Plots to declare world leaders insane

It seems like every election cycle we see a news story about how this candidate, or that potential challenger is “mentally unfit for office.” This typically means that the opinion writer, or news host making the claim disagrees with that candidate, and nothing more. Everyone once in a while they will even find a psychologist as a guest who agrees with the host, but somehow has never met, nor examined the candidate in question. There have been times in history where it might have been true.

I have been reading this fascinating book by William Breuer about some of the previously Top Secret stories that went on during World War II. There was an instance before the war that several military leaders had an active plot to declare Hitler insane. I think we can all agree that in this case, the leader they worried about actually was completely nuts.

In November of 1937 there was a meeting of top General and Admirals with Hitler. Hitler had summoned them to discuss future plans.

It is an important historical note that Hitler was a corporal in the German Army during World War I. He had been in the trenches in France, which was the worst of the fighting. During his time there he had been gassed with chemical weapons, and earned the Iron Cross, First Class, for Valor. This is unique for an enlisted man.

Before the meeting began Hitler swore everyone in the room to secrecy. This might be a surprise for a group of General Officers who keep military secrets and know how to not disclose things publicly. However, this was not the only surprise of the day.

These men sat and listened as the madman announced his plan to gain more living space for the German people. It appears he was determined to annex or conquer, whatever was necessary, Austria, Czeckoslovakia, and Poland. Then, when Germany was powerful enough, he intended to invade the Soviet Union.

The officers in the room were certain that France and Great Britain would never stand for this. Hitler had an answer ready. These two nations would only launch a war of words, and would never do anything more than talk.

Hitler went on to describe how he would accept nothing less than absolute and total obedience from his officer corps. Then he said the operation was to be launched in 1938, then completed by 1943.

The men were surprised to say the least. Hitler was not even supposed to have much of a standing army as part of the agreement that ended World War I. That didn’t bother Hitler, he was getting ready to fight a war of conquest, and nothing would stop him.

At this point a group of these Generals, Admirals, some civilian leaders, and a few government officials created a conspiratorial group who would declare the man insane.

The leader of this group was General Ludwig Beck (I have written about him before, this isn’t his only disagreement with Hitler, Click here for previous article). Beck was regarded by other German Generals, and many world leaders as a man of honor and integrity.

Their plan was simple. Unfortunately, it was also known as coup d’état.

In their plan, Hitler would be arrested in Berlin, and great care would be taken to ensure he wasn’t killed. They needed him discredited so that none of his closest confidants would take power and make things worse.

He would then be put on trial. The claim that they intended to make was based on his medical history from the Great War. The had obtained former Corporal Hitler’s records which said that he had “gone mad” from being gassed.

Kicking off the plan would be simple.

At the right time, General Fellgiebel, the chief signals officer, would cut all communications throughout Germany. That would isolate Hitler in Berlin. At the same exact time, General Erwin von Witzleben, the commander of the military in Berlin, would rush his men into the capital and arrest Hitler along with his two top aids. These two men you may have heard of before: General Hermann Goering, and Heinrich Himmler.

Once on trial, according to their plan, Hitler was to be exposed as totally nutso. They would tell the world that his madness had caused him to put together a plan for world domination, and the execution of that plan would be the demise of Germany.

Once a judge declared Hitler to be nuts they would put him in an institution under constant armed guard.

The only question was when to strike because they had an issue. Hitler had the absolute love of most of the German military. He also had some of the biggest names in German industry on his side. It appears Hitler rebuilding the military was making them very rich. That, in turn, because of some of the higher salaries being paid made many of the German people really like Hitler, and they didn’t realize that he was crazy. So, these men had an issue.

They determined that they needed to time things just right. They could not launch the plan until Hitler did something to turn the German people against him. Unfortunately, by time that happened it was a little late.

If you enjoy history, like this, you may enjoy a Novel I had the pleasure of working on, which you can find by clicking on the title: China Bones.

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Did Winston Churchill have ESP?

After the Battle of Britain in 1940 air raids of England, especially London, became so common that when air raids sirens went off people would roll their eyes.

Winston Churchill was one individual who lived through these continuous raids. On May 10, 1940, the British Bulldog met with King George VI and was told he would be running the government from that point forward, replacing Neville Chamberlain.

