The Prisoners of Silence - NSDAP 1936-1991 (History and background)
The Prisoners of Silence - A Global History of the Cold War
"We do not want war. We have done everything within our power to reach a peaceful solution. Even though the international community refuses to understand our rightful aims, we are willing to take strong and determined measures to release an oppressed nation from the shackles of tyranny and to remove the threat that is aimed against us. History will show that justice followed the success of our arms."
- Adolf Hitler, 1939
"Historical discourse has seen constant debate about the German victory in WWII during the postwar years, and many have even questioned whether the outcome of the war was a victory at all. This point of view is common among the Anglo-American authors, and from their works one can easily spot traces of the American wartime propaganda and it's central theme, Hitlers alleged megalomaniac quest for world dominance. They have chosen to retain such opinions even though archive material proving exactly the opposite has been public and available for use and study for decades.
Today it is more commonly acknowledged that the last war was primarily a freedom struggle of a single ideology and ethos against the wide coalition formed against it, and secondarily a war of liberation led by Germany but fought by all of Europe against the threat of international Bolshevism.
Germany did not seek global supremacy, not even a supremacy over Europe. She only wanted to secure her natural political position and status, and after her weapons had been successful in this struggle she acted according to her principles and worked towards the common good of whole Europe, with lasting peace and political and economical revival of the whole continent in mind..."
- August von Ranke, Der Weltgesichte III.
Pressburg, Reich 1984. Approved by Ministry of Information.
The year is 1991. It has been fourtyfour years since the war ended, and the 58-years old Third Reich still exists. Based on the alternative histories written by Mr. Sampsa Rydman and the developers of "Hiljaisuuden Vangit", this AAR describes the development that led to the current tripolar world and to the international situation called the Cold War between the three rivaling superpowers and political ideologies.
As a result of the postwar territorial changes, the former German Empire lost much territory to France and Poland, while Austria was forced to remain independent from Germany despite the pleas of Austrian Germans. The break-up of Austria-Hungary left millions of Germans and other nations as minorities to the areas of new states that the Entente set up to the ruins of the former Hapsburg Empire.
Postwar German view on history is based on the Nazi propaganda about the "shacles of Versailles" and uses this peace deal as the primary justification for WWII and the current situation of New Europe. The schooling systems of other member states of New Europe maintain a similar viewpoint - history teaching in Vichy France especially emphasizes the "foolish and irresponsible" policies the Third Republic promoted in 1918. Another standard Nazi propaganda theme in these schoolbooks is the way of portraying Germans as the primary victims of unjustified aggression and oppression that stops only when NSDAP seizes power and forcefully brings about the New Order for the benefit of Germany and whole Europe.*
*The Black Book of National Socialism, Great Britain, 1984.
Corrupted and rotten democracies of old were finally forced to stand aside from the path of progress in Europe in yearly 1930´s. A divine providence had chosen the German people as the forefighter of this new time. Led by the great visionare Adolf Hitler, Germany released herself from the shackles of oppression and injustice that had been her burden since treaty of Versailles, signed 1918. In order to be able to understand this ill-famed ”peace treaty” and the conspiracies behind it we must look back to the final, grim days of the Great War. For four long years the Germans had held their ground against the overwhelmingly superiour Entente Powers – four long years filled with suffering, strife and hunger. After the three mighty attack operations planned by General Lundendorff had just narrowly failed in their objectives of breaching the joint English-French lines the outcome of the war was statistically clear – The Central Powers were doomed to loose in the long run. Yet at the time the nature of this defeat was still to be desided – would the victors grant honorable terms for the defeated, our would the peace turn to shameful humiliation.
The armistice signed 11th of March, 1918 was followed by a peace treaty that aimed to fully dismantle the German army, to turn the industrial state to an agrarian one and drop the total population of 65 million to 45 by starving the German people by famine. In this dreadful agreement Germany agreed to withrawn from all territories her armies had conquered, while the victors would occupy the whole western bank of the Rhein. Germany was forced to surrender to Entente all of her artillery pieces, machineguns, air planes, her whole pre-war fleet, 5000 locomotives, 150 000 railway carriages, 584 000 agricultural machines ech. But even these staggering demands were not enough. The so-called Dawes Plan that aimed to subjucate the German people by hunger was carried out by taking from the country a total of 197 000 cows, 265 000 sheep, 275 000 hens and 39 000 beehives. Those who mock National Socialism should not forget the numbers presented above and their effects of economical and agricultural paralyze and the hunger, suffering and agony caused by them. Nor should they be suprised that when finally a leader, Führer, with an iron will, wisdom and keen insight raised up the torch of national revolution the whole nation gathered around him and his cause as one. ”You are holding the future of the world in your hands!”, President Poincaré of the French Republic noted in his seremonial greeting speech that opened the peace talks of Paris, 18th of January 1919.
Power politics - The High War Council of the Entente in a meeting in the last day of the Great War, 11th of December 1918.
Unlike President Wilson of the United States had hoped for, the negotiations became a forced peace dictated by the winners. ”No territorial gains, no war reparations and no hostile national alliances” - these were the three main principles of Wilson´s program with 14 paragraphs. Sir Lloyd George of Britain and Clemenceau of France, however, had their own plans. When the ”peace treaty” was published, it turned out that the outcome was something totally different that had been promised to the vanquished beforehand. Germany was stripped of 12% of her soil. These lost territories were a home to 10% of the country´s total population, and they were also among the best agricultural areas filled with critically important natural resources. All colonies, 90% of her trade fleet, one quarter of her fishing ships, all oversea cables and everything that had ever been German property overseas, private- or state-owned were also taken. And as already mentioned, Germany was forced to cedece all of her military equipment. General conscription had to be abolished. The very production of weapons and military equipment was forbidden. And finally, Germany was burdened with a so-called ”war reparations sum” - with an open value – in order to finally bleed the German nation dry should it be able to recover from all other decisive blows.
After the signing ceremony held at Versailles President Wilson bitterly quoted: ”This is no peace – this is a declaration of war.” Austria, with a population that had strongly favored to be joined within same state with Germany was set aside of their kin as an artificial state, while huge numbers of Poles, Hungarians, Croats and Slovaks were also stranded to wrong sides of the new borders. A high watermark of this madness, anger and vengefullness was met in the 231. Articla, where Germany was forced to admit of being alone guilty of causing the war. By this way the Entente Powers sought to potray themselves as victims of aggression, even though their militaristic policy was one of the main reasons to the Great War. Versailles also left it´s mark to the internal politics of Germany. Naturally a strong majority of the nation were against of signing the peace accord at all during the early 1919. A wawe of riots and demonstrations swept through the country. And when the victors finally blackmailed the German nation to agree with this deal, it was signed by three traitors: Mathias Erzberger, the leader of the Zentrum-party, Hugo Haase, the leader of the neutral socialists and Georg Bernhard, the main editor of the Vossische Zeitung. Erzberger was known for his defationistic policies already during the war.
When the prime minister of Great Britain, sir Lloyd George was visiting the new Germany in fall 1936 he asked the young girl that was his guide when and how she had became a National Socialist. The young lady, a doctorate of law by education answered: ”After the peace of Versailles, that insult against my country and people! I was forced to stay in in bed for a year because I was malnutritioned. My brother was sixteen when hunger got the better of him. Therefore I became a National Socialist, and I am happy and proud to be one!”
The Weimar Republic
Battles raged in the very streets of Berlin itself when the Spartacists, a radical and rebellious group of communists tried to overthrow the government.
The legasy of Versailles was terrible. The famine-ridden country fell to a complete anarchy, and money and stocks lost their value. The Communists initiated a revolution trying to emulate the events of Bolshevic Russia, and their Red Guards terrorized the population. The nation descended into a civil war. The country was taken over by corruption, chaos and rotten defaitism. Decadence and anarchy reigned and everyone seemed to be at war with one another. In addition the state was under a constant threat, being unarmed and unsafe while the threat of Bolshevism grew in the East. This was the situation when the National Socialists began their struggle. In the German Civil War of 1919 the communist Red Guards were opposed by different volunteer units and armed political detachments. The later-famous SS was originally just one of the descendants of these struggles, and initially it was merely the small bodyguard unit of the National Socialist party. It´s volunteer members protected the Party members of left-wing terror in public meetings. Later on this organization evolved to a racial-spiritual brotherhood and became the guardian of the security of the whole state.
Another key theme in postwar German education is the way to describe Weimar-era as a short period of chaos and desperation without paying any attention to the achievements of a democratic German state or the uncertain early stages of the Nazi party. According to this description, the only positive thing and the last hope of Germany during these dark times was the unstoppable determination of Hitler and his party.*
*The Black Book of National Socialism, Great Britain, 1984.
The National Socialists were early to realize whose advantage it was to keep the Nordic race shattered and divided. Like the Grand Admiral von Tirpitz wrote in his memoirs: ”Germany falls with Europe – and Europe with her.” The enemy tried to split the German society to internally and externally fragmented pieces, seeking once again to use an old trick it had succesfully used earlier in the downfall of the Holy Roman Empire. When the German people raised Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist party to lead them, strong and determined measures were thus immediately initiated to restore national unity and pride. Already in fall 1930 Hitler made speeches where he promised to erase unemployment, to get a sense of security back to the whole nation and to restore the German state to international arena as an equal with other major powers.
In the beginning the National Socialists had to struggle with the communists and the major capitalistic parties. After a long fight at 1933 they had finally secured a 43,9% of the votes, and together with his allies Hitler held an absolute majority in the Reichstag. His party declared that Germany would return to it´s position as the leading power of Europe. When he was became the new Reichschancellor, the country was finally reorganized under National Socialist principles with overwhelming support of the German people. Historian August von Ranke has made a following comparison of the German and Soviet systems: ”It´s noteworthy that a system that so openly declared it´s antidemocratic nature got a full support of the people in open and fair elections, while the system that claimed to be democratic could only claim power by force of arms, terror and coups.” In a short period of time Hitler managed to raise his country from the status of a wrecked ruin and transform it to a major European power. This would not have been possible without great sacrifices and determined, strong state leadership. The wellfare created by the National Socialists even made many former communists to change their opinions and turn to supporters of NSDAP. Hitler´s early major achievements were the total removal of unemployment and the creation of a unified German state that ended the earlier situation where Reich had been composed of various self-governing provinces that had wasted their time with petty arguments and corruption. As a part of the state-level reorganization the new government honored the promises it had made to the working class: working times and minimum wages were set, and a new social security system was created. The well-being of the working class was improved with all means avainable: with free vacation travels, cruises and the general improvement of working conditions. The corrupted economic system was reformed with the idea of national self-sustenance in mind.
By 1933 the German gold reserves had dropped to zero, and the the country was living by foreign imports. Hitler balanced this situation by supporting national research and production. Syntethic replacements were developed for such materials that weren´t present in national soil. These included buna, the synthetic rubber and synthetic fuel converted from charcoal. Hitler´s foreign policy was to unite all the Germanic nations and to create a unified European front against the aggressive Soviet-bolshevism of Russia. The early days of Hitler´s career were filled with political triumphs. Saar, Memel, Austria and the Sudetenland joined the Reich one by one between the 1936-1938. The reactionary Western powers tried to stem this course of development, but were forced to accept that the era of dictating policy was now long since gone. The political solution to the Sudetenland crisis was the last bloodless victory of Hitler. The treaty signed in München enabled the majority of the 3,2 million Sudeten Germans to join to the Greater Germany, and huge crowds of cheering people greeted the Wermacht units that entered to the Sudetenland after the agreement had ceded these territories to the Reich. This crisis was soon followed with the total collapse of the Czechoslovakian state, proving the artificial nature of this creation of Versailles. Slovakia declared independence and after the Slovakian President Tiso requested assistance from Hitler, the German troops secured the areas of Bohemia and Moravia and the two regions joined to Reich as autonomic protectorates. This operation was absolutely necessary and in reality it prevented a new civil war in the territories of the former Czechoslovakia, but in the Western propaganda it was purposely misinterped as a sign of Hitler´s foul intentions. When the political siege-system, the ”little Entente” created by France and England was thus neutralized, the reactionary Western governments were now seriously considering the use of military force in order to stop Germany. The new National Socialist state was facing the threat of being strangled death to it´s cradle.
The Anti-Komitern Pact was a joint European answer for the threat of the communist internationale.
Mussolini joined to the Anti-Komintern Pact in 1937, when Germany and Italy had been able to solve their mutual disagreements caused mostly by the Austrian question. In the Austrian Civil War of 1934 Mussolini had supported Dollfuss and his Austrofacists while NSDAP had supported the National Socialists. This new connection with Italy was absolutely necessary for the future of Europe, but unfortunately it complicated Führers sincere goal of forging an alliance with Britain, since Italy and the UK had different goals in the Mediterranean region. The Rome-Berlin Axis was the first step towards a New Europe where friendly and proggressive governments would together solve their disputes peacefully and diplomatically, but sadly the old powers of Europe were unwilling to accept such a future. Their insane fears and bloodlust ultimately doomed the German diplomatic efforts to fail and drove the world into a new war.
The claim that the British Empire faced no threat from the rising power of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany is another often recurring theme in the German schoolbooks. In the official German history, the real enemy comes from the East and the reactionary and conservative governments of France and Britain foolishly endanger the future of whole Europe by stubbornly resisting the rise of Germany.
*The Black Book of National Socialism, Great Britain, 1984.
Source: History to Elementary Schools, State Department of Study Material, 1984. Approved by Ministry of Information.
The political mistakes of the Western powers led to the point where the alliance formed by France and Great-Britain declared war to Germany in 1st of September 1939. Before this happened these two belligerent governments had done everything in their power to prevent peaceful negotiations that Hitler wanted in order to correct the most insane creation of the Versailles Treaty – the artificial ”Polish corridor” that separated the historical German core territories of Eastern Prussia from the rest of the Reich. Germany now rightfully requested this strip of land to be returned in exhange of German compensations. The French alliance system set up on Eastern Europe had by now collapsed under the masterful diplomatic manouvres of Führer, and only Poland and Soviet Union remained as potential allies of the Entente in 1939. To prevent a disastrous two-front war the Führer had been forced to forge a temporary truce with the Soviet Union, known as the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.
While the actual information is buried to the closed archives of Third Reich and USSR or more likely destroyed, Western historians generally believe that this document included a secret protocol that´s very existence has been strictly denied by the German government up to this day. Presumably this protocol temporarily divided Eastern Europe to Nazi and Soviet spheres of interest and allowed the Soviet Union to annex the Baltic states, Bessarabia and eastern Poland without German intervention. Later on the Red Army performed poorly against the Finnish troops during the Winter War, further convincing the German leaders that the Red Army could be beaten.
The Black Book of National Socialism, Great Britain 1984.
The lies spread by the French lured the Poles to be unforgivingly stubborn in the negotiations about the fate of Danzig and the ”corridor”, and they were simultaneously encouraged to resolt to violence if necessary. The guarantees made by the French and the British indeed encouraged the Polish authorities to commit more and more anti-German atroxities in the occupied territories. When the news of these events reached Berlin the Führer gave the order to prepare a massive strike that would begin as soon as Polish military would violate the national territory of Reich itself. This operation, codenamed Fall Weiss, began at 1st of September 1939 when a Polish sabotage patrol was stopped in the borderzone when it was sneaking back to Poland. When it became clear that Germany would not allow this insult to her national sovereignty to pass, the governments of France and Britain showed their true colours and declared war. But this time Germany was ready, and much to the surprise and schock of the Western warmongers and the whole world it quickly became apparent that the Polish Army was no match for Germany´s modern and well-trained troops. Poland was forced to surrender after a mere eighteen days of warfare. But the bitter lessons of the Great War were still vividly remembered by the Germans. Despice her fast recovery from the slumber of Weimar years, Germany was not prepared for a new major war since both her economy and armed forces were still far from ready. The Z-Plan that aimed to rearm the new Kriegsmarine had only recently begun, and in the numbers of other offensive weapons such as submarines, airplanes and tanks Germany was also seriously outclassed by her foes. After the fall of Poland the Allies didin´t take their chances of breaching the German defenses of ”Westwall." Instead they once again initiated a ruthless war of attrition by starting a new naval blockade. The Western powers sought to isolate Germany from her sources of raw materials and consumer goods and deny her access to the Atlantic. The Royal Navy mined the routes used to ship iron ore from Sweden, and a joint French-English military expedition was planned to invade and occupy Norway. Denmark was also heavily pressured. In these circumstanses it was just natural that Germany dispatched her own troops to defend the freedom of the Nordic countries. Hitler´s strategic insight made it possible to Germans to reach Norway just barely before the Allied invaders, and thus the Anglo-French offensive was repulsed. By now it was clear that time was running out - once the vast resources of Western colonial empires could be fully brought to bear, Germany would be doomed. Firmly aware of this the Führer once again risked everything for the freedom of Germany, and started a general offensive in the West. Once again the Western warmongers met a bitter setback. Despite the numerically superiour enemy troops the German offensive led to spectacular success. The excellent training and the overall superiourity of German operational strategy and tactics more than made up the flaws of the early German tanks and airplanes.
Official history of New Europe maintains discreed silence about the actual nature of German invasion and the events of the later occupation of Denmark, Norway, Holland and Belgium. The initially highly unsure outcome of Battle of France is also left out along with all references to the desperate resistance the armed forces of these small neutral states mounted against the Nazi invaders.
The Black Book of National Socialism, Great Britain 1984.
Field Marshal Pétain was a man of reason who wanted to end the circle of violence between the two mighty European nations.
After a mere month of fierce fighting Germany was able to defeat the best forces of the French Army and their British allies in Benelux-countries and nothern France, and the rotten structure of the French Republic collapsed entirely as France surrendered on 25th of June 1940. After the war the new French Head of State, Marchall Pétain, often reminded his people that the German military could have easily occupied the whole country in this situation, but Germany didin´t do this because it did not seek to destroy France, but instead wanted her valuable and necessary help in the task of creating a New Order in Europe. This goal could not be met with destruction and devastation, and therefore the war was stricly limited to the defeat of the enemy armed forces. This happened – like in Belgium and Holland – so quickly and efficiently that the defeated enemies of the Reich were simply amazed of the outcome. As a soldier himself, Pétain had quite correctly understood that it was necessary to make peace after he had witnessed the situation in the front. The old marshall had realized that he had to find a way to stop the hostilities between the strongest powers of continental Europe once and for all, so that Germany and France could finally find a common ground and thus stop the vicious circle of future wars where the European nations would again tore one another apart and thus pernamently render themselves as mere puppets of foreign powers. The British ground forces hastily withrew back to their island from their encirclement in Dunkirk, and now the island nation led by Winston Churchill alone stood against Hitler. The survival of the Nordic race demanded brotherhood and alliance between the British Empire and the Reich, but Churchill rejected all suggestions of peace that could have quaranteed the survival of the British Empire and the unification of Europe. Churchill put his hope on warmongering cirles in the government and business life of the United States of America, a country that was already in this point openly hostile towards Germany and actively supported both Britain and Soviet Union with weapons and financial aid. As diplomatical solution was once again rejected due the hostile attitude of Western leaders, the Führer had no other options but to continue the war and try to force the British to accept peace by military means. The hope of peace in the Western Europe faded away. The German economical miracle of the 1930´s had allowed her to start an ambitious re-armament program that was necessary to counter the growing threat of Bolshevism. The political miscalculations of Western corrupted politicians however lead to the sad fact that Germany was forced to use these weapons against France and Britain first. But while Germany had by now proven the might of her military by swiftly and decisively defeating all obstacles set to her path, the war was far from over.
Praise for the Vichy French and Petainism is a standard part of history books in whole New Europe, and the collaboration policy initiated by Petain is used as an example of the noble intentions and mutually beneficial nature of New Order. Perhaps the most blantant lie is the way the true motives of the German unsuccessful attempt to subjugate Britain in 1940 are left out, and the defeat of Luftwaffe in the skies of Britain and the grand plans for Operation Seelöwe are left out, and only referred as Hitlers reluctant and half-hearted attept to force Britain to accept peace after Churchill has rejected the "generous peace terms" dictated by the Third Reich.
History to Elementary Schools, State Department of Study Material, 1984. Approved by Ministry of Information.[/SIZE]
Escalation and Total War - Crusade against Bolshevism
German infantry in the East during the early stages of liberation of Ukraine. After Winston Churchill had stubbornly kept the British Empire at war against the Axis, the war soon escalated through the globe. In February 1941 Erwin Rommel, a commander who had already proven his worth during the Battle of France, was sent to command the German-Italian Axis forces that were tasked to tie down the British colonial troops deployed in Egypt and the Middle East. During the same year the war escalated in the Far East as well. Here the Japanese Empire was forced to launch a highly successful offensive against the Anglo-American imperialism after the Americans had imposed a lethal economic blockade that left the Japanese leaders with no other options but to go to war in order to obtain the resources necessary for the survival of Japanese economy.
By leaving the pre-war situation in Asia and the economic cooperation between the Republic of China and Germany out from the basic history schools the official Nazi truth once again avoids difficult questions about the opportunistic nature of German foreign policy. The fact that Japan in fact started the war with a surprise attack against the United States is also passed without mention.
The Black Book of National Socialism, Great Britain 1984.
While Germany and Entente clashed in the West, the rising threat of the Soviet Union made the countries of Eastern Europe and Balkans to join the Axis one by one in the beginning of the year 1941. In Yugoslavia anti-German factions staged a coup soon after the country had signed a pact of cooperation with the Reich, and the Axis countries were forced to send their troops in to secure peace and legal order within the country and in neighbouring Greece, where British troops had landed in yet another attempt to set up a secondary front in European continent to tie down Axis troops. But while Germany and Entente fought, the Soviet Union had been preparing for war without delay. The Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov blackmailed Berlin with more and more demands that should be met in order to preserve peace. After the occupation of Lithuania Molotov declared in summer 1940 that Soviet Union wanted to annex Finland. This was something that Hitler could no longer accept. The German intelligence reported that the main forces of the Red Army had been deployed to the German border, and that they would be ready to attack in fall 1941 or spring 1942. The scale of the Red Army preparations and the strength of the Soviet armed forces were growing by the day, and Europe was running out of time. And while some used the outcome of the Finno-Soviet border war fought in winter 1939 as a proof of the weakness of the Soviet military, these optimists completely ignored the huge re-organization of the Red Army that had been ongoing for two years in 1941. The wide economical support that the United States secretly gave to their Communist allies must also be taken into consideration when measuring the strength of the Bolshevik military. Being once again driven into corner by the aggressive schemes of international warmongers, Hitler once again made a bold decision and decided to strike first. The Crusade against Bolshevism began in 22nd of June 1941, and Germany now had Finland, Italy, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria as her allies. In addition volunteers arrived all over from Europe: from the occupied Baltic countries, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Croatia and France. The offensive formations of the Red Army were crushed to the border regions, and Axis armored spearheads rushed forth towards their objectives deep in European Russia. During the late summer and early fall the Soviets suffered enormous defeats and losses in a series of huge encirlement battles fought in all parts of the wide Eastern Front. In the North the Finnish troops recaptured the territories they had lost in winter 1939-1940 and released large parts of East Karelia from the Red terror, while the Romanians were also able to liberate their enslaved countrymen and recapture Bessarabia. The only advantages that the Red Army now had left were the sheer size of the battlefield and their seemingly endless reserves of manpower and equipment. Yet the feared Russian winter didin´t arrive in time to save Stalin and his cronies. Leningrad was besieged and German troops entrenched themselves to the suburbs of Moscow after they had successfully reached the Soviet capitol as part of the winter offensive of Operation Typhoon. In order to drive the Axis forces out from their beloved capitol the Soviets sended in their Siberian reinforcements that were accustomed and trained for winter warfare. The battles fought during the cold winter of 1941-42 ensured that the frontlines of Europe pushed the battleworn Axis troops to the very limits of their endurance, but ultimately the Soviet counterattack failed to dislodge Germans from Moscow.
