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Over the Wire Issue 13

This just came in over the wire Party, the German military and even the SS aided Strasser in his escape, providing intelligence and direct assistance to the enemy of their nations Fuehrer. While the headquarters of the Black Front was being ransacked by the Gestapo in Berlin, the organizations leader slipped into the Thuringian countryside. Hiding out in the country, he dispatched orders to all members of the Black Front. Those whose affiliation was known to the Gestapo were to flee Germany. Those whose membership in the organization was not public knowledge were to immediately infiltrate the German army, the SS and the Nazi Party itself. Through use of the telephone, Strasser continued to run the Black Front from inside Germany. Contacts within the SS and Gestapo warned him in advance when captured Black Front agents broke and divulged their leaders whereabouts. Slipping past SS cordons, Strasser relocated his headquarters first to isolated locations in Bavaria. Narrowly escaping arrest by the SS in Bavaria, Strasser held one last meeting with the leaders of the Black Front before crossing the Bavarian Alps into Austria under the very noses of German frontier guards. Behind him he left a squad of assassins despatched by Hermann Goering for the express purpose of killing him. All the murderers found was the deserted farmhouse Strasser had been hiding in at Chiemsee. May 10th, 1933 found Otto Strasser leaving Germany for Austria. Soon he established the new headquarters of the Black Front in the capital of Vienna. Soon, Strassers organization began publishing an anti-Hitler newspaper called The Secret Sender and smuggling it across the border into Germany. Such activities ensured that neither Strasser nor his Black Front would be forgotten by the Nazis. On July 4th, 1933, after a series of bombings and terrorist acts committed by the Austrian Nazi Party, the Austrian police made an attempt to arrest Strasser as the perpetrator of the attacks. Instead of laying the blame for the bombings on the Austrian Nazi Party, the Viennese Chief of Police Dr Otto Steinhausl held the Black Front as the responsible party. A pro-German conspirator, Steinhausl would later be made an SS-Oberfuehrer following the annexation of Austria by Germany. Because of Steinhausls efforts, Otto Strasser found himself the most wanted man not only in Germany, but also Austria. Escaping Austrian police, Strasser was able to flee to Czechoslovakia. Having already made preliminary plans for a Black Front stronghold in Prague, Strasser left Austria and 1

The Avengers of Roehm: The Black Front

An organization of Nazis opposed to the policies and politics of Adolf Hitler, the Black Front was established in 1930 by Nazi politician Otto Strasser. A leader of the left-wing of the Nazi Party, Strasser had campaigned to redirect the focus of the NSDAP towards more socialist causes such as support of labour and the nationalizing of financial institutions, as well as a closer relationship with the USSR. His vision at odds with that of other Nazi leaders who feared that such socialist leanings would alienate the German middle class and especially those industrialists who supported the Nazi Party, Strassers faction of the NSDAP was dealt a decisive defeat at the Bamberg Conference held in 1926. Following this meeting of Nazi leaders to determine the focus of their party and eliminate dissent within its own ranks, Adolf Hitler was established as the sole governing voice and ultimate authority within the NSDAP. Otto Strasser remained a member of the NSDAP until his continuing advocacy of the left wing finally caused Hitler to expel him from the party in 1930. Strasser retaliated by forming the Union of Revolutionary National Socialists, a political organization composed of socialist Nazis who considered Hitlers increasing ties with German industry and Conservatives to be a betrayal of the NSDAPs political ideals. This organization adopted the crossed hammer and sword as their symbol and intended to cause a split within the main Nazi Party by sowing discord and dissent against Hitler. Strassers organization would soon change its focus from propaganda and political dissent to assassination and terrorism, becoming the Black Front. On February 27th, 1933, the Reichstag was set on fire by arsonists. Blaming the flames on Communist terrorists, Hitler used the fire as an excuse to assume complete control of the German government. Otto Strasser, understanding that there was nothing between Hitler and absolute power now, immediately fled Berlin. The organization hed established, with its secret members throughout the Nazi
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established himself in Prague. However, even in Czechoslovakia, Strasser was not beyond the reach of his enemies. Gestapo agents, posing as Prague police, attempted to arrest Strasser, giving up only when they were deceived by Strassers phony German passport. Given a respite, Strasser continued to publish and smuggle antiHitler literature into Germany. Stickers produced in Prague bearing the symbol of the Black Front were likewise smuggled into Germany, there to find their way onto walls, posters and even the desks of Nazi officials. The continuing agitation by the Black Front caused the Gestapo to make another attempt on the organizations leader. In March, 1934, a wealthy man calling himself Mr. Frank approached Otto Strasser in Prague. Claiming to represent an American anti-Nazi organization, he offered to finance Strassers efforts to the tune of sixty thousand crowns in exchange for a fivethousand copy circulation of The Secret Sender. Three months later, Mr. Frank, actually a Gestapo agent named Wenzel Heindl approached Strasser about attending an important meeting with his employer in Paris, lacing his invitation with vague whisperings of upcoming political turmoil in Germany. Upon arrival in Paris, however, Strasser was told by Heindl that his employer had gone to Saarbrucken to meet with the anti-Nazi author Konrad Heiden. Strasser agreed to go to Saarbrucken, but upon meeting with his old friend Heiden he discovered that the writer didnt know anything about Heindl or any American anti-Nazi group. Suspecting a trap, Strasser made his excuses to Heindl and slipped away before any SS men who had crossed over the German frontier

