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Thread: Chaos in the Streets, a German Alternate History AAR

  1. #1
    General Mayhem Der_Leprechaun's Avatar
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    Chaos in the Streets, a German Alternate History AAR



    Chaos In the Streets, A German Alternate History AAR

    **********


    October 15, 1930

    Heinrich Brüning looked out the window of the Reichschancellory and sighed. The long column of men marched through the street, without an end in sight. What has become of my beloved country?, he thought to himself. His government, formed from a coalition of the Catholic Centre Party and the Social Democrats, was shaky from the start, and now the Social Democrats had lost patience with his frequent cuts to welfare and lowering of workers’ wages. The military remained aloof, unwilling to support the Chancellor, and President von Hindenburg was unwilling to give his support to a coalition formed partly by the Social Democratic “Reds.” The situation in the Reichstag seemed to be degenerating into a wild free-for-all.

    If the situation within the government was bad, what was happening in the streets of German cities was worse. Paramilitary groups patrolled, set up rallies, attack each other, and started massive street fights that would devastate whole city blocks. Regardless of Brüning’s attempts to curb their influence, the organizations only seemed to grow in power, especially with the spread of the American Depression to Europe. The two which worried Brüning most were the National Socialist Sturmabteilung (SA) and the Communist Rotfront, although the conservative Stahlhelm remained a force to be reckoned with.

    This group, though, was different. The Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold was a Social Democratic organization, dedicated to the defense of the Republic. Without the endorsement of the conservative military, Brüning had struck a deal with these men to defend the interests of his government. Yet even now, the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold had lost patience with Brüning and abandoned their support, demanding further Social Democratic initiatives which Brüning couldn’t fulfill. Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Hamburg, and elsewhere resembled nothing so much as giant brawls, with the army stretched too thin to combat the paramilitary groups. The entire country seemed to be spinning out of control, and for the moment, there was nothing the Chancellor could do about it.

    **********



    Members of the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold assembled for a rally


    Gerhardt Trapp marched at the head of the column of men. No bystander could doubt who they were. He imagined the republican flag and the black, red and gold sashes worn by the leaders were a sight of relief for most people, instead of the insignias of the Stahlhelm militarists or the Nazi and Communist thugs. He looked over to his friend, fellow commander Fedor Holzherr, and called out, “Beautiful day for a rally, eh?” Holzherr looked up at the dark gray sky, and smiling, shrugged.

    Bad weather or not, the rally needed to go on, he thought to himself. The government was no longer protecting the interests of the people. The goals of the Republic needed to be restored, before the people lost patience and flocked to the radicals. Even now, Trapp’s battalion was acting as security, should any unsavory characters show up to crash the rally.

    After a short march, the column arrived in front of the Reichstag, where a crowd waving the German republican tricolor had already assembled before a stage. Trapp’s men took their positions off to one side of the crowd, and the commanders surveyed the crowd as the first of many speakers began the rally.

    Halfway through the first speech, a group of men booed loudly and took off their coats, revealing red armbands. One hoisted a red banner with a hammer and sickle and began waving it in the face of the crowd. The Communists began shouting angrily, calling the Social Democratic speaker a “tool of capitalism” and a disgrace to the Left. Trapp scowled and, looking over to Holzherr, nodded, who dispatched a detachment of men into the crowd to deal with the protestors. They returned a short time later, dragging the small group of Communists and sending them away, taking their armbands and flag and throwing them on the ground. Trapp took his cigarette from his mouth and, looking down, knocked the ash onto the red banner. With luck, that disorganized rabble would be the worst the rally would face.

    Indeed, for a while, it seemed like it. The rally proceeded peacefully, and before Trapp knew it, the last speaker was just about to conclude his speech. Looking to the back of the crowd, Trapp’s heart sank. A fairly large group of men in brown shirts were arriving, carrying banners of their own. At their head they flew the red flag adorned with that dreaded symbol of hate, violence, and militarism. Trapp immediately knew that this group of SA men would be a greater challenge to deal with than the Communists. He called Holzherr over and the two of them went to speak to the opposing group, their own battalion following along behind.

