Alternative History
Advertisement

Point of Divergence[]

In OTL, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg 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 Stauffenberg, however, is planning something far more dramatic. He and his adjutant, Leutnant von Haeften, are part of a conspiracy that plans to overthrow the Nazi regime and sue for peace from the Allies. In his briefcase, Stauffenberg 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, Stauffenberg 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. Stauffenberg asks for just a few more moments, as von Haeften places both bombs inside the briefcase. A few minutes into the briefing, Stauffenberg 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 Stauffenberg 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 Stauffenberg leaves the room, the two bombs are detonated, killing everyone. Fellgiebel immediately makes 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 wait 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. Most of the troops are from the Reserve Army, new recruits being trained for combat, and so had had no or little knowledge of atrocities commited at the front. 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 frontlines, fighting breaks out between the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS, plus a few Wehrmacht units who don't believe the conspirators. 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.


23rd July 1944. 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. Over the next few weeks, thousands of civilians are marched 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 fiancée, 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.


24th July 1944. Beck makes a broadcast to the nation and formerly repeals the Enabling Act of 1934 which brought the Nazi dictatorship into being. However, he states that the state of emergency is still in effect, and that for the time being he would rule using Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which had never been formerly abolished, merely suspended. Beck also announces Germany’s intention to enter into peace negotiations with the Allies. Both the Allies and the Soviets however make it clear that they will only accept unconditional surrender.

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who had been privy to the conspiracy, convinces senior commanders such as Gerd von Rundstedt and Heinz Guderian to support the new government, though some only do so with reluctance and anger at Hitler’s assassination.


Goerderler announces his government:

  • Carl Friedrich Goerdeler - Chancellor
  • Wilhelm Leuschner - Vice-Chancellor
  • Paul Löbe - President of the Reichstag
  • Julius Leber - Interior Minister
  • Ulrich von Hassell - Foreign Minister
  • Ewald Loeser - Finance Minister
  • Friedrich Olbricht - War Minister
  • Erwin von Witzleben - Commander in Chief of the Wehrmacht
  • Hans Oster - President of the Reichskriegsgericht (military supreme court)
  • Hans Koch - President of the Reichsgericht (supreme court)
  • Bernhard Letterhaus - Reconstruction Minister
  • Karl Blessing - President of the Reichsbank
  • Paul Lejeune-Jung - Economics Minister
  • Albert Speer - Production Minister
  • Andreas Hermes - Agriculture Minister
  • Josef Wirmer - Minister of Justice
  • Theodor Haubach - Minister of Information
  • Henning von Tresckow - Chief of Police


25th July 1944. Beck orders all German forces in the occupied territories to withdraw to Germany’s 1938 borders. The Wehrmacht also retains control of western Poland, so that East Prussia shall not be cut off from the rest of Germany, and of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, to act as a temporary buffer against the Soviets. The Wehrmacht then begins the hurried construction of trenches and other defences along the new frontiers, in similar fashion to the First World War. This presents the Allies with a Germany defended by a virtually intact Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe. They also have to contend with the fact that these men would be highly motivated if they were defending their own soil. Beck and Goerderler hope to turn the war into a static battle of attrition that will sap the Allies’ resources and morale.


July-August 1944. In the few days between the Germans’ departure and the arrival of Allies, resistance fighters in France and the Low Countries attempt to take control of the cities. Now the divisions between Communist and pro-Western resistance groups come to the fore and fighting breaks out in some areas between the two factions. Angry members of the population also carry out reprisals against perceived collaborators. Reprisals range from humiliation and vandalism to murder. The allied advance is slowed by at least four days as the British and American troops have to restore order. The Germans have set themselves up along the Siegfried Line in preparation to fight the allies to a standstill. Goerderler authorises the mobilisation of the Volksturm, a home defence force made up of men either too old, young to fight or are in some other way considered unfit for military service. Around two million men are mobilised. Although they are unlikely to be particularly effective, they are surprisingly well equipped due the thousands of top class weapons that have become available now that the SS have been disarmed. The Volksturm is used mainly to guard POW camps and to look after concentration camp victims, so as to free up regular troops for the frontline. Along with the Volksturm, the bloated government agencies have their unnecessary staff sent to the front, and thousands of sailors are taken from their ships and recruited into the infantry.


