September 1st
Heinz's men step up their speed to make up the lost time and approach their assigned building while Erich is approaching according to timetable the bridge. Erich sees that Poles on bridge do not seem to notice him but they are obviously quite suspicious of anything happening. Perhaps they have noticed that Germans are too quiet on their side of the border? Two of his soldiers are assigned to run across the bridge and cut wires as soon as fighting starts patrol the German side of the bridge while Poles look at them suspecting worse but not knowing yet what might happen. Erich swims closer and when the risk of getting caught is too high, he simply dives into black river and keeps on going until he finally (after agonizing seconds of pitch blackness) surfaces under the bridge. He climbs quietly and cuts through all the wires he can possible see to make sure that bridge (and he) do not get blown up when and if fighting starts. Meanwhile his men on riverbank put Poles patrolling bridge on their sights and are ready to kill them in a second…

Heinz finally reaches for the target area. He and his riflemen get into their positions to cover the bridge area. Machinegun team (with mines) starts to run to reach their own position and disaster strikes as hurried machine gunner trips and discharges his LMG. Poles shoot a flare and can see Heinz and his men as if it was a broad day light. Heinz immediately hits the ground along with the riflemen but machinegun team is too slow as Poles open up with a well placed machinegun burning belt after belt on helpless machinegun team that dies on them. Heinz orders his men to return fire but sees that Poles have been quite prepared for a fight, the house has apparently been reinforced with sand bags to withstand rifle fire. At the same time Polish riflemen add their fire up too and Heinz thinks that their plan has gone to all hell as he and his men kiss the Earth and shoot back desperately, pinned down by enemy fire…

Two Poles guarding the Bridge are immediately shot up and two German guards run across the bridge in desperate attempt to cut wires when Poles in the building kill them with few accurate shots. Erich jumps back to water and signals his men to assemble at the riverbank next to bridge. His men swim and crawl to him putting on their load bearing equipment because they are too busy to get clothes on. Erich sees then Poles seem to be more interested in shooting something else rather than his section crawling closer to building. He thinks that they are probably shooting at Heinz's men. He quickly comes up with the only plan any young SS-Officer in his first fight would come up. He jumps up to run towards building shooting wildly with his SMG buck naked with his men on tow while machine gunner rises to stand with his MG38 and blasts belt through at building wall. Their surprise fire causes Poles to seek for cover while return fire (or perhaps ricochets) cuts a close shave on Erich's arm in few critical seconds when his Squad races over the road to seek cover of the building wall.

Poles throw out a grenade to wipe off Germans hiding on their house's wall through open door. Erich -who stands right next to door- quickly catches it up and throws back in. Then he throws in another grenade to accompany this. Two explosions later he and his squad charge in shooting wildly at dead and dying Poles. House is definitely cleaned up and machinegun nest quiet as a dark, large shadow is thrown over Erich. He sees a huge Polish Border Guards Sergeant, waving a particularly nasty looking bayonet. It is Popowski, ready to challenge the German commander in duel to the death…

Heinz notices that machinegun has gone quiet after explosions and guesses that (since bridge was not blown up) that things are going well on that direction. Thus he orders few men to recover the LMG so they can put up crossfire against any Polish forces approaching from the West or North. His fears are well founded as he hears a loud noise of a tank approaching. Heinz grabs a mine and decides runs to machinegun to be ready to attack tank while riflemen open up on tank. However, he is caught up on the lights of the tank as he goes forwards and tracers fill the sky as Poles try to hit on German officer running from cover to another position. 

Popowski and Erich Hirning look each other to eyes while German soldiers lower their weapons as two fighters get ready to serious business of dueling. Popowski grins waving his nasty bayonet while Erich looks back at him arrogantly like his challenger was nothing but thin air. He throws his empty SMG on a nearby table and moves his hand to his belt to grasp his own bayonet. However, Erich moves his hand from his bayonet socket to his service pistol. He draws it up lightning fast and shoots Popowski down like a dog. Erich smiles smugly as takes time between his shots, letting his victim (opponent would mean here that opponent had even a remote chances) feel impact and pain from every shot as he slowly and methodically empties his gun at Popowski. It is clear that in a duel to death between a Polish animal cunning and a Teutonic civilized treachery; Poles have no chance in hell…

