|During dinner (17.30) Von Eberbach asks for volunteers for a special mission and picks up Erich Hirning to serve as his assistant during tomorrow's official visit to Berlin.|
|Erich arrives at 08.55 with chauffeur to assist his commander in spotlessly
clean walk out dress. Von Eberbach leaves SS-Tor headquarters exactly at
09.00 and they drive quickly to Berlin via autobahn. In Berlin (11.00)
they will report to local military commandant, and then move quickly for
a luxurious hotel for a lunch. After lunch they leave for RSHA in Printz
Albrechtstrasse at 13.00. Von Eberbach returns to hotel in 13.45 and spent
rest of his time in Berlin in hotel restaurant eating well and drinking
Hirning is given free evening and pretty much immediately heads for Tiergarten Park to enjoy the sun and drink few beers in one of the nearby restaurants. After few beers he heads for a stroll in the park seeing pretty girls and chatting them too. Young, athletic SS-officer soon impresses girls and Erich notices that one of the girls, Ulrika, is pretty much attached to him. After some time of conversation he asks them for a dinner and right afterwards to movies. Ulrika somehow fixes things so that other girls notice just how busily they should be in home preparing to be good Aryan hausfraus while she keeps him all by herself. Erich, totally oblivious of all her machinations, just keeps on smiling and thinking just how red-hot ace he is with the girls.
Ulrika suggests they'd do a romantic walk in Tiergarten in a cool summer night together and Erich naturally agrees to it. Actually at that point he'd pretty much agree to anything this blond goddess would ask him to do. However, when he is leading her towards Tiergarten through somewhat darker alleys to get lady there a bit faster. However, a ruthless looking hoodlum blocks their way, eager for his wallet. Ulrika screams helplessly at this terrible threat but Hirning kicks in right then and there. While he is armed with SS-Honor Dagger, he decides against soiling it putting up his fists instead to protect helpless damsel in distress. After a short, yet furious fistfight in the pavement arena, the hoodlum lies in dirt and Erich is a subject of ever increasing adulation of Ulrika. Erich then escorts her home...
|Von Eberbach leaves hotel at 08.30 and arrives to RSHA at 08.55 and is in office receiving briefcase at exactly 09.00. He will then immediately leave to SS-Standarte Tor headquarters arriving at 11.15. He thanks Erich Hirning for job well done.|
|All local villages have been evacuated for war and a local hotel has
been put to serve as HQ building for SS-Standarte Tor. During a dinner
(17.45) Von Eberbach calls for a group of volunteers for a dangerous mission
and he picks up Erich Hirning, Heinz Von Reichener and Maximillian Von
Küne from all (who volunteered anyway) involved.
Rest of the evening (18.00 onwards) goes with somewhat uneasy discussion with SS-Hauptsturmführer Mertzger who explains them their mission, which is to infiltrate into Poland and scout direct route to Poznan and then to Warsaw under disguise of a group of university students on trip to Warsaw. After that (20.00) trio talks by themselves to think a bit of what kind of students they should play-act. Heinz suggests they'd play out art students he has actually studied art, which greatly surprises Erich who thinks it as a waste of time.
|Trio meets Mertzger at dawn (04.00) and they leave for a center of
a local village after the breakfast. There they meet local NSDAP Leader
Mayer who looks at horror how they pick up anything they please from village's
stores to equip themselves look like a group of young university students.
Any of his meek comments soon die when SD man's shadow somehow blocks the
rising morning Sun. Actually whimpering Mayer screams loudly "Heil Hitler"
whenever Mertzger looks at him after hearing his whining. Meanwhile trio
of SS-VT officers barely notices this happening. After the equipping phase
is over, the trio bicycles in their new civilian clothes to the east through
Tor's positions and cross the border to Poland in 08.00...
Trio goes past German border guard post without much of a problem at things turn sour once they step on Poland. Somehow Polish border guards do not seem to believe that these three athletic, blond Teutonic are innocent German students. Furthermore, they hate Germans anyway. After some 30 minutes of passport checking, i.e. tearing all clothes from bags to ground and smearing them in dirt and plenty of questions and insults shouted in Polish the three students are finally declared valid to enter Poland. While collecting their clothing and other personal effects from ground the three men look intensively at fat, ugly polish sergeant with huge moustache who is overseeing all this and each make a mental note to get even, sooner the better.
They keep on bicycling through Polish countryside. They finally reach Poznan by noon following a trip across countryside where they see various signs of both civilian and military work. Within they eat a lunch in a local restaurant that Von Küne selects due his knowledge (based on his parents discussion of their life in West Prussia and trips to Poland) of city's restaurants. After a suitably expensive dinner they decide to scout the city all by themselves. While Erich and Von Küne bicycle throughout the city seeing preciously little (except what they suspect to be a munitions factory), Heinz has his mind occupied by vast artistic treasures of Poznan and its beautiful university area.
Heinz scouts the art on university making careful notes on which rooms have what kind of paintings. He keeps on doing this for several hours with hind occupied by beauty (and value) of these treasures until he feels that it is time for nature's call and asks a way to bathroom from a beautiful, young student woman, Maria. This creature immediately falls in love with film star looking Heinz and they keep on discussing this and that soon after he returns from lavatory (whose location this Polish girl who didn't speak a word of German did not seem to realize at all). After an good hour or so of mindless and ultimately failing communications Heinz gets a bright idea that while evening's pleasures are all but certain, he might get roughly manhandled as soon as any jealous boy friends (or just plain old Polish ultra nationalist student) arrives to scene to see what he is doing (or thinking of doing more precisely). Thus he escapes from clutches of Maria with a series of hasty excuses and bicycles for all his life (when seeing a familiar looking woman in flowery dress running behind him) for Poznan city center to meet his two companions waiting for him to arrive to dinner and pondering why during the dessert Heinz looks almost paranoid in his constant checks of his back. Polish secret agents perhaps?
Anyway the trio notices that it is time for them to find suitable lodgings that fit to their cover better than luxurious hotel Von Küne had selected as lunch meeting place. Things get more complicated when they face a pretty Polish girl, who seems to have run a marathon or something and who is looking Heinz with her huge brown eyes nodding constantly while he politely explains to her he and her cannot be together. As they prepare to leave, Hirning playfully pats her pretty bottom and grinning leads the group away from scene while Von Küne watches all this (almost a race crime) with barely hidden contempt. As they leave Maria runs on their back screaming something Heinz has no clue about (and Von Küne explains to Heinz that he is getting married). Idea of shotgun marriage brings ice-cold fear to Heinz' (black?) heart and they increase speed-leaving Maria far away on their back.
