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  #41  
Old September 30th, 2011, 10:14 PM
Eurofed Eurofed is offline
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I just had a feeling that an easy victory in Poland could have started pushing Halder toward Halder of 1941, when he was drafting global domination strategy. Also I guess soldiers mindset is a bit different once war has been declared.
Actually, historical evidence is strongly against this. Despite the easy victory in Poland, Halder remained quite distrustful that an easy victory, or acually any true victory at all, could be achieved in the West. He feared and expected a WWI-like stalemate. Hitler's death in all evidence would do nothing to change this opinion.

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As for Mussolini, I always thought he wasn't quite fond of Hitler, at least not until he got himself into the mess he couldn't get out. Admitedly, I may have overstated his reaction a bit.
Mussolini's feelings of Hitler were... complex. He swung between peer and ideological camaraderie and an inferiority complex in different moments. But even when feeling the coldest toward Hitler, he would not call him a fool (a fool for what, actually ? Assassination attempts are a well-known job risk for political leaders, Mussolini himself suffered a few before 1939), or look like he's pleased by his death. Actually, the death of his dictator pal would likely abate his inferiority complex, and make him swing to the other side.

Last edited by Eurofed; September 30th, 2011 at 10:25 PM..
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  #42  
Old October 1st, 2011, 12:31 AM
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1300 Conference room in Reichskanzlei, Wilhelmstrasse 77, Berlin

Men seated in their chairs placed around the table could, even through the closed doors, hear sharp military steps pounding the granite floors. Double door opened and two soldiers in black uniforms with double lightning insignia stepped in. Although armed only with holstered pistols, they left no doubt to all present that they could kill anybody in the room should they attempt anything threatening. A second later, Goering stepped in the office. This was his first conference with senior leaders of the Reich in capacity of national leader. Inspite of his momentary desire to assume full title of the Fuehrer, he decided, after careful consideration, not to. If everything went as he planned, he could do it later. First he had to establish sufficient authority and prestige. Besides such fast grabbing of the coveted title would cause all sorts of speculation. Until all conspirators were arrested and responsible persons identified, he would not toy with the powerful forces held at bay only by the iron will and magical charisma of the (late) Fuehrer. He was sure that these forces were slowly awakening from their imposed slumber. All these thoughts crossed Goerings mind as he walked to the head of the table. As he approached his chair, escorting SS-Liebstandarte pretorian pulled it to allow him to sit. Another one placed neat folder on the desk, in front of Goering. Goering nodded at both of them, and they took their positions aside from the desk. Goering came to admire methodical efficiency of the Liebstandarte and their carefully trained coreography of protective detail.

"As you all know" he spoke to the gathered men "the Fuehrer has been killed last night." As he uttered these words, Goering tried to read the faces of men sitting in front of him. He couldn't detect any guilt on the face of the more obvious suspects, such as senior generals or heads of the security services, which took positions closest to the head of the table. All he could see there was deep wondering (presumably about the same thing), as they all tried to detect the same on each others faces. 'Curious', he thought, 'I am sure perpetrator must be in this room.' He continued aloud "Only this morning we received many condolences on behalf of leaders and people of all countries, but those we are at war with. These were quick to send us their assurances that they will maintain current "friendship" with us, we all came to appreciate. Joachim" he looked towards foreign minister, barely able to conceal his contempt "if you please, provide us with details!".

Von Ribbentrop raised his eyes from the folder open in front of him and said "Well, as we expected, Anglo-French coalition is continuing their encirclement policy. My personal belief and of most of my staff is that English are pushing the French further into this war. English sent their proclamation almost at the same time that it was broadcasted on their state radio. French were a bit more subtle and delivered it through Belgium, using mediation of Belgian Foreign affairs. Both proclamation are roughly identical in content and both refer to Ultimatum we receveid on 3rd of September." All present started excited whispering and head waving, expressing their surprise. "Well this is about what one might expect on such a short notice" said Goering. "I believe they expect us to collapse without..." he stopped, unsure how to refer to Hitler. It seemed so undignified to call him the late Fuehrer, and anything else was just grotesque. "Herr Halder from the Oberkommando des Heeres will present our dispositions." Halder stood up, and started walking toward large map of Europe hanging on the wall. He felt eyes of SS troopers on him and he could swear that nearest one has almost unnoticably relaxed his right hand and moved it closer to the gun hanging on the side. "Herr Praesident, meine Herren, You can see on this map current dispositions of our forces, and of enemy formations identified so far. Here, here and here" he said pointing on areas of Germany on the French border "are our army groups A, B and C. Army group A is by far our strongest formation on the West. Currently it consists of 12th and 16th Army and Panzer gruppe Kleist, while 4th army in transit from Poland is also going to be part of this Army group. Panzer gruppe is novel formation, modeled after formidable success Panzer arm of Wehrmacht achieved in Poland. Army grup B consists of 6th Army, formation created in October and currently being trained and 1st Army, already deployed. Army group C is deployed along the French border, covering their forces on Maginot line. This formation consists of 7th and 18th Army. We plan to fully deploy all formations by march 1940. At full strength, we will have 10 panzer divisions and 100 infantry division formations or their equivalents. So far, action on the front has been light. French tried limited offensive toward our Sigfried line, on narrow front. Why they stopped is not known. Our losses during this offensive were light. However, intelligence we received so far, as well as B-dienst have identified over 100 divisional formations active on the french side of the front. Reports from before the war indicated that French army has around 3500 armoured vehicles. Although, admitedly, most troops are deployed in the area of Maginot line our reconaissance flights over Northern France have detected large formations deployed in offensive posture near the border with Belgium." Halder stopped and started towards his seat, whem Goering asked "Herr Halder, can you elaborate our existing plans?" This question caused Halder to freeze. How could he say that German Generalstaff has been unable to device plan that would differ from the one that lost the war quarter of a century ago? What is worse, Goering knew their plans and was involved in most aspects of operational planning. Was he trying to discredit him personally? Or entire army? He decided to stall "Herr Praesident, the plans are still in the initial stages. We were supposed to present the draft of a plan in two weeks from now. That was before events of previous night."

