Any two front war is potentially very dangerous. Although France trades a lot with Germany, it did in OTL's 1930's also. La Revanche certainly might come into ply, especially if Germany has a hard time with the war. In Europe, any war has a potential to escalate quickly...
 
Well things are getting ready for the deluge once the rains stop and the ground dries up. I am not sure how strong Russia might have in influence in some of the left leaning parties of Germany, but they may well have agents to spread destruction and tie up troops needed at the front. Does Russia have any allies who might aid when the war starts? Not active, but being willing to trade and convey agents?
 
So I have an idea for Kat.

She's publically outed as a Abwehr agent, right?

Why not use that? Go international, all the parties and such, meet with interesting people. Here's the thing, you let her be seen by the authorities meeting with them. Nothing has to get done, but you plant the seeds, people start getting suspicious....

And in the background, real work gets done.
 
I am a bit surprised about the defensive positions. Well could be practice or simply just hiding from aerial recon, but as I understood the overall strategy, Poland and the Baltic States would be the killing Ground for an initial Soviet attack?
Thus, the Germans would more likely be prepared to counterattack?
 
If the Soviets attack now, it will be more like the Second Battle of Kharkov (small gains at start, then bowled over by German counteroffensive, because of less competent commanders, green troops and Stalin), than the battle of France or even Barbarossa in reverse. Thing is, this time the Soviets haven't even learned the lessons of Finland from what I remember, and no german officers to help their own tank program.
The only thing they might have going for them would be the Purge not happening, and that wouldn't be enough.
To be honest, I would give it even odds for USSR to attack the Baltic states, Finland, or Poland. Also, a lower but not insignificant chance of heading towards Romania.
Like all the Western neighbours of USSR play Russian Roullete, but instead of a bullet, the loser gets ALL the bullets.
 
Part 18, Chapter 187
Chapter One Hundred Eighty-Seven


31st May 1939

Berlin

The Government had moved into the State Opera House temporarily. Considering the engineers had told Lang that the Reichstag building was a total loss, they would need to demolish it and start anew. So, that meant the move wasn’t exactly temporary. Just one part of the ongoing crisis. For last two months, he had been keeping the plates spinning knowing that if he made one false move the whole thing would come crashing down. The problem was that it wasn’t crockery that would break.

The problem was that there remained a fear that they were still in a period of strategic weakness following the previous winter’s events and he had prickly allies to consider. Meaning that the Poles were having to be kept on a short leash. The French were clearly playing the situation for their own advantage. The Romanians were asking for aid in the strongest possible terms, as if Lang didn’t know that would complicate matters with the Hungarians.

Now came news that the Greeks and Turks were mixing it up again, at the worst possible time. Lang was glad that he’d taken Emil’s advice and had the Heer deployed well back from the Russo-Polish border. Margin of stupidity Emil had called it, the last thing they wanted was a war to start because someone got drunk and fired a few shots across the line. That left the expense of having hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the field. Lang was quite sure that he’d have the Reichstag demand that he be drawn and quartered when he presented them with the bill. If he could prevent or at least delay a war until the situation changed it would be a small price to pay. Better money than blood.

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“Have you given any thought at all to your future, Fraulein Mischner?”

That question took Kat aback. She had never really thought that she had a future, just the present and that had never been particularly great.

“What we are asking is, have you considered your options for post-secondary education?”

“My what?” Kat asked.

“University, Katherine, with your grades and some of the things you are reputed to have done, we think you would a good fit for that.”

Aunt Marcella looked positively euphoric when she heard that said.

“But that would be, what, more than a year from now?” Kat asked.

“Yes, that is why we need to start making arrangements now.”

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Afterwards when they were walking down the street Marcella wouldn’t stop talking about what they had been told, while Kat was riddled with doubts. When they finally got through the front door of their house Kat felt like she was about to explode.

“This is very exciting” Marcella said, “No one in our family has ever gone to University.”

“I don’t know” Kat said and saw as the look on Marcella’s face fell.

“What don’t you know?” Marcella snapped “That you aren’t smart enough? That you lack the wherewithal?”

“Well I…” Kat started to say.

“Or is it because you think you aren’t good enough?” Marcella asked sharply.

Kat stood silently, she knew the answer to that question. Yes.

