Author Topic: For Want of a Nail  (Read 143 times)

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Offline Tytor

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For Want of a Nail
« on: May 28, 2021, 06:17:43 AM »
This thread is the beginning of something a little different.  I've been developing an alternate history scenario set in a world where the Axis Powers emerged victorious in World War II, leading to a completely different Cold War.  This will be a series of vignettes and news articles focused on various events taking place in this alternate world.

This post, of course, will serve as an index.



Wet
Darkest Before Dawn
National Pride
« Last Edit: May 30, 2021, 09:20:19 AM by Tytor »
His Majesty Michael the First, by the Grace of God, King of Tytor and her Colonies, and Lord Protector of Floodwater

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Former Governor-General of The Infinite Alliance
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Former Vice Premier and Speaker of the Senate of the Independent Order
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"A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire

Offline Tytor

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Re: For Want of a Nail
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2021, 06:18:32 AM »
Wet

London, England, UK
27 December 1958
10:22 AM GMT


The crowd roared its approval as Gunther Tamaschke, jointly Schutzstaffel Commandant and German ambassador in the United Kingdom, was stripped of his uniform, piece by piece.  First the hat went, flying off over the assembled mob.  It was caught and ripped in half by two spectators eager for souvenirs.  Next went the jacket, ripped into pieces on its way off the man's body and further shredded as it disappeared into the throng.  The boots went next, followed by the trousers, until finally Tamaschke was left standing in his underwear, humiliated and shivering in the late December air.  The crowd, however, was not done with him.  Ambassador Tamaschke was lifted off the ground and carried bodily out of Piccadilly Circus toward the Thames.  On several occasions a lone German soldier on the outskirts of the mass of jeering Brits tried to push his way to the struggling official, but to no avail.  Each time he was shoved back or otherwise assaulted, and the raucous procession continued making its way to the riverbank.  Upon arrival at the water, Tamaschke was moved to its edge and shoved in headlong with an almighty splash.

"And stay out!" one man shouted at him, "And take the rest of your Kraut friends with you!"  The crowd roared with approval once again, and continued jeering at the now soaked German as he treaded water.  Slowly, they dispersed, and at last it was safe for the soldier to hurry forward and drag the ambassador out of the river.  All up and down the country, the German garrison had been facing similar riots.  Mobs grabbed SS men, soldiers, embassy workers, even suspected Gestapo informants, and humiliated them at best.  In some cases, there had even been lynchings.  The ambassador figured he was probably lucky in that regard.  He hadn't even been supposed to be in Piccadilly that morning in the first place; his driver had taken a wrong turn, and the situation had rapidly gotten out of hand almost immediately thereafter.

"Danke," Tamaschke muttered to the soldier now standing at his side.  The soldier nodded in acknowledgement, but said nothing.  Tamaschke sighed.  Germany, in all its righteous might, had won the war well over a decade ago, and yet here were these defeated civilians, acting as the Fatherland itself had been the loser.  Fuehrer Hitler had been exactly what the Reich had needed to lead it through that most glorious of conflicts; sure, the Speer administration had distanced itself from him and his cult of personality after his death, but he had still been Germany's savior.  Why couldn't this rabble see that?  Why couldn't any of the rabble all over Britain see that?  And to add to that the fact that the Abwehr had got wind that the Americans were somehow involved in the uprisings.

The Foreign Office in Germania would hear of this indignity... just as soon as he could get himself back to the embassy and into a fresh change of clothes.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 06:41:04 AM by Tytor »
His Majesty Michael the First, by the Grace of God, King of Tytor and her Colonies, and Lord Protector of Floodwater

Factbook -- News -- Press Office

Former Governor-General of The Infinite Alliance
Former Ambassador to Albion and the Global Right Alliance
Former Vice Premier and Speaker of the Senate of the Independent Order
Professional Procrastinator

Non-partisan and proud of it

"A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire

Offline Tytor

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Re: For Want of a Nail
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2021, 08:05:43 AM »
Darkest Before Dawn

Washington, DC, USA
December 27th, 1958
6:04 AM EST


"...And our sources in Berlin say that there's chatter about simply pulling German troops out of Britain altogether.  It appears to be growing too expensive to keep them there, what with the next best thing to guerrilla warfare going on in the streets of London, not to mention tacit approval coming from Buckingham Palace."

