"Heil mein Führer. Sie sind verhaftet!"

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Adler, Aug 12, 2011.

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  1. Adler Banned

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    February 1943: After the fall of Stalingrad Stalin ordered to execute the Operation Stern. It was aimed to enclose and destroy the Heeresgruppen A, B and Don. A kind of Superstalingrad. The Soviets were advancing and Manstein already had a plan to make a counterstrike. However, therefore he had to retreat in some parts. Especially Charkow. Here Hitler vetoed that. He wanted to keep Charkow. Manstein needed the forces there and on February 16th indeed the SS units defending Charkow retreated. Hitler was furious. Instead of flying to Poltawa, where he was going to meet Col. Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Groß-Zauche und Camminetz, he flew to Manstein to Saporoschje.
    What Hitler didn't know: Strachwitz, although member in the SS, was there to arrest and likely kill Hitler as part of Operation Walküre. As Plan B a bomb in a bottle of Cognac was smuggled into the Fw 200 of Hitler. Because the British detonator did not cope with the low temperatures the bomb did not explode...
    And here is the PoD: 17.02.1943: Hiter wants to fly to Saporoschje, but only after he visited Strachwitz. He wanted to let Manstein wait for him and to show him, who is the Gröfaz (Größter Feldherr aller Zeiten, biggest general of all times).

    "Mein Führer, Sie sind verhaftet!"

    The flight was long from Berlin to Poltawa. Hitler was glad to have landed. He was not glad about the war situation however. The Soviets were advancing. And Manstein wanted to retreat. Retreat! That was nearly treachery. He needed to talk to him. But not now. Now he wanted to talk to the Panzergraf, Strachwitz.
    Hitler departed the plane and looked to the runway where Strachwitz stood in his SS uniform, and not the normal Wehrmacht uniform. There were also about two dozens other soldiers in SS uniforms waiting.
    Hitler left the gangway. Behind him his adjutant Schmundt and Prof. Dr. Morell, Hitler's personal physician, followed.
    Strachwitz saluted Hitler with the so called German Greeting.

    Strachwitz said: "Heil mein Führer. Sie sind verhaftet!"

    Hitler at first was stunned and then loughed. After a moment he said: "Strachwitz, you have humor. You perfectly knew what I now needed! I won't forget that!"
    Strachwitz did not change his face and calmly replied: "This is no joke. This is serious, Herr Hitler!"
    Hitler stopped loughing immediately as he saw the soldiers were aiming at him with their MPs and rifles.
    What then came was not totally clear. The official report by Strachwitz and most historians agree, that Hitler wanted to take his Browning pistol. So also the other soldiers testified. Morell said, Hitler was shot at once by all, as it looked like an execution. Schmundt said, it was one soldier who lost his nerves and then all fired at Hitler.
    The result was however clear. Hitler was hit by no less than 88 bullets. The hits in the neck meant even that he was decaptivated when he fell on the ground. However, except a hit between the eyes the head itself was not hit.
    Strachwitz later said, he wanted to arrest him and not to execute him. But, he added, that would have come later. That commentary, and some others, lead to speculations, that the arresting was not really planned.
    Strachwitz at once called Berlin and told them Hitler landed safely. The next call was another number in Berlin. "Operation can resume, problem solved." Then he broke all telephone and FT lines. For the next six hours no one could reach Poltawa airport.
    Schmundt and Morell were arrested as well as the pilots of the Fw 200 and the escorting fighters.
    So Operation Walküre started. And soon rumors spread the SS murdered Hitler.

    TBC

    Adler
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  2. VictorLaszlo Well-Known Member

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    The 88 bullets are a really cool allusion.
     
  3. Jotun Well-Known Member

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    Damn, I wanted to write that :D
     
  4. kclcmdr Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm..

    Wonders whether Himmler knows what the heck is going on or even Schellenberg...

    Going to be interesting...
    Please continue.
     
