Peter was here in his capacity as an Oberfeldarzt today. It was felt that someone who understood military matters and grief counseling would be needed. He had walked into a situation a lot more complicated than he had anticipated.

“Everyone had assumed that the old wolf would live forever” Kat said, “And the way that they are treating Gerta is just wrong.”

The family of Manfred von Wolvogle had shown up. They had left the burden of caring for the Field Marshal entirely to Gerta but now they were shunning her. The old General’s wife had stubbornly refused to agree to a divorce for the last several decades on religious grounds. Gerta was his daughter with Wolvogle’s mistress. The wife was here with her adult children, who were not shy about their disdain for Gerta. Understandably, the mistress was staying far away, Kat and Helene were closest thing to family that she had present. The fact that the title and the bulk of the estate would go to Dame Lagertha von Wolvogle due to a decree by Wilhelm the 2nd was probably not sitting well with them either.
Since von Wolvolgle's family are collectively acting like pricks, I can see Kat having the major domo detail a housemaid or porter to shadow each member to ensure that nothing gets broken or goes missing while they're there. If any of them object Kat can assume that air of barely-restrained bloody violence and suggest that they leave.
 
why would they need to steal when the wife will get everything either way, and probably kick the bastard daughter to the curb?
 
why would they need to steal when the wife will get everything either way, and probably kick the bastard daughter to the curb?
Because Wolvogle flipped off his Wife and his firstborn by the fact that by Imperial Decree thanks to his friend Willy, Lagertha not only has been legally legitimized as his daughter, but she will inherit Wolvogle's nobility title and most of the inheritance.
 
Part 36, Chapter 434
Chapter Four Hundred Thirty-Four


15th November 1944

Potsdam

It was impromptu but every man of the Panzer Corps within easy striking distance had shown up. They, along with thousands of ordinary people lined the route from the Wolvogle house into Potsdam and the Garrison Church. Kurt and Olli walked with Eisenseiten within the funeral procession. As Kurt looked to either side of the road he saw what could only be described as a staggering display of military hardware. Every sort of armored vehicle was there and the crews had gone all out. The vehicles were as clean and shiny as their sort could be. The brightly colored Division pennants were fluttering in the autumn breeze.

When they had gone through Wolvogle’s closet Kurt had made sure they found the oldest, most scuffed up pair of boots. Unlike any of the others Kurt was sure that this was the pair that the General had worn on a hundred battlefields. Once they had shined them up to a reasonable degree they had been stitched backward facing into the stirrups. Kurt had warned Olli that regardless of von Wolvogle’s opinion, Eisenseiten was no plow horse and that he would need to have a firm hand to control him. Kurt was reminded of that when an airhorn blasted out “Boots and Saddles.” It was the traditional call to battle that was then taken up by dozens of others. It wasn’t really the most appropriate signal for the occasion but it was the perfect tribute. All Kurt noticed was that Eisenseiten’s ears had perked up, expecting action. He could only imagine what the horse’s grandsire Lucifer must have been like but he got the impression that he was seeing an echo.

It was at that point that Kurt noticed that the Panzer Dragoons were falling into step behind them as they made their way into Potsdam.

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Are they here to say goodbye or are they here to make sure that he’s really dead? That was the thought that echoed through Horst’s mind as he looked around the church. There were dozens of high ranking Officers, Generals of every sort, enough gold braid to rig a schooner. Most of them were from the German Empire or its subject States but there were many from other nations and of those there were several who would be regarded as Wolvogle’s enemies. Emperor Louis Ferdinand was present and it was said that he had been overheard muttering about how he’d rather be at the dentist’s. Commandant of West Point, George S. Patton had flown all the way from the United States and he was seated next to Philippe Pétain, the two men did not look thrilled by that arrangement. Mikhail Tukhachevsky and Georgy Zhukov had been seated as far apart as possible, there was some bad blood there.