Next problem for trio is finding suitable lodgings. First small (and cheap hotel) offers only a horrible, wet and cockroach filled dive while second place has prices that are nothing short of price gouging. They think that Poles are tremendously money grubbing personas although fact that they start with talking in German what they want, followed by shouting louder in German (with then Von Küne talking in Polish if all failed) what they want might have something to do with that. During all this they make mental note to add first cheap hotel into intelligence map as a Polish headquarters. On more personal note they add both Polish hotel staffs as people they would need to discuss things again in later time. Heinz also thinks that he should check second hotel's cash register too. There is a stormy night and they fall in sleep listening how raindrops wet entire Poznan...
|In the morning group carries out some refreshing exercises to get into
shape (although Erich cannot -much to his disappointment- carry out his
usual ritual of dipping himself to river water to harden himself to become
finally as hard as Krupp's steel). Following a brief breakfast they walk
out seeing soaked wet young woman, Maria, standing in front of hotel. She
is apparently very angry but Heinz calms her explosive mood by giving one
of his (entire Berlin-famed really) movie kisses (with clear intent of
making it on level of 8.5 out of 10). Astonished and pleased Maria cannot
but weep and wave her handkerchief to our heroes as they bicycle to the
Following rest of the trip (that includes getting arrested by a group of suspicious looking polish troops and then getting through). They arrive to Warsaw by nightfall. Following a night at local hotel, they decide to get to German embassy as first thing in the morning to report what they have seen and to receive further instruction. Sleep comes easy to tired group...
|After considerable breakfast in quite average hotel (i.e. they get
service in German), Erich, Heinz and Von Küne head for German embassy
grounds in Warsaw. After Embassy guards (all Wehrmacht) check trio's identity,
they are escorted tactual embassy grounds where they meet Press Secretary
(Heer). Once there they are escorted to windowless room somewhere in embassy
cellar where they meet considerably older and more experienced Embassy
Secretary (Wehrmacht) whose excellent bearing and obvious presence soon
make it clear who is the boss here. The other two equally important embassy
workers, Cultural Secretary (Kriegsmarine) and Commercial Secretary (Luftwaffe),
are shining with their absence.
Morning goes with a series of maps when trio explains what route they took and exactly where did they go. Every detail is asked, questioned, checked and rechecked and Embassy Secretary has plenty of questions to be asked during whole session. Meanwhile Press Secretary writes down details and adds new markings to map, that already seems to have plenty of details like this. Whole affair continues in afternoon -after a sturdy lunch (at 12.00)- and all details are checked, just in case.
At 16.00 Embassy Secretary is satisfied with the results and he leaves for dinner thanking trio for a their work. As soon as senior is gone, Press Secretary digs up a series of maps and air photographs and starts to brief trio of their return trip. They should check some other roads along the route back to their original starting point returning through Poznan. Right when the route and mission are described, at far higher detail than decidedly hasty and hazy orders they received in Germany for going into Warsaw in the first place, Embassy Secretary returns with storm on his face (in 18.00).
Press Secretary simply clears up the table for his boss by throwing all papers to floor and enraged Embassy Secretary hits fist to now cleared (1.5 seconds before fist hit) oak table cursing in such a way that showed him to have extensive background in policing Sankt Paul district in Hamburg in general and Reeberbahn in particular. He turns his blue eyes on trio that has sprung into attention while Press Secretary simultaneously starts to collect (now useless) papers from the floor. Trio learns that priceless ruby has been stolen and that Commercial Secretary went after the fact into rather notorious bordello "Drunken Otter". He got promptly beaten up and only thing known for sure is that Lewinski's Jewish grime gang is responsible. Enraged Embassy Secretary ponders uselessness of Luftwaffe in general and Commercial Secretary in particular. Erich agrees fully to his assessment. However, his words get considerably more dangerous waters when he off-hand suggests that it was good that those Jews beaten up Luftwaffe officers. Three young SS-VT officers are clearly shocked of such an idea. Embassy Secretary immediately clears up this apparent lapse by apologizing the pressure of his mind due horrible nature of crime and ensures all of superiority of Teutonic heroes compared to subhuman scum and screams "Heil Hitler" on top of his lungs (into which all present immediately join). End result is clear; Ambassador's youngest daughter must get his ruby back by tomorrow evening's ball so Germany's reputation would not suffer. Excuses and failures are not acceptable!
Next stop is Embassy's cellars considerable arms cache. Max Von Küne selects rather utilitarian Parabellum that Heinz thinks is quite prudent for him too. Unannounced, a small lilliput derringer also disappears from arms cache to his sock, just in case. He also sees a row of grenades and he muses that a smoke grenade could be useful because white phosphorous would be somewhat too alarming in urban setting. Erich nods to Heinz wisdom and puts MP-38 and few magazines to his rucksack, just in case. However, the real success of the arms cache for Erich is a whole box filled with particularly nasty brass knuckles. He selects particularly heavy Reeberbahn glove and its heavy weight, crude finish and sharp spike give him painful memories of his truck stop arguments in Hamburg in his somewhat unsavory youth as a truck driver. Even Heinz grabs a blackjack almost without thought from the table, just in case he needs to ask for directions to ruby.
Dark clouds gather and weather changes from sunny afternoon into a dark and stormy night. It is wet and everything is cold and dark and dirty looking as trio heads for Jewish areas in northern parts of Warsaw. They find Drunken Otter easily at the shore of Wistula (at 20.00). They are soon greeted by a pussy selling shady pimp that ensures them that this establishment offers anything for everybody for every taste.
Once inside trio starts to look for action (and work too). Erich hits his eyes on absolutely gorgeous Polish girl, Jena, that he looks like a hungry wolf a piece of meat (which isn't that far fetched idea really). They agree for a high price and go for upstairs with Erich stopping them to grope her to show off to rest of bordello that looks at this young German boasting his actions with stunned silence. Max -who speaks Polish- knows that something is wrong (despite everything looks just peachy) but just cannot identify what. Thus he concentrates on drinking beer for now.
With Erich gone to do reconnaissance upstairs ("yeah, right!" thinks Heinz) Max and Heinz concentrate on looking at girls and drinking beer. Heinz's eyes are firmly on bosom of girls while Max observes two rather shady Jews arguing over something. What does attract his eye is rather expensive looking wallet, with Luftwaffe eagle embroiled on it. He somehow manages to remove Heinz mind (and hands) from his current concerns into this more important work.
Evening continues with two Germans being quiet and observing what happens. They get preciously little information as both targets speak Yiddish and bystanders do not talk of each others things in this kind of place despite cacophony of dozen or so languages and fifty nationalities in bar. Meaner looking, and bodyguard surrounded, leather coated lieutenant arrives around 22.00 to talk with this two young hoodlums. He skims immediately part of their loot and takes possession of wallet examining it. Heinz and Max still keep their cool and keep on observing what is going on and they wait for Lewinski himself to arrive to the scene. Meanwhile Erich is upstairs doing what he likes to do best and keeping such a noise that sawdust is drifting down to bar floor from cracks in bar roof.
