Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Anna may just do something so over the line that military school is the last and only option available to Tilo and Nancy.
Gretchen is friends with Sophie and Ziska so maybe Kat takes her in and they go to the same day school (just spitballing).
Strangely enough it would be in line with the family traditions of prison or military.
 
Part 130, Chapter 2219
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Nineteen



4th June 1973

Atlantic Ocean off El Marsa, Western Sahara (Disputed Region)

“The situation is fluid and there have been substantial difficulties” The BND Officer who had been assigned to Laayoune had said. As if Louis Ferdinand Junior couldn’t see that for himself just by looking around El Marsa or Laayoune. For decades, there had been jokes about Wilhelm Station in Antarctica being the dumping ground of the various service branches of those who were incompetent, stupid, or unlucky, but not to the extent that they should have been cashiered. That was true to an extent, but that was only if the High Command wanted someone kept far from the press so they wouldn’t create an embarrassing scene. What was far more likely to happen was the offending individual would be sent off to a lovely garden spot like the disputed territories in the Western Sahara. It was a place that few nations were actually interested in, but trouble here tended to spill into other regions of far greater importance.

That fed directly into the second problem, which was that many of those from the outside who did business in the Western Sahara were either wildly optimistic or absolutely insane. Either way, they were not sort who were too likely to heed an evacuation order. Into this Louis found that an old friend, Major Ehud “Udi” Brog from the Marine Infantry had been tasked with tracking as many of them down as he could. He also couldn’t help but notice that there was a palatable tension in the air when he came ashore. It didn’t take a genius to understand that things were about to take a real bad turn.

Leaning on the rail outside the bridge of the Grindwal, Louis looked at the few electric lights in El Marsa. There were more lights among the ships from the various Naval powers gathered in these waters offshore. It was telling that the Fleet had sent Louis orders telling him that he needed to maintain double watches and to employ the Sperber devices that he had aboard. It was easy to read between the lines when Louis received orders like that. The High Command was concerned that someone on the other side of whatever this was, would engage in some sort of guerrilla warfare. It was hardly a surprise, there was no way that anyone ashore could take on the gathered flotilla directly.

Increasingly, Louis was reminded of something he had read at the Naval Academy but couldn’t remember the author. How there were difficult tasks which were not glorious, no medals or orders would be awarded, and the history books would hardly record what had happened. All that was left was duty. He figured that this was going to be one of those tasks, it just remained to be seen just how difficult this was going to be.



Los Angeles, California

The weather was mild as they drove down the freeway, the fact that all the midday traffic was slowing down as Frankenstein came into view behind them was a bit of an annoyance. Normally, people drove as fast as they could get away with, at least eighty, even in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The thing was that Ritchie wasn’t in the least bit interested in doing any traffic stops, not after the morning that he had just had. Spending the day in Court while under oath, fending off questions from an over-zealous Defense Attorney who Daddy could afford.

“The Defense was trying to argue that you coerced his client?” Mike asked, by a happy coincidence, Big Mike had been in the hospital dealing with one of his daughter’s bouts with what had turned out to be Sickle Cell Anemia on the day in question and had missed all the fun. There was particular concern in that Mike’s daughter had apparently been born with this condition though neither Mike nor his wife Clair had a family history of that disease.

“It was the best he could do because the defendant is such a flaming moron” Ritchie said as he pulled off the freeway.

It was one of those stories that people didn’t think happened in real life. The moron had called in reporting a burglary and Ritchie had gotten dispatched to take the report. When he got there, he found that he had the moron telling him all about the large amounts of various narcotics that he had had stashed in his apartment, and he knew exactly who had broken into the place. With considerable disbelief, Ritchie had taken his statement and then applied for a search warrant based on the statement to toss the home of the man who he said had broken into his apartment. Sure enough, he had found the drugs in question and arrested the resident for burglary and possession. Where it had taken a turn to the absurd, was that the moron had demanded his property be returned to him. He had even gone so far as to sign an affidavit saying that the drugs belonged to him.

Ritchie had done everything he could to warn the moron off, but he was determined to get his drugs back and had ended up getting himself arrested too. His drugs had remained in the evidence locker. Later, when Ritchie had tried to explain exactly what had happened, the Captain had told him to just write it up as plainly as possible and had concluded with just one simple turn a phrase; “Why do you think they call it dope?”
 
