Discussion:
Nazis without Hitler
(too old to reply)
G***@webtv.net
2008-01-21 19:06:43 UTC
Permalink
I often wondered how effective the Nazi leadership would have been if
Hitler had died suddenly.

I mean suppose right after the Fall of France, let's say after the
British evacuate Dunkirk, Hitler is in public and clearly has a heart
attack and dies, what happens. I say have a heart attack so everyone
CLEARLY can see he wasn't done in by anyone.

What happens, who would take over and what about the Nazis. Certainly
Churchill opposes them but it's always easier to rally someone around a
person, like it's easier to rally against Osama Bin Laden than unknown
Al Qeda leaders. Or it was easier to condemn Saddam Hussein rather than
his Baath Party.

So how effective would the Nazis been if Hitler had died right after say
Dunkirk. Would Churchill have made peace, who would have taken over?
Lloyd Olson
2008-01-21 20:26:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by G***@webtv.net
I often wondered how effective the Nazi leadership would have been if
Hitler had died suddenly.
Early in the war when the nazi's were rolling I'd think more a political
coup would happen. A goebbels or himmler - who ever was more ruthless, would
seize power. Late in the war, I'd think you'd have seen a military coup, a
general or admiral seizing power and trying to arrange peace on one front
and throw everything they had at the other.

Either way it would make more work for armies trying to conquer Germany. The
next nazi leader might do a better job, at least for some time.
bernardZ
2008-01-22 19:09:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lloyd Olson
Either way it would make more work for armies trying to conquer Germany. The
next nazi leader might do a better job, at least for some time.
In WW1, German leaders gave up before the Allies came to Germany. Anyone
that actually cares about the well being of his people would have kept
the conflict going as long as Hitler.
Duwop
2008-01-23 00:40:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by bernardZ
Post by Lloyd Olson
Either way it would make more work for armies trying to conquer Germany. The
next nazi leader might do a better job, at least for some time.
In WW1, German leaders gave up before the Allies came to Germany. Anyone
that actually cares about the well being of his people would have kept
the conflict going as long as Hitler.
Nothing says "I love you" from your leadership better than enemy
artillery on the heimat eh?
David Thornley
2008-01-23 02:02:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by bernardZ
Post by Lloyd Olson
Either way it would make more work for armies trying to conquer Germany. The
next nazi leader might do a better job, at least for some time.
In WW1, German leaders gave up before the Allies came to Germany. Anyone
that actually cares about the well being of his people would have kept
the conflict going as long as Hitler.
Hitler believed strongly that this was a racial struggle for survival,
and Germany would be diminished and eventually destroyed if Germany
did not win. Therefore, there was no difference between annihilation
and an unfavorable peace.

Goering, on the other hand, tried to negotiate with the Western
Allies in 1945, and in prison speculated on what Germany should
do in the next war. He was the heir apparent in 1940, and very
likely would have tried to cut a deal when things started to
go wrong. Germany had a great deal of bargaining power into
1944.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Blackadder XVII
2008-01-23 06:23:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornley
go wrong. Germany had a great deal of bargaining power into
1944.
What sort of bargaining power would Germany have had in 1944 (pre or post
June?). The Allies were determined to get unconditional surrender - I don't
think they would have backed down from it.
David Thornley
2008-01-23 13:07:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Blackadder XVII
Post by David Thornley
go wrong. Germany had a great deal of bargaining power into
1944.
What sort of bargaining power would Germany have had in 1944 (pre or post
June?). The Allies were determined to get unconditional surrender - I don't
think they would have backed down from it.
Pre June, of course. At that time, the Germans still had quite a
bit of territory that they could withdraw from.

Of course, they had more bargaining power earlier. In early 1943,
if they had wished to make peace, they would have had a whole lot
to offer. France, Belgium, and the Netherlands weren't going to
be liberated early, and they had a lot of the prewar Soviet Union.
Nobody was going to deal with Hitler at that time, but some
sort of successor regime might have been able to cut a deal by
blaming things on Hitler.

It wouldn't have been popular in Germany, but a sufficiently perceptive
leader would have realized by then that Germany was losing.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
l***@netscape.net
2008-01-23 19:16:08 UTC
Permalink
On Jan 23, 9:07 am, ***@visi.com (David Thornley) wrote:

(stuff deleted, regarding when would Goering seek terms)
Post by David Thornley
Of course, they had more bargaining power earlier. In early 1943,
if they had wished to make peace, they would have had a whole lot
to offer. France, Belgium, and the Netherlands weren't going to
be liberated early, and they had a lot of the prewar Soviet Union.
(stuff deleted)

Goering tended to willfully blind himself on occasion, so he may not
bother seeking any realistic terms until well after Stalin realizes he
is going to win. That is Germany's problem: Goering is not going to
offer anything acceptable while it looks like he is winning, but once
it is clear he is losing, the Allies are more convinced they should
finish the job.

Assuming Goering is as hands off the army as he was with the
Luftwaffe, he may avoid the OTL losses of Stalingrad and Kursk. That
ultimately helps in slowing the Soviet advance, but does nothing to
reverse his situation there. Late 1943 shows the appearance of US
long-range fighters, and the evental destruction of the Luftwaffe as a
consequence. 1944 rings in the ever increasing odds of a US/UK
invasion, and late 1945 brings a force multiplier to a select air
group of B-29s. At that point, it no longer becomes a question of
"does Germany survive?" but rather "who gets what's left of Germany?"
Mark Sieving
2008-01-23 20:00:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornley
Post by Blackadder XVII
Post by David Thornley
go wrong. Germany had a great deal of bargaining power into
1944.
What sort of bargaining power would Germany have had in 1944 (pre or post
June?). The Allies were determined to get unconditional surrender - I don't
think they would have backed down from it.
Pre June, of course. At that time, the Germans still had quite a
bit of territory that they could withdraw from.
Of course, they had more bargaining power earlier. In early 1943,
if they had wished to make peace, they would have had a whole lot
to offer. France, Belgium, and the Netherlands weren't going to
be liberated early, and they had a lot of the prewar Soviet Union.
Nobody was going to deal with Hitler at that time, but some
sort of successor regime might have been able to cut a deal by
blaming things on Hitler.
It wouldn't have been popular in Germany, but a sufficiently perceptive
leader would have realized by then that Germany was losing.
The Allies publicly agreed on unconditional surrender at the
Casablanca Conference in January 1943. After that, I think it's
highly unlikely that the Allies would have agreed to any deal that
didn't include the abolition of the Nazi party, German disarmament,
and the occupation of Germany.

If Germany was going to negotiate an end to the war that allowed the
German government to stay in power, it would have to have been before
the United States entered the war.
Rich Rostrom
2008-01-21 23:28:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by G***@webtv.net
I often wondered how effective the Nazi leadership would have been if
Hitler had died suddenly.
What happens, who would take over and what about the Nazis.
Goering was officially designated as
Hitler's successor in late 1939. This
designation was not revoked until
a few days before Hitler's death in
1945.

As of June 1940, Goering was at the
height of his reputation, so his
succession would be undisputed. The
SS was still a very small force, and
Himmler would be shut out.

The French campaign would continue
and Germany would win, much as in
history.

Goering would then try, as Hitler
did, to make peace with Britain,
and fail. He was just as much of
a Nazi villain, and there would be
no more willingness to deal with
him than with Hitler.

Since he was the patron of the
Luftwaffe, I think Germany would
then try to bomb Britain into
submission, rather than threaten
invasion (which would have been
a really bad idea).

The Blitz would be merged with
the Battle of Britain. That is,
the LW would bomb RAF bases, but
as part of their simultaneous
campaign to destroy British cities,
rather than to gain air control
for an invasion.

The LW's day-bombing campaign would
be defeated; the night blitz would
continue for months.

I think Goering might flinch from
the invasion of the USSR. He might
push harder to draw Spain into the
Axis instead.

He would not dare to demand the
sort of allegiance Hitler did - no
oath of fealty. When and if the war
went bad, a coup against him would
be much easier to organize.
--
| Decapitation is, in most instances, associated |
| with a decline in IQ. |
| |
| -- Professor Raymond Tallis |
E.F.Schelby
2008-01-22 19:09:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by G***@webtv.net
What happens, who would take over and what about the Nazis.
Goering would then try, as Hitler
did, to make peace with Britain,
and fail. He was just as much of
a Nazi villain, and there would be
no more willingness to deal with
him than with Hitler.
Let's see: peace with Britain.
How many million lives would this have
saved? How many billions in wasted
treasure? Did anyone seriously believe
in the long-term survival of a
regime of (angry) villains? And if so,
what precedents did they find in German
history for the support of such
convictions? Please, disregard
"public diplomacy"(current euphemism
for propaganda) and do consider
geopolitics.

Regards,
ES
Rich Rostrom
2008-01-22 22:51:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by E.F.Schelby
Let's see: peace with Britain.
How many million lives would this have saved?
Very few if any. Hitler's plans to exterminate
the Jews of Europe were not driven by the needs
of war against Britain, and he had millions of
Jews under his control in Poland already.
Likewise his determination to destroy the Soviet
Union and conquer a swath of lebensraum.
Post by E.F.Schelby
How many billions in wasted treasure?
See above.

The best outcome, of course, would be Germany
surrendering to Britain in 1940.

That would have saved the lives of millions
of Germans, preserved Germany from Soviet
occupation, avoided the devastation of Germany
from strategic bombing and ground invasion,
and avoided the loss of German territory in
east.
Post by E.F.Schelby
Did anyone seriously believe in the long-term survival of a
regime of (angry) villains?
Well:

the USSR survived for 73 years

the Peoples Republic of North Korea for 62 years and counting

the Castro regime in Cuba for 48 years and counting.

the Syrian dictatorship for 58 years and counting

the Qaddafi regime in Libya for 37 years and counting

the Porfiriato in Mexico for 35 years
Post by E.F.Schelby
what precedents did they find in German history...
What precedent was there in German history
for goon squads assaulting respected scholars
in the streets?

What precedent was there in German history
for brilliant scientists devoting their
intellects to problems of killing large
numbers of people and disposing of the
bodies efficiently?

What precedent was there in German history
for the swift and decisive conquest of France,
Belgium, and the Netherlands, all with British
support?

The Nazi regime was sui generis, and no one
had any reason to think it would collapse
or moderate on its own.
--
| Decapitation is, in most instances, associated |
| with a decline in IQ. |
| |
| -- Professor Raymond Tallis |
Michele
2008-01-23 18:59:55 UTC
Permalink
"Rich Rostrom" <***@rcn.com> ha scritto nel messaggio news:rrostrom.21stcentury-***@news.isp.giganews.com...