  5. Adler Banned

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    Operation Walküre

    Operation Walküre started on February 17th. For about one hour no one else than the acting persons knew about the fate of Hitler. That the contact to Poltawa broke down was not remarked for over half an hour and even that was not seen as critical. Hitler was reported to have landed savely. That soon changed.
    In the meantime Generaloberst Fromm signed the order for Operation Walküre.
    Göring was the first to be arrested. He was just leaving Carinhall when his car was stopped by a Kübelwagen, followed by two trucks with infantry. Göring was soon arrested at Spandau.
    Goebbels was surprised in his office. He was arrested, too, but committed suicide later the day with a capsule of Cyancali. How he got that capsule, if someone gave it to him or if he had it, is unknown.
    Magda Goebbels heard rumors about the death of Hitler and the arresting of her husband. Her world broke apart and she wanted to kill her children and then herself. However, just before she could give the poison to the children, soldiers appeared to question her. She was originally to be freed after. As she saw even the poisoning of the children was not possible, she drank it herself.
    Himmler was in his HQ in Berlin, the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais, when Wehrmacht soldiers stormed this building and the Gestapo building near to it. The SS, after hearing rumors, they had murdered Hitler, was at the beginning too perplex to act. And in these crucial first minutes they failed to resist, so that later resistance was futile. Himmler was arrested, when he tried to flee. In this moment he lost his capsule with cyanide.
    Martin Bohrmann was shot after resisting in the Reichskanzlei.
    Several other members of SA, SS, SD, NSDAP, RSHA and Gestapo were arrested, shot or committed suicide.
    In the Wehrbereichsbeziken (Military Administrational Areas) the order was given via teleprinter and executed. Although there were only four teleprinter available, the order could given within the hour.
    Albert Speer was invited to join the new government as minister for armament. He gladly switched the sides.

    After only six hours it was clear the coup was a complete success. Nearly all persons on the list were captured or dead. 22 soldiers lost their lives, most of them in the fights in the Gestapo and SS buildings.

    This declaration was published by the new provisorical government.

    On English:

    War was not over yet! The commander of the Heeresgruppen were now free to act in their will, until further notice. However, on the very next day the embassies in the neutral and Axis countries were full of activity.

    Would peace come soon?

    TBC

    Adler
     
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  6. The Red A virulent, ignorant bigot

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    The demand of Unconditional surrender is only a few weeks old, the new Junta could claim that this motivated them to secure a honourable peace for Germany.
     
  7. MerryPrankster Well-Known Member

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    I thought the actual Valkyrie plan was created later on, when V.S. himself joined the German Resistance, and the bomb-in-the-plane was a separate plot.
     
  8. Adler Banned

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    Provisorical Government

    Reichsverweser (regent): Generaloberst a.D. Ludwig Beck

    Reichskanzler: Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, DNVP
    Vice-Chancellor: Wilhelm Leuschner, SPD
    Minister of foreign affairs: Friedrich-Werner Graf v.d. Schulenburg
    Minister of inner affairs: Julius Leber, SPD
    Minister of Justice: Eugen Bolz
    Minister of Finances: Ewald Loeser
    Minister of Working: Fritz Tarnow, SPD
    Minister of Economy: Paul Lejeune-Jung, Zentrum
    Minister of Agriculture: Hans Schlange-Schöningen, Landvolk
    Minister of culture: Kurt Schuschnigg, CS
    Minister of traffic: Cuno Raabe, Zentrum
    Minister of reconstruction: Bernhard Letterhaus, Zentrum
    Minister of armament: Albert Speer, NSDAP

    Reichstagspräsident: Paul Löbe, SPD
    Reichsbankpräsident: Karl Blessing
    Reichsgerichtspräsident: Hans Koch
    Reichskriegsgerichtspräsident: Hans Oster
    Chief of police: Henning v. Tresckow
    Landesverweser Bayern: Eduard Hamm, DDP

    Adler
     
  9. clifton Well-Known Member

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    If the Germans retreat from Tunesia they should be able to repel an allied invasion Sicily and southern Italy. And going om the defensive should prolong the war to à stalement.
     
