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Old 01-28-2019, 10:27 AM   #51
Michele
 
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Default Re: Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

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At the time, the company was no longer making zeppelins (they officially stopped such work in 1940), instead having a role in V2 rocket production, but they still had the staff, plans and equipment.
The plans, sure. Equipment and plants were bombed in 1942 and 1943, and again later. As to the staff, they would have been distributed to various other projects, including of course the production of V-Waffe parts. I suppose some of the surviving personnel could be somehow put together again in 1945.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:34 AM   #52
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Default Re: Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

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The plans, sure. Equipment and plants were bombed in 1942 and 1943, and again later. As to the staff, they would have been distributed to various other projects, including of course the production of V-Waffe parts. I suppose some of the surviving personnel could be somehow put together again in 1945.
Yes, of course.

As we discovered in this thread, it's not as if they would have been able to transport any heavy machinery over to other worlds at that time, anyway, so the plans and personnel would have been the most valuable assets.
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Old 01-28-2019, 03:02 PM   #53
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Default Barnes View

Barnes "Cartridges of the World" points out that, to no one's surprise, the European (read mostly German) production had a wide variety of cartridges capable of reliably putting down dangerous beasts.

Many of them are based on the 7.92 x 57 case -- it was immensely popular in Europe and was the basis for as many big game cartridges as the 30-06 was in America. IIRC there were 8.4, 9 and 9.4 x 57 rounds that Barnes rated as being suitable for any North American big game -- including moose, Polar and Kodiak bear.

See https://www.chuckhawks.com/metric_cartridges.htm for more info.

The Germans from c, 1910 to 1939 made rifles for a niche market -- reasonably priced bolt-actions, generally built on Mauser 96 receivers, for African big-game hunters who couldn't afford a British double rifle. Some of their cartridges were suitable for rhino and elephant; and, as one writer notes, there were always Soviet AT rifles which could use a 14.5 round for any bigger game. Remember also that the first AT rifle was a Mauser 13 mm (the basis for the BMG .50 caliber round) and that technology could easily be recreated in the 1930s and 40s.
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:03 PM   #54
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Default Re: Barnes View

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Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym View Post
Barnes "Cartridges of the World" points out that, to no one's surprise, the European (read mostly German) production had a wide variety of cartridges capable of reliably putting down dangerous beasts.

Many of them are based on the 7.92 x 57 case -- it was immensely popular in Europe and was the basis for as many big game cartridges as the 30-06 was in America. IIRC there were 8.4, 9 and 9.4 x 57 rounds that Barnes rated as being suitable for any North American big game -- including moose, Polar and Kodiak bear.

See https://www.chuckhawks.com/metric_cartridges.htm for more info.

The Germans from c, 1910 to 1939 made rifles for a niche market -- reasonably priced bolt-actions, generally built on Mauser 96 receivers, for African big-game hunters who couldn't afford a British double rifle. Some of their cartridges were suitable for rhino and elephant;
From what I can tell, the 7.92x57mm Mauser provides a perfectly adequate mid-sized rifle round for the Antarctic Space Nazis. It probably wouldn't be worth their while to manufacture all the bewildering varieties of more or less similar civilian rifle rounds that were used for sporting purposes in Germany, although individual SS officers who owned a rifle in such a caliber might always arrange to have such ammunition reloaded.

It's possible that the 9.3x62mm Mauser would be common enough among Untierejäger marksmen for the Antarctic Space Nazis to have brought along tooling to make such ammunition. While in GURPS terms, that round is only barely superior to the military 7.92x57mm, in real world terms, it is a far more effective hunting round for larger game.

The 12.7x70mm Schuler might also be worth manufacturing for their Untierejäger.

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Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym View Post
and, as one writer notes, there were always Soviet AT rifles which could use a 14.5 round for any bigger game.
Yes, the 14.5x114mm is a very tempting Untierejäger cartridge, especially for shooters who don't have to carry their own ammo (because they are on a zeppelin).

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Remember also that the first AT rifle was a Mauser 13 mm (the basis for the BMG .50 caliber round) and that technology could easily be recreated in the 1930s and 40s.
Is that worth doing?

I mean, is the 13.2mm TUF in any way better than the alternatives that the Antarctic Space Nazis might have access to?

From what I can tell, it's got slightly higher velocity than the 13x64mm round used in the MG 131 machine gun and it fires heavier projectiles, but though I haven't found the WPS for the 13x64mm, I strongly suspect that the 13.2mm TUF was also correspondingly heavier. Even so, the 13.2mm TUF would most likely be better for killing monsters, at least if you were limited to single shots, but if we're just going for power, the 15x96mm of the original chambering of the MG 151 cannon would be even better, at a greater velocity and heavier projectiles.

