By James S Thayer

Escaping from Germany's Colditz fortress the place he used to be being held as a prisoner of conflict, Captain Jack Cray fights his strategy to Berlin in April 1945, following a twisted path of terror throughout Germany. the yankee military commando has simply been passed the main risky venture of his career--the assassination of Adolf Hitler.

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Brick walls and iron bars across small windows spoke of its sole purpose, to punish. Berliners found it impossible to pass Lehrterstrasse Prison without shivering. Many entered the prison. Far fewer left alive. Executions occurred in the cellar. It had been a busy place since July 20,1944. At Hitler's headquarters at Rastenburg in East Prussia, Colonel Count von Stauffenberg's briefcase bomb had only slightly wounded Hitler because the attache case had been shunted aside by another officer, and Hitler had been shielded by the conference table's heavy leg.

With an effort that made him moan, the prisoner struggled to a sitting position. He would meet his fate with dignity and would stand when they came for him. He had not bathed or shaved in three months, nor had he had a change of clothing. His skin was covered with dirt and insect bites and open sores that refused to heal. Grease and grime matted his hair and beard. Dietrich doubled over with a grinding cough. Pneumonia, he suspected. His lungs rattled with each breath. He had lost two teeth while in the cell.

Her coat brushed against the bomb warning, and she stepped inside. Glass shards snapped under her shoes. The darkness was thick; black shadows on shadows. She held her hand up to ward off hanging wires and timbers. Her fingers found an oven built into a wall, and she barked her shin on an overturned chair. She vaguely saw another warning poster tacked to a wall at the back of the bakery. The bomb lay under the pile of wreckage. A ragged hole had been punched through the ceiling above the mound of debris.

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