25th August 1944. President Beck makes a broadcast to the nation, condemning Hitler and National Socialism. He condemns the crimes of the regime and accuses the Nazis of “lying to and tricking the German people, and attempting to draw us into their evil.” He also states that “from this point on, this war is not fought for territorial expansion or racial superiority, but to protect the Fatherland and achieve a peace that is fair to all nations.”


July-November 1944. The Allied offensive stalls against the Siegfried Line. The Soviets have greater success, but the German lines hold. There is heavy fighting on all fronts, and heavy casualties, but for the first time in years the Allied death toll outweighs the German losses, mainly due to the Germans’ disciplined refusal to leave their positions except for counter-attacks to drive back the attackers, and the tactical use of V-2 rockets against Allied positions. Nonetheless, in the south, the allies make progress towards Stuttgart. In the east, the East Prussian city of Königsberg becomes the main focus of the Soviet assault.


3rd November 1944. The Allies launch “Operation Market Garden”. The British and Americans seek to break through the German lines by launching a massive airborne attack on the small German town of Aurich in the very North-West of Germany. While this attack takes place, British and American forces attack the northern part of the line. However, the plan is just a hasty adaption of an earlier plan to attack the Dutch city of Arnhem. Adverse weather conditions result in the paratroopers being dispersed over a wide area. Meanwhile the frontal assault stalls. Those paratroopers who do manage to land in Aurich are vastly outnumbered and only have enough ammunition to last three days, but nonetheless hold out for nearly a week before surrendering. In the south, the allies have better luck, surrounding Stuttgart. The Soviet advance begins to stall outside Warsaw and Königsberg.


20th November 1944. The garrison in Stuttgart surrenders to the Americans, while in the north the British capture Aurich and make progress eastward, aiming to attack Hamburg. In the east, however, the Germans are still repulsing the Soviet attacks against Königsberg and Warsaw, though Prague is cut off and surrounded. Goerderler contacts the allied and Soviet leaders and requests an armistice. At first, Churchill and Roosevelt still want to push on unless the Germans agree to unconditional surrender. Stalin, however, is concerns by the fact that the western Allies are making greater progress, even suspecting that they had already made a deal with the Germans, and so demands they agree to an armistice, so as to maintain the balance of power.


2nd December 1944. An initial agreement is reached. It is agreed that full peace talks shall take place in Geneva, that all suspected Nazi War Criminals currently under arrest shall be transferred to Allied custody, and the Soviet Union will declare war on Japan with immediate effect.


4th December 1944. Soviet troops invade Manchuria, the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. The Soviets achieve decisive victories, and within three weeks two thirds of the region are under Soviet control. The nominal Emperor of Manchukuo, Pu Yi, former Emperor of China, and his government flee to Japan.


19th December 1944. With a Soviet invasion of Japanese-occupied Korea imminent, and the prospect of Britain and America directing all of their resources and men to an invasion of Japan, a clique of politicians, military officers and Imperial court officials convince Emperor Hirohito to dismiss General Tojo and appoint his uncle, Prince Higashiku Naruhiko as Prime Minister. Many members of this clique hope to continue the war by withdrawing their forces back to the home islands, to present the Allies with the prospect of a long and bloody siege that would sap men and resources, thus compelling them to offer peace on terms acceptable to Japan.


25th December 1944. King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy is grudgingly persuaded to abdicate in favour of his son, Crown Prince Umberto. Although Victor Emmanuel had played a major role in removing Mussolini from power, he is too closely associated with the Fascist regime to remain on the throne now that the war had ended, and it is felt that the monarchy will stand a much better chance of survival under his popular son, who is known to have anti-fascist leanings and who today becomes King Umberto II.


