The desert winds outside of the small building are beginning to kick up again, whipping sand up against the doors and windows. I hate Tunisia. I begin to wonder whether or not the plane will be able to land in weather like this. Outside a few muffled voices shout back and forth, followed by the sound of a car door slamming shut. Suddenly, the door is flung open, letting the dust, sand, and warm air in. A tall figure steps in, his frame hidden from view by his uniform trench coat. The door quickly shuts, leaving the two of us alone in the airstrip waiting room. The soldier slowly unwraps his desert scarf, sending dust into the air of the room. He reaches out and brushes the sand off of his uniform, revealing his rank insignia- Field Marshal. I snap to attention as fast as I possibly can, offering up a sharp salute to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel- the supreme commander of the Afrika Corps and all Axis forces in North Africa. The Field Marshal returned the salute and took a seat against the wall across from me. He reached into his coat and withdrew a package of cigarettes, slipping one of the black and gold cigarettes between his lips.

"Light?" The Field Marshal asks hoarsely, his eyes quickly darting up to gaze upon me.

I move over to him without hesitation, removing my lighter and holding it in front of his cigarette.

"Thank you," The Field Marshal leant back against his seat, propping one of his legs up on his knee. "You are Hauptmann Landers, correct? The assistant to my successor?"

"Yes, sir. I am the aide-de-camp to General von Arnim."

The Field Marshal nodded, exhaling some smoke.

"What are you doing here in Tunis?" Rommel asked, motioning for me to return to my seat.

"The General is having me escort some of his personal belongings back here from Deutschland."

"He won't be needing them." The Field Marshal smirked quickly before becoming emotionless again.

"Sir?" I asked hesitantly, un-sure of his meaning.

"The North African front of operations is finished. Our defeat at El Alamein is the final blow to our forces." Rommel dropped his cigarette and stamped it out on the ground promptly before turning his attention back to me. "We are completely under-supplied; the entry of the Americans only adds to our troubles. North Africa will fall in less than a month or so."

"Sir, surely the Fuhrer will not let this theater fall so easily."

"Hitler is a fool, he is the one that is responsible for our failures." Rommel said coldly.

"Field Marshal, sir! That is heresy!" I retorted.

"Heresy? No. The truth? Yes."

The Field Marshal steepled his fingers and sighed, slouching down in his chair a bit.

"You will not last much longer if you continue to speak of such treachery."

"I won't last much longer regardless." The Field Marshal spoke in a quiet and withdrawn manner, his eyes locked on some distant point. "I am finished, I have let my countrymen down. I am preparing to do something that will end all of this."

"What are you talking about, sir?"

"I'm talking about ending the war before it reaches our shores. I am going to stop all this madness by eliminating the source."

"Sir, surely you are not talking about..."

"Yes, that's exactly what I am talking about; I'm going to help take care of him. I have nothing left to lose."

I know I must have looked like a ghost, ghastly and pale at the sound of his words. The highest-ranking officer in my part of the world was talking about assassinated the leader of our Reich. He was talking about murdering the man that would lead the Fatherland to victory for the next three thousand years.

"Hitler's idiocy will be the cause of our downfall, soon the Allies will push into Europe and overwhelm us. Our women and children will suffer the horrors of war, I must stop this before it begins."

I tried to speak but I lacked the ability, I was too shocked to say anything.

"S-Sir, why do you say such things openly to me? Do you not fear for your life?"

"You will not turn me in." The Field Marshal said confidently with a smirk.

Rommel shifted his weight and propped one of his elbows on the armrest of his chair, resting his head on his palm lightly. He glanced out the window and into the sand storm, looking out towards the airstrip. As he looked for the plane that would take him out of this dreaded place, I contemplated what he had said, and what exactly was happening to the Empire that Germany had built for itself out of the ashes of war.

The plane was delayed, unable to even get anywhere near us due to the storm outside, which continued to grow as time went on. The Field Marshal had barely moved, from a distance it would be easy to mistake him as a statue. I continued to think about what he had told me, about the idea that we could possibly lose the war.


Rommel sat up, startled out of his trance by the sound of my voice, "Yes?"

"What happened at El Alamein, sir? I have never heard the details."

"The British overran our limited forces which were out-gunned, out-numbered, and under-supplied. What else is there to know?" The Field Marshal asked; I was unable to tell whether he was trying to be sarcastic or if he was being serious.

"How did it happen, sir?"

Rommel sat forward in his chair as he drew another cigarette, motioning for me to let him use his lighter again. I stood up and moved to him, lighting his cigarette again before taking my seat.

"Well as I'm sure you already know, I pushed our forces from Morocco, all the way east towards Cairo. Eventually, we began to run our supplies down; most of the tanks we were operating by the end had been seized from the British. When we reached El Alamein the English were ready to make a stand. They had massed their forces there and met us head on; we were unable to mount an offensive or defensive. I continually addressed the Fuhrer on the need of more supplies, but he persisted on stating that I was competent enough to find a way out of the situation. The enemy surrounded us and pushed us out of our positions, forced us to retreat back here," Rommel motioned to the building they were in, indicating his retreat back towards the German stronghold in Tunis. "Without the support of my Panzers, El Agheila and Tripoli fell shortly after." The Field Marshal paused for a moment to exhale some smoke, before returning to his story. "On the 20th of February I mounted our last offensive. I led the remaining groups of Panzers into the Kasserine Pass and took the area. We held it for two days before we were forced to retreat again. My men fought bravely, but they were no match for the British Tanks, we barely had enough fuel to keep our own running. Now your commander will take over my position with the enemy right outside of our gates. I don't see much hope left for him either." Rommel stood up and paused for minute, stepping over to look out of the window. "There are over 200,000 men in the Afrika Corps, all of them will be taken prisoner of killed within a matter of weeks."

"Do you really think that we have no chance left at all?" I asked silently, trying to hide the shock apparent in my voice.

"Yes, my men here are finished. Why else do you think Hitler recalled me back to Germany, he wishes to save one of his Field Marshals before the Allies close in and capture him-" Rommel was halted abruptly as a loud explosion rocked the area, followed by a series of bright lights flashing sporadically. "The Allies are attacking again, they will probably be here quicker than I thought."

I stood up and moved to the window beside the Field Marshal, following his gaze out over the sand. The flaming wreckage of a number of vehicles and buildings burned uncontrollably after an artillery salvo had completely destroyed them. For the first time in my short military career I saw the destruction caused by warfare. Emergency vehicles quickly moved out to the area and began fighting the blazes and removing the victims of the attacks. Return fire from our own artillery emplacements sounded their reports as they fired back on the enemy positions. The two forces continued to fire back and forth as the two men watched from the small building.

"How do you plan on pulling off your attempt on the Fuhrer's life?"

"My collaborators want to place an explosive in a suit-case. At one of his war council meetings they plan on putting it under the table that the delegates sit at. If it works out the way it should, the shrapnel shall mainly hit him."

"What happens if it doesn't work? What if they find out that you were behind it?

"They will kill me most likely, I'm not sure how, I might be able to choose my own fate due to my standing."

I was shocked when the Field Marshal spoke so casually about the potential ways he could die.

"What about your family?"

"I will do all I can to assure their safety, I could not bare to see them suffer."

The Field Marshal's powerful words caught me off guard; they introduced me to a side of the war I had still not seen. For the first years of the war I had been confined to the offices and homes of commanding Generals, only submitted to the finest of luxuries, now I was seeing first hand what warfare did to people.

The skirmish outside the defensive perimeter lasted well into the day, the sounds of battle growing louder and louder as more units joined the fray. The cannons of the two opposing forces sounded their recognition of each other repeatedly, firing one after the other in rapid succession. The Field Marshal glanced at his pocket watch as he paced back and forth in the room.

"Just a bit late, eh?"

"Yes, sir."

I leant against the wall, continuing to watch the bright streaks tear through the desert sky.

"How long do you think it will take?"

"Hmm?" Rommel turned to me, his hands crossed behind his back as he stopped pacing.

"How much time do you think we have before the war ends?" I asked.

"Do you want the propaganda answer of the truth?" Asked the Field Marshal with a smirk.

"I want the truth, sir."

"Well," Rommel drew another cigarette, obviously a nervous habit considering he had already finished most of his package, "At this speed I estimate that we have about one and a half to two years, at most. The Americans under General Patton will most likely head north with the English and make a move for Italy."

I stepped forward and lit the Field Marshal's cigarette, stepping back to hear him out.

"After that it is just a matter of time. I am assuming that the Allies will push up through France, either across the channel in the North or to the South. Once there is a firm beachhead it will be tough for us to push them out; then of course there is the issue of the Russians. If the Fuhrer continually refuses the advice given to him by his commanders, he will doom us all. That is why I hope to end this, before it's too late. I don't want my family to have to witness this, to have to go through these kind of things back home."

"I understand now, sir." I nodded in acknowledgement. "Sir, if I may ask, why are you being recalled back to Germany?"

"Hitler wants me to officially become commander of Army Group Africa; well, that's his excuse for it at least. Like I said earlier, he really wants me up there to get me out of harm's way."

"What will happen to General von Arnim?"

"I intend on turning my command over to him, after that I don't know what will happen to him. He will most likely be tasked with the surrender."

Outside the sounds of battle grew louder; another explosion rocked the area near by, followed by the frenzied shouts of soldiers rushing to the scene.

"Hopefully he'll do it soon." Rommel added.

"Sir-" I was interrupted by another loud explosion, this time it felt like it was right by us.

"They're breaking through the lines, that last shell impacted right in front of us, we should get out of here now." The Field Marshal said quietly.

The heavy desert uniform I wore limited my movement as the two of us moved to take shelter behind a nearby supply truck. Towards the front of the encampment, massive fires raged uncontrollably. English Crusader tanks tore through the minimal German defenses, their massive shapes kicking up clouds of dust and sand as they sped along towards the airstrip. A small group of Panzers moved over the top of a nearby dune, covering the two of us in sand as they moved forward towards the enemy. A team of Panzer Grenadiers followed close behind the tanks, supported by a Half Track. The first English infantrymen began to pour through the gap in the defenses, weapons firing as they moved forward towards our positions.

"If that plane doesn't get back here soon we won't be leaving at all." Commented the Field Marshal, one of his cigarettes hanging loosely from his lip.

One of the lead Panzers burst into flames as it was hit dead on by a Crusader shell, shrapnel spreading out over its supporting infantry. I took in all of the sounds sights and sounds of battle, watching as our troops tried to repulse the overwhelming English forces.

"Field Marshal, sir! The plane is on its way; it should be arriving shortly. Please, come with me." A young sergeant shouted over the sounds of the combat going on around them.

"Right, come along Hauptmann Landers."

I followed close behind Rommel as we moved back towards the airstrip. Up ahead of us, General von Arnim and his command staff were assembled outside of the headquarters building. The group promptly came to attention and saluted as Rommel approached.

"Field Marshal, I am sorry we had to meet like this today. I hope we can remove you from the area before the situation becomes too dire. Landers," The General turned to me and removed a letter from his uniform jacket, handing it to me. "This letter is of the up most importance, it must be delivered to the Fuhrer as soon as possible. The fate of Army Group Africa relies on it."

"Yes, sir."

"Ah, here is your plane, I hope that your flight back to Deutschland will be a pleasant one, Field Marshal."

"Yes, thank you."

"Good-bye, sir."

The drone of the plane's engines grew louder and louder as they began to climb to their full power.

"We should be lifting off any second now, commander." Stated one of the pilots from the front of the plane.

The Field Marshal sat in the row across from me, glancing out of the small window at the battle still raging outside.

"I shouldn't be doing this...I should be here with my the end." Rommel commented dryly, depression ruling over his features.

"Sir, I think it is more important that you leave so that you may benefit the war effort back on the home-front."

"No, that is the coward's way out." The Field Marshal turned back around to look out the window.

The flickering lights of the fires and artillery bursts illuminated his face as he watched the carnage.

"I must end this madness."