XXXIII-type nuclear submarine in North Sea.
The foundations of new Navy, the Kriegsmarine, were laid upon the remnants of the Kaiserliche Marine that was abolished by the ”peace treaty” of Versailles. The new Reichsmarine that operated in the years of the Weimar republic was allowed to maintain only a small unit of pre-1914 era ships for coastal defense – a force clearly not adequate to defend even the most critical sea zones. At the time the navy was regarded as the symbol of nation´s power and welfare, and an important indicator of independence and freedom. The reductions of navy dictated by the Entente Powers were thus aimed to forever disgrace this iron shield of the German people.
Although the overall status of the navy looked very grim in the 1920´s, this problem was not considered as a stranglehold but more like a challenge that could surely be overcome with German intellect like so many problems before it. The submarine program that had performed so well in the Great War was brought back to life, and expert groups supported by Krupp started to design new, advanced U-Boot-models. Due the restrictions of Versailles Germany herself was not allowed to built them, but their licenses were sold to Spain, Turkey and Finland. While the submarine fleet would be an important part of deterring the danger, a new surface fleet was still considered to be necessary for the future needs of Germany. Restrictions imposed by the Versailles treaty forced Weimar republic to strictly follow a harsh tonnage-limit for any new ships build. The new Panzerschiff-program, initiated in 1929, circumvented these insane restrictions and resulted to a ship with a brilliant design: It was theoretically able to sink anything faster than it, while it was simultaneously able to outrun it´s heavier opponents at will. The first ship of the class was first called Deutschland, later Lützow, and her launching marked the new rise of the German naval forces.
When the chaos and corruption of the Weimar years was finally swept away, the new National Socialist Germany took a strong stand to the issue of rebuilding her previously disgraced Navy. To symbolize the change of course the whole Navy was renamed to Kriegsmarine, a name used even today. The production plans of 1933 included a new flagship, the battlecruiser Scharnhorst, planned to meet the challenge of the French Dunkerque that was in turn designed solely to counter the design of Lützow. Naturally the Führer also released Germany from the previous navy restrictions along with the rest of the "shackles of Versailles", and by 1934 a new battlecruiser Gneisenau was finished. During the same year a number of 28 new VII-class submarines were launched. The new leader of the German fleet was first Grand Admiral Raeder, who was later replaced with Admiral Karl Dönitz who was known as a skillful and bold tactician, characteristics well suited to a man with a task of leading Kriegsmarine to victory.
Karl Dönitz, the legendary wartime commander of Kriegsmarine.
The neighbouring states of Germany were alarmed with the rise of a new and powerful Kriegsmarine, and supported by the League of Nations they tried to stop the new naval armament program, but aware of her status as a major European power Germany rejected all suggested deals. In the year 1937 the Führer realized that a sentiment of envious hostility was taking root in Great Britain, and being aware of the terrible toll of the Entente naval embargo during the Weltkrieg he launched the Z-Plan that was planned to counter possible future aggression by the Royal Navy. The plan included 6 new battleships, 12 heavy cruisers, 6 light cruisers, 4 aircraft carriers and 223 submarines, all scheduled to be combat ready within ten years. When considering the state of German drydock industry at the time the Z-plan was a huge task, and this would affect the course of the whole war. Only a small part of all planned ships were ready when the war broke out, however, with especially the German submarine fleet being far from ready.
The strength of Kriegsmarine is tested
When the war began in 1939 the Kriegsmarine took hardly any contact with the small Polish navy, but in the campaign against France it proved to be very efficient force, being capable to successful attacks despite it´s small size. After the French surrender a wide campaign against the British naval superiority was initiated. The sound design of the Panzerschiffe-class was proved in practice in the sea battle of Rio de la Plata, where the Admiral Graf Spee skillfully commanded by Hans Langsdorff clashed with three British cruisers. One of the British ships was badly mauled, and Admiral Graf Spee survived the battle against numerical superiority with small bruises. Another great victory was the sinking of the British aircraft carrier Courageous. The whole German Navy shoved considerable determination and courage in the struggle against the Royal Navy, and by June 1940 the British destroyer fleet that had entered the war with 202 ships had only 79 vessels left. The British merchant fleet suffered heavy casualties when the ”grey wolves” of Atlantic buried hundreds of merchants ships to their watery graves. By the fall 1940 the German battleship Bismarck and the first aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin were finished, and another carrier, Peter Strasser, was launched in the winter of the same year.
The common crewmen of the German U-boat Fleet lived in harsh conditions during the Battle of Atlantic.
Aiming for the decisive battle
Shocked by the early-war successes of Kriegsmarine the British Admiralty came to conclusion that it would be best to seek to challenge the Germans to a decisive battle while the numbers were still strongly favoring the Royal Navy. A major strike force consisting of carriers Formidable, Ark Royal and Illustrious, battleships King George V, Prince of Wales, Valiant, Resolution and battlecruisers Hood, Repulse and Renown accompanied by the heavy cruiser Sheffield and a number of escorting destroyers was assembled. Norwegian Sea was selected as the scene of the battle, because a major victory there would force the Kriegsmarine to withdrew from their bases in Norway, thus easing Britain´s struggle in the Battle of the Atlantic. The main target was the moderately strong German fleet based on Trondheim and nearby fjords. The British plan was to use a convoy of transport ships as a decoy to lure the German ships to the narrow sounds of Froan Isles, where they would then be ambushed and sunk.
The German flagship Bismarck had been launched at 24th of August 1940, leaving the ship´s Commodore Liedemann and his crew only little less than three months to exercise with the new ship. And a fine ship she was indeed, with excellent defensive and offensive capabilities. Impressive main armament of eight 380mm and twelve 150mm cannons was supported by the new ”radiotelemeter”, a new kind of a range finder radar operating at 90cm wave length. The ships main armor was thick, with 320mm at hull, up to 355mm in the towers and 200mm at deck. The wideness and many water-proof compartments of the ship´s hull protected it below the water surface, and it´s 138 000hp engines propelled it with the maximum speed of 30 knots. This brand-new pride of Kriegsmarine was soon to leave to her first combat mission. Admiral Lütjens, the commander of the German battle group would have preferred to wait until Admiral von Tirpitz, the sister-ship of Bismarck would be ready to service, but this would have forced the surface fleet to spend many long weeks idle, a pause the Kriesgmarine could not afford at the time. Lütjens had to come by with the ships that were immediately available: The carrier Graf Zeppelin, battlecruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, Panzerschiffe-class Admiral Graf Spee and Lützow and heavy cruisers Admiral Hipper and Prinz Eugen supported by light cruisers and destroyers.
KMS Bismarck became a symbol of the new Kriegsmarine.
At the dawn of 17th of November 1940, 0532 GTM the Trondheim radar-station picked up several contacts that were identified as transports ships and escorting destroyers on their way north a few miles away from the Froan Islands. One cruiser was also detected. Bismarck, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst were dispatched to intercept the convoy with the task of sinking the destroyers and the lone cruiser. They were escorted with Admiral Hipper that was tasked to destroy the transports. At 0616 GTM Bismarck was the first German ship to make a visual contact with multiple transports and a cruiser that was identified as the Sheffield. Heavy fog was causing problems for the gunners, and thus Scharnhorst was ordered to close in with Sheffield and then sunk it with the support of Gneisenau. At 0623 GTM Scharnhorst opened fire with all of her main guns, scoring multiple hits and forcing the British crew to start to evacuate the doomed ship. But as soon as Scharnhorst had fired, she received a terrible barrage of fire to her side from the fog. Unable to make visual contact and return fire, the Scharnhorst requested help. With the cover of fog Gneisenau sailed forth south from Scharnhorst and detected a large British fleet of three carriers and multiple battleships and -cruisers. Desperate to save the Scharnhorst, the Gneisenau blazed away and engaged.
Meanwhile the German flagship Bismarck had already alerted the reserve force consisting of Graf Zeppelin, Admiral Graf Spee, Lützow and Prinz Eugen, and they were due to arrive to the battle at 20 minutes. Luftwaffe was unable to interfere because of the heavy fog. Despite the difficult weather British carriers Formidable, Ark Royal and Illustrious ordered their Swordfish-squadrons to air, and when they swarmed towards Gneisenau the captain Fritz von Stelle realized his ship was doomed. In a display of extreme courage and honor he kept the course towards the British carriers and accelerated the ship to maximum speed. Under constant fire from the British ships the Gneisenau lunged towards her destiny. At 0637 GTM Gneisenau and Ark Royal collided with fatal consequences to both ships. After the collision to the quickly sinking Ark Royal,Gneisenau was a flaming, wrecked hull that was no longer steerable, and unexpectedly the ship changed course right when the the battleship Valiant that had desperately tried to stop the attacking German closed in to finish her kill. In vain the British crew tried to turn away to avoid collision but failed to do so in time. When Gneisenau collided to the left rear of the British warship, her keel ruptured the British hull and damaged the diesel tanks. A huge explosion littered the foggy North Atlantic, and Valiant turned upwards and quickly sank to the depths.
The explosion that destroyed Valiant and further damaged Gneisenau.
After losing over 800 men and being quickly filled with water, the scarred and burning wreck of Gneisenau was amazingly still floating, albeit just barely. As the Repulse closed in, the heroic martyr captain Von Stelle and his remaining crew turned their last operational guntower towards the enemy and sacrificed their lives for the victory. At 6.43 GTM Gneisenau was destroyed by the heavy fire of Repulse and Prince of Wales. The Reich shall always remember their heroes Fritz von Stelle and his crewmen and honor their undying memory.
After slowly closing in to engagement range Bismarck, determined avenge the loss of Gneisenau opened fire in the mids of mist, firing a full salvo against the Prince of Wales. The British ships immediately returned fire, but their poor positioning prevented them from bringing all their main guns to bear. In addition one of the battleships 356mm main guns malfunctioned and couldn´t be reloaded any more. In a few minutes the unlucky Prince of Wales received a fatal hit to her bridge, costing the lives of all commanding officers except of the Commodore Leach and one signalmen. In addition more technical malfunctions were reported from the ships main guntowers. Leach gave the order to fire a smoke-screen and disengage, but before the order could be carried out a new salvo of 380mm grenades struck home and the British dreadnought vanished to the waves.
The engagement between the Bismarck and Prince of Wales was a true clash of titans, and the last major sea battle between battleships fought in Atlantic.
During the course of this heavy engagement the Bismarck too had taken several heavy blows. The most serious damage caused by Prince of Wales was a hit near to the gas tanks, which were now leaking. Seawater was mixing with the ship´s fuel, thus seriously hampering the ship´s operational capability and leaving a large trail of oil to the sea behind it.
The final phase of the Battle of Froan Islands
At this point heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper was already on the scene supporting the Bismarck, and now both German warships engaged Repulse that had so far been untouched by enemy fire. In a matter of minutes the Royal Navy battlecruiser was hit with four 380mm and three 203mm grenades. Yet their bad luck and setbacks seemed to only increase the British determination, and now the Scharnhorst, Bismarck and Admiral Hipper were finally attacked by the Swordfish-torpedo bombers that had sneaked in trough the fog. The King George V, Hood and Renown started a furious counter-attack with a goal of sinking the German flagship. Bravely Bismarck braced hits from British ships and planes, trying to cover the evacuation of Scharnhorst crew to Admiral Hipper. At 6.51 GTM Graf Zeppelin had sailed close enough, and now she launched her own aircraft to the fray. The German dive bombers were able to set the Hood ablaze, but by this point the devastating AA fire of the British fleet had already crippled the unexperienced German dive bomber squadrons.
KMS Graf Zeppelin in harbour before her first combat assignment.
Despite the air cover provided by Graf Zeppelin, the second attack of the low-flying British Swordfish wings was successful and they scored two new hits to German battleship. The first torpedo exploded rather harmlessly at the lower hull but the second struck to Bismarck´s rear, damaged the engines and jammed the rudders. After trying desperately but without success to get the rudders movingm Lütjens sent his last message: ”We can no longer steer the ship. Will fight to the last grenade. Hurrah for Führer.” After going a full circle due the jammed rudders the Bismarck was now going straight towards the British battleships. The vengeful Royal Navy vessels fired with all the might of their ten 356mm and nine 406mm main guns, until all that remained of Bismarck was a scarred hull, in flames from keel to rear. But few of her guns were still operational, and in the mids of thick clouds of black diesel smoke flashed a distant yellow flame for one last time. The guntowers of forward deck fired their last salvo and after this the huge hull sinked to the icy waters of North Atlantic, flag still flying like once was the grand tradition of old Kaiserliche Marine.
The few BV 155s of Graf Zeppelin were busy protecting the remaining German fleet of the low-flying Swordfish torpedo bombers but were unable to save Bismarck.
At this time the lighter German ships that had accompanied the Graf Zeppelin to the battlefield engaged and torpedoed the badly-damaged Hood, then moving in to harass the battlecruiser Renown. Admiral Tovey understood that the original plan had failed and withdrew the fleet. The few remaining German Stukas followed the British ships in retreat but failed to score any major hits. The outcome of the battle was a major victory for the Kriegsmarine, and it forced the British to reinforce the Home Fleet with several additional ships to secure the Northern Atlantic. During the Battle of the Foan Islands the Royal Navy lost a carrier, five major combat ships and several destroyers. In addition the King George V required massive repairs, and Renown spent the rest of the war undergoing repairs as well.
Final coup de grace
The German losses of the Battle of Foan Islands, 3 capital ships and one devastated CAG were of course a devastating blow for Kriegsmarine as well. The completion of Bismark-class battleship Admiral von Tirpitz and carrier Peter Strasser eased the situation somewhat in the following winter. During the later phases of the war surface fleet was further strengthened with the captured French battleship Clemenceau (Berhard von Bülow from 1941) and the Sovietskaya Ukraine (Gotenland from 1942) captured from the Soviets. In addition other vessels of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet were captured relatively intact in 1943. In German shipyards the two Bismarck-class battleships, Friedrich der Grosse and Grossadmiral Raeder were under construction, but the focus on submarine production and allied bombing campaign delayed their production so much that they were not finished until the end of hostilities.
After Froan Islands the Royal Navy was increasingly hard-pressed to prevent the sinking of majority of her merchant fleet by German merchant raiders and U-boats, but the situation changed radically when the United States entered the war. The casualties of convoy ships still remained high, but finally the Allies seemed to find a solution for the problem when they were able to breach the German Enigma-code used in submarine warfare. Luckily the German secret service Abwehr was able to find out about this setback, and Dönitz recalled all U-Boats back to their bases to be refitted with the new Haifisch-class encryption. This and the introduction of Kriegsmarine´s own airforce gave the German submarine fleet a fighting chance during the grim midwar years, but more still was required to finally crack the British resistance. The solution was finally found with the new XXI and XXII Electro-models of U-Boats and their successful mass production. These first true submarines were truly revolutionary in design. Their important new features included the implementation of the new snorkels and electrical engines that enabled them to remain submerged for much longer periods of time. The research of postwar statistics has shown that over 60% of convoy casualties to trade-, cargo- and troop transport ships were caused by the Electro-type U-boots. It was this trade embargo that finally brought the Britons to realize the insane bloodlust and warmongering of their leaders and that finally led to the resignation of the wartime government. Thus the Kriegsmarine was in a pivotal role in ending the war and laying the foundations of New Europe.
Nuclear carrier KMS Lemuria.
After the war the Führer was convinced that Germany should continue the naval arms race against the West. In the year 1948 the Z-2 plan was initiated to rearm the navy. The Germans took advance of their advanced submarine technology, and the new U-boats were produced in large numbers in the first post-war years. This forced the NATO-countries to continue the development of their radar- and SONAR-technology even further and in this field it was the Germans who were always one step behind. Another major flaw of postwar Kriegsmarine was the small number of aircraft carriers. Germany had only the old Graf Zeppelin, Peter Strasser, light conversion carriers Bremen and Europa and Adler (formerly Italian Aquila) in their arsenal at the end of the war. To counter this drawback Kriegsmarine quickly adopted the new missile weapons, developed in the late-war years as a pivotal new part of their maritime arsenal. The tests of sea-launched V2- and V3-class missiles had begun during the late-war years, and the shift to even larger cruise missiles and strategic Grossdeutschland-class nuclear powered missile cruisers marked the revival of Kriegsmarine surface fleet.
In 1968 and 1969 the new helicopter support ships Kiel and Lübeck were launched, followed by new nuclear powered aircraft carriers Niebelung, Asgard, Atlantis and Lemuria. The large nuclear "supercarrier" Valkyrie was launched in 1980. The new flagship of Kriegsmarine has a arsenal of nuclear weapons and a direct link to the Adlertag-satellite. The strategic submarine fleet is also constantly enlarged, but information about it is not available in public. The heavy units of German surface fleet have served the Reich for long, the oldest ones being WWII-vintage. Admiral von Tirpitz was recently retired from service with grand ceremonies, and converted to a museum ship. The battleships Friedrich der Grosse and Grossadmiral Raeder were modernized in the 1970´s and are still in active service. They are supported by the last built German battleship, the Grossadmiral Dönitz that has been equipped with extremely strong missile and AA weaponry and launched in 1972 under the insistence of Hoffner. The Kriegsmarine cruisers have a main combat role of anti-air duty. Most of them can also launch cruise missiles and ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. The most numerous models in use are Grossdeutschland- and Enigma-classes.
