Brothers in Arms: The story of one tank crew in the face of extreme adversity

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Potatocat, Sep 9, 2014.

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  1. Brothers in Arms

    August 2nd, 1939: A fresh batch of trainees has come out of the Wermacht's Panzer school. Along the rest of the new recruits were four fresh faces. Köhler, Constanze, Balmer, and Jaëger had been given their orders. They were now assigned to the 2nd Panzer Division, were they would remain until either the war was over, or they were dead.

    They had been told to first acquire the uniforms they were to wear, including their pink embroidered wraps. Then to head to barracks and find their bunks before heading to the motor pit were their commander would be waiting. When they made their way there they would find a man standing next to a Panzer IV D variant.

    He stood relatively short at 5' 5", but he was well muscled. Even under his jacket it was obvious this man had the power to move some weight. He wore his light blonde hair short and his face cleanly shaven. His face was fairly young. He had a strong jaw and high cheek bones. The fact that he was in his late twenties would not be easy to miss, but his pale blue eyes looked on as if they held knowledge of men far older than himself. The name on his jacket read, "Katz".
    #1 Potatocat, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  2. "Sir, soldat Jaëger reporting in, Sir." Leon said with a salute as soon as he got there. It was one of the rare instances he would speak first. He had a large knife he won in a fight before his training began tucked into his belt sheath and all and the standard sidearm at his left side while the knife was on his right. He had someone inscribe the words Blut und Ehre on both sides of the knife before he was shipped off for training so he could keep the knife while he served.
    #2 Victor Markov, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  3. The day wasn't relatively bright, nor was it beautiful, but Hendrik felt that it had a special kind of aura to it, as if it held some sort of good omen to come. Well, if it was coming, it sure was taking it's sweet damn time. The lad was dressed in his military best issued clothing, and wore them with the idea that he didn't want to be there.

    And surely, he didn't.

    The man shoved a cigarette in his mouth and sighed. He really needed to cut back on these things. He lit it with a Zippo, and tucked the lighter into the packet. He tucked that, finally, in his chest pocket, causing the fabric around his chest to protrude in a block-like angle. He held the cigarette like a ladies hand, and looked around at all the shaved faces and lengthy men.

    "My god," Franz muttered though the smoke and the smog. "This is a children's crusade." All of the babies with peach-fuzz lined up anxiously before their peers, and Franz took his sweet time looking for his. It wasn't long till he found a short fella, and stumbled over towards him, sucking out the cancer from his cigarette. He stood over him, and gave a lazy salute.

    "Sir, Private Hendrik-Franz Constanze, Sir." He said, blowing smoke out of his mouth. The man put out his cigarette with his thumb and forefinger, tucking it behind his ear. His salute fell over into a shrug, and his hands feel into his pockets. He looked over his glasses to the man before him, hiding away his knife as if he was a child, telling a playmate they couldn't see their toy.
    #3 Dip, Sep 10, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  4. The short man looked the two men up and down quickly before saying anything. "At ease men." He smiled at them both and then his eyes first fell to the tall one. "Well, didn't they send me a mountain of a man. How tall are you? Six foot? And you," He said to the one who had taken a quick drag off of a cigarette, "Have you been to America? I would say so by that lighter you carry. Quite nice." He chuckled slightly. "I spent a few years there myself when I was younger with family. I hope you speak English. It will come in good use with what the Fuhrer has planned for us." He stood there grinning a bit before finishing, "Now, let us wait for the other two in our little party and then I will make proper introductions."
  5. Walking through the crowds of new soldiers was Sam, looking quite out of place and getting more than the usual amount of stares that a new crewman got. Her light golden hair was tied up into a bun behind her head, and she wore a crush-cap along with her standard uniform. She took a piece of paper out of her pocket and unfolded it, reading it then looking around for her assigned commander and tank. She spotted them, nodded, and strode over to them.

    When she arrived she clicked her heals together and saluted, as was common practice, before blurting out "Private Samantha Balmer, designated driver, reporting as assigned sir." Her salute was damn near perfect, and her stance held true. She had obviously done that before.
  6. (What the hell? A girl? Has the Fürher lost his mind?)
    "was zur Hölle? Einen frouline? Hast der Fürher gefallen bist der koff?" Leon muttered as soon as Sam stayed she was their driver. He was surprised to say the least, but he would not say anything else until he was spoken to from there on out.
  7. Katz watched as Sam walked over to the small group forming. A smile lit up on his face when she stood at attention. "Ah yes! It is our little Samantha! At ease." He walked around her, his hands behind his back. When behind her he leaned in close to her ear and whispered, "I know your father." With that he walked around a bit more before finding his way back in front of the group. "You are all to treat her as you would your other crew members. She is no less, and no more, than any of you are." His eyes locked on Leon. "No more. No less." Kats looked around a bit more before realizing that something was still missing. "Now, where is our loader?"
  8. Sam smiled softly and relaxed her stance. She nodded at the other members of her crew, and said "Pleasure to be working with you all."

