ITTL, the Panzer IV is the primary tank of the Panzerwaffe, and seems largely unchanged from the OTL Panzer IV F2-J models.

However the Panzer II ITTL was already an equivalent to the OTL Panzer III Ausf. L if I'm not mistaken. And there wasn't a whole lot of difference between the two IOTL as far as mechanical performance. In fact, if the Panzer III's turret ring had been large enough to accept the KwK 40, it's likely that it's the Panzer III that would have been continued to the end of the war as opposed to the Panzer IV.

So what the hell is the Panzer III ITTL?

The Panzer III was an export model designed by Krupp for the Chinese Empire, it only entered service in limited numbers before the improved Panzer IV arrived. The Deimler made Panzer IV in TTL has sloped armor and an engine that never made it into service in OTL, at the moment the Panzer VI is about to enter service and it's a much darker sort of cat.
 
The 42cm siege guns that ended the Gallipoli Campaign were given to the Ottomans by the Germans. Most of the ANZACs were then transferred to the Western Front where they were until the end of the war. Most of that happened before the point of departure. In TTL they arrived in Flanders just in time to have that turn into a massive shit show with the AEF having it's right flank suddenly hanging off into the air. So the locals in Perth have plenty to be pissed about.

That makes sense. I suspect they're even more sore at the Ottomans, but Germans will do in the absence of Turks.
 

FBKampfer

Banned
I'm assuming then that the "high velocity" 75mm on the IV is equivalent to the KwK 40, and not the Panther's KwK42 L/70?

If so, that's quite interesting. Powered by that diesel you've packed into it, it sounds much more similar to Daimler-Benz's VK3002 submission than a Panzer IV equivalent.
 
“I pushed you into the Auxiliaries” Kira said “They saw an opportunity and pounced. What happened next…” Kira trailed off.

“Was my choice” Kat finished “At every step along the way in Judenbach we were told that we could drop out with no judgement.”

“But if you had been killed or worse, captured” Kira said, “Have you any idea what they would have done to you?”

“Rape and torture followed by an execution that would have been a public spectacle” Kat said, matter of fact, “I didn’t care.”

Kira sat there agape at what Kat had just said.

“I told the mother of one of the men in my Squad that when he died it was so that his actions would save the lives of thousands” Kat said “How is my life any different? I saw a chance to make a difference and I took it.”

“They underestimated you” Kira said, “Didn’t they.”

“That tends to happen” Kat said, “Have you any idea the number of times I’ve been called a little girl in just the last couple of years?”

“Regardless” Kira said, “My brother thinks you should be inducted into the Order of Saint Catherine, a move that will doubtless further antagonize the Soviets.”

“Since when have I ever cared what that bunch of thieves and murderers think?” Kat replied, she had yet to meet Kira’s younger brother Vladimir who was the current pretender to the Russian Throne, but anyone willing to shove their thumb into the Soviet's eye was fine with her.

And that is why Kat is a member of the Order of the Black Eagle and is an unmarried, by-merit Baroness with an Iron Cross. I have a feeling this conversation will reach more ears than just Kira's, and will only increase Kat's reputation. Moreover, it's such a stark sense of duty to the Crown and State without self-interest (in fact very much against interest) that it means she may not have been born noble, but she damn sure is one now.
 
“That’s just life, Kid” Reier said.

That was something else that Tilo had Reier to thank for, that name had stuck. The entire Regiment called him that. He’d even had the observers from the Australian Army ask him what the German words “Kind” or “Das Kind” meant in English. He could tell that they knew exactly what it meant from the looks on their faces, they just wanted to hear him say it. Bastards.
.

Small nit-pick but its glaring. In german, the word used would be "Junge" or "der Junge" as in boy, youth for addressing or talking about a junior but still more or less adult protégé. "Kind" really means a small child, under ten as address. Depending on the dialect the "Junge" gets changed to e.g. "Bua" (Bavarian) or "Mein Jung" (I think at the north sea coast, but someone from there might better address that).

Else, good to see Kat out of her shell and having a carefree moment. I now just wonder how or in what circumstances Jehanna let her name slip.
And I suspect that as in OTL the Panzer III serves as chassis for the STUG. ITL Germany never had an imposed moratorium in Panzer development and thus models purchased have had time to work out the teething pains.
 
Small nit-pick but its glaring. In german, the word used would be "Junge" or "der Junge" as in boy, youth for addressing or talking about a junior but still more or less adult protégé. "Kind" really means a small child, under ten as address. Depending on the dialect the "Junge" gets changed to e.g. "Bua" (Bavarian) or "Mein Jung" (I think at the north sea coast, but someone from there might better address that).