German paratroopers, veterans of the successful campaigns of Benelux countries and Norway spearheaded Operation Typhoon with large-scale airborne assaults, securing important road junctions, bridges and airfields near Moscow. The experiences gained from this largest German airborne operation of WWII greatly affected the strategic thinking of post-war German strategists.
The soldiers of 7th Flieger and 22.Luftlande-Infanterie-Division had winter equipment and were accustomed to defend themselves even when encircled. These units were used in small "penny packets" during the defence of the Moscow salient during the winter. The legandary Fallschirmjägers were able to hold the lines but suffered heavy casualties during the difficult winter of 1941-1942.
The spring of year 1942 marked the beginning of the second German offensive in the East when an attack was launched towards Caucasus and Volga as soon as the muddy season had passed and the ruined remains of Moscow were finally firmly in Axis control. Asking no quarter and giving none, Heeresgruppe Süd was ultimately able to achieve the objectives of this operation by reaching the shores of Volga and advancing deep to the mountains of Caucasus, capturing Maikop and separating the oilfields of Baku from the rest of the Soviet Union. The Soviet leadership was firmly aware of the gravity of their overall strategic situation, and in winter 1942 the Red Army once again furiously counterattacked by launching Operation Saturn, a surprise offensive aimed against the weak Axis forces defending Caucasus. The poorly equipped Romanian, Italian, Hungarian and Ukrainian forces were unable to stop the heavy Soviet assault, and the situation in the south looked grim as large parts of Caucasus were lost and the southernmost Axis armies were on the verge of being cut off and encircled. After the Germans had moved the bulk of their strategic reserves south and defeated the Soviet attempt to split Heeresgruppe Süd on the steppes around Kotelnikovo, another major Soviet counteroffensive began in the Moscow region in spring 1943. The ambitious Operation Kutuzov aimed to encirle the Axis forces to Soviet capitol and then destroy them there.
The Red Army struck furiously against the battleworn German forces around Moscow during the Soviet counter-offensive in winter 1941-1942, and casualties were heavy for both sides.
The battles fought during the time between 1942-1943 in the Eastern Front decided the outcome of the war. By May 1943 the Red Army had decimaded most of it´s well-trained reserves in huge, inconclusive counterattack operations and the following war of manouver fougth around Moscow, in the shores of Volga and steppes of upper Caucasus. The morale of Bolsheviks was staggering when besieged Leningrad was finally forced to surrender and Germans managed to retain their control of of Moscow, stop the Soviet offensive in the south and ultimately push the tired Red Army units back to Volga. Now the overall situation became increasingly difficult for STAVKA due the fuel shortages caused by the loss of pipelines to Baku, while the Soviet railway network had lost its center in Moscow and was thus in a desperate need of extensive reconstruction to ease the difficult supply situation. But while the Germans seemed to be successfull, the tired and depleced units that held the frontlines in late 1943 were a totally different army than the one that had marched towards East in 1941. Many post-war researches have later emphasized that without the succesfully implemented occupational policies of Ostministerium and the following political events that took place place in Russia, the outcome of the war might well have been totally different should the war have continued longer than it did.
Operation Typhoon, one of the most critical campaigns of the Eastern Front. In late fall 1941 the German offensive managed to severe the important rail junctions around the area and gain a defendable foothold inside the city itself, but the Russians refuced to abanon their capitol and fought on, launching a major counter-offensive that nearly encirled the German speardhead to the city.
The official textbook version of the Nazi campaign of conquest in Soviet Union is filled with praise to the common Axis soldiers, and still describes the Red Army as a huge demoralized horde driven to slaughter by their merciless Comissars. The actual goals and initial plans for the future of occupied Soviet Union are left out, replaced by propaganda praising the New Order in the East.
The Black Book of National Socialism, Great Britain 1984.
The industrial might of capitalistic United States enabled them to produce massive amounts of weaponry. American Sherman medium tanks advancing in Morocco in 1942.
Despite their official neutrality, the United States of America had been actively participating to the WWII since 1940. American destroyers attacked German subs in Atlantic and the country supported both Britain and Soviet Union, supplying them with weapons and raw materials. The United States finally turned the war global when they initiated an oil embargo against Japan in 1941. Because Hirohito´s Empire had to import 2/3 of their necessary raw materials abroad, Japan was now effectively driven into a corner by this aggressive American economic move. The Japanese felt humiliated and swore revenge. After they had surprised the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbour, the Japanese launched their advance through Asia, conquering themselves a whole empire without meeting effective resistance anywhere. The conquest of Philippines and Malaga were followed by capture of Singapore, Hongkong, Sumatra, Jawa, Borneo, Celebes, New Guinea, Thailand and Burma. But despite this remarkable early success Japan was woefully ill-prepared for a long war when compared to Germany. Her industrial capasity was only 1/10 of the American equivalent. As the initial knock-out blow against the US Navy had failed and the war prolonged, the outcome of the conflict became increasingly clear.
The official war entry of the USA also radically changed the balance of power in Europe, when American troops invaded North Africa in 1942. Rommel, who had scored numerous earlier victories against the Western Allies was soon afterwards assigned to plan the defense of Europe against the possible invasion of the Western powers after the bulk of Axis forces in Africa were succesfully evaquated from Tunis Brigdehead in 1943.
After they had driven the Axis forces out from Libya and Tunisia, the Anglo-American forces invaded Sicily. Luckily for Germany this new danger in Mediterranean came too late to save the crumbling war effort of Soviet Union. In order to save his own dictatorship from a threat of a new civil war, Stalin betrayed his allies and signed a separate armistice with the Axis powers in Kirovograd in 1943. After this tremendous Axis victory the Allied offensives in the Italian Front Italy were gradually stopped due the determined defense and bad terrain. The final turning point of the war came when the much-avaited Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy, was initiated in 6th of June 1944. As the situation in Soviet Union was getting out of hand and Roosevelt and Churchill were still hoping that they could lure Stalin back to the war by creating the "second front" the Soviet dictator had in vain demanded from them for years, many Allied strategists saw this risky invasion plan as the last possible chance to win the war in Europe.
“Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available.The troops, the Air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”
Memo of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, 7.6.1944.
Postwar research have indicated that in addition to bad weather, few key decisions likely solved the ultimate outcome of Operation Overlord just few weeks before the actual invasion took place. Field Marschall Erwin Rommel, the leader of the defence of the Atlantic Wall ultimately had his way in the strategic debate within the German military leadership, and the 12th SS-Pander Division ”Hitlerjugend” was indeed placed around Carentan according to Rommel´s plan of a static defense at the beaches supported with a strong armored reserve placed close to the potential invasion targets. And had he indeed been on a vacation as previously planned, nobody would have most likely dared to make the critical decision to send the 21. Panzer-Division to Normandy before the Allies would have secured their initial beachead. Without these critical decisions history might well be different. But as we all know, Rommel managed to defend his viewpoint in the strategic debate and he was present at his HQ when the Allies hit the beaches on 6th of June. Yet it would be over-simplification to point these events as the main reasons for the failure of Allied invasion plan. For example, Gen. Dietrich Kraiss, the commander of the defense of the American invasion zone codenamed ”Omaha”, had earlier reluctantly followed Rommel´s order by placing the majority of his forces to the defense of the beach itself against his personal will. Postwar historians have often argued that if Kraiss had indeed placed his second infantry regiment further inland to act as a reserve against possible paratrooper attacks, the Americans might have been able to seize a beachead, and the original plan of linking up the American and Commonwealth landing zones might have thus been feasible after all. It is easy to understand why these postwar historical hypotheses enjoy such popularity in Britain and US. The failed invasion attempt costed the Allies 100 000 casualties, 4000 airplanes, 24 warships and 155 transports. This defeat also slowed down the war in the Pacific and greatly contributed to the fact that the Allies favoured air war to amphibious landings in their final attacks against Japan, culminating to the nuclear bombs dropped to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The catastrophic defeat of the American amphibious assault in "Omaha Beach" became a powerful symbol in the postwar internal politics of US and UK. In the following elections the peoples of Britain and United States clearly showed that they had grown tired of being forced to send their sons and husbands to fight and die in continental Europe.
Normandy indeed became one of the turning points of the war, but not the way Churchill, Roosevelt and the Allied strategists had envisioned. Bad weather and the quick reaction of defenders turned the amphibious assault into a bloodbath that failed to win defendable beacheads in continental Europe after Field Marshall Erwin Rommel quickly marched his armored reserves to the front. These fresh German reinforcements stopped and defeated the Allied attempts of reaching their first-day objectives in a series of bloody battles, and the invasion was called off. This massive disaster costed Eisenhower his career, and severely demoralized the Allied war effort in general.
Gloomy Churchill and Eisenhower after receiving the news from Normandy. After the failure of Operation Overlord Roosevelt made the formerly popular Allied general to bear the blame for the catastrophe and removed him from his former position. Eisenhower bitterly retired from public life soon after the war ended.
Roosevelt and Churchill had earlier met one another in Casablanca during spring 1943. Here they had declared that they would demand ”unconditional surrender” from the Axis powers. Now when the chances to defeat them by the means of ground warfare seemed to fade, the Allied planners decided that Germany and other Axis nations would be defeated primarily by the means of an air bombing campaign that would render them unable to continue to fight and supply their armies in the field. Only after this the Allied ground forces would be sent in to "mop up" the demoralized resistance. This ruthless plan was devised by the psychological advisor of the RAF, F. Lindemann.
By leaving the earlier German strategic bombing campaigns against Britain out from their official story, the Nazi propaganda once again turns the aggressive Third Reich into an innocent victim that is forced to defend itself against Allied aggression. By focusing the blame from the war to the persons of Churchill and Roosevelt the textbook version of history demonizes these leaders and tries to show their determined struggle against Hitler as an insane effort that only caused unnecessary suffering and death for millions.
The Black Book of National Socialism, Great Britain 1984.
Allied bomber armada in the skies of the industrial region of Ruhr.
When the full industrial might of the United States was now utilized to support the Allied bombing campaign, the war became total. The massive armadas of American and British bombers filled the skies of Europe, and a relentless bombing campaign aimed to crush Germany´s industrial capabilities, infastructure and fighting spirit ensued. The war in the air raged on without pause until the autumn of 1945, when the Allied Bomber Command was finally forced to stop to reorganize their forces due the mounting losses caused by improved German air defenses.
The P1065, that became the most famous of Hitler´s ”secret weapons” - Me-262A jet fighter, nicknamed ”Turbo” and ”Stormbird.” These revolutionary aircrafts allowed the Luftwaffe to successfully contest the air superiourity above the battlefields of Normandy in June 1944 and cover the German counterattacks and troop movements.
The next major change in the overall strategic situation occurred when the British supply convoys that had been harassed by German "grey wolves" during the whole war were once again put under increasing pressure during the year 1945 when Admiral Dönitz was finally able to bring the new revolutionary submarine models to Atlantic with sufficient numbers. Even massive allied bombing campaign failed to stop the production and actions of the new U-boots, since all training and production centers had been decentralized and placed underground.
German Type XXI "Electro"-boats were truly revolutionary in design.
While both sides were now preparing for a prolonged war, some kind of exit from the stalemated situation was sought with increased effort. As diplomacy and traditional conventional warfare had failed to bring about satisfactory results, the scientists of both sides were now trying to alter the balance of power by developing new ”secret weapons.” While the German propaganda boasted about the success of such new equipment that was being taken to field use during the years 1944-1946, the Allies were also developing a secret weapon of their own – the atomic bomb.
History to Elementary Schools, State Department of Study Material, 1984. Approved by Ministry of Information.
A Japanese Kamikaze-pilot preparing for his last flight. Despite their iron will to defend their way of life and homeland to the death, the Japanese Empire was in a hopeless position in 1945.
As the war dragged on, the extensive pre-war investments to German rocketry research finally bore fruit in the form of ”Vergeltungswaffen”, the V1 and V2 strategic rockets. The V-1 could be called the first primitive cruise missile, while the V-2 was a forerunner of modern ICBM:s. Especially the latter type proved efficient, since it was next to impossible to intercept with WWII-era antiair weapons. The V-rockets were an important addition to the list of the German "Wunderwaffen" that already included "Wasserfall"-type anti-air missiles and jet fighters that finally allowed Luftwaffe to wrestle the air superiority above the Reich back to German hands. Determined German air defense in the skies of Europe finally met success when Allies were forced to call of their bombing campaign and reorganize their strategic air forces due the heavy casualties in autumn 1945. This victory in the air was largely won because of the efforts and work of Air Marshall Wolfgang Ritter who had strongly favored the development of jet fighters, rocketry and other promising futuristic designs from the beginning of his career.
Lord Halifax was the reluctant dove of the new British leadership.
Defeats in land, sea and air were now forcing the Allies to seriously reconsider their overall strategy. In Britain the scandalous defeat of Operation Overlord contributed much to the electoral defeat of Conservatives and Churchill´s following resignation. The new cabinet was formed by Lord Halifax, who publicly spoke for ”achieving a honorable peace.” In the United States President Roosevelt´s health quickly deteriorated and he died in April 12th 1945 as a sad and broken man. After his death (and the deaths of thousands of American soldiers who had died in Normandy during Operation Overlord) the Americans were more eager to listen politicians who opposed the war in Europe. The new President Harry S. Truman thus focused his immediate efforts to the Pacific theatre, where the defeat of Japan loomed in the horizon. Here the war raged on merely because the Japanese fought on with fanatical determination and refused to comply with the American demand of unconditional surrender, holding true to their ancient religion and military code of honor. By 1945 the frontlines in Pacific had been pushed to the outskirts of Home Islands and Japan was already de facto defeated: her merchant fleet had been largely sunk, IJN was a mere shadow of its former strength and Japan was thus totally isolated from the rest of the world and couldn't no longer even effectively feed her starving population. The Americans used their nearby airbases and Carrier Groups to conduct a major strategic bombing campaign that followed the outlines of the bombing of Germany during the previous years. But unlike Germany, Japan had no means to stop these attacks and her industrial capacity and infrastructure were soon devastated. Japan contacted the United States and asked for chances for a honorable surrender, but the request was denied. Determined to fight to the bitter end the Japanese thus prepared ”to defend their islands, whatever the cost may be.” Meanwhile the Allies were weary of sustaining huge numbers of new casualties in a new amphibious assault, and instead sought to end the war with different means. President Truman issued the order to use a new kind of weapon that the top-secret Manhattan Project had produced, and the world changed forever. On 6th of August 1945 American bomber ”Enola Gay” dropped the first nuclear bomb used in war to the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and when a second bomb was dropped to Nagasaki three days later the Japanese were willing to surrender without conditions. General MacArthur accepted the Japanese surrender in the deck of the battleship ”Missouri” at 2nd of September 1945.
The Japanese surrender ceremony satisfied the public opinion in the United States, and allowed the United States to focus its resources against Germany and remaining European Axis powers.
Despite the fact that the Germans immediately publicly swore to revenge all possible attempts to use such weapons against the Reich, the Allied leadership ultimately agreed to use nuclear weapons against the Third Reich as well. But the first strike that was aimed to be a "nuclear warming shot" failed when the bomber squadron assigned to the mission against Berlin was successfully intercepted and the bomb-carrying B29 "Carolina Moon" was shot down by German jets. At this point this was especially severe setback for the Allies, since their air strategists now opted to spare the few remaining A-bombs in order to grow the nuclear stockpile as a preparation for a concentrated nuclear bombing campaign that would take place in 1948. The war thus continued to the following spring as a nervous stalemate until the world watched film footage and photographs of the first successful German nuclear test taking place in the steppes near Astrakhan, witnessed by group of journalists and scientists from neutral countries. As a part of this grand demonstration of German scientific might it was also publicly announced that Germany would henceforth retaliate against any atomic attack by using atomic weapons as well. Both sides were thus forced to agree that continuing the war in these circumstances would be insane, and the armistice talks mediated by the neutral Sweden led to the signature of Zürich Accord, signed 22nd of April 1946. With the WWII finally over, the necessary development towards an unified Europe had finally reached it´s conclusion after years filled with sacrifice and destruction. As the global conflict withered down to partisan warfare waged within the new borders of the German sphere of interest, the uneasy stalemate brought to being nuclear weapons became the new status quo, and diplomats soon began to call this new situation in international affairs with the term ”Cold War.”
Project Virus House provided the final the "secret weapon" for the Reich - fortunately it was also the only one never used.
The whole German nuclear program and especially the Astrakhan Nuclear Test have caused much debate ever since the end of the WWII, and the experts are still unsure whether the Third Reich actually had workable nuclear bomb and a delivery system ready in 1946.
The Black Book of National Socialism, Great Britain 1984.
History to Elementary Schools, State Department of Study Material, 1984. Approved by Ministry of Information.
The atmosphere of the negotiations in Zürich was icy and bitter.
The Conference of Zürich
Before the year 1943 the WWII had been fought with the principle ”winner takes it all”, and the enemies of the Axis were not willing to compromise from their goals. But the German separate armistice with Soviet Union and the failure of the Operation Overlord finally forced the Western Allies to reconsider their grand strategy. The policy of ”unconditional surrender” supported by Winston Churchill (1874-1965) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) received meager support in the next parliamentary elections, and the new Labour-government of Britain was openly seeking a way to end the war through negotiations. After the death of Roosevelt the United States led by President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) also focused to the defeat of Japan and wanted to bring the hostilities in Europe into some kind of acceptable end without the need of sacrificing more American lives. The treaty signed in Zürich after six months of negotiations was not a true peace treaty. In reality it was only an mutual recognition of the new status quo. While the war officially ended in 1946, one could quite realistically claim that in a way the war became a permanent state of international politics between the new superpowers. The Zürich Accord defined the spheres of influence between the Axis and Allies in continental Europe from Narvik to Elba. Italy became a flashpoint, since it was divided into southern part occupied by Allies and northern part controlled by RSI, the German puppet state, and more importantly because the Civil War fought between Fascist, Communist and Liberal militias still raged on in the whole country.
While both sides entered to these negotiations with the goal of keeping Italy unified as one economic area, it soon became clear that at the current international situation such plans could never turn into reality. The free elections that the US required were only held in the Allied occupation zone in the south, where the conservative government of Pietro Badoglio (1871-1956) fell and a wide democratic coalition of antifascists led by Invanoe Bonom, Benedetto Croce and Palmiro Togliatti rose to power. Vatican´s resistance to the rising tide of Communism led to polarization of the political atmosphere in RSI as well, and the public mood was well portrayed in Roberto Rossellini´s film "Rome – Divided City" (1948.) The last attempts to solve the problems of Italy in Zürich at December 1947 were inconclusive, and no further meetings were held. The next time when the Reich and USA would engage in any kind of official diplomatic negotiations would be in Istanbul Summit nearly a decade later. Italy remained divided. And neither the Democratic Republic of Italy, ruled by badoglionists and antifacists nor the fascist Sálo-based government of RSI, Repubblica Sociale Italiana, were willing to acknowledge the existence of one another. The divided Italian Peninsula became one of the strongest symbols of the Cold War. In the West the war against Germany had been strongly personified by the co-operation of Roosevelt and Churchill, and the especially strong personal friendship of the two leaders had further emphasized this fact. After the death of Roosevelt, Churchill remained in British politics as the leader of the Conservative opposition and was made famous by his latest speeches, but after the British government had agreed to sign the Zürich Accord he retired to Canada into bitter retirement. ”It was their darkest hour”, Churchill later quoted in his memoirs about the Britain´s decision to make peace in Zürich.
The Western Allies and Europe
The European unification started as soon as the war ended, and proceeded alongside the development of ever-closer relations between the British Commonwealth and the USA and their development of economic cooperation within the Western Alliance. In 1947 the first official summit of European Foreign Ministers took place in Prague. It was planned and prepared in earlier meeting of 1943 according to the initiatives of French President Pierre Lával and Finnish President Risto Ryti, who had both strongly supported the idea of an international conference that would decide the future of the New Europe after the war. The first steps towards European economical integration had been taken a year earlier, when the economies of continental Europe were forged together to a ”Greater European economic area” (EG, Europäische Grossraumwirtschaft, L'ordre Économique Européen) according to the National Socialist principles. By the year 1948 when the civil wars in Italy and Russia were officially over, this tariff-free economic area included Reich, France, RSI, Belgium, Holland, Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway and Finland. The Reichskommissariats established to the former Soviet regions formed the Eastern Economic Sphere that followed a different economic policy. Meanwhile the Zürich Accord and the crisis it caused in US domestic politics made the United States to renew the goals of American foreign policy. National Security and the defense of American core values – democracy, individualism and free market were adopted as the leading principles. The US military presence overseas was deemed as a pivotal part of the defense of continental US and American core values. In July 1947 the ”Truman Doctrine”, a political program focused on containment of fascism was published. It was supported by the economical plan of Foreign Minister Marshall. He stated that the US should continue to serve as the Arsenal of Freedom that would fund and arm all ”democratic forces” of the world against tyranny of the ”evil empire” of the Reich, thus indirectly continuing the WWII in other fronts. The British went to great lengths to upheld their special relationship with the US. It proved to be highly beneficial, since Britain did receive eight billion dollars of economic emergency aid and 3 billion worth of humanitarian aid between the years 1945-1946 to reconstruct the country and economy ravaged by war. In addition the Congress accepted an aid package of 14 billion dollars, that was labeled as ”Marshall Aid.” This support was given to UK but also to Japan, Republic of Italy, Turkey, Sweden, Iceland and Ireland. In 1948 Ireland was however expelled from the program because the country had re-established diplomatic relations with the Reich.
