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Merkels Operation Walküre - Story Only

Nihon Kaigun New
Japanese Fleet as of October 15th 1944

CV

Shokaku
Zuikaku
Hiyo
Junyo
Taiho
Shinano
Unryu
Amagi
Katsuragi

CVL

Hosho
Zuiho
Ryuho
Chitose
Chiyoda

BB
Kongo
Haruna
Fuso
Yamashiro
Ise
Hyuga
Nagato
Yamato
Musashi

CA
Aoba
Myoko
Haguro
Nachi
Ashigara
Takao
Atago
Maya
Chokai
Mogami
Suzuya
Kumano
Tone
Chikuma

CL
Tama
Kitakami
Oi
Kiso
Nagara
Isuzu
Natori
Kinu
Abukuma
Noshiro
Yahagi
Oyodo
Yasoshima
 
Royal Navy New
Royal Navy as of July 1st 1944:

Home Waters:


CL
HMS Liverpool

Indian Ocean:

CV
HMS Illustrious
HMS Indomitable

CVL
HMS Unicorn

BB
HMS Queen Elizabeth
HMS Valiant
HMS Howe

BC
HMS Renown

CA
HMS Cumberland
HMS Suffolk
HMS London
HMS Sussex

CL
HMS Caradoc
HMS Newcastle
HMS Phoebe
HMS Nigeria
HMS Kenya
HMS Ceylon



Mediterranean:

CL
HMS Aurora
HMS Dido
HMS Euryalus
HMS Royalist


Atlantic:

CL
HMS Dauntless (South Africa, training)
HMS Birmingham (USA, under repair)
HMS Cleopatra (dito)
HMS Uganda (refit, USA)



Pacific:

CL HMS New Foundland


2 CV
1 CVL
3 BB
1 BC
4 CA
16 CL
 
Regia Marina New
Italian Navy as of July 1st, 1944



Interned in Bitter Lake:


BB
Italia
Vittorio Veneto

CL
Raimondo Montecuccoli
Eugenio di Savoia


Mediterranean:

BB
Guilio Cesare
Andrea Doria
Caio Duilio


CL
Luigi Cadorna
Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta
Attilio Regolo
Pompeo Magno
Scipi Africano


South Atlantic:

CL
Duca degli Abruzzi
Guiseppe Garibaldi
 
Chapter I, Part 38: A Letter from Home New
Hamburg, June 16th 1944

Dear Helmut,

I arrived without incident at Langenhorn the day before yesterday. The reason why I only write you now, though, is that I was at UKE yesterday, accompanied by Walter. You can relax, dear, the staff at the hospital told me that he was fine.

You…or should I say he – ach, that´s all so very confusing business – is very accommodating. He gave us a nice room with a view on the gorgeous garden. However, as I – or his wife – is dead I don’t dare to ask for permission to work here. Though, it’s a more than eerie feeling too walk in the garden and gaze upon Walter´s grave stone. Anyway, he “found” me a small job with the Zeit magazine, but only after I harassed him for quite a while. He can be quite stubborn; where did I see that before?

I can only express it again, but we were very lucky, indeed. Others were not, like Agnieszka, the Polish caretaker of him. She lives onsite with her family, but her parents and siblings were in Poland. A friend of her lost even more, his whole family vanishing in the Event. I shudder when I think about the same happening to us. I try to help and assuage their worries as much as I can. That´s the least I can do.

Our parents – both sets – are at his summer house at Lake Brahmsee right now and as far as I know they are all well.

Later he proposed that we could go to university and take up our studies again. I think that would be fantastic. I worry, though, that I´m demanding too much of him. What would you want to study? And shall I really study biology?

I hope all is well. I hope you´re back soon. One thousand kisses.

Yours,

Loki
 
Chapter I, Part 39: Halsey's Anger New
Pearl Harbour, June 20th 1944, HQ of Chester W. Nimitz


MacArthur: Have you read the orders from the president? They are unreasonable, the Japanese are withdrawing and are almost crushed and the president wants to send a large number of ships and troops to help the British against Germany because they are beating them at the moment! I came the long way from Brisbane to get you along with me to protest against this idiocy.

Hasley: I also don’t agree with the orders and I also did protest. To no avail. But the British appear to have lost nearly all the ships they have had in England, and the Germans have some kind of weapons and planes that destroyed D Day invasion and sunk the British ships. They have the ships to raid any supply fleets and possibly raid the British island and the president wants troops and ships sent to help the British. Still I concur. The Japanese should have beaten before one deals with Germany.

Nimitz: I don’t agree either. With these ships we could beat the hell out of the Japanese. However, my protest was also in vain. I was going to send as few ships as possible, but unfortunately Washington sent a list of ships and forces. Anyway, we still have enough shps to hold the Japanese at bay. The Japanese still have a large navy, at the very worst we are going to end up with equal numbers of ships as the Japanese. This means as well, that we can't do any offensive until new forces arrived or the forces sent to Britain return.

MacArthur: That means the Philippines will not be recovered from the Japanese for extended period of time! That’s intolerable and we are giving the Japanese time to reinforce or extract troops that can be shattered and removed from war! The war is going to be longer and longer, and more American soldiers are going to be killed. I suggest that that we demand that the British send their ships to protect England and that we keep out troops and ships and end the war earlier.

Nimitz: That would not mean much. The British are needed in their places as well. There will be no difference if we send the ships to Britain or to the Indian Ocean. Furthermore I want to keep the fleet together, so that there is hope we get them back together again. That's why I ordered Spruance to take command.

MacArthur: We should go to the president himself and demand the redemption of the order. Or we will resign.

Hasley: I will not agree to that demand I will follow orders but, as I said, I will send as few ships and troops as possible.

Nimitz: I agree with Hasley and will not go against the president orders further.

MacArthur: ...

Halsey: I think you should do so, too. Or do you want to give him a reason to fire you?

MacArthur: No. Without your support I have no possibility to succeed. However, that won't be my last word. Washington. Politicians. Bah!

Halsey: We have no means to change this course yet.

MacArthur: And that's the problem.

Nimitz: Do you want to make a coup?

MacArthur: Of course not. But someone must teach these idiots in Washington how a war is won.

Halsey: Then go into politics.

