The service ceiling of the OTL FW-190 is 12,000 meters or 30,000 feet; 8,500 meters is just under 28,000 feet. Yes, high altitude but not unreasonable.

I had originally considered having this at 10,000 meters, knowing that during strategic bombing campaigns they clawed for every bit of altitude they could get.

This also isn't same FW-190 from OTL, ITTL it was built around a much more powerful engine and better altitude performance. This air campaign against the oil fields of Baku and later events pushes the battle to much higher altitudes, this Mig-3 will be a much more prominent plane ITTL for that reason.
 
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This was a cool update and I liked the return of Kat. She is slowly growing up and I am sure she will be a total heartbreaker when she finishes becoming an adult. :biggrin:
Was reading some older posts and came across this. Well, little Kat is nearly a grown-up now, and she'd become a heart-stopper alright.
 
You mean heart-stabber, right?
Nah, it's harder to reach the heart with a knife like a Kerambit, behind the ribs and all, she'd have to settle for targeting the liver or throat :p. If she used a Fairbairn–Sykes knife maybe.
Kerambit_knife_and_sheath.JPG
i_fs_typ1.jpg
 
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Maybe Dr Holz can get Kat to focus on something outside of herself and bigger so that she can work herself out of her depression.

Like being part of a team that wears the same uniform.
 
Something that popped into my mind:

Grossman was leaning back in his chair with his feet on his desk when he answered the the telephone, "Grossman."

"Herr Grossmann? This is Kat."

Grossmanfelt a chill down his spine. His feet hit the floor and he wound up quite unintentionally standing behind his desk. "Yes, Ma'am. Freiherrin. Uh..."

"Just Kat."

"Yes, Kat. What can I do for you?"

"Please tell your readers not to send me any more mail. I've had to get it diverted to another address and there's so much that I can't answer or even acknowledge it all."

"Yes, I can do that."

"And tell them not to send me any more knives."

"Knives?"

"After reading about my kerambit it seems as if everybody with a distinctive style of knife or dagger has sent me one - a kukri from the Ghurkas in Nepal; a Bowie knife from someplace called Texas in America; an Arkansas toothpick, also from America; a kris; all kinds of knives from everywhere. It's becoming ridiculous!"

Grossmsn said, 'Yes, Kat, I can do that." He thought for a momene. "Kat, may I suggest something?"

"What?"

"Instead of sending you a letter they could make a donation to a local orphanage. Possibly volunteer to read stories to the little ones. Goodness knows that those kids lead pretty drab lives."

"Hmmm. I think that Empress Kira probably has a charity for that. You find out and if there is one, hers or somebody else's, suggest that people donate money or time to it. Thank you."

"You are very welcome."
 
Chapter Two Hundred Thirty-Six


31st July 1941

8,500 meters over the Caspian Sea.

Ok, I have to admit I fully expected the next line to read " Grossmann was beginning to seriously question his life choices as the wind sped by the open aircraft doorway..."

But I really like yours better. Nice "explain" for the mayor's letter as well and having Kat realize you can never really 'retire' from something when you are naturally disposed to serving the 'cause' even if you think your not any good at it. I really hope she see's how special she really is.

RAndy
 
Part 22, Chapter 237
Chapter Two Hundred Thirty-Seven


2th August 1941

Warsaw, Poland

Kurt was left feeling very out of place in the Palace reception. This was the seat of power here in Poland, designed to make people like him feel like a very small cog in a large machine. As one of the few junior officers present he found he just couldn’t understand the people in this room much less the politics involved. Eventually, he spotted General von Wolvogle walking towards the rear exit. The normally outspoken General had gotten very quiet of late. While no one had seemed to care, it had triggered alarm bells in Kurt’s mind.

He followed the General out onto the balcony and watched as Wolvogle lit up a cigar. Even if the General had been shunted aside from the leadership in this conflict he was still reveling in being away from home and the restrictions placed upon him by his daughter.

“Got tired of socializing with that lot and decided that spending time with an old goat like me would be a better use of your time, Lieutenant?” Wolvogle asked.

“Just needed some air, Sir” Kurt said, “And figured that you’d like the company.”

“That was kind of you” Wolvogle said “I’m not as popular as I used to be.”

“I wouldn’t base too much on what the sort of people in there have to say” Kurt said.

