Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

When the Americans get back to Ft. Drum and start telling stories about their adventures in Europe the Marine Infantry is going to figure in lot of them and their reputation as "The Worst Soldiers in The World" is just going to keep growing .
 
I tried to imagine the Governator having zero muscle with a gap in his front teeth, and... I failed.
There was a gag TL once that featured among other things, Helen Keller getting busted for voyeurism. She never went blind in that one. Or Mother Teresa being the brutal head of a Mafia family. Compared that, someone not getting into body building is very plausible.
 
There was a gag TL once that featured among other things, Helen Keller getting busted for voyeurism. She never went blind in that one. Or Mother Teresa being the brutal head of a Mafia family. Compared that, someone not getting into body building is very plausible.

I remember what you did with Karl Wojtyla.
 
In German, estoc is even more poignant. Because there is hardly a better word than "Panzerbrecher", or armour breaker in English, to describe it's intended purpose.

Another name for estoc is Bohrschwert which means drilling sword. But not in the sense of military drill but as in making holes.
 
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There is a German expression that says „etwas in den falschen Hals bekommen“. Literally it means to choke on something. But it has a more figurative meaning that can be best translated as getting something completely wrong. Arnie certainly has „etwas in den falschen Hals bekommen“.
 
There is a German expression that says „etwas in den falschen Hals bekommen“. Literally it means to choke on something. But it has a more figurative meaning that can be best translated as getting something completely wrong. Arnie certainly has „etwas in den falschen Hals bekommen“.

I'd very much like to see him get disillusioned, and start a dougnut shop Arnold's, with the slogan of "YOU will be back!" ;)
 
Part 108, Chapter 1772
Chapter One Thousand Seven Hundred Seventy-Two



21st December 1966

Mitte, Berlin

It was well after midnight and Kiki was fretting over the syllabus that she had received from the University Hospital of Halle. It was entirely of material that she had covered before in her studies, but this was the practical application of what she had learned. There was also the knowledge that she was expected to spend time in the field with both the local Ambulance Service and branch of the FSR based in Anhalt on top of that.

It seemed daunting.

Kiki’s mind was racing, and her elbows and knees were also bruised from the activities of earlier that day to contend with. What that meant was that sleep was not going to come easily.

Turning out the light and looking out the window of her bedroom, Kiki watched snow swirling around in the city lights reflected off the clouds. This high up it felt like if she were in the center of a snow globe. Nella and Nan had fallen asleep in Kiki’s bed with Rauchbier, which was entirely unnecessary. They had their own bedrooms, but they had wanted to be around Kiki while she was visiting over the holidays and the dog was a nice bonus. They looked so peaceful that Kiki left them alone for now, Nan was wearing Kiki’s splinter-pattern field parka and she would need that back.

Rauchbier’s nose was poking out from under one of the blankets where he was being hugged like a teddy bear by Nella. The girls had been excited to learn about the puppies in Hechingen the day before and had wanted to go see them only to be disappointed to learn that they couldn’t. Kiki wasn’t sure what was going to happen there, Nella had grown up with Freddy’s two big Akitas. Aki had gotten old and everyone was a bit worried about how Nella would react when the inevitable happened. Perhaps the girls having one of Rauchbier’s offspring would soften the blow.

Earlier that day, Kiki had taken them to the Annual Christmas Market in the Alexander Marketplace. The outcome that she had feared of Nella and Nan gorging themselves on sweets and making themselves sick hadn’t come to pass, but they still had plenty of the holiday fare. Kiki had been spared the spectacle of that by the unexpected power of novelty. This year a portion of Alexanderplatz had been turned into an ice-skating rink and the two girls had wanted to take their turn. As Kiki would learn, both the girls were hopeless once they went out on the rented skates. That was how Kiki had ended up with the bruises. She had attempted to teach Nella and Nan how to skate, before they had gotten the hang of it, there had been a number of falls and Kiki herself had been knocked over more than once by one of the girls trying not to fall down.

Leaving the girls in the penthouse apartment, Kiki had taken Rauchbier for a walk. Upon returning, she had found that they were waiting in her room and had a lot of questions. To help answer them, Kiki had opened the locked chest that she kept her field equipment in. This was another novelty for the girls who had looked at the various contents of her Doctor’s bag, the parka and armored vest. They had seen the G44 rifle magazines in the pockets of the vest and the P38/56 pistol that had remained in the chest, so Kiki had felt compelled to give a brief lecture on firearms safety that they had listened to wide-eyed. She realized too late that she was adding yet another aspect of danger to the already extensive list that the girls were keeping. Their impression seemed to be that Kiki was this extraordinary figure, like something from a movie. Somehow, they had learned about the events of Santorini and that certainly sounded like bad fiction upon retelling.

