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Saturday, May 15th, 1943 Frankfurt airport

Führer Adolf Hitler stood outside an unmarked modified two-seater He-162 test jet fighter, ready to embark on Germany's first stable jet. After many years of preparation, beginning with the He-160 in 1937, which was highly unstable and prone to crashing, all was coming to be. The jet program in Germany, which began in 1936, had exploded in popularity and funding and was now considered to have paid for itself. The new jet prototype would change the battle field of Europe and those damn Soviets would finally be thinned out and pushed out of Russia. The new jet fighter was capable of somewhere slightly over 500 mph and turning at incredible rates, with two 37 mm guns on each wing and one rather ineffective, yet innovative, heat seeking rocket. Maybe the best advantage of the He-162 was the swept back wing design, which contributed to the amazing climbing ability of the jet. The He-162 could easily leave behind a Spitfire while climbing, and even could leave behind P-51 Mustangs in a climb, although with a little more struggle. Hitler's first flight goes amazingly and he lands in Berlin to a massive welcome crowd around 1.5 hours later.

Sunday, May 16th, 1943, Kursk

Soviet perspective:

The Soviets had armed Kursk to the teeth, with 1,910,361 men, 5,128 tanks, 25,013 guns and mortars and countless defensive lines, involving Trenches and Anti-Panzer Tank Traps. Barbed wire sat everywhere, strewn around to cut up any unlucky German infantry and stall any Panzers. The Soviets smiled, they knew Germany would shoot itself in the foot if it attacked Kursk. Suddenly, overheard, the roar of an unknown sound, something unheard in the skies before; and yet, no visual of whatever was causing the sound.

German perspective:

The first military application of the second produced He-162 goes amazingly well. It is used for quick recon on the Eastern Front, which at the moment shows Kursk to be a no-go for Germany. Hitler knows that if Germany does not pull back they will only suffer more, and it's not worth trying to continue the offensive, for that would only doom the motherland into being a vial Soviet puppet. Germany, even not knowing Soviet figures, knows their 780,900 men, 2,928 tanks and 9,966 guns and mortars will not be able to push into the vast defenses of Kursk. Germany is shocked at how much of a fortress Kursk has been made into. Germany needs a new plan, one which will likely revolve around more focus on an offensive to take the Caucuses Oil Fields. Germany also has an apparent need to pull their other lines back towards the reich; they cannot hold the current positions on the central or northern parts of the Eastern front given their estimates of Soviet forces. They will form a fall back line stretching from East Prussia south to the Romanian border; this will allow better supply routes and more supplies to the front lines, along with stretching Soviet lines and allowing German troops to be closer together, and not thinned out as they currently are. Hitler is not happy, but in this TL he has enough sense to know he has to pull back. Germany will also take 20% of it's troops from other fronts and move them to the new line, as the Soviets seem to have an advantage now above any of Germany's greatest fears.

Monday, May 17th, 1943, Eastern Front

Orders go out to the brave Axis soldiers of the Eastern Front to retreat to the Fallback Line. While many commanders are happy about this decision, a few are not, and a sizable minority of troops wish to stay where they are or press further.

Early Wednesday, May 19th, 1943, Kursk

Soviet perspective:

An odd silence came over Kursk. Usually in the distance German tanks could be heard, but today there was no sound. Nothing but the birds chirping in the morning sky. Soviet KhT-26 flame-throwing tanks lead the curious, yet careful, advance west. 55,000 men and 235 tanks move forward in a first wave; they see no activity, nor weapons, from where the Germans had been. In fact, only some charges seem to have been left behind. Zhukov chuckled: "The Vial Fascist are having a bit of a run. Push ahead"! Zhukov authorizes 1000 tanks, 320,000 men and 5000 guns and mortars to move ahead, but the rest are to stay in the city, for he suspects a German flanking maneuver. After some advancing Zhukov realizes that there's no reminiscence of the Wehrmacht at all. The cowards have fled, he thought.

German perspective:

All went according to plan; Axis soldiers all across the Eastern Front hopped into or onto tanks, taking all of their supplies and ammo with them. Half-tracks loaded troops by the dozen, and tanks were ready to assist them on their journey back. It was only 2:25 AM and the Germans knew the Soviets to be mostly, if not totally asleep, and knew their retreat would go unnoticed until dawn.

Thursday, May 20th, 1943, Eastern Front & Germany

The Eastern Front:

All across the Eastern Front a mass confusion occurs among the Soviets. The Axis continue to fall back on all but the Southern front, leaving behind absolutely no signs they ever existed. Another confusing event to the Soviets were the high-pitch wooshing sounds from the sky far above every night.

Germany:

Mass production had began of the He-162, of which before now only had 5 recon usable jets, which have formed the basis for the fighter design. Now fighters are about to start production, and soon the reich will have it's victory, as the jet fighters will be able to intercept both Soviet and Allied aircraft; and easily outperform both combined. The new He-162 fighters also have a slightly higher output engine, allowing for speeds up to 525 mph, and armed to the teeth with 4 50mm "rocket guns". They also have 2 heat seeking missiles, whose effectiveness has increased a tad bit. The new He-162s will just have to make one good shot per airplane to destroy them in no time, given the huge guns they had on them. The jets also, as a final modification, included 2 150 gallon drop fuel tanks filled with jet fuel on the sides of the body of the aircraft.

Friday, May 21st, 1943, Hitler's secret bunker in Berlin

The plans were laid out infront of Hitler. Operation Sealion, now viable with the new He-162 Jets, was once again made top priority as the British had imprisoned Mosley, which infuriated Hitler. The Germans now had the Klaipėda-Iași line established, with Tank traps, Anti Aircraft guns, Bunkers and all the other necessary fortifications; the line was considered impenetrable to even the most dedicated army. German defenses in the East also consisted of 185 divisions, which were considered Adequate against the Soviet threat (The Germans had no clue the Soviets already had 215 divisions and more counting).

Monday, May 24th, 1943, Western Front

The first SS divisions arrived from the reserves on the Eastern Front, along with Wermacht reserves from all fronts and all around the reich. These reserves, along with volunteers (including, secretly, Hitler Youth Group volunteers, although these were in small numbers scattered throughout the divisions), numbered nearly 100 divisions, an incredible feat for a Germany using almost all it's resources for it's Eastern defensive. For the time being, all of these divisions were to train ruthlessly to ready for the coming storm that would be Operation Sealion. Ribbentrop talks with Franco in Nationalist Spain, mainly revolving around Spain taking Gibraltar in exchange for donating divisions and resources. These don't get too far, but Franco agrees Volunteers may fight with the Axis; many in Spain sign up immediately.

Tuesday, May 25th, 1943, Eastern Front

Soviet perspective:

Arriving at Szymaki, what the nearly 500k Soviet men saw was incredible, a fortified behemoth that was the village, now a military city-complex. Barbed Wire stood on huge 50 foot tall walls with holes for guns and mortars.

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