1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 71

1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 71

Chapter 26

Dresden, capital of Saxony

“Well, it’s done,” said Denise Beasley, looking very satisfied with herself. Amazingly so, for someone who’d actually played a very modest role in getting the airplane repaired.

But Eddie Junker saw no advantage to himself in pointing that out. Denise was often egocentric, but she was not snotty. A cheerful and self-satisfied Denise was a very friendly and affectionate Denise, a state of affairs entirely to his liking. A Denise who felt she was being unfairly criticized, on the other hand, was a sullen and belligerent Denise — and she viewed criticism as inherently unfair, when directed at herself.

This was not because the girl was more self-centered than any other seventeen-year-old. She wasn’t. It is simply in the nature of seventeen-year-olds to know with a certainty usually reserved for religious fanatics that nothing is ever their fault. Eddie could remember that sublime period in his own life. Quite well, in fact, since it wasn’t really all that long ago. There were times when he wondered if all of life could be described as a long, slow slide into self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy from that all-too-brief Golden Age.

“Eddie?” Self-satisfied as she might be, Denise also shared — albeit in smaller portion than the usual — the seventeen-year-old need to be constantly reassured.

“Yes, it’s done. All we were really waiting for was the propeller, anyway.”

The propeller had finally arrived the day before. Smuggled in — Eddie found this quite charming — in a load of firewood. The smugglers hadn’t even had to bribe the one cavalry patrol they’d encountered. The mercenaries working for the Swedes had taken one look at the load in the cart, curled their lip, and ridden off. You might as well try to get a bribe from a mouse as get one from a woodcutter.

Somewhat to Eddie’s surprise, and certainly to his relief, it had turned out that there was no damage to the engine. There’d been some structural damage to the wings and fuselage — fortunately, not much — and the fabric of the wings had been pretty badly torn up. But Dresden’s artisans and craftsmen had the skills and materials to repair that sort of damage. Repairing the engine would have been far more difficult, if it was possible at all. There, the problem wasn’t so much the skills needed — seventeenth century metalworkers could do truly amazing work — as it was the materials involved.

That was the great bottleneck for aviation in the world produced by the Ring of Fire. The knowledge was there. Not enough to have created a giant airliner or a supersonic military aircraft, of course, but more than enough to have filled the skies with the equivalent of Model T automobiles. But the materials required to make suitable internal combustion engines — or the materials required to make critical auxiliary parts like reliable and flexible fuel lines — were either not available at all or could only be produced slowly and at great expense.

In practice, that had usually meant that a heavier-than-air aircraft needed to use an existing up-time engine that had come through the Ring of Fire. True, primitive rotary engines had been developed that were good enough to get the Jupiter aloft. But there was still only one functioning Jupiter and getting more into service was proving to be difficult.

For that reason, at least for a time, aviation in the here-and-now was shifting in the direction of lighter-than-air craft. Those had enough lift that they could be powered by steam engines, which were now within the technological capability of the more advanced nations of Europe. There were even rumors that the Turks had developed some airships.

“So when do we take it up for the first test flight?” Denise asked brightly.

Eddie set his jaws. Wanting to keep Denise happy had certain inherent limits. Beginning with the demands of sanity.

“First of all, we aren’t going to be doing any test flights. If and when — emphasis on ‘if’ — I decide to take this thing up for a test, I’m doing it alone. There’s no point in killing two people when killing one is enough to prove you were a damn fool.”

Denise pouted, but didn’t try to argue. She’d have been expecting that answer, because Eddie had made it clear enough what he thought on the subject of Denise Beasley, Intrepid Test Pilot.

“And the first of all part probably doesn’t matter anyway,” Eddie continued, “because, second of all, there’s no way I’m trying to take off using that so-called runway out there. That’s just plain suicide.”

The airstrip in the city square had finally been finished a week earlier. Perhaps oddly, completing the thing had made it clearer than ever that the whole project was absurd. There simply wasn’t enough room for even a small plane such as his to get off the ground.

Well…not that, exactly. He’d be able to get the plane off the ground, all right, as long as he waited until he had a sufficient headwind blowing in. Just high enough to smash it into the second floor of one of the buildings surrounding the square — all of which were at least three stories tall. Theoretically, he could thread the needle required to fly the plane down the street after it left the square, long enough to lift above the level of the roof-tops. But that was pure theory, and vacant theory at that. The plane had a wingspan that was no more than a yard smaller than the width of the street — and it wasn’t that straight a street to begin with. The slightest gust of wind, the slightest error on the pilot’s part, and he was probably just as dead as if he’d flown into a building.

