A RETURN TO WAR
Early May 1945: Berlin
The German officer stood in his communications bunker and listened to the radio broadcasts. From the speakers of his radio unit he could hear the ominous thundering of the Russian artillery shells falling on Berlin. Relentlessly the Russians and their artillery pounded on into the heart of the once proud and powerful.
Reich. Over the speaker the voice of old grizzled home guardsmen began speaking. The roar of artillery was gradually replaced by the sounds of small arms fire, popping in the background.
"To any units within range of this broadcast this is Feldgable Earnst Mann. I’m speaking to you from the command post protecting the Chancellery in Berlin. We can now hear voices in Russian from outside our bunker doors here. This will be the last broadcast from this post, Gott Mit Uns ..." Then a loud blast was heard over the airwaves and many rifle and machine gun blasts, and then static. The man who had been listening turned to his right and faced the other men who had been listening with him. The man began to speak." This is a great blow to the Reich and our cause but we knew this day would come, did we not?" At this there was much grumbling and nodding of heads from the surrounding men." But this is why we are here, why we will once again grow strong, and will carry on as the Führer ordered. I will at this time offer any man relief from his duties to return to their homes if they so wish to do so." He stood for a moment silently and waited but no man in his command offered to take his offer. "Very well. Deep in the mountains of southern Germany lays our destination. Roughly 175 km over tough terrain and while dodging allied patrols and aircraft. My orders were to report to this destination in the event that communications are cut off with OKW, (or the armies high command), in Berlin. I don’t know what to expect to find there short of rumors but that is where we head. Sergeant Shufel, take command of the remains of the 14th Panzer and lead off the column. You will be followed by Hans Kleine with the 216th Panzer Grenadiers, with the 12th SS PanzerLehr in the rear. Any stragglers we come across are to be given the offer to return home or join us. The allies must not know of our forces and that we escaped from the front here. You all have your orders so let us be moving along quickly."
Two weeks later the quiet stillness of a mountain meadow deep in the mountains of Germany was broken by the deep rumbling and squealing of Panzer engines and treads. The sounds of laboring engines in the trucks and half-tracks soon all coughed to a halt. After deceiving numbers of allied patrols and recon aircraft they had finally arrived at their destination. The German officer who had led them here jumped down from his tank. He turned and slowly looked around the valley stopping to glance back down the long winding mountain road and the long line of tanks, trucks marching troops and other items of war. Tired, hungry, all that remained of the once proud multimillion man Wehrmacht. He noted the old stone buildings and signs as another man walked up to him. "So Herr Field Marshal, why have we traveled all this way to an old army post in the middle of nowhere?" The man turned to his old friend and sighed. His name was Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, or "The Desert Fox", as he had been known while commanding the Afrika Korps in North Africa. "Come with me" was all he said then he began to walk towards one of the stone buildings. Inside the building was a completely different scene than the outside would lead one to believe. An immaculate and well lit hallway led to a large steel desk flanked by two stern faced SS Sergeants. Rommel nodded to the men and they moved aside smartly and one depressed a button in the wall behind them. the desk lowered into the floor and the wall behind where the desk had stood slid open slowly revealing a large cargo elevator. The two men stepped into the elevator and with the faint sounds of machine in operation the elevator began to descend. The elevator seems to continue descending for minutes when with a loud clang of metal on metal it came to a halt. The giant steel doors slid open revealing an immense underground chamber. It stretched far enough off into the distance one cold not see the end of it, and it was so high that moisture vapor condensed along the ceiling to form small wispy clouds. A small group of men stood waiting at the elevator doors for the two men who had ridden it down. Rommel’s eyes widened in shock and amazement when he began to recognize some of these men. There stood the Reichsmarshal Herman Goring, the little fat man wearing his robins blue uniform of the German Luftwaffe, or air force. The quiet and Dangerous Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS, and the Gestapo. But the biggest surprise was the last man present, the leader of the third Reich and the reason for its demise, Adolf Hitler. "Mein Führer!" Rommel barked and gave the Nazi salute, as did the other man with him. Hitler nodded and Rommel dropped his salute asking, "How? We were told that all was lost when Berlin Fell. The Russian radio reported finding the cremated body of the Führer behind the chancellery in the gardens. Rommel was clearly dumbfounded. All of the men in Hitler's party smiled at this. "The man found by those filthy Bolsheviks were planted doubles, surgically and dentally altered by my doctor Dr. Morell" Rommel nodded and glanced around at Hitler’s party to look for the Dr. Hitler noticed this scanning of his people and smiled." The good doctor had to be liquidated; we could not risk his capture by the allies or by the Russians.” Hitler shook Rommel’s hand and began to walk with him through the vast cavern. Upon coming around a wall of crates Rommel stopped with awe at the contents of the vast cavern. Row upon row of Panzer and Tiger and Tiger II tanks. all lined up in orderly fashion. Millions of crates and boxes of weapons and ammunition.
Hitler and Rommel began walking along the long lines of crates and boxes stacked almost 30 feet high filled with the materiel of war. Rommel began to notice an odd glow in the distance lighting the cavern that didn’t seem like natural light. As they walked Hitler began to speak. "I’m sure you remember Herr Speer?” This man had been Hitler’s chief architect and his Minister of Armaments and war production. Rommel nodded to this. "In early 1943 Herr Speer informed me that our physicists at Peenmunde had made a remarkable breakthrough. He informed me that not only was the ability to travel through time feasible, but it was possible. I thought the idea intriguing so I gave the project the highest possible priority for completion. In the beginning months of 1944 the necessary equipment had been developed and produced and the personnel trained for the mission.” At this the two men and the small group of Hitler’s inner circle came to a halt before a large machine, on top of the machine sat a large circle shaped window. The circle was approximately 30 feet in diameter. In the center of the circle pulsed a small blue white round ball and the metal of the circle seemed to shimmer and steam. Hitler began to speak again while looking at this machine. "The machine you see before you is the direct result of all those endeavors and of millions of Reich marks in research. We simply call it the gate. It is fully functional and has been used several times within the last few months. What I need from you Herr Field Marshal is to use this incredible discovery to reshape the future of the Third Reich. All of my great generals are gone, Guderian, Henrici Von Rundstedt all captured, or dead. You are the last hope for us. If your memory serves you Field Marshal you will remember my plans for the big offensive through the Ardennes Forest in December of 1944? "Yes, Mein Führer, I remember well."Rommel spoke. Hitler nodded and continued on.” Now you will see why I had cancelled that attack so suddenly. All of those forces slated for that attack were rerouted instead to this facility and a few other holding areas close by. As we speak your forces up above are being shown to these hidden depots and being serviced and re supplied and will be joining you shortly. These units will make up the nucleus of the 1st Panzer Army. The troops and material in this cavern will be the 52nd Panzer Army under SS General Sepp Dietrich. He will be directly under your command."Rommel stopped and stared at Hitler in a renewed sense of awe. Hitler smiled at the expression on Rommel’s face and continued talking. "You see, Field Marshal, the gate can only be used once to any particular time and date. So therefore we sent the necessary equipment and personnel back through the gate to assemble the anchor gate to link our time and then. That date is May 26, 1861." Rommel’s eyes grew wide in confusion, "Mein Führer why would we go then? Why the only historical significance of that time period would be ... the United States Civil War!!!" Exactly!” Replied Hitler. "Our goal is to see that the Confederate States win their war against the USA government. The gate has already been in operation for two years in their time so our initial personnel and base their are firmly set up and in place. Your job is to train the men, produce the arms and ammunition you need, and to aid the Confederate government when at all possible. You will be leaving immediately and the 201st Panzer grenadiers and the 4th SS Panzer Division will be dispatched shortly to join you." Yes, Mein Führer. You can count on me and my men." "Good!” Replied Hitler.” Then you will be off.” Hitler said in dismissal. He then turned put his hands behind his back and strode off to talk to another officer about some other matter. Rommel then turned and strode up the ramp to the circle of pulsating light; he paused momentarily then stepped through. A flash of light appeared in the cave and then he was gone.
MAY 28, 1861
Rommel’s arrival two days earlier, though expected, threw the men’s morale sky high. Almost every German soldier knew of the "Desert Fox". His cunning on the battlefield was legendary. Upon his arrival he began furiously digging into his duties and now knew what his total strength, manpower and infrastructure was here in the Confederate States of America. The Germans held an impressive 2500 acres of land around the town of Petersburg, Virginia that had been granted them by the Confederate government. It was now a sprawling ground of factories, troop training areas, and assembly buildings.
MAY 30, 1861
Citizens and travelers alike stood still, the town of Grafton, Virginia was being occupied by federal troops from a unit of the Army of The Potomac. A few cheers rang out from a handful of pro-Union supporters, breaking the stony silence from the other citizens who were staunch supporters of the Confederacy. All this was done with a somewhat vague explanation to the town authorities that it was for their protection.
Captain John Travell rode his horse in front of His Brigade, the 13th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Brigade. His orders had come from Secretary of War Staunton, and up until now the march had been unspectacular. Suddenly from ahead a multitude of gunshots were heard. From down the street a handful of troops came running back his way in disarray. Captain Travell stared in shock as his skirmishers ran past him, some without rifles and packs. Who could it be? He thought. He had no reports of rebel units nearby! Coming down the street to the open fields at the edge of the town he ordered his officers to form up the unit for battle. While he was halted and the unit formed, the captain scanned the edge of the forest at the far end of the field seeing nothing.
Thinking of the skirmishers who had fled past him just moments ago he grunted angrily and spoke to himself, ”Green Troops. They probably ran into a reb sympathizer from town and a few of his buddies and just got scared. No troop commander would let the enemy unit form up without attacking first." He turned back to his men and began yelling and cursing to get his men formed up into their battle lines. Turning his horse to face forward he yelled the command over his shoulder for the unit to move forward.
His line of federal troops made it halfway across the open field when the gates of hell opened wide open. From the tree line directly ahead of Captain Travell and his troops an intense barrage of lead erupted. The sound of so many shots firing so close together led the Captain to believe he had erroneously judged the enemy's strength of numbers. Looking to his left and right while riding forward on his horse he could see his men falling like harvested corn stalks. His horse received a bullet of unknown caliber throwing him violently to the ground. He picked himself up and shook his head to clear the cobwebs out from the impact. He turned to run forward with his men and the last thought he had was the brief view he glimpsed of men in a strange uniform and shiny hats firing a strange repeating gun on a stand. Then a 8mm round from a Mauser sniper rifle found the captain's head splitting it like a ripe melon. Lieutenant Hans Murdlich gave the order to cease firing. The smoke from the thousands of rounds of machine gun fire quickly began to dissipate on the quickening breeze. Slowly the lieutenant rose from his dug in position and looked out over the brief battlefield. It seemed to be covered in a blue blanket of federal soldiers. Over 400 blue clad men lay dead and dying out in the heat of the field. the Lieutenant was used to the tactics of the soldiers in his time and this loss of life on this level shocked him. He looked to his left and right where the other 3 MG 42 machine gun nests had been. His 16 men had all but destroyed the Federal unit before him, a sign of more things to come, he thought to himself. He then turned to his men and equipment to prepare for the counterattack that would inevitably come from the federals.
Later that day the German controlled area in Virginia, rapidly becoming known as New Munich, was alive with activity. Throughout the day beginning about mid morning men, machines, and tons of items used to wage war began to arrive through the gateway. By 4pm that evening Rommel had amassed an army roughly equal to the size of the entire federal Army.
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA: SAME DAY
President Jefferson Davis, the Confederate President looked across his desk at the three men sitting before him. The report he had just read still fresh in his mind. "Field Marshal Rommel your men handled themselves with exemplary action today at Grafton! My compliments to you and your men sir!" Rommel nodded his head, breaking into a small grin. "My pleasure Mr. President. It will be quite some time before their troops try to seize that town again, sir and when they do they will use a larger force, so I am preparing a special surprise for the invaders." Both of the other men in the office leaned forward in interest at this news, but neither spoke yet. The man to the right of Rommel wore a grey uniform with a red sash and a cavalry hat with a somewhat flamboyant feather of the same red color. This man was General Thomas Jackson, a recent replacement for General Beauregard who had become ill a week before. He was definitely a man of airs, and a strict disciplinarian to his men. He was so brilliant in the field, and universally loved by his men that he was an easy choice to appoint. The other man was General Robert E. Lee, a special military advisor to the president. Before the war while still commissioned in the US Army, he had been offered command of the US armies. He had declined the invitation stating that he would never be able to fight against his home and brothers. President Davis spoke again.” Field Marshal Rommel, what were those machines we saw training today called again?"
"They were called Panzers, Mr.President.” said Rommel
Davis mumbled his thanks and nodded at Rommel who returned the gesture. It seems to me that horses will be rapidly outmoded by these machines." Rommel nodded and said, "Yes, sir, they will be so, once the use of my Panzers become more widely spread in use.” President Davis seemed to think a moment then spoke.” How hard would it be to outfit one of our cavalry divisions with these Panzers?’ He asked Rommel. "Not very. Once the men have gotten used to the noise and had the proper training to maintain and care for the machines then they will have to be schooled in Panzer tactics. If I had a year Mr. President I could give you a complete division of Panzers and their support infantry troops called Panzer Grenadiers, or Mechanized Infantry." Davis smiled and slapped his hand on the desk top. "Very well Field Marshal Rommel. I am giving you permission to establish a proper Panzer training school in or around Goldsboro, North Carolina. It is right off of the rail line so transport for your men and machines should prove to be no issue.” Davis then nodded to Jackson and continued. ”General Jackson will do his best to keep the Federals busy until your troops are trained and reequipped." As Davis went silent all the men present nodded to one another and the meeting had come to a close.
JULY 20TH, 1861 MANASSAS JUNCTION, VIRGINIA
General Jackson stood smiling and returned the salute given to him. "It’s about time you joined this party General Johnston.” He said still smiling. Johnston laughed and spoke.” You didn’t think me and my men would miss out on giving the Yankees a good old southern style licking, did you?” He slapped Jackson on the back with a hearty laugh. Both men then turned to walk back into the camp to stand under a canvas awning over the camp table that held Jackson’s maps of the areas around the army. "So what is the situation?” spoke Johnston. General Jackson took a deep breath and pointed at the map beginning to speak.” The Yankees are here, around Centreville, about 55,000 men under McDowell. But he’s flailing around like he’s blind as a bat. General Stuart has seen to that. He thinks this army is still somewhere around Winchester. So he’s kept Patterson and his 18,000 men at Charleston to block you from flanking him and cutting him off from his supplies. I also have Holmes division en route from Aquia Landing but whether they appear on the field in time for the battle is yet uncertain.
11:30pm JULY 20-21 1861 MCDOWELL'S HEADQUARTERS: CENTERVILLE AND BULL RUN
General Irvin McDowell smiled cleverly, his commanders surrounding the map table gaining confidence from their Commanding General. "Tomorrow we will crush the enemy's troops and end this rebellion and be home before Thanksgiving."He spoke confidently."I have discovered a weakness in the enemy lines and we will exploit it here.” His finger pointed on the map to a spot over Bull Run where an old stone bridge stood over the small creek. McDowell, hoping that a surprise strike at the Confederate flank would cave in the enemy defenses, made a grievous error instead.
