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Old 02-06-2019, 04:13 PM   #161
johndallman
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Default Re: Waffenfabrik Mauser AG in Oberndorf am Neckar

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
From what I can tell, the majority of the machinery seemed to be undamaged, despite bombing raids
Industrial machine tools are surprisingly resistant to blast damage.
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What I'm wondering is how receptive workers at Mauser, especially the managers, senior engineers, highly skilled technicians and other leading lights of the company would have been to an offer of an escape to a 'Last Redoubt', where they could continue to design and build arms?
There's a significant problem, in that the people asking are SS.

The first suspicion would be that this was a way of finding and punishing people who showed a lack of faith in the Fuhrer and the war. Entrapment for things like that was completely legal in Nazi Germany.

The second suspicion would be that the SS wanted to prevent these valuable workers falling into enemy hands by killing them. Since Oberndorf is in south-west Germany, people there would have been expecting the area to be taken by the Americans or the French. Had they been expecting the Russians, they might have been willing to take bigger risks.

Evacuating the factory might be a better way to get things moving, but is against Hitler's orders to defend everywhere and stop the enemy. There will be local Nazis who will want to prevent the evacuation, and the Gauleiter of Württemberg-Hohenzollern has access to Hitler to protest at SS breaches of his orders.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:12 PM   #162
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Default Re: Waffenfabrik Mauser AG in Oberndorf am Neckar

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
There's a significant problem, in that the people asking are SS.

The first suspicion would be that this was a way of finding and punishing people who showed a lack of faith in the Fuhrer and the war. Entrapment for things like that was completely legal in Nazi Germany.
Indeed. The engineers and technicians at Mauser Werke do not seem to have been any more (or less) likely to be Nazis than other Germans, but, obviously, the SS was a pretty scary organization to ordinary citizens. They probably didn't enjoy a lot of trust or residual good will, especially after it became clear that the future of Germany would probably involve the Nazi government falling.

I imagine that once the Nazi government and Hitler started to proclaim future resistance in an Alpine Redoubt, it would become much less scary to discuss plans to evacute workers and move equipment to another location, as by then, it wouldn't be treasonous in any way, but an attempt to carry out legitimate policy of preserving industrial capacity, arming Werwolf, Volksturm and other remnant forces and preventing weapons R&D from falling into enemy hands.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
The second suspicion would be that the SS wanted to prevent these valuable workers falling into enemy hands by killing them. Since Oberndorf is in south-west Germany, people there would have been expecting the area to be taken by the Americans or the French. Had they been expecting the Russians, they might have been willing to take bigger risks. .
That's a good point. On the other hand, the personnel at Peenemüde did follow SS men who were to evacuate them to the Alps, despite relations with the SS being stormy and the risk of the scientists being killed to keep secrets from the Allies proportionally much greater than that smallarms engineers would be.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Evacuating the factory might be a better way to get things moving, but is against Hitler's orders to defend everywhere and stop the enemy. There will be local Nazis who will want to prevent the evacuation, and the Gauleiter of Württemberg-Hohenzollern has access to Hitler to protest at SS breaches of his orders.
Hitler did order the factory evacuated at some point between February and April, 1945, and he also ordered all German industry destroyed rather than to allow it to fall into enemy hands. It's just that no one knew where to move the factory at this late point, no one senior in historical Germany had time or the inclination to worry about machine tooling or technical workers when the whole Reich was collapsing and no one really wanted to destroy industry.

Basically, in historical Germany, there was really no place to take valuable industrial machines where they could be considered much safer than where they were. If there had been a way to remove any valuables from the path of Allied troops, such as magical gates, I imagine that many senior Nazis would have tried to do so, if they could be brought to believe in these gates. In any case, our Gauleiter* has to speak with Bormann to get access to Hitler, as controlling that access was Bormann's main source of power and influence.

As I'm postulating that Martin Bormann had found out about the ASN plan to evacuate chosen people through mysterious means (which he probably conceived of in terms of new scientific discoveries, e.g. some form of outgrowth of Wunderwaffe research that involved new physics principles) and arranged to have himself and chosen dependants, allies and friends taken with them, the ASNs probably did not fear discovery of their efforts to preserve German technology in a secret Last Redoubt, not from March onward, though there were still many aspects of their full plan which they kept a deep, dark secret.

