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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest

 
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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:04:33 AM   
heinrich55

 

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Now there is a huge firestorm pouring from the stricken tank, climbing skyward maybe 30 or 40 meters, the red flames reflecting off the iris of his eyes, staring wide-eyed at the spectacle unfolding before him.




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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:05:27 AM   
heinrich55

 

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As he watches, the flames and smoke rise even higher over the dead tank. How can it burn so much so quickly? he thinks to himself. That tank must have been cut open like a hot knife through butter.

He sees a fan of sparks cascade off the front of the following tank. He doesn’t see where that shot comes from, but he knows there are several tanks in the near tree line. It wasn’t the Maus this time though. Their rate of reload is much slower.




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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:06:17 AM   
heinrich55

 

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The Soviet tankers are at a disadvantage as they crest the slight rise of the field just east of Baruth. They cannot see the enemy first, and silhouette themselves as they crest the rise, moving as they are, at top speed. They believe their only chance is to close quickly with the enemy and they are being urged on by their commanders...and into a killing field.

Major Staudt is again busy trying to save his crew and himself. He sights in on two T-34/85s rushing forward and just cresting the rise. His gunner was targeting the first one, but another tremendous blast from the Maus, followed by the enormous explosion of their initial target causes him to switch to the secondary target. He gives the order and the Panther rocks with the blast, the shell casing banging noisily onto the turret deck. He sees the hit as great sparks fly from the second T-34.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:07:55 AM   
heinrich55

 

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Major Staudt sees the Russian tankers leaping from the T-34 that he has just hit twice. In his usual running commentary he lets the crew know they have yet another kill to their record.

The sergeant on the roof of the factory does not have his field glasses with him and cannot see the small figures leaping from their torn tank, but he does see that no further shells impact that tank.

Unterfeldwebel Hagen has been busy with his Maus. He suspected that the Major might claim his first kill, so he has been eager to get his shots off before the Panther crew.

They claimed another kill moments ago, clearly getting their shot off before the Major’s Panther had a chance. The enemy tank disintegrated before the might of their 12.8 cm canon.

As he watches through the periscope he sees two more enemy tanks rushing over the gentle crest of the hill. The first veers towards his tank and lets loose a shot on the fly. Seconds later the shell caroms off their frontal armor. He can hardly feel the impact, so great is the weight of the Maus.
“The lead tank, one o’clock, that’s ours,” he calls to Sepp as the gunner makes his final adjustments. Hagen feels affronted that the Russian got the first hit and doesn’t want to take any chances on a lucky hit from the enemy.

He is slightly stunned as the giant cannon roars in anger once again. He rides the recoil and tries to track the shell as it rips through the air towards the enemy tank. Hagen cannot know that the Major’s tank has fired at almost the same time.

The sergeant sees their target stagger and appear to collapse inward as if pressed by a giant, invisible fist for just a split second…..and then flames are everywhere, giant pieces of steel flying through the air as another Soviet tank is torn to pieces.

Even as he takes in the raw violence of the exploding tank he sees the tank just to the side and slightly behind stagger from a violent hit and begins smoking. Must have been the Major, thinks Hagen. These tankers are luckier than their comrades; they were only hit with a 7.5 cm shell. Most of them are alive and jumping from their burning wreck.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:08:59 AM   
heinrich55

 

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Despite the best efforts of the Elefant crew, the Russians have managed to penetrate the south side of Baruth. As the numbers run down for the scout section, Unteroffizier Kiser orders his section to pull back. With the loss of Wohler, there is only Pfalz left.

Pfalz gives his driver the order to pull back, and suddenly the driver shouts an alarm. Pfalz stares wild-eyed at a Soviet tank, now less than 300 meters away from them and slipping from the heavy woods. All he can think to do is depress the triggers of his 2.0 cm cannons as an angry, defiant last gesture. The cannon shells run true, sparking off the enemy tank as he and his crew watches the blossom of flame erupt from the tank gun.

Pfalz roars a final curse at the enemy tankers and then his halftrack erupts into a giant ball of flames. They die instantly and don’t feel the flames consuming the halftrack and all in it.

Kiser sees the black cloud and knows the worst has happened. He alerts the radio net that Soviet tanks are flanking from the south. He orders his driver to back them out of harms way.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:11:07 AM   
heinrich55

 

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Leutnant Schmidt and his crew have been very busy. They have caused so much damage to the wave of Soviet tanks that many have bulled their way into the forest to escape his wrath. Their engagement range has been 700 meters or higher. It is a tremendous distance but his 8.8 cm gun has been wreaking havoc on the enemy.

