• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

How do you Wreck the Reich?

varyar

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Western New York
#1
I just had the notion, maybe prompted by the reviews of In and Out of the Reich that went up today, of maybe going back to that setting in the wake of the collapse of the Nazi regime.

All I have so far is an opening paragraph:

The most remarkable thing about the Reich’s collapse is perhaps it’s swiftness. It’s hard to believe but only six months separate the first underground labor movement strikes in Danzig and X from the Siegallee Protests and the Volkshalle Vigil.

And the idea the story would center on Narrator and Therese meeting various Europeans (and non-Europeans) trying to get by in the post-Nazi Reich.

Some possible subjects for interviews/encounters

A leader of said underground labor movement.
A priest from the underground Catholic Church.
A German resident expelled from one of the now-independent western nations (Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, whatnot).
A Gauleiter who went over to the provisional government (probably Sibylle's father so she can show up again).
A homicide detective in Hitlerstadt Berlin.
A State Department diplomat based in a consulate somewhere in the East.

And an epilogue with Narrator and Therese watching the sun rise at the lake of the village she was born in.

But I'm still stuck on how to bring the Reich down without just going USSR Reich Moscow Berlin General Secretary Fuhrer. Any ideas on what could happen in those six months to kick down the whole rotten thing?
 

Skinny87

WELCOME TO LUFTWAFFLES HOME OF THE GRAND SLAM
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Pronouns
He/Him
#2
The feeling I got was that you've sown the seeds already, with the divide between the SS Cult and the latest youth generation, I.e. Therese Lohmeyer, and those kids executed for drug smuggling in the first story. There's plenty if disenchantment just needing a trigger

A rough idea:

  • Escalating international tensions (the border with China perhaps?)
  • Limited nuclear exchange with China over a border conflict that gets out of hand
  • Some sort of confusion or deliberate mistake by the Commonwealth or USA leads to Allied nuclear strikes as well
  • Hitlerstadt is gone, as is ?New York and Beijing or a secondary city
  • In the quiet of the aftermath of the first strikes, we see confusion turn to terror and anger as it becomes clear that the Reich isn't actually an invincible global hegemony, and has actually lost tens of millions to no real effect
  • The SS Cult attempt to provide leadership, only to blunder badly with ill-timed rhetoric- perhaps leading to another exchange?
  • This results in wave after wave of strikes, desertions, and units turning on the SS. You said yourself in the triptych that there are six armed forces - what if the Luftwaffe and its field divisions feel like not dying in a radioactive blizzard, and maybe the Kriegsmarine as well?
  • And the youngest generation, having listened to those Free Europe magazines and so forth, also don't want to die - so they start protesting. Emphasise that these protests are ill-coordinated and often random, and many are brutally put down, but that just makes it worse
  • Stagger it over time - just as the protests start to die down, then come the desertions as troops refuse to fire and mutiny, and then maybe in the depths of the East the Chinese and Russians start advancing
  • Put it all together and you can have a disintegration that's quite organic, fuelled by nuclear war and Allies propaganda
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#3
But I'm still stuck on how to bring the Reich down without just going USSR Reich Moscow Berlin General Secretary Fuhrer. Any ideas on what could happen in those six months to kick down the whole rotten thing?
A pure USSR analogy isn't going to work, and not just for literary reasons, since the Reich isn't an on-paper loose federation.

What I think could work is turning the by-design factional squabbling (that would get a lot worse in the absence of the immediate threat of a World War ) into leveraging one hole after another.

I'm thinking the first shoe is an internal step-down that's something more like the ousting of Kruschev more than any real revolution. This still gives the dangerous precedent of power change being present.
The second is an embarassing tactical defeat against dissidents that in technical practice would be of no more concern than the ATF's botched raid on Waco but still adds to the feeling of "they're weaker than we thought".
The third is to have some sort of coup which succeeds, but further continues the idea that political change is possible. Thus the opportunists leap in, but can't control what they started...
 

