FBKampfer

Banned
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.

I'm skeptical of that. The Soviets bashed their brains out even worse than IOTL, the Abwer is several orders of magnitude more effective, the Soviets were never able to break OTL Enigma, Jacob threw German cryptology several decades ahead of the rest of the world, and even OTL the Heer and Abwer mostly used land lines, making SIGINT a very uphill task for the Soviets, having to struggle to even get at the communiques, much less begin cracking the code machines.


Spies, perhaps, though the Germans would likely be on top of it, given how competently they're being depicted. But the Soviets reading German codes would be straying near ASB territory for this TL.
 
Part 25, Chapter 276
Chapter Two Hundred Seventy-Six


17th October 1942

La Guardia Airport, Queens, New York, U.S.A.

It was her stuff and her responsibility, here she was before sunup with Matthias Schmied with a clipboard in her hand going through and checking off every item she intended to take onto the airplane. If anything was ticking the Empress preferred that just Kat got blown up as opposed to when the plane was in flight. Kira had said nothing about the amount of money Kat had blown through, it was for a good cause.

“You went on a bit of a spending spree, Ma’am” Matthias said, the Jäger had opted to stay in the SKA after Team 2A had been dissolved. Being an Unteroffizer in the SKA was like being an Oberfeld in any other outfit. Ultimate bragging rights. Kat had introduced him to the American Colonel and he’d said as much. The Colonel had also asked a few questions, but anything regarding training or methods Matthias had given him the runaround. Kat had observed and had been pleased by Matthias’ performance, she’d told him that it was up to Thorwald just how much they would allow the Americans to learn about the SKA.

Matthias was sorting through a case of orange drink mix packets before putting it in with the pile of things they had already gone through.

“It’s for my brother and his outfit” Kat said.

“Lucky bastards” Matthias replied, “Sort of like what we got at Judenbach.”

“Not really” Kat said, “I heard that those packages were sort of hit or miss, Arndt Knoph got a dozen tins of chili con carne and it totally gave him the runs.”

Matthias laughed at that memory “Arndt didn’t have to eat three tins in one go. You should be thankful you didn’t have to sleep in the same hut with him that night” he said, “He would have loved that trick we played in Chicago, he was always playing pranks with Seager.”

“Yeah” Kat said, “I miss them too.”

“You know Seager had a thing for you?”

“So did half the camp” Kat said with a laugh “Remember, I was the only girl there.”

“Yeah” Matthias said, “But it was for real with him.”

“His mother told me that” Kat said, “She said he was going to ask me out when we got back.”

“Would you have agreed to that?” Matthias asked.

“I don’t know” Kat said “He was my subordinate, that would have been a lot to get past. We’ll never know.”

Matthias just shrugged and went back to the task at hand, a box of pancake mix packets. “What is this stuff?” He asked. Changing the subject.

“You mix it with water and fry it up” Kat said, “It’s good with jam.”

“I’ll need to check that out” Matthias said.

“Get your own stuff if you want to do that” Kat said.

“It’s a bit late to do that” Matthias said, “We’re scheduled to take off in a few hours.”

“I don’t know, the Empress has been a bit delicate in the mornings lately” Kat said, “The departure might be delayed a bit.”

“I don’t have your inside track with the Empress, Katze” Matthias said, “And as a man from the Bavarian forests, the code that you city women speak in is lost on me.”

“It means that there is probably another prince or princess on the way” Kat said, “And the Emperor probably doesn’t know it yet, so don’t go blabbing that around. That clear enough for you?”

“Damn” Matthias said, “Any way I can unhear that?”

“It doesn’t work that way” Kat said, her voice dead serious, “And if you do blab its treason.”

“You can’t be serious?” Matthias asked.

Kat just stood there with a blank look on her face while going through packages of long underwear.

“Don’t blab and you won’t find out” Kat said, finally, “If you were a sophisticated city type like me you’d know and I wouldn't need to tell you.”

Matthias looked at her with narrowed eyes. Was the supposedly less than humorous Katze pulling his leg?


Near Leignitz

Vasily was walking down the road that led ever west and he had two problems. One was the Generals, they were constantly demanding that they press further every day. They believed that victory was so close they could taste it.

