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Thread: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Germany/Road to Doom's Day

  1. #261
    5. The Berlin Summit

    One of the great coups of the Heydrich regency was Ambassador von Schirach's persuasion of President Kennedy to attend the Führer's seventy-fifth birthday celebrations in Berlin. This meeting between the leadership of Germany and the United States was the first of its kind, and indeed the first visit by an unaligned head of state to Germany since Munich in 1938. From the American side, it represented the first visit of an American President to Europe since Wilson's attendance of the Versailles Diktat. It represented therefore a generational shift in relations between the Reich and the United States, and indeed between the Reich and all of the powers outside of the various treaty arrangements.

    Great care was therefore taken with the security arrangements for President Kennedy's attendance. During his trans-Atlantic flight, the United States insisted on providing air cover for him as far as the Azores, at which time the Reich would take responsibility for him. This gave the Reich valuable insight into the United States military's general state of affairs, generally prevented by the width of the Atlantic, and the German leadership were shocked by what they saw. From a position of manufacturing superiority in the 1930s, the United States had fallen incredibly far.

    The base ship of the United States Navy, for instance, remained the Essex-class aircraft carrier, first laid down prior to the American-Japanese conflict. Refinements had been made to the class, but they were fundamentally the same vessels. Dönitz dismissed the American fleet with a disparaging comment that his submarines' missiles now could outreach the American carrier's aircraft, and indeed this was true to some extent. This was doubly true of the newly designed Guderian-class battlecruiser, the first surface warship in the Reichsmarine designed for an over-the-horizon engagement and primarily armed not with guns, but with missile batteries.


    Figure 154: The Grumman F9F1 "Cougar" in its carrier role


    The aircraft serving aboard the Essex-class were equally outdated, based on British emigre designers' early work with jet engines. They had generally served from the late 1940s, and no continuous update had been done as the Luftwaffe and Reichsmarine had done. The reason for the presence of multiple American carriers along the route was that the American fighters were both shorter-ranged, and less well-equipped to extend said range, than their European cousins by this point. Mid-air refueling had been a standard practice of all of Germany's various air arms; experiments had even been conducted refueling helicopters midair, to be abandoned as excessively difficult for the rewards involved. The Americans, while blessed with a number of excellent refueling platforms, had not followed through by developing them into tankers. Both Rudel and Dönitz considered the United States air presence, as a result of these close observations, to be a joke.

    The Americans, for their part, were shocked by the seemingly eternal presence of fighters from SS-Jasta 2 "Reinhard Heydrich." The Jasta Heydrich fighters remained aloft thanks to a combination of mid-air refueling, extensive fuel-economy measures, and benzedrine tablets, resulting in four pilots providing the security that the Americans required five times that number to provide. When the President's Lockheed Constellation touched down at Göring-Tegel, the President was subdued, lost in thought at the apparently careless display on the Germans' part. Anecdotes from aides present at the time indicate that the President turned to his military aide and demanded to know "why the damned Germans only put up four planes, when we had to put up two dozen." The aide, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Haig, replied, "Sir, they put up what they felt they had to to match us, and frankly, they were being kind."


    Figure 155: "Liberty I," the personal aircraft of President Joseph Kennedy Jr., the first known as 'Air Force One.'


    Heydrich continued to extend a level of courtesy carefully balanced between high honor and concealed insult; the honorary commander of the Führer-Begleitsdivision platoon assigned to the American President was the ailing Hauptgruppenführer Sepp Dietrich, called from his Bavarian retirement to conduct this purely ceremonial duty. The President was shocked at this, not at first recognizing Dietrich as one of the most respected soldiers in Germany, and one of the few Waffen-SS to receive a baton. It was fortunate that Haig was present to correct his chief, else an incident might have occurred before the official reception even began.

    The two leaders, Heydrich and Kennedy, met at Heydrich's Wannsee estate on 18 April, two days before the Führer's birthday parade, for a series of talks. Kennedy was determined to keep this discussion focused on German intervention in South America; Heydrich was equally determined to keep the discussion focused on trans-Atlantic trade and the opening of American markets to German exports. The American position, baldly put, was that Argentine aggression in South America, backed by German advisors and aircraft, had produced what looked very much like a miniature version of Germany's hegemony from Flanders to the Urals. The South American members of Kennedy's own sphere, such as Brazil and Bolivia, believed they were the next targets.

