The Journey of Capt. Dietrich; a Rat Patrol Tale. The characters and backgrounds of the Rat Patrol are the intellectual properties of its creators. This story could be considered a prelude of sorts to my story called; The Rescue. The basic notion is when Captain Dietrich got the idea to join the resistance to Hitler. There is real life characters involved in this story.

After the battle of Kasserine Pass. The 21st Panzer division had regrouped to attack again. Capt. Hans Dietrich, the temporary chief of staff. Was attempting to regroup the division's tanks to strike again. He had given strict orders not to be disturbed. However, there was a knock on the door.

Dietrich tossed his pen down on the desk in annoyance. His adjutant Cpl. Becker had his head round the corner of the doorway.

Glaring at the Corporal. "Heer Becker." He asked with merciless politeness. "Was there a part of do not disturb, that you did not understand?"

"Ja, Heer Captain." Becker said "I understood you, sir, but"

Dietrich replied sharply "There is no but, in obeying an order."

Becker spoke "Ja, Heer Captain, but you have visitors, Sir."

"And these visitors are who?" he asked.

Lt. Col Stauffenburg from the 10th Panzer and..."

"And who?" Dietrich asked clearly getting annoyed.

Becker looked to the doorway "Field Marshall Rommel, Heer Captain."

Dietrich jumped up from his chair. Rommel and Stauffenburg had entered the room. "That will do Corporal." Rommel told him "and thanks you." Becker left. Dietrich saluted smartly.

But Rommel just smiled "None of that, Hans." Extending his hand. How are you?"

I'm well sir, all things considered." Dietrich replied. "Col. Stauffenburg is Chief of staff with 10th Panzer division. He just transferred from the Ostfront." Stauffenburg extended his hand. "Good to have you here, Col."

Everyone sat down. Dietrich asked "What can I can I do for you gentlemen. Rommel and Stauffenburg look around. "Do you think the war is going well captain?" he asked

Dietrich looked startled. And became defensive "What sort of question is that, Colonel?" looking to the Field Marshall. "What is this, Sir?"

Rommel took a deep breath. "I have thought about this for some time. Since El Aliemain, when we tried to withdraw to regroup when Montgomery broke through. I radioed Berlin for permission." Looking at Dietrich "Do you know what Hitler said?"

Dietrich shook his head no.

"He said that we were to stand and fight. Victory or death!' Rommel said as he started to pace the room. Death or glory, how many men did we lose in the retreat?"

Dietrich did not reply but he knew at least a third of the Africa Corps was either in English prison camps or buried in the sands. "And what are you suggesting?"

Stauffenburg spoke "Hitler needs to be removed." Dietrich looked around. "You are talking treason, gentlemen." He walked to his desk near his phone, and his pistol. "We all swore an oath of loyalty!"

Stauffenburg said "Travel to the Eastern Front, then Captain." he snapped "Watch the S.S. in action against the Jewish population. Murder squads, genocide, and the sort of things that no decent man could look upon without being sicked." He looked to Rommel and Dietrich "get back to Europe or Russia, and you will see the glorious Third Reich in all its true glory."

Dietrich looked to Rommel "And where do you stand, Sir?"

"Things need to change, Hans." Rommel said "We are losing North Africa. Looking to both officers on the eastern front a disaster in progress. The 6th army is being destroyed at Stalingrad. Both men were shocked. "A change is needed." Rommel said.

For 3 more hours until dark. The three men conferred. After dark, Rommel, Dietrich and Stauffenburg walked out of the building. They all shook hands, as the two officers drove into the night. Dietrich noticed that Corporal Becker was standing in the doorway.

"All right, Becker." Dietrich said "What do you think?"

Becker looked down the desert road that the two officers had just driven down, and then looked to his Captain." I believe that the Field Marshall is right, something has to change."

"What should I do?" Dietrich asked.

"I think that you'll make the right choice, Captain." Becker said "I have served with you since the 7th Panzer days in France. Like the Field Marshall sir. You usually make the right choice."

"Thank you Becker." Dietrich said with a smile. "Go get some sleep."

Becker saluted Dietrich and walked off into the night. Dietrich returned to his office and picked up the field phone. He dialed up the Gestapo HQ, thought for a long moment and hung up the phone.

"Only time can tell." He said to himself.

The end