Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Part 113, Chapter 1870
Chapter One Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy

12th August 1968

Warsaw, Poland

Just like that, the war, or whatever you wanted to call it, in Poland was over.

No one had any illusions about how it had done nothing to solve the problems that had precipitated it. That was why Tilo’s barge remained under heavy guard once it was moored in the city. There was a lot of grumbling among the ranks about how they had been cheated of a win in the race to take Warsaw. Having blasted their way into Warsaw only to find that the Fallschirmjäger had taken it in a walk. Why wouldn’t they? All eyes would have been on the Marines coming from the north. Tilo might have pointed out the large battle that had taken place south of the city suggested that the Poles themselves had considered Army Group South to be the greater threat. As it was, Group North and Group South had both entered the city at about the same time and learning that it had been the Tabbies who had “won” the race had been mutually dismaying.

The larger effects of this campaign had yet to be seen. It seemed obvious that the solution was to hold plebiscites in Southern Poland. The people of the regions of Galicia and Ruthenia being given the choice of what they wanted in the future. The rub was that it wouldn’t just encompass those two regions. There were substantial Ruthenian minorities in Slovakia and Bohemia as well. There were already calls for the plebiscite to be extended into portions of Northern Slovakia, much to the chagrin of the Slovakian Government who had been early supporters of the Galician Freikorps.

The glow of victory had extended to Governing coalition in Berlin. The timing was good for them because there was an election planned for early next month. It would be long over by the time the inevitable complications of occupying Poland presented themselves. Of course, Tilo figured that the vast majority of the people of the German Empire would go back to ignoring Poland for another couple decades or so when the next crisis presented itself.

Tilo himself was having a good day. He had gotten Nancy and the girls on the phone. It had been nice to talk to them and learn how they were all well. Sabastian was at the Richthofen Estate in Silesia, so he was unavailable. Tilo figured that he was having a fun summer out in the woods with Nikolaus. He hoped that it would be enjoyable because he understood that the Prussian Academy in Wahlstatt would be a bucket of cold water for someone as freewheeling as Sabastian tended to be. Nancy had described the application process and that had been jarring for Tilo. The Academy had taken one look at Tilo’s service record and said that the son of a General with a PLM was automatically granted entry. Tilo was reminded of how he had been opposed to the very notion of intergenerational privilege when he had been younger before conscription and an unplanned trip to the Far East had forever changed his life. How he had despised how those already at the top tended to stay there. Now, he was seeing first-hand how the system benefited people like him, no matter how he had gotten where he was.


There were a few things weighing on Marie Alexandra as she swam to the edge of the deep end of the pool and climbed out.

Going with the other girls to the public swimming pool in Hechingen was something that Marie had thought nothing about when she had done it the year before. Suddenly, it had become a huge issue for her. The thought of being looked at, filled her with dread. Kiki had listened to her and told her that it was an adjustment that all women went through and of all things told her to watch her friend Zella the next time they went into Hechingen if she wanted to learn a few things. She had not understood what that had meant.

Earlier today, Marie had watched as Kiki and Zella had left the dressing rooms in swim attire that was appropriate for the location. Still, it seemed that every single male eye in the place had been drawn to Zella who reveled in the attention. There were stories about Kiki’s dear friend, that she had something of a bad reputation. Marie had mentioned that to Kiki and Kiki had said that she shouldn’t believe everything she heard. Zella had apparently been leading a largely chaste existence for the last few years because she had a bad experience when she was younger. Kiki said that Zella being the sort who men would drool over even if she wore a burlap sack didn’t help matters. Marie was left with the obvious question. What did she mean by bad experience?

Kiki had just looked at Marie and said that everyone has lapses in judgement and that she always needed to be cautious of those in positions of authority who might take advantage of her. That only led to more questions, but Kiki had said that was enough for one day.

Marie’s thoughts were interrupted by someone calling her name. Looking over her shoulder, she saw that it was Fritz, the local boy her age she had danced with the year before.

“How you been?” Fritz asked awkwardly.

“Well enough” Marie replied, only to see that Fritz’s eyes were no longer on her. His face took on an amazed expression as he saw Zella laying on a lounge chair beside the pool.

