Chapter 1: Dalmatia Edit
A convoy of partizans drove up into a village. The trucks and buses were acquired a week before in Herzegovina. “We’re here” said Ratko nudging Zlatan “Okay” he replied yawning while waking up his wife and son, Mirjana and Ivo. “Ivan, wake up we’re are here” Zlatan said to his brother-in-law “Ivan wake up” shouted Ratko “You’re not going to get him up like that” told Mirjana kicking Ivan “Ivan wake up you lazy oath” she shouted. Ivan woke up and cried “You didn’t have to do that sis”. When they got off the bus Zlatan started to oversee the arrival of the other partizans. “Vodnik Zlatan” a partizan ran up “these men are irregulars from the village” the partizan told Zlatan “Tell them to report to Commandant Filipović” he ordered the partizan. “Zlatan, why did we stop?” Ratko asked “Don’t know, recruitment maybe? Filipović will know” answered Zlatan.
In Split a small squad of SS drove up towards a villa. General Muller of the Waffen SS stepped out. “Hiel Hitler” saluted the grenadier at the front door. “General Muller, is General Bayer home?” asked Muller. “Ja Herr General, right this way” the grenadier replied. “Herr General, General Muller is here to see you” the grenadier told Bayer “Very well send him in” he replied. “Ah General Muller, so they send you to clean up this communist mess?” asked Bayer “Ja, I was sent, so how have you and the Wehrmacht been holding up with the Ustashas?” replied Muller asking Bayer a question “Sadly we’ve not been able to take Dubrovnik but we are trying, the Ustashas have been displaced with all of this disorganisation” answered Bayer. “The Croatians and Bosnians, forget about them it’s all down to us mein Freund and the Bulgarians” Muller told Bayer “The partizans wouldn’t know what hit them after I’m done here” he continued.
“Zdraveĭte Major Lazarov, General Berbatov is waiting upstairs” a solider told Major Aleksander Lazarov a Bulgarian major. “Lazarov, good we can start this meeting” said General Berbatov. “We have offered to help the Germans in this anti-partizan operation of theirs. We will capture this hamlet here, they plan to pass through it tomorrow. I would also like you to meet Major Lazarov he just came today. So any questions? Good by the way unlike Sutjeska I wouldn’t be so forgiving, for if we fail this operation I’ll shoot the biggest screw up. Uspekh i Bog da blagoslovi Tsarya”. “Aleksander what’s wrong?” asked the solider “Nothing Vladimir, nothing” replied the major leaving the premises.
Chapter 2:The Hospital Edit
“Alright lay him down here” Mirjana said to the medics who were carrying an injured man. “Mirjana who is this man?” asked Zlatan “His name is Zimmerman, he’s a German solider” she answered “Is he disarmed?” Zlatan asked “Da Vodnik” replied one of the medics. “What are you going to do?” asked the German in pain and Mirjana answered to him in German “Don’t worry, you’re a prisoner that is all”.
“Who is that man over there Ivan?” asked Ratko “Ivović” Ivan replied. “Ivović? That’s all?” responded Ratko “He never gave us a first name, he just walked up and said Ivović” Ivan told him then left. “What’s wrong with Ivan?” asked Zlatan walking up towards where he was standing “You know he hates everyone right except your son and his beautiful mother?” replied Ratko with Zlatan looking right at him. “So why did he leave just as I came up when he was talking to you?” asked Zlatan “He blames you for Anđa’s death” answered Ratko and Zlatan quickly replied “A German shot her with his rifle when I was lying on the ground barely conscious”. Ratko seemed to know that anyway and looked forward again. “Ratko never say that again” Zlatan said as he was about to leave “Never say what again?” asked Ratko and Zlatan answered “What you said about my wife”.
Back in the hospital Mirjana was tending to Zimmerman when Ratko came in asking her if she needed any help, she told him to move some boxes. “Doctor Mirjana” a man said “How’s my wife?” he asked, Mirjana answered him “Sorry Pavel she passed” “Can I see her but?” he replied and she just nodded. “Thank you” Pavel said before leaving. “I can’t believe how much suffering we’ve caused” remarked Zimmerman in German “Hope you’re proud of yourself, Oberst is it?” Mirjana replied to him and he told her then “Just following orders like you”. “Sie sind sehr schön” Zimmerman told Mirjana and she smiled and left and Ratko said in his best German “Don’t let her husband you say that”.
Chapter 3-Kidnapped Edit
“Ivo where is your father?” asked a partizan, Ivo looked up and seen Filipović “He’s with Ratko, near the hospital” Ivo answered. “Zlatan and good you are here as well” Filipović said to Zlatan and Ratko and then he continued “Zimmerman told us that an SS colonel, an Oberstleutnant Becker of Salzburg is near our position. Zimmerman also told us he’s planning an attack on us tomorrow after we send you out to capture the nearby town”. “How does Zimmerman know this if he’s only in the basic Wehrmacht?” asked Zlatan, Filipović shrugged his shoulders and told them to move on.
“Zlatan isn’t it weird how the Germans know we are planning an attack tomorrow” said Ratko and Zlatan replied “Da, vrlo čudno zaista”. “There must be a spy” marked Ratko. The two then made it to the German encampment. “Becker must be inside, we need him alive” Zlatan told Ratko. “On my mark Ratko, jedan, dva, tri” and the two threw grenades at the Germans and after they exploded they started opening fire at them. Zlatan ran out towards the German counter fire and started to fire at them again. Becker and his personal body guards then ran out of the house with their hands held high. “Nicht schießen, nicht schießen” they said. Zlatan and Ratko then escorted them back to the partizan camp.
