Karl began slowly, “My every bone in my krieger (warrior) body hopes that your primary objective be as inconclusive as our own progress on Deutsche heimat.  Such a bomb would change the world forever, regardless of whose hands it was held.  I am a tactical fighter much like your father. In the hope and eventuality that no one can develop such an atomic bomb, this war can be won by our Soldaten, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine.  This I feel very confident of and why the other mission objectives in this file, are of equal importance.”



Gunther listened and watched the blue smoke from his Belinda waft above the  head of the closest Rottweiler and slowly drift towards the the fire.  He was a keenly observant man with a photographic memory.  Often, in times such as this, he would allow that combination to portray a relaxed persona, in order to let others reveal.  Gunther was the consummate good listener with an astounding rare gift of retention. Tonight, given his privileged audience, he would let Karl Dönitz do all the talking, only injecting subtle questions to elongate the narrative.  For he already knew that this evening and the week ahead to study the file names, numbers and addresses would be more than he needed.  He suddenly felt a flush run through him, not by the wine, tobacco nor the fire but by the vision of the mission ahead.


Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine Karl Dönitz preferred, in his words, the Maine coastline for Gunther’s insertion onto enemy shores.   Specifically, he cited Frenchman’s Bay situated in close proximity to Brooklin Maine. There, on property owned by a man of German descent, named Luders, Gunther would be met by a caretaker on the desolute vacant grounds. Gunther, instinctively felt this was too far East, given his timeline for the first coded transmission and after some discussion, he let it go.    


Luders, apparently was a renowned naval architect with a son Alfred E. Luders Jr. (Bill), operating a government funded shipyard in Stamford, Ct.  Visiting this shipyard was to be objective #1 according to Dönitz. Additionally, Gunther was to gather intelligence from Edmund Cromwell of the Boston Naval Yard.  There, it was important to ascertain the fleet strength of American LST (Landing Ship Tank) production rollout that could be used for an eventual suspected allied invasion of France.   Moving westward via public transportation with legal and current English documents, he was to connect with a yard worker at a local Stamford pub and arrange access to The Luders Shipyard. Of the highest priorty was to establish the extent of their subchaser production and vessel specific capabilities. It would be at Gunther’s descretion to manage the time neccessary to accomplish this.  It might perhaps even take several weeks to gather this high level intelligence. Gunther concurred that it likely could even with several social introductions. He had never met this Alfred (Bill) Luders Jr while visiting America before the War and suspected that the man would not only be highly intelligent, but also a very cautious and guarded man given his lineage, coupled with the times, towards strangers.  Dönitz thus assured him that the Luders’ dossier file was quite thorough and facilitating a connection, was of paramount importance.      


The dogs, then sat alertly up and Leutnant zur See walked in to add logs to the fire and replenish the wine.   It was now approaching half past ten o’clock in the evening and Karl Dönitz, with a relaxed and cordial authority, instructed his Leutnant that he would see him for the morning.  Perhaps adding for Gunther’s consumption, that the Japanese contingent from Tokyo was due to arrive by noon.  The Leutnant zur See nodded and ackowledged that the visitors from Tokyo were reported to be on schedule.

Author: Breck Masterson

Tales From The Rail is a collection of short stories revealed in observation during a commuters journey across this land. Most, if not all stories are based on what actually happened or at times, surmised to what might have happened. . . Granting on some occasions, levity to the mundane. Enjoy!

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