The Iron Eagle - The History of the Cold War

Who shall emerge victorious in the Reich’s Power Struggle?


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INTRODUCTION CHAPTER
THE IRON EAGLE
INTRODUCTION

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DISCLAIMER: I do not endorse in any form the crimes and atrocities committed by the criminal regime of the Third Reich, this scenario has been made with the intent of exploring the possibility of a highly improbable success of the German military campaigns in WWII that secured it's hegemony over mainland Europe. Due to the circumstances of this scenario, in order to make it possible, the Germans will have the use of the dark magic of plot writing to achieve their goals, known also as the spell of "Handwavium". The nature of the battles per see won't be explored in depth to avoid a break of immersion due to the inherently unrealistic nature of this Timeline: The Nazi policies and several military factors made the victory during the war to be practically impossible. Although there are some Points of Divergence (PoDs) that could've increased their chances that will be added in this timeline, such as:

1. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, former adjutant secretary of the Navy under Wilson's Administration, dies due to Polio complications in August 1921 as a relatively minor figure in American History.
2. The Crimes of D. C. Stevenson and the Indiana Klan are never discovered, preventing the collapse of the second Klan in the 1920s, keeping a powerful force endorsing xenophobia and isolationism inside American Politics during the Depression.
3. On the 30th of October, 1939, the U-56's three torpedoes explode on impact against the HMS Nelson, while the Battleship survives, it's VIP guest, Sir Winston Churchill, is killed by the explosion while traveling on the deck, hitting his head and suffering an hemorrhage by the shockwave, while he was relatively unimportant at the time, his death would result in a crucial absence of a moralizing figure in Britain.
4. The Luftwaffe does not fight the Battle of Britain, with the Germans restricting themselves to an U-Boat blockade, which begins to starve the British Islands due to the lack of the Lend-Lease Program.
5. The US government does not declare an Oil embargo in 1941, which delays the start of the Pacific War.
6. Franz Halder, Chief of Staff of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW), is killed by a bombing raid in August 1941, as a result, he is replaced by Heinz Guderian and Operation Typhoon is never executed, with the German efforts in 1941 continuing Hitler's original focus on advancing towards the Caucasus, leading to a far more successful southern advance to secure the needed Oil and Grain resources of the region.

These are just some of the changes, others being included by Butterfly Effect and the dark magic of handwavium. In this V-E day be thankful that this reality is not ours, the Nazis were one of, if not the, most evil regimes in history and it is important that their atrocities are never forgotten, this is one of the most bleak scenarios in Alternative History, and being a known popular one, I wish to give my own input on how the world would change in the eventual years by the German Endsieg (Final Victory) over it's enemies. But that doesn't mean the Nazis will continue their stroke of luck as their stock of handwavium runs out and the realities of managing a Continent sets in.
 
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Interesting! Those PoDs will cause a vastly different ww2, a map of post war Europe would be useful. Pretty horrifying to think that European Jewry has been wiped out. Maybe Hungarian and Italian Jews survived due to those countries not being invaded by Germany? Also what is the status of Slavs ? Will they be genocided or just used as slave labour?
 
Interesting! Those PoDs will cause a vastly different ww2, a map of post war Europe would be useful. Pretty horrifying to think that European Jewry has been wiped out. Maybe Hungarian and Italian Jews survived due to those countries not being invaded by Germany? Also what is the status of Slavs Italian? Will they be genocided or just used as slave labour?
There is going to the future friction between the Germans and Italians especially once the Nazi true views on Christianity show themselves. The future of the Jews is yet to be revealed and a map will be posted soon, in General the Nazis have pushed to the Astrakhan-Kazan-Archangelsky line while the British lost their positions in Gibraltar, Malta, and Cyprus following the fall of the USSR.
 
I wonder if they can get some power projection, usually on scenarios like that such as Anglo American nazi war the germans end locked in Europe
 
I - ENDSIEG
THE IRON EAGLE
ENDSIEG

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Ten years, in just ten years the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) to turn a broken State in Central Europe into the Hegemon of a continent. Such a rise of a nation wasn't seen since the days of Napoleon and a new Eagle spread it's wings over Europe, led by their Führer Adolf Hitler, it's legions conquered from Brest to Arkhangelsk, from Narvik to Athens, and the Swastika cross shadowed an entire continent. While contrary to the modern German Historiography, Western Historians from Britain and America agree that the cause of this victory was not the inevitable destiny of the Aryan race, but a mix of incompetence by it's enemies, innovative tactics, and sheer pure luck.

The Celebrations for the "Tag des Sieges" (Victory Day) were planned since before the war, and it was a chance for the Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, and Hitler's chief Architect Albert Speer to show the grandeur of the victorious Reich to the world, in the Memoirs of Goebbels, it is said that the German Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, stalled the end of the negotiations with the Allied delegations in order to make the day fall on the 20th of April, Hitler's birthday. On this day in Berlin, thousands of troops from the SS-Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, the Führer's personal division, paraded across the Unter den Linden stopping under the Brandenburg Gate, where the main figures of the Reich were seated on a platform, and the main protagonists of this New Order overlooked the troops: Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the Greater Germanic Reich; Rudolf Hess, his Deputy; Hermann Göring, Reichsmarshall and President of the Reichstag; Martin Bormann, Hess' Secretary; Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and head of the German Police; Reinhard Heydrich, Chief of the German Intelligence Services; Walther Funk, Minister of the Economy; Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda; Joachim von Ribbentrop, Foreign Minister; Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments and Chief Architect; Heinz Guderian, head of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht; Karl Dönitz, head of the Oberkommando der Marine (OKM); Amongst several other figures.

The parade was a grandiose affair unlike any since the days of Rome, a grand triumph as black-clad troopers marched in perfect discipline across the center of Berlin, the flag of the Swastika covering the way while a hundred thousand Berliners watched in ecstasy waving their flags in a show of fanaticism. After almost four years of war against some of the greatest powers of the world with a death toll reaching over a million men, by far most dying in the Eastern Front, the German people finally avenged the Treaty of Versailles. At the sound of the military band playing the SS Teufelsleid march, along with other military songs, until finally the troops arrived at the end of the parade for inspection by the Führer. Hitler would then begin the famous "Endsieg" speech emphasizing the triumph of the will of the German race against the "Judeo-Bolshevism" and "Bourgeoise Degeneracy", with the Thousand-Year Reich emerging triumphant to fulfill it's destination to the world. He would also announce the newest Führer Decree: The renaming of Berlin to Welthauptstadt (World Capital) Germania, or Germania for shorts, and the start of the construction of several structures of the project under the direction of Speer. The parade ended with a show of force by the German Luftwaffe (Air Force), which demonstrated the new Me-262 Jet plane model, launched in 1942 as a fighter jet which was one of the determinant factors in the Mediterranean campaign, although more due to the impact left on British morale than the plane per se, along with the first flight of the Ar 234, the world's first Jet-powered bomber. There would also be a parade of tanks such as the Panzer V "Panther", which would later become the mainstream medium tank of the Wehrmacht until the development of the E-50 that became the standard German Tank, along with the Panzer VI "Tiger".