As a Generallieutenant Horst wasn’t the highest-ranking soldier but he had been invited to be one of the speakers to deliver the eulogy. He was to follow Frau Esther von Schmidt-Reise. Everyone had been wondering what the wife of Admiral von Schmidt would have to say, apparently plenty. She was an Administrator at the OKW but in the 20s and 30s she was then General of Cavalry Manfred von Wolvogle’s Secretary. She told stories of basically being a babysitter for a group of ill behaved, overgrown children and kicking over von Wolvogle’s chair with him in it. That had brought a round of laughter. Horst had fuzzy memories of those nights which was the sort of thing that happened when you got pulled into von Wolvogle’s orbit.

As Horst walked to the podium he noticed that the Empress looked like she was about to pop at any second. Her three oldest children had gravitated towards a young woman with red hair. When she looked up Horst saw her eyes, haunted. They were the sort that didn’t belong to someone that young. Horst saw the microphone in front of him and started to speak but was met with the howl of feedback. He had never liked technology, it seemed lazy and never seemed to work when you needed it to.

“Sorry about that” Horst said as he was the subject of dozens of withering glares. He had debated with himself long and hard about what he would say up here. He had spent his entire career either one step ahead or behind von Wolvogle’s insanity. He understood how it seemed like reality seemed to warp around the old General just by sheer force of will.

“To understand Ritter von Wolvogle you would need to go back to something that happened on the eve of the Battle of Ussy-sur-Marne” Horst said, “We had gotten as far as Vignely, just west of Meaux which was as close to Paris as we ever got, when the frogs clobbered us. I had gotten my bell rung and Sjostedt had dragged me back to where Oberst Wolvogle had his Raupe Panzers.”

Horst saw Piers Sjostedt. He was seated with Emil Holz, Maria Acker, Augustus Lang and Rhona Reise.

“I woke up on the back of Wolvogle’s Panzer with a massive headache and a dent in my helmet on the road outside of Meaux. I asked him if we were retreating and he said that he would rather die than retreat in the face of the enemy. So, I asked him what we were doing and he said something that I’ll never forget. That the situation in front of us had deteriorated, we were in danger of getting flanked from both sides and our rear was imperiled. We had turned and were advancing on the enemy again.”

That brought laughter, everyone here would know what that meant.

“I had really thought he’d lost the plot and then he started yelling about how if the Frogs and the Amis had him beat they had another thing coming. I realized that he was saying exactly what the entire Division needed to hear. A few hours later he would commandeer the entire 4th Division and lead it into one of its greatest victories but that is a different story, one that you already know. It was during the hours of that night as we were being chased out of Meaux and had an entire French Army only minutes behind us that you need to understand. We should have felt defeated but we were taking our lead from Wolvogle who said that we were still advancing on the enemy and were far from beat. Thank you.”

With that Horst went back to his seat with Nina.
 
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Ceremony disagrees, for a general it will be the "Große Zapfenstreich" as music.


OK, my mistake, a Military funeral actually includes the Lied vom guten Kameraden.

The Zapfenstreich is used as a farewell ceremony. But usually the recipient is still able to enjoy the ceremony.
Maybe someone versed in the finer points of protocol can tell.
 
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Part 36, Chapter 435
Chapter Four Hundred Thirty-Five


25th November 1944

Potsdam

Kat walked into the royal nursery in hopes of one last attempt to talk to the Empress before she went home. She had been trying to convince Kira to give her job to someone more appropriate. A couple days before the Empress had finally gone into labor, an eternity later Marie and Victoria had entered the world much to their apparent displeasure. For the Empress it was a bittersweet occasion, the Royal Physician had advised her that these should be the last children that she have. Kira had turned to Kat and Cecilie in turn. Kira didn’t realize it but her advisors weren’t necessarily the best people to ask on these matters for a variety of reasons. Kat had more baggage than an ocean liner. Cecilie had her own issues that stemmed from her marriage to the late, not so lamented, Wilhelm the 3rd.

Kat turned away when she saw that the Kira was holding one of the twins to her exposed breast. She felt like she was intruding upon a deeply personally moment.

“You are lucky, Katherine” Kira said softly, “A few minutes ago Vicky was bawling before she fell asleep. I think we have two aspiring opera singers, they already have harmony down.”

Kat was not about to say so aloud, but she found that joke terrifying.

