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 The Devil's Crusaders

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Hilly KCMG

Posts : 5650
Member Since : 2010-05-13
Location : Buckinghamshire

PostSubject: The Devil's Crusaders   Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:59 am

God alone knows why (as Barry Foster intoned in Battle of Britain) I'm bringing this back. The other week I wanted to write a Blitz story and thought about re-writing Devil's Crusaders. It was one of the...lemme see...5 Bond in WWII stories I did on MI6. I did intend on doing 'Ultimate Editions' for each one like I did Lazenby in DAF to smarten some things.
Alas it's dire probably and who cares, this might die like "Mask of Gold". Imagine who you will despite my 'casting',




“The Devil’s Crusaders”


Based upon Ian Fleming’s James Bond, upon the James Bond World War Two adventures by muggings…

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside
John F. Kennedy


Crescent Bay, Northeast Scotland
(around twenty miles south of Wick)
September 7, 1940

This was going to be the most idiotic of enterprises. This was going to be a likely waste of time with no reward for those who mattered.
James Bond pressed his right eye to the telescopic sight of his modified Enfield rifle taking in the well named Crescent Bay before sweeping his gaze out to sea. It was bloody cold, the grass did little beneath him nor did the pullover he wore over his army battledress. He felt twice as foolish with the woolly cap pulled close to his black eyebrows. He pulled back from the scope breathing out, in turn letting out a cloud of vapour.
“Don’t think he’s coming.”
Lieutenant-Commander Jonathan McKnight RNVR said nothing pressed low to the grass as he was binoculars focused on the sea.
“I said I don’t think he’s coming.”
“I heard you old man,” came the grunted response. “Perhaps Scotland is not quite where Germans like to be right now.”
“I wonder where they would like to be,” muttered Bond sarcastically. “It’s bad enough being on invasion alert without doing this.”
“Next time you complain about a lack of assignment…,” McKnight left the line unfinished. Bond had come a long way since joining the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. He had been recruited in the early part of 1940 by Admiral Charles Hardy of the Operational Intelligence Centre (OIC) in the Admiralty. The OIC though tasked with plotting the naval war against the enemy would also use covert operations to take the fight to the enemy much like the other top secret organisations that made up one unspoken side of the British fight.
Bond’s first mission had been to parachute into France ahead of the advancing Panzers to slow them down long enough to allow the evacuation of as much members of the Expeditionary Force as possible. Faced with treachery from within Bond had managed as best as he could even if in the end fortitude –Hitler’s Halt Order- had helped almost 340,000 men (including French, Poles etc) off the beaches. After Dunkirk Bond was recruited with Hardy’s permission by Colin Gubbins of MI(R) who was needing people to help train ‘everymen’ for a British Resistance if invasion came.
No invasion had come, yet. Bond suspected there would never be an invasion hence why he was in the north.
McKnight twitched lifting his head up a little. “Is that…?”
Bond took the binoculars and peered through them. Roughly where McKnight pointed he saw amongst the currents a frothing patch of water that did not match the other patterns around exposed rocks. Within seconds a Type IXC U-Boat had broached the surface water cascading down its steel-grey casing. Almost immediately men were on deck priming the guns as well as standing atop the conning tower. Bond stood handing back his binoculars. “Alright, old man this is it.”
“You know the drill, James. No risks.”
“No fun in that is there?” Bond said then was heading for a grassy path that ran down from the clifftop. He went as fast as he dared until he reached the beach then took off his backpack reaching inside he began to pull and pull hand over hand a yellow rubbery object. Once out the object inflated by a simple pull of a card. Bond lifted the dirigible over his head and jogged into the shallows before plumping the dirigible down and jumping inside. From a small canvas bag that had been inside the inflatable he took out two foldable oars and began to row against the waves knowing that he was being watched both by the Germans and the man atop the Cliffside. In theory McKnight would have his snipers rifle trained in on the German gun crew.
It took Bond five minutes to row out to the U-Boat his craft steadied by two men who smelt as if they had not been washed in weeks. Judging by their unwashed, heavily bearded faces, this might well have been the case. Bond clambered onto the casing with his canvas bag that was bulky and about the size of a golf-bag.
“Hello, Acne Fisheries. We were wondering if you needed any literature and equipment on the great fishing we have to offer in Scotland.”
One man atop the conning tower whose beard was flecked grey spoke in a hoarse Rhineland accent.
“British humour is not often appreciated on this boat. Herr Cracken.”
“McCracken,” Bond corrected thinking –not that it matters soon. “You are Schultz?”
“Indeed. The password is ‘In the grey autumn sky the…’”
“… ‘swallow flies east for the shelter of its home.’”
“Codewords are stupid,” Kapitan Schultz said descending from the tower he was soon before Bond. “The bag?”
“Here. Enough codebooks and such to keep your lot happy for months.”
“You are sure these are correct?”
“As of today.”
“Good,” Schultz tossed the bag to one of his seamen not catching Bond’s wince. When he turned back he smiled. “You have been a great aid Herr McCracken. There will be some glad back home that some Britons can see the light.”
“I’m an opportunist.”
“I see,” Schultz’s face darkened. “I am a realist, you may leave my boat.”
“Shame, I was hopeful for some schnapps.”
Bond did not need to be encouraged by two of the seamen as they advanced on him. He managed to get back into his dirigible and began to row as if his life depended on it. Schultz called after him.
“Careful on the current, McCracken!”
“Careful yourself, chum!”
Just as Bond opened a gap of about thirty feet there was a tremendous rumble from within the U-Boat. Abruptly its backed snapped just after of the conning tower with flame gushing into the air. Men on deck were thrown into the water just before the torpedoes and fuel went up like violently. Seconds had passed leaving floating debris and the odd body. Bond kept rowing his face feeling raw from the heat that had exploded out from the U-Boat. McKnight was on the beach helping him get ashore.
“A chap should know the risks before serving on a submarine,” Bond muttered.
“OIC will be happy that the Germans won’t get any more secrets. That McGuigan in Wandsworth won’t be happy.”
“He’s a traitor as it is,” Bond looked back at the debris field. “Team en route?”
“Yep. If anyone asks it was an accident or something. MI5 have got it covered.”
“Nice of them.”
They left the scene to fetch their bicycles from the cliff-top. Making sure they had everything the pair cycled to their temporary headquarters where Colonel Eustace Maxwell- current head of the Scottish branch of the resistance- waited. He looked pensive when the pair walked into the lounge where he was sat.
“Gentlemen, good job on your mission.”
“Thank you sir,” said Bond feeling quite beat. He noted Maxwell’s expression adding nothing.
“London was bombed earlier today and again as we speak. The Luftwaffe have sent in their biggest wave of planes so far.”
“God,” whispered McKnight glancing at Bond. “They’re going for the population at last.”
“It’ll buy the RAF some time to fight back,” Maxwell said. “It also means that invasion likely won’t happen this side of the New Year. Intelligence is sketchy but I can’t see Hitler gaining superiority in the air by bombing London.”
“Orders sir?” Bond asked sensing that there would be some relevant to himself and McKnight.
“Return to OIC. I thank you on behalf of Gubbins and myself. The gameplay has now changed. Best of luck to you.”
Later that night Bond and McKnight left Edinburgh on a fast train to London bracing themselves for the carnage that lay there.


Gregory Peck

Kenneth More

Honor Blackman
Dana Wynter

And James Robertson Justice as Admiral Charles Hardy, OIC

Following on from: On His Majesty’s Service

Preceding: “The Lasting Storm”, “Above All, Courage” and "Where Angels Fear"

With great apologies to the usual suspects.


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