Wednesday, October 2, 2013

All Americans, non-battle day (11 July 43)

All,

    After accomplishing every objective put to them, and suffering quite a few casualties in the process, the Company Commander decided to pull the platoon out of the line, keeping it in local reserve for 11 July 1943.  The division as a whole has suffered a goodly number of casualties, so 11 July saw a day of reorganization for the whole battalion.  The linkup has not yet been made with the sea-landed forces, so there are no replacements to be had.  What this means is the division has turned to stripping men from support roles and even cannibalization (breaking up line units to provide replacements for other line units).

    I rolled up my free-form event (I'm not very creative with this sort of thing), and our illustrious bazooka gunner, Cpl Carlyle, has been meritoriously promoted to Sgt by the Company commander.  The Company commander has been slowly losing his aggravation towards Lt Shepherd (particularly after hearing of Shepherd leading a close assault in the last battle), but Carlyle's promotion has caused a bit of friction.  Shepherd figured the new Sgt should take over 3rd Squad following Sgt Dawson's WIA/evac home; SFC Ford vehemently disagreed, stating the value of Carlyle as a proven tank killer far outweighed the benefits of having him as a squad leader.  Not only did Ford disagree, he did it with the Company Commander standing there, who sided with Ford.  So Shepherd is a bit disgruntled with his Platoon Sergeant (for having this conversation in front of the Co Cdr) and with the Co Cdr for siding with the Plt Sgt in front of the men.

    Then I rolled up my two fixed events, and my good luck holds.  First, I rolled reinforcements again, and got a 4, meaning full-strength.  Some of these men will be cooks/bakers/candlestick makers, and some will be vets from other rifle companies.  One of them will have have to fill the 3rd Squad Leader position (if only Cpl Pace was back from the battalion aid station!), so here's to hoping it's a rifle company guy and not a battalion admin clerk...  The other event was "Manpower," in which you stand a real good chance of losing a squad or team for a short period of time, but I again rolled a 4, which was 'no-effect,' so the platoon will be full-strength heading into its next mission on 12 July 43.

A few quick notes about the replacements.  First, the battalion has made the choice, despite the casualty situation, to up the platoon's T/O by three riflemen, all to serve as platoon runners in the HQ element.  In the platoon's case, all three of these came from rear echelon positions, as did the bulk of the replacements the platoon received.  Having said that, the platoon will still be down three men as the battalion's policy is that locally evacuated wounded are not replaced.  The positions are held open for the men to return to their old platoon as the Bn CO believes this is better for unit cohesion.

The platoon received two NCOs, both of which are causing a bit of consternation.  First, Sgt Glenn, an outstanding young parachute infantry NCO, was assigned to 2nd Squad as its A/SL.  This has really upset Sgt Hurley, who feels it is a direct threat to him.  Please recall that Hurley is currently depressed from losing so many men in the first three battles, and was recently wounded himself.  He sees this as a sign the Lt has lost faith in him and that the Plt Sgt no longer has his back.  This was not the PC's intent; there were only two 'open' NCO slots to fill, and Glenn had to go in this one. Which brings us to the bigger problem...

SSgt Miles just became the squad leader for 3rd Squad.  In summary, the Lt and Plt Sgt are not happy with this as SSgt Miles is a giant POS.  Miles was an NCO in the Divisional Supply Battalion, but the division recently stripped as many men as it could out of the support elements to fill the holes in the line battalions, so here he is.  He doesn't want to be here, and no one wants him in a leadership position, but he's a Staff Sergeant (thus, the third highest ranking member of the platoon), and so there was no way to place a Sgt in an SL position over him.  I rolled up "Addict," "Position," and "Cautious" for the good SSgt.  What I'm taking this to mean is, Miles was perfectly intent in life to be a Supply NCO with his subordinates busting their tails and him taking the credit (position), and he will do anything to get back to that spot.  He's a raging alcoholic and was known to disappear for a couple hours each day from his old unit (their 1st Sgt warned SFC Ford about this), returning in a less than optimal mental state (addict).  Regarding combat temperament, he's not trained for it, is a terrible soldier and a worse leader, has never been in combat (which is forgivable), and has no desire to be!  In short, he's a coward ("cautious").

Well, we'll see how this works out for the platoon...

V/R,
Jack

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