Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

Part 104, Chapter 1691
Chapter One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-One



29th August 1965

Potsdam

At least it was a nice day for an outdoor reception. They had lucked out in that regard. Kat had also taken advantage of the fact that she was here in her capacity as Chief Court Mistress, as opposed to the Generallieutenant commanding the KSK. So, she was wearing a sundress as opposed to a heavy wool uniform that all the men seemed to be wearing.

The arrival of a Presidential delegation for a State visit at the Summer Residence basically put everything on hold. Louis had been talking with Architects about the design of a new Winter Residence somewhere near the center of Berlin now that the House of Hohenzollern’s finances were back in order. That and things of far more importance had been shelved for now. The money that Kat had loaned him was getting paid back directly or in the form of land grants in southern Germany. So, everything had worked out, sort of. Long experience had taught Kat to be suspicious of when things seemed to be going well. Because when it all ended it tended to come as a surprise.

Enter Nelson Rockefeller.

The American President had recently signed a law that guaranteed that every American had the right to vote and had immediately faced a massive backlash from his own political party. It was hardly a surprise that the honeymoon was over. President Rockefeller was to the left of his own party these days and was probably one of the few men who could have gotten nominated and then go on to win the election. His signing of the laws that had languished during the prior Administration had revived the prospects for the Democratic Party, who oddly stood to gain the most from them. Kat had followed American politics since the 1940 Presidential election and still found it absurd theater at best.

The consequence of that was that Rockefeller was in Potsdam trying to get a foreign policy victory by talking up a strategic arms limitation treaty. As if either the Emperor or Chancellor would be disagreeable with such a thing. Louis had been writing editorial columns under his various pseudonyms again about that exact topic. Comparing nuclear arms to battleships in the last century. How the arms race between the German Empire and the UK had needlessly raised tensions, becoming just one of the many causes of the First World War. Like always though, the Devil was in the details. International treaties were a matter of give and take, frequently with all parties coming away not particularly happy with the result being the best outcome.

Kat was also aware that those who drafted the treaties either lacked imagination or wrote gaping holes within them. Her own people had gotten copies of the draft treaty and discovered that there were dozens of holes in the language that both nations could easily exploit. The favorite example was the series of drone aircraft that Fieseler had built going back to the Fi 103 which had been used to great effect against Moscow during the Second World War. Since then there had been substantial developments in that program had taken place over the last twenty years with the latest versions being turbojet powered and certainly nuclear capable by design. Not one word was said about them.

If Kat had to guess, she would assume that it was just how the game was played. As she got older, Kat was starting to realize that she didn’t have a whole lot of patience for those sorts of games.

“Deep thoughts?” Kat heard a voice ask and she saw Louis Junior approaching her. He was wearing the white summer uniform of the Navy with a shiny new Polar Service Medal pinned to it. A couple days earlier he had told Kat about how he had found it hard to reconcile what people said about him serving in a far-flung place like Wilhelm Station versus what he had in fact done there. If he had worked logistics in Kiel no one would be impressed, doing in Antarctica made it completely different somehow. Kat told him that was just how life worked, it frequently didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

“Just about what they are trying to do here” Kat said motioning to Louis Senior and President Rockefeller as they answered questions from the gathered press pool.

“The treaty” Louis said.

“Peace is always a worthwhile goal” Kat replied.

“I understand that” Louis said, “But the show, is it needed.”

“Actually yes” Kat said, “Visibility, public support, political accountability.”

Kat saw Louis frown. He didn’t have a whole lot of use for politics. Neither did Kat, though she was in a better position to tell people to go sod off these days. Louis Junior was still working his way up the ladder and it was obvious to everyone that since he had returned to Potsdam he had been at loose ends. He couldn’t afford to tell people what he thought of them the way that Kat regularly got away with doing.

“Perhaps you should sail a yacht around South America, go to Hollywood and date an actress or something” Kat said, “That is the sort of thing that younger princes do.”

Louis smiled at that. It was what his father had done in the thirties before the untimely death of his brother Wilhelm, who had been the Crown Prince at the time, had put him next in line for the throne.

“Perhaps I ought to go to Stuttgart and work on an assembly line like he did with Ford in Detroit then” Louis replied.

“Do you also secretly wish you were a mechanic?” Kat asked. It was an aspect of Louis Senior that few knew about, he was happiest when he was tinkering with engines in his workshop. Like everyone else Louis Junior found that amusing.