I very much agree with what you posted.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by E.F.Schelby
Let's see: peace with Britain.
How many million lives would this have saved?
Very few if any. Hitler's plans to exterminate
the Jews of Europe were not driven by the needs
of war against Britain, and he had millions of
Jews under his control in Poland already.
Likewise his determination to destroy the Soviet
Union and conquer a swath of lebensraum.
Post by E.F.Schelby
How many billions in wasted treasure?
See above.
The best outcome, of course, would be Germany
surrendering to Britain in 1940.
That would have saved the lives of millions
of Germans, preserved Germany from Soviet
occupation, avoided the devastation of Germany
from strategic bombing and ground invasion,
and avoided the loss of German territory in
east.
A regime change would also be needed in Germany; otherwise, the massacre of
German citizens by the German government could have been carried on.
The withdrawal of Germany from the countries it had attacked and/or occupied
and/or annexed would spare lives there, too, obviously.
E.F.Schelby
2008-01-24 19:35:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by E.F.Schelby
Let's see: peace with Britain.
How many million lives would this have saved?
Very few if any. Hitler's plans to exterminate
the Jews of Europe were not driven by the needs
of war against Britain,
If there had been a peace with Britain, a downward
spiral of events may have been avoided.
Brutalities and atrocities increase in the
shadow and under the cover of escalating war.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by E.F.Schelby
How many billions in wasted treasure?
See above.
What we do know is that the Cold War which followed
WW II was costly. According to Seymour Melman, from
1945 to 1969,the U.S. alone spent over $ 1,000 billion
on the military.
Post by Rich Rostrom
The best outcome, of course, would be Germany
surrendering to Britain in 1940.
That would have saved the lives of millions
of Germans, preserved Germany from Soviet
occupation, avoided the devastation of Germany
from strategic bombing and ground invasion,
and avoided the loss of German territory in
east.
You like to tease, don't you? German territory
was already lost before the war began, and more
was lost after 1945. Just look at the maps.
To blame the victims, the German population, for
the devastation, loss of home, and loss of life
is ingenious but unconvincing.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by E.F.Schelby
Did anyone seriously believe in the long-term survival of a
regime of (angry) villains?
the USSR survived for 73 years
With the help, one could argue, of its friends
in the West. The USSR itself was born during the
breakdowns and suffering after WW I.
Post by Rich Rostrom
the Peoples Republic of North Korea for 62 years and counting
the Castro regime in Cuba for 48 years and counting.
the Syrian dictatorship for 58 years and counting
the Qaddafi regime in Libya for 37 years and counting
These were all states trying to liberate themselves from
colonial masters or foreign dominance/occupation. A period
of radicalization tends to follow. The time spans involved
are not more than a blink in the course of history.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by E.F.Schelby
what precedents did they find in German history...
The Nazi regime was sui generis, and no one
had any reason to think it would collapse
or moderate on its own.
Anyone who knew something about the story of that country
would have had plenty of reasons to assume that such a sui
generis regime could not last in the heart of Europe. But
it was more convenient not to know.

ES
Rich Rostrom
2008-01-25 11:03:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by Rich Rostrom
The best outcome, of course, would be Germany
surrendering to Britain in 1940.
That would have saved the lives of millions
of Germans, preserved Germany from Soviet
occupation, avoided the devastation of Germany
from strategic bombing and ground invasion,
and avoided the loss of German territory in
east.
You like to tease, don't you? German territory
was already lost before the war began, and more
was lost after 1945. Just look at the maps.
To blame the victims, the German population, for
the devastation, loss of home, and loss of life
is ingenious but unconvincing.
The victims? Germany was the
perpetrator of horrific violence
on European countries from the
Arctic circle to the Mediterranean
and from the Atlantic to the Volga.

Germany willfully embarked on this
violence as a means of _conquest_.
Germany's enormously popular leader
stated openly that Germany should
take what it wanted from other
countries - land or food or oil,
crush all resistance, and destroy
all those people whose very existence
was inconvenient to Germany.

The violence suffered by Germany
was incurred because Germany
committed these crimes and
refused to stop.

To refer to Germany as "the victim"
in this context is like describing
as a "victim" an armed robber who
leaves a trail of dead and wounded,
and gets shot while resisting arrest.
--
| Decapitation is, in most instances, associated |
| with a decline in IQ. |
| |
| -- Professor Raymond Tallis |
Michele
2008-01-25 18:50:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by E.F.Schelby
Let's see: peace with Britain.
How many million lives would this have saved?
Very few if any. Hitler's plans to exterminate
the Jews of Europe were not driven by the needs
of war against Britain,
If there had been a peace with Britain, a downward
spiral of events may have been avoided.
Brutalities and atrocities increase in the
shadow and under the cover of escalating war.
Or maybe not. The above assumes that the Nazi regime, no longer having the
cover of escalating war, gives up on its extermination plans, instead of
finding other ways to cover them and carry them out anyway. I'm skeptical,
and I think most people will be.
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by Rich Rostrom
The best outcome, of course, would be Germany
surrendering to Britain in 1940.
That would have saved the lives of millions
of Germans, preserved Germany from Soviet
occupation, avoided the devastation of Germany
from strategic bombing and ground invasion,
and avoided the loss of German territory in
east.
You like to tease, don't you?
Or maybe he noticed you only care for the poor Germans' problems and nobody
else's, so he decided to draw your attention to those.

German territory
Post by E.F.Schelby
was already lost before the war began, and more
was lost after 1945. Just look at the maps.
Sure German territory had been lost at the end of WWI. Then again, some of
that was, for instance, Polish territory lost to Germany before that. And so
on. If the fact that some patch of land had been under a German state in the
past and was now under another state is justification enough to start a war,
then the reverse should also apply.
Post by E.F.Schelby
To blame the victims, the German population, for
the devastation, loss of home, and loss of life
is ingenious but unconvincing.
It would be if he blamed the German population. He's blaming the German
government. Of course, to a varying extent depending on the time frames and
the policies, the German population more or less supported that government.
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by E.F.Schelby
Did anyone seriously believe in the long-term survival of a
regime of (angry) villains?
the USSR survived for 73 years
With the help, one could argue, of its friends
in the West. The USSR itself was born during the
breakdowns and suffering after WW I.
Likewise one could argue that if Britain makes peace with the Nazis, the
British would then be the Western friends of the dictatorship, right?
Thankfully that did not happen.
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by Rich Rostrom
the Peoples Republic of North Korea for 62 years and counting
the Castro regime in Cuba for 48 years and counting.
the Syrian dictatorship for 58 years and counting
the Qaddafi regime in Libya for 37 years and counting
These were all states trying to liberate themselves from
colonial masters or foreign dominance/occupation. A period
of radicalization tends to follow. The time spans involved
are not more than a blink in the course of history.
So when you argued that the Nazi regime would not last for long, you meant
it would only last a blink, some 50 years. It all depends on how one defines
"long", I suppose. For the German, Polish, Czech Jews, it would be too long
to survive, of course.
Andrew Clark
2008-01-26 18:36:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michele
Or maybe not. The above assumes that the Nazi regime, no longer having the
cover of escalating war, gives up on its extermination plans, instead of
finding other ways to cover them and carry them out anyway. I'm skeptical,
and I think most people will be.
And one would be right to be sceptical. The documentation clearly proves
that the Final Solution for German Jews and others under Reich control was
intended to commence in 1939-40 whatever else happened. In fact, the
invasion of Poland *delayed* the commencement because the number to be
killed had increased so sharply. This is proved without any doubt by many
specialist Holocaust studies over the last 20 years.

The idea that the Holocaust could somehow have been avoided by the Western
Allies not going to war with Germany is a very old and much-discredited
revisionist myth beloved of the Nazi apologists.
E.F.Schelby
2008-01-26 20:16:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by E.F.Schelby
Let's see: peace with Britain.
How many million lives would this have saved?
Post by E.F.Schelby
Brutalities and atrocities increase in the
shadow and under the cover of escalating war.
Or maybe not... I'm skeptical,
I am skeptical too. Both of us engage in speculation. We simply
don't know what would have happened. However, the evidence past and
present indicates that to prosecute extreme policies, perpetrators
like to use the cover of war.
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by Rich Rostrom
The best outcome, of course, would be Germany
surrendering to Britain in 1940.
That would have saved the lives of millions
of Germans, preserved Germany from Soviet
occupation, avoided the devastation of Germany
from strategic bombing and ground invasion,
and avoided the loss of German territory in
east.
Or maybe he noticed you only care for the poor Germans' problems and nobody
else's, so he decided to draw your attention to those.
You do not know what I care about. I did not speak about Germans. I
wrote: "how many million lives would this have saved?"

Your accusation is of course a familiar one, and the argument has
made the rounds again and again. For how many years now? It's pretty
worn out these days. The world has moved on.
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by E.F.Schelby
To blame the victims, the German population, for
the devastation, loss of home, and loss of life
is ingenious but unconvincing.
It would be if he blamed the German population. He's blaming the German
government. Of course, to a varying extent depending on the time frames and
the policies, the German population more or less supported that government.
The idea of collective punishment (not beloved by the Geneva
Conventions) seems to be part of an unwritten code hereabouts. But I
suppose not everyone is fully aware of this. Yet it is deeply
ingrained and taken for granted. Now if we take your words at face
value, which other populations supported or still support the
aggressive wars of their governments? What are the consequences they
will have to, or should face? Consistency about one's principles is
a nice selling point.

(snips)
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by E.F.Schelby
These were all states trying to liberate themselves from
colonial masters or foreign dominance/occupation. A period
of radicalization tends to follow. The time spans involved
are not more than a blink in the course of history.
So when you argued that the Nazi regime would not last for long, you meant
it would only last a blink, some 50 years. It all depends on how one defines
"long", I suppose. For the German, Polish, Czech Jews, it would be too long
to survive, of course.
Goethe said "He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living
hand to mouth." So yes, 50 years are a blink.

But a single day of misery is very long. That's why one hoped that
the regime would fall much sooner precisely because it was, as Rich
Rostrum argued, sui generis. It was, I think, unfit and unsuited for
that country. Milder conditions could have watered it down. But due
to the escalating war the population didn't have much time or
opportunity to stop and think. Emergency rules replaced the normal
functioning of society. This was the case more or less in all
countries which participated in WW II.

So, that's enough about this old theme. We'll never find agreement
on it.

What I question is primarily an in-your-face attitude that thrives
on confrontation and blocks all exits..

ES
Michele
2008-01-28 19:08:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by E.F.Schelby
Let's see: peace with Britain.
How many million lives would this have saved?
Post by E.F.Schelby
Brutalities and atrocities increase in the
shadow and under the cover of escalating war.
Or maybe not... I'm skeptical,
I am skeptical too. Both of us engage in speculation. We simply
don't know what would have happened. However, the evidence past and
present indicates that to prosecute extreme policies, perpetrators
like to use the cover of war.
Likewise, evidence shows that the Nazi regime was rather bloodthirsty even
in peacetime. We do know the Stalinist regime, summing up its pre-war and
post-war peacetime mass murders, handily beats the Nazis - but only because
it lasted for many more years. Now, considering that below you argue that
the Nazi regime in peace would last very briefly - which means, in your
views, for maybe 50 years, that means that the Nazis would in all likelihood
have killed people at a slower pace, but for 50 years instead of a dozen, of
which only six in wartime. The total result in all likelihood would be
higher than the actual historical toll, so no more lives would have been
saved by letting the Nazis go on with their "milder" peacetime concentration
camps.

Besides, all the above revolves on Nazi Germany not being at war. You
posited it not being at war with the British. Let's assume this comes to
pass. What then? Hitler is free to attack his #1 objective, the SU. There
you have it again, cover of war, plus plenty of "Untermenschen" to get rid
of.

