That could well backfire. If she panics Georgy, he could try to do something that could explode his claim as Czar. That would force Gia to become the Czarina, Not the outcome she is looking for.
 
That could well backfire. If she panics Georgy, he could try to do something that could explode his claim as Czar. That would force Gia to become the Czarina, Not the outcome she is looking for.

True. She still might have that meeting, though.
 
Jehane has something that Gianna does not have, a platform to the world.
In her work with the orphans at the convent she will learn of the different circumstances in which they came to there.
Some are from when Stalin and Beria sent their parents to the gulags or had them executed outright, others are from the induced famine in Belarus and the Ukraine,.and then there are those who were separated from their parents and families during the war as refugees and are hoping that.their parents or other family members will find them.

Grand Duchess Jehane Alexandra Luchenska Thomas-Romanova can tell the world about their plight and help them.
Gianna Strobel on the other hand can write a story for The BT and maybe it will be read by a hundred thousand of more and just maybe someone in power might think of doing something at a later date, just not right now.
 
That could well backfire. If she panics Georgy, he could try to do something that could explode his claim as Czar. That would force Gia to become the Czarina, Not the outcome she is looking for.

True. She still might have that meeting, though.

Georgy while having some fears about how many would prefer Gianna to become the Czarina, he got the basic clue that she doesn't actually wants to get into the throne.

Also, above the before-mentioned fears, its the FAR more solid and plausible fear that doing anything against Gianna may actually anger Kira to the point to consider that in order to protect Gianna, she has to slip the restrains of her pseudo-personal enforcer, the Voyevoda Herself, the one that practically everyone in the Russian Army by this time considers as an Assisted Suicide cause if you try to attack her.

Of course we know that isn't like that, but the fact its that by this point the reputation of the Crimson Baroness in Russia its such, that if Gregory attempted something, regardless of if succeeded or not, he knows that the consequences would be VERY negative, if not from Germany, from even a faction in his own country that would consider the act as an excuse to "remove" him and ask Gianna to be the Czarina....
 
Jehane has something that Gianna does not have, a platform to the world.
In her work with the orphans at the convent she will learn of the different circumstances in which they came to there.
Some are from when Stalin and Beria sent their parents to the gulags or had them executed outright, others are from the induced famine in Belarus and the Ukraine,.and then there are those who were separated from their parents and families during the war as refugees and are hoping that.their parents or other family members will find them.

Grand Duchess Jehane Alexandra Luchenska Thomas-Romanova can tell the world about their plight and help them.
Gianna Strobel on the other hand can write a story for The BT and maybe it will be read by a hundred thousand of more and just maybe someone in power might think of doing something at a later date, just not right now.

The pool of kids needing help isn't limited to Russia - there are the state institutions (forgot the name) one of which Kat recruited the Sisterhood and the parallel one for boys. The girls that Kat didn't pick are still there, plus all the younger and older ones. Plus all the boys that the Heer recruiters didn't take. In fact, every modern nation has such places and groups of children.

Gia might realize that her life as Gianna Strobel is over and embrace her persona as the Sainted Grand Duchess Jehane Alexandra Luchenska Thomas-Romanova and become the face of the forgotten, neglected and downtrodden children of the world.
 
Part 53, Chapter 735
Chapter Seven Hundred Thirty-Five


5th June 1949

Pskov Oblast, Russia

“And then you told us to keep the treasure, Sasha” Anya said, the girl had been telling Gia about a story she’d made up. She was still young enough that she tried to include as many of her friends as she could think of in her flights of fancy. It was the sort of thing that Gia liked to see, she had been encouraging them to act like children. It was strange to be telling a five-year-old to essentially act their age but that was the strange position that Gianna found herself in. Anya dreamed of finding pirate treasure that she could use to buy a big beautiful house in Moscow where they could be a family and have no worries. The girl had never been outside Pskov Oblast and had no idea what the city was like or the frequently tragic histories of those houses. It was Gia’s hope that Anya would one day go to University in Moscow or Saint Petersburg and find a way to make that dream come true.

“That sounds wonderful” Gia said to Anya who smiled and ran off to go play with the others. The constant need for approval that almost all these children had reminded Gia of Ilse when they’d first met. Then with a stab of guilt Gia remembered that most of them would have been orphaned as infants, abandoned or having their parents lost during the final blood-soaked months of the Soviet War. Like Ilse this was the only life they had ever known.

