Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

ROE sounds like they have permission to fire if they come so close to where they are at guarding the site, hospital and evacuation. Much like there is an exclusion zone around a naval group that you let people know that if you are X amount close to where they are at you have permission to open fire on them. Remember he has already notified the Greeks that it was a hospital they were evacuating and that they had to protect them.
ROE sounds like they have permission to fire if they come so close to where they are at guarding the site, hospital and evacuation. Much like there is an exclusion zone around a naval group that you let people know that if you are X amount close to where they are at you have permission to open fire on them. Remember he has already notified the Greeks that it was a hospital they were evacuating and that they had to protect them.
As things went down, I wouldn't be surprised if the Greek media touts to the world:

"When cautiously approaching Finike, knowing of an earlier German presence in the and of no Turkish military presence, our troops came under fire without warning from troops hiding within the hospital.
Knowing that there had been German medical personal present at the hospital earlier, our troops choose to retreat to avoid causing unnecessary casualties, taking heavy heavy losses themselves in the progress.
Further observation revealed that it was German, not Turkish troops that had entrenched themselves in the hospital, who actively opened hostilities."

Calling out the German government to clarify their stance in the conflict probably mandatory, ceasing support of Turkey possibly demanded, accusing them of evacuating suspected (Turkish) war criminals optional.

It's the firing from ambush, without warning, that I take exception with the most. No verbal or visual warning off, no 'evacuation underway', no 'German forces', not even a Scare Cat. Hell, there was a bridge that could be blown mentioned earlier, that would have made a clear barrier without any loss of life on either side - at least making the Greeks hesitate without a clear path forwards, buying time.

Combined with the heavy backup underway, that seems tailored to fighting a war, not evacuating a couple dozen personnel. Because people will see those fighter-bombers (?) getting air to air refuelling on the way south, those German forces at sea between Cyprus and and Rhodes and draw their own conclusions. Especially with them just coming of an adventure in South America that had left them the biggest player in that area for the next decade or so.

And for the matter, the Greeks might genuinely have thought that they'd have come under fire from Turkish forces. The hit on the hospital might have been a genuine accident, misidentifying where the fire came from, or rushing the shot and missing...

For once it doesn't have good optics for the 'protagonist faction'.

And it should at the very least get people to reconsider RoE in such situations. Or maybe even getting some LoN sanction for such armed evacuation missions in conflict areas.

That's not even considering second order butterflies such as for example, anyone out there who might just look to boycott the Olympics if German is allowed to participate?
The problem is they were warned that they were there and ready to open fire and that people including the Greeks knew they were working a Humanitarian mission and being the force protection for them in the evacuation.
Part of the problem we already read about in an earlier chapter: The people on the sidelines are sick and tired of watching the atrocity variety show the the G&T brothers have been putting on for decades now.

Diplomatically and politically this might be prickly but the observing forces have dreamed of being finally able to put a nail those coffins. The marines were absolutely not willing to take it on the chin for the sake of optics in a situation where there is no doubt, in their mind, the greeks (or the turks) wouldn't have deescalated anyway.
And unless the League of Nations is gonna camp up ten Kilometres either side of the Bosphurus and turn the Aegean into a naval "no fly zone" they can not stop this war.

The time to stop it was when Greece Fuel Air bombed civilian targets and the Turks broke out the mustard gas.

All that the MI has done (while morally correct) is fuck up, and that fuck up seems to be going furtherup the chain.
ITTL Kissinger really screwed the pooch by not intervening and preventing this from being implicitly endorsed.

I think it was Kat who had the thought, that by not intervening and proving themselves to be the dominant power, the German empire was ceding power to Russia... and it's pretty much turned out as predicted
The first rocket hit the side of the T-70 and even if it had only scorched the paint, it got the crew’s attention. Karl figured later that it was one of those situations where someone’s first instinct was just to do something, anything. The main gun on the T-72 fired, blasting a massive hole in the wall of the fortunately now empty hospital.