Arthur_Phuxache

Octopuses on Disco Biscuits & Nationalise Swans.
#4
But I'm still stuck on how to bring the Reich down without just going USSR Reich Moscow Berlin General Secretary Fuhrer. Any ideas on what could happen in those six months to kick down the whole rotten thing?
Elite panic is a thing, and even the Führer himself was not immune to it.

Even so, the likes of Hitler, Himmler, Hess, Ley, and even von Schirach will have died off by the 1980s, and there's no guarantee the products of the Napolas, and from the frontline of the Sieg über den Bolschewismus won't go all Ceaucescu if the volk get all uppity.

Even victory produces damaged personalities.

The Warsaw Pact was one of the strongest militaries in the world in 1990, by 1993 it was mostly gone.

Peace breeds complacency.
 
Last edited:

Skinny87

WELCOME TO LUFTWAFFLES HOME OF THE GRAND SLAM
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Pronouns
He/Him
#5
@varyar these are all very good ideas. I'd say your two frameworks available are:
  1. Internal power struggle and coup and counter-coup and counter-counter-coup cause so much chaos that each Berlin Pact country abandons ship
  2. External conflict leads to leadership decapitation and internal disruption, in turn leading to what I posted above
I suppose the key question is whether you want your story to kick off with a political or military focus, and the level of damage done. If you're going for the same travelogue-style as the triptych, I suppose the first option would be the best, as the second would mean radiation disrupting train and air travel
 

varyar

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Western New York
#6
Thanks, errybody! Good ideas.

My current thinking is that a nuclear war, even a limited one, is a step too far. A conventional war with China would work better, but there's the small fact they don't share a border (the Chinese troops on the Urals are there just to remind the Reich that crossing the line means WW3). Perhaps the Nazis, rattled by growing domestic dissent, go for a war with Iran like that Wehraboo in the second story suggested, and China mobilizes to help? The Reich backs down, which triggers a power struggle at the top level. The SS hardliners find out they're not, in fact, as popular as they thought. Millions take to the streets and... something plays out that's not like a carbon copy of Moscow in 1991. There's no Yeltsin analogue, really, but instead, after the hardliners and not-so-hardliners wear each other out for a few days, a rival, sort-of-democratic government emerges out of the labor and student protests? (It has to be based in Frankfurt, of course.)

How does that sound?
 

Skinny87

WELCOME TO LUFTWAFFLES HOME OF THE GRAND SLAM
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Pronouns
He/Him
#7
Thanks, errybody! Good ideas.

My current thinking is that a nuclear war, even a limited one, is a step too far. A conventional war with China would work better, but there's the small fact they don't share a border (the Chinese troops on the Urals are there just to remind the Reich that crossing the line means WW3). Perhaps the Nazis, rattled by growing domestic dissent, go for a war with Iran like that Wehraboo in the second story suggested, and China mobilizes to help? The Reich backs down, which triggers a power struggle at the top level. The SS hardliners find out they're not, in fact, as popular as they thought. Millions take to the streets and... something plays out that's not like a carbon copy of Moscow in 1991. There's no Yeltsin analogue, really, but instead, after the hardliners and not-so-hardliners wear each other out for a few days, a rival, sort-of-democratic government emerges out of the labor and student protests? (It has to be based in Frankfurt, of course.)

How does that sound?
Yeah that sounds good!
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#8
Thanks, errybody! Good ideas.

My current thinking is that a nuclear war, even a limited one, is a step too far. A conventional war with China would work better, but there's the small fact they don't share a border (the Chinese troops on the Urals are there just to remind the Reich that crossing the line means WW3). Perhaps the Nazis, rattled by growing domestic dissent, go for a war with Iran like that Wehraboo in the second story suggested, and China mobilizes to help? The Reich backs down, which triggers a power struggle at the top level. The SS hardliners find out they're not, in fact, as popular as they thought. Millions take to the streets and... something plays out that's not like a carbon copy of Moscow in 1991. There's no Yeltsin analogue, really, but instead, after the hardliners and not-so-hardliners wear each other out for a few days, a rival, sort-of-democratic government emerges out of the labor and student protests? (It has to be based in Frankfurt, of course.)

How does that sound?
Sounds good, and you could have politics really holding them back.

For instance, the rattlings of unrest keep most of the best-equipped and theoretically greatest SS units back home to crush any revolts. The Luftwaffe gives almost all air support to its ground units, whether they need it or not You could have Luftwaffe planes keep ineffectually bombing dug-in second-line opposing troops in front of the field divisions instead of covering the land advance. The naval units hog as many of the supplies they ship by sea as possible. There's very, very, little overall coordination.

Beyond that, the bulk of the army hasn't trained to fight a conventional war, but their opponents have. Their generals are busy plotting intricate schemes of manuever their troops can't hold to.

How disastrous do you want the conventional war to be, if you do it? An embarassing propaganda loss, or an outright "the army breaks and they run back to their own borders" loss?
 

TheIO

Paid shill for Big Spunk
Patreon supporter
#9
Sounds good, and you could have politics really holding them back.

For instance, the rattlings of unrest keep most of the best-equipped and theoretically greatest SS units back home to crush any revolts. The Luftwaffe gives almost all air support to its ground units, whether they need it or not You could have Luftwaffe planes keep ineffectually bombing dug-in second-line opposing troops in front of the field divisions instead of covering the land advance. The naval units hog as many of the supplies they ship by sea as possible. There's very, very, little overall coordination.

Beyond that, the bulk of the army hasn't trained to fight a conventional war, but their opponents have. Their generals are busy plotting intricate schemes of manuever their troops can't hold to.

How disastrous do you want the conventional war to be, if you do it? An embarassing propaganda loss, or an outright "the army breaks and they run back to their own borders" loss?
I'm getting strong 80s Iraq vibes here for some reason and I like it.
 

varyar

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Western New York
#10
In other news, what would be a good location in the Reich for a Reich continuity of government facility a la Mount Weather? Somewhere in the Scandinavian mountains or the Alps?
 

Torten

Well-known member
#14
Could you have SS holdouts causing trouble in the east, where control by the new vaguely Democratic government is weaker? Perhaps a reichkommissionat declares independence from Berlin? And the partisans get more aggressive in the face of a new government which shows little interest in anything east of Moscow (Rurikberg?) at best?
 

varyar

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Western New York
#15
Could you have SS holdouts causing trouble in the east, where control by the new vaguely Democratic government is weaker? Perhaps a reichkommissionat declares independence from Berlin? And the partisans get more aggressive in the face of a new government which shows little interest in anything east of Moscow (Rurikberg?) at best?
Oh, I like the idea of a UDI from one of the RKs. Probably Moscow (the city got renamed Arischburg, can't remember what the RK was called) as it likely has the most people. And definitely gonna be a huge increase in partisan activity.
 

The Red

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#16
The most remarkable thing about the Reich’s collapse is perhaps it’s swiftness. It’s hard to believe but only six months separate the first underground labor movement strikes in Danzig and X from the Siegallee Protests and the Volkshalle Vigil.
Looking at this line specifically could there maybe be some worth in an analogy to the "Second Reich" in the First World War? Like, it was around six months between Haig at the height of the Spring Offensive talking about backs against the wall and fighting to the last man to the Kiel Mutiny that sparked the November revolution. Obviously there are underlying factors there as there will be here but even then there could be parallels; the Heer breaking during Hundred Days, the Heer breaking in Iran, etc.
 

CaliGuy

Active member
#17
This might be a bit wild and out there, but what about having the Nazi German government severely mishandle their response to a particular severe pandemic such as the current coronavirus pandemic? Might that work for this? If a lot of people are going to be perceived as needlessly dying, then there's a chance that this could produce mass protests in a surviving Nazi Germany. Then, you could have the authorities try cracking down on these protests, but not to the full extent that's actually necessary to crush these protests (think Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine in 2013-2014 in real life; this might actually be possible if Nazi Germany's leadership becomes more "reformist" by this specific point in time)--thus causing these protests to become larger, more intense, and eventually more violent--with them ultimately culminating in some kind of regime change (again, similar to Ukraine in 2013-2014 in real life).