For that matter, the 12.7x70mm Schuler in its original Mauser loading had only slightly lower velocity than the 13.2mm TUF. It doesn't really make sense to start manufacturing a WWI vintage weapon and ammunition just to get a 10% improvement over a contemporary hunting cartridge (which would, in our history, also surpass this performance with more modern loads).

If the Antarctic Space Nazis would have to start manufacturing the 13.2mm TUF from scratch, they might as well set up a 14.5x114mm manufacturing instead.

I've also been considering how easy it is to make 'autocannon' SAPHE or similar ammunition, when compared to just solid or AP. The Antarctic Space Nazis might very well want to use 20x105mm (as the Solothurn S-18/100) or the 20x138mm.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:03 AM   #55
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Default Mannlicher-Schönauer Grosswildbüchse

Does anyone know how common the Mannlicher-Schönauer Grosswildbüchse rifle might be in 1944-1945?

If the leadership of the SS were quietly preparing to escape to another world with the defeat of the German Reich, could they surreptitiously obtain a few of them?

Ten? Twenty? More?

Assuming they were trying to buy or trade for them without drawing undue attention, as their plans for a Last Redoubt were not public and, indeed, were exclusively an SS endeavour, not approved by Der Führer. Having senior SS men buy an exotic sporting rifle or two is fine, but they couldn't have armed members of the security services seize any such rifles they learned about or anything.*

If any of the Austrian nobility or wealthy industrialists who owned such a rifle before the Anschluss were politically unreliable or even, gasp, of impure racial stock, it might well be that their rifles had already been seized by German security services, in which case the SS would presumably find them easy enough to obtain.

I imagine that some affluent German sportsmen who hunted in Africa, as well as other members of the European upper class who had gone on safari, might conceivably own a Mannlicher-Schönauer chambered in this very heavy caliber, but the sense I get is that it was a very rare rifle, even for Europeans who might have hunted elephant or rhino. Not to mention that the majority of the production presumably went to German-speaking areas of Africa and didn't necessarily come back to Festung Europa before the war began to go against Germany.

Without having obtained any numbers, I would not be surprised to discover that Mannlicher-Schönauer Grosswildbüchse in 12.7x70mmRB caliber amounted to only a tiny fraction of Mannlicher-Schönauer rifles made before WWII and that even if someone living under the regime of the Third Reich owned a rifle in 12.7x70mmRB, it was more likely to be a Mauser 98 pattern.

Assuming that the Antarctic Space Nazis managed to bring at least one Mannlicher-Schönauer rifle in 12.7x70mmRB, how hard would be it to make unlicensed copies in the future?

They'll have experienced gunsmiths and the right tooling for Mauser rifles, but I don't know if they'll manage to bring the same for the Mannlicher-Schönauer rifles.

I imagine that a very skilled gunsmith could not doubt make such rifles more or less by hand, using the same tooling as is used for Mauser rifles, but it would likely end up consuming a lot more of his valuable time than simply making Mauser 98 actions for the 12.7x70mmRB, even if that means Shots 2+1 rather than Shots 5+1.

*Well, no earlier than in April 1945, at which point they might have done just that, during the last battles against the Red Army in Austria.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:41 AM   #56
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Default Re: Mannlicher-Schönauer Grosswildbüchse

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Does anyone know how common the Mannlicher-Schönauer Grosswildbüchse rifle might be in 1944-1945?
Very rare, I think.
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If the leadership of the SS were quietly preparing to escape to another world with the defeat of the German Reich, could they surreptitiously obtain a few of them?
Maybe. Two or three? Probably not more. A place where you might well find one would be Carinhall, since the guns from Reichsjägerhof Rominten would likely have been taken there after the hunting lodge was demolished.
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If any of the Austrian nobility or wealthy industrialists who owned such a rifle before the Anschluss were politically unreliable or even, gasp, of impure racial stock, it might well be that their rifles had already been seized by German security services, in which case the SS would presumably find them easy enough to obtain.
Except that SS members would probably have stolen them at the time of seizure.
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… if someone living under the regime of the Third Reich owned a rifle in 12.7x70mmRB, it was more likely to be a Mauser 98 pattern.
Since one of the main points of creating the cartridge was to get a stupidly powerful big-game cartridge that would fit in a standard size Mauser 1898 action, that's much more likely. And building guns like that in exile makes far more sense than small-scale manufacture of a different rifle.