"Herr Halder, please, give us your professional estimate of our options and chances. These people here must have full available information if any rational decision can be made!"

Reluctantly, Halder continued "To be frank, operational possibilities on Western front are limited. We have three basic routes for assault. First, and most obvious one is common border. This option is unfavorable for attack. Rhein river is too wide to be forded easily, especially in spring. On the other side of the river we will be met with Maginot line with its formidable array of fortresses and fortified positions. It would take appaling casualties to even approach this line, and breeching it is near impossible. Second and third option is taking route through flanks of the front, where we share border with small, neutral countries. On the left flank of the front we have Switzerland. We currently do not have plans ready for attack on Switzerland. Level of difficulties involving invasion of this country can only be guessed at without detailed study. My personal feeling is that this operation is perhaps even more difficult than outright attack over common border with France. Our only other option is an attack through Belgium. This operation is easy, Belgium is military highway to France since Ceasar. However, it is also the most obvious route. As I explained earlier, French have deployed strong formations on their north. According to plans leaked to our spies, these forces are ready to start marching into Belgium at moment notice. We are not sure whether they would advance all the way or take positions on easily defensible river banks. Either way, it would mean meeting engagement. Tactical fluidity of such operations is notorious and little control is possible to senior commanders on either side. My colleagues believe that Wehrmacht would have advantage in this form of battle. I myself am reluctant to waive off inherent risk of total loss of control and consequent loss of battle." Halder finished, glad that he wasn't interrupted, wondering if he perhaps was too frank.

"Thank you herr Generalloberst. You may take your seat now." Goering said, in obvious dismisall. Inwardly, he was glad that Halder gave such a briefing. Of course, he knew most of this, but others had to hear it from the mouth of professional soldier to truly appreciate the gravity of situation they were in. "Any comments on this?"

Most present had been stunned. Disparity between the forces of Germany and her enemies at the moment were discouraging. Other senior military officers present included Brauchitsch, Jodl and Kaitel, as well as admiral Roeder and Generalmajor Jeschonnek, Chief of Lutftwaffe General Staff. Jodl and Keitel, while aware of forces arrayed against their country, relied on Hitlers genious to overcome adversity as he had many times before. Their hope was extinguished and now they wondered whether their positions were safe. They didn't have anything to add to Halders expose. Other officers viewed land warfare as distant affair, outside their area of competence, while von Brauchitsch, who discussed all this with Halder earlier, decided to keep quiet unless asked directly. Civilian ministers Fritz Todt and Julius Dorpmueller listened intently, taking notes, had nothing useful to add to discussion. Other minor officials and aides were surprised, but showed nothing on their faces.

It was Admiral Canaris who spoke next "Herr praesident, if I may?" "You have my permission herr Admiral." Goering wasn't sure what to think about this enigmatic person. He knew Hitler was not fond of this former submarine officer. He also knew that Abwehr, which Canaris commanded was quickly becoming superflous organization, that Heydrich strived to include in his growing security empire. This man may still prove useful, he thought. At that moment, Canaris started speaking "Meine herren, my service has indication that western Allies are prepared to pursue this war. Our Foreing armies (West) department has confirmed the numbers herr Halder quoted earlier. We have sources claiming that further divisional formations are on the way from Englands colonies (or dominions as they call it) and that, instead of full offensive, Western powers intend to blockade Germany, cutting us off the world markets."

Goering smiled. This meeting was turning out even better than he hoped. He still had to take care of one more thing on the agenda "Thank you herr Admiral. Well, time has come for even more unpleasant business. Herr Himmler, please continue."

