Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Case Waldgeist: Thoughts From the Commanders 1

(From Oberstleutnant Dietrich von Throckmorton to his wife Katje hours before Case Waldgeist unfolded in North East London)

My Dearest Katje,

I know the censors will black out most of what I write here, but putting it on paper and knowing that you may see even some of my scribble makes me feel close to you. I hope the boys are well and that you are not troubled too much by the bombers that I'm sure must be causing so many of our people pain. Let the Schiller's know I have found an excellent set of sterling silver, as they requested, and I will find a way to ship it home to you. They've been so kind in my absence. 

I wish my letter could come to you at a more peaceful time, but tomorrow I am ordered again to go into battle. My boys, who first came ashore in Devon and have fought across the width of this blasted country are being asked to do the impossible again; assault London itself. 

The boys are ready, we've been off the line for near two weeks resting up and refitting after the hell that was Buckinghamshire. But I fear those terrible battles were just the prelude to something more. My two years on the east front fighting the Bolsheviks have well prepared me for the battle ahead but I do fear for my men. We've lost so many on this English shore that I've only a few of the veterans to spread around into the platoons. 

Do you remember me writing about Gunter Freihoffen? He's the Oberfeldwebel who has been with me since Barbarossa. Sadly, he took a hit outside Aylesbury just days before we were pulled off the line. The doctors tell me he will be alright but do send word to his wife Ilse that he is alive. I'm afraid she won't have heard anything. His loss was a blow to the troops. He was our best baritone and Lili Marlene just doesn't sound the same without him. It seems all of us old soldiers are disappearing. From the original company there are only 17 enlisted men and 4 officers left of those who started with me in Poland. 

This morning I sit in an English farm house, not so different from your Father's really. Just a few miles down the road is London and there, well... there are Russians there. Actually, Czech's if I'm to believe my scouts, along with more of those American Sherman's than you can count. 

The air is warm, and I am reminded in the quiet before the battle a time before the war. This sector is as yet untouched by the devastation we are asked to bring upon our countries enemies and I know soon I must order my men to shatter that peace. I find no joy in this war. 

If I am to die today know only that I have done my duty. I will miss this life, our boys and joyous home you've made for us. But, I am an officer of the German Army and I will perform my duty today. Know also that I am lucky, Rundstedt has gifted the assault with three of the new Konigstiger's. Oh darling, you should see these beasts! Steel so think I'm sure no red shell could penetrate it. They are commanded by the 503'rd, tankers I've fought beside many times before and do trust me they know their work well. 

My men are ready and we have good allies at our side. My only hope, and the one that was dashed, those damned Jabos will have clear skies today. Let us hope their bomb's fall short of their target. 

Well my love, the sun is rising and I must go. If I do not see you in this life, I am assured I will see you in the next. 

All my love,


  1. Dear Obersteleutant Von Throck

    I have just come from field command, just outside of Poole, in Dorset. Rommel is not pleased with the recent activity with the SBS Cockleshell Raiders in that harbour, a harbour that is essential to supply our forces into Dorset.

    The sinking of 6 Destroyers, and also 14 transport vessels, and the damaging of two other Destroyers and 2 cargoships has seriously inconvenienced the advance into Dorset and the sinking of the Destroyer Gunter Leitz in the mouth of the harbour has also caused a dangerous delay, which leaves another 50 vessels out in the Bournemouth bay area. All we need is the RAF or the Royal Navy to mount aerial operations and we could be in serious trouble with inadequate supplies reaching the front lines at Bristol, Chippenham and Gloucester.

    Please resolve this, at once. Rommel's having an fit!

    Yours Faithfully

    Brigat'Commandant Erich Senvich
    O/C 417th Finnishgruppen RGT

  2. " It was irritating! That common idiot Graebner wanted that AEC 3 panzerpah for himself and for his own humped up sense of self-importance. I wanted to knock his head off! And so at Weymouth House, the HQ of Rommel, he and I ended up in fistecuffs - until Rommel ended that matter, well! He'll just have to accept the Humber Panzerpah instead. Jumped up - what's the word that the English use ? Ah yes! Twit! He'll come to a sticky end, one day! Hmph!"

    Obersteleutnant Ludwig Von Totterhauffen - to his company commanders just outside of Wells, Somerset October 1942.

    Hope you like that - Throck! Stephen Farthing of Bristol.

  3. " +++ Red section cover the Beauforts, coming into Bournemouth Bay, Green, Blue and Yellow Sections take up top cover!+++ White and Purple section, take top cover..+++ All right, Boys, into 'em! Bust 'em up+++"

    Radio transmission - Group Captain Douglas Bader, over Bournemouth, due NNE at 8,000 feet. Leading 60 Spitfires and Hurricanes. Escorting 40 Bristol Beaufort Torpedo Bombers.

    Red 4 - impromptu and improper R/T use.. "+++ Skipper, I've just seen the USAF, a hundred B17G's,+++ B25 Mitchells, P51-D Fighter Bombers from Nor, Nor West.. Bloody marvellous+++.. P47-D's also hitting Poole and Swannage.. Hey, there's 633 Squadron comin' in++++..!"

    Bader's Response " +++ Red 4 - shut your big mouth, or you'll be on a charge when we get back to base +++! Bader out! +++"

    Throck - by the looks of it, the RAF and USAF have begun some work to deal with the invasion force's means of withdraw from Britain, an all out air attack on the transport and escort shipping, makes a great deal of sense.. Mossies, Spitfires, Hurricanes, B17's, B25's, Bristol Beaufort Torpedo Bombers, P51-D's and P47-D fighter/bombers, the axis will be lucky to get a tenth of their forces back from Britain, maybe even LESS than that.. I think, I've got notions to fill in a few gaps, as well. This bit here, is logical. I've others but I'll get to it by next week..!

    I think, I'll get back to normal now.. For me, finishing - no puns please - my 417th Finnishgruppen is my first prime directive, and continuing to devellop the Tottenhauffen Kampfengruppen, also remains a high priority. I will get the Tank Destroyer Companies of the Black Watch sorted out, a second priority to the Finns.

    In Dystopia - I've got the Free Dutch Naval Fleet to start on - I'm ONE busy fellow! Indeed!

    Stephen Farthing of Bristol