Post by melanie on Feb 21, 2022 4:02:55 GMT
(reposted from my talkelections dot org thread)
Operation Flash, part 1
There had been a mild undercurrent of opposition to Hitler thru most of his
rule. Of course the most famous attempt to terminate it was the July of 44
Plot, but it was by no means the only one. Much of what is posted hereafter is
off necessity speculation, but Operation Flash was planned in 42-43 by various
civilian and military elements of the Third Reich. As for the actual day it
also was another of those narrow misses, planned but foiled.
March 21, 1943
Hitler, Goering, Himmler and Keital all were standing near one of the collums
at the Zeughaus in Berlin. The Heldengendenktag (Hero's Day Memorial) had
briefly been delayed by a power blackout from a freak lightning storm. Now
they prepared to speak and briefly inspect some Soviet War trophies. Suddenly
from behind one of the pillers emerged Colonel Freiherr von Gersdoff, dressed
in a heavy overcoat. Hitler glanced over at the Colonel, who was barely
familar, but not an unexpected apparition. What came next was quite a suprise.
Gersdoff had packed his great coat with not one by 4 large bombs, supplied
curtesey of the Admiral Canaris. Outside of the acutal explosives Gersdoff had
padded several dozen shotgun shells. Approaching the four leaders Gersdoff did
not hesitate, he sidestepped an SS guard who had held up a hand and then
turned to look to Himmler. Now within 4 feet Gersdoff triggered his bombs.
Not trusting a delay fuse he had chosen an immediate option. The explosion
ripped through the hall instantly killing Gersdoff and the 4 Nazi leaders.
Operation Flash had begun*
Scaresely had the echo of the blast faded when a series of phone calls went out.
General Friedrich Olbricht - (Chief of Army Office), General Von Treschkow
(Army Group Center Chief of Staff), and belatedly General Friedrich Fromm (Head
of the Ersatzheer - Home Replacement Army) were all involved if not immediately
then within hours** Regular German army units quickly surrounded various
public buildings in Berlin and commands went out to the field armies announcing
the rather abrupt change in government.
The conspirators had several factors working in their favor. The largest
potential armed opponent was of course the SS. But with the death of Heydrich,
Himmler had been careful to groom no obvious rivals inside his organization.
The SS was structured as a personal feif, with Himmler gone no single voice
spoke for the SS, no rapid counterstrike was possible. The Party was the
largest political opposition. With the death of Hitler the most obvious
sucessor in the party structure was Goebbels. But Goebbels having been pushed
aside early in the war and only recently having returned to Hitler's good
graces was also unprepared to fill the vacuum. His opposition would take time,
time and access to his traditional levers of power - the press, radio and the
The Army was in a strong position to exploit its own power inside Germany. The
Soviet offensive had recently been blunted at Kharkov and the whole of the
Eastern front was essentially static so long as the 'season of mud' continued.
The Eastern generals could devote time to deal with the domestic situation and
not have to worry about what Ivan was up too. The Western allies were pressing
the Germans hard in Tunisia, but for now this front could be safely ignored.
Rapidly the army moved to exploit the conspiracy. A new German government
began to form.
*Gersdoff had actually brought 2 bombs to the Zeughaus, but chose a delay fuse.
When Hitler made an impromptu decision to cut his visit short the
assassination attempt was promptly aborted.
**Fromm in our TL was rather clueless, but the July 44 plotters believed he
would go along, and it seems to a degree he would.
Operation Flash, part 2
Morning March 22, 1943
At a hastily called meeting the various members of the
Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Riech Main Security Office) sat in Ernst
Kaltenbrunner (Heyrdich's sucessor) office. They were in oder of their
departments (but in no way in relection of their power):
1. Werner Best (Administration and Legal)
2. Franz Six (Ideological Investigations)
3. Otto Ohlendorf (German Life)
4. Heinrich Muller (Suppression of the Opposition)
5. Arthur Nebe (Suppression of Crime )
6. Heinz Jost (Foreign Intelligence)
IN addition SS Obergruppenfuhrer Kaurt Daluege (Hauptamt Odrnungspolizei -
Uniformed Police Department), Obergruppenfuhrer Karl Wolff (Himmler's Personal
Staff), Obergruppenfuhrer Gottlob Berger (Waffen SS Replacement Command) and
Hans Juttner who was both a Waffen SS General and an Obergrupenfuhrer (SS
Operations Department that included the Allgemeine SS and Waffen SS under the
As the various officers filed in they all looked over at Kaltenbrunner. Many
had been roused out of their beds and rushed to the Berlin SS HQ. The true
powers in the room were Kaltenbrunner, Muller, Nebe and perhaps Juttner.
Kaltnenbrunner began the meeting.
