Volume 2, Chapter 20
“Deputy Fuhrer, Deputy Fuhrer?”
At that time Randolph woke Xu Jun up from his deep contemplation.
“The Fuhrer is still waiting for your reply.”
Xu Jun replied, “Immediately reply to the Fuhrer. I am very grateful for your concern. Once fighting here ends I immediately I will return to headquarters. Oh, yes and Randolph, ask him to prepare me a plane,”
“Obey, Deputy” Then Randolph quickly ran out.
Just after Randolph left, Hans ran in with another telegram.” General, the 7th Regiment and the 25th Panzer Regiment’s report.”
“Oh, read it.”
“Plan successful, most of the enemy has been annihilated, currently pursuing the enemy. We have only suffered minor losses.”
Xu Jun stood up from excitement.
“Hans, tell them to quickly draft a full combat report. I was to know the complete state of the regiments. Also, let the 25th Regiment round up the rest of the enemy. Call back the 7th Infantry Regiment. I want to celebrate with all the troops!”
“Understood, generals, I will immediately issue the order. Please also allow me to congratulate you for your first battle, and such a great victory at that.”
“Thank you, Hans. You also brought me a lot of help. Now, go and issue the orders.” Xu Jun smiled and exchanged salutes. Hans nodded his head, turned, and walked out.
Xu Jun was standing on the edge of the trenches, looking at the charred and cratered battlefield before him. Originally it was a green grass field but now it became a huge morgue. More than two thousand British corpses littered the battlefield, all kinds of guns equipment sprinkled the ground. The destroyed tanks and the craters still issued plumes of smoke. Filling the air with an unpleasant odor.
A German soldier can be seen sweeping the battlefield. From time to time would hear enemy soldiers who were wounded but still alive. Calling over the army medics. Some of the soldiers were collecting the rifles that had been discarded. Making a neat pile of all the damaged guns.
Xu Jun looked at the field before him, stained with blood. Making his body feel weary. Indeed, he has already seen enough death and destruction these two days. One day of this brutal war is enough to turn a college student into a cold-blooded warrior.
German soldiers were laughing and cheering over their own booty. They took some private gadgets; the valuables were handed over to the officers. A team of German soldiers escorted the last batch of prisoners back to the German camp. And those heavy-duty tractors and the engineers were trying to pull out a few of the Matilda tanks from the pit. The whole battlefield was both desolate and lively.
Xu Jun turned around slowly to look at the officers quietly standing behind him.
Behind the German camp, the engineers had set up a large temporary prison camp. British POW’s were surrounded by layers of barbed wire around a large open space. On the edge of the field were a dozen machine guns. The gunmen eyeing the prisoners of war, his face showing an eager expression. As if hoping that someone would decide to play hero and incite a riot or something.
However, it seems that the British prisoners of war had no such intentions. They sat on the ground in a with a dejected expression. Some were exhausted and tired, some did not care to even look at the Germans. Those who were slightly injured were lying on the ground moaning, and some soldiers were whispering words of comfort.
The British officers did not stay with their soldiers, instead forming a small group in the corner of the camp. Evidently dissatisfied with being lumped together with the common soldiers. Trying to maintain the honor of British gentlemen among the barbed wire fence. Looking with a prideful gaze at the Germans.
However, when the British officers saw a German general arrive with a group of German officers, they began to stir up. They began to shout at the German soldiers, several were desperately shaking the wire fence. Wanting to catch the general’s attention.
The guards did not yet notice Xu Jun’s arrival. One of them tightly gripped the Mp38 and aimed it at the officers.
The German soldiers shouted. Most of the British officers could not understand German. Simply ignored the command of the guards. They still kept shouting and pulling on the barbed wire.
“Back! Leave the barbed wire! I’ll shoot if you don’t step back.”
The guards warned, pulling back the bolt and loading the bullet.
The several officers who could understand German were beginning to retreat, while the others were still clamoring.
“Bang!” A crisp gunshot rang out.
The sudden gunfire shocked all the British POW’s. The soldiers stood up and looked at the spot where the shot came from.
The British officers now stood there petrified and their eyes full of fear.
“Back!” The guard brought the muzzle of the gun down and aimed at the officers.
However, the officers were still scared witless and could not move.
“Bang! Bang!” This time the shot landed on the ground. The bullet digging into the dirt beneath the officer’s feet.
The British finally understood what the guards wanted them to do, and when they saw the guard reach for a new magazine, the men scrambled backwards.
Xu Jun has long since been watching this little stir from the corner of the camp.
Xu Jun walked up behind the guard.
“What is going on here!” He said with an authoritative voice, pretending that he did not see anything that happened.
