Then again von Richthofen might think with his sons Albricht being an egghead and Lothar being basically a bus driver in the air (bus, air, air, bus?) that maybe some of the Mischner family fighting spirit is just the thing that is needed to reinvigorate his family bloodlines.
 
Part 43, Chapter 564
Chapter Five Hundred Sixty-Four


11th September 1946

Meiningen

“I never thought that I’d see her run so fast up those stairs onto the airplane” Kat said as she concluded the story of the messy weekend that had finally just concluded a day earlier when her and Doug had put Margot and Emma on the plane back to Montreal.

“So, it worked out for you in the end” Feodora said, “I only wish I could have been there to see the look on that dried up shrew’s face when she heard from Kira herself that her son could be said to be beneath your station.”

That had played out how Helene had predicted it would. Kat had been lucky to have caught Feodora in one of her more lucid moments. A few weeks earlier Kat had been here, and she had regressed to early childhood. It was the reason why Feodora needed round the clock care which was why Kat and Feodora’s cousin Georg had arranged for her to be moved to the hospital from the long neglected Elisabethenburg Palace. Far from measuring the curtains as Feodora had alleged, Georg was already carrying out the renovations that would be required to turn it into a conservatory and annex of the University of Berlin which were Feodora’s wishes according to her will. He was also getting a massive tax write off on the estate for when Feodora passed away, but she didn’t need to know about that. What no one knew, other than Kat and Augustus Lang that the changes in the inheritance laws to make that possible had been changed just for this to happen. Getting people to do the right things for the wrong reasons, was how Lang had put it a couple years earlier. Kat had a feeling that it was something that Lang had done a lot of while he was Chancellor. Feodora was happy with how it had worked out and that was all that counted.

“Are you listening to me, Katherine?” Feodora asked.

“I’m sorry” Kat said, “I’ve a lot on my mind.”

“You had said to your friend that you were planning on telling your boyfriend a final answer once you got Margot on the plane” Feodora said.

“About that” Kat said. It hadn’t played out quite how she had planned, though she could be quite sure that Margot would forever think otherwise.

“Douglas and I were walking back towards the main building of the airport and I told him that I would take his offer in spite of him being a commoner and all that” Kat said, “He then swept me into his arms and kissed me there on the tarmac. It was like something from a movie, completely ridiculous.”

“You did give everyone sitting on that side of the airplane quite a show” Feodora said with a laugh.

“I know, that’s why I didn’t deck him.”


Berlin

“I was surprised that no one was surprised to see me there” Gianna said, “I was told that after all the work I did Russian prisoners during the war I was a shoo in once anyone reviewed my actions and examined my personal connections.”

“Does it bother you that they see you as a Dame of the Order as opposed to a Grand Duchess?” Peter asked.

“The place I earned in the world as opposed to a title that has never been more than an abstraction?” Gianna asked in reply.

It was a fair enough question. Gianna had avoided taking any more stupid risks since she had started coming to talk to Peter, but that was more for lack of opportunity than anything else. There was also the elephant in the room.

“When you helped the Russian prisoners, you understand that was a huge risk on your part.” During the war, the Soviet State would have given anything for the sort of propaganda that even having Jehane Thomas turn up alive would have given them.

“Yes, I understood that” Gianna said, “But I saw how that situation was killing Kat, someone had to help her even if I couldn’t do much.”

Peter remembered that well, Kat had suddenly found herself responsible for thousands of women prisoners of war. A task she’d been assigned for the purpose of keeping her out of trouble. Kat had done her best, but it had not gone well. In spite of that, it was partially from that time period that the public perception in Russia of Katherine von Mischner had eventually gelled, the Saint-like figure that she was deeply uncomfortable with. When it was announced that Jehane was still alive and that she had worked with Kat during that time period it had cemented her reputation as well.

“They were also your own people” Peter said.

That caught Gianna short. With everything that had happened and everything she’d done Gianna, had never really considered herself Russian. It was where her family had come from and they had been exiled because of a revolution that had resulted from being far removed from the struggles of ordinary people. There was also the small matter of that revolution and the continuing impact it was having in the life of Jehane Thomas-Romanova also known as Gianna Strobel.

“I know that” Gianna said defensively.

“Did you?” Peter asked, “Or did you never think of it all? You got to make yourself feel good about helping unfortunates.”

“It wasn’t like that at all” Gianna snapped.

“I know that” Peter said, “But that’s the reality. You mentioned abstractions before, this isn’t one, that is what a critic might say regarding your actions.”

“Why did you do that?” Gianna asked, her tone angry.

“My job is to challenge people’s assumptions” Peter said, “The point of this is to not have an unexamined life.”