Schmidt is aware that several have now broken through the forest and are rushing the town. He can see the pall of smoke from where his “eyes” used to be, the scout units that are now dying one by one. He will try to avenge them as well as his comrades from Kursk.

“Herr Leutnant!” shouts the driver. “The cemetery,” he warns.

Schmidt brings his field glasses to bear and sees the enemy. A Soviet tank is rushing behind the large church on the edge of town. It is churning through the cemetery, disinterring the dead in a display of arrogance that cannot be allowed.

The bastard, thinks Schmidt. No respect for the dead. “Range 760 meters, 2 0’clock, flank shot.”

His driver smoothly coaxes the giant beast into position as the gunner Max makes the fine adjustments. The loud bang is accompanied with smoke and burnt gasses as the shell launches from the gun.

“Dammit, he spooked!” shouts Schmidt. It is a miss. The enemy tank commander must have spotted them at the last minute. The T-34/85 is now backing frantically, the treads clawing at the cemetery grounds, grave markers torn and shattered as the tank tries to reverse to safety.

Max calmly makes the adjustments and the angry Elefant roars once again. There is a massive explosion as the 8.8 cm cannon shell rips through the offending tank. Flames spew from the ruptured hull as the Russian tankers join those whose graves they were moments before showing such disrespect.

“Herr Leutnant, we only have 2 more AT shells,” comes the grim report from his loader.

“Target at 800 meters, 10 o’clock,” calls the gunner. The massive assault gun begins to swing left.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:12:12 AM   
heinrich55

 

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Gefreiter Greiffen is urging his tank onwards. They know the enemy is close and they are seeking a good vantage to hunt them. Reports are coming in as the scout halftracks are destroyed. The enemy is forcing their right flank.

Their section leader is urging them to move faster. They rush down the main street, gears wide open. Greiffen sees the last remaining halftrack just ahead and knows they are close to their stopping point. He orders the driver to gear down and ease forward to a break between a rooming house and a store.

As they ease forward he notices that the halftrack is now frantically scrabbling backward, reversing from some obvious threat. He is distracted by this for only a moment, and as he turns his field glasses to the narrow space between the buildings he sees an odd blossom of flame….and knows with sickening realization that they are dead.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:13:15 AM   
heinrich55

 

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Sergeant Kiser has just yelled to his driver to reverse, as they see a Soviet tank rushing in from the flank. He has seen Greiffen’s Panzer rushing down the street and has the comforting thought that the Soviet tanker is in for a rude surprise.

The ugly clang of steel on steel snaps his head around in time to see the killing round tear into Greiffen’s turret. Smoke billows out and Kiser feels dread begin to overwhelm his momentary feeling of calm. The Panzer is dead.

He sees the slumped figure of the Panzer commander limp in the hatch, as the driver and radio man throw themselves from their hatches and roll off the tank. Two men out, he thinks. Smoke pours from the tank but it doesn’t explode in flames.

“Keep backing!” he roars viciously, hoping to survive a few more hours if possible. Things are falling apart quickly.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:15:00 AM   
heinrich55

 

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Corporal Rolf is justifiably proud of his crew this day. His gunner has been spectacular with accuracy and the crew a picture of calm and professionalism. He is about to congratulate them further when he catches a glimpse of movement on the far side of the crest.

He calls out a warning, and his gunner is already on the target. It is one of the tanks from the field, but moving stealthily along the back side of the crest, where it can’t be tracked by the Maus and the Major’s Panther.

“I’ve got him,” calls out the gunner. “Five forty-five meters…..”

“Fire,” shouts Rolf. The tank rocks with recoil from the exploding powder from the AT shell, the acrid cloud of smoke billowing through the vehicle interior. He senses more than sees the loader already slamming a shell into the open breech. How can he see in all that smoke wonders Rolf, yet one more time marveling at the efficiency of his crew. Instructors all, but with years of combat to temper their ability, they are deadly cool in the operation of their killing machine.

“Treffer,” calls Rolf. They have hit the enemy tank in the track and he calls this out to the gunner. Hans is immediately making a slight correction, bringing the gun up slightly to seek a better killing location. Rolf sees the enemy tank rocking slightly – their gun has not moved so they have no clue where we are, he thinks to himself. He almost feels sorry for them…..

