Part 17, Chapter 184
Chapter One Hundred Eighty-Four


7th March 1939

Berlin

Maria was working late into the night as the election counts as they came in, so late in fact that it was getting into the early morning hours. She was hardly alone, most of the staff were on hand. Something that happened whenever a major event occurred.

The National Liberals had maintained the same number seats. Hardly surprising considering what had happened. The Social Democrats had gained a few seats but were still short of an outright majority. The political parties to the far left had a bad night. Mostly that was down to the lack of sunlight between them and the Soviet Union. That they were losing some of those seats to far right Nationalists and Monarchist parties just made that worse. Once these results were official then Germany would have a functioning government again. Tomorrow morning that would be in the headlines and be the bulk of the front-page stories. The people had listened to the Chancellor and more or less maintained the status quo. It felt like this whole sorry chapter was coming to a close. Something that couldn’t come soon enough.

The story that Maria had just completed wasn’t about the election. It was about the spontaneous demonstration and street festival that had broken out that afternoon. Emil had mentioned that his friend Augustus had said often that a new Germany was struggling to emerge from its imperial past. Emerging in fits and starts into the light of day. Maria had met Augustus Lang on a few occasions, never enough to get a proper read on him. Would Augustus Lang pursue that vision in his current lofty position?

Just what was Germany? An Empire? A federation cobbled together from a collection of kingdoms and principalities? Or was it something else entirely? During the day’s festivities Maria had seen the black, red and gold tricolor of the Federal flag everywhere. That flag was symbol of liberalism and democracy. Was that the sort thing that was emerging?

“The Editor wants to see you” One of the secretaries said.

“Thank you” Maria said as she got up from her desk. As always, she felt a bit of trepidation as she walked towards the Editor’s office. One never knew what they were walking into when entering the office of their boss.

“Come in and close the door” The Editor said, Maria felt her heart sink, that was seldom good. “Nothing bad just there’s something we need to discuss.”

When Maria walked in she saw an advance copy of her book on his desk she felt the cold shock of panic run through her. Had her publisher told the paper that the named author of that book was her pseudonym?

“You’ve been putting in a lot of good work in lately” The Editor said “And while I’d like to see that continue there is another offer that I’d like you to consider. A position as Assistant Editor is about to open up and I’d like you to consider taking it.”

“Thank you for considering me” Maria said, relieved.

“We don’t need an answer this minute, so think about it and let me know” The Editor said.

“Well, have a good night” Maria said as she got up to leave.

The Editor looked at her as she walked out the door and said, “It’s a good book, by the way.”


Wunsdorf-Zossen

Moving an entire Army Corps including the support elements is something that can seldom be done quickly. The 4th Panzer Division was slated to deploy to East Prussia as soon as the transport could be arranged and sometime after the new Panzer Brigade arrived. For all the urgency of the orders when they arrived the Heer seemed to be taking their sweet old time carrying those orders out. In the meantime, they were left waiting and that led to the sort of trouble that they were currently engaged in. The difference was that this time they had Hauptman Horst with them calling the shots. There was something in this warehouse that Horst wanted and in order to get it he was prepared to go back to his roots.

After a madman had blown up the Reichstag with explosives stolen from a joint Luftwaffe/KLM base while it was in session strict controls had been imposed on all ordinance. Word was that the Quartermaster on that base had died trying to stop that theft but it didn’t matter. If they wanted anything outside their normal TOE they could expect to get buried in paperwork and wait for a decision until Hell froze over or they gave up. Whichever came first.

Fortunately, they knew a work around.

Jost was driving the lorry. Soren, Hans, Burgstaller, Rudy and Henrik were going in with Horst.

“You’d better be awake when we come out” Horst said to Jost.

“Yeah, whatever” Jost muttered.

“You know damn well he’s going to be conked out when we get back” Hans said as they walked towards the warehouse.

“Yeah” Horst said, “And it will make kicking his ass that much more enjoyable.”

Hans heard a click and a dim red light illuminated the side door of the warehouse. “Okay Burgstaller” Horst said, “Do your thing.”

They stood there in the cold night air as Burgstaller picked the lock. Hans expected a patrol there to present this very thing to come around the corner any second. After an eternity, he heard Burgstaller say “Got it.” There was a click and the door swung open.

