General Bercollin returned to his HQ positioned where the road left the crest of the Dennep ridge. It was a fine position with good visibility, which only enhanced his view of the massive backlog of men and vehicles all the way back to Bruckewasser. Now when should he order Colonel Claret to leave Bruckewasser?
Twyth tapped him on the shoulder “The gun is in position sir”
The General turned to observe a 4 pdr fire a first shot at one of the houses. Looking through his telescope no damage could be discerned yet, it would probably take five or six rounds to dislodge the garrison of each house then the way would be clear. Beyond the stone bridge there were only another two ditches before they reached firm ground.
“Sir, did you see that” cried Twyth as the sound of an explosion was heard.
“They have a howitzer firing on our gun”
“Don’t worry about that, those things are only good for setting fire to buildings”
At that point a second round could be seen rising in the air and then descending. The gun crew could be seen running, but all were caught in the explosion that wrecked the 4 pdr.
“Merde, Twyth, get several guns sent forward at once, we need to show the canaille they can’t mess with us”
Eventually by evening the French had crossed the final ditch and reached a hamlet at the foot of a hill, locally called the Glasserberg. The General and Twyth arrived shortly after and tried to climb it but there was too little light left for them to be able to see anything. The Light Infantry deployed around the base of the hill wondering what the next day would bring.
Precious time was ebbing away, the Imperial forces must be reacting by now and there was still no news of any other successful French crossings of the Rhine.