They are currently at peace and the petrochemical industry is a key part of why they are intent on keeping the Atlantic open.

If ever a country needed a huge strategic petroleum reserve, it's Germany. I wonder if they'll switch to Diesel engines for the panzers and if jet technology is further along than OTL. Those too could really help for the coming war.
 
If ever a country needed a huge strategic petroleum reserve, it's Germany. I wonder if they'll switch to Diesel engines for the panzers and if jet technology is further along than OTL. Those too could really help for the coming war.

The Panzers have already switched to Diesel as a consequence of the Polish War, having MB D.III engines as the standard engine in the Raupe Panzer and Panzer I proved to be a problem. Derivatives of the Junkers Jumo 204-208 diesel engine series are the current standard engines used in all AFVs as of 1940 ITTL.
 
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Part 18, Chapter 196
Chapter One Hundred Ninety-Six


19th May 1940

Werder, Germany

Kurt had no idea that when he’d snuck out of General von Wolvogle’s house that he was stepping into the middle of a war that had been raging between the General, his domestic staff and his daughter. At nearly seventy-two years of age the General’s Doctor’s had told him that he needed to cut back on tobacco, alcohol and rich food, all of which Kurt had been sent to pick up from the market.

“Poppa, you promised that you’d listen this time!” Gerta had yelled “And your new lackey is not even here an hour before you are trying to enlist him in your schemes!”

“What’s the point of being alive if you can’t enjoy it?” Wolvogle had bellowed at Gerta as she took the parcel that Kurt had got caught trying to smuggle into the house. Kurt had found himself on the receiving end of the anger of the three furies as he had tried to sneak in through a back door. It was then he’d made the mistake of grabbing one of their arms to try to avoid getting pushed over as Gerta grabbed the parcel. Worst of all for him, it had been Kat.

It was when he’d found himself with his arm twisted behind his back and his face being ground into a wall that he’d made a few discoveries. One was that Dame Katherine was taller than him. Another was that any man who touched her, for any reason was in for a world of pain. She didn’t like it, period, even if it was by accident. And most of all she absolutely hated being called Dame Katherine. She made that all very clear along with the threats of death and dismemberment she was hissing into his ear.

“Fraulein Mischner, let him go” General Wolvogle yelled “If you break his arm he’s no good to me.”

Kat let him go. Kurt turned and saw that her face was blank, only her eyes betrayed her outrage. As a soldier, Kurt had trained for hand to hand combat. What she had done to him had taken that to a whole different level. His left arm was a mass of pain from Kat getting a hold of it. What she’d done had happened so fast he’d hardly had time to react, the counters he’d been trained to do had been brutally anticipated and his own strength had been used against him. How had this girl who wore shapeless clothes and carried herself so quietly somehow received military training?

“Kat was training to be an Abwehr agent before she got caught up in the Reichstag bombing and was deemed too unstable afterwards to continue” Wolvogle had said to Kurt after things had died down.

“Sir” Kurt said, “Did you know that was going to happen?”

The General just gave Kurt an enigmatic smile.

A couple of hours after that the girls had departed and the house grew quiet. Kurt had confined himself to the suite of rooms in the attic he’d been assigned until he heard their car chugging down the driveway.


20th May 1940

Kiel, Germany

Kurt had been woken up in the predawn hours and told that his appearance needed to be impeccable. It was Herr Brose, General Wolvogle’s Valet who turned out to be a big help. He was a reserve Feldwebel so he knew the exact requirements for what Kurt was to be doing that day.

“You are accompanying the General while he goes to Kiel to visit his old friend, the retired Emperor” Brose had said as he took the clippers to Kurt’s hair.

“Wait, how come no one told me this before?” Kurt asked.

“It’s not a big deal and it’s a trip the General takes every couple of weeks” Brose said, “So get used to it.”

Later as they walked through the train station Kurt was left feeling very underdressed. Kurt had his Panzer Corps badge and Spanish victory medal. Next to the General those were nothing, he had every decoration imaginable and a few that Kurt had never heard of before.

“Your day will come too” Wolvogle had said “I envy you for that”

Hours later they were standing on a pier looking at a big white ship that was tied off. “The SMY Hohenzollern III” Wolvogle said “Shall we?”

Kurt gulped.

“He’s just a man, same as any other” Wolvogle said “He will probably find the prospect of meeting one of his Bohemian subjects a novelty.”

“You knew about that, Sir?” Kurt asked.

“Of course, I did” Wolvogle said “And I could give two shits, the Heer has never been too picky about who it takes."

Strangely, Kurt found that to be a relief. That changed when as soon as they were aboard the sailors started to cast off.

“We’re going into the Baltic because Willy wants to show off his new battleship” General Wolvogle said “I hope you don’t get seasick.”


