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General Zimmermann

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General Zimmermann was one of the principal antagonists of the novel Force 10 from Navarone.


Zimmermann was a German general serving in Yugoslavia in World War II. He and his armored column of tanks and trucks were encamped on the opposite side of a river near a bridge. They'd driven the Partisan forces commanded by Zimmermann's Yugoslavian opposite number General Vukolovic across the bridge and trapped them in a valley on the other side, and were planning on crossing the bridge to wipe them all out. Zimmermann however was suspicious that the British might sent a commando team to assist the Partisans. He was right.

Captain Keith Mallory and his team arrived in the country pretending to be defectors. Zimmermann didn't quite believe it, and ensured that a close eye was kept on Mallory's actions. He was soon proven correct when the commandos doublecrossed the German-led Cetnik forces under the command of his subordinate Captain Neufeld in order to rescue some captive British officers.

When he received word from Neufeld that Mallory and the others had left Yugoslavia aboard a plane, Zimmermann, thinking the prisoners had been all Mallory had come for, gave the order to attack, and led the charge across the bridge in his staff car. Instead, the only ones who left aboard the plane had been the rescued British officers, whilst Mallory and his team stayed to attack a dam upriver from the bridge. Corporal Dusty Miller planted bombs which blew the dam, sending a raging tidal wave rushing down the river.

Seeing it coming, a panicked Zimmermann ordered his driver to go faster to try and reach the other side of the bridge, but the car wasn't fast enough. The bridge was hit and Zimmermann, his tanks, trucks and most of his troops were swept away to their watery deaths in the river.

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