Hans followed Horst into the darkened warehouse, the air smelled of dust, rat turds and other less pleasant things. They came around a corner and saw a red light floating ahead of them and a half dozen soldiers carrying crates were walking the other way. There was an awkward silence as the two groups pretended not to see each other.

“This way” Horst said as they went further in, finally they came upon some heavy looking crates with Faustpatrone 30 stenciled on them.

“This is what we came for” Horst said, “Three crates, everyone grab a side”

“This better be worth the risk” Henrik muttered. Hans knew that was what all of them were thinking.
 
More great stuff. I have a thought for a future bit--something that will be close to the heart of a lot of people: Continuance of Government. If they hadn't discovered the bomber, and this had been a larger plot, with assassins trying to take out people not near the Reichstag, it could have been worse, with almost no government. The Heer should be contemplating how bad this would have been if there was an invasion in progress

At least a parliamentary system is geared for the possibility of snap elections, allowing a faster reconstitution of the Reichstag than the US Congress might be in a similar situation. Also, a monarchy has the advantage of having a good number of replacements already lined up, so they know who would be the new Kaiser.

I think half the world will be looking at decapitation strikes, and the prevention thereof--or at least generating a new head. Perhaps the German one could be called HYDRA.

So--someone's hijacking Panzerfausts? Or rather, everyone's stealing panzerfausts. I suspect that, once the balloon goes up, supplementing the TO&E will not be quite so hard. We're seeing post 9/11 paranoia, and it remains to be seen if Germany will go as far overboard as the USA did in OTL.

More good stuff with both Kat and Maria. It's good to see a realistic depiction (and to m, it seems realistic) of some strong women in plausible roles.

LOVE this timeline!
 
Great story line, as someone mentioned you should consider publishing the story when completed.

"Peter handed Kat a document. “It says that while your biological mother died, your adoptive mother has been there for you, your whole life” He said, “You became the adopted daughter of Klaus and Marcella Böhler when you were three months old.”"

I do have a question about Kat's adoption, how could she be adopted while her father is still alive and seems to have custody?
 
About Horst's 'midnight aquisitions', it's just after a pretty big scandal with stolen military explosives. I remember that in my country, after a dozen old assault rifles and some even older pistols were stolen from an army depozit, there were police controls everywere until the weapons were found. And as an unofficial assisstant (read: factotum) of the armoury's qartermaster during my term I can tell you that all weapons were numbered daily, a general inspection and weapon maintnance was done monthly, and a full inspection down to the number of rounds in the inventory (hand counted, thank you very much) and spent bullet cartriges was done every three months. And I presume the Heer being more anal than us.
After Sauvegeot's bombing, any normal quartermaster would rather admit his weapons were stolen than risk them being used and then traced back to his depot.
 
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Glad to see the Reichstag bombing hasn't turned the Kaiserreich to go Nazi on us. Then again, they have the Anti-Hitler in charge, so that should be expected.

As for Maria's question on what Deutscheland is, it is a Democratic Federal Empire. The way Deutscheland came together makes it an empire, the Reichstag and stuff make it to be at least in the beginning stages of democracy, and it has been a federation since the 1870s. Democracy, federation, and empire are not mutually exclusive.
 
Part 18, Chapter 185
Chapter One Hundred Eighty-Five


12th March 1939

Berlin

“Please don’t tell your father” was what Aunt Marcella had said when Kat had shown her that document.

It was just one of the many things that her Aunt had done to protect her after she had been born. Marcella had told her what her father had been like even before her mother had died. Drunk most of the time and getting in fights. Then Suse had died and he got into a massive fight there in the hospital with the police trying to get to her. The hospital administration had taken a dim view on that and had almost prevented Marcella from taking Kat home. Shortly after that Otto Mischner had simply disappeared for two and a half months, leaving Hans and Kat with Marcella and Klaus. He had eventually turned up on their doorstep reeking of cheap gin and still pining for Suse.

That was when Marcella had finally had enough. If her brother-in-law was going to destroy himself that was his prerogative but if he kept it up he was going to drag his children down with him. The risk was that the State would step in, Hans and Kat would find themselves in an orphanage being cared for by indifferent strangers. It was whispered that terrible things happened to children in such places.