Lewinski arrives fairly close to midnight (23.30), surrounded by no less than eight killers who arrive dressed in black leather long coats while Lewinski himself rolls in fat and stubby, toying with his black curly hair and huge beard. His lieutenant gives him the expensive wallet, which Lewinski looks for a few moments and then puts to his pocket without much of a thought. While most bar clients do not probably know him, the presence of his gang makes most leave the place immediately. Only those who are drunk enough, stupid enough or Teutonic heroes enough remain. Time travels slowly and uneasy evening continues until Sergeant Major Piekalkiewicz and his military police patrol arrives (23.50). He has a good odd dozen or so men, all armed with rifles while he is himself acknowledging presence of his closest enemy and business associate, Lewinski. These two crime bosses stare at each other, both measuring their enemies but then fate (in form of Erich Hirning) steps into game...
|Erich who has been whole evening with Jena (as well as another girl
he ordered a couple of hours ago) and been humping like a wild boar starts
to sing Horst Wessel (that he usually does only in morning) to harden himself
for trials to come (in bed). Piekalkiewicz -who doesn't love Germans anyway-
goes up to look for what is going on. Meanwhile Erich, who thinks that
singing Horst Wessel in moments of triumph and trial alike, hardens himself,
notices that it is time for exchange and grabs up his pants.
He throws some money on thoroughly screwed up Jena laying on bed and turns to see totally enraged Piekalkiewicz who is super furious seeing his, HIS, trophy being in bed with someone else. Men have died for less. He grabs his specially constructed three-edged bayonet screaming that he'll cut nuts of this man. Erich, who has no real clue what is going on, quickly grabs his Reeberbahn glove from his pants to meet the huge tower of man jumping at him. Meanwhile Piekalkiewicz's men are standing well back fully knowing their boss will win the match. Military Police men just start to roll cigarettes while waiting for their turn to dispose the several body parts that would be end result of this match. However, Erich has learned tricks of trade in rough and tumble pavement arena as well and he manages to get his first strike into ox of man charging him with a big combo to chest that brings day lights into eyes of Piekalkiewicz. He is shaken by this blond German's rapid strike and he misses for second, deadly, time noticing someone crushing something between his legs. Pain clouds his eyes and he falls down, deep into darkness...
Polish Military Policemen stare the end result of short, yet furious fight with their eyes as wide as cupboards. They are even more surprised when they see naked blond German pick up his rucksack and bring up a SMG. They wouldn't be humans if they weren't so surprised that cigarette would fall from their hands to the floor. And Erich Hirning wouldn't be SS-Untersturmführer if he wouldn't cut them all to pieces in that time...
Sounds of gunfight, screaming of women and shouts of dead and dying from above caused whole scale panic the bottom floor. Lewinski, trying to keep up appearances, barked orders in Yiddish to his senior lieutenant who barked orders again to Lewinski's killers so they would be ready to leave when necessary. Meanwhile Military Policemen, nervous of what was happening take out their weapons and started to approach stairs slowly and methodically looking for any possible place where shooter might be.
Max and Heinz saw this as their chance. They slipped out with the crowd while keeping their eye on lieutenant whom went straight to start big black sedan of Lewinski's. Max remained close to now not-so-tough looking pimp standing outside door the pimp saw where the wind was blowing from, took off and ran for the best of his life as fast as he could. Meanwhile Heinz approached lieutenant who had now started a big black car. A quick swing of blackjack dropped hoodlum, few more ensured he'd never rise again.
Then both men went into ambush position, with Heinz hiding behind hood of car and Max on side of building to caught killers in deadly cross fire. Lewinski arrives few minutes later wearing thick and heavy fur coat and four killers surround him. Apparently the rest had fled from back door. SS men opened up fire hitting guards first with their pistols. However, Poles were armed too and despite their surprise grabbed up their own guns returning to fire. Max had to get cover of house as his gun jammed while Heinz was keeping up the pressure. Lewinski escaped from scene trying run as hard as he could (which isn't terribly quick anyway).
Meanwhile Erich had gathered his clothes into rucksack and reloaded his SMG. He heard firing from outside and making a quick escape through window saw whole fire fight right under him. Heinz jumped behind car into car and commanded steering wheel hitting pedal to reverse through killers and catch Lewinski. At the same time Max had cleared up jam in his gun and jumped back to shoot at killers, all of which now were retreating to cover Lewinski's escape. Heinz, who serves in SS-Standarte Tor's Armored Car Platoon immediately showed all his excellent driving skills and promptly drive to wrong direction almost running over (very much surprised) Max while crashing his car on nearby wall. Erich, seeing all this, emptied his gun on four killers cutting them down as surprised killers could only manage to shoot back few rounds, then jumped down to street (while hearing sound of Military Policemen closing hard on his heels to second floor.
Trio captures fat and slow Lewinski in no time. They pull the screaming (and soon gagged) crime boss to dark alley while Max brings their bicycles to same place too. After a throughout beating up with kicks and blackjack and brass knuckles, Heinz remembers to frisk savaged Lewinski and uncovers both wallet and Ruby. He also liberates Lewinski's own wallet and divides the loot between them all, while keeping the biggest notes with himself (for finder's fee). With the Ruby recovered, the trio continues beating up Lewinski until he dies on Heinz hands. On his suggestion they get some rope and tow the fat body of crime boss on end of his career to serve as a warning for the rest of the subhuman hoodlums.
The next stop was escaping from the place. Trio bicycled as hard as they could but Polish Military Police and ordinary Police troops were hard on closing the alleys and roads to catch escaping hoodlums and killers reaming in the streets. Trio bicycles successfully along Wistula banks until they see someone approaching. A lone policeman gets a surprise of his life as Erich empties his SMG's magazine into him and trio escapes through the checkpoint with Heinz throwing a smoke grenade to cover their tracks. After a wild bicycle race in narrow back alleys (and getting few drying linen, although Heinz seemed to attract ladies underwear) the trio clears up the pursuers -who distracted by smoke and darkness and other hoodlums escaping and prowling in area lose their tracks, for the moment at least- and return to German Embassy whose guards do not blink an eye to guests arriving in the middle of night with their hands in blood and smelling of gun powder. It is all normal diplomatic exchange between two countries having cordial relationship.
