“Wrap this up Gia, we’re done for the day” Kat said as she walked back into the room.

Gianna had not noticed that Kat had even left. She also noticed that Kat was calm and focused. That meant that a crisis was happening somewhere that she needed to handle.

“Something going on?” Gianna asked as she looked to Schafer.

“I got this” The Oberstaber said as he took charge of Freddy, “You two need to go now, I’m sure that Katze will explain in the car.”

Something about the way that Schafer said that suggested that the last part was a suggestion for Kat. Hopefully she would take it because Gianna hated it when Kat left her in the dark as things happened around them.

I think that word of l'affaire Hoover just made it back and Schultz is going to have to brief Kat and Kira, plus Kat's going to have to review the arrangements for the visit to the US. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.
 
Part 45, Chapter 596
Chapter Five Hundred Ninety-Six


30th May 1947

Berlin

As they moved into the early morning hours Erma Tangeman was considered the messes that she had found herself in, in the past. During the war she’d had to work in emergency surgery while grieving over a dead husband. Now, she had found herself in a situation that was not nearly as bad but almost as messy. She had gotten to Helene and had administered several drugs in an attempt to stop the contractions. That had worked, temporarily. Then it had come to carrying Helene across several city blocks to the clinic, that was something right out of the bombing of Berlin during the war.

Once she had Helene in the University Clinic things had gotten a lot more complicated in a hurry. The husband, Hans had quickly arrived along with several extremely tough looking men, Panzer Dragoons all. They were used to just bulling through anything that got in their way, that now included hospital administration. An hour later Manfred von Richthofen arrived along with his entourage. If that weren’t bad enough, Tangeman had just learned that the Emperor and Empress had arrived in the waiting room bringing with them elements of the SKA and 1st Imperial Foot Guard. Several journalists had been spotted sniffing around as well. There was a regular three ring circus going on out there.

Tangeman had needed a breath of fresh air as she concentrated all her thoughts on her patient. Stepping out one of the side doors of the clinic she took a deep breath and sorted her thoughts. Helene was in worse shape than she realized, her heart rate and blood pressure were elevated, something that could become life threatening if they delayed things further. But she was still at least five weeks before her due date. Helene had been terrified that the baby was coming early, thinking that it was because of something that she had done wrong. Tangeman had urged her to not exert herself but from the story that Helene’s flabbergasted Professor had given, Helene had not been under any sort of stress when this had happened. As near as Tangeman could tell this was just one of those things…

A shadow peeled off from the wall and resolved into the shape of a man of medium height with broad shoulders. Tangeman noticed with a touch of distaste who it was. “Figured that you weren’t welcome inside, Otto?” She asked.

“Katy put out the word a couple weeks ago” Otto said, “She said that after she was forced to acknowledge Elisabeth Tritten for me as her sister, she said that she’d use that little knife of hers to make sure that it never happens again.”

“And she’s in the waiting area” Tangeman replied. She knew that karambit Kat carried with her was made of laminated tool and spring steels. It pushed the laws of physics as to how sharp such a weapon could be. Perfect for conducting an impromptu castration. In this case, Tangeman would regard that as a service to the community.

“That doesn’t matter” Otto said, “Johannes’ woman, is she alright?”

“Your son’s wife is in good hands” Tangeman replied, “Your grandchild as well.”

If that caught Otto short, he didn’t show it. “Just take care of them” Then he disappeared again.

Tangeman shook her head as she went back into the clinic. There was a darkness in Katherine that made her ruthless enough to survive and do what she did. It was clear where that had come from. That didn’t mean that she approved of the man.

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The day before had been a good day until it wasn’t. Now Helene was laying on a bed staring at the ceiling while Doctor Tangeman was having nurses poking and prodding her. It had been suggested that she try to rest, easier said than done. At least Hans was here, he was sitting in the chair sleeping. He could sleep anywhere. Kat had said that it was from his years as a soldier. Late the night before the Emperor and Empress had visited. It had been nice of them, but they were obligated to have done that. Helene was a Lady of the Court, a Lady of Order of Louise and a Freifrau. It had been an awkward exchange until Louis left and Kira gave Helene a quiet word of encouragement. She’d been through this a few times.