Or are you assuming that after having achieved peace with Britain, Germany
suddenly grows peaceful and does not seek its Lebensraum in the Ukraine?
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by Rich Rostrom
The best outcome, of course, would be Germany
surrendering to Britain in 1940.
That would have saved the lives of millions
of Germans, preserved Germany from Soviet
occupation, avoided the devastation of Germany
from strategic bombing and ground invasion,
and avoided the loss of German territory in
east.
Or maybe he noticed you only care for the poor Germans' problems and nobody
else's, so he decided to draw your attention to those.
You do not know what I care about. I did not speak about Germans. I
wrote: "how many million lives would this have saved?"
I do know what your posts have contained over years. Complaints about the
poor Germans.
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by E.F.Schelby
To blame the victims, the German population, for
the devastation, loss of home, and loss of life
is ingenious but unconvincing.
It would be if he blamed the German population. He's blaming the German
government. Of course, to a varying extent depending on the time frames and
the policies, the German population more or less supported that government.
The idea of collective punishment (not beloved by the Geneva
Conventions) seems to be part of an unwritten code hereabouts. But I
suppose not everyone is fully aware of this. Yet it is deeply
ingrained and taken for granted. Now if we take your words at face
value, which other populations supported or still support the
aggressive wars of their governments? What are the consequences they
will have to, or should face? Consistency about one's principles is
a nice selling point.
I don't support collective punishment. I only point out that the decision to
make war against pretty much half of the world was the German government's;
and that to a certain extent, not clearly measurable since it wasn't a
democratic regime, that government had the support of the people. Those are
historical facts.
Post by E.F.Schelby
From those facts, the logical conclusion is that it is hard to portray
Germany as the victim of this war.
Post by E.F.Schelby
Post by E.F.Schelby
So when you argued that the Nazi regime would not last for long, you meant
it would only last a blink, some 50 years. It all depends on how one defines
"long", I suppose. For the German, Polish, Czech Jews, it would be too long
to survive, of course.
Goethe said "He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living
hand to mouth." So yes, 50 years are a blink.
So see above for a hypothetical peacetime Nazi Germany that becomes a
competitor of Stalin's SU when it comes to peacetime exterminations.


It was, I think, unfit and unsuited for
Post by E.F.Schelby
that country. Milder conditions could have watered it down. But due
to the escalating war the population didn't have much time or
opportunity to stop and think. Emergency rules replaced the normal
functioning of society. This was the case more or less in all
countries which participated in WW II.
No. Emergency rules replaced the normal functioning of society in Germany
_in peacetime_ already. You'll remember the sweeping and unconstitutional
powers granted to Hitler after the Reichstag fire. By 1939, Germany already
had had the Kristallnacht, the dispatching of the SA leadership, the
Nuremberg laws, the euthanasia program, the concentration camps for enemies
of the Nazis (where people did not die in gas chambers but died nonetheless
at a much faster rate than in ordinary prisons), and forcible annexation of
nearby weaker states or parts thereof. This, in peacetime. I think these are
fair and plausible pointers to the very likely outcome of the kind of regime
the Germans, and the neighbors toiling under their yoke, would have if the
war suddenly ended in 1940.
Dave Smith
2008-01-24 20:29:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
The best outcome, of course, would be Germany
surrendering to Britain in 1940.
It would have been even better if Hitler had abided by the agreement he
signed in Munich that promised there would be no more German aggression,
and if he had taken Britain and France seriously that they would go to
war if he invaded Poland. There was certainly no reason for Germany to
have surrendered to Britain in 1940. They had already militarized the
Rhineland , annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia without any military
intervention, and then proceeded to occupy France, Belgium, the
Netherlands and Denmark. They had routed the French and British armies
in France and pushed the British army right out of France at Dunkirk,
leaving their equipment behind. Then they proceeded with their attempt
to break the RAF in the Battle of Britain.

At that point the US was certainly not interested in going to war to
help their French and British allies. They were doing well in the Battle
of the Atlantic, with the RN stationed close to home to prtoect the
British Isles from invasion. Germany may not have been able to invade,
but there was at least the threat of it.

I am hard pressed to think of any motivation for Germany to surrender
to at that timene. On the contrary, the were apparently confident enough
about having conquered and occupied wetern Europe that they started
making plans to open another front Meanwhile, Italy ahd declared war on
Britain and had successes against them in Africa.
Rich Rostrom
2008-01-25 11:08:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
I am hard pressed to think of any motivation for
Germany to surrender [in summer 1940]
From the Nazi point of view, there
was none. In hindsight, it is clear
that it would have been the best
outcome for Germany - since the Nazi
program's inevitable outcome was
either the devastation of Germany
in the course of defeat, or else
Germany's barbarization and disgrace
by further Nazi crimes.
--
| Decapitation is, in most instances, associated |
| with a decline in IQ. |
| |
| -- Professor Raymond Tallis |
Dave Smith
2008-01-25 19:17:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Dave Smith
I am hard pressed to think of any motivation for
Germany to surrender [in summer 1940]
From the Nazi point of view, there
was none. In hindsight, it is clear
that it would have been the best
outcome for Germany - since the Nazi
program's inevitable outcome was
either the devastation of Germany
in the course of defeat, or else
Germany's barbarization and disgrace
by further Nazi crimes.
Hindsight canbe a good thing if applied ahead of time. Never the less,
Germany was winning at the time. Had Hitler not turned on the Soviet
Union the next year, and then declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor,
he most likely would have been victorious over all of Europe. As it
turned out, he bit off more than he could chew, but that all happened
after 1940.
David Thornley
2008-01-26 16:06:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
Hindsight canbe a good thing if applied ahead of time. Never the less,
Germany was winning at the time.
Germany looked to be winning at the time. There were several things
that could easily have gone wrong.

Had Hitler not turned on the Soviet
Post by Dave Smith
Union the next year,
Not going to war with the Soviet Union would have meant forfeiting
much of Hitler's war aims, which were to conquer large parts of the
Soviet Union as part of the expansion of the Aryan race. Delaying
going to war with the Soviet Union would have been dangerous, as
the Soviets were increasing their military capabilities fairly
fast.

and then declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor,

The US was already in a shooting war with Germany, and had been
since September 1941. Roosevelt could manipulate this into a
full-scale war pretty much on his own schedule.
Post by Dave Smith
he most likely would have been victorious over all of Europe. As it
turned out, he bit off more than he could chew, but that all happened
after 1940.
No, he bit off more than he could chew when he didn't back down
from the British ultimatum. Britain didn't look like a danger
at the time, but Britain was a long-term danger.

If Hitler had avoided fighting the British as much as possible,
he might have been in much better shape. In the invasion of
the Soviet Union, the Luftwaffe was considerably weaker than it
could have been, due to fighting the British. It was the
Battle of the Atlantic that was most important in moving the
US into the war, not Pearl Harbor. Finally, there is the
possibility that Britain might have won the air technology
race decisively, and produced nuclear bombs.

Hitler had no way to force the British to peace, any more than
Napoleon had. He needed to find a way to live with British
hostility, and never really succeeded.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Dave Smith
2008-01-26 18:38:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornley
Post by Dave Smith
Hindsight canbe a good thing if applied ahead of time. Never the less,
Germany was winning at the time.
Germany looked to be winning at the time. There were several things
that could easily have gone wrong.
Indeed they looked to be winning at that point it time. They had been
successful in every step of their aggression to date.
Post by David Thornley
Had Hitler not turned on the Soviet
Post by Dave Smith
Union the next year,
Not going to war with the Soviet Union would have meant forfeiting
much of Hitler's war aims, which were to conquer large parts of the
Soviet Union as part of the expansion of the Aryan race. Delaying
going to war with the Soviet Union would have been dangerous, as
the Soviets were increasing their military capabilities fairly
fast.
It is my understanding that Hitler believed that the British would come to
accept that they would be better off joinging forces with Germany and
turning on a mutual threat, the Soviet Union. Even if the Soviets did have
time to prepare for war, Hitler could have seen advantages to delaying that
conflict until he made peace with Britain, in which case he would have had
British support plus the support of the occupied countries of western
Europe. he would have had a huge and well equipped army and one that would
benefit from the vast resources of the west. However, it seems that was
not to be. The British were not prepared to make peace at that time.

A more rational person would have realized the folly of attacking Russia
when he was still at war with Britian and its allies. When Operation
Barbarossa was launched, the gains made by the Germans must have reinforced
their belief that they would have an easy victory because they made such a
rapid advance. Then they hit a brickwall, and it was all down hill for Nazi
Germany from there.
.
Post by David Thornley
and then declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor,
The US was already in a shooting war with Germany, and had been
since September 1941. Roosevelt could manipulate this into a
full-scale war pretty much on his own schedule.
In a very small way compared to what was going on between the germans and
the British.
Post by David Thornley
Post by Dave Smith
he most likely would have been victorious over all of Europe. As it
turned out, he bit off more than he could chew, but that all happened
after 1940.
No, he bit off more than he could chew when he didn't back down
from the British ultimatum. Britain didn't look like a danger
at the time, but Britain was a long-term danger.
I won't dispute that he underestimated Britain's resolve to stop German
expansion. Apparently Hitler was surprised when Britian stuck to its guns
and declared war after the invasion of Poland. Given that the Germans were
able to sweep across so much of northwestern Europe and push the British
army off the beaches at Dunkirk, it would appear that he had, to that
point, been able to chew as much as he had bit off. Hitler must have been
fairly confident at the time that he could keep Britain at bay before he
turned his sights on Russia...... or he was completely irrational, and
there is plent of evidence of that.
Post by David Thornley
If Hitler had avoided fighting the British as much as possible,
he might have been in much better shape. In the invasion of
the Soviet Union, the Luftwaffe was considerably weaker than it
could have been, due to fighting the British. It was the
Battle of the Atlantic that was most important in moving the
US into the war, not Pearl Harbor.
US involvement in the Atlantic certainly gave Hitler justification to
declare war on the US. Perhaps he would have been well advised to let them
get away with firing on the odd raider rather than declaring war and facing
them on European soil and in the sky over Europe.
Post by David Thornley
Finally, there is the
possibility that Britain might have won the air technology
race decisively, and produced nuclear bombs.
Ironically, much of the research and the work on American bombs being done
by Jewish scientists who had been forced to flee Germany.
Post by David Thornley
Hitler had no way to force the British to peace, any more than
Napoleon had. He needed to find a way to live with British
hostility, and never really succeeded.
He certainly underestimated them. It was unfortunate for Hitler that the
British leadership was firm in its opposition to Germany and its refusal to
make peace, because there was definitely an element in the government that
was prepared to make peace.
David Thornley
2008-01-27 23:42:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
Post by David Thornley
Not going to war with the Soviet Union would have meant forfeiting
much of Hitler's war aims, which were to conquer large parts of the
Soviet Union as part of the expansion of the Aryan race. Delaying
going to war with the Soviet Union would have been dangerous, as
the Soviets were increasing their military capabilities fairly
fast.
It is my understanding that Hitler believed that the British would come to
accept that they would be better off joinging forces with Germany and
turning on a mutual threat, the Soviet Union.
It could have been; Hitler had a lot of delusional beliefs. However,
this was out of his control. Hitler had no way to force the British
to agree with this.

As long as Hitler couldn't force a peace on Britain, and couldn't
defeat Britain, and had reason to fear Britain, he wasn't able to
chew what he had bitten off.

Even if the Soviets did have
Post by Dave Smith
time to prepare for war, Hitler could have seen advantages to delaying that
conflict until he made peace with Britain,
British assistance would not have been all that helpful against the
Soviet Union. The war would primarily be by land, where the Soviets
were strong and the British relatively weak.
Post by Dave Smith
not to be. The British were not prepared to make peace at that time.
Right. Hitler had no way to compel Britain to make peace.
Post by Dave Smith
A more rational person would have realized the folly of attacking Russia
when he was still at war with Britian and its allies.
In which case Hitler would have the possibility of never attacking
the Soviet Union. Historically, Hitler did say that one reason for
attacking the Soviet Union was to remove a potential British ally,
and bring the British closer to wanting to deal.

When Operation
Post by Dave Smith
Barbarossa was launched, the gains made by the Germans must have reinforced
their belief that they would have an easy victory because they made such a
rapid advance.
In WWI, Germany with some less powerful allies fought Russia, Britain,
and France, and defeated Russia without concentrating fully on Russia.
In 1941, France was subjugated, and there were legitimate reasons
to suspect that the Soviet Union might be weaker than the Russian
Empire was.

