1-5 chapters at most. I will update as I work on it.

 

Anyway, I do not expect much to come from posting this so this is more just some silly project I can work on. However, I appreciate any feedback :)

 

Have a wonderful day! ^_^

 


Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

__________________________________________________________________________


Sgt Becket FEAR #2 Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:40 PM

    Major

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Title: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

Origin: World of Tanks

Genre: Adventure/War/Tragic

POV: Major Scarlet

Ch.1: Capturing the Fuel Depot

 

“Commander, Headquarters is demanding an update on our progress.”

 

The annoyingly timid voice of her crew’s radio operator could just barely be heard over the roar of the Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. E’s massive cast-iron Maybach HL 230 TRM P45 engine. The 23.88 Liter V12 beast had been salvaged out of another Ausf. E Tiger and installed into her tank when a lucky hit from an enemy field gun had penetrated the 80mm armored plate of the rear hull and damaged her tank’s existing earlier model HL230 engine. After a supercharger had been installed by the crew’s resident hotshot mechanic, the loader Otto, the twelve hundred kilogram powerhouse propelled the sixty one ton Tiger tank with approximately eight hundred and seventy horsepower, which allowed it to reach a speed of nearly 40 kph under ideal circumstances. It did, however, make a near deafening amount of noise and consumed fuel as if it was a pregnant pig chowing down on the slop in its trough with the abysmal fuel consumption rate of 4.32 liters/km on paved roads and 6.75 liters/km when traveling cross-country.

 

From where she was sitting in her seat examining the terrain around her in a vulnerable position out of the commander’s hatch located in the left rear section of the roof of her Tiger’s circular turret, Major Scarlet replied with an exhausted, irritated manner, “Unless they have something useful to tell me, tell them to go bother some bootlicking tin soldier. We’re busy doing the actual fighting and will contact them once we complete our object.”

 

Instead of following her orders, Hansel gave Headquarters a perfectly formal response that was most likely nearly word-for-word what his drill instructor had programmed into the impressionable young man during his time in training. The hardened veteran subconsciously clenched her teeth out of habit as she scowled in frustration as she knew that his response gave the idiots even more reason to contact them again soon and also give them even more increasingly near impossible orders. Her frustration seemingly gave her a literal headache as, seconds later, a sharp, shooting pain erupted out of the healing wound on the right side of her forehead.

 

Nausea hit her as the agony spread to the rest of her lithe body, causing her to have to lean over and rest on top of the dented and scratched surface of the Maschinengewehr 34 Panzerlauf that was mounted on the turret roof just in front of the commander’s hatch for a brief moment. As she fought to rally her still young but also slowly deteriorating body, she instinctually reached up to the blood-soaked bandage on her forehead with her glossy black leather glove-clad right hand.

 

Lengths of dark brown hair, some of which were encrusted with dried blood, partially obscured the wrapped cloth bandage that covered the stitched wound on the right side of the crown of her head that was a result of her splitting open her head when she had been thrown into one of the interior walls of the turret as her Tiger tank was rammed in its left side by an enemy KV-1 Heavy Tank. Scarlet had ordered her crew to focus on dealing with the far more dangerous IS-2 Heavy Tank armed with its lethal 122mm main gun and the accompanying obsolete KV-1 had apparently grown impatient when its small, underpowered 76.2mm main gun was failing to penetrate the thick armor of the Tiger that was only mere feet away in the remains of what had been a town’s central plaza before war had reduced the streets and buildings to rubble.

 

Due to the close distance between the two tanks, she had not had enough time to brace herself before the heavy hull of the Soviet tank had slammed into the side of her Tiger. She had been nearly knocked unconscious by the blow but, as the Soviet tanks would both soon learn, it would be a cold day in Hell before she would ever allow herself to yield in any way to anyone. As a result of her mounting injuries and general fatigue, her ability to lead had been called into question by the fat old men who had the nerve to call themselves her superiors. However, if anyone was going to lead her crew, her Tiger, and the three Tigers under her command on yet another mission of almost certain suicide, it was going to be her.

 

The way she saw it, there was no available proper replacement for her. The brutal, senseless war had ravaged their ranks and most tank commanders now had limited, if any, real combat experience. The success of the mission was vital and she would rather die than allow failure because some scratches and a little exhaustion had caused some junior officer to be in charge of the assault instead of her. After all, she had been in near continuous combat for more than three years and had personally commanded her Tiger in almost three thousand combat missions. Scarlet had reached the rank of Major but her place was always going to be slogging through the hells of the frontline standing between her people and total annihilation by the enemy.

 

Having grown up as an orphan following the nightmarish hell of World War I, she knew from first-hand experience what would happen to her beloved German people should she fail to protect them. She hated the inhumanly evil abomination that her country had become but she loved the poor complacent fools that had no idea just how equally brutal the retribution for their horribly misplaced devotion to a path that could only ever bring about their destruction would be once soldiers such as herself could no longer hold back the inevitable. Her own ruined childhood spent in a wounded, heartless world caused her to not desire to live to see another ruined Germany of rubble, ruin, and broken humanity and, thus, she would fight on until the bitter end giving her final breath to take one final enemy down with her before her demise.


Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

__________________________________________________________________________


Sgt Becket FEAR #3 Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:42 PM

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Steeling herself, Scarlet forced her battle-scarred body onwards. The pain racking her body faded into a dull throb located around the spot on her forehead while she raised herself back up upright. Irritated that she had just disheveled her uniform, she began to address her disheveled appearance. First, she readjusted her black Schiffchen M38 officer’s cap, which she had modified against regulations by removing the metal stiffener to allow the cap to crush down and make wearing it in addition to her radio headset, which she had learned the hard way to keep one ear uncovered so she could properly hear all of her surroundings, in the tight confines of her Tiger much easier. Then, she reached down and straightened her worn but still very presentable tight-fitting black wool hip-length double-breasted jacket and trousers that were specifically designed for and worn by soldiers of the Panzertruppe.

 

Totenkopf “Death’s-head” silver human skull insignias were in the center of the square-shaped collar patches to further designate her as being part of the Heer’s Panzer Divisions in addition to the rosa-pink Waffenfarbe collar piping. Meanwhile, on her jacket’s shoulderboards were the pair of mirror-imaged patches that consisted of interwoven patterns of silver ribbons with a rosa-pink border around them, which were made by plaiting together double widths of Russia braid and looping them to form a buttonhole, all of which was then sewn to a Waffenfarbe underlay. The lack of any gilt pips on her shoulderboards and the rosa-pink border identified her as a Major of the Armored Corps. Her refusal to use the Nazi salute in any circumstance and her well-known hatred for everything her superiors stood for meant that her rank was all but meaningless in the eyes of the German High Command.