Blam….Hans has fired the next shot and Rolf sees the impact, high-side turret- face; smoke pours from the stricken tank and two figures escape from the dead tank, diving into the tall grass.

Another kill, mein Gott! thinks Rolf, overcome with amazement. He is momentarily at a loss for words, and his crew smiles back at him over their shoulders, self-consciously as if they can read his mind and feel his pride in their achievement.

The moment expended, he gruffly orders vigilance, knowing there is still danger out there and they have not survived the day yet. The crew smile to one another and exchange knowing glances. They are equally proud of their “old Man,” even though Rolf is barely older than they are.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:16:45 AM   
heinrich55

 

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In the next few minutes several things happen at once. Sgt. Kiser, the last scout halftrack on the right flank is caught in the open, reversing fast. His halftrack is hit and stalls. He orders his men out fast, and they bail from the stricken vehicle, barely escaping with their lives. The enemy tank is deadly and a shell tears through the thin steel. Kiser’s quick order has saved his crew for another time.

Rolf’s crew spots an enemy tank sneaking through the woods. Once again, Hans is cool and efficient, placing the kill shot into the flank armor of the enemy. They are now out of AT shells and will have to make due with HE, a poor substitute for tank killing.

In the far field, the remaining enemy T-34/85 tanks are still milling about, looking for someone to direct them. Untersturmführer Bynum watches the enemy from his wooded hiding place. He displays no emotion as he watches the enemy.

“There,” cries out one of the men, pointing down the road. So, thinks Bynum, one of the Ivan have developed some guts after all. The enemy tanker has directed his vehicle straight down the road, heading in their direction. The officer can feel a wave of uncertainty flood over his men. Many are new recruits, never having gone toe-to-toe with armor. They only have a few panzerfaust AT weapons among them.

“Quiet, Männer, quiet,” he soothes. “They have a way to go before they deal with us. Have faith. We are the last line.” The men seem to calm with his words, again settling down.

Bynum watches as the other tanks seem to take strength from their self-appointed leader. He sees one suddenly disappear in dust and moments later, hatches open, he knows yet another enemy tank has been struck dead by a hammer blow from an unseen assailant.

Still, the one tank pushes on, menacing, determined, seeking prey. Bynum feels a sudden rush of air and sees the brilliant flash before he hears the flat, distinctive crack of the 7.5 cm cannon of a Panther tank.

One of the new men can’t control his enthusiasm and shouts “He burns!”

Indeed, the hulking hunter is torn by a high-velocity AT round, and explodes in a spectacular display of fuel and ammunition gone wild. Flames roar in untamed brilliance as they pour from the wreck that only seconds before was their nearest threat.

“The Major, he watches over us,” intones Bynum grimly. With that the SS Leutnant nods appreciatively in the direction of town, calculating the shot had to be over 850 meters, a hell of a shot. The Major has one damned fine crew.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:17:59 AM   
heinrich55

 

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Leutnant Bessner has been lobbing shells at the enemy tanks well to the east. They have managed to catch some in the flank, knocking them out. Their section was ordered to the far left flank, a grueling trek through heavy woods, but they finally made it to a position of advantage. They are well concealed in the trees, and the Russian tankers don’t have much of a clue where they are.

Bessner is calling out ranges for his gunner. He saw the one tank start pushing down the road, but lost sight of it. Moments later the oily black cloud billowed up from the road and he knew the tank had died.

The death of their most aggressive tank has stunned the survivors in the field. Bessner can almost see their indecision. He feels his tank rock violently as one of their AT shells clears the barrel, streaking towards one of the Russians they have lined up.

A huge, fiery ball roils up from their target. “A kill!” he shouts even though all can see the destruction they have just wrought. He can see an enemy tank commander suddenly shield his eyes from the heat and flames of the tank they just hit. Still, he does not order his tank to move.

Bessner orders his gunner to target the tank that is using the flaming wreck as cover. His gunner gives a grim smile, as that was exactly what he is getting set to accomplish.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:18:55 AM   
heinrich55

 

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The Soviet tank commander is stunned by the violence of the nearby tank exploding. He knows the crew never had a chance – they never even had a chance to scream. He is grateful for that, having heard many friends as they screamed their lungs out while trapped in flaming coffins. He can see the paint boiling and bubbling on the surface of the inferno that is only meters away.

