Tales from TL-191

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by FanOfHistory, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. FanOfHistory Banned

    Jun 17, 2018
    So, this is an idea that I've been thinking about for a while. We all know how expansive the TL-191 universe is. However, the story is only being told by our POV characters. There are so many more stories to tell, so let's tell them.

    Make up your own TL-191 character and tell their story.

    Please make sure to follow the lore of TL-191, don't change up the story. You can fill in the gaps Turtledove left in the story, but again, don't mess up the lore. Your character's story can begin from right before The Battle of Camp Hill and go up to modern times, filling in your own head-canon after GWII. Be as detailed as you like.

    Happy stories everyone.
    cortz#9 and Gaius Julius Magnus like this.
  2. FanOfHistory Banned

    Jun 17, 2018
    Frank Baxter stood by his anti-aircraft gun, viewing the south. A year ago, the damn Rebs had cut a corridor to Sandusky, cutting the USA in half. And now, in the summer of 1942, they were driving to the east. Where would they stop this time? It was embarrassing that the Confederates were hammering his country 2 years in a row.
    Frank knew what his country could do. He’d fought in the trenches the last time. From the Susquehanna to the Rappahannock. He’d only been shot twice. Frank didn’t need to fight in his war, he’d volunteered. And if that doesn’t prove that I’m crazy, nothing will, Frank thought. Instead of putting him in uniform and giving him a Springfield, the powers that be put him in charge of an AA gun on Great Lakes freighters heading west to keep the forces there supplied.
    The freighter had been converted to host a bunch of guns to shoot at anything. Everything from heavy machine guns firing a half inch bullet to 4 inchers, the freighter was a force to be reckoned with. Frank viewed his own 40mm gun. License built from the Swedes, the US put it on every ship they had. The men that made up his crew were all half his age at least. Despite that, they were all on first-name basis. “Frank, you think we’ll see more god-damn airplanes?” asked Connor Smith, a kid from the slums of Baltimore.
    “I don’t know Connor. I just don’t know. Hopefully not.” Frank answered.
    Connor nodded. Engine noises from the south were about crush his hopes. Confederate fighters and dive-bombers were paying the convoy a visit. “Come on boys, we have a job to do.” Frank yelled. The freighter picked up speed and started zig-zagging to throw off the planes. HIs crew were ready, gun barrel pointed at the sky. “Hold...aim...NOW!” Frank ordered. The cannon started firing, puffs of flak covering the sky. All the guns were firing now. The space over the convoy was filled with a cloud of flak, flak so thick you could walk on it. Frank’s crew was a well-oiled machine, and his loader was probably the best in the world. The kid had a talent. Fighters and bombers tumbled out of the sky, trailing smoke, but the rest kept coming. Now the machine guns were firing, spitting half-inch bullets at the Rebs. A flak shell scored a direct hit on the wing of a Hound Dog. Frank cheered and thudded his gunner on his back. The Confederates were taking heavy losses, but they kept coming. No one could deny that they were brave. “Asskicker to your left,” Frank yelled in the gunner’s ear. The kid nodded and turned the gun. Flak hit the bomber’s wing and the bomb it was carrying. The plane exploded in mid-air, spewing burning metal over Lake Erie.
    Frank and his men, and the men of the freighter had done their job. Nothing happened to their ship, but some others weren’t so lucky. Frank watched in horror as an Asskicker dove on a freighter, dodging flak, dropped the bomb and pulled up. The bomb hit the freighter square in the the middle. It wasn’t a normal bomb either, it seemed to be carrying a heavier payload than the one normally dropped. The old bombs hurt, but didn’t sink, freighters. This bomb broke the freighter in half, sinking in a hurry. Flak harassed the planes until they were out of sight. For all the planes shot down, three, maybe four, freighters were sunk. How much material had been sunk? How many men killed? How many families were going to receive a “Deeply Regrets..” telegram? Too many, as far as Frank was concerned, too many. “Poor bastards,” Connor said. That was as a much a eulogy as those men would ever get. Frank nodded in agreement. He’d seen too many dead men and pieces of men in the last war to have it affect him anymore. “Tell you what. Once we get into Toledo, I’ll buy a can of paint and paint two rings on the gun barrel.” Frank said.
    “Sounds like a good idea,” Connor agreed. The freighter continued to steam west. The attack was a nuisance and slowed them down, but the convoy had a job to do. Frank had a job to do. And he’d do that job until the end of the war or until he died. Whichever came first.
    pattontank12, cortz#9 and Alterwright like this.
  3. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

    Aug 28, 2018
    California, USA
    Oh, so this is what you meant! Like little vignettes or short stories or clips taking place in TL-191! Essentially fan-fiction in a way, which is fine by me, since I already write some myself!

