Actually as far as I can tell the RN, despite the recent egg in the face, is doing much better than OTL. There are no Naval Treaties and the budget after WWI, while not equal to the pre-war spending, certainly exceeds the OTL 1930's level.

So instead of having a fleet of 25 year olds, they should have had a continuous building programme. Maybe not as lavish as some admirals might hope for but definitely nothing to sneeze at.

And like PM reminded us, in OTL the same happened to the Repulse and Prince of Wales, with far worse results. Cabling can be replaced, new ammo has been ordered, but sunken ships usually stay sunken.
 
Actually as far as I can tell the RN, despite the recent egg in the face, is doing much better than OTL. There are no Naval Treaties and the budget after WWI, while not equal to the pre-war spending, certainly exceeds the OTL 1930's level.

So instead of having a fleet of 25 year olds, they should have had a continuous building programme. Maybe not as lavish as some admirals might hope for but definitely nothing to sneeze at.

And like PM reminded us, in OTL the same happened to the Repulse and Prince of Wales, with far worse results. Cabling can be replaced, new ammo has been ordered, but sunken ships usually stay sunken.

Unless they're the Vasa.
 
So far the war against Japan seems to be in the South West Pacific,. What is going on in the Central and Northern Pacific?
Japan has the old League of Nations mandate islands of Marianas, Carolinas, and the Marshall Islands in the Central
Pacific which they fortified in the 20's and 30's against the terms of the mandate.

The way I see the USA getting in the war in the Pacific is by either Japan starts demanding basing rights in the Philippines Islands (Clark Air Base, Subic Bay), Guam, and Pearl Harbor or the Allies start sinking US flagged merchant ships on their way to Japan, and the US has a history of going to war to protect the "Freedom of the Seas" i.e. Barbary Pirate War, War of 1812, World War I.

So who is going pull the diplomatic bone head play?
 
So does The RN have something like the G3's at this stage or 15" KGV's and I assume no NelRods.

The HMS Nelson Class was built, economics limited it to 16" guns but the armor wasn't compromised by treaty ITLL.

The KVG Class was limited by something that was mentioned earlier in TTL, improving relations with Germany had a paradoxical effect on the RN. Without a nearby big bad to drive things the British took a slightly more relaxed approach in the 1930s.
 
The HMS Nelson Class was built, economics limited it to 16" guns but the armor wasn't compromised by treaty ITLL.

The KVG Class was limited by something that was mentioned earlier in TTL, improving relations with Germany had a paradoxical effect on the RN. Without a nearby big bad to drive things the British took a slightly more relaxed approach in the 1930s.

I suspect that the Nelsons are also faster than they were in OTL. Were any Admirals built?

Britain, in the asence of a German building program, has all the 13.5" battleships as a decent reserve fleet in ordinary. How much was the USA building? That is a major factor in Britain's plans--especially with British-American relations not being great, the possibility of a German-American alliance needs to be kept in mind.

If the budget isn't there for lots of ships, they should stockpike long lead time items such as guns and reduction gearing.
 
As long as the United States can freely buy and sell things with you, they are not going to go to war with you.

OTL it was Japan with its East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and Nazi Germany sinking US ships that got America in the war. And after WWII it was the clash of two very different political economic systems that led to the Cold War.

ITTL Germany is a liberal capitalist democracy and the only way a post war conflict with the US is going to happen is if there is an European Union that imposes very high tariffs and extreme trade restrictions against the US that will lead to a trade war and sometimes that will become a shooting war.
 
As long as the United States can freely buy and sell things with you, they are not going to go to war with you.

OTL it was Japan with its East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and Nazi Germany sinking US ships that got America in the war. And after WWII it was the clash of two very different political economic systems that led to the Cold War.

ITTL Germany is a liberal capitalist democracy and the only way a post war conflict with the US is going to happen is if there is an European Union that imposes very high tariffs and extreme trade restrictions against the US that will lead to a trade war and sometimes that will become a shooting war.
This its a tricky point. If the Abwehr and the MI6 are smart enough, and they manage to get the French and the Chinese into this, they would use the one thing that would be more lethal than a bullet.....Shame.

To this point, it's highly likely that there is a LOT of graphical material about the war crimes committed by the IJA that its just arriving to either German, French or British hands , if not the German troops starting to find sites of war crimes against the local populations and European nationals until now considered as MIA/POW.

Add Grossman, Fleming and whoever now is the French Intelligence representative into the mix, and you could have in a week or two a worldwide media campaign with the "Crimes of Imperial Japan, same crimes done by the Japanese War Machine, same war machine FED by American Fuel and Supplies"

After this happens, just think about HOW BAD its going to be hit the American Market as sickened European, Asian, South American and even African Nations reject to buy from the "Merchants of Death"....?