“I was hoping that you would reconsider, your Highness” Kat said, “You need someone who…”

“Someone who is honest enough to say that she thinks she is in over her head but I know she will eventually grow into the position” Kira said softly as if she were telling Marie a nursery rhyme.

Kat saw in the corner of her eye as Kira closed her dressing gown and placed Marie next to her sister. The Empress could somehow tell the difference between the two Princesses but neither Kat nor anyone else seemed to be able to. When Kat had spoken to Doctor Holz he had told her that the exact cause for twinning was a mystery. Marie and Victoria were identical but Doctor Holz had told her of a case he’d seen in Poland of two boys. They were identical in every respect except one boy was actually the mirror of the other, heart on the right side, the liver on the left and what not.

“Please, come with me Katherine” Kira said in the voice she used when there would be no arguing as she stood up and walked towards the door.

Kira left the twins in the care of the nurse who was to watch them through the night. It was exactly like Marcella had described, Kira was completely out of touch with ordinary people. Back in neighborhood Kat had grown up in a woman would need to sleep beside her children at this point. For the rest she would need to fall back on her family. Kat followed reluctantly, falling into step with the Empress in the corridor.

“It’s that honesty that I value” Kira said, “And I don’t share your doubts about your abilities.”

“It’s not my abilities that I’m worried about” Kat said, “There’s a great deal of truth in those editorial cartoons.”

“I don’t see you as a barely contained tigress sitting before or behind the throne” Kira said, “And besides that there are qualities of a tigress that are useful, they are among the fiercest mothers found in nature.”

“It’s extremely unlikely that I’m ever going to be a mother” Kat said.

“You may never have children of your own but you’ve already had a profound effect on at least three children that I’m aware of” Kira said, “Friedrich and Michael, not to mention Gianna who you’ve seen through the hardest years in a woman’s life.”

“That might be true but that hardly makes me any sort of… You know.” Kat said awkwardly.

“It makes you an Aunt of sorts” Kira said with a slight smile.

Kat’s Aunt Marcella was the only mother that Kat had ever known, when she blushed slightly at that mention Kira knew she’d hit the mark. “I want you to be my advisor and continue to watch over my children. You happen to be among the best people for that role” She said.

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Later Kat had Kira’s words echoing around in her head as she drove into the alley behind her house. As she opened the garage door to pull the car in she saw the coal of a cigarette and a familiar figure under the yellow light of the back porch.

“How is the Empress and her children tonight?” Petia Fydorova asked in Russian.

“The same” Kat replied, “The twins are consuming all of her attention, Louis and Kristina are still too young to know what’s going on but are feeling needy.”

“Children are always the same” Petia said with a smile. Petia had returned to Russia and discovered that her husband was gone. She hoped that the German Army or the NKVD had disposed of the worthless lout for her, she didn’t care which. Her adult children were not in a situation to be very welcoming either. She had somehow made her way back to Berlin and had asked Kat for a reference to find employment. Instead Helene had insisted that they hire her as a housekeeper and that had opened what Kat saw as an opportunity.

“Did Vladimir’s men approach you again?” Kat asked.

“Yes” Petia said, “They made me an offer and I got them to double it.”

“Double it?” Kat asked with a smile, that was impressive.

“Yeah” Petia said with her, dry raspy laugh.

“Good” Kat said, “Tomorrow morning we’re going to go over the information that you are going to give them.”

“Sure thing, Sestra” Petia said, “What do you want to do with the money?” Petia had called Kat Sestra, the Russian word for sister as most of the women Prisoners of War tended to do. When they had read the article, they had mostly concluded that Kat had helped them to the extent she had because unlike almost all of the Germans they had encountered she was truly one of them, nationality aside.

“It’s your money, Petia” Kat answered, “Do whatever you want with it.”

“Thank you, Katya” Petia said as Kat closed the garage doors.
 
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Vladimir the Idiot is going to unite all the Royal Houses in Europe in a way that is not going to be very fun for him, fun for Kat, but not fun at all for him.
 
Vladimir the Idiot is going to unite all the Royal Houses in Europe in a way that is not going to be very fun for him, fun for Kat, but not fun at all for him.

