I think that with the war in Europe basically over the United States needs to show that it is not a toothless, paper tiger.
If in this timeline the B-29 is not butterflied away (it was operational in May 1944) the USAAF should make some demonstration flights from Guam to show that they have the range to attack Japan.
The USN should put together a fleet to "Show the Colors" with two or three Essex class aircraft carriers and all three of the Iowa class battleships to show that the USN can carry out long range operations in the Pacific.
 
I think that with the war in Europe basically over the United States needs to show that it is not a toothless, paper tiger.
If in this timeline the B-29 is not butterflied away (it was operational in May 1944) the USAAF should make some demonstration flights from Guam to show that they have the range to attack Japan.
The USN should put together a fleet to "Show the Colors" with two or three Essex class aircraft carriers and all three of the Iowa class battleships to show that the USN can carry out long range operations in the Pacific.
But Japan is their Trade-partner ITL
 
But Japan is their Trade-partner ITL
Also the United States is trade partners with Germany, Great Britain, France, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, China,...
This is just telling everyone that the United States is not going to rollover if anyone tries to mess with them.
 
Also the United States is trade partners with Germany, Great Britain, France, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, China,...
This is just telling everyone that the United States is not going to rollover if anyone tries to mess with them.
True, ITTL only if they trade with them....
 
Part 34, Chapter 401
Chapter Four Hundred One


25th July 1944

Berlin

Things had worked out about as well as Lang had figured they would in the attempt to mediate between the different exile factions. Matters weren’t helped by the little details like many of them being unaware of what the situation on the ground in Russia, not having been there in decades or them disliking each other. They were being joined by new factions that were representing groups that were coming directly from Russia itself. There were also problematic divisions even within the various factions.

The Russian Monarchists trusted Vladimir about as far as they could throw him and it was rumored that they were looking elsewhere. Prince Michael of Germany would have been perfect if he were older but the Emperor, who was rumored to be acting on the advice of the Empress, had made it clear that was not going to happen. The Empress had been playing coy when asked if she had any better ideas. Lang’s impression that the Empress didn’t like the Russian monarchists was confirmed when she threw her weight behind forming a Constitutional assembly with the goal of a new Russian Republic. The fact that she had just cut her own brother off at the knees was lost on no one. It made Lang think that she knew that something that he didn’t.

The Left leaning factions were surprised by the actions of Kira Kirillovna. They would just as soon get rid of the idea of a Russian Empire and monarchy. A position that Lang himself would have taken. At the same time, they had found themselves with a powerful patron who they didn’t want to cross. That was something else that Lang understood.

Lang’s goal at the moment was to keep the various factions talking. So long as they were yelling and throwing insults they were not shooting at each other.

The economic situation was looking better. Lang had a feasibility study cross his desk that showed several bright possibilities if they could avoid any future calamities. If rail gauge was no longer a problem then trade could pass without interruption between China, Russia and Europe. Germany would sit on the western nexus of that network. Lang had found the implications staggering. While the German Empire would never challenge the land area of Rome much less the British, the financial and diplomatic reach were a different kettle of fish…

Lang heard the tolling of a bell. There was no rhythm to it, just wild rapturous joy. It was followed by a several others. There was cheering in the streets. Lang backed his office chair up to the open window. It was a warm Summer evening, Lang had opened it earlier to let some air into the office when it had gotten stuffy. Lang knew that word must have reached Berlin that Moscow had formally surrendered. He had been expecting this at any moment. Field Marshal von Wolvogle had told him that morning that a ceasefire had been declared ahead of that. Wolvogle had also told him that according to the specialist units that had been dispatched the State Archives, including those of the NKVD, had been captured intact. That would make the trial of Stalin, his surviving henchmen easier and it would aid in identifying which rabid animals would need to be put down.

The intercom buzzed, “Sir, your wife and son are here” His secretary said. With a bit of difficulty Lang made his way back to his desk. There were times when he really wished his legs worked the way they were supposed to.

Lang pressed the button to respond, “Please send them in.”

Lang was sure that the streets would probably be more electric than they had been at any time since the revolution in 1921. Rhona and Emil would be hoping that he could join them in whatever they had arranged. He found his cane and brought himself awkwardly to his feet. His security detail would be joining them which was too bad really. Guarding him would probably not be how they wanted to spend tonight but Lang would need to be seen out there. A Man of the People, or at least as best as Lang could do.