Kriegsmarine fleets and bases Polar Fleet (Kola-Haf)
59 nuclear submarines
49 frigades and destroyers
North Sea Fleet (Trondheim)
Nuclear carrier Niebelung
Battleship Friedrich der Große
2 helicopter carriers (Kiel, Lübeck)
3 battlecruiser (Siegfried, Admiral Weneker, Admiral von Capelle)
Baltic Fleet (Kiel)
2 battleships (Raeder, Dönitz)
3 battlecruisers (Grossdeutschland, Olympia, Karl Galster)
3 missilecruisers (Königsberg, Karlsruhe, Kolberg)
26 frigates ja destroyers
230 support ships
Atlantic Fleet (Brest)
Nuclear carrier Asgard
Nuclear carrier Atlantis
Black Sea Fleet (Theoderichshafen)
Battlecruiser Theoderich der Große
7 amphibious assault ships
Coastal Defence Brigade Erich Kepler
Walhalla-class nuclear carriers
Niebelung-class nuclear carriers
Kiel-class helicopter carriers
Friedrich der Große
Admiral von Capelle
Theoderich der Grosse
Enigma-class missile cruisers
Admiral von Koester
XXXIII-type nuclear submarines
Von Holtzedorff-type submarine support vessels
Kriegsmarine during WWII
* Graf Zeppelin-class aircraft carriers
o Graf Zeppelin, 1940
o Peter Strasser, 1941
* Bremen-class light carriers
o Bremen, 1942
o Europa, 1943
* Bismarck-class battleships
o Bismarck, 1939 (→1940)
o Admiral Tirpitz, 1941
o Friedrich der Große, 1945
o Grossadmiral Raeder, 1946
* Gneisenau-class battlecruisers
o Gneisenau, 1936 (→1940)
o Scharnhorst, 1936 (→1940)
* Deutschland-class heavy cruisers
o Lützow, 1931
o Admiral Graf Spee, 1933
o Admiral Scheer, 1934 (→1945)
* Admiral Hipper-class cruisers
o Admiral Hipper, 1937
o Blücher, 1937 (→1940)
o Prinz Eugen, 1938
o Seydlitz, 1944
* Captured battleships
o Clemenceau, 1941 (von Bülow)
o Sovietskaya Ukraina, 1942 (Gotenland)
o Parizhskaya Kommuna, 1943 (Horst Wessel)
* Light cruisers
o Emden, 1925
o Königsberg, 1925 (→1940)
o Karlsruhe, 1927 (→1940)
o Köln, 1928 (→1945)
o Leipzig, 1929 (→1946)
o Nürnberg, 1934
* During the war Germany produced 1114 U-boats, and 743 of them were lost.
The StG/43 is well-known from it´s original silhouette and is one of the most mass-produced military weapons in the world alongside with the Russian AS-44 assault rifle.
Development of a new weapon combining the characteristics of a rifle and a submachine gun had been ongoing in Germany since the 1920´s. The MaschinenKarabine developed by C.G. Haenel and Karl Walther went on trials in 1942 and it was adopted as a new weapon for Wermacht in 1943 with the name SturmGewehr (StG/43). The name originally invented by propaganda office went on to give name for the whole new class of infantry weapons, the assault rifles. The design was based on the studies made during the early years of the Second World War. They indicated that most of firefights were fought in the distances between 100 and 300 meters. A common soldier would not fire beyond that range because of the poor accuracy, and for submachine guns such distances were way out of range anyway. The new assault rifle was a perfect solution for this problem and it was well received by the frontline troops. Rifle´s caliber was 7,92x33mm short (7,92 Kurtz).
SturmGewehr 42/43 was world´s first assault rifle, and while being a good weapon, it was still rather heavy and easily damaged. During the war the assault rifle development program continued in Mauser factories, where Ludwig Vorgrimler developed the StG/45(M),a new weapon that used a delayed roller locking system. Being both cheap and reliable, this experimental ”People´s Rifle” was produced in limited numbers for the use of police and SS units.
After the war ended in 1946 a large number of soldiers returned to civilian life due the demobilization and army stocks were filled with mass-produced rifles. The production of StG/43 continued, and the rifle remained in use in the conflicts of the Third World through the Cold War. In the beginning of 1950´s a new development program aiming for a weapon more suitable for peace-time production and use was initiated in Reich. Heckler and Koch, two engineers working in Mauser factories developed a new 7,92x33mm caliber prototype assault rifle from the StG/45(M). The weapon resembled the design of war-time assault rifles but was quality-wise much better as could be expected from a peace-time design. After the first prototypes had seen limited combat testing during the Middle-Eastern War, the new weapon was successfully chosen as a new service weapon of Wermacht with the designation StG/53. During the following decades it´s manufacturing licenses were widely sold to allied countries Older StG/43:s were still kept in storages and used of second-line troops and training units. They were also often shipped to governments or political movements friendly to New Europe during the conflicts of Cold War. Being relatively easy to manufacture, the design has also spread wide through the Third World and different StG-derivatives are among the most common types of assault rifles in the world of late 1980s.
The development of German small arms technology did not stop to the StG/53. Different experimental projects were periodically initiated in the Reich, some of them being quite imaginative like the tests with needle- and rocket-type ammunition. While these programs did not provide anything solid Mannlicher working in the Steyr-company introduced a prototype of a new assault rifle based on the ”bullpup”-design following the success of British EM-2 rifle. Führer Siegfried Hoffner however dismissed this idea, and it remained a curiosity without wider use alongside with the futuristic G-11 prototype.
The Steyr prototype.
After the war the MP38 and MP40-submachine-guns, often mistakenly called ”Schmeissers”, were mainly used by police and paramilitary forces. In the 1950´s Heckler & Koch (who had created a business company of their own under Mauser) began work based on StG/45(M) to create a new automatic weapon for law enforcement use. The result was handy and efficient submachine gun called the MP60. The parent company also had a similar design of their own, but ultimately the Party committee responsible for selecting the new SMG chose MP60 because of it´s stylishly threatening outlook. The MP60 with it´s many configurations is still widely used by the police and SS special units.
A long time went by before anything spectacular happened in evolution of assault rifles. Finally at the 1980's the steady improvement of personal body armor and composite helmets finally forced German military planners to seek new solutions. The old short 7,92x33mm cartridge was simply no longer coming up to expectations. The trials with the prototype of the new G11 that used caseless 4,7mm ammunition did not convince the leadership of Wermacht. Finally the result was a recommendation for 6x40mm armor-penetrating cartridge, which also had a more stable flight trajectory. This ammo type was planned to penetrate new personal body armor used by Western countries and Soviet Union. After a long series of trials and prototypes Wermacht finally received a new service rifle, the Mauser StG/87. This weapon combined many improvements and technical features from earlier weapons. The rifle had notably much more composite materials than earlier designs, and in the place of old iron sights it had fixed two-part optical sights. Instead of the earlier Mauser delayed roller locking system so typical to German weapons, the StG/87 is gas-operated with the improvised gas vending system that spares the lock and other more sensitive parts of the machinery from the carbon deposits and other impurities produced from firing the weapon. This feature makes the rifle more reliable than it´s Western and Soviet counterparts with less maintenance needed. With the new rifle in use, older StG/53 -assault rifles are being now distributed to Reich´s allies.
"Whatever happened to Mr. Kalashnikov?"
As a young mechanic Mihail Kalashnikov acted as a leader of T-34 tank in the year 1941. During fierce fighting in Moscow area he received injuries from a shell of German PaK, and was hospitalized for a long time. As he lay in hospital an idea of a new type of automatic weapon began to brew in his mind. His first prototype was however yet to be finished when he was taken prisoner after he´d returned to front near Stalingrad in June 1943, just weeks before the armistice of Kirovograd. As an engineer Mihail Kalasnikov was send to Reich to work in weapon factories of Mauser. He never fully recovered from his wartime injuries and heavy labor slowly got the better of him.
Wermacht pioneered the concept of general purpose machine gun with the Maschinengewehr 34 taken to use in 1935. After the beginning of war otherwise combat-worthy MG-34 gained a reputation of a weapon somewhat sensitive to fouling and dirt, and this combined with the fact that the MG-34 was slow and expensive to manufacture created a need for a new weapon: one that would be more reliable, cheaper and less difficult to manufacture while still retaining the versatility of the original concept.
Being introduced in 1942, the Maschinengewehr 42 fulfilled all these expectations. Often labeled as the best machine gun of WWII, the design proved to be so successful that it was immediately widely adopted as a new standard squad-level automatic weapon of most WEU-countries and overseas Reich allies alike. After the WWII MG-42 and its different variants have been fired in anger in most African, Middle-Eastern, Southeast Asian and South American conflicts. As a part of modernization program of 1980´s the old design was finally improved. Using the new 6x40mm cartridge and improved materials, the Maschinengewehr 82 successfully updated the legendary MG-42 design without even trying to fix something that was never broken to begin with.
During the first postwar years Wehrmacht continued to use and produce the Panzerfaust 150M and RPzB.54/1 while producing the Panzerabwerhwerfer PaW 105-type of heavy recoilless rifles for the use of the whole army rather than just to the few elite FJ-units. After this reorganization was complete in late 40´s, the emphasis on research and development of anti-tank technology was mainly focused on anti-tank missiles during the early years of the Cold War.
German paratroopers using a recoilless rifle against Red Army near Moscow during summer 1942.
The new German-French joint-venture Ruhrstal-Aerospatiale X-8 Angon-missile system, based on war-era X-4 and X-7 entered production already in 1949 and was soon thereafter successfully used in the Middle-Eastern War. A new, larger and improved system was based on experiences of this conflict and quickly readied for production during the accelerating arms race of late 1950s. Build by the same company, the X-9 Frankon was too heavy for infantry use, but it was successfully mounted to different vehicles, first on specially build RaketenJagdPanzer-series and later on to German and French combat helicopters and new IFVs. Frankonwas used from 1955 to 1962 and thus it saw action in the colonial conflicts in Africa. Afterwards it became quite common in the Third World battlefields of the Cold War. The experiences from these conflicts directed the evolution of European long range at-weaponry towards the concept of a wire-guided, tube-launched and optically-tracked missile, and also proved that such weapon could also be successfully deployed on helicopters.
In 1962 Ruhrstal-Aerospatiale X-10 Framea anti-tank missile system joined to the ranks of new designs quickly entering service when the relations between superpowers hit all-time lows in Italian missile crisis and the U2-event in 1960´s. Framea was wire-guided and light enough to be easily man-portable. In the following years it became the standard WEU infantry anti-tank missile system. The upgraded version introduced in 1980 features a new tandem-warheard and improved infrared night sights. Framea system has a maximum effective range of 2000 meters, and the latest model has armor penetration values of maximum of 1,000mm. The missile itself bears significant resemblance to the WWII-era X-4 design.
The latest and most modern of Ruhrstal-Aerospatiale´s anti-tank missile systems, the Gungnir is a high-tech weapons system for modern combat vehicles and helicopters. In Wehrmacht formations it´s most commonly used on RjPz Jaguar I, while the Eurokorps units use the system mainly mounted on more mobile Wiesel. With the new thermal imaging system and improved semi-automatic gunnery control Gungnir is able to engage multiple targets in a minute, up to the maximum range of 4000 meters. The new missile system has an excellent armor penetration value of 1250mm, and the latest model also features a double warhead to be used against reactive armor.
Panzerfaust 2 Armbrust ( PzF 2-300)
The Armbrust is no longer in use of frontline units in the Reich, but many WEU-countries still use it. When introduced in 1961 it finally replaced the last models of the WWII-era Panzerfausts and Panzershrecks. Armbrust had it first combat trials in the Portuguese Colonial War, and was then brought to general service in Wehrmacht and Eurokorps. It was world´s first single-shot recoilless rifle to use a counter-shot mechanism, a two-piston system using a plastic countershot for neutralizing recoil instead of the usual backblast that renders weapons such as the Soviet RPG-series and American LAW next to impossible to use in closed quarters. Compared to other anti-tank weapons used at the time Armbrust was clearly the best in it´s class. Today it´s armor penetration of 350mm is no longer a match for latest main battle tanks without a lucky hit to a vulnerable spot. However, the weapon is still more than a match for APCs, IFVs and older tanks and it can be used in closed urban areas, and therefore many WEU-countries still have it as part of their arsenal.
Panzerfaust 3 (PzF 3-600)
Panzerfaust 3, introduced to service in 1974 is a successor of Panzerfaust 2 ”Armbrust”, one of first and few infantry anti-tank systems planned with urban warfare in mind. While maintaining the ability to be fired within enclosed areas such as apartment rooms, the new PzF 3 also features a chance of quick field reload. This ability is also important because of the multitude of different ammunition types available: high explosive, anti-reactive armor warhead, ”bunker buster”, illumination and smoke. This greatly improves the usability of PzF 3s in combat and gives the field commanders many new tactical possibilities. With it´s new computerized aiming system and advanced ammunition, the PzF 3 has an effective range of 600 meters and armor penetration values of 800-900mm.
Manufacturer:Krauss Maffei, Porsche, Rheinmetall-Borsig
Power pack:12-cylinder Maybach 873 MTUGD, 2000 hp:s.
Maximum speed:80kmh, cross-country speed 70km/h
Main armament: 128mm Rheinmetall Glattrohrkanone (liquid-propellant), autoloader with electrically revolving magazine of 10 rounds.
Secondary armament: Two 7,92mm MG53s, 16 smoke grenade launchers, THOR-antimissile system.
Subsystems:Active/Passive infrared sights, thermal imaging system, advanced electromagnetic warning system, computer-assisted aiming and firing system with laser range finder and digital ballistic computer, electronic gyroscope turret stabilization featuring target auto-tracking, efficient automatic transmission with a driving computer, 5 gears.
Protection:1200mm/800mm RHAe ceramic modular armor, full protection against ABC-weapons, radiation, pressure or gas, thermal masking, EMP-covered electronics.
The Jaguar-project was initiated in the end of the 1980s as a reaction to the improved capabilities of the latest Western and Soviet tank designs. The first prototype, Kpz Jaguar E1, was completed in 1982. Models to reach production phase include E2, E3 and latest E6. The vehicle family also includes a versatile towing version called Taurus. While taken to official service nearly a decade ago, Jaguars are mainly in use in German forces deployed to RSI - the high prize of this modern panzer type ensures that the majority of Panzerwaffen will have to come by with modernized Leopards for a long time to come.
KampfPanzer Leopard (E2)
Power pack:10-cylinder Maybach MDGD, 818 hp:s.
Maximum speed: 65km/h, cross-country speed up to 50km/h.
Main armament: 105mm Rheinmetall (pfeilprojektil, sprenggranat, feuerplastikgranat, smoke)
Secondary armament: Two 7,92mm MG53s, 8 smoke grenade launchers
Protection:900mm/500mm RHAe ceramic armor, protection against ABC-weapons, radiation and pressure.
Widely used Leopard is the trusted workhorse-tank of the Reich and the rest of Europe, and has already proven it´s combat potential in various conflicts. The most common type currently in use is the E2, a modernized year 1975 version with improvements electronics and targeting systems. The modernization program included a thermal imager, active/passive infrared sights and cryptographic radios. The Orkan-class Flakpanzer, armoured recovery vehicle Buffel and engineer tank Biber are all based on Leopard chassis.
Leopard´s first prototype PzKfw X E1 participated to first perfomance tests in March 1960. After the initial tests proved highly successful the model was quickly pushed to mass production, with the first shipment reaching active service in Wermacht by 1962. The first combat use of Leopard was in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, and here it´s superiority over the Soviet T-64:s was proved in practice. Leopard was a very progressive tank when it was first taken into service. For the first time the old division to light, medium and heavy panzers was abandoned in favor of new strategic thinking where one vehicle type could perform all the roles of armor in the battlefield.
Leopard also set a new standard in armored warfare with the ability to fire with accuracy and effect from full speed, thanks to the gyroscope stabilization of it´s main gun. Other major improvements over the earlier German AFVs were Leopard´s technical reliability and the easiness of it´s maintenance – a full engine change could be done in less than 30 minutes, even in the field conditions. The vehicle could also be completely sealed to protect the crew from radiation and gas. Major WEU-users of Leopard are Moscow Federation, RSI, Finland and Norway.
SchützenPanzer Wiesel (Spz Mk. II Wiesel E3)
Manufacturer: Daimler-Benz & MAN
Power pack:Maybach 883 GD, 600hp
Maximum speed: 65km/h
Armament: Borsig 20mm Maschinenkanone, 7,92mm MG53
Like the Leopard, Wiesel entered to service in the tense international situation of early 1960´s. It was first issued to the armored formations of Wermacht based on the Italian Peninsula, but later on it became the standard tracked IFV of both Wehrmacht and most WEU-countries alike, thus replacing the older Spz Mk. I-series. An export version of Wiesel saw combat in Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, and after the conflict it was considered to be the most advanced IFV of the day. The current version, E3, has a dual feed for it´s 20mm cannon enabling the crew to smoothly change the type of used ammunition. It also has turret-attached launcher for the Ruhrstal-Aerospatiale X-10 ”Framea” anti-tank missile, enchanted gunnery system with active/passive infrared night sights, image intensifiers and a thermal imager.
PanzerHaubitze E2K Grille
Manufacturer: Krupp & MAN
Weight: 60 tons
Power pack: 8-cylinder Maybach 736 KW
Main armament: Automated 180mm Borsig PanzerHaubitze
Secondary armament: 7,92mm MG53 anti-air machine gun
Entering service in year 1980 as the new self-propelled howizer of Wehrmacht and Eurokorps, the Grille is currently slowly replacing the old 155mm Bremse-type SP howizers. With it´s new automated loading system, Grille is capable of firing a special quick salvo of 12 rounds per minute. With the new ammunition types the maximum firing range has also risen to 40 kilometers. The whole system has standard protection against EMP and ABC-weapons, thus enabling it to survive in hypothetical future battlefield.
