War makes for Strange Bedfellows – A Second World War timeline

Enjoying the timeline so far?

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    Votes: 144 90.6%
  • No

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  • Total voters
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For Germany would be better when Italy become neutral. So no war with jugoslawia and complete concentration of all armies against France.

Yes, at least it would be best for Germany stay out. Altough Italy can still take Yugoslavia. There is not much what Britain can do beside ranting.

But is more important what this mean for the German population and the occupied polish peoples and the jews.

Nothing good. Altough without Barbarossa Germany might delay or at least slow down Holocaust. But final goal is still extermination of all of Jews and most of Poles.

The nazis say the Germans for 7 years and more than Stalin is the devil and and now he is a allied or a good friend?
No one believe this.

I would say that alliance is ratherly "enemy of my enemy is my friend". If Axis win, them will have immediate split.
 
I think italy will have cool relations with Germany until the fall of france (presuming that happens OTL) because after the fall, the same logic os OTL prevails, except stronger, as the alliance will be stronger relative, and there will be the fear that if outside it, Germany will let the USSR displace italy in the Balkans.

Nothing good. Altough without Barbarossa Germany might delay or at least slow down Holocaust. But final goal is still extermination of all of Jews and most of Poles.
I don't think there would be a holocaust in this timeline, as most Jews should be in the USSR (Obviously bad things will happen to the western jews)
But i would say that, it would probably be called the Polocaust ittl.
 
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Comments?

This will have lots of repercussions.

Some of the less obvious ones:

Many right-wing Spaniards were alienated from Germany by the Soviet-German pact. They had bitter memories of Communist violence, and now Hitler was making nice with the Reds. Franco was reluctant OTL to ally openly with Germany. He'll be even more reluctant to join with the USSR.

OTL Soviet forces conquered Arctic Finland up to the Norwegian border, including the Petsamo nickel mine. In the 1940 settlement, they withdrew from Petsamo, partly due to British and Canadian pressure. It seems that the nickel mine was being developed by the Canadian company which operated the big nickel mine at Sudbury in Ontario, and they wanted their property. Also. I suspect that Germany wanted to keep Petsamo out of Soviet control.

If the Winter War goes as OTL, the Soviets will keep Petsamo. Britain and Canada are at war with the USSR, and Germany may not care (because the USSR is an outright ally).

Then if Germany invades Norway, Soviet belligerent forces are on the border.
In the aftermath of WWII, the world became divided into two ideologically-based camps...
What will these camps be?

Some kind of liberal-democratic camp, probably centered around the US...

And some kind of messianic dictatorship, based on what? Nazi Germany? The USSR? Or some on-going combination of them?

If they are both destroyed, then what?
 
This will have lots of repercussions.

Some of the less obvious ones:

Many right-wing Spaniards were alienated from Germany by the Soviet-German pact. They had bitter memories of Communist violence, and now Hitler was making nice with the Reds. Franco was reluctant OTL to ally openly with Germany. He'll be even more reluctant to join with the USSR.

OTL Soviet forces conquered Arctic Finland up to the Norwegian border, including the Petsamo nickel mine. In the 1940 settlement, they withdrew from Petsamo, partly due to British and Canadian pressure. It seems that the nickel mine was being developed by the Canadian company which operated the big nickel mine at Sudbury in Ontario, and they wanted their property. Also. I suspect that Germany wanted to keep Petsamo out of Soviet control.

If the Winter War goes as OTL, the Soviets will keep Petsamo. Britain and Canada are at war with the USSR, and Germany may not care (because the USSR is an outright ally).

Then if Germany invades Norway, Soviet belligerent forces are on the border.

What will these camps be?

Some kind of liberal-democratic camp, probably centered around the US...

And some kind of messianic dictatorship, based on what? Nazi Germany? The USSR? Or some on-going combination of them?

If they are both destroyed, then what?

You have still Mussolini and his potential fascist bloc.
 
It would be cool to see ns germany and the UdSSR as one big block or at least allies.
That's not really possible. They are fundmentally ideologically opposed to each other. As soon as both sides feel like it, they'll betray each other. As for the two blocks its hard to believe even with the Soviet Union the Axis will win, so maybe it ends up into a anti-communist bloc of fascist and democratic powers vs a communist one kind of like @Sorairo 's Footprint of Mussolini.
 
It would be cool to see ns germany and the UdSSR as one big block or at least allies.

