Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Peabody-Martini, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. Dan Watching a Betta fish named Richard

    May 18, 2010
    A slightly less civilised part of the Fens
    Even when it has happened to you, after a while you look back on it fondly, especially of you're talking about it with someone else who went through it with you.

    "Do you remember when Hauptfeldwebel Reier made us run through the swamp carrying bonesaws"?
    "Oh shit, yeah, that was when that dumb Pole Reziak fell over, Psycho Reier grabbed him and his bonesaw and ran with both to the end"
    [Both laughing hard]
    "Oh fuck yeah, Reziak was begging him to stop and put him down, Reier didn't and he spewed all down his back. I thought Psycho was actually going to kill him"
    "Still, he was tough, but fair. Never ordered us to do anything he wouldn't do himself".
    "Christ yeah, him and The Teacher"
    "Kept us alive though. Remember that time in Borneo when we had to get those Aussies out of the shit"?

    That's the sort of thing that happens afterwards though, a long time afterwards among veterans who are still alive, mostly followed by them complaining how soft training "today" is. x'D
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  2. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2012
    Tilo is looking at the success that the "Horst Method" has shown and most likely he was also influenced by what he saw at MCRD San Diego.
    Also as a student of history, he knows the story of von Stuben and the American Army at Valley Forge and his first order of business is to train the trainers.
    At MCRD he would have seen the Drill Instructors with their distinctive Campaign Hats and will understand that the hats are a symbol of authority that he will adapt for the Marine Infantry.
    Tilo with an assist from a reluctant consultant will learn that th USMC has its own culture, traditions, and ethos such as " First to Fight", "Once a Marine, always a Marine", and "Every Marine is a Rifleman".
    He will also try to break the Marine Infantry from its Seebaitallion past and create their own traditions.
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  3. Threadmarks: Part 76, Chapter 1133

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2010
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Chapter One Thousand One Hundred Thirty-Three

    6th May 1955


    Kiki winced every time her family trip was mentioned in school, all week she had been hearing it. The whole pilgrimage had been for domestic consumption and everywhere she looked there was the warm glow of approval. They had made the trip in a manner had respected the different beliefs that people held throughout the German Empire. There were those who disagreed on principle, that a more explicit separation of church and state was needed. The funny part was that Kiki was inclined to agree with them if it meant that she would never be asked to go back to Jerusalem again.

    The first day back in school, Monday, had been a nightmare. Zella and Aurora were angry about having been left behind despite Kiki telling them that she had been wishing that she were back here with them the entire time. Then on Friday, the Teacher had insisted that Kiki tell the class about the journey to the Holy Land. So, Kiki had gone in front of the class and told them exactly what it was like. Mobsters derailing their plans in Rome, boorish Italian Princes in Naples. Sharing a small cabin with her sisters and listening to them bicker constantly. Easter in Rome and Constantinople and everything that went with both, a week apart. The constant intrusion of the press. Then the cherry on top that sour ice cream sundae of misery. Having cramps and feeling sick all day in Jerusalem as they were rushed from place to place under heavy security while being made fun of by her brothers. The highlight of the entire trip had been conversation with a kind American tourist who had no idea who she was. Crete wasn’t bad, but that had only been the last few days. Kiki’s conclusion was that she would have been happier if she had just stayed home. But she got to see Jerusalem, for what it was worth.

    As she trailed off at the end and walked back to her desk, Kiki saw that the entire class were looking at her in shock. For as long as she had been attending the Gymnasia, Kiki had never told them so directly what it was like to be her. It had obviously not occurred to any of them that she would be unhappy with her life. That was the reality. Kiki had been given everything in life, but she was never allowed to forget for an instant that none of it ever really belonged to her. Everything, from the clothes on her back all the way up to the palaces and land, were actually owned by her family’s trust. It was only on loan to her and that was only if she continued to ask nicely. The trip to Jerusalem had been an eye opener for Kiki, she had to find a way to have a life of her own or being a wife in a dynastic marriage would be all she could hope for.