Small man in black uniform stood up. Most people present in the room were afraid of him. Pure evil radiated from him wherever he appeared. He spoke without adressing anyone or without introduction of any kind "Reichssicherheitshauptamt has started investigation into assassination of der Fuehrer almost instantly. Munich was isolated during the night, and nobody but personnel of RSHA was able to enter or leave city. I am happy to report that the man directly responsible for the bomb that killed der Fuehrer was arrested by Munich Gestapo office. Despite interogations both there and in our SS HQ in Berlin, he has not yet uncovered his accessories nor his employers. However, as he is interogated for only 10 hours so far, we didn't expect to uncover anything of value yet. We at SS are certain that he didn't act in isolation, since person in question as you can see from his file, is virtual nobody. Once we uncover his co-conspirators," at this he looked around the table ominously which caused shudders in everyone "we will deal them some good, old fashioned SS justice!"

"Since we appear to have gone over everything on agenda, I propose a break for fifteen minutes." said Goering as he rose up from his chair.

Last edited by Shaby; October 1st, 2011 at 07:15 AM..
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  #43  
Old October 1st, 2011, 07:41 AM
abc123 abc123 is offline
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1300
Bravo Sarajlijo, samo nastavi....
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  #44  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 11:44 AM
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As Goering got up, Walther Funk, currently Reich minister of Economics approached him. He approached Goering and two SS men tensed, but once Goering smiled, they relaxed a bit. "Herr Praesident," started Funk "wars are not won on the battlefields alone. Herr Praesident, you must allow me to present our current economic situation. You know how critical it currently is." Goering answered "Of course I know. I don't think it is possible to present it now, however. Can you prepare all the figures for meeting in my office?" Of course I can." answered Funk. "Herr Funk, you will contact Generalmajor Georg Thomas of the OKW and herr Todt. You will work with them and come up with needs of the Army for the immediate future and next two years. I will invite heads of the major industrial geselschatfs. We will once again try to find the solution for our economic situation. See if we need anyone else for this meeting. Will two days be enough to collate all the figures?" "Of course herr Praesident. It will be ready!" answered Funk without hesitation.

He wondered however will the figures be acceptable. When he presented those figures to the Fuehrer it caused him to embark on one of his infamous outbursts of rage. He was not pleased with "suggestion" to contact Fritz Todt. The head of "Organisation Todt" (so selfserving) was up and coming star in politics of Reich. His organisation, along with Office of the Four Year plan was seriously encroaching responsibilities of his ministry. Although he was not happy with it, he also had the office of the President of the Reichsbank, which put him in almost complete control of financial life of the Reich. His worries at the moment stemmed from the fact that economy of the Reich since beginning of the war has been failing. Raw materials necessarry for the smooth functioning of the war production have been gatting increasingly harder to obtain. Shortages of rubber, oil and certain strategic metals mostly copper and iron ore hampered production of almost all military equpment. How to solve this was not apparent, as imports in Germany have fallen for 80% since the beginning of the war. Improvisation could get things only so far and after certain point entire industry faced meltdown. He hoped that Goering could come to some solution or else the war was lost. Another suggestion, to contact General Thomas was more welcomed by Funk. He hoped he could manage to ameliorate some of the unreasonable demands that were coming from the OKW.

Fifteen minute recess was already ending, and everyone was going back to their places around the table. It looked like the meeting will not end very soon.

Last edited by Shaby; October 3rd, 2011 at 12:28 PM..
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  #45  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 12:54 PM
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November 09th, 1430 Heidelberg, Steiers house

Josef Steier sat in his living room, listening to the radio. He was as shocked with events that happened during the night as the next man. His wife Anna was out shopping groceries which were increasingly hard to find. He wondered whether she could come back with any meat. He also wondered how will they feed their children when they come back from school. Hans was 15 and attended Realschule, but he was also member of Hitler Jugend. Before the war started this seemed like innocent child play, but Josef was really worried once war started that this would turn into something else. Now that der Fuehrer died, he was shocked and confused. For past six years Hitler and Nazism where major points of whispered discussion between him and his fellow workers at small insurance office at Heidelberg. It was dangerous to talk too loud or against the regime since 1933. However, they all agreed that life was getting better under the Nazis. Their firm was taken from herr Goldstein, of course, but they were better off since than. He had to admit that Nazis made life of ordinary Germans better. But then, the war broke out. He hoped it would finish quickly and that his son would not be old enough to go to the army before it ended.

Last edited by Shaby; October 2nd, 2011 at 01:11 PM..
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  #46  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 05:16 PM
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I wonder who will become next Reichkanzler? As some sort of CEO for economy and internal administration?