Attacking the Soviet Union in 1941 was not an obviously stupid
move. There were reasons to expect success, and reasons to think
success would be a good thing.

Then they hit a brickwall, and it was all down hill for Nazi
Post by Dave Smith
Germany from there.
Not really; it was mostly downhill after the Soviet counteroffensive
started around Stalingrad.
Post by Dave Smith
Post by David Thornley
The US was already in a shooting war with Germany, and had been
since September 1941. Roosevelt could manipulate this into a
full-scale war pretty much on his own schedule.
In a very small way compared to what was going on between the germans and
the British.
For how long?

Roosevelt wanted war with Germany, and had gotten US and German forces
shooting at each other. It doesn't matter that this was on a smaller
scale. What matters is what was likely to happen. Roosevelt could have
found reasons for an actual declaration of war on his own schedule.
Post by Dave Smith
From September 1941 on, Hitler had no way to make peace with the US,
and a larger war could start pretty much any time.
Post by Dave Smith
Post by David Thornley
No, he bit off more than he could chew when he didn't back down
from the British ultimatum. Britain didn't look like a danger
at the time, but Britain was a long-term danger.
I won't dispute that he underestimated Britain's resolve to stop German
expansion.
Yup. What is potentially more important here is that he had no way
to force a peace.
Post by Dave Smith
point, been able to chew as much as he had bit off. Hitler must have been
fairly confident at the time that he could keep Britain at bay before he
turned his sights on Russia...... or he was completely irrational, and
there is plent of evidence of that.
Hitler wasn't completely irrational, at least not until much later.
Hitler was confident that he could defeat the Soviet Union and then
turn to face Britain. There were reasons to think this might be the
case.

It was wrong, of course, but that was by no means obvious at the time.
Post by Dave Smith
Post by David Thornley
If Hitler had avoided fighting the British as much as possible,
he might have been in much better shape. In the invasion of
US involvement in the Atlantic certainly gave Hitler justification to
declare war on the US. Perhaps he would have been well advised to let them
get away with firing on the odd raider rather than declaring war and facing
them on European soil and in the sky over Europe.
You don't seem to be understanding what I am saying about the US.

US escorting of convoys was an annoyance, but not a danger to Germany.
It represented a big potential change in the Battle of the Atlantic.

What was dangerous was that the US could go from there to full-scale
warfare. Historically, it happened after the Japanese attacked, and
Germany declared war. The timing didn't have to go that way; it was
quite a few months afterwards before the US could do anything
offensive against Germany. All Roosevelt had to do was find a good
occasion to declare war over quite a few months, and Germany was
in deep trouble.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Andrew Clark
2008-01-26 18:56:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
Had Hitler not turned on the Soviet
Union the next year, and then declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor,
he most likely would have been victorious over all of Europe.
Germany had no realistic way to defeat Britain, so there was no way that
Hitler "would have been victorious over all of Europe". And given time,
Britain would inevitably make an alliance which would see the defeat of
Germany, assisted by nuclear arms.
Dave Smith
2008-01-27 19:51:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clark
Post by Dave Smith
Had Hitler not turned on the Soviet
Union the next year, and then declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor,
he most likely would have been victorious over all of Europe.
Germany had no realistic way to defeat Britain, so there was no way that
Hitler "would have been victorious over all of Europe". And given time,
Britain would inevitably make an alliance which would see the defeat of
Germany, assisted by nuclear arms.
They tried with the Battle of the Atlantic and the Battle of Britian. They
did not need to invade and occupy the UK, but they would have gladly settled
for peace with them. Most of the stuff I have read indicates that Hitler did
not want war with Britain.
Palex
2008-01-27 20:12:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clark
Germany had no realistic way to defeat Britain, so there was no way that
Hitler "would have been victorious over all of Europe". And given time,
Britain would inevitably make an alliance which would see the defeat of
Germany, assisted by nuclear arms.
That is correct. .

What if the Germans had the capability to capture the entire BEF and the

Dunkirk operation was a disaster for the British?

With 200,000 British POWs in the summer of 1940, could Hitler persuade the

British to sue for peace?
Andrew Clark
2008-01-28 19:12:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Palex
What if the Germans had the capability to capture the entire BEF and the
Dunkirk operation was a disaster for the British?
The evacuation of the BEF north of the Seine started before the Germans were
in any position to stop the operation, so there is no way that the Germans
could have captured the whole of this force. And, of course, the BEF south
of the Seine (two divisions plus lots of LOC troops and supplies) was never
in any danger.

The Germans could have captured a lot more POW, but not the entire force.
Precisely how more depends on all sorts of counter-factuals about German
progress and British reaction.
Post by Palex
With 200,000 British POWs in the summer of 1940, could Hitler persuade the
British to sue for peace?
No. The British may have lost their first army, but they did so in 1914 and
went on to build another one. And the navy and air force and the wealth of
the Empire were intact.
l***@netscape.net
2008-01-28 19:35:05 UTC
Permalink
On Jan 27, 4:12 pm, "Palex" <***@me.com> wrote:

(stuff deleted)
Post by Palex
What if the Germans had the capability to capture the entire BEF and the
Dunkirk operation was a disaster for the British?
The entire British BEF wasn't at Dunkirk. That in itself gives the
British media leverage to diminish the loss of that force. Even if
all the forces at Dunkirk are lost, the British can claim the Germans
had suffered horrendouse casualties in the process. The French would
get a respite, since Germany would have to let up pressure on them in
order to take care of Dunkirk, which was a good reason why the Germans
didn't concentrate their full efforts against Dunkirk to begin with.
Post by Palex
With 200,000 British POWs in the summer of 1940, could Hitler persuade the
British to sue for peace?
If it meant diverting enough troops from fighting the French to allow
France to recover, then the answer would be "no."
Louis C
2008-01-23 13:51:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by E.F.Schelby
Did anyone seriously believe
in the long-term survival of a
regime of (angry) villains?
The czars had been around for centuries and the current (at the time
of WWII) "regime of angry villains" seemed to be there to stay.

The Ottoman Empire had been a regime of villains for century and
kemalism wasn't changing that much.

Generally speaking, democracy didn't seem at all to be spreading,
quite the contrary. Former democracies, even imperfect ones, had
turned into dictatorships - Japan, Italy, Spain - and there were no
examples of formerly autocratic regimes turning democratic to even the
score.
Post by E.F.Schelby
And if so,
what precedents did they find in German
history for the support of such
convictions?
There were no precedents in Russian history for the support of a
communist regime, and still the USSR was a fact of life.

Racist ideas were not novel to Germany (or other countries), but a
militaristic dictatorship definitely had a lot of precedent. In fact,
as WWII Germany traced its history to Prussia one could well argue
that its record was that of uninterrupted military autocracies.

The point isn't to argue that the Germans were worse than other
people, but that giving Nazi Germany what it wanted in the hope that
it would somehow mellow into a civilized country was foolish.
Appeasement had been tried numerous times and been a constant failure.


LC
Rich Rostrom
2008-01-23 18:14:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Louis C
Generally speaking, democracy didn't seem at all to be spreading,
quite the contrary. Former democracies, even imperfect ones, had
turned into dictatorships - Japan, Italy, Spain
Consider this book:

_Europe of the dictators, 1919-1945_

by Elizabeth Wiskemann.

It's a respectable history work, found in
many libraries. The _title_, though: it _is_
arguable that dictatorship was the defining
characteristic of Europe in this period.

Italy and Spain, as noted above - and Spain
had _two_ dictatorships in this period: Primo
de Rivera, and Franco. Portugal (Salazar),
Greece (Metaxas), Romania (King Carol II,
Antonescu), Hungary (Horthy), Austria (Dollfuss),
Poland (Pilsudski), Estonia (Pats), Latvia
(Ulmanis), Lithuania (Smetona), Bulgaria (Georgiev),
Yugoslavia (King Alexander), and of course Germany
and Russia all were dictatorships for much of
this period.

Democracy remained unbroken only in Scandinavia,
the Low Countries, France, Britain, Ireland,
and Switzerland and Czechoslovakia.
--
| Decapitation is, in most instances, associated |
| with a decline in IQ. |
| |
| -- Professor Raymond Tallis |
Dave Smith
2008-01-23 19:11:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Louis C
The point isn't to argue that the Germans were worse than other
people, but that giving Nazi Germany what it wanted in the hope that
it would somehow mellow into a civilized country was foolish.
Appeasement had been tried numerous times and been a constant failure.
I have to wonder what would have been better at the time. At least France
and Britain had the fortitude to stand up to Hitler. They were in no
position to go to war when it failed. They were just starting to recover
from a devasting economic depression. Their armed forces were not prepared
to go to war, nor were the people, having fresh memories of the horrors of
WWI. They could not count on their allies. The Russians had dropped out
of WWI after the soviet revolution. The Italians were now Fascist. Some
of the eastern European allies were not reliable. Look at how Bulgaria
has switched sides several times. The US, after having had a major
influence in the Treaty of Versailles had not even ratified the treaty and
had made a separate peace with Germany. They had returned to it's
Isolationist stance and preferred to turn a blind eye to Germany's
rearmament. Even after the second war started, the US refused to get
involved. The best that it would do was to supply arms and equipment under
the Lend Lease program, which was little more than a proxy war, supplying
the Allies to fight to protect US strategic interests.

Had France and Britain gone to war against Nazi Germany at the first
violation of the Versaille Treaty, the militarization of the Rhine, its
annexation of Austria or the Czechoslovakia, they risked being viewed at
the aggressors and no one would have had sympathy for them if they had
been defeated. The appeasement policies that gave them the moral high
ground to pursue the war vigorously when German invaded Poland. I find it
ironic that the condemnation of appeasement seems to always come from
Americans, considering that their Isolationism had even less effect on
limited Germany expansion than did appeasement. Appeasement in western
Europe came to an abrupt end when the Nazis moved into Poland, but
Isolationism in the US kept them from acting for more than two years after
the Allies declared war.
Andrew Clark
2008-01-22 20:02:23 UTC
Permalink
"Rich Rostrom" <***@rcn.com> wrote

(snip excellent analysis)
Post by Rich Rostrom
He would not dare to demand the
sort of allegiance Hitler did - no
oath of fealty.
I think it's interesting to consider Goering's probable constitutional
status in this regard. Hitler was Chancellor under Hindenburg then
Chancellor and Fuhrer after the latter's death: Hitler never actually
formally abolished the Weimar post of President but rather assumed its
powers as part of his new and vaguely defined role as Fuhrer of the German
People, which encompassed all his powers as State Chancellor (head of
government), Commander in Chief, State President (head of state) and NSDAP
leader.

I think there is no doubt that Goering would initially become both
Chancellor and Fuhrer, but it's not so certain he would continue in that
role. I can see him giving up the role of Chancellor - ie head of
government - to someone like Himmler, retaining control over the armed
forces and a veto right over government but effectively sharing power. Even
a return to a more Cabinet-based government under a Chancellor might arise,
as the NSDAP chieftains pushed forward for power.

