FBKampfer

Banned
I'm personally really glad Kat is being pulled out of a combat slot and given a desk to ride (metaphorically). Boring or not, it'll be good for her, and frankly with all the stuff she's been through, there's a little slice of bad luck with her name on it.

One Vietnam vet I knew working as a chef put it perfectly. Morons and goldbricks can walk through machinegun fire like it's nothing, and the best damn leatherneck in the world can trip on a root and break his neck. Its all luck. Some of its good, most of its crap, but never forget somewhere out there is a bullet with your name on it, and it's just runnin down the clock until it finds you.
 
Part 32, Chapter 374
Chapter Three Hundred Seventy-Four


14th April 1944

Near Voronezh, Russia

The Kubelwagen had been modified into a Road/Rail vehicle so it could run on the railroad tracks. A feature that was invaluable this time of year considering that the vehicle would probably get stuck in the mud within a few dozen meters this time of the year. The only time that it proved problematic was if a train came along. That was why they were always listening to the radio, hopefully someone would warn them before they launched them into next week by a passing locomotive that would hardly notice the impact. Ivan Bogdanov was in his usual spot in the back seat, he had the usual nonchalant attitude towards life that he always had when not in the ring. Jerik Kysely was driving, which in this case meant that he had his foot on the gas pedal.

Max was in the passenger seat thinking about the latest series of requests from the Brass after the success of the Boxing match that they had put on. There had been a Newsreel crew on hand and they’d gotten the whole match on film. Ivan had become a bit of a celebrity as a result of that. Fortunately, there was no shortage of jobs done by the Pioneer Corps that were perfect for keeping him from getting a fat head. He’d been asked if it would be possible to build a Football pitch in Voronezh. Sure, that would be possible but this time of year it would be a sea of mud. By the time it dried out enough to use Football would be the last thing on anyone’s mind.

That was when the radio crackled to life warning them that they had an inbound train coming their way. Jerik was an old hand at this. When he got to the next road he raised the guide wheels and parked there on the road so they could wait for the train to go past. The rail crossings were raised a bit from the regular roads and were usually properly graded, so they were less likely to get stuck. Most of the time anyway.

“You see the film of the fight yet, Champ” Jerik asked.

“No” Max said, “I figure that’d we’ll all see it next movie night.”

“Damn, I was hoping that we’d get first crack at it as opposed to those Luftwaffe creeps” Jerik said.

That was a bone of contention over the last few weeks. The Fallschirmjäger Corps had moved into this sector in preparation for the coming offensive. It seemed like those bums got the best of everything. There were also rumors that among the Paras were a relatively small group that was regularly crossing the lines and wreaking havoc on the Russian side. If they were really doing that then perhaps they deserved the perks. Not that it really mattered to Max, there was no way he’d be crazy enough to jump out of an airplane if he didn’t have to.

“Speak for yourself” Ivan said from the back, “Every time Max gets those films he makes me go over them frame by frame pointing out everything I’m doing wrong.”

“How else are you supposed to learn?” Max asked, “Films like that are worth their weight in gold to both you and your opponents.”

That was how Max had discovered a weakness in Joe Lewis’s fighting style when they had first fought. It was a story that Jerik and Ivan knew by heart. Not that it had helped Max in the rematch, the Brown Bomber had been waiting for him and the result was a slaughter. Max had high hopes for Ivan after the war provided that they didn’t get killed in the meantime. Ivan Bogdanov had great potential if he could just learn to keep his head.

The train flew past, thousands of tons of steel racing by just a few meters away. This was an uncontrolled crossing so beyond the whistle there was no other warning. More material for whatever came next.


Voronezh, Russia

A single Regiment in the Fallschirmjäger Corps had Helicopters and suddenly it was one of the hot new toys that everyone had to have. There was also the latest incarnation of the Panzerfaust, they were currently locked in a mortal struggle with the Panzer Corps to see who had dibs. Emil had been calling in favors to get more of the anti-tank weapons. The ability to knock out a Russian tank or pillbox at 250 meters was something that he could see the merit of.

The helicopters on the other hand he couldn’t do anything about just yet. Focke-Wulf/Albatros had given the first two dozen of the AL-214 helicopters to the 28th Regiment before they had deployed to Russia. Albatros had said that they were ramping up production of the aircraft but that would take time. In the meantime, the 28th had been running circles around the Reds while everyone else was still stuck in the mud. Something that was making the entire command staff of that Regiment look extremely good. Emil just hoped that they understood the difference that they were making.

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As she started on her run around the perimeter that Kat noticed them and saw what they were doing. Real funny guys, she thought to herself as she ran past them. She had been frustrated with having to sit out the operations that she was planning. She had taken to running around the interior barbed wire fence that ran around the base of the 28th. She had been trying to clear her mind by pushing herself physically. When she came around they were still there.

“See, told you” She heard one of them say to the other.

Kat stopped, she was wearing the old shirt and cutoffs that she always wore when doing this. The running shoes that she had arranged to be sent from distant Washington State had made this a bit easier but she had gotten used to doing this while wearing a full kit. This way it felt like she was flying. That was why she’d hoped it would help her clear her head.

