Recent Events: 10 Sept ’39

8 Sept:Polish defenders at Westerplatte surrendered
9 Sept: Battle of the Bzura begins.
9 Sept: British Expeditionary Forces (BEF) began landing in France.
10 Sept: Canada declared war on Germany.

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The Free City of Danzig

Your time is now. Dressed in your well worn fisherman's gear, the tools of your trade hidden carefully within, you all board a darkly camoflaged Avro Anson in the cool of a September night.  Looking from face to face, you realize this mission was really going to happen.  The time for training was behind you and now you had to work with your team mates to become an effective reconnaissance and fighting force.  Hopefully, the Germans will be too busy consolidating their positions and fighting the Polish military to suspect your team even exists.  As the plane lurches heavily into the night sky and you begin your ascent, you are eager to take the fight to the Germans.  No more coddling fascist tyrants. Now you will write your own chapter in history. You while away the long hours of the flight chatting with your team mates, inspecting and reinspecting your new firearm, checking the sharpness of your knife, staring out over the moonlit sea and getting what fitful sleep you can.  Your flight follows the coast north to Denmark before skirting the German border and heading to Bornholm.  The flight is long and uneventful with good weather and visibility. By the time you set down at a rough improvised landing strip on Bornholm, the enlarged fuel tanks of the modified Avro Anson are almost dry.  You help the aircrew move fuel drums into position to refuel quickly, then board a nondescript Opel lorry driven by an equally nondescript Dane who gives you a challenge and begrudingly accepts your response.  Speaking in grunts and nods, he points you at the back of the truck and drives you into Rønne where he navigates the darkened streets and pulls into a secluded alley down by the docks.  Lighting a cigarette he leans against the lorry and tells you to "wait." Thirty minutes later you notice fishermen coming down the docks in ones and twos,  eager to prep their boats for the day's work.  "Now...two at a time," the old man says in heavily accented English, "Spread out...mix with da udders.  Haaken...dock 12...don't forget."  Without another word the man snuffs out his cigarette and walks away into town without a single glance back.  Mixing yourselves in with the other fishermen you all make your way to dock 12 and find the Haaken and her crew ready for you.  As you board you are immediately moved down into the half full  hold to wait until the ship has left port.  The smell of yesterday's catch is almost overwhelming and you fight the nausea as the ship hits the open sea and begins to roll heavily with the waves.  During one particular heavy roll you watch while everyone in the team, with the exception of Lars, falls down and rolls about helplessly in the fish covered hold.  You are not sure which is worse, the nausea or the stupid grin on Lars' face. Captain Østergaard comes down to the hold and escorts you back up to the main deck.  You gulp in the brisk sea air as the Captain briefs you on the voyage.  "Good!  Now you smell like fishermen. Stay away from my crew, stay away from their cabins and stay away from the work areas. The less they know about you, the better.  The less you get in their way, the quicker this voyage will be and the quicker we will fill up that hold with fish." The Captain quickly points out the areas of the ship you can make use of, details when you should show up the ship's mess and then takes you back down to the ship's hold.  He walks to the far bulkhead and works a hidden switch causing a door to open to a small compartment, large enough for your team and equipment. The Captain continues, "When we arrive in Danzig, you will be hidden in here.  The door is very hard to find and harder to open.  We will move some of the catch to block the door as well, so it's unlikely that the Nazis will want to dirty their uniforms with smelly fish.  They will inspect us when we enter the estuary and perhaps again at dock. The Norwegian sailor," he says pointing at Lars, "can stay on deck with us if he desires as he won't stick out like a sore thumb, but the rest of you must remain hidden when we get close and any time we spot another vessel.  Once we are docked you can move off the boat one at a time by helping to move fish over to the fish market.  After that you are on your own." The next 27 hours pass at a glacial pace.  There is no comfortable place on this boat and only Lars seems to be enjoying himself.  It's either ice cold sea spray, biting cold winds, the stench of god knows how much fish or the endless nauseating roll of the sea.  You find what comfort you can, eat what you can keep down and wait patiently for it to end.  Finally land comes into view and you enter the unbreathable atmosphere of the hold one last time. Lars stays on deck acting as a deck hand while a German Schnellboot comes alongside and the trawler is boarded.  True to the Captain's words, the Germans perform a quick perfunctory search of the trawler taking the sign of so much fish and so many Scandinavians as a sign of authenticity.  They issue the Captain a pass for the Danzig docks and inform him that he will be required to register his ship with the new Harbour Master upon arrival.  Upon arrival at the dock, the trawler is once more boarded and inspected and the ship's papers are duly stamped and noted. You have arrived in Danzig.  German troops seem to be everywhere, but fortunately so do the civilians.  While you can see smoke on the horizon and hear the distant sound of gunfire, the town seems well pacified, if not celebrant in its newly liberated status, even this late at night.  By the time inspections are complete, it is just past midnight on the 10th of September.  Your choices are now your own. OOC: If you have questions for Captain Østergaard now is the time.  If you have anything you want to accomplish before you arrive in Danzig, now is the time to do it. Also, determine how you want to make your way to St Mary's Cathedral and a general marching order.