Manufacturer: MaK & Porsche
Crew»various, usually 2
Power pack: four-cylinder diesel Porsche TDI, 109hp
Maximum speed: 90km/h
Armament: Various, see below
Hermelin entered service with the primary role of supporting air-assault troops in 1974, and shortly thereafter it became the mainstay AFV in the rapid readiness units of Eurokorps. It is light, highly versatile vehicle that can be paradropped to support the air assault troops on the ground while still packing a reasonable punch and armor protection against small-arms fire. It is also a versatile weapons platform: different models use 20mm Borsig autocannon, Trombe-class short-range AA-system, rocket launchers and 120mm mortars used for fire support and PaW 105mm recoilless rifles and Ruhrstal-Aerospatile X-12 ”Gungnir” anti-tank missile systems. The AFV can also used for quickly evacuating wounded and as an artillery spotter vehicles. It´s other roles include a command vehicle-variant and an ammunition resupply vehicle. As an interesting design feature Hermelin shares many parts with civilian Porsche vehicles, thus helping the maintenance and increasing the availability of spare parts in the case of conflict within the Europe´s borders.
Manufacturer: MaK & Porsche
Weight: 19 tons
Power pack:Maybach 883 GD, 600hp
Maximum speed: 65km/h
Main armament: 105mm Rheinmetall (pfeilprojektil, sprenggranat, feuerplastikgranat, smoke), 7,92mm MG53
The Nebelparder is the latest step in the development of German airmobile doctrine and equipment. The experiences from the Middle-Eastern War, military intervention to Hungary and later operations in African colonial wars all emphasized the need for well-trained, air-transportable units that could be at least partially mechanized with specialized, air-transportable combat vehicles. The modest, versatile Kraka (Kraftkarren) was the first vehicle used in this fashion, and later on the highly successful Wiesel-series solved many problems of the air-mechanized operations. Nebelparder entered service in the early 1980s as a means of providing light forces with more powerful direct support and troop transportation capacity. Basically this new vehicle used the hull of (with minimal armor to reduce weight) together with the main gun and turret (once again with stripped armor) of Leopard. In addition to it´s crew the Nebelparder can also transport one three-man combat team into battle. Despite it´s relatively light weight, the Nebelbarder cannot be directly airdropped and they are instead transferred to the battlefield along the "second wave units" that arrive to already established LZs with transport planes and helicopters.
Raketenjagdpanzer Dachs (RjPz Jaguar I)
Manufacturer: Krupp & MAN
Power pack:8-cylinder Maybach 837 GD
Armament: 1 manually reloated anti-tank missile launcher with 12 missiles, 1 7,92mm MG53, 8 smoke grenade launchers.
Protection: 50mm ceramic armor, standard ABC-and EMP-protection
Dachs is the latest vehicle in the German Jagdpanzer-family of tank destroyers. It entered service in 1978 as an updated version of the older RaketenjagdPanzer II, and was essentially the same vehicle with new optics and thermal imaging, armed with WEU:s most efficient anti-tank missile system, the wire-guided and optically tracked Ruhrstal-Aerospatiale X-12 ”Gungnir.”
Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Orkan ( Flakpanzer Orkan I)
Manufacturer: Daimler-Benz & Krupp
Power pack: Daimler-Benz OM 314 GD, 820hp
Maximum speed: 65km/h
Armament: 2 x 35mm Rheinmetall Maschinenkanon
Protection: up to 80mm ceramic armor, standard ABC-and EMP-protection
The development program of a successor for Flakpanzer IV ”Kugelblitz” was considerably slower than other German postwar designs since this earlier vehicle had been so revolutionary design at the time. The later V-variant based on Panther chassis and equipped with improved radar and infrared systems served the Reich and WEU well through the 1950s, and it was no later than 1965 when the last FlakPanzer IV:s were replaced by the new Orkan-class. Based on reliable Leopard-chassis and equipped with advanced independent search and tracking radars and new digitalized fire control system designed by Siemens A.G, the Orkan is more than able to meet the challenge of NATO and Soviet CAS-planes and attack helicopters.
TransportPanzer Fuchs (Tpz Fuchs I)
Manufacturer: BMW & MAN
Power pack:Maybach GD, 235 hp:s.
Maximum speed: 96km/h
Armament: Borsig 20mm Maschinenkanone, 7,92mm MG53
Fuchs is the standard wheeled APC of Eurokorps, and versions of it are also used for medevac duties, mobile ABC-protection laboratory, signals vehicle and as a weapons platform for mortars and light rocket launchers. It was introduced in the 1960´s as a part of the modernization programs that aimed upgrade the Heer to meet the demands of modern battlefield. Like all modern combat vehicles, Fuchs provides protection from ABC-weapons and allows the transported infantry to use their small arms from within the vehicle through specialized gun ports on the sides of the hull.
Strategy and tactics during WWII and Cold War, part I: The Western Allies and Soviets during the interwar period.
Canadian infantry going over the top. The Western military planners sought to avoid another trench war with different methods than their German and Soviet counterparts.
The Great War is often seen as a tactical wasteland, but during these four years of carnage modern warfare was born. The ideas of technologically advanced and professional forces were promoted by many military thinkers and the advanced military technology and weaponry transformed the human wave attacks of 1914 to well-armed and specialized German Sturmbatallions of 1918. The Entente succesfully used tanks in war for the first time in history, and when the war finally ended it was clear that the new weapons, tactics and operational discoveries of the Great War would become the subject of many debates during the interwar period, especially among the vanquished. The victors, who had done so much to revolutionize warfare, would ignore the lessons of the Great War at their peril.*
Interwar period in the West
Early on a spirit of pacifism permeated the interwar period everywhere in Europe. The atrocities of the Great War made many citizens to completely reject the very idea of war and everything associated with the military. This pressured the democratic Western governments and they became very reluctant to allocate funds for military research.
This had most effect to the British Army, that had fled the battlefields of Western Front as the most professional military force in Europe. Subsequently British commanders took the lead in testing expanced roles for mechanized formations. Several British officers, such as J.F.C. Fuller and Basil Liddell Hart developed and tested various forms of combined-arms tactics. Ironically both Russians and Germans took notice of Fuller´s ideas while the British conventional military leadership generally rejected his revolutionary theories of armored warfare. The emphasize was on the protection of the British Empire, and few supported such expensive plans during the times of repression when defensive spending was reduced to minimal levels.
The French military faced a different post-war situation. Their politicians supported vengeful and oppressive policies of containment and separation of the German nation and this hostility forced France to maintain strong military forces in order to be constantly prepared for future conflicts. Yet the French military leaders where well avare that Germany was only temporarily rendered powerless. Therefore French constructed a series of fortifications known as the Maginot line to the German border. This massive fortress would render any German suprise attack impossible and allow France to concentrate the bulk of her large army to quickly attack the heartland of German industry in Ruhr region through the officially neutral Belgium.
Underground fortifications of the Maginot line, a shield that was planned to cover the flank of French Army so it could freely attack Germany.
Wanting to secure the swiftness of their upcoming Ruhr offensive the French allocated funds for the research of armored warfare and tanks. The French armored unit were highly specialized and well-trained, but their doctrine for armored warfare was quite different from the German mobility focus. Their primary armored units, the "Divisions Cuirassées de Réserve" used the heavy Char B1 infantry tank as their main IFV and had the task of spearheading the attack to Germany and crushing fortified defense lines at the border. After this the more mobile "Division Légère Mécanique" that were armed with the medium Somua S-35 tanks would join to the offensive and the two types of armored formations would help the French infantry to reach Ruhr and the German heartland.
French General de Gaulle strongly opposed the fact that emphasis was put to the heavier, extremely expensive infantry tanks and promoted the idea of concentrated armored unit and mobility tactics but like his British counterparts he only managed to cause much inconclusive depate and failed to make fundamental and necessary changes in time. The French doctrinal use of armor remained cautious and clumsy as the two schools bitterly argued about the role of armor in a future war.
Renault Char B1bis heavy tanks were deadly opponents for German Army during summer 1940 when the desperate French sented their 4th Armored Division forth to a small-scale counterattack in Montcornet. This attack and the perfomance of British Matilda-tanks in Arras caused some minor setbacks to German plans but failed to change the ultimate outcome of the battles of summer 1940.
Deep operations and Tank Armies - interwar Red Army
Russian Bolsheviks began to gear up for war right from the start of their rule. Driven by their aggressive ideology of world revolution the Soviets sought to totally mobilize their vast resources in order to guarantee the victory in the upcoming war against the rest of the world. Following the industrial expansion plan of 1929 the armed forces grew in size and experienced rapid growth in the production rates of tanks and aircraft.
Drawing from the writings and theories of von Clausewitz and Lenin, Soviet military leaders developed their strategy towards the consept of a "Deep Battle." Mikhail N. Tukhachesvy, the main armour advocate among the Red Army strongly promoted and developed his vision of conventional infantry, cavalry, mechanized formations and air force working together.
In his vision the massed hordes of infantry would first attack supported by tanks and achieve a breakthrough in a narrow front, while massed indirect fire would silence enemy artillery and anti-tank guns and prevent the reinforcements from getting to the frontlines. After this the armored forces would exploit the breach in enemy defense and scatter his reserves by deep attacks. Similarily the motorized and mechanized units of infantry and cavalry would move in and outflank the enemy and advance far from the current frontlines.
Supported by airforces and long-range artillery and accompanied by parachute attacks this "scientific-political aproach to the art of war" horrified the military observers that witnessed the quick developement of the Red war machine.
Russian paratroopers during an exercise in late 1930´s - note the SVT 38 semiautomatic rifles. A French General who witnessed Soviet manouvers quoted: "...We saw brave and mobile infantry that was capable of long and quick movement marches, to determined attack and quick entrenchment. And we saw Russian tanks overcome obstacles in a manner that proved their material quality and strengh of their engines...."
During the period of the Great Purges aproximately 35 000 Red Army officers were executed or imprisoned. Most Army-, Corps- and Division-level commanders were removed from office. These staggering peacetime losses caused by Stalin largely stopped the innovative developement of Red Army tactics and equipment and in a sense the Soviet dictator caused his own downfall by his paranoid schemes directed against his military leadership.
The German Army, stabbed in the back by defaists and traitors of the home front learned much from their narrow defeat to the Entente in the Great War.
*Source: Andrew Wiest and M.K. Barbier: Infantry Warfare - The theory and practice of infantry combat in the 20th century.
Strategy and tactics during WWII and Cold War, part II: Blitzkrieg and the early victories.
German panzers and infantry in France during summer 1940.
While the Western Allies were reluctant to alter their war-proven methods and tactics and had no compelling reason to race towards change, the Germans soon circumvented the terms of Versailles Treaty and studied new weapons and tactics based on the experiences of Great War.
General Hans von Seeckt played a key role in the evolution of German armed forces and doctrinal thinking during the interwar period.
Based on his experience from the Eastern front of the Great War, von Seeckt concluded that an immobile mass army could be outmanouevred by smaller but more mobile forces. Mobility, training and suprise would be the most important factors of a modern war instead of the old doctrine that emphasized sheer firepower. After they had carefully studied and tested the writings of Fuller, Liddell Hart and other tank proponents Seeckt and his staff deviced a new doctrine.
Co-operating with the armaments industry they ordered specifically designed equipment and weapons in order to create a new army organized and equipped according to the principles and demands of their operational conclusions.
The foundations of Germany´s success were laid upon traditional German military practices: concentration of force to a narrow front and the cooperation of combined arms in order to achieve victory. In addition to this von Seeckt also created a decentralized command structure that granted more tactical freedom and initiative to the field commanders. After NSDAP rose to power the German armored theorists gained more and more support, and their ingenious ideas were implemented to the new doctrinal thinking.
Heinz Wilhem Guderian advocated all-arms mechanized formations that would magnify the effectiveness of tank and facilitate modern warfare together with close air support for ground operations. Building to the foundation of von Seeckt´s work he contributed much to the German views of the nature of the next war.
The first victories and the birth of Blitzkrieg: Yearly changes in doctrinal thinking between 1937-1940
When German armies answered to the Polish provocation and crossed the borders after the failed negotiations about the fate of Danzig, the doctrinal schools of the world could be roughly divited to four major groups: The Mobility focus of Bad Tölz and Frunze and the Allied dotrinal thinking studied in West Point and Sandhurst.
During 1937 the Germans had finished their Shwerpunkt Doctrine, the outcome of studies conducted by von Seeckt and his general staff. It used decentralized field artillery and mobile forward elements combined with screening minefields and infantry tactics that turned infantry squad equipped with a light machine gun as the basic tactical unit.
During the time the Soviet Large Front Doctrine planned to create special artillery divisions, preferred a wide attack area with battalion as the basic tactical unit and planned to use multible blocking detachments in possible defensive battles. The Soviets also discourared NCO iniative and preferred a top-heavy command structure.
While the military thinkers of Sandhurst still continued their depate of the usage of armor and it´s role in the battlefield, West Point studied the international developement and planned to meet the rising threat of more mobile warfare with their new Delay Doctrine. By reinforcing mid-echelon fire support, creating basic fire direction centers and encouraging limited NCO iniative the Americans sought to win the battles of the next war by first gaining contact and delaying the enemy and then focusing to the control of critical objectives while waging a battle of attrition.
The German Blitzkrieg Doctrine with it´s concentrated combined arms deployment, low-level intependent commands and advanced infantry-armor cooperation further strengthened when forward air controllers of Luftwaffe trained together with the German armored formations and the special recon elements of Wermacht were trained to perform "Gefectsaufklaerung", a form of fighting recon that would spearhead the future German offensives.
As a striking comparison the British operational thinking of the Sandhurst school was at the time dominated by doctrine of Mass Assault. With it´s bold Over-the-Top Mentality that called for concentrated attack against multiple pre-planned targets, this "War by Timetable" was hopelessly obsolete at the time of it´s introdution. The only modern and positive aspect it had was the slight emphasis to limited NCO iniative.
The Americans were much more reasonable as the strategists of West Point studied the prospects of Mobile Defense. The earlier reinforced fire support system became integral part of American divisions, and the fire direction center system was improvised accordingly with the introdution of the idea of pre-computed firing data. The American doctrine still focused to early contact with the enemy, but now sought to lock the opponent down and retain area control with platoons as the primary tactical units.
Closely following the reports from European battlefields, Americans continued their gearing up for war. The doctrinal developement was fast as the early German success was studied and analyzed, initially resulting in Stand Off Doctrine. Firepower of American units was further increased when fire support was spread to low echelons in the form of increased number of light mortars, bazookas and machine guns. While retaining the earlier focus to area control the doctrine now called for destruction of the enemy forces by indirect fire and friendly airforces after a battle contact had been established. This marked the beginning of air-land cooperation between the Army and Air Force.
French military parade. While the French army was large, it also was the least mechanized force in the critical battles of 1940.
The Fall of France and the successfull invasions Denmark and Norway seemed to validate Blitzkrieg. Unlike in the earlier Polish campaign, Germans now focused their mechanized forces in large groups in key locations along the front. The French Army never recovered from the shocking suprise attack where seven German Panzer divisions and their motorised support infantry rushed through the Ardennes forest and crossed Meuse.
The strongpoint mentality of the French Pre-planned Defense doctrine with it´s multiple bunker lines, layered minefields, tunnel complexes and local reserves was proven to be as outdated as their offensive focus to Mass Assaults. The French officers were reluctant to make quick, independent decisions and the top-heavy command structure of the French army was initially unable to cope with the lightning speed of the German offensive. And when the French leadership finally recovered from their initial shock the Germans had already managed to encircle and defeat the best French troops in Belgium and northern France and their armored spearheads were quickly closing Paris.
During the same year the Americans and Soviets were both refining their military planning to meet the challenge of blitzkrieg. The Americans centered their thinking around the consept of Integrated Support and returned to the idea of object control. Emphasis was put to suppressive fire and air-land cooperation.
Marshal Tukhachevsky didin´t live to see the resurrection of his doctrinal thinking.
After the disaster of the Winter War the Soviet doctrine of Deep Operations was once again deemed appropriate by Stalin who had earlier doomed it as "dangerous heresy." The ideas of self-sufficient commands, forward command posts and mechanized forward elements supported by long-range reconnaissance were brought back to use and company became the new basic tactical unit of the Red Army.
These reforms and the introdution of new medium and heavy tanks were still underway as preparations for Stalin´s planned offensive to Germany and Eastern Europe when the Axis seized the iniative with Operation Barbarossa. The Eastern Front was to become the ultimate test for the German Army.
Strategy and tactics during WWII and Cold War, part III: The Eastern Front
According to the original plan of "Operation Barbarossa" the Soviet armies in Baltic states, Belarus, Ukraine and Caucasus would be destroyed within five months. This monumental task would be accomplished by a series of Kesselschachten "cauldron battles" where the main forces of the Red Army would be destroyed along the way towards the strategic objectives within the Soviet Union. The final and decisive battle would then be fought for the control of Moscow.
At the early days of the Crusade against Bolshevism it seemed that this plan would indeed be successful. The German armies advanced 322km in the first five days, and over 100 Russian divisions were destroyed after a week had passed. But in December of 1941 after all tremendous victories and the capture of western parts of Moscow the Germans had still failed to knock the Soviet Union out from the war by one strike and were forced to defend their gains during the winter 1941-42 when Stalin and the Bolshevist government evacuated to Sverdlovsk initiated a series of counteroffensives.
