Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Part 125, Chapter 2114
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Fourteen

12th January 1972

Brandenburg an der Havel

Sitting on the couch in the parlor listening to his parents arguing with each other had become something that Christian had been enduring since he had come home the prior Saturday. The subject of their argument was him and how they were not exactly thrilled with many of the choices that he had made over the last few years. He was sitting there as a captive audience because he had found that getting up and going up to the bedroom just made things worse. His younger brothers didn’t know exactly what had set their parent’s off, just that it was trouble they wanted no part of.

His grandmother was happy to have him finally come home. It was a reminder of how decades earlier her oldest son had left home and never returned. The worst part for the family had been that Christian’s uncle had died in such a manner that they had not been left with a body to bury afterwards. A few years later, the Government had belatedly acknowledged the sacrifice that he had made, but to Christian, his Uncle Karl had always been a picture in a dusty frame on the mantlepiece with a medal in a case beside it. When he had been twelve, he had taken the medal out of its case to look at it and his grandmother had caught him. It was one of the few times that he had his normally kindly grandmother had been furious with him, so he had not repeated that mistake.

Now, he was holding the same Rank that his Uncle had held and had earned the same medal. That had caused a great deal of consternation among his family, and it wasn’t helped by them acting as if he were still teenager as opposed to nearly twenty-three. His father had suggested that he should come home and take a job at Opelwerk Brandenburg like nearly everyone else in his family when his current term of enlistment ended in a few months. The cause of the dispute was that his mother felt that it should be more than just a suggestion. What they failing to consider was that Christian had joined the Army after working in the auto plant and had been bored to tears when he was seventeen. That held even less appeal now than it had six years before.

He had also not told them that he had been told by two of Field Marshal Tilo Schultz’s aides that if he applied to become a Professional Soldier, he would have the Field Marshal’s endorsement. To sweeten the deal there was also an appointment to the First Foot Guard that had been thrown in as well. Manny had told him that it was fun, wear a dress uniform and put on a show for the tourists. As a highly decorated Oberfeld, Christian would probably be rather popular in that role. Eighteen months of that and he would be given his choice of assignment. As the same time though, there was always the chance that he would one day find himself back in a situation he had been in on the Argentine-Chilean border and might not be so lucky. That was the only argument against it that he could think of. As it was, Christian found presently that he had difficulty lacing his own boots. He was already considerably better than when he had first arrived aboard the SMS Prinzessin Antonia, then he doubted that he could have gotten his boots on. The Heer had told him that he could give them his decision when he reported back to Wunsdorf in a few months. As if it was a difficult decision for Christian to make.

There was a knocking on the door and that ended his parent’s bickering, for now. His mother went to answer the door while Christian’s father sat down in the recliner and listened to his mother talk to their guest. Oddly, from the sound of it, Christian’s mother didn’t seem to have a great deal to interject into the conversation. Something that rarely happened before.

Two men entered the parlor in dark suits. To Christian’s eye, they looked like retired Noncoms with an eye out for trouble. Their employer entered the room, and it was not who Christian was expecting.

“I was just telling your wife that you should be proud of your son” Manfred von Richthofen said, “Christian stood beside my grandson where most men would have lost their nerve.”

“We try to be” Christian’s father said. That was probably a mistake because von Richthofen gave him a look that Christian knew from having observed senior Officers in the past. The one that said, “I will remember this.” His father having worked in a job deemed essential during the Soviet War and had been exempted from conscription. So, he was oblivious to the subtle menace of a look like that. As Manny had told Christian many times, Opa von Richthofen was not a man to be trifled with.

“Very well then” von Richthofen said, “If you could excuse us, I have an important matter I wish to discuss with your son.”

With that, his parents making the wise choice retreated to the kitchen. Christian noticed his younger brothers and little sister peeking in from the doorway before the door was closed.

“They mean well, but they don’t understand” Christian said.

“I find that to be very common” von Richthofen replied.

“Just what is this important matter?” Christian asked.

“Me cago en tu puta madre” von Richthofen said with a wry smile. “You really said that to a Chilean Officer pointing a gun at you?”

“Manny must have told you” Christian replied.

“That didn’t find its way into the official record” von Richthofen said, “My opinion is that it should have, let the whole would know what a real man does in the face of death.”

“I’m glad you think so, Sir” Christian said.

“Instead, they gave you that REK for generic bravery and conduct, what a load of tripe” Richthofen said.