Rechlin-Lärz Air Field

Lenz had wanted to advance but this felt like he was crawling over a corpse in the process. It had taken weeks but the wreckage of Lieutenant Beyer’s airplane had been discovered in a bog several kilometers from the airfield.

“Beyer made a piss poor call, got himself killed and nearly took his wingman out with him” was how the Oberst had described what had happened.

Lenz had spent the following days trying unsuccessfully to affect repairs on his airplane. The airplanes of bomber wing he was the guest of all used Junkers Juno 211 engines, thus had few parts in common with his airplane and there were other problems. The supercharger had sucked in a considerable amount of ice and been damaged, the source of some of the noises he had been hearing. The base commander had commented that he was lucky he hadn’t had to ditch or do a forced landing. Eventually he’d been forced to take the train back to Rechlin-Lärz and his airplane had been loaded on a flatbed to be taken back to the Focke-Wulf factory so that the engineers could see for themselves the damage that the ice had done.

The investigation of the incident had concluded that Beyer was to blame and there was a Lieutenant’s slot open in Jasta 10.
 
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Honestly, if Hahn doesn't want to work on the bomb, then don't work on it. I'm sure he could work on developing LWRs or maybe even early versions of molten salt reactors, both of which have civilian use. If he has to stay military because of what he knows, have him start working on reactors for capital ships.

It's not like developing the a-bomb is all down to one person. It's an enormous undertaking with many scientists, engineers, and technicians.
 
Just Hahn working on the Bomb project? Offhand, you'd also have Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Diebner, Eric Bagge, Walter Gerlach, Fritz(?) Houtermanns. Possibly all the jewish physicists that IOTL escaped before the Nazis got them, including Einstein. And don't forget Baron Manfred Von Ardenne.
 
Just Hahn working on the Bomb project? Offhand, you'd also have Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Diebner, Eric Bagge, Walter Gerlach, Fritz(?) Houtermanns. Possibly all the jewish physicists that IOTL escaped before the Nazis got them, including Einstein. And don't forget Baron Manfred Von Ardenne.
The importance of Hahn Will depend on how fast the project has progressed. Its hard to imagine him not having a keen eye towards reagent purity with his background. This would mean the Germans went towards grafite reactors rather than the more cumbersome heavy water they would have pursued if funded IOTL.
Later when this part is more about scalibg up, it is difficult to judge. Being a genius should count though.
 
Quite a few of the leading nuclear physicists were Hungarian-born, but moved to the US in the 30s. I wonder if this still happened, or if they were recruited by German universities instead of, say Princeton.
 
Kurt and Kat having their first love spat. Just precious. :D

Lenz getting a promotion will help with his future success and he might have a chance to work on new tactics as technology advances.
 
Could anyone remind me of what ended up happening with the Habsburgs ITTL? I can't recall it being mentioned, but it might just be my faulty memory.
 
Could anyone remind me of what ended up happening with the Habsburgs ITTL? I can't recall it being mentioned, but it might just be my faulty memory.

They still control Austria but that mostly involves sitting in Vienna and throwing shade on their Nouveau Riche neighbors, the House of Hohenzollern.
 
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Part 19, Chapter 197
Chapter One Hundred Ninety-Seven


21st May 1940

Berlin

Augustus Lang hung up the phone with an exasperated sigh. The situation had reached an impasse, Otto Hahn had gotten word to Albert Einstein and most of the research community was sitting in quiet protest. Lang could understand their position, he even agreed with it to an extent. At the same time this went far beyond any single man’s personal beliefs. The saving grace was that they didn’t want anyone else building weapons either so this matter wasn’t getting much publicity, yet. Not that the research community was monolithic. Some had volunteered to go to the research faculty in the Black Forest while others had suggested that it be razed.

Lang put that out of his mind and looked to the more successful projects that he had going. Emil had sent a report on his activities in Australia, a personal letter and a photograph. He had said in the report that his economic mission was going well, the Australians were so keen on getting BMW and Krupp Steel to set up shop they were putting aside old animosities. He also said that on Australia’s far west there were untapped resources of profound economic import. The personal letter was about Emil and Maria had settled into a house on the beach that they were renting in a place called Manly. Maria was busy on her latest manuscript. They were adjusting to the weather which had been hot and sticky. At the end, Emil had inquired about Lang’s garden this year.

Lang smiled when he looked at the photograph of Emil and Maria standing in front of a seaside vista. Emil had clearly remembered his other mission. By inquiring about Lang’s nonexistent garden Emil had told him when the Empire of Japan and the British collided then the Australian Naval base at Garden Island would be adequate for use as a logistics base by the KLM Pacific Squadron should it be constituted.


