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Thread: Weltkriegschaft

  1. #1

    Weltkriegschaft

    Weltkriegschaft





    Introduction

    Welcome to Weltkriegschaft! This AAR is an in-depth alternate history, set during the HoI2 scenario “The Road to War” from the perspective of Germany. The game settings are all normal. There are no reloads, game edits or house rules aside from “roleplaying” as opposed to “power-gaming”.

    I encourage and invite all readers, from the most discreet lurkers to the old salts of AARland, to leave a comment when you can and let us know you're here, even if you're not caught up yet. Please feel free to ask questions or make observations -- even about previous chapters. Some readers like to speculate about the plot, others like to discuss the history and a few like to ask me probing questions that I do my best to answer. It's all welcome!

    For those unsure about committing to all the reading required to catch up, I have composed a Brief Summary of events so far. Shorter than a single update, it condenses the main action of Weltkriegschaft so far and helps readers get caught up and current quickly!

    The narrative of Weltkriegschaft is presented through the experiences of those who lived and died in Hitler’s Germany.

    The prologue is set the night before the scenario begins, on New Year’s Eve 1935.


    Table of Contents

    Prologue

    Part I - Albert Lössner - December 31, 1935
    Part II - Adolf Hitler - December 31, 1935

    Chapter I: The Hammerblow

    Part I - Johann Mahler - January 1, 1936
    Part II - Fr. Martin Kappel - January 2, 1936
    Part III - Ernst Trommler - January 3, 1936
    Part IV - Cristoph Scholl - January 5, 1936
    Part V - Albert Lössner - January 6, 1936
    Part VI - Werner von Blomberg - January 7, 1936
    Part VII - Walter Friedmann - January 7, 1936
    Part VIII - Albert Lössner - January 8, 1936
    Part IX - Fr. Martin Kappel - January 9, 1936
    Part X - Victor Reinert - January 12, 1936
    Part XI - Albert Lössner - January 12, 1936
    Part XII - Cristoph Scholl - January 16, 1936
    Part XIII - Victor Reinert - January 17, 1936
    Part XIV - Werner von Blomberg - January 17, 1936
    Part XV - Ernst Trommler - January 21, 1936
    Part XVI - Walter Friedmann - January 25, 1936
    Part XVII - Bruno Bräuer - January 25, 1936
    Part XVIII - Johann Mahler - January 26, 1936
    Part XIX - Werner von Blomberg - February 3, 1936
    Part XX - Cristoph Scholl - February 4, 1936

    Chapter II: The Gambit of the West

    Part I - Charles Randall - February 5, 1936
    Part II - Victor Reinert - February 8, 1936
    Part III - Ernst Trommler - February 8, 1936
    Part IV - Cristoph Scholl - February 10, 1936
    Part V - Fr. Martin Kappel - February 17, 1936
    Part VI - Cristoph Scholl - February 25, 1936
    Part VII - Walter Friedmann - March 7, 1936
    Part VIII - Hjalmar Schacht - March 15, 1936
    Part IX - Cristoph Scholl - March 22, 1936
    Part X - Victor Reinert - April 1, 1936
    Part XI - Fr. Martin Kappel - April 3, 1936
    Part XII - Gerhard Schmidt - April 6, 1936
    Part XIII - Cristoph Scholl - April 7, 1936
    Part XIV - Helen Krause - April 8, 1936
    Part XV - Johann Mahler - April 9, 1936
    Part XVI - Ernst Trommler - April 11, 1936
    Part XVII - Cristoph Scholl - April 14, 1936
    Part XVIII - Walter Friedmann - April 16, 1936
    Part XIX - Günther Taubert - April 16, 1936
    Part XX - Rudolf Schwarzbeck - April 17, 1936
    Part XXI - Werner von Blomberg - April 17, 1936
    Part XXII - Cristoph Scholl - April 22, 1936
    Part XXIII - Victor Reinert - April 25, 1936
    Part XXIV - Jost Schleifer - April 29, 1936
    Part XXV - Paul Hausser - May 10, 1936
    Part XXVI - Fr. Martin Kappel - May 11, 1936
    Part XXVII - Rudolf Schwarzbeck - May 12, 1936
    Part XXVIII - Herbert Ihlefeld - May 28, 1936
    Part XXIX - Victor Reinert - June 3, 1936
    Part XXX - Cristoph Scholl - June 4, 1936