“I’m sure they have their reasons” Christian replied, wondering where von Richthofen was going.

“I came to give you this” von Richthofen said pulling a box from his coat pocket and handing it to Christian. “I had the citation written to reflect what really got said.”

Opening the box Christian saw that it was a medal based on the House Order of Hohenzollern with swords, except it was gold with dark green enamel paint and the family crest of the House of Richthofen. It had a crimson ribbon.

“Isn’t this for Officers?” Christian asked.

“Normally, yes” von Richthofen replied, “But as the head of the family and the Grand Master of the Order I can induct whoever I damn well want. Besides that, I think that you’ll grow into the role.”

“Well, thank you, Sir” Christian said.

“And a bit of advice” von Richthofen said, “You might want to consider calling my granddaughter Katherine. Manny thinks she’s looking for you.”

“Who?” Christian asked.

“Everyone calls her Ina” von Richthofen replied, “Apparently the two of you met a few times in Rio Gallegos.”

“Yeah, but I tried to not be too forward with her, she’s Manny’s little sister.”

Christian got a knowing look from von Richthofen who chuckled at that answer. “You have to remember that these things cut both ways” He said, “You may have kept your distance to keep my grandson from beating your brains out, but that didn’t stop her from taking an interest in you. So, call her and see how things work out.”
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One of the problems with what Helene's doing as it would be very easy for her opponents to spin it as mother being "hysterical".
Helene has the background and record to make her very credible in National Security issues, the fact that she holds the Interior Ministry portfolio which is one of the " Big Three" cabinet positions (Foreign and Defense being the others) shows that she is trusted with one of the most important and sensitive positions that the Empire has.
Helene is a good enough and more importantly completely sincere as a politician to blend the concerns of a mother with what is important and necessary for the nation.
The main issue is that apparently Argentina is continuing a war that they already essentially won against Chile with Germany doing the bulk of the fighting on behalf of Argentina.
That means that German money, German steel, and German blood are being expended in a wasteful and unnecessary manner when a peaceful solution is right there in front of everybody.

By the way Christian should take Ina on a double date with Manny and Suse Rosa to show Manny how respectful Christian is towards his sister and with Suse Rosa being friends with Ina her favorable opinion of Christian will go along ways.
By the way Christian should take Ina on a double date with Manny and Suse Rosa to show Manny how respectful Christian is towards his sister and with Suse Rosa being friends with Ina her favorable opinion of Christian will go along ways.
Yes, the lower ranked Christian should go on a double date with his superior officers little sister with said superior officer and his girlfriend. What can possibly go wrong here.......
More likely than not the idea of going out on a group date will come from Suse Rosa and Ina and that means there will be a group date.
Many and Christian have known each other since basic and Manny knows that Christian will always have his back and that it was just proven in combat..
Manny's main problem is not Christian dating his sister but the fact that his sister having interest in the opposite sex because Manny knows that what he is doing with Suse Rosa is also what any guy in question will do with his sister and that is a different thing.
Manny's main problem is not Christian dating his sister but the fact that his sister having interest in the opposite sex because Manny knows that what he is doing with Suse Rosa is also what any guy in question will do with his sister and that is a different thing.

That never stops.

Eh, it depends on the older brother. When my sister started dating, I was just like 'If he's nasty to you, tell me, otherwise you do you, boo'. Like, if she'd ended up with a dickhead I'd have tried to handle it, but otherwise I didn't have any interest in her dating life - none of my business.


My best friend any my little sister actually became a thing for about a year or so. I never minded except the part in which you heard every story twice.
Which became even worse than that relationship came to an end.
Part 125, Chapter 2115
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Fifteen

13th January 1972

Rural Bohemia, near Železná

The television show die Krähe had proven wildly popular, not just in Bohemia but throughout larger German Empire as well. The show played fast and loose with history which was ironic because it purported to be a Historical Drama. Gerta knew the truth, it was a bit of a rip off of the American Zorro movies but held more than a few twists that gave it its own character. Having an outlaw made little sense in the prior eras when Germany was a fractured landscape composed of dozens of tiny squabbling States. Such a man could simply cross the nearest of the borders that were seldom far away and be well ahead of most legal entanglements. Instead, it was the nature of the region that shaped the show. The Crow in this case is a man known by no other name driven by an unknown past seeking justice crossing different lands that all just happened to look like rural Bohemia just outside Prague.

