In the U.S. I can see the formation of the "German-American Friendship League" to promote the German view of the war.
They may have propaganda newsreel films that is shown before the movies.
It will try to sell the war as an Anti-Communist crusade, that with the bonds sold in America, the money will stay in America and provide jobs for Americans.
Catholic and Protestant churches with large German ethnic congregations will organize the sending of care packages to German families by matching families in America with relatives in Germany. The care packages may have items that are hard to get like coffee, pepper and other spices, sugar, powdered and canned milk, chocolate, and cake mixes.
The main expense will be the cost of shipping to Germany. There may be drives to sponsor families that don't have relatives in America.
 
In the U.S. I can see the formation of the "German-American Friendship League" to promote the German view of the war.
They may have propaganda newsreel films that is shown before the movies.
It will try to sell the war as an Anti-Communist crusade, that with the bonds sold in America, the money will stay in America and provide jobs for Americans.
Catholic and Protestant churches with large German ethnic congregations will organize the sending of care packages to German families by matching families in America with relatives in Germany. The care packages may have items that are hard to get like coffee, pepper and other spices, sugar, powdered and canned milk, chocolate, and cake mixes.
The main expense will be the cost of shipping to Germany. There may be drives to sponsor families that don't have relatives in America.

I really don't think the organizers of the care packages should recommend luxuries like coffee, sugar and chocolate. The senders very well might include them but they shouldn't be part of the recommendations.
 

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I really don't think the organizers of the care packages should recommend luxuries like coffee, sugar and chocolate. The senders very well might include them but they shouldn't be part of the recommendations.
Grains, peanuts, nuts, seeds, oils, dried/tinned meat/dairy/beans and other high calorie dry stores.
 
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Grains, peanuts, nuts, seeds, oils, dried/tinned meat/dairy/beans and other high calorie dry stores.

I think that you're probably right in that high-calorie and (probably) high-value stuff will make a difference in morale. Treats like chocolate, sugar and coffee will also be morale boosters. Recommending more-or-less standard foodstuffs might give the impression that German agriculture is having problems feeding everyone.

The Friendship League should build lists of families on both sides without German/American connections who would be interested in exchanging letters and possibly packages ("Any German family.") The topics that can be discussed in letters from Germany should be made clear beforehand.
 
Intelligence and industrial/military schematics would be even better, if they truly sympathize with Germany.

That's the province of the Abwehr, both for looking at open-source information and for "difficult data retrieval." IMVHO it would be better to establish other communication methods and not to involve the Friendship League except possibly in making initial contact.
 
The main purpose of the care packages is to send a message to the German people that they are not alone.
I would think that the German government has already figured out how many calories the average person needs a day and planned the rationing around that.
Most Americans would not think that coffee is a luxury item but a necessity.

I have been going back and forth rereading this timeline and I think that the movie The Fate of the Romanovs would be remade in Hollywood as a love story about Tatiana and her RCMP husband with a star turn by the actress playing Olga who did not cope in exile. The final scene would be about the attack on the family and to give it a less down beat ending, it would imply that Jehene got away. That would cause some problems as people will believe that Jehene is still alive and there will be con artists claiming that they are Jehene.
 
The main purpose of the care packages is to send a message to the German people that they are not alone.
I would think that the German government has already figured out how many calories the average person needs a day and planned the rationing around that.(0)
Most Americans would not think that coffee is a luxury item but a necessity.

I have been going back and forth rereading this timeline and I think that the movie The Fate of the Romanovs would be remade in Hollywood as a love story about Tatiana and her RCMP husband with a star turn by the actress playing Olga who did not cope in exile. The final scene would be about the attack on the family and to give it a less down beat ending, it would imply that Jehene got away. That would cause some problems as people will believe that Jehene is still alive and there will be con artists claiming that they are Jehene(1)

(0) I think it's early days; no rationing yet but you know they'll be ready when it's needed. I hope that they'll do as the British did IOTL and consult dietiticians and nutritionists when establishing the ration - the generation who grew up during the Second Great Unpleasantness were the tallest and most robust yet, plus rickets completely disappeared ( rickets is a childhood developmental disease of the skeletal system caused by a deficiency in calcium and vitamin D.)

