NPCs for Elder Godlike

Allied Talents

Aesgir

Real Name: Christian Fasal Hansen

Hansen manifested his abilities during the siege of his city Eivaan, Norway in April 1940. He used his "Spear of the Gods" to great effect for three weeks in his country before fleeing to Britain to join the free Norwegian forces. Although there were some complaints about his young age, the mitigating circumstances of his ability allowed him to be inducted in the British Free Norwegian forces. He trained with the British Special Operations Executive and was soon leading commando teams across the tundra of Valhalla to the interior of Axis-occupied Europe.

Alias

Real Name: Isabelle Compegne

This Algerian woman saw her paramour, a French Resistance member named Charles Pettigny, killed in a Gestapo raid in 1942 and the experience triggered her Talent ability to exert emotional control over men. Over the next year, she wrought havoc on the internal structure of Nazi-occupied France, turning loyal Nazis into puppets that she could exploit for the good of the resistance. Dozens served her and died for her, while supplying information vital for the coming invasion.

Anguis

Real Name: Santiago Corzon

A member of the allied Filipino regiment at the Lingayen Gulf, Corzon was present when a large Japanese force landed at the Lingayen Gulf on the morning of December 22, 1941. Corzon survived the assault because of his Talent manifestation, inflicting heavy losses to the Japanese Marines in his dragon form before retreating to the interior of Luzon. There he joined and fought alongside the Hukbalahap, or the Huks (communist guerrillas who held considerable territory on the Philippines). Corzon remains a fearful sight for any Japanese unit smaller than a battalion, and he is waging a personal war against the invaders for the last several years without rest.

Baba Yaga

Real Name: Unknown

Although it is known that Baba Yaga was purposefully changed to a Talent through a Soviet program, much of her past is shrouded in mystery. Due to the unforeseen destruction of the Special Directive One facility in Minsk, including the files of this parahuman’s history, not even the Russians know anything about Baba Yaga’s true past. Once free from the facility, Baba Yaga was seen on several occasions in remote locales, wandering the countryside. The NKVD took an active interest in tracking down the parahuman, but could only find a trail of disappearances, sightings and deaths linked to the creature’s escape.

When the Germans pushed further into Russia and broke through the Soviet lines near Kiev, Baba Yaga’s appearances became far more frequent. Fields of dead soldiers were often discovered in isolated locales after they had been reported missing for days. The monstrosity kills both German and Russian soldiers alike, holding no political affiliation save to destruction itself.

Bellerophon

Real Name: Unknown

There is a story from the eastern front of a Lithuanian Talent resisting the Russian occupation. A fistfight with two Soviet soldiers in the spring of 1940 led to this man being dragged off at gunpoint. The young Lithuanian killed them both before either could get off a shot. In June, this man, calling himself Bellerophon, organized a small riot in the city of Altyus that grew until it engulfed the whole city. Taken unawares, the Soviets were easily defeated by the mob. No resistance had been expected. Four days later however, after a relentless artillery barrage, the Soviet Eighth Army retook Altyus, killing nearly everyone in it, including the short-lived “savior” of the Lithuanian people.

Bulldog

Real Name: Lloyd Arthur Feit

After a brief stint at Hedge Manor for study, Feit was signed over (much to his own consternation) to diplomatic missions for the British Army. The SSO classified his Talent as “unreliable” since his invulnerability required heightened fear or motivation, and he was recommended for non-combat duty. His trip to the United States (along with three other Talents) proved to be a huge boost to the British war effort.

At the direct request of Prime Minister Churchill, Feit was signed over as a bodyguard for President Roosevelt in August 1941. He remained loyally by the side of the president until Roosevelt’s death on April 12, 1945.

Chanduk

Real Name: Unknown

Little is known of Chanduk, though intelligence reports indicate that he is a Karen tribesman born about the turn of the century. An insular people, the Karens long hoped for their own homeland and strongly resented British crown rule. Chanduk apparently discovered his powers just days before the Japanese landed in Burma, and used them early on to aid what he saw as a liberating force.

Later, when it seems he decided that the Japanese were worse than the British, Chanduk used his abilities to kill Japanese as well. His victims were found dead in large groups in the jungle, often months or even years after they were reported missing. Chanduk's approach involves stalking a single group at a time, using his power to disrupt attempts at navigation, until they expire from lack of food and clean water.

The only known survivor of an attack by these parahuman is Lieutenant Nelson Till, an American Talent with Stillwell’s forces. He is also the only person known to have seen Chanduk after his Talent manifestation. Till reported that after his group died, a small native tribesman came and silently shared his camp for a night. Inquiries by Till were met with nods and smiles, but nothing more. In the morning, a clear path brought Till out of the woods he had spent three weeks wandering in a matter of minutes.

Cien

Real Name: Piotr Clowiski

Ciowiski was a colonel in the few fragmented remains of the Polish Army that held select streets in Krakow when his power manifested itself. After inflicting heavy losses on the Germans at Krakow with his power, Ciowiski fled to London and joined forces with Britain’s famed Polish First Airborne Brigade. A veteran commando who worked closely with the British Special Operations Executive, he was known to associate with other Allied Talents such as Pevnost and the Indestructible Man.

Cormorant

Real Name: Michael Foreman

Foreman’s Talent manifests as an invisible dragon that he calls “Mr. Mitts,” an invisible friend from childhood. Mitts is as big as a horse, can fly, breathes fire, and is overly protective of Foreman, even when the Talent was unconscious or asleep. Despite his invisibility, Mitts leaves behind huge footprints, makes a considerable amount of noise and often goes off on his own (though he would usually take commands from Foreman). However, Mitts often has ideas of “his” own, making Foreman’s control of him a bit tenuous at times. The dragon often takes matters into his own hands and acts out against the subjects of Foreman’s subconscious anger or distaste, though the imaginary beast would never kill those who are not out to harm Foreman first.

Daegel

Real Name: Jos Keller

Keller fought with a small resistance cell and discovered his power during a raid on a German emplacement near Deelen, while disoriented in a sewer tunnel. Wishing he had more light to set fuses by-he suddenly did. Through the utilization of his power, Keller organized several disparate resistance cells into a single unit and wrought havoc all over the Netherlands. The British tried to draw Keller from the country, to properly train and utilize his abilities, but Keller refused to be corralled and never actively cooperated with the Allies, save on his own terms.

