I like the aeroplane updates and its not at all unlikely to be a number of years ahead with uninterrupted development.
Being a declared fan in the He100 I have to say it might still go into production. Its a much better High altitude, long-range, loiter time and eventually High speed candidate than FW190 (although the FW190 is a very sound first choice with their anticipated enemy in mind). It didn't take heinkel long to install the retractable radiators when ordered to do it. The FW190 being chosen could have the same effect.
Adding to my own post. If Do-19 uses Bramo, Stukas going out and FW-190 using BMW, there is a huge surpluss capacity of in-lines in addition to the Heinkel factory in favor of putting He100 in production (with retractable radiator).
Part 16, Chapter 159
Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Nine

1st May, 1938

Oldenburg in Holstein

Kurt felt an elbow in his ribs. “You were snoring again” Olli stage whispered at him. Why did Olli have to take these things so seriously? It was the same ritual every week. In theory, they had Sunday off, but the reality was that the Hauptmann had a severe allergy to Soldaten having too much time on their hands. Kurt and Olli being among the most junior of the Panzerschütze meant that he landed on them with both feet whenever he got the chance.

So, it was the choice of doing KP, where they would spend all morning scrubbing pots, getting done with the breakfast stuff just in time for the lunch stuff to arrive. Or trying to catch up on sleep in the hard pews of the church in a nearby town. The problem was Olli just wasn’t with that program, he had an almost childlike devotion to the Catholic Church that Kurt didn’t understand. He assumed that it was the comfort of ritual but it resulted in them having the same argument every Sunday.

“Do you want to go Hell?” Olli asked Kurt. It was all he could do not to laugh at that. A few weeks earlier Olli had solemnly announced to his friends what he was giving up for Lent. What could Olli possibly have to atone for? Kurt had shared the same bay in the barracks with him for months so he would know better than anyone.

“Some things are already baked into the cake” Kurt replied “Could you at least let me enjoy the ride?”

“Shut up, both of you!” The Usher said, probably louder that he intended as he passed. Olli turned and gave Kurt a venomous glare.

Kurt slouched down in the pew with a smug grin on his face. Later he’d have to ask Olli if wrath was sin just to needle him for a bit.


Manfred von Richthofen sat in his office listening to the sound of the ticking clock. In less than 24 hours General Boelcke’s retirement would be official. The man who had led the Luftwaffe from its formation until now would no longer be a factor. Manfred was his designated successor with Fritz Rumey taking over command of the Luftwaffe’s fighter wings.

For Manfred, it was the pinnacle of his career yet he felt strangely unfulfilled. The tactics he had pioneered in Poland had been fully validated in Spain. He had even been told that he ought to write a book but he had held off on that. He could recall the accusations of self-aggrandizement the he had been subjected to when he had published his autobiography during the Great War. Admittedly even he would cheerfully pound some sense into the younger version of himself, the arrogant little twit that he had been. Time and life have a way taking you down a few pegs no matter how successful you are in life.

Manfred was subjected to a daily barrage of missives, demands and requests. To remind him of his place in the greater order of things he had discovered that if he said yes to one thing he inevitably angered the people who wanted the opposite thing. The adoption by the Luftwaffe to have the FW190 as the standard fighter had angered both Heinkel and Mercedes. No amount of time was going to save the He-100 in its current form. He had saved the project by referring it to Walther Weaver who had been asking for a long rang high altitude escort for his bombers. Something the Heinkel fighter might excel at provided that a more conventional cooling system was adopted.

Then there had been a proposal to rotate pilots between training and front line units, it was one of the recommendations from the Spanish war. He had approved it only to be accused of doing to defend his title as the top scoring ace. While he took pride in that score it wasn’t the only thing that mattered to him. He’d found that his problematic daughter took up far more of his time. Helene’s latest thing was auto racing. There were days when he was certain that she was trying to kill him.

Manfred took note that none of his critics were commenting on his proposal to revive the Flying Circus, the Luftwaffe was likely to be outnumbered in any future conflict. The organization needed to reflect that. And if they had bothered to ask him he would have told them that he would enjoy shaking the hand of the pilot who finally exceeded him, provided that the pilot was from the Luftwaffe.

Kiel, Germany

Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer watched attentively as U-541 pulled back into port in the dead of night. She was of the new type XIX, bigger, faster and with a longer range than the older types she was replacing. Extensive research had gone into her. Hydrodynamic studies had resulted in her being faster submerged than she was on the surface and the alloy in her hull enabled her to dive deeper than any previous type.

