A Ford Mk1 rangekeeper computer? And fallschirmjager? Whenever round 2 happens, there's going to be some surprises for the enemies of the German Empire.
Part 7 Chapter 52
Chapter Fifty-Two

20th March, 1922

Wunsdorf-Zossen, Germany

Manfred von Richthofen had insisted that Emil give a full briefing to the Luftwaffe High Command about his development of the first companies of what was hoped would one day become the nucleus of the 1st Fallschirm-Jäger Division. Once it had become clear that they were light infantry it had made things a lot easier. Them recruiting amongst the troops of the Heer brought some hard feelings but who cared what they thought, Emil sure didn’t. Emil himself had nearly gotten into a fight with a Major from one of the Alpine Regiments, a Swabian whose name he couldn’t remember who hadn’t cared for Emil luring his men off with the promise of adventure and rapid advancement. They were almost up to the strength of a single Regiment. Pretty good considering that there’d been nothing just a year before.

Emil had finally gotten promoted to Hauptmann after six years, albeit he’d been out of the military for a good chunk of that time. He’d managed to prove the concept of Parachute Infantry during exercises the prior Autumn. His company, acting as a hypothetical enemy had managed to inflict some surprises in their opponent’s rear area. While the Luftwaffe’s High Command had been less than thrilled that it had all columnated in a one-way decapitation strike on the “enemy” command center. They had agreed that they’d given far better than they got. That had also been about the time that Emil was placed under the command of Oberstlieutenant Kurt Student and given orders for rapid expansion.

He still felt strange walking through military settings wearing the blue uniform of the Luftwaffe. Still it was less alien to him than the green uniforms the Fallschirmjäger wore in the field. He noticed a strange buzzing in the air as he passed through the halls devoted to the blizzard of paperwork generated by the Luftwaffe. The word “Poland” was being thrown around a lot. As it turned out Emil would not give the presentation he’d prepared. Ready or not, the Luftwaffe and the single understrength Fallschirmjäger Regiment they had were going to war along with the rest of the German Empire.

Jena, Germany

Lang arrived at the emergency meeting of the Democratic Socialists with it in full crisis. This mostly involved a whole lot of yelling. When Poland had been declared a politically independent nation a year earlier it had created a new crisis. The new Polish government had tried to claim borders that were as far east as they could get away with. Leon Trotsky had taken advantage of this to attempt to reopen the negotiations that had supposedly formally ended the last war. This had the potential to split the political Left in the German Empire just as they starting to gain headway. Maintaining the appearance of supporting one’s country while a substantial percentage of your own people supported the Soviet Union as it consolidated itself was going to be a ticklish undertaking.

In transit, East Prussia, Germany

Soldat Peter Holz had actually followed his brother’s advice and opted to become a field medic. He’d witnessed Emil thrash around in his sleep too many times to count, apologizing to someone. Not that Emil would ever talk about it in daylight but seeing his brother’s haunted expression across the breakfast table had shown that Emil’s adventures had not been without cost.

Not that the Regiment had expected much from Peter. He was the brother of someone who had consorted with traitors and political radicals. It wasn’t until he’d been assigned to a Mechanized Company that he’d learned that Hauptfeldwebel Horst had served with Emil in Verdun and the Marne and not everyone had hard memories. Now he was on a train that was going to take them across the old frontier into Poland. They’re instructions were to deploy in support of Polish troops and not to fraternize with the locals. They might be there to defend Poland but that did not mean that the people there were under any obligation to like them.

On a different part of the same train Generallieutenant Manfred von Wolvogle sat staring out at the night shrouded country side. After his little stunt of going off to take a piss the year before had enabled a peaceful unwinding of the protests that had engulfed Berlin it had turned out that the Emperor had been amused and few else. It had reached him by back channels that the High Command was just itching for an excuse to stomp him flat. The mark he’d made upon the Heer they’d never be able erase. The new generation of cavalry troopers he’d almost singlehandedly brought into the world had done more than just started wearing an updated version of the black uniform he wore, it was the attitude and he hoped that it would give those Berlin pencil pushers headaches for decades after he was gone.

Wolvogle could feel in his bones that Poland was going to be his last show. He intended to make it a good one.