While at the same time, this diverts money into the European and other nation markets, and causes a crash in the prices of American commodities, just as Germany needs more resources for the final offensive into Soviet Russia......

And finally, this puts the current US administration in an untenable position that they either cut all selling to the Japanese, or the rest of the civilized world will cut their business with the US except for the basic commodities, for not talk that this would kill the odds of the aislacionists to win the next election.
 
And finally, this puts the current US administration in an untenable position that they either cut all selling to the Japanese, or the rest of the civilized world will cut their business with the US except for the basic commodities, for not talk that this would kill the odds of the aislacionists to win the next election.
Nothing stops all primary candidates for the next Presidency elections to be Isolationists, even if trade with Japan might be curtailed due to public outrage. After all, in TTL WWI the USA gained nothing but a bloody nose.
 
I am a little nonplussed as to the sate of he RN at this stage. I cannot really see that what was in 1914 the worlds ablest and largest navy being completely eclipsed by 1940, However bad the outcome of WW1 was for the UK. IIRC in OTL by 1941 The RN had built or were completing Ark Royal plus four armoured carriers and four KGV battleships.
So ITTL with Britain allied to Germany and no threats in the Atlantic I find it hard to believe that there would not be a RN fleet at least equal to the German one in the Far East to protect British interest and be a projection of power within the Empire. This time line is superbly written and an exemplar of the genre but I do find this aspect verging on a Britscrew and little bit off.

The RN performed struggled to keep up with the performance of the US fleet at Okinawa OTL. Their design was unfit for Pacific operations and the effects of several years of combat required the squadron to retire to Sydney for extended repairs. While the latter does not apply ITL, the former might still.
 
ITTL the U.S. is just starting to go to Europe on a humanitarian mission to deal with Stalin's induced famine and Kaiserine Kira just had a very successful trip to America buying a lot of goodies from American factories and farms.

The Pope has declared the war against the Soviet Union to be "Just" and Catholic voters are now more inclined to support intervention then in OTL.

OTL President Garner is probably facing a challenge from the liberal wing of the Democratic party and on the Republican side it is probably between Thomas E Dewey and the Anti-Communist, anti Japanese, pro interventionist Charles A Lindbergh.
 
Part 28, Chapter 313
Chapter Three Hundred Thirteen


1st May 1943

Potsdam

Jacob was standing at the end of a line with of a couple dozen others. As the one to receive the Grand Cross of the Pour le Mérite they had wanted to save that for last but it was clear that he wasn’t the only one the press was here to see. A Polish Infantry Oberlieutenant was receiving the Pour le Mérite for leading a counter attack as acting Company commander preventing his Regiment from getting encircled. As he watched his mind was thousands of kilometers away.

Jacob had gotten a radio dispatch of the state of the Pacific Fleet and that was still giving him heartburn. As he had figured, the Mackensen was a total loss. She would go to the breakers but not before her radios, radar and fire control systems could be removed. The Graf Spee had been forced to the yard for extensive repair under the waterline and the nearest drydock was in Singapore. The Graf Spee was equipped with 42cm/50 guns exactly the same as the Preussen Class just in two double turrets rather than four, the same fire control system as well. He could practically hear British Naval Intelligence cackling with glee. There would need to be round the clock guards on those portions of the ship. If that wasn’t enough word had reached him that the Bayern had some sort of machinery failure and was limping in to Sydney. The hope was that repairs could be made locally and the Bayern could avoid a trip back to Kiel that would take months. At the rate things were going Jacob was starting to suspect that the Japanese would have needed to only have waited a few more weeks, time and wear would have done their work for them.

The good news was that the Gneisenau, a Yorck Class Battlecruiser and the Schwaben, a Schlesien Class Battleship were being transferred from the Black Sea Fleet to the Pacific. The Württemberg, a Bayern Class Battleship was coming from the Baltic Fleet. Jacob had been given assurances that the SMS Werner Voss, the leading ship of a new class of Aircraft Carriers was having her construction expedited. The Boelcke, the third and last of the Graf Zeppelin Class would be ready to steam for the Pacific within the next couple of months.

Chancellor Lang had also told him that the KLM was preparing to order new ships to replace the Sachsen and Mackensen in spite of his personal objections. Few could see it yet but Jacob had seen the possibilities of aircraft knew he needed at least a balanced fleet. The traditionalists had seen the battle far different then he had. To them the Battle of the South China Sea had confirmed the continuing supremacy of the Battleship with aircraft only providing the coup de grace. Only they hadn’t used such delicate terms. Jacob had heard the words “bayoneting the survivors” were used. He had suggested that if there was to be another Battlecruiser than it should be named for Captain Baier of the Sachsen.

