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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Kurt_Steiner

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Same here, Hyphenated. Willing to help, if nedeed.
 
Last edited:

dublish

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Kurt_Steiner said:
Same here, Haardrade. Willing to help, if nedeed.
I'm shocked that you would confuse the two. TheHyphenated1 would never let Spain or Bulgaria defeat him. :D
 

Kurt_Steiner

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dublish said:
I'm shocked that you would confuse the two. TheHyphenated1 would never let Spain or Bulgaria defeat him. :D

Reasons for the mistake:

a) It was quite late, and I was quite tired.
b) My dear pet, Petiniebla, had knocked me out with one of its farts.
c) The blame is on TheHyphenated1, as Hyphenated begins with H, as Hardraade

Blame it on the boogie... :D
 

TheHyphenated1

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dublish (1) - Got it! Thanks for the offer though!

trekaddict - Thank you. Though I found what I needed, your "Germanness" may make you an excellent help in the future!

Kurt_Steiner (1) - Thank you as well, sir!

dublish (2) - :rofl: . Poor Hardraade -- you sure won't let him forget that.

Kurt_Steiner (2) - Quite understandable, Kurt!

After a few judicious telephone calls to Germany (which I hope aren't ridiculously expensive), I found what I needed. I had briefly considered trying to ask the questions in my profoundly deficient German, but wound up merely asking "Ich... Ich... Can I speak to someone in English?" The reply was "Sure, what can I do for you?" :)

Thanks to everyone for their patience! Update going up now.
 
Last edited:

TheHyphenated1

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Chapter II: Part XXVI

Chapter II: The Gambit of the West

Chapter XXVI


May 11, 1936

In a suite in Berlin’s Adlon Hotel, Fr. Martin Kappel poured himself a glass of brandy as he gazed out the window onto the Unter den Linden -- the grand linden tree-lined boulevard which ran from the Brandenburg Gate to the former Imperial City Palace. In front of the Hotel Adlon, it intersected the Wilhelmstrasse, which ran in front of the Adlon and the now-closed British Embassy next to it.

There were few people visible on the street. Spirits in the capital had been dampened by the sudden news the day before of the Soviet Union’s entry into the war against Germany. Though land forces were not in a position to invade German territory, the Red Air Force had reportedly begun bombing targets in East Prussia just hours after war had been declared.

Soviet Premier Josef Stalin had issued an unusually well-detailed proclamation stating his case for war. The primary basis, it said, lay in Articles 1 and 2 of the year-old Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance. Though the proclamation offered no explanation for Soviet inaction during the war’s first month, it reaffirmed its support for France -- and by extension, Great Britain -- in its efforts to resist German aggression.

The Soviet proclamation was quickly followed by renewed assurances from Stanley Baldwin’s government in Britain that a British Expeditionary Force would be on the Continent by summer. The Allies clearly did not see the fall of Paris as the end of the war.

Kappel hoped that the deepening of hostilities would solidify sentiments against Hitler, and perhaps dilute the resources that could be devoted to crushing the Resistance.

The pressure had been particularly intense in the days just before the outbreak of the war. An entire squad of SS men had questioned the aged Father Heinrich severely. Though he had not -- he had later told Kappel -- revealed anything to them, they had painted their feared Sig-runes crudely onto the floor of the nave as a warning to any member of the Resistance who might be sheltered there. Kappel had been left with no choice but to leave St. Matthias -- the danger his presence posed to the innocent old priest was inexcusable.

And so he made his way slowly and quietly southward and arrived at Baron von Yorck’s estate on the twentieth of April. By the time he arrived, he had reached his decision: they would go forward with the bombing at the Olympics if he could satisfy himself that von Yorck had told him the truth outside the Olympiastadion.

The erratic baron had stood fiercely by his claim to have already had the bomb planted. Kappel had attempted several times to trick the aristocrat into divulging that he had been somehow compromised, but his story had held up. At length, von Yorck had offered to show Kappel the bomb in person.

The next day, they had traveled by train to Berlin, where von Yorck had again bribed their way into the construction site. They had hidden in the shadows under the stadium’s seating until nightfall, whereupon the baron had crawled with Kappel to the under-works of the Führer’s platform. Nothing but wooden siding had been visible, and for a wild instant, Kappel had thought it all a trap. von Yorck, though, had scurried forward and worried loose a narrow panel. He lifted it and shined his flashlight within.

Kappel had only seen a shiny black surface behind the panel.

“Of course,” von Yorck had said, working the black material free to reveal a cluster of tall cylindrical objects. “The bomb is ready, Father.”

He had been telling the truth after all.