  10. Adler Banned

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    A new government

    February 20th, 1943, Reichskanzlei

    After three long days the cabinett came together to talk to the situation. There were also Generalfeldmarschall Erwin v. Witzleben and a young man, who was sitting in the background.

    Chancellor Goerdeler, DNVP, started the talks: "Meine Herren, we have now taken over the control. We need, however, to know the situation before making further steps. At first I need to know the situation in Germany."

    Julius Leber, SPD: "We have started to take control over the administration. As most people in the administration are members of the Nazi party we need to work together with them. I would not like to do so, but it is a neccessity. We need to outlaw the party, but the members, well, we need to work with them together.
    But this is a minor issue at this very moment. The most urgent point is the redoing of all of these racial laws and other criminal laws, which the Nazis made. I already gave the order to the administration not to execute anything based upon these laws."

    Goerdeler: "I already made a draft for such a law. However, until we got through all laws and other rules, it may last a while. That's why I only mentioned the the Nuremberg laws expressis verbis and only made hints, that the other criminal laws are to be considered as null and void from the very beginning. Later we can make a list of these criminal laws."

    Leber, after reading the draft: "Excellent. We should at once publish this law. After that we need to make such a list. That will be a tough work."

    There were no dissenting votes.

    Leber: "The next point are the KZs. Here Mr. v. Tresckow might know more."

    Henning v. Treckow, chief of the police: "Wehrmacht and police have liberated all KZ, Gestapo prisons and Ghettos. The situation there is a total mess. Very hard was the situation in the death camps. There crimes happened no one can immagine. Thousands of people murdered. And the rest living in the worst conditions. I have ordered food, pharmaceuticals and physicians to be sent to these locations. And although we have liberated them, some will die despite of it.
    We have arrested most of the people in the KZ and also other people. What shall we do with them?"

    Eugen Bolz, Zentrum, minister of Justice: "We will solve it the right way. Germany was ever, well at least until Hitler came, a state of law. We need to make a tribunal to deal with these men. I ordered the persecution officials to these locations and centers. They have found masses of files. However, until all are read time will go by. It may take a year or more until a tribunal can start."

    Goerdeler: "I know, some of you just want to shoot them. That's not the way. I think we need to show the world, that Germany is again a state of law. We might need to make it an international court. At least for the leaders."

    Bolz: "Might be true. But we need to be cautious. It must be a fair trial. Even if that meant we need to let some of them free!"

    Goerdeler: "Absolutely!"

    In the next moments there were some discussions but finally they agreed to a tribunal.

    Bolz: "The Volksgerichtshof was dissolved, the Reichsgericht has now the control. All death sentences were stopped from executing. We need to look at every single case again. There is much work to do."

    Goerdeler: "Good. Then we have at least one task. I thought we would be out of work."

    Some loughter happened.

    Bolz: "Shall we keep this secret, as it might hurt our positions in the peace negotiations?"

    Goerdeler and Leber unisono: "No!"

    Goerdeler: "We need to show the differences between the Nazis and us. We are no Nazis. We are better, civilized. And we can't keep it secret. Better to be open and honest from the very beginning."

    Goerdeler sighed.

    Goerdeler: "Right. Now to our mess in the foreign relations. Are there any news?"

    Friedrich-Werner Graf von der Schulenburg: "Yes and no. It seems Churchill, although officially condamning the putsch, is not refusing to talk. England might not be the problem. But the Soviets and US are.
    I just got an answer by Molotow. He thinks Stalin won't change his mind so fast. He wants the total victory and refuses to talk. He sees us falling."

    v. Witzleben: "Manstein is just telliing him, how we are falling."

    v.d. Schulenburg: "Well, that's not my area. I can only say, that as long as Stalin doesn't see a peace better, even if it is only a truce, than war, he changes his mind. In so far he's thinking very capitalistic. If peace is opportun, he will do so. If not... We need to make the war so costly that he will accept talks."

    Goerdeler: "And the US?"

    v.d.Schulenburg: "That's a mess, too. I never thought there is such a stubborness. They, too, demand unconditional surrender."

