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Rolf Mehlen
Fictional Character
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away;
Fallout;
Armistice
Type of Appearance: Direct (POV F-A)
Nationality: West Germany (born in Germany)
Date of Birth: 20th century
Date of Death: 1952
Cause of Death: Stepped on a land mine
Occupation: Soldier
Political Party: Nazi Party (until 1945)
Military Branch: Waffen-SS (World War II);
West German emergency militia (World War III)

Rolf Mehlen (d. 1952) was a German veteran of World War II who joined West Germany's emergency militia during World War III. During WWII, he had served as a Hauptsturmfuhrer in the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH), which was part of the Waffen-SS. In the closing days of the war, he had a doctor removed his blood-group tattoo,[1] and surrendered to the United States.[2] His surgery proved to be the right decision for more than just the short term; in April 1951, Soviet troops were known to summarily execute Germans who had the tattoo.[3]

He was soon fighting side-by-side with Gustav Hozzel and Max Bachman, both WWII vets, though neither were Nazis. Hozzel was intimidated by how violent Mehlen was on the field of battle. During a down moment, Hozzel asked Mehlen about his past. Mehlen admitted he'd been in Operation Spring Awakening, the last attack on Budapest. While Mehlen recalled Adolf Hitler's order to remove their cuff titles with his signature during the final retreat, he assured Hozzel that they did not take off their cuff titles and drop them in a chamber pot. In fact, they wore their cuff titles until the end. As Hozzel had heard the story from other people whom he trusted, he was rather dubious, but decided not to push it.[4]

During another break in the fighting, Hozzel had casually asked Mehlen what he thought of Israel. Mehlen had replied that he thought the atomic bomb that had destroyed the Suez Canal should have gone off a little farther northeast.[5]

Throughout the spring of 1951, Mehlen and his comrades were pushed northwest to Schwerte,[6] then Dortmund,[7] Despite the fierce resistance from the Americans, Dortmund fell, and the Soviets pushed further into the Ruhr. Meblen and the allies engaged in house-to-house fighting in Duisburg, escaping through the tunnels running through the cellars of the houses.[8] By June, the Allied line had been pushed to Wesel, north of Duisburg near the Dutch border, but the Allies remained determined.[9] With overwhelming force, the Soviets pushed hard into Wesel, and Mehlen once again joined the retreat.[10]

After a period of resistance near the Dutch border, Mehlen, Hozzel, Bachman and the rest of the unit were abruptly ordered to retreat. Hozzell and Bachman were both suspicious, but the dutiful Mehlen had perfect faith in their officers.[11] To their astonishment, they were soon deep in Holland proper.[12] That night, after bunking down, the unit saw an American atom bomb detonate in the position they'd held that morning.[13]

The U.S. bombed all of the Red Army's forward positions. Mehlen was now part of an Allied advance. They passed destroyed Wesel, and started running into Russians who were eager to surrender. When Mehlen 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. Mehlen backed down.[14]

In December 1951, the frantic NATO drive brought Mehlen, Hozzel, and Bachman, to Soviet-held Marsberg, south of Paderborn.[15] Soon, they met a Russian attack, but were able to help successfully repel it. Within a matter of hours, the Russians were overwhelmed and withdrew from the wrecked town.[16]

In March 1952, Hozzel, Bachman, and Mehlen 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.[17] Hozzel was killed in an engagement between Soviet T-54s and Sherman tanks commanded by Germans.[18] Mehlen did not mourn Hozzel much.

Mehlen was not particularly sympathetic when word came that the Soviets had successfully atom bombed Washington, DC, figuring that the Americans had plenty of resources left; he cared about Germany, no one else. Bachman, with whom Mehlen maintained a close if not exactly friendly relationship, was not so dogmatic about the situation.[19] The two found themselves fighting in Liebenau in May, 1952,[20] then advanced to Arnsberg, where the Soviets were dug in hard.[21] In the end, though, Arnsberg didn't have to fall: the Treaty of Versailles ended the war in July, 1952. Mehlen and Bachman instead watched Soviet troops evacuate unmolested. If Mehlen had his way, the Germans would still be slaughtering the Soviets. For that matter, Mehlen was still convinced the world should have followed Hitler during World War II. Bachman listened to Mehlen's rant, then pointed out how things had actually gone.[22]

With the ceasefire holding, Mehlen was given the task of sweeping for mines in the regions the Soviets had occupied.[23] He began to wonder what he'd do after he was mustered out, remembering how frustrated he'd become during peace time. In the end, it didn't matter, as in a moment of carelessness, Mehlen inadvertently triggered a 1945-vintage bounding mine, which killed him.[24]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Fallout, loc. 6821, ebook.
  2. Armistice, pg. 11, ebook.
  3. Bombs Away, pgs. 248-249.
  4. Ibid. pgs. 250-251.
  5. Ibid. pg. 304.
  6. Ibid., pg. 300-302.
  7. Ibid. pgs. 349-353.
  8. Ibid., pgs. 410-414.
  9. Fallout, loc 396-456., ebook.
  10. Ibid., loc., 925-1002.
  11. Ibid., loc. 1691-1720.
  12. Ibid., loc. 1735.
  13. Ibid., loc. 1751.
  14. Loc. 2632-2703.
  15. Ibid., loc. 4745-4768.
  16. Ibid., loc. 4780-4815
  17. Ibid., loc. 5446-5505.
  18. Ibid., loc. 5783-5842.
  19. Ibid., loc. 6821-6897.
  20. Armistice, pgs 11-14, ebook; pgs. 54-57.
  21. Ibid., pgs. 113-117.
  22. Ibid., pg. 171-174.
  23. Ibid., pg. 207-210.
  24. Ibid. pgs. 261-264.
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