The simplest way to get around the problem would be to demolish part of the square to expand the runway. The easiest way to do that would be to widen the street by removing the buildings alongside it. But you’d need to remove a minimum of a hundred yards of existing buildings — each and every one of which was inhabited by someone and most of which doubled as places of business. Eddie was dubious, to say the least, that any such project could be carried out.

The other possibility would be to create a ramp. That…could be done, especially if you combined the effort with the first option. That would shorten the length of demolition required, too. You could use the rubble from tearing down fifty yards or so or street-frontage buildings as the material for the ramp. With an additional fifty yards that ended in a shallow-incline ramp…

Eddie thought he’d have a good chance of getting the plane into the air safely. Quite a good chance, actually.

But then what? How would he land the bloody thing? Taking off on a ramp was one thing, landing safely on one was something else entirely. Eddie had chewed over the problem for hours, and seen no way to solve the problem.

No way within their means, at least. If they could have built a steam catapult like the sort he’d seen in movies launching planes from the deck of an aircraft carrier…adapt the rear wheel of the plane to serve as a hook catching an arresting cable when he landed…

Blithering nonsense. By the time such devices could be built and tested in Dresden, with the resources available, the siege would be over anyway.

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35 Responses to 1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 71

  1. papertiger says:

    I have almost all of the book cannon and I anticipate buying this book also. But I am curious as to how much more will follow the snippets. Any info from those owning the ARC?

  2. dave o says:

    On lighter than air craft: Modern ones have lift provided by Hydrogen, Helium, or hot air. Helium is not available in 17th century Germany; Texas is the major producer, with some from N. Africa and elsewhere. The technology to extract it and store it are also lacking. Hydrogen is hideously dangerous: remember the Hindenburg, and probably even more so on a ship powered by steam. And hot air by far produces the least lift. I think the practicality of airships is being overstated.

    On airplane engines: What is needed to produce them is machine tools and measuring tools. Both are 19th century developments. But with production of cast steels already part of the canon , the technology exists to produce them. Uptime examples already exist in Grantville. What is most lacking is skilled craftsmen enough to do the work. Yes, 17th century metalworkers could do amazing work. But there weren’t many of them. How about stories in GG about founding Starret and Browne and Sharpe. Not as sexy as some of the stuff there, but a lot more important.

  3. robert says:

    Goes up to Chapter 56 according to the Sample Chapters on Baen’s website. This is the beginning of Chapter 26. So…um…30 more chapters. Plus a Cast of Characters and an Afterward.

  4. ET1swaw says:

    Wow, a whole lot of what I’ve read debated here in comments and on the bar put in black and white by EF. I guess some of us guessed right; as AFAIK the comments postdated the actual writing.
    Another thread heard from!

  5. Willem Meijer says:

    I am a bit puzzled. Letting someone into a besieged city? With firewood? In Winter? Messages and supplies must be prevented from going in, and messages and refugees must be prevented from going out, That’s besieging 101. Besides: the soldiers out on the siege-lines must be cold, it’s winter and the river is freezing over. If someone comes near with a cart of nicely chopped wood you steal it. If an officer is near he might requisition it for himself (sounds nicer, same effect for the woodcutter: cart gone, horse or donkey gone, wood gone, no payment). No way that prop got into Dresden.

    But of course: The Author Is Always Right. Besides: without a functioning plane Eddie could not voice his doubts about his chances to get into the air and live. And land again.

  6. MikeyMikeMikey says:

    @ Willem Meijer: While I agree with the iffy-ness of a cavalry troop facing the prospect of winter to just leave a load of firewood alone, do cut the “But of course: The Author Is Always Right” eye-rolling, passive-aggressive bullshit. Crap like that is flame bait, and there’s already enough of idiotic shouting matches on the internet that there’s no need to bait it.