“Told him what?” Kat asked as she caught her breath.

“Sorry, Major” The Gefreiter who had been the one holding the stopwatch said, “We didn’t mean to bother you.”

“Well, you got my attention” Kat said.

“He’d told me about how no one can keep up with you if you really push yourself, Ma’am” The Oberschütze said, “It’s 200 meters between here and the turn.”

Kat looked over her shoulder back towards the turn. What was that supposed to mean?
 
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14th April 1944

As she started on her run around the perimeter that Kat noticed them and saw what they were doing. Real funny guys, she thought to herself as she ran past them. She had been frustrated with having to sit out the operations that she was planning. She had taken to running around the interior barbed wire fence that ran around the base of the 28th. She had been trying to clear her mind by pushing herself physically. When she came around they were still there.

“See, told you” She heard one of them say to the other.

Kat stopped, she was wearing the old shirt and cutoffs that she always wore when doing this. The running shoes that she had arranged to be sent from distant Washington State had made this a bit easier but she had gotten used to doing this while wearing a full kit. This way it felt like she was flying. That was why she’d hoped it would help her clear her head.

“Told him what?” Kat asked as she caught her breath.

“Sorry, Major” The Gefreiter who had been the one holding the stopwatch said, “We didn’t mean to bother you.”

“Well, you got my attention” Kat said.

“He’d told me about how no one can keep up with you if you really push yourself, Ma’am” The Oberschütze said, “It’s 200 meters between here and the turn.”

Kat looked over her shoulder back towards the turn. What was that supposed to mean?

When's the next Olympics, again? Is Kat going to gather another kind of gold medal?
 
For her that would be punishment, even if the Olympic Games in 1944 were not called on account of war in TTL.
She sure would like the publicity
As our esteeméd author Peabody-Martini reminded us, if there's something Kat doesn't want, it's (even more) publicity. The guy with the stopwatch was probably in an athletic club and is impressed with Kat's times. The gang who are putting on the boxing contests might want to do 'the fastest man in the division' races. Kat would refuse to participate because "It's difficult enough being the only woman officer in the regiment. I'm not going out there and show off in front of thousands of horny guys I don't know. It sends entirely the wrong message!"
 
The main detail is....
“See, told you” She heard one of them say to the other.

Kat stopped, she was wearing the old shirt and cutoffs that she always wore when doing this. The running shoes that she had arranged to be sent from distant Washington State had made this a bit easier but she had gotten used to doing this while wearing a full kit. This way it felt like she was flying. That was why she’d hoped it would help her clear her head.

Just HOW MANY Kilograms are the full combat Kit and what are Kat's times for the 200 mts with all that weight over her?
 
For her that would be punishment, even if the Olympic Games in 1944 were not called on account of war in TTL.
Yes... and? Empress Kira would probably see that as an handy way of getting Kat accolades not directly tied to the military, Doctor Holtz might tell her much the same and the brass would just go "That is one of ours" come bragging time. Thorwald and Schultz the Elder were also olympic participants, so the Abwehr might like the idea too - international athlete travelling is after all normal.

Kat's feelings, as usual, matter little if the wrong ears hear of her atlethic prowess and start making the right noises to the wrong people (for Kira).

Ironically, her best ally against this is the Old Guard, the guys normally trying to kill / neutralize her. They'll oppose this, because they'd see it as benefiting Kat, thus aiding her attempt at not not being send to compete.
 
Ironically, her best ally against this is the Old Guard, the guys normally trying to kill / neutralize her. They'll oppose this, because they'd see it as benefiting Kat, thus aiding her attempt at not not being send to compete.

The worst of the Old Guard probably think that "If we didn't need them for fucking and procreation we'd hunt them to extinction."
 
Not many women participated in the Olympics of the time, but I could see Kat getting roped into it easily enough. Honor of the regiment and all that. Of course, if she turns in a time better than any guys, that could also add to the resentment against her.

I like the rail mounted Kubelwagen; I've been in a similar contraption, although this one was a 2 foot gauge model T.
One Vietnam vet I knew working as a chef put it perfectly. Morons and goldbricks can walk through machinegun fire like it's nothing, and the best damn leatherneck in the world can trip on a root and break his neck. Its all luck. Some of its good, most of its crap, but never forget somewhere out there is a bullet with your name on it, and it's just runnin down the clock until it finds you.

A friend of mine who was in the service said that it's not the one with your name on it that's the problem, but the one addressed to "occupant"
 
OTL the Olympics in 1940 were supposed to held in Tokyo and ITTL the war did not start until 1941 but the second Sino- Japan war broke out in 1937 and Japan gave up the games in 1938.
Helsinki took over the games IOTL but IOTL WWII forced the cancellation of the games.

Rome was the OTL host selected for 1944 but once again WWII forced the cancellation.

IOTL 1948 London hosted the games and Germany, Italy, and Japan were deemed the aggressors of the war and were not allowed to participate.

ITTL we know that the war in the Pacific will end in 1946 but we don't know when the war was ended with the Soviet Union.
 

