Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

“The man operating the frontend loader spotted something” Beckett said, “He gets out and finds the bones, it only took a few minutes for more to turn up.”

Looking into the trench, Smith saw a whole lot of trouble in the offing. A skull with what looked like a bullet hole in the back of it was the first thing he noticed. His hope that this was the site some old Indian massacre was dashed when he noticed a corroded rifle cartridge by his foot. Brass, bottle-necked and rimless. Unmistakably .30-06 and this was entirely too big to keep quiet for long.

The missing leaders of the Bonus March have just been found. Looks like TTL McArthur will be known as 'Murderin' Mac'.

That was how it went because Sophie had been given a one-week suspension for fighting. That had seemed unfair because she had been trying to stop those girls from hurting Ziska. Did anyone really think that they would have stopped if they had been able to run off with her leg? Over the prior year that group discovering that they could make Sophie cry had caused them to become increasingly cruel as the year had wound down. Katherine had said that life was seldom fair and that sometimes doing the right thing meant enduring the consequences afterwards.

Well, Sophie already knows life ain't exactly fair, although Justice has made an appearance in her life recently.

Sophie had also been taken to task by Katherine for hitting someone in the face with her first. Sophie had been lucky she hadn’t fractured any bones in her hand by doing that. She had said ominously that they were going to need to work on that so that Sophie wouldn’t injure herself in the future.

Sophie: "But they were hurting Ziska!!"
Kat: "That's not what I meant. You could have broken you hand. This is my fault. Starting tomorrow, I will teach you the smart way to hit people."

“I know that the two of you are friends” Katherine said, “Perhaps it is time you acted like it.”

Though she wasn’t supposed to turn around, Sophie looked to see that Ziska had entered the room. It had taken a considerable amount of time for Ziska to be found the previous Friday after she had run off. Getting the whole story about what had happened had been difficult, the detail that Sophie and Ziska were not on speaking terms had also come up. It seemed that Katherine had decided that something needed to be done about that.

Kat: "You will both stay in this room until you both admit to each other that you are friends."
Sophie & Ziska: (Swallow nervously)
Between King and the leaders of the Bonus march being found this is going to be interesting times for the US... Honestly i do wonder if the country is going to manage to keep it together in this TL, the events which knit the country into a whole haven't really happened here and the regional differences are really playing up. It will be interesting to watch.
Speaking of, Sophie can say that she knows that Ziska can fight her own battles, but Sophie had a score of her own to settle with that bitch and her gang.
I think a good response could be: "Of course you can fight your own battles, and so can I.

But how can I hope to count on you to help me when the going gets rough if I don't help you?"
Between King and the leaders of the Bonus march being found this is going to be interesting times for the US... Honestly I do wonder if the country is going to manage to keep it together in this TL, the events which knit the country into a whole haven't really happened here and the regional differences are really playing up. It will be interesting to watch.
I think ITTL, where the "Great Events" have been missing, the basic blocks of the United States are still present. I think there'll be a greater emphasis on States and less on Federal Government, with a move to more of a Federation of States, so keeping the federal agencies, but on all matters domestic, they're likely to be of lesser importance to state agencies.
Some states will be loathed to involve Federal Authorities, (I.E. FBI), and this will become the norm with the FBI, (for example), having their funding cut and cut, until it's in a par with, (for example again), The Federal Marshalls Service or the Federal Wildlife Service.
The biggest test will come when an individual state wants to opt out of a Constitutional Amendment, (say the 21st Amendment was still in effect and Oregon wanted to end it). If they are allowed to do so, what reaction would there be from a figurehead Federal Government, would there be a "United Nations" style intervention from Neighbouring states that would trigger a second civil war, (Nevada and California also want to repeal the 21st on a state level, so join Oregon in resisting attempts to force Oregon to comply with the 21st).
Or, would the state be allowed to go their own way and essentially render the constitution moot.
I chose the 21st as an example as at this stage, I didn't want to pick one of the more emotive amendments, especially at the moment, to keep current politics out of this Time Line.


Germany does not have that way to treat children. As long as you are under 14 no matter what you do there will be no criminal reprimands. For school you have to do something entirely different to get banished and reapetedly and over a long time...
and then you are sent to a different school.

children beating each other in the 60s would have faced (if at all) some extra homework, maybe some beating by the teacher (yes), maybe a couple of hours school arrest with extra work.. but in no case a suspension.

