The best use for Kat is to be an example for young German women and to stick close to the Empress.
I think that Jehene/Gianna stayed at Potsdam Palace while Kat was gone and her cover was that she is Kat's cousin and she helped out with the watching of the royal children.
 
I'm sure we are going to head off to the Pacific soon, and possibly we won't find out what happens to Kat until we get back. :frown:

I can see several career options for Kat:-

1. Analyst in Military Intelligence.
2. Instructor at the Special Warfare School.
3. Aide to General von Wolvogle (at his request).
4. Assistant to diplomats in foreign nations, increasing the sales of brown pants among the diplomatic corpse. (Not a spelling error!)
 
Part 24, Chapter 265
Chapter Two Hundred Sixty-Five


12th June 1942

Eastern Pacific

After weeks at sea everyone was on edge. When they had transited the Panama Canal no one in the fleet was stupid enough to let them off the ship. Everywhere below decks it felt like a powder keg with a hair trigger. Then word had come down that they had been redirected from West Samoa to Australia to prepare to fight alongside their British allies, that sounded very weird, against the Empire of Japan. There had been euphoria for a few hours, they’d get to do what they did best, kick ass. Then it sunk in that meant extra weeks on this damned ship and things got tense again.

That was when Reto Mendel and Yehiel Siegel got into a fight.

Reto was a mountain of a man, totally bigoted and not picky about the targets of his hate. He was also an ardent Nationalist who was outspoken in his belief that the worst mistake the German Empire ever made was not cleaning out the Slavic and Jewish trash from the subject Kingdoms. Siegel on the other hand was a Slovakian Jew, he was also almost as big as Reto which meant that the two men generally avoided each other. Difficult to do on a ship.

This was a grudge match that had been months in the making, so odds had been made and bets taken well in advance. The odds makers slightly favored Siegel, he was a smart fighter where Reto was mostly a brute.

Reier excitedly slapped Tilo on the back. “It’s not every day that you see a fight in the heavyweight division, kid” he said around the cigar clutched in his teeth.

Tilo wondered where the Noncoms had disappeared to. The officers couldn’t be bothered come down here and Noncoms were given a free hand to brutally enforce order below decks. Then he realized that this was a relief valve of sorts. Better a single fight than a full-blown riot.

In the end Sieger got Reto with a sharp upper cut that sent him sprawling and Reto was down for the count. As the crowd broke up and the payouts were made the bookmakers were already doing brisk business for the rematch.



Wunsdorf-Zossen

After weeks, the investigation had finally concluded. Kat was to go on leave starting tomorrow pending reassignment. She could wear the uniform of the Fallschirmjäger and wear the diving eagle parachutist’s badge but was asked to refrain from combat operations in the future. The Oberst who had briefed her about the investigation’s conclusions had told her off the record that she was considered too valuable to risk further. “You’ve nothing left to prove to anyone Fraulein” He’d said, “Rest on your laurels for a while.”

There was also a press release that had gone out from the OKW acknowledging the existence of the SKA, Special Warfare Division and the now dissolved SKA Team 2A had been mentioned in a Communique to the Reichstag, for meritorious conduct, bravery and persistence in the face of impossible odds. That had earned the surviving team members a Merit Cross in Silver. Kat had also been warned that there was a media frenzy taking place out there, word had gotten around that she’d been the one who’d led Team 2A.

According to Thorwald the third Cadre had two hundred forty slots and they had thousands of volunteers to sort through. There’s something about being the best of the best, the craziest of the crazy that was appealing for some. Thorwald had asked if Kat knew if or when she would be returning to Judenbach, he could use the help. Kat had told him that she didn’t know. He’d also sent her the SKA collar patch, the stylized outline of a cat leaping through fire in grey and black.

Mostly from boredom Kat had maintained the training program she’d endured in Judenbach in the early morning hours before she was to report for paper shuffling. To her surprise she was joined by several of the women from her Bay and even some of the men from around the base.