I think there is a typing error here

or the tank had an upgrade between sentences. ;)
Diplomatic headache number 3 will be somewhere between the Greeks and the Russian tank manufacture as to why they are being charged so much for a clearly inferior design if it couldn't even take two hits from an MANPAT, though I imagine the (correct) Russian response will be asking about doctrine, deployment and ammo stowage.
The HEAT warhead on a PzF44 from OTL which the PzF400 from TTL was based on worked exactly as intended. Before the widespread introduction of composite armor, a tank with cast steel armor would be vulnerable to this sort of attack. The Greeks also presented the perfect opportunity for an AT team to pick it off. You had better believe that this incident is going to be extensively examined.
The HEAT warhead on a PzF44 from OTL which the PzF400 from TTL was based on worked exactly as intended. Before the widespread introduction of composite armor, a tank with cast steel armor would be vulnerable to this sort of attack. The Greeks also presented the perfect opportunity for an AT team to pick it off. You had better believe that this incident is going to be extensively examined.
I don't doubt it would do it, I'm more inclined to think that the total doctrinal failure of its deployment will be highlighted by the Russian military attaché while he tries desperately to not just start calling them every variant of "fucking idiot" that he can imagine.
Part 142, Chapter 2458
Chapter Two Thousand Four Hundred Fifty-Eight

3rd May 1976

Finike, Turkey

What was left of the Greek Panzer was still burning, belching black smoke into the air. Every once in a while the wind blew it in his direction and Erich caught a whiff of burnt diesel, plastic, and cordite. Muller made a joke about how there wasn’t a lot of the roasted pork smell this time and that he should be thankful, at least Erich hoped that the Oberfeld was joking.

As Erich watched, the last of the medical personnel were herded onto the waiting landing craft. As it was slowly winched off the shore he wished that he was on it…

His thoughts were interrupted by a loud explosion that reverberated through Finike.

“That is who we are dealing are dealing with here” Muller said, “Remember that if you have complaints about shooting Greeks or Turks.”

“What are you getting at?” Erich asked.

“Our Greek friends just blew up the local Mosque, if I had to guess” Muller replied, “Perhaps they are busy enough desecrating the graveyard to have forgotten about us.”

“Won’t the people around here get pissed about that?”

“Aside from the people in the Hospital, have you seen any civilians around?” Muller asked in reply.

The implications of that were delightful, Erich thought to himself. When he had been assigned to this Company, Erich had been told that he was supposed to learn from the experience. Exactly what lessons was he going to learn from being involved in this madness? What the Hell were they even doing in this place? As it turned out the Greeks had not forgotten them, Erich learned this when artillery shells started landing on the east side of the river among the buildings that the Marines were sheltering in.


Karl could hear the radio chatter of the command net. Mostly ships and airplanes talking to each other. It was the ships that provided the counterfire against the Greek artillery. He saw the earth erupting skyward as the shells pulverized the hilltops. He knew that there was a road up there, the odds were high that was where the bulk of Greek forces were coming from. The Coastal Highway would be too exposed. The whole idea was to buy them time to withdraw in good order, before the Greeks were really able to bring the hammer down. That was why he had done his best to identify the obvious choke point, the highway bridge over the river which was strong enough to support Panzers crossing it. If he were in the shoes of the Greek Commander he would know that it would be critical to take that first. It was what Karl was counting on for his plan to work, he just needed to get the timing right…


As Erich watched, dozens of T-72s and what must be hundreds of Greek solders came into view. This wasn’t like that first lazy attack that had happened only an hour earlier. They were moving from cover to cover. Erich could hear the sound of rifle fire. The idea was to get the defenders, meaning Erich himself, to keep their heads down so they could advance unmolested. There were bursts of rifle fire that he knew were coming from G44 Rifles, which sounded very different from the Simonov Rifles that the Greeks used, going the other way.

Looking through the two-power rifle scope, Erich took aim, but his nerve failed him. Those were people and he wasn’t at war with them, this whole thing was just so much bullshit. At the same time, he knew that Muller was watching him. If he revealed any cowardice, the Oberfeld would tell the entire Company, which would be impossible to live with. He squeezed the trigger, not really aiming at anything, praying that the bullets wouldn’t hit anyone.

Distantly, Erich heard the thud and thump of the 50mm Knee Mortars and 40mm grenade launchers. Those would do nothing more than scratch the paint on the T-72s. It slowed the Greek Infantry down though. That was when the Anti-Tank team tried to reassert itself by firing rockets at the lead T-72. And it didn’t work nearly as well as it had the last time. The Greek Panzer fired on the right building this time and as Erich watched, half the AT team was obliterated by the 120mm shell. As if to ad emphasis, the Panzer sprayed the buildings with the coaxial machine gun before firing another shot from the main gun. Erich ducked to avoid the fire but found that he couldn’t bring himself to look back over the windowsill.