Outside building Heinz curses due scratch from a bullet and he kisses the Earth as tank lumbers slowly forwards. It might be just a small TK-3 tankette but it is still a nightmare to infantry hunkering down in darkness of dying night. His life is saved by again manned machinegun that fires exceedingly accurately at tankette making its young and inexperienced driver to panic and stop the tank. Polish commander screams at the driver so he can force him to act again and ignore German small arms fire that would not hurt them. Driver swallows hard, collects his courage and tanks lumbers forwards again while looking for Germans. Meanwhile Heinz has used this situation to his advantage and put the Teller mine on top of a track. When tank lumbers forwards, mine drops on front of tank and detonate destroying the vehicles in a second while Heinz still stands on side of it dropping down on his knees due force of explosion. He sees with his mind messed up how a burning Polish tank commander tries to lumber from his tankette turned into a death trap and how his Squad leader's burst cuts him down to fall and die on ground…

Erich screams at his men to snap them out of their trance as he forgets the dead Polish Sergeant. He orders his men to put up a machinegun to protect their position while he takes his flare gun and shoots up two green flares one after another, a sign that their mission has succeeded. At the same Heinz cannot hear anything due his eardrums being damaged in explosion but he sees how two flares rise in twilight of approaching dawn. Thus he digs up a cigarillo (Heinz will smoke Juno only if world is coming to a close) from his chest pocket with shaking hands and lights it up from the charred black corpse of dead Polish tank commander lying on his side. It is a mission accomplished and even he can hear despite the pain the roar of thousands of vehicles starting up on German side of border to invade Poland and liberate West Prussia. World War Two has officially begun at 4.45, September 1st, 1939.

Max wakes up in the early morning's skin raw. He also notices that he cannot move anything as he has been wrapped from head to toe with wet towels. He also knows what is waiting for him as soon as morning comes and as such he has to get out, quickly. His thoughts of doom and dread are disturbed when radio springs on with the important news of war starting. The idea of war starting (and possibly even ending) without him is intolerable and with superhuman effort this savaged man turns into a real Teutonic hero, a man of true Germanic Intensity, Integrity and Intelligence (alright alright, one of three isn't that bad). During Führer's speech he breaks his shackles and is freed to carry on (much to dread of Democratic nations of World)

Max somehow (his mind is almost totally blanked by pain) he gets into locker room and scouts until he finds that some doctor has left his coat there. Max dresses on them barely and walking at the early morning (5.30) goes forwards until he bumps into Haller. Haller sees a man in white coat and immediately jumps into attention screaming "Heil Hitler" on top of her lungs (so that entire hospital wakes up). However, Max's questions of (his) clothes of Kune are solved and Haller immediately springs into action getting his clothes to Herr Doktor. Max thoughts for a moment of kicking Haller to her legs but gives up the idea as beneath Prussian officer's honor. Max then walks out of the once nice looking but now positively dreadful military hospital and notices that darkness and rain die out almost immediately when he leaves the gate and all he can see is a sunny and beautiful early morning in warm Berlin where birds are singing and humble folks are hurrying to work. Max gets himself a taxi to train station and leaves towards east and front as quickly as he can (after getting changed to his uniform and throwing doctor's clothes to dustbin).

Max's trip ends up soon as Kettenhunden pick him for travelling in uniform without proper documentation. His somewhat rambling description and lack of good explanations are further cause of studying what this man is doing. After all, it is a war and thus everyone suspect should be checked. Max learns that police is extremely nervous as they are looking for Max Kune, a deserter. However, this low creature and officer like Maximillian von Küne has nothing in common. This is made certain after Max screams of his deepest willingness of getting into front in the combat to take back his family's manor in West Prussia. He recites his military oath (followed by officer's oath) to somewhat surprised kettenhund who (suitably impressed) writes him papers authorizing him to return to unit. He does, in a moment of rare flicker of care, remind Max of the fact that von Küne's leg is obviously in bad shape and he should remain in Berlin in military hospital. Von Küne, however, declines his urging. 