Kat was helping one of those men to his feet after he’d collapsed. “I’ll need to do better next time” He said as he caught his breath. He was pale and sweat was pouring off him.

“We’ll have to go easy on you tomorrow” Kat said as she handed him her water bottle “If you press too hard you’ll injure yourself.” She wasn’t even winded and had hardly broken a sweat.

“My God, you special warfare types do this every day, don’t you?” He groaned.

Kat just smiled and rejoined the others to resume the run.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Later after Kat stepped out of the shower and was getting dressed when word got around that Emperor Louis, with Empress Kira accompanying him, was to be doing an inspection tour of the base and everyone was to be wearing full dress uniform. That was when Maria walked into the Bay, while no one aside from the women who lived here were supposed to be in here as a General’s wife Maria could go wherever she pleased on a military base. Even, like in this case, a place that the not even her husband was allowed to go.

“So, the rumors are true” Maria said with a disbelieving half smile on her face when she saw what Kat was wearing.

“I thought you are supposed to be in Australia” Was all Kat could think to say.

“I came back when I started hearing rumors involving you in Sydney and had to see for myself” Maria said, “Halfway around the world.”

“That’s a long way to come just to see to a rumor” Kat said as she pinned the Order of Louise to the front of her tunic.

“No, there’s plenty more to see” Maria said “The Emperor is here and he brought a whole gaggle of Press with him and I don’t just mean the Berlin Press. I’m talking international Press, Kat. New York Times, Manchester Guardian, you name it, they’re out there. There’s even a Newsreel camera crew setting up as we speak.”

“Why?” Kat asked.

“No one told you?” Maria said exasperatedly “You are to be simultaneously awarded the first and second classes of the Iron Cross. The first woman to ever receive that, in combat no less. You're about to become one of the most famous people on the planet.”

“Shit” Kat muttered.
 
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Problem is she'll be kept back from most of the dangerous stuff now. She's too much of a celebrity (as in easily recognizable) to be of use as a Abwehr field agent (or even as a Branderburger-type operative) and sending her to the front would be like painting bright phosphorescent targets on any unit she'll be attached to, like the female version of Simo Hayha. And her death would be an enormous boost for Soviet morale.
I wonder how the Soviet propaganda portray her (and the common British, French and Americans people too).
 
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"Has anyone seen Kat?"
"Yes, she's digging a hole."
"For what?"
"She says its to hide, but its probably for the whole russian army."
 
Problem is she'll be kept back from most of the dangerous stuff now. She's too much of a celebrity (as in easily recognizable) to be of use as a Abwehr field agent (or even as a Branderburger-type operative) and sending her to the front would be like painting bright phosphorescent targets on any unit she'll be attached to, like the female version of Simo Hayha. And her death would be an enormous boost for Soviet morale.
I wonder how the Soviet propaganda portray her (and the British, French and Americans too).

Kat is perfect to continue training new recruits for the Special Warfare crowd and other Abwher agents. Her professors in Berlin and fellow students must be stunned that Kat has done all of this.

If she were a bomber pilot, she's MORE than done her 25 missions. She's way overdue to be Cheshired.

I hope Helene isn't too jealous of Kat's adventures, and her father definitely can't say that she's too low-class for his daughter to spend time with.

I also can't wait to see the Washington family's reaction to connecting the letter and Kat.
 
"Thorwald, you know that mission's success was totally due to luck and Kat's courage."
"Yes."
"The next time you have to do something like that jump in a small pathfinder crew followed two or three days later by some gliders full of mortars and ammunition. Set up somewhere out of sight of the target, behind a hill or something. Send a spotter crew around to one side with a field telephone and a reel of commo wire to adjust fire. Talk to DFS about their gliders. Leave off the machine gun. If you tow and release at 3000 meters they might be able to glide for 45 kilometers. You can't go higher than that because they don't have oxygen systems."
 