“So, we’re here for a full examination?” Gianna asked.

“You’re a smart girl, stubborn as well” Peter replied, “Those things have helped keep you alive, but you reach a point where they can hurt you as well.”

“You think that I’m at that point?”

“Can you honestly say that you aren’t?” Peter asked in response.
 
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Chapter Five Hundred Sixty-Four

11th September 1946

“Douglas and I were walking back towards the main building of the airport and I told him that I would take his offer in spite of him being a commoner and all that” Kat said, “He then swept me into his arms and kissed me there on the tarmac. It was like something from a movie, completely ridiculous.”

“You did give everyone sitting on that side of the airplane quite a show” Feodora said with a laugh.

“I know, that’s why I didn’t deck him.”

&Deity, this is wonderful.

First, that Kat accepted Doug's ring.
Then that she even entertained his question.
And now she's able to accept his offer.

I'm hoping her demons have mostly been banished.
 
“Douglas and I were walking back towards the main building of the airport and I told him that I would take his offer in spite of him being a commoner and all that” Kat said, “He then swept me into his arms and kissed me there on the tarmac. It was like something from a movie, completely ridiculous.”

“You did give everyone sitting on that side of the airplane quite a show” Feodora said with a laugh.

“I know, that’s why I didn’t deck him.”

Mother obviously watched from the plane and probably suck in something even more sour.
 
Part 44, Chapter 565
Chapter Five Hundred Sixty-Five


13th September 1946

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Lang was leaving the lecture hall having given his talk to the Social Sciences Department when he heard her voice. It was a confrontation that he had hoped that he could avoid while he was in Munich.

“Chancellor Lang!” The woman’s voice called out insistently, “A moment of your time.”

Lang figured he was about to get an earful about the Night of Whispers and how many people considered what had happened a profound crime against humanity. One of Lang’s bodyguards was moving to intercept Sophie Scholl, but Lang waved him off. She was mostly harmless.

“I’m not the Chancellor any more, Fraulein Scholl” Lang said, “Something that I’m sure you’re well aware of.”

“A moment of your time, please” Sophie said, looking him directly in the eye, “I know what you did, for me.”

Few people had lost more to the service of the State without actually joining the military or running for office than this young woman had. Lang had known her father as a coalition partner before he’d been killed in the Reichstag Bombing. She had come to Lang’s attention again during the war when she and her brother had started a protest movement against the war after her fiancé had died fighting the Soviets. The Federal Police had wanted to arrest all the individuals involved with the movement, but Lang had ordered them to stand down. If they had bothered to have spent a few minutes reading the materials that the group was putting out they might have learned that it wasn’t the Soviet War they were against. It was all war. Lang could hardly order their arrests without being more of a hypocrite than he already was. Sophie had a reputation as an ideologist, which was why Lang had been hoping to avoid her.

“It wasn’t just for you” Lang said, “We aren’t the Soviets, if we had surrendered everything that we were fighting for, then Stalin would have won the war regardless of the outcome.”

“Thank you, for that, no matter why you did it” Sophie said, and then she shuffled around awkwardly for a few long seconds.

“Any thing else?” Lang asked.

“I saw your talk” Sophie said, “Is it really like that, being in office?”

“I’m a bit cynical, but yes, it’s about getting the best deal you can for your constituents” Lang replied, “Whoever they are.”

“But you led a revolution?” Sophie said. Clearly, she didn’t understand how one could be both a revolutionary and a pragmatist.

“There are different types of revolutions and this gives me perspective” Lang emphasized the cane he’d needed to walk with for the previous three decades, “A single ricochet in Verdun and I’ve never looked at stairs the same way again.”

“Perspective?”

“The March Revolution wasn’t the romantic down with the system and to the barricades revolution that most people think of” Lang said, “It was a give us a place at the table revolution, we had clear goals and demands when we arrived in Berlin. As it turned out having Emperor Wilhelm and a good chunk of the Heer on our side also helped a great deal.”

“Is that a joke?” Sophie asked.

“That photograph that I figure you’ve seen, the one of me facing down Panzers?” Lang asked, the picture that had made his entire political career.

“Yes, I’ve seen that” Sophie said.

“The lead Panzer had a young Hauptfeldwebel named Walter Horst riding on it” Lang said, “Do you think that he would have hesitated for an instant to spray that crowd with machine gun fire if he’d been ordered to.”

Sophie’s jaw dropped when she heard that. Horst had a reputation of being a merciless attack dog but years earlier he had confided in Lang that he didn’t know what he would have done if he’d been ordered to violently put down the revolution. In Lang’s mind Manfred von Wolvogle seeing the long view of things and going to take a piss, forcing the 4th Division to find an alternative interpretation of their orders was probably the single greatest service he had performed as a soldier.