Thank you, correction made.
 
Heh, sorry to chime up again. "Das Junge" now is for a young animal (neutral pronoun), "Der Junge" (maskulin pronoun) is for a male human. German can be confusing, eh? ;)
No wonder Tilo is so unhappy if eh gets those adresses.
 
For the German Special Weapons Project, Germany can get outside help from scientists like J Robert Oppenheimer whose parents emigrated from Germany and he studied at the University of Gottingen in the 1920's.
 
Part 25, Chapter 271
Chapter Two Hundred Seventy-One


7th September 1942

Near Warsaw, Poland

While the 5th Army Corps had made gains in Belorussia the 2nd Army couldn’t make the same claim. They had been pushed steadily back into Poland. So much so that the 3rd Army which had been held in reserve had been deployed to prevent the 5th Army from getting flanked. Word from above was that von Wolvogle had finally gotten his wish and had been appointed as Generalfeldmarschall and Commander in Chief of all forces on the Eastern Front. The first thing he’d done was clean house. They said he’d cleaned out the dead wood in the General Staff, like with an actual flamethrower, and had told the press that he intended to kick the Russian’s balls up between their ears. Suddenly there were a lot of weather stations in Norway and Greenland with high ranking commanders.

Everyone knew that things had to be getting desperate for that to have happened.

For Kurt and his Panzer Company, they had been inflicting heavy losses on the Russian advance but it seemed like they always managed to break through elsewhere. Kurt had been promoted to Hauptmann, been told that he now had multiple oak leaves on his Silver and Gold Merit Crosses and would be presented with a Knight’s Cross, Order of Hohenzollern, time permitting. And not to be left out the Government of the Kingdom of Bohemia had nominated him for the Knight’s, Cross Order of Saint Wenceslaus. That had also been when he had discovered that with forty-nine kills he was tied for leading Panzer ace on the Eastern Front, and was being lionized throughout the Empire.

His main concern had been survival and he knew his score was much higher than that but he’d been giving them away to new PCs to build them up. Nothing worked better for that than a man painting the first ring on the barrel of his Panzer. He’d also been putting the enlisted crewmen of his Panzers up for decoration, in his opinion they were far more deserving. Besides that, he just didn’t have the energy left by the end of the day to worry about decorations. Now this, his company had been rotated off the front, for rest and refit. That he could understand, but they’d also taken the Company’s Panzers and given them to a unit that was moving up to the Front immediately. If there was any sort of screw up they could be forced to fight as infantry or worse, in Luftpanzers. Kurt didn’t like taking that sort of chance.

The Company had been bivouacked next to the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Warsaw for the last few days. It was assumed that if they stayed here long enough they’d get used to the trains constantly going past, day and night.

Kurt woke up when Olli poked his head into Kurt’s tent “It took some doing but we found this and had it pressed.” He handed Kurt the black wool dress uniform that he’d forgotten that he’d even had and his boots that had been freshly polished. “There’s also this, your medals have been updated.” Olli handed him a densely packed cardboard box that was heavier than it looked.

“Damn” Kurt muttered.

“It all catches up to us sooner or later” Olli said, “The Brass want’s you at the reviewing stand in twenty minutes.”

“Which ones?” Kurt asked.

“All of them” Olli said earnestly.

“Is that a joke” Kurt asked.

“No” Olli said, “Now I got to go to get ready myself, the whole Company is invited to this party.”

Kurt’s mouth went dry as he saw the written instructions that someone had left him in the box as to the exact precedence of the medals he was to wear. It was a long list. He was also to hold off wearing the Knight’s Cross until it was presented to him, either one.

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

Afterwards after Kurt finished shaking hands with the Brass and the Bohemian Delegates Kurt had a couple new medals, one a black, white and silver enameled cross hanging from a black and white ribbon around his neck, and a red and white enameled gold cross on a white, red and blue ribbon pinned to his chest.

“Congratulations, Rittmeister” Field Marshal von Wolvogle said with a smile “Always knew this day would come, welcome to the knighthood.” He slapped Kurt on the back almost hard enough to wind him. Anyone who ever called Wolvogle a toothless old man had clearly never met him.

“Thank you, Sir” Kurt said, unsure how to answer that. He could think of a lot of better uses for his time today.

“I’ve saved the best part for last” Wolvogle said as they walked towards the railroad tracks “Show one to him!” he yelled.

Some of the railroad workers pulled a tarp off the cargo that had been sitting on a flat car. Kurt suddenly felt like a kid in a candy store. A big new Panzer was parked there waiting to be unloaded.

