"Our Struggle": What If Hitler Had Been a Communist?

Chapter CXIII

Culture, which has for so long – for too long – had only the weapons of the intelligence to defend it against the material weapons of the aggressors, that culture is itself not only an emanation of the spirit but also and above all a material thing. And it is with material weapons that it must be defended.

~ Bertolt Brecht, Speech at the Second Congress of Writers for the Defense of Culture





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Kama Tank School, near Kazan; October 1933





Beers were passed around whilst the projectionist fumbled with the outdated machinery to the mockery of his comrades. He was always able to respond back that he had proven to be the least useless in getting the thing to work.



The viewing house wasn’t the most comfortable cinema Peter had ever sat in but it felt like a privilege all the same. The students of the tank school hadn’t had a cinema at all during his previous excursion to the Soviet Union and it felt like a luxury. Even if it was little more than a hut with a screen and some chairs.



Peter was happy for the distraction, film or not. It was the sort of comfort that made his life easier in the duplicitous role he was playing. He wished he could have pursued something that actually corresponded to his official remit for the National Reconstruction Council but he was glad the People’s Guard were more willing to look after their soldiers despite them being posted so far away. Like the Reichswehr before them events had made it paramount to continue the military cooperation with the Red Army whilst economic cooperation strengthened even further between their two countries. The Soviets needed Germany just as much as the Germans needed them it seemed, though they maintained the rumours of a devastating famine in the months beforehand weren’t true. Their Red Army hosts were more accommodating than they had ever been before, it was one of the reasons they were finally able to get German films in without a lengthy review by Soviet censors.


The projector spluttered to life and a cheer arose from the assembled audience as the lights in the barn were dimmed. All eyes turned to the newsreel preceding the film before another cheer from the Communist members among the crowd as the first story featured Chancellor Hitler, opening a tractor factory. Those attending the event were also shown to be clapping enthusiastically whilst Hitler spoke about their continued efforts to achieve a powerful worker-based economy. The workers didn’t control the factory itself but they did manage it. Peter supposed that was a start.


The next story showed that the progress Germany had made wasn’t going unnoticed, some of his supposed colleagues in the National Reconstruction Council were visiting Washington D.C. as part of a trade delegation. The Foreign Minister was pictured in the White House shaking hands with the new American President.


Roosevelt was no socialist himself but he was clearly impressed by what Germany had achieved and Peter couldn’t help but wonder whether this move was also something of an indication of the United Front’s new direction. The effort to unite the Communists and Social Democrats was a troubled one but perhaps efforts to renew a relationship with the Americans showed that the Communists were willing to indulge the Social Democratic vision of what the republic should be. It certainly seemed to be a concern amongst his comrades.


Footage of protests in France went on to show yet another French government collapse, this time over increased defence spending. The French left were outraged by this, even if they were far more divided than their German brothers. It was more reassuring to see Spain’s left-wing government survive in the following story. More strife was then shown on the streets of Colombia as a general strike turned into a wave of riots. The screen froze on a man and a woman, apparently the leaders of the dissension, being bundled into a police car.


Hammering on the projector followed until the machine relented, now a football match between Borussia Dortmund and a visiting Scottish team replaced the couple on the screen. German football had suffered in the wake of the civil war and reconstruction, Dortmund had become one of the better sides by virtue of their squad holding together better than most in the aftermath. All the same the match ended 5-1 to the Scottish side, a complete disaster. Peter was sure his own Bayern Munich would have made short work of the Scots a few years ago, back when they were the major source of local pride in their home city instead of dreams of Bavarian independence.


There was a general muttering throughout the barn, Peter wasn’t aware of any Dortmund fans amongst them but the German team losing so badly stung them all regardless. It was unifying in its own way but they had settled down by the time the film had begun.


The feature was called The Testament of Dr Mabuse by Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou. It was a talkie sequel to a previous two-part silent film made by the pair. Peter had been too young to see the previous film when it had first come out and with his father subsequently denouncing Lang as a Bolshevik he had had to wait until the aftermath of the civil war to watch the thriller.


Its sequel began with a power plant in an unnamed German city where the workers were complaining of strange noises. They were forbidden from talking about it by the owner of the power plant, only for it to turn out the man was being controlled by the noise. The demonic Dr Mabuse was giving orders to the plant’s owner remotely with his mind, for the criminal mastermind was living in exile in a crypt beneath Rome. The aftermath of the previous films had forced him to flee to Italy where he had first perfected his mind control.