Marie felt a sudden flash of anger as she shoved Fritz into the pool for being an idiot.
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Maybe Jost and Reier can get together for a few drinks and curse the Tabbies for spoiling their race to Warsaw and I wonder how far Karl has risen in the ranks without his smartass cousin getting him in trouble.

There will be a restructuring of the German Empire that brings a more centralized economic system like a common currency and also more domestic autonomy for the various regions of the Empire.

As for Lech Walesa he is going to organize Polish shipyards workers in Danzig over the issue in the disparity in pay, benefits, and promotions between German and Polish wokers.
I love seeing Kat at work again--a treat!
As for Swiss banking, Germany has leverage once it's decided that the advantages of Swiss banking aren't worth the price. One simple option: It is illegal for German citizens or corporations to deposit money in Swiss banks
Marie’s thoughts were interrupted by someone calling her name. Looking over her shoulder, she saw that it was Fritz, the local boy her age she had danced with the year before.

“How you been?” Fritz asked awkwardly.

“Well enough” Marie replied, only to see that Fritz’s eyes were no longer on her. His face took on an amazed expression as he saw Zella laying on a lounge chair beside the pool.

Marie felt a sudden flash of anger as she shoved Fritz into the pool for being an idiot.
If any reminder why this tale is one of the best around... Wars and Peace go round and round, but stupid teenage boys looking in the wrong direction still deserves a dunking from a fiery-spirited girl. Speaking of this very situation, I wonder how Manfred v. Mischner and Suse-Rosa v. Wovogle-Knispel are getting on?


Uh oh the horse is out of the barn. Because the Poles might be happy with plebiscites as long as on the German-Polish border some are held as well. And then there are othere areas in the Balkan...

Good luck in trying to sort that chaos out. It sort of did work after WWII IOTL but the methods applied then are hardly acceptable ITTL.
Karol will know he's being watched closely so will know how to keep the graft an arms length away at all times. This could be the ultimate sinning saint if it turns out he not only rebuilds Poland, but makes it a better place in the process. it'll give him a thoroughly undeserved, but highly comical reputation as being incorruptible.
Its called "Appointing the poacher to be head game warden".
Marie felt a sudden flash of anger as she shoved Fritz into the pool for being an idiot.
For which Fritz will wonder what he has done wrong, (even if it's explained to him he won't quite get it at that age). However, It's nice to see KatMarie dealing with things well.

Its called "Appointing the poacher to be head game warden".
Indeed, if you want someone who knows all the tricks, that's who you appoint.


Trying to catch up with the story for over a month now - and what a story!
Yep but you do not have a reason for strikes there like in USSR times.
There would still be enough reasons to strike. From polish workers striking to express their disagreement with Germany involved in an inner Polish conflict (as they see it), striking against Polish hamhandedness, or just striking for better working conditions/salary.
I have this idea that when this is over and they gather at the palace with the Kaiser and Freddy, Tilo is invited and brings Reier with him to the event, to let the Kaiser know who he is and give him some recognition, revenge and such. Freddy not quite understanding decides that Knut and his squad that protected him needs to honored also and invites them to this. Basically Reier is housebroke and understands polite company, Knut wellllllll hmmmmmm, should be fun. Bonus points if Kiki is there and Knut recognizes her and gives Freddy even more props and tells him he grew a pair almost as big as his sisters in front of God, Kaiser ,and everyone else
Part 113, Chapter 1871
Chapter One Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy-One

15th August 1968

Hohenzollern Castle

Sharing a room with Nella and Nan didn’t bother Sophie, it was the girl in the fourth bed, Franziska Böttcher, who did. And it wasn’t because of her replacing Marie Alexandra this summer. It was Ziska’s sunny disposition and determination that she and Sophie should be the most wonderful of friends that bugged Sophie. If Sophie were in Ziska’s shoes… Er, shoe… she would be absolutely furious with her lot in the world. Ziska wasn’t like that though. She was a pretty girl who always had a smile on her face, but life had dealt her a bad hand when she had been born with a malformed right leg. Ziska said she had been missing the fibula and most of the bones that would have formed her foot and ankle. At the point when most children would have been learning to walk, Doctors had amputated Ziska’s lower leg.