1st January 1945. Japanese reinforcements from the home islands launch a counter attack slow down the Soviet advance into Korea.


8th January 1945. Albert Speer, the only Nazi official to take part in the new German Government, is killed when his car is ambushed by SS diehards who regard him as a traitor to the Nazi cause. This is the first major act of the Nazi terrorist group, the Werewolves. They are led by notorious SS commando leader, Major Otto Skorzeny, described as “the most dangerous man in Europe”. Their aim is to destabilise the new government through a campaign of bombings and assassinations and to restore the Nazi regime.


17th January 1945. The Japanese counter attack forces a stalemate, but intelligence suggests further Soviet reinforcements are coming which would overwhelm the Japanese forces. Naruhiko sues for peace requesting only that no more attacks be made on Japanese territory. Roosevelt, worried that the Soviets would reach Japan before the Americans and British, force Stalin to agree as a quid pro quo for agreeing to an armistice in Europe.


23rd March 1945. Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Goerderler, Bonomi, the Italian Prime Minister, De Gaulle, Chiang Kai Shek, Naruhiko, Curtin, Australian Prime Minister, and Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, meet in Geneva to begin full peace negotiations.


1st September 1945. Symbolically taking place on the sixth anniversary of the start of the war, the Treaty of Geneva is signed by all of the participant nations, formerly bringing the war to an end. TG Day, or Treaty of Geneva Day, sees wild celebrations in every major nation.

The main provisions of the treaty are:

  1. Germany’s 1937 borders are guaranteed.
  2. A referendum shall be held in Austria and the Sudetenland decide whether it shall remain part of Germany or return to their 1937 status.
  3. The leaders of Germany and Japan indicted by the International Tribunal shall be tried by said International Tribunal in Geneva and Singapore respectively. Further trials shall take place against all suspected war criminals.
  4. Benito Mussolini and other leading Fascists shall be tried in Rome by an Italian court.
  5. Germany, Japan and Italy shall return all looted works of art, currency and other valuables to their rightful owners or pay them compensation in kind if said valuables cannot be located or are found to have been destroyed.
  6. Germany, Japan and Italy shall pay reparations to the victims of war crimes and to occupied nations.
  7. Allied nations shall begin the withdrawal of troops from liberated territory within twelve months from the signing of this treaty unless they are requested to stay by the provisional governments formerly recognised in this treaty.
  8. A new, Jewish state, Israel, shall be founded in the British mandate of Palestine.
  9. Japan shall cede the island of Formosa to China, and grant independence to Korea below the 38th Parallel.
  10. Japan shall guarantee the independence of the Republic of China, and shall make it a preferred trading partner.
  11. All nations shall recognise the communist governments of Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, the People’s Republic of Manchuria under Mao Zedong, and North Korea, all of the Korean Peninsula above the 38th parallel.
  12. Germany shall be permitted to draw up a new constitution without undue interference from outside nations. The only requirements of the constitution is that it is democratic, guarantees civil rights and liberties, and that the first act of the government under the new constitution is to outlaw the founding of any political party or movement that supports the doctrine of National Socialism.
  13. Japan is to adopt a new constitution transforming it into a democratic constitutional monarchy that shall guarantee civil rights and liberties.
  14. A new international organisation, the United Nations, shall be set up, and the USA, UK, USSR, Germany, China and France shall have equal status in it, each shall have a permanent place on the United Nations Security Council.
  15. All participant nations shall recognise that the German, Italian and Japanese people are not responsible for the atrocities committed in the course of the war, and that said responsibility rests only with those who ordered the atrocities, those who carried them out, and those who knowingly profited from them.


September 1945 – May 1946. An intense campaign of bombings, assassinations and sabotage by the Werewolves ensues. Amongst the victims are Vice-Chancellor Leuschner, and Field Marshal von Witzleben, who is replaced as Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, a member of the conspiracy. Also 87 people are killed and nearly 200 wounded when a series of bombs are set off during a public meeting of the newly re-formed Social Democratic Party. The attacks force President Beck to re-instate martial law, thus delaying the planned Reichstag elections. He also awards the Chief of Police, Major General Henning von Tresckow, sweeping powers to deal with the emergency.