    At the mention of the missing loader, she too began to look around for him.
  9. "Ah, Schiessen, late again!" Johan would be running up to the motor pit as he saw his CO with some other recruits. Oddly enough, a woman was amongst the ranks as he quickly halted before the CO, whose name read "Katz". "Unteroffizier Weingarten, Cannoneer, sorry for my tardiness, mein Herr!" Johan gave a quick and crisp salute, standing at attention as he waited for an order.
  10. Katz smiled as the loader made his way to the group. "Ah, there you are. At ease, and there is no issue with your tardiness. Just don't let it be a habit. Now that I have you all here, my name is Karl Katz. I will be leading you until this war is over, or you die." He gestured towards the tank behind him. "This is our Panzer. It is a new variation of the four, fresh from the production lines. We have been graced with one of the few they have made so far." As he spoke he watched the crew to make sure they were paying attention. "Know, I hope you all are wondering how I run my crew, and I will make it simple. As long as I am alive and well, the only ranks that exist are me, and the rest of you. You are all equals in my tank, even though your rank outside of my tank says otherwise. Now, make yourselves familiar with each other and the machine."
  11. Johan gave a bit of a stiffled scoff, a smirk on his face as he murmured "What are we going to be doing with this tank, providing rocket cover for the fucking infantry?..." It was more of a challenge than a question, questioning the primary role of the tank as Infantry Support.
  12. Sam nodded after the commander had finished talking and headed over to the tank, looking it over. She was fascinated by the machine, and how strong and reliable it looked. Her eyes shifted to it's gun and she frowned at the short-barreled 75mm gun. "We won't be doing much anti-tank work with that." she muttered as she continued observing it. She walked around the back of it, taking note of the tow cable and various shovels and tools strapped to the tank. She smiled and nodded. "This will do."
  13. "Yes sir. I meant no disrespect. I was just caught by surprise. It won't happen again." Leon said after the commander told him off. It was then that the loader came running with an oh shit that caught Leon's attention then he heard how they were all equals in the tank. It was then he looked at the panzer IV and climbed inside to get familiar with his station. "Commander, do we have any blank shells so I can get some target practice in and get a feel for the tank?" He asked after locating his seat and poked his head out of the hatch.
  14. Johan soon knocked on the metal exterior, somewhat hurting his hand "Though it will protect us in case of any main attacks... Hopefully not a captured Panzerfaust." He spoke to Samantha from the back, walking up to her as he extended his hand. "Frau, I am Johan. Johan Von Weingarten."
    #14 dalecOoOoOoOoOper, Sep 17, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  15. Karl smiled as the crew got around the tank inspecting it. "Trust me my friends. The lack of anti-tank firepower will be of little concern. The important part is the gun has fantastic high explosive performance. We are not taking this into tank to tank warfare. We are invading Poland." His tone grew a bit somber as he delivered the last line, but his mood perked right back up and he continued. "Anyway, please do make note of this machine's failings. We are testing this to see how well it performs and I will be writing reports. Your input will be appreciated."
  16. "Invade Poland?" Hitler certainly had a large mind, but his choice to invade Poland was above and beyond, knowing about the Treaty of Versailles. "Poland, Oberleutnant? Wouldn't that mean breaking the Treaty of Versailles? The British and French will wage war against us!" Johan argued, his voice full of concern.
    (I literally just finished watching The Pianist.)
  17. Sam smiled warmly and shook his hand "Samantha Balmer, pleasure to meet you." She turned her head, looking at the armor. "Yes, the armor may not look like much, but it'll do just fine."
  18. Karl was not surprised that his crew would be shocked by this revelation. "Yes. The Fuhrer has decided to break the Treaty. We will be part of a massive campaign with the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe. You may not agree with his plans, but we are soldiers, and as such are obligated to follow commands. Welcome to the 2nd Panzer division." His tone was stern, but hints of sorrow weaved themselves into his words. His eyes gave away the amount of fear he had going to war and the emphasis he placed on the word "obligated" did not make his opposition to the invasion subtle.
    #18 Potatocat, Sep 17, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  19. He smiled back, looking at her with a hint of shyness, shaking it politely before letting go "Germany is going to be in a very large problem after this invasion.." he tried not to think about it, but more at the mission at hand.
  20. She nodded. "I trust in the high command though. They know what they are doing.
    With that, she climbed up onto the tank and opened the commander's hatch, peering inside.
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