William Harding Jackson, Director of Central Intelligence, looked up from his notes.  His report, such as it was, was finished.  President Dwight D. Eisenhower nodded thoughtfully, nursing his cup of coffee.  The situation was a far cry from the way Hitler had handled the abortive Norwegian uprisings ten years earlier.  Sure, the protesters had managed to drive Quisling from Oslo temporarily, but when the Wehrmacht hammer came down in response, it came down hard.  The president sighed.

"Do we know if these reports are accurate?" he asked, wishing once again that he didn't have to be up this early.

"Not for certain, no, sir," Jackson admitted, shifting slightly, "But we are confident.  It seems too convoluted an event to be an intelligence ploy or anything like that."

"Well, see if you can't get confirmation," Eisenhower said, "I don't want to act hastily if all we're doing is getting ourselves lured into a trap.  Do the Canadians know about all this?"

"Probably, sir," Jackson replied, "This does seem like the kind of thing they'd pay attention to.  I'll check with them right away, see if they know anything we don't."

"Good man," Eisenhower said approvingly, "That's all."

As Jackson left the room, Eisenhower stared into his cup at the brown liquid within.  News from beyond the Iron Curtain was notoriously unreliable, but it really did seem out of character for the Speer regime to make something up that made Hitler's vain successor look bad.  In all likelihood, it was probably true, which meant there could be an opening for Queen Elizabeth to return.  And if that happened, then the UN might suddenly have a foothold in Europe beyond anything they could have imagined only a year ago.  And that would be far too great an opportunity to miss.  Eisenhower made up his mind; Jackson was going to be getting in touch with CBNRC's liaison officer here in Washington, but that didn't mean...

Eisenhower stood up and quickly found the nearest telephone.  "This is the president," he told the White House operator when she answered, "Get me Prime Minister Diefenbaker of Canada."
His Majesty Michael the First, by the Grace of God, King of Tytor and her Colonies, and Lord Protector of Floodwater

Factbook -- News -- Press Office

Former Governor-General of The Infinite Alliance
Former Ambassador to Albion and the Global Right Alliance
Former Vice Premier and Speaker of the Senate of the Independent Order
Professional Procrastinator

Non-partisan and proud of it

"A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire

Offline Tytor

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Re: For Want of a Nail
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2021, 09:19:43 AM »
National Pride

London, England, UK
31 December 1958
2:11 PM GMT


His Majesty Edward VIII, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, gazed out one of the windows of Buckingham Palace at the busy street below.  The people outside likely couldn't see him, dreary as it was, as there were no lights on in this room.  The King was waiting, as he so often did, for word of the arrival of the German ambassador, Herr Tamaschke, who had so recently found himself a guest of the boisterous British public.  The King, the ambassador, and the prime minister were scheduled to hold a meeting, which Edward had insisted would occur at Buckingham Palace, regarding the ongoing protests, and it seemed like Tamaschke was going to be late once again.

Prime Minister Mosley was already in the building.  Edward had watched his arrival twenty minutes ago from this very room, with all the pomp and circumstance that accompanied such a visit to the royal residence.  The two had even spoken briefly shortly thereafter, but Mosley was now almost certainly holed up in the ballroom turned ad hoc conference room this meeting was bound to occupy.  Edward had not deigned to accompany the younger man.  There were very few places left in Britain where he could fully control his movements and timing, and Buckingham Palace was one; he was not about to miss an opportunity.  Besides, Mosley was an unbearably dull conversationalist.

The King looked up from the street to gaze instead at the skyline beyond it.  The reconstruction of London was making good progress now, and only a handful of obviously war-damaged buildings remained in his line of sight.  It had taken an awful long while to begin the process, courtesy of the war reparations the Reich had demanded in the Treaty of Bristol at the end of Operation Sealion, but now British construction crews seemed to be making up for lost time with gusto.  Repairs to Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral had been completed only last month, just in time for the Christmas celebrations each had missed for almost a decade and a half.

A knock on the door interrupted the King's thoughts.  "Your Majesty, Ambassador Tamaschke has arrived," a servant said from across the room.

"Show him to the conference room, and inform him that I shall be joining him and the prime minister shortly," Edward replied without turning around.