    Chapter III: The Lion's Den

    Part I - Wai Chungtai - June 7, 1936
    Part II - Ernst Trommler - June 8, 1936
    Part III - Cristoph Scholl - June 9, 1936
    Part IV - Reinhard Heydrich - June 13, 1936
    Part V - Hjalmar Schacht - June 24, 1936
    Part VI - Herbert Ihlefeld - June 29, 1936
    Part VII - Cristoph Scholl - July 9, 1936
    Part VIII - Fritz-Albert Geier - July 11, 1936
    Part IX - Werner von Blomberg - July 15, 1936
    Part X - Helen Krause - July 21, 1936
    Part XI - Victor Reinert - July 29, 1936
    Part XII - Ernst Trommler - August 7, 1936
    Part XIII - Cristoph Scholl - August 20, 1936
    Part XIV - Jost Schleifer - August 21, 1936
    Part XV - Rudolf Schwarzbeck - August 31, 1936
    Part XVI - Werner von Blomberg - September 1, 1936
    Part XVII - Walter Friedmann - September 9, 1936
    Part XVIII - Joseph Auspitz - September 21, 1936
    Part XIX - Fritz-Albert Geier - September 26, 1936
    Part XX - Johann Mahler - September 27, 1936
    Part XXI - Günther Taubert - October 1, 1936
    Part XXII - Ernst Trommler - October 9, 1936
    Part XXIII - Wolf-Heinrich von Helldorf - October 14, 1936
    Part XXIV - Rudolf Schwarzbeck - October 14, 1936
    Part XXV - Alexis von Rönne - October 16, 1936
    Part XXVI - Werner von Blomberg - October 23, 1936
    Part XXVII - Paul Hausser - October 28, 1936
    Part XXVIII - Victor Reinert - November 7, 1936
    Part XXIX - Fritz-Albert Geier - November 8, 1936
    Part XXX - Günther Taubert - November 9, 1936
    Part XXXI - Joseph Auspitz - November 12, 1936
    Part XXXII - Cristoph Scholl - November 13, 1936
    Part XXXIII - Ernst Trommler - November 16, 1936
    Part XXXIV - Reinhard Heydrich - November 17, 1936
    Part XXXV - Cristoph Scholl - November 17, 1936
    Part XXXVI - Cristoph Scholl - November 30, 1936
    Part XXXVII - Bruno Bräuer - December 1, 1936
    Part XXXVIII - Bernhard Rogge - December 1, 1936
    Part XXXIX - Hans Kroh - December 1, 1936
    Part XL - Otto Büsing - December 3, 1936
    Part XLI - Kuno-Hans von Both - December 3, 1936
    Part XLII - Otto Büsing - December 3, 1936
    Part XLIII - Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin - December 4, 1936
    Part XLIV - Cristoph Scholl - December 5, 1936
    Part XLV - Otto Büsing - December 5, 1936
    Part XLVI - Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin - December 5, 1936
    Part XLVII - Cristoph Scholl - December 6, 1936
    Part XLVIII - Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin - December 8, 1936
    Part XLIX - Walter Friedmann - December 9, 1936
    Part L - Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin - December 10, 1936
    Part LI - Cristoph Scholl - December 11, 1936










    .
    Last edited by TheHyphenated1; 09-12-2012 at 08:57.
    Weltkriegschaft
    The Alternate History of the Third Reich

    HoI1/2/3 Favorite Narrative AAR: Q1 2008 & Q3 2008 & Q2 2009, Best Character Writer of the Week: 18/5/08 & 10/11/08
    Weekly AAR Showcase: 12/10/08, WritAAR of the Week: 05/08/08,
    Canonized on 08-06-08

  2. #2

    Prologue: Part I

    Prologue

    Part I

    December 31, 1935

    The distant lights of the Berghof drifted in and out of view, as Albert Lössner’s Mercedes-Benz W-31 wound its way up the Berchtesgaden road to the Führer’s secluded chalet. The moon hung low in the sky -- just less than a half moon. He would have preferred less moonlight, but circumstances had dictated otherwise. The night air cooled noticeably as he began his final ascent up the tree-lined mountain road. Lössner picked out a wide shoulder in deep shadow and brought the car to a stop. He checked his watch. It was two minutes after ten.

