Codeword Cromwell 1940 part 12 Battle of Rotherfield – Chaplin agent reveals himself & the true extent of his treachery

Posted: January 26, 2015 in rotherfield, wargames

IMG_3382 (800x600)As night fell, the attacking forces knew that failure to capture the village before dawn would be a huge set back to their invasion plans potentially allowing the British to counter-attack from a position of strength. Mustering for a final concerted all-out effort, nearly 200 troops from 4 Regiments, with armour support from the 18 Leichte Panzer Regt and a Panzer IV Ausf. D from Schwere Panzer Abteilung 4 commenced their assault.

Panzer IV Ausf. D advancing toward Horsegrove Lane prior to entering the village.

Panzer IV Ausf. D advancing toward Horsegrove Lane.

All that stood in their way was motley crew of defenders, Earl Thorncroft, Headmistress Ms Featherlake, Reverend Barnstaple, journalist Drayden Fox, Doctor Greystone, Captain Mainwaring, Sgt Wilson (wounded) Cpl Jones (wounded) and Pte Pike (wounded) in/around the church with a wounded Pte Godfrey unable to reach them. Rotherfield Stores was also still defended by a handful of the Women’s Institute Amazon Shooting Club and a shot up squad of green American regulars who had arrived before Tunbridge Wells fell.

It was at this moment that dastardly fifth column agent “Chaplin” chose to reveal himself. As the Germans commenced their attack suddenly from behind the pulpit, none other than trusted village vicar the Reverend Barnstaple removed a concealed German Mauser pistol from under his vestments and opened fire on the church Featherlake and Pike.

TRAITOR - Agent Chaplin none other the Reverend Mortimer Barnstaple

TRAITOR – Agent Chaplin, The Reverend Mortimer Barnstaple

Only these 2 had managed to get into the church as Barnstaple had locked the door minutes before. A bitter life or death struggle ensued, when suddenly the Burne-Jones window shattered as a shell from an advancing German tank exploded outside. The vicar, distracted for a few seconds with tears running down his cheek and shouting hysterically “Oh the humanity” failed to notice Featherlake launching a hymn book towards him.  The book struck him squarely in the chest. Knocked off balance he slipped, cracking the back of his head on the shards of broken glass. His body immediately went limp. Agent Chaplin the Reverend Mortimer Barnstaple was dead.  Only after the fighting was the true nature of his treachery uncovered when an inventory of equipment was checked which showed that all the anti-tank weapons had been removed from the crypt (later discovered in a pig pen in Bletchinglye lane).  Also Pike’s Thompson smg and the Bren gun were both discovered to have been sabotaged and rendered useless if anyone had attempted to use them. So ended Barnstaple’s treachery but the battle for the church was far from over.  The final instalment tomorrow.

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