He was a little annoyed, though not at all surprised, to discover that Tamaschke had made his journey from the embassy to the palace without attracting attention.  Edward himself had not seen his arrival.  Not that it mattered, of course; Edward might be king, and Mosley might lead his government, but each man knew who really called the shots in Westminster.  Nothing happened in the United Kingdom without Tamaschke's knowledge and approval; though of course that was supposed to imply approval from Germania, Edward suspected Tamaschke often chose not to bother his superiors in the German capital with what he labeled "petty" matters.  The man was as thoroughly corrupt as any ambassador the Germans had ever sent to London, though perhaps he hid it better.  And speaking of the man himself...

"Your Majesty," Tamaschke's voice said irritably, in that persistently thick German accent of his, "I am afraid I must insist that you join Prime Minster Mosley and myself at once.  This meeting is of great importance."

It registered with Edward that the ambassador had not knocked, and he elected to react accordingly.  "Mr. Ambassador," he said, still not turning around, "While I realize you may be unaccustomed to respecting the privacy of my subjects, I feel it my duty to remind you that I am king here, not you.  This is Buckingham Palace, which is my residence, not yours.  You will return to the conference room, and I will join you shortly."

Tamaschke did not respond, but Edward watched his reflection in the window as he stood indecisively for a moment before backing out of the room and heading out of sight.  Edward sighed, and watched the people below his window for a few more minutes before finally turning to leave.  His inclusion in meetings such as this one was a mere formality, as he would have had no authority to act on the information discussed within even if the country hadn't been swarming with German soldiers.  He was merely an observer in the relaying of instructions by the ambassador to Mosley, who would carry them out like the dutiful fascist he was.  Still, that inclusion did have its perks, including the fact that they technically couldn't start until he arrived.

Mosley and Tamaschke rose to their feet as the King entered the room.  He waved irritably at them to sit as he assumed his own seat at the head of the short, rectangular table.  "Proceed, gentlemen," he said, leaning back as far as the rigid chair would allow.

"Very well, sire," Mosley said, and turning to the ambassador he continued, "What does Germania want this dreary afternoon?"

"It is simple, really," Tamaschke said, gazing at the prime minister with thinly-veiled contempt, "We want you to do your job and calm the people of this island.  Great Britain is a valuable strategic asset in Europe's struggle with the decadent capitalists of America.  It is time for the defense forces you have reformed under the terms of the Treaty of Bristol to be put to use in maintaining that advantage in pursuit of our common goals."

Edward knew that the game was up.  Among the many things Mosley was, a committed fascist was one of them.  The man would go along with Germany's instructions because he believed it to be in the best interest of British fascism, and all of Edward's efforts to preserve the British people from the worst of Nazism's excesses would be for naught.  There was no way--

"I don't think I can do that, Mr. Ambassador," Mosley said quietly.

Edward froze, not quite believing his ears.  Tamaschke looked as if he had been slapped in the face.  "What?" he spat, his accent becoming if possible even thicker than it already was, "Must I remind you of the obligations owed by your country under the terms of the Treaty of--"

Mosley cut him off smoothly.  "No, see, the treaty is no longer relevant," he said, with a dangerous note entering his still calm voice, "The British people have spoken, and their voice is clear.  The... services of your garrison are no longer needed here.  We will be happy to assist your government in undergoing a full withdrawal from the British Isles, but rest assured that any attempt to overstay your welcome will be received very poorly indeed.  In the meantime, Mr. Ambassador, this meeting is over.  I look forward to hearing from you with a definitive plan from Germania for an end to the occupation."

Tamaschke rose to his feet; he had been dismissed, which had never happened here before, and he clearly didn't know how to handle this development.  Edward and Mosley looked at him for a moment or two, and then Edward stood up, essentially requiring that Mosley do the same.

"You are excused, Mr. Ambassador," Edward said, feeling a rush of vindictive pleasure as he spoke, "You have been invited to leave."

Tamaschke cocked his head, like a dog trying to comprehend some strange sound, and gave a mirthless chuckle.  "And so I shall, Your Majesty," he said, "Rest assured that Germania will hear of this.  Good day to both of you."

And with that, the German ambassador backed out of the room and was on his way.
His Majesty Michael the First, by the Grace of God, King of Tytor and her Colonies, and Lord Protector of Floodwater

Factbook -- News -- Press Office

Former Governor-General of The Infinite Alliance
Former Ambassador to Albion and the Global Right Alliance
Former Vice Premier and Speaker of the Senate of the Independent Order
Professional Procrastinator

Non-partisan and proud of it

"A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire