Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Whatever the title, I'd pay good ITTL Reichsmarks (or Dollars/Pounds, etc) to read the English translation. Would also pay some good coin to read the companion piece by his long-suffering backseater Wim (callsign 'Risky') - Squire to the Black Knight. The title would have to be the aircrew equivalent of the saying that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but "Backwards and in high heels".
Imagine co-writing those chapters between Wim and Ben, complete with back and forth from the cockpit and then 4th wall break back and forth too?
 
Whatever the title, I'd pay good ITTL Reichsmarks (or Dollars/Pounds, etc) to read the English translation. Would also pay some good coin to read the companion piece by his long-suffering backseater Wim (callsign 'Risky') - Squire to the Black Knight. The title would have to be the aircrew equivalent of the saying that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but "Backwards and in high heels".
Interviewer: "So, why 'Risky'? How did you get that callsign/nickname?"
Wim: "Isn't it obvious?" <points at Ben> "I fly backseat to that lunatic!"
 
Whatever the title, I'd pay good ITTL Reichsmarks (or Dollars/Pounds, etc) to read the English translation. Would also pay some good coin to read the companion piece by his long-suffering backseater Wim (callsign 'Risky') - Squire to the Black Knight. The title would have to be the aircrew equivalent of the saying that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but "Backwards and in high heels".

Interviewer: "So, why 'Risky'? How did you get that callsign/nickname?"
Wim: "Isn't it obvious?" <points at Ben> "I fly backseat to that lunatic!"
Actually, it was Deckoffizier (WO-1) Joseph "Risky" Volk who was the Systems Operator/Observer for Albrecht "Uhlan" von Richthofen. Whereas Hauptmann Wilhelm "Wim" Franke is Ben's Weapons System Operator.
 
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Actually, it was Deckoffizier (WO-1) Joseph "Risky" Volk who was the Systems Operator/Observer for Albrecht "Uhlan" von Richthofen. Whereas Hauptmann Wilhelm "Wim" Franke is Ben's Weapons System Operator.
I was pretty sure that's the case (I'm currently in Mexico on a re-read) but didn't want to correct them.
 
Part 125, Chapter 2119
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Nineteen



1st February 1972

Los Angeles, California

Rain was drumming off the roof of the car. It was hardly an annoyance for Ritchie because rain tended to keep the neighborhood’s scumbags off the streets. He was sitting in the patrol car with Mike in the parking lot of the McDonalds on 7th and South Alameda, the south-west corner of the Arts District. According to the Department brass, they were supposed to be hanging back so that they could be available if an operation that was going down a couple blocks away at the Greyhound Station went south. Mostly it was a good excuse to do nothing but sit around for a few hours.

For Big Mike it was an insult to spend half the night here because he hated the food at McDonald’s and being parked here would cause all sorts of talk. As he had told Ritchie many times just tonight, he had standards. Ritchie ignored him and concentrated on Hunting Killers, the book he was reading. It was the one that the movie that he had seen a couple weeks earlier was based on and the book provided a wealth of details that the movie had taken artistic license with. There were photographs and diagrams as well. It was hardly a surprise that Sven Werth was a spare man with absolutely no color in his appearance and he bore little resemblance to the actor who had played him in real life. The actress who had played Kat Mischner had gotten her look down but couldn’t quite get the hot in a “Don’t mess with me” way that was apparent just from photographs. Gunther Kassmeyer looked like the type who could be played by any extra from central casting. What really did surprise Ritchie was how the parallel investigations of Oskar Dirlewanger and Otto Mischner weaved in and out of each other. Ritchie had assumed that it was the result of a contrivance by the Film Makers but that really had happened. The story had also continued for another five years beyond the end of the movie until Otto Mischner who had terminal cancer apparently tried to take down his own organization. There were a few details of that didn’t quite add up until Ritchie figured out why the narrative was off. The coming chapters detailed a different unrelated investigation, but Ritchie had yet to delve into that.

“He was protecting his little girl right up until the end” Ritchie said aloud.

“What?” Mike asked.

“This book” Ritchie said, “There is this Gangster, the head of the family, who was dying, and he tells a Newspaper Reporter that he fed the Police the information needed to take down his organization. I think his daughter was the real informant and he took the rap when he figured it out.”