    Heydrich insisted this was nonsense: the Argentines had no interest in Brazil, a Portuguese-speaking country and friend of Heydrich's own friend Salazar in Portugal, and the Andes made communication so far north as Bolivia wildly impractical. It would be to everyone's advantage, he insinuated, if the powers would intead focus on industrial cooperation rather than conflict. If the Americans were to open their markets to South American raw materials, for instance, the Aluminum Company of the Americas would benefit tremendously, and Buenos Aires would certainly welcome an influx of American tourists denied by the Cold War. Kennedy responded to this with a flat refusal. "Opening America to German oil merely offers you the opportunity to put your boot on our throat without the dignity of a fight," he accused.

    It was a very strained meeting. Kennedy went so far as to inquire indiscreetly about the German nuclear arsenal, and what guarantees Heydrich would give that it would not be used on the battlefield. Heydrich's response was recorded by the Völkischer Beobachter for all of Germany to read: "What use is a sword, forged at great expense, if the bearer will never draw it?" Further, the Reichsführer turned the argument against Kennedy. What of the Americans' own Chicago Program? Were they abandoning it? The emigre physicists of the 1930s and 1940s would certainly help them, and he knew for a fact from British archives that the so-called 'Tube Alloys' program had been partially evacuated to American hands. It was certainly within America's grasp to build their own bombs, should Germany demand that they forswear them, too? Kennedy reddened and declared that for his part, he should like nothing better, but America had to answer for her own defense, while Germany had waged aggressive wars, and wars by proxy, since the 1930s.

    Heydrich maintained a level voice throughout this, inquiring mildly whether the American support of Chinese guerilla forces fighting the Communists was "for America's defense," and whether the so-called Monroe Doctrine did not require America to act aggressively in the Caribbean sphere. It was perhaps a too-apt barb, as Dönitz had finally acquired basing rights in Jamaica for the U-waffe, and Kennedy ended the day's discussions at that point.

    The overall effect of the Wannsee meeting was one of two tremendous personalities in direct conflict. Heydrich was by this time used to an obliging sort of reception from all parties; Kennedy, however, was determined to show the American people that he was able to stand up to the man the American press still inaccurately called 'the hangman*.' After the posturing of the first day, the two of them met separately for a private breakfast the following day. The atmosphere was still tense, but without reporters, it was significantly less rhetorically charged. No records survive of that breakfast, but afterwards, Heydrich and Kennedy jointly appeared at the Chancellory to give a statement that "America and Germany have no essential conflict... between us, we are able to resolve the issue of American-German relations into well-defined spheres."

    It is likely that Reichsmarschall Hausser, were he present, would have broken his old-Prussian reserve at this comment, as he knew quite well that the War Ministry was working on a coordinated plan at this very moment, 'Case Cincinnatus,' for the invasion of the American Eastern Seaboard, and Dönitz, who was present, later commented to an aide, "I haven't heard such a load of tripe since the 1920s!" To further emphasize the point, a blanket order was sent out to the at-sea U-waffe to continue shadowing American naval vessels and, wherever possible, develop passive firing solutions on American vessels, strictly as a training measure.

    The actual birthday celebrations, on the 20th, were considerably more cordial. The Führer himself made his last public appearance at this time, standing on the reviewing stand with close support from a number of aides, most notably his longtime liaison with the SS, Oberstgruppenführer Hermann Fegelein. The festivities were as elaborate as could be expected; entire volumes have in fact been dedicated to this masterpiece of the Propaganda Ministry. It is beyond the scope of this work to discuss a single parade, no matter how magnificent, in great detail; interested parties are rather directed to Leni Riefenstahl's film The Colossus of Berlin, with its focus on the great bronze statue of the Führer atop the Victory Column in the Siegesallee.

    The height of the celebration was the torchlight parade, ever a favorite of the Führer. He had the luxury, admittedly, of sleeping during his own parade; others on the reviewing stand, including Heydrich and Kennedy, had remained in this position for an astounding eighteen hours at this point. Nevertheless, more than a million German soldiers marched past the reviewing stand, roaring out their Heil salutes as they passed without disturbing the Führer's occasional naps. Spectators who attended described the parade as like a river of fire, flowing from the east to the west. It seems exceptionally unlikely that the symbolism was lost on such men as Haig, at least, who, according to Berlin embassy records, did not sleep until typing a complete report.

