Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Suga and Elizabeth’s tea parties in Berlin and London respectively should terrify those who were the day’s entertainment. Margot had no idea that she was asking Marie to lead her into a lion’s den wearing a suit made of steak and the lionesses were extremely hungry.
Except Margot should know this, because Margot has already walked into Kira's den. Margot should remember the old saying "Once bitten, twice shy", but we all know that may as well be written in Ancient Sumerian as far as Margot is concerned.

Speaking of Ancient Sumerian, have those tablets been translated ITTL and, if so, is Ea-Nasir as infamous for his shitty cooper as he is in OTL?
The phrases "Hoisted on your own Petard", "Be careful of what you wish for, because it may come true", among others of that vein should be in the front of Margot's mind at all times.
This may make Marie want to stay in Montreal just to see Margot squashed as the pretentious social climber that she is, and the best part is Marie doesn't have to do anything but just make sure that Margot gets all the invites and the attention that she deserves.
BTW extra points for the Jack Kennedy reference today.

Kiki even though she is not an epidemiologist, may find herself being one of the lead international figures in fighting the so far unnamed disease because of her being one of the earliest people to take an interest in this.
With Kiki being one of the "Most Admired Women in the World" and the numerous titles and awards that she has, could help fight any negative stigma that this disease would generate, and that could help to slow down the spread of the disease with more open and honest information and dialogue getting through to the people.
Speaking of Ancient Sumerian, have those tablets been translated ITTL and, if so, is Ea-Nasir as infamous for his shitty copper as he is in OTL?
The oldest known written complaint sent to a copper merchant for those who don't know. Apparently, Ea-nasir got several of those addressing poor quality, bad service, and missed deliveries. Several of those were found in what is believed to have been his dwelling. Just how bad do your business practices have to be for them to become part of the Archaeological Record?

Regrettably, with how unsettled the Middle East is in this time line, the field of Archaeology has suffered. The expedition in the 1920's that found the clay tablets in the ruins of the city of Ur in modern day Iraq was unlikely to have happened.
It's interesting to see that AIDS has been recognised a few years earlier than OTL. I wonder how Nixon will handle this?
TTL's Nixon seems less paranoid and more likely to get ahead of things, Dr Faucci in OTL and TTL knows his stuff. I do suspect though, they'll try and deal with it quietly.

So many vectors, so many issues.
When the coffee was ready, Marie poured herself a cup and took a drink. It was bliss, like rediscovering an old book that she had read years earlier…
"You shall fetch me your universes ultimate cup of coffee...
You have five Earth minutes,
Make it perfect!"

Which reminds me, how is the energy drink marked doing? Do we get instead of Red Bull from the Korean Krating Daeng, a worldwide energy drink derived from the Japanese Lipovitan TTL?
While I made up the Black Death blend, it is not far from actual blends of coffee.

Part 142, Chapter 2454
Chapter Two Thousand Four Hundred Fifty-Four

2nd May 1976

Munich, Bavaria

Ben never expected to receive any reward upon achieving a Professorship in Astronomy from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. His parents, Kiki, and Nina had all been happy when they’d had a celebratory meal the day before and that they had all shared had seemed like enough.

Then the summons to the Court of the King of Bavaria arrived.

Kiki had told Ben that they needed to humor King Albrecht. His career would take him elsewhere eventually, back to Berlin most likely. Then Albrecht would no longer be their problem. Still, there were moments when Ben wished that eventually would hurry up and get here. As much as he enjoyed being the Director of the Argelander Observatory, it had been obvious for a long time that Albrecht was an occupational hazard.

“This is something which I figured was the perfect gift Professor” Albrecht said as he presented Ben with a shotgun of all things.

“Er… Thank you” Ben said unsure what to make of it. Ben knew that Albrecht was an avid hunter, forester, and deer researcher, he had even authored several books on the subject. Ben just hoped that this wasn’t the Bavarian King trying to rope him into that part of his circle.

“Take a closer look Benjamin” Albrecht said as he removed the two halves of the gun from its case and assembled it before handing it to Ben open. “It’s a product of a more civilized era.”

That was when Ben noticed that it had Luftwaffe inspection stamps as well as proof marks from Sauer & Sohn. There were two shotgun barrels, which Ben had seen first, but underneath them was a third barrel for what looked like a large-bore rifle. Ben had been taught to shoot a rifle in training which felt like it had been an eternity ago. This was entirely different than the G44 rifles that the military used, and this could not have been more different. With the walnut stock, blued barrels, and case-hardened receiver along with the engravings it was incredibly elegant, more of a piece of artwork than a weapon.

“Back in the 20’s and 30’s Luftwaffe Aircrews were venturing into very remote parts of Africa and Asia” Albrecht said, “There were also the well-known trouble spots like the Arabian Desert or China. They needed to be able to defend themselves from whatever they might encounter. This was one of the solutions for a time. It is rather rare, only a couple hundred were ever made.”

“I cannot accept this” Ben said as he closed the breech and saw a leaf sight for the rifle pop up when he pushed the safety in the wrong direction by mistake.