At first the European integration led by Germany seemed to outrun the Western powers despite the billions of dollars of US aid. In 1948 the middle-European coal- and steal industry combined to a multinational ”Reichswerke Albert Speer”-cartel. The new National Socialistic macro economy of Europe was based on corporatism, a system where the special-interest groups and governmental powers acted together. With corporatism the German model of a modern welfare state and a stable economic model spread through Europe. Another major ideological doctrine was speerism: the focus on productivity surpassed turnovers as the main indicator of company´s success. Wartime rationing ended in 1949, and a new OSTPOL-program was initiated to rebuild the occupied parts of Russia. The fast-paced economic growth experienced in the EG zone initially fooled many fearful Western observes. In reality Europe had sustained massive casualties and extensive damage in the war, and the rebuilding effort ate up a major part of the available resources from the national economies of the continent. In addition the economical reorganization required enormous efforts and additional resources when it spread to poorly developed areas in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Therefore USA could maintain the economical superiority of the West and thus continue the arms-race with ease while simultaneously spreading the American influence over the globe in the Third World, especially in South America and Asia. The situation of the Cold War ossified towards the end of the 1950s. With the Vandenberg Resolution in June 1948 United States renewed their security guarantees to Britain and to all neutral nations bordering the Third Reich. In 1949 the member states of the of the United Nations signed the ”Hemispheric Defense Treaty.” Soon afterwards the community of the New Europe (NE) was officially born after the death of Hitler in 1951.
The cornerstone of the New Order, founding accord of the Community of New Europe was signed in Hofburg Palace, Vienna.
The founders of the NE presented in Vienna conference included all statesmen of New Europe, most notable being Spanish generalissimo Fransisco Franco, French President Pierre Laval, Norwegian President Vidkun Quisling, Leon Degrelle from Flanders, The General Secretary of RSI Fascist Council Alessandro Pavolini, Finnish President Edwin Linkomies, Hungarian Nemzetvezetõ Ferenc Szálas, Romanian Conducator Ion Antonescu and Pavlo Shandruk of Ukraine. The Reichspresident Herman Göring signed the accord as the representative of the Third Reich. The West was swift to react: 3rd of December 1951 the Head of States of sixteen nations gathered to New York to sign the founding accord of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO. Globally these were tense times: the Middle-Eastern War was raging on, and the Cold War seemed to be about to turn hot pretty soon.
"From Narvik in the Atlantic to Elba in the Tyrrhenan, an iron curtain has descended to the shores of the Continent. Behind it lie most of the capitals of the ancient states of Europe. Paris, Moscow, Brussels, Amsterdam, Madrid, Lissabon, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Bucharest, Belgrad, Athens, Sofia, Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki, Kiev, Minsk, Tbilisi, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius. All these cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Nazi sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Nazi influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Berlin. Rome alone - Italy with its immortal glories - is free to decide its future at an election under British and American observation. The German-dominated European governments have been encouraged to make enormous and wrongful inroads upon the "undesirable" minorities living in their societies, and foul deeds on a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now taking place. The Fascist parties, which were very small in all these States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Finland, there is no true democracy. Sweden, Turkey and Switzerland are all profoundly alarmed and disturbed at the claims which are being made upon them and at the pressure being exerted by the Berlin Government. An attempt is being made by the Germans in Moscow to build up a quasi-Fascist party in their zone of Occupied Russia by showing special favors to groups of right-wing Russian leaders. The safety of the world requires a new unity, from which no nation should be permanently outcast. Surely we should work with conscious purpose of defending the Free World, within the structure of the United Nations and in accordance with its Charter. That I feel is an open cause of policy of very great importance..." WINSTON CHURCHILL, 1946.
The Black Book of National Socialism, Great Britain 1984.
History to Elementary Schools, State Department of Study Material, 1984. Approved by Ministry of Information.
Outlines of the New Europe -The Reich prior the Second World War
Deeply touched by their liberation, Sudeten Germans greet their countrymen as in 1938.
Well before the WWII the determined unification policy carried out by the Führer returned many old German territories back to the Reich by the means of peaceful diplomacy. One by one the National Socialists swept away the defeats of the Great War. Before the outbreak of hostilities the Saar region (1935), Rheinland (1936), Sudetenland (from Czechoslovakia, 1938) and Memel known better as Klaipeda (from Lithuania, 1939) all became parts of the new Germany. The Entente Powers had prevented the Austrians from joining the German state in 1919, but the political collapse of the Austrian state finally made this long-awaited Anschluss possible. Officially Austria and Germany united in 12th of March, 1938. The last peaceful German unification carried out before the war was the creation of the Protectorates of Bohemia and Moravia when the Slovakian struggle for independence had led to the collapse of the former state of Czechoslovakia and the German forces were forced to interfere to prevent a civil war within this failed multi-ethnic state.
"In reality Hitler waged a dangerous political gamble and used the feel of guilt that many politicians in the Western powers, especially in England felt due the legacy of Versailles. Hitler had no permanent friends or allies, only permanent interest. He also bluffed by the threat of the German military, while in reality the Wehrmacht was nothing more than half-finished promise of future during this period of time. " - The Black Book of National Socialism (Great Britain, 1984)
The New Order in the Eastern Europe
During the WWII the territorial disputes of the Eastern Europe were dealt with in several occasions. The new independent Slovakian state received the regions of Teschen, Orava and Zips from the area of the former Polish state and this compensated the fact that it returned the Hungarian-populated parts of Southern Slovakia to Hungary. An anti-German military coup took place in Yugoslavia at 27th of March, 1941, and German and Italian troops quickly moved to Balkans to secure peace and stability in the region. The Yugoslavian Federation broke up and it´s territories were redistributed as a part of New Order in the Balkans. Ustasha-led Croatia declared independence as a part of the Axis and received her national territories and whole of Bosnia. Officially Croatia was a Kingdom led by King Tomislav II of the Savoy, but the king never actually visited his realm. Italy received the Illyrian Archipelago and Italy joined the province of Kosovo to their Projectorate of Albania. Montenegro was initially an autonomous Kingdom inside Italy. The northern Slovenia better known as lower Styria was annexed to the Reich.
Croatian Ustasha helped Germany to maintain order in the former Yugoslavia during the war.
In the Vienna Dictate of 1941 Germany solved the border disputes between her Hungarian, Bulgarian and Romanian allies by returning the territories populated by ethnic Hungarians to the Hungarian state. Slovakia gave up Carpatho-Ruthetia and Romania agreed to give in Transylvania. Hungary also got back the former Yugoslavian territories of Bacjka, Baranja, Medjumurje and Prekmurje. Bulgaria also got back the ethnically Bulgarian areas: Macedonia from former Yugoslavia, western Trache from Greece and Southern Dobruja from Romania. When the Italian government collapsed in 1943 the borders in Balkans changed once more, when Italian part of Slovenia was granted to Croatia and the Kingdom of Montenegro was integrated to Serbia.
PLANS AND CHAOS IN THE EAST
When the war between the Soviet Union and Germany began in 22nd of June 1941, several German organizations wanted to take up the civilian government of the occupied Soviet territories, with inconsistent plans and authorities. Officially the supreme authority in the Eastern territories was the Ministry of the East (Ostministerium) led by Alfred Rosenberg. Rosenberg´s slow planning was criticized especially by Army officials that had their own ideas about governing the occupied areas. The Wirtschaftsführungsstab Ost, the organization responsible of the four-year plans and led initially by Göring and later by Speer required supreme authority when economical questions of the occupied territories were considered.
Officially operation Barbarossa was a pre-emptive strike against Bolshevism. The advancing German troops did indeed find some vague proofs of the alleged Soviet invasion plans. Presumably Stalin would have been ready to initiate his own attack possibly as early the next July. But the official history books of the Reich don´t mention the fact that Hitler had been planning his campaign in the east well in advance. The preparations for economical usage of the Soviet territories were actually initiated already in 1940. The ”Generalplan Ost” envisioned by Reichsführer SS Himmler and other top Nazi officials is also mentioned only briefly and without further details. It was a brutal, bloody and utterly dystopian vision for the future of Eastern Europe, but luckily it never became reality in it´s original form because of the determined Russian resistance and the sheer unrealism of the original plan.” - The Black Book of National Socialism (Great-Britain, 1984)
Rosenberg´s plan was to divide the occupied territories into four "Reichskommissariats" or administrative zones: Ostland (Baltic region and Belarus), Ukraine, Caucasus and Moskau containing the occupied parts of Russia proper. He urged Hitler and the Party to initiate co-operation between the Soviet minority nations and grant independence to Ukraine, so that Germany could use the new state as a solid ally and a future ”breadbasket” and as a source of important raw materials. Rosenberg´s plan drew the future borders of a new Russian state, Moscow, along roughly similar lines where they were during the 13th century.
Alfred Rosenberg, the leader of Ostministerium supported the idea of "buffer states."
Himmler was stricly opposed to Rosenberg plan and ranted about a "racial war of annihilation" were the Germans would enter to the Soviet Union only to conquest, rule and exploit. The Wirtschaftsführungsstab Ost warned that the continuation of hostilities would require the German armies to receive increased logistical support from the local countryside starting from the year 1942, and everyone knew that such a move would have grave consequences for the successful local agriculture. Meanwhile the Army lead by Prussian conservatives was ready to grand autonomy to Soviet minority nations as soon as they could "take care of themselves" in local-level administration. And to make matters even more complicated, Hitler himself was reluctant to make any final decisions and ordered that no promises should be given to any national committee or faction within the German administration so that he would´t have to betray his word in the future. Thus the creation of the civilian government to the area of the former Soviet Union initially followed the lines of the Rosenberg´s original memo. The SS, however, stubbornly tried to carry out the ”Generalplan Ost” within their own authority and the Wirtschaftsführungsstab Ost got free reign over the economic matters of the eastern territories. Instead of a planned vision the German policy towards the eastern areas was one of a constant struggle between different views.
PLANS ARE COMROMISED
Despite the capture of Moscow the war in the east did not end in 1941. The success in the northern front was also weak: Finland had liberated most of the Eastern Karelia, but the German attack to Kola Peninsula was stopped almost as soon as it begun. It was also increasingly clear that many among the Soviet minority nations and the Russians themselves were looking for a chance to take actively part in the struggle against Stalin and the Communist regime. The all-European nature of the operation was being emphasized more and more as the need for replacement troops kept growing, but simultaneously this ment that the optimistic plans of the early days of Barbarossa had to be compromised.
In 1942 Hitler was willing to grant his allies wide benefits in order to keep them as reliable partners in the Axis. Romania received Northern Bukovina, Bessarabia and Transnistria. The weak German perfomance in the north and the strategic location of Finland further emphasized her role as the most important German ally in the Eastern Front. Hitler was willing to grant Finland not only the Eastern Karelia, but also the Kola Peninsula in the condition that Germany would partake the economical development and the mining of the rich mineral deposits of the region.
Soviet troops were able to stop the northernmost German armies almost to the pre-war Finno-Soviet border - a fact that proved to be extremely beneficial for the Finnish government.
Mr. Terboven, the Reichskommissar of Norway and President Quisling also showed interest to Kola region and especially to the fishing rights in the Barents Sea. Finns were fearful of the idea that Quisling was planning to create a ”Greater Norway” and thus they opposed all Norwegian claims towards Kola and Petsamo. Meanwhile the Soviet troops that were encircled to Murmansk and Kola Peninsula after the German-Finnish offensive finally reached the White Sea in autumn 1942 fought on with Allied supplies provided by convoys until they were evaquated to Archangelsk according to the Kirovograd armistice protocol in 1943. After the armistice and Soviet evacuation the niccel deposits and remaining fishing fleet of Kola were taken up by the joint Finnish-German Wiking-company. The southern border of Finland was another question that had to be dealt with during the war. Some radical right-wing Finnish politicians insisted that the troublesome city of St. Petersburg, The Russian ”window to Europe” was to be shut down pernamently, while Mannerheim and the many others pointed out that a new Russian state would never forgive the destruction of the city.
The Bolsheviks conscripted huge numbers of civilians to help in the defense of the "sacred city of Lenin.".
The defenders of the encircled Leningrad fought on with a grim determination, and finally surrendered in 1943 only after Finnish troops had severed the Murmansk railroad in the north and the supply situation had become utterly hopeless. The several palaces, churches and neoclassical buildings of the city centrum were ruined beyond repair by the artillery barrages of the long siege. The strategic location of the ”city of Neva”, alongside with it´s sheer size finally led to the conlusion that it should not be removed from maps. It was instead rebuild as a freetown of 500 000 inhabitants, governed as a separate German projectorate. Leningrad was officially renamed to Newa, but most of the inhabitants continued to use the old name of Sankt Petersburg. Kronstadt, Oranienbaum and Peterhof became bases for Kriegsmarine´s Baltic Fleet.
When Hitler made a surprise visit to Mannerheim´s birthday celebrations in 1942, the occupations of Estonia and Norway were among the unofficially discussed topics. During the same visit the Führer also issued an ultimatum to Finnish government and convinced the old Marshal to continue the attack towards the Murmansk Railway. After this the Finnish Army also took actively part to the siege of Leningrad.
This event marked the end of the Finnish reluctancy to fully cooperate with the military leadership of Nazi Germany. Hitler had earlier been unwilling to pressure Finland "back to the fold", but unexpectedly the German dictator now stated that the grain shipments that were absolutely critical for Finnish wartime economy might be halted unless the Finnish Army would soon conduct new offensives against the Murmansk railway.
During the war Finland also had an active role in the issue of Estonia, and tried to improve the lot of her brother nation with the limited influence she had. An idea of a state union between Estonia and Finland was discussed in some circles. The Baltic willingness to join up to voluntarily SS-units increased the German sympathy towards the small Baltic states somewhat, but the idea of returning full independence was deemed impossible during wartime. The first step away from the original idea of Reichskommissariat-plan was to grant all nations within the region a full national and cultural authonomy inside the economical zone of Reichskommissariat Ostland. And after Hitler died, all three states joined to the New Europe in 1951 as sovereign countries.
FROM ZÜRICH TO VIENNA
In the Zürich Accord that ended WWII, the United States and Britain acknowledged the current limits of German sphere of influence, but refuced to recognize the new governments of New Europe. The Polish and Czechoslovakian governments in exile continued their activities in London and New York, and the United States refused to return the embassies or the pre-war state property to new Norwegian, Belgian, Dutch, Danish, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian governments. In Zürich the German government declared that the following territories were now part of the Third Reich: - The Polish West Prussia and Wartheland, with new provinces of Suwalki, Ziechenau and Kattowitz.
- The rest of Poland and Galicia formed a Polish General Gouvernment as an autonomous part of the Reich.
- Elsass-Lothringen from France.
- Eupen-Malmédy area from Belgium.
- Luxemburg annexed to Reich as Moselland.
-Lower Styria from ex-Yugoslavia.
Because an agreement about the question of the future of Italy could not be reached, the country remained divided to a fascist Northern Italy (RSI, Italian Social Republic) and to Southern Italy (Republic of Italy) occupied the Western Allies. Rome became an open city under the rule of the Vatican. Northern Italy received the island of Korfu, while Southern Italy kept Sardinia. In the year 1950 the European leaders assembled in Vienna to plan the future of the European Community. The Russian delecation that took part of the negotiations didin´t have much to say about the fate of the former territories of the Soviet Union. The most important border agreements made in Vienna were the new Romanian and Finnish borders, alongside with the changes made inside the former USSR. Estonia got Western Ingria and Pihkov, Latvia received Nevel. Lithuania regained her Grodno and also received additional lands from the former Northeastern Poland. Ukraine nearly doubled its prewar territory with wide new territories from the north and the east: Kursk, Belgorod, Orel, Lipetsk, Tambov, Voronezh-Rostov and the oblasts of Saratov, alongside with Volgograd as a special gouvernmental district that was ruled by the German Army.
The new Reichskommissariat Moskau lost wide areas in west and south, alongside with the major cities of St. Petersburg and Tsaritsyn, the peninsulas of Caucasus and Krimea together with the former autonomous Soviet republics. Thus the end of the WWII swept away 500 years of Russian imperialism and returned Russia behind the ancient borders of Moscow. The split-up of Rodina inflicted a grieving collective trauma to the mind of the Russian people, and various nationalistic and tsaristic movements have been acting in Moscow´s internal politics trying to achieve reunification ever since. The internal borders of Reichskommissariat Kaukasus were also agreed upon: Armenia, Azerbaidzan, Dagestan, Chechenya, Georgia, Kalmykia and Kuban Cossak state were granted full cultural autonomy. Krimean peninsula was separated from Ukraine to so-called Reichskommissariat Taurida, and the region was renamed to Gotenland as a tribute to it´s ancient Germanic inhabitants. Later on Führer Rudolf Hess officially annexed the area to the Reich itself in 1953.
History to Elementary Schools, State Department of Study Material, 1984. Approved by Ministry of Information.
After the Munich Crisis in March 1939, Britain and France initiated negotiations with Stalin in order to create a military coalition against Germany. The Soviet dictator pointed out that the annexation of the Baltic states would be a condition for his future support. The Western powers were willing to meet Stalin´s demands, but in order to secure the success of his plan Stalin secretly initiated paraller negotiations with Hitler, knowing that Germany was in a difficult position and willing to compromise. Hitler knew that he absolutely needed more time to prepare for war – even if peace could´t be preserved anymore it was pivotal to at least postone the beginning of hostilities to a more favourable moment.
Therefore it was necessary for Germany to make "a deal with the Devil" to outflank the Western powers. With the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact Hitler bought two years of preparation time, but was at the same time rendered powerless to save large parts of Eastern Europe from Stalin, who immediately started to prepare his own occupation plans. Soon after the war begun, the Baltic states were forced to permit Soviet troops to be based on their soil. Stalin´s demands kept growing and growing, and in May 1940 the Red Army entered to the Baltic soil with the force of 300 000 soldiers, while the Soviet fleet blokaded their ports and the Red airforce took control of the airspace, shooting down a Finnish passenger plane that had just taken off from the airport of Tallinn in the process. The old governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were overthrown and replaced by communist puppet regimes royal to Moscow. Immediately afterwards these new "governments of the people" requested membership in the USSR. The Bolshevik reign of terror arrived alongside with this poorly justified annexation. The industry and major businesses were taken over by the state, the countryside was forcefully collectivized and the national culture was suppressed by bloody purges. This terrible process had luckily only truly begun when the war between Germany and The Soviet Union broke out and stopped it for good.
Volunteers of the 15. Lettische SS-Freiwilligen-Division in action against partisans near Novgorod during May 1943.
The Soviet authorities used the war as an excuse for the robbery and destruction carried out in the Baltic countries. The ”demolition battalions” of the NKVD were resposible for carrying out the orders that demanded the use of ”scorched earth tactics.” They destroyed factories, railways and farms and terrorized the local population. The aproaching German advance created wide uprisings everywhere in the region. In Lithuania the local forces, led by the Berlin-based ”Lithuanian Activist Front” were able to capture the city of Kaunas. From the city´s radio station they broadcasted a call to arms for all patriotic Lithuanians, and demanded that everyone would join their struggle against the tyrannic Soviet occupation of their homeland. Well before he arrival of Germans a temporary government was established in Vilnius under the leadership of J. Ambrazevicius (the leader of the Activists K. Skirpa was grounded in Germany at the time.) In Latvia and Estonia the resistance was less severe, but the Civil Guards recruited among the students and former military personel waged a guerrilla war against the Red Army and local Bolshevik collaborators. The resistance played especially important role in the liberation of the university city of Tartu. National committees that aimed to reclaim the lost independence were also quickly established in Latvia and Estonia, and the German Army acknowledged them without delay. Hitler, however, had some reservations for such activities at first, but reallowed these committees to continue their work under strict German surveillance in September 1941. Germany wasn´t yet ready to fully return the independence of the Baltic countries. On the contrary, the activist troops were disarmed and the Lithuanian goverment was dispanded. The national committees were allowed to continue their work under the German civilian administration, ruled by the German Ostministerium and led by Alfred Rosenberg, a Baltic-German himself.
The territories of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus were combined to the Reichskommissariat Ostland, and Riga was assigned as the administrative capitol. The Baltic republics got new autonomous governments, with Hjalmar Mäe being the channelor of Estonia, Oskars Dankers acting in the same role in Latvia and Petras Kubiliunas replacing Ambrazevicius in Lithuania. Alfred Rosenberg wanted to use former Baltic Germans in his goverment to create links between the Balts and the German administration. Himmler however prevented this initiative with his veto, because he had plans to use the Baltic Germans as a settlers in newly-aquired territories of Wartheland. Because of this scism the Baltic Germans weren´t allowed to return to their former homes before the year 1945. The Ministry of the Eastern Territories gave the autonomous regional goverments of Ostland more power in May 1942, and this was followed with a promise announced in September. It quaranteed to fully reinstall their independence after the Soviet Union would be defeated. Hitler, however, denied all these promises in 1943, claiming that he couldn´t promise anything certain while the war was still going on. Thus the difficult double-structure of Ostland´s government remained as it was. The co-operation between the local self-governing units and the Reichskommissariat was however carried out without any major problems. Under the German rule the schoolbooks printed with national languages were re-installed to schools and material abolished or outright destroyed by the Bolsheviks returned to public libraries.
The elementary schools were allowed to continue their work, but the universities were kept closed with exception of Tartu, where the old university reopened in 1942 with the name Ostland-Universität in Dorpat. The lecturing language was German and the main subjects were medicine, animal medicine and agricultural sciences. The Communist activies and publishings were abolished in the Reichskommissariats territory. And when the old books were reinstalled to libraries, some few hunred books written by Marxist-Leninist activists were taken aside. At the same time bloody battles against Soviet partisans were waged in Ostland, mainly in Belarus. The main aim of Ostland´s economy was to support the German war effort. The economical developement programs however took notice of the national needs, and a long-term industrial developement plan was started under German leadership. New factories were build, railroads constructed and the land and farms confiscated by the Bolsheviks were returned to their rightful owners. A workforce of over 90 000 men was summoned from the population of working age men to rebuild the infastructure destroyed by the war. Under the extremely harsh wartime economy the civilians naturally suffered from the downsides of rationing. Because the issued coupons were insufficient to feed the local populae and free trade wasn´t allowed, a successful black market network soon developed in Ostland region. Speculation and inflation likewise soon rendered the areas own currency (ostmark) virtually useless. Between the years 1941-1949 the Reicskommissariat Ostland composed of the Baltic states and Belarus was a part of the Reich. German was the second official language, and the reichsmark and German stamps with Ostmark-postmarks were both officially used. Due the politics of ”Germanization” the celebration of national holidays and the usage of national symbols was disencouraged, and cultural autonomy was returned only four years after the official end of WWII.