Max jumps (pretty much walks slowly) to next train while gritting his teeth and muttering (on every step) something along,"I can make it". He arrives to SS-Standarte Tor by nightfall reporting to duty and von Eberbach (who bears strange, almost half-brother like, resemblance to Herr Doktor von Eberbach-Bloomdahl) looks at him praising the wonders of modern National Socialistic medicine that have allowed him to return back to unit so quickly. Von Küne agrees to his assessment with somewhat dry tone in his voice…

Max's next stop is his unit, the Reconnaissance Company. Max's friends -Heinz and Erich- receive him quite surprised that he have arrived so soon. However, surprise soon gives room to happiness and all three are soon laughing. Max does, however, grimace when Erich playfully kicks him into hurt leg pondering aloud of Max's wounds have really healed up. Max's smile does look a bit strained at this point. Their celebration is soon disturbed as Reconnaissance Company's commander approaches trio with news that things are about to change quite soon…

Trio sits through the company commander's briefing (22.00) pretty much with their ears closed. They do not bother to hear highly important reasons for their mission. Tor is doing its share in cutting Poland apart by going forwards as quickly as possible, which they do understand. Three SS-officers concentrate on task ahead. They should find a Polish HQ that is probably some 15 kilometers ahead close to a Peledino. They do this with an armored car and trio is selected to job (among other similar small patrols) because they have been working together on reconnaissance work in Poland before. Furthermore, Max von Küne speaks Polish that is a definite asset.

They start making preparations immediately after the briefing (22.30). Armored car is being prepared for mission as Erich and Max check out that they get all the fuel and ammunition they can muster. Meanwhile Heinz attempts to get them anti-tank rifle failing miserable. Despite his combination of clumsy bribery attempts, threats, bootlicking and insults no unit in Tor he can quickly reach wants to give up any of theirs. Somehow the start of real war has made everyone quite skittish on idea of giving up any of precious (and truly rare) anti-tank resources. Disappointed Heinz has thus no other task but return back and check out that their Sd.Kfz. 223 is ready to go. He checks out that they have as much fuel as they can humanly (used here only to describe SS-Officer like but definitely different breed) to carry in a barrel of oil and several jerry cans. The bottom of the cars floor is littered with extra hand grenades, flares, smoke grenades and bullets. Finally he checks outs that armored car has its nationality markings right so they do not get shot by their own side. It had huge yellow crosses on sides and on top of hood is a massive flag adorned with swastika for recognition in case Luftwaffe planes get near. It is not that they in general -and Erich in particular- trust to any of these precautions if day arrives and planes start to fly in earnest.

September 2nd
Heavily laden armored car is finally ready to depart through the lines after midnight (01.00). They reach front line where they are met by small liaison team from I/Tor holding the front line. These troops also quickly brief Heinz on where Polish positions are and what they think is empty route to help them get easily through the lines. He immediately ignores (Forgets? Dismisses?) advice given and orders their armored car to drive right forwards towards east. Despite muted questioning of Erich he also insists on driving with headlights on for driving safety. After all, Heinz ponders, they have been several times in exceedingly dangerous situation because of traffic accidents and moving cars compared to dangerousness of Polish troops. Max shakes his shoulders while Erich shakes his head but Heinz is vehicle commander and that is the end of discussion.

However, discussion soon starts again as car lumbers forwards towards Polish lines and a sudden fire from Polish AT gun heralds that they have been seen. This surprises everyone (well, to be honest, only Heinz and Max) and Erich drives like a madman through the night zigzagging wildly. Second round gets goes right next to Heinz almost taking out the antenna rig. Heinz starts throwing smoke grenades to attempt to disguise their position while Erich kills the headlights that does disguise their position. Third round misses as Erich drives through field into safety of nearby bushes. 

There they keep on going until they manage to stumble right into position of Polish infantry. Heinz is on top of situation (again?) and he turns turret to shoot down few infantrymen shooting their rifles on their armored while Erich drives right through their position. Heinz decides to instinctively shoot his machinegun but in the heat of action he somehow instinctively manages to field strip the gun and its bolt drops on head of Erich whose language at this point is somewhat foul. Heinz immediately does his best to make good of his action by bending down and reaching for the missing bolt grabbing something on Erich's groin. Erich groans on pain on this and car swerves wildly. Heinz who is all but deafened by Erich's screaming instinctively screams back, "Shut up bitch and take it all!" on top of his lungs. However, this is not Ladies room in most prestigious Berlin restaurant after midnight but cold hard reality of battlefield of Poland and thus discussion and language is pretty blue between Erich and Heinz. Especially Erich makes a distinction with his ability to scream back and driving through forest almost blind as few rounds strike their armored car. 

