"Reichsmarschall - the Führer is dead. Long live the Führer!"

Okay, so I'm sure this has probably been covered elsewhere, but hey ho.

After a certain point it's generally seen as counterproductive to take out the Führer as many of his decisions were made surrounded by yes-men and neurosyphilis probably contributed more than logic did to military decisions later on (perhaps).

So... my question is in two parts:

1) Anyone have any idea when the tipping point was? At which point should we have declined to take the shot if given the chance?

2) If he was killed what happens next? I suspect this all depends on the timing. If we'd taken him out early, say while he's running around Paris, does Goring offer terms to keep all the gains or do they still have a pop at Barbarossa?

If later on, say after the landings in 1944 does Goring sue for peace immediately in a hope of staying on as leader or does he try a defense of Germany?

Of course, in 1940 I don't think Goring was the official successor and even in 1944 he may have been replaced by someone else quickly, so feel free to speculate on what anyone else would have done.

If they do sue for peace in 1944 before the vast majority of Western Allied deaths have occurred is there any chance any of them stays in post-war government or would this see Stalin invade the whole of Germany? Later this would be moot once news of the camps got out, then they'd all be hanged or locked up, but could provisional 1944 plans be to keep Goring or perhaps Speer on at least at first?

Be interested to know what people think. Thanks
 
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Kongzilla

Banned
Goring was Hitler's legal successor from 1939 until the closing days of the war when he was replaced by Donitz for being a traitor or some such. From 1939-43 he is really the only one that can grab the throne as until that point the SS wasn't particularly large or politically powerful but it became so after the losses of Stalingrad.

Goring would probably make peace in 44 and 40 because he didn't really want war. He was far to lazy for that. He can make a scapegoat of Himmler and the SS if he makes peace in 44. Ultimately I think he's still gonna bite the bullet. Speer is going to end up doing the same thing he did in OTL.
 

Perkeo

Banned
I think this has to be done before WWII is definitely decided. The very last deadline is D-day, perhaps we even need it as early as theCasablanca Conference in January 1943.

If Hitler dies after that and before the last idiot understands that the war is decided, historians will write that his death was the reason Germany lost - a second infamous Dolchstoßlegende.
 
I think this has to be done before WWII is definitely decided. The very last deadline is D-day, perhaps we even need it as early as theCasablanca Conference in January 1943.

If Hitler dies after that and before the last idiot understands that the war is decided, historians will write that his death was the reason Germany lost - a second infamous Dolchstoßlegende.

So if we're agreed that Goring takes power, at least initially, what happens before / after D-day with Hitler dead? Does he contact the Allies and try to make peace immediately in an attempt to try and stay on?
 
If the bomb on Hitler's plane goes off-after his visit to Army Group Center HQ in 1943....the fat man takes over. How the war would progress is anyone's guess, but Goering would likely listen to the generals a lot more than Hitler did, and he wouldn't be micromanaging things to the degree Hitler did.
 
If the bomb on Hitler's plane goes off-after his visit to Army Group Center HQ in 1943....the fat man takes over. How the war would progress is anyone's guess, but Goering would likely listen to the generals a lot more than Hitler did, and he wouldn't be micromanaging things to the degree Hitler did.

Not really anyone's guess. The German generals had little more strategic sense than Hitler did; they underestimated the Red Army consistently, and overestimated their own abilities. I doubt they could run the war much better, especially when by 1943 Germany's position in the East was untenable; the Red Army had become a killing machine capable of steamrolling it's way to Berlin. As an example of this, by the end of the summer-fall campaign '43 German divisions in the Ukraine were at 30% strength. Most of these losses were taken on the defensive.
 
Probably another important question to consider is if Stalin would make peace with anyone once he'd turned around the red army and started winning...
 
Probably another important question to consider is if Stalin would make peace with anyone once he'd turned around the red army and started winning...

He never considered making it during the disasters of 1941, so no.
 
He never considered making it during the disasters of 1941, so no.

Pretty much. The moment the first German tank crossed the Soviet border the only way the Eastern Front was going to end was by last one standing.
 

Kongzilla

Banned
The war is lost either way, but if Goring makes peace it will only be with the WAllies and he'll allow his generals to defend however they see fit, instead of standing in one spot and not taking a step back.
 
Could we potentially get just a Soviet - Nazi war then following the death of Hitler or would the other Allies stick with it?

Or would they see it as a chance to weaken both the countries and just let them get on with it?

(That said, in terms of fighting and killing I think about 80% of it went this way anyway, but the red army might not be as logistically competent without American help...maybe)

(Edit: This post went up without seeing the one above posted a few seconds before)
 
He never considered making it during the disasters of 1941, so no.

It was never offered though was it? Hitler had total defeat on his mind regarding the Soviet Union, something he probably realised was unrealistic for Britain and impossible for America. Goring might have been more sensible, realising that Russian winters basically undo all the work you've been doing since the spring.
 
He never considered making it during the disasters of 1941, so no.

According to a least one account, recounted in "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," he did. He was reported to have told the Bulgarian ambassador that he thought the Germans were winning and that he would have to negotiate a peace to avoid a total loss. Reportedly, the Bulgarian told him that the Germans weren't going to last and that he should stay in the fight. At the time, it reminded me of Wellington's "They won't stand."

I'm not sure how much stock to place in Stalin's comment; he might have been playing the Bulgarian for reasons of his own; but there it is.
 
Unconditional surrender was not agreed upon until 1943 after which it would've made no difference who was in charge of Germany. Germany would've had to surrender to all the Allies, including the Soviet Union, something that would not have gone down well in Germany considering that it wasn't until early 1944 that the Germans were driven out of the Soviet Union. Surrendering then would've produced another "stab-in-the-back" myth.

My own belief is that if Goering had taken over Germany some time between the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa and the Battle of Stalingrad he could've negotiated a very lucrative (for Germany) deal with Stalin who would've grabbed it if it meant he would remain in power. That would've left Goering free to deal with the British.

Goering's biggest problem was that he was Hitler's right hand man and many of his decisions were aimed at impressing Hitler. He was also unwilling to listen to other people as long as he could refer to Hitler for the final word on anything. Goering did have leadership skills and he was popular in Nazi Germany even near the end, even if he was the butt of many jokes. It was Goering who created the Gestapo, created the Luftwaffe and managed the German economy effectively for most of the Third Reich's existence. So it would've been interesting to see how Europe and the war would've turned out.
 

RousseauX

Donor
If they do sue for peace in 1944 before the vast majority of Western Allied deaths have occurred is there any chance any of them stays in post-war government or would this see Stalin invade the whole of Germany? Later this would be moot once news of the camps got out, then they'd all be hanged or locked up, but could provisional 1944 plans be to keep Goring or perhaps Speer on at least at first?
No, no German government would have offered terms even remotely reasonable pre-1944 (even the July 20th coupsts wanted completely unreasonable terms), nor would the allies trust any German government enough to accept.
 

RousseauX

Donor
Could we potentially get just a Soviet - Nazi war then following the death of Hitler or would the other Allies stick with it?

Or would they see it as a chance to weaken both the countries and just let them get on with it?

(That said, in terms of fighting and killing I think about 80% of it went this way anyway, but the red army might not be as logistically competent without American help...maybe)

(Edit: This post went up without seeing the one above posted a few seconds before)
No, the west saw Germany as too big of a threat to just sit on the sidelines, plus nobody wanted the Soviets to gain control of everything up to the Rhine.
 
No, no German government would have offered terms even remotely reasonable pre-1944 (even the July 20th coupsts wanted completely unreasonable terms), nor would the allies trust any German government enough to accept.

No German government that included Hitler perhaps...

A 1940 Hitler-offing, post successful battle of France and the Germans can just offer a status quo style terms surely? They're not at war with either the Soviets or America at this point and following Dunkirk the British were stinging... they certainly wouldn't totally give in, but surely there was the temptation to regroup and declare war again later if reasonable terms were offered? Especially as Churchill wasn't yet PM and you still had guys like Londonderry and Halifax hanging around.

Perhaps this would just make things worse.
 
Okay, so I'm sure this has probably been covered elsewhere, but hey ho.

After a certain point it's generally seen as counterproductive to take out the Führer

It never was. My father was lead bombardier for his squadron on two missions to Berlin. His aiming point was the Führerbunker complex.

Does that sound like the Allies didn't want to take out the Führer?

Ewen Montagu (progenitor of The Man Who Never Was) was a top-level British spook - privy to ULTRA and Double-Cross. He wrote that the most exciting moment of the war for him was on 20 July, when the plotters in Berlin announced that Hitler was dead - and the report that Hitler had survived was the biggest disappointment.

Does that sound like the Allies didn't want to take out the Führer?

neurosyphilis probably contributed more than logic did to military decisions later on (perhaps).

There's no evidence that Hitler had syphilis.

1) Anyone have any idea when the tipping point was?

