Thanks for the feedback. I look forward to how things will go and resolve.

So 2nd Army will get reamed in Reims. :D
 
"Soooooo..... Anyone got any news on the Boston Red Sox?"

They had currywurst last night and gotta see the doctor. Food poisoning and stuff.

On another note, I just read through all the chapters you have written. Wonderful work. I can't believe I'm routing for the Imperial Germany, you got a reluctant (and competent) officer working from he ground up, a genius code-cracker, a cynical and talented Lieutenant (Is Horst and Lt?), a somewhat insane tank commander... However, I'm shudder to continue my line of thought. In this time line, tanks have been deployed in combat already, with radios (which didn't happen until 1939OTL), along with "mechanised infantry" (or infantry-going-with-tank, or panzergrenadier). We also have aerial tactics (teamwork), dedicated ground-attacking aircraft...

What's next? Missiles barrage? Better radio for tanks and infantry? Automatic weapons being made portable and widespread?

Oh, and please have that idiotic traitor found and turned a double-agent please. He gets on my nerve. And can you make "threadmarks" for your post? It'd be easier to follow
 
They had currywurst last night and gotta see the doctor. Food poisoning and stuff.

On another note, I just read through all the chapters you have written. Wonderful work. I can't believe I'm routing for the Imperial Germany, you got a reluctant (and competent) officer working from he ground up, a genius code-cracker, a cynical and talented Lieutenant (Is Horst and Lt?), a somewhat insane tank commander... However, I'm shudder to continue my line of thought. In this time line, tanks have been deployed in combat already, with radios (which didn't happen until 1939OTL), along with "mechanised infantry" (or infantry-going-with-tank, or panzergrenadier). We also have aerial tactics (teamwork), dedicated ground-attacking aircraft...

What's next? Missiles barrage? Better radio for tanks and infantry? Automatic weapons being made portable and widespread?

Oh, and please have that idiotic traitor found and turned a double-agent please. He gets on my nerve. And can you make "threadmarks" for your post? It'd be easier to follow

Thank you for the feedback.

Horst and Sjostedt are currently at NCO rank at differing pay grades. OR-6 and OR-5b to use modern NATO terms.

As much as possible I've tried to keep things within the realm of plausibility. Much of what has been depicted in terms of technology did happen except in a different order and as I've tried to show not all of it has worked out.

As for rooting for Imperial Germany, you aren't, it's the people on the ground. What happens to the German Empire, or the rest of the World for that matter, in this TL? History doesn't stop when the shooting does.
 
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Well said PM and I do enjoy the commitment you have shown to the story and the characters. I look forward to each chapter and the that fate brings with each encounter. Thank you. :)
 
Part 5 Chapter 31
Chapter Thirty-One


19th August, 1917

Eastern Road outside Meaux, France

The first thing that Horst noticed was that he had a massive headache. The next thing was that his bed seemed to be moving. He sat up and nearly fell off the back of the Raupe that he was riding on. It was only Sjostedt grabbing a hold of him that stopped him. He reached up and felt a large welt on the side of his head…

“Quit sleeping on the job, Oberfeld!” He heard a voice yell, Wolvogle? over the noise of a Raupe. It was the grey pre-dawn and they were rolling through the same area they’d advanced through just days before. It was notable that they were headed east.

“W-What happened?” Horst managed to get out around his tongue and throat that both felt like they’d been scoured with sand paper.

“Your hard head turned out to be an asset for once” Sjostedt said handing Horst his helmet, there was a dent on the side of it “And whoever stamped this out at the factory deserves a bottle of the good stuff from you.”

“What happened after this?” Horst asked as he wondered if he could pull the dent, or even if he should.

“About half the French Army attacked us and apparently, the other half is attacking east of here with the Americans” Sjostedt said.

“And you got me out of there?” Horst asked.

“Yeah, I did” Sjostedt said “And I’d say that makes us even.”

“I got clocked on the head and you got shot” Horst said “Those are two different things.”

“All you did was drag me into a foxhole you were already sitting in” Sjostedt said “I had to carry your sorry butt nearly two kilometers until I ran into Wolvogle. Otherwise you’d be learning if the bread in French prison camps comes with extra weevils about now.”

“Yeah, yeah” Horst said this was clearly a discussion for another day “So we’re retreating?” He asked to change the subject. As he said it he noticed that Sjostedt had started trying to wave him off.

“Retreating, my ass!” Wolvogle erupted “I’d would sooner die than retreat in the face of the enemy.”

Horst saw that Wolvogle’s eyes were blazing with madness. The Oberst has really lost it this time, he thought to himself.

“If you don’t mind me asking Sir, what are we doing?” Horst asked.

“The situation ahead of us had deteriorated, we were in danger of being flanked on both sides and our rear is imperiled. So, we have turned around and are advancing on the enemy again.”

