Volume 2, Chapter 9
Xu Jun felt that began to enter his role. He’s actively thinking about the situation and how to solve the problem. The feeling of commanding, it was special. And it got Xu Jun excited. Now all of the German soldiers were looking at him, trusting in his decisions. But how could he get them out of this dilemma?
Xu Jun thought was he peered at the British positions.
“Major Müller!” Xu Jun shouted, “Do you have the reports yet?”
Müller trotted over and said, “Reporting General, the unit statistics have been compiled. We have 897 infantry, 37 junior officers, 28 non-combatants [e.g. chefs], 148 artillery and technical engineers. 36 machine guns, 20 anti-tank guns. Artillery, we still have the four 150mm self-propelled artillery. However, since everything happened so quickly, they have not been ordered to fire.
We have six 75mm light infantry artillery pieces, seven 37mm anti-tank guns, one 20mm machine gun, and twelve 50mm mortars. We have fourteen trucks of infantry ammunition, and two of artillery shells.
We have two field kitchens, but we currently only have maybe a day’s rations left. The other materials are still in the supply line, which we don’t know where they ended up.
We have two of the 221 armored vehicles. They were parked on the hillside and escaped unscathed. However, the captain died in the shelling. So, all that’s left are two frightened drivers.
We also have four Sk600 motorcycles and 2 Adler off-road trucks.”
“Only 1,100 people. Ah, it adds up to even less than a group. Whether it be in the number of men or in firepower, it seems we can’t match them. Before I crashed, I saw at least two regiments. With no less than one battalion of tanks, and one battalion of artillery. It seems that we are facing an entire British brigade.
The British have the Matilda I, not something that we can’t deal with. It is only equipped with a 12.7mm machine gun and was quite slow. We can take it out with a couple cluster grenades. But the Matilda II is completely different. It has the twice the speed of its predecessor while also having the armor of a medium tank. It’s 40mm gun can pierce most of our tanks. While only our 75mm guns on the Panzer IV‘s can retaliate.
[Most of the 7th Pz. Div. consisted of Pz.38(t) during 1940]
Fortunately, it seems that there are not too many of the Matilda II’s, maybe only about ten. We’ve already destroyed two of them from the mines. Now, our goal should be to get rid of those remaining Matilda II’s or we won’t stand a chance.” Xu Jun frowned and said.
Müller was shocked, who would have known that the British would have such an impressive arsenal. It seems like trouble is brewing. He asked, “What should we do?”
“What can we do? We must hold the line here. Here and no further, any retreat will bring about a massacre. If this position falls, it will be the destruction of the entire division. Go, tell your soldiers to save their ammunition. Anything less than a British attack, the machine guns will not fire. We have to prepare.” Xu Jun answered.
“Understood.” Müller nodded and prepared to return to the front positions. Xu Jun suddenly thought of something and shouted at Müller
“Tell the artillery on the flanks to shift positions. Immediately!”
“Yes, understood, General.”
“The British are well-known for their efficiency in artillery bombardments. Now that our two artillery positions have been exposed, they will certainly be hit when the next assault commences. Right now, the slightest disadvantage can decide the outcome. Every precaution must be made.” Xu Jun thought.
“General, we have contacted the remaining troops of the 78th Artillery Regiment.” Randolph entered and said.
“Great! I’ll take it right now.” Xu Jun received a burst of excitement, at least now they would not be sitting ducks.
From the headphones came an anxious voice, “General Reinhardt, I am Lieutenant Colonel Slumm from the 78th, Major Hans has explained to me your situation. We have been unable to contact you and went in the wrong direction. We are attempting to move to your position now, General.”
“Where are you right now? What happened?” Xu Jun felt sort of depressed, they traveled in the wrong direction? Did they manage to avoid the British?
“I…. We are to your southeast 10 kilometers. General, rest assured that I will strive to reach your position in 20 minutes. No, we must arrive in 20 minutes.” Xu Jun heard the poor man’s voice slightly waver as if he feared the blame being put on him.
“Then I will be waiting for you here. Right now, your guns are the key to our survival, do you understand, Colonel Slumm? 20 minutes.” Xu Jun then cut off the transmission.
“Randolph! Continue to contact the other forces, anyone around us, in particular, the 7th Battalion.”
“How did they get so far behind us? 10 kilometers away, how does that even happen? Müller didn’t you say that they were slow like infantry?” Xu Jun said with a wry smile.
Müller also revealed a dumbfounding expression, “I’m not too sure what happened either. As far as I was aware, they were dragging the 88mm anti-aircraft guns with their Sdk.fz.7‘s and the 105mm field gun with their 8-ton trucks.”
Xu Jun began to think of the possibilities if the British attacked before the 78th Regiment arrived.
“I need those guns. I really hope the British don’t attack before then.” Xu Jun said to Müller.
“Indeed.” Müller said with a slight frown.