As it had worked out this had basically been a wartime cruise, surfacing only long enough to recharge the batteries at night. Admiral de la Perière had made it clear that no one was to see U-541 much less photograph her. The lack of deck gun and offensive armament limited to six torpedo tubes would have instantly let anyone know that something was up.
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Now all the U-Boot fleet will need is a snorkel (but that's a little in the future). What is their operational range? Closer to VII, or IX?
Part 16, Chapter 160
Chapter One Hundred Sixty

15th June, 1938

Kiel, Germany

The twin engine Junkers Ju-95 was flying into its home base, from the far-flung Aircraft Carriers that it ferried personnel and mail to and from. It was the cargo/passenger version of the torpedo/bomber that the KLM had recently fielded. The KLM had evaluated the Ju-88 and had decided it would be perfect for their needs if only it could operate from a flattop. Junkers had responded with the Ju-95 and its utility variant that Jacob was a passenger on. The narrow, pencil like fuselage had made for an uncomfortable flight but in made getting from the SMS Hessen, which was with the rest of the fleet off Lisbon as they made their way back to Wilhelmshaven, to Kiel in a day possible.

No sooner than Jacob had gotten his feet on the ground then a pair of sailors from the Shore Patrol and a very nervous lieutenant were there to collect him.

“If you could come with me, Sir?” The Lieutenant asked.

“If you could let me collect my bags first, that would be nice” Jacob said.

The was a brief muttered discussion between the Lieutenant and the sailors under his command. Eventually one of the sailors had the wherewithal to get Jacob’s bags and put them in the back seat of the car, a Kubelwagen that had been painted battleship grey so everyone knew who it belonged to. Jacob got into the passenger seat forcing the Lieutenant to get into the back and one of the sailors was left standing there on the landing strip. This crowd clearly had not thought things through. Jacob took note of the Lieutenant’s name, later he’d have a word with that man’s commanding officer. There was always a need for warm bodies at weather stations in the far northern reaches of Norway.

They drove into Kiel in the direction of the shipyards. Not exactly where Jacob was expecting to go but it was clear that the sailor driving knew where he was going, so Jacob went along with it. They stopped in front of a row of nondescript warehouses. Jacob was led inside and up a couple of flights of stairs. He wasn’t surprised when he saw who was responsible for this dog and pony show.

“Nice to see you, Herr Grand Admiral” Jacob said “If you would mind calling my wife and telling her that you were the one who detained me because I’m supposed to be meeting her about now.”

“I’ve arranged for Frau Schmidt to be taken care of” Erich von Raeder said “Once we told her what this was all about she was most agreeable.”

“That’s nice, Sir” Jacob said “Now if you could tell me what this is all about.”

“It’s about this” The Grand Admiral pointed out the window, in the bright sunlight a massive but incomplete battleship was in the spillway. Jacob could see hundreds of workers swarming over the superstructure and decks. The barbets had been installed but the working chambers were still exposed to sunlight as the turrets hadn’t been put in place yet.

“She’s the SMS Preussen, or at least she will be once she is launched” Raeder said.

Jacob had only seen plans for this long-delayed ship class. He had developed the fire control system for her 42cm/50 guns.

“You need me to command her, Sir” Jacob said.

“You, no” Raeder said “That’s not why you are here.”

What was the point in this then? Jacob wasn’t about to impugn the Grand Admiral by saying this was a cruel hoax and there was no way that Esther would go along with something like that.

“She’s going to be the flagship of her squadron, Konteradmiral Schmidt.”

“I’m afraid you are mistaken, Sir” Jacob said “I’m a Captain.”

“Not as of a few minutes ago” Raeder said “Congratulations.”

Rural Germany in transit

The Panzer IV and Vs arrived in Putlos at about the same time, from Daimler-Benz and Henschel respectively. That meant a lot of work for them as the teething problems of new Panzers were worked out. All Kurt and Olli could do was watch with envy as new crews were trained in them. Axil didn’t care, he just liked being able to do his job without listening to them complain about their lot in life. Too often they were just towing the 30 and 45 ton Panzers in. The Bergepanzer was made with that in mind. Now the Summer field maneuvers had started and because the Paras were out this year because they were in the midst of a massive shake up the commanders of the Panzer Corps saw it as a chance to reign supreme. That meant exactly nothing to the Bergepanzer crew beyond it being work, work and then some more work. Frequently with road marches in between.

Kurt was sitting on the deck of the Bergepanzer trying to make sense of the book he was reading. It was part of a program he had signed up for. There had been a study that the Reichstag had commissioned that had discovered that there was an appalling lack of education among the enlisted soldiers of the Heer. Kurt, who basically had no secondary education was considered a prime candidate for that program. At least it was a nice day.