15 comments to The Free City of Danzig

  • Lucky Lucky

    Well gentlemen, I need a damn good shower and clean shirt…its one thing to blend in, and completely another thing to announce oneself before you even arrive. Captain, would you know of any reasonably low class inn nearby with running water? Lars, do you think we have time…when’s our appointed meeting with…Thor?

  • Seven Seven

    Well, St. Mary’s is about 8 blocks away according to the map, not a long distance. Thor is supposed to be there between 6-8:30AM Zulu. That leaves a little time.

  • Fenrik Lars "Röcke" Tidsskrift Fenrik Lars "Röcke" Tidsskrift

    I guess normal fisherman would look for a place to sack up after a few days at sea. Once we have unloaded the boat, we will proceed to the closest “inn” that Captain Ostergaard tells us about, and inquire about a few rooms. If the inn people talk to us in Polish, Scope will do the talking. If they talk to us in German, I will do the talking. We will try to avoid any German patrols if possible, but we will not make obvious attempts to bypass them. If stopped and questioned about our Polish papers, we will say that we just got into port, and have not had time to get new German papers. If offered the chance to exchange our Polish papers for German ones, I would think that we might want to take the Germans up on the offer, as real German papers might help us out later in the war.

    My proposed marching order: Lucky on point, Suez, myself, Seven, Scope. We need some luck up front, so Lucky goes there, Suez or Seven after that, myself in the middle so that I’m equal distance from both front and back for command and control purposes, Suez or Seven, and Scope in the back, since he has the rifle and can more easily duck into cover if we get stopped (and we don’t want him searched!). He will be watching behind us.
    Questions? Comments?

    OOC: Since I’m the only officer in the group, and have to assume that I have command of the mission. Who would my second in command be? I don’t think I saw any other ranks.

  • Seven Seven

    Uh sir, I’m native Polish. Did you read my dossier? I would know nuances and slang of the language more than a Polish speaker who grew up and lived somewhere else, and you don’t want me to be the Polish speaker for the group?

  • Lucky Lucky

    Works for me, my friend…just keep spread out. I’m sure there are German patrols here.

    I’ll take another cigarette when we leave…these are not bad by the way…walk ahead, and light it when its clear. As we advance, cigarette at my side we pause, to my mouth we move. If it looks like sheeet, I drop it. Understand?

    OOC:

  • Fenrik Lars "Röcke" Tidsskrift Fenrik Lars "Röcke" Tidsskrift

    Sorry Lad, didn’t see that part. Ok, Seven will do the Polish speaking for us.

  • Bob Gamemaster

    Reposting here for clarity from Major Grand: St. Mary’s Cathedral has a special altar where fishermen and their families stop in to say their prayers, receive blessings, light tapers for those who have not returned and other small services. You will not stick out at all as long as it appears you are heading towards St. Mary’s or the docks.

    OOC: Sorry this did not make it into the initial brief. Mea culpa

  • Ackley "Suez" Smythe Suez

    OOC: As we make the crossing, Suez suggests that Seven and Lucky teach us a few convenient Polish phrases, such as hello, goodbye, thank you, where is the church, here are my papers, etc. Suez seems to be the only one here who doesn’t speak German, so a similar smattering of it would help.

  • Ackley "Suez" Smythe Suez

    Perhaps we’d attract less attention by tramping straight to the church and offering our alhamdulillahs for a safe voyage. Then we let this Thor fellow direct us to a place where we can tidy up, rather than seeking a shower and shave on our own in a strange city that’s crawling with edgy Jerries.

    • Fenrik Lars "Röcke" Tidsskrift Fenrik Lars "Röcke" Tidsskrift

      Since its just past midnight, I’m thinking we don’t want to get to the church just quite yet. I believe we have about 8 hours before Thor is scheduled to make an appearance, so getting a place to hole up until then seems like a good ideal.

  • Scope Scope

    During his time on the vessel, Scope asks Röcke if the crew have some machine-grade fish oil laid by; if so, he asks for a flask of it. Before departing, he carefully wraps his broken-down rifle in oil-soaked rags, tucks it into a packet he’s fashioned from sail cloth, ties the packet at both ends, and tucks it into his sea bag. He puts the rifle scope, also carefully wrapped, into an inside pocket of his pea coat, and, after checking the ammunition and action for the Welrod, places it (fully assembled) behind his back beneath his belt. He secures the fishing knife to his upper back (inside his coat) so that it is easily accessible if he reaches behind his neck.

    Scope says nothing, and seems to have a peculiar habit of cocking his head as if to listen, but with his mouth wide open. Additionally, he seems to be paying particular attention to the rooflines and upper floors of the buildings around them.

  • Calvin "Knuckles" Hayward Calvin "Knuckles" Hayward

    As it’s not his first time on a boat, Knuckles doesn’t ‘roll around’ quite as much as the rest. Ashore, He keeps quiet and follows along, eyes peeled for possible danger. Probably best to keep him near the front since he can silence trouble fast.

    (mumbles) Dis place stinks woise den Joisey.

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