Or will Goering continue to be Chanccelor and President in the same time?
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  #47  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 08:18 PM
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Subscribed - now you made me read Eurofeds timeline too
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  #48  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 09:35 PM
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Well Hitler did combine the two offices when he became Fuehrer so it make sense for Goering to follow that precedent.
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  #49  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 09:46 PM
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Beloved Fuehrer, saviour of our Vaterland, was killed by the hand of terrorists, while adressing his most faithful followers in Munich.
?Would they use the Term "Terrorist" in 1939? or ?Did they still call them Anarchists?
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They would support any compromise peace with the Entente that leaves Germany with its irredentistic claims (Austria, Sudetenland, Danzig, West Prussia, Upper Silesia, if at all possible Posen too), even if the price is to restore an independent Czechia and Poland, as long as the Soviets are not left free to gobble them.
Problem with Germany getting the pre WW1 Borders, is Russia setting on half of Poland.
This leaves any restored Poland as the 1807 Congress part, which would be unaceptable to the Government in Exile, in London.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 10:27 PM
Eurofed Eurofed is offline
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?Would they use the Term "Terrorist" in 1939? or ?Did they still call them Anarchists?
The term was around since the late 19th century Russian terrorists, which made it popular.

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Problem with Germany getting the pre WW1 Borders, is Russia setting on half of Poland.
This leaves any restored Poland as the 1807 Congress part, which would be unaceptable to the Government in Exile, in London.
It's the realistic maximum that Poland can claim, given the circumstances, and even letting them have Posen is a quite generous offer, the expected default after losing a war with Germany would be the 1914 border. The 1807 border still includes the bulk of the Polish nation. Sorry for the Kresy, but it can't be helped. Poland still needs to pay a price for losing the war and the megalomanic foreign policy that made the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact possible. If the GoE sounds especially unreasonable, Germany can bluff and say they can always pull out to the 1914 border and let Stalin occupy the rest, and ask them whether they prefer an independent core Poland, or none at all. The Entente gave its word to fight to restore Polish independence, not the 1939 border.
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  #51  
Old October 3rd, 2011, 10:06 AM
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1500, Reichkanzlei, Wilhelmstrasse 77

"I call this meeting to order. Meine herren, I hope you had your refreshments, as we will now continue our meeting." started Goering, interrupting lively chat going on around the table. "After having heard the elaborations of foreign minister herr Ribbentrop, our chief of staff herr Halder and herr Canaris and having in meantime consulted with our Economics minister, her Funk I have concluded that our Reich is in extremely exposed position. As you know, in my capacity of Praesident and Kanzelar, I can take all the decisions. This grave situation, that threatens very survival of our Revolution and ideal has impelled me to seek diplomatic means to end this conflict. It is clear that our Reich neither wanted nor provoked this war.

All we wanted is to have contiguous territory, as is right of every self-respecting country in the world. We were denied this as you know, and the resulting war has ensued. Later today we will present our peace terms to our enemies through formal channels. We will seek mediation of friendly and neutral powers. I intend to offer end of all hostilities. In order to show our good faith I will immediately order a cease of all naval activity in the Northern atlantic. Herr Roeder, see to it that our U-bootes are given orders to proceed at their best speed towards nearest friendly port. They are to fire only if fired upon. We will notify our enemies of this. Furthermore, we will offer to evacuate large swaths of Polish territory, keeping only what rightfully belongs to Reich, with regards to strategic defensibility of the frontier of course." This announcement stunned all present. They expected that Goering would have a less belligerent stance, but this? First to speak was von Ribbentrop "Herr Goering, but..." That was as far as he got. "Herr Ribbentrop you will address me as Herr Praesident from now on! If you have any constructive comments, let us hear them." "Herr PRAESIDENT," said Joachim "I am not sure that Allies will consider this offer satisfactory. The English hate us, they will not want to stop while they have the chance to strangle us. I think we should attack them and...". Again he was interrupted by Goering, visibly annoyed "Herr Minister, I asked for constructive comment. I will not stand for my decisions to be opposed by such nonsense. You heard herr Halder, didn't you? I cannot risk entire Reich to satisfy your vanity." At this moment, Goering decided that it would be best if he disposed of Ribbentrop. He knew the man wasn't very popular diplomat to say the least. He wasn't even capable one. Pretty soon he will have to consider replacement but until then, he will try to take as much of foreign policy as he could. He already had engaged in some on his own, but now he had the authority of position to back him up. "But herr Praesident..." tried Ribbentrop again, but one look from Goering was enough to shut him up. Red in face, he fumed inside yet he didn't dare try any further.

Next, Goering turned towards von Brauchitsch. "Herr Brauchitsch, do you estimate that Wehrmacht is capable of defending Reichs borders for the time being?" After short contemplation and whispered conversation with Halder, he answered "Of course herr Praesident. Consensus of Wehrmacht staff is that, given enough ammo, and without serious disturbances in the east or at home, we will be able to hold the front for at least a year, perhaps indefinitely. Soviet forces might present a threat later on, but at the moment they are too busy swallowing their alloted portion of Poland. According to our mutual treaty, they will try to subjugate Latvia and Estonia. Our intelligence information leads us to the conclusion that they are massing armies on the Finnish border, probably with intention of exhorting concesions from Finns, after an ultimatum Soviet government issued on 31st of October."

