Ripe Pickings is the 16th chapter of Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30.
The slaughter is in the pursuit. Drive the German defense out of the farms and orchards and rescue Lt. Combs' stray patrol...
Find and rescue Combs Edit
Lt. Combs and what may be left of his squad has been cut off. Cut through the assembling German counter attack to reach Combs.
Defend the farmhouse Edit
The counter-attack is on! Defend Cole's command post at all costs.
All my men are accounted for. Baker's dozen is more of a half dozen really, but we're okay. First time I've sat down and talked to some of these guys since before we dropped. Hartsock is still telling stories about his bar fights. Obi is still talking about his dame back home. McCreary is still kind of an asshole. It's good to be together.
Almost two hours after "Cole's Charge", Baker's "half dozen" prepares for their next assignment. However, some of the men were feeling tired and exhausted, especially after the enormous charge they undertook with Lieutenant Colonel Robert Cole to capture the Ingouf farmhouse. In fact, they were just about ready to fall asleep till Mac quickly broke the mood.
Mac: We don't have much time so I'll make this quick. We're spread thin and there are Germans everywhere. Lt. Combs and what's left of his platoon are pinned down not far from here. They might last two hours, they might last two minutes, but they won't last at all if we don't reinforce them. We have to hold this position as well, so I can't send all of us.
Mac turns to Baker.
Mac: Baker, take Hartsock, Obrieski, Zanovich and bring Combs and his men back here.
Baker grabbed his M1 Garand rifle and ordered Hartsock, Obrieski, and Zanovich to fall in behind him. The first few minutes outside the farmhouse wasn't all that bad. Off in the distance, Baker may have heard some birds singing a tune. It was either that or the sound of artillery shells whistling off in some place. Then all of a sudden, Baker began to hear the same whistling sound. It was the sound of mortars, and they just dropped a shell just thirty feet in front of him and his squad. Baker immediately ordered his squad to spread out and try to stay close behind him. Luckily, no one was injured.
Baker and his squad began heading west through some hedgerows and eventually saw a little village. Baker took tentative steps into the village. It wasn't long before Baker heard the shot of a Kar98 and saw the German taking cover behind a wall as the bullet just grazed his left shoulder. Just then, a whole mass of German soldiers rapidly open up on Baker and his squad. He therefore ordered his squad to set up along a wall just ten feet away and lay down a base of fire. Baker spotted a nearby house which he could use to maneuver around and finish off the German soldiers. Regrettably, when he went around the house, he spotted more German soldiers laying down fire behind a dead horse carriage. Baker quickly realized that he had grenades with him. He took one out, pulled the pin, and tossed it as he could towards the carriage. A few seconds later, the grenade detonated and killed the German soldiers. One group down, about a couple more to go, Baker thought to himself.
Baker ordered his squad to suppress another group, which was located near an apple orchard, while he flanked around the walls and cut them down. Moments later, an MG42 from inside a house not far from them opened up. Baker covertly maneuvered around the house of the MG42, crept up towards the MG42 was located and took down the machine gunner with only one good shot to the head. The machine gunner's blood from his head was now on the machine gun. The firefight had now ceased thanks to the accomplishment of Baker and his squad.
Moments later, however, mortar shells continued to rain down. This time, the mortars were so close that Baker could sense that they weren't far off. Baker orders his squad to fall in behind him as they began to push south. As the mortar shells continued to fall, Baker spotted an American soldier fighting off against an entire German rifle platoon. It was Lieutenant Combs. Baker ordered his squad to lay down a base of fire where Lt. Combs is firing.
Combs: Are you the relief force?
Combs: Thought they'd send a few more. Remind me to file a formal complaint with battalion. Alright, we got one shot at this sergeant. We clear off the road and make a run for it.
With Baker's squad laying down suppressing fire, Baker flanked around the German group and caught them by surprise. Baker and his squad continued to use the Four F's he was taught in basic training until they reached the mortar team. Baker chose the option of ordering every man to use their grenades and blast the Germans out. Every man pulled their pins, tossed as high and as far as he could towards the mortar team, and prayed. Seconds later, German bodies started flying in the air maybe five feet off the ground before gravity forced them down less than a second later. Baker soon linked back up with Lt. Combs.
Combs: We've got get back to that farmhouse. The only way is up that road and I saw Germans in that orchard. We have to clear 'em out on the way back.
