Friday, July 15, 2022


German Gebirgsjäger¹ in Norway
Unteroffizier Georg Schülze heard the trucks coming down the road to the village before he saw them. Heavy vehicles from the sound of them. He again wondered if he had done the right thing concerning Becker's death, things were peaceful here. His report via back channel to his friend had had one immediate result, the orders for Leutnant Bär to report to Oslo had been clear and concise, he was to report to occupation headquarters immediately, if not sooner!

The lieutenant had left four days ago, queries as to his whereabouts went unanswered, finally headquarters had suggested that such questions could be seen as "troublesome," if not outright detrimental to the war effort here in Norway. So Schülze was content to wait.

And keep his thoughts to himself.

Looking out the window he saw the trucks, two of them, loaded with infantry. Following the trucks was a Kübelwagen. He couldn't help but notice the license plates on the car, it was an SS vehicle.²

SS-Sturmbannführer³ Roland Eckhart stepped out of the Kübelwagen and looked around. He saw a typical Norwegian fishing village, surrounded by mountains and forest. The village was small, he couldn't imagine how one of the garrison managed to get himself killed. Certainly the locals weren't capable of that.

But he had been surprised by circumstance before, he remembered the Polish boy in Warsaw. The boy couldn't have been much older than twelve, yet he had stepped in front of a German soldier and stabbed him in the lower abdomen.

The boy had, of course, been shot on the spot. Later the SS had sent a message to the Poles by killing everyone on the street where the boy had lived. The houses had burned for two days. The soldier who had been stabbed had recovered nicely.

Strong measures, Eckhart said to himself, it was the only thing keeping the conquered in line. Cooperate, you might live, resist and you will surely die.

He saw a sergeant walking towards him, that must be Schülze.

Immediately Schülze saw that the SS officer had no runes on his right collar, sure enough, there on his left sleeve was the diamond-shaped patch with the letters, "SD," the Sicherheitsdienst⁴ were in town.

Thinking it prudent, Schülze greeted the man with the Hitler salute, "Heil Hitler, Sturmbannführer! Unteroffizier Georg Schülze at your service."

Eckhart's answering salute was casual, a hand thrown back at head height. "Heil Hitler. So, you have investigated the death of this, soldier, what was his name, Becker?"

"Jawohl, Schütze Ernst Becker. My investigation leads me to believe that he was murdered by a British landing party, commandos. We found evidence of a landing having been made down the coast, there was also evidence of someone getting inside the warehouse down by the town wharf."

"You have been very thorough, Schülze. You were a policeman in Berlin before the war, ja?"

"Yes Sturmbannführer, I was a Kriminalkommissar⁵ before the war, detective branch, assigned to Wedding."

"Ah, that nest of rotten Communists. A high crime area as I recall?"

"Certainly Sturmbannführer, but we had things quieted down by 1938." Schülze didn't bother to mention that the Gestapo and the SD had done most of that dirty work. Most of the criminals and Communists now languished in the camps at Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald. Those who were still alive that is.

"Aber natürlich, now, what possessed you to report Becker's death as not accidental?"

Schülze explained, the circumstances of where the body was found, the position of the body, also the possible footprint on the back of Becker's neck. Later, when they had found evidence of a boat coming ashore in an out of the way cove, Schülze was convinced that Becker died by a soldier's hand. A British soldier.

"What do you know of these 'commandos' as the British call them?"

"Only what I've read in the reports from Oslo and Berlin."

"You read all of those?"

"Certainly Sturmbannführer, there isn't much else to do out here."

"And Bär wanted to call it an accident, without looking further into it?"

"Yes sir, but Bär has very little practical experience of police work, he was an administrator, though high up, in Potsdam."

"A Party member as well ..."

"Yes Sturmbannführer, he joined in '38 I think."

"You are not?"

"Nein Sturmbannführer, I am a simple policeman, I leave politics to others."

"Very good, we should all find our niche in the Reich and do our part to achieve final victory. You should know that Bär is no longer an officer, in fact, he has been transferred to a penal battalion. Stripped of his rank and his Party membership, now he might find his own niche. It could have been worse, certain people in Berlin wanted him shot. But it seems that Bär still has friends in high places. But that is nothing to me. Now, we need to select ten Norwegians."