By this point, Bormann, Himmler (with the full support of the SS), Hans Kammler and Franz Xaver Dorsch, all working together, had the authority to dispose of most German industry any way they chose and Hitler would rarely hear about whatever they did. Speer is more of a risk, but Dorsch effectively ran things on a day to day basis, anyway, with Speer mostly having to do with big-picture stuff, as well as spending much of his time with Hitler, which effectively reduced him to having only what second-hand information Dorsch chose to share.

And frankly, the fate of smallarms tooling and all sorts of light industrual supplies, as well as 'mere' thousands of skilled workers, were small scale minutia of the sort Dorsch oversaw, compared to Speer's worries over Germany becoming a post-apocalyptic wasteland and the fate of tens of millions of Germans. 30,000 short tons of finished goods and 40,000 adults, mostly educated experts, engineers, agriculturists, scientists, specialists and other chosen colonists, sounds like a lot, but at a time when Germany had spent years losing people by the tens of thousands and equipment by the millions of tons, it just wasn't as important as the fact that Germany might cease to exist.

Even if Hitler did hear what they were doing, at some point in March or April, he had given these men the responsibility to arm the last defenders of the Reich and to hide caches for a future resistance, not to mention ordering the evacuation of vital experts and the total destruction of all industry. Why should Hitler worry exactly how industry was destroyed, where caches were hidden or what routes evacuations took? He sure didn't have much time or inclination to think about it in real history, as Speer got away with essentially ignoring the 'Nero Decree'.

In actual history, Hitler's evacuation orders of Mauser Werke were carried out to the point that, for example, the parts for 30 prototypes of the StG 45 (M) were moved in late March or early April, most likely to the area that was to become the 'Alpine Redoubt'. But I don't know if any of the work force went with them, only that at least some of them seem to have stayed behind in Oberndorf even after the factory shut down, and just waited to find out what woukd happen and if they would be arrested or not. Some tried to flee and of those, some actually were arrested and others were offered citizenship in Allied countries in return for their valuable expertise.

SS men turning up in Oberndorf at any time after January 1945, saying that they were removing vital armaments technology and even evacuating personnel, would be increasingly plausible the closer we get to April 20 and at any time after March 19, anything they did with the factory and the equipment in it that removed it from the path of the Allied advance would technically have been in accordance with Hitler's orders.

I think the biggest hurdle would have been convincing the Mauser engineers and other personnel that there was any realistic hope to escape the Allied advance. They'd have to actually believe that there was any place where they could set up a factory again and have some sort of life, without having just postboned the inevitable for a few weeks. The Alpine Redoubt was believed in by plenty of smart people whose job it was to know better, but even if people at Mauser Werke believed in it, they would probably not believe it could last forever.

How do you convince the potential recruits that you really are offering a fulfilling new life as a colonist and valued expert in a new German industry, rebuilt from preserved scraps in a new land, beyond the reach of the Red Army and the other Allies?

Would anyone believe the truth? Or should you have a cover story in layers, like an onion?

What is the closest you can get to the truth, at least in so far as what matters to potential recruits, while not talking about magic, vril, Svartŕlfrheim, Welteislehre, the Secret Masters, the Great White Brotherhood, the Coming Race, the Third Root Race, Hohlweltlehre, the World Tree, Externsteine, the Irminsul, Wahr Wewelsburg, Jötunheim, Germania Hyperborea or other nonsense, at least not until recruits could see these things for themselves?

A secret technology to travel to friendly South American refuges?

*If indeed Gauleiter Wilhelm Murr were in any way unhappy with the SS doing their best to rescue valuable industrial capability, that is. As SS-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Murr is an Antarctic Space Nazi in good standing and on Himmler's personal staff, not to mention that in real history, he did his best to evacuate Stuttgart from December 1944 onward, I believe there is little chance of him objecting.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:14 PM   #163
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Default Re: Waffenfabrik Mauser AG in Oberndorf am Neckar

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
How do you convince the potential recruits that you really are offering a fulfilling new life as a colonist and valued expert in a new German industry, rebuilt from preserved scraps in a new land, beyond the reach of the Red Army and the other Allies?
That really is quite hard. Nowhere on the planet was beyond the reach of the Allies of 1945.
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Would anyone believe the truth? Or should you have a cover story in layers, like an onion?
You're definitely going to need layers.