MacArthur: No bad idea. But not yet. Unfortunately.
 
Chapter I, Part 40: Romanian Considerations New
Bucharest, Royal Palace, June 17th 1944, 11:00

Michael I: The new Germany is a fascinating country. the technology they have can change the war. They have already stopped the British/American invasion and have sunk or wrecked most of the British navy and air force if the news are true.

Prime minister Nicolae Rădescu: They are true. I have seen the evidences.

Michael I: And they don’t demand that we follow their orders as strictly as the previous government. They seem to want to work with their allies on an equal basis as much as they can and all they ask, that we follow their suggestions military wise. I know that the suggestions are normally the best possibility. But still they accept if we deny them. Getting rid of Antonescu was a necessary step.

Rădescu: That’s true. They somehow decided to ask you to appoint me to be the prime minister of the government based of future information of my life, which is interesting and terrifying. And although we are playing a very risky game the alternative would be a Romania of poverty and led by bloody dictators. We need to win this war.

Michael I: True. I trust that you will be a worthy prime minister and will help Romania be a vanquisher of the Soviet opponent. The new technology and support the Germans have delivered is making the Romanian army stronger and our plants are manufacturing more supplies and weapons than before and more and more people and joining the army to prevent the Soviets from winning.

Rădescu: With any luck this time your majesty will not be exiled because of the communist and will help Romania become an influential member of Europe.

Michael I: Yes, but that's not important now. What’s important now is that the Soviets are stopped. Because if they are stopped there is a chance they will ask for armistice, which is something that is doubtful for the Americans and British. If the current government is reelected.

Rădescu: Considering the situation I think you're right. The Allies know the truth. They still fight on to destroy Germany. And we won't get away much better. We will know soon if Romania will be a winner or a loser. For the moment we have increased security in the palace and additional guards will be with you for the moment. And thanks to German information we have arrested a number of communists in the government and the army. We are still searching for any that have escaped.

Michael I: I'm not pleased about the additional guards but I will agree to them for the moment. Keep me updated of the situation and let me know when the Russians begin their operations.

Rădescu: I will keep you updated and will see what can be done to keep morale strong.

Michael I: I will now call Mareșal Sănătescu in. He can explain us the war plans he made with Generalfeldmarschall Guderian.
 
Chapter I, Part 41: Another Channel Dash New
Near Boulogne-sur-mer, June 12th 1944:

The cleaning of the beaches had been a tremendous work. The soldiers guarded Allied POW doing so. And "cleaning" meant also dealing with the dead Allied soldiers. A huge new graveyard had been created to bury the dead. DNA probes were taken from the bodies or body parts not being able to be identified in the hope to find living relatives later. On June 12th much had been done. But several things were still a problem.

Of the ships at the beaches many were total losses. But not every ship. The USS Quincy (II) had been hit by 4 heavy artillery shells, 3 bombs, 2 bomb near misses and two aerial torpedoes. Surprisingly most damages were not heavy. The superstructure needed repairs, but most critical systems were intact. If one did not count the dormitories as critical. Or the kitchens. Below the waterline the bomb damages and the torpedoes had caused severe damages though. The ship had been sinking and Captain Senn had ordered to abandon the ship. The ship was near the French coast and the captain had assumed the ship would sink. This, however, did not go as fast as he thought, so two German M-Boats arriving soon after were able to beach the ship on the nearby coast. The Allies had other worries in the next days so that they simply overlooked the fact the Germans were working at the ship and that it maybe not a wreck.

On June 12th, shortly before midnight, when RAF Coastal Command made a first attack on the ship. However, the Germans used Braunschweig class corvettes to defend the ship. The 28 Mosquitos were shot down by RAM missiles before getting near. Two nights later they tried it with MTB, but here again the corvettes were sinking 12, partly also with RAM, until the other boats retreated.

The plan to send a submarine was not executed as on June 15th the ship was watertight again and could be brought to Wilhelmshaven. Here it became clear that three of the turbines were wrecked. A new set of engines would be needed. However, instead of ordering new turbines the Germans ordered new CODAG engines. Also some systems were to be rebuild to a more modern standard, including VLS systems, RBS 15 missiles and modern RADAR. It would last still 18 months until the ship would be ready though.

The destroyer USS Meredith needed a new aft part and some other lighter repairs. She arrived at Wilhelmshaven in the very same convoy. The two Hunt class escort destroyers were also not much damaged. They could become a part of the German navy soon.

Another ship arriving at Wilhelmshaven was the battleship Bismarck (II). "Found" in Brest, where the hulk of the French battleship Gascogne should have laid, she was taken over as soon as she was discovered. However, a new crew was needed to man her and indeed it was only a very rump crew to drive the ship home. A serious battle she could not engage yet. However, air defense and most naval guns could be manned. And as the RN and RAF were in serious troubles no one expected many problems. And indeed the German "Behindertenflotte" (fleet of the disabled) how she was called by the average seaman, politically totally not correct, did reach their destination without only a single shot to be fired. The British did not want to spend more forces needed to defend Britain.

For them, as well as for the US, the two Midway class carrier and the Bismarck were only "dummies" to fool them. They had the prove the UT Germans had no carrier and no other third Bismarck class battleship. Especially after they saw the Tirpitz lying off Norway. Thus the ships were to fool them. Even though the Résistance and and Italians did report these ships they were not believed.
 
Chapter I, Part 42: A Letter from Hoover New
Washington DC, White House, Oval Office, June 14th 1944

Dear Mr. President,

We received these tablet computers from the OSS and like them we were unable to detect anything suspicious, despite the obvious. However, we still have no idea how these devices work and because of that caution has to be advised. We should not use them in the same vein as General Stalin who has commandeered several of these computers for his own personal use. Furthermore, the tablets have faulty batteries, as far as we could tell, and will soon run out of energy if we use them too much.

You also asked me about the morale of the American people: Currently the citizens of America are behind the government and – while they mourn for our losses – also cry for blood to avenge these brave, fallen souls. This situation can change fast, though, should the true extent of what is happening in Europe become known to the wide public. Right now, no one in his or her right mind is believing the tales of a Germany from the future, but another big loss may change that.

