This is an amazing timeline. I must say that I expect Germany and Britain to run into some rude shocks soon. Assuming that Japan's tech is about the same as OTL's, the Zero and the Long Lance will both be nasty surprises. Also, Japan's submarines, while lousy at shooting at freighters, scored some major successes against warships.
Zero against FW190C, its not exactly zero vs brewster Buffalo
 
I have too much time to think...

With the fall of Leningrad I have some questions.
Can Germany and the Allies keep the city after the Soviets counterattack?
Does the city get renamed back to St. Petersburg/Petorgrad?
Will the pretender Vladimer try to go to the city and proclaim himself the Czar?
Will the Allies permit it? Because it might upset some preliminary post war plans.
What kind of politics does Vladimer Follow? If he is an ultra conservative nationalist that may cause more trouble then he is worth

The main danger in Jehene/Gianna interacting with the women POWs is that she might accentdentily out her self as the only grandchild of Nicholas Romanov and that may become public knowledge.
Nicholas could have left a document that was left with the British royal family that has a new order of succession that make Jehene the legitimate heir to the throne.
As long as Jehene was thought to be dead there was no need to disclose the document.

This may cause a split between the royalists with the followers of Vladimer on one side and the followers of Jehene on the other with Empress Kira caught in the middle.
The danger is that Vladimer could want Jehene dead and he might direct his followers to kill her.
 
I think Vladimir knows, and I don't think he'd want to award the Order of St. Catherine to the guardian of his rival to power if he weren't aware. What his supporters may want is different.
 
Vladimir right now has no reason to think that Jehene/Gianna has any right to the throne, as long as the world thinks she is dead and the current rules preclude her from inheirting the throne she is no threat to him. But if the fact that Jehene is alive and there is a document that says that she is the legitimate heir become public, then it is a new ballgame.

And the referee for this game is Peabody-Martini.
 
Part 26, Chapter 290
Chapter Two Hundred Ninety


17th February 1943

Berlin

A million demands in every second of every day and every one of them represented potential disaster if Lang got any one of them wrong. It had all started simple enough, justice in response to the excesses of the Government in Moscow and that included an assassination attempt on the Empress. The efforts to keep the French and British on their side had gotten them embroiled in the Pacific. As with the rest of Europe they had not done something for nothing and worse of all, everybody had already their own ideas about what they wanted post war. They had to win the damned thing first and Lang was increasingly worried that no one had the first clue as to what that would look like. Lang had always argued that nations didn’t have friends, they had interests. At this rate those bloody interests were going to cost them the peace if they ever finished this.

The Americans might have cut off the Soviets but they were still pleased as punch to sell crude oil, scrap metal and other commodities to Japan without which the ambitions of the IJA/IJN would be no more than pipe dreams. It also served the American’s interests to have the nations of Europe tied down in Russia and the Pacific.

Then there was Vladimir Kirillovich, he had raised an army among the prisoners of war, many, if not most, of them were men who figured that if they ever returned to Russia they would be sent on a one-way trip to Siberia if they were lucky. The obvious problem was that they also still had family and connections within the Soviet Union, that meant they were already compromised. There was also added problem of Vladimir being rather outspoken in his opinions about the national integrity of Russia, something that put him at odds with nearly every nation that bordered Russia. The fear was that he might go to Leningrad and declare himself Tsar, a move that would blow up the careful footwork that was required to maintain the alliance. And would the Russians except a foreign Prince as a ruler, even in a Constitutional Monarchy?

There were also strong indications that there was a new famine taking place in the Ukraine, possibly Belorussia and Russia itself. Something that would likely throw a wrench into the idea that Abwehr had been floating for contacting the independence movements in the Ukraine and Belorussia.

There was also the special project hidden in Bavaria. While the best and brightest had refused to work on it, slow progress had been made. It could in theory end the war in a day, but as Lang had been warned, it could also mark the end of civilization. He was reminded of the old line about the Devil offering you your heart’s desire…


In Transit, Rural Germany

Nika was looking in amazement out the window of the train as it raced through the countryside. Her new glasses were far better than the old ones that she had lost, something about how they were her exact prescription. If only other things were that easy to fix. Last week the bandages and pins had come off her hands and she had almost burst into tears when she saw them. They were misshapen, stiff and clumsy. The Doctor had said that Nika was lucky, she didn’t feel that way. He’d also said that she still had a long road ahead of her. Then she had been introduced to something extremely painful called physical therapy that she would need to do over the next several months.

