Heydrich was fatally injured by two Czechoslovakian freedom-fighters (Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš) on 27 May 1942, as part of "Operation Anthropoid," a British-backed military operation to assassinate various Nazi official. He died on 4 June. The vengeance the German government visited on Czechoslovak civilians for Heydrich's death led the British to end the plan.
Reinhard Heydrich in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit
Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1947) was the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia-Moravia during World War II and later the first leader of the German Freedom Front against the Allied occupation of Germany from 1945 until he was finally killed in 1947.
Heydrich was the target of an SOE assassination plot on 29 May 1942 near Prague. Heydrich fended off his attackers, Czech agents dropped into Czechoslovakia by the British, and escaped unharmed, later taking vengeance on the local population. His survival allowed him to form plans for the aftermath of Germany's defeat, the inevitability made especially clear in the wake of the Stalingrad catastrophe in February 1943. In contrast to Führer and Reichschancellor Adolf Hitler's insistence that Germany would eventually win the war, Heydrich's superior, Heinrich Himmler of the SS, reluctantly went along with Heydrich's idea of leaving arms and supplies scattered across Germany in the event of total defeat by the Allies.
In 1945, as Nazi Germany fell to the onslaught of the Allied and Russian armies, Heydrich assumed command of the "German Freedom Front," an organization consisting of guerrillas and terrorists dedicated to the overthrow of the occupiers of Germany. Following orders from Der Reichsprotektor, GFF men and women sniped, bombed, and poisoned thousands of occupation soldiers in their effort to liberate Germany, inviting violent reprisals from both the Allies and the Soviets. With the help of his loyal adjutant Johannes Klein, Heydrich directed this guerrilla war from his hideout in the Alpine Redoubt in the German Alps. These activities included masterminding propaganda pieces and the implementation of suicide attacks.
After passing an American checkpoint in Erlangen, Heydrich's vehicle broke down. This actually helped save Heydrich and Klein, as the Americans had been alerted, and were prepared to ambush them. Only the intervention of a loyal Nazi veteran saved them from capture or death. The loyalist hid the two in a boat with a false bottom. Although the truck was stopped by Americans, it was not searched, and so Heydrich escaped.
Heydrich had hoped that the scientists would build him an atomic bomb. They quickly disabused Heydrich of this notion, as they didn't have the financial resources or material needed. However, Karl Wirtz shared his knowledge of ten grams of radium left in a trash pile in Hechingen. Heydrich sent agents to collect the radium. Shortly after, a GFF Werewolf detonated a radium-bomb in the American compound in Frankfurt prior to the Allies second attempt to try accused German war criminals.
Heydrich then turned his attention to Germany's other enemies, France and Britain. In the summer of 1946, GFF agent Jürgen Voss used a truckbomb to level the Eiffel Tower. In December, GFF agents used truckbombs to demolish St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. For the first part of 1947, the GFF concentrated on targeting Allied troops in Germany.
In July 1947, the Allies were once again prepared to try the accused German war criminals, this time in Berlin, in the heavily guarded Soviet zone. Heydrich found a pilot named Ernst Neulen and a woman named Mitzi to seize an American C-47 and crash it into the Berlin courthouse. While Mitzi was supposed to parachute out of the plane before the crash, Heydrich made sure that her parachute wouldn't open. In the aftermath of the crash, Heydrich gleaned ideas from panicked members of the Allies' press. He sketched out plans for the seizure of commercial flights.
