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  • Be gentle with me...

    ...it's my first time doing this!

    I hope this hasn't already been discussed here. Given that it seems there's only one page and 19 threads displayed (as far as I can see anyways), I'm guessing that the older threads get purged on this particular part of the forum? I mean, where's the "Sealion" thread???

    (Back on topic)
    Ahem... If Hermann Goering dies of a fatal overdose in early 1935, what do you think happens? Historically he was virtually "Minister of Everything".

    Who will step up as C in C of the soon to be revealed Luftwaffe? Who would head up the RLM? Gestapo? Four Year Plan? Who would be the Ministerpresident of the state of Prussia? President of the Reichstag? I know that there are a lot of butterflies here, maybe try to deal with them individually? Propose a successor in a particular position and discuss the implications?

    Personally, I feel that his huge portfolio would absolutely be divested amongst several different personalities, some well known, some unknown.

    What say you??

    Cheers, Ron
    48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
    __________________________________________________ __________________

  • #2
    Nothing EVER gets purged.

    Tips on finding older stuff here.

    Dr. S.
    Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

    www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

    www.tabletown.co.uk

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    • #3
      Thanks...

      ...figured that "Sealion" had to have gone somewhere.

      Will investigate!!

      Cheers, Ron

      And a search of Goering reveals no hits for my topic so... Game On!!
      Last edited by iron; 15 Oct 07, 13:32. Reason: Self evident!
      48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
      __________________________________________________ __________________

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by iron View Post
        ...figured that "Sealion" had to have gone somewhere.

        Will investigate!!

        Cheers, Ron

        And a search of Goering reveals no hits for my topic so... Game On!!
        Most likely some True Party man. I guess we can be thankful that he stayed around until the "bitter" end.
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sealion? No, we turned that into a:
          • Novel
          • Play
          • Audio Set
          • Film

          And to give you an idea of how long the thread was, for waiting for others to read and post repsonses..the Film took 9 hours to watch,..
          I am a simple man. I am by no means smarter than the average man. I am average...yet genius.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by comm. waffle View Post
            Sealion? No, we turned that into a:
            • Novel
            • Play
            • Audio Set
            • Film

            And to give you an idea of how long the thread was, for waiting for others to read and post repsonses..the Film took 9 hours to watch,..
            it was more like an....

            eternity!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by comm. waffle View Post
              Sealion? No, we turned that into a:
              • Novel
              • Play
              • Audio Set
              • Film

              And to give you an idea of how long the thread was, for waiting for others to read and post repsonses..the Film took 9 hours to watch,..
              Don't forget the famous (or infamous) Sealion avatar.
              Never Fear the Event

              Admiral Lord Nelson

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              • #8
                Just wondering...

                ...if anyone's actually going to address the question I posed? (The "Sealion" reference was intended as a somewhat jaded barb.)
                I felt that the question on Goering had some merit and could lead to some rather interesting discussion? (management of the economy, development of the Luftwaffe, policy decisions within the Reichstag...etc)
                Perhaps I was wrong in this regard...?

                (sarcastic face on)
                Perhaps folks would rather discuss the effect of "100 Tiger tanks in 1939...?" (sarcastic face off)

                Curious, that's all. I'm working on an answer to my own question, but I'd hoped to hear what others had to say before submitting. I've seen these "what-ifs" done where someone posts; answers their own question, then spends the next week (or more) defending their position.
                I was hoping to take a different, more productive tack with this one, that's all.

                Cheers, Ron
                48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
                __________________________________________________ __________________

                Comment


                • #9
                  Give it time. Most of the great thread here are ones with the OP making a scenario that's dumb, and then spending the next 8 pages explaining to everyone that why they (the op) is right, and everyone else is wrong. Usually without anything other than their own fantasies to base everything on.

                  Personally, I would think your question would be better answered on an economic history board than a military history one.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One thing is certain. A much more capable person would have taken over the position. Göering was absolutely disastrous in his functions and tried too much to appease Hitler and his imagination.
                    "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Luftwaffe could only have been employed more effectively.

                      If we get rid of the fat bastard pre-German re-armament (well, before it... took off so to speak...), it's possible to end up with 4-engine bombers unless the tactical air mafia takes over. But that in itself means Germany has to split up it's resources allocated to airpower...