Kappel swallowed. “Will the PETN last until August?”

“They told me it lasts five months if kept dry -- which these tarpaulins will ensure.”

“How will it be detonated?”

“There is a seven day timer that can be set to explode precisely when Hitler will be opening the Games. The timing is so rigidly set that he will not have any opportunity to duck out or change his schedule as he usually does. It is failproof.”

Returning to von Yorck’s Metzenleiten chalet, they had spent dozens of hours analyzing possible flaws in the plan, only to come to the same conclusion -- failproof. Daring and Providence would still be required, of course, but Kappel knew that they possessed these in abundance.

Flushed with near-certain success, Kappel and von Yorck began for the first time to consider what they would do after Hitler had been killed. They agreed, as they had before Operation Brutus, that Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and his Schutzstaffel would probably attempt to seize power. They also agreed that the only entity in Germany strong enough to oppose them was the Wehrmacht.

With the nation now at war, though, the Armed Forces were in no position to stage either a putsch or a counter-putsch. Further, any senior officers would be sure to avoid contact with the plotters after seeing the two most senior men in the military sacked for even being rumored to have corresponded with traitors.

With the military engaged in the west and possibly soon in the east as well, the only hope for deliverance would have to come from the Allies.

To that end, he had written an old friend now highly-placed with the Foreign Office in the hope of enlisting his aid in making peace overtures after the assassination was carried out. Though the man knew nothing of the Reinickendorf Circle, Kappel felt it safe to speak in confidence to him in very general terms.

Ulrich von Hassell, ambassador to Fascist Italy and son-in-law of Grand Admiral von Tirpitz, had immediately impressed Kappel with his sharp mind and upright character. They had met when both men were students at the University of Tübingen, and they had corresponded more or less regularly in the decades since.

Kappel had been surprised to receive a reply by telephone at his room in the Hotel Adlon. von Hassell was unexpectedly returning to Berlin, and would be happy to see him in person.

It was now afternoon, and they had already spent several hours in the hotel room reminiscing pleasantly about earlier times. Kappel wanted to bring up his true business only gradually.

portraet2-ulrich-von-hassell.jpg

Ulrich von Hassell, German Ambassador to Italy.


Kappel held the brandy up in the light from the window and peered into it. “Surely you remember, Ulrich, the games of speculation we used to play in the Student Corps?”

von Hassell sat up in the overstuffed chair across from Kappel. “Yes. What did you have in mind?”

“If,” Kappel said, taking a sip of the warming brandy to steady his nerves. “If the assassins who tried to shoot and bomb Hitler’s car on New Years --”

“The Reinickendorf Circle?”

The priest winced. “Yes, them. If they had succeeded in killing him, who do you think would have come to power?”

von Hassell thought for some time. “I imagine that Himmler would have made a grab for power. Rudolf Hess would not be in a position to take and hold the office, and von Papen’s time has passed. The Kaiser, too, would no longer be in a position to restore the monarchy, I believe. Given these things, Himmler and the SS would likely have been successful.”

“Yes. That is what I would conjecture myself.”

“What of it?”

Kappel looked appraisingly at von Hassell. He had to expose himself at least in some small measure in order to determine whether the ambassador’s membership in the Nazi Party had worn away his Christian and conservative sentiments. “You would agree that such a thing would be a sore blow to Germany’s position in the world, yes?”

von Hassell looked surprised by the question. “Well, yes -- I suppose it would cause a certain harm.”

Good. “Surely you would also agree that the Wehrmacht would be a more trustworthy institution to safeguard the German Nation in such an event?”

“Would I rather see the Wehrmacht assume power than the SS battalions seize it?”

“Yes.”

“I must say that I would.”

“I must confess myself troubled, my friend. I hear repeated murmurs of an SS plot to assassinate Hitler. With the Wehrmacht fighting desperately in the west, it could hardly prevent Himmler from declaring himself tyrant.”

“I see.”

“The only thing that could prevent such collapse would be a condition to free the Wehrmacht to defend Germany and avert a repeat of the disasters of 1918.” Kappel looked intently at the uncomprehending ambassador. “A settlement, Ulrich. What Germany would need is a ready plan to negotiate peace with the Allies, even at less-than-favorable terms, to prevent a total collapse brought on by the roughnecks.”

“You would have me be the agent of such negotiation?”

“Ulrich, you are the only man who I know can think clearly in Germany’s interest in this matter. If, ah, Himmler succeeds, there will only be days -- hours perhaps -- to secure a peace and put down the inevitable putsch.”

