Is this based on the OTL Nuremberg procedures or did Imperial Germany do this as a standard policy as well? It seems more like something used for traitors and war criminals, not the run of the mill murderers.

In OTL Imperial Germany execution of those convicted of Capital crimes such as premeditated murder or treason was conducted with ax or guillotine for civilians and firing squad for military. The embellishments added are my own thoughts regarding how the practice might have evolved in the three decades since the POD. Also hanging someone like Stalin or Beria would be seen as a calculated insult.
 
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Hanging someone is easily botched, that's a specialist job. Austria and Bohemia used hanging (even during the monarchy, Bohemia had a seperate Henker), although a specialised form, the Würgegalgen, which strangled the convict quickly. Of course, the British would be happy to lend Mr. Pierrepoint's capable hand, if a long drop should be chosen. And if they want just the 'string 'em up and let them kick' method, well, there are lots and lots of good ole boys in the South with ample experience, their favourite method even includes cremation in the process!
 
Hanging someone is easily botched, that's a specialist job. Austria and Bohemia used hanging (even during the monarchy, Bohemia had a seperate Henker), although a specialised form, the Würgegalgen, which strangled the convict quickly. Of course, the British would be happy to lend Mr. Pierrepoint's capable hand, if a long drop should be chosen. And if they want just the 'string 'em up and let them kick' method, well, there are lots and lots of good ole boys in the South with ample experience, their favourite method even includes cremation in the process!

For best results use the Official Table of Drops and put the knot under the chin, for varying values of 'best.'
 
Part 39, Chapter 493
Chapter Four Hundred Ninety-Three


1st October 1945

Sea of Japan/Kure Shipyards, Japan

What became known as the Night of Whispers started with a roar as the twenty-five Aggregat 8 rockets lifted off their pads just after sunset. Two of them failed to launch properly and were detonated in place, three had guidance failure and had similar fates. The remaining twenty accelerated as they climbed over the Sea of Japan. Fishermen off the coast of the Shimane Prefecture reported an orange glow in the sky but that was already too late. Minutes later the first rocket fitted with a thermobaric charge detonated over the Kure Naval Shipyard, the shipyard and city were rocked by massive explosions as the rockets bracketed the valley and bay. Most of the buildings were leveled in seconds and fire raced through the city.

In the following hours aid from the nearby city of Hiroshima to help fight the fires. As it turned out, that was a trap. An additional fifteen rockets, these ones with special warheads that relied to changes of barometric pressure to force the two chemicals that made up their payload together. They detonated two hundred meters over Kure. The people leading the relief effort couldn’t believe their good fortune believing that the attack had missed. They shouldn’t have. Unseen in the night a cloud of sarin gas descended on Kure. Minutes later all communications in and out of Kure ceased. The fires burned out of control.

Berlin

Peter Holz was aware of what was probably happening at that very minute having been briefed along with the other field commanders in the Far Eastern Theater. In the few days since Peter had returned he had been trying to distract himself by finding out what had happened in his practice while he was away. A great deal. A few of the patients the drug study had had nearly come to blows with Doctor Brandt including the patient in front of him now. Peter figured that he needed to show Brandt exactly what the people he was antagonizing were capable of. Most of them had come through situations where terms like “Bodies stacked like cordwood” or “It’s not understood how anyone survived” were thrown around without irony. Apparently, Kat von Mischner had come a hairsbreadth from attacking Brandt after he had implied that she was a tease.

At his request Tangeman and Brandt were absent today because he had a few things that he wanted to talk to Kat about, well beyond the obvious things she had done. Not the least of which was this project that Kat had been working on. She had recruited six young women for her recent trip into Russia for the purpose of maintaining the cover of Jehane Thomas. From Peter’s perspective they all had a few things in common beyond their basic appearance and that was something that he thought needed to be talked about.

“You picked slightly different versions of yourself” Peter said, “Various possibilities played out in real life.”

“Are you serious?” Kat asked, “They look nothing like me.”