                      Luftwaffe Victorious dealt with losing the ReichsBuffoon during the Battle of Britain, but I can't say I've seen anything about losing him pre-war. There has to be a negative effect given his sheer weight... of personality... to get things done (for better or worse). Unless a strong-willed person takes his place, Hitler loses a major mover and shaker (try getting THAT picture out of your head!) that was able to get things done. It can't be all positive on the industrial side, but I think with regards to Luftwaffe tactics, strategy, and doctrine... it could only be positive.
                      If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Luftwaffe may have developed as a better balanced force. The staff work at the top, both in gneral administration and in combat operations, would have improved. In the long run the Luftwaffe was limited by the same economic constraints. Those are fairly inflexible. So, while the Luftwaffe becomes better its gross strength cant increase very much.

                        Worst case is the Luftwaffe commits to a heavy bomber force and neglects tactical air support in the 1930s. The result is in 1940 Paris and London are in flames, but Guderian has **** poor air support and cant make his breakout across the Meuse river. While the heavy bombers pound the Champs Elysee & Trafalgar Square the French soldiers are unmolested by Ju87 Stukas (that are not built) and repel the river crossing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Excellent points, Carl. Germany cannot do both,...especially in the 1930. The decision would need to be made between strategic warfare based on air forces dueling it out over cities or armies moving across the countryside.

                          Considering Germany's position both geographically and economically, as well as its strategy for "short war", the tactical air force was probably the best choice. Germany was never going to win a long strategic war against the allies and certainly not once the USSR and USA got involved.
                          The Purist

                          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry...

                            ...for my facetious little tirade, just wanted to try and address the way things were starting to drift.
                            One oversight on my part is an actual date of the POD; for the sake of simplicity let's have "Der Dicke" snuff it on his 42nd birthday, January 12, 1935 (thus circumventing the marriage to Emmy Sonnemann in April '35 and thus, sparing Edda from having to spend a lifetime apologizing for her father!).

                            A couple of points were made over the past couple or more days; I'll address them first before carrying this forward.

                            chrisvalla wrote:
                            If we get rid of the fat bastard pre-German re-armament (well, before it... took off so to speak...), it's possible to end up with 4-engine bombers unless the tactical air mafia takes over. But that in itself means Germany has to split up it’s resources allocated to airpower...
                            Really depends on who gets put into the hot seat at the RLM. Udet's been around the ministry, pushing his idea of CAS for the past two years already; the seeds of the "tactical air mafia" are already well and truly sown by this point in time. With this major change added to history (as we know it), the death of Walther Wever is not likely to occur and also, Ernst Udet is much less likely to end up as the head of the Technisches Amt so things would certainly be far different than they panned out in the OTL. As you've pointed out, resources were always an issue and removing "Meyer" is going to have a huge impact on these as well.
                            Unless a strong-willed person takes his place, Hitler loses a major mover and shaker (try getting THAT picture out of your head!) that was able to get things done.
                            I'm assuming that by this you refer to the effective neutering of Hjalmar Schacht's position as Plenipotentiary for the War Economy? This was greatly accelerated by the introduction of the Four Year Plan in 1936 (the administration of which was "given" to Göring on October 18 of that same year). I think it's safe to assume that this change is going to "carry far more weight" (sorry, couldn't resist; you started it!! ) and I feel it may have "huge" consequences for both Hitler's war plans and the careers of a few others in the hierarchy. The differences for the Luftwaffe will be notable but I feel that some of the other butterflies in this scenario have the potential to far overshadow such matters like the Luftwaffe’s evolution.


                            Carl Schwamberg wrote:
                            In the long run the Luftwaffe was limited by the same economic constraints. Those are fairly inflexible.
                            I'm thinking that things may well become even a little more constrained around the RLM in the wake of Hermann's passing. Without his influence on the economic policies that were historically pursued over the course of the next four years, all branches of the Wehrmacht might likely have to find a way to do more with less. This, of course, is not always a bad thing if the money allotted can be better used in the face of this new reality.
                            So, while the Luftwaffe becomes better its gross strength cant increase very much.
                            Agreed, 100% Carl. As is well known, the entire OKW was already working within a somewhat fixed resource budget, and I think we're going to see a further "tightening of the belt" in a post- Göring world. The crux of the matter is how this new Luftwaffe is to be conceived (doctrinally) and more importantly, how these plans are to be carried out.