 

Due to the heat of the mid-Summer weather, she was wearing her jacket open-collar, which revealed the mouse grey, fully buttoned up shirt that was beneath it as well as her impeccably tied black necktie. In addition to her necktie, she had a pair of black binoculars attached around her neck by a strap that was long enough to allow the optical equipment to rest against her chest when she let them hang down. Attached to the right side of her waist via a black leather belt was her holstered Walther P38 9x19mm semi-automatic sidearm. Finally, the tapered cuffs of her trousers were neatly inserted into her knee-length black boots, which had been polished to a nearly flawless mirror gloss. Other members of the Heer sometimes mocked her for keeping her uniform as sharp and professional as she could at all times but, since her death was inevitable, she was going to ensure that, if nothing else, she would at least be the best dressed casualty of the war.

 

Having re-situated herself, she reached into the tank with her left hand and retrieved a wrapped bar of chocolate. Headquarters occasionally issued bars of chocolate to her crew before the hardest missions and they really seemed to improve their performance, which caused her to speculate that they were laced with something. However, it was certain that the Tiger commander would not survive the war and live long enough for the aftereffects of the drugs to be an issue so she just went along with it.

 

With the time for the assault to begin rapidly approaching, the young brunette savored the moment and enjoyed her relatively peaceful surroundings. The early morning Sun had revealed the landscape around her and she saw that there was even a light cloud of mist hovering just above the ankle-high grass around her Tiger. In a world not consumed by endless warfare, she would have despised anyone who dared to harm this peaceful Eden but, in this world, she would actually be the corrupter of this innocent landscape. Sure enough, just as she finished her chocolate bar, the calm morning air was shattered by the hum of the engines of multiple aircraft in addition to the thunderous report of both friendly and enemy batteries of field guns as they opened fire on each other’s infantry positions.

 

Scarlet sighed and then tossed the empty wrapper onto the ground off to the left of her tank. Turning to look behind her, she saw the three late model Ausf. E Tigers that were parked in single-file behind hers. Unlike her tank, the three behind her were horribly undistinguished aside from their respective identification numbers on the side of their turrets and the alterations of locations of sections of spare metal track that offered additional armor to vulnerable spots such as the lower frontal plate. They even sported the original dark grey hull though there were sections that were now starting to rust as exposure to the rough conditions of combat had weathered and corroded their exteriors. This had, however, been at her request that the other Tigers were far less distinguished from hers as she wanted the enemy to target her tank rather than the ones of her subordinates.

 

Upon joining the Heer’s armored units, Scarlet had been given command of a salvaged, badly damaged Tiger that had been heartlessly abandoned by its former commander and crew. Drawing inspiration from the line in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet about a rose by any other name smelling just as sweet, she had named the Tiger “Rosa” and had even neatly painted the name in stylized white lettering onto the center of the curved right wall of the turret and also in the middle of the front armor skirt just below where the wooden-handled steel shovel was mounted to the hull. In addition, due to her fondness for the classic deck of playing cards, she had painted over the Iron Cross markings on the sides of the turret near the gun mantle and replaced them with large, dark red hearts as a reference to the Queen of Hearts. As her actions drew more and more attention from both her allies and enemies, she had decided to seize upon her growing infamy by painting her Tiger with unique camouflage patterns to even more openly incite the enemy to try to have the glory of being the one to finally kill the infamous German tank commander. For this mission, Rosa had been painted with her classic tan with numerous dark brown and olive green stripes.

 

In addition, due to the extended amount of time that they would deployed out in the field on this assignment, they had various items such as cooking equipment, medical supplies, additional boxes of 7.92x57mm Mauser ammunition for their MG 34 machine guns, a crate of Panzerfaust 100mm single-use rocket launchers, and several crates of spare parts. The supplies had been put on the rear deck of the hull above the engine compartment in such a way that the jigsaw puzzle-like arrangement of armored panels could still be accessed to allow the crew to refuel the tanks or gain access to the engine for repairs. In addition, the supplies had also been placed in such a way to allow the large, flat armored, classic German square-shaped design of the Tiger to perform as a makeshift transport for foot soldiers should the need arise. Two large logs had been attached to the left and right sides of the tank so that they could be used in the admittedly far too common event of Rosa’s sixty one ton frame getting stuck in mud.


Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

__________________________________________________________________________


Sgt Becket FEAR #4 Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:44 PM

    Major

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However, all of the Tigers in her group shared one thing in common: the numerous alternating black and white rings that extended down the length of the barrel of their main guns just after the large compensator on the muzzle. The marks of excellence were a testament to the group’s dedication to their noteworthy performance in battle. Rosa and Tiger 913 both had nine rings while Tiger 870 and Tiger 932 both had six. At one time, Scarlet’s group had fourteen Tigers but only Rosa and Tiger 913 now survived out of the original group. 870 had been transferred in from a disbanded division and 932 and its crew had been assigned to the group straight out of training mere months prior. In addition, in keeping with the deck of cards tradition of Scarlet’s group, Rosa’s callsign was “Queen of Hearts”, 913 was referred to as “King of Clubs”, 870 was referred to as “King of Spades”, and 932 was referred to as “King of Diamonds”. Moreover, assignment objectives and markers were referred to by using codenames such as “Ace of Spades”.

 

After turning back around, Scarlet raised the mouth piece of her shortwave radio closer to her mouth with her gloved left hand and then ordered the tanks, “All units, advance!”

 

Shaking the very Earth beneath them and ripping up the ground with their metal tracks, the box-shaped behemoths began to move forward towards their objective with Rosa taking point as she was followed by Tiger 913, 870, and then finally 932. The large twin exhaust pipes that were sticking straight up from where they were attached to the rear of the hull beneath protective armored sleeves ejected thick black smoke out of their openings as the roaring massive engine and squeaking metal tracks gave off their unmistakable mechanical signature that every enemy tank and soldier knew to fear. The relatively flat ground soon turned into a shallow incline as they reached the soft hill that they had been parked at the base of during the night. Rosa’s driver, a relatively quiet young man by the name of Heinz, dropped the Tiger down into its low first gear to allow it to power its way up the hill despite the loose, wet ground.

 

With her tank slowly crawling up to the top of the hill, Scarlet retrieved the folded up 2D map that she had been provided by Command from inside the tank. According to the noticeably outdated map, at the base of the hill on the opposite side was a wide, two lane gravel road that snaked through the two hundred and thirty mile target area. They had entered the area on the far bottom left corner of the map and their target, a city that was the central hub for the region’s life sustaining railway networks, was at the very end of the road at the top right corner.

 

Flanking the main road on both sides were wild grass fields and occasional patches of untamed forest, all of which, aside from a few farm houses that were located down dead end diverging roads, were reported to be uninhabited. A river ran through the center of the map and a small town was located were the main road and the river intersected. The large, re-purposed former railway bridge located in the town would have to be captured due to the fact that the river was too wide and deep for the Tigers to be able to ford across and they would likely become stuck in the muddy bank if they decided to tempt fate by trying to do so anyway. There were several other small towns dotting the area with most of them located along or at least near the main road itself. There were also a few hills surrounding the road at various points, which would have to be monitored very closely as they approached since they were perfect firing positions for enemy anti-tank gun crews and Tank Destroyers.