  7. Stanley Leghorn says:

    4@ The question is if the wood cart had been looked over where it could be headed for their camp. If they thought it was already theirs, why divert it? Also, was it alone or with a group where other carters might be better targets for a shakedown? Now, if the cart had been visibly heading into the city, yes they would take it. Doing some math: 15,000 men and a seige line 3 miles long gives one man every foot if they are evenly spaced and not doing other important things like cooking or sleepiing. At night, there are going to be holes in the lines that small loads could be gotten through by people who know the land. Given the entry taxes, there would be smugglers already there who would be making even MORE money during this seige. Remember, no searchlights or other ways to light the place other than lanterns. And these are not diligent troops beyond their own safety, looking for groups who might be a danger to them. In winter. Moving a muffeled wagon through the “dead” space between camps would be possible. Not easy, but possible.

  8. vikingted says:

    on the idea of repairing the plane… why was the plane not hauled away from Dresden well before the besiegers arrived? It could have been repaired in SoTF or other places, IIRC it was already in pieces shortly after “touchdown”.

  9. Daryl says:

    @5 MikeyMikeMikey, I agree totally that we don’t want abusive slanging matches & I certainly don’t want to stir them up but you were actually much more agressive and abusive than Willem. I won’t mention it or respond to this point again.

  10. johan says:

    Why do I feel like we are moving towards a great conflagration with the Turks? A small clue about them probably having airships and all. Butterflies in the Kremlin show them buying Cardinal rifles from the Russians and they’ve finished with the Persians ahead of the historic schedule. Would not be surprised if Eric has a version of a new Holy Alliance in the making.

  11. MikeyMikeMikey says:

    @Daryl: Why? Because I used curse words? I’ve seen discussion here that used curse words before that weren’t flames and were allowed because we weren’t targeting them at specific people. I was using them to describe the “But of course: The Author Is Always Right,” not Willem. I was targeting them at that specific part of the point, not the person.

  12. dave o says:

    #9 Johan: I’ve always been puzzled by the Russians selling anything to the Turks. I suppose at this period, the Russians could think Poland is a greater enemy than the Ottomans, but so what? Ottomans are a danger to Austria, less so to Poland, and they have land that the Russians want, particularly Constantinople. But then the idea comes from the GG series, which I always thought was about the worst, least plausible series published. In any event, the Turks are/would be soon entering a period of relative weakness, with weak Sultans and lots of infighting in the court. This continued until the Koprulu (all vowels umlauted) dynasty of Vizirs gained power. Which eventually lead to the 1680’s siege of Vienna. If there is an alliance against the Turks, the players will be very different from what happened uptime.

  13. robert says:

    I love these calm, intelligent, rancor-free discussions.

    @9 johan. Maybe you are right, but we will have a long-ish wait for the Butterflies book and I think an even longer wait for the Turks vs. the Austrians book. Unless Eric is just using them (the Turks) as a device to keep the Austrians out of the way until he gets the Wallenstein succession dealt with. I think he will invent an Ataturk in the Turkish Army two hundred years early just so he does not have to deal with all that-he has to do the Americas, you know.

  14. ET1swaw says:

    @9 johan; @12 robert: The russians (actually the shogun in the making) sold the Ottoman’s farm equipment, heavy equipment, etc. (possibly even the LTA concept and plans from ‘Testbed’) that the dacha had produced. They also sold AK3s (a breechloading rifle as is the Sharps/Cardinal, but using a replaceable breech. Both use ‘head process’ primers I think) not Cardinals. Whether they sold breechloading rifled cannon as well I am unsure (IMO that would be suicidal). The sales to the Turks are partial cause to the possible upcoming russian famine post the shogun-like takeover. The ‘BitK’ book is supposedly being revamped from the GG series so I guess we’ll have to wait (in 2011 hopefully) for it to come out.
    @11 dave o: NTL Russia and Ottomans are already farther from OTL than I expected. Russia: is under a near-Shogunate; has modern weaponry and equipment near-par to the USE (though without the support base); has eased serfdom; has defeated PLC and Ottoman incursions (both by deniable catspaws); and is filtering ROF knowledge to the Ottomans. The Ottomans: have officially denied ROF and decreed death for people claiming to be up-timers within their empire; Murad has become pro-active; have taken Bagdad years early and signed peace with the Persians; and recieved modern weaponry. equipment, and concepts from the Russians and through their spy network. We actually may see Vienna attacked as early as 1636/37; but the book not until 2012/14.

  15. Stanley Leghorn says:

    Hummmm.

    I’m really going to have to find the time to get back into the bar and see what has happened to Russia since I left. A shoganate? What happened to the Romanovs? Given that the Father/Grandfather(?)of the OTL ruler was the leader of the Orthodox Church, anyone caught selling weapons to the Turks would face the wrath of the Church.