FBKampfer

Banned
A friend of mine who was in the service said that it's not the one with your name on it that's the problem, but the one addressed to "occupant"


I'm pretty sure that's what my friend was saying too. Only he was implying that the one with your name on it is just the one that finally hits you.

That and when you're in the middle of all that crap, father time isn't your friend, because nobody stays lucky forever.
 
40 kilos!? Yowch! Way too much; Kat only weighs about 55 kilos. She's gonna break down if she hauls that much for too long.

40 pounds? In the high-but-acceptable range.
Look, I've heard like 300 numbers of what troops carried as combat gear.

IRL, US troops at the moment are doing like 60-100lb worth of gear, and that's causing issues. So really, it depends.
 
Look, I've heard like 300 numbers of what troops carried as combat gear.

IRL, US troops at the moment are doing like 60-100lb worth of gear, and that's causing issues. So really, it depends.

Here's a discussion about soldiers' loads. The "worn on body" (load-bearing equipment, not in rucksack or assault pack) is 36.9 lbs = 16.77 kilos which is kinda reasonable.
 
Part 32, Chapter 375
Chapter Three Hundred Seventy-Five


15th May 1944

Puyallup, Washington State, USA

When Nancy got home she found that a new letter from Kat had arrived. This one had a slightly different tone than they usually did. Normally Kat was loath to talk about herself, preferring to talk about friends and family. This time Kat had mentioned that while she had been running to clear her head, two men who were in here outfit had timed her while she was running. When asked about it they had pointed out that she might be competitive on an international stage. They had known this because apparently the Hellcats attracted an inordinate number of athletes of various kinds. Kat had said that her first reaction would have been anger but she said would have been misplaced. Instead she had thanked them and resumed her run. The idea of representing Germany at that level horrified her and it would bring with it the sort of attention that she hated.

Then Kat had done something odd, she had elaborated on this person, Freiherrin Katherine, who was perfect, selfless, didn’t mind attention and never ever complained about doing what other people expected of her. She was like this unwelcome roommate of Kat’s. The problem was that Kat herself was none of those things and she walked around feeling like her head was going explode because of it. She was just tired of playing that person.

Then had come the real surprising part, Kat had said that she envied the simplicity of Nancy’s life. Kat was this incredible woman who did important and exciting things while being secretly miserable the whole time.

Nancy’s mother had understood instantly which was also to her surprise. “She doesn’t feel that it’s the life she might have chosen for herself” She’d said.

“But she does it anyway” Nancy replied.

“It’s called being an adult, Nancy” Mom said, “You frequently have to do things you don’t want to do.”

“She’s risking life and limb” Nancy said, “Just because other people expect it?”

That was when Mom just sighed, “Count your blessings” She said, “She’s caught up in a war which always results hard choices and sacrifices. If things had somehow gone differently that could just as easily be you or your brother.” With that Mom had turned back towards preparing dinner.

Nancy looked back at Kat’s letter. She had written back and forth with Kat for years and had wanted to be like her one day. Now she was starting to see that there was a cost to living that sort of life.

At the very bottom of the letter Kat thanked Nancy for sending the running shoes that had become impossible to get in Germany and that Nancy needn’t have sent the change and receipt. She also begged Nancy not judge her too harshly for venting at the start of the letter.


South China Sea, off Formosa

Bobbing in the ocean on a rubber raft when for all they knew a Japanese gunner was taking aim at them was no one’s idea of a good time. Rather than waiting for the Chinese Government to pull their collective head out of their ass the Brass had decided that the next campaign would be up the Chinese Coast. The British had been pleased with the plan because it that they could go after Hong Kong, something that everyone was happy to let them do. For the German Marine Infantry, D and other Allied forces there were other things planned.

Anyone with a map could see what the next big prize was. The big island off the South-East Corner of China was the lynchpin of the Japanese supply lines. Without it everything got a whole lot more complicated for them. The Americans had proven surprisingly flexible when it came to turning a blind eye towards the fact that those supply lines ran right through their territory. The newspaper editorial cartoons that depicted the United States as a blood sucking leech or a miser raking in a fortune in peaceful solitude while the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ran roughshod over the rest of the world were pretty close to the mark. Without Formosa, the Americans would have a harder time ignoring what was happening in the West Pacific.

At the moment Edmund Metz was sitting in the bottom of the raft as the small outboard motor fought the current to bring them towards a shoreline that hopefully was isolated enough not to be occupied or mined. After three days on a submarine listening to Tilo and Reier squabble like an old married couple it was nice to be in the open air at least. And with them on the mission the two them were keeping quiet. There was nothing quite like the threat of eminent death for Edmund’s peace of mind.

The mission was exactly the sort that the MA was created to do. Sneak ashore, find an overwatch for the landing beach get the radio ready and then wait. The whole time praying that they weren’t discovered by the Japanese or the landing wasn’t aborted. Because they would be in a world of shit if either of those things happened.

There was a grinding sound as the bow of the raft hit the sand of the beach. The Squad jumped out on either side and with the ease of long practice they spread out along the tideline waiting to see if their coming had been noticed. After an excruciatingly long few minutes, Edmund figured that it was safe to move up the beach and into the interior.

The Battle of Formosa had begun.
 
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