“Ah, so you pick up on it too” Wolvogle said “Politicians and their sycophants in uniforms about to be harrowed.”

“Excuse me, Sir?” Kurt asked.

Wolvogle chuckled. “That lot in there” He pointed back towards the hall “Is the sort of dead wood that will get burned away when put to the sort of test that the Heer hasn’t been put to in decades. Poland and Spain were too easy, the wrong lessons being learned and all that bullshit, human nature, I guess.”

“Just what are you suggesting, Sir?”

“That they’ve made plans in Wunsdorf, moved models around on tables, gamed it out and the whole time they are unaware that the rules have changed” Wolvogle said “I’m sure you’ve seen the news about what’s going on over the Caspian Sea.”

“I’ve seen it, Sir” Kurt said wondering what the Luftwaffe’s attempts to bomb oil infrastructure had to do with the General’s thoughts regarding a reception in Poland.

“Walther Wever thought that it would be a cakewalk” Wolvogle said “Cut the Russians off from their oil supply and their Army would wither on the vine. Thing is the Russians haven’t been sitting still, they made a fight of it and seem to have been prepared for exactly what’s happened.”

“You think that the same thing will happen to us?” Kurt asked.

“I know it will” Wolvogle said “In fact I’ve been keeping my opinions to myself of late.”

“No one likes being told, I told you so” Kurt observed.

“I fully expect that our plans will go fine for a while” Wolvogle said “Then we’ll get our ass kicked up between our ears because those bastards have got plans of their own.”

General von Wolvogle pointed east with his cigar.

“And then a good portion that lot in the reception hall will be gone as if they never existed” the General concluded.


Berlin

Kat woke up and it was too warm get back to sleep, looking at the clock she realized it was going to be her birthday in a few minutes. Not the chronological one at midnight but the actual minute in the early morning hours. Her throat was parched so she got up to get some water. Why couldn’t her birthday have been during a cooler time of the year? Kat wondered. Winter Solstice would have been perfect. She debated putting on her bathrobe but decided against it and padded down the stairs. The heavy snoring she heard from the back of the house suggested that she didn’t have to worry about being seen wearing only a night gown.

“Couldn’t sleep either?” Kat heard Marcella ask as she entered the kitchen. She was sitting at the kitchen table in the dim light of the stove hood.

As Kat pulled a glass out of the cupboard the overhead light came on blinding her. It must have been Marcella who Kat hadn’t seen get up.

As Kat stood there blinking to adjust her eyes she filled the glass. For years Kat had made a point of not reacting when Marcella did things like this, whether they were power plays or Marcella just not giving a damn. When Kat turned around she saw very clearly the lines forming on her Aunt’s face and the silver in her dark brown hair. Sitting in the otherwise empty kitchen made Marcella seem smaller than she was. Marcella was holding an envelope that was yellowed with age.

“I’ve been debating if I wanted to give this to you” Marcella said, “I almost did last year when you got home…”

“What is it?” Kat asked.

“I don’t know” Marcella said, “That’s the problem, the last thing you need is more pain in your life and that might be all this is.”

As Kat sat down across the table from Marcella she saw that To Katherine was written on the front in unfamiliar handwriting and no address.

“If you’ve been paying attention I’ve been getting a lot of wild mail lately” Kat said, “I’m sure whatever’s in there will be very tame in comparison.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that” Marcella said, “She had no idea what she was asking for at the time.”

“Who?” Kat asked.

Marcella sat there for a long moment, unsure, while Kat took a sip of her water. Marcella sighed and passed the envelope across the table to Kat. As Kat opened the envelope and pulled the single page from it she saw instantly the reason for her Aunt’s reticence.

Dearest Katherine, Katie, Kate or whatever you choose to call yourself.

Marci, who’s going to be your Aunt, thinks I’m being silly in assuming that it’s going to be a girl this time. If you turn out to be a boy like your big brother then I am sure she’ll enjoy tearing this up and saying that she told me so. Of course, you won’t be reading this then, will you. I’m giving this to her in trust that she’ll give it to you when you are ready. You see I’m no good at this sort of thing, the patience to hold a letter for years isn’t in me. I’d want to skip right to the end and see the look on your face when you read this years from now. Marci is a lot more practical than I am, she made Klaus Böhler start an industrial apprenticeship before she agreed to marry him.