  16. robert says:

    @13 ET1swaw–THE Plan is “1637: The Siege of Vienna,” but that is number 18 of 20+ items on the snerk Virginia DeMarce posted on the Bar in August 2010. And so it may never happen.

    I do not really think that that was a much of a snerk. What it is is a “round table” with all the 163x authors, including the GG writers, with Eric as chairman and boss saying here is what they are all going to be doing for, what appears to me to be, the rest of their lives.

    Drak, if you think that this is a no-no feel free to delete it.

  17. Cindy says:

    I own the ARC and there is plenty of book left. Better plan on buying it.

  18. johan says:

    Regarding Russia & @14 Stanley Leghorn: Political infighting has led to Tsar Michael and his family being confined to their estate and a guy call Sheremetev (I think) has effectively taken control over the Russian state as a Shogun-like figure but with none of the legitimacy that goes with that position in Japan.
    IIRC the reason the Russian conducted their trade with the Turks was because they are fearful of GIIA and his massive empire. Remember, the Swedes effectively controls Russian trade in the Baltic since it has to pass through the dominions in Ingria. It would really be in Gustav’s interest to lessen Russian belligerence in the Baltic region and direct their ambition further south like, say, the Black Sea. :)
    Oh, and there is a book planned, tentatively called “1637: The Siege of Vienna”. So Eric has some kind of plan down there.

  19. dave o says:

    I read Butterflies in the Kremlin when it appeared in Grantville Gazette, but nothing about Russia from Baen’s Bar. In my opinion, the events in BitK are completely implausible. As are the characters. If this stuff is part of the canon, then the canon is heading toward nonsense. I know about the butterfly effect, but it’s not powerful enough to radically change people’s ideas and culture overnight. Technological changes are easier to adopt than cultural ones, in societies which are open to change. Russia in the 1630s wasn’t.

  20. tomhr says:

    @17 Dave O–

    I like “Butterflies in the Kremlin,” and do not think it nonsense.

    The Russian connection to Grantville is done mainly by a minor noble family (Vlad and Natasha) and an ambitious spy (Boris). They see the potential for great personal and family advancement by using what Grantville has, and they frankly couldn’t care less that most of the Russian aristocracy is stodgy. The Czar is a figurehead (not by choice), and so has no great love for the existing system either. The Czar is a believable ally (though a weak one). And the smart Russians have found out that their country is “scheduled” to become a second-rate nation until the twentieth century, and they don’t want that to happen. All in all, “Butterflies in the Kremlin” plays out exactly the way I would expect.

  21. dave o says:

    #18 tomhr: You’re entitled to your opinion. And so am I. It seems to me that the further the story lines get from western Europe, the more implausible they get. It’s not a direct relationship, BitK being the closest and worst. Maybe that has to do with the fact that the people writing them are riding hobby horses. So far, EF and the others who write for published books have done better.

  22. Willem Meijer says:

    @5 and 8 and 10 The last thing I want to do is to start a flame war. Nevertheless, we are reading someone else’s work. It’s his work. He can bend the plot as much as he likes. When we do not like the way it’s going, we are free not to buy the book. And has anyone read the two sentences I wrote after my statement about the author? Perhaps he needed a historical mistake in order to make a point. His book, his point.

    I am Dutch, born in Amsterdam. I benefitted from an education that spent a lot of it’s history-classes on the history of the Netherlands. 30 years ago I went to University, where I studied history, and wrote my thesis on a Leyden leppers hospital in the late 16th century. Leyden is one of the major sieges in the early stages of the Dutch Republic 80-years struggle for independence. The Leyden archives at the time of my studies were situated opposite the remnants of one of the Leyden bulwarks from the siege. It gave me a certain sense of size that you do not get from books, being able to pace out the distance between the city and the lines of the Spanish troops. It also added to my interest in the history of the Dutch republic in the 16th-18th century. As a result I’ve been reading stuf on Dutch (military) history (and it’s links with the 30 years war, the anglo-dutch wars against Louis XIV and the like) ever since. My conclusion based on that is simple. Sound military practice in the 17th century was: during a siege you do not let anyone in or out. You deny the enemy inside the walls any resource that is of any use to him. Firewood (probably not for heating but for baking bread or cooking) is a resource.