Then feeling like she was being watched herself, Gia noticed that Lidiya was sitting on a wooden bench, watching her and the children. She noticed that the Czarina was chewing on her thumb nail. The Abbess had advised Gia that she should befriend this woman but there had been a lack of opportunity until now.

“You wouldn’t have a cigarette?” Lidiya asked as Gia got close.

“Excuse me?” Gia asked in reply.

“No one told me that tobacco was frowned upon here” Lidiya said, “I would kill for a smoke.”

Of course, a place the Convent would make a point of not facilitating someone’s vices. That was the sort of thing that went without saying. Gia didn’t feel the need to point that out to Lidiya, though it did explain why Lidiya had been chewing on her fingernails.

“My sister thinks that smoking is bad for you” Gia said as she sat down beside Lidiya, making sure she could still see all the children.

“Katherine von Mischner?”

“Yes” Gia replied.

“How did she manage to hide someone like you for so many years?” Lidiya asked.

“I was dead, so no one was even looking for me” Gia said.

“I’m sorry but that answer is incomplete” Lidiya said, “With only a small effort you would rival some of the most glamourous women on stage and screen. That never got you any unwanted attention?”

Gia felt herself blush when she heard that. “That effort you describe” She said, “Drawing attention to myself was discouraged and if anyone saw the scars on my back or side…” Gia shook her head.

Lidiya sat there a look of surprise on her face. She had to have heard the story that Gia had been shot with a Springfield rifle when she was twelve. That had shattered bone and torn through flesh, then in the effort to repair the damage to her bones had resulted in additional scars. Gia had ragged scar over her ribs and a surgical scar over her right shoulder blade. Ironically, the scar where the bullet had punched through her body was almost completely invisible, the others had faded into ugly flat, pale patches of skin. She’d remembered a few years earlier she’d gone swimming at Langeoog, not realizing that the swimsuit she’d worn revealed the skin on her back. That had earned her stares and whispers. Even since then she’d been totally self-conscious about her body. This had been wrongly interpreted as modesty by Gia’s admirers. When she’d moved into the Girl’s School in Berlin, the others had seen the scars and said nothing. Almost all of them had a collection of their own, physical or mental. It was one of the things she liked best about them.

“That is a portion of you that people rarely see” Lidiya replied, “Surely, there were times when you attended formal events. After all, you are the chief maid of the Court of the Kaiserin.”

“It’s not just here in Russia that royal events are not what they used to be” Gia said, “Austerity became a habit with the wars and various economic crises that’s been hard to break.”

“It’s disappointing to hear that.”

“Gerta would agree with you, Helene and Kat would rather go to the dentist than attend a formal event.”

That also surprised Lidiya, two of the three women who had dubbed the three furies hated the sort of event where they were seen by the press. That was different. “How do you feel about that sort of event?”

Gia just shook her head at that.

“I attended events like that in a professional capacity” Gia said, “It made it easier.”

“Excuse me?”

“I just wanted to be a journalist and I saw covering events like that as practice” Gia said, “Then people learned who my Grandfather was and that killed my career…”

Then Gia noticed that two of the boys had gotten into a shoving match. She left Lidiya sitting there on the bench as she got up to deal with that.
 
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Right now as I am typing this post, I am watching Ivan the Terrible: Part 1 on UCSD TV, it got me to thinking ITTL for various reasons the Neo-Realism of Italy films like Open City and Bicycle Thieves will not be made and the New Wave films from France will also not be made.
Instead with the fall of the Soviet Union, there will be a film revolution from Russia that is fueled by the unleashing of film makers from ideological restrictions imposed by the Communist Party.
Filmmakers like Sergei Eisenstein will be able to make the movies they want to and it will be interesting to see their take without the fear of arrest and reprisal on the.Soviet era.
 