When Marshal Georgi Zhukov then launched his counter-offensive it had previously required tremendous efforts from von Manstein, Guderian and other top German generals to bring Hitler realize the necessary changes in overall strategy in the East. The German Delay Doctrine that used reverse-slope defense positions supported by multiple pre-planned artillery targets and emphasized NCO initiative needed mobile operational deployments and local reserves.
During the winter this meant that Germans would wage a battle of maneuver against the slower Red Army around Moscow, while holding their air-supplied positions within the city itself. Nuisance minefields and improved infantry anti-tank tactics supported by mobile reserves and local counterattacks performed by local commands slowly brought the Soviet advance to a halt.
Germans successfully used Elastic Defense around Moscow between 1941-43.
The Soviets slowly reorganized their forces while their factories produced large number of new weapons used to create new tank corps. The early Pocket Defense Doctrine that used artillery groups and all-around defense with static machine guns relied on detailed army command planning. Later on it was supplemented with the concept of Defense in Depth. Large anti-tank gun fronts well camouflaged and placed behind layered minefields were supported with separate Army reserves and counter-preparative artillery fire.
German panzers moving through the streets of Tula during the offensive that relieved the German garrison encircled to western Moscow.
Utilizing their clever operational deception, maskirovka, and using mobile command posts, organic tank battalions and improved counter-reconnaissance tactics the Red Army quickly created their new doctrine of standard operating procedures for their large formations.
During winter of 1942 the Red Army prepared for major operations that would finally recapture important rail junctions near Moscow and return Caucasus to Soviet control. Breakthrough was prioritized, and after STAVKA and the local HQ:s had made the necessary staff-enemy assessments the new Tank Armies were to attack and bind the enemy in depth operations, disrupting all possible counterattacks. A strict formation coordination and prolonged endurance of troops were seen as necessary parts of achieving victory.
Breakthrough was to be followed with a swift exploitation, and to meet this end the Soviets devised the Movement Speed Doctrine. Multidimensional offensives initiated from camouflaged lines of departure, covered by special anti-recon detachments would consist of deep penetration raids performed by tank units that would be supported by air-mobile combined arms formations of paratroopers in a similar fashion of German "Operation Typhoon."
After most Luftwaffe fighter squadrons were transferred to central Europe to battle the Allied air armadas the Soviets were able to achieve air superiourity over Caucasus, and their grand summer offensive against the Army Group South caused heavy casualties to poorly equipped Romanian, Hungarian and Ukrainian units.
The Soviets managed to surprise the Axis forces in Caucasus in spring 1943.
While the Red Army was quickly adapting new tactics and gaining strength, Wehrmacht was struggling with difficulties of it´s own. Shortages in manpower and insufficient overall training of the replacements were depleting the effectiveness of German infantry together with the rising strength of the Red Army. By 1943 the panzer arm could no longer remain apart from the rest of the German army, and the usage of combined-arms cooperation became necessity.
Focusing to deep reconnaissance and enemy disorganization the Germans developed advanced standard operating procedures for their sub-units. Commanded by spearhead HQ:s and led from the front the German battle groups fought in territorial zones of responsibility and were as self-sustained as possible.
The new fluid battle mentality required flexible combat formations, quick deployment and cross-attachment of sub-units and advanced C3 capability. Attacking from march formation the German mechanized reserves formed "firebrigades" that sought to drive a wedge between the attacking enemy infantry and armor and then attack and destroy them in piecemeal fashion.
Germans increased the firepower of their infantry in order to cope with their dwindling numbers.
The battle of Moscow had begun as soon as Germans had reached the outer suburbs of the city, and continued as a slow grind where Soviets sacrificed huge numbers of inexperienced troops to drive the Germans out from ruins of their beloved capital. The most decisive battles for the control of the city area were fought during summer 1943, when STAVKA launched their last grand offensive against GH Mitte after Germans had transferred much of their reserves to Ukraine and Caucasus.
But while impressive in scope, both operations failed in their primary objectives. German lines around Moscow held, and the important rail junctions of the city region were still either unusable or in German hands. In the southern front the battered armies of Axis minor powers just barely avoided destruction in Soviet encirclement, but the subsequent German counter-offensive not only managed to save the encircled troops but also inflicted serious casualties to Russian armored counterattacks against the German relief forces. As morale of the home front was fathering Stalin realized that the internal situation in the Soviet Russia was getting out of hand, and in order to maintain his position and avoid a civil war he signed a bitter peace treaty with Germany in Kirovograd in 22nd of June, 1943.
Strategy and tactics during WWII and Cold War, part IV: Africa, Italy and Normandy
Field Marshal Montgomery renewed the tactics of British Army and scored many victories against the Axis.
The beginning of the end for Axis presence in North Africa came in October 1942 when the British Army forced Rommel to withdrew his forces from El Alamein. As Hitler had been earlier on persuaded to allow his generals to wage more mobile warfare and use elastic defense, the Afrika Korps kept falling back towards Tunis in coherent manner, while being simultaneously seriously harassed from air by enemy air forces. During this period the German military leadership convinced Führer to focus the defense efforts to Italian mainland instead of vulnerable Tunis Bridgehead, and the Axis forces that managed to avoid the Allied naval blockade were withdrawn to Sicily. The American forces that had landed to to Morocco and Algiers thus encountered little resistance as they raced across the wastelands.
During the battles of 1942 Montgomery and his staff developed their Central Planning doctrine that was tested and refined during the battle of El Alamein and the following engagements in Africa. As the name implied, the doctrine was based on advanced staff planning. It used centralized artillery control of artillery divisions and focused on attacks performed by multiple attacking divisions with company as the basic tactical unit.
Later on the British doctrine evolved around the concept of Operational Stages. The principle of the new British tactic was to use dedicated artillery and air support to defend secured objectives. At the same time they began to use new standard operating procedures for individual squads, and individual platoons became basic tactical units.
Elements of American armored division.
The American army was "learning by doing" after they landed in North Africa. Since the Germans chose not to do battle in Tunis, the American invasion of Sicily became the first true testing ground for American concept of Regimental Combat. With coordination of the fire and movement of a single platoon and using a platoon as their tactical unit, the Americans emphasized NCO initiative following the German example. Their battalions had organic fire support and advanced system of fire control centers was used to bring the massive Allied firepower of air strikes and artillery to bear any counterattacks. While the British led by Montgomery would be slow to change their tactics that finally seemed to be able to defeat the Germans, the Americans would quickly alter their methods during the Italian campaign and would never make the same mistake twice.
Aided by local resistance organized by Mafia the Anglo-American forces initiated the attack to Sicily with the codename "Operation Husky" after a major air assault had wrecked havoc in Axis airfields in the island during 10th of July 1943. Despite the stiff German resistance Montgomery managed to press forward by his tried method of focusing the Allied attacks against the battered Italian units. As the Germans evacuated their forces to Italian mainland the traitors of the fascist cause secretly negotiated a separate peace with the Allies.
The battles for Italian mainland began as Allies initiated a series of amphibious landings to southern Italy in early September. During this period both sides gained valuable and costly lessons during the battle fought in the shores of River Sele for the control of the Salerno Beachhead. The Allied attack, code-named "Avalanche" was carried out by two British and one American infantry divisions led by General Mark Clark. As the German defenders struggled to hold the high ground around the invasion beaches Germans quickly sent in their reserves. During the successful counterattack that forced the Allies to evacuate their bridgehead the Germans discovered the murderous firepower of Allied fighter-bombers and naval gunfire while the Allies learned the importance of quick reinforcement of their bridgeheads and the need to gain a good defensible position far enough from the landing area during the critical first days after the invasion.
The difficult Italian terrain favored the defenders.
The Germans mounted a tenacious defense against the Anglo-American forces in order to prevent their enemy from occupying the territory of their former Axis partner. The strong defensive positions and the favorable terrain soon brought the Allied advance to halt, and the conflict in Italy evolved to a complex civil war fought all over the country while the Germans and Allies waged their war in the front lines.
The Americans studied the situation in the peninsula and evolved their doctrines. Their emphasis to Mechanized Offensive promoted advanced squad-level tactics to counter the difficult Italian terrain, and supported them with advanced air-land coordination and artillery using new proximity fuses. At this time the Americans also analyzed their early airborne assaults conducted in Sicily and began to develop a new theory of air-land mobility. In addition the failure of amphibious attack to Salerno made Americans to plan new methods for combined arms defense.
Eisenhower and other American strategists made the conclusion that their basic concept of squad-level tactics of fire and movement was good, but it needed to be extensively supported by integrated operations and "Time on Target"-fire missions in order to achieve victory from Germany.
As strategists and generals made plans and debated about strategy, common soldiers were engaged in fierce house-to-house battles in the ruins of Italian villages and towns.
As the Italian campaign came to a halt after the capture of Rome, the Allies decided to use the Italian front to tie down Axis forces from their primary goal - an invasion that would return the Allies to West Europe and divert so much German forces from the Eastern Front that Stalin´s battered regime would be able to stay in the war. According to the plan devised by Eisenhower and Montgomery the initial assault would be carried out by five Allied divisions that would attack five sectors codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword in the area between St. Mére Eglise and Merville in the coast of Normandy. Priour to the invasion the British 6th Airborne division would be dropped beyond the British sectors while more experienced American 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions would make drops to protect the westernmost American landing sectors. It was crucial for the Allies to attack, seize their primary objectives and land as much men and equipment as possible before the Germans counterattacked. While the Allies prepared for D-Day they knew that should they fail to win beachheads or reach their first-day objectives in time the consequences would be dire indeed.
During the critical battles fought in Normandy British forces used a "cautious, attritional, firepower-reliant operational technique." Called "Colossal Cracks", this method relied upon the earlier British experiences from the battles fought against Germans. After securing the beachhead Montgomery planned to break the German resistance in Normandy in a series of meticulously planned set-piece battles, where heavy concentration of force supported with massive artillery and tactical air missions would smash through the enemy opposition and begin a war of mobility. This plan demanded fluid branch interoperability in combined arms operations, reliable long range reconnaissance to provide targets to fire direction centers organized according to the American model, and forward command posts that would ensure quick reaction to enemy counterattacks. While impressive in paper, this battle plan was based on the assumption that Allies would retain their uncontested air superiority and be able to get all of their forces to inland battle-ready and in time, and that Germans would thus be unable to bring their armored reserves to bear or mount successful counterattacks.
While the Luftwaffe engaged numerically superior Allied aircraft in the skies with all available planes, German armored reserves arrived to front in time despite the delaying French partisans and Allied paratroopers and were able to contain and counterattack the Allied beachheads.
Weary of the chance of a "new Dunkirk", the Allies called their invasion off after Germans had initially defeated Omaha landings in the beach and subsequently brought their strong armored reserves to front, thus stopping the British and Canadian forces from reaching Caen or linking up with the Americans at Utah. Squeezed to their narrow landing areas the Allied forces were far too vulnerable to counter-attacks, and without total air superiority the Allies were unable to advance. The failure of Operation Overlord was one of the critical turning points of WWII, and both sides carefully analyzed this battle and drew their own conclusions from it.
Strategy and tactics during WWII and Cold War, part IV: Cold War Era
After the end of World War II the German military planners began to analyze the new strategic situation where nuclear arms aroused serious questions about the role of conventional troops and the very nature of future warfare. After fields tests conducted in steppes of Kalmykia the OKH became convinced that conventional ground warfare was possible on a nuclear battlefield with right tactics and equipment.
This fact and the experiences gained from the fighting in the Eastern Front were important when the German military theorists planned their concept of "modern Blitzkrieg". In their final analysis they concluded that German tactics were actually already quite well-suited for a future limited war in battlefields where nuclear weapons had to taken into consideration. The German Kampfgruppe-formations were indeed well-trained, small and dispersed units that were not nuclear targets and that were equipped to be as self-sufficient and self-supporting as possible.
Using such units with decentralized communication system would enable the German armed forces to conduct similar multidimensional offensives of fast-moving armored formations and airborne assaults that Soviet troops mounted more or less successfully in their counterattack to Caucasus in 1943 and later in their swift conquest of Manchuria in August 1945. And as Luftwaffe was once again able to deliver support to ground troops, Germans devised a new system for advanced air-land coordination.
Wiesel and Leopard were the first German vehicles that were especially planned to fight in a conditions of nuclear battlefield.
The new doctrine was tested in battle during the Middle-Eastern War between the years 1951-1954, but while a proxy conventional war between the German-supported Baathists and Western forces raged in the region, conflicts with far more far-reaching consequences were brewing in Africa.
Obsolete German Panzer IV:s were sold to Egypt and Iraq and used in the Middle-Eastern War.
Field Marshal Hans Speidel, an experienced officer who had worked with many famous German wartime commanders became the successor of von Manstein as the new German Chief of Staff in 1951 when the Middle-Eastern War demanded constant attention.
After the Treaty of Istanbul had ended the Middle-Eastern War in 1955, situation in the Orient remained rather stable. And when the internal situation in Lebanon lead to a complex civil war in 1975, Reich and France were wise enough to keep their own forces outside of the conflict and instead chose to send only material support to their Syrian allies. The Syrian government ruled by the National Socialist Baath-party finally made a military intervention that brought the fighting into a halt. The internal situation of Lebanon was afterwards dominated by the uneasy peace between the various armed factions, and the situation in the Middle East remained unstable. In many places the Baathist leaders who had sought to unite the region and had received support from Reich since the 1950´s were ousted from power. Ultimately only Syria, Iraq and Libya retained their Baathist regimes in 1984, elsewhere they were replaced by either pro-Western governments or radical Islamists.
The relations between the United States, Soviet Union and People's Republic of China remained uneasy due the US foreign policy that aimed to contain the spread of hostile totalitarian ideologies. While the economic cooperation between Soviet Union and the West steadily improved during the Cold War, relations between China and other superpowers remained uneasy and tense. Only in his late years Chairman Mao sought to improve the relations between the Western world when he signed a treaty of limited economic cooperation with the United States during President Nixon´s state visit in 1972. After his death the economic cooperation between China and the Free World grew slowly but steadily as the previous Maoist rhetorics of world revolution were quietly abandoned by the new Chinese leadership.
The next major international confrontation between superpowers happened in 1982 when the fascist military junta of Argentine sought to gain control of the old British protectorate of Falkland Islands. The long period of Labour pacifism and decolonization had made the the Argentine officers believe that the British wouldn´t fight for a small and remote fishing colony. Therefore they were quite surprised when Margaret Thatcher announced that Britain would "release her territory from enemy occupation, by the force of arms if necessary." With German and British submarines lurking around the coastal waters of the region and Argentine air force striking against the Royal Navy blockade of the islands the situation was quite tense for a while. Ultimately the outcome of the conflict was a total British victory, and afterward United States established a new military base to the islands, announcing that this new military presence would henceforth "secure peace and freedom of the region."
Strategy and tactics during WWII and Cold War, part V: Helicopters
MBB-SA 105 "Großlibelle" was the first German helicopter gunship, developed during the colonial wars in Africa. The latest "105-B" type of Großlibelle is armed with the helicopter-variant of wire-guided PanzerabwehrRakete Ruhrstal-Aerospatiale X-12 "Kungnir." This upgunned version is thus able to effectively engage and destroy destroy enemy armored fighting vehicles. It can also support ground troops with autocannon and rocket fire.
Großlibelle´s Soviet counterpart, the MI-24 Hind, sacrifices agility to strong armor and troop transport capacity.
Helicopter tactics of the major powers
During WWII the Kriegsmarine was the first military force in the world to test and use helicopters in combat. Flettner FL 282 Kolibri, the first German naval helicopter was a successful design introduced in 1942, and during the course of the war over 400 were produced despite the disruptions that Allied bombing campaign caused to German aviation industry. The Allies were quick to follow the German example, and in turn took the next step in the evolution of helicopter warfare during the Middle-Eastern War. While the Germans also tested their earlier Fa 223 Drache in cargo haul and medevac use, the Allies used their new idea of Air Land Battle when the British helicopter-mounted light infantry units captured Port Said and Sinai region.
After the Istanbul Summit that ended the war in 1955 Germans soon began to test similar tactics in Portuguese colonies, where the difficult terrain allowed their guerrilla opponents to use successful hit-and-run tactics. After Speer´s major overhaul of German military industry in 1946 the new Messerschmitt – Bölkow – Blohm corporation that employed such innovative designers as Heinrich Focke and Anton Fleittner made a fusion with French Societe Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale after an agreement with Speer and Bichelonne created the foundation of joint European aviation industry. This company became the main producer of military helicopters of New Europe.
MBB-SA 3130 Lerche, here shown armed with the Ruhrstal-Aerospatiale X-8 "Frankon"-missiles was used in African colonial wars. It is often considered one of the best early military helicopters since it´s different variants could be used for reconnaissance, arty spotting, infantry support, anti-tank warfare and in naval mission.
The jungle warfare faced in Africa proved to be a major testing ground for German helicopters and CAS aircrafts. Portuguese Colonial War proved to be an ideal conflict for the helicopter units and their new role in the battlefield. No longer would conventional armies fight each other along long fronts on the ground. Now they could be quickly airlifted deep into enemy-held territory, striking suddenly and powerfully and then moving on to rest and refit. During the early 1970´s improved versions of these tactics were successfully tested in WEU:s military maneuvres and soon afterwards they became a part of doctrine of conventional warfare of WEU. Using the battle-proven MBB-SA 105 "Großlibelle" gunships and new MBB-SA 330 "Ungeheuer" troops transport helicopters the OKH created several "Luftsturm"-Brigades and -Abteilungs that would be used in the forward echelons of future German operations.