    The American President returned to the United States by way first of London, where his father had been ambassador, then Dublin, where he was greeted in nothing short of total euphoria. His presence in both countries was carefully watched, first by Lord Protector Mosley's Special Branch forces, and by the Reich's own intelligence agencies. He returned to the United States on 1 May, 1964, to deliver his report to the United States Congress. At the same time, the Führer, Heydrich, and the service chiefs reviewed Kennedy's performance in Germany. "A nice enough man," the Führer declared, "but impetuous. He will bring his country to ruin if he insists on confrontation."

    * The 'inaccurate' is technically true; archival evidence indicates that Heydrich's preferred methods of execution in his various viceroyal roles were firing squad and guillotine, depending on the budget available to him at the time. Hangings were reserved for so-called 'flying squads,' mostly in Russia. - Fredlund
    Last edited by c0d5579; 23-03-2011 at 03:22.
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  2. #262
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Nice touch putting Haig into the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post

    Figure 155: "Liberty I," the personal aircraft of President Joseph Kennedy Jr., the first known as 'Air Force One.'
    That picture looks very familiar.
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  3. #263
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    FEGELEIN FEGELEIN FEGELEIN!
    What is with China?

  4. #264
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    Nice touch putting Haig into the story.



    That picture looks very familiar.
    Eisenhower's "Columbine III." Don't remember if you used it or not. OTL Jack Kennedy used a 707, which stayed in service up to Clinton-Bush. TTL, apparently the United States decided to do ALL its research on information theory, self-propelled guns, and doctrine techs. I'm pretty sure there's a computer tech chokepoint they're stumbling over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    FEGELEIN FEGELEIN FEGELEIN!
    What is with China?
    Mao is the world's most/least successful guerrilla. The Chinese Communists have been a going concern since the '20s, but they haven't actually done anything. The United States has been at war with them for most of that time. As a result, the US has a belligerence of something like 1500, and Germany's is a relatively healthy 500ish.
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  5. #265
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    Eisenhower's "Columbine III." Don't remember if you used it or not. OTL Jack Kennedy used a 707, which stayed in service up to Clinton-Bush. TTL, apparently the United States decided to do ALL its research on information theory, self-propelled guns, and doctrine techs. I'm pretty sure there's a computer tech chokepoint they're stumbling over.
    I did use the picture for my AAR. I think I trimmed it down a bit, though.

    Gee, with research like that, no wonder the Germans are planning to invade America.
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  6. #266
    Given that this is the Guderian-class...



    All of this is the reason that Al Haig is muttering darkly about America being outclassed.
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  7. #267
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    Great read Sir! I just caught up and have to say that this is one of my favorite AARs. Also, would that Guderian class ship have some sort of Russian ancestry? Perhaps starting with a K?

  8. #268
    Yep. Of course, since the Reich ate the USSR, I'm mostly cannibalizing Soviet equipment where suitable for postwar German developments.
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  9. #269
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    I knew it!

  10. #270
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    Yep. Of course, since the Reich ate the USSR, I'm mostly cannibalizing Soviet equipment where suitable for postwar German developments.
    I don't blame ya. Considering Nazi Germany historically died in 1945, you have to improvise.

    Now, if only America gets her act together...
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  11. #271
    6. Germany in Hitler's Last Year

    The Seventy-Fifth Birthday celebration was to prove the Führer's last public appearance. His health had been bad for quite some time, but a devotion to Germany had kept him alive. Most of his time was actually spent at Berchtesgaden, where the climate was beleived more healthy than Berlin, and the landscapes were much more attractive to him as an artist. For many years, private collectors and German dignitaries had sought an authentic Hitler painting, and during this last year, he was able to oblige many more of them than previously.

    In his place, Heydrich faced a number of challenges which Hitler would not have appreciated. The War Ministry required very close attention after the proliferation of divisions and air wings; by 1965, the exact number of men in uniform throughout Germany was a mystery because of this constant explosion of manpower. Between the Vertragswaffe and the Heer, there were two thousand official infantry "divisions" and four hundred and twenty armored "divisions," with a division often consisting of little more than a battalion's worth of real troops, but a full division's staff. At the other end of the spectrum, elite divisions such as the three original Waffen-SS armored divisions each numbered more than the 1933 Reichsheer, and formations which had started humbly in the 1930s, such as Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland, now included up to nine full-strength divisions. Some estimates put the total land forces of the Reichswehr as high as fifty million, or roughly one in eight Germans, neglecting the number of sailors and airmen. Admittedly, many of those were drawn from other nations under the V-Waffe agreements, but even so, it was a sobering contrast to realize that the total American population during this period was 160 million.

    The experience of the 1950s showed that single full-strength German infantry divisions, especially the highly-trained, highly-motivated specialist divisions geared for mountain, airborne, or amphibious warfare, were more than a match for much larger formations from other countries. All of the various service chiefs involved in the dispute - War Minister Reichsmarschall Hausser, Chief of Staff Oberstgruppenführer Skorzeny, Generalfeldmarschall Ringel, and the armored cabal built around Reichsmarschall von Manstein - agreed that the Reichswehr was bloated beyond reason, and that smaller, elite forces were much more effective than the huge forces currently under arms. At the same time, ambitious empire-builders like Hauptgruppenführer Eicke of SS-Totenkopf were fiercely protective of their massed forces.

    Some of these problems were insoluble; for instance, while the Führer lived, there was nothing to be done about the quarter-million members of the Leibstandarte, or the similar number of members of Panzerkorps Hitlerjugend, or the Führerbegleitskorps. They were untouchable by dint of the Führer's direct patronage, and of course Heydrich admitted there were tremendous advantages to the Führer having three quarters of a million men under his more or less direct control. The rest, the Reich's leadership-in-waiting all agreed, could be greatly reduced. Thus, the Parteitag speech for 1964 focused on declaring the military phase of the January 30 Revolution finally complete. Germany stretched to the Urals in the east, to the Sahara in the south, and to Spitsbergen in the north. The mass of German soldiers could now be demobilized, to colonize those areas.

    The result was that the formations of the German army were reduced two or three steps: the battle honors for divisions were concentrated in battalions, and only divisions with impeccable wartime pedigrees were allowed to survive with their divisional standards intact. As an example, SS-Totenkopf went from a quarter-million men in twelve Totenkopfstandarten each the size of a normal Heer division to 75,000, the size of a normal armored corps. The Standarten were consolidated: Totenkopf-3 through Totenkopf-12 simply went away, their members discharged and settled across the Russian frontier except in cases where Eicke could save them as especially well-qualified or elite. Totenkopfstandarten "Theodor Eicke," "Thule," and "Totenkopf," meanwhile, took on the honors of the amalgamated units, which amounted to surprisingly little, given their postwar formation and growth compared to the original three units, and retained their expanded structure. A Standarte, after all, was supposed to be equivalent to a regiment, not a whole division.

    Similar cuts were applied throughout the Reichswehr. Demobilized soldiers flowed outward to the colonial regions, giving the rather sparsely populated eastern frontier a much more German cast. Comparatively few of the veterans chose to settle in the desert regions, perhaps because the extensive counter-bandit operations of the 1940s and 1950s had not extended to these regions. Heydrich allowed, even encouraged, the formation of "company towns" like Ölstadt on the Aral Sea, since he lacked Himmler's attachment to agricultural settlements in an industrial age.

    There were extended ripples of discontent through the Reichswehr because of this reduction, but it was Hausser and Skorzeny who would spare the Reichsführer the indignity of fighting his own army. Skorzeny especially put forward a series of staff studies showing that Germany did not need the huge army that they had maintained to this date, that the use of smaller forces was much more economical, and that changes in German military hardware, such as the development of the very first unmanned aerial vehicles, meant that the average soldier was as powerful as a squad of his predecessors. The armored cabal grudgingly admitted that a Leopard company was capable of holding down a much longer stretch of frontage than a Panther company of twenty years prior, and therefore perhaps there was no need to maintain fifty tanks where five would do. It was among the "old campaigners" of the Waffen-SS, now the Vertragswaffe, that there was the greatest resistance. It is unlikely that Eicke ever forgave Heydrich, and only the latter's knowledge that the former had once been committed to an institution gave him sufficient hold to keep him in check.

    At the same time that Heydrich was insisting that the Reichswehr was over-bloated and trimming it back, a similar revolution was happening more or less of its own accord in German industry. The Zuse Bureau had reached its apogee thanks to Wernher von Braun's patronage and the growth of the German space program. Now, Zuse machines began to percolate extensively throughout the rest of German industry, greatly simplifying calculations which had required engineers and scientists to labor by hand. It became such that students, albeit at great expense, could buy desktop calculating machines such as the Kalkul-1. These were not the sophisticated machines which we are used to today, but rather equivalent to modern pocket calculators. Nevertheless, they represented a vast improvement over slide rules and hand calculators.

    The intrusion of computers into German companies was slow, and almost undetected through the 1950s, but by the mid-1960s, it could no longer be ignored. This was the root of Germany's superiority over the United States; while the degenerate Alan Turing had fled Britain during the occupation, and the United States led the world in the theory of computers, successive generations of American industrialists and politicians had neglected the potential of these devices. This intensely frustrated some among their military, where artillerymen and sailors alike united in appreciation of the technology which had in the 1930s and 1940s had made American artillery the world's best. Their equipment was comparable to German models, but their technique, highly mathematical and highly automated, remained the envy of the German service's even in the 1960s. Also, the American electronics giant IBM was increasingly frustrated by the failure of the American government to follow through on some of its developments. The result was that IBM increasingly found its business driven by Zuse designs subcontracted from Germany, despite the cool relations between the two countries.

    The reliance on Zuse machines suited the mechanistic Heydrich where Himmler and Goering would have not appreciated it in the slightest. Heydrich made his scientific interest known on 30 January 1965, on the thirty-second anniversary of the Revolution, from the Chancellory steps, accompanied by Wernher von Braun and the marshals Rudel and Hausser. Germany would travel to the moon by the end of the 1960s. The Führer, apparently shocked at this development, was unable to comment publicly due to his rapidly failing health. He still commented privately to Fegelein that he was delighted, astounded - "This is precisely what Germany needs, after that disarmament nonsense last year, a dream to propel us to the heavens, and plant our flag where no flag has ever been planted!" according to Fegelein's own memoirs.


    Figure 156: The first reports of the Führer's death were suppressed for a full two weeks while the succession was settled.


    Unfortunately, the Führer would not live to see it. On 18 April, he suffered a stroke and a fall, hitting his head against a concrete table on the balcony of the Eagle's Nest. The resulting concussion placed him in a coma, and word flashed to Berlin that the Führer was not expected to outlive his birthday. Heydrich acted quickly, convening the Party and military leadership and informing them of the circumstances, including the long-standing directive for his own inheritance. The only one of the leadership who protested at all was Martin Bormann, of the Party head office. We have only hearsay accounts of the meeting, but all of those agree that Heydrich merely nodded, turned to his protege Schellenberg, and commented, "As foreseen." Agents of the Gestapo, on hand for security purposes, arrested Bormann for his actions counter to the express will of the Führer, since Heydrich was well-documented as the Führer's heir. Bormann's eventual fate is unknown, even with recent archival revelations, but given both his occasional interference in the Führer's government and his Machiavellian tendencies, his survival is both unlikely and undesired.


    Figure 157: The succession was disputed among a number of parties; however, the Reichsführer's position was the strongest.


    Of the Old Guard surrounding the Führer, few remained. Only Wilhelm Frick of the Intelligence Office and Joachim von Ribbentrop of the Foreign Office remained at cabinet level; most of the others were at this point dead. Frick was in his eighties by now, and was generally believed to be losing his touch. For Heydrich's first official act, he genty removed Frick, who suffered a fatal heart attack shortly thereafter. Heydrich himself was shocked at the sudden death, commenting that apparently only remaining in the saddle had kept the old man alive. Frick's replacement was Walter Schellenberg, though Hausser had agitated for Skorzeny, to bring intelligence under the military's aegis. Heydrich flatly refused this: Skorzeny was already Chief of Staff, and Germany's doctrinal shift to smaller forces was demanding all of his time.

    The second to go was Ribbentrop. This was strictly voluntary; upon the imminent death of the Führer, the Foreign Minister withdrew into his own quarters and wept for days. He reported to Heydrich after the Berlin meeting, tendering his resignation. "After a lifetime of service to my Führer, I cannot imagine serving another man, even his chosen successor, and therefore choose rather to retire at this time." Heydrich received it coldly, clinically, which is hardly surprising given the number of other details he was attending to at the same time. Ribbentrop's successor was his own son, Rudolf von Ribbentrop, a former Waffen-SS general and short-term ambassador to the United States.

    The last replacement in Heydrich's new cabinet scheme was in fact his own. Heydrich did not choose to remain in power as Minister of the Interior, but chose a replacement from the Party's younger generation. This was Arthur Axmann, an unorthodox choice, since Axmann was neither a policeman like Arthur Nebe, nor a security-apparatus insider like Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the two who had been front-runners for the position. What Axmann brought was a thorough understanding of Germany's youth, since he had spent most of the past twenty years as leader of the Hitler Youth, with a close involvement in all aspects of youth education. Heydrich picked Axmann for this reason, and for two others, rarely discussed. First, Axmann was viewed as something of a white knight, above the Party squabbles but in touch with Germany's pulse. Second, because he was not a security insider, his presence meant that Heydrich, through the second-rank members of his ministry, could control the Interior Ministry without holding too many titles for himself.