“Take him into questioning” ordered Zlatan “Right and the three others?” replied Ratko “I’ll get someone to look after them” Zlatan told him. “Ok Herr Oberstleutnant, can you speak Croatian?” asked Ratko in German “Da pomalo” answered Becker. “Ok I want you to give me your uniform and put on these clothes” ordered Ratko and Becker agreed out of fear. “What is it you’re eating?” Zlatan asked Mirjana “I’m eating some beef and veal and Ivo is eating some pork, it’s from a local farmer. Pavel is handing it out by the way” she told him and he replied to her “I’ll have all three”. “Pavel some of everything” Zlatan said to Pavel who replied “Sure here you go comrade”. Zlatan told Pavel he was sorry for his loss and then went back to Mirjana and Ivo. Ratko then came wearing Becker’s black SS uniform. “How do I look?” he asked and Zlatan replied to him “Besides the Fuhrer himself I don’t know many Nazis with moustaches”. “Well it’s late we should head off” Mirjana told Zlatan and Ratko while holding Ivo who was barely awake. “Good point” replied Zlatan and then followed her “Are you coming?” asked Zlatan “Where did you get the food?” Ratko replied and Mirjana answered “Pavel is handing it out”.
Chapter 4-Ambush Edit
“Da General it will be done as you expect” said Major Lazarov into a radio. “It’s Berbatov he wants to make sure not a single partizan makes it through this hamlet” he told Vladimir who replied “How many of them will there be major?” Lazarov didn’t answer.
Ratko had just woken up when Mirjana had come in. “Where is everyone?” he asked her and she told him they were all waiting. “What’s happing?” Ratko asked Mirjana who answered “Zlatan said he was leading a group into a hamlet or a village for reconnaissance, you have to go with him” and Ratko replied “I understand”. “Another thing Ratko give me that towel” Mirjana asked Ratko, she then continued “…so I can try myself” he then acknowledged her and give her the towel. Outside Ratko met up with the rest of the scouting squad. “Where were you Ratko?” Zlatan asked him, a partizan shouted “He was with your wife” Zlatan replied to him and calmly threatened him “Say that again and I’ll beat you” the partizan replied “He’s a Dalmatian they’re all used to that” Ratko then told Zlatan “Don’t worry I just slept in”. The squad then headed out towards the hamlet.
“Ready that machine gun kapral” Vladimir was ordering the positions of the ambush. “Vladimir, if there is too many communists retreat understood” Lazarov told Vladimir who just simply understood. The partizans did outnumber the Bulgarians and started firing at them. The Bulgarians fired back at them before they retreated. “This is very good” Zlatan exclaimed “How we were ambushed and lost five men?” asked Ratko “You see my brother we can find out where they are located” Zlatan answered and Ratko replied “The Tzarists?” “Come on we need to get back to Filipović” ordered Zlatan.
Chapter 5-Details Edit
“Commandant” shouted Zlatan running into camp with his squad “Da Vodnik Zlatan” responded Filipović. “The Bulgarians…nearby town…ambush at hamlet” Zlatan told him panting “So Sveti Ivan is defended, how many Bulgarians were at the hamlet?” asked Filipović responding to Zlatan’s claim who told him there was at least thirty at the ambush and about ten were killed. “Zlatan help organise a leave of camp we’re going to take Sveti Ivan tonight before the Tzarists have any chance of receiving reinforcements, it will also leave the Becker’s planned Waffen counter-attack useless” Filipović ordered “Razumeo druže” Zlatan agreed. “Ratko we’re heading out to town tonight help get everything ready, get the prisoners and I’ll find Pavel” Zlatan ordered. “Pavel we need to go tonight, we capture Sveti Ivan tonight help organise everything” he ordered again to Pavel.
At the hospital Mirjana was helping Zimmerman learn Serbian. “Vi ste veoma lepa” Zimmerman said to her and she replied in German laughing “You must be able to say that in every language, you do know I’m married Dieter?” “I know so am I” he replied back to her. “Remember what I told you yesterday I’ll test you and I’ll say the same about myself in German” Mirjana told him and he said in Serbian “My name Dieter, from Köln, twenty nine, married, two children, girl and boy, nine and four, I am a doctor” and Mirjana replied “Du bist ein Arzt?” “Ja, und was ist mit dir?” Zimmerman asked her and she said in German “My name is Mirjana, I am from Belgrade, I am twenty six, I am married and one child, a boy, ten and I am also a doctor” “Ah you are fluent Deutsch” responded Zimmerman to Mirjana’s almost perfect German and she replied “I suppose so”. Zlatan came in and told her that the town was to fall tonight and the camp will have to move out.
Chapter 6-The Town Edit
As darkness fell upon the Dalmatian coast the partizans readied themselves outside Sveti Ivan. “The church bells should ring for the Angeles in a few minutes when they ring we attack the town” Zlatan ordered. When the bells started ringing the partizans charged towards the town and quickly bypassed the light Bulgarian defences on the outside of the town.
