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rodsantos

The Grenade

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The fire from the 40mm autocannon grew louder as the two Allied soldiers approached the clearing.

"There's the Bofors," muttered the captain. "Just a little further. That sucker's been pounding our air."

The captain pointed to a spot about five feet from the clearing. "Santos, you stay here. Watch my back."

"But won't you need help, sir?" Corporal Santos asked.

"It has a crew of two. I can handle it."

The Captain shouldered his Thompson and burst into the clearing firing.

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He had expected to face two. There were five Germans waiting for him.

Surprise was on his side for a moment. He sprayed the Bofors crew with one long burst.

The spotter went down in a heap, clutching at empty air. The gunner slumped in his seat as the .45 caliber rounds smashed through his torso.

The other three Germans reacted. Two had pistols, the other an MP-40 submachine gun. The captain took ten rounds from them combined and collapsed with a yell that could be heard almost all the way back to Haybes.

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Santos heard the fire. In his horror, he understood what had happened. The captain had walked into more Jerries than he could handle.

He pulled himself up onto one knee, fumbling for a grenade from his belt. A burst from the MP-40 chattered, sending up clods of dirt from the ground two feet beside him. Pistol fire echoed through the clearing, crashing through bushes and tree branches near him. 

Santos grabbed a grenade with trembling fingers, his heart pounding, his breathing hard and fast. He snatched off the pin, released the lever, and lobbed it overhead into the clearing. 

A yell came in German, just ten feet away. "Stielhandgranate..!" 

Santos dove to the ground, hugging the dirt as closely as he could, just as his grenade went off:

BOOM!
The explosion threw dirt, grass, shrubbery, and dust everywhere. The heat seared at Santos' skin, but none of the debris hit him.

He jumped to his feet, striding into the clearing with his rifle at the ready. What he saw was carnage. His captain was at his feet, lying face up with bullet holes scattered across his chest. He saw three other bodies. Slowly, carefully, he walked closer.

Santos first inspected the German with the MP-40 lying beside his body. Just a corporal, his torso shredded by the grenade.

He bent over the next one, which lay beside a small green car with an Iron Cross painted on the side. He wore epaulettes with a braided design and a gold button with blue trim. 

"Did I just kill..." He inspected the last body. Same epaulettes, but with green trim instead of blue. Santos had seen this before. A panzer grenadier. In fact, a colonel of panzer grenadiers. 

He had just stumbled across two high ranking officers and their driver.

"Did I just kill two colonels...?"

 

 

(A slightly fictionalised retelling of the time I killed three people, two of whom veteran players, with one grenade, in the days before the HE audit. I spiced the story up, just a little. :) Hope you enjoyed!)

 

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