Horst turned to Sjostedt “Did he just say that we’re surrounded?” He asked. Sjostedt just shrugged.

“If the Frogs and Amis think they got me beat than they got another goddamned thing coming!” The Oberst yelled into night.

That was when Horst noticed that there were hundreds of soldiers walking on the road with them. That was for them he realized.


Reims, France

Erwin Schuhart arrived in the early morning hours. Later many in in the 2nd Army would joke that it had been accompanied with claps of thunder, pouring down rain and with a team of attendants following closely with a coffin containing his native earth. The truth was that he arrived in Reims on a warm summer morning with just a suitcase and a file folder.

In the wake of the Somme Counteroffensive it had been discovered that the Imperial German Military Intelligence was entirely inadequate for the needs of the State or Military. Schuhart had been transferred from his job setting times for the Railroad and tasked with doing a detailed examination as a prelude to the establishment of a new intelligence agency that would. He had discovered that it involved people and people were messy. Something he did not like.

If a train ran late it might be because the tracks were congested or a locomotive might have broken down. Those things can be fixed. People were different. They could be lazy, greedy or morally deficient. Those things were harder to fix. There were experiments going on in America that Schuhart was following with keen interest to remove the worst sorts from society and preventing them from spreading their pollution to future generations. That sort of work would take centuries to bear out but it was always good to part of something larger than one’s self.

Of the passengers of the rail car that Schuhart was sitting in he was the only civilian and the only one awake. He was rereading the report on what they knew about the spy ring he was hunting. It was composed of staff officers of the 2nd and 5th Armies known only as Subjects St followed by letter designation. It wasn’t much to go on but he had some ideas. When his eyes reached the name of the author of the report he felt a wave of distaste, Lt.z.S. Jacob Schmidt. Of course, a man with a name like that would sniff out a conspiracy, in his very blood, Schuhart thought to himself.

The train pulled into the station. As if on cue the soldiers started waking up and moving towards the exits. Schuhart continued reading as the car emptied, he was in no rush.

Eventually Schuhart got up, collected his things and walked towards the exit. Stepping on to the platform he walked swiftly through the nearly silent French town. While he saw the occasional patrol of soldiers walking around he wasn’t challenged on his way to the cathedral which the 2nd Army headquarters. He pulled out his notebook and made note that he would need to have a word or two to say with the commander of the troops occupying this area about their lax security later.

The place was a hive of activity. These were the people who were managing the crisis that one or more of the them might have wrought.

“Can I help you, Sir?” A young man in a Oberlieutenant’s uniform asked.

“My name is Erwin Schuhart, I am the Investigator assigned to root out the rot that has taken hold here” He said.

The young man gulped “We’ve been expecting you, Sir.”
 
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Well Schuhart will weasel his way into the conspiracies with his effeciency minded ways. His love if eugenics, probable anti-semitism, and feelings of superiority will get him to an end. Just how far he may get and how many may feel the chop or final bullet?
 
Part 5 Chapter 32
Chapter Thirty-Two


Author’s note; The German 1879 Revolver is said to be a better weapon if used as club as opposed to as a pistol. Who am I to judge?

The Franco/American counterattack, Operation Windlass, was the first large scale American action of the First World War. Over the course of the Second Battle of the Marne both sides had repeatedly changed the rules to gain advantage. Oberst Manfred Wolvogle had introduced cavalry tactics with armored vehicles to great success. Now he found himself facing similar tactics being employed against him in the form of the American 1st Provisional Tank Brigade. What had not been anticipated was that Manfred Wolvogle had spent a lifetime preparing for the battle he now found himself in…

Excerpt from Road to Hell, The Second Battle of the Marne, 1998.


19th August

Changis, France

It was just after sun up when they had crossed the Marne on a rail trestle that had by some miracle remained intact. Horst would find out later that the Americans had crossed on the bridge at La Ferté-sous-Jouarre brushed aside the 22nd Division and took Ussy. They had a good portion of the American 1st Infantry Division, which included the Provisional Tank Brigade, between them and the relative safety of their own lines.

With the 4th Division was strung out along the Ussy road the situation was particularly precarious. When Oberst Wolvogle had heard a Generalmajor Braun had suggest that they surrender to spare themselves any further bloodshed, he pistol whipped the man. Through a broken jaw, Braun had threatened to have Wolvogle court marshalled. The Oberst had looked him in eye and said that it would be hard to do that if he was with the Frogs and he was with the 4th was with the Heer, where it belonged. After that the Generals had all followed Wolvogle’s lead. Horst couldn’t believe it. The insane bastard had just commandeered the entire 4th Infantry Division.

“Right now, they are strung out along the same road we are” Wolvogle said “We need to attack before they get their shit together, the stragglers have got fifteen minutes to catch up.”