The next morning McDowell, at 0500 hours, gave the order for his massed artillery barrage. This alerts the already prepared Confederate troops. Confederate General N.G. Evans quickly put his troops in position to meet McDowell’s oncoming attack from Sudley Ford. Evans' troops, some of the first to be equipped and trained by the new German advisors took up their positions.
The federal troops under Generals Heintzelman, Burnside, and Hunter approach the Confederate positions and pause in some confusion. Where there should have been a Confederate line of troops awaiting there were none. The attacking federal officers are puzzled and waste valuable time sending runners to their superiors asking for orders. A few of the Federal officers spy movement inside the tree line, among rocks and makeshift breastworks. This military behavior is contrary to accepted practice, so the federal officers come to the conclusion that the men seen hidden must be a reb picket line, lightly manned and armed. Echoing along the federal lines the order to fire is heard. The federal troops fire blindly with few targets to actually aim at. Their firing is thick and furious and within a few moments the Union officers give the order to cease firing. The powder smoke from the hundreds of musket shots slowly begins to dissipate. In the tree line and rocks and trenches the hundreds of Confederates lay still. Dressed in new German style grey uniforms and wearing helmets instead of wool hats, armed with Schmisser machine pistols and kar98 rifles with mg 42 machine guns situated every 100 yards, death silently waited for the federals. Above the silently laying Confederates the trees are pockmarked with shot from the furious Union firing shortly before. Very few men are reported injured along the long line. Most of the men smile and silently joke in good humor. These new tactics will save many lives and that was something even the lowliest private in the army could appreciate.
Confederate Generals Evans, Bee and Bartow stood in the large living room of the house. Being up on the hill it had been a perfect choice for headquarters. The commanding general Thomas Jackson had paid the Mathews family in gold for the use of their house. He could have just as easily commandeered it, but being the god-fearing and honest man he was he chose to pay for its use instead. The three men stood around a plain brown table studying a map of the battlefield. In the corner another Confederate sat at a table monitoring yet another amazing gift from the Germans. It was called a radio and enabled headquarters to be in contact with troops in the field immediately, eliminating the need for flags, and runners. Behind the hill that the Mathews house stood on sat a long line of large metal wagons with box-shaped tops and large gun barrels pointing from the top of them. The Germans had called these mechanized artillery. But too many Confederates had a problem with those words so many had adopted the name horseless artillery for them, and the name then stuck. All these guns were manned by German artillerymen with Confederate trainees. At the radio of the artillery headquarters a radioman listened to the sudden call for artillery support from the battlefield far forward. The German wearing the headset smiled and nodded to the Confederate beside him. The information was then relayed to the artillery guns.
4:00pm JULY 21ST, 1861 MANASSAS, VIRGINIA
Evans', Bee's and Bartow's brigades had been pushed back to below Mathew’s House Hill. But having been reinforced by Stuart, Early, Kirby Smith, Cocke, Holmes, and Ewell.The battle line now stretched from the Manassas-Sudley Road past Mathews Hill to Bull Run where it turned south along the run to just past Balls Ford. A total of 32,000 Confederate troops now sat on the field and facing them were 35,000 troops under the Federal General McDowell.
Around 4:30 McDowell, being pressed for victory by President Lincoln, ordered Generals Franklin, Porter, Sherman, Wilcox, and Howard to move forward and attack. Their orders are to take the old stone bridge crossing Bull Run. Confederate pickets spot the advancing federals and one of the Confederates radio in with an artillery strike, the first Confederate to do so. The Federal officers, a scant few minutes later hear an odd screeching sound, then explosions begin to tear into the Union formations.
Union Generals Sherman, Burnside, and Hunter ride slowly down the Warrenton turnpike just a mile behind the units attempting to attack the bridge. The generals slowly mounted a rise to see over the field of battle and paused as the artillery becomes heavier for their troops attacking up ahead. The massive artillery barrage and rapid firing of the rebel troop’s positions was now beginning to cause these generals to begin rethinking their attack plans.
General Sherman reached up and removed his hat, wiping the sweat from his brow.” Hot fight our boys are putting up there, Generals.” He remarked But Burnside and Hunter who had met up earlier had already discussed the situation amongst themselves. Neither one shared Sherman’s opinion of the rapidly deteriorating battle out in front of them.
While the three generals began to bitterly argue their armies tactics and strategy, disaster struck. Burnside's troops facing heavy Confederate artillery fire accurately smashing into the Union units, and a withering curtain of hot lead from concealed enemy positions, began to falter in their attack. At first single soldiers began to throw down their weapons, then dozens as the panic began to spread. The fear of death or capture the foremost thing in their minds. Sherman, seeing the first of his troops come running past him went livid with rage. Digging his spurs into the flanks of his horse, he galloped into the retreating soldiers. "Stand your ground!” He bellowed, drawing his sword into the air.” Form up on me, stand and fight the rebel scum."800 yards away Private John Bulkely of the 12th North Carolina sharpshooters rested in a tree scanning the field for targets. He had been German trained and equipped. He now carried the deadly 8 millimeter Mauser Sniper rifle. As he scanned the field a Union officer rode on his horse into his field of view, waving a sword in the air he began to rally the Union troops who were trying to run away from the battle. Bulkely Calmly slightly adjusted his rifle to face the Union officer, looking into his scope mounted on the rifle. Through the scope the Confederate private watched the man's horse stop as the man on it glanced from left to right as federal troops who had been in headlong flight began to reform up on the officer. Bulkely adjusted the cross hairs in his scope to center on the man's chest and then calmly pulled the trigger. The federal troops who had been forming up on either side of General Sherman, saw him fall from his horse and quickly lost their new found courage and once again began to flee the battle.
All along the long Confederate battle line the federal attacks had been repulsed with a horrendous loss of life on the Union side. Reports now coming into McDowell’s headquarters went from bad to worse. Whole divisions were reporting 60 to 70 percent casualties. Some units were so depleted they couldn’t take the field again as an actual unit without massive replacements. McDowell sat down heavily on his camp stool and put is hands on his head in grief. After a few moments he gave the orders for the army to retreat north back across the Potomac River, and safety.
JULY 27TH 1861 WASHINGTON D.C. THE WHITE HOUSE
Major General Irwin McDowell stood at rigid attention before President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln stood silently staring out the window of his office, back facing General McDowell. Looking out at the bustling capitals streets below, his mind kept returning to the debacle at Manassas junction. Three thousand casualties at the initial estimate, not to mention the missing and captured. Some reports spoke of a number as high at 8 to 9 thousand casualties total. Thinking of this higher number Lincoln silently shook his head in disgust. He turned to look at the general, silently picked up a document off of his desk and handed it to McDowell who took it and quietly began to read it. Lincoln sat at his desk and laid his arms on the desktop interlocking his fingers staring at the General while he read the note that Lincoln had passed him. "But, sir! This will ruin my career! I have given my life to serving my country sir! You can’t just take that away from me after all I have given!" Pleaded McDowell after reading Lincolns note. "No sir, Manassas ruined your career along with your gross negligence in command and your inability to take counsel in your subordinates.” Lincoln Countered. "But sir the enemy had more men, more and better arms and equipment than I. Such things as I have never seen before..." But Lincoln was tired of the Generals excuses and violently swung his arm through the air above his desk silencing the Generals on going rant. Ï also know of these alleged reports and they seem highly exaggerated to me, sir. I believe not one of them and you will not use them as excuses for your ineptitude and to cover what you lack, General. You are hereby relieved of the command of the Army of the Potomac, and you are dismissed from my office, sir. Report to the Army personnel office for reassignment effective immediately." Face red with rage, McDowell saluted, and abruptly left the presidents office slamming his door behind him. Lincoln sadly shook his head and called for his military adjutant. "Kindly request General McClellan attends me in my office at his earliest convenience. I wish to speak with him on important matters concerning the Army." The adjutant saluted and hurried off to carry out Lincoln's wishes.
July 30, 1861 Jefferson City, Missouri
As the clashes between pro-Union and pro-Confederacy forces in Missouri continued, the pro-Union forces slowly began to get the upper hand in that state. Behind the back of the pro-Confederacy Governor Claiborne Jackson, and his secretary of state, and lieutenant governor, the pro-Union forces call for a state convention in Jefferson City to oust the Confederate sympathizers. The still early morning quiet of the city is broken by a distant rumbling that the citizens first hear who live on the edge of the city. Within a few minutes the first elements of the 31st SS Panzer (Confederate) Division begin driving into the outer edges of the town. Citizens of the town hide in their homes and businesses in terror at the noise and smoke from the Panzer engines and exhaust. None have ever seen such metal monsters before. The higher placed Confederate leaning officials had prior knowledge that the Confederacy would be sending in cutting edge military aid to solidly secure that state and protect the elected government. The word spreads like wildfire through the city and pro Union forces all rush to leave out of the northern side of the city and the Confederate metal war machines enter from the south. One enterprising group of Union forces near the city center area get the idea they would be safe if barricaded inside a building while taking shots at any Confederate forces that happen to come by. Inside the building a nervous man, Private Albert Oriel peers out a window at a few grey clad soldiers who slowly seem to be walking down the street escorted by one of the new Confederate war machines. Private Oriel takes aim at the metal machine and fires, and stares in shock at the spark from the bullet bouncing off the machine. Private Oriel is amazed and had only enough time to think he would have better luck standing out there throwing rocks at the machine. When the crew inside the tank hear the ricochet of the armor plate from the wasted rifle shot they immediately halt. The tank commander relays to the gunner the location he suspected the shot came from. Down on the ground in the street the Confederate troopers accompanying the Panzer are pointing to a building with barricaded windows, and local citizens rush up to inform us that the last Union supporters in the city are locked in there. The Tiger tank slowly turns its turret to face the building and the long muzzle of the 88 mm tank cannon are pointed at the building. the command,” fire”, is given. The loud cannon blast echoes through the city and the front of the wooden building disintegrates. A few Union troops come wobbling out of the destruction and are immediately cut down. This marks the first and last true defense put up by the Union forces in the state of Missouri and by 10pm that night a message is sent to President Davis declaring Missouri is firmly within the Confederacy.
AUGUST 10TH, 1861 ALONG THE VIRGINIA BANKS OF THE POTOMAC RIVER
The Long lines of Horseless Artillery lay silent, waiting for the orders to fire. The Confederate artillerymen, now with German observers instead stood idly by their guns. Smoking cigars, and a new invention the Germans introduced, cigarettes. Some played cards, some just talked, or wrote to loved ones back home, but all were trained to the peak of perfection. General Thomas Jackson, General Robert E. Lee, and General James Longstreet stood on a small hill overlooking the river and beyond at the federal Capital of Washington DC. behind the trees and hills stretching along the banks of the Potomac the Mighty Army of Northern Virginia lay silently waiting. Almost the entire army had been outfitted with new German design arms and ammunition. Most of the men had been trained in the use of small hand bombs that the Germans called grenades. Many units of German troops had joined the Army and with the Confederates using the same grey color and pattern uniform the difference between German and Confederate was hard to tell. This added to the illusion of the size of the army of Northern Virginia. A horseless carriage rode up and President Jefferson Davis stepped out of the marvel of engineering. He smiled and was followed my Field Marshal Erwin Rommel the Leader of the German soldiers. As Davis walked up to the small gathering of Generals he spoke.” Well Gentleman I have not heard yet from Mr. Lincoln over there if he is amiable to opening a dialogue yet concerning peace proposals between our two respective governments.” Davis paused and sighed, looking over the Potomac at the Union side of the river.” How I do wish he would just throw in the hat and the federals would go their own way and we would go ours." He said. If the federal government doesn’t respond by 2pm this very evening gentlemen then I hereby authorize the pre attack bombardment of the capital of Washington, DC." The generals nodded at Davis and he took one more wishful glance over the river and strode off to speak with the soldiers in the area. Rommel shook hands with the Confederate Generals and then began speaking.” Generals, I have a special surprise in stock for the federal city over there. When the order to commence firing is given please let me know if at all possible before we open fire with artillery." The generals, who all by now trusted Rommel implicitly, agreed. There would be no artillery fire until Rommel’s surprise was unwrapped.
As the 2pm deadline approached no news came from the federal side over the one remaining bridge still standing. Suddenly at 1:55pm a lone Union officer on horseback rode across the bridge with a white flag. He asked to speak to General Robert E. Lee who now commanded the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee met eh federal officer after a few moments wait and was handed a note from the Union government. Lee read the note then looked into the officer’s eyes a moment, handing it back to him. "Do you know, sir, what this says?” He asked the federal officer who brought it over. The man nodded, unable to find his voice in fright. Lee turned to his Generals and spoke. I have here a note from President A. Lincoln USA. He says that since the Confederate government doesn’t exist he can’t give us our demands, and he again orders us to stand down and surrender to the lawful forces of the United States Government.” Dozens of men nearby in earshot of the exchange started to laugh at this and many made derragotery comments about the USA.
Lee turned back to the federal messenger.” Son takes this back over to your side and please tell the president, directly from me that with a heavy heart I will order the assault on that city. Also please tell him that should he reconsider to have a red star shell shot into the air and I will order an immediate cease fire to discuss the surrender of the city.” The soldier nodded and mounted his horse to go galloping back across the bridge over to the federal side of the bank. Lee checked his pocket watch and nodded to Rommel who had been watching him. Rommel spoke to his radio operator and then all was silent. After 15 minutes of relative silence a distant humming could be heard from the sky to the south. As the moments passed objects could be seen in the skies over the city and then they began to drop other objects on the city below. Within minutes large explosions and deep rumbling could be heard from inside the city. Rommel smiled and the spoke to Lee. "General Lee what you are seeing is the Luftwaffe, our air force. Those craft up there are airplanes and they are dropping 500 pound and 1000 pound bombs on the city. If you would kindly order the Artillery to commence firing I can guarantee that the federals will not be in any shape to stop us from just walking and rolling into town and taking it over." General Lee nodded and waved to an orderly standing nearby.” Please kindly go to the command post and have them give the order to our artillery to open fire, sir.” Said Lee
Moments later the thunderous roar of the bombs exploding in the city was outdone by the much closer roar of 150 Artillery Guns firing at once. Inside the city the President and his family was hurriedly rushed to a waiting carriage and driven north out of the city to a home that the army had quickly appropriated in the country. Lincoln arrived at the home with his wife and child and stood looking at the flashes and hearing the booms and crashes in the dying light of the day coming from Washington. Lincoln knew that the Confederate military would look to exploit this new technology they had by invading and trying to hold Washington, but he was determined to hold at all costs. He slapped his fist into his hand in determination. "By god those rebels will never take our capital.” He mumbled to himself.