She glanced at the window and saw that it was the grey predawn light. She had made it through the longest night of her life.

Doctor Tangeman walked in and looked down at Helene “How are you this morning?” She asked.

“Terrified” Helene replied.

“It means that you’re sane.”

Tangeman woke Hans who groggily got out of the way.

“I make a point of not treating my patients like children” Tangeman said.

Helene didn’t like the sound of that.

“We don’t know when it’s going to happen but the next contraction we will have to proceed.”

“But it’s too soon” Helene said, scared.

“I know that” Tangeman said, “But we want both of you to live through this.”

----------------------------------------------------------------

After that it was a matter of waiting. Tangeman noticed that the circus of the night before had dissipated as many of the participants realized they had better things to do and places to be. After the big rush and sense of crisis on the day before it almost seemed anticlimactic when Helene finally gave birth to her son. While he seemed robust and let his displeasure at his change in circumstances be known from the instant he could, it was obvious to Tangeman that all was not well. His premature nature was clear by his weight of only 1.86 kilograms.
 
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1.8.....Light, but at least STILL in the range even for the time that it can be managed. The main issues are to keep extreme care about the lung immaturity for the following months up to 2 years as lung based infections are the number 1 cause of deaths amongst premature kids.
 
Further along than I was at birth (6 weeks early). Let’s hope there aren’t complications besides low weight and potential lung disease.
 
I think that word of l'affaire Hoover just made it back and Schultz is going to have to brief Kat and Kira, plus Kat's going to have to review the arrangements for the visit to the US. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

Well, I guess I was wrong - Helene was having her baby and the circus came to town.
 
5 weeks, pretty small, but its almost june so the odds of avoiding the respiratory complications are pretty good.
But its also early days so not much to do if complications do arrive.
Speaking of which, nothing about the polio epidemics.
 
Presumably Jonas Salk hasn't been butterflied away? I don't know much about his life but he was a civilian engaged in medical research so I can't see what would have derailed his career
 
Part 45, Chapter 597
Chapter Five Hundred Ninety-Seven


6th June 1947

Berlin

Helene shared some of Doctor Tangeman’s exasperation at what had happened over the prior week. The Emperor no less had made sure that some of the best Pediatricians in the world were offering their services towards the continued improvement of Manfred Johannes Klaus von Mischner. Helene with the backing of Tangeman had told most of them to go get bent. The last thing Tangeman wanted was too many people involved with his care. The important thing now was to get his weight up, keep him warm at all times and avoiding any dangerous infections.

Helene had been free to go from the Clinic only a day or so after but had refused to leave as long as Manfred was there. Hans had gone back to Zossen and he’d taken his pack of cut throats with him. They had made the Clinic staff nervous and it was noticeable that Jost Schultz’s dog was better behaved than most of them. Something that Marcella had pointedly told Hans the first chance she got. Klaus and Marcella had needed to get back to their lives. Klaus had wondered aloud if the workshop would still be standing after he’d been gone for a few days.

After two wars spent in the cockpit of a fighter plane Graf von Richthofen was difficult to surprise but when Hans had told him that his first grandson would be his namesake that had done the job. He was actually happy with Hans for about five minutes. Helene had mentioned to her mother that if it had been a girl they would have named her Katherine. Käte had laughed, told Helene to save that for next time and not to tell her father. That might just kill him. That was when Helene had realized that there really could be a next time. She had mentioned it to Doctor Tangeman who was more than happy to offer many suggestions as to how and why that should be something that Helene take her sweet time considering.

Kat had been around less and less as the week wore on. She, along with Gia, was neck deep in the preparations of the Diplomatic tour that was to depart on the following Monday. That left Helene with her mother, a fidgeting Gerta, Ilse and Asia. Asia was her usual silent self, but Helene had found out that it had been her and Gia who had written the touching birth announcement that had run in the BT. Asia had gone with Gerta on some errand leaving just Käte and Ilse.