After a (well-deserved?) night's sleep trio wakes up in quite nice room in German Embassy at 0600. After a wash-up (that still does not allow Erich to seek a river to dip himself into) and sturdy breakfast they are given spare uniforms to wear. Next they are led to same windowless room, where Embassy Secretary works. Most of the morning goes on debriefing of what actually did happen that night. The polished and beautified version is typed up as final report and promptly signed by all as final truth.
In lunch (12.00) trio is represented to German Ambassador, who thanks them for job well done and invites them to ball they are having in Embassy tonight. All three naturally accept the invitation. Tailor goes to check their measures and starts to work on uniforms to get them ready by dinner to be held in 18.00. They do have, up to that, free time. Thus they look a bit better of their surroundings. Embassy seems to be surrounded by whole Polish army. There is huge number of Military Policemen and soldiers deployed to "protect embassy from any problems" while their work seems to be concentrated on looking at three Germans who arranged a wholesale massacre in north side of Warsaw last night. All three Germans naturally make sure that they are seen by soldiers while enjoying protection of German Embassy much to frustration of Poles standing guard outside.
Ball starts at 18.00 with a dinner and tables are filled with Poles and Germans of highest levels of society. Many Poles are not so much thrilled of three dangerous SS-men being invited to ball but they keep their complaints on themselves to keep some resemblance of politeness. After the motions of speeches and dinner evening turns into dancing and three men are quick to explain their super-secret exploits to all gathering ladies. Especially German Ambassador's daughter Mariola, who has recently had her 17th birthday, is absolutely thrilled to see dashing heroes who recovered her jewelry. She seems to be nothing short of glued to Heinz Von Ritter Reichener whose dashing looks and thrilling tale of what really happen completely hypnotize her. Especially his description how he grabbed speed with chandelier to jump atop of evil Jew bankers makes her almost faint of combination of excitement and horror.
Meanwhile Max Von Küne is having his time occupied by a particularly beautiful German lady who is enthralled of his noble birth, bearing and above of all his status as a hero. The fact that whoever with this pretty creature arrived with seems to shine with his absence does not hurt Max at all. However, little Max knows that in fact this lady was accompanied by a man, young, completely unsure and soon very jealous Kriegsmarine officer who says nothing and just follows this all from the corner of the ball room, drinking more and more heavily and rubbing his dueling scar as it is only comfort in the world. Von Küne might be on the top but there are sure people making sure he'll drop as soon as opportunity presents itself...
Erich is having considerably more difficult evening. Two German ladies, both of who are whispering to his ear that he should be with them, are physically pulling him to two directions. Erich, being a nice person and all (Yeah right?) balances with them and finally decides to throw a coin to decide whom he should go out with. After getting going up and down to his hand, he looks at both ladies and throws the coin away to hit the punch bowl and puts his arms around both ladies. Taxi taking them both off Embassy leaves at midnight...
Heinz's evening revolves around explaining last night's exploits to a collected group of ladies. As a matter of fact he does make the story better at every time he tells it, he keeps telling the story first time more and more. After ohhing and ahhing his explanation how he single handedly stole car from Polish gangsters while dodging bullets and drove over a crimes boss who held entire city in his grip, Heinz notices that Ambassador's youngest daughter, who was quite recently whisked away to her upstairs room by some old hen runs back down stairs in most unladylike haste. Thus he raises her up with his arms and carries her back up and remains to the tell the rest of the story...and more...
|Next morning starts first with Max. He wakes up next to a lady he had
most wonderful evening and night to boot too. So when he slips from the
room and looks back for one more time, he is suddenly slapped in face with
a glove. It is a cavalier of a lady Max charmed last night, furious and
angry, demanding satisfaction, now. Max selects pistols and both go to
arms cache to get ammunition to their weapons. Cold light reflects on their
weapons and both men, ready to die for honor walk into particularly cold
morning in Warsaw.
Erich is waking up thinking of two ladies that explained him a thing or two of life in Poland and especially how bored they are given that their husbands are always doing business away from Warsaw. However, a fact that he is touching something rough, hairy and definitely not woman's skin quickly occupy his mind. There is a woman's scream. Opening up his eyes he next sees a Polish Military Police waving a huge wooden baton, then it hits him again, again and again...
After making sure that his uniform is as perfect as ever (well, it would certainly need a new ironing out but that is besides the point) Heinz kisses the young lady and slips away from the room through window "parachuting" comfortably on rose bench. Just about then he notices someone grabbing him of his ear and pulling, HARD! Ambassador himself is pulling him out of the shadows muttering something that there is no name to what Heinz just did. Young SS-man thinks for a second of suggesting that its name should be Heinz like its father but he gives up this idea as counterproductive. His hopes of ambassador somewhat calming down his wrath are sadly (unjustifiably?) mistaken, because only reason he is not thrown out of embassy grounds is that Ambassador, seeing unauthorized (and downright illegal) dueling being prepared. Noticing Von Küne, who is steely faced walking his ten paces to destiny, Ambassador calls of duel and orders this young officer, who he remembers being in same gang as this young no-good womanizing hoodlum-scum, leave Embassy immediately. Küne makes rigidly attention and walks standing upright to arms of Polish waiting outside Embassy gate. Heinz does not warrant such an honor and he is kicked out like dog.
The somewhat unlucky trio is united in a truck. Heinz and Max look at blond haired bluish black man who has some resemblance of Erich (although cursing certainly remind of him) who has clearly been somewhat manhandled. Future prospects seem bleak too as laughing Polish Military Police are describing in most graphic way of ordeal to come as well as reminding that their sadistic boss, Piekalkiewicz is pretty much alive and burning of desire to get out of hospital to meet Erich Hirning.
As patrol goes through narrow streets of Warsaw and fate of the SS-men seems, sealed, pulls Heinz his lilliput pistol from his sock. Three superbly accurate shots later three guards lay dead. Max has been doing his share with the most underhanded low blow imaginable (and indescribable really) dropping one guard flat. Erich moves last (and least quickly) due his injuries but he does manage to get one military policeman's head between his strong arms and slowly, enjoying every second, break his neck, while hissing gently to his victim's ear to calm his victim's fears...
Driver stops truck immediately and tries to flee with his life. Erich selects between putting his pants on or jumping out to kill the driver and selects the last move. Military Police NCO looks with eyes wide as naked Erich jumps out of car to attack and strange yet another trooper in most diabolical seeming way. He looks at this Super-Beast with terror as Max and Heinz jumps from the back of truck with rifles in hand and starts to shoot at sedan. Heinz hits radiator making whole car pretty much dead but Max's hunter skills are nothing short of true and bullet strikes NCO's head killing him instantly. Both SS-men grin at their success and fail to avoid sedan that hits them with lethal consequences.