F-SAM

Real Name: Robert Matthew Young

In the summer of 1941, after a bit of air-to-air combat training in southern China, Young was moved to Kunming to defend the city from air attack. On December 20, 1941, Young discovered his Talent ability to control gravity, using it to save himself when his parachute failed to deploy. Young became famous around the world, returning to the United States in March 1941, to meet with President Roosevelt for a press conference to showcase America’s growing pool of Talents. Section Two studied Young’s abilities for three weeks and extensive films of his power were made (some were later released in newsreels for public consumption). Surprisingly, Young was sent back to the AVG to serve with the “Flying Tigers” in China. At the time, Roosevelt hoped to signal to Japan that he meant business, as well as impress the Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek at his commitment.

The Ghost of the Fourteenth

Real Name: Graham Tunney

To test the effectiveness of a full-scale invasion of Europe, a large Allied assault force landed at the French port of Dieppe in August 1942 with disastrous results. Tunney never made it to the beach in one piece. Six 7.92 mm rounds from a German machine gun struck him before his feet even touched the sand. His men did their best to defend him, but the German parahuman Tristan put an end to their dreams of rescue.

At the instant Tristan grabbed Tunney's dying body, he became Canada’s first Talent. The Übermensch was killed and Tunney chased the remaining German Übermenschen off the beach and assisted the Allied forces in their escape. British intelligence, particularly interested in Tunney’s “immunity” to the German Talents’ powers, eagerly received the varying reports of his resurrection. Unfortunately, he never appeared in Britain again.

Later, Allied analysts realized Tunney was something more than just a Talent. His “death” on the beach warped his mind, and his power warped along with it. No longer subject to the laws of men or Talents, like Baba Yaga, he was something more.

Die Hexe

Real Name: Antonina Ilescu

Ilescu developed her ability spontaneously while her father was beaten to death before her eyes. No witnesses of her first shriek survived the incident. Fearing capture, she fled to the wilderness to hide. On her fifth week in the forest, she stumbled into a partisan camp, and was taken in, despite her lack of experience. Mostly she cleaned and cooked, but sometimes she fought alongside the men. She never mentioned her ability, and did her best to fit in. During an ambush in 1942, Ilescu shrieked to disrupt a Heer patrol, killing twenty-two soldiers with her voice (deafening three of her companions in the process). The partisans escaped and Ilescu was seen as a much more useful member of the group.

For almost a year, Ilescu has been in contact with the Allies and using her abilities to kill Germans. She gained the name Die Hexe (“The Witch”)
from those few who survived her attacks. Iron Guard leader Ion Antonescu offered a bounty for her capture, and special detachments of the SS were dispatched into the wilderess to "recover" her for RuSHA SA. Nothing has been heard from her since January 1943 and British contacts in the region fear the worst.

The Indestructible Man

Real Name: Lawrence Clyde Moreland

After his Talent manifestation, Moreland was reassigned to the Department of the Army under the direct orders of President Roosevelt. Endless propaganda reels demonstrating his invulnerability were made for public consumption. As America’s first parahuman he was a hero, superstar and role model. Endless books, comic books, novelizations and movies came out during the next five years fictionalizing his (up to that point) rather boring life.

In late 1942, Moreland began training with the fledgling commando school at Achnacarry Castle. As The leader of Talent Operation Group 1, he served on eleven missions into occupied countries. Moreland was friendly with many Talents, who knew him as a down-to-earth, capable warrior. A small hub of international parahumans operating out of Britain became fast friends later in the war; among their number were Cien, Vogel, Aesgir, Jumping Johnny and, of course, the Indestructible Man.

L'Invocateur

Real Name: Luc Besont

Besont was the terror of the German Army in occupied France. In four years of combat, he claimed the lives of sixty-three officers and thirty-five enlisted men with his knife. Refusing to throw his substantial power behind any of the Maquis groups, Besont worked alone. Allied intelligence agencies did their best to try to recruit him, as did General de Gaulle for the Free French Forces of the Interior, but each failed; "the Summoner" worked alone, always.

Jumping Johnny

Real Name: Jonathan Lear

In 1940, Lear was sent to France along with nearly 200,000 British soldiers to protect the country from the threat of Nazi invasion. Poor planning and underestimation of the Germans led to the rapid decimation of the British Expeditionary Force. After the brief struggle for France, what remained of the BEF was bottled up at Dunkirk. Lear sent his men ahead during the evacuation, refusing to go himself, leaving spaces open for the wounded or fatigued. He and several hundred men chose to remain behind to hold the front line against the Panzers as the last boats filled with men.

When the Germans broke through, Lear leapt the English Channel and landed near Dover, twenty-seven miles distant, nearly killing a group of men gathered on the beach watching the evacuation. Within a day, Lear was a national hero. As the first British Talent, he was a favorite of the Royal Family and world press. During the war, Jumping Johnny was used as a long-range scout, and could leap for hours, covering hundreds of miles in a single mission. He became adept at map-making and was a valuable asset during the Allied defense of North Africa.

Lord Yama

Real Name: Unknown

Nothing is known of Yama’s existence before his appearance at Kanglantongbi. Within months of his manifestation he drew a huge following to his keep at Kanglantongbi, which became a point of pilgrimage for his loyal worshippers to come pay homage. Early attempts by Indian and British colonial authorities to destroy the rapidly forming cult of Yama failed miserably. In late 1943, the Ninth Indian Division was repulsed by a huge mass of Yama’s followers, who faced modern weapons with little more than sticks and rocks. Yama kept a jovial attitude during the clashes: “Many will travel my path to the land of the dead today, but only my followers will find their way back.” Blessed by Yama in mass prayer meetings, his followers felt no pain and gleefully entered battle with no regard for their personal safety.

Misfire

Real Name: Peter Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald unconsciously turns enemy explosives to sand. The power somehow differentiated between “friendly” and “enemy” targets, and worked automatically in a 1,000-yard radius. This power transforms enemy gunpowder into silt, so that guns, grenades and shells cannot detonate.

He distinguished himself there, single handedly capturing two German Übermenschen in Rommel’s illfated push into Libya in January 1942. For this valiant act, he was promoted to captain and given command of a company in the recently arrived Ninth Australian Infantry Division at Tobruk. Until June 21, 1942, Fitzgerald had no idea he was a Talent. When his strong-point south of Tobruk was overrun by Axis forces, Fitzgerald waited for the ax to fall, but was confused when several Panzers surrounding him failed to fire upon his position. German infantry was brought up and Fitzgerald prepared for a fullscale attack, but the German infantry retreated without firing a shot. Only a few grenades were thrown, all of which failed to detonate.

Fitzgerald suspected he was the cause of the unusual tactics when the Germans brought up three Übermenschen to take the position. Fitzgerald could “see” a strange aura around one of the German Übermenschen. He then guessed, correctly, that he had become a Talent.