The heroes of the film were the workers of the power plant instead of the detectives from the first film. The police were portrayed as also being susceptible to Mabuse’s control and aided the owner in attempting to use the power plant to supercharge the villain’s mind power, allowing him to take over the entire city.


Peter found himself transfixed in a different way by the eeriness of the film. Although the workers found that they were able to resist the hypnosis by their collective class consciousness the film ended without Mabuse being defeated, instead it finished with him resolving that he would try the same scheme over and over in different parts of the country until he was victorious. The screen faded to black with only the warm light used to represent the combined power of the workers flickering until it too faded.


The lights in the viewing house were turned back on but an awkward silence remained before Peter and his fellow tankers awkwardly started to shuffle out.



The cold night brought a relief to the tension and soon the group were making their way to the tank school’s bar. Like the cinema it was managed by themselves and provided a socialistic atmosphere amongst the different ranks. Their own triumph of cooperation over hierarchy.


His colleagues were new to this place, his old group scattered. Klaus’ talents had apparently been deemed sufficiently worthwhile to keep him in the fatherland. Franzhad died in Lehrte alongside many of his former friends in the civil war, whether they had belonged to the secret reading group or not. Those who had survived had fled or were sent back to their families, not ideologically suitable for the People’s Guard. Some were still in prison.


This left Peter as something of an old man amongst the new set, even though his young face didn’t give him much seniority. His rank had also been elevated beyond his years but the People’s Guard had less consideration for that than the old Reichswehr, especially amongst this small island within the Soviet Union.


The world's first socialist state was no longer considered to be the epitome of evil in the same way it had been by the Reichswehr, even if the German revolution marched at a different pace fraternisation of the sort Peter could only have dreamed about before now took place openly. The same fears about spies remained in place but it had always been clear that the fraternisation itself had been what had made the Reichswehr leadership so paranoid. The Bolsheviks were not meant to be their friends, merely the enemy of their enemies.


He paused outside the bar for some fresh air, the stark imagery of the film lingering in his thoughts. The welcoming light from the windows was joined with shouts of greeting as the German party joined the Russians inside. Peter wondered if this was the sort of solidarity the film had been trying to instill.



In spite of the darkness the silhouettes of the tanks they had been working with stood out defiantly. They represented the continued triumphs of German-Soviet cooperation, an alliance that seemed increasingly to be borne of its time. The bodies of the machines were larger, their shapes more fearsome, than anything the Reichswehr had been working with three years beforehand.


Soon they would be ready to face the world outside, either to rally against the encroaching darkness, or to spread their light to others.



Peter wondered if he would be ready by then to embark on another crusade.



---



The still is from The Testament of Dr Mabuse
 
I wonder what kind of tanks Comintern will have. This union should produce lot better models than anything we saw in OTL. And this Hitler will have nothing against automatic rifles or against jet planes. We know from before that use will have better plane in 47, but still. Things are getting interesting.
 
Hammering on the projector followed until the machine relented, now a football match between Borussia Dortmund and a visiting Scottish team replaced the couple on the screen. German football had suffered in the wake of the civil war and reconstruction, Dortmund had become one of the better sides by virtue of their squad holding together better than most in the aftermath. All the same the match ended 5-1 to the Scottish side, a complete disaster. Peter was sure his own Bayern Munich would have made short work of the Scots a few years ago, back when they were the major source of local pride in their home city instead of dreams of Bavarian independence.
Bayern had won their first national championship in 1932. they weren't really the dominant side even in their own city until the late '60s.

The DFB had frowned on professionalism, expelling Schalke in 1930 over somewhat too-generous expense payments. There was a schism between the West German FA and those of the other regions: the former represented the Ruhr's working class clubs. This was an issue to be decided at the AGM of 25/5/33: national events meant this was not carried out.

Bayern had a Jewish president, Kurt Landauer, he happily survived, fleeing to Switzerland, and was re-elected club leader in '47. Bayern simply ignored as many Nazi edicts as they could, and were not exactly the regime's favoured side.

An excellent book on German football: Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger, Tor! ((2002). There's a revised 2013 edition that I haven't read.

There was a general muttering throughout the barn, Peter wasn’t aware of any Dortmund fans amongst them but the German team losing so badly stung them all regardless. It was unifying in its own way but they had settled down by the time the film had begun.
In 1999 most Germans were rooting for man Utd in the European Cup Final. Most Brits were for Bayern
The feature was called The Testament of Dr Mabuse by Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou.
Rather different to IOTL's version, but seemingly just as bonkers. Of course, every film now made in Germany will have to have a "message", which the audience in this case seem to have found quite effective.
 
