Heiligabend

Heiligabend

u-boat_440The captain, first and second officers and chief engineer squeezed into their seats around the table in the cramped and dimly-lit mess.
In front of each man was a shoe-box-sized package covered in red, white and black striped paper.
The men removed the wrapping to reveal four ingots of gold.
No words were exchanged between the crew mates and their faces betrayed no signs of emotion as they stared at the glowing bars and waited for the explosions, shock waves, blasts of compressed air and flood of icy seawater, just as they had waited every Christmas Eve since 1943.