Friday, August 19, 2022

Where Are We Going?

So the Germans in the story are getting ready to invade the Soviet Union, well, some of them. Von Lüttwitz's unit is still in France on occupation duty and won't be transferred to the Eastern Front until November of 1941.

Not a season I would pick to go East.

But the German tankers are there, these guys -

Unteroffizier Willi Hoffmeister (commander/gunner)
Gefreiter Fritz Weber (driver)
Panzerschütze Horst Krebs (loader)
Panzerschütze Ulrich Neuhäuser (bow gunner/radioman)

Willi was in the first book, Almost a Lifetime, and did survive the war, though badly burned on the face and hands (The Last Tiger - Final Stand). Not all of his crew made it to the very end. Willi did, but as a POW.

Right now they're waiting on the border of the Soviet Union, waiting for the order to attack. We'll get there very soon. But not today.

When we get there we'll see Jan Kołodziej again, remember him? He was also in the first book. He's still in the German Army, though somewhat reluctantly. His estranged girlfriend, Elżbieta Chlebek, is still alive, still in Warsaw. We'll catch up with both of them when we turn our attention to the Russian Front.

Our British tankers are now safely ashore in Egypt, getting ready to be assigned a new tank and a new crewman to replace Walsh

Commander, Sergeant Theodore O'Connell
Gunner, Corporal Fred McTavish
Driver, Private James Fitzhugh
Loader, Private William O'Shea
Bow MG Gunner, Private Herbert Walsh    KIA on Crete

Fitzhugh is in the first book as well, but when we first met him he was commanding a Sherman Firefly, so we're working through how he got there. The North African campaign is where he really came into his own as a member of Montgomery's 8th Army.

One of my favorite characters from the first book was Billy Wallace of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. I had envisioned him having "adventures" in North Africa but ...

His battalion came home from France and pretty much stayed in Great Britain until shortly after D-Day. So for this book his story may be done. As I still need to cover the British campaign in Northwest Europe from Market Garden onwards, we'll meet Billy and his lads again.

The original intent of this book was to cover the early war and what the characters from the first book were doing during that time period.

But I've gone and introduced a bunch of new characters as well, and I do need to sort them all out and figure out where they're going next - 

Remember the Norwegians?
Premierløitnant Morten Henriksen
Sersjant Magnus Belland KIA
Menig Lars Torvik KIA
Menig Martin Sundheim
Hildur Tonnesdottir "Bestemor"
Åsmund Baardson
Bjørn Mikkelsen Hunter
Sander Stohl
Sten Rike Fisherman

We're not done with them yet, and speaking of Norway ...

The Commandos will be back as well!
The commandos
Sergeant Bartosz Podbielski
Private Damian Krempa
Private Klaudiusz Mierzejewski
Private Mariusz Perzan
Private Juliusz Dziadosz
Private Jan-Iwo Cahun
Lieutenant Oswald Mosier
Private John Bickford
Corporal William (Bill) Winston
Private Max Field
Private Scott Mansfield
Private Kurt Osterberg
Private Agnar Ellingsen

These lads will be joining them in the field - 
Sergent Bartosz Podbielski
Soldat Damian Krempa
Soldat Klaudiusz Mierzejewski
Soldat Mariusz Perzan
Soldat Juliusz Dziadosz
Soldat Jean-Yves Cahun

LCpl Billy Wallace's squad -
Private Robert McLaren
Private Malcolm Bain
Private Alfie Morris
Private Teddy Fraser
Private Jock McMillan
Private Connor McGuire

3rd Platoon, 2nd Squad
Fahnenjunker-Unterfeldwebel Jürgen von Lüttwitz, Squad Leader
Obergefreiter Sepp Wittman, Assistant Squad Leader
Oberschütze Leon Schwarz, Machine Gunner
Schütze Bodo Hermann
Schütze Michael Offenbach
Schütze Karl Wachsmuth
Schütze Hans Warstadt
Schütze Walter Schnabel
Schütze Christian Möller, Assistant Machine Gunner
Schütze Martin Busch
Schütze Helmut Schneider

Casualties -
Gefreiter Johannes Grüner KIA
Schütze Christoph Groß KIA
Schütze Wolf Gessler KIA

Oberleutnant Ferdinand Busch - von Lüttwitz's company commander
Fahnenjunker-Unterfeldwebel Jürgen von Lüttwitz
Major Kurt Hassel - von Lüttwitz's battalion commander

I haven't forgotten the bomber crewmen  of  Kampfgeschwader 54 -
Oberleutnant Johannes Boden (pilot)
Gefreiter Alois Holweck (radio operator/rear gunner)
Feldwebel Leo Habicht (navigator/ventral gunner)
Leutnant Philip Scholl (bombardier/front gunner) WIA, blinded
replaced by Oberfeldwebel Max Jürgens

Nor have I forgotten the Russian survivors of the Winter War -
Krasnoarmeyets Ustin Rodionovich Kazankov from the 44th
Vitaliy Afanasievich Kolobkov
Gavrila Fyodorovich Bezrodny
Kusma Zakharovich Beriya
Vladimir Antonovich Dudin
Valerian Dmitrievich Berezhnoy
Kapitan Ivan Filippovich Telitsyn, his orderly Krasnoarmeyets Maxim Romanovich Grushanin

So I'm organizing and thinking about the next steps in the book, after the debacle in Greece and Crete I need a breather. Shouldn't be more than a day or two. Stand by ...

