Vampires of World War Two, page 1
The Vampires of World War Two.
Other Titles by Stephen Sanford.
HOME BUILT BULLET PROOF
A beginner’s guide to ballistics and ballistic armor.
THE BOY AND THE PURPLE HEART.
A story of a young boy discovering his father earned a Purple Heart.
Shadows and Saints: Shadows of the Past
A global thriller, a killer is determined to assassinate the president of the United States while a dedicated team of agents pull out all the stops to derail the killer’s plans.
VAMPIRES OF WORLD WAR TWO
A short story speculating as to the use of vampires and the vampire legend against the Nazi war machine.
“Captain this plan of yours; it’s interesting. Let’s say we approve your plan, what exactly would you need to pull it off?”
The Captain had given this some thought, and was prepared for this very question.
“Sirs, the first stage will require a few specialists, most of which are not involved in war jobs already. A few carpenters, some academics, history and literature professors mostly. We will also need a fair quantity of Agent F. Stage two is where things will ramp up. For Stage two we will require the help of the French underground. We will require the use of a heavy bomber on a few missions. The cargo will require a heavy guard from the Army, but any unit in country undergoing a refit will suffice. We will only need Army units for a few hours on separate occasions, and in fact having different units perform this duty would be best in my calculations, as that will make the rumors spread faster.”
The Staff officers were interested… but not fully convinced. That is, they were unconvinced until the Prime Minister, who had been listening intently, and smirking, spoke for the first time. “Captain, you have my approval. Begin preparations at once.” That was that, the P.M. had given his approval. Operation “R” was underway.
The Lancaster was never known as a “fast” airplane, but tonight the flight seemed to be taking a longer time than usual. The seven-man crew was accustomed to “special” missions, but this one had them all on edge. Flying a night mission, deep into occupied France, at night, on Halloween, was not boosting anyone spirits. Their “particular’ cargo, was also adding to the uneasy feeling the crew was having.
Well, it wasn’t Halloween yet, no they would have to wait a half hour for that, and that meant 30 more minutes flying through the quarter moon, deep into occupied France. One thing that was boosting their spirits was the lack of flak. Sure, there was the occasional exploding 88mm shell, but that was just the Jerries’ letting the crew know they knew they were up there. No, the Jerries’ were saving their ammunition for the expected surge of bombers they had come to expect following a lone pathfinder plane. Tonight, there would be no big raid, only the lone plane.
The whole crew was watching their watches, slowing gaining hope as the hands slowly moved closer to midnight. Well, that is everyone but the crewman closest to the Bombay. No, he wasn’t watching his watch, he was watching the Bombay, and occasionally looking outside for the German night fighter force. The cargo in the bomb bay scared him more than any German pilot.
At exactly 1201 AM local time the Lancaster began their bomb run. Their target for tonight’s raid was the outskirts of a town heavily garrisoned by German forces. The searchlight caught the big bomber just as the bomb bay doors opened. The bomber crew breathed a sigh of relief as the casket dropped free, reflecting the searchlight as it started to fall from 22,000 feet, and fated to land in a farm field near the border of Vichy and occupied France.
The relief was short lived as 20mm cannon shells from a night fighter tore into the British heavy bomber. It only took 7 shells impacting the bomber, and exploding inside to doom the airplane. Only the tail gunner managed to get out, and he only did because the Lancaster broke its tail off from the exploding German shells.
Falling to earth it the darkness it was hard to judge when to pull the ripcord. But the tail gunner decided that being up here in a parachute was far better than being on the ground considering what they had dropped and all…
Melvin Hale was just getting accustomed to being a tail gunner, and now, well now he was feeling like a paratrooper dropped into a lion enclosure. It was not a very nice feeling.
“Dear Lord, please let the Germans capture me Alive!” Melvin managed to utter as the he looked down at the fast approaching fields below. The landing was not as rough as he figured it would be, and thanked the lord for the hygiene habits of cows.
“Welcome to France.” A cordial voice with a slight German accent came from the road.
“Thanks Chaps, got any tea?” Melvin Hale said, having not thought of anything better in the short time he had been on the ground.
“In the car please.” The German officer motioned to the young bomber crewman.
A German military policeman took Melvin’s sidearm, and helped him out of his parachute harness, and survival gear. Then Melvin got into the staff car. There was no talking on the ride to the barracks. Soon Melvin found himself sitting alone in a dimly lit room, drinking tea, and was pleasantly surprised to find the guards had put a bit of brandy in it; “How civil of them.” Melvin thought, almost feeling bad for what his crew had done, almost.
“Flight Sergeant Melvin Hale, Royal Air Force.” The German interrogator began.