The thing is that Jehanne's very "sainthood" would remove her from the minds of Russians as a preferred candidate for Czarina. She will become more of an Icon than a real person and, to be honest, the Russians prefer their leaders to be somewhat of a tough (but successful) bastard.
Also, the Russian priorities would probably be rebuilding and afterwards taking a long, hard look at the military and starting to build it up.
This Russia just got its ass kicked in the last 100 years or so in the Crimeean War, the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, the Russo-Polish (-German) War and the Second World War while they won the Russo-Turkish War (with Romanian help) and, with disproportionate losses the Russo-Finnish War.
They'll be itching to show the world that they are more than a paper tiger. Of course, that's 20-30 years in the future. Russia ITTL has a pretty big chunk of it's Western territories trashed by the war, a large number of people dead (especially young men), and Ukraine (and some other "Socialist Republics" probably want to secede like, yesterday.
 
This is very correct, Russia did gain some of their self respect back by participating in the Manchurian Campaign against Japan.
I think that a major effort of the reforms that the Russian Army is undergoing right now is to transform itself into a professional army.
That means no more officers being selected by their connections to the nobility (Czar era) or "political reliability" ( Soviet era).
In the Manchurian Campaign the New Russian Army was armed mostly with German surplus and I think with new foreign investments in the industrial sector the quality of weapons designed and produced in Russia should improve greatly.
I think that the Russian Army will try to emulate the Germans in developing a professional NCO cadre that can serve as the backbone in case of mobilization.
 
Just a little FYI, under the house rules of the Romanovs the line of succession resets every time there is a new Czar. Thus the second Czar Georgy was crowned the succession was counted from him, not from the late Czar. This puts Georgy's children ahead of Gia, even more so his first born son.

This would off course presume that any succession would go according to the rules.
 
Just a little FYI, under the house rules of the Romanovs the line of succession resets every time there is a new Czar. Thus the second Czar Georgy was crowned the succession was counted from him, not from the late Czar. This puts Georgy's children ahead of Gia, even more so his first born son.

This would off course presume that any succession would go according to the rules.

I think in these (as usual) cases, Possesion is 9/10th of the Law. After being Czar for a long time, only a very great deal af "Fighting" would be needed to remove Czar Georgy. I don't think that Russian Society is ready to endure all of that Again in for the third/fourth time in less than thirty years. Enough is Enough and let's get along with our lives....
 
Part 54, Chapter 736
Chapter Seven Hundred Thirty-Six


6th June 1949

Puyallup, Washington

The Saturday before Nancy had graduated from the University of Washington. That night her family had gone to dinner in Seattle to celebrate. Her father had given her a wrist watch with the seal of the State of Washington engraved on the back. “It’s so you always know where you come from” He had said.

Today is the first of the rest of your life. It was Monday afternoon and that thought kept rolling through Nancy’s head. Opening the mail, she saw that she’d gotten several congratulatory letters about her recent graduation. The one from Kat was simple and heartfelt, she wished she could have come but she needed to complete the Summer Term in Berlin before she could think about doing any traveling. Sometime soon, they could just spend a day doing something fun when they were both free. This was followed by a letter from Alumni Association of the University of Berlin saying that she could include herself among their number if she wanted, having attended that University for two terms. Until that letter had arrived today Nancy had not considered that. It was like when she had been filling out the forms for the U.S. State Department and the names she’d listed had all been people with an extraordinary number of connections. Agent Moss from the FBI had just about had his eyes bug out of his head when he’d learned that she’d gotten a personal letter from the German Crown Prince, even if he was only ten years old.

Nancy then opened the next letter, this one with fancy letterhead, she assumed that it was from Helene’s parents. It wasn’t. Reading the letter, full of congratulations and good wishes, it was signed by Kaiser Louis Ferdinand and his consort Kaiserin Kira Kirillovna. Nancy’s father would blow a gasket when he learned of this, but this was entirely because she was friends with the Key Woman to the Kaiserin, if Nancy understood the title correctly. She would probably need to inform the State Department that she had received this letter. Kat may hate playing these sorts of games with people, but Nancy obviously wasn’t her. It was always fun to surprise people who didn’t expect it.

She continued to delve through the letters, the one from her family in Eastern Washington was a card that they had all signed. Then there was a card from the Schultz family in Wunsdorf-Zossen that had the exact same feel. It was nice of Tilo’s mother to have done that. The next letter was from a family friend in the Washington. Nancy continued opening the letters until dinnertime. It was a nice distraction.