Then Nika had been discharged from the hospital they had sent her to the camp where she’d been sent before. By now they had been trying to sort the prisoners, if they had useful skills or not. As someone who had gone from a one lane village in the Urals to being a cook in the Russian Army, Nika had been categorized as unskilled. Because of her hands she was likely to remain that way and had difficulty making any sort of contribution. That was when Gianna had contacted her. It seemed that there was a benefactor who had taken a particular interest in her case but for unstated reasons it was for the best that they go nameless.

Gianna had invited Nika to Berlin after discovering just how near-sighted she was and how she had lost her glasses at some point. “That will not do” Gianna had said and they had spent the afternoon in the city with Gianna helping her choose a pair of frames that suited her.

“Isn’t there a war?” Nika asked.

“If you have access to a lot of money like your patron does, there are workarounds. Besides that, optical glass is one of the few things that we seem to have no shortage of yet” Gianna answered.

A workaround, Nika thought to herself, funny how things were same everywhere in spite of the pretensions of those on top.

“So why is this patron so intent on keeping their identity secret?” Nika asked.

“It’s to keep you safe” Gianna said, “In your camp there are many who are loyal to Moscow, and the last thing she wants is to put you in a dangerous situation.”

Nika considered the glasses she was wearing, steel rimmed, simple and durable. They were exactly the sort of thing that someone like her would be expected to have.

“This isn’t dangerous for you, is it?” Nika asked.

“It could be” Gianna said, “But I’m just a girl volunteering to help out an unfortunate navigate the medical system.”

Something in the way that Gianna said that. It wasn’t the response that one would expect from someone her age. Nika figured that it must have been because of the experience that she had alluded to the first time Nika had met her, alone and broken were the words that she had used. Gianna must have learned early that the world wasn’t always a nice place.

“Thank you for all of this” Nika said as the train pulled into her stop. Gianna would ride the train on to the next town and then catch a different train that would take her to the Berlin suburb where she lived.

“You're welcome” Gianna said with a smile, “See you next week.”

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

Gianna watched as Nika walked across the platform. One of the guards made comment to her as she headed towards the gate that would return her to her camp. Gianna hoped that she had enjoyed a few hours of relative freedom. Back at the hospital the Doctors had been introducing her to exercises that were supposed to increase the strength and flexibility in her hands. To Gianna that had just looked painful. Helping her get new glasses over the last few days had been a lot easier.

Gianna had told Nika that there was some danger in this for her, that much was the truth. It was a question exactly where the danger was coming from. The decision that Kat had made to make the world think that she had died was looking more and more like it had been the right call. Sure, there was the ever-present danger of the NKVD finishing the job they had botched in Canada but these days the different factions of the Russian Royalists might also be trouble. If they knew that there might be another potential heir to the Russian throne it could end badly for her. It was obvious to Gianna that they probably wouldn’t care what she thought or wanted and would see her as a threat to be eliminated or as someone they could more easily control.

That was why Gianna had decided that it would be for her best interest for Jehane Thomas to remain dead. Kat, Empress Kira and a few officers in the RMCP were the only people who could say for sure otherwise. Kat had also said that King George of England and Emperor Louis Ferdinand of Germany had been briefed but had been told no details. Gianna had let something slip, she still wasn’t sure exactly what, to Aunt Marcella. Marcella had said that she was used to keeping the secrets of her nieces when she called her on it, so Gianna had nothing to worry about. That was also been when she had realized that Gianna Strobel was someone she would much rather be anyway.
 
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Good piece here. It covers half of the war aims section, but there's another part, just as important. What are the stated war aims of the various nations? If none are stated, it's harder to keep the population motivated for war. Right now, since the reason Germany is at war is the assassination attempts, I thought of one ugly scenario. Stalin gets deposed. The new ruler of the USSR says, "Stalin did it, it was wrong, we shot him, and the ones that ordered the attempt done. No more reason for war, let's make peace." With suitable propaganda, that can make continuing the war difficult. The USSR might have to give up some land, but avoid regime change.

The stated war aims aren't just important for domestic consumption, but also foreign, both governments and public opinion.

Once there' peace in Europe, it'll be harder to keep the German population motivated for a war in the Pacific.

Regarding the American question...it sounds like the USA is being a reasonable neutral, selling to anyone that has money. Frustrating, but manageable. The Cruiser Rules exist for a reason, and favor Germany and Britain, who can deploy a lot of auxiliary cruisers to stop and search. Germany is raising considerable money in the USA, too, and Germany and Britian don't have their eyes on American territory in the Pacific.

Oh--where is Vladimir Kirillovich, and how much control does Germany have over him?
 
What Chancellor Lang should do is have a meeting of the "Big Four" powers (France, Germany, Great Britain and Italy) to set war goals and make preliminary post war plans so they can prevent the smaller nations from trying to grab anything and everything that is not nailed down.

The political parties on the right that are not in the coalition government are probably saying that there is a blood debt that needs to be paid, and Chancellor Lang is not up to the task because he secretly sympathize with the enemy.
 
What Chancellor Lang should do is have a meeting of the "Big Four" powers (France, Germany, Great Britain and Italy) to set war goals and make preliminary post war plans so they can prevent the smaller nations from trying to grab anything and everything that is not nailed down.
Eh, I presume that after the war they'll be worried more about the USA, getting rich and prosperous by trading with all sides of the conflicts at generous profit margins, not having their economy pressed by war-footing and not hemorrhaging capital, materiel and manpower, than of the smaller states.
And they will be weary of each other, of course, but I tend to think of it as an awkward group shuffle, with each with their hands in the others' pockets, not liking foreign hands in their own pockets, but even less willing to take theirs out of foreign pockets.
 
Once there' peace in Europe, it'll be harder to keep the German population motivated for a war in the Pacific.
Not necessarily. In that period, citizens (especially young, recruitment age citizens) were much more ready and willing to do their duty pro Patria. And the German taskforce in the Pacific is not especially numerous, a handful of Seebataillons, a couple of divisions worth at best, around a score of Uboots, a few hundred warplanes and the Naval Taskforce itself. All specialist troops, with a great many lifers in the ranks. Germany will be able to function as normal, as opposed to current ITTL war economy. Even better, Germans were at the time sill a somewhat militarist society, and proud as such, so war weariness will be pretty low.
Anyway, the heavy lifting will be provided by Great Britain and the Commonwealth in the Pacific anyway, entire Fleets and Armies. Besides the fact that the Pacific was basically Britain's backyard, Great Britain was before WWII very similar to what we see USA as today.
 
Part 26, Chapter 291
Two Hundred Ninety-One


19th February 1943

Eastern Poland, Near Chelm

“I saw the same film” Douglas Blackwood, or Doug as he’d asked them to call him, said, “It did a good job depicting the fears of Soviet expansionism and infiltration during that time period as a metaphor.”

Jost looked at the Canadian photojournalist as if he had just grown a second head. They had been talking about the horror films that Jost loved so much. Doug had watched many of the same films, but as a film student before he got into photography. For Jost those movies, along with countless other films, Westerns, Action and Detective stories mostly, had been something that he, his father and younger brother had done on Saturday afternoons. The movie that they were talking about was a werewolf film that had scared the snot out of Jost when he was a boy only to have Jost back at the theater watching the same film the very next week, it remained one of Jost’s favorite films.

Hans had never seen the appeal of such films. Most people didn’t understand them like Hans did, he had realized that the monster in such films was frequently misidentified. The monster terrorizing the village was most often simply a grotesque and misunderstood unfortunate who eventually incurred the wrath of the villagers. The real monster was the villagers coming up the hill with torches and pitchforks, whipped into a frenzy by fear and hate. It was easier to believe the monster is the ugly outsider as opposed to the very real and far more insidious evils committed every day by people in your own neighborhood.

Hans grew tired of listening to the two of them arguing about movies and stepped out of the tent and looked east in the direction of the Russian positions about a kilometer east. Jost was not anyone’s idea of a deep thinker and even in the short time that he’d known Doug he’d realized that he was the sort who over-thought everything. A blast of arctic wind was blowing out of the north this afternoon. Jost’s brother had written a letter that had described that they had sent him to the hot, humid armpit of South-East Asia. Perhaps someday the Wehrmacht might send them someplace that was a happy medium.

Doug stepped out of the tent. “Sorry about that, Oberfeld Mischner” He said. It had taken some doing but they finally got the Canadian to stop using British terms to describe them.

“Jost is an asshole who loves to fight and stir up shit” Hans said, “You stepping on his toes doesn’t help.”

“I was just giving my honest opinion” Doug said.

Hans gave him a look that said bullshit.

“It’s hardly my fault if Feldwebel Schultz doesn’t care to look beyond the obvious meanings of things” Doug said.

That might have been true a month earlier, by now Hans knew that Doug was doing this because he was bored, like everyone else. Right now, they were just waiting for winter to end so that they could start the Spring/Summer offensive. The fact that they would be retaking ground that they had first taken almost two years earlier was not lost on anyone. Doug had attached himself to their Platoon a bit more than a month earlier. They had been searching through a Polish town in the rear that the Russians had recently abandoned when Doug had turned up. “Look like you’re doing something!” He had yelled.

“Shouldn’t you be where the real action is?” Hans had asked.

“Why?” Was the answer that Doug had given.

Doug had gotten his photograph, that farce had even run on more than a few front pages. German Panzer Corps take town in advance through Poland, the headlines had read. The photograph had shown Karl in the lead, him going into combat not behind the armor of an SPz-2 was laughable, followed by Jost, Hans and Soren. Jost was totally into it, he was crouched, his rifle held ready. Hans had found the whole thing ridiculous, this was reflected by his posture in the photograph. He hadn’t realized he was doing it at the time. Soren had a sort of bewildered look on his face.

Doug had dodged every attempt to get rid of him since. Eventually Oberst Horst had told Hans to put up with the photographer. Having our actions being documented is good for the Regiment, is what Horst had said. However, seeing him subtly needle Jost made Hans wonder if it was worth it. Jost hadn’t taken a swing at Doug, yet, but Hans knew it was only a matter of time. Then Hans figured that he’d have Horst holding him responsible for those two jackasses.

“Just avoid Jost for the next few hours” Hans said, “You both have jobs to do here and the last thing I need for one of you to end up in the Stockade and the other in the hospital.”

“I might get my press access revoked” Doug said, “I can’t figure why I’d be thrown into your Stockade.”

“That’s not quite what I meant” Hans said.

“I know what you meant” Doug said, “And I can handle Mister Schultz easily enough.”

“I doubt that” Hans replied, “And its Herr Schultz, by the way.”

“Thank you” Doug said with a cheerful smile that said he could care less about the warning that Hans had just given him.


Minsk, Belorussia

Vasily’s eyes were still nearly swollen shut after his last beating. He was technically a deserter, he had seen the nature of the lethal trap that the Army had been blundering into when someone snuck into a bivouac and cut every other man’s throat and had not made a sound in the process. He’d managed to get himself and most of his people clear of the pocket. The Commissars had however taken exception of him doing that. With the hinges giving a squeal of protest the door of his cell opened. A Commissar he’d never seen before entered.

“It looks like the State might have use for you after all, Zaytsev” The Commissar said looking down at him “Perhaps a chance at redemption.”
 
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perfectgeneral

Donor
Monthly Donor
Vasily’s eyes were still nearly swollen shut after his last beating. He was technically a deserter, he had seen the nature of the lethal trap that the Army had been blundering into when someone snuck into a bivouac and cut every other man’s throat and had not made a sound in the process. He’d managed to get himself and most of his people clear of the pocket. The Commissars had however taken exception of him doing that. With the hinges giving a squeal of protest the door of his cell opened. A Commissar he’d never seen before entered.

“It looks like the State might have use for you after all, Zaytsev” The Commissar said looking down at him “Perhaps a chance at redemption.”

Boo!
Hiss...
 
“It looks like the State might have use for you after all, Zaytsev” The Commissar said looking down at him “Perhaps a chance at redemption.”

It feels like the soviets are about to do something monumentally stupid.

Boo! Hiss...

Targets:

German Imperial Royal Family
Kat
Zhukov

or if he is going back to the front, I am going to guess its the officers he is going to shoot either Wolvogle or Emil. They are the two main generals/primary targets on the front
 

FBKampfer

Banned
I don't think Emile is a main target. If I recall, he's only a corps commander, while Wolvogel occupies a slot analogous to Eisenhower's IOTL. An army commander, perhaps, might be worthy of the special notice of STAVKA. Or an army group commander.

But bear in mind that at one point Germany had 53 corp commanders. Emile might be good, but good corp commanders are relatively easy to come by, as far as general officers go.
 
Targets:

German Imperial Royal Family
Kat
Zhukov

or if he is going back to the front, I am going to guess its the officers he is going to shoot either Wolvogle or Emil. They are the two main generals/primary targets on the front
Add Vladimir to that list.

My bet's on Vladimir.

By the way, do the German magnetic torpedo exploders work in the Pacific, after probably being developed and tested in the Atlantic or Baltic?
 
Add Vladimir to that list.
My bet's on Vladimir.

By the way, do the German magnetic torpedo exploders work in the Pacific, after probably being developed and tested in the Atlantic or Baltic?

I was thinking of putting Vladimir, but I stopped because I didn't think that he was that much of a significant character, but then I rmemeberd that Gianne in the last chapter did say she would rather be her normal self, and she has already made friends with several Russian girls, nevermind her understanding of Royalty...so I guess that Vladimir is possible.

But then again, so would Wolvogle
 
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