Found this a few days ago and couldn't stop reading through it late into the night. Amazing work! I love the character driven story, nice change of pace from the usual style of timelines on this site.
What is Grandpa Willy and his sidekick the Black Eagle doing, could we be seeing them getting involved with some persons here?
Part 14, Chapter 141
Chapter One Hundred Forty-One

15th May, 1937

Arganda Bridge

The attacks had become relentless, Emil had ordered his men to fall back across the bridge. Unbelievably he was running low on ammunition of all types. Word had reached them that the Heer had taken Madrid so there was no longer a danger of attack from that direction. Unfortunately for them no relief force had been sent from the city and they had run out of time. There were a dozen Spanish tanks coming up the road and their last 37mm antitank gun only had five shells left and Emil was with the last Company on the south end of the bridge.

Emil watched as the lead tank took two shots to knock it out. The story of this action, the 37mm guns had proven to be inadequate for their intended purpose. The last few shots caused a tank to throw its track. There were still ten more tanks out there followed closely by infantry support. That was it then. Emil joined his men as they fell back in good order to the far side of the bridge.

“Sorry, Sir” A Soldat said to Emil as the breach block from the 37mm was thrown into the river.

“You’ve nothing to be sorry for” Emil replied “Our job was to cut the road, the bridge was a bonus. Now we’re going to give them one last surprise.” That last part was something that Emil had been planning since they had taken the bridge a few days earlier.

When the Spanish began what they thought would be their final assault on the bridge they discovered that the last few S-mines had been left at the south end of the bridge and then found that the span itself was covered by machine guns. It was then that the Spanish commander played into Emil’s hands one last time by sending armor across the bridge to push the machine guns aside. He must have had the mistaken belief that the bridge itself was a strategic prize.

“I only wish I could see the look on that bastard’s face” Emil said right after he gave the order to drop the bridge, sending a half dozen tanks and hundreds of Spanish soldiers into the rain swollen river.

After they had exhausted the 10cm mortar shells dropping them onto the far side of the river. As they started the long walk into Madrid it never occurred to any of them the role that Aranda Bridge would come to play in the future of the 1st Fallschirmjäger.


The news of the death of the Crown Prince arrived like a bombshell in official Berlin. Lang didn’t have much use for the monarchy and he didn’t quite get the point but he knew better than to say that aloud. Most of the Reichstag had a soft spot for what he viewed as a medieval relic. The succession became an open question, under the existing law the position of Crown Prince would pass to the next younger son of Wilhelm the III. Still though there was a faction within the Reichstag that felt that the young daughters of Prince Wilhelm shouldn’t just be passed over. Even Lang thought that this was not the right time for that debate. After several hours of pointless arguing it finally occurred to someone that no one had the first idea of where Louis Ferdinand, the new Crown Prince, was…


The Chancellor made a phone call into the Abwehr, there was a small problem in the form of a missing prince. At the moment, almost all of their people were in Spain and Portugal so it became a matter of who was in Germany and available. It took a couple of hours to get a hold of Johan Schultz who was in Zossen on business.

Imperial Shipping was an obvious front, to Schultz anyway. Since Juan Pujol had been put in as the Director that had started to change. Juan could keep the large numbers straight and keep track of the materials moving around the world. A single grain freighter operating in and out of New York, Lisbon or Buenos Aires could be more useful for the Abwehr than the entire High Seas Fleet. It was just a question of maintaining the ships and preventing them from being seized in the event of war. Under Juan this farce was actually making money. Schultz suspected that it was mostly because Juan saw it as the greatest long con he had currently going.

As it turned out this meant that Juan knew exactly where Louis Ferdinand was. When Schultz heard, he knew instantly that no one was going like that answer. He picked up the phone and made arrangements for an airplane out of Tempelhof.

South of Madrid

It seemed a bit absurd to have the Rust Bucket hulldown in the combination of a ditch and sandbags, only the turret with the 13mm was visible. Once they had it set up Hans fully expected that they would be told to move out. Instead they had been told to keep right on digging. The rumor mill had spit out that the Heer intended to consolidate the lines south of Madrid so the logistics train could catch up. They had also been advised that friendly forces were going to cross their positions sometime this evening. No one knew what that was about.

Hans was sitting on the edge of his hole wondering if there might be hot food for dinner when he heard Jost yell “What’s the password?” A challenge to someone coming up the road.