 

Two locations had been marked along the length of the snaking road to identify where the enemy had placed large supply depots, which Scarlet would need to capture in order to keep Rosa and the other Tigers on the road towards the town. Since they had already expended approximately fifty gallons of their one hundred and twenty five gallons of fuel that were stored in each Tiger’s four on-board fuel tanks, capturing the first depot would be essential in order to meet the four day deadline for the completion of their mission. It was also the reason why they would have to travel along the road as much as possible. She had requested additional fuel in portable metal containers along with their other supplies as they had done so in the past but her request had been denied due to the increasing scarcity of fuel in the German War Machine.

 

The exact details of the enemy strength in the area was deemed to be “need to know”, which meant that Scarlet would be leading the four Tigers into battle against vastly superior numbers with a near impossible chance of survival let alone success. Several Panzertruppen and Panzergrenadier divisions along with multiple supporting Grenadier divisions had been sent in over the previous few weeks to recapture the primary city and none of them had even gotten close to just the outskirts of the strategically vital target. The stalled German counterassault had become bogged down and now the frontline was an absolutely disastrous mess with various groups cut off from each other despite their best attempts to link up. Out of desperation, Major Scarlet and her Tigers had been brought in to break through the enemy lines before the next organized wave of enemy reinforcements sealed the fate of the German forces in the region.

 

Upon nearing the top of the hill, the veteran commander began to hear the distinct sound of small arms fire. After returning the map back into the interior of her tank, she reached forward to grip the MG 34 before her. Meanwhile, she ordered her loader, “Otto, load a high explosive shell and then standby to open fire with the coaxial.”

 

While almost every other Tiger was armed with the 8.8cm Kw.K. 36 L/56 rifled cannon, Rosa was one of only two Ausf. E models that had been specially modified to sport the 8.8 cm Kw.K. 43 L/71 rifled cannon that was mounted in the Ausf. B “King” Tiger II’s. While they were the same caliber, the L/71 was vastly superior in penetration, range, and accuracy and was arguably one of the best AT guns in the German arsenal. Combined with Rosa’s large ammunition capacity of 72 rounds, which consisted of 42 PzGr 39/43 Armor Piercing rounds, 20 PzGr 40/43 Armor Piercing Tungsten Carbide Core rounds, and 10 SprGr 43 High Explosive Rounds, the Kw.K. 43 made the battle hardened juggernaut a formidable foe for all that dared to challenge her. However, the increase in firepower came at the price of greater weight, which increased the stress placed upon the war machine’s already burdened mechanisms, and also an increased hindrance on the tank’s movement in urban environments due to the longer barrel length.

Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

__________________________________________________________________________


Sgt Becket FEAR #5 Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:48 PM

    Major

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  • 10010 battles
  • 7,242
  • [ROSA]
  • Member since:
    04-19-2014

Moments later, Otto replied, “High Explosive loaded! Standing by on the coaxial, Ma’am!”

 

Pressing the stock of the MG 34 into her right shoulder, Scarlet reached forward with her gloved right hand and then firmly gripped the bolt that stuck out off the right side of the heavy metal frame of the receiver. Just as her tank reached the top of the hill, she firmly pulled the bolt back towards her until it was caught and held in place by the sear. The area beyond the hill came into view and the wounded but unwavering commander pushed any unnecessary thoughts out of her mind and gripped the trigger of the machine gun with her right hand.

 

At the base of the hill was indeed the road, though now it was damaged with numerous shell craters. Abandoned pieces of miscellaneous equipment such as discarded, empty gun magazines and compromised helmets were strewn along the surface of the road as well as the bodies of multiple fallen soldiers. Approximately fifty meters down the road to the right was the smoldering remains of a disabled Panzer III Medium Tank. The twenty five ton tank appeared to have been abandoned by its crew after its left track had been rendered inoperable by what was likely an anti-tank infantry weapon. The tank had ended up in a perpendicular position in the middle of the road with pieces of the left track and several of its road wheels scattered all over the area around where it had helplessly rotated in place because the panicking driver had continued to accelerate but only the right track had still been turning.

 

Now, the damaged vehicle was providing the only shelter for a group of six German soldiers that were being fired upon from the approximately two hundred meter long line of hedges that ran perpendicular to the road on both sides approximately three hundred meters from the disabled tank. On both sides of the road before the hedges were more German soldiers that were either taking shelter in shallow craters and returning fire with mostly Karabiner 98 Kurz bolt-action rifles or were either wounded or deceased as they lay immobile in the tall grass.

 

To the left, there were several disabled supply trucks. In addition, there was an armored car that had flipped over off to the right side of the road due to the driver losing control of the vehicle as could be seen in the distressed tire mark patterns leading up to it. Based on what Headquarters had told her in the briefing for the assignment, Scarlet deduced that these soldiers and pieces of equipment were what remained of the last Grenadier division that had been sent in to try to bolster the struggling German counteroffensive. A few of the earlier groups had made it to the town that contained the bridge but communication with them had soon been lost and the subsequent relief efforts had been increasingly beaten back by the enemy forces that had cut off and surrounded the town. The remainder of the enemy forces were believed to be advancing seemingly unstoppable to the southwest in the direction of Scarlet and her Tigers.

 

Scarlet subconsciously clenched her teeth in irritation once again as she knew that her mission had already been put in jeopardy. The enemy soldiers would report the appearance of her Tigers and, knowing that the behemoths had a limited range due to their fuel consumption, they would try to sabotage her advance by either destroying the fuel at the depot that was approximately fifty miles up the road or by removing enough fuel from it to make capturing it a complete waste of her time and resources. In addition, the appearance of a group of Tigers would cause the enemy to mobilize an organized response. She had anticipated being able to take the first supply depot by near complete surprise but, yet again, it was going to be a brutal slog right from the very start.

 

The hardened commander smiled sadly before she ordered her gunner, a slightly overconfident blonde-haired man in his late twenties by the name of Michael, “Michael, target the largest collection of flashes and then standby to fire on my command.”

 

The proficient marksman replied, “Roger that, Ma’am!”

 

Between bursts of machine gun fire as she retaliated by opening fire on the enemy infantry with the MG 34 when enemy small arms fire began to strike the heavily armored hull of her Tiger, the veteran spoke into her radio headset as she ordered her group, “All units, form a line abreast and advance on the infantry in the hedges. We’ll either drive them back or bury them! Flatten anything that gets in your way beneath your tracks!”