    Lössner was still uneasy about the faint shafts of moonlight that dimly illuminated the roadway. He had bypassed the SS checkpoints ringing the Berghof by driving the sturdy six-wheeled W-31 overland from Sharitzkehl-Alm. The road ahead showed no signs of the SS patrols, but Lössner had been informed that they could appear at any time.

    The informant had been in the Berghof itself since six thirty. Karl Freiherr von Yorck owned a nearby estate at Metzenleiten. A descendant of Field Marshal von Gneisenau on his mother’s side, von Yorck had watched in horror as the former tramp and political agitator had assumed the Chancellorship nearly three years before -- and subsequently arrogated to himself dictatorial powers even the Kaisers had dared not assume.

    He had been a ready sympathizer when first introduced to Lössner in spring of 1934. Lössner and a small circle of intellectuals and monarchists had met regularly at Konradshöhe in Berlin since the beginning of that year to discuss a solution to the Führer’s hold on Germany. They had at first contacted Chief of the General Staff Ludwig Beck in secret, hoping to gain the Army’s support against Hitler, but were rebuffed. The Reinickendorf Circle, as it came to call itself after the district in which it met, had at last and with great difficulty resolved to kill Adolf Hitler.

    In mid-1935 they decided, at von Yorck’s urging, to make an attempt on Hitler’s life at the opening ceremonies of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games. Planning for the assassination proceeded slowly and surreptitiously, but was halted at the beginning of December when von Yorck sent word to Lössner that he had secured invitation to the Führer’s exclusive New Year’s Eve dinner. The coded letter went on to inform Lössner that von Yorck had learned through members of Berghof’s permanent staff that the Führer would depart sometime before midnight to board a special overnight train to Berlin.

    Lössner had initially been in favor of attacking the Führer at the train station, but von Yorck replied that SS security would be far too tight. Better, he said, to ambush Hitler’s car as it was forced to wind its way slowly down the mountain from the party.

    And so, Lössner and three others laid out plans for the attack. Anton Frölich and Bruno Theissen -- both leading intellectuals in the conspiracy -- and Bernhard von Wexl, a decorated colonel during the Great War, were to lie in wait along the banks of the road with the weapons von Yorck had discreetly acquired for them. When Hitler’s limousine was sighted, Lössner would use the W-31 to ram it. Then, Fröhlich, Theissen and von Wexl were to riddle the car with machine gun fire. As an extra precaution, Lössner would bring an improvised bomb to eliminate any possibility of those inside the vehicle surviving.

    On the morning of the attack, Lössner -- a devout Catholic -- had received absolution from Fr. Martin Kappel, an active and passionate member of the Reinickendorf Circle. He sent his wife and two young daughters by train to stay with an aunt in Luxembourg, knowing that their farewells would likely be final. He then posted a letter, tendering his resignation from the professorship of Philosophy at the Royal Technical College of Berlin and justifying “the action” in the light of German history and democratic principle.

    The action, coined by Theissen as Operation Brutus, was now five minutes behind schedule. Lössner wrapped his hands protectively around the bomb that rested at his side. He busied himself with straightening his tie and jacket, and cleaning the eyeglasses that he rarely wore. Ten minutes late. A crack in the underbrush froze his blood. Lössner whipped his head around to see his three comrades scrambling into the ditch at the side of the road. Theissen and Fröhlich were also dressed in suits, seemingly determined not to carry out such a momentous deed dressed like base criminals. von Wexl, the fiery sixty-five year old officer, wore his old colonel’s uniform, the Iron Cross pinned proudly to his chest.

    “Good to see you, Albert,” Frölich whispered hoarsely. “No signal yet, correct?”

    “No. Nothing yet. The Führer will probably not leave the Berghof for half an hour at the least.” The signal would come from von Yorck, who had agreed to flash a green light from the chalet when Hitler’s car left the Berghof.

    The four men shook hands and wished one another luck.

    As Fröhlich, Theissen and von Wexl took up positions on either side of the road with their machine guns, Lössner got out of the W-31 and descended into a clearing on the far side of the road to get a better view of the Berghof. Ten fifteen. The sound of an engine sent him racing back up the slope. Lössner signaled to Fröhlich to lower himself into better cover. A swath of light now appeared on the road. Before he could start the car, a soldier on a motorcycle careened around a curve and into view. He did not stop or see them.