Minutes later the press conference ended, Louis Senior and Rockefeller eventually passed where Kat and Louis Junior were watching.

“I would like to introduce you to Fürstin Katherine of Berlin” Louis Ferdinand said, and Rockefeller gave her a quizzical look. It was nice to know that she still had the right sort of bad reputation. “And my son Louis.”

“The Antarctic explorer?” Rockefeller asked and Kat noticed that Louis’ smile became fixed as he shook the President’s hand.
 
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Kat was also aware that those who drafted the treaties either lacked imagination or wrote gaping holes within them.
A bit of both.

Geese KNOW that they are dinosaurs and believe that mammals need to be reminded of that from time to time.
They like to think that, but at the end of the day a goose is all dark meat...

Geese are evil. That poor pup.
That was about the scope of it.

"Come over here dog, and get some good old-fashioned Canadian violence!"
 
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Young Louis Ferdinand goes to New Guinea with President Rockefeller's son Michael but that happened in 1961 so that's out unless butterflies...
 
The American President had recently signed a law that guaranteed that every American had the right to vote and had immediately faced a massive backlash from his own political party. It was hardly a surprise that the honeymoon was over. President Rockefeller was to the left of his own party these days and was probably one of the few men who could have gotten nominated and then go on to win the election. His signing of the laws that had languished during the prior Administration had revived the prospects for the Democratic Party, who oddly stood to gain the most from them. Kat had followed American politics since the 1940 Presidential election and still found it absurd theater at best.
So Rockafeller signed a law passed by a democrat legislative minority and those racist republicans are in a snit?
Bullshit!
This is 1965, the Republican party is still the party of Lincoln and the Democrat party is still the party of Jim Crow.

Our timelines Civil Rights Act of 1964 had the following vote totals:

The original House version:[23]
  • Democratic Party: 152–96 (61–39%)
  • Republican Party: 138–34 (80–20%)
Cloture in the Senate:[24]
  • Democratic Party: 44–23 (66–34%)
  • Republican Party: 27–6 (82–18%)
The Senate version:[23]
  • Democratic Party: 46–21 (69–31%)
  • Republican Party: 27–6 (82–18%)
The Senate version, voted on by the House:[23]
  • Democratic Party: 153–91 (63–37%)
  • Republican Party: 136–35 (80–20%)
If the Republican's gained a legislative majority along with Rockafeller's election (which you implied) the overall vote for it would be higher, because the R's voted 80/20 for whereas the demorats voted 60/40.
 
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So Rockafeller signed a law passed by a democrat legislative minority and those racist republicans are in a snit?
Bullshit!
This is 1965, the Republican party is still the party of Lincoln and the Democrat party is still the party of Jim Crow.
You make a valid point, though there is one thing you ought to remember that is one of the rules. OTL is not TTL.
 
IOTL it was the Eisenhower candidacy in 1952 that the Republicans started to break through the South and there was some Representatives beginning to be elected in the South.
For the most part they were even more pro segregationist then the Democrats they replaced.
From my interpretations of this timeline the Republicans has been shut out in the South for the most part and with the exception of Sen. Barry Goldwater there has been no real Republican that has appealed to the South and the Republicans don't need the South to win the Presidency or Congress and that makes it easier for them to support Civil Rights.
IOTL up until 1964 the Republicans had stronger civil rights platforms then the Democrats and the Republicans was getting up to 40% of the African American vote until Goldwater was the nominee in 1964 which then dropped to 8% .
Also from my interpretations of this timeline there is a massive split be the Democrats in the North and Democrats in the South that was caused by the ITTL "Corrupt Bargain" of 1960 and that has made the South with it's more overt official support of violence against African-Americans has made it even more isolated then it was IOTL.
With no OTL American participation in ITTL WW II and no Taft-Hartley Labor Act the South is far less industrialized and more poor then it was IOTL and it is losing population instead of growing like it did IOTL.
With all that in mind the South is at a crossroads it can either progress with the rest of the country or continue to fall behind and lose influence
 
You make a valid point, though there is one thing you ought to remember that is one of the rules. OTL is not TTL.
Yes, but the new time line has to make sense. In your timeline, there was no JFK/LBJ one-two punch for a civil rights act and no Barry Goldwater running against it. Instead, there was the "corrupt bargain" that gave Harriman 4 more years and soured civil rights minded democrats in the north for '64. In this time line, it's going to be Rockafeller sending the 101st to Little Rock. It's going to look like Reconstruction 2.0. Blacks in America will be voting Republican for the next 50 years, and all Democrats are going to be tarred as racist bigots.
 