“I doubt it” Mike said, “Have you ever met any of them? To call them a bunch of scheming, backstabbing sharks is an insult to sharks. So, one of them would never ever take the blame, even for blood. This guy screwing over all his soon to be former associates as one last fuck you, that is perfectly in character for one of them.”

“If you say so” Ritchie replied.



Washington D.C.

A summary of the final report on the Argentine-Chilean War by the CIA was a part of the Presidential daily briefing today. The conclusions were interesting. President Rockefeller remembered the reasons why the United States had not nixed this conflict when the first rumblings had occurred a couple years earlier. The stated reasons had been simple enough, to contain Argentine economic expansion in the region. It was also to get the Germans caught up in a war that would exhaust their ambitions for at least the next decade. The results were mixed, and the areas where American interests had benefited it remained to be seen if they would continue to be successful.

If anything, Argentina had emerged stronger than they had prior to the conflict. Not only had the industry around Buenos Aires seen rapid growth but things like the rapid construction of standard gauge rail lines had been built across the country to facilitate the logistics of the war. The CIA had concluded that there would probably be a post-war economic boom.

Chile on the other hand, despite their initial success, had gotten badly mauled by the conflict. Having most of their country within easy range of attack planes had seen much of their infrastructure smashed. Despite much of it not being particularly valuable, large portions of Southern Chile were currently occupied and they were in a weak position to ask for it back. It was figured that the Argentines would eventually withdraw from most of the territory except of the area around the Strait of Magellan due to the expense, but not before getting concessions elsewhere. The most confounding part of all was that President Allende had emerged from the conflict with his position more secure than at the start. It seemed that everyone of any stature who might have deposed the Chilean President was conveniently dead.

For American interests, the CIA had collected reams of useable data on the capabilities of the respective German and Argentine militaries. They mentioned various systems that they had only speculated about being deployed in the field. Oddly, there was mention of a track mounted Anti-Aircraft system that an American pilot had fatally run afoul of.

“What is this?” Rockefeller had asked Frank Church, who had just shrugged.

“An adventurer who volunteered for the Chilean Airforce under an assumed name” Church replied, “Former US Navy Pilot who made quite a name for himself down there before he got careless.”

“And how much involvement did the CIA have with facilitating his volunteerism?” Rockefeller asked, wondering if he would get an earful from the German Chancellor during an upcoming series of State visits to various European countries before he left office.

“Our people on the ground in Chile don’t seem to know who he was” Church replied. Rockefeller had a sinking suspicion that as he dug deeper into this report, he was going to learn about other people the CIA said they didn’t know.
 
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At this point I kind of expect Lucia to pick up Ritchie's copy of Hunting Killers and making the connection that Kiki knows that Kat. And it's kind of odd that he hasn't made the connection between the Kat Mischner in the book to the patron saint of German special forces, that he really should have heard of. Or is the lack of a 'von' throwing him off? (Then again I'm not sure any more if Ritchie actually met Kat already. And well, he's at the same time oddly knowledgable, but with even odder blind spots when it comes to Germany.)
 
AFAIR already the Wehrmacht had had such track mounted AA assets so it should have hardly been a surprise.
On the other hand did the US army ever have anything like a Gepard or a ZSU 23? Honestly don’t know.
 
If the Late and Unlamented Randy "Duke" Cunningham was married ITTL as he was IOTL his widow is going to have problems getting his benefits as he was probably discharged from the Navy AFTER he died with the discharge backdated in order to preserve the cover story that he was working as a mercenary instead of a pilot for the CIA on loan from the Navy.
 
Rockefeller had a sinking suspicion that as he dug deeper into this report, he was going to learn about other people the CIA said they didn’t know.
Go with that feeling Nelson, don't look any deeper, that way you don't have to lie if anyone asks if the CIA were supplying mercenaries. Not that Zella would ask such a thing of course...
 
Part 125, Chapter 2120
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Twenty



6th February 1972

Tempelhof

“I don’t know if anyone is going to thank you for this Helene” Kat said trying to be diplomatic, something that was difficult for her. They were talking about recent events and how Helene had forced the issue with Argentina. The issue was one that Kat was acutely aware of, the paradox of being a woman that Kat knew she had to contend with, and she was certain that Helene did as well. It was the idea that people liked them in the position they were in and the respective jobs they did. However, the instant they took too public a position or were seen as exercising the full authority of their office then people didn’t like it at all.