To make it more difficult, the kind of science that might make a cover story close to the truth - quantum mechanics and/or parallel worlds - has been denounced as "Jewish Science," which makes it implausible for the SS to be using.
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A secret technology to travel to friendly South American refuges?
Probably the best bet. A jet-powered ultra-high-altitude aircraft, concealed in some way from radar, might be salable.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:44 PM   #164
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Default Cover Stories for ASN Recruits Chosen for Skill Sets, Not Politics

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That really is quite hard. Nowhere on the planet was beyond the reach of the Allies of 1945.
Indeed not. Not physically, at least. But it might not have been perceived as totally impossible that Argentina, Chile, Paraguay or even Uruguay were prepared to grant asylum to some thousands of Germans, especially valued technical experts, and that the Allies would not go to war with neutral or 'allied' countries over it.

Even with these countries declaring war on Axis countries once the results of WWII were already a foregone conclusion (Argentina was the last, March 27, 1945), it might be plausible that this was only done to placate the powerful Allies, but they'd still welcome German immigration, allow the Germans to establish their own German-speaking colonies, if it were done discreetly, and be ecstatic if the Germans brought technology, industry and know-how to build up a new German industry.

In fact, if it were claimed that the government of one or more of these countries were secretly sympathetic to the German and Nazi cause and intended to ally with senior German figures to build up an Aryan Reich in exile, as a counterweight to the eventual Eastern (Communist) attempt to conquer the West, that wouldn't immediately sound wrong. Indeed, this is merely an exaggeration of the truth and an exaggeration that many people continue to believe today, let alone in the 40s and 50s.

Furthermore, as few individual recruits needed to know how many others were going, people wouldn't even have to accept any implausible numbers of total German immigration to the new colonies in the last days of the Reich. Every late-stage recruit chosen for valuable skills rather than pure Aryan blood, völkisch Nazi beliefs and SS ideological purity, until they commit and see the truth, can believe that they are among the last few to escape, by U-boat, jet plane or whatever, and that the others have already been evacuated by ship, plane and subterfuge through neutral countries.
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You're definitely going to need layers.

To make it more difficult, the kind of science that might make a cover story close to the truth - quantum mechanics and/or parallel worlds - has been denounced as "Jewish Science," which makes it implausible for the SS to be using.
Indeed, sadly so.

However, I note that by January 1945, there are many scientists, engineers and other necessary experts attached to the Antarctic Space Nazi colony project and that it was functionally impossible to ensure ideological purity. Sincere patriotism, apolitical acceptance of authority combined with extreme dedication to their field or perceived personal trustworthiness were quite enough for someone with truly vital expertise to be brought on as the project went on and the scale of the challenges became evident.

Indeed, by the end of 1944, the pragmatic administrators among the senior Antarctic Space Nazi leadership would have taken any expert with the required knowledge and experience, as long as they judged they would obey orders and not reveal vital secrets, no matter their politics. Creating a new industry on a world with nothing but primitive 'savages' is a hard enough challenge to make the saner among them reach for every potential advantage. After all, the better the planning and execution of the plan for industrial rebuilding, the more comfort and luxury, not to mention power, the ASNs will know in their new homes.

Dorsch was a very competent administrator, whatever else he was, and he built the Autobahns without caring all that much about why people did their jobs, as long as they did. Hans Kammler seems to have been more concerned with efficiency and security than making sure every important scientist or engineer had the right Party background. Gottlob Berger believed strongly in Nazi principles, but was willing to recruit almost anyone, regardless of background, and trust that they could be indoctrinated later.

Even Oswald Pohl, monster that he was, cared more about the job he was doing getting done right than any kind of ideological purity and complained bitterly when mass executions and indiscriminate mistreatment of valuable workers reduced the efficiency of his business empire. All four of these men and a number of others in the higher echelon of ASN leadership would probably find some way to employ the talents of any potential recruit they felt would constitute a net gain for the Neue Reich, regardless of personal feelings about their political beliefs.