 

The hum of the hydraulic pumps filled the inside of the turret below her as it rotated under Michael’s experienced control from where his station was just to the left of the breach of the 8.8cm gun that dominated the interior of the turret with his face pressed into the monocular TZF 9c gun sight as he used the view from where it was mounted in the left section of the gun mantle to line up his shot. The turret was rotated by using two rockers, which Michael stood on, that turned the turret to the right if he pressed them forward and to the left if he pressed them backwards. In case of emergency, the turret could be manually rotated but, even with the hydraulics, it took nearly sixteen seconds for a full rotation. To help speed up the aiming process, Otto had fabricated an Enhanced Gun Lay Drive to decrease the amount of time that it took for Michael to zero in on his target.

 

Michael was actually the only “pure” Aryan member of the crew and had a distinctly athletic build, which he had obtained while becoming a celebrated athlete during his years in primary education. Having been raised on the propaganda of the new Reich, he had initially been furious and bitter about having to follow the orders of a much shorter, ethnically non-pure brunette woman who was not afraid to criticize and mock German leadership and racial ideals. Further to his chagrin, he also soon learned that merely being physically stronger did not allow him to win a fight against an individual that knew martial arts, had personally killed several enemy soldiers in close-quarters fighting while serving during the conquest of France, and was not afraid of getting multiple cuts and bruises if it meant putting an insubordinate crew member in his place in front of a lot of witnesses.

 

His attitude quickly changed when she saved his life during a battle in which a Soviet SU-152 had scored a direct hit on the front of the original early model turret which had resulted in it being all but completely blown off the tank as if it was nothing more than the top of a soup can. Pinned beneath the mangled mass of what had once been a portion of the left side of the upper front armor plate, Michael would have bled to death from a deep cut in his chest had the also badly wounded Tiger commander not risked her own life by exposing herself to enemy fire due to the gaping hole where the turret and portions of the frontal armor had once been and used her entire left hand to plug the wound while she also simultaneously continued to direct the rest of the crew as Rosa limped back to friendly lines under near constant heavily concentrated enemy small arms and cannon fire.


Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

__________________________________________________________________________


Sgt Becket FEAR #6 Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:52 PM

    Major

  • Players
  • 10010 battles
  • 7,242
  • [ROSA]
  • Member since:
    04-19-2014

Meanwhile, on the other side of the turret near its highly modified breach was the master of all things mechanical and the mad scientist with a welding torch, Otto. Like Scarlet herself, he was not of pure German descent. The brown haired man in his late twenties was a textbook example of an eccentric inventor as he used every spare moment outside of combat tinkering with anything mechanical that he could get his hands on, which quite often was Rosa’s mechanisms.

 

Against the curved wall behind him were the ammunition pouches for Rosa’s second MG 34, which was mounted into the right section of the gun mantle in a coaxial mount. The third MG 34 was located in the forward-facing ball mount down in Hansel’s compartment in the right side of the forward section of the tank. Being specifically designed to fit into the cramped space of a tank, the machine guns were missing their stock. The kits to convert them back to normal field-use were issued to Scarlet and her crew so that they would have them should the need arise. Further towards the back of the turret along the right wall was the circular escape hatch and against the very back mounted to the wall were various access panels and metal boxes.

 

Below the turret housing on both sides of the hull were the stacks of 8.8cm shells. The massive Maybach engine was housed in the rear section of the tank and the driveshaft ran down the center of the tank below the floor. The shaft ran to the transmission at the front of the tank just behind the lower front armor plate, which was why a spare section of metal track had been mounted to the exterior of the plate in an attempt to reinforce the vulnerable area from enemy tanks that had learned where the Tiger’s weakpoints were. Beyond the shell racks was the compartment for the radio operator and the driver with the former being on the right side and the latter being on the left side. The tank’s FuG 12 radio and the driver’s side control panel were situated between the two crew stations. The front compartment was accessible via the two hatches above it on the roof of the hull or through the belly of the tank if you wanted to squeeze through the arch-shaped opening at the rear of the aforementioned compartment.

 

Temporarily lifting her head up above the top of the machine gun more than she really desired considering the rounds whizzing through the air all around her, Scarlet was able to see that they had reached the bottom of the hill and were now heading towards the hedges on a path that would have them just barely pass to the right of the disabled Panzer III. By now, the majority of the enemy fire was focused on the four massive armored beasts that were now rumbling towards them in a line as if they were a literal steamroller.

 

As they advanced on the enemy soldiers, she ordered, “Otto, Hansel, provide suppressing fire to give our boys cover!”

 

Her two crew members began to fire upon the enemy positions with controlled bursts from the two machine guns mounted inside the tank. Ignoring the rounds bouncing off the 45mm thick turret roof sometimes only mere inches away from her, Scarlet took hold of the MG-34 mounted in front of the commander’s copula and then began to once again fire at the enemy positions with highly disciplined single rounds and controlled bursts. The trigger of the MG 34 was double-crescent shaped and allowed for selective fire. Squeezing the trigger at the top would result in semi-automatic fire and squeezing and holding down the trigger at the bottom would result in fully automatic fire. Combined with its reliable frame, this feature made the MG 34 a perfect machine gun on armored vehicles due to the versatility that it granted to its operator.

 

Moments later, Michael informed her over the sound of the unique mechanical “buzz saw” signature of their machine guns, “Target locked. Standing by for command to fire, Ma’am!”

 

With their main gun locked onto what was mostly likely where the enemy soldiers had both massed and possibly deployed a machine gun and its crew, she ordered her gunner, “Fire!”

 

She winced slightly as Rosa’s main gun was fired, which vibrated her entire body down inside her chest and bones while it also caused a sharp ringing in her ears. The high explosive shell hit home in the middle of the largest cluster of tracer streams seemingly no more than a second later. The resulting cloud of dirt, plant, and human debris filled the air around the spot momentarily before it began to disperse. Rosa’s coaxial MG 34 temporarily ceased firing as the empty 8.8cm round was ejected out of her turret through the circular escape hatch towards the rear of the turret. It was actually technically against regulations to remove the spent shell casing in that manner but being shot at tended to make words on a piece of paper seem much less important.

 

Combined with the custom fabricated Large Caliber Gun Rammer that was installed at the breach of the main gun and the Improved Ventilation modification to the otherwise woefully lacking air circulation network inside the tank, Scarlet’s highly experienced crew could reload Rosa’s main gun in less than seven seconds. However, successive rapid fire put high amounts of stress upon the ammunition reserves during long-term engagements so the Tiger rarely fired as fast as it could even in intense firefights if Rosa’s armor could provide enough protection from the incoming fire. In addition, even with Michael’s talent and experience, it took nearly three seconds to properly line up a shot since most targets were engaged at fairly long distances for a Heavy tank during most engagements until the Tigers moved in for the fatal knockout blow to the enemy group.

