The reason for a change ITTL.
Do19 it is, and that makes a lot of sense for the Mig-3, but how did they receive this level of coordination, vectoribg the planes so they wait for them at altitude. Must be a meticulously prepared system. And rockets?
IOTL these were based on experience only gained rather late.
Mig3 with underwing pods vs. FW-190? Would that be a fair fight. Performance would be degraded because of the pods, but perhaps the kill scores already reflects this?

Edit:
Sorry for posting before reading. Seems these tricks were tried IOTL and with the expected performance degradation.
Still they had trouble (as in crash on trying) reaching 9000 m.
 
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Also, soviet planes had a lacking aiming system. As in, literally lacking. For a couple of years into the war, pilots would have to scratch a crosshair into the glass of the cockpit for their newest fighters and interceptors, the LaGGs, the Yaks and the MiGs.
Personally, I presume that the planes protecting their southern oilfields are the creme de la creme of the Soviet air-force, equipped with most of their modern fighter fleet. IOTL, most of the fighters they had on hand were the Polikarpov I-16 variants of what the Germans already faced in Spain (nothing much changed for TTL URSS, so I don't think their equipment changed much from OTL, except maybe worse tanks -no cross-training with Germany-, so I expect them to still field some T-35s). Since the Germans didn't, as in OTL, blitz a Barbarossa towards Moscow, they didn't scrap a large part of the obsolescent I-16 and Po-2 fleets by bombing them on their own airfields, increasing the need for the newer planes.

1076_rd.jpg

I-16, the main fighter for the URSS from'34 to '42

1280px-Polikarpov_Po-2_28_%28G-BSSY%29_%286740751017%29.jpg

Po-2, of Night Witches fame

SBX23b.jpg

No matter what the Imperial Guard believes, more turrets do not make a better tank. At least it didn't have weapon sponsons too.
 
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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?

Yes, 1 heavy two rifle-calibre machine guns. I recall that they tended to work in pairs, especially when taking on bombers, in order to get more guns on target. They will have similar troubles with the well-armored Focke-Wulf, so they will probably work in pairs there as well.
 
Part 22, Chapter 239
Chapter Two Hundred Thirty-Nine


13th August 1941

Near Rokytne, Ukraine

Hans scanned the ground a hundred meters ahead through the sights of his rifle as they advanced through the forested countryside. This was not what he’d been expecting when he thought of the Ukraine. It was forest intermixed with bogs and the road they had been attempting to secure really was crap. One of the first things that they had discovered as soon as they had crossed into Ukraine from Poland was that the maps they had were useless. Word had gotten around that the Russian Government had published travel guides that showed roads that didn’t exist and didn’t show ones that did. To take the Russian’s word about anything showed either a profound case of laziness or stupidity on someone’s part. They were navigating by compass out here and those hadn’t proven particularly reliable either.

Hans was wondering what had happened to the recon flights that had gotten they decent maps in Spain after only a few days. Even if they had waited until after the deadline had passed to start they should have gotten new maps by now. There was also the problem with their vehicles sinking into the ground. The Rust bucket II didn’t weigh as much as an actual Panzer but if it got driven into a bog it got the same the result. That was why they had left their armor on the road and were proceeding on foot. This whole thing was stupid, they were surrendering every advantage they had in order to advance at a crawl.

Jost started cussing as his foot sank into the ground. They’d just found another bog. Hans watched as Jost dragged his foot out of the muck.


Gobustan, near Baku, Azerbaijan SSR

Junior Lieutenant Anri Vepkhia heard the telephone ring and knew that the German Imperialists were going to be back again. It was a simple system. The German planes crossed the coast of the Black Sea near Batumi, then they would get phone calls describing the long white contrails of the dozens of bombers and their escorts as they crossed Georgia and Azerbaijan.

