Chekhov's Commandos! This is going to be fun (to read, but not for the people involved!) Kira's seeing Kat's approach to keeping her safe, and may well see her in action...
Schultz, Kat, Kira, and Hoover all in one car--interesting. The NKVD would LOVE to blow up that one! That's also a good way for Kira and Hoover to speak quietly.
Schultz needs to tread lightly, and I suspect that he's going to see what he's created. GREAT PIECE!
 
Empress Kira shopping list should be trucks, tractors, cargo planes, bauxite, and other things that will help the war effort.

It is still baseball season, maybe Kira can throw out the first pitch at a game.
Kat may think that a baseball bat might make a good weapon.
 
Empress Kira shopping list should be trucks, tractors, cargo planes, bauxite, and other things that will help the war effort.

It is still baseball season, maybe Kira can throw out the first pitch at a game.
Kat may think that a baseball bat might make a good weapon.

I believe it's been indicated that German farming is much more mechanized than in OTL. A good thing, that. Plenty more trucks, though. You can never have enough Opels.
 
An idea just pop in my head, (hopefully it doesn't die of loneliness).
The Empress is attending a late season game in Detroit, Kat and Hank Greenberg team up to save the Empress.
 
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Empress Kira shopping list should be trucks, tractors, cargo planes, bauxite, and other things that will help the war effort.

It is still baseball season, maybe Kira can throw out the first pitch at a game.
Kat may think that a baseball bat might make a good weapon.

Not "Might," Kat WILL think that a baseball bat would make a good weapon; it's ideally balanced for swinging two handed. Kat is very aware of weapons. What she might see is th incredible throwing, and see if she can recruit some American baseball players to teach people how to throw, applied to grenades.

RUBBER should be on the shopping list, especially after the way the British messed up the supply chain in the last war.
 
What she might see is th incredible throwing, and see if she can recruit some American baseball players to teach people how to throw, applied to grenades.

Yep, long toss is remarkable at both building arm strength and range. Pitchers' pickoff moves can provide quickness.
 
What she might see is th incredible throwing, and see if she can recruit some American baseball players to teach people how to throw, applied to grenades.
Grenade throwing is very different from baseball ball throwing, trust me, and that's not taking into account the fact that germans use grenades with a handle, the 'potato mashers'. The US Army would have adopted the tehnique if they thought it useful.
As for baseball bats, why the hell bother to carry one? It's large, it's less lethal than, say, a knife, and a rifle could be used as a bludgeon nearly as effective, with the added advantage of, you know, shooting.
 
Part 25, Chapter 274
Chapter Two Hundred Seventy-Four


26th September 1942

Dublin, Ireland

Waking up to Fleming knocking on the front door of his flat was not how Jack liked to start his Saturday mornings. He hadn’t seen the British spy since they had wrapped up the Cambridge crew. Between the German girl and the thing with the tiger he was left with plenty of nightmare fuel.

“Good to see you’re doing well, Mr. Kennedy” Fleming said as he pushed his way in.

“Why don’t you make yourself at home” Jack said.

“Good know that you’re such a welcoming chap” Fleming said, seemingly oblivious to Jack’s sarcasm. “You wouldn’t have anything to drink by chance?”

Jack looked at the clock. “It’s not even seven in the morning yet” He said, “How can you be looking for a drink at this hour?”

“I’m still on New York time and it’s still last night there” Fleming said.

That was a new take on it’s always five o’clock somewhere.

“Sorry, I don’t have anything handy” Jack said.

“I’m very disappointed in you” Fleming said.

The truth was that Jack had decided to take his studies seriously for a change. Finding himself in the circles where Ian Fleming and Dame Katherine thrived had put some things in perspective. Others in that world, like Jack, got caught in the crossfire and ended up in unmarked graves or as tiger kibble. The legal profession seemed a much safer option.

“I can live with that” Jack said, “If you can wait a bit the Local up the street will open for breakfast.”

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

Later Jack ate his food while Fleming was talking amicably with the bartender. Jack was waiting for the whatever insanity Fleming was going to attempt to sell him on. The bartender had been setting up for the day when they had walked in. Strangely enough Fleming’s line about having just having come in from New York had flown here and the two of them talked at length about the American city. Jack had just finished, as the waitress had taken the plate away when Fleming came to his table and sat across from him.

“It turns our friend from Berlin has been one busy girl” Fleming said “You should have seen the show she put on in Chicago last week. A dozen commandos seemed to step right out of thin air. The Press pool there that night just about shat themselves.”

“You were sure this was Dame Katherine?” Jack asked.

