No Fog Over Munich

The POD is that there was no fog over Munich the night of 8th November 1939, leading Hitler to speak for longer and take the plane, rather than leave earlier to take the train. In other words, Georg Elser's plot comes off.

Adolf Hitler was nervous. He wanted to be back in Berlin to keep the war under control, but he was duty-bound (and propaganda-bound) to observe the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch. Thankfully, the fog that had been hovering over Munich had dissipated, and the plane was waiting to leave as soon as he finished his speech.

At 9:19 p.m, he was in full, horrifying rhetorical flow, and witnesses recount that at that very moment, he was whipping up the crowd against Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister.

At 9:20 p.m exactly, a bomb ripped through the Buergerbraeukeller, killing 33 people, including Adolf Hitler.
The carnage in the hall was incredible. Hitler was the only member of the cabinet present, but the top brass of the Bavarian Nazis were in attendance and the local organisation lost around 25 people. Amongst these were the Minister President of Bavaria, Ludwig Siebert, and Adolf Wagner, the local Gauleiter.

The culprit, one Georg Elser, had been arrested on an unrelated offence near Konstanz, tryign to cross into Switzerland. He was currently sat in gaol, but the chaos in Munich meant that nobody as yet knew what had happened.
Very interesting.
Of course we will now see a lot of Nazi party infighting.

But v. Manstein and Rommel may not rise to prominence due to their benefactor now gone. ;)
The successor should have been Rudolf Hess. After all, he was Hitler's deputy. Himmler and Goering were also jostling for the succession, and so was Goebbels. But the military would have the casting vote.

In Berlin, General Keitel, head of the OKW (Supreme Command), had been informed that evening of Keitel's demise. He knew that he had a unique chance to weaken the high-ranking Nazis and ultimately give supremacy to a clique of Nazi soldiers. The news came through to him at 10:15 p.m.

At 11 p.m. that same evening, 8th November, soldiers in Berlin arrested Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich and Joachim von Ribbentrop were arrested in co-ordinated raids. Within a further 30 minutes, Martin Bormann, Rudolf Hess and Hermann Goering had also been taken in. Germany was still unaware of what had gone on in the beerhall.
Himmler was dead by 1 a.m. Keitel had no desire to keep him alive, and considered him the major threat.

At 1 a.m., whilst Himmler was being executed, Goering was free of chains. In fact, he had not been chained at all. With Hitler dead, and Himmler in the process of copying him, Goering was pleased and relieved when Keitel appeared and explained what he wanted.

Goering was to become the new Foreign Minister. He was more than happy to accept this; he'd wanted it all along.

Hess too was unchained. Keitel was more wily here. He told Hess that the position of Fuehrer would be split once again, with Hess as Reichspraesident. Hess wasn't the strongest-willed man, and accepted the offer (although he hardly had a choice). The new Chancellor would be a military man, but it needed to be a military man who was not on the frontline and was acceptable to Nazi members. It would not be Keitel.

At 3 a.m. on 9th November 1939, Grossadmiral Erich Raeder was telephoned and informed that he would be the new Chancellor of the German Reich. Raeder immediately flew to Berlin to accept the offer.

The final twist of the evening came when a man with no love of Hitler, Arthur Nebe, was summoned to see Keitel. He was more than happy to assist, especially when told that he would be the Minister of the Interior in return for his assistance. The price was simple...

Heydrich and Bormann would be put on show trial, accused of being behind the assasination of Hitler.
Hess sounds like an excellent figurehead for someone else to control either a Nazi like Goebbels or even the Army when trying to keep a semblance of the Nazi Party. Hess was a lot of things however his loyalty was not in question. They could play on the whole “Fuhrer’s deputy/pupil” thing however I don’t think Hess could run Germany alone.
Hess sounds like an excellent figurehead for someone else to control either a Nazi like Goebbels or even the Army when trying to keep a semblance of the Nazi Party. Hess was a lot of things however his loyalty was not in question. They could play on the whole “Fuhrer’s deputy/pupil” thing however I don’t think Hess could run Germany alone.

I was thinking much the same. In this TL, Hitler's death opens up a chance for the military to force their way back into the centre of things. I think Goebbels will play ball with them, as without Hitler he is nothing.
Joseph Goebbels arrived at the Ministry of Propaganda at 8 o'clock on the 9th November. He had been made aware of the death of Hitler, but had not been able to act. He had telephoned other members of the Cabinet, but had only heard from Hess, who requested that he meet him and Keitel at the Ministry.

Goebbels arrived to find no SS men at all, but a number of soldiers. Under protest, he was taken to his office and sat in front of Keitel. Keitel explained the situation, and gave him a choice: accept a position as Minister of Justice under Hess and Raeder, or be shot. Goebbels quickly acquiesced, especially when Keitel informed him that his family home was surrounded.

Meanwhile, Wilhelm Frick and Hans Frank were taken in that morning. More moderate Cabinet members, such as Hjalmar Schacht, agreed to carry on in the new government.

There had been no radio broadcasts at all that morning, as all national media was now in the hands of the army. Rather than their usual diet of stories from occupied Poland, the listeners of Germany were treated at 11 a.m. to the news that Hitler had been killed. This was immediately followed by this statement, read by Hans Fritzsche:

"At 4 a.m. this morning of the 9th November 1939, the Fuehrer's deputy, Rudolf Hess, was sworn in as Reichspraesident in accordance with the Fuehrer's wishes. He has selected the distinguished hero, Grossadmiral Erich Raeder, as the new Reichskanzler.

The first act of our new President has been to arrest the traitors Reinhard Heydrich, Martin Bormann and Joachim von Ribbentrop, who have confessed to their role in the murder of the Fuehrer".
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On 10th November, Georg Elser was delivered to Berlin and placed in military custody. He would survive, but he had to to be kept away for the time being.

The army generals were all forced to swear allegiance to Hess, but most knew where they stood. They were persuaded in their loyalty by a number of promotions to Field Marshal, notably granted to Kesselring and Wilhelm List.

Goebbels, Goering and several others immediately accomodated themselves to the regime, and brought others in tow. The new Cabinet was thus (and was not hugely changed from before in terms of the personnel):

Reichspraesident: Rudolf Hess
Chancellor: Erich Raeder
Vice Chancellor and Justice: Joseph Goebbels
Foreign Minister: Hermann Goering
Interior: Arthur Nebe
Finance: von Krosigk
Propaganda: Wilhelm Ohnesorge
War: General Keitel
Economics and Food: Arthur Seyss-Inquart
Labour: Albert Speer
Posts and Transport: Julius Dorpmueller


Good work. I've often wondered about the possibility of this as the basis for a TL, perhaps a limited Nazi victory one as suggested by others above. Whichever, look forward to see where you go with this.

In particular, I wonder what this does to the Phoney War and Norway/Denmark.
I wonder how this is going to go, the war will probably go better, but how much better? After all, a war going better for Nazi Germany isn't saying a lot.
Speer as labour minister in 1939? Surely he would just be a well connected architect at the time, not a key man in the inner circle.
Interesting...but I do wonder why they did not keep Goebbels as Propaganda...he was actually very good at that. Wasn't Ohnesorge the postmaster? What makes him a good choice for Propaganda?

Just asking:D I do find what you are doing interesting!