Not that Ziska seemed to care, she saw the world as this wonderful place, all puppy dogs and sunshine even as she had difficulty going about the most basic of tasks at times. It was those difficulties that resulted in Ziska and Sophie being thrust together, because they had so much in common according to the adults. Kiki had told Sophie that while her difficulties were not immediately visible, she should have a lot of compassion for someone who didn’t have that luxury. What that resulted in was Sophie spending the summer helping Ziska while constantly being reminded that the castle had so many stairs, something that she not needed to think about prior.

“You really didn’t need to help me with this” Ziska said as Sophie carried both of their laundry bags up the stairs. Ziska was following as best she could on a leg made from fiberglass with the aid of a crutch.

“I don’t mind” Sophie replied. That wasn’t true, she did mind. At the same time though, she knew that it would take Ziska forever to get up these stairs with the bag putting her off balance and having to wait wasn’t something she wanted to do.

“At home we have no stairs” Ziska said, “My parents had the house built that way after I was born.”

Sophie did her best to hide her annoyance at Ziska saying things like that all of the time but wasn’t always successful. Ziska was the granddaughter of an industrialist who had developed and manufactured some sort of widget that the entire Military had used since just before the Second World War. So, her family had gobs of money. It was something that Ziska reminded everyone around her about constantly. Nella and Nan didn’t seem to care. Sophie envied their ability to do that, she knew that Nella was a Princess, as unbelievable as that seemed, while Nan was something of a mystery. Nan never talked about her past. She just said that she was the ward of her Uncle Louis and Aunt Charlotte, who were also Nella’s parents and that nothing before that mattered.

Once in their room, Sophie swiftly made her bed with the fresh sheets before helping Ziska. When they were done Ziska hugged Sophie and said that she was the greatest friend that she had ever had. Leaving Sophie feeling like a total heel for what she had thought about Ziska.

In Transit, rural Posen

It became clear that they had crossed from Poland into Posen when they saw the reactions of people in the towns and villages they passed through. While the reactions in Poland had been some variation of fear and resentment. Here though, people waved from their cars as the train they were riding on passed through the road crossings. In the towns themselves people waved flags and cheered, things like baked goods and beer had found their way into the railcar adding to the festive mood. All Christian cared about though was not having to spend the long trip back to Wunsdorf-Zossen, where the 7th Recon was garrisoned, in the passenger seat of an Iltis. The vehicles in question had been loaded onto flatcars so he didn’t need to think about them.

As Christian was watching the countryside roll by in the late afternoon sunlight, Rolf and Maus were reading one of the Traumatic Stress worksheets that they were being encouraged to fill out and submit to Medical Services Regiment for review. Of course, they were making a joke of it. Working in silly answers that usually featured Einar somehow. By this point, Einar no longer cared, he had been listening to those two morons making fun of him for ages and had become completely inured to it.

Are you ever overcome with feelings of dread?

Certainly, whenever we see Einar eating canned fish and cabbage for supper.

Do you have trouble sleeping?

With how Einar snores, you had better believe it.

Do you ever have problems with alcohol?

Occasionally, but almost entirely due to cost.

Christian eventually told the two of them to cut it out and to lose the forms they had been messing with before anyone saw them. He understood that Medical Services probably got dozens of gag forms returned to them every single day. At the same time, he wasn’t stupid. All it took was an answer that one of the Medics could read something into, telling the truth in jest as it were, and the man who had given that answer would be lucky if he didn’t find himself getting thrown down the nut hatch.
Manfred might reach out and to Christian get him a transfer to the 1st Foot. With his record in the Poland intervention he would be an ideal candidate to bring his experience and with his back ground in the 7th Recon brings that skill set to help with their recon units. IIRC they need to check out any of the land routes the Imperial family and VIP’s that are guests, his work in the drive to Warsaw would help.
Part 113, Chapter 1872
Chapter One Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy-Two

17th August 1968

Hohenzollern Castle

Once again, it was the summer observance of Kiki’s birthday. She had tried and failed to have it be an informal celebration with just dear friends again this year. The formal meal was nearly done. Just desert and light entertainment left for the evening. It made Kiki wish that she could speed up time.

