Due to the skeleton crew, many of the non essential areas have been sealed off and this includes the torpedo room. Having no threat from any ships and not involved with any battles, the weapons team has been reassigned with other tasks in the U Boat. There was a lonely sentry assigned at the entrance of the torpedo room. A couple of more was assigned at the entrance of the specialist extraction team.
“Captain, you better came to the torpedo room” sounded Ernst quite seriously. The captain had just taken his shower and decided to take a nap. The captain got dressed up and headed to the torpedo room. When he got there, he saw one of his men on the floor; his head was covered with blood. There a medic officer checking on the man.
“Is he going to be alright” asked the captain as the medic bandaged the wound on the head and prepares the man to be transferred to the sick bay. His wounds on the head need to be stitched.
“He has been badly hit on the head and has lost hi consciousness and need stitches to his head but he is going to be already” said the medic officer as the injured man was carried away to the sick bay.
“Captain, over here” sounded Ernst from inside the torpedo room.
The captain entered and saw Ernst and the weapons officer standing near the torpedo compartments. One of the torpedo compartments has been ripped open but the torpedo appears undisturbed.
“I think we managed to arrive here before any more damages could have been done. Who ever had attacked the sentry and ripped the torpedo compartment may have tried to do something to the torpedo but could not get the chance to do it” continued Ernst and the captain nodded his head in agreement.
“Did anyone saw anyone leaving from this place? What about the men in the scientists and the specialised extraction team quarters? Anyone missing?” asked the captain.
Ernst checked with the sentries and found that no one from the scientists or the specialist extraction team quarters had left their quarters during the incident. The captain was getting more worried now.
“That means the saboteur could be one of our men. Either that or the scientists or the specialised extraction team quarters have found another way out from their quarters, a loophole where it is easier for them to bypass the sentries. Once the injured sentry has come out from unconsciousness, we need to talk to him. Perhaps he could remember the person who did this to him” said the captain
The injury sustained by the sentry was quite bad but according to the medic officer, it was not life threatening. The sentry was conscious when the captain was in medic room.
“Can you recognised the person who did this to you?” asked the captain
“I am sorry captain, it happened so fast. I was hit from the back and before I passed out, I tried to raise alarm but I was in great pain. Sorry I was not alert enough” said the sentry still recovering from his nearly fatal incident.
The captain left the medic room and allowed the sentry to continue with his recovery. Certainly things are getting more complicated and the captain feels that he alone in this battle. He could not trust anyone except for Ernst and couple of his most trusted men. Having the scientists and the specialised extraction team on board did not help the situation at all. He had wished that the mission is left to his men and he alone without the need to involve the others. But now it is too late for that.
His shift was almost ending. He asked Ernst to take over the bridge as he wanted to take rest in his quarters. They are now in the treacherous waters, nearing the Burmese waters and there is still battles going on between the British supported by Indian forces and the Japanese Army in the jungle of Burma. On the sea, however the naval forces do not share the same with their army counterparts. Here rarely the Royal Navy vessels meet the Japanese Imperial Navy vessels. Both patrol their end of the territories and often avoid the head to head confrontation. In both ways however, they should find the German U Boat lurking in deep seas where they are patrolling.
The next supply rendezvous point requires them to be near the Siamese coastal waters where the country is still an independent country. The Siamese king has managed to keep the country unoccupied by cooperating with the British Government and the Japanese Government. The Third Reich has an embassy in the country and they are arranging for the supplies to U Boat which passed the waters of Burma.
It was a few days later when the U X made contact with a German supply ship off the coastal waters of Siam. The ship which was manned by German crew and German captain was however used the Siamese Government’s marking to avoid contacts with the Royal Navy or the Japanese Imperial Navy.
As the supply was being done, the German captain of the supply ship informed that he needs to meet with the captain of the U Boat in his quarters as there was pressing messages from the German High Command and also from Kriegsmarine. The captain asked Ernst to keep an eye on things in the U Boat whilst he boarded a small boat from the supply ship. When he boarded the supply ship, the captain was escorted to the German captain’s quarters. He handed over the messages from the German High for Command and Kriegsmarine and left the room.
The first message was from the German High Command. It said that the war condition in the Atlantic was getting worse and as such, they are eagerly waiting for the captain to complete the mission. They have lost three U Boats in recent Wolf Pack attack mission. The merchant ships from the America managed to reach its destinations in Europe and North Africa and managed to resupply the weak Allied forces causing considerable delay to the German forces to occupy key areas.
The second message was from Kriegsmarine. It said that they have reached an arrangement with the Gestapo and agreed to set aside their differences for the sake of the Third Reich. The Gestapo dismissed the idea that there are two factions operating in the Gestapo that wanted to sabotage the mission. They however managed to find several double agents within Gestapo and one of them was the agent who was caught in the Captain Franz’s mansion. All of the double agents were interrogated and once the Gestapo was satisfied with the amount of information extracted from them, the double agents was summarily executed. There is indeed a group with the German military who is working hard to sabotage the mission. Further investigations revealed that this group is being funded by intelligence enemy agents. It is likely that the details of the U X and its mission would have been transmitted to the Allied forces and even leaked to the Japanese Forces. This information was obtained during the interrogation of the double agents so it is unknown whether was said by the agents is true or not.