    The house was crowded again when Ilse got home from the laboratory. She had realized once Doug had left with the children that she missed the noise, with just Petia and Anne in the house it had been uncomfortably quiet. Nancy was out all the time at her job in Wolfsburg or dealing with the Foreign Office. Asia was absent most of the time, on whatever mysterious errands the Empress sent her on. Tonight, everyone in the kitchen talking about whatever. Laughing and joking as they ate dinner.

    When Ilse had seen the blueprints for the new house that was being built in Tempelhof, she had looked with a bit of apprehension at the size of the space that she was told would be her room. The small attic room she presently had being much more to her liking. There was also the question if the new house would have the same feel as the old one. Tonight, it seemed the answer to that question was that home was the people rather than the place.


    Any hope that the Oberst would rein Tilo and Reier in was dashed when he had stepped over the body of a man who had passed out and had been left lying in the mud of the parade ground. If they wanted to call Tilo the Teacher then guess what, they had a lot to learn. The first week was brutal because from the perspective of both Tilo and Reier, if these men wanted to call themselves Sealions then they needed to earn it. Whatever grumbling there had been was met with complete indifference. Your Regiment’s XO and senior Noncom are kicking everyone’s ass? Isn’t that their job?

    Not that everything was going completely well for Tilo. While the Brass in Cuxhaven were always happy to see the enlisted men working hard, the same as anywhere else, he was getting pressured for quick results. There was even talk resuming the practice of taking the castoffs of Judenbach again. There were a few problems with that. The first was that without a war the high tempo of training in Judenbach that had created those castoffs was nonexistent. The other was that the stink that had been coming from Cuxhaven was impossible to hide, while the elements MA had served with distinction in Mexico, most of them had come from Korea with the Third Division. The MA Companies from other Divisions had not faired well in garrison. Anyone from Judenbach might not be interested.

    Then today, Tilo had learned that Emrich Lichtenfeld was coming to Cuxhaven to assist his efforts. Someone high up the food chain had heard about the embarrassing incident aboard the SMY Hohenzollern and had taken steps to rectify that. They had also been advised to avoid Jehane Alexandra Thomas-Romanova in the future, something that was hardly a surprise.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  4. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2012
    The solution is for the Marine Infantry to send it's own people to Judenbach after a "Pre-selection" course that lasts two to three weeks.
    Those that pass the training at Judenbach should be eligible to were a Sea lion patch even if they are not in a MA unit, they will be welcomed with open arms by line units commanders and they will make great Drill Instructors at Cuxhaven, and they should be rotated from MA units to line units, and to training units to keep them fresh and improve the overall performance of the Marine Infantry.

    Kristina is an Imperial Princess and Kiki is a ordinary teenage girl with all of the things that entails with it.
    While Louis Ferdinand and Kira has modernized the German Monarchy, they are still products from the era of dynastic marriages.
    The Emperor and Empress should have a talk to the Imperial Princess about what it means to be a part of that, and Mom and Dad should listen to Kiki about her frustrations and her future ambitions.
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  5. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Northwest Wawastan
    Oooh, can we please read more about the impact of Kiki's speech?
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  6. jlckansas Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Could Ilse and Albrect be this timelines John and Annie Glenn? She had her problems with stuttering, and Ilse has her problems. Maybe Albrect gets to do this:

  7. NHBL Long Time Member, CMII

    Jan 1, 2004
    Kiki's speech in class should have a lot of impact. First with her peers, but a speech like that will get talked about when kids see their parents, and in the staff room when Kiki's teacher is meeting with other teachers. Depending on how this goes, it's not a rovk tossed intp calm waters, but a grenade--a small splash, followed by a big BANG!
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  8. Sir Omega Lord of Spectators

    Sep 24, 2015
    Around here somewhere.
    The grass is always greener on the other side. I don't know how Kiki would actually like the life working-class or blue-collar family. There are always perks and downsides to no matter what you are.
    For every Katherine who, thanks to luck and happenstance managed to draw the eye of a (then) medium ranked intelligence officer who wanted to expand his unit's options, there were thousands who didn't draw his eye, leaving them to do what they can and suffer what they must in an ordinary existence that none will remember.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  9. Threadmarks: Part 76, Chapter 1134