Cool update. I hope we see more glimpses of art & entertainment in Red Germany.
Thanks! It's a very important part of the Weimar aesthetic and this won't change now the DAR is on the horizon.

I wonder what kind of tanks Comintern will have. This union should produce lot better models than anything we saw in OTL.
To a certain extent they can benefit each other just in the form of a second opinion coming from a different angle, for example the Soviets would likely urge against the wastefulness of the Tiger program whilst the Germans could more readily point out that the T-35 was a theoretical dead end. The outcome of their cooperation will produce new tanks more suited to their joint doctrine and also by having their thinking shaped in the coming conflicts. Here there will also be some synchronicity between the two as their experiences will be much more similar than they were IOTL.

And this Hitler will have nothing against automatic rifles or against jet planes. We know from before that use will have better plane in 47, but still. Things are getting interesting.
Hitler ITTL does have something of a latent futurism about him that would likely see him embrace automatic rifles and jets earlier but with less appetite for indulgences. He's probably going to be more excited about licensing the Mig-3 for use as a high altitude interceptor than in the V-weapons. By the latter half of the 40s both sides in the conflict will be playing a rather aggressive game of cat and mouse in regards to industry and technology.

Bayern had won their first national championship in 1932. they weren't really the dominant side even in their own city until the late '60s.
It was my understanding that Bayern were pretty competitive in the Bavarian leagues in the years prior to 1932, not dominant but always up there. At the very least they were the best team in the city at that juncture, no offence to any 1860 fans reading.

In 1999 most Germans were rooting for man Utd in the European Cup Final. Most Brits were for Bayern
I'd wager Borussia are a bit more innocuous, especially back then. At any rate I'd say that Germans stranded thousands of miles away from the fatherland would be more likely to support whatever German team was playing against a foreign opponent.

Rather different to IOTL's version, but seemingly just as bonkers. Of course, every film now made in Germany will have to have a "message", which the audience in this case seem to have found quite effective.
Certainly Lang and von Harbour have an axe to grind here and the atmosphere in the Germany at the time isn't exactly tempering that so the anti-fascist message is a bit clearer here than it was in the OTL production, if indeed that was meant to have had one at all. I was also thinking that ITTL's version of M would be about the trial of von Schleicher but that might delay its inception a bit.
 

Aloha

Gone Fishin'
Well, in Hearts of Iron you can choose different flags for your country, so maybe that's the case in the screenshot?

Speaking of that, I wonder who would be the leader of the "German Reich" (if you created it on Hearts of Iron) in this universe?
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BOOST PARTY POPULARITY
 
Considering the fascist Germany in this timeline has a more traditional conservative-monarchist bend, I think it would probably be led by Wilhelm III, or perhaps von Schleicher.
 

Aloha

Gone Fishin'
Considering the fascist Germany in this timeline has a more traditional conservative-monarchist bend, I think it would probably be led by Wilhelm III, or perhaps von Schleicher.
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In HOI4 you could always create new factions or change the name of factions (so long as you're the leader) so the Central Powers part isn't too much of an issue.
 
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Considering the fascist Germany in this timeline has a more traditional conservative-monarchist bend, I think it would probably be led by Wilhelm III, or perhaps von Schleicher.
It would really come down to who held the most cards when it became apparent to Wilhelm that von Schleicher intended for him to be a titular monarch. This was forced earlier than it might have been otherwise due to the failure of the Third Reich to quickly establish its authority over the entirety of Germany. Had that succeeded it's possible von Schleicher could have mired Wilhelm in constitutional entanglements until the Blackshirts had been dispersed and the Crown Prince is so worn out that he signs off on a new constitution that leaves him neutered. Alternatively von Schleicher's attempts at coalition building go as well as they did IOTL and Wilhelm's preferred choice for a new Chancellor ends up as the acceptable option to those now in control of Germany. Essentially von Schleicher wanted the Third Reich to be a break from the old conservative-monarchist yearnings but he might have just ended up with a even-less-enlightened retread of the Second.
 
Chapter CXIV
The belief in progress, in the embrace of happiness and perfection by future humanity, appears now as nothing but an illusion, useful perhaps for the maintenance of the status quo, if it is true that man deploys a greater effort in the hope of an indeterminate happiness than he would for the preservation of a state which he often declares himself dissatisfied with.