On a different note, I heavily protest against your decision to allow Soviet spies to return back to the USSR in secret. They need to be detained and punished for their crimes, regardless of what Stalin thinks of that. He poses another danger to the US and shouldn’t be trusted at all. Our only common goal is the defeat of Germany, nothing more.

Notice of Roosevelt: Hoover is exaggerating. Stalin is in no way as great a danger as he makes the man out to be.

Mr. President, at least allow me to ask of you to stop listening so much to those who think allying to Stalin is a wise choice. They may be another source of danger, should the truth ever come out.

Notice from Roosevelt: Wallace already lost his post as VP.

In regards to the other problem, I urge you to be more discrete in the future. On your orders I have been able to stop these stories from being published during the elections, but I don’t know how long I can continue to do so.

Best regards,

J. Edgar Hoover
 
Chapter I, Part 43: New Orders New
June 20th, Schloss Bellevue, Berlin

Sehr geehrte Frau Bundeskanzlerin,

Regarding your letter concerning the current system of decoration within the Bundeswehr I must say that I completely agree with your statement that the Ehrenkreuz is no longer sufficient for the ongoing struggle we find ourselves in. Thus, I´m currently revising the honours the Bundeswehr can award to its soldiers and came up with the following which is to be regarded as final draft:

Eisernes Kreuz:
The Iron Cross can be dated back to the days of the Liberation Wars against Napoleonic occupation of Germany. It has been the most basic military honour in the Prussian and later the German army since then and shall be revived as such in two different classes. It can only be awarded to soldiers.

Ehrenmedaille and Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr:
For faithful acquittal and superior achievements not justifying a higher honour or deeds outside combat situations the Ehrenkreuz shall remain in four classes.

Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
The Knight´s Cross is the second highest honour that can be awarded for superior achievements over a long duration. It is separated into four different classes, which the others shall be Eichenlaub, Schwerter and Brillianten.

Ehrenkreuz für Tapferkeit
The EfT is the highest military honour for a soldier to be rewarded with and as such can only be awarded once without any class distinctions. If the awardee has committed several deeds which would justify a second honour, the Ritterkreuz shall be awarded in its next higher grade. The recipient may carry an additional golden bar after receiving the EfT.

Bundespräsident Gauck
 
Chapter I, Part 44: A Communist without Party New
June 21st, Berlin, Chagall Bar, 20:45

The Chagall, a ‘Kneipe’ in Berlin had been the meeting point for countless personal of the ‘Realo’ wing of the Left party since its inception, so it wasn’t very surprising to find one of its most prominent members, Gregor Gysi (G), occupying one of the quieter corners of the establishment. His guest, Ernst Thälmann (T), though, was visiting the bar for the first time in his life.

G: How are you, Genosse Thälmann?

T: Under this circumstances surprisingly fine. My family has been released from its incarceration and I guess I can become an active politician once more.

G: I´m overjoyed to hear of your fortunate chance in fate. It is my understanding that it´s the latter why you chose to talk to me.

T: Indeed, it is. As you´re probably aware, the KPD doesn’t exist anymore and likely won´t ever exist again. With the exception of your Left Party there´s no other force of the left that can be taken seriously.

G: That´s nothing new.

T: Yes, and that´s the problem! We Leftist shouldn’t let ourselves be divided by something so trivial as party affiliation. To move on we need to unite!

G: Erm, move on with what?

T: The world revolution, of course!

G: Did you actually read our program at all?

T: Yes, of course, and there´s need for some serious adjustment, but nothing that will derail our course.

G: What kind of ‘adjustments’ are you talking about?

T: Firstly, we need to introduce a more communistic course. Your program leans too much on that of the social democrats. Then we need to unite all the left parties under one banner, especially the MLPD.

G: And who determines what constitutes as ‘communistic’? Moscow?

T: Who else?

G: You know that Ulbricht holds leadership over what´s left of the KPD?

T: No need to remind me. But he´ll fall from Stalin´s grace soon enough, mark my words. He´s not able to lead a party, much less a whole country!

G: So you´re also of the opinion that the Allies will win the war?

T: The Allies? *snorts derisively* No, Stalin! Just look at the newspapers.

G: I´m surprised you´d talk so open with me.

T: Why shouldn’t I? You were a member of the SED. You kept the party alive when no one else would, that alone is enough to merit a Lenin Order.

G: So, let me get this straight: You think our party program is just – what – some kind of camouflage?

T: What else would it be? No self-respective communist would truly stand behind such a capitalist abomination. Though, we need to keep it a little while longer if we are to preserve against the capitalist forces.

G: And let me guess, the leadership of such a united left would naturally fall to you, wouldn’t it?

T: I´m not averse to it. But there´ll be enough jobs for everyone, even for you.

G: I´m so relieved to hear that.

T: Genosse Gysi, it appears to me as if you don’t take me serious. Let me make this clear, the world revolution….

G: No, Herr Thälmann, let me make something clear to you. I´ve come here as gesture of good faith to hear what you had to say. You have spoken and I´ve heard enough. The positions of the Left may be 80 years from the future, but we firmly believe in democracy and human rights. Yes, we do want change, but we want this change to happen in a democratic way. And no foreigner, especially not Stalin, will have any say in inner-German matters. We don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past and we certainly don’t want the GDR to emerge again…

T: What you say is treason!

G: No, what you were saying was treason.

T: You betrayed the communist struggle. I will...

G: You´ll do nothing! Your application for membership in the Left Party was denied.

T: That´s treachery even worse than the Social Democrats. You will be hanged for that…

G: Herr Thälmann, I don’t have to listen to your nebulous threats. I guess our talk here´s finished. Have a nice day!

T: We shall see each other again!

G: I certainly hope not! And just a small observation: Talk like yours can get you up to 15 years…

Thälmann left the meeting furious, now knowing that Germany´s biggest left party (he snorted at that) had no place for him. Maybe the MLPD would be more open to his suggestions. A pity that they only had 1,800 members. But the revolution had to continue!
 
Chapter II, Part 1: Operation Dreizack New
Operation Dreizack, June 17th, 1944

Although the Soviets had started Operation Bagration, Operation Dreizack, devised by the German navy was executed; its aim to severely hurt the Soviet and British fleets.

