Part 38, Chapter 470
Chapter Four Hundred Seventy


6th July 1945

Luftwaffe airfield, Artem, Russia

Emil was flying back to Vladivostok or at least as close as he could get considering that the city was still under strict quarantine. He walked down the transport airplane’s ramp and marveled about what a colossal fuckup this had become. Today was supposed to be the day that the operation to kick the Japanese out of Manchuria and Chōsen was supposed to start. Instead, things had ground to a halt as the plague situation was dealt with. The saving grace was that Vladivostok had never been the logistical hub of the operation. This was mostly because It hadn’t been seen as quite the right time to wrest control of the Sea of Japan from the IJN just yet and freighters going in and out of the port would have forced a battle. Instead they had been moving supplies up the Amur river and the Pioneer Corps had said that there would be a rail line to Nikolayevsk by the end of August. Emil intended to give Admiral von Schmidt a free hand in driving a stake through the heart of the IJN, it seemed like the safest course of action and it was what that scary bastard was good at.

“Generalfeldmarschall Holz” Peter said as Emil stepped onto the tarmac in greeting, “Never thought we’d see this, a prison uniform perhaps, but never this.”

“Real funny Peter” Emil said, “What’s the situation?”

“We’ve gone a full day with no one reported sick of the plague” Peter said, “General Heinrici has been helpful in that matter.”

Emil nodded, he didn’t know much about the commanding General of the 13th Corps beyond his reputation in the Battle of Formosa.

“The Epidemiologists under my command are telling me that they are on the verge of a vaccine for this strain of the plague.”

“Really?” Emil asked, “That was fast”

“We happen to have a man who caught it in Vietnam, one of Marine Infantry Sealions with an O neg blood type” Peter said referring to the Navy’s answer to the SKA, “We were able to get enough blood from him to get started but had to release him to his Unit before he shot his way out of the hospital.”

Emil knew the type well, he had commanded them in the Fallschirmjäger for years. Few things annoyed them more than being cooped up.

“How would you gauge the state of the men themselves?” Emil asked.

“Morale is better than you’d think” Peter said, “They are certainly angry, looking to even the score and then some. What’s his deal?”

Emil looked over his shoulder and saw Horst stalking down the ramp. The aircrew had wisely been keeping their distance from him. Emil had him involuntarily recalled to active service when he had been on leave with his retirement pending at the end of the year. Horst had been planning on traveling with his wife and children to the American South-West so that they could visit long lost family. Emil had thrown a wrench in the works. With the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Panzer Corps bound for the Far East that meant that Rommel and Balck, along with their legendary rivalry, were coming as well. Horst had been given a promotion to General of Panzer Troops on his way out the door. Emil had him promoted further to Generaloberst when he had him recalled. If anyone could get Rommel and Balck pulling in the same direction in was Walter Horst.

“It’s an example of life happening when you’ve made other plans” Emil said.

“There’s been a lot of that going around” Peter said, “By the way, how’s Maria doing?”

Emil fixed Peter with a hard look that would have turned most of his subordinate’s blood to ice water. “There are times when you are lucky that you are my brother” He said.

Peter just grinned.


Spassk-Dalny, Russia

It was the only time that the whole of the MA and SKA had been gathered in one spot. Tilo hadn’t known that there were all together four Regiments of Sealions and two of the Hellcats. That was basically a Division minus the Pioneer, Artillery, Logistical or Medical components. As much as they saw each other as rivals it was obvious that the Brass expected them to work together on this one, not that they would need too much prompting. Word was that the powers that be had ferreted out where the flea bombs had come from and who was responsible. Everyone wanted a piece of them, hanging, beheading or crucifixion with real crosses and nails was seen as being too good for them. What had surprised Tilo was the identity of the Abwehr Officer who delivered the briefing.

Tilo had suspected that his father was Abwehr for some time. But to actually see Johann Schultz there bigger than life talking about how they were to storm a compound located outside Harbin and then hold it as intact as possible until they were relived. That was something else entirely.

“Surprised to see you here, Pops” Tilo said with a grin.

“I did some operations in this part of China when you still a child” Schultz said, “I got pulled away from my normal area of operations for this.”

“Where’s that?” Tilo asked.