"Gentlemen, I am pleased to see that you are all safe and secure. After the
murder of our so many of our fine leaders the Riech is fortunate that so many
of the SS escaped the assassins."
"Cut the sh**t" interrupted Muller "Himmler is dead and we can dispense with
your toadying. I think we all know we are in some trouble here. If those pigs
in the army pull this off then our heads will soon roll."
Most of the others nodded in agreement and Muller continued "Now we need to
strike back and quick. But we can't fight blind here. We have to know what
they have and what we have got."
"Percisely the point of this meeting Herr Muller" offered Kaltenbrunner,
reasserting control. Daluege here has used his sources with the regular police
to get a picture of what strenght the plotters have. If you would be so kind
Daluege looked down at a typed sheet. "It seems that the initial unit the
traitors used was the 9th Infantry regiment"
"From Potsdam" interjected Berger
"Yes." replied Daluege and continued "Initially they were spread pretty thin on
the ground which seems to be why most of us were able to concentrate here. Now
however General Fromm of the Replacement Army seems to have gone over the the
enemy. Several regiment size units, many commanded by officers from the 9th
are spreading out over the city. We also have reports of arrests in Paris and
in Russia. By now I would expect they have perhaps 30,000 troops in Berlin.
For now the bulk of the police seem to be cooperating with the conspirators,
but they haven't moved to arrest any of our own yet."
"Can we meet them in the streets with our police and reserve units?" asked
Juttner looked over at Berger who looked down and away. Juttner relied "We
don't have any real force here in the city. We have serveral training depots,
but most have recently shipped out their cadets. At best I can put 5,000 in
the street, and they will be lightly armed. However with time and access to
"A luxury we do not have." said Nebe "I have note from Martin Luther" For a
moment several in the room looked at Nebe, wondering if the man had gone mad,
but Luther was a common enough name, and Nebe explained "He is in Von
Ribbentrop office. His son Rudolf is a 1st Lieutenant with the SS
Leibstandarte. As I recall he won the Knights Cross and First Class Iron
"Enough triva." Interrupted Muller
"Yes" said Nebe "It appears the conspirators want to use Von Ribbentrop as a go
between. They want to avoid a civil war. I suppose they chose the champagne
salesman (von Ribbentrop's nickname) as a harmless go-between. He may not be
to bright but he was certainly loyal to the Furher."
"What do they want?" asked Six
"We don't know." replied Nebe "But apprently they will offer us a deal. A deal
to avoid a civil war. My question" he paused and looked over at Kaltenbrunner
"our question is do we negotiate."
'ing traitors, we need to hang them all!" offered Muller
"Undoubtly so" observed Berger "but with what? We don't have enough rope here.
I doubt they will let the Waffen SS bring troops in. Perhaps we can get out
of the city but then they will control the capital."
"So we deal." observed Kaltenbrunner.
Operation Flash, part 3
Carl Goerdeler looked out into the courtyard. Several dozen long black cars
were arriving to drop off their charges. He had made sure that an 'honor'
guard of Fromm's troops lined the entry. Stiffened with some of the 9th they
had provided an impressive site. He wondered if Goebbels could appreciate the
effect. Here was the little man leaving his car and looking up towards the
window. Goerdeler smiled down. He noticed the slight limp that still plagued
the good doctor from his childhood illness. To bad it didn't finish him off,
mused Carl and then turned back to the room. He looked at the men waiting.
Carefully he measured them. The army looked calm, but then the Wehrmacht had a
good deal of practice in dealing with hostile environments. General Friedrich
Olbricht the chief of the army office was their principle representative.
Canaris was impossible to read indeed he gave an air of mild amusement. He
remembers when the conspirators had phoned to tell him that Hitler had been
killed. The Abwehr admiral had asked "By the Russians?". It must have driven
the SS tap on his phone wild. Now he sat next to Dohnanyi exchanging
pleasantries. A suprise at the table was Albert Kesselring of the Luftwaffe.
Recently arrived from Tunis to plead with the late Furher over some issue he
now found himself as the only available Luftwaffe Field Marshal, the
represtative of the 2 million odd men in the air force. Indeed at first it
appeared as if Kesselring would balk at attending this meeting, that was until
the intercession of the star guest. Aside from Canaris the navy was formally
represented by its former chief Grand Admiral Raeder, now Inspector-General of
the Navy, presumably he would report to Donitz his former subordinate and now
head of the Kriegsmarine. Goerdeler looked lastly down at the civilians. Many
he realized were quite hopeless, too idealistic, to rightous. But he had
become the mayor of LIepzig by using such men and he would use them again. He
nodded casually to Popitz and the others, let the games begin. Popitz stood up
and walked to the door. He nodded to the sentry outside who opened it and in
came the others - the SS, the Party and the Government. Let the games begin.