Lang saw Emil walk in ahead of his mother. Recently Emil’s had started to shoot up in height, his hands and feet were oversized for him. Proof that he would eventually be taller than either of his parents. At 14 Emil was still too young to be conscripted, something for which Lang was profoundly grateful.


26th July 1944

Formosa

The MA had been scouting the mountains in the rugged interior of Formosa. They had also sprung a few surprises on the Japanese in the process. So far, they had found nothing which could be used to move a Division through. Tilo had to admit that it was beautiful country, if not for the war then the last few months would probably have been almost enjoyable. They had gone back into the rear. Word had gone around that the MA should be expecting new aircraft soon. That was odd. What use would the MA have for new aircraft. Tilo just figured that they would have to wait and see. The Fleet probably had some stupid experiment in store for them. In the meantime, Tilo was trying to catch up on sleep in his tent.

“The Hauptmann called for the whole Company to assemble” Reier called into the tent, “So, fall in, Kid.”

Tilo’s mind was filled with speculation about what the Hauptmann would announce. In the past, it had never been news that had made them happy. A few minutes later Tilo was standing in his well-practiced slouch with the rest of the Company.

After a few minutes, the Hauptmann stepped out and stood before them. “As of 3PM local time, I’m assuming that’s the time in Russia” The Hauptmann proclaimed, “25th July 1944, the City of Moscow surrendered to…” The rest of his words were drowned out by cheering. That was great news, it meant that more resources could be shifted to the Pacific. They might just see the end of this after all.

Tilo noticed that Reier didn’t look to happy.

“The greatest party Germany has ever seen is going on in Berlin right now” Reier said, “And we’re stuck on the wrong side of the planet.”
 
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Lang’s impression that the Empress didn’t like the Russian monarchists was confirmed when she threw her weight behind forming a Constitutional assembly with the goal of a new Russian Republic. The fact that she had just cut her own brother off at the knees was lost on no one. It made Lang think that she knew that something that he didn’t.

10.jpg
 
Great stuff. The comment about missing the greatest party Germany has ever seen sounds just like soldiers. Now--does anyone try to form the Ural Socialist Republic?
 
Amidst all the celebration in Berlin, the United States national security apparatus has just realized that the United States is now a second rate power.
Every fighter and bomber is now obsolete, tanks are not going to be able to hold their own against the German tanks.
Only the USN with the Essex class aircraft carriers and Iowa class battleships can stand toe-to-toe with the KLM and that is only if the greatest admiral of all time, Jacob von Schmidt is not around.
 
Part 34, Chapter 402
Chapter Four Hundred Two


29th July 1944

Reutov, Moscow Oblast, Russia

After the celebration had died down the more practical considerations had come to the fore again. The Heer had taken Moscow but had found themselves having to secure a vast nation before it came apart at the seams or fell into civil war. They also had a massive humanitarian crisis on their hands. For Kurt that all seemed very remote. There wasn’t a whole lot of demand for the Panzer Corps when it came to preventing people from starving or killing each other. There was however a concern that someone from the old regime might head somewhere east and attempt to set up shop, a Government in internal exile. Anywhere else that might seem absurd but they were waiting to find out if they would be needed to handle just that eventuality.

People were walking past the Panther II, glancing curiously at the broad and fine rings painted on the barrel and the blue Maltese cross painted on the side of the turret. Kurt had found out that he was the highest scoring Panzer Ace of the war. Everyone had been sure that it would have been one of the Tiger drivers but instead that honor had gone to him. He had heard that there was grumbling among the Heavy Panzer Brigades that Medium Weight Panthers would have had more opportunities to run up the score.

Tough luck, Kurt thought to himself. If he had been driving a Tiger instead of Panzer IVs and Panthers he would have still run up the score. The fact that there were around two thousand Tigers of all types total versus more than eight thousand Panthers plus an additional unknown number of Panthers built under license around the world showed where the future was. Even the latest French and British Tanks had borrowed heavily from the Panther.

It had been a nice enough day. Kurt had been working with the Panzer crews in his Company to get the Panthers into the best shape possible for whatever came next. It was the quiet time after dinner while they were waiting for the sun to set and then would come the time to draw cards to see who got sleep or sentry duty. Lars and Fritz were busy trying to clean something that had spilled and congealed in the bow compartment. Olli and Volker were loading fresh shells into the lockers, just in case. Kurt himself was enjoying a few minutes to sort his thoughts while sitting on an overturned galvanized bucket in the shade of a brick wall. He heard the horses before he saw the riders but he made no move to get up. No point in ruining a perfectly good moment for something that might be nothing.

