CO: Jacob Schmidt.

Btw, might have missed it but is Emil still miltary advisor to the Chancellor or has he been deployed?
Would be funny if he makes a combat drop in russia, and who does he meet on the ground (responsible for marking the dropzone) but his old house guest Kat
 
Those are probably Panzer I or II modified for air transport, possibly even airdrop.
Does the Luftwaffe have anything that could do a LAPES delivery? Well, with a reasonable margin of safety?

Hmmm. Doesn't the DO-19 have a ramp? I guess airdropping a Luftpanzer would kinda be a HAPES delivery (high-altitude parachute extraction system) or maybe PUATO - Pitch Up and Toss Out. In any case controlling the airplane with such extreme center-of-gravity changes must really require quite mad piloting skills.
 
Part 24, Chapter 262
Chapter Two Hundred Sixty-Two


18th May 1942

Near Drahichyn, Belorussia

As they made their way towards the primary objective they took the time to sabotage their secondary targets, active rail lines. The system they had come up with couldn’t have been simpler. A shaped charge on one rail, the detonator was wired to the rails so that the solid axle on the guide truck of the locomotive would complete the circuit. The charge would cut the rail, gravity and inertia would do the rest. It had the advantage of not weighing anywhere near as much as an anti-tank mine and not having to be present when it went off.

It was Kat and Arkadi’s turn to keep watch while the others worked. in the last three days, they had avoided the patrols while pressing steadily north. They had set up more than a dozen of these.

Kat looked at the spot that the explosives were being set up. To make way for the railbed the low hill had been cut away, on the other side the ground dropped away steeply into a swamp. This was going to be an absolute mess, Kat thought to herself.

“That ought to do it” Sergej said climbing up the hillside "What next?"

“The usual” Kat said, “We get out of here but finally on to bigger and better things.”

“Yeah” Sergej said with a smile “It’s time, isn’t it?”

While they had been given flexibility in the timing of this operation the timing for the destruction of the primary was set in stone. If they acted too soon or too late then their people would die. They also couldn’t approach to target too soon lest they prematurely alarm them.

“I’m hoping to get a look at what we’re dealing with before sunset” Kat said.

“That’s over twenty-five kilometers from here” Sergej said “Bit of a walk to get there before then.”

“Then try to keep up” Kat said.

“Sure thing Ma’am” Sergej said.

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Kat bit back a curse as she looked at the primary objective from a nearby tree line. It was on a low hill that looked like it had once been a farmer’s field. Now all it grew was grass kept mowed and an antenna array in the form of four steel towers. It was surrounded by an electrified fence and guarded by what looked like at least a Company of Russian soldiers, there were a couple of anti-aircraft guns as well. Her orders where that this had to be destroyed no later than dawn tomorrow morning.


19th May 1942

They had spent the afternoon coming up with a plan based on what Kat had seen. The problem, as they saw it was not getting in but getting out alive and dealing with anything unforeseen. The solution they came up couldn’t have been simpler, unfortunately there was only one of them who could get them in without raising an alarm.

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“I need your help” The girl said in a plaintive voice “My car broke down and this is the middle of nowhere.”

Yuri could tell from her voice that she must be a city girl, cultured and educated. The wrong sort to end up out here in the asshole end of nowhere but exactly the sort who’d get lost and stranded. She wasn’t completely stupid though, she knew enough not to approach too close to the guard post in the middle of the night.

“Approach, slowly” Yuri ordered. She stepped into the light, Yuri saw that she was young, late teens or early twenties in a faded blue dress and old grey coat, rail thin with red hair. She stood there with her big blue eyes full of fear. He saw nothing in the least bit threatening about her.

“I wouldn’t bother you, but I can’t find anyone else…” She said.

“Should we help her? Yuri asked Ivan who’d been dozing but was now awake.

Ivan chuckled “That wouldn’t exactly be a hardship” he said “Besides, word is that there are partisans about, perhaps she’ll be properly appreciative of us keeping her safe for the night.”

“Come on, Miss” Yuri said with a smile, “We’ll help you, we won’t hurt you.”

As soon as she got within arm’s reach her whole demeanor changed radically. Yuri found himself staring into narrowed eyes that where full of hate and insanity. “Liar” She hissed. Her left hand moved in a blur and Yuri felt a burning sting across the side of his throat, he tried with his hand to stem the flow of blood and the strength went out of his legs. Heard the sound of three silenced pistol shots and Ivan’s body hit the ground in Yuri’s view, two bullet holes in his chest and one more in his head.

As Yuri faded out he saw a few new sets of legs run up and a voice softly said, “Damn Katya, you even had me fooled there.”