could arrest him. The Gestapo, however, was persistent and would try again. On June 30th, 1934, Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich and Goering orchestrated the Blood Purge against the leadership of the SA. On this Night of the Long Knives, the remaining elements of the socialist arm of the NSDAP were exterminated by the SS and Gestapo. Many Nazi leaders were executed, including SA leader Ernst Roehm, some like Berlin SA chief Walther Stennes managing to escape into exile. Gregor Strasser, Ottos brother and an early rival of Hitlers within the NSDAP was another victim of the Blood Purge. Having remained in Germany where for several years he published an anti-Hitler weekly newspaper titled The Black Front; Strasser was arrested by the Gestapo in Berlin. On June 30th, 1934, Gregor Strasser was murdered in his cell when Gestapo agents shot him through the window. When Heindl reappeared in Prague, he used the Blood Purge as evidence of an anti-Hitler movement within Germany and chided Strasser for not helping it succeed. He again invited Strasser to confer with his employer, this time in London. The plane, Heindl said, could be piloted by Strassers friend, a Jewish-German exile named Dr. Mahr. Still suspicious, Strasser asked the Chief of Police in Prague to check on Heindl. The Gestapo agent fled before police could question him, but interrogation of Dr. Mahr revealed his complicity in the plot to abduct Strasser. Another trusted Black Front operative, Alfred Franke-Griksch, was implicated in the earlier Paris plot, but escaped to Switzerland before he could be taken into custody. He would return with German forces in 1939 to help the Gestapo hunt the back streets of Prague for Black Front agents. Along with The Secret Sender, Otto Strasser was able to establish a private radio station, broadcasting into Germany three times a day from Zahori, southwest of Prague. This would be the Voice of the Black Front. He was aided in this endeavour by Rudolf Formis, a radio-technician who had sabotaged transmission of several Hitler speeches before fleeing to Czechoslovakia. For many months, the Black Fronts radio station broadcast from the very doorstep of Hitlers Germany. All of that came to an end on January 26th, 1935 when two SS men and a female accomplice assassinated Formis and destroyed his equipment. In September of 1935, still headquartered in Prague, Otto Strasser was approached by a SS man named Heinrich Grunow. Grunow was one of Hitlers bodyguards at Berchtesgaden but now wished to join the Black Front, intent on avenging the death of Ernst Roehm. He had a plan that would present a perfect opportunity to kill Hitler. He informed Strasser that a new road was being constructed at Berchtesgaden and that its current condition would not allow for fast driving. It would present a prime chance to assassinate Hitler. A marksman could hide himself at a particular curve and when Hitlers car slowed to take the turn Strasser agreed to support Grunows plan. Along with a senior Black Front agent named Eitel Sturm, Grunow was sent back into Germany to carry out his scheme. Hiding in the hills, armed with rifles, the two assassins eagerly awaited the arrival of Hitler on his weekend sojourn to the Eagles Nest. Tensely Sturm awaited the approach of the car while the vengeful Grunow passed the hours