9th May 1946. By a very narrow margin, the Italian people vote in a referendum to retain the Italian monarchy. Many are no doubt swayed by the extremely popular King Umberto II’s efforts in maintaining national unity and in helping the provisional government draw up a new, democratic constitution.


31st May 1946. The War Crimes Tribunals in Geneva, Singapore, and Rome begin.


2nd June 1946. Elections to the provisional Reichstag take place. The political parties are virtually identical to those in Weimar Germany. Goerderler’s government is supported by almost every party, including the right-wing DNVP and DVP, as well as the left-wing DDP and SDP, and the catholic Centre Party. The only opponents of the government are the Communist Party. President Beck announces that the only function of this Reichstag is to draw up a new constitution, and once that is done it shall be dissolved and new elections held.


5th June 1946. The campaign of terror and further revelations about Nazi crimes at the Geneva Trials has resulted in most of the initial support for the Werewolves dying away. A Werewolf, in exchange for a pardon, reveals whereabouts of Skorzeny’s headquarters in the Bavarian Alps. In an operation involving five infantry battalions and two panzer battalions, it is finally taken after a ferocious battle in which around 350 men are killed, and Skorzeny himself is wounded in both legs before being taken prisoner.


6th June 1946. Beck announces his resignation as President now that Skorzeny and the Werewolves, the last serious threat to the new regime, has been neutralised. He recommends Field Marshal Rommel as his successor, as he is universally respected and popular with the people, and is not strongly identified with any political faction. Rommel is eventually persuaded to announce his candidacy, and when no other candidate is put forward, the Communists boycotting the election in protest over their being sidelined completely by the government, he is elected by default. His first act is to end the state of emergency that has been in effect since the renewal of Werewolf violence nearly a year earlier.


20th August 1946. The trials in Rome come to an end. Benito Mussolini is found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggression, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. He is also found guilty on a separate charge for involvement in the murder of Giacomo Matteotti, an Italian Socialist leader, and opponent of Fascism, nearly 21 years earlier. He is sentenced to death, but is executed by firing squad rather than by hanging. The reason given is that it was the easiest and most practical method available at the time. However, the court receives considerable criticism for despatching the former dictator by what is generally considered to be an honourable method of execution. Several other fascist leaders are found guilty and variously sentenced to death or periods in prison.


24th August 1946. Somewhat overshadowed outside Germany by Mussolini’s execution, Otto Skorzeny is executed by firing squad for high treason. He requests, and is allowed, to die in his SS uniform and wearing his medals, a sign of the grudging respect he was held in by for his achievements in combat.


August – December 1946. There are mass demonstrations in Poland when Stalin fails to withdraw his troops from eastern Poland as per the Treaty of Geneva. In eastern Poland, demonstrators are shot by Soviet troops. Many former polish partisans renew their activities, and in western Poland politicians call on the western allies to use force to free Poland. The western allies put pressure on Stalin, but he refuses to withdraw his troops. Poland’s cause is enthusiastically supported by Germany, eager to make amends. Anger and unrest in Poland increase.