The ambassador’s long face drew itself into a deep frown. “I shall give the matter my consideration. I should have you know, however, that the war may soon be too wide to put aside with a genial handshake and white peace.”

“How so?”

“Speaking in confidence, Martin, I believe that Italy may soon stand by Germany in the war.”

“You believe? You are the ambassador!”

“And do not forget who is Führer. There have been frequent and secret talks on the subject for nearly a month now, but I am not trusted to conclude a final alliance. Thus, von Neurath and Hitler took over the negotiation three days ago and flew me back to Germany to get me out of the way… Which is why I believe an alliance is imminently forthcoming.”

Kappel absorbed this silently for some time. “That is intriguing indeed. Do you expect to return to Rome?”

“Probably. But I am sure to appreciate the time spent in Germany. I have not been back since the Olympics.”

It took a moment for Kappel to realize what he was referring to. The IV Olympic Winter Games had been played at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria in February, though the recent conflict in Belgium had almost entirely overshadowed its activities. The Belgian athletes had, obviously, been absent -- as were those of the Netherlands and Liechtenstein. The planned pomp of the Games had been considerably muted, and the Scandinavians had dominated the events convincingly, causing the German government to downplay the Games even further.

“Which reminds me -- as a gift of gratitude for staying out of the way in Rome, I’ve been given tickets to the August Olympics in Hitler’s personal box.”

“What?” Kappel gasped, rather more loudly than he intended.

“Every day of the Games. Ilse is greatly excited. She -- ah, it is nearly time for me to return to her. Shall we go down for something to eat before my car arrives?”

Kappel nodded weakly. Surely he could find some pretext for von Hassell to miss the opening ceremonies. Or even be slightly late to them. It could be done. Surely. He tried to focus on maintaining an unconcerned appearance.

They soon took seats in the Adlon’s nearly-empty dining room. At the table was a Swiss newspaper. Kappel tore off the twine and gaped at the front page.

Lausanne, May 11 -- The 1936 Olympic Games, scheduled to be held in Berlin, Germany have been suspended indefinitely due to the hostilities in Europe, it was announced today by Count Henri Baillet-Latour, president of the International Olympic Committee.

“It is the opinion of the International Olympic Committee that events of recent months, culminating in the outbreak of a war, have created a climate inimical to the proper celebration of the impending Olympiad. Because the host city is also the capital of one of the belligerents, it would now be impossible for the Games to take place in the spirit of friendship, sportsmanship and peace upon which they were refounded. Berlin’s Olympic Organizing Committee has been advised to suspend preparations for the August games until the IOC votes to decide whether to cancel the games entirely.”

The national Olympic committees of Great Britain, France, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, India, Malta, New Zealand and South Africa, all belligerents with Germany, have already expressed their decision to withdraw their teams from the Games. Following the entrance of the Soviet Union into the war yesterday, the committees of Afghanistan, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Iceland, Egypt, Liechtenstein, Monaco, the Netherlands and Peru voted not to send their athletes to Berlin. With the dissolution of the Belgian team following that country’s invasion by Germany, this reduces the number of participating nations from 49 to 29. Count Baillet-Latour added that the
New York Times’ recent pronouncement that the conflict has now become a Second World War has prompted at least a dozen of the remaining national Olympic committees to schedule votes on withdrawal from the Berlin Games. The IOC would not yet speculate on whether the Olympics could be hosted in a neutral city.

Without a thought of restraint, Kappel cursed bitterly. He knew they might not get another chance.

“A genuine shame, too!” von Hassell said. “The athletes have been preparing for so long…”

“Yes,” the priest added numbly. “Such a shame for the athletes.”
 
Last edited:

UncleAlias

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TheHyphenated1 said:
The Belgian athletes had, obviously, been absent -- as were those of the Netherlands and Liechtenstein.

I suppose you meant "Luxembourg."

And, by the way, very nice AAR. I like the idea of retconning historical accuracy to a very ahistorical situation.
 

TheHyphenated1

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UncleAlias - Thank you most kindly for taking the time to stop by and comment! I'm glad you like it so far :) . Actually, the team from Liechtenstein is what I intended to refer to. Luxembourg's team has not yet been officially dissolved, but is also very, very unlikely to participate. I do concede, though, that the lack of mention of Luxembourg could well lead to that confusion.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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So you have also the USSR against you... The bet at stake runs higher with each update...
 

Woody Man

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Gads, the Soviet Union! I had really hoped that Paris would bring an end to the war, it's already gone on longer than is comfortable!
 

dublish

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I imagine you'll win in France sometime over the next couple of months, leaving a disinterested Britain and a distant USSR as your primary enemies. I wonder if a German victory in the West sufficiently scare Poland into allying with the Soviets, allowing the Red Army to fight you...

