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Old 12-15-2014, 02:06 AM   #41
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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People often forget what a hero Göring was to the German people after WW I. He ended the war with 17 aerial victories, and in command of Richtoften's Circus(Red Baron). When he wasn't high on morphine, or being a hedonist, he could be surprisingly effective, and very dangerous.
People often badly overestimate the regard in which Goring was held, contemporaneously, by the German public. Over a dozen German aces survived the war with double Goring's victory count, and nearly forty survivors bettered it. Did Goring's fame exceed Udet's? Greim's? Lothar von Richtofen's? von Schleich's? Bongertz's? What evidence do we have for that?

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Old 12-15-2014, 06:28 AM   #42
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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Maybe the Imperials are back in power in Germany? There was still a lot of love for the Imperial family in Germany, and I think many considered the erratic Kaiser Wilhelm II to be an aberration.
I could see some arrangement where the NSDAP invites the Kaiser back to be head of state (essentially filling Hindenburg's empty seat) and Göring or some other Nazi becomes dictatorial chancellor. The chancellorship might be like General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, with the position going to the creep with the most political clout at the moment.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:36 AM   #43
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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People often badly overestimate the regard in which Goring was held, contemporaneously, by the German public. Over a dozen German aces survived the war with double Goring's victory count, and nearly forty survivors bettered it. Did Goring's fame exceed Udet's? Greim's? Lothar von Richtofen's? von Schleich's? Bongertz's? What evidence do we have for that?

The key difference was Goring was in command of Richtofen's Circus, this gave him a position of responsibility at the end of the last war that was high enough to be significant, but not high enough to be responsible for losing the war.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:43 AM   #44
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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People often badly overestimate the regard in which Goring was held, contemporaneously, by the German public. Over a dozen German aces survived the war with double Goring's victory count, and nearly forty survivors bettered it.
None of these fellows were politically prominent in 1936, much less the number two goon in Germany. Moreover, none of these guys were prominent in 1923, when Göring was part of a coup to take over Bavaria that the far right, to be dominant in 1936, lionized. (Of course, running after a shot to the leg in said coup, not staying, going to prison and getting fast medical attention, doomed Göring to ineffectiveness.)

I can give you many reasons why Hitler, again a hick Bavarian corporal of no citizenship until 1932, would never take over Germany—but he still did it. There are reasons why Göring, a morphine-addicted munchkin hedonist, might not run Germany after a premature death of Hitler, but he was the designated successor, and had a much better résumé for the job than Hitler did. Since we're talking about hypotheticals, it makes sense to go with the only guy who has even a double-digit chance of the job than claim that the military, which accepted a hick corporal and let him limit its political might, will be upset if his successor is an upper middle class officer, especially when none of them were even had a remote chance of getting the job, and all of them knew it.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:22 AM   #45
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

Goering by 1936 also was a minister of the German state (yes, Luftwaffe chief and Luftfahrtministerium head), minister president of Prussia (which was by then not a powerful position but gave some more visibility than any other WWI ace), and by late in the year head of the 4-year plan, i.e. another cabinet-level hat.

Yes, back in 1919 he might not have been more popular than other air aces. But by 1936, in all those capacities, he was a mainstay of front pages and newsreels, and being more flamboyant than all other Nazi bosses, yes, he was popular. Even more importantly, he's known. Having an obscure general, even if he should be a WWI hero with more victories under his belt than Goering, would be seen by the German public as way, way less reassuring.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:59 PM   #46
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

All of the accounts of the Nuremberg Tribunal I've read describe Goering as the only defendant who was even slightly impressive. One reckoned that he might have been credible as a national leader. By the time the trial got going the prison diet had got a lot of weight off him, and his drug addiction was under control, so he cut a better figure than he had in 1942-45.
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:37 PM   #47
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

Göring in 1936 had:

1) The presidency of the Reichstag, which would probably be the body to officially ratify Hitler's successor;
2) Leadership of Prussia (both as minister president and as Hitler's proxy as Reich governor), the most important of the German states;
3) The position of Reichsmiminster for Aviation;
4) Personal fame, honor, and reputation from his time as a military officer;
5) The position of Reichsmiminster for Forestry.

Von Fritsch (Commander-in-Chief of the Army) and Himmler (head of either most or all of the police, depending on when in 1936) are the most plausible leaders of an attempt to spoil the succession. My personal evaluation is that, instead, they'd both back him, given the conditions in 1936. Raeder isn't going to risk anything. What's left?

Some old-line officers would grumble, sure. And do nothing, as rebelling against the (next-thing-to-)legitimate successor backed by the police and the Army commander is way out of their character.

Göring isn't going to dominate the state like Hitler did, however.
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:42 PM   #48
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

And if things go pear-shaped, future Nazis will say that Hitler represented the true, humanitarian version of Nazism and that Goering ruined it.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:16 AM   #49
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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Göring in 1936 had:

1) The presidency of the Reichstag, which would probably be the body to officially ratify Hitler's successor;
Right, I forgot that in my own list. If you put the two lists together, it's amazing anybody thought one man could do all that.
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:45 AM   #50
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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If you put the two lists together, it's amazing anybody thought one man could do all that.
Since the political offices were jokes by this point (especially running Prussia, since the German states were only on paper by then and the Nazi Gau structure took their spot), it only shows how much he liked decorations and titles. The relevant ones are running the Luftwaffe and running the economy.
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