“That’s need to know” Schultz said, “And right now you don’t need to know. What’s this business with you being a Fähnrich?”

“Remember all the times you called me out for not having enough sense to duck?” Tilo said, “There you go.”

Schultz laughed at that and slapped Tilo on the shoulder, staggering him. “Know where we can find a drink in this town?”

“Reier’s the one to ask” Tilo said, “He can sniff it out if there’s a drop of booze anywhere in this town but the competition is going to be fierce with all the other Sealions and Hellcat fuckwits.”

Schultz turned and looked Tilo in the eye “I personally trained Thorwald, Schafer and Mischner” He said, “They were among the people who started the SKA.”

“Really” Tilo said, “Admiral von Schmidt told me that you might have some stories to tell.”

“Jacob is prone to understatement” Schultz said, “And you’d be amazed if I told you how often he was right there with me in the Werewolves.”

Werewolves? Those were the fabled teams of assassins and saboteurs of the Abwehr that didn’t officially exist. Tilo had heard the rumors, everyone had.

“Why are you telling me this Pops?” Tilo asked, "Need to know and all of that?"

“Because at the rate you are going you are bound to end up there eventually” Schultz said, “They’ve already got their eye on you.”
 
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Poor Horst, just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in.

I feel sorry for any slack asses that get in his eyesight.
 
Schultz turned and looked Tilo in the eye “I personally trained Thorwald, Schafer and Mischner” He said, “They were among the people who started the SKA.”

“Really” Tilo said, “Admiral von Schmidt told me that you might have some stories to tell.”

“Jacob is prone to understatement” Schultz said, “And you’d be amazed if I told you how often he was right there with me in the Werewolves.”

Werewolves? Those were the fabled teams of assassins and saboteurs of the Abwehr that didn’t officially exist. Tilo had heard the rumors, everyone had.

“Why are you telling me this Pops?” Tilo asked, "Need to know and all of that?"

“Because at the rate you are going you are bound to end up there eventually” Schultz said, “They’ve already got their eye on you.”

"Werewolves: The Next Generation." - an action/adventure TV program in 20 years.
 
Part 38, Chapter 471
Chapter Four Hundred Seventy-One


9th July 1945

Hranice, Kingdom of Bohemia

Kurt had finally been sprung from the purgatory of the OKW but he’d been reassigned to be the Aide-de-camp of Generalmajor Václav Morávek which was hardly an improvement. General Morávek understanding was that Panzers were mobile artillery, which was true enough after a fashion. The Bohemian Army had done well in the Soviet War but that was not through maneuver. Kurt had tried to explain shock tactics as he had practiced in the 5th Army and that had not exactly gone well. The Bohemian Panzer Division had potential but the leadership lacked vision.

It was just one more thing that marked Kurt out. He still wore the black uniform of the Panzer Corps, a crow among pigeons as the joke went. He also wore the old cavalry saber that he had inherited from von Wolvogle, it felt right. The old wolf had worn it on a thousand battlefields and to Kurt it felt like a bit of him was still around.

Kurt had also received Wolvogle’s copy of the Combined Works of William Shakespeare and a referral to his tailor in Berlin. That last part was worth more than it seemed. The tailor in question had a five-year waiting list to become one of his customers unless you happened to be royalty or had been referred by a long-standing customer. There had also been cashier’s check made out to Kurt in the book for a large sum of money but that was a secret that von Wolvogle had taken to the grave and Kurt had spoken about that with nobody. It had included instructions to keep an eye on Gerta. While Kurt had no doubt that Gerta could take care of herself, von Wolvogle had been aware that his daughter had inherited some of his eccentricities and the world would be far less forgiving of her.

The sentries snapped to attention as Kurt stepped out of the Headquarters building. Regardless of their opinion of him, the PLM and Order of Saint Wenceslaus that he wore meant something. Today, he had gone target shooting with General Morávek and the rest of his Staff. Kurt was good with an 8.8cm, a 13mm machinegun, even rifles and submachine guns but to him pistols had always been a weapon of last resort. Morávek frequently said that he trusted in God and his pistols. It had made for a long afternoon. Now, he was free until dinner started in a couple hours.

Unfortunately, that set him up for the next hurdle of the day. “Mail for you, Major” The Orderly of the Bachelor Officer’s Quarters said, “Your girlfriend again.”

