Now that bombs are falling on Japan from bases in Vladivostok , it is very probable that the IJA and the IJN fighting about the failure of the IJA to destroy large sections of the Trans Siberian Railroad and the IJN to take Vladivostok immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union.
 
Part 37, Chapter 453
Chapter Four Hundred Fifty-Three


27th March 1945

Vladivostok, Russia

Emil Holz had discovered an odd situation when he had arrived in Vladivostok. The city and the airfields were surrounded by a network of trenches and the high points were protected by dug in artillery. When the Heer had arrived the prior Summer, there was a very real concern that the Japanese Army or Navy would move on it. It was a threat that had yet to materialize but still could if the IJA and IJN ever stopped arguing with each other and recognized the real threat that had been developing to their north. That was the reason why the Luftwaffe had been obliged to wait until there were several Army Corps in the region before they began the bombing raids on the Japanese Islands themselves.

The arrival of the Do-32 Heavy Bombers had brought their own problems. The big new bombers flew higher and went much faster than the earlier Do-319 Bombers that they were the replacements for but something strange happened in the field, as it always did. The older Do-319s were much more successful because of the wind aloft didn’t affect them as much at the lower altitudes they flew. The Do-32s had been redirected to missions over Manchuria until the redesigned Lofte 9B bombsites could be fitted.

Emil also brought some unwelcome news as well, as far as the German public was concerned the war in the Pacific theater might as well not be happening. As far as most of them were concerned, the war was over and they just wanted to get on with their lives. Lang had warned Emil that if there was largescale loss of life along the lines of the Soviet War then that same public would be less than understanding.


Off Shikoku

U-541 was on her last patrol with Otto Kretschmer as her Captain. He’d been holding off the fleet for as long as he could but he was looking at further promotion and decoration just based on the tonnage he’d sunk in the Pacific. That promotion was what was going to take him out of his role of being a Submarine Commander. The U-541 was probably going to be recalled to Kiel for refit at any time anyway. Even so he’d managed to finagle one last patrol. Everyone knew where the Japanese fleet was hiding and Otto was hoping that he’d get one last opportunity to make a big splash before he left for Berlin. The result was that they had sneaked into the Kii Straits in hopes that the Japanese Navy would stick their head out the right time.

For the last two nights they had been watching, taking U-541 to the bottom during the day. If nothing happened tonight then they would need to head out to sea, recharge the batteries and return to Formosa. It would be ending his time in the Pacific on a bit of a sour note. Otto looked through the periscope. Only the dim lights of small craft on the surface and the reflection of starlight. He was just about to give the order to bring the sub about and head for the safety of deeper waters when the SO interrupted him.

“High speed screws, Sir” The SO said, “Coming from the south.”

That was the exact opposite of the direction that they were expecting anything to be coming from. As Otto waited he heard the string of estimates from the SO what he thought they were dealing with. Three to five surface contacts, at least one of which was something big. Otto ordered U-541 slow ahead and the sub brought around to face towards the contact’s bearing.

Otto’s mouth went dry when he saw what he was coming their way. Destroyers, four of them but then he saw what they were escorting. It was the ultimate prize for any submariner, an enemy battleship that was likely transiting from Tokyo Bay to the Inland Sea.

“Ahead half, silent running” He ordered and the crew scrambled to make that happen. They knew that they were on the hunt and one of Otto’s favorite tricks was to attack from within a convoy.

The minutes creeped by as U-541 stealthily approached the Japanese ships. The Destroyers didn’t notice when the sub slid between two of them and approached to within a kilometer of the passing battleship. The thought occurred to Otto that this was one of the few times in the Pacific when having stern tubes would be useful. Even from this distance the battleship huge, the tall armored superstructure seemed to curve above them. The sub took a parallel course. The torpedoes would be set to make a turn to starboard before running straight, right into the path of the battleship. Otto’s hope was that would cause her escorts to be looking in the wrong direction for several critical minutes, long enough for them to make good their escape.

At eight hundred meters, Otto ordered a full spread, all six tubes, before reloading and firing again. The surprise was complete as five of the six torpedoes exploded under the keel of battleship. The next six were all on target as the battleship’s speed dropped off as the engine rooms flooded as thousands of tons of water rushed into her. Otto didn’t wait to see the results. He ordered U-541 about at flank speed, putting as much distance as they could between the sinking battleship and her escorts.