“They got the factory new smell in them” Wolvogle said “The latest from Daimler Benz, they say they took all the good features of the Panzer IV and incorporated them into something new. At the testing grounds the crews took to calling them Panthers if you’d believe that shit, we never should have allowed them to start calling that last one the Tiger. I’ll let you be the judge of that.”

Kurt climbed up on to the flat car. He could already see that the front glacis was tilted back at a sharper angle than on the Panzer IV, the armor on the turret face and sides were also angled and it all swept into an overhang at the back of the turret. The main gun projected through a heavy mantlet and looked to be at least 65 or 70 lengths if it was still a 75mm and it ended in a bell-shaped chambered muzzle break.

“Looks like it’s going to be a good week, Sir” Kurt said with a smile.

“That is what I like to hear, Trooper” Wolvogle called back.
 
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Chapter Two Hundred Seventy-One

Afterwards after Kurt finished shaking hands with the Brass and the Bohemian Delegates Kurt had a couple new medals, one a black, white and silver enameled cross hanging from a black and white ribbon around his neck, and a red and white enameled gold cross on a white, red and blue ribbon pinned to his chest.

“Congratulations, Rittmeister” Field Marshal von Wolvogle said with a smile “Always knew this day would come, welcome to the knighthood.” He slapped Kurt on the back almost hard enough to wind him. Anyone who ever called Wolvogle a toothless old man had clearly never met him.

“Thank you, Sir” Kurt said, unsure how to answer that. He could think of a lot of better uses for his time today.

“I’ve saved the best part for last” Wolvogle said as they walked towards the railroad tracks “Show one to him!” he yelled.

Some of the railroad workers pulled a tarp off the cargo that had been sitting on a flat car. Kurt suddenly felt like a kid in a candy store. A big new Panzer was parked there waiting to be unloaded.

“They got the factory new smell in them” Wolvogle said “The latest from Daimler Benz, they say they took all the good features of the Panzer IV and incorporated them into something new. At the testing grounds the crews took to calling them Panthers if you’d believe that shit, we never should have allowed them to start calling that last one the Tiger. I’ll let you be the judge of that.”

Kurt climbed up on to the flat car. He could already see that the front glacis was tilted back at a sharper angle than on the Panzer IV, the armor on the turret face and sides were also angled and it all swept into an overhang at the back of the turret. The main gun projected through a heavy mantlet and looked to be at least 65 or 70 lengths if it was still a 75mm and it ended in a bell-shaped chambered muzzle break.

“Looks like it’s going to be a good week, Sir” Kurt said with a smile.

“That is what I like to hear, Trooper” Wolvogle called back.

"Sound Boots and Saddles, the Wolvogle cavalry rides again!"

Probably using what we'd call Blitzkreig tactics (or what the Soviets would call deep operations but what I'd characterize as classic cavalry tactics based around massed armor. If they can get inside the decision cycle ( OODA loop of the Soviets it'll be interesting.
 
"Sound Boots and Saddles, the Wolvogle cavalry rides again!"

Probably using what we'd call Blitzkreig tactics (or what the Soviets would call deep operations but what I'd characterize as classic cavalry tactics based around massed armor. If they can get inside the decision cycle ( OODA loop of the Soviets it'll be interesting.
Not only that, but old Wolvogle has pegged Tuchavesky to such a point that he is highly likely to have already developed a strategy to goad the nihilistic bastard to screw up massively and creating the opportunity for the needed window to thrust into Russia.... And in the process trigger unknowingly the start of a Russian Second Civil War....
 
Not only that, but old Wolvogle has pegged Tuchavesky to such a point that he is highly likely to have already developed a strategy to goad the nihilistic bastard to screw up massively and creating the opportunity for the needed window to thrust into Russia.... And in the process trigger unknowingly the start of a Russian Second Civil War....

Is Wovogole about to get his "Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!" moment?
 
Out of general interest, with the Heer carrying the main load in the east, and with a large chunk of the High Seas Fleet in the Pacific, what help is Germany getting from their allies? Surely mutual assistance goes both ways?
 
Part 25, Chapter 272
Chapter Two Hundred Seventy-Two


18th September 1942

Puyallup, Washington State, U.S.A.

When Nancy Jensen walked through the side door into the kitchen the first thing she saw was that Alan was seated at the table, clearly excited about something. “About time you got home” He said. Because Alan was attending Grade School and Nancy had just started her freshman year at the High School across town he got home long before she did.

“I told you that you needed to be patient, Alan” Mom said, “That letter is addressed to both of you.”

There on the table was fat envelope. No wonder Alan was so excited. Nancy and Alan both reached for it at the same time only to have Mom slap their hands away. “I know how you two are” She said, “I’ll take care of this.” She cut one end of the envelope open, several hand-written pages, photographs, a tightly folded up piece of newspaper and a curious embroidered patch.