“What’re you reading?” Olli asked as he looked quizzically at the cover of the book.

“It’s an English play” Kurt said frowning at the book “Translated.”

He had a feeling that this translation left a lot to be desired.

“Is it any good? Olli asked “What’s it about?”

“I don’t know” Kurt said “I’ve read through it three times I’m still trying to figure it out.”

“Yeah” Olli said “But what is it about?”

“There’s this Prince up in Denmark whose uncle is a total bastard, the uncle kills the King and shacks up with the King’s widow” Kurt said “The Prince sets out for revenge and in the end, everyone dies.”

“Huh” Olli said “I’m surprised that an Englishman wrote something like that. From all the movies from England I’ve seen they are all about happy endings and stuff.”

“Don’t know” Kurt said “It’s just how it is.”
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Shouldn't Jacob's rank be Kontreadmiral? Up until World War 1, any sea officer in the German Navy who had tactical command over more than one ship would be a Kommodore. Essentially, it wasn't a rank, since the senior of three U-Boat commanders would be called Kommodore if he was commanding the group. OTL after WW1 there was a reorganization, but theoretically that hasn't happened. At any rate, I would expect the officer in charge of a battle squadron to be no less than a rear admiral equivalent.
A little more seriously, the Germans built the Me 323, shown below, in '42 and it was an actual functional long range heavy transport plane.

Looks like a Train locomotive with wings attached.
Shouldn't Jacob's rank be Kontreadmiral? Up until World War 1, any sea officer in the German Navy who had tactical command over more than one ship would be a Kommodore. Essentially, it wasn't a rank, since the senior of three U-Boat commanders would be called Kommodore if he was commanding the group. OTL after WW1 there was a reorganization, but theoretically that hasn't happened. At any rate, I would expect the officer in charge of a battle squadron to be no less than a rear admiral equivalent.

Thank you, what I was trying to do was show that he was between places on his way up. With frequently contradictory information, mistakes happen.
Looks like a Train locomotive with wings attached.
Flying that would be like how flying the B-36 was described: "Sitting on the front porch and flying the house around."

Yeah, it was originally built as a glider and they invented the He-111Z, a twinned He-111 with five engines to tow it. It's the Luftwaffwe version of the Pz VIII Maus, except that they got it operational.
Thank you, what I was trying to do was show that he was between places on his way up. With frequently contradictory information, mistakes happen.

Certainly, and it can all be a bit confusing. Especially since in the Reichsmarine they DID have an official rank of Kommodore. The Kaiserlichemarine did the same thing the UK and US. If say, three destroyers are operating together, the highest rank present is a Lt Commander. The senior of those (Assuming detached service) would be referred to as Commodore. It's a courtesy title, not an actual one.
Big changes. As before we see improvements on the panzers through Ollie and Kurt's eyes. Subs with higher speeds and depth due to a huge upgrade in hull shape. Jacob was bumped up in rank above others and perhaps equivilent to two slots.

Helene getting into racing may come up later in the story. Being the gettaway driver for Kat maybe. ;)
Part 16, Chapter 161
Chapter One Hundred Sixty-One

2nd July, 1938

Werder, Germany

Gerta von Wolvogle was enjoying a warm Summer Saturday walking barefoot on the shore of the Havel River, dancing to a tune only she could hear. She was thinking about her friends. Little Kat had finally decided what she wanted to be and Helene had very firm ideas about what she didn’t want to be, even going so far as to starting a rumor about buying a race car. Gerta really needed to get into Berlin to see them but her mother’s townhouse and the Tiergarten couldn’t compare to the woods and fields outside the city. Here she was free of obligation and that suited her fine. There was also the expectation that she would need to at least pretend to go about what was expected of someone of her station. Stiff formal clothing and rooms full of people with questions she did not care to answer. It was the reason why she liked Kat, Kat never ever asked her about anything or had expectations.

“Mama said we shouldn’t bother you” a child’s voice said.

Gerta smiled at that statement. “I see that you do a good job listening” She said without actually looking at the source of the voice.

“How can you see when you aren’t even looking at us?” a different child’s voice asked.

“How do you know that?” Gerta said “I could have an eye on the back of my head.”

“That’s silly” one of the children said “You couldn’t see through all that hair.”

Gerta arched her back, leaning backwards until her hands touched the ground behind her. She saw that it was two children, little girls, obviously siblings a couple years apart in age.

“So, logical to see that I couldn’t see out of the eye on the back of my head” Gerta said before kicking her feet and twisting her body in the air to land on her feet in front of the children “Of course the world is too big and wonderful to use logic all the time.”

“That’s not what Mama says” the older of the two children said.