    Even 17th century practice aside, that cart getting through is illogical. That load of firewood first had to pass the camp(s) of the besiegers (opportunity for theft nr 1), then go through the zone were the besiegers are working their way towards the city (digging trenches, building batteries) (opportunity 2), then you have pickets to protect the working parties (in part pressed or paid local labour, in part soldiers) (opportunity 3), and then you have to pass the no-mans land between the besiegers and the city. A zone that is in the firing line of both sides (opportunity to get shot). A cart of firewood passing through is unlikely in my opinion. The fact that the carter would have no chance of getting out with his excessive profits also passed my mind. Why let someone out? It’s an extra mouth to feed, another drain on limited resources. he would have to spend his profits inside the city, probably at inflated prices. And if someone bribes his way in and out he might as well have ‘spy’ stamped on his forehead. Banér’s men may be on the wrong side of the conflict (imho), but they are not stupid.

  23. johan says:

    @ Dave o: Can’t really think of any other stories that far away except the new ones about Japan. (And those I like. Japanese Christians colonising the West Coast? Yes, please! :D ) But yes, some parts of the BitK story are a bit implausible. But they didn’t bring about any large societal changes, only technological ones. And they showed quite clearly that they were not afraid to sacrifice a serf or two to learn how to make electrical power plants. It was only when the Tsar attempted to lessen serfdom that the boyars rebelled and a dictator assumed control over the country. That part is perhaps the one I have a problem with. From what I know Tsar Michael I wasn’t exactly the strongest or most able man to rule Russia and I doubt he would risk himself and his family in that way, especially with the Time of Troubles still in living memory. While they are written by many different writers, I think it still funny that they would portray Michael in this way while at the same time having Markgraf Georg Wilhelm of Brandenburg being the most lazy, irresponsible and inept ruler there is, when he was just mediocre in OTL. At least from what I’ve read.
    @20 Willem Meijer: What about the river, and that side of the city? IIRC the part of the city that was on the other side of the river was burned down, and the reasoning went that it would be hard to invest. Could they not have gone through there?

  24. ET1swaw says:

    @21 johan: IMO John George of Saxony was the one mostly painted as petty, lazy, and irresponsible. Georg Wilhelm withdrew before G2A’s forces, trashed the palace and official records, and sought alliance with a friendly power (already held Ducal Prussia in fief to PLC Vasa, so alliance against G2A’s forces seems an almost given). And his teenage son (the Great Elector to be) was given kudos as well. From everything I’ve read John George was much as portrayed and changed sides many times in the TYW and his lifetime after it. Michael Romanov was a compromise candidate as his father was barred officially from the throne, but ruled the church instead. In ‘BitK’ one of Shermentev?sp?’s first actions was the death (?of old age?) of the old man and seizure/purging of the bureaucracy, raising him above the level I imagined for his OTL counterpart.

  25. Im a litle hazy on the geography and time line of this siege .I get the impression tho the propeller made it in ,in the early days or weeks of the siege. Baner’s force was on the east side of the river and had not created field works. On the west bank he only had calvary patrols.The actions of the patrol was for the plot line . You had to get the propeller in for the air plane to do something later on.
    If you look at it more deeply it reveals the state of moral of Baner’s men. Thay wern’t aggessively patrolling but looking to establish a system of bribes so thay could have a regular income.If you bribed them thay would let you in.The smuglers could then build the bribe into there price structure.Everyones happy.But what it says is Baner’s men are ambivalent about what there doing. If he trys to get them to acept a forlorn hope,and charge across the river they will refuse. If he trys to force it ,thay will mutiny, kill Baner and see what kind deal the coc would give them.
    The only people left who are enthusiasticly supporting Ox’s counter revolution is Ox and Baner.Ther dommed . Ox could save the situation buy saying it was all a mistake and makeing amends.

  26. dave o says:

    #21 In order to make the technological changes put forth in BitK, they would need to develop a tool & die industry, skilled patternmakers, iron foundries, blacksmiths capable of working in steels and much else beside. This in a country which was as backward as any, and in a few years. Pardon me for doubting it.

    I don’t recall Markgraf Georg being described anywhere. If he was, did he match the largely correct descriptions of King Charles of England?