Marcella wasn’t proud of what she’d done and knew that it was probably illegal but she had gotten Otto to sign over his parental rights while he was blind drunk and later he had no memory of what he’d done. Marcella had said that she’d done it out of love and would do anything to keep Kat safe. That meant that all the years that Marcella had Kat living in her house wasn’t because of a sense of obligation but because in every way that mattered Marcella and Klaus considered themselves her parents. If Otto wanted to act like a father they wouldn’t stop him but they understood that Otto’s dark side was something that they had needed to protect Hans and Kat from and they would continue to do so as long as Kat lived under their roof. Hans was a grown man now who could take care of himself.

“I’ve been completely wrong about Aunt Marcella for years” Kat said as she idlily touched the emerald pendant on a silver chain that she’d been wearing lately.

“There I was thinking my family was messed up” Gerta said. They knew that Gerta’s father was seventy years old while she was still in her teens, the daughter he’d had with a much younger mistress. Her parents had never been married but the death of one of her half-brothers and the disowning of the other had resulted in General of Cavalry, Ritter von Wolvogle not having an heir. He’d inadvertently solved this problem by asking his close friend, Wilhelm the II to be the Gerta’s Godfather. Gerta had been declared legitimate by Imperial decree a day later.

That was straight forward compared to what Kat had found out. No secrets held for decades, no legally questionably actions. Gerta was almost jealous, except she had seen how the complications in Kat’s life had torn her up over the last couple of years. Perhaps ignorance was bliss.

“You said it yourself” Helene said, “Your Aunt did this to protect you and she did it out of love.”

“I know that” Kat said, “But I still feel bad about how I’ve treated her.”

“You shouldn’t dwell so much on the past” Helene said, “The whole world is not your responsibility.”

“My mother would just love our little Kat to pieces” Gerta said “She’s always saying things like Lagertha Alexandria why can’t you ever be responsible, tell time or remember to wear shoes.”

A few months earlier Kat might have taken offence at Gerta calling her that but she’d seen that when she had been in her absolute darkest moments Gerta had been there for her. She knew that Gerta said that out of genuine affection.

“You don’t have a tyrant for a father like I do” Helene said, “He said that if there’s a war with Russia I’m with my mother on the first plane to Argentina.”

“That would be the most incredible adventure” Gerta said earnestly “We’d have to come with you.”

“I could never afford that” Kat said.

“Money doesn’t matter here” Gerta said “Helene’s father is the Luftwaffe, he says you have a seat on that airplane then by God you’ll have that seat.”

“You two would come with me?” Helene asked.

Kat thought about it, she had always loved to travel. That would be an entirely new continent to explore. “I would love to” Kat said. Helene smiled, she would at least have someone to talk to in South America.

The moment was ruined when a young man who was their age walked up to them and said, “A blond, a brunette and a redhead walk into coffee shop, would you tell me the rest of the joke?”

“They tell off a boy who tells them a stupid joke” Helene replied.

“Then they push him into traffic” Kat said with acid dripping off her tongue.

“I love how that sort of joke ends” Gerta said bubbly “Justice done.”

They laughed at that as the he fled.


East Prussia, in transit

The arrival of the 502nd Heavy Panzer Brigade happened on the morning after they had raided the warehouse, they barely had time to marvel at the big new Panzer Vs, called Tigers by their crews, when their activities of the night before had been noticed. Hans knew that their outfit had had only taken three crates but as it had turned out all of the Faustpatrones were missing. The Quartermaster had nearly had a heart attack thinking that this might be a repeat of the Sauvageot incident.

Two things had swiftly become apparent, the first was the judging by the Obersts reading the Regiments the riot act the Brass knew full well who had been responsible. The second was the General Guderian had everywhere searched but the SPz-IIs, which meant that the General knew damn well where they had been stashed. The General didn’t want to have half the Russian Army bearing down on them and be dependent solely on anti-tank guns provided by the same tight fisted procurement officers who had forced their hand in this case while the Faustpatrones were still sitting in the warehouse in Zossen. Of course, the General could never admit to that. The first outfit that had someone blab would be landed on with both feet.

