Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Part 120, Chapter 2012
Chapter Two Thousand Twelve

6th August 1970

Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport

It was the end of an era for the 18th Fast Attack Wing. For years they had used various versions of the Arado Pfeil and as of today, that was officially over. All remaining Pfeil aircraft in the inventory were to be decommissioned per language of Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty of 1968. They were a nuclear capable fighter-bomber that had, in theory, enough range to hit intercontinental targets even if it would have been a one-way trip. That had been what had doomed them as opposed to their growing obsolescence. Everyone in the Air Wing knew that it was a load of shit, their planes had been thrown into the treaty because they had become a fleet of aging aircraft that the Luftwaffe could afford to sacrifice without harming the rest of the Service Branch.

It was something of a disappointment for SKG 18 when that announcement had been made a couple months earlier. Then had come watching as ferry crews came and took the airplanes away a few at a time. Everyone knew that they had been taken to Kaiserslautern, then cut up and laid out for the whole world to see. For Ben and Wim, it had felt like they had let an old friend down when they had handed off Black Knight III to the ground crew for the last time.

Today, they were being briefed on the Arado Orkan, the fighter-bomber that would replace Pfeil in the coming days. Judging from the photographs it was much smaller and supposedly it had greater flexibility. It was another Transatlantic project by Avro and Arado. To Ben’s eye, it seemed to lack the greatest quality of the Pfeil. Which was that the Pfeil looked extremely fast while still parked on the tarmac, so they knew it was a hot ride from the instant the wheels left the runway. Or as Wim said, it felt like trading in a Porsche for a Volkswagen. It remained to be seen if this was the Föhn Sports Package or the almost comically underpowered Microbus.

As Ben listened to the representative from Arado drone on about engine thrust, radar, variable sweep, whatever that was, and he just kept tuning him out. All of this would be in the guidebook and he would need to do a check ride in a trainer before he flew the new plane for real. So, little of this briefing really mattered. His mind kept going back to how Kiki had looked the last time he had seen her. She had just gotten back from a Doctor’s appointment and there was a car sent by her Commanding Officer there to pick her up. They hardly had time to talk, she had only a few minutes to pack her things. Before she had left, she had kissed him and told him she would call when she got to Wunsdorf and knew more.

Sure, she had called him the next day, but she had told him that the 34th Medical Services Regiment would be deploying with the 4th Panzer Division to South America. The trouble was that Ben knew that he would not be seeing her for months. She had also told him about how they had basically not been using any contraception over the last few months by accident. They had gotten lucky, and nothing had happened. Ben did sort of question if that was truly a lucky outcome. If Kiki had gotten pregnant, she wouldn’t be deploying overseas, and he figured that she would be able to not feel she was letting anyone down because it would have been beyond her control.

Was he being selfish to even consider that?

All Ben knew was that Kiki’s sudden departure had almost been painful this time. Finding himself sitting on the couch with Rauchbier and it being a question of who missed Kiki more had really driven that home.

Rural Silesia

Nico took careful aim with his rifle as one had to do when hunting rabbits. They were widely regarded as pests by the farmers, and the phrase breeding like rabbits came into play. There was never a shortage of them. The trouble was that his rifle was chambered to the standard service cartridge of the Army and hitting a rabbit center-mass did ugly things to it. Which Opa had told him was extremely wasteful.

There was also the minor detail that a rabbit’s head was a much smaller target. Niko was starting to understand how Manfred the Younger had become as good as he was. He had needed to be in order to live up to Opa’s standards. Lining up the hooded front sight at the end of the sixty-six-centimeter barrel with the rear notch, Niko squeezed the trigger. As recoil pushed the stock into his shoulder, he remembered not to flinch in anticipation. It was a mistake that Bas often made. The bullet has left the rifle before you feel it, he had been told.

Niko waited for the rifle to stabilize and restore the sight picture before he worked the bolt. He could see that the rabbit was sprinting for the bushes on the far side of the clearing, because he had clearly missed.