    The hands of Lössner’s watch read ten twenty-five by the time he had returned to the clearing. A slurry of doubts arose from his stomach. Had the letter been intercepted and opened? Had someone betrayed the plan? Was von Yorck unable to signal? Then he saw it. For several seconds he saw a tiny green light winking in the darkness below the Berghof. Several seconds of darkness, and then the light returned, flashing distinctly now.

    Lössner raced back to the W-31 and sat motionless in the blacked-out vehicle. Frölich had seen the signal too. Lössner could see him motioning to the others. They would be ready.

    At ten thirty-one, Lössner saw the headlights glancing through the trees ahead. He began to pray silently. At amen, a long black limousine came into view. His fingers were already on the ignition. The engine roared to life, as the heavy W-31 screeched off the shoulder of the road and into the path of the limousine. Lössner’s aim was true. The crushing impact sent his head forward, smashing against the metal frame of the windshield.

    Fröhlich and Theissen charged from the ditch firing. Lössner saw the windows and windshield disintegrate in the gunfire. von Wexl appeared at the opposite side of the riddled vehicle, shooting his revolver through the shattered windows at close range. He was shouting something into the car, but Lössner could not distinguish any words over the din. The driver and passenger were clearly dead, but the rear seats were blocked from view. As if to settle any doubt, Fröhlich stuck his muzzle into a rear window and emptied a fresh magazine into it.

    At last, the final measure. Lössner put his hand to his temple and found it slick with warm blood running from a long gash. He wiped the blood on the seat and picked up the bomb. Theissen helped him out of the car. Lössner drew a lighter from his pocket and lit the fuse. Once he saw it clearly burning, he approached the open window frame and threw the bomb on top of the two bodies slumped on the seat. They would have only thirty seconds to make it clear of the road and start down the long slope leading to Sharitzkehl-Alm. Albert Lössner knew that if he was ever to see his daughters again, he would need every second.
    Last edited by TheHyphenated1; 25-11-2010 at 06:38.
    Weltkriegschaft
    The Alternate History of the Third Reich

    HoI1/2/3 Favorite Narrative AAR: Q1 2008 & Q3 2008 & Q2 2009, Best Character Writer of the Week: 18/5/08 & 10/11/08
    Weekly AAR Showcase: 12/10/08, WritAAR of the Week: 05/08/08,
    Canonized on 08-06-08

  3. #3

    Prologue: Part II

    Prologue

    Part II

    In a private study in the Berghof, the Führer and three guests conversed animatedly as the clock in the dining room struck ten. Martin Bormann, private secretary to the Führer, and propagandist Heinrich Hoffman were mostly silent, as Hitler plumbed the third man for information. Theodor Morell had been introduced to the Führer just hours earlier by Hoffman, and already seemed to hold uncanny power over the Führer’s imagination. Morell was a physician well known for his alternative methods, and held Hitler’s rapt attention as he enumerated the many curative properties of a strychnine derivative known as Nux Vomica.

    “And the rashes?” the Despot questioned, “can you relieve them with the strychnine as well?”

    “It depends, more or less, upon a number of factors. Most probably I would want to administer Oxedrine Tartrate to the area before applying an extract of Belladonna topically.”

    The Führer laughed harshly. “Belladonna!” he shouted, “that is poisonous, no?”

    Dr. Morell hesitated. “Although there are deleterious effects in the, ehm, unrefined state, my process of refining -- developed by Mechnikov himself -- renders the extract quite harmless.” Morell produced from his briefcase a tattered little book on naturopathic medicine that the Führer thumbed through eagerly.

    “How quickly can you prepare an initial dosage of --” The phone in the study rang. Hitler picked up the receiver. He nodded several times and hung up. “Good Bormann, the train is waiting. Gather my things, please. Dr. Morell, if you would come with me to Berlin this evening, I should be most happy to continue our conversation.”

    Reentering the dining room, the Führer made his farewells to the guests and gathered his small entourage.

    They were soon out in the chill air, as Leibstandarte-SS guards opened the doors of a black Mercedes-Benz 770. Bormann, Morell and Hitler climbed into the back and the doors were closed. Two SS men were in front. The limousine started down the long driveway, just rounding a curve before it came to an abrupt halt.

    “Driver!” Bormann snapped. “Why have we stopped?” Before the driver could respond, a black-uniformed SS officer opened the rear door.

    “Mein Führer, Herr Hoffman has a book left behind in the Berghof. Given to you by the doctor, he says.”

    “Thank him for me, would you, Obersturmführer.” Hitler reached out his hand for the book. The young officer hesitated.