Not possible. Soviets and nazis are ideologically very different and they hated each other. They jost threw their disagreements aside because them have same enmy. Eventually Germany or Soviet Union is going to betray their ally. And if that alliance wins, they are going to be throats of each others very quickly. They are not more firends as Britain and Soviet Union in OTL during WW2. Nazi-Soveit alliance lasts only just as long as they feel that being needful but not any second longer.
 
I now. But I stay by that what a say. It would be cool and somthi g what you never see. It's alle the time. Germany conquer Moskau and destroy the Sowjets but that come the brace herorish Americans and britisch and save the day. Or the Sowjets destroy the nazis and conquer complete europa. A three way cold war between the Sowjets, the axis and the angelsaxes would be interesting. It this topic. A trustfuell nazi sowjet Allianz
 
Chapter 3 - David and Goliath
Chapter 3 - David and Goliath
The Scandinavian Campaign (Part 1)

October 1939 - March 1940

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939 had earmarked half of Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Finland as a Soviet sphere of influence, with Lithuania added following a revision of the dividing boundaries in Poland. Following the destruction and division of Poland in October 1939, Stalin moved to bring the Baltics under his wing.

The escape of Polish submarine ORP Orzeł from Estonia to the United Kingdom on 18 September provided the impetus to deliver an ultimatum to Tallinn on the 24th, resulting in the signing of the Soviet-Estonian Mutual Assistance Treaty which gave permission for Soviet military and naval bases to be established inside Estonian territory. Latvia followed suit on 5 October and Lithuania on the 10th, both states submitting themselves to almost identical conditions.

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Soviet troops entering Estonia following the signing of
the Soviet–Estonian Mutual Assistance Treaty

However, Stalin's planned expansion north into Finland hit a dead end when the Finns did not submit to Soviet conditions. Previously, relations between Helsinki and Moscow had been strained but were relatively calm throughout the 1930s following the 1932 Soviet-Finnish Non-Aggression Pact. Following Stalin's total seizure of power during the Great Purge, Moscow had been beginning to turn up pressure of Finland to cede territory to them. In autumn 1938, anti-German Finnish Foreign Minister Rudolf Holsti resigned during negotiations with the Soviets over Suursaari Island, leading Moscow to believe his resignation was the result of the Finnish government allying itself with Germany. The Finnish government quickly denied the allegations. Throughout the rest of 1938 and into 1939, the Soviets continued to send low-level delegates to negotiate with the Finns. Helsinki correctly assumed, however, that these envoys were working for a higher state organ, the NKVD.

Following the start of the war in Europe in September 1939, the Soviets moved to speed up any negotiations with Finland to fulfil their side of their agreements with Germany. On 5 October, the Soviet Union invited the Finns to Moscow. The Finns responded to these requests by sending their ambassador to Sweden, Juho Kusti Paasikivi, to negotiate whilst the Finnish Defence Forces were quietly mobilised under the guise of "additional refresher training".

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Juho Kusti Paasikivi, Finnish Ambassador to Sweden
and chief negotiator for the Finnish government in October 1939

The Soviets demanded border adjustments from the Finns including moving the border on the Karelian Isthmus westward to only 30km east of Viipuri, Finland's second-largest city. The Soviets also demanded the destruction of all Finnish fortifications in the Isthmus. The Soviets also demanded the cession of the Kalastajansaarento Peninsula, the islands of Suursaari, Tytärsaari and Koivisto in the Gulf of Finland as well as demanding a 30-year lease on the Hanko Peninsula in order to establish a military base there. In return for Finnish compliance, the long-desired areas of Repola and Porajärvi would be transferred to Helsinki.

Back in Helsinki, the government was divided on how to respond to the Soviet demands. President Kyösti Kallio and Commander-in-Chief Mannerheim were willing to accept the Soviet conditions whereas Foreign Minister Eljas Erkko and Defence Minister Juho Niukkanen strongly opposed them.

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Proposed changes to the Karelian Isthmus border

Over the following weeks, negotiations stalled and the Soviet leadership quickly became inpatient with the Finns. On 31 October 1939, Molotov publicly announced the Soviet demands duyring a session of the Supreme Soviet. In response, the Finns send two counteroffers offering up the Terijoki area, much less that what the Soviets wanted. Expecting negotiations to continue, the Finnish delegation headed home on 13 November.

On 26 November 1939, the Soviet border town on Mainila was shelled. Whilst looking like a Finnish aggression, in reality it was a false-flag attack staged by the Soviets. The Soviets were quick to condemn the Finns and present new demands. The Finns would publicly apologise for the incident and withdraw all their forces to 20-25km from the border. The Finns refused, instead calling for a joint Finnish-Soviet commission to investigate the incident. In response, the Soviets withdrew from the non-agresion pact between the two states. War looked imminent.