“How did you do that?” the younger asked.

Her mother had insisted that Gerta take lessons in gymnastics and dance. Gerta had been good at it in spite of her dislike of how regimented the classes were. “Practice” Gerta said “Now you two get back to your mother before she realizes that you’ve wandered off and talked to people she told you not too.”

“But we didn’t get to ask our question” the younger child said.

The older of the two looked mortified at what her younger sister had just said.

“And what question is that?” Gerta asked.

“Why do you act like you do?” the younger child asked “All the other grownups act grown up all the time but not you.”

Gerta thought about it for a moment, she was quite aware of plenty of adults who behaved worse than children. Many of them in elected office.

“Who said I was a grownup?” Gerta asked.

“Your tall and what not” the older child said. To these two she was tall but Gerta knew the truth, she was actually of only slightly higher than average height and she had a dancer’s body. That was a nice way of saying that there wasn’t much to see. Unlike Helene who could have had artists lined up to have her pose for them if such behavior wouldn’t get her disowned.

“I’m still in school” Gerta said “This is just my Summer holiday and I’m still trying to make the most of it.”

“By wandering around the river bank humming to yourself” The older child said. Gerta noted with a touch of sadness that the older child was already finding the cynicism of adulthood. Magic was where you found it and when you did you clung to it. There was more of that to be found listening to birds singing and feeling the warm sun on your face than in the adult world of rushing about and forgetting what was truly important.

“We spend our days as we wish if we can” Gerta said and she walked off down the river. She didn’t pay attention to what became of her two questioners.

Hohenasperg Prison, Near Stuttgart, Germany

Of all the guards, Reinhard Heydrich was the most sadistic. There were rumors that he had taken this job because it was the only thing he could get after the Navy had thrown him out for conduct unbecoming. Sauvageot was a frequent target of his, not that anyone cared, not even the other prisoners. Sauvageot had endured this in silence, that silence had become his power. Every few months, agents from Abwehr showed up in the interview room and pumped him for information about the French Intelligence Ministry, whatever they were calling it these days.

Not as if Sauvageot knew anything that would be remotely relevant. If he had said what he knew then odds are they would go away and never come back. He would become like Stoltz, having totally lost his baring, perspective and sanity. Regardless of whatever strides Abwehr had made over the previous decades they were still Germans. Like clockwork they were there at the start of every quarter, every three months. Inadvertently providing Sauvageot a thin thread to the outside world.

“That bunch of frauds might think you are good for something” Heydrich said as he led Sauvageot back into his cell “But I know the truth, you truly are a worthless piece of shit.”

“That’s not what your mother said” Sauvageot said in French, breaking his silence for the first time in weeks.

“What did you just say to me?” Heydrich demanded.

Sauvageot said nothing but was waiting for the first blow when it arrived, which it did. It staggered him and nearly left him unconscious as his legs crumpled under him. There was a series of blows and kicks, finally there was the sound of splintering wood as Heydrich broke his baton over Sauvageot’s back. Heydrich stood there for a small eternity before muttering a series of swearwords and slamming the cell’s door shut.

After several minutes Sauvageot finally stirred, despite Heydrich’s best efforts he had lacked the focus to hurt Sauvageot too badly. Then he saw it, for eight years he’d been waiting for his guards to make a mistake. Now one had. The broken end of the baton had been left in his cell. Archimedes once said that if he had a long enough lever and fulcrum on which to place it he could move the world then he could move the world. César Sauvageot now had a lever.
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Sauvageot May break out and exact revenge. Be it against Jacob and his minions, the French for abandoning him, or both. He may have been locked up for a long while but he has skills that are still useful.

Maybe while he is at it he can kill Heydrich.
Will jacob ever return to the Abwher?
As things go, it's highly likely that after 3-4 years ,just as the War kicks off or in its initial phase, he will be again given a higher rank and then put in command of the Abwher, with free hand to wreck hell with the enemy intelligence ops.
Another personage from OTL infamy found.

I'm eagerly anticipating a vignette from Heinrich Himmler's Nordic occult-themed chicken farm.
I think he already works as an estate manager for some noblewoman. I thought Heydrich came from a family of musicians and was rumored to have Jewish ancestry.
Part 16, Chapter 162
Chapter One Hundred Sixty-Two

3rd August, 1938


Augustus Lang agreed with recent commentary that had appeared in the newspapers that they were in a period of high tension. Added to this was the fact that the Crown Prince was going ahead with his planned marriage to Kira Kirillovna Romanova of Russia. Louis Ferdinand was on shaky ground with several elements of the Reichstag. Many of the Royalists didn’t like him. In fact, many of them worked to change the laws of succession to prevent the abdication of Prince Wilhelm over his marriage a decade ago because Louis was widely regarded as a political wild card. That applecart had been knocked over when Wilhelm had gotten himself killed in Spain. Then there were the leftist factions who were pouring gasoline on that particular fire because they’d just as soon do away with the monarchy. Louis had wisely refrained from rocking the boat for once. Lang personally found the idea morganatic marriage absurd. Just look at the historical results of that practice, hemophilia and Spanish Hapsburgs.

