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By Leo Kessler

Assault Regiment Wotan, the elite band of fellows whom Kuno von Dodenburg had led so usually to victory, were mercilessly shrink within the forests of the Ardennes. in simple terms Sergeant-Major Schulze remained to guide the battered, battle weary survivors of Hitler's famed SS during the mystery omit the snow-locked Vertes Mountains, within the Fuhrer's determined plan to avoid wasting Budapest from the Soviet armies. each certainly one of them knew that it was once the plan of a madman, and each guy knew that regardless of the rate it needed to succeed.

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Significant Suslov barked above the roar of the towing airplane. Suslov, a tall darkish officer in his overdue twenties, appeared alongside the dim, green-lit size of the massive glider and nodded his approval. His gray Eagles, no longer certainly one of them over twenty-five and nearly each one of them adorned in strive against, regarded healthy and assured inspite of the poor hazard in their daring project. ‘Check apparatus! ’ he snapped. With the precision of machines, each one guy became to his neighbour and checked his gear – laptop pistol, ammunition, grenades, smoke and excessive explosive, pistol, emergency rations – prior to reporting ‘All correct’. ‘Comrade significant. ’ Suslov grew to become. It was once the younger glider pilot, who like every the pilots within the gray Eagle Battalion were a pre-war Soviet champion within the Komosol adolescence move. ‘Yes? ’ ‘The tugs are getting ready to drop the tow now. ’ Suslov swung around and confronted his males. ‘Prepare for touchdown! ’ he ordered. Veterans that they have been, the younger males followed the touchdown posture – fingers clasping the steel spars at the back of their heads, ft raised a bit from the ground – instantly. there has been a gentle tug. The glider shuddered just a little because the pilot cited the nostril so one can brake. without warning there has been silence because the towing aircraft broke off in a good curve and started heading again east. All noise died away. The January sunrise appeared all at once unbelievably calm and peaceable. Now the gray Eagles might do not anything yet wait and depend upon the pilot to place them down appropriately at the tough terrain. significant Suslov have been instrumental in developing the 1st experimental glider corporation of paratroop volunteers, from which the gray Eagles had sprung. From the battle opposed to Finland throughout the negative battles opposed to the Germans in ’41 and ’42 directly to the nice victories of the final years, the gray Eagles had continually been within the leading edge of the motion. Time and time back the Battalion have been decimated in a few determined motion at the back of enemy strains, yet constantly there were good enough volunteers to fill its empty ranks back. Suslov and his gray Eagles have been, in the end, the idols of Soviet early life. Had no longer Stalin publicly embraced Suslov at a Kremlin reception in entrance of the newsreel cameras and referred to as him ‘the boldest of the daring? ’ Suslov, even if, used to be now not a reckless commander. It used to be purely as a result determined scenario of Zacharov’s Guards military that he had allowed himself to be talked into touchdown his Eagles at the so much tough kind of terrain attainable – the mountains. Anxiously he driven his means down the littered gangway to the place Boris, a flaxen-haired Ukrainian crouched over the controls, swinging the glider around in an enormous circle to reduce its velocity, sooner than touchdown. at the western horizon the darkness was once breaking apart, turning to the threatening opaque gray, which he knew was once snow falling far-off. yet Suslov had now not eyes for the horizon. His gaze was once mounted at the flooring lower than, it regarded faraway from promising. lengthy stretches of darkish eco-friendly, which have been firs, damaged at usual periods via sharp, bare peaks.

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