The "Endsieg Parade" was both a celebration and a show of force, as demonstrated by the unveiling of the new "Wunderwaffe" (Wonder Weapons), to demonstrate to the world the power of the victorious Reich and cower it's enemies in fear, especially the ones across the channel. The British Empire was humiliated by the Second World War, with the loss of mainland Europe, Gibraltar, and Malta. But the continuation of the war was simply unpractical as Britain stood alone against the Reich: With the Germans possessing over 150 divisions spread over the continent, and without the Soviet Union to tie down it's troops, an invasion of mainland Europe would lead to an inevitable disaster, the British Isles have been starved by the U-Boat blockade for three years, while also losing much of it's experienced troops and equipment at the Dunkirk Disaster and the Fall of France. Even the African front resulted in defeat as the German Mediterranean campaign after the fall of the USSR and the entry of Spain into the war brought a series of pushbacks, with the fall of Gibraltar during Operation Felix and the fall of Malta to Italo-German forces isolating the British forces in the area. Prime Minister Edward Wood, the Viscount of Halifax, has stubbornly continued the war despite the hesitation of the War Cabinet following the Dunkirk disaster in the belief that a surrender would spell the collapse of the British Empire, yet he would finally be pressured to enter negotiations in February. The Treaty of Lisbon would be signed at midnight from the 19th to the 20th of April, with Ribbentrop deliberately stalling the final signing of the treaty as previously mentioned, with the Germans returning finally returning the prisoners of war held on it's POW camps for three years. Yet, while the British POWs were treated decently according to the Geneva Convention, the Soviet POWs would continue toiling on the east, where the Germans would finally have a free hand to enact it's wicked plans.

On the other side of the world, the war was very far from over and the Pacific continued ablaze. The Japanese Empire's war of conquest has dominated from Burma to the Solomon Islands, with large tracts of land in China under the occupation of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA), and now that the war in Europe was over, the British Empire would focus it's strength at fighting the Nipponic aggressors. Meanwhile, the United States continued it's efforts against the Japanese after the recent loss in the Battle of Midway, but despite the disastrous loss of two Aircraft Carriers, the USS Yorktown and USS Hornet, the Americans continued determined to avenge the loss at Pearl Harbor on the last year, with the full resources of the Military-Industrial power of the nation being mobilized after a decade of economic depression and stagnation, the dockyards pumping out several ships every month and with four new carriers in the ending stages of construction, the Japanese needed to deliver a decisive blow while the American navy was weakened by the recent loss, which would lead to the desperate gamble on Hawaii in May when the Kido Butai set sail to the islands and the IJA launched the infamous Hawaiian campaign. President Wheeler made a speech following the Tag des Sieges, denouncing the Nazi aggression and declaring that the "Iron Eagle of Tyranny has spread it's wings over Europe", it is still a point of contention for historians as to when the Nazi-American Cold War started, with Wheeler's speech on the 21st of April being considered the earliest start date for it, while others consider the end of the Pacific War to be the real start of the Cold War as the American focus switched back to the Atlantic.

The Germans stood victorious, yet while the war was over, their reign of terror was just starting.
 
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I wonder if they can get some power projection, usually on scenarios like that such as Anglo American nazi war the germans end locked in Europe
Power Projection depends on several factors, a powerful navy is one of the main ones and while the Nazis will attempt to build a navy based on their megalomania, they simply lack the exits to project power around the world due to the hostility of it's neighbors: To the west the Atlantic is controlled by the Anglo-Americans, to the East lies the remnants of the Soviet Union who are hostile for obvious reasons. The Middle East and Africa are the only options for the Germans, and even then most of it is controlled by the British for now. The Arabs are probably the only people that will be Axis-Sympathetic, and the Germans will support their efforts against British Colonialism in the future, but for now the Germans have little ideological motivation to expand their influence worldwide.
 
Well, if Spain and Vichy France keep their African colonies, then North and West Africa (and possibly Central Africa if Free French colonies go back to Vichy) are in the German sphere of influence.

Also possibly : Madagascar, French Caribbean, French Guyana, Madagascar, Italian East Africa.
 
II - REMEMBER OAHU
THE IRON EAGLE
REMEMBER OAHU

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While the Pacific War had a massive scale and impact on the cultural lives of those involved, there are very few that compare to the psychological impact of the Hawaiian campaign to the United States. In 1943, following the devastating loss of two carriers and several of it's escorts during the Battle of Midway, the Americans were on the retreat from the Aleutian to the Solomon islands, and the Japanese planned to seize on the initiative and planned to strike the main American base remaining in the pacific, which would secure the perimeter and allow for long-range bombers to strike the American West Coast, not only it would be a disastrous logistical loss for America with the facilities of Pearl Harbor being seized, but it would also be a morale loss. Between the end of the Battle of Midway on the 12th of April and the invasion on the 15th of May, the Japanese gathered forces with Midway as a forward base, while launching a renewed wave of offensive operations in the Solomon Islands and a large-scale Air Raid over Darwin to distract the Allied forces, the Battle of Fiji, started on the 9th of May, was believed to be the main Japanese offensive while the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) struggled to break the Japanese cypher.

The Invasion force was spearheaded by the Kido Butai, the main Japanese Carrier Fleet that has remained invincible since the beginning of the conflict, led by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto and Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, composed of six Aircraft Carriers, although two of them were diverted to the Solomon Islands, Two Battleships, Four Cruisers, Seven Destroyers, and Sixteen submarines. Yamamoto, following the Japanese Naval Doctrine of Kantai Kessen (Decisive Battle) desired to repeat his victory in Midway in a large scale, with the invasion being used to draw in the US Navy for a single battle, while also desiring to seize the naval facilities of Oahu especially the oil reserves. The Amphibious landing force was composed by around 70,000 men led by general Tomoyuki Yamashita, "the Tiger of Malaya", formed up by the 2nd, 7th, and 57th divisions including an Armored regiment, the Japanese expected to possess the Aerial superiority around the island, striking at the Airport facilities in Honolulu to cripple the American Air Fleet, alongside the radar stations and stationed ships at Pearl Harbor in a repeat of the attack on the 2nd of November that crippled the US facilities on Pearl Harbor and put the Pacific Fleet out of operation.

