Twilight of the Valkyries: A 20 July Plot TL (Redux)

I would say that Germany probably will hold until January, and then surrender, losing afterwards huge parts of Silesia but stull keeping Breslau, along with Pomerania and losing East Prussia with Sudetenland and Austria. Then it's all goes as OTL, except that Wehrmacht Myth believers, Rommel Myth believers, and Wehraboos overall would be more numerous here, as their clues of "clean Wehrmacht" would be strengthened with a coup and less harsh territorial losses.
Probably denazification would be more lenient also...
Thats my bet here
I can imagine that the clean Wehrmacht myth would more or less gain even more traction given that some army officers were responsible for overthrowing the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler. There would be monuments to the Wehrmacht and/or the 20 July Plot conspirators in Germany.
 
Honestly, given that Germany has now overthrown the Nazi Party (which is more or less dead after Operation Valkyrie) and a new government comprised of ex-Nazis and/or Nazi defectors has emerged both the Western Allies and the Soviet Union will be hard pressed to even capture the capital of Berlin or German territory considering what has happened. They might not like this new Germany but for all intents and purposes they could reluctantly tolerate them.
> Be Koba, leader of USSR for 19 years as of 1944
> Spend 16 of those years for building up your's country industry and military at all costs, killing in famines and repressions around 10-12kk of population in order to be prepared to spread worldwide communist revolution when the right moment comes
>1941
> You almost done, except for remaining few reforms to Army for invasion of Reich in 1942 or 1943
>Feelsgreatcomrade
> Germans invade suddenly, resulting in a war which leads to the most developed and populated third of your country ravaged by 1941-1942 front movements, Nazi occupation, and 1943-1944 front movements.
>30-31kk dead as result of invasion
> Rage etc.
>1944
> Your army finally liberated entiriety of occupied parts of country
> Finally filthy fascists are going to get payback for ravaging Motherland!1!1
> You already planned out how to divide spoils of victory with contemporary buddies
> Coup in Berlin
> Generals are in power instead of Hitler now

So what would Stalin do now?

>Ok, let's sign armstice with filthy fascist scum for apparently no reason just after they got their AGC wiped out and are about to lose Romania and Bulgaria, squandering everything you strived for since 30th of June, 1941

or
> Continue to advance westward, going by already laid out plan with your buddies in Tehran. What Generals? What coup? Doesn't matter!

P.S.
Calbear, sorry for this greentext low-effort meme, but I decided that this was the right way to show how wrong quoted person is
 
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Germany is cooked up. It's late summer of 1944. Even if pagan Germanic gods of anciency descended from the heavens to help Wehrmacht, they still would have lost. Post-Bagration Army Group Center was for all efforts done for the last time. At best, Germany keeps Silesia and Pomerania, but is still divided, not on Elbe, but on Oder. And thats the most optimistic scenario. More realistic scenario is that Germany fights on, and unconditionally surrender in January-February, as generals won't have a lunatic Hitler ordering them to fight until the end, and Germany gets OTL territorial treatment

Last time Germany could have gotten away was in the Autumn of 1942, before operation Uranus, before Casablanca conference in early 1943, which defined principle of non-conditional surrender. Ship has already sailed
I agree in the main - Germany has no option but complete surrender, even if the present regime has not quite grasped that yet - but with the qualification that it's unlikely it could keep most of Silesia and Pomerania at this point.

Now, it is true that as of August 1944, the Allies had not reached any agreement yet on occupation zones or borders. In OTL, the first map for the former was hammered out in September. But Churchill's "Three Sticks" idea for shifting Poland to the west had been more or less agreed to by the Bug Three, and there wasn't a lot that anyone could do at this point to keep Stalin from displacing a whole lot of Poles from eastern Poland, so they have to go *somewhere*.