With that the Greeks resumed their advance onto the bridge, and the explosives underneath it detonated. The weight of the Panzers completed the collapse into the water which was rushing out with the ebb tide.


“Fall back!” Karl yelled into the microphone over the tactical net. The order was repeated among the men. They knew that they were supposed to retreat for the Landing Craft which were coming to pick them up. It was also the riskiest part of the whole operation. The Greek Commander wouldn’t need long to figure out what was going on, nor would it take much time for him to figure out a different way across the river. As Karl left the shelter of the building that had been his command post and was running across the beach along with the radio operator and artillery spotter, he heard the shriek turbine engines and explosions as jets from the Luftwaffe pasted the other side of river.


Erich could see the gunners on the Landing Craft were firing their guns, 2-centmeter Flak and MG42s he thought absently to himself as he half walked-half crawled aboard the LC to find that it was already packed full of men from his Platoon. There came the clatter as the LC winched itself by the anchor chain off the beach. The craft was rocking as it turned and to put to sea. It was then that Erich ventured to look above the gunwale, he saw that the Fleet ships were pummeling what was left Finike.
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It seems fitting that ITTL the learned journal on 'Small Wars' will be published in both German and English? Not so much about the small 'retreat from empire' and ‘Domino theory’ wars IOTL but also 'fire brigade', ‘LON intervention’ and 'proxy' wars ITTL . I wonder if General Tilo Schultz is on the editorial board?
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The Greeks ITTL are performing "Cultural Extinction" by eradicating anything that has Turkish culture.
This leads me to ask about the Blue Mosque in Constantinople.
It has either been destroyed after the Greeks expelled the Turks, or it has been repurposed as a Greek Orthodox Cathedral?
Without Greece being invaded by Italy and occupied by the Nazis IOTL I could see the Greek Government using the ITTL WW II as an excuse to go after the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) causing many members to either to flee to the Soviet Union or become part of the "Patriotic Left" that hates the Turks just as much as the right.
IOTL Greece was prosperous until the Junta mess things up.
Without the IOTL Civil War, the Hellenic Empire should more stable both politically and economically.
Part 142, Chapter 2459
Chapter Two Thousand Four Hundred Fifty-Nine

5th May 1976

Wartburg Castle, Eisenach, Thuringia

There was a large map of Finike, and the surrounding area tacked to a corkboard. Emil was giving a presentation about the military operation that had gone on there a couple days earlier as a part of his role as the appointed Marshal of Thuringia. It was an entirely ceremonial role that had sprung up over the last few decades. Getting a General, often retired as was the case with Emil, to play at being the Commander of the State Landwehr and Reserve Divisions. That involved compiling an annual report about the Military readiness of those Divisions and submitting it to the Landtag as well as occasionally showing up for a ritual or parade. One of his duties though was to give a briefing about a military matter if requested. That was what was happening today. Emil had made a number of phone calls the day before to old friends who still worked inside Wunsdorf-Zossen to learn what he could about what had happened a couple days earlier in the latest round of Greco-Turkish insanity so he could at least a little bit knowledgeable about a part of the world he had seldom thought about. He had gotten to the question-and-answer part of the briefing, which Emil expected to drag on until everyone got bored.

“Can you repeat that last part Markgraf?” Grossherzog Carl Augustus II of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach asked, much to Emil’s annoyance. He was a large part of the reason why they were meeting here as opposed to Erfurt. That was Carl Augustus’ center of power, and the other three Grand Dukes were not about to be seen as his guests. Foolish pride, Emil thought to himself. There was also the Minister-President along with much of the Landtag as well as many Mayors and Local Councils. Wartburg Castle was regarded as a neutral corner of Thuringia for reasons involving the deep history of the place.

This was a microcosm of the reality of not just Thuringia, but the larger German Empire if Emil had to guess. The Grand Dukes of the Ernestine Duchies no longer had any actual power, their lands folded into the modern State of Thuringia. Still, it was often hard to tell because of how connected many of them were with the Government at various levels. At the same time, the Grand Dukes were scions of the oldest of the Old Junker families and they were slowly dying out. This had been building for decades and it was upending what had once been seen as the entrenched social order. Oddly, they saw the alliance and intermarriage between the Richthofens and the Mischners as a way of preserving their way of life. It was just a matter of finding the right New Junker family.