(1) There's no way to make the ending less downbeat. I think that the last scenes should be a red-headed (if it's in color) woman handing a telegram across a counter followed by a cut to a closeup of the telegram reading, "IDENTITIES CONFIRMED. NO SURVIVORS." then fade to black. No dialogue, just either the sound track or silence. Nobody'll notice that the telegram doesn't have an adressee or signature; everybody'll know who was sending the telegram to whom.

Edit: darn t7poes.
 
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I was wondering, with Kat earning a "rank" (albeit with "the Para's"), will there be some very senior officers of the wehrmacht that have a score to settle with somebody that was the reason their noses got tweaked by the emperor. This will off course backfire in the long run, as she is send out on some very high risk missions so that she would fail, she keeps on returning with a bigger and more glamours rep than before.
 
I really don't think the organizers of the care packages should recommend luxuries like coffee, sugar and chocolate. The senders very well might include them but they shouldn't be part of the recommendations.

I sure as heck would not have wanted you organizing care packages when I was deployed. That's exactly the stuff we were looking for. You get might tired of just the staples everyday.
 
I sure as heck would not have wanted you organizing care packages when I was deployed. That's exactly the stuff we were looking for. You get might tired of just the staples everyday.

You're right and I changed my mind about that. It's all about morale and nothing raises the spirits like a bit of chocolate (except for a lot of chocolate). Coffee, however, is necessary for a civilized life and coherent thinking. I must have been under-caffeinated when I made the original post. ("Any drug use, sir?" "Nothing illicit; my drug of choice is caffeine.")
 
Part 24, Chapter 258
Chapter Two Hundred Fifty-Eight


14th April 1942

Abwehr Special Warfare Camp, Near Judenbach-Sonneberg

Kat smiled as she watched the Russian T-26, a leftover from the Spanish War, disintegrate. She had spent the last hour working with a small team setting this up. It was very simple, a piece of steel pipe packed full of explosives and a copper plate. Yet it had just cut through the side armor of the Panzer like if it were tissue paper. It was satisfying to watch. It was the second practical demonstration of the afternoon, the first had involved using shaped charges to cut steel rails.

“All right, show’s over!” The Instructor yelled.

As they ran back towards the main buildings of the camp Kat noticed that the Sun was sinking towards the horizon. A few more hours and she would have survived yet another day. It was funny how spending all afternoon running around made even the bland, unappetizing food of the Mess Hall smell good. As it had turned out the recommendations made by Doctor Holz had not just included taking a second helping, it was a matter of what she ate as well and most of all no more skimping on, or skipping altogether, meals. Doctor Holz had told in no uncertain terms that things like her longtime habit of just having coffee with toast for breakfast were over. She needed to take care of herself. That had helped some but it hadn’t made the food any better.

“Kleine Katze” One of the other trainees said in greeting as soon as Kat said down at the table, Kat struggled to remember his name, she thought it stated with an S. The Hall itself had become decidedly less crowded over the last six weeks “We were just discussing knife fighting and we were interested in that infamous Katzenklauen of yours.”

Kat normally kept to herself during meals, being here hadn’t changed her introverted nature. Being the only woman and having the prospect of the person you were talking to possibly being gone tomorrow didn’t help. And what had he called the karambit, Katzenklauen? Cat’s Claw? Who came up with these things?

“It’s called a karambit” Kat said matter of fact.

“Yeah, so” The other trainee said, “Could we see it?”

“Why?” Kat asked.

“Just curious” He answered, “It’s not every day that you get to see a knife that was used to kill six Russians.”

“I only used it on two of the Russians” Kat said, “I grabbed one of their machine pistols and shot the rest.” Kat didn’t mention that same machine pistol was with her rucksack against the back wall along with everyone else’s gear.

“See that, Sieger” One of the other trainees said to the first one. “I told you that Katze is a practical girl.” This was met with guffaws around the table.

These men were mostly from Fallschirmjäger units that Kat was unfamiliar with. Still her reputation had proceeded her. On the first week, she’d learned that she had been linked to Schafer and Weise, part of their outfit. The fact that it was strictly Abwehr as opposed to the Luftwaffe’s Paratroopers had no baring here. Somehow, everyone knew about the incident where she’d thrown the teargas grenade into the car of British agents on her eighteenth birthday. That had been the point where she’d gone from mascot to actually being one of them in their minds.