MBB-SA 330 "Ungeheuer", the troop transport variant of highly versatile 330-series of helicopters.
The Soviet Union also used combat helicopters in large scale. The long and bitter civil wars fought in Central Asian republics served as the main testing ground for Soviet air assault doctrine. During these long anti-partisan warfare operations Soviet helicopter tactics developed rapidly. But while the WEU preferred fast, agile gunships and equally swift and only lightly armed and armored transport helicopters, the Soviets chose the Mi-24 as their main combat helicopter. This "flying tank" had similar weaponry than the lighter combat helicopters of the other superpowers, but it also had an extremely strong armor for a helicopter and it could carry an 8-man strong combat team to battle. The Americans, who together with the British had utilized helicopters in supply roles during the Middle-Eastern war studied the lessons of this conflict and reports of following German operations in Africa, and during their counter-insurgency operations against Communist guerrilla movements in Asia and South America the US has also used their special "Air Cavalry"-units and developed specialized transport helicopters and gunships. After the introduction of man-portable anti-air missiles the concept of air mobility was once again questioned by some tank proponents, but for now and in near future airmobile units will continue to form an important part of modern conventional armies everywhere in the world.
Strategy and tactics during WWII and Cold War, part VI:
Modern Waffen SS
Soldier from the legendary SS-Jagdverbande "Skorzeny"
The Waffen-SS is an all-European military security organization and the constantly alert guardian of the New Europe. It´s international Eurokorps units are formed from over 450 000 men and women from almost forty different nationalities. In the case of an internal crisis or a large-scale enemy offensive these protection corps are able to react immediately, and they can be send to operate far outside the borders of Europe well before the national armies of the WEU can be mobilized. In order to carry out their missions the troops of the Eurokorps receive first-grade training and equipment.
The number of divisions of the Waffen-SS has changed many times during the course of history. The organization had most members during the WWII, and during that time over million men served in forty-three different divisions.
A patrol of 18. SS-Luftsturmdivision Horst Wessel in Syrian bazaar.
After the war the Waffen-SS was separated from the original SS and it became a separate organization that has it´s own headquarters as a part of Oberkommando das Eurokorps, the WEU:s military HQ based in Berlin. During the first post-war years when the whole SS organization underwent a series of internal purges that led to it´s current form many former SS-men left Germany and joined to the re-formed French Foreign Legion that later on saw combat in Algiers and Congo.
All members of the Waffen-SS units are well-motivated volunteers. While many German members of the organization come directly from HJ or have previous SS background, other countries of the New Europe have their own SS recruitment centers. Like elsewhere in WEU, German is used as a international command language.
The training is harsh and realistic, and annually more than one third of the candidates quits during the physically and psychologically challenging basic training. After this the more specialized training for the different branches of the service is carried out in various military areas in all parts of the New Europe, from the icy fjords of Norway to to desert steppes of Kalmykia. Officer courses are held in the SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz. The task-based leading principles first used in Waffen-SS are currently used by virtually all armies of the world. Generally speaking the training of Waffen-SS personnel emphasizes initiative, flexibility and mobility, and aims to create a force with strong internal cohesion that is based to mutual respect and "kameradschaft" of all members of the unit.
The relations between the officers, NCO:s and crewmen have traditionally been exceptionally good among the Waffen-SS. The saluting of high-ranking officers is not compulsory and discussions are generally less formal than in other military forces. The usage of the "Herr"-title is completely unknown for SS-troops, and high-ranking officers up to the most high-ranking General are all addressed only with their rank and name.
15. SS-Panzerdivision Charlemagne
1er Regiment d'Chars de Combat de la SS Etat Français
2e Regiment d'Chars de Combat de la SS Liberte
3e Regiment d'Chars de Combat de la SS Patrie
1e Regiment d'Infanterie de la SS Marne
2e Regiment d'Artillerie de la SS Wagram
16. SS-Panzerdivision Napoleon Bonaparte (Marseilles,France)
4e Regiment d'Chars de Combat de la SS Marechal Ney
5e Regiment d'Chars de Combat de la SS Marechal Soult
6e Regiment d'Chars de Combat de la SS Marechal Petain
3e Regiment d'Infanterie de la SS Verdun
4e Regiment d'Artillerie de la SS Marengo
The majority of flats in residential areas are owned by individual inhabitants, since the regulated housing policy of the Party have made cheap, state-warranted loans available to all citizens. The industrial centers and university areas also have many rental apartments. The state also controls the prizes water and electricity and the amount of rents in order to keep the costs of living in acceptable levels. In countryside the state has encouraged effective and wide-ranging settlement policy with cheap loans, but despite this many inhabitants of the rural areas moved to towns and cities during the 1960´s and 1970´s.
The new buildings and neighborhoods are stylish and modern.
The most popular apartments are located to new Neojugend neighborhoods. These kind of highly developed national romantic quarters are found from all larger cities. They are build close to wide parks with playgrounds, artificial lakes, pedestrian streets and sport halls. The houses have visually impressive facades and public spaces, and at the same time they have all the requirements of modern technology available to individual apartments.
The environmental questions have been especially kept in mind, since all housing tracts are build away from the noise of the traffic and the smoke and the pollution of industry. All houses have their own kitchen gardens, where the inhabitants grow vegetables and berries for their own use.
But despite the building of new apartments and the renovation of the old houses many students and other persons with low income have to live in element blocks build in 1960´s. These 6-to-10 store building offer quite narrow living quarters. While impressive in their organized outlook, the apartments of these quickly-build element houses have many flaws: they are small, and the quality of work is often poor. Some houses have elevator shafts but no elevators. There are occasional breaks in the electricity and heating, and because of this these houses have large boiler rooms where wood and trash is burned for heating in the wintertime.
The concrete element housing build during the 1960´s.
The city planning has flourished in the large cities of Central Europe. The sturdy skyscrapers build to Hamburg, Frankfurt-am-Rhein and other major cities are also used as broadcast towers for radio and television transmissions, and they are also used as zeppelin stations. All demands of the modern era like large car parks, cables and wires have been build underground, and local natural terrain like rivers and forests are kept as close to their natural state as possible.
The newest models of Volkswagen Auto currently have standard anti-collision radar and Galileo-based global positioning systems. They are smaller, more round in design and have more modest performance than their American counterparts, but they also are more safer, comfortable and consume less fuel.
Almost all passenger cars use either bio gas or hydrogen fuel-cell conversion as their power source instead of petrol.
The most popular models are Volkswagen, Fiat and BMW. The sport models of Porsche and Ferrari are also quite common, since the famous Autobahns of the Reich have multiple driving lanes but no speed limits. The state controls private ownership of cars, and all families are allowed to own only one car, the only exception being the members of N.S.K.K (National Socialist Car Association) who have special license to own two cars. In the other hand the official propaganda is not promoting the ownership of a car as a status question.
Adolf Hitler was the father of the motorization of the Reich. His massive construction programs that removed unemployment created the current Autobahn network during the years 1935.1955. This project was supported by when professor Porsche developed a true "car of the people." The first model, nicknamed "Käfer", became a huge success story and a legend that rose to global fame.
The most modern WV models are mostly used by Party personnel and wealthy businessmen, the original "Käfer" is still a common car for the common people.
By saving a small sum of money to car fund of Kraft durch Freude virtually everyone was able to afford themselves a Volkswagen. This car is still a common sight in the roads of the Reich, even though their legendary engines have long since been replaced with bio gas propulsion. Using a car in Europe is easy. The road networks spreads over the continent like a complex spider-web, but unlike their American equivalents, the Autobahns of the Reich are not spoiling the views but are instead build to blend to their surroundings. The most famous parts of this road network are the Party Road that goes from Berlin to Linz via Nürnberg, and the Eurasian Autobahn that starts from Moscow and goes to Kazan and Ufa.
Despite of all this the volume of private traffic in the New Europe has never reached such levels as in the capitalistic America, where unnecessary usage of cars has become an absolute value. The Party has countered this type of development at home by supporting public transportation.
The metro of Berlin is modern, fast and silent and among the best of the world. Inside the city the efficient electrical trams will transport citizens to anywhere in the city in the expense of a few pfennings, despite the actual distance. A system of buses transport people to countryside and back. In addition bicycles are very popular in urban environment. The Party supports cycling as a progressive form of transportation that is both free of pollution and good for the public health, so cycle paths are found virtually everywhere.
Yet there is no doubt about the most cheapest, nicest and practical way of traveling in Europe: railway. The Reich´s railways together with the EuroBahn-network transport people and goods by four types of trains. The frequent lines of stopping trains ferry workers from suburbs to centrum and industrial areas, while also maintaining connections to countryside. The express-trains take care of long-distance connections. And between the major centers the movement is conducted by Kugelbahn-type fast trains. The tickets of local trains are about 2-4 RM, express train tickets cost 10-50 RM. Maglev between Berlin-Hamburg costs about 30 RM. All war veterans, pensioners, students and children have discounts.
The wide-gauge Eurasian trains, originally designed for traffic between the Eastern Europe and Reichskomissariats leave from Gotenland Station in Berlin and start their long journeys towards their remote goals: Theodericshafen in Gotenland (former Krimea), Rostow, Aflred-Rosenberg-Stadt, Volgoburg, Moscow and Petersburg. With rail gauges of four meters, these two-stored giants resemble ships lifted to rails. Three types of tickets are sold to these trains. The first and second class of passengers have their own cabins and saloons with their own showers, while the third class travels in a similar fashion than any other train.
Furnished after the fashion of Atlantic liners of the 1930´s, these luxury trains have their own fine bars, gourmet-restaurants, movie theater and other similar leisure and relaxation possibilities. One wide-gauge trip to east costs 200-800 RM, depending on the class.
Petersburg Railway: Berlin - Posen - Litzmannstadt - Warschau - Sudauen - Vilnius - Dünaburg - Petersburg
Moscow Railway: Berlin - Posen - Litzmannstadt - Warschau - Minsk - Moscow
Ukraine Railway: Berlin - Breslau - Krakau - Lemberg - Zhitomir - Kiev - Kharkov - Volgoburg (another junction from Kiev to Theoderichshafen via Melitopol)
Orient Express: Paris - München - Vienna - Budapest - Belgrade - Bucharest - Burgas - Istanbul
Ships and air traffic
Some shipping companies still transport small amounts of passengers in the coasts of the Baltic, North Sea, the Channel and Mediterranean, but this kind of tourism is reasonably rare when compared to the volumes of air travel. Most of these passenger ships are just common cargo vessels, but special luxury cruisers are also touring in the Baltic and in the Mediterranean. Generally the cruises in the Baltic are cheaper than the Mediterranean ones. The Party also owns a few ships intended especially for leisure cruises for workers. The ships like MS Germania, MS Niebelungen ja MS Baldr can each take one thousand people to refreshing holiday tour. These cruises offer an well-earned and state-sponsored break for the most hard-working and poorly paid citizens, while more well-established passengers have to pay their tickets themselves. A large number of smaller steamboats use the Adolf Hitler-channel that connects the rivers Elbe, Oder and Danube and are thus able to reach all corners of the Reich.
Air traffic has crown tremendously after the war, and has enabled the birth of true mass tourism. Huge jet planes of Lufthansa and Boeing transport busy businessmen and tourists both in- and outside of Europe. In the continent the airplane has, however, facing increasingly tough competition in the air transportation business. If one requires luxury and space and doesn´t have a minute-tight schedule, the airship is the best choice available.
The era of airships seemed to end to the destruction of Hindenburg in 1937. The airplanes reigned the skies for decades, but with modern technology the German airships have risen again. These modern zeppelins have solid structure and they use inflammable helium, light synthetic materials and a modern nuclear reactor (similar to the ones used in submarines) as a power source. They are irreplaceable in areas where large volumes of cargo have to be transported from difficult locations. In modern times the trip to the airport can often take as long as the actual flight itself. In comparison the zeppelins do not need airports and runways but can instead land in a middle of the city, and can take off without causing any irritating noise or pollution.
These nuclear-powered airships are serious challengers to the long supremacy of airplanes. They are 300 meters long and have diameter of 50 to 60 meters. In addition to 600 passengers they can also haul 100 tons of cargo and major individual components like heavy machinery, parts of bridges or oil rigs.
When taken to tourist usage such ships can carry 1800 passengers, who can experience the traditional pleasures of a luxury cruise in air - these ships have large enough to walk around and have their own restaurants, walking areas and nice and cozy private cabins. While the journey takes twice the time of a regular jet flight, the prizes are only one-third of equivalent jet flights. Tens of giant airships slowly cruising in the skies of the cities of Central Europe are thus a common sight.
The food in the Reich is simple and healthy. The unnecessary use of added ingredients, salt and sugar is discouraged in education and official programs of public health, and the usage of unhealthy colorants, fertilizers and chemicals is completely forbidden. The Party is favoring local and clean methods of agriculture, and thus there are no large shopping malls or supermarkets. The common people buy their food from small markets, retailers and special shops. There are also many local restaurants with decent prizes. Many urban citizens, especially among the more radical youth have followed the example of Adolf Hitler and have adopted a healthy vegetarian diet. Smoking is strictly limited and not allowed in most public areas.
Another major difference when compared to the West is the absence of major hamburger companies and their commercials. Traditional German wursts and sausages, available in hundreds of different types are the main fast food, even though Turkish döner-kebab is also quite popular. As Europe has unified all major European capitols host a wide number of Russian, French, Italian, Greek and Turkish restaurants, German gasthauses, Czech or Ostmarkian cafeterias and Irish pubs. The inhabitants of major cities enjoy from such imported specialties as Belgian beers, Belarussian soups, Spanish wines and German sauerkraut.
Another major specialty is the "sacrificial Sunday" once per month. During the day all restaurants and public lunch rooms serve only Eintopfgericht, a simple soup or similar, more humbler meal that is a far cry from traditional Sunday supper. The prize is usually around 4 RM, but 2,20 goes for the Volkswohlfahr, the Party´s department that takes care of the less fortunate citizens and aids them when need arises.
Your paper's, please! StaatIdKarte (SIK), is a smart card with wide number of encoded identification information: race, nationality, genetic background, blood type, fingerprints, profile of iris, possible criminal record, rights, permissions, medical records and testimonials. The authorities have the right to check the identity of all citizens when necessary. The SIK works as a key card, bank card and it can also used as an electronic payment instrument that allows easy way to deal with every-day small purchases. If a citizen has registered as a user of library, gym or the like, the card is also used to loan books, register the monthly visits to each place ech.
The SIK is the only officially acknowledged identification card. All citizens of the Reich have to have it with them at all times. The card is personal and it´s misuse is almost impossible. All persons found without their cards can be arrested until their identity can be confirmed. After this the citizen gets a new card and a fine of 500 RM.
Citizens judged to imprisonment lose their card for this period. Instead a temporary bar code is tattooed to their right hand to help the handling of the prisoners. Obviously tourists and visitors don´t have such cards, and they can prove their identities with their visas.
The SIK technology enables strong security measures.
The privacy of citizens is limited. Or as the official motto of the Polizei goes: "If you don´t have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear." The constitution allows the authorities to use any means necessary to guarantee the safety of their citizens and to prevent criminality and terrorism. All major routes to largest cities also have their own observation points where movement is controlled.
The usage of photocopying machines is state controlled in order to prevent rebellious or revolutionary activity. The machines themselves are rare and they are well guarded, and in addition to this all copies have to be confirmed with the SIK.
Foreigners accustomed to liberalism are often initially negative towards the effective surveillance of the Reich, but get´s accustomed to it relatively fast. According to the surveys conducted by the Ministry of Information 86% of citizens feel more safe in the presence of security cameras.
New technology has recently brought many efficient methods to counter the ever-growing threat of terrorism conducted by such extremist groups as neo-communists. The threat of terrorism is taken seriously and the authorities are constanly struggling to maintain order and stability.
Individual apartment blocks are controlled by Blockleiters set to their office by the Party. Their job is to ensure that the Party does not display itself as a distant and bureaucratic machinery but can instead keep direct contact to it´s members, the people. The Blockleiters report all requests and criticism gathered from the inhabitants of each block to higher ranks of the organization, and they in turn process this info and send it forward up to the highest ranks of the NSDAP. This system has historically been plagued by occasional sad cases where arbitrary and corrupted Blockleiters have misused their position.
During the years of the revolution (1933-1939) the schooling system of the Reich experienced wide changes. The Jewish teachers were sacked and curriculum's were altered in favor of physical exercises. The Führer himself said: "I want young men and women who can suffer pain. A young German must be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp's steel."
This PE-oriented education brought results in the olympics of 1936, when Germany won 33 gold medals while the US only got 24. Meanwhile the annual number of university applicants dropped by 57%. The education became politicized and superficial in nature, and especially the research of nuclear physics suffered greatly from this early policy.
The war era proved that the German schooling system had to be reformed towards less formal direction. During the reign of Rudolf Hess Hitler´s most excessive methods were gradually canceled, and universities regained their academic freedom and the heavy responsibilities of using it. This decision proved extremely beneficial as the following years witnessed the renaissance of European scientific research.
Modern education system has two branches: the liberal arts and the political education. Minimum education is compulsory to all citizens. After the elementary school people can choose between upper secondary schools and vocational schools. In higher education biology and history are the most important subjects. After upper secondary schools the citizens can apply for one of the famed universities of the Reich.
