Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III


Have been close to Leopard and Wolve (no, not in a zoo) definitely prefer Wolve. But then again Germany still needs some names for tanks and naming soldiers after exotic animals… not so German.
Have been close to Leopard and Wolve (no, not in a zoo) definitely prefer Wolve. But then again Germany still needs some names for tanks and naming soldiers after exotic animals… not so German.
Well we could go back and start looking at the Panzers named Maus and Ratte (mice and rat) if you want historical alternative tank names (I even have Monster to offer).
The real question will be if they use an actual foaming at the mouth dog for Field Marshal Horst.
The statues are Neo-Classical, these are the two from before the POD.

Part 127, Chapter 2150
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Fifty

3rd July 1972


It was amusing to see just how Kiki had put the written test that she would otherwise be stressing over out of her mind. Taking patients aboard the Epione was exactly what she had in mind when she had agreed to the plans more than a year earlier. Having the people who plied the waters around Kiel come to her every day as word spread about her presence was something that she happily went about doing. Sure, there were plenty of those who were there for no other reason than to actually meet the Princess Royal. They swiftly learned that Kiki took this thing very seriously.

Into this, word had come that Medical Service had approved the Epione to be an Auxiliary Hospital Ship, so she became officially SML Epione. Though Kiki had a few choice words about what would happen if her older brother took the idea of the Epione as “His Majesty’s Barge” too literally. The KZS had also assigned a staff appropriate to a ship her size under the command of an Oberfeldarzt, that had included a Surgical Assistant, two Nurses and a pair of “Orderlies” who looked like they existed mainly to be a form of security for the rest of the Staff. It had only taken a few questions to find out that the Orderly’s were both FSR and had taken the assignment because word was that action tended to follow wherever Princess Kristina went. A special allowance had been made due to Kiki having dependent family already aboard.

Ben had realized in the first days aboard the Epione that they had been rattling around with so much space. Now it was clear that Kiki had been aware of what the ultimate size was likely to be and had planned accordingly. The table in the saloon was suddenly crowded at every meal. It seemed strange that for someone as shy as Kiki tended to be, she had proven rather adept at creating a space for people to be social.

Earlier that day Kiki had finally taken the written test, the one that would allow her to pilot the Epione if it proved necessary and was waiting for the result to come back. Like always in moments like this, she tried to hide her anxiety as she flitted around the Epione trying to find things to do. It was then that Gregor entered the saloon with word that there was a fire on a nearby ship that in for refit and for the first time the Epione was going to be one of craft that was going to respond.

As an aircraft pilot, Ben was totally out of his element. Still, it was to his amazement as Kiki seemed to know exactly what to do. She had supplies being pulled out of lockers that he had not known about until they had started being opened. The saloon was cleared with shocking speed as the reason for that Kiki had kept decoration to a minimum became clear. At the same time, the Epione cast off. He had found himself on the foredeck with Fianna, Nina, and Rauchbier as the barge motored towards a ship tied up at the pier near the Naval Arsenal that had smoke pouring out of every opening. There were Tugboats and R-Boats alongside of it with water cannons that were spraying into the hull. On the pier, there were the flashing red lights of emergency vehicles.

“The child and the dog need to go below, Sir” One of the Orderlies said to Ben, “The Oberfeldarzt said that you and Frau Dunn could go where you feel you would be best suited.”

“What is the word about the situation?” Ben asked.

“An explosion and fire” The Orderly replied, “We are setting up triage here as soon as we get cleared to tie up to the ship. The Kabeljau is going to be moored behind us so that we use their helipad if we need it.”

Ben looked at the Destroyer, Z98, that was a hundred meters away and figured that was the Kabeljau. He knew that the smaller units had a letter that designated the type of ship or boat that were used by Fleet followed by a hull number and unofficial names adopted by the crews. That was about all he knew on the subject, and it was entirely from movies that he had seen. Fianna didn’t need to be told twice, she took Nina and disappeared down the stairs with Rauchbier following. Ben remained on the foredeck, figuring that even if there wouldn’t be a whole lot for him to do. However, just being present would earn him some respect among the crew who seemed to see him as baggage most of the time.