    I'd like to try this.
  4. Allochronian Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2018
    A Boy named Amos by Nathan Bernacki*

    The Life of General J. Lawton Collins by m0585**

    *Nathan Bernacki, your post on Anneliese was interesting. Maybe you could also expand on it, if you want.

    **I'd like to see this expanded more, if possible. Along with the story of General William Mitchell.
  5. PopulistBean All Hail Richard M. Nixon

    Mar 3, 2019
    Picture of Amos Kimball

    Amos Kimball walked down the street towards the remembrance parade. The sound was obnoxious to Amos. Filthy Gentiles he thought. He felt the pistol in his pocket. The fellow Mormon with the bomb should show up soon. Then he heard it: a explosion, a scream, gunfire, someone screaming 'Glory to Utah!'. He knew what must be done. He pulled out his pistol and started firing at a near Police Officer. The man didn't know what hit him. He fell to the ground. Though Amos felt no remorse. He then ran to the man he just killed and picked up his rifle. Then he checked if it had ammo, and then started firing away again at all who ran in panic. Five, Ten, Twenty dead. He lost count. Three minutes in he ran out of ammo. He was pulling out his pistol when he felt a sharp pain in his stomach. He looked down and saw he had been hit by a bullet. He held his hand to it, and ran (as best a man could run when a bullet was lodged in you). He eventually got into an alley way. Someone ran around the corner and pointed a finger at him. "Traitor over here!" Amos turned to start to run but fell on his face. He broke his nose. He got up and started running again. He had to survive. Or did he? Why did he just kill some twenty people for God. He then snapped out of it; he couldn't turn back now. He kept running until he found an abandoned building. He clambered inside and sat down. He started having thoughts about what he had just done. He started to doubt his mission. Why did I do this, for God? he shook his head. He looked down at his pistol, he then aimed it into his mouth and fired...
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  6. cortz#9 Obrltnt of Kampfgruppe Seelöw

    Mar 14, 2011
    Short but pretty dam good.
    Alterwright likes this.
  7. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

    Aug 28, 2018
    California, USA
    Oh yeah, I like this one!
  8. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

    Aug 28, 2018
    California, USA
    Pittsburgh Plinkster: Steven Hopper


    ^^^ --- Corporal Steven Hopper. This is the only known photo taken of him during his military service. He is pictures here inside of a building, likely one of the few brick tenements still standing on the heights on the north-side of Pittsburgh.

    Originally from a small rural town from the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania, Hopper completed high school at 18, but found it difficult getting into a college. He found work as a small-time mechanic, but found himself out of work when the Great Depression hit. He did odd-job to make ends meet, eventually moving to Pittsburgh to find work as an unskilled laborer in the steel mills there.

    When the war began in 1941, Hopper quit his job at the steel mill he was at and joined the army. He had not completed training while in Pennsylvania when Operation Coalscuttle began in 1942. It was here that his instructors noted his marksmanship skills and recommended him for further training as a sniper, but this was not to happen as his infantry regiment was rushed to the front to blunt the offensive into Pennsylvania. He first saw combat outside of Pittsburgh as his regiment was thrown into the action against the Northern pincer of Confederate General Patton's army trying to encircle the city. As part of General Morrell's series of counter-attacks his unit saw intense fighting and suffered heavy casualties.

    At this time Private Hopper was not yet a sniper, but his marksmanship and endurance during the early days of the battle were noticed by his squad mates and commanding officers, who used him as a marksmen to pick off Confederate machine gunners. He used an un-scoped Springfield Model 1903 for his kills in the early days of the fighting, with many of his kills achieved at moderate ranges, usually against enemy machine gunner, radio operators, and tank commanders.

    As the Confederates pushed into the city on the north-side, Hopper finally assumed an unofficial role as a sniper. At this time US soldiers were severely pressed for reinforcements and supplies as they were pushed back into the city. US Army logistics attempted to pour in anything and everything into the fight for Pittsburgh in order to prevent its capture. It is at this time where the US Army authorized the use of a special barrel-busting rifle for use against Confederate barrels.


    ^^^ --- The Winchester-William .50 Cal BBR. Weighing in at 25 pounds, the rifle used a gas tappet and rotating bolt system similar to the US carbines in use with the army at the time, making it a semi-automatic rifle. It fired .50 cal bullets from a large 10-round magazine. Although the rifle was still technically unproven in the field, testing of the gun proved its capabilities as excellent BB rifle. It was, however, rushed into production at the time of the 1942 invasion, and limited quantities were available to soldiers in Pittsburgh at the time.

