Play Audio

Nearly a year had passed since Prince Hans von Kufstein had first entered the Aerial Warfare Academy within the Capital of the German Empire. Though he was not far from his home, he was not permitted to visit his family except on weekends. Even then, he needed written permission to do so. Though he might be an Imperial Prince, he was still a cadet.

In reality, Hans rarely visited his home, as if to stay away from his most annoying fiancee. Instead, he spent most of his weekdays on campus with a beautiful young woman who seemed to share his passion for intellectual pursuits. While his weekends were reserved for flight school.

Currently, the dynamic duo was sitting across from one another in the cafeteria. Though the table was large, only the two of them were seated, as their high noble status was a deterrent to most other cadets.

Though Anne was initially popular with the boys at the academy, the moment she started showing interest in the First Prince, they cut their losses. How could they possibly compete with the boy who was most likely to become the next Kaiser?

The young Bavarian princess had a pretty smile on her face as she inquired about just why Hans had signed up for the Military academy.

"You know, we have known each other for close to a year now, and you still have not told me what exactly you want to do with your military career. Let me guess, you want to be a pilot?"

Hans had a smile on his face, rather than his usual stoic facade. He appeared to be incredibly friendly with this girl, so much so that he let his defenses down around her. He nodded his head in agreement before sharing his views.

"I don't just want to be a pilot, I want to be a fighter pilot! I want to fly a Ta-152 into battle and intercept the enemy in the air!"

In response to this, Anne scoffed. The very idea that any other nation had access to aircraft was simply preposterous, and because of this, she was quick to label the young Prince as an idealist.

"Who are you expecting to fight the other Germans? There is no nation on this planet that has access to aircraft besides the Reich. Besides, those planes are designed to provide air support. How would you even go about fighting other aircraft in the skies?"

Hans had a smug smile on his face as an Imperial Prince who was already undergoing pilot training in the Ar 96 trainer aircraft. He knew a thing or two about the types of aircraft that the Luftwaffe used.

He also knew quite a bit about Japan's current military capabilities. Though it was a closely guarded military secret, Hans had his ways of getting his hands on such information. And that was through his mother. Thus, the boy had a haughty smile on his face as he lectured the girl for her ignorance with a cryptic statement.

"If only you knew..."

Before the girl could question Hans on his words, the bell rang, signalling for the two of them to return to their classroom. They put their lunch trays in the proper bing before heading back to class, where the two cadets took their seats.

Surprisingly, a figure entered the room alongside their instructor. When Hans saw this man, he immediately looked away with embarassment. Meanwhile, Anne gazed upon his handsome visage with an excited expression on her lips, as if she had just met her idol for the first time. The rest of the class was in disbelief as the Kaiser took the chalkboard and wrote down his name while giving his introduction.

"My name is Berengar von Kufstein, though I am sure you are all aware of this already. Today your professor has asked me to give a lecture on the importance of Air Superiority on the modern battlefield.

Though I may have been the first man to take flight in this world, there are many men among the ranks of the Luftwaffe who are more suited to the task of lecturing you all, however I will conduct this lesson to the best of my ability.

Now I am sure that each and every one of you has at the very least been properly instructed about the importance of Air Superiority on the modern battlefield, but allow me to pose a question. What is Air Supremacy?"

The class remained silent. Perhaps they were too shocked that the Kaiser was teaching them in person, or perhaps they simply did not know the answer, causing Berengar to chuckle before making another statement.

"Anybody? Anybody at all? Don't be shy, if one of you does not volunteer the answer, I will be forced to call upon you."

Ultimately, Anne snapped out of her shock and raised her hand before anyone else could.

"Sir, while Air Superiority is the act of having an advantage in Aerial Warfare, Air Supremacy is the concept of having complete and total dominance of the skies over a battlefield!"

Berengar nodded his head with a smile on his handsome face before responding to this statement.

"Straight out of the textbook. Excellent, but do you understand why Air Supremacy is so important to not just a battle but warfare in general?"

Upon hearing this Anne's proud smile wavered, as she realized such a lesson had not yet been given to them, she began to stutter as she attempted to think of different reasons, but before she could reply, Berengar raised his hand and cut her off before beginning his lecture once more.

"Air Supremacy is the difference between a war lasting 12 hours, and a war lasting 12 years. If a nation holds complete and total command of the skies, then they have already effectively won the war. It is only a matter of time before the enemy is defeated.

In a world without flight, artillery is the king of the battlefield. Even with the introduction of armored vehicles, artillery is still the single most critical component on the field of battle to obtaining victory. However, when you can bomb an artillery battalion from the skies of above with impunity, such a powerful weapon of war becomes effectively useless.

Without being challenged in the skies, a Nation can disrupt land-based operations, decimate entire armored divisions, land troops deep behind enemy lines, along with supplies for those forces, and they can even attack protect their coastlines against a hostile navy without the need for ships.

Imagine, if you will, we find ourselves engaged in warfare with a nation that has no air based capabilities whatsoever. Essentially, any country in the rest of the world as of this moment. Why would be bother sending in troops on land to move towards the enemy's capital in a bitter campaign, when we can simply drop a battalion of paratroopers onto the enemy's palace from the sky above? We now have the means to end a war within half a day. That is Air Supremacy!

You will all graduate from this academy one day, and enter the Luftwaffe. Some of you will be pilots, others will work behind the scenes. Either way, your objective as members of the German Air Force is to obtain complete and total dominance in the air. If we control the skies, then we control the battlefield, and victory is only a matter of time.

Your fathers fought in wars on land, against an opponent centuries behind them in terms of technological capabilities. You are different. Your generation will fight against a near-peer adversary, one which I have no doubt will be able to manufacture aircraft within the next few years. It is your goal to dominate the skies and obtain air supremacy, so that our land-based forces can move forward without fear of a bomb falling on their heads.

So, in a way, you have all decided to join the branch. That will be most crucial in achieving victory over the Japanese Empire when the day comes that we go to war with one another. To conclude my lecture, I will say this:

The future battle on the ground will be preceded by battle in the air. This will determine which of the contestants has to suffer operational and tactical disadvantages and be forced throughout the battle into adoption compromise solutions."

Once more, Berengar had channelled the spirit of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel from his past life, as he concluded the lecture with a quote from the Desert Fox. The words Berengar had spoken inspired the class. Both Anne and Hans had taken his lecture seriously and had written them down for future reference.

Though Hans was partially aware of how important Air Superiority was, after all, he had been training in flight for a year now. He did not fully grasp just how critical it was to the success in a war. When he thought about the concept of Air Supremacy, which was still foreign to a world where only one nation had the ability to use aircraft. He realized that this knowledge had to have come from his father's past life.

After all, Hans was the only child of Berengar who knew the man's greatest secret. Thus, he made sure to ingrain this lecture into his mind, as these words were not spoken by a forward thinking General, but a man who had been involved in the conflicts of the future.