As the night became early morning the thunder of artillery had gradually tapered off and the quiet of the night set back in as thousands of Confederate and German soldiers began the preparations to cross the Potomac River. The German engineers had built a pontoon bridge across the Potomac to get their Panzers across but a lucky mortar round had hit the bridge and smashed it near the far end of the bridge. The German engineers were furiously trying to repair the damage to that end but were under constant enemy sniper fire and rifle fire from troops up behind breastworks on the edge of the embankment. General Jackson, not a man to be held up by anything, ordered his corps to begin crossing the river. Hundreds of motorized assault craft on tracks like a Panzer roared down the embankments to splash into the river, and begin the crossing. Hundreds more assault boats filled with 12 to 20 soldiers began paddling their was across as well. As they began to cross the river enemy fire began to become more apparent. A few Union shells fell into the river, some bringing lucky hits to assault craft, or boats, the boats fared much worse in this contest as the cannon the federals used were shooting round shot which would explode inside the assault boats, sinking them and drowning the heavily laden soldiers, or killing them outright. The assault craft were armored on top and the sides and the round shells would bounce right off the armor plate. The first boats made the far shore and added their troops to the troops unloading from the assault craft who would back up and re enter the river to recross for another load of troops. The Confederate troops slowly worked their way up the embankment and breastworks only to be forced back by superior numbers of fresh troops constantly being fed into the city by Lincoln and McClellan who now commanded the Army of the Potomac. A small group of Confederate troops from Jubal Earlys division had found a small depression in the embankment giving them cover from the murderous fire of the Yankees above. Two German soldiers had managed to take cover with these men. One of the men had a device that the Confederates had been informed of but not yet seen in action. The second German motioned to a Confederate carrying a radio. "Private,” He said,” get on the command net and give the code work Klockwerk. The Confederate nodded and did so. All along the embankment the troops began to put on masks over their faces. General Lee grunted in disappointment as he watched all of this through his binoculars. Just then an aid rushed up to Lee.” Sir, Someone gave the code klockwerk over the command radio net. Klockwerk was the code the Germans had decided on using if they felt that the casualty rate would be too high to continue without a special weapon.
The gunners manning the Confederate artillery re-positioned themselves, and after having been given the order opened the special wooden boxes that the German soldiers had supplied them with. Each artillery shell was gently loaded into the gun and after all guns had given the ready signal they waited for the command to fire. General Lee and General Jackson stood with General Karl Linz of the 10th Panzer Grenadier Division. Lee stood silently watching the far river bank deep in thought. He was silently fighting a moral battle in his heart about the use of these special weapons he had been briefed on. The Germans had said it was a gas, something called mustard gas. When fired the shells would explode releasing the gas. On contact with skin it would cause severe blistering, and if inhaled would blister the lungs and suffocate the victim to death. To Lee it seems an ungentlemanly way to fight a war. But its uses would definitely outweigh the thought of so many of his good boys not ever going home to their loved ones again. He sighed, and turned to General Linz."General Linz, please order the special weapons to be fired. Verify all friendly troops are in their protective gear."Linz nodded and spoke with his radio man at the command post. After a minute, a single loud roar shook the stillness of the early morning as every gun fired in near unison. Lee watched the rounds landing on the city and saw the thick white clouds of gas expand as the shells detonated. Within a few minutes the firing had slacked off greatly as the gas overcame the federal troops. Even from across the great distance of the river Lee could hear the thousands of screams and cries as the enemy soldiers slowly perished from the gas. Lee lowered his head in shame and quietly spoke.” Gentleman, I do believe that history may not look upon what I have wrought here today with much kindliness.” Then he paused for a second seeming to gather strength for the next command.” Please order our troops over the breastworks and to take all of the land up to the city boundary." With a vast cry of hurrah! the thousands of troops on the far bank surged up and over the embankment like a grey tidal wave drowning what pitifully few blue colored defenders were remaining.
AUGUST 11TH 1861 WASHINGTON D.C. THE WHITE HOUSE
The grounds of the white house were surrounded by troops of James Longstreet Division. Inside the White House, Generals Lee, Jackson, Stuart, Longstreet sat at a table across from a small group of members of congress. Outside the office windows the sounds of battle were slowly getting fainter as the battle lines swept through the city to the northern edge of D.C.
Us Senators Stephen A. Douglas, Henry B. Anthony, and William P. Fessenden sat at one end of the long table staring across at the Confederate Generals. Lee began to speak.” Gentleman, as you can see we now possess your nation’s capital, and as you no doubt know, the British government is expected to officially recognize the Confederate States of America at any time. When they do so, they have pledged to bring their powerful navy to our shores to break the unlawful blockade that the USA has put on our country. Very many fine young American seaman will be killed and many of your ships will be sunk. I wish to avoid more bloodshed gentleman. I am an American and regardless of where I call home I will always be an American first and a Confederate citizen second. That being said I no longer wish to see American killing American, brother against brother and so forth. To this end I propose an immediate ceasefire be put into effect and I will order all Confederate forces to halt immediately and begin an orderly withdrawal to pre-war lines." The Federal congressmen leaned over and spoke to one another.
AUGUST 14TH 1861 WASHINGTON D.C.
The city lay quiet and still, more so than normal. Occasional patrols by the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia would patrol down the streets, keeping the peace. Ongoing discussions between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Confederate states had stalled and little of consequence had been agreed upon. While the politicians verbally sparred with one another, men continued to fight and die.
General Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia, stood silently atop the little rocky hill. With him were Generals Longstreet, Ewell, and A.P.Hill. These were the three corps commanders who made up the army. The army of Northern Virginia had recently been reinforced by a large portion of the Army of the Tennessee after that Confederate army had been dissolved following the near complete destruction of the federal army of the Cumberland. The Army of the Cumberland had tried to cross the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky. The Germans Luftwaffe, now with some Confederate pilots, bombed and machine gunned the army until it was a gutted shade of itself. As Lee and his generals watched far down below, the Union armies tried another valiant push against the entrenched Confederate forces. Lee knew that this latest push by the Yankees would accomplish nothing and would result in nothing but more losses for the Union army. Since the talks in Washington had broken down, Lee had no choice but to continue pushing the Union troops back. He had already been in agreement with President Davis that they would not occupy the north. They would only push back the Union forces to a point where the Confederate border would be safe and that the Confederate armies could entrench and defend safely. Lee knew that so long as Lincoln remained president of the federals the war would never end. So to that end, President Davis was meeting with the Yankee congressmen who had remained in Washington after the federal retreat.
AUGUST 16TH 1861 NORFOLK, VIRGINIA NORFOLK NAVY YARD
Captain Otto Kreuger of the U-2413 unterseeboot, or submarine, stood atop his conning tower and looked fore and aft. On the pier a large crowd of Confederate citizens stood curiously watching the strange looking craft. Kreuger shouted below, “Warm up both diesels.” From below and far to the rear a loud squeal was heard as the high pressure air was forced into the cylinders to start the engines. After a cough the diesels came to life with a burst of blue smoke from the exhausts over the side of the boat. Within moments the engines had evened out into a steady dull throb one could hear and feel throughout the boat. Once sure that the engines were operating normally the captain gave the command for the boat to cast off. This would be the first reassembled boat to go to sea for sea trials prior to war.
Two hours later the type XXI U-boat was slowly making headway into the harbor entrance at Baltimore. Captain Kreuger Slowly panned the periscope around a full 360 degrees making sure no enemy ships were close, then gave an order.”Down scope.” He walked a few feet to his charts then spoke. “Both engines ahead slow, right full rudder to course 145.” As the orders were repeated back to him and he waited the usual commands he thought quickly to himself. As the submarine came nearer to the harbor entrance he ordered the full compliment of contact mines the submarine had carried to be released every 100 feet in a giant “x” pattern. After a few hours of slowly passing time the boats work was done and the entire harbor entrance had been mined. The normal magnetic mines had been left at base and replaced with a contact type mine that the softer wooden hulled ships of the Yankee fleet would be more liable to detonate. As the last mine was laid the crew in the control room breathed a sigh of relief and smiles and silent jokes were in abundance. He ordered the boat to periscope depth to report back to Norfolk that their mission was complete and gave the commands to head the boat to home and safety.
AUGUST 17TH 1861 BALTIMORE HARBOR
Abraham Lincoln sat on the rear deck of the USS Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania was a ship of the line. It was very large and one of the most powerful types of ships in the Union navy. The ship was split into four decks, and carried 105 guns. 90 32-pounder cannons, 12 8-inch chambered cannons, two 9-pounder cannons, and a small brass swivel cannon. The Navy had chosen this ship to take Lincoln to Nova Scotia for a meeting with the heads of the British government to plead with them to not enter the war on the Confederate side. Lincoln knew in his heart that if he tried hard enough and said the right things he could get the British to see reason, and hopefully at least not provide the Confederacy with military support. He sat on the deck and watched the other ships in the harbor slowly begin to drift off as the Pennsylvania gained speed in the wind.
As the Pennsylvania sped along it managed to barely graze a floating German contact mine, shortly followed by a second. Lincoln had enough time to hear the explosion from far below him, then a second similar noise. In seconds Lincoln was surrounded by flame and flying debris. The last thoughts Lincoln had was as his body flew into the air from the near dual blasts. Then there was nothing but darkness.
Within hours of the Pennsylvania being sunk the Vice president Mr. Hannibal Hamlin was sworn in as the 17th president of the United States.
AUGUST 17TH 1861 OFF THE COAST OF MAINE
As Hamlin was being sworn in to the Presidency, a large fleet of unknown warships appeared over the horizon heading for Maine. A few men in a small fishing boat sat silently and watched the monstrous ships approach and begin to pass by. On the dark moonless sea the men couldn’t make out any markings or flags flying from the ships but could hear the throbbing of powerful engines from deep inside the ships that passed by the closest to them. As the morning approached the light of dawn revealed a fleet of 100 plus ships anchored in Casco Bay just beyond Portland, Maine. Three of the largest ships in the strange fleet were easily as long as four or five city blocks and had a large flat area atop them. It was from one of these ships that a small motorized boat separated from and began to head to the dock area of Portland where a large group of curious citizens were gathered beyond a loose circle that a local army unit had formed at the docks. As the boat approached it slowed and a voice spoke. “Ahoy there on shore. I need to speak to president Abraham Lincoln immediately.” The man said. The man in charge of the army unit on the docks, Captain John Trevors, then spoke. “Stranger, I don’t know who you are, or where you came from but not just anyone can see the president. Besides, President Lincoln is dead. He was killed by some sort of mine in the water while on the business of the USA. “ At this the men in the boat looked at one another in a brief moment of confusion. Captain Trevors watched the men in the boat begin to speak amongst themselves for a brief moment, then turned back to him. “Then we need to speak to whomever is the president now.” Trevors was becoming impatient with these strangers. “Ok gentleman, whom then may I tell the President is requesting his presence?” He asked the boat full of men. One of the men who had been silent until now stood up. His white naval uniform of an unfamiliar cut, and he Saluted Trevors. “You can tell the president that Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz of the United States Pacific Fleet is here to see him concerning his German problem.”
AUGUST 19TH 1861 OFF THE COAST OF MAINE
President Hamlin stood on the deck of the ship admiring the advanced technology. He had been here for two days listening to Admiral Nimitz and still found this all hard to believe. But standing here and seeing it all made it all the more real. Admiral Nimitz had explained the war from his time with the Germans. He also explained how the world had come together to defeat Germany and her allies. How during the early part of the year after Germany's surrender the allies had captured a German scientist who had went for a walk in the night. He had refused to say what he had been doing in the mountains of Germany, but he had spilled the beans on German work involving time travel. After much interrogation of the scientist and then getting him to agree to work with US and British scientists in his field, they had been able to build a working prototype of the German time travel machine. The American time machine being built much faster and without the slow trial and error the Germans had done, operated slightly differently than the German version. Without the ability to create two way travel the Americans had to adjust the size of the time field, and it had to have enough power to operate a field large enough to successfully transport everything needed back all at once. So a ship was built to carry the machine and provide its power, essentially a floating power plant.
Over the next few days President Hamlin invited members of his cabinet and senior members of the army to meet with Admiral Nimitz aboard his ship. He had said his ship was called an Aircraft Carrier. The ship was able to carry war machines that flew in the air, and these had the federal military men in awe.
Over the next few days the president and his military chiefs hammered out an agreement to accept the help of their countrymen from the future. Just south of Portland the President set aside 3500 acres of land for Nimitz and his men to use for a base of operations. Nimitz immediately set to work building this base. He ordered his dozens of cargo and tanker ships in close to the shore and began having his LST’s, (landing ship, tank), begin ferrying the heavy equipment and fuel and building material in to the landing beaches. He had US Navy Seabees, or navy construction crews, begin building a fence line around the property, and the buildings and the spot for an airfield. Other crews came in to begin building machine shops, and factories, streets, and electrical production plants.
Nimitz had several steel Quonset huts erected to use as a headquarters while construction was ongoing. Nimitz estimated it would take at least six months to a year to have even a basic infrastructure built to wage a long term war. It would take a year or more for the factories to be built, and to go into production to build the items they would need to conduct modern war. Until then, Nimitz had to keep his operation hidden and safe or the German forces, who had such a great deal more time here then his forces had, would be able to smash them with a few short battles.
AUGUST 21ST 1861 RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
President Davis relentlessly paced the floor of his office waiting for Rommel to arrive. Ever since his intelligence officers had uncovered what they found up north he had deliberated what to do. If not for his German friends his country wouldn’t be in the position they are in today. But Davis knew that eventually their help would come with a price. Davis wasn’t sure what that price would be but he was almost positive he and his country either couldn’t afford it, or wouldn’t like it.
After a few minutes Rommel was ushered into his office by his secretary in the outer office. “Good afternoon, Mr. President.” He spoke with a smile, and held out his hand to shake Davis’s hand. “What can I help you with today sir?” Rommel spoke. I’m not sure if you are aware of the developments up north Field Marshal?” President Davis spoke. Rommel shrugged and said no he wasn’t. “Our informants up in the north have reported that the Yankees have received their own assistance similar to what you and your men have given us.” Davis spoke. Rommel’s smile abruptly left his face replaced by a look of genuine concern. “DO we know exactly what kind of assistance and who it might be?” Rommel asked. Davis shook his head and spoke.” No we don’t know any details for sure. All our informant was able to report before his death was that the Yankees had began using technology similar to our German friends and that they were furiously building some type of base in Maine for these new forces to use.” Rommel seemed to think for a moment then stood still and looked at Davis. “Then we will need to eliminate this new force assisting the Yankees immediately.” Rommel said. I propose that we reinforce the Army of Northern Virginia with more of my mechanized units, then we strike north through the lines of the Army of the Potomac, smashing all resistance in our way. We fight north until we get within artillery distance of this base. Then I propose that we use a combination of artillery and aircraft to destroy this base the Yankees are building in Maine.” Davis nodded and gave the idea some thought. “Will we be able to strike this enemy base and then return to our borders without suffering severe losses?” Asked Davis. “ Rommel nodded affirmative. “Mr. President I believe that if we use overwhelming force at the point of attack, the federal troops will collapse in short order and fall back in disorder. I can have our Luftwaffe and artillery blast the Union lines and then lead off the attack with a massive Panzer Army. This combination of air, artillery, and Panzers should be enough to eliminate any resistance. “Rommel said. Davis seemed to give the idea some thought then nodded to Rommel. “Very well, Field Marshal. Order the preparations for the attack.
AUGUST 23RD 1861 JUST NORTH OF WASHINGTON D.C.
Several days later Rommel sat in his Panzerkampfwagon VI and waited for his watch to strike midnight. As the hands finally reached midnight he nodded to his radio operator to give the signal for the artillery bombardment to begin. From far behind Rommel and His massive formation of Tiger and Panzer tanks mixed with Panzer Grenadiers the rumble of his massed artillery began.
