Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

The V8 Club becomes CBGB before there was a CBGB in establishing the Punk Rock scene.
CBGB, The Roxy and the Marquee Club of St Pauli all in one. Until those other clubs come along that is.

But those that know, that really know, will know it started in a back street club in Berlin...
 
The way Berlin is portrayed ITTL is does make sense that it is the earlier birthplace of Punk Rock as music groups from all across Europe and it seems they are beginning to trickle in from North America go to Berlin and start influencing each other.
 
Part 128, Chapter 2176
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Seventy-Six



7th September 1972

Mitte, Berlin

No one in this place seemed to be able to follow a straight line anywhere. That was Helene’s conclusion as she left the meeting that had just occurred that had involved herself as Minister of the Interior, the Minister of War, Minister of Finance, Minister of Transport, Minister of Agriculture, and finally, the newly appointed Minister of the Environment. The topic had been sectors of the economy, particularly State Industries, that lost money on paper but not really.

The Transportation Industry and the National Security implications were eternally of great concern. Roads, railroads, rivers, and canals all needed to be carefully managed so that every element was used in the most efficient manner possible. The trouble was that recently, certain newspapers had published articles about elements of the Transportation Industry that they deemed wasteful and archaic, but it was obvious that they were only looking at one or two parts without looking at the whole picture.

That had been the topic of discussion and Helene had listened to how the various bits fit together. One example had been how with the State control of the River and Canal system they were lucky to break even most years and typically lost money. What had gone unmentioned in the articles was that key industries were dependent upon that system and used it at reduced rates. The Steel Industry for example used coal and limestone, not to mention the ore itself. All materials that were heavy and took up a large amount of space. The most efficient mean of moving those materials were the canals followed by the railroads. Then the finished products needed to be shipped and even the waste products of the Steel Industry had their uses. The slag, mostly silica, was ground up and used as a component in road construction. Those were things needed to be transported cheaply. Then who was the customer who bought those things? Often it was the State who had given that very Industry reduced rates to ship materials.

There had been example after example of that. Farmers needed water for irrigation and the chemicals that made current crop yields possible, Builders need lumber, brick, and mortar, Bakers needed grain that had been ground into flour. It was an endless list of interlocking Government programs and private corporations. All because people wanted food on their plate, the roads not to have potholes, a roof over their head and didn’t want to pay out the nose for it. The result was the Government doing a careful balancing act involving subsidies and little things like charging below market rates for corporations to use the resources of State Industries. Helene had been reminded that a major part of her role was keeping anyone from disrupting any portion of the network.

Did that include well meaning, though ultimately foolish people, who would replace portions of that network with newer but less efficient means of transport in the name of saving relatively small amounts of money? Or removed the present redundancy within the system. Helene was under no illusions about what would happen if there were any disruptions to the supply chain, the cost of petrol went up, or any one of a thousand other things.

In today’s meeting all of that had been discussed at length. Then the conversation had turned to the latest plotting of the Chancellor, about whether or not he was going to call for an early election. Helene knew that he would do it if he thought that he could win an outright majority for his Party, removing the need for Coalition Partners such as Helene’s DEP. The press was already speculating about Red kicking Green to the curb. Which was all she needed at the moment. Sophie Scholl had told Helene that pre-election polling suggested they would finally breakthrough in Bavaria and Saxony was looking good, but she had heard that song before.

“We managed to clear your schedule for Friday, Ma’am” One of the Secretaries said, and Helene almost asked what exactly was happening. Then she remembered that Manfred was getting awarded an additional medal for his involvement in Argentina and that was when the official ceremony was scheduled. She would be attending with Hans. Missing that would be a political embarrassment even beyond how it would disappoint her son, especially with the role she had played in finally bringing that war to an end. Perhaps being outside the Government for a time would be good for her after all. On the inside, she was expected to play a major role as Minister of Interior and that was eating up all of her time.



Los Angeles, California

Lucia was still asleep when Ritchie got home while it was still dark outside. Stephen was wide awake, but in what was an extremely rare event, had not drawn attention to himself. Not yet anyway. So, carrying him into the kitchen and carrying on a one-sided conversation seemed like the best option at the moment.

