Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (Part 1 – The Rise)
History is dedicated to Susan Mcgann, who allowed me to work in her
archive to gain experience and improve my résumé.
Inspirations come from many places, but I would like to acknowledge
both Scott and David’s work as having some influence on this masterpiece
(big headed aren’t I?). Comments
Looking back from the end of the century, it’s hard
to believe the success that Adolf Hitler and his followers had in creating
their empire. While it did
not last for the time they claimed - a round thousand years – it lasted
long enough to reshape the political and social background of the world. Empires that had lasted for hundreds of years were crushed or
subjected by it, people’s who failed the stringent tests of racial
purity vanished from the face of the earth and the night sky was opened in
the wake of the Reich.
Its easy, as many historians say, to believe that
Hitler and his people were destined for their success, that in fact the
opposition suffered from problems that made resistance impossible.
For the forty years since the Reich triumphed in the wars, that
viewpoint and others, that owe more to Himmler’s fascination with the
occult than science, have demonstrated that Hitler was intended to
succeed, which of course he did.
Recently, however, it has become possible for
archivists like myself to read the documents we have been entrusted with
and use them to form new and alternate views of the Third Reich. We now know that our empire and our united Europe was based
upon mass murder, cunning and insanity.
We now know the full story behind the foundation of the Greater
We are under no delusions.
We know that this work will be ill received in Germany.
Other nations, such as Britain and France, have also benefited from
the ‘explanations’ for the Nazi victory that defeated them and crushed
their empires. Worst, the
levels of guilt that appeared in the United States when rumours of the
fate of millions leaked out will be vastly expanded by the truth, worse
than any CIA report. Without
further ado, then, here is the true story of the Greater German Reich.
Origins and the early war
In 1919, Germany was beaten by the allied coalition
that had been fighting it for four years.
Despite being defeated in open battle, the Germans convinced
themselves that they had made a truce with the promise of a just peace,
inspired by the ideals of the American president Wilson.
Sadly for Germany and the world, Wilson was not the deciding voice
at the conference and Germany was crushed, made to pay huge reparations,
suffered crippling restrictions and was made to admit to having
deliberately caused the war.
The massive field of discontent in Germany proved a
breeding ground for a small political party, led by the war hero Adolf
Hitler. Hitler proved to be a
master politician and he built the nazi party up into a serious challenge
to the established order. Despite
some setbacks, including a coup attempt that left him in jail for a few
months, he soon managed to claw his way to the top of the German
government, becoming the head of state in 1933.
Hitler soon bent Germany to his will.
He made himself the ‘Furher’ (leader) of Germany, and
all power was vested in him. He used this time to begin a massive rearmouring program and
to start a propaganda campaign against the powers that had crushed
Germany. Using their war
guilt, Hitler was able to reoccupy the Rhineland, the first act that
directly defied the hated treaty, and got away with it.
Other daring acts soon followed. Hitler took over Austria and annexed it to Germany.
He then pressed claims on part of Czechoslovakia, although the
British prime minister convinced him to moderate his demands, which
rendered it helpless. Hitler
took over the rest of it in the following months and them targeted Poland.
This offered a new problem.
Britain and France had guaranteed Poland after the disaster in
Czechoslovakia – attacking Poland would mean war with the two other big
European powers. Hitler knew
that a long campaign in Poland would allow the west to march into Germany
after they had exhausted themselves; therefore he cunningly acted to
reduce allied time by forging a secret – and temporary – deal with the
communist USSR, effectively dividing Poland between the two powers.
The Germans invaded Poland in 1939 and defeated it in two weeks.
The western allies did nothing to help the poles.
Hitler had a fairly good idea what the allies would
and would not do to Germany. Part
of their problem was reluctance to repeat World War One on a grand scale;
other parts included the possibility of a communist take over in Germany,
which would ruin their own power as well.
They waited, hoping that Hitler would be disposed or make a deal of
Hitler, however, had other plans. Launching a lighting invasion of Norway and Denmark, Hitler
stunned the allies, who started to have a major political crisis.
In the middle of their problems, Hitler launched an invasion of
France, which was a brilliant success.
After a months hard campaigning, Hitler forced the French to
abandon Britain, which vowed to fight on alone.
However, the war would continue in places that would be difficult
for both parties to fight.
War in the Desert: Sideshow with consequences
The war in North Africa was a minor sideshow until
1942, so it will only be briefly discussed here.
The effects of the war, however, were vitally important to the
German victory; therefore they will be studied in some detail.