Baker could sense that there was going to be a counterattack as he would be heading back to the farmhouse. Baker therefore ordered his squad to take cover on the first floor of the house where Baker put a bullet in the machine gunner's head on the floor above them. Baker pushed aside the dead German corpse and mounted on the MG42. Baker and his squad now had the advantage.
Moments later, Germans began entering the area. Unaware that Baker and his squad were lying and wait, the Germans continued to move further. When the Germans came close, Baker unleashed hell with the machine gun. Baker's squad quickly followed in succession.
Combs: I'll suppress them from here. Take 'em out sergeant.
It wasn't long before Baker and his men had successfully defended the counterattack. Baker met up with Combs, who was really happy to see that Baker had survived the ordeal.
Combs: Damn fine job, Sarge. Damn fine. Let's get back to the farmhouse.
Two minutes later, following the path Baker and his squad took, Lt. Combs reached the farmhouse safe and sound. Mac was glad to see that Baker and his squad also made it out alive and congratulated them.
Mac: Glad to see you're okay sir.
Mac now turned to Baker with a serious look on his face.
Mac: Baker, we've stirred up the hornet's nest. The krauts know we set up CP here and they are about to pour everything they have at us.
"Everything?" Baker thought.
Mac: Everything. Don't let 'em through!
Baker ordered his base of fire team to set up eastward along the wall. He then ordered his assault team to set up westward along a separate wall not far from the base of fire team. Minutes later, Germans from every direction entered the area like the Plague of Locusts in Egypt. It is uncertain how many Germans Baker and his squad may have killed but there certainly were a lot of them. The fighting only lasted ten minutes before it was all over. Baker had never felt so scared in his entire life. He was breathing heavily because he was so frightened. Mac then told him to meet up with Combs and Cole at the farmhouse. When he got there Cole was holding a bottle in each hand.
Cole: These are for you and your men. Found 'em in the cellar. It's Calvados, an apple brandy. Get some rest boys. Tomorrow you move into Carentan.
- Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Cole
- Lieutenant Homer J. Combs
- Staff Sergeant Gregory Hassay
- Sergeant Matthew Baker (Playable)
- Corporal Samuel Corrion (does not have scripted lines)
- Corporal Joseph Hartsock (does not have scripted lines)
- Private First Class Jack Courtland (does not have scripted lines)
- Private First Class Kevin Leggett (does not speak)
- Private First Class Stephan Obrieski (does not have scripted lines)
- Private First Class Thomas Zanovich (does not have scripted lines)
- Private Dale McCreary (does not have scripted lines)
American Weapons Edit
- M1 Garand
- M1A1 Thompson
German Weapons Edit
- Kar 98k
- MP 40
- Granatwerfer 42 Mortar
Fire Team: Edit
- Cpl. Hartsock - B.A.R. M1918
- Pfc. Zanovich - M1 Garand
- Pfc. Obrieski - M1 Garand
Assault Team: Edit
- Cpl. Corrion - M1A1 Thompson
- Pfc. Courtland - M1A1 Carbine
- Pvt. McCreary - M1A1 Carbine
E3 Demonstration Video Edit
Col. S.L.A. Marshall's Sketch Map of Ripe Pickings EditThis sketch map drawn by Army Historian S.L.A Marshall shows Lt. Combs' patrol, Lt. Col. Cole's CP and the positions in the orchard defending it.
A close up of the Ingouf farmhouse (Cole's CP) and Sgt. Summers's gun positions. His MG was destroyed and the troops defended with small arms.
A close-up of the area German forces had taken back and the direction of Lt. Combs' separated patrol. The off map area is represented in "Ripe Pickings."
Holding the Line - The Afternoon Fight AAR EditA page from the After Action Reports describing the fighting in the afternoon after Cole's Charge. The "Ripe Pickings" fight became a last stand.
Hour after hour, the Germans press on through the orchard and along the abounding hedgerows.
All that saved the Americans was that enemy did not have sufficient artillery.
They were on the north side of the hedge in one spot and the Germans held the rest of the hedge on the other side...they grenaded each other.
1944 Aerial Reconnaissance Photograph of Area EditAerial reconnaissance photograph of the"Ripe Pickings" and "Cole's Charge" area.
Close up of the 'Ripe Pickings" cross-road.
- 2nd level in which Red is without his helmet,before he got it back.
Difference in the PS2 version Edit
- McCreary is absent.
- Mac, Red, Zanovich, and Corrion are using an M1 Carbine. Obrieski uses a B.A.R, and Courtland is equipped with an M1A1 Thompson.
- Lt. Homer J. Combs is a part of Assault Team