Armand watched as the Nazis combed through the broken stone. As they began to spread out, Armand left for the farm bunker.
The farm bunker was another set of catacombs under an ancient castle built by the Romans, and torn town long ago.
Armand set up an ambush several miles from the farm bunker as a deception. The Nazis fell for it, as they diverted a large number of troops to descend on that area.
The Baroness was back in operation by the end of the day.
"My castle this is not, but who needs a drafty old castle anyway. Hanna, have we reached anyone yet?" the Baroness asked.
"The Pine group, and they seem to have been compromised as well. They are disbanding for the time being. They will be in contact when they regroup," Hanna replied.
"The real problem is finding the leak," said Ida.
"We got too big and sloppy," said the Baroness.
"Really sorry about your castle," said Hanna.
"I'm better off without it, damn thing cost a fortune run," the Baroness answered.
Hanna knew she was just trying to keep our moral up.
Armand gathered six of the fighters and some explosives. He said they were going to the ball bearing plant the Nazis had just built in Hanover, and it might take a while. We wished them good luck, and they were off.
They made it to Stuttart, and were then diverted to Mannheim by another partisan group. Once there, it was off to Frankfurter, and finally to Lorraine France.
Along the way, they were introduced to more sophisticated partisan groups. Better weapons and communication devices.
The overall theme was to prepare for the allies' invasion.
"Hello My name is Walker. I am the commander of operations for this area. I have been told good things about you Armand. The Baroness has you in the highest praise," said Walker.
"Thank you. On our way here, we have heard only great praise for you as well," Armand replied.
"As you have been made aware, when allies commence with the invasion, we are to cause as much damage as we. This will mean hitting as many soft targets as we can. Those will be tracks, communications, ammunition dumps, and power supplies," stated Walker.
"When is the invasion," Armand asked.
"No one is privy to that info, but it is going to be soon," Waker replied.
"Is there anything we can do in the meantime?" asked one of the partisans
"There is only one operation that might not interfere with things. We could try and rescue those in detention at the Gestapo interrogations building. It would be extremely risky. It would be an all-volunteer deal. It would require at a minimum of thirty," Walker said.
The entire group stood.
"That's nice of you to volunteer like this, but we need all of you for the invasion. We might have a better chance of success's if we wait until the start of the invasion, and we have completed our tasks for that. Then many of the SS might join in the fighting, leaving that task a little less difficult. However, if the invasion does not occur in the next week, we will give it a go. You should also know that the Gestapo executed hundred for another group's actions. So, we really should wait for the invasion," Walker stated.
"What about the camps. What is being done to liberate them," Armand asked.
"There's not much we can do until the end of the war. If we did liberate a camp, the Nazis would just kill them sooner, because there would be no place for them to go to get away that the Nazis. No food or shelter. Not that what they have now is any good," said Walker.
Two days later came the word, "Ham sandwiches are fifty cents."
The entire group were dressed, armed, and ready in a few minutes.
"You all have your instructions, good luck, and make it back," said Walker, ending with a salute.
Armand and his group were assigned power station at Metz.
"The bombings have increased a bit," said a member of Armands group, as they drove through blasts," said another of the group, as their truck was knocked back and forth.
"Blockade, be ready to fire," ordered Armand, gripping the wheal as tight as he could.
He pulled up to soldier holding a large stop sign - "AUFHALTEN".
"Here he comes, bail out and fire," ordered Armand.
His group bailed out of the truck firing. They took out the four guards without trouble. They left in a hurry, because the bombing seamed to be heading their direction.
About five miles down the road they came across a large house with a staff car out front. They needed a place to get some rest, and that looked just right.
As they began to infiltered around the house, when six men in strange uniforms descended on it.
"Who the hell are those guys?" asked one of the group.
They watched as the six solders entered the house shooting as they entered, Then silence shortly thereafter.
As they left the house, Armand shouted from the woods, "Hay We surrender ," Armand said, holding his hands over his head. Armand stepped out from the trees, and slowly moved toward the soldiers.
The soldiers immediately bellied the snow.
"Stop where you are ," called out one the soldiers, who the cautiously moved toward Armand.
Armand identified himself as a partisan. The soldier stepped on side keeping his machine gun trained on Armand. Another soldier advanced, and searched Armand.
Armand explained things up to that point, and the soldier identified himself as Lt. Harry Drake of the United States 82nd Airborne.
They talked for a minute, with Armand doing most of the talking.
Lt. Drake told them the house was theirs, and the lieutenant and his men disappeared into the forest with the last vestiges of light.
"Nice guys to have on our side," said one or Armands group.
"Yeah, I wonder how many there are out here," Armand wondered.
They entered the house, and found they were just in time for dinner.
Not having eaten in over twenty hours, it took them no time at all devour the Nazis dinner.
Julien was holding watch, as a staff car and a troop carrier pulled in off the road.
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