As the Royal Navy had for all purposes ceased to exist in British waters, the British Admirality was keen on gaining new ships as fast as possible. One source was the Italian modern fleet interned at Bitter Lake. Churchill had acted fast and confiscated the teo battleships and two light cruisers against the protest of the other Allies and the Italian government, the only consolation the latter received an official note with the promise that any ship damaged or destroyed would be replaced and that one would later negotiate a “compensation” as well. What this could mean was left vague, though. Rumours were circulating about Italy possibly keeping Istria or Libya.

In anticipation of aforementioned move, the German military had planned a strike on the now British fleet at Bitter Lake. However, as Bagration was under way this part of the attack was not carried out. The British Mediterranean fleet would have to wait. As there were no own amphibious or naval action planned, indeed most ships still needed crews, there was no need to hurry.

In Italy doubts grew that Britain would keep to its promise of replacing the lost ships. Some officials were even going so far as to publicly regretting switching side to the Allies and were even advocating to switch sides again. They were only few, though, and soon silenced. Another change of allegiance would paint Italy as rouge nation and many believed that the Germans – having been victim of Italy switching sides twice now – wouldn’t accept Italy as an ally anyway.

As Operation Dreizack was twofold, the second part was an attack on Kronstadt where the Baltic fleet laid. This was the only part executed. The Soviets, keen on threatening Finland into surrendering, were desperately scrambling to get every of their ships repaired. The day after Operation Bagration started, the German strike came as a surprise to the Soviets. Tornados bombed and sunk the smaller vessels while the bigger battleship Sevastopol was sunk by Taurus missiles. Additional bombs managed to damage the Petropawlowsk. After this attack only a single destroyer, the Strashnyi, remained undamaged as well as several motor torpedo boats, minesweepers and 12 submarines; a force which could not hope to fight and win against the Finnish fleet, which had been reinforced by the Schleswig-Holstein, the Schlesien, the Emden and several torpedo boats as well as some ASW helicopters. For Stalin, this was a shock, but at the same time the successes of Bagration managed to push that defeat to the back of his mind.
 
Chapter II, Part 2: Operation Bagration, Part 1 New
Operation Bagration, Part 1, June 16th to August 7th 1944

Operation Begration would turn out to be a huge success, at least in the eyes of Josef Wissarionowitsch Dschugaschwili also better known as Stalin, of that he was sure. Countless hours of work and Mother Russia´s brightest minds had been put at it and it showed. Their starting point had changed, though, as had Germany which had new and great war machines they could use to wreak havoc across the whole of Russia as they had shown when they had destroyed several hydro plants, Tankograd and some other factories. Production was down by 20%, but it would only reach the soldiers on the frontline in early 1945 in form of a massive reduction of weapon supplies. Time was running out for them, therefore they had to act decisive and destroy the German war machinery to the West. They had little to show for numbers and would therefore be steamrolled by the Soviet colossus. If it meant losing more men, well, Stalin shrugged, their sacrifice would help to further the cause of the people. There still was risk, of course, but war was never without it.

That his Baltic fleet had been sunk still made Stalin bristle with indignation, but in the great scheme of things it mattered little. The war would be won on the ground and Berlin could only be reached on boots anyway. Their estimated that it would take a whole year to reach that blasted city and until then they needed to mitigate the shortfalls of their weapon production and there was only one source Russia could turn to: The Western Allies. And, indeed, they had already promised to deliver more tanks and weapons. They still needed to be careful and cautious about Germany´s new ‘Wunderwaffen’ but even they wouldn’t be able to counterbalance the huge number of soldiers at his disposal.

The dices were thrown, the board was set and so Stalin ordered the attack to commence.

From June 16th on the Red Army began her attack with two armies attacking the Heeresgruppe Mitte with 178 artillery guns per mile firing upon the German positions. The Germans, however, had already started to draw back from these lines in a strategic withdrawal, using a flexible defence to stop any breakthroughs. The UT Luftwaffe helped greatly with that endeavour as they scouted the enemy positions and destroyed enemy air fields and artillery positions as soon as the offensive started. Yet, the number of functional modern planes was low and they couldn’t be everywhere. While being able to strongly contest Soviet air superiority and cover the German retreat, they weren’t able to do more.

In rapid succession the Soviets took Witebsk, Mogilew, Brobuisk and Polotsk. Stalin´s sources in Germany – of which he had few – told him that the Germans retreated in order to have less to defend. Soon, he reckoned, they would either have to give up the Baltic states or defend them. It was also helpful that this new Germany was led by this Merkel character, a woman who apparently had no abilities to maneuver her country through these hard times. The morale of the former Wehrmacht forces was low, the officers there despised her and soon they would putsch against her, of that Stalin was sure.

On August 7th the Red Army reached Minsk.
 
Chapter II, Part 3: Admiral Talks New
A command bunker near London, June 18th, 9:36

Sir Henry Ruthven Moore, commander of the Home Fleet (HF): The situation is catastrophic. We have lost most of our ships. Only the Eastern Fleet is still a potent battle force.

First Sea Lord Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope (FSL): Yes, it is. The US send their navy to defend us.

HF: That will save us- for the moment. If the Germans attack us again with such a force...

FSL: I know. Then there won't be much left from Britain.

HF: And I can't do anything against that. It is shocking to see Yanks defending us!

FSL: True, so true.

HF: Not only the Luftwaffe is a nightmare. Their ships as well.

FSL: What is your opinion in regards of the new ships the Germans are reported to have?

HF: Well. The Kriegsmarine ships we know. There's no real problem. The Tirpitz is damaged, as is Gneisenau. The first we should destroy as soon as possible, the latter is reported to be at Gothenhafen.

FSL: And the other ships being reported by our agents?

HF: The new modern ships are dangerous, Very dangerous. They can destroy a ship from a distance of over 100 km in short time. Long before one knows the enemy is in striking range the own ship is sunk. This is true for all ships up to a battleship. Against armoured ships they have problems.

FSL: I think the sailors on the USS Arkansas would disagree.

HF: No, that was an old battleship. A modern armoured battleship is a problem for the ships. They use for them planes or torpedoes. The only good thing is the Germans have no carrier and only a few modern submarines.

FSL: And the reports on new ships? These super carriers or this battleship they just returned to Germany?