“Nonsense” Albrecht said, “It is a piece of the history of your Service Branch and besides, in the old days a King would give a Knight of the Realm a sword in these circumstances. You don’t seem like the type who would be too interested in that.”

“That sounds like something that Kiki’s brother Michael would say” Ben said, and Albrecht just laughed.

“Who do you think gave me the idea?” Albrecht asked as he took the gun from Ben and with practiced ease broke it down and put it back in its case.

Finike, Turkey

The helicopter was flying low over the ocean and Karl was looking out the open door at the rapidly approaching coastline. The pilot was giving him updates about what he could see and the situation in the other helicopters that were carrying the rest of the Company. Despite everything that had happened, Karl still thought that someone else was being addressed when they spoke to Hauptmann Dunkel.

Often in the past, Karl had found that in moments like this it was better not to think too much about things. The trouble was that his job these days to think. After he had gotten himself into a whole heap of trouble in Argentina, Uncle Tilo had told him that he could either go to the brig or else accept a meritorious promotion and everything that went with it. It seemed that leading two Squads of Marines in the assault of a likely enemy strongpoint during a contested landing was the sort of thing which got the attention of High Command. The Marine Infantry desperately needed leaders and Karl had proven that he was one with his actions.

With the Marine Infantry left chasing after the Panzer Divisions in the rapid advance across Argentina, Karl had been left with a lot of time to think about that. The 3rd MID had only played a tangential role in the Battle of Paso de San Francisco and had been waiting for further orders when the Patagonian War had ended. It had been Karl’s hope that he had been forgotten but there was no such luck. He had been shoved on a plane bound for Mürwik so that he could try to make up for his appalling lack of formal education and learn a thing or two in the process. What he found was basically a theme park, the Naval version of Disneyland. This wasn’t helped by him being at least a few years older than almost everyone else present. There were also the awards he had won in combat as well as the victory medals from Korea, Poland, and Argentina.

Karl had finally made it through all of that, barely. Now a couple years later, Karl was leading a Company that had been tasked with evacuating Medical personnel, volunteers from the International Red Cross/Red Crescent. With the Turkish Army falling back, the medics were caught in no-mans-land and there was a lot of concern over what the Greeks were going to do when they overran the hospital. It remained to be seen what would happen with Leutnant Raeder, the alleged great-grandson of the Grand Admiral from the Second World War who was only a few months out of the Academy.
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Using the IRL confrontation between Greeks and Turks in 1974 as a guideline, I'd say what the Greeks would do when they overrun the hospitals is the sort of thing that winds people up in The Hague and that's without needing to think too hard.

Doubly so if they decide that the volunteers who will doubtless protest are also enemy combatants.

Truth be told, get a dumb enough man on the ground, and there are a lot of them, and even the presence of Germans isn't going to stop them.
It looks like the Greek strategy is to drive the Turks from the Mediterranean coastline as far east as possible, and Finike, Turkey is a beautiful resort area on the “Turkish Rivera” thus a source of much needed foreign tourism money.
I don’t think the Greeks are stupid enough to target Red Cross personnel, but Red Crescent personnel are another thing…
It remained to be seen what would happen with Leutnant Raeder, the alleged great-grandson of the Grand Admiral from the Second World War who was only a few months out of the Academy.
I suspect there's likely to be an outbreak of Pax Germanica in the Adriatic. It might drag the Russians in if they're backing the Greeks, however they will probably push for the Greeks to maintain a low profile for a short while until the Germans leave.

Things are likely to get "interesting". Sounds like they have already gotten "interesting" for Leutnant Raeder...
I don’t think the Greeks are stupid enough to target Red Cross personnel, but Red Crescent personnel are another thing…
If the Greeks in this timeline hadn't deployed some seriously fucked up weapons on urban centres I might agree with you.

But the last couple of times this ongoing conflict has popped up on the narrative radar, it has left it very clearly obvious that both sides do not regard civilian life as even remotely important. The closest war to this I can think of is the Iran/Iraq war, and even then I honestly think it falls short.

The "solution" at this point would be the League of nations basically putting a buffer between both nations and threatening total war on either nation that breaks the ceasefire line, but that is not going to happen.
But the last couple of times this ongoing conflict has popped up on the narrative radar, it has left it very clearly obvious that both sides do not regard civilian life as even remotely important. The closest war to this I can think of is the Iran/Iraq war, and even then I honestly think it falls short.
Think Yugoslavia on steroids, ethnic and religious grievances that go back centuries, and both sides regard each other as fit for little more than extermination.
Think Yugoslavia on steroids, ethnic and religious grievances that go back centuries, and both sides regard each other as fit for little more than extermination.
Yeah, that's a better analogy alright.

I think I just went to Iran/Iraq war as it is two distinct nations as opposed to a massive civil war that created nations
One thing with Karl is as an Officer in command of a assault group, he has experience it 3 different time, 3 different ways as an enlisted man and has been under fire and knows what is going on before it hits the fan.
Ben should take his gift to Manfred von Richthofen to get the proper instruction on how to use the weapon.
I think that while Ben has no desire to go hunting, he should with his background in science understand the need to cull the herd and to keep the invasive feral hog population in check.

