Alt-history writing project

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tfbncc
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Re: Alt-history writing project

Post by tfbncc »

OK, read the book in one afternoon. Review left on Amazon. And also a thank you for mentioning me in the dedication. I am glad I could help.

Ray
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randy
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Re: Alt-history writing project

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Apparently I have not purchased enough from my Amazon account to qualify to leave a review (most of our purchase are on the household account). If I can later I will

In the meantime I've been pimping it over on MeWe:
New book out from a fellow forum member over at the Gun Counter, his first one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09TG ... ype=ebooks

For seventy years after a devastating war, the Republic of Texas kept to itself. But it would be rude not to attend the international naval review celebrating Britain’s new king, George VI. So with war clouds over Europe, Texas sends the elderly armored cruiser, San Antonio, and her new captain, Karl von Stahlberg.

While making new friends and meeting Texas’ ancient foe, can Karl and his men avoid sparking a war?

Full disclosure: I provided some inputs on snippets of an early draft, so I am a little invested.

I read through it in a marathon session that kept me up way too late, but I kept wanting to see what happened next (I was not privy to all of the book just snippets, so a lot was new material to me).

Apparently I have not spent enough with Amazon this year to qualify to post a review, but I would give it 4-5 stars. Good first book, and it left me wanting more. Waiting patiently for the next one in the series.

Oh, and releasing it on March 2nd, Texas Independence Day was a nice touch.
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".
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Captain Wheelgun
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Re: Alt-history writing project

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randy wrote: Thu Mar 03, 2022 7:52 pm Apparently I have not purchased enough from my Amazon account to qualify to leave a review (most of our purchase are on the household account). If I can later I will

In the meantime I've been pimping it over on MeWe:
New book out from a fellow forum member over at the Gun Counter, his first one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09TG ... ype=ebooks

For seventy years after a devastating war, the Republic of Texas kept to itself. But it would be rude not to attend the international naval review celebrating Britain’s new king, George VI. So with war clouds over Europe, Texas sends the elderly armored cruiser, San Antonio, and her new captain, Karl von Stahlberg.

While making new friends and meeting Texas’ ancient foe, can Karl and his men avoid sparking a war?

Full disclosure: I provided some inputs on snippets of an early draft, so I am a little invested.

I read through it in a marathon session that kept me up way too late, but I kept wanting to see what happened next (I was not privy to all of the book just snippets, so a lot was new material to me).

Apparently I have not spent enough with Amazon this year to qualify to post a review, but I would give it 4-5 stars. Good first book, and it left me wanting more. Waiting patiently for the next one in the series.

Oh, and releasing it on March 2nd, Texas Independence Day was a nice touch.
Thanks for the review and promotion, Randy & Ray.

At one point today Texas at the Coronation was in the top 100 in both Alternate History and Alternate History Science Fiction on Amazon.
"The best diplomat I know is a fully charged phaser bank" - Cmdr. Montgomery Scott
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Re: Alt-history writing project

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Starting on the next book. Here’s the first snippet...

January, 1940 - The Capitol Building, Austin, Republic of Texas

Karl von Stahlberg looked around as he entered the rotunda of the Capitol Building. In the center stood a gigantic stand of weapons that had been surrendered by the French Army before their withdrawal from Tampico, Mexico, under the protection of the United States Navy. The display had been modeled on the ‘Organ of Muskets’ described by Longfellow in his poem about the American arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts.

Arrayed around the circumference of the rotunda were the flags and battle standards of the French Army, which had likewise been surrendered. Next to the doorways leading to other parts of the building were statues of various heroes of Texas history, starting, of course, with Houston, Lamar, Travis, de Zavala and the other leaders of the War of Independence.

He looked up at the great dome, taller than the one on the U.S. Capitol in Washington. There were stained glass windows creating a riot of multi-colored light filling the dome and spilling down on the floor. Returning to his present task, he spotted the crowd of people around the building directory, all looking for the places they needed to go. While the Congress would not hold it’s next regular session until next year, there were a number of committees holding hearings during the off season. One such hearing was why he was here. He walked over.

