Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

That, and the underlying hope that the girls would choose to be nuns, leads them to focus a little too much on the religious doctrine & not enough on things like life skills; how to handle finances; how to handle men, especially the predatory ones, etc.
Riiight, because any other schools do teach that.
Also, do you really and seriously expect nuns to teach (or know) on how to handle men?
 
"Prisoner Papen, step forward"
"My name is Von Papen"
"Not since the Emperor signed this order this morning Papen, you're a commoner now. A thieving, penniless commoner".
 
Riiight, because any other schools do teach that.
Also, do you really and seriously expect nuns to teach (or know) on how to handle men?
No, I don't. But it is an orphanage, not just a school. The girls who live their have no-one else apart from the nuns, who know that most of the girls will leave when they are of age. While we all know that religious & state institutions of this type do not have a stellar record on turning out well adjusted individuals, that does not mean that they should not try to prepare their charges for the outside world. Convents have bills to pay and income (of some form) to pay them with. Demonstrating the basic principles during math and/or home economics classes shouldn't be that much of a stretch.
And not all nuns become nuns straight out of school; many have real life experiences before entering a convent. Experiences like paying rent & utilities, getting a job, that sort of thing. They will also have encountered men in the wild to some extent. For those nuns who have those experiences, they have an opportunity to pass on the lessons of those experiences. Remember, orphans: no parents or family to do this part of their education.
 
We must give the Nuns is Pskov a break as they were dealing with the aftermath of the suppression of religion, various purges, induced famine, war, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The orphans created at this time are going to become "The Lost Generation" in Russia and the fact that Anya was able to escape that is a remarkable achievement.

I would not be surprised if some of the money stolen from the Hohenzollern Trust went to reporters and columnists on both the left and right to write unflattering and libelous stories about the Imperial Family with emphasis on the marriage between Crown Prince Friedrich and Her Imperial Princess Suga of Japan.

The upcoming trial should be fun to watch as everyone tries to make a deal by naming names only to be told that that the names they gave up were the ones who gave them up and there is nothing they have that is worth a lighter sentence.
 
The trial of von Papen might snowball. I mean both shit and money have a tendency to roll down hill. So everyone who received the misappropriated and embezzled funds by way of von Papen will need to be put under a microscope by the white collar division of the BII, the federal police and the relevant police of each federal state.
 
The trial of von Papen might snowball. I mean both shit and money have a tendency to roll down hill. So everyone who received the misappropriated and embezzled funds by way of von Papen will need to be put under a microscope by the white collar division of the BII, the federal police and the relevant police of each federal state.
To say nothing about the tax collection agency, because I doubt they paid any taxes on that stuff, and nothing is scarier then a revenue agency out for treasure.
 
No, I don't. But it is an orphanage, not just a school. The girls who live their have no-one else apart from the nuns, who know that most of the girls will leave when they are of age. While we all know that religious & state institutions of this type do not have a stellar record on turning out well adjusted individuals, that does not mean that they should not try to prepare their charges for the outside world. Convents have bills to pay and income (of some form) to pay them with. Demonstrating the basic principles during math and/or home economics classes shouldn't be that much of a stretch.
And not all nuns become nuns straight out of school; many have real life experiences before entering a convent. Experiences like paying rent & utilities, getting a job, that sort of thing. They will also have encountered men in the wild to some extent. For those nuns who have those experiences, they have an opportunity to pass on the lessons of those experiences. Remember, orphans: no parents or family to do this part of their education.
Who says they don't teach some of that? And they do mention in the text that they send them to trade schools to prepare them for a job in life. As for paying taxes, in my experience it's pretty straightforward all around. The only ones that are more complicated are the ones from USA, who they have their own weird system, but that's a more-or-less unique situation.
Also, since the trade schools are mentioned, what that usually means is that the orphan gets primary handled by the orphanage (the covenant, in this case) and the secondary handled by either the orphanage, again, if they have the teachers for it, or by a state school specifically for "wards of the state" (not the best experience).
Afterwards, the high-school equivalent education will be handled by a trade school - in which the now teens will interact in a somewhat supervised fashion with 'regular' teens. A job will be provided by businesses who are in partnership with that particular trade school, at which the teens will do their (paid) apprenticeship, and work part-time during their last 1-2 years or so of trade school.
That happens both for state and religious - funded orphanages. As for nuns not teaching about the outside world - think of them like teachers. The teachers would usually teach the course, but from time to time they also tell a story about some experience, or any other subject. The nuns will do the same - it's not some kind of informational blackout about anything not pertaining to religion.
And for nuns teaching about men - that will, of course, be more of a weak spot, because most (but not all) nuns will have less experience than most women. As a trade-off, the children in a church-funded orphanage will usually have a better quality of life (better food, better lodgings, more staff and better oversight for that staff, etc) than in a state-funded one.

