The Nazis had won the ultimate arms race.
And if any of the other Major Powers couldn't pull themselves back into contention at the least, those nations would be no more than the scrap metal that lay scattered across the sands of the Western Desert, at a place called El Alamein.
Early in July of 1942, the British Eighth Army under Claude Auchinleck stopped the German Panzerarmee Afrika under Erwin Rommel. However, when repeated attacks throughout the month failed to push the Germans back, Auchinleck ordered an end to offensive operations and worked to strengthen his defenses in order to meet the expected counteroffensive.
Bernard Montgomery relieved Auchinleck in August, and he prepared to go back on the offensive. In late October, the 220,000 men and 1,100 tanks of Eighth Army made their move. Against them stood 115,000 men and 550 tanks of Panzerarmee Afrika.
And, completely unknown to anyone in Eighth Army, two young women.
In truth, the women were hardly more than girls, a pair of twin sisters still in their early twenties.
Thus begins the story, inspired by the Epilogue to GeekSeven's "Liberty Belle" story.
The sisters are accidental byproduct of the German super-soldier project. Due to reasons beyond the control of the project directors, none of the male subjects survive the process. As a result of some kind of accident, the twin daughters of one of the scientists acquire incredible powers, even beyond the wildest dreams of the directors. Not only does each girl have the strength of more than a thousand men, they're bulletproof, artilleryproof, and then some.
Garbed in matching red and black costumes, the two Übermädchen not only stop the British attack, but lead the German counterattack, brushing aside any and all resistance Eighth Army can put in their way. Barely slowing down as they cross Eighth Army's original line, the Germans take Alexandria, Cairo, and continue on to take the Suez Canal.
With North Africa taken care of, the Übermädchen transfer to the Russian Front, where they start wreaking havoc.
Eventually the Brits manage to produce a superwoman of their own. She starts leading raids across the Channel into occupied France. Naturally, the mighty Wehrmacht stands no more chance against her than the British and Soviet military forces stand against the two Übermädchen.
The Brits prepare to send her to Middle East to retake the Suez Canal, but then the Germans counter with a third Übermädchen, the younger sister of the original pair. Donning a costume matching that of her sisters but of the third color of the national flag (see, there's a reason I chose that particular theme for the three Übermädchen, even if they aren't the blondes that true Aryan Übermädchen should be, and I'm sure DC never anticipated this particular usage when they created those variants), she starts tangling with the British superwoman, keeping her in Europe to protect England.
As invulnerable as they are, neither superwoman can kill the other, though there's a lot of collateral damage and casualties.
The two older Übermädchen prepare to return west to help out their younger sister. But their plans get derailed when the Soviets produce a superwoman of their own. (Or perhaps two, since I've got pics of blondes and brunettes in that red costume.)
Super-catfights ensue on both the Western and Eastern fronts. Neither side can gain enough of an advantage over the other. Blows that would have smashed through the thickest armor of a battleship don't even bruise smooth feminine skin. Conventional weapons, of course, are useless, barely tickling any of the superwomen.
The best thing any conventional military units finding themselves in the vicinity of a super-catfight is to flee in the opposite direction as fast as they can go.
The Commonwealth (probably Australia or Canada) manages to produce another superwoman, and she goes to the Middle East to attempt to retake the Suez Canal. But she is met there by an Italian superwoman. As usual, bullets merely bounce off these women. Another standoff ensues.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the Americans haven't exactly been idle. At first their top-secret Project Supersoldier goes nowhere. Studying the reports from Europe, they try a little experiment, and the experiment produces hopeful signs. Thus Project Superwoman is born, its goal to produce an army of superwomen to match or surpass those of the other nations.
The initial not-quite-superwomen merely have the strength of only a dozen or so men. More than adequate to bolster conventional military units, but as completely useless against other nation's superwomen as those conventional military forces.
Back to the drawing board. A little more experimentation, a little widening of the pool of test subjects, and the project is rechistened Project Supergirl.
Finally, success! The first three supergirls, in red, white, and blue costumes, all adorned with the symbol of Project Supergirl, go overseas to join the fray.
More super-catfights! More soldiers, sailors, and airmen getting killed when they get in the way, not to mention their tanks, ships, and airplanes getting destroyed.
So, who wins the global fracas? And what about the Pacific? Surely Japan and China aren't sitting by while the West develop the next generation of weapons?
Reinforced by the semi-superwomen, US forces sweep across the Pacific. A new secret weapon is being readied for use on a Pacific island when a couple of aircraft suddenly go missing. Radio messages are received from the island saying that they are under attack by a... Suddenly all communication is lost. Ships and planes miles away report a huge mushroom cloud rising into the sky.
Of course, no one sees the Japanese superwoman flying away. Not until she attacks and sinks an aircraft carrier and half its escorts.
I suppose eventually the American industrial might will swing the balance in favor of the Allies. While supergirls can't exactly be mass-produced like Sherman tanks and Flying Fortress bombers can be, the US continues to produce supergirls, and they eventually put an end to the Axis superwomen.
Then comes the Cold War. With the evidence that even the vanquished superwomen were proof against atomic bombs, no one on either side of the Iron Curtain bothers to expend much effort on further development of nuclear weapons. Instead, the effort is spent on further development of the only worthwhile superweapons, trying to make their women stronger, faster, and deadlier than those on the other side.
Well, that's the general idea. There are gaps, of course. What are these Superwomen named? Just how do these superwomen get produced? Why doesn't the process, whatever it is, work for anyone with a Y chromosone? Where do they get costumes that are almost as durable as their skin?
Would any country agree to a Strategic Superwoman Limitation Treaty? A Superwoman Test Ban?