Escape From Stalag VIIIB

A Narrow Path

November 13th, 1943

Kraggon’s Fjord, just north of Haus, Norway

“Well lads, the radio station is out of commission, the Nazis at the supply depot are all dispatched, we made our way across the narrow passage over the ravine, and here we are, knee deep in snow, following a damn Kraut into what smells like a trap.” muttered Bob.

“You think everything’s a trap.” replied Piotr, laughing, “You even questioned the motives of that dance hall girl who smiled at you the night before we left England.”

“Well, she was awfully suspicious, just coming on to me that way…”

“She’s a dance hall girl. They’re given rations and a stipend to entertain you before you go on missions like this…and you asked her if she had any German ancestors. Sheesh!” interjected Terry from farther along the line of marching soldiers.

As the small band came around a tight corner on the flank of the mountain, the slope on the side of the narrow trail fell away precipitously, opening up on a thousand foot drop.

“All pass carefully, my friends.” said Wulf from the head of the group. “We must be cautious here not to start an avalanche, or the falling snow will carry us down the cliff…”

As each individual man passed the German guide, he reached out a hand to steady them, and to point out the best path over the narrow snowy ledge.

“Don’t you fucking touch me.” snapped Bob as Wulf reached out to him in turn.

“But, I am just trying to assist.”

“Stow it, Corporal.” snapped Taffy from behind Bob. “Wulf, leave him be. If he falls to his bloody death, so be it. Now keep this line moving.” Taffy, wheezing with the exertion of the climb, clutched his bandaged ribs.

“True enough, mates. We need to be at the shrine before the reinforcements catch up with us…” said Bruce, looking pointedly back down the trail they had just climbed.

“Yup, but those demo charges the Sarge placed in the pass should slow them down.” came Terry’s voice as he passed out of sight just around the corner of the trail ahead.

“Yes, but noise make surprise to Germans at shrine impossible.” answered Lodd’s rumble from near the rear of the line.

“Doesn’t matter much anyway.” said Bob, “I’m sure it’s all a trap.”

With only one way to go, both to complete the mission, and to reach the extraction point after they were done, the weary men continued marching up the cliff, though in silence.


Lodd, towards the back, grins broadly and tries his best to stifle a jaunty tune. He knows that if any of his suffering team mates knew he was happy they would turn on him, en mass, and tear him from limb to limb. But he couldn’t help it. He was part of a band of brothers away from confusing civilization and climbing a mountain- of which he was exceptional at. The only thing missing was a snow storm to show how great Gods glory was.

Wait. Was that a snow flake?

A Narrow Path

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