Sure enough, a letter from Gerta, she wrote almost every day. Mostly it was mundane day to day things. Meetings with the script writers ahead of the new season on the television show she did, it seemed like more and more people had televisions and they were watching her show. Katherine was teaching Gianna how to fight, a disturbing thought. Helene was upset because it looked like the Imperial Japanese Army had messed with her wedding plans. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that Gerta had made a point of spraying the letters in cheap perfume that she used for no other purpose. It was Gerta’s idea of a joke and it had given Kurt quite a reputation among the Bohemian Officers. She was a General’s daughter, so she knew exactly what she was doing.


Berlin

It was a Monday afternoon and Katherine was explaining the Doctor Tangeman and Brandt her friend’s respective reactions to what she had done. It had started the day before, when on Sunday morning she had said that she had kissed Doug. They had wanted details and then Kat had mentioned the photo session. Gerta had been delighted, she hadn’t thought that Katherine would ever do anything so artistic and daring. Helene had been flabbergasted.

“These photographs are forever beyond circulation?” Tangeman asked, she was concerned. This was a stunning example of risky behavior on Katherine’s part even if she didn’t exactly have a reputation to ruin in the classic sense.

“Of course, one thing I know how to do is secure information” Kat replied.

“Exactly what motivated this?” Tangeman asked, “It is very much out of character for you.”

“It’s about wanting to live my life on my terms” Kat said, “I wanted to do something intimate with Doug before he left but at the same time I’m still afraid to have even him touch me.”

“You did this as an alternative to sex?” Brandt asked.

Kat just shrugged.

Brandt shook his head, “Talk about leaving them wanting more” He said.

“What’s that supposed mean” Kat said, focusing on Brandt the way a hawk might a hare from atop a utility pole.

“Personally, I think this was a good first step, though not one I would have recommended” Tangeman said, interrupting the exchange before Kat dismantled Brandt. “You said that your boyfriend invited you home to meet his parents?”

“Yes, he said that” Kat said.

“That’s generally one of the first steps towards deeper commitments” Tangeman said, “Have you thought that through?”

Tangeman saw the look on Katherine’s face, she hadn’t. That was hardly a surprise, Doctor Holz had described how few people ever saw the real face of Katherine, she kept that hidden. Recently she had been forced to reveal herself under the influence of powerful drugs. While it was still too early to tell if she had benefited from that experience, Tangeman had learned to recognize the girl scared of thinking beyond the next few minutes. She saw that in the look that crossed Katherine’s face.
 
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I feel sorry for any slack asses that get in his eyesight.
Horst has now been a Stabsfeldwebel and is now a Generaloberst, he would make entire armies sorry for the presence of even one slacker. And his detection range is probably measured in hundreds of kilometers by now.

Generaloberst

I am just surprised that they did not go for GeneralFeldMarschall with the capture of the towns outside of Moscow he would qualify. Remember GFM and Generaloberst are actually the same level of rank, with GFM being the senior grade.

That said Horst has now made it to the top of both the enlisted and the officer ranks. I am guessing that is unique.
 
I agree it was a pointless act and will blow up spectacularly in the Japanese face as it will have reinvigotated Germany and its alies will to fight the war to a conclusion. This has been achieved just at the point the Germans and alies where at their most war weary after the long soviet war. Giving your enemy a second wind is a fairly foolish thing to do
It was a gamble. They probably thought that it would increase war-weariness and decrease resolution to fight, and force them to the negotiation table. Of course it'll blow up in their face, making the kiddy gloves coming off, but they probably saw it as their only chance at a draw (because it would be unrealistic even by their standards to expect victory at that point).
 
“We’ve gone a full day with no one reported sick of the plague” Peter said, “General Heinrici has been helpful in that matter.”

Emil nodded, he didn’t know much about the commanding General of the 13th Corps beyond his reputation in the Battle of Formosa.

“The Epidemiologists under my command are telling me that they are on the verge of a vaccine for this strain of the plague.”

