Tyranny of Steel - Chapter 833
Chapter 833 First Flight
Over the past year since the Victory Day Celebration was held, Berengar was busy enjoying his brief Pax Germania. An era of peace and prosperity for the reich the likes of which it had never seen before.
Immediately upon finishing his newest weapon designs, Berengar got to work on revolutionizing the economy. With advancements in synthetic materials, Berengar could now make a polymer based paper-like currency to replace the use of coins. The advantages of this was that it was almost impossible for criminals to counterfeit.
Since the Thaler was the most common currency used in the Reich, Berengar had decided to print banknotes based on its value. One of the new Gold Marks, which was named as such to represent the gold standard, was worth one hundred pfennigs. It could be printed in values of one, five, ten, twenty, fifty, and one hundred. One hundred marks being the equivalent of the previously issued Gulden coin.
As for the pfennigs, they had long since come in a variety of values such as one, five, ten, twenty-five, and fifty. So there was no need to mint new coins. As for the thaler and gulden coins, they were still a valid form of currency, worth as much as they were before the introduction of paper currency. However, the convenience of having banknotes caused the people to rapidly exchange their coins for bills.
In these nine months, electricity became more common across the reich. With entire cities undergoing modernization. The increase in demand for electricity caused the construction of hydroelectric power plants across the fatherland.
The onset of the electrical era also spurred new inventions by German scientists and engineers, such as the refrigerator, the refrigerated truck, and the refrigerated train car. Allowing for the transfer of meat and produce across the Reich without fear of spoilage.
Radios became more common, as did cameras. With pictures being regularly taken across the reich by enthusiasts, as well as journalists. Not a day went by without a multitude of pictures on the paper.
Because of this, companies had been working on ways to improve cameras, and they had succeeded in their endeavors. No longer were there the old box cameras that were used in the past. In fact, the newest portable camera was similar to the Leica model one from Berengar's previous life.
Linde's agents loved this device, as the rest of the world was entirely unaware of what a camera was, and they could easily snap pictures of their operations. Allowing for a much greater pool of intelligence to be gathered.
These were just some of many of the advancements in German technology, bringing the Reich closer and closer to the interwar period of Berengar's past life. As the reich entered a new era, so too did its military.
The German Army was redesigned from the ground up to support the new mechanized vehicles, which became more common among the ranks with each passing day. Because of this, Brigade Combat Teams had become the primary deployable unit of the German Army.
As for the Border Guard, it was removed from the responsibility of the Department of Defense and transitioned into a law enforcement agency. Those who wished to still serve in the military were transferred to the active duty component of the Army. Whereas the rest were instructed in their responsibilities as peacekeeping officers.
The Coast Guard was also transitioned into a law enforcement agency, where it no longer sailed on powerful armored frigates, but instead made use of fast attack craft modelled after the US Navy's PT boats from the second world war of Berengar's past life.
These ships were designed to survey the coasts and intercept any unlawful activities at the sea. They could also launch torpedos in the event of a hostile naval vessel approaching the German territorial waters. Though such an event was unlikely.
As for the Navy, it was undergoing rapid modernization. The old armored frigates were being retrofitted and sold off to the Ming Dynasty, all while being replaced with battleships, battlecruisers, and destroyers.
By now the number of Destroyers, and U-boats the German Navy had were in the dozens. It took roughly six months for these vessels to be completed, and Germany had many shipyards. Speaking of which, the number of shipyards had nearly doubled in recent days, as more and more of them finished construction around the reich.
Berengar's plan was to focus on the construction of carriers, to be supported by carrier strike groups. Each carrier strike group would consist of one carrier, one battleship, two battlecruisers, ten destroyers, and two u-boats.
Thus, out of his currently active thirty active shipyards, four were constructing carriers, four were constructing battleships, eight were constructing battlecruisers, five were constructing destroyers, eight were constructing u-boats, and one was constructing fast attack craft. Half of these shipyards had already been in the production of the larger vessels for nearly a year, and the other half were just starting.
