A story inspired by Castello di Briolio - Episode 46 - Some of the enemy defect
For a story
that was conceived during those long boring hours flying in a steel cocoon,
striving to keep away the thoughts that the plane and everyone in it could just
simply disappear as planes have in the past, it has come a long way.
Whilst I have
always had a fascination with what happened during the second world war, not
the battles or fighting, but in the more obscure events that took place, I
decided to pen my own little sidebar to what was a long and bitter war.
And, so, it
When Carlo heard the shot, he stopped his ‘interrogation’ and sent a soldier over to investigate. To avoid getting shot inadvertently, I came out of the woods with my hands up, and, thankfully, was instantly recognised.
I went over to the barn
and looked at the man on the ground. “Do
he have anything to say?”
The other man, awaiting
‘interrogation’ was visibly shaken by the events. Two dead including Leonardo, and one a bloody
pulp on the ground, with a very angry Carlo standing over him, his outlook was
“You speak English,” I
“Who are you?”
“Alberto, sir. I didn’t agree with anything Fernando
did. A few of us refused to kill any of
the villagers. That was Fernando. He was the one who beat up the women.”
“You could have stopped
“You know the bastard,
Carlo. Not even you could, and you
Carlo grunted. To make sure the men on the ground were dead,
he shot them again, and emptying his gun into Fernando, adding a curse with
I glared at Alberto. “Pick a side.”
“I’m with you. There are several others, back in the
castle. We would be able to help if you
were planning an attack.”
“The last person who told
me that is out there in the woods with a bullet in his head. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you.”
“We can help.”
“And, you will. When we decide to go, we’ll take you with
us. You double-cross us, the Carlo gets
his five minutes. You try to run away, Carlo will hunt you down and kill you.
“Fernando?” The man sent to find the defectors had come
I shot him before he
could make any sort of move, just as he realized what had happened.
I motioned to the
soldiers to get the defectors, who, hearing the shots, had started to
flee. Two shots in the air stopped
them. Two of them were small children,
who would not have survived if they’d been taken to the castle.
All four were visibly
frightened by what they’d seen, and of what their fate might be. I assured them, they were now in safe hands,
and we were going not to the castle, but to a different place. Desperate people in a desperate situation, I
couldn’t imagine where they’d come from, or their journey from Germany with
nothing on a promise of safety taken at face value.
“We go to the castle
now,” Carlo asked/
“Soon. We need a plan. Let’s go back and make one. But, yes.
We go to the castle now.”
Storming the castle might
have worked if I had a hundred men, not about ten or
Granted Carlo would by
the equivalent of another five, but in a hail of bullets, he would not last
I had to put myself in
Wallace’s shoes and figure out how he would defend the castle once he realised
Jackerby and the resistance members were dead.
Panic would be my first
thought. Then, when rational thought
returns, block off all the known entrances and exits, and post sentries
outside. We had about twenty men to deal
with, but a dozen were hardened battle soldiers, and that would make a
difference. The fact they were inside
covering most of the entrance points would make the job harder.
If we had to use the
When the time came, they
were going to get a surprise because Carlo knew of two others no one but he,
and the owners of the castle, were the only ones who knew about them.
But, first, we had to
even the odds if possible.
For that, one of Blinky’s
team was a sniper, and with him was a sniper rifle and suppressor which meant
we would be able to pick off the sentries without anyone hearing the bullets
coming for them.
We were only going to get
one shot at it because once Wallace discovered the sentries, he wouldn’t post
anymore, and would know of our intent.
But, in the end, none of that
We just got a short
communication that Meyer was in Florence and his arrival would be in two days'
time. We were charged with making sure
he arrived safely and passed into the pipeline.
The only issue with that was that we needed the castle to complete the
That meant we had to move
up the plans to retake the castle, and
there were always problems when details were missed. We had the advantage in our knowledge of the castle
and its underground passageways, but would that be enough?
Then there was the
surprise. It had just been learned that
a very high-ranking Nazi officer was coming to the castle to personally take
Meyer back to the fatherland. That meant
we had to be in the castle when he arrived, so he could be sent back home for
Both men, it appeared,
had the capacity to turn the tide of the war in our favour.
Blinky simply shrugged
when he got the news, then said, “We could do with some more men.”
Stating the obvious.
“It’s the war, you
know. Shortages of everything.”
“Didn’t envisage this at
Prep school, did we? Seems the world was
a different place, but my father said it couldn’t last.”
“Nothing ever does. It’s going to be interesting when this ends if
it ends. There are days I wake up and I
can’t remember what it was like, before all this.”
”Well, maybe we get this
done, and it’ll be a step closer. At
least, we have to believe that.”
I nodded. “Good pep talk. As I remember, you were always trying to talk
me into to doing something stupid.”
Carlo had been listening
to us was a puzzled look. “Are all you
English like you two?”
Blinky answered. “No.
Clearly, he had no idea
what that meant. Blinky was going to try
and explain but instead, shrugged.
“Let’s go kill some Germans.”
That Carlo did