"Hostages Unteroffizier, make sure the Tommies don't return, if they do, we shoot the hostages. It's simple really."

"But Sturmbannführer, these people have done nothing ..."

"Quite, perhaps if they had been a bit more vigilant, the English would never have gotten ashore."

Schülze knew that arguing further wouldn't do anyone any good. As he simply nodded, to show that he understood, not that he agreed, he was saved from further scrutiny by the approach of an Oberleutnant of Gebirgsjäger.

"Ah Krausse, are your men settled in?"

"Jawohl Sturmbannführer." The soldier turned to Schülze, who immediately snapped a proper military salute, which didn't go unnoticed by the SD man.

"This is your new garrison commander, Oberleutnant Gerhard Krausse, commanding the 2nd Platoon, of the 1st Company, 1st Battalion of the 6th Regiment of Gebirgsjäger."

"Krausse, this is Unteroffizier Schülze, he will be attached to your platoon in an advisory capacity. His men will still be the garrison of this place after your platoon helps to restore order. Questions?"

Both the officer and the sergeant answered in the negative. With a smile and a jaunty "Heil Hitler," the SD man returned to his car and drove off.

Schülze turned to the lieutenant, "Is he returning to Oslo? That is a long drive."

"Oh no, not at all, there is an inn some ten kilometers from here, very nice I understand, some sort of hunting lodge, he will be staying there until we get things sorted here."

"Now, I have a question for you Unteroffizier, I have ten hostages, where should I put them?"

Schülze felt like he had entered some strange new world, where people spoke of other people as if they were things, not human beings. He thought for a moment.

"There is no place to house that large a group, might I suggest that you parole them to their homes?"

Krausse chuckled, "What a quaint idea, sort of placing them under house arrest I suppose."

Schülze nodded, "Exactly Herr Oberleutnant."

"If there is no place to house ten hostages in a single place, what of my men? Where shall I place my platoon of forty men?" The slight grin on Krausse's face might have tipped Schülze off that the officer wasn't serious.

"Well ..."

Krausse laughed, "I'm kidding Unteroffizier, we are soldiers, Gebirgsjäger! We shall make do with barns and whatever entrenchments we care to prepare, after all, we need to guard the approaches to the village as well. Now, can you show me where you think the commandos came ashore?"

"Certainly Herr Oberleutnant, follow me."

As they headed down to the shoreline, Schülze shook his head, he felt that he had just left the normal world behind and entered Wolkenkuckucksheim, where fantasy replaced reality. The villagers in this place were not combatants, but how they were treated over the next weeks could change that.

In an instant.

¹ Mountain infantry, literally "mountain hunter" (German)
² Military vehicles in the Third Reich had a two letter code preceding the number: WH for Wehrmacht Heer (Army), WL for Wehrmacht Luftwaffe (Air Force), WM for Wehrmacht Kriegsmarine (Navy), and SS for the SS units. Not simply the letters "SS" but the lightning bolt runes worn on the uniform collar by SS personnel.
³ SS- Major (German)
⁴ Security Service (German) the intelligence and security service of the SS and the Nazi party, led by Reinhard Heydrich.
⁵ Police rank, equivalent to a captain.


  1. Curtesy of the SS the villagers have entered the war and the commandos are long gone.

  2. Heydrich was extremely evil, even by SS standards. I bought a 1:35 scale Mercedes five ton truck model a few years ago, and was tickled that it had WM plates.

  3. Stomping on people generally doesn’t make them compliant. It’s a lesson occupiers never seem to grasp.

  4. Your muse certainly can conjure up some truly loathsome characters. Sadly, there were real life examples to copy.
    John Blackshoe

  5. Early commando raids on both sides were clutzily handled. Fortunately our side got better quicker than their side.

    As to Cloud Cuckoo Land, well...

  6. Stupid ... smart.
    Loud ... quiet.

    Surprising how those ends align.

  7. Ominous developments, Sarge.
    --Tennessee Budd

    1. It's what a lot of Europe was experiencing under Nazi occupation. It got worse.


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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