    Goerdeler: "And what then?"

    v.d. Schulenburg: "Although they made this war aim only recently I don't think they made any real thoughts about that. There are several variants. In every variant Germany will be departed. The latest article in the New York Times is an interview with the US secretary of treasury, Mr. Morgenthau. Appearantly he was ordered to make a plan by Roosevelt when he heard about the successful coup. It seems he is demanding the whole deindustrilisation of Germany. When asked, if the Germans could survive this way, he said, there are too many of them. It seems he plans making Germany a huge KZ.
    However, these plans are not actual and it will need some time, until they, perhaps, come. Right now Roosevelt doesn't even recognize our government! We can't talk to him at this very moment. Furthermore he is a very germanophob man. And if Stalin and he want to continue the war Britain will do the same."

    Goerdeler: "Damn. This is a blow I did not expect. I expected making peace is not that difficulty. I mean starting to talk. What is the situation with our Allies?"

    v.d.Schulenburg: "We at first all reassured everyone war goes on. But I think they don't believe us totally. Especially the Japanese. And I guess the Italians will betray us. As long as Mussolini ist there, so ironical it sounds, the danger is less as he is fighting for survival. The others? Badoglio, Ciano and so on would switch the sides any moment they have the power. Mussolini would do ti, too, but he fears he will be lost then and so hopes for a wonder. Japan can't hurt us much, but Italy? We need to be ready, if they act."

    v. Witzleben: "We already made a plan for such a case and will be able to act."

    Goerdeler: "That leads us to the military situation. Marschall?"

    v. Witzleben: "The short version is, we're losing the war. If we continue this way, we are lost. We can only hope for a stalemate so that the war becomes too costly for the Allies.
    The situation is Russia is critical. However, Manstein is just executing a plan and it is looking good that it works.
    The situation in Africa is hopeless. Rommel is just attacking the US forces at the Kesserine pass in Tunesia. I gave him the complete chain of command and let v. Arnim be under Rommel's command. After this last offensive we will try to hold the line and retreat as many forces to Italy. The invasion danger there gives us the opportunity to send more troops to them, also to take the control in case of a betrayal."

    Wilhelm Leuschner, SPD, vice chancellor: "But isn't that we would do, too?"

    Leber: "Yes. That's politics."

    v. Witzleben: "Anyway. We have to deal with the possibility of an invasion in the Mediterranean. Where it will happen, I don't know. It is most likely they will attack in Italy.
    The war in the air is also problematical. The British attack the population centers with their night bombers. They use hundreds of planes. We use flak and night fighters. It is also a technological run. We need to prepare better. Especially when the US really come. We need fighters. Luckily there are some new weapons ready in several months that may help us here.
    In Russia we are still able to conduct massive strategic attack on our own, albeit to a cost. We didn't do so until now as the war was lead only tactically. We don't have the Ural bombers general Wever wanted in the thirties, but the He 177 and He 111 bombers have the range to attack Chelyabinsk and other targets. If we can stabilise the front, as the factories are just in range. An attack at daylight would lead to losses, as the Russians would use fighters and we have no escorts. At night we would have problems to find the targets. If we do so we could hurt the Soviets massively. That and the destruction of dams, harbours, railway stations and so on can make the idfferences.
    The problems are, that we have not many heavy planes and the He 177 A1 variant, which is going to be replaced, is not totally working. Also we would need to spend much fuel in these attacks.
    The war at sea is also critical. Just until now we lost this year 12 Uboats but they sank 86 ships. Last year over 1.300 enemy ships were hit, but 86 Uboats lost. Unfortunately the US can build more ships than we are able to sink, especially as it seems we are going to lose more boats. However, also here there is light to see as a new class of boats is being planned.
    Hitler had ordered to scrap all major surface warships. I recalled the decision immediately. Instead I ordered all ships to be finished resp. repaired. Gneisenau will need some time to be ready again, but Scharnhorst will soon go to Norway to join Tirpitz. Lützow and Admiral Scheer are there, too, as well as the light cruiser Nürnberg. Prinz Eugen will join them soon. Admiral Hipper and Köln need repairs. Emden and Leipzig are only worth as training ships, like Schleswig-Holstein and Schlesien. Graf Zeppelin can be ready within a short time. But we need carrier planes for her. I would suggest only to take FW 190 for this role. They can be used as fighters as well as bombers or torpedo bombers. We have 19 destroyers and 33 torpedo boats active, with another 5 destroyer and 4 torpedo boats coming this year.
    These forces and the submarines in Norway might be able to cut off the supply lines to Russia.
    In short: War cannot be won. But we can force the Allies to accept a peace. In so far we can win."