The political training is aimed to guarantee the future of the Party and it also has three parts. Only the best get in to these elite education units. The national Adolf Hitler-schools have spartan education methods. The young cadets are trained to be physically and mentally strong, humble and unselfish. After their basic training they continue their studies in Napola (Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalten) where they primarily study political science, history and moral philosophy. The best of these chosen few have the chance to apply for one of the seven Ordensburgs of Europe, where they are prepared to became visionaries and leaders of tomorrow. The four-year education program of these facilities is both top-quality and highly demanding. The first year contains social biology, evolutionary psychology and natural sciences. The second year is more physical in nature, and focuses on sports, mountaineering and parachuting. The third year focuses to economics and military theories, and the fourth and final year is composed of studies of politics, mythology and philosophy.
A typical Hitlerjugend-camp located in the outskirts of Köningsberg.
Between the age of 14 and 18 everyone has the chance to enlist to Party´s youth association, the Hitlerjugend, despite their gender or the social status of their parents. The Hitlerjugend offers something for everyone: arts and sciences, handicrafts, sports, riding, glider flights, journalism and music. The main goal of this organization is to "create a new human who is physically and mentally well developed." The official fact sheet of the HJ promises: "The physical health, beauty and harmony of our youth is cultivated in equal fashion with their mental abilities and their strength of will. These ideals lead us back to the golden days of the Classical age of Sparta and Olympia."
The upbringing focuses to hiking trips, camps and evening gatherings around the campfires. The training areas of Hitlerjugend are always located to special places surrounded by wild nature. The days spend here are filled with lessons, gymnastics, sports, singing and camping.
"The continuous presence of clean nature strengthens the muscles and the will of our youth, they are able to breath freely in the fresh air and most importantly their eyes are open to see the special relationship between the nature and humans" the same fact sheet continues.
In addition to this the Hitlerjugend camps have to take care of their own needs and supply, and thus they have their own kitchen gardens and cattle. This guarantees that also the young people living in cities have a lively contact to earth and animals, and they learn to value them afterward´s. This enables them to learn cooking, survival in nature and the general knowledge of rural life - skills that would otherwise be lost due the urbanization.
Hitlerjugend organizes many theme events where the youngster can display their skills and where kids still too young to join receive a positive first image of the organization.
After they have finished the training in Hitlerjugend in the age of 19, everyone have to spend two months in agrarian work as a helper of Reichsarbeitsdienst. Even though modern machinery would perform their work faster and more efficiently, this kind of work service is seen as a valuable part of their ideological upbringing. It allows the youth to develop a healthy respect towards the countryside and gives them a chance to work together towards the common good for the love of their nation.
At the age of 20 young men start their compulsory two-year long military service, either by joining the armed forces or applying to some job that is beneficial to society in order to deserve their citizenship. Individuals who are interested in international cooperation can work in Europa-Jugend, a joint umbrella organization of all youth associations of New Europe.
The education and methods of the HJ have often been criticized as unilateral and harsh, and it is probably one of the reasons for the high number of suicides among the youth in the Reich. *The Black Book of National Socialism, Great-Britain 1984
In the Reich legal maturity is reached at the age of 21 years, and the title and citizenship rights are granted to each individual in a solemn ceremony. According to the constitution the citizenship rights can only be given to a native or an immigrant who has married a native and who in addition qualifies to the other demands. Among these the most important part requires that the individual has proven capability of voluntarily setting the good of the community before the good of the self by applying to Hitler-Jugend or armed forces and/or by performing well in work in the service of business life or scientific research.
Crimes conducted before maturity or serious crimes performed afterward´s can lead to the losing of citizenship status. The citizenship grants the right to vote in local and state-level elections, the right to become a candidate in such elections and the right to reach top-level state office. In addition the citizenship grants special safety while traveling in abroad, since a citizen being arrested in abroad has the right to contact the nearest Consulate and receive free legal help. The Reich also has treaties with many friendly countries in the Third World, and here the citizens are immune to local laws and they can only be judged in courts back home. A citizen is a honorific term and it is used in official discussion as a title.
A person lacking citizenship is called an inhabitant. The inhabitants perform the same jobs as the citizens and there is no difference in salary or selection of employees between them. The main difference is that the inhabitants have no voting rights and can´t expect any help from the state if they become unemployed.
The majority of non-citizens in the Reich are Turkish, Polish and Eastern European quest workers who have temporary working license. Other people with inhabitant-status include: foreign businessmen, artists, people who have declined to enlist to Hitler Jugend or military service, vagrants, refugees and dissidents. Altogether these elements of the society number about 6% of the adult population and they are found almost exclusively in the largest cities.
Women and their role in the society
The Party doctrine states: "The European National Socialism acknowledges both the physical and spiritual differences and the mental equality between males and females, and aims to create a just society based on these principles." The Reich officially considers men and women to be equal, and both sexes have similar chances to create a career in both politics and military. There are no kind of quotas, directives or admissions since they are deemed unnecessary. Traditional family values are kept in high value, and the development and strengthening of a natural sexual identity is one of the topmost goals of a National Socialist upbringing. The space flight of Hanna Reitsch is often used as an example of the chances that the women can have in the society of the Reich.
The traditional family values are still highly respected.
The almost mythical idolization of women in National Socialism is often misunderstood in foreign countries. A women is the guardian of the mystery of Life itself in the National Socialist state, and her well-being is vital for the future of the whole nation. Instead of trying to force both sexes to same mould, the Party is supporting and praising the small differences between the sexes. The Judeo-Christian hostility towards women has almost totally vanished from the society.
The society of Reich is predominantly a cash economy, and the small sums that can be loaded to SIK are virtually the only exception to this rule. State-level economy is based on bi- and trilateral trade deals where the prizes are fixed. Loans are only granted either by employer´s savings and loan associations and or by the Reichsbank, and the laws concerning loans are very strict. Maximum interest charge are fixed to low levels and speculation with loans is strictly forbidden. The need for loans for apartments, cars and the like are eased with many organizations that aim to help the common people, Kdf (Kraft durch Freude) being the prime example. It and other national aid organizations aim to arrange cheap rental apartments and different small-scale saving programs that help individual citizens to eventually collect the sum needed for the apartment, car and similar high-prize items. The more wealthy citizens pursuing status items have to be willing to pay considerable more, since decadent luxury items are heavily taxed.
Winter Relief and Welfare Association
The Party´s welfare association, NSV, is an organization with over ten million members. These members gather funds and donate money that enables the NSV to practice charity work focusing it´s efforts to child families. These "Mutter und Kind"-programs aim to help all mothers and children of the Reich with NSV-funded guidance centers, kindergartens and children´s hospitals.
Over a million homeless have received a shelter and a bed from NSV, and this kind of solidarity work would be impossible without the one and a half million volunteers who have totally devoted themselves to the cause of National Socialist principle of solidarity between all members of the society. Even though donating is not officially compulsory, failing to partake to yearly collections can have serious consequences. Most companies have the practice of taking the individual share of these voluntarily funds directly from their employee´s salaries and then paying them directly to the Party and NSV.
The Winterhilfswerk (Winter Relief) is another massive aid organization, and it´s birth was marked with the historical speech of Adolf Hitler. His inspiring words that demanded that no German should no longer suffer from hunger or cold created a "tidal wave of sacrificial spirit, charity and solidarity." This great work continues each autumn when everyone participates to one huge collection effort. Partaking is virtually compulsory, since only a selfish, cold and unpatriotic person would let his fellow countrymen down in such a manner. In 1990 the Winterhilfswerk collected over 813 million RM.
The Party dutifully directs this flow of money back to people and to those most in need. This help comes in many forms: monetary aid, clothes for adults and children, furniture, victuals, fuel ech. During the latest campaign of 1990 over 9 million tons of potatoes and 300 000 tons of flour were distributed. The Winterhilfswerk once again guaranteed that not a single citizen of the Reich has to suffer from lack of food or warmth.
The private charity organizations help people regardless of their status in the society.
Due the bureaucracy and centralized surveillance system of the Reich old analogical phone centers and lines are still going strong. The hand phones popular in the West have not yet gained ground in Europe, and the few available ones are restricted to the use of the police forces and top Party officials. Two large operators, the Siemens Telefunken and AEG Telefunken dominate the market.
Modern computers are slowly spreading to civilian business use. The concept of a personal computer is still only a Utopian vision of the future in the the Reich.
The internal information network, Das Netz is used solely by universities, research facilities, major corporations, state departments and ministries, and only very few private citizens have access to it.
Television and newspapers
The state directly owns most newspapers and magazines, and the privately-owned editorial staffs have to send all of their material to Ministry of Information before it´s published in order to prevent the spread of hostile foreign agitation and propaganda.
The Ministry of Information also governs the television in New Europe, and dictates what kind of imported foreign programs are being broadcast. Dr. Goebbels was one of the first politicians to understand the importance of television and movies, and his legacy lasts since the prizes of tv-sets are kept in a low level. The Reich broadcasts programs from four satellite channels, visible through the globe. The Kanal 11 or NSN, "The National Socialist News" focuses on accurate news from the Reich and abroad, and in addition to these the channel also shows first-rate historical, political and scientific documents and economical and educational programs.
The Kanal 211, the DKN or "National Culture Network" shows drama, music, comedy, movies, nature documents and other more entertaining, but like wisely civilizing material. The most popular channels are and the sports channel and the FS Cinema that has a wide selection of movies in it´s selection. The tv, or fernseher as it´s better known in Europe is currently found in virtually every home.
As mentioned before, The Ministry of Information selects the Anglo-American movies and tv-series that can be also seen in Europe. The Ministry has also been sorry for the fact that many misled citizens have kept their old radio sets and are using them to listen the "Voice of America", the US-sponsored propaganda broadcast send from the UK.
The European traitors-in-exile are using this radio program as their primary tool of spreading harmful propaganda and disinformation.
Radio Free Europe, the tool of the hostile Western propaganda machine.
These non-European radio- and tv-broadcasts are jammed in order to protect the citizens from harmful enemy propaganda, but especially the popular broadcasts of the BBC have been a constant problem for Ministry of Information. A fierce competition between the technicians and engineers of both camps is constant, and the black market provides illegal criminal devices that are able to encrypt the jamming of the international satellite channels. Ill rumors even claim that top Party officials use such devices to watch American broadcasts and tv-series. The Ministry of Security is hoping that all cases where such unpatriotic and harmful lies are spread would be immediately reported to nearest Party official.
Arnold Schwartzenegger has become widely famous and popular actor after his strong performance in Berik the Visigoth, an epic historical movie filmed in Babelsberg during the late 1970´s.
The city of Babelsberg is the Hollywood of the Third Reich. All grand rewarding ceremonies and galas are held here and moth entertainment agencies of New Europe have their offices here. The State Movie Company UFA and most smaller producers are all present. The Babelsberg produces quality entertainment and creates an alternative to decadent and immoral propaganda films of Hollywood.
Other major events in the European movie industry are the week-long film festivals of Bavaria, where the small-budget movies of less-famous young directors can be seen. France and RSI are controlling the continental movie industry alongside with the Reich, and Cannes and Nizza are the "movie capitols" of the Mediterranean.
While the French are clearly in their own class in the field of more artistic films, the most profitable hit movies of the past decades have been calculated action- and drama movies from Babelsberg. Few of the most famous include:
Where Eagles Dare - A British commando team is send to Germany to assassinate Hitler, but heroic agents of the Abhwehr find out about the plot and the assassination attempt is foiled at the last moment. .
The Frozen Dreams - Dramatic description of scientist and polar explorer W. Niemayer and his fatal mission in the Antarctic.
Saving private Reiss - An epic war movie from the Eastern Front. A platoon of tired veterans led by an experienced captain are ordered to find and rescue Reiss, a young fallschirmjäger dropped behind enemy lines during the Battle for Moscow in winter 1941.
Cross of Iron III - A top RSHA agent X7, captain Hans Dietrich (Arnold Schwartzenegger) is ordered to a secret mission that aims to destroy the Soviet oilfields in Siberia. Jewish traitors betray the operation and Hans is transferred to sadistic Communist prison camp. While imprisoned, Hans learns about a new, fatal secret weapon program developed by evil Russian scientists. Hans is able to escape with the aid of beautiful Sieglinde (Elena Osipov), and afterwards he destroys the communist secret superweapon and returns home to Reich, where he is receives a heroic reward as the Führer himself awards him with the Knight´s Cross.
From the fringes of society
STRASSERS - Homeless beggars and "hobos" found from the darkest alleys and sewers. Whole clans of these outcasts of society roam in the abandoned and ruined areas in Moscow, Kharkov, Volgoburg and Tula. They live with alms, rats, theft and garbage. In the Reich they have some form of help from NSV, but in Russia these poor people are on their own. Since they lack citizenship and many are totally outside state register, the polizei treats them accordingly.
A homeless strasser sleeping beneath a bridge.
DISABLED - This wide category includes all either physically or mentally handicapped by the war, and also everyone with implants or artificial limbs. There is no law to protect them from the discrimination at business life. Even while the war veterans receive pension that should enable them decent standards of living and health care, many of them still have to seek aid from NSV and the Winterhilfswerk.
The status of the veterans is a taboo subject in Reich.
WANDERVOGELS - The radical youth movement in the New Europe. Part of this group that formed during the 1920´s later on formed the core of Hitler-Jugend. The modern wandervogels have became much more unpolitical during the 1960´s and have long since abandoned the formal organization created by the Hermann Hoffman and Karl Fischer, the founders of the movement. These idealistic youth despise modern urban life and seek to return to the romanticized earlier ages. They oppose machines and technocracy, cynical medicine and genetic manipulation and enjoy the beaty of wild nature. A die-hard wandervogel would rather walk in rain than drive a car and would prefer hay barn over warm hotel bed. These eccentric individuals promote the purity of body so they generally avoid alcohol and abstain from tobacco, drugs or unhealthy food. The wanderwogels have also set up several self-sustaining farming communes to the countryside and here they practice traditional handicrafts and upheld their romanticized version of national culture with folk dances and music, using old-styled instruments and clothing. The wanderwogels are radical in many ways, and most remote communes are known to practice wild pagan feasts and even nudism. The official Party policy towards the movement is surprisingly neutral, because despite their radicalism almost all of them become citizens and ultimately their ethos is compatible with the National Socialist ideology.
The wanderwogels are considered to be harmless idealists.
PROTESTERS - Each country in New Europe has small but noisy groups who organize demonstrations and events to support most various causes. War, peace, environmentalism, state of the society, politics, robotics, mega corporations, biotechnology and genetic manipulation, The United States ech. All demonstrations must have the acceptance of the police (Orpo is the authority responsible for this in the Reich) and the authorities are known to disperse illegal gatherings quickly and efficiently.
Disillusioned veterans have boosted the dwindling ranks of the biker gangs operating in Russia and elsewhere in the East.
OUTLAW BIKER GANGS - The remote rural regions in the Eastern Europe are a gathering ground for criminals and outcasts. The few illegal biker gangs formed up in these regions practice higway robberies and extortion, and also meddle in drugs and arms smuggling. Patrols from the Border Guards and Ministry of Interior regularly patrol these areas with the help of dogs and helicopters, but the huge size of the area often renders the pursuit of these thugs virtually impossible. The Party has silenced all the critical rumors that have argued that most of these biker gangs have been originally formed up by German war veterans who were unable to adjust to the post-war society, and that later on some veterans from campaigns in Africa have also joined the ranks of these notorious groups.
THE YOUTH GONE WILD - THE STUDENT MOVEMENT OF THE REICH
While the Reich got involved to Portuguese Colonial War overseas, the internal situation of Germany also underwent major changes during the 1960´s. After Benno Ohnensorg, a German student of literature died when police opened fire against student demonstration in 2nd of June 1967 the internal situation in German society began to deteriorate fast. Politically organized student movement, the Neue Politische Jugend called Ohnensorg "a new Horst Wessel" and continued their activities that sought to rehabilitate Ernst Röhm and continue the brown revolution. The unrest of radical student organizations soon spreads to France, Baltic states and Hungary.
Some of these students were lured to the path of violent and radical communism and small groups like the Rote Armee Fraktion were formed to "fight fascism with terrorist methods." Gestapo soon captured and executed Rudi Dutschke, the charismatic leader of the movement but the die hard remnants of the terrorist cell continued their activities.
The funeral of Benno Ohnesorg gathered a huge audience.
Two years later the RAF managed to assassinate Hanns Martin Schleyer, and the following internal turmoil in government circles led to a bloodless coup where the old triumvirate of Speer, Lammers and their associates was toppled and Siegfried Hoffner rose to power with the support of SS and RSHA.
In 1970 the NSDAP celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Party in Nürnberg, and Hoffner used the massive event to silence the critics of his tough new methods. The liberalization of Hess era was condemned as a failed experiment, and Hoffner announced a new "cultural revolution" where he successfully gathered the support from the radical student movement. In a short period of time Hoffner "brought the Party closer to the youth" by replacing one third of the aging gauleiters.
Hoffner tightened his iron grip even further when Jewish terrorist organization "Sons of David" struck against the German football team in the München Olympic Games in September 1972 leading to death of 28 people, including all terrorists and numerous top German athletes.
But while Hoffner used the radicals to support his rise to power his moves in foreign policy were quite the opposite to his tough rethorics. In 1972 the RSI and Republic of Italy officially acknowledged one another, and the border was opened to limited traffic for the first time in 26 years. After aged Hoffner died to heart attack in the same year, the new führer and Party Leader Thomas Ehrl became the new nominal leader of Reich, while a new triumvirate of Party Secretary Dr. Horst Mahler, Reichspresident Adolf von Thadden ja Reichskanzler Dr. Reinhold Oberlercher assumed the actual leadership of the country. Their first challenges have been the suppression of the "Solidarnosc"-movement that has caused mischief and wide unrest in Polish General Gouvernment, but primarily they have struggled to revitalize the European economy that is currently struggling to maintain the arms race with the Unites States.