Children having physical fights was seen as sort of normal then.

Calling in the parents... no the parents might get a call but calling them in needed something different.
Having Kat train Sophie in "The Right Way" in defending herself is keeping with family tradition but Kat could be interested in training Ziska also as a way to boost her self esteem and confidence and as an experiment in adapting the techniques of self defense for someone with physical limitations.

Since the discovery of the body had both a .30-06 cartridge before nearby and is on an old disused railroad route it does make sense that it could be someone that was part of the Bonus Army who went missing and if that is the case I can see only one person who had access to the higher levels of command who is still alive at this point IOTL: a Major who was the Aide-de-Camp to the Army Chief of Staff at the time Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower which is ironic because ITTL he was appointed by President Truman for the massive Interstate Highway System and the Railroads modernization program that is still ongoing and it seems that this is part of it.
The ITTL President at the time of the Bonus Army match was Charles A Curtis who died in 1936 while MacArthur IOTL died in 1964.
Eisenhower is in bad health right now even if there was evidence against him he won't be arrested and tried for it but he can give the most complete account of the events in return for no Prosecution and complete amnesty.
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Just for reference, here's the relevant original post:
28th July, 1932
Washington DC, USA

The shantytown that had been built the protesters across the river from the Capital was burning. As Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur had followed his orders. There had been no talking to these people. Most of these men had fought with him in France, many of them had brought their wives and children. This had ended as badly as he’d figured it would. There were several wounded and dead scattered here and there. Dozens more had been arrested at the moment they still were trying to sort out who the leaders were. They identified Walter W. Waters and several others who were loaded onto train cars, it was the last time that anyone ever saw them.

President Curtis had gotten exactly what he had wanted. It was believed by many that it was this incident that became the final straw as far as the American public was concerned, that would cost him the White House that November.
Part 114, Chapter 1880
Chapter One Thousand Eight Hundred Eighty

19th September 1968


When Kat had first looked into Franziska Böttcher months earlier, she had seemed perfect. Sophie had needed a friend who wouldn’t judge her and at the time Franziska had been outgoing and optimistic, about to start at a new school after years of being kept separate because of her disability. It had been easy for Kat to get them placed in the same room at Hohenzollern Castle over the summer. The trouble was that optimism had taken a real beating over the months since then. Kat had not realized that Sophie would have such difficulty in trusting another person, even one who was her own age and relatively harmless. Franziska had swiftly come to resent Sophie’s constant attempts to help her. It seemed that Kat had misunderstood a few aspects of both girls, mostly just how stubborn they were. Normally, Kat thought that was an admirable feature for a girl to have, but this was hardly a normal circumstance.

Sophie jumping into a fight on Franziska’s behalf was actually a hopeful sign, over the prior year she had never tried to defend herself in such a manner. Kat couldn’t get Franziska to see that it wasn’t Sophie helping her again because she felt obligated. Pointing out that Sophie had her own score to settle with the girl who had tried to pull Franziska’s leg off didn’t seem to help matters.

Presently, Sophie and Franziska were sitting in Kat’s office with the understanding that they would be in there until they worked out their differences. This had gone on for days, with them sitting silently in there pointedly ignoring each other and doing schoolwork from early in the morning until Franziska went home late in the afternoon. Something that Kat was starting to suspect they were doing to spite each other and her. Franziska’s parents were fine with this because they had heard her talking about Sophie and thought it wonderful that she had made a friend like her.

Kat had decided that they needed a kick in the right direction after talking with Aunt Marcella, who was something of an expert in dealing with recalcitrant little girls. She had said that sometimes the bandage had to be ripped off and there was little point in prolonging the agony.

“The two of you are running out of time” Kat said, and she noticed that the girls were barely able to hide smiles. It seemed that their plan was to run out the clock. “So, in the interest of progressing things along you two leave me little choice in the matter.”

The two of them were staring at Kat wondering what she was getting at.