I just had an evil vision:
If Germany and Britain wind up in a formal alliance then Empress Kira might make a state visit. I had the vision of Kat accompanying the Empress as she troops the line of the Grenadier Guards (the guys with the tall bearskin caps), and the conversations that might follow.

"Little thing, isn't she?"
"The redhead? Yeah, but did you see the gongs she's wearing."
"Those are for real?"
"She's the one who killed six assassins with a knife. Saved their Empress and her kids. Be glad she's not on the other side."
 
It seems to me that this whole episode with Kat in Russia could have come about due to someone trying to get her out of the way.

I find it very easy to imagine a reactionary officer upset with women in the army pulling a few strings and setting up Kat to fail. Logically I cannot imagine any german officer of that time period, sending a woman on a paratroopers mission behind enemy line.

It would seem much more likely to me, that someone pulled some strings to put Kat in a place where she was garenteed to fail. And when she succeeded in training they couldn't I unpull the strings. And since that class was training for this mission, Everybody involved assumed that since Kat was part of the class she would go too.

IMHO that would make a lot more sense in how Kat got assigned to this mission. Just a classic milatary SNAFU.
 
I find it very easy to imagine a reactionary officer upset with women in the army pulling a few strings and setting up Kat to fail. Logically I cannot imagine any german officer of that time period, sending a woman on a paratroopers mission behind enemy line.

It would seem much more likely to me, that someone pulled some strings to put Kat in a place where she was garenteed to fail. And when she succeeded in training they couldn't I unpull the strings. And since that class was training for this mission, Everybody involved assumed that since Kat was part of the class she would go too.

IMHO that would make a lot more sense in how Kat got assigned to this mission. Just a classic milatary SNAFU.

That makes a lot of sense to me.
 
It seems to me that this whole episode with Kat in Russia could have come about due to someone trying to get her out of the way.

I find it very easy to imagine a reactionary officer upset with women in the army pulling a few strings and setting up Kat to fail. Logically I cannot imagine any german officer of that time period, sending a woman on a paratroopers mission behind enemy line.

It would seem much more likely to me, that someone pulled some strings to put Kat in a place where she was garenteed to fail. And when she succeeded in training they couldn't I unpull the strings. And since that class was training for this mission, Everybody involved assumed that since Kat was part of the class she would go too.

IMHO that would make a lot more sense in how Kat got assigned to this mission. Just a classic milatary SNAFU.

That was basically what Thorwald said to Kat.
 
Kat is perfect to continue training new recruits for the Special Warfare crowd and other Abwher agents. Her professors in Berlin and fellow students must be stunned that Kat has done all of this.

If she were a bomber pilot, she's MORE than done her 25 missions. She's way overdue to be Cheshired.

I hope Helene isn't too jealous of Kat's adventures, and her father definitely can't say that she's too low-class for his daughter to spend time with.

I also can't wait to see the Washington family's reaction to connecting the letter and Kat.
True. In the other hand, her brand of "Stupid Luck" it's in a tier all on it's own.

So even if she seems to be away from the problems, the Problems WILL end up dragging an annoyed if not outright PISSED Kat to the battlefield.

We also have to remember that Stalin will be simmering with outright RAGE, to the redheaded Servant of the Romanov that TWICE has insulted him and Soviet Russia, first by stopping the NKVD when they came, then again by leading the Commando team that broke open the door for the invasion of Bielorrusia, something screamed to the four winds how a German woman made a laughingstock of the New Soviet Man and HIM....

So expect an indirect retaliation..... Stalin is that petty to decide to strike against the one vulnerable chunk of Kat believing it that it would hurt and break her..... Being only half right..... It will hurt.... But rather than break her, it will harden her ... And more importantly, it will TRULY make enraged to the point of fully embrace her potential and skills to become a nightmare for the Soviets......
 
Chapter Two Hundred Sixty-Five
She could wear the uniform of the Fallschirmjäger and wear the diving eagle parachutist’s badge but was asked to refrain from combat operations in the future. The Oberst who had briefed her about the investigation’s conclusions had told her off the record that she was considered too valuable to risk further. “You’ve nothing left to prove to anyone Fraulein” He’d said, “Rest on your laurels for a while.”