All along the Yankee battle lines the troops sat behind breastworks and in trenches silently waiting for anything to happen in anxious anxiety. Unknown to the German and Confederate troops waiting to attack, the Army of the Potomac had been reinforced by a division of Marines from Nimitz’s Task force in Maine. These men had been battle hardened against the Japanese forces in the pacific theater of war back in 1944-45. With their modern weapons and equipment they were sure to give the Germans something to think about in their next attack into the rebel lines which had been scheduled for the next day. Suddenly the Marines recognized the sounds of incoming artillery rounds and dove into trenches or hastily dug bunkers. The federal troops took shelter into trenches or got lower against the ground until the only thing separating them were the buttons on their uniforms. The artillery blasts seemed to last for hours but were actually over in around 15 minutes or so. As the echoing of the last blast faded away, the men behind the lines could hear the rumbling and squeaking of tank treads and engines from the direction of the Confederate lines. Slowly the noise got louder and then the men could begin to see Panzers and infantry advancing in half-tracks on the Yankee lines. The Confederates and Germans, not expecting any serious resistance, were unpleasantly surprised to hear several whooshes, and see streaks of smoke stream from the Union lines out over the open areas between the forces. These streams slammed against several Panzers holing them. One Panzer screamed to a halt, its turret separating from the lower half of the tank as the fuel and ammunition blew up inside the machine. Some of the Yankees could hear the brief screams of the men inside as they burned alive in their machines. Another Panzer hit by these anti tank weapons slowed to a stop and the turret hatch and drivers hatches flew open with a clang, a large fireball erupting from inside the machine. Several other Panzers were disabled by tank treads being blown off, or engines being disabled.
Rommel began to receive reports of the Union troops using anti-Panzer weapons or Panzerfausts. Slowly his Panzer commanders began to report casualties from the attack. After only a few moments of advancing he had lost over a dozen Panzers already. Rommel was already angry over the failure of his Luftwaffe to make the showing that he had wanted to over the Union lines. Apparently his Luftwaffe commander had reported problems with the airbase his engineers had built on the outskirts of Washington D.C.
Rommel listened in to his command frequencies and saw how his Panzer commanders were beginning to falter under the barrage of anti tank weapons that the Union troops were using. He ordered Major General Sepp Dietrich to follow through with the attack. Dietrich affirmed his orders over the radio and changed his radio to his units command net. “12th, and 67th Panzer Divisions form in V formations turrets left and right, full advance into the Union lines. Run them down.” Dietrich ordered. But the units were now facing a determined defense by the Marine division that they had no idea were facing them. As the Panzers approached closer to the Union lines they began to hit anti-tank mines that the marines had placed all along the federal lines to prevent such an attack. The Marines, being experienced in combat, were targeting command tanks. These were the tanks with several radio antenna on their hulls. Within moments the units begin to feel this lack of command as the various unit commanders went silent on the radio and the pleas and screams from the other Panzers making up the units went unanswered.
In anger and astonishment at this unexpected result of the battle Rommel immediately ordered his Panzer Grenadiers into the battle. The half-tracks began to disgorge their troops into the battlefield full of flying shrapnel and lead. Almost as soon as the men were in view of the Yankee lines Confederate and German troops began to fall from the intense fire. But there was only one division of Nimitz’s troops on the field and the rest of the federal line was still using muskets and miniball ammunition.
As the accurate and lethal fire of the Confederate and German troops took its toll, the federal troops began to break and waver. At first a few men threw down their weapons and turn and ran, then groups of men, then finally whole units were fleeing the line. The marines in the line had no choice but to withdraw or they would be flanked on both sides by the on rushing Army of Northern Virginia.
Three days later Field Marshal Erwin Rommel stood on the top of a Tiger II tank, peering into the valley below. The Federal troops, now pushed deep into Maryland were placed along a long line stretching from Aberdeen along the end of the Chesapeake Bay, past Westminster in the northern middle part of the state, over to Hagerstown near the panhandle of Maryland. Rommel knew that the longer he took to push this Union army back the stronger the federal army would get from Nimitz’s assistance. H had previously asked one of his vaunted U-boat captains to peek into Chesapeake Bay. He had been turned back by a determined defense of several destroyer type ships. The U-boat captain had informed Rommel on his return that he had barely escaped with his ship intact.
Rommel jumped down from the tank he had been standing on, lowering his binoculars. “Mein Gott.” He declared, slapping his gloves in his hand against his pant leg. He turned followed by his ever present aides and went to his command track to sit and think. A plan was forming in his mind to break through the enemy lines, but he hadn’t yet had the time to work out all of the fine details. He would though. He always found a way.
Several days later a unit of SS commandos silently slid through the night. Approaching the federal line the men moved like ghosts. Their Commander, Otto Skorzeny , was a brilliant special operations commander. He had previously glided into Italy and rescued Hitler’s Ill Fated ex partner Il Duce, Benito Mussolini the former Dictator of Italy. Skorzeny, face blacked out with black grease paint, silently motioned to the men to his left and right and they slipped through a small gap his men had found in the federal lines after several nights of exploration along the entire line.
His men peeled off to the left and right, several dozen going both ways. Silently the men began to kill any Yankees they came to behind breastworks or in trenches. Bayonets, and silenced pistols were used primarily on this night. By the time first light was upon the field the the men of the 179th SS Commando Brigade had cleared almost a mile gap in the near continuous federal lines. As the men had completed their work in one area, a unit of Confederate troops would move across the open area in front of the old federal line and occupy defensive positions in preparation for moving up when the commandos had cleared a new area. As daylight dawned Rommel had placed an entire Confederate corps in the gap in the Union line whose flanks were protected by MG 42 machine gun nests and crack Wehrmacht units to hold the gap open. Rommel now had his chance. He ordered the Confederate corps commander General Thomas Jackson to move with all speed toward the north to a town called Gettysburg.
This small town was an important road hub with roads leading in all directions, some of which were the directions in which this army had to move. The Confederate corps, mounted up on Panzer and Tiger II tanks started their big diesel engines up shattering the still quiet of the early morning. This alerted the Union troops on either side of the gap to something unusual happening. Both local Yankee unit commanders on opposite sides of the gap came to almost the same decision at almost the same time. They sent runners to contact the units on the line in the direction of the noise, only moments later hearing the stuttering fire of a machine gun as it cut down their runners on both sides of the gap. The waste of valuable time this all took to happen seriously cut down on the speed of the Federal Army response to the breach in the lines and they were slow to react. Within moments of the engine noise being detected the Confederate corps was racing off to the north, over running rear units of the federal army and destroying or scattering an entire division supply wagon train including the medical supplies and artillery units.
General McClellan, the federal commander of the Army of the Potomac, realized what was happening after almost an hour of continuous heavy firing and battle to the west of his position behind the federal lines. He slowly began to receive reports of Confederate and German units in his rear areas disrupting and destroying his supplies and rear echelon troops. McClellan screamed in rage.” Can anyone tell me how those damnable rebs got into and behind our lines?” He said while scanning the faces of the officers surrounding his situation map. All of the men looked down or away and none would look into his eyes.” I thought so. I am surrounded by incompetence and men who are consistently failing to follow my orders and have nearly doomed us all.” He raged, screaming. All you men may now pray to whatever god you believe in that our friends in Maine have that secondary defense line set up. Because if they don’t gentleman we may have just lost this war.
AUGUST 26TH 1861 SOUTH SIDE OF GETTYSBURG PENNSYLVANIA
A long line of green colored tanks sat silently in the early morning coolness. The machines faced over a small field directly beyond a stone fence. The Officer commanding them stood silently, carrying a pair of binoculars, constantly scanning the far tree line and the spot where the dirt road disappeared into the woods heading south. The man's olive green helmet was shiny, and had 3 stars on it. On each hip was an ivory handled colt .45 pistol. He turned again to look over his preparations. He had over 150 Sherman tanks on the line as his main defense. He had several dozen wolverine anti tank guns as well as hundreds of anti tank mines he had placed in a wide arc before his formations. With him were elements of the Big Red One, or the US army 1st infantry division. He stood impatiently, listening to the wildlife of the nearby woods. He knew that shortly the sounds of battle would silence the animal sounds. He stood and thought back to a previous life he believed he had. It was an early silent morning like this standing on the walls of the ancient city of Carthage. The Roman army encamped a short ways from the city gates. The sounds of brakes squealing on a jeep that pulled up broke him from his reverie and he turned to see who the new arrival was. Major Clark Hoering, his adjutant, had come rushing up to him with a look of anticipation on his face. “General Patton, Sir.” He saluted. “The German and Confederate troops have broken through the Army of the Potomac lines south in Maryland. They are moving forward at the rate of 30 to 40 miles per hour. Headquarters staff expects the enemy troops to arrive within a few hours. The Army of the Potomac is split into roughly two corps and is falling back one wing of the army to Chambersburg her in Southern Pennsylvania and the other wing towards Hanover. This should leave a wide enough gap open for the enemy army to travel up the valley towards our forces here in Gettysburg. “ Patton nodded, slapping his riding crop against the side of his leg. “Good! Once the enemy formations are past Hanover ask General McClellan to force march that portion of his army in from the east to Gettysburg. Then ask General McClellan to send his western wing in towards Gettysburg from Chambersburg. The units from Chambersburg have farther to go so they should arrive in time if notified in a timely fashion.” Patton smiled thinking. “If all goes as planned the German and Confederate forces should be fully involved in the battle here with us when the Army of the Potomac and its two wings meet here with the enemy army in the center, caught between us, and the two flanking portions of the Army of the Potomac the enemy should be destroyed in short order.” General Patton smiled in expectation.
AUGUST 26TH 1861 SOUTHERN PENNSYLVANIA
As the Confederate and German forces approached a small hamlet 30 miles south of Gettysburg Rommel ordered his units to slow to a halt. General Lee immediately rode up to Rommel’s command tank in a kubelwagon. ‘Why have we been brought to a halt, Field Marshal? “Rommel was asked by Lee in his southern accent. Ï was given to understand that the Yankee army is dispersed and unable to turn and form any display of resistance.” Rommel sighed, and removed his radio headphones from his head. He turned to Lee and spoke. “General Lee, sir. My scouts out on each flank of our advance report large numbers of Yankees making a bee line for two towns that flank our objective. Although these two towns are quite some distance from Gettysburg, I feel that these units could if the opportunity arose, turn and force march to Gettysburg. If that were to happen, General Lee, then this army would be caught between both dispersed wings of the Army of the Potomac. Those units combined with any units this Admiral Nimitz might be able to bring against us. I have also learned that a large force of militia have departed from Baltimore to reinforce the Army of the Potomac by attacking us from the south as we engage the enemy at Gettysburg.” General Lee nodded, silent and thinking. “It does not matter Field Marshal. With our overwhelming superiority in arms we will be victorious over those men over there. It does not matter where we meet on the field of battle as I believe we have god on our side and our cause is righteous.” Lee said. Rommel shook his head, disagreeing with Lee’s assessment of the situation. “General Lee, we could possibly become engaged with forces from my time. If this comes to pass and we are also engaged with the Army of the Potomac, we could be overrun and defeated in detail.” Rommel said. “Field Marshal Rommel, I have given an order sir, and I do expect you to follow that order, sir. If you feel strongly that those orders are in error you may pull your men and material from this army and withdraw at any time. You aren’t under my command, you are an ally and friend of the Confederate Government.” Rommel nodded his head and took his hat off, throwing it on the ground. He paced back and forth a few moments behind his Tiger tank. He then paused and took a moment to pick up his hat from the ground. “Very well General Lee. We will follow your orders for now. But I and my countrymen won't forget this.” Lee then saluted and strode back to his command car and it drove off back to his headquarters. Rommel glanced in the direction Lee had left in for a moment silently full of doubt and anger. He then turned back to his tank and climbed back aboard.
AUGUST 28TH 1861 GETTYSBURG PENNSYLVANIA
Lieutenant Herman Klein sat in his Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter plane. Klein and his fellow pilots were in a flight formation of 35 airplanes. After the Luftwaffe’s earlier disaster in not providing the Field Marshal air coverage when he had needed it, they were determined to make up for the mistakes that their force had made.
As Klein and his men began to come near to Gettysburg, Klein radioed his men to circle the town. Within moments he spotted the long green line of American tanks that General Patton had lined up nicely for him to destroy. He radioed the attack orders he had decided on to his men and then banked into the dive for the attack.
Patton and his men were sitting on the ground, and on the tanks waiting for orders. If the army had an unofficial rule it was hurry up and wait. A distant roar suddenly was heard and Patton instantly knew what the sounds were. He quickly stood up and screamed.” Get in those god damn tanks and pull them back under the tree line. Hurry the hell up men. Those are kraut ME 262 jet fighter planes.” He bellowed. But the jets were moving at such a high rate of speed that between the time that Patton gave his warning and the noise was first heard, the jets were upon them already. Klein and his wingman came screaming in barely over the tree tops with cannon and rockets blazing.
As the planes dove into the attack, little bursts of dust from the streams of cannon fire from the attacking planes marched in a line leading up to the tanks and men on the line. As the streams of bullets reached the tanks the dusty bursts were replaced with flashes and explosions as the fuel and the ammunition in the tanks were exploded by the heavy cannon fire from the planes. Men were literally blown into pieces by the heavy caliber slugs, and equipment was smashed and destroyed. Patton jumped up on a nearby jeep and got behind a heavy .50 caliber machine gun mounted on the rear of the jeep. He began to fire at the swooping and firing jets, hoping to knock one down or at least damage one. Other men, seeing his example began to fire back. However, the jets were moving too fast and not one jet was seriously damaged by the sporadic fire from the ground. Lieutenant Klein radioed his group to reform and head for home as he noticed the fuel level in his tanks beginning to get low. He smiled to himself, yes today was a great day for his group.
AUGUST 29TH NORTH SIDE OF GETTYSBURG PENNSYLVANIA
Patton sat just within the tree line waiting for the German forces he now knew were heading directly for him and his unit. After the attack yesterday Patton had regrouped what undamaged units he could and reformed his line under cover on the north side of Gettysburg. Patton only now had 50 Sherman tanks, and 36 Wolverine Anti Tank guns at his disposal. His men did have plenty of the bazooka anti-tank weapons though. He knew though that the bazookas would have a difficult time destroying Panzer, and Tiger tanks.
As noon approached Patton's forward op, or observation post, began to hear the grinding and squealing of tank treads. As the men watched on the south side of town the German and Confederate forces began exiting from behind the trees where the road came out of the woods. The men watched in apprehension as dozens and dozens of Tiger II and Panzer tanks began to turn left and right off the dirt road to form up on the field leading up to the southern edge of town. Private Lawrence McGee, one of the men in the observation post, picked up his field telephone and cranked the handle to connect to Patton's headquarters on the other end of town. He heard a click then someone answered.”Go ahead.” The voice said. “Sir, this is Private McGee at op 21. I'm looking dead at the whole kraut army sir.” The voice on the phone was silent a moment. Then spoke.” Calm down soldier and give me details. What kind of tanks, how many, any half-tracks, how many, and how many men.” The voice calmly spoke. As this voice on the phone was speaking though the Confederate/German army were moving fast towards the edge of town, Patton’s old positions. McGee, tired of waiting to flee back to the lines, and getting very nervous the closer the enemy came, interrupted the voice on the phone. “Sir! I have an overwhelming force of Panzers in front of me and more men than I can count. My buddy and I are leaving this post to head back to the lines before we are cut off. “ He said. McGee dropped the field telephone and tapped his buddy on the shoulder.” Come on, let's get outta here, Mac” he said.
