A story inspired by Castello di Briolio - Episode 48 - Reinforcements of another kind
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 continues...
One of the sentries came
running into the church, out of breath and clearly agitated.
Blinky looked at
him. “What is it, man?”
“Theirs or ours?”
“German. Staff car, a panzer, and two trucks with
He looked at me. “That’s a little over the top, or have you been
more of a pest than usual?” He sighed. “How many men are in the castle”
“Twenty plus, but this is
not unexpected, just a little sooner than I was told it might happen. it simply means they know Meyer is coming.”
“This adds what, another
twenty or thirty, and a tank. I mean,
seriously, a tank. Why?”
“I think the target that
we’re here to rescue is far more important than we’re being told. If he’s part of the V2 rocket program or
just rockets in general, what does that suggest to you?”
I had an idea, but I
hadn’t really thought too much about it.
But somewhere in my subconscious there had been a movie, rather far-fetched
when I saw it, Flash Gordon, a man who flies a rocket into outer space.
No one really believed it
was possible, that it was akin to a modern-day fairy tale. Could it be possible this one man, Meyer,
could make that fairy tale become true?
Was Hitler’s eventual
plan to send rockets into space? He had
a chap called Von Braun, why would it matter about Meyer? Perhaps he wasn’t willing to share this
impossible stuff. I’m guessing he knows
where the rocket factories are, so we can bomb them. I’d want to stop someone with that knowledge,
at any cost. I guess we’re now going to
take out a panzer and kill a few more enemy soldiers. It might be why we came with explosive.”
Why did it not surprise
me that someone knew more than they were letting on?
“Where are they headed,
“Then we’re going to have
to move on them before they get out and about.
A panzer can do some serious damage.
They’ll no doubt park it in the castle walls, so we’re going to need a
way in, and out.”
“Got just the man. In the meantime, Sarge, follow them just to
make sure they are going to the castle.”
I searched the compound
for Carlo but he had gone missing. It
didn’t take much to guess where he had gone.
I didn’t think he believed he could take on the whole German army on his
own, but he would have heard about the new arrivals and gone to have a look
where they ended up himself.
Since he knew the other
entrances to the castle that none of us did. He would have much better access
to the inside than any of us, and no doubt without the fear of being caught.
He was nowhere to be
found, though one of Blinky’s soldiers said that he had seen Carlo leaving and
thought it wise not to ask him where he was going.
It wasn’t until several
hours later, as darkness fell, that both he and the soldier sent to follow the
new arrivals, returned together.
Blinky called a
conference, it was time to make a plan of attack.
The soldier reported the
new arrivals had gone to the castle, in the main gate, and where to beyond that
he couldn’t tell. They closed the gate,
and he wasn’t following them in.
Carlo had more
information because he had managed to get inside.
He’d even drawn a rough
map of the castle and surrounding grounds.
There were a series of lines drawn on that map, and it turned out, Carlo
said, these were the drainage tunnels under the castle.
I was surprised to see
that the tunnel I had tried to escape in however many days ago that was, was
part of that drainage system.
As much as I was equally
surprised that the drainage tunnels were big enough to have men walking in, and
that they were a much more efficient manner to travel within the castle,
via under the castle, useful no doubt in times of battles between the warring
The map also showed four
underground entrances, three of which I knew about, the other I should have
guessed because they would not have left one direction without an exit. The reason why no one knew about it was
because it looked like the tunnel had collapsed and blocked the way.
That, Carlo said, was
just an illusion.
That was going to be our
Our force was small, five
soldiers, myself, Enrico and Carlo, and two Resistance defectors. 10 against fifty battle-hardened
soldiers. Of course, Carlo being Carlo
said that would not be a problem,. A statement I took with a grain of salt
until he said, “We have the means to even the odds.”
He had our undivided
“We use the drains to create
a diversion. The fools have parked their
tank and trucks over the drains. You
have brought explosives with timers?”
Carlo looked at Blinky.
“We did. It was an afterthought. Thompson thought you might find a use for
“Good. You have an expert?”
One of the soldiers,
Corporal Spellman, put his hand up.
“Tell me where to put them and I’ll make them go boom.”
“You come with me now,” Carlo
said to Spellman. “We come back in an hour, maybe a little more, so be ready to
© Charles Heath 2023