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Let's Kill Hitler

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Let's Kill Hitler is an alternate timeline in which Adolf Hitler and many other high-ranking Nazi Party officials were assassinated. After Hitler and his staff are killed, Nazi Germany fractures into several factions fighting for power. Germany collapses into civil war, and this alternate history explores the possibilities that could have resulted from Hitler's assassination.

Point of Divergence - November 8, 1939

Original timeline

Adolf Hitler is due to give his annual address at the Beer Hall Putsch memorial service in the Bürgerbräukeller. He initially cancels his speech in order to give himself more time to plan for the imminent war with France. However, Hitler changes his mind and decides to attend.

Fog is forecasted, so Hitler decides to travel to and from Munich by train, instead of by plane as originally scheduled. He therefore reschedules the service to a half-hour before or to cut his speech short as his train was scheduled to leave at 9.30pm that evening.

Johann Georg Elser, a communist Württemberger carpenter, travels to Munich ahead of Hitler's entourage and plots to assassinate Hitler. He builds a time-bomb set to explode at 9.20pm. He successfully plants it into the column behind Hitler's podium in bits and pieces in the nights leading up to the service.

However, Elser, unknowing of this change, miscalculates and the bomb remains set to explode at 9.20pm. Hitler finishes his speech 13 minutes before the bomb detonates. He thereafter leaves the beer hall, along with his senior staff. The bomb, when it detonates, brings down part of the ceiling and roof and causes the gallery and an external wall to collapse, leaving a mountain of rubble. About 120 people are still in the hall. Seven are killed. Another sixty-three are injured, sixteen seriously, with one dying later.

At 8:45 pm on the night of 8 November, Elser is apprehended by two border guards, 25 metres from the Swiss border fence in Konstanz. When taken to the border control post and asked to empty his pockets he is found to be carrying wire cutters, numerous notes and sketches pertaining to explosive devices, firing pins and a blank colour postcard of the interior of the Bürgerbräukeller. At 11 pm, during Elser's interrogation by the Gestapo in Konstanz, news of the bombing in Munich arrives by teletype. The next day, Elser is transferred by car to Munich Gestapo Headquarters.

Elser is detained at Dachau concentration camp and executed on 9 April 1945.

Let's Kill Hitler

Adolf Hitler is due to give his annual address at the Beer Hall Putsch memorial service in the Bürgerbräukeller. He initially cancels his speech in order to give himself more time to plan for the imminent war with France. However, Hitler changes his mind and decides to attend.

Fog is forecasted, but Hitler decides to travel to and from Munich by plane regardless, instead of by train in OTL. Because he decided to travel by his personal plane, he has no need to reschedule the service to a half-hour before or to cut his speech short as in OTL. The reason he did so in OTL is because his train was scheduled to leave at 9.30pm that evening.

Johann Georg Elser, a communist Württemberger carpenter, travels to Munich ahead of Hitler's entourage and plots to assassinate Hitler. He builds a time-bomb set to explode at 9.20pm. He successfully plants it into the column behind Hitler's podium in bits and pieces in the nights leading up to the service.

At the time set by Elser, the explosive detonates on 8 November, killing Hitler in the middle of his speech, as well as high Nazi officials such as Joseph Goebbels, Reinhard Heydrich, Rudolf Hess, Robert Ley and Heinrich Himmler. The roof collapses, killing sixty-three more and injuring more than a thousand out of the 3,000-strong audience. Elser successfully escapes to neutral Switzerland before fleeing to the United Kingdom before he could be caught by German authorities. Elser is welcomed to the UK and is decorated with the Victoria Cross for his bravery.

Aftermath

In the days following the Bürgerbräukeller Bombing, a series of state funerals were held for the officials killed in the attack, including, of course, Adolf Hitler. As time went by, however, chaos began to set in Germany. Without the highest officials around, the Wehrmacht could not receive any orders and so did not make any progress. Several factions began forming within the Reich.

The most notable of these was the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). The KPD, which had been banned since Hitler came to power, had an underground movement quietly brewing. With Hitler's elimination, the Communists seized the opportunity and marched into the Reichstag, declaring the collapse of the National Socialist government and the establishment of a German Socialist Republic (Sozialistrepublik Deutschland).

The Wehrmacht forces stationed in Berlin's barracks begged to differ, asserting the continuation of Nazi Germany. Communist and Nazi Berliners began fighting against each other. Some of the Wehrmacht soldiers defected. Order in Berlin completely collapsed.

This was a mirror of what happened in other German cities. In Munich, the hometown of the Nazis, support for the National Socialists was at its strongest. The Nazi Party, now led by Party Chancellor Martin Bormann, moved its power base to Munich in order to avoid the growing Socialist movement. Many Germans continued to support the Nazi government, and though the government was never as effective under Bormann as it was under Hitler, as a result much of the German citizenry remained under the Nazis.

That, however, could not be said about the German military. While many felt obligated to uphold their personal oath of allegiance to Hitler, others believed that Hitler had corrupted the military through the atrocities in the Final Solution. Soldiers began fighting each other over their allegiances and ideologies, and the Wehrmacht could no longer act cohesively. German advancement slowed and eventually ceased completely. The Polish and Czechs seized the opportunity and rose up against the occupiers. Without an organised leadership, the Wehrmacht floundered and retreated, withdrawing from Poland and Czechoslovakia.

For more details, see German Civil War (Let's Kill Hitler).

Introduction

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