Kat drew the Karambit from her belt and handed it to Seager. Like everyone else who’d seen it he was surprised at how small it was, easier to conceal that way. Fritz Schafer had made the handle with the dark hardwood scales specially sized to fit Kat’s hands and the curved sickle-like double edged blade was only eighty millimeters of watered steel, a laminate of black tool steel and grey spring steel that looked like ripples of water. In his side job Schafer took a lot of pride in his work and Kat’s dagger was a match, only with the addition of a brass guard.

“Not quite what I was expecting” Schaffer said as he looked it over before handing it back “How do you even hold that?”

“It’s not difficult” Kat said as she gripped the karambit with her index finger through the ring, the blade flat against her wrist. “The thing is that the movements to use this effectively don’t come naturally so it took a lot of training to get to this point, but it’s absolutely wicked close in. No one ever sees it coming.”

That brought a round of laughter from around the table. “…would expect nothing less.” Kat heard someone say as she put the karambit back into the sheath in the small of her back. It seemed like over the last couple years every interaction that Kat had with people had been stilted by her reputation. Here in this place no one cared about that.

Kat went back to her meal, a large helping unidentifiable meat in cream sauce, peas, beans and bread. She’d need to eat all of it. Something else that didn’t come naturally to her.

Kat listened as conversation around the table turned to future assignments. While they hadn’t made through yet everyone could see the light at the end of the tunnel. In recent days things had changed, more practical instruction and a slightly less intense tempo for starters.

“Where do you think they’ll send you, Katze?” That question caught Kat short, she’d not thought about that.

“Odds are I’ll be going back to being Kira’s catspaw” Kat said, “You never say no to an Empress.”

That raised a few eyebrows around the table, everyone knew she’d been in Abwehr but that was new information. It also solved a mystery as to how she had been in a position to take on those Russians. Sort of.

“You’re an agent of Empress Kira?” Seager asked “What does that involve?”

“Whatever she wants, within reason” Kat said, “For instance, I was in Canada last year sorting out the aftermath of the Tumbler Ridge mess for her.”

Kat let that hang in the air, she had probably said more than she had intended.

“You would have been one of those agents in that movie” Seager said with a bit of mirth “They cast you as man.”

Kat just rolled her eyes at that, she could have cared less about the movie. “No, I was there to take care of a more delicate matter” She said, “I had to claim and see to the remains of the last two Grand Duchesses.” She had also been there to protect Jehane and to bring her home but that was a continuing mission that no one else needed to know about.

“Grim business there” Someone observed. Indeed, it was.
 
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Kat has been through some Abwehr training and now the full program of the Fallschirmjaegers. She's like a strong, flexible blade with an edge that makes a razor seem dull.

She's done some amazing things and been amply rewarded for them, even though she discounts her accomplishments and feels as if she doesn't deserve her honors.

At this point I think that Kat needs some help in accepting her honors, and a little time in a 'charm school' to tone down her appearance of dangerous intensity.To mix a metaphor, she needs to cultivate the image of the Empress' hunting leopard sitting at her feet looking on calmly instead of barely being held in check watching everyone around her as potential prey. Learning how to deflect or defuse idiot comments wouldn't hurt, either.
 
Kat's going through Abwher special training, not Fallschirmjaeger, if I understand correctly, although she's considered to be of the Fallschirmjaegers. Is she carrying the submachinegun she used on the Russians?

I thought of another charactr that could be an intresting cameo...Marlene Dietrich. She and Kat might get along like a house on fire--Marlene actually trained in boxing in Berlin in OTL.

Edit--almost to post 2000!
 
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Part 24, Chapter 259
Chapter Two Hundred Fifty-Nine


18th April 1942

Abwehr Special Warfare Camp, Near Judenbach-Sonneberg

The day was finally coming to an end. Tomorrow would be Sunday which was the slightly easier day of the week. Kat just wanted to find her bed and try to get every second of sleep she could before the disturbingly random wake up. As soon as Kat opened the door to her hut she saw that the mail must have arrived that afternoon. It was a surprisingly large stack of letters and a package was sitting on her bunk. The package was strange, from a place she’d never heard of or could pronounce. Puyallup?