"Thank you herr Brauchitsch. So, if nobody has anything to add, I will conclude this discussion!" At that moment Himmler spoke "Herr Praesident," he started, with slight trace of irony in his voice indicating that he didn't take Goering title all to seriously "I must protest this. We cannot abandon our conquests, not with Bolsheviks in the east. Consider also, that Poland has sizeable Jewish population. We mustn't allow this so close to our borders. We just started solving the threat of Jews in our midst. If we allow a country on our border to exist with even slightest posibility of Jewish takeover, we will be in danger." "Herr Himmler, that is why we have our Nurnberg laws. Precisely that situtation is why we adopted these laws. Do you want to propose we amend them further?" "Herr Prasident" continued Himmler "You know my stand and stand of my service on this issue. I propose we leave this discussion for a less public setting, due to sensitivity of the issue." "So, you do not have anything else to add?" asked Goering. "No, herr Praesident. Not at this time." answered Himmler.

"One more thing is left for us to decide. After hearing herr Himmler earlier, my intention is to have a public investigation into the assassination of der Fuehrer. I propose we establish an interagency Board of inquiry, responsible to me." What followed was expected. "Herr Praesident, I must protest this. I believe my service is enough to conduct the investigation!" Himmler exclaimed. "What other agency should I cooperate with?" "Well, there is CriPo and as it appears that foreign powers might have their hand in this, Abwehr should be involved!" Goering answered. It was obvious he has given this some thought. "Of course, this investigation would be as public as possible." "But herr Praesident, actions of SS and RSHA are not subject to public disclosure at any time. You know that as well as I. Those topics are sensitive..." but Goering cut him off "This is not subject open to discussion herr Himmler. Significance of this event surpasses your objections. You will meet herr Canaris and both of you will outline plan of activities in order to conduct joint investigation. You will of course have full cooperation of civilian police as always. You will report to me directly." Himmler swallowed his true response and only said "Jawohl, herr Praesident!"

"I conclude this meeting!" said Goering and stood up. He quickly left the room, escorted by SS personnel closely. The rest of present got up and left, wondering how will all this turn out. It was clear that all was not said between two most powerful people in Germany at the moment. But for the moment the conflict was frozen. Whether it will thaw, or some compromise will be reached, remained to be seen.

Last edited by Shaby; October 3rd, 2011 at 10:14 AM..
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 11:59 AM
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November 10th, 0900 Eastern time, Washington DC, White House, Oval office

Roosevelt sat behind his massive desk. He followed the events of previous day with detached interest. It all happened to late in the day for meaningful conversation between him and his subordinates to take place and the event in itself was while shocking, not the most important for United States. Doors of the office opened, and Cordell Hull entered. Elderly diplomat proved to be able and amicable fellow. He managed to convey good will of United States and made many valuable friendships. "Mr. President, it seems that Goering has been appointed Hitlers successor. I think our friends in Britain and France may have a little less to wory about now. Mr. Shirer visited Mr. Kirk in Berlin. He was present as one of accredited reporter on "inauguration" this morning. Mr. Goering din't indicate any change in political direction of the Germany. However, here is the full transcript of his inauguration speech." reported Hull. "Thank you, mr. Secretary. I hope the war will turn out for the best. The ease with which Nazis conquered Poland is frightening. General Marshall was surprised, he expected a prolonged battle on the Wistula at least." Cordell offered some consolation with his remark "You must remember Soviets attacked Poland from the east. They were crushed between wolf and bear.". After this remark, Cordell left. Roosevelt returned to reading the first draft of his speech meant for the ceremony he was expected to attend on 15th. He felt fitting to mention struggle for liberty and against tirany on the foundation of the Jefferson memorial. He made annotations to his speech writer to insert something along these line.

November 10th, 1600 Downing street 10, London

"So, sir Wood, we have received this proposal from Swedish ambassador?" Said Chamberlaine, looking at the bunch of papers he was holding in his hand. "Did you have the chance to study it?" "No mr. Prime Minister, not in detail. It was delivered just two hours ago, so after reading it I immediately set off to show you. Sir, if this offer is genuine it might offer peace in our time. But for real this time." Said lord Halifax, not hiding his excitement. He was against this war from onset, but he agreed that some things just couldn't be tolerated. However, What he read in the proposal that he just delivered to his boss offered an elegant way out of the war, which according to his oft repeated opinnion threatened existence of the empire itself. He knew Prime minister felt personally insulted by the former head of Germany. But little man was dead now. And first thing that new leadership did was to propose this bloody good offer. If it only depended on him to call this decision...