Garbage in, garbage out. If that's the sum of his experiences with Kiki, he can't magically determine her character.
I think they meant Suse, not Kiki.

If it is Kiki, Manfred is far, far from alone on getting that wrong.

Please see: All of Humanity that isn't Kiki and sometimes Ben
 
I think they meant Suse, not Kiki.

If it is Kiki, Manfred is far, far from alone on getting that wrong.

Please see: All of Humanity that isn't Kiki and sometimes Ben
Nah, it was about Kiki in this case.
He recalled a somewhat severe woman in her twenties who had coldly peered at him through the lenses of her glasses without ever saying a word the one time he had met her. Ina had said that Manfred had gotten her wrong, but he couldn’t figure out how.
Also, Kiki's wants and needs seem to be sometimes a mystery to herself as well.
 
Part 104, Chapter 1692
Chapter One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-Two



5th September 1965

Hohenzollern Castle

Kiki was supposed to be headed back to Jena in a few hours and she wasn’t getting ready to go. Instead she was wishing that she was dead while lying face down on her bed having just woken up badly hungover, with Rauchbier licking the back of her neck. The night before she had participated in a local festival to celebrate the start of the harvest, Kiki understood that it was just pretext for throwing a large party where everyone got extremely drunk. The Local Council in Hechingen had cooked it up to bring the tourists and their money into town. As the current Princess of Hohenzollern Kiki was expected to attend. She had attempted to moderate her drinking at the event and keep her head about her. It hadn’t worked, every time she had turned around someone else had been shoving a drink into her hands, mostly beer and cider but plenty of wine as well as a few stronger drinks. Things had gotten a bit out of hand.

Kiki remembered laughing at some stupid joke with her head swimming and then singing along with the crowd. She knew full well that she couldn’t sing to save her life. What must the locals think of her after a little display like that? Rauchbier made a groaning sound followed by a sharp bark, meaning that he wanted something from her, but it was like driving an icepick through her skull.

Lifting her head, Kiki looked at Rauchbier who had his ears perked up and he was looking at her expectantly.

“You’re lucky I love you, otherwise you would be ground into next week’s sausages” Kiki said to Rauchbier who whined expectantly. He clearly needed to go out, so with great reluctance Kiki forced herself out of bed. Apparently, she’d had the wherewithal to change into one of her old Hertha jerseys though she couldn’t remember coming back to the castle the night before. Letting Rauchbier lead as they made their way down to the courtyard Kiki did her best not to give into the nausea that she was feeling as her head throbbed.

She hadn’t bothered to go look for her glasses, so Kiki’s vision grew blurry beyond a few meters. That was why she didn’t see Rolf, the Kennel Master across the courtyard. Rauchbier did though and he forgot why they had come outside in the first place and ran to greet the man. As always, he gave the dog a friendly pat and what Kiki knew was a piece of jerky. Rolf tended to ignore her, which was something that she found refreshing at times.

“I heard you got deep into the cups last night Kristina” Rolf said with slight smile. He could probably see that she was having a painful morning and she didn’t see the point in correcting his lack of formal address this morning.

“I didn’t want to be rude and people kept asking me to try this or that” Kiki replied, “By now everyone in Hechingen is probably talking about what a lush I am.”

“No, everyone could see that you are a bit of a lightweight” Rolf said mildly, “Instead they are talking about how much fun the ice queen is when she finally pulls the broomstick out of her ass. You ought to try it more often, without getting plastered first though.”

Kiki was aghast, in many ways that was worse.



Fort Drum, New York

This time when the 1st SFG returned from China they found a very different country and Army than the one that they had left months earlier. After years of battling things out in Courts about the need for reform, Congress had finally passed a series of Civil Rights Laws and the result was a country in turmoil. There was sharp divide between those who felt that the laws were going too far and those who felt that they didn’t go far enough that cut across all party lines and the bright lines that had existed in the past seemed to have evaporated.