Turning around to see the commander before them, quickly saluted. “Reporting to the general! These prisoners were disobedient, they wanted to pull down the barbed wire. I warned them, but they refused to stop. So, I let out several shots.”
“You’ve done well. I will go talk to them.”
Xu Jun approached the barbed wire, shouting to officers, “What are you trying to do? I should make clear your identity, you are now prisoners of war! This is France, you’re in a prison camp. Not London! As such, you must follow the guard’s orders. If not, then any troublemakers will be severely punished! Do you understand?”
Xu Jun was speaking in German, he didn’t yet want the British to know that he also understood English. Then a British officer came out of the crowd. He calmly walked towards Xu Jun while also secretly keeping a nervous gaze towards the guard nearby. Seeing his face grow displeased, the officer quickly stopped.
The officer looked about 50 years old. His mustache was immaculately groomed, his left sleeve on the uniform was tattered by a piece of shrapnel. Exposing the German wound dressing underneath. Standing very straight and elegant. Then he spoke to Xu Jun in fluent German.
“Sir, I am here to protest your treatment of the British officers. I ask you to give us the treatment of as deserved by our ranks.”
Xu Jun casually returned the ceremony. However, he looked at him with a contemptuous gaze. “State your name and position!”
The officer did not expect Xu Jun would treat him with such an attitude.
“British Expeditionary Force, 13th Brigade, Major Gordon Hawke. No. 3487593.” Gordon answered.
“Oh, so what exactly, Major Gordon, are you asking for?”
“I ask you to give us the treatment deserving of officers.” Gordon cautiously answered. The general before him was giving off a dangerous and mysterious air.
“Of an officer?”
Xu Jun got agitated listening to his words.
“You still the nerve to call yourself an officer! You are not an officer! You are simply a group of garbage, waste, a group of slaves. You are not even maggots in the sewer.”
“General, we are your captives but you cannot insult us further!” Major Gordon loudly protested.
“Insult you, hmph. Do your actions today even show that you can feel shame? When this morning, in the disorder of the formation, the soldiers needed someone to reorganize them. But what were you officers doing? What did your officers do when your tanks and infantry got jumbled together? Is it not the officer’s jobs to coordinate the attack? What did you do when we were raining shells and your troops needed to disperse? What do you officers do when we started the bombing? Oh yes! You are running! You have abandoned your soldiers and shamelessly ran away. When your command and encouragement was most needed, you only abandoned them. When your soldiers still have the courage to resist, you were already rushing to escape the battlefield. You only know how to blindly drive the soldiers to their deaths. The soldiers trust you as officers, so they obey all your commands. But are your actions truly worthy of such trust!”
Xu Jun’s loud rebuke attracted a large group of German soldiers. Who were in the vicinity resting, gathering behind Xu Jun.
Xu Jun’s words pierced into Gordon’s chest, but he would not allow himself to suffer such shame at the insults of the enemy. “Yes, our behavior was not great. But we did not run away. After all, we were captured, right? Please do not humiliate us again with such harsh words.”
“Did not run away! I’ve never heard such shameless words in self-defense. Fortunately, you did not run away, or there would be no telling how many more soldiers would be thrown to hell! You, who’s hands are covered in the blood of your own soldiers. You dare call yourself officers, but even have the audacity to request the treatment of officers! Let me tell you! No! You will be treated like your soldiers. You should be glad that you can get the same food and care as soldiers! I had intended to kill all of you trash. But by the honor of the Wehrmacht, I persuaded myself to show mercy. But I cannot tolerate the coward to also be given preferential treatment! Those standards towards captured should be used by warriors, not the cowardly!”
Xu Jun finished with his sea of scolding’s turned to his own officers.
“You have all seen it! You have all heard it! My army is not allowed under any circumstances to have such cowards. My army is not allowed to have such reckless, idiotic officers! In my army, there will be no retreat of officers without the retreat of the soldiers! Even in defeat, I shall be with my men. If there be retreat, I hope you and I will be the last ones of the field of battle! Should any forget these commandments, they shall pay dearly. Understood/”
“Yes, General! The officers roared with excitement.
“Long live General Reinhardt!”
The German soldiers on the edge of the field started to shout. Some soldiers were excited to tears.
Xu Jun nodded slightly at the soldiers, then took the officers back to the command center.
“General Reinhardt? Your commander is not General Rommel? ”
Gordon inquired to the nearest German guard across the barbed wire. The guard first stared at Gordon, and then answered with pride and reverence.
“He is our new commander, Third Reich Deputy Fuhrer, Reinhardt von Straud.”
“Deputy…. Fuhrer!” Gordon was left completely astonished and frightened.