Poor Kurt. Having to go to OCS. Well now he can be a Panzer Commander and make life 'interesting' for Olli.

As others before me have said, thanks for the continued updates and the flow of characters growing.
 
<insert Mr. Panzerkampf poster of Kurt here> Girls want him! Boys want to be him! Men may have complicated feelings on that matter!

In all seriousness though, it looks like Stalin is about to stick his fingers into the sausage machine (industry size). Whatever comes out of this will make the casualty ratios of OTL look balanced. That will be due to the greater purge (in this case, getting shot for making the boss look stupid) and the greater competence of the germans with them having actual workable plans this time.

Edit: Kurt, not Olli. *damit* Now I of confused.
 
Regarding nuclear power and weapons: Germany of the time would find nuclear power just as appealing as nuclear weapons. Cutting down the dependence on imports of energy is always good, as is ships that don't need to refuel. Dose his timeline's empire have uranium or thorium deposits?
 
<insert Mr. Panzerkampf poster of Kurt here> Girls want him! Boys want to be him! Men may have complicated feelings on that matter!

IOTL Kurt Knispel wasn't wasn't exactly who you'd see on a recruiting poster. During the 1943-45 time period he was constantly on the verge of getting a court martial, while getting nominated for the Knight's Cross no less than four times. As for his personal appearance, think U-Boat Commander. With him not an any danger of getting shot at ITTL the thought of him failing upward seemed all too plausible. But no worries, he's about to find himself with the best sort of bad influences.
 
A quick question that happened to canaris

Canaris is currently in Kiel as a minor player in the HSF. He had a falling out with the current government of Germany in the wake of the revolution in 1921 and his career never fully recovered. Patzig remains in charge at Abwehr so that avenue never opened for him. His experience in the Pacific Squadron in WW1 and the current interest in the South Pacific has brought him a late career renaissance...
 
IOTL Kurt Knispel wasn't wasn't exactly who you'd see on a recruiting poster. During the 1943-45 time period he was constantly on the verge of getting a court martial, while getting nominated for the Knight's Cross no less than four times. As for his personal appearance, think U-Boat Commander. With him not an any danger of getting shot at ITTL the thought of him failing upward seemed all too plausible. But no worries, he's about to find himself with the best sort of bad influences.
I wasn't being all that serious. Although, I can think of a certain para general who might have ideas...

All right, Kurt. This here is my wife, she'll make you into the man on every propaganda poster in the Reich. But first, you have do something really heroic. *cue sudden LAPES drop using a tiger tank* And don't forget to shave!
 
Part 18, Chapter 194
Chapter One Hundred Ninety-Four


2nd February 1940

Heinersdorf, Berlin

“…Katherine Mischner no longer works for the Berliner Tageblatt. Recently she begun studies at the University of…”

Kat sat the daily edition of the BT down on the table with a bit of disgust. She had always shied away from attention but this was making her understand why Maria’s husband Emil had a profound dislike of certain journalists. This was an article commemorating the one year anniversary of the Reichstag bombing. For some reason, Kat had merited a paragraph. The details were correct but how they had been put together was wrong.

“You can have this back” Kat said to Marcella who was working on that night’s dinner.

“You don’t like it?” Marcella asked.

“It’s the truth but it’s wrong at the same time” Kat said, “Does that sound strange?”

“Not at all” Marcella said, “Something happens on a street corner and it’s seen by twenty people, you’ll get twenty different versions of what happened.”

“But this is the newspaper” Kat said, “They are supposed to at least try to get it right.”

“Yeah, so” Marcella replied, “They’re just people too, you worked with them.”

“It’s just confusing is all” Kat said.

“Welcome to being an adult Kat” Marcella said, “It only gets more confusing the older you get. Believing the world is simple is what children do.”


Rural Bavaria

It looked like any military installation of the sort that were occasionally seen in the German countryside, this one however was surrounded by electric fences, minefields and hundreds of armed soldiers. As Chancellor Augustus Lang had access here but he could tell that the Heer was simply not happy about his presence in this place.

Lang noticed that his car was thoroughly searched as he passed through the checkpoints. Considering the research that he had been told was happening here that was no surprise.

The car pulled into its assigned parking spot. As Lang stepped out into the cold winter air he could feel a thousand eyes upon him.

“Herr Chancellor” A Hauptmann, Lang’s minder said.

Lang said nothing as he walked from the car park into the nearby building. This place was monochrome under a slate gray sky. Grey concrete surrounded by black asphalt. The interior of the building was not much better, off white linoleum flooring and white painted walls. Grey painted doors faced long featureless hallways. Lang had no idea how the Hauptmann avoided getting lost.