Vladimir the Idiot is likely to unite the representatives of the Royal Houses in them standing around and making public statements about how he was taken from them too soon and how they had faith that the perpetrators would be caught Real Soon Now all the while privately agreeing that he was a real idiot and generaly deserved what he had gotten.
 
Vladimir the Idiot is going to unite all the Royal Houses in Europe in a way that is not going to be very fun for him, fun for Kat, but not fun at all for him.
Vladimir the Idiot is likely to unite the representatives of the Royal Houses in them standing around and making public statements about how he was taken from them too soon and how they had faith that the perpetrators would be caught Real Soon Now all the while privately agreeing that he was a real idiot and generaly deserved what he had gotten.

*priest voice*

PRAISE VLADIMIR! FOR HE SHALL DIE FOR OUR HIS SINS!!!
 
Today, do we praise Sainted Vladimir, uniter of Russia, the man who through his efforts brought all parties within, and without together in a fine and noble cause.

He rallied the Imperial house, he rallied the Republicans, he rallied the conservatives and the radicals, he rallied the National party and such was his power he rallied too, the hated Bolsheviks into a single cause for the good of Mother Russia.

For it was in this endeavour, that did he succeed in bringing peace to the Rodina, for all around agreed without reservation in their hearts, that Sainted Vladimir, was a monumental twunt, and shouldn't be let anywhere near the reigns of power.


Praise unto Saint Vladimir the Stupid.
 
Actually the solution might be to offer him a lesser monarchy than Russia proper -Crimea perhaps with an international treaty to effect that Tsar of Russia could not also be Tsar of Crimea in the future if the main Russian line ever dies out. Which also avoids a flashpoint between Russia and newly independent Ukraine in the future and encirclement of that Ukraine. Yes, he's kind of a jerk but he isn't a mass murderer like Stalin or Beria and remember he's no bigger a jerk than any other politician/statesman whose interests aren't lined up with the side we are cheering on. TTL he is less sympathetic than OTL but remember that OTL he was patriotic enough to refuse to head up a collaborationist Russian regime for the Nazis
 
Actually the solution might be to offer him a lesser monarchy than Russia proper -Crimea perhaps with an international treaty to effect that Tsar of Russia could not also be Tsar of Crimea in the future if the main Russian line ever dies out. Which also avoids a flashpoint between Russia and newly independent Ukraine in the future and encirclement of that Ukraine. Yes, he's kind of a jerk but he isn't a mass murderer like Stalin or Beria and remember he's no bigger a jerk than any other politician/statesman whose interests aren't lined up with the side we are cheering on. TTL he is less sympathetic than OTL but remember that OTL he was patriotic enough to refuse to head up a collaborationist Russian regime for the Nazis

I like this idea and it made me think that the joint European policy would probably be to break up not just the Soviet Union but Russia as much as possible. Russia has always been an expansionist empire so I can see them breaking off pieces as much as possible. Could they create an independent Siberia? Maybe revive an independent Manchuria.
 
I like this idea and it made me think that the joint European policy would probably be to break up not just the Soviet Union but Russia as much as possible. Russia has always been an expansionist empire so I can see them breaking off pieces as much as possible. Could they create an independent Siberia? Maybe revive an independent Manchuria.
They won't want to promote Chinese or Russian revanchism or nationalism too much either so probably just OTL 1989 on steroids: independence for Ukraine and Belarus; Crimea; Kola peninsula to Kingdom of Finland (Murmansk denied to Russians and area not populous so Russian population could be removed); Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan given independence as are Chechenia TTL and the other Caucausian peoples and the Central Asian Stans. United independent Korea with maybe a bit of the Russian Far East tacked on for good measure. As the Japanese haven't had the opportunity to commit so many atrocities TTL let them have Sakhalin as compensation for Korea and Manchuria. Ideally keep Manchuria independent but doubt if there is enough indigenous popular support.
 
How about the Perm region of Russia? It has some gold and other natural resources and it would be out of the way. Then if he should get drunk and accidently wonder off into the winters night drunk, well it happens.
 
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