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  • Hitler dies in 1938.

    I was thinking (always dangerous that) about what would have happened to Germany/Austria if Hitler died from syphilis right after the Anschluss? The question are: 1) Who would hold the reins of power? 2) Could he do so effectively? 3) If not what happens? Of all the questions the only one I even have a vague clue about is 3 and that is no and probable civil war. Going one step further I would see the Wehrmacht intervening and establishing a very right wing form of government outside the NAZIS. And in a pipe dream sort of way bringing back Kaiser Billy II and his kin to rule but with military having a huge voice. So what do you more learned gentlemen and ladies think?

    Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

    "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

    What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

  • #2
    Not an expert, but I'll try.

    I'm not sure any of the senior Nazis could have held Hitler's mantle for long. They weren't exactly a charismatic & brilliant bunch. Lots of intrigues & possibly a 'Night of the Long Knives II'. I can definitely see the Army intervening on one side or another & trying to neuter the independent power of the Nazi Party while they were at it. I don't get the impression the generals aspired to actually run Germany & I don't know enough to know if they really longed for the Monarchy or if they would just be happy with a tame civilian dictatorship.

    Probably very good news for Europe. With Hitler gone & chaos at the top it is hard to see Germany embarking on continued rounds of brinksmanship. As I recall the Generals were not keen on war as early as it came. I still think Britain & France (and smaller nations) would have re-armed and modernized, while a couple more years would have made a big difference to the Red Army. No doubt Germany would have been more fearsome too, but a window of opportunity would have closed. Also not sure an alternative leader would have signed the Nazi-Soviet pact.

    Some sort of war at some time would have probably have happened, but what, how, when and how bad is impossible to tell.
    Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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    • #3
      The Nazi political system was set up in such a way that the subordinates had so many overlapping responsibilities that they were too busy fighting each other too be able to really be able to create a power base that would be able to assert complete power once Hitler was dead.

      I'd expect some sort of unholy alliance between the bigger players to cut out and destroy other powerful men (not unlike the USSR in the late 20's), something like Goebbles and Goering allying to destroy Himmler, and then the winners of that falling out to claim the top job. It would be messy, brutal, and the winner might very well be the one that was underestimated by all of them (see Octavian, Stalin and Khrushev for examples of power vacuums of a similar nature).
      Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

      That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rojik View Post
        The Nazi political system was set up in such a way that the subordinates had so many overlapping responsibilities that they were too busy fighting each other too be able to really be able to create a power base that would be able to assert complete power once Hitler was dead.

        I'd expect some sort of unholy alliance between the bigger players to cut out and destroy other powerful men (not unlike the USSR in the late 20's), something like Goebbles and Goering allying to destroy Himmler, and then the winners of that falling out to claim the top job. It would be messy, brutal, and the winner might very well be the one that was underestimated by all of them (see Octavian, Stalin and Khrushev for examples of power vacuums of a similar nature).
        Sounds entirely feasible, but there is a variable the Comrades didn't have to worry about as much - an independent military. While there were some players in the Red Army, it was a Party creation. In Germany the Generals had seen off that potential challenge in '34 in return for loyalty to Adolf. I suspect the one who is best able to offer the military (and in particular the Army) what it wants is the one who will end up on top of the bloody pile. That might well be a quiet achiever who gets that without Adolf the party no longer has the authority it did.

        So many fascinating possibilities.
        Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BF69 View Post
          Sounds entirely feasible, but there is a variable the Comrades didn't have to worry about as much - an independent military. While there were some players in the Red Army, it was a Party creation. In Germany the Generals had seen off that potential challenge in '34 in return for loyalty to Adolf. I suspect the one who is best able to offer the military (and in particular the Army) what it wants is the one who will end up on top of the bloody pile. That might well be a quiet achiever who gets that without Adolf the party no longer has the authority it did.
          I did consider that for a short while before discounting it. The German miltary leaders of the time were lap dogs. For whatever reasons they only seemed to enter the political arena to ratify and support the policies of whoever was holding the whip. And they wouldn't do that until they were very sure the fight was already decided. I think a couple of thousand SS men, or perhaps reinvigorated SA street fighters, could have attempted and succeeded in a coup de main on Berlin while the army sat back and watched to see who going to be their boss.

          I think the blond beast Heydrich could be a major key, as I see it playing out as more a mafia type powerplay, with double deals, assasinations and show trials, rather than tanks and infantry deciding the matter.
          Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

          That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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          • #6
            Normally,his successor would be Goering,and the nature of the regime would be less repressive,but not much,not much .And WWII still would happen .

            The Kaiser would not return : his days were over .

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ljadw View Post
              Normally,his successor would be Goering,and the nature of the regime would be less repressive,but not much,not much .And WWII still would happen .