Shame about those Olympics. Hitler should win the war so he can get assassinated properly. ;)
 

Ironhewer

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Ah delicious human drama. With the war closing in on all sides, the plot to kill Hitler runs up against international indignation at Germany, through the cancellation of the Olympics. It sounds pitiful, doesn't it? Well, at least Fr. Kappel doesn't have to make that decision . . .

Excellent update.
 

TheExecuter

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That declaration from the east certainly was a bolt from the blue! Especially the way you just casually slipped it in...

Also, I must say I wasn't surprised that the Olympics were cancelled...and that I'm disappointed the conspiritors didn't think it might happen. So...if at second you don't succeed...try try again?

TheExecuter
 

unmerged(61356)

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dublish said:
I'm shocked that you would confuse the two. TheHyphenated1 would never let Spain or Bulgaria defeat him. :D

Aaahhh! I see that you find time to abuse me even in the threads of others! :)


Great updates, TheHyphenated1. Paris has fallen, but the far continues with the Soviets joining the fray and perhaps the Italians as well. If they do join you, I hope that you find them better allies than I am. I also wonder what new plan Kappel and Co. will dream up now that their Olympic attack seems thwarted. Can't wait for the next update.
 

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Hardraade said:
Aaahhh! I see that you find time to abuse me even in the threads of others! :)


Great updates, TheHyphenated1. Paris has fallen, but the far continues with the Soviets joining the fray and perhaps the Italians as well. If they do join you, I hope that you find them better allies than I am. I also wonder what new plan Kappel and Co. will dream up now that their Olympic attack seems thwarted. Can't wait for the next update.
I'm sure the Italians here hope to find Germany a better ally than in your game. :D
 

unmerged(46967)

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Meh, the Soviet DOW is really pointless at this stage, all they can do is use their pitiful Navy in Leningrad to bombard in the Baltic and even then I'm sure the 1936 Kriegsmarine can overtop them. As far as the British are concerned, the most damage they can do is use their Whitley Bombers to bomb the Ruhr; I expect they can only send a 3-division corps for use as a BEF.

If the Italians do enter the war, will you try to conduct a join-up operation that would physically cut-off Blanc's supply line in Baden-Wuttermberg or just let the Italians go nuts in the South?
 

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Slaughts said:
Meh, the Soviet DOW is really pointless at this stage, all they can do is use their pitiful Navy in Leningrad to bombard in the Baltic and even then I'm sure the 1936 Kriegsmarine can overtop them.

Not neccesarily. Judging from my own experience the Soviets have a tendency to DoW Poland if the go to war with Germany early.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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TheExecuter said:
Also, I must say I wasn't surprised that the Olympics were cancelled...and that I'm disappointed the conspiritors didn't think it might happen. So...if at second you don't succeed...try try again?

Those were my thoughts, too. With the war in such a state, I don't think they will face another chance for a long time, I'm afraid.
 

dublish

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trekaddict said:
Not neccesarily. Judging from my own experience the Soviets have a tendency to DoW Poland if the go to war with Germany early.
:eek: That simultaneously answers my earlier question and brings up a host of new opportunities for the Reich...
 

KLorberau

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Nice update...

Things sure look bleak for the Germans...unless they can get the French to surrender or negotiate a quick peace...certainly possible with Paris occupied by the Wehrmacht.

All of this talk about Himmler seizing power if Hitler is killed kind of reminds me of that Star Trek show where Kirk is in the alternate universe, and his whole crew is always trying to assasinate him...except for Spock (or unSpock) who wants no part of it. I think the HImmler would have to fight with Goering and the Army boys tho...the SS is simply too small to seize power and keep it unless the Wehrmacht are on his side.


KLorberau
 

trekaddict

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KLorberau said:
Nice update...

Things sure look bleak for the Germans...unless they can get the French to surrender or negotiate a quick peace...certainly possible with Paris occupied by the Wehrmacht.

All of this talk about Himmler seizing power if Hitler is killed kind of reminds me of that Star Trek show where Kirk is in the alternate universe, and his whole crew is always trying to assasinate him...except for Spock (or unSpock) who wants no part of it. I think the HImmler would have to fight with Goering and the Army boys tho...the SS is simply too small to seize power and keep it unless the Wehrmacht are on his side.


KLorberau

Considering that more than 90% of the Wehrmacht are busy fighting the French it is unlikely that the Generals can do much if Himmler moves swiftly enough. *shudders*

TBH I'd perfer a dictatorship headed by the Wehrmacht, you know conduct of war and all that.