21 July 2000. Kamiensk, Poland.
With Maks’ increased ability to monitor coded Soviet communications, he’s found some interesting intel.
The Soviets and Poles have each posted a small detachment in Szczercow during recent maneuvers to hold the crossroads. Radio chat (mostly Russian, but some Polish in the clear) indicates that they’re in the process of pulling out, moving the forces back to Łódź and Piotrkow over the next week or so. The townsfolk of Szczercow will presumably be left on their own.
One complainer in particular is expressing relief that soon he’ll no longer being responsible for so many prisoners, “More of them than us,” he said.
Maks pondered the situation [email reply].
Likely these are POWs or recalcitrant Soviet conscripts. I wonder if they intend to execute these prisoners. Or if they will be left locked up somewhere to slowly starve? We might be able to free some, there could be some useful NPCs in there. Somehow I doubt they are all be nice people though. Could open a bit of a Pandora’s box
I could do a recon on the town, bug out if anything looks hairy. Have an evac team or the party ready to go nearby. The question is whether to wait up to a week until they leave? Might be worth sneaking in early because it could expose an opportunity to hijack some of the last remnants leaving. But this could lead to reprisals against the civvies if I’m not careful.
One of Kamiensk’s outer observation posts manned by the Kazakhs signaled an encounter with 2 aerial flares (non-emergency). An M1A1 ran out of fuel east of the N/S highway. The crew, survivors of the 3-77 Battalion, were elated to see fellow Americans. Kamiensk citizens had a bulldozer pull the tank into town.
The tank had been abused; most notably the turret was jammed sideways-right from an unfortunate shell hit. The crew reported heavy fighting around Kalisz of course, but once they punched through, they plowed through Zloczew which had a few Soviet soldiers who just waved them through without firing a shot. Wielun only had residents who stared at them as they passed. The American tankers enjoyed their warm welcome in Kamiensk and joined the defense.
Maks decided to send a two man scout team (Wojciech and Grant) on foot to get a sneaky recon of Szczercow.
Wojciech and Grant, dressed in civilian clothes and pushing an old shopping cart with fresh vegetables, had no difficulty wandering into town. The haughty Polish cavalry give them no notice, and the couple dozen Soviets were far too preoccupied guarding perhaps 100 prisoners in two discrete enclosures. They’re at the former high school track field, which had been gated up in rude pens with tents inside. Wojciech and Grant didn’t get too close, but they could identify the occupants of the enclosures, the largest being the American enlisted. Smaller was the pen for Pact prisoners. It took keen-eyed Grant a short while to realize the American officers weren’t in the pens, instead being held at the Soviet MP’s HQ, in what must have been the school administration building.
During the daylight hours the pair were there, they saw two small convoys pass. One stopped in town, looked to be supplies. The prisoners consumed a lot of food.
The Polish cavalry and Soviets in town appeared to have little interaction with each other.