~ Jules de Gaultier, A Critique of the Idea of Progress







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Lipansk Airfield, near Moscow; November 1933





The tyres of the Polikarpov biplane made contact with the runway, causing Johann to shudder for a moment whilst his aircraft bounced back into the air momentarily before returning to earth much more calmly.



Slowly rolling to a halt, he still felt high up in the clouds. The Soviet ground crew approaching him continued on regardless of the dazed look in his eyes, before finally asking if everything had worked.


“Congratulations Comrades, best thing I’ve ever flown!” Johann chirped before hoisting himself out of the cockpit. The Russians could speak German but focused on hauling the craft away for refueling. Johann didn’t mind, his dreams of returning to the air were being realised at last and nothing could spoil this moment for him.

The events in Austria had won him plaudits amongst the People’s Guard but also from the new Chancellor.

Adolf Hitler had promised him before the civil war that the Red Front would soon have need for an air force and he had delivered. Part of this had been Johann’s own experiences in Austria, where Italian control of the sky had left the People’s Guard and their Austrian brethren at a perilous disadvantage. It hadn’t been enough to allow the fascists through the well defended heights of the Brenner pass but it had left an impression on all those involved. Johann had subsequently lobbied for a German air force and, with the Austrian Bundesheer having been incorporated into the People’s Guard, he had new colleagues with experience in setting one up illicitly.

At the same time international disarmament talks were being pursued the old Reichswehr relationship with the Red Army was being rekindled by the People’s Guard in the same clandestine fashion as their reactionary predecessors. A new generation of German combat aircraft and pilots would be needed in case the talks were to fail and by the time they had, the Treaty of Versailles had become increasingly redundant in the People’s Guard’s calculations.

The French and Italians had made it clear that nothing would ever remove them as a threat to the German people and so rearmament became essential, particularly now Germany shared a border with both countries.

It was as good an excuse as any to get him flying again

German biplanes were in development alongside the Soviet models they were helping to test. The new Heinkel dive bomber was a source of particular pride, being faster and more maneuverable than anything Johann had flown in the days of the Ruhr uprising. He had been rusty after having gone without flying for so long but after having become comfortable with the training craft it was a rush to fly something so powerful. The knowledge that even better planes were in development left him full of anticipation for the future.

It was a future that Johann was certain would be secured by his fellow German pilots, who now came out to greet him. So far there was no specific uniform for the air wing of the People’s Guard but they were still better put together than Johann in his worn flight suit. All the same he was senior to most of them, many had been toddlers during the World War.

“How was she?” Asked Heinrich, one of the younger pilots, with an eager grin.

“Flies like a dream, machine guns work perfectly as well.” Johann responded with similar enthusiasm. The circumstances of why they were here were intoxicating to those with dreams of flying and Johann was reluctant to get out of his flight suit.

“Glad to know, it’s my turn next.” Heinrich said proudly, as if to dissuade from Johann from trying to have another go at the aircraft that was already refueling. Heinrich had a look of anticipation that many had amongst the German group, Johann knew it well. Some of those in the German mission had flown reconnaissance missions for the People’s Guard, or even dropped leaflets on Reichswehr troops in the closing stages of the war but he doubted any of them would have strafed Freikorps like he had. Flying with live ammunition had that extra sense of adventure to it.

Johann was ready to head back to his quarters to change and was about to ask Heinrich if he was coming to get his flight suit on whilst the ground crew finished preparing the Polikarpov to go up again. This was before he was distracted by the familiar buzzing sound of another aircraft approaching the airfield.

“I don’t remember anyone else being scheduled to land.” Johann commented neutrally, transfixed by the large aircraft that wasn’t coming into land. Instead it was now circling above the airfield.

“I don’t recognise the make. Is it Soviet?” The sound of gunfire seemed to answer Heinrich’s question.

Soviet flak cannons surrounding the airfield opened up on the aircraft which now ceased circling and began to head back west, the direction it had arrived from. The presence of the anti-aircraft guns had always seemed odd to Johann, the airfield was deep inside the Soviet interior for a reason after all. What enemy nation would be flying this far into Soviet airspace? It seemed someone had considered it worthwhile and now Johann felt he had an opportunity to prove his own worth.

With an apologetic glance at his young comrade, Johann darted back over to the Polikarpov. The ground crew stood around the biplane, transfixed at the aircraft departing amidst the puffs of smoke caused by the flak.

“Get me back up there as quickly as possible.” Johann shouted above the din.

