Like is not good enough for the awesomeness of this chapter.

Ho hum. Yet another instance of the Wolvogel mind control enticing Stalin into inserting yet another appendage into the machinery. If he does this enough times he'll wind up like Hitler.

On another note, the original causus belli was the delivery of Beria to the justice of the German Empire. Now that they have him, might Stalin say, "You have what you originally wanted, now go home." Or have the war aims changed to include 'crimes against humanity' due to the Second Holodomor, or everybody involved replying, "Nah, you've pissed us off so we're gonna hang you too."
 
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Ho hum. Yet another instance of the Wolvogel mind control enticing Stalin into inserting yet another appendage into the machinery. If he does this enough times he'll wind up like Hitler.

On another note, the original causus belli was the delivery of Beria to the justice of the German Empire. Now that they have him, might Stalin say, "You have what you originally wanted, not go home." Or have the war aims changed to include 'crimes against humanity' due to the Second Holodomor, or everybody involved replying, "Nah, you've pissed us off so we're gonna hang you too."

You don't really have to entice Stalin. The existence of your men in his territory is enough for him to keep throwing things at you until something breaks
 
I am once again rereading (I'm on post 584) and it's amazing how well this all hangs together. I just got to Kat realizing that the day her mother died and her birthday match. Wonderful how well you set things up so early for Kat! Minor wars, radar, computing machines; it all hangs together wonderfully. In short, AMAZING!
One thing I'm wondering about: What happened to SMS Goeben/Yavuz Sultan Selim and SMS Breslau/Midelli? And did Greece replace Kilkis and Lemnos (Former USS Mississippi and USS Idaho?) Those old ships were poor when designed, and oversized shore bombardment ships by the 1940's.
 
On another note, the original causus belli was the delivery of Beria to the justice of the German Empire. Now that they have him, might Stalin say, "You have what you originally wanted, now go home." Or have the war aims changed to include 'crimes against humanity' due to the Second Holodomor, or everybody involved replying, "Nah, you've pissed us off so we're gonna hang you too."
Well, he shouldn't have invaded Poland then, should he? He fired the first shot - by invading another country. Also, only the most ignorant would truly believe that a mission to assassinate the Empress of another country didn't have to have Stalin's John Hancock.
Handing over Beria was something all strongly suspected that it would mean using him as a scapegoat for the appeasement of the slighted parties. Now, Stalin's in big doodoo, and if he loses big, like, for example loses Moscow, he could be himself used as a scapegoat (well, not really a scapegoat because he presumably was actually behind it) by the remaining Politburo.
 
Ho hum. Yet another instance of the Wolvogel mind control enticing Stalin into inserting yet another appendage into the machinery. If he does this enough times he'll wind up like Hitler.

The thing is, the battle plan that is playing out on the Soviet side here is almost the same as Operation Uranus from OTL. The difference ITTL is that one side isn't focused on taking the city of Stalingrad.

302px-Operation_Uranus.svg.png
 
While rereading this timeline, I came across one Doyle Townsend, maybe he and Kat will meet up again at SAS training.
 
Lt. Kennedy will be seen as a very rare specimen, someone who went up against Kat and is still alive and walking with only a slight limp.

Yeah, almost like a Living Darwin Award Winner

When are elections scheduled for Germany? Will the governing collation run as team or is it going to be every party for itself and only after the results are in do they figure out how to form a government?

From what the Wiki says (I know) it seems as if the coalition parties run independently even if they've formed a National Unity Government. Of course, I, or Wiki, could be wrong so someone whose goverment is parliamentary-style should weigh in here.
 

FBKampfer

Banned
It really depends. Usually every party is trying to get as many votes as it can, but there's always going to be cases of strategic politics and voting.

Political alliances in Germany are more like loose federations based on coincidentally shared interests and overlapping political aims. When something stops being beneficial, the cooperation goes away.
 
Part 30, Chapter 344
Chapter Three Hundred Forty-Four


18th November 1943

Near Brecon, Wales, U.K.

Kat had finally made it to Wales escaping the pressure cooker that she’d found London to be. Not that there weren't a few problems here. The commanding officer here, one David Sterling, grated on her. She had discovered that he had an opinion about everything and outside of military affairs little real understanding. She also was still processing her resent scrap with nationalism and was deeply suspicious of those who practiced it. Still she did her best to work with him. There was the way that English speakers mangled her name, there had been a few times that she hadn’t realized that someone was calling her by name. Then there was a battle happening that very moment that she couldn’t get any information about in this odd corner of Britain.