    Ludwig Beck, Reichsverweser: "I agree with this summary."

    Goerdeler: "That's a mess. Can we produce enough for this task?"

    Albert Speer, former NSDAP, minister of armament: "Well, all I can say we can do better and we can produce much more. But we will never be able to outproduce all enemy nations. We need to spend our resources carefully. We need new effective weapons. A missile that can't hit a target smaller than London isn't really worth to be developed. A missile that can sink a ship or shoot down a plane, well, yes."

    After some discussions a last point was on the list.

    Goerdeler: "We need also to discuss the new constitution. We all agree that Weimar failed. We all agree that we need to learn. We all agree that the new government must be a democratical one. But we need controls so that something like Hitler doesn't happen again. However, for the time being the Weimar constitution will be restored, albeit the civil rights must remain restricted, unfortunately."

    Leber: "I agree. But I think I know what you want to say. I was ever a man of the parlamentarian system. Do we really want to reintroduce the monarchy?"

    Goerdeler: "We need a symbol of the state. Versailles forced us this mess. And Weimar failed. But not everything was bad. We need a system of checks and balances. And a head of state we all can agree to. We need to learn from Weimar. The chancellor shall do the governmental work. He will be controlled by the parliament, which can elect and remove him."

    Bolz: "That must be also seen carefully."

    Goerdeler: "I know. But that are details. And we can't decide them now."

    Leuschner: "But the crown prince? He is way too reactionary!"

    "I know about the problems." the young man in the corner said. He was speaking the first time. He was Louis Ferdinand von Preußen. "My father will abdicate a day after monarchy will be restored. I will follow him, as my brother was excluded as he had married morganatically."

    Leuschner: "Will the Allies accept that?"

    Louis Ferdinand: "I hope so. I know many of them. I am a relative to the king of Britain and I know Roosevelt personally. He is a germanophob, yes, but I think we can talk to him, if he sees the situation. Also I have enough contacts into the USA. So for example I know Herny Ford."

    Speer: "Don't be too optimistic. Hitler once told me that in 1939 a Texan oil tycoon came to him to talk about peace. Hitler himself offered Poland and the Czechs, although without the German areas. But when he returned, Roosevelt did not want to hear anything about it. I think he wants to build up an empire on his own, at all costs. Only a decicive blow would make him rethinking the situation."

    Goerdeler: "Then we need this blow. Or: Finis Germaniae."

    ________________________________________________________


    Only a few days later the Allies published a note, where they declared, not to recognize the new German government as it would be a band of terrorists and murderers. Also they demanded the unconditional surrender.


    Adler
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
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  11. The Red A virulent, ignorant bigot

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    Then the new Government is doomed, the only thing they can hope to accomplish is a longer, bloodier war.
     
  12. Adler Banned

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    Stalin's Stalingrad

    February 20th, 1943, Moscow, Kremlin:

    Stalin was sitting in his office. He phoned* with someone when Foreign minister Wjatscheslaw Molotow entered the room to talk to Stalin.

    Stalin: "Towarischtsch Popow. I tell you for the last time! Don't retreat. The Germans were already retreating when Hitler died. Now they are headless and on the run. What you face is only the last attack of some fanaticals. So attack!" After a moment he slammed the phone.

    "Damn idiot. The Germans are headless and on the run! Only some units in the rear and Popow wants to retreat. Now in the moment of victory. Wjatscheslaw, I tell you: In only a few months we're at Berlin."