Pevnost

Real Name: Briety Alta Krizova

He discovered his parahuman abilities while fleeing agents of the Gestapo who arrived for him just days after the occupation of Prague. Instead of his den on the other side of the door, Krizova found himself suddenly in London (a place he’d been a year before), 644 miles away. Krizova rapidly discovered his jaunt was more than a one-time thing, as he was repeatedly ejected from the British Ministry of Defense, only to return, repeatedly, from doors on the inside. He convinced the British of his abilities, and went on to lead a huge underground resistance in Czechoslovakia with British assistance. Krizova gained the name Pevnost or “Fortress” in his native language and became a national hero, fighting the Axis.

The Professor

Real Name: Wendell Greene

Greene was confirmed as a Talent when Section Two sent agents out to study him. Talents noticed that Greene’s ability was active both when he was creating devices and when using them. Later it was determined that his devices did not work at all when he was not present. All attempts to extend the “range” of his power failed. Section Two classified his power as “Talent science,” later dubbed “Goldberg Science” by the press. Greene’s file was considered by the TOC, and after being assigned to the Army Air Corps he attended flight school in Seattle.

Pythia

Real Name: Unknown

Stories spread in war-ravaged Greece that the Pythia, the Oracles of Apollo who once gave counsel at Delphi, had returned. At first, these tales were nothing more than vague rumors among the Greek people; soon, it became clear that the girls who spoke the word of Apollo were once again more than myth. They gave counsel on the slopes of mount Olympus near the city of Katherine, speaking to any who came and made an offering to their God.

Thousands flocked into the war zone, still occupied by the British Force W, to see the miracle at Olympus. The British were powerless to stop the flow of refugees into the area. “I’ve never before seen civilians head towards a war,” said British commander Major General Fryeburg when alerted to the problem. In the face of a huge Nazi offensive, the British retreated south, abandoning the civilians and the Oracle both.

The Section M and Majestic both consider the Pythia to be not a true Talent. They suspect the influence of otherworldly forces but, since the women are behind enemy lines, there's no telling for sure.

Rook

Real Name: Yardley Smythe

A naval officer before his manifestation, Smythe enjoyed good favor among his colleagues and was marked early for advancement. In 1939 he
transferred to the Barnham, serving onboard until its sinking in November 1941. During the firestorm, Smythe’s Talent manifested itself for the first time and he suddenly found himself back in Cornwall, several hundred miles from the sinking wreck, having switched places with most of a small tree. Covered in soot and soaking wet in his Royal Navy uniform, Smythe turned himself in to the local authorities, but it took some time before London command sorted everything out.

Smythe was studied by the SSO, who determined that his Talent was of significant use to the Allied war effort and assigned him to British Special Operations Executive training. Smythe performed sabotage and insurgent campaigns for the BSOE for several years, inserting himself into France and even Germany with his power.

Sheol

Real Name: Unknown

The Jewish Talent known as Sheol’s origins and whereabouts are clouded in mystery. What is known is that she was a Jewish girl between the age of 15 and 20 when her Talent expressed itself. The Jewish underground in Poland (what little of it was left) recognized her gift, and works to hide her from the Gestapo and Einsatzgruppe sweeps. Sheol herself seems to have a sense of self-preservation, often copying the personalities of German officers and soldiers and using their knowledge to guide herself safely through the deadly territories of Poland.

When rumors spread among the Jewish underground that a Nephilim who saved Jews from death camps existed, Sheol became a legend. The Allies have gone to considerable lengths to find this woman but they have yet to contact her or her allies directly.

Stasio

Real Name: Janes Sajovesek

Sajovesek was raised in Mostar, Yugoslavia and worked with his father as a metalsmith before the German invasion. Like many young men, he joined the communist guerrillas under Josef Brozovich “Tito,” and fled to the mountains when the Germans rolled across the border. Sajovesek discovered his Talent abilities during a raid on a German convoy near Neretva on April 8, 1941. The next day the extent of his power was fully demonstrated as he repelled the XL Panzer Corps with his illusions, covering the retreat of his severely outnumbered force. Momentarily stunned, the Germans pulled back to regroup, and launched a second strike the next day, only to discover that Sajovesek had retreated into the mountains with his compatriots to join Tito’s partisans.

Sajovesek has fought ever since directly under the command of Tito, using his power to disrupt convoys, troop trains and other vital needs of the Reich that moved through the country. Three times he avoided traps set for him by the Germans, even killing two Übermenschen sent to neutralize him. He also cooperated with the British Special Operations Executive in several operations, once working with the British Talent Flip to assassinate a Royalist traitor who in fact worked for the Germans.

Super Swabby

Real Name: Franklin Wolensky

Wolensky was just a regular Navy man serving on the USS Barton out of San Diego when his ship was fatally hit in a Japanese attack north of Guadalcanal. Blown clear of the ship when an ammunition container next to him exploded, Wolensky landed in the water in one of his force spheres, bruised and in pain but otherwise unharmed. He “walked” his sphere to shore (it floated) and made his way to U.S. lines near Henderson field. He was fired upon by Japanese patrols twice, but by dawn he arrived at the Marine lines.

Vevel

Real Name: Jean Neuman

Like all true communists, Neuman did not trust the Nazis, despite their non-aggression pact with Russia. He spent what little money he had on weapons and canned food in preparation. In March 1940, Neuman set up a hideout in the hills surrounding his native Hasselt, Belgium. With other communists, he established a loose system of communication between communist cells in Belgium. Few believed his paranoia, but unlike others, he was not surprised when the first reports of the Nazi attack began to filter back to his hometown. Neuman joined the angry band of men of Hasselt to defend the town. All knew that the road running through Hasselt was the largest in the area, and ran straight to Brussels.

The skirmish was over quickly, and it nearly leveled Hasselt. The men of the town stood no real chance against the Sixth German Army. The Panzers rolled through Hasselt untouched, leaving behind a detail of men
to police the few partisans there who remained alive. Neuman was the last to be discovered, scared and nearly out of ammunition in the ruins of a destroyed church. That is the last Neuman recalled of the situation. When he “woke,” over 40 dead German bodies surrounded him, some ripped open, others beheaded. Covered in blood and gristle, with his hands raw, Neuman was otherwise untouched. His shotgun had been shoved completely through a German officer and his knife was bent in half in the ribs of a Heer radioman.

Neuman escaped to the hills to continue the fight.

Although he remained aloof to the Allies, Vevel cooperated with Allied efforts in his country. He was often consulted by Allied intelligence groups for information on the area.

