By now there should have been movies made about the Reichstag bombing, the attempt on the Empress and her family, the first raid by the SKA in Belarus, and the capture of Stalin.
There could be American remakes of German movies or German-American co-productions.
This means while Kat in of herself is not that personally famous, the concept of Kat through various portrayals of her actions in movies is very well known.
An advertising campaign using the Kat persona could be very effective and controversial at the same time.

In addition to everything else, after accompanying Kira on her tour and the exposure that came with it, and her wedding with 'two Emperors, a Czar, a few Kings, a President, at least two Chancellors and most of the Reichstag' in attendance, I submit that Kat's probably one of, if not the, most recognizable woman on the planet. If someone uses her likeness commercially without her permission the resulting punitive damages will be compared to the GNP of a small country.
 
Part 48, Chapter 645
Chapter Six Hundred Forty-Five


11th March 1948

Berlin

Ilse had heard that Otto Mischner was back in town and decided that it was time for a long overdue family reunion. She didn’t say anything to anyone because she knew that they would have stopped her. Entering Bert’s Tavern, she saw Otto himself against the back wall. The King holding Court, Ilse thought to herself as she approached this man who biology said was her father. Sitting down across the table from him, she saw his eyes focus on her. Eyes that were identical to everyone in her family, including her own except so extremely cold, like a shark’s.

“You got a bit of nerve showing up here” Otto said.

“Then I don’t need to tell you who I am” Ilse replied.

“I know that you are little waif who’s caused me a great deal of trouble with Katy” Otto snapped.

“You are still not willing to acknowledge the truth.”

The two of them stared at each other for a long moment.

“There’s the truth” Otto said, “And then there is the Truth.”

“Those should be one and the same” Ilse replied.

“You would be wrong there, Fraulein”

“Everything about my life suggests that I’m correct.”

“Yes, your life” Otto said, “This life of yours proves it in ways you can’t imagine.”

Ilse glared at Otto, she was clearly skeptical of that.

“You ever wonder why Ingrid got rid of you as soon as you dropped?” Otto said and saw something flash across Ilse’s face, that would have taken her off her balance.

“Who’s Ingrid?” Ilse asked

Otto knew he had her by that name. “Dear old, Mum” He said, “Who loved the needle far more than her little girl.”

Otto saw Ilse’s jaw drop when she heard that.

“You think your life was difficult because you got passed through the system where at least some effort was made to keep you safe” Otto said, “Ingrid would have sold you like everything else to get her next fix by the end. That would have been your extremely short, painful life that would probably ended the same way hers did, only sooner.”

For Ilse it felt like her head was filled with static. This wasn’t how she had imagined this would go or what she had come here for. Her mother’s name was Ingrid? Her middle name. Did that mean that the people who raised her had known and concealed it? Her mother was dead?

“How long?” Ilse demanded.

“How long what? Otto replied.

“How long has she been dead?”

“Ten years” Otto answered, “That simple little truth is more than you can handle. But know this. Katy and Hans are either the worst mistake I’ve ever made or my only real positive contribution to this world. It’s a list you do not want to be on, so leave this place before anyone gets the wrong idea.”

Ilse sat there for long moment, unsure what to do.

“SCRAM!” Otto bellowed.

Ilse was on her feet heading for the door when she overheard Otto loudly say something about how she wasn’t his type. She needed more meat on her bones and it would be like fucking a coatrack. There was raucous laughter in the room that was deafening. Ilse could feel her ears burning up as she went out the door into the night.


13th March 1948

Augustus Lang had ventured out for the first time in months. He had started writing a manuscript and giving the occasional lecture. He received a telegram the day before from a newspaper asking him his opinion regarding a project that he had started coming to fruition. While the refurbishment of the lines themselves had been completed months earlier, the treaties governing had taken a bit longer to sort out, this was the first official run. Boxcars loaded with finished electronic components bound for a Seoul in Korea, where Zuse AG was working for Korean government. The cars had been sealed and all the customs stickers were in place. In the coming minutes trains would be leaving for Moscow, Beijing and Saigon all purely symbolic. There would be a train headed for Taiwan if it wasn’t an island.