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2010
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Chapter One Thousand One Hundred Thirty-Four

    22nd May 1955


    When Kat arrived back in the palace it was for the usual Sunday meeting with the Empress as the Mistress of the Keys. That had gone smoothly enough, mostly they had ended up talking about the summer meeting of the Order of Louise next month. Tomorrow, she looked forward to conducting an inspection of the Enlisted Barracks of the First Foot Guard in Potsdam. When the cat’s away, the mice will play. That was as true as it had ever been. Kat had already heard from Schafer who said that the XO had at least kept the bottles and cans from spilling out into the street. Kat suspected that he was exaggerating a bit. Apparently, they were working frantically on cleaning it out before she saw the mess. Once the First Foot had made it back from Jerusalem, they had thrown quite a party and then had procrastinated on the cleanup. That was something that would be a problem that Kat would worry about tomorrow. Today, she had something much more fun to consider. Opening the door to Kiki’s room, Kat saw that the Princess laying in her bed sleeping in an old sports jersey that she had stolen from her brother Freddy and now used as a nightgown.

    “Time to wake up” Kat said as she sat down on the bed, “Though you were never asleep in the first place.”

    Kiki opened her eyes, which were bloodshot and swollen. She had clearly been crying again and that was the reason that Kira had asked Kat to talk to her. Kira had said that since they had gotten back from the Near East Kiki had been difficult, mostly due to her age. Kat suspected that it was a little more involved than that. Most people would have looked at Kiki’s seemingly luxurious life and concluded that she was being unreasonable. One of Kira’s concern was that such a misinterpretation might happen even as she struggled to understand her daughter. Kat had however recognized what was truly going on, as unlikely as it seemed Kiki had realized that she was in a nice little box as defined by other people’s expectations. She would never be happy so long as she was required to conform to that.

    “Go away” Kiki muttered before rolling onto her side facing away from Kat.

    “No” Kat replied.

    At this point everyone else who had been sent to talk to Kiki had simply given up. As absurd as it sounded, no one in the palace had been interested in fighting with a teenaged girl so long as she was quiet in how she went about being miserable. There had been a few quibbles about how if Kiki was going to be a brooding presence that might affect public appearances, precisely the wrong tact to have. When Kat had suggested that perhaps it would be a good idea if Kiki was no longer considered a public figure for the foreseeable future it had caused a bit of an uproar. Unless Kiki was given space to figure out what she wanted for herself then she would find other, less quiet ways to act out. Why was it that it never seemed to occur to anyone that not everyone wanted to be in the limelight?

    “Just leave me alone” Kiki said.

    “I remember few times where I had someone refusing to leave me alone” Kat said, “This is how I pass on that favor.”

    Kiki rolled back over and faced Kat, “You think bothering me is doing me a favor?” She asked.

    “Yes” Kat replied, “I just don’t want you to get to the point where I was before someone stepped in.”

    “How bad could you possibly have been?” Kiki asked.

    “Suicidal, depressed and dealing with effects of traumatic stress” Kat said matter of fact, “No one is immune to that sort of thing.”

    The look on Kiki’s face suggested that wasn’t the answer she was expecting.

    “I got your mother to agree that some changes are necessary” Kat said.

    “What?” Kiki asked, “Make me attend fewer garden parties where the insufferable talk endlessly about the inconsequential?”

    “I don’t disagree with you there” Kat said, “However, I have a bit more in mind.”

    “Yeah, like what?”

    “By giving you a bit of what you think you want” Kat replied, “I also had a few Press passes revoked, the more obnoxious ones who you’ve been complaining about.”

    Kiki seemed pleasantly surprised by that. “Exactly what do you mean by what I think I want?” She asked.

    “You’re thirteen, which is a bit young for an after-school job” Kat said, “However, having you volunteer at the University Clinic seems like a good fit.”

