The Rescue- Part 2 A Rat Patrol story; All right to the characters and story of the Rat Patrol belong to its creators. The storyline. It's been two years since the North African Campaign. The Rat Patrol are in France, attempting a rescue of an officer that was part of the July 20th plot to kill Hitler. This is the second installment to this story.
The two condemned men were standing in the middle of the French countryside surrounded by their S.S. captors unaware that there were other eyes watching them as well.
Von Thoma looked around at the countryside. "Not a good situation, Hans." He said "There seems to be very few options."
Hans Dietrich replied "There are options, just not very good ones. I must say the prospect of ending my life dangling from a piano wire is not a very good option."
Both officers knew about the special courts that Hitler ordered for the members of the coup attempt were happening in Berlin, and what the penalty was.
Looking toward the barrier in the middle of the road and then looking around the area, the empty fields, and the small woods that were off in the distance. Dietrich asked his companion. "Do you think this was the Underground?"
Von Thoma considered this "Possibly, we are behind our own lines, but I don't think.." He got no further in his reply when an S.S. officer came charging up screaming like a demented banshee. "Silence, you traitorous swine!" he shrieked. "Any more noise from you two, and you'll be in for the high jump right here and now!"
Both officers knew that these half grown S.S. boys were the most dangerous types. They always have to prove that they are tough enough to everyone, so backing up his tough talk would not be a problem for him.
"Back into the truck." The officer snarled. The two men were thrown back in the truck a S.S. Mann guarding them. Dietrich glanced to Von Thoma. "We need to make a try soon." He whispered. "Once we get to the railway station, then there is no escape." Von Thoma just nodded wearily.
From the woods, the Rat Patrol prepared to strike. Troy looked around to his team. "Remember, we need to hit fast, and get out faster. I'm guessing that there is more then one S.S. column on this road."
"What do you think our old friend; Capt. Hans Dietrich is going to say when we are the ones who rescue him." Moffitt said with a chuckle
"I don't know Jack." Troy replied. "Why don't we go down and ask him."
Sitting in the back of the truck. Dietrich and Von Thoma were shocked to hear the sound of heavy machine gun fire. Shots and shouts of confusion came from the S.S. men as the Rat Patrol moved to the attack.
For a brief moment, Dietrich was transported back to North Africa, when he knew who might be attacking. "No, not possible." He said to himself...
The two jeeps made their first run strafing the S.S. men as they roared past. Both jeeps came around on another run. Most of the S.S. men had been taken out on the first pass; the ones left still had fight in them. Troy tossed a grenade at the small group in front of the truck. The blast had seen them flying. While Moffitt and Tully saw to the few survivors in the back, the S.S. Mann guarding Dietrich and Von Thoma was taking aim at their attackers. Dietrich kicked the S.S. Mann in the back sending his flying out of the truck, He swung his MPI around on his prisoners intending to kill them, but a burst of machine gun fire sent him flying. The attack had taken less then five minutes. Troy dismounted and cautiously peered into the back of the truck. Hans Dietrich looked and saw his old opponent from the desert looking in at him.
"Good afternoon, Sgt. Troy" Dietrich said pleasantly. "A small world isn't it."
Troy had to agree. "A long way from Tunisia, Captain."
The patrol drove back from the field to their HQ. Dietrich and Von Thoma were handed over to G-2 and the medics.
Several hours later, Troy and Moffitt were sent for by Col. McNabb, their commanding officer. As they walked in they noticed both Dietrich and Von Thoma were in the tent as well.
McNabb gestured to the two chairs at the table. "Have a seat gentlemen, our two guests have given us a lot of information to chew on. It seems that maybe the plot to eliminate Hitler may still be in play." Troy and Moffitt looked to each other. "How is that possible? The men responsible were killed or captured by the S.S." Troy said
"That's very true Sgt. Troy." Dietrich told him. "Stauffenburg and the others in Berlin were executed the night of the 20th. However here in France the plot worked far better."
Von Thoma spoke up "We were far better organized. Army command in Paris had arrested over 1200 S.S. and Gestapo men within 20 minutes and did not fire a single shot."
McNabb agreed "They were better organized here. The trouble was the man that was the backbone of their organization in France was taken out a few days before the 20th."
"If this man were available, then possibly the coup could still be saved." Dietrich said flatly.
"Where is he Captain?" Moffitt asked.
Gesturing to the map. "He is here, in a converted hospital. The village is called Sainte-Foy-de-Montgommery." McNabb said.
"We also have the technical services of the panzer corp here as well." Von Thoma added "Technical details of the Mark-VI King Tiger are here. Armor specs, fuel consumption, every detail."
"But the man in the hospital is the first priority. If we rescue him, we can end this war." Dietrich said.
"Captain" Troy began "You have a lot of faith in this man. Does one man have the influence to change the balance here?"
Dietrich looks to McNabb who nods, "Yes he does. For you see the man that we are discussing here is Field Marshall General Erwin Rommel."
McNabb says "That's right, Sam. If we rescue him. Maybe we end the war."
To be continued.