THE PRISONERS OF SILENCE
Power concentration through oppression in a society based on Social-Darwinist principles. Total control of all societal and social functions. All clubs, organizations, associations and communities — however trivial — are politicized and in the control of the single authority. A system that indoctrinates it´s citizens at early childhood and never let´s them freely choose what to do with their life. A complex and inefficient education system that teaches and emphasizes obedience and exactitude in all things. Completely institutionalized art and culture: every book, play, movie, radio program, television program, music tune, statue and painting is filtered through various propaganda institutions before publication.
Because of the excessive propaganda the huge majority of the citizens of the Reich are more or less unaware that their standard of living is way lower than in the Western world, that their state economy is struggling to avoid utter collapse and that they are constantly under the surveillance of a ruthless police state without any individual rights.
Those few dissidents, immigrant workers, sexual minorities, demonstrators and many others who are desperate or stupid enough to openly stand up against the system or question the official truth are swiftly dealt with and often just vanish without a trace during the middle of the night, never to be seen again.
Sources: The Black Book of National Socialism, Great-Britain 1984. Fatherland: Exploring the Nazi Dystopia, UK 1991
Timeline of important events in the West, Europe, Asia and Africa between 1890-1935
1890: Europe: Adolf Hitler is born on April 20th in Branau am Inn.
1914: Europe:WWI begins.
West: The Panama Channel is finished.
1917: Europe: Germany initiates unrestricted submarine warfare. The October Revolution hits Russia, and the Soviet secret police Tsheka and the Komintern are established.
West: The United States enters the war in the side of the Entente Powers.
1918: Europe: Adolf Hitler receives Iron Cross 1st class for his distinguished service, and is little later temporarily blinded by a British gas attack in Ypres. The Bolševic government of Russia makes a separate peace with Germany in Brest-Litovsk. The war finally ends to the bitter peace of Versailles, and central Europe drifts to chaos.
West: The oil fields of Venezuela are opened. In the United States President Wilson tries in vain to promote his diplomatic initiative that would end the Great War with honourable terms.
1919:Europe: A Bolševic coup attempt in Berlin. The Bavarian Socialist Republic is established, but is later on defeated by reactionary German paramilitary forces. Hitler works as a spy and informer for the German Army.
A bitter Civil War between the reactionary Whites and Red Bolševics ravages Russia. Finnish President Stålberg refuses to support Marshal Mannerheim´s plans to attack Petrograd in order to support the White forces in the Russian Civil War. The Red Army organized by Jewish Lev Davidovitsh Bronstein ("Trotsky") defeats the White offensives aimed against Petrograd and Moscow. The Russo-Polish War is fought between 1919-1921.
The West: The United States refuses to participate to newly established League of Nations.
1920:Europe: The NSDAP, National Socialist German Workers Party has the first party meeting with seven members.
Communist coup attempts in Hungary and Poland.
Admiral Koltšak, an important White leader is shot in Irkutsk. The last White armies led by Pjotr Wrangel surrender in Krimean peninsula.
The West: Prohibition begins in the United States. Palestine becomes a British mandate. Gandhi begins his peaceful resistance against the British power in India.
1921: Europe: Adolf Hitler becomes the prominent leader in the NSDAP. Lenin initiates his "New Economic Policy." The Tsheka terrorizes the Russian society.
1922: Europe: The Irish Free State is established. Benito Mussolini becomes the Prime Minister of Italy. The Russian Civil War ends to a Bolševic victory after hundreds of thousands have died. The GPU replaces Tsheka as the new security organization. Stalin becomes the General Secretary of the Russian Communist Party. The Soviet Union is established.
The West: The first car radio is manufactured in the United States.
Africa: Egypt becomes independent.
1923: Europe: NSDAP gathering in München, followed by the Bierkeller Putsch, a failed coup attempt of Hitler and Ludendorf in 8th of December.
The West: French and Belgian troops occupy the industrial region of Ruhr.
Asia: Mustafa Kemal becomes the President of the new state of Turkey.
Africa: Ethiopia is accepted as a member in the League of Nations.
1924: Europe: Mein Kampf is written by Rudolf Hess under the dictation of Hitler during their prison sentence in Landsberg Castle, Munich. Lenin dies to a heart attack, and the city of Petrograd is renamed to Leningrad.
The West: Labour wins elections in Britain.
Asia: The Kuomingtang rises to power in China.
1925:Europe: President Ebert dies, Marshal Paul von Hindenburg is elected as the second President of the Weimar Republic. Mein Kampf is published, Rudolf Hess becomes a private secretary of Hitler. Benito Mussolini consolidates his position as the dictator of Italy.
The West: John Logie Baird invents television.
1926:Europe: Trotsky, Zinovjev and Kamenev are sacked from the Politbyroo.
Asia: Chiang Kai-shek assumes the leadership of Kuomingtang and begins his military campaign against the warlords of northern China.
1927:Europe: 1st Reichsparteitag held in Nürnberg.
Trotsky, Zinovjev and their supporters are removed from their positions in the Communist Party in the Soviet Union.
West: Charles Lindbergh is the first human to fly accross the Atlantic.
Asia: Chinese Communists oppose Chiang Kai-shek and his regime.
1928:Europe: The NSDAP fares poorly in the spring elections with only 2,6% of the total vote. The Party strategy is renewed as the focus is moved to countryside and small towns. Stalin initiates his first 5-year plan, and millions of Ukrainian peasants die to famine as a result.
The West: France begins the construction of Maginot-line. Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly accross the Atlantic.
Asia: Kuomintang captures Peking.
1929: Europe: 2nd Reichsparteitag held in Nürnberg, 150 000 people gather to listen to the speeches of Streicher, Goebbels and Hitler. Mussolini negotiates the Lateran Treaty between the Italy and Vatican. The economic difficulties caused by the Great Repression creates severe internal dissent in the Weimar Republic. Leon Trotsky is exiled from the Soviet Union and he flees to Turkey.
West: The Wall Street Crash is followed by the Great Repression. Herbert Hoover becomes the President of the United States.
1930: 14th of January communists kill a young student activist who had convinced many communists to become national socialists. His name was Horst Wessel, and over 30 000 people participated to his funeral. Wessel becomes a martyr for the cause of the NSDAP. 14th of October the National Socialists receive 18% of the vote and have 107 representatives in the Reichstag, where the NSDAP is the second-largest party.
The West: Getulio Vargas is elected as the President of Brazil.
Africa: Ras Tafari becomes the Emperor of Ethiopia and is crowned with the name Haile Selassie.
1931: Europe: Alfonso XIII, the king of Spain gives up his position and Spain becomes a republic.
West: Statute of Westminster redefines the relations between the United Kingdom and the self-governing dominions of the British Empire.
Asia: Japan invades Mantshuria, the League of Nations is powerless to interfere.
1932: Europe: Adolf Hitler is granted German citizenship. Bloody Sunday of Altona, 18 people die in a communist attack against a National Socialist demonstration. Hindenburg is re-elected as the President of Weimar Republic with Franz von Papen as his Reichchancelor. National Socialists receive 203 of 608 seats in elections.
The West: Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected as the President of the United States. Paul Gorguloff assasinates the French President Paul Doumer in Paris. Bolivia and Paraguay engaged in a conflict known as the Chaco War.
Asia: Japan established the puppet regime of Mantshukuo to Mantshuria, and occupies Shanghai and Harbin. The Japanese Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai is assasinated.
30th of January 1933 President Paul von Hindenburg names Adolf Hitler as the new Reichchancellor of Germany. The day is later on a common holiday in Reich. Hitler elects his first government: von Papen (Vice-Chancellor), von Neurath (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Frick (Minister of Interiour), Hugenberg (Minister of Finance), Rust (Minister of Education), Seldte (Minister of Labour), Goebbels (Minister of Propaganda), Ritter (Minister of Aviation), von Blomberg (Minister of Armaments), Hess (Minister). Hermann Göring became the President of the Parliament.
27th of February 1933 The Communists try to burn down the Reichstag. The Communist Party is banned in Germany. 1st of April 1933 The Gestapo is established.
1933: Europe: III Parteitag (Parteitag des Sieges) held in Nürnberg. In a referendum 93% of the citizens support the policy of Hitler.
The West: 2nd of February an international disarmament conference fails due the fact that France does not support this iniative.
Prohibition is cancelled in the United States. The New Deal-policy of Roosevelt creates many large public construction projects. The United States finally acknowledges the Soviet Union. Sanchez Cherro, the President of Peru is assasinated.
1934: Europe: Night of the Long Knives in Germany: the revolution planned by the socialist wing of the Party is prevented. Ernst Röhm and 177 left-wing Nazis are killed in internal purges. President Hindenburg dies. Adolf Hitler combines the titles of President and Chancellor and becomes the first führer of Germany. 89,93% of voters support their new leader in a referendum. Hitler secretly marries Angelika Rauball. IV Parteitag in Nürnberg (Triumph des Willens). Leni Riefenstahl films a document of the event and this movie is well received everywhere in the world.
Tsheka turns to NKVD, and becomes a fearsome political weapon in the hands and control of Stalin. Stalin initiates his purges that ultimately remove untrusworthy military leaders from the Red Army and affect the whole society of the Soviet Union with over million casualties.
Asia: The Long March of Chinese Communists led by Mao Zedong takes them to northern China, where they establish their new base of operations.
1935: Europe: 91% of the population of Saar wants to rejoin Germany in a referendum. The RSHA is established.
V Parteitag in Nürnberg (Parteitag der Freiheit). Hitler publicly announces the German re-armament efforts. The Anglo-German Naval Treaty is signed at 18th of May. Italy attacks Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
West: The Hover Dam is completed in the United States.
Pierre Laval, the Foreign Minister of France and Mussolini agree that their countries will not oppose the colonial claims of one another.
Asia: The Kuomintang is forced to hand the military control of northeastern China over to Japan.
Timeline of important events in the West, Europe, Asia and Africa between 1936-1946
1936: Europe: Remilitarization of Rhineland. Heinrich Himmler gains more power within the security services and police. VI Parteitag (Parteitag der Ehre) held in Nürnberg. Television is taken to use in the Reich. The Berlin Summer Olympic Games 1936 are a great propaganda victory to the Reich, and the German team fares extremely well. The good perfomance of Jesse Owens leads to rumours that Hitler refused to shake hands with Owens due his ethnic background. Owens himself denies these claims.
Second Government of Hitler: Goebbels (Minister of Propaganda), Todt (Minister of Industry), von Richthofen (Minister of Aviation), von Neurath (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Frick (Minister of Interiour), Funk (Minister of Finance), Rust (Minister of Education), Seldte (Minister of Labour).
Hirsch Apfelbaum "Lev" Kamenev and Grigori Zinovjev are executed in the Soviet Union.
West: King George V dies and Edward VIII rises to the British throne. When he later desires to marry Wallis Simpson he is forced to abdicate. Franklin D. Roosevelt is re-elected as the President of the United States.
Africa: The Natives Act crushes all hopes of equality between blacks and whites in South Africa.
Asia: Japan, Italy and Germany sign the Anti-Komintern Pact.
1937: Europe: Italy leaves the League of Nations. VII Parteitag (Parteitag der Arbeit) held in Nürnberg. Hitler secretly spends more time with his secretary Eva Braun, and his wife Geli is repressed and feels completely negletted by his husband. New constitution in Ireland.
West: President Vargas becomes de facto-dictator of Brasil. General strike in Paris paralyzes French economy. George VI becomes the new King of the United Kingdom and the British dominions.
Asia: Japan attacks China without a formal declaration of war after yet another military scirmish in the Sino-Mantshurian border. The fighting between the Palestinians and the Jewish population intensifies in Palestine when the Arab Revolt begins in the Mandate. British forces manage to restore order in 1939.
1938: Europe: Anschluss occurs, and the state of Austria is incorporated to the Reich as a new province, Ostmark. Soon afterwards the Treaty of Münich redraws the borders of Czechoslovakia. The ethnically German Sudetenland region is annexed to the Reich and the Czech-majority regions of Bohemia and Moravia are later on taken over as new German Protectorates. Slovakia becomes independent and Carpatho-Ruthetia joins Hungary. Wolfgang Ritter initiates the secret Luftwaffe test programs aimed to develop new advanced plane types utilizing jet engines.
VIII Parteitag (Parteitag Großdeutschland) held in Nürnberg.
West: Oil fields are nationalized in Mexico. Eduard Daladier becomes the President of France.
1939: Europe: The Spanish Civil War ends to the victory of the Nationalists. Italy occupies Albania. The diplomatic negotiations between Germany and Soviet Union result to the signature of Ribbentropp-Molotov Pact. 22nd of May Germany and Italy sign the "Pact of Steel." The lengthy series of tests with various experimental prototypes finally gain concrete results for Luftwaffe "future programs" when the HE-178 becomes the first operational jet-powered aircraft. Ritter convinces Führer to approve necessary funding for continuation and expansion of the development program.
The negotiations about the question of Danzig fail and German troops are finally forced to cross the border to answer to the Polish provocation. WWII begins. Geli Hitler commits suicide two weeks later. The tragic death of his wife is a shocking experience to the Führer, and his severe depression prevents makes him unable to lead the war effort with the level of control he might have otherwise preferred.
The Red Army occupies Eastern Poland and the Baltic States, and soon afterwards the Soviet Union demands bases from Finland as well. The Finns refuse and after negotiations fail, the Winter War begins.
The West: Albert Einstein writes a letter to President Roosevelts and warns him about the possible future applications of nuclear research. Britain and her Dominions and France declare war against Germany according to their alliance treaty with Poland. The Roosevelt administration publicly declares neutrality, but soon initiates secret tranfer of war materials to Britain, France and Soviet Union.
1940: Europe: Initial Finnish tactical victories in encirlement battles north of Lake Laatokka are followed by a huge Soviet offensive in the Karelian Ithmus in February. The situation in the front is desperate when the war ends to the bitter peace of Moscow, where Finland is forced to cedece over 10% of her prewar territory. Later on Finland grants military access to German troops moving to occupied Norway. The Soviet Union occupies Bessarabia and in Berlin Molotov announces that the Soviet Union wishes to "take care" of Finland in the near future. Hitler refuses, and gives orders to begin the preparations for Operation Barbarossa.
The West: In 16th of January the Allies still desperately try to continue their foiled attempt to escalate the war into Scandinavia on the pretext of sending military aid to Finland. After the peace of Moscow removes this excuse to spread the war, the Royal Navy nevertheless starts to lay mines to the Norwegian coastal areas as the first part of the planned invasion of the country on 8th of April.
9th of April German troops move to Scandinavia to secure the sovereignty of Denmark and Norway, and the British-led Allied invasion to these neutral countries is subsequently repulsed.
22nd of May German forces attack France through the Benelux-countries, resulting in a stunning German victory where the best armies of Entente powers are encirled and defeated by fast-moving columns of German Panzer divisions. Later on Marshal Pétain forms the new temporal French Government that leads France out from the war. Romania, Hungary and Slovakia join to the Axis. During the summer Luftwaffe tries to defeat the RAF in the skies of Britain, while Kriegsmarine begins the Battle of Atlantic against British shipping lines. Hitler offers favourable peace terms and suggests an alliance between the British Empire and Germany.
Despite the fact that the Western Allies are driven off from the continent when France and the Benelux countries are defeated and the BEF is hastily evaquated from Dunkirk, Britain refuses to negotiate. Winston Churchill becomes the new Prime Minister after Chamberlain resigns, and he stubbornly refuses to return to negotiation table with Germany.
1941: Bulgaria joins the Axis and Yugoslavia is occupied after a British-minded coup topples the German-friendly government in Belgrade, and the new junta prepares to join to the Allies. British attempts to create a "second front" in southern Europe are soundly defeated when Axis powers occupy Greece. Italian forces attack Egypt.
Europe: On 22nd of June 1941 Germany begins a pre-emptive strike against Soviet Union, and Hitler declares an all-European crusade against Bolshevism as volunteers begin to join in to the fight from all European countries. Shortly before the beginning of this colossal struggle Wilhem Keitel resigns from office due his opposition of the Barbarossa plan.
Stalin gives order to apply "scorched earth"-tactics in the Eastern Front. The Red Army suffers enourmous casualties in heavy encirlement battles fought in western parts of the USSR. The Soviet capitol is transferred to Sverdlovsk when Germans finally reach the outskirts of Moscow and heavy urban fighting for the control of the heart of the Soviet regime begins. The territory of occupied Baltic states becomes part of the Reichskommissariat Ostland. Finnish troops capture Pedrozavodsk in Eastern Karelia and the southern part of strategically vital Murmansk Railroad is severed.
West: 28th of March the Royal Navy defeats Italian Regia Marina in Matapan. The United States extends their Lend Lease-aid to Soviet Union. Millions of tons of food, weapons and fuel are shipped to Murmansk. President Roosevelt declares an oil embargo against Japan, and Japan retaliates to this hostile action that threatens to strangle her economy with a devastating surprise attack against US Pacific Fleet on Pearl Harbour in December. The war in the Pacific begins as Japanese forces attack British and Dutch colonial territories.
Africa: British troops capture Ethiopia, and the country regains it´s formal independence. Rommel and his legendary "Afrika Korps" arrive to save their Italian allies who are struggling in their campaign against the Allied troops in Libya.