On 30 November 1939, the Soviets began their invasion. Over 450,000 Red Army soldiers crossed the Finnish border. The Soviet Air Force also bomber civilian areas of Helsinki. Molotov, however, insisted that the Soviets weren't dropping bombs but humanitarian food aid, leading to the RRAB-3 bomb dispenser that was used against the city being nicknamed "Molotov bread baskets". The Winter war had begun.

The Soviet attack contained 21 divisions and was organised as follows:
- The 7th Army was aimed at capturing Viipuri.
- The 8th Army was given a mission to perform a flanking manoeuvre around Lake Ladoga’s northern shore and attack the Mannerheim Line from behind.
- The 9th Army was ordered to cut Finland in half by attacking the Kainuu region.
- The 14th Army was aimed at capturing Petsamo and eventually the town of Rovaniemi. [1]

Despite being vastly outnumbered, with only 9 field divisions, 4 brigades and several small independent battalions and companies, the Finnish Army held a significant advantage, geography. Along Finland’s 1,340km border with the Soviet Union, the only passable points were a series of unpaved roads which gave the Finns a defensive advantage. However, the Finns were also suffering from supply issues with only enough shell, fuel and cartridges for 19-60 days [2]. The ammunition was so bad that during the course of the war, Finnish soldiers would often replenish their stocks by raiding the pockets of dead Soviet soldiers.

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The Isthmus front by 7 December (photo)

With Finnish Command deploying defence-in-depth strategy, all soldiers defending the border in the Karelian Isthmus were withdrawn to the Mannerheim Line, the main body of defensive fortifications preventing the Soviets from breaking through the Isthmus and taking Helsinki. Despite early confusion about dealing with Soviet tanks, Finnish soldiers soon improvised several solutions. As the favoured Soviet strategy was frontal attack, it was relatively easy to jam a tank’s bogie wheels with logs or crowbars. Soon, the Finns were fielding a more deadly anti-tank weapon, the Molotov cocktail. The defences at the Isthmus would continue to hold.
In the Lake Ladoga front, the Finns had secured a decisive victory over the Red Army at the Battle of Tolvajärvi. In Central Finland, the Soviets continued to receive a battering from the numerically inferior Finns at the Battle of Suomussalmi, probably the most famous battle of the Winter War. The photo of a destroyed Soviet column at the Battle of Raate Road symbolising this.

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Destroyed Red Army column following the Battle of Raate Road

By January 1940, all fronts had ground to a stalemate.

Outside the Eastern Baltic, the political situation was heating up. In Germany, the response was relatively mute. After severing relations with the Finns on 4 December, German involvement in the Winter War ended there. In Britain and France, interest in the region shot through the roof. By January 1940, the first plans, known as "Plan R4", were drawn up by Allied High Command calling for a force of 100,000 British and 35,000 French troops to land in the Norwegian port of Narvik and trek across Norway and Sweden to reach Finland [3]. Whilst there, the Allies would seize control of the mining districts of Northern Sweden to sever supplies to Germany. The main problem with the plan was that the governments in Oslo and Stockholm refused passage to Allied troops, determined to remain neutral in the developing European war.

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Map of Northern Scandinavia, showing the port of Petsamo
and the iron ore districts of Kiruna and Malmberget.

With Allied plans to intervene in the Arctic bogged down by Norwegian and Swedish reluctance, the Soviets launched a new offensive along the Karelian Isthmus on 1 February 1940. However, this wasn't the same Red Army that has invaded Finland in late 1939. By now, the Soviet commander Voroshilov had been replaced by the more competent Semyon Timoshenko. Instead of simply reusing their December tactics, the Soviets now advanced in smaller numbers, making it harder for the Soviets tanks to be eliminated by the Finns as they were now protected by infantry. Facing them in the Isthmus was an increasingly war-weary Finnish army, totalling eight divisions with a total manpower of 150,000 troops. By 11 February, after a ten-day artillery bombardment, the Soviets achieved a breakthrough in the Second Battle of Summa. The Mannerheim Line had been broken. By now, the Soviet force in the Isthmus tripled the Finnish numbers, with 460,000 soldiers, 3,350 artillery pieces, 3,000 tanks and 1,300 aircraft under Red Army command. By the 15th, Mannerheim ordered the II Corps to fall back to a secondary line of defence. After almost 2 months, the Finnish defences were beginning to buckle.