“My, my. You really haven’t been paying attention to world events have you” Fleming said, “You do know there’s a war on, don’t you?”

Jack was perfectly aware that there was a war happening. One that both the United States and Ireland were neutral in.

“It’s now Baroness Katherine and she decided to kick off her involvement in the war by leading a suicide mission into Belorussia” Fleming said rooting around in his briefcase for something “Now she’s in the U.S., take a look at this, from Chicago.”

Fleming pulled out a grainy photograph, poor light, but it was unmistakably Katherine. According to Fleming she’d clawed her way a bit higher up the ladder, led a suicide mission and had come back? Probably had intervention of the most infernal sort, Jack thought to himself. The Devil doesn’t want the competition in Hell.

“Then the same night she arrives in Chicago with the Kaiserin the American FBI does a massive sweep rounding up dozens of Soviet agents in programs that the US Government cannot even admit that it has running” Fleming said, “That is quite a coincidence.”

“You expect me to believe that even a gifted, though thoroughly insane, girl set all that up?” Jack asked “That, is totally unbelievable.”

“You’re right” Fleming said “It’s like the trick she pulled in Chicago. All the lights were on the doorway of the airplane, no one noticed the soldiers climbing out of the forward hatch. The Baroness is like the lights shining on the door of the airplane.”

“And while all eyes are on her?” Jack asked.

“The Huns are up to God only knows what” Fleming said, “Someone spent months setting those events up and stage managing the American reaction. In the last few days all Russian financial assets in the U.S. have been frozen and all commodities sales to the Russian Government have been stopped.”

“Is that all?”

“Hardly, the Kaiserin had been selling War Bonds on behalf of the German Government while making a big show of buying American made lorries” Fleming said.

Jack thought about the implications of that. Without violating American neutrality, the Germans had managed to score a major victory against the Russians. That was quite a coup.

“There’s a German mastermind” Jack said aloud.

Fleming nodded “Between Baroness Katherine, the assassin known only as El Coco who slaughtered the Falangist leaders in Spain and a few others we know about there’s been a common thread” He said, “We thought it was a German Admiral at first but that suspect was eliminated when he was transferred to a distant theater in this war.”

“While I can understand you wanting to know this” Jack said, “I thought that the Germans were your allies?”

“They are but they’ve never stopped being rivals” Fleming said, “We’ve never stopped watching them and likewise.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Jack asked.

“In the hope that you will finally pay back a few debts that you still owe” Fleming said.

Jack realized that Fleming would be perfectly aware of Jack’s first go around with Katherine and he was about ask for something that might not be in his best interest.

“The debts in question were with my father” Jack said. And they were with the Australian Government and Kaiser Louis Ferdinand. That fact that Fleming was bringing that up was extremely bad news.

“That was not how your father sees it” Fleming said, “And I was in New York talking to Bill Donovan, he says that the ONI might be willing to forgive the Sydney incident if you help in this matter.”

“What matter?”

“The operation that you’re going to volunteer for if you want your comfortable way of life to continue” Fleming said, “You know how your father would react to you being labeled a coward.”

“What are you buffaloing me into?” Jack asked.

“Sometimes the writing really is on the wall” Fleming said and gestured to something. Jack looked over his shoulder and saw a bright poster that had been pinned to the wall. Reisimint Ilchríochach!

“You’ve got to be kidding me” Jack said.

“You’ve got to know that will bring you to the immediate attention of Abwehr” Fleming said, “Make some friends.”

“If I don’t get used as cannon fodder first” Jack replied.

“You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs” Fleming said, “And would you rather have gone to prison in Australia?”

Destitution or joining a threadbare Irish Regiment fighting someone else’s war? Prison was actually looking like a better alternative about now.
 
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“Then the same night she arrives in Chicago with the Kaiserin the American FBI does a massive sweep rounding up dozens of Soviet agents in programs that the US Government cannot even admit that it has running” Fleming said, “That is quite a coincidence.”

“You expect me to believe that even a gifted, though thoroughly insane, girl set all that up?” Jack asked “That, is totally unbelievable.”

“You’re right” Fleming said “It’s like the trick she pulled in Chicago. All the lights were on the doorway of the airplane, no one noticed the soldiers climbing out of the forward hatch. The Baroness is like the lights shining on the door of the airplane.”

“And while all eyes are on her?” Jack asked.

“The Huns are up to God only knows what” Fleming said, “Someone spent months setting those events up and stage managing the American reaction. In the last few days all Russian financial assets in the U.S. have been frozen and all commodities sales to the Russian Government have been stopped.”

“Is that all?”