Kat stuck her head out the door “You know what the deal is with this package?” She asked one of the instructors who was walking by.

“Everyone got one of those” He said with a smile “I think you’ll like it.” He then continued on his way.

Kat closed the door and dropped the bar into place and began to open the letters. The letters from Aunt Marcella, Jehane, Helene, Gerta, even Hans all basically said the same thing. Where are you and what are you doing? The letter from Maria was different, Emil must have gotten word to her. Maria had written at length about how she thought what Kat was doing was wonderful and was profuse in her encouragement.

Then came the mysterious package. As soon as Kat opened it she saw that it was full of goodies. Chocolate bars, a jar of blackberry jam, tins of ham, smoked salmon and evaporated milk according to the labels and a package of what was said to be instant pancake mix, whatever that was. But most of all a bag of roasted coffee beans, the sort of thing that Kat would cheerfully kill for, had been included. There was also a small sewing kit, soap, talc powder and some razor blades. Anything Kat didn’t want would have high value in trade.

The letter included said that the package was from a family in Puyallup, a city in Washington State, which was some far-off corner of America. It was a part of a program that was to promote peace and international understanding by the local Lutheran Church. Kat had never had much use for religion but she was perfectly happy to bless these wonderful Amis if they sent her halfway decent coffee.


Berlin

They jokingly referred to it was the castle. That was far better than the terms that a newspaper columnist had used to describe it, a vast iron stake driven into the heart of the city. The complex of two vast concrete towers had been built in the Friedrichshain much to the local council’s horror. There had been talk of building similar structures in other city parks including, the Tiergarten, but that had been met with a solid wall of opposition. Because the efforts of the Russians to bomb Berlin had mostly been a minor annoyance, those plans had been shelved for now.

Helene lived and worked in the smaller L-Tower, which housed the command and control center for the entire city’s defense, the communications and radar arrays. The larger G-Tower had 12.8cm Anti-Aircraft guns on the roof and bristled with smaller guns but that was only one part of its purpose. It also housed a hospital and the vaults for Berlin’s art and historical treasures.

As the time for her shift arrived Helene walked past the sign painted on the wall that said NO MALE PERSONNEL PERMITTED PAST THIS POINT just outside the doors to the hallway that led to the stairwell. Right below some wisenheimer had written And that means YOU! in permanent marker.

Even if the male personnel in question dared to pass through those doors they would instantly find themselves having to contend with Magda. She ruled the portion of this floor that had been put aside for them with an iron fist. There were rumors that Magda had been a head nurse at a hospital or a nun before she had volunteered for this. Helene just knew that Magda was a matronly woman of indeterminate age, the iron-grey hair was no clue. Nor was her face which could have been a care worn 40 or well preserved 70.

Wherever they dug her up from Magda took her job very seriously, even going so far as to prohibit entry to Manfred von Richthofen when he came through on an inspection tour. The rules were the rules and even a Generaloberst would abide by them. When Helene had come out in an attempt to defuse the situation she didn’t know if she should be filled admiration or be appalled by Magda’s actions. She had become a surrogate Aunt or Mother to the hundred and twenty young women who lived here, frequently whether they liked it or not.

Helene took the steps two at a time as she made her way up to the plotting room, the afternoon shift was making their way down in the opposite direction. Kat had told to be patient when she was in training, her friend must have had some inside information because while this wasn’t flying an airplane it was exciting. After perusing the plotting table Helene made her way through the plotting room to her station. A radar screen, a radio and a telephone were her weapons. She had learned how powerful those could be the first time she had vectored an entire Jasta into a stream of Russian bombers attempting a late-night penetration of Berlin’s airspace.

Helene put on her headphones and listened to the radio traffic. She heard a few familiar voices over the radio net.

“Good evening 27-3 this is Base” Helene said into the microphone “Good hunting?”

“Quiet night so far, Base” 27-3 said, “Pleased an angel like you could join us.”

“You just think I’ve a nice voice is all” Helene said, “For all you know I weigh a hundred and forty kilos and have a dozen cats.”

“More of you to love angel” 27-3 replied.

Helene heard groans over the radio net. It was the usual game that they played with the pilots of the night fighter squadrons of JG-9. She had never met the commander of Jasta 27 in person, she just knew him by his call sign. While she wished she could be out there flying one of those FW-187 night fighters, this was fun.