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Semyon Timoshenko, commander of Soviet forces
in Finland from January 1940 onwards

Following the Soviet breakthrough, the Allies once again began to consider Plan R4, and began to lobby Oslo and Stockholm for passage. Again, both nations denied permission. By this point, the British and French governments decided that they were going to carry out Plan R4, permission or no permission. Even if the Finns sued for peace or were defeated in the end, so long as the iron ore districts of Sweden could be seized quickly and denied to the Germans, the operation would still be considered somewhat successful. Even more so if the Soviets were shown a show of Allied force, as the British and French had another surprise waiting in the wings for Moscow. Whilst the Finns again put out desperate pleas for help, the British and French put the final pieces of their plan together.

The landings in Norway would occur in three landing forces. They were as follows:
- Stratford: Consisting of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards and several anti-aircraft guns. Tasked with occupying Narvik and advancing to the Swedish border along the railway.
- Avonmouth: Consisting of the 146th and 148th Infantry Brigades of the British Army and a French Alpine Brigade. Tasked with occupying or destroying the Sola airfield outside Stravanager and occupying Trondheim and Bergen.
- Plymouth: Consisting of the Hallamshire battalion of the 146th Infantry Brigade. Tasked with advancing eastwards from Trondheim after landing [4].

Whilst the Allies were preparing to engage themselves deeper in the war, the Finns were beginning to back out of it. In early February, Finnish communist Hella Wuolijoki contacted the Finnish government offering to contact the Soviets through Sweden. After approval, she travelled to Stockholm where she secretly met Soviet Ambassador to Sweden, Alexandra Kollontai.

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Alexandra Kollontai, Soviet Ambassador to Sweden

After contact with Moscow was established, Molotov extended recognition to the legitimate government of Finland, abandoning the puppet "Finnish Democratic Republic" set up by the Soviets at the start of the war. The Soviets had good reason to want to end the war in Finland. The war had been humiliating as the Red Army had been bogged down for months with a very large number of casualties suffered. the political motivations were also strong. Offering peace now would further deny an ally to the British and French, whilst any potential Allied presence in Norway could be mediated by a somewhat friendly, neutral Finland. By 25 February, the Soviets laid aid their terms to the Finns. On the 29th, the Finnish government accepted the terms in principal and was willing to negotiate. On 7 March, a Finnish delegation headed by Prime Minister Risto Ryti headed to Moscow to complete the finalisation of the terms. Meanwhile, that same day, British and French forces for Plan R4, now known as Operation Silver, were given the orders to begin deployment; just as the political situation in Germany had calmed down [5].


Footnotes
- [1] OTL Soviet formation.
- [2] Same as OTL, the Finns were plagued with shortages throughout the war.
- [3] In OTL, these same plans were developed by February. Here, the added urgency of being at with with the Soviet Union as well has spend up Allied planning somewhat.
- [4] OTL landing plans.
- [5] That's for next time folks...

Comments?
 
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I don't know if the Finnish will be go as OTL, not with the Anglo-French dow to the URSS; for first both Paris and London will have tried to supply Finland...sure it will have been difficult and will have not resolved their problem, but will have helped and second if the Entente is ready to launch a 'rescue operation' like the URSS had an incentive to try to make a deal with Finland (and OTL terms were very onerous for them) at the same time Helsinky had the same incentive to take time for waiting the arrival of troops or at least bargain very hard with Stalin, even because i doubt that they don't have at least some information regarding the incoming operation as basically Finland can be considered at least a co-belligerant if not a de facto ally.,
Basically the Dow against the URSS change a lot the political landscape of the winter war.
 
I think the threat of UK and French troops in Finland will make the terms Finland gets better, but i still think they will step out (and it's worth noting that they certainly will have been told that Norway and Sweden are refusing passage, which will play into the Finns considerations) though, couldn't some troops be deployed via Petsamo?
That being said, the point of any adventure would always be to intercept swedish iron ore - Though, with the Soviets and the Germans co-belligerents, wouldn't the soviets have iron ore for Germany? (When considered from the UK's perspective).

Oh and as for 5, Wild mass guessing has that as Hitler's death, because, well, to that's a necessary, if not sufficient requirement to avoid Barbarossa.
With more guessing, do Germany get bogged down in France?
 