Pskov Oblast, Russia

Gia felt a stab of guilt when she opened the letter from Freddy. He had started going to the Gymnasium, an actual school with other students and had written at length about what he’d done on the first few days. She regretted that one of the consequences of her impulsive actions was that she’d missed that. Kira had finally relented a little when she’d been informed that Gia had made the effort to befriend Lidiya. Apparently, her friends in Berlin had been hounding Kat to tell them where she was. Gia could understand why Kat had refused, once her friends all agreed on a course of action then nothing in the world could stop them. They would be here in a day to spring her from this place and Gia feared that would just make a bigger mess of things.

Lidiya had left that afternoon and she was going to be back in Moscow this evening. After that, Gia figured that she was going to find out if what the Abbess believed about the Czar having no authority here was true. She hated to think about how this would be spun, she had complained yesterday evening when she’d been talking to Lidiya on the subject. She hated the idea of the Saintly figure people thought she was. Lidiya had said that it could all be solved by Gia having a torrid love affair. Lidiya had laughed when she saw Gia’s face blush in reaction.

“That is why people think the way they do about you” Lidiya said, “To some extent, you are that person.”

Gia had disagreed, saying that it was because she had not met the right man. Some meaningless roll in the hay would never work for her. She used what she had observed from the relationships of Katherine and Douglas or Aunt Marcella and Uncle Klaus as examples. If only she could meet someone who she could have a real relationship with, and with the world knowing that she was Jehane Alexandra the odds of that seemed ever more remote.

Lidiya had looked at her sadly when she said that, “You’re an idealist, Sasha” Lidiya had said in reply, “I really hope that one day you find what you are looking for.”

Now Gia was back to minding the children. Fortunately for her they were in the classroom and she could sit in the back of the room and be totally ignored. It was a pleasant change. She had been working on exploring her mother’s tangled family tree. The whole purpose of this insane “vacation” was so that Gia could figure out her place in the world now that she could no longer be Gianna Strobel. It seemed like an impossible task that no one else could help her with.
 
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I LOVE the scene with Nancy--and imagining toe way the FBI's face will bug out when they find out that she got a personal letter from the Emperor and Empress. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if people are trying to use her more openly as a n in with the people in power over there. Of course, anyone that knows she's tied in with Kat will be very leery of her.
I can see Kennedy meeting Nancy in the course of business, then finding out that she's connected with Kat, and passing out on the spot.
Since I'm rereading from the start (The Japanese navy just had their decisive battle...oops!) it's great looking at the way people have developed; it all holds together when read as a whole as well as when read in installments. The only bad thing about rereading: The Masquerade isn't getting the attention it needs for me to keep it going.
 
I LOVE the scene with Nancy--and imagining toe way the FBI's face will bug out when they find out that she got a personal letter from the Emperor and Empress. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if people are trying to use her more openly as a n in with the people in power over there. Of course, anyone that knows she's tied in with Kat will be very leery of her.
I can see Kennedy meeting Nancy in the course of business, then finding out that she's connected with Kat, and passing out on the spot.

I'm really of two minds as to where Nancy would be of use - on the one hand I could see her as an assistant to the US Secretary of State in that fetid swamp, er, Washington, DC, while on the other hand I could see her posted to the US Embassy in Berlin with a generous expense account. On the gripping hand @Peabody-Martini is highly likely to have something completely different in mind.

It would be interesting to see Nancy briefing Truman as part of her training.
 
Nancy is going to be I fear, stuck being a secretary or a low level clerk "as befitting for women" jobs in the State Department.
If she is assigned to Washington D.C. maybe she can get a post-graduate degree from Georgetown University in International Affairs.
If she is stationed in Berlin, her friendship with some of the most connected people in Germany (Kat, Jehane) will open some doors in the all important Social Circuit.
 
I'm really of two minds as to where Nancy would be of use - on the one hand I could see her as an assistant to the US Secretary of State in that fetid swamp, er, Washington, DC, while on the other hand I could see her posted to the US Embassy in Berlin with a generous expense account. On the gripping hand @Peabody-Martini is highly likely to have something completely different in mind.

It would be interesting to see Nancy briefing Truman as part of her training.

A side effect of Nancy becoming part of the bureaucracy :))) I can see her typewriting her letters with a carbon[0] for her files. The Nancy Jensen Archives just got more comprehensive.

[0] Carbon paper is really annoying and messy to use. Yeah, I'm an old fart.
 
