CHAPTER 4: LANDFALL
Date: January ??, 1938
Location: Northwest Bay, Isla Incognita
Situation: Departure and Day 1 On The Island
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Important Suggestion: Reread Chapter 3 The Old Warrior first here:
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A customary marine band did not play lively tunes ashore as we weighed anchor and gathered way departing Malabascar. We did not have one. Instead....
Herr von Stiehl arranged for each vessel to loudly play a traditional recording of "Hoch Deutschlands Flotte." This spirited march had been a staple expressing pride in our navy tasked with guarding overseas colonies from before the Great War of 1914-1918.
It cheered the men enormously....
As they waived auf wiedersehen to families or anyone lining the docks....
Amidst gaily fluttering flags at the von Stiehl Werke.
An hour later Malabascar began to rapidly recede on our port side.
No doubt never far from Herr von Stiehl's thoughts as we steamed toward....
NORTHWEST BAY, ISLA INCOGNITA
remember von Stiehl's irrevocable prohibition that dates, course and speed must not be revealed until a future permitted time. Therefore, I beg your forbearance if I do not mention the number of days taken to sail to Northwest Bay, Isla Incognita. Still as I record all but the most secret circumstances, you will be privileged to learn many details known only by our most senior officers.
Early in the morning of Day #1 ships boats began ferrying shore parties to a rocky beach. We did not expect trouble but everyone was ready for it. According to several officers our personnel were among the best volunteers the Kriegsmarine and Wehrmacht offered. The most modern and powerful equipment added to every one's confidence.
Familiar vegetation amidst some singularly peculiar flora was noticed. There was not much time to contemplate if it belonged. Some thought it did not.
The first three sections cautiously moved inland alert for unknowns. Gefreiter Christian Blech at the point of our right-hand gruppe thought it odd no tropical birds rose, soared, dived or screeched in raucous complaints about our invasion. Only the pleasant sound of the surf was heard behind us. Isla Incognita was lovely and peaceful.
Shots were fired in the direction from which the arrow had come....
Once Blech recovered from his shocking encounter with death, we moved forward....
Approaching the slowly-moving stream with caution.
We wondered if the indigenous population would oppose our crossing the river.
They did not. One of their number had been killed and left behind. Therefore, we continued to move inland scouting the immediate area per orders for the day.
A totem of sorts. Was it a boundary marker or warning? Both was the opinion of the men there. Satisfied we had penetrated far enough for today, they....
Ferocious wart hogs charged and gored several of our men. We'd had enough and so....
Two hours later, probably more, we withdrew to the campsite established in our absence.
During our march inland, more sections landed.
These headed inland to our left around a heavily wooded ridge.
Like us, they remained alert. This was especially so because they had heard our earlier rifle fire.
They too approached the stream. Nothing more than verdant tropical panoramas were seen.
The leading section paused until reinforced.
Satisfied with reinforcements, everyone walked toward the stream. Blocked from view by vegetation agitated water went unseen.
Our men fled for their lives in three directions even as another smaller crocodile leaped from the water.
Much later when Dr. Krausen arrived in camp, injured men needed his attention.
Others inquired about impossibly large nuts, mollusk shells and berries.
Nearby, von Stiehl waited for reports with which you are already familiar supplied by....
Von Stiehl: "Ja. Our benefactor will be pleased. By now he should know the mission is underway."
Schloss Cecillenhof, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
A fitting wish for the Fatherland. By now they should be encamped under those stars.
And they were. By nightfall a guarded zareba enclosed the camp.
We might imagine guards peering into the darkness while....
Others relaxed with comrades discussing each man's experiences and thoughts for the day.
Von Stiehl radioed son Rudi aboard Luchs.
Lookouts spotted a bon fire inland. Major von Recker thinks natives started it.
1) Day #1 was a tabletop weeknight game governed by Howard Whitehouse's Astounding Tales rules. Chuck L. and John B. commanded the two shore parties while yours truly activated and moved creatures and indigenous warriors.
2) Some items featured were:
Flags: The Flag Dude.
Buildings in the snow: Inn by Miniature Building Authority.
Tropical soldiers/sailors: Brigade Games, Black Tree Design and others.
Submarine: Brigade Games.
Luchs: Richard Houston gunboat sold through The Virtual Armchair General.
Giant Crocodile: Schleich.
Red Car: Duesenberg made by Solido.
Sea Monster: Mosasaur of the Inner Sea by Dragonblood Miniatures painted by Chuck.
Tropical Terrain: Lots of scratch-built items from Pet Stores.
Custom Stream and Terrain Cloth: The Terrain Guy now out of business.
Natives, Totem and von Stiehl's son: Bob Murch Pulp Miniatures.
3) Perhaps I should restate that historical elections of 1933 maintained The Weimar Republic in this what-if story. Fascist and Communist challengers grossly failed and became insignificant. The Fascist leader committed suicide afterwards. Additionally, Malabascar is a fictional independent island nation - not a former colony of Germany. See Chapter 1 for more.
4) Chuck L. and Todd B. provided prodigious and vital amounts of varied tropical terrain. Thank you!
5) Thank you for looking in. I appreciate it.
6) The exciting and terrifying march inland will appear in early December, 2014. I hope you will come back to find out what happens.
7) Meanwhile, your remarks, inquiries and impressions are sought and welcome below at the word "Comments."
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