Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Part 122, Chapter 2055
Chapter Two Thousand Fifty-Five



8th April 1971

Cuxhaven

The reformation of the 4th Marine Infantry Division which had been deactivated following the end of the Second World War was not without controversy. They would be joining the 3rd MID as one of the primary expeditionary forces of the German Empire, while the 1st MID deployed in the Baltic and the 2nd MID would remain a Landwehr Unit in Schleswig-Holstein. With the tempo of operations actually increasing in the Pacific and this latest crisis in South America, there was actually some question as to whether or not the current Corps would be enough. Regardless, the days of them having to make do with the Heer’s castoffs was firmly over. Tilo didn’t care if he had to dig up the festering corpse of the idea that the Marines had to do everything on the cheap with second-hand equipment and drive a stake through its heart in front of a meeting of the High Command, it was something he would be perfectly happy to do.

The 4th was the direct result of issues that Tilo had identified a few years earlier over conversations Prince Louis Ferdinand Junior who had been a part of the KM’s General Staff in Kiel at the time. It had started with talk about the obsolescent and improvised nature of the Marine Infantry’s fire support elements and how they were essentially a Corps composed entirely of Light Infantry in an era when Composite Divisions were clearly superior. Tilo had structured the 4th MID along the lines of one of Heer’s Panzer Divisions with allowances made for the amphibious nature of the Marine Divisions. The fact that he had done this with the full support of the Kaiserliche Marine wasn’t lost on anyone as Tilo had placed the 3rd and 4th MIDs to be first in line for the acquisition of Leopard II Panzers. He had also poached whatever talent he could from the Heer. Like always there were those who sought greener pastures or else were looking for some real action after having sat in garrison for ages.

Then there was the idea that Albrecht von Richthofen had floated as an addition to the relatively small and absurdly named so as to not be confused with the far larger Fleet Command Marine Amphibious Aviation Command. The British designed Kestrel Fighter-Bombers that Junkers AG was already gearing up to produce for the Fleet Air Command. Again, this would put the Marine Infantry at the front of the line. Reier had told Tilo that elbowing their way to the front of the line was the way that the Marines had always had to do things, otherwise they didn’t get shit. Of course, the new fighter-bomber was unorthodox and composed of several unproven technologies, so the Navy was more than happy to give it to the Marines. It was always nice to have a scapegoat when things didn’t work out as planned.

“The airplane is exactly as the Brits advertised” Albrecht said, “Far more than adequate for the mission you have in mind.”

“I figured that it would be” Tilo said. Mostly because of the evaluation of a slightly different version of the same plane that had been flown by Junkers AG several months earlier. Of course, Albrecht wasn’t aware of that little detail unless Erich Hartmann had told him.

“The timetable you are suggesting is ambitious” Albrecht said to Tilo as soon as he got him on the phone after his return to England. “It suggests that you think everything is going to go perfectly.”

Due to an odd confluence of events, Tilo had been placed in command of Allied Forces in the upcoming operations in South America. He was learning that it took considerable effort to get the Commanders within the other Service Branches to come around to his way of thinking. This was especially true when they were trying to protect their various fiefdoms.

“We have a lot more wiggle room than you realize” Tilo replied as he looked out the window of his office, slightly disgusted that he even had an office with a window to look out of.

“How?” Albrecht asked, “The British only have a few production models and I doubt they will play nice at this time.”

“Production models that were only built with our money and technology” Tilo calmly replied, he had spoken with Reier after Albrecht had left for England a few days earlier about how Albrecht would react to their situation. Predictably was the conclusion. Albrecht had always been one to play by the rules, everything done by the book. It was just as well that he was a Naval Officer because he never would have survived in the Marine Infantry. Albrecht would have tolerated the British dragging their heels and making excuses about for the endless delays. Tilo had looked for alternative that better suited matters on this side of the English Channel.