Those training here didn’t seem to be too surprised by Kat’s presence, the legend of the original Hellcat had preceded her. Mostly she got a lot of questions about Team 2A, the story of that mission had spread widely and there were several unauthorized accounts floating around. These men ate those up. There was also the aspect of being the only women present, Kat was used to that but still needed to provide a few examples of the fact that, yes, cats have claws.

The audience in Buckingham Palace had gone well enough. As she had predicted King George had asked about Jehane. He’d then surprised her by asking how Kat herself was holding up. The King had a great deal of detail about the recent unpleasantness in Potsdam. So much so that Kat figured that there would need to be a review of anyone who’d had possession of that information to find out if someone had been leaking to British Military Intelligence. Kat had said that she well, that was true enough. Considering what the men she’d shot had been planning on doing, all she’d done was save the expense of the trial and execution. Not that she would say that aloud.

Then she had met the princesses. Kat had been warned that they were excited to meet her. Elizabeth and Margret had peppered her with questions. At least they had turned out not to be the ones she normally got. Mostly the questions had revolved around the medals she was wearing, which ones she had won for valor or service. It was the Order of Louise that had intrigued Elizabeth, a chivalrous order for women, and just how Kat had come to be a Dame in four such orders. Margret had wanted to know if it was true that Kat could beat up most men in a fight and then was delighted when Kat had told her so. What Kat hadn’t told Margret was that she did that by being a meaner and nastier fighter then most men were prepared to be and would never engage in unarmed combat outside of controlled settings if there was knife or gun within reach.

After that it was a few days meeting with a bewildering number of people who wanted to meet the famous, or infamous as it were, Baroness von Mischner. In spite of her intended mission Kat reverted back to her introverted self and did her best to fade into the walls once she got past the first greetings. Something that wasn’t always easy to do. Finally, she’d been cut loose to go to Wales. While there were a few problems, at least it was relatively quiet.


Tilguta, Russia

Hans Mischner’s sister might be a demon from Hell but he’d turned out to be a standup guy. As near as Jack could tell Hans was a Company Sergeant Major and acting Platoon commander. Lieutenants apparently did last long in the Dragoon Companies. They either moved up or went home in three ways, in a box, in a strait jacket or missing pieces. The Platoon the Hans led had seen all three happen over the course of this war. Hans himself was being leaned on by the Division to take a field commission but hadn’t done it yet. Some of the German soldiers in Hans’ Platoon had joked that there were the last couple medals a man enlisted in a Prussian Regiment could get that Hans wanted first.

What Jack could tell was that after his Platoon had been placed next to Hans Mischner’s he’d gone to his Regiment’s headquarters and seen to it that Jack’s Platoon had gotten proper winter gear. That sort of thing meant a lot in a place like this. Then all Hell had broken loose.

The construction that Jack had seen months ago had been defensive fortifications in depth and it had all been done in anticipation for this very battle. Jack had watched as the first wave of Russians to make it through the extensive minefields had been caught flatfooted by the largest single artillery strike that Jack had ever seen.

Then to Jack’s amazement the Russians had kept on coming and he’d found himself holding the line. Feeling the barrel of his rifle grow white hot through the handguard had become familiar to him but he had to hand it to the gunsmiths at Mauser, the G31 only jammed a few times and never malfunctioned. After three extremely long days there was a lull in the fighting. That was when word came that the 140th Regiment of 4th Panzer Division would be leading the counter-attack and the Irish Regiment would be right there with them.

“What?” Hans asked when Jack had mentioned this to him “You thought that the Brass would let you loaf around in a trench all winter?”

Jack was starting to see that Hans and Katherine were cut from the same cloth. God help him.
 
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“If you have the money to gamble that’s your problem but too often I saw whole families left destitute because someone got suckered in a sure thing” Kat said.

“Ah yes” Fleming said, “You weren’t always in your current station, were you? And your personal opinion.”

“I don’t see the appeal” Kat said, “And I think I’ve already used up a lifetime’s worth of luck elsewhere.”

“Those decorations you are wearing speaks to that” Fleming said, “Have you won all of them available in your nation?”

“Hardly” Kat replied.

“You’re still young and have time to get them all” Fleming said.

Every So Often I'm tempted to scan through this timeline to come up with a list of all Kat's decorations and orders. Question: do the honors and orders show up on a ribbon bar or are they separate? She's likely to be top-heavy when she wears all the medals and 'metallic devices' like the Para and wound badges:cool:.
 