From Reichskommissariat to cultural autonomy
The Germans retained their supremacy of the region when a program of economical and governmental reform took place in the Baltic states after the separate peace of Kirovograd on June 1943. This reorganisation was an essential part of Ostministerium´s plan of joining the Baltic states a a solid part of the New Europe. Each Ostland governmental region was alloved to establish their own SS-Legion to partake to the struggle against Bolshevism. At the same time the national economies were setted to corporativist model everywhere within the Ostland´s economical region. A land reform was carried out in Belarus, and it proved to be an instant success. Later on the whole region was integrated to the market economy led by the Reich. The new economical program for the East, Ostpol, was announced in 1949 when the hub of heavy industry in Europe began to move from the Ruhr area towards the Böhm-Poland-Galizia region. Wien became the new center of trade and economy of the Eastern Europe. Ostpol maintained strict economical and political order in the region. The official policies favoured germanization and the following of National Socialist principles. At first the local party organizations were small (in the year 1945 Estonia had only 2 500 registered National Socialists, for example) but the ranks of these new parties grew quickly after the war. After the death of Hitler the political situation significantly changed. All security organizations including the SS underwent a series of internal purges, and the personal freedom and civil security of common people in Ostland region improved somewhat. Some victims of the old regime were even rehabilitated, the former leader of Lithuanian independence movement Ambrazevicius being just one example. All these positive signs encouraged the national committees to go forth with their plans and this resulted in their requests to join to the New Europe as independent states. In the summer 1951 Rudolf Hess officially acknowledged Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus as a part of New Europe and thus ended the era of Reichskommissariat Ostland. The state borders remained the same as they had been during the Reichskommissariat. This caused social problems in Estonia and Latvia, because they re-emerged to the map of Europe with one and a half times larger territory and population than 1939. At Latvia a major Russian minority, over 40 percent of new nation's total population, was left inside the new borders. In addition over 170 000 Germans had been settled to Ostland region after the war. The standards of living had been steady declining during the whole 1940´s. The rationing initiated in 1941 continued up to 1949, and the shortage of raw materials needed by industry was a constant problem. The strict economic control of Reichskommissariat kept the wages of working population just barely above the poverty line. Ostpol however enabled the economical revival of the Baltic economies. The economic level of pre-war era was met in 1956. At the end of the 1950´s a major agricultural reform took place, when the compulsory selling quotas were lowered. As a result of this the local standards of living increased dramatically during the 1960s. In 1963 a new economic system, NÖS, was established. The growth of production raised wages and the buying power of common citizen grew a a result. Private apartments, cars and televisions became status symbols that everyone aspired. This economic liberalization was however cut short when Rudolf Hess was forced to resign and a long-standing gray eminence and Party bureoucrat Siegfried Hoffner replaced him as the new Reichskanzler.
The opera house of Tallinn is reconstructed in Estonia during the 1950's.
In the mid 1970's the planned economy of the New Europe reached it´s peak. The zero-growth dictated by the ecological imperative turned into a slow decline. The increasingly complex and inefficient National Socialist bureucracy began to consume more efforts from the local level than could be spared from the revival of economy. Hoffner-era leadership saw a radical change of policy as the only change to survive this productional crisis. The former small businesses and local manufacturing companies were abanoned in favour of colossal production corporations.
Eastern Europe industrialized rapidly after the end of the war.
A new economical crisis in the end of the 1970´s caused a wide-spread panic through the whole New Europe. The economical reforms that were initiated without political changes had failed. The whole 1980´s has been marked with uncertaincy, economical problems and structural problems of the agriculture, and while everyone agrees that new reforms are needed, the Party leadership is bitterly divided about their direction.
Controversy: The Stony Road of the Baltic states
The real German plans for the Baltic states were controversial. The army lead by Prussian conservatives was ready to immediately acknowledge the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The leader of Ostministerium and the main ideologist of NSDAP, Alfred Rosenberg envisioned that the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine and Caucasian nations could be used to forge a powerful buffer-zone between Germany and Russia. This policy strongly favoured the minority nations of USSR with the expence of Russians themselves. At the same time views virtually opposite to Rosenberg´s plans were upheld within the NSDAP. Many considered the the war in the East as a racial war of conquest and exploitation, and thought that therefore "there should be no favourites." Hitler denied Rosenberg to return the independence of the bordering states for various, mostly economic reasons and only allowed local autonomy. In secresy some sides even made plans to turn the Baltic region to German colony with similar situation than in Middle Ages when Brotherhood of the Sword and other Germanic knighthoods reigned over the region. Hitler´s perverse dream of Germanization of the whole Ostland for a future part of the Reich never becomes reality in this timeline. The Baltic requests of membership in the New Europe were in many ways similar to the show that communists made up to annex the same states as a part of the Soviet Union. The harsh occupation politics that Soviets carried out in the Baltic states in 1945-1990 naturally never happened in this timeline and the number of casualties is thus smaller than in OTL. The national cultures are allowed to flourish – under a strict control of the Nazis and the local civil administration runned by the local NSDAP organization. The Balts are once again left between the West and the East. They avoid the forced russification and the long occupational period, but lose their right of self-determination as independent nations. As a part of the National Socialist ”New Europe” these three countries receive relatively high standard of living and maintain their national charateristic cultures, but are still nothing more than puppets states controlled from Berlin.
History to Elementary Schools, State Department of Study Material, 1984. Approved by Ministry of Information.
German leaders skillfully rendered the Allied attempts to encircle Germany powerless, and fooled Stalin to think that he could extort Europe in the future as well.
The world was shocked in 23nd of August 1939 when the news of a new pact of non-aggression signed in Moscow by Foreign Ministers Ribbentropp and Molotov spread out. Many National Socialists and Communists alike were simply shocked by this diplomatic move and considered it to be a serious mistake. In truth this deal was nothing more than a pure product of "Realpolitik" and a proof of the keen political insticts of the Führer. Hitler wanted to guarantee Stalin´s neutrality during the negotiations about Danzig, and was afraid that Britain and France would soon attack Germany. Stalin wanted time so that his Red Army would be able to recover from the Great Purges and be ready to start an offensive towards Europe in the near future.
After signing the Ribbentropp-Molotov Pact Stalin was quick to prove the true nature of Soviet "desire for peace." His armies occupied Eastern Poland, stole Romanian Bessarabia and annexed the Baltic countries. His attempt to conquer Finland was however stopped in the Winter War, much to the suprise of international observers. As one of the new states that had declared independence from Russia during the aftermatch of the Great War, Finland had earlier hoped that Allies would provide support for her right to exist. This help never came though the public opinion of the whole free world was openly supporting Finland. The sincerity of British and US governments condemnation of Soviet aggression is clearly in doubt: while openly making promises of sending help to Finland, they secretly courted the Soviet dictator to join to alliance against Germany. President Franklin D. Roosevelt actually made his country a secret supporter of the Soviet war effort already in 1939. The Soviets ruled their occupied territories with an iron fist, and the tensions in the eastern border of the Reich kept mounting. In spring 1941 the Red Army conducted major military maneuvers where the "German" troops were led by the most talented Soviet commander, Marshall Zhukov. To the surprise of the Soviet leadership Zhukov triumphed by using modern, "German" tactics. His following attempts to renew the Soviet military doctrine failed despite the prophetic outcome of the last exercise.
Stalin and his trusted crony Voroshilov in a Red Army propaganda poster. While impressive on paper and massive in size, the Soviet war machine had been crippled by Stalins paranoid purges during the late 1930's.
According to the German military intelligence the Soviet Union was preparing to initiate their attack against the Reich in 1941. In April Stalin signed a secret general directive about a campaign aimed against the Balkans and Germany. A two-front war against the West and East, the worst nightmare of Germany, was about to become reality yet again. Hitler realized that his only change was to start a pre-emptive strike against the Soviet Union, despite his earlier calculations that Germany wouldn´t be prepared for such task before 1944. Operation Barbarossa was to be initiated in April, but it was postponed when a coup in friendly Yugoslavia forced Hitler to react. At the same time Soviet Union was trying to spread their influence to German sphere of interest in Finland and Balkans, while the conspiracy led by the traitorous Admiral Canaris was leaking information to Stalin. The balance of power was against the Axis to begin with. Even though Germany had been able to summon up a wide anti-Bolshevik coalition with soldiers from all European countries, she could only meet the Soviet force of 300 divisions and 5,4 million men with 152 divisions and 3,1 million men. The Red war machine had over hundred thousand artillery pieces, 24 000 tanks and 23 250 airplanes. The Axis could only field 16 600 artillery pieces, 3700 tanks and 2500 airplanes. The German leadership was well avare of their difficult situation. Earlier Germany had only waged quick lightning campaigns with periods of more peaceful situation between them, and the production levels of 1940 were practically similar to peacetime situation. While Churchill correctly promised that the British public would have to suffer "blood, sweat and tears" by supporting his warlike policies, at first Hitler was reluctant to once again put the German people to suffer the hardships of total mobilization and strict rationing.
But the "Crusade against Bolshevism", aimed to eliminate the Soviet threat for good clearly indicated that this new war would not be over overnight. Ultimately Ministers Funk, Goebbels and Todt, who was responsible of the four-year plans, were able to convince Hitler of the necessicity of a total mobilization only after lengthy and difficult lobbying. In spring 1941 the Germany was much less geared up for war than had been the case in 1914. Funk initiated a wide economical and bureucratical reorganization. The production process was streamlined and paraller mechanisms were lessened. To ease the burden of Todt, Hitler placed architecht Albert Speer as the new Minister of Armaments. Soon after Barbarossa had begun Todt died in a plane crash and Speer inherited the rest of his duties. Tireless Speer was able to lessen the colossal bureucracy of the Reich and bring efficiency and new talents to the administration. Despite the opposition of the Party he managed to greatly increase the German industrial output. In late summer he privately negotiated a deal with his colleague, Minister Bichelonne of Vichy. This treaty meaned that France would now produce consumer goods like clothing, textiles, shoes and furniture for the use of German people so that Germany could turn her factories producing similar items to the use of the military effort.
Jean Bichelonne, the talented French Minister of Production and of the key architects of the postwar New Order.
History to Elementary Schools, State Department of Study Material, 1984. Approved by Ministry of Information.
During the night of 21st of June 1941 the German HQ transmitted a short message to all German armies waiting in the border: Dortmund. It marked the start of Operation Barbarossa. During the twilight of the new dawn the Axis forces crossed the Soviet border in Poland, supported by a massive preparatory barrage. The lightning strike opened up a huge front between Lappland and the Black Sea, and struck the Soviet forces placed in assault formations alongside the border to a complete disarray. Dive bombers destroyed the Red planes to their airfields, knocked out communication centers and destroyed transport routes far behind the Soviet lines. They were accomppanied by attacking Panzer formations that smashed wide gaps to Red Army´s defenses and rushed towards East. The first major victories were scored by the Army Group Centre, where the Field Marshall von Bock led his men forwards. His opponent General Pavlov was unable to withrew his foremost divisions in time, and they were encircled and the majority of the Soviet troops were either destroyed or captured. After Stalin found out what had happened he ordered Pavlov and his staff to be executed.
German Panzer formations achieved historical victories during the summer 1941.
By the end of August the Army Group Centre had captured Smolensk and advanced over 800 kilometers eastwards. The bulk of the Soviet Army defending Belarus had been destroyed and approximately 600 000 men had surrendered. In addition the Red Army had lost over 5000 tanks. Germans were now withing 400km from Moscow. Now the different viewpoints in the war leadership began to take their toll. OKH wanted to continue straight to Moscow, while Hitler preferred to priorize the flanks. Valuable time was lost, but ultimately the new goals were chosen: Leningrad in the north and Ukraine in the south. Field Marshall von Leeb led the 26-division strong Army Group North towards Leningrad, with the goals of capturing the city and establishing a ground connection with the Finnish troops that were advancing in Karelian Ithmus and in the East Karelia. Despite the initially good progress von Leeb´s advance began to slow down pretty soon. The Soviet resistance in the northern sector was constantly getting stronger, and it was not until September when the Germans succeeded to liberate Latvia and Estonia from Soviet control with the support of local guerillas and civil guards. Before this the special units of NKVD had executed all German-minted leaders and destroyed much of the industry and infastructure of the Baltic states, including the harbor of Tallinn. During the snowfall Germans were at the gates of Leningrad and began the siege of the city. German Army Groups Centre and South now focused their efforts to Ukraine, where the largest battles of annihilation of the whole war took place. Stalin had been certain that Germans were going to invade the economically important Ukraine, and therefore half of the Red Army presented in the Western front had been concentrated to the region.
German mechanized unit advancing trough a destroyed Ukrainian village somewhere in the steppes.
The Army Group South commanded by von Rundsted consisted of 41 German and 14 Romanian divisions. In early August Germans encircled about 20 Soviet divisions near Uman and 100 000 soldiers were captured. When the Panzer divisions stripped from Army Group North and Centre arrived to Ukraine in early September 1941 led by legendary General Guderian, a gigantic battle began to take shape around Kiev. Too late did Stalin allow his troops to be withrawn from the city, and the Germans were able to complete their encirlement. Six Soviet Armies were utterly destroyed, over two million prisoners were taken and tremendous amounts of war material were captured. But while the decicive battle sought by Hitler was now achieved, the front in Smolensk had been stable for two months. With battles raging in north and south, Hitler now urged that Army Group Centre should again be priorized, since he wanted to capture Moscow before winter.
Field Marshal von Bock, the conqueror of Moscow and one of the main supporters of Russian Liberation Army.
Bock had 68 divisions at his disposal, but they were considerably under-strength since by the end of August Germany had suffered over half million casualties. The long supply lines were also struggling to keep the frontline troops operational. Even though Speer had prepared winter equippment and sented it towards front, the majority of it never arrived in time due the traffic jams in the rear areas. Returning from Kiev the Guderian´s forces now continued to advance towards Bryansk, and they were joined with the rest of the Army Group´s forces soon afterwards. The battles around Bryansk and Vyazma raged for week, and the Red Army lost seven Armies, over 650 000 men dead or captured. The famous Russian winter arrived too late to save the capitol. When Stalin finally mobilized two new militia divisions from factory workers and started to fortify Moscow, riots broke out in some industrial complexes of the city. Together with the confusion caused by German regimental-scale airborne assaults this greatly helped the German advance towards the heart of the Soviet Empire. After the outskirts of the city itself was reached, heavy snow- and rainfall brought made all offensive manouvers impossible when the poor dirt roads turned to mud that swallowed entire vehicles. After December brought blistering cold that froze the ground, von Bock initiated another offensive that aimed to encirlement of the city from north and south while his tired infantry sought to gain defendable positions within the city area. The temperature kept dropping ultil the average day time weather was -30C. The fuel usage and the exhaustion of troops went ovel critical level, and the Axis powers were forced to completely stop their offensive actions.
As mentioned earlier, the administration of the occupied areas was the task of the Ostministerium led by Alfred Rosenberg, a Baltic German from Estonia. He had quickly began to envision the break-up of the Soviet state with the different national committees after the Operation Barbarossa had begun. As a primary ideologist of the anti-Bolshevik movement he was the main supporter of the idea of national independence as a solution of the future of Eastern Europe. He also was a fond friend of the Ukrainian cause. According to his first plans the Baltic republics and Ukraine would be the first to regain their independence, followed by the nations of Caucasus as soon as the Axis forces would liberate the region.
Propaganda poster of the Ukrainian nationalists.
The Ukrainians surprised even Rosenberg himself with their activity. After Stalin had evaquated the Bolshevist Ukrainian government, Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian Nationalistic Resistance Movement (OUN) declared independence with his Prime Minister Jaroslav Stetsko in 30th of June 1941. Soon this movement splitted to Melnykivists and Banderavists, rival factions named after their leaders Andrev Melnykin and Stepan Bandera. These guerillas fought against both Germans and Bolsheviks in their misguided struggle towards a neutral, independent Ukraine. In spring 1942 Bandera reached a compromise with the the (UHVR), the Kiev-based national committee of Ukraine and buried the hatchet with Germans. This led to the establishment of the Ukrainian National Army in 25th of July 1942. The new army was primarily armed with the material captured from the 5th, 21st and 37th Soviet Armies and it initially consisted of 180.000 men, most of whom had earlier been part of Banderra´s guerilla movement. For the Axis war effort the liberation of Ukraine was extremely important. With a local militia taking care of the anti-partisan operations and the support of the majority of the population behind them the Germans were able to use the vast economical possibilities of Ukraine to aid their war effort. During the late-war years the German industry would surely have collapsed to the lack of rare materials without the Ukrainian support.
Ensignia of the Ukrainian National Army.
Pretty soon after the formation of the UNA the Red Army leadership found out that many Soviet units showed support the Ukrainian nationalists, and after some all-Ukrainian units had defected to German side, Stalin degreed that only non-Ukrainian forces guarded by NKVD-units should be used in the Ukrainian front. At the same time the German military leadership secretly planned another liberation army, one that would consist of Russian volunteers. The preparations were carried out in secrecy, since the leadership of the Reich included many individuals who still viewed Slavs as mere subhumans and refuced to hear a word about co-operation. The commander of Army Group Centre, Field Marshal von Bock took the iniative already in autumn 1941 by creating a detailed plan about the formation of 200.000 men strong national Liberation Army, accompanied by the creation of a Russian national government to Smolensk. These plans were initially stopped by Rosenberg´s slavofobia. Ostministerium was at the time promoting the idea of completely splitting up the Russian area and Rosenberg was thus totally opposing the idea of cooperation with them. Meanwhile the German frontline commanders continued to recruit the Russian POW:s to join the battle against communism by forming paramilitary support units from the volunteers. These "Hilfswillige", or "Hiwi" were used in supply duties, as guards, drivers ech, thus releasing more German soldiers to front lines. In winter 1941 these auxiliary forces in the German rear areas were 200.000 men strong, and during the year 1942 their numbers had almost quadrupled. In March 1941 the German generals, suffering from casualties and supply problems started to establish armed volunteer formations to be based under the command of Fremde Heere Ost. These "Eastern Legions" (Osttruppen) were used in anti-partisan warfare and securing the supply lines. The conflict in the East was slowly transforming from a German invasion into a new Russian Civil War. But the Russian side still lacked a credible leader who would be able to unite the war-torn nation under the banner of a national revolution and the German top leadership was still undecisive of the future of Russia.
German troops preparing defensive positions to the southern shores of Don.
3rd of July 1941 J.V. Stalin made a famous radio speech where he announced that should the Red Army be forced to retreat from any part of Soviet Union, it would destroy everything that could not be evacuated. "Not a single gallon of gasoline would be left to the foe...The cattle will be taken away or killed, fields will be burned, houses, machinery and rail wagons will be demolished. Enemy won´t gain a single earn of corn from new territories invaded. Partisans will lite up fires and terrorize enemy supply lines." NKVD dutifully carried out Stalin´s orders in Ukraine. They took away six million cows, 300.000 tractors, dismantled 550 major factories together with thousands of smaller workshops and forcefully transferred away their workers. The retreating Red Army thus left behind a trail of destruction and vandalism. The largest hydro plant of whole Europe, Dniprohes and all other hydroplants of Ukraine were demolished to the ground. Thus it was no surprise that the Germans were celebrated as liberators all over the country. As the Soviet Union focused their forces to the battle of Moscow, the Germans were able to advance to Rostov and Don without meeting any serious resistance after the battle of Kiev. During the beginning of the year 1942 only the northeastern part of Ukraine remained in Bolshevik control, and the Ukrainian guerrilla forces were harassing their supply lines even there.
By late 1941 German war industry was facing increasing difficulties in. The mobilization of most of the able-bodied male population had created a chronic shortage of workforce, and the situation was only getting worse as the Eastern Front demanded more and more ammo and weapons. The mobilization of women initiated by Albert Speer had not yet achieved major results and the German agriculture was struggling to feed her population and army. From January 1942 Ukrainians and Belorussians were therefore recruited to work in German industry by massive propaganda efforts. Initially this plan was led by Fritz Sauckel, but his brutal methods did more harm than good for the German cause. After Speer had contacted Rosenberg the forceful conscription of work force was from East was stopped, since the rebuilding of Ukraine´s own industry and agriculture were considered to be of greater importance. Together with the national committees the Ostministerium now considered one of the critical issues of East, the question of the land. The Bolsheviks had brutally collectivized the agriculture, but the land reform proved to be difficult since decades of Soviet rule had stagnated the agriculture and the Red Army had also either destroyed or taken away most of the grain, cattle and horses while they withdrew from Ukraine.
A Cossack volunteer unit preparing for an anti-partisan patrol.
In summer 1942 the frontline in the south was once again moving fast after the relatively calm winter period, and after the fortress of Sevastopol had surrendered to the German-Romanian troops in the Crimean peninsula the Axis forces moved to Cossack-populated areas of northern Caucasus. During the Russian Civil War between 1917-1920 there had been six Cossack Federations: Don, Kuban, Terek, Orenburg, Idel-Ural and Astrakhan. The Bolsheviks had used brutal methods to crush these autonomous regions during the 1920´s, and this had stirred the rage and bitterness that Cossacks felt towards towards the Bolsheviks. Now this greatly helped the recruiting of volunteers for the Axis cause. The first Cossack detachment in the Axis was commanded by Major Konokov who immediately switched sides together with his whole cavalry unit when it arrived to front. The fast-moving spearheads of General Ewald von Kleist were met with celebrations all over the region: everywhere cheering and celebrating crowds met them singing old Cossack songs. New volunteer formations sprung up from nothing in the countryside, cladded in traditional uniforms and armed with Great War-vintage rifles and swords. This internal development of the region was culminated when the eldest and best-known Cossack Ataman Kulakov, who had presumably died in 1919 suddenly reappeared to public from hiding and marched his volunteer unit to Poltava in a grand parade. General Koestring, who knew Russia and Caucasus well and who was appointed as the Governor of Caucasus in 1942 described the series of unfolding events in his memoirs: "It felt like we were witnessing a grand historical spectacle."