    Gentlemen,” began Trapp, a bit of sarcasm in his voice, “We’re simply having a peaceful rally here. I assure you, your presence is not needed, as we haven’t planned for any sort of violence or aggression. It isn’t our way.”

    “Of course,” said one of the Nazi leaders, a little weasely-looking character. “Still, we like to keep tabs on our opponents.”

    “I’ve heard that about you people.” Said Holzherr, his voice cold with anger. “But, in any case, you must leave. This is a legal rally, and we don’t want you disturbing it.”

    “Shut up, Red.” Said the other Nazi leader, a fat, red-faced man who appeared to be drunk. “We’re allowed to be here, Or what, do your freedoms only apply to you?”

    By now, a large part of the crowd were watching the two groups facing off, rather than the speaker. He appeared to compensate for this by speaking louder, but it was to no avail.

    “You are, in fact, disrupting things. Go back to the dumpster you came from and tell your Communist neighbors in the next dumpster over that we said hello.”

    With that, the fat drunkard swung a club at Trapp, who dodged it and swiftly punched the man in the throat. Gagging, he fell to the ground, red faced and furious. Trapp had been in many fights in his teenage years, leaving him with a large scar under his left eye. His younger years gave him ample training for dealing with these thugs, though.

    Seeing their leader fall, the rest of the Nazis surged forward, clubs in hands, while Holzherr and many of his men took out nightsticks and counter-charged. Soon, the rally had lost all sense of order, as some of the members assisted fighting the Nazis, while others scattered before the Police arrived. With the addition of large numbers of the crowd, the Social Democrats soon gained the upper hand, and the fascists withdrew. The Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold men reformed, and Trapp looked over to Holzherr, who had a black eye and a bloody nose. “Isn’t this great?” he said, smiling. “We’ve just taken part in Germany’s most famous political debate technique. Beating each other over the head with clubs.”

    Yeah, thought Trapp to himself. All of this is sure to lead to nothing but more violence.
    Last edited by Der_Leprechaun; 28-10-2009 at 04:27.
    WritAAR of the Week 10/25/09

  2. #2
    General Mayhem Der_Leprechaun's Avatar
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    Ok, so this is my first go at a HoI2 AAR. I'll be playing DD, but, as you can see, I have quite a bit of writing to do before I can get to 1936 and begin playing. My main interest is really politics, so this will be a gameplay AAR too later, but expect a lot of posts on the politics and clashes within Germany, in addition to foreign relations.

    Other than that, thanks for reading, and I hope you'll like where I'm planning to take this AAR.
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    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der_Leprechaun View Post
    “Isn’t this great?” he said, smiling. “We’ve just taken part in Germany’s most famous political debate technique. Beating each other over the head with clubs.”
    If you can keep producing updates with lines like that in it I can assure you I will like where you take this one and will read it avidly.
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  4. #4
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    If you can keep producing updates with lines like that in it I can assure you I will like where you take this one and will read it avidly.
    Agreed. Modern-day politics are just so boring..
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    General Mayhem Der_Leprechaun's Avatar
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    A slightly different post now. I'm going to give a bit of a deeper introduction to one of my main characters.




    **********


    October 15, 1930

    Gerhardt Trapp walked into his apartment and tossed his cap lightly onto the coat hanger. With much greater care, he took off the sash of the German republican tricolor and hung that up as well. Taking off his shoes, he walked over to a cabinet, removed a bottle, poured himself a large glass of schnapps, and took a drink. What a depressing place the world would be without alcohol, he thought to himself.

    “You’re home later than expected,” a voice said suddenly. Gerhardt looked up and smiled. A young woman with dark hair and brown eyes had entered from the next room. Smiling, she walked over to Gerhardt and, embracing him, kissed him on the cheek. Holding her as she smiled up at him, he thought to himself, And here is the reason why I do all this.

    Her name was Gia Contadino, and although she spoke fluent German, Italy was the land of her birth. Uneasy with Mussolini’s fascist takeover, she had decided to come to Berlin for University, which is where she had met Gerhardt.

    That was only three years ago, he thought to himself. What I would give to be eighteen again. He then remembered what life had been like before the Depression had hit.