The reason so many shipyards were dedicated to the larger vessels was because they took between two to three years to build. With five dedicated shipyards to destroyers and subs, Germany could construct between 10-15 destroyers and an equal amount of subs in the time it took to build one carrier, battleship, or battlecruiser.
Finally, there was the Luftwaffe, which was not yet officially established. However, at the moment, Berengar was sitting on an airfield in the middle of Austria. This base had been constructed to test the prototypes of the numerous aircraft Berengar had designed. Through a year's worth of collaboration with his engineers, they had finally developed the first functional prototype.
Naturally, as the man who never stopped chasing glory, Berengar had to be remembered as the first man to fly in this world. Because of this, he was dressed in a flight suit modelled after those issued to Luftwaffe Pilots in the second world war of his past life. Over this flight suit was a black leather jacket. He wore a black leather skullcap which integrated his communications, as well as an oxygen mask which was connected to the vehicle.
Berengar had never flown a plane before, even in his past life, and had gone through minimal training for this endeavor. I mean, what training could you really do without functional aircraft and advanced simulations? Because of this, he wore the ring of sol, in case he crash landed, which was a likely possibility. He could hear the voice that belonged to one of his generals over the comms as the man expressed deep worry over the Kaiser's safety.
"My Kaiser, I think this is a really bad idea. We have no idea if this thing will even work. You could fall straight out of the sky for all we know! You should really delegate this responsibility to someone else!"
Berengar merely chuckled and turned off his comms as he waved to the people in the crowd who had gathered to witness this monumental occasion. After doing so, he started the engine of his prototype trainer aircraft modelled after the Arado Ar 96 and steered it onto the runway. Among the many people in the crowd, Hans and Linde were standing there, waiting anxiously as they watched the head of their household, the Emperor of Germany, do something incredibly dangerous and stupid.
Before long, the trainer plane picked up speed, and with a little help from Berengar, it lifted into the air. The moment it did so, the people gathered below stopped breathing for a second, in fear that the plane might fall out of the sky. Yet it did not. It continued to soar high above, as Berengar steered the plane to make a lap around the airfield.
Adrenaline and endorphins flowed through his veins in a way that mimicked that which he felt on the front lines of war. No, perhaps it was an even greater high. Berengar did not know the answer to that, but what he did know was that he could no longer contain his excitement. He switched the comms back on and hollered to the ground control in a recording that would go down in history.
"God in heaven, I am so hard right now!"
Berengar was not thinking about his choice of words, and just shouted the first thing that came to mind. However, his words caused the comm operators on the ground to break out into laughter. As for the sight of the plane flying high in the sky, a journalist who was invited to the event to take pictures captured it into the archives of history.
Berengar flew a victory lap around the airfield before touching down. After shutting down the engine, he crawled out of the cockpit to monumental applause. Linde, who was in the crowd with her son, immediately rushed over to Berengar and jumped into his embrace, while passionately kissing him in front of the entire audience.
The redheaded beauty had nearly died of fright, watching her idiot of a husband take off into the air in such a death trap. Thus, the moment after she kissed her man, she scolded him severely for his actions.
"You dummy! Do you have any idea how worried I was? Promise me you will never do anything so foolish ever again!"
Berengar only chuckled and petted the woman's silky strawberry blonde hair with a confident grin on his face. The sight of Linde glomping him after he emerged from the cockpit was forever recorded in history thanks to the quick hands of the journalist, who took a shot of the heartwarming scene.
Berengar had made the first successful flight in human history, an achievement that was just one of many in his long life of accomplishment. With the proof that these planes could fly, as well as a working prototype, the first generation of pilots could now be instructed and trained for the upcoming war with Japan. Berengar had planned to greatly expand the line of aircraft in the upcoming years to cover all aspects of aerial warfare. For now, he would return home and celebrate with his family.