However, he now believes that his tank is much safer where it is, shielded by the smoke and flames of his dead fellow tank men. Desperately he searches the far off tree line. The enemy has to be at least 750 meters distant. How can they be so accurate? he wonders.

Instinctively he feels rather than sees a brilliant flash, dropping rapidly into the turret of his tank. He is bleeding from steel fragments. With this comes the shocked realization that they are still exposed. The devil is out there and hunting them now. And still they have no idea where safety lies.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:20:22 AM   
heinrich55

 

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“Pour it on boys,” urges Bessner. “They aren’t moving,” he declares, somewhat in amazement. He would have had his tank moving fast, in some direction, ANY direction, not waiting for the death knell.

“Low on AT rounds,” calls out his loader.

“Keep it going, no matter what,” orders Bessner. “They are daring us to hit them. They don’t think we can kill them at this range. They think their tank is stronger than our shells,” he challenges his men.

To himself he thinks ruefully that they just might be right. He has now counted no less than 7 hits, one which tore a good part of the enemy’s right tread off. They probably can’t move now.

“The last AT round,” sings out the loader. He never misses a beat as he reaches for HE rounds. They’ll keep shooting whatever they have.

“Make it count,” counsels Bessner to his gunner. The gunner never takes his eyes off his sights.

“Just a little to the left,” he mutters grimly to himself, not aware he has said this out loud. His concentration is palpable. He grips the trigger with determination….the shell explodes from the breech and is hurled some 760 meters across the field. He cannot see for the moment from the smoke crowding the muzzle brake…

“YES!” Bessner gives a triumphant shout as he sees the enemy tank erupt into flames. “What a Hell of a shot! He burns!”

The gunner accepts this praise quietly, knowing that the enemy tankers are suffering a horrible fate. He is thankful it is them and not him. Survival is the order of the day.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:39:01 AM   
Rick

 

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This is a great read Heinrich! Thanks!

Thanks
rick

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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 12:58:36 AM   
heinrich55

 

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Rick,
Glad you are enjoying it. More to come...

Heinrich55

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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:00:29 AM   
heinrich55

 

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The order comes through the net…”Admiral, move your ship up the road and engage remaining Soviet tanks. Try not to run over the infantry up there.”
Sergeant Hagen smiles at the order. The Major is telling him he will have support on the flanks from the SS men on foot in the woods.

“Ja Wohl, Herr Major. Setting sail now.” He allows himself a breach of radio discipline; they are old comrades in a very long war. His driver is already easing their tank into gear. Gently, he urges silently, as these babies are ponderously overweight and terribly underpowered.

His two loaders have already manhandled another gigantic shell into the maw of the cannon breech. He opens the hatch and peers out over the huge expanse of his tank. They push slowly up the road, careful to stay on the hard surface.

“Target,” reports the gunner. “Ja, I see it. Twelve o’clock, 470 meters. When you are ready,” Hagen gives the commands.

Having seen the demise of two of his fellow tankers, a Soviet commander orders his driver to get to the road. If they can get across they might be clear of the devilish hell coming from the tree line. They accelerate past broken tanks and make the road; he intends to rush right across.

Hagen sees the Russian just about the same time he is sighted. Hagen watches the Russian drop his glasses in astonishment, only to bring them up to his eyes once more, as if he cannot truly believe what he is seeing. Now the Russian commander is screaming something into his tank and pounding on the turret with his free hand.

The Russian commander is indeed screaming to his driver, ordering him to get off the road. Instinctively the driver spins the tank to his left, bringing their heaviest armor to the front against what appears to be a railway gun on a gun carriage. They see a bright spot of red-orange……

The impact is terrible. The commander has dropped into the turret at the last moment, surviving the terrible blow to his tank. Had he been exposed he might have been torn apart from air pressure alone.

“Track damage,” mumbles the driver, already in shock from the impact. The commander is also in shock, his crew bleeding from being thrown about from the hit. Consciously he realizes they are still alive but cannot figure out why. Everything is in slow motion…..

“Track hit,” calls Hagen to his crew. The right track has been torn off the target.” He is still amazed at the damage his shells are causing, even for glancing blows.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:02:17 AM   
heinrich55

 

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The Russian commander is crawling with effort to the gunner’s station. His men seem incapable of moving, merely moaning in pain and mumbling incoherently. Must get to the gun, he thinks. Even thoughts are painful. What kind of gun are the damn Germans using?