HF: I don’t believe them. I just can't think the Germans can build battleships or aircraft carriers without our knowledge.

FSL: Yes, indeed. I don't believe that they have those big ships either. It is simply not possible. The Germans need all the metal and other resources they can get for other war material than great ships. Our sources agree. They have stopped constructing anything bigger than a destroyer.

HF: The Germans know what happened to the Bismarck and they would not be irrational enough to waste supplies on more big surface ships. I think these reported ships are just replicas of surface ships to let us think they are stronger than they are indeed.

FSL: That would fit. This is the German strategy in this moment. I will advise that the ships be overlooked and other objectives of more significance be attacked.

HF: Yes. These modern ships are a danger. And unfortunately they are designed to cope with massive attacks. Any attack on them will be costly. We don't have the means to stop these guided rockets.

FSL: That means any attack will be costly.

HF: Yes, indeed. However, with sufficient numbers we can overwhelm them. Even if we lost one such battle a second they would not be able to win, as they would lack the spare rockets.

FSL: But we don't have these forces at the moment.

HF: Well, I did not talk about us. The US Navy should start to fight seriously.

FSL: I agree. We should make a plan. It won't cost us much. However, that particular reason won't be written though.

HF: Of course not!

FSL: It is still a scandal to have to rely on US protection. The Royal Navy should do this task.

HF: Yes, it is. However, we can't retreat the Eastern Fleet as we would weaken our position in Asia.

FSL: That's indeed no option. Also I would like to keep as many ships as possible away from the British islands to keep them in safety.

HF: True. But still we need some ships here. Just to show we are still able to defend Britain.

FSL: Give me a list of possible reinforcements that can be kept permanently home-based so that the Americans don’t get all the recognition for defending the state.
 
Chapter II, Part 4: Operation Bagration, Part 2 New
Operation Bagration, Part 2, August 8th to 22th 1944: The Battle of Minsk

During the Operation Bagration the German army withdrew and only fought when necessary or inevitable, thus avoiding massive loss of life and preventing the Red Army from breaking the German lines. However, the Red Army – with its numerical superiority – forced its way towards Minks, the original goal of the operation. Here the German plans called for a stand against the Soviet forces, a fact which surprised the latter greatly as they had expected the Germans to withdraw behind their pre-war borders.

Minsk, meanwhile, should be defended by the newly formed 13th Army under Generalfeldmarschall Model which soldiers consisted of the Einsatzgruppen, Totenkopf-SS and special Gestapo officals. Additionally, there were also die-hard neo-Nazis who had volunteered for fighting against the Russians. The 13th Army had the orders to hold Minsk at all cost. It was clear, that this order fell short of an actual suicide mission, but most of the men had been lured with the promise of reduced prison sentences as it was abundant clear to Chancellor Merkel and her staff that the German juridical and penal system was ill equipped to handle the sentencing of ten thousands of people. The compromise that was finally reached was that high ranking officials would be tried while the lower levels would be given the option of being sent to the front. Those who didn’t were to be tried according to the usual procedures. In the end, the 13th Army reached the number of 130,000 soldiers.

The fighting was heavy, even more so when the Red Army realised that they were fighting against the same men that had come to invade their country and ruthlessly massacred their people. Neither side did take any prisoners and the death toll grew higher and higher with each passing minute. If one thought Stalingrad had been hell, then they were taught better by what was happening in Minsk. The Germans had had time to prepare, using bobby-traps, tunnels, attacks in the rear and so on to inflict severe losses on the Soviet troops.

However, on August 13th, the Red Army finally managed to enclose Minsk totally and force the Germans back. Only the remnants of the 13th Army were now holding the city, thus binding a whole Soviet front. On August 17th the Soviets took over everything east of the Swislatsch, an attack on the German pocket on August 19th however failed. The next day, though, the Red Army managed to cut the German pocket into two smaller ones, on – the bigger one – in the quarter of Leninski, the smaller one in Frusenski.

On August 21st the Soviets took the last helicopter landing place, thus cutting off the last supply line to the Leninski pocket. The situation for the German troops was without any hope, but the next day Operation Tannenberg, the German counter offensive, would start.
 
Chapter II, Part 5: Operation Tannenberg, Part 1 New
Operation Tannenberg, praeludium, August 22nd 1944

HQ Mauerwald, near Rastenburg, East Prussia

The former Wehrmacht HQ was completely changed compared to what it had looked like a few months ago. The SS forces had left, the Nazi insignia had been torn off and the equipment had been replaced with UT one. Even the coffee had become much better, at least according to Generalfeldmarschall Manstein. On the digital maps on the screens in front of him he could see the position of every unit – even contact every single platoon. At least theoretically as many units were still not equipped with the means to communicate digitally.

“Herr Feldmarschall, the operation can be started now. We await your orders,” Oberst Römer-Hillebrecht told him.

“Indeed,” Manstein murmured. “Or as Frederic the Great once said: ‘The fox left its lair, now I want to punish his arrogance.”

“Or Murphy´s Law of Combat Operations: If your attack is going well, it´s an ambush.”

Manstein laughed at that. “I don´t know who this Murphy is, but he´s goddamn right. Let´s do it then! The artillery barrage will start on 22:30 and the attack on 22:50.”
 
Chapter II, Part 6: Operation Tannenberg, Part 2 New
Generalmajor Hellmuth Becker to the troops of 13. Panzerdivision "Totenkopf" prior to the Battle of Minsk:

Soldiers.

We have done a hard thankless job that needed to be done yet today the "new" Germany have no need for us. Worse they condemn us for the service we have done and intend our destruction either here in the field or in a so called court after the war. Like me you have elected to come here, to Minsk. Not because we fear the judgement of the weakling new Germany but because above all else we serve the Fatherland and Minsk is what the Fatherland needs us to do.

Men, while the Fatherland might have turned it's back on us we will never turn our backs on it. There might not be anything left for us back there but we still have Minsk. We will be the rock on which the red wave breaks, we will be the example to the people of new weakling Germany of what they have lost and our example will inspire future generations to follow in our tracks and one day to restore a National Socialist Greater Germany to it's rightful place in the world!


