Valya, my sniper and occasional medic, kicks things off. Having chloroformed a sentry, she’s now sat snug in his position, with a great view of the SS officer commanding the checkpoint. Crack – her rifle (it’s our only decent one) fires, and his head bursts. On the other side of the position, Captain Zorin leaps from a bush preceded by a hurled knife, under the arc of an improvised grenade lobbed by his old mate Fetisov. The knife thuds into a forehead, while the grenade lands squarely at the feet of the man on the heavy machine gun. He has no chance of getting away in time. Neither do the other two troopers impeded by the sandbags of the gun nest.
Two more nazis do manage to leap from the blast, and cluster up with three other bewildered SS. They are just drawing their aim on Zorin, backing into cover, when a woman marches out of a door behind them. She has a stolen luger, and she is very fast. Five bullets go into five backs, and five bodies start to fall. Before they hit the cobbles, Valya fires a second shot at the penultimate survivor, and Zorin drives his spare knife into the last. I send the brigade sprinting for cover, but there’s no need: the fight is over. They’ve just killed 12 heavily armed fascists in five seconds, and I’ve just fallen slightly in love with Partisans 1941.