The British version, using a Mauser 1898 action, has Shots 3+1: I dug up a copy of the manufacturer's catalog, and worked up GURPS stats. They also need to bring dies and tools for making 12.7x70RB ammunition.
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:08 AM   #57
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Default Grosswildbüchse for Antarctic Space Nazis

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Very rare, I think.

Maybe. Two or three? Probably not more. A place where you might well find one would be Carinhall, since the guns from Reichsjägerhof Rominten would likely have been taken there after the hunting lodge was demolished.
Very good. Then I'll rule that a few senior SS men own heirloom Mannlicher-Schönauer Grosswildbüchse, but that it's not in standard use even with the elite Untierejäger at the current time.

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Except that SS members would probably have stolen them at the time of seizure.
Well, possibly, though it is far more likely that a senior SS figure obtained them than a rank-and-file Gestapo member would dare to abscond with something that is, after all, listed on an official file somewhere as an asset.

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Since one of the main points of creating the cartridge was to get a stupidly powerful big-game cartridge that would fit in a standard size Mauser 1898 action, that's much more likely. And building guns like that in exile makes far more sense than small-scale manufacture of a different rifle.

The British version, using a Mauser 1898 action, has Shots 3+1: I dug up a copy of the manufacturer's catalog, and worked up GURPS stats. They also need to bring dies and tools for making 12.7x70RB ammunition.
Indeed so.

I imagine that they'll have standardized on a 24" barrel version with a Mauser 98 action and Shots 3+1, if that's something Mauser was already manufacturing (which they were, the actions for the British version were made in Germany).

These Mauser Untierejägerbüchse would be much more time-consuming to build than standard military K98k, but are worth it, I imagine, for specialist marksmen in their Jagtverbanden. As they'll be partly handmade, I think I'd stat them as Fine, which gets their Acc up to 5, the same as the military K98ks.

More common than these extremely heavy rifles would be sporting rifles in 9.3x62mm, based on the Mauser Modell 10E. Firing expanding hunting ammunition rather than military ball, they'd be much more effective against anything that doesn't have supernaturally tough skin. Even then, tough alloy bullets that do not expand too much should penetrate deeply enough to do more execution against most monsters than military 7.92x57mm Mauser.

Using Douglas Cole's spreadsheet, it looks like fairly tough lead-antimony bullets in 9.3x62mm would give Dmg 6d+2 pi++ (RAW GURPS Dmg 7d+2(0.5) pi+). That's superior to Dmg 7d pi, I should think, and very attractive as the 'typical' Untierejäger round, as Mausers chambered for that round aren't actually any larger or heavier than military Mausers.

That being said, 7.92x57mm AP rounds would actually be strangely effective against anything of a fey nature, as steel counts as iron, more or less, in the setting. Despite penetrating straight through most foes without tumbling or yawing, such AP rounds are carried by the Antarctic Space Nazis just as German soldiers carried them in WWII.

I guess that if the Untierejäger opt to use the 9.3x62mm as a standard rifle round for their small unit patrols, they'll have to pair every rifleman with someone using a semi-automatic or automatic weapon capable of firing steel AP rounds. I know that 9x19mm sub-machine guns can do so and that the Germans made steel AP 9x19mm Parabellum rounds in large numbers, but haven't found out whether steel-cored 7.92x33mm Kurz AP rounds would have been made on a scale that would make it easy for the escaping SS leaders to arrange for tooling to manufacture it in exile.
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:47 AM   #58
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Default Re: Grosswildbüchse for Antarctic Space Nazis

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Well, possibly, though it is far more likely that a senior SS figure obtained them than a rank-and-file Gestapo member would dare to abscond with something that is, after all, listed on an official file somewhere as an asset.
… and who put it on the file as an asset? Thinking of the SS as a gang of criminals with official sanction works much better than thinking of them as a law-abiding organisation.
Quote:
I imagine that they'll have standardized on a 24" barrel version with a Mauser 98 action and Shots 3+1, if that's something Mauser was already manufacturing (which they were, the actions for the British version were made in Germany).
Mauser 98 actions are not calibre-specific, to the best of my understanding. A given size of action has a maximum cartridge length it can accept, and a maximum calibre that's safe to use, given that the barrel (which includes the chamber) screws into a socket in the action. The bolt face and extractor can be changed by the gunsmith who assembles the rifle. They also provide the barrel and magazine, plus the stock.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:02 AM   #59
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Default Re: Grosswildbüchse for Antarctic Space Nazis

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… and who put it on the file as an asset? Thinking of the SS as a gang of criminals with official sanction works much better than thinking of them as a law-abiding organisation.
Under German law, the way I understand it in the interwar period, any gun you bought would be registered to you, by serial number, and paperwork on your continuing ownership delivered to a police station yearly. This would apply even before any restrictions on Jews or political undesirables owning weapons.