In 1940, after France fell to Germany, Mussolini declared war on
the allies. It was perhaps
the most stupid decision of the war,
as Italy was completely unready for the conflict. Indeed, the British managed to destroy much of the Italian
empire in the first two months.
The important part, however, was in Libya.
The British had launched a campaign that was dazzlingly effective,
pushing the Italians back hundreds of miles and taking the gloss off
Mussolini’s glory. In
terror, Mussolini appealed to Hitler for help.
Hitler was willing to help out his fellow dictator, but he wanted
numerous Italian concessions as a price for his help, although, once the
war was won, he promised Italy a large Italian empire in Africa.
Hitler rapidly dispatched two German units to Africa, a small
panzer force under General Rommel and the aerial assault force under
General Student. As the
British had had little time to fortify Malta, Student’s force
overwhelmed the defenders and captured the Island.
Meanwhile, Rommel launched a counterattack and forced the British
back towards Egypt.
The most important influences of the African war,
however, were the formation of the Reich Economic Council and the Reich
Hitler had discovered that the various German forces had come too
close to defeat more than once in the war, and he was determined to alter
that problem. General
Manstain, who had designed the plan to defeat France, was charged with a
plan to defeat the USSR, while holding off Britain and supporting Italy.
Albert Speer would be put in charge of integrating the captive (and
Italian) factories into the Reich war machine.
The German forces soon started to receive extra equipment and
weapons, while the Germans also, thanks to an Italian development that had
been held up, developed a system of aerial radar.
Until the British managed to duplicate the technology, Germany
would enjoy a considerable advantage, which led to the sinking of several
convoys in the Atlantic. This
led to the Germans speeding up plans for a long-range bomber, but those
were unavailable until early 1942.
Hitler’s new military council swiftly designed a
plan to destroy the USSR. Reasoning
that the soviet system only needed to be decapitated for it to be
defeated, they planned a massive charge directly at Moscow.
The plan included massive contributions for their allies, including
Romania, Finland and Hungary, who would be rewarded with parts of the USSR
Mussolini was unhappy about his new position of
dependence. He worked to
prepare an attack on Greece, but his German minders prevented it from
going ahead. The Duce was unhappy, but was mollified by the German
training for the Italian forces and their improved combat performance.
Mussolini pressed Rommel to head for Cairo, but Rommel was working
to build up the combined forces, while holding off frequent British
War in the East
The Germans launched their attack on Russia on 17th
Hundreds of German, Italian, Hungarian, Romanian and Finnish
divisions poured across the border, while the German air force destroyed
much of the Red Air Force on the ground.
Thousands of Russian troops were killed or captured as the hordes
advanced east, heading though Byelorussia to Russia and Moscow.
For an emenry of communism, Churchill was more than
willing to help communists out, particularly when he needed them.
The British tried hard to send supplies to Russia, but they had
serious problems. Not only
had Rommel launched a minor offensive, which had been timed to coincide
with the Russian attack, but also they were suffering from constant German
attacks on their shipping. The
Germans had moved several large capital ships to Norway and launched
several daring raids on Russia-bound convoys.
Desperately, Churchill forced Iran
to allow transhipment of supplies to Russia, but Iranian obstruction made
that route unreliable.
The Germans took five weeks to approach Moscow.
Stalin was worried about moving troops from the east to Moscow as
the Japanese were looking at Siberia, but soon he realises that there was
no real choice. He pulls
several of the best soviet divisions away from Siberia and sends them to
defend Moscow. However, the
Germans are closer than the Siberians and they are better fighters.
In early July, the Germans reach Moscow.
After a brief skirmish in the outskirts, the Germans encircle the
city. Stalin and most of the
most important communist party officials head into the east, but most of
the Russian buroughcrats who keep the Soviet Union working are stuck in
Moscow. The Germans take a
week to seal the city off, then launch an attack into the city from
several directions. Moscow is
sometimes defended stubbornly, but in other places the Russians surrender
at once, while most of the population keeps their heads down.
The Germans clean out the city at the end of July.
The Germans need a rest at this point, but they
don’t get it. The British
have launched an embarrassing attack on the Italy/German positions in
Egypt, which forces the Germans to send extra aircraft to the front.
The soviets are also launching counter attacks, although their
ability to do that is rapidly collapsing.
The Germans send forces to help the Finns take Leningrad, which
falls three weeks after Moscow, and then they help their allies mop of the
remaining soviet forces in the Ukraine and Byelorussia.
