About "more men to the front...". is it possible to organise some foreign "volunteer" units. The Germans came up against this idea in Spain. It would give Britain, France and the rest of Europa a way too support Germany without going to war themselfs.
 
About "more men to the front...". is it possible to organise some foreign "volunteer" units. The Germans came up against this idea in Spain. It would give Britain, France and the rest of Europa a way too support Germany without going to war themselfs.

The foreigners really have to be true volunteers to get away with this on the international stage. The International Brigades in both timelines (IIRC) were civilian volunteers motivated by idealism. It would also be possible for active military members to suspend their careers to go fight for the Germans. Fighter pilots would be especially interested in flying some of the most advanced airplanes around.

Edit: If the Luftwaffe comes up with a Womens' Auxiliary I can see a bunch of frustrated women pilots wanting to go.
 
On the home front I have several thoughts.
For Agriculture the need is going to be for crops that are high in carbs and calories, such as potatoes and sugar beets, sugar beets after they are pressed can be used for feed for cattle and dairy cows.
For the victory gardens, that project sounds like a job for the Dowager Empress Cecile to be the face of, so that it will encourage older Germans to participate in the war effort.
The food that is grown will not supplant but supplement the diet, mostly what will be grown is anything that can be canned, frozen, or preserved.
Also backyard chicken coops could spring up and the waste can be gathered for fertilizer.

On the industrial side, with women entering the workforce , factories can start childcare facilities in order to recruit workers who are young mothers and maybe promise an extra ration of milk for their children.

On the consumer side with the reduction of consumer goods being produced there will be " Fix-it" shops opening up in which people can turn in a broken item and buy a repaired item in its place.
Churches can gather used clothing to be mended and cleaned so they can be exchanged for other clothing.
 
I don't think that Germany is pressed that hard to start tighter rationing, change to high calorie crops, the works. The war barely started, and even if the military is on the back-foot, there haven't been any disasters, or even painful loses. That kind of preparedness so soon would lower morale considerably on the Homefront and it would drastically lower trust and support for the Gouvernment. In a year or so of harsh war it would be different, but people wouldn't like it at all if the Gouvernment imposed such drastic measures from the get-go, and the opposition would hammer that precise spot as long and loud as possible, accusing Lang and his Cabinet of defeatism and the like.
(It would have been easier to impose stuff in a Dictatorship but alas, one has to play the hand dealt. :biggrin:)
 
You have to remember that everyone over the age of thirty lived through the "Turnip Winter" and they are going to be very willing to make the necessary sacrifices to prevent that from happening again.
 
You have to remember that everyone over the age of thirty lived through the "Turnip Winter" and they are going to be very willing to make the necessary sacrifices to prevent that from happening again.
Plus, if in the long term, it cuts down on food imports, it's a new win for the economy.
 
You have to remember that everyone over the age of thirty lived through the "Turnip Winter" and they are going to be very willing to make the necessary sacrifices to prevent that from happening again.


You mean the poor people are going to be willing to change the thing they have no power over. They may elect people who have this power (or not, depending on the state of electoral laws in this Germany. Is it universal yet?). But it takes time to make private exploitations change legally.
 
Voluntary contributions and sacrifices are a good way to start. "If you ride alone, Stalin rides with you," and the like, "Buy a gun for a soldier," and catchy rhymes, like OTL's "Slap the Jap with the Scrap." Appeal to patriotism.

"No more Turnip Winter! Plant a victory garden today!"

I realized something: Kat's dealt more or less harshly with intelligence agents from all of the great powers except Japan, and China, if you consider it a great power. In each case, the level of violence has been appropriate to the situation, except possibly the Brits. Can she accumulate a Japanese or Chinese agent on her little list?
 
On the home front I have several thoughts.
{snip}
On the consumer side with the reduction of consumer goods being produced there will be " Fix-it" shops opening up in which people can turn in a broken item and buy a repaired item in its place.

These are the days when everything's made from actual wood and metal instead of cheap plastic that's designed to minimize assembly time and are almost impossible to repair. Fix-it shops are already everywhere.
 
These are the days when everything's made from actual wood and metal instead of cheap plastic that's designed to minimize assembly time and are almost impossible to repair. Fix-it shops are already everywhere.

When I was a kid, TV repair shops were in every town, my hometown of ~4000 had one, and 2 garages that worked on cars. Wartime does mean that people repair things that, in happier times, they might replace, are repaired instead.

I had a thought: With the war starting later, and electronics getting started earlier, is television around yet, in people's homes?
 
Voluntary contributions and sacrifices are a good way to start. "If you ride alone, Stalin rides with you," and the like, "Buy a gun for a soldier," and catchy rhymes, like OTL's "Slap the Jap with the Scrap." Appeal to patriotism.