The uprisings were organized by national liberation movement of Cossacks, and it aimed to restore their self-government and reinstall the Federation. In summer 1943 the 1st Cossack Division, led by General von Pannwitz was formed from six Cossack cavalry regiments. Soon the division was turned to XV SS-Cavalry Armee Korps, supported by two additional Cossack Brigades and 12 reservist Cavalry Regiments and supply units. Altogether more than 250 000 Cossack fought in German side against the Bolshevik menace. Meanwhile a group of German officers and politicians continued their efforts of forging a Russian liberation movement from ranks of the hundreds of thousands of Russian volunteers who were willing to fight to liberate their land from communism. Their first attempts were stopped by the resistance of Hitler and Rosenberg. But new hope arose when it finally seemed that the "de Gaulle of Russia" was found in the form of General Andrej Andrejevits Vlasov, the former commander of Volkhov Front and the 37th Soviet Army. Vlasov was son of a peasant from Nizh. Despite their poverty his family had been classified as "kulaks" during the Bolshevik era. Young Vlasov first studied theology and then agriculture in the university of Nizhi Novgorod. In spring 1919 he was conscripted to the Red Army. After a four-month long officer course Vlasov became a lieutenant and he was sent to front against the Whites. Even while Vlasov had been a member in the Communist party only since 1930, his career development had been fast. In 1938 he was already a Major General and acted as the military adviser in China. In December 1939 he returned to Russia and became a division commander. After his successful command in the battles of Kiev and the Moscow he rose to the rank of Front commander in 1942. In mid-May 1942 his whole Army Corps was encircled to the marshlands of Volkhov and was virtually left on their own without supplies and ammo. After his surrender it did not take long for the Germans to realize his value.
Andrej Vlasov (at left) was tall, handsome and charismatic man, inspiring speaker and a respected leader. Thus he was the ideal candidate to lead the Russian struggle for liberation.
The Intelligence Department soon transferred this valuable prisoner to Germany, where he had many discussion with von Bock and other Generals about the situation in Russia. The Army still had to deal with the problem of Ostministerium and Rosenberg, who stubbornly saw the idea of Russian Liberation Army as completely opposite to his plans. It was not before August 1942 when the Army officials managed to convince Rosenberg that the defeat of Soviet Union would be impossible without the support of Russians themselves. In September Vlasov, being still officially a prisoner of war, wrote a pamphlet that demanded the Red Army officers and Russian intelligentsia to topple Stalin´s regime of terror that had been the reason to all problems that now faced Russia. Propaganda machinery then dropped thousands of these pamphlets to Bolshevik lines and then waited for results. It was a highly risky gamble from the part of von Manstein and von Bock, since they both knew that while the Führer had left the strategic decisions mainly to his generals, he had strong ideological opinions that could not be easily turned and that he would most likely be furious after he´d hear what the General Staff had been planning. Many post-war historians have argued that should Field Marshal Keitel not have been replaced by von Manstein before Operation Barbarossa due Keitel´s resignation, the German military leadership would not have dared to try such a plan at all. Even now it was a highly risky personal gamble from the part of the involved officers. Soon afterwards every German Army Group reported that thousands of Russians had surrendered to them and reported that these POW:s had announced that they were looking for General Vlasov and wanted to fight against communism. As predicted Hitler was initially furious, but the Army leadership supported by Rosenberg and Speer held firm. After many strong-worded debates Hitler gave in a little by ordering a trial period for Vlasov. If he could not meet serious results in given time, he would return to prison. Supporters of Vlasov wasted no time. Meetings were held in tight schedule during the whole fall, and in December 1942 a Russian National Committee was finally established in Smolensk. Germany set conditions that Vlasov, the leader of the committee, would have to drop his former propaganda thesis of "Russia, one and indivisible" and instead accept the autonomy of all minority nations. He also had to promise that national Russia would relinquish all territorial claims to Ukraine, Baltic states and Caucasus in the upcoming peace treaty. Now the National Committee was free to broadcast their preplanned program, called the Smolensk Manifest.
It had thirteen parts that promised the following:
1. Decollectivization of agriculture
2. Free land would be given to peasants
3 Private enterprise would be allowed
4. The red terror would be brought to stop
5. Personal liberty would be restored
6. Freedom to gather, freedom to express religious beliefs,
freedom of speech, thought and printing would be guaranteed
7. Everyone could choose their own profession and work
8.All Soviet minority nations would receive some form of autonomy in the future
9. All political prisoners would be liberated
10. The new Russian state would rebuild all damages caused by the war and Stalin´s regime
11. Minimum standard of living would be guaranteed to war veterans and their families
The manifest also stated that Adolf Hitler wanted to create a New Order where Russia would be freed from Bolsheviks and Capitalists alike, and ended to a plea to all Red Army soldiers and officers to come over and join to Liberation Army that fought against communism alongside with Germany. After the Red Army was driven off from the westernmost parts of the Soviet Union the occupied territories were divided to occupation zones and then to Reichskommissariats of Ostland, Ukraine, Kaukasus and Moskau. All former territorial demands and gains of the Bolshevik regime were declared null and void, and all minority nations were promised independence or at least full autonomy under German control. The different national committees were quick to start bitterly arguing about various border disputes and territorial claims. Simultaneously the Vlasovists of the Russian Liberation Army initiated a civil war within the German-occupied Russian heartland where they fought against loyal Bolshevik partisan units. Even after the Treaty of Kirovograd ended the official hostilities between the Axis and the Soviet Union in 22.6.1943 and drew the new eastern border of German sphere of interest to Volga, Germany was forced to maintain a strong military presence in the region in order to keep the Reichskommissariat Moskau under control, and the Bolshevik partisans menaced the liberated territories with terror and sabotage. After the armistice the partisan war intensified and caused 72 000 Axis casualties in a single year, and these staggering losses were gnawing the moral of homefront when conscription reached younger and older age classes. A number of serious uprisings broke out in the area of Reichskommissariat Moskau in the end of 1940´s, and regular Wehrmacht- and SS-units were constantly needed to restore order even within the city of Moscow itself. This instability dramatically increased the cost of the occupation. Yet political solution in the East was still impossible as long as Hitler lived, but his successor Rudolf Hess quickly began to search a honorable solution to the problem of ”lebensraum.” Not only it required a huge garrisoning force and proved to be a bloody quagmire for German army, but it´s potential resources of raw materials were also extremely difficult and expensive to use because of constant sabotage and other rebel activities.
Supported by smuggled arms and supplies from Soviet Union, the remaining partisan units fought on against the Axis occupiers.
At the time Russia had two governing bodies. The highest state authority belonged to recently established Duma, but the German military government and the civil administration of the Reichskommissariat were kept in use as a parallel system. Two courts of law were also used, one German and one Russian. The cases involving only Russians were dealt with in the national court, but all serious crimes, matters involving the military government, or cases were other participant was German were dealt with in the court of the Reichskommissariat.
A Russian partisan cleans his rifle in an underground hideout somewhere in the forests of Northern Russia.
At 1950 a border agreement was signed between the Reich and the Russian Duma. It marked the official ending of border disputes and dictated the current borders to be final. The biggest challenge left for the Reichskommissariat was now the decollectivization of the agricultural production and the countryside in general. After a long transfer period a land reform was initiated in year 1952, much later than elsewhere in former USSR. This process was further postponed when a general uprising of 1953 once again set the whole Reichskommissariat ablaze. Although this rebellion was also ultimately crushed by German armed forces, it sped up the process that ultimately led to the independence of Moscow Federation.
The peasant uprising of 1953 was the last hurrah of Soviet partisan movement, and lasted over hundred days.
After the rebellion was put down, the Holy Synode of the Orthodox Church gradually helped to pacify the situation, and in 1955 Germany signed diplomatic relations with the Moscow Federation, also know as National Russia. This new state was formed after the National Socialist principles and the only acting political party was the National Unity Party lead by Vlasov himself. He took the role of the Head of State and acted in this role until his death in the year 1971. In 1956 Russia was allowed to join the European military alliance WEU. The problems of a new, agrarian Russian state were increased by the fact that Soviet authorities had either destroyed most of the old industrial facilities or transferred them to Siberia, alongside with the majority of the educated population. All potentially pro-German factions had also been ruthlessly dealt with by the NKVD and postwar partisan terror. Other major problems were the total lack of official opposition and the great authority of the Ministry of the Interior and political police. The very sovereignty of the new Russia was also rather questionable, since the tense first decades of the Cold War demanded that over 500.000 soldiers of the WEU were permanently positioned to the Soviet border at the banks of Volga. In its foreign policy new Russia followed the course of the New Europe. Economical recovery began in the 1960´s with a new industrial program, and the country was henceforth governed by a coalition of right-wing- and agrarian parties. After Vlasov died in 1971 the role of the Head of State was replaced by office of President.
History to Elementary Schools, State Department of Study Material, 1984. Approved by Ministry of Propaganda and Media.
Internal development of the Reich
The health of Germany´s Führer Adolf Hitler (1889-1951) radically declined after the failed assassination attempt of 1943 and prevented him from successfully conducting his job as the Head of State. But the bloodier the internal struggle for power within the Reich was, the more unified all sides continued to promote the ideals of national unity and the Führer-cult. The war had seen the rise of SS-leader and Minister of Security Heinrich Himmler (1900-1955) as one of the most powerful men in Germany. The organization that he commanded led the security service, police, international Waffen-SS -troops (that counted over 900 000 members by the end of the war), several branches of industry in the occupied Eastern Europe and the whole prison system. The SS had grown so powerful that it was already a ”state within state.” Himmler was going strong in the internal power struggle as long as the war lasted, but the Treaty of Zürich re-shuffled the political deck of cards.
Heirich Himmler, Reichsführer SS.
After the celebrations of the Victory Day Hitler, worn down by war and permanently wounded by the failed bomb plot withdrew from the public to Obersaltzberg where he could finally devote himself to his two most beloved activities: painting and architecture. Since Hitler remained as the nominal leader of the Party the titles of Reichskanzler and Reichspräsident went to followers he had previously chosen: to Albert Speer (1905-1981) and Hermann Göring. As the new Reichskanzler Speer formed a new government together with Dr. Goebbels that had became the new Parteikanzler. The very first action that this new government saw necessary was the elimination of the threat of the dangerously powerful SS. Goebbels and Speer managed to gain a valuable ally when convinced the talented and efficient leader of the RSHA, Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1951) to join to their cause.
Heydrich was an iron-willed man that had many enemies, but he was nevertheless a valuable ally for Goebbels and Speer. His mysterious assasination led to wide purges within the SS.
Heydrich and Goebbels managed to surprise Himmler who was still considering his next move in the new situation, and he was banned from office in the SS-leadership and as the Ministry of Security and transferred away to deal with matters more closer to him as the head of the SS-Ahnenerbe and the RKFDV. Later on he died to a sudden and unexpected heart attack in 1955.
As a skillful plotter Goebbels managed to gain the upper hand in the power struggles within the NSDAP during the late 1940´s.
Albert Speer had important contacts to the leadership of German military-industrial complex. In addition he also chose his side well when he allied with Goebbels.
With their worst threat now removed, the new leadership reformed the government of the Third Reich. The new Minister of Propaganda was Goebbels´s trusted associate Otto Dietrich, while Karl Saur became the new Minister of Armaments and Martin Luther assumed the position of the new Foreign Minister. Meanwhile Wilhelm Stuckart became the Minister of Security, while the Minister of Economics was a surprise choice when old, but experienced Dr. Johannes Popitz received this post. Wather Schellenberg assumed Heydrichs role as the new leader of the RSHA. The next internal crisis was met five years later in 1951, when Hitler finally passed away. The loss of the leader of the nation was a severe blow to the Reich, since everyone knew that no one could replace his charisma. In addition Wehrmacht had sworn their oath of loyalty to the person of Adolf Hitler, and with him dead many top-ranking officers were now anxious to see some changes to be made in the internal situation of the Reich, while millions of tired and bitter veterans formed a force that could well be used to stage a successful military coup. Thus the Army, Party and SS all prepared to changes in their mutual balance of power. Reinhard Heydrich who had risen to the leadership of the SS was most likely planning a coup of his own, but he was killed by Communist assassins right after Hitler´s funeral. Now the NSDAP leadership and German military-industrial complex (the representatives of the Army and industry) divided power among themselves and started the third wave of internal purges that now targeted the paralyzed SS. Earlier Himmler and Göring had purged the SA that had required ”a second revolution” in the ”Night of the Long Knives” in the year 1934. The second purge within the Reich administration had happened during the war when a wide Communist ”Rote Kapelle”-spy network had been discovered. During these days Reinhard Heydrich was made famous by his efforts that led to the capture of, ”Werther” aka Martin Bormann, who acted as a top spy in Hitler´s inner circle. Heydrich also took care of cleansing the German General Staff and Abhwehr from the decadent defaists and traitors who secretly supported the West. Now, with Heydrich dead, the efficient German security system turned against itself.
Rudolf Hess returned to everyday politics as the new Führer of Reich. While the true power was in the hands of others, Hess became quite successful and popular figurehead.
The leaders of industry, Army, and NSDAP agreed after long negotiations to lift Rudolf Hess (1894-1984) as the new nominal leader of the Party. Hess was known from the past years as the closest friend and ally of Hitler, but his attempted flight to England to initiate peace negotiations in 1940 had disgraced him and taken him away from the center of power. To the outside world Hess presented the continuation of standard Party policies while behind the scenes the real power focused to the hands of triumvirate formed by Speer, Goebbels and a long time Secretary of State Hans Lammer. Hermann Göring realized the situation and withdrew from daily politics to his beloved Karinhall to enjoy the art collection he had collected during the war. The old party comrades treated Göring relatively well, since he got a hefty pension and retained few symbolic titles.
Hermann Göring, a charismatic politician and a fighter ace of the Great War had kept himself in the inner circles of Nazi Germany during WWII. After the war he was clever enough to avoid the internal fighting within the Party and withdrew voluntarily from daily politics.
Thus the deaths of Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich marked the beginning of a calmer period in Reich´s turbulent internal politics. Censorship and persecution of political dissidents became less severe and as the new Reichkanzler Speer made a famous secret speech to Party leadership where he condemned the excess of zeal of Hitler´s period. Many political prisoners were rehabilitated and the SS was purged from ”undesirable material” under it´s new leader Karl Hanke. Gottlieb Bergen, Odilo Blobonick, Oskar Dirlewanger and many others vanished or fled to exile in this period.
Population: 143,6 million
Land Area: 760 000 square kilometers
Ruling Party: NSDAP
Official language: German
Thomas Ehrl – Führer
Horst Mahler – Parteikanzler
Reinhold Oberlercher - Chef der Reichskanzlei
Adolf von Thadden - Reichspräsident
Commanders of Armed forces:
Schutzstaffel: Reichsführer-SS Jürgen Vogler
Wehrmacht: Generalfeldmarschall Wolfgang von Manteuffel
Luftwaffe: Generalfeldmaschall Erich Hartmann
Kriegsmarine: Großadmiral Günther Krech
Kraft durch Freude
Bund Deutsched Mädel
NSKK / NSFK
The Third Reich rules the New Europe. It was created by the National Socialist ethos that saved Europe from the state of division and moral corruption. The Party and the the Reich are undividable. There is no part in life where the Party would not affect, since it cares and looks after the citizens of the Reich from cradle to grave. The geographical area of the Third Reich consists of the Großdeutschland, Projectorates of Bohemia and Moravia, Polish General Gouvernment and separate administrative regions of Freiestadt Petersburg (The freetown of Petersburg) and Reichskommissariat Gotenland (Taurida). The provincial government of the National Socialistic Party also includes Belgium, Holland and the Ostland Economic Sphere of autonomious republics of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. The land area of Großdeutschland is 760 000 square kilometers and total population according to the cencus of 1984 is 143 605 482 inhabitants. The official language is German, and in addition several local minority languages like Czech, Polish, Ruten, Sorb and several dialects like letzebourg and elsass are spoken within its borders. There are tens of television channels operating within the state borders. In addition of the two official satellite channels (NSN and DKN) there are many specialized regional channels. The Czech-Prague broadcast is shown in Bohemia-Moravia and the Krakau broadcast, in Polish, is shown in the area of the General Gouvernment. The most important cities are Berlin (State capitol), Vienna (the center of government for the Eastern Economic Sphere), München (the cradle of National Socialism), Nürnberg (city of the Party), Hamburg (the hub of business), Danzig (The largest harbour in the Baltic Sea), Prag (Cultural city and popular tourist area), Kattowitz (The economical wonder of the Carpathians), Lemberg (University city), Wolfsburg (the center of car industry), Hermann Göring Stadt (the model city of new industry), Krakau (The capitol of General Gouvernment) and Linz (the birthplace of Hitler) The basic unit of Party´s regional government is a county, Gau (plural Gaue, gouw in Dutch) led by Gauleiter. Historically Gau is an ancient Frankish term referring to a geographical-political region, and it was taken back to use by the NSDAP. Each Gau is divided to districts (Kreis) with their own leaders (Kreisleiter).
Current structure of Reich´s internal administrative borders.
The Gaus and their capitals inside the Reich proper.
B: Berlin (Welthaupstadt Germania)
BDN: Baden (1940 Baden-Elsaß) (Straßburg, Karlsruhe until 1953)
NSL: Niederschlesien (Breslau)
BOM: Bayreuth, Bayerische Ostmark until 1942 (Bayreuth)
OHV: Ost-Hannover (Lüneburg; Harburg-Wilhelmsburg until 1937)
DF: Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf)
OPR: Ostpreußen (Königsberg)
ES: Essen (Essen)
OSL: Oberschlesien (Kattowitz)
FRN: Franken (Nürnberg)
POM: Pommern (Stettin)
HEN: Hessen-Nassau (Frankfurt am Main)
SCN: Sachsen (Dresden)
SHB: Südhannover-Braunschweig (Hannover)
HMB: Halle-Merseburg (Halle an der Saale)
SHO: Schleswig-Holstein (Kiel)
KAC: Köln-Aachen (Köln)
SLN: Schlesien (Breslau)
KHE: Kurhessen (Kassel)
SPF: Westmark, Saarpfalz until 1942 (Neustadt)
KMK: Kurmark (Frankfurt an der Oder)
SWB: Schwaben (Augsburg)
KTR: Moselland, Koblenz-Trier until 1942 (Koblenz)
THN: Thüringen (Weimar)
MAT: Magdeburg-Anhalt (Magdeburg)
WES: Weser-Ems (Oldenburg)
MBG: Mecklenburg (Schwerin)
WFN: Westfalen-Nord (Münster)
MFR: Mainfranken (Würzburg)
WFS: Westfalen-Süd (Bochum)
MOB: München-Oberbayern (München)
WHZ: Württemberg-Hohenzollern (Stuttgart)
KTN: Kärnten (Klagenfurt)
SBG: Salzburg (Salzburg)
NDO: Niederdonau (Wien)
STM: Steiermark (Graz)
ODO: Oberdonau (Linz)
TRL: Tirol (Innsbruck)
SUD: Sudetenland (Reichenberg)
DWP: Danzig-Westpreußen (Danzig)
WAR: Wartheland (Posen)
PBM: Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren (Prag)
GGV: Generalgouvernement (Warschau), governmental disctricts are Krakau, Lemberg, Lublin, Radom and Warschau
Separated and autonomous Gaus
PET: Freiestadt Petersburg
TAU: Taurida (Gotenhafen)
The Netherlands andBelgium
Nederland (Amsterdam) Lithuania
Ponewesch (Panevježys) Latvia
Nevel (Nevel) Estonia
Pleskau (Pihkva) Belarus
In the year 1938 The Party included 32 gaus, including the Auslandsorganisation (NSDAP/AO) that is formed from Party members that are permanently living abroad. By the year 1943 the number of governmental areas had risen to 43 when Austria, Sudetenland, and Germanic territories of former Poland and Jugoslavia were incorporated to Großdeutschland. After the WWII the Party organization spread to other occupied territories: to Belgium, Holland, Belarus, Baltic countries and parts of Russia. Here the local National Socialistic parties formed their own gaus, that are internally autonomous but are otherwise acting under the surveillance of NSDAP General Assembly. Originally the Gau was only a bureucratic system inside the Party, but after the rise to power in 1933 the gauleiters also took responsibility of the civilian administration of their areas. The Reichsminister and Party Secretary Goebbels terminated the paraller regional state government (Länder) according to the National Socialistic Gleichschaltung-principle in the year 1951, and the State and the Party have been virtually the same thing ever since.
Sights and tourist attractions:
ADOLF HITLER PLATZ (Berlin, Reich) – The greatest plaza of the Welthauptstadt. The Party celebrations of 1st of May are held here since there´s room for even 1 000 000 visitors. During the cold winter the plaza is freezing due of the cold winds. Is roughly the same size with the Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
BRAUNES HAUS (München, Reich) - The first Party headquarters in München designed by Albert Speer is still a popular visiting place. Currently the building hosts a museum of NSDAP with many interesting curiosites.
FÜHRERMAUSOLEUM (Linz, Reich) - The mausoleum of Adolf Hitler is the top attraction of his birthplace Linz alongside with the Wagnerhaus-opera house. Those willing to enter mausoloeum must prepare to wait even hours. Inside one can see Hitler´s deathmask and urn, his uniform and medals from the Great War, the first version of Mein Kampf, the sacred Bloodflag (Butfahne) used in the first revolution and other relics of the National Socialist movement.
FÜHRERPALAST (Berlin, Reich) - The official apartment and office of Germany´s Führer in the Adolf Hitler Platz, also serving as the meeting place of Reichskabinet. Build from the white marble of Caracalla and decorated with various frescos. In the official situations the Führer greets the people from the balcony in the front of the buiding, which is decorated by noble doorian pillars and sculptures of mighty German persons of old.
ART GALLERY OF MÜNCHEN (München, Reich) the largest single art collection of Reich, filled with work of the old masters all over the Europe. Contains many works from the galleries of Louvre and Eremitase.
NÜRNBURG STADIUM (Nürnberg, Reich) - The largest olympic stadium of the Reich, built to classical ”horseshoe”-form to the hills of Nürnberg. Since the ancient Greek technique of amphiteathres have been used the natural acustics of the stadium are excellent. Maximum number of viewers is 400 000. Most European Championship-games and Pan-European Olympics are held here.
OBERKOMMANDO DER WEHRMACHT (Berlin, Reich) – The new Headquarters of the Army, Navy, Border Guards and Ministry of War in the Ost-West-Achsel. Is a part of Berlin´s Grand Tour because of the enormous military museum that´s part of the building.
REICHSBANK (Berlin, Reich) – The center of Reich´s economy is a scyscraper four blok south from Branderburger Gate in the side of the Unter-der-Linden. The Reichsbank has over 8000 workers and it´s as large as the Reichstag. It represents new architecture with it´s huge walls of chrome and glass.