    The University of Berlin’s Clinic was one of the largest hospital systems in the city. They were always looking for warm bodies to perform tasks that were both menial and boring. Kiki would learn how the medical system really worked first hand, probably in the mailroom stuffing envelopes and hopefully doing what she was told.

    “Thank you” Kiki exclaimed, and she hugged Kat.

    “Don’t thank me yet” Kat said sternly, “No one is going to give you a pass because of who your parents are. Hard work and diligence are what will be expected and that is exactly what you will give.”

    Kiki didn’t seem too put off by that. As much as she was annoyed by her oldest brother, in that moment she revealed that she was more like Friedrich than she imagined.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  10. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2012
    Just an idea:
    " Scum and I call you scum because you don't deserve to called Marines, I have brought you for the next few weeks someone from the Heer who has fought in every conflict that the Empire has been in since Spain, he has fought from the first battle against the Soviet Union to the last battle against Japan in Korea, from South Africa to Mexico it would not be a war without him. He has been trained personality by the Mad Dog himself and I have given him free reign to do his worst to you. See that look on his face, he is happy about that, see the look in his eyes, he is mad that he has to salute his baby brother and since he can't take it out on his brother he is going to take it out on you, Scum I present to you my older brother Jost and may God have mercy on your souls because Jost will not".
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  11. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Northwest Wawastan
  12. A. Morgan Stranger in a Strange Land

    Jun 24, 2012
    Ahhh. Yes I remember a conversation like that .... and yes lived to regret it.
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  13. Rinasoir Occasional Author

    Mar 22, 2014
    Stuck in a tree. (Blooming Ravens)
    While it would be fun, I doubt it could happen.

    After all calling in a Heer NCO to fix the Kriegsmarine's (or is it Reichsmarine?) problem children would hurt too many feelings.
  14. holyknight Well-Known Dude that comments here and there.

    Oct 15, 2016
    ..Just past Macho Grande, unlike Stryker.
    Either that or present him and his Regiment
    .. As the ones who would be using paint rounds, Paint Bombs and plenty of CS Gas..... And the Oberst said that if the damn Heer takes them all down, he will pay for their Beers..... And if that happen, the whole damned MA would be eating War Rations for weeks to pay that drinking back.......
    ejpsan likes this.
  15. Threadmarks: Part 76, Chapter 1135

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2010
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Chapter One Thousand One Hundred Thirty-Five

    29th May 1955


    There was a flip side to what Tilo was doing that he had discovered in recent weeks as he and Reier had done the hard and painstaking work of rebuilding the MA in Cuxhaven. Reier had told stories about what the MA had been up to in the South China Sea, the East Indies and rest of the South Pacific. Reier was probably exaggerating the way he always did, but he had made it sound like a heroic saga. Smugglers, pirates, actual battles with boarding actions. Rather than in the days of sail a pirate ship might be a fishing trawler with a 75mm bolted to the foredeck and a pair of machine guns aft, a locally produced speedboat or a bewildering array of ships and boats. These modern-day corsairs preyed upon the merchant shipping and the Sealions of the Kaiserliche Marine Infantry took the fight right to them because no one else would. After all, on the very far margins it takes really bad men to allow others to do some good.

    As much as they were kicking everyone’s ass and that was resulting in considerable disgruntlement, the men had wanted in on the action that was happening on the other side of the globe. Reier, being the crafty bastard that he was, knew that those were the coveted shipboard billets that were very limited in number. He had the men clamoring to up their personal standing within the Regiment. If fighting wasn’t currently prohibited amongst the ranks, they would be fighting each other for it. There were also men coming back from the Far East who had proven useful and negotiations with Judenbach for training purposes were ongoing. The Hellcats still didn’t want them stinking up their tidy little camp without quite a bit in return.

    “I hear they finally got you out of the classroom and doing real work” Jost said. For the first time since Easter Tilo had felt free to come south for a family dinner.

    “They got me as the XO of the Sealion Regiment garrisoned in Cuxhaven” Tilo replied, “It’s still early days but they’re getting better.”

    “From what?” Jost asked with a smirk.