Patton was in a rage. Nimitz had over ruled his orders to shell the town. The enemy didn’t have such a problem as they were now in Yankee lands and would shell whenever they felt the need to do so. As the enemy forces entered the town unopposed and began to exit the northern end of town, the enemy tanks began to form up into attack formations. From the far side of the town from back behind the enemy units the thumps of mortars and artillery guns firing could be heard. Patton rushed to his command track, a half-track, and had his radio man order the men to make sure that they had their tanks buttoned up, or closed. His infantry lowered themselves into the bottom of their trenches and foxholes. For several minutes artillery rained down all along Patton’s lines. Men and machines weathered the storm but there were some casualties. As the artillery lifted, the enemy tanks and infantry began their move forwards towards the line. Patton ordered his wolverines to fire first. The deep boom of the wolverine’s large bore guns began to echo through the woods. Several Panzer and Tiger tanks were immobilized and destroyed by the first volley. But the Sherman's had hardly a chance to to stop the heavily armored Panzers and Tigers. Many shots by the Shermans would clang, and ricochet off the thick armor of those tanks. But the bigger guns of the Panzers and Tigers punched through the Sherman's armor like tinfoil.
Within the first volleys of fire from the German and Confederate tanks Patton’s command was a demolished burning smoking mess. Patton, seeing the end if they stayed here, ordered his troops to disperse and fall back in the direction of York. The US tanks began popping smoke from their smoke generators to cover their withdrawal and rapidly sped backward away from the oncoming German and Confederate tanks and troops.
Rommel watched the US tanks through his binoculars as they began to withdraw. Rommel smiled and ordered his troops to slowly pursue Patton’s tanks and infantry. He decided then and there that he would halt the pursuit when his lead tanks reached the tree lines that the enemy were withdrawing into.
AUGUST 31ST 1861 ALLENTOWN PENNSYLVANIA
General George B. McClellan and General George Patton sat glumly thinking over the last few days events. The entire Army of the Potomac had been assembled and stretched across the valley with Allentown just behind the center of the line. All of Nimitz’s armor and heavy weaponry had been arrayed in this valley. 100 miles south the Confederate and German steamroller had continued slowly advancing destroying small towns, and villages in its path. The two Generals knew that this was the last chance for them to stop the advancing enemy. The Confederate underwater ships had effectively blockaded the harbor of New York, and the new guns and equipment mounted on the two new Confederate ships the CSS Georgia, and the CSS Texas were systematically destroying the Union ships maintaining the blockade all along the Confederate coastline.
News from every front was bad for General McClellan. The re equipped Confederates in Vicksburg had demolished the Union gunboat flotilla that had tried to ferry Union troops down the Mississippi River to capture that town. Missouri had successfully fully joined the Confederacy and they were now gathering together recruits for the Confederate Army. The state of Kentucky had broken their neutrality and swayed entirely toward the Confederacy seeing the way the war had begun to turn. The only state remaining on the border not Confederate was the holdout and relative newcomer West Virginia. To make matters worse the British Army in Canada was beginning to assemble several large forces. One at Fort Erie opposite the border from Buffalo, New York, and the other at McAdam in New Brunswick opposite the border of Maine.
Patton stood on the raised platform. Out in front of his position stood the thousands of American soldiers who had volunteered to come back in time to the Civil War. The men were downcast, and edgy. They knew that it was only a matter of time before the German and Confederate soldiers reached them and began their final assault. Behind these assorted modern and civil war era Americans stood nothing. No more defensive lines, no more reserves. Patton coughed loudly and the mixed troops slowly went silent staring up at him.
He began speaking.” Be seated. Men, all this stuff you hear about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of bullshit. Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball players and the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That's why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Battle is the most significant competition in which a man can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base.
You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would be killed in a major battle. Every man is scared in his first action. If he says he's not, he's a god damn liar. But the real hero is the man who fights even though he's scared. Some men will get over their fright in a minute under fire, some take an hour, and for some it takes days. But the real man never lets his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood.
All through your army career you men have bitched about what you call 'this chicken-shit drilling.' That is all for a purpose—to ensure instant obedience to orders and to create constant alertness. This must be bred into every soldier. I don't give a fuck for a man who is not always on his toes. But the drilling has made veterans of all you men. You are ready! A man has to be alert all the time if he expects to keep on breathing. If not, some German son-of-a-bitch will sneak up behind him and beat him to death with a sock full of shit. There are four hundred neatly marked graves in Pennsyvania, all because one man went to sleep on the job—but they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before his officer did.
An army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, and fights as a team. This individual hero stuff is bullshit. The bilious bastards who write that stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real battle than they do about fucking. And we have the best team—we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity these poor bastards we're going up against.
All the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters. Every single man in the army plays a vital role. So don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. What if every truck driver decided that he didn't like the whine of the shells and turned yellow and jumped headlong into a ditch? That cowardly bastard could say to himself, 'Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.' What if every man said that? Where in the hell would we be then? No, thank God, Americans don't say that. Every man does his job. Every man is important. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns, the quartermaster is needed to bring up the food and clothes for us because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last damn man in the mess hall, even the one who boils the water to keep us from getting the GI shits, has a job to do.
Each man must think not only of himself, but think of his buddy fighting alongside him. We don't want yellow cowards in the army. They should be killed off like flies. If not, they will go back home after the war, god damn cowards, and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the god damn cowards and we'll have a nation of brave men.
One of the bravest men I saw in the African campaign was on a telegraph pole in the midst of furious fire while we were moving toward Tunis. I stopped and asked him what the hell he was doing up there. He answered, 'Fixing the wire, sir.' 'Isn't it a little unhealthy up there right now?' I asked. 'Yes sir, but this god damn wire has got to be fixed.' I asked, 'Don't those planes strafing the road bother you?' And he answered, 'No sir, but you sure as hell do.' Now, there was a real soldier. A real man. A man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how great the odds, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty appeared at the time.
And you should have seen the trucks on the road to Gabès. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they crawled along those son-of-a-bitch roads, never stopping, never deviating from their course with shells bursting all around them. Many of the men drove over 40 consecutive hours. We got through on good old American guts. These were not combat men. But they were soldiers with a job to do. They were part of a team. Without them the fight would have been lost.
Sure, we all want to go home. We want to get this war over with. But you can't win a war lying down. The quickest way to get it over with is to get the bastards who started it.. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we go home. The shortest way home is through Richmond. So keep moving. And when we get to Richmond, I am personally going to shoot that paper-hanging son-of-a-bitch Davis.
When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a Boche will get him eventually. The hell with that. My men don't dig foxholes. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have or ever will have. We're not just going to shoot the bastards, we're going to rip out their living god damned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cocksuckers and slave loving mother fuckers by the bushel-fucking-basket.
Some of you men are wondering whether or not you'll chicken out under fire. Don't worry about it. I can assure you that you'll all do your duty. War is a bloody business, a killing business. The Nazis, and Confederates are the enemy. Wade into them, spill their blood or they will spill yours. Shoot them in the guts. Rip open their belly. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt from your face and you realize that it's not dirt, it's the blood and gut of what was once your best friend, you'll know what to do.
I don't want any messages saying 'I'm holding my position.' We're not holding a god damned thing. We're advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding anything except the enemy's balls. We're going to hold him by his balls and we're going to kick him in the ass; twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all the time. Our plan of operation is to advance and keep on advancing. We're going to go through the enemy like shit through a tin horn.
There will be some complaints that we're pushing our people too hard. I don't give a damn about such complaints. I believe that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder we push, the more Germans we kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing harder means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that. My men don't surrender. I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he is hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight. That's not just bullshit either. I want men like the lieutenant in Libya who, with a Luger against his chest, swept aside the gun with his hand, jerked his helmet off with the other and busted the hell out of the Boche with the helmet. Then he picked up the gun and he killed another German. All this time the man had a bullet through his lung. That's a man for you!
Then there's one thing you men will be able to say when this war is over and you get back home. Thirty years from now when you're sitting by your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks, 'What did you do in the great Civil War?' You won't have to cough and say, 'Well, your granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.' No sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say 'Son, your granddaddy rode with the great Army of the Potomac and a son-of-a-god damned-bitch named George Patton!'
Alright, you sons of bitches. You know how I feel. I'll be proud to lead you wonderful guys in battle anytime, anywhere. That's all.” Patton ended his speech among the cheers and hurrahs of his men. Patton grimaced, looking out over his still cheering men. He could tell his speech had made the difference that he had hoped in them. They were no longer going to be worried about the up coming battle. They no longer worried about loosing. Now they wanted to go out and kick some Nazi and Confederate Ass. Just has he had wanted.
The German and Confederate columns advanced down the valley toward Allentown in the distance. Rommel and his headquarters unit were in Lebanon Pennsylvania approximately 100 miles from Allentown. Rommel knew that if is force could break through the federal and US army lines thrown up across the valley ahead, there would be nothing left to stop him from advancing all the way up into Maine.
Patton and his men sat silently behind their lines and what fortifications they had been able to construct in the short time they had. Slowly a deep buzz could be heard from the sky far and behind the American line. Patton turned his head to scan the sky and wept tears at the sight. Far above the valley he occupied with his men flew hundreds of US Navy fighter planes. Several hundred Vought F4U Corsair’s and Grumman F8F Bearcats were beginning to fly over the lines. Patton smiled, Nimitz had made good his promise. His fleet carriers in the harbor up there had come through. These planes were being escorted by several squadrons of Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star jet fighters. These had been launched by Nimitz advancing the Seabees construction timetable of their airfield in Maine.
As the attack planes from Nimitz closed on the area above the soon to be battle field, the cry of tally ho could be heard on the pilots radios as they spotted the flights of Luftwaffe planes diving out of the sun. The Luftwaffe pilots flying the Me 262 jet fighters were genuinely surprised to encounter the American jet fighters. As the F-80 and Me262 began to dogfight one another, the corsairs and the bearcats began to pounce on the Ju 88 dive bombers that had began to screech in dives on the federal and US army lines. The Ju 88’s didn’t fare well against the combined assaults of the corsairs and the corvairs. The pilots had to jinx and swerve in their dives, some pulling out of their attack runs all together. The 88’s weren’t fighters and couldn’t move fast enough to avoid many of the attacking planes. The cries on the radios of the corsairs and the bearcats were jubilant as they began to sweep the skies clean of the attacking dive bombers. Meanwhile up above the slaughter of the ju 88’s the me 262’s, while not necessarily being slaughtered, weren’t exactly fulfilling their missions either. The Luftwaffe pilots were finding that shooting down the American Jets wasn’t as easy as attacking propeller driven craft. The American pilots scored several kills and morale was sky high.
Lieutenant Herman Klein, the commander of the Me 262 squadron, was becoming frustrated. He couldn’t find a way for his men to get the upper hand in this battle. The American jets, which his intel had goofed on and not been aware of, were proving to be every bit as good as his own Messerschmitt plane was, and the pilots were also surprisingly just as good. Klein cursed into his oxygen mask as he jerked his plane to the left while watching a f-80 come in from that direction, his attention on this maneuver he missed seeing the stream of tracers from the second f-80 who had come in from the right. His plane flew right through the tracer stream and he instantly heard and felt the heavy shudder as the f-80 cannon rounds tore chunks from the fuselage and tail of his plane. Klein spun his head around to see where the rounds had come from and then noticed he couldn’t move his head very fast. His head leaned forward, out of control, chin on his chest. His eyes were still open and he could see the giant hole in his chest, blood pumping out. He thought to himself, I can't even feel it, it must be a scratch, then his vision went dark.
The remainder of the Me 262 squadron saw their commander’s plane go down in smoke and explode before impact. This prompted the squadron second in command to decide that they had enough for one day and he ordered the remaining Me 262’s to flee at high speed back to the south and safety. Meanwhile, below the last remaining few ju-88 on the field were either shot down or driven off.
A lone Corsair, Lieutenant Commander John F. Kennedy the pilot, flew low above the friendly lines wiggling his wings in salute to the men who raised their arms in cheers as he passed over. This one act alone brought the army’s morale sky high. The men felt undefeatable now.
Rommel took the news of his pilots being decimated stoically, calmly telling his anti-aircraft vehicles to close the gap with his attacking units. He wanted these vehicles close by to protect them from the air units of Nimitz. He then ordered his units to close and attack the enemy line. General Lee stood close by and examined his map. “Field Marshal Rommel, sir.” Lee spoke. “How do our units fare that we sent up into the Pocono Mountains toward New Castle?” Rommel pointed at the map. “General Lee our Confederate units under Generals Longstreet, Ewell, and Hill are approaching New Castle as we speak. Our intelligence says that the Yankees don’t have any defense of significance that far back into the mountains. Most of the Yankee units are here in the valley facing us.” Lee nodded at Rommel’s report.” Very well, sir. How do the units of yours fare approaching Emmaus on the east end of the Yankee line.” Asked Lee again.” very well sir. My commander reports that they encountered a screen of Yankee cavalry under General Buford near the town, but have since destroyed or dispersed them.”
Lee nodded, and studied his map a moment longer.” Do we have our artillery set up Field Marshal Rommel?” Said Lee. “Yes sir, we do. The gunners are standing by for orders. I have an entire corps of 155 mm Howitzers and several dozen 88 mm cannon set up as well to protect the artillery.” Lee seemed to think over this information a second.” Field Marshal Rommel please order our artillery to begin salvo fire on the enemy positions once our units at New Castle, and Emmaus take up their positions there. We can use them as forward observers to detect the fall of the rounds and make corrections as need be.”Rommel nodded and then scribbled down the orders to pass to his orderly for transmission to the units in the field.
General Longstreet stood in the low valley watching his men and Ewell’s men march up the far hill. Once halfway up the hill he saw the men dive to the left and right. Small blue figures could be seen firing from the crest of the hill, down at the Confederates. As he watched through his binoculars he saw his men begin to return the enemy fire. As his and Ewell’s men began to work up the hill dashing between cover, up at the crest of the hill the heavy thump, thump, thump of a rapid firing heavy machine gun began to growl. He watched his men began to fall from the new gunfire. Slowly the men edged forward then began to falter under the withering hail of lead. Suddenly a faint thumping could be heard and fountains of dirt and rock began to shoot into the air. “Damn them.” Longstreet growled. “They are firing mortars from the backside of the hill.” Longstreet, without turning, said to his radio man.” Order the troops to fall back down the hill out of range of those damn mortar bombs.” Within a few moments Longstreet saw his men begin to slowly back down the hill until finally the mortars were just impacting into dirt and rock, and not the men. From atop the far hill he could hear the faint cries and cheers of the Yankee troops as they realized they had beaten back the Confederates for the first time in months.