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Somehow I think that LF Jr. will because of his Princely status become part of the on the ground diplomatic solutions and also by doing the boring quiet part of the job of being a Captain of a Naval destroyer competently is going to give him a much more favorable leg up in the next round of promotions and assignments.
 
Big Mike had been in the hospital dealing with one of his daughter’s bouts with what had turned out to be Sickle Cell Anemia on the day in question and had missed all the fun. There was particular concern in that Mike’s daughter had apparently been born with this condition though neither Mike nor his wife Clair had a family history of that disease.

Why do I suspect that Mike's daughter received a blood transfusion early in life?
 
Why do I suspect that Mike's daughter received a blood transfusion early in life?
Sickle Cell Anemia doesn't work that way, the vector being genetic, and it is too soon for HIV/AIDS to turn up in the blood supply on the West Coast. However, ITTL I would not suggest having major surgery in New York.
 
Isn’t sickle cell anemia very common in the african American community? It is a recessive trait, so maybe both parents just happened to be carriers and people in the with the disease previously never got diagnosed with it? Especially since the previous generations probably would have difficulty in getting access to quality healthcare?
 
It is a recessive trait so you need both parents to be carriers. But outside of Malaria infested areas it is really rare as it is only „helpful“ in such areas.

And the area in Africa is so dullen that OTL no one really got into it.
 
Part 130, Chapter 2220
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Twenty



6th June 1973

Atlantic Ocean off El Marsa, Western Sahara (Disputed Region)

It should have come as no surprise, but Udi Brog had gotten himself into trouble and was in a running gun battle on the road between Laayoune and El Marsa. Brog’s Radio Operator was calling in Naval Fire Support which showed just how dire things had gotten in just a matter of minutes. As Louis listened to unfolding events in the Command-and-Control Room aboard the Grindwal, he was left wondering just where any indigenous groups in the Western Sahara had come up with the weapons that would be needed to take on a Platoon of Marine Infantry. Unable to get a clear read on what was going on, Louis stepped out to the rail and was looking at the shoreline with his binoculars. The 12.8cm and 40mm guns were firing, and he could see shells as they arched high over El Marsa.

He was just about to take the ladder up to the Bridge when he had a feeling that something wasn’t right. He had been warned to never ignore it when he had a feeling like this by his instructors and mentors over the years, it was just a question of figuring out what was off. Turning, he strode aft towards the fantail, the gunners manning the 40mm Bofors Guns nodded towards him as he passed. Despite the idea that the place of the Ship’s Captain was on the Bridge being drilled into him since he had been a Cadet, the crew seeing him around the ship while a minor action such as this was taking place meant that he wasn’t remote from them.

Reaching the fantail, Louis spotted what it was that was bothering him. The fishing boats that plied these waters were mostly headed for the horizon as fast as they could. They wouldn’t want to risk getting caught in the crossfire or worse if the combined flotilla decided that they were a threat. One of the boats was lingering in the vicinity of the Grindwal and that had been what had caught Louis’ attention. Looking at the boat with his binoculars, Louis saw that the man in the fishing boats cockpit was staring back at him, the intent look on his face made the hairs on the back of Louis’ neck stand on end. Louis realized that with ships of the flotilla focused on what was happening on land, it was likely that he was the only one looking at this.

Looking around for something to change course of the boat, Louis saw that one of the Grindwal’s ASW “Water Bomb” Mortars was in line with the approaching boat. Turning the range handle, he swiftly set what he hoped was the proper distance ahead of the boat. Whatever he was up to, Louis figured that having something like that go off in front of him would dissuade him like few other things. Kicking the pedal, the mortar fired, and Louis missed his intended target. The two-hundred-and-fifty-kilogram water bomb hit the foredeck of the fishing boat instead, smashing right through the wooden deck and the hull beneath. The bomb had not yet armed, having to descend at least four meters before it did. That happened as it rapidly sunk towards the seabed. The device, also known as a depth charge, was meant to sink to a preset depth unless it his something solid first at which point it detonated, which was exactly what happened in these shallow waters. The fishing boat which was only a few meters above was instantly crushed by the expanding bubble of gas as the explosive mixture ignited.