              The Kaiser would not return : his days were over .
              But how long would Goering last as Fuhrer? And by what means would he hold on to power?

              Nicknamed "Der Grofaz" (World's Greatest Military Leader) by the German military, he was the only one not invited to a reunion of his old fighter squadron, Jasta 11 - which he commanded after Baron Manfred von Richtofen died. Goering scored 22 kills in combat. But mostly flew a desk.

              Anyhow, never mind. Think of the lovely art treasures he could've stolen if he had been Fuhrer.
              Last edited by Sign&Print Name; 30 May 15, 07:05.
              Hitler played Golf. His bunker shot was a hole in one.

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              • #8
                If Hitler died in 1938, then there would be an immediate struggle for power amongst is henchmen. Germany would thus be very inward looking with the Nazis too busy killing each other to trouble anyone else.
                No WW2. Germany goes through a period of instability followed by severe internal repression and decline.
                "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                  If Hitler died in 1938, then there would be an immediate struggle for power amongst is henchmen. Germany would thus be very inward looking with the Nazis too busy killing each other to trouble anyone else.
                  No WW2. Germany goes through a period of instability followed by severe internal repression and decline.


                  Would this have lead to the encroachment of communism in Germany?
                  Hitler played Golf. His bunker shot was a hole in one.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sign&Print Name View Post
                    But how long would Goering last as Fuhrer? And by what means would he hold on to power?

                    Nicknamed "Der Grofaz" (World's Greatest Military Leader) by the German military, he was the only one not invited to a reunion of his old fighter squadron, Jasta 11 - which he commanded after Baron Manfred von Richtofen died. Goering scored 22 kills in combat. But mostly flew a desk.

                    Anyhow, never mind. Think of the lovely art treasures he could've stolen if he had been Fuhrer.
                    I thought the Grofaz nickname was a disparaging one for Hitler not Goering.
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                    G.B Shaw

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                      If Hitler died in 1938, then there would be an immediate struggle for power amongst is henchmen. Germany would thus be very inward looking with the Nazis too busy killing each other to trouble anyone else.
                      No WW2. Germany goes through a period of instability followed by severe internal repression and decline.
                      Oh yes : there would be a second world war :the reasons being German nationalism and a new German attempt to dominatethe continent :the tensions between Germany and CZ/Poland would not disappear if Hitler had died .

                      And there is no proof for the assumption of a strugle for power .

                      After the death of Stalin,there was a strugle for power in the SU but the Cold War did not disappear,nor was there a decline of the SU .

                      The successors of Stalin were as dangerous (or even more) as Stalin himself . It is the same in China with the successors of Mao,there is no reason that it would be different in Germany .

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                      • #12
                        1) Who would hold the reins of power?
                        2) Could he do so effectively?
                        3) If not what happens?
                        1) Goering

                        2) Depends on how you define "effectively"

                        3) I tend to agree that there would not likely be a coup by the army, at least not in the short term.

                        Goering was clearly the number 2 man under Hitler. Himmler would not have had a chance to build up a significant power base by early '38. I think the country would be less driven towards war under Goering. In general I think the regime would become less focused and more corrupt and inefficient. Hard to know from there how long Goering would have lasted.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                          I was thinking (always dangerous that) about what would have happened to Germany/Austria if Hitler died from syphilis right after the Anschluss? The question are: 1) Who would hold the reins of power? 2) Could he do so effectively? 3) If not what happens? Of all the questions the only one I even have a vague clue about is 3 and that is no and probable civil war. Going one step further I would see the Wehrmacht intervening and establishing a very right wing form of government outside the NAZIS. And in a pipe dream sort of way bringing back Kaiser Billy II and his kin to rule but with military having a huge voice. So what do you more learned gentlemen and ladies think?

                          Under the constitution and the Enabling Act the offices of Reich President and Chancellor would be vacant, thus an election. The only legally recognized political party left was the Nazis, thus they would more or less choose Hitler's successor. The likely choice would be Goering at President and Hess as Chancellor. However, this could have been an issue:

                          "A 1932 amendment to the constitution made the president of the High Court of Justice, not the chancellor, first in the line of succession to the presidency—and even then on an interim basis pending new elections. However, the Enabling Act provided no remedy for any violations of Article 2, and neither of these actions were ever challenged in court"

                          This amendment still existed, thus a potential problem. However, there was no war in 1938 and Goering was still charismatic and widely popular so I still see him moving in unopposed. I don't see Goering bringing back Wilhelm II, but perhaps the Crown Prince becomes curious to politics again.
                          "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
                          -Omar Bradley
                          "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
                          -Anonymous US Army logistician

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