Never. Hitler's bad decisions were less important than his insistence on fighting to the very end, long after it was obvious the war was lost. Hitler - and only Hitler - had the prestige and loyalty to keep resistance up.
2) If he was killed what happens next? I suspect this all depends on the timing.

Rather obviously. There is a timeline based on Elser's bomb in the Burgerbraukellar killing Hitler in November 1939.

If we'd taken him out early, say while he's running around Paris, does Goring offer terms to keep all the gains or do they still have a pop at Barbarossa?

Goering was opposed to Barbarossa. He never dared to oppose Hitler openly on anything, but he was sneaking around trying to gin up enough counter-opinion to scuttle it.

If later on, say after the landings in 1944 does Goring sue for peace immediately in a hope of staying on as leader or does he try a defense of Germany?

Goering will try to open negotiations, and get stonewalled. That's if he even survives Hitler. (The Schwarze Kapelle wanted to get Hitler, Goering, and Himmler at one go, and they had at least one chance of it.) Even if he lives to succeed Hitler, he won't last long. The Schwarze Kapelle was handicapped by the personal oath every Wehrmacht officer had sworn to Hitler. A lot of them really had qualms about that. Doesn't apply with Goering. Nor does Goering have Hitler's charisma, or his record.

Of course, in 1940 I don't think Goring was the official successor
He was named official successor in Hitler's speech to the Reichstag at the start of the war. He was dismissed only in May 1945, when he proposed to take over for Hitler, because Hitler was stuck in the ruins of Berlin.

If they do sue for peace in 1944 before the vast majority of Western Allied deaths have occurred is there any chance any of them stays in post-war government

The Allies have already declared they will accept only unconditional surrender. All of the top Nazis they can catch will get the drop or long prison terms.

(The three Nuremberg acquittals were Schacht, who had been out of power since before the war and had contacts with the Schwarze Kapelle; Fritzsche, who was really only a speechwriter and proxy for dead Goebbels; and Von Papen, who was a pre-Nazi politician and spent the war as ambassador to Turkey.)

If Hitler is killed by the 20 July bomb... the Nazis are gone. The post-Nazis will try to negotiate and get nothing. The remaining Axis allies will all bail out immediately (most did by September anyway). Faced with a completely hopeless struggle that will just end with Germany ruined as well as defeated, the neo-Germans surrender in September.
 
It never was. My father was lead bombardier for his squadron on two missions to Berlin. His aiming point was the Führerbunker complex.

Does that sound like the Allies didn't want to take out the Führer?

Ewen Montagu (progenitor of The Man Who Never Was) was a top-level British spook - privy to ULTRA and Double-Cross. He wrote that the most exciting moment of the war for him was on 20 July, when the plotters in Berlin announced that Hitler was dead - and the report that Hitler had survived was the biggest disappointment.

Does that sound like the Allies didn't want to take out the Führer?

That's pretty interesting. I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but is it possible that he went from asset to liability to asset again? Could he have been useful early in the war having established the state and reformed the army, then been a liability as he micromanaged the war into a quicker defeat, then become somewhat of an asset again mostly as a rallying figure whilst in the bunker?

There's no evidence that Hitler had syphilis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16341329 - and that's why you read more than the title when looking up sources .... oops....

Hitler's bad decisions were less important than his insistence on fighting to the very end, long after it was obvious the war was lost. Hitler - and only Hitler - had the prestige and loyalty to keep resistance up.

Yep, okay, but as above again.

Goering was opposed to Barbarossa. He never dared to oppose Hitler openly on anything, but he was sneaking around trying to gin up enough counter-opinion to scuttle it.

Goering will try to open negotiations, and get stonewalled. That's if he even survives Hitler. (The Schwarze Kapelle wanted to get Hitler, Goering, and Himmler at one go, and they had at least one chance of it.) Even if he lives to succeed Hitler, he won't last long. The Schwarze Kapelle was handicapped by the personal oath every Wehrmacht officer had sworn to Hitler. A lot of them really had qualms about that. Doesn't apply with Goering. Nor does Goering have Hitler's charisma, or his record.

So no Barbarossa then. If negotiations are refused does he just keep going with the British and leave Molotov-Ribbentrop intact? As far as I know it was understood on both sides that eventually this was going to come to pieces...or did now Fuhrer Goring not know that? If he's killed early enough is there no chance the British (as sole adversaries) accept terms?

The Allies have already declared they will accept only unconditional surrender. All of the top Nazis they can catch will get the drop or long prison terms.

In 1943 though right?
 
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