    GG’s Second Chance Bird currently being serialized is just plain silly as well as being massively implausible. (I’m a bird-watcher, and can think of at least four species made extinct in North America: Labrador Duck, Great Auk, Heath Hen, Carolina Parakeet that are equally worth saving, and a lot easier and closer.) Passenger Pigeons too, although the last one died in 1912. I think the Northwest Passage has a plot line which strikes me as being of very low probability and a bunch of unlikely characters. I could probably come up with more examples, but I don’t want to spend the time re-reading old Grantville Gazettes, and I don’t read stuff in the slush piles. And with the variety of commentators to these snippets and their differing tastes, I don’t think more contribution to what passes for criticism would be of value. Not that I have anything against Dodos.

  27. johan says:

    @24 ET1swaw & @26 dave o: He is described somewhere in the books – can’t remember which one, sorry – as an irresponsible, lazy man who wants to spend all his time hunting and not governing.
    About Russia, I’m gonna take your word for it regarding all the things they would need when it comes to indutrialising. I don’t really know much about the science and mechanics of the process. The only thing that occured to me was the low level of literacy in Russia at the time. And that it took the ruthless Peter I to reform Russia in any meaningful manner. Before him they were largely isolationist, weren’t they? I remember reading that you had to have some special permission to even be allowed to leave the country, let alone deal with Catholics or Protestants.
    Oh, and dave, I think you’d be very amused by the rose-tinted glasses the arch-conservative monarchist communities use when they look at Charles I. Especially in Catholic cirles. Charles the Martyr indeed.

  28. dave o says:

    #27 Johan: Yes, I know. About a year ago I saw a book written (ghost-written for?) the current Stuart pretender. But I neglected to buy it. And there’s similar stuff for, not by. the Bourbon pretender of France. If the stuff I read is correct, there’s even nostalgia for the Romanov’s. I’m probably prejudiced on the subject but a worse dynasty I can’t imagine.

  29. Stanley Leghorn says:

    Curious. Would the boyars allow any of their own to rise to such a position of power? The weakness of the Romanovs was part of the reason they were acceptable, as long as the father was in the church. If he slept on the wrong side of the pillow and is out of the picture, I would expect another civil war rather than a single warlord to be able to take over the place. As to deals with the Turks, if there were land concessions for the tech assitance, I could see such a deal. Especially if the prime part of the deal was a guarantee of no war against Russia. “Until the next Sultan…”

    As to who was the worst dynasty, ALL of them produced real losers over time. The nature of beieving heridity is a better indication of skill than training, especially when you inbreed so badly. All the Monarchs in WW1 were cousins, including the Romanovs.

  30. johan says:

    @the Romanovs: Not only were they cousins, but look at pictures of Nicholas II together with George V. They were practically twins.
    There are more monarchists in countries like France, Portugal and Germany than most people realise. It really only began to suffer in France after the Pope chickened out and held the Vatican II council.
    And bear in mind when reading anything on the Romanovs and Bourbons that they have been the subject of a whole lot of smear camapigns and propaganda. Quite successfully too. Particularly Marie Antoinette and Nicholas II. Russia is just now starting to cast off decades of Soviet indoctrination and coming to terms with the last tsar.

  31. dave o says:

    #30 Johan: I was all set to respond to your post, when I realized that it wouldn’t have much to do with this snippet, or the ROF. Anyone who wants to re-evaluate Nicky is welcome to try. Then they can move on to Tsar Paul. And Nicholas II. And Alexander I.

  32. dave o says:

    Sorry, I meant Nicholas I

  33. johan says:

    @31 dave o: All I’m saying is don’t let your aversion to monarchy keep you from making objective conclusion. And don’t think I didn’t notice which monarchs you listed. I’m not arguing that Nicky was not exactly what Russia needed at the time, but keep in mind things are rarely that simple or one-sided.
    As an aside, it is always fascinating to talk about monarchy with Americans. :)
    And now I think I’ve gone off-topic enough.

  34. Jim says:

    Regarding the propeller getting in, I think it arrived before Baner’s army. In an earlier chapter of the ARC, it was stated that Baner announced a blockade before his army was close enough to enforce it systematically, but he began sending out cavalry patrols to look for contraband that had military uses. I don’t remember if that information made it into an earlier snippet. This snippet mentions that the wood haulers only saw 1 cavalry patrol.

  35. willem meijer says:

    @25 (Mike McDonald) and @34 (Jim) That’s very plausble. I had missed/forgotten the disorganised start of the siege.

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