In February 1945, the US Air Force launched the largest daytime bombing offensive against Berlin, dropping over 2,250 tons of bombs on the German capital.
The Reichsbank, Germany’s state bank, received 21 direct hits. This left the building badly damaged its vaults unsafe and meant that most of its contents were at risk.
The German authorities made the decision to take most of the Reichsbank’s treasure away and hide it for safekeeping. Some $200 million US in gold bars, weighing around 100 tons, plus much of the paper currency reserves, as well as a great deal of foreign currency (approximately $4 million in US currency alone) was sent in trains from Berlin.
All this loot was placed in a salt mine at a place called Merkers. The US Army captured this intact. After this disaster, the Germans spent the next six weeks transferring their remaining bullion and currency reserves around what remained of the Reich in armored trains, an area that included parts of northern Italy, Czechoslovakia, Austria and Germany, looking for somewhere safe.
Much of the treasure actually either ended up back in Berlin, was stolen, disappeared or, was captured, mainly by American troops and the SS.
This novel, by Colin Roderick Fulton, imagines one plot, which could have been enacted around this time. The mystery surrounding the locations and ultimate destiny of the liberated treasures provides fertile ground on which to impose such a fiction. Secrecy, intrigue, and fast-paced action combine to create a well-paced novel, sure to appeal to fans of wartime fiction.
About Colin Roderick Fulton
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Published January 19, 2013
by Claymore Press.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction.