Volume 2, Chapter 15
Water cannot douse fire from a distance, Hans Reinhardt sent back a telegram confirming that he would send a group next afternoon and rush to Arras.
Rundstedt was sitting in the office, staring at a map with a gaze filled with worry. Suddenly, a staff officer excitedly ran in, holding a telegram.
“General, 7th Panzer Division’s urgent telegram.”
Rundstedt quickly grabbed the telegram transmission, immediately took in two shocks.
The first scare of was that Rommel was killed, the 7th Panzer Division lost almost their entire command, and that the Division was scattered. The second shock is that the Deputy Führer took over command of the 7th Panzer Division, even beating back the British attack. Not only destroying a lot of enemies but also seized seven tanks.
Rundstedt was left wondering, where did this genius commander come from?
He remembered that Reinhardt’s evaluation at the military academy was miserable. When Guderian saw the report he secretly told him that if Reinhardt von Straud was sent the battlefield, the boy’s lack of ability would cause a total collapse of his forces within an hour.
At least the Deputy Führer had some sense, even if he was proud and arrogant of himself, he never requested a military unit of his own.
However, that’s not to say he had no effect on the military. He has in the past secured resources and worked the budget for both the Luftwaffe and Heer. His management skills were top notch and his tactics fierce and brutal. Within the German High Command, he has received the nickname “Cerberus”, the three-headed dog of hell.
And so, the army would rather lose a group of generals than to lose this young Brigadier General.
However, he did not expect that all this was done by a general with no military talent. The Deputy Führer could even command more than a thousand infantry troops and withstand the British. Who was even reported to have a tank brigade. If the Wehrmacht High Command knew of this then they would be shocked too.
He quickly requested to base camp to give Reinhardt official command of the 7th Panzer Division. Then Reinhardt in his transmission also asked for the Luftwaffe to provide air to ground support tomorrow. Rundstedt was sitting looking at the telegram puzzledly. What did he want to do?
Regardless of anything, as long as the Deputy could return safely and was satisfied, then he would be relieved. Reinhardt’s military rank was only superficial. However, his status of Deputy Führer was unquestionable. Anything he asks, will be fulfilled completely. So Rundstedt communicated and secured the support from the Luftwaffe. Now he had to inform Reinhardt. Rundstedt quickly picked up the phone and began to have the message transmitted.
Meanwhile, Xu Jun detailed his plan to the men and arranged all their tasks. Took account of any matters that need attention. Leaving the technical details to the officers, he then slowly walked out of the shelter.
“The summer nights in France are truly beautiful, ah.” Xu Jun thought as he watched the stars in the sky, and thought of his hometown.
“Shanghai’s pollution is too serious, growing up I never saw the stars… It is a bit cold out here though.”
Xu Jun rubbed his shoulders and fastened the uniform tighter. Then slowly trotted towards the soldiers resting in the trenches.
The Germans have recovered from the ecstasy of victory. Now everyone was starting to feel the fatigue of fighting all day. After eating the steaming dinner, their body could finally relax. Apart from some sentries, most were wrapped in blankets across the ground.
Xu Jun slowly walked past. A sentinel came forward to salute him but was stopped by Xu Jun. Shaking his hand, and pointed in the direction of the sleeping soldiers. Then the sentry looked to the side, and nodded. His eyes full of reverence and respect.
Xu Jun gently walked in front of the soldier and patted his shoulder. Then he said in a low voice, “You did well, soldier. Continue with your duties, there is no need to disturb the others. We are all tired.”
The sentry nodded, “Understood, General.” Trying to control his own feelings of excitement, barely managing to keep his voice down. Xu Jun nodded then slowly walked to a small bonfire on the other side of the trenches.
“The enemy artillery really did a number on this place.” Xu Jun muttered to himself. The trench suddenly widened, forming a square with more than ten square meters.
The soldiers have started a bonfire. The sentries who were on duty or waiting were all resting around the fire. The warmth of the fire comforted them, they felt like they were no longer on the battlefield.
There seems to be more than twenty soldiers, some were heading toward their sentry stations. Some were looking at newspapers, books, or a letter. However, there were also a dozen young soldiers gathered around a fifty-year-old sergeant, listening intently to something.