“Tell your Attack Squadrons that they will be taking deliveries of new planes soon, within a few months” Tilo continued, “After my men get first whack, of course.”

“I don’t see how with no planes” Albrecht replied, “The British…”

“Don’t have the only production line” Tilo finished, “Now that their airplane has made its public debut, things will get a lot easier for us.”

“Wait, what?” Albrecht asked, “What aren’t you telling me?”

“Just tell your people to be ready” Tilo said.

Albrecht had a reputation for keeping a cool head in a crisis and for being able to solve problems quickly. Tilo wished that he had shown that in this circumstance. If he had, he probably would have given Junkers AG the go-ahead ages before Tilo had.
 
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Wow Leopard 2 operational in 71. If this is according to OTL specs Germany surely fields the best available MBT for some time.
A good 8 years before the OTL Challenger 1 prototypes would roll off the line.
The chances are the British would stick with the Chieftain although without the NATO Multifuel doctrine of the cold War they won't be hobbled by that criminal Leyland Multi-fuel attrocity. So you could see a more reliable supercharged diesel lump in it instead.
Makes me wonder what other horrors of poor design would be in store for British tankers without the terrible engine to hide them?

Or, would they have followed the FV4202 line from the Centurion, with no hordes of Soviet Armour to face through the Fulda gap, would they follow the heavy tank route, or go the medium tank route instead with the Centurion family?
 
So far the Germans are shown that they are willing to show off their latest weapons while the Americans are sending out their older cast off weapons the exceptions being the ADA and Anti- Ship missiles that China used during the Korean Conflict but there were American “Technical Advisers “ in control of them.
What should be fun is if the United States were to allow Chile to have the latest anti tank weapons like TOW missiles and the M72 LAW and just for bigger laughs if the Redeye MANPAD is available send those along too just so the Americans can get a real world test of them and then make improvements.
 
Part 122, Chapter 2056
Chapter Two Thousand Fifty-Six



17th April 1971

Mitte, Berlin

The hall that housed the Court of the Empress in the old Hohenzollern Palace saw frequent use, both as an exhibition hall for the Berlin-Brandenburg Museum of National History as well as more formal functions like it was today. One of the terms of the lease of the palace to the German Government had been that the House of Hohenzollern would still be allowed to use the facilities for events that the new Winter Residence was too small to host. The quarterly meeting of the Order of Louise was an example of that.

It seemed strange to Suga that she was now here as the Royal Sovern and Grand Mistress of the Order, while Charlotte was present as the Empress Emerita and took her place as one of the Capitel now that Louis had retired. Charlotte had gently chided Suga a few times because she tended to defer to her out of habit. The trend of inducting younger members to the Order of Louise from Charlotte’s tenure had continued as well. Kurfürstin Katherine von Mischner zu Berlin said that she when had been inducted into the Order during the time of Empress Cecilie as a teenager, she had been the youngest member by several decades. Now the Order had a far wider range of ages represented. With the youngest members still being in their teens much like Katherine with the oldest having just celebrated her hundred and third birthday and had been a member of the Order in good standing under seven different Empresses. While the cap on the number of members of the Order had been lifted, the number still hovered around one hundred. There had been talk of inducting more Dames 1st and 2nd Class, but the Capitel was notoriously slow in making decisions. It seemed like every winter there were suddenly several openings in the Order to fill and funerals to attend. For probably the first time ever, the membership of the Order of Louise was skewing younger.

There were some unintended consequences of that, and it was playing itself out with one of the two Dame Commanders of the Order, Princess Kristina, Suga’s Sister-in-Law, arriving with her month-old daughter Nina. This wasn’t the first time that this had happened, Kristina and Nina found themselves the center of attention. That was something that Kristina was not particularly comfortable with, but she tolerated it. At the next quarterly meeting, there would probably be something else to attract the attention of those present. Suga didn’t mind though, it gave her and Katherine a chance to talk at the reception before the formal meeting began.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago that Kiki was a little girl with her brothers, asking questions and pulling my hair” Katherine said as they watched as Kristina did her best to be diplomatic, though it was obvious to both of them that Kristina wanted to grab Nina and flee.