At 42 years old, with a height that was only slightly taller than average and short, blonde hair starting to show some silver, Karl would have blended in with the crowd if not for the black patch where his left eye should have been, and his gray Navy uniform, with the single gold star of a Commodore and a small array of award ribbons on his left breast. He had been surprised that the brevet promotion had been made permanent, and even more surprised that it had been back-dated to the date of the brevet promotion in July 1937. That had happened last August, when his friend and former commander, Brigadier General William Stormcloud, had been assigned to take command of the Texas Army’s embryonic Armored Brigade, leaving Karl in charge of the Joint Army-Navy Scientific Research command.

He found the location where the House Military Affairs Committee was scheduled to meet in a little over an hour. Fortunately, it was on the first floor, so he didn’t need to take the stairs. Congress had finally authorized funding for the installation of elevators in the last session, but the construction work hadn’t started yet. As he walked through the doorway leading to the House of Representative’s side of the building, he saw his father’s brother there. Karl waved to him.

“Karl! Are you here for a committee meeting?”

“Yeah, Uncle Lothar. Military Affairs Committee. Your fellow Senators got their crack at me last week, now it’s the House’s turn.”

“Well, I’m glad I ran into you then. I found out last night that Kevin O’Donnell just got moved to the House Military Affairs Committee by the Minority Leader.”

“Wonderful. He still blames me for Kathleen’s death. He never understood that it was her idea to try to have children, he keeps trying to be the overprotective big brother.”

“I’m starting to wonder about the timing of the move. My sources say that he may try to question whether you should still be in JANSR.”

“Let me guess. Viola?”

“Yep. They aren’t saying anything publicly, but there are some of the SPP that are making noises about the propriety of a serving officer in a personal relationship with any foreigner, much less the daughter of the British Ambassador. I know, I know, it’s stupid and petty, but that’s pretty much all they have left since the war in Europe started back in September. A lot of the SPP’s leadership had counted on the war talk being only talk, so they could make another run at cutting the military budget. They’re looking for anything they can use to discredit the military, especially the Navy.”

“Come on, Uncle Lothar, you’ve met Vi and Ambassador Molteno. They’re not the kind of people who would cause problems. And you know I would never disclose anything sensitive.”

“Yes, I do. More importantly, so do the President and his team. Still, you need to watch out. This last minute change in committee assignments stinks to high heaven.”

“I will. I’ve got to go. I need to get things set up before the Committee sits.”

OK, Karl. Will you and Vi be coming out to the farm this weekend?”

“That’s the current plan, unless something unexpected comes up.”

“Good. See you then.”

“Good bye, Uncle Lothar.”
********************
"The best diplomat I know is a fully charged phaser bank" - Cmdr. Montgomery Scott
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randy
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Re: Alt-history writing project

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Good start.

Question on something I may have missed in the previous discussion leading up to the last book: Did the Alamo happen the same in their timeline as it did in ours? If so, wouldn't Bowie and Crocket be up there with Travis? Just something that jumped out at me.

With the single gold star of a Commodore and a small array of award ribbons on his left breast

That reads to me like the rank insignia is on his chest along with his ribbons. As opposed to his collars or on shoulder boards/epaulettes Which would have stripes not a star if following US/British traditions.

Or in the case of the US Navy of someone testifying to congresscritters, the rank would be stripes on the cuffs of his uniform blouse on the uniform usually worn at such times (the USAF call it Service Dress or Combination 1 depending on how old you are, not sure what the Navy calls it).

Of course, Texans being good sensible people might have decided that the same rank insignia is good enough for all branches and skip all the stripes.
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".
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Captain Wheelgun
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Re: Alt-history writing project

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randy wrote: Mon Mar 07, 2022 3:34 am Good start.