Exit domestic politics and enter the international mine field. Over the last decade, it increasingly seemed as if Lang couldn’t take a step without tripping over the monstrous ego and paranoia of Stalin. The Russian despot had spared no expense in his unsuccessful hunt for Alexi and Nicholas Romanov, so much so that the two men had never known a moment of peace in their remaining years hiding in Western Canada. Now Stalin had suddenly realized that in the near future one of the pretenders to the Russian throne would be the Father in Law of the German Crown Prince. Predictably this was resulting in the diplomatic equivalent of a tantrum as threatening telegrams flooded the offices of the Foreign Service from Moscow.

The Chancellor had said that it was just a bunch of bluster, Lang wished that he could share his confidence. There was also the escalating situation with China and Japan that the British and Dutch were somehow mixed up in.

Still Lang thought he could see a way through this time, so long as no one sneezed.


Maria was sitting in the café during her lunch hour. She had her manuscript out on the table and was going over it with a pencil trying to find all the typos before starting on the next draft after work. It was absurd that the editorial process took longer than the actual writing of the initial manuscript. Maria was trying to concentrate on her work but three girls were at the next table were giggling and carrying on.

“Do you mind?” Maria said to them.

“We’re sorry” One of the girls, the blond one said “It’s our little Kat’s birthday.”

“Will you stop calling me that” The girl with red hair, presumably Kat, said indignantly.

Maria could tell from the look on the blond girl’s face that she had no intention of following her friend’s request. The third girl, the one with dark brown hair and an aristocratic baring that was somewhat offset by a prominent nose, sat silently. Clearly amused by the antics of her companions.

“We can move if you want” Kat said.

“Why should we have to move?” Her blond friend demanded.

Kat turned and said to her friend “Because it would be polite, Lagertha.”

Gerta, whose face had previously been all brightness and sunshine had a cloud cross it. She absolutely hated it when people called her by her proper name. She blew a raspberry at Kat who laughed at that. Maria didn’t notice though. When Kat had turned, Maria had noticed that she had a half-healed burn on the side of her neck. She had written about seeing the exact same sort of distinctive injury a few times in Spain.

“There’s no need for you to move” Maria said as she gathered her things, she would need to return to work soon anyhow. The girls still showed signs of leaving, as the first two left Maria grabbed Kat’s arm. As she did she noticed how coarse the fabric of the man’s shirt she was wearing was. Of her friends, one was dressed in the faux Gypsy style that artistic types gravitated towards. The other dressed in outdated clothing that still nonetheless of extremely high quality. Kat dressed in clothing where comfort was placed far behind durability.

“I know what caused that burn on your neck” She said.

“I doubt that” Kat said looking uncomfortable.

“Really?” Maria asked, “It was just random chance that you had a rifle cartridge get caught between your neck and the collar of your shirt?”

Maria saw Kat’s eyes widen and knew that she had hit the mark.

“Please leave me alone” Kat said, hardly more than a whisper “I can’t…”

“When you can I would like to know” Maria said “I work for the BT. You know what that is?”

Kat nodded and Maria let her go. Maria sometimes had qualms about the lengths she went to in order to get stories but in order to get ahead it was what she needed to do.


It was a call that Schultz had been waiting for. He knew that Kat had a lot to learn, lacked polish and couldn’t operate outside her preferred socio-economic comfort zone. He knew that her own nature would prevent her from listening to him if he had just told her so. That was why he had let her run as far as possible until she had somehow slipped up with a journalist who had spotted something incongruous with her appearance.

“Did this woman make any suggestions as to just how you had acquired that burn?” Schultz asked.

“No” Kat said, “She just said that she knew what it was.”

“That doesn’t sound like you were made” Schultz said, “But still I think you should come in for a debrief.”

“It’s my birthday” Kat said “I’m supposed to meet my father and Hans later. I can’t just stand them up.”

“It’s okay” Schultz replied, “Come in tomorrow, we have a lot to discuss.”

As Schultz hung up the phone he considered what they needed to do next. He would consult with Juan Pujol, he was the master of the aspects of this job that needed to be considered here.