By late morning General Bercollin descended to the plain to inspect progress “Well Colonel how is it going?”
Colonel Anjou responded “Well General we have got into a system of crossing the ditches with artillery support, our main constraint is the time it takes to bring up the timber and build the replacement bridges. We have now reached a more substantial stone structure over one of the small rivers, it’s quite intact, but they have covered it with abbattis and are occupying some stone buildings covering the bridge. Once the bridge over the ditch behind us is complete we’ll bring up the guns and drive them off like before”
“Excellent, is there anything that can be done to speed progress?”
“Not really, everything has to pass up and down this road and we haven’t enough timber to assemble additional bridges”
“OK carry on”
About an hour later the first gun was manhandled across the temporary bridge and dragged forward into position. Meanwhile the engineers continued strengthen the bridge so it could take heavy traffic.
On the other side of the bridge behind a number of buildings garrisoned by militia Von Barner was chatting with an old gunner.
“Oh yes zur, this ere mortar may be old, but it’s still accurate. I got the apothecary in Welle to reblend all the powder and weigh out the cartridges so they are all exactly the same weight. Therefore once I know where the first shot lands I can easily adjust to hit the target."
At that point a young militiaman came running up exclaiming “They have brought up a gun”
“Yez, yez, now take you a deep breath and tell me where it is compared to the markers”
“The captain said it was 20 paces to the left and 8 paces back from the 300 pace marker”
“Now then if both you gentlemen would leave I will get on with making the final adjustments. Oh and when would you like me to fire zur?”
“As soon as possible after the enemy gun starts firing, thank you Bombardier"