 

As they were within twenty yards of the Panzer III, a big white cloud appeared around the hedges. Unable to take cover in time, Scarlet braced herself as best she could. The anti-tank rocket from what was likely an enemy bazooka exploded against the upper front plate of her Tiger near the driver’s viewport less than a second later. The 100mm of interlocking rolled homogeneous nickel-steel was hardly even scratched by the high explosive payload of the rocket but she felt her left cheek begin to burn and, seconds later, felt her warm blood begin to trickle down the side of her face. Her temper flared and she neutralized the bazooka crew with obvious prejudice with a burst from the roof-mounted MG 34 mere seconds later.

 

With genuine worry in his voice, Otto asked her, “Major?”

 

Knowing better than to show any weakness in front of her male crew members, the veteran commander scoffed and then replied, “Tis’ but a scratch.”


Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

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Sgt Becket FEAR #7 Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:03 PM

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Before any of her crew could respond, a shiver ran down her spine as a familiar feeling filled her toned lithe frame. It was a sensation that the hardened veteran knew all too well. The extrasensory warning that had been honed over thousands of battles to the point of being a hardwired primal survival instinct.

 

Speaking into her radio headset, Scarlet ordered her group, “All units, halt! Load Armor Piercing and then standby to fire on my command!”

 

As the Tiger column halted, she ordered her gunner, “Michael, aim towards the right of the hedges in front of us.”

 

As Otto reloaded Rosa’s main gun with an AP round, Michael asked her, “You smelling something boss?”

 

The Tiger commander did not reply as she lowered herself down into the interior of the turret until she could just barely see over the top of the raised lip of the commander’s copula all while her eyes remained locked onto a section of the hedges just off the right of where her tank had just been rolling towards. Sure enough, seconds later, an enemy T-34 Medium Tank plowed through the vegetation before it ground to a halt upon seeing the enemy Tiger Heavy Tanks.

 

The Soviet-made T-34 Medium Tank, along with the KV-1 Heavy Tank, was one of the primary motivations for the German Heer to create the Panzer V “Panther” and Panzer VI “Tiger”. With its sloped armor, the T-34 was a formidable opponent for both infantry and the lesser armed German tanks such as the Panzer III and IV. In addition, the Soviet War Machine was able to manufacture the relatively simple tank in massive quantities. Scarlet and her fellow German tankers were vastly outnumbered by the infamous Soviet tank and could easily be overwhelmed by them if they were attacked in force when they did not have an escape route. However, unfortunately for the Russian crews, their T-34s were mere cannon fodder for Rosa in a direct fight.

 

The T-34 was soon joined by three more as they plowed through the hedges to the right of the first one. As their teardrop-shaped turrets turned to aim at the Tigers before them, Scarlet was informed by all the Tigers in her group, “Gun ready! Standing by for permission to fire, Major!”

 

The T-34s opened fire on Rosa with their short-barreled 76mm L-11 main guns and, as the rounds harmless bounced off the mighty Tiger’s frontal and side superstructure armor, she ordered with a flat, emotionless tone, “Fire!”

 

The four behemoths fired almost simultaneously and, before Scarlet could even blink, the T-34s jolted as the 8.8cm shells easily pierced through their armor before then detonating inside their hulls. The first had been hit by Rosa’s immensely potent main gun, which had no trouble in punching straight through the tank’s gun mantle to leave a mangled mass of metal in the place of what had been the enemy’s turret mere second prior in its wake. The second T-34 was hit directly through the driver’s viewport in the front and, thus, its driver had likely just been neutralized along with the majority of the driving station controls. The third T-34 was soon engulfed in flames as the 8.8cm round detonated inside the tank. The final T-34 was immobilized by a direct hit to its engine compartment.

 

Before the Soviet crew could fix their crippled tank in time, Otto informed Scarlet, “Gun ready!”

 

Without hesitation, she ordered, “Fire!”

 

Michael’s highly experienced aim was true as Rosa’s shot hit the medium tank’s ammunition rack. The resulting explosion blew the T-34’s turret clean off the top of the hull and into the air a few feet before it slammed back into the ground off to the right of the mangled, burning remains of the tank. Upon seeing the crews bailing out of the fallen Soviet tanks, Hansel asked her, “Ma’am, the crew?”

 

Scarlet instructed her radio operator, “Negative. Stand down! Let them go!”

 

The newest member of her crew replied with a noticeably confused tone, “R…Roger that, commander.”

 

Not having the time to explain why shooting unarmed soldiers in the back as they tried to flee was disgusting and incredibly unprofessional, the veteran commander simply warned the young man, “You do anything like that, kid, and I will nail you to the front of my tank so that the enemy can use you for target practice.”

 

As she ordered for the Tigers to resume their advance, she heard him try to apologize. With a firm tone, she interrupted him as she said, “Show me that you belong here…not tell me.”

 

As Rosa moved past the burning wreck of the Panzer III, Heinz maneuvered the Tiger to the left until it was fully on the road as it rumbled its way towards the line of hedges. The sixty one ton monster’s two interior mounted machine guns effortlessly mowed down the fools that continued to try in vain to stop its advance with small arms fire and even thrown handheld grenades. Meanwhile, the German soldiers that were still able to fight had gotten to their feet and were now following close behind the Tigers as they used their heavily armored frames as mobile cover while they advanced.

 

Realizing the futility of the situation, the enemy soldiers began to retreat as Rosa closed to within one hundred yards of the hedges. By then, the vegetation had been badly damaged with entire sections blown apart or burning while the bodies of the neutralized soldiers were strewn all around the bases of what remained of the hedges. As they passed the rows and continued forward towards the enemy fuel depot, the weathered brunette ordered her radio operator, “Inform HQ that we have made contact with the enemy and are currently advancing towards checkpoint Seven of Clubs.”

 

Hansel replied with a quieter tone than normal, “Yes, Ma’am.”

 

Lifting herself back up to where she was able to man the MG 34 and also properly survey her surroundings, Scarlet began to think through what her next move should be. She could either halt her advance and then create a perimeter around this section of the road long enough for the next wave of German reinforcements to arrive and create a bridgehead for a more organized advance into enemy territory or she could go all-in and charge ahead to get to the fuel depot before the enemy could sabotage her Tiger’s advance. She shook her head as she decided that there was no time for conservative tactics.

 

The bleeding commander waited until all of the Tigers had cleared the line of hedges before ordering them through her tank’s radio, “Remain in line abreast but move into position to provide supporting fire. Stay around 300 meters behind me so I can bait the enemy into revealing their positions.”

 

The other Tigers moved into their assigned positions while Scarlet willed Rosa and her crew forward through the war ravaged landscape before them straight down the center of the road in a deliberately brazen manner to incite the enemy into trying to stop the sixty one ton armored behemoth’s rampage. It was a simple, crude tactic that worked surprisingly well when there was not a Scout Tank or fast Medium Tank available. The Tiger was primarily a hunter but, when there was no time for passive-aggressive tactics, it had the durability and firepower to be Hell on wheels.


Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

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Sgt Becket FEAR #8 Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:07 PM

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With mostly empty grass fields between them and the fuel depot, Scarlet left the MG 34 for the time being and instead began to methodically scan her surroundings with her pair of black binoculars. It was through them that she first saw the dilapidated old barn sitting out in the middle of what had likely once been a crop field approximately three hundred and fifty meters off just to the left of the road. A further two hundred meters behind the barn was a group of trees. Even without the burning hulks of two StuG III Assault Guns and a Panzer IV Medium Tank on the sides of the road approximately two hundred meters from Rosa, the presence of the enemy TDs was obvious to the battle hardened commander.

 

She warned the three Tigers behind her, “Heads up. Tree line behind the barn. Get ready and fire when you see the flashes.”

 

The familiar sensation filled her frame as Heinz drove Rosa onwards into the awaiting jaws of the enemy tank killers. She had only just lowered herself back down into the relative safety of the interior of the turret when what sounded like a massive sledgehammer slammed into the left side of her tank. The armor plating loudly protested the abuse as an ear-splitting metallic hum filled the interior of the vehicle. Seconds later, she heard the screaming whistle of a high velocity shell as it flew over the top of her tank just barely missing the turret roof and her head by what sounded like mere inches. The armored juggernaut refused to yield as yet another shell struck the rear of the left superstructure with enough power to punch through her armor and detonate inside her engine compartment.

 

Ignoring the incoming shell fire, Scarlet ordered her driver from where she was just barely protected by the lip of the commander’s copula, “Forward! Use one of the StuGs if you have to!”

 

Heinz obediently drove Rosa through the incoming shell fire as the three Tigers in the rear returned fire on the enemy AT group in the tree line behind the barn. Looking through her binoculars, she suddenly saw a flash of light coming from the second floor of the barn. The veteran silently cursed at herself for not realizing the obvious vantage point before that moment. By then, they had reached one of the abandoned StuG IIIs. Without missing a beat, Heinz drove the front of Rosa into the right side of the conveniently angled wreck and then dropped the Tiger into her powerful first gear to allow the sixty one ton war machine to push the much lighter tank forward as a makeshift shield while they made their charge towards the barn and tree line.

 

The massive cast-iron Maybach 230 roared as Rosa pushed the castle-style tank forward through the ever diminishing torrent of enemy fire. Already, the tactic had proven effective as smoke could be seen billowing up from the edge of the forest, which was a clear indication of the lethality of the countering fire of Tiger 870, 913, and 930. The enemy AT group continued to try to drive Rosa back in vain as their shells merely struck the StuG III or bounced off the Tiger’s 120mm thick gun mantle.

 

They had driven approximately 100 meters off the road before she ordered her driver, “Halt!”

 

As her Tiger came to a stop, she instructed her loader, “Otto, load a High Explosive.”

 

She then ordered her gunner, “Michael, second floor of the barn. Standby to fire on my command.”

 

In less than seven seconds, Otto informed her, “Gun ready!”

 

Mere moments later, Michael stated, “Target locked. Awaiting your command, Ma’am!”

 

The veteran commander waited until she saw the flash of light once more before she ordered, “Fire!”

 

A brief, sharp ringing filled her ears once again as Rosa fired a HE shell from its Kw.K. 43 L/71 rifled cannon into the second floor of the dilapidated structure. Michael’s highly experienced aim proved to be brutally proficient as the shot was so accurate that the shell flew through the slightly open pair of doors on the front of the second floor of the barn, which were normally used to allow much easier loading of bales of hay and straw into the spacious storage area of the second floor, and into the building’s interior before it finally hit something hard enough to cause it to detonate.

 

The already badly deteriorated wooden frame of the building was no match for the high explosive shell as it ripped apart the second floor with enough force to blow a portion of the roof off as well as the surrounding sections of exterior walls. Seconds later, smoke appeared out of the cloud of dust as the highly flammable contents of the interior of the barn were ignited by the Tiger’s HE round. In less than a minute, the entire structure was engulfed in flames.

 

With the enemy’s observer neutralized, Scarlet focused her attention on the remaining targets in the tree line beyond the barn. However, suddenly, her tank was blindsided as it was struck in its right superstructure by a volley of six shells. Snapping her head to face to the right, she saw the silhouettes of what she counted to be twenty five American M4 Sherman tanks rolling towards her at a distance of approximately three hundred meters. She internally screamed in self-hatred for her blunder. The enemy AT group had simply been stalling her long enough to allow a wave of reinforcements to arrive to try to knock out her Tiger before she could jeopardize the enemy’s advance further into her beloved home as they were on the verge of victory in this strategically vital region.

 

By some miracle, the group of Shermans were almost all M4A1 models, easily distinguishable from other Sherman models by its fully cast upper hull that was more rounded than its counterparts, which were armed with the short barreled, low velocity 75 mm M3 cannon that failed to penetrate a Tiger’s thick armor plates unless it scored a lucky hit in one of its few weakpoints. In addition, the M4 was poorly armored in comparison to the German juggernaut to the point that the Kw.K. 43’s AP rounds sometimes punched all the way through their hull before it got a chance to detonate. However, what the American workhorse lacked in armor and firepower, it made up for in simplicity of design. Backed by the immensely powerful American War Machine, the Shermans were produced in such a large number that they easily outnumbered the superior Tigers at a rate of nearly 35:1.

 

Stuck between a rock and hard place, the Tiger commander calmly ordered her crew, “Bring Rosa’s hull to be frontally angled to the Shermans. Load AP and fire at will!”


Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

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Sgt Becket FEAR #9 Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:12 PM

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Rosa’s hull began to rotate so that its heaviest armor was facing the incoming wave of American tanks at an angle of approximately forty-five degrees to maximize its effectiveness while its turret began to rotate to bring its 8.8cm cannon to bear on the horde of Shermans. The green painted medium tanks continued to fire upon the outnumbered Tiger as they closed in to surround and overwhelm the armored beast using their superior numbers in a somewhat organized formation that vaguely formed a “U”-shaped wedge with a Sherman M4A3E2 “Jumbo” leading the charge with its much heavier armor.

 

No less than fifteen shells had struck Scarlet’s Tiger before it finally was able to send its reply. The second that it had been loaded, Rosa’s 8.8cm rifled cannon thundered its response as a declaration of the infamous elite Tiger’s stubborn defiance of its seemingly inevitable demise. The first shot hit home on the left side of the Jumbo’s angled upper front plate and powered its way through the more than 100mm of steel to incapacitate the driver as it detonated inside the tank. However, despite being temporarily immobilized, the American juggernaut was far from knocked out of action as it sent its own response with its lethal 76mm M1A1 main gun.