Much later, after U-541 returned to Formosa, Otto Kretschmer would learn that he’d been credited with the sinking of the IJN Musashi, a sister ship of the Yamato and a survivor of the Battle of the South China Sea. She had been at the naval yard in Yokosuka undergoing refit in preparation for a final suicidal battle with the Allied Fleet.
 
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Much later, after U-541 returned to Formosa, Otto Kretschmer would learn that he’d been credited with the sinking of the IJN Musashi, a sister ship of the Yamato and a survivor of the Battle of the South China Sea. She had been in Tokyo undergoing refit in preparation for a final suicidal battle with the Allied Fleet.

Blue Max, in addition to whatever other decorations were in store.
The 'final suicidal battle' came a lot sooner than the IJN expected it to.

Otto Kretschmer is another OTL reference. I've learned to search any random names P-M drops.
 
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Surpsied he had enough time to pop off extra torpedoes. Usually, even the most inept escorts would be responding with a fervor.
 
Heh, not even the luck of a suicidal last battle.

I can guess that this closes the War record of the fabled U-541 with the flag to the top.....

It will be a medal ceremony or the Admiralty will dump the medals for the captain and crew with a cargo truck to make it short? :openedeyewink:
 
Surpsied he had enough time to pop off extra torpedoes. Usually, even the most inept escorts would be responding with a fervor.

It was based on something that Otto Kretschmer really did do more than once during the Battle of the Atlantic. He would be in the middle of a convoy before he would attack, the escorts would spend several minutes looking in the wrong direction while he had time to launch several attacks.

And U-541 is an analog of the Type-XXI from OTL, the reloading system made it so the second spread would be minutes behind the first. 5 to 10 minutes to reload all six tubes.
 
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It was based on something that Otto Kretschmer really did do more than once during the Battle of the Atlantic. He would be in the middle of a convoy before he would attack, the escorts would spend several minutes looking in the wrong direction while he had time to launch several attacks.
Huh, learn something new.
 
Surpsied he had enough time to pop off extra torpedoes. Usually, even the most inept escorts would be responding with a fervor.
The first salvo may have been composed of electrical torpedoes. More finicky, slower, and shorter overall range, but leaves no visible trail. The only warning would have been the torpedoes exploding.
 
11 fish under the keel! That will ruin anything afloat. The first salvo probably would have sunk Mushashi, or at least left her a construction total loss, but with something that big, why take chances. The second salvo almost certainly reduced the number of survivors. After the first salvo, damage control is doing all they can, assessing the situation. The second salvo likely opened her wide up.
Legendary performance for a great sub captain--WOW!

Lots of lessons to be learned by lots of navies here.
 
11 fish under the keel! That will ruin anything afloat. The first salvo probably would have sunk Mushashi, or at least left her a construction total loss, but with something that big, why take chances. The second salvo almost certainly reduced the number of survivors. After the first salvo, damage control is doing all they can, assessing the situation. The second salvo likely opened her wide up.
Legendary performance for a great sub captain--WOW!

Lots of lessons to be learned by lots of navies here.
The Japanese were crap at ASW IOTL, but luck and happenstance played a part here.

I'm kind of curious of the overall level of ASW competence. This time Brits and Yanks (the French too now, I guess) haven't had to learn the practical lessons taught by the Uboots, and for the submariners fighting the Japanese it was probably a never-ending 'Happy time'.
 
The Japanese were crap at ASW IOTL, but luck and happenstance played a part here.

I'm kind of curious of the overall level of ASW competence. This time Brits and Yanks (the French too now, I guess) haven't had to learn the practical lessons taught by the Uboots, and for the submariners fighting the Japanese it was probably a never-ending 'Happy time'.

The Shinano comes to mind, that was in late 1944 IOTL, right outside Tokyo Bay and the a Balao Class was a lot louder than a Type XXI.
 
The Shinano comes to mind, that was in late 1944 IOTL, right outside Tokyo Bay and the a Balao Class was a lot louder than a Type XXI.
Oh, I wasn't speaking about Japanese incompetence on the subject. I was musing about the state of the other Great Powers capabilities (or lack-of).
 
