It is late afternoon when the party members awake. As they come around, then can hear that Vaclav and Father Cerny are still arguing with one another in Czech.
They stop when they see that the newcomers are now awake and invite them to come and eat and drink with them.
Vaclav starts off the conversation:
“As I am sure you are all aware, getting in and out of the castle is going to be a far from easy exercise. Castle Karlstein has never fallen to attack – not even when whole armies tried assaulting it in olden times. You have now met all of the resistance members who can be of assistance in this exercise – myself, plus my ten comrades, plus the six of you.”
“And Father Cerny,” he adds with a sigh.
“So there are 18 of us in total. We are up against something like 80-120 Wehrmacht and 10 SS, plus their officers and so we are outnumbers by somewhere in the region of eight to one. And of course they are all occupying excellent defensive positions from ramparts through the castle, which is built on several different levels so, no matter how far we advance, they would always have an elevated position.”
“So a direct assault is most certainly doomed to failure,” Piotr says.
“Correct,” nods Vaclav. “Totally out of the question.”
“So our only chance would be to come up with a plan based around stealth and/or deception,” Piotr continues.
“This is what we believe, yes,” Vaclav agrees.
“Do you know of anything that could help to get us inside without being seen or deceive them in some way?” Piotr asks. “Any secret tunnels in that the Nazis don’t know about?”
“No secret tunnels, I’m afraid,” Vaclav says with a shake of the head. “That would make it nice and easy.”
“We do have just one advantage. One other member of our resistance is a very charming and attractive girl by the name of Helena Svobodova. She is the daughter of the grocer in Karlstein village. The Kommandant of the Castle garrison, Hauptmann Manfred Kratz, is very fond of her and is constantly attempting to woo her, which puts her in a very useful position as she has her wrapped around her little finger … well, to a certain extent. She goes up to the Castle most days to bring special deliveries to the Kommandant and spends a lot of time with him. All of the troops in the Castle know of the Kommandant’s feelings for her and so know not to obstruct her. As a result, she is never stopped going in or out of the castle and is free to come and go as she pleases wherever she wants to go.”
Vaclav sighs deeply.
“This is the only trump card we have, I’m afraid.”
“Any suggestions as to how we can get inside?”
We hire one of them new-dangled helochopper things and launch ourselves from it wearing these cool pink bat suits that let you fly," Bob suggests. "We swoop into the courtyard guns blazing…what? Hey, it’ll work! Oh, all right, let’s use the girl.”
“That would certainly be convenient if we were able to drop from the sky into the castle,” agrees Vaclav with a smile. “Unfortunately though, it is a bit beyond our resources.”
“So the girl – Helena – how do you think we can best use her position in order to help us accomplish the mission?”
“Well, maybe if she could set up a distraction? A fire? Would the local fire brigade respond to that? If they did, we could pass as firefighters to gain entry,” asks Terry.
“Hmmmmmmm,” ponders Vaclav as he consider the idea.
It seems like an eternity before he speaks, obviously mulling over the chances of the success of such a plan.
“The nearest fire station to Karlstein is in Beroun, which is ten miles away along some very hilly roads,” he finally says. “So it would take them no less than half an hour to get to the Castle.”
“A team of fire fighters would probably only consist of half a dozen old men whereas there are maybe 100 fit young soldiers garrisoned at the Castle. So the arrival of the fire fighting team half an hour later probably wouldn’t make a lot of difference, so there is a good chance that the Kommandant wouldn’t call them up.”
“Saying that, however, if flames were licking around the castle, the gate guards would probably not check whether they were called or not.”
He pauses for a moment before resuming.
“It would be a risky strategy for sure,” he resumes. “Too great a fire and we could end up incinerating the very people that we are trying to rescue. If it’s too easy to put out, then the gate guards will simply turn the fire truck around and tell them to go back – and the garrison will have been stirred up like a hornet’s nest in the process.”
“Still, it’s a plan at least – there’s more chance of our getting in that way than simply walking up to the gate and asking them nicely if we can come in.”
“I think we all need to speak with Helena directly if she is going to be the key to getting us in,” he continues. “It will be too late for us to meet with us today as she wouldn’t be able to get here and back before curfew. We should be able to meet with her tomorrow though.”
After all of the fighting and walking of the past three days, taking it easy for a while certainly has its appeal to the party members and so they agree to take the rest of the day off. They spend the rest of the evening chatting with the resistance members before getting some more rest.