My half assed predictions for 1949:
Anton Faust start production on the first film in the von Schmidt Trilogy, the film will be about the Raid on Vladivostok and will have a title reflecting on von Schmidt's Jewish heritage Torah, Torah, Torah.
Photographs of the Princes wearing the kit of BSC Hertha will cause a major controversy as fans of other clubs will be furious of the favoritism shown to BSC Hertha, and only by the other clubs sending their kits to the Princes and having them photographed wearing them will calm the populace, and from now on the princes will only be photographed wearing the kit of the National Team.
At first Gia will try to hide from the fallout of the news breaking out about her being "The Last Romanov" but soon Jehane will find it liberating that she will no longer has to hide who she is and will blend the persona of Gia almost seamlessly with that of Jehane.
Hans will get leave to attend the birth of his new daughter but he will be deemed to valuable to be rotated back with his unit and will be reassigned to HQ for Intelligence and Counter-Insurgency.
 
Another great end of the year post, Nancy has a great future ahead of her and Helene is finally beginning to understand what being a German army officer's wife life is all about, waiting for her man to come home from deployments.

For the Crown Prince, I was thinking that an exclusive private day school not a boarding school would be the best solution for his education, and there could be other students from middle class and working families who are on scholarships for some balance.

There are also ideas like clubs to consider for socializing the young prince.

I think that when Queen Elizabeth and her sister were that age they created a local chapter of the scouting for girls organization just for her sake and inducted all sorts of servants children and others pf the right age to give her a bit of a normal experience.

Making the prince try his hand at playing Pfadfinder with a bunch of other 'local' kids might work. Any sort of sports or football club that involved full contact and fouls would probably be highly frowned upon by a number of people (and stuff like becoming a member of a marksman's club like they became ubiqituos in IOTL Germany would probably be right out.)

He needs a hobby that allows him to come into contact with boys his age under very controlled circumstances, that doesn't actually carry much risk of injury would be appropriate to his standing and appeal to both his preferences of wanting to be normal and liking that whole uniform and military stuff.

A day school would be the right choice for Freddy. Full-contact sports at that level wouldn't be out of bounds. Getting him into organized scouting would also be useful.

As part of his scouting I can see him and his comrades participating in a suitably toned-down version of the 2nd Life Hussars' training. When he's older (14-ish?) I can see him going through Practical Pistol classes with a small automatic chambered for .22 short[0] and rifle marksmanship chambered in .22 long.

The thing is that Freddy's is the kind of kid who wants to Do Stuff and there's no good way to keep him wrapped up in bubblewrap.

[0] As was said about the Piper Cub, "A .22 short is a very safe round. It'll just barely kill you."
 
Part 52, Chapter 702
Chapter Seven Hundred Two


11th January 1949

Langeoog Island

Doug had been quietly furious with Kat and Gia, he had been for the last several weeks. Kat had known this entire time of Gia’s real identity and she had kept that from him. He understood on an intellectual level that Kat had been charged by the Empress of the German Empire to keep Gia safe. However, on an emotional level, Kat not trusting him with that information for the last several years hurt. It wasn’t helped with the explanation that Kat kept trying to give him. “It wasn’t my secret to share.” Like if that made it all better. The result was that the two of them had gotten into shouting match and had been angry with each other for the last several weeks.

Now the events of the previous Sunday had complicated an already fraught situation. A storm tide off the North Sea had wrecked Kat’s house here on the island. It had been intended as a vacation home, to be rented out seasonally and if what had happened, happened, it was to be simply torn down and rebuilt. For Kat though, she had a lot of happy memories bound up in this little house. This place had been where Kat had run to when the world got to be too much for her. Standing in the ruin that had been the common room Kat’s face had the perfect look of despair. Doug realized how trite he’d been, she’d just been doing her job, but he just couldn't bring himself to say that.

“Fortunately, it’s all insured” Doug said, his voice sounding lame to his ears. It wasn’t just this house. There several other structures on the island that Kat owned that would either need to be repaired or demolished and rebuilt.

“I don’t care” Kat said flatly as a tear rolled down her cheek.

For her this was merely the latest of several blows she’d endured over the last few months. Having Gia get exposed was a total failure on her part. She couldn’t be enough of a help to Helene to make a difference for her friend. Her and Douglas had been fighting. Now this…

It felt like the universe was caving in on her.

Doug had heard about what had happened a few years earlier when Kat had some of her darkest secrets revealed before the entire world. This house on Langeoog had been where she’d come to hide from that. The reaction was the same though as she hugged Doug and was bawling into his shoulder. She had this public image of this hard, enduring figure, yet even she had breaking points.


