BOOK EXCERPT 6:
In this last week, Klaudia and Rosa had been "witness" to two raids already. Each time, Klaudia found it hard to concentrate on her own work, particularly when she heard the controller call out the various stages of the battle. First came, "rendezvous with escort complete," then "target in sight," "attack commenced," "attack complete," "heading home."
But today Klaudia sensed that things were not going well. The Gruppe had taken off just a half-hour earlier to bomb a British convoy. The fighters failed to show up at the rendezvous, and the bombers had continued without escort. Then instead of "target in sight," the controller called out: "English fighters over target!" Everyone in the CC looked over at him. It was perfectly normal for the escort to encounter English fighters, but rarely more than six. For an escort of up to 40 Messerschmitts this hardly called for comment, but without an escort the situation was very different. The decision to press ahead without now seemed foolish.
When the controller called out "attack commenced" shortly afterwards, Klaudia sat biting her lip and hoping no radio contact would interrupt her in the next tense minutes. Rather than "attack complete," however, the controller shouted - more loudly than required - "More Indians!" And almost before they could all turn to stare, he shouted, "Helfritz is hit - down! Air-Sea Rescue!" The latter was shouted across the room at the Radio Operator responsible for liaison to the Luftwaffe's excellent Rescue Service. The next thing he said was: "Pfeiffer's on fire!" Now a murmur swept the CC; one or two of the NCOs jumped up and started to move toward the controller, but Schneider shouted for them to return to their places. Klaudia guiltily turned her attention back to her own duties, absently turning the dial in search of other frequencies that might be alive. But all her nerves strained to hear what the controller would report next.
That again brought a wave of astonished exclamations from the men in the CC. Klaudia gathered from their comments that no one could remember this ever happening before.
At last came the report, "Attack resumed." But the atmosphere in the CC remained charged - so charged, in fact, that at the first sound of returning aircraft, the men jumped up and rushed to the windows - and nothing Schneider could shout at them could stop them. Schneider gave up trying and went over to the window himself. Klaudia followed him.
They saw the powerful planes curving around to land into the wind, and with a collective in-take of breath it was registered that the Stabskette, Paschinger's own leading vic of three aircraft, was missing a plane as it swept in to land. In #1 Staffel another plane was missing, and another was belching black smoke as it came in very clumsily. At once, sirens started to wail as the fire engines and ambulances rushed out to meet the wounded aircraft.
"Back to your posts!" Schneider shouted angrily, but his voice broke from excitement. He was also a fraction too late. Already Klaudia and the others had seen an ambulance rush up beside Paschinger's Stuka. Klaudia caught a glimpse of a limp body being handed down. Then Schneider chased them all back to their posts.
|NOTE: In building this site, I thought about many things - such as what spelling standard I should use in
referring to World War II, and what keyword spelling people might use
in a search engine to find this page. I found it interesting to
note the following numbers of page listings for the various ways one
might type World War II into a search engine.
6,050,000 for world war two
5,860,000 for world war 2
134,000,000 for world war II (using the capital i for the 2)
83,900 for world war ll (using the lower case L for the 2)
26,200,000 for second world war
310,000 for 2nd world war
21,600 for ww two
804,000 for ww 2
7,130,000 for ww ii (using the i for the 2)
46,300 for ww ll (using the lower case L for the 2)
21,600 for w.w. two
804,000 for W.W.2
7,130,000 for w.w.II (using the capital i for the 2)
46,300 for w.w.ll (using the lower case l for the 2)
Note that capitalization, punctuation and spacing changes introduced no differences. So if you are looking for information on a particular subject, remember to use all variations of the wrods related to the subject. The pages a search engine will give you to look at will vary with each method. Also in general, I have referred to World War II on these pages using WWII (using the capital i for the 2).
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