“That whole thing sounds more complicated than I thought” Sophie said looking surprised.

“It always is” Lang replied, “Now if you don’t mind, I must be going.”

“Thank you, Chancellor” Sophie said, “For your time.”

“I’ve a lot of time these days it comes with…” There was a flash and Lang saw that the press pool had caught up with them. “Now you’ve done it, you’ll never get the stink of me off of you” He said.

Sophie laughed at that, “Have a good day Chancellor Lang” She said before walking off.


Peenemünde

The concussive blast shook the command bunker. The problem with rocket development was that while their successes were spectacular, the failures were even more so. They were testing the engines for the proposed Aggregat 9-10 which was the proposed multistage rocket which would be the next stage of the project if the goal was to reach Low-Earth orbit. Unfortunately, the engines had a terrible tendency to explode and the cause had proven elusive. They had realized that they had probably reached the limits of alcohol as a fuel source as the Aggregat 8 was being perfected. The whole program had experience in working with liquid oxygen, the idea was proposed that they switch entirely to cryogenic fuels after attempts to use kerosene and nitric acid had proven to be a bit of a failure.

What that had meant in practice was that they were back to the drawing board. Liquid hydrogen had seemed like the best choice, everyone remembered the problems that airships and observation balloons had with that and so far, the results were promising. The week before they had gotten a call from the Wilhelm Institute in Berlin saying that their latest series of tests had been measured on the seismograph there. That was embarrassing.
 
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Chapter Five Hundred Sixty-Five

13th September 1946

Sophie’s jaw dropped when she heard that. Horst had a reputation of being a merciless attack dog but years earlier he had confided in Lang that he didn’t know what he would have done if he’d been ordered to violently put down the revolution. In Lang’s mind Manfred von Wolvogle seeing the long view of things and going to take a piss forcing the 4th Division to find an alternative interpretation of their orders was probably the single greatest service he had performed as a soldier.

Concur. And Sophie Scholl. Thank you.
 
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The Americans are going to go bananas about the new German attempt to create artificial earth quakes.

I don't know if ITTL, the British went ahead with the Tallboy or Grand slam bombs, as the Japanese wouldn't have had the reinforced concrete submarine pens that the Nazis had OTL. Potentially they could have built them to deal with the Yamato Class? In which case the concept of an "Earthquake bomb" would be known.
If that's the case then the failed rocket launch could be mis-interpreted as a test dropping of a German earthquake bomb which could be amusing. In which case Nancy will be asked to listen out for any news of testing a big bomb.
I sense the OSS searching for a shoal of red herrings in the Baltic sea...
 
The week before they had gotten a call from the Wilhelm Institute in Berlin saying that their latest series of tests had been measured on the seismograph there. That was embarrassing.

I'm still loving this timeline. I LOVE this line--amusing and yet it would show on seismographs. Good to see Kat settling down; Kats do grow up. (Though my two still leave the tree on its side on occasion.)
 
I don't know if ITTL, the British went ahead with the Tallboy or Grand slam bombs, as the Japanese wouldn't have had the reinforced concrete submarine pens that the Nazis had OTL. Potentially they could have built them to deal with the Yamato Class? In which case the concept of an "Earthquake bomb" would be known.
If that's the case then the failed rocket launch could be mis-interpreted as a test dropping of a German earthquake bomb which could be amusing. In which case Nancy will be asked to listen out for any news of testing a big bomb.
I sense the OSS searching for a shoal of red herrings in the Baltic sea...
Extremely unlikely, as they had neither the Airplane capable of reach the targets in question and dump these bombs nor the need to bomb the specific targets for what these bombs were designed for.

As such, there never was the need to spend time, money and effort ti craft such weapons in first point.
 
In OTL The Grand slam and Talboy bombs were built to destroy a particular class of targets that were deemed virtually bomb proof by their creators, in most cases when attack with these bombs that faith was misplaced. OTL other than 'Upkeep' Barnes Wallisis's other brilliant bomb design no other bomb IMHO had such a success rate pound for pound of ordinance dropped.
 
Sophie Scholl!

I love the way you introduced her into the narrative in a completely believable way.

I also love how Lang just gave a political science and activism lesson worth its weight in platinum to her.
 

Md139115

Banned
I wonder if the Germans could convince the British and Canadians to let them test a couple dozen hydrogen bombs at once underground in Labrador.

I imagine that they would wet themselves in Washington when they physically feel that one!
 
Wonder if we will see Project Habbakuk TTL? OTL Britain dropped Pyke like a stone because of his Comintern links. TTL that's not such a security issue but more of a potential means of control by... discreet suggestion. Like TTL Fuchs
 
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