Suga had heard that Katherine’s hair was the color of fresh copper when she had been young. The children of Louis Ferdinand had found it particularly fascinating. There was far more grey than red these days, testament to the sort of life she had led. One that had started in a working-class neighborhood situated near an active railyard and ended with her in the halls of power at the highest levels. There were dark rumors about what she had done to earn her present lofty position. Freddy had told Suga that the rumors barely scratched the surface and that her jokes about having been the Royal Assassin were not far off the mark, even though no such position had ever existed.

“I hear different things about Kristina” Suga said, “You describe a precocious little girl asking questions until the adult she was asking would get exasperated. Others describe a shy child who would hide from strangers.”

“It’s very possible for individuals to be different things to different people” Katherine replied as if that said everything. The result was that they sat there in awkward silence for several excruciating moments.

Suga’s dealings with Katherine in the past suggested that she was a good person to have on your side, it was just that she was extremely stubborn. Once she made up her mind, nothing could change it. However, her loyalty to the House of Hohenzollern wasn’t ever in question. In the event of an emergency, Katherine was the one tasked with getting Suga’s children to safety, much like she had with Freddy and his younger siblings, decades earlier. It was felt that sort of loyalty needed to be rewarded, the problem was that there was little that Suga could offer Katherine who was the Prefect of Berlin, basically the Princess of one of the largest and richest Principalities in the German Empire. A role that Suga suspected Kat was able to function in because she wasn’t afraid to pit different factions within the city against each other and having a reputation of being a ruthless, evil bitch worked well for her.

“You know that we are filling the appointed positions in the Royal Court” Suga said.

“I have no interest in being the Mistress of the Robes again” Katherine said flatly.

“It is a good thing that I have already filled that position then” Suga replied.

“Oh” Kat replied in a neutral tone that didn’t let Suga know what she was thinking.

“Actually, I was looking to fill the role of Maid of the Chamber now that Marie Cecilie has become Queen of Gallica” Suga said. No one had any idea if Ria was ever going to marry, Freddy had told Suga that just who she might was a longstanding joke among his family. Still, she was out as Kammerfräulein. “I am considering that your daughter Marie Alexandra might be a good fit if you think she can grow into the role.”

“Is that a joke?” Katherine asked.
 
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We are coming up to the Thirtieth Anniversary of the attack on the Imperial Family at the Hohenzollern Palace that kicked off the Second World War and the new Emperor Friedrich was one of the people who was directly saved by Kat so no doubt that is somehow is going to be commented on and some sort of public observation is going to happen much to Kat's chagrin.
Having Marie becoming the Maid of the Chamber should be very interesting and Kat really wants it seems to me not have any of her children follow in her footsteps as being unwavering devoted to the House of Hohenzollern but Marie has already proved herself when both Kiki and Marie were kidnapped by Mithras and the Jacobians when Marie bit one of the kidnappers which distracted the others and allowed Kiki to use her Karmbit.
 
Having Marie becoming the Maid of the Chamber should be very interesting and Kat really wants it seems to me not have any of her children follow in her footsteps as being unwavering devoted to the House of Hohenzollern but Marie has already proved herself when both Kiki and Marie were kidnapped by Mithras and the Jacobians when Marie bit one of the kidnappers which distracted the others and allowed Kiki to use her Karmbit.
That little event got Marie her own karambit and self-defence training. Which she obviously liked, because it led her to get fencing lessons when she got obsessed with pirates.
 
with the oldest having just celebrated her hundred and third birthday and had been a member of the Order in good standing under eight different Empresses
Augusta Marie Louise (Wilhelm I)
Victoria, Princess ROyal (Frederich 3)
Augusta-Victoria (Wilhelm II)
Duchess Cecille (Wilhelm 3)
Kira Kirilonova (Louis Ferdinand),
Suga (Freddy).