Longstreet slapped his hat against his side in anger and frustration. “Order our reserves to form up at the base of the hill along with our men who just withdrew. Then get on your contraption and order the horseless artillery to fire on that hill top. “ Seconds later, the Artillery began to rumble and large explosions appeared at the top of the hill. Longstreet could see black objects flying through the air, he knew these to be bodies and parts of bodies. Longstreet grimaced. “I bet they aren’t cheering now.” He said. Sudden loud blasts off to the left made Longstreet whip his head to the left of the small valley where he was. Emerging from the trees and boulders were several dozen green painted Panzers. He swept his eyes back to his men, seeing the cannon blasts from the Panzers exploding on his line. His men were being decimated. Longstreet and Ewell’s men began to run to their right flank, heading for the safety of more trees and rocks. Occasionally a grey clad man would turn and fire an anti-Panzer weapon at the on rushing tanks, then turn to continue fleeing. Longstreet sighed. “Order our men to fall back to this hilltop right here.” He ordered pointing at the ground. Longstreet turned to head back to his tent, he would have to find another way to take the town of New Castle.
On the eastern flank of the advance of the Army of Northern Virginia, General Braxton Bragg had overall command of the flank attacking forces. His division commanders were General Simon Bolivar Buckner, and Major General George B. Crittenden. Bragg sat on his horse close to a mile from the edge of the low mountain that hid the town of Emmaus. Bragg knew that if his men could take the low mountain and sweep over it to face the town of Emmaus, then he would have the high ground and be able to fire down into the town, massacring its defenders. He would also have the high ground and many of the new rapid fire guns the Germans had called mg 42’s. Bragg smiled in anticipation of the coming attack. He nodded to his radio man and briefly thought of the enormous benefit that marvel had been in the field. His radio man ordered the two divisions under his command to attack.
As Generals Buckner and Crittenden received their commands they began to move their forces forward at a trot. As soon as his men crossed the top of a slow rise that had hidden them from the mountain they came under direct fire from their objective. Yankee snipers, and mortar bombs from their new enemies began to whistle in and land on and amongst the troops. His men out in the front of him crossing that valley were advancing but slowly taking a beating. Generals Buckner and Crittenden slowed to let their troops advance past them then came together in Buckner’s half track to have a quick strategy meeting. While they were doing this Private Harold Givens of the 21st Ohio Anti Tank unit, (one of the first federal units to receive and train in the new weapons), spotted the command half-tracks out in the open stopped briefly. He watched a man dismount from one half-track and walk the few feet to the other. He then noticed the many antennas on the roof of the half-track and knew it was a command track, possibly the enemy division commander. He loaded a round into his recoilless rifle, the bullet as large around as his thumb, and thumbed the cocking lever on the side to enable the gun to fire. Givens sighted the long rifle in on the track he had watched the man climb into, then fired. The blast from the rifle was so strong the concussion from its firing threw up dust and dirt from the ground under the rifle’s long barrel. At first Givens thought he had missed and began to reload, then he noticed smoke begin to come from the hatches on the front of the half-track. As he watched the back hatch popped open and a man emerged staggering and on fire. He took several steps then fell and moved no more.
After only a few minutes of battle the officers of the units in the attack realized that they weren’t receiving any commands from their commanders. As Bragg watched he saw his well laid out plans literally fall apart. He saw his two division commanders killed at the same time after they illogically had decided to be in the same place together on the battlefield. He then saw the heavy artillery and mortar fire began to decimate his troops with over a half mile still of ground to cover even before they reached the mountain. Bragg began cursing and screaming in frustration. “Order our men to fall back to their start point, immediately.” He said to his radio operator. Bragg would now have to reorganize his forces and rethink his attack plans.
Meanwhile, as the events were unfolding along each flank of the army’s advance, Rommel’s main thrust up the valley continued. Rommel’s lead tanks were less than 2000 yards from the line when his Panzers started to explode without warning. In confusion the individual Panzer commanders turned on their smoke generators and immediately turned to the left and right, looking for targets. Panzers continued to explode and become immobilized after loosing treads. Rommel had realized in moments what were destroying his Panzers on the battlefield. He grabbed up his microphone, screaming into it. “Achtung! You are in a mine field! Do not turn or deviate from your courses, slowly reverse from the field and bring up the Pioneers to clean the mines out before we advance further. (pioneers were the Wehrmacht version of the us army’s combat engineers) Rommel’s tirade on the radio went largely unheard amid the confusion on the field. (most of the Panzers in the attack were crewed by Confederates) Some of the more experienced Panzer crews did as ordered and were able to safely back out of the hidden minefield.
Hours later the Panzers who could, had fled the field and the pioneer units, supported by a few units of SS infantry were slowly clearing the field. A deep droning hum began to be heard from the north. Infantry and Panzer crews alike looked into the sky at the familiar noise. Far above them and in V shaped formations flew over 100 Boeing B-17 Heavy Bombers of the USAAF, (or United States Army Air Corps). Rommel scanned the sky, looking for his Luftwaffe Planes that were to be there to protect his forces from just this event, yet he saw none, just remembering that the massive air battle hours before had chased his planes from the sky. Rommel quickly radioed his forces to turn around and head for the nearest tree line. It was the only thing he could think of to save his forces from the carpet bombing he knew was moments away. He had also just learned that his flank forces had also failed in their objectives. Resigned that he would have to discontinue his advance until he could make new plans, he turned to issue the orders to fall back and dig in on tree covered ground to try get the maximum effect from what forces he had left.
.SEPTEMBER 7TH 1861 OVER NEW YORK CITY
The Lone He 111 Luftwaffe Bomber had flown from just behind the Confederate Lines in Maryland. On board the aircraft was a weapon that the German Scientists had spent years developing. When the German troops and personnel had came back in time Hitler had sent the entire German program and Germany's entire Rocket program back as well. Days earlier the scientists had finally informed Rommel that they had perfected the weapon, and built the delivery device for it. The He 111 approached New York City from the south west. As the bomber neared the center of the sprawling city the bombardier released the weapon. The pilot, who had been briefed on the weapon, put on his special eye ware along with the copilot. He immediately banked the plane far to the right rapidly gaining altitude. As the seconds ticked by a sudden flash as bright as the sun appeared from behind the aircraft, followed shortly by a strong shockwave which shook the plane like a giant had grabbed it in their hands. The copilot leaned and looked to the rear. A giant mushroom shaped cloud thousands of feet high rose from center of the city of New York. The copilot gave the pilot thumbs up and they continued on for home.
SEPTEMBER 9th 1861 WASHINGTON D.C
President Hamlin of the United States of America, and President Jefferson Davis of the Confederate States of America sat at the giant table, across from one another. The Giant meeting hall had been decided upon for these talks. Around the two men and the table Confederate officers and government officials stood around President Davis, while their Counterpart Union Officers and government officials stood around President Hamlin.
President Hamlin, smiling, began to talk first. “President Davis, we the United States Government wish to ask for a ceasefire effective immediately. We further more wish to order all forces from both sides north and south to halt any and all movements.” Davis nodded and smiled, writing a few notes down on a paper pad in front of him. “We also with the Confederate Government wish for the same to happen. We agree with your proposals, however we also wish to request that the current border states of the Confederacy be respected. This means border states formerly listed as being in dispute. For example Missouri and Kentucky.” Hamlin sighed, and nodded at President Davis. “Very well sir, we agree to those terms. We also wish to discuss the condition of our occupied Capital.” Hamlin added. Davis nodded and motioned to a Confederate General who had been standing close by to step forward. The Man came to attention and saluted Davis and Hamlin. “President Hamlin this is Major General Thomas Jackson. He was appointed as the military governor of Washington D.C. shortly after its capture.” Davis said. “President Hamlin, sir. I have had the pleasure of presiding over the city for the last few months, and during that time I have followed the US laws as closely as possible in administering the city, and providing the law within the city. Looting and scavengers have been severely discouraged, and when captured have been severely dealt with. I have continued to run the city as normal as possible with the exception of food supplies and goods which obviously could not pass through our lines.” Jackson spoke. President Hamlin smiled and mumbled thanks to Jackson for the utmost care he had taken in the administration of the city and its care. President Davis and Hamlin sat quietly for a moment then shook hands and Hamlin reached forward for the ink quill sitting on his desk. Hamlin paused a moment, then signed his name to the peace treaty, then passed the document to Davis who also put his mark on the paper. Both men then shook hands, and left the small details yet to be worked out to their lower ranking subordinates.
SEPTEMBER 13TH NEW MUNICH/PETERSBURG, VIRGINIA
Rommel sat at his desk in his office at New Munich. Since his scientists had developed the fission weapon then exploded the fission bomb over New York, the US government had decided that they couldn’t compete any longer with the Confederate States Military machine that could wield such power. He thought for some time. Since the Peace treaty had been signed they had no longer been able to communicate with the future. Rommel’s scientists assumed that with history changing, that the future had also changed. It wouldn’t hurt his forces too much though. Several months ago he had sent a few hundred men with heavy equipment into Texas to begin drilling for oil. His men had since struck several wells of crude oil and they were now building a cracking plant to refine the oil into liquids that the German machines could use. But until they were ready to produce they had stockpiled several million gallons of oil, diesel, and various other lubricants that had been brought back before the timeline was changed.
The past several weeks of peace had been good for the Germans and the Confederacy. However the Federals up north weren’t so lucky. On September 1st the British Armies in Canada had struck down into the United States. Nimitz and his forces were doing well blunting the eastern British attack through Maine, but the western British Army was brushing aside the federal response as if they were mosquitoes pestering a bull.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin sat on the small patio outside the Confederate White House. Across from these two men sat the Spanish Ambassador to the Confederacy, Emilio Sanchez. Spain was in a costly war with France at this time so the Confederacy on behalf of Rommel had made a request to the Spanish Government. Spain had been very interested and had asked their ambassador to the CSA to investigate the request further. Ambassador Sanchez smiled and spoke, crossing his hands on top of the table.” So gentleman let me make sure I have this request fully understood. The Confederacy wishes to purchase the island of Cuba for approximately 20 million dollars in gold?” He had asked. Rommel looked at Benjamin and nodded. Secretary Benjamin nodded to the Spanish ambassador.” That is correct Ambassador Sanchez. We would like to conclude this transaction as soon as possible if we could as well.” Benjamin said. Sanchez smiled thinly, slightly nodding his head to the two men. Sanchez seemed to think for a few moments. “Spain would be amenable to that. I will have to check with my superiors, but I believe that we can conclude this deal within the a month or two.” Rommel Smiled and nodded his head, feeling relief. Benjamin shook hands with Ambassador Sanchez and all the men stood. “We the Confederate Government look forward to doing business with Spanish Government far into the future.”
NOVEMBER 1ST 1861 HAVANA, CUBA
The docks were bustling with activity. Ships were unloading all along the dock, bringing ashore troops, equipment, machines, and millions of other items. Alongside the dock was a large office type building that Field Marshal Rommel had appropriated has his Temporary Headquarters. As units were unloaded they were marching out into the countryside, slowly moving farther and farther from Havana, garrisoning the towns as often as possible.
Rommel could see out into Havana Harbor through the window of his office on the second floor. Scattered CSA warships were out in the harbor protecting the cargo ships and transport ships of their German Allies. Germany of this time has sent several emissaries to speak with their countrymen’s leader, but Rommel had avoided any meetings until his plans were more fully realized. Rommel’s longtime aide, Rudolf Lange entered his office without knocking, breaking Rommel’s attention from the activity in the harbor. “Sir!” Lange gave the Nazi Salute. “I have a delegation of men from Berlin here to see you sir. They claim to be ordinary citizens sir and not affiliated with the government.” Rommel slightly nodded his head. “Very well.” He said.” Please show them in.” Lange clicked his heels together and walked from the room, coming back shortly with the small group of men. “Welcome to New Germany gentlemen.” Rommel smiled rising from his seat and reaching out to shake the men’s hands. “Formerly known as Cuba.” He continued. “What can I do for you gentlemen today, please make this brief as I am very busy.”
NOVEMBER 3RD HAVANA, CUBA
“So as you can see sir, we have began to rebuild the necessary factories to produce our weapons and machines.” Rommel nodded and looked out over the plains around the town formerly known as Matanzas. One of the first things that Rommel had had his administration do was begin to change the names of the towns and villages. Rommel planned to make Cuba into a country more like their Homeland, Germany.
As he walked through the manufacturing district that they had began to set up here, he thought of the thousands of German civilians who had decided to move here from Germany of this time. He was building a very good base here for a new start. He knew his men who had come here had left everything they had known behind. Some had left families, some had left their homes, and or careers behind. One thing that Rommel had decided early on in this operation was the stupidity of the garbage that the SS believed in. He had already made up his mind to not repeat the mistakes of the past. SS Obersturmbahnführer Klaus Junge had already had several clashes with Rommel over what policies the SS would continue with once they had their own country. Rommel had specifically ordered the discontinuation of the death camps that he had finally found out about earlier in the month. He had been going through classified SS documents shortly after they had begun moving onto the island. He accidentally found a packet of documents that the SS men had left in Rommel’s files. He had become so disgusted with what he had read that he had actually contemplated disbanding what SS units were here and making them into regular Wehrmacht, but had realized that nothing short of a civil war within his own ranks would dissolve the SS. Rommel did, however, give authorization for the work camps to continue. He did tell the SS that he wouldn’t allow any more than a half dozen on the island though. The SS had grumbled but relented to Rommel’s orders.
The administrator with Rommel asked him a question about the Panzer factory, bringing him out of his thoughts of the recent past. “I said sir, that this is the Panzer Factory for building new Panzers, and over there,” He pointed across the open field to another building going up.” is the new factory for the Tiger, and Tiger II Panzers.” Philip Loutez, his minister for war production and armaments, said to him. “We have several locations like this across the country. Some are for war material and produce items for the Wehrmacht, Kriegsmarine, (or German navy), and the Luftwaffe. While other factory locations will be producing goods for civilian use and consumption. Rommel was pleased, everything was coming together nicely. He smiled to himself, then went back to listening to his minister.
NOVEMBER 6TH WASHINGTON D.C.
President Hannibal Hamlin sat glumly at his desk in the White House. Sitting and standing throughout his office his advisors and cabinet stood around looking at the floor or vacantly staring into space. Admiral Chester Nimitz and his second in command Admiral Raymond Spruance sat calmly staring at the president. “Mr. President I don’t know what we can say. We had no intelligence that the German Forces had such a weapon. We have knowledge of how to build such a weapon, but not that they did and or could.” Hamlin humphed, and had a look of scorn on his face. “Admiral, all we have heard from you in this office since the attack has been, we didn’t know. Frankly I’m tired of hearing that. This can never happen again to this country. Because of this we have lost half of this country to slave owning rebel scum. We have been forced to make peace with these people and now we are barely holding our own against the British forces from Canada.” Hamlin turned his hands on their sides, fingers straight out and thumbs up in a gesture of conceding something. “However I do have to admit that your forces have provided amazing support to our troops against the western British advance. I gather we have stopped their advance cold and literally decimated their army there.”
Nimitz spoke, interrupting the President. ”Mr. President, we have to do something about New York. I understand that there are probably survivors near the outskirts of the city, however we need to erect a wall or barrier of some sort around the entire city. My scientists tell me that the city of New York is covered in a material that is Radioactive. Radioactive material is deadly to living creatures and we will have to keep people out of the city area until we can seal it off.” Hamlin sighed and gestured to Nimitz. “Very well Admiral, see to it please.” Admiral Nimitz put his hand on his forehead to wipe away the sweat forming on his brow. He stood and saluted to the president then his aide and he walked from the presidents office.
