“You are a Dame and Freiherrin in five Kingdoms and Duchies of the German Empire, two of which gave you honorary citizenship” Peter said, “Ever think that you are getting things wrong?”

I think that might be a turning point for Kat. She has shown the ability to grow and gain perspective.

Also, the threadmarks didn't apply properly to the last post.
Some questions about the Vietnamese front. Are the locals largely fighting together with the Europeans, the Japanese, or are they split roughly 50-50? Do the Vietnamese have some sort of regular army, or their contributions are all Partisan-style volunteers? Did the French brought troops in Vietnam? It was (or is), after all, their colony.


Monthly Donor
That was why Lang was surprised at the requests that Jacob von Schmidt was making. There were paper projects for improved Preussen Class Battleships and Graf Spee Battlecruisers but Jacob had said that those would be a waste of time and slip space for the foreseeable future. He wanted an enlarged and improved version of the Graf Zeppelin. The KLM had an answer for the American Essex Class, correct? That was totally not what anyone was expecting.

I propose this as the follow on answer to the Essex that he seeks. The angled "waist" catapult may seem odd, but it allows more aircraft to be launched simultaneously. The edge of deck lifts leave more deck area free for operations and make an armoured flight deck less complicated. Lifts need only carry 10 ton of aircraft/stores, without several ton of armour plate. At the water line she is 220m (721ft) end to end. Not sure if I'm reading that scale right. The photograph is very blurred, but the best we could get under the circumstances. That would make the lifts approximately 15m by 12m. Scale the whole thing up by a fifth to Graf Zeppelin size? (that would make the lifts 18m by 14.4m)

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Monthly Donor
You could fit two fighters (Me109) on an 18m x 10m lift that could lift 7 tonnes. With some tail overlap you might fit two Stuka (Ju87) on an 18m x 14.4m lift that could lift 10 tonnes. The lift size seems good. A Ju88 recce/torpedo/night fighter would need a wing fold due to it's 20m wingspan.

The Do17 is too long at 15.8m and its 18m wingspan cuts things too fine. Although with a slight angle and hanging over the outside?
The He 111 (16.4m x 22.6m) is way too big.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_22 - seaplane
A carrier version might be your torpedo bomber.
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View attachment 333051

I propose this as the follow on answer to the Essex that he seeks. The angled "waist" catapult may seem odd, but it allows more aircraft to be launched simultaneously. The edge of deck lifts leave more deck area free for operations and make an armoured flight deck less complicated. Lifts need only carry 10 ton of aircraft/stores, without several ton of armour plate. At the water line she is 220m (721ft) end to end. Not sure if I'm reading that scale right. The photograph is very blurred, but the best we could get under the circumstances. That would make the lifts approximately 15m by 12m. Scale the whole thing up by a fifth to Graf Zeppelin size? (that would make the lifts 18m by 14.4m)

View attachment 333051
Where does this come from?
Peabody-Martini has been hinting at a big offensive in the Pacific, but where? Fleet Admiral von Schimdt has shown to be in the past to be a master strategist and I been rereading this timeline and I don't have a grasp of where the Japanese and Allied forces are in the big picture.
Now if the Germans and the Allies go for a Central Pacific strategy to cut Japan off from the Dutch East Indies that will entail Germany and the Allies to attack and invade the Marshall, Caroline, and the Northern Marianas Islands (previously it was part of German New Guinea) that may pull the USA into the war as Japan may "ask" for basing rights in Guam and Wake Islands and they may preemptory invade the islands to prevent the Allies from using them as a staging base. OTL WWII the US had enough aircraft carriers to bypass the Caroline and Wake Islands but ITTL Germany and the Allies do not have enough carriers to pull that strategy off.
have helicopters come around yet? maybe the para is part of a test air cav type operation?

Focke-Wulf FW-61 in 1936, Sikorsky's R-4 in 1942 and H-19 in 1950. The H-19's the first one that's really big enough to carry enough to do Air Cav-type operations.

Note: Someplace Around Here I have a picture of who I think is my dad flying an H-19. Once Upon A time my dad and his flight crew gave me a ride in what I kinda remember as an H-21. I may have been around 12 at the time. Highly illegal but loads of fun.
Part 28, Chapter 321
Chapter Three Hundred Twenty-One

18th June 1943

South China Sea, off Nam Dinh Provence, Vietnam

The day before they had boarded transports for what had turned out to be a very short cruise. Tilo had been expecting weeks at sea but as Reier had explained the whole thing had been theater because you never know who might be watching the ports. Instead they had been part of a flotilla that was steaming its way north towards the Red River Delta. The 3rd Division with its combat record in this campaign and history of being first in line to get kicked in the teeth was naturally set of go in with the first wave.