The town itself was more defended and there was more less a Bulgarian soldier on every corner. Ivan started firing at a café which at least five soldiers in it and Zlatan and Ratko were on the top of a nearby roof. “The Bulgarians seem to have a strong position around the area of the church, let’s find out where exactly” Zlatan said and Ratko replied uneasily “You want us to jump buildings and find a quick way to disorganise the Tzarists” and Zlatan responded to him by nodding and Ratko replied back “You’re a mad man, I thought you were a teacher” “Not much of a difference is there and wasn’t your name not Tomislav until Sutjeska” Zlatan said back “We’ll talk about that later professor” Ratko said as they prepared to jump to the next roof. “That building over there that’s their field base” Zlatan pointed out and Ratko added by telling him there was a fuel truck in the back. “We’ll get in good enough aim of the truck then we throw some grenades” Zlatan ordered “Da velika eksplozija” said Ratko about it. When they did throw it an explosion rattled through the entire town.
At the Bulgarian HQ General Berbatov was discussing with some of his men about the explosion they had just heard. “General it was our station that was destroyed” a soldier had told him. “Gentlemen I’m afraid we must retreat from this town, Coronal order the mass retreat of all Bulgaria forces down there” Berbatov ordered. Minutes after the order was issued the town had become free of Bulgarian soldiers.
The town celebrated its liberation and Yugoslavian flags as well as Croatian ones and red flags flew throughout. Mirjana and Ivo went out looking for Zlatan after the civilian had arrived. When they did find him they ran over. “Hey Mirjana, Ivo I expect the photographer where is he?” asked Zlatan “He should be around near the Opel” answered Mirjana and Zlatan told them to come on. “Here you are photographer the ‘Liberator of Sveti Ivan’ himself” Ratko said as Zlatan and his family came over. The photographer told them to stand in front of a flag which had been placed on a wall. When he had taken the photo he told Ratko to stand in next to Zlatan and took a second one. After their photos were taken Zlatan shouted “Smrt Fašizmu” and the three others shouted “Sloboda narodu”
Chapter 7-Meeting Edit
In a nearby village the SS were carrying out a raid, the man in charge was Oberst Schwarz. The SS were killing the villagers be it hanging the women and children or lining up the men and shooting them. A young woman ran past Schwarz and a soldier grabbed her. “Where do you think you are going?” the soldier asked her in a menacing way. Schwarz had noticed she was pregnant and told the soldier to leave her alone and told the woman to leave the village. “Herr Oberst letter from General Muller” a courier ran up giving Schwarz the letter he mentioned. The letter had told him to meet Muller at a set location.
Meanwhile in Split a Major Andres had received the same message. Andres was much a less pleasant man than Schwarz and wouldn’t think twice about anything, a proper SS officer. He had also served in the SA during the early days of the Nazis and still wore an SA cap.
At Muller’s base the two men arrived for the private meeting they were asked to attend. “Ah gentlemen so glad you can make it. I’ll have you aware I’m forming a strike force, I heard both of you are very skilful men and with both of you we will destroy these communist bandits once and for all” “Jawohl Herr General” the two officers responded to him. “Good, I’ll give you full details by this time tomorrow. Dismissed”. Muller then called Bayer insulting him for the fact he could form a strike force before Bayer could.
Chapter 8-A New Day Edit
Chapter 8-A New Day The partizans and the townsfolk of Sveti Ivan were celebrating the liberation well into the night. In a local inn were many of the partizans were given free rooms Zlatan, Ratko and Ivan were getting drunk on beer and wine. “Just have one more, one more, one Zlatan” said Ratko barely keeping his head up “One more of what?” replied Zlatan “He told you a hundred times, that bottle of wine” Ivan remarked. Zlatan then lifted the bottle of wine in question and drank it. “You Dalmatians sure know how to make a good wine” he said to Ratko pulling him up and together they left the inn. The two started going about the town singing. When they came near a group of partizans Ratko shouted “Attention I am Kommandant Filipović and I am going to order another stupid order out of boredom so I can…” before he was interrupted by Filipović himself. “Oh different Filipović commander” Ratko told him laughing “Get lost Ratko” Filipović told him. Mirjana ran over to him and Zlatan. “Where have you been?” she asked them “In the inn drinking” Zlatan answered to her. When they got back to the inn Zlatan told her to stop worrying and then gave her a bottle of wine. “Drink” he told her before forcing the neck into her mouth. Mirjana started drinking the bottle herself then and the two went upstairs drunk.
“Uh my head is killing me” Zlatan complained waking up. “Where’s Ivo” he asked Mirjana who answered “He went down with Ivan for breakfast and since that we’ve been all alone” and just after she told him that someone knocked on their door. “Ah can’t a man have some time with his wife?” he complained getting up. “It’s probably just Ratko looking for attention” Mirjana told him and she was right because when Zlatan opened the door Ratko stood on the other side. Ratko was still slightly drunk. “Zdravo Zlatko ah what was I going to say?” he said “Hopefully nothing” remarked Zlatan humorously. “You sleep with your clothes on?” asked Ratko starting a topic and Zlatan responded “No I passed out in them last night there’s a difference, you know well what I wear when I sleep and it’s ironic you ask that considering you only have the one pair of clothing” “Two remember the German uniform” Ratko corrected him. “You stink Ratko go take a shower, there’s one opposite the bed” Zlatan said to him annoyed and tired and Ratko accepted Zlatan’s offer. “I’ll get ourselves breakfast, I’m sure they have proper food here” Zlatan told Mirjana leaving the room.