As he watched, the Epione pulled forward and ropes were thrown. The deck of the ship was considerably higher than the foredeck of the Epione and Ben found himself helping the Sailors make the climb down, some with their clothes partially burned off. He got a few quizzical looks when they saw that he was wearing civilian clothes, they became even more quizzical when he was identified as a “Luftwaffe Volunteer.” Eventually, he found himself up on the deck of the ship and could feel the remaining heat from the extinguished fire through the soles of his shoes. There was a disturbing smell similar to roast pork all about the ship as Ben just took whatever end of a stretcher that he found himself closest to.

An eternity later, he found himself in the at the table of the Epione as the last medical cases were sorted in the early morning hours with remaining crew of the ship that was still smoldering a just few meters away. It was then that someone addressed him as an Oberstleutnant and someone else commented that they had no idea that they had the Brass leading from the front in this one, even if he was a worthless jet jockey. It was only then that Kiki emerged from the Surgery having taken care of the last few minor cases who could leave on their own. The others applauded her, but Ben could tell that she was asleep on her feet. Despite her exhaustion, she seemed happy as she sat down next to him. “That stupid test isn’t that important” She whispered to him. Ben could tell she almost believed that.
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Ben's gonna wind up with a medal for that.

Sure it wasn't much but if the Medical Services want some free good press (and why wouldn't they) that's gonna be a Red Cross Medal Second Class, maybe Third if he's part of a larger group getting them.
It is certain that the press both in Germany and around the world are going to eat this story up with large spoons and there may be calls to have specially made barges to provide emergency medical responses on the waterways.
The next big event scheduled in Germany is going to be the 1972 Olympics in Munich and I wouldn't be surprised if King Albrecht I of Bavaria who's show this is, is asking that the Epione and more importantly Princess Kristina are made available for the games.
Ben may be asked to give VIP tours at the Observatory that is on his mountain as that will be one of the more popular destinations for visitors going to the games.
By the way use the Meta as a support boat and anyone who is not needed on the Epione at that particular moment should be on the Meta and yes Kiki does have the resources to run both boats at the same time.
The next big event scheduled in Germany is going to be the 1972 Olympics in Munich and I wouldn't be surprised if King Albrecht I of Bavaria who's show this is, is asking that the Epione and more importantly Princess Kristina are made available for the games.
That is a nice thought, but the River Isar is not navigable for craft much larger than a canoe.
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And now, seeing as the Luftwaffe are now aware that Ben may find himself in situations where medical skills are required, it would not look good on the Luftwaffe at all if Ben has no medical skills to contribute. Even if he is only a reservist officer, someone is likely to get it into their head that Ben should have at least the equivalent training to a basic Combat Medical Technician.
It will likely be quietly ignored that his aptitudes have nothing to do with it. This is what the Luftwaffe has decided it needs, so this is what is going to happen, (if @Peabody-Martini goes this route).

Remember Ben - if you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined.
Part 127, Chapter 2151
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Fifty-One

4th July 1972

Münsingen Proving Grounds, Württemberg

A few weeks earlier, they had been told that the students from the third year up had been told that they traveling to Württemberg for the remainder of the term a few weeks earlier. Apparently, there were several other institutions involved and they had been told that distinctions between classes would no longer apply once they got to Münsingen because it would be their school against all others. Cadet ranks were out as well because as far as the High Command was concerned, they were all mere Soldaten until they returned to their school. It was a surprising turn of events and even those who had been their upperclassmen had taken their loss of privilege in stride because this was the real deal. The kit that they had been issued while still at the school was what actual soldiers would get as they were leaving for the train station.