"Well this proposal is... tempting for the lack of better word." replied Chamberlain "Well, anyway we must contact our Ally and see what they make of this offer. However, as much as I am tempted to consider this peace proposal, I am reluctant to trust Germans. They have shown blatant disregard for basic civility so far. You realize that political situation in Germany is bound to be instable. Maybe if we wait a fortnight, our problems will be solved altogether by themselves." Halifax was a bit disappointed by PMs attitude. In the meantime, telephone on the PMs desk rang. He picked up the reciever and answered "Yes?" as he put it against his ear. He waived "Stay!" gesture at Halifax who half stood up from his chair.

Last edited by Shaby; October 3rd, 2011 at 12:24 PM..
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 06:40 PM
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November 11th, 0800, Northwest off Scotland

Kapitaenleutnant Wilhelm Ambrosius stood on the coning tower of U-43, his first officer Paul-Karl Loeser standing next to him. They used this opportunity to relax and spend some time outside cramped and noisy environment of U-boot. They didn't expect to see any ships in these waters, but both officers wanted to breathe some fresh morning air. They have surfaced only 20 minutes ago, as they observed thick fog through periscope. Young communication officer appeared through the hatch, carrying a pice of paper. Wilhelm hoped it was report on some convoy, so that he could finaly let loose a few torpedoes. "Herr Kapitaen, this came through in the clear!" said young officer. 'In the clear?' thought Wilhelm. He was confused. He took message and scanned it looking for important bits. Wordlessly he handed it to Paul. Pauls eyes widened as he read the message. "Herr kapitaen! Do you realise what this means?" Paul asked. Wilhelm silently nodded. He wondered what genius came up with order not to fire unless fired upon. In U-boot being fired upon, usually meant you don't get to fire back. He decided that it probably was one of ground pounding, paper pushing admirals. He barked orders over internal communication system "Navigator plot course towards Wilhelmshafen. Engineering two thirds ahead. Helm make your course 045." Confused "Jawohl herr Kapitaen!" echoed his orders. Next he said "All hands. We have just received new orders. We are going back home. This patrol is over. This entire war might be over. Our order came in clear. Do not start celebrating yet, but I believe these are good news. I need everyone to double your attention, as I want to get back home in one piece. Double your attention men. Good luck!" he exclaimed finally.

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Old October 3rd, 2011, 07:48 PM
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November 11th, 1200 Linz

On the recently named Adolf Hitler Platz, huge crowd has gathered. Sdkfz 11 moved slowly through the main street, as troops cordoned off people to each side. In front of the halftrack marched military orchestra, playing Marcia funebre by Ludwig van Bethoven. Halftrack pulled an artillery lafette modified for the cargo it now carried. Luxorious looking coffin covered with now familiar red flag was mounted upon carriage. Behind carriage procession of most important leaders of Germany marched slowly, solemn look on their face. As they reached future burial site, column stopped. Six soldiers, riding halftrack, dismounted and picked up coffin. Carrying it on their shoulders they proceeded to the grave site. Before laying coffin to the ground they picked up the flag, folded it carefully and gave it to the blond woman in black clothes. Ceremony continued as all leaders gave spechees. It was over in one hour. Crowd started defilee, signing in the book of mourning, open on the stand in front of the grave. Model of mausoleum was exhibited in front of it. Not everyone was grieving however.

Few inhabitants of Linz vividly remembered the february morning when man, now laying beneath the ground, marched in their city, preceded by few hundred black clad troops who forced everyone out on the streets in order to welcome him back. As if they asked him to come. They also remembered arrests, fear and terror that followed. To think the man who caused all this was born here... Not one of them dared say this aloud of course. Not with feared SS around them. But no one could see inside their heads. At least their thoughts belonged to them.

Last edited by Shaby; October 5th, 2011 at 09:44 PM..
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 08:57 PM
Shaby Shaby is offline
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A large black Mercedes was travelling on the road bending slowly down the Alps. Inside, Goering and Halder were seated. Goering delibaretely arranged to have Halder travel with him back to Berlin. He wanted to discuss current situation in Germany with head of most powerful force in Germany, so he arranged only the driver to be in the car. He hoped he could repeat Hitlers strategy from 1932. As his precedent, Goering knew that he could not achieve control of the Reich without Army or SS. He was leaning towards Army more, inspite the fact that outwardly he shared ideology with powerful SS chief. The crude methods employed by Himmler and disgust actions and methods of his thugs caused on international scene reppeled him. His instinct told him that it would be better to cut off an arm (even if it was right one) than to lose entire body. "Herr General, I wanted to have this chance to talk to you in private. You are aware that I have decided to embark on peace offensive. You know what terms I offered to our enemies. It is painful to abandon the conquest. We are both military men, and although I never fought on the ground, I understand what it means to lose your comrades." Goering said to his general. He wanted to make the man comfortable and establlish some sort of commonality with him. If he failed to win him over, there were not many good options remaining to him. "As much as it hurts, one must take into consideration wider perspective. We must, if we want to save what we achieved up until now, accept certain sacrifices.". Goering stopped to allow Halder to consider his words.