Maybe that's not how it works everywhere, but that was my experience about orphanages in my country from the time I was a volunteer.
 
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Part 102, Chapter 1651
Chapter One Thousand Six Hundred Fifty-one



20th August 1964

Wunsdorf-Zossen

The grenade launcher made a loud “THUMP!” noise as it launched the grenade down range with it exploding when it hit the target. The follow up shot came fifteen seconds later according to Hans’ watch. Impressive, but as the Grenadier fumbled between the second and third shots the shortcomings of this particular system revealed itself. The barrel of the launcher pivoted around the barrel of a G44 rifle replacing the handguard, it had to be perfectly lined up in order to close the latch and put it into battery. If it was this difficult for an experienced man to do this in controlled circumstances like this, then it just might be impossible in actual battlefield conditions.

It was all part of the evaluation process of the prototypes and so far, Hans had seen that all but one of them had turned out to fail his own standard of being relatively soldier proof by being too complex, delicate, cumbersome or some combination of the three. The one design that did meet his standard had been made by combining different existing, systems into something that worked. A version of the break action American M-79s that had been captured in Korea, except it swung sideways, combined with a trigger system much like the Walther P38 that had been used by all the Armed Forces for the previous two and half decades. The issue with it was politics though because it had been submitted by Mauser AG. The Reichstag was extremely leery of one corporation dominating small arms production especially in the wake of Mauser’s recent failed attempt to take over controlling interest of Bohemian arms manufacturer Brno. There was also the aspect of Mauser being connected to the Opposition in the minds of many within the current Government to consider. When Hans had discussed the matter with Helene, she had told him that he would need to be seen giving every design a fair shake and, in the end, he might have to settle for getting half of the pie. What did half the pie in this case even look like? Like if Hans needed a reminder as why he disliked politics.

All of this had come at the end of an extremely quick development process. Something that was fairly easy to do when someone else had already done most of the heavy lifting. The idea of making a grenade launcher part of a rifle wasn’t a new one. The Italians had built a system that was mounted on the side of their service rifle of the time back the 20s and used ball ammunition in a trap system that didn’t strike Hans as being for the faint of heart. The system that the Heer had adopted in the 30s was of a spigot type that mounted over the rifle muzzle and used a blank cartridge. Neither the G31 nor the G44 that had eventually replaced it had lent themselves well to that particular system and it had fallen into disuse even before the Second World War had ended. The Panzer Corps had been looking for something better for an extremely long time. The idea of an under-barrel grenade launcher had seemed like a good one when considering the 40mm low pressure grenades that had fallen into Hans lap in Korea. When it was discovered by the BND that Colt in America was developing a very similar system for the Stoner Rifle it seemed to validate the idea.

When the Grenadier finally got the grenade launcher working again and fired the third shot, Hans had already stopped looking at his watch. The manufacturer was not going to be thrilled with his report when they got it.