“Fuck off!” The soldier, a Para yelled back “That the password?”

“No!” Jost yelled “That is not the…” Jost trailed off as hundreds more Paras were coming up the road.

“Stop it Jost” Hans told him, this is one fight that he couldn’t win. Minutes later they learned that the Paras had blown up a bridge in the face of the Spanish Republican Army. He also learned that Lieutenant Horst was an old friend of the Para General.
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Assumptions are great.

He must have had the mistaken belief that the bridge itself was a strategic prize.

They make an ass out of you...

“I only wish I could see the look on that bastard’s face” Emil said right after he gave the order to drop the bridge, sending a half dozen tanks and hundreds of Spanish soldiers into the rain swollen river.

And out of me!!!!!

Poor Emil, his legend is just going to keep growing. Also, I don't think he has to worry about being returned to Colonel's rank after this escapade.
I will wait to see where the Crown Prince may well be. I might guess that he is sailing the ocean blue in South America.

Emil is just going to 'LOVE" the stories and rumors about his actions. Maria may try to keep things straight, but too many others will embellish and outright fabricate to enhance his glory.
Under Juan this farce was actually making money. Schultz suspected that it was mostly because Juan saw it as the greatest long con he had currently going.

Of course he'd make it succeed as a business to boot. It's like being a killer money laundering restaurant that also serves the best lasagna in town. You know, Juan Pujol is so perfect for this band of misfits. He's got to be one of the most remarkable minor figures in modern history.
Part 14, Chapter 142
Chapter One Hundred Forty-Two

16th May, 1937

Washington D.C., U.S.A.

The brand-new Condor airliner had been sold to Lufthansa as a means to start nonstop flights on the lucrative Trans-Atlantic rout, that still meant 20 hours in the air. Schultz was in a foul mood by the time they had landed in New York. Juan Pujol had tagged along for his own reasons, Schultz had a feeling that he would be less than thrilled with the Spaniard if he knew what those were. The fact that they had to get tickets for the flight to Washington from the rival American carrier, Eastern Airlines had compounded Schultz’s foul mood.

On the ride from the airport to the hotel Schultz, Juan sat nervously across the backseat from Schultz. There had been a time once in Argentina when Schultz had been a mood like this. A mugger on the street had made the mistake of attempting to stick them up at knife point. Schultz had settled for breaking that man’s extremities.

“Are you sure this is the right place?” Schultz growled as the cab pulled up to the hotel. The building was a giant pile of marble that had pretensions of being something it clearly was not.

Schultz let Juan talk to the hotel’s concierge while he waited. “He says that the Prince is in the bar having a meeting of sorts” Juan said.

“How did you convince him to tell you that?” Schultz asked.

“Let’s just say that it cost a lot less than I thought it would and if you are going to cheat on your wife don’t do it here” Juan replied.

Unlike pretty much every other man in his family Louis Ferdinand had not opted for a military career. Instead once he had gotten a University degree he had dabbled in business, industry and diplomacy. In Europe and here in America he had forged friendships with the captains of industry and politicians. The problem was that many of the nationalists, monarchists and a large swath of the political left in Germany would look at such relationships by the Crown Prince with extreme displeasure.

“Keep a lookout for me” Schultz said to Juan as he entered the bar.

He exchanged a nod with the Prince’s two bodyguards. The fact that there were only two of them said that the news of Wilhelm’s demise had not yet reached the printing presses on this side of the Atlantic, contrary to popular belief, radio took more of their cues from newspapers than people thought. A few hours before Schultz and Juan left Berlin, the Berliner had run the story. What that meant was that the telegrams relaying that information had raced across the Atlantic cables but the newspapers had waited until they had further confirmation before they ran with story. No one wanted to run with a rumor that they would have to retract later. Schultz figured that they had minutes at best to collect the Prince and get out of here. After that they would have to fight their way out as every journalist, grifter and crank in Washington stormed this building.

Louis was meeting with two men who could be best be described as sharks in three piece suits. They were the same the world over except that on this side of the Atlantic questionable taste and equally questionable tailoring also came into play. Schultz only had two words for them.

“Get lost” Schultz growled with a tone that promised pure ruin if they even thought of doing anything else. They started to protest but were met with a withering glare from Schultz.