    Heydrich's ascent was not flawless; because he had relied on the military against the Party, the second man in the state was Reichsmarschall Hausser. Hausser had absolutely no interest in ruling Germany, as shown in his memoir A Soldier Like Any Other, but every interest in the maintenance of military prestige. The result was that Heydrich's support, unlike Hitler's generally populist base, rested on three legs: the security apparatus, the military, and the captains of industry who benefited from his revision of the eastern settlement program and interest in opening foreign markets.


    Figure 158: The Cabinet was reorganized following Heydrich's full ascent, cleansing it of the last of the Old Campaigners.


    It was not until two weeks after the Führer's fall that his death was announced. Adolf Hitler, Führer and Chancellor of Germany, had died in his coma in the late hours of 19 April 1965, mere hours from his seventy-sixth birthday. Inside and outside Germany he was widely regarded as the most influential single man of the twentieth century. He had traveled from penury in Vienna to the heights of global power. He did not do so alone, but without the Führer's peculiar genius, Germany would not have been transformed as it was. In 1933, Germany was weak, held down by the Allied powers and the ineptitude of the Weimar regime. Thirty years later, Germany was not merely located in central Europe, Germany was central to Europe in a way that no nation since Rome had managed. He was buried in a specially prepared sarcophagus under the triumphal arch of the Siegesallee, as Napoleon had been buried in Paris. The difference between them was that Napoleon's remains had been called home from St. Helena; Hitler's were carried on the shoulders of the generals whose success his genius had made possible.

    In his place, who led Germany? A failed naval officer, onetime spymaster, fighter pilot, and mountaineer, who had once planned to compete in the 1936 Olympics as a winter athlete, under whose hand Germany's control of the eastern territories had been solidified. This man, whose youth had been troubled because of his unusually high-pitched, grating voice, had started with many advantages which the Führer had not had, but had lost them through his own actions. That he then returned not merely to his previous status as a respected officer, but to the level of Europe's master, is testament to both his abilities, and to the particular magic of Adolf Hitler, who recognized and used men's abilities where his predecessors and contemporaries would have cast them off as tainted. In mid-1965, though, what remained to be seen was what Reichsführer Reinhard Heydrich would make of his full authority.


    Figure 159: Reinhard Heydrich in 1965, notably youthful thanks to his generally active lifestyle


    ---

    No, this does NOT mean I disbanded any of the 4000-odd German divisions, I just rebadged them from division to battalion-regiment level, where 4000 is a much more reasonable number.
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    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  12. #272
    First Lieutenant J.J.Jameson's Avatar
    Arsenal of DemocracyDarkest Hour

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    One small step for man, one giant leap for National Socialism.

  13. #273
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    To the moon and back!
    Allies/commies hiding in moon?

  14. #274
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    I have a question.

    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post

    Figure 157: The succession was disputed among a number of parties; however, the Reichsführer's position was the strongest.
    What's the fourth option?
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  15. #275
    Victory for the military. Same ministers as the hardliners, but instead of Heydrich it's Dönitz.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
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    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  16. #276
    First Lieutenant J.J.Jameson's Avatar
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    I was wondering: What is happening in the rest of Europe? Hungary, Italy, and the rest. What of Horthy and Mussolini?

  17. #277
    Nothing. Germany absorbed all of those countries in the 1930s.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  18. #278
    First Lieutenant J.J.Jameson's Avatar
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    Ah, I had forgotten, thank you.

  19. #279
    Major Alfredian's Avatar
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    Brilliant AAR. I only came across it because a comment in The Prophet Unleashed, but am very glad I did. All other AAR reading has stopped while I caught up. I really cannot express how well thought out and well written this is.
    Exile in the East - a Helleno-Varangian CK AAR (Part 28 posted 03 January 2012)
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    Showcased 09-Sep-2011, Character writer of the week 28-Mar-2011
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  20. #280
    7. The Heydrich Era Begins

    The first year of Reichsführer Heydrich's administration was surprisingly quiet. No great political demonstrations, as had been feared upon the Führer's death, occurred, no anti-Party unrest, and no murmuring among the military. The greatest conflict with the new administration came from the United States, which recalled all of the diplomats remaining behind after the Berlin Summit. President Kennedy decried the Reichsführer's ascent as proof that the Reich had "... abandoned all pretense of human decency, instead choosing to embrace a hangman and a butcher, on whose hands the blood of the people of Russia and Czechoslovakia still runs red." Remarks like this showed the complete failure to understand Germany typical in the United States.

