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Freedom v Brunhilda

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Picture inspired by Wonder Woman's adventure in the Brave and the Bold cartoon. The cartoon that worshipped the Bat.

Some observations on the Great War viewed from the perspective of Freedom (Captain Carol Anne Briggs) and Die Todesengel (Oberstleutnant Brunhilda Adelaar):

Bearing in mind that despite how heroic and powerful these two are, in the greater scheme of things, they cancel each other out. I rate them both as equal to Superman(which version??) in strength, determination and courage, but lacking x-ray vision. Freedom refuses to take lives, Brunhilda doesn't really care when it involves the other side's troops. But when irresistable force meets immovable object, nature takes its course, i.e. in a war of attrition, the side with more men and resources will win, hence the inevitable result of WW2 not being a German/Axis victory. So it's hard to actually have truly epic war stories aside from smashing a few divisions, battleships, trains, super bombers, robots etc. especially as these two tried to take their fight far from populated areas, unlike Zack Snyder's negligently mass-murdering Kal-El ("It's self-defense against terrorists, who cares if I flatten a couple thousand innocents in the process? I'm the good guy...").

Trying to be 'realistic' here, while dealing with the topic of 'superhumans who can move mountains during WW2'. Freedom is a woman, during a time when women weren't even supposed to be in the armed forces (It took Congress a long time to pass the WAAC Bill, allowing women to fill noncombatant roles in the armed forces, freeing up men for combat duties), let alone fight. Hence, her propaganda showgirl/pin-up girl/sex kitten routine, while at the same time being a guardian angel to American and Allied airmen, and clandestine operations. Brunhilda is also used defensively, except against Allied shipping (because the Germans wanted to protect their womenfolk from the horrors of war- but then again, there were also female SS camp guards).

What about the Soviets? Stalin encouraged Soviet scientific innovation and progress during the early 1930s, including the creation of Russian superheroes dubbed 'Bogatyri' (a deliberate propaganda association with old Russian folkloric heroes, watched over by Mother Russia and the paternal figure of Stalin as patron of progress, science and innovation). But Stalin being Stalin, monstrously paranoid in nature, feared them because they were so powerful and could depose him. So he had them all killed (what scientists create, scientists can also destroy) in great purges, as well as anyone he deemed disloyal. This included the armed forces, which led to the Soviet armed forces' early catastrophic defeats during the Great Patriotic War. There's an old story I read about the relationship between the GRU (military intelligence) and NKVD/KGB. Students in the GRU academy are asked "How many marshalls of the Soviet Union did the Hilterites kill? And how many by our friends in the NKVD/KGB?" Answer: "None, while our friends killed three."
www.historylearningsite.co.uk/…

The Nazis on the other hand valued the propaganda potential of superhumans, being living, breathing embodiments of Aryan supremacy, the Ubermensch destined to rule the world. Hitler also saw them as his children who would carry on National Socialist legacy to the stars. However, their early easy successes in WW2 delayed the super soldier programs, as priority was given to other projects, like bailing the Italians out in their miserable attempts at defending their empire in the Balkans and North Africa, as well as preparing for Operation Barbarossa. Horrific losses during the Russian Winter Campaign in 1941 and the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain saw the German juggernaut being halted. A period of readjustment ensued, in which the Germans took stock of their potential 'war-winners', e.g. the Tiger heavy tank, Panther (developed to counter the superb T-34), and accelerated their super soldier program. Freedom's official appearance over Europe in 1943 (before that, Freedom was involved in several undercover missions in Occupied Europe while Operation Payload decided how best to make use of her abilities, namely mastery of disguise/impersonation, super strength, flight and invulnerability) escorting ever increasing numbers of B-17 and B-24s bombarding the Reich terrified the German High Command, who rushed expensive Luftwaffe wunderwaffe into service to counter her. It was only with the arrival of Brunhilda that the Luftwaffe could effectively engage Freedom. They fought fierce battles over the Reich but it did not alter the course of the war. Similarly, the Nazi supersoldiers, as powerful as they were, were too few and could not be everywhere, and failed to stem the tide of overwhelming Western Allied and Soviet numbers. When you had tens of thousands of T-34s and Shermans rolling off the assembly line, measured against hundreds of German tanks, also destroyed in their hundreds, there was simply no chance.  Germany's resources-starved industrial capacity was unable to keep up with the demands of the conflict, and relentless Allied bombing raids German ground industrial capacity into the dust. Like the elite German formations, the Ubermensch metahumans could give the enemy a bloody nose and score local victories which looked great for propaganda newsreels, but in the greater scheme of things, there never was any hope, and they all died in whirling storms of steel and fire that decimated Eastern and Central Europe. All except Brunhilda.

Stalin belatedly revived his Bogatyri program after 1941, but when his scientists couldn't give him the results he needed quickly enough, he said 'screw this, I'll crush the Nazis with sheer weight of numbers', and did just that. He also had the scientific advisors who failed him shipped to Siberia or shot outright.

I have chosen to concentrate only on Freedom and Hilde. This does not mean there were no other metahumans involved in the conflict and that I am ignoring the contributions of other nations, such as Soviet, British, Commonwealth and other allied heroes, or even Axis ones, but I deliberately limited the scope, e.g. mostly daylight air operations over Western Europe (in this dimension only, thanks Olga!) from 1942-1945.

 

The genocide and ethnic cleansing the Nazis did was evil, OK. I'm just concentrating on Hilde and Carol here.

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My money is on Brunhilde. She looks MUCH more powerful than her opponent. There'd be a good fight, but Bru hilde would chop Freedom down to size in the end.