"No more Turnip Winter! Plant a victory garden today!"

I realized something: Kat's dealt more or less harshly with intelligence agents from all of the great powers except Japan, and China, if you consider it a great power. In each case, the level of violence has been appropriate to the situation, except possibly the Brits. Can she accumulate a Japanese or Chinese agent on her little list?
(Cringes). .. WHY, oh Why i have the feeling that the Japanese Idiots will be the first ones in pissing off Kat to the point of making Eunuchs of who tried to cross her?

And in another avenue. I'm suspecting here that Stalin may NOT wait for Sorge's information. Here effectively any force projection to the Pacific or a site for forces to act in the region has been broken with the devastation of Vladivostok. However for all his SOB nature, Stalin its immensely pragmatic when given the right conditions.

What if he uses Sorge to scout the option of conceding in perpetuity the entirety of the Kuriles to Japan in exchange for a Non-Agression Treaty? Japan would be also willing, as it would mean less troops, ships and such aimed to the Russians, troops and units that can be now aimed somewhere else. . .all while Stalin now can pull that same crapload of divisions and move it to the German Front.
 
We do know that the Soviet assassins aren't the only ones she's dispatched; there was mention earlier of NKVD spys meeting unpleasant ends when they snooped into her actions. She is one frightening lass. I suspect that, being the daughter of the head of the railroad union, she may know something about locomotives; does she know enough to run one--or blow one up without explosives?

Speaking of locomotives, is there any dieseliztion going on in Germany? With the USA at peace, there's bound to be more diesel locomotives cropping up in the USA.
 
We do know that the Soviet assassins aren't the only ones she's dispatched; there was mention earlier of NKVD spys meeting unpleasant ends when they snooped into her actions.

An earlier reference to Kat's district said that it was closely monitored by her father's people. I suspect that any NKVD spies would have wound up dead on the railroad tracks somewhere in Berlin with Kat knowing nothing about them whatsoever.
 
Part 23, Chapter 250
Chapter Two Hundred Fifty


11th January 1942

Berlin

The propagandists had done their job well and Kat was perfectly appalled. She had gone to the Sunday matinée showing of the film The Fate of the Romanovs with Helene and Gerta. The worst part was that many of the details were correct. Someone in the government had given the screenwriters access to the reports that had been submitted by Kat herself which included her account, the secondhand account of Jehane and information provided by the Canadian Government. Kat was glad that she had seen the wisdom of leaving out some extremely important details, like Jehane’s survival.

The plot was simple enough, a pair of agents for the Foreign Service goes to British Columbia the investigate the deaths of a family that were related to a German official. Over the course of the film one detail after another emerges, the official in question is the German Empress and the identity of the family. It all leads to the trail of the assailants going cold at the U.S. border. The story of the Romanovs as a dwindling line living somewhat difficult life was plainly told but it was the scene that was the flashback to New Year’s Day that sold the film. The studio had gone all out with special effects to depict what had happened. The monstrous NKVD agents showing up and killing everyone in sight. It had ended with an admonition for everyone to do their part and had included a long list of things that they should be doing if they weren’t already. Kat could see how effective this was on the faces of the people coming out of the theater, outrage. The sort of people who would wipe out a harmless family because of who their parents or grandparents had been were what they were fighting against.

“That poor little girl never had a chance” Gerta said.

Kat held her tongue as they walked down the street, she didn’t trust herself not to say anything out of hand. That was precisely the reaction the studio had been going for and little girl had been found still breathing, a call had been made to her only living relatives who’d sent Kat to sort it out. Gerta actually knew her very well in fact as Gianna Strobel. But Kat knew that Jehane’s safety depended on as few people knowing she was still alive as possible.

Entering the coffee shop Kat was confronted with what was from her point of view one of the greatest indignities that the war had imposed on her so far. Coffee, chocolate and sugar had been deemed inessential luxury imports and the Government had imposed a tax on those that corresponded with that designation. That encompassed nearly everything that coffee shops like this one did and the somewhat shocking prices on the board reflected that. Didn’t they know that this city practically ran on coffee? They placed their orders with the ill-tempered barista. Apparently, they weren’t the only ones unhappy with this turn of events.

“Where’s your cousin?” Gerta asked “Wouldn’t she normally be with us on a Sunday?”

“She’s out with Marcella today” Kat said, pleased that Jehane hadn’t tagged along today. Kat didn’t even want to think about what her reaction to that film might have been, she hoped Jehane never saw it. “Gianna is starting to get into clothes, makeup and that sort of stuff. Marcella made a point of telling me that it’s the one area where I’m the worst possible influence that she could have.”