Abwehr Cryptography Dept., Wunsdorf-Zossen, Germany

Jacob had once heard it said that nations didn’t have friends but interests. What he was hearing from wire intercepts from the French and Royal Navy seemed to be a reflection of that. It seemed that the British Empire was taking a position that amounted to “Wait and see” when it came to the escalating crisis in Poland. The French, who would wish every sort of biblical plague upon the German Empire on a normal day, seemed to have taken a similar attitude. Besides that, something about the outcome of the last war had soured the French on their American allies, they were looking for other options but hadn’t thought of anything acceptable to them yet. At the moment, Germany had the support Italy as well as several of the nations in the Balkan Peninsula including Romania and Greece. Jacob suspected that the Greeks were doing this in hopes that it would help prevent Germany taking the Turks side if they Turks every made a renewed attempt to get Constantinople back.

Whatever this was that was happening it felt very different than 1914 had.
Part 7 Chapter 53
Chapter Fifty-Three

22nd March, 1922

Outside Warsaw, Poland

Such wonderful places that you end up when you are in the Army. Horst thought to himself as he looked over the Company bivouac, a cleared space on the edge of what looked like it would be a cabbage field in another month or so. The younger Holz brother was walking down the column of Panzers under their camouflage netting. Emil had asked him to keep an eye on Peter. Not that it had taken much effort on Horst’s part to get assigned as the Platoon’s medic in his squad, Emil had cast a long shadow, good and bad. Horst hadn’t done out of the goodness of his heart, word was that Emil was in his current position because he’d somehow entered the orbit of some very heavy hitters in the Luftwaffe. Having Emil owe him one was something worth having in the future. If the kid brother was anything like Emil, then he’d be worth having around.

“Is it always like this, Spear?” Peter asked as he trudged through the slushy mud.

“Just until the shooting starts” Horst said “Then you’ll think back to these days and long for the paradise that was lost.”

“But is it always wet and cold?”

“No” Horst answered “When it’s hot there’s the dust and flies.”

With that Peter trudged off in search of what Horst had assumed was breakfast. Another innocent learning that the world was not such a nice place, Horst thought to himself. He saw a new batch of them with every new group of recruits that came through his Company. Hopefully they learned something before they got sent back to their interrupted lives. It had come as no surprise to Horst that Peter had volunteered to be a medic on his brother’s advice. If the Russians didn’t back down and it became a shooting war, Peter would come out the other side with his conscience not only clean but with the knowledge that he’d probably saved hundreds of lives. That is if he survived. Horst decided that he need to see what he could do to put his thumb on that scale.

“Hey Kid!” He yelled at Peter “Did your brother ever tell you the most important thing for a Soldat to do in the field?”

“To always listen to the squad leader” Peter said “He told me about that.”

“Good, it means that you aren’t a total waste of space” Horst said “Here are some other things you ought to know…”

Airfield Near Pruszków, Poland, JG-1, JG-3, Schlasta 13, Schlasta 21, 1st Fallschirmjäger Reg.

The brilliant scarlet red Albatros D.XVI biplane of Jasta 11 stood out from the otherwise drab surroundings as Emil walked across the tarmac. It was the warplane that had rendered every other plane before obsolete. With the V-12 engine it could outrun everything else in the air. If anything could keep up with it the pair of 13mm machine guns would soon make them wish they hadn’t. This was Oberst von Richthofen’s personal ride. Albatros and Mercedes took great pains to ensure that JG-1 had the latest and greatest, wherever they may be. Manfred was currently seated in the cockpit as a team of mechanics worked on the engine and calibrating the machine guns to the reflector sight to his exact preferences.

“The thing I love about the plane is that is has all the strengths of the D.V but none of the structural problems” Manfred said as soon Emil came into earshot.

“What was the problem with the D.V?” Emil asked, he assumed that the D.V was another airplane.

“It had only a single spar in the lower wing” Manfred said “It twisted in dives and turns, it nearly got me killed once.”

“You still flew it after that?”

“Hell no, I flew a Fokker Triplane towards the end of the war but those were declared obsolete as soon as the shooting stopped, too slow and we made habit of swapping out our engines for British made ones.”

“The Brass saw that as a problem?” Emil asked.

“The blockade had a horrible effect on the company that made rotary radials” Manfred said.