Indeed, industrualists who were brought into the preparations for the ASN colonies through the Freundeskreis der Wirtschaft and anyone recruited through connections with such men are more likely to prioritize administrative ability, engineering knowledge and technical skill than political factors like orthodox Nazism. Many of the industrialists were loyal citizens of the Weimar Republic until that didn't pay, Nazis when it suited them and good Germans 'who never knew' after the war. Most of them were anti-communist, some of them were nationalists, quite a few were anti-Semities, but their leading political philosophy was self-interest.

Managers, board members and other senior figures of German industry who had been brought into the secret at the latter stages to allow the ASNs access to the resources they control will want to bring family, friends and valued employees. They'll want to enjoy comfort, luxuries, wealth and power in the new worlds, which means that they'd need to bring as many of their top experts as possible, to ensure that they'll succeed at their goals of creating a new German industry within their lifetimes. Politics hardly rates in comparison to the fear of failure and becoming, gasp, poor.

So there would have been at least some people involved in the ASN project for some time before the final settlement who were simply technical experts in various fields and not dedicated Nazis. Maybe they were not among the first to know in 1943, but certainly some required experts who lived in Germany, but were working on ASN scientific or engineering projects, would start to suspect as their work progressed and by 1944, especially the end of 1944, increasing numbers of the scientists and engineers working for the ASNs would know about Jötunheim and Germania Hyperborea.

These people could visit friends at Mauser, or anywhere they had friends with similar backgrounds and education that they felt were necessary for the new colony, and sound them out about becoming an Antarctic Space Nazi. Such more-or-less apolitical experts might have been willing to make statements in private that did not reflect orthodox Nazi positions on science. Especially if they had personal experience of other worlds and were assured by the leadership of the SS that as long as they kept to some kind of cover story that didn't mention some very secret things (many of which were too occult for people with a scientific worldview, who stood outside the inner circle of Black Knights and magicians, to know about anyway), they were allowed to recruit trusted friends with vital skills.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Probably the best bet. A jet-powered ultra-high-altitude aircraft, concealed in some way from radar, might be salable.
And those who didn't buy U-boats or jet planes might buy a scaled-down version of the truth, i.e. an energy source discovered as part of Wunderwaffen research that enabled instantaneous travel between two places linked by abtruse physics concepts, possibly involving words from Jewish science like quantum, but this was okay, because it was a good German version of science. Or indeed, just science without nationality in itself, but discovered by Germans, and wasn't it better that Germans should have the technology than the Soviets or even the Americans?

Lead them to believe the new physics makes it possible to travel to a secret base in Antarctica even as the Allied armies were closing in on them in these last days. From there they would travel to their true destination, implied to be either a 'mundane' secret Nazi colony in Argentina or Chile or a true new world, if the prospective recruit seemed more likely to accept this (or was in a position where they needed to know the true constraints on their supplies and the conditions in the colony to be useful).
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:54 PM   #165
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

Actually, the USA is probably a more likely refuge. The CIA let in tens of thousands of Nazis and, as long as the people coming over were not big names and had no known war crimes, they could have been given jobs in the USA. They would have been forced to play the long game, but they could have started disappearing in the 50s and 60s, and it would have given them enough time to get TL7 equipment and sympathetic allies for the trip (perhaps from South America).
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:38 PM   #166
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

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Actually, the USA is probably a more likely refuge. The CIA let in tens of thousands of Nazis and, as long as the people coming over were not big names and had no known war crimes, they could have been given jobs in the USA. They would have been forced to play the long game, but they could have started disappearing in the 50s and 60s, and it would have given them enough time to get TL7 equipment and sympathetic allies for the trip (perhaps from South America).
To be clear, after April 30, 1945, there are no connections between my Antarctic Space Nazis and any world recognisable as ours or even a particularly close analogue. Basically, to the Antarctic Space Nazis, Earth stopped existing after they emigrated to their otherworldly Last Redoubt and the other colonies of das Neues Reich der Schwarzen Sonne. That means that anyone who could not get to one of their gates that led to the World Tree and ultimately to their colony worlds before some time in the night of April 30, 1945, did not travel with them and probably never saw them again.

The stories of Antarctic Space Nazi colonies on Antarctica and in various South American states in the post above are presented as ideas for cover stories to tell potential recruits who would probably not believe the truth. The ASNs never really planned to move to the Alpine Redoubt, Antarctica, Argentina, Chile or anywhere else on Earth. Which means they have no intention of moving to the USA, either, and don't want anyone they regard as vital for their colonies to do so. Anyone who surrenders to US troops or any other Allies is going to miss their chance at going with the ASNs, depriving the Neue Reich of their talents, if any.

The Antarctic Space Nazis needed cover stories to be able to tell potential colonists something less unbelievable than what they were actually doing, i.e. traveling the World Tree using völkisch magic developed by a certified madman and several other eccentric scholars from the lunatic fringe of fascist thought, using the accumulated wisdom of the Aryan Secret Masters of Agharta and the frightening power of the Lords of the Last Waste, the Ice Giants, the Hrýmţursar, who along with the Asiatic hordes of the Red Army herald Götterdämmerung for the German Reich.

When it became clear that Germany would lose the war, the inner circle of the SS leadership around Heinrich Himmler started planning for an SS-dominated Nazi successor state, a Neue Reich, on other worlds accessible through the World Tree, which Ahnenerbe occultists and researchers had discovered in 1943, with help from strange allies and prophetic visions by previously discredited völkisch occultists.

Himmler and several others wanted at first to use the World Tree to help Germany win the war, but no applications available immediately were likely to change much on the massive scale that WWII was fought. The power of the occultists was at first limited to only a tiny area around the first gate and even when more gates were discovered, the SS could not project any serious sorcerous energies far enough to affect important battlefields, let alone stop the Allies from massively outproducing the German economy.

The World Tree could give the ASNs access to incredible power, but during the initial months of discovery, it was more of a resource hog than a benefit. By the time the SS had developed some reliable ways to travel and found more than the hostile first world, it was 1944 and there was no plausible way that the SS occultists could begin to exploit any potential military advantages of their discoveries fast enough to make a difference to the ultimate outcome of the war.

So planning for a New Reich was their only rational alternative and over the course of 1943-1944, the future Antarctic Space Nazis recruited allies, gathered materiel and sounded out settlers. At first, their planning process was extremely secret, with very few people knowing the truth about the projected Last Redoubt. As the end of the Third Reich became ever more obvious, the ASNs accelerated their rate of recruitment and collection of supplies, until they were operating almost openly at the end. After all, they represented the men who were entrusted with the task of evacuating or destroying German industry and collecting arms for the last-ditch resistance, like Volkssturm and Werwolf. Even if Hitler heard about about them seizing vital strategic assets, it would be exactly what he ordered them to do.

Still, even if, by the last couple of months, they didn't try to conceal that they were trying to preserve German industry and expertise, they obviously couldn't tell potential recruits the truth, either. I mean, would you believe them, before actually witnessing it for yourself?
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:01 AM   #167
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Default Re: ASNs and the Secret of Gunpowder

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I'd start with TL4 black powder + flintlock muskets for local levies, because they're a huge advantage over TL2-3 weaponry, but people armed with them can't defeat TL6 troops with bolt-action rifles without a ridiculous numerical advantage.
I have the allegiance with Svartálfrheim being vital enough and the magicians of the 'Aryan Secret Masters' being powerful enough so that the Antarctic Space Nazis were irrevocably committed to helping the TL3^ society of their allies to advance and industrialize. The first step would have been enabling their isolated allies to emerge from their hidden fastnesses on Svartálfrheim (where they were deliberately isolated like medieval China or Japan before Perry) and start the conquest of that world.

Among the technologies that the ASNs would have handed over would have been TL4 black powder and firearms, because the highly skilled craftsmen of Svartálfrheim TL3^ society could quickly learn to maintain and eventually manufacture those on their own. TL5 firearms would have been sold to Svartálfrheim as well, but at first, there would be no question of TL3^ craftsmen duplicating them in useful numbers, largely because of the need for advanced chemistry for percussion caps or primers and metallurgy for barrels made in bulk. Still, it is amazing what highly skilled craftsmen who know something is possible can do, given a few years, and Svartálfrheim was well launched on the magitech version of the Industrial Revolution within a comparatively short time.

The society of the 'Aghartans' was expanding fast enough on Svartálfrheim in the first couple of generations for them to buy every firearm and all the ammunition that the ASN could sell, whether TL4 or higher, even if they were technically capable of making their own muskets and black powder. Quite simply, they needed hundreds of thousands of weapons yesterday and the ability to make thousands of their own didn't suffice. Within ten years, the Aghartans would have required some six thousand rifles for elites and 50,000 muskets for ordinary troops, and if they could, they'd really have wanted this by day one.

Within 20 years, they'd have started arming native levies of their own and needed a million weapons all told, with another five million firearms of all kinds required before Year 51. All of these would have needed ammunition at rates required by short sharp wars punctuated with periods of police actions in newly acquired territories. Basically, the Aghartans are going to keep the nascent ASN armament industry very busy for the foreseeable future, though obviously the ASNs can't neglect their own armaments during this same time.

Officially, despite the 'Aghartans' looking nothing like völkisch stereotypes of blond and blue-eyed North Europeans that Nazis tend to mean when they say 'Aryan', they were declared to be one of the two original and highest branches of the Aryans, brothers to the Nordic race, destinated to share rulership of all the worlds with the Neue Reich. Certainly, neither party would have been able to expand and advance as they do without the trade, technology transfer and transfer of magical secrets that goes on.

Privately, any number of the more paranoid, or maybe just realistic, members of the ASN leadership realized that the 'Aghartans' were their most likely serious rival in the future. Maybe not within a century, as there were so many lands to conquer and so many things to do, that neither party would benefit from breaking the allegiance, but at some point, when one side decided they no longer needed the other, the most probable outcome would be at least a Cold War across the multiverse and perhaps a total war for supremacy.

Ironically, in that despite that threat in the future, there is no serious political resistance to giving the Aghartans firearms and black powder, arming native levies on Germania Hyperborea becomes a hotly contested issue, with one faction, a loose collection of the most xenophobic and paranoid among the ASN leadership, arguing that on this world, the rule should be that only citizens of the Neue Reich should ever be allowed the military secrets of gunpowder.

An allegiance of convenience between pragmatic technocrats, who realize that black powder is not going to stay secret and want the ASNs to benefit from which societies get it first, and a range of romantic völkisch fantasists, who see various native cultures as kindred Aryan/Nordic/Germanic peoples beset by non-Aryan foes, ultimately overrules the paranoic faction of the ASNs and military assistence and trade to designated allied tribes is allowed to include TL4 firearms and black powder.

I'm leaning toward such allied tribes being vital to ASN expansion on Germania Hyperborea, if only because the all-out effort at building up industry simultaneously demands that they settle important resource areas distant from the main gates and doesn't leave enough German-born citizens free to carry out mundane military tasks like garrison duty, convoy escorts and patrols over hundreds of kilometers between vital strategic sites.

Still, with the demand for guns and ammunition from new Neue Reich citizens and the insatiable demand from Svartálfrheim, there will be plenty of allied native tribesmen using their traditional melee weapons or bows to fight beside the ASNs against other natives, at least for the first decade or two. Maybe much longer, I don't know how long it would take the ASNs to build up their industry to the point they could be making thousands of rifles and hundreds of thousands of muskets per year, as well as supplying ammo for them all.

It will be interesting to know by what Year of Neue Reich settlement the ASNs can breed horses fast enough to have a surplus for allied native tribes, as that would determine whether the eventual auxiliary tribal cavalry will be primarily mounted firearm infantry or if enough of them got bigger horses before they could be armed with firearms for a native cavalry tradition to develop among the allied Germanic tribesmen, keeping in mind that natives who were favored with citizenship would have had first call on any advanced weapons and the ammunition for them.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:20 AM   #168
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Default HASAG, the Antarctic Space Nazi Metal Goods and Armament Conglomerate

HASAG or the Hugo Schneider Aktiengesellschaft Metallwarenfabrik was an old and established 19th century German metal goods firm that had diversified into armaments during WWI. Unlike some other German companies, whose coexistence with Nazism may have been reluctant and in any case occurred while the NSDAP was in charge of the German government, HASAG was proactive in their pro-Nazi stance.

Even before the Nazis came to power, the company appointed SS-Sturmbannführer Paul Budin as part of their senior managment in 1931. Budin was made general manager of HASAG in 1932 and was ultimately in charge of it until the end of WWII. Furthermore, as far as I can tell, every important director or deputy of HASAG was a member of the Nazi party, and a majority seem to have belonged to the SA, SS or Gestapo from the early 1930s onward (with SA men mostly becoming SS men after 1934).

