Volume 2, Chapter 21
Xu Jun was sitting in the command center, sorting through his thoughts.
Hans walked up and handed him a cup of coffee. Giving a smile and said, “General, what you said was very good, I and the others were very moved.
“Yes, I got a bit out of hand, didn’t I?”
“Of course not. I think you did not curse those British cowards enough. Their behavior is unacceptable, even among the enemy! They lack the honor that an officer should wield.” Muller spoke as he stood nearby.
“I am honored to be your subordinate after your speech.” Randolph said, expressing his loyalty.
Dorgen gave a displeased look to his subordinate that snatched away his turn to speak. Just as he was about to say something, a junior officer rushed in.
“General, the rest of the 58th Engineer Battalion and the logistical troops have returned. They also encountered the remnants of the British 151st Brigade. In their retreat Colonel Glenn was killed on the spot, and the rest of the staff surrendered to the 58th Battalion. The battalion’s commander, Captain Barnes, has arrived.”
The news caused a stir among officers.
“Oh? Killed the enemy commander. Congratulations Deputy.” Dorgen finally caught his opportunity.
Then a 40-year-old officer walked in. Scanning the room and when he saw Xu Jun, he immediately gave a loud report, “58th Battalion commander, Captain William Barnes. Reporting to General Reinhardt.”
“Captain Barnes, you have worked hard. Come and talk to us about the situation.”
Barnes spoke happily about the whole battle. Yesterday evening the 58th Battalion received the General’s order. So in the night, they stealthily set dozens of mines behind the 151st Brigade’s positions. Then laid in ambush beside the minefield.
Xu Jun had only planned to take advantage of some units who were behind enemy lines. Using them to delay the British retreat. Then let the other troops catch up and subdue them. However, he did not expect the British would defeated so thoroughly. It seems the result was that only Glenn and his staff, accompanied by a small escort retreated. Driving onto the minefield, Glenn’s car was blasted to heaven by a heavy anti-tank mine. The other staff immediately surrendered to the German engineers who had rushed over. Then Barnes escorted the captives and rendezvoused with the logistics team and returned here.
Xu Jun listened to Barnes’s report and expressed his satisfaction with the 58th Battalion’s performance. He let Barnes go down and take the seized materials to the logistics team. While sending the captives to the prison camp. Barnes then made the battalion prepare to dig graves for the dead soldiers on both sides. Although Barnes did not say anything about this, it seems that this was standard practice of professional soldiers.
“General, the final report has been finalized.”
Hans said while holding a file.
“Oh, read it to me.”
“The 6th Infantry Regiment, the 78th Artillery Regiment, and the reinforcement from the Luftwaffe have wiped out most of the 151st infantry brigade. Enemy killed: 2940 men. Captured including officers and men: 4540 people, including 127 wounded men. 20 destroyed tanks. 16 field guns. Seized 5217 enemy rifles, 96 machine guns, 33 anti-tank infantry guns, 2 25-lb howitzers, 19 tanks, 67 trucks, 4 small cars. And other numerous logistical materials. The 58th Battalion killed Colonel Glenn along with 6 others, also capturing a total of 128 people. I think we can say that we completely wiped out the British 151st Infantry Brigade and the 1st Armored Battalion. Their designation will disappear from the sequence. Congratulations, generals, you used a regiment to destroy an entire British brigade, this is a brilliant victory.”
Xu Jun gave a slight smiled at the praise. Then he asked Hans, “What about the 25th Panzer Regiment?”
“From the report, it states the causalities to the British 13th Brigade at about 2800 people. Over four thousand were captured. Thirty-four tanks were destroyed and all the artillery were seized. Right now, the 25th Regiment is still chasing the remnants, the fighting should wrap up soon. The 37th Reconnaissance Battalion and the 7th Infantry Regiment have moved closer to us, but the two forces have suffered heavy losses in these two days of fighting. Their senior officers have all been killed. Anyhow, I think it is best for Colonel Rothenburg to report directly to you about the situation.”
“I see, but show me the battle report first.” Xu Jun was anxious to know the results of his insidious plan.
Hans quickly searched through the pile of documents in his hand. Fishing out the 25th Panzer Regiment’s report and handed it to Xu Jun.
The 25th Panzer Regiment and the 7th Infantry Regiment were contacted yesterday with very specific orders. They sent the seven best tank crews, using the captured Matilda II’s, moved to Xu Jun’s designated location. Waiting in ambush on the side of the battlefield.
Then on the next day, the British 13th Brigade launched their attack. The seven Matilda’s moved in from the sides. Following Xu Jun’s plan, the tank crews braved into the turbulent battlefield.
[MD: This battle is separate from the MC’s battle against the 151st Brigade]
The British had not expected any deception among the Germans, and so their guard was down. They simply thought that the tanks were part of the 151st Brigade. Just as they were guessing if the 151st was defeated already, the seven Matilda started to approach the British offensive lines. The 40mm, two-pound rounds shot towards the back of the eleven British tanks. The 55mm rear armor had no chance at stopping the 40mm round at such a close range. Within a minute, all the British Matilda II’s were destroyed.
The British soldiers were shocked at the sight of their tanks shooting each other. However, afterwards the tanks turned their machine guns towards the core of the 13th division. In 5 minutes, they were able to crush the British command. Killing all of the senior officers. Then the German 25th Panzer Regiment and 7th Infantry Regiment began their full-scale attack.
The loss of the command structure brought chaos to the brigade. At this time, the Luftwaffe’s dive bombers sprung onto the battlefield, obliterating those below. The result was that the two German regiments could defeat the 13th Brigade in only 30 minutes. At as result, only about a hundred from the logistics team could escape the battlefield. Even now, Colonel Rothenburg was leading his units to cut off the British escape.
Xu Jun took a deep breath after reading the report. The British 13th Brigade was already destined to be defeated.
X Jun sighed, his actions not only revived the 7th Panzer Division but also created a miracle on the battlefield. But now he had to concentrate all of his effort on dealing with that man in the high command.
Xu Jun asked Randolph, “When will General Rundstedt send me a plane?”
Randolph quickly replied, “General Rundstedt immediately started arranging everything after receiving your telegram. The headquarters sent word that they have just taken off. According to the time they would arrive just after lunch. I am preparing to have the 58th Battalion set up a simple runway.”
“Well, I’ll leave that up to you then.”
“Oh, Major Hans!”
“We are now quite tight on time. Immediately go gather our luggage and bring all the documents. We are going to the Felsennest.” [The Rocky Eyrie]
End of Volume 2
Next, Volume 3: Sorrow, Waves of Dunkirk