Ilse was still scrambling for her identity. She used to be so envious of Gia for being Kat’s cousin, now she was having to rethink all of that. It had been a few weeks earlier when Kat and Hans had sat her down and told her the truth, that her, Kat and Hans all had the same father. Ilse had been aware of Kat’s dual nature. When it came to secrets, Kat would die before she gave those up but when it came to painful truths Kat was a battering ram. Ilse had gotten the full treatment. Kat was her half-sister, she’d known for some time but hadn’t known if telling Ilse would be a good idea and the whole, unvarnished truth about Otto Mischner. Ilse had been left wondering where she was left standing in the weeks that followed. It was Helene and Käte, Helene’s mother, who had put it all in perspective for her.

Little Manfred had been splitting his time between Helene’s arms and the incubator where he slept. Doctor Tangeman had said that it was important that he be stressed as little as possible. Käte was currently holding the baby and she was overjoyed.

“Here” Käte said to Ilse, “You hold him.”

Ilse was at a loss as Käte showed her how to hold the baby. He was so small and delicate that Ilse was terrified that she’d do something wrong. She looked down at the eyes that he didn’t yet know how to focus and realized that they were not unlike her own.

“Look at those hands of his” Käte said, “He might be small now, but he’s going to be a big man like his Papa one day.”

“You think?” Helene asked from her chair.

“Your father is going to be disappointed” Käte replied, “His hope is that Luftwaffe will be the family business, this boy is bound for the Panzer Corps.”

“He’s going to University if I have any say about it” Helene said.

“That’s the only thing worse to Manfred than the Panzer Corps” Käte said, “Like your brother, though word is that Albrecht has fallen under the sway of Grand Admiral von Schmidt. If your brother joins the Navy… I don’t want to even think about what your father’s reaction might be.”

“Worse than when Lothar announced that he was starting a career with Lufthansa?” Helene asked.

“Dear God, that was bad, but at least he is still a pilot” Käte replied, “But a Richthofen in the Navy, you want to see all your ancestors rise from the grave to throttle someone?”

“It’s nowhere near that bad” Helene said with a smile as she stood up and walked over to Ilse. “I’m going to need your nephew back now.”

When Helene said that to Ilse, Ilse saw the simple truth in that. This was her family. She very carefully handed Manfred back to his mother.
 
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I'd think the Panzer Corps wouldn't be so bad in Richthofen's eyes, at least compared to, say, Infantry or even Artillery, since it's built on cavalry traditions, and the Richthofens (including Manfred himself and his Father) were cavalry officers.
 
You just have to invent the Luftpanzer, then he can be in the Panzerkorps and the Lufftwaffe at the same time !

Might you mean something like this?

flying-tank.jpg
 

Md139115

Banned
Emil and all his fellow paratroopers will take one look at the idea and be beside themselves with joy (come on, the only thing that they lack is armored support and their opponents usually have plenty of it).

Come to think of it, I’m surprised that he hasn’t stopped by and told Manfred that the kinder is much to large to be a pilot, but he’d make a good jäger...
 
Emil and all his fellow paratroopers will take one look at the idea and be beside themselves with joy (come on, the only thing that they lack is armored support and their opponents usually have plenty of it).

Come to think of it, I’m surprised that he hasn’t stopped by and told Manfred that the kinder is much to large to be a pilot, but he’d make a good jäger...

WEll, air-droppable tanks tend to be light on the "Armor" side of it.

That said, OTL at least, tankettes were a thing. Of course, you need sub-standard sized drivers...

tks-tankette-captured-01.jpg
 
You just have to invent the Luftpanzer, then he can be in the Panzerkorps and the Lufftwaffe at the same time !

Emil and all his fellow paratroopers will take one look at the idea and be beside themselves with joy (come on, the only thing that they lack is armored support and their opponents usually have plenty of it).

Come to think of it, I’m surprised that he hasn’t stopped by and told Manfred that the kinder is much to large to be a pilot, but he’d make a good jäger...

Ah, did you guys remember that the Luftpanzer actually made it into service, landed in gliders?
 
I think it is very pathetic that we are planning the life of a newborn child when it is obvious that he is going to join the Marine Infantry, more specifically the MA Sea Lions.
 
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