Cheers CQ, thanks
I did years of research backing all this up, it was part of a kick of mine anyway, and came across so many suprising pieces of information it was hard not to get inspired to write about it. Most of the facts and figures going on in the background are quite accurate.
I don't think I'll be posting everything here, it's novel sized and of course under copyright as pending publication. But the networking and feedback is good so I'll continue to post a few excerpts.
Continuing Chapter One...
(mild language warning with some choice censorship, these are a couple of combatants speaking openly and for the book it is important to outline the characters demeanour)
Exiting the station they passed a security checkpoint and followed the railway line back, southwest. The train had passed Pitomnik air base on the way through but all arrivals continued into Gumrak and the main handling facilities there.
It was only a few kilometres across open savanna, a fifteen-minute drive at good speed if you took the roads. It was a little foreboding the Staff Sergeant habitually took routes less predictable than roads, but also comforting. It’s what Schröder would do himself in a dangerous environment.
“So what, you’re attached to stab-flight?” the Lieutenant asked simply.
“No, just you. Hauptmann Spies left me in charge of your protection, apparently there’s a few big knobs with Iron Crosses who don’t want to see you get shot by some farmboy while taking a piss.”
Schröder looked over the fitted armoury lining the walls.
“Well, you’re certainly well equipped for it. You can use all these?”
The Staff Sergeant tilted his head to face him, providing an ice-blue stare he’d seen in one or two Waffen-SS experten and a handful of combat experienced Fallschirmjäger. It was the kind of look someone received just before they inexorably died.
“…What about Schutzstaffeln, any of those around?” he pressed, genuinely curious.
“Those bastards can go to hell…not anymore, thankfully. The Staff-chiefs managed to ship Sonderkommando back to Nizhne-Chir about a week ago. The pricks were killing children, you know? Not that Oberkommando will ever talk about it. And…the Panzergrenadiers got pulled back to France, while there were still any of those idiots left to re-equip. Bastards are probably drinking espresso right now.”
Schröder grinned broadly.
“Then what do I need you for?”
They both laughed, Welter having to wipe a single tear from his eye.
“I think we’re going to enjoy having you around, Oberleutnant,” the Staff Sergeant confided, “…Watch Paulus and some of the other commanders though, they’re Hitler’s boys.”
“We’re here for Germany, not the other way around. We’ll get it done and let them make up the bull***t, nobody we care about listens.”
“Aint that the truth,” Welter snorted.
The Demag hit a couple of bumps in fourth, at about 50 and leapt over them with ease. Schröder began to suspect its drivetrain got a little more attention than your regular service equipment, being particularly attuned to technical things.
“So what’s this Major’s story. He alright?”
Welter chuckled, negotiating the dips and quarries aside the railway line like a rally driver and making it look easy.
“Well he’s Fliegerführer Jagddivision and only a Major so that should tell you something. He’s the one who led the revolt against Göring back in ’forty. He convinced the entire Stab to paint over their swastikas…I’ll tell you I’ve never seen the Reichmarschall do such a good impression of an oversized beetroot in all my life.”
They both laughed again, the image was both horrible and incredibly funny.
“Big, fat Göring huh? He ‘saves Germany’ with a ridiculous national debt and gets to marry Emme Sonnemann for a reward. What a load of tripe!” the Lieutenant let out, a little surprised at himself.
“It should’ve been a bullet in the brain. F***ing women, they love the Nazis,” Welter empathised.
Schröder shook his head, a little disappointed with what might've been a Freudian slip.
“Yeah, f***ing women. Some, anyway I guess. Women I like would’ve called him on the pig he is.”
The Demag rose an embankment, revealing a large, paved runway and parking areas, ample lighting and a wealth of small buildings and concrete hangars ahead. Two scout-tanks and an 8-ton Hanomag, with another 5-ton half-track mounting a 20mm anti-aircraft gun stood immediately ahead, surrounded by Luftwaffe security guards about as well equipped as any light infantry brigade. This was the kind of security checkpoint that meant you’d better have your papers handy or somebody’s going to get shot real quick. The Demag was well known however and the pair were waved on through without too much trouble.
“Last month the Major scored thirty-two enemy aircraft himself,” Welter mentioned seriously,
“…He’s a good leader, the rest of the pilots know he’s looking out for them. And of course Jagdgeschwader Fifty-three was his original home.”
Schröder smiled as the Demag pulled up outside some slightly pitted buildings.
“Danke, Stabsfeldwebel. I trust you’ll keep me from letting you down.”
It was Welter’s turn to wink.
“Oh you can count on it, Oberleutnant. The Headquarters secretary will get your bunk sorted. I’ll be along after I stow this and introduce you to the Major.”
Schröder nodded, taking up his douffel.
“Thanks again, Welter. It’s good to have you aboard.”