    German-American relations were not helped by the Reichsführer's further courting of the Mosley government in Britain. Lord Protector Mosley had been faced with increasing financial pressures caused first by the loss of the British Empire, and indeed by the technical name of "Britain" for what remained, then by widespread postwar emigration. What remained under the rule of King Edward VIII was England and the majority of Britain's Caribbean possessions. Late in 1963, Heydrich had applied considerable economic and political pressure to Mosley to provide the Reich with a hundred-year lease on the island of Jamaica, giving the Kriegsmarine a base in the Caribbean. Upon coming to power, he began to seek approval to deploy German forces to Bermuda. The King, now well-known to be an alcoholic and deeply unhappy in his American marriage, was inclined to agree, and Mosley himself saw the opportunity to trade away one of the few remaining colonial possessions in exchange for much-needed revenue.


    Figure 160: The "Hecht"-class, the Reich's second-generation nuclear submarine, codenamed "Victor" in the United States and designed for distant basing


    In the United States, this was viewed as saber-rattling, rather than the sensible national defense measure which it was. The development of a new class of German nuclear submarines, code-named "Victor" in the United States, capable of submerged travel from the North Sea directly into the newly constructed Kingston submarine pens, and the fielding of the Reich's first nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, the four first-run General Göring-class vessels, left the Americans feeling more vulnerable than ever. They failed to understand the truth about German industry, which was that the German military had for three decades been the prime mover behind the development of German technology, from the Bureau Zuse to the Kriegsmarine's nuclear research program to the Peenemünde works. The fallacy in American reasoning was that these weapons were by design meant to be turned upon them; the truth was that they were, from the beginning, meant as demonstrations of German technical prowess.

    The United States similarly misunderstood continued German involvement in South America; where President Kennedy saw Skorzeny-led Jagdgruppen in every mountain valley, the truth was far more prosaic, that the upsets and disruptions of the 1950s had led to the complete ruin of what meager basic services were available in the Andes region. The presence of uniformed Germans riding in helicopters was far more often due to the Reich's forest service and agricultural advisors than military in nature. True, there was a military commitment, and true, it did allow for testing some of the Reich's newest technology in very arduous conditions, but the essential reason for the Deutsches Sudamerikakorps was peaceful.


    Figure 161: The Focke-Flettner FFl 561 "Windhund" was a cutting-edge multi-purpose helicopter developed in the early 1960s by Russian emigre Michael Mil


    Strangely, the expected tension between the British Free Commonwealth - under the ailing Prime Minister Attlee and His Majesty King Louis I of the House of Windsor-Mountbatten - and the Reich simply never materialized. Despite the massive military presence from both powers along the Pakistani frontier, in Germany's case to deter the subcontinent government from attempting a forcible reunification, the two governments got on well enough after the 1949 death of King George VI. The British military government had chosen to appoint the former Lord Mountbatten as regent for the King's daughter Elizabeth; in the absence of reliable information about the status of the two Princesses in the Tower in England, he was crowned in 1951. It was a highly unusual procedure, given the strict rules of succession, but it brought a much-needed measure of stability to the Indian subcontinent. The character of the Free Commonwealth government changed considerably over the next fifteen years, with the majority of British veterans in Mountbatten's ranks being fully replaced by Indians, including most of the officers. Only at the highest level of government were Britons predominant, and this, perhaps, was why Mountbatten failed to deliver on the 1940s promise of a war of vengeance against Germany. To do so would have exposed critical weaknesses in the Free Commonwealth's structure.


    Figure 162: HRH Louis I, King (in Pretence) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain


    This became especially important after the revelation in 1952 that Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, children of the onetime George VI, were still alive, and that Elizabeth had been proclaimed Edward's eventual heir. Only by careful management of their own people could the Free Commonwealth government maintain their hold, unlike the robust government of the Reich and even of England in comparison. American subsidies to the Attlee government could only go so far in offsetting the tremendous costs of maintaining a semblance of the British Raj.

    These costs, and the costs of supporting a worldwide network of allies who were not themselves self-sufficient, helped to explain why America had fallen so far behind the Reich. So much more effort was put into maintenance than into advancement that it became simply inevitable that the Reich, with its incredible agricultural, material, industrial, and human resources thanks to the colonization of European Russia, easily maintained its technical preeminence. The result was that as the world divided into two great alliances, the American bloc found itself at an extreme disadvantage.