NOVEMBER 10TH 100 MILES EAST OF ST. JOHN’S, NOVA SCOTIA
1. Admiral Raymond Spruance scanned the sea ahead of his flagship, the USS Missouri. The Missouri was a battleship, one of the most powerful ships in the US Navy in terms of armor and guns. Somewhere out there was a large British fleet. A pilot flying a Catalina PBY had spotted it early this morning and shadowed the fleet until running low of fuel. Spruance wasn’t worried about the British fleet. If he was in command of Civil War era ships he would be more worried, however he knew he had the British both outgunned, and outmanned. With the Missouri he had brought Desron 4 and 6 (desron meaning destroyer squadron) totaling 16 destroyers. He also had Cruron 21 consisting of 6 Cruisers, the USS Missouri and two Fleet Carriers with over 80 aircraft.
Spruance stood, stretching the kinks out of his joints after being seated on the bridge for so many hours. He spoke to the Captain, “Captain, I’m going to go below and get some rack time. If the brits are spotted I’d like to know right away. Continue having both the Yorktown, and the Lincoln launch fresh combat air patrols over the fleet every 45 minutes.” The captain saluted and said “Aye, Aye sir.” Spruance threw up a lazy salute and opened the hatch leading off to the bridge.
NOVEMBER 10TH SOMEWHERE OVER THE GRAND BANKS
The British Commodore Lord Ronald Letheridge stared down at the long metal cigar shaped craft laying low in the water. Lord Letheridge had been informed by his government that the Confederate States Government were sending help to combat the Naval forces that the United States had received from the future. When Lord Letheridge had first been informed of the British Armies defeat by the Americans he was astonished. His superiors had further informed him that their informants in America spoke of giant steel ships, and men with strange style uniforms and weapons that could fire hundreds or thousands of rounds a minute. Initially not believing these stories the British High Command had sent their Armies into America anyway. The resulting battle left the British officers in no doubt as to the reliability of the reports. Strange machines that flew in the air spitting death at the soldiers below. Guns manned by only a few soldiers able to wipe out whole units of the finest British soldiers. So Lord Letheridge wasn’t going to doubt the reports any longer. His superiors had also informed him that the Confederate States had also received assistance enabling them to defeat their Yankee brothers during their own civil war.
Lord Letheridge no longer had time to go over the events of the past few weeks as the commander of the strange craft next to him approached his vessel, the HMS Dreadnought. (The Dreadnought was the first of its kind built in Britain. The Dreadnought was the epitome of British Naval design. It was over 150 feet long and was powered by a newly designed steam turbine engine capable of pushing the ship close to 35 knots.) Lord Letheridge appraised the captain of the strange craft laying in the water next to his. He was dressed in a black uniform with strange markings and wore a soft white cap with a black bill. Captain Otto Kempf of the U-355 also was appraising the British Commodore as he approached him. Kempf inwardly smiled at the British Admirals uniform, thinking it looked like something from a museum.
Kempf came to attention clicking his heels together and saluted the British Lord in the same fashion as Letheridge. (Privately Kempf couldn’t stand the Nazi’s and the Nazi salute and would never give it when he could get away with it.) Once the two men were done with the rituals of the Navy, they strode the deck around the enormous British ship. “Captain Kempf, I’m doubtful how much your one ship can assist us.” Letheridge spoke first looking at the deck, then at the German. “If you don’t mind sir?” Kempf asked, and the Commodore motioned. “Of course.” (Letheridge was intrigued by what the German intended.)
Kempf reached into his uniformand withdrew a small flare pistol and pointed it into the air. He fired a red star flare up into the air. Within moments U-boats began to surface all around the Dreadnought. Letheridge was now very impressed. As he scanned the surface of the seas he counted over 12 of the strange craft now on the surface. Letheridge smiled and shook Kempf’s hands. “Let’s talk some Captain, about our plans.”
NOVEMBER 11TH 200 MILES EAST OF SAINT JOHN’S, NOVA SCOTIA
Admiral Spruance lay sleeping in his bunk when he was suddenly jolted awake by the combination of his General Quarters alarm, and his intercom ringing at the same time.
Spruance bolted upright in his rack or bed, and reached for his telephone hanging on the wall close by. “Spruance.” He said into the microphone. “Sir this is the captain. We have the British ships just at the far edge of our radar. You asked to be notified the moment we had them sir.” The captain rapidly spoke. “Very well. Alert the fleet to be ready for action and bring the fleet to battle stations surface.” He said then hung up. He stood from his bed and began to dress hurriedly, anxious for the upcoming battle.
As Spruance was dressing, the periscope of U-355 slowly raised and began to spin around. Kempf was astonished. He had closed with the American fleet a few hours earlier and managed to work his way into the inner circle of defenders and now had both of the enemy Aircraft Carriers in the periscope sights. Kempf centered the periscope crosshairs on the closest ship. “Mark” he said. The torpedo officer looked up at the periscope to get the bearing, or direction, to the target. “210” He said to the captain. “Speed is 12 knots” The captain said. The torpedo officer used this information to plug into the torpedo firing computer. “Set” He said. The captain watched the target for another few seconds. Then said “Match bearings and shoot.” The Torpedo officer reached up to the torpedo firing board. “Tube 1 fired electrically, tube 2 fired electrically, tube 3 fired electrically, tube 4 fired electrically. All tubes fired sir.” He reported. Then the sonar officer leaned from his small cubbyhole just outside the control room. “All torpedoes running hot straight and normal sir.” The captain slapped his perscope handles up and then stepped back and said down periscope. As the periscope started to drop he ordered, “Crash Dive. Make your depth 135 meters.” As the orders were repeated to him he added. “Rig for silent running.”
Minutes ticked by as the submarine reached its deep cruising depth, then a low rumble could be heard far off, followed by several more. Then from farther off could be heard many more rumbles, some seeming to come from different directions. “It would seem that our other comrades in the wolf pack have been lucky as well, eh?” The captain whispered to his men in the control room. The other men scattered around the control room smiled and nodded heads. The captain looked up at the overhead, or ceiling.
Up on the surface Spruance was staggering under the explosions from the back, or aft part of his ship. He had taken several apparent torpedo hits into the starboard side of the ship and one into the port side. He glanced out the forward windscreen and saw smoke coming from both of the aircraft carriers and at a brief glance noticed that the Lincoln appeared to be down by the bow. “Radio the Romney and have her come alongside to pick me up. I’m transferring my flag to her for now.” Spruance said.
As the USS Romney pulled alongside the stricken USS Missouri, a hellish explosion shook the battleship. The entire aft section of the ship had blown off and the ship was sinking fast. The Romney lost its radio and radar masts in the blast, and dozens of men working on the deck were killed outright by the debris thrown out by the blast. Several more men were blown overboard by the concussion. On the bridge of the Missouri Admiral Spruance lay on the deck, blood dripping from his ears and nose. From the distance another large explosion shook the USS Abraham Lincoln as the raging fire down below the decks reached pooled up aviation gas, and stacks of bombs and ammunition for the aircraft in the hanger deck.
A small party of men led by the captain of the Missouri hurriedly lowered Admiral Spruance down to the waiting motor launch to take them over to the Romney. The captain turned to look at the Missouri. As he watched the jagged stern section quickly lowered into the water and the bow slowly rose straight up into the air. He could see men jumping from the ship into the water covered with raging flames fed by the ruptured fuel oil bunkers within the ship. The captain watched men sink and drown and paddle for dear life as the suction of the ship going down pulled them under. The captain wiped the tears from his eyes with the dirty sleeve of his khaki uniform. He turned to look ahead at the Romney, noticing her damage. He shook his head, thinking we had our butts handed to us on a golden platter today. It was a sad day for the US Navy.
NOVEMBER 12TH OFF THE GRAND BANKS IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN
Commodore Lord Letheridge stood smiling and shaking hands with the captain and crew of the U-355. Captain Kempf was pleased with this new relationship with the British Navy of this time. He sure didn’t miss the British Royal Navy of 1944. Letheridge had informed Kempf that with the destruction that his submarines had inflicted on the American ships, He had been ordered to Nova Scotia to protect the incoming convoys of replacements for the Royal Army in Canada. These new men on the ships were to replace the men killed by the Americans in the beginning of the invasion. Kempf could now give his wolf pack the command to head back to New Berlin, (formerly Havana), and some well deserved R&R for his men.
NOVEMBER 12TH NEW BERLIN, NEW GERMANY
Rommel sat in amazement staring at the group of men. Adolf Hitler, chancellor and Führer of the Third Reich stood before him. Next to him was Field Marshal Hermann Goring, chief of the Luftwaffe, and Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler who was chief of the SS or Schutzstaffel and the Gestapo or secret police. Hitler stepped the few feet up to Rommel’s desk and smiled at the Field Marshal. Rommel Leaped to his feet and raised his arm in the Nazi Salute. “Sieg Heil.” He shouted. Hitler gave a perfunctory salute and then spoke. “My dearest Field Marshal, you have done an excellent job here with the mission I gave you five months ago. “ Hitler walked the short distance to the office window and looked out over the bay at the activity. “Field Marshal, I’m promoting you to ReichsMarshal. You will now be in command of all the armed forces of New Germany. You have done a much better job than even I had expected.” Rommel Saluted Hitler and thanked him. Hitler, still looking out the window, continued speaking. “I am sending envoys to Germany of this time. I will offer land and I will also offer the new Reich marks to any German who wishes to settle here. We will slowly breed or weed out the Spaniards who remain here. I want this to be a nation of pure Aryan stock, gentleman.” Hitler spoke. “I hear that you have ordered the death camp program discontinued Reichsmarshal. I believe that this is a good idea at this time.” He said glaring at Himmler. “In hindsight the idea of those camps sounded good at first, however the world opinion against us turned even the most trusted allies of the Reich against us when they learned of the Final solution to the Jewish question. I believe I was wrongly advised on that matter and that we should have taken other steps.” He said again glaring at Himmler, who managed to not make eye contact with Hitler during his rant.
Hitler motioned to his secretary who was always close by. “Take this down, Inga.” He said. “From the office of the Führer. Effective immediately all persecution of Jews are to cease immediately. Jews will not be granted citizenship and the pre-existing laws of the Reich concerning Jews will stand. Jews are not to be assaulted in public. We will do things slightly different this time.” While Hitler was speaking, Himmler’s face had become darker with suppressed anger. Hitler noticed Himmler’s reaction and motioned to a couple of his personal guards at the door to the office. One of the men, a lieutenant walked up to Hitler and leaned forward letting Hitler whisper in his ear. The man leaned back away from Hitler and nodded at his leader. He then turned and drew his Luger from his holster and pointed at Himmler. Himmler had a brief second to register a shocked look on his face before the man pulled the trigger several times. Hitler fell to the ground dead before he hit the floor. Hitler smiled in approval. “It had come to my attention that Herr Himmler was in contact with the allies back in 1945. He tried to negotiate a separate peace with the allies from behind my back. I learned of his discussions, which obviously came to nothing, but chose to not act on that information until now.”
The other members of the group stared in shock at Himmler’s lifeless body lying on the floor. They had no idea that Himmler had been conspiring behind Hitler’s back. “Effective immediately Reichs Marshal Goring would take over the duties of the SS, the police and the Gestapo, along with his duties with the Luftwaffe.” Hitler decreed.
DECEMBER 5TH 1861 NEW BERLIN, NEW GERMANY
All through the country once known as Cuba citizens and visitors alike marveled at the technology that the Germans had brought from the future. Through a trade agreement with the government of the CSA, the New German Government had ample supplies of oil to power their machines and power plants. Hitler had the country firmly under the grip of Nazi style government, as undesirables, troublemakers, and rabble-rousers were quietly and quickly shipped off in the middle of the night to the new concentration camps erected out in the countryside by Goring, and his SS.
On this day Hitler and his entourage sat on the raised platform before the giant field arrayed with seats. Out on the gigantic field maidens in traditional German garb danced and performed feats of physical prowess. Today was the first annual Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or NSDAP party rally. Many of the young men who had emigrated from the Germany of this time had done so with enthusiasm and Hitler had made Armed Forces service mandatory to become a citizen. The ranks were once again swelling with new recruits for Hitler. The Wehrmacht was now at almost 5 divisions worth of troops. There were three different training camps in operation around New Germany training the new recruits for the Wehrmacht. Hitler had also had reinstated the League of German Girls, and the Hitler Youth programs.
(German Girls who immigrated into New Germany at a meeting of the new League of German Girls)
DECEMBER 6TH 1861 NEW BERLIN, NEW GERMANY
Hitler sat at his large solid oak desk, a gift from the Confederate States of America for services to that country in their battle for independence. Hitler was deep in thought. He had been reading his intelligence reports from the USA. The American forces with Nimitz had decimated the dual British Armies a second time. The British Government had asked to sue for peace as the former Army of the Potomac, now renamed the Grand Army of the Republic began its invasion of Quebec, Canada. Hitler’s only concern was for the weapons which Nimitz had begun to supply the Federal troops with. His intelligence arm of the Army or the SD, had discovered that Nimitz had brought the equivalent of 4 divisions with him from the future. Those were the divisions which concerned him. He knew that Nimitz would continue following the orders of President Truman from 1945 no matter what President Hamlin told him. But if Hitler was anything he was a master statesman and he knew it. If he could get President Hamlin to put a leash on Nimitz and control him Nimitz and his forces would be powerless without the support of the USA of this time era. The Confederate Government grew stronger with every month that passed by. Hitler had graciously provided engineers and army personnel on loan to the Confederate government to help repair war damages, and had slowly began to introduce certain select technology to the Confederates. He had scientists give a demonstration of telephone, and electrical generation to President Davis of the Confederacy. Davis had been wide eyed and amazed during the entire display given by the scientists and engineers. Hitler and Davis had signed an agreement in short order after the display. Davis agreed to provide land and men to build factories to produce wiring and the various items to make basic telephones, while Hitler would supply the technical know how, and engineers to train their Confederate allies.
