"The Reivers": The story focus on the Special Air Service in North Africa. Following a raid on a German airfield, a group of SAS take R&R. Their commanding officer, Scottish born Bill Nixon shares a conversation with his second-in-command Johnny Barclay for their reasons for participating in the
Appearing in "The Reivers"
- Johnny Barclay
- Bill Nixon
- Afrika Corps
- Tony Fraser
- Bir Gadari
- Thompson Submachine gun
- Willys MB jeep
- Tiger I tanks
- Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters
- "Stuka" Junkers Ju 87
Synopsis for "The Reivers"
The story focus on the Special Air Service in North Africa. Following a raid on a German airfield, a group of SAS take R&R. Their commanding officer, Scottish born Bill Nixon shares a conversation with his second-in-command Johnny Barclay for their reasons for participating in the war. Barclay joined because he believed that the Germans must be stop; however, as a former tank commander he sees the war effort under his respective nation is lagging and inefficient through the last three years, and the reason he joined the SAS was for its absolute "brutal thuggery" in contrast to English chivalry. Nixon reveals his history that he and his family clan are directly descended from one of the medieval Border Reivers, a multiple band of marauders and guerrillas who killed and robbed as they pleased. In which he shows his intentions to Barclay that he joined the war was to satisfy his own bloodlust and glory like his ancestors, much to Barclay's disbelief.
The next day, the SAS underwent another operation in raiding a German airfield in Bir Gadari. Also, Nixon reveals that the Germans' commander General Brandle is located near Bir Gadari and propose of assassinating him. However, Barclay is against this and points out that killing Brandle would delay their raid at night and too late in escaping from German patrols before daybreak. Ultimately, Nixon insisted it.
The SAS acknowledge that General Brandle has shipped over a Mercedes car for him to drive during the evening along the road between his H.Q. and the airfield, and so Nixon planted a steel wire on a stretch of road at neck high where it would decapitate Brandle. As the group sees the Mercedes coming, Nixon observe through his binoculars and realize it is not Brandle. It is his wife he had brought over, who is then killed in the trap before Nixon could prevent it. Knowing that Brandle would very likely bring the entire wrath of his panzer division on the SAS, Nixon want Brandle's wife's corpse (and her head) secretly dispose quickly. Barclay, knowing their grave mistake has jeopardized the mission, want to call off the raid and escape with their lives. But Nixon believes that they still have a chance in destroying the airfield. His assertions convinced the group and proceed to the airfield much to Barclay's disgust.
There the SAS discover the airfield is packed with a mass concentration of parked bombers. Nixon have themselves to plant time bombs on the bombers rather than on the German 109 fighters. But one of the men, Pierre, points out that leaving the 109's alone would only allow them to chase them in the morning. Despite this, Nixon shrugged this off. They succeed in destroying the bombers, but also alerting the Germans on guard before they escaped into the night.
The next morning, as forewarned by Pierre, the German 109's are searching for them. Barclay chastise Nixon, stating that their hope for escape is narrow with the planes and General Brandle's panzer division that is likely after them, before telling him that everything in his power to make matters happen would still satisfy his bloodlust. The SAS decide to wait for nightfall, but discover that Brandle's division is indeed searching for them. Nixon and his men attempt to make a desperate drive away from the division but are entrapped by the 109's and Stuka dive bombers. Nixon leads the group back to where Brandle's division is coming, hoping to kill as many German infantry while staying under the panzer's guns. They manage to do this, but they are overwhelmed and killed by Brandle's forces, and leaving Barclay and Nixon left standing. Outraged over the losses, Barclay thrust his anger on Nixon and blaming his thirst for war that have cost the deaths of their friends. Barclay is then killed from a gunfire strafe from an 109.
Nixon is left alone. Knowing his odds of survival is for naught, he begins to sing "Lili Marleen" as he turns his jeep around and faces a hopeless battle against the German division.
- This book was first published on November 13, 2002.
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