Part 54, Chapter 737
Chapter Seven Hundred Thirty-Seven


10th June 1949

Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico

Francisco Garcia was not looking forward to another summer in the border country. It was here in the interface between the two nations that he and his movement couldn’t be squashed like bugs. Next month there would be a legislative election and the results had already been fixed. Everyone expected the Institutional Revolutionary Party to sweep those elections by more than 90%. For those with Francisco’s perspective there was absolutely no legitimacy in that election or the party that was expected to win it. What he was hoping for was that this ham-handed farce would be taking place right when their Northern neighbors would be distracted.

Through his contacts in the North, Francisco had learned that they were going to be implementing the Bradley report to modernize the U.S. Army over the coming years. He was already prone to cynicism, even so Francisco had laughed at what he’d been reading when he’d seen a summery of that report in a Dallas newspaper some months earlier. It sounded to Francisco that the Yanquis were petrified that someone else in the world would treat them the same way that they had been treating the rest of the Americas for the last century. And recent events in Argentina had shown the United States to be a bit of a paper tiger. Francisco knew that would not last for long, up north they were good at finding solutions to such problems, even if it meant throwing money at them.

For someone in Francisco’s position it meant that he’d always faced a headwind. If there was ever a genuine revolution in Mexico, then they would face the threat of invasion from the north as well as the reaction from within. Instead, they’d had gotten halfhearted measures from Mexico City while much of the country was economically dependent upon the best and brightest of their people traveling north, into a country that hated them, and doing the work that the Yanquis considered themselves too good to do.

Now, it seemed to Francisco that a once in a lifetime opportunity was coming and he needed a plan for it when it came. That was if he could even recognize that moment. Here in Juarez, there were so many other things happening that consumed one’s attention. The weight of the .44 revolver under his coat was a constant reminder of that, survival was a rough business in the border country.


Washington D.C.

Harry Truman had been meeting with General Omar Bradley about finally implementing the changes to the U.S. Military that he had recommended after observing the Soviet War first hand. He’d described how armor, infantry and aircraft had worked together to in what was called Blitzkrieg or Lightning War. Oddly, Armored Cavalry by Generalfeldmarschall, Ritter von Wolvogle, Infantry Attacks and Armor Attacks by General of Infantry Erwin Rommel were considered the definitive works on the subject, Truman had read the translated versions provided by the West Point Library. He’d been told that there was a book by a British General named Fuller that was a bit more obscure, but it did a decent job in explaining the theory of combined arms. It was rumored that there was third book by Rommel detailing the final campaign of Manfred von Wolvogle that had yet to be translated and a book recommended by General Patton of West Point and Brigadier General Puller of the US Marine Corps about the Pacific Theater that had only just had an English edition come out. It was very rare that those two agreed on anything, it was said that they had been posted on opposite sides of the country by design.

Truman himself had no love for the Germans, as an Artillery Officer in the First World War he’d probably killed more than a few of them. He found their Ambassador arrogant and abrasive, he considered that man an excellent representative of what he thought that most of them were like. However, the Krauts knew how to fight wars and unlike some other countries in Europe, they seemed to try to learn from mistakes. There was also the matter of their assistance in wrapping up the Augusta conspiracy. Truman had learned that they had sent a few of their best people. Finding out that among them had been one of the Snipers of the German Airborne, who likely would have been the one to fire the shot if it had been them who’d tried to kill him had been an unpleasant surprise. As had them being out of the country before anyone had informed him.

In this matter it was nice to have a plan at least, Truman did however have a few quibbles. The next time he talked to General Bradley he would need to find out if what was currently happening in South Africa was being factored into his planning. It seemed from the reports that Truman was reading that the operation there had revealed some substantial flaws in the structure of the German Army.

Truman put that aside and looked at the next thing that had landed on his desk. Draft legislation of a bill that was as thick as a dozen copies of the New York City phone book, only a lot more difficult to read. He had a team of lawyers looking at this and was expecting a full summery of everything this monstrosity did by the end of next week. The National Highway Transportation and Railway Modernization Act of 1949 it was being called. The House was expected to vote on it next month and Truman needed to figure out if it was something that he could get behind. An interesting aspect of this was that General Bradley had suggested that he needed to discuss this with a Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower who he said was an expert on transportation and logistics.
 
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