For the last few weeks they had been defending the oil fields to the best of their abilities. They were supposed to be the best and they were still getting decimated, not to the extent of the units in the north who were using the same airplanes that had been swept from the skies of Spain a few years earlier. The airplanes they were flying had proven under-armed for the mission they were running with a staggering amount of ammunition required and several airplanes to take down a single German airplane. Worst of all it seemed like they only needed to get hit once. Modifications made to their planes were less than satisfactory with additional heavy machine guns substantially cutting performance in the process.

Anri would continue flying these missions as long as he could, anything else was unimaginable. The Captain had said that they could expect new planes, soon. It was almost a prayer the way the Captain said that. In the meantime, the Commissar had informed them that if they used their airplanes to ram the German bombers then their sacrifice would be honored. If it hadn’t been a suicidal act in of itself Anri might have been tempted ask the Commissar if he were joking.


Potsdam, Germany

It had become her role, explaining intelligence matters to the Empress in the summer residence and unofficially watching over the royal children. Kat had been forced to relocate to Gerta’s family home in Werder, bringing Jehane and an entire lorry full of family keepsakes with her. This was after Aunt Marcella’s house had been damaged when one of the bombs being dropped on the nearby Pankow railyard had gone wide and landed on Kat’s street.

The Russians managed to slip a handful of bombers past the Berlin defenses in the middle of the night and they only managed to do superficial on the city. Some superficial damage, Kat thought. That damage had included filling the bedroom that had been Kat’s personal space for as long as she could remember full of broken glass and dust. The front hallway and parlor had received an equal amount of damage but what had happened to her room had felt like some part of her had been lost.

As the windows were being boarded up Kat was forced to gather her things and decamp to somewhere out of the city at Aunt Marcella’s insistence. As soon as her things were packed Kat had realized that she was very likely leaving home forever. That had weighed every step out to the waiting car.

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

Kat had been battling one of her dark moods even before she had arrived in Werder. Crossing the Havel River each day to explain to the Empress the numbers in black & white that represented ordinary lives destroyed and lost, which was even more depressing. Then she had other things to contend with.

Prince Friedrich had been joined by his younger brother Michael in the need to go adventuring. Kat had frequently ended up with not one but two children clinging to her legs as she did her best to explain the numbers. All the dark comments that Marcella had made over the years about finding herself suddenly raising two children under the age of three were starting to make sense.
 
Kat had been battling one of her dark moods even before she had arrived in Werder. Crossing the Havel River each day to explain to the Empress the numbers in black & white that represented ordinary lives destroyed and lost, which was even more depressing. Then she had other things to contend with.

Prince Friedrich had been joined by his younger brother Michael in the need to go adventuring. Kat had frequently ended up with not one but two children clinging to her legs as she did her best to explain the numbers. All the dark comments that Marcella had made over the years about finding herself suddenly raising two children under the age of three were starting to make sense.

Surrogate mother training.......just in case.:p

This does make me wonder who the eventual male is who will tame her.
 
You do not want to tame a wild cat! It is a thing of beauty. If you can join it's pride that is good enough. Soulmates bond, they do not dominate or tame. This Kat definitely needs a soulmate and not some macho twit either. She could of course travel the Sapphic road!?!
 
Surrogate mother training.......just in case.:p

This does make me wonder who the eventual male is who will tame her.

Not going to happen! I know exactly who will be wearing the trousers in her family, and it won't be her husband :biggrin:

I do wonder in my madder moments if she is about to become regent (with a lot of adult supervision) for Jehane. Catherine the great (the younger) :D
 
Part 22, Chapter 240
Chapter Two Hundred Forty


1st September 1941

Gobustan near Baku, Azerbaijan SSR

It’s about time, Anri thought when the new planes arrived. He’d heard about these planes, the latest version of the MiG fighters, these ones had a new much more powerful engine and two cowl mounted 20mm cannons. They still had the stability issues that had plagued the earlier versions still existed but in the hands of a skilled pilot those vices became virtues. The only problem was that there just weren’t too many available yet.