Emil was aware of two things though. He didn’t think they realized that it was a two-way street and there were certain other considerations that had clearly flown out the window in recent years. Emil knew this much when he was asked a couple different times about his newest granddaughter. They had to know the circumstances of Irina’s birth and that didn’t seem to be a deal breaker like it would have been a few decades earlier. They saw her as the Granddaughter of a Field Marshal and Markgraf. The rest could be worked with time.

“The Marine Infantry were in these buildings south and east of the District Hospital” Emil said, repeating himself, he knew why Carl Augustus wanted that to be a part of the official record. There was already controversy over the initial clash the Marines and elements of the Hellenic Army. The Marines sheltering in the Hospital itself would have constituted a war crime. There were also some questions as to the legality of Marine Infantry firing the first shots from ambush. Of course, Emil knew how the Marines operated, they viewed sticking strictly to the legalities that put them at a disadvantage as stupid.

“And they repulsed the first attack?” Carl Augustus asked.

“As near as I can gather, it was disorganized and not expecting organized resistance” Emil replied, “The Marines present said that an hour later the Greeks assaulted their position in force. That was when the Marines suffered a number of casualties, but the Hospital Staff and their patients had been evacuated by then.”

Emil could tell that he had just told everyone in the room exactly what they had wanted to hear. While the Marine Infantry took pride in supposedly being the worst soldiers in the German Military, Emil knew that had become mostly for public consumption. The long history they now had of fighting in distant lands against often impossible odds had given them standing alongside Emil’s own Airborne Divisions as loath as he was to say that out loud.

“So, they completed the mission and gave the Greeks a bloody nose” Carl Augustus said, not a question but more of a statement.

“Yes” Emil said, knowing that was the public sentiment by and large when news of the operation had broken the day before. “Now, I would remiss if I didn’t point out that there are going to be a lot of diplomatic headaches resulting from this in the coming months.”

“Yeah, so what” Carl Augustus said under his breath. Emil knew that Carl Augustus had been as Officer in the Heer during the Soviet War. That had been a long time ago though. The Minister-President had nodded along though. The political dimensions of this would be at the forefront of his mind.

“Next question” Emil said aloud and was met with a flurry of them.
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Who are Germany's allies in the Balkans/Eastern Med? Has their alliance with Bulgaria withstood the test of time? Are they on good terms with Italy? Honestly, I would think the only thing stopping Germany from parking a Carrier Group on Greece's doorstep is Britain getting a collective heart attack (by the way, how does TTL's modern Britain stand regarding imperial ambitions, in the Med in particular, and state of the navy?).
Germany's allies would include the Brits, the French and the Italians, manly because wars in this region could threaten the Suez Canal, their main oil supplies and regional peace. Bulgaria could be wary of being squeezed between Russia, Serbia and Greece and, historically speaking, they haven't been on the best of terms with either the Greeks or the Turks.
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Would Bulgaria be likely to work with the French or British before the Germans because of WW 1 or would be likely to stay with the Germans because of WW 1?
Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria are allies with Russia; Romania has historically thought of themselves as being a western country because Romanian is a Latin-based language and in the past their main ally has been France, but they have been growing closer to Germany for some reason lately.
Croatia is allied with Italy, and it partitioned Bosnia-Herzegovina between them and Serbia recently with Serbia annexing Albania.
I would not be surprised if Serbia and Bulgaria are supplying troops to help Greece in their "Holy War" against Turkey with Russian advisors alongside.

1976 is an election year in the United States and Richard Nixon should be heavily favored to win re-election, bonus story points for both the irony and the "Tradition" of having the Vice President of the President from the Democratic Party dying in office if Hubert Humphrey was Nixon's Vice President.
The American people because of a large Greek American population should be supporting the Greeks because of a propaganda campaign portraying the Turks as "Uncivilized Infidels" who are committing unspeakable acts against Christians.
Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria are allies with Russia;
I'm not so sure ab Bulgaria. They were allies with Germany at least until 1918, and after that Russia was already the USSR who no one willingly allies with. Furthermore, they have more border with Greece and Serbia than they do with Romania (OTL they were solved fairly efficiently), so they are more likely to be allied to either Germany, France or Britain than Russia.