But as you seem to suggest, that doesn't mean that the Papen/Guderian regime can't shape the postwar in certain modest ways. When they *do* finally appreciate that their clock is punched, they *could* opt for massive staged withdrawals in the West to maximize the the eastern reach of Anglo-American armies, thus giving the latter somewhat more leverage over occupation zones and borders. Likewse, leaving behind vigorous and armed independent indigenous forces - like, say, the Home Army - is only going to complicate Stalin's life, and the operations and logistics of his generals, too.

Perhaps, possibly, Germany's eastern border might shift to the Eastern Neisse and Stettin. That's almost certainly, I think, the most Germany could hope for.

Perhaps, possibly, in these circumstances the U.S. and British Zones might expand a little to include some of Thuringia, Magdeburg, and Schwerin. Which, in turn, might make Stalin more agreeable to that small eastward shift in the German-Polish border. Whether that would result in any compensation to Poland in East Prussia or Lvov is harder to say...though it seems unlikely to me. Stalin really wanted Lvov, and he really wanted an ice-free port.

And then, of course, there are the millions of German lives and dislocations saved, and the bombings of German cities averted by an early termination of the war. That's not nothing, either.
 
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The "Eastern Neisse" border option, for those who need a refresher:



I still think even this is unlikely. But my only point is that this almost certainly represents the most (East) Germany could hope for in an eastern border with Poland.
 
I agree in the main - Germany has no option but complete surrender, even if the present regime has not quite grasped that yet - but with the qualification that it's unlikely it could keep most of Silesia and Pomerania at this point.

Now, it is true that as of August 1944, the Allies had not reached any agreement yet on occupation zones or borders. In OTL, the first map for the former was hammered out in September. But Churchill's "Three Sticks" idea for shifting Poland to the west had been more or less agreed to by the Bug Three, and there wasn't a lot that anyone could do at this point to keep Stalin from displacing a whole lot of Poles from eastern Poland, so they have to go *somewhere*.

But as you seem to suggest, that doesn't mean that the Papen/Guderian regime can't shape the postwar in certain modest ways. When they *do* finally appreciate that their clock is punched, they *could* opt for massive staged withdrawals in the West to maximize the the eastern reach of Anglo-American armies, thus giving the latter somewhat more leverage over occupation zones and borders. Likewse, leaving behind vigorous and armed independent indigenous forces - like, say, the Home Army - is only going to complicate Stalin's life, and the operations and logistics of his generals, too.

Perhaps, possibly, Germany's eastern border might shift to the Eastern Neisse and Stettin. That's almost certainly, I think, the most Germany could hope for.

Perhaps, possibly, in these circumstances the U.S. and British Zones might expand a little to include some of Thuringia, Magdeburg, and Schwerin. Which, in turn, might make Stalin more agreeable to that small eastward shift in the German-Polish border. Whether that would result in any compensation to Poland in East Prussia or Lvov is harder to say...though it seems unlikely to me. Stalin really wanted Lvov, and he really wanted an ice-free port.

And then, of course, there are the millions of German lives and dislocations saved, and the bombings of German cities averted by an early termination of the war. That's not nothing, either.
If the WAllies get zones further east, and Stalin wants "His" Germany to have a bit more room, then the furthest east I see the border going is 1937 minus upper silesia + East Prussia. Poland may get a bit more land in East Prussia, but still not Kaliningrad.
 
If the WAllies get zones further east, and Stalin wants "His" Germany to have a bit more room, then the furthest east I see the border going is 1937 minus upper silesia + East Prussia. Poland may get a bit more land in East Prussia, but still not Kaliningrad.
Well, in part it depends. If the British and the Americans push their zones to the Elbe, then the Soviet Zone starts to get pretty small.

I also think that Occupation Zone negotiations (which OTL opened in August) basically have to break down, not reach an agreement, so that the question is still open as Allied armies start moving into the heartland of Germany.

Here is the thing : Stalin has two objectives in this context:

1) To move Germany as far to the west as he can manage, to minimize the strategic threat it could ever pose to the USSR in the future.
2) To secure a sizable occupation zone, to both push the Soviet sphere of influence control as far west as possible, and also to maximize the, uh, amount of resource extraction it can undertake in Germany. As in, grabbing everything not nailed down, and most of what is nailed down, too.

