Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Raid

Gefreiter Hermann Bauer looked up as Unteroffizier Georg Schülze entered the small building where they were keeping the captured Norwegian. Schülze tried to close the door as quickly as he could, but the arctic air got in anyway, along with a lot of snow.

"Still coming down, Uffz?" Bauer said with a grin.

"I'm starting to think it will never end. How's our prisoner?"

"Won't say a word other than his name and what I assume is his Dienstgrad.¹"

"We've done some checking, Oskar Olson is indeed a member of the Norwegian Army. He was wearing a uniform when he was captured, ja?" Schülze had been with Oberleutnant Krausse when the lieutenant had talked on the phone with someone in Oslo who had access to Norwegian government records.

"Most of the men that the Gebirgsjäger ran to ground were wearing uniforms, or parts of uniforms. I wonder how the Englishman and the two Frenchmen happened to be this far south." Schülze continued as he took off his greatcoat.

"A Royal Marine and two Chasseurs Alpin,² I'm betting they were cut off when their main force evacuated and worked their way south, probably looking for a boat to get back to England." Bauer had given this some thought.

"Makes sense. According to Oberleutnant Krausse, the SD would like a word or two with our prisoner."

Bauer stopped as he was donning his greatcoat, "What would those bastards want with him?"

"Well, two of their men were killed by this bunch he was with, supposedly. No direct proof of that in my book, but there was just the one partisan group. They were tracked from the scene, so to speak."

"Always the cop aren't you, Uffz? What's the Oberleutnant say about that?"

"Once a cop, always a cop. Krausse says that the SD are welcome to come talk to the man, but we're not to turn him over to them."

"Who argues with the SD and what if they send the Gestapo?" Bauer argued. He agreed with Krausse but he wasn't sticking his neck out for a Norgie prisoner.

"Well, we will wait and see ..."

A large explosion down by the waterfront made both men jump.

"What the Hell ..." Schülze was a bit confused, he had never seen combat, Bauer had.

"Hear that? That's a British Bren gun."

Premierløitnant Morten Henriksen had used a German torch to guide the commandos in. There were just he and Menig Martin Sundheim left, the reservists had gone home, Bestemor Hildur taking one of them in, the hunter had left as well.

"There they are!" Sundheim pointed, sure enough there was a rather large, sleek-looking power boat with what appeared to be torpedo tubes mounted on either side.

The boat was gliding in to the small cove just north of Litenhavn. As it got near the shore, one of the men aboard tossed a line which Sundheim caught and made fast to a small tree.

"Welcome to Norway, gentlemen!" Henriksen offered in his very best English, which wasn't all that great, but the man who jumped ashore mumbled something which was neither English nor Norwegian.

Henriksen was puzzled, the man wore a British uniform and ...

"Polski!" the big man announced as he thumped his chest. He disappeared down the path quickly.

"Don't mind him Leftenant, I have a number of Poles in my unit. That was Private Mierzejewski, a man of few words but one Hell of a fighter. I'm Mosier by the way, Oswald Mosier."

Henriksen raised an eyebrow when he heard that name.

A corporal jumped off the boat as Mosier deployed the rest of his men.

"It's Mosier, Sir, not 'Mosley.' You're thinking of that fascist bastard no doubt³. Well, we've got a few quislings on our side as well. He ain't one of 'em. Now, where's this fish factory Winnie wants blown up?"

It took Henriksen a minute to realize that the British soldier, a corporal from what he could see, had spoken to him in very good Norwegian. These English were so full of surprises!

"ALARM! Englische kommandos!" Schütze Matthias Scheidel dropped to one knee as he brought his rifle up. He should have taken cover first he realized after he fired, and missed.

The big man running towards him didn't miss.

Mierzejewski grabbed the German rifle and threw it into the harbor, he didn't bother checking the man, he was obviously dead from what Mierzejewski could see. He covered the rest of the men as they moved into position.

Sergeant Bartosz Podbielski dropped into position next to Mierzejewski, "You will be the death of me yet, Klaudiusz. I told you to wait!"

"Just the one man Sierżant Podbielski, I thought that speed was of the essence."

Slapping him on the shoulder, Podbielski got up and ran over towards the warehouse they were to destroy. The charges were already  planted and Corporal Winston was already signaling the men to fall back.