When Ratko finished taking a shower he went outside were Ivan and Ivo were. “Zdravo Ivo” he said to Ivo who said the same thing back to him”. “Have you ever wondered what you want to be?” he asked Ivo who shrugged his shoulders and Ratko gave him some examples “A teacher like your father or a doctor like your mother, an engineer like your uncle…” “…or a drunken fisherman like Ratko?” Ivan added. “My tata’s a teacher?” Ivo asked and Ivan told Ratko that Zlatan had been fired from teaching when Ivo was quite young. “You see this here…” said Ratko showing Ivo a picture “…this is me, my sister and my mother. My sister is a teacher like your father”.
Outside of the town Aleksander was trying to split from the rest of the Bulgarians. “What’s wrong major?” asked Vladimir “I want to fight with the partizans” Aleksander answered and Vladimir replied “Why? They will surely kill us, I’m not going” “I never said you had to come, you are leaving me but as you said ‘us’” Aleksander told him. The two Bulgarians later arrived in the town trying to tell the partizans they wanted they wanted to fight for them. “We came here voluntary your men didn’t arrest us” he told Filipović who he was brought to. "Then why did you come?" Filipović asked and Aleksander answered him "We wish to fight for Bulgaria without the Tzar, there's nothing stopping us from following our beliefs". “Your names” Filipović asked them “Aleksander Lazarov” he told him and Vladimir gave his name as well. “And you speak our language?” Filipović asked them and Aleksander told him he could only speak a little. “Who shall have him?” Filipović asked his fellow partizans. “Do you speak Romanian?” asked Zlatan “Pot să vorbesc limba Română” answered Aleksander and Zlatan asked him again “Ești calificat cu arme? Poți folosi pusca sau mitraliere” and Aleksander told him he used to hunt with a rifle and learnt how to use a submachine gun when training to be an officer. “I’ll take him” Zlatan told Filipović and the two Bulgarians were set free.
Chapter 9-Hvar Edit
Off the coast of the island of Hvar Partizan marines were planning on an attack on the Dalmatian mainland. “We are to land in the town near the town of Hvar and doing so will liberate the island. We have reports that the island is only guarded by a few minor Kriegsmarine units and Black Legion inland. We will capture the governor’s villa and claim the island for the republic” explained their leader, Rados Matić.
Outside squads of marines were getting onto row boats ready to land on Hvar. “Marijo, Marijo!” a young girl called “Yes Natalija my cousin” Marijo responded to her. “Where’s Boris?” Natalija asked “Who, the Slovene?” Marijo responded to her and she answered him with a simple yes and he told her that Boris should be at the boat. “Boris” Natalija shouted and ran over to him. They embraced much to Marijo’s confusion. “Why did you hug?” he asked them “Because we are in love Marijo” Natalija answered him “Since when?” he asked again and Boris answered him “Last two years”. Marijo sat down in confusion, “Are you alright Marijo?” Boris asked him “Yeah, I’m alright” answered Marijo “Didn’t you not know I was with her two years?” Boris asked him again “No, how could I be so unaware?” Marijo said. “Come on we’ve got an island to free” Natalija told them and they got on the boat and rowed off towards Hvar.
“There’s the port, there’s the villa and there’s the beech we’re going land at” a marine pointed out to his fellow partizans. The boat and three others landed at the beach. “The villa is so close shouldn’t we just attack it now and be done with it?” said Marijo and Boris replied “That’s the best and smartest thing I ever heard today, unless the villa is more protected than suspected”. The partizan marines moved up to the side of the villa’s walls and climbed over. “Let’s try and sneak in and capture the governor and his flag in silence” Marijo said and his cousin replied to him by telling him “You can capture the governor yes, but the latter is in the middle of the compound”. Marijo turned to a few partizans “Ok, wait here and don’t move until I give you a single or here shooting inside the compound”. Marijo, Boris, Natalija and two others sneaked over to the villa’s side door. “We’re in the kitchen, the governor has to be in his study, I seen the lights on”. There was a door in the kitchen leading upstairs. On the landing there was one guard and Natalija went up behind him and talked him out along with hiding him. The partizans then burst into the governor’s study. Boris hit him across his face while Natalija tied him up. “Don’t worry, we’ll decide what to do with a traitor like you tomorrow when we’ve liberated the island” Marijo told him while walking out onto the balcony to signal his comrades in the compound. At the same time the raid on the harbour began and the proper liberation of Hvar had begun. The Black Legion soldiers protecting the Villa were overwhelmed and ran away towards the town. The partizans took down the Ustasha tri-colour and raised their own above the villa. By dawn Hvar was liberated.
Chapter 10-Calmness Edit
No fighting had taken place on the mainland in the past few days. It was late in the night. Zlatan was sitting outside the bus when Mirjana came over. She asked him what was wrong and he told her nothing was wrong. Zlatan gazed up into the frosty night sky. “Is it to do with Ivan?” Mirjana asked him “What makes you think that?” he responded “Just you seem to hate him” she told him. After a brief pause Zlatan spoke “He blames me for everything” he told Mirjana who then responded by telling him she would try and speak to her brother. “Zlatan if you’re going to sit out here all night put on a shirt” she said then and Zlatan responded to her “You come back here and take yours off” before gazing back up to the Dalmatian sky.