In 1944, I don't think Stalin was thinking concretely yet about an independent, Soviet allied East German state, so I think that would be a less of a consideration...

Everything I've read points to (1) being the most important priority. Stalin's conduct on these questions at Yalta, and Potsdam, showed a willingness to dig in his heels. So then question then would be how hard Roosevelt and Wallace would fight for shifting the Soviet Zone and the German border eastward (Churchill isn't the problem here). Even if Patton ends up in Berlin, I wouldn't just take for granted that they'd push that hard.

My first cut is that in a scenario where the Allies grab Berlin or at least its outskirts is that Soviet Zone line ends up something more like Wismar-Schweriner See-Elde-Elbe-Saale. Maybe that gets the Polish border shunted to the Eastern Neisse. But then, so much depends on the final endgame - exactly how and when the surrender happens, and where all the armies are at that point, and whether there has been any preliminary agreement between the Allies on occupation zones. Things could get nasty if Papen's regime decides to basically no longer defend a western front and throws everything it can at stalling Soviet armies in Poland, as Stalin will naturally assume that the Allies cut a secret deal with Berlin at his expense, and then things could get messy, and if the Allies are on the Oder, they might even say, "Yeah, we're not going anywhere, Uncle Joe."
 
Regarding the discussion on the preceding page, the people running Germany aren't Nazi defectors or ex-Nazis. They're still literal Nazis, along with a bunch of Prussian militarists (who cannot be neatly separated from the Nazis), and general authoritarians. It's the same régime with a fresh coat of paint, a defanged SS (but the Gestapo is still around and bigger than ever) and a bigger dose of pragmatism fuelled by desperation rather than any form of epiphany. Just like Dönitz' 'government' was still a Nazi government, except that Guderian's junta still controls Germany and a bunch of other territories instead of being a ridiculous farce.

The allies have no reason to tolerate it. And it's 1944, not 1942 or even 1943. So assuming the new regime can suddenly turn the tide strikes me as buying into the self-serving memoirs of the likes of Guderian and Manstein way too much.

It would have been your standard authoritarian, conservative government if the 20 July conspiracy had succeeded and Goerdeler and Beck had taken over. But now the people in charge are the guys who suppressed the coup and styled themselves as 'Hitler's avengers'.

Also great update.
 
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Mind you, it's rather fun to explore the character and the consequences of his actions, but the more I think about his reputation - or lack of it - and the events I have in mind for the future, I'm starting to regret not having considered an alternative that ocurred to me during my break. Not sure if I want to retcon again though, I understand it could get tiresome.
Instead of retconning it, what if he just gets sacked? It could be reflective of his weak power base.

With the next two updates we will reach the point in which the original TL stopped - and we're covering those events in far greater detail -, but, among other important changes concerning August 1944
Very hyped for that!

-Charles de Gaulle doesn't die in a plane crash (a decision which recieved some appropiate criticism)
I think it's more chaotic fun for him to be around.

-The plans to "salt the earth" are far more improvised and less consensual, often a product of Papen-esque trickery instead of official government policy
-The situation in the Balkans deteriorates at a faster rate for the Germans, mostly because of a lack of research in the original version
I'm curious how many of the ideas were from the original Salt the Earth two sets of posts. They had some cool ideas but it seems like a lot of the proposals were created on the fly, so not all of them are as equally likely, especially given the specific scenario you've created in this timeline. That scenario was based on a hypothetical July 20 bomb plotter Valkyrie government that's focused on stalling and trolling the Allies, which is a fun thought exercise but isn't how history works. Looking forward to seeing how it all falls apart in your rendition.
 