He slowly pulls himself up to the gunsight and focuses on the giant enemy vehicle. Things are all moving in slow motion and he sees a giant blossom of red/orange flame getting larger and larger, obscuring the entire German tank. He slumps back in resignation, not willing to watch what is about to unfold.

Hagen rides the incredible recoil of their gun. It actually shoves the huge tank backward, treads biting into the road surface and tearing it.

Cpl. Waltz’s men have moved towards the roadway, intending to advance across it when they were almost knocked down by the shockwave of air pressure racing down the road. They had slowed when they sighted yet another enemy tank making the road, but then they watched it get hit by the shell from the Maus.

As they lie in the woods, another rush of agonized air races past them, followed by a screaming howl like that of a speeding train engine as the gigantic projectile flashed past their position.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:03:12 AM   
heinrich55

 

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The shell from the Maus obliterates the turret and interior of the enemy tank. There are no survivors.

The SS men stare in astonishment and admiration.




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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:04:29 AM   
heinrich55

 

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As the driver begins to resume their slow advance, gunner Sepp calls out to stop. He is tracking another target, getting momentary glimpses through the woods. His deliberation is steady and silent. Hagen sees it too.

It appears the last Soviet tank in the field beyond the tree line is making a break for it. Their commander has seen everyone else torn apart and is turning his tank for a run towards Zossen, away from the Hell of Baruth.

Hagen watches as the T-34/85 begins to gain speed, racing across the field at an angle to their tank gun. He wonders with impatience what is taking Sepp so long. They will miss their window…..

Air pressure drops and the howl of the shell screaming from the breech and out the barrel disrupts his train of thought. Instantly he grips his field glasses tighter and locks onto the enemy tank, still rushing towards safety.

The enemy tank has the left side exposed at an angle and he wonders if…..Mein Gott, a HIT! For a moment he saw the steel cave in on the side as if punched in by a giant fist; then smoke obscures the unfortunate victim.

Hagen glances at his watch and notices that barely 25 seconds have expired from the first kill to the second. Three shells for two kills…that is pretty damn fine shooting. He lets his gunner know just how pleased he is with the man.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:05:43 AM   
heinrich55

 

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On the right flank, Oberfeldwebel Zuckermann’s section is trying to stalk several of the enemy tanks that penetrated their right flank and killed off Sgt. Kiser’s scout section. They have also claimed Cpl. Greiffen’s Panzer IV.

Unterfeldwebel Plaus is covering their left flank as his SSgt. eases forward, seeking the enemy tanks. Suddenly his driver calls out.

“Feldwebel, he is making a run for it. Look – there. Ten o’clock, side aspect.”

Plaus immediately turns to his left and sees the exhaust smoke of a T-34 rushing right to left. He feels the turret already swinging to track. The tank crew must have panicked and decided to make a run for safety.

“Range 787, left flank, fire when ready,” he gives his gunner commands.

A sharp bang follows shortly. A miss. Moments later the tank recoils again. There is a big puff of smoke and dust around the fleeing tank. Another miss. Come on, come on, Plaus thinks, willing their shots to be on target. If the enemy tank gets far enough he might flank their tanks near the road out of town.
Another round flies; another miss. Verdammt, he curses under his breath. Then things are quiet, almost as if time is standing still. Now he wonders why it is taking so long for the next shell to let loose.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:06:45 AM   
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The gunner is working a very difficult shot, a fast-mover flank on at an increasing angle, and nearly 800 meters. He deliberately slows things down, knowing that his commander is probably bursting with impatience. Let us do this just like the classroom, he thinks, falling back into his role as a gunnery instructor for new students at Kummersdorf Proving Grounds.

A little more lead….add another degree or so for trajectory….set the crosshairs just right…..”Now,” he shouts, gripping the trigger at the moment he felt was just right.

Plaus has a feeling of relief followed by anticipation. His gunner really lined that shot up….

“Treffer!” It is a kill, a certain kill. Flames roar up in a horrific funeral pyre as the enemy tank turns into an inferno. Plaus is already looking for another target – the enemy tanks lurk near.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:08:04 AM   
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Sgt. Baedeker has been gingerly dancing from hiding spot to hiding spot, knowing there is an enemy tank just ahead. He has made the long rush from left flank to right flank and now is stalking.