By CJvR
 
Chapter II, Part 7: Operation Tannenberg, Part 3 New
Operation Tannenberg, Part 1, August 22nd-23rd 1944

Near Wileika, 1. Panzerdivision, Leopard II tank of Feldwebel Kurt Knsipel, 21:54

Knispel (K): Alright, folks, we got orders. We´re to attack Ivan from here and then try to capture Baryssau this night.

Rudi: That are 80 km. In one night? Are they crazy?

Mehmet: Well, we´ve got night vision goggles, they don’t. Once we´re past their lines, there shouldn’t be any organised resistance anymore. Ivan´s defence positions are here, here and here. We can push right pass them and leave them for the Grennis*.

Wilhelm: Mehmet, why do you have a Swabian accent?

M: Because I´m from Stuttgart…or, rather a village nearby. Why do you wanna know?

W: Well, your name isn’t all that Swabian. Laughs

M: Yeah, you´re right.

All laugh

K: Alright, we´ll see how much we achieve tomorrow, probably not as much as these eggheads want. These beasts are outstanding, but I still have some doubts.

Half an hour later the engines roared to life and another half an hour later – after a short but effective bombardment of artillery and planes – the attack commenced.

K: I´m really glad we have these night vision goggles, otherwise we wouldn’t see anything in this darkness. There, one o´clock, the Soviet first line. Gunner, target Pak, distance 3.600 meters. Load HEAT.

W: HEAT.

It was a full hit. The other tanks of their formation joined the attack as well, targeting several Soviet positions. Even though the German tanks were still too far away for the Soviets to recognise them, they still fired blindly in the dark. As they expected the German tanks to be nearer than they actually were, the Soviets didn’t manage to hit anything. Meanwhile, the German MBTs fired multiple times into the Soviet lines, thus creating even more havoc. Then finally, the Soviets artillery fired star shells; however, their light did also illuminate their positions. Mortar positions were attacked by the German tanks while the bigger guns fell victim to German planes.

The advantage lied on the Germans’ side, but that should not last. Soviet fire became more accurate, even managing to hit Knispel´s tank.

K: Fuck That was a full hit! Everyone alright?

Everyone acknowledged. A second shell barely missed them.

M: And I thought someone was knocking on the tank.

All loughed.

K: The gun is over there! Gunner target Pak, 800 meters, 11 o´clock.

W: HEAT away.

Knispel saw yet another Pak explode. They were aiming at a tank when it was destroyed by one of their fellow tanks. Finally, they were at the Soviet lines and even though Knispel used the coaxial MG he tried to drive the enemy away instead of killing them. He wanted to give them a chance to surrender and survive, something that could not be said of everyone in the German tank command.

Soon, they were past the enemy lines and crossed into a small forest where they used the cover it provided them to rearm from their own small storage as 15 shells were spent rather fast. Behind the forest was a vast area of fields, long since abandoned by its owners who had fled with the war machinery on their heels. Knispel could make out several enemy tanks nearing.

K: Mehmet, full speed ahead. Willi, target T-34. 12 o´clock, 2.600 meters. Use HEAT. Fire at will at other targets.

The T-34 exploded as did other Soviet tanks. It was a massacre, with the Leopard 2 MTBs attacking with full speed and firing without stopping. What was designed as Soviet counter attack soon came to a standstill. Of the T-34s only eight managed to escape.

W: Kurt, we´re down to seven rounds, we need to rearm. I reckon the others have to as well.

K: Yeah, We…fuck! Soviet IS-2 tanks, two o´clock. We need to keep these bastards at bay until we get relieved. Rudi, load APFSDS, Willi, target the IS-2, 12 o´clock, range 4.000 meters.

R: APFSDS ready.

W: APFSDS on its way.

The DM63 was a kinetic projectile meaning it contained no explosives. The core consisting of tungsten carbide would penetrate the enemy armour and then copy the effect of a pump gun within the tank. The IS-2 targeted by Knispel´s crew stopped dead in its tracks after being hit. The next tank just behind was hit by the same dart and lost its turret. The infantry following the tanks was soon decimated by splinters and HEAT shells as well as even they were able to severely damage an IS-2 on distances of up to 2.500 meters. Seeing the carnage the Germans wrought upon them, the Soviets soon retreated, unopposed by the Germans who had no ammunition left to pursuit them.

A few minutes later they were relieved by a fresh unit of tanks which gave Knispel and his crew the opportunity to drive to the next provisional supply depot to rearm and to survey any damage the Soviets may have inflicted upon them. But despite several dents in the metal, Knispel could not see any damages that would have prevented them from continuing their mission, so soon after he gave the order to continue.

They made their way back to the front on which they came across several scattered Soviet units, many of which had lost any will to fight and just surrendered to the Germans. They also came across several Soviet tents, supply depots and even a full tank repair facility. While many of the former were destroyed, some of the supply depots and the tank repair facility could be captured intact, as well as several T-34 and IS-2 tanks.

After finally reaching the front again, Knispel could see his unit completely surprising the Soviet units in the hinterland. He didn't know that the enemy communication lines had been hit by bombs as well as being disrupted by electronic counter measures, resulting in chaos amongst the Soviet troops.

An hour before dawn they finally reached their objective, Baryssau. The other prong did arrive only little later. Surprised and attacked from both sides the few defenders were taken down quickly, but still the fighting lasted until noon when the last defenders surrendered. They even managed to capture a train full of intact Soviet tanks.

They had accomplished his mission and maybe, he thought, they would be ordered to either fight the pocket or to attack further. Instead they got the order to stay in the vicinity in high alert. He and his crew would use the time to rest.

********************************

Manstein's plan to close the ring around Minsk and thus trap two enemy fronts in a two pronged attack had suceeded. And although Schukow had expected such an attack, he had not expected the results. 30.000 of his men were either captured or dead, as well as hundreds of tanks and thousands of guns. His rear, which he had given his reserves for exactly such a case, had been destroyed. This meant facing the danger of being annihilated by the Germans. However, he also had a plan B, as the Third Belorussian Front had not yet fired a single shot. To receive help for them he needed to make contact with Tschernjakowski's 3rd Belorussian front

Whether the plan would succeed he had to see.
 