1st October 1946. Stalin announces that he has evidence that partisans in eastern Poland are being supplied by the west Polish government, and that if partisan activity continued he may have to move troops into western Poland to pacify it. Goerderler writes to the Polish government promising military support. It looks as if the war is about to restart, when the situation is saved by US President Truman. He invites Stalin, Prime Minister Attlee, Goerderler and Prime Minister Sikorski of Poland to a conference in New Mexico to discuss  the Polish Question. He says that the conference is also an opportunity to show the world the results of a research project known as the “Manhattan Project”. The true nature of the research is known to be research into an atomic bomb by Attlee. The demonstration of the bomb stuns Attlee, Goerderler and Sikorski, but infuriates Stalin, who knows Soviet research into an Atomic bomb is still several years away from completion. Stalin therefore agrees to withdraw troops from Poland, but only after a clandestine treaty in which the German Government to agree not to allow nuclear weapons launch sites to be built on their territory. Goerderler, desperate to avoid a renewed war which could destroy Germany economically, agrees. The entire episode makes the Polish government friendly towards America, but the Polish people in general very distrustful of the foreign powers, especially as the American government is friendly towards the new German regime. This will make successive Polish governments unwilling to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, in which Germany plays a major part, while at the same time they feel distrustful towards the Soviet Union. This will result in a policy of "Armed Neutrality" conducted by successive Polish governments until the 1970s when they would finally join NATO, public opinion finally turned definitively against the Soviet Union after the brutal repression of uprisings in Hungary and Czechoslozakia.


10th December 1946. The Geneva and Singapore Trials come to an end. The four charges against the defendants are:


  1. Conspiracy to commit aggression
  2. Crimes against peace
  3. Crimes in the conduct of warfare
  4. Crimes against humanity

The verdicts for each of the defendants at the Geneva Trials are thus:


Defendent                            Verdict                              Sentence


Heinrich Himmler                  Guilty, charges 1,2,3,4        Death

Herman Göring                   Guilty, charges 1,2,3,4        Death

Josef Goebbels                    Guilty, charges 1,2,3,4        Death

Rudolf Hess                         Guilty, charges 1,2              Life Imprisonment

Martin Bormann                   Guilty, charges 3,4              Death

Joachim von Ribbentrop        Guilty, charges 1,2,3,4        Death

Ernst Kaltenbrunner             Guilty, charges 3,4              Death

Karl Dönitz                          Guilty, charges 1,2,3           15 years Imprisonmemt

Alfred Rosenberg                 Guilty, charges 1,2,3,4         Death

Hans Frank                         Guilty, charges 3,4              Death

Erich Raeder                       Guilty, charges 1,2,3           15 years Imprisonment

Julius Streicher                    Guilty, charge 4                  Death

Wilhelm Frick                     Guilty, charges 2,3,4            Death

Fritz Saukel                        Guilty, charges 3,4              Death

Franz von Papen                 Not Guilty                           Released

Walther Funk                     Guilty, charges 2,3,4            Death

Roland Freisler                   Guilty, charge 4                   Death


Arthur Seyss – Inquart        Guilty, charges 2,3,4            Death

Baldur von Schirach            Guilty, charge 4                   20 years Imprisonment

Konstantin von Neurath       Guilty, charges 1,2,3,4         Death

Robert Ley                         Guilty, charge 4                   Death

Hjalmar Schacht                 Not Guilty                           Released


For the Geneva criminals, the executions are postponed until the New Year, but as the Japanese do not celebrate Christmas, General Hideki Tojo and the other condemned Japanese leaders are executed on the 21st December. Other criminals found guilty in lesser trials include Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele and Rudolf Hess.

Pu Yi, former Emperor of Manchukuo, is found guilty of crimes against peace and collaboration with the Japanese, but is judged either to have been unaware or unable to prevent Japanese war crimes. He is sentenced to life imprisonment, and on receiving his sentence he renounces his claims to the thrones of China and Manchuria in favour of his infant cousin, Prince Hengzhen. Prince Hengzhen will grow up to be a successful and popular politician in the Kuomintang, especially for his fight against corruption in the Nationalist regime, which will lead to a call from some quarters to restore the Chinese Throne.


20th January 1947. In a referendum the inhabitants of Austria and the Sudetenland vote to remain part of Germany.


29th January 1947. Goerderler proposes the restoration of the monarchy to the Reichstag. He argues that there is still a strong nationalist streak in the German people, and that this, as was the rise of National Socialism, is due to a desire to restore the greatness of the old German Empire. By restoring the ultimate symbol of the old Empire, they would make the transition back to democracy easier for the people. He also argues for restoration on practical grounds, saying that an apolitical head of state would act as a unifying symbol for the people, and would be less likely to use their emergency powers in a partisan way, as had been the case in Weimar Germany. The proposal has enthusiastic support from the right wing parties, and a mixed reaction from the left – wing liberals and Social Democrats. The only group to implacably oppose the move is the Communists, who are rapidly becoming an irrelevance.


