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Paris burns bright red

 by Steve Payne

Author says: what if the Paris military governor Major General Dietrich von Chotitz followed Hitler's orders and destroyed the city? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

On August 22nd 1944,

on this day Adolf Hitler decreed that if Germany was forced out of Paris the city and all it's landmarks should be left a smoldering ruin.

"I really can't see the Communists holding onto Paris, let alone France" - reader's commentThe Führer's order was relayed by Chief of Staff Admiral Alfred Jodl to Dietrich von Choltitz (pictured) who had been promoted to the rank of General der Infanterie and then appointed military governor of Paris just three weeks earlier.

And his instructions were explicit, "The city must not fall into the enemy's hand except lying in complete debris".To avoid any possibility of confusion Hitler also phoned him in a rage, screaming, "Brennt Paris?" ("Is Paris burning?"). In effect, Von Choltitz was required to organize a rapid disengagement of German Forces whilst simultaneously dealing with a complete uprising of the city's inhabitants.

"in an ATL with greater numbers, [French Communists] could have been a real problem. " - reader's commentMeanwhile U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the head of the Allied invasion, had refused to divert troops to liberate Paris. Resistance forces loyal to De Gaulle failed to overcome red influence during and after Liberation, and were unable to prevent communists taking control of the city and then of France.

Ironically, the destruction of the cultural fabric of the city removed any symbolic vestiges of the past, ushering in the new and frightening communist future that Adolf Hitler had predicted.

Author says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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