After finishing off his victim (word enemy would describe here that opponent had some sort of a chance) Erich takes a rifle from his victim and goes to see what happened to his friends at the back of truck. Heinz is on totally demolished sedan's hood seeing stars while Max has been flown through window into sedan. Erich uses what little he remembers from first aid (which is not terribly much) to check if both are alive. They are. Thus he throws quickly Heinz to back of the truck while carrying gently (well, a bit less roughly actually) badly mauled Max to truck. Then he puts his pants on and notices a lady's panties in his pocket which he uses to quickly fix trucks suspension (although he also used iron wiring too) and drives off to escape the scene as quickly as possible.
After getting some distance from the scene Erich finds a telephone booth and calls up Embassy Secretary for help. Response he gets is -to put it mildly- icy. However, after learning that the rest of the trio is incapable of moving on their own (at least for now) his original idea of suggesting them to take a ride on train is scrapped. Thus Embassy Secretary suggests that he is to go to airport immediately and get next Lufthansa Junkers Ju-52 flying back to Germany as quickest way of leaving Poland. Erich agrees and jumps to truck while driving back streets to avoid Polish troops patrolling the streets.
Warsaw aerodrome has only minimum of security (after all no one is crazy enough to try to steal or aboard airplane) and Erich drives ruthlessly over two guards who seem curious enough to ask for his papers. Breaking the pole barricading road he drives right to the airfield, where last flight to Germany for today is just leaving. Parking his truck next to Ju-52 he gets much-surprised stewards to help him after explaining he got this job from Embassy Secretary. Much surprised pilot of Lufthansa (well, actually Luftwaffe pilot in disguise) nods to situation and revs up engines getting plane (and much surprised passengers who expected plane to leave in somewhat less hasty manner) up in record time.
"Aunt Ju" flies across the evening skies of Poland as fast as possible while two stewards try to calm somewhat nervous passengers of what is going on. Erich feels himself air sick and tries to look out to calm himself, however, ground below him is rolling, and rolling and rolling and he (wisely?) rolls himself into fetal position trying to think better things (like last nights pleasures) to keep out fear. Meanwhile pilot is running out of excuses to furious Warsaw air control...
Somewhere above Poznan a single polish fighter intercepts them. A match between transport plane and fighter should be no contest but this Lufthansa pilot had learned his trade in flying such famed airlines like Legion Condor delivering explosive mail to Guernica. What follows is a cat and mouse where Ju pilot is flying for his life hoping to get over the border or survive to nightfall while Polish plane machineguns defenseless Junkers again and again. Inside the plane Erich tries (and somehow manages) to hold for his nerves the whole affair while keeping his eyes closed (and thinking of Hitler Jugend summer camp). Meanwhile Heinz has recovered enough to kick one obviously Eastern European looking passenger of his seat and tie still unconscious Max to chair for a bit less bumpy ride. Then he just tries to survive by holding as hard as he can while Polish fighter's machinegun fire rakes the passenger hold of plane. Max is hit again and again. Finally Junkers drops down with all three engines on fire smashing to a field as pilot cursing and begging tries to keep dying plane together long enough for it to come down in one piece. Erich springs into action as Max is hit again badly in plane crash kicking and shoving his way to his injured friends. He quickly drags both off plane ignoring pleas from women and children complaining in strange foreign languages.
At the field it is suddenly quiet, Erich sees pilot going off plane and helping passengers to get off plane while he has dragged both unconscious soldiers to safety. Max is dying soon and he has no clue whatsoever where in Poland they are. Junkers explodes somewhere in background but Erich mind is in pondering what to do next. Thus he is totally surprised when he hears someone releasing safety catch on his back and challenging him for a password. It is said in German and an Erich turn to see that trooper belongs to SS-Standarte Tor. They are safe, at last...
Most of the night goes with the soldiers of SS-Standarte Tor helping their friends who have survived the crash as well as wounded Luftwaffe pilot. Civilians face, however, entirely different matter. All Germans (two actually) are brought to hospital for quick help to help them to survive their ordeal while rest are collected by GEFEPO (Geheime Feld-Polizei). Ultimately they are then promptly given to GESTAPO for further interrogation and subsequent confessions of their crime of attacking Germany and sabotage of Lufthansa plane and its passengers…
Trio ends up their journey in battalion aid station where they separate. Erich is given a quick medical examination, his bruises bandaged and put to bed. Heinz is passed on to bed directly as well. Meanwhile Max is originally written off as dying and left to Battalion Aid Station...
|Morning starts with Erich with a breakfast followed by a long, cold
and completely uncomfortable session facing white lamp provided by SD professional,
namely SS-Hauptsturmführer Mertzger whose friendly interrogation brings
cold feet to Erich who ponders what third degree might be with this man
whose gaze is pure cold ice. Mertzger quickly corrects any false memories
Erich has on what actually happened aboard the plane in last night. Before
that, however, he goes through Erich's version of the story. Heinz is meanwhile
resting in hospital where he is merely resting. Max is still unconscious
and being operated by a doctor who makes two operations that day. Heinz
cannot but hope he gets out soon when he sees doctor coming out from surgery
for a while to smoke a couple of Juno cigarettes and take a quick sip of
medical alcohol to help his eye stay sharp in surgery. His hopes for a
quick recovery are further increased when SS-Hauptsturmführer Mertzger
gives him a visit in his medical bed and asks if he is ready to face enemies
of the Third Reich soon. Heinz quickly recovers from his injuries and informs
Mertzger just how ready he is to return to unit. Then it is his turn to
enjoy warmth of alpine lamps Mertzger seems to enjoy using. After dinner
both are informed they can return to their own units. Max remains under
careful eye of caring surgeons...
SS-Standarte Tor has been ordered to serve as a reserve formation for the XIX Panzer Korps formed of 2nd and 20th Motorized Infantry Divisions and 3rd Panzer Division. Its current mission is to wait until divisions have exploded a hole into Polish lines and then charge directly forwards deep into West Prussia and carry on fighting all the way to own troops waiting in East Prussia. They are facing three Polish infantry divisions and one cavalry brigade. Poles have dug in and are in good spirits. Fight will not be easy...
|In the morning a huge column of ammunition and fuel trucks arrive from
rear bringing two fuel drums to every vehicle and extra jerry can to every
motorcycle. Next comes ammunition. All units get as much ammunition as
necessary and doubly so. All vehicles end up as loaded as they can possibly
get. Erich is a good officer and he kicks up his NCOs to make sure that
all troops do their work as necessary. Heinz does the same but hurries
and kicks up all his men too, just because it is fun. Rest of the day goes
on seeing how columns of tanks, walkers and even artillery move past Tor
lager into front.