“My turn now” Bas said delightedly as Niko handed the rifle to him. Niko hit the target occasionally. Bas almost never did, and he didn’t seem to mind. Manny though. He could have made that shot on a running rabbit, Niko had seen him do it. Opa said it was from natural talent that had taken years of practice to come to fruition. Niko could do the same thing if he applied himself and there were no shortcuts.

He knew that Opa would want to discuss this with him at length tonight. He would also need to do the messy work of dressing the rabbits he had managed to get. Those would go to the Kennel Master and be used to feed the dogs.
For those who haven't figured out from the description what the new ride of SKG 18 is an analog of...


And why it might be something of a letdown after a decade flying an Avro Arrow.
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It makes perfect sense for countries that sign arms limitations treaties to use them as a reason to get rid of older weapons, planes, ships, etc. that otherwise would still be in the inventory because of bureaucracy and legislative inertia which is one of the reasons for the navies of the world to get rid of battleships ITTL.
So is Ben about to become the German male version of the notorious "WestPac Widow(er)" ?
Kiki will once again throw her whole self in to the mission even going as far to do medical outreach to the native populations that are not served with regular medical care.
That could lead to danger as that might bring her close to the Argintine-Chilean border area that is under dispute which could have serious repercussions if something goes wrong...


Kiki really got lucky with Ben. And of course she is better protected than the usual woman but still as the Royal family of the UK has shown sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
It was something of a disappointment for SKG 18 when that announcement had been made a couple months earlier. Then had come watching as ferry crews came and took the airplanes away a few at a time. Everyone knew that they had been taken to Kaiserslautern, then cut up and laid out for the whole world to see. For Ben and Wim, it had felt like they had let an old friend down when they had handed off Black Knight III to the ground crew for the last time.
I'm kinda surprised Ben didn't use his pull to get Black Knight III put in as a display at the observatory. Surely this version of SALT allows for museum pieces, right?

The "Boneyard" being at Ramstein or Sembach hits home. (Ramstein is better laid out for operations, while Sembach would be better as a dumping ground, at least the old A-10 OTL section.)
I'm kinda surprised Ben didn't use his pull to get Black Knight III put in as a display at the observatory. Surely this version of SALT allows for museum pieces, right?
Maybe, unbeknownst to Ben & Wim, Black Knight III may well end up stuffed and mounted in the Luftwaffe Hall at the Military Museum on Fischer Island as the ride of Uhlan the Jabo Ace & his back seater Risky.
Part 120, Chapter 2013
Chapter Two Thousand Thirteen

8th August 1970

Rio Gallegos, Argentina

It really did feel like they were going back in time. The flight from Berlin to Buenos Aires had been aboard a modern airliner. After spending the night in a hotel in the capital the next stage of their journey had been from there to a rough city whose existence depended on the oil export terminal aboard a turboprop. Their accommodation wasn’t nearly as nice as they had been woken several times by shouting on the streets below. The last stage had been to Rio Gallegos aboard a tri-engine cargo plane that looked like it was older than they were. The larger group they were a part of was apparently the first group of civilian volunteers to be sent to further the mission the military in what had been described as something of an impoverished backwater according to their briefing.

Suse Rosa kept telling them it was an adventure, and she was right. If your idea of adventure involved lots of dust and insects so far. Ina hardly said a word over the last few days. While she had never been particularly verbose, she just sat quietly looking out windows and observing the world passing by. Jo had started a few times to draw her out in conversation but had realized the real reason for her silence. This was the first time in her life that had stepped out from the shadow of her parents or grandfather. There had been a call for teachers and medical personnel willing to volunteer to go to Patagonia and Ina had applied as Veterinarian. Ina had never thought that her application would be accepted, she had barely completed her education. The presumption had been that people who were older and had far more experience would be wanted for this. Ina had been wrong, and she was understandably terrified that she was way in over her head.

As they stepped off the airplane, all Jo wanted was a hot bath and twelve hours sleep on a bed that wasn’t moving. That wasn’t going happen because in was Manny who was standing there, and he did not look happy to see them.