In the morning Zlatan awoke to the sound of a radio message “People of Split we have not abandoned you, as we speak the forces of Dalmatian Free Army and the Partizan Army are heading your way. We’ll have your city liberated by Christmas. The Germans and Bulgarians will become cornered within the coming weeks. I order all irregular partizan movements in the city of Split to make life as difficult as possible for the Germans. This is your commander and chief and leader of our struggle, Tito”. The message startled the partizans as Split would now have to be liberated by Christmas.
Filipović was organising the unit to head out to Split when Zlatan walked by. “Zlatan” he shouted “Da drug komandant” responded Zlatan. “Command is issuing you a promotion and your friend, the stocky one with the moustache” Filipović explained “You mean Ratko” added Zlatan “Yes, he’s now Vodnik and you’re now poručnik” Filipović told him. “Thank you komandant” said Zlatan smiling as he ran off to tell Ratko. “Ratko, Ratko” he shouted “Da Zlatko” Ratko responded “We’ve been promoted” Zlatan told him.
Chapter 11-Prevention Edit
General Berbatov was with his top man, Colonel Abadjiev in General Bayer’s office along with General Muller. “Gentleman you are aware of Tito’s plan to have Split liberated by Christmas we must prevent this from happening” Bayer explained to the three officers. “Well what do you need?” Berbatov asked him “I don’t know” replied Bayer and turned to Muller “General Muller any suggestions?” who simply told him no. “Ako mi pozvolite general, nie sledva prosto naryazana partizani tetŭĭ kato te podkhod Split” Colonel Abadjiev added. “What did he say General Berbatov?” Bayer asked and Berbatov told him that he said that they should simply cut the partizans off as they approach the city. “Why didn’t anyone else think of this?” Bayer said with a smile.
After the officers left the villa Muller went into his own office. “Walter get me onto Sarajevo immediately, I need to contact the NDH air force” he ordered his radio operator. “Air Marshal Rogulja I need you to bomb Split immediately, no questions asked, that communist cesspool has done us in long enough, BOMB IT JUST DO IT” Muller barked into the phone.
Within a few hours Ustasha planes bombed Split leaving the city burning. “They think they can stop us don’t they” said Filipović gazing towards the city.
Chapter 12-We attack Edit
“Gentlemen last night fascist bombers raised Spilt to rubble, we have no choice but to carry out Tito’s orders quicker” said Filipović standing at the top of a briefing room. “But comrade kommandant Split is still heavily defended by fascists how are we going to take it so soon?” asked V and Filipović responded “Good question poručnik, very good but from our reports coming from Split some of the fascist defences were damaged during the bombing raid” “The irony” chuckled Ratko.
“Mirjana I leave for Split today, the bombing run last night should have help us on our liberation” Zlatan told Mirjana “Make it back in one piece, can’t wait till we’re back together again especially when we finally have peace” Mirjana added “Take care little sister” said Ivan hugging her. “Hey Zlatko, I’m sorry for this hostility between us, it wasn’t your fault my wife and child were killed at Sutjeska, it was the German’s” Ivan apologised and Zlatan acknowledged. “Hey bus driver, Viktor are you coming?” Ivan shouted “Yes I’m coming you greasy idiot” replied the bus driver.
“…but comrade poručnik the Germans will cut us like ribbons” complained Viktor about Zlatan’s plan “Quite Viktor it will work and I know, I WANT to see my wife and little boy again so why would I lead us into a death trap?” Zlatan responded and Viktor added “It’s just that…” “Shut up you blabbering jokel” interrupted Ivan. “Look we have the element of surprise, that’s our advantage. Now where’s Ivović?” explained Zlatan. When the partizans attacked the German outpost they were met with resistance who seemed to be expecting them. “POVU Ć I SE!” shouted Zlatan as they fled from the city limits. On the way they met up with the other partizans and they told them that the city was too well defended still and would need more man power to capture it.
“Ja Herr Major, nordwestlich von uns, aber sie würden unterwegs in Richtung der Stadt zu sein” a German officer told Andres.
Chapter 13-Ambush Edit
“Walter get me onto Generals Bayer and Berbatov, I need to tell them of the news” Muller ordered his radio operator. “Hallo General Bayer I am contacting you to inform you that one of my majors has a location on the partizans, northwest of Split” Muller told Bayer “Are you sure?” Bayer asked which Muller replied to “Ja General, he sent out scouts last night”. “Very well then, Auf Wiedersehen” Bayer said. “Damn Nazis” Bayer said to himself. “Now to contact Berbatov” Muller told Walter.
“Sandra this is my nephew Ivo” Ivan told a female partizan before Mirjana walked in. “So this is where you’ve been going brother?” she asked him “Come on Mirjana we’re not kids anymore” Ivan replied to her. “Doctor Mirjana, Ivan is your brother?” Sandra asked her and she told her so. “So what are you are you to my brother?” Mirjana asked “Well he’s my boyfriend” Sandra answered. “Ok so I’ll be on my way, Zdravo” said Mirjana leaving. “Zlatan, Ivan has seems to be taking a shine to life again” Mirjana told her husband who was smoking a cigarette with Ratko. “We know, he has a girlfriend now” Ratko replied “She’s about ten years younger than him Ratko” Mirjana responded. “So, she’s still older than what you were when you married me” Zlatan said “Yes but you were eighteen” Mirjana told him “Same age as Sandra” Zlatan added. “Forget it, give me a drag” Mirjana said to Zlatan who replied “Not for women, Ratko made them “Come on Zlat, I dress in men’s clothes, use guns…” Mirjana responded and Zlatan told her “They taste like ash and besides don’t you have your own”. “Look Mirjana much I like looking but we are on the lookout” Ratko told her.