The massive noise of tanks and military vehicles finally wakes up Max Von Küne from his morphine cloud too. He sees that he has been pretty much bandaged from head to toe with his both feet in cast as well. Much to his worry he hears from doctor that his war is over even before it started. Doctor gives him a Juno and muses that he will live but he will not walk until a month at least and probably move with cane in a year and very probably be lame for the rest of his life. Only iron discipline of SS-VT prevents Max from bursting to weep.
SS-Standarte Tor waits under careful camouflage in countryside with troops waiting for something to happen. It happens in evening when whole SS-Standarte is ordered to carry a complete and full equipment inspection. This is nothing short of a massive mess and it (plus subsequent packing again of everything) goes until wee hours.
|At 02.00 all officers are briefed on situation and informed that war
is imminent. Leaders are woken again at 3.30 to hear that rumored attack
has been cancelled, at least for the moment. Apparently war has been cancelled,
at least for now. The news has been nothing short to stunning to men of
SS-Standarte Tor. Both Erich and Heinz return to their tents. Erich can
barely hold back his tears for hearing the news while Heinz sits in his
own tent sulking like a little boy whose toys have been taken. Both spend
most of their day in spiteful, childish tantrums that explode whenever
someone dares to mention in thinkable idea that it is possible that whole
might be cancelled for good (or bad really). Heinz tries to comfort sulking
Erich that working as a reserve does have its advantages. Front line troops
might be too tired to loot when battle is finished and thus they would
have better chances of liberating parts of Poland but Erich does not really
believe so fearing for end of war before it has even started (and even
Heinz is deathly worried of such prospect). Such unspeakable evil drives
entire SS-Standarte quiet as men look back towards Berlin, fearing for
worst, fearing the dreaded peace…
Meanwhile Max is given a throughout medical examination where young Doctor (Artz) sees that Von Küne is totally incapable of moving, much less front-line soldier based on x-ray pictures. Thus he calls Max for a discussion to inform him that he must be moved to Heimat for recovery right away and it is useless for him to stay in unit. Max explodes totally hitting his fist (about only thing that does work) to table and screaming that he will go home, to West Prussia! When it has been liberated from polish occupation! Sieg Heil! Doctor, who is relatively young, instinctively rises to strand and scream Sieg Heil too and the matter is pretty much finished there. Max will stay and rest and recover in his home in West Prussia as soon as possible.
Only news during day is that Wehrmacht has been asking for few volunteers (Heinz and Erich raise their hands instinctively even before hearing what kind of volunteers are wanted to what kind of mission) from SS-VT. There has been rumor that General Oberst Heinz Guderian keeps SS-VT formations combat ability somewhat suspect and is curious of some kind of proof of their training. He is especially interested in leadership ability. Both volunteers should arrive to XIX Panzer Korps headquarters at 7.30 tomorrow to answer any questions Wehrmacht might have for them. Heinz keeps it natural that SS-VT surpasses anything any Wehrmacht swine can ever invent for them
|Heinz and Erich report to XIX Panzer Korps headquarters in 07.30. Korps
commander's adjutant receives them. Oberst Leutnant takes a tactics exercise
manual and gives them randomly one mission each with a task of preparing
order as leader of unit in question. Time is 15 minutes. On second time
there is 10 minutes and in third round 5 minutes. Their final task is to
listen to a description of a situation from Erwin Rommel's war memoirs
"Infanterie Grief Ann" and give analysis of situation and orders to troops,
immediately. Following this adjutant collects the results and frees them
to come into Korps HQ to see him at 10.30. Two SS-men will thus spend their
time in headquarters looking at suspiciously staring Kettenhunden (Military
Policemen) guarding headquarters. At 10.30 they get a command letter from
Korps commander with orders to deliver it personally to SS-Standarte Tor
commander. With all that done they answer to salutes of Wehrmacht troops
with raising hand (as all good SS-men do) and return back to Tor headquarters
giving letter to Standarte commander Von Eberbach who releases them back
to their own duties.
Day goes with fairly normal and kind of futile mood until commander calls all officers into a meeting at 16.00. Both Heinz and Erich go there along with all other officers of Tor. Von Eberbach informs the collected crowd that XIX Panzer Korps commander has been convinced of their fighting ability to such a degree, that they have been selected to work as a spearhead in attack to Poland. That point marks something of a mutiny in ranks of disbelieving Von Eberbach, whose speech is rudely interrupted by collected young officers who scream on top of their lungs "Sieg Heil" for numerous times before they finally understand the grave error of their mutinous behavior. Von Eberbach does, however, leave this go unpunished as youthful enthusiasm pointed towards right direction. Their new work is to find holes in enemy defense and inform of them to 3rd Panzer division. Needless to say this means that SS-Standarte Tor will be working ahead of other units of Panzer Korps. Exhilarated officers quickly run back to their troops to inform them of this great news and mood on unit goes through roof.
Meanwhile Max Von Küne who has even managed to somehow leave his bed is met with a new doctor Herr Doktor, Ober Artz Weissner, dreaded national-socialist doctor whose abilities include capability to separate Poles into several racial sub-classes according to skull form. (Good?) Doctor has been going through Von Küne's papers and in his moment of petty medical emergency decides that Tor does not need crippled officers to tax Battalion Aid Stations. Thus he immediately orders Von Küne to main military medical hospital of Berlin. He is also given four weeks of leave and prospect of new medical examination to check his current health in a year or two. When Max tries to state that he will stay, Herr Doktor's voice gets dangerous new low as he ponders aloud if his own hearing has some kind of weak moment. After all, he just heard a junior officer refusing order? However, Max screams on top of his lungs, "Jawohl!" and whole matter is dismissed with that.
|Most of the day is kept on packing up and moving whole unit into the
Polish border where SS-Standarte Tor exchanges its positions with 3rd Panzer
division. Because exchange must be kept in secret from Poles (who
have had extremely tense relations with Germany for last year and so and
that has been building up fortifications anyway) so actual exchange is
done after nightfall. During the day Tor's units slowly replace parts of
Wehrmacht units but spearhead units facing polish are exchanged last at
sun down. The mess of switching several battalions at night takes the whole
night and whole exchange has not been finished up until right before dawn.
Late at night a messenger informs Heinz and Erich that they should arrive
to Standarte headquarters at midnight. Both get themselves ready for new
orders pondering what is behind all this.
Meanwhile Max is moved with military ambulance to Berlin and just in case he has any funny ideas of not following orders to the letter, two rather burly Kettenhunden ensure that he understands what is good to him. Max can see the light now, especially after one Kettenhunden playfully taps his knee with his wooden blackjack for effect. After that they even carry Von Küne, who has been found unable to walk even with help of stretchers, to ambulance and trip towards Berlin and its pleasures can start...