DECEMBER 6TH 1861 MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA
Otto Shultz, chief engineer of the Kauffman Electrical Plant stood silently still, praying. Being a good National Socialist he wasn’t supposed to pray but the Nazi’s couldn’t read your thoughts yet, he mused to himself. The generator before him was a small one, roughly 125 horsepower. It was steam driven as both coal and wood were widely available. Two hours earlier Shultz had given the orders to fire the boiler, or begin feeding the firepot below it to start getting steam pressure built up in the boiler to spin the turbine for the generator. Shultz leaned over one of his engineers and a Confederate trainee to glance at the steam pressure gauge and nodded to his assistant. The assistant began speaking and gesturing to his Confederate trainee and they were soon spinning valves and turning levers. A loud hiss was heard and then a slowly growing rumble which deepened to a steady whine. Shultz glanced to his technician who was observing the electrical generation gauges and waited a minute until he also nodded. Shultz, gave the men his thumbs up and yelled loudly to be heard over the sounds of the turbine/generator. “Power is coming up ... now” He reached to a giant U-shaped switch with a long wooden handle on it and flipped the switch into the down position to let power flow from the generator. A loud crack was barely heard along with a brief flash of sparks as the switch closed the circuit. Instantly the inside of the building was lit up by the lights which the engineers had installed in the new building. Everyone cheered and began shaking hands all around. Shultz shook his head, a small sneer on his face. These people are excited over a generator barely able to light up a little over 200 homes. He thought. Ridiculous
At almost the same time Lieutenant Rutger Hurtag was also standing and waiting. His job had been to build and install a small telephone operator center. His engineers had run a telephone line from Montgomery, Alabama to Columbus, Georgia. His building, much smaller than Shultz’s electrical plant, also relied on the power from Shultz and his trainees. Lieutenant Hurtag was out in front of the building enjoying a cigarette when the lights on the front of the small building flickered, then wavered between bright and dim then stayed steady. Hurtag threw down his still smoking cigarette butt and ran into the building. One of his radio engineers and a Confederate trainee operator were seated before the giant operator board, ready to make connections for incoming calls to the operators. Hurtag knew that the boards only had limited connections as of yet, but when the telephone network had grown some the operators seated at this board would be very busy indeed. Hurtag nodded to his radio man at the board. “Connect me to Columbus operator please corporal.” He said. The man pulled out a plug and re inserted it into a different spot the gripped the microphone hanging from his neck. “Columbus operator, this is Montgomery, Alabama speaking. Can you hear us.” After only a brief moment the response from Columbus came over the distantly run lines. Hurtag smiled and shook hands with his personnel. The Confederacy had just taken its first few steps into the 20th century.
DECEMBER 12TH 1861 WASHINGTON D.C. THE WHITE HOUSE
President Hamlin was seated behind his desk, before the desk sat Ambassador Karl Langersdorf of New Germany. President Hamlin had immediately recognized New Germany in hopes that that recognition would forestall any more attacks on US forces by the advanced weapons these Germans had access to. “Mr. President, “ Began the ambassador.” It is my countries belief that you are unable to contain Admiral Nimitz and his partners in crime.” He said casually, as if he was noticing a fly on the window sill. “I have been advised that if this Admiral Nimitz doesn’t cease his attacks on our shipping on the open ocean, then we will be forced to respond in kind. My government further declares that since the government of the United States is harboring these criminals, then the US government must condone these attacks if not support them outright.” President Hamlin sputtered in anger and astonishment. He couldn’t afford to get into a tangle with these Germans again, and everyone knew it, including the Germans. “Mr Ambassador, please let me be up front and honest with you sir. The Government of these United States does not condone attacks on foreign vessels at sea unless a state of war is in evidence between that nation and this one. We further add that this type of behavior is irreprehensible and will not be tolerated. Admiral Nimitz will be immediately chastised and shown the error of his ways.” Hamlin said. Langersdorf nodded slightly but wasn’t finished with his verbal attack on the President of the USA yet. “My government further has stated that if these attacks continue than our allies the Confederate States Government will also be forced to take action against the USA as these actions on the seas will be considered an act of war, and the CSA wil honor her alliance with New Germany.” President Hamlin, whom had never been able to put any real steel in his spine, refused to give these Germans a reason to resume hostilities. “Mr Ambassador, the United States will deal with Admiral Nimitz immediately and you will no longer have to fear the actions of his forces. If Admiral Nimitz will not listen to any reason from this government then this government will be forced to cast him and his personnel out of this country and what ever action is taken against him and his men will be his own problem and no longer the problem of the United States.” Langersdorf smiled slyly, and thanked the President for such understanding talks. He then rose and shook Hamlin’s hand. “Mr President, the Führer will be pleased with the outcome of these talks and the Government of New Germany looks forward to a long lasting peace, and a partnership of prosperity with the United States of America.
Admiral Nimitz paced the floor of his office in his Quonset hut. In his hand tightly gripped was an official letter from the White House. President Hannibal Hamlin had formally requested that Nimitz order his forces to stand down and cease all offensive actions against the peace loving peoples of New Germany. “Peace loving peoples of New Germany!” Growled Nimitz. What a load of shit, he thought. Nazi’s were about as peace loving as a black widow spider. Nimitz stopped and stared out over his airfield in the distance. Rows of F-80 jets and B-17 and B-29 bombers sat silently and still. Off in the distance beyond the airfield he could see the construction crew building the framework for the Factories and production plants for the items he would need here. Nimitz sighed, he had no choice. The crumpled letter in his hands went on to say the the United States Government would expel Nimitz and his forces if they refused to comply. Nimitz knew that he had no choice but to comply with the Presidents orders. But he cherished that small amount of solace he felt, knowing that the Nazis would eventually fuck up again. If Hitler was anything, he was reliably unreliable. You could bet on Hitler breaking his agreements like a racehorse that was a sure thing. Nimitz threw the crumbled up letter from President Hamlin in the trashcan and stormed out of the office. Thinking to himself, he would go look over his projects. He wanted to make sure he was ready for when Hitler screwed up again.
President Jefferson Davis was sincerely enjoying himself for the first time in years. The war was over and his new country had won its independence. The border states who had sat on the fence were now full fledged members of the Confederate States. He had signed a several million dollar trade agreement with the Germans in New Germany to supply them with cotton, and the south now had a large supplier for Tobacco. Now this, Davis smiled, was even better than that. Davis was in Opelika, Alabama, the first town in the Confederacy to be entirely supplied with electricity. The small electricity production plant was located just North of Montgomery, Alabama. The German engineers had ran the wooden poles from the plants location all the way to this small town. From what the chief engineer for the project had informed him the distance was perfect between Montgomery and Opelika for eventually expanding the wire to slowly include other towns in the grid, as the technicians had called it. Of course they had also said that the electrical systems were vastly more involved and technical than what he as told. But as long as it worked and his countrymen knew how to work on it and build it, that’s what mattered to the Confederate Government.
That night President Davis and his cabinet, and high ranking members of the Confederate Army and Navy threw a Ball in recognition of their New German Allies. The large Plantation in Columbus, Georgia was owned by Pierre Beauregard, a former General in the Confederate Army. The building was built in 1801 from native Alabama Marble in the northern part of the state. The main home had a large wrap around porch with a floor made from native Alabama limestone, also quarried from the northern part of the state. As one stood in the large half circle shaped carriage drive in front of the plantation, the large pure white colored building reared up like a cliff in front of the visitor. Six large columns supported the front entrance of the home. As night drew near the warm glow of oil lamps in the home flickered brightly through the windows in front of the plantation. The talking, laughing, and dancing invitees to the ball could be seen through the ample windows. Outside the plantation, a long line of carriages and a few horseless carriages were parked along the edge of the drive. The slaves of the various carriage owners milled about their carriages waiting for their white owners to come from inside the home. Around the Plantation were small groups of Confederate army men. The men silently patrolled the night around the plantation to protect the government officials inside at the party. Or, that’s what the men in gray were detailed to do. But with the end of the war much of the Confederate Army had been mustered out, or discharged, and a much smaller version of the army was left to guard the new born country.
Sergeant Ames Lindt, formerly of the 12th Alabama regiment, now the 2nd Infantry Division, sat and stared blankly into the small fire that he and the two other men in his detail shared. His men were relatively newcomers to the army and had never fought an engagement against the Yankees. Lindt and the rest of the divisions noncoms didn’t care a spit for none of the replacements that the division had received since the peace treaty had been signed. Lindt sighed and reached deep in his pocket for his picture. His fingers found its worn familiar feeling and he withdrew it to look at his wife and daughter again. Lindt had missed them terribly since the battle of Bull run. His family had been on their small plantation just south of the Potomac, a spit away from the Yankee capital city. When the war broke out he had been called up for duty, and he had pleaded with his wife to take their daughter and go to Georgia to stay with his folks on their plantation. His wife had refused telling him that the farm had been in her family since before the revolutionary war, and she wouldn’t lose it to a pack of filthy Yankees. Lindt had been a captain then, an officer. Knowing that his wife would never change her mind once it was made up he walked with her out onto their porch and kissed her and his daughter, telling them that he would return as soon as he could. He mounted up on his horse, giving his family one last loving look, then turned his horse to ride off south. As he had just left the edge of his farthest field he suddenly heard the Confederate artillery begin to fire from somewhere in front of him to the south. He heard a screaming from a low fired shell and instinctively ducked in his saddle foolishly thinking it would miss him if he ducked. He spun his horse around just in time to see that poorly aimed shot impact with his house. He screamed his wife and daughters names, digging his spurs into the flanks of his horse. He galloped up to the smoking remains of his house and jumped from his horse before it had even had the chance to fully stop. Rushing into the smoking pile of wreckage he glanced around quickly for his wife and daughter. Within a few moments he found small pieces of them both. After grieving and then burying what remains of them he could find he stood over his families graves briefly thinking. His face set, he climbed back into the saddle and headed off in the direction the artillery fire had come from. It had taken most of the day but he finally had found the gun crew that had fired the faulty shot. Lindy climbed down from his horse then went into the gunpit with the crew and beat all 6 men within an inch of their lives. He was standing over the gun captain with his officers sword raised high to slice through the mans neck when he heard the commands being shouted at him to drop the sword and back away. He wavered a moment, then slowly dropped the sword and stepped back from the devastation he had just caused. One of the men had every bone in his face cracked or broken, another man had both of arms broken and one leg shattered. Lindt had run yet another man through with his bayonet, pinning him to the wooden wall erected directly in front of the gun. The Colonel who had shouted at Lindt slowly walked up with 4 other men. He glanced around the gun pit and sadly shook his head….The colonel looked at Lindt and pointed across the grassless open area at another gun. “That gun over there, Captain, was the one who had destroyed your home. That is the one with the misfire.” Lindt had glanced around at the havoc he had caused, to the men around him who stared at him in disgust, to the gun that the colonel had pointed at his eyes temporarily vacant and uncomprehending. After that Lindt had been brought up on charges and then stripped of his rank and then forced into enlistment as a sergeant in the infantry. Since then Lindt’s hate had grown for his own government for killing everything he had loved, and for the Yankees for causing it all. Lindt was usually a very smart and methodical man. He had planned his revenge for almost a year and had nurtured it into a slowly developing plan to strike back at both of his hated enemies.
Lindt leaned over to his large knapsack and opened the flap on it, glancing inside to make sure his belongings were inside. He caught a glimpse of the blue Union uniform he had stripped off a dead Yank during the war. He smiled then glanced up to the two men with him. “You men keep a good eye out at the woods there. I’m going to take a piss.” He said. The men stopped talking and nodded at their veteran sergeant. They shouldered their rifles and glared intently into the night, looking for any imaginary enemy that could be out there. Lindt stood up grabbing his pack and walked off into the night.
Inside the plantation home the ball was going full bore. More distinguished southern guests had arrived at the last moment, and the United States ambassador to the Confederacy had come as well. Newly appointed to Richmond by President Hamlin, Ambassador Leslow Richardson was a wealthy Boston business owner who ahd been picked by the president for the newest ambassadorial position. Davis had not expected him to make a showing at the Confederate Ball, but Richardson had decided that in the interests of the United States it would be best to make a showing, if only briefly. A Confederate general, who happened to be looking in the right direction at just the right time saw a man in blue outside of one of the windows in the ballroom. He had just a brief moment to see the man and the look on his face, and the fact that he was holding a rifle in one hand and a German hand bomb in the other. The glass of the window shattered as the blue clad soldier threw a hand bomb into the room followed by a second. The the man was off dashing to the next window. Has the first bomb blew, fragments from the explosive slashed through the room like knife through butter. Women and men alike were cut down instantly in the confined area of the room, the fact that the room was full to bursting with guests adding to the casualties. The second window was blown out already by the first explosions when the man tossed yet two more of the hand bombs into the room. These explosions cut more people down who had miraculously survived the first dual explosions. Then the rapid firing of machine pistols were heard outside from the guards at the front of the building. These two men, who were German soldiers, were there as part of the Ambassadors guard detail from New Germany. Their bursts on full automatic cut the blue clad soldier down in his tracks and he was dead before even hitting the ground.
DECEMBER 13TH 1861 RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
Vice president of the Confederacy Alexander Hamilton Stephens read through the telegram a second time. “This has to be a mistake!” he said.
“No sir, it isn’t.” The messenger replied. “I had them send the message twice, sir.”
Stephens dropped his hands to his side, still holding the letter. Looking off into the distance he tried to think clearly. Stephenson was 49 years old, and he suddenly felt twice that age. “How many members of the cabinet are left alive?” He asked the messenger.
“When the messenger was dispatched sir, he reported that Mr. Toombs, and Mr. Memminger were the only ones to escape unharmed. Mr. Walker was severely injured and wouldn’t likely live out the night. The rest were killed outright, including President Davis and General Lee. Also a matter of note, the new USA ambassador to our country was also killed in the attack.” The messenger said to Stephens.
Stephens shook his head and sighed. He knew what he had to do but didn’t relish the idea of doing so. His country needed to heal and grow more self sufficient and strong. But this blatant attack by the US couldn’t possibly be ignored without retaliation of some sort.
DECEMBER 14TH 1861 WASHINGTON D.C. THE WHITE HOUSE
President Hamlin read and reread the memo from his intelligence people working with Nimitz’s own intelligence unit. The US ambassador to the Confederacy was dead along with the majority of the Confederate Presidential Cabinet, including General Robert E. Lee, and President Jefferson Davis. The intelligence report went on to say that the man who had committed the act had been dressed in Yankee blue, and carried Yankee weapons. President Hamlin had immediately denounced the attack and blamed it on rogue agents within the Yankee government. But the Confederate states were up in arms once again and were demanding justice from their government. Some of the men killed in this attack had been some of the most honored and revered men in the Confederate States of America, and nothing short of blood would quiet them down. Hamlin knew that at any moment he could expect the Ambassador from the Confederate states to show up demanding restitution and an accounting for the attack. Hamlin had been informed by his senior staff that none had any knowledge of the assassination attack against the CSA government. But he wasn’t sure how well he could trust his senior officers. He knew that privately they resented having to make peace with the Confederate States. He just wasn’t sure if they were capable of acting to this extent alone.
President Alexander Hamilton Stephens of the Confederate States listened intently to the men around the table in his office. Stephens was staring intently at the beautiful highly polished wood grain of the table that had been given to him by the British Government as a token of friendship. The men around the table, his cabinet and senior military staff, continued droning along concerning the recent attack. Military readiness, state of the Confederate infrastructure, the economy. Stephens was bored with the endless talk and was wanting action.
“Gentlemen, enough is enough.” Stephens roared at the men around the room. The men went silent staring at Stephens. This side of him was unknown. He had normally been soft spoken and quiet in general. “Generals…I want a genuine report of what we can and cant do. I don’t need to hear suggestions of what we should do! DO I make myself clear gentlemen?” He asked. The men nodded their answers, some speaking their answers quietly. “Do we know if this heinous act was an act of one man, or was this an act sponsored by the Yankee President?” He asked the assembled men.
“No sir, we don’t know that for sure. We have the body of the attacker, but no luck with identification so far.” General Beauregard said. (General P.T Beauregard had assumed General Lee’s position after he had been killed during the ball.) General Beauregard seemed to hesitate then spoke again. “Mr. President we do have something we can do to retaliate against the Yankees in a somewhat limited fashion. Our army isn’t quite up to a full confrontation yet, but we could use one of our secret weapons that our allies from New Germany had given us. This is what I propose sir.” Beauregard said and then began to lay out his plan to the President and the other men in the room.