The captain was in his quarters when Ernst walked in.
“Tough decision to make, captain?” said Ernst as he sat beside the captain who was looking at the photo of his family.
“Yes Ernst, we are at the crossroads – do we forgo the safety of the crew for the sake of the mission and making sure that the discovery of the century does not fall into our Axis partner or forgo the mission for the safety of the crew? It is a tough call and it is on my shoulders to make the right decision” said the captain in reply
Ernst stood up and shake his hands with the captain and said “Whatever the decision that you are going to make, let me assure you that me and the crew are behind you all the way. I better leave you alone to think the next step for us to do ”
The captain was alone now.
“Ernst, call everyone to the briefing room. I have made my decision” messaged the captain after an hour of weighing the options
Everyone assembled at the briefing for further instructions from the captain. Sergeant R and his men did not enough rest but the two hours break was a relief nonetheless.
“Gentlemen, let’s look at our situations once again. We were sent on a special mission to discover an ancient submarine in the Far East and hopefully to bring back the nuclear technology for further research and to be developed for the expansion of the U Boat technology. At least that is what I have heard from the German High Command. It has been months since we left our base in a brand new, long range mission, capable U Boat which we call it U X. We have some set back on our way from the base to here. I don’t think I need to mention what are the set backs, some of you already aware of it” said the captain without saying much into the acts of attempted sabotage.
“We have todate managed to discover the submarine – thanks to Professor Z and his team’s long hour’s research and dedication and we have managed to extract important documents, artefacts and tools. We have been bringing back things from the submarine to this U Boat on a daily basis. Sergeant R and his men must be commended for acting bravely to be travelling between the coast and the U Boat during the night. They have been very meticulous and very professional on the job todate” added the captain as he looked at Professor Z and Sergeant R in agreement.
“However we have come to a cross road – we are running low on fuel and other supplies and need to leave soon if we want to resupply from the German supply ship that will be waiting for us. Compounding this need to leave is the sudden appearance of a Japanese River Boat who luckily did venture too near to the coast.. However their act of doing several passes near the extraction area is certainly suspicious. We cannot discount the fact that the Japanese may already know about our mission and may be waiting for to fall under their trap. I am pretty sure that the Japanese River Boat will return with a landing party very soon. Either that or the Japanese Army may make their way towards the coasts from the dense jungle. Either way, the Japanese will find the extraction area without much problem”
“Despite having two strong reasons to leave, we however cannot forget as to why we are here in the first place. Most of us volunteered for this mission, quite knowing that it is dangerous and uncertain. And yet, we put the goals of the mission ahead of our personal comfort. We have not really completed our mission here” said as he looked Professor Z’s nod in agreement
“Despite the discovery and extraction of logs books and manuals which undoubtedly will assist the U Boat research team to obtain substantial information, we have not ventured into the nuclear reactor room and also not ventured into the weapons room. Both of which has been sealed tight and without the right access code, will never be opened by anyone. The question there fore arises whether we continued to take the risk of a Japanese landing team and continue to explore the all avenues to open the room or we leave”
“There is also the aspect of the crew and the U Boat safety that I need to address. So I have decided as follows. We will stay for another two days but will not stay a day longer after that. The professor and his team only have these 2 days to complete the task of decoding the access key to open the rooms. We may not be able to dismantle the equipments in these rooms due to the risk of nuclear radiation as mentioned by the professor. Sergeant R and his team on the hand will start rigging the submarine with high explosives and booby traps to stop this submarine technology from falling into anyone’s hands – let it be from the Japanese or the British ”
“On the third day, we blow up the submarine and leave Malaya with whatever items we could extract back to our base” concluded the captain.
Sergeant R was disappointed with the captain’s decision to extend the stay for another two days but was relieved when the captain also decided not to further extend the stay thereafter. Sergeant R just worried about the Japanese River Boat and the possibility of a landing team. His own highly dedicated team was small but more than capable to fighting anyone, no matter what is the number that is facing them. However, for the sake of the mission, it was a risk that he and his men had to take.
The professor was relieved of the time that was granted. Even though two days was far too short for them to complete their interpretation, any extension at this point was most welcomed. He was sure that he and his team will able to crack the code in the next two days. He was almost of certain of this. He understood why the captain cannot afford to extend their expedition days longer. He appreciated the great risk that Sergeant R and his men were taking for the sake of the mission.
It was dark outside but it was morning. There left several hours before the sun comes up. The U X crew have to act fast. Sergeant R and his men were already made it to the coast with a larger payload of bomb, detonation tools and personal mines. There was not much things to be extracted for today, so for today Sergeant R and his men will be busy to rig the surrounding area of the submarine with high explosives. The same will be done for the interior of the submarine and extra explosives were fixed at areas near the nuclear reactor room and the weapons room. If the explosions goes off, it will definitely blew up the strong thick doors that is blocking their entrance now and ignites whatever that is in the inside. Sergeant R and his men however did not fix the detonators to the explosives that they have rigged around and inside the submarine as they may need to restart their extraction tasks if the scientists were able to crack the code and provide the access key.
Then a breakthrough – one of the scientist who been interpreting the captain’s logs realised that there is an additional notes of access codes in one of the pages that they have missed earlier. The access codes arte kept in a breakable container near the weapons room. It is hidden near one of the unmarked walls. Sergeant R needs to find it fast. The information was quickly passed to the Sergeant R’s team and they headed back to the submarine to look for this compartment. After several minutes looking for it, they found a locked compartment of the wall. The lock was easy to break and once the compartment was opened, they saw a large plastic container with something sealed in side it. They broke the plastic container and retrieved a piece of paper with a code and instructions for manual override written on it.