“I’m sorry” Louis said “But this man is one of my father’s attack dogs so you’d be wise to leave.”

The two men left with not a word giving Schultz a wide berth.

“Have you any idea who you just chased off?” Louis asked.

“I don’t care” Schultz said.

“It will take some effort on my part to smooth things over with Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Donovan” Louis said.

“You’ll never get the chance” Schultz said not bothering to say his opinion of the company that the Prince was keeping “You’ve been recalled to Berlin, immediately.”

“What’s the emergency?” Louis asked “Did Wilhelm threaten to renounce his title again?”

“No” Schultz said “Your brother got his head blown off in Spain and is probably being flown home for a State funeral as we speak.”

“You could have stated that a little bit more delicately” Louis said. In spite his attempt at nonchalance Schultz could see that a cold sweat had broken out on his forehead.

“Finish that drink your Highness and then we need to leave” Schultz said, then he saw Juan signal from the lobby “On second thought screw the drink, we’re going to leave now.”

Schultz grabbed Louis by the arm and hauled him towards the back of the bar. There would probably be Hell to pay for him doing this later but right now speed was of the upmost concern.

Once they were navigating the trash strewn back alley Schultz let go, with the two bodyguards close behind Louis had no choice but to keep moving forward. Juan appeared at the end of the alley with a cab that he had already flagged.

Once they got on the plane back to New York to where the connecting Lufthansa flight was waiting for them it occurred to Schultz what Juan’s motivation was. The Crown Prince of the German Empire fancied himself a business man and Juan would have the next 20 odd hours to sell the Prince on whatever he had in mind.
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Making deals with Kennedy could come to bite the Prince in the butt. Juan may be laying the groundwork to get some Imperial contracts for himself and his company. The money from two sides of the Government might be a little funny come tax time.
That Donovan wouldn't happen to be 'Wild Bill' Donovan, would it? I'm surprised the princeling doesn't have one or two officers from the German external intelligence (not a Abwehr hit squad, real intelligence officers) to watch over him and take note of who takes interest in him.
That Donovan wouldn't happen to be 'Wild Bill' Donovan, would it? I'm surprised the princeling doesn't have one or two officers from the German external intelligence (not a Abwehr hit squad, real intelligence officers) to watch over him and take note of who takes interest in him.

At this point Donovan is still mostly known as an also-ran political candidate, former US Attorney and a Wall Street lawyer, nothing that would cause the Abwehr to take too much notice. They took far more notice of the presence of Joseph Kennedy for the reasons that Zert alluded to. Schultz rushed in with no advanced notice and that was reflected in his perspective.
Oh, I didn't mean that they would instantly sniff out future foreign intelligence officers or agents just like that. Just that the German Embassy probably has some 'Attachés' (not necessarly Abwher-Military Intelligence, but External Intelligence) who can serve as guides, observers and minders for who comes in contact with the second-in-line for the Imperial Throne (and maybe recruit one or two as agents, if possible).
The proeminence in German External Intelligence of Abwher in WWII came because the country was basically at war with most of everybody, and preparing for war for quite a while before that, so military-related informations were the most sought after.
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Part 14, Chapter 143
Chapter One Hundred Forty-Three

17th May, 1937

Over the Mid-Atlantic

It had been the existence of airplanes from rival companies that had pushed development of the Condor airliner into high gear. Focke-Wulf had lost the fighter competition to Heinkel. The high-winged parasol fighter also happened to be ugly, which didn’t help. They didn’t have an entry for a heavy bomber but they did research it. The result was this graceful four engine airliner with the range to fly the Trans-Atlantic rout nonstop. The FW-200 along with the American DC series was a threat to the near monopoly that Junkers had enjoyed in European air travel with their JU-52. The response from Junkers was an airline version of the JU-90 transport. The problem that Junkers had was that they wouldn’t have that airliner on the market for some time.

The Condor might have been a wonder but that didn’t change the realities of air travel. Being cooped up in a metal tube or wooden box for hours on end with nothing much to do. Watching the flight crew’s reaction to having such a prominent passenger on board lost its entertainment value after a couple of hours.

Louis was staring out the window. There was really nothing to see out there, just starlight reflected off clouds. “I’m never going to get an apology for you yanking me out of there like that, am I?” He asked.

Schultz said nothing, there was no way that he would ever apologize for carrying out his orders as best he could.

