Volume 3, Chapter 1
“Are we returning to headquarters?”
“Yes, prepare for departure!”
“Understood, General!” Hans replied.
“Major Muller, I cannot continue to delay if Colonel Rothenburg has not arrived by lunch.” he added, “I apologize that I could not host the celebration. I must return to headquarters and talk to the Fuhrer about the plan going forward.”
Now I promote you to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and commander of the 7th Panzer Division. Once Colonel Rothenburg returns, convey my order. I appoint him as the deputy commander of the 7th Panzer Division. It’ll be up to you to make the force a force to be reckoned with.
Because of our great losses, I will request the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht [Military High Command] to immediately replenish the division. The empty officer positions will be replaced by the surviving junior officers. They have already proved their ability in the battle. I will soon send them a letter of appointment. The other problems will be left to you and Rothenburg to discuss, do you understand?”
“I am honored for you to put your confidence in me, General. I may not be able to rise to your level. However, I will strive to live up to your expectations. I will wait until the day that you can personally command us again.” Muller answered excitedly.
Raising two ranks in two days, this was unheard of in the Wehrmacht. Muller felt like he was in a dream. Now Xu Jun’s position in his mind had been promoted to the level of a deity. Muller secretly vowed, that he would repay the favor, even if it meant his death.
After lunch, Rundstedt’s plane arrived right on time. It was a brand new Ju52. However, in order to let her land, the 58th Battalion spent two hours, using 20 heavy tractors and 80 various trucks to create a simple runway.
[MD: IMO one the ugliest planes the Luftwaffe used]
Now Xu Jun and his men were standing on the side of the plane, bidding farewell to the 7th Panzer Division’s officers. Because the destination this time was the base camp, Xu Jun was only accompanied by Hans, Randolph, and Dorgen. The two junior officers stayed in the division to continue their training and the two other officers were now under Muller’s command.
The soldiers of the 7th Panzer Division managed to find out that their general was departing and arranged themselves on the field. Forming a neat square and watched as the commander’s plane slowly left the ground.
Xu Jun was sitting in the Ju52’s spacious cabin, instructing Hans to arrange messages and a variety of other files. He had to prepare himself to present a formal report to Hitler once he arrived.
He looked at the document beside him and whispered to Hans about some issues in the report. Randolph sat behind them and he looked excitedly outside at the escort planes surrounding them. Headquarters was quite uneasy and made sure that nothing like that forced landing would happen again. Now, they deployed two entire fighter squadrons of Me110’s. Forty in total. Forming a dense cloud of fighters around the Ju52.
Dorgen however was not too interested, instead tilting his head asleep in his seat.
Xu Jun made some of the details meticulously clear, the other miscellaneous text would be left up to Hans to decide. He lifted his head and gazed out the window, thinking about a new problem. Leaving poor Hans to juggle the pile of documents.
Xu Jun pondered, how could he make Hitler change his decision? How would those other generals believe him?
He searched through Jack’s memory again. Trying to find out how Jack typically dealt with Nazi leaders and senior generals, hoping to find their weaknesses and preferences. Looking at how Jack behaved among the officials, Xu Jun could not help but laugh.
This guy is really a rogue, he did not think Jack would be so unruly even in a regular meeting.
If the verbal explanation doesn’t convince the generals then I could use some of his signature “rogue” style of doing things.
Xu Jun made up his mind, finally started to relax, but then he immediately remembered. If he really succeeded in preventing Hitler’s fated decision, then what would the next step be? Can he prevent the British retreat? How can they be subdued in Dunkirk even? What needs to be done, where to attack? How many troops to use? These problems one-by-one arose in his mind, giving him a headache. What is most needed now is accurate information. Only with the most recent troop movements and deployments can the next plan begin.
“Yes General?” Hans raised his head from his pile of paper.
“I want the most accurate report of troop deployments. The exact locations and numbers. I would also like the reconnaissance reports from the Luftwaffe regarding the enemy’s movements today. Also, give me a detailed map of the western France.”
“Understood General. In fact, I can have the pilot notify the ground so that the information will be ready as we land.”
“That’s good. Double check that everything is the most recent information available.”
“Yes General.” Hans put down the files and got up and walked toward the cockpit.
Xu Jun calmed down somewhat, and took a leisurely out the window at the scenery, waiting for Han’s results. After a while, Hans returned to the cabin and patted Xu Jun’s shoulder.
Xu Jun looked back and asked: “How was it? Have you connected? ”
“General, it has all been arranged. We will be landing in Cologne today and rest there for the night. Tomorrow morning, we can directly travel to the Felsennest. Headquarters will send the information to the hotel in Cologne. please rest assured. Also, the garrison commanders and city officials have been notified. They are waiting at the airport for the plane to arrive, and they have prepared a grand welcome ceremony.”
“Is that so? Well how long will it take us to land?”
“Should be quite soon. We’ve been flying over the French border, it should be two hours to reach Cologne.”
Xu Jun nodded his head. He leaned back on the soft leather chair and closed his eyes. Hans returned to his seat and continued to write the report with his pencil.