“So General what is our plan?” Coronel Abadjiev asked Berbatov who were both on horseback “We wait for the Germans to attack” Berbatov told him. Abadjiev asked was it the SS or the Wehrmacht and Berbatov told him “Either or but most likely Muller’s units” and so enough the units of General Muller headed towards the partizan’s camp. “Attack Coronel” ordered Berbatov and Abadjiev headed towards the units as Berbatov headed back. “NAPADENIE!” shouted the coronel as the Bulgarians also joined the Germans in the attack.
“Hurry, let’s go” ordered Zlatan to his squad. “Comrade Zlatan, I wish not to attack the Bulgarians but I’ll fight against the Germans” Lazarov said to Zlatan in Romanian and Zlatan said back “De acord, I’m going after the Germans but as they’re a much bigger threat”.
“Herr Oberst” said Andreas walking up to Schwarz “Ja Major?” he asked. “I order you to advance towards the partizans. We must beat the Wehrmacht or the Slavic dogs of the Tzar to them” Andreas ordered quite stiffly and Schwarz responded laughing “What are you trying to do, I’m the Oberst you’re the Major I’m supposed to order you”. “As a member of the Nazi party Herr Oberst I order you to advance” Andreas said again getting angrier. “I make the military decisions around here as the Reich’s commander!” exclaimed the Oberst who was apparently not a member of the Nazi party and government” while drawing his pistol. At the same time Schwarz was also drawing his pistol but before he could even get it out of the holster Andreas had already shot him. “Herren, order the advancement of all SS troops” he then ordered assuming control of Muller’s units on the field.
Chapter 14-Advance and push back Edit
The Germans and Bulgarians started advancing closer to the base and had their artillery and tanks in position to deal damage to the partizan's field base and hospital. The partizans started to fire their own arterially back. “Dieter, pass me the scalpel” said Mirjana who was operating on an injured partizan. The shelling was causing the hospital which was in a monastery. After a few more hits on the building the injured man died. “Damn this” exclaimed Mirjana as she backed away from the operating table. “Where are you going?” asked Zimmerman “Just stay here” Mirjana responded back.
“Yes I need your people and quickly or we won’t make it much longer” Filipović said to Rados over the radio “Look we can help you with the attack on Split but we are not going that far inland. Have you tried contacting the armour?” Rados replied and Filipović talked again “They are with us, but they have artillery and you have the advantage of attacking from their direction. “Look Filipović I plan to land in Split within a day, you heard Tito’s orders to have it liberated by Christmas, and I am not having my marines risked. Tell the rest of the commanders not to contact me and good day you kommandant, Zyya gʻzwnt” Rados told Filipović. “Hello who is this?” Filipović contacted one of his assault squads. “Zdravo drug kommandant” replied Zlatan who had heard Filipović ask for contact. “Zlatan I need you to try and cut the artillery fire” Filipović ordered “Razumeo” replied Zlatan. “Ratko come on, you’re coming with me, get the drop on the cannons” Zlatan said to Ratko as the rest of the squad continued to attack the enemy.
Mirjana was with a sniper, she was helping him locate enemy positions. “Jovan, thee o’clock low” she told him and he shot the enemy sniper. Eventually Jovan was shot himself. “Uncle wake up! JOVAN!” she said nudging him. Three Waffen SS soldiers came up and grabbed her. “Okay partizan tell us what is your next move?” asked an officer “I said what is your next move?” he shouted hitting her. She told him she was only a field doctor before the officer slit his knife through her leg. She had been roughed up prior to integration as it was the SS’s dealing of Slavic POWs. “Okay can you ask me this partizan, are you are Serb, a Croat, a Slovene, a Macedonian, Muslim or Mont…” “LET ME GO PLEASE” shouted Mirjana interrupting the officer’s question. “THEN TELL ME WHAT IS YOUR GODDAMN NEXT MOVE” the officer barked. Mirjana still refused. “Erik, cut her hair unless she can answer us” the officer ordered one of his men while leaving the room. As the soldier started to cut off her hair she looked at his face “Ivović” she muttered. “Erik as much as we are supposed to hate her people, have a little sympathy she is a beautiful woman” said the other soldier in the room. Ivović stopped cutting Mirjana’s hair and walked out of the room. The soldier turned out to be Zimmerman “Come on I’ll take you back” he said lifting her out of the chair”. “Wie?” she asked him “Your commander let me go. You see doctor me and your brother have been suspicious of ‘Ivović’, the git doesn’t even have a first name” he replied as they left the bunker.