Baltic Sea

Kurt spent his days in a steel box getting pitched around, the result was that he wasn’t quite as susceptible to motion sickness as most people might have been. Still the odd motion of the ship had left him feeling a bit queasy. Fortunately for him he was mostly ignored. General Wolvogle and the retired Emperor had been sitting in deck chairs in heavy wool coats watching the SMS Preussen steaming around the Baltic while Kurt stood at the rail. While he was no longer a public figure, Wilhelm II looked like every one of his eighty years. Kurt noticed that the General and the Emperor were serendipitously passing a hipflask between them.

Intellectually Kurt knew that the guns and armor of the battleship made that of a Tiger look like a popgun with tissue paper armor. Impressive, sure, but in the Great War, Poland and Spain it wasn’t battleships where the war had been won or lost. It had been Panzers of one sort or another. It was something that Kurt knew in his bones.

“So, what do you think, Oberfähnrich?” General Wolvogle asked.

Kurt just shrugged and the General and the Emperor just laughed.

“We got a real Cavalryman here” General Wolvogle said.

“Let’s see what the boy makes of this” The Emperor said and he signaled the crew to do something. A few minutes later the Preussen fired a full broadside of 42cm and 15cm guns. Even from several kilometers away Kurt felt the concussive blast. Way off in the distance an old freighter that was anchored out there as a target, disintegrated.

“God damn” Kurt muttered.

“I’ll tell you that never gets old” The Emperor said.


Manly, Sydney, Australia

Maria woke up and Emil was gone. They had been discussing the future and what they wanted. Emil had tried to hide it but he had grown more troubled the longer the conversation had gone on for. All of this had come to a head when Maria had been engaged in a conversation with the wives of senior Australian officers. Maria had been asked if there was a problem keeping her and Emil from having children. She had almost said several things that would have run afoul of local mores, her opinions of how the British Empire was still in the midst of a hangover from being led by an infamous prude for several decades. In the German Empire, the unexpected pregnancy of a prominent politician’s wife and successive left leaning governments had changed things over the prior decade. Better living through chemistry and all that. Maria had answered by saying that they were thinking about it but hadn’t made up their minds. This had earned her some strange looks.

When Maria had told Emil, it had resulted in a long conversation about what they wanted in the future. Maria could tell that Emil was holding something back and had been troubled for the rest of the night after the conversation had ended inconclusively. Then she had woken up to find him gone from their bed. She found him sitting in the bright moonlight looking out over the Pacific Ocean.

“Couldn’t sleep?” Maria asked.

“Sorry if I woke you” Emil said.

“You didn’t” Maria said as she sat down opposite to Emil. It was a cool night with it being the local autumn in this place. Maria could see the long pale scar that was on Emil’s left arm, running from his elbow up to his shoulder.

“This is a bit of what was bothering me” Emil said gesturing to the scar, “Merely the first time that I had someone try to kill me directly.”

“Care to explain.”

“In the Meuse Heights, my squad had been ordered to move up and clear the trenches as the French had retreated” Emil said “My attention had wandered and a French soldier who had been playing dead tried to stab me with a bayonet. If I hadn’t gotten my arm up I would have died on the spot. It scares me that we might not have a future, that I might leave you a widow and if we bring children into the picture…”

“I understand” Maria said, “We don’t have to make up our minds up about anything tonight.”

“I spent years living in only the present, I’ve done a lot of dangerous things and thought nothing of it” Emil said, “Now this, is that strange?”

“Hardly” Maria answered.
 
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Is Wilhelm II going to die on schedule? Or did Deutscheland's victory and his eventual retirement remove some stress and give him a few more months/years?

Is Austria part of Der Kaiserreich, or merely a puppet?

I forgot if Bulgaria was mentioned after the great war. Did they fare better than OTL, or about the same?

Is Qing China better or worse off than Civil War China OTL? If GWII ends in their favor will they try and annex Nippon? Deutscheland avoiding defeat (and their subsequent carving up of eastern Europe) means that there's a different precedent for treatment of a defeated enemy ITTL.

Great TL! Keep it coming!

Also I've complely lost track of everyone's age.
 
Is Austria part of Der Kaiserreich, or merely a puppet?

I forgot if Bulgaria was mentioned after the great war. Did they fare better than OTL, or about the same?

Austria remains independent and is the only corner of Europe that the Hapsburgs still control. See Chapter 51.
Bulgaria ITTL has spent the couple of decades with the Greeks in the never ending low intensity war with the Turks.
 
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I think there would be some kind of understanding between Kurt and Emil. They all have trouble with the girls.

Imagine Kurt sitting in a bar (after making all three girls mad at him - see #harem anime for more inspirations), Emil walks in (he made Maria mad during pregnancy)
K: "General?"
E: "Sit down panzer. I'm no General now. I'm just a mopy husband here."
K: "Your wife kicks you out?"
E: "Yeah, something about she wants cabbage and egg salade, not cabbage and lettuc"
K: "Heh? Kat says the same thing."
E: "You make her mad?"
K: "Along with 2 other furries."
E: "Well. Fuck."
 
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