Ambulance trip goes quite well to tired and somewhat bothered Von Küne, who is still sulking that he is forced to leave his beloved unit. It is impossible to know where he is going to at the back of the vehicle. However, increase of traffic and finally a considerable time spent waiting in traffic jam (together with hundred other cars whose drivers seem to have nothing else to do but honk their horns) shows him that he must be in Berlin. The rest of the hospital trip goes on pretty uneventfully.
Max is taken to a huge hospital building where he signs about a hundred papers so (Prussian military system just cannot work without proper paper work), gives up all his clothes (that are signed and put to a sack and carried to his room) and gets instead a hospital pajama. Rest of the day (and better part of evening) goes on waiting in main administrative building while nurses seem to go on and on checking papers and giving him quick eye glances. Finally his papers are apparently cleared up and two huge medical orderlies escort him into more remote wing of the building where he gets finally a separate room. His fears rise somewhat when he notices that doors can be (and are) locked from outside. He sleeps very uneasily, especially because he can hear terrible screams from a next room that end as abruptly as they started...
|Exactly at midnight two young SS officers enter to the evacuated farmhouse
that serves as headquarters of SS-Standarte Tor. They meet SS-Hauptsturmführer
Mergtzer (again) who has a mission for them (again) that is GEKADOS (again).
Their mission is nothing less than of vital importance to entire German
arms (well, XIX Panzer Korps to be more honest). Their mission is to take
over -intact- the small bridge that crosses equally small river between
Germany and Poland. It separates them from the West Prussia. The attack
must start at September 1st, 1939 at morning. The SS-Standarte
Tor will then get across the river (followed by 3rd Panzer Division) to
liberate West Prussia from Polish occupation. Needless to say, this means
that both officers now know when war will start. Thus Mertzger makes them
vow with their hand on proud Swastika Flag never to give up such information
and rather kill themselves than divulge the full extend of their mission.
Both men look at their flag with tears on their eyes as they make vows.
Morning goes quietly as both men make some sort of preliminary planning on how they would carry out the attack. Heinz would love to do heroics (preferably from safety of his armored car) but his swimming skills are somewhat haphazard (non-existent) and thus the swimming champion Erich gets the privilege of leading the attack to bridge. They decide to attack from both directions, Heinz from the North with his section and Erich from the South along the riverbank. Heinz team would take over the building while Erich's team would prevent detonation and pin down Poles on border guard positions.
Max Von Küne receives visitors at the morning. Herr Stabs Ober
Artz (Right Hand of God) Von Eberbach-Bloomdahl, Doctor of National Socialistic
Mental Physiology, arrives to check his latest patient (victim). He looks
at the papers of Max Kune, a Wehrmacht soldier (Ober Schutze to be more
precise) who has been brought to Berlin due suspect gunshot wounds received
during training accident. What papers do not say is that Kune is very clearly
a coward, enemy of the German People and finally a mentally retarded as
he claims to be member of SS-VT, new Teutonic Elite, and a nobleman to
After lunch Max starts to search for Doctors room while moving around with a crutches. His movements are slow because Haller gave him a mismatching pair where one crutch is some half a meter higher than other. Thus he walks along with the grace (and bearing) of Hunchback of Notre Dame along long and never ending stairwells (and dungeons) reaching the room just in time. Good doctor is very stern and gives him a series of inkblots to study. Max answers very correctly explaining how they show a Jew, Bolshevik, Frenchman, Englishman, Pole and Russian whose head has been smashed with a rifle but. However, Doctor Von Eberbach-Bloomdahl suspects that these answers are just too correct and that patient is faking it. He thinks that this must be true due low cunning that his faked noble bearing "secretly" shows (or more precisely lack of showing actually shows).
Anyway, once patient again rises question of his rank and position doctor explodes. He states bluntly that he is enlisted pig who is a coward and who will be cured. His professional pride expects that Private Kune will have his leg cured so he can be properly shot after summary court martial. He demonstrates this point by throwing Max into head with inkbottle. Last words Max hears after orderlies escort (carry, throw him out) him out of doctor's office is that it is really for his own good. Haller takes over escorting Max after that. She accidentally hits him into hurt leg and thus aids Max comes down the stairwell to his own level with the aid of gravity. Max is fairly quiet after that treatment and he is carried to his room and door properly locked.
Rest of the day is pretty much uneventful (in front at least). Both Heinz and Erich just select a section from the Motorcycle Company to carry out the real assault. Metzger's offer of handling the actual attack with SD men (who'd take the glory) or Abwehr's Branderburger kommandos (who are just Wehrmacht) is out of the question. The glory of Iron Cross shines on both men's eyes as they select men (anyone is a volunteer to super secret and death defying mission anyway) for strike team. They are resting for the day and putting their equipment on order. Everyone is pretty much excited and perhaps even shaking. Heinz relaxes with the aid of cognac under the shadow of birch tree planning various options with his eyes closed. He lets squad leader to handle actual work. Meanwhile Erich takes considerably more direct approach kicking in arse everyone not shaping up to his level (that is pretty high) and Squad Leader runs most of them all. At nightfall both officers start their own reconnaissance on target at the cover of the darkness with their squads on tow.
Heinz (who really has no clue what so ever of infantry tactics) trusts on his squad leader to guide them through darkness. After getting lost for a moment, the team gets close to original point of crossing when they hear a noise of metal hitting metal and sound of engine. He immediately connects it to a presence of tanks (which Poles do have in relatively large numbers). The thing is getting more difficult by the fact that they have absolutely no anti-tank weapons on themselves and thus meeting such a monster would be short and very many painful encounters. Heinz decides that he has to do something on that in the morning.
Erich approaches the swampy riverbank quietly and hears relatively little noise. However, there is definitely something happening as sounds might be connected to an entrenching, noise of metal hitting a stone and felling of a tree. They do, however, seem to happen at considerable distance and entire swampy riverbank feels empty. "A perfect crossing opportunity", he thinks. They retreat back from the swamp covered in mud but without being seen (at least no trigger-happy border guard on either side shoots at them).
Later that night Haller comes to see Max with a medical aid in mind. She has a syringe filled with yogurt -it has calcium which is good for your leg- for Max. The full one-liter syringe is more like a garden sprayer and it is filled to hilt with yogurt right from the refrigerator. And then it is time for cure as he unceremoniously turns Max to lie on his belly. It is a lie that (in Third Reich at least) in military hospital no one can hear your scream. To be more precise, it should go that in military hospital no one cares of your scream…
|After a sturdy breakfast the strike team rests until evening. Heinz
and Erich start to hone their plan in the late afternoon with both agreeing
that plan they already did was good. Tank is worrisome but Heinz has a
plan. He intends to get some anti-tank weapons from engineers. They hone
plan so that Heinz will not attack the house but instead keep his squad
ready to wipe out any enemy forces trying to come to help in general and
tank in particular. Meanwhile Erich will prevent detonation and take out
Polish border guard station. They furthermore change plan so that Erich's
men get dressed as border guard unit going to change existing squad there
and thus get a good chance to have throughout idea of where Poles are stationed.