    It seemed like Germany had recovered from the chaos following the Great War, and in Berlin, the culture of the 1920s was in full swing. In this climate, Gerhardt wasn’t sure what to do with himself. He found a love of his when he joined the Berlin Volunteer Fire Brigade, but since there was no pay in that, he needed a career path. Being from a working class family who had worked to attain middle class status (shockingly rare for postwar Germany), he enrolled in University, to aim for a good career. It was there that he met Gia.

    To her, Gerhardt was an interesting and intriguing figure. Though near the top of his class, he was never particularly occupied with school; he seemed to get most of his entertainment from drinking, fighting fires and fighting other people. Despite him being a little rough around the edges, she soon fell for him deeply, and became his girlfriend.

    Gerhardt remembered vividly many of the “episodes” he had experienced while out with Gia, even in a largely tolerant city like the Berlin of the Roaring Twenties. Many times, they had been forced to walk past groups of SA men loitering on corners. Gia, born with olive skin, brown eyes, and dark hair, was a beautiful young woman, but in Germany she stood out. Walking hand in hand with Gerhardt, the Nazis would throw a wide variety of insults at her, telling her to get out of the country, and calling Gerhardt a traitor for being with a non-German. Many times he had wanted to fight them, but she had held him back. So now, he fought them through the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold. Though the Social Democrats were his political party, he wasn’t a diehard socialist; he was much more to the center, in fact. But he was a good leader, and motivated to protect the freedoms of the republic. I won’t let anything happen to her, he would tell himself again and again. Those bastards will have to pass over my dead body first.
    Last edited by Der_Leprechaun; 28-10-2009 at 04:28.
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  6. #6
    Major Ciryandor's Avatar
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    Now we have a motive and a situation. Now where is the opportunity? Looks to be shaping up good, especially when you start dropping off hints about what happens in the outside world. I can actually see how this could lead to a "Greater Germany"
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    Indeed. If this is going where I think it is going, then we are in for a fun ride.
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    Interesting start, well-written and most entertaining. You get the point across without losing yourself in details. Keep it up!

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    General Mayhem Der_Leprechaun's Avatar
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    Ciryandor: Only time will tell where the German people will end up...

    trekaddict: I hope so. I have great plans for our friend Gerhardt (and some others soon to be introduced)

    TRP: Thanks, I prefer this kind of writing to reporting on the progress of the game, which is part of the reason I started so much before 1936.

    And guess what. It's update time. I won't let schoolwork keep me from writing an AAR.



    ************



    Members of the conservative Stahlhelm paramilitary organization, assembled for a rally.


    October 17, 1930
    Berlin

    Men, attention!” Ferdinand Hartmann shouted at the top of his lungs as the long lines of gray-uniformed men snapped to attention and saluted. In front of them, a group of men marched past, carrying 25 Imperial German War flags. At their head was a man carrying the Imperial German tricolor of Black, White and Red. Across the white section of the flag was written Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten. These men, upon reaching the center, snap turned to the right and silently stood at attention as well, their banners waving briskly in the breeze. Hartmann looked out over this group, and began to speak.

    Männer, I do not need to explain to any of you why we are here. Twenty-five of our brothers are have been lost, shot dead by the Red Menace which hangs over our beloved Germany like the Sword of Damocles. These were ordinary men, just like you and I, who were made extraordinary by their dedication to protect our homes from the radicalism which is now bold enough to march down the streets of our cities.

    There, is, however, a specific reason for our assembling here. I have chosen to remember them in front of the Victory Column for a specific reason. As you all know, this monument was built to commemorate the victory in the war against France almost sixty years ago. It was a war which, at long last, united most, but not all, of our people under a single banner. After centuries of being held down by the monarchs of the West and East and used as a marching ground for the medieval armies of our enemies, Germany was at last a world power.