As I’m writing this you’re not quite here, not yet anyway. All I know is that you will be here soon. Your father is as always trying to conceal his excitement. I’m sure that by the time you read this you will be perfectly aware of the fact that he’s not the most expressive man in the world. In fact, I’m sure that you’ll have several less complimentary terms you’ll want to use by then. It’s my hope that you’ve inherited his strength. I also hope you’ve inherited his blue eyes because you’ll really make the boys swoon if you have.

Most of all I want you to know that I’m joyfully looking forward to making your acquaintance. Years from now familiarity and life itself will have probably robbed us of this feeling. I figure that you and I will have had our difficulties but my hope is that by the time you read this you’ll understand me and the choices I’ve made. Most of all I want you to know that regardless of what you might have come to think, you’re being welcomed into a family that loves you.

With love, Suse Rosa, your Mother


Kat sat there for a long time, water glass forgotten trying to process the contents of the letter.
 
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Wolvogle chuckled. “That lot in there” He pointed back towards the hall “Is the sort of dead wood that will get burned away when put to the sort of test that the Heer hasn’t been put to in decades. Poland and Spain were too easy, the wrong lessons being learned and all that bullshit, human nature, I guess.”

“Just what are you suggesting, Sir?”

“That they’ve made plans in Wunsdorf, moved models around on tables, gamed it out and the whole time they are unaware that the rules have changed” Wolvogle said “I’m sure you’ve seen the news about what’s going on over the Caspian Sea.”

“I’ve seen it, Sir” Kurt said wondering what the Luftwaffe’s attempts to bomb oil infrastructure had to do with the General’s thoughts regarding a reception in Poland.

“Walther Wever thought that it would be a cakewalk” Wolvogle said “Cut the Russians off from their oil supply and their Army would wither on the vine. Thing is the Russians haven’t been sitting still, they made a fight of it and seem to have been prepared for exactly what’s happened.”

“You think that the same thing will happen to us?” Kurt asked.

“I know it will” Wolvogle said “In fact I’ve been keeping my opinions to myself of late.”

“No one likes being told, I told you so” Kurt observed.

“I fully expect that our plans will go fine for a while” Wolvogle said “Then we’ll get our ass kicked up between our ears because those bastards have got plans of their own.”

General von Wolvogle pointed east with his cigar.

“And then a good portion that lot in the reception hall will be gone as if they never existed” the General concluded.


Well, at least Wolvogle is smart enough to realise that no plan of battle survives first contact with the enemy.

THe man obviously wants to go out in a blaze of glory, so I figure he would probably watch as plans fail miserably, then suicidally deliver a crushing blow to the Russians. Seems like a Wolvogle plan.
 
I suspect that Major Horst in the mist of a desperate battle will find a someone who he had fought battles together before in France had just shown up with a young officer.
 
"...what’s going on over the Caspian Sea?" Luftwaffe Walther Weber?

Oh &deity-of-your-choice, another instance of the 'stragegic bombing can win the war,' 'the bomber will always get through' chimera. The Brits have a phrase 'breaking windows with guineas. roughly meaning 'much expense for a very little reward. It's tragic that Walther Wever was killed by the lack of a before-takeoff checklist.

The letter from Suse Rosa to Kat made me want to cry.
 
Part 22, Chapter 238
Chapter Two Hundred Thirty-Eight


8th August 1941

Trapezous, Greek Anatolia

Lenz was feeling a pleasant buzz from the wine that they’d been drinking on the shore of the Black Sea, they had also been supplied with cheese, a jar of green olives with red peppers and all the bread they could carry. The Greek garrison had thoughtfully provided all of it to them.

This place had been one of the last Turkish links to the Black Sea, it was said that the Turks had fought to the death to keep it and that the Turks wanted this place back. But had been informed that if they started a new war with the Greeks while the Luftwaffe was here then with they’re actions they’d be throwing their lot with the Soviets. For all their faults the Turks hated the Russians almost as much as they hated the Greeks. This region was currently enjoying a period of peace, ironically the rest of the world had to go to war for that to happen.

Lenz was sitting with his back against a large rock the only shade to be found here. The bombers were based further west, perfectly understandable but it had left the fighter wings operating out of an airfield that was in a narrow slot between the mountains and the ocean. JG-1 and JG-3 were currently enjoying these crowded conditions with more than a hundred FWs parked along the tarmac and in the hangers. It was a saboteur’s dream come true, that was also why the perimeter was being vigorously guarded.