“Yeah, bloody well get on with it, I haven’t got all night.” Melvin could not stop himself from saying, he knew he was supposed to keep his mouth shut, “but the Germans, No, even the NAZIS were people? Right?”
“Listen Chap, you need to get your people out of here, we dropped something rather nasty, and well you seem like a decent sort of chap, trust me RUN!” Melvin said.
“Yes, the England running out of bombs, so now you drop empty coffins? Is this some joke? English humor?” The German asked.
“Listen bub, that coffin wasn’t bloody empty!”
LONDON 0400 31st October 1943.
“Mr. Prime Minister?”
“Yes, come in.”
“You’ve just had a call from RAF bomber command, I was told to tell you that a Lancaster was shot down over France tonight, but AFTER it had dropped its payload.”
“Get me Harris.”
Winston Churchill had not been anywhere near getting to sleep. The planning for this mission had begun months ago, and now, finally everything was coming together. “God, forgive us?” The P.M. uttered taking the call from the waiting commander of Bomber Command.
“Any of the crew get out?”
“Morning Mr. Prime Minister, we have just heard from contacts in the French underground, they say two parachutes were seen, assuming one of those was the cargo, one of the crew got out.”
“Sir would you like to reconsider the second part of this plan? After tonight word will surely get back to the bomber crews, we’ll be hard pressed to find a crew for tonight.”
“Listen General, those boys will fly, I can promise you that, give them a chance to hit back at the Hitler, they’ll fly, you’ll see.”
1500 Hours, RAF Coningsby.
It seemed that the base had been surrounded by military police, Royal Marines, and Airborne Troops. (which was in fact the point.) A convoy escorted by a tank platoon, and more infantry arrived, with a solitary truck seeming to be the escorted vehicle. Ground crews watched as the truck pulled into a hangar surrounded by very heavily armed troops, and strangely two Angelicin Bishops.
Inside the hangar a very sturdy, and very old looking coffin was carefully removed from the truck. The casket had been modified to attach to the
“Quiet down!” an officer, and one that obviously worked for Special Operations executive, yelled at the assembled flight crew. He did not have to tell them again.
“Tonight, you are going on a very dangerous mission, but I know you will pull it off. You might be aware that the crew from last night did not return, now lads I won’t lie to you, those men are dead.” He paused for emphasis. “Those men died so we can win this bloody war, those men died to beat Hitler and his gang of comic book villains. Those men died showing Hitler what is truly scary in this world. So, all that being said, if anyone wants out, this is your chance, no one is going to force you to fly tonight.”
The officer waited for anyone to raise their hands, no one did.
“Good lads. Well then, here is it.” He said pulling back a Curtin and exposing the coffin rigged to a parachute.
“This is your load for tonight. It comes with special instructions, so listen up. First, under no circumstances are you to jettison this payload over England. If you need to point your plane at occupied France and bail out, we can replace the plane. Second, and this is important, I can’t tell you what’s in that box, but I’ll tell you this, should that coffin open while attached to your bomber you are to bail out immediately. Do you understand?”
Seven men nodded their head that they understood.
“Third, in the event that you are forced to bail out you MUST head in any direction away from where you dropped this payload, even Berlin is safer than being near this. You understand? “
Again, seven men nodded that they understood.
“Good, now, we have some “special kit” for you all. Inside these packages, each of you will find a vial of water, a flare kit, a wooden tent pole, and a rosary, but you boys will be fine, I’m sure you’ll never need any of this.” The officer said while handing out the “special kit” to all seven crewmen.
The Lancaster crew watched while a group of commando types loaded the casket into the bomb bay of their plane. A bishop blessed their bomber, and each man was wondering what the night would hold, and none of their thoughts went to happy places. None wanted to see what was inside that sealed box in their bomb bay. Though it might have surprised them, it sure would surprise the Germans.
Melvin Hale was not enjoying his “French Vacation” as he would latter call it. The Jerries’ were asking all sorts of questions about his “special kit” and the “Special Cargo” they had dropped right before getting shot down.
“Listen Mate, I’ve already told you, we were told get as far from the drop zone as possible. We were told if the bloody coffin opened in flight to bail out ricky tick. We did as we were bloody well told, and now I’ll be quite happy to go to a POW camp as far from here as you can get me. Thank you very fucking much.”
“So, the English are dropping coffins on us now? Are they mad?” the officer said to his commander.
“Clever as a fox.” The commander replied.
“No, only children and old women believe in fair tails and vampires.”
The commander smiled, “and soldiers, they believe in such things…” the commander muttered not being able to help being impressed with the cleverness of the English plan.
“Keep him isolated as long as possible, and get him to a camp.” The commander ordered, taking his leave. And returning a halfhearted Nazi salute while entering his staff car. The staff car pulled away from the barracks followed closely by a truck carrying a now empty coffin.