Meanwhile Max has used his SMG to mow down the few Poles who were brave (foolish) enough to remain close to their armored car. He is also too broad-minded to intervene in Erich and Heinz's discussion on correct placing (sideways or frontally) of machinegun's bolt inside human anatomy. He also does not think it is worth pointing out to Heinz that Heinz has not pressed transmit button when their leader (at least in name) tries to raise HQ rather unsuccessfully immediately afterwards.

After futile (what a surprise) attempts to raise HQ (and fixing the machinegun) they drive deeper inside Polish lines for some time until Erich finds what seems to be a good well covered bush without anything suspicious. Trio tries to get a fix of their position and try to raise HQ again there. During all this they also observe on Poles and manage to see how horses and wagons are moving to artillery battery's position bringing up more ammunition. This is a perfect opportunity for Germans and thus Heinz calls in artillery fire from HQ. This succeeds now quite well as he remembers (after mentioning it) to press transmit button on radio. Heinz surprises his peers by actually managing to direct the rounds so close to Polish positions that artillery strike actually drops on fairly close to them. Artillery barrage soon lit up the sky line and falling rounds explode in positions raising smoke that forms a perfect cover for departing armored car slipping deeper behind enemy lines…

Somewhere half way between Peledino and Swiekalawa they stop their car to get another fix of their position as they can see a small Polish supply column approaching. Three wagons and ten soldiers is easy prey for SS-men who are almost licking their lips as they can now see almost helpless victims. Unsuspecting column notices the armored as they get close enough but at that time it is already too late. Erich "Butch" Hirning tries just how deep into the metal he can push the medal and 223 jumps from its position roaming right towards the column. He swerves the column from the right driving over several fat cooks making a desperate attempt to run away. Meanwhile Heinz and Max are shooting helpless rabbits (pigs really) from open hatches giving the world a brand new method of hunting quarry, a drive-by shooting. 

At the end of murderous pass Butch makes his best to make a bootlegger's turn but fails miserably causing their 223 to stop momentarily. On plus side this allows two other men to switch to fresh magazines for their SMGs. Second pass results in several familiar thumps as Butch scores yet few more road-kills. Heinz and Max are doing their murderous share too as they mow down the remaining cooks ignoring feeble attempts of surprised cooks to shoot back with their bolt action rifles. The thrill of hunt is simply too sweet to young, impressionable, cruel and very possibly quite amoral SS-Officers.

When all is said and done and no one seems to be moving (even horses are pretty much dead) Erich gets a bright idea that Max should call out any surviving Poles to come out. Max starts to shout in Polish towards ragged remnants of column that they should come out with their hands up and surrender. Finally two wounded men emerge from under the wagons. First is fat and old supply sergeant and second is quite young clerk. They are both dirty and terrorized and shaking with fear. Seeing two Poles ahead of him Heinz immediate pulls his (execution) pistol shooting both Poles down and starts to lecture on two other men that they simply cannot take prisoners so deep inside enemy lines. It is simply too tough to young, impressionable, cruel and very definitely quite amoral SS-Officers.

Auto loot kicks in immediately (that is hardly a surprise). All three jump down from 223 and go through the column with SMGs in hand. Erich concentrates on making sure that every Pole is definitely dead while Heinz loots supply sergeant. Max is too slow to take part on that as he tries to walk like almost crippled man does (which he really is). Thus he concentrates on going through papers that Polish leader carried with him. It is clear that he has some kind of pass that allows him to transport supplies between 50th Division's regimental HQ and some battalion. Max tries to read hand written document with the aid of torch that seems to take nothing short of forever to make he gets a full understanding of the situation. Heinz radios (this time correctly) the situation to HQ that is very pleased to hear where Poles are. They do, however, would like them to actually see it by themselves.

Meanwhile Erich checks out the armored car and notices that its front has suffered only minor damage but unfortunately body of one Pole has been wedged on front when he overran the column. Feeling himself quite hungry following this gruesome sight, Erich goes to check what kind of a meal Poles had prepared. Much to his disappointment the food tastes bloody awful. Erich immediately vomits out whatever little he tasted grimacing in terror. His scream of displeasure immediately attracts attention of two others who somehow conjure up a plan to pee on soup. Somehow all three immediately feel enormous need to relieve themselves and sit on three-cylinder Polish cast iron transportable field loo to salt the food up. Max ponders aloud that noble shit can only improve quality of Polish scum's fodder. Heinz nods and adds that a lot of pee is good too. Erich just hums Horst Wessel as he sits on his own place murmuring aloud that everything is fine other than lack of Der Stürmer to read.