As Anri climbed to altitude he saw that the black specks off in the distance were resolving themselves into bomber formations. He goosed the throttle and the airplane surged forward, something he could get used to. The smile on his face ended abruptly when he’d realized he’d outstripped the rest of the squadron and was facing a dozen escorts, all of a squadron he’d come to know very well of late. Grey with yellow nose and tail. What should have been a triumph had ended with him being forced to use the new-found speed to escape with his life.

The rest of the squadron had attempted to creep around the margins and pick off a straggling bomber or two, without much success. Later after Anri had landed he’d been angry until the Captain had told him to cool it. If Anri continued to make an issue then the rest of the squadron would happily solve it by getting rid of him.

That was when Anri had realized that having better planes wouldn’t change as much as he’d thought it would. So long as the rest of the squadron was more interested in not screwing up than winning the problems would continue.


Potsdam, Germany

Kat watched as the changing to the guard was taking place. The choregraphed formal movements of the 1st Foot Guard Regiment and the old fashioned looking blue uniforms did nothing to disguise the fact their weapons and equipment were perfectly modern and they obviously were well practiced in their use. After recent events, they were not interested in taking chances. Kat almost felt sorry for what would happen to whatever Soviet Agent they grabbed, almost.

Freddy was standing next to Kat holding her left hand watching the soldiers. He was getting too big to carry around and didn’t seem to want that much anymore.

“Keeping a different sort of company these days, I see” Kat heard a familiar voice say. She looked over and saw that Fritz Schafer was standing there.

“That’s not a particularly original joke since I’ve started watching over Freddy here and his brother” Kat said, “Be careful or he’ll try to steal your Paratroopers badge.”

Freddy had a habit of grabbing the silver badges worn by elite troops throughout the German military.

“Got one of your own I see” Schafer said. Clearly referring to the tiger brooch. “Perfect for you.”

“That’s something completely different” Kat said, “What brought you back to Germany?”

“General Holz got recalled back to Berlin” Schafer said, “He’s currently briefing the Emperor as the situation in Australia and the South Pacific.”

“And you get to wait outside” Kat observed.

“That’s the lot of a Spear” Schafer said, “Besides that, I have the privilege of talking to one of my better students.”

“That’s nice” Kat said, “Which one is he?”

“Real funny” Schafer said “You know full well that I was referring to you. Taking on six armed men with a knife equals my personal best.”

“I only took out two with a knife” Kat said, “I got the rest with one of their own guns.”

“That just proves that you’re probably smarter than I was” Schafer said, “Or that you weren’t as interested in showing off, it’s safe to assume that both are possible.”

“If General Holz is back, is Maria as well?” Kat asked changing the subject.

“Sorry, Freiin” Schafer said, Kat saw instantly that he too was one of the people who found her new title amusing. “Frau Acker is still in Sydney, she wanted to complete her latest book before traveling and she has other considerations now.”

Kat tried to hide her disappointment, she’d not seen Maria in more than a year. While they had maintained regular correspondence the weeks it took to get a letter to and from Australia had made keeping in touch difficult.

Just then two of the 1st Foot walked past. Schaffer was clearly from an elite unit of a rival service. One of them, the more senior of the two just gave Schafer a curt nod before proceeding as if he wasn’t there. The effect reminded Kat of large dogs sniffing each other out. They probably would be offended at the idea of being compared to dogs. The amusing thought occurred to Kat that Aunt Marcella would probably be offended if that comparison wasn’t made. On a lot of occasions Marcella had compared the actions of men to dogs, with dogs winning out usually.

“You are also living with those toy soldiers” Schafer said.

“Not really” Kat said, “I’m living across the river in Werder.”

“What’s in Werder?” Schafer asked.

“I’m staying with a dear friend until something more permanent can be arranged” Kat said.

“That doesn’t sound so bad” Schafer said, “Anything else?”

“Yeah, it happens to be the home of General von Wolvogle” Kat said, “I’m there at the invitation of his daughter Lagertha.”

That did get a reaction from Schafer.

“Isn’t she supposed to be just as crazy as the General himself?” Schafer asked.