Ok, there is 6. Who else is there? DO we count the two wives of Frederick WIlliam 3/4 respectively? or is it the last HRE emperors/Empresses that we count?
 
Augusta Marie Louise (Wilhelm I)
Victoria, Princess ROyal (Frederich 3)
Augusta-Victoria (Wilhelm II)
Duchess Cecille (Wilhelm 3)
Kira Kirilonova (Louis Ferdinand),
Suga (Freddy).

Ok, there is 6. Who else is there? DO we count the two wives of Frederick WIlliam 3/4 respectively? or is it the last HRE emperors/Empresses that we count?
You forgot Charlotte von Habsburg, the second wife of Louis Ferdinand. My count was off by one, something to fix. And Freddy would be Friedrich IV.
 
“Actually, I was looking to fill the role of Maid of the Chamber now that Marie Cecilie has become Queen of Gallica” Suga said. No one had any idea if Ria was ever going to marry, Freddy had told Suga that just who she might was a longstanding joke among his family. Still, she was out as Kammerfräulein. “I am considering that your daughter Marie Alexandra might be a good fit if you think she can grow into the role.”

“Is that a joke?” Katherine asked.
Kat should know better than to ask that because Suga will only treat this seriously.
I can imagine Kat's face when Suga asked her that. Obviously Suga is serious, and Kat will have to consider it seriously too.
However, Marie Alexandra will ask the same thing, although potentially in much more colourful language.
 
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Just realized that we are at the 100th Anniversary of the Creation of the German Empire with King Wilhelm I of Prussia being proclaimed the first Kaiser of the German Empire on January 18, 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
 
Just realized that we are at the 100th Anniversary of the Creation of the German Empire with King Wilhelm I of Prussia being proclaimed the first Kaiser of the German Empire on January 18, 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
Yes, Kiki talked with Che about that and how there are a series of celebrations taking place that will culminate on the 10th of May.

This is from that conversation.

“As for patriotism…” Kiki said with a snort, “Right now all of Germany is celebrating the centennial, starting on the 18th of January which is the hundredth anniversary of the formation of the German Empire and running through the 10th of May. That tells you everything you need to know.”

“What happened a hundred years ago on the 10th of May?” Che asked.

“The Treaty of Frankfurt am Main officially ending the Franco-Prussian War” Kiki replied, “Suga, my sister-in-law, says that it is because no one really wanted to freeze in the cold for fireworks twice in January, and they get to rub the whole thing in the face of France once again. That’s patriotism for you in a nutshell. My cave is better than yours, Cro-Magnon bullshit.”

“Isn’t Cro-Magnon in France?”

“You know what I mean” Kiki replied as she resumed looking out the window in silence.
 
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P.1154 was apparently to have been named Harrier in OTL. As it was, it got axed and the P.1127 Kestrel was developed into the Harrier.

Did the RAF get the P.1128 light transport/biz-jet developed from the Hunter ITL?
 
Part 122, Chapter 2057
Chapter Two Thousand Fifty-Seven



19th April 1971

Krakow, Kingdom of Galicia-Ruthenia

It was turning into one of those afternoons that made Ria want to drive a pencil into her eye. One crank, twit, or speculator after another had entered the office she used when she was conducting official business. She had found that having to sit in an uncomfortable folding chair that she had made a bit too short deliberately and speak to her across an imposing oak desk that she had found at an estate sale put them in the right frame of mind. Especially when they realized that she had grown tired of listening to them and was about to have the men from her guard lead them politely, but firmly out of the room.

A somewhat disheveled man in his early thirties wearing a suit that had seen better days entered and was introduced as Lars Vangsgaard. Ria couldn’t help but notice that a few of her guards looked a bit mirthful as Lars had entered, as if there was an inside joke involved in his mere presence.