...

Kat was helping one of those men to his feet after he’d collapsed. “I’ll need to do better next time” He said as he caught his breath. He was pale and sweat was pouring off him.

“We’ll have to go easy on you tomorrow” Kat said as she handed him her water bottle “If you press too hard you’ll injure yourself.” She wasn’t even winded and had hardly broken a sweat.

“My God, you special warfare types do this every day, don’t you?” He groaned.

Kat just smiled and rejoined the others to resume the run.

That's an amazing bit here. "Asked to refrain from combat operations..." is a silly request. As a lieutenant, she goes where ordered. Being told that she will not be deployed in combat is a better way to go, IMVHO. If combat comes to her <IMVHO, very likely> then it's not her fault. If she objects, one way to kill the objection is by telling her that her presence endangers others, because they'll focus whatever is available on, including a heavy artillery barrage. Of course, this does leave the option of spreading a rumor that she'll be at a certain place at a certain time, in order to draw out a NKVD assassin team.

I see that she's really learned about training and how not to do it, from her own experience. This is gping to be the fittest and most frightening assortment of paper pushers around, especially if one or more of the women asks Kat about how to defend herself from pushy (or worse) men.

WONDERFUL YARN!
 
Part 24, Chapter 266
Chapter Two Hundred Sixty-Six


13th June 1942

Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Moving up in the hierarchy in the Lutheran Church had come with its own set of difficulties for Piers Sjostedt. After his Grandfather had passed away he’d had been forced to abandon his Grandfather’s freewheeling ministry. Modern communications and the increasing availability of automobiles had rendered it largely redundant. He eventually had to move from his family’s isolated farm into town, he missed the solitude.

There were some bright spots, he no longer had the risk of getting snowed in during the winter and the pipes didn’t freeze in his new house. He also got regular letters from his old friends. Emil Holz was a General, anyone who had seen him on that wild day in Verdun storming that hill had no doubt that was where he was going to end up eventually. Emil had seemed invincible and he’d made them feel way too. Walter Horst had moved up in the world, after spending most of his career as a Noncommissioned Officer Horst had been bumped up with a Commission. He was making up for lost time and was now commanding their old regiment.

The letters he got from Django Reinhardt, those came in from all over Europe, it was in his nature not to spend too long in any one place. Django was making quite the name for himself as a recording artist and his drop-in performances in Berlin, Paris or Vienna, to name a few, were the stuff of legend.

Then there were the letters he received from various political parties, his past as a revolutionary and the spiritual advisor to Augustus Lang had made him somewhat acceptable to a dozen or so parties that tended to be suspicious of organized religion. He also received newsletters and mail from the European Association of American Aboriginals, as half-blood Diné, Sjostedt and his sisters most certainly qualified for membership. Somehow, he’d become one of their most prominent members and it was interesting to find out what the handful of them out there were up to.

These days it seemed like everyone was consumed with the war and asking his opinion. Everyone knew that he was decorated veteran, having received the highest awards that an enlisted man could receive. They might have been shocked to discover that he opposed war to the very fiber of his being. While the war against the Soviet Union seemed to as close to the notion of a Just War, if such a thing was possible, as one could get. Sjostedt knew that war destroyed everything it touched and provided the perfect environment for the worst sort of atrocities to occur. He’d seen it firsthand.

Sjostedt wasn’t outspoken in his beliefs, instead he’d decided that he’d follow his Grandfather’s sage advice on matters like these, if he couldn’t save their bodies he’d settle for saving their souls instead. He’d reached out to the other congregations of the Lutheran Church, his counterparts in the Catholic Church and other denominations to organize a program where soldiers in the field or were about to go into harm’s way would receive letters and aid from parishioners around the world. He’d even gotten the support of the German Government. Simple things, lists of suggestions had been sent and no offer was to be turned away. Even just a simple letter might mean the world to someone. He’d couched it in terms of “Peace and International Understanding” and so far, it seemed to be a success but only time would tell.