That hadn’t been the only thing that Jehane was now the age for. Something that had resulted in a very candid conversation. What was normal enough. What not to get pressured into doing. What to do or not do. And most of all how she could trust Marcella and Kat to talk about anything no matter what. All Kat could remember of being on the receiving end of those conversations was fear and confusion. She hoped that Jehane was handling things better than she had.

“Everyone knows that” Helene said and smirked when she got a dirty look from Kat.

“It’s not that I don’t care about those things” Kat said, “I just never saw the point.”

Both Gerta and Helene knew that Kat spent her life in faded secondhand clothes not because she couldn’t afford better but because it gave a certain invisibility to her. It had been Helene’s sincere hope that after Kat’s old grey coat had been torn up and ruined during the incident in the palace last July that Kat would turn over a new leaf. Instead Kat had found a nearly identical coat a couple of weeks later from somewhere. Helene just didn’t understand it. On a few occasions, she’d seen what Kat kept hidden it was nothing out of the ordinary except being slightly underweight.

“Kat’s fashion sense, or I’d say complete, total and utter lack thereof, is her own business” Gerta said mock solemnly “And not ours.” Then dissolved into a fit of laughter with Helene.

Yeah, real funny, Kat thought to herself.

“I saw from the newsreel that you might just get your heart’s desire Helene” Kat said changing the subject. The newsreel had gone into great detail about the series of reforms that had just passed a few days prior. Kat had recognized that it had been just as much propaganda as the film itself. The field is now open ladies, so get a job for God and Country. That was the clear message. That also meant that the Luftwaffe was about to get Helene von Richthofen, like it or not. “I hope you understand that means you cannot be such a brat all the time.”

“I understand exactly what that means” Helene said, “You two will be sitting on your duffs here so someone would need to do it.”

“I couldn’t join even if I wanted to” Kat replied, “Partially deaf in my left ear so I’d never make the physical requirements.”

Many would also argue that Kat had already done her bit by effectively firing the first shots in this war. And even if the damage to her hearing wasn’t a deal breaker then the prospect of that being the same as sending Johan Schultz an engraved invitation to interfere with her life again would be.

Gerta on the other hand had been cast as the proverbial wholesome girl back home in a half dozen B-reel films that the studio put out in cookie cutter fashion. She was already serving in her own way and judging by the anything but wholesome fan mail she was getting it was probably not in the way the studio intended. Gerta was making a name for herself as an actress but the role which would break her out of bit parts and the B-reels had proven elusive.
 
That poor little girl never had a chance
I imagine the ending of the movie would be a somewhat blurry first person view walk through the snow, heading towards the lights of a small town, the only sound would be a breathing and a heartbeat, both going slower and slower, the image slowly darkening, then the view 'falling' in the snow, the breathing stopping, then the screen going dark, then the heartbeat stopping, then all the lights remaining in the viewing room of the Cinema turned off to live the room in complete darkness.

Some Films from that period could be rightfully considered art, and the Directors had a big bag of tricks to generate impressions and psychological reactions in the audience.
 
Even though Kat has diminished hearing in her left ear does not mean she will not be in uniform.
If the Empress is the Commander-in-Chief of the women auxiliaries, then Kat can be her Aide-de -Camp.
 
Part 23, Chapter 251
Chapter Two Hundred Fifty-One


3rd February 1942

Chelm, Poland

It had taken enough effort on his part but Kurt had finally gotten himself assigned to a Panzer Brigade, the rub was that it wasn’t equipped with Tigers. Instead it was the much lighter Panzer IVs. Unlike the Tiger which had been built from the ground up as a heavy breakthrough Panzer with a massive amount of armor and the most powerful main gun available, the Panzer IV was built with balancing armor, hitting power and mobility.

The Panzer IV was the answer by Daimler-Benz to the export oriented Panzer III. The 80mm glacis tilted back at 35 degrees was almost as good as a Tiger and was clearly inspired by the experience with Russian tanks in Spain. The relatively thin side armor is what had Kurt a bit concerned. The habit of APC drivers to automatically turn their vehicles towards incoming fire and slamming into reverse would need to be done with this vehicle as well.

There was a high velocity 75mm x 48 cal. main gun with a coax 8mm, a second 8mm was in the bow. A 13mm was part of the commander’s cupola. All that was standard equipment. On Kurt’s new Panzer someone had welded a mount for a third 8mm in front of the loader’s hatch. It reflected the mission of the Panzer IV perfectly, mostly infantry support. At least the engine was the common as dirt Junkers Jumo straight-six diesel, he could work on those in his sleep, and nice wide tracks that allowed it to cross nearly any terrain. He could live with this, for now.