“You intend to keep flying?” Emil asked hoping to change the subject before Manfred launched into something long winded, technical and in a subject that Emil knew nothing about. Just the other night Manfred and Wolfram von Richthofen had gotten into an intense debate about something called the Venturi effect and how that played out on the wings and control surfaces of their airplanes. Emil might have said that it might as well have been in Greek to him. But he figured that with his barely passing Greek in University he stood a better chance if it had actually been in Greek.

“I’ll fly for as long as they let me” Manfred said with seemingly no thought involved “I got 71 kills in the last war and I’ll be damned before I let one of the upstarts pass me up.”

“That’s probably going to happen sooner or later” Emil said.

“Yes” Manfred said “Hopefully not until later, much later.”

Emil stood there for a long moment marveling at the complexity of the 12-cylinder engine.

“This is the hardest part” Manfred said “The wait before the war really starts.”

“I don’t mind waiting” Emil said, it beat the tar out of prospect of being dropped at some point along the Russian advance and holding until relieved or overrun, which were the most likely set of orders.

“You’re a far more patent man than I am.” Manfred said “Must come from seeing the world largely on foot, I’ve only seen it from an airplane or from the back of a horse.”

Emil could have told him that it came from seeing hundreds die over a few meters of worthless land in the Meuse Heights on any given day in the first 6 months of the Battle of Verdun. But that wasn’t a fight that he wanted to have with Manfred. He actually considered the aristocratic Oberst a friend in spite of their obvious differences.
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Catching up and damn things are back in the shite. War in Poland with the Soviets, though this time WITH the Polish. How much will the Balken countries contribute or will they just stay supportive?

The group continues to revolve each other, though not quite together. Emil got his promotion and may get some new medals and possible nightmare experiences.

Looking forward to see what happens and what France may do down the road.
Just read the whole story last night, outstanding. It's a good thing I found this on a weekend because I couldn't put the tablet down till I finished at seven this morning.
Part 7 Chapter 54
Chapter Fifty-Four

1st April, 1922

Belarus-Polish frontier, near Vawkavysk.

Rumors had it that there were over a million Russian troops massed on the far side of the border, facing them were 750 thousand Poles backed by a further 250 thousand German troops largely from the 2nd Army at its peacetime strength including several of the new elite Panzer Divisions. The bulk of the German forces were concentrated in the Baltic States, a fact that would cause some bitterness in the following years. There was also the promise that the German Government would mobilize the vast reserves of the Army but that would take time.

On the 1st of April, as the sun rose over Eastern Poland, time ran out. Thousands of artillery pieces opened up along the frontier.

Warsaw, Poland

Jan Kowalewski walked through the Polish General Staff, he’d known when the Russian offensive was due to start and he also knew something else, this whole war had everything to do with a pissing match between different factions within the Soviets. The only truly shocking part was that when he’d broken the Russian encryption was the message he’d received in the exact same cypher minutes later. When you get a chance, you need to come to W-Z. I’ll show you around, it will be so much fun. Sincerely J.S.

Jan had no idea who this J.S. was but the existence of the Polish Cipher Bureau was supposed to be secret, even from their German “Allies”. It was obvious where W-Z was, the Germans had been reading everyone’s mail. Quite a turn on things from a few years ago, now it was a question as to finding out just how much they really knew. He had been working on the German military code but Jan had a feeling that this J.S. knew about that too. In the meantime, he was spreading the word to be cautious about what got put out over the radios, a good idea anyway. And Jan was looking forward to a trip to Wunsdorf to meet J.S.

7000 meters over Eastern Poland

Oberst von Richthofen was leading a patrol and it was glorious. The last few years had mostly involved him being trapped behind a desk, pure Hell. Now he was back where he belonged.

There were five other planes in this formation, all Jasta 11. Almost all the other pilots being a decade Manfred’s junior had been almost as much of an unpleasant surprise as their awestruck hero worship. While these Pups would learn that the old wolf wasn’t a god they’d also learn that underestimating him was a bad call. Manfred smiled as black dots appeared in the distance. The Russians had come out to play and he had the altitude advantage.

As the Russian planes grew closer Manfred could see that were green, with red markings. He could also see that they were Nieuport-Delange NiD 29s, if they were not of French origin then the French must have sold the license to the Russian State. Probably cackling the whole time with the thought that they’d eventually get used against the German Empire, Manfred thought.

When the Russian planes were passing a kilometer away and a few hundred meters below he saw them break, scrambling for altitude in an attempt to meet the oncoming attack. It was an amateurish mistake they would pay a heavy price for. They should be diving for friendly lines right now.