The fall of Moscow sets of a process of
disintegration across the Soviet Union.
The ethnic minorities see a chance to overthrow their local
communists and launch several revolts.
Nationalists appear all over the USSR, even a white Russian
faction, although the Germans are cool towards most of them.
They do supply Muslim guerrillas in the Caucasus with weapons,
both as a method of putting pressure on Turkey and as a method of impeding
the Soviet/British/Iranian supply line.
Stalin is not defeated yet, but he’s in real
trouble. Apart from the
damage to his prestige, the soviets are having terrible supply
difficulties, often having to build new factories from scratch and using
inferior materials. Guerrilla forces are damaging the soviet oil supply lines and
the British can’t make up the shortfall themselves. Worse, the Germans have captured plans of the soviet
industrial system and know just where to bomb.
This does lead to some incidents when German planes bomb factories
that don’t exist – because they’ve not been built.
Stalin, however, needs to play for time, so he orders secret
communications to be opened up between the Germans and the Soviets.
Hitler plays for time.
He wants nothing better than to wipe Stalin off the face of the
earth, but the German forces are exhausted and winter is coming on.
Better, he reasons, to allow the soviets a truce.
It lets the Germans get dug in for winter and launch many
anti-partisan operations. Stalin plays along while working to build up his own forces.
Come spring 1942, the Germans launch their next
attack. This one has two
prongs. The first one heads
east to where Stalin is building his new factories.
The second one heads down towards the Caucasus and the oil wells
there. Hitler plans to
capture the oil for the Speer machine and then head into Iran.
That, he gloats, will cause the British to sue for peace on German
Phase one bogs down after a spectacular start.
The soviets have learnt dozens of lessons and manage to sucker the
Germans into house-to-house fighting in small villages.
The Germans, however, have started to use their new long-range
bomber and manage to hamper the soviet industry.
Stalin is nearly killed by a coup attempt, which increases his
paranoia, but the Germans are forced by Hitler not to take advantage of
the disarray in the soviet forces, as Hitler switches forces south for the
drive to the Caucasus.
The southern prong works well. The Germans successful destroy much of the soviet army in the
Caucasus and head towards Stalingrad.
They surround the city in may, but are reluctant to get into a
house to house fight after their recent experiences, so they settle for
sealing the city off and leaving everyone inside to starve.
German forces also arm rebels and use them to locate soviet forces
and destroy them. The Germans
manage to capture most of the oil wells, although the soviets have
demolished most of them before they were captured.
The soviets, however, have new problems, as new nations have
entered the war.
New Friends, Old Foes
On December 12th, 1941, the Japanese
nation committed slow suicide. They
launched a sneak attack against pearl harbour and severely damaged the US
fleet, including one of the important carriers,
and attacked many other places. In
the months that followed, Japan attacked Singapore, Hong Kong, the
Philippines, Guam and Ceylon. Despite
brutal resistance, the Japanese managed a complete sweep of the allied
territories and totally crushed the myth of white supremacy.
Hitler, we now know, seriously considered declaring
war on America or Japan. However,
he understood from Speer that the German economy needed time to absorb the
new resources before any further foes could be added to Germany’s list.
Therefore, Hitler send his condolences to the American government,
ranted about how dare the Japanese attack an Aryan race – and declared
war on the empire of Japan.
FDR was unconvinced by the rhetoric.
He had wanted Hitler to declare war on America so the nazi peril
could be stopped, however, Hitler had not obliged him.
Worse, he had taken steps (over the objections of Donitz) to avoid
conflict, keeping the U-Boats out of the American coast and offering the
services of a group of German volunteers.
FDR refused. After much thought, FDR decided to send American troops to
Australia and Burma, which would allow the British to move their troops
back to Iran and Egypt to meet the forthcoming German offensive.
This nearly causes a breakdown in the Anglo-American alliance, as
Churchill suspects the FDR does not have the interests of the British
Empire at heart. An
embarrassing defeat for the Americans in Burma only reinforces that
impression, particularly after many nasty Japanese broadcasts of captured
GIs bemoaning how they suffered to keep the British Empire working.
In a new mood with diplomacy and diplomatic
relations, Hitler also launched two charm/ice offensives.
He contacts Franco and informs him that Germany has practically
beaten Russia and is about to cut the British Empire in two. He tells Franco that he has two choices; 1) declare war on
Britain and attack Gibraltar, or 2) face German sanctions and perhaps an
invasion. Franco talks tough
and forces some concessions – at the expense of the French - from
Germany, but, knowing that Britain is in no state to help, reluctantly
declares war on Britain and lays siege to Gibraltar.