The other was fact that he and his men were being hunted. Once they crossed the border into Silesia the feeling that they were constantly being watched had increased. When they had forced their way the city of Kleinburg, they had discovered that the Germans had systematically dismantled everything in the town and shipped it elsewhere, that included the people. The Ukrainian Front had been bled white for what had turned out to be a burnt-out ruin. Something about what was happening just felt wrong. He knew better than to say anything aloud, the Commissars would land with both feet on an officer who voiced something that sounded so superstitious.

Now this. Vasily could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Ignore that feeling and you end up dead. They had heard stories from the men served as advisors in Spain. There was a hunter of men, relentless and without pity or remorse. Able to fire shots from impossible distances and locations. He’d been tasked with dealing with it but as he scanned the landscape in front of him through the scope of his rifle. Just more dark forest. He’d sent a dozen men out hunting the ghost, six had come back empty handed. The others had vanished without a trace.

Vasily looked at Medvedev, who just shook his head.

“He’s out there” Medvedev said, “I can smell him.”

Where was he then?

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

“We going to end him?” Jonas asked.

Thorwald thought about it for a second “Not yet” he said “That’s the commander of the Russian snipers right there. We want his death to break them.”

Thorwald knew that he had to restrain the worst impulses of Jonas. Jonas was the best at what he did, but he didn’t have the slightest inkling of things like strategy.

“Pity, Sir” Jonas said.

“I’ll make it up to you” Thorwald said “Tonight you can sneak into a Russian dugout and give every other one a cut while they’re asleep. I know how you love to do that.”

“Thank you, Sir” Jonas said.
 
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Reading the last chapter I think that the old general has a cunning plan. The Russians are advancing, but it is in a kill zone. As soon as the sack is full, the panzers slam the door shut.
 
Part 25, Chapter 277
Chapter Two Hundred Seventy-Seven


30th October 1942

Near Bunzlau

Hans was on his last legs as he crossed the Bóbr River with his men. Jost had grown particularly combative of late. He’d said too loud that he would deck the next officer that ordered him to take yet one more rear-guard action. Hans had found that he couldn’t bring himself to disagree with Jost. Kleinberg had been a blood bath, they had retreated from there having made the Russians pay a heavy price for every inch of ground.

“These the last ones in?” A voice asked.

“I believe so” Another voice said.

Hans looked up and saw that it was a General talking to an officer wearing an odd uniform, khaki with a red-brown colored beret. “Good show” The strange officer said as he shook Hans’ hand, “General Rommel told me that you’re the 140th, keeping the traditions alive I see.” Was that an English accent?

He looked to General Rommel who ordered them to head for the rear and to await further orders with the rest of the Regiment.

Hans looked around in amazement as they passed through trench lines manned by thousands of fresh troops. Some of them were wearing German Heer splinter or field grey, but the vast majority were wearing either khaki or grey-blue uniforms and the shape of the helmets was wrong. Then it penetrated through the fog of his brain. These were British and French troops, in Silesia?

What the Hell was going on?

As soon as Hans found the command tent, Oberst Horst looked out at him. “Glad you made it Mischner” he said, “See those two lories over there?”

Horst nodded.

“Pitch your tents there and someone’s there who’s been looking for you” Horst said.

Hans walked in the direction of the two lories. The rest of the Platoon followed him.

“What was that all about?” Jost asked.

“The Hell if I know” Hans answered.

As soon as they got close to the lories Hans could see that they were guarded by men wearing uniforms that were Fallschirmjäger splinter. The rest of the 140th was giving them a rather wide berth.

“I was told someone here was looking for me” Hans said.

Jost walked up “Yeah, what’s the big idea?” He asked, with probably more bluster than he could back up right now.

The Para who Hans was talking to looked at him, he clearly didn’t care about Jost’s bluster. “You Hans Mischner from Pankow?” He asked. Hans just nodded, he didn’t want to do this, he just wanted to find a place to sleep.

“Lieutenant!” The man yelled over his shoulder. That was all Hans needed right now. A Para officer making who knew what sort of demands.

“My God, Hans, you look like shit” A totally unexpected voice said. Kat walked out from behind one of the trucks. She was dressed like one of the Paras, Hans eyes just about bugged out of his head when he saw that Kat was wearing the shoulder straps of a Lieutenant.

What the Hell was going on? Hans realized that he’d said it aloud that time.

“Happy to see you too” Kat said.

“What are you pretending to be” Jost demanded.

Kat looked at Jost with look of mild pity. Hans might have expected her to react in anger but she didn’t.

“I’m not pretending to be anything” Kat answered.

That was clearly not the reaction that Jost was expecting.

“Don’t do that” Kat said, “I doubt that Feldwebel Schultz means me harm.”

That was when Hans noticed that two of these Paras had been quietly moving in on either side of Jost. How had he missed that?

“I’ve some questions, Kat” Hans said, “Not the least of which is what is going on.”

“I’ve had an interesting year” Kat said, “Even by my standards. Now, I’ve spent the last couple weeks trying to find you and I’m willing to tell you what’s going on if you’re willing to listen.”

That cut through the fog in Hans brain. Just sitting and listening actually sounded pretty good about now.

A spell later Hans found himself sitting on the tailgate of one of the lories while Kat told him what she’d been up to over the last year since he’d seen her last. She’d been present when the Russians had attacked the palace. Hans knew that part already. Then she told him about how she had joined the Luftwaffe Women’s Auxiliary and things had taken a strange turn, even for her. Far from being a noncombatant she’d been sent on a vital though extremely dangerous mission after enduring the hardest training the military could dish out. These Paras who were with Kat, they obeyed her because she’d earned it and they were a part of some new outfit. These days Kat was involved with the protection of the Empress and that had taken her to America where she had purchased things for him and his Platoon. Even Jost.

“What do you mean you got things?” Hans asked.

“Stuff for winter” Kat said “Food, goodies, things you simply can’t get easily up here or in Berlin for that matter.”

“And you brought all that back with you from New York?” Hans asked.

“The Empress wasn’t thrilled when I stuffed it all into the cargo hold” Kat said, “Luckily I was the only one who thought to do that, next time the Empress might need another airplane.”

Hans looked around. “That’s what’s in these lories, isn’t it?” He asked.

Kat smiled at him “Better than Christmas” She said.

Hans felt renewed energy. They had to get this stuff passed out before the rest of the Regiment caught wind of it.

“You are a saint Katherine Mischner” he said hugging her.

“It’s Freiherrin Katherine von Mischner these days” Kat said.

“Goddamn” Hans said, “You were right, it has been an interesting year for you and I can’t believe I’m going to have to salute my little sister.”

“Yeah, you are” Kat said and stuck her tongue out at him and blew a raspberry.

“Brat” Hans said.

Hans got up and walked over to where the Platoon was setting up their bivouac. “Hey Jost!” He yelled “We need your help and you’re not going to believe this shit.”
 
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Hans got up and walked over to where the Platoon was setting up their bivouac. “Hey Jost!” He yelled “We need your help and you’re not going to believe this shit.”

Hans and his men are in BIG trouble. They are sitting on an goldmine of goodies and everybody knows it. They have to be an guard 24/7 or have one big feast as long as the supply last.
 
Hans got up and walked over to where the Platoon was setting up their bivouac. “Hey Jost!” He yelled “We need your help and you’re not going to believe this shit.”

Hans and his men are in BIG trouble. They are sitting on an goldmine of goodies and everybody knows it. They have to be an guard 24/7 or have one big feast as long as the supply last.
If they are smart they will store a part, have now a feast and distribute the rest.

Hans may not be a general, but he knows that the moral right now its not the best, and this its a desperately needed gift what would certainly restore the spirit of his fellow soldiers.

So have a party now, store enough for a decent amount of time to last yourself and your group, and pass the rest to the guys what have been making the Soviets bleed white alongside you, and what CERTAINLY need a reminder that someone up there in the chain of command hasn't forgotten their efforts.
 
'Duckie' IMVHO there I think you are so wrong, one look at who has been guarding the trucks and a word about who actual owns all the goodies on the trucks will make even the dumbest Soldat think twice about trying to purloin any off it!!!! When the first one who tries, is later found hanging naked upside down by his ankles from the nearest convenient tree and facing the rest of war in a penal battalion if he lives, will definitely be the last. Kat will not do this herself, it will be her detachment of Grey Ghosts who will take such attempts as a very personal insult.
 