Editor's Note -

For those of you who were selected to be editors for the first book, thanks for all the comments and corrections so far. I will begin incorporating all of that when everything is in. I'll try and at least acknowledge your latest edits with a return email of at least, "Thanks, I got it."

Say, any of you know any literary agents?

Be seeing you ...


After re-reading the link I gave you above vis-à-vis Hoffmeister's surviving the war - he and his crew WILL NOT be there for the opening of Operation Barbarossa. They're actually in Africa. With Rommel. (I need to come up with a better way of keeping track of the characters in these books!)


  1. Good luck with the agent hunt & the book, I'm looking forward to it.

  2. Lotta movin parts, Sarge. Was wondering if these latest events were to be inserted in the first book or not; now I have the answer.
    Don't know of any agents and frankly not sure of their efficacy; a number of other bloggers seem to have self-published or if they have not, that might be a place to start.
    Boat Guy

    1. Just this morning this blog touches on self publishing,

    2. BG #1 - For various reasons I'm trying to avoid the self-publishing route. I have my doubts about agents as well!

    3. Rob - That's one way to make money, publish a book about how to publish a book. I shall be patient.

  3. I had a literary agent about thirty years ago to try and sell my first book. Fifteen rejections later, she ended the deal.

    Anyway, self-publishing a book and making real money at it is like trying to hit a homer at Fenway with a broomstick.

    1. Which is why I'm avoiding the second scenario like the plague.

    2. The author of that blog has made a lot of money doing self publishing thru Amazon.
      I don't have anything in this but a desire to buy and read your book.
      Again, good luck!

    3. I get that Rob, but there are a lot of sketchy individuals out there.

  4. Somewhat strangely on topic:
    many moons - those of us whose folks left Eastern Europe during the inter-bellum began training their offspring in the various "arts" (small "a") at a very early age; almost as soon as they could walk. I clearly remember one of my many cousins (first, second, once- and twice-removed, ad inf.) walking on a rope on the floor, one foot in front of the other, tossing and catching a ball in one hand (first one, then two, then three, usw.). Years (many) later, he became a high-wire artist. Not that this has anything to do with your story - but I'm sure you know how he felt while performing.

    1. Oh yeah, that fits perfectly! (I have no net!)

  5. Re organizing your gang-- (now remember, I am old, and old school)-- take a 3x5 card, one per character, write on it their name, physical description, any little quirks ---was he someone's best bud, did he get wounded in the LEFT leg vs the right, fights he was in, book he was in, etc etc. Then pin the card onto a world map as to where he is now---so you can keep straight who is where---or, alternately put all the cards for the Africa guys in a brown box/folder, the folks who fought in Poland in a purple box/folder, the folks that fought in Russia in a red folder, and so on. That way as you move them around, you can move their cards around, you wont end up with describing someone as a blonde, or as being a tanker when they were brunette, or an infantry grunt. All the info on each character was easy to remember, as it is all written down, easy to locate as they are kept grouped together, and as the groups change, the cards can move. I read this from some author who was known for writing looong involved books over many years, I forget now who it was, and they would forget certain characteristics of the character, but the readers would remember, and then remind the author of whatever little bit of trivia it was that the author messed up.

    My only suggestion for the agent thing/publishing vs self-publishing thing is to go look up Larry Correia. On his web site, he and some other dude do weekly workshops on how to write a book, and on the ENTIRE process including publishing, agents, good vs evil, etc. Go comb through that web page--Larry maybe?? They have had some very good topics they have covered. And there is also a book published yearly that has entire lists of editors/agents in it. I think it is Writer's Digest? Can't find my copy right books are only half unpacked.
    Or reach out to JL Curtis? I think he visits here, he may be able to point you in the right direction.

    1. I like that idea, not sure if The Missus Herself would be that fond of it. That being said, what you've described is a database, albeit in physical rather than digital form, you have given me ideas. Very good ideas.

      I'll check out Larry's website, I think I have it bookmarked over on the sidebar, or used to. Monster Hunter Nation does have some "how to" tips for authors. I need to dig further into this. Thanks for all the tips!

  6. Sarge, you might also check out; he's been doing the book thing for a while. I have (and have enjoyed) one of his books.
    Boat Guy

    1. He stops by here from time to time, didn't want to bother him, but I might. Juvat met him in the flesh once upon a time.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.