Gustav Hozzel
Fictional Character
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away;
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: West Germany (born in Germany)
Date of Birth: 1920s
Date of Death: 1952
Cause of Death: Shell explosion in combat
Occupation: Printer, soldier
Spouse: Luisa
Military Branch: Wehrmacht
(World War II)
West German Volunteer Militia
(World War III)

Gustav Hozzel (1920s-1952) was a German veteran of World War II. He'd fought the Soviets from 1942 until the end of the war. When it was clear Germany was on the verge of defeat, Gustav fled west and managed to surrender to the Americans.[1] He soon settled in Fulda in the American zone of West Germany with his wife Luisa and found work for a printer named Max Bachman.[2] He still suffered nightmares five years after the end of the war.[3]

In January 1951, the U.S. increased its military presence in and around Fulda, which was near the border with the Soviet controlled East Germany, as tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. increased over the Korean War.[4] On 23 January 1951, the U.S. dropped several atomic bombs on strategic points in Manchuria.[5] The Soviet Union retaliated on behalf of its ally, China, and ordered six atomic attacks against U.S. allies: Aberdeen and Norwich in the United Kingdom; Nancy and Rouen in France, and; Augsburg and Bremen in West Germany.[6]

As February progressed, Soviet forces were moving towards the East-West border. In response, the U.S. announced their plan to create a national emergency militia. Hozzel was initially resentful of the scheme, feeling as if the U.S. had had the opportunity to join Germany against Russia and hadn't, but his boss, Bachman, pointed out that if the Soviets won, it would be Germany that would pay the price, prompting Hozzel to reconsider his position.[7]

The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. traded another round of bombings, concluding with the destruction of three Eastern European cities on 15 February. On the morning of 17 February, the Soviet invasion of West Germany began.[8] Hozzel was asleep at 5 am when he was awakened by shells and gunfire in the distance. Luisa also woke up, and Hozzel directed her to get into the cellar before the bombers came.[9] He then dressed and went to volunteer for the emergency militia while Shturmoviks attacked Fulda. He found Max Bachman, and they were issued rifles and helmets in short order.[10]

Despite fierce fighting from the U.S. (which impressed Hozzel), the Soviets were able to overrun Fulda. Hozzel, Bachman, and U.S. forces were pushed northwest to Alsfeld.[11] The Americans began house-to-house fighting for Alsfeld. Hozzel himself survived one engagement that saw the Soviets attack, sustain hideous casualties, and retreat.[12] Soon, Alsfeld felol, the U.S. and its allies were soon driven north and west again. Somewhere between Frankenberg and Arnsberg, the Americans made use of a German MG-42 they'd found in a warehouse. The MG-42 and an American .50 Caliber combined were able to fend off another Soviet attack for a short period of time.[13]

As volunteers streamed into the emergency militia, Hozzel met a veteran soldier named Rolf, who candidly discussed his service with the Leibstanardte Adolf Hitler, or LAH. Rolf fanatically insisted that the Germans and their allies would defeat the Reds, a fanaticism that Hozzel was impressed and disturbed by.[14]

By April, the Allied troops, Hozzel included, were on the outskirts of Schwerte, a town itself on the outskirts of Dortmund, at the edge of the Ruhr.[15] In May, the Americans and the militia were pushed back again, fiercely fighting inside of Dortmund. From the shelter of a house, Hozzel was able to kill an IS-3 with a Molotov cocktail , and flee ahead of the shelling the house received.[16] A few week later, Dortmund fell to the Soviets as they pushed further into the Ruhr. Hozzel engaged in house-to-house fighting in Duisburg, escaping through the tunnels running through the cellars of the houses.[17] By June, he and the rest of the Allied line had been pushed to Wesel, north of Duisburg near the Dutch border.[18]

The Allies managed to hold Wesel into July. Hozzel became proficient in sneaking out at night and entering enemy territory. During one such trip, he was able to kill a Russian soldier and steal his AK-47, and return behind Allied lines safely. Rolf was particularly jealous of Hozzel's prize, but didn't have time to be jealous for long, as the Soviets renewed their drive. With overwhelming force, the Soviets pushed hard into Wesel, and Hozzel once again joined the retreat north and west.[19]

After a period of resistance near the Dutch border, Hozzel, Bachman and the rest of the unit were abruptly ordered to retreat. Hozzell and Bachman were both suspicious, but the dutiful Rolf Mehlen had perfect faith in their officers.[20] To their astonishment, they were soon deep in Holland proper.[21] That night, after bunking down, Hozzel saw an American atom bomb detonate in the position they'd held that morning.[22]

The U.S. bombed all of the Red Army's forward positions, thoroughly breaking them. Hozzel was now part of an Allied advance. They passed destroyed Wesel, and started running into Russians who were eager to surrender. When Rolf murdered one of these who admitted he'd fought the Germans in the last war, both Hozzel and Bachman ordered him to refrain from doing it again, making it clear that they would shoot him if he did Rolf backed down.[23] In Lippstadt, Hozzel, Bachman, and Rolf ran into Soviet soldiers hold up in a grocery store.[24] After some debate among the three, Hozzel decided to try to convince the Soviets to surrender. Waving a makeshift white flag, Hozzel yelled at the Russians that on soldiers' honor, they would not be killed. To three Germans' surprise, the large number of Russians surrendered. Hozzel and Bachman led the large group behind the lines to U.S. intelligence officers.[25]

In the winter of 1951, the frantic NATO drive brought Hozzel, Bachman, and Rolf to Soviet-held Marsberg,[26] where the Germans successfully overwhelmed the Soviets and drove the from the wrecked town.[27]

The drive continued east. In March, 1952, Hozzel, Bachman, and Rolf were in Warberg, east of Marberg, when the Russians sent in Shturmoviks to attack. However, the U.S. sent in F-80s in response. Three Shturmoviks were shot down, the rest retreated, and the Russians, despite the set back, moved in. A hidden machine gun broke the advance.[28]

Hozzel was killed weeks later in an engagement between Soviet T-54s and Sherman tanks commanded by Germans. The T-54s began making short work of the Shermans. During a barrage, a shell exploded over Hozzel as he dove for cover.[29] He died without ever learning that his wife, Luisa, had been taken to a prison camp by the Soviets in June 1951.


  1. Bombs Away, pg. 13, ebook.
  2. Ibid., pg. 14.
  3. Ibid., pg. 12-13.
  4. Ibid., pg. 14.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 55-61.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 64-65, 70.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 78-79.
  8. Ibid., pgs. 110-113.
  9. Ibid., pg. 114.
  10. Ibid., pgs. 114-118.
  11. Ibid. pg. 181.
  12. Ibid., pgs. 183-185.
  13. Ibid., pgs. 222-226.
  14. Ibid., pg. 248-252.
  15. Ibid., pg. 300.
  16. Ibid. pgs. 349-353.
  17. Ibid., pgs. 410-414.
  18. Fallout, loc 396-456., ebook.
  19. Ibid., loc., 925-1002.
  20. Ibid., loc. 1691-1720.
  21. Ibid., loc. 1735.
  22. Ibid., loc. 1751.
  23. Loc. 2632-2703.
  24. Ibid., loc. 3506.
  25. Ibid., loc. 3531-3579.
  26. Ibid., loc. 4745-4768.
  27. Ibid., loc. 4780-4815
  28. Ibid., loc. 5446-5505.
  29. Ibid., loc. 5783-5842.