There were trains coming back full of raw materials. It was the system that Lang had worked to set up when he’d been Chancellor. A rail network that linked half the world and Berlin sat atop the nexus as international trade passed to and from Asia, then to the ports of Western Europe beyond. Not since Italy in the Renaissance had a nation been better positioned to link the world together. And of course, to take a cut of that for themselves.

It would also serve the cause of peace. If everyone was doing well the old causes of violence people would have to invent new reasons to be angry with their neighbors. Not that people ever had any trouble doing that. But being too busy to pursue the old bigotries certainly helped.

As Lang watched the next train pulled out of the depot with tens of thousands of kilometers ahead of it. The clanks of the railcars as the slack was pulled out of the train and squeal of metal on metal sounded a bit like cash tills, music to Lang’s ears.

“Wish you were going with them Herr Lang?” One of the reporters asked.

“Hardly” Lang replied, “I leave that for those interested.”

“What are you interested in?”

Lang smiled, “I always enjoy seeing one of my plans coming together.”
 
I hope Germany is not becoming a centralized country. How are Cologne and other major cities doing?


It's highly unlikely that Germany ITTL will become more centralized than OTL (West-)Germany. Both the larger German nations (Prussia, Bavaria, Wuertemberg, Saxony) and the smaller, independet states like Hamburg will block any such move.

Btw, without checking the earlier entries: Are there still separate Bavarian and Saxon armies or is there now only one German Army? And what of the various Landwehr and Landsturm armies? Are they still organized along state lines? I can't remember reading anything about it but then this TL is rather huge and I could be mistaken.
 
With this new rail network in place, Germany is going to recover for this economic downturn much sooner then it was thought possible.
Along with the rail conversion and construction carried out by the captured Soviet POWs during the war, road construction and improvements were also most likely done at the same time.
With the end of the war a large number of trucks were probably made surplus and were sold at very low prices, this will greatly expand the trucking industry in Europe and provide competition to the railroads leading to lower prices on goods and services.
New airfields were also constructed and existing one were expanded and with large jets coming soon, both passenger and cargo jet transportation will transform the transportation industry and also a large number of cargo and passenger aircraft were made surplus and new airline and cargo flight companies have sprung up (IOTL surplus DC-3s became the backbone of many small airlines and cargo companies).

As for former Chancellor Lang, I wonder if he is going to call for the abolishment of the Monarchy in his new book: How I Saved Germany and the World.
 
as for former Chancellor Lang, I wonder if he is going to call for the abolishment of the Monarchy in his new book: How I Saved Germany and the World.
A) He's far too humble for such a title and B) By now, he is a far cry from his revolutionary self. So, constitutional is most likely.
 
All, I have been lurking on AH for a couple of years now enjoying these time lines but have never posted questions/comments as I am neither a serviceman or a historian, just somebody who loves history. However this timeline is a work of art, and by that I mean it is not only nearly perfect but it can be revisited many times over and you can find a new facet that has not been considered before. Still no questions but many thanks PM
 
Nice ongoing tale :) (Nice, heck--FANTASTIC!)
Otto is in for interesting times if certain people find out about his treatment of Ilse. (Even worse than anyone trying to use pics of Kat as part of an ad campaign.)
The railroads do need to pay attention to track gauge--Russian trains use wider track.
 
Have we ever learned exactly what Otto's sketchy business dealings are?
Otto being a Labor Union leader in railroads could be up to his neck in all kinds of nefarious business, such as customs fraud. smuggling, gun running, importation of illegal drugs, loan sharking, prostitution, and anything else that is fun and forbidden.
 
The railroads do need to pay attention to track gauge--Russian trains use wider track.

The Heer was in charge of much of the Russian railroads which started the conversion to standard gauge. Part of the treaty language that ended the war involved completing the conversion with the intention of creating the larger economic zone.
 