Kiki could see that Marie was bored. Years of wanting to sit at the adult’s table had resulted in her discovering that the reality was far different from her expectations. None of this was helped by the formal seating arrangement as done by tradition here. As the Lady of the Castle, Kiki was at the head of the table and as the daughter of a Fürstin, Marie was seated to her immediate left. Zella and Ben were seated at this end of the table and the two of them had nothing to say tonight. Ben had been pulled from flight status with the Luftwaffe Reserve Air Wing that he was in. While he had gone out of his way not to blame Kiki for that, though it was clearly because of his relationship with her that it had happened. The issue with Zella was that she was a bit annoyed by what she called Ben’s passive aggressive nonsense. “If he has a problem then he should have it out with you” Zella had said, “All of his sulking around is just a load of crap.”

Kiki understood Zella’s point, but also knew that Ben wasn’t wired that way. They would hash out what had happened eventually, but he would sulk around in the meantime because he didn’t want to ruin Kiki’s “Birthday” celebration. Aurora and Anya had sent her birthday cards that were heartfelt, but regrettably they had been unable to attend this year.

As things stood, Kiki was starting to wish that she had brought the magazine that she had been reading before dinner to the table with her. The Medical Service had been having issues getting the Heer and Marine Infantry to take the issue of Traumatic Stress seriously. After years of pressure, the Heer had finally acted but their approach was turning out to be a bit too heavy handed and the Medical Service was scrambling to get them to stop. The last thing they needed was for there to be a stigma associated with the term like had existed with shellshock a few generations earlier. Over the last twenty years the Medical Service had made great strides in the treatment of the disorder and they wanted to maintain that progress. Having the soldiers themselves becoming uncooperative because they feared the reaction wouldn’t help matters.

As minutes passed, Kiki found herself wishing that she could escape the tedium and was scanning the room for something else to think about. Seeing movement in one of the doorways, she saw Nella poke her head into the great hall. There were others peeking around the doorway. Definitely Nan if Kiki had to guess. Sophie and Ziska wouldn’t be too far away either. Kiki considered the latter two girls were something of a success. She had put them together when she realized the two could help each other. Sophie being prone to self-pity and Ziska’s trouble with asking for help when she needed it. So far this summer that had worked out. What neither girl knew was that they lived in adjoining neighborhoods, Tempelhof and Britz, so they would be attending the same schools in the coming years.

Looking at Marie, Kiki realized that she had noticed them too.

“Go join your friends out in the courtyard” Kiki said to Marie who turned and looked at her agape. The younger girls looked to Marie as something of a leader being a bit older than most of them. At the same time, Marie spent time with them whenever she wanted to escape the more grown up responsibilities that had been thrust upon her. Which had been quite often.

“Are you sure?” Marie asked.

“I would go with you if I could” Kiki replied, “So go.”

With a relieved smile, Marie left the table and ran to the other girls. As she disappeared out the doorway, Kiki thought she heard giggling and really did wish she could go with them.

Mitte, Berlin

There were a number of tourists from around the world watching as the changing of the Guard at the Neue Wache was conducted. Today, they were mostly British who were curious about how different it played out from what their Soldiers did at Buckingham Palace. Except for when this ceremony had briefly been moved to Potsdam during the Second World War after the Neue Wache had been damaged by Soviet bombers, this tradition that had gone on uninterrupted for decades.

As a Lieutenant, it was Manny’s job to make sure that it went off without a hitch.

“Where’s them spiked helmets that this lot wears?” Manny heard one of the tourists ask. If Manny had been allowed to acknowledge the tourist, he might have told him that the Pickelhaube had gone out of fashion a long time ago because the present Emperor had something of a dislike what they had come to symbolize. The Jäger style shako had been readopted by the 1st Foot for ceremonial functions like this one when the various colored berets they wore were deemed to be a distraction.
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With so many people over the years in Germany becoming disabled because of combat related causes along with others from other reasons is there a movement to increase accessibility to public spaces?

My fear from the previous post was that Sophie seeing someone who is much weaker then her would strike out in order to feel more powerful and better then somebody else.
This shows that Kiki has good instincts and I wouldn't be too surprised if Charlotte gave Kiki the idea.
Give us back the Pickelhaube!
Give us back the Pickelhaube!
Funny (in a geekish way) Pickelhaube story from way way back. I was in college playing D&D, and we'd had a few too many encounters with lurkers above and the like dropping down on us. I told the DM that I wanted one of those helmets, and added some sleep toxin to the (VERY sharp) point. It worked...
Give us back the Pickelhaube!

Why? There are too many other impractical types of head gear out there to limit yourself.

A version of this is what is being depicted as being worn.