The Emperor was continuing to work his way down the line. He was to the young woman, Jacob noted that she was younger than his own daughters. Jacob’s understanding was that she had thrown herself in front of a bullet that was meant for the brother of the Empress, possibly the future Tsar of Russia. Jacob observed that in spite of her outward composure, there were signs that she was troubled and would rather be anywhere but here. As soon as the medal was awarded there came a flurry of flash bulbs. The look in her eyes was like a rabbit caught in a trap. Jacob had seen this before, those who would brave shell fire, rifle bullets flying all around them and close combat with enemies but would flee from recognition.

Jacob’s mind went to what he would be doing next. Tonight, after this show ended he would be boarding a train for the Netherlands to receive the Military William Order from the Queen of the Netherlands. Then it would be on to Paris to see what the French had in mind. Hopefully after that he would be on his way back to Berlin to make the necessary arrangements before returning to the Fleet where he belonged.

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Doug Blackwood took another photograph of the German Admiral as he was awarded the Grand Cross. To Doug’s eye it looked just like the usual Blue Max except it was larger and came with a star to be worn on the tunic. There was another round of polite applause and handshaking and the whole thing was done at last.

When he had gotten word that the agency he worked for wanted him here to cover this event it had been a welcome change from the constant parade of human misery that was the Ukrainian Frontier. They had been particularly interested in the girl. He had known her brother for months. Hans was a big, easy going guy but that had vanished the instant his sister’s name was mentioned. Jost had said that she was sort of crazy but hot in a don’t mess with me sort of way and had gotten a dirty look from Hans. “She’s not what people think she is” Hans had said and that was the last word on the subject.

When Doug had gotten back to Berlin he had learned a wealth of information. Katherine von Mischner was a Hauptmann in the elite SKA Regiment, the von part had come as a surprise. She was also both idealized and vilified in the press. Depicted as a both a paragon of selfless virtue and as a barely contained wild animal at the hand of the German Kaiserin. She had in fact done most of the things she was purported to have done.

As soon as the ceremony was done an informal reception had started Doug watched as Katherine said something briefly to the Kaiserin then walked through a doorway into another part of the palace. Curious he followed, he had been hoping to at least introduce himself. He saw her walked around a corner and found her sitting on the floor, hugging her legs against her chest, staring off into space.

“I’m sorry I was going to introduce myself…” Doug’s voice trailed off as she looked at him with an expression of pure loathing.

“I am not in the mood for introductions” Kat said with a voice that just sounded weary.

“I know your brother from the front” Doug said, his voice sounding lame to his ears.

“Then perhaps you should have gotten this instead” Kat said, pointing to the new medal. Before getting back to onto her feet. Doug noticed that she was wearing a number of medals beyond the blue max.

“That is not quite what I meant” Doug said, “Your brother just said that you are not what people think you are and I wanted to find out for myself.”

“That, Herr Blackwood is probably the only honest comment that anyone will say around here today” Kat said, “Now please go before you learn just how far beneath people’s expectations I fall.”

With that she walked off, Doug was left wondering how she had known his name.
 
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Part 28, Chapter 314
Chapter Three Hundred Fourteen


3rd May 1943

East of Sarney, Polish-Ukrainian Frontier

Doug got out of the Lorry and walked towards the 140th Regiment’s bivouac. As soon as Hans and Jost saw his face they looked like they were about to bust up laughing. He sat down next to the small charcoal stove that the two of them were using to heat water.

“You two think you’re real smart” Doug said. It had taken him a few hours on the train to figure out what had happened in a way that made sense. Hans must have called his sister and let her know to expect Doug. “Do you have any idea off-putting your sister is like when she doesn’t want to be around someone?”

“Yes” Hans said, “Did she use the Royal Assassin bit?”

“Or did she give you the full-blown psycho treatment?” Jost asked.

“I told you Jost, Kat usually reserves that for guys she doesn’t want to ever see again” Hans said.

“But she’s done that with me more than once” Jost replied.

Hans just looked at Jost with a tired expression. “Only because she knows you’re my friend, one of these days she’s just going to start cutting bits off” He said, “And I doubt that anyone would blame her.”

This confirmed what they had known what was going to happen to Doug when he had introduced himself.

“She was sitting in an empty side room in the palace when I caught up with her” Doug said, “She gave me this depressing line about how I said the only honest thing that day and should leave before I see how short of people’s expectations she is. Then she disappeared.”

“That’s a new one” Hans said offhandedly.

“You knew that your sister would pull a stunt like that” Doug said, “Why couldn’t she say that she doesn’t like someone like a normal person?”

“She doesn’t dislike you” Hans said “If she disliked you, you never would have seen her. She is in charge of the security of the building you were standing in.”

“Or worse” Jost said “Sic that merry band of lunatics that she’s in charge of on you.”

“Kat wouldn’t bother with that” Hans said, “She is more than capable of taking care of that herself.”

Doug sat there looking at these two. They had kicked back and watched him walk into a spinning propeller and thought it was funny.