“Be nice, Fritz” Kat said “Gerta is delightfully eccentric, her father on the other hand mostly falls under the heading, good crazy.”

“As opposed to bad crazy?”

“The mental wards are full of bad crazy” Kat said “General Holz has a younger brother who deals with that professionally.”

“Just how do you know that?” Schafer asked.

“I’ve spoken to him at length on the subject” Kat said “For my own reasons.”
 
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“I’ve spoken to him at length on the subject” Kat said “For my own reasons.”

I'm pretty sure that Schafer will blink a few times at that

"Do I want to know the details?"

"Probably... do you have any dependants? Wife? Children?"

"A wife and a two-year-old daughter. Why do you ask?"

"So you do NOT want to know."

"... Understood."
 
I like the way the war is developing. With so much time spent with the fleet earlier on, I am looking forward to the first uses of the battleships and carriers.

With the High Seas Fleet having some units in the Pacific, an air raid on Vladivostok could be an unpleasant surprise for the Russians. Even if it does no real damage, it could have some morale effects. Stalin might even insist that adequate air defenses be sent there...
 

FBKampfer

Banned
I'm honestly extremely surprised that the Soviets are doing even tolerably. Martini made it sound as though the Soviets were busy knocking their own brains out even worse than OTL.

Especially with Germany having late 1940's equipment, they should be getting absolutely slaughtered.


I can't wait to see how Germany hands it to those filthy Soviet dogs!
 
I'm honestly extremely surprised that the Soviets are doing even tolerably. Martini made it sound as though the Soviets were busy knocking their own brains out even worse than OTL.
Higher ups are probably dead meat, it's the lower ranks who are probably the safest. Basically, Stalin's shooting anyone higher ranked then a colonel, I imagine, while the juniors are keeping their mouths shut and focusing on the foe in front.
 
I think a few 14" shells would be more effective and devastating than any air raid.

Which is why I'm surprised that the Germans haven't sent any heavy units to the Black Sea. Or asked the British if they can use an airfield or two in Iraq.
 
I think a few 14" shells would be more effective and devastating than any air raid.

Which is why I'm surprised that the Germans haven't sent any heavy units to the Black Sea. Or asked the British if they can use an airfield or two in Iraq.

It's a long way from the Black Sea to any friendly base. Maybe if they manage to seize a port more or less intact
 
I wonder if the Germans overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran? If so the Germans have a land route to Baku. I doubt they have the resources to hold Azerbaijan and Georgia, but they could do a General Sherman and do a through job of wrecking the oil fields.

In any case I would expect that their stop line in the Ukraine would be the Dnieper river so that they could concentrate their forces to the north. Mind you that is still a heck of a lot of territory!
 
I think that both Germany and the Soviet Union are both still mobilizing their armed forces and going on to a war footing and economy. Germany has Romania and Bulgaria as allies, so there may be Black Sea ports available soon, but Germany might need to upgrade the ports and get the rail and road network up to speed so they can support the Navy.
 
I'm honestly extremely surprised that the Soviets are doing even tolerably. Martini made it sound as though the Soviets were busy knocking their own brains out even worse than OTL.

Especially with Germany having late 1940's equipment, they should be getting absolutely slaughtered.


I can't wait to see how Germany hands it to those filthy Soviet dogs!
Originally, the start of Barbarossa amounted to a turkey shoot. The Germans had the surprise and overwhelming speed advantage. Most of the Soviet's airforce was destroyed without even lifting off the ground, the land forces were not even managing to organize themselves on the planned defensive positions, the leadership has been decapitated (by Stalin). The Wehrmacht had an overwhelming initiative.
Now, the Soviets at the very least are prepared for military operations and have some initiative (my guess is that they are massing for a massive attack).
The thing is, the Red Army problems are just masked for now. When the offensive fails and the Germans counterattack, they will be in deep doodoo, since this Germany doesn't have to fight on two fronts and garrison half of Europe.
 
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