Bill Meilen
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Hitler stared at the giant soldier hard. “You know, I believe you are right, Otto. You will explain in more detail at our attack conference tomorrow. Now, we are scheduled to eat some fine birthday cake.”

With a clap of his hands, Hitler signalled a waiting trio of white-jacketed stewards, who came forward bearing a large cake a metre in diameter, decorated with a black fondant Hakenkreutz and a wide cochineal-red circle bearing the white piped words Unserem Führer—zum Geburtstage.

The cake was ringed with a circle of polished rosy apples, and aglow with fifty-four tiny burning candles. At Hitler’s signal, the stewards placed it down in the centre of the table map of Europe, and the staff officers crowded happily around the ritual scene.

It took the delighted Hitler three good long blows before he had extinguished all fifty-four candles, laughing up at Skorzeny and his new officers through the wreathing candle-smoke.