Question on something I may have missed in the previous discussion leading up to the last book: Did the Alamo happen the same in their timeline as it did in ours? If so, wouldn't Bowie and Crocket be up there with Travis? Just something that jumped out at me.

With the single gold star of a Commodore and a small array of award ribbons on his left breast

That reads to me like the rank insignia is on his chest along with his ribbons. As opposed to his collars or on shoulder boards/epaulettes Which would have stripes not a star if following US/British traditions.

Or in the case of the US Navy of someone testifying to congresscritters, the rank would be stripes on the cuffs of his uniform blouse on the uniform usually worn at such times (the USAF call it Service Dress or Combination 1 depending on how old you are, not sure what the Navy calls it).

Of course, Texans being good sensible people might have decided that the same rank insignia is good enough for all branches and skip all the stripes.
The rank insignia is on his collar. Thanks for catching that.
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Captain Wheelgun
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Re: Alt-history writing project

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randy wrote: Mon Mar 07, 2022 3:34 am Good start.

Question on something I may have missed in the previous discussion leading up to the last book: Did the Alamo happen the same in their timeline as it did in ours? If so, wouldn't Bowie and Crocket be up there with Travis? Just something that jumped out at me.

With the single gold star of a Commodore and a small array of award ribbons on his left breast

That reads to me like the rank insignia is on his chest along with his ribbons. As opposed to his collars or on shoulder boards/epaulettes Which would have stripes not a star if following US/British traditions.

Or in the case of the US Navy of someone testifying to congresscritters, the rank would be stripes on the cuffs of his uniform blouse on the uniform usually worn at such times (the USAF call it Service Dress or Combination 1 depending on how old you are, not sure what the Navy calls it).

Of course, Texans being good sensible people might have decided that the same rank insignia is good enough for all branches and skip all the stripes.
Oh, and yes, the Alamo happened like in our time line. I wasn’t trying to put a complete list in there, but Bowie, Crockett, et al are in the Capitol.
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Re: Alt-history writing project

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Here’s the next snippet, picking up where the last one left off. Should I start a new thread for the new book so new posts don’t get lost?

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

When he arrived at the committee meeting room, Karl found that he was the only one there except for one of the House Master-at-Arms’ deputies. This was expected, since there was still almost forty minutes until the Committee convened. He went over to the deputy, noting the man’s name tag as he approached.

“Deputy Harris, have the normal provisions for securing this room been taken care of yet?”

“Yes, sir. The room has been inspected for hidden recorders, nothing was found. Myself and three other deputies will be stationed in the room to deny admittance to anyone not on the Committee or the witness list. We’ve also been authorized by the Speaker and Master-at-Arms to remove anyone, including a Committee member, who refuses to state their acknowledgement of the Republic Information Security Act on the record before the secret testimony begins.”

“Very well. Thank you. Have you heard anything from Rear Admiral Clifton or Brigadier General Killdeer yet?”

“The General’s aide said that the General would be here, but only a few minutes before the Committee convenes. Nothing from the Admiral yet.”

“OK, thanks again.” Karl went to the long table where various officers and civilian executives from the War Department would sit while giving their reports to the Committee. Finding his place, he set down his briefcase and made sure that the water jugs and glasses were within easy reach of his and Admiral Clifton’s seats. As he finished that he saw the Admiral’s Flag Lieutenant, LT. Oscar Trevino, approaching.

“Excuse me, Commodore von Stahlberg?”

“Yes, Lieutenant?”

“Admiral Clifton asked me to inform you that he is not feeling well, and is unable to attend this meeting today. He requests that you take his place, in addition to providing your own report about your command’s activities. He sent some of his notes for today’s briefing, along with suggested answers for most of the questions that may come up that aren’t covered by the notes.”

This started the alarm bells ringing in Karl’s mind. “‘Some’ of his notes? Suggested’ answers, Lieutenant? ‘Most’ questions? This is very unusual. Did the Admiral say why the information he sent is incomplete? I find the idea of ad-libbing before a House Committee most disturbing.”