“His Highness, Thor the 1st of the House of Vangsgaard, my insane father, would be extremely grateful if you might extend diplomatic recognition of his claim as Grand Duke of the Independent Duchy of Bornholm” Lars said, looking a bit embarrassed as he said it.

“Isn’t that normally the sort of thing asked of my older brother?” Ria asked in reply.

“It is my father’s hope that with your reputation as being an independently minded woman you would be more inclined to chart your own course in this matter. Also, at my father’s instruction I spoke to Emperor Friedrich, your brother, first” Lars said, “He told me to take it up with the Danish Government. He also said that there were many fine facilities for men like my father that I ought to consider as his next of kin, then offered to refer me to them. Then I was escorted out of the Winter Residence by what I assume were the First Foot Guard.”

“How did you not know if it was the First Foot or not?” Ria asked. She had been looking for a diversion from the boring statecraft that she had been stuck with and talking to Lars Wangsgaard was as little as she could do, without doing nothing.

She knew the story already and should have made the connection when she had heard Lars’ last name. During the Second World War the waters of the Baltic had become heavily contested. Bornholm’s strategic location had resulted in it coming under direct Soviet attack on several occasions. Thor Vangsgaard had organized the defense of the island and eventually decided that Copenhagen was too distant, caring little for what happened on the island. When Thor declared it independent, he had named himself as the Grand Duke and Protector of the Duchy of Bornholm. He had probably done it on a lark, but a surprisingly large number of Islanders had gone along with it. Ria knew that the people out there probably didn’t mind anything that didn’t hurt the tourist trade. Having a local eccentric basically name himself King was actually the sort of thing that drew tourists.

“I had a bag over my head and was warned by this madwoman that if I valued my health, I would avoid coming to Berlin in the future” Lars finally replied after a few minutes of trying to think of a proper answer that wouldn’t land him in hot water.

“We can safely assume that it wasn’t the First Foot that grabbed you” Ria said, “I also assume that your father has visited Berlin in the past and had come to be seen as a problem to be solved. The job of the woman whose voice you heard solves problems for my family. Putting a bag over someone’s head, dragging them off and threatening them if her style.”

“This has happened before?” Lars asked, his voice full of disbelief.

“Your family isn’t the only one with problematic members” Ria said, “Now, have a good day Herr Vangsgaard.”

Whatever Lars might have been expecting, being allowed to leave of his own accord was not it. Ria had to admire his loyalty to his father’s mad dream, even if it struck her as being misguided.



Washington D.C.

The original idea for backing Chile in the current crisis that was consuming much of South America had been that it would suck the Germans into quagmire whose outcome would take years to resolve. That had worked, just their Chilean and Brazilian allies had proven to be somewhat difficult. It seemed like every single time they suffered a reverse, their respective Presidents would be on the phone with whatever high-level member of the Cabinet they could get on the line. Then President Nelson Rockefeller would get an earful. It was said that Harry Truman had kept a plaque on his desk that said simply, “The Buck Stops Here” and Nelson had learned exactly what that had meant over the last seven years.

Presently, the issue in Argentina was that Argentinians at the direction of their German allies and even the Germans themselves had found new ways to deploy old technologies. High velocity Flak guns that were radar directed firing shells with proximity fuses was just one example. There were dozens of others. In turn, the Chileans were demanding the latest and greatest that the United States of America had to offer. The trouble was that they didn’t seem to understand that there was an export ban on weapons that had been issued to the United States Armed Forces less than ten years earlier.

Into this, several questions were starting to get asked. Like why the Germans were deploying some advanced systems and not other? It was as if it was the result of deliberate choices. The last time Nelson had visited Langley there had been a photograph on the wall of General Dietrich Schultz, below it someone had written Something wicked this way comes.

Nelson had a bad feeling about the exact meaning of that phrase in this context.
 
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