“No” Peter said, “They might look like Jehane by design, but their backgrounds include tragedy, abandonment and abuse, just like you.”

Kat stared at him for a long moment.

“I’m not saying that you did this consciously” Peter said, “I think that you picked girls who reminded you of yourself on some level. To save them perhaps?” Peter knew that Kat had frequently put others before herself, often at a heavy price to herself.

That actually caused Kat to get distressed. “That was the exact opposite what I was supposed to do” She said, “I was supposed to select six girls who wouldn’t be missed and to not get too attached.”

“It was in case things went wrong in Russia?” Peter asked.

“Yes” Kat said, “If things had gotten bad, my orders were to get Jehane and Kira on a ship or airplane back to Germany, everyone else was expendable.”

“What was the worst-case scenario?” Peter asked.

“If we had somehow gotten trapped” Kat said, “Someone would start torturing one or more of the girls until Jehane stepped forward to stop it.”

That would probably have worked on Kat too, except she would have gone berserk. Forcing her death in such a scenario before she would have allowed Jehane to step forward. That was why the military didn’t want Officers to become too emotionally attached to those under their command. Fortunately, the diplomatic mission to Russia hadn’t forced Kat to make impossible choices.

“I understand that” Peter replied, “How is Jehane holding up? It was her family who was buried.”

“She’s doing well enough I suppose” Kat answered, “But she did something before I could stop her since then. She decided to confront her demons.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that” Peter said. He was aware of the work that Kat had done. She looked better than she had when he had left months earlier. Tangeman said that she had gained weight to fifty-nine kilograms in her last check, making it so she was no longer unhealthily underweight. Dealing with her issues seemed to have helped.

“The source of her demons is sitting in Spandau Prison awaiting execution” Kat said, “She used her title and connection with the Empress to arrange a visit.”

“How did that go?” Peter asked.

“She’s not talking to me” Kat said, it was clear that pained her, “According to the guards the discussion was brief but heated.” Peter could imagine that it was. The only surviving descendant of Nicholas the Second exchanging words with Stalin.
 
This says that the drop in feet should be 1280 divided by the victim's weight in pounds.
Hmmm. Little late for the Trick or Treaters, maybe next year. This year I took last year's paper bag with eyeholes and drawn tears (as part of my Cleveland Browns fan costume), and put on my Phillies Utley jersey I've had for years.
Why are people so squeamish about a hanging turning into a beheading, though?
 
Minutes later the first rocket fitted with a thermobaric charge detonated over the Kure Naval Shipyard, the shipyard and city were rocked by massive explosions as the rockets bracketed the valley and bay. Most of the buildings were leveled in seconds and fire raced through the city.

Unseen in the night a cloud of sarin gas descended on Kure. Minutes later all communications in and out of Kure ceased. The fires burned out of control.

Thermobaric firestorm AND sarin coming via SRBM. That's like the Western Front shell mixtures taken to a demonic level.
 
Eep... it might be a mercy if you had died in the fire, rather than choke to death on sarin.

That said... if that's Quartum... I'm a tad disappointed.
 
You guys are way underestimating the hammer and anvil of Quartum here.

First, there is NOTHING the Japanese can do to stop these missiles at all. Enola Gay could theoretically have been shot down.

Second, the thermobaric bombs will produce a firestorm in a city like Kure, which OTL had over 290,000. See Tokyo or Dresden for the havoc that causes. In addition, the sheer heat means there are lots and lots of fires.

Third, the Sarin gas comes several hours later when rescue and support personnel are putting out the flames and clearing debris. It'd be like if we gassed Tokyo a couple of hours after the firebombing.

I'd estimate 50-60,000 dead from the firebombing, another 50-100,000 dead from the Sarin cloud, and 100K severely injured. It'd honestly make OTL Hiroshima seem like a nasty firebombing in comparison.

It is literally only something you would do to ensure the world never uses B or C weapons again.
 
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You guys are way underestimating the hammer and anvil of Quartum here.