Again, Horst had been astonished as men who’d walked all night ran to catch up. “It’s all about knowing that the son of a bitch in charge knows how to win” Wolvogle said.

At the end of that 15 minutes Wolvogle’s 31 remaining Raupes formed up to the blasts of “Boots and Saddles” on Wolvogle’s airhorn. Wolvogle had made sure that the gas tanks of the vehicles had been topped off before he ordered the lorries that had carried the petrol burnt. He made it clear that if they couldn’t make it through the Amis then refueling would be the least of their worries. Horst had a feeling that the Oberst wouldn’t be there if it came to that.

At 8:32 AM local time, the airhorn of Wolvogle’s Raupe Lucifer blasted out “Charge”, his Raupes charged forward and the ten thousand men of the 4th Division followed.


Reims, France

Shortly after Schuhart arrived in the 2nd Army Headquarters a battle started somewhere and everyone was frantically trying to get information. According to the map a Division had made contact with the enemy and another Division had gotten cut off on a place called Ussy.

It was all a confusing mess, but Schuhart was being ignored which suited him just fine. He just watched and tried to get a feel for the place and the people. Every place had its own dynamics, personal power struggles, cliques and animosities.

The young Officer who’d greeted him early that morning was named Emil Holz. The file said that he had enlisted underage but his heroic performance in the field had caused the High Command to overlook this. The field commission and Knight’s Cross were not the stuff of a traitor, but then a traitor might hide behind that sort of guise. While his unfortunate association with the known subversive, Augustus Lang in Jena and working class background made him suspect in Schuhart’s mind, that would probably only effect what Emil Holz did at the ballot box.

Holz was one of two junior Officers whose job was to do whatever the General demanded of them within the boundaries of military protocol. The other one presently entered, Hauptmann Conrad Bauer. He proved of many things that Schuhart believed about how such people should be removed for the greater good. The son of a notorious prostitute with an unknown father. While he possessed a low cunning his vain appearance and shallow temperament made Schuhart wonder if such a man would even be capable of treason.

When Bauer walked past Holz he noticed that Holz unconsciously reached towards the pistol on his belt. So Holz regarded Bauer as a threat. That might be worth looking into later. After all, everyone had something to hide it was just a matter of looking hard enough.

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

Bauer eventually got tired of waiting for more information about what was happening in the field and stepped out for a smoke. That was when he got approached by César Sauvageot.

“Are you mad?” Bauer hissed at him “There’s an Investigator from Berlin here looking for a spy ring.”

“You had better hope he doesn’t find you then.”

“I’m no spy” Bauer said indignantly.

“Am I not an Agent of France and didn’t you pass along information to me.”

“I didn’t give you squat.”

“You gave me more than you think” Sauvageot said “It was you who set the time table for the operation that is destroying your Army in the field as we speak.”

“That’s bullshit.” Bauer said “All I did was give you some worthless information about vegetables.”

Sauvageot chuckled for a few seconds then said “All soldiers eat, sleep and shit. What do you think they eat and where does it come from?”

As that sank in it became obvious from Bauer’s face that he was on the verge of panic. “I owned your body because Stoltz sold you to me” Sauvageot said “Now, I own your soul as well.”
 
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The Charge of the 300(times 33) will be one remembered by historians on both sides. No matter what may happen, Wovogle will earn his reputation as the founder of armored tactics of German Heer.

The start of the investagation with furrowed brows, paranoia, and some who will need a change of underwear.
 
The Charge of the 300(times 33) will be one remembered by historians on both sides. No matter what may happen, Wovogle will earn his reputation as the founder of armored tactics of German Heer.

The start of the investagation with furrowed brows, paranoia, and some who will need a change of underwear.

We won't go into the perspective of the ancient Greeks in regards to the Celtic and Germanic Tribes but let's just say that Leonidas' head would probably explode at the comparison. :)
 
Part 5 Chapter 33
Chapter Thirty-Three


19th August, 1917

Ussy-sur-Marne, France

Horst was running behind the Raupe, the vehicles top speed was only about 24 KM/H but that was still faster than most men could run for any length of time. The Amis Division was on the road coming out of the village where Horst had foiled an ambush not so long ago.

The Raupes where advancing in echelon left the American infantry went down as they came under machinegun fire. Horst didn’t pay any attention to them as he ran past. Their orders were to keep moving forward, no matter what.

Wolvogle was standing in the hatch of his Raupe, he was aware of the fact that this would probably be his last action as an officer in the Cavalry or the Heer. He’d struck that General because the sort of sentiment that he was spreading was the sort of thing that they could ill afford and he’d massively exceeded his orders. As soon as this battle was over he fully expected to be cashiered, win or lose. Hell, the High Command was probably going crucify him with an actual cross and nails.