Part 20, Chapter 345
Chapter Three Hundred Forty-Five


22nd November 1943

Berlin

Lang read the latest progress reports from the front. The Heer had exploded out of the Don/Volga salient. The 2nd and 7th Corps was in the process of encircling the Soviet Forces that were falling back on Stalingrad itself with the goal of bypassing the city. The 5th Corps was driving north on the Volga river. 3rd Corps was pushing towards Serafimovich from the east with the intention of linking up with the 6th Corps coming from the opposite direction.

In the North, the 1st, 4th and 8th Corps were pushing South and East from Saint Petersburg. In Belorussia the 9th, 10th and Fallschirmjäger Corps were moving forward. Intermixed with these were Allied Armies. The Finns, British and French in the north. Bohemians, Slovakians and Poles in Belorussia. Hungarians, Romanians and Italians in the south. Somehow this had become a general offensive.

When Field Marshal von Wolvogle had told Lang the details of Jackdaw it had seemed ludicrous to him, that Wolvogle could sucker Stalin into such a colossal blunder. Wolvogle had looked at him and said that he shouldn’t underestimate the power of Joseph Stalin’s ego. The General had known that Stalin would throw everything into the defense of his namesake city. Now Wolvogle was on the verge of doing something that many thought was impossible, beating the Russians in Russia during the winter.

Other things had come to a head, the truth about the attempted coup was starting to trickle to the surface. It was not a comfortable thought for Lang that the plan had been to come after him as soon as they had control of the Palace and had secured the support of the military. The thing was that they were operating on bad information that had been provided by Soviet agents. It had brought Lang no joy to learn that two members of the Reichstag had been arrested. That had also renewed calls by Lang’s coalition partners and even in his own party for early elections, they clearly were hoping to gain from resent events. Lang’s problem was that he was aware that things were more unpredictable than they realized. Things could easily go sideways if there was a reversal somewhere. Even public impatience could prove to be a problem.


North of Dubovka, Russia

Kurt was within the larger advance rolling down this road. His understanding was that it was three hundred odd kilometers to Saratov. At the rate they were going they ought to get there about this time next year. Still he knew better than to complain, everyone in the Panzer Corps knew of stories of Panzers that had outpaced infantry support and found themselves in deep trouble. The first day of the counter attack Kurt’s Company smashed their way through the lines only to be told to hold in place once they had reached the Volga river.

They had then watched as the entire 3rd Army Corps had charged through the hole they had ripped in the Russian lines. When they had finally started moving again it was at a crawl. Worst of all there was not a whole lot to look at. The landscape was nothing but the snow covered rolling hills of the plain between the Volga and Don rivers. Kurt could hear Volker snoring through the intercom on his headphones. He was halfway tempted to kick Volker but realized it would be a waste of time. They could only go as fast as the vehicle in front of them and if there was any trouble Lars would turn off the road and everyone in the turret would get thrown around like rocks in a can. There was no way that even Volker could sleep through that.


Raygorod, Russia

Hans watched as there was a large splash in the river. There were several figures struggling to stay on a boat that was attempting to cross the river but was being battered to pieces. The river had come under direct artillery fire over the previous day or so. After that the crossing had become a much riskier prospect than it had been previously.

Not that Stalingrad itself was much more of a shelter. A large percentage of the Russians had retreated there during the counter attack. The order that had been given was that they were not to attempt to enter the city instead they were to bypass it and keep advancing. Hans had heard that Russian propaganda had widely used the phrase “There is nothing beyond the Volga.” From his perspective, there was plenty past the Volga but it was just as flat and uninteresting as the other side.

In classic military fashion, it was hurry up and wait. They had been told that they would be crossing the river themselves when their turn came. Personally, Hans didn’t find the prospect of walking across a floating bridge that could come under artillery fire carrying as much weight as he was. Then again, the weight of his clothes would take him straight to the bottom anyway. Waiting for the river to freeze wasn’t an option, so this was it. He could have ridden across in one of the SPz APCs but then the end would be a surprise. Who wanted that?

“You lot are next” A harried looking Unteroffizer from the Pioneer Corps said as he walked past.

“Looks like it’s time for us to go and feed the fish” Hans said with as much enthusiasm as he could muster.

“I’d kick your ass if I thought you were wrong” Jost said got to his feet.
 
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FBKampfer

Banned
I'm curious how the Russians are going to recover from this. It's borderline calamity if the Germans get out onto the plains east of Stalingrad and pick up some momentum.
 
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