Volume 3, Chapter 6
Hitler began to get excited again.
“But then you appeared, you averted the crisis. Those incompetent chiefs of staff and generals dared say that you have no military talent! I had a hunch that you will let me get out of this crisis. So, I ordered Göring to support you at all costs. You really did not let me down, your great victory was a heavy slap in the face to those generals. Let them know that there are even capable commanders in the Party.
Reinhardt, I am so relieved that I finally have a helper in the Wehrmacht and someone that can rival those generals. Your reputation can already be compared to Guderian, haha. Now I ask you, you must continue and obtain more victories! Let the soldiers love you, let them worship you. May all the officers bow to your wisdom. Help me grasp the Wehrmacht into the hands of the German National Socialist Workers Party! I trust you, I will spare no effort to support you. You will not let me down, right?”
Xu Jun finally understood Hitler’s plan.
This little battle in Arras never occurred this way in history. However, Hitler was right. If the British attack was successful then the result would have as catastrophic as he described.
He became convinced that Hitler was not mad, but a strategical genius. He even on the day of the British counter-attack he felt the danger of failure. This keen instinct and ability to see the overall war situation is very commendable. But also because of his extraordinary predictive instincts that he fears that the Wehrmacht would betray him. Hitler would not be willing to take that risk and let the military run amok.
Indeed, when the Third Reich was being built up from the sand, the German people were only mechanically obeying the command of the ruling party. The glorious promises by this man confused and enthralled the common people.
And after twenty years, the common people saw what seemed like hope. A man who claimed to be able to rescue them from the oppression Treaty of Versailles. Furthermore, also to bring prosperity and power. With such lavish promises, the people would surely take the bait. Furthermore, Germany would quickly stand up again from the ruins.
But, the people didn’t expect that the Fuhrer would not be satisfied. Instead, throwing them into another Great War. If the war fails now, the German people will return to the days of suffering, and it perhaps may even be worse. They will finally think about why this happened, and their gazes will be aimed towards Hitler. Without his support, he will collapse. His system and the SS can do nothing to prevent it.
The Wehrmacht is also very clear that their cooperation with Hitler is based solely on mutual benefit. Hitler can build up their military, allow them to restore the glory of the military. However, in return, they are to side with him and be subject to Hitler’s leadership. Firmly standing on Hitler’s side, deterring his political enemies, allowing him to run loose in Germany.
However, the most pressing problem is that the generals don’t want to have more conflict and wars. They only wanted to get some revenge against the enemies of Germany. To have the German military stand with some honor and dignity again. However, to Hitler this is not enough. He needed to control these generals. Making them obey his commands. They have been obedient, at least until now. But divisions and armies are still under the direct leadership of the generals. The Wehrmacht has their own traditions and even the Party has trouble changing them.
The invasion of Czechoslovakia and Poland, it allowed the generals to taste the sweetness of victory. However, it was still not enough for them to accept an attack on the West. When Fall Gelb [Case Yellow] was proposed, most of the generals immediately voiced opposition and doubt. The bloody memories of 1917 on the western lines still haunted their memories.
If the invasion of Western Europe failed, they would immediately push all the responsibility to Hitler. The Wehrmacht and the generals may not be disgraced. However, they would have still abandoned their leader like in the last war.
To combat this Hitler came up with a plan. He needed an idol figure as soon as possible in the military. So that he could gain the worship of the soldiers and officers. Weakening the authority of the senior generals. Finally, allowing the Party to control the military from the inside.
So, it seems that Hitler chose himself to take that position because of his status as general and position.
Thinking of all this, Xu Jun wanted to laugh. Imagining Hitler’s anxiousness about the consequences of failure. Which then intensified his desire to grasp hold of the Wehrmacht soon as possible. These rash decisions seemed to indicate his clouded judgment. Xu Jun noted that the near British victory must really have frightened him. Causing him to have doubts about his brilliant victory.
In fact, as long as he endured for another month, he would effortlessly get anything he desires. Soon the Germans will take of Paris after they sweep through France. Leading to the fanatical worship and absolute obedience he so desires. Elevating the position of the Party in many people’s thoughts.
But Hitler obviously doesn’t know this. His current plan is forced to involve Xu Jun and making the public adore him. The plan itself is quite well done. As expected of such a strategist. However, he also felt a bit lucky. It gave him a free-pass to consolidate military power for himself without Hitler becoming too wary. And all he needed to do was to resolutely decline the offer.
“I could say that I’m loyal to the Fuhrer and the Party. And that I’m only a small brigadier general and has no way of bearing such a difficult task. Perhaps even threaten Hitler with resignation. But the more I disapprove, the more he would trust me… A most decisive plan. Granted the odds of success are moderate a best.”
But finally, after Hitler’s continued insistence, Xu Jun would finally “reluctantly” agree.
Then Xu Jun asked, “My Fuhrer, you said that we had “business” in the telegram.”
Hitler was now in a good mood and delightfully said, “Of course. This was not the only thing I wanted to discuss. I only came up with this plan yesterday afternoon. However, I called you back for another important reason. I hope you can give me some advice on an important decision.”
“What important decision?”
“Not now, I still have some things to consider. How about after dinner, we’ll talk then.” Hitler said as he glanced at the clock on the wall.
“Oh my, it’s near evening already. We’ve talked for more than an hour. You must be tired. I heard that you were asleep on the train ride here. You can go rest. After that, I will send someone to call you. I’ve told the chef to prepare a celebration feast.” Hitler lifted his hand to Xu Jun and said.
Xu Jun stood up and gave a formal courtesy to the Fuhrer.
“I guess I will go rest for a while then my Fuhrer.”
Hitler nodded with a smile. Xu Jun turned and opened the door to leave Hitler’s office.
Outside, Xu Jun took a deep breath. Judging from his response, Hitler apparently didn’t notice his personality difference. He shouldn’t have suspected anything. With that obstacle past, he could finally relax somewhat.
Thinking of Hitler’s plan, Xu Jun felt a burst of excitement. It meant that within at least 6 months, he will have both the military and Hitler’s support. Then he could use the power of the army to build his own strength. Or at least enough to protect himself.
But Xu Jun suddenly thought, “Does Hitler really trust me so much? Is Hitler not afraid that I would use the Wehrmacht against him? Hitler has always been a cunning fellow. Surely, he could foresee that possibility, right? Is he not worried? It’s not his traditional style of doing things…” Xu Jun began to feel doubt. Was this Hitler’s trap?
Turning around and scanning the corridor, Xu Jun took a deep breath. He was probably overthinking it.
No. Hitler will make that decision. He does, after all, trust Reinhardt explicitly. The second reason is that Hitler has always overestimated his ability. He believes that no one under his grasp can fool him. Third, even if he does discover some under-handed plotting than he’s confident that he’d be able to eradicate the issue quickly.
Xu Jun’s mood improved slightly when he thought of that.