“We don’t take orders from you.” The head of the group refueling the craft replied in heavily accented German.

“And if you think that you can take-off when there’s flak cannons firing-” The Ukrainian went on to continue before Johann cut him off.

“The flak cannons have missed, it’s getting away. I’m ready to fly, I can catch it. If you allow me to do so then I take responsibility for the consequences. However, if you prevent me from doing so, that will be your responsibility. And what happens if it becomes clear we just allowed an enemy aircraft to fly away unmolested, no doubt they had cameras. Think about it!”

The ground crew seemed to make quick calculations of their own whilst the alien aircraft disappeared into the distance, soon it would be unreachable. In the meantime they were now hauling Johann back into his seat with final checks being ignored in favour of clearing the airstrip.

Johann took off, his fellow pilots cheering in anticipation.

The Luftstreitkrafte was back.

Up in the air again he had a chance to recollect his thoughts and wonder whether this was a good idea. He had just apprehended a Soviet plane to go off and pursue an aircraft of unidentified origin. He wasn’t exactly being furtive.

The aircraft in question came back into view amidst the cloudy blue sky, the small Polikarpov doing its job of outpacing larger opponents. The mystery aircraft was far larger than his own, appearing to be of French design albeit not one he could recognise. It had one wing with four large engines whilst machine gun turrets protruded from the body of the craft Johann swung wide, trying to keep his distance in the hopes he could go unspotted for as long as possible.

He was still debating on what to do, before the aircraft made its decision for him by trying to dart away.

Believing he had been spotted, Johann accelerated in order to catch up again, moving in closer. The French markings on the aircraft were clearly visible now although that didn’t necessarily explain where they had come from. It seemed unlikely for it to have come from Syria even with so many engines, at any rate it was still headed west.

The French plane veered away from him again but it was clear that they remained on that course. Johann was able to exploit the maneuverability and speed of his biplane to outdo the pilot trying to lose him. In response the French went to a higher altitude and warily he followed again. The Polikarpov could purportedly go higher than almost anything flying but he didn’t want to find out it couldn’t when the engine cut out several thousand feet up in the air. It ascended again and he followed above.Johann wondered if the pilot was also unsure of his new aircraft for there was no third attempt.

They were high above the clouds all the same. Johann kept his eye on the plane’s turrets and moved in once more. He could see they were manned now but as he flew to the left of the aircraft it no longer attempted to evade him. Perhaps their impressive range was limited to only a certain amount of aerobatics or perhaps the pilot had just grown tired of it. Either way he was now able to go wing to wing with him, close enough to see each other.

They stared at each other momentarily through goggles before Johann raised his hand and pointed downward with his index finger. He repeated the motion with greater emphasis to make sure the French pilot acknowledged his request for him to land. In response he raised his middle finger to the canopy before pulling away again.

Johann grunted and nervously eyed his fuel gauge. He was enjoying the cat and mouse game but he would not be able to keep it up for much longer if he was to return back to base in one piece. He had no doubt the French aircraft had been able to outlast him in this regard, without further interruption they would make it back to Poland, Romania or wherever else they had come from. Once back they would report on what they had seen, alongside any photos they might have taken or film they might have shot. For them to return back safely would put the defence of the German worker at risk, alongside his own dreams of flight. The time had come to make a decision.

He wrenched his elevator towards himself in the hope it would convince the French he had given up. Instead he gained height and hovered over the enemy aircraft, before diving into attack. He tried to imagine it was just another test of the weaponry, soaring down before opening fire with his machine guns, scoring a hit on the left side of the French wing.

Swooping past, Johann noticed one of their engines was now in flames. He thought about trying to threaten the aircraft down but was wary of getting near the enemy turrets. It was unlikely they would remain silent now. The only thing left to do was to make sure the French could not get back at all and that required disabling their engines enough to force them to land.

Johann soared up once more, taking advantage of the sun becoming more dominant in the sky. The French plane sat glimmering below him and he hoped the crew would be too dazzled to respond. Diving down he prepared to open fire again only for bullets to rattle all around him. The French turret was active and in his surprise the Polikarpov nearly collided with its target.

The shock was hard for him to process and Johann breathed in and out heavily before coming to his senses. Wasting oxygen was an indulgence he couldn’t afford at this altitude. He had taken the Polikarpov out of immediate danger but his wings were covered with bullet holes, another attempt to bring down the French plane might not allow him such a lucky escape.