Nan had wanted to try on the parka and armored vest. They were so big on her that even when Kiki cinched the vest as tight as it would go, they were still loose. Still, Nan had loved it, particularly the parka. That was a stroke of luck, with one version of Christmas a few days away Kiki would have time to acquire one for her. Before this, she’d had absolutely no idea what to get for Nan. What did someone get as a gift for a little girl who had no expectations?

The life that Nan had a year earlier had been terrifying and things had not been easy since Kiki’s family had taken her in. Nan had needed to learn how to be a child and that she didn’t need to hide or should expect to be hit over any infraction. The whole time, Nella had been there watching, listening. It had been Charlotte’s intention that Nella needed more than just a playmate. That having her only be around close family and a narrow social circle would ultimately be bad for her. Charlotte hadn’t said “And turn out like Kristina” at the end of that, but it was very obvious what she had been getting at. As it was, Nella was getting quite an education though, probably in ways far beyond what Charlotte had intended.

Turning and looking back out at the snow swirling around, Kiki eventually fell asleep sitting at her desk.
 
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Dan

Kicked
I can see Charlotte suggesting that Nan has a puppy of her own. It's another little way to say "you are family". Plus having something, (someone to dog owners), to look afterbwill also help bring her along.
 
Kiki is still being Kiki as she frets about her next assignment, she is head and shoulders above her peers in experience with her role in The Sino-Korean War and with th FSR.
Nella and Nan's hero worship of Kiki is very natural as Nella would be with Kiki every time Kiki would come home on vacation and Nan being a hurt soul would easily recognize another hurt soul in Kiki who is helping others, the fact that both Nella and Nan are at the right age to understand that Kiki is doing something important by helping other people.
As for the puppies fathered by Rauchbier the kennel master may already have plans for them but they may get to have the ring of the litter.
 
This is mentioned in the next post.
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Part 108, Chapter 1773
Chapter One Thousand Seven Hundred Seventy-Three



24th December 1966

Watertown, New York

Promotion to Specialist 1st Class meant that Ritchie didn’t have to freeze his butt off on Sentry Duty overnight on Christmas Eve. Which was what had happened the year before, though he still had it to look forward to next week.

What didn’t change was the phone conversation with his mother where she insisted that he needed to be doing a number of things differently. He had a career and a promising future, so why couldn’t he meet a nice girl? What his mother didn’t seem to understand that the very career she had mentioned was pure death as far as human connections went. It didn’t seem like there were very many women who were understanding of the possibility of him getting called away at any time and then being gone for months. Of those were, every single one of them that Ritchie had encountered had not been “nice girls” by any stretch of the imagination. Ritchie’s mother had also asked if he was planning on attending Midnight Mass this year. He didn’t have an answer, but he was kicking himself for not considering using that to get out of Sentry Duty the year before.

For lack of anything better to do, Ritchie found himself in Watertown with the rest of the Team at a local watering hole that was a couple steps down from a dive bar. It was the nearest city of any size to Fort Drum, which wasn’t saying too much. Apparently, it was best known being the place where the safety pin was invented and not a whole lot had happened since. Because of the date, they had the place mostly to themselves. The only other people in the room were a pair of bikers from a club that Ritchie had never heard of who had played pinball until they had run out of change and a bored looking waitress who had promised to kick everyone out at ten o’clock. The others liked this place because bottles of Beverwyck Beer were cheap and so long as you didn’t eat the food, everything was fine.

Ritchie was watching Mullens and Kravitz trying to shoot pool and failing badly. As entertaining as watching Kravitz cursing as he scratched on the eight ball, giving Mullens the win was, focusing on his bottle of beer seemed to be a better choice. Huck took the pool cue from Kravitz with the intention to playing Mullens. Ritchie figured that Huck wouldn’t raise the level of play.

Being off base reminded Ritchie of the conversations that had dogged those who had gone to Europe. Those who hadn’t been in Laupheim didn’t believe the differences in personnel that had been encountered, that a large portion of them had been women. Parker had said that it was because during the Soviet War the Germans had their backs against the wall. They could not afford to be choosy about who they took into their Army and every woman who volunteered to join the Auxiliaries had freed up a man who could be fighting on the front lines. After the war ended the Auxiliaries had been folded into the Service Branches. Now, two decades later those same women had made careers of it and were in supervisory positions. Those who had remained in Fort Drum didn’t believe that men and women could work together in that capacity, wouldn’t the boys being boys get in the way? In Laupheim, Ritchie had heard mention that bad behavior was asking for the Tigerin to appear at their door. Ritchie had no idea who or what a Tigerin was, but it sounded ominous the way that they had said it.