I'm not sure how it worked in Austria and how this was handled during Anschluss, but I'd rate the odds of there being pre-existing paperwork on any firearm pretty good. With that in mind, they were probably among the least safe things for a rank-and-file policeman to steal from the estate of a political undesirable, as they were almost certainly known to have existed by others under the regime, who might be annoyed not to profit themselves. Much safer to filch fungible items not formally registered anywhere as part of the estate.

None of this prevents a more senior figure from acquiring the rifle with the understanding, by his superiors, that this is merely his lawful perquisite. On the other hand, that would actually be something that suits our Antarctic Space Nazis well, as when they start to try to stockpile monster hunting weaponry, they not only know the people who ended up with them, but may have connived at their personal enrichment themselves.

Which probably made it easy for the SS leadership behind the Antarctic Space Nazis to offer SS men that ended up with African hunting rifles some concession or another in return for the rifles, in order to quietly acquire as many suitable monster hunting weapons as they could during 1944-1945.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Mauser 98 actions are not calibre-specific, to the best of my understanding. A given size of action has a maximum cartridge length it can accept, and a maximum calibre that's safe to use, given that the barrel (which includes the chamber) screws into a socket in the action. The bolt face and extractor can be changed by the gunsmith who assembles the rifle. They also provide the barrel and magazine, plus the stock.
You're right, of course. The Mauser 98 action can be used unmodified for the 12.7x70mmRB Shüler. In fact, unmodified magazines can fit 2 such rounds, it seems. Though possibly that is only a lightly modified magazine, rather than completely unmodified.

In any case, if there should be any complicated gunsmithing involved, it would have to do with a magazine meant to hold more rounds than that and, if good accuracy is desired, the barrel and special attention to the fit of the weapon.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:19 AM   #60
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Default REALLY Heavy Rifle for Antarctic Space Nazis

Let us imagine that we are the inner SS leadership around Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler in 1944-1945. Some among these leaders are still hoping for a miracle of some sort that will allow the Third Reich to win on the battlefield. Others are hoping for and even quietly trying to work toward a negotiated peace. The group we are most concerned about, however, are the ones who have lost faith in the ability of the Führer, Adolf Hitler, to win any kind of victory, but still believe in a Nazi ideal, as well as some kind of occult völkisch esoteric doctrine of destiny and an eventual Final War against the East.

Oh, and in this example, we're the kind of SS leadership who send out archeologists on Grail Quests and make diplomatic contact with the Secret Masters of Agharta and the Third Root Race, as well as having found a way to travel the World Tree and formed an allegiance with the Lords of the Last Waste. You know, the Ken Hite kind of occult Antarctic Space Nazis, albeit ones whose otherworldly connections are too little, too late, to ever defeat the Red Army (supplied by the vast economic might of the US) on the battlefield.

We've decided to make plans to save everything that is Aryan and true about the Reich and settle a new world, a Last Redoubt for Nazism until it is time for the Final War. For some of the leaders, this is merely a secret back-up plan if everything else fails, and they absolutely plan to bring Der Führer along (once someone briefs him on how silly superstitions turn out to be, in fact, true). Others, either more rational or more fanatical, understand that this Last Redoubt is their best chance at a future and that the Führer can best serve the Fatherland by remaining behind, if only because that reduces the odds that the vengeful Allies ever find them.

As it turns out, everything that needs saving about the Reich turns out to be mostly the senior leadership of the SS and their families, as well as several hundred trusted protegés of pure Aryan blood and proven courage. It should have been possible to bring many more people, but the senior leaders erred in favour of keeping the preparations from Hitler and rivals outside the SS.

In any case, great numbers weren't necessarily as vital as they might have been in settling empty worlds, given that the Antarctic Space Nazis had already found one world with blond and blue-eyed barbarians of TL2, with admirable Aryan skull structure and women of surpassing beauty, which would provide a fine breeding stock of future Aryans, admixtured by the blood of the leaders of the German Volk. Oh, and there were also thousands of fearless, untiring stormtroopers who obeyed the SS leadership with perfect Kadavergehorsamheit, an unsettling, but useful, benefit of the allegiance with the Cold Ones, i.e. the Lords of the Last Waste.