First, there is NOTHING the Japanese can do to stop these missiles at all. Enola Gay could theoretically have been shot down.

Second, the thermobaric bombs will produce a firestorm in a city like Kure, which OTL had over 290,000. See Tokyo or Dresden for the havoc that causes. In addition, the sheer heat means there lots and lots of fires.

Third, the Sarin gas comes several hours later when rescue and support personnel are putting out the flames and clearing debris. It'd be like if we gassed Tokyo a couple of hours after the firebombing.

I'd estimate 50-60,000 dead from the firebombing, another 50-100,000 dead from the Sarin cloud, and 100K severely injured. It'd honestly make OTL Hiroshima seem like a nasty firebombing in comparison.

It is literally only something you would do to ensure the world never uses B or C weapons again.
Or it might just make another nation want to revive a discontinued program.
 
You guys are way underestimating the hammer and anvil of Quartum here.

Yeah, I guess I just got used to the fact that nuclear weapons IOTL got developed to the point where MAD was a major reason why the Cold War never got really hot.

As for biological and chemical weapons, there's only so much you can do to improve their yields.
 
Yeah, I guess I just got used to the fact that nuclear weapons IOTL got developed to the point where MAD was a major reason why the Cold War never got really hot.

As for biological and chemical weapons, there's only so much you can do to improve their yields.
That, and the whole, "One bomb, city wrecked," factor that comes from nukes.
 
Also don't underestimated the capabilities of Sarin to linger after an attack. That is one of the good things of the fire, it will cleanse the area. Or some poor fool will put his hand on the bottom of a table and catch himself a lethal dose of Sarin.

Another thought came to me, the firestorm will cause an actual storm. There will be strong winds of air feeding the flames. This will massively increase the dispersal area of the Sarin gas.
 
Part 39, Chapter 494
Chapter Four Hundred Ninety-Four


7th October 1945

Berlin

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

That was the editorial position of the New York Times. It was extremely easy for the American newspaper to take a position like that. It wasn’t their soldiers who had been attacked with weaponized plague. Besides that, the Editorial Writers at the New York Times clearly had no idea what their own Government had been up to. Lang’s experts had told him that the potential of a radiological weapon would make the loss of life at Kure seem minor by comparison. It was estimated that there had been somewhere north of two hundred thousand casualties in Kure. The fires had left the city a burnt-out cinder making the recovery effort difficult. A big part of the criticism of the operation was that the emergency response seemed to have been deliberately targeted.

It was noticeable that no one was arguing that Kure wasn’t a legitimate military target, it had been one of the largest shipyards on the Japanese Islands. One of the places where the largest Battleships of the IJN had been constructed. Lang had issued a statement saying that Kure was just taste of what was coming next and that the Japanese Government had been given plenty of opportunities to end this war but had resorted to barbarism instead. That was what had prompted the American editorials. On this side of the Atlantic the opinion was very different. Accounts of the battles in places like Vietnam, Taiwan or the Pacific were reaching here, stories of fanatical Japanese soldiers fighting to the death long after any possibility of victory was gone. The cost of an invasion of Japan was not one the public was willing to pay.

Admiral von Schmidt had said the destruction of Japanese Naval facilities needed to be the first order of business. In a few days two such locations had been marked for destruction.


Werder

Gianna looked through the Sunday edition of the BT. The story was about the events in Kure. Maria had said that story would suck all the air out the room so the story that she had helped with wouldn’t run until the following Sunday. If they finally got around to hanging Stalin between now and then so much the better. When Gianna had asked what Maria had against Stalin she had said that the Soviet War had taken her husband away from her for too long. That was true enough.

Maria had then turned around and asked a question whose answer had had surprised Gianna. “I thought you hated that man for what he did to your family?” was what she had asked. When Gianna thought about it she realized that while she was angry about what had happened, she didn’t actually hate Stalin. She felt sorry for him. This was because he was incapable of realizing what a monster he had been or how pitiful a figure he now was and how he had tried to destroy everything good in the world. Gianna wasn’t going to be a part of that. When Gianna had told Maria this, Maria had looked at her and told Gianna that she was a far better person than she was.