    Molotow: "Woschd (=Leader=Führer!), I don't think the Germans are beaten. There is a new government in Berlin. It might become worse now for us."

    Stalin: "Nonsense! They are on the run. Soon Berlin will fall. And then we can go farther west. Paris and then Madrid. We will conquer Europe! There is only a band of cowards in Berlin. You will soon see victory is ours."

    Molotow: "You're right. But I don't trust the Germans. They might have something hidden. We should be aware!"

    Stalin: " You're too cautious. They are beaten. I will now write a general order to attack and to forbid retreating in any case!"

    *Popow phoned OTL with his superior Watutin and not Stalin.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Popow was right, when he wanted to retreat. Manstein was indeed planning a massive counter strike. Morale remained high in the German Army, despite the death of Hitler. It seemed there was even a morale boost in some units. There were few incidents, as most knew this war was now a war to defend the Fatherland and no longer a war for Lebensraum.

    Only two days later Manstein launched his assault. Popow's Tank Army, who was running out of supplies, was encircled as was the Soviet 6th Army (sic!). Both armies were destroyed. In this moment a hole of 200 km was within the Soviet lines. Manstein attacked. And Stalin still did not give the order to retreat. As it became clear, that the Germans indeed made a full offensive and indeed struck through the Soviet lines, Stalin finally gave the order to retreat. Kharkow however, had to be defended, so he sent the 1st Guard division to the city to help the 3rd Tank Army and the 69th Army. That was a bad decision as on March 11th the Heer was able to close the encirclement of Kharkow. Despite from attacks from Soviet forces, the former SS was able to retake Kharkow and destroy these three armies. Especially the loss of Stalin's guard was a serious blow for him, next to losing the 4th biggest city of the Soviet Union again. The whole attack costed the Soviets 5 Armies and nearly 300.000 men.

    The status quo ante, except at Kursk, was nearly reached. Stalin had lost every advantage he had after Stalingrad. He would see war would continue even when Hitler was dead.

    Manstein now prepared for defence. He wanted to beat again out of the backhand. And now he prepared to defend his positions.

    Stalin would soon see that the Germans started a new kind of war he wasn't prepared.

    TBC

    Adler
     
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  13. kclcmdr Well-Known Member

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    If the new German Gov't can continue to disrupt Stalin's Armed Forces on the ground and drive them back in disarray...

    That will most definitely keep any middle Fence Sitters from shifting their loyalties and stay within the Axis and possibly allow the Wehrmacht to prepare against further Soviet strikes...
     
  14. vultan Defying Gravity

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    Huh, interesting TL. People talk about '43 Reich coups, but there's never really been a TL about it...
     
  15. neopeius Well-Known Member

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    I'm reading. :) One of my favorite games is SPI's, "The Plot to Assassinate Hitler." Adler, I'm guessing your first language isn't English, and the translation is a little imperfect, but your timeline is charming, nonetheless. :)
     
  16. abc123 Banned

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    Subscribed.
    ;)
     
  17. Julian Well-Known Member

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    Germany is still doomed.
     
  18. Jotun Well-Known Member

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    I guess that's up to the author ;)
     
  19. kclcmdr Well-Known Member

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    With Herr Hitler out of the picture...
    His stubborn orders to hold fast, regardless of the real situation on the ground...
    should not and possibly not effect the efficiency and capabilities of the Wehrmacht to maneuver and counterstrike against the Soviets...

    If the German forces near Kursk pulls back so that they can shorten their lines and have a good mobile reserve and prepare for the next Stalin strike wherever he plans...

    That should in theory allow the Germans to bleed the Soviets even more..
    maybe now ; if it is not too late;
    to recruit folks that are anti-Soviet and anti-communists in the German controlled Soviet territories to form up units to assist or support the Germans against any further Soviet advances and strike against any Soviet Partisan activities causing a ruckus...
     
  20. artha Apparently the meaning of life

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    Mmmnnn yes, yes, indeed:p
     
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