The American defenses on the Island have been preparing for a Japanese land invasion since that ill-fated Sunday, with General Lesley J. McNair as the leading commander of the Garrison, while several forces were diverted to Australia and Fiji to defend the region against a possible Japanese aggression, the General expected a coming invasion of the Hawaiian islands following the defeat at Midway, especially due to the increased reconnaissance flights made by Japanese planes in the weeks before the invasion. McNair commanded a force of around 90,000 men spread around the islands but with most of the garrison in Oahu, despite outnumbering the Japanese, the troops in Hawaii were nowhere as experienced as their counterparts, the Wheeler Administration was elected on an strictly isolationist focus, on internal affairs after successive failures in dealing with the depression by the previous Presidents, with the military budget being slashed in favor of the Wheeler's "Fair Deal" programs, which meant the American industry would have to make a complete switch to a war economy in the middle of an economical recession, and although that proved an easy task with the outrage provoked by the Pearl Harbor sneak attack, the American forces had to be built from ground zero after years of abandonment since WWI, which meant most of the troops stationed at Hawaii were Green recruits who never went into a battle, and now would face the veteran fanatical Japanese invasion force that conquered most of the Pacific islands.

The Invasion started with an attack by over 300 planes from the Aircraft Carriers and bombers from the Midway Island, striking early in the morning after a Japanese spy sabotaged the Opana radar site the night before, committing sepukku shortly afterwards to avoid capture, while the radar was under repairs, the planes appeared on the distance striking the facilities of Oahu, from radars to Airfields, while American fighters were under alarm after the events of Pearl Harbor which allowed several squadrons to takeoff before the bases were struck, starting a fierce dogfight over the island. The American fleet under Admiral Halsey would be alarmed by the attack and begin to evacuate the ships from Pearl Harbor, bottling up the exit of the natural harbor and becoming an easy prey for submarines and torpedo bombers, yet it was nowhere as successful as the previous attack, with airplanes from the USS Enterprise taking flight to meet the Nipponic attackers, the Kido Butai would send in the Twin Yamato-Class Battleships, the Yamato and Mushashi, along with three cruisers and five destroyers to attack Oahu, bombarding the bottled up American ships and bombarding the city of Honolulu. The USS Enterprise would be sunk after one of the Yamato's shells struck the aircraft fuel depot, exploding the Aircraft Carrier and sinking it on the entry of the bay, which further closed up the traffic of ships, although many would be able to escape and fire back on the Japanese ships, the battle between the two fleets would last for hours and while the Mushashi would be heavily damaged and forced to retreat, while one of the cruisers was scuttled, the Americans took in the brunt of the casualties with most of the fleet being trapped inside the bay and being under constant harassment of Japanese airplanes. The Japanese had successfully established Air and Naval superiority for the moment, although with the casualties being greater than expected with 87 planes shot down.

The Land Invasion started as the Japanese landing craft were spotted at the Northwest of Oahu by an American plane during the Air Battle, with Yamashita's forces landing under heavy fire at Waialua Bay, establishing a landing ground by taking the town after over an hour of intense fighting before breaking the American troops and giving a taste of what was to come. Japanese troops invaded house to house, farm by farm, killing livestock and seizing food and water from the inhabitants, revealing the factor that would constantly loom at the Japanese forces in Oahu: Logistics. Supplying an invasion force of thousands of men across thousands of miles of sea while under the risk of being intercepted by an American submarine was a logistical nightmare that dwarfed even Operation Barbarossa in it's difficulty, the few supplies coming from the outside had to be delivered by airlift from the Air base of Midway or by the few supply ships who were constantly at risk of being attacked by American aircraft along the way. Japanese troops would be ordered to use the resources of the island to supply themselves which led to brutal exploitation against the citizens, along with a constant pressure to keep advance to literally "starve off their doom". Yamashita was given a nightmare far worse than the Malay operation, he was supposed to take Oahu while fighting an enemy who had superior weaponry, numbers, and fought in fierce determination to defend a home soil they have spent months expecting an invasion, all due to Yamamoto and Nagumo's obsession to draw in American ships, using the IJA as a bait.

The campaign on Oahu would be one of the most gruesome confrontations American forces had faced up to this point, while the campaign on the Phillipines in 1942-43 gave a tasting of what was to come, this would be the first time that most of those troops fought the Japanese, and at the first moments their morale could be easily shattered by the fanaticism of the Imperial troops. Yamashita knew that speed was the key, an attritional battle would spell nothing but doom for the Japanese, and so the invaders began their push southwards towards their next target: The Wheeler AFB, if taken it would provide them with a key asset to the campaign, a landing ground for the aircraft that would no longer need to fly from Midway and give the bombers a base from where they could strike all the way to the West Coast. Yet, along the way the Japanese fought increasingly stronger defenses, the Americans had prepared for an invasion and Waialua Bay was one of the most likely locations from where it could come from, not just the Japanese had to break the lines, but were constantly harassed by artillery and sniper fire from Mount Kaala, it had to be taken to neuter the American artillery positions and yet the Japanese did not possess enough troops to attack both Wheeler and Kaaba at the same time. Yamashita decided that Wheeler was of far greater importance to ease the logistical burden, and so began one of the battles that would be remembered by the Americans for generations.

The Invaders would go south through the Kaukonahua road, heading south towards Wahiawa, the plan was to envelop the Americans at the AFB by taking the town and the barracks, and the Japanese were met by determined fire from every building inside the city, streets being barricaded and broken through Banzai charges while troopers fired from the windows. The Japanese advance was bogged down in the east but far more successful in the "scythe" move westwards, cutting off Wheeler and Waihawa from Melina and slowly pushing back troops from the town across the water reservoir and surrounding thousands of troops at the Airforce Base, when given an order of surrender, the commander, a certain Major Joseph McCarthy, replied with "Come and get us, Japs!".


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Major Joseph McCarthy

From the 21st of May to the 1st of June, the Japanese launched four different attacks at Adams, none of them succeeded and despite heavy losses the Marines held their ground. General Lesley McNair expressed his admiration on the effort of the Marines in holding back the Japanese, which gave his forces a crucial time to organize a counterattack, Brigadier General George S. Patton would be put in charge of the operation by gathering the first American offensive spearheaded by tanks in WWII, with the use of a single tank brigade stationed on the Island, Patton would make use of the M3 models, although also incorporating new experimental ones such as the M4 "Sherman" in low quantities. Despite that, the American tanks proved themselves superior to it's Japanese counterparts, which were designed for anti-infantry roles with the more modern models being kept in reserve in the Home Islands, and on the 2nd of June a breakthrough finally came from Mililani through the Kamehameha highway, relinking the American forces of the Airforce Base, relieving the encirclement and forcing the Japanese to retreat. It would be the first American victory against the Japanese at land, bringing in a much needed morale boost, with Patton showing admiration to the Marines and their commander that would go beyond the battlefield.