A large secondary explosion caused bits of wood from the fishing boat to rain down on the Grindwal. Louis noticed that he had just gotten the attention of everyone who was aft of the super-structure. As he made his way up to the bridge, the same question seemed to be on everyone’s lips.

“What had just happened?”

“Some crazy jackasses in a fishing boat stuffed full of explosives tried to sneak up on us” Louis said as he paced around the tight space of the bridge.

“How exactly did you know about that?” Lehr asked.

Louis almost told his XO to piss off but thought better of it. Oberleutnant zur See Isaak Lehr was supposed to be learning from Louis and chewing him out for asking questions wouldn’t be productive.

“Intelligence in Wunsdorf sent a warning about this very thing a few days ago” Louis replied.

“I didn’t see that in the briefings” Lehr said.

“You have to see how it all fits together” Louis said, “If you can’t do that you have no business being Captain.”

“I see Sir” Lehr replied, the wind going out of his sails.

“I must say, Hell of a shot Sir” Borchardt said with a wicked smile. The two of them went back to when Louis was in command of a Fast Gunboat and Borchardt didn’t mind seeing Lehr, who he thought was a stuffed shirt, being told that he didn’t know everything. “Which is all well and good, but we are getting messages from around the flotilla, they want to know what just happened.”

Louis his annoyance. He might be the Master and Commander of SMS K24 “Grindwal”, but he still had people he answered to. This was one of those times where he suspected that the language to describe what had just happened didn’t exist yet.
 
When the investigations are done and there will be more than one, it will show that LF Jr. made the right decisions and showed great incentive in preventing an attack that would have caused great damage to his ship and major casualties.
The main problem is going to be the fall out from his actions and the unintended consequences it creates, the staff of the Grand Admiral and the Defense Ministry would have preferred if this happened to the one of the other nations ships.
 
Using a depth charge as an anti-smallboat weapon is a novel application for sure.

But having a explosives filled metal trashcan crash through the deck must have been pretty brown pants inducing ... briefly.
 
Using a depth charge as an anti-smallboat weapon is a novel application for sure.

But having a explosives filled metal trashcan crash through the deck must have been pretty brown pants inducing ... briefly.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to kill mosquitoes with an elephant gun. One of those, if your only tool is hammer then all problems start to look like nails, kind of things.
 
When the investigations are done and there will be more than one, it will show that LF Jr. made the right decisions and showed great incentive in preventing an attack that would have caused great damage to his ship and major casualties.
The main problem is going to be the fall out from his actions and the unintended consequences it creates, the staff of the Grand Admiral and the Defense Ministry would have preferred if this happened to the one of the other nations ships.
On the other hand, once the Buffer tells the Senior Sailors mess what happened and that filters down to the Junior Sailors, the ‘Old Man’s’ reputation as a fighting captain who knows how to use every weapon system on the boat will be legendary. Particularly compared with the stuck up Number One who it seems couldn’t find his arse with both hands. The “no shit, I was there” stories will start percolating out into the world once they hit their next friendly port.
 
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One of the days the family luck is going to roll a crit failure . . .
Yes. However, it could be argued that between Grandpa "Zeus was an underachiever re. womanizing" and the actual heir getting their head blown off in spain the family luck has rolled two crit failures this century already.
 
Kiki in Argentina is definitely not rolling a 6s. Kiki being such a walking stress magnet she doesn’t even realize she’s pregnant in the above situation. That’s not rolling 6s.
 
In OTL WW2 RN MTB's used depth charges to blow the bottom out of enemy small craft by cutting across their bows at 40knt. Told to me first hand by an old CPO who fought on the MTB's in the North seas , med and Adriatic seas.
 
Louis Jr. as Captain of his ship has a wide latitude to protect the ship in a combat zone. This is going to be one of those investigations boards that will have to exonerate him and will be presented as an example of what a ships Captain does in the face of imminent danger. to protect his ship.
 
Shooting one mosquito with an elephant gun is by far from the optimal choice of weapons but a possible one.

If 10 mosquitoes attack the elephant gun becomes quite useless.

The really bad thing about the „lucky“ shot is that it is hardly possible to find out anything useful about the boat.

and the whole story is just a reminder to not stick your nose into other‘s people troubles.
 
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