Escape From Stalag VIIIB

Limassol, Cyprus

November 4, 1943

“Goodbye, Petey, I am never going to forget you,” Katherine says, between sobs as she hugs Piotr tightly.

Over her shoulder, the Pole gives the others a cheeky wink and a smirk.

The others look jealously back at him, apart from Bruce, who chuckles heartily at the sight.

“Cobber,” he says to Lodd, “You need to ditch the entrenching tool and get yerself a Szabla. The Sheila’s kind resist a sexy weapon like that.”

Piotr had been the only one of the party members to have had any form of entertainment over the previous three and a half days since they left Romania. Lodd, in particular, had been going stir crazy at being cooped up in a tin can for the majority of the previous month.

And so it was with great relief that they all assembled on the conning tower at Lieutenant Clutterbuck’s invitation to watch Limassol harbour coming into view as the sun set behind them.

Limassol was a pleasant change of scene from all of the chaos from most of their previous destinations. Apart from one or two bomb craters visible, Cyprus’s main port seemed to have been left alone by the war.

“I reckon that we’re due for a bit of R&R after all that,” Bruce says hopefully.

But it is not to be. They have been on the dockside for less than ten minutes before three staff cars and a truck pull up next to them and several officers in naval uniforms get out. The Popoviches seem to be their most pressing concern as they, together with Gorich and Katherine are quickly bundled into a couple of the cars and head off.

As soon as they have been dealt with, the remaining officers marches up to the party members:

“Commodore Boulton,” he says, offering the group a stiff salute. “You are to come with me, if you will. Your superiors seem to need your assistance quite urgently, I have been informed. There’s a Liberator waiting for you at the airstrip.”

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