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I don't know if the Finnish will be go as OTL, not with the Anglo-French dow to the URSS; for first both Paris and London will have tried to supply Finland...sure it will have been difficult and will have not resolved their problem, but will have helped and second if the Entente is ready to launch a 'rescue operation' like the URSS had an incentive to try to make a deal with Finland (and OTL terms were very onerous for them) at the same time Helsinky had the same incentive to take time for waiting the arrival of troops or at least bargain very hard with Stalin, even because i doubt that they don't have at least some information regarding the incoming operation as basically Finland can be considered at least a co-belligerant if not a de facto ally.,
Basically the Dow against the URSS change a lot the political landscape of the winter war.
Just flying in a squadron or two of modern fighters, with pilots, would help immensely. A squadron of bombers could fairly easily force the Soviets to actually use time and effort to camouflage and/or dug in their artillery, and disrupt combat preparations. If the allies had sent some AT guns and a couple of tanks early on, that could have delayed the Soviet attacks/breakthroughs significantly. Neither would change the outcome in the long run, but at least they could help to buy some time to deploy ground forces. A few submarines could keep the Soviets from using naval support and make operations somewhat more difficult and time consuming, once the sea opens up... which in 1940 is too late make a difference going by OTL timeline.
 
Chapter 4 - A Clearer Evening
Chapter 4 - A Clearer Evening
German Internal Politics

September 1939 - March 1940

Upon hearing of the Allied declaration of war against the Soviet Union on 19 September 1939, Hitler was alleged to have remarked to Ribbentrop "Now what?" [1]. The Führer had expected a quick victory in Poland without Western intervention, now he was facing war with Britain and France and was possibly being forced into an alliance with his ideological nemesis, Joseph Stalin and the USSR. In less than three weeks, the geopolitical situation in Europe had been turned completely topsy-turvy.

Upon the conclusion of the Polish campaign in October 1939, Hitler began to send out peace feelers to London and Paris offering them peace and an alliance against the Soviets. In return, the German leader asked asked for recognition of his conquests in Poland, something completely unacceptable for the Allies. Upon receiving no reply to his offers, Hitler flew into a rage against the Allies, calling out their "hypocrisy" and "idiocy", ranting that they were "handing Europe to Stalin on a gold platter" [2].

It was in this environment that Hitler was preparing for his campaign against France in the West, and so he cancelled his upcoming speech in Munich's Bürgerbräukeller to mark the 16th anniversary of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. However, Hitler changed his mind and decided to go ahead with the speech anyway [3].

Hitler arrived in Munich on 8 November along with top Nazi officials such as Joseph Goebbels, Reinhard Heydrich, Rudolf Hess, Rudolf Ley, Alfred Rosenberg, Julius Streicher, August Frank, Hermann Esser and Heinrich Himmler [4]. The Führer arrived by plane, piloted by Hans Baur, Hitler's personal pilot. Despite concerns of fog that may have cancelled Hitler's planned flight back to Berlin the next morning, Baur was assured by ground control at Munich-Riem Airport that the fog would clear by around 23:00 that evening [5]. Hitler was greeted to the stage by Christian Weber, the Nazi functionary responsible for security for the event at 20:30 [6].

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Hans Baur, Hitler's pilot

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Christian Weber, the Nazi security manager for Munich.


Unknown to those gathered in the Munich drinking house, a special surprise had been left waiting for them by Württemberg carpenter, Georg Elser. Buried deep in the central column by the stage, Elser's surprise gift for the Führer was certain to go off with a bang.

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Georg Elser, the architect of Hitler's
Bürgerbräukeller surprise


At 19:30, Hitler's speech began. During the nearly-two-hour event, he commemorated the failed 1923 coup attempt, honoured those fellow Nazi's who died and also rambled on about the "stupidity" of the British and French governments, accusing them of facilitating a "Judeo-Bolshevik" takeover of Europe. The speech didn't quite go on for two hours, ending by 21:18. Following the concluding honours and salutes, Hitler left the stage from the front. All of a sudden, he heard an intense bang come from behind him. Before he could fully register the noise, his legs began to give way underneath him. A bomb that had been left inside one of the pillars had exploded, sending metal, wood and other material flying everywhere. In all the chaos, one unidentified SA guard threw himself on top of Hitler as part of the roof and ceiling began to collapse, bringing the gallery and an external wall with it. Outside the hall, members of the SS Libstandarte guarding outside immediately began to dig through the rubble and search the wreckage for the leader they had sworn to protect.

Of the nearly 3,000 people inside the hall at the time of the explosion, over 800 people had died and a further 1,500 had been injured. Adolf Hitler was among that latter figure, badly injured but still very much alive. His lieutenants hadn't been quite so lucky. Among the dead were Rudolf Hess, Alfred Rosenberg, Julius Streicher and Rudolf Ley. Himmler and Heydrich had already left just before the blast and suffered little more than shock.