Viljo

Real Name: Unknown

He fought the first week of the war with a small group of Finnish soldiers who avoided Russian patrols by hiding at his farm. His knowledge of the terrain helped them cut off a small Soviet tank platoon. Soon an entire Red Army division was searching for them.

Viljo allegedly discovered his parahuman abilities in the wilds, and soon began to carve a path through the Red forces in the area under the name "Resolute Protector." Despite the cessation of hostilities in March of 1940, He continued killing Soviet soldiers until he drew the attention of Stalin himself. The Dictator decreed the Finnish super-man was to be eliminated, despite any human cost.

A trap was set for Viljo, who was led to believe that his younger brother was held in a Soviet stockade at Idel along with 100 political prisoners. Viljo, coming to free his brother (who was not even there), was killed by an intense barrage of Soviet artillery unleashed on the camp. This attack killed both Viljo and the decoy Soviets who held the camp. Nothing of the dead parahuman was ever found, but he never appeared in the wilds again.

Vogel

Real Name: Jan Dinesen

Shocked at the invasion of Denmark in the spring of 1940, Dinesen was resolute in his belief that he could make a difference. He attempted to liberate weapons from a Copenhagen armory before the Nazis had a chance to secure them, but was caught. In front of a Heer firing squad Dinesen discovered his parahuman abilities.

As Vogel ("Bird"), he led the Danish resistance with first British and later American aid, and was able to cause considerable trouble for the Pro-Nazi government and the Nazis themselves in Denmark, especially after the occupied country was completely absorbed into the Third Reich in 1942. Dinesen was involved in several Allied group operations in Denmark, and grew to be good friends with the Polish Talent Cien, who operated in the country from time to time.

Zed

Real Name: Peter Cesay

Cesay was a run-of-the-mill intelligence officer tasked with coordinating photographic intelligence and radio traffic to work out where vehicles, troops and equipment would be for a coming invasion. In the summer of 1942 he was given a new task: tracking the movement of known enemy Talents. (After the circumstances the "created" the Ghost of the Fourteenth, the High Command realized that a little foreknowledge went a long way.)

After Cesay discovered his own ability in the winter of 1943, he was subjected to five months of intensive testing at Hedge Manor. He then trained TOG and British Special Operations Executive Talent teams for the
coming invasion of Europe. Cesay was able to whip the men into a highly organized fighting force by causing their powers to fail randomly during exercises so they weren’t relied upon too much.

Zhao Zheng

Real Name: Chu Tso-Tsin

In the spring of 1940, while delivering vegetables to the market at Yungping, Chu Tso-Tsin refused to bow before a procession of Japanese officers who were demonstrating to a visiting dignitary how subservient and quiet the Chinese were. He was dragged off to a public execution for his crime. When the sword of the Japanese officer failed to kill him because he turned insubstantial, Chu Tso-Tsin fled the city.

Zindel

Real Name: Amina Salasee

Salasee was born in the tiny Ethiopian village of Dangila to a family of Ethiopian Jews, and worked the land for many years without conflict. When the Italians entered his country in 1936, this all changed. Like many of his countrymen, Salasee took to the hinterlands to fight the invaders. Soon, the Ethiopian resistance was well armed with Italian rifles and equipment. He remained devoutly religious and often read from the Torah, particularly enjoying its stories of revenge and death, and he outlined a concept of the “justice” of the God of the Old Testament. Salasee began to associate the decadent occupying Italians with the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, and left religious graffiti on destroyed vehicles and dead bodies as a warning of their flawed ways.

His power manifested one night, unconsciously, as his group moved through a valley. When they came upon the figure of a man pointing a rifle at them at the valley’s lip, they blew the man to bits—bits of gray and white salt. The figure, an Italian Army regular who had been waiting in ambush, had been transformed to salt, as was his squad of eight men.
Salasee took it as a sign from God. Soon he learned to direct “God’s will” and set about terrorizing the invaders of his country, killing more than 3,500 men. At the time of his death Salasee was the undisputed leader of the biggest cell of resistance in Ethiopia, although he remained loyal to the monarch of Ethiopia, who lived in exile in the Sudan.

Allied Normals

Harold Alexander

Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Alexander (the third son of the Earl of Caledon) is educated at Harrow before entering the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He serves with distinction with the Irish Guards during World War One, and in the run up to World War Two, sees service in India before taking command of the 1st Infantry Division back in Britain. His men cover the British Expeditionary Force’s (BEF) evacuation from Dunkirk; Alexander himself is on the last destroyer to leave, having ensured all British troops have been evacuated. He serves in the Burma campaign between February and July, 1942, before being redeployed to Egypt as a replacement for Claude Auchinleck.

Claude Auchinleck

Also known as “the Auk”, this colonel’s son from Aldershot joins the Indian Army following his graduation from Sandhurst, serving across the country and learning as much as possible about his adopted home. Auchinleck serves with distinction during World War One in the Middle East against Turkish forces, before returning to India. He is reassigned to lead the Anglo-French Norwegian campaign in May, 1940; after the campaign’s failure, he returns once more to India. He ships troops from India to Iraq to take part in the Anglo-Iraqi War of May, 1941, before swapping roles with Archibald Wavell and assuming command in North Africa and the Middle East. After initial successes in 1941-42, a series of defeats at Erwin Rommel’s hands see Auchinleck lose the confidence of his officers and he is replaced by Harold Alexander. He returns once more to India to become Commander in Chief (C-in-C) of the Indian Army, with responsibility for internal security (and where his talents are more appreciated by those under him).

Winston Churchill

The son of an English Lord and an American heiress, Churchill is an instantly recognisable figure with his bow-tie, cigar, and occasional Tommy gun. Educated at Harrow and Sandhurst, he serves as a cavalry officer in various campaigns across the world, at the same time acting as a roving war correspondent. His escape from a Boer prisoner of war camp firmly establishes him in the public eye, and he is elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) at the tender age of twenty-five. A prolific writer and painter, Churchill’s indefatigable personality helps to bolster British morale at its darkest hour. Whilst not always the best military strategist, he is a master of the political arena.

Dr. Hugh Dalton

The son of Queen Victoria’s chaplain, Dalton is educated at Eton and Cambridge University before studying at the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE). After a stint in the armed forces during World War One, he returns to the LSE as a lecturer and gains his PhD. He becomes a Labour politician in the mid-20s, and Churchill asks him to join his coalition government in 1940 as Minister of Economic Warfare. Whilst in post, he sets up the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and sits on the committee of the Political Warfare Executive (PWE). He is frequently at odds with Duff Cooper, Minister of Information, as to who is running Britain’s propaganda show, up until Brendan Bracken takes over Cooper’s job in 1941.