Manfred rolled into a dive and the other planes of Jasta 11 followed. What he and Lothar had thought up years earlier, the idea of them fighting as a pair had been formalized. It was eerie to an extent, every time he flew with a Jasta from JS-1 it was as if he flew with Lothar’s ghost. Manfred smiled at the thought. Lothar never could resist a fight.

They flashed through the Russian formation. Manfred centered a Russian in the two glowing white circles of the reflector gunsight. A major improvement on the days when he’d flown an Albatros D.II and used the oil cap as a gunsight. A single burst of 13mm bullets sent the Red spiraling out of control and trailing smoke. As they pulled out of the dive and started to recover altitude Manfred saw that of the original seven Reds, only three still flew. He also saw that there was a dozen more Reds closing in the distance. He pulled the flare gun out and fired off a white flare. It was time to head for home.

While it may run contrary to how the popular press loved to depict these air battles there was a reason why the massive dogfights seldom happened. It was a numbers game, they took down their team while avoiding losses on theirs. They had just gotten four Reds at no cost. Manfred would take that.

Now if only the Luftwaffe would just come up with a Voice Over Radio set small enough to fit into a Scout then Manfred could really make these Reds scream.

5th April, 1922

German 2nd Army Headquarters, Warsaw, Poland

Emil stood looking at the situation board with the other Company commanders of the 1st Regiment. Any second now he expected to get orders it was just a matter of where and when. In spite of the best efforts of the Polish Army, the Russians were just steamrolling them, grinding towards Warsaw. The Poles he encountered all had the same question, why the Hell are the Germans sitting on their hands? Emil didn’t have an answer for that.

“They are waiting for the right moment to join the fight” Johan Schultz had told him. Surprisingly the big Oberfeldwebel had joined the Fallschirmjäger, he’d grown rich and bored working for von Richthofen. He said that if he didn’t find something else to do he’d just get fat and his wife would hate that. Anyone who’d ever seen Schultz fire a MG16-21 from the hip couldn’t imagine that happening. The presence of Schultz also meant that Emil had no discipline problems in his Company. None of the usual troublemakers dared after they saw Schultz crush a walnut in his fist on the first day.

Emil saw Oberst saw Oberst Student come walking out of the meeting with the Generals. “Gather your men, briefing is in one hour” He said. They were about to join the fight.
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And the Russo-Polish War begins. Richthofen continues to get his crews to follow his tactics and it will win them many victories. Emil and his men are about to be deployed and the world will get to see how well it works for them. Jacob continues to hone his art and skills, and is aiding Poland.

The tidbit of the resentment against the Germans may come back to haunt them in the future. Or at least cause them to suffer when they need not have.
Very good chapter we are going to see how this war turns out, but if Germany mobilizes its army I do not see how Russia can win.
This was thrillingand well written as always, but I feel we are a little short of understanding what this war is all about.
The Soviets would not like to go into a rematch, so I guess its the polish side who exploited this one step to far or caused it?
Its important for the post war german- polish relations how this is perceived. Maybe it could be explained in an intercepted radio Message from the Soviet embassy?
Part 7 Chapter 55
Author’s note; It’s an interesting idea that Emil Holz gets confronted with his past and who he was. Even if it’s being done by someone who in OTL becomes one of the most infamous killers of World War 2. Also, once again the readers have more or less guessed the direction of things, I’m still working from the outline I did in November.

Chapter Fifty-Five

5th April, 1922

Pruszków Airfield, Poland

Johan was feeling more than a little apprehension. Years after he’d finagled his way out of the trenches here he was right back, just because he’d gotten bored. At least there wasn’t the prospect of the mud in Flanders and endless digging in what was essentially a swamp. Helga had loved him getting out all the training and drilling had him in the best shape he’d been in since he’d gotten back from the Olympics. Leaving her and the kids in Nuremburg with Helga’s mother hadn’t gone over so well. But for their sakes and his he needed to put them out of his head and focus on the task at hand.

It was when he was supervising the men in packing the parachutes when he noticed a familiar figure slinking past. He reached out and grabbed the young man in a vicelike grip “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE!” He snarled.

“I can explain” Erwin Thorwald said.

“This had better be good” Schultz said “And that uniform had better not be fake.”