Sergeant R went to the weapons room as it was the nearest room and entered the codes into a console on the door. Nothing happened. What Sergeant R did not realised was that the access code reading machine has been turned off along with other control system in the submarine a long time ago. It was pointless to use the code number. Seeing that nothing had happened, Sergeant R went to the nuclear reactor room and tried to use the same access code on the console on the door. Once again, nothing happened. Feeling frustrated Sergeant R head back to the hatch and to see the message back to the scientists when he stopped and remembered that there were instructions for manual override written of the access code paper.
Sergeant R returned to the weapons room and tried doing the manual override to open the door. At first, the door did not move a bit. It looked as thought even manual override was not working due to the age of the submarine. The unlocking system must have broken down, thought Sergeant R when he gave the door a strong push for one last time. The door moved a bit. Encouraged with this outcome, Sergeant R and another of his men gave another hard push and the door to the weapons room opened wide. They were in – Sergeant R quickly dispatched this good news back to U X.
The weapons room was large and there were two main areas – one was marked “torpedoes” whilst another area was marked “missiles”. The torpedoes on the submarine looked almost similar in shape with the torpedoes onboard the U X but with some slight differences. The torpedoes in the submarine were longer and had more antennas. One thing that the Sergeant noted that was the warheads for the torpedoes was kept in a separate area. It was sealed tight to avoid the explosives from being exposed for too long and end up being fragile. A decision was made to transport back the torpedoes without the warhead back to U X for further analysis by the weapons officer.
Sergeant R and his men then ventured to the missiles areas and noted that instead of the tubes lying horizontally, the missiles tubes was lying vertically. They managed to open one of the vertical tubes and noted that the missiles which looked like rockets. It was not easy to get the rockets out as they seem to be sealed inside the vertical tubes. After several attempts, Sergeant R gave up and returned his attention on the torpedoes. There was a weapons console near the torpedo tubes and right on top of it, he noticed manuals and logs. He placed those manuals and log books along side a torpedo which he have decided to bring over to the U X.
He and his men were careful this time. At first they tried to bring it along the normal hatch but soon found that it was not possible to navigate the layout of the submarine with a large torpedo at hand. The torpedo was heavy which meant Sergeant R needed more of his men to help to bring it. But there was very limited space for the men to stand. At the end, they abandoned the decision to bring up the torpedo. Even if they are able to bring it out, it will be difficult for them to bring it inside the U Boat. The standard torpedo hatch on the U Boat was smaller compared to the size of the torpedo that they discovered in the submarine.
Sergeant R sent back a message to Captain Franz on the difficulties that he had to bring out the torpedoes. Instead he requested the weapons officer to come over to the coast to inspect the said torpedo and the missiles in the submarine. The captain after consulting the weapons officer agreed to this plan and informed that the officer will make his way to the coast at night. He asked Sergeant R to standby for the night as it was too dangerous for the officer to travel when there is still sunlight. There was still several hours left before the night falls – Sergeant R’s team had completed rigging the explosives. Night time seems to be slow to come for the weapons officer who been waiting eagerly to go to the extraction area to view the weapons found in the submarine.
That night, Sergeant R guided the weapons officer to disembark from the U Boat and head to the coast where the team was waiting. As it was too dark to go into the submarine and check the weapons, it was decided that the team will camp out for the night and wait for the sunlight. It started to rain that night but thankfully the Sergeant R’s team have built a well made and water proof shelter for sleeping and waits for the morning. The team had ready made meals for dinner as it was too dangerous to start a fire. The light from the fire or the smoke could be detected for miles. It was the time first out adventure for the weapons officer who has been holed up in the U Boat since they left the base several months ago. He was therefore was enjoying the open air and the fresh raindrops. His excitement did not miss the attention of the team members who started to laugh for they were getting tired of the jungle and tiring life outside the U Boat.
The sun was shining on the weapon officer’s face and when he woke up, he realised that Sergeant R’s team was already up and busy with their tasks at hand. Two of the team members who been doing sentry work the whole of the last night was back from their sentry points after being replaced by their team members. They sat under the shelter and took their breakfast. The weapon officer got refreshed and walked to the submarine. He was indeed excited. Sergeant R guided him through the hatch and took him to the weapons room. The weapons officer observed that the weapons room in this submarine was almost twice the size of the weapons room in the U X.
The submarine even had its own weapons console and in addition to torpedoes, had something called missiles. The weapons officer did not waste time by getting down to his work of inspecting the torpedoes. He noted that unlike the U X, the torpedoes was not stored in separate compartments but rather the warheads was separated, as the weapons officer guessed, until it was ready for use. This was interesting find by the weapons officer. By not having separate compartments, the submarine saved valuable space for the storage of the torpedoes.
Using specialist precision tools, the weapons officer proceed to dismantle the torpedo and had a look at the inside of the torpedoes. It had separate compartment for navigation and propulsion system. Unlike the current German Navy’s Mark 5 torpedoes which have a very crude navigation system, something that the Mark 8 torpedoes in U X have slightly improved, the navigation system in the torpedo in the submarine looked very sophisticated. There was something that looked like mini processor, data card and several cables connected to individual antennas. The propulsion system was sophisticated as well.
The torpedo had a small piston engine connected to a gas cylinder. It also had stabilising fins which acts to correct the direction of the torpedo based on the inputs from the sophisticated navigation system. It was not long before the weapons officer has disassembled the components of the torpedoes and marked them well for reassembly later in the U X. He passed the disassembled components to Sergeant R to be packed in water tight package. The casing of the torpedo was too large to be transported back to the U Boat; Sergeant R used a steel cutter to cut it into smaller pieces and carefully marked them to be reassembled later.
The weapons officer now moved his attention to the tubes containing the missiles.