I have to confess being increasingly unsure about Von Papen as Chancellor. Mind you, it's rather fun to explore the character and the consequences of his actions, but the more I think about his reputation - or lack of it - and the events I have in mind for the future, I'm starting to regret not having considered an alternative that ocurred to me during my break. Not sure if I want to retcon again though, I understand it could get tiresome.
Instead of retconning it, what if he just gets sacked? It could be reflective of his weak power base.
I think this could be a good alternative to a retcon. Also preserves the 'entertainment' Papen provides from a narrative perspective. Plus once again he fails at being the 'man of destiny' he was so convinced he was.
 
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I'm curious how many of the ideas were from the original Salt the Earth two sets of posts. They had some cool ideas but it seems like a lot of the proposals were created on the fly, so not all of them are as equally likely, especially given the specific scenario you've created in this timeline. That scenario was based on a hypothetical July 20 bomb plotter Valkyrie government that's focused on stalling and trolling the Allies, which is a fun thought exercise but isn't how history works. Looking forward to seeing how it all falls apart in your rendition.
Guilty as charged, it was one of the threads I stumbled upon whilst doing research for the original version and it immediately caught my attention. It's actually one of the reasons why Papen came in handy, as I felt he presented a credible reason as to why a high-ranking figure in the new government would be willing to push very unorthodox efforts at political sabotage (which by this point he has already tried in Washington, the Ottoman Empire, Austria, Turkey, the Middle East and so on). Admittedly I relied a little bit too much on a couple of the original proposals in the first draft of the TL, not giving as much thought to them as I really should have, and not fleshing them out in detail either.

Having had a lot of time to reflect on it while writing Redux I came to a few conclusions as to how likely or unlikely - and how interesting to pursue - some of the ideas were, as well as how realistic the whole principle from the German point of view was. Some of those conclusions should be fairly obvious by simply observing how Papen has done thus far with his early attempts, but there's still quite a few scenarios we will encounter, with a few surprises of their own. I'd actually like to go into more detail on this, but whenever we hit these issues and partly because of the slow writing pace I have to contain myself so as not to spoil stuff. I'll probably have quite a lot to write about my choices and reasoning for the TL once it's all over.

Hey! I am a Romanian history nerd, so if you can't find all the answers to your historical questions, please PM me.
Wonderful to hear! And thank you very much for this, once I'm done reading and fleshing out my intended scenario I'll be sure to reach out.
 
I wonder how Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism gets affected in Twilight of the Valkyries. Nazi antisemitism in general came to prominence due to the stab-in-the-back myth aka the Dolchstosslegende (Dagger stab legend) which claims that German Communists and/or Jews were responsible for the German Empire's downfall during World War I (which is of course an exaggeration at best and a half-truth at worst since it ignores the fact that one of the reasons why Germany lost World War I was due to the United States' intervention in the conflict which had already been growing since the Preparedness movement led by people such as Theodore Roosevelt and Leonard Wood after the Lusitania incident and that's not getting into the fact that there were German Jews that fought in the Imperial German Army numbering around 100,000 and a few were even involved in Freikorps-style militias such as Ernst Kantorowicz). One of the bigger ironies of Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht is that 150,000 of their men were either Jewish or half-Jewish/half-German (Mischling in German) and this included the likes of Erhard Milch, Helmut Wilberg and Bernhard Rogge.

However given that all of the Operation Valkyrie plotters responsible for overthrowing Nazi Germany were ethnic Germans in the Wehrmacht and thus not Jews it would be very difficult for neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers to even reconcile the belief that the latter instigated World War II and caused the downfall of Germany and Western civilization. On the other hand, the German Reich will seek to distance themselves from Nazi Germany and they might hide any evidence of atrocities in Eastern Europe and Western Europe.
 
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I wonder how Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism gets affected in Twilight of the Valkyries. Nazi antisemitism in general came to prominence due to the stab-in-the-back myth aka the Dolchstosslegende (Dagger stab legend) which claims that German Communists and/or Jews were responsible for the German Empire's downfall during World War I (which is of course an exaggeration at best and a half-truth at worst since it ignores the fact that one of the reasons why Germany lost World War I was due to the United States' intervention in the conflict which had already been growing since the Preparedness movement led by people such as Theodore Roosevelt and Leonard Wood after the Lusitania incident and that's not getting into the fact that there were German Jews that fought in the Imperial German Army numbering around 100,000 and a few were even involved in Freikorps-style militias such as Ernst Kantorowicz.