I'm not saying that Goering couldn't be as ruthless as Hitler in securing
his personal power as dictator if Goering wanted that. I tend to think,
however, that Goering would not see himself as a charismatic mystic leader
like Hitler, and so might revert to more traditional government powers - a
more Italian Fascist state model, even - to get what he wanted.
Post by Rich Rostrom
When and if the war
went bad, a coup against him would
be much easier to organize.
Or far harder. Sharing power among a group of common-minded people tends to
secure individual positions. Goering would doubtless try to win the war
against Britain one way or the other - which might involve a negotiated
settlement with Britain and the US after the U-boats and Luftwaffe failed -
rather than gambling all on a mad dive into the USSR.
Bill Baker
2008-01-23 06:43:17 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-01-22 12:02:23 -0800, "Andrew Clark"
Post by Andrew Clark
I think there is no doubt that Goering would initially become both
Chancellor and Fuhrer, but it's not so certain he would continue in that
role...
Have to agree, although after the Fall of France it seems likely that
the Nazi Party--not necessarily lead by Goering--would have held sway
past the strategic tipping point of doom. Put the question another
way, were there power blocs within the Party who could have seized
power and steered Germany towards a long-term consolidation and
retrenchment war policy that would have allowed the country to retain
its hold on Mitteleuropa+France? Seems unlikely, given what an
intrinsic buffoon Goering was.

What if an aptly-placed bomb took out both Hitler and Goering? The
NSDAP was still far from consolidating its hold on the German political
structures at that point. I could still see a Halder/Popitz
Heer/junker coalition stepping at that point.
David Thornley
2008-01-23 13:10:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Baker
past the strategic tipping point of doom. Put the question another
way, were there power blocs within the Party who could have seized
power and steered Germany towards a long-term consolidation and
retrenchment war policy that would have allowed the country to retain
its hold on Mitteleuropa+France? Seems unlikely, given what an
intrinsic buffoon Goering was.
Was there any way to keep hold of France in the long run?

Perhaps if Germany had stopped waging war against Britain the
US wouldn't have come in, but if the US did come in Germany was
in a world of hurts. Stalin was going to turn into an increasing
annoyance and threat as the Red Army reformed.

France, on the other hand, would be a lovely bargaining chip.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Bill Baker
2008-01-25 18:50:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornley
Was there any way to keep hold of France in the long run?
Maybe:

--Invade the Balkans, but _not_ Russia

--Curtail the U-boot offensive to the point of maximal strategic impact
on the UK without risking US entry into the conflict (in actuality,
that would require a significant scaling back of attacks until sometime
in 1943)

--Prop up Vichy France as an independent state and promise "full
withdrawal and fair reparations" when all aggressions against Germanic
peoples have ceased

--Cultivate/intimidate Franco into allowing Falangist Spain to
clandestinely operate as a conduit for small-tonnage vital strategic
materials, via Vichy, to Germany

--Lose Konoe's phone number

--Full war mobilization of the German economy

--Sack nine-tenths of the NSDAP cronies who are dragging down the Reich
industrial management of war industries

--And above all, eke out the stalemate until after FDR dies

Of course, the last two realistically assume that Goering gets nailed
in the assassination with Hitler in 1940.
David Thornley
2008-01-26 16:13:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Baker
Post by David Thornley
Was there any way to keep hold of France in the long run?
--Invade the Balkans, but _not_ Russia
If Hitler could have kept Mussolini out of the Balkans, that would
have been ideal. Invading the Soviet Union carried the possibility
of winning big, and the Soviets would become a strategic threat
over time.
Post by Bill Baker
--Curtail the U-boot offensive to the point of maximal strategic impact
on the UK without risking US entry into the conflict
There's really two choices here.

Fight a significant U-boat war and risk US entry.

Don't fight a significant U-boat war.

There is no way to get strategic results out of the Battle of the
Atlantic without angering the US.
Post by Bill Baker
--Prop up Vichy France as an independent state and promise "full
withdrawal and fair reparations" when all aggressions against Germanic
peoples have ceased
Germany might, under some circumstances, have bought peace by giving
back France and other Western countries. I don't see how treating
Vichy nice is going to help much, and offering to return other
parts of France is essentially not keeping France.
Post by Bill Baker
--Cultivate/intimidate Franco into allowing Falangist Spain to
clandestinely operate as a conduit for small-tonnage vital strategic
materials, via Vichy, to Germany
Germany did get small-tonnage vital strategic materials in any case,
until 1944 or so, through blockade runners of various sorts.
Post by Bill Baker
--Lose Konoe's phone number
Not a bad idea.
Post by Bill Baker
--Full war mobilization of the German economy
They were working on it.
Post by Bill Baker
--Sack nine-tenths of the NSDAP cronies who are dragging down the Reich
industrial management of war industries
Not to mention other things. The Nazi government was one of the
least efficient I've seen in a modern Western country. I don't
think it would have helped too much, though.
Post by Bill Baker
--And above all, eke out the stalemate until after FDR dies
That involves not getting into a war with the US. Truman may
not have been as willing to get the US into a war, but he would
have been determined to finish one he found himself in.
Post by Bill Baker
Of course, the last two realistically assume that Goering gets nailed
in the assassination with Hitler in 1940.
Not just Hitler and Goering. However, if you go too far down the
probable succession line, you may get civil war.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Louis C
2008-01-27 10:12:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Baker
Post by David Thornley
Was there any way to keep hold of France in the long run?
--Invade the Balkans, but _not_ Russia
Sooner or later, Stalin will start putting the screws on Germany.
Maybe not outright invasion, and certainly not invasion with the
Wehrmacht not already engaged (and seriously weakened) elsewhere, but
reducing Soviet exports (the Soviet rearmament program required the
same raw materials anyway) and/or asking for a higher price, demanding
that Germany stick with the original pact i.e. Finland in Soviet zone
(complete with Petsamo nickel mines), Romania off-limits to the
Germans etc.
Post by Bill Baker
--Curtail the U-boot offensive to the point of maximal strategic impact
on the UK without risking US entry into the conflict (in actuality,
that would require a significant scaling back of attacks until sometime
in 1943)
There are two problems with that.

Tactically, the RN had made the Western Approaches more or less off-
limits to U-boats by the end of 1941, so the subs had to attack in the
central or western Atlantic i.e. closer to the US and with a higher
risk of hitting US shipping.

Strategically, Roosevelt was the one consistently seeking a quarrel
with Germany, finding every excuse to send US shipping in harm's way,
inventing a "neutrality zone" that he decided should be off-limits to
U-boats, etc. Also, the US was going to become a belligerent due to
Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor anyway, which means a huge mobilization
& construction program. Even if Germany had done its best to avoid
antagonizing the USN there would be swarms of ASW escorts looking for
a fight, on top of all the lend-lease and imports that Britain didn't
historically receive because the shipping was sunk.
Post by Bill Baker
--Prop up Vichy France as an independent state and promise "full
withdrawal and fair reparations" when all aggressions against Germanic
peoples have ceased
That's not enough to retain a hold on France. The French are still
going to hate the Germans due to 1/ the Wehrmacht occupying their
country, 2/ 1+ million POWs in Germany, 3/ German requisitions and
blockade making everyday's life very difficult to the average French
household, 4/ Germany being the hereditary enemy anyway.

If Germany does its best not to plunder French resources, its own
economy is going to pay a heavy price. From a strategic point of view,
milking the French dry was a positive contribution to the German war
effort, and a more accomodating Germany wouldn't have secured as much
from its conquest.
Post by Bill Baker
--Cultivate/intimidate Franco into allowing Falangist Spain to
clandestinely operate as a conduit for small-tonnage vital strategic
materials, via Vichy, to Germany
Spanish exports did transit across France. Germany could do without
Vichy agreement anyway, because a strip along the French Atlantic
coast was part of the German-occupied zone and this was also where the
most direct rail link between Paris and Spain was located. But when
the Germans did need Vichy agreement e.g. to transport purchases of
mules and horses from Spain to Italy, they got it easily.
Post by Bill Baker
--Lose Konoe's phone number
How is that going to help Germany retain France, as opposed to maybe
delay the eventual Axis defeat?
Post by Bill Baker
--Full war mobilization of the German economy
...already happened.
Post by Bill Baker
--Sack nine-tenths of the NSDAP cronies who are dragging down the Reich
industrial management of war industries
"Professional" management of war industries wasn't always better than
that under close NSDAP supervision. See the comments about why
industrialists aren't interested in supplying their government with
the best hardware in a recentish thread on that score.

As a German example: Krupp was more interested in producing costly and
useless white elephants that would please the Fuehrer than in mass-
producing low-profit but useful weapons for the Wehrmacht. And the
Wehrmacht supervision was instrumental in keeping German output down
by insisting on small series with constant modifications.
Post by Bill Baker
--And above all, eke out the stalemate until after FDR dies
FDR died in April 1945, there's hardly going to be a stalemate by then
unless Germany does something spectacularly successful. Leaving "the
professionals" to manage the German war effort is no guarantee that
such a thing will happen.

Germany displayed very poor strategic consistency during WWI (1914:
main effort in the west. 1915: main effort in the east. 1916: main
effort in the west. 1917: main effort in the east. 1918: main effort
in the west. Good thing the war didn't last into 1919 as there no
longer was an eastern front: maybe Germany would have tried to win the
war in the Balkans?), as well as not particularly good management of
her war effort. And it wasn't run by NSDAP cronies but by the armed
forces high command, with the civilian government and kaiser either
sidelined or subordinated.

Post-defeat claims by German generals that they could have done better
is just so much sour grapes. Their actual WWII record when left to
manage things with minimal interference is the usual amount of inter-
services bickering as found with NSDAP interference.


LC
Rich Rostrom
2008-01-23 17:34:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Baker
What if an aptly-placed bomb took out both Hitler and Goering?
In 1943-44, the Schwarze Kapelle planned
several different attempts against Hitler.

They particularly hoped to kill Hitler,
Himmler, and Goering together. Some of
the attempts were cancelled because
Himmler or Goering would not be present.

One such plan involved the new uniform
and kit for the eastern front. This
outfit was to be modeled for Hitler.
Himmler and Goering were to be
present as commanders of the SS and
Luftwaffe. An officer named Axel von
dem Bussche volunteered to be the model,
and to conceal a bomb in the backpack,
which he would detonate while they
were looking him over.

Unfortunately, the prototype uniform
was damaged in an air raid, delaying
the show. And then von dem Bussche
was wounded in another air raid, so
he could not be the model.
--
| Decapitation is, in most instances, associated |
| with a decline in IQ. |
| |
| -- Professor Raymond Tallis |
William Black
2008-01-23 19:01:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Baker
On 2008-01-22 12:02:23 -0800, "Andrew Clark"
Post by Andrew Clark
I think there is no doubt that Goering would initially become both
Chancellor and Fuhrer, but it's not so certain he would continue in that
role...
Have to agree, although after the Fall of France it seems likely that the
Nazi Party--not necessarily lead by Goering--would have held sway past the
strategic tipping point of doom.
I tend to disagree.

No right wing dictatorship has ever survived the death of the charismatic
leader.