                            The Purist wrote:
                            Considering Germany's position both geographically and economically, as well as its strategy for "short war",
                            My question; is there even a war strategy in place at this point in time? We are still at a very formative stage in Third Reich history (this is what makes this POD interesting IMO) and Hitler is not (quite yet, anyways) the "iron clad" leader of the country at this point. Although he's "consolidating his bridgehead" as quickly as he can, I think that Der Fuehrer's still got to watch his p's & q's to some extent here. The ramblings contained in Mein Kampf vis-à-vis the Soviet Union and a stated objective that Germany should regain her status on the world stage seem to be the limit of Hitler's ambitions at this point; I can find no evidence of planning for war at the OKW level. Within a year, the (extremely covert) planning for the Rhineland operation would be the first true (not just theoretical) work of this type at OKW.
                            Germany was never going to win a long strategic war against the allies and certainly not once the USSR and USA got involved
                            I absolutely agree. Although some things are going to be better than historically, all of the challenges that arise will also be examined. I'm certainly not about to embark on some typical "pie-in-the-sky", Nazi revisionist, wet dream as regards to this subject; there's enough of that claptrap floating around in cyberspace already!

                            Tom Phoenix wrote:
                            One thing is certain. A much more capable person would have taken over the position.
                            I'm assuming that your first statements refer to the position at the head of the RLM? I aim to fully address this with the body of this post (which follows this introductory business).
                            Göering was absolutely disastrous in his functions and tried too much to appease Hitler and his imagination
                            The fact that Göring openly and fervently supported Hitler's war aims (initially anyways) in our timeline was critical to the path that Hitler was able to pursue as events evolved. As a direct consequence, Göring’s absence will have a major impact on the revised course of events.

                            Naffenea wrote:
                            Personally, I would think your question would be better answered on an economic history board than a military history one.
                            Don't want to appear adversarial here but what is modern war, if not a politically motivated struggle between the economic strengths of two or more powers? That oft quoted (and as often ignored) chestnut "Amateurs study tactics..." should serve to illustrate this point. Any military's logistic tail starts within the procurement boards, moves to the factory floor and only from there, forward to the sharp end of the stick.

                            As there's way too much here to handle in one easy summation I'm going to leave Schacht, Jewish policy, the Prussian Presidency (likely goes to Goebbels) and the rest by the wayside for the time being and focus on the personnel changes that I think we might see by the time the Luftwaffe is unveiled. (I also feel that due to the sudden change within the upper levels of the Nazi state, the date of the unveiling will probably be pushed back from February '35 to say perhaps, June?)



                            Völkischer Beobachter-Janurar 15, 1935

                            Berlin- It is with heavy heart that I must bear the news that our beloved alte kampfer Hermann Göring has succumbed to a heart ailment at the young age of 42 years. Tributes are pouring in from all over the Reich...

                            So what now?

                            Historically speaking, the absolute right of succession would fall into the hands of Erhard Milch as he held the position of Staatssekretaer, RLM at this time. As the next chair below Staatssekretaer of the RLM was the position of C-in-C, Luftwaffe (held by Walther Wever) it is logical to assume that he would likely find himself elevated to the RLM forthwith, upon the promotion of Milch.
                            It must be stated here that Erhard Milch's organizational abilities and drive have already been proven indispensable to the nascent Luftwaffe. He had a comprehensive understanding of the production capabilities of the German aircraft industry, was well acquainted (albeit not always in a cordial manner) with many of the principal aircraft designers and manufacturers; he was also well connected within the upper echelons of German political leadership. Allegations of his Jewish heredity (raised in 1933 by SA General Theo Croneiss, with whom Milch was embroiled in a vicious feud) had been initially suppressed by Göring in 1933; the subsequent purge of the SA also went a long way in the securing of Milch’s position. As I see it, these intrigues were probably the largest problem with the Nazi system of governance. With the support of Göring and with a burgeoning relationship with Hitler, Milch would be able to continue functioning within the new political reality; many others, equally suited to their jobs, would not be so fortunate in this regard. Given the prominence of Milch's position of Staatssekretaer RLM in the historical period 1933-44, he is well documented, and will not be examined any further (at least at this point in the thesis).

