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If they had used both bombs

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If they had used both bombs

Point of Divergence

In OTL, Colonel Claus von Stauffenburg and Lieutenant Werner von Haeften, were interrupted when they were preparing the bombs to assassinate the Führer, Adolf Hitler, and so managed to only prime one of the bombs. For reasons that we will never know, they only took the primed bomb into the briefing. When the briefcase was inadvertently placed behind a thick oak table leg, Hitler was shielded from the worst of the blast. But what if they had placed the second, un-primed bomb into the briefcase? The explosion from the first would have set off the second, and produced a powerful enough blast to kill everyone in the room. What then would have happened, had the Führer been killed, and the attempted coup been successful?


Timeline

20th July 1944. At the Wolf's Lair base in East Prussia, the Führer of Germany, Adolf Hitler, is preparing to hear a briefing from his generals about the situation on the Eastern Front. One of the officers attending the meeting, Colonel von Stauffenburg, however, is planning something far more dramatic. He and his adjutant, Leutnant von Haefton, are part of of a conspiracy that plans to overthrow the Nazi regime and sue for peace from the allies. In his briefcase, Stauffenburg has two bombs, which he intends to detonate in the briefing room, killing Hitler and everyone else. A few minutes before the beginning the briefing, Stauffenburg asks to be allowed to change his shirt. After being shown to a room, he and von Haeften begin to prime the bombs. They have primed one bomb when they are interrupted. The briefing is about to begin, and the Führer will not like to be kept waiting. Stauffenburg asks for just a few more moments, as von Haeften places both bombs inside the briefcase. A few minutes into the briefing, Stauffenburg receives a message that there is a telephone call for him in one of the outer buildings, which he goes to take. There is in fact no telephone call, it is merely an excuse for Stauffenburg to leave the room, made by General Erich Fellgiebel, in charge of communications at the Wolf's Lair, who is also part of the plot. A few minutes after Stauffenburg leaves the room, the two bombs are detonated, killing everyone in the room. Fellgiebel immediately made a phone call to General Friedrich Olbricht, another conspirator, in Berlin, to tell him to put Operation Valkyrie, the plan to take over the government into action. The line is poor and it is difficult for Olbricht to understand Fellgiebel, but he understands one phrase quite clearly, "the Führer is dead", knowing this, Olbricht puts Valkyrie into operation. Senior members of the military take control of Germany under the pretext of stopping a coup by the Nazi Leadership and SS.


21st July 1944. The plotters have many of the SS units around Berlin under control of most of the Nazi Leadership under arrest, with the exception of Heinrich Himmler, Head of the SS, and Herman Göring, Head of the Luftwaffe. Both men are seen as likely successors to Hitler. The plotters declare General Ludwig Beck as President and Doctor Carl Goerderler as Chancellor. Goerderler announces a state of emergency, and martial law. All SS units within Germany are ordered to lay down their arms and report to the nearest Wehrmacht commander to await for further orders. Beck issues executive orders for the Wehrmacht to seize control of all concentration camps and to place the guards under arrest. The horrors of the camps disgust many of the Wehrmacht troops who discover them, and there are several cases of camp guards being shot out of hand. The conspirators intend to gather as much evidence of nazi atrocities as possible, in order to gain the support of the German people for when they reveal that it was in fact they who had assassinated Hitler. To this end, many of the officers commanding the detachments that seize the camps are low level members of the plot or men known to oppose the Nazis.


22nd July 1944. Fighting breaks out across Germany and the occupied territories as SS units refuse to lay down their arms. Some units are defeated quickly due to the sudden nature of the order and the uncertainty among many as to who had actually committed the coup. Other manage to escape capture and go to ground. Despite relative peace and order in Berlin, as well as the other cities seized in the initial operation, such as Paris and Prague, there is confusion throughout much of Germany. Indeed, for members of the SS and Wehrmacht, there is no question that a coup has taken place, but many if not most of them have no idea which side they are on. Herman Göring is arrested when his car is stopped on the Autobahn from Berlin to Munich by the cavalry unit of Philip von Boeselager, one of the conspirators. Himmler makes his way to Berchtesgarten, Hitler's retreat in the Bavarian Alps. There he makes a radio broadcast denouncing the coup, and calling on all military units to overthrow the plotters. Few however hear or heed the broadcast. On the front lines, fighting breaks out between the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS, plus afew Wehrmacht units who don't believe the conspirators and remain loyal to the Nazi regime.

In London and Moscow, remarkable reports of German troops fighting among themselves seem to confirm to the shocked Allies leaders that a coup has indeed taken place, having received reports from their agents in Germany of newsflashes reporting Hitler's death. The Allies push on and take as much territory as possible.As they could not be exactly certain who has committed the coup, and for what reasons, it was best to ensure that they were in the best position possible, either to go on to complete the defeat of Nazi Germany, or to have a stronger bargaining position should they find themselves dealing with a non-Nazi regime. The Soviets also push westwards with Operation Bagration threatening to collapse the entire Eastern Front if the in fighting continues.


23th July 1944. Goerderler announces the SS men refusing to lay down their arms are traitors. Heinrich Himmler is arrested after being discovered hiding in the wine cellar of a Hotel in a town near Berchtesgarten. Most SS units within Germany have been subdued, though thousands have managed to escape.

Goerderler then issues a very unusual order. The troops that have seized control of the concentration camps are to round up the population of nearby towns and march them through the camps. The prisoners had been receiving food and medical treatment, but after only two days they were still extremely weak and shockingly thin. The sight of them, the piles of corpses, the gas chambers and the crematoria horrify and shame the civilians. Many people, including grown men, break down and weep. One woman, who had been sheltering one of the guards, her fiancee, immediately turns him over to the authorities. The logic behind the order is to show the German people the evidence for themselves, to reinforce the newsreels of the camps made by the government had made as soon as the camps were seized.

Tentative approaches are made to the allies and the Soviets about peace negotiations/


24th July 1944. Beck makes a broadcast to the nation and denounces Hitler and the Nazi Regime. He announces decrees abolishing the Nazi Party and subsidiary bodies, and formerly repeals the enabling act of 1934.

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