Then it occurred to Wolvogle that he had nothing to lose here. This battle was going to be his last mark upon the history books. He was going to make it a good one. He smiled at that thought and blasted “Charge!” again on the airhorn and heard it echoed for all around.

There was movement out from the village, Amis tanks, a whole bunch of them. Wolvogle dropped into the Raupe. “We got company!” He yelled at the gunner and the loader. They had discovered it was nearly impossible to aim the cannon in a moving Raupe but that was as true for the other guy as it was for them. While there was the element of surprise, something that Wolvogle had used to great effect in the past. He had something different in mind this time.

CLANK! The driver looked up and saw that a large dent from a one of the low velocity 37mm cannons that the Amis tanks were using had hit them. It hadn’t penetrated or hit a rivet. Either of those would be bad.

George Patton watched the German tanks come rolling in. The machineguns that the Krauts had mounted on the roofs of their tanks had a murderous effect on the infantry caught on the road. Then they were among his tanks, they didn’t fire back but instead just blew through. He watched as one caught fire and another threw a track. That was when Patton heard the airhorns blare out “Wheel right, Halt!” and the German infantry went to ground. The majority of the fire had hit the tanks with limited effect.

The Krauts tanks wheeled around and were facing his tanks, they started firing their cannons and 57mm shots began hitting his tanks. Tracks were getting blown off. The hinges on the doors of the FT17s were proving to be weak points, in spite of the armor holding against the 57mm shells. Then the airhorn split the air again “Advance, Cantor!” The Kraut commander was an old Cavalry hand and he obviously knew his stuff. The German tanks advanced through hitting the American tanks that were still moving as they passed. The German infantry was up again as the tanks wheeled again following closely. The 1st Infantry Division prepared to receive the German infantry but the tanks started hitting the hastily set up machinegun nests. Then German infantry was amongst the 1st Division.

Horst ran through the battlefield which had turned into absolute chaos. Visibility had dropped down to mere feet. An Amis infantryman came at him bayonet fixed before Horst could react the man was hit by a burst of machine gun fire. There was an explosion to his right that knocked him off his feet, Sjostedt grabbed him by the collar of his coat and pulled him to his feet. A FT17 rolled by on fire, the air was filled with something that smelled disturbingly like roasted pork. It was like that for an unknown amount of time. Flashes of carnage and mayhem followed by time spent running across scorched fields.

That was when the air was split by an air horn. “Rally round flag”

“That way” Horst said.

“Yeah” Sjostedt agreed.

As they reached the Raupes the smoke started to lift. They saw that Amis infantry were in full retreat and that there were dozens of burning tanks, both FT17s and Raupes. Wolvogle’s Lucifer was parked there and it was where the airhorn blasts were coming from. “Are you going to stand around all day when there’s work to do?” Wolvogle shouted out at them.

“Unbelievable” Sjostedt muttered.

Thousands of the Infantrymen were emerging from the smoke, it was starting to sink in that they’d pulled a victory out this situation and kicked the door open for whoever was behind them on the East road. Horst never knew who started it but someone started clapping and hollering. Next thing everyone else joined in.

Patton could hear the Krauts marching by, they were singing. He bet they were happy after what had just happened. When he’d heard those cavalry bugle calls blasting across the battlefield he’d known that he was getting schooled by a master.

He’d gotten cut off from his men. He had no idea what had happened to them. At the moment, he was hiding on the second floor of a ruined building in Ussy. There were voices coming from below. Patton knew enough German to know that it was two soldiers talking about an ambush that had been sprung from this building at some point in the past.

That was when one of them came up the stairs followed by his buddy. Patton could see that it was two Noncoms. Their lack of reaction when he pointed his pistol at them was disturbing. These were obviously two hardened veterans.

“Don’t be stupid, Sir” One of them said in perfect English with the accent of the border country he’d been posted to just a year earlier. “There’s an entire Division out there, you pull that trigger and you’ll have an entire Company up here in seconds.”

Patton lowered his pistol “I guess I’m your prisoner.”

“We don’t have time for that” The Kraut said “Wait until dark and follow the river, it will take you back to your Division” He pointed towards La Ferté.

Then the two of them were gone.
 
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Damn cool battle and I liked the showdown between Patton and Horst. I will wonder if Patton might return the favor down the road.

Wolvogle may well get the Blue Max even while being put up against the Wall. ;)

More likely he will become a General and a commendation. :)
 
Damn cool battle and I liked the showdown between Patton and Horst. I will wonder if Patton might return the favor down the road.

Wolvogle may well get the Blue Max even while being put up against the Wall. ;)

More likely he will become a General and a commendation. :)

It was actually Patton and Sjostedt but yeah, it was good.

What happens with Wolvogle will be easily recognized by anyone who ever been in a large organization. Victory has many fathers...
 
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