Los Angeles, California

After months of working graveyard, it felt strange to be driving around during the daytime even if it was in the middle of the summer. The calls they were getting were far different as well. The sort of skells they normally dealt with were not inclined to cause too much trouble during daylight hours, because they either were asleep or perhaps most astonishingly, they had jobs to go to. It was a hot day, even by LA’s standards. Ritchie could feel sweat soaking into his shirt and he wished that there was an involved crime scene somewhere airconditioned to hang out for a few hours.

So, Ritchie and Wilkinson went from call to call, mostly nuisance complaints. It seemed that loud music and public urination being the two most popular today. Both of those things could be solved just by the sight of a squad car rolling down the block. They had talked Baseball for a while. At the moment though it seemed like the National League West was doing its best to drive the fans insane with the Dodgers locked in a battle with the Giants for second place and Cincinnati out to a wide lead. The Reds were not particularly great either. So, they had dropped the subject after a few minutes.

“Lucia wants to look at houses this weekend” Ritchie said after several minutes of silence.

“Any particular neighborhood?” Wilkinson asked.

“Not yet” Ritchie said, “Lucia has big ideas though. Schools, parks, and whatnot.”

“Schools?” Wilkinson asked, “You do know that means that she sees you in the yard playing catch with Ritchie Junior in a few years.”

“I’m not stupid” Ritchie replied, “And it doesn’t matter if we cannot get a mortgage.”

“You’re a Cop and former Army Special Forces” Wilkinson said.

“With a name that ends with a vowel” Ritchie said.

Wilkinson shrugged. “You didn’t get the memo?” He asked, “Everyone hates Poles these days.”

One of the strange things that had occurred over the last few years. The war in Poland had resulted in Thousands of ethnic Poles looking for greener pastures leaving Poland. Many of them had turned up in Los Angeles. That meant that the local bigots had a slightly different group to focus their hate on other than the usual Blacks, Mexicans, and Chinese.

“I’m glad you can joke about that” Ritchie replied, “But the dislike of Mexicans in SoCal transcends time and space. It has to. How else can we be told to go back to Mexico when we’ve been here longer than anyone save the Indians?”

Wilkinson just shrugged again. He didn’t really understand what was going on with Ritchie. If they could find someone in a halfway decent neighborhood who would sell to them, there would still be the challenge of finding a bank willing to give them a home loan. Without a miracle they would end up living in the same sort neighborhoods that they had grown up in. Lucia had made it clear that was the last thing she wanted. Ritchie just wasn’t sure how he could make it happen even if they presently had the resources to make a substantial down payment thanks to a renegade German Princess.

“Something will come up” Wilkinson said, “It always does.”

Ritchie just wished he shared Wilkinson’s optimism.
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Let's see Ina's mother is Helene, Suse Ross's mother is Gerta, and Jo is basically the daughter of Kat so everything will go very smoothly on this volunteer mission.
Manny is going to get a bunch of messages from his father, Kurt, and most ominously from Aunt Kat that he is going to have to keep an extra eye on them and each one of them poses an unique challenge.

Ritchie as a LAPD officer and US Army veteran should be a slam dunk to get a loan but only if he is white and many developers at the time would offer "Special Incentives" to the Law Enforcement community to move in their new developments.
If Ritchie is denied a loan that will cause a big stink if it gets out and there will be Latinos civil rights organizations that will see Ritchie as the best test symbol to challenge the laws and practices that allow discrimination.
I found it very interesting that after The Polish Intervention that a large number of Poles immigrated to the United States, I wonder if they came from the areas that split off of Poland after the end of the conflict.
It does makes sense that they would go to Southern California as it is a more open place and by this time IOTL many of the neighborhoods that are Polish especially in places like Chicago are beginning to transition to different races and ethnicities while the younger generation are going to college, marry other partners other than fellow Poles, and moving to the suburbs.
Part 120, Chapter 2014
Chapter Two Thousand Fourteen

14th August 1970

Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport

“I love you Ben, but you can really be a complete idiot. Please be smart this time, for me.”