The very next day Chamberlain resigned, and Churchill took over as Prime Minister. Part of his job was to direct the British war effort against the Nazis.

Churchill was a courageous leader, and decided it was not proper to lead from inside some deep bunker. He left the safety of the bomb shelters and traveled at night to anti-aircraft batteries to inspire the crews.

One night, during a bombing, he visited an anti-aircraft gun, and team and saw that the gun barrels were still red hot. He spoke to the crew, and made his way back to his car. His aide opened the door, he started to get in the car when he decided to make his way to the other side of the car and get in himself, instead of with the help of someone. The aid was used to Churchill doing odd things, and didn’t think anything of it.

The limo had been driving for a few minutes through the streets of London when a bomb exploded causing it to go up to two wheels for a few seconds before settling back down.

Churchill’s comment afterwards was “I must say, that was some ride!”

He also explained that, “my beef on the left hand side of the limo had caused it to pull down.” Basically he was saying that his weight kept the car from rolling over.

He was speaking to his wife about it and basically said he just felt like getting in the other side, which he almost never did. His wife, and he, commented on several future occasions that there was a higher power guiding him that night. Was that true? Was it just luck? Who knows, but it is an interesting bit of luck that he lived through what was a very close call.

Who the hell was that German Scientist that wanted to stop Hitler

As a Scientist, I love this story.

In 1939 War was looming on the German horizon. Everywhere in Europe people knew it was coming. The problem for Hitler was that the German Herrenvolk (people) really wanted to live in peace.

Late in August of that year there was an American correspondent wandering around Berlin interviewing citizens. Think of it like a late 30s “man on the street” style interview done by many of today’s news organizations. The reporter wrote in his diary one night the following: “Everybody here is against the war. How can a country get into a major war with a population so dead set against it?” Think the U.S. was the first to do such a thing? Think again.

Adolf Hitler had an answer to this question. He would use propaganda. In fact, he had a series of people whose job it was to spin the story in a way to make it look like Germany had no choice, or was doing it for the “good of the people.” Sound familiar?

Sept 1, 1939 five German armies, swarms of dive bombers poured into Poland. These soldiers converged on Warsaw from three sides. This attack was so deadly, and so precise, that they had to come up with a way to describe it. This attack was the origination of the term Blitzkrieg.

On Sept 3, 1939 Hitler received and ultimatum from the British Prime Minister that he must withdraw or the British would declare war.

England and France declared war, Germany did not withdraw, and Poland fell 27 days after that first invasion.

Here is where the story gets weird.

In October of 1939 Vice Admiral Hector Boyes, the Royal Navy attache to Norway was at the embassy in that nation and received a hand written, anonymous letter. The letter said that if the British wanted a load of German technical information on weapons development programs they should say the following words on a news broadcast: “Hellu, hier ist London,” which in English means Hello here is London.

MI-6 had to make a choice. Was this the letter of a crazy person? Those things happen in the intel business. Was this the German’s throwing some psychological warfare their direction? Was it someone who was going to reveal the secrets to German beer? It could have been anything.

They did as the letter requested.

On November 4, 1939, a guard at a British embassy in Norway found a package sitting on a stone ledge. The package contained 8 pages of notes and additional pages of technical drawings of some Top-Secret German programs. These were details of the V1 and V2 rockets. Well, most British experts were skeptical, until these weapons showed up on the battlefield.

These same experts started to work on countermeasures based on those drawings once they were known to be real.

Then starts the real debate on the British Engineering side of this situation. How could one person get so much data? Was it just one person? Was there a large scientific conspiracy? They couldn’t figure it out.

It was clear that who, or whatever group it was wanted to stop Hitler.

Interestingly, to this day, to the best of my knowledge…no one ever found out who it was.

I would really like to know who it was, but that information is lost to history.

Check out the books section of my website! Thanks for visiting.

A World War II Lesson, and Hitler’s Rise to Power Applied to Modern American Politics

In the United States politics has evolved into this sort of blood sport with people separating themselves by party. Once put into groups there are members of those groups who follow the various party leaders almost without question. I’m convinced that some people, if their party leadership said jump off a bridge, it would be helpful to our cause, there would be a few people doing exactly as ordered.

