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|08-30-2008, 03:28 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Docked at the foot of the Andes
The Execution (Balz)
(Part II of Night Vision)
Lt. Kalb writes.
18 September 1940
U-124, Gilf of Cadiz
"Auftauchen," Balz bellowed while holding Bernard by the throat. He then asked, "What time is it?"
"Eleven fifty seven," the navigator answered.
"The execution will occur in the afternoon then. Bring me my bowler hat and smoking jacket." Like a dead goose, Balz dragged Bernard up the steps into the conning tower.
Once on the bridge, I could see the freighter not more than four-hundred meters away.
"Just stop it. We need an audience to observe Bernard's execution," Balz ordered. "Deck gun crew take this miserable example of German excrement to the stern. Flack gunner prepare to bring happiness to your great commander by drilling this nitwit into mincemeat."
While Balz and the rest of the crew fussed over Bernard I sent a torpedo for the screws of the merchant. I even said, "Einz-zwei, hoochie-woochie."
Balz put on his smoking jacket with medals and waved his bowler at the merchant. "Hallo."
The torpedo hit perfectly near the stern and the merchant came to a halt a hundred meters from us.
"Gut afternoonz," Balz yelled in English. "Need a tow?"
"You bastard." Came the reply from the merchant's bridge.
"You vill be vitness to an execution."
The choir mustered on the foredeck and broke into Ach du lieber Bernard hoochie-woochie song.
"Test your gun, flakman."
The flack gunner fired four shots into the air.
Balz climbed on top of the periscope housing and hung onto the periscope like a monkey. "Hey, yoo on ze bridge, si my metals?" Balz flapped his hand over his chest making the medals jingle. "I am Balz, the great hero of the Kriegsmarine. Now I will execute Bernard and my tonnage will go up, my life will become better, nobody vil pour coffee into my tea cozy. Nobody vill mess up my gyro angle, nobody will drop wrenches when silent running,, nobody fill fire an aft torpedo when I wants to fire front torpedo. "
The captain of the freighter waved what looked like a flare gun. "Get on with it, Jerry."
"My name is Balz."
Balz descended to the bridge and faced aft. "Sing Ich hat ein Kamaraden hoochie woochie. And twirl to express the sorrow we will feel at the loss of one of Germany's finest. Au revoir, Bernard. Le hoochie woochie is fini for you."
Balz yelled at the merchantman. "We will execute le Bernard in French. Choir, sing le Aurevoir Hoochie-woochie. Applause, please."
The choir finished the song.
"Attention on deck. Gunner aaaim."
The merchant shot a flare.
"Fire," Balz commanded.
The flack gunner opened fire.
"Not the plane, you idiot," Balz bellowed.
Machinegun bullets from the Hudson played a staccato on the U-boat casing.
With lightning speed, Bernard ran up the tower yelling, "Aaaaalaaarm." He was the first one down the hatch.
As we dove, I didn't want to remind Balz that both periscopes were still taped over to protect his night vision.