    There was a rivalry among the military units who regarded themselves as the best of their particular specialties. Jost was a Noncom in a Regiment that fancied itself as the finest Heavy Infantry in the World. That wasn’t as impressive as it sounded because no other Army in the world employed Panzer Dragoons to the extent that the Heer did. The Sealions’ fall from grace had been noticed by the 140th Souville Regiment and with Tilo cleaning up the mess, Jost was perfectly happy to gloat.

    “It is what it is” Tilo said, not reacting because he knew that would give Jost a great deal of satisfaction. Tilo wasn’t about to give him that.

    Tonight, as Tilo had discovered his family was a mixed bag. Lenz had announced that his wife Keren was expecting over Christmas, presently she was heavily pregnant meaning that Tilo would have another niece or nephew in the coming months. If God had a sense of humor, then it would be girl. Tilo could just imagine the reaction that Lenz would have when he realized that there were a lot of men like him out in the world. Ava and Hanna worked in the sprawling Zossen complex in a civilian capacity. As the secrecy that surrounded the network of buildings, bunkers and a staggering array of defensive works deepened they had remained among the few who were trusted to work there. Inga was elsewhere tonight which wasn’t a surprise, what was a surprise though was that their mother was fretting over her. A week earlier when Tilo’s mother had visited her in the convent Inga had said something about having a spiritual crisis. Ava had said that recently Inga had received a letter from Sarah, the girl who had lived next door to them when they had been children and that had touched this off. Tilo had no idea what that could possibly be about or why it would cause his mother so much distress.

    30th May 1955

    “The only reason we agreed to let you do this was because of the donation your parents made to this hospital Fraulein von Fischer” The Hospital Administrator had said, “While it is commendable that you want to pursue a career in medicine, this is not the sort of place for a spoiled rich girl to work out her issues.”

    As Kiki followed the Senior Nurse down the hospital corridors the things that Kat had said to her started to make sense. Kat had warned her that she should expect two sorts of reactions here. The first and most likely was that she would be given a boring, repetitious job in the hope that she would leave of her own accord. The second possibility was that she would given an impossible, heartbreaking task that would result in her fleeing. Kiki had said to Kat that it was a hospital, people go there to get better. Kat had told her that she was being naïve, that not every ward in a hospital was one that people were expected to ever leave. What would Kiki do if she found herself in Pediatric Oncology? She had needed to look up what that meant, and it sounded every bit as terrible as Kat made it out to be.

    “This is the Geriatrics Ward” The Senior Nurse said as she opened the door. The first thing that struck Kiki was the smell, followed by the feel of the place, despair seemed to ooze out of the walls. “Most of the patients have outlived everyone that they knew in their lives. A young woman willing to spend time with them would be a big help. I should warn you that you should avoid getting too attached.”
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  16. ShortsBelfast Events, dear boy, events

    May 20, 2016
    Kiki is going to pioneer the concept of "bicycle monarchy" in Germany I suspect. And strike an unintentional blow for feminism. Not a Disney princess but a princess who pursues a career in public service. If not actually slaying dragons she will be doing the bandaging up afterwards!
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  17. Pexa Well-Known Member

    Sep 30, 2016
    This is, at least around here, very common. The first practical training period is usually in long-term care or something similar. It tends to weed out the squemish.

    EDIT: And if you make mistakes, even bad ones, the effects are usually fairly limited.
  18. weasel_airlift Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2016
    Or the squeamish simply get allocated to other jobs. I worked IT in a hospital for 5 years, and having the only iron stomach among us, I got to take care of all the...most delightful places in the hospital.
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  19. A. Morgan Stranger in a Strange Land

    Jun 24, 2012
    Indeed, I believe such is Kiki’s antipathy towards court life she will clutch to this opportunity like a drowning man and make a real success of it. Earning for herself the admiration of the administrator and the other nay sayers. Of course the paparazzi will get wind of it and her life will become complicated as Gia’s is from her “selflessness”.
  20. ShortsBelfast Events, dear boy, events

    May 20, 2016
    Or she may become the OTL Princess Anne in her robust and no nonsense approach to the paparazzi. What is the German for "Naff off"?