The Dahlem Initiative Synopsis:
It's the last weeks of the war in Europe, April 1945. Joshua Sheridan and John Cook are agents of the U.S. Government’s agency Alsos, part of the Manhattan project. Alsos is responsible for atomic bomb technology counter-intelligence against the Nazis, Japanese, and the current American ally the Soviet Union. They have been inserted into Germany to capture highly enriched uranium necessary to make an atomic bomb. The Nazi plan is to transport the uranium to their allies, the Japanese.
Sheridan and Cook, disguised as SS officers, are ordered to capture the enriched uranium to confirm that the Nazis have an uranium enrichment process/apparatus that the Manhattan project has not been able to develop.
Sheridan and Cook board the submarine, disguised as SS officers ordered to accompany the uranium to the Japanese. They kill the real officers, substitute themselves, they kill the crew and rendezvous with an American cruiser. They move the uranium to the cruiser. The uranium enrichment level is confirmed and they communicate their findings to the head of Alsos, Colonel Boris Pash.
Sheridan and Cook were told before this mission that this was their last one, but since the enriched uranium is confirmed, they are ordered to travel to Berlin to secure the enrichment process and its inventor. Sheridan is fearful that his luck has run out, but he goes anyway, he hasn’t a choice. Cook is concerned with Sheridan and is worried that he is losing his edge. Sheridan might get both of them killed.
They meet with their commanding officer, Colonel Pash in London, who has a team ready to leave for Dahlem, a suburb of Berlin and the location of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, where the uranium enrichment process has been developed. They have just a week to capture the equipment and its inventors and leave Dahlem-Berlin before the Red Army captures Berlin. The process and its inventors must not fall into Soviet hands, Pash orders.
The two men and the rest of their team fly to a small airbase near the Elbe River, the American frontlines. They use captured German Army vehicles and uniforms to disguise themselves as SS and drive towards Dahlem. They enter hell on earth, refugees fleeing from the Red Army and shards of German army units, remnants of the formerly mighty Wehrmacht. The SS has specialized squads, called Werewolves that are shooting German Army deserters and cleaning up the final business of the Third Reich.
The team encounters a werewolf unit in a small village near to Berlin. The crazed commander of the unit is guarding a trainload of Germans convicted in the conspiracy to overthrow Hitler the previous July. The crazed commander initially says they are deserters but finally lets the team go, but as the team departs, explosions and machine gun fire is heard, the convicted Germans are being killed by the SS.
Sheridan is in a dark mood, because of the murders and tries to shake it off and concentrate on the mission.
The team arrives in Grunewald, a large forest preserve near to Dahlem. Sheridan drives to Dahlem to make contact with their agent inside the enriched uranium project. Sheridan meets Monika Ostmeyer, a beautiful young women who is a physicist working on the project. There is an immediate attraction. They discuss the team’s arrival the next morning to take over the project. Monika is worried because the SS has been visiting the facility every day lately. She also is worried that the Red Army arrives, she will be raped. Rumors are coming to Berlin from the refugees that have moved west.
The next morning the Alsos team arrives at the Virus House, the lab where the ultracentrifuge has been developed, the device that has enabled the Germans to enrich uranium. The team is headed by Dr. Paul Harteck who invented the technology. The team begins to dismantle the equipment, but there is a problem, the lead engineer Dr. William Schmidt has not reported for work and he is crucial to dismantling the equipment, he was the one who lead the fabrication of the ultracentrifuge. There are components that are crucial to its operation that only Schmidt and his technician know how to dissemble. Sheridan sends Cook and Moll to search for Schmidt in the bombed out city of Berlin. Sheridan knows that if Schmidt is not found, they will have to take the system apart no matter what. They are running out of time.
Meanwhile the NKVD has ordered Col. Olga Veber to enter Dahlem and capture the equipment before the Red Army’s arrives. Beria, head of the NKVD has decided that either the Allies will attempt to capture it or the Germans will destroy it themselves to keep out of the Soviet Union’s hands. The NKVD team arrives and discovers SS troops dismantling the system, as their own agent inside the program has reported.
Meanwhile, SS-Brigadefuhrer Fritzche, who is the commander of nuclear research security and has discovered a fake SS team is at the Dahlem facility. He takes a platoon of SS and heads to the facility. The real SS arrives and the NKVD, led by Olga Veber is in a fire fight with the Alsos team. Fritzche orders his troops to kill or capture the NKVD. Olga Veber and some of the NKVD escape.
Fritzche has a private meeting with Sheridan. Fritzche tells Sheridan he knows they are Americans and would they take him with them to American lines, he has secrets that the U.S. will be interested in. Sheridan agrees.
Sheridan has received word that the Red Army is going to encircle Berlin in the next 12 hours. They leave and are caught up in the flow of human beings fleeing from the Red Army. They are strafed by Red Air Force planes, but get out before the Red Army cuts off their escape route. Sheridan takes Monika along even though he has been ordered to leave her behind. They have fallen in love.
The Alsos team drives to the town of Ziesar; twenty five kilometers form the American front lines.
But the NKVD is waiting for them. They are captured; Sheridan and the team are interrogated by the NKVD. Monika is a Soviet spy and Veber is her controller. What Sheridan and Cook don’t know is that a U.S. Army Regimental Combat Team has arrived to escort the team to American lines. A standoff occurs, and the Russian commander decides not to fight the American allies after consulting with his commanding officer. Stalin does not want a confrontation with the Americans.
Sheridan and the team are escorted back to American lines.
They are taken to a compound to rest and Monika and Sheridan make love. Sheridan thinks he is finally safe with a great woman. Cook, who was wounded in Ziesar, gets up to go the aid station for pain killers and overhears, Monika sending code on a radio. He doesn’t want to tell Sheridan, but he has to. In the confrontation, Monika confesses and is killed by Cook, trying to protect Sheridan. Sheridan feels betrayed and deep loss. Later, during the Atomic Bomb test in New Mexico, Cook discovers that Sheridan has recovered and is looking forward to finishing his doctorate at the University of Chicago. Sheridan is happy to get back to his normal life.