The Lieutenant looked embarrassed as he removed a thin folder from his briefcase. “I’m sorry, sir. He didn’t give me anything more than what is in here.” He handed the folder to Karl, who took it with the same caution one would give when being handed a live rattlesnake. It was labeled with the proper headings for the Department of Logistics and Supply, of which Admiral Clifton was the Deputy Director.

Karl opened the folder. In it was a one-page summary of the status of the Patrol Groups assigned to the North American Neutrality Patrol, working alongside ships from the United States Navy in an effort to keep the European war from spilling over into the Western Hemisphere. Even this was incomplete, listing only the groups and which U.S. bases they were working from, without even noting which ships were in each group. At the bottom of the page was a paragraph stating that there were more documents included with all of the requisite details. No such documents were in the folder. The only other page in the folder was another single sheet with a handwritten note advising that whoever was testifying should decline to answer any questions from the Committee. Karl closed the folder and returned it to LT. Trevino.

“Lieutenant, please give my regards to the Admiral, and inform him that I am not able to substitute for him in today’s Committee hearing. The information provided is totally inadequate, and I will not provide inaccurate or incomplete information to the Committee. I will pass on the Admiral’s regrets to the Committee as to his inability to appear here today.”

Trevino, looking quite surprised at Karl’s refusal, spluttered “But you can’t refuse, sir! The Committee specifically requested this report from the Admiral! He needs you to cover for him! Any request from an Admiral is as good as a direct order!”

“First off, Lieutenant, I’m not in Admiral Clifton’s chain of command. I report directly to the Secretary of War since my command is a joint Army-Navy organization. Admiral Clifton has no authority to issue any such ‘orders’ to me or anyone else outside his command area. Secondly, I don’t ‘cover’ for anybody, especially before the Congress. As I said, I will pass on the Admiral’s regrets, but that is ALL I will do. Dismissed, Lieutenant!”

Shaken by the vehemence in Karl’s voice, Trevino came to attention, turned, and left the Committee room.
********************
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Re: Alt-history writing project

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Here’s a micro-snippet, from Karl’s report to the committee. I wonder what this could lead to... :twisted:

“Yes, Mr. Chairman. Since the last report to the Congress, the Model 1939 1” auto-cannon, also known as the Polybolos, has passed it’s final tests and is now in full serial production. San Marcos Arms is currently able to produce 100 per month, with the ability to expand as needed to an anticipated maximum of 350 per month in their current facilities. As this is now a production item, oversight has been passed to the Army and Navy Ordinance Bureaus.”

“Excuse me, Commodore” said Representative Houston, “but why is it called the ‘Polybolos’? That’s an ancient Greek word, means ‘many thrower’, if I recall correctly?”

Karl grinned. “I thought you would notice that sir, given your well-known background in Classical History. As it happens, one of the engineers at SMA is also a student of antiquities, He remembered Philo of Alexandria’s description of a multiple shot, chain driven ballista and he decided to update the idea for the modern age. It uses the same ammunition as the 1”/75 caliber Gatling anti-aircraft guns in use on many of our ships, but it’s light enough to be used in aircraft and on small armored vehicles. I imagine that the next budget request will have a lot more of these included.”

“No doubt such a request would be approved. It sounds very useful. Please, continue.”
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Re: Alt-history writing project

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Captain Wheelgun wrote: Fri Mar 18, 2022 8:53 am “Yes, Mr. Chairman. Since the last report to the Congress, the Model 1939 1” auto-cannon, also known as the Polybolos, has passed it’s final tests and is now in full serial production.
You want a fun idea? A 37mm Hotchkiss revolving cannon(I so want on in 4 bore :twisted: ), with a low RPM drive system(steam?), combined with a link less feed system - 1500 rpm firing 1.5 inch explosive shells will ruin al or of people's day.
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Describing what HTRN does as "antics" is like describing the wreck of the Titanic as "a minor boating incident" ~ First Shirt
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