Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Sarah is the heir apparent, at least according to the bits we've seen. She also has his autobiography to publish, though after this stunt I wouldn't be shocked if it is passed onto any grandchildren to publish instead....
 
Part 128, Chapter 2175
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Seventy-Five



6th September 1972

Near Kaiserslautern

The new Albatros Advanced Trainer that had been built for the Luftwaffe and other Air Forces of Client States. Designed and built in Bohemia to be a Trainer as well as a capable Ground Attack Plane and while it couldn’t go as fast as the aircraft that the men who trained on it would eventually move on to, it was a whole lot of fun to fly.

Ben was here because he had been told that he needed to do a check flight if he wanted to maintain his flight status. A few days earlier, Kiki had retreated from the Olympics and was aboard her barge anchored on Lake Constance in Southern Bavaria. The presence of a craft the size of the Epione on that lake reflected the vast infrastructure project to improve the railroads and inland waterways of Europe. That same project had also brought a bit of an economic boom to a region that was something of a backwater when the Benken-Schaffhausen Canal and Tunnel system had opened a few years earlier allowing river traffic to bypass the Rhine Falls that had involved Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Ben had seen the dumb barges loaded with produce, coal and other commodities being towed through the canal, the entire reason for its existence. The lake, with its resorts and recreational opportunities had also enjoyed the newfound wealth that suddenly having viable inland ports brought.

That also made it the perfect place for them to take some time off after a hectic summer which had been spent doing things that neither of them had wanted to do. Kiki had given most of her Staff some time off, preferring to spend her time alone with Ben, Nina, and Rauchbier. It was them as a family aboard the Epione, which Ben figured was Kiki’s ideal life if she had no other obligations to attend to. Then Ben had received a message telling him to go to Kaiserslautern. Kiki had told him to go and to have fun.

And having fun was what he was doing. Ben smiled to himself as he pushed the Albatros into a sharp roll before performing a split S. The Instructor who was sitting in the back seat, had said the entire thing was a formality. So, they would just check the boxes and call it good for now, but Ben would still need to spend some time in the air for the logbook. That was why they were practicing acrobatics today.



Mitte, Berlin

It was a somber occasion at the V8 Club. Everyone knew that John Elis would have hated a funeral, but the wake was a different story. All the regulars, the bands who regularly played here, and even a few mysterious figures who Sarah knew were involved with Imperial Shipping were in attendance to say farewell. There were rumors floating around about what exactly had happened. Sarah herself had discovered that overnight, all evidence that Imperial Shipping had ever operated within the confines of the Club had been more than merely removed. It was as if someone had gone over the entire place with a microscope to find even the smallest particle that suggested that they had ever been there.

Into this, Sarah had hidden away the manuscript and the things that would prove its authenticity which Elis had entrusted her with in a different location. He had said that once the heat was off, she should approach a publisher with it. He suggested that a trip to London to find one would be a good idea because most German publishers would be pressured to quash the publication of the manuscript. The British not only wouldn’t care, but they would probably leap at the chance. Elis had also told her that it would be worth a fortune and had left it in writing that he wanted that to go to Sarah and Johann because the V8 Club’s fortunes were a fickle thing. He must have figured that Imperial Shipping would go away once he was gone. The money that they paid to rent the back room had kept the club open during the lean years as Jazz had gone out of fashion and Gutter Blues had yet to evolve into the sort of Rock & Roll scene that would support it. Sarah also worried that Johann was reluctant to go to University for that exact reason, he felt he needed to stick around and help out.

Tonight though, they were celebrating the life of the man they had known as John Elis. This was despite the rumors that the Americans had identified him by his real name. How would people react when they learned who the original owner of the V8 Club had been. John Lennon had been messing with Sarah’s upright piano for the last half hour. Occasionally, Molly Fryer would play off him. Bluesy licks that reflected the mood of the room.

Eventually, some of the other musicians in the room would join in and the wake would begin in earnest. Elis would have hated that everyone was making such a fuss for him. In light of what Sarah knew about him, it was hardly a surprise that he had long preferred to stay out of the spotlight.

That was when Sarah noticed a red blinking light. Zella Holz had a video camera out and was filming the room. She clearly expected something to happen. Something about the interplay between Zella and Yuri, her longtime partner in making the news reports and mini documentaries that she had become well known for suggested that they were lovers. It was an amusing development considering some of the assumptions made about Zella in the past. However, it was a reminder that whatever else was happening, life just sort of went on.
 
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We need to order up and Handwelle Canal quickly.

Sorry, wave as in the hand movement translates to "Winken", "Welle" is for waves as in ocean. Or like the crankshaft = Kurbelwelle.
Not quite sure what the german equivalent of the expression handwaved is. ahh... "abgewunken".
 
John Lennon had been messing with Sarah’s upright piano for the last half hour. Occasionally, Molly Fryer would play off him. Bluesy licks that reflected the mood of the room.
well that’s half of IOTL’s ’Dirty Mac’ from the Rolling Stones’ 1969 ’Rock & Roll Circus’ accounted for in that post. I wonder what TTL’s Mitch Mitchell is doing (seeing as James Marshall Hendrix is a Congressman) and similarly Keith Richards as I don’t think the Stones were as big there as they were here.
 