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Kat wiped off the karambit and holstered her pistol. She gave Sergej’s acknowledgement a nod as he handed Kat her machine pistol and rucksack. There was no more talking as they fanned out through the Russian camp, everyone knew their jobs. The remaining sentries were silently dispatched and they got to work.

Kat set the explosive charge on the generator and started setting S-mines outside the entrances of the buildings, tents and the gun pits before heading for the rally point, the main gate. The others went to work on the towers, a pair of them each having two of the towers to set charges. They had set the clocks on the detonators before they had left for the primary that night so it was only a matter of setting the charges and getting out of here. They would have about five minutes to get out of here. That was where things started to go wrong.

Someone must have gotten up to use the latrine or something because they blundered into one of Kat’s S-mines and suddenly the whole camp was awake.

Renat and Mitya came running in joining Kat. Sergej and Arkadi had taken the two most distant towers, they had only set the final charge when the mine went off. As they were running for the main gate they saw the flicker of gunfire, the clatter of FN33s and the rattle of Kat’s Italian made machine pistol.

Kat had opened up on the Russians milling about amongst the tents and buildings, S-mines were going off and the result was pure bedlam, Renat and Mitya opened up as well. Their hopes of covering Sergej and Arkadi’s escape were dashed when one or two of the Russians must have had the wherewithal to open up on the fleeing figures with a burp gun. They were cut down mere meters from safety. Kat had no choice but to abandon them, she knew that what had just happened wasn’t survivable. One more nightmare for her to process later.

The bombs detonated as they retreated away from the Russian camp.

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A couple hours later Kat was walking down a road between fields as the eastern sky showed that the sun would be over the horizon soon. The Russians would be out in force hunting them by now. But they had one last mission to perform tonight. Kat looked at the scattered lights of the village that the map said was called Drahichyn.

“This looks like a good spot, Mitya” Kat said.

“Yeah” He said, “This will just take a few minutes.”

Mitya opened the flap of the canvas bag that held his radio, extended the antenna and put his headphones on. He keyed a single word in the clear, Pollux. Had the mission been a failure and they still made it out he would have keyed Castor and they would have begun the emergency exfil leaving the area as swiftly as they could. The truth was that they would have been improvising if it had come to that so Kat was happy that hadn’t happened. A few minutes later a single number was transmitted back.

Mitya opened the small book that he had, every page was a single use pad cipher. The paper and ink were water soluble so if it had looked as if they were to be captured it would just be mush in seconds. He keyed the proper response and was given a new frequency. Mitya set the frequency and set the radio to broadcast a repeating tone, it was now a beacon.

“It’s done, Ma’am” Mitya said “Now we wait.”

“Thank you” Kat said, “Do you think we should get off the road?”

“It doesn’t matter” Renat said.

Shortly later the sun crested the horizon and the air was filled with the drone of hundreds of aircraft engines. Kat watched as Ju-90 transports filled the sky and sticks of paratroopers started jumping out the doors. The Fallschirmjäger had arrived in Belorussia. Kat and her team had kicked open the door by taking out a portion of the early warning system.
 
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Whew, that was quite a mission for that small amount of people to manage. Take down a radar station, and break as many tracks as you can? Seems like it would have been better to kill the station first
 
Shame two of them didn't get out but wow, Kat's going to be even more of a legend as the leader of the Brandenbergers.

More awards to come for her...
Unavoidably, Kat, for her links to the German Empress who is also of the Russian Royal line and her near mythical reputation to this point, once enough russians learn of her presence in the field, she will be called in a way that will enrage Stalin like few things could, specially as she becomes by proxy a symbol of the Romanov's wrath against Stalin, and a hope of the end of his dictatorship and the one of the Communists. . . .

. . .Voyevoda....
 
Part 24, Chapter 263
Chapter Hundred Sixty-Three

19th May 1942


Drahichyn, Belorussia

Shortly after his plane had taken off the night before Emil had noticed that they were circling over friendly territory for an extended period of time along with the planes carrying the rest of his Division. He had noticed that the sun was starting to come up so they needed to do this or abort. He had just gone up to the cockpit to find out what the Hell was going on when the go ahead order finally came.

Emil went in with the first wave which had gone largely unopposed. Para rules, everyone jumps even Generals. It was composed of the 1st and 3rd Fallschirmjäger Divisions. The 4th was to follow in the second wave along with the heavy weapons and armor after the perimeter was secured. Within a few days the 5th Army Corps was supposed to relieve them.

It wasn’t until they got onto the ground and the men began to sort themselves out that Emil discovered that he had a situation on his hands. Two men and a woman in civilian clothes had asked to speak with him directly and wouldn’t talk to anyone else. There was also an odd buzz among the men, they clearly knew something he didn’t.