It is getting close to these “cults of personality” that have been discussed before in an older post you can find by clicking the words cult of personality. I am not saying we are Nazi Germany, but do we have the potential?

When we rally behind politicians because they are “the hope” or the one who will “make us great again” for no other reason than we like the buzz word, or worse, just hate that other person running for office so much we will go with anything to make sure they don’t win that we might be repeating some mid-20th century history.

Now for our applicable bit of History.

On June 29, 1934, the Chief of the German General Staff, (General Ludwig Beck) met with Adolf Hitler. Beck had recently taken this position, and had sought it out, because he had concerns about the man in question.

Remember that Hitler had been a Corporal (and not a good one) in World War I, which had ended in 1918. Doing the math that is only 16 years, and in 1924 Hitler had spent 9 months in prison.

Doing another bit of math, as we continue to watch people rise to prominence in the United States over night, at very young ages and inexperience levels, Hitler was born in 1889. That makes him 45 years of age at this point. Yet, 17 months prior to this meeting in 1934 Hitler had been appointed, not elected, as Chancellor of all of Germany by the elderly, and known to be senile President Paul von Hindenburg.

General Beck had requested his current assignment because as part of his job he would have to know what Hitler’s real plans for Germany were. He had a concern that the young leader would want to re-arm Germany that had disbanded most of its military after World War I, and then launch a war of expansion. Hitler denied these claims, but Beck wasn’t so sure. In that meeting, he warned Hitler that any war started by Germany would quickly become multi-front and that their beloved country would not survive.

There is a military lesson there. Never try to fight a war on more than one front. It never goes well. The US has a policy that we should be ready to do so, but in my opinion as a veteran, we should fight fewer wars. We should also never fight two at once. Sorry for the digression, back to my point.

After the meeting, General Beck returned to his office where that same afternoon he received a phone call from Admiral Wilhelm Canaris. The admiral had been a highly productive and especially talented spy in World War I. During that phone call Canaris expressed to the General that he held many of the same concerns about Hitler.

That information dump from Canaris had another, far more dangerous bit of information. If word leaked out that this was known, surely both of them would have been in danger. Canaris knew, and shared with General Beck, that Hitler was preparing to wipe out (sometimes with deadly action) anyone opposed to his Nazi regime, and intentions to take complete control of Germany.

First on the hit list were General Kurt von Schleicher, Hitler’s predecessor as Chancellor. Second was General Kurt von Bredow who was Schleicher’s friend and assistant.

General Beck was concerned. He was so against such action that at great personal risk he warned Schleicher who said he wasn’t worry.

At noon, June 30, 1934, the very next day after all this took place 5 men walked into Schleicher’s home, found him in his study hard at work, and shot him to death. The noise cause his wife to burst into the room to see what was going on, and she was also gunned down.

General Bredow was notified of this murder two hours later. He was concerned and told the man he was meeting with that “Schleicher was the only man who could save Germany.”

Bredow was in his home a little after 5pm that same day. Two men rang the bell, Bredow came to the door and was shot to death.

With this action, Hitler had set in motion a plan to annihilate anyone who opposed him. But this was about to become more political.

General Werner von Blomberg ordered that Schleicher and Bredow were to be regarded as traitors. He further ordered that no General or Admiral was to attend their funeral. These orders, of course, originated with nonother than Adolf Hitler.

In an act of opposition, General Beck and Admiral Canaris went to the funeral. Not only did they go, but they went in full uniform and participated. They were stopped at the gates to the cemetery by SS officers who were loyal to Hitler. So, the control freak was going to get what he wanted, one way or the other.

On August 2, 1934, the 87-year-old President Paul Ludwig von Hindenburg died. Prior to his death, Hitler had obtained a Political Testament from the man that Adolf should replace him. Recall that Hindenburg was known to be senile. Senility is a legitimate concern in political leaders, something the world should take pay attention to, and prevent. Looking at the members of the House and Senate in the United States, one can ask the question how many suffer from such issues.

Moments after Hindenburg’s deal Hitler declared himself the fuhrer (supreme leader).

Hitler’s next act was to order all of Germany’s Generals and Admirals to assemble. He made them swear an oath, not to Germany, but to Hitler. This same oath was then repeated by the military all over Germany:

“I swear by God the holy oath, that I will render to Adolf Hitler, Fuhrer of the German nation and people, supreme commander of the armed forces, unconditional obedience, and I am ready as a brave soldier to risk my life at any time for this oath.”