Aside from a nice pastoral homeworld, the Antarctic Space Nazis also incorporated several industrial sites located at resource-rich areas of other worlds into their initial settlement. These were in walking distance from the settlement around the otherworldly analogue of Wevelsburg castle, but the walk was over the World Tree and they were actually on other worlds. Coal power plants and dirty industry could thus be kept away from the pastoral home world.

One disadvantage of some of the other worlds was fauna that was not merely obstreperous, but much more dangerous than any terrestial animals. Fearsome fell beasts, fey creatures, horrific demons and Lovecraftian abominations. These beasts had caused much havoc among the early explorers of 1944 and the SS leadership had to prepare carefully for having to face such beasts as the new society would continue to explore and conquer new worlds. No societies with more than TL3 had been encountered and the main threat seemed to be from various powerful beasts, supernatural critters and monstrous denizens.

As noted upthread, the Antarctic Space Nazis carefully amassed machinery and equipment they believed would come in handy. Being in control of various Wunderwaffe projects gave the members of the SS conspiracy unchecked access to a lot of resources until the last days of the Third Reich, though some of them would have hesitated to loot anything with significant military utility until the issue was utterly decided and escape seemed the only sane plan. Of course, there were others who started looting with purpose and determination all the way back in 1944, which, as it turned out, was just as good for the budding society of the Antarctic Space Nazis.

Maintaining a full TL7 civilization with less than a thousand people would be hard, so most of the heavy industry and food production would be done simply until the Last Redoubt had a higher population and the slaves taken from other worlds could be educated in the basic skills of TL7 factory workers or farmhands. For the first years, they'd mostly use technology they brought along and and their engineers and mechanics could only maintain the most vital technology. Of which weapons would be one.

I've a pretty good picture of their small arms, mostly WWII vintage or close copies, even 40-50 years after leaving Earth. But I still haven't decided on their heavier weapons.

First of all, how much more time and resources would it take to make SAPHE and APHEX rounds in heavy rifle, machine gun and autocannon calibers, compared to ordinary ball or AP rounds?

Could they have brought tools to manufacture such ammunition and fuzing for it, or is that complex enough to require a much larger society?

Second, the Antarctic Space Nazis had the tooling to make 7.92x94mm AP ammunition for the Panzerbüchse 39 more or less dropped in their lap in 1943. Assuming that could be disassembled and transported in pieces which individually are no larger than 400 lbs., there really wasn't any reason not to take it. As a result, I'm pretty sure that marksmen aboard world-exploring zeppelins have access to PzB 39 rifles, probably with a telescopic sight and either a good bipod or a tripod.

However, as for heavier AT rounds that could be used against massive monsters, I'm torn. I found that the Mauser 1918 Tank Gewehr / Mauser T-Gewehr in 13.2 TUF / 13x92mmSR was designed and built extremely quickly in WWI, suggesting that if the Antarctic Space Nazis wanted to restart manufacturing of that rifle (which is really only a scaled up Mauser Gewehr 98) in their Last Redoubt, it could be done easily enough. I have no idea whether making the ammunition would be a massive undertaking or a comparatively simple modification of assembly lines that already make smaller rounds.

I know that the Germans issued Soviet AT rifles (PTRD-41 and PTRS-41) in 14.5x114mm in WWII, but what sources I can find suggest that they issued captured Soviet ammunition with them and did not manufacture such ammo themselves. Again, no idea how hard it would be to set up a manufacturing line for such ammo at the Last Redoubt.

Depending on how hard it is to make SAPHE rounds, the Antarctic Space Nazis might want an anti-monster rifle in 13x64mm (chambering for the MG 131 machine gun), 15x96mm (original chambering of the MG 151 autocannon) or 20mm, one of 20x80mm, 20x105mm or 20x138mm. Of course, if they can build up their industry to the point they can mass manufacture ammunition, even ammunition requiring high explosives and complex fuzes, they might prefer machine guns and autocannon on flexible mounts for monster hunting, at least from a zeppelin.

By the time the PCs meet the Antarctic Space Nazis, there will be maybe a 50,000 strong elite of full Aryan citizens of the new Reich, maybe 5,000-10,000 stormtroopers that require no resources or life support other than a supply of arms, a couple of hundred thousand descendants of slaves who now enjoy a second-class citizenship, another couple of hundred thousand of 'skilled' slave labour (i.e. have a Job skill applicable at TL7, though their general TL might be lower) and maybe half a million of slaves useful only as uncannily obedient workers, mostly either in dangerous or repetative and dull jobs (can have skills, but based on IQ 6-8, Hidebound, Slave Mentality and personal TL3 or lower).

Thoughts?

Which of these would you focus your efforts on trying to set up ammunition manufacturing for in the new world?
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