“Hardly, the Kaiserin had been selling War Bonds on behalf of the German Government while making a big show of buying American made lorries” Fleming said.

Jack thought about the implications of that. Without violating American neutrality, the Germans had managed to score a major victory against the Russians. That was quite a coupe.

“There’s a German mastermind” Jack said aloud.

Fleming nodded “Between Baroness Katherine, the assassin known only as El Coco who slaughtered the Falangist leaders in Spain and a few others we know about there’s been a common thread” He said, “We thought it was a German Admiral at first but that suspect was eliminated when he was transferred to a distant theater in this war.”

I really like how you've taken the OTL roundup of the Bund and poured it into this very different wineskin. I also like how you're using a foreign observer with a friendly professional rivalry to tell the story of what exactly happened in Chicago. It'll be interesting if there's a Kraut Scare in the early 1950s from all of the German spies running around.
 
Poor Jack! He needs this like a hole in the head.
You know? i suspect that Jack will be quite weirded out how he will be in the middle of a battle, with bombs falling, and he could say with a straight face to his rather stunned fellow soldiers that this mess wasn't even in the top 3 of the most nightmarish clusterfucks in that he has been through.

Then he will for proper manners cuss Ian's name and pray for Kat to NOT be dropping around.
 
Others in that world, like Jack, got caught in the crossfire and ended up in unmarked graves or as tiger kibble.

Probably had intervention of the most infernal sort, Jack thought to himself. The Devil doesn’t want the competition in Hell.

I LIKE Jack's thoughts about Kat. He understands too late what's happened here, and the trouble he is in. Worse, he might meet Kat again. I LOVE his thoughts about the devil not wanting competition in Hell. So far, at least, nothing bad has happened involving Kat in the USA--but is she still there? You did mention something bad coming up

I doubt that the Irish regiment will be threadbare. Instead, I suspect that they'll have better kit than the British troops. I also think that Kira will end up reviewing the troops, with Kat present, as Kennedy suddenly realizes who's there. WORSE, the Empress goes to meet the troops, and he's suddenly face to face with her...
 
Part 25, Chapter 275
Chapter Two Hundred Seventy-Five


15th October 1942

New York City, New York

After weeks of crisscrossing America this trip was almost over. Kat might have enjoyed this trip had she not the security of the Empress and the seemingly never-ending flood of bad news that was spilling across the Atlantic weighing on her. She had seen in that day’s newspaper had mentioned the 2nd and 3rd Armies of the Heer and the Armies of Bohemia and Slovakia being stretched thin. That was over two and a half million men and they were stretched thin. Then Kat had read the words that had left her shaken, heavy fighting in Kleinburg. That was where Helene was from and it was actually in Germany. What was happening? Yet there Kat was, watching the Empress secure contracts for the shipment of molybdenum and chromium to Germany. Just what was molybdenum anyway?

Perhaps sensing Kat’s growing frustration, despite her best efforts to hide it, the Empress had sent Kat to New York as a part of the advance team. With the heavy presence of the U.S. Secret Service, FBI and Germany’s own Embassy’s security force Kat’s team was largely redundant in Washington D.C.

“You’ve been working nonstop since we landed, Katherine” Kira had said “Try to relax for a few hours.”

Now the work they had come to do was already done. The rout from the airport and the alternates had been mapped out. The security in hotel had been accounted for. Her meeting with the Police Commissioner could have gone better but she suspected that his issues had do with her age than the more obvious problems people had with her. He’d even commented that people have a hard time taking a 20-year old seriously. Now she had a full day before the Empress arrived.

As she was running in Central Park trying to lose herself in the process. Just her foot falls hitting the concrete path going past a few curious passersby. At least it was a nice autumn day. She was just left feeling so completely irrelevant. There had to be something that she could be doing. That was when a thought occurred to her, she had been given a substantial expense account that she had found she had very little use for. As she made her way back towards the hotel she saw that she had been running the FBI agents tasked with monitoring her ragged.

After Kat had gotten cleaned up and a change of clothes, a dress and coat that she hadn’t worn since before leaving for Chicago. She made a call down to the hotel’s Concierge, he gave her the address of what she needed and a couple hours later she found herself walking through the large warehouse of a grocery wholesaler looking for the owner, manager or something. There were some workers around but they were ignoring her.

“So, what’s a pretty girl like you doing in a rough part of town like this?” A gnome-like old man asked in Yiddish as he stepped out from behind one of the stacks of boxes that had been piled against the wall.

“It didn’t seem too rough to me, just railroad tracks and brick buildings, warehouses” Kat answered with a shrug, in German. She didn’t mention that it sort of reminded her of home.