Nancy picked up the patch. It was rectangular, two shades of grey and black. Overall it was dark grey with a black border, inside was the black silhouette of a cat leaping through light grey flames. “Can I see that?” Alan asked, Nancy handed it to him.

“This settles your debate” Mom said, she had unfolded the newspaper and handed it to Nancy. It was the front page of a Berlin Newspaper. They had heard stories, in the human-interest sections of the local newspapers about a German Baroness who had put her life on hold and volunteered to take on the Russians, in Russia. It had never occurred Nancy that Baroness Katherine and the Katze her family had contacted were the same person. The articles were entirely in German, deciphering that would probably take some doing but the picture said everything. It showed a stern young woman having a medal awarded to her.

“This looks like a rough bunch” Mom said going through the photographs. It was a group photograph, there were five young men with Katze, she was wearing what looked like coveralls buttoned up all the way to her neck and was wearing some sort of vest that was cinched around her body. All of them were armed to the teeth. SKA Gruppe 2A was handwritten on the back. Nancy picked up another photograph. This one was of her in a different uniform with a matronly looking woman, they were looking intently at papers on a table. Nancy saw that the words Freiherrin Katherine von Mischner und Kaiserin Kira had been written on the back by the same hand. That was the Kaiserin of Germany? And Katze worked with her?

There was one last photograph, this one in color, revealing that Katherine had copper colored hair and blue eyes. She wasn’t wearing any sort of uniform, instead she was in a faded blue dress. She was standing on what looked like a wide beach on what must have been a windy day. She had a shy smile on her face.

The handwritten letter detailed what Katherine had been up to since she’d returned from Belorussia. Nancy got the impression that she’d have much rather have written about her friends and family than herself. She wrote at length about how her friend was an aspiring actress, how another was working too hard in a difficult job or how her younger cousin was doing in school. She also talked about how her Uncle was training women in how to operate machinery to make precision parts. When Nancy had asked her Mother about that. “She’s one of those who puts other people first” Her mother had said.


Over the Mid-Atlantic

“This is a State visit” Kira said to Kat who was fidgeting nervously, “This time you are openly traveling on a diplomatic passport so they cannot repeat what they did the last time.”

Kat just wished that she had Kira’s confidence about that. She was required to accompany the Empress everywhere, even to the American Mid-West and North East. The last time she had tried to travel through the United States the infamous “New York surprise party” had happened at her planned stopover. Kat’s reputation had preceded her and the US State Department had been prepared to greet her with a substantial number of US Marines in what they had called a military exercise as cover. They were then planning on burying her in officialdom and a blizzard of paperwork, all while at gunpoint. Payback for her injuring two State Department employees in Australia. She’d been trying to spirit Jehane out of Canada and couldn’t allow that to happen. Instead she’d taken an extremely risky trip into a half completed Canadian airfield in a place called Goose Bay.

“I don’t need to explain to you the importance of this trip, Katherine” Kira said “You need to put aside whatever differences you’ve had with the Americans and we cannot afford any incidents. Understand?”

Differences? That was an interesting way to put it. The Americans had only attempted to kidnap her then sought revenge when that failed. What’s a couple international incidents between friends? “Yes, I understand” Kat said. That didn’t mean she had to be happy about it. She looked out the window at the wing of the airplane and the ocean far below. It was the latest incarnation of the Focke-Wulf Condor airliners, this one was one of the few that had gone to Lufthansa as opposed to being pressed into service by military like the vast majority had. This one had the range to fly from Tempelhof all the way to Chicago, non-stop. Kat sort of missed the stopovers that would have happened before. She had discovered that waiting for a couple hours in the airport lounge while the airplane was prepared for the next leg gave her a chance to collect her bearings. This way they would find themselves neck deep in whatever would be there to greet them when they got there.

Kat had been sorely tempted to make this trip as a private citizen, leaving her uniform in Potsdam and doing her best to stay entirely in the background, but Kira had talked her out of it. “Be proud of your accomplishments, Katherine” She had said. So she was wearing her Black Eagle on its orange ribbon around her neck, the rest were represented by ribbon bars pinned to the front of her dark blue Guard tunic above her Fallschirmjäger parachutists badge. When she had gotten the ribbon bars the clerk who’d given them to her had noted that she needed only a PLM and a Merit Cross in gold to complete the set but not before asking Kat about the red and silver bar that represented the Order of Saint Catherine. Kat had realized that she really hoped that wouldn’t happen. What new horror would she have to go through to get there?
 
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