                            So that brings us to Wever, now the newly appointed Staatssekretaer, RLM . He has been noted (as will be shown, incorrectly) in many works as the “champion” of the long range bomber fleet...always a fan favorite with the Nazi-revisionist crowd. To fully understand Wever (or anyone for that matter) it's helpful to know a little background...
                            He was seconded from the Reichswehr to the Luftwaffe by Werner von Blomberg, Reich Minister of War (Blomberg's other offer was Erich von Manstein; Göring chose Wever). The unfortunate death of Wever would almost certainly be butterflied away in this timeline and he would become a much better known figure in history as a result. The initial "fleet of bombers" idea was not Wever's; prior to Blomberg re-assigning him, his knowledge of "matters of the air" was actually rather limited. Rather, the genesis of this whole idea arose upon the receipt by Milch of a report, written by Dr. Robert Knauss:
                            Knauss' report contained major elements of Douhet's "strategic" bombing philosophy, Tirpitz's "risk theory", and what would today be regarded as "deterrence" doctrine. He believed that the purpose of the regime was the "restoration of Germany's ‘great power’ position in Europe", and argued that since Poland, and particularly France, would resist such a development, Germany faced the immediate possibility of a preventative war waged by these two powers. To overcome German military weakness through rearmament, thereby reestablishing Germany's ‘great power’ status, Knauss suggested the rapid creation of a strong air force. The decisive element in this force would be the deterrent effect of a fleet of 400 four-engined bombers
                            Williamson Murray: Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-45 Ch 1, pp 6-7

                            It is noteworthy that many of the Luftwaffe’s cadre of senior officers came from the Reichswehr under similar circumstances; both Hans Jeschonnek and Albert Kesselring found their way into the Luftwaffe leadership this way. Wever came with a definite pedigree and it is almost certain that of all those available to assume this key position at the RLM, he would get the call. Wever’s point of view and his acquired experience can be adequately summed up with another direct quote from Murray’s work:
                            “While Milch played the decisive role in the administrative and industrial tasks of creating the Luftwaffe, Wever played a no-less important role in formulating the new service’s doctrine and strategy. He was not an unabashed advocate of “strategic” bombing but rather argued for a broadly based air strategy. Wever did not believe that the Luftwaffe’s existence as a separate service gave it a mission entirely independent of the army and navy. Rather, he argued that its mission should complement those of the other services. Thus, the Luftwaffe’s contribution could involve attacks on an enemy’s air forces, his army, his fleet or even the destruction of his resources and armament industry…(minor edit)…While not denying the possibility of air defense or the importance of fighters, Wever felt that “the decisive weapon of air warfare is the bomber.”
                            Williamson Murray: Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-45 Ch 1, pp 7-8

                            This quote, attributed to Wever, (included in the above citation) illustrates how some may have been led to believe that he advocated a focus on a strategic air force. Taken in the full context however, it's rather obvious that this was not the case. The possibility of full co-operation with the Kriegsmarine in both times of war and prewar training would obviously be a huge difference in comparison to the OTL. Another positive that would come with the promotion of Wever lies in the fact that, like Milch (and so unlike Göring), he was a singularly driven man. As such, he took to his first assignment (C-in-C, Luftwaffe) with a very open mind and within the short time that he had, made formidable progress. Williamson Murray's work contains a paraphrased citation of the doctrinal position that Wever formulated in his tenure in this position. It is further illustrative of the mind of this somewhat unknown and misunderstood man:
                            Wever's thinking on the subject of airpower was best summed up in the formulation of German air doctrine that first appeared in 1935: "Conduct of the Airwar" (Die Luftkriegsfuehrung). As with most German military doctrinal statements, this one was a clear, concise formulation. It was not meant to restrict or dogmatize but rather to give air force commanders the widest latitude and to encourage maximum flexibility. Among the chief points enunciated was the reiteration of Wever's point that the employment of the Luftwaffe should reflect the overall framework of national grand strategy. Within grand strategy, the critical tasks of the Luftwaffe would be the attainment and maintenance of air superiority, support of the army and navy, attacks on enemy industry and interdiction between front and homeland. "The nature of the enemy, the time of the year, the structure of his land, the character of his people, as well as one's own military capabilities" would determine how one should employ airpower...(edit)...Unlike most airpower theorists, he showed a ready understanding for the fact that air superiority would be a most elusive goal. Changing technical capabilities, new production, and replacement of losses would all combine to allow the enemy to fight another day. While Wever felt that "strategic" bombing attacks on the enemy's industrial and economic sources of power could have an absolute impact, he warned that such an offensive might take too long to be decisive and might thus be too late to help the army and the navy. He emphasized that only the strongest cooperation among the three services could achieve the overall objectives of national grand strategy.
                            Williamson Murray: Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-45 Ch 1, p. 8