After having relived their immediate problems Heinz suddenly gets (unfortunately) an idea. He has this (suddenly invented) theory that National-Socialistic fighting men need a lot of meat to be strong and that Germany have a lack of meat to give to its soldiers. Two other men look at him questionably as Heinz ponders that Max should slaughter one of the animals for meat. Max nods and limbs to first horse picking up a particularly nasty looking knife and goes right into the work in total darkness with élan and precision that would scare those who don't know him well. End result is one Max covered in blood (as he actually fumbles in darkness) and plenty of meat for armored car equipped modern day poachers (and looters and brigands and bandits and murderers). After putting the meat on looted sacks (and helping Max to climb back to armored car) the merry band disappears into the night…

German patrol keeps on getting deeper into Polish lines and avoids easily a large group of Polish soldiers digging up positions close to road (2.15). Instead they turn north and drive on until they see the East-West railway. Then they simply follow it towards east and thus Peledino. There is no real road to follow but land is relatively even and thus armored car gets through the nightly rural areas quite easily. This time vehicle crew shows particular attention towards avoiding Poles with the completely new concept of avoidance by driving as fast as one can and after a series of breakneck speed driving records actually manages to get fairly close to Peledino by 2.30.

Trio opens hatches and observes as well as they can in the night both railways crossing and attached large village. There seems to be plenty of activity including setting up some AA Guns and loading and loading trucks. However, large passenger car seems to be moving towards a nearby hill. Trio follows its movement and sees how its passengers leave it to get inside a large mansion Max immediately notices that older gentleman leading the whole affair is clearly a senior officer. Meanwhile Heinz accurately estimates that his companion is 38C-24-38. However, whole place definitely seems to be on a receiving end of a major buildup and thus Heinz libido gives in for sanity (this time at least). Rest of the observation goes fairly professionally with them meticulously marking locations of Polish positions and vehicles to maps until clock indicates (03.00) that they have only a little time left until sunrise and they decide to return back to German lines.

Return trip goes rather well until they meet a rather small train. Heinz immediately drives the armored car to safety in nearby bushes but from some obscure reason train's passengers are actually quite alert and soon pot shots start from a passing train. However, this has been exactly what Heinz has been dreaming all along as they have driven fairly close to a railway line. He trains his machinegun at locomotive and empties his 250 round belt right into it. Soon locomotive slows down and is covered with smoke as how steam is being released from hundred or so tiny holes on its side. Amount of shooting from train's three passenger cars slows down considerably too.

Then Max drives (with backward pointing steering wheel) them to safety deeper in forest. Erich takes over the armored car with ease. With Erich putting pedal to the metal whole trio drives through Polish countryside back towards Swiekalawa fairly same route as they arrived to Peledino in the first place. However, they make a drastic change in the end. Heinz has came into conclusion that this time it might be somewhat better to follow route that liaison from I/Tor had told them in the first place. Thus they avoid driving through the main road and slip fairly unnoticed through narrow roads (path is more realistic term) aided by their armored car's good cross-country ability to their own lines (04.15). Back in their own lines I/Tor receives back the scouts and leads them back to Reconnaissance Company's position in reserves behind three SS-Sturmbann readying themselves for breaking through Polish position in the morning. SS-Hauptsturmführer Mertzger takes the papers and maps and gives them a quick debriefing and leaves back to HQ sitting in a motorcycle sidecar to get the data forwards to his superiors.

Three SS-officers are left with little bit less than tired and thus all they have left is to wind down. As the first rays of the sunrise come they start to clean up the mess from the last nights action. Erich takes a shovel and starts to unhinge body of Polish soldier mangled unrecognizable in night's mad drive from the front bumper. He curses that they should replace the flimsy bumper with a sturdy cattle buffer. Heinz throws the bloody sacks filled with horsemeat to ditch shouting his trusty platoon's assistant commander to start giving meat for men to strengthen themselves. Max is busy on his own sake as he washes up the blood from his face and hands and uniform with water from a ditch. Reconnaissance Company's (now) battle hardened and well trained (nationalistic socialistically raised young wolves) look at their officers with eyes wide from sheer terror murmuring in fear of what kind of butchers their officers really are. Max checks that last drops of blood from his uniform have been washed with water from ditch as he ponders aloud to his platoon's men aloud that their trip was somewhat raw...

September 3rd
September 4th


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