Thorwald was wearing the field uniform of a Luftwaffe Soldat. “It’s not” Thorwald said “They’ll take you if you're 16”

“16, my ass” Schultz said “And seldom the likes of you. Do you need me to remind you of who your father is? Do you have any idea what he’d have done to me if something happened to you?”

“My father wouldn’t have anything done to you” Thorwald said.

“No” Schultz said “He’d pay someone to.”

Thorwald shrugged “Granted.”

“I don’t think you're taking this seriously enough” Schultz said walking down the flight line dragging Thorwald behind him.

Emil had just come from the briefing with a stack of copies of the area of operations for the Regiment thinking about the million or so things to do before their scheduled departure in a few hours. That was when he heard shouting and saw Schultz dragging a very reluctant Soldat behind him. What new mess was this?

“I found him hiding in a different Company, Herr Hauptmann” Schultz said.

“And why was he hiding?” Emil asked.

“Because I know he ran away from his Military Academy to come here” Schultz said “And then there’s this.” Schultz handed Emil what he presumed was the young man’s weapon. It had started out life as a Mauser G98, that much was clear but someone had put in a lot of very expensive work on it. Including the fittings for the claw mount employed for a Zeiss rifle scope.

“Is that what I think it is?” Emil asked.

“Yes, it is” Schultz said “I met him a couple of years ago, at the Olympics. He was in the shooting competition, lying his head off to recruiters should have been his specialty.”

“Leave us, Oberfeld” Emil said.

“Sir…” Schultz said turning on his heel and walking out.

“I’ve a lot do and not much time to do it in” Emil said “Give me one good reason why I should not hand you over to the MPs and get on with my day.”

“I just want to help out, Sir.”

“By taking one of the most dangerous jobs imaginable” Emil said “Are you aware of what happens to our snipers if they get caught, we find them in pieces.”

“It’s what I’m good at, Sir” Thorwald said “And you did the same thing didn’t you?”

That hung in the air between them, for a very long moment.

Emil was finally being confronted with what he regarded as the biggest blunder in his life. “Yes” Emil said “And there was a very heavy price to be paid for doing that. You should go back to your academy…”

“No, Sir” Thorwald said “I’ve come too far for that already, I just want to do my bit.”

What would have become of him had Horst turned him in way back in Verdun? Could he have gone back to Jena and pretended nothing had happened?

“How long until your birthday?” Emil asked.

Thorwald shrugged “I don’t know, a few weeks.”

That was probably horseshit, it would only take a phone call for Emil to find out. He needed to make a decision on this matter, one he could live with.

“The entire Regiment has done a lot of movement lately and it will probably be a few weeks before the paperwork catches up” Emil said “When it does we’ll sort this out, am I clear.”

Thorwald looked visibly relieved “Thank you, Sir” He said.

“Don’t thank me yet” Emil said “You are to be glued to Schultz’s hip until we work this out and no heroics. Understood.”

“Understood, Sir.”

Abwehr Cryptography Department, Wunsdorf-Zossen, Germany

Why do wars start? Jacob mused to himself. He was seated in his office listening to the radio chatter of the Russian Embassy in Berlin. Someone had kicked over that hornet’s nest. They had found themselves suddenly in a war with no time to withdraw nonessential staff or dependents. The German Regiment camped outside had the place sealed tight as a drum.

The Poles had made a territorial grab right as the internal politics of the Soviet Union were heating up. Vladimir Lenin was rumored to be in poor health due to a gunshot he’d received in 1918. Trotsky had been forced to respond in what he had to know was an unwinnable war. His rival, the self-styled man of Steel was also in the thick of this mess. There had been a time when Jacob had found the silence from Russia to be ominous, now he realized that it had been a luxury. The situation in Russia seemed to be there to bedevil the German Empire for the foreseeable future.

On a happy note, Jacob had made contact with that Polish Cryptologist. He hoped the man would understand his vision, he could use the help.
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Part 7 Chapter 56
Chapter Fifty-Six

6th April, 1922

Pruszków Airfield, Poland

It was under flood lights in the early morning hours that they were boarding the Gotha Transports. Emil took what must have been the thousandth look at the laminated map. It was very vague, they were supposed to have their landing zone in fields north of a major river crossing and town. The map didn’t give the name of the town or river just the direction north, maddening security. They were supposed to secure the crossing and hold the town until they were relieved, no more than a day or so. It seemed simple enough but amount of machine gun ammunition and mortar shells that were going to be dropped in behind them told a different story.

