Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How We Won the War: A Little Known Christmas Story

This is an excerpt from the book by Dr Peter Kreeft, The Angels and The Ants...

This is a true story. It took place on the eve of D-Day.

The greatest of world wars was at its most critical turning point.
Until then, the war had been mostly a series of stunning victories for the Fuhrcr. Dictatorship had apparently proved highly efficient. Most of Western civilization was under his control. The only hope was the great counterattack, the invasion plans. Both sides suspected the time was ripe for D-day; the only unknowns were when, where, and how.

On the eve of the invasion, a conversation much like the following took place between two close friends, both captains in the invasion forces. The conversation was never written up in memoirs or reported in any newspaper--until now.

“Gabby, you know all about the invasion plans, don't you?"
"No, Mike. No one knows all about them. You know how Army Intelligence works."
"Sure, and also why. They're afraid you'd live up to your name and your gift of gab will get picked up by enemy ears."

"No way. Our new spy behind enemy lines has the only receiver that can pick up my messages. But I have to tell you some startling things tonight. The General himself told me to. It's you who have to keep this top secret."

"You know you can trust me, Gabby. I was only kidding about you."

"Captains don't kid, Mike. You know that. Now listen up. I have three secrets for you."


"First, the invasion is tomorrow night."
"That's no surprise. What else?"

"The place. Look here on the map. It's a little town no one would ever suspect."

"There? Never heard of the place."

"After tomorrow, the whole world will know about it. We'll put it on the map."

"OK, what's the third secret?"

"The identity of our new spy. She's a woman."
"A woman! Why?"

"Mike, don't be such an old chauvinist. This one's perfect for the job, just perfect. She's been preparing the landing place now for months."

"How do you know all this?"

"I was the one that got the first message through. That was extremely tricky, let me tell you."


"Because I had to wait for her reply. Sending wireless messages is easy, but waiting to receive them is much harder. This one especially, because the General absolutely insisted that we wait until we got her permission."

"Permission? The General waited for the permission of a woman before the great invasion could happen?"


"Well, he's a gentleman, you know. Very old-fashioned that way. And he knows the job is terribly dangerous."

"I'll bet. Look at what happened to all the spies we sent in before her."

"Yes. Most were tortured."

"So what if she had said no?"

“Then the whole invasion plan would have been scrapped, at least for now, maybe forever. Who knows?"

"Incredible! If I didn't know better, I'd swear the General had lost his marbles."

"You haven't heard the half of it. Hold on to your hat for this one, Mike. The General insisted on personally leading the invasion, not just directing it from across the Channel."


"That's not all. He's already there, in disguise. He landed nine ago."

"This is incredible, Gabby! And horribly dangerous. Suppose he's captured? What a plum that would be for the Fuhrer! What kind of strategy is that--to walk right into the enemy's territory?
Remember what happened to all those spies in the past? How does he expect to pull this off?"

"Well, the disguise is incredibly good, for one thing. But tomorrow, he's coming out of hiding. In fact, I think he may even be planning to be detected and eventually captured."

"What kind of a plan is that? Everything you tell me makes less and less sense than the thing before it. Why would he let himself be captured?"

"Believe it or not, I think he plans to confront the Fuhrer himself, face to face."

"And what then?"

"I have no idea. He hasn't told anyone that."
"You know, if I didn't trust him implicitly...."

"I know. But you know what they say, `Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die.'"

"It's true, Gabby. That's the army way. Trust and obey."

"You know what I wonder about, Mike?"

"Suppose the invasion works, and we liberate all the captive people. What will they do once they're freed? I'll bet many of them will still cling to the Fuhrer's `New Order.' It's so much a part of their lives now, it feels half comfortable to them--like a jail cell that's become your home. Even when you're paroled, you're afraid to leave. One thing is sure, anyway: Even if we win, the world will never be the same again: too many scars, too much devastation, no simple return to pre-war innocence."

"No, but we can at least give the tired old world a chance for a new start, eh?"

"Absolutely, Mike. By the way, who is `we'? How many troops are in the invasion forces? If you're leading them tomorrow, you must know."

"You wouldn't believe it. The world has never seen an army this big. The whole sky is gonna have to open up for this one!

On Christmas Day, 4 B.C., the legions of General King of Kings under Michael the Archangel descended en masse in a field outside a little town called Bethlehem. The General himself came out of the hiding place Mary had prepared for him nine months before, disguised as a helpless baby.

The General wants all citizens to know that the invasion has been successful and the mop-up operation is still under way. All are urged to join this operation. There is still plenty to do. But the General assures all his troops that final, total victory is absolutely assured.

Hallmark is wrong. Christmas is not cute and cozy, sweet and sentimental. Christmas is God's D-Day.

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