Édouard Deladier

Daladier works his way up the French political ladder and serves three times as the Prime Minister of France, his last term ending just before the German invasion. Pro-natalist and anti-Communist, he is complicit in the capitulation to Adolf Hitler at Munich in 1938, all the while negotiating with America on the purchase of aircraft in readiness for war. He resigns over Finland’s war with Russia, though he remains as Minister of Defence. He flees to Morocco after the German invasion, but is arrested by the Vichy government and tried for treason at the Riom Trial. He spends the rest of the war in a variety of French and German prisons and prison camps.

Sir Hugh Dowding

Having first served as an artilleryman, Dowding learns to fly and, on the eve of World War One, joins the fledgling Royal Flying Corps. After a blazing row with a senior officer over the treatment of pilots, he is sent back to Britain to sit out the rest of the war. He becomes a member of the Royal Air Force upon its establishment, moving up to become the head of Fighter Command and developing an integrated air defence plan. Even though due to retire, “Stuffy” (as he is known by his men) stays in post to see the RAF through the Battle of Britain. He retires instead in 1942 under something of a cloud, and develops a deep interest in spiritualism, a subject on which he frequently writes and speaks.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

A graduate of West Point, Eisenhower serves on American soil during World War One, predominantly in a training and organisational role. After the Great War, he specialises in developing tank warfare methods until discouraged from doing so by the top brass, as well as training troops and studying military strategy and tactics. He is put in charge of the War Plans Division after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and is then sent to London to mastermind Operation Torch. Later he becomes the overall Commander of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). His worth as a tactician prevents him from serving in the frontline, and he never actually leads troops into combat himself. Friendly and honest, Eisenhower has the uncanny knack of enabling clashing personalities to work together, a quality that is essential for Allied success.

Dion Fortune

Born Violet Mary Firth near Llandudno, Wales, she is gifted with “second sight” from an early age. Her nom de plume is taken from her family’s motto: Deo, non fortuna (“by God, not fate”), and she is an accomplished and prolific author. Qualifying as a psychotherapist, she is attracted to the mystical and occult worlds through her own experiences and desire to help others. Dark forces, recognising her potential, attempt to destroy her mind several times, but she is always strong enough to pull through. Although her interpretation of the world is strongly Christian and rooted in Arthurian legend, she also identifies with the goddess Isis.

Charles de Gaulle

From a literary family with ties to the nobility, de Gaulle develops an interest in military history at a young age. Graduating from the military academy of Saint Cyr, he joins a unit commanded by Philippe Pétain. Cited for bravery during World War One, de Gaulle has several close shaves with death during the conflict before becoming a prisoner of war. After the war, he teaches at the École Militaire in Paris. His military career stalls due to disagreements with his superiors and, after serving briefly as the Under Secretary of State for National Defence and War, he flees to England upon the Fall of France. He becomes the leader of the Free French Forces and, with time, the effective head of the French government in exile.

Henri Giraud

Captured by the Germans having been left for dead on the battlefield in 1914, the dashing Captain subsequently escapes captivity by pretending to be a member of a travelling circus. Between the wars he serves in Constantinople (Istanbul) and Morocco, as well as teaching at the École de Guerre in his home city of Paris. Giraud is captured again by the Germans in May, 1940, as they advance through the Ardennes, and he is interred in the high security Königstein Castle, close to Dresden. Two years later, he mounts a daring escape and makes it back to what is now Vichy France via Switzerland. Although he fails to convince Marshal Pétain to reject Nazi Germany, the French do not hand him back to his former captors (although Himmler does order the Gestapo to assassinate him
at one point). He negotiates with the Americans regarding Operation Torch, though loses out to François Darlan in terms of overall leadership in the aftermath of the invasion (something which is soon “set right” following Darlan’s assassination). He becomes co-president of the Free French Forces in early 1943 with his former pupil de Gaulle, though he sacrifices this later that same year as a result of several autonomous and not very popular actions.

J. Edgar Hoover

Once in possession of a law degree, Hoover is assigned to the Justice Department’s War Emergency Division and its Alien Enemy Bureau. After World War One, he joins the then Bureau of Investigation and begins compiling files on left-wing activists and making life difficult for anyone who crosses him. He is Director of the Bureau when it becomes the FBI in 1935, giving him even greater power. Through him, the Bureau’s record keeping and training improves dramatically. Hoover’s men are responsible for American counter-espionage efforts, and he resents British interference on American soil in this matter.

Jacques Leclerc

The son of the comte de Hauteclocque graduates from the military academy of Saint-Cyr and joins the French Army as a captain. He flees to London after the Fall of France in June, 1940, taking on the name Jacques-Philippe Leclerc to protect his family. Sent to French Cameroon by de Gaulle in the late summer of 1940, Leclerc rallies the leaders of the French Congo and French Equatorial Africa before capturing the Vichy-supporting Gabon. He subsequently sees action in Chad, Tunisia, and Libya, joining up with British and US forces back in Tunisia again in late 1942. Leclerc leads Free French troops in the liberation of Paris in August 1944.

Gabriel Martin

The son of a Niçois fisherman, young Martin is captivated by the stars he sees twinkling over the Mediterranean whenever he puts to sea with his father. When not helping with the family business, he can be found pestering first General Bassot, and later Monsieur Fayet, at the Observatory on Mont Gros. A pleasant, hard-working child, he excels at
school and wins a place at the University of Aix-Marseilles to study astronomy. The loss of his elder brothers in World War One affects him deeply, although he does his best to hide it, and it sparks an interest in spiritualism and the occult that serves him well in later years. He becomes involved in politics during his time at University and is a committed nationalist, first joining Action Française and later Comité Secret d’Action Révolutionnaire when he becomes disenchanted with the ruling political landscape.

Bernard Montgomery

Raised in Tasmania, where his father was stationed as Bishop, the somewhat wild and bullying Montgomery is educated in England and is almost expelled from Sandhurst for behaviour unbecoming. Shot in the lung by a sniper during World War One, he nevertheless returns to active duty and sees service at Passchendaele. Between the wars, he is involved in quelling uprisings in Ireland and Palestine. The beginning of World War Two sees him as a member of the BEF; his remarks concerning various BEF commanders see him temporarily demoted. In April, 1941, he becomes responsible for the defence of Kent, gaining a formidable reputation for not suffering fools gladly and firing any officer who fails to meet his exacting standards. Clad in his trademark black beret, his arrival in North Africa in 1942 re-energises the floundering campaign. Briefly involved in the campaign to take Italy, Monty is reassigned to the Normandy Offensive, where he once more faces his old adversary, Rommel.