REICHSMUSEUM (Berlin, Reich) – A place where all the national treasures are kept. They include the first printed copy of "Mein Kampf", the piano of Richard Wagner, the treasure of Troy discovered by Schliemann, the sword of Charlemagne and the Spear of Longinus. Newer material include the first ever-built Volkswagen, Sternwagen-9 from the first Lunar mission and the famous space suit of cosmonaut Otto Hansbacher. Various theme expeditions of the museum include the ”Erotic room” of Czarina Catherine the Great and other valued materials that were evaquated to safety from the former Soviet Union.
REICHSTAG (Berlin, Reich) - The old building has been restaured to her old form, but it´s dwarfed by the precense of the Großdeutschlandhall. The buiding is mostly used for some seremonial gatherings.
DER TRIUMPFBOGEN(Berlin, Reich) – A great triumphal arch standing in the height of 122 meters in the beginning of the shady Prachtsrasse shadowed by lindens and elms. The wide plaza next to it is surrounded by 24 captured artillery pieces from the Operation Barbarossa. The names of every German soldier who died in the war are carved to the vault of the arch with golden letters .
SIEGESSÄULE (München, Reich) - The Statue of Victory is nearly hundred meters high, and styled like the Roman victory column. The Party´s eagle decorates the top. Popular outlook tower.
GROß REICHALL (Berlin, Reich) – World largest building and the symbol of "Welthauptstadt Germania.” A colossal copper-green cupola rises to 290 meters from sealevel, and in the top a golden eagle holds the globe in it´s grip. The main auditorium can hold a meeting of 150 000 people at one. The GR is the meeting place of the European Parliament and Comission, and as thus it symbolizes the unity of Europe. In addition the opening sessios of the German parliament are held here, alongside with parties, conserts, and several other important state-level happenings. Without question the most populous tourist attraction of Berlin, and a landmark that symbolizes the city as well as the Eiffel Tower symbolizes Paris and the Statue of Liberty symbolizes New York.
TOTENBURG (Bialystok, Reich) - A huge stone tower and memorial area dedicated to the victims of the WWII, symbolizing Europe´s liberation of communism.
TRIUMPH DES WILLENS (East-Prussia, Reich) – A forest grown to the shape of a swastika, work of a Hitler-Jugend gardener-detachment. Grows near Marienburg and is over six kilometers wide. Tens, maybe even hundreds of similar living monuments are found all over the Reich, especially from the eastern parts. In Tschauen there´s a whole garden grown in similar patterns.
Cities of Großdeutschland
BERLIN - Officially called the 'Welthauptstadt Germania'. Home of the New Order, the display window of the National Socialism, the stony and bureucratic heart of Europe. Eleven million people live in it´s three major suburb archs. Despite the world´s largest boulevards and buildings many Germans find their capitol to be quite liveless. A paradice of bureucrats, tourists and party people.
VIENNA - The twin capitol of the Reich, the cradle of Ostmarkian culture. Here the atmosphere is much more relaxed than in Berlin. Countless cafes, theathers and the famous opera house. Vienna is the economical center of the Eastern Economic Sphere.
HAMBURG - The second-largest city of the Reich works as the center of economy in the western Europe. It is a world of suitcases and Boss suits, but some districts of the old city still uphold the delightful traditions of this old hansa town.
MÜNCHEN - The birth place of National Socialism is proud of it´s Bavarian traditions, sausages and Octoberfest. Every proper National Socialist comes here for a tourist visit to see the Siegessaule and other attractions. The other end of the famous Berlin-Nürnberg-München-autobahn (Parteiautobahn).
NÜRNBERG - The place of annual Party gatherings: Luitbold-arena and Zeppelin-field are always drawing in couple of million people each year. Every fourth year a Pan-European Olympic Games of the Reich also take place here. In winter times the city is quite peaful and visitors have more time to enjoy the medieval architecture.
LINZ - The birthplace of Hitler is best known for it´s Führer-mausoloeum and opera house, but it´s also the most important industrial area in the whole Ostmark.
WOLFSBURG - 1936 established center of the European car industries, a place where the Volkwagen-consortium HQ is located.
HERMANN GÖRING STADT – One of the many ”ideal towns” build by the NSDAP. Hermann Göring Stadt (128 000 inhabitants) is an important center of machinery industry near Watenstedt-Salzgitter and Wolfsburg, the two other new towns in western Germany focused on industry.
VITKOVICE-KRAKAU - The center of Germany´s heavy industry has been moved away from Ruhr, that has turned to a silent place ridden with unemployment and abanoned ironworks. Currently it is located to the areas of Bohemia-Moravia and Polish General Gouvernment. Frankfurt-am-Mein ja Bonn are quite unimportant areas in Reich.
RÜGEN – A major beach vacation area build by Kraft durch Freude near Stettin in the Baltic Sea. 75 kilometers of sandy beach, yearly capacity of 14 million tourists. Common German worker has his annual holidays here if he cannot affort a trip to Taurida and Gotenland.
GOTENLAND (Krimea, Taurida) - Most popular vacation area in Reich. Large numbers of German settlers have moved in to Gotenland (former Krimea)where they live alongside with the Russian and Tatar minorities. KdF and Lufthansa transport tens of thousands of tourists every week to enjoy the southern warmth, the Black Sea and the exotic culture.
Science and technology
BIFROST (São Tomé, Portugal) - A large space research facility located on rented territory of Ilhéu das Rolas, a small island directly on the Equator on the Portuguese São Tomé Island just 2 km north from the equator. Bifrost is the primary launching area for Reich´s satellites and the center of space programs of New Europe. Since the whole region is under military rule and strictly guarded, only a few people have seen this wonder of modern technology.
KAISER WILHELM -INSTITUTE (Berlin, Reich) - A research center of particle physics, accommodating one of the world largest particle accelerators. The ”teknopolis” build from glass and chrome represents the most modern German architecture.
PEENEMÜNDE (Rügen, Reich) – A top-secret research center build to a small island in the Baltic Sea. All German top scientis beginning from Werner von Braun have worked here. The feared V-1 and V-2-cruise missiles, German nuclear program, A-9 and A-10 ICBM:s, Gespenst- and GO-88 Schwarze Sonne-class steath planes and Krupp´s hi-tech tv-guided missiles were all developed and tested here. Peenemünde continues it´s operations even today and is one of the most best kept public secrets in the Reich. The whole island and a wide strip of sea around it is under pernament surveillance and military control, and no one is allowed to close in without authorization. Wild rumours claim that a flying saucer that supposedly crashed to Schwartzwald in 1938 is kept and studied here. Government denies all knowledge of such events, but the local people often say thay they have seen strange things and lights in the skies above Peenemüde.
UNIVERSITY OF STRASSBURG (Strassburg, Reich) – The well-known and respected Anatomic institute, Reich´s Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine and the Robert Koch-institute are all based here in one of the top-notch medical research facilities of the Reich. Even the modern neoclassical university building itself is something worth to see.
1889 Date of birth 20th of April in Braunau am Inn, Austria.
1903 Alois Hitler dies.
1907 Tries to enter the Academy of Arts in Vienna, but the application is rejected.
1909 Years spend as a homeless artist in Vienna.
1914 Fights as a volunteer in the Bavarian Army in the Great War. Receives the Iron Cross 1st class from bravery, is wounded twice.
1919 Partakes the counter-revolution in Bavaria as an army spy. 7th member of the Party of German Workers (DAP).
1921 Assumes the leadership of the party, the NSDAP is established.
1923 Bierkeller Putsch, the failed coup attempt of Hitler and Ludendorff.
1924 Year spend in prison. Rudolf Hess takes dictation for Mein Kampf and writes.
1925 After he is released from prison, Hitler reorganises the Party.
1930 Major electionary victory of the Party.
1932 Hitler as the presidential candidade.
1933 Assumes the status of Reichskanzler.
1934 Secret marriage with Geli Raubal.
1936 Anti-Comintern Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan.
1938 Austria and Sudetenland join to Germany. The Third Reich is born.
1939 WWII begins.
1940 Geli commits suicide.
1943 Hitler survives two assasination attempts, but is seriously paralyzed by third and is thus forced to give up most of his duties.
1946 Moves pernamently to Berchtesgaden (Obersaltzberg) together with Eva Braun.
1950 Official marriage with Eva.
1951 Hitler dies of stomach cancer. Eva Hitler commits suicide.
The most talented speaker of his time? Visionaire or a legendary gambler? Saviour or a tragic figure? Everyone has some kind of opinion about Adolf Hitler. He was a leader whose public image grew to mythic porpotions - thus hiding the man behind the myth. Even though Hitler had never received higher education, he had an exceptionally good memory and he could intuitively understand complicated issues. Outside of his role as the Führer he was a friendly old-school gentleman, while simultaneously being extremely temperamentic, artistic soul who could descent to fierce rage when facing disappointments. His stormy life career with its ups and downs has been one of the greatest stories of the 20th century, and remains a constant source of inspiration for postwar artists. Already during his later years Hitler became less human and more and more a modern myth. Even the modern, more critical Hitler-study hasn´t been able to fully answer the fundamental question: ”Who was Adolf Hitler?” His life was full of qualities of a mystical heros, like his woundrous rise from a failed artist to a leader of a great power, alongside with the mental and physical downfall that followed. Speetches were, like so often beign said, a talent that Hitler mastered with almost magical expertice. Many listeners experienced his speeches as religious experiences. Some Hindu cults have even pointed him out as the Kalki, the last apocalyptic avatara of Vishu who cleanses the world and thus brings end to the Kali-Yuga, an era of decay. In Germany his personality cult has made comparisons to Germanic supreme god Wotan, who is also a mysterious charater with many aspects.
During the wartime Hitler declared that in this conflict he would be "the first soldier" of Germany.
Initially Hitler maintained a public image of primus inter pares. He was proud of his agrarian backround and simple lifestyle, and the people immediately embrazed the charismatic Austrian. Even after all power had been focused to the figure of the Führer to the palaces of Berlin, the Party maintained his imago as a modest "man of the people." Unlike so many other rulers, Hitler actively opposed corruption. He never granted himself the highest decorations or erected statues for his honour. His diet was simple, since his advancing stomach paralysis forced him to follow a healthy vegetarian diet from early on. When others drank alcohol, Hitler took a small pint of beer or drank mineral water. His main sources of income were his small salary as the Reichskanzler and the profits made by the sales of Mein Kampf. Hitler´s true passions were nature, architecture, art and technology. Hitler was not only vegetarian but also a person who deeply cared about animals, loved his German sheperd dogs and dictated animal testing to be banned in the Reich as the first country in Europe. Ironically his relations with people were much more difficult and tragic. He long had a secret affair with Angeliga ”Geli” Raubal who in reality was his half-cousin. This affair wasn´t perceived well within the Party and it was kept an utmost secret from the public, especially after Hitler married Geli in 1934. Regular people knew nothing about Hitler´s private life. The relationship between Geli and Hitler was complex from the start. It was impossible to fix together a marriage and Hitler´s responsibility for the German nation as the Führer. Hitler sharply criticized his wife to his inner circle in Berghof: ”And think of this: After all this my wife keeps disturbing my work! In my freetime I want to relax and be at peace... She fails to realize that I can´t have a normal marriage! And thank Heavens that I don´t have a son! People would utimately try to turn him to my successor...”
While his first marriage ended in tragedy, the relationship to Geli Raubal did have a lasting effect to Hitlers life. Geli managed to soothe the temperate mood of his husband somewhat, but her suicide seemingly affected Hitler more than he ever openly admitted. Hitler became more reclusive and paid less attention to the actual war effort, giving his generals more responsibility and operational freedom.
Geli had to live a completely isolated and lonely life and only occasionally saw Hitler during the first months of WWII. For many times she tried to force Adolf to make a decicion between her and his political career, but Hitler was determined to stay focused to his role as the Führer. Finally Geli was so frustrated that she killed herself with Adolf´s own pistol on September 1940. Her suicide drove Hitler into a deep depression, and his already poor health began to waver. In addition to his psychological problems, Geli reportedly felt increasingly jealous towards Eva Braun, Hitlers secretary who according to the rumours had an affair with Hitler. Eva and Adolf did indeed develop a close friendship that would ultimately lead to his second and last marriage. During the war Hitler had to stretch his will and nerves to the extreme, and his health kept deteriorating fast. His stomach cramps got worse and the paralysis progressed. In addition Geli´s suicide affected him deeply. The assasination attempt of year 1943 was the final turning point of his life. Being semi-paralyzed, he was unable to continue his work with full capacity. Behind the scenes the power was without fuss temporarily diverted to the inner circle of the Party, Army and the leaders of industry. Hitler ordered that his trusted architecht Albert Speer would be his successor as the next Reichskanzler.
Hitler with his faithful dog, Blondi.
After the Victory Day Hitler could finally fulfill his dream of withdrawing to a well-deserved pension time to Berchtesgaden where he could finally focus fully to art. In his last, legendary speech to the German people held in Victory Day parade at Nürnberg, he declared that the mission he had been called upon was now fulfilled. Due of the near-hysterical pleas of the Party and the people he agreed to stay as the nominal party leader until his death. The paralysis prevented him from continuing painting, but with his aides he continued to plan the upcoming Welthaupstadt Germania, the grand reconstruction effort of Berlin. As his stomach cancer diagnosis was confirmed, he and Eva Braun were officially married in spring 1950. After lengthy and difficult illness Adolf Hitler died in early 1951. His body was cremated as was the old pagan dradition of the Germanic peoples. The massive funerals that were decorated with the style of Wagner´s Niebelungenlied-opera caused a mass hysteria through the entire country. Many women even took their own lives, Eva Hitler among them. The deathmask of Hitler and the most important relics of his life were taken to a grand mausoloeum that Hermann Giesler built to München according to the last will of the Führer.
Hitler had planned his mausoloeum himself: inspirations came from Pantheon of Rome, Mausoloeum of Augustus and Les Invalides of Paris. The stony sargofagus of the Führer lies in the middle of the round building, in the light that shines in from the opening in the cupola roof above. Here it is subjected to light and darkness, rain and wind, and is thus at direct link with the cosmos. The mausoloeum, ascetic and pious by decoration, is visited by tens of thousands of pilgrims every day. While Hitler was but a pale shadow of his former self during his last years, his legend kept growing. By his death he became a messianic figure for the movement and became more powerful than he ever was while alive. The mass-hystery surrounding his persona shows no signs of decline even almost hundred years after his birth. Hitler´s life and deeds have long been above criticism in Germany, and Mein Kampf is a canonized book. The first studies that displayed Hitler as an ordinary man were published in early 1960´s, when Rudolf Hess and Albert Speer had privately condemned some of the political mistakes of the Hitler´s time within internal Party circles and had rehabilitated a wide number of political prisoners. But when Siegfried Hoffner came to power even this mildest critique was quickly silenced, and Hitler and his life once again became a taboo subject in Germany.
Pilgrimage sites of Hitler's Cult of personality: Braunau am Inn:
Hitler´s place of birth.
Stadt der Jugend:
Town of Landsberg is especially favoured spot the Hitler-Jugend. The prison sell where Mein Kampf was written is preserved in it´s originall condition. Every summer the youth organises ”loyalty marches” to Landsberg, where the former prison with it´s famous cells have been formed to world´s most largest youth hostel. Next to the prison is Landsberg´s Hitler-Jugend-stadium.
Monument in München in the place where the putsch initiated by Ludendorff and Hitler was defeated at 9th of September 1923. The Martyrs of the Revolution have been buried in the same area to Königsplaz´s Ehrentempel.
DOB 26th of April, Alexandria, Egypt 1894.
1908 Starts his studies in the boarding school of Bad Godesberg.
1914-1918 Volunteer in the Great War, serves as pilot and is wounded at Verdun.
1919 Is accepted to the University of München to study geopolitics. Becomes a member of the Thule-Gesellschaft.
1920 Joins to the NSDAP.
1923 Takes part in the Bierkeller Putsch, is sentenced to the prison of Landsberg for two and a half years .
1925 Hitler´s private secretary.
1927 Marriage with Ilse Pöhl.
1933 Vice-Chancellor and Minister in government.
1937 Wolf Rüdiger Hess is born.
1940-46 Leader of the NSDAP/AO
1939-1946 Member of the Committee of Defence.
1943 Elfriede Helene is born.
1951 Vecomes the new Führer, much to his own surprise.
1953: Is sent to represent Reich to Istanbul, where a nuclear war between New Europe and West is narrowly avoided and the Middle-Eastern War ends due the successful negotiations held during the Istanbul Conference. Hess gives the famous "An die Frontkämpfer der Welt"-speech to international media.
1953 Gives another historical speech where he declares the beginning of the conquest of space as the Reich launches the Fortschritt I, the first successful satellite to Earth's orbit.
1954 Charles Lindbergh visits the birthday celebrations of Hess.
1956 Survives an assassination attempt during his vacation in Bavaria.
1959 Official state visit to the United States.
1968 Public unrest everywhere in New Europe. The old triumvirate is toppled and Siegfried Hoffner rises to power.
1969 Leaves politics.
Former pilot of the Great War and the second Führer of the Reich, Rudolf W. R. Hess was born in Alexandria to a German merchant family with Bavarian heritage. Before the Great War he studied in Switzerland. After the war Hess joined the mysterious Thule-Gesellschaft in München and took part to the reactionary struggle against the Soviet Republic of Bavaria. In the University of München Hess studied social history, economics and geopolitics under the guidance of the famous professor Karl Haushofer. Then a new figure appeared to his life: Adolf Hitler spoke in May 1920 in München. Hess was among the audience and was fascinated by Hitler's visionary ideas and soon he became a trusted associate and follower of Führer.
Hess was thus part of Hitler´s inner circle from the very start and initially worked as his private secretary. After the failed coup he shared a cell with Hitler in Landsberg prison. During this period one of the most important memoirs of the 20th century was born in the form of Mein Kampf, written by Hess under Hitler´s dictation. Despite the burden of Party work, Hess also continued his academic career. He became the assistant of professor Haushofer. The thoughts of Ferdinand von Richthofen, Friedrich Ratzel and Rudolf Kjéllen impressed him much, and in Deutsche Akademie he specialized to the status of German minorities abroad. A typical example of Rudolf Hess´s personality was his warm friendship with Albrecht, the son of professor Haushofer. Abrecht was only twenty-years old but already a doctor licentiate, a talented pianist and similar romantic and poetic person as Hess. The fact that liberal young Haushofer disliked National Socialists in general did not ruin their friendship. When Albrecht became the German ambassador in the UK after the war, he used his international relations to improve the future career of Hess and later on supported his determined efforts to build a lasting peace between the New Europe and the Anglo-Saxon worlds.
As a politician Hess was first and foremost a peacemaker. When compared to many other Party politicians his moral strength stood in it´s own heights like a lonely mountain. He might have been the only member of Hitler´s closest staff that never even considered to use the Führer-prinzip to advance his own goals. When he spoke of justice, politicians like Dr. Goebbels treaded him with mild disdain or openly despised him. Yet Hess maintained his good relations with Hitler, and unquestionably supported him. The public, mythical Hitler-figure and the idea of Führer being incapable of making mistakes was largely created by Hess. In 1933 Hess seemed to be on top of his career, as Hitler named him as his future successor as the next Führer. At this time his most important task was to watch over the public image of the Party. When Hitler or Goebbels had to justify some less popular law or action to the people, the sincere Hess was put to the task. Hess was strict in his line no corruption or misconducts should be tolerated inside the Party. Ordinary citizens sent him thousands of letters where they requested help, and Hess tried to answer them all personally. He protected those who were persecuted without being proven guilty and wrote angry letters to those SS- or SA-units that had taken too harsh stand and acted independently.
His honesty and sincerity ultimately led Hess out of inner circle of power. Other ministers and especially his secretary Martin Bormann tried to separate him from Hitler. When the war broke out Hess found out that he was alone. He no longer participated to most important assemblies and meetings and focused to his job as the Parteikanzler. Now he also had time for his family. His first son Wolf Rüdiger was born in 1937 and daughter Elfriede Helene in 1943. In the other hand he was still was quite depressed about his situation. He felt that he was powerless to defend the purity of National Socialism, and that a group of abusers and lackeys had encircled Hitler and were giving him bad advice. These thoughts drove Hess to study mysticism, astrology and Germanism with increased determination. He had acknowledged his paganism much earlier, and his interest to spiritual matters was shared by his wife Ilse, who studied traditional medicine. Since ordinary ailments were ineffective in curing his stress, Hess started to support homeopathy and other alternative medicines in Germany. He also met various religious leaders, even Tibetan monks.
Hess knew Hitler´s mind well and considered the new world war to be a terrible mistake, with Churchill being the one to blame. Hess could not believe that Hitler could have made a miscalculation with his foreign policy towards Britain, since one of the most fundamental goals in his foreign policy had always been an Anglo-German alliance. And since all attempts of making peace between the two powers seemed to stall to Churchill´s person, Hess decided to try to contact the Duke of Hamilton in order to offer truce. When the English secret service found out of these plans they tried to lure Hess to fly to Scotland under the pretext to initiate peace negotiations, but Abwehr was luckily able to reveal this obvious trap before Hess could fly out.
The New Führer
Hess stayed in background during the intense power struggles that followed the Victory Day and Hitler´s retirement from politics. After his attempted flight to Scotland he had lost his office as the Parteikanzler to Dr. Goebbels and during the wartime he had acted as the head of the Party´s Department of Foreign Affairs, NSDAP/AO. As Reinhard Heydrich, Speer and Goebbels bested the SS-leader Himmler who had become dangerously powerful, Heydrich started to purge the Party from old drunk veterans of the early years. Then Heydrich himself was assassinated and SS was in turn purged. When Hermann Göring was smart enough to voluntarily retire from public life without a fuss, the internal situation of Germany stabilized somewhat but the final division of power among the victors of the power struggle could not be agreed upon. Goebbels had hoped to rise to the leadership of the Party himself, but the former propaganda minister lacked the support of the people. The stalemated situation was solved when Hitler's testament was published in the General Assembly of NSDAP, and Hess was elected as the new Party leader with overwhelming majority according to the last will of the Führer.
There were many reasons for the way how Hess rose back to politics with such astonishing speed. His sincerity and good reputation granted him both real and lasting support from the people. He had also kept himself out of the war and had not thus tarnished his reputation with it. To the masses Hess seemed like a man who could lead Germany and the whole Europe out of war and murder towards a lasting peace. The last and most important factor of the selection of Hess was the mutual enmity of other top Nazi politicians, since it rendered all chances of co-operation impossible. And finally and most importantly Speer, Goebbels and the new president and former Secretary of State Lammers needed a popular figurehead against the threat of an army mutiny and coup. There was real unrest inside the Wehrmacht at the time: Death of Hitler had released it from the oath of royalty and the continuation of the Party rule seemed to be seriously threatened. Thus Hitler's testament appeared in most favorable moment, and surprised Hess became the new Führer.