Kreuzburg, Berlin

Ji had been looking over his shoulder since he had been released from jail a few weeks earlier at the direction of Fürstin Katherine. He had been so happy that he had gotten out of there without being shoved onto the first plane back to Korea that he had not thought about the implications of what had happened. It hadn’t been until Bora had pointed out to him that a woman like the Fürstin did not do anything out of the goodness of her heart. Then the repairman who did refrigeration service and had been gouging the Korean community had a sudden change of heart. Or more likely, someone with a lot of power within the City Government had made clear that every permit or certification that he had could easily be revoked. Ji figured that he knew who it was who had done that. The question still remained though. Why had she done this?

Bora said that the Fürstin was looking to expand her power, which Ji found confusing. Sure, he could understand reining in someone who was being unfair to a particular community. But what did freeing him from jail and asking nothing in return have to do with power?

Bora said that it was because women, even extremely powerful ones had to do things differently. They couldn’t just walk in and proclaim that they were in charge the way that men could, and Ji should ask the Russians or the Poles what the Fürstin was doing. Soo-Jin was nodding in what was a rare moment of mother-daughter consensus. Ji found none of it enlightening and he got back to work, at least stocking shelves made sense.
 
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When we say Stoner Rifle, are we referring to the AR-10, the AR-15, or the Stoner 63? Or something else entirely unique to TTL?

(For what it's worth, my bet is on the AR-10.)
ITTL the SR-12, AKA M-10 Stoner Rifle is functionally similar to the AR-18 and chambered in 6mm Springfield which in OTL is called 6mm/223.

The relevant paragraph.
In the wake of the Mexican War, reports of what the Mauser G44 could do had circulated widely. Many had been skeptical of the German rifle with the odd metric caliber as well as the grey synthetic stock and handguard. The damned thing had outperformed the M-9s and Jonny didn’t even want to think about the weight of fire that the Krauts had poured onto anything stupid enough to get in their way. By the end of the campaign Jonny had found himself envying them. Everyone had been expecting that bureaucratic inertia would result in an updated M-9. Instead the SR-12, the Stoner prototypes had been delivered. The new rifle made liberal use of aluminum and plastic, causing many to wonder if it was really a toy or a prop stolen from the set of a Buck Rogers movie. The internal workings, with a gas piston and a rotating bolt were almost familiar once one got past how different they looked. Supposedly the cartridge was derived from one that was popular with target shooters Remington triple duce necked up to .243. Jonny wasn’t exactly sure if that was true, but he was more than happy to let those who were far more interested than he was in matters like that argue about it.
 
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That, and the underlying hope that the girls would choose to be nuns, leads them to focus a little too much on the religious doctrine & not enough on things like life skills; how to handle finances; how to handle men, especially the predatory ones, etc.
This is a potential issue alright...

We must give the Nuns is Pskov a break as they were dealing with the aftermath of the suppression of religion, various purges, induced famine, war, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Oh, for sure - they've had to soldier through a great deal.

Though wouldn't they have gotten at least some additional resources from Kira? I mean, given that she used the place as a temporary prison/reformatory for Young Women Who Didn't Do As Empress Kira Said, surely she'd have had to give them something in return...

(Looking back, I'm surprised Kiki didn't end up doing time there - unless I'm misremembering and she did :p )
 
(Looking back, I'm surprised Kiki didn't end up doing time there - unless I'm misremembering and she did :p )
Instead, Kiki got sent to Japan for a year and her mother refused to see her again for the remainder of her life. In some ways what happened was far more harsh than going Pskov would have been.

As for the situation in Pskov itself, it is a microcosm of what happened throughout Russia in a postwar years. A country full of orphans and insufficient resources to care for them.
 
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Instead, Kiki got sent to Japan for a year and her mother refused to see her again for the remainder of her life. In some ways what happened was far more harsh than going Pskov would have been.
Oh, I remembered that. Just because I'd had to read rather a lot at a time in order to get caught up, when it came to thinking back I was going 'She didn't go to Pskov, right?' You know yourself :p

And yeah...to say Kira was vindictive would be a bit like saying that the sea was slightly moist...

As for the situation in Pskov itself, it is a microcosm of what happened throughout Russia in a postwar years. A country full of orphans and insufficient resources to care for them.
I get you...
 
