Georg Elser succeeds in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939

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Futurist
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Georg Elser succeeds in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939

Post by Futurist » 13 Dec 2019 07:28

What if Georg Elser would have succeeded in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939?

In such a scenario, Hermann Goering would become the new German Fuhrer. I would presume that he would want to end the war as soon as possible, but I just don't think that he and the Anglo-French are actually going to be able to successfully negotiate peace terms. It would be an interesting question as to whether Goering would support Operation Sickle-Cut just like Hitler did--though I suspect that he would since he would probably conclude (like Hitler) that this is Germany's best shot for a quick and easy victory even if its odds of success are perceived as being relatively low. If Sickle-Cut still occurs and succeeds in this scenario, Goering might prefer to make an alliance with the Soviet Union to crush Britain as opposed to invading the Soviet Union while Germany is still at war with Britain. Or, Goering might get victory fever just like Hitler did and still launch Operation Barbarossa on schedule. I do think that Goering would be more receptive to the idea of a separate peace with the Soviet Union than Hitler was, though--especially if such a separate peace will secure Brest-Litovsk-style gains for Nazi Germany in the East.

What are your own thoughts on this?

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: Georg Elser succeeds in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 13 Dec 2019 16:30

Did anyone in Germany actually respect Goering, other than Hitler? In the absence of Hitler, would anyone follow Goering? It's true that the Heer officer corps liked the Nazis generally because the Nazis were pro-military, but with Hitler out of the way they would want someone who commanded the public's respect and who wouldn't interfere in military decision making. And then there is Himmler with the secret police.

The Nazi state was a house of cards that depended on Hitler not to collapse. I have a hard time seeing any of Hitler's flunkies keeping it together without him.

James A Pratt III
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Re: Georg Elser succeeds in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939

Post by James A Pratt III » 28 Dec 2019 04:06

Goering in 1939 was still a respected leader in Germany and Europe. he supposedly said if Hitler had been assassinated at this time he would have withdrawn German troops from occupied Poland and opened peace talks ASAP. Since the German military and people were not 100% confident in victory in 1939 this would have been a popular move.

OldBill
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Re: Georg Elser succeeds in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939

Post by OldBill » 28 Dec 2019 08:00

I wonder how this would have affected the treatment of the Jewish population. It really opens up some possibilities. What happens with the portion of Poland the Soviets have taken? The Baltic nations?

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Re: Georg Elser succeeds in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939

Post by Futurist » 29 Dec 2019 03:28

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
13 Dec 2019 16:30
Did anyone in Germany actually respect Goering, other than Hitler?
One would think that Hitler's street cred in Germany plus his support for Goering would be enough to at least initially solidify support for Goering among the German people, no?
In the absence of Hitler, would anyone follow Goering? It's true that the Heer officer corps liked the Nazis generally because the Nazis were pro-military, but with Hitler out of the way they would want someone who commanded the public's respect and who wouldn't interfere in military decision making. And then there is Himmler with the secret police.
TBH, I don't think that there is going to be too much daylight between Goering's views and those of the German military. As for Himmler, Goering can keep him in check--at least for the time being.
The Nazi state was a house of cards that depended on Hitler not to collapse. I have a hard time seeing any of Hitler's flunkies keeping it together without him.
Eh ... even a state with incompetent leadership can survive for quite a while. For instance, the Byzantine Empire during its last century or so. The crucial question, of course, would be just how Goering would have handled WWII.

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Re: Georg Elser succeeds in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939

Post by Futurist » 29 Dec 2019 03:31

James A Pratt III wrote:
28 Dec 2019 04:06
Goering in 1939 was still a respected leader in Germany and Europe. he supposedly said if Hitler had been assassinated at this time he would have withdrawn German troops from occupied Poland and opened peace talks ASAP. Since the German military and people were not 100% confident in victory in 1939 this would have been a popular move.
Would Goering have actually been willing to make the necessary concessions in order to make peace with Britain and France, though? After all, the recovery of Danzig and the Polish Corridor was a German foreign-policy aim even before Hitler actually came to power; for instance, the Weimar German government actually waged a years-long trade war against Poland (ironically ended by Hitler in 1934) in an unsuccessful attempt to bully Poland to agree to the reunion of Danzig and the Polish Corridor with Germany.

If Goering insists on plebiscites in Danzig and the Polish Corridor and insists that only those people who lived there in 1918 (and perhaps their descendants as well) would actually be able to vote in these plebiscites, would Britain and France have actually accepted Goering's offer in regards to this?

