Baptism By Fire

Oran, North Africa

November 8th, 1942

0630 Hours

(An American convoy of five half-tracks, two armed with 75mm anti-armor cannons, the other three with Browning M2 .50-caliber machine gun turrets, are slowly making their way across the North African landscape towards an airfield used by the Luftwaffe that's currently garrisoned by members of the Vichy French Army outside of Oran, North Africa. In the first half-track armed with a .50-cal, sits Roger, currently a Private, with his squadmates of Bloomfield, Kelly, Pvt. Victor 'Vic' Denley, and their commanding officer, Sgt. Glenn Hawkins. All of Roger's squadmates are wearing armbands with the Stars and Stripes on them to hopefully convince the occupied French forces to surrender.)

Bloomfield: "Man, I'm starving! I haven't eaten nothing since we left the ship. Hey, you know my dad runs a deli back in the Bronx, makes the best pastrami sandwiches you'll ever eat!"

Denley: "Brooklyn, you ain't quite right!"

Bloomfield: (chuckles) "Kind of like your sister, huh? Ya friggin' hayseed."

(Offended, Denley tries to attack Bloomfield, but is restrained by Hawkins.)

Denley: "Why I oughta-- !"

Hawkins: "Can it, you two! Stay on the ball! This ain't boot camp!"

Bloomfield: (To Denley) "He's mad at you."

Kelly: "Hey, Sarge? I thought you said the French were going to surrender."

Bloomfield: "Yeah, storming the beach was fun and all, but I gotta get back. I got tickets to the Yankees' game, they're playing the Red Sox, and I got box seats."

Denley: "Ah, shut the hell up, Bloomfield."

Hawkins: "I said, can it! Resistance or not, we got an airfield to secure, Private."

Denley: "Tell you what, fellas. I'm glad those Frenchies decided to fight back."

(The half-track hits a bump in the road, causing Kelly to lose his grip on his M1 Garand, causing it to lean forward so the muzzle points up at Denley's chin. Denley reaches down to set it upright again in Kelly's hands.)

Hawkins: "And for Christ's sake, Kelly. Watch where you point that rifle. Try and remember that! It'll keep you from blowing the head off the guy next to you."

Kelly: "Okay, Sarge."

Half-track Gunner: "Look at all this sand, guys! I sure ain't in Jersey no more!"

Hawkins: (To the squad, out of the gunner's earshot) "Well at least you can be thankful for that."

(Seconds later, a shot rings out and hits the gunner, killing him instantly. The squad immediately cover their heads as Kelly freaks out.)

Kelly: "Oh, God! Medic!"

Hawkins: (To the player) "Private, get on that gun!"

Bloomfield: "We got company!"

(The convoy stops as they come under fire from the Vichy French forces as Roger takes the dead gunner's place on his half-track's .50-cal while the lead half-track, one of the two armed with the 75mm anti-armor cannon, assists with taking out the infantry before it deals with an MG42 nest on the side of the road ahead. Roger sprays the .50-cal on the French infantry, being careful not to fire it too long so it overheats, and once the MG42 nest has been levelled, the convoy resumes advancing. Any infantry Roger misses will be taken out by the other two half-tracks armed with the .50-cal as well. As the convoy passes a hillside, several French infantrymen attempt to engage them.)

Denley: "On the left!"

Hawkins: "Private Kelly, shoot back!"

Bloomfield: "Here comes more of them!"

(Bloomfield manages to score a kill.)

Bloomfield: "I got him! Hey, guys! You guys see that?"

Denley: "Shut up and keep firing!"

(They soon approach where the French have set up another MG42 nest in a small outpost on another hillside.)

Bloomfield: "Sarge, is now a bad time to request a furlough?"

(They clear the outpost and continue onwards towards the airfield. As they approach the gates, a Stuka buzzes low over the convoy and drops its payload on the rear half-track, the second of the two 75mm anti-armor equipped ones, and destroys it.)

Denley: "Knock, knock! It's the Fighting First coming to kick your asses!"

(The lead half-track, the only 75mm equipped one left, blows one of the guard towers at the gates to splinters, but before it can get the other one, it is destroyed by Panzerfaust from the lookout inside.)

Kelly: "Left tower! Look out!"

Denley: "We gotta hit that tower!"

(Despite losing both 75mm half-tracks, the three .50-cal half-tracks continue, with Roger's charging the gate and ramming it open. Any remaining French infantry are eliminated, and once the half-track stops, the squad deploys.)

Hawkins: "Keep close, boys!"

Denley: "We gotta get in there and take out that machine gun!"

(Roger climbs out of the .50-cal and regroups with his squad by the enemy barracks.)

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