After a valiant defence, the garrison surrenders.
The second target for Hitler’s charm offensive is
Turkey. Hitler sums up the
situation; Turkey is surrounded by German forces or Germany’s puppets.
If the Turks join the war, the Germans will help them to regain
territory lost after World War One. If
they don’t, Hitler will cut off trade (ruining the Turkish economy), arm
and support Arab forces that will be anti-Turkish and possibly invade.
The Turks try to stall for a month, but FDR is unable to guarantee
the Turkish state and the British can no longer send ships though the
Mediterranean, so the Turks reluctantly agree to support the Germans. They are rather half-hearted about it, through, and state
that they are unwilling to launch any attacks until the Germans send them
more aircraft and tanks. The
Germans respond to the best of their ability.
In June 1942, the Germans cut through the Caucasus
and advance into Iran. The
Shah, who is very unhappy with the British interference, orders the
Iranian forces to offer no resistance.
The British forces fight desperately, but are forced to retreat
towards India and set up defences there.
They have other problems, as Rommel has finally launched his big
offensive (the German high command having held him back for two years from
anything really big) and he swiftly defeats the British forces in Egypt.
The Egyptian army revolts and the British barely manage to move
most of their forces across the Suez Canal.
Mussolini gets a parade through the streets of Cairo, while he has
other reasons to be happy; Italian forces have performed much better and
are even matching the Germans in places.
Rommel now has a problem.
The British have moved most of their forces into Palestine, but
there are small British forces in Lower Egypt, the Sudan and the other
African colonies that need dealing with.
The Italian forces can do most of that, but he needs some of them
to help him cross the Suez. He
launches that attack a month later and the Germans cross the canal, break
out and head for Iraq. The
British are then attack in Syria by the Turks and the forces in Iran swing
round and hit the British back. The
battle degenerates into a confused melee, but the Germans come out ahead,
on paper. Practically, the battle keeps them from considering any form
of offensive action until later, as many tanks have been knocked out and
they need to mop up small colonial forces.
Winding up the wars
The wars ended, not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Britain was the first nation to leave the war as its economy and
government collapsed. The
British Empire was disintegrating, as South Africa had already declared
its intention to seek a separate peace, while India had collapsed into
anarchy, as British troops were defeated in numerous fronts.
In disgrace, the Churchill government collapsed.
Its replacement, a coalition, had a mandate to seek peace at any
The German peace terms were light. Britain lost Malta, Egypt, Iran, Palestine and Iraq.
India was a lost cause, but the British could fight to keep it if
they wanted. Britain also had
to acknowledge Germany’s supremacy in Europe, allow them good trade
deals, and restrict the size of their army, while not allowing any foreign
troops to be stationed in Britain.
This must have affected the nerves of some Russians.
There was another coup aimed at Stalin, which succeeded this time.
The new government began to negocate with Germany, which succeeded
as Hitler was already considering new conquests in the east and wanted to
end the war before FDR found some pretext to intervene.
The soviets lost all of the territory their lost to Germany, while
they needed to fight hard against anti-soviet forces in the other SSRs.
The Americans were the only allied nation to win
their part of the war. Japanese
forces finally engaged a superior American force in the battle of
Australia in 1943, a battle that the Americans won handily.
The Americans then launched a campaign to clear out the other
islands that Japan had occupied, while supporting native attempts in
Indochina, China and Burma. Ho
Cho Minh and other like him end up American-backed as the colonial forces
have other problems. Vichy
lodges a protest, but FDR is reluctant to allow a nation that is
effectively a German ally to have further influence in the Far East and
refuses to allow them to ship troops, while disarming the troops that were
in place. China manages to
defeat several Japanese forces, although the Japanese manage to do vast
damage into 1947.
The Japanese refuse to surrender in 1944, when the
war is clearly hopeless. Instead,
they evacuate thousands of people to Manchuria and attempt to set up a
separate nation. The
Americans are forced to invade Japan, which they do in early 1945.
Resistance is determined at first, but the starvation has taken its
toll and the Japanese people want no more war.
The Japanese government either flees to Manchuria or commits
suicide when the Americans attack Tokyo.
Japan never formally surrenders, but, when resistance ends, the
Americans consider the war won. FDR
decides to leave Chieng and Mao the task of defeating the Japanese in
Manchuria, a task that takes them three more years.
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Part Two: Pax Germanica