After Erich has himself cut the wires his squad would storm the building.
With the end of the meeting Heinz goes to see one of the more senior NCO's of the Engineer Company. He has a full understanding that Engineers are big men (small guys cannot build anything) with long hands (from carrying all those mines). Engineer is a particularly strange beast that they are always thirsty and a bottle (all right, let's make it two) fine cognac is always appreciated along with humble request for a box of four Teller mines. Business is business and Heinz is a man who knows how to haggle himself the best price. However, he returns in half an hour back to the shadow of a huge pine tree -used as a staging area for their strike team- cursing just how thirsty pigs engineers really are.
Back in hospital the medical care starts in earnest. Max is shackled to table and a group of doctors start slowly and methodically imply with him a shock treatment to cure him out of his cowardly behavior. Hungarian research physician (Joseph Ladislas von Meduna) had found out in early 1930's that schizophrenia and epilepsy are in conflict and cannot exist simultaneously. He'd cure patient from medical disease (that was incurable) with camphor injections to cause epileptic seizures (that was curable). Doctor von Eberbach-Bloomdahl uses same methods too. End result is Max who is sweating till he is all wet. Seizures keep on growing and turning into more and more violent and thus narcotic anesthetic is used to control patient. Max goes through whole array of interesting new feelings from simple headaches to spasms to extreme sweating, to vomiting. An en encore, there are extreme convulsion that make him curse in most ungentlemanly way despite presence of lady (if you can call Haller that?).
Doctor von Eberbach-Bloomdahl is more than impressed with results that seem to cure patient out of cowardliness. He comments this to a group of collected young doctors who make notes and enthusiastic GESTAPO representative who is studying mental care techniques and their possible (inevitable) applications on criminology in discussing (interrogation) with mentally unsound subjects (such as Enemies of the Party). Max doesn't even notice the difference between end of treatment and beginning of the rest in his room (safely locked up) when his body is still making uncontrollable spasms now and then and his head is thick and heavy and mind is as dull as a rock. He finally fall asleep (faints)…
|Last day of the (unwanted?) peace starts with the SS-men of Erich's
group changing to Grentztruppe uniforms. Then they fill up the cart with
their gear and inspect whole show as if they would look like a small border
guard unit changing another one in border. Then get to border by noon and
after a long time of discussing with the leaving border guard unit they
are finally given (after fulfilling about a dozen forms that Nazi Germany
just cannot function without) responsibility over the border station. Erich
orders his men to carry out the guard as previous group did while his squad
leader checks out a covered approach to riverbank where they can swim over
at nightfall. With all these preparations ordered, Erich throws his SMG
on table and puts his dirty boots on desk on sight of the Poles looking
them over the border. He starts to snore in short order to make Poles lower
their guard (but he really does it because he likes to rest whenever there
is a chance, like all soldiers in all armies of the world do). At the same
time a clear and warm day is slowly turning into darker as clouds gather
on sky as if to herald incoming storm of World War.
At the hospital a new day brings new treatments to Max. This time the treatment has moved forwards as patient's uncouth language yesterday was a clear sign that he has some kind of depression that manifests itself in this kind of behavior. The theory brought forwards by two well-known Italian physicians (Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini) was that electricity could do the same thing as camphor. They managed to study it so well that at 1938 they could advance from killing rats to experiments with human patients. The highly advanced National Socialistic medicine immediately copied this electroconvulsive treatment (better known popularly as shock treatment) technique.
Several hours of treatment lead to Max's chest hair burning off and several other outcomes including profound disorientation and complete short-term memory loss of what happened on the same day (which probably quite merciful). Loss of control of bodily functions is unfortunate side effect. Von Eberbach-Bloomdahl is very much interested in treatment's effectiveness and his eyes are positively glowing because Max no longer says any foul words. However, it must be added that this effect is probably due fact that patient is gagged to prevent him from biting accidentally his tongue. GESTAPO representative is most impressed with doctor's results and their future application in criminology field.
Doctors discuss on patient's wounds too. Max can not say anything (due gag) but he is recovering enough to hear of what is in store for future. Doctors are discussing on possible cure by using focal infection surgery. After all, he seems to have cured from his symptoms at very fast pace. However, there is discussion if they should now proceed with endoctrinetomy or use somewhat controversial focal infection surgery. Herr Stabs Ober Artz comes into conclusion that latter method is better. He personally has always believed in Henry A. Cotton's (American doctor who presented these ideas in 1919) theory that toxins produced by bacteria in some part of body is the real cause of the disease but new shock treatments should be employed first to take care of the mild cases. Furthermore, back in Weimar Republic his concepts received little (none really) support for his willingness to further study the subject. Thus he comes into conclusion that tomorrow he'll initiate a surgery to study (and if necessary) remove infected parts of colon and stomach and lower intestine. He ponders aloud that this kind of operation has some 30% mortality rate based on Cotton's own medical experiments but some sacrifices are necessary to further the science. The moral depravity (or moral vacuum at best) of whole affair does not come into anyone's mind, other than Max who'd like to state his protest but gag prevents it…
After the nightfall Heinz's men slip into the night and get closer to the border walking through the same path they used in their reconnaissance mission. They reach for the river by midnight and then get ready to swim over. Since Heinz cannot swim (well, actually he can float), he must be dragged over by his men in end of rope that takes time, swimming Teller mines takes almost as much time as dragging silent but scared Heinz over the border to start his war. Whole affair takes time and Heinz noticed much to his annoyance that they are already late from the schedule. He puts on his clothes angrily and kicks up his men to make up the time lost (in his own mistakes). Meanwhile Erich's men pack up and get ready and wait for night to continue. Some time after midnight they crawl quietly from the building to crossing place scouted before. They strip naked and quietly swim across and get closer and closer to bridge while hoping that Heinz's men are in position as they'd strike...
Back in the hospital Max is on the receiving end of yet another set of treatment. This time a doctor tries (pretty much halfheartedly) both hydrotherapy and hypothermic treatment. The idea is to use therapeutic effects of baths, douches, wet packs, steam, spritzers and hoses to good effect. It first feels fairly normal but mixture of steaming hot and ice cold water soon makes Max ready to scream. Apparent nervousness of shackled patient shows doctors that they should put some music on and a series of marches from the Wehrmacht bands plays along a series of mind smoothing tunes to rev up the atmosphere. Horst Wessel lied and thought of where an Earth his friends might now be is the last thought Max has when he is still conscious…
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