"Herr Praesident, I am at a loss. I... I just wasn't able to speak to your prdecessor in those terms." Halder pondered how honest could he be? He decided to risk a bit and see the reaction. Afterwards he will see how far it would go. "Herr Praesident, I am aware of the reasons that guided your decision. I share your oppinion on certain agencies in our country.". If he misread the reason he was here, Halder would get in lot of trouble for the previous statement. He relied on his instinct. Conversation that followed between two men was not recorded nor written down anywhere. What they agreed in the Mercedes that day historians derived only through events that ensued in following weeks.

Last edited by Shaby; October 4th, 2011 at 10:46 AM..
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Old October 4th, 2011, 07:49 AM
Shaby Shaby is offline
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November 11th, 1930, Koblenz, Army Group A HQ, dining room

Von Rundstedt was sitting at his table sipping his customary glass of wine, waiting for von Manstein his chief of staff who was supposed to join him for supper. Heinz Guderian, commander of XIX corps and famous as an "inventor" of Panzer warfare was supposed to join them. Guderian was invited on Mansteins insistance, as he wanted to discuss with him the plan whose rough sketches he presented to von Rundstedt two weeks earlier. Due to the constant demands of organising formation, touring the units and confering with their subordinate officers, they grabbed this opportunity when everything was slowed as a consequence of the death of der Fuehrer. He heard steps approaching and the door to the dining room opened. Two officers stepped inside. They were engaged in animated conversation. As they saw aging general, they stopped in achtung stance and bowed, clicking their heels. Removing their hats, approached at the table. Manstein put his briefcas by the table. "Good evening, herr general!" they called in unison to their superior officer. Rundstedt nodded lightly, gestureing them to take seats. "Dispense with formalities please. We are not on duty, consider this a dinner among friends. Besides my rank is not that senior." "Danke, herr General!", answered Manstein. Servant appeared carrying their soup. Dinner passed with light conversation, sharing memories from previous war and polite questioning on life of their offsprings.

As they finished the desert, von Manstein opened his briefcase and took out folded map of Northern France and Low Countries. On the map various arrows of two different colors protruded from German border and towards France. Two thick arrows of one color started their journey on the German side of the border, extended over Belgium, turning slightly southwards and ending their journey on the banks of Somme river. Timeline on various points of the journey indicated that forces represented by the arrows were supposed to reach their final position one month after X-Day. On the other hand there was the arrow of different color, thicker than the previous one, protruding from German border, crossing south portion of Belgium and than turning northwards towards the coast. "As you can see Heinz," Rundstedt used first name of his subordinate to enforce informality "my chief of staff has devised a plan. Plan different than the one we are supposed to use once the order is given and if the order is given. But that decision is not up to us. What I want from you is to check and double check this plan as an expert in use of panzers. I will now allow Erich to elaborate his plan further. You will correct his failings or improve his concepts to create a new plan. Plan for decisive victory, victory which would guarantee the end of war, unlike this plan from previous century. We want to be in Paris, not in some village on Somme in June. I intend to submit this plan for approval to high command. Of course, what we discuss here, well, you know." "Must not leave this room!" finished Heinz. "Exactly Heinz. Exactly." said von Rundstedt with satisfied smile. Manstein started talking, and Guderian was immediately absorbed in elegant strategic concept that was presented to him. He found it to his liking and in spirit with his beloved Panzerkorps.

Last edited by Shaby; October 5th, 2011 at 12:42 PM..
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  #57  
Old October 4th, 2011, 08:06 AM
Hendryk Hendryk is offline
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Originally Posted by Shaby View Post
Thanks. I do not know much of German.
My advice would be to go easy on the German phrases, then. The fact that you pepper the German characters' lines with so much untranslated text, when everyone else speaks their own native languages in perfect translation, reminds one of 1960s Hollywood war movies, in which the Germans would speak to each other with a German accent.
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  #58  
Old October 4th, 2011, 11:03 AM
Shaby Shaby is offline
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I have decided to insert a short summary of story so far for people who might joined in later and skimmed the long outbursts of text I was inspired to write.

Story so far:

Adolf Hitler was killed by a bomb set up by Johann Georg Elser. Elser was arrested by accident, even before bomb exploded. Goering takes over Hitlers position and starts sounding peace offer to the Western Allies. German military, which was already considering plot against Hitler is considering taking action. They decided to wait for proper moment, but to re-examine existing plans for military takeover of Reichs government. SS, already investigating the assasination, is ordered to cooperate with other services in conducting further investigation.