    “Herr Hoffman is still in the Berghof. I do not believe he realized that you had departed.” He turned to the driver: “Hold it here. I’ll have the book brought up.”

    “No, no, keep going,” called Hitler. “I’ll take a second car and bring Hoffman with me, if possible. Have Standartenführer Junge telephone the station that I will be late.” The Führer climbed out of the car and started back up the drive toward the chalet.

    He found Hoffman in the dining room, book in hand, chatting with a middle-aged gentleman he didn’t recognize. “My Heinrich! I was looking forward to reading that on the train. Thank you. Would you be so kind as to join me in Berlin tomorrow?”

    “Of course. I suppose it is lucky, then, that the book was forgotten after all! The remedies in it, I find, seem quite soundly --” The front doors were thrown open as several SS men stormed in. Their officer was breathless.

    “There has been an attack.”

    Ten minutes later and under heavy guard, the Führer surveyed the wreckage. In the front, the SS driver and guard were both dead. Behind them, Morell and Bormann lay sprawled across the seat, their clothing shredded by bullets. The interior was slick with blood, and a long, bulky package rested on Morell’s lap. Standartenführer Junge informed the Führer that when the first men arrived at the scene, Morell was already dead. Bormann, he said, was still conscious and had managed to say his last words before expiring.

    “The words? What did he say?”

    “He said, ‘At least the Führer still lives.’”

    Hitler turned away from the car, overcome. He stood in silence for several minutes before returning to the bodies. “There must be revenge for what has happened tonight. Our blow must fall before 1936.”

    Revenge was swift indeed, if it in fact lasted into the first predawn hours of the new year. By midnight, SS units in Berchtesgaden had killed Fröhlich and Theissen as they had fled on foot. A third body, dressed in an old Imperial German-era colonel’s uniform, was found lying in a ditch outside the town of Berchtesgaden. He had committed suicide.

    Lössner’s fear had indeed been realized, as his letter had been opened, if too late to have prevented the assassination. From the Berghof, Hitler worked the telephone all night, personally commanding the varied elements conducting reprisals and working to uncover the origin of the plot. Near three, Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick phoned Hitler to inform him of the arrest of several men who, under torture, revealed substantial information about the so-called Reinickendorf Circle and its entreaty to Ludwig Beck.

    This news kindled the Führer’s long-harbored suspicions of the old Officer Corps, and he resolved to bring them to heel. Since November, he had discussed with the generals a daring reoccupation of the demilitarized Rhineland. Only through a show of the nerve they lacked could he force them to accept their place in the Third Reich.

    Adolf Hitler made two more calls that night. The first was to the SS commander in Berlin, ordering the immediate arrest of Beck. The second was to the headquarters of Generalleutnant von Reichenau, commander of XII Armeekorps. He was to prepare to cross the Rhine bridges near Köln immediately.

    It was nearly dawn; the Führer had spent more than seven hours alternately raging into a telephone or haranguing his entourage about the clear evidence of Providence in saving his life. He slumped quietly into a chair in the study. He was exhausted, but in no mood to sleep. On a small table next to him was a tall stack of papers and reports set aside for his consumption. From the top he pulled a thick typewritten manuscript. The title page had only one curious word: Weltkriegschaft.

    Adolf Hitler began to read.
    Last edited by TheHyphenated1; 25-11-2010 at 08:03.
    Weltkriegschaft
    The Alternate History of the Third Reich

    HoI1/2/3 Favorite Narrative AAR: Q1 2008 & Q3 2008 & Q2 2009, Best Character Writer of the Week: 18/5/08 & 10/11/08
    Weekly AAR Showcase: 12/10/08, WritAAR of the Week: 05/08/08,
    Canonized on 08-06-08

  4. #4
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    looks interesting. welcome to the forums too, btw.
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  5. #5
    Im hooked already. It reads like an action-novel, are there going to be sceenies?

    Welcome to the forum!

  6. #6
    rcduggan - Thanks!