Jean "Max" Moulin

Whilst working in local politics, Moulin trains as a lawyer. Climbing the political ladder, he becomes the Prefect of various regions, and is arrested by the Germans after the invasion for refusing to follow their instructions. He is later dismissed from his post by the Vichy government for insubordination. Escaping to London in 1941, he makes contact with Charles de Gaulle, who gives him the task of uniting the various splintered French Resistance groups. Returning to France, he manages to achieve this difficult task shortly before being arrested by the Gestapo. He dies on a train bound for Germany, taking his secrets to the grave.

Lord Louis Mountbatten

Queen Victoria’s great grandson graduates from the Royal Naval College and becomes a career naval officer, seeing service in both World Wars. Deeply interested in technology and gadgets, he also serves for a time as a wireless officer. His exploits onboard his ship, HMS Kelly, are the inspiration for Noel Coward’s film In Which We Serve. Involved in planning many commando raids, including the disastrous assault on Dieppe, Mountbatten is also a strong supporter of the Pykrete ship initiative. Later in the war, Mountbatten is transferred to the Pacific theatre to oversee the recapture of Burma.

George Patton

An Olympic athlete and early member of the US Tank Corps, Patton sees service in World War One. After the war he, like his one-time assistant Eisenhower, develops new methods of armoured warfare. He leads the Seventh Army during the invasion of Sicily, but disgraces himself by slapping two shell-shocked soldiers under his command. Reassigned to the Third Army, he leads his troops into France, even though the German High Command thinks he is in England preparing a much larger invasion force for an attack on the Pas-de-Calais. His larger than life personality, political ineptitude, and ruthlessness leave public opinion divided.

Philippe Pétain

A national hero for his actions at the Battle of Verdun and Marshal of France, Pétain is appointed Prime Minister after Paul Reynaud’s resignation and leads the request for an armistice with Germany. The Lion of Verdun’s collaborationist government moves from Paris to the spa town of Vichy, with Pétain achieving total power as the official Head of State after abolishing the Third Republic. Using his powers, he imposes censorship of the press and bans freedom of expression, as well as implementing German anti-Semitic policies. With the total occupation of France, he becomes little more than a highly popular figurehead. After the country’s liberation, Pétain’s government sets itself up in exile,
although he refuses to take part.

Paul Reynaud

A graduate of the prestigious Sorbonne, Reynaud, like many of his contemporaries, studies law before moving into politics. A strong supporter of both de Gaulle and Churchill, he argues fervently against Germany’s rearmament and land-grabbing, but to little avail. He acts as Minister of Finance under Daladier, where he improves the country’s economy and industrial production. Named as Daladier’s replacement as Prime Minister, he serves only briefly, resigning after the government refuses to accept a British-French Union. Injured in a car crash, Pétain has him arrested upon his release from hospital and hands him over to the Germans. Reynaud remains in German custody for the rest of the conflict.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Architect of America’s New Deal, Roosevelt relishes a good fight. His own battle to recover from polio is indicative of his determination to overcome any obstacle with a mixture of optimism, cheerfulness, and down-right stubbornness. Married to the equally determined and spirited Eleanor, FDR manages the difficult task of supporting his political friends whilst maintaining a mask of neutrality until the Japanese bring America fully into the war. A shrewd political animal like his friend Churchill, he wisely allows his generals to dictate military strategy on the ground whilst inspiring his citizens to support the conflicts in Europe and the Pacific.

Louis de Wohl[louis de wohl]

A failed banker turned astrologer, de Wohl moves to England in 1935 to avoid the Nazi regime. He is recruited by the intelligence services as Karl Ernst Krafft’s opposite number. His job is to produce bogus horoscopes for members of the German High Command which can be used for propaganda purposes and to influence their military planning. His lecture tour of America is part of this deception scheme, aimed at preparing the American public for war. The SOE suddenly loses interest in de Wohl when he returns to Britain in 1942, but he continues to work for the Political Warfare Executive on a freelance basis.

Archibald Wavell

Another alumnus of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Wavell joins the Black Watch upon graduation and serves in the Second Boer War. He is arrested in 1913 on the Polish-Russian border as a suspected spy, having spent time with the Russian Army as an observer, and loses his left eye during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. At the end of World War One, Wavell finds himself in Palestine before joining the War Office. In the early 1930s, he serves briefly as Aide-de-Camp to King George V, and becomes the head of Middle East Command in 1939. Despite a shaky start against Italian aggression in North and East Africa, Wavell successfully mounts a counteroffensive, but is hamstrung by Churchill’s decision to send the largest part of his army and armour to Greece. He suffers further misfortune after his transfer to India, overseeing the ailing Burma campaign. He is once again replaced by Alexander as a C-in-C, (this time of India as opposed to the Middle East), and sees out the war as Governor General and Viceroy of India.

Maxime Weygand

Of uncertain parentage (although potentially the illegitimate offspring of the nobility, if not royalty), Weygand is reticent to speak of his childhood. After graduating from the military academy at Saint-Cyr, he works his way up through the ranks of the French Army, serving as Marshal Ferdinand Foch’s chief of staff. In fact, it is Weygand who reads out the declaration of armistice in the infamous railway carriage at Compiègne in November, 1918. After stints in Poland and the Middle East, he returns to France to become (amongst other things) Chief of Staff of the French Army, a position he retains until his retirement in 1935. Called back to military service with the outbreak of war, he oversees the French retreat at Dunkirk, and pushes for France to sue for peace with Germany. After a falling out with then Prime Minister, Pierre Laval, he is sent to Algeria before being recalled to France at the “request” of the Germans (who mistrust him despite his enthusiastic internment of Jews and Communists). Retiring again in 1942, Weygand is once more recalled by Pétain after Operation Torch, whereupon he promptly advises him to declare war on Germany and gets himself arrested and imprisoned
by the SS for his troubles.

Axis Talents

Der Flieger

Real Name: Konrad Rahn

The mysterious Der Flieger (“The Airman”) opened the 1936 Olympics. After circling the stadium three times, floating in the air as easily as a bird, the Super-man landed and lit the torch, beginning the 1936 Olympic games - and the era of parahumanity. He later participated in the invasion of Poland, frightening cavalry troops with his sonic booms and nearly single-handedly knocking the outclassed Polish air force out of the sky. During the Blitz of London, Rahn was responsible for downing more than thirty-five Allied fighters, and in defense of German airspace destroyed fifteen British bombers during the night-raids of Berlin. He gained the name “Mr. Messerschmitt” from a terrified British populace.