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Rudolf Hess (1894 - 1939), Deputy Führer of the Nazi Party

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Alfred Rosenberg (1893 - 1939), leader of the Foreign Policy
Office of the NSDAP. Second most prominent victim of the

Bürgerbräukeller bombing after Hess

The Führer was rushed to the nearest hospital for emergency treatment. His legs had been badly damaged, both from flying debris from the blast and the heavy SA man who jumped to protect him from the falling roof. After several hours of surgery, most of the shrapnel had been removed, but Hitler was told he would only be able to walk with the aid of leg braises for short periods of time and would be mostly confined to a wheelchair. Needless to say, he was absolutely furious. Hitler would return to Berlin on 13 November after several days rest at the Berghof.

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"The solemn act of state in front of the Feldherrnhalle in Munich (11 December 1939)
for the eight hundred victims of the criminal bomb attack in Bürgerbräukeller on 8 November 1939" [7]

Staged publicity photo, notably hiding Hitler's leg braces.

Following the bombing, Hitler began to resume work for his upcoming offensive in France. When Stalin attacked Finland on 30 November, Hitler mostly stayed out of the conflict, not wanting to aid Stalin too much. Having said this, Hitler did sever diplomatic relations with the Finns on 4 December. With the violent struggle in the north still raging, the 'Phoney War' in the West continued.

However, as the months dragged on, Hitler's health began to deteriorate as a result of injuries sustained during the blast. As the unidentified SA guard jumped on top of him to protect him, Hitler had hit his head on the floor. When combined with his increasing blood pressure coming from the stress of having to be ferried around in a wheelchair and the "medicines" administered by Hitler's doctor, Theodor Morrell, it made for a toxic combination.

On 16 February 1940, following a meeting between Hitler and a number of his generals, the Führer began to talk about the war situation. he began by stating that Soviet conquest of Finland may jeopardise Swedish iron-ore shipments, and that the Allies may be drawn into intervening in Scandinavia. Before long, it had turned into another rant about British "stupidity" for allegedly allowing for "communist domination" of Europe. Suddenly, he stopped. According to one eyewitness, Hitler began to complain of headache before drooping in his chair. It was abundantly clear he was having a stroke. Despite attempts to resuscitate him, it was no use. The Führer was dead.

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Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1940), Führer of Germany
and leader of the Nazi Party (NSDAP)

The immediate aftermath of Hitler's death was chaotic. According to Hitler's will, his successor was to be Hermann Göring. On 17 February, he was formally names as Hitler's successor, accepted by all major Nazi figures including Himmler (for now). At a special cabinet meeting on that same day, at which both Himmler and Heydrich were present, Göring announced he would be taking the title of President, vacant since the 1934 death of Paul von Hindenburg. The reason for this was so that title of Führer could be left solely for Hitler. And since Göring was trying to shore up his own power base against figures such as Himmler and Bormann, upstaging Hitler and possibly losing support would have been a bad idea. Once the meeting broke up, Göring met with Heydrich to discuss several issues. The most prominent of which was Himmler, Heydrich's boss and Göring's rival for power. Like Himmler, Heydrich was a brutal and devout Nazi, possibly more so than Himmler himself. Hitler was known to have referred to him as "the man with the iron heart". However, he was also pragmatic, unlike Himmler, and was able to see that supporting the new President rather than his own boss would be better for securing his own position. For his own part, Göring was willing to do anything to remove Himmler from his position. His power base came primarily from the Wehrmacht and old Prussian aristocracy, who despised the SS and the Waffen-SS (both under Himmler's command) with a passion due to their radicalism, even by Nazi standards. Together, the two men concocted a plan to eliminate Himmler and secure their own powerbases.

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Reinhard Heydrich, the "Man with the Iron Heart"
and Göring's partner-in-crime

Hitler's funeral, due to take place in Linz on 28 February was the perfect opportunity to strike. Following the elaborate ceremony, with speeches from many Nazi ministers, figures as well as Wehrmacht leaders, the party leadership was due to return to Berlin. After taking off from Hörsching airport, Himmler's plane was suddenly lost over the Bavarian Alps and was never seen again. It is believed that the plane was rigged to explode but the rumours have, to this day, never been proven.