After the defeat at Wheeler (Which coincidentally had the same name as the President), the Japanese momentum was lost, and Yamashita knew the battle was a near impossible task to win, and yet he did not order a retreat, it was a part of the Japanese war mythos, retreat would bring nothing but dishonor and shame to one's house, a fate worse than death, and he feared his personal prestige would be at risk. The Americans attacked Wahiawa and fought against the Japanese as the attackers for the first time, proving once again the resilience and fanaticism of their enemy, with only a dozen prisoners being taken, and yet Patton did not waste time in continuing his offensive, this time to cut off the defenders of Wahiawa from their Headquarters at Waialua, the tanks being the ones to push westwards in a scythe move this time, taking the village of Whitmore after a brutal confrontation against it's defenders. Yet, tragedy struck while the encirclement was underway: General McNair, while inspecting the battlefield would be ambushed by a Japanese trooper who faked his own death, as the General was passing by, troops just assumed he was already dead, yet he pulled the pin of a grenade and blew himself, the General, and his bodyguard away, only the bodyguard would survive although losing an arm, the General was struck by the shrapnel and didn't resist the injuries, dying of an internal bleeding. With the death of McNair, President Wheeler reluctantly recalled General Douglas MacArthur from Australia after it was obvious that Hawaii was the Japanese target, with the "Big Chief" finally being given the chance to get revenge on the Japanese, his plane landed on Honolulu after almost being shot down by a Japanese Zero, on the 6th of June of 1943, Douglas MacArthur took command in the Hawaiian campaign right when it was beginning to turn.


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General Douglas MacArthur

While the Americans began their pushback inland, in the sea, Admiral Nimitz (Who replaced Halsey after the recent loss of three carriers) would organize the strike at the Kido Butai, and that is when the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) came into play, after months gathering intelligence and numerous decryption efforts, finally a breakthrough was achieved in the Japanese cypher, and that would give away their position a hundred miles West of the Hawaiian islands. The US Fleet would go for an all-or-nothing strike, the decisive battle Yamamoto desired, but they needed to launch it undetected to maximize the effectiveness of the surprise, avoiding the Japanese reconnaissance flights while sneaking a fleet across the sea was not an easy task, but the developments at land helped with that: Yamamoto hoped that Yamashita would be able to take the Opana Radar Station and use it to detect incoming American aircraft, but the American forces were able to halt the offensive at Pupukea, preventing the capture of the Radar and keeping it under American control, enabling them to detect incoming Japanese waves and scramble the few aircraft on the island into their heroic daily effort to shoot down their incoming enemies. And that was a decisive advantage for the Americans, which allowed them to detect when the Kido Butai was under air protection and when it wasn't, giving them the perfect moment to strike.

On the 14th of June, almost a month since the invasion began, Three American carriers, pulled from the Atlantic and South Pacific, gathered for a last shot, if they were sunk then the Americans would lose their Carrier fleet until the 4 new Essex-Class Carriers were completed later on that year, accompanied by Five Cruisers, Six Destroyers, Ten Submarines, and One Battleship, the Americans were outnumbered by the number of planes, and their only chance was to strike at their enemy while the planes were conducting a strike at Oahu. Luckily, that day General Yamashita called for Air Support during an ill-fated attempt to relieve Wahiawa, and while the majority of the Japanese planes went Eastwards to Oahu, the Kido Butai was left vulnerable to the American bombers, and while they expected the Americans to come from the North, from the West Coast, they would be surprised when a cluster of hundreds of fighters and Dive Bombers came from the south, the Battle of Hawaii had started.

In less than an hour, the Japanese lost the cream of their navy: Akagi, Soryu, Kaga and Hiryu, Four Fleet Carriers that were amongst the most modern ships in the world, would go under the waves, not just that but Admiral Yamamoto himself would die onboard the Yamato when the bridge of the ship was hit by a bomber, despite taking over seven torpedoes, the Yamato would not sink. Yet the damage was done, and once the Japanese aircraft returned from Oahu, they found the Kido Butai sinking beneath the waves with the waters in flames with the survivors desperately attempting to stay afloat while damaged destroyers picked them up, some of the planes flew to Midway which overcrowded the Airport, others would go to back to Oahu, either attempting to land on a flat terrain to join the fight at land, or launching furious revenge attacks until fuel ran out. It was a shock received all the way to Tokyo and spread around the world: The Invincible fleet was gone and the Americans took back control of the Seas and Air, cutting off Yamashita's force made up from some of the best Japan had to offer from any chance of evacuating.

On the 15th, a retaliatory strike came to America, a trio of bombers of the new Long-Range P1Y bombers, would go on a suicidal one-way trip to get their revenge. While it was expected that the Japanese forces at Midway would attempt to strike back the Carrier group, an strike at San Francisco was the last thing Admiral Nimitz expected. As the bombers did not have the fuel range to come back, the three planes would manage to slip through the American radar, reaching towards the bay of San Francisco with their full deathly payload and only too late would the Airforce realize their mistake, scrambling to put the fighter squadrons in the air, one of the planes immediately headed to the obvious target: The recently-finished Golden Gate bridge, dropping 2.000lbs of bombs on the bridge before being shot down, the plane crashed in one of the Bridge's towers, and while it was in serious danger of doing so, being interdicted for months for repairs, the bridge managed to hold the strike, becoming another symbol of an America that was hurt, and yet didn't fall. The other Two bombers would strike the city itself, leaving a trail of burning buildings and streets, although they would also be shot down, the pilots guiding their planes to crash on buildings to collapse them, luckily the planes were already low on fuel and the fires were quickly contained. The San Francisco Air Raid was the first time a foreign nation bombarded American territory, and while at least 18 people died with many more injured (Not including the Japanese Pilots), the attempt at breaking the American morale by showing the American people what war on home soil looked like only filled them with a vengeful resolve, one that Japan would pay dearly for.

The Americans were on the offensive at Oahu, continuing to push back the Japanese at a slow pace each day, after an strike at the overcrowded Midway Airport by US Bombers, the Japanese would lose the majority of their stationed planes, and the control of the skies was safely on American hands, General Yamashita was now cut off, outnumbered, and at such low supply level that some troops reached level of starvation and ran out of ammunition. He still attempted to turn the battle around, now that Adams AFB was irrelevant to the Japanese plans, he launched an attack at mount Kaaba, attempting to seize the American artillery or at least silence it, and while the attack caught the Americans by surprise, it would be repealed with the Japanese pushed back on the next day. On the first of July, President Wheeler sent MacArthur the demand that the Japanese surrender on the Fourth of July, a symbolic date of victory for the American People, and the Cornpipe-smoking General was happy to oblige, with the Japanese already pushed all the way back to the surroundings of Waialua, with only a fourth of their original force left trapped and starved. General Yamashita knew when he was defeated, yet that did not mean he would surrender or go down quietly, the Japanese proved to be the most fanatical enemy American troops have faced, with only a few hundred prisoners being taken over this whole campaign, the Japanese used guerrilla tactics, such as booby traps, foxholes, suicidal bombers, faking death, and now the Americans would know their last trick: The Banzai Charge.