How it affected Fort Drum was in that the segregation that had existed in the Army had gone away almost overnight. That meant a whole lot of work for Parker as he had to figure out how that would affect their mission going forward. Personnel that made up the teams had to be tailored to suit the mission and they couldn’t always tell where said mission was going to be. A few years earlier it had been thought that they would be spending a lot of time south of the Rio Grande and an effort had been made to recruit Spanish speakers into the Special Forces. That was how they had ended up with Specialist 1st Class Valenzuela in the Squad. Then they had spent most of their time in recent years in China. It was the sort of thing that Parker remembered that John Casey used to make jokes about. Winter coats in the Tropics, pith helmets and mosquito nets in the Arctic. He also would have had a few words to say about the actions of the Government, he had been fond of the Mark Twain quote about how when Congress gets together it was your money or your life. Considering how it often fell to outfits like the 1st SFG to implement the dictates of the Government that quote took on whole new meanings.

Parker knew that he could use Jonny here about now, if for no other reason than to have someone irreverent enough to tell him that the entire situation was crap. First Sergeant Cooper was too buttoned up to play that role.
 
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Garbage in, garbage out. If that's the sum of his experiences with Kiki, he can't magically determine her character.
You forget that we are expected to be both telepathic AND telempathic in these situations. Also note that it is entirely possible to be in trouble for something thing that occurred entirely within someone else's dream.
Plus Manfred has prior form in being completely oblivious to the feelings of the female half of the species.
 
Rolf may be the shrink that Kiki needs. Not afraid to speak his mind, not in awe of her royal position, no agenda other than his own down to earth opinions and has insight on the common mans' thoughts that Kiki does not have first hand access to. He may be just the kind of no nonsense confidant that Kiki needs.
 
Sometimes it hurts knowing the stick has to be removed.
Did it even occur to the others at the party that they are a major reason that the broomstick exists?

Its fairly obvious from his statement that even Rolf hasn't thought too much about why Kiki has 'the broomstick'.

She grew up in a fish bowl, expected to conform to virtually everyone's, including her mother's, expectations of what a princess should be, with far less wiggle room than her brothers got. Factor in her familial status as the older sister & the expectation to "set a good example" for her little sisters. Not to mention that she is an extremely shy introvert who values her privacy. Then there is the military and its own expectations for the proper conduct of an officer in social settings, especially female officers. Even as a university student, the mere fact that she is Princess Kristina severely restricts her opportunities to cut loose like her fellow students can. Every single word that she utters outside of her close circle is scrutinised, analysed and dissected for its "true" meaning and potential for scandal, which the reporters & their editors have usually decided in advance anyway (Maria von Holz not withstanding). She has learnt to be constantly on guard for the reporters & photographers that may intrude into her life at any moment.

As a result, the mere idea of losing control in a public social setting clearly horrifies her.

TLDR: Kiki has been trained practically from birth in the proper way to comport herself in public and that her reputation, that of her family and the continued well being of her career, both military and civilian, are dependent on being above reproach in social settings. Plus paparazzi.
 
Part 104, Chapter 1693
Chapter One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety-Three



6th September 1965

Munich

This meeting revolved around the entire reason why Emil had gone to work for BMW in the first place. The OKW had announced that they were accepting bids to replace the aging fleet of motorcycles in service and they had a rather diverse set of requirements. The ability to operate on and off road and capable of being maintained in the field by someone with a cursory knowledge of mechanics were understandable enough. The military also considered sidecars indispensable for reasons that even Emil found suspect, they were passé on the civilian market though and added a layer of complication. The other thing that had to be considered was that while the OKW preferred that vehicles be manufactured within the Empire they wouldn’t turn away a winning bid if it was clearly superior. That meant that BMW was competing directly with their Japanese counterparts for a very lucrative contract that would buoy the finances of whatever company got it for at least the next two decades.

That was where Emil came in. Over the summer, while his team had been competing in races across Europe, he had been working with Wilhelm Messerschmitt’s department to come up with an engine that would meet the needs of the military. The problems with the two-cylinder boxer engines that BMW had long used were well known, it was why he had moved to an opposed four-cylinder layout. The engine that Willy’s people had designed was a departure from everything that BMW had made in the past, longitudinally mounted, liquid cooled and three-cylinders but keeping the shaft drive. Emil and a couple of his engineers had designed the resulting motorcycle to be as rugged as possible and wherever possible they kept the engineering simple as well.

