Jutland Side Stories
Into Glory, Steam!
The Gunnery Officer
The Pasha
Return of the Dutchman

After Jutland
Side Stories
Hammerle and U-14
The Woes of June
A Moment's Respite
Ripples Across an Ocean
Symphony In Black
This is No Place for a Boy
Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen
The Wolves
Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen – A Wolves Side Story  

Episode Eight

The author does not speak Danish, German or Swedish, and rather than offend those who do speak those languages, the dialogue is rendered up in American English with a few local words mixed in.

September 28, Detention building, Copenhagen Naval Base, 1805 hours

Internee Layton had a visitor.

Layton had only been interned a few days and it had already begun to chafe.  Not only was he separated from his crew but Lieutenant Eddis – his First Officer – was also detained somewhere else.  Layton had begin looking at the details of his internment and found them to be less than rigorous.  There was only one guard each shift and all of them were clearly men at the end of their careers.  The daytime guard was often absent and the afternoon and midwatch guards slept most of the time.  The appearance of the visitor cut in on his afternoon guards evening rest.  The visitor was guided to the door and the guard went back to his desk.  It looked as if Layton could wander about rather freely without challenge.

“Commander Layton?”

“That’s me.  Just whom might you be?

“My name is Hans Andersen”

‘Andersen’ reached inside his jacket and produced a small document that identified ‘Andersen’ as being Harvey Anderson, of the British Embassy.”

“Indeed, Mr. Andersen.  What can I do for you?”

“Can we talk?”

Layton held up his hand.  They both heard a sound that sounded like a small sawmill operation.

“Yes, we can talk if we keep it softer than the broadside of a dreadnought.”

“Indeed so.  How do you sleep?”

“Submariners can sleep anywhere.”

“Quite.  I am here to get you out”


“No.  Not yet.  We are trying to find out where your crew and First Officer are being interned.  Apparently your presence has made the Danes much more punctilious about their neutrality.  The Danes are quite nervous, and with good reason.  It is the old carrot-and-stick.  The carrot is that the Danes are making a tidy sum transshipping goods to and from Germany.  Even with our blockade, enough gets through for the Danes to get wealthy.  The stick is that the Danes know the Germans sometimes view Denmark as a natural part of Germany.  Sixty years ago, Bismarck took two provinces from Denmark and the Danes know their country is pretty much indefensible.  The only thing they have going for them is that the Kaiser needs no more enemies right now and even subject to our interdiction, a neutral entrépot is most useful.  So, they are doing their best to avoid offending the Germans.  In your case that means keeping you, and your crew under tight wraps.  You do know the Germans have been all over your submarine?”

“I didn’t know that but would presume that to be the case.  I know if we could get a look at a U-boat, we’d move heaven and earth to get that look.”

“At any rate, we think we can get you and your crew out.  If we tried tonight, I think we could get yourself out but as a result your crew would be confined so closely as to make future escape impossible.”

“I see.  Do you have a time frame in mind?”

“We think that regardless of anything else, we need to get you out by the end of October, latest.  If we cannot get your crew, we will take what we can get.  Do you have any idea where Mr. Eddis may be being held?”

“No, I do not.”

“We’ll have to keep looking.  I’ll be back next month with another “Red Cross Package” and plans for your escape.  Mind the guards don’t see what is in the bottom of the package.”

The two talked a little longer and ‘Andersen’ got up and walked out unchallenged – just what he wanted to see.

October 3, Landskrona Hospital, 1005 hours

Tilda Louise knew this day was coming, but that did not make it easier to take.  The navy ship had been at the Landskrona pier for a week, and today the wagons had come to take the Englishmen to the ship to Stockholm.

As Tilda Louise watched him, Nathaniel watched his men being loaded onto the wagons – his arm in a sling and standing unsteadily on a cane.  He insisted it was his duty to see them off first.

She had heard the naval men tell the Doktor the English would be sent to an internment camp near Kiruna.  Kiruna!  That was near the Norwegian border far, far to the north.  Four months a year the Gulf of Finland froze too solid to allow ships to go that far north.  It broke her heart that this sweet little man would be penned up like a dog in that frozen wasteland and worse yet, she would not be able to see him at all.  Even letters were possible only in the warmer months.

Finally, Nathaniel hobbled over and got on the last wagon.  As he left he smiled and waved.

October 14, Kiruna Internment Camp, Kiruna, Sweden,. 0900 hours

For two weeks Laurence and his men had traveled north.  First they stopped briefly in Stockholm for medical evaluation.  Of all the crew (other than the deceased First Officer) Laurence was in the worst shape of all.  His broken rib turned out to be more serious than he had thought.  All the same, his duty was to his crew and he stuck close.

After landing in Lulea, the crew was put (under guard) on a clattering train running up the ore line to Kiruna.  This passenger train had little priority and had to sit often on sidings as multiple ore trains passed southbound.

After they had been taken to the internment camp, he had had the men split into two groups.  The engineer took the larger group off to chop and split firewood.  Laurence had stayed behind with a group of men applying mud paste to the leaks in their cabins. 

It was already getting cold.  The Swedes had made it clear they were expected to chop wood.  Fortunately there was a lot of deadfall and at least they would not be obliged to chop and burn green wood.

Laurence had two bad feelings:  He and his men were going to get awfully tired of turnips, and communicating with Tilda Louise would be difficult.  Already he was told that mail would be held at Lulea until the ice melted.  It would be a dismal internment.

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