The Balao class didn't need to reload to fire ten torpedoes. I'm not surprised that Kretchmer would get away with reloading here. Ballard-analog will likely find Shiano in two separate pieces; at least she didn't explode like Barham.
 
Part 37, Chapter 454
Chapter Four Hundred Fifty-Four


9th April 1945

Berlin

Doctor Holz had sought out Brandt, much as he obviously didn’t want to. Doctor Holz and Tangeman had been conducting sessions with the subjects of the study, as a supposedly neutral third party and the resident expert they had been using Brandt to be the one who did the initial assessment of patients that either Doctor Holz or Doctor Tangeman had a history with prior to their entrance into the study. The rules of the study were simple enough, the subjects would be split some into the experimental group, the rest into the control group. Brandt personally thought that the later was an unnecessary added layer of complication but he also thought that the reaction to the placebo would be interesting so he didn’t object.

To Brandt’s surprise when Doctor Holz had approached him he’d asked Brandt to put his thumb on the scale. That was the last thing that he expected from someone as squared away as Doctor Holz. Holz was a big fan of method and proper, verifiable conclusions but he had asked Brandt to move a patient into a control group when it was supposed to be random. It was his reasoning that had stuck with Brandt, he’d said that the patient was potentially dangerous physically, but weren’t all military types? And possessed knowledge about certain activities by Abwehr that was doubly so.

Brandt hadn’t been interested in that particular subject until Doctor Holz had pointed that out. He remembered the girl, one of the few women involved with the study. She was deeply troubled, had trust issues, poor self-esteem and severe depression. Of the portion of her redacted medical history that Brandt had been allowed to see was pretty harrowing. She had been shot, blown up, watched friends die or had them just vanish without a trace. She was also the survivor of a brutal assault while barely out of childhood. It was easy to see how she had gotten so messed up. There were other factors to consider, the subject was young, in good health and extremely fit. From Brandt’s perspective she was already the perfect subject for the study but then Doctor Holz approached him. Finding out that she had been involved with military intelligence had made her absolutely fascinating. Doctor Holz’s request had the exact opposite result he was hoping for.

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It was the Spring holiday so the offices of the University Clinic were mostly abandoned when Kat got there. Not having to wait for an elevator was a novel experience, the doors had just slid open when she pushed the button. As Kat walked down the hallway she saw that Doctor Brandt’s office was the only one with the lights on. When she opened the door, she saw that Doctor Brandt and Doctor Tangeman were present. Brandt was behind his desk while Tangeman was seated in a chair opposite of him. Kat had been warned that Doctor Holz wouldn’t be present for this first session but she would do the follow up with him in a couple days.

“I had wondered if you were going to show up” Doctor Tangeman said standing up to greet her “I wouldn’t have blamed you if you had.”

“I have try to do something” Kat said, “The fog is back.”

Tangeman remembered Katherine had mentioned in the past that she felt like walking through a dark, dense fog and that her life had no meaning or purpose. Doctor Holz said that she had admired Tatiana Nikolaevna in the past for her sense of purpose. Tangeman had pointed that the Russian Princess had died in a last stand that had ultimately failed. That was when Doctor Holz had said something strange, that perhaps Kat might one day tell her what had really happened. That seemed odd, wouldn’t have she been on the other side of the planet when that whole thing had happened? Tangeman knew that Katherine had somehow gotten caught up in the SKA during the war. It wasn’t until today that she’d learned that Katherine had been involved with Military Intelligence as well. Doctor Holz had warned Brandt of this. Doctor Brandt had proven extremely cavalier about that warning.

“This is just a study” Tangeman said, “There are no guaranties that anything good or bad will happen today.”

“Yeah, whatever” Kat replied. Doctor Holz had described her when she was like this. Tangeman figured that Katherine may have said the same thing if they had offered to set her on fire.

Kat had already signed the release forms when she had done preliminary assessment a week earlier. All that was left was just a matter of informing her of the particulars.

“This is an investigational study on the treatment of persistent traumatic stress” Doctor Brandt said, “You might find the effects of the drug or drugs used here frightening and they might have adverse side effects. You still have the option of backing out.”

That was something that Brandt had gone over with her the week before. Katherine would get a sugar pill that would mean that they would have a nice conversation or she would get a hefty dose of 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine and things would get interesting. Brandt and Tangeman would have to treat it the same either way.