“In your dreams 27-3, Base out” Helene said with a smile.
 
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Chapter Two Hundred Fifty-Nine

18th April 1942

Then came the mysterious package. As soon as Kat opened it she saw that it was full of goodies. Chocolate bars, a jar of blackberry jam, tins of ham, smoked salmon and evaporated milk according to the labels and a package of what was said to be instant pancake mix, whatever that was. But most of all a bag of roasted coffee beans, the sort of thing that Kat would cheerfully kill for, had been included. There was also a small sewing kit, soap, talc powder and some razor blades. Anything Kat didn’t want would have high value in trade.

The letter included said that the package was from a family in Puyallup, a city in Washington State, which was some far-off corner of America. It was a part of a program that was to promote peace and international understanding by the local Lutheran Church. Kat had never had much use for religion but she was perfectly happy to bless these wonderful Amis if they sent her halfway decent coffee.

The good folks in PuYallup will be surprised to recieve a thank-you letter handwritten on Kat's official stationery with her crest, coat-of-arms or whatever on it:

"Thank you for your package. It was very generous of you to send it and it was most welcome. I received it during a strenuous course of instruction at an isolated training facility. Such things were completely unobtainable to us. I and my fellow students enjoyed its contents very much. This reply had to wait until after graduation and my return home to proper notepaper - the only things available there were a not-very-sharp pencil and pages from a grubby notebook.

- Katherine von Mitscher."
Edit: It's a pity but I think that Kat would be dissuaded from carrying on an extended correspondence by the hierarchy at Abwehr. Gaps in the correspondence would be an indication that she was Doing Something and the US intelligence community would prick up their ears.
 
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OK, I know that it may count as nitpicking, but shouldn't the 'care packages' be sent to the soldiers on the front, aka the ones who suffer the most hardship and deprivations? I know that the supply lines aren't stretched thin and the frontline troops aren't experiencing serious supply shortages, but were I to choose between troops in training and troops on the front, I would send such items to the frontline units, because sure as hell the packages (sponsored by some private citizens) are at the very, inexplicably generous, best are a couple of tens of thousands (which sounds -and is- a lot, but certainly not enough to cover more than a few divisions, and the Germans most certainty had hundreds of thousands men fighting the Soviets on the fronts).
 
I just had a thought...with Helene wanting to be a pilot earlier, could we possibly see an earlier MASH type medical unit with female pilots?
 
OK, I know that it may count as nitpicking, but shouldn't the 'care packages' be sent to the soldiers on the front, aka the ones who suffer the most hardship and deprivations? I know that the supply lines aren't stretched thin and the frontline troops aren't experiencing serious supply shortages, but were I to choose between troops in training and troops on the front, I would send such items to the frontline units, because sure as hell the packages (sponsored by some private citizens) are at the very, inexplicably generous, best are a couple of tens of thousands (which sounds -and is- a lot, but certainly not enough to cover more than a few divisions, and the Germans most certainty had hundreds of thousands men fighting the Soviets on the fronts).

They should be. However that means actually getting them to the front. Every truck that delivers those packages to the boys at the front is a truck that isn't taking ammunition, or food, or medical supplies out. The logistics net may not be up to that.

Alternately, the higher ups set some aside for those who are in the extremely rigourous special forces training.
 
I just had a thought...with Helene wanting to be a pilot earlier, could we possibly see an earlier MASH type medical unit with female pilots?

Our esteemed Peabody-Martini may declare otherwise but I most sincerely doubt that we'll be seeing female pilots anytime soon, if ever. If things get tight we may see women working for the manufacturers doing flight testing; if things get really tight we may see female ferry pilots in situations where they won't be at risk of being shot at; I don't think we'll ever see female combat pilots.

Besides, there aren't any helicopters yet. They might do something like it with autogyros.

Oops, that's not entirely correct. IOTL Focke-Wulf built the FW-61 in 1936, so something with a useful load might show up soon.

As far as the MASH concept goes I don't doubt that the Heer's medical service has noted that the sooner a wounded soldier gets treatment the better the result, so I wouldn't be surprised if something like a MASH isn't already in operation or coming soon.

Peter might be able to get early intervention for combat stress patients as part of the standard protocols.
 
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