“Perhaps I ought to ask your sister out on a date” Doug said, he didn’t know what demon had made him say that “If she doesn’t actually dislike me.”

Jost started laughing so hard that he fell over. Hans glared at him over the top of the stove.

“That is not in the least bit funny” Hans said, “She plays these games to avoid socially awkward situations and you are talking about doing something that would put her on the back foot.”

Hans got up and stomped off.

Jost pulled his pistol from the holster on his belt. “Here” Jost said handing it to Doug “If you actually do what you are saying you will then you might as well shoot yourself in the head, because if Kat doesn’t kill you then he will.” Jost nodded in the direction of Hans.

“Is the entire Mischner family insane?” Doug asked handing the pistol back.

“No” Jost said “Actually Hans is the sane one and Otto, their father, is the one you need to watch out for, a real nasty piece of work.”

Doug gulped, he needed to have a level of cooperation and respect from these men. What had his big mouth just gotten him into?

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Kurt watched as Lars and Olli worked on the engine of the Panther. They were waiting for the Rasputitsa, the season of mud, to end. They were trying their hand at vehicle maintenance, Kurt just hoped that they had fire extinguishers handy. He knew that they were really just doing this because they were bored.

While the panther’s diesel engine was robust and dependable, the six cylinders and twelve opposed pistons meant that engine could be difficult in the field. No one pretended that it was idiot proof by any means. The thing it had going for it was that all the Panzers used the same engine, that made getting parts a snap if they needed them. Fat lot of good that would do them if Olli couldn’t figure out that the engine in the Panther wasn’t the same as the one in the tractor on his father’s farm.

“That looks good!” Olli yelled “Try it now!”

Lars turned over the engine, it ran for a few seconds before strange sounds started coming from the engine.

“Turn it off!” Olli yelled.

“What!” Lars yelled back before shutting the engine down and yelled “The engine was making weird noises!” at Olli.

Kurt sighed. He would need to be doing his job before these two wrecked the engine.


Saigon, Vietnam

The 3rd Division had been pulled off the line. As a reward for their hard work a handful at a time had been given a couple days of leave to explore the city. The night before Tilo had gone with Reier for a night of debauchery. Reier had left the flop house that they had been staying at for another night of that. Tilo hadn’t been interested, as in he wasn’t interested in the reaction of the Feldwebels if he came back to the bivouac hung over and half drunk. They never passed up a chance to make the other ranks suffer. The advantage of being the guard and not the prisoner, Tilo supposed.

It was shortly after that when Tilo had realized that it was the first time he had been alone in months and had nothing to do but kill time. Eventually he had grown tired of the intrusive thoughts. He had hit the streets of Saigon, not to party but just to take a walk and try to get his head together.

He walked aimlessly through the narrow streets and back alleys taking in the sights and smells of the still crowded city streets. He walked up a flight of stairs, around a corner and felt like he had stepped into another world. A small Buddhist temple occupied the roof on this building. His eyes were assaulted with red and gold paint, the smell of incense was overwhelming.

“Don’t get to many Westerners here” A man in the robes of the Monks said in perfect French.

“I was just taking a walk” Tilo said “Trying to clear my head.”

“Laudable task” The Monk said, “Not one that would be expected of a soldier.”

“Coming back to camp tomorrow and getting tortured by the Feldwebels doesn’t appeal to me” Tilo said “You know, Sergeants.”

“I understand” The Monk said, “You are motivated by an attempt to avoid suffering, a bit futile.”

“When I first came to this country one of your fellows said that this was my first turn on the wheel” Tilo said “Isn’t that to be expected?”

The Monk looked Tilo in the eye “Perhaps it’s time to reject easy answers” He said, “And the excuses of childhood.”

Tilo was about to correct him about that, not going out with Reier tonight wasn’t about avoiding suffering. It was just sensible, particularly if Reier started a fight and got busted again. But then he realized that wasn’t what the Monk had said.
 
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You know I am wondering how long it is going to take the Army, to but Hans into Officers Candidate School. Not only is he a good platoon commander, with plenty of combat experience and decorations.

He is also the Heir Apparent of a Baronie. That makes him a lordling and the German(Prussian) Army will start pushing to make him a more appropriate rank.

PS I love how Tito is getting the Buddhist experience, will do him a world of good. And make for some interesting papers when he gets back to Uni.
PSS I have been meaning to ask which island did Kat get? One of them has a massive oil field underneath.
 
I pictured something like this in my mind. As I also pretty sure Oddball was based on Knispel.

A lot people think that, easy to see why.

Kurt_Knispel.jpg
 
Perhaps I ought to ask your sister out on a date” Doug said, he didn’t know what demon had made him say that “If she doesn’t actually dislike me.”
Just for curiosity, did his mother carry the Bishop surname before marrying? Because that would SOOO explain the sheer ballsy batshit crazy if he had him as a gramps....
 
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