Eventually they arrived at a door just as blank as the rest. “I will wait here, Sir” The Hauptman said.

“Thank you” Lang said and got no response.

Through the door was an office. Lang could tell that this place was still too new to have acquired any personality from its occupant.

“Thank you for coming” Otto Hahn said.

“You got my wife’s niece to risk her career by talking to her father” Lang said, “That’s the sort of thing that gets my attention.”

“I had asked Fraulein Schmidt not to do that” Hahn said, “I had threatened to kill myself and she hoped to prevent that.”

“That is why I’m talking to you as opposed to having you arrested” Lang said, “She compared the research you do here with the Golem of Prague and Frankenstein.”

“I wish I could say that was hyperbole” Hahn said, “But I suspect that it may just be an understatement.”

“The work you are doing here is too important for games like this” Lang said, “Last time I looked we need every advantage we can get if we are to survive the coming years.”

“It’s always the present crisis that sows the seeds for the next” Hahn said, “If I build the weapon you want then you’ll find that the next time it will be your enemies that have the same weapons, someone has to break this bloody pattern.”

“That will be cold comfort if we get overrun by the Russians.”

“You think any single weapon will stop the Russians” Hahn said, “Just this morning I read about how they are in the process of killing their own people by the thousands.”

Lang didn’t have an answer for that. “Do you think that they will treat our own people any better?” Lang asked.

“I doubt they’ll care either way” Hahn said, “How many times in history has someone had the courage to actually follow their conscience, telling the politicians and generals no?”

“Someone is going to do this work” Lang said, “Would you prefer it was us of someone else in a situation we can’t control?”

“You don’t understand Chancellor” Hahn answered, “You have no control, not now or ever, just the illusion.”

“Is there a point to this?” Lang asked.

“Yes, there is” Hahn said, “I wouldn’t hand a child a loaded gun for the same reason I’m refusing to build a weapon for you. If you want to pursue this research to peaceful ends that’s fine but I will not be a party to the destruction of civilization.”


7000 meters over Lower Saxony

The weather had become too marginal to be flying, it had been clear earlier but then clouds had closed in from the north as he’d flown the patrol route. He could see Lieutenant Beyer’s plane a few hundred meters ahead. It seemed strange to be here in bright sunlight as the radio crackled with stern warnings about disintegrating conditions on the ground.

“We can probably make it in before it gets too bad” Lenz heard Beyer say.

“We should probably redirect” Lenz said into the mic, “Somewhere south.”

“That would be a waste of time” Beyer said back.

“But, Sir they’re saying that…” Lenz said.

“Enough” Beyer said, “We’re returning to base and that’s an order.

No sooner than they started to descend through the clouds then Lenz saw that the view through the windscreen was instantly obscured by a thick coat of ice and the tachometer started moving into alarming territory. Lenz began to try to climb out when the stall alarm went off. He was still in fairly level flight which meant that the pitot tube had just iced over.

Eventually he managed to get the airplane above the clouds. The engine was making strange noises and Beyer was nowhere to be

found. Lenz didn’t have time to worry about what had happened to Beyer as he struggled to keep his ice coated plane in the air.

“Tower this is JS Ten-Six requesting redirect due to severe icing over Reichlin” Lenz said trying to keep the panic out of his voice.

“Ten-Six this is Tower, maintain altitude and proceed on following vector…” Lenz was relieved to hear those words and the instructions. Even if it did direct him to an airfield occupied by a bomber wing where he was stuck for the next three days.
 
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Part 18, Chapter 195
Chapter One Hundred Ninety-Five


19th May 1940

Werder, Germany

Once Kurt had gotten past the initial training the subjects had changed. Classes in radios, stereoscopic rangefinders, tactics and other technical matters. He also found himself lectured on more esoteric topics. Things he’d never considered, like finding out that etiquette was a thing and he was supposed to practice it. Surrounded by mostly recent University graduates Kurt had found himself in high demand because he already knew the stupid things like how to get a proper polish on boots or the other minutia that their instructors loved to catch them on.

Then it had ended, Kurt had made it through without washing out in the middle third of his cadre and was given new orders. Those orders were not what he was expecting. Instead of being assigned to a Panzer Brigade he was to be sent to be the Aide of a retired General who lived somewhere south-west of Berlin. He had also been sternly advised of the need for him to continue his education, little did he know that he was about to get that and more.

----------------------------------------------------------------

The house wasn’t particularly big, Kurt would have thought that Generals lived like kings. This wasn’t that. The door was answered by a girl with frizzy blond hair.

“Well, aren’t you the cutest little thing” She said, “We’ve been expecting you.”