Feuerzauber

Real Name: Unknown

On May 19, a German unit came under fire during one of General Charles de Gaulle’s brief counterattacks near Laon. Out of the thirty-five men, only this man survived the initial engagement. Bruised and nearly naked, the Übermensch made his way back to German lines while being continuously shelled by Allied mortars. Witnesses on both sides of the conflict watched as direct hits by the mortar rounds knocked him down in an erupting sheet of flame that exploded from his body in all directions. Four explosions later, "Fire Magic" was back behind Axis lines, naked but unscathed. Since that time, he has been sighted by Allied units throughout Europe.

Hoshi

Real Name: Unknown

Recent intelligence has revealed the capabilities of a frightening Japanese parahuman. "The Kamikaze Kid" has a form of defensive teleportation: whenever endangered, he is immediately transported to the last place he slept. Only his naked body makes the jump, leaving his clothes and other belongings behind. The range of this defensive teleport was global. It is ideally suited to his role as a kamikaze pilot, and Japanese reports indicate that he is single-handedly responsible for dozens of such attacks on Allied vessels in the Pacific.

Jäeger

Real Name: Unknown

Two Hawker Hurricanes shot the German Übermensch Jäeger (“Hunter”) out of the air over the Libyan Plateau on March 5, 1941. The parahuman was scouting locations in the western desert for the Afrika Korps when he was detected by ground observers and pursued for 200 miles in a daring daylight chase. Although swift and maneuverable, Jäeger could not outdistance the aircraft or find cover to hide below.

Der Seefahrer

Real Name: Unknown

The Seafarer requires no air to breathe when submerged in water. Other substances remained deadly for the Seafarer to inhale, but somehow water is harmless to him. He can also move through the water like a dolphin, reaching speeds up to 40 miles per hour, and survive indefinitely in the ocean without food. The Übermenschen is immune to the effects of water pressure, but is unable to see in the lightless depths of the ocean.

Der Tragheit

Real Name: Oltho Gerbrecht

Gerbrecht can remove inertia from any object by touch. This causes the object to be hurled into the atmosphere by forcing it out of synchronicity with the Earth’s rotation. The object will usually burst into flames and disintegrate as it flew off into space, due to atmospheric friction. This power can be turned on and off at will by Gerbrecht.

Tristan

Real Name: Unknown

A superstrong Übermensch who was the first victim of the Ghost of the Fourteenth when the Canadian Talent's power manifested.

Axis Normals

Hans-Jürgen von Arnim

Born into a Prussian military family, it is almost inevitable that von Arnim joins the German Army, reaching the rank of Major General shortly before World War Two breaks out. He fights first in Poland and France before being given a Panzer division and transferred to the Eastern Front under the command of Heinz Guderian. In November, 1942, he is transferred to Erwin Rommel’s command in North Africa, taking control of the Afrika Korps from March, 1943, when Rommel is recalled to Europe. He is captured by the British Indian Army in May, 1943, and spends the rest of the war as a British POW.

Wilhelm Canaris

Joining the German Imperial Navy at a young age, Canaris sees action during World War One, and escapes from detention in Chile after his ship is captured by the British Navy. A fluent Spanish speaker, he is sent to Spain to spy for his country, survives a British assassination attempt, and returns to the Navy to command a U-boat, all before the Armistice is signed. He remains in the Navy after the war and develops his espionage career, taking control of the Abwehr after Hitler’s rise to power. Although he initially supports the Führer, he soon begins to work covertly against him, and is quite probably passing information to SIS, as well as turning a blind eye to British deception operations.

Italo Gariboldi

After serving with distinction in the Italian’s Libyan campaign during World War One, Gariboldi finds himself on the commission dealing with the fraught topic of the Italian-Yugoslavian border. He re-emerges on the military front during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War in 1935, becoming the governor of Addis Ababa and East African Chief of Staff. He takes on the governorship of Libya after Rudolfo Graziani’s resignation in 1941, but finds himself relocated to Russia in 1942 after a series of disagreements with Rommel. Awarded the Iron Cross by the Germans for his role in the Eastern Front campaign, he is nevertheless arrested and sentenced to death as a traitor when the Italians surrender to the Allies.

Dr. Josef Goebbels

Known as the “poison dwarf” by his arch-rival Göring, the former journalist and bank clerk is also an early member of the NSDAP. Prevented from serving in World War One by his club foot, and frustrated by his lack of success as an author, he is a very bitter man. Hitler spots his talent for rhetoric early in their association, and makes him Gauleiter of Berlin. His specialism is propaganda in all its forms, and he has total control over the media, arts, information, and education in Germany. He is a skilled and manipulative orator and stage-manager, a notorious womaniser, and a vicious anti-Semite.

Hermann Göring

A keen mountain climber and student of Teutonic legends in his youth, Göring spends the early days of World War One in hospital with rheumatism before unofficially transferring himself to the Luftstreitkräfte, where he becomes renowned as an air ace, although not necessarily a popular one. Working in aviation in a variety of countries after the war, he is an early member of the NSDAP, and commands the Sturmabteilung (SA) for a while. Injured in the failed Munich Putsch, he becomes addicted to morphine and gradually more and more obese. He rises to prominence as the NSDAP gains power and is placed in charge of the Luftwaffe. Following his disgrace for failing to destroy the RAF, amongst other gaffes, he becomes increasingly sidelined and mistrusted. He takes to lining his own pockets and living a life of luxury, much to the consternation of the German people.

Rudolfo Graziani

Ignoring his family’s wishes, young Graziani joins the Italian military, rising to become the youngest colonel in the Royal Army (Regio Esercito) before being forced into a period of hiding as a civilian merchant after finding himself on a communist death list after World War One. He first sees service in North Africa during the Great War, and is recalled to Libya from hiding as a result of increased Senussi raiding activity. Fluent in Arabic, he is appointed by Benito Mussolini himself to be Governor of Cyrenaica, where he earns the nickname “Butcher of Fezzan” for his ruthlessness in dealing with the renegade Bedouins. After his success, Graziani is relocated to Italian Somaliland and takes part in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, becoming Viceroy of Italian East Africa and a Marshal of Italy as a reward. After Italo Balbo’s death in June, 1940, he becomes Governor of Libya again. His failed attempts to capture Egypt see him fall out of favour with Mussolini, and he is replaced by Gariboldi
in March, 1941. Graziani is the only Marshal to side with Mussolini after the Italians sue for peace with the Allies, and serves under him in the puppet Salò regime.

