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It was well known among his inner circle that Adolf Hitler was not a morning person. Before his first cup of coffee he literally couldn’t think straight. He preferred a particular bean called Mandheling only grown in Sumatra. This coffee is distinguished by its heavy body, earthy flavor, and low acidity. Der Führer had a large supply of it kept in a cool, dry basement chamber at the Kehlsteinhaus, his summer residence in Austria, better known to the English- speaking world as the Eagle’s Nest.

Thanks to a well-placed informant, these facts were known to the American and British intelligence services. But there was a secret plan rumored to be hatching by the Third Reich involving this special coffee. However, America’s OSS and Britain’s MI6 had just found out exactly what it was.

“All right, men,” barked Brigadier General Roy Vanderbilt, “Let’s go over the latest intelligence,” as he approaches a large map of Europe. Pointing to spots on the map, “Here is the Eagle’s Nest. The two nearest cities are Munich in Germany and Zurich in Switzerland. Train tracks lead to both of these cities. We believe shipments of the coffee are through Zurich and our men on the ground are tracking the exact sources right now.”

Colonel Andrew Lederer raises his hand. The General calls on him. “Can’t we simply bomb the train shipments before they get to Eagle’s Nest?”

“We could do that, but we have also observed other activity. Down the hill from the main building is a large greenhouse where recent construction activity has been taking place. We believe Hitler is building a hydroponic growing center to cultivate and grow the Mandheling beans locally, thus eliminating the need to import them. But this is a major undertaking requiring a lot of water and electrical resources to heat the greenhouse to tropical climate favorable to the beans.”

Lederer chimes in, “Let’s blow it up before it’s completed.”

“That, in fact, is our plan,” the General responds. “But that leaves the imported beans coming in by train and if we bomb the train shipments, Hitler will just have them shipped by truck which will be impossible to track.”

“That wily S.O.B.!” the Colonel blurts out.

The General continues. “We have a more sophisticated plan, thanks to our contacts in Zurich. What gives coffee its kick? Why does Hitler need it to operate? The caffeine, of course. We all feel the effect of morning coffee. Well, it seems the Swiss have invented a new process whereby the caffeine can be removed from the beans, with no visible change to their outward appearance. So, we intercept his

shipments at the source, remove the caffeine, and then allow the decaffeinated beans to be shipped as normal. Thus rendering the coffee, and therefore, Hitler, powerless ”

“Diabolical,” Colonel Lederer agrees.

“We call it Operation Nazi Caffeine and here are your assignments,” as he hands out manilla folders to the group. “We are on the fast track, as Hitler’s stockpile is growing low and a new shipment of beans is likely by the end of the month. If there are no questions, you are dismissed.”

“Just one question,” asks Colonel Lederer.

“Yes?” the General replies.

“Can we be there when Der Führer drinks his first cup?” The men all laugh heartily as they disperse.

Almost a month to the day, Der Führer travels to Eagle’s Nest. He learns that Allied forces had destroyed the hydroponic greenhouse the week before and is furious, but has bigger things to concentrate on, specifically, the invasion of England. A good night’s sleep is required after the long trip from Berlin.

The next morning, Adolf and his lovely fiancé, Eva, awake to a glorious sunrise, but, as usual, Der Führer is in a foul mood before his morning coffee. After downing a cup of the secretly decaffed brew in the bedroom suite, he exits, slamming the doors behind him.

Downstairs he enters the dining room for a meeting with his generals, again slamming the doors behind him. His butler turns to the maid and shakes his head. A few moments later, loud voices arguing can be heard from behind the closed doors. Hitler’s voice is prominent among them. “Get Out! Get out!,” Der Führer can be heard screaming at the top of his lungs. The doors swing open and General Paul Hausser bounds out and slams the doors closed behind him, breathing heavily as he leans up against them.

“Is there anything wrong, General Hausser?” the butler asks politely.

“He wants to invade Philadelphia.”

And the rest is history.


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