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The coffin procession during Hitler's funeral in Linz, 28 February 1940

With his main opponent now out of the way, Göring now undertook the reorganisation of Himmler's empire. The Waffen-SS was dissolved and its soldiers merged with the Wehrmacht. The more radical SS officers soon found themselves on the wrong side of trumped up charges of treason and what was left of the SS was placed under the command of Heydrich. Elser, the man who had planted the bomb in Munich, had been arrested on the same evening of the attack. By now, he was rotting in a cell in Dachau. Despite some resistance to the new order of things, the political situation in Germany had calmed down by the beginning of March. The first major wartime challenge for the new Reich leadership was about to take shape as the Allies launched Operation Silver on 7 March.

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Hermann Göring, President of Germany from 1940 onwards


Footnotes

- [1] Hitler said something similar after the Anglo-French declaration of war OTL.
- [2] I made this one up.
- [3] Hitler did exactly the same in OTL.
- [4] Hitler travelled with the same people in OTL.
- [5] In OTL, the fog was the main reason Hitler decided to return to Berlin earlier, narrowly dodging Elser's bomb. Here, with a clearer report, he decides to go ahead of planned.
- [6] Hitler's original intended start date for his speech. In OTL, he started at 20:00.
- [7] Slight alteration of the original caption. In OTL, there were only seven deaths as the most people had left the hall before the blast. The "solemn act of state" also took place on 11 November rather than December.

Comments?
 
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I really like how you incorporate the butterfly effect properly with Hitler giving a longer speech and getting bombed. This TL continues to go in a very interesting direction.
 
Love this Tl’s twists and turns. Goring in an alliance with Stalin, talk about strange bedfellows!
Can’t wait to what happens next.
 
Very interesting reshuffle of power, and I can't wait to see what will happen to Germany under new leadership. What happened to Goebbels?
 
Very interesting reshuffle of power, and I can't wait to see what will happen to Germany under new leadership. What happened to Goebbels?

At least due absence of Hitler and Himmler things probably go slightly better for Germany. And moost radical wing of nazi party has not such influence so Göring has quiet free hand make better decision regarding the war. He might be even able to make peace with Entente altough even for him it hardly is easy. And one thing is too that even if Holocaust still happens, due absence of Himmler it is not such thing as in OTL even for German and Polish Jews.
 
Very interesting reshuffle of power, and I can't wait to see what will happen to Germany under new leadership. What happened to Goebbels?
Goebbels is still alive. A bit shaken after the bombing and the death of Hitler, but still very much alive.
 
Chapter 5 - A Silver Lining
Chapter 5 - A Silver Lining
The Scandinavian Campaign (Part 2)
March 1940

Announcement
To prevent this update from becoming too big, I've split it into two parts. The second part will come shortly.

At 05:30 on the morning on 7 March 1940, the troops stationed at Scapa Flow received the orders to begin Operation Silver. By 20:00 that evening, all ships were ready with troops and equipment loaded on board, and the first ships departed the bay at 20:15. Earlier that afternoon, the ambassadors of the United Kingdom and France delivered a message to the governments of Norway and Sweden, which accused both states of being unable to uphold their neutrality citing transportation of “aggressive war materials” and sheltering German ships within their waters, the latter making reference to the Altmark Incident of February 1940 [1].

The planned landings in Norway were split into several landing forces. The landing forces had three key landing targets, Narvik, Bergen and Trondheim. The forces were split into the following categories:

Stratford – Commanded by Major-General Pierse Joseph Mackesy:

Consisting of British, French and Polish troops, landing force Stratford would land in and occupy the port city of Narvik and advance across the border into Sweden with the aim of capturing the Swedish mining district of Kiruna.

Order of battle [2]:

British 24th Infantry Brigade – Commanded by Brigadier William Fraser
- 1st Battalion, Scots Guards
- 1st Battalion, Irish Guards
- 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers
French 27e Demi-Brigade de Chasseurs Alpins – Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Sèrge Valentini
- 6ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins
- 12ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins
- 14ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins
French 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade – Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Raoul Margin-Vernerey
- 1er Bataillon
- 2ème Bataillon
Polish Independent Highland Brigade – Commanded by General Zygmunt Bohusz-Szyszko
- 1st Demi-Brigade
- 1 Battalion
- 2 Battalion
- 2nd Demi-Brigade
- 3 Battalion
- 4 Battalion
Troop, 3rd The King’s Own Hussars [3]
- 203 Battery, 51st (Westmoreland and Cumberland) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
French 342me Independent Tank Company
Landing at Mosjøen, Mo I Rana and Bodø:
“Scissorforce” - Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Colin Gubbins
- British Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 5 Independent Companies
British No. 2 Independent Company (landing at Bodø only) – Commanded by Major Hugh Stockwell

Also attached to Stratford were a number of goods cars and flat cars to transport troops, supplies and heavy equipment such as artillery and trucks for the advance from Narvik along the Iron Ore Line into Sweden.