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On the night of the 3rd of July, the Japanese left their trenches after midnight, at the shouting of "Tenno Heika, Banzai!" (Long Live his Majesty the Emperor), thousands of troops possessed by a fanatical spirit, fixed bayonets and attacked the Americans at once, the surprise of the attack of what the Americans expected to be a beaten foe would catch them off-guard, showing that Japan was not a common adversary, it was one that would fight to the death. Yet, despite the initial success in breaking the first American line, once the Japanese finally lost their last ammunition reserves and the American reinforcements went to the frontlines, the enemy was beaten back and pushed towards the sea, some surrendering, most taking their own lives. General Yamashita and his staff would commit Sepukku on their Headquarters shortly before the American troops arrived. In the Morning of the Fourth of July of 1943, the Japanese flag was lowered over Waialua, with the Stars and Stripes raised in it's place. It was finally over, with spontaneous celebrations erupting all over not just the Island, but on the United States and even Commonwealth nations as finally an Axis Power suffered a major defeat: The Kido Butai, Japan's strongest weapon to enforce it's power over the Pacific, was sunk beneath the waves, some of the most experienced veterans of the Japanese army were destroyed, along with hundreds of planes, the Americans finally achieved a victory and the momentum of the Nipponic Empire was shattered, turning the tide of the Pacific War. The Germans did not comment on the affairs of the pacific, concentrating instead on their own victory in the Continent, but they watched as across the sea their future rival rose from decades of depression and isolation, with the Bald Eagle starting to spread it's wings to challenge it's Iron enemy, and yet there was still a long and bloody way to go before the Americans could claim their victory, and millions more would perish before the Rising Sun sets.
 
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While I enjoy writing larger chapters, I might not have the time available to do so as it took me most of the afternoon to write this one, so 3-4k words will most likely be exceptions unless the story requires it.

Any feedback is welcome, please be aware the first PoD for America is in 1921 which means the country has had many changes that allowed for the Japanese to even step foot on Oahu, under realistic circumstances they would have not achieved this level of success. Any questions or suggestions can be directed towards me, and I would like to know about what you folks want to read next.
 
III - THE VULTURES
THE IRON EAGLE
THE VULTURES


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It is undeniable that the Greater Germanic Reich during it's initial years was completely centered on the almost-mythological figure of Adolf Hitler, with a powerful propaganda machine raising a generation of Germans that considered him a second founding father of Germany, to the levels of figures like Otto von Bismarck, Karl the Great, Frederick II, and others. But while his figure is responsible for the rise of Nazism from a minor political group in the Munich Beer Halls to the Masters of Europe, no man can ever rule by itself, and surrounding him was a powerful group of figures, manipulative sycophants who grew increasingly in power as the Führer's health began to decline in the late 1940s, and the only thing greater than their ambitions was the jealously against one another. Some of them were aristocrats, others came from humble backgrounds, and yet they all had a meeting with their destiny spearheaded by one man who made them rulers over the fate of millions, powerful figures, both fanatical and pragmatic, seeking to increase their own power at the expense of millions of lives. Not just was the rivalry between the members of the "Inner Circle" tolerated, but it was encouraged by Hitler himself based on his Social Darwinian beliefs, which caused several efficiency issues in the Third Reich as offices overlapped one another, the regime's legal system did not clearly define the authority of the "titles" given by it's Master, who controlled the railroads? The Minister of Armaments or the Minister of Economy? Or the Plenipotentiary of the Four-Year Plan (which should have technically expired in 1940 but the office received such power that it was extended indefinitely)? Who directed anti-partisan intelligence? The Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office/RSHA) or the Abwehr (Military Intelligence Service)? The overlapping responsibilities was made not just due to the Social Darwinism of it's maker, but to foster disputes where only the Führer could act as mediator, keeping the members of the inner circle unable to collaborate with one another against their leader.

Just as easily as one could enter the inner circle, one could find themselves out of it, figures like Rudolf Hess would be eclipsed, others like Röhm would find themselves with a bullet to the head after losing the Führer's favor, while others like Speer would rise out of nowhere to become powerful men ruling over the fate of millions. Some like Göring, Goebbels, Hess, and Himmler were "Traditional" strong party members, while Heydrich, Bormann, and Speer would rise into their power positions after the takeover in 1933, rivalries would begin to form with different blocks of power, while some were more fanatical such as Goebbels and Himmler, others were pragmatists such as Göring and Speer, Himmler and Göring disputed over the control of the Police, Heydrich, first introduced by Himmler, would eventually become a power of his own upon taking control of the RSHA and a rival of his former mentor for the control of the powerful SS. Another late addition to the "Inner Circle" would be Hitler's wife Eva Braun, despite being not apt for politics and never a dedicated member of the Political game of the Reich, Eva would be used by other members of the circle as an access to Hitler's ear, with him always keeping one reserved for his partner. While the German leader was never a romantic one, his marriage was symbolic, as he already lived with her as a partner for years, and as he was the incarnation of Germany, it would symbolize the post-war sentiment of the "Victory Era", a period of settlement, of changes inside the Reich as the War engines were put on slow march at least and the focus would be driven inwards to reshape the Continent.


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The First of these figures is no doubt the one that was one of the Führer's main contenders to succession: Hermann Wilhelm Göring. Born on the 11th of January 1893, Hermann Göring was a member of the Bavarian Aristocracy of the German Reich, son of Heinrich Ernst Göring, first Governor-General of German Southwest Africa, he was interested in the military from an early age, graduating with distinction at the Military Academy. He joined the army in the 112th Infantry regiment being hospitalized during the First World War, later he would request transfer for the Air Force where he became a member of the famous "Flying Circus" led by German Ace Manfred von Richthofen, later becoming the final commander of the Squadron following the death of the Red Baron and his successor Wilhelm Reinhard, and although his arrogance made him unpopular in the squadron, he would be known as a War Hero following the war. After flying private flights in the immediate post-war years in a Swedish Airline, Göring would be introduced to the Nazi Party after listening to one of Hitler's speeches, with his military background he was chosen as the first leader of the NSDAP's Sturmabteilung (SA), being capable of impressive organizational skills accordingly to Hitler himself "I liked him. I made him the head of my SA. He is the only one of its heads that ran the SA properly. I gave him a dishevelled rabble. In a very short time he had organised a division of 11,000 men.". Following the failed Beer Hall Putsch, Göring went into exile in Austria, where he became addicted to Morphine due to his treatment to the wounds sustained during the Putsch, although he would eventually recover from it following his return to Germany following an amnesty in 1927, his Morphine addiction would eventually come back to haunt him. Göring went back to the NSDAP and used his Aristocratic connections to connect Hitler with powerful Junkers and Industrials of Germany, which greatly helped him in getting from the image of Rabble Populist to a respectable politician. In 1932, as the NSDAP became the largest party in the Reichstag, Hermann Göring was appointed it's presidents, which made him an instrumental figure in the negotiations with Papen and Hidenburg to place Hitler as Chancellor in 1933. Göring would also be appointed as Minister-President of Prussia, the largest German State where he solidified his power base, including the creation of Gestapo, a powerful Secret Police force under direct command of Göring at the time, and although he wasn't as powerful in the Party Hierarchy as Himmler or Hess, Göring began to accumulate several offices to himself such as Reichsmarshall, Plenipotentiary of the Four-Year Plan, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe (Air Force), and Founder of the Reichsweke Hermann Göring. He became known as a flamboyant figure, always using extravagant uniforms, but was still seen as one of the most Popular figures in the Inner circle: A decorated War Hero who led Germany in the skies during two wars, while acting almost as a caring uncle figure (As no one was the Father of Germany other than Hitler himself). With several powerful positions, firm control over the Air Force, and popular appeal, Hermann Göring was no doubt a favorite in piloting the soaring German Eagle to the Skies.