“A word with you Valenzuela” Cooper said sitting down in the chair opposite of Ritchie. It had been a bit of a surprise that the First Sergeant had accompanied them tonight, normally he didn’t socialize with the Team during their down time. Niles Cooper had taken over as Team Leader after Jonny had gotten himself killed. He had been competent and steady in that role but had hardly been as exciting or as adventurous as Jonny had been.

Ritchie just shrugged. He had the time to listen to whatever Cooper had to say.

“Your recent promotion is rank sort of the equivalent to Staff Sergeant” Cooper said amicably, “The Brass is going to be expecting more from you in the coming year because of that.”

To Ritchie that sounded like a whole lot of work in the offing. The Germans had assumed that his rank was like how they had several ranks of “Lance Corporals” whose advance was sideways within the chain of command. That was wrong. Specialist ranks were considered a parallel track though they were technically outranked by all Noncoms.

“I figured as much when I got the additional stripe” Ritchie replied.

Cooper seemed pleased that Ritchie hadn’t argued the point.

“I don’t know how much attention you pay to world events” Cooper said, “But it isn’t just you, it seems like the whole world is going nuts so the Special Forces are going to be needing more teams and those teams are going to need leaders.”

“Exactly what are you suggesting beyond the obvious Sarge?” Ritchie asked.

“Right now, Mullens is the Assistant Team Leader” Cooper said, “He’s great in a firefight, the rest of the time…”

“I see” Ritchie replied. That could be said about all of them. The fact that Cooper was considering replacing Mullens meant that something must have happened to really piss him off.

“I’m talking about an opportunity for hard stripes Valenzuela” Cooper said, “Just think about it.”

Ritchie took a sip of beer as he considered how to take Cooper up on that offer without having any hard feelings from Mullens.
 
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Being off base reminded Ritchie of the conversations that had dogged those who had gone to Europe. Those who hadn’t been in Laupheim didn’t believe the differences in personnel that had been encountered, that a large portion of them had been women. Parker had said that it was because during the Soviet War the Germans had their backs against the wall. They could not afford to be choosy about who they took into their Army and every woman who volunteered to join the Auxiliaries had freed up a man who could be fighting on the front lines. After the war ended the Auxiliaries had been folded into the Service Branches. Now, two decades later those same women had made careers of it and were in supervisory positions. Those who had remained in Fort Drum didn’t believe that men and women could work together in that capacity, wouldn’t the boys being boys get in the way? In Laupheim, Ritchie had heard mention that bad behavior was asking for the Tigerin to appear at their door. Ritchie had no idea who or what a Tigerin was, but it sounded ominous the way that they had said it.

Ritchie really needs to read a book or two on the German military, and a few other countries militaries as well. Especially since he is in a Special Forces unit. The reports & known histories of the SKA & KSK would be enlightening, specifically the part where the General Officer Commanding of the KSK is one Generalleutnant Katerine von Mischner-Blackwood, Fürstin von Berlin, (extremely long salad bar of decorations), aka The Tigress of Pankow.

“I don’t know how much attention you pay to world events” Cooper said, “But it isn’t just you, it seems like the whole world is going nuts so the Special Forces are going to be needing more teams and those teams are going to need leaders.”

“Exactly what are you suggesting beyond the obvious Sarge?” Ritchie asked.

“Right now, Mullens is the Assistant Team Leader” Cooper said, “He’s great in a firefight, the rest of the time…”

“I see” Ritchie replied. That could be said about all of them. The fact that Cooper was considering replacing Mullens meant that something must have happened to really piss him off.

“I’m talking about an opportunity for hard stripes Valenzuela” Cooper said, “Just think about it.”

Ritchie took a sip of beer as he considered how to take Cooper up on that offer without having any hard feelings from Mullens.

Ritchie now has to decide if he really wants the army to be his career. If he does, then this is an opportunity he should seriously consider. As for Mullins, he might actually be relieved at being replaced, some people prefer doing the grunt work without the added responsibilities of rank. While not quite understanding the differences between the specialist career path & the 'hard rank' command path, I take it that the specialist path is a way to give the necessary pay & privileges to someone who has developed a valuable skill set, but is either not suited or eligible for a 'command-type' position. If so, then the recent op may have brought home to his superiors that Mullins & Ritchie are on the wrong career tracks.
 
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