Breakthrough (The Red Gambit Series) (2 page)

Again
, to you
,
my oldest friend, thank you.

The cover image work has been done by my brother, Jason Litchfield, and his efforts have given the finished article a professional polish beyond my dreams. Thanks bro.

 

Wikipedia is a wonderful thing and I have used it as my first port of call for much of the research for the series. Use it and support it.

My thanks to the US Army Center of Military History website for providing
some of
the out of copyright images
. Many of the images are my own handiwork
.

All map work is original, save for the Château outline
,
which derives from a public domain handout.

Particular thanks go to Steen Ammentorp, who is responsible for the wonderful
www.generals.dk
site, which is a superb place to visit in search of details on generals of all nations.
The site had proven invaluable
in compiling
many of the biographies dealing with the Senior officers found
these books.

If I have missed anyone
,
or any agency
,
I apologise and promise to rectify the omission at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

This then is the second offering to satisfy the ‘what if’s’ of those times.

 

 

Book #1 - Opening Moves [Chapters 1-54]

Book#2 –
Breakthrough
[Chapters 55-
77]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author’s note.

 

The correlation between the Allied and
Soviet
forces is difficult to assess for a number of reasons.

Neither side could claim that their units were all at full strength, and information on the relevant strengths over the period this book is set in
,
is limited as far as the Allies are concerned
,
and relatively non-existent for the
Soviet
forces.

I have had to use some licence regarding force strengths and I hope that the critics will not be too harsh with me if I get things wrong in that regard. A
Soviet
Rifle Division could vary in strength from the size of two thousand men to be as high as nine thousand men, and in some special cases
,
could be even more.

Indeed, the very names used do not help the reader to understand
,
unless they are already knowledgeable.

A prime example is the Corps. For the British and US forces, a Corps was a collection of Divisions and Brigades directly subservient to an Army. A
Soviet
Corps, such as the 2nd Guards Tank Corps, bore no relation to a unit such as British XXX Corps. The 2nd G.T.C. was a Tank Division by another name
,
and this difference in ‘naming’ continues to the
Soviet
Army, which was more akin to the Allied Corps.

The Army Group was mirrored by the
Soviet
Front.

Going down from the Corps, the differences continue, where a Russian rifle division should probably be more looked at as the equivalent of a US Infantry regiment or British Infantry Brigade, although this was not always the case. The decision to leave the correct nomenclature in place was made early on. In that, I felt that those who already possess knowledge would not become disillusioned, and that those who were new to the concept could acquire knowledge that would stand them in good stead when reading factual accounts of WW2.

There are also some difficulties encountered with ranks. Some readers may feel that a certain battle would have been left in the command of a more se
nior rank, and the reverse case,
where
seniors
seem to have few forces under their authority. Casualties will have played their part but, particularly in the
Soviet
Army, seniority and rank was a complicated affair, sometimes with Colonels in charge of Divisions larger than those commanded by a General.

It is easier for me to attach a chart to give the reader a rough guide of how the ranks equate.

 

Breakthrough

 

The Second book in the ‘Red Gambit’ series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13th AUGUST
TO
6TH SEPTEMBER

1945

 

 

Book Dedication

 

 

This book is dedicated to two men with whom I was fortunate to serve in my former uniformed years
within Royal Berkshire Fire Brigade
,
as it was
once
known
.

Firstly
,
Divisional Officer Ken Reed, footballing expert and man’s man
, who
was the finest leader of men I encountered in
thirty-two
years in t
he service; a
courageous and humble man
who
m
I greatly admire.
Without him I might have been left floundering in the early days.

Secondly
,
Harry
‘Hit it where it shines’
Woolhouse, gnarled ex-London fireman
and snooker player
, who
courageously
s
tood up and was counted
. You acted
to my
great
benefit
when
the liars

voices were
raised
and
my back was to the wall. Harry, you
conducted yourself
with
great
honesty and integrity
,
and I never got to say thank you
. S
o I say ‘thank you’ now.

 

 

Although I never served in the Armed forces, I wore a uniform with pride
,
and
still
carry my own long term injuries from the demands of my service. My admiration for our young servicemen and women
,
serving in all our names in dangerous areas throughout the world
,
is limitless.

As a result,
‘Combat Stress’
is a charity that is extremely close to my heart. My fictitious characters carry no real-life heartache with them, whereas every news bulletin from the military stations abroad brings a terrible reality with its own impact, angst and personal challenges for those who wear our country’s uniform.

Therefore, I make regular donations to
‘Combat Stress’
and would encourage you to do so too.

Index

Contents

Dedication for the Red Gambit Series
             
3

Foreword by Author Colin Gee
             
4

Author’s note.
             
8

Book Dedication
             
12

Index
             
13

My thanks to...
             
23

The story so far.....
             
25

European map with relevant locations.
             
28

Chapter 55 – THE WAVE.
             
29

0255 hrs Monday, 13th August 1945, Europe.
             
29

Chapter 56 – THE SINKINGS
             
35

0603 hrs, Monday 13th August 1945, aboard Submarine B-29, Irish Sea, Two miles north of Rathlin Island.
             
35

0629 hrs, Monday 13th August 1945, aboard Submarine Shch-307, Irish Sea, four miles north-north-east of Rathlin Island.
             
36

0322 hrs, Tuesday 14th August 1945, Glenlara, Eire.
             
44

1059 hrs, Tuesday 14th August 1945, Hotel Regina, Madrid, Spain.
             
44

2312 hrs, Tuesday 14th August 1945, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid, Spain.
             
46

Chapter 57 – THE FRONT
             
48

1140 hrs, Monday 13th August 1945. YQ-B, Airborne over Northern Germany.
             
48

1312 hrs Monday 13th August 1945, Luhdorf, Germany
             
53

Chapter 58 – THE SAMURAI.
             
58

0904 hrs Monday, 13th August 1945, Headquarters of the Manchurian Red Banner Forces, Pedagogical Institute, Chita, Siberia.
             
58

1255 hrs Monday, 13th August 1945, 3rd Imperial Special Obligation Brigade ‘Rainbow’, Nanjincun, near Guiping, China.
             
61

1325 hrs, Monday 13th August 1945, YongYang near Guiping, China.
             
64

Chapter 59 – THE WITHDRAWAL
             
76

1455 hrs Monday, 13th August 1945, SHAEF Headquarters, Versailles, France.
             
76

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