Silent Service: Dracha

Saturday. Yay. I like Saturdays. Generally it means there’s mail.

Are you going to add foreign submarine shipgirls to Silent Service?

Why.

After all, the most famous weapon of war is not anything made from the Allies. When you think World War II you think of the mighty Tiger tank or the U-boat or the Me 262 Jet fighter!

So it only makes sense that you should have a U-boat girl since the U-boats were the best submarines the world has ever seen!

DRAAAAAACHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

T-Tautog! That’s not me I swear that’s not me oh no …


MORGANE HALP

Did you get in trouble with Tautog again, Dracha?

… Yeah. This time it wasn’t actually my!. I swear on the soul of Fregattenkapitän Erich Topp I didn’t do anything of the sort. Definitely not that one!

That one?

Well, I do spam her with JOJO videos sometimes. You know the one about GERMAN SCIENCE?

Wait, how would you know about an anime published in 1987 when I’ve made it so that West Germany is literally under complete informational lockdown in Pacific?

Scheibenhonig

Can we redo this? 

Sure. 


Okay.

You are probably wondering about why Avalon seems to be crawling with shipgirls.

The answer to that is simple. We are the best.

Yes.

… Okay, so, in more detail. Avalon have the proper facilities to support a shipgirl as she need. The capabilities of fairies are exponentially increased. Fairies also appear far more regularly. We have excellent production and supplies. Plenty of spare parts around. Lots of chances for upgrades. Also, Mike & co’s expertise at carrying out counter-Abyssal operations means that it’s a very good place if you want to get better at what you do.

If you need to get to anywhere fast, we’ve got you covered, too. We literally have everything you could want. Plus, we’re a friendly bunch. Everyone’s friends here!

So, naturally, it would make sense for shipgirls from other countries to visit. Sometimes they stay for very short durations if they’re doing something very specific. Other times, they basically stay here for good. Mike runs a pretty flexible island! Any shipgirl’s always welcome on Avalon and they can stay for as long as they’d like.

Though, because of our location (we are somewhere in the Pacific ocean, usually!) we rarely get European shipgirls. Great Britain has taken the reins on the defense of the Atlantic. RN-STEC operates at an nominal equal, but in reality they are the de-facto leader of the European shipgirls’ anti-abyssal efforts.

So, generally, we don’t get visited by the European shipgirls nearly as often as say, the Japanese (and Russian) ones. But there are exceptions.

Like that one. She wanted to be with her sister. So, she’s here instead.


How was your day, Dracha?

Good! I finished work.

Well, thanks for your hard work today. 

Y-you’re welcome, sir! Always a pleasure to be of service.

GaaaahhhhhhDrachaquicklythinkofsomethingtosaytoCommander –

…Are you alright? 

N-no! I mean, yes! Yes sir. I’m alright. Mist, thinkingofsomethingtosay –

Commander! The stars are pretty right now! W-want to go see them with me?

It’s 1600, Dracha. The sun’s not down yet.

Auh.

But we can go see the stars tonight if you’d like. They’ve put me on recreational leave for the next four days. 

R-really? Yay. That’s great. Can I bring Lori and Ulla too?

Sure?

Yay! I, I’m gonna go stand watch or something now. Security’s very important, you know! HAVE A GREAT DAY COMMANDER I’LL SEE YOU AFTER DINNER –


Phew.

Uuh, I totally messed that one up. “Just be natural,” Lori says. “You don’t need to feel nervous at all” she says. WELL. EASY FOR HER TO SAY. Hard NOT to like a guy when the first question he asks is “Are you okay” instead of “Wow, Nazi!”

GrantedItotallytrippedovermyownfeetbut – but! Nobody said Kriegmarine shipgirls have to be graceful! We just have to, uuh! Be the best we could be.

… And of course. Who’s the one who successfully got the “date”? Ha. Joke’s on you, Ulla! I can totally do this socializing thing –

Dracha?

EEEEEEEEEEK! HOW DID YOU DO THAT WERE YOU BACK THERE THIS ENTIRE TIME –

Yeah. You dropped your hat.

Danke sehr.

Um, how much of that did you hear?

As Narwhal always say, as much as you’d like me to have heard. *wink*


Well, Dracha. Why don’t you introduce yourself?