The girl left Kurt standing awkwardly in the doorway. Picking up his duffle bag he followed the girl into the house. He watched as she sat down at a table with two other girls.

“So, who is this?” The girl with dark hair asked.

“My father’s latest lackey” The blond said.

“Does this lackey have a name?”

“I don’t know Helene” The blond said before turning to Kurt and asking, “You have a name?”

“Kurt” Kurt said, feeling like he was under a microscope.

“Me and my friends were having a discussion regarding the concept of free love and how that it just something made up by men who don’t want to feel obligated to women” The blond said, “Do you have an opinion about that Kurt?”

Kurt felt like his brain short circuited with that question. No matter how he answered it, the answer would be very, very wrong.

“That’s not what we were talking about” The redhead who had been silent said “And it’s not nice to play with his head like that.”

The blond frowned “You’re no fun today, Kat.”

“I’ve a lot to do and I was hoping for some quiet here” Kat snapped “You’ve made sure that never happened this weekend.”

Kurt stood there as the three girls bickered around the table. He was saved when a man wearing a dark suit motioned him over.

“I apologize for this, most of the domestic staff have found excuses to be elsewhere while the Fraulein and her friends are in town” The man said, “I am General von Wolvogle’s personal valet so escaping the three furies is not an option for me.”

“The three furies?” Kurt asked.

“That’s what we call them” The Valet said, “Dame Katherine is the most level headed of the bunch and she is said to have shot a man to death last year.”

“Which one is she?” Kurt asked as he followed.

“Red hair” The Valet said “The other two are very much their father’s daughters. Fraulein Helene is determined to find a place in the world that will enrage her father, General von Richthofen, but not to the point of being disowned. Gerta is Gerta and young women like her are the reason why hurricanes are named after women.”

“They live here?”

“Fortunately, no” The Valet said, “They are returning to Berlin this evening then we go back to the usual insanity around here.”

What’s that supposed to mean? Kurt thought to himself.

“Your new aide is here” The Valet said before excusing himself.

Kurt could see that while the General was a still vigorous man, his hair and neatly trimmed goatee were snow white. The room was also uncomfortably warm. He recalled that his Grandfather had found he had a hard time staying warm the older he got.

“Ah, welcome” Manfred von Wolvogle said “About time they sent me someone who was a real trooper.”

“Excuse me, Sir.”

“You were a real soldier, before you decided to come up in the world?” Wolvogle asked.

“I guess so, Sir” Kurt said.

“Oberfähnrich Knispel I’m pleased that you will be joining us over the next several months” Wolvogle said “We’ll make a proper cavalry officer of you. But first you’re travelling with me to Kiel.”

“Kiel, Sir?” Kurt asked, perplexed. What was in Kiel?

“Yes” Wolvogle said “If you’re going to be my aide it’s your job to come with me and I’m travelling to Kiel to visit an old friend.”

“Anything else, Sir?” Kurt asked.

“Well, don’t unpack because we’re leaving tomorrow morning” Wolvogle said, then the General looked down the hall to make sure it was empty before shoving a twenty Reichsmark note into Kurt’s hand “Take this into town, at the market tell them that my order needs to be filled. Make sure that it includes whiskey and tobacco. And whatever you do, don’t let Gerta see you leave or come back.”

“We could just wait until she leaves” Kurt suggested.

“By then the staff will have come back” Wolvogle said “We’ve a window of opportunity here, now go.”
 
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The next story pairing is already well underway - Who will Kurt pick, the feisty yet honest Kat, the suspicious Gerta or the rebellions Helene. Find out next time on the next installment of Stupid Luck and Happenstance
 
“I apologize for this, most of the domestic staff have found excuses to be elsewhere while the Fraulein and her friends are in town” The man said, “I am General von Wolvogle’s personal valet so escaping the three furies is not an option for me.”

“The three furies?” Kurt asked.

“That’s what we call them” The Valet said, “Dame Katherine is the most level headed of the bunch and she is said to have shot a man to death last year.”

“Which one is she?” Kurt asked as he followed.

“Red hair” The Valet said “The other two are very much their father’s daughters. Fraulein Helene is determined to find a place in the world that will enrage her father, General von Richthofen, but not to the point of being disowned. Gerta is Gerta and young women like her are the reason why hurricanes are named after women.”

“They live here?”

Living with my wife and two of her sisters, I totally understand this... Well played, sir.

My bet is on Kurt and Kat for another delightful misfit couple.
 
I see Kat and Kurt as well. I think Kurt would be a little to intimidated to try to play with a General's daughter. Plus the chance to piss of the man who is a personal friend of the former Emperor would not be a smart career move. :cool:
 
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