He cannot see anything from the small depression he presently occupies, hidden behind a large dwelling. His next part of the plan is fairly daring, but he quickly outlines it with the crew. They must all be on the same page and ready for instant action. They nod their approval, as he knew they would – they trust him implicitly.

They will race forward over the small rise, seeking cover behind the next apartment building, expecting to ease up and hopefully spot the enemy tank they know must be ahead of them.

Baedeker gives his driver the nod and the Jagdpanzer lurches forward gently as the driver nurses momentum from the clutch. They are front-heavy from the long gun and if not careful they could bury their barrel in the dirt, putting them out of action. The engine then roars as the driver eases into first and accelerates.

He feels the heady rush of their acceleration as they crest the small rise and race through the deadly killing ground to his left. No shots come their way so the enemy must not have anticipated their maneuver. As they rush to the blind spot behind the next apartment building, his eye catches the sight of a woman leaning out of the second story flat, waving frantically and pointing around the edge of the building. She is warning them of what….?

“Target dead ahead,” calls out the gunner, in an utterly calm voice devoid of any emotion. They have rushed directly into the sight of the very tank they were stalking – Baedeker feels terribly exposed. Their flank is safe as they are in the blind spot, but directly to the front they are looking straight at the enemy T-34/85.

His gunner needs no adjustments. The driver expertly brakes smoothly, avoiding any bouncing of the chassis, and as Baedeker braces himself against the hatch rim from the deceleration there is a terrific bang as his gunner lets fly with the shell they had in the cannon. He was about to call out that he thought the range was just under 200 meters, but the shell is already on the way. They are so damn close but it seems the enemy tank has incredibly not seen them.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:09:14 AM   
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With unerring accuracy the Jagdpanzer’s shell closes on the enemy tank. What Baedeker does not know is that they have just barely crested a slight rise in the backyard of the apartment building they are alongside. Their profile is already sleek and low, without the extra height from a turret. While he thinks they are dangerously exposed, they are in fact hugging the slope in a fine hull-down position, making them very hard to see.

The Russian crew didn’t see them until the gout of flame left their barrel, and now they cannot react fast enough to do anything except maybe scream. The killing shell is too fast for even that. The enemy tank takes a turret hit and smokes badly, a definite kill as evidenced by three of the shocked Russian crewmen leaping from their broken tank.

“A Kill,” he shouts in obvious relief. His peripheral vision catches colorful clothing and he looks up quickly, seeing in the second story window the young Fräulein with a look of fear on her face, the cloth she was waving to warn them held tightly to her mouth.

He waves gallantly his thanks to her and absently notes that she is quite pretty. He thinks she needs to get the hell out of here before the Russians come back. Then the brief moment is over and he is again stalking the remaining Russian tanks. There is at least one more out there and they just don’t know exactly where.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:10:16 AM   
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Leutnant Schmidt feels powerless now that they have run out of AT shells. There is no point in wasting HE shells unless the enemy comes closer, so he watches with interest the deadly scene before him.

Yet another T-34 is running for safety, attempting to dash through the gantlet of deadly fire. Perhaps they noticed that no further shells were raining death upon them from the Elefant. So many of their fellow tankers were killed by the deadly touch from the 8.8 cm cannon. They decide to take their chances with a rush.

Several Jagdpanzer have now joined the hunt and start raining shells on the hapless tank. But the real danger is Plaus as his gunner is now getting the range on the runners. In a race for the kill, Plaus wins as his gunner makes the kill at over 800 meters. One Russian crewman is seen escaping the smoldering wreck.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:11:22 AM   
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Plaus and his men are momentarily celebrating another long-distance kill shot as their section leader stalks forward, seeking a T-34 within the village. Zuckermann knows the tank is out there, and in fact, narrowly missed being hit when they dashed from one blind spot behind a building to another.

Now Zuckermann pushes forward, on the alert. Suddenly he sees the enemy tank, lurking behind some trees, still on the move. Before he can order the driver to stop, he sees the enemy tank take a snap shot. Dammit, he thinks, they got the first…..all goes black.