The full moon was an indistinct glowing mass behind the clouds, low on the horizon and Vietnam was sort of visible as a low mass to the west. Tilo made sure that his gear was in order as he walked towards the rail. When he got there, he saw that the they were to climb down a cargo net down to the waiting landing craft. When they had practiced this a week ago, in the middle of the day and not in full kit. As Tilo climbed down he had the image of falling and having his gear drag him straight to the bottom come to his mind unbidden. After what seemed like forever he reached the LC. Unfortunately for him he was one of the first ones down the net so he sat there and waited while it started to drizzle.

“Perfect night for this” Reier muttered sarcastically as he sat down next to Tilo.

“Just be glad that they didn’t send us halfway across the Pacific again” Tilo said.

“They’re saving that for next time” Reier said.

With nothing better to do they sat there in silence. Eventually Tilo dozed off only to get an elbow in the ribs.

“Are you trying to get the Feldwebel to land on you with both feet?” Reier asked.

“No” Tilo answered.

“He catches you snoring and that’s what’ll happen” Reier said “And how can you sleep here of all places?”

“Are we going somewhere?” Tilo asked.

“Not yet” Reier said “But we are.”

With that, the engine on the LC turned over and it cast off from the transport ship. In the darkness Tilo could only see the dim red running lights as the LCs formed up, he could also see the vast looming bulk of battleships as they passed. A bright orange flash lit up the night as the battle ship fired a broadside at the shore. Seconds later there was a series of explosions somewhere on the land.

The engine of the LC gunned and they headed for the beach at full throttle, still too slow for Tilo’s liking. There was an explosion nearby with a large splash of white foam and Tilo saw yellow-green tracers flying all around the LC.

“Damnit!” The Feldwebel roared, “Get your head down Schultz!”

Tilo realized that he was talking to him and sheepishly complied.

A clanking noise started, Tilo knew that was the anchor chain running out to help pull the LC off the beach after they landed. He tensed up as the grinding sound of the LC beaching itself came up through the hull. The ramp dropped and bullets flew through the crowded hull. In the predawn light, it was hard to see what was happening but the thud of a bullet hitting a body and the screams said what was happening. The run down the ramp turned into a headlong rush.

Tilo felt his feet hit the sand and was only thinking about finding the nearest cover. There was none, just the distant shacks of a fishing village at the top of the beach. That was also where the machine gun and mortar fire was coming from. He was nearly blown off his feet when the fishing village disintegrated under shell fire, a part of his mind noted that it was the work of the battleships guns. As Tilo made it to the tide line the machine guns opened up again. How was that even possible?

The overturned boat loomed out of the darkness. Tilo threw himself behind it only to discover that it only offered temporary shelter. Bullets were punching though the wooden hull. Others were throwing themselves behind the boat. Where the Hell was Reier? Tilo was thinking as he peeked around the boat. The machine gun nest was just meters away.

“I got something for those whoresons?” Tilo said as he pulled a grenade from his belt. That resulted in some chuckles from the others. “When I throw this, you lot light them up.”

Tilo unscrewed the cap and pulled the bead. As he heard the fuse ignite he gave a brief prayer to the dark God of the Seebaitallons that this one wasn’t a dud. The was an explosion and the machine gun fell silent. Tilo figured he only had seconds at best before that changed. He ran forward towards the machine gun nest expecting to get cut down any second. He also heard the clatter of the rifles as the others behind the boat were actually doing what was expected of them.

The machine gun nest was a log and sandbag structure with a gap to fire the machine gun through. It was that gap that Tilo threw a second grenade followed by an entire magazine from his rifle. As Tilo dropped into the nest he saw that there was no one left alive. There were a half dozen heads poking up from behind the boat.

“What are you all standing around for!” Tilo yelled at them as they started to move cautiously forward.

Tilo could hear other machine guns opening up nearby. He could already tell that it was going to be a long day.
The Seebataillon Infantry are refining their tactics for amphibious assault landings and Tilo is proving to be a true Schultz.
Great now I image how Tilos career from here moves on. Somehow a reporter was in the first wave and has made a foto of him charging the MG. Just to be told, by a distracted officer, that it was properly a normal thing the 3rd Division always does. So, Tilo doesn't get a medal but forms the legends of the 3rd even more until they are called something along the lines "Mad Dogs" or better "Mad Seagulls". Also, some non-com states that the 3rd Division doesn't give out medals for heroes because they are soldiers, not like the army or the paras who are such huge pussies that they need some pice of metal to encourage to do the fucking job.
Part 29, Chapter 322
Chapter Three Hundred Twenty-Two

18th June 1943


3rd Seebaitallon Infantry Division has secured a foothold, has captured the town of Ninh Bình, linked up with 9th Fallschirmjäger Division. 2nd Seebaitallon Pushing towards City of Ninh Bình, encountering heavy resistance…

Lang read the latest situation report from Vietnam. It was maddening considering that this information was probably hours old. It had taken the best radio equipment available to swiftly relay this halfway around the world and it was a technical marvel, still Lang found it frustrating.

