|"Last Flight of the Swan of the East"|
|First Appearance||Leviathans: Armored Skies|
|Genre(s)||Steampunk Alternate History|
|Publication date||February, 2021|
"Last Flight of the Swan of the East" is a short work by Harry Turtledove published in Leviathans: Armored Skies (John Helfer, ed., February, 2021). The collection, published by Catalyst Game Labs, is a shared-universe anthology set in the steampunk alternate history world of the company's Leviathans table top game. The point of divergence came in 1878, when Franciszek Rychnowski, a Polish engineer regarded as a failed pseudoscientist in OTL, discovered electroid, a substance which enabled the development of the "leviathan" airships used in an analog of World War I.
Karl von Müller is the captain of the German commerce raider SMS Emden, also known as the "Swan of the East", as he was in OTL. His first officer is Hellmuth von Mücke, just as in OTL. However, this "Swan" is not a water vessel, but a leviathan. The story follows his exploits raiding Germany's enemies in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Thanks to the changes in the timeline, Japan is an ally of Germany, the U.S. enters the war immediately on the side of France, and the United Kingdom remains neutral.
In the story, the careers of Müller, Mücke, and the other crew of the Emden broadly follow their OTL careers, with changes to reflect their status as the crew of an airship and the altered belligerents of the Great War. Mücke even participates in daring raid on an enemy position before making his arduous and heroic journey home.