“What’s the problem here?” Emil asked a frowning von Hanover who was standing there with Schafer who looked like the cat that had just eaten the canary.

“See for yourself, Sir” von Hanover said.

Standing there with a grin on her face was Katherine von Mischner. “Happy to see you, General Holz, Sir” She said. She was wearing a faded blue dress belted at the waist, Emil could see to a pistol and two knives in places her coat would normally conceal. She also had a well-worn machine pistol on a sling.

“What’s the meaning of this, Kat?” Emil asked sternly.

“I’m not at liberty to say just…” Kat started to say and got a look that would freeze water from Emil.

“Bullshit!” Emil yelled “Whatever this is, it’s over, so I need an explanation, NOW!”

“But Sir, I can’t…” Kat started again.

“Attention!” Emil snapped, he’d told Maria that Kat was in the Luftwaffe Women’s Auxiliary but this was not even within screaming distance of what he’d been expecting. Kat and her two friends snapped to attention. So, Kat had learned a thing or three.

“Let’s start this again” Emil said “Name, rank and unit, you know the drill. That’s an order.” The two men looked at Kat for direction, she just nodded. That explained who was in charge of this, whatever this was.

“Renaud Harmon, Oberfunker, 3rd Fallschirmjäger Division, 2nd Regiment, 4th Company, on detached duty” One of Kat’s companions said. Emil shifted his glare to the other, Matthias Schmied, Jäger, 2nd Fallschirmjäger, on detached duty, Sir.”

“Now you” Emil said to Kat, who stood there nervously.

“Kathrine von Mischner, Oberfähnrich, Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger Auxiliary Corps, on detached duty, Sir” She said. That was news to Emil, up until she said that he didn’t know that the Paras had any Auxiliaries.

“Detached to who?” Emil asked, curtly.

“That might be above your paygrade, Sir” Kat said.

“I’ll be the judge of that” Emil said, “Now spill.”

“This shouldn’t be said within earshot of anyone else” Kat said softly.

Emil stepped closer to Kat, at fixed her with a withering glare.

Kat gulped “It doesn’t have a name yet but we’ve been calling it the Special Warfare Division” she whispered, “Please, don’t tell them I told you.”

Emil heard that and knew that Kat was correct, that was an outfit that he’d only heard rumors about. There was a strong possibility that this was above his paygrade.

“At ease” Emil said offhandedly, his actions here had been a risk but he’d needed to crack the whip sometimes and according to Maria, Kat was infamous for talking around things “But why are you here?”

“There is, er, was a Russian early warning station about seven or eight kilometers west of here, Sir” Kat said, “We took it out before setting the beacon to guide your planes in.”

Emil heard the collective reaction of the Paras around them, they owed the much of the success of this operation so far on this small team. Word of this would spread like wildfire.

“How many defenders were at this station?” Emil asked.

“A Company as of yesterday” Kat said, “Considerably less now if I had to guess.”

Emil looked to von Hanover “Take a Regiment and check that out.”

The Oberst nodded and started to walk off. “Sir” Kat said to von Hanover “We lost two of our people in that camp, if you find them…”

“I can do that, Oberfähnrich” von Hanover said before walking off, his face with a fixed blank expression.

“Is there anything else I should know?” Emil asked.

“Yes, Sir” Matthias said, “We cut several of the rail lines around here over the last few days.”

“Is that true?” Emil asked Kat.

“Yes” Kat said.

“Stay here and try not to do anything else until we can figure out what to do with you” Emil said, “And Kat, there is plenty of war to go around, try to share.” That caused a ripple of laughter among the men who were watching.

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It was sunny spring morning that faded into the afternoon. A pair of coveralls, a Flak vest and helmet had been found for Kat. They had also dug up a set of Oberfähnrich shoulder straps for her from somewhere. She was feeling a bit more like herself even if that involved sitting in a farmhouse talking with Schafer and his Squad. Renaud and Matthias were welcomed with open arms, mostly because they had a whole bunch of wild stories about what Kat had been doing over the last few months.

Some of the stories made her wonder if they were talking about someone else entirely. This tough as nails, natural leader who would die before quitting. Was that really her?

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“We found what was left of the radar station” von Hanover said “Oberfähnrich von Mischner and her Squad had done quite the number on it. By the time we got there it was just a handful of men and a few Commissars investigating what had happened.”

“What’s your opinion of this?” Emil asked.

“I find their tactic of blending in with the civilian population appalling and a young woman, Sir. What were they thinking?” von Hanover said “But I cannot fault their courage, we found the remains of their people. They had been nearly cut in half by machinegun fire, if they had been captured alive…” von Hanover let that hang.

Emil was perfectly aware of the risks that had been taken but the results were clear. If the landing zone had been contested the result would have been a bloodbath.

