|"Drang von Osten" |
Set in the Future
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Date of Birth:||Early 21st century|
Jürgen Sack was a Gefreiter in the German military in the 2040s, serving with the 41st Panzergrenadiers. He participated in the German-led offensive into Russia in 2041 to fight the People's Liberation Army of China. Within a two years, that offensive had been halted, and Sack found himself in a long retreat back west into Ukraine.
Under rocket fire, Sack and Wachtmeister Gustav Pfeil were able to successfully cross the Trubezh and make their way to Kiev, surviving a shell landing on the barge evacuating them. They made contact with German military police occupying a farm house. After they explained themselves to the satisfaction of the head MP, he directed them to a Kampfgruppe. They were intercepted by a pair of Norwegian troops. One Norwegian led them to a field kitchen further down the road. The two Germans ate with Norwegians, Danes, and Swedes. Sack happily ate two bowls of horse meat stew before the position came under attack. While digging trenches, Pfiel received an injury to the thigh. Sack began initial treatment. A Danish medic arrived, and Sack and the Norwegian agreed to act as stretcher carriers. They successfully carried Pfeil to a medical tent, then turned and left while Sack tried to decide what to do next. He and the Norwegian were making their way back towards the Trubezh River when a shell landed close to them. Sack was uninjured, but the Norwegian was killed. Later he encountered one of the Scandinavians he'd been eating with driving a truck. Sack informed him that the Norwegian was killed. The driver informed Sack that the coalition was withdrawing from the Dnieper towards Kiev. Sack climbed aboard the truck. Once the truck reached the Dnieper, Sack and the other soldiers got out and began the process of crossing the river.
As he began the crossing, an enemy plane dropped a number of leaflets, suggesting that war was a profitable business for everyone but the soldiers doing the fighting, and making promises that anyone surrendering to the PLA would be treated well. Sack read a leaflet, then crumpled it up and stuck it in his pocket. He made his way to a river boat called the Yegeny Vuchetich, which successfully crossed the river. It attempted to help the survivors of another river boat, the Sovietskaya Rossiya, which had been struck by an explosive amidships, but many drowned. At the river station, Sack was directed to a metro station, eventually boarding a train, and riding two stops. After exiting the station, a loudspeaker directed German troops to go to Dynamo Stadium. Sack headed that direction, following the signs the German military had left. He was joined by another German soldier, Bruno Scheurl.
At the stadium, Sack received a new assignment and parted company with Scheurl. He discovered there weren't many of the Forty-First Panzergrenadiers left. When he asked if the Reds had taken out that many panzers and combat vehicles, another soldier, Lothar Zimmer, said that the attacks weren't that bad, and that many crews were trying to get their vehicles serviced nearby. As they began to reorganize, rumors soon trickled that the Reds had crossed the Dnieper and were making their way towards Kiev. The Forty-First were directed to a vehicle park, where he and Zimmer boarded an armored vehicle and were driven south to Perayaslav, a trip that took the rest of the day and all night thanks to the lack of paved roads and bomb damage from the enemy. They even came under attack a few times. During a pit stop, Sack learned that the Reds were pushing hard, and that they'd built their pontoon bridges a half a meter under the surface of the Dnieper, making them harder to spot, and allowing them to establish a bridgehead near Kiev.
A few hours later, Sack and the rest of the troops were let out to begin forming a skirmish line. However, after a long barrage against the German lines, the Reds launched their attack. Despite substantial losses of men and machines both, the PLA soon overran the German position. Sack found himself reunited with Zimmer, and the two tried to make their way back to Kiev. While they made it some distance without being noticed, a group of PLA caught them. Sack remembered the leaflet, and found the words for surrender: Tow shong. The PLA troops understood Sack, and allowed Sack and Zimmer to surrender.
- See, e.g., We Install and Other Stories, loc 417, ebook.
- Ibid., loc 431-492.
- Ibid., loc 525.
- Ibid., loc. 541-556.
- Ibid, loc. 572-588.
- Ibid., loc. 588-605.
- Ibid., loc. 636.
- Ibid., loc. 653-669.
- Ibid., loc. 669.
- Ibid., loc. 684.
- Ibid., loc. 699-715.
- Ibid, loc. 747.
- Ibid., loc 764.
- Ibid, loc. 796-813.