Berlin

Maria had to laugh at the pettiness on full display among the sports writers being led by Friedrich Grossmann who had crowded into her office. The Editor-in-Chief had told her to deal with it. Grossmann had made a point of refusing to retire even though he had been eligible for a pension almost two decades earlier. Now pushing eighty, Grossmann’s actual output had dropped to nearly zero, but every week he wrote a column for the opinion and editorial page. He still had an opinion about everything and his staggering number of contacts around the world remained in place. That was enough to justify his continued presence, for now. Maria hated to admit it, but Grossmann had become the institutional memory of the Berliner Tageblatt.

The issue today was that the unlike in any other field of journalism, sports writers didn’t have to pretend to be objective. They had a side and they catered to it. The issue was that the Crown Prince had been seen wearing the colors of one Football Club, the other Clubs had immediately called foul. The writer who followed Hertha seemed to be pleased as punch regarding the matter. “After the sort of season that Hertha had last year they deserve a boost like this” He’d said. That just resulted in more shouting. Maria noticed that Grossmann wasn’t taking a side, he was just egging them on.

“ENOUGH!” Maria shouted, “The next one who utters a word is going to looking for a new job.”

That was enough to cause them to fall into a sullen silence.

“It’s a game for boys” Maria said in voice that seemed to reverberate off the walls, more than a few jaws dropped at her declaration of that fact. “For all I care the Prince can follow whatever team he wants. You lot can work this out among yourselves because if I hear one more word about it, the offending party is going to be assigned to cover tea parties thrown by Kira Kirillovna for the entire next year.”

The truth was that Maria had no idea if the Empress even threw tea parties. For a sports writer though, that was a fate worse than death.


20th January 1949

Washington D.C.

It was Inauguration Day and all of Washington was abuzz with the spectacle. The theme was American Renewal. Harry Truman had campaigned on the promise of America and how they were finally turning the corner to better days. His Inauguration speech reflected that, about how the country needed to embrace the American optimism and rediscover the can-do spirit that had made their country a great power.

Unknown to the newly sworn in President, a man whose name would never be known was sitting with a rifle on a sandbag nearly a mile away. He was a former Army marksman, but he’d had difficulty with this rifle. When he’d been handed it in Little Rock he’d discovered that while a trained gunsmith had done a thorough onceover on it, the optics were damaged and needed to be replaced. The only mount and scope that could be used were made by Mauser AG and Zeiss in Germany. Procuring those items without leaving a paper trail had been a maddeningly protracted process. Then had come working up the load and getting used to dials which were entirely in metric. He’d already taken half the payment for taking this shot and the men who’d contracted him were not the sort to take failure to deliver lightly.

Squeezing the trigger, he felt it break, releasing the sear…
 
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For a sports writer though, that was a fate worse than death.

Wouldn't that be a fête worse than death?

The only mount and scope that could be used were made by Mauser AG and Zeiss in Germany. Procuring those items without leaving a paper trail had been a maddeningly protracted process.

Especially since they have a pattern to work with, making a mount should be child's play for any experienced machinist. At that point, you can make it fit any scope that you have lying around. Getting it ranged in will still be a bear.
 
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Richard Russel Jr of Georgia, an ardent segregationist, New Deal supporter, anti Klan IOTL but supported White Citizen Councils.
 
Richard Russel Jr of Georgia, an ardent segregationist, New Deal supporter, anti Klan IOTL but supported White Citizen Councils.
So basically, the worse possible choice. Wunderbar.

If he's a skilled marksman in idea circumstances, he won't miss, unless he's seen ahead of time. Worse would be if Truman is incapacitated long term; the constitution is murky at the time, IIRC.
Excuse me for wanting some good news to finally happen to the US in this TL.
 
Part 52, Chapter 703
Chapter Seven Hundred Three


20th January 1949

Joint Memorandum, from 20th of January 1949. From Kaiser Louis Ferdinand of Germany, King George the VI of the British Empire, Czar Georgy of Russia, President Édouard Daladier of France, Emperor Paul of the Hellenes (Greece), King Umberto II of Italy, King Charles the IV of Hungary, King Michael of Romania, Prime Minister Eutimio Del Bosque (On behalf of Juan Carlos I of Spain), Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, Archduke Robert of Austria-Este. All Allied European powers and their respective Governments.

All forces in the field are to go on highest alert. General mobilizations are to be avoided until further orders are given. All forces already in the field are to remain in place until further orders are given.