“Really?” Emil asked, “That was fast”

“We happen to have a man who caught it in Vietnam, one of Marine Infantry Sealions with an O neg blood type” Peter said referring to the Navy’s answer to the SKA, “We were able to get enough blood from him to get started but had to release him to his Unit before he shot his way out of the hospital.”
.”
I know they did it that Way in outbreak, but thats just not how vaccine development work.
Not even today though you might in 30-40 years be able to make a toxin monoclonal. Still, not likely to be effective
 
When the Special Operations Division (the MA and SKA) captures the 731's base they need put all their prisoners on suicide watch, no matter how entertaing watching them killing themselves would be ("How many sets of handcuffs and leg shackles do you want?")
 
I know they did it that Way in outbreak, but thats just not how vaccine development work.
Not even today though you might in 30-40 years be able to make a toxin monoclonal. Still, not likely to be effective

There is an antigen serum today that is used against plague and is effective, though I don't know whether it could be developed in the timeframe. I don't know if O- blood would make a difference, since you only want the antigens from his blood.
 
What'd be more fun is if Emil or Schmidt end up the military governor of Japan.

Also, someone really needs to slap the pervy Dr. Brandt.
It's more likely that Lang will put Schmidt as the military Governor of Japan post War. While Emil would be an option, he's far more likely to decline it as he will certainly take a sabbatical alongside a post back in the homeland due to the coming child.

Given Schmidt's mind, he's the most likely to pin down the needed changes to Japanese society in order fix things to something resembling OTL post War.

Also it does help that while there would be hostile elements in the Japanese society, there would be also the immense amount of martial admiration and respect for the "Nelson of the XX Century", the man who without doubt defeated the IJN through sheer genius, cunning and excellent use of his forces.

Also i suspect that the Japanese armed forces will suffer a huge divide post War. For one side, while defeated, the Japanese Navy kept its honour intact, defeated honorably in the field. However in the opposite side, NOBODY will mention the mere name of the Imperial Japanese Army, specially after Quartum its used.

Schmidt will certainly NOT sweep things under the rug here.

The horrors found in Harbin, the Rape of Nanking, and the use of Forced prostitutes in Korea are going to be forced down the throats of the Japanese Society as Shock therapy to forever shatter the old mentalities of their society and into WHAT they had turned.

Wouldn't be rare that of the surviving Japanese Army troops post war, there would be an immense amount of suicides post War, as the Tokyo Trials force them to realize past the layers of rationalization, half baked nationalism and propaganda the kind of Atrocities that now tainted their hands.
 
The operation against Unit 731 is going to need specialized interrogation and document retrieval teams.
There is also going to be a need to capture and hold a nearby airfield to get the prisoners, documents, and any samples that is safe to remove as quickly as possible.
Medical teams are going to be needed in force because of the possibility of something bad being released.

In other words, it is going to be a circus.
 
There is an antigen serum today that is used against plague and is effective, though I don't know whether it could be developed in the timeframe. I don't know if O- blood would make a difference, since you only want the antigens from his blood.
Antiserum works by containing antibodies from serum raised against an antigen. Tilo’s serum would contain many different antibodies and in the last 25 years it has been possible to clone such antibodies for mass production. Polyclonal serum could be made in Rabbits or horses against the bacterial toxin.
I do However doubt they would be effective post-exposure and its not at all a realistic prophylactic. Notably, even todays vaccines are not very effective (Usamriid staff with potential exposure gets booster shots every 6-12 months).
The only realistic option in this time frame is to identify a weakened strain, but that has been the problem with yersenia and anthrax as well. Bacteria without the toxins are not protective and with they are dangerous. What is really needed is toxin production and inactivation to spike up weakened vaccines. Potentially a combination of inactivated and weakened strains (eg. The old polio vaccines). This could be done with the technology of the day and with lots of test subjects, but it doesn’t Seem like the Germans have that kind of mentality ITTL. Notably, a few anthrax vaccines based on weakened strains was made for cattle, but considered too dangerous for humans. It, and a yersenia vaccine like it could in principle be safer with an inactivated prime, but then again, the alumn adjuvant of the day may make it worse.
PS, you dont need the antigens from Tilo, now adays you could maybe identify a protective correlate using antigen from the bacterium and then his blood to see what he had reacted with. However thats a western blot and is late 70’s tech:http://www.genhunter.com/western-blot-inventor/
And even then, using this info for vaccine design is not easy.
The blood group has little importance as the red blood cells are not used.
 
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