My best guess is a military coup followed by a series of quick executions.
--
William Black


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Barbeques on fire by the chalets past the castle headland
I watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off the Newborough gate
All these moments will be lost in time, like icecream on the beach
Time for tea.
Andrew Clark
2008-01-23 19:26:35 UTC
Permalink
"Bill Baker" <***@yahoo.com> wrote

(snip)
Put the question another way, were there power blocs within the Party who
could have seized power and steered Germany towards a long-term
consolidation and retrenchment war policy that would have allowed the
country to retain its hold on Mitteleuropa+France?
I think so. Hitler radicalised German policy not just through his own
decisions but by promoting and strengthening the influence of fellow
radicals. Historically, German policy reflected those peoples' decisions,
But there was another, larger, group of much more conservative and cautious
people who would have willingly traded the military gains of the summer of
1940 for peace with Britain and an unchallenged German hegemony over central
Europe.
Seems unlikely, given what an intrinsic buffoon Goering was.
Goering was anything but a buffoon.
What if an aptly-placed bomb took out both Hitler and Goering? The NSDAP
was still far from consolidating its hold on the German political
structures at that point.
By 1939-40, the NSDAP was as firmly in control of Germany as it ever was,
perhaps more firmly than it ever was. 1936 marked the effective completion
of the 'coordination process begun in 1933.
I could still see a Halder/Popitz Heer/junker coalition stepping at that
point.
Oh, the Army could have taken power at any time from 1933-45. But it lacked
the will without external support and encouragement, and the SD tricks of
1939 coupled with the US policy of unconditional surrender historically
deprived them of that.
Michael Kuettner
2008-02-04 19:05:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by G***@webtv.net
I often wondered how effective the Nazi leadership would have been if
Hitler had died suddenly.
What happens, who would take over and what about the Nazis.
Goering was officially designated as
Hitler's successor in late 1939. This
designation was not revoked until
a few days before Hitler's death in
1945.
Err, sorry. Didn't you misspell Hess ?
(Nickname : Des Fuehrer's Paladin)
Until his flight to the UK he was second in command
and named successor, AFAIR.
Whether Goering and Himmler would have gone along
with that is another question.

<snip>
Cheers,

Michael Kuettner
Rich Rostrom
2008-02-05 03:11:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Kuettner
Goering was officially designated as Hitler's successor in late 1939.
Err, sorry. Didn't you misspell Hess ?
Hess was "Deputy Fuhrer" of the NSDAP, i.e.
Hitler's chief assistant for party affairs.
He was not "second-in-command", and AFAIK
never had any authority whatever in military
areas.
--
| Decapitation is, in most instances, associated |
| with a decline in IQ. |
| |
| -- Professor Raymond Tallis |
Michael Kuettner
2008-02-05 16:40:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Michael Kuettner
Goering was officially designated as Hitler's successor in late 1939.
Err, sorry. Didn't you misspell Hess ?
Hess was "Deputy Fuhrer" of the NSDAP, i.e.
Hitler's chief assistant for party affairs.
No, Hess was party chief of the NSDAP (among other functions).
Post by Rich Rostrom
He was not "second-in-command", and AFAIK
never had any authority whatever in military
areas.
He was the designated successor, should Hitler croak.
After his flight to the UK, Bormann took over most of his functions
(party chief of NSDAP, etc). But Bormann never became SdF
(Stellvertreter des Fuehrers) - Goering took that title.
"Vice Fuehrer" would be a better translation of SdF.

Since we're in a "what-if" scenario :

If Hitler croaked before Hess' flight, Hess was theoretically
supposed to take over.
Practically, I speculate that there would have been a joint rule
by the chief thugs, with Goering acting as front-man (the people
like "dicker Hermann").

Cheers,

Michael Kuettner
Rich Rostrom
2008-02-07 07:02:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Kuettner
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Michael Kuettner
Goering was officially designated as Hitler's successor in late 1939.
Err, sorry. Didn't you misspell Hess ?
Hess was "Deputy Fuhrer" of the NSDAP, i.e.
Hitler's chief assistant for party affairs.
No, Hess was party chief of the NSDAP (among other functions).
For some years, and especially since the
outbreak of war, Hess had dropped into
the background. Although Hitler's deputy
for party affairs with the rank of Reich
minister, he held no actual ministerial
appointment. The transaction of party
affairs no longer interested Hitler, whom
Hess saw less and less frequently.

(_Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives_, by
Alan Bullock, p. 713)

Hess's flight to Britain in 1941
was a desperate effort to regain
his previous status.
Post by Michael Kuettner
Post by Rich Rostrom
He was not "second-in-command", and AFAIK
never had any authority whatever in military
areas.
He was the designated successor, should Hitler croak.
Wrong again. Hitler designated Goring
as his successor on June 19 1940, at
the same time as Goering was appointed
Reichsmarschall.

(An older source gave the date of late 1939.)
--
| Decapitation is, in most instances, associated |
| with a decline in IQ. |
| |
| -- Professor Raymond Tallis |
Michael Kuettner
2008-02-07 16:27:02 UTC
Permalink
"Rich Rostrom" schrieb
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Michael Kuettner
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Michael Kuettner
Goering was officially designated as Hitler's successor in late 1939.
Err, sorry. Didn't you misspell Hess ?
Hess was "Deputy Fuhrer" of the NSDAP, i.e.
Hitler's chief assistant for party affairs.
No, Hess was party chief of the NSDAP (among other functions).
For some years, and especially since the
outbreak of war, Hess had dropped into
the background. Although Hitler's deputy
for party affairs with the rank of Reich
minister, he held no actual ministerial
appointment. The transaction of party
affairs no longer interested Hitler, whom
Hess saw less and less frequently.
(_Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives_, by
Alan Bullock, p. 713)
What has that got to do with his title "Stellvertreter des Fuehrers" ?
(He got that title in Apil 1933,btw).
Post by Rich Rostrom
Hess's flight to Britain in 1941
was a desperate effort to regain
his previous status.
What it was will be known when the documents are released.
Maybe Hess went simply gaga.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Michael Kuettner
Post by Rich Rostrom
He was not "second-in-command", and AFAIK
never had any authority whatever in military
areas.
He was the designated successor, should Hitler croak.
Wrong again. Hitler designated Goring
as his successor on June 19 1940, at
the same time as Goering was appointed
Reichsmarschall.
Wrong again.
Goering was designated as successor in June _1941_.
(Ian Kershaw, Hitlers Macht. Chapter 7, p.236).

Guess who flew to the UK a month earlier ?
Post by Rich Rostrom
(An older source gave the date of late 1939.)
So at least we can put 1939 to rest.

Cheers,

Michael Kuettner
Rich Rostrom
2008-02-08 09:30:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Michael Kuettner
He was the designated successor, should Hitler croak.
Wrong again. Hitler designated Goring
as his successor on June 19 1940, at
the same time as Goering was appointed
Reichsmarschall.
Wrong again.
Goering was designated as successor in June _1941_.
(Ian Kershaw, Hitlers Macht. Chapter 7, p.236).
Guess who flew to the UK a month earlier ?
Post by Rich Rostrom
(An older source gave the date of late 1939.)
So at least we can put 1939 to rest.
I've done some further research.

Kershaw, in _Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis_
wrote

Göring - designated by Hitler on 29
June [1941] to be his successor in the
event of his death - and the Luftwaffe
staff stayed in their special trains.

(p 396, in Chapter 9, "Showdown", concerning
the invasion of the USSR)

So your citation is correct. But it is
only part of the story.

John Toland in _Adolf Hitler_ wrote

Hitler was announcing that if anything
_should_ happen to him Göring would be
his successor. If the Reichsmarschall
fell Hess would take over.

(p. 570 - Hitler's address in the Kroll
Opera House on 1 September 1939)

David Irving in _Göring_ wrote

(page 219)

To make [Göring] more receptive, Hitler
again secretly nominated Göring, in his
political testament dated April 23 [1938]
as the next Führer. And when Hitler
departed for his great state visit to Rome
on May 2, he again left Göring in Berlin
as acting head of state.

(page 267)

Wearing soldier's field-gray tunic, Hitler
climbed the podium of the Reichstag assembly
hall [the Kroll Opera House] and announced
that he and invaded Poland. "If anything
should befall me in this struggle," he
announced, "then my successor shall be
party-member Göring."

(page 272)

Hearst-group journalist Karl von Wiegand
confidentially testified to the FBI in
1940 that the clue to Göring's complex
character lay in his determination not
to forfeit the succession to the Führer.

(first page of Chapter 29, "Signing His Own Death Warrant",
which has no page number - I have a photocopy)

On the next day [29 June 1941], Hitler
signed a secret decree confirming Göring
as his exclusive successor in the event
of his own death, and as his "deputy in
all offices."

This last item matches Kershaw, BTW.

Now these are slightly problematic sources.
Toland refers to "the Reichsmarschall",
but Göring did not receive that title till
June 1940. OTOH is that Toland's phrasing and
he is not quoting Hitler. Toland's reputation
has gone downhill with the publication of
_Infamy_ but his earlier work is still
considered sound AFAIK.

Irving is more dubious, given his
later overt enthusiasm for the Nazis.
The first paragraph is from a passage
in which Irving depicts Göring as
opposed to attacking Czechoslovakia,
and having to be won over by Hitler
to his scheme of aggression - which
seems improbable. OTOH, he states
_repeatedly_ that Göring was designated
as Hitler's successor long before the
decree of 28 June 1941, and even before
1938:

"Hitler _again_ secretly nominated Göring...
as the next Führer..."

which implies that Hitler had previously
so designated Göring.

the 9/1/39 speech

which explicitly designates Göring.

von Wiegand's 1940 report to the FBI,
stating that Göring feared loss of the
succession to Hitler

which implies that he had it then.

"a secret decree _confirming_ Göring as
his exclusive successor..."

which implies that Göring already was so
designated.

It seems unlikely that even Irving would
lie repeatedly about this.

Joachim Fest in his _Hitler_ mentions
"the law of June 29, 1941 which appointed
him, the Reich Marshal, as successor..."
in the narrative of Hitler's last days -
on 4/23/45, Göring radioed Hitler to ask
if it did not now apply.

Fest does not discuss any succession issues
elsewhere.

And no one whatever, AFAICT, says anything
about Hess being any sort of successor.
--
| Decapitation is, in most instances, associated |
| with a decline in IQ. |
| |
| -- Professor Raymond Tallis |
Michael Kuettner
2008-02-10 20:49:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Michael Kuettner
He was the designated successor, should Hitler croak.
Wrong again. Hitler designated Goring
as his successor on June 19 1940, at
the same time as Goering was appointed
Reichsmarschall.
Wrong again.
Goering was designated as successor in June _1941_.
(Ian Kershaw, Hitlers Macht. Chapter 7, p.236).
Guess who flew to the UK a month earlier ?
Post by Rich Rostrom
(An older source gave the date of late 1939.)
So at least we can put 1939 to rest.
I've done some further research.
Not to be shamed, I did, too.
The problem we have here are murky waters ...
Post by Rich Rostrom
Kershaw, in _Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis_
Göring - designated by Hitler on 29
June [1941] to be his successor in the
event of his death - and the Luftwaffe
staff stayed in their special trains.
(p 396, in Chapter 9, "Showdown", concerning
the invasion of the USSR)
So your citation is correct. But it is
only part of the story.
I know. My citations are always correct. My interpretations
are as wrong as anybody else's ;-)
But - and this might come as a shock (since this is Usenet, after all ;-) -
your part of the story (re. 1939) is as correct as mine.
The problem we have here is ambiguity.
See below.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Hitler was announcing that if anything
_should_ happen to him Göring would be
his successor. If the Reichsmarschall
fell Hess would take over.
(p. 570 - Hitler's address in the Kroll
Opera House on 1 September 1939)
And that is completely irrelevant.
That was just a speech.
I don't know whether Toland mistook the Reichstagsrede as
the Kroll address
or whether Hitler held the same speech on several places that day.

But, something rang a bell.

So I went and got out "Joseph Goebbels : Tagebücher 1945".
And there, on page 553, I got the relevant part of Hitlers'
political testament :

"
... Ich stosse vor meinem Tod den frueheren Reichsmarschall
Herman Goering ausder Partei aus und entziehe ihm alle Rechte,
die sich aus dem Erlass vom 29. Juni 1941 sowie aus meiner
Reichstagserklaerung vom 1. September 1939 ergeben
koennten.
"
And here we run into the ambiguity :
The Reichstagserklaerung was a speech; Hitler didn't sign anything
until 1941.
Let's use a (weak) analogy :
Bush adresses the senate and states that, if anything happens to him,
Condie Rice will take over. Should she die, the vice president of the
USA will take over.
In the USA, it wouldn't hold water; but the USA are exactly the
opposite of Nazi Germany.