Bora said that it was because women, even extremely powerful ones had to do things differently. They couldn’t just walk in and proclaim that they were in charge the way that men could, and Ji should ask the Russians or the Poles what the Fürstin was doing.
Kat: God-Empress of Berlin
But seriously Kat is going have more actual power then the Mayor or City Council of Berlin and she is going to be smart about by having others do the dirty work for her and she will stay in the shadows.
 
The grenade launcher made a loud “THUMP!” noise as it launched the grenade down range with it exploding when it hit the target. The follow up shot came fifteen seconds later according to Hans’ watch. Impressive, but as the Grenadier fumbled between the second and third shots the shortcomings of this particular system revealed itself. The barrel of the launcher pivoted around the barrel of a G44 rifle replacing the handguard, it had to be perfectly lined up in order to close the latch and put it into battery. If it was this difficult for an experienced man to do this in controlled circumstances like this, then it just might be impossible in actual battlefield conditions.
It looks as if Hans subscribes to the theory that it's only an infantry weapon if it can be used easily by a soldier under duress.

The issue with it was politics though because it had been submitted by Mauser AG. The Reichstag was extremely leery of one corporation dominating small arms production especially in the wake of Mauser’s recent failed attempt to take over controlling interest of Bohemian arms manufacturer Brno. There was also the aspect of Mauser being connected to the Opposition in the minds of many within the current Government to consider.
Shit. Looks like the Mauser Board of Directors was a little too cosy with ( the formerly von) Papen & Friends. Hell, maybe he was a board member. This could lead to a government mandated anti-monopoly break up of the company, if it is determined that someone at Mauser 'helped' the Jacobins' secure their weapons & explosives.
Speaking of German arms companies, what ever happened to Krupp?

Bora said that the Fürstin was looking to expand her power, which Ji found confusing. Sure, he could understand reining in someone who was being unfair to a particular community. But what did freeing him from jail and asking nothing in return have to do with power?
Hearts & minds. The develepment of 'soft' power by providing concrete examples that the Fürstin is on the side on the little people, the ones who are all too often ignored by those in power, officially or unofficially. If someone like Kat, with all the rank & power that she has obtained, intercedes on behalf of an undocumented shop stockroom worker from Korea, then she might do the same for us. She has already done so for decades with the Russians & Poles, not to mention her own home neighbourhood. Plus the Templehof rejuvenation project has benefited so many of Berlin's middle & working classes. Push comes to shove, they'll tend to side with her over any damned Junker or oligarch. And that means that they'll probably side with the Kaiser as well. Especially since its blatantly obvious that many Junkers & oligarchs are against the Kaiser and the lower classes.
 
Shit. Looks like the Mauser Board of Directors was a little too cosy with ( the formerly von) Papen & Friends. Hell, maybe he was a board member. This could lead to a government mandated anti-monopoly break up of the company, if it is determined that someone at Mauser 'helped' the Jacobins' secure their weapons & explosives.
Speaking of German arms companies, what ever happened to Krupp?
Very present, as in everything that rolls over the railways in Europe and Asia is on tracks that were likely made by Krupp steel and they compete directly with Rheinmetall in the construction of artillery. Small arms are a different story though. At this point ITTL, the German Government is trying to prevent Mauser AG, closely associated with the center-right National Liberal Party, from gaining an effective monopoly in small arms production.
 
Very present, as in everything that rolls over the railways in Europe and Asia is on tracks that were likely made by Krupp steel and they compete directly with Rheinmetall in the construction of artillery. Small arms are a different story though. At this point ITTL, the German Government is trying to prevent Mauser AG, closely associated with the center-right National Liberal Party, from gaining an effective monopoly in small arms production.
Thanks for that P-M. I thought they were still active, I just couldn't remember reading about their armaments division since WW1 ended.
 
Part 103, Chapter 1652
Chapter One Thousand Six Hundred Fifty-Two



24th August 1964

Lány Castle, Bohemia

The demonstration of the new weapons produced in the Kingdom of Bohemia had concluded with the representative from the Army asking if they wanted to test them out themselves. Vicky and Birdie had not been interested, but Michael had wanted to see the new rifle firsthand and had shot a full magazine at the targets that had been set out for exactly that purpose.