As the Executive Producer, Gerta loved to watch the process of filming the episodes. Today, she was joined by Helene who was a bit bored they watched the actors set up for the action sequence that would feature an out-of-control carriage, a sword fight and bridge that would be blown up with actual black powder. The Actors and the Stunt Team were setting up and it would be done over several takes, only later it would be seamlessly put together by the magic of the Editing Room to be the thrilling action sequence that people loved to watch. Helene being true to her nature was finding plenty to fret about even though she had come to Bohemia to escape her problems for a couple days.

“I can’t believe I messed something so simple up” Helene said.

“I find far harder to believe that Manfred and Suse are still an item after everything that has happened” Gerta replied. What Gerta had not mentioned was what Suse had told her about what had happened in Rio Gallegos. That was the last thing that Helene needed to deal with at the moment, she was still kicking herself for not inviting Suse to greet Manfred when he arrived back in Berlin.

“Well, they are” Helene said with a frown as she watched two actors and their stunt doubles rehearsing the moves that they would do when filming the sword fight on the roof of the carriage.

“Ladies” The actor who played the dastardly Léon d’Aramitz, the villain of the show, said as he walked past. Twirling his mustache as strutted by them.

“He certainly has a lot of fun playing the bad guy” Gerta said, “You could learn a lot from him.”

Helene gave Gerta a look.

“I’m just saying” Gerta said as Helene shook her head.

“I am being accused of having an overly emotional response to Manfred getting hurt” Helene said, “Isn’t that the exact opposite of the psychotic character?”

“I’m referring to how you cannot dwell on what others think of you” Gerta said, “Not behaving like a psychopath, I’d say that plenty of your colleagues do enough of that as is.”

Helene looked annoyed that had been pointed out, as if it needed to be. Gerta’s father had once told her that it was difficult to be cynical about the politics that was practiced in the Reichstag and various State Landtags. You just couldn’t keep up. Helene was still a bit of an idealist though and her bid to end the Argentine War was a part of that. Gerta just hoped that Willy Brandt understood that Helene was not bluffing in this matter. If she didn’t see real progress soon then he would see that in a hurry.

They sat there watching the production in silence for a few minutes. Gerta knew that Helene probably wanted to talk further but let her go at her own pace.

“My father is being a total asshole” Helene said.

“That is not exactly news” Gerta replied, “That is sort of how he goes through life.”

“There is difference this time though” Helene said, “This time he is involving Ina.”

“So, what nefarious scheme has the devious Bloody Red Kurfürst of Silesia cooked up that involves a soft-hearted young Veterinary Technician?” Gerta asked, hoping that one of the script writers had overheard that.

“Don’t give me that” Helene replied, “I finally got Ina to agree to go to University and get a Doctorate in Veterinary Science as opposed to just doing vocational training. Then my father decided to throw a wrench into to works.”

It was something that was a sore spot for Helene. She had always wanted her daughter to aspire for more. Ina had applied for Vocational School when she would have been eligible to go to University. Gerta understood that Ina had wanted to get out into the world and do things, while her mother saw that once again as Ina settling for less.

“Still, what did your father do?” Gerta asked.

“He encouraged a young man who he knew Ina fancied to call her after he gave him a medal for cussing at a Chilean Officer while he and Manfred were in a precarious situation” Helene said, “He told me that my mother would have liked Christian Weise.”

Gerta was a bit surprised by that. That was basically Manfred the Elder giving his blessing to that relationship, something that was rather unprecedented. Small wonder that Helene was so put out by this turn of events and that was even when considering that she seemed to have a hard time seeing Ina as being over the age of twelve when it came to having a personal life.

“What is this boy like?” Gerta asked.

“He is an Oberfeldwebel whose entire family works in the Automotive Industry if you would believe that” Helene replied, this being one of those rare occasions where the aspect of her that was snobbish was coming to the fore.

“Hans was a Feldwebel when you first met him and just what was the Mischner’s family business at the time?” Gerta said, “How did that work out for you?”

“You are not helping Gerta” Helene said flatly.
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If there was a script writer over-hearing any of this conversation, I promise you Gerta will have a smash hit soap opera on her hands once they file off the angles to make it "legally distinct" versions of the characters.
You could pretty much turn it into Dallas. You've got a scheming and ruthless old Prussian, his idealistic and liberal daughter, a son in law who's an upright child of an urban criminal and they're all meddling in the love affairs of their third generation.