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Re: Georg Elser succeeds in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939

Post by Futurist » 29 Dec 2019 03:36

OldBill wrote:
28 Dec 2019 08:00
I wonder how this would have affected the treatment of the Jewish population. It really opens up some possibilities.
If the war will end early, then presumably Nazi Germany is going to continue its pre-war policy of mistreating its Jewish population and hoping that they will emigrate en masse. If the war will continue, well, things might get interesting. Perhaps Goering would be more inclined to keep the Jews (or at least many of them) alive for slave labor as opposed to outright murdering them like Hitler did; at the very least, I get the impression of Goering being somewhat less of an ideologue than Hitler and having less of a Messianic complex than Hitler had. Goering could, of course, also aim to try saving his own skin in the event that the war will eventually become lost by Germany.
What happens with the portion of Poland the Soviets have taken?
If peace is actually made early (a HUGE if), then theoretically speaking, Germany, Britain, and France could create a united front and deliver an ultimatum to the Soviet Union to withdraw from its part of Poland. Perhaps they would be willing to hold a plebiscite there as a way for the Soviet Union to save face. Of course, given the Soviet Union's crappy reputation, the odds would probably be in Poland's favor in such a plebiscite. The Belarusian areas could vote for the Soviet Union, though. Of course, this would require fighting on the part of the Germans, British, and French if the Soviets will refuse to obey their ultimatum.
The Baltic nations?
Presumably any ultimatum to the Soviet Union that deals with Poland would also deal with the Baltic countries, no?

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Re: Georg Elser succeeds in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939

Post by pugsville » 29 Dec 2019 03:50

Futurist wrote:
13 Dec 2019 07:28
What if Georg Elser would have succeeded in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939?

In such a scenario, Hermann Goering would become the new German Fuhrer. I would presume that he would want to end the war as soon as possible, but I just don't think that he and the Anglo-French are actually going to be able to successfully negotiate peace terms. It would be an interesting question as to whether Goering would support Operation Sickle-Cut just like Hitler did--though I suspect that he would since he would probably conclude (like Hitler) that this is Germany's best shot for a quick and easy victory even if its odds of success are perceived as being relatively low. If Sickle-Cut still occurs and succeeds in this scenario, Goering might prefer to make an alliance with the Soviet Union to crush Britain as opposed to invading the Soviet Union while Germany is still at war with Britain. Or, Goering might get victory fever just like Hitler did and still launch Operation Barbarossa on schedule. I do think that Goering would be more receptive to the idea of a separate peace with the Soviet Union than Hitler was, though--especially if such a separate peace will secure Brest-Litovsk-style gains for Nazi Germany in the East.

What are your own thoughts on this?
Democracies cannot just turn on and off the war tap. To mobilize for war and to accept peace and demolition without any real war would make mobilizing again very hard. To do so on a Nazi promise "to be nice" in the future is very fool hardy. Once it's war Nazi Germany must be substantially defeated or you face trying to rouse the population to fight again when the Nazi's next expansion starts.

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Re: Georg Elser succeeds in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939

Post by Futurist » 29 Dec 2019 03:56

pugsville wrote:
29 Dec 2019 03:50
Futurist wrote:
13 Dec 2019 07:28
What if Georg Elser would have succeeded in killing Adolf Hitler in November 1939?

In such a scenario, Hermann Goering would become the new German Fuhrer. I would presume that he would want to end the war as soon as possible, but I just don't think that he and the Anglo-French are actually going to be able to successfully negotiate peace terms. It would be an interesting question as to whether Goering would support Operation Sickle-Cut just like Hitler did--though I suspect that he would since he would probably conclude (like Hitler) that this is Germany's best shot for a quick and easy victory even if its odds of success are perceived as being relatively low. If Sickle-Cut still occurs and succeeds in this scenario, Goering might prefer to make an alliance with the Soviet Union to crush Britain as opposed to invading the Soviet Union while Germany is still at war with Britain. Or, Goering might get victory fever just like Hitler did and still launch Operation Barbarossa on schedule. I do think that Goering would be more receptive to the idea of a separate peace with the Soviet Union than Hitler was, though--especially if such a separate peace will secure Brest-Litovsk-style gains for Nazi Germany in the East.

What are your own thoughts on this?
Democracies cannot just turn on and off the war tap. To mobilize for war and to accept peace and demolition without any real war would make mobilizing again very hard. To do so on a Nazi promise "to be nice" in the future is very fool hardy. Once it's war Nazi Germany must be substantially defeated or you face trying to rouse the population to fight again when the Nazi's next expansion starts.
Yeah, that certainly makes sense. Leaving any Nazi in charge of Germany could potentially be risky since it could create a risk of future war. Even if Goering will actually be peaceful, who is to say that his successor would likewise be peaceful?

A more interesting scenario would of course be if internal opponents of the Nazis will overthrow Goering and then offer to make peace with Britain and France and offer to restore democracy to Germany. That way, the war tap will not be able to easily be turned back on in Germany unless Germany will once more become an authoritarian state. Of course, all of this might only occur if Goering really screws things up. Frankly, if Goering is forced to fight, I suspect that he would have adopted a Western military strategy similar to Hitler's out of sheer necessity and desperation. I do think that Goering might very well decide to try finishing off Britain and the British Empire before going to war against the Soviet Union (which might not even be on his agenda at all). If so, we could potentially see a German-Soviet alliance against Britain and its empire--in which case Britain and its empire would probably really be screwed. :(

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