    We must not forget the sacrifices of those who came before us, my friends. There are those who seek to tear down everything our fathers and grandfathers died for, that our friends died for. Will you let them? There are those who want to plunge our country into chaos, all in the name of raising the despicable Red Banner. Will you let them? There are those who will try to force change just as radical as the Reds, the kind of change which will punish our own people, all in the euphemistic name of "National Socialism". Will you let them? Will you willingly let these things happen? Or will you stand with me, and fight? We must dwell on the past no longer. The Great War is over, and we cannot change that. But we can take comfort in the future, a future we can claim as our own. A future where we can make our forefathers and our 25 brothers proud!

    We must stand against the forces of radicalism, and we will! We will restore Germany to greatness! This is our mission, and by God, we shall not fail! Männer, let us go forward and carry out our mission with bravery and honor!”

    With that, the entire regiment, standing at attention, burst into thunderous cheers. Not military-like, but Hartmann smiled nonetheless. He was part of an organization which was working against the forces of evil. The road ahead would be tough, very tough, but something told him that everything would work out.
    Last edited by Der_Leprechaun; 28-10-2009 at 04:29.
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  10. #10
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    I must commend you on your research, because it's rarely seen this in-depth. However, I could see a temporary alliance between the Reichsbanner and the Stahlhelm if the real Reds get too tough to handle for one alone, never mind the brownshirts.
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    General Mayhem Der_Leprechaun's Avatar
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    trekaddict: That's a distinct possibility, although it has the potential of collapsing into even more fighting.

    Time for another update, as well.



    **********


    October 20, 1930
    Berlin


    President Paul von Hindenburg

    “I will never do it, Herr Brüning.” Though elderly, Paul von Hindenburg was still a very formidable figure when angered, and right now, he was furious. His eyes bored into the Chancellor’s as he stood, hands clenched around the side of his desk.

    “Herr President, there is no other way for our government to function! If this madness continues any longer—“

    “There are certain lines, I shall never cross, Herr Brüning. And supporting the Reds is one of those lines.”

    “Herr President, the Social Democrats are not the ‘Reds’.”

    “Oh no? Can you read, Herr Brüning? Have you taken a look at the pamphlets they distribute all over Berlin?”

    “The Social Democrats are not a threat, not in the way I fear anyway. They are committed to Germany, and could be persuaded to support most bills. We need their support to counterbalance the Communists, Herr President. Communists, who, mind you, are doing better and better in all polls produced since the stock market crash, and the same Communists who are now bold enough to stage mass marches and rallies in all major cities.”

    “It is a disgrace!” shouted von Hindenburg, and although Brüning jumped, he was slightly relieved the old General’s anger had been directed somewhere other than at him.

    “Indeed, Herr President, but look at how much worse it could be. Look at the shambles that was once Russia. Look at what the newspapers are reporting from other cities in Europe. Paris, Budapest, Sofia, Prague. Even Vienna, Herr President. We need the largest coalition possible to stand, and sooner or later, we will need Social Democratic support.”

    “I cannot give you a definitive answer right now, Herr Brüning.”

    “But sir, we need to assemble a coalition as soon as possible—“

    “I said I can’t give an answer. This meeting is over. I need to think.”

    Brüning, looking slightly annoyed, left the room briskly. Hindenburg slumped down in his seat and ran his fingers through his hair. Things were changing too rapidly these days, he thought to himself. Every time a plan for stability was made, the situation changed before it could even be implemented. He looked over to the telephone on his desk. He needed to talk to someone he trusted, and he knew exactly who.

    ********


    General Kurt von Schleicher


    “Come in.” Hindenburg said when he heard the knock at his door. A man in a gray uniform much like Hindenburg’s entered and sprang to a salute before the President’s desk. Hindenburg waved his hand lazily, saying “Sit down, Kurt. No need for formalities.”

    As he seated himself, General Kurt von Schleicher observed the President. Hindenburg seemed to be weary, and worried.

    “I got here as soon as I could, Herr President. You said it was urgent.”

    Hindenburg sat in silence for a few seconds before beginning to speak, looking down at his desk thoughtfully.

    “Brüning was here before, saying he can’t maintain control of the government much longer.”

    “I don’t doubt it. The people grow more restless with each passing day.”

    “I know, Kurt. His solution, though, is to turn to the Left, to court the Social Democrats. He wants my approval for a more left-wing government.”