The excitement had faded in a hurry the instant they arrived and discovered the state of the barracks they would be living in were probably of original construction from 1895 when the Proving Grounds had been established. The barracks looked like they had not seen a bit of paint or had a real cleaning in that entire time so the first thing that they had been assigned to do was put the buildings into something that was within screaming distance of order. That had occupied their first week.

Now, everyone was hoping that they would do something exciting now that had been done. They saw the forest surrounding the barracks and clearly wanted to go exploring. Bas had a sinking suspicion that the powers-that-be had something else in mind. There was plenty of brush needing to be cleared, ditches to be dug, and any number of a thousand other things. He recalled what his father had told him about what life was like in the Marine Infantry. How the reward for hard work was often more work and they were never allowed to be idle for long. When it came right down to it, the Prussian Institution they attended worked in a very similar manner.

Niko was indifferent to the whole thing. He figured that at some point the other foot would fall the way it always did and was said they should look forward to the upcoming Summer Holiday because whatever they were currently doing, it was not going to be a holiday by any means.

“Isn’t this an American Holiday today?” One of the other students who was much older, probably a sixth year, asked Bas as they were standing in line for lunch in the mess hall.

“What makes you think I would know?” Bas replied.

“I heard you’re an American?” Another student asked.

“My mother is from Washington State” Bas replied guardedly, “That’s all.” It was something that he had been told enough times. That the State had felt obliged to help ethnic Germans who wanted to return to the home of their ancestors and that had been a major complication in the post-war years. Bas’ mother had a Danish-German background and had been blacklisted by the US Government who suspected her loyalty. She had had the options of going to Germany or trying to scrape by while being basically unemployable.

“Oh” The other student said, as if he were expecting more than that. What followed was more waiting in line, this time with an extra helping of awkward silence.

Eventually, Bas made it to the front of the line. That was where he had a generous dollop of a gelatinous mix of potatoes, beans, onions, peas, and mysterious meat, or at least that was what he thought it was, ladled onto his tray. This was followed by a chunk of ryebread and another ladle of tinned fruit cocktail. He finally got a glass of citrus juice that was one of his two options, the other being coffee. Walking over to where Niko was already seated, Bas sat down and saw that his friend was already picking at the “entrée” with a quizzical look on his face.

“I think this is turkey today” Niko said.

“After it has sat in a tin can long enough, who can tell” Bas replied.

Niko just shrugged and he resumed eating once Bas sat down. A few days earlier, Niko had made it clear that he did not want to listen to Bas complain endlessly about the food. They were all in the same boat here. Yes, the food was terrible and monotonous but in case he hadn’t noticed this was what was fed to Enlisted Men in the Army. Oatmeal with tinned fruit, sausage, and ryebread for breakfast. Mystery stew for lunch. And finally, yet more ryebread with cheese for supper. There were only slight variations from day to day. If Bas had a problem with that, he had other options, the Navy, or if he really applied himself, he could shock everyone and go to University. Until Niko said that it had not occurred to Bas that this was a taste of his most likely future.

“What do you think they will have us do now that the barracks is up to scratch?” Niko asked.

“I don’t know” Bas replied, “The others think they’ll have us do something fun.”

“Then seeing how disappointed they will be will have to be our fun” Niko said with a slight smile.

If there had been one good thing that had come of sending them to Württemberg, it had been that Niko had been freed from the pressures of the school and his family’s expectations. For Bas, it was nice to get back the closest thing he had to a brother, even if it was only for a few weeks.
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So someone had the clever idea of using the Cadets to bring the proving ground up to scratch?
The probable thoughts of the officer in charge: "If they are going to be there anyhow, they might as well make themselves useful and clean up the proving ground. Better than using a unit that can be useful elsewhere and it saves us from having to contract it out."
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I am sure every soldier that ever existed spent more time on „cleaning“ (in a very broad sense of the meaning) than in actual combat training in peace time. Only some special units might come out even.