“Not all of us have a fearsome reputation that allows them to rule from the shadows” Helene replied. Kat hated it when it was brought up that among some circles she was feared. Of

“I try to keep certain aspects of what I do quiet because being loud would be counterproductive” Kat said, “Forcing the Chancellor’s hand on a matter of Foreign Policy is the very definition of loud.”

“Someone had to do something” Helene said, “Especially after Manfred got hurt in a battle that was fought entirely because of the monstrous ego of Raul Martínez.”

That was also Kat’s position as well, though she wasn’t about to give Helene the satisfaction of saying aloud. The entire battle that had been fought in Paso de San Francisco had been after the initial objectives of the campaign had largely been achieved but President Martínez had wanted to teach the Chileans a lesson. Besides that, Kat had a son going to University and he would be near the front of the line if the Government ever felt compelled to reintroduce conscription. That was the last thing on earth that Kat wanted. It was bad enough already that Tatiana was involved with the BND. The fortunate part was that with his aptitude with computers, Malcolm was extremely unlikely to find himself on the frontlines leading a Rifle Platoon.

“The two of you are never going to agree about this” Gerta said, “Always talking past each other though there is not a whole lot that separates your perspectives. It’s been the same since we were children.”

Gerta had quietly listened to the two of them argue since they had sat down to eat half an hour earlier. Now with their plates untouched, Kat was a bit embarrassed that they had gotten caught up in a circular argument about what exactly was the best course of action.

“We were a bit older than children when we met” Helene said.

“I don’t care” Gerta replied with a smirk.

That prompted them to resume their meal in silence for the next several minutes. Kat and Helene knew that having Gerta present today was a rare treat. They led busy lives and Gerta lived in Prague most of the time these days, it made simply getting together a challenge.

“Quiet, loud, whatever” Helene said breaking the silence. “The Chancellor needs to keep the governing coalition together and squabbles like this over policy occur frequently. In a few months the next crisis will preoccupy everyone, and Argentina will be ancient news.”

That was a very cynical take, but Helene was a Politician who measured things that way. Kat had been appointed Prefect of Berlin by Louis Ferdinand when she had retired from the Luftwaffe and didn’t think that she could have gotten a position like that by any other means. Not that Kat didn’t believe in democracy or saw herself as some sort of dictator, it was just that Berlin was huge, complex city and the various factions would have never agreed to elect someone Prefect though the position had proven necessary over the last few years. Someone needed to have vision to keep everyone moving in the same direction. With Tempelhof and Tegel as showcase neighborhoods, Kat had a lot of authority in suggesting what a unified vision of what the city should look like if it were going to work for everyone. Though, what was the alternative? Bulldoze the city center and build massive highways through everything? Kat had been in a few American cities where they had done that and had not been impressed by the results.

“Better to have problems blow over than what Sophie is going through” Kat said, “She is discovering the joys of being a young woman that recure every few weeks.”

“I’m just glad that Ina is mostly past that sort of drama” Helene replied, “I don’t know how you do it, you couldn’t pay me enough to have a… What? How old is Sophie? Twelve? Thirteen?”

“Almost thirteen” Kat replied.

“You still have what’s coming” Gerta said, “Shifting interests, odd music, boys…”

“Don’t remind me” Kat said, “Sophie had a crush on Malcolm last year. Things were a bit awkward when that ended after she found out he had a girlfriend.”

“Everything is the end of the world when you are that age” Helene said, as she poured a bit of milk into her coffee. “I remember how one of us was always trying to catch some boy’s eye and while the other tried her best not to be noticed. Between my experiences with you two, and what I have seen with Manny and Ina, nothing surprises me anymore.”

“I thought you were less than thrilled by Ina getting involved with Christian Weise?” Kat asked.

“So, long as he keeps his hands to himself and is respectful of Ina, I don’t have a problem” Helene replied, before she took a drink of coffee. Kat got the impression that she was saying that mostly to convince herself not to react badly over something that was inevitable.

“What about Manny proposing to Suse?” Gerta asked.

And Helene spit her coffee all over the table.

“He did what!” Helene demanded.

It seemed that Helene was wrong, Kat thought to herself. There were still a whole lot of surprises ahead.
 
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Yes, finally, the two of them are so cute together but also Kat shouldn’t have revealed that, the two of them should have been able to reveal it to their parents.
 
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