Yes sir! Deutsches Flotten-Mädchen U-552, German shipgirl U-552 reporting for duty. I have been here for six months participating in the underwater anti-Abyssal sweeps, but as of now I am stationed permanently in the Pacific on Avalon base until the Fatherland sees otherwise.

Our mission so far has been very successful. With no loss of submarine shipgirl on our side, each day we lessen the Abyssal Fleet’s ability to pinpoint a strike on the planet. I am certain of our eventual victory over these heinous monsters!

The training’s been tough, as expected, but we have all made good progress.

I, uh, really like it here. The food’s been great and I don’t have to wait sixteen months to see the newest movie…

(Mike halp I’m running out of things to say…)

Hmm, well, how about your name? 

Oh! That I can do, yes.

Before I arrived I was simply U-552. Just a number. However, that booby lady told me that we use real names here, so I had to pick something. Could be U-552 if I want, but I can’t just be a number.

So I thought, well, I do remember something. You know the “Red Devil” wasn’t an actual name for me, right? Back then, when they first sent the historical counterpart of me into the water, the nice pretty lady said “may she be like a mighty serpent beneath the waves as she gallantly performs her duty.”

Then I thought back to the U-boat crew and how they called me Drachen. Of course it wasn’t a nice thing at all, but you know, that’s what a VIIC boat was…

So, yeah. I know it’s got a weird connotation, but Dracha. Listen to it! It’s got a nice ring to it. It sounds sharp. Decisive. Confident. Everything I want to be.

I mean, if I can grow wings and breath fire, that’d be great, too. But instead, well! Look at me now. I am peak Ubermens –

… er, that’s not right … technically Nietzsche’s definition of Übermensch excludes women, children, and …

Hey, Dracha. 

… I’m actually sure there is a word for it. Überfrau? Should I like, start wearing a mask or something ….

Could you tell us a little about your historical counterpart?

Oh? Oh! Yes. Yes sir! Hah. Okay. U-552 was a Type VIIC U-boat that fought in Germany’s service in World War II. The VIIC boats were definitely the best that the Germans had, and they fought everywhere in the war and caused great damage and took the brunt of the losses, too!

As for the U-552 specifically? She was known as the “Roter Teufel,” named after the Red Devil painted on her as a badge or marking to set her apart from all other boats. She fought for three years straight, sinking or damaging over 30 Allied ships and accounting for more than 160,000 tons sunk!

Most of these were accomplished under the command of one of the best U-boat aces of the Kriegsmarine, Erich Topp.

She was one of the most successful U-boats the Nazis had, commander. Survived to the end of the war, too.

…The crew scuttled her to prevent her capture.

I, uh. There’s some other stuff I want to say, too.

The first is that the U-552 attacked a neutral vessel. She sank the Reuben James. It – it was an American destroyer. The first USN ship to be sank in the European theater during World War II. The Americans were neutral at the time. It was before Hitler declared war. Before Pearl Harbor, even.

The second is SS David H. Atwater. That one…

“93 shots 8.8 cm, ran off at high speed.”

They found the lifeboats and bodies riddled with holes. Most did not survive. Topp was never charged. Some think he was just doing his job. Others thought it was a deliberate case.

…Those are the facts. It would be a shame not to mention them.


By now, you must be wondering. “Why is this Nazi even here?”

I, I’m not a Nazi. I’ll never be a Nazi! Never, never, never. ‘d rather die!

But, my historical counterpart. The underlying basis for who I am today. The powers I have. The links are clear.

I used to not think about it. Trying to, you know, put it out of my mind. Then, Vergangenheitsbewältigung. I sought to apologize and to make amends. I wanted no part of it. I wanted to wipe it away.

But how could I? Shall I pretend that none of it happened? Shall I discard every aspect of my historical counterpart, which forms so much of this exquisite set of weapons that gives me the opportunity to fulfill my destiny? Shall I cast away my German identity?

There is only one answer that is right. I cannot.

Look at what I wear today. Look to my little ones – the ones who spend all this time making sure I can go out and fight and win.

I can no more wipe away the past than I could wipe away myself.

What a waste would that be if I did.

I cannot change the past. I cannot predict the future. I can only act in the present. There is nothing I can do about past atrocities other than to be a living testament. I will do what is right, and I will pass the story on so that others know of what we did. May such things never happen again.


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