“What do you intend to do with them, Sir?” von Hanover asked.

“Send them out on the first available airplane once it’s unloaded” Emil said, “Along with the report that will doubtless cause a firestorm in Berlin. I could be wrong but I suspect that I will inadvertently be endorsing the decoration of Katherine von Mischner for several actions of heroism in the process.”

“Who’d have thought” von Hanover said.

Anyone who’s ever been between Kat and something she wants or gets on her bad side, Emil thought to himself but didn’t say aloud.
 
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I go to work, and what a treat I find when I come home! It'll be interesting when the legends of Kat reach the town that sent the care packages, and the clues in the letter are worked out. By the time the war is over, will Kat be able to even live in a peacetime setting? The lass has seen more action before her 19th birthday than I suspect most special forces see. She's this war's Skorzeny. Speaking of which, what is his status? He was Austrian, so isn't likely in Germany.

Now that Japan is fighting a war with Britain, it becomes plausible for Kat to have a run-in with some Japanese...
 
Somehow I don't think that the Empress will be pleased that Kat was sent on a dangerous mission...

From what I have read ITTL the Heer is responsible for the initial training of ground combat troops.
And from there, they can volunteer for the airborne service or the Seebataillon, the airborne being an elite service gets only the best.
Germany does not have a tradition of sea borne expeditions like the U.S. has had and so the Seebataillon is a new service that has begun from the ground up.
That means they have to take whatever they can get.
So from the Heer, they get malcontents, goldbrickers, malingers, barracks lawyers, the stupid and the maladjusted.
The officers are either naval officers who did not have the technical skills necessary to move up in the ranks or the from the Heer who have received low efficiency ratings and are "encouraged" to request reassignment to the Seebataillon.
 
Somehow I don't think that the Empress will be pleased that Kat was sent on a dangerous mission...

From what I have read ITTL the Heer is responsible for the initial training of ground combat troops.
And from there, they can volunteer for the airborne service or the Seebataillon, the airborne being an elite service gets only the best.
Germany does not have a tradition of sea borne expeditions like the U.S. has had and so the Seebataillon is a new service that has begun from the ground up.
That means they have to take whatever they can get.
So from the Heer, they get malcontents, goldbrickers, malingers, barracks lawyers, the stupid and the maladjusted.
The officers are either naval officers who did not have the technical skills necessary to move up in the ranks or the from the Heer who have received low efficiency ratings and are "encouraged" to request reassignment to the Seebataillon.

Of course. I needed a POV character in the Pacific and who better than the Nietzsche quoting smart ass youngest son of Johann Schultz to get dumped into the Seebataillon Infantry. Think you're an Übermensch punk? Welcome to the dumpster with the rest of the trash.
 
I loved hearing Emil's responses

“Stay here and try not to do anything else until we can figure out what to do with you” Emil said, “And Kat, there is plenty of war to go around, try to share.” That caused a ripple of laughter among the men who were watching.

“Send them out on the first available airplane once it’s unloaded” Emil said, “Along with the report that will doubtless cause a firestorm in Berlin. I could be wrong but I suspect that I will inadvertently be endorsing the decoration of Katherine von Mischner for several actions of heroism in the process.”

“Who’d have thought” von Hanover said.

Anyone who’s ever been between Kat and something she wants or gets on her bad side, Emil thought to himself but didn’t say aloud.

And, yep, Kat's truly one of the elite soldiers now, even if she never fights again. (yeah, and I have three heads). Just priceless.

It was sunny spring morning that faded into the afternoon. A pair of coveralls, a Flak vest and helmet had been found for Kat. They had also dug up a set of Oberfähnrich shoulder straps for her from somewhere. She was feeling a bit more like herself even if that involved sitting in a farmhouse talking with Schafer and his Squad. Renaud and Matthias were welcomed with open arms, mostly because they had a whole bunch of wild stories about what Kat had been doing over the last few months.

Some of the stories made her wonder if they were talking about someone else entirely. This tough as nails, natural leader who would die before quitting. Was that really her?

Yep, Kat, that's you, and yes you really are amazing and terrifying at the same time.

Poor Kat is going to develop a hunchback from all of the medals she's going to be wearing. At this rate, she's going to get a Victoria Cross in the Pacific War or be the one to personally "solve" Beria or both.
 
Germany does not have a tradition of sea borne expeditions like the U.S. has had and so the Seebataillon is a new service that has begun from the ground up.
That means they have to take whatever they can get.
So from the Heer, they get malcontents, goldbrickers, malingers, barracks lawyers, the stupid and the maladjusted.
So in words of Lewis "Chesty" Puller, they got the "Real Marines"?:p:biggrin::cool::coldsweat:XD
 
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