Kimberly, South Africa

Hans looked at what had just come in and realized that this was the hangover from the shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. Everyone was frightened that an assassination might lead to a bigger conflagration even if they didn’t want to say it that way. The orders were to hold in place until they got further orders, that wasn’t very different from what they had been doing before they had started getting confused news reports about what was happening on the other side of the Atlantic. The first reports had said that the American President had been shot, nothing more. Then what followed was a confused mishmash of contradictory information. The President was dead, or the President was alive but in hospital, no one seemed to know which was true. Then came the news that Richard Russel Jr. the newly sworn in Vice President had been injured as well as one of the Justices of the US Supreme Court.

“What a mess” Hans muttered as he listened to the reports that were coming in from the Berlin-Brandenburg International Radio and the British Broadcasting Corporation on the shortwave transistor radio that Helene had sent him for Christmas.

“Think this is as bad as when the Reichstag got blown up?” Jost asked.

“I don’t know” Hans replied.

Then the report came that the rifle recovered from the scene was a German made Mauser 98 Magnum with Zeiss optics. “Bloody fucking Hell” Soren said aloud, exactly what they all were thinking when that was announced.

At least it was a distraction from the convoys that were coming under increasing rocket attack.


Berlin

Kat had been called to the Empress to help her get a handle on what was going on. The Hohenzollern Palace was an armed camp tonight. The 1st Imperial Foot and the 2nd Life Hussars had dispensed with the Nineteenth Century Garb they wore most days and were wearing modern kit, including full packs and armor. There were Lynx Panzers parked before the doors of the Palace, sending an unmistakable message to the world. Kat nodded to Kurt Knispel who was wearing the black coveralls of a Panzer Commander, she was a well-known figure here. Anyone who wasn’t was going to have these men up in their business and they’d better have a good explanation for their presence or it would get really complicated.

As she approached the palace doors Kat noticed that the muzzles of MG42s were poking out of upstairs windows. All of this had been practiced beforehand, but to see it. That was something different. “Sorry to call you down here so late Major von Mischner” the representative from the BND said as soon as she entered the entryway. Matters had to be serious for the BND to set aside their remaining animosity towards her and just get down to business.

“Just tell me what you know so far” Kat replied.

She sat there and listened to the current information that the BND had. None of it was good news.


Seattle, Washington State

Everyone in the dorm was glued to the television set in the common room. Word had gotten around about what had happened in Washington DC. Nancy had been old enough to vote in the last election and had voted for Truman after educating herself on the issues as best she could. After four years of the feckless Dewey Administration many had felt that it was basically the adults back in charge. Now this…

After a couple hours it was obvious that the News Anchors didn’t know more than they did but they kept telling them to stay tuned and they would give the news as it broke. Finally, it was announced that the President was alive but in the hospital.


Washington D.C.

Harry Truman was furious. The Doctors were insisting that he stay in Walter Reed Medical Center for observation. In what many were deeming a miracle, he’d had a bullet pass through his chest, entering next to his sternum, passing just to the left of his right lung and exiting his back on that side, and not hit anything in the process. Richard Russel and Hugo Black were not so lucky. After the bullet had over penetrated Truman, Black had been straight in its path. Then it had ricocheted off something and lodged in Russel’s head, killing him instantly, like turning off a light switch. Truman had been told that in was a German built rifle that was used for long distance sniping and killing trucks. They were waiting for a comment from the German Government, but Truman wasn’t figuring on getting a straight answer from that bunch. He now had to find a new Vice-President.

This had really turned into a crappy day.
 
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Power abhors a vacuum, and this is a huge one, I have no doubt that the ones who financed this attempt already has ramped up through the media outlets they control an anti German campaign.
Truman hopefully will see through this and with Elliott Ness at the FBI there will be as complete and thorough investigation that completely debunk any foreign involvement in this act.
Every foreign government will be doing their own investigations and the term "Follow the Money" will be used thirty years earlier.
 
Part 52, Chapter 704
Chapter Seven Hundred Four


24th January 1949

Berlin

“We already teach the sons of several notable parents” The Headmaster said nervously to Louis Ferdinand and Kira. They had just completed the tour of the Gymnasium and were meeting with the Headmaster in his office.

The Gymnasium was located in Central Berlin and it did cater to many of the City’s elite, it also accepted students of differing backgrounds who were talented in academics or athletics. It had the experience of teaching the sons of Chancellors, Ambassadors and members of the Reichstag, so they understood the need for security. “I understand that your son has been tutored at home until now.”

“Yes” Kira said, “It has come to our attention that he is lacking somewhat in his social development because of that.”

“If you don’t mind me asking” The Headmaster asked, “What do you mean by that?”