                            Another highly informative quote on Wever, this one drawn from another work: "German Airforce General Staff" by Andreas Nielsen, p. 28
                            Thus, even though he did not have the official title, General Wever, as chief of the air command office was really the first chief of the Luftwaffe general staff. In this man, the Minister of National Defense had selected one of the very best officers-and probably the best organizer-of the army General Staff to guide the establishment of the Luftwaffe. Without wishing to belittle Goering's contribution in any way, we must admit that all of his plans would have been amateurish piece-work without the outstanding assistance of Wever and his immediate staff.
                            Greeting his new assignment with enthusiasm, General Wever devoted his full attention to the new mission with typical zeal. His quick intelligence, his remarkable receptiveness towards the developments of modern technology, and his vast store of military experience soon enabled him to grasp the fundamental concepts of his mission. He worked untiringly to exploit the unusually favorable circumstances provided by the time in order to create a military instrument equal to the other armed forces branches for the defense of the nation. He was quick to realize that the chance given to him was a unique one, and that he might take advantage of all the available national and economic resources in creating a new and unique force. He himself learned to fly at the age of 46 and soon became one of the most enthusiastic pilots in the Luftwaffe; in this, as in other fields, he set a challenging example to both young and old.
                            The impact of this mans appointment into the position as Milch’s “right hand man” would, as I feel I've amply demonstrated, have far reaching implications on the subsequent course of events. Göring’s demise would also forestall a few other notable "promotions" that occurred in the OTL; notably, the entirely capable, motivated, and competent Wilhelm Wimmer would never have been removed from the head of the Technisches Amt by a leader like Wever (the T. Amt fell within the purview of the Staatssekretaer), such a move would have been simply illogical to him. As we know history shows that Goering tossed Wimmer from the office and installed his crony Udet in yet another act of intrigue (the feud between Udet and Göring has been well documented). By putting Udet under his direct control, Göring hoped to muzzle and discredit him; we also know how this panned out historically. Hans-Juergen Stumpff (another ex-Reichswehr man) would certainly retain his position as the head of the personnel department and Kesselring would also remain as head of the Administrative office. Without the removal of Wimmer in favor of the incompetent Udet, we'd likely see the Procurement department remain in the far more capable hands of Karl Kitzinger (In the OTL this office was rolled into the T. Amt and placed in the control of Udet). All in all, these men were highly capable, long serving, career officers, with good connections at OKW by nature of their Reichswehr roots. I feel that a greater harmony within this group following the changes at the very top of the Command Chain would allow for a far smoother teething period for the Luftwaffe than what happened historically.

                            And I said that this wasn't going to be a happy tale of Nazi-revisionism.

                            This is the happy part, the next post will look at the implications for Hitler's war aims, the impact on the Four Year Plan (maybe Hjalmar's actually got one?) and other economic considerations. I feel that we first must establish a thesis statement (in regards to the sweeping changes that will occur in this area) before we can move forward with further examination of the functioning of our "new" Luftwaffe command structure.

                            (Whew, that got just a little long winded )

                            As you can tell (those of you who actually stuck with me this far ), I intend to give this POD a fairly thorough examination.

                            Comments, corrections and countervailing opinions (with sources, of course) are always welcome; like you, I'm here to learn

                            Cheers, Ron
                            48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
                            __________________________________________________ __________________

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                            • #15
                              Ehh? A logically laid out well researched and cited post. Here on Armchair General! I dont know what to make of it.


                              The only throw of the dice I can in see in the sucession thing would be some other crony of Hitler & party wheel making a grab for Goerings offices. that might still sabotage the Luftwaffe with incompetents. But alas I dont know enough of party politics to think how that might occur.

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