The Heer was in charge of much of the Russian railroads which started the conversion to standard gauge. Part of the treaty language that ended the war involved completing the conversion with the intention of creating the larger economic zone.

I didn't remember that. That is HUGE!! Regauging steam locomotives to a narrower gauge is often impossible due to the firebox. That means replacing lots of locomotives. Perhaps older American and German ones will be for sale. (The USA will dieselize much faster in this timeline; that was severely delayed due to the war in OTL.)

Some Russian tracks might stay broad gauge, especially where trans-loading is necessary anyway. For example from the coal mine to the coal breaker, or iron from mine to smelter. Some dual gauge sections migh last for a considerable time.

The loading gauge won't change, I feel fairly sure, although, as time goes on, Russian loading gauge (Not track gauge) might make inroads into Europe.

Other considerations are important in integrating the railroads--if the systems are to be truly merged, couplers, signalling, etc need to be made compatible. BIG job, and expensive one.
 

Md139115

Banned
Honestly, from an engineering perspective, I always thought that railroad gauges should be bigger. The standard of 4’ 8.5” is really at the low end of what can handle a train moving at high speeds.

Is it too late for Europe to adopt Russian gauge?
 
Honestly, from an engineering perspective, I always thought that railroad gauges should be bigger. The standard of 4’ 8.5” is really at the low end of what can handle a train moving at high speeds.

Is it too late for Europe to adopt Russian gauge?

Rail gauge is essentially a legacy of decisions made early, for a lot of reasons, good and bad. Bigger is much harder to get through mountains and build bridges for; smaller holds less.

Russian gauge won't accomplish much by itself; you also need a bigger LOADING gauge. That means rebuilding EVERYTHING. Tracks need to be further apart, almost every bridge and tunnel needs to be redone. Station platforms, track side fences, overhead catenary wire--it's HUGE. The right of way in some places will need to be widened, too..expensive.
 
Nice ongoing tale :) (Nice, heck--FANTASTIC!)
Otto is in for interesting times if certain people find out about his treatment of Ilse. (Even worse than anyone trying to use pics of Kat as part of an ad campaign.)
The railroads do need to pay attention to track gauge--Russian trains use wider track.

The Russian rail infrastructure was rebuilt to standard gauge during the war. Precisely for this reason.
 
Part 48, Chapter 646
Chapter Six Hundred Forty-Six


28th March 1948

Lübben, Brandenburg

Ilse looked around, Sundays in graveyards were the same. Families coming to visit departed loved ones, Ilse envied them. She wasn’t here to visit a loved one, the person whose grave she was looking at was a stranger to her. It had taken her days to get over Otto Mischner’s casual cruelty and dismissal of her. Kat had said that he drove everyone away because he thought that was what he needed to do to keep them safe. The reality was that he was just making an ass of himself. Kat had then encouraged her to investigate the other side of the matter. A woman named Ingrid who had been a heroin addict, such a person would leave an extensive record of hospital visits and arrests. Ingrid Verena Raskop had died a decade earlier, found having died of exposure or overdose in an alley in January 1938.

It was depressing, Ilse had dreamed of meeting her mother as a girl not knowing that she was dying only a couple kilometers away. After that it was only a matter of looking at public records to see that Ingrid’s remains had been claimed by a Friedrich Raskop from Lübben, a village south of Berlin on the edge of a vast State Preserve that had been established a few years ago. Now standing here, Ilse was suddenly aware of the fact that she had come a long way to do what exactly? Look at a patch of dirt, that was it.

“Why are you just standing there, Ingrid?” An elderly woman asked, “Run along home, there’s work to be done.”

“I’m sorry…” Ilse said.

“Sorry about Mother, Fraulein” A middle aged man said, “She is at an age where she forgets about things, it’s a mercy really.”

Ilse watched as the man placed flowers on the grave, this was why she had come on a Sunday of all days. Just she had not expected that it would work.

“Are you Friedrich?” Ilse asked, aware of how here voice sounded weak and nervous to her ears.

The man looked at her suspiciously. “If this is another swindle…” He said threateningly, “We saw too many of those while Ingrid was still alive, the vultures smell desperation and come ringing.”