The strategy had proven sound. The MA, a naval offshoot of the SKA had scouted the beaches and directed the shore bombardment and airborne forces had prevented reinforcements from reaching the beaches. As Lang waited after action reports started rolling in as well as the numbers of dead and wounded. This was anything but a bloodless operation.

Eventually he started looking at new things, Focke-Wulf was pressing for government interest in two new prototypes that were to put it mildly, extremely radical. Kurt Tank was pushing a revolutionary new turbine propulsion that the British were also experimenting with. Heinkel also experimenting with the exact same technology. To Lang’s eye an airplane without a propeller looked strange and Tank’s design looked like something from a science fiction comic book.

The other was an idea for a ornithopter that they considered so promising that Focke-Wolf had spun off a new division just to work on it, reviving the name Albatros. To Lang it looked like blades and booms sticking out every which way. Apparently, the Luftwaffe and KLM were both pushing hard for that project to come to fruition.

With that a new report came in. 3rd Seebaitallon Division reporting road to Hanoi open, intermittent contact with Japanese forces. 1st Seebaitallon deploying west towards Tam Điệp.

Lang read that last part, with a bit of satisfaction. Beyond the capture of the Vietnamese capital city the goal of this operation was to cut off a Japanese Army Corps in central Vietnam. They would have no choice but to retreat into the mountains of Laos while being unprepared for such a trek. What was left of it ought to reach southern China, eventually. While he waited he took a look at the latest request of the KLM. They had a number of revisions to the Voss Class Aircraft Carrier revolving around the fight deck, lifts and island placement. The designers were being cagey about where their ideas had come from. Why not, he thought to himself sarcastically, it not as if it was their money paying for it.

Then there was the invasion of the Ukraine which was continuing apace. Things there were proving even more difficult than the initial estimates, the recent capture of the port city of Odessa ought to help ease the humanitarian situation. The Heer was closing in on Crimean Peninsula. Lang had a feeling that pulverizing the base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet was something that many were looking forward to. The 42cm railway guns were already being moved in that direction.

Nam Dinh Provence, Vietnam

It wasn’t until early afternoon that Tilo had found out what had happened to Reier. He’d caught bunch of shrapnel from a mortar shell. Because he wasn’t deemed to have a life-threatening condition he’d been left on the beach while more serious cases were evacuated. The problem that Reier had was the location of the shrapnel in question. He’d gotten a dozen or so metal splinters right in the ass. Everyone walking past had remarked on that as he lay face down on the stretcher.

“Hey Reier, hope that the Surgeon doesn’t stitch up the wrong hole by mistake” Someone said as Tilo walked up.

“Real funny” Reier growled.

“Did that Jap at least buy you dinner first?” Someone else said.

Reier lay there, in angry silence.

“Show's over” Tilo said “Get lost, all of you.”

There was some grumbling but to Tilo’s amazement they all moved along.

“Thanks Kid for getting rid of those assholes” Reier muttered “Looks like I got a few days off the hard way.”

Tilo didn’t bother to mention that if any of them had been where Reier was he’d be right here flipping shit at them in a heartbeat. There was a concept called Karma that he’d been hearing about, it basically boiled down to what comes around, goes around. His mother had liked to say that to Tilo and his brothers after their latest altercation with teachers or law enforcement.

“Looks that way” Tilo said as he sat down.

“Heard you really manned up during the landing” Reier said “You trying to get the Brass on your ass, expecting more from you?”

“Like if I had a choice” Tilo said. The scratch squad he’d found himself leading was composed of soldiers from several different platoons everything had gotten mixed up in the confused minutes after they had landed. They had followed the first person who seemed to be in charge. Once the ramp dropped there was nowhere else to go.

“There’s always a choice” Reier said solemnly “You could’ve just shit yourself.”

“There’s always that” Tilo said.

Two corpsmen walked down the ramp and picked up Reier’s stretcher. Tilo could hear him complaining as the ramp was raised and the LC began to winch itself off the beach. Tilo figured that Reier would be fine. A couple of weeks on the hospital ship before they grew tired of him and kicked him back. Tilo realized he was at loose ends. He knew he should be finding his outfit and getting back to the war. But he didn’t have the first clue as to where they had gone.

He was taking his time walking off the beach when he saw that Edmund Metz and his squad were gathering their gear and were headed in the same direction. Perhaps tagging along with them was the best call. They at least seemed to know where they were going.
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