Avonmouth – Commanded by Major-General Carton de Wiart:

Landing force Avonmouth had the task of landing at and capturing the city of Trondheim as well as capturing the airport at Værnes.

Order of battle [4]:

British 146th (Territorial) Infantry Brigade – Commanded by Brigadier Charles G. Phillips
- 1/4th Battalion, Royal Lincolnshire Regiment
- 1/4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
French 5e Demi-Brigade Chasseurs Alpins – Commanded by Général de Brigade Antoine Béthouart
- 13ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins
- 53ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins
- 67ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins

Plymouth – Commanded by Major-General Bernard Paget:

The final landing force, Plymouth, was tasked with landing at Bergen and Stavanger. The force landing at Stavanger was tasked with occupying the airport at Sola.

Order of battle [5]:

British 15th Infantry Brigade – Commanded by Brigadier Herbert Edward Fitzroy Smith
- 1st Battalion, Green Howards
- 1st Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
- 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment
British 148th (Territorial) Infantry Brigade – Commanded by General Harold de Riemer Morgan
- 1/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
- 1/8th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters
168th Light Infantry Anti-Aircraft Battery, Royal Artillery
260th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, Royal Artillery
55th Field Company, Royal Engineers

With the expectation that all forces should arrive in Norway by 20:30 on 9 March, the landing forces departed at separate times, with Stratford departing first as it had the longest distance to cover.

In Norway, their government had received the Allied note on the afternoon of 7 March. In response, the Norwegian cabinet had ordered the mobilisation of four of the army’s six field brigades [6]. Unbeknownst to the cabinet besides Defence Minister Birger Ljungberg, regulation in place meant that the mobilisation would be carried out in secret and soldiers would receive their orders by post [7]. The attitude of the Norwegian government from the 7th onwards was cautious. Oslo reinforced their previous declarations of neutrality but were silent towards the Allied accusations for fear of further provocation. Whilst hoping for continued peace, Norway was faced with impending war and preparing for it.

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Birger Ljungberg, Norwegian Minister of Defence

In Sweden, the situation was similarly confused. Since the Soviet attack on Finland in December 1939, the government in Stockholm had been aiding the Finns by shipping weapons and ammunition whilst allowing for volunteers from Sweden to fight alongside the Finnish army. Taking advantage of the fact that Germany and the Soviet Union was merely co-belligerents at this point rather than full allies, despite both being at war with Britain and France, Stockholm declared itself “non-belligerent” in the Finnish-Soviet war whilst proclaiming neutrality in the war with Germany. The Swedes were walking a delicate diplomatic tightrope, trading iron-ore with Germany whilst aiding Berlin’s de facto ally’s enemy.

When the Allied note was received by the Swedish government, the situation was highly tense. The Swedish armed forces were completely unprepared for war. Not helping the situation was the fact that during the Finnish campaign, Sweden had sent over 50,000,000 ammunition cartridges, largely from its own supply, to the Finns, further adding to their own shortages. Furthermore, there were no fortifications along the Norwegian border owing to the agreement securing the dissolution of the personal union between Norway and Sweden in 1905.

The Swedes had already mobilised 100,000 men along the border with Finland to deter any Soviet aggression. After an emergency cabinet meeting on the evening of the 7th, the mobilisation system was reorganised so that orders could be distributed by letter. The following day, Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson made a public radio broadcast announcing that Sweden would maintain its neutrality but reserved the right to all actions necessary to maintain it [8]. Following the mobilisation organisation, over 320,000 men would be mobilised in a few weeks. Whether that many men would be needed or not would be discovered shortly.

Footnotes
- [1] The Altmark incident still occurs ITTL.
- [2] Order of battle for Rupertforce in the Norwegian campaign of OTL.
- [3] In OTL, the King's Own Hussars were deployed with three Light Tank Mk VI's, but the Polish ship MS Chrobry that was carrying them was attacked by German aircraft and was destroyed leaving the troops with no tanks.
- [4] OTL order of battle for Mauriceforce.
- [5] OTL order of battle for Sickleforce.
- [6] The exact same order was given on 8 April 1940 in OTL.
- [7] The orders were distributed in the same way in OTL.
- [8] The Swedish government said the same thing to the German government during Operation Weserübung, although it was passed in a diplomatic note instead of a public announcement.

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