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as still as a statue, hate shining in his eyes. Finally the Fuehrers car appeared making its way down the road. In the dim twilight two men were visible seated in the front of the vehicle. Without hesitation, Grunow rose from hiding and fired two shots into the man in the passenger seat. As the stricken man cried out and rose to his feet, Sturm sent a third bullet smashing through his skull. Panicked, the man behind the wheel of the car threw the vehicle into motion and sped away, the corpse of his passenger collapsed in the back seat. Convinced he had murdered Hitler and determined never to fall into the hands of the Gestapo, Grunow drew his pistol, thrust the barrel into his mouth and blew his brains out. Sturm raced back to Prague to deliver the news to Strasser. However, two days later a very different story emerged in the German newspapers. No mention of an assassination was made, but there was a report that Julius Schreck, Hitlers chauffeur, had died as a result of complications from an infected tooth. The grim truth of what had happened was obvious to Strasser. For some unknown reason, Hitler had been driving the car and Schreck had been sitting in the passenger seat. Instead of shooting Hitler, the assassins had murdered Schreck. Again, some perverse whim of fate had preserved the Fuehrers life. Another chance at Hitler came to the Black Front in February of 1936. A German engineer, Franz Steinberg was entrusted with this new mission to kill Hitler. He was informed that Hitler would be leaving Berlin to celebrate the Rhineland occupation at the Speyer Cathedral. The journey would be made by train and his train would cross the Mannheim railroad bridge. Together with a railroad dispatcher named Wolfgang Eberle, Steinberg would bring down the bridge and with it Hitlers train. The operation was made more difficult by the fact that Hitlers train was always preceded by a guide train which would encounter any explosives first, however the Black Front found a way around this problem. They would manually detonate the explosives on the bridge, allowing the guide train to cross safely and then bring down the bridge only when it was too late for Hitlers train to stop. The plan was carried out flawlessly, however the Fuehrers luck held. A troop train transporting soldiers to the Rhineland was allowed to go ahead of Hitlers train. When the saboteurs blew the bridge, it was the transport that was sent hurtling off the rails, not the train carrying the Fuehrer. Both Steinberg and Eberle were quickly captured and executed by the SS in the woods near the Mannheim bridge. With Austria annexed to Germany and with Nazi forces ready to invade Czechoslovakia, Otto Strasser fled to France on October 1st, 1938. From a French villa, he began to operate a second Black Front radio station, transmitting orders to his followers in the expanding German Reich. His stay in France was not a lengthy one. Almost
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as soon as a new Black Front headquarters was established in Paris, French authorities arrested Strasser to appease the German ambassador. Strasser was soon released, but expelled from France. He would spend most of 1939 in Switzerland, uncomfortably close to his enemies in Germany. The Black Front, however, now with strongholds in Paris and Copenhagen, would continue to operate during the isolation of its leader. The November 8th, 1939 attempt to assassinate Hitler during a speech in Munich was immediately credited to Otto Strasser and the Black Front. A Swiss carpenter named Georg Elser over a period of weeks had hollowed out a column in the Burgerbraukeller. Every year, on the anniversary of the failed Munich Putsch of 1923, Hitler would give a speech to Nazi Party leaders and the old guard of the NSDAP. On this occasion, Hitlers speech ran shorter than usual and the Fuehrer left the beer hall eight minutes before the bomb went off. Eight people were killed in the blast and another sixty were injured. Again, Hitlers incredible luck had allowed him to escape death by the narrowest margin. Georg Elser was apprehended by the SS trying to sneak back into Switzerland. He was quickly connected to the bombing and detained by the Gestapo. Despite the use of torture, drugs and hypnosis, the Gestapo was unable to get Elser to give up the names of the two accomplices who had helped him in his effort to kill Hitler. The Swiss origin of Elser, however, made it clear to Himmler who had conceived the attack and given Elser the materials to implement the plan. Leaving other German intelligence agencies to try and prove the culpability of the British Secret Service in the bomb plot, Himmler focused his efforts on the Black Front and its leader, now living in Switzerland.

Demanding the extradition of Otto Strasser from Switzerland, Heinrich Himmler forced the hand of the Swiss government. The Swiss authorities allowed Strasser to slip across the border back into France. Now that the French were at war with Germany, he would be safe there. Strassers return to Paris was not a long one. French resistance to the German invasion in 1940 crumbled with a speed that shocked the world. With his name at the top of the list of German refugees to be turned over to German forces by the French government, Otto Strasser was able to sneak into Spain on August 1st and from there into Portugal. With Gestapo agents hot on his heels, Otto Strasser was helped out of Portugal by the British Secret Service, setting sail first to Bermuda and from there to Canada. In Strasser and his Black Front, the British recognized a resource they could exploit in the war against Hitler. Following the Night of the Long Knives, Otto Strassers organization became a direct adversary of Hitlers regime. Its ranks swollen by Nazis who had escaped out of Germany before they could fall into the hands of the SS, the Black Front became a vicious adversary of Hitlers New Germany, a vengeful shadow dogging the steps of a tyrant. Relocating to the Czechoslovakian capital of Prague, Otto Strasser used the influx of desperate, vengeful Storm troopers to change the Black Front from a voice of political dissent to a criminal enterprise of sabotage and murder. Christening themselves as the Avengers of Roehm, Black Front operatives made frequent incursions back into Germany to assassinate SS men and take revenge upon the Nazi politicians who had betrayed them. Pragmatic and vengeful, the Black Front proved quite willing to co-operate with anyone provided they were an enemy of Hitler. Jewish refugees, communist exiles and even Soviet agents were recruited by the Black Front to assist in their subversive operations. Hermann Hirsch, a Jewish exile from Germany, was one such agent. Provided with two suitcases filled with explosives, Hirsch was sent back to Germany under false papers in December, 1936. His mission was to blow up the Nazi Party Headquarters in Nuremburg. Although the plot failed and Hirsch was executed by the Germans in 1937, the audacity of the plot shook many Nazi leaders. Josef Goebbels issued a bounty on Otto Strassers head of half a million dollars, naming him as Germanys Number One Enemy. The Black Front remains one of the most dangerous organizations in Europe. Black Front cells operate across occupied Europe, often with only the most remote supervision from the Allies. When hostilities broke out between Germany and her former ally the Soviet Union, many Black Front agents offered their services to the Soviets. Like the western Allies, the Soviets are wary of trusting the Black Front too much. They know that these unrepentant Nazis have no loyalty to their foreign allies, caring only about exacting revenge against Hitler for his betrayal of them. As such, the Black Front has a reputation for callously wasting the lives of Allied soldiers, sometimes misrepresenting the strength of a German position simply to ensure the Allies will strike at it. Where the Black Fronts role as gatherers of intelligence is 4
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often suspect, their use as assassins and saboteurs is considered invaluable by the intelligence services of the Allies. The Black Front has been forging German money and documents for over a decade, becoming masters in the art. Armed with these papers and a native familiarity of customs and terrain no foreign agent could ever hope to match, Black Front operatives are able to move at will throughout German-controlled Europe. Like snakes in the long grass, they wait until their prey is in sight. When the operatives of the Black Front do strike, the symbol of the hammer and sword is left behind a unique reminder to Hitler that his old enemies are still lurking in the shadows to exact their vengeance.