The interrogator waited until the staff car had pulled away to go back and check on his prisoner.
Melvin Hale was huddled in the corner of the room, holding a broken table leg as a weapon, whimpering.
“It’s coming. It’s coming, it’s coming…” he was saying over and over again, tears running down his cheeks.
“What is coming my friend?” the German officer asked, slowing approaching the sobbing flight sergeant.
“It’s coming, its coming.” Was the only response he got, well until Melvin moved forward, hugging the German officer like a long-lost brother. “God save us.” Were his last words before passing out.
2202 Somewhere over occupied France.
The “special load” dropped free from the bomber at 22,000 feet. It fell for many thousands of feet before the parachute opened about 2000 feet above the French soil. The opening of the parachute caused the coffin to flip over and open, spilling its contents out. The parachute then snagged on a large oak tree, suspending the now empty final resting place of something swinging in the gentle autumn breeze.
A German infantry patrol found the second of the “special loads” later that day. (The first having been recovered the night it was dropped.) The German troops could plainly see the wooden stake attached to the coffin lid, engineered to be removed when the parachute open and jerked off the lid. All together it was a masterpiece of British craftsmanship. The troops could plainly see there was dried blood on the stake. Nailed to the outside of the coffin was a note, written in English.
It might be human nature, or it might be something else, but everyone who read the note, well they all looked behind them after reading it. It raised the hairs on everyone’s neck.
The coffin was loaded onto a German Army truck and transported to Headquarters for an examination. A skilled German doctor was called in to examine the coffin. It only took him a few hours to determine that the blood found inside the coffin and on the stake, was human, but that’s about all he could tell. A skilled woodworker looked over the coffin and proclaimed, “without a drought” that it was several hundred years old, and made from “Lebanon Cedar” a species of wood not commonly used in the coffin business, even in England. The rumors of English Vampires being dropped on occupied France were already swirling through the various commands.
Inside one of the two dropped coffins the Germans found a small piece of cloth. It had been torn off on a careless exposed nail inside the coffin. An intelligence team found the cloth to be very old, and containing dyes not used in the textile industry since the late 17th century.
The same officer that had delivered the strange briefings to the bomber crews was now in London, about to see the Prime Minister. He was not waiting long. The P.M. Spoke before the officer could utter a word.
“How are the Nazis enjoying their gifts?” Churchill asked.
The officer smiled. “Prime Minister, I’ve already received reports of strange deaths in near the drop zones.”
“I never thought I’d like vampires, but those Nazi sons of bitches deserve it!” he raised his glass of scotch as he toasted to vampires feeding on German troops.
“Here’s to the undead.” The officer toasted, having been handed a glass by the P.M.
“So, tell me Major, how’d the second crew handling things?”
“Returned safe and sound Sir. In fact, every one of them attended mass soon after landing. “
“Are they talking?” The P.M. asked.
“Of course, they are. The whole bloody base watched us load those boxes on that bomber. Then when they landed the whole base watched as we burned their entire flight kit, and had priests consecrated the bomber. Half of bomber command is now sure we are dropping undead monsters on the Germans.”
“The underground is reporting that there is no garlic left in northern France.”
“Major, you’d have made a fine pirate.” The P.M. Smiled.
“Thank you, Sir.”
The first body was discovered later that day. Near the first drop zone the body of a French farmer was found, a broken table leg in his hand, his body drained of blood, and bite marks on his neck. The farmer had been a known collaborator.
The next night
January 25th, 1944: Occupied France.
The lack of a moon had made it easier to convince the flight crew of their own safety. By this time almost everyone in Bomber command was aware of the strange missions in October. It still was not too much of a problem to find a crew of volunteers for a solo mission over occupied France. Again, the Germans found an empty coffin with a stake rigged to a parachute in a farm field.
A crisis was well underway in the German Army garrisoning northern France. So far, the RAF had dropped three of these little packages, and each time it was accompanied by a rash of dead troops, dead collaborators, and a scared population. By January twenty percent of German troops were carrying at least one stripper clip of wooden training bullets on their patrols. Troops were getting drunk before night time patrols, and some had flatly refused night patrols. Of course, those refusing were shot, but in the minds of many it was better to die by a German Bullet that be drained of blood by a monster.
The local populations were also a problem. No longer was the mighty German Army, or even the GESTAPO, the most terrifying thing around. The resistance was of course using the lack of night patrols (or lackluster patrols) to their full advantage. Train tracks were being blown up with alarming frequency. German troops were turning up dead, and a few had been drained of blood. In some cases, it was easy for the GESTAPO to tell it had been a copycat vampire, other times it was just strange.