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.

I just hope he grows up healthy. That's one thing that money, family or influence can't buy.
 

Md139115

Banned
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.

Baron Richthofen will thrash his grandson to within a centimeter of his life if he even tried (and, if necessary, would rise from the grave to do so)!
 

FBKampfer

Banned
Oh, PM, I've been meaning to ask, where did the term Panzer-dragoons come into vogue?

Panzergrenadier was really only termed in 1943, well after the height of the blitzkrieg, but remains in the German lexicon to this day.

If I remember correctly, you also mentioned back in the 20's that they were officially Panzergrenadiers.


What caused the shift, if I might ask?
 
I just caught up with the story. My compliments to the author, it is an excelent piece of writing. Alas I have a minor quibble, as the German equvalent rank the "lieutenant" is "Leutnant", wich also means "Oberleutnant", "Oberstleutnant" and "Generalleutnant".
 
Oh, PM, I've been meaning to ask, where did the term Panzer-dragoons come into vogue?

Panzergrenadier was really only termed in 1943, well after the height of the blitzkrieg, but remains in the German lexicon to this day.

If I remember correctly, you also mentioned back in the 20's that they were officially Panzergrenadiers.


What caused the shift, if I might ask?

The terms are used somewhat interchangeably, the it denotes heavy mounted infantry that works in concert with Panzer Brigades. Officially they get called Grenadiers to denote that role but in they are almost classic Dragoon Infantry.
 
Dan said:

Kanzler Manfred von Mischner
United Empire of Mitteleuropa
1982-1997

Me thinks he gets his dad's last name, no?

Also, something I learned just last week. Some "non Royal" names also have Von as part of them. To distinguish between the royal and non-royal names, the non royal is written "Von Sluggo", while the royal version is "v. Sluggo" or "von Sluggo".

I believe the non royal version starts with a cap V to indicate it is just part of a formal name, while the small v denotes a preposition, rather than a proper noun (name).

Anyway, great story PM, love your format, imagination and ability to craft a story. Please continue for another 13,532 chapters. Danke!
 
Part 45, Chapter 598
Chapter Five Hundred Ninety-Eight


8th June 1947

Berlin

It was a pleasant evening as Doug sat across the table from Kat at a Berlin eatery. It wasn’t the sort of place that anyone would expect a Gräfin to be. Doug understood why Kat had wanted to go to a place like this. In the coming weeks she would have to spend every minute as Gräfin Katherine. Tonight, she just wanted to be Kat, a girl from Pankow out on date with her fiancé.

“Is there anything you want me to say to your family when I see them next week?” Kat asked.

“I think you are going to be talking with my father and Emma” Doug replied, “I doubt you’ll see my mother.”

“We’ll see her soon enough” Kat said.

“Yeah, in three weeks.”

“That’s all?” Kat asked with an exasperated sigh.

“Yes” Doug said, “Both you and my mother will need to endure that day.”

“I’m surprised she’s coming back after the last time” Kat replied.

“After that power play that your employer did she has to come back to prove that she wasn’t intimidated” Doug replied with a smile.

It was a request that Kat had made of Doug months earlier, that he never mention Kira’s name on these dates. A few times they had been overheard and that had brought unwelcome attention. “How’s Helene’s baby doing?” Doug asked changing the subject.

“Manfred is already getting bigger” Kat said, “Helene’s mother is certain that he’ll be as big as Hans one day.”

That was something, Hans was just shy of the maximum regulation height of a man in Panzer Corps at 1.9 meters.

“How much longer are they expecting to keep him in the hospital?” Doug asked.

“Another week” Kat answered, “Hans and Helene asked me to ask you if you could do a family photograph for them.”

“An exclusive for the first public appearance of the grandson of the Mischner-Richthofen family?” Doug asked, “That’s just shy of royalty as far as the papers are concerned, sounds like a real hardship.”

“I knew that we’d totally have to twist your arm to get you to agree to do that” Kat said playing along with Doug’s sarcasm.

“Tell them I’ll think about it” Doug said, “And we’ll need to have Hans contact my agency to square things and set a time.”

“That will give you something to do while I’m gone” Kat said mildly.

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

Anne was surprise at the scene that greeted her when she entered the room. It was a rundown house in Kreuzberg. This dinner was a meeting of the entire group of enigmatic of young women who she had gotten to know during the social season. This was a farewell meal as one of their own was going to be travelling with the Empress as one of the nannies for the three oldest Royal children. While Anne understood that it was a cover, she still didn’t envy anyone whose job would be to help control three children as they were shuttled from official event to official event.

“Freddy won’t be too much trouble for Gia” Tilde said, “He has a schoolboy’s crush on her.”

“He’s only eight…” Gianna replied defensively.

“And he’s like his father” Gerta said, “A born charmer, but he’ll get over it. There are worse things than that Gia.”

Gerta would know that, she’d grown up in the Imperial Court and had known the Emperor since she was little. All the younger girls of the Sisterhood fit a particular description. Gerta was however, tall, elegant and blond. Which made her very different from that. There was also the American girl, who just seemed to enjoy soaking up the energy of the room and the Russian woman who liked living in the center of everything.