“Sophie’s mother beat and starved her until she was removed by the State because the abuse was deemed to be so extreme. It is something she doesn’t want anyone to know about” Kat said, “And before this year, Franziska was in a school that treated her as if she was not just physically impaired, but mentally as well. She was never allowed to do anything on her own. Now both of you know the reasons why the two of you have been holding each other at arm’s length.”

Both of the girls were completely appalled that Kat had just revealed the reasons behind their actions. She knew full well that she had just stepped over several lines in the process, but something had needed to be done.

Washington DC

The political cartoon featured a skeletal hand with the words Crimes from the past written on it reaching out of the grave and looming over the White House. As he looked at it, it seemed absurd to Nelson Rockefeller that he would be left having to explain what had happened four decades earlier when apparently men from the US Army had summarily executed twenty-five men who had been leaders of Bonus Marchers on the orders of Charles Curtis. A few days earlier, workers on loan from Southern Pacific to the New York Central Railroad had stumbled upon the mass grave. That was the reason why this matter was also bound up in the thorny issue of Southern Pacific’s apparent ambition to expand eastward from Chicago, into the North-East.

While history had already rendered its verdict upon the Curtis Administration, there were a lot of people demanding justice. The trouble was that the key players in this incident, Charles Curtis, Douglas MacArthur, and George Patton were all dead. The highest-ranking Officer who had been involved, though only tangentially, was Dwight Eisenhower. He had retired from the Army at the rank of Colonel and had overseen the development to the National Highway system. He was currently living at his home in Kansas, was said to be in poor health, and had made no public statements. There were others, supposedly when the New York Times had interviewed a former Sergeant they had tracked down, he had said that he had been expecting a knock on the door for decades over this matter.

For the Administration, this couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Election was in full swing and this was a distraction that showed no sign of going away. The public was screaming for blood, and the FBI was under intense pressure to get the investigation done swiftly. The Army had made the mistake of stonewalling at first, mostly because they didn’t want to create a precedent that would come back to haunt them.
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Kat should have remembered just how long it took herself and most of the Sisterhood to trust again. Possibly because she was too close. Marcella's advice seems to have consisted of pointing that out and that allowing them to suppress those feelings & memories would just lead to more pain & difficulties later on.

TTL US Army, as an institution, is about to be clobbered. Especially if they also bombed the UMWA strikers as they did OTL.
The fact that the only ones available to be prosecuted are lower ranking enlisted and junior officers is not going to play very well with the American public as the concept of "Just following orders" is no excuse is something that is not established ITTL and only the horrific crimes by the Nazis IOTL brought about the Nuremberg Principles.
The best that President Rockefeller can do is to get ahead of this is to form a Presidential Commission, offer large cash settlements to the survivors, a formal written apologies that is suitable for framing and making the site where the bodies were found a National Landmark.

Kat inadvertently stepped on the bonding moment that Sophie and Ziska were having by defying Kat and keeping up the silent treatment they were giving each other.
That was going to be a victory for them by out lasting and more importantly in their minds out smarting Kat, I think by the next week when they were back in school they would have been back to friends anyway.
But Kat was right to give information about each other to them so that in the future they could understand better where each other is coming from.


AFAIK the rules and regs of the US army explicitly gave lower ranks a free pass if they only followed orders and that those paragraphs were removed from the books just shortly before Nuremberg.
Both of the girls were completely appalled that Kat had just revealed the reasons behind their actions. She knew full well that she had just stepped over several lines in the process, but something had needed to be done.

Ah, the good old "Unite them in Hate" -approach. And now they have the information they need, too.
Part 114, Chapter 1881
Chapter One Thousand Eight Hundred Eighty-One

21st September 1968


The events of the last couple months made Marie Alexandra wonder if it was possible to truly die of embarrassment. First her mother had finally returned from wherever she had been all summer and had acted as if everything that had happened should be something that they could bond over. Then had come the harrowing Doctor’s appointment where every part of Marie had been examined without exception. That had been followed by a frank talk from the Doctor about what it all meant, with no details left out, no matter how gross or disturbing. The sorts of things that had only been whispered about among Marie’s friends between classes at school. The weirdest aspect had been when Doctor Berg had said that she had been there when Marie had been born and was quite happy with how she had turned out. The odd woman had apparently been at the periphery of Marie’s life the entire time without her ever being aware of it.