21st April 1947. A nationwide referendum is held on whether to restore the German Monarchy. The idea is generally welcomed by throughout the country, and the result of the referendum is 65% in favour of restoration, with 35% against. In regional referendums, the Kingdoms of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Württemberg, Hannover and the Archduchy of Austria (under Otto von Habsburg) are also restored, and those nations are given the status of federal states. The rest of Germany is similarly divided into federal states. The grandson of the last Kaiser, Louis Ferdinand, who is a prominent anti-Nazi, is formally offered, and accepts, the thrones of Germany and Prussia, and will ascend them on the day the new constitution is promulgated.


4th May 1947. The new Jewish State of Israel is formerly established into Jerusalem. The establishment of the state is supported by the USA, UK and ironically, Germany. As with the support given to Poland during the Polish Crisis, this is viewed by many spectators as an attempt on Germany’s part to make amends for the atrocities committed during the war.


5th June 1947. The Reichstag finally agrees upon a new constitution, which is passed by the required two – thirds majority easily, again with only the Communists opposing. The main features of the constitution, formerly titled “The Basic Law for the German Empire” (Grundgesetz fur das Deutsches Kaiserreich), are:


  1. A restored monarchy based on the British model. The Kaiser formerly appoints the Chancellor, though the candidate must command the support of at least a plurality of Reichstag Deputies. He also retains emergency powers, but can only exercise them if the Reichstag declares a state of emergency. They must also be exercised in conjunction with the cabinet, and any measures taken can be repealed by the Reichstag. The Kaiser also has the right to refer any law to the Supreme Court if he believes it to be unconstitutional, and may call a referendum on any law.
  2. A strong Chancellor appointed by the Kaiser but who must retain the support of the Reichstag. Although the Chancellor must discuss all proposed measures with the cabinet, he alone decides what laws the government proposes to the Reichstag.
  3. A Reichstag in which the seats are elected from single member constituencies.
  4. A Reichsrat (upper house) composed of members elected by the state legislatures. The number of members from each state depends on the population of each state. The party make up of each states’ delegation will depend on the party make up of the state legislature.
  5. Federal States with a large amount of autonomy. Each state either has a monarch or Kaiser–appointed Governor as its ceremonial head, with a head of government appointed by the state legislature.
  6. A Supreme Court at the head of an independent judiciary with the right to examine laws to see if they are constitutional if requested by the Kaiser, and the power to impeach any member of the government or legislature, and the power to recommend the reigning Kaiser’s abdication in favour of his heir.
  7. A Bill of Rights enshrining Freedom of Speech, Freedom from unlawful imprisonment, the Right to Trial by Jury, Freedom of Assembly etc.


18th January 1948. Taking place on the anniversary of the proclamation of the first German Empire in 1871, in the Reichstag Building, in the presence of the Reichstag, Reichsrat, the Cabinet, and various foreign and German dignitaries, the new Germen Constitution is signed into force by the new Kaiser Ludwig I, the outgoing President Rommel and Chancellor Goerderler, in a grand ceremony. After the formal signing, the new Kaiser Ludwig makes his first official speech:

“ Less than four years ago, our nation, and most of continental Europe, was being crushed under the rule of the most brutal, most cruel regime in the history of the world, and yet today, here we stand, at the dawning of a new, free and democratic German Reich, and also, at the dawning of a new and democratic Europe. This transformation is largely due to a handful of brave men and women prepared to risk everything for their country and what they knew to be right. The story of the end of this most terrible of wars is in fact a modern parable, the moral of which is that even in the face of the greatest of evil, when the cause of good seems lost, if there still remain a few with the courage to fight on, there will always be hope.”
Advertisement