Rudolf Hess

Deputy Führer to his friend and fellow Putsch prisoner Adolf Hitler, Hess is a student of geopolitician and occultist Karl Haushofer (see the upcoming Achtung! Cthulhu: Shadows of Atlantis for further details). He is also a member of the Thule Society (see p.79) and shows a keen interest in astrology and the mystical arts. His position at Hitler’s side usurped by Martin Boormann, and increasingly suffering from hypochondria and paranoia, Hess develops a radical plan to seek peace terms with the British by flying solo to Scotland without Hitler’s knowledge. He is declared a madman and a puppet of malign forces by the Party for his efforts.

Heinrich Himmler

Godson to a Prince of the Bavarian Royal Family, after whom he is named, Himmler’s regal connections enable him to enter officer training, although the Great War is over before he can graduate. A sickly child, his health remains poor for the rest of his life. Whilst at University he joins the League of Apollo, and becomes increasingly anti-Semitic before graduating with a diploma in agriculture. His participation in the Munich Putsch costs him his job but strengthens his ties to the NSDAP. As his involvement with the Party grows, so does his interest in mysticism and the occult, leading to the foundation of the Ahnenerbe. He is in total command of the various German police forces, and is a major force behind the Holocaust.

Adolf Hitler

A casual labourer and watercolour painter living in poverty in Vienna prior to World War One, Hitler serves as a despatch runner for the Army during the conflict and receives the Iron Cross. A firm believer in the “stab in the back” myth, his nationalism begins to take on darker overtones once the war is over. He is heavily influenced by Dietrich Eckart, a member of the Thule Society, and becomes an adept public speaker after joining the NSDAP. He is imprisoned as a result of the failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch (see p.5 for further details), and writes Mein Kampf, setting out his racist, anti-Semitic political vision. Through intimidation, fear, cheating, and mesmeric charisma, he rises to the position of Führer, the supreme leader of Germany.

Karl Ernst Krafft

This Swiss mathematician turned astrologer comes to Rudolf Hess’ attention after he successfully predicts the Munich plot to assassinate Hitler. Cleared of any involvement in the plot, he is summoned by Goebbels to search the works of Nostradamus for useful propaganda prophecies. Officially, he falls foul of the backlash against astrologers caused by Hess’ flight to Britain and is imprisoned by the SS, but many believe that his incarceration is actually the result of discovering something in the quatrains that the Party does not want to hear.

Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels

Despite his claims to be the direct descendant of Sicilian nobility, Lanz is
actually the son of a Viennese schoolmaster. Obsessed with ritual and romantic myth from a young age, Lanz briefly becomes a Cistercian monk at the Abbey of Heiligenkreuz, near Vienna. There he is taught by an expert in Oriental languages, and develops a deep interest in zoology, anthropology, and archaeology. After leaving the monastery in 1899, he uses current scientific thinking to polish his sexist and racist beliefs into an alternate histor y and religion for the German people, which he names Theozoology. He publishes the far-right mouthpiece periodical Ostara, and founds the Ordo Novi Templi as a revival of the Knights Templar, who he believes to be the guardians of the true Germanic religion, both of which, he is convinced, were suppressed by the Catholic Church in medieval times.

Benito Mussolini

The son of a poor blacksmith with revolutionary tendencies, Mussolini moves to Switzerland in 1902, working briefly as a stonemason before becoming involved in socialist politics. He returns to Italy in 1904 after being granted an amnesty for avoiding military service, and joins the Bersaglieri for two years. Afterwards, Mussolini returns to teaching and journalism, all the while rising to become one of Italy’s most notable socialists. He is expelled from the Italian Socialist Party in 1914 as a result of his opinions on World War One, and develops his fascist credo and proto-party soon afterwards. His service in World War One is undistinguished and largely plagued by injury and illness. By 1921, he has established the National Fascist Party, and leads the March on Rome in October, 1922, after which he is given power by King Victor Emmanuel III.

From then on, Mussolini rules Italy with an iron fist, making the country a one party state and assassinating political rivals and dissenters. He assumes the title of dictator in 1925, at the head of what can only be described as a cult of personality. During the 1930s, his conquests in Africa, support of General Francisco Franco in Spain, and ever closer ties with Hitler all serve to push Italy into joining Germany as part of the Axis, even though the country is woefully unprepared for the war that follows. One disastrous campaign after another eventually forces Mussolini’s former colleagues to topple him from power, although he is rescued by Otto Skorzeny and set up as the head of the Italian Social
Republic.

Hanna Reitsch

More interested in flying than medicine, Reitsch leaves medical school to become a glider pilot and instructor and is soon breaking records like her English contemporary, Amy Johnson. She becomes a test pilot for the Luftwaffe and is the first female helicopter pilot. She continues to test and develop aeroplanes during the conflict, although a bad crash lands her in hospital for five months. A poster girl for Nazi propaganda, Reitsch is awarded the Iron Cross for her services to the Reich. She works with Otto Skorzeny to develop the German equivalent of the Japanese kamikaze bombers, the Leonidas Squadron, who fly modified V1 bombs.

Erwin Rommel

Gifted with a technical mind, young Rommel toyed with becoming an engineer before joining the armed forces. His service in Italy during World War One sees him awarded the Pour le Merité (also known as the Blue Max), Germany’s highest honour for bravery, and identifies his flair as a martial tactician. After a stint teaching and writing military training manuals, Rommel works with the Hitler Youth before returning to military duty and accompanying Hitler as the commander of his protection battalion. He remains at Hitler’s side until February, 1940, when he is given the 7th Panzer Division (nick-named the Ghost Division for its exploits under his command). His posting is a surprising one, as he is best known as an alpine expert; however, he soon confounds his doubters with lightning victories across the Low Countries and France.

Transferred to North Africa in 1941 at the head of the Deutsches Afrika Korps, he quickly earns his nickname of the Desert Fox from British journalists. Eventually, hampered by supply issues, illness, and an unwillingness to needlessly sacrifice his men, he is replaced in Africa and sent to Italy, before taking control of the defence of the Atlantikwall. Badly hurt in a crash when his car is strafed by a Spitfire, Rommel is forced to commit suicide whilst recuperating from his injuries after he is implicated in the July, 1944 plot to kill Hitler.

Hermann Wirth

Although of Dutch origins, Wirth is obsessed from a young age with Germanic superiority, so much so that he volunteers for the German Army during World War One. Through his comparative studies of various languages, he develops his own myths of an antediluvian Aryan civilisation during the late 1920s to the early 1930s, and although they are not necessarily well received by all academics, they lead to Heinrich Himmler’s request to set up the Black Sun cover organisation, the Ahnenerbe, in 1935. His continued efforts to promote a matriarchal society, and his horror at what is really happening under the alleged auspices of the Ahnenerbe, lead to his exile from Germany in 1937.

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