Perhaps not surprisingly, HASAG secured massive government contracts when the Nazis came to power. They were also instrumental in securing permission to employ slave labour in the armament industry, managing to get special licenses for that. Eventually, the company grew into the third largest user of forced labour in Europe, behind only the IG Farben and the Reichswerke Hermann Göring conglomerates.

Unlike the varied men who ran the other two conglomerates, ranging from ruthless fellow traveler capitalists to monsters of callousness, Paul Budin seems to have been a Nazi true believer and could not imagine life after the Reich. In our history, it is generally accepted that Budin destroyed the Leipzig factory of HASAG before it could fall into Soviet hands, not to mention managing to comprehensively destroy almost all HASAG paperwork, forever ensuring that their crimes would become less notorious than the easier to prove crimes of IG Farben and Reichswerke.

Budin performed his destructive work using explosives. Apparently, while he and his entire family were inside the factory. At least, that's what witnesses said. It's not like there were even any parts to identify, it being an arms factory.

In my campaign, of course, Budin was recruited to become part of the Antarctic Space Nazis and what he blew up was only what he and his fellow recruits couldn't remove to the gate in the Owl Mountains on the border between Bohemia and Silesia.

Interestingly, former Mauser engineer and (in real history) future founder of H&K, Edmund Heckler, was at HASAG from 1933 and became both their chief engineer and Prokurist (i.e. empowered to act on behalf of the company without restriction, generally GMs or CEOs hold such a Prokura for the firms they run, but in Germany, it is often a separate senior company office with wide powers).
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:47 AM   #169
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Default Re: ASNs and the Secret of Gunpowder

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
...hundreds of thousands of muskets per year, ...
That is a lot of rifles for a TL5 military, let alone earlier. The Springfield Model 1861 was the primary arm for the US Army in the US Civil War era, roughly a million was built between 1861-1873.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:04 PM   #170
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Default Re: ASNs and the Secret of Gunpowder

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Originally Posted by adm View Post
That is a lot of rifles for a TL5 military, let alone earlier. The Springfield Model 1861 was the primary arm for the US Army in the US Civil War, roughly a million was built between 1861-1873.
Indeed, I'm wondering when the ASNs will manage to build up a TL5 industrial infrastructure (at least in the fields most important to them) and when they'll have a TL6 infrastructure as far as armaments go.

Granted, they'll still have TL6-7 knowledge and a lot of the weapons they make will be simplified designs with no better than TL4-5 performance, so the exact TL is somewhat hard to define, but I'm wondering how long it will take the ASNs to bootstrap themselves and their allies up to this kind of industrial production.

My current WAG is that at Year 51, they are making a lot of TL5 stuff, can manage to replace TL6 stuff for crucial military applications (with less than 0.5% of their population equipped even as light infantry in WWII terms) and have some prestige projects with TL7 going, but they are still making simple TL4 muskets and black powder for the majority of their allies, because they don't have the large scale steel and chemical industries to make rifled barrels that tolerate smokeless pressures or reliable TL6+ ammunition fast enough to arm even a fraction of those who need and want it.

And there are still allied tribesmen who haven't even gotten simple muskets from ASN factories, but go to war with what weapons native industry can make. Granted, those are generally native allies that the ASNs aren't terribly enthusiastic about. Maybe they can get a TL4 pistol for mounted charges, that uses less iron or steel, and they won't use as much ammo.

Note also that the Springfield is a better weapon and harder to make than the simplest muzzleloading musket TL7 engineers can design to be quickly and cheaply produced in their circumstances. Unrifled barrels are much cheaper than rifled ones, enough so that you can usually make several smoothbores per rifle. Indeed, low-pressure black powder smoothbores can use plumbing pipes as barrels, which means that when the production bottleneck is enough good steel, the replacement cost difference between simple muskets and quality TL5 rifle-muskets is probably even bigger, in relative terms.

While the ASNs will hopefully be making many new firearms equivalent or better than the Enfield or Springfield 1861 rifle-muskets by the Year 51, those are meant for their more important allies. The simple TL4 smoothbores must still suffice for less valued allies, simply because there aren't enough firearms and ammunition for everyone who wants some.
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-07-2019 at 12:27 PM.
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