    Schleicher knew what an insult that must have been to Hindenburg. The old General had never been keen on the centre-left beginnings of the Republic, and had only accepted service as President out of his devotion to the German people. He hated politics, and he hated the politicians that sniped and bickered in the democratic state. Anyone with eyes could see that he longed for the days of the Kaiserreich.

    “Herr President, I can see a way to integrate them into the government.”

    “And hand the nation over to the Left? Are you mad, Kurt?”

    “Not at all.” responded Von Schleicher. “We wouldn’t need to move to the left. We could make them move to the center, and form a grand coalition. Germany would surely have a government more to your liking, Herr President, and the Communists would be firmly in opposition.”

    “How is that possible?”

    Von Schleicher smiled slightly. “Because, sir, you are underestimating something about the Social Democrats. They aren’t Communists. In fact, they hate the Communists just as much as they hate Hitler and his thugs.”

    It was an easy mistake to make, he thought to himself. To men like Hindenburg, the Left was the Left, standing together to end world capitalism. However, since the German Revolution, the left had split, into the Social Democrats, who petitioned for change within government, and the Communists, who favored outright revolution. To most figures on the Right, including Hindenburg and Hitler, this was impossible to grasp, but to a man like Kurt von Schleicher, it was an opportunity to divide and conquer.

    “I am entirely confident, Herr President, that they could be persuaded over to a position more aligned to ours.”

    “How, Kurt? They have resisted everything I have stood for as long as they have existed.”

    “Leave that, Herr President, to me.”

    With another salute, General Kurt von Schleicher marched out of Hindenburg’s office, on a mission.

    ********


    “Get me General von Bredow, Chief of Military Intelligence. Tell him it’s General Kurt von Schleicher, and it’s urgent.”

    Von Schleicher stood in his office, on the phone, He made sure to have used a secure military line, to avoid any tapping from unfriendly sources.

    “General von Bredow, I have a mission for you. Assemble two dozen of your best agents, to act as Communists. I do not want them just to be given the outfits of the Communist Rot Front. They shall be trained in the ideology and slogans of the organization, and they shall actually join using aliases. Am I understood?”

    Von Schleicher smiled as von Bredow responded that he already had the group of men in mind.
    “Good, they shall begin their training and infiltration as soon as possible. Moreover, I want you to go over the records you keep on all Social Democratic leaders. Go over them in the greatest detail, and find out the political positions of every senior party member.”

    “What exactly is all this for, Kurt?”

    “The Social Democratic Party Convention is in six months. The week before the Convention, I want every centrist in the party assassinated by your ‘Communist’ agents. Am I understood? Good. Get to your mission, General, I can’t stress how important this is.”

    Von Schleicher put down the phone. So it begins, he thought to himself. It was a dangerous gambit, but if it succeeded, it would change the balance of the Republic dramatically, possibly shattering the stalemate which had marked the past few years. He wondered if such an ambitious intelligence operation would succeed. Fortune favors the bold, he thought, smiling to himself. Only time would tell, though.
    Last edited by Der_Leprechaun; 28-10-2009 at 04:30.
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    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    I fear bad things for German Democracy. But on the other hand it's better than jumping into bed with that Austrian Corporal.
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    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    von Schleicher is playing for very, very high stakes. Its a cunning plan and if it works could bypass a great deal of problems but if it fails or is found out... Best case the Communists sweep to power, worst case full blown civil war as the rival mobs try to seize power.

    As I said, very high stakes.
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    General Mayhem Der_Leprechaun's Avatar
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    trekaddict: Indeed, but rest assured our friend Hitler will play a much larger role in the future than he has so far.

    Tommy4ever: Thank you for the compliment. They surely have many plans, most of which have not even been revealed.

    El Pip: You underestimate a character as wily as von Schleicher

    On another note, I haven't included this in the AAR as the posts have been mostly dialogue, but to give you a sense of the current situation of the paramilitaries, here are their strengths as of late 1930.