That was what Kiki had said to Ben when they had last seen each other. It had been during the brief interlude that she had been waiting to board an airplane and he had found her at the gate. They’d only had a few minutes to say their goodbyes and had tried to make the most of it.

She had looked tired, and he knew that she was in a stressful position. Astonishingly Kiki had said that she was looking forward to the long flight to Buenos Aires because she would finally have a chance to sleep. It had been into this that he had suggested that if he volunteered for any overseas posting then they could be together again. This was after Kiki had said that at the moment all roads seemed to lead to South America. That had been what had caused her to tell Ben that it was an idiotic idea. In the days since, Ben had learned that things tend to take on a momentum of their own regardless of what had been asked of him.

SKG 18 had started training in the new fighter-bomber and General von Werra, the Commander of Berlin’s Air Defenses, had taken a keen interest in what they were up to. When von Werra had toured the hangers used by the Fast Attack Wing, he had commented that the whole city was proud of what their Jabos had accomplished in recent years. That had been when a fully restored FW190 had been unveiled that was painted red and white in the city’s colors. That was what SKG 18 had flown during the unit formation decades earlier during the Soviet War. The 190 was completely authentic having been in a private collection until it had been reacquired by the Luftwaffe. Ben had discussed what had happened with Wim and they had concluded that the General was responding to the grumbling about the transition to a new airplane. The message being that change was constant, so they needed to deal with it.

In the meantime, they had check rides to contend with and a great deal of studying to do. Then had come word that as soon as SKG 18 was deemed combat ready, they were to be deployed to a forward location. The trouble for Ben was that while he had not contrived to have that happen, it hewed too closely with what he had suggested, and Kiki had referred to as an idiotic idea. She was going to be furious with him.

San Gregorio, Chile

Jesus Aiza was one of the few men with a University Degree in what could only be described as the asshole of Chile. So, he had been commissioned as a Subteniente and told to keep a Platoon of what could only be described as adult sized children from doing anything stupid. The men of the Platoon regarded Jesus as something of a genius because he had read the Infantry Manual and knew which way the rifles were supposed to be pointed in. Not that they were proving to be any smarter in Santiago these days.

It was all because Jesus had stupidly fallen in love.

Before he had been conscripted, his brother had told him of an opportunity to travel to the North. The problem was that he had been infatuated with his girlfriend and couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her. A few months after graduation he had gotten notice that his Nation needed a bit of his time and he had been sent to enjoy life at the hands of sadistic instructors with the other Officer candidates. His girlfriend had not even bothered to tell him they were through, leaving him to figure it out on his own when she didn’t return his calls.

Then had come a series of postings further and further away from home. He had finally ended up as part of the force guarding what was considered the strategically important Strait of Magellan, as if it hadn’t been superseded by the Panama Canal decades earlier. There was no denying that this truly was one of the ends of the Earth. All the jokes that Jesus had heard about seeing the same eyebrow across three and a half of the local men here were not quite true, but that might have something to do with the profound love of sheep that these people had.

It was here that the saber rattling that Santiago was engaged in was most sharply felt. If el Presidente miscalculated, then Jesus and his men were just so much chopped suet and he had met the man who he suspected would be the one to carry it out a few days earlier when he had been up on the frontier. The Argentine Army didn’t scare him as such. Most of them came across like Jesus’ own men. Just marking time until they would be free to return to their homes and families.

Then there were the other ones who had arrived in recent months, foreigners who were truly foreign. All of them were professionals of the sort who were rare in the Chilian Army’s ranks. The man who had introduced himself as Unterfeldwebel Weise was like that, whatever an Unterfeldwebel even was beyond the apparent love the Germans had for tongue twisters. There had also been a bit of amusement when he had introduced himself. It seemed that Weise’s first name was Christian. Jesus found that to be a bit of a stupid coincidence and not in the least bit amusing.
For Ben it is inevitable that he would be sent to Argentina as Germany so far ITTL likes to test it's new weapons in real world situations and Ben's unit has shown that it is a top unit.


Well that was a fast transition. I would have estimated at least 6 months to be needed to get combat ready with a new plane.