The old man peered at her “We don’t get Berlin girls in here everyday” He said in rusty but understandable German. He chuckled as Kat looked at him with a bewildered expression.

“You don’t think of this neighborhood as rough” He said with a smile revealing yellowed teeth, “It means that you’re from someplace like it and with that accent you might as well be waving the city flag.”

“Oh” Kat said, “I was told that you could sell me the items on my list.”

“Well, if I could see it?” The old man asked.

Kat handed him the list she’d made up, he looked at it and let out a low whistle. “Sending out an expedition to the darkest corner of Africa or kitting out a regiment?” he asked.

“Just a platoon” Kat said, “My brother is leading one in Poland.” Still, she hoped.

The old man raised his eyebrows when Kat said that “That’s something” He said, “You can call me Ruben, Miss…”

“Freiherrin von Mischner” Kat said offhandedly, that actually caused Ruben to pause in his steps.

“For real?” He said.

Kat just shrugged.

“See something new every day” he muttered.

Ruben led Kat into an office “Yosef!” he yelled and there was no response.

“My great nephew’s never around when I need him” He said to Kat before yelling some more for Yosef who eventually appeared. He was not much older than Kat. “Miss von Mischner here has some things that you need to round up for her.” Yosef took a moment to gape at the presence of Kat before scrambling off to fill the order.

“Who was it who said that youth was wasted on the young?” Ruben asked.

“Shakespeare” Kat answered.

“Pardon me?”

“Shakespeare said that.”

“Well” Ruben said “How about that. While you’re waiting would like coffee or something?” That was music to Kat’s ears, if they had bulk coffee here as well, pure bliss.

Kat spent the next hour chatting with Ruben about the business that he and his brothers had started decades earlier providing the goods that were in turn sold in markets throughout Manhattan. While on the tour Kat had been left cold by the reception that the Empress, and by extension her, had received. They seemed to be focused on a few aspects of Germany that seemed dated and for the most part those organizations were very conservative. Here, speaking to Ruben Haber she actually felt a little at home for the first time since she arrived. Eventually everything was rounded up and it took up a lot more space than Kat had anticipated.

“Don’t worry about that” Ruben said, “We’ll have it delivered to the airport for you.”

“Thank you” Kat said.

“Don’t” Ruben said, “You’re paying for the lot.”

The truth was that most of the items would have been heavily taxed if they could have been found at all in Berlin. Kat was getting this for a steal.

“Now if you could tell me where I could find men’s socks and long underwear?” Kat asked.

“Who would have thought that the girl of my dreams would be German noblewoman fifty years my junior?” Ruben asked.

“Real funny” Kat said, “Do you know?”

“Of course, I do” Ruben said, “I’ll call my cousin Seth, that’s his thing.”

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

After Kat returned to the hotel she was contemplating how she was going to explain the Empress how she had blown through most of her expense account and how she was going to get all that stuff onto the airplane back to Berlin. It was all for Hans and his Platoon. For them Christmas was going to come early and it was all things they would desperately need. Kat had also included several pounds of roasted coffee beans. Someone had to maintain civilization after all.

“Miss von Mischner” The Concierge said from the desk, “There is a Colonel Truscott here to see you, he’s waiting in the bar.”

“Did he say what his business is?” Kat asked.

“No” The Concierge answered, “He just said to tell you that he’s from the U.S. Army. He’d like to make your acquaintance and was hoping that you could arrange an introduction with someone named Heinz Thorwald.”

That was intriguing, if this Truscott was for real then Kat was most interested in learning how he’d learned Thorwald’s name.
 
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FBKampfer

Banned
God, I'm really looking forward to the German counter-offensive.

Sounds like they're thinning the lines, specially of mechanized units, and leaving regular infantry to hold the lines. Granted I don't have an operational map, but were I to guess, there's a couple of Panzerarmees massing near Warsaw and Krakow or Ostrava.
 
God, I'm really looking forward to the German counter-offensive.

Sounds like they're thinning the lines, specially of mechanized units, and leaving regular infantry to hold the lines. Granted I don't have an operational map, but were I to guess, there's a couple of Panzerarmees massing near Warsaw and Krakow or Ostrava.
There is more to it than that. They were advancing, and then the Soviets found their week spot. Again.

Wolvogle said they needed to clear out the rot- or maybe it was a rat? It might just have been cleared nevertheless, but it could also be the Soviets reading their codes.

To bad Jacob is with the fleet. He would have made a bigger difference with signals in Germany. Seeing the red Line in the whole pattern.
 
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