In public propaganda the years that Hess had spent in Landsberg with Hitler were now emphasized alongside with his important role in the birth of Mein Kampf. In his first speech Hess declared that he would continue the work of Hitler who had recently risen to Valhalla, but he also emphasized that he was only a humble follower of his great master and nothing more. Hess promised to return National Socialist movement to it's roots and focus to look after the peaceful co-existence of European nations. According to him the recent war had almost been ”the suicide of the white race”, stopped just barely by the Peace of Zürich. Unlike Hitler, idealistic Hess believed to the power of treaties and guarantees. He was happy with his job as the exemplar of the people. If Hitler had been an angry and unpredictable God, Hess was the new Christ and conscience of the German people, especially after he had openly condemned some of the minor excesses of Hitler´s time, and during his rule both censorship and persecution of political opponents became much less severe. Hess retained the Heil Hitler-greeting in use and ignored the jokes that suggested that the greeting should be changed to "Heil Hess."
As the leader of the Party Hess now officially led the Reich just like Hitler had done before him, but the true power was in the hands of the triumvirate of Speer, Goebbels and Lammers, Heer leadership and the major corporations that supported them. Since Hess was even less a man of action than Hitler had been, the Parteikanzler became the most important office in Reich. The division of power within the inner circle was made in such a way that Goebbels dealt with all matters political as the Parteikanzler, Speer took care of all governmental issues as the Reichskanzler and Lammers controlled the administrative bureaucracy as the Reichspräsident. There was a constant infighting between the different departments, but common people knew nothing of it. To the outside world there was only Hess, and since the Party was now representing whole Germany and Hess in turn led the Party, Hess was now the face of the Reich for the outside world. He was surprisingly resilient in this role and remained in office for whole 18 years before he was ousted together with his puppet masters in the internal coup of 1969.
Rudolf Hess is best known for his support for the creation of European Community, the space program of the Reich and the normalization of the internal situation of the postwar Reich.
Hoffner made a colourful career before becoming the new leader of the Reich.
DOB 16.12.1906, Koblenz.
1924 Begins his studies of metallurgy.
1931 Becomes a Party member.
1936 The Secretary of the Union of Metal Workers within the NSDAP.
1938 Leader of the Technical Institute of Koblenz, attents to local politics.
1950-1956 Gauleiter and Reichstatthalter of Moselland.
1952 Landesinspekteur of Western Germany. A candidate for Party leadership.
1956 Is tasked to lead the reconstruction of Berlin as the "Welthaupstadt Germania."
1959 Reichsleiter, member of the inner circle
1960 Chief of Gestapo
1966 Leader of the RSHA
1969 Party Leader, Reichspresident and -Chancelor: the new Führer.
1976 The space program of the Reich performs a successful manned flight to the Moon and back.
1978 Hoffner´s planned economy creates a deep repression and a general paralysis of the economy.
1982 Dies to a heart attack in Berlin.
An engineer and a member in both SA and SS, Dr. Siegfried Arnold Hoffner worked in war time in the services of RSHA, Ostministerium and Organization Todt. Under the command of Fritz Sauckel he was temporarily resposible in recruiment of workforce from Ukraine to Reich. The great purges of the SS greatly improved his career, and he became a SS-Brigadeführer by 1947.
In 1956 Hoffner was assigned to supervise the world´s most largest construction work, the build-up of Berlin´s Welthaupstadt . He supported the SS-Reichsführer Karl Hanke in the power struggle against the ”Old Guard” and soon got into the inner circle of the Party and the SS. In 1959 he officially joined the ranks of the ”Circle of Twelve” in Wevelsburg. Hoffner continued to spread his influence in the backround of daily politics when he managed to became the chief of Gestapo in 1960, thus succeeding Walther Schellenberg as the leader of RSHA.
During this period the relations between the Reich and the United States were then better than ever, since Joseph P. Kennedy II had recently became the President of the United States and had improved the relations between the two superpowers. The Kennedy Assasination in 1963 triggered a series of events that led to the downfall of the old triumvirate that had governed Reich in Rudolf Hess´s name. It all begun when the new President Lyndon. B. Johnson took a clear stand against the Reich and abolished racial discrimination by law. Soon after this the relations between the major powers were again in major crisis. The United States declared a trade embargo against Europe. Simultaneously Rudolf Hess had became increasingly unstable and began to sink deeper to the word of parapsychology and magic. As the situation became clear for the old triumvirate the search for a new figurehead began.
John F. Kennedy calmed the international situation considerably with his state visit to the Reich, made famous by his legendary "Ich bin ein Berliner"-speech of 1963.
The final days of the reign of Hess were filled with setbacks. The first attempted manned flight to the Moon failed. Wide unrest spread among the youth in Europe. The economy was in decline. Hoffner joined to the conspiracy of security organizations that aimed to oust the triumvirate. In 1969 Hess was forced to abanon his position behind the scenes using his poor health as an excuse.
Speer, Lammers and Dr. Goebbels were completely ousted. A few months later Hoffner assigned himself to the offices of Reichspresident and Reichschancellor and took up the title der Führer. During his early career Hoffner had been supportive for new critical stance towards the war-time atrocities and the careful and slow liberalization of Germany´s cultural life, but a soon as he rose to power he made sure that things changed course. The first trials of the dissident writers began in fall 1969 and state control of economy was increased.
At the same time the RSHA, led by Rheinhold Stroop, regained much of it´s influence that had been stripped from the organization during the era of triumvirate. The critical voices within the Party were silenced in 1970 at the massive 50th anniversary of the NSDAP held in München. The relations to other superpowers remained poor over the whole period of Hoffner´s regime. The arms race escalated and negotiations for the nuclear disarmament failed.
The new personal cult rose to new heights during the times of Hoffner´s 70th birthday in 1976. But unlike Hitler, Hoffner lacked true support of the people. Hitler-cult had been real and spontaneous, while the everyone knew that praise for Hoffner was nothing more than empty words. His death in 1982 has divided the NSDAP to two camps: the "Hoffnerian" wing supported by the security services would prefer the current status quo while many younger politicans are demanding radical reforms before the unstable economy of the New Europe falls to a new repression. So far the struggle between these two factions has been only verbal, but it has also made major changes extremely difficult.
The failed 3rd Republic (1870-1940) survived the Great War intact, but it´s days were already numbered by then. The old Republic was known for constant changes of government and weak presidents. During the chaotic and politically polarized prewar era the French leaders carried out an unrealistic and aggressive policy that in part drove the Europe to war with known results. When the country surrendered in 1940 the power was transferred to the temporary government of Field Marshal Philippe Pétain. This new government was assembled in Vichy. Pétain was an old warrior from the Gear War, and now his prestige was required to save the unity and the future of the French state. The most important name of the new French policy was, however, his Prime Minister Pierre Laval (1886-1968). Vichy was a transition government that aimed to guide the country out of the war and integrate it to the future of New Europe. Dealing with the past was painful and difficult. The corruption of the French political system was seen as the prime reason for the current situation. Pétain and Laval answered to this challenge by demanding a national revolution (Révolution Nationale).
Vichy Government was also troubled by sabotages conducted by the communist Resistance, payments of war reparations and the occupation of Northern France. Laval was actively promoting French interests and sought to maintain the important status that France had in Europe. The main goals of his policy were the end of the occupation and the lifting of the French status in the postwar Europe. In the final years of the WWII France was in a state of civil war. In summer 1944 the communist partisans began a campaign of terror against the government and this development was culminated when the Western Allies tried to invade Normandy in June 1944. The failed invasion and massive Allied air raids devastated the countryside of Contentin peninsula and Normandy. After two more years of war the mood of common Frenchmen was already grim and bitter when the annexation of Elsass-Lothringen was de fact o recognized by the Western Allies in the Zürich Accord in 1946. The German occupation lasted until 10th of August 1949, when France finally reunified. A new France, Etat Français, rose from the ashes of the III Republic. The new Bonapartist legislation solved the problems of the former ineffective parliamentary system. Pierre Laval became the first president of the new France. The rotten principles of "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" were replaced with a new motto: "Travail, Famille, Patrie." The goal was to build a solely French continental power with Charlemagne and the Franks as ideals. The French-German cooperation was seen as the key for European unification and renewal: These old foes simply had to put away their mutual hatred and start to build a smooth, brotherly and equal relations as new, equal allies. Even though the political cooperation was quite slow in the first years, the economical integration between the two major powers in Europe had begun as soon as the armistice had been signed. Especially the French aviation industry benefited from this cooperation. The key figures in this new joint effort were German Minister of Armaments Speer and his French colleague Bichelone. These two young and talented men quickly found a common ground and slowly began to build up the foundations of friendship between the old enemies.
New national unity could only be achieved with heavy sacrifices. Terrorism made rebuilding difficult and the eradication of communism was also slow. Laval´s strong, independent foreign and internal policy were slowly gaining him domestic support. Laval relentlessly sought to improve the lot of France in the New Europe. In order to pursue his goals he used his presidential powers to bypass the national assembly and ruled with the support of referendums. Laval passionately supported the ”Europe of Nations.” His drive towards European integration was finally rewarded after the death of Hitler in 1951, when the community of New Europe was created in the Conference of Vienna. Ever since this major change in European geopolitics, France has been the most active country in NE and is currently seen as the supporter of smaller nations against the supremacy of Germany. Her active policies include a major and active role in the WEU, the all-European military alliance. France has also sought to maintain her active and independent diplomacy on a global scale. Germany has so far prevented French attempts of further European integration, since the creation of an European federation would weaken the ruling position of Reich in the continent.
General de Gaulle and his CFLN movement maintained their hold of the African holdings of the former French colonial empire.
One of the main principles of New Europe were self-sufficiency of European greater economic sphere. In addition the French government supported the pro-fascist Arab forces during the Middle-Eastern War. Yet this was the last Axis attempt to regain French colonies, and the remaining parts of French Empire remained loyal to Free French movement led by de Gaulle. In the metropolitan France the internal dissent slowly kept growing within the French society. When Pierre Laval finally died, the unstable political situation erupted in the form of a general strike and wide riots in the summer of 1968. After this unrest was quelled, the French political centre unified and formed a new government with the national right (Parti Populaire Français). Relations with Germany were normalized and a program of economic revival was initiated when banks and major corporations were nationalized.
Italy entered the war as a proud and unified country and the birthplace of fascism, but ultimately success avoited Il Duce. The warlike policy initiated by Mussolini proved costly to Kingdom of Italy. By 1943 her stockpiles of strategic resources were practically used up, and the defeats met in Africa, Mediterranean and Soviet Union had cost Italy at least one-third of her whole armed forces. In addition the army was still ill-equipped with obsolete weapons, and the morale of the troops was faltering as the Allied invasion of the Italian mainland grew nearer. The separate armistice in Eastern Front did little to cheer up the common Italian people who were fed up with the costly war that was going badly. And there was worse to come. After they drove the Axis troops out from Africa, the Allies invaded Sicily with the support of mafia in July 1943. When the military situation just seemed to get worse day by day, the Great Fascist Council drove Mussolini out from office with voices 19-8, and the king Vittorio Emmanuelle III named Field Marshal Pietro Badoglio as the new Prime Minister. In 8th of September Allies landed in Naples and Badoglio announced the Italian surrender in an open radio broadcast. This truce that had been secretly made in Cassible near Syracusa at 3rd of September marked the beginning of the Italian tragedy. Germans reacted to Italian betrayal with methods similar to 1941 when an anti-German coup had taken place in Yugoslavia. German troops encircled and disarmed the Italian units in Greece, Balkans and in the Italian peninsula itself. According to the armistice protocol the remaining units of Regia Marina had to be interned to Malta, but Luftwaffe made a swift strike against it with new radio-guided bombs and sunk battleships Roma and Littorio. German paratroopers occupied Rome, and the new Government of Badoglio fled to south. Badoglio now declared war on Germany and his government joined to the Western Allies. At the same time the two strong antifascist parties in Italy – the Socialists and the Liberals – created a committee of national liberation, CLN, that quickly began to organize partisan units. The Communists who had strong support in Northern Italy refused to accept it, and created the CLNAIN, the Committee of National Liberation of Northern Italy that also established communist cells to every German-occupied town. The relations between CLN, CLNAIN and the Badoglio Government were poor to begin with and soon got worse. In 12th of September a German commando team liberated Mussolini who could now in turn create a new government of the Italian Social Republic, Repubblica Sociale Italiana, to Northern Italy. The capitol of this new republic was established to Sálo. At the same time when Badoglio collected volunteers for the Allied cause, RSI hastily organized police- and armed forces of her own to battle against the communist partisan brigades.
With reinforcements from the former Eastern Front the Germans managed to stop the Allied advance to the outskirts of Monte Cassino, and the frontlines in the mountains soon became stable. After various setbacks and mounting casualties the Allies shifted their focus to the planning of the upcoming invasion of Western Europe, a change of policy strongly demanded by the Americans. Meanwhile the development of the new army of RSI faced many problems. The extreme wing of fascists led by Ricci demanded a purely political fascist army. He was opposed by Graziani who represented the conservatives royal to Mussolini. In the end a compromise was reached when the regular army was supplemented by the National Guard, Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana. This force of 150 000 blackshirts was responsible for the internal security duties and anti-partisan warfare. In spring 1944 Civil War broke out in Italy. The communist Red Brigades increased their recruitment efforts in Northern Italy and protested against the RSI by strikes. Luckily for the RSI it´s enemies were too divided to form a unified front since the power struggles soon turned to internal fighting between the different anti-fascist factions. The Marxist Garibaldists fought not only the Fascist Black Brigades but also waged war against Socialistic Matteottes and Liberal Giustizia-units. In July 1944 the Western Allies supported by Italian partisans and ”Badoglite" volunteers finally managed to enter Rome that had been declared an open city by the Germans. This proved to be their last success in the Italian theatre of operations - after the Treaty of Kirovograd the Allies lacked necessary numerical superiority to advance further northwards. The following summer was a repeat of the previous one – again the partisans manned the hills and established numerous small ”free states” to the countryside, and held out for few weeks or months until put down. The cold winter and lack of supply were a serious challenge to many partisan groups and often these volunteers ultimately simply returned to their villages without making any fuss about it. The front remained stable and by the time of the armistice in 1946 the Western Allies were still in the Apennines in front of the solid German field fortifications. In the peace of Zürich Vittorio Emmanuelle gave up his crown and Badoglio became the first Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Italy. Yet he refused to acknowledge the independence of RSI, and the Italian question was left unsolved. The divided Italy became the symbol of the Cold War.
Allied troops entering Rome.
Southern Italy was governed by an antifascist-democratic government until 1948, when the communist were left to opposition and the civil war that had required over 600 000 casualties was officially over. The Fascists remained as the sole party in the north. Mussolini himself did not live long after the peace, and after Red Brigades finally managed to assassinate him in 1946, Il Duce was replaced by a directorate of three members led by the Party Secretary of the Fascist Party, Alessandro Pavolini. The country was among the first to join the New Europe and WEU. At the same time the South approached the Western world and became one of the first signatory members of NATO. The wide economic support from the US lifted the standards of living in the poor south and supported the international position of Badoglio´s government. The pro-Western Italian regime could also take pride from the fact that it held Rome, the ancient capitol. The United States enabled the South to recover economically, and even though it´s economy continued to be mainly agrarian-based, it´s GNP slowly rose to the levels of wealthy and industrialized Northern Italy. The RSI had inherited the majority of Italian national resources, industry and centers of education, but political corruption, the terrorism of the Red Brigades and economical crises shocked the recovering economy. Outside the peninsula the RSI held the region of Istria, a group of Dalmatian Islands and Elba. A zone of barbed wire fences, minefields and police garrisons was soon erected to the border during the Cold War as a part of the "Iron Curtain" of the New Europe.
Iron Curtain in a valley in southern Apennines.
Even though the British mainland was never invaded and the country was thus spared from the fate of becoming part of the "New Europe", the German wartime blockade made life in the UK increasingly difficult. But despite the military defeats, poverty and the threat of outright famine Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was able to rally his nation and give them hope. Only the failure of Operation Overlord and the following defeat of the Allied Bomber Command proved to be too much for his career. In July 1945 a new Government took office when Labour surprised many by winning the elections. The signs of war weariness could be seen everywhere after Normandy. The German peace proposal of 1940 was raised back to public discussion, and some noted that Germany had promised to support British supremacy in seas and colonies in exchange of German hegemony in the continent. In the House of Lords Churchill was increasingly often accused of being a warmonger who had damaged the cause of the nation by continuing the already lost war while selling the Empire to the Americans. As Germany then continued the ”Blitz” after years of peace with large-scale missile attacks against southern England, the British government decided that the war should be ended – with honorable terms of course, but as quickly as possible nevertheless. Lord Halifax was summoned back from the United States and he became the New Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and the leader of the British peace delegation. Churchill continued to support his cause from the opposition. He was firm in his opinion that fascism should still be opposed, no matter the cost, and that the policy of ”unconditional surrender” had to continue. But the general mood in the Government was that the US might well be able to still win in the long run, but that would also mean the downfall of Britain who would have to face the direct consequences of such prolonged conflict. But even the Americans seemed reluctant to continue the war in Europe after the catastrophe of Normandy, especially when it was increasingly clear that Stalin was not willing to restart hostilities in Eastern Front in the near future. Thus the negotiations mediated by neutral Sweden in fall 1945 finally led to the Peace of Zürich in 22nd of April 1946, and the Axis and Allied spheres of interest in Europe were determined for the first time.
After they had won the postwar elections, Labour announced that their priority goal would be the rebuilding of the country. The party initiated a wide range of social reforms and increased the state control of many important industries. The generous Marschall-aid from the US enabled the British economy to quickly recover from the war. But the defeat after so great sacrifices had deeply affected to the general mood of the people, and the war was followed by a long season of nationwide pessimism and turbulent internal politics. The Marschall Plan and the ”Iron Curtain” that rose to the shores of Europe separated Britain from her prewar trade markets and further increased the economic links to the United States. The dismantling of the British colonial Empire had began already during the war, but after the defeat in the WWII the British capabilities to maintain control of her former colonies declined rapidly due the difficult economical situation. The 1950´s witnessed the process where the Empire was gradually transformed to British Commonwealth that originally included 36 independent member states. While the official mission of this international organization was to help the developing countries towards independence, democracy and economic prosperity, British troops were still engaged in several conflicts in the former empire in Suez, Kenya, Yemen, Malay Emergency etc.
Rioters clash with police in Northern Ireland during the 1960s.
Ireland, where hardliner nationalists still had high hopes of quickly ending of "the occupation of Ulster" provoked the British by establishing diplomatic ties to the states of New Europe and by sending formal condolences when Adolf Hitler died in spring 1951. In South Africa the outcome of the war and the change of British colonial politics were followed by a quick counter-reaction. The Afrikaner National Party won the next elections by a landslide and proceeded to set up the apartheid-system based on racial discrimination, thus distancing itself from the rest of the Commonwealth and warming up its relations with New Europe. A lengthy and bloody civil war of Rhodesia began soon afterwards.
Thatcher became a long-standing figure in the British politics and radically transformed the country.
In the years between 1964 and 1979 Britain was ruled by various governments. Labour struggled to overcome the economical hardships and sought to modernize the industrial system, but the problems of inflation, high unemployment rates and uncompromising worker unions made the job increasingly difficult. The unions ultimately forced the latest Labour government to resign, and Margaret Thatcher of the Conservatives rose to power. Thatcher made a sharp u-turn in policy, and the course was set to American liberalism instead of earlier state socialism promoted by Labour. She legislatively reduced the power of unions, made sharp cuts to social security system and began to privatize state-owned business. She also brought the country closer to United States and increased the British role in NATO. At the same time Thatcher sought to improve the poor self-image of Britain that still suffered from the outcome of the WWII. Thatcher has managed to strengthen the British economy, but at the expense of many common citizens. The divide between the rich and the poor is even wider than in the US. Yet Britain has retained her role as an important ally of the United States through the years, and the relations between London and Washington are as strong as ever.
Zrinyi-class assault guns were one of the few effective weapons in the Hungarian arsenal during WWII.
Originally surrounded by enemies, in 1940 Hungary suddenly found herself in a situation where most of her neighbours were friendly Axis powers. Austria had joined the Reich, Slovakia was governed by Tiso and his German-friendly government and in Romania Field Marschall Antonescu had risen to power after territorial confessions to Soviet Union, Bulgary and Soviet Union had led to an internal crisis where king Carol II had left the country and German troops arrived to secure the oilfields of Ploesti. The non-agression pact with Yugoslavia signed in December 1940 was declared null and void when anti-German officers supported by Britain staged a military coup in Yugoslavia in March 1941. Hitler was forced to send German troops to the Balkans, and knowing the Hungarian opinion about the border regions he demanded military access and requested that Hungarian Army would also take part of putting down this coup. After the Yugoslav military junta had surrendered Miklos Horthy, the long-time Hungarian Head of State, gave order to occupy the ethnically Hungarian regions of former Yugoslavia.
When the German assault against the Soviet Union began, Hitler expected military support from Finns and Romanians alone. Romanians hoped that by joining the German cause as brothers in arms they could claim back the Northern Transylvania that was earlier lost to Hungary by the Vienna Dictate. This in turn led the Hungarian military leadership to support the idea of also joining the fray so that the Romanians would not be able achieve a favorite status in the eyes of Hitler. They also anticipated the war to be easy and quick. The Government of Bárdossy and Horthy himself were originally opposed to the idea, but when Bolshevik planes flying without national insignias had bombed the city of Kassa (Košice) the Prime Minister Bárdossy spoke to the parliament in 27th of July 1941 and proclaimed that Hungary and Soviet Union were now at the state of war. A Hungarian expeditionary force of 40.000 soldiers marched towards East and crossed the border in the very same day. This small detachment was initially able to advance quickly because it did not meet any serious resistance during the first few days.
But the Hungarian Army was still poorly armed and equipped since the armaments program initiated in 1938 had not been able to work miracles in such a short period of time. The Hungarian economy also struggled to meet the demands of the war effort, and the consumer goods situation kept getting worse in the front and at home. The country had entered the war too early and too ill-prepared. In addition both Britain and United States declared war to Hungary, and this fact did not help the mood of the home front one bit. The anti-war and anti-German dissent gained ground and the support of the fascist Arrowcross party kept declining as the war went on. In March 1942 Horthy changed his Prime Minister Bárdossy who was considered to be too German-minded to his trusted associate, the careful Miklós Kállay.