Firing the last shot out of the vz.62P, Michael removed the magazine and the placed the rifle on the table next to a 9mm cz.60, the pistol that was an improved version of Browning Hi Power that Brno also made. General Morávek had been pushing for a new service pistol with a specific set of features for years and he had finally gotten it. The vs.62P on the other hand was based on a design of rifle that Hugo Schmeisser done in the forties. It was very different from the G44 rifle, though it used the same ammunition and magazines. Vicky just uncovered her ears and made a snide comment about the attachment between boys and the toys they play with. Michael had two decades of experience in dealing with her moods and didn’t feel the need to even feel annoyed with his little sister. It had been Vicky herself who had asked for this because she had wanted to see what all the fuss was about the day before.

This was the rifle that had caused Mauser AG to attempt to purchase the Small Arms Division of Brno a few months earlier when it had been declared the standard rifle of the Bohemian Army and substitute standard for the Armed Services of the German Empire. That move had caused Michael to go before the Reichstag here in Prague and invoke the clause in the Treaty of Paris of 1918 that gave the Kingdom of Bohemia the right to maintain its own independent industrial and defense policies when it had been incorporated into the German Empire. That had effectively blocked the deal and until that had happened most of the Bohemian Reichstag had just assumed that Michael was a German Prince playing at being the King of Bohemia. He had noticed that people had certainly looked that him differently since then.

Later, when Michael had spoken with his father about what had happened his father had said that he should never apologize for putting the interests of the people of Bohemia first. He also got the impression that his father had his own opinions about what had transpired but as they had talked Michael had seen that his father was speaking as the Emperor and was completely unreadable when he did that.

The matter had been settled until Vicky had asked about it after she had arrived in Prague after she had decided she wasn’t interested in spending the rest of the Summer Holiday in Potsdam. The fact that she had come with Princess Alberta, or Birdie as she preferred to be called, of England in tow had certainly complicated matters.

Birdie’s mother had sent her to Germany over the summer because she felt that time away from London would be good for her. She had gone with Victoria to Prague on a lark and seeing Michael was a bonus in her thinking. The fact she still didn’t think that Michael being seven and a half years older than her posed a problem towards any possibility of future romance was a bit confounding to him. Michael had once asked why and she simply pointed out that her father was several years older than her mother, so it was not big deal. That had caused him to abruptly change the subject.

Then there was the other thing.

Birdie had started writing letters to him when he had gone to Korea because she felt that was what she was supposed to do and had continued in the year and a half since then. Mostly just pedestrian things, what she did from day to day and who she spoke with. Michael had written her back, mostly because he felt obligated to. He didn’t know what to make of the awkward young woman who had apparently had a crush on him since he had agreed that they should never get married. Just that made Birdie one of the strangest people he knew.

“Your brother took the time to arrange this for us” Birdie said to Vicky, “You don’t need to be that way.”

“It is not just my brother” Vicky said, “I have a lot of reasons to think that way. Mauser, the family trust, all of it is one giant rotten pustule.”

“Wouldn’t any pustule be rotten?” Birdie asked, “For it to even be there. You know?”

Vicky gave Birdie a dirty look.

“I think that Vicky is trying to explain that the business practices of the organizations and people behind recent events are not to her liking” Michael said.

“Thank you” Vicky said, “At least you understand.”

“It helps that I’m a step removed” Michael replied, “If I were in Poppa’s shoes, I would be sorely tempted to tell the Reichstag to sod off as I brought the guillotine out of the museum and put it to use in Königsplatz.”

“That sounds a bit extreme” Victoria said, “What Poppa is doing to those who stole from us seems to be far worse for them than just killing them.”

“For that lot, riding the U-Bahn with ordinary people is a fate worse than death” Michael said as he watched Birdie as she was picking up the brass cartridges that littered the ground.
 
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