However given that all of the Operation Valkyrie plotters responsible for overthrowing Nazi Germany were ethnic Germans in the Wehrmacht and thus not Jews it would be very difficult for neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers to even reconcile the belief that the latter instigated World War II and caused the downfall of Germany and Western civilization. On the other hand, the German Reich will seek to distance themselves from Nazi Germany and they might hide any evidence of atrocities in Eastern Europe and Western Europe.
Or they might try to blame it all on Himmler and the SS which a lot of army personal tried in OTL.
 
Or they might try to blame it all on Himmler and the SS which a lot of army personal tried in OTL.
Very doubtful given that the SS were ideological fanatics in contrast to the Wehrmacht which while most of their members were Nazis there was a visible minority that was averse or even outright hostile to Nazism.
 
However given that all of the Operation Valkyrie plotters responsible for overthrowing Nazi Germany were ethnic Germans in the Wehrmacht and thus not Jews it would be very difficult for neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers to even reconcile the belief that the latter instigated World War II and caused the downfall of Germany and Western civilization.
You are quite ardently underestimating the mental hoops such people are willing to justify their beliefs. The standard conspiracy trope here is piss-easy: "Well, obviously the Jews couldn't be seen to do it themselves, so they got their gentile patsies to do it! Duh."

I mean, seriously, there are anti-semites who unironically claim the Holocaust was a Jewish conspiracy (when they aren't saying it never happened, naturally) which is, ya know, kinda Big Brain Galaxy Wokism of the highest order.
 
You are quite ardently underestimating the mental hoops such people are willing to justify their beliefs. The standard conspiracy trope here is piss-easy: "Well, obviously the Jews couldn't be seen to do it themselves, so they got their gentile patsies to do it! Duh."

I mean, seriously, there are anti-semites who unironically claim the Holocaust was a Jewish conspiracy (when they aren't saying it never happened, naturally) which is, ya know, kinda Big Brain Galaxy Wokism of the highest order.
Much of it tends to revolve blaming certain groups of people collectively for this or that because some of their own did something bad in their point of view. Since Operation Valkyrie succeeds in TTL and no Jews were ever involved in it they're going to have to find another way to handwave why ethnic Germans overthrew Nazi Germany and the Nazi Party without any supposed Jewish manipulation.
 
Or they might try to blame it all on Himmler and the SS which a lot of army personal tried in OTL.
I'm guessing that'll probably happen. With so much of the SS either dead or considered traitors anyway, it'll be very easy for the current leadership to start blaming the Holocaust on them, while they were the ones who mercifully put an end to the worst excesses. I have no doubt many of them are also purging any possible proof of their own involvement.
 
I'm guessing that'll probably happen. With so much of the SS either dead or considered traitors anyway, it'll be very easy for the current leadership to start blaming the Holocaust on them, while they were the ones who mercifully put an end to the worst excesses. I have no doubt many of them are also purging any possible proof of their own involvement.
The clean Wehrmacht stuff is going to be way more prominent in TTL's post-Nazi era Germany especially with the 20th July plot's success. There are even going to be monuments related to Wehrmacht soldiers and/or the 20 July plotters.
 
Much of it tends to revolve blaming certain groups of people collectively for this or that because some of their own did something bad in their point of view. Since Operation Valkyrie succeeds in TTL and no Jews were ever involved in it they're going to have to find another way to handwave why ethnic Germans overthrew Nazi Germany and the Nazi Party without any supposed Jewish manipulation.
As I said, the entire explanation will be the Valkyrie bunch were a bunch of Jewish patsies who were funded by something-something Illuminatis-Rothchild-Lizard People. The fact that no Jews were ever actually involved is irrelevant: their involvement will just be bullshitted in to the Anti-Semites narrative.
 
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