“You will never guess how many bad guys your Dad busted last night” Ritchie said to Stevie who was busy blowing drool bubbles, not particularly interested in what was being said. But we all start somewhere, Ritchie thought to himself.

With that, the two slices of bread he had put in the toaster popped out. Ritchie could have made something better than toast with peanut butter, but that would make a lot of noise and create a mess. He was certain that Lucia would prefer to sleep.

It the wake of Manny and Suse having to practically sneak out of the country. Ritchie had expected some sort of blowback. All that had happened was that his Superiors wanted to know if he was preparing for the Police Officer 3 exam that was coming up soon. He had not realized that he had already been on the job that long. Word was that the LAPD Brass were almost gleeful that the Feds were currently tied up in knots, with the US Justice Department stepping in and Congress was going to be holding hearings. Who knew what was going to be happening next?
 
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In the wake of Manny and Suse having to practically sneak out of the country. Ritchie had expected some sort of blowback. All that had happened was that his Superiors wanted to know if he was preparing for the Police Officer 3 exam that was coming up soon. He had not realized that he had already been on the job that long. Word was that the LAPD Brass were almost gleeful that the Feds were currently tied up in knots, with the US Justice Department stepping in and Congress was going to be holding hearings. Who knew what was going to be happening next?
If Ritchie gets his Bachelor's then maybe a move to the United States Secret Service, becoming a Treasury Department Agent, or various other Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.
He checks a lot of right boxes, as a former member of the elite United States Army Special Forces he is highly trained and has been vetted several times for security clearances.
Ritchie is a highly decorated LAPD officer with awards for valor and bravery.
A job in a Federal Law Enforcement Agency offers higher pay, benefits, and prestige.
The major downside is that he may have to leave Lucia alone for months because he is either undercover or that is where any investigation that he is involves in may take him to
places outside his home base.
Also I doubt that Lucia would like to move to somewhere where it is cold in the winter, is more prejudicial against Hispanic-Americans, and most importantly away from her extended family.
 
Actually the coal mining in Germany was subsidied already in the early 60s and it took a lot of fighting to finally let it die more than 5 decades later. Subsidies for farmers became higher than the actual value they produced mid 70s (which is now a fact in every industrialized country including the USA), steel started its decline mid 70s.

Actually at around this time OTL Germany had to start the transition from commodity products to specialized and refined products as other countries started to set up their own production in many areas.
 
Actually the coal mining in Germany was subsidied already in the early 60s and it took a lot of fighting to finally let it die more than 5 decades later. Subsidies for farmers became higher than the actual value they produced mid 70s (which is now a fact in every industrialized country including the USA), steel started its decline mid 70s.
Britain went through a similar process, post WWII it had been subsidised as a "strategic asset", then later it became a "holy grail", a bit like our car industry. Then came Thatcher and the fighting here was rather more brutal and a lot shorter, same with the steel industry. I was concerned for a moment before posting this that it could be construed as "Current Politics" as it's in living memory for me, then suddenly felt very, VERY old because it was 40 years ago... 😳
 
PM is of course right there are items best transported by ship. There is a reason why power stations and steel mills are normally situated at rivers or channels and that is bulk transport (another one being cooling).

On the other hand the Danube and it’s tributaries are very shallow (less than a meter without human intervention) and cannot be used for transport. There is not even a big town on the Danube in Germany. So not many industries with a need for large bulk transport have developed there and the transport system has been rail all along. The RMD connects the Ruhr with literally nothing.

Same would be true for a channel to lake Konstanz. No industry there which needs shipping.
 
It’s interesting mainly because you would have some people screaming from the roof tops that nothing should be subsidised but the moment the prices get out of control they’ll start screaming for subsidies again.
 
Regarding Richie's career, I get the feeling he's going to get to Captain by about 1980ish. If the racial situation improves, (ITTL's President Nixon if it happens may see a hard push in that direction), if that happens, then we could see Richie as Chief Of Police by 2000.
 
PM is of course right there are items best transported by ship. There is a reason why power stations and steel mills are normally situated at rivers or channels and that is bulk transport (another one being cooling).

On the other hand the Danube and it’s tributaries are very shallow (less than a meter without human intervention) and cannot be used for transport. There is not even a big town on the Danube in Germany. So not many industries with a need for large bulk transport have developed there and the transport system has been rail all along. The RMD connects the Ruhr with literally nothing.