I'm skeptical of that. The Soviets bashed their brains out even worse than IOTL, the Abwer is several orders of magnitude more effective, the Soviets were never able to break OTL Enigma, Jacob threw German cryptology several decades ahead of the rest of the world, and even OTL the Heer and Abwer mostly used land lines, making SIGINT a very uphill task for the Soviets, having to struggle to even get at the communiques, much less begin cracking the code machines.


Spies, perhaps, though the Germans would likely be on top of it, given how competently they're being depicted. But the Soviets reading German codes would be straying near ASB territory for this TL.
I am surprised to. But the Germans are outfoxed every time
 
'Duckie' IMVHO there I think you are so wrong, one look at who has been guarding the trucks and a word about who actual owns all the goodies on the trucks will make even the dumbest Soldat think twice about trying to purloin any off it!!!! When the first one who tries, is later found hanging naked upside down by his ankles from the nearest convenient tree and facing the rest of war in a penal battalion if he lives, will definitely be the last. Kat will not do this herself, it will be her detachment of Grey Ghosts who will take such attempts as a very personal insult.
Yes, but that was before the goodies where deliverd. The task of the Kat's men is done. Goods delivered, back to base. Hans and his men are now responsible for keeping what is theres.
 
Nice assortment of events here--brought a smile when the goodies arrived. Kat got home without getting stabby? WOW!
Poor FBI agents--tailing a little lass who's taking a light run, and getting totally exhausted.
So--the British are deploying forces--that's going to freak out the Russians and the Japanese. The Japanese will know that Britain does nothing without gain for themselves, AND they just saw what happened to Vladivostok...

That raid alone just took down the Japanese defense abilities, as homeland defense becomes a much higher priority. I suspect that there might be a raid on the home islands soon to drive home the point.
 
Part 25, Chapter 278
Chapter Two Hundred Seventy-Eight


2nd November 1942

Near Warsaw, Poland

Boots and Saddles.

Kurt heard that tribute to General von Wolvogle blasting out of a thousand airhorns as the 5th Army went on the offense. Word had reached them this morning that the Romanians and Italians had already started moving. The Slovaks and Bohemians had started their move with the Hungarians. The 5th and 6th Panzer Armies along with the Poles and the 1st Fallschirmjäger Corps were to meet them somewhere in the middle. For weeks Field Marshal von Wolvogle had deflected questions about his strategy saying that he’d built the 2nd Army, the 3rd was composed of tough bastards and they had help on the way. It wasn’t until a week earlier that Kurt had learned that the British and French had crossed into Germany and were linking up with the 2nd and 3rd Armies. Wolvogle’s plan had come together just like that. At the briefing that morning, Wolvogle had told the assembled officers that the Russians had stuck their head into the noose, now all they had to do was pull the lever.

At 9 AM every artillery piece they had from 50mm mortars up to 42cm railroad guns opened up on the Russian lines and Kurt’s Panzers began to roll towards the Front. The Russians had been pouring all their efforts on the drive towards Berlin. They had only just reached the defensive line on the Bóbr river when that happened. The result was confusion as contradictory orders started coming in. Word was that they were still to maintain their drive towards Berlin and that Stalin himself had declared that anyone retreating would be shot. At the same time Generals on the ground were ordering as swift a retreat as possible trying to salvage what they could. About that time an early winter storm made doing anything more difficult.

On the 18th of November, the German 5th Army linked up with the 2nd Bohemian Army Corps near Kielce, Poland slamming the door shut behind the Russian advance into Germany.


20th November 1942

Near Bunzlau

The British and French had advanced into the pocket to start the process of rounding up the still unknown number of Russians, possibly millions, those willing to surrender anyway. The rest would swiftly become a self-correcting problem as winter closed in. Hans warmed his hands over the fire. The 4th Panzer Division, the Infantry component of it anyway was on R&R until their Panzer component turned up.