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Heinrich Luitpold Himmler, no doubt one of the most powerful and feared men in the Reich, would probably have never achieved the level of power he had if not for the NSDAP and the specific circumstances of Post-War Germany. Born on the 7th of October 1900 in Munich, Himmler was an awkward, sickly, yet studious child, who was greatly interested, if not obsessed, about the military. He joined the reserve battalion of the 11th Bavarian Regiment, but was greatly frustrated as the war ended before he finished his training, frustrating his martial dreams as he returned back to Agronomics, while in university he entered first in contact with the SA in 1922, and at the same time his antisemitism began to radicalize in the environment of early Weimar Germany, while he began to drift more into the paramilitarism of the time. In 1923, after the Hyperinflation crisis left his parents unable to further pay for his education, Himmler left the University and was involved during the Beer Hall putsch, joining the NSDAP in September, after the failed coup, he was released by the police due to the lack of evidence of his direct involvement, losing his job as Agronomist and forced to live with his parents. Himmler began to delve further into antisemitism, racial theories, and occultism, abandoning his Catholic faith and becoming increasingly obsessed with German mythology, starting to work as a party secretary under Gregor Strasser, and with his readings of Hitler he came to adore him as an almost Mythological figure, a perfect savior of Germany and the Aryan Race. He joined the SS shortly after Hitler's re-inauguration of the Party in 1925, at the time the division was merely an elite bodyguard unit within the larger SA to protect the Führer during his speeches, and quickly rose through it's ranks in lower Bavaria, and after a meeting with Hitler in 1927, where he envisioned the SS as an Elite, disciplined group of Aryan Warriors, and he became Deputy Reichsführer-SS, taking control of the organization after Erhard Heiden's resignation in January 1929. The SS began to expand it's membership, growing Himmler's power as he was authorized to run it as an independent group, although subservient to the SA, yet after the takeover in 1933, Hitler became increasingly fearful of the influence of Ernst Röhm and the SA, which now consisted of over 3 million members and began to advocate for far more radical and populistic policies, and Himmler would use the opportunity to approach Hitler with a plan to neuter the SA developed together with Hermann Göring and Reinhard Heydrich. The following "Night of the Long Knives" resulted in the neutralization of the SA leadership and the rise of the SS as the new paramilitary force of the Party. Since then, Himmler has grown more in power, with the control of the German police (except the Prussian police) and the Gestapo he would use this power to crush any dissidents in and out of the Party, while creating the system of concentration camps around the Reich. The SS would grow further during and after the war, as Himmler began to envision it as a Pan-European racial force against Judeo-Bolshevism, creating the Waffen-SS as military divisions formed by volunteers from many nations, such as the "Charlemagne" division from France, or the "Wiking" formed mainly by Nordic volunteers. From a failed Agronomist to the spearhead of the infamous "General Plan Ost", Himmler is no doubt one of the most powerful men in the Reich and a favorite by many to continue Hitler's legacy in the future, being known as one of the most fanatical members of the NSDAP.

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Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, born on the 19th of March 1905 in Mannheim, Baden, was perhaps one of the most intellectually advantaged men in the Inner Circle if only by his curriculum, following the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he studied to become architect, graduating at the young age of 22 at the prestigious Technical University of Berlin, he was taken in as assistant of the famous architect Heinrich Tessenow. Speer grew up in a troubled household, suffering bullying by his siblings in his youth, and yet he had a seemingly promising future, but none expected just how much it would be in 1931 when he joined the NSDAP, especially through his friendship with Adolf Hitler. His chance of growing in power was given to him in 1933, when he was recommended to Goebbels to help organize the yearly Nuremberg Rally, Goebbels decided to send the young Architect to Hitler's Munich residence where he first met the Führer and a shared friendship really blossomed out of their artistic interests. Nowadays it would be hard to see Hitler as anything but a politician, yet his dream during his youth was to become an artist in Vienna, after being rejected twice and in order to escape the government mandatory draft, the young failed artist went to Munich and started becoming increasingly interested in architecture, before the Great War began and changed his destiny. Speer was a man that represented several similarities to the Führer, especially their taste on grandioise neo-classical architecture, in a certain way it reminded him to his younger years, which might have been a factor to Hitler's sponsorship to Speer and, after seeing his work in the construction of the new Reich Chancellery, giving him the position of Chief Architect of the Party in 1934 after the death of Paul Troost. Speer was the member of the Inner Circle with the closest personal relatioship with the Fürher, the young architect showed his prowess in impressing Hitler time and time again through projects like the Zepellinfeld Stadium (The Cathedral of Light) and the Olympic games of 1936, but nothing ever came close to the shared vision that both held for the heart of Germany: The World Capital "Germania". The entire city of Berlin would be not just renamed but reformed, with the clearing of buildings for new large avenues, a new government quarters, but the greatest achievement was no doubt the planned "Volkshalle", the Great Hall would be built to become the largest building in Europe, with a copola large enough to fit in the St. Peter's Cathedral inside with ease, and although the plan would have to be revised afterwards due to Berlin's marshy ground, the construction of Germania would soon begin with Speer at it's mastermind. While the planned architecture projects were starting before the war, the conflict put a halt on them, and Speer would receive a new task: Minister of Armaments of the Reich. On the 8th of February of 1942, Fritz Todt, his predecessor, died in a plane crash on the same flight he was supposed to go, and Hitler appointed Speer as Minister of Armaments during the last year of the war, as well as giving him control of the Todt Organization, the largest construction company in the Reich. Speer would truly begin to show his ambition after receiving this position of power, using Hitler's favor to centralize the Armaments production under his ministry, wrestling control over industries with Göring, taking from his authority as Plenipontentiary of the Four-Year plan, and later taking control over the production of not just the army but the entire armed forces, including the Air Force and Navy, until the end of the war, he further entered in conflict with Göring over the Air production during the last year of the war when the fight against the RAF in the Mediterranean intensified. While he is generally given more credit than deserved for the so called "Miracle of 1942", Speer's efficiency in rationalizing and streamlining armament's production was a crucial factor, especially after the German industries started to be fueled by the oil and mineral resources needed after the Soviet defeat, which allowed the Luftwaffe to eventually overcome the RAF and proved decisive in pushing the British to peace over the fears of a bombing campaign of the Home Islands that have been constantly looming since the fall of France in 1940 (Despite the Luftwaffe not launching any large-scale air raids at the British islands during the war due to Hitler's admiration of the British Empire). After the War, Speer would now continue to grow his power, now with the full intention of bringing the vision him and Hitler dreamed since the early days to construct an new Europe no matter the cost.