“No” Ilse said, “I don’t want anything from you.”

“Bullshit” Friedrich said, “If I see you again I’m calling the police, good day.”

“First Otto, now you” Ilse said angerly, “From having nobody to being rejected in a matter of months.”

“Who?” Friedrich asked.

“Are you sure that’s not Ingrid?” The elderly woman asked, clearly confused.

“It doesn’t matter” Ilse replied before she turned on her heel and walked away. She had lived the first nineteen years of her life without these people, the rest of it wouldn’t pose a difficulty. She’d seen a public house that catered to tourists as she had walked from the station, she could wait there. The train that would go back home would be by within an hour or so.

Ilse was startled to feel a hand grab her shoulder, she unconsciously turned into it as she had been trained and spun away from the grab. “Are you trying to get yourself hurt?” She demanded of Friedrich. “My sister would come around with a knife if you did that to her.”

“I though you said you had nobody” Friedrich replied.

“Half-sister” Ilse said, “We both have the same awful man for a father. Katherine and her brother are the only real family I have, and I only met them a couple years ago.”

“This Otto you mentioned I take it?”

“Yes” Ilse replied.

“You have a name?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“Because Mother thinks you’re her, Ingrid” Friedrich said.

“Elisabeth” Ilse replied, “Everyone calls me Ilse.”

“Well, Ilse” Friedrich replied, “If you are really here for nothing then it was nice to meet you.”

With that Ilse watched as Friedrich walked back to his mother.


Seelow Heights, Germany

It was a part of the Spring exercises that Tilo was expected to participate in as a Reserve Officer until he returned to the Marine Infantry. When the General in charge of the Brandenburg Landwehr Division had seen that he had come from the MA/SKA he had immediately been put in charge of a Jager Company. These were all men who had seen service in the Second World War against the Soviets and a disturbing number of them only knew the Japanese from the very end in Manchuria. The result was that many of them were less than respectful of Tilo’s service. They had not seen what the Japanese had been like in Vietnam and Taiwan or else they would have something else to say. There also the lingering reputation of the Marine Infantry for being the dumping ground for the refuse of the Heer. The result was that Tilo was finding himself leading from the front and every operation was having to be resolved in the fastest, dirtiest ways he could think of. It annoyed Tilo, but the men loved it.

That was how he found himself on foot scouting an entire Panzer Division that was dug in just back from the top of the ridge that ran parallel to the river. He was going to have to go back and explain to the Generalmajor that advancing straight into the ridge would bring joy to the Judge’s cold black hearts as they depicted the Division being sliced to ribbons. Naturally, that was exactly what the Generallieutenant decided to do.

With a light heart, Tilo led his Company out and they had a wonderful time as they lost the battle. Then they found a tavern and got drunk.
 
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"As Sun Tzu said: 'Great joy will bloom in a general's heart if you decide to do this'"

Now, a smart general would have asked "Which general?"....
 
I wonder if Tilo has any backchannel links to the higher echlons in the Heer. "This guy is dangerous - he's both stupid and energetic."
 
I wonder if Tilo has any backchannel links to the higher echlons in the Heer. "This guy is dangerous - he's both stupid and energetic."
I think it is a sign of a much larger problem, there maybe a feeling throughout the Heer reserves that Germany is no longer under any imminent danger and there is no reason to take any training seriously.
I earlier asked in a post about conscription and the reason I asked about it is that with all of the budget cuts going on, the Heer is getting the brunt of it.
This means while the Heer has to take x number of conscripts every year for a two year period, because of the budget cuts a lot of training that was done before the war is now being reduced, also with no imminent threat to Germany, many of the conscripts are openly questioning the need for conscription and there is probably a large number of disciplinary problems like AWOLs, desertions, and even refusal to report for duty.
The Heer may try to reduce the numbers of conscripts by having higher standards and increasing the number of reasons for not taking in as many conscripts for medical reasons like eyesight, flat feet, being overweight, butt boils, and bone spurs.
 
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