All the same they were getting away and would the Soviets really be happier that he had damaged their aircraft if he had done so only to fail? Would his young comrades have been impressed?

Johann brought the plane up into the glare of the bright sun once more, even higher this time, before closing his eyes and turning the craft downwards The French aircraft was a much smaller object from this height but it was growing rapidly in size. Johann realised his breath was held in anticipation and suddenly he found himself emitting a defiant roar. The French turret opened up and he responded with his own machine guns. For a moment he was back in Ruhr.

He soared past the craft only for a different object to fly by him. It was part of the French wing. A very large part. Johann hollered in victory before regaining his breath. The rest of the French aircraft was sent careering down into the clouds, spinning in increasingly violent circles.

Watching the wild pattern of descent he hovered in vain waiting to see the crew bail out before the craft began to come apart amidst the turbulent descent. The scattered wreckage soon disappeared underneath the clouds.


Johann made his way back to base in a troubled mood. He had taken off in excitement without entirely thinking his actions through but now he had a story to tell.



His French counterparts had had theirs taken from them.



---



The painting is Aeropittura 2 by Tulio Cralli.
 
The aircraft in question came back into view amidst the cloudy blue sky, the small Polikarpov doing its job of outpacing larger opponents. The mystery aircraft was far larger than his own, appearing to be of French design albeit not one he could recognise. It had one wing with four large engines...
Possibly a Farman F.220, which had already flown the previous year.

Of course, the disturbing thing is that they knew exactly where to go - because they'd have learned from ex-Reichswehr personnel, previously stationed in the USSR.
 
Very cool update The Red.

Possibly a Farman F.220, which had already flown the previous year.

Of course, the disturbing thing is that they knew exactly where to go - because they'd have learned from ex-Reichswehr personnel, previously stationed in the USSR.
Good call on the plane being the Farman, not too many four engine aircraft in that time period
 
A new update! Nice chapter.

Glad to see Struggle!Germany took to heart the lessons of Italy's failed invasion of Austria, regarding aviation. On the other hand, they shouldn't forget about their anti-air capabilities. How is the development of the mythical Flak 88 coming along?

And very well written, Johann's chilling realization: this is no longer training. He just killed some people out there.
 
It's a bit late, but fun fact: The National Socialist German Workers' Party was just the 'German Workers' Party' before Hitler came to lead it. Is it intentionally the same as the DAR's Communist party in this timeline, I wonder?
 
Very cool update The Red.
A new update! Nice chapter.
Thanks guys!

Good call on the plane being the Farman, not too many four engine aircraft in that time period
This is partially the reason it's one of the few aircraft that could actually make the trip. Even then it had to be from Poland, Syria was still too far away. The French had suspected that there was something going on with the Reichswehr inside the Soviet Union but they never had an aircraft that could actually allow them to have a look for themselves until now. Granted they got a bit unlucky here.

Glad to see Struggle!Germany took to heart the lessons of Italy's failed invasion of Austria, regarding aviation. On the other hand, they shouldn't forget about their anti-air capabilities. How is the development of the mythical Flak 88 coming along?
Likely delayed for a bit depending on what's become of the Reichswehr team who were secretly developing flak cannons, including the 88. Still the Austrian experience has shown the need for good flak as well as air power and the 88 is a great design so it wouldn't have been too long before the People's Guard began their own development.

And very well written, Johann's chilling realization: this is no longer training. He just killed some people out there.
Very true. He had strafed Freikorps on the ground before but it's a bit different up in the air, seeing something that could also happen to you.

It's a bit late, but fun fact: The National Socialist German Workers' Party was just the 'German Workers' Party' before Hitler came to lead it. Is it intentionally the same as the DAR's Communist party in this timeline, I wonder?
Well spotted! It is intentional as @Skulduggery noted albeit not in any meaningful way, Anton Drexler isn't involved or anything. The OTL merger of the KPD and SPD in the Soviet Zone was called the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, or Socialist Unity Party of Germany, (SED) of which Zeigner was a member in the later years of his life.
 
Red, is there any chance for Paul Robeson to emigrate to DAR? And Johann was gunning down imperialists from 1918 so I don't think this would be hard for him after all he survived.
 
Red, is there any chance for Paul Robeson to emigrate to DAR?
I think he'd be hesitant for the same reasons he wouldn't emigrate IOTL, he didn't want to abandon the Civil Rights campaign in the US and the broader campaign for workers rights in that part of the world. That said it might become necessary for him to go elsewhere for reasons beyond his control.
 
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