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Paul Joseph Goebbels was born in Rheydt, near Düsseldorf, on the 29th of October 1897, the man who would shape the minds of generations and lay the groundwork for the modern system of political indoctrination ironically was not the model man the NSDAP's standards expected. Goebbels was born with a genetic deformity, with his right foot turning inwards and forcing him to limp during his life, with him being rejected from joining the military due to this anomaly, he was also known to be short and a womanizer, the latter partially being suspected to be caused by a need to compensate his foot deformity. The future chief propagandist considered to become a Catholic priest in his younger years, graduating at the top of his class in the Gymnasium, being given the honor of speaking for his class in 1917, and later studying history and literature, earning his PhD at the Heidelberg University, earning his title of Doctor, with him authoring several books throughout his life, despite that, he was beginning to suffer economical hardship by the time he first had contact with the NSDAP in 1924. Upon accompanying Hitler's trial, he became increasingly fascinated by the man's charisma and convictions, joining the NSDAP shortly after his release, working under Gregor Strasser and being increasingly aligned to his more populist rhetoric, rather than Hitler's vision in Munich, this division of the Party would be challenged by Hitler in the Bamberg conference in 1926, where at first Goebbels would be disillusioned with Hitler's rejection of Völkist ideals, but later he would not only reconcile with him, but became one of his most ardent supporters, writing in his diary that "Such a sparkling mind can be my leader. I bow to the greater one, the political genius.". Goebbels began to work as a propagandist in the Rhineland, later becoming the party leader in Berlin, his inflamatory speeches, with the masterful, inovative use of tactics such as car speakers, grand parades and spectacles, and the incitement of political violence to achieve the shock value put Goebbels as one of the most charismatic figures in the Reich. He became one of the first party members elected to the Reichstag, giving him immunity from persecution, while he would use the Great Depression to rally the people behind the NSDAP, promoting Hitler's image as Savior of Germany, very few members of the party were as significant as Goebbels to achieve the takeover, with his mastery over propaganda being used to turn the Nazi Party from a mere 2.8% of the vote in 1928 to become the largest party of the Reichstag in 1932. It is no surprise he would be put into Hitler's Ministry as "Reichsminister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda" in 1933, and from there he would seize control of all the Press in the Reich, while inciting political violence against the enemies of the Party, such as the Communists and the Jewish population of Germany, Goebbels was no doubt one of the smartest men working in the Inner Circle, now using of new technologies such as the radio and cinema to massify the image of Hitler, with the government distributing radio sets to every home in Germany, not just as a symbol of prosperity but also as a tool for the voice of the Führer to reach every home in in the Reich. Goebbels' use of violence was a powerful tool in the inner circle, as shown during the Kristallnacht when the German people was led to mass boycot and ransack Jewish businesses, in the spontaneous shows of euphoria when Hitler visited a city, in the mass rallies and events such as the book burnings. While Goebbels was not exactly seen as a favorite for succession due to his lower political control compared to his rivals, he was a powerful ally to any potential successor candidate.

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Rudolf Walther Richard Hess was a rather unique member of the Inner Circle from his origins, he was born in Alexandria, Egypt, on the 26th of April 1894, from a wealthy German family from Bohemia that latter settled in Franconia. Hess' childhood in Egypt was something that greatly affected his worldview, with a contempt for Arab and Black races, while greatly admiring the British Empire as a civilizatory force in the world, he believed that "White Races such as those of Northwestern Europe" (The Germans and British in specific) were destined to rule the world and should cooperate for such goal. After graduating in the merchant school of Neuchâtel, he moved to Hamburg for an apprenticeship when WWI erupted becoming Corporal and later Platoon leader, receiving the Iron Cross second class, Hess would be injured by shrapnel by the end of the war and transferred to a military hospital, being decomissioned from the military after the war was over. Rudolf would continue his studies in the University of Munich in Hitory and Economics, being introduced by his teacher to the concept of Lebensraum (Vital Space) which he would later introduce to Hitler, that pillar of the National Socialist ideology brought in by Hess would eventually lead to the direct death of tens of millions during the Second World War. Hess first became a member of the Thule society, a radical anti-semitic nationalist group that preceded the NSDAP, while also serving in one of the Freikorp units of Post-War Germany, until he first came into contact with Hitler in 1920 and was immediately captivated by his rhetoric, becoming one of his first and most loyal followers ever since. Hess grew inside the party always standing besides Hitler as a right-hand man in the early days, so much so that when the Putsch failed in 1923, he would be arrested and sent to the same Jail cell as his Führer, working to type the famous "Mein Kampf", with the book dedicated to him and Hitler's driver Emil Maurice, and when released in 1925, he would be named Hitler's Private Secretary and later becoming Head of the Party Liaison Staff and Chairman of the Central Political Comission. Yet, his greatest power was in his legitimacy in 1933 as he was appointed Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler, making him theoretically the first in the line of succession of the Reich, he would also be in charge of the NSDAP's relationship with German communities around the world, due to the fact he was born outside of Germany, and his actions as the founder of the Volksdeutscher Rat (Council of Ethnic Germans) would prove decisive in spreading the NSDAP's influence outside of Germany, especially in Austria and the Sudetenland. Hess was different from the other members of the Inner Circle as he saw his office as a duty rather than a platform for further ambition, his greatest desire was to continue to serve Hitler and the Reich, not gathering followers of his own like others, and that led to him becoming increasingly sidelined as the years went on, avoiding to enter in the power disputes of the Reich and instead he enjoyed his private hobby of Flying in his personal plane, including in air races, and continued serving Hitler to the best of his ability. But despite that, his legitimacy made him a figure of the Inner Circle, respected as one of the first members of the party and his loyalty, while also helping the Führer in his anti-semitic agenda, helping to ellaborate the Nuremberg laws and considering the League of Nations as puppets of the international Zionism. The Deputy, despite refusing to partake in the political games, would be used in it by his former Secretary Martin Bormann, as a way from where he could use the less politically-bright Hess as a tool to reach power.