Midway through the meal, the leader of this, whatever this was, came home. Anne had barely exchanged more than a few words with the Gräfin, but she made herself available equally to everyone. Anne had just been too shy to talk to her. Gräfin Katherine walked with such assurance, she was so accomplished and formidable, everything Anne wished she could be. Someone like Anne would surely be beneath her notice. She was currently giving details on her date and how her photographer boyfriend had agreed to do something. Anne just listened in and enjoyed the meal.

After the meal while the clean up was going on, Petia had shooed anyone not involved with that cleanup out of the kitchen. Anne found herself in the parlor with silent Asia. She looked at the photographs on the walls. At the center was a framed photograph of a Russian Princess, Anne was looking at it quizzically when Asia said, “Our spiritual mother.”

“Who?” Anne asked.

“Tatiana there” Asia said, “She’s our mother, all of us.”

“When did that happen?”

“You know the story?” Asia asked. Everyone knew that story, there had been a movie made. Except for a minor quibble about the end credits running several years too soon, that much was clear enough.

“Are you saying that you are all Duchess Alexandra as well?” Anne asked.

Asia gave Anne a smile, “That’s sort of the idea” she said, “All of us and none of us.”

Anne had only had Asia speak to her a few times over the last few months. Gianna, who was closest with Asia said that it was wonderful that she was finally coming out of her shell.
 
Oh, PM, I've been meaning to ask, where did the term Panzer-dragoons come into vogue?

Panzergrenadier was really only termed in 1943, well after the height of the blitzkrieg, but remains in the German lexicon to this day.

If I remember correctly, you also mentioned back in the 20's that they were officially Panzergrenadiers.


What caused the shift, if I might ask?
The terms are used somewhat interchangeably, the it denotes heavy mounted infantry that works in concert with Panzer Brigades. Officially they get called Grenadiers to denote that role but in they are almost classic Dragoon Infantry.

You might say that ITTL the term Panzer Dragoon was coined by the redoutable Oberst Wolvogel and made popular after the Battle of Ussey.
 
Having Gianna as one of the caretakers for the Royal children especially the Crown Prince finally allows her to integrate both her real identity as Jehane and the life she made for herself as Gianna.
While Gianna does not have the fierce killer instinct the Kat has, I would not challenge her by doing anything that might put her charges in danger.

Hopefully the visit to America goes very smoothly and there is no unfortunate incidents to report, maybe the Royal Family can go to baseball game at Ebbets Field and Freddy can be made a honorary Bat Boy complete with a Dodgers uniform.
 
“Are you saying that you are all Duchess Alexandra as well?” Anne asked.

Asia gave Anne a smile, “That’s sort of the idea” she said, “All of us and none of us.”

Anne had only had Asia speak to her a few times over the last few months. Gianna, who was closest with Asia said that it was wonderful that she was finally coming out of her shell.

Nice. It's a switcheroo that works really well. If something comes out, assumptions may fall to Asia rather than Gianna.
 
Part 45, Chapter 599
Chapter Five Hundred Ninety-Nine


18th June 1947

Montreal, Canada

Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia and now Canada that they had reached after stopovers in Hawaii and San Francisco. It was what could be expected on such trips. The airplane, a brand new Focke-Wulf Condor II would land, there would be a ceremony of greeting there on the tarmac with bands and flag waving. Then the Emperor would go a have a meeting with his counterpart, Czar, Emperor, President, Prime Minister or whatever and whoever oversaw the Government. There would then be an exchange of Orders and gifts in front of the Press as the flash bulbs went off.

While all of that was going on, Kira and the children were treated to the local culture. The result was that they had seen museums, temples and other cultural treasures. Then it was back for a formal State Dinner. While there were some very memorable experiences like the Great Wall of China or Edo Castle in Japan. The most pleasant part had been the stop for a day to rest in Vietnam when they had gone to a beach that was in an area that was growing increasingly popular with tourists.

There were things that Kat would just as soon forget. Kira had let her walk right into medal ceremony in Moscow with no warning. For her role in the liberation of Moscow and the capture of Stalin, Kat, along with the other Officers involved with the raid on the Kremlin had been awarded the Order of Saint Andrews. If she had been given any warning she would have ducked that again. Kat had also been declared Voyevoda of the Russian Empire on behalf of the Russian People for her years of service to Russia. It was a purely ceremonial declaration, but Kat had heard rumors through Petia that she was held in undeservedly high regard in Russia for some reason. It was just one more reason that Kat added to the growing list of reasons why she was dreading her wedding, which was now just eleven days away.

Kat pushed that out of her thoughts and focused on her task at hand. She was riding in the back of a car with Gianna beside her through the Montreal suburbs while the rest of the Imperial Delegation was in the Canadian Capital. It could not have been more different from the last time that she had visited this city which had been in the middle of winter then. This was also the first time that Gianna had been in Canada since she had been twelve. Something else that couldn’t have been more different.

“Welcome home, Miss Thomas” Malcolm Blackwood had said when he had picked them up from the hotel in Ottawa. That was reality of this. Gianna really was free to be Jehane Thomas today.

“What is this place?” Jehane asked. Looking out at the working-class neighborhood as it rolled by.