1942: Europe: Architect Alber Speer replaces Fritz Todt as the main coordinator of the German wartime industry and production. The Soviet counteroffensive initiated in December threatens to encirle the German spearhed to ruins of Moscow, but the defenders manage to hold their ground in a bitter battle of attrition that rages on until the rasputitsa season in spring grinds the fighting in the Moscow regions to a halt. Ukraine joins the Axis after the Germans have liberated most of the country and Ostministerium secures a cooperation deal between German authorities and Ukrainian nationalists led by Stepan Bandera. During the summer the second German strategic offensive, Fall Blau and the following smaller operations succesfully capture Crimea and gain a foothold from southern banks of the Volga in Caucasus, severing the direct transport routes between the vital oilfields of Baku and rest of the USSR.
Rosenberg and his Ostministerium promise independence for the Baltic countries after the end of hostilities in the East.
West: Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign against Germany begins. Churchill visits Sverdlovsk. The TIME-magazine names Stalin as the "Man of the Year" for the second time. Quit India-movement frustrates the British administration in India.
Africa: The Afrika Korps is unable to stop the British attack at the Battle of El Alamein, and Rommel begins to slowly fall back towards Libya while delaying Montgomery´s advance.
In January Hitler threatens to stop the transportation of grain and supplies to Finland and thus manages to force Mannerheim to start new offensives against the Murmansk Railway and make Finland to take more active role in the Siege of Leningrad. The Finnish ski patrols and air forces start to harass the Soviet supply convoys in the "road of life" in the ice of Lake Laatokka, while the last major Finnish offensive in the WWII succesfully reaches Belomorsk, severing the Murmansk Railway. Pierre Laval, the Prime Minister of Vichy France and Finnish President Ryti hosts the first high summits where leading politicians of other Axis powers consider the political structure of post-war Europe.
Goebbels reacts to this development and to Allied "Atlantic Charter" by giving an "European Declaration" in a radio speech on 25th of February: "In the future the major powers of New Europe will support and protect their smaller companions...Unification of Europe must be the ultimate aim of our common struggle..."
21st of March, 1943: Foreign Minister Ribbentrop discusses his plans for postwar European cooperation with Hitler, but the Führer is initially quite critical towards such attempts and is unwilling to publicly comment the issue.
Hitler survives a string of assasination attempts orchetrated by a clique of anti-Nazi officers. On 13th and 21st of March the conspirators try twice to assasinate the Führer but both attemps are cancelled on a last possible moment. Finally they decide to strike, and Hitler is partially paralyzed in a failed assasination attempt in Wolfschantze, East Prussia. The SS and NSDAP start major purges within Reich. Martin Bormann ("Wether"), Wilhelm Canaris and many notable generals are executed. Heinrich Himmler becomes the new Minister of Interiour.
The last major Soviet offensives against Moscow (Operation Kutuzov) and Caucasus (Operation Mercury) are ultimately stopped and beaten back. Both sides suffer heavy losses during the intense fighting of spring and early summer of 1943. By now the Soviet transport capacity is in dire straits due the loss of important rail junctions. Lend-Lease Aid is also reduced as supply convoys have to use the port of Arkhangelsk that frozes during wintertime, while the supply coming from south through the Persian Corridor must also be tranferred through a difficult route in Soviet Central Asia.
Marshal Vlasov establishes his government of National Russia in Smolensk and the internal situation in the Soviet Union becomes increasingly tense as a threat of a new civil war in German-occupied territories seems high. By now Stalin is increasingly suspicious towards the Western Allies due the fact that they´ve so far refused to open a second front to European continent, and opts to ask for terms for an armistice in the Eastern Front in order to secure his own position within the Soviet system. Hitler accepts the Soviet armistice terms after lengthy negotiations with his General Staff and closest advisors - by now the injuries sustained in assination attempt and his depression have forced Hitler to cede much of the actual power within the Nazi hierarchy to a small group of his most trusted associates. In 22nd of June 1943 Treaty of Kirovograd is signed, and Soviet Union cedes the Kola Peninsula, Eastern Karelia, Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine, Kaukasus and large parts of central Russia west from Volga to Axis sphere of influence. Wide partisan warfare in the region continues while both armies abide the uneasy truce in the frontlines.
Africa: Roosevelt and Churchill meet at Casablanca and demand "unconditional surrender" from the Axis powers. Majority of Axis forces are evacuated from Tunis Bridgehead even though they are forced to leave behind most of their heavier equipment and weapons.
West: Allies invade Sicily in Operation Husky, and during the following political turmoil in Rome Mussolini is forced to resign and Pietro Badoglio becomes the new Prime Minister. Italy tries to join to the Allies, but swift German intervention occupies most of the country and battles against the Allies in Italian soil continue. The Allied advance is slow due the difficult terrain that favours the defender, but in June 1944 Rome is declared an open city.
The construction of the first general-purpose electronic computer is initiated in Britain.
1944: West: 6th of June the Allies seek to return to Western Europe with Operation Overlord, a massive invasion to shores of Normandy. Due a combination of factors and tenacious German defense, the carefully-planned operation fails to win defendable beachead from the continent and the troops are withdrawn. General Eisenhower takes responsibily of the defeat and resigns. Montgomery becomes the new Supreme Allied Commander. The Congress of the United States sets a ten-man committee to research the reasons of the failure of Overlord.
"Bloody Normandy" gains more support for the opposition in Britain. Franklin Delano Roosevelt dies, and Harry S. Truman is elected as the new President in the United States. Allied air offensive against the industry and infastructure of the Reich intensifies even further, as they seek to knock Germany out from the war by strategic bombing.
Europe: The frontlines in Italy stabilize after the Allies have managed to capture Rome. A civil war between liberals, communists and fascist paramilitary factions begins in Italy. New German V-rockets cause fear and destruction in London, and British public is growing increasingly tired to the war. The internal power struggles between top Nazi leaders begin as the health of Hitler keeps deteriorating.
Finnish Prime Minister Edwin Linkomies tours accross Europe and promotes the idea of European unity. The leaders of Vichy France, Romania, Finland, Hungary and Slovakia discuss the future of the German allies in the New Europe.
Several local civil wars erupt between communists and nationalists in Caucasus. Casualties of counter-insurgency against the Soviet partisans keep mounting, and the German military leadership tries to support the Ukrainian and Russian liberation armies as much as possible so that they could take more part to the occupation duties, but these volunteer units are quite ineffective when fighting against their partisan countrymen. Many "Vlasovist" militias focus to purging their home regions of alledged traitors.
September 1944: Werner Daitz, the Reichskommissar für Großraumwirtschaft and the main economist of the NSDAP publishes his grand work titled Europa-Charta. This document contains detailed plans for postwar European economic cooperation and defines the ideological guidelines that Daitz calls "European socialism." According to his views the most important tasks of the New Europe would be the prevention of internal hostilities and wars, re-organization of national life according to the völkisch ideals, and the promotion of European unity before the national self-interests. Daitz also promotes the idea of new, joint-European supreme court, Völkerfamilienrat.
Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda eagerly supports the idea of New Europe. His propaganda office emphasizes the position of Europe as the unique cradle of Western civilization and culture, and seeks to portray National Socialism as a new, reformist force that will sweep away petty nationalism and dangerous internationalism, creating a new, European "family of nations" that could stand united together against American and Asian powers.
1945: Europe: The new jet fighters of Luftwaffe gradually defeat the Bomber Command in the skies of Europe. The Baltic Germans are allowed to return home. Sweden begins to negotiate with both sides of the conflict and tries to mediate a new peace conference.
West: President Truman gives the authority to use nuclear weapons against Japan. Hiroshima and Nagasagi are destroyed, but the following attempt to use the bomb against Germany fails when the B-29 "Carolina Moon" carrying the bomb is shot down. Churchill and Conservatives fail in the British elections of 1945, and Labour forms the new government with Clement Atlee as the new Prime Minister. Lord Halifax is summoned back from the United States to initiate peace negotiations with Germany. The famous "Iron Curtain"-speech of Winston Churchill.
Asia: As a result of the secret diplomacy between Soviet and Allied authorities, Red Army troops initiate the Operation August Storm and succesfully invade and occupy Manchuria. Japan surrenders soon afterwards after the nuclear strikes to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and General MacArthur is elected as the new military governor of Japan.
1946: Europe: Peace negotiations are initiated in Zürich. The final Accord to end WWII in Europe is signed on 22nd of April 1946, but in reality this means that the hostility between the Axis and Allies continues elsewhere and in more subtle forms. The Cold War begins.
Victory Day celebrated at Nürnberg. The last public appereance of Adolf Hitler. The Führer declares that his quest is now completed, and announces that he will retire to Obelsalzberg and dedicate himself on art and architecture while still retaining his leadership of the Party. The titles of the Reichschancellor and -President are granted to Albert Speer and Herman Goering. After this major event the internal power struggle within Reich intensifies.
Speer sends Goering to retirement and together with Party Secretary Goebbels he forms a new government: Dietrich (Minister of Propaganda), Saur (Minister of Armaments), Luther (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Stuckart (Minister of Interiour), Popitz (Minister of Economics). Walter Schellenberg becomes the new leader of the RSHA. The SS experiences wide purges and many war-time members disappear without a trace.
In July 1946 the Vienna Process begins. Diplomatic delegations from Third Reich, Italy, France, Finland, Denmark, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Serbia gather Schönbrunn Castle to prepare the foundation of new European cooperation treaties.
Partisans assasinate Mussolini, and Vittorio Emmanuelle III abdicates as the unified state of Italy is dissolved. Pietro Badoglio rules the anti-fascist Southern Italy and Alessandro Pavolini holds the power in the fascist Italian Social Republic, the RSI.
West: Truman and Canadian Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King form a close economical and political alliance. The agriculture of the UK slowly recovers from the the German wartime blockade, and Sir Oswald Mosley establishes the new "British Union Party" after he is released from prison.
Timeline of important events in the West, Europe, Asia and Africa between 1947-1953
1947: Europe: Further negotiations in Zürich fail to reach a compromise, and Italy remains divided. X Parteitag (Parteitag der Friedes) held in Nürnberg, with General Secretary Goebbels being the main speaker for the first time. A succesful fascist coup takes place in Bulgaria. Civil wars in Ukraine and Caucasus officially end to the defeat of local communist militias. Thousands are killed in massive riots in the area of Reichskomissariat Moskau when the army is called in to quell the resistance.
West: The Truman Doctrine, a political program aimed to stop the spread of fascism is supported by the Marshall-plan that economically supports countries opposing fascism.
1948: Europe: Europäische Grossraumwirtschaftpakt is signed in Frankfurt-am-Mein. EG, the Greater European Economic Sphere is created, marking the beginning of the European post-war integration. The central-European coal- and steel-industry is combined to multinational Reichswerke- cartel. The main charter and the final structure of the New Europe is the main topic among the European leaders in the Conference of Vienna.
10th of August 1848: Government of Marshall Pétain regains the control of the German-occupied northern areas, and the modern state of France, L'État Français, is born. Pierre Laval becomes the first President.
The Civil War in occupied Russia ends to a Vlasovist victory, but the Red Army succesfully defeats all attempts to stir similar uprisings within the Soviet Union, where Stalin initiates series of new purges to "root out the traitors and defaists who betrayed our noble cause in the last war." The new Russian Duma condemns Marxism-Leninism as a failed experiment and signs a treaty of "eternal friendship between the noble liberators of Russia who released our country from the shacles of Communism." The Soviet Union and the Western Allies refuse to acknowledge this new government.
The Finno-German Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance is signed in Berlin. Later in the year the Finnish army and police units near Helsinki are in a state of higher readiness due the threat of a right-wing coup.
West: The United States renews their security guarantees to Britain and all other Allied countries. In Canada Adrien Arcand establishes the "National Unity Party" that aims to distance the country from the US. Demetrios Maximos rises to power in Greece as the civil war ends to a Fascist victory.
Asia: Mathatma Gandhi is assasinated in India. The National Congress of India declares independence.
Afrika: The Afrikaner-Party wins elections in South Africa. The country leaves from the Commonwealth and a new internal policy called apartheid is adopted.
1949: Europe: Regulation of consumer goods in the German-occupied territories ends. OSTPOL, the new economic program for Eastern Europe begins. The construction of a new particle accelerator begins in Stuttgart.
West: The member states of the United Nations (formerly called Allies) join to the "Hemispheric Defense Treaty."
Asia: The Chinese Communist Party emerges as the winner in the Chinese Civil War and unifies the country after decades of division and warfare as the People's Republic of China is established. United States of Indonesia (USI) and Philippines become independent.
1950: Europe: Operation "Feuerfligerl" is succesful, and professor Heisenberg developes a functional hydrogen bomb. "Volkswagen to every home"-program is a huge success in the Reich. The Arrowcross-movement rises to power with German support after Admiral Horthy dies in Hungary, and Ferenc Szálas becomes a strong Head of State following the German example. A border agreement is signed between the Russian Duma and the Reich.
Asia: Sino-Soviet Cooperation for the spreading of Communism begins. The United States provides limited economical support to PRC as a sign of detente.
In Lebanon the Free French forces are defeated by the German-supported SS Arab Legion in Syria. Lebanon declares independence.
Chaos and strikes in the mining regions of Congo lead to a civil war where French-speaking evolues rise against the colonial power. The German Afrika Corps is send to the region to restore order together with the Belgian SS-Legion and a small Finnish volunteer force led by the legendary SS-Hauptsturm-führer Lauri Törni.
Africa: The British puppet regime in Egypt is toppled by a revolution led by Rashid el Galian. After this King Farouk nationalizes the Suez Channel, Egypt leaves the Commonwealth and sends troops to occupy Sudan. Iraq and Egypt lean towards the Reich for support, and the major arms deal where Egypt gains a large number of obsolete Panzer IV:s irritates the United States.
1951: Europe: 4th of January Adolf Hitler dies, and his second wife Eva Hitler takes her own life with syanide. SS-Reichsführer Reinhard Heydrich plans a coup to become the new Führer, but much to everyones suprise he is killed by Communist assasins. the NSDAP and German military-industrial complex divide the power between themselves, and SS experiences wide purges. Goebbels, Speer and Lammers form the first triumvirate, and Rudolf Hess becomes the figurehead leader of the Party. Speer helds his famous internal speech to Party members and condemns many of Hitler´s excessive actions. Some victims of People’s Court are rehabililated and the internal situation in the Reich finally seems to stabilize somewhat.
1st of February the the founding accord of the Community of New Europe is signed in Hofburg Palace, Vienna. Spanish Generalissimo Fransisco Franco, French President Pierre Laval, Norwegian President Vidkun Quisling, Belgian Prime Minister Leon Degrelle, Dutch President Anton Mussert, General Secretary of RSI Fascist Council Alessandro Pavolini, Finnish President Edwin Linkomies, Hungarian Nemzetvezetõ Ferenc Szálas, Romanian Marschall Ion Antonescu, Slovakian President Jozef Tiso, Croatian Poglavnik Ante Pavelić and Pavlo Shandruk of Ukraine signed the this historical document together with Reichspresident Herman Göring who signed the accord as the representative of the Third Reich.
20th of June Rudolf Hess disbands the Reichskomissariat Ostland and Belarus and the Baltic countries regain their autonomy as a part of New Europe. Marshall Mannerheim dies in Switzerland, where he had left due his poor health.
West: 3rd of December 1951 Sixteen states sign the founding charter of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO. The United States, Canada, Iceland, Democratic Republic of Italy, Great-Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other members of the Commonwealth thus create a strong military alliance to ensure their mutual safety.
Asia: Gamal Abdel Nasser becomes the new leader of Egypt after King Farouk, while General Muhammad Naguib becomes the nominal Head of State. Nasser brings Egypt closer to Reich and initiates wide reforms in the spirit of National Socialism. German military experts and trainers led by Otto Skorzeny arrive to the country to help Nasser to create his new nationalistic Arab army. The battles between the Jewish terrorist organizations and different Arab militias intensify in Palestine. Finally Nasser occupies the region of Suez and announces his plans to nationalize the area. In the United States Truman administration prepares for a military intervention in the region, and Prime Minister Atlee´s Conservative government in the UK agrees to participate and provide troops together with the other Commonwealth countries.
August 1951: Operation Damask begins, when United States and Great-Britain sends troops to Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine, while British commandos seize Port Said and the Sinai Peninsula. As USAF planes bomb the cities and harbours of Egypt, the Reich sends volunteer SS-units and modern jet fighters to Nasser´s aid. The Middle-Eastern War becomes the first serious flashpoint of the Cold War era.
1952: Europe: The first European Olympics are held in Nürnberg. Land reform and decollectivization of production begins in Reichskomissariat Moskau. The TIME-magazine chooses Rudolf Hess as the new Man of the Year.
1953: Europe: The German space program led by Wernher von Braun receives a fine start when the worlds first satellite, Fortschritt I is launched to Earth´s orbit from Peenemünde.
The slow pace of decollectivization and land reform sparks a huge uprising in the Reichskomissariat Moskau, and it takes 90 days from Wermacht to restore order to the whole area.
West: Regulation finally ends in Great-Britain. As the nuclear tests still continue in Nevada, Communist spy Julius Rosenberg leaks the US nuclear secrets to the Far East.
By criticizing Truman administration from being "soft on totalitarianism" and from his poor management of the Middle-Eastern War, former Senator Robert Taft becomes the 34th President of the United States by winning the US Presidential Elections of 1952. After contracting cancer in April 1953, Taft continues his term, but an exploratory operation in July reveals that the cancer is widespread. After a brain hemorrhage Taft dies in a New York hospital on July 31st, 1953. Vice President Douglas MacArthur, the old General and the hero of the War in the Pacific thus becomes the 35th President of the United States.
Asia: Josif Stalin dies in Vladivostok, and internal power struggles within the Soviet Union begin.