The men were lined up boarding the transports, they to try to cram a platoon on to each plane. They had discovered that it was possible but they really were packed in. To the point where jokes were made about it being like the clown car at the circus.

There was one thing that they had decided that they didn’t need to worry about. As Emil heard the 2 D.IV engines turn over he gave Schultz a nod. The Oberfeld yanked the ripcord on Thorwald’s parachute and watched as the kid was dragged through the weeds on the edge of the tarmac, helpless in the prop wash. The only thing that would be hurt would be his dignity, Emil had arranged to have the commander of the airfield’s security sit on Thorwald until they got back, whenever that was. Some of the men were laughing at the spectacle, that was life and this was rough business. Schultz caught Emil’s eye and nodded, satisfied with how things had worked out.

Eventually it came Emil’s time to board, he’d waited until almost last for the simple reason of sitting closest to the door meant that he’d not have to smell farts and the aftermath of someone getting sick.

One by one the Gotha Transports took off. Heading south-east in the predawn darkness.

Outside Warsaw, Poland

Horst snapped awake. He could hear engines turning over and voices. This seemed to be bigger than usual. That was when Peter shoved his head into Horst’s tent.

“Hauptmann’s looking for you, Spear” Peter said.

“He says what it’s about?” Horst asked through a throat that felt like it was stuffed full of cotton balls.

“No” Peter said “He just said to get you.” Then Peter disappeared.

Horst swung his feet off his cot. When his bare feet hit the canvass ground cloth, he was reminded that this was the life he’d chose for himself. He sat there for a long moment his head in his hands trying to shake the cobwebs out of his head. Priorities, he thought. Socks, boots, coffee. That order, anyone who dared to interrupt that would die.

Peter was sort of excited by the prospect of what was in the offing as he walked down the line of tents. He’d heard in the infirmary when he’d gone to pick up supplies that morning that they were finally moving out. They had spent prior week’s doing what was called goodwill work. What that amounted to was providing free labor for the farmers whose fields they were camping out in. Any ditch they wanted dug, anything they needed repaired, take care of it. A Panzer had probably provided the seasons entertainment in this neighborhood when it’d made short work of a tree stump. Peter himself had spent time assisting the field surgeons as they worked throughout the local villages. Many of these people had never seen an actual Doctor in their lives. He’d never considered his life to be particularly sheltered. The son of a tradesman, his family wasn’t what he’d call rich, but their house in Jena was the lap of luxury compared to much of what he saw.

Horst came walking the other direction, yelling at someone.

“Get your gear packed, Holz” Horst said “We really are moving out this time.”

Peter could see that in Horst’s wake that tents were already being taken down.

North of Pulawy, Poland

It was unlike anything that had ever been seen in this part of Eastern Poland. What looked like what must be hundreds of airplanes. Then figures started dropping out of them and white silk parachutes filled the sky. An awestruck farmer stood watching when one of the soldiers(?) landed near him.

Schultz looked at the farmer and said “Take your family and head west, the war has come here.”

Emil stood a hundred or so meters away he’d closely followed Schultz out the door. Already the sound of the engines was fading as the Gotha Transports went back north. The Regiment was scattered over several square kilometers. Better than they’d done in field exercises back in Germany.

“Gather the men, Oberfeld!” Emil yelled at Schultz as he unslung the Bergmann gun and worked the bolt. They knew the mission to this extent. The plan was that the landing would go unopposed, so far that had panned out. Now they just needed to follow the railroad tracks south to the town.

Wunsdorf-Zossen, Germany

Jacob sat listening to the radio messages from his office. He formed a mental picture in his head of the events as they happened on the ground. The Luftwaffe had just taken the city of Pulawy and radioed in that they were digging in. They had discovered that the rail crossing was further north of the town then anticipated and were requesting instructions. The 2nd Army had emerged from its torpor and was advancing south along the Vistula River. It was a race between the 2nd Army and the lead elements of the Soviet advance which was due to reach the outskirts of Warsaw within a couple days. Intercepts, had suggested that the Soviets intended to take Pulawy first for use as an advanced command post as they besieged Warsaw.

The Luftwaffe had stolen a march on the Soviets, now it was a question if they could hold until the 2nd Army got there.