Now, let us look at the part of the speech from 1939
- the relevant part :
"
Sollte mir im diesem Kampfe nun etwas zustossen,
dann ist mein erster Nachfolger Parteigenosse Göring.
Sollte Parteigenossen Göring etwas zustossen, ist der
nächste Nachfolger Parteigenosse Hess.
Sie würden diesen dann als Führer genau
so zu blinder Treue und Gehorsam verpflichtet sein wir mir.
Sollte auch Parteigenossen Hess etwas zustossen, werde ich durch
Gesetz nunmehr den Senat berufen, der dann den Würdigsten, d.h.
den Tapfersten, aus seiner Mitte wählen soll.
"
(full text here :
<http://www.nationalsozialismus.de/dokumente/textdokumente/adolf-hitler-rede-vor-dem-reichstag-01091939>
)

Here we see him naming Goering as his successor, and Hess as third man.
But : He didn't name Göring officially until 1941.
And Hess still remains SdF.
Why ?
I'll explain some background here (and speculate a little bit) and answer
your arguments from other posts:

(a) "SdF was a party function"
No. Many English speaking authors repeat that error.
The leader of the NSDAP was the Reichsparteileiter.
Hitler never was that. Until 1932, Gregor Strasser had
that title (then he left the party).
Then Hess became SdF in April, 1933 and also RPL.
Now the murky waters begin : Hess didn't manage the party as
RPL (which he was), but as SdF (which he was also).
IOW, he had both titles. Proof :
After Hess took his trip to the UK, Bormann became RPL,
Minister ohne Geschäftsbereich, etc, etc.
Everything that Hess was, with one exception :
Göring became SdF.
OK so far ?

Now, why did Hitler create the title of SdF ?
Let's look at the situation in April, 1933.
The Weimarer Republik still existed; the march into dictatorship
had just begun (Hitler was ruling as Reichskanzler with Notstandsver-
ordnungen only for roughly two weeks now - Reichstagsbrand).
He didn't know whether he would succeed - the SA was not in line,
Röhm was talking about taking up the street-fighting again, his power-base
was just the NSDAP (which wasn't in line behind him either - see Gregor
Strasser leaving).
Of all of the thugs around him, only Hess was ideologically 110 % behind
Hitler. So H. ensured by naming Hess SdF, that, should something happen
to the Fuehrer, Hess would continue the course.

(b) Hess never had any military functions
Well, neither did Hitler in 1933.
Von Brauchitsch and the subjugation of the OKW happened later.
In 1933, the soldiers swore their oath on the state, not on Hitler.

(c) In 1940, Göring was the 2nd man in the state

Yes and no.
Factually, yes. Officially, doubtful.
See above.
In 1933, Hess was the 2nd man in the NS hierarchy as SdF.
In 1939, he still was SdF and would remain SdF when Göring
took over.
The problem here is that Hitler didn't sign anything after his
speech until 1941.
My guess here is that he liked to keep his thugs fighting each
other instead naming one thug as successor who might fight him.

My conclusion :
We are both right. I can't argue that Hess was the legal successor -
that would be impossible in a state where "lex" meant what the
Fuehrer said.
You, OTOH, can't argue that the speech from 1939 is above the written
order from 1933, because - see above ;-)

<snip rest of citations>
I've given you the original; if you think that I should address a point
from the snipped, please say so.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Now these are slightly problematic sources.
Toland refers to "the Reichsmarschall",
but Göring did not receive that title till
June 1940. OTOH is that Toland's phrasing and
he is not quoting Hitler. Toland's reputation
has gone downhill with the publication of
_Infamy_ but his earlier work is still
considered sound AFAIK.
I have some slight doubts. He should have checked
Hitler's testament, as I did.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Irving is more dubious, given his
later overt enthusiasm for the Nazis.
Later ? How much later ? The corruption set
in early, AFAIR.
Post by Rich Rostrom
The first paragraph is from a passage
in which Irving depicts Göring as
opposed to attacking Czechoslovakia,
and having to be won over by Hitler
to his scheme of aggression - which
seems improbable.
Agree completely.
Post by Rich Rostrom
OTOH, he states
_repeatedly_ that Göring was designated
as Hitler's successor long before the
decree of 28 June 1941, and even before
Well, see above.
Post by Rich Rostrom
"Hitler _again_ secretly nominated Göring...
as the next Führer..."
Why "secretly" ?
In 1938, all the power came from Hitler.

<snip>
Post by Rich Rostrom
von Wiegand's 1940 report to the FBI,
stating that Göring feared loss of the
succession to Hitler
which implies that he had it then.
Or not, as I've said. Hitler liked his thugs fighting each other ... ;-)
Post by Rich Rostrom
"a secret decree _confirming_ Göring as
his exclusive successor..."
Why secret ?
The speech named him; but - if a secret degree
was necessary to confirm G.s status, my take,
that the speech didn't count as a Fuehrerbefehl,
would be correct.
OTOH, Hitler in his testament thought that it was
so. But that was in 1945, not in 1939.
And I can't second-guess a madman.

<snip rest>

My conclusion : We are both somehow right and
somehow wrong.
What gives me pause to think is that it would have been easy
for Hitler to sign an order after his speech. Why didn't he ?
Not necessary or keeping his fellows in doubt ?
I don't know.

Cheers,

Michael Kuettner
Rich Rostrom
2008-02-11 03:40:39 UTC
Permalink
Hitler was announcing that if anything _should_ happen to him Göring would be
his successor. If the Reichsmarschall fell Hess would take over.
(p. 570 - Hitler's address in the Kroll Opera House on 1 September 1939)
And that is completely irrelevant. That was just a speech.
As you note below, in Nazi Germany
the law was whatever Hitler said it
was.
I don't know whether Toland mistook the Reichstagsrede as the Kroll address
The Reichstag met in the Kroll
Opera House, since its own hall
was ruined.
But, something rang a bell.
So I went and got out "Joseph Goebbels : Tagebücher 1945". And there, on page 553,
"... Ich stosse vor meinem Tod den frueheren Reichsmarschall
Herman Goering ausder Partei aus und entziehe ihm alle Rechte,
die sich aus dem Erlass vom 29. Juni 1941 sowie aus meiner
Reichstagserklaerung vom 1. September 1939 ergeben
koennten."
Being an ignorant monoglot American
I cannot read this. Nor does a Google
translation help much. I gather that
it states that that the decree (Erlass)
of 6/29/1941 confirms the speech of
9/1/1939, in designating Goering.
Bush adresses the senate and states that, if anything happens to him,
Condie Rice will take over. Should she die, the vice president of the
USA will take over.
In the USA, it wouldn't hold water; but the USA are exactly the
opposite of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. is a constitutional polity
where everyone, even the chief of
state, is subject to the law.

Nazi Germany was a personal
dictatorship where _everything_
was subject to Hitler's whim -
per the Enabling Act and the
Fuhrerprinzip.
In 1933, Hess was the 2nd man in the NS hierarchy as SdF.
In 1939, he still was SdF and would remain SdF when Göring
took over.
The problem here is that Hitler didn't sign anything after his
speech until 1941.
My guess here is that he liked to keep his thugs fighting each
other instead naming one thug as successor who might fight him.
Hitler did not much concern himself with
might happen after his death, is my guess.
He acted in that area only fitfully.
--
| Decapitation is, in most instances, associated |
| with a decline in IQ. |
| |
| -- Professor Raymond Tallis |
Michael Kuettner
2008-02-11 16:31:08 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Rich Rostrom
So I went and got out "Joseph Goebbels : Tagebücher 1945". And there, on page 553,
"... Ich stosse vor meinem Tod den frueheren Reichsmarschall
Herman Goering ausder Partei aus und entziehe ihm alle Rechte,
die sich aus dem Erlass vom 29. Juni 1941 sowie aus meiner
Reichstagserklaerung vom 1. September 1939 ergeben
koennten."
Being an ignorant monoglot American
I cannot read this. Nor does a Google
translation help much. I gather that
it states that that the decree (Erlass)
of 6/29/1941 confirms the speech of
9/1/1939, in designating Goering.
Sorry; I meant to include a translation, but forgot it.
"I expell before my death the former Reichsmarschall
from the party. I also strip him of all rights, which could
be derived from the decree of June 29th., 1941 and my
declaration before the Reichstag on September 1st., 1939."

Interestingly, Goering in his telegram from 1945, which led
to the above, only mentioned the decree of 1941 as justification
for taking over.

The translation relevant part of the second cite :
"Should something happen to me in this struggle, then my first
successor will be party fellow Goering.
Should something happen to party fellow Goering, then party
fellow Hess will be the next successor."
<snip>
Post by Rich Rostrom
Hitler did not much concern himself with
might happen after his death, is my guess.
He acted in that area only fitfully.
In 1945, absolutely. But in 1939, when he thought he could succeed ?

Cheers,

Michael Kuettner

Andrew Clark
2008-02-09 02:08:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Kuettner
What it was will be known when the documents are released.
Maybe Hess went simply gaga.
All the surviving British government files known to the National Archives
(which latter category includes every file ever registered by the FO, SIS
and the Security Service) about Hess have now been opened for public
scrutiny. There is nothing new in the British archives, and everything there
supports the usual and accepted view about Hess and his motives.

The conspiracy theorists now have to cite the alleged contents of Hess files
not known to the system or Hess files destroyed before they got to the PRO.
Michael Kuettner
2008-02-10 20:43:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clark
Post by Michael Kuettner
What it was will be known when the documents are released.
Maybe Hess went simply gaga.
All the surviving British government files known to the National Archives
(which latter category includes every file ever registered by the FO, SIS and
the Security Service) about Hess have now been opened for public scrutiny.
There is nothing new in the British archives, and everything there supports
the usual and accepted view about Hess and his motives.
When is "now" ?
AFAIR, some are still held back, because some of the people are still alive.
Post by Andrew Clark
The conspiracy theorists now have to cite the alleged contents of Hess files
not known to the system or Hess files destroyed before they got to the PRO.
Leave the conspiracy wankers (thank dog for a moderated ng !) out of this

I'd just be interested into the interrogation protocols; Hess knew lots of
things that ULTRA couldn't provide; like insights into the administration
of Nazi Germany, who-is-who, etc.
It would be interesting how much Hess contributed to the Allied effort.

Cheers,

Michael Kuettner
Andrew Clark
2008-02-11 16:11:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Kuettner
When is "now" ?
Today. 11 Feb 2008.
Post by Michael Kuettner
AFAIR, some are still held back, because some of the people are still alive.
Not according to the National Archives catalogue. There are plenty of files
still closed due to the fact that people named in them are still alive, but
there is no proof that any of those files relate to Hess. Some of the more
persistent rumours about Hess being a major factor in some of the closed
files were contradicted by a PRO statement in 1998 that the files have been
examined and do not have anything of substance about Hess.

All but a very few of the 'closed files' at PRO are open to accredited
historians who accept limitations of publication of their findings, such as
protecting privacy or concealing sources.
Post by Michael Kuettner
I'd just be interested into the interrogation protocols; Hess knew lots of
things that ULTRA couldn't provide; like insights into the administration
of Nazi Germany, who-is-who, etc.
It would be interesting how much Hess contributed to the Allied effort.
The British used the tried and tested interrogation method of lengthy
comfortable incarceration with amiable chatty companions, punctuated by
occasional grim interviews, while recording every word.