The Panzer also came with a pair of familiar faces. Lars Kuhn and Fritz Kolbe who Kurt had been in Spain with, were the driver and bow gunner/radio operator.

“Why the Hell did they make you a Lieutenant?” Kolbe asked in surprise when Kurt showed up to look over the five Panzers that were his command.

“My winning personality” Kurt answered, “Now where’s Piontek?”

“He pulled the pin after thirty years and two wars” Lars said “He took his pension and a job as a consultant for the Argentine government. The last anyone saw of him he was running towards the train station to get to a ship in Hamburg. He’s probably living like a king in South America.”

That sucks, Kurt thought to himself. He really could have used someone with Piontek’s experience.

“Who’s the current senior NCO in this outfit?” Kurt asked.

“That would be me” Lars said.

Kurt almost swore aloud over that. Lars was barely a Feldwebel. What did that say about the rest of this outfit.

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

The rest of the outfit was as wet behind the ears as Kurt had feared. Meeting with the commanders of the Panzers he discovered that only two had seen action in Spain, the other two were his age but had played by the rules sitting Spain out. They could get orders to move up to the front at any time. Somehow, he had to get them up to snuff before that happened or else they would be easy meat for the Russians.

Kurt also had the more immediate concern of finding a loader and a gunner for his Panzer. That was when he saw Olli Bauer getting off the train from wherever he had come from. He could see that Olli had somehow made Gefreiter while Kurt had spent the last year dealing with their paperwork screw up causing his career to spin off in a wild direction. Olli had this weird magic that allowed him to be wherever he wanted in the Heer. Unfortunately for Kurt it only seemed to work for Olli. A year earlier he might have gone out of his way to get back at Olli but now he was glad to have another experienced trooper on hand. That at least solved one of his problems, now he just needed a gunner.


Near Bialystok, Poland

Lenz watched as the new bombers flew into the airfield. These were the latest incarnation of the Do-19. Dornier had radically altered the airplanes to such an extent that these were now the Do-119. The stepped fuselage was gone with the pilot and copilot moved up into the nose to make room for the cavernous bomb bay. All external bracing had been eliminated, more powerful engines and additional defensive guns had been added. They really could have used these last summer was Lenz’s thought on the matter. They were currently being used to hit rail junctions and supply depots in Russia itself. Jasta 10 was flying escort missions as well as their own patrols, two sometimes three sorties a day. The tempo of the air war had continued to increase even as the ground war ground to a halt.

“The Oberst wants you, Schultz” Lenz heard someone say. Odd, normally it would have been the Hauptmann after him not the commander of JG-1.

“Did he say what he wanted?” Lenz asked.

“No, just that he wanted you in his office immediately.”

That sounded a bit ominous.

As Lenz walked into the Oberst’s office he noticed that Joachim and a few other pilots who’d been with JG-1 since the beginning of the war were also present outside the office. He knew instantly what had finally caught up with them. This was not good at all.

“The Oberst will see you now, Oberlieutenant” The Oberst’s aide said the instant Lenz walked in. They were clearly not interested in giving them a chance to present a common defense.

As soon as Lenz entered the Oberst’s office he saw that the Oberst was cheerful in a phony sort of way. They had presented the Oberst with a problem and with a very easy means of getting rid of it.

“I want to congratulate you” The Oberst said, “You’ve got quite the combat record Oberlieutenant Schultz, forty-two confirmed kills, Iron Cross first class, Knights Cross order of Hohenzollern, merit cross in gold with oak leaf but all things come to an end eventually. We’ve discovered that you and many of the other high time pilots have been fudging the log books…”

That was exactly what Lenz had feared he was going to say.

“You and Lieutenant Marseille are among the worst offenders with over three hundred hours of combat time.”

“Actually Sir, a good chunk of that time was spent on escort missions over the Black Sea” Lenz said.

“I don’t care” The Oberst said “There’s a reason why those regulations exist. You should have rotated home weeks ago. I can understand your wanting to do your part but it serves no one to have you burn out.”

“Anything else, Sir” Lenz asked.

“No” The Oberst said “Now get out of my sight.”
 
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Gerta on the other hand had been cast as the proverbial wholesome girl back home in a half dozen B-reel films that the studio put out in cookie cutter fashion. She was already serving in her own way and judging by the anything but wholesome fan mail she was getting it was probably not in the way the studio intended. Gerta was making a name for herself as an actress but the role which would break her out of bit parts and the B-reels had proven elusive.

Am wondering if the breakout role is playing a fictional version of Helene or Kat in something.
 
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