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Martin Ludwig Bormann, born on the 17th of June 1900 in Wegeleben, was the son of a Postal employee, born into a Lutheran family. Bormann began his studies in Agricultural trade, but left High School in 1918 to join the military during the final year of the Great War serving in the Garrison until 1919, upon returning to Germany he would become the manager of an agricultural Estate in Mecklenburg, later joining a local anti-semitic union of landowners and the Freikorps as a treasurer, serving a short time in prison after participating in an assassination of a teenager along his friend, the future Auschwitz-Birkenau Kommandant Rudolf Höss and being released after 11 months. Bormann joined the NSDAP in 1927 as regional press officer in Thuringia, yet his lack of public-speaking skills led to him being reassigned to Lower Bavaria as a worker in the SA insurance office where his organizational skills were noted, he also created an auxiliary fund of the Party as an insurance for members who were injured on party duties. Bormann's initial years as a lowly bureaucrat of the Party would soon change after the seizure of power in 1933, as he became Chief of Staff of Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess and his personal secretary, and from there on his greatest talent began to finally blossom: Bureaucratic Intrigue. As the office of Hess was used to settle matters between Party members, Bormann started to grow his own influence, and later was appointed by Hitler as Reichsleiter (National Leader) of the NSDAP in October 1933, another office Bormann would begin to use to grow his own power base and install his own supporters, he began to slowly collect files of blackmail, favors, and allies to himself. He began to get closer to the Führer himself after 1935 when he was assigned to oversee the renovation of the Berghof, Hitler's alpine residence, gifting him the famous "Eagle's nest" as a birthday gift on the 20th of April 1939, although he seldom used it, and from there he became the Führer's personal secretary, and began to form his own power base. He was always the "Brown Eminence" by the Führer's side wherever he went, and as Hitler generally avoided written orders, he instead communicated them through Bormann, allowing him to control the access to the Führer and even controlling his personal finances, Bormann was responsible for giving the final say in the appointments of political positions through his role as Chief of Staff of the office of Deputy Führer, allowing him to place his own favorites in several power positions and have an ammount of control far greater than expected from his office, as an example the appointment of his friend Rudolf Höss as Kommandant of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp. Yet, despite the great ammount of de facto control, Bormann was still lacking both the charisma and legitimacy to place himself as a potential successor to Hitler, which is why he began to increasingly turn to his theoretical superior Rudolf Hess as Hitler's death declined, seeing him as a potential puppet to place in the office while he would keep doing what he did best: Rule from behind the shadows.

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Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich, born in Halle an der Saale on the 7th of March 1904, son of the composer Richard Bruno Heydrich, the life of the most feared man in the Reich began very differently from what one would expect, surrounded by music and art, having a passion for violin that impressed his peers in the future, growing in an strict household where he learned fencing and latter excelled in sports at the Gymnasium. After the war, his town was caught by the fighting between communist and anti-communist paramilitaries, with Heydrich, at the young age of 15, joining a group of Freikorps who took control of his town, the event serving as a political awakening for the young teenager, due to the post-war crisis, Richard Bruno's conservatory entered a decline and Heydrich joined the Navy in 1922. He rose through the navy ranks with some comfort until he was discharged after a scandal, being engaged with Lina von Osten when he had engaged with another woman six months earlier, influenced by his wife, Lina, he would join the NSDAP in 1931 a day after being discharged, joining the SS right when Himmler planned to set up a new counter intelligence unit, upon meeting up with Himmler, the Reichsführer was impressed by his ideas and appointed him as head of the counter intelligence division of the SS, later renamed as Sicherheitsdienst (SD). The SD quickly grew to become a terror organization within the Party, acting against the enemies in and out of the NSDAP, and Heydrich's power would only grow after the takeover in 1933, as Göring transferred the Gestapo to Himmler, Heydrich was put in charge of the Secret Police, planning with Himmler, Göring and Hitler to neuter the SA during the "Night of the Long Knives" where Heydrich played an important role in silently eliminating the leadership of the SA and placing the SS as the armed wing of the Party. Once Himmler became head of the German Police in 1936, Heydrich was placed as his deputy and used of his control of the security apparatus to suppress political dissidents in Germany, the SD would also play a key role in organizing the takeover of Austria in 1938 by the local NSDAP and it's integration into the Reich. In 1939, the Reich's main intelligence and security services would be merged, with the SD, Orpo (Order Police), Gestapo, and Kripo (Criminal police) all put under the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office/RSHA), Heydrich would not only become the head of this powerful office tasked to destroy the enemies "Inside and Outside of the Reich", he would also become the head of the International Police (Interpol) in 1940. Reinhard would be given his first Governamental office as Reichsprotektor of Bohemia-Moravia in 1941, quickly starting his work by applying "Carrot and stick" methods to pacify and germanize the local Czech population after the failures of his predecessor Konstantin von Neurath's "soft approach" in the eyes of Hitler. On one hand, Heydrich increased rations, pensions, introduced free sartudays, unemployment insurance, and organizing the workers around the German Labor Front, and on the other he would declare Martial Law, brutally supress rebel cells, conduct harsh reprisal attacks, and essentially pacified the region against the great majority of it's dissidents, while also repressing Czech culture, earning him the nickname of "Butcher of Prague". After he was recalled back to Berlin, Hitler was impressed by his efficiency, and began to consider the "Man with the Iron Heart" as a model Aryan man (Although rumors were spread of a supposed Jewish ancestry at his maternal line), Heydrich and Himmler's old partnership was slowly turning into a rivalry as the latter saw the meteoric rise of the former with increasing aprehension, seeing him as a possible threat to his own power within the SS. It is suspected Göring and Bormann both began to plant the suspicions in Himmler's mind that Heydrich could become his replacement, as a way to breakup the powerful duo, while Heydrich himself began to grow his own leadership ambitions after the appraisal received by Hitler in dealing with the Czech insurgency, and with the control over the German police, Reinhard slowly began to build up his own power base, installing loyalists in power positions. The "Man with the Iron Heart" on the outside was known as a charming, highly cultured, intelligent individual, but behind the curtains he was responsible for keeping the Reich's terror machine working, and following the Tag des Sieges in 1943, Reinhard Heydrich, Otto Hofmann, and Adolf Eichmann would summon Hitler to a conference at the villa of Wannsee on the 27th of April, in order to achieve a "Final Solution to the Jewish Question".

The Inner Circle of Adolf Hitler was made up by seven individuals from very different backgrounds, all gathered together by the call of Adolf Hitler to bring a new Germany since the 1920s, these men would be ruling over the lives of millions, and without Hitler its likely they would have never met or achieved the power that allowed them to enact their genocidal politics on Europe. And as the Führer began to grow old and sickly following the war, they would soon begin to prepare for his eventual demise, gathering up their power bases for the inevitable power struggle that would come, but until then, that would not stop them from helping their leader in enforcing his agenda, which would lead to the deaths of tens of millions of people by enforcing one of the most infamous and brutal systems that the world has ever seen upon the Continent. From Brest to Astrakhan, from Narvik to Baku, all of Europe was now under the rule of this Iron Eagle that would begin to devour the carcass of it's millions of "undesirable" victims to feed and sustain itself, and these men took this eagle while still a baby and let it grow to become the fearsome beast that would bring humanity to the brink of anihilation.
 
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My apologies for the delay in making this update, I have been dealing with some personal matters these last two weeks and could hardly find time to write this chapter. Here comes the question: Who shall be the successor?
 
I am also debating myself whether to write about the US, France, or a certain Latin American country that will play an important role in the Cold War. The Soviet Union is reserved for a future specific chapter for itself.
 
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