Then last week as predicted Marie had started feeling rotten with cramps again. Everyone just smiled and said that was normal. She had wanted to yell back at them that it was a nuisance. Only Marie’s sister Tatiana had come across as honest when she had told Marie that no one wanted to listen to her whining and that they were trying to put the best face on it. It was now a part of Marie’s life and she would need to deal with it. That was until she was old and decrepit, at like the age of forty or something.

Today, Marie was still in a foul mood as she dug through the costumes that hung in her wardrobe, mostly outfits she had acquired second-hand and had modified to suit the purpose she had in mind. The trouble she had was that there just weren’t too many characters in the novels she loved who were ever depicted going through what she was. The ones who were her age or slightly older seemed to have none of the problems she had. That meant that she would need to be creative. Just how? Marie wished that she could be invisible. Marie selected a white gown that she had bought at a thrift store months earlier, the lack of color was perfect.

Still, once she had it on Marie was totally unsatisfied with what she saw in the full-length mirror on the back of her bedroom door. Her face and hair were at odds with how she felt. She normally liked the copper colored hair that fell down her back, but it seemed entirely too cheerful for her present mood. Swiftly pinning it up, she considered what exactly to do as she found a wig with long dark curls. Pulling out the extensive makeup kit that she kept for exactly this purpose from under her bed, she sat in front of the mirror as she carefully applied several layers of foundation and powder until her face was a nearly featureless white. It had been Aunt Gerta who had taught her about cosmetics, she had said that with how Marie loved to dress up it was extremely valuable knowledge. Sort of like how Aunt Marcella had taught her to sew, which had enabled her to alter her costumes.

Contemplating her face, Marie realized that it was a blank canvas and an idea occurred to her. Using kohl and rouge she painted her face to look like that of the queen in a deck of playing cards. She had just completed it when there was a knock on her bedroom door. Knowing that whoever it was, they would probably be persistent, so Marie opened the door and saw that it was her mother.

“Marie, I wanted to know if…” Her mother started to ask and then she put her hand to her mouth. At first Marie thought her mother was appalled, but then realized that she was trying not to laugh.

“I know that you are in a bit of a mood” Kat said, “But don’t you think that this is laying it on a bit thick?”

“Yes… No, I don’t know” Marie said, fumbling for the right answer and hating how her mother made her feel like a child with just one question.

“Whatever” Kat said, “Before you figure out just what you look like and start scrubbing that off your face, could you please go downstairs and get your father to take a photograph.”

“Why?” Marie asked, bewildered that her mother would ask such a thing.

“To show it to you in the future every time you are tempted to do this again” Kat said, “We did something like that with Josefine and Tatiana when they took things too far.”

Marie felt her cheeks burning and was thankful that her blushing was not visible under all the makeup.

Rural Silesia

“The First Foot Regiment has dibs on him for at least the next year” Manfred said as he and King Albrecht of Bavaria watched Manfred the Younger drop a Red Deer yearling with a single shot from five hundred meters. Anyone else might have considered it unethical to have attempted such a shot, the boy did a clean job of it. It also seemed that Manfred the Younger’s complaints about not being able to deploy with his former unit in Poland had reached the ears of Albrecht of Bavaria.

“Leave it to Louis Ferdinand to get the best of everything” Albrecht replied, “And he isn’t even into hunting.”

“The boy has other talents” Manfred said, “And that is keeping him going to University in the meantime, which will serve him in good stead in the coming years.”

The Bavarian King gave Manfred a look with a raised eyebrow.

“I read your biography” Albrecht said, “You were not happy in a Rear-Echelon role, a Supply Officer if I recall correctly.”

“If I knew then, what I know now” Manfred replied, “If I hadn’t gone into Aviation I would have been there when von Wolvogle reinvented the Cavalry. At the time it certainly felt like a dead end.”

Albrecht didn’t have anything further to say. He was here as Manfred’s guest for his Hunting Club’s annual banquet which was happening that Sunday. It had come as a bit of a surprise to learn that the Bavarian King considered him a peer. The House of Richthofen had really come up in the world.
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Another slice of life update, Marie is going to be either an actress or working for the BND as a Master or Disguise.

Young Manfred Royal: Huntmaster for the Kingdom of Bavaria.