Same would be true for a channel to lake Konstanz. No industry there which needs shipping.
I've spend time over the last day thinking about what would need bulk transport around the Bodensee. And I have to admit I don't really know that much about the German side, less so about how that one was like up to the 70s. I know a bit more about the Swiss and Austrian sides.

One of the things mentioned in the second-last post was coal. But then again, the area was never really coal country. In fact, it was one of the very few industrialized areas where the first electricity was hydro generated, not coal fired. There was some coal imported (since there were no nearby sources), but not in bulk. Heating transitioned from peat and wood to oil, gas and electric pretty much. And depending on conversation-of-details in PM's way, we might already have the CEL oil pipeline running through the area, providing the oil that supplemented the energy mix in the area. (Depending a bit on if the Bavarian government decided to make Ingolstadt a refinery centre as OTL or not.) So no bulk coal. Or at least not in the amounts some other high density population areas need it.

Produce is something that might get transported - but I'm not sure how much produce is really transported that way. There is quite a bit of production in the area, hops and apples come to mind, but I'm unsure if the volume would call for river traffic. Since a lot is used locally in turn.

Other industry? It's still textile heavy in the 70s. Not sure at what volume river traffic wins out on existing rail and road transport. Since obviously it worked OTL just fine, until globalisation and especially labour cost drove the industry abroad, aside from some specialist high-skill niches.

Other than that it is a lot of small to medium sized suppliers to other industry. A lot of it in metal work. There exists an interwoven network ranging from the Northern Italian cities all the way up to the car manufacturers of Southern Germany. Though in TTL there might be more vehicular manufacture surviving at the German side - Zeppelin, and/or Dornier being the big names. Or at least in Dornier's case, without all the times in 'exile' in between. But I'd assume their products would fly out, just as say Saurer trucks roll out of their factories on the Swiss side. A company that might take advantage of barges would be Doppelmayr cable-cars, but then again, that'd be a couple barges once or twice a year for one of their international projects at this point.

Construction materials, sure those will be transported and it's a growth sector. But then again, a lot is single family homes and other low rise construction and preference in the area is perforated brick, where I'm not sure if barges and ships have a loading/unloading advantage over rail cars or trucks. So I'm unsure what scale of things would change over.

To conclude on that end of things: Unless I missed something big, then river traffic is mainly down to hope that something grows from where things are. Existing companies were served mostly fine with what they had on rail an road infrastructure. (As seen by the OTL failure, rail lines on both sides of the river not liking the competition...)

On the other hand - the Hochrhein is one of those 'easy' projects. It's really only the one place where more construction is needed, all other obstacles can be cleared with some explosives and some dredging. Notably, with the exception of the Rheinfall tourist ships are running the entire length of the river above and below it currently - just that one 3km gap in there. So it's really just that little bit, even if PM decided TTL it'll be a 5km monster projects, instead of a shorter, more sensible one. Compared to the RMD canal? Still dirt cheap.

Sure, the tunnel will put maintenance cost up a bit, but in the end, cost/benefit? Probably quite good compared to other canal projects.
 
On the other hand the Danube and it’s tributaries are very shallow (less than a meter without human intervention) and cannot be used for transport. There is not even a big town on the Danube in Germany. So not many industries with a need for large bulk transport have developed there and the transport system has been rail all along. The RMD connects the Ruhr with literally nothing.
Passau, Regensburg, Ingolstadt, Günzburg, Ulm would like to have aword with your geography teacher.
 
The bearskins look bloody heavy too. The Steel helmets with the plombs(?) aren't too bad by comparison. I found a secondhand bearskin for sale on a militaria stall years ago. I would not want to be wearing that for any length of time.
I have been reliably informed that having sex while wearing the bearskin is possible but not recommended.

Marc A
 
We are in part of this timeline where the butterflies have butterflies and there are so many balls up in the air and this discussion about the current transportation system of Germany ITTL is a multi-facited one that only someone with great technical knowledge can give a completely concise answer.
We also must remember that this is a character driven timeline with unreliable narrators and anything in the CEP of plausibility is good enough for me.
 
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