“There were dozens of reporters and who knows who else entering the hotel lobby” Juan said “It was already a mess, Johan just stopped you from being in the middle of it.”

The Prince just continued to stare out the window.

“I saw who you were talking to” Juan said “Those two are connected to the highest levels of the current American Presidential Administration. Nothing they did was out of the goodness of their hearts.”

“You think I don’t know that” Louis said “Joe Kennedy has never made a deal that he didn’t make money on, his business partners haven’t been so fortunate. Bill Donovan wants an American version of Abwehr and I’m sure that every word I said is being repeated in the Oval Office right this minute.”

“You knew this and spoke to them anyway?” Juan asked.

“Of course” Louis said with a cynical laugh “It’s like when Ford wanted me take over the European Division of his corporation. I learned a lot about cars and engines that way. Letting them think I’m a dilettante who they could easily impress and lead around by the nose got me entry into places you wouldn’t believe.”

“Why are you telling us about this?” Schultz asked.

“Because Wilhelm being gone means that game is over” Louis answered “And I’m the one you two ultimately answer to now.”

That was a few angles that Schultz had not considered and he made a mental note not to be one of the people who underestimated Louis Ferdinand in the future.

South of Madrid

Emil sat in the dugout he was using as a command post. He had two problems. The first was that Ernest Hemingway had replaced Fredrich Grossmann as the journalist he would most like to find in his rifle’s sights. The second was that the butcher’s bill for Arganda Bridge had been officially tallied.

For the rest of this campaign he would not need to concern himself with any airborne operations, the transport aircraft had been decimated. This was mostly because of a combination of bad intelligence and the general obsolescence of the transport airplanes. They had been sitting ducks for the anti-aircraft guns that were not supposed to be there. Between the drop and battle 1st Fallschirmjäger had a casualty rate of almost 25% in this single operation. The sort of hit that no Division had absorbed since the Great War ended almost twenty years earlier.

General Student had never been found and was officially listed as missing in action. Emil had been ordered to remain in command of the Division until a suitable replacement for Student was found then he would be the new Division XO. Twenty years and he was going to be Staff Officer again.

Then there were two newspaper articles. One was by Maria Acker that was mostly just the facts. She had somehow found out about his experience during the jump, the storming of the bridge and included all that. The other was the one by Hemingway that was anything but just the facts. It was embellished with Hemingway’s opinions and it was exactly the sort of thing that had led to the creation of Jochen Loewe. Emil Holz, the paragon. Hemingway had lavished focus on details like him sharing risks and putting his men up for decorations while asking nothing for himself. Just reading the article left Emil slightly disgusted. Naturally it was the second article that was reprinted around the world.

He could practically hear the storm of official anger and resentment starting to brew in Wunsdorf from here in Spain. He could also hear thousands of typewriters clacking away as new chapters were being added to the illustrious career of Jochen Loewe.

“The way you’re always brooding it’s a wonder you haven’t crawled up your own ass and died” Horst said as he stepped into the dugout handing Emil a bottle of rotgut he’d acquired.

“Cheap booze” Emil said as he took a swig “What's the occasion?”

“My latest promotion” Horst said as Emil passed the bottle back to him and with a mock toast “To no longer being at the bottom of the ladder.”

“So, the Oberst took leave of his senses long enough to get around to that?” Emil asked.

“After him getting credited with coming up for the plan that led to us bypassing the Spanish he was feeling generous” Horst said.

“What does that make you now? Emil asked.

“Hauptmann” Horst said “What whatever that’s worth.”

“It changes nothing” Emil said “You’re still the King of the Panzer Grenadiers.”

“And you are still the one who’d crawl across broken glass to avoid the spot light” Horst said with a smirk “Sort of hard to do when you become a General.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Emil asked.

“Your Division and you personally got mentioned in Communiqués to the Reichstag and you don’t say one word about it” Horst replied “You are unbelievable.”
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your excellent TL cost me most of the day. It is funny and well written. While maybe not as detail-loving as some others, it is quite fun to read. I hope you keep up the frequent updates!
So the Prince is smarter and more cunning than some thought. It will be interesting on how he will do now that he can no longer lurk in the shadows.

Horst gains a promotion and Emil is loathing the notoriety of the articles. How soon will the next Jochen Loewe movie is made? Perhaps some comics to keep the young ones entertained and wanting more.