Goerings peace offer causes further rift between him and Himmler, as Himmler envisioned General governance area as his test bed, where he would conduct large scale experiment for his ideal of society he wanted to build in the east. Hitler was buried in Linz, and Goering, realizing inevitable conflict with Himmler starts courting Army. In the meantime Allies are considering whether to accept the offer coming from Berlin. Manstein, Rundstedt and Guderian work on their plan for decisive victory.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 01:09 PM
Shaby Shaby is offline
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November 12th, 0900, Tokyo, Imperial Palace

"Nomura-san," Abe Nobuyuki broke the silence , addressing his foreign minister "Can you, please, comment on latest events in Europe?" Nomura looked around the desk. Only the vital ministers were present in the room. This boiled down to, aside of inevitable Army and Navy ministers, Minister of Finance and Minister of Commerce and Industry as well as President of Privy Council Konoe Fumimaro. Chief of Cabinet Secretariat Endo Ryusaku was taking minutes of the meeting. Emperor was taking his customary position of unnoticeable presence. In carefuly considered phrases Nomura said

"Gentlemen, our prospective ally Germany has been hit by an act of terrorism. Their head of government has been assasinated by bomb during one of the official celebrations. Although they have already named the successor, we have reason to believe that internal situation in Germany is not unlike one we hade in Japan in 1936. We were also notified both by our ambassador Saburo and my own personnel that Germany has sent peace feelers to their enemies. This represents serious reversal for us, since we counted that attention of european colonial powers will be tied closer to home for extended period of time. Although nothing has yet been reported, I have outlined three scenarios:

1. Germany continues war but it is destabilized further and a coup causes chaos inside Germany. Consequently Germany losses war. Thus European powers attention is redirected to us.
2. Germany makes peace, retreats from war, thus European powers are free and redirect their attention to us.
3. Germany continues the war as we foreseen and we are free to continue with our plans.

Those are basic scenarios. However, we are unable to estimate chances of any single of those scenarios actually coming to pass, since there is not enough information. On the other hand, United States has since that unfortunate incident with their vessel, increased support for China. Although there is no shooting war between us yet, we must consider we are in the state of economic war. United States consider our current policy overtly agressive and feel that Japan represents a threat to their Pacific holding and is unstable factor in the Pacific basin. We will surely come to real conflict against America if we continue our present policy."

Godo Takuo, Minister of Commerce and Industry spoke next "Gentlemen, I must concurr with my estimeed colleague. Embargoes of Allied powers agianst us create many difficulties in our industry. We are unable to obtain sufficient quantities of crude oil, iron ore and other raw materials we need. Until last year we depended on Australian iron ore supply, but they cut that off after we attempted to buy the mining company. We now face the prospect of slow strangulation of our economy unless the alternative supplies are found or embargo is lifted."

Army minister Hata Shunroku declared "Mister Prime minister, I must advise you and other here that the Army is determined to bring the Chinese incident to conclusion. For us, there is no other option but to continue on our course. In case of worst-case prediciton coming to pass, we might be willing to curtail our offensives for some time and allow some time for favourable diplomatic solution. I must stress that Communist interference in China is increasing. The time is running short. We must maintain presence in China in order to forestall Communist takeover, in which case we will face bigger danger than what we are now. Diplomatic service must put all their efforts in coming to an understanding with Americans and Allies. We cannot fight against China with one eye on the horizon and one hand tied. All we need is to be left alone for few months, and Army can finish the job."

Many a Prime minister of Japan have heard these words from their Army ministers during past few years. None dared stand to the Army and ask questions such as "What happened to your prediction that the army needs only few more months you prophesized a year ago?". Not that many Prime ministers lasted even that year. As soon as they were too critical of military staff, the government was brought down by resignation of army minister. Pretty quickly this settled into uncomfortable routine. Government gets in power, questions military, goes out of power and new government is sworn in. Abe knew this. He was sworn only 3 months ago and didn't intend to loose his office that quickly. "Hata-san, this government has concurred to army wishes so far. However the events in Europe happen, we will not abandon any of our conquests in China, without assurance that China will never fall in Communist hands." Japanese, accustomed to listening to slightest detail, noticed the phrasing of the last sentence. Was Abe opening up posibillity of limited retreat?

Last edited by Shaby; October 5th, 2011 at 01:00 PM..
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  #60  
Old October 4th, 2011, 03:39 PM
abc123 abc123 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shaby View Post
November 12th, 0900, Tokyo, Imperial Palace

This boiled down to, aside of inevitable Army and Navy ministers, minister of Commerce and Industry and chief of Cabinet Secretariat, taking minutes of the meeting. Emperor was taking his customary position of unnoticeable presence. In carefuly considered phrases Nomura said
Ministers of Industry and Commerce aren't so important.
OTOH, president of Privy Council and Minister of Finances are.
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