“We sure crippled them” Ratko said laughing and Zlatan responded with a smile on his face. “Hey Zlatko, ever wondered, after the war is over, could I have a date with Mirjana?” asked Ratko “That’s a stupid question Ratko” replied Zlatan. “You’re a lucky man Zlatan unlike me, a simple fisherman from Split. You were a history teacher in Beograd, you’re married to a beautiful and loving wife and a kid you know the name of” Ratko said “So you admit you’re a žigolo” responded Zlatan sniggering and Ratko replied “Ladies’ man” and Zlatan said back “Same difference”. “Come on we best get back” Ratko said before he was shot. “Ratko!” exclaimed Zlatan as he ran over. “Don’t bother my friend, I done my time” Ratko told Zlatan. The bullet ripped through him. “Come on” said Zlatan lifting his wounded friend up onto his back. “Don’t worry my Dalmatian you’ll still see your sister and mother and Mirjana and we’ll still sing ‘Marjane, Marjane’ while drunk on the best rakia and wine in Split, we’ll still be able to drive American cars and visit Irish pups and you’ll still see Mexican women” Zlatan said trying to be as optimistic as possible “I don’t know my friend” replied Ratko. They started to sing ‘Marjane, Marjane’ then Ratko interrupted “Zlatko don’t tell Mirjana how I died, tell her I died with dignity, shot while charging. Zbogom moj brat Srbin”. Zlatan started to cry and he walked on to find a resting place for his deceased friend. The Germans started turning back but the Bulgarians stayed. “Cornel the Germans, where are the Germans going?” a major asked “Doesn’t concern us, these Romanist reds are going to be exterminated by me that’s all that matters”. However the Bulgarians were suffering heavy losses. The Cornel ordered his men to charge at partizan machine guns. “Forward Royal Legion of the Tsar” he ordered to a group of elites. Ivan got very close to the Cornel and waited until he came into sight “Kill the communists, kill them all” Abadjiev shouted while he took aim at Ivan who then shot him with his machine gun near the face. The Cornel then tried to clutch where he been shot but dropped down and died. Noticing that their field commander had been killed the Bulgarians started to retreat.
“I did it, I fought the fascists, kommandant” said Lazarov sitting down with a smile on his face. “Zlatan we did!” he exclaimed when he seen his squad leader walking into the monastery. Mirjana ran over to Zlatan. “How beautiful you are” he said to her. “Zlatko they cut off all my hair” she had told him, Zlatan asked her who and she told him it was the SS and he replied “Don’t worry anyway you still have some left, it’ll grow back”. They hugged before Zimmerman came to them. “Zlatan, I have some bad news about Mirjana other than the fact the Waffen SS took her captive, she has blood poisoning in her left hand. The best we can do is to amputate it and stop the infection. If we don’t operate soon it’ll spread within in a week before dying hours later. The worst is yet to come, a lot of our equipment has been damaged but we’re trying to move the hospital to a nearby town which has a real hospital and we’ve been told they have a lot of equipment including andesitic which we sorely lack”. Zlatan gulped “I’ll try not to let your son know and I hope you’ll try the same”. Then Ivan came beating Ivović “Erik Eichman, wie ist Zürich? Wie habe ich, dass du mit der Gestapo? This is for what you done to my sister” he said wrapping a noose around Ivović’s neck. The noose’s rope was wrapped around a tree’s branch and Ivan started pulling the other side eventually killing the Nazi spy.
Chapter 15-Retracing Steps Edit
“We have to attack Split within 15 hours! We simply have to move the hospital to that town that’s all we need and then we attack Split” Filipović said at a meeting table. “But kommandant that ‘town’ is a part of the city of Split, a suburb and it’s also well defended by German troops, many of them were mine. It houses the Wehrmacht high command in this area” said Zimmerman who was now initiated as a partizan officer. “Tell me what he said” said Filipović and Zlatan translated it into Serbo-Croatian. Filipović then replied “Look Zimmerman we need to attack Split at the same time as the marines it is simple as can be and besides the only reason we failed last time was because of Ivović/Eichmann or whatever you want to call him…” “Roach who cut my wife’s hair off” added Zlatan “Yes and as I was saying only because of him did we fail last time. If we didn’t have a spy amongst us the tri-colour would be flying high above Split” continued Filipović. “’High’ is a very literal term Macedonian you are aware of that?” added a partizan officer “What do you mean comrade?” Filipović asked “Well you know the lyrics to Marjane, Marjane and well as a native to this area the part about the flag flying is to do with the historical control of the city and is to be very taken literally now, the Germans are also taken this into account. If we raise our flag high above Marjane we control Split!” answered the officer.
Outside the meeting Zlatan and Zimmerman went over to Mirjana. “Wie fühlst du dich?” Zimmerman asked her “Schwach” she told him. “It was shrapnel off a mine that poisoned you?” Zlatan asked her and she nodded. “Ich lasse Sie zwei sein dann” Zimmerman said as he walked on. “Everything’s going to be alright, don’t worry” Zlatan told Mirjana rubbing her face. “Tata, Ivan wants to ask you something” said Ivo running up to his parents. “Any news?” Ivan asked, Zlatan told Ivo to go and then he answered Ivan “The town that has the hospital is the Wehrmacht HQ, I’m only telling you this as my right hand man don’t tell anyone else, deal?” “I wouldn’t tell anyone anyway, you know me Zlatko” replied Ivan.