Chapter II, Part 8: Operation Tannenberg, Part 4 New
Operation Tannenberg, Part 2, August 24th – 31st 1944

For Georgi Schukow, Marshal of the Soviet Union the German counter-attack per se was no surprise, but its effect was. He had expected losses, but not such a German success. Somehow he felt like Caesar at Alesia. Schukow had surrounded Minsk but was now encircled as well. He highly doubted in the figures he was given about the enemy´s strength, though; there had to be more modern tanks than the 200+ that had been reported to him. The fights at night had been a vile surprise, too, inflicting severe casualties on his troops, which left him hoping that their fortunes would turn during the day.

Schukow had ordered the Third White Russian front to follow the other two fronts, which were now enclosed. This front should be able to attack and destroy the German forces. Of course, he had ordered them to attack in daylight as a nightly attack would be pure suicide. His own forces would attack in the east in order to make contact with the Third White Russian Front. In a feint attack the 16th Army should be attacked by the 1st Baltic front. There they should be able to cut the German Army Group North from the other German forces, if it succeeded. If not, at least the Germans should have been forced to send fresh troops to rescue the 16th Army. That should give Schukow the needed relieve to break out of the encirclement.

The plan was delayed, though, when the Third Front was not within range to strike on August 24th, so it finally did start the next day. The Germans were prepared, though, as they had known about the Front when their satellites and recce planes had discovered them. Additionally, the new Soviet codes had been decoded with ease, making nearly every order known to the Germans at the very same time the Soviet officers received them.

At dawn on August 24th the Third Front attacked. The Germans countered with every force that was available to them: 100 Leopard I, 700 Leopard II, 120 M-1 Abrams, 120 Challenger II, 600 PzKw V Panther, 600 PzKw IV J, 150 PzKw VI Tiger and 64 PzKw VI Tiger II, 1.000 Marder IFV, 31 Puma IFV, 60 Warrior IFV, 300 Stryker IFV, ca. 1.000 APC, 700 assault guns and over 1.000.000 men as well as 130 Panavia Tornado, 48 EF 2000 Eurofighter, 96 F-104 G Starfighter, 32 Alpha Jets, 110 Bo 105 PAH-1 anti tank helis, 30 Tiger attack helis, 16 Mil-24 helis, 64 AH-64 Longbow helis, 1.000 DT planes and over 12.000 guns. On short notice 72 MiG 21, 24 Su-22 and 48 Fiat G-91 Gina were sent to assist the 16th army in Latvia. The Soviet used 3.000 tanks and assault guns, 20.000 artillery guns, 4.000 planes and nearly 2,5 million men in this battle. However, two-thirds of these forces were encircled.

The Soviet attack forces soon found themselves under heavy fire. While they were now able to shoot at the Germans more effectively than in the night, they were also easier targets for the Germans as well. On August 25th, they were indeed able to shortly break through the lines, but the German counter strikes stopped that quickly. After this day, the Soviet losses were so high, that a concentrated attack on German positions was no longer possible.

Furthermore, the Soviet forces in the pocket were no longer able to prevent the Germans from breaking through to Minsk and relieve the remnants of the 13th army on August 26th. The main body consisted of only 40.000 men and women under Model, most of them wounded. The smaller pocket was believed to be destroyed, but under the leadership of Colonel Skorzeny 2.500 men survived, nearly all of them wounded. Six Soviet soldiers had been taken as PoW by them, mostly high ranking officers. The Germans could only liberate four of their own that had been kept as PoW by the Soviets.

A day later the Germans started their counter attack on the Third White Russian Front. Having no supplies left and because of the high losses, Tschernjachowski gave the order to retreat. Finally, on August 29th, the Germans let him escape, only to concentrate their efforts on Schukows other two fronts. The situation became so critical for them that Schukow was ordered to travel back to Moscow for "urgent talks" and left the battlefield with the last plane. It was the commander of the 2nd White Russian Front, Army General Georgiy Sacharow, who finally surrendered the remnants of the two fronts to the Germans on 11:00 AM on August 31st.

The attack on Saucken's 16th Army had turned into a defeat for the Soviets as well. He had received hundreds of 8,8 cm Flak guns from the cities, several hundred DT tanks and planes as well as 144 jets and Milan AT missiles to counter the Soviets. With these forces, he was able to hold the position for three days when he would have been forced to start to retreat had the Soviets continued their attack. However, as it became clear the 1st Baltic Front would no longer receive any support, the offensive, which had been a kind of feint attack anyway, was terminated and the 1st Baltic Front retreated to its starting positions. Over 800 Soviet tanks and 200 planes had been destroyed and 30.000 men had died.

In the aftermath of the offensive the centre of the Eastern Front was de facto no longer existing. Stalin needed new forces soon if he wanted to continue the offensive against the Germans. However, he faced many problems: Would the Ukrainian Fronts be destroyed as well? Would he be able to build up new forces in time? And another problem was already looming on the horizon; Operation Sommersturm.
 
Losses since the beginning of Operation Bagration to August 31st New
Losses since the beginning of Operation Bagration to August 31st

German losses:

13th Army: 55.000 men dead or missing, 30.000 wounded and evacuated (as long as it was possible, note, that civilian helicopters were used as well), 25.000 wounded, 20.000 still combat ready.

16th Army: 5.500 dead or missing, 12.000 wounded.

Army Group Center: 25.000 dead or missing, 150.000 wounded, 40.000 PoW

___________________________________________________________________________


Soviet losses:

pre-Minsk: 250.000 dead or missing, 600.000 wounded

Minsk: 250.000 dead or missing, 750.000 wounded

1st Baltic Front: 30.000 dead or missing, 85.000 wounded

Tannenberg (without Minsk): 300.000 dead or missing, 1.100.000 PoW (incl. 500.000 wounded)
 
Chapter II, Part 9: Operation Sommersturm New
Operation Sommersturm, August 17th – September 15th 1944

The Operation Sommersturm was a strategic bombing offensive started by the Luftwaffe during Operation Bagration. Although the Luftwaffe had destroyed Tankograd and the dams, there still existed many targets that needed to be eliminated. However, due to modern jet planes urgently being required in different roles, the Germans had to rely on other planes, of which there were only few available, though.