Kind of frightening words if you think about it. Yet how many political parties are now demanding allegiance on every single issue in their platform. If you don’t agree leave the party is the general mantra these days.

Next up Hitler wasn’t done removing opposition. He had two more generals on his radar. First was General Werner von Blomberg, and the General Werner von Fritch. These two were to be the handy work of Hermann Goering. This time they weren’t killed, they were politically destroyed. Someone found dirt (of a sexual nature involving prostitutes) and used it to force them to “retire for health reasons.”

So, you see, Hitler new the game. Kill those you must to show you can, then destroy other opposition’s reputations. Whatever it takes to get to the top. Next time we have a campaign season, watch the number of negative ads and see if this one still takes place.

At this point the world had started to take note of Germany’s Generals having some kind of health epidemic. They also realized that Hitler had seized control of Germany with only a few shots being fired.

The moral of this story is several things.

First, appearances matter to the rest of the world. Our political leadership needs to know this, and realized their actions matter.

Second, blindly following a political leader because a large party of people said so, might not be a great idea. It is ok to question people of your own party, respectfully, and even disagree. Blindly following, well, is a really bad idea.

Third, could Hitler have been stopped by General Beck? Perhaps his spy friend? I think so. Had either one gone public, or just shot the man, the world might have been saved and 10s of millions of lives spared. The holocaust might not have happened.

Finally, these lessons show us we must question our leaders. We must hold them to their word. When they say things like “I will protect this group of citizens from that other evil group,” all of these things matter. Divisiveness is bad. The thought that we shouldn’t question a leader, even one we voted for, is ludicrous. The fact that citizens will cut friends from their life, or call each other names, or even get into fights for the mere act of giving or attending a speech…just silly.

We need to come together as a nation, learn from history, and move forward as a nation that can, and will lead the world into an era of peace.

As a P.S. to this post. I was researching this time in history for an idea I had for an Historic Thriller novel. If you are a history buff, like fiction novels, and want to know more about the WWII actions in the Pacific theatre, you may enjoy my book China Bones. It can be found on Amazon (click on the words China Bones).

Vietnam War Magazine – Cover Story – Trapped at Loc Ninh

As a guy who writes, reads and enjoys historic fiction novels I commonly read magazines that target different historic events. I was reading a current copy of one that targets the Viet Nam War. The cover story is an interesting event about a group of surrounded and outgunned soldiers.

Being a curious guy I picked it up, and realized that the cover story was indeed about an event in the war that was worth a cover story. When I started reading I became frightened. The first two to three pages were dates, locations, distances, unit numbers, and of course the obligatory facts and figures about armaments.

I kept thinking to myself, wow this is really getting painful, and should have been done in power point, not in paragraph form. Then, I continued to read. It did get better. It put me in the middle of the battle. I was right alongside the men as tracers filled the sky and trees exploded from RPG hits.

The article touched on something that I don’t see often enough.

When the concept of War or battles comes up there is a part of the population that likes to glorify these things, and there is a good reason to do so, to a certain limit.

In a modern sense, there are also those who are very quick to claim we should “send troops,” or “put boots on the ground,” whenever a world event happens.

As a military veteran, I always roll my eyes when I hear this. Typically, it comes from someone who hasn’t served, hasn’t been overseas, and whose involvement with the military involves sharing pictures of flags on their social media pages.

The article touches, specifically and well, on the fact that when soldiers see things that happen on the battle field it sticks with them forever. It is not normal to see someone blown to pieces before your eyes. It is not a normal behavior to throw rounds down range and kill people. These are things then men and women do, but it isn’t something we should rush into. It sticks with them an impacts the rest of their lives.

We should honor veterans for their sacrifices, we should thank them, and we should ensure that far fewer people ever must see combat.

Several of my books (click books at the top of this page) are about different military actions (some historic fiction, some pure fiction), but I try to give combat as it is, not as it is typically glorified to be. Thankfully multiple combat vets have left reviews that said, “you got it right.”

For that, thank you, and to our combat vets for their service, and sacrifice, thank you. I hope we are in a position to have fewer combat veterans in the future.