“The closest thing he has to friends are his younger brother, a few of the soldiers guarding him, a pen-pal in Japan and a young woman who is also one of his tutors” Louis replied.

“I see” The Headmaster said, “You want to see him make friends his own age.”

It would not have been lost on the Headmaster that if he was successful in his efforts with Friedrich, there would also be Michael and Louis attending his school in the coming years. That would be good for both his reputation and that of the Gymnasium. Louis had also been less than thrilled to learn that Kira had secretly made her young cousin a part of the Imperial household without telling anyone, and she was the one who’d been teaching Friedrich martial arts at the direction of Gräfin Katherine to boot.

Finding a school for his son had been a thornier problem to solve for Louis than the events of the previous Thursday. He’d engaged in a couple hours of telephone diplomacy with Chancellor Theodor Heuss and Severin Buchholz, the Foreign Minister, somehow, by hook or crook they’d managed to get all of Europe’s powers speaking with one voice in response to the assassination attempt in Washington D.C. Louis had spoken to the Emperor, King, President or Premier peer to peer while Heuss and Buchholz worked on the elected Heads of Government. It had been a successful effort, mostly because no with a shred of sanity wanted another global war.

The investigation was ongoing but too many across the Atlantic were willing to believe the convenient answer. It had been a German made rifle that had been used to take the shot. When the rifle’s serial number had been learned by the BND it had the effect of a bomb going off in Judenbach. The conspirators had used Heinz Thorwald’s rifle, the SKA, MA and BII. All organizations that had emerged from the training camp founded by Oberst Thorwald were seething mad. Some unknown person had trifled with something that they considered sacred. To them it was a crime that would not go unpunished as a matter of honor. Louis had debated whether he should warn the Americans what was coming their way if they were seen as not conducting a proper investigation. In the end he figured that he was better holding his tongue until they were ready to hear it.

“You think that your son will be ready to start the Summer term?” The Headmaster asked.

It had been clear that Kira had liked this place while they had done the tour. The curriculum was both rigorous and progressive. There would be plenty of opportunities for Friedrich to get involved in all the ways he’d been begging to do for the last couple of years. Louis just needed one measure before they would agree to anything.

“I need to know that Friedrich will be treated like any other student here” Louis said, “Allowed to fail, if you know what I mean.”


New Haven, Connecticut

The first rule of assassination was don’t ever miss. The assassin that the Old Money Set in Augusta had hired hadn’t missed but that was where something strange had happened. Harry Truman hadn’t even been seriously hurt after getting shot through the chest. Vice President Russel had been who they had wanted in charge, had been killed not to mention Justice Hugo Black. The plan to use the German rifle had been too cute by half. George Bush had heard through the grapevine that the already scary operators of the German Special Forces were angry, and they weren’t the sort to forgive or forget. Anyone involved would probably not want to find themselves within their reach unless they wanted to be actively hunted and eventually skinned alive.

All of this had come at a time when everything in South Africa had been proceeding so swimmingly despite the German Navy intercepting a few shipments. If George found himself being undone by a bunch of old men, paranoid about losing power then he wasn’t planning on sitting quietly and waiting for it. While that bunch of old frauds didn’t have a tenth of the power they imagined that they did, what they had done in the past was enough to have angry mobs at their doors with torches and pitchforks.

It might have been a distasteful choice of words, but President Truman was effectively bulletproof. He was coming to Washington D.C. with a reform mandate and only God had more political capital than he did at this moment. It was the Augusta Set’s worst nightmare made flesh and after what had just happened George couldn’t imagine that country bumkin, Eliot Ness wasn’t going to have a free hand to pursue these matters…

With that George Bush reached a conclusion. He was going to tell Barb to pack up. It was going to be unhealthy for him to live here on the East Coast for the next few years and there were business opportunities in South America that needed his direct involvement. He was sure that the kids would love the change in scenery.
 
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Using a german sniper rifle? Acceptable and understandable. Using that particular rifle, and leaving it to be found after such a high profile assassination attempt? Only somebody quite stupid would believe it a German-sanctioned wetwork operation (beside those who wave an interest to 'believe' it, or the Secret Services officers who are professional paranoids, and would be careful about a double bluff).
 
Using a german sniper rifle? Acceptable and understandable. Using that particular rifle, and leaving it to be found after such a high profile assassination attempt? Only somebody quite stupid would believe it a German-sanctioned wetwork operation (beside those who wave an interest to 'believe' it, or the Secret Services officers who are professional paranoids, and would be careful about a double bluff).

Yellow journalists don't care about facts...especially since some wealthy folks, who almost certainly control some papers, tell then what to print.
 
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