    Steven Hopper received this rifle by chance during a pitched battle for Spring Hill, on the northern heights of the city. Confederate barrels were used to assault the hill and lay down suppressing fire for advancing troops. Hopper and his unit were positioned in a brick tenement building and tasked to defend it. According to eye-witnesses and testimony from his spotter, PFC Jimmy Gaines, during this battle, Hopper had ran out of ammunition for his Springfield and was desperately searching for a new gun. He found the barrel-buster rifle next to a dead comrade, PFC Frank Miller, on one of the floors. Gaines was originally Miller's assistant gunner for the rifle and was wounded in the arm. Hopper, under Gaine's hasty instruction, used the rifle for the remainder of the battle. With heavy fire coming from the Confederate barrels, Hopper decided to use the rifle against them.


    ^^^ --- PFC Jimmy Gaines, Corporal Hopper's spotter and comrade. This is the only known photo taken of Gaines. It was taken by a news reporter in Kentucky a year after the Battle of Pittsburgh. Gaines would be killed in combat only a few hours after the picture was taken.

    As it turned out his targets were a mixture of 3 Confederate SV38B "Hunter" self-propelled guns, 1 BK-39-A1 "Armadillo", and reportedly one SV38-A2 "Trooper" flamethrower barrel. Hopper moved frequently to avoid enemy fire, changing floors after every few shots, which was no small task given the weight of the gun. After two hours of fighting he was able to neutralize almost all of the tanks, severely damaging and potentially nearly killing the crew of the Confederate Armadillo. The assault bogged down and the Confederates were forced fall back without the support of their barrels. After the battle, and in recognition for his feats, Hopper's comrades referred him as a "plinkster" because of the noticeable and audible sound the bullets made when hitting the barrels he shot at. Upon inspection of the barrels after the battle, it was found that the bullets were able to easily penetrate the light skin of the SPGs and had gruesome effect on the unfortunate crew inside.

    After this small battle for Spring Hill, Hopper kept the barrel-buster rifle with him, finding it effective as a long range sniping rifle against special targets. Gaines stayed on as his spotter after recovering from his wounds and the pair were an unofficial sniper team from this point on.

    During the Battle of Pittsburgh on the north side, Hopper gained an infamous reputation as a sniper, picking off barrel crewmen and barrel commanders with his barrel-buster rifle. He and Gaines were assigned special missions all along the north-side whenever an assault was expected to have barrels accompanying infantry. He'd be used to pick off barrel crewmen and barrel commanders. Due to the nature of the fighting the Confederates frequently used their light and medium skinned SPGs to attack targets in buildings, so Hopper and Gaines were used to find ways to neutralize these threats, which they often did. Gaines also confirmed that the barrel-buster rifle was sometimes used on human targets to bloody effect because the targets were behind cover.

    Gaines also testified that he an Hopper engaged in a single sniper duel with a Confederate in the more urbanized Downtown area in which they had to used the un-scoped barrel-buster. With multiple vantage points in many of the tall ruined buildings, finding the sniper was an arduous affair. Hours were spent moving from building to building amid intense combat for multiple floors. Smoke and fires made the environment all the more difficult to find the sniper and in more than one occasion both Gaines and Hopper had fight in close quarters to clear out rooms for better vantage points. By the time they had found the sniper night had already settled in and the only light available was from the fires. The kill was made from a floor opposite from the building the Confederate sniper was one. Gaines was barely able to spotted the target moving from room to room in the dark. Hopper took the shot with the barrel-buster instead of the M1903, having penetrated through a metal desk the sniper was hiding behind.

    Hopper would not survive the Battle of Pittsburgh. During the winter months as Confederate forces in the city were surrounded and cut off from supplies, Hopper and Gaines fought on as they always had. Hopper took a stray bullet through an artery in his left leg during a close quarters skirmish, where he bleed out out and died. Gaines was there when he died, taking his dog-tags for identification, but having to leave his body behind as the Confederates overran their position. Gaines took the barrel-buster rifle with him as well.

    Corporal Steven Hopper accumulated 108 kills during the Battle of Pittsburgh and is credited with the kill of at least one Confederate sniper. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in the battle years after the war had ended.

    Jimmy Gaines would later be killed in Kentucky in 1943, still carrying the barrel-buster rifle he took from Pittsburgh with him.

    Since the rifle's introduction into the military, the Winchester-Williams .50 Cal BBR took on the nick-name of "Plinkster" thanks to the Battle of Pittsburgh and role it played. The nickname turned out to be highly popular and US soldiers in Pittsburgh took calling rifle by that name since its use by Corporal Hopper. The rifle itself would be discontinued from use with the US Army in 1945.

    A statue was made to honor Steven Hopper and erected atop Spring Hill in 1965.