As it turned out their departure stopped the investigation. At a certain point, bureaucratic inertia and the inability to admit to making any mistakes would have set in and the whole thing would probably fall down the memory hole.
 
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All three girls in Argentina? Watch them get caught up in a civil war. Or be the cause of it if Gerta takes after her father enough. Is Argentina a dictatorship in this tl? The civil war only works in that situation.
 
All three girls in Argentina? Watch them get caught up in a civil war. Or be the cause of it if Gerta takes after her father enough. Is Argentina a dictatorship in this tl? The civil war only works in that situation.

Argentina enjoyed a great deal of foreign investment ITTL, mostly from Germany. The result has been that it wasn't hit as hard by the Great Depression and no Infamous Decade.
 
Glad that the three Fearsome Furies are back together and ready for the next round of chaos. I am sure they will upset several apple-carts and yet will win the day. It may even get Helene a chance to prove her worth to her parents and the world that she is ready to inherit her fathers genes and ability.

With Kat and Gerta assistance of course. :cool:
 
All three girls in Argentina? Watch them get caught up in a civil war. Or be the cause of it if Gerta takes after her father enough. Is Argentina a dictatorship in this tl? The civil war only works in that situation.

Civil war, No way. I mean the Americans are plotting some evil plan. The Monroe doctrine is still the plan. How to get those bloody Huns out of an country that should theirs to exploited(aka plundered). Distract them with problems closer to home (and earn some money on the side) and when they are fighting in Europe. You take everything that theirs.

But their is a slight problem. A KNOWN Abwehr Agent is showing up in Argentina, just a little girl really but she got a Rep. Do the Germans Know, well beter find out, let's grab that little girl and her friends and have a some fun. I mean they are just girls, how difficult can it be....... And then the Fecal Matter hits the fan.......
 
Trouble with that, they are not some anonymous three little girls, they are the god-child of the emperor and daughter of a war hero general, the daughter of the luftwaffes most influential man and a heroess and dame of the empire. That's the level of clout you better be careful messing with.
 
Trouble with that, they are not some anonymous three little girls, they are the god-child of the emperor and daughter of a war hero general, the daughter of the luftwaffes most influential man and a heroess and dame of the empire. That's the level of clout you better be careful messing with.
Like I said, the Fecal Matter will hit the Fan. I think higher command in Washington DC knows that they are not anonymous little girls, but men at point in Argentina will have a Big Ego and they are in an Latin American country with a real macho culture. High Testeron levels and cold locigal thinking don't mix well. That they will under estimate the "girls" will be a given
 
Part 18, Chapter 186
Chapter One Hundred Eighty-Six


1st April 1939

Rosenberg, Silesia

This was about as far east as you could get and still be in Germany, they were finally moving up from Kleinburg where they had spent the previous days. Kurt was seated in the gunner’s seat of the Tiger and watching the world through the scopes had lost its novelty after a few days. Now it was just another means, albeit a narrow way, of watching the world roll by. He didn’t dare complain about the current state of inactivity, inside the cramped turret Hauptfeldwebel Preis would hear it even over the sound of engine. The Spear had an almost magical ability to do that and even on a road march he could think of a lot of things that Kurt could be doing.

Kurt looked over and saw that Olli was sitting on the folding chair in the loader’s station. The loader had somehow followed Kurt to the Tiger, his presence was a small amount of comfort, the two of them had been together since before Spain. Olli had proven just as good at lifting the heavy 8.8cm shells into the gun breach as he had with the 5cm shells in the Panzer II.

The driver was a veteran of the Great War who refused to get to know them. The burn scars on his arms suggested that he’d been in a vehicle that had been knocked out somewhere along the line, no one knew when or where. Kurt knew his name was Sven but after knowing him for months that was all he knew. Kurt gave up trying to draw Sven into conversation when the driver had told him the Kurt was only in the Tiger because one day he might be one of the better gunners in the Brigade, until that day came Kurt could shut the fuck up.

The hull gunner/radio operator was the exact opposite. His name was Gunther Guntherson, proving that generations of his family had clearly lacked imagination. As far back as records went there had always been a Gunther in his home village. After a few weeks, Kurt doubted that there was anything about Gunther that he didn’t already know, including a few things that he couldn’t unsee or unhear as much as he might have wanted to.