Potsdam

Kat opened the door of her apartment and was nearly knocked over by the hot musty air that came out once she forced the door open. She had arranged to the rent to be paid while she was away, unfortunately she’d not had time to have someone air the place out or pick up the mail. Hundreds of letters were in the hallway which had been piled against the door along with several notices from the post office asking her to come down and pick up several oversized packages, at the earliest possible convenience.

Tomorrow Kat would need to see to Jehane, who had been living in the Wolvogle house for the last few months. While Jehane was too young to be introduced to the Court, no one saw a problem with Gianna Strobel, Freiherrin Katherine von Mischner’s orphaned cousin and ward accompanying Gerta in her capacity as a lady of the Court. It also gave Jehane a chance to meet her actual extended family, which was a good thing.

Kat opened the windows and began the task of sorting through the mountain of mail. Most of it was the sort of trash that people sent to Katherine von Mischner, Noblewoman, every one of them with a hand out. That all went into the circular file. Gerta had told Kat that she should hire someone to do this, her reaction had been to ask if she could also hire someone to tie her shoes. Gerta had looked at her and said that there were people who did that sort of thing, Kat wasn’t sure if Gerta knew she was joking or not. Kat was starting to realize that she might need swallow her pride and do that.

There were a few letters that she had received that were just dripping with hate. She was either a Romanov whore or a harpy that didn’t understand her proper place depending on the political leanings of the sender. It was the letter that told her that as woman she needed to only concern herself with three Ks, Church, Children and Kitchen, anything else was an affront to God, that caught her attention. It was signed by a particularly obnoxious reactionary newspaper columnist that Maria had told her to avoid. That he might as well have stepped out of a piece of Soviet propaganda.

Then Kat got to a letter written by a brother and sister in distant Washington State asking her to settle an argument that they were having about if she was a girl or not. Kat knew that sort of argument, she and Hans had them often enough. Well, Kat could settle that one easily enough, couldn’t she.
 
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I Was letting my mind wander, and I JUST fell in a fact. HOW MUCH is Stalin spending in buying American Grain?

I Ask this, because between the damage to Baku and most of the Males in the War, the Female mass its divided between the War Factories and the Summer/Autumn Harvest, and the harvesting Machines are likely short of fuel, redirected for the war machine .... Meaning that the grain Harvest of the year it's highly likely to fall short of the optimal amount, meaning that to prevent famine and rebellion, the Russians are likely buying generous amounts of Wheat and other Food products from the only neutral market provider in their case, namely the US.

Im suspecting that the revelation of the Soviet Spy Ring is soon to come..... JUST as Russian representatives are trying to finalize the buying of the grain..... Only to have the US deny that grain sell to the Russians.

THAT It's likely to change the entire dynamic of the War in the Western front, as Stalin may order to push forward the attacks at all times and costs as the food reserves are only available in a normal rate for a few weeks, then rationing, and finally famine in an insane scale.....
 
Is the US government even involved in grain negotiations, or is it simply a case of who can afford to pay for it? In this timeline, Germany can interdict most traffic to the USSR and follow the cruiser rules.
Of course, the spy ring can turn the government from simply watching, to interfering...
 
We also have to remember that Stalin will be simmering with outright RAGE, to the redheaded Servant of the Romanov that TWICE has insulted him and Soviet Russia, first by stopping the NKVD when they came, then again by leading the Commando team that broke open the door for the invasion of Bielorrusia, something screamed to the four winds how a German woman made a laughingstock of the New Soviet Man and HIM...
He'll what? Send his armies to attack Germany in retaliation? Stalin's assassins weren't that efficient against a person who truly had the means to defend himself. Tito's rebuttal to Stalin's final assassination attempt was epic.
Something like, 'Your last group of five assassins has failed. If you keep sending men to try and kill me, I will also send one. After that I won't need to send others.'
 
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