Black Front avenger

Black Front Avengers represent the rank and file of the organization. As likely to be Jewish refugees, Communist sympathizers, Catholic partisans or any other German subjected to the tyranny of Hitlers regime as they are to be disaffected Nazis, the Avengers are usually tasked with the less sensitive operations conducted by the Black Front. They are the ones sent to sabotage industry, spread propaganda and execute inconsequential targets such as regular SS men and low-level Nazi officials. Avengers are also the agents most commonly dispatched to assist Allied troops in the field, guiding them to objectives or helping scout the terrain. Regular Specialist (Individual) Composition: 1 Vindictive German Agent Equipment: Kar98k, Grenades M 3 RC 4+ CC 3 A 3 S 2 DR 4 W 2

Special Rules: Hidden Deployment Apathetic Solo Unrepentant The agents of the Black Front are driven by hatred and revenge, not by any loyalty to the Allied cause. It is difficult for Allied commanders to make these men obey commands given in the field. It costs a model 2 AP to use Command on a Black Front model. Options: The individuals Training Level can be increased to Veteran. The individual may be designated a Hero. The individual may exchange his Kar98k for a MP40.

Black Front assassin

Black Front Assassins are hard-line Nazis who feel betrayed by the Blood Purge and have joined Otto Strasser in his quest to destroy Hitler. Many of these men have been waging a war from the shadows since 1934, murdering their enemies in back allies and deserted streets throughout Germanys great cities. The tireless efforts of the Gestapo and SS have weeded out the careless and the foolish. Those Black Front Assassins still at large in 1946 are

expert killers, human predators who stalk their prey and attack without warning before fading back into the shadows. Elite Specialist (Individual) Composition: 1 Cold-Blooded German Assassin Equipment: 2 Pistols, Grenades M 3 RC 3+ CC 4 A 3 S 3 DR 5 W 2

Special Rules: Hidden Deployment Lethal Apathetic Solo Crack Shot Unrepentant The agents of the Black Front are driven by hatred and revenge, not by any loyalty to the Allied cause. It is difficult for Allied commanders to make these men obey commands given in the field. It costs a model 2 AP to use Command on a Black Front model. Pistolier A Black Front Assassin armed with pistols may fire both weapons at the same time, effectively granting him a rate of fire of 2:1. However, the simultaneous use of two powerful automatics diminishes the effectiveness of the Assassins aim, increasing the RC of both shots by +1. Options: The individual may be designated a Hero. The individual may exchange his pistols for a Stg44 or MP40.

Using the Black Front in ae-WWii

Any Allied faction may make use of the Black Front. These German renegades will as quickly work for the American OSS as they will the Soviet Red Army. When building a detachment, an Allied commander may choose a Black Front operative if there is an available Specialist slot. Black Front operatives may choose from any General or German hero types, including those hero types restricted to the SS and SD. As the war is prolonged, the Black Front continues to draw recruits from dissatisfied Germans and old sleeper agents become active, sometimes bringing with them the advanced science and arcane secrets of their country when they defect. Black Front operatives inspire Hatred from all SS and SD troops. An SS or SD model with Hatred gains +1 S in all close combat attacks against their hated foe and may charge into close combat with the hated foe at +1 M.

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