“Off the road here, Sven” He heard Preis say over his head phones “There are crunchies out there, so be careful.”

The Tiger lurched around and was driving over rough ground. Eventually they stopped hulldown on a low rise that had a commanding view of the road.

“All right, you trash get to earn your keep today” The Spear said with entirely too much enthusiasm “Camouflage netting first, then you get dig in the dirt.”

Kurt followed Spear Preis out the command hatch, there were a half dozen other Panzers parked on the back of the low ridge. Deterrent, was the word that was being thrown around. If the Reds came up this road they were supposed to bleed them white.

Two Panzer Grenadiers came walking along the ridge, one was carrying what looked like a plumbing fixture over his shoulder.

“Those cocksuckers” Preis said.

“Pardon, Spear” Kurt said.

“That thing he’s carrying was part of the lot that was stolen back in Wunsdorf” Preis said “It’s why the base was getting torn apart when we got there, they were playing dumb and now there they are.”

“We’re a long way from Wunsdorf” Kurt said.

“Yeah” Preis said “Tell me about it.”


Berlin

Emil looked at his reflection in the mirror that covered one of the walls of the restaurant. Same dress uniform that he always wore in Berlin but the rust colored outline on the shoulder straps told a story he didn’t like. General Staff again, or in this case Military Advisor to the Chancellor.

“You’ll be doing me a favor and it will do wonders for your career” Lang had said while trying to convince him. Emil knew the truth was that Lang wanted someone who he could trust. The fact that Emil abhorred politics and the spotlight made him the perfect fit.

Long ago Emil had heard Stoltz of all people tell him that he couldn’t do the politics of this job. May Stoltz burn forever in Hell for being a treasonous, greedy sack of shit, Emil thought to himself, but Stoltz had gotten that right. He mostly stood silently, watched and listened. He was amazed watching Lang do the job, juggling between hundreds of competing interests and not strangling the French Ambassador. Did the French really think that if Germany got overrun the Russians would stop at the Rhine?

That was another troubling situation. More than ninety percent of the Heer along with Luftwaffe and support Divisions were in the East facing Russia. At the moment, the roads in Belarus and the Ukraine were crap but what would happen when the roads dried out was anyone’s guess. Emil had seen the assessments as to the Russian numbers, the Heer was going to be badly outnumbered for the first weeks of any conflict and would probably remain so even after the reserves were fully mobilized. It was why Lang was trying to avoid such a war if possible.

The troubling thought was that if Russian’s thought that they were weak after the bombing in February then they might be at war in a matter of weeks. The relations with the Soviet Union had been sour since time out of mind so no one in the Diplomatic Service or Intelligence could tell if the current bellicose language from Moscow was a threat of war or business as usual. That was balanced with the Chinese screaming for help in their war with Japan…

“You look like you are a thousand miles away” Maria said snapping Emil back into the present. That was an advantage of working in the Capital, he was able meet Maria for lunch every day.

“Nothing, just have a full plate” Emil said.

“You’re not the only one” Maria said, “My assistant is talking about going to South America with her friends.”

If the girl has the means to do that then it probably was an extremely good idea, Emil thought to himself.

“Jealous?” Emil asked.

“No” Maria said, “My entire life is here, not to mention my career, the idea of an extended vacation to another continent is unthinkable.”

Emil sort of wished she’d change her mind about that. This wasn’t going to be the Great War. There would be no safety in the rear.
 
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I hope Germany doesn't have happen to it what happened to France OTL.

The way I see it, Russia should not be able to do to Germany what Germany did to France in WWII (assuming you are not talking about France WWI). Russia should be weaker than they were in OTL, seeing that they probably never received military aid from Germany, that there is no Rapallo. Even with all this support OTL, Russia could - initially - not withstand Germany's attack in 1941, and while I am happy to let Peabody surprise me, why would Russia be so much stronger here?

Also, what will happen to Poland in a war between Russia and Germany? I mean, they will hardly be allowed to just stand idly by. Would they not fight on Germany's side? It just seems to be so....ambitious of Stalin to attack in the west.... If I understand the TL correctly, he will receive little support from anybody. This TL just continues to be great, Peabody!
 
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