It had become routine, fly missions in the morning, debrief and then sit here of the shore until they started feeling like something approximating human again. Today that had all changed when he’d landed and a film crew had been there to greet him as soon as he’d landed his plane. Joachim had run up and told him he’d gotten two more Russian MIG-3 interceptors, that had put him over the top, eleven total, he’d just become the Luftwaffe’s newest Ace. Of course, Joachim hadn’t mentioned that he was right behind Lenz with nine and the film crew was there just as much for him. Lenz hadn’t bothered to keep score on the missions, just keep the Reds away from the bombers, coordinate the squadron as best he could and concentrate on his own survival. Now suddenly he was confronted with the fact that someone was keeping score.

It was not that the last mission had gone badly per say but things were getting harder as the stupid, careless and unlucky were getting killed off, from both sides. Rockets and additional heavy machineguns in underwing pods had appeared on the Migs. That was the promise of further even more unpleasant surprises in the offing.

Lenz had just smiled and waved as he had gotten out of his plane and walked towards the hangers. He knew that sometime in the near future he’d be getting a letter from his mother talking about seeing him in a newsreel. So, some good would come from this.


Berlin

Kat felt totally ridiculous as photographs were being taken. Wearing a heavy red and blue cape and with this ribbon around her neck, she felt like she was about to choke. She’d only caught a glimpse of the blue Maltese cross that was hanging from the orange ribbon before it had been put around her neck to polite applause. Many of these were the same people who’d looked upon her with fear and disdain for years, nothing was ever going to change that, not even this.

Kat also still had that letter weighing on her. Her own mother had somehow reached out from beyond the grave and challenged every assumption she’d ever held about herself. It wasn’t fair. Doctor Holz was fond of reminding her that life was not fair, but this was taking that to a profound new level. She was officially Freiherrin Katherine v. Mischner, she thought with more than a little disgust and loathing. Free Lady, ironically, she had never felt less free in her life. Like this stupid cape, the past was weighing on her shoulders. She had gotten a good look at how her life might have been very different. That letter was proof, as if she’d needed any before, that the death of Suse Rosa Strobel had shattered her family in ways that nearly two decades later they were still reeling from.

“This is so amazing, Kat” Gerta whispered into her ear.

Yeah, Kat thought, it had only come at the cost of six lives and the ruin of one, possibly two more.

“The Empress wants to talk with you” Helene said, “I hope you don’t mind if we don’t celebrate at my place this time.”

That almost brought a smile to Kat’s lips. Helene’s mother had taken up residence in Berlin just after General von Richthofen had expressly forbidden Helene from returning to Kleinburg for the duration of the war. The von Richthofen house was the Eastern Headquarters of the Luftwaffe and there was a good chance that the General might know something that Helene did not. Being aware of how thin the ice she was standing on was, Helene hadn’t challenged her father for once.

Gerta had been petrified in recent weeks since her father came out of retirement. Her fear was that her father was not planning on being forced into retirement a second time. That General von Wolvogle was planning on going out in a blaze of glory cementing his legendary place in the Heer forever. Kat almost told Gerta the truth. That Manfred von Wolvogle was never going to die of old age, bedridden when illness or time finally claimed him. The old General wanted to go down pennants flying with a smile on his face and the blood of enemies on his sword. Kat didn’t have the first clue as to what that would actually look like but she knew that the knowledge of that would bring Gerta no comfort. At least tonight provided a welcome distraction for Gerta.
 
Nice :) Gerta is likely right to be worried about her father; he's not the type to retire quietly. This war is VERY interesting :)
 
I an just wondering about the driver and how the Russians managed this dramatic rise in High altitude interceptor capability? Did the Abwehr miss something?
 
I an just wondering about the driver and how the Russians managed this dramatic rise in High altitude interceptor capability? Did the Abwehr miss something?

The Russians had a capable high altitude interceptor in the MiG-3 just the mission that it flew wasn't required as less demand for it IOTL. ITTL the "Ural bomber" is very much in existence, as a result the MiG series got a big push much earlier. As has been depicted, the MiG-3 was only armed with machine guns.

Driver?
 
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