Incredibly the Russian shell hits the vulnerable front turret armor, punching into the tank and instantly setting the vehicle ablaze. Zuckermann and his loader are killed outright; only the gunner, driver, and co-driver are able to fling themselves out of their respective hatches, avoiding the worst of the flames.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:13:09 AM   
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From her position on the second floor of her apartment, a young woman watches the battle draw close to her home. She has only moments before risked her safety to try and warn some tank hunters on the one side of her apartment. She was successful, seeing the enemy tank blown apart.

Now she sees out the other window another German vehicle, this one with a turret, moving cautiously. Suddenly her breath is taken away, as the tank sparks brightly and smokes up immediately. It is on fire, she thinks in horror, and sees men with their uniforms smoking and streaked with blood as they tumble from the wreck.

She looks quickly in the direction the tank was driving and now sees it, the greenish paint of the enemy tank that just fired. The tank is still moving, having obviously taken a shot on the fly, its turret pointed towards the burning German tank. With a start she wonders if the tank on the far side of her building knows what just happened. She rushes to the window to lean out again and warn them.

She shouts but they can’t hear her over the roar of their engine. She sees them suddenly alert, pointing. She looks in the same direction and sees the enemy, still moving quickly as it emerges from behind the building on the far side of the street. Her tank hunters have seen it now, and appear to be readying to fire. Will they be in time she wonders? with a catch in her throat.

A brilliant flash and a sudden roar stagger her. She sees the flames pour from the broken Russian tank. One man is trying to escape, completely engulfed in the horrid fire, but he collapses back into his flaming coffin. The orange flames and oily black smoke mark the gravesite. She realizes she is trembling. The shot came from some other direction and killed the enemy.

Plaus is extremely happy with his gunner. They caught the Russian on the fly as he was moving rapidly. They don’t know that they have avenged the killer of their section leader. They do know that they have lost contact with Zuckermann, but the battle still rages and they must remain alert.

With that last spectacular kill, Sgt. Plaus has put the finishing touch on the total annihilation of the Soviet thrust. All that is left are broken and burning tanks. The Major can hardly believe his ears when the reports begin filtering in. The battle abruptly comes to a close. It is a complete victory, perhaps better described as a legendary one. The enemy has been bested to extinction. A fly-over by a scout plane provides graphic evidence of the carnage caused this day.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:14:10 AM   
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“Admiral” Hagen is on the far outskirts of Baruth, and can find only destruction. Bynum and Waltz are thanking their lucky stars for the crack gunnery of their tank soldiers as they push their infantry units out towards Zossen. All they can find are dazed and badly wounded Soviet tank crewmen, and very few of them as well. Most have perished in their flaming coffins.

Hagen is justifiably proud of his crew. They have hammered 5 enemy tanks into oblivion. The destruction of those tanks is staggering; his weapon system has been proven beyond all anticipation.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:15:07 AM   
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The central area shows a terrible killing field where the Red tanks poured through a tree line and up a small slope. As they crested this slope they were fired upon by the original positions of the Maus and the Major’s Panther. Worst was the positioning of Oberleutnant Luedner’s section. They had pushed aggressively forward and now brought flanking fire on the advancing Soviets coming up the crest.

They did lose Meyer’s Mark IV, but the third tank in Luedner’s section, commanded by a mere Corporal, exceeded all expectations. Cpl. Rolf’s tank accounted for 7 kills. His gunner Hans was the picture of cool and collected courage under fire. Many of their kills were under 400 meters, through the trees.





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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:16:33 AM   
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Elefant commander Schmidt can feel the ghosts of his fallen comrades from that ill-fated attack at Kursk all around him. They are well pleased with his stellar performance. Thanks to his gunner Max, the Leutnant has racked up a kill total of 6 enemy tanks, some of the very best the Russians have to field against them. He has carried this survivors guilt with him ever since that far-off day deep in Russia; now he feels the ghosts of his fallen comrades will let him sleep in peace.

His crew knows he fights these mental battles as well as the physical ones and they mute their demonstrations of celebration in deference to their Leutnant.




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RE: The Roar of the Maus - The Biggest and Baddest - 10/11/2011 1:17:40 AM   
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Reports from the far right flank are coming in now. They have stemmed the Soviet thrust at a high-water mark in the suburbs of Baruth. The timely intervention of one Jagdpanzer coupled with some amazing gunnery from Sgt. Plaus and his crew has broken the back of the advance in that area. Losses were high though, as Plaus lost both his fellow section tanks and Kiser’s entire scout halftrack unit was wiped out.




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