In spring 1942 the 2nd Hungarian Army was sent to front with the strength of over 200.000 men after Germans had requested more troops for Eastern Front. Initially the main task of this force was to form a strategic reserve and to perform anti-partisan warfare and garrison duties in the area of Reichskommissariat Ukraine. After the fall of Sevastopol the bulk of the 2nd Army was transferred to Caucasus, where the swift advance of panzer formations of the Armeegruppe Süd had left wide gaps to Axis lines. After the capture of Caucasus things went pretty quiet in the southern front, and Hungarian troops dug in and settled down. During the next winter the Red Army ended the long period of trench warfare in Caucasus by making a surprise attack with massive force of troops against the poorly equipped and motivated Hungarians who had almost no reserves. The forces in Caucasus, mostly consisting of Romanian, Hungarian and Ukrainian units were badly mauled and driven back by the advancing Soviets, and only a quick counter-attack of German mechanized reserves prevented the total destruction of four Axis armies. The 2nd Hungarian Army losses were over 10.000 men killed and 25.000 more wounded or captured. As the war continued, the Hungarian economy and industry continued to wither, and the threat of famine within the country was very real. In the other hand the Transylvanian question motivated the government to keep on fighting. Romania wanted the northern part of the region back, while Hungary wanted to reclaim the whole region. Thus both countries were afraid to leave the Axis in the fear that Germany would reward ”her better ally” by new border changes in Transylvania. Hungary and Romania also had another border dispute in Bánát region in northeastern ex-Yugoslavia bordering Vojvodina and Romania. German troops occupied the region for the whole war, thus forcing both sides to continue their efforts to meet their goals.
The separate peace with the Soviet Union didin´t much improve the now catastrophic situation of Hungarian economy, since Hungarian forces were still needed in the East for garrison duties. The question of Transylvania and Bánát strained the relations of Hungary and Romania well after the war, since Reich and RSI guaranteed the borders agreed upon in Vienna Dictate. After Horthy died in 1950 the internal pressure from the National Socialist wing in Hungary grew so much that the Arrowcross was able to rise to power with German support. The Party Leader Ferenc Szálas became "nemzetvezetõ", a national leader according to the German example. At the same time the legislation and internal politics were re-organized according to the National Socialist doctrines. The land reform was finished and the working week was shortened. This national reform did happen without difficulties. Szálas ordered his party to start a series of purges aimed against the former intelligentsia and known opponents of the regime, and following orders the secret police persecuted all opponents of the new policy. The violent regime of Szálas and his associates met a quick end when German political situation began to change after Hitler died. Encouraged by the more open policies of the post-war leadership of the Reich the Hungarian people rose to barricades in 1956 and demanded reforms and resignation of Szálas.
As unrest and strikes spread across the whole country Szálas was forced to resign. But Germany did not want to see an important ally fall to anarchy and chaos and organized a military intervention in November 1956. Mechanized SS-units quickly restored order in whole Hungary. The German leadership understood all too well that restoring Szálas to power would be most unwise. His successor was therefore much more moderate András Puskás. During the long period he was in office the life of the common people calmed down, and the grip of the secret police became less harsh. After aged Puskás withdrew from politics the new ”Hungarian Party for Truth and Life” (Magyar igazság és élet pártja, MIÉP), elected István Csurka as the new head of state in late 1980´s.
After king Carol II had left the country, Field Marschall Ion Antonescu (1882-1958) used his Iron Guard to establish a fascist dictatorship to Romania after Italian model, with Head of State being the young king Michael I. Antonescu ruled as a grey eminence with the king as his figurehead. The painful losses of Northern Transylvania and Constanta were somewhat compensated by the annexation of Transdniestr in the Conference of Vienna. But after decades of Soviet rule the region was in poor shape from the parts of economy and infrastructure, and the number of ethnic Romanians was minimal. After Antonescu died king Michael assigned General Petru Georgescu as his new Prime Minister, and the old soldier firmly continued to follow the principles of his great ideological predecessor Antonescu. During Georgescu´s time Romania greatly improved her defense forces and became the strongest military power in southwestern Europe. Germany has allowed Romania to build a fleet strong enough to control the Black Sea. Georgescu´s policy towards Hungary was wisely chosen détente, and the Treaty of Kolozsvár negotiated between him and Puskás marked an end to all territorial claims for both sides.
At the 1980´s Romania also experienced changes in leadership. The new Prime Minister was a young, nationalistic politician called Georghe Funar. Funar was born in Transilvania, and as a Prime Minister he has strongly advocated the idea of ”revival of Romanian greatness” and the idea of reclaiming whole Transylvania.[/SIZE]
Romanian Fleet during WEU exercises in the Black Sea.
The defense of Europe is the task of the most well trained and armed military forces in the world. Wehrbund Europa, WEU, represents the combined might of all European land-, air- and naval forces. While the main force pool of WEU consists of active and well-trained reserve units, the professional all-European units of Waffen-SS are permanently in higher state of readiness and form the Eurokorps, the European rapid deployment force that can quickly react to any crisis within the European sphere of interest. The formation of WEU was a natural response to the rising Western militarism that forged the Hemispheric Defense Treaty and NATO as new hostile military alliances directed against Europe. As a response to this aggression the leaders of Germany, France and RSI initiated their own negotiations of European military integration. The founding treaty of Wehrbund Europa was signed in the Elyseé Palace, 22nd of January 1953.
Waffen-SS was the first truly international European military organization.
The idea of an all-European army can be traced back to WWII when the Crusade against Bolshevism saw the creation of international Waffen-SS units from volunteers from all over the Europe. During the first post-war years this armed wing of the SS became an independent organization under the control of Wehrmacht. Once WEU came to being this top-class military organization was again reorganized to specialized high-readiness units of the Eurokorps. The latest change in their role has been the recent introduction of different stabilization missions, and the professional soldiers of Eurokorps are currently deployed to many potential flashpoints of Europe in Balkans, Caucasus and eastern Europe. The soldiers of WEU guard the borders of our continent in land, sea and air. A credible military force is necessary for securing the common interests of Europe and protecting our citizens in the global level. WEU is a guarantee for free and neutral development within Europe. It´s strong, efficient and modern armed forces are preventing any enemy aggression by being well prepared for possible conflict.
Italian Bersaglieri on guard duty in the borderzone of RSI.
50 years of tactical air superiority - History of Luftwaffe
With the humiliating treaty of Versailles still in effect, all forms of military aviation were strictly forbidden in Germany after the Great War. Up until the year 1922 it was forbidden to even build civilian airplanes. All sorts of means to get around these restrictions were used in Weimar republic era. Because motorized aviation was banned, numerous glider aircraft clubs were formed around the country and they quickly gained popularity. In the mid-1920´s Germany was allowed to re-establish her commercial airline, Lufthansa. In these circumstances the work for the creation of a new air force had to start completely from the scratch and this proved to be highly beneficial. When there were no burden from old equipment and theories the young and ambitious designers and strategists could let their imagination roam freely, thus bringing new methods and materials to aviation business. When planes made of cloth and wood were still being flown in the Western countries, modern mono-plane and full-metallic models were already being produced in the German assembly lines. The aircraft industry began to crow in leaps, and during the 1920´s Lufthansa became the most technically advanced institution in the aviation business. The company also carried on the tradition of glider clubs by secretly training the pilots of the future German military. When Adolf Hitler finally released Germany from the shackles of Versailles at 1933, the hard task of rebuilding modern air force began. Wolfgang Ritter, a Great War fighter-ace was appointed to the twin roles of the chief of the new Luftwaffe and the head of Ministry of Aviation, the RLM. With his friend Air General Erhard Milch Ritter concentrated to the improvement of the air arm with a plan that a decade later Luftwaffe would be a marvel in the eyes of the whole world. Ritter was a skillful organizer and iron-willed person who could also stand his ground against Hitler.
The first years
The development work of Luftwaffe was groping in the early on, when the whole military aircraft industry had to be recreated. This task was luckily helped with the early positive economic situation of National Socialist Germany that guaranteed the RLM (Air Ministry) an adequate budget. But even the overall strategic emphasis of Luftwaffe was not yet clear: Erhard Milch preferred fighters and tactical bombers, whereas the Luftwaffe´s Chief of Staff Air General Wever was a supporter of heavier strategic bombers. According to Hitler´s view the Soviet Union was considered as the main future foe of Germany, and the first plans of Luftwaffe were based upon this assumption. The military build-up of Soviet Union was followed with horror because the decadent West was unable to deter the spread of communism and demobilized Germany was considered as a too tempting price for the USSR. Already in 1933 the Bolsheviks had over 400 heavy long-range bombers, and the military muscle of the Soviet air force was steady growing as the years went by. When general Wever died in airplane accident in 1936, there were no influential supporters of strategic bombers left. Resources were scare and Germany had still much to improve when compared to her neighbouring powers. Therefore it was decided to form a small but efficient Luftwaffe; a system focused on quick, tactical strikes with the new Stuka dive bombers and fast Messerschmitt fighters as it´s main assets. This kind of air force was seen as ideal for military use and also as a valuable tool of Hitler´s political schemes. The training of pilots was hard and demanding and the used tactics utilized the characteristics of the used plane types well.
German Messerschmitt-fighters became the workhorse planes of Luftwaffe.
The armament program faced difficulties in the 1930´s. The German economy began to falter and country´s gold reserves were almost used up. The number of produced aircraft decreased, and RLM underwent a series of reorganizations. German armaments industry was burdened specially with the production of countless prototypes and models, the lack of unified standards and too specialized designs. In the arms race the Soviet Union was able to clearly outproduce Germany: In 1937 it produced 3 432 planes whereas Reich´s annual production was 2 651 planes. And even if German planes were technically superior, they still suffered from various early design flaws. German preparations against the Bolshevik menace were constantly misinterpreted in the west. When the daily British newspapers had published a blatantly shocking and exaggerated article about Luftwaffe, Milch called a delegation from the RAF to Germany to make acquaintance to the real situation. Reciprocally a group of German experts visited the British aviation industries. This action did much to lower the mutual mistrust and fears between these two powers, but only in military circles. The decadent and bourgeois politicians of the West remained ignorant and it was their foolishness that threw the civilized European powers to war against one another two years later.
Air General Milch, Ritter's important supporter in the question of jet fighters and the expensive "future programs."
Wolfgang Ritter succeeded to accomplish all the requirements set to the aviation ministry despite the tight schedule and the peaceful solution of the Münich Crisis seemingly removed the fear of an imminent new war, if only for a short while. According to the earlier plans Luftwaffe had become one of world´s most advanced air forces by now. Ritter, however, had insight to look well ahead to the future. It was not enough for the air arm to meet all the criteria of the moment – it should always struggle to remain one step ahead of them. To meet this aim Ritter started various experimental programs in the search for new powerful and exceptional aircraft. Emphasis on these programs were given to the turbojet engines developed in Germany in 1930s. Different manufacturers – Heinkel, Messerschmitt, Arado – represented various plans for the construction of a new jet fighter that would revolutionize air warfare. Most expectations were placed upon the Messerschmitt prototype, the P1065, that became the most famous of Hitlers ”secret weapons” - Me-262A jet fighter, nicknamed ”Turbo” and ”Stormbird.” When the early difficulties faced with jet engines were solved, it made it´s first flight piloted by captain Fritz Wendell in 27th August 1939. Especially Ritter and air general Galland believed this model to be the weapon that would enable Luftwaffe to retain the technological edge, and they also managed to convince the Führer to speed up the development of this design with all available means.
The baptism of fire for the Luftwaffe was however met sooner than anticipated. In the 1st of September 1939 a war with Poland was declared. German fighters achieved air superiority over the battlefields, and dive bombers struck without mercy against Polish artillery positions, trenches, railways, communications and command centers. Luftwaffe lost 285 planes in combat, but a matter far more grimmer than these losses was the fact that during the 22-day long campaign a striking 60% of all available storages of bomb munitions had been used. After the Polish campaign the Luftwaffe formations rested and refitted until they were needed once again, first in Norway and the in France. The battles against numerically superior Allied air armadas were fierce, and during the French campaign 778 planes were lost. In the skies of the English Channel Luftwaffe had it´s first contact with British Supermarine Spitfire and this fighter type proved to be superior to German models of the time. This fact played a role in Ritter´s failure of preventing the evacuation of British forces from Dunqerque.
The Spitfire was a nasty surprise to German pilots during the summer 1940 with its excellent dogfighting capabilities.
Now the Luftwaffe faced its most challenging task so far: It would have to defeat the RAF in order to force a peace with England. When the ”Battle for Britain” began in 13th of August 1940, Germany could muster 2 422 planes up to this task, but her pilots were tired and overworked. In addition the casualties sustained in Norway and France were still far from replaced in such a short notice. The battle in the skies raged on for months, and the losses of Luftwaffe began to mount. The defender had the advantages of shorter flight distances and efficient radar network in the Channel coast. Then Ritter gave the order to focus the the bombing strikes against British radar stations and airfields. This shift in tactics slowly began to take effect and the back of the RAF was already bending when Hitler insisted that Luftwaffe should change the target priorities back to strategic strikes. Thus the hoped victory in the air was never achieved. Luftwaffe tried its best but was ultimately ill suited for this type of operation since the used plane types and prewar training had been planned with Army aviation in mind. The RAF reorganized in their northern airfields and soon it became clear that the strategic momentum of defeating Britain and ending the bloodshed were gone. 1 636 German planes were destroyed, and the losses of experienced pilots were even harder to replace.
The mounting crisis
With England and Germany being tied down with their struggle, the Bear was moving in the East. Stalin had already annexed the Baltic countries, including Lithuania, even if this was against the treaty between the two powers. Stalin was constantly spurring up new demands. His next aggression was the capture of Bessarabia, a move that threatened the most important source of German petroleum, the Ploesti oilfields in Romania. Then Molotov, while visiting Berlin, announced that Soviet Union wanted to "solve the question" of Finland and set up new bases to Bulgaria and Turkish Straits. This was too much for Hitler to witness without taking action. He refused to accept these claims and began to prepare for war. Manufacturing numbers were already against Germany at this point. In Britain the yearly production in 1940 was 15 040 planes, when Reich could only achieve the figure of 10 826, with Britain producing twice as many fighters. At the same time in the United States President Roosevelt secretly supported both Britain and the Soviet Union by giving an order to produce 24 000 planes annually to be used against Germany. The Soviet Union alone was an enormous military base aimed against Europe: the Red Army had 24 000 tanks and 23 250 airplanes, whereas the Axis had only one-tenth of that number. It was clear that German industry and overall production strategy needed a major overhaul. Ritter purged the Ministry of Aviation that had already turned to too large, inefficient and overly bureaucratic. Being threatened by these mortally strong foes the Reich began a total mobilization. Production was rationalized, obsolete or useless models were abandoned, industry was decentralized and all available resources were focused on most efficient and economical designs. Ritter in particular had faith on his future weapon programs, the jet fighters that were slowly reaching production lines by 1942.
Early German jet engines were notoriously prone to malfunction - Team of Luftwaffe mechanics and researches observing the damaged engine of P1065.
Hitler´s preemptive strike against Soviet Union caused massive damage to the Red war machine, but the Luftwaffe formations in the East also sustained heavy casualties that were difficult to replace. In 1941 a crisis in production was looming on the horizon: the stockpiles of strategic resources were reduced to dangerously low levels. Manganese, aluminium and chrome were needed in production of airplanes and panzers, and in addition the industrial re-organization caused a months-long pause to production. The production numbers could only be raised when Ukraine joined the Axis in 1942. Large metal deposits of Ukraine gave German economy the much-needed resources for the later years of war, and the stopping of traffic in Volga and in the Murmansk railroad disturbed the oil production of Soviet Union. But by now Luftwaffe was on it´s dire straits. It was found impossible to operate effectively in a front thousands of kilometers wide without proper airfields and resupply centers, and simultaneously defend the skies of Western Europe against the all-time growing Allied bombing campaign. In addition the services of Luftwaffe were desperately needed in Africa, Balkans and Norway.
Defending the skies of the Fatherland
American B-17 Flying Fortress was the mainstay in Allied daytime air raids, and during the black days of the air war in Europe thousands of these bombers flew to bomb targets in the Reich and elsewhere every day and night.
Without the programs initiated by Ritter in 1930´s Luftwaffe would surely have been doomed, but now the fruits of these future projects were ripe for the harvest. In the year 1943 a number of 575 Me 262-type jet fighters finished production. Another secret weapon, the Me 163 Komet rocket interceptor had made history in 2nd of October 1941 when a plane of this type flown by test pilot Heini Dittmar had successfully breached the sound barrier. The Komet was also due to enter production in 1943 but in the 17th of August Allied B-17s destroyed the Messerschmitt assembly lines in Regensburg, and the mass production of the model was abandoned in favor of the Me 262. During the year 1943 the aircraft production reached it´s peak with 2 475 planes finished monthly. The production of obsolete Bf 110 and Ju 87 was completely stopped and they were thus replaced by newer Fw 190 and Hs 129. At the same time the Allied bombing campaign intensified. In the spring 1943 alone the German airplane factories were bombed with 2072 tons of explosives. After witnessing the damage these bombings caused to German industry and infrastructure Hitler ordered all available forces to defend the Reich. The year 1943 was a difficult one. Allies invaded Italy and the regime of Mussolini collapsed. Using the Italian airfields USAF caused massive damage to both Ploesti oilfields in Romania and ball bearing factories in Germany. In the spring 1944 Luftwaffe had over 500 operational jet fighters, and the number was to be raised to a thousand by summer. The nearly endless reserves and determination of the Allies were now pitted against the German superiority in technology. This grim situation was however eased somewhat when Stalin was forced to sign a bitter separate peace deal with the Axis in Kirovograd at 22nd of June 1943. Now the Luftwaffe fighter formations were quickly moved from the former Ostfront to battle the Allied air armadas.
Squadrons of Me 262s provided much-needed air cover for German counterattacks against the Allied beachheads during the critical first days in Normandy.
In the 6th of June 1944 the Allies initiated a major offensives in all fronts with the strategic aim of total collapse of Reich. The lack of fuel was hampering the German operations but the Luftwaffe was still able to play a decisive role in the defeat of the Allied landings in the coast of Normandy. In the fall the RAF lost 738 aircraft and completely abandoned daytime missions. The war in the air remained hectic from fall 1944 to spring 1945, when western Allies tried to succumb Reich with a massive bombing campaign. Reich answered this challenge with still new weapons: Wasserfall-surface to air missiles and He-162 ”Peoples Fighter”-interceptors. Finally the Bomber Command had sustained such casualties that RAF and USAF were forced to call an end to their air war and start reorganizing. Despite their casualties Luftwaffe was now strengthened. When the attempt to use the A-bomb against Berlin was intercepted and the Germany´s own nuclear program proved successful WWII came to and end with the peace treaty of Zürich, that in turn initiated the Cold War era.
Luftwaffe after the war
From the Germany´s point of view the end of hostilities came in the last possible moment because all stockpiles of strategic resources were completely empty by then. Now the Western powers initiated a technical arms race starting a well-funded development program of jet planes of their own in order to meet the challenge of German jets. The major rationalization-program of armaments industry, initiated in the year 1946 also affected the Luftwaffe. The number of produced models was reduced even further, and the number of exchangeable parts between different models was increased. The aim was to update and renew the whole Luftwaffe arsenal. The Me-262 remained as the legendary air superiority fighter of the Luftwaffe, but other wartime plane models were replaced by the generation of new jet designs. The Go-229 ”flying wing” designed by the brothers Horten was a night fighter invisible to the radar systems of the day, and it had exceptional avionics. In addition to the light Ar-234 Blitz jet bomber and Hs-132C ´Mistel´-dive bomber Ritter gave his full support the ”Amerika Bomber”-program, that was started with the initiative of Hitler in spring 1945. This new strategic bomber had to be able to fly to New York and back with a considerable bomb load. After this the history of Luftwaffe was one of constant arms race with the USA. The Navy air forces, created in 1940, were ultimately separated to operate under Kriegsmarine and received the brand-new Focke-Wulf design Ta-152 as their primary equipment. In the 1950´s and onwards Germany upheld her traditions in the search of new and innovative ways to change the ways of air warfare. One such invention was the practical ramjet engine that allowed even higher airspeeds to be reached. The P.13A designed by Dr. Alexander Lippisch reached a record speed of Mach 2,6 during testing. In the 1950´s the interests of Western allies and Germany clashed in the Middle-Eastern War, and during this conflict new Luftwaffe planes and volunteer pilots received valuable combat experience.
The Fourth Front
The launch pad of Fortschritt I.
In the year 1953 Freiherr Wernher von Braun led the launching of world´s first satellite, the Fortschritt I. This brought the arms race to a literally new dimension. The responsibility of space expansion and program was given to Luftwaffe to begin with, and the early years of Reich´s space program were filled with great victories and milestones. In the next year another satellite, the Fortschritt II, was launched with German sheperd dog Rolf as a passenger. The Luna-probe was successfully sented to the Moon in 1955, and by the year 1956 the dream of manned spaceflight was turned to reality when Hanna Reitsch circled the globe piloting the Sänger Silbervogel I-stratospheric aircraft.
The Americans joined to the conquest of space six years later, when they successfully launched astronaut John Glenn to Earth´s orbit. Now the race for Moon truly began. Virtually the whole Moon-program rested on von Braun's shoulders but he had to constantly struggle with stagnated bureaucracy. The first hasted attempt of 1966 cost the lives of all four cosmonauts, and the space program of Third Reich was paralyzed as a result. After years of chaotic management RLM suddenly received 20 billion RM from the government of the new Führer Siegfried Hoffner to be used for the needs of the space program. As a ”byproduct” the program was to develop better ICBMs. The space program had a very militaristic nature to begin with, and carrier rockets used by Luftwaffe satellites were virtually the identical to the missiles used to launch intercontinental nuclear warheads.
German space program revived during Hoffner era, when Germany sought to create new generation of rockets and ICBMs.
The great achievements of Hoffner era were the successful landing on Moon by cosmonaut Otto Hansbacher on 1976, satellite probes launched to Mars and Venus and the Raumvogel-program aimed to produce a real space aircraft with multiple uses. Americans were satisfied with the refinement of their own shuttle-program and the establishment of many scientific test stations to Earth´s orbit. By the end of 1970´s the economic decline gnawed away a large part of Reich´s budget for space program, and the structural change and economic difficulties that followed the death of Hoffner were already taking their toll to the endless armaments costs of the Reich. The 1980's have been a silent decade in space exploration so far. United States has attempted to even the odds against superior German missile technology by the new Star Wars-program supported by their current president, but this system seems to be technically possible only at the next millenium.