Using every hard earned skill of fieldcraft at their disposal, the two parties on the West bank made their way forward.
Expecting, at any moment, to hear a challenge from the sentry, or a rifle shot from the tower.
.The Sentry seemed oblivious to their approach, Major Allman could not believe his luck.
They were within a long Grenades throw of what they could now see was an improvised pillbox, when the sentry seem to stir himself and gaze straight into Major Allmans face.
All fingers took up first pressure on the trigger. This was where it began.
Colonel Anthony Fortescue Ret`d. had in fact not seen them.
Something in the way the early morning sun was glistening on the river took him back to his days in The Frontier Defence Force, keeping watch on the Nile for some Mad Mullah or other. Now he was a private in the Littletown Home Guard tasked with protect another frontier against the forces of some other mad man who wanted to destroy the Empire.
Something else caught his eye and he glanced downward to see three German Sailors at the loopholes,
mindful of orders to make`` his bullet`` count. He shouted out the traditional` Who goes there?``, and before any response could come``, Call out the Guard ,Jerries!`
It was just enough,
each of the three sailors dropped their grenades,, giving RSM Durrington time to put down his mug of tea, grab his rifle and unbolt the door, before three more grenades dropped through the loopholes, killing his squad instantly.
He had barely time to register the fact and see that the field telephone was u.s. before yet more grenades dropped at his feet.
This time there was no escape.
Private Fortescue`s challenge was answered by a burst of smg fire from behind the hedge, ducking back he heard the grenades go off beneath his feet, he looked out of a crack, sighted on his target and pulled the trigger.
He made his bullet count and the attacker fell, now it would be cold steel.
The enemy had no such restrictions and another burst from another sub machine gun, plus rifles, had him keeping his head well down, his attention still on the enemy outside when two sailors burst through the roof hatch behind him and he was soon their prisoner.
For him this war was over,but next time.
The flanking party had meantime reached the road, leaving two men to watch the approaches they turned their attention to the bridge, the engineer party hurried forward with their charges.
Ted Cooper, was having his breakfast, prior to starting the milking when he heard the explosions and went outside to see what the fuss was about.
Rifle shots from the junction whistling about his ears, soon told him,
Rushing back into the house, he spent a frustrating five minutes attempting to raise the local switchboard, to warn of the invasion. The damned girl was asleep again, he reckoned, that or gossiping.
Leaving his wife to report, he grabbed his pitchfork, and set off in the shelter of the hedgerow, determined to take at least one with him.
The major was beginning to worry, he had failed to take the bridge silently, and by now alarm bells would be ringing all along the coast road. There was no news from Lt Neuman`s party, total silence from that side of the river in fact
The Lt. had approached the bunker with extreme caution, there seemed to be no sign of the enemy beyond the barbed wire, no sentry, no sound, nothing at all.
Suspecting a trap,he edged closer, The wire was cut, with what seemed an almighty crash, but no response.
Creeping closer still, he peered into the bunker.
Inside was.. nothing but an old telegraph post, sticking out of the embrasure, threatening nothing and obviously not worth defending. Leaving three men to hold the site,he led the rest to join up with the bridge party
With both ends of the bridge now in his hands,the major set his men to work digging in and preparing defences against the enemy forces he expect to soon come pouring along the road,whilst the Engineers wired the explosive charges,should it prove neccessary to blow the bridge.
He was not prepared for the direction of the first attack, as down river came,first the sound and then the reality of the River patrol;
A flurry of shots from his men on the Bridge, soon settled the issue, but he knew the next attack would not be so easy. Where oh where were those damned airborne troops?