This morning Emil had given his presentation to the corporate board and he had discovered that many of the company’s executives had assumed that Emil’s name alone would be enough to get BMW the contract. It proved what they knew, Emil had fought more battles with procurement over his career than he cared to think about and he doubted that they would budge at all if he tried to twist arms years after he had retired. Instead, it was probably the cache of the new motorcycle seen as being designed by the von Holz racing team more than anything else that got people’s attention in Wunsdorf.

The knowledge of why Emil was doing this was at the back of his mind the entire time. Willy said that he had two and four-cylinder engine prototypes as well, just there hadn’t been a call for that range just yet. It meant that BMW Motorrad would have an answer for Honda’s Standard motorcycle going forward.



Heuberg, Württemberg

Just when Manfred had thought that things couldn’t get worse, he had found himself having to contend with Christian Weise.

Over the prior week, the training Cadre had gone back to weapons training. Not just the G44 this time but the whole range of weapons from pistols up to Panzerfaust 500 with the goal of making them familiar enough to use them in a pinch if it ever came to that. Manfred had made the mistake of mentioning the role that his father played in the design of the AG44 and the Instructors had accused him of trying to get special treatment that way. It turned out that his Instructors had been in contact with his father and he was going to get some special treatment indeed, in the form of several days on KP duty. Then as additional punishment, he had been told that the worst Soldat in the entire Cadre, Christian, was his responsibility. All his screwups would now get him as well as Manfred punished. It wasn’t that Christian was lazy or lacked initiative, it was that he didn’t seem to know anything beyond the neighborhood where he had grown up. Apparently, he had grown tired of tightening bolts on an assembly line all day and joined the Heer because it was something different. He had been told that the Heer needed people with his skillset, knowing how to drive a lorry. Manfred had thought it was a joke at first when Christian had told him that. Then he had found out that Christian had never heard about time zones…

A bit of respite came when Manfred got a letter, he finally got a chance to open it at the end of the day, minutes before lights out. Laying on his bunk, his body aching from the day’s drills followed by hours spent in the scullery. It was from Suse Rosa and she said in it that it had taken her time to find the courage to write an apology for what had happened the last time they had seen each other. She felt horrible about how she had reacted when she learned that he had gotten something that she had wanted for years but had found it physically impossible. The irony of Suse’s words were quite profound considering what Manfred had been going through for the last several weeks. Included with the letter was a school photograph of Suse that had probably been taken just a few days earlier.

“Is that your girl” Christian said from the top bunk as he hung over the edge and was looking down. “She’s pretty.”

“I guess” Manfred replied. The Instructors must have gotten a laugh when they had reassigned the bunks so that Christian slept in the bunk over his, he was never more than a few meters away from Manfred. Ever.

With that, the lights went out and by now everyone knew that sleep was the only thing of importance. The lights could come back on at any second…
 
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If Manny writes back with an honest account of what he's going through I suspect there will be three effects:

1) Susa will find a way to meet the requirements and enlist.
2) she'll be prepared for everything recruit training can throw at her.
3) She'll enlist under an assumed name.

She's single minded, but not stupud.
 
While Manfred has his boots polished to the fabled mirror shine Soldat Weise looks like he used a chocolate bar to shine his boots, Manfred has his rack made so tight that a 50 pfning piece bounces off of it Soldat Weise rack looks like there are potatoes growing underneath the covers
Another thing that Manfred may have to do is protect Christian from his fellow trainees if Christian causes too much collective punishment to the unit and this will show how much leadership skills that Manfred really has.

As for Suse Rosa, Peabody-Martini has been very realistic for the most parts with his characters and having Suse Rosa suddenly being able to join the Pander Corps.would be out of place for this timeline.
Apparently with her mathematics skills Suse Rosa would be better suited where they are needed most like being a pilot and it is something she needs to come to grip with and explore other options for herself.
 
Over the prior week, the training Cadre had gone back to weapons training. Not just the G44 this time but the whole range of weapons from pistols up to Panzerfaust 500 with the goal of making them familiar enough to use them in a pinch if it ever came to that. Manfred had made the mistake of mentioning the role that his father played in the design of the AG44 and the Instructors had accused him of trying to get special treatment that way. It turned out that his Instructors had been in contact with his father and he was going to get some special treatment indeed, in the form of several days on KP duty.
Manfred still appears to be suffering from 'foot-in-mouth' syndrome.
 
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