According to the SIS and Security Service files, Hess said very little of
direct military or economic use: he mainly rambled on about past political
issues. That was interesting and helpful, but not by any means vital.

Hess may have had a lunatic idea about how to make peace between Britain and
Germany, but he doesn't seem to have betrayed his country by blabbing any
important secrets.
eyeball
2008-01-22 04:25:04 UTC
Permalink
Since the nazis were a cult of personality (Hitler) in the long run I
doubt they'd have lasted long if he'd died earlier.They gave up
quickly enough once he did die.
Post by G***@webtv.net
I often wondered how effective the Nazi leadership would have been if
Hitler had died suddenly.
I mean suppose right after the Fall of France, let's say after the
British evacuate Dunkirk, Hitler is in public and clearly has a heart
attack and dies, what happens. I say have a heart attack so everyone
CLEARLY can see he wasn't done in by anyone.
What happens, who would take over and what about the Nazis. Certainly
Churchill opposes them but it's always easier to rally someone around a
person, like it's easier to rally against Osama Bin Laden than unknown
Al Qeda leaders. Or it was easier to condemn Saddam Hussein rather than
his Baath Party.
So how effective would the Nazis been if Hitler had died right after say
Dunkirk. Would Churchill have made peace, who would have taken over?
Mark Sieving
2008-01-23 00:45:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by eyeball
Since the nazis were a cult of personality (Hitler) in the long run I
doubt they'd have lasted long if he'd died earlier. They gave up
quickly enough once he did die.
Having the Russian army in Berlin, and the US and British armies in
western Germany, had a lot to do with that. If Hitler had died in
1940, Germany would not have been facing that situation.
l***@netscape.net
2008-01-22 19:34:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by G***@webtv.net
I often wondered how effective the Nazi leadership would have been if
Hitler had died suddenly.
I mean suppose right after the Fall of France, let's say after the
British evacuate Dunkirk, Hitler is in public and clearly has a heart
attack and dies, what happens. I say have a heart attack so everyone
CLEARLY can see he wasn't done in by anyone.
Live TV broadcasts were not in widespread use in the 1940's. Newsreel
footage can be confiscated and to an extent tampered. At worst,
Hitler will be showed dragged off into a limosine to a hospital, where
official proclamation of his death to whatever causes can be delayed
or "determined" by whoever climbs to the top.
Post by G***@webtv.net
What happens, who would take over and what about the Nazis.
Goering was supposedly second-in-command. Bormann was taking over
administrative functions. Goebbles has control over the mass media.
Himmler was in the beginning stages of building "a state within a
state."

Overall, I'd see Goering taking control, with Bormann supporting him.
Himmler and Goebbles might want to flee the country.
Post by G***@webtv.net
Certainly
Churchill opposes them but it's always easier to rally someone around a
person, like it's easier to rally against Osama Bin Laden than unknown
Al Qeda leaders. Or it was easier to condemn Saddam Hussein rather than
his Baath Party.
Goering was just as bad a thug as Hitler. Granted, he could exhibit a
more joyful exuberance than the deadly-serious Hitler, and had the
same apathy towards actually running affairs as Hitler, but he was
just as bad as Hitler. Bormann may ally himself with Goering, as he
sought power behind the scenes.

As for finding fault with Goering, well, he was a large target.
Post by G***@webtv.net
So how effective would the Nazis been if Hitler had died right after say
Dunkirk. Would Churchill have made peace, who would have taken over?
Churchill would still have been appointed PM, and no, he would not
make peace. He might respond if Goering offered to withdraw from
France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, etc.,
but Churchill couldn't trust the Nazis, and Goering at that point
would see no reason to give up several prime looting possibilities.
Blackadder XVII
2008-01-23 19:01:54 UTC
Permalink
<***@netscape.net> wrote in message
news:81021862-0d01-4a80-998f-> Goering was just as bad a thug as Hitler.
Granted, he could exhibit a
Post by l***@netscape.net
more joyful exuberance than the deadly-serious Hitler, and had the
same apathy towards actually running affairs as Hitler, but he was
just as bad as Hitler. Bormann may ally himself with Goering, as he
sought power behind the scenes.
Wasn't Goering also a morphine addict too? I don't think he got off the
drugs until he was incarcerated - then he recovered and became more lucid
and capable.
Andrew Clark
2008-01-24 21:15:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Blackadder XVII
Wasn't Goering also a morphine addict too? I don't think he got off the
drugs until he was incarcerated - then he recovered and became more lucid
and capable.
The impact of Goering's addiction on his work as a Nazi chieftain is much
overrated. He remained functional and effective despite his addiction.

Goering's gross physical deterioration dates only to the last months of the
war; his subsequent very well publicised surrender to the US Army gave the
impression that he had been in that state for some time, which was untrue.
n***@hotmail.com
2008-01-24 22:21:17 UTC
Permalink
On Jan 24, 3:15 pm, "Andrew Clark"
Post by Andrew Clark
Post by Blackadder XVII
Wasn't Goering also a morphine addict too? I don't think he got off the
drugs until he was incarcerated - then he recovered and became more lucid
and capable.
The impact of Goering's addiction on his work as a Nazi chieftain is much
overrated. He remained functional and effective despite his addiction.
Years ago, a friend who was in medical school told me that his
pharmacology professors told him that some addictive drugs mess you up
only when you can't get them. There have been, and apparently still
are, lots of well-functioning morphine addicts about.

I don't have any opinion about the Fat One in this context, though,
except to say he was still a Nazi sh*t. I've known some drug addicts
who had a lot more class.

Narr
Andrew Clark
2008-01-23 19:06:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@netscape.net
Live TV broadcasts were not in widespread use in the 1940's.
As a matter of historical curiosity, virtually all broadcast TV in Europe in
the period (a very small amount) was live.
Post by l***@netscape.net
Goering was supposedly second-in-command.
In 1940, he was as important as any of the other second-tier NSDAP
chieftains. It wasn't until much later in the war that he fell behind people
like Bormann and Himmler, and even then his supposed disgrace was much less
than is popularly imagined.
Post by l***@netscape.net
Bormann was taking over
administrative functions.
Bormann was only a Reichsleiter in the NSDAP and Chief of Staff to Hess
until 12 May 1941. He had a lot of influence and power within the third and
fourth tiers of the NSDAP through his control of various party funds, but he
had very little influence in the senior command tiers and none over national
policy issues.

It was only Hess's flight to Britain that allowed Bormann to switch over to
be Head of the Party Chancellery, controlling first the NSDAP by
manipulating Hitler's authority as Fuhrer of the NSDAP and later gaining
influence over all policy issues by manipulating Hitler more generally. No
flight to Britain, no Bormann.
Post by l***@netscape.net
Goebbles has control over the mass media.
Yes. But Goebbels was a follower, not a leader. He and Goering were close at
this point, whereas he despised Himmler. Goering and Goebbels was strong in
the party, whereas Himmler was weak. Goering was respected in the armed
forces whereas neither of the others were.
Post by l***@netscape.net
Himmler was in the beginning stages of building "a state within a
state."
No. The rise of the SS as a power bloc within the state and the parallel
domination of the police organs of Germany by the NSDAP dates from 1935 and
was complete by 1939. The rise of the SS as a military field force and as a
massive economic and labour force were yet to come in 1939.
Post by l***@netscape.net
Overall, I'd see Goering taking control, with Bormann supporting him.
Himmler and Goebbles might want to flee the country.
I think it's more likely that Goering would take the lead as State President
and Commander in Chief, with Himmler nominally under him as Chancellor and
perhaps Goebbels as Party Leader.
Post by l***@netscape.net
Goering was just as bad a thug as Hitler. Granted, he could exhibit a
more joyful exuberance than the deadly-serious Hitler, and had the
same apathy towards actually running affairs as Hitler, but he was
just as bad as Hitler.
Goering was far from being the unsophisticated buffoon that you seem to
believe. He was intelligent, forceful and charming and quite capable in 1940
of taking effective charge of Germany, if the Army let him. The Army is the
key to the whole succession business.

(snip)
l***@netscape.net
2008-01-23 22:02:01 UTC
Permalink
On Jan 23, 3:06 pm, "Andrew Clark"
Post by Andrew Clark
Post by l***@netscape.net
Live TV broadcasts were not in widespread use in the 1940's.
As a matter of historical curiosity, virtually all broadcast TV in Europe in
the period (a very small amount) was live.
Perhaps I should have written "TV broadcasts were not in widespread
use in the 1940's," but it still amounts to the same thing. I still
find it unlikely that enough people outside Nazi control would be able
to witness Hitler's sudden death and be able to conclude it was a
result of no foul play.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Andrew Clark
It was only Hess's flight to Britain that allowed Bormann to switch over to
be Head of the Party Chancellery, controlling first the NSDAP by
manipulating Hitler's authority as Fuhrer of the NSDAP and later gaining
influence over all policy issues by manipulating Hitler more generally. No
flight to Britain, no Bormann.
As I understand it, Bormann was already taking over Hess' duties,
exploiting Hess' frequent absenteeism. Bormann demonstrated an
attention to detail and administration, along a willingness to please,
not to mention an aversion to the limelight. Those qualities would
appeal to Goering. The only talent Hess offered was his loyalty to a
now dead man, and having transcribed "Mein Kamph," neither of which
guarantee Goering's favor.

I don't know whether Hess would try a flight to the UK in hopes of
restoring his usefulness, or simply vanish at Goering's behest.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Andrew Clark
Post by l***@netscape.net
Himmler was in the beginning stages of building "a state within a
state."
No. The rise of the SS as a power bloc within the state and the parallel
domination of the police organs of Germany by the NSDAP dates from 1935 and
was complete by 1939. The rise of the SS as a military field force and as a
massive economic and labour force were yet to come in 1939.
Thus, Himmler did not quite achieve his goal of "a state within a
state."

(stuff deleted)
Post by Andrew Clark
I think it's more likely that Goering would take the lead as State President
and Commander in Chief, with Himmler nominally under him as Chancellor and
perhaps Goebbels as Party Leader.
It is also a possibility. That depends on whether Goering saw either
of them as a threat.

(stuff deleted)
Post by Andrew Clark
Goering was far from being the unsophisticated buffoon that you seem to
believe. He was intelligent, forceful and charming and quite capable in 1940
of taking effective charge of Germany, if the Army let him.
He was also a morphine addict, believer in publically living the good
life (not endearing during a time of rationing), not at all interested
in administrative duties, and tended to retreat when under pressure.

When removed from power, forced on a better diet, and recovered from
his morphine addiction, he demonstrated his early qualities. However,
from what I have read he did not handle power well.
Post by Andrew Clark
The Army is the
key to the whole succession business.
(rest of post deleted)

The Army is more of a follower than a leader at this point. Even in
their 1944 assassination attempt, they lacked a common policy or a
clear idea of what they should do next after killing Hitler.
William Black
2008-01-24 19:31:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clark
Goering was far from being the unsophisticated buffoon that you seem to
believe. He was intelligent, forceful and charming and quite capable in
1940 of taking effective charge of Germany, if the Army let him. The Army
is the key to the whole succession business.
The army may well have been delighted to have him as leader.

Goering was a WWI hero, and that was his real value to the Nazis.

I have read of him as being described by one of the German pre-war generals
as 'the only officer and gentleman in a gang of thugs and cut-throats'.
--
William Black


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Barbeques on fire by the chalets past the castle headland
I watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off the Newborough gate
All these moments will be lost in time, like icecream on the beach
Time for tea.
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