    Stahlhelm- 500,000 (associated with DNVP)
    Rot Front- 215,000 (associated with KPD)
    Sturmabteilung- 250,000 (associated with NSDAP)
    Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold- 190,000 (associated with SPD and Centre)

    Remember though, that nothing is set in stone in 1930s Germany. Membership can surge and plummet within the space of a week, and greater numbers do not necessarily mean greater strength. Which, of course, is part of the fun of writing about total chaos.
    WritAAR of the Week 10/25/09

  16. #16
    Field Marshal yourworstnightm's Avatar
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    Hmm, maybe Germany will succumb into some kind of chaotic civil war??

  17. #17
    Major Ciryandor's Avatar
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    Well, if the extremists get "caught" trying to assassinate centrists, the centrists get a load of popular support, the radicals get marginalized and might possibly purge themselves out of the picture trying to remove phantoms, and an NS vs Centrist political scene could well be the norm.
    AAR Commentator and Werewolf Whackjob

    "Getting paid for reading is the best way to make a living."

    The best bit in that game is this PM from OY to his packmates:

    OrangeYoshi: ... I'll also put in a preliminary hunt order to Hunt Oky's replacement. (THE_SPLIT if I'm not mistaken). He publicly asked for a sub, and that is slightly more common in Lite if you have some sort of important role.

    This is OY putting in a hunt order on Oky's replacement, who is none other than OY.

  18. #18
    General Mayhem Der_Leprechaun's Avatar
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    Time for another update. A little shorter, but I'll have another update ready tomorrow.




    ***********


    November 11, 1930
    Berlin

    President Paul von Hindenburg shook his head and sighed.

    “Armistice Day. Out of all the days in the year, Kurt, this is the one I hate most.”

    Von Schleicher nodded silently as he continued to watch Hindenburg. Though 84 years old, the old General had always seemed to go about his job with a grim determination. Now, the frustration and stress of heading a chaotic, economically crippled Germany seemed to be taking their toll. Hindenburg was looking increasingly tired and old with each report of bad news, both domestic and foreign.

    “Despite everything I tried to do, despite the entire country’s last great push in 1918, we failed, and now…”

    “And now,” he said, looking out the window, “we have to watch the younger generation try to rationalize our loss in the Great War. Not a day goes by that I don’t imagine how different things would be if only we had succeeded.”

    “But we can’t change the past, Herr President. We can only hope to restore it through working on the present. I have the Reichswehr and the state police forces on full alert in case the Red protests get out of hand. I also have some friendly contacts within the Stahlhelm organization. They will be having protests of their own today, but they’ve assured me that they will be on the lookout for any trouble the Reds might be causing.”

    “What a shame that we have to rely on paramilitary forces to maintain control of our home. Very well, Kurt, thank you for your report. You are dismissed. I have much to attend to, and hopefully, the busier I remain today, the faster this damned day passes.”

    Saluting, von Schleicher left Hindenburg’s office. Unusually for him, he felt nervous. Hindenburg’s behavior made him uneasy. He was so used to the General as his tough old self; he didn’t like this new, sad, resigned old man Hindenburg seemed to be turning into. If Germany was to be reborn as her former self, she would need a strong leader, like the old Hindenburg. There were very few men like that left in Germany, he thought to himself. Hindenburg was aging faster than he had expected, and he wondered if he would be willing, or even able to serve another term as President. Another thought crept then into his head, and he slowed down as the idea hit him.

    Although it was completely unknown to the German people, who viewed Hindenburg in the highest esteem, he was only an average tactician. He relied on another man to come up with Germany’s plans for the Great War. In fact, this individual was the only one who had a similar status to Hindenburg among the German people. However, he had retired from public view long ago, preferring to write military histories in seclusion. Von Schleicher’s pace quickened as plans formed in his head. If this man could be coaxed back into public, Hindenburg would have a successor who was even more determined and aggressive than he. Von Schleicher made up his mind, he knew what he had to do for the survival of Germany.

    One way or another, he would have to speak personally to General Erich Ludendorff.
    Last edited by Der_Leprechaun; 28-10-2009 at 04:32.
    WritAAR of the Week 10/25/09

  19. #19

  20. #20
    Lt. General Raaritsgozilla's Avatar
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    From what I can see, this looks very good. Count me in.
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