Germany had captured several dozens of Allied bombers, but only seven B-17 and five B-24 were air worthy. Then there were some hundred He 177 ready, but that particular plane needed modifications because it lacked strong enough engines. In the end, only the last Ju 390, two Me 264 prototypes, eight He-277 B5-R2 and five Ju 290 could be added to the air force. These 28 bombers were added to the I. Gruppe of KG 200 and were modified to fit the German needs. The Me 264 and the Ju 390 got surplus Rolls-Royce-Tyne motors, which enhanced their abilities drastically. The He-277 and He 177 models had to be remodelled completely, so that this particular update wouldn’t work for them. Because of that a new plane was to be developed, the He 377. In the meantime, Messerschmitt got the order to build another 90 Me-264 for which the Jumo 022 turboprop motor was elected as engine, which had been developed in record breaking time.

Operation Sommersturm started with the KG 100 and the I./KG 200, which meant just 88 bombers. However, the Soviet air defence was patchy at best and ECM was easily able to jam the early Soviet RADARs. In some cases, the Soviets did not even know that there were enemy planes in the air until it was too late. With 1.540 km combat range the He 177 soon proved to be inadequate for this task, subsequently they were soon retired from that task. So only the I./KG 200 could continue the operation.

Due to modern equipment being added to the DT-bombers, they could easily attack targets up to the Ural Mountains if they started from Gerdauen air field in East Prussia. Targets even farther away could only be reached in shuttle bombing missions. These bombers would start in Gerdauen, fly to and attack the target and then land in Manchuria. There they would be refuelled and then sent home with goods and resources from Japan, which meant that no offensive action took place from Japan towards the USSR. The Nowosibirsk aircraft factory was destroyed using such tactics.

Although being a success the operation had to be halted in September 1944 due to the low number of battle ready planes. So far only three planes, a Ju 290 and two B-17, had been shot down. However, the nearly daily use without replacement parts to replace broken ones let the number of available planes drop to eight. Because of this the operation was abandoned. In the meantime, though, Messerschmitt was producing Me-264 bombers which should enable the Germans to start another offensive during the coming winter.
 
Legal Ordinance of the Introduction of Vehicle Registration Plates in the state of Prussia New
Legal Ordinance of the Introduction of Vehicle Registration Plates in the state of Prussia (Verordnung zur Einführung von Kfz-Kennzeichen im Land Preußen):

Angerburg: AGB
Altdamm: ALD
Arnswalde: ARW
Allenstein: AT

Bartenstein: BAT
Braunsberg: BBR
Beuthen: BTH

Belgard: BLG
Blankenburg: BLA
Ballenstadt: BLS
Bomst: BOM
Breslau: BR
Brieg: BRI
Bunzlau: BUN
Bütow: BÜT

Cammin: CAM
Cosel: COS
Crossen: CRO

Darkehmen: DAR
Deutsch-Krone: DKR
Dramburg: DRA
Danzig (Stadt): HDZ (Hansestadt Danzig)
Danzig (Land): DZ

Elbing: EL

Friedeberg: FDG
Fischhausen: FIS
Flatow: FLA
Falkenberg: FLK
Fraustadt: FRA
Freystadt: FRE
Frankenstein: FRS
Franzburg-Barth: FRZ

Gerdauen: GDA
Goldberg: GLB
Greifenhagen i. Pom.: GFB
Greifenhagen: GFH
Glogau: GLO
Goldap: GOL
Grünberg: GRÜ
Groß Strehlitz: GST
Grottkau: GTK
Glatz: GTZ
Guhrau: GUH
Gumbinnen: GUM
Guttentag: GUT
Gleiwitz: GLW
Groß Wartenberg: GWA

Heilsberg: HBG
Hirschberg: HIR
Heiligenbeil: HLB
Hindenburg i. OS: HOS
Habelschwerdt: HSW

Insterburg: IB

Jauer: JAU
Johannisburg: JOH

Kolberg: KLB
Königshütte: KGH
Königsberg Neumark: KNM
Königsberg i. Pr.: KP
Köslin: KÖS
Kattowitz: KTW
Kreuzburg: KZB

Labiau: LAB
Lauban: LBN
Lüben: LBE
Lauenburg in Pommern: LBG
Leobschütz: LES
Landeshut: LDH
Lebus: LEB
Lötzen: LÖT
Löwenberg: LÖW
Landsberg a.d. Warthe: LW
Lyck: LYK
Liegnitz: LZ

Mahlow: MAH
Marienburg: MBU
Mohrungen: MOH
Meseritz: MSZ
Militsch: MTS
Marienwerder: MWD

Namslau: NAM
Neidenburg: NDB
Niederung: NDG
Neisse: NEI
Naugard: NGD
Neumarkt: NMK
Neustadt O.S.: NOS

Oppeln: O
Ohlau: OHL
Oels: ÖLS
Ortelsburg: ORT
Osterode in Ostpreußen: OSO

Preußisch Eylau: PEY
Preußisch Holland: PHO
Pilkallen: PIL
Pyritz: PYR

Randow: RAN
Rastenburg: RAS
Ratibor: RB
Reichenbach: RCB
Reppen: REP
Regenwalde: RGW
Rothenburg a.d. Oder: RON
Rosenberg in Westpreußen: RSW
Rößel: RÖS
Rosenberg O.S.: RSB
Rothenburg Oberlausitz: RTO (only parts east of the Neiße river)
Rummelsburg: RUM

Saatzig: SAA
Sagan: SAG (only parts east of the Neiße river)
Salzbrunn: SBR
Schönberg: SCB
Schneidemühl SCN
Schweidnitz: SCW
Soldin: SDN
Stargard in Pommern: SGD
Schlawe in Pommern: SLA
Schlochau: SLO
Sorau: SOR
Stallupönen: SPÖ
Sprottau: SPT
Sensburg: SSB
Stettin: STT
Strehlen: STR
Stolp: STP
Stuhm: STU
Schwerin a.d. Warthe: SWW

Treuburg: TBG
Tilsit: TI
Trebnitz TRE

Usedom-Wollin: USD (only Swinemünde and Wollin)

Waldenburg: WBG
Wehlau: WEH
Wohlau: WLA

Züllichau-Schwiebus: ZÜL

NOTE: Sometime AH isn't so alternative. Most of these plates are real suggestions as of OTL. Only some had to be slightly altered, as they were used elsewhere.
 
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