As the first charge went off, the end of the warehouse over the water collapsed. Flames sprang up as at least one barrel of fish oil was breached by the explosion. At the same time Winston heard the distinctive rattle of a German MG 34.

"Damn it, get back to the boat lads, Podbielski find the Leftenant!"

Winston's section of four men began to walk backwards, firing as they went. Winston didn't realize it but the Germans he was firing at had heard the sound of a Thompson once before, which caused them to take cover rather than direct the fire of their machine gun against the commandos on the dock. The last time they had heard that sound, four of their own had died.

"Verdammte Scheiße!" Krausse yelled out as he heard firing break out down at the waterfront. At that moment Schülze burst in.

"I've sent the duty section down to respond, Englishmen from the look of their uniforms. They've destroyed the warehouse and seem to be withdrawing."

"Yes. damned commandos, I'm trying to get ahold of the Navy detachment further south. The Tommies had to have come by boat, if the Navy can get one of their Schnellbooten to sea they can intercept those men. They probably came in a fishing boat and ..."

Schütze Richard Heitz, a native of Kiel, burst into the room, "Uffz, sorry, Herr Leutnant, there are two destroyers just outside the fjord! British from the look of them!"

"Damn it, will nothing go right this day!"

The commandos were underway with only a single casualty, Klaudiusz Mierzejewski had been hit in the buttocks by a stray round. He was furious.

"Now everyone will say I was shot while running away!"

"But Klaudiusz, you were. It's no shame, our job is to hit the Niemcy, then run away." Podbielski tried to console the big man.

Private Juliusz Dziadosz chimed in, "If you didn't have such a big arse Klaudiusz, the niemiecki bastard might have missed!"

That gave the men a laugh, even Mierzejewski had to admit it was funny, if only his arse didn't hurt so bad!

"Just the one casualty?" Krausse asked.

"Ja, Scheidel, a good kid. Another thing Herr Oberleutnant ..."


"In all the excitement, our prisoner got away."

"He couldn't have gone too far ..."

"He's vanished, he may have gone with the commandos, who knows? We'll check any leads, but I think he's gone."

Krausse sat for a moment, then picked up the phone again. "I'll let the SD know that the man they wanted to talk with was killed in the English raid. Spare them a trip, spare us some embarrassment."

"What if they want to see the body?"

"I'll tell them they're welcome to dredge the fjord ..."

Schülze nodded, "Very wise, Herr Oberleutnant. Remind me never to play cards with you."

¹ Rank, literally "service grade" (German)
² Literally "Alpine Hunters", the French mountain infantry. (French)
³ Oswald Mosley led the British Union of Fascists.
⁴ Fast Boat (German) German version of the PT boat.


  1. I hope Oskar joined up with the Commandos!

    1. Not a chance, he's alive, but he's not out of the woods yet.

  2. That wound isn't going to improve Mierzejewski's demeanor, is it?

  3. Sometimes, a plan works. There will be reprisals, though. Tyrants got to tyrant.

  4. Classic raid, well executed.
    Good to have destroyers covering the extract; S-boats are not to be discounted.
    Hope Oskar gets his arm tended.
    Boat Guy

    1. Yup, busted flipper, on the run from the Nazis, Oskar has a tough row to hoe!

    2. To paraphrase Oddball in "Kelly's Heros", a couple destroyers can give you a nice...edge...

  5. Your Muse has earned a wee dram again.
    A tale well told.
    John Blackshoe

  6. That was unexpected! A good twist if you ask me.

  7. Chuckled a little at Mierzejewski getting shot in the butt! Drama and comedy here at the Chant!

    1. Just seemed like he was the sort of guy that would happen to.

  8. Enjoyable chapter, Sarge. Thanks.

  9. Great to see the Muse is back in full-force, Sarge! I really enjoy the way you show the story from both sides. That's a knack I don't see often in writers!

    1. I believe that to truly see war, you must look at it from both sides.

      Thanks drjim!

  10. This has been a particularly gripping set of tales Sarge. Well done.

  11. Great storytelling as usual!

    I have a minor continuity nit... "It took Mosier a minute to realize that the British soldier, a corporal from what he could see, had spoken to him in very good Norwegian. These English were so full of surprises!" Didn't Mosier come with the Brits? Might you mean Henriksen?

    Best wishes, MikeTheEE


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