“Busy supervising, Rittmeister” von Wolvogle said.

“Sorry, Sir” Kurt said as he got to his feet, “You know how it goes.”

“Indeed” The old General replied, “The idea is to keep them busy.” Referring to the crew. If they had all been slacking then perhaps Wolvogle would have had a word or two to say on the subject. With that von Wolvogle got off his horse, a big bay stallion. His aides and bodyguards watched from a respectful distance.

Kurt saw immediately the problem, “Olli!” He yelled, “Mind the horse.”

Olli jumped down from the turret and took the reins. No matter what Olli Bauer said Kurt knew that he often missed the life he had known on his family’s farm. Minding the Field Marshal’s horse was never a hardship for him.

“If I had known about your man’s talent with horses a year or two ago I might have stolen him from you” Wolvogle said with a smile.

“What can I help you with, Sir?” Kurt asked.

“The horse is Eisenseiten, did I ever tell you his story?” Wolvogle asked. The horse himself totally belied a name like that while Wolvogle’s back was turned by attempting to stick his nose into Olli’s coat trying to get to the dried apple slices that Olli kept in one of the inner pockets. That particular horse had always reminded Kurt of a giant dog.

“I don’t think you ever did” Kurt answered. The horse had come along sometime after he’d stopped working directly under Wolvogle.

“His Grandsire was Lucifer and he even looks like him” Wolvogle said, “I was hoping that Eisenseiten would have his spirit as well but there was something that I didn’t quite understand. When I first met Lucifer, he was considered unsuitable as a cavalry mount, no one could ride him. He and I had to work out an understanding.”

Kurt could only imagine a young Manfred Wolvogle meeting a creature as stubborn and temperamental as he was.

“Lucifer was a creature of the world he lived in” Wolvogle said, “He couldn’t live in this one and Eisenseiten is the same.”

“A creature of the world he lives in?” Kurt asked, it was obvious what Wolvogle was getting at. He thought of himself like Lucifer. Something from a time that had passed. Everyone knew that Wolvogle was to give a brief address, then depart for Berlin to receive the Grand Cross of the Pour le Mérite and then into retirement.

Wolvogle nodded. “I just wanted a chance to speak to you before I said my farewells tomorrow” He said, “You’ll get orders soon, back to Munster and then probably General Staff in Wunsdorf followed by a stent in Bohemia. I just wanted to wish you luck.”

“Thank you, Sir” Kurt said.

“If you are ever in Werder, don’t be a stranger” Wolvogle said, “It’s been an honor.”

With that Wolvogle collected his horse from Olli and rode off into the sunset.
 
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Is this his swansong?

I think it is. It has that feel, especially given Von Wolvogel's age. I think three wars at the cutting edge of armoured fighting plus a war-winning strategic command, it's time for his Patton moment, to step back and fade away.
 
I think it is. It has that feel, especially given Von Wolvogel's age. I think three wars at the cutting edge of armoured fighting plus a war-winning strategic command, it's time for his Patton moment, to step back and fade away.

So he's gonna die when his jeep gets T-boned by a deuce and a half truck?
 
When they have the Victory Parade in Berlin, it will be made up by units that have achieved great honors such as the 140th Regiment, the Fallschrimjagger, with units from the other parts of the Empire like Bohemia, Slovakia, and Poland.
Also the Irish Brigade and other foreign units will be spotlighted.

The Kaiser and Empress with Chancellor Lang will be in the reviewing stand along with various individuals who have received some of the highest awards that the Empire has.

One of the greatest thrills that the parade spectators will see is the flyover of jets and helicopters.
 
I think it is. It has that feel, especially given Von Wolvogel's age. I think three wars at the cutting edge of armoured fighting plus a war-winning strategic command, it's time for his Patton moment, to step back and fade away.

So he's gonna die when his jeep gets T-boned by a deuce and a half truck?

A death like Patton....that's beyond insulting.

Yet when it comes to enigmatic deaths, it would not be the strangest thing ever
 
So he's gonna die when his jeep gets T-boned by a deuce and a half truck?

No, it's a movie reference.

And it was the wrong movie and the wrong General. Boy do I feel dumb now this morning.

It was a reference to MacArthur's speech in Texas about how old soldiers don't die, they fade away.



Bugger.
 
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