There is going to be a need for the information about this new disease that has no name and is popping up in different places to be shared in a meeting with the various countries governmental health services.
A good place to have it would be somewhere there won’t be noticed y the media and has plenty of room for the participants with a discreet staff on hand.
So who do we know that has a place like that…?
Ben should definitely be instructed as, provided no butterflies involved, one of those barrels is for slugs, the other for bird shot.

Won't break the gun using the wrong one in the wrong barrel, but will be a serious wear and tear
Part 142, Chapter 2455
Chapter Two Thousand Four Hundred Fifty-Five

3rd May 1976

Finike, Turkey

His name was actually Erich Johann Albert Freiherr von Raeder IV, but he was not about to tell those around him that. Instead, he had just told them that his name was Erich Raeder the same as his great-grandfather, and they had accepted that at face value. He already had enough trouble as it was without jokes about an aristocratic name being thrown around. The men only did what he asked because he was the Leutnant in charge of the 1st Platoon. The two Stabsfeldwebels who commanded the 2nd and 3rd Platoons had made it clear that the smartest move he could make was to keep out of their way which showed exactly how much authority he actually had within the Company.

As the helicopters landed in the early morning hours at what the briefing had was a resort town on the Mediterranean Erich had a bit of time to think how he had ended up here. His name had been enough to get him into the Naval Academy, but he had swiftly learned as his father and grandfather had, his great-grandfather was an impossible act to follow. Erich remembered that his grandfather had been a dull man, content with his bureaucratic job at the High Seas Fleet Headquarters in Kiel for decades until he finally retired, only to die of a heart attack a few months later. His father had been more ambitious but had been stymied by the politics of the Navy and his own pigheaded stubbornness. Erich’s father resigned when he learned that his next posting would likely be counting penguins at Wilhelm Station, the infamous research station in Antarctica.

With that knowledge, Erich had tried to sidestep what had become the family curse of mediocracy by opting for the Marine Infantry. It had only been a few minutes after arriving in Cuxhaven that he learned that he had hardly beaten the curse but had taken it right in the teeth. The training for aspiring Officers was supposed to supplement what they had already learned at Mürwik. The Feldwebels that were in charge of the program made sure that it was all that, with a massive amount of merciless abuse, brutality, and heaps of sadism thrown in. It had come as a relief when that had finally come to an end, only to get assigned to the 3rd Marine Infantry Division under the command of Hauptmann Karl Dunkel.

Erich remembered the brief period of time that the Mustang Officer had spent at Mürwik. Threatening to shoot anyone who dared to wake him too early, paying someone to take care of his kit, even make his bed, and how the Academy Faculty seemed to have completely ignored all of that. Erich just knew that he found Hauptmann Dunkel absolutely terrifying and the Company Mother, Hauptfeldwebel Nguyen, who was never far from Dunkel’s side wasn’t much better. Erich found himself in the constant presence of Oberfeld Muller, who he was certain had been tasked by Dunkel to keep him from messing things up as well as being one of the Squad Leaders of his Platoon.

The task was to evacuate the personnel of the Hospital, which was run by the International Red Cross. The trouble was the anyone capable of walking out had headed east down the Coastal Highway hours earlier. The remaining patents were those who couldn’t, and the Hospital’s Staff were refusing to leave them even knowing that noncombatant status didn’t exactly mean a whole lot in this particular war. That was why Hauptmann Dunkel was arguing with the Hospital’s Director as Erich approached.

Any second, half the Greek Army was going to arrive, and they were not going to want to be there when that happened.


The reason for the addition of the SMS Jupiter, a Landing Craft Tender that had been anchored off Cyprus swiftly became apparent as the Marine Infantry got themselves into a bind ashore. The evacuation of a few dozen Medical Personnel had gotten snarled by the presence of dozens of patents. The Doctors were refusing to leave without them and the Hauptmann in charge of the Marines had been unable to convince them otherwise. So, they had a lot of unpalatable choices to make.

Louis Ferdinand Junior ordered his ships to General Quarters. There was a single Company of Marines ashore and Intelligence said that several Greek Divisions were moving into Finike from the West. The three Corvettes and Fleet Torpedo Boat were a serious force multiplier, but not that much of one. If the Greek Army made a fight of it, it was Louis’ hope that he could buy the Marines enough time to retreat. It would also give the diplomats in Constantinople, Athens, and Berlin a major headache. Not that Louis minded too much though, the Greeks had gotten away with wanton destruction and indiscriminate killing for entirely too long because the Turks were just as bad. It was long past time for them to have that come around and bite them on the ass.

Louis ordered the launch of one of the ship’s Cuckoo drones. If it came down to it, they would need the drone for artillery spotting if it came to it. A few minutes later, Louis heard as the ship’s sections reported in one by one. Out in front of the bridge the 12.8 Centimeter gun swung towards the shore. Louis knew that the 40mm Bofors guns would be making similar moves, while they would not be able to pack the punch of the main gun they more than made up for it in volume. He held his breath for a moment, waiting to see what was going to happen next.
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Why do I suspect that in the following action, Raeder is either going to die pointlessly early on doing something stupid, or show that actually, he's a decent junior officer when the opportunity presents itself?