Agreed i will not comment on this after the bottle of Penfolds Bin Nr 2 has been washed out of my system. With the one caveat

all men that think they know how to make their women stay decent

the next drink is on you.
What they failing to consider was that Christian had joined the Army after a few months of working in the auto plant and had been bored to tears when he was seventeen.
So... German school systems. (Take with a grain of salt, outsider looking in on that one once again)

They are a mess to understand because even OTL all states have a different one. And TTL we still have a composite Empire with all their own rules, making it probably even more complicated. And difficult to tell what happened, because the last 50 years were different enough that the OTL reform era's might not have happened at all. (Hello there post 1945 reforms etc.)

But seeing how this is Brandenburg the basic (IIRC) Prussian structure should still stand. So 4 years Volksschule, 4 years Hauptschule/Gymnasium and another 4-5 years where it splits into further schooling (Gymnasium/Realschule) or vocational training.

Dropping out at 17 seems odd in that system. (Well, it happens of course, but it's not that common. And would seriously mess up his job prospects, if it wasn't for his military career - again thinking of a hybrid of OTL 1970s and the German Empire and some of it's attitudes surviving. )

Looking at things, it's more likely that Christian dropped out after two years of apprenticeship at 17 than after just a few months. (Or maybe he's lucky with his birthday, and finished after three years at 17, before leaving?) It would also fit with being assigned to recon - since he'd be expected to have learned a lot of the basics of a auto mechanic anyway in that time.

Unless he'd dropped out of school anyway and that auto plant job had been a side job? But then it wouldn't be 'proper' work there, but maybe cleaning? I know a few (students) that did that kind of job - but that usually was on weekends for that big Bavarian automobile company. (Or for the matter those couple months being summer jobs...) Then again, in that situation he'd only be able to get unskilled work at the plant anyway... (And that's for migratory 'guest workers' anyway - to capture some of the attitude of the OTL 70s)

TL;DR: This one sentence seems a bit odd to me in some of the details, based on my understanding how German schools and vocational training works.
Any mistakes are my own. This one was a result of forgetting my own research while trying to get into the headspace of a teenager who was getting pushed into an unappealing career as the result of family expectations. This happens occasionally and if you reread that sentence it has been fixed.
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The basic structure for post-war german school was/is:

Kindergarten, 3-4 years depending on birthdate as Basic School (Grundschule) starts at fixed dates, if the kid hasn't been born before that date it is held back for the next than have a runt. Developmentally kids may be redirected to specialised school (This has recently stopped under inclusion efforts)
Basic School (Grundschule): 4 years, here the big stratification in german schooling happens at the end, the teacher recommends what schoolform is felt best for the pupil.
Which might be:
Main School (Hauptschule): 4 to 5 years of schooling, finishing usually meant you were considered for vocational training, aka learning a trade of office job. These days most employers won't even look at you with the follow up Realschul degree. Usually you reach this around 15, 16. Most people switch to Real school afterwards.
Real School (Real Schule): Tacks on two years of additional schooling to enable people to enter mid level government jobs or Task Advanced schooling.
Advanced School (Oberschule / Gymnasion):9 years of learning, used to be that this was for people wanting to study or the high level government jobs. These days most jobs require one, for no real reason
Task Advanced School (Fachabitur): 8 years of schooling, focus on aspects of commercial life, these days for example there are ones for information technology. A degree for one of these used to restrict you to trade college, so with example above you could go on to earn a Bachelor in a information tech field, but not medicine.

Special School (Sonderschule): Nowadays largely extinct due to inclusion efforts, this school form was intended to the specialised facility for teaching the disabled, usually tops out at Realschul degrees.

At the age quoted he likely finished Hauptschule and got a trainee job.
At the age quoted he likely finished Hauptschule and got a trainee job.
That's the assumption, that he was a Auszubildender (or would it still be Lehrling in this ATL?) - but then at 17 it's more likely that he broke off that one before finishing as Geselle/Facharbeiter. Since to my understanding those apprenticeships last three years in Germany too, as in Austria. But that would have been more than 'a few months' of working there?

If that's the case, returning to the auto plant in the 70s would be difficult in anything but unskilled work. Well, that is unless you think that the strain of Prussian militarism is still somewhat alive TTL (as it seems to oddly be), and his military decorations would get him a better job.

But again, details. Half a century of school reforms that might or might not have changed things. Specifics to age that might change some assumptions. And all that. And base assumptions on my part. Still, the sentence read oddly to me in the end.