    Figure 163: The Me 425 "Geier" was a combination high-altitude interceptor and long-range reconnaissance fighter developed in the mid-1960s.


    Against this, the Reichsführer conferred with Reichsmarschall Hausser on the steps required to eliminate the American alliance and establish a rational worldwide order, similar to the rational order imposed upon Europe in the 1940s. China and Japan were, for the moment, left out of these considerations as miserable backwaters with no particular interest to either great power. The basic plan of operations was Case Cincinnatus, the planned invasion of the American eastern seaboard. Cincinnatus was based on information gathered by satellite and by surveillance aircraft, especially the high-speed "Geier" flights begun in the last days of the Führer's life. The "Geier" was unique among spy vehicles: no effort was made to make it invisible or stealthy in any way; it merely flew far too high and far too fast for the Americans to respond. Unlike the Reichsführer's negotiations over Bermuda and Jamaica, the "Geier" was a direct and unequivocal threat to the United States.

    Information gathered from these flights showed the United States military to be in a continuous ferment; even after the Heydrich-Hausser reforms, the United States Army numbered less than half the size of its German counterpart. The Americans continued to use outdated M48 "Patton" tanks, named after the American general who had succeeded in landing in Normandy and engaging Ramcke's parachutists during the war. Patton had died in 1948, the American equivalent of a field marshal and the closest thing they had to Guderian or Manstein. In comparison, the General Staff was already looking at the possibility of replacing the first-generation Leopards in German service. This extreme material superiority made some of the more ambitious aspects of Case Cincinnatus seem reasonable.

    Case Cincinnatus was, ironically, based partially on the original British settlement of the American colonies, with a focus on securing the waterway of Chesapeake Bay. Secondary landings in New England and in New York would solidify German control on the most important portions of the United States and a number of vital harbors. Little thought was given to the problem of defeating the United States Navy in battle; the Kriegsmarine was instead tasked with the problem of keeping the invasion areas clear of naval interference. The idea was that the mere presence of the invasion fleets would dictate that the Americans would be forced to engage, and when they did, the extreme long engagement range and sophisticated technology advantage of the Kriegsmarine would make dealing with the United States at sea an easy task.

    However, the reality was that a war with the United States would be fought on a minimum of three fronts. In addition to the United States itself, there were the regions of India and South America. In India, even the perpetual instability of the Mountbatten monarchy would not prevent the Free Commonwealth government from declaring war on Germany and attempting a march on Berlin and London beyond. As such, Hausser believed that a strong presence in Pakistan and Indochina would allow the enclosure of King Louis in a vise from east and west. It would be a difficult war so long as the Attlee-Mountbatten clique were able to pull together then manpower of the Indian subcontinent, but this was a function of supply and the rapidity with which German arms could act. Hausser was generally dismissive of the difficulty of the Indian war in comparison with the American landings.

    South America would prove a much more difficult question. Thanks to the rationalization of the continent through the 1950s, the Argentine frontier was considerably longer than it had been in 1950, and the terrain involved was much more difficult. Skorzeny, the acknowledged expert on South American affairs, suggested a threefold approach. First, expand German aid on the continent to the nominal German ally of Uruguay, which had benefited not at all from the rationalization program, and offer a Uruguayan sphere of influence. Second, upon the decision to exercise Cincinnatus, deploy large-scale special warfare forces to Argentina to keep the American-allied countries off-balance and on the defensive. Third, expand the Reich's air cavalry forces. There were a number of "Luftritter" who had, in the parlance of the service, earned their spurs in Russia, both from the Vertragswaffe and from the regular army. Helicopters were ideal for this kind of environment, especially given the out-of-date weapons against which they fought.

    Heydrich extended these talks to include Dr. von Braun, of the Wirtschafts-und-Forschungsministerium, regarding the need for deployment of uranium weapons. Von Braun was generally dismissive. The Luftwaffe's rocket corps could certainly use the funding, he said, but the Americans' own Chicago Pile was so far from being functional that it might as well be a museum piece, after twenty years. It was unlikely, in von Braun's opinion, that it would come to atomic weapons, and besides, he preferred to save those in reserve for a Project Orion upon which he was working.

    At the end of October, 1964, therefore, Heydrich signed the final version of the plan, and awaited the outcome of the American presidential elections. When, in November, returns overwhelmingly favored a return of President Kennedy to office, he ordered the slow ramp-up of preparations for Cincinnatus.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

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