Doctor Brandt handed Kat a pill, a gelatin capsule that was full of a white powder and a glass of water. Without hesitation she put the pill in her mouth and washed it down with a gulp of water.

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Erma Tangeman had seen and heard a lot of things in her years as a Doctor but some of the things that Katherine had felt free to talk about in that intoxicated state were shocking. Tangeman had known about the rape and resulting abortion but she hadn’t known that Kat had witnessed what had happened to the man who had done it to her. That being someone’s idea of justice. It had left her with the feeling like every man she came into contact with was potentially going to try to kill her.

There were other things too. The death of César Sauvageot, the explosion that followed minutes later and finding herself deafened by the blast had left Katherine deeply shaken. There was the shootout in the Hohenzollern Palace where Katherine had discovered that she didn’t care if she lived of died. Watching helplessly as two friends were gunned down in Belarus. Finding out that a friend and mentor of hers had vanished into the Russian countryside, never to be found.

That had gone on for several hours. Prior to this, most of the subjects only had one or two traumatic incidents that they were grappling with. Katherine was different, she had several. Hearing about endless misery, some of it self-inflicted, had left Tangeman feeling drained. Brandt seemed to be perversely buoyed by the experience. "This sort of rewrites the history regarding some of the events of the last few years" was what he had to say on the matter.

Katherine had fallen asleep on the couch with the help of a sedative that Doctor Holz had suggested that they have on hand in case she got violent. Tangeman was not looking forward to more sessions with Katherine over the next few weeks, then the wait to see if drugging and basically torturing her like this with the worst moments of her life did any good.
 
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There is probably a growing anti war sentiment in Germany because the people can't see a reason for the war against Japan.
You have young students who don't want to be drafted, veterans who don't want to be recalled to service after they fought against the Soviet Union, middle class people who think that the taxes to pay for the war are too high.

Former President Garner is probably writing his memoirs and saying that the United States was preparing sanctions against Japan for the invasion of Vietnam involving an embargo of oil and scrap metal and freezing their assets when Great Britain and the Netherlands jumped the gun and declared war against Japan, but didn't go ahead with the sanctions because that would have been tantamount to a declaration of war against Japan.

Garner may reveal that the United States almost went to war against Japan and the Soviet Union a couple of times but was able to manoeuvre their way out of the situation.
 
Chapter Four Hundred Fifty-Four

Erma Tangeman had seen and heard a lot of things in her years as a Doctor but some of the things that Katherine had felt free to talk about in that intoxicated state were shocking. Tangeman had known about the rape and resulting abortion but she hadn’t known that Kat had witnessed what had happened to the man who had done it to her. That being someone’s idea of justice. It had left her with the feeling like every man she came into contact with was potentially going to try to kill her.

There were other things too. The death of César Sauvageot, the explosion that followed minutes later and finding herself deafened by the blast had left Katherine deeply shaken. There was the shootout in the Hohenzollern Palace where Katherine had discovered that she didn’t care if she lived of died. Watching helplessly as two friends were gunned down in Belarus. Finding out that a friend and mentor of hers had vanished into the Russian countryside, never to be found.

That had gone on for several hours, prior to this most of the subjects only had one or two traumatic incidents that they were grappling with. Katherine was different, she had several. Hearing about endless misery, some of it self-inflicted, had left Tangeman feeling drained. Brandt seemed to be perversely buoyed by the experience. "This sort of rewrites the history regarding some of the events of the last few years" was what he had to say on the matter.

Katherine had fallen asleep on the couch with the help of a sedative that Doctor Holz had suggested that they have on hand in case she got violent. Tangeman was not looking forward to more sessions with Katherine over the next few weeks, then the wait to see if drugging and basically torturing her like this with the worst moments of her life did any good.

What's really remarkable here is that she isn't revealing secrets like Jehane or Schultz, and yet what she is revealing are stunning secrets to Tangeman and Brandt. It shows the Abwher also taught some good anti-torture mind techniques, including revealing secrets to compartmentalize and avoid revealing the really nasty stuff. I hope both docs bound by the German equivalent of the Official Secrets Act. Tangeman I'd trust, but Brandt has all the potential in the world to write a tell-all.
 
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