“This is the neighborhood where your father grew up” Kat said, “It’s likely if your parents had lived, they would have moved here.”

“You mean this is home for me?”

“As much as anywhere” Kat replied.

Jehane just looked out the window again with a wistful look on her face. The car parked on the street and Malcolm’s Driver opened the door for them. It was quiet, they could hear children yelling at each other in the distance and a lawn sprinkler. The sounds of a suburban neighborhood as afternoon turned to evening.

They walked up the walkway towards the front door of the house. The door opened, and Kat recognized Theodora as she stepped out with a surprised look on her face.

“Welcome back, Katrina” Theodora said as she rushed forward and hugged Kat, she obviously remembered Kat from her previous visit. Raphael stepped out with a touch more caution. When Kat had contacted them the night before they had been happy to hear from her and they had invited Kat to dinner.

“There’s someone here with me you should meet” Kat said.

Theodora focused on Jehane for a minute as the gears worked and she realized who was standing in her front yard. “My God…” She said.

Raphael stepped forward and took Jehane’s hand, “Sorry about Theo” He said, “We’ve not seen you since you were a little girl, this is a shock.”

Theodora got her bearings again and warmly greeted Jehane. Then it was Jehane’s turn to be surprised as she found herself pulled into the house where she got to help her cousins, Laure and Zoé set an extra place at the table minutes after she met them, Malcolm had begged off saying that he and Margot had plans for later. Dinner was ready and Jehane met her last cousin, Lucas who had been upstairs. Later during the car ride back to Ottawa, Jehane would say that it was true that this place was home. She’d been made to feel far more welcome here than she ever had by her Russian relatives. But then so was Berlin where Kat and Marcella had welcomed her.

Kat didn’t mention the reason why the Delegation had come to Canada before the United States. It was a chance to rest on relatively friendly territory before they entered what was expected to be diplomatic minefield that contained very real danger as well.


Berlin

Helene and Hans had arranged for Manfred not to be taken to their home in Wunsdorf yet but to the townhouse owned by Helene’s Parents instead. This would keep Manfred in close proximity to medical treatment should he need it. Hans was back every chance he got which Helene liked, finding out that her Mother had hired a staff to help her she saw as a mixed blessing. Then Käte had told Helene that her Father was joyously looking forward to having a grandson to teach to be a proper hunter in a few years. That clearly hadn’t taken with either Lothar or Albrecht, so Helene figured that wouldn’t do any harm when Manfred was old enough. Besides that, she had many fond memories of Summers spent in Kleinburg and would want him to have the same experience.

“Good, you’re dressed” Was the first thing that Doug said when he walked in. Apparently, he’d heard from nearly everyone that Helene had been wearing a nightgown and bathrobe all day, every day for the last few weeks. That wasn’t exactly true, but even if it were she was still convalescing and that was her business alone. It had then proven a bit awkward as Doug talked about how he had photographed babies before and they were not the easiest of subjects. When Helene had asked what she could do to improve the chances of getting a good photograph and Doug had explained as best he could Helene had realized that getting dressed before he’d arrived might not have been the best move.

Eventually, they had set up in the back garden which was a wonderful tangle of greenery and the red brick of the townhouse. Hans was wearing his dress uniform and Helene was in her best clothes. Doug and his assistant were setting up panels of white fabric on metal frames to assure that they had the best light. Manfred who was sleepy from having been fed minutes earlier could be handled with little fuss. First, they did a series of pictures of Helene then the photographs, first with Hans. Then with Helene’s Parents and Hans’ Aunt and Uncle.

Helene saw the large number of photographs that Doug was taking. “It’s so that we can go through them. Figure out which ones you want to keep and which ones you’ll want to publish.”

“Why would I want to publish some of them?” Helene asked.

“To provide a bit of a distraction” Doug said, “Because the wedding on the 29th is going to be a real nightmare.”

“Isn’t that your wedding?” Marcella asked, “Why would you think that?” Käte looked concerned.

“”Because I’ve seen the guest list” Doug said, and that was all he would say on the matter.
 
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My ex was a wedding photographer Once Upon A Time and I wound up as her assistant [0]. We once guesstimated that we'd done 2,000-3,000 weddings, from the extremely modest to the extremely large. I can just imagine how much of a circus that'll be.

[0] "It must be hard doing a wedding by yourself. Why don't I go along and help?" Oops; there went every weekend for 20 years. It got to the point of "Oh, God, it's Friday" and "Thank God it's Monday." Yeah, I had a full time job during the week.

It was also the time of mechanical cameras (Hassleblad) and rolls of film and rechargable strobe lights. We (I) wound up hauling around about 150 pounds of equipment worth about $35,000.
 
I can’t quite believe that this excellent thread is only on page 310, as the next chapter is number 600, and that there are so few comments.
 
To provide a bit of a distraction” Doug said, “Because the wedding on the 29th is going to be a real nightmare.”

“Isn’t that your wedding?” Marcella asked, “Why would you think that?” Käte looked concerned.

“”Because I’ve seen the guest list” Doug said, and that was all he would say on the matter
When DOUG says that about the Guest list......
 
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