The third message was also from the Kriegsmarine. It said that they have made arrangement for the resupply of U X once it has completed its mission. The supply will be done in the same manner as the supply done during the first leg of the journey. The details of the resupply were listed at the bottom of the page with the detailed date and location of the supply rendezvous points.
The fourth message was also from Kriegsmarine. It said that due to incidents at the U X base, investigations was carried on the background of the scientists and the specialised extraction team. Nothing suspicious came out from the checking on the specialised extraction team. All of them were highly decorated Special Forces personals. However investigation into the backgrounds of the scientists revealed some interesting facts. Professor Z’s relatives are living in the Britain for sometime and recently there has been heavy communication between him and his relatives in Britain. Another two scientists was found to be teaching in universities in Britain before the start of the war and still keep in touch their students who now are mostly working with the British Military. Kriegsmarine requested the captain to keep a close eye on the scientists.
The fifth message was also from Kriegsmarine. It said that it also investigated the Captain Franz’s crew and found most of them did not have any suspicious background. However a recent evaluation on Ernst, Captain Franz’s second in command and his most trusted man in the U Boat shows that he was disappointed of not having his own U Boat to command. His evaluation report reveals that although he respected Captain Franz but finding him working under such an accomplished captain only diminish his chances of moving up in ranks in his career and his chance to show his skills in commanding a U Boat on real missions.
The sixth message was also from the Kriegsmarine. It said that Gestapo recent investigation reveals that Commander Ernst have been seeing a girl in Berlin which Gestapo believe is working for the Allied spies based in Berlin. Although there is no direct proof that Commander Ernst may have revealed sensitive information to the girl, but when Gestapo went to take the girl in custody, it was found that the girl has escaped from Berlin. The German forces have been told to keep on the girl at the borders and take her in custody if she was found.
The seventh message was from Admiral Kantz. They have not able to find out who tried to plant the bomb in U X when it was still in base. However based on the type of explosive used, they have checked the source of the explosive. The type is often used by the German Special Forces. Only commandos have access to these types of explosives and the only commandos who are involved in the U X’s mission are the men from the specialised extraction team.
Seven messages from Berlin but of no use to the Captain Franz for it points to all three group men who are in his U Boat at the moment. To make matters worse, even his most trusted man onboard the U Boat, Commander Ernst now is also a prime suspect. Ernst did not tell anything about the girl in Berlin to the captain and he wondered why for Ernst does not keep such things from him. On his frustration of not leading a U Boat, that is something the captain had suspected a long time. Unknowingly to Ernst, the captain has put in his recommendation to promote Commander Ernst to the position of a U Boat captain. This is another reason why Captain Franz allows Ernst to helm the bridge whenever possible. In U X now, Ernst is helming the bridge on a twelve hours shift.
The captain put all the messages into his pocket and came out from the supply ship’s captain quarters. The German supply ship captain was at the bridge and when Captain Franz came out from the room, the German captain informed that the resupply has not been completed and will take one hour. He proposed that the captain have dinner with him – he will be honoured if one of the most celebrated U Boat captain would care to dine with him. Captain Franz wanting a change of environment decided to agree to accept the German captain’s invitation. Besides for the next one hour, U X will be not be ready to depart and there is nothing much he can do onboard the U Boat.
Fine German wine and dish was a world apart from the dishes that his chef cooks in the mess hall. Somehow having authentic German dish lifted the captain’s spirit and made more determined. The captain put his hands in the pocket and held on the messages from Berlin.
The resupply had been completed and U X was ready to leave. Captain Franz thanked the German supply ship captain for the delivery of the message and the fine dinner and proceeded to embark the U X.
Captain Franz has been warned by the German supply ship captain to be careful on the waters outside the territory of the Siamese Kingdom. Unusual high number of Japanese Imperial Navy vessels has been spotted patrolling the waters towards Malaya. There is unconfirmed report of sonar enable midget Japanese submarines on patrol. What they are looking for is unclear at this point of time. Captain Franz however has a feeling that he knows what the Japanese Imperial Navy is looking for. He remembered the second message which was from Kriegsmarine. Could the U X’s mission have been leaked out to the Japanese Imperial Navy? If yes, then Captain Franz hopes that he does not run into a trap.
Captain Franz calls it a miracle but it has been sometime since there has been any act of sabotage in U X. Perhaps whoever who have been trying to sabotage the mission is afraid of the Japanese Imperial Navy. Either that or the person is waiting for the right moment to do serious damage to the mission or the vessel. Already his three attempts ended up in failures due to the fast act of the U X crew. It was certainly not easy to move around the ship without being unnoticed.
Sitting in his quarters, the captain was pondering against the navigation maps and realised that they are already in Malaya waters. The point of destination of U X however requires the U X to navigate the peninsular and reach the East Coast of Malaya. That should take then another five days to do that. The U X is no longer moving on cruising speed. The speed has been drastically reduced to reduce the sonar signatures in the water.
“Captain, your presence is needed in the control room, urgently” was the message from Ernst.
The captain made his way to the bridge and to the control room. Standing next to the sonar operator was Ernst and the weapons officer.
“Captain, we detected this signal ten minutes ago and it has been following us”
“What is it?” asked the captain