Degrees – A random reader review from Goodreads

Like most authors I do like to look at feedback from various readers. It helps form concepts and styles for future works. I found this review of a book I worked on with Devon Crowe just sitting there on Goodreads.com and I am glad that this person noted all the hard work put into this novel.

The book is called Degrees and can be found on Amazon in Print, Kindle, and Audiobook.

“Earth is currently the only place we have to call home. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to take care of our home not only for ourselves but for future generations. Our consumption rate is out of control with no end in sight. The consequences of our daily actions are beginning to rear their ugly heads and we must find suitable, and sometimes drastic, solutions for the betterment of the entire planet. This behavior cannot go on forever. Although the book is written in a fictional format, the issues are not fictional. This book addresses very real problems and issues we are now facing. There will always be naysayer in our world no matter what the issue. Finding real, workable solutions so that we can live to debate other issues is what I hope we can achieve. I congratulate the authors on the extensive research and work in these areas of science and being able to bring the information to the masses in such a way to be understandable and thought-provoking. I truly look forward to the next installment.”

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

I have always enjoyed Edgar Rice Burroughs writing. The challenge of today is that some of his earlier work is so old that it uses some language that is a bit archaic. I recently finished up a project that resulted in an annotated (footnoted) version of this book to help readers with the language that can be found on Amazon in kindle and print forms.

This book is really interesting, even today. First published in 1912, more than a hundred years ago, doesn’t stop it from containing themes that make you think about the society we are faced with even today.

First, let’s just say this up front, his information about Mars is a bit old. He did base the descriptions of Mars based on an 1895 work by Percival Lowell who speculated that the red planet was an arid and dying landscape. Percival went on to say that the inhabitants of that planet had been forced to build canals so that they could bring water from the polar caps to the usable land more near the equator. In the early 20th century Lowell published two more times developing the concept of a dying planet, and Burroughs used those ideas in this science fiction novel very well.

The book starts out as a western, but rapidly turns science fiction when John Carter, our hero, is transported to Mars through an ancient Indian cave out in Arizona. The book then touches on race, race relations, and even brings up population control with a strange form of abortion of babies that just weren’t quite perfect (post birth). He then weaves in narratives of love, dominance of the greater warrior, and even fairness in warfare. He seemed to be a real believer that in order for warfare to “count” it would only be honorable if both sides used similar weapons.

Those are all certainly topics that apply to the world in the early 21st century. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction, and also just to kick off some philosophical thoughts of any number of inter-human (or Martian?) relationships.

 

How would Aliens view us? Edgar Rice Burroughs told us a century ago

I was recently taking some time to read for pleasure. That is something that I don’t get a chance to do often because, well, work, kids, and I’m sure I can come up with a dozen more excuses, but they are just excuses.

When I was a kid there were loads of UFO stories that flew around. Now, they don’t happen as often thanks to modern technology. People understand what is flying around above them.

However, that doesn’t stop me from thinking about what any alien race who landed on (or observed) Earth would think about us tiny little humans.

So, there I was, reading a very old Edgar Rice Burroughs Novel and footnoting it thanks to some of the archaic language (I know, I’m a nerd).

Mr. Burroughs said the following: “human life has come to be considered but lightly on Mars, as is evidenced by their dangerous sports and the almost continual warfare between the various communities.”

In full context, the Martians tend to live for around 1,000 years. They were able to do so because they had wonderful medical care, and never fought wars. They viewed us as more than a little strange because we had a tendency to do these things, and as a result, kill off the strongest, smartest, and youngest members of our species. As a result, we were basically considered a lesser species.

Looking at our news lately I see much of this. We have wars, we have people saying bomb those people over there, kill these people over here. It is just something we have grown used to. Let’s not worry about it anymore, it’s only some missiles or a drone!

Yes, we should be concerned. We should consider ways to have men stop killing each other.

Sweet Pickles Children’s Books – Making a comeback?

I had the pleasure this morning of speaking with the children of the original author of the Sweet Pickles series of books. These beloved children’s books have not been available for a long time (except in limited eBook formats).

There is now a plan in place to put those books back on the market, with some updates for modern times. They will be available in the near future! Watch here for updates.

It will be my first foray into something for kids, but I look forward to the opportunity.