A few hours later the partizans headed out towards Split and on Hvar the marines were getting ready for the attack on Split. “Marijo you got the flag?” asked Rados and Marijo lifted it “You know what you have to do?” Rados said to him and he nodded and told him that it needed to be mounted on a pole on top of Marjane. “Come on Marijo” shouted Boris who was in a boat with Natalija.
Chapter 16-Calm before storm Edit
Mirjana was getting weaker and weaker and eventually had to be carried by stretcher, Zlatan stayed with her. Zimmerman didn’t realise how bad the poisoning was and wished he had just got the amputation over and done with however knew he wasn’t responsible for it and knew the SS stuck the shrapnel into Mirjana as a mean of torture. Ivan and Sandra took Ivo with them but where still in the same company.
“Careful comrades, she’s trying to sleep” Zlatan said. Zimmerman had decided to carry out the operation. “Let me take her now” he said “Follow me he added”. He led the stretcher carriers to a nearby hut. “Don’t worry Zlatan, she’s going to be alright, stay here” he said and Zlatan let go of his wife’s hand. Before Zimmerman could even take out the instruments Zlatan walked in and said “Don’t comrade German, she’s sleeping now, only sleeping…” “I’m sorry Zlatan” Zimmerman responded to him and Zlatan said to him “Don’t worry she’ll wake up you can do it then” Zimmerman then added with a smile “Very well let her sleep peacefully”. Ivan came up “Zlatan” he said “Where’s my little sister?” he asked and Zlatan told him she was sleeping. Ivan put his fist in his mouth “Come on we should go, bring Mirjana with us of course” he added “No Dieter is going to cut off her hand and she’ll be better again” Zlatan told Ivan who then replied to his brother in law’s quite stupidly said statement “Zlatan, Mirjana… Dieter will amputate her hand yes but in a different place, tomorrow”. Out off the road Ivan told Zlatan to look at the passing company as he and the stretcher carriers were about to lay Mirjana into the ground. Zlatan came over and rubbed his wife’s face “What a beautiful corpse” he said crying. “Come on you’re going mad” said Ivan as he brought Zlatan away.
Back with the rest of the partizans who were resting Ivan went over to Sandra who had Ivo sleeping against her. “Sandra, Mirjana is gone” he said crying. “Remember this will you but about Ivo, he’s Mirjana and Zlatan’s not ours but Zlatan wants us to look after him” Ivan told her and she asked back “What does he mean by that?” and Ivan told her “Hopefully it doesn't mean he’s going to blow out his own brains”.
Chapter 17-Split Edit
The boats landed near Marjane and the marines started running up the hill, while inland the army charged into the city. Zlatan however made his own decision to sneak into a bunker where the Waffen SS high command was. He crawled in through a vent, killed Major Andres and disguised himself as him. “Damn partizans” said General Muller who was overlooking the battle field below. Zlatan made the decision to blow the bunker.
Ivan, Lazarov, Vladimir and Viktor where in the streets fighting the Germans. “Go into that building” ordered Ivan. Lazarov got shot by a German soldier. “Aleksander no” said Ivan grabbing the injured Bulgarian defector “I died fighting the real enemy” Lazarov said to him before dying. The rest of the squad continued to fight towards the city hall.
The marines where fighting around Marjane. Marijo got gunned down. “MARIJO” shouted Natalija as she ran over to her dying cousin, Boris followed her. He told Boris to take the tricolour to signify Split’s liberation.
Meanwhile back in the bunker Zlatan had planted some explosives in the ammo cache of the bunker. “Oh there you are Ma…” said Muller encountering Zlatan. “Halt you’re not Andreas” he shouted before Zlatan hit him in the face knocking him out “This is for my wife” he said. Then just as the bunker blew up Zlatan jumped out of the window landing on the ground below.
At Marjane Boris stuck the flag on a pole which was raised up and at the same time Ivan cut down the Reich’s flag at the city hall and flew the Yugoslavian tricolour from it. Split was now liberated.
Chapter 18-Liberated Edit
Ivan went to look for his brother-in-law outside the city. He then found him “Come on Zlatko” he said and they walked towards the city. “Rest yourself down here and I’ll get you some soup” Ivan said and Zlatan sat down. The next thing Zlatan heard was his voice being called in the distance. “Zlatko! Zlatko! Zlatko!” the voice called and Zlatan noticed he was dressed in a suit and was wearing a fedora and in the distance he noticed Mirjana, with her hair long and dressed in civilian clothes as well, she was the one calling his name. He ran over to her taking his fedora off and lifting his wife, the two then embraced. “Zlatan, Zlatko” said Ivan who had then noticed his brother-in-law had just died.
Meanwhile near the harbour Rados and Filipović where talking. “Why are you so down my dear Macedonian shouldn’t you be happy, we have just liberated Split?” Rados asked Filipović who answered “We still have a long way to go until we have our country liberated, I won’t be happy until we win, when there is no more war and no more fighting”. After a brief pause Rados started talking again “I have to agree with you my friend but in the meantime enjoy yourself, Split is free” “Very well then, Tşʼaw my dear Jew” Filipović said and Rados replied “Zdravo my dear Macedonian”.
Sandra and Ivo where at a corner watching the partizans victory parade when Ivan came back. “He’s…” Ivan tried to tell Sandra that Zlatan passed but she knew he was going to say it. “We’ll tell your nephew later” she told him then before Ivan shouted the partizans motto of “Death to Fascism, Freedom to the People”