    Romanius - There will be screenshots, primarily in the context of showing the development of fronts and offensives and such. This evening I came across Hardraade's Return to Glory AAR, which covers a similar German perspective. In it, he includes vintage photographs in addition to normal screenshots, so if possible I'll use those too, where appropriate.
    Last edited by TheHyphenated1; 06-03-2008 at 20:53.
    Weltkriegschaft
    The Alternate History of the Third Reich

    HoI1/2/3 Favorite Narrative AAR: Q1 2008 & Q3 2008 & Q2 2009, Best Character Writer of the Week: 18/5/08 & 10/11/08
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    Canonized on 08-06-08

  7. #7
    General Hardraade's Avatar
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    Very interesting and well written. It was nice to see the mention of Dr. Morell who I think is a little known figure. I will be eagerly awaiting the next update.
    Return to Glory: A Germania AAR
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  8. #8
    Field Marshal
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    Interesting scenario. I thought for a second that you were going to have Hitler off'ed, but having the quack Morell out of the picture is actually an interesting scenario in and of itself.

    But what, pray tell, is "Weltkriegschaft" supposed to mean??? I am German, and the word makes no sense to me.

  9. #9
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leviathan07
    Interesting scenario. I thought for a second that you were going to have Hitler off'ed, but having the quack Morell out of the picture is actually an interesting scenario in and of itself.

    But what, pray tell, is "Weltkriegschaft" supposed to mean??? I am German, and the word makes no sense to me.

    Same here.
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  10. #10
    Leviathan07 and trekaddict - Weltkriegschaft is a word that is coined in the alternate history of the AAR by the person who wrote the manuscript that Hitler begins reading at the end of the prologue. That's all I can say now, but more will come out as time goes on!

    Thanks for all the good feedback, too!
    Weltkriegschaft
    The Alternate History of the Third Reich

    HoI1/2/3 Favorite Narrative AAR: Q1 2008 & Q3 2008 & Q2 2009, Best Character Writer of the Week: 18/5/08 & 10/11/08
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    Canonized on 08-06-08

  11. #11
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leviathan07
    Interesting scenario. I thought for a second that you were going to have Hitler off'ed, but having the quack Morell out of the picture is actually an interesting scenario in and of itself.
    And don't forget Bormann.

    "Weltkriegschaft" ... uncanny word, indeed... lange als einer Blume, viellecheit?

    We'll have a war, that's for sure... and perhaps... a surprise, that's sure too...
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  12. #12
    Kurt_Steiner - Much longer, much heavier and much deadlier! (if I understand your German correctly )
    Weltkriegschaft
    The Alternate History of the Third Reich

    HoI1/2/3 Favorite Narrative AAR: Q1 2008 & Q3 2008 & Q2 2009, Best Character Writer of the Week: 18/5/08 & 10/11/08
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  13. #13
    Major HKslan's Avatar

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    Great writing. Was Bormann such an inhibiting character that he'd die with Morell in this alternate scenario? I had no idea. Who will replace Hess after he's gone then I wonder? Or will he not go to Scotland? Oh the possibilities!

  14. #14
    Nice AAR, refreshing to read something here that has a storyline and has the historical characters actually keeping their historical personalities. Most other AAR's here are just endless maps and pictures.

  15. #15
    No Bormann...and Hitler less insane than in the real world...nastiness, here we come.

  16. #16
    Intriguing beginning to say the least. I will try to follow this! (btw, why did the bomb not go off?)

    :-) Jesper
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    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

  17. #17
    The Father of AARland Lord Durham's Avatar
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    Nice start. Good narrative. I'll be curious to see where this goes.
    Current AAR: The Sons of Ragnar Lodbrok: In the Shadow of the Great Old Ones

    Follow the link to read The Pariah. For more Lovecraft style horror, try The Crane Horror and my Holmes/Lovecraft story The Case of the Galloway Eidolon. All are free to read in the Lovecraft eZine.

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  18. #18

    Chapter I: Part I

    Chapter I: The Hammerblow

    Part I


    January 1, 1936

    Germany was prohibited, according to Articles 42 and 44 of the Treaty of Versailles, from maintaining any military positions west of a line drawn fifty kilometers to the east of the Rhine River. For nearly two decades, German soldiers had been forbidden to garrison the prosperous Rhineland. For nearly two decades, Essen, Köln and the old Imperial capital of Aachen had not heard the sound of army boots marching in unison or the martial songs sung by high-spirited brave men.

    Johann Mahler had once asked his high school history teacher what would happen if German soldiers violated the treaty and entered their native city of Düsseldorf. "That," Herr Bischof had said, "would mean another war."

