Assassination, by Joe, of two German agents

tip of a heavy Cossack sabre was near our throats. Natasha’s reaction was quick and full of horror. “And what the hell do you think you are doing, you son of a whore”, she screamed at him. Seeing her NKVD uniform unbalanced the Jerry somewhat, who started apologising profusely. To start with, Natasha was adamant that she would make an official complaint, but I persuaded her not to.

As preparations to meet the New Year were progressing, the temperature dipped even further. It was not unusual for some MI officers to work late into the night and Mr Jan asked the Jerry to check some statements. I planned to wait for him at his billet on his return, but the temperature was so low I had second thoughts, as his dugout was some 200 metres away. Instead, I crept up to MI HQ and looked through a small gap in the Hessian curtains. To my surprise, I saw the German in the company of his pal, another confirmed Jerry infiltrator. I opened the outside door leading to the main corridor quite noisily, shouting, “Coal, where is the fire?” “Here”, shouted the Jerry, opening the door to Mr Jan’s office and leaving it ajar. I quickly got the gun from under my brand new British Army overcoat and walked towards the partly-opened office door. The German was standing next to it with his side to me. I raised the gun and aimed the barrel at his neck.

Holding the sawn off rifle so high, plus the fact that my hands were so cold, did not help when I squeezed the trigger. The kick was so vicious that the gun jumped sharply up, hitting me on the forehead so hard with the sight that it nearly knocked me out. The bullet or blast from the gun shattered the hanging hurricane lamp, which set the room on fire. While rushing outside through the main outside door, I pushed a second round into the breach. The second Jerry followed me very closely screaming in Polish, “ Help, help.” I jumped off the two steps leading to the building, turned and fired from a distance of not more than two feet. The impact of the bullet threw the Jerry backwards into the building and me backwards into a snowdrift.

I jumped up as quickly as I could and ran towards the main camp, leaping head-first into the first dugout, sprawling on the earth floor. Some men were still sitting around the tortoise stove playing cards. They picked me up from the floor. “Jesus, whatever happened to you?” was their reaction, seeing my face covered in blood. I mumbled an

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