 

Out of primal instinct, Scarlet ducked down into the turret at the last second. The Jumbo’s shell just barely missed her head by a few fractions of a second as it skimmed the roof of the turret and ripped a large chunk out of the front and back section of the lip of the commander’s copula as it continued past the tank after it failed to detonate to cause any real damage. Before the Sherman could try to kill his commander again, Michael avenged Scarlet’s near death by firing a second AP round into it.

 

This time, Rosa’s shot was far more devastating to the Jumbo as it punched through the “beak” of its lower front plate to effectively destroy its transmission. Now effectively dead in the water, the American tank still continued to fight as it fired a second time. The 76mm shell stuck the Tiger’s front plate near its ball-mounted forward MG-34. The resulting explosion as it detonated inside her tank threw Scarlet against the metal wall of the bottom section of her commander’s hatch behind her with enough force to briefly disorient her as her already wounded lithe, short frame was less tolerant of physical abuse than the robust bodies of her male counterparts.

 

Forcing herself to fight through the pain that was now racking her body, the Major called out in concern, “Hansel?”

 

To her relief, her radio operator replied, “I’m alright, commander. The radio is still fully operation as well.”

 

Otto added, “Just appears to be minor structural damage, Ma’am.”

 

She replied with a calm tone as she returned to her station despite the now comprised cover of the commander’s copula, “Excellent. Carry on.”

 

The Jumbo finally succumbed moments later as Rosa’s third shot neutralized its main gun as it ripped apart the barrel on its path through the gun mantle and into the interior of the turret. Unable to continue the fight, the surviving crew members began to bail out of the badly damaged tank. Scarlet could not help but feel a small amount of satisfaction and pride for the defeat of the Jumbo. Even equipped with the M1A1 tank killer and getting the drop on her tank, the American’s pseudo-Heavy Tank had once again proven to be no match for her Tiger and her crew.

 

Meanwhile, despite having received approximately thirty hits from the other Shermans, Rosa’s high quality armor continued to stand firm against the onslaught. The remaining enemy group had been whittled down to fifteen tanks thanks to the supporting fire from the rest of the Tigers in her group. The veteran admired the bravery of the American crews as they continued their charge towards her tank despite the heavy losses that had already been inflicted upon them. Unfortunately, heroism could not protect them from the high velocity rounds of her prototype up-gunned Panzer VI.

 

Michael directed the Tiger’s main gun to bear on the approaching M4s and then, as they closed to within less than one hundred and fifty meters, began to open fire. The brutal efficiency of the sixty one ton German monster in the hands of a highly-experienced, elite crew pushing the Tiger to its absolute mechanical limits was on full display as eight of the Shermans were knocked out in less than a minute of rapid, successive fire as the 8.8cm rounds ripped them apart with almost no difficulty at such a close range. Seeing the futility of their situation, the surviving enemy tanks began to retreat.

 

In their primal flight for survival, the retreating M4s paid no attention to their comrades that were attempting to flee on-foot even when a few of them accidentally got in their path as they reversed away from Rosa. The horribly mismatched competition between the steel beasts and flesh and bone always had the same outcome. The sight infuriated the battle-hardened tank commander and erased any doubts as to whether the retreating enemy tanks deserved a head start before she ordered Rosa to advance towards them.

 

As per the code of honor that she had instilled into her crew, the Tiger’s machine guns remained silent despite the numerous number of unarmed tank crews running away from them essentially completely at the armored beast’s mercy unless they turned around to face them with a weapon in their grasp as Scarlet ordered, “Forward! We’ll drive the enemy from our home with our sword pressed into their backs!”

 

The V12 engine roared once more as Heinz maneuvered Rosa back out onto the road and then began to drive down it. As they passed the broken, sometimes burning hulls of the defeated Sherman tanks without paying them much mind, she saw a man standing next to what was likely his knocked out M4. She saw that he was attempting to give medical aid to one of his fellow crew members who was slumped against the right side of the tank where he had likely been placed after his brother-in-arms had dragged him out of their compromised vehicle. Scarlet could see that his injuries were severe enough to prove fatal without immediate treatment even before they got close to the tank, which was just to the right of the road in a parallel position to it about halfway through the mass of wrecked Shermans.

 

Without hesitation, she climbed up onto the roof of her tank and then crawled over to the mass of supplies on the top of the rear deck. Upon locating one of the crates of medical supplies, she grabbed one of the field surgeon kits from it and then moved to be standing on top of the turret. As they closed in on the pair, she whistled loudly to get the man’s attention before instructing her driver, “Heinz, get ready to stop for a moment.”

 

When Rosa had pulled alongside the disabled Sherman, she ordered for the brief stop. The bloodied American tank commander, a Master Sergeant if her understanding of US Military rank markings was accurate, was justifiably terrified of what her intentions were until the German tank ace gently lowered the lifesaving surgeon’s kit onto the ground next to her tank. Having given the man as best of a chance to save his comrade as she could considering the circumstances, Scarlet ordered for Heinz to resume the advance. The bewildered American soldier stared at her in shock as the sharply dressed, battle-scarred German Major then saluted him with the true German Military Salute as a sign of respect to the fellow tanker as she stood on the roof of her tank’s turret as her Tiger began to drive past him down the road.

 

When she returned to her station and took the time to take in the destruction around her, Scarlet asked her crew, “We having fun yet boys?”

 

While the majority of her incredibly close-knit crew all replied with enthusiasm, Hansel remained silent. The veteran Tiger commander felt a slight sense of pity for her newest crew member. The poor kid was in way over his head at the moment. Tankers had an extraordinary bond between them that was forged in the unique conditions of the nature of armored combat. The rest of the Rosa’s crew had fought together for years but he had only been the radio operator for a few months. 

 

As his commander, it was her job to mold the naïve young man into a battle-hardened professional tanker. She saw plenty of promise in him, which was the reason why she felt the need to pressure him so hard. There was a method to her madness even if he did not realize it at the moment. Her crew truly was her family and there was nowhere else in the world that she would rather be than fighting alongside them.

 

Addressing the quiet radio operator, she said with an encouraging tone, “Accept that you are already dead, kid. Let go of the hope that you will survive. Embrace the madness and smile.”

 

After a moment, the young tanker replied, “There is still hope.”

 

Scarlet corrected him, “Of course there is…just none for us.”

 

Hansel retorted stubbornly, “That’s not true. You’re wrong Major.”

 

Amused, the veteran asked, “How so?”                  

 

His response actually caught her slightly off-guard when he replied, “Because we still have Rosa.”

 

She smiled for a brief moment before she remarked, “That’s the spirit, kid.”


Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

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Sgt Becket FEAR #10 Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:59 PM

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With the majority of their nearby tanks now mere smoldering piles of scrap, the enemy’s last chance to stall her Tigers' advance towards the fuel depot long enough to prevent its capture from being a catastrophic strategic blow was to gather their remaining forward units and make a defensive stand of the small town between Scarlet’s group and the depot. The town was reported to be little more than a collection of about ten buildings that were all situated around the main road similar to a cliché American western mining town. The buildings were all simple, single-story homes and shops except for the notable exception of the old church in the center of town.

 

However, the town had the tactical advantage of being located at the highest elevation point in the surrounding area. Scarlet and her Tigers would be forced to attack the dug-in defenders in an incredibly vulnerable manner as they would be unable to effectively return fire until they reached the top of the hill due to the mechanical limitations of their gun depression. In addition, they would be unable to maneuver as effectively during their ascent due to the slope and how the drivers had to operate the Tigers under such conditions to prevent damaging the transmission and suspension. Most worrying of all was that the Tigers would be unable to rely upon their thick frontal armor to protect them long enough to reach flat ground once they reached the top because they would be forced to expose their critically vulnerable lower front plate to the enemy as they crested the top of the hill directly in front of where the enemy was surely going to be waiting for them.

 

Avoiding the town was not an option because the area surrounding the hill was reported to be swampy marshes due to the recent rainy season. The Tigers would easily become stuck in the mud and render themselves easy prey to the enemy that would surely attack from where they were around the town once they saw that the German juggernauts were helpless and immobilized. Thus, the only available path to the fuel depot for the immensely heavy tanks was the main road in an all-or-nothing assault of the town and the enemy was sure to know that as well. Waiting for reinforcements was out of the question and the decimated Luftwaffe was already being pushed to its absolute limit to provide enough cover for the German units below to be able to fight without being annihilated by the Allied squadrons of murderous tank busters and bombers. The four fuel-starved Tigers would have to assault the town on their own. Death was all but certain but failure was simply not an option if Germany was to survive.

 

All in all, it was just another day in the life of Major Scarlet’s Tiger group.

 

It was approaching midday when they reached the bottom of the incline of the grassy hill. The grade was not steep enough to be an issue for the behemoths but it was still going to be a six hundred meter long ascent to the top without the use of their high speed forward gears. As they had done during their assault on the line of hedges mere hours earlier, the plan was for the four tanks to advance in a line abreast parallel with each other with Rosa taking the most dangerous route straight down the center of the road, Tiger 870 taking position to the left of Scarlet’s tank, and Tigers 913 and 930 taking position to the right of her.

 

Just before their assault began, the four tanks sat idling side-by-side for a moment to allow the crew to reload all of their weapons, inspect their tanks, and also just to have a brief moment of rest after having now been traveling nearly nonstop since the crack of dawn. With only ten minutes allotted to the group before they had to be ready to begin the advance on the town, all of Rosa’s crew members were hurriedly attending to their beloved Tiger. The highly-experienced crew worked with speed and precision as they prepared their tank for the nightmarish fight that awaited them. Despite having their own assigned duties, every member of the crew had long since become intimately familiar with every square inch and piece of equipment of their vehicle and, thus, there was no need for any communication between them as they worked.

 

Hansel was spending the time by attempting to disguise the shell hole that the Jumbo had inflicted upon the upper front plate by placing several strips of thick adhesive tape over the hole and then quickly painting over them to make them blend in with the surrounding hull enough to prevent the enemy gunners from spotting the damaged portion of Rosa’s armor for as long as possible. Otto was inspecting both the tracks and the damage inflicted upon the engine compartment by the shell that had penetrated the rear portion of the left side of the tank. Michael was inspecting the components of the main gun to ensure that the Shermans had not vibrated something out of alignment with their repeated hits. Heinz was assisting Otto in the inspection of the suspension and drivetrain. Finally, Scarlet was auditing the tank’s remaining supplies and inspecting the miscellaneous pieces of equipment inside the tank to ensure that her Tiger was as close to one hundred percent as it could be considering the circumstances.

 

Like clockwork, ten minutes later right on the dot, Rosa was ready for battle once more with her mechanisms firing on all cylinders and her crew rejuvenated by both the stimulating frenzy of physical activity and the quick lunch of the rather questionable-looking mixture of ingredients that had been in the field rations that had been supplied to them. Back at her station, Scarlet glanced at the Tigers on both sides of her as she wanted to have one last happy memory of them should they be lost in the coming fight. Every survival instinct was screaming at her to not follow through with the planned assault on the town.

 

However, once again, memories of her childhood fueled her resolve and, after straightening her uniform, she ordered her group, “All units, advance!”


Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

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LOOKIN4VENGENCE #11 Posted 27 November 2017 - 09:27 PM

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I tried reading this causally but just couldn't. Its written well, but I feel its way over wrote at the same time.

Sgt Becket FEAR #12 Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:18 AM

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View PostLOOKIN4VENGENCE, on 27 November 2017 - 04:27 PM, said:

I tried reading this causally but just couldn't. Its written well, but I feel its way over wrote at the same time.

 

Ah, I see...sorry :(

Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

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ScottRey97 #13 Posted 20 December 2017 - 01:20 AM

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Just noticed this in your sig, started reading it and I'm quite enjoying it at the moment. As mentioned above it's bordering on over-analysis but given the context and focus on a mechanical machine I think it works. Not an expert in writing, just a casual reader of books. Quite enjoying this so far though :) +1

Sgt Becket FEAR #14 Posted 20 December 2017 - 01:28 AM

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View PostScottRey97, on 19 December 2017 - 08:20 PM, said:

Just noticed this in your sig, started reading it and I'm quite enjoying it at the moment. As mentioned above it's bordering on over-analysis but given the context and focus on a mechanical machine I think it works. Not an expert in writing, just a casual reader of books. Quite enjoying this so far though :) +1

 

Thank you very much for the feedback!

 

My writing has always been overly descriptive...just in my nature :P

 

I am going to try to tone it down as much as I can in future additions.

 

Glad you are enjoying it!

 

 


Commander of Rosa "Queen of Hearts"

 

Need help with the Tiger I? PM me or see my guide: Becket's Tiger Guide | Short novel about Rosa: Rosa: Queen of Hearts

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ScottRey97 #15 Posted 20 December 2017 - 02:02 AM

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View PostSgt Becket FEAR, on 20 December 2017 - 01:28 AM, said:

 

Thank you very much for the feedback!

 

My writing has always been overly descriptive...just in my nature :P

 

I am going to try to tone it down as much as I can in future additions.

 

Glad you are enjoying it!

 

 

 

no problem :) I hope you're set of novels continues to grow.

Broken Digger #16 Posted 25 March 2018 - 02:52 AM

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Awesome story, cant wait for the next chapter.


TheHound9171 #17 Posted 25 March 2018 - 05:17 AM

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It’s amazing!!  Great job. You should be proud




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