The long underwear and thick socks that Kat had given them had proven to be a godsend. The rest of the goodies were just a fond memory now. Kat had stuck around for a couple of hours after everything was passed out. She’d taken the likely reaction into consideration when she’d purchased the stuff in New York and parceled everything up in Berlin. It was in small packages that could swiftly be shoved into pockets or packs. There had been plenty to go around for the Platoon so Kat’s largess had been shared widely around the Regiment. A single piece of chocolate, a bite of sweet ham from a tin or a bit of the powdered drink mix curtesy of Freiin von Mischner and the Empress were more than enough to get them to love her for it. The pancake mix had proven a little less popular until someone got creative then that was gone. Kat had been surrounded by a dozen of the scariest body guards and Hans’ Platoon, not that she needed it. Kat had said that she needed to go because her presence might draw the wrong sort of attention from the Russians, something about Stalin and Beria having a personal grudge against her. As the lories that Kat had commandeered drove off it occurred to Hans that she was right, that had been better than Christmas. Weeks later he still thought so.


1st December 1942

Potsdam

The Winter Palace was still in shambles, the planned renovations had been delayed by the war and the damage from to attack hadn’t even been touched yet. The result was that royal family was in Potsdam for another winter. Kat was present when a copy of the newspaper arrived that contained the latest screed from Joseph Goebbels. Kira was alerted that she might need to act before Kat saw it otherwise Kat might track Goebbels down and carve a new receptacle for his poison pen into him. He had used language that implied certain things but never actually crossed the line into outright slander. She watched Kat carefully as it was read aloud.

Goebbels had implied the Kat’s father was a dangerous thug to start with. Then he launched into what he implied was a largely feral childhood resulting in loose morals. That wasn’t in the least bit true, Kat’s Aunt Marcella had actually run a fairly tight ship. He then suggested that in the incident that had vaulted Kat into prominence she’d merely been a passive player only getting blown up in the end. That was when he launched into one of the lowest things he could have possibly said about Kat, he implied that there was no way she could have possibly have made it through Judenbach on her own merit, she might have slept with her instructors to pass. Then in Belorussia she’d used that same moral depravity to get into the Russian camp. Kira saw Kat blush to the roots of her hair, Kira suspected that it was extremely unlikely that could possibly be true for obvious reasons. She wouldn't put Kat through the embarrassment of having to talk about that.

He then held up as an example a family that Katherine von Mischner had dispossessed and lavish spending while in New York as evidence of her true nature. Kira knew that it was the family of the man that had chosen to place a bullet through his brain rather than be tried for conspiring against the throne. Kira might need to have a word with them about the real reason why they had been dispossessed. Kat had also offered to pay back the money she’d spent on her brother’s unit. Kira had turned that down, it was the sort of thing that she’d been trying to encourage people to do.

Then came the last part, he all but accused Kat of hiding the last surviving member of the Romanov family. Kira heard a sharp intake of breath. If this man had exposed Jehane then there would be no place on the planet he could hide and he’d die screaming. Kira felt an intense amount of relief when she heard that it was a poor woman somewhere claiming to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Kira knew the truth all too well. Anastasia had suffered from a lesser form of the malady that had plagued her brother. She’d been in a car accident and had bled to death with doctors unable to save her. Her body along with the rest of her family had been exhumed on Kira’s orders and was in the Crypt in Hohenzollern Castle until such time as it could be laid to rest in Saint Petersburg.

“It’s important that you not take care of this yourself, Katherine” Kira said.

Kat was practically quivering with rage.

“This man has impugned the reputations of some very dangerous men and angered thousands more” Kira said “It’s important that you are seen here, I do not want you to be a suspect if something happens to this man. That is an order, am I clear.”
 
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I am sure that something IS going to happen to that man. Kat may even be indirectly involved. For that matter, he might end up kidnapped, and brought before Kat...or fed to a London tiger. One way or another, he is dead (or worse) and doesn't know it.
 
“This man has impugned the reputations of some very dangerous men and angered thousands more” Kira said “It’s important that you are seen here, I do not want you to be a suspect if something happens to this man. That is an order, am I clear.”

Time for Shultz to start earning his forgiveness?

Also, what convinced France and Italy to stick their noses into the mess in Russia?
 
With the Seebataillon Infantry being deployed to Vietnam, they are going to need air support but the KM air wing is stretched thin already.
The Luftwaffe has no units to spare, but they do have some surplus fighters and Stukas while older they are still "serviceable", and as for pilots, the Luftwaffe has some "hard charging, hard drinking, hard flying" pilots that have been grounded awaiting the outcome of disciplinary actions (mostly for getting into bar fights and sleeping with the wrong wife) who maybe might be persuaded to transfer to a new branch of the armed forces.
 
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