Yes, the building of channels that were not built for a lot of good reasons (and if built are the predicted economical disasters) seems to be a frequent hobby on this board when it comes to Germany.
 
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Does Berlin have open air music festivals yet?

If Sarah speaks to a few of the band members while they're there, it could come together quite rapidly in the same way the early Isle of Wight and Glastonbury festivals did.
 
Rhine Maine Danube being in at least 5 Germany after 1900 POD threats. There are a lot of good reasons why even when it was built after the Danube had undergone a couple decades of it making it passable for ships and Bavaria had had the boom it did have after WW2 it still was and is a huge money sink.

But at least the abomination that is the Rheinseitenkanal will not appear as the French have no possibility to build it and Germany will not build anything to reduce the water flow of the Rhine.

Oh and none of the predicted positive side effects of the RMD channel have ever materialized. So no fancy tourism, no extra industry… nothing at all.
 
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I forgot, does the public know about Johann Schultz and the sabotage of the atomic bomb program? If so, this is Robert Hanssen. If not, it’s like a worse Rosenbergs.
That is long since known, though I expect long enough back that it could come back a second time (rediscovered this mid-way through a re-read, chapter 1020).
12th July 1953

Potsdam

Why did German Spy Ring Thwart Washington D.C. Attack in 1946?

The New York Times article was long on speculation but short on specifics making the German Agents seem a combination of self-serving, misguided and heroic, doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. It did however name Johann Schultz as the head of the North American Division of the BND burning him to a tiny blackened crisp.
 
Yes, the building of channels that were not built for a lot of good reasons (and if built are the predicted economical disasters) seems to be a frequent hobby on this board when it comes to Germany.
There is a common theme with large infrastructure projects from the 1950's on, where all of them are predicted to economic disasters by opponents of the projects, who often have rival interests. Oddly, the only projects that seem to be largely exempt from this are those which revolve around individual cars, which have been exactly the sort of disaster predicted in a lot of places; traffic, blowing apart city centers, pollution, ect.

To put things in perspective. Each one of the dumb barges mentioned can haul the equivalent of 70 to 80 Boxcars, so the railroads would be less than thrilled with this sort of development.
 
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In any case, it is only a matter of time before most of the traffic is transported by truck.
The density of cities in the center of Germany makes everything else impractical. Well, apart from the main arteries of the railway.
 
PM the predicted losses of the RMD channel even after ruining large parts of the ecosystem of the Danube and the boom in Bavaria after WW2

were a dimension too small compared to reality.

Just as a side notice, the RMD channel was projected at a worse case lost of 100 mio,it is 1.5 billion as of now. Annually that is.

And that is not including a single cent on the ecological disaster it was and is.

Making rivers more amenable to ship traffic in Europe always means a disaster ecologically; and economically, only a few channels lived up to their promise.

And barges on fringe river systems can easily be delayed by weeks.

Heck in 18 and 19 fuel prices in southern Germany went up because due to the drought Rhine shipping had to be halved.
 
Western Europe is way too densely populated and intervowen economically so it is a pretty safe bet to say that all channels not actually built by 1950 (with a few exceptions due to German partition) have not been built because of sound economical reasons (and in 1950 hardly anybody was factoring in ecological costs).
 
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Just as a side notice, the RMD channel was projected at a worse case lost of 100 mio,it is 1.5 billion as of now. Annually that is.
Well to be fair most channels (and trains) these days are not profitable because to much freight is directed to trucks because of stuipid subsidies
 
In this timeline the dominant governing philosophy in Germany is Langism in which the state makes investments in the public infrastructure in order to further private enterprise and provide spending and employment to the people during economic slowdowns.
 
Well to be fair most channels (and trains) these days are not profitable because to much freight is directed to trucks because of stuipid subsidies
No, it's because trucks are the most flexible way of transporting freight, and in many cases indeed the cheapest ones on the point of use. The only subsidies there are OTL, are (or were) directed at German companies to make them competitive against cheap, unsubsidized, Eastern European ones. Without said subsidies the transportation of goods would still rely on trucks but it would be to an even higher degree dominated by Eastern European companies.
The systemic cost is obviously significantly higher but we are paying these additional costs through entirely different channels, not related to the actual shipping costs, such as higher taxes going into infrastructure etc.
But that is a separate discussion best shifted into Chat, into the Germany thread there or the climate change thread or an own one.
 
Jazz had gone out of fashion and Gutter Blues had yet to evolve into the sort of Rock & Roll scene that would support it. Sarah also worried that Johann was reluctant to go to University for that exact reason, he felt he needed to stick around and help out.
I suspect that Johann Schmitt could end up being the one to bring Punk to Germany before it explodes worldwide in the next couple of years. Especially if we end up seeing The New York Dolls coming back to Europe with Malcolm McLaren. Then there's that other seminal New York group, all with the same surname. Oh, and that Welshman from the Rockin Vicars...
 
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