    Now, Mahler -- serving as a corporal in the 33. Infanterie-Division -- was a part of the very spearhead of XII Armeekorps, which had received sudden orders to cross the Rhine and occupy Köln and Düsseldorf. The men of his company had been awakened early that morning, despite the fact that it was New Year's Day. The entire regiment was assembled, and an order was read from the Führer himself, ordering XII Armeekorps to march across the Rhine bridges in several places.

    The order was met with wild enthusiasm from the men, but all feared the consequences of such a move. Like all young soldiers, they spoiled for a fight, but even the least perceptive of the men knew that they would be defeated if France retaliated and forced them back across the great river.

    It would take three days for the entire XII Armeekorps to mobilize and move across the Rhine, but Generalleutnant von Reichenau had ordered select elements of the 33. Infanterie-Division to cross immediately.

    Mahler and his company had been marching since morning, but the men did not show the fatigue and grumbling that would have been normal for such a long endurance march. Even the men three years younger than Mahler kept cadence with set faces and sure strides. Their silent voices, though, betrayed the fear in these men. There was no high-spirited singing of the Deutschlandlied, no boisterous high-stepping. These men, so far as they knew, were marching off to war.

    Just after three, the bridge came into view, cleared of all traffic. Already, a long and solemn line of soldiers filled the bridge from side to side, stretching back deep into the eastern outskirts of the city. Düsseldorf. Mahler had scarcely realized until he was almost at the bridge that he was home.

    He was born the son of a teacher on August twelfth, 1914 -- the day of the outbreak of the Great War. Mahler had lived his entire life in the city until joining the army on his nineteenth birthday. He could little have imagined as a boy that one day he would march with that army into his own city in an act of war. He could little have imagined so many of the things that had happened in Germany since Adolf Hitler came to power.

    Mahler knew that the Führer and his Nazis were undemocratic, but it could not be disputed that they had restored to Germany and her people a sense of pride and a hope for the future. Mahler felt that pride swell in each man in his company as they stepped onto the bridge. There was cheering on the other side. As one, company began to run. The long column of soldiers was embraced by a tide of citizens. Men waved their hats and women their scarves; the children waved their hands with delight at the tall, proud men in uniform.


    Crossing the Rhine bridges.


    German Army columns entering the Rhineland cheered by enthusiastic crowds.


    The men no longer thought of France or of England or of the war that might be looming. They knew at once that Germany was strong again. At the front of the column a song began, faint at first, then rising up from the throats of all the men. The words of the Deutschlandlied carried out over the waters of the Rhine, and brought unrestrained jubilation in the city center. Standards held high, the procession wound its way ever westward, cheered by civilians in swelling thousands.

    Johann Mahler had returned to the city of his birth -- and the army had returned to the Rhineland.
    Last edited by TheHyphenated1; 25-11-2010 at 06:40.
    Weltkriegschaft
    The Alternate History of the Third Reich

    HoI1/2/3 Favorite Narrative AAR: Q1 2008 & Q3 2008 & Q2 2009, Best Character Writer of the Week: 18/5/08 & 10/11/08
    Weekly AAR Showcase: 12/10/08, WritAAR of the Week: 05/08/08,
    Canonized on 08-06-08

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Commander-DK
    Intriguing beginning to say the least. I will try to follow this! (btw, why did the bomb not go off?)

    :-) Jesper

    Commander-DK - Unfortunately for Loessner, the bomb was crudely and inexpertly fabricated, and fizzled before it could detonate.
    Weltkriegschaft
    The Alternate History of the Third Reich

    HoI1/2/3 Favorite Narrative AAR: Q1 2008 & Q3 2008 & Q2 2009, Best Character Writer of the Week: 18/5/08 & 10/11/08
    Weekly AAR Showcase: 12/10/08, WritAAR of the Week: 05/08/08,
    Canonized on 08-06-08

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TheHyphenated1
    Johann Mahler had returned to the city of his birth -- and the army had returned to the Rhineland.
    Poetic - and a nice update. Looking forward to more!

    :-) Jesper
    What does this button do? - a Semper Fi gameplay AAR (Germany, 1936) - World War II accidentally started on June 1, 1938 (dead)
    Turning Point: STALINGRAD - a 1942 campaign gameplay AAR here - the war begins on page 13! (dead)
    A World in Flames - an international DDA 1.1 1936 AAR Index in the first post (dead)


    "You mean now we can't say 'Hello, we're French spies' to strangers on the street like we used to?"
    - Furstner in The Popular Front by Prufrock451

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