“Just for once, can you accept something good happening to you” Marcella said, “And this is about more than just you. Me, Klaus, your father, everyone has hopes riding on you, that you can be something more.”

Something more, that term again. Why couldn’t anyone except Kat for who and what she was? That was the very thing that had driven so much misery in her life.

The look on Marcella’s face softened “You can be whatever you want, Kat” She said, “That is something that few of us get, I just want to see you take advantage of this.”


Kiel, Germany

With great fanfare, the SMS Preussen pulled away from the pier. She had become the first new battleship to join the HSF in a decade and was one of the most powerful surface units afloat. From here she would steam into the North Sea for her shakedown cruise. Jacob wished that he could go with her but instead he was to stay here in Kiel.

The reason for his extended stay here was because the fleet had something particular in mind for him. He had noticed that many of the other officers he was working closely with were survivors of the Pacific Squadron from the Great War and the word was going around that the Fleet was looking for fluent English speakers, which Jacob was. The enclave in Tsingtao had been ordered evacuated and the Japanese were moving down the Chinese coast. Jacob could easily read between the lines. The British were way out on the end of the line in the South Pacific and in the event of the war that the politicians were petrified of they would need the British to be on their side to keep the Atlantic open. If the British sent a force to the South Pacific then the KLM HSF was going to chip in, purely out of the goodness of their hearts, Jacob was sure of that.


North of Leningrad, Russo-Finish border, USSR

While it had been debated whether or not to begin the liberation of Europe in Germany, the birthplace of Marxism and constant threat to the security of the State. In the end, it was decided that testing the rumors that the Germans had spent the last two decades turning Poland into a vast killing zone was not worth testing, yet. It was decided that they would go for low hanging fruit and Finland with its vast territory and small population fitted the bill. The Finns had been rebuffing Soviet requests to redress the border issues for years so it was past time this problem was dealt with.

On 1st of June 1939 artillery opened up along the border with Finland.
 
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Soviet Russia is going to be in for such a world of pain, especially if this army has been purged by Stalin. Its only potential friend is Japan or maybe an opportunistic France. The German support of China also keeps the US from being mad at the Germans.

In this world, Stalin and Tojo are the glaring villains, with no German counterweight to produce an enemy of my enemy situation. They could make for an interesting alliance of convenience. Imperial Japan with actual tanks rather than rolling coffins would be interesting.

What's Germany's bomber fleet look like?
 
I think this is the update that really turned this TL into a masterpiece. Here we are, many of the comments have just heralded the sanity of Augustus Lang. Is this the time to stand by the lesser power in the face of overt aggression, Yes it is. Objectively, from our point of view it is. However, the heralded Lang wont do it. Its unthinkable, he wants to prevent war.
Its Chamberlain again, maybe he (Chamberlain) did have his reasons, even if the World looks much clearer with hindsight.
 
I think this is the update that really turned this TL into a masterpiece. Here we are, many of the comments have just heralded the sanity of Augustus Lang. Is this the time to stand by the lesser power in the face of overt aggression, Yes it is. Objectively, from our point of view it is. However, the heralded Lang wont do it. Its unthinkable, he wants to prevent war.
Its Chamberlain again, maybe he (Chamberlain) did have his reasons, even if the World looks much clearer with hindsight.

One difference is that Lang has been preparing Germany for war for years against the Soviets. Where I do see appeasement is with France against the spirit of revanche and possibly to the detriment of Germany's Central European allies (Romania) or the Turkish-Greek squabble.
 
Very good story I do not want to wait like this war is going to turn out, but the Russians have it much more difficult unless they get to France to help them.
 
Well Russia has chosen to try to bite off parts of Finland. I think they will soon learn this is not a smart idea. I will give them the extra positive thought that they have started things in June. Now Germany and others will have to decide on how to respond and what they might do to counter Russia's goals and hopes.
 
One difference is that Lang has been preparing Germany for war for years against the Soviets. Where I do see appeasement is with France against the spirit of revanche and possibly to the detriment of Germany's Central European allies (Romania) or the Turkish-Greek squabble.
I agree, its unlikely the Soviets Will Roll over Germany as Germany over France IOTL. However, so the Wallies thought about France IOTL, if indeed Lang misses the Best opportunity the motivations and miscalculations Will be the same as Chamberlain IOTL.
 
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