It was like what Kat had said, the monsters under Gianna’s bed were real. The way she saw it she could sit fearfully in the darkness or she could turn on the lights. By running this story Gianna was turning on the lights, letting the whole world see Stalin as the paranoid, pathetic little man that he was.

“Are you done with that?” Ilse asked interrupting Gianna’s train of thought. Gianna been coming to Werder on the weekends with Asia, they were still a part of this group even if they no longer all lived together. However, things were not always roses.

“No, I’m still trying to read it” Gianna replied. Since Gianna and Asia had moved into Berlin, Ilse had constantly wanted whatever she thought Gianna had. Learning that Gianna was Kat’s second cousin, Gianna’s cover, had been a bit of a blow to her and that had moved the hostility out into the open.

“Ilse has had far less than you her whole life” Kat had said, “Please try to be understanding.”

“Here then” Gianna said handing the paper to Ilse. “Just give it back when you’re done.” Ilse sat there for a moment just staring at the newspaper. She hadn’t actually wanted to read it, she had just been trying to pick a fight. She hadn’t expected this reaction.

“Why do you always do this?” Ilse demanded.

“Do what?” Gianna asked.

“Be so nice all the time” Ilse said, anger creeping into her voice.

Ilse was angry about her being nice?

“How can you be one of us, yet act this way?” Ilse asked.

“I don’t know…” Gianna started to say.

Ilse was staring at her furiously, but then she sniffed and ran out. That was something that Gianna had seen before, whenever Ilse got upset or frustrated, she hid.

“What did you do to her?” Leni asked as she looked up from that she was reading.

“She wanted to read the newspaper, so I gave it to her” Gianna said, confused.

“And you asked nothing in return?” Leni asked.

“Should I have?” Gianna asked.

“No, but for her its different” Leni said, “You were taken in by family Gia, Ilse didn’t have that option she spent her whole life as a ward of the State.”

“So” Gianna said, every one of them had their past.

“No one does something for nothing in the State schools” Leni said, “You knew how to fight before you got there, you could be generous, and no one dared to take advantage of you because of that. Ilse doesn’t know how to handle it.”

“Really?” Gianna asked. She had never thanked Kat for pulling her out of that hospital room and taking her to Aunt Marcella’s house or teaching her to fight the previous spring.
 
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I'd be surprised if a thermobaric bomb produced a firestorm. To quote Wikipedia:-

A thermobaric weapon is a type of explosive that utilizes oxygen from the surrounding air to generate an intense, high-temperature explosion, and in practice the blast wave typically produced by such a weapon is of a significantly longer duration than that produced by a conventional condensed explosive. ... They are however, considerably more destructive when used against field fortifications such as foxholes, tunnels, bunkers, and caves—partly due to the sustained blast wave, and partly by consuming the available oxygen inside.

Basically it's a blast weapon which uses up all the oxygen so it's more likely to extinguish any fires it creates. It's more probable any major fires would be due to secondary sources on the periphery of the explosion. Having said that, considering that a lot of buildings in Japan were of wooden construction at the time there's going to be a lot of fuel available. Once the fire crews had been killed by gas you might have the chance to create the conditions for a firestorm eventually. However, if we assume a payload of 1000kg for the rocket, a B29 could drop 5400kg or more of incendiaries on a mission, and it took a lot of B29s to create a firestorm.
 
Why are people so squeamish about a hanging turning into a beheading, though?

As I said earlier
What people really want is a method of changing the condemned prisoner from alive to dead at the flick of a switch with no change in appearance and no embarrassing emission of bodily fluids.

A decapitation results in the unexpected emission of lots of bodily fluids.
 
Sarin Decays quite quickly when exposed to the weather its most likely to remain lethal fro prolonged if it gets into intact buildings and other places with reduced air circulation. The fire will be a double blessing as it will remove almost all these places and the intensity of the firestorm itself will destroy the Sarin
 
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