@Ottens I found the story online! On the Baen website.
Interesting story! Lots of dieselpunk themes with a noir-y feel. Glad you found it for us :-)
You may have noticed already, but I just republished another of Dale's WW2 scenarios on the blog: What if Poland stopped the Blitz?
@Ottens An interesting take. I felt the deck had to be stacked a bit too much in Poland's favor for the scenario to be plausible, but it was entertaining. The assassination of Hitler is glossed over too quickly though. Who is in charge afterword? Is it still the NSDAP or did some other movement take power? If it is the Nazis then who is the leader, and how do they try to spin Hitler's assassination? Do they blame Communists? A dead Hitler in 1940 brings in all kinds of questions.
That's a fair point. I can't speak for Dale, of course, but I think the most credible way to get rid of Hitler is for the likes of Ludwig Beck and Hans Oster -- generals and secret service chiefs -- to get rid of him and the top Nazi leadership, including the SS. That's what I did in my "What if World War II never happened?" scenario.
The alternative is probably a power struggle in the Nazi Party. If we're talking early 1940s, I would say Hermann Göring stands the best chance with Rudolf Hess in second place. Later on, as Göring is discredited by the Luftwaffe's defeat in the Battle of Britain, Hess goes berserk and the SS becomes a true state-within-a-state, probably Himmler is the most likely candidate?
Yeah, I agree later on it would be a power struggle between Himmler and Speer, and in 1940 it would most likely be Goring. But a Germany with Goring at the helm in 1940 probably wouldn't invade the Soviet Union, at least not right away. If the goal is to avoid WW2 It might be easier just to have Hitler be another gas casualty of WW1 and have the Nazis, if they exist at all as a sort of loony ethnonationalist junior partner to a quasi fascist DNVP government or something. The Weimar government was doomed; It was just a sort of defacto government after Red 1918 was put down, none of the players wanted it aside from some moderate factions in the Social Democrats/Reichsbanner. Something had to give, but if the Nazis aren't at play I'm not sure what happens in Germany.
I doubt Speer could have pulled it off. I read several biographies about him many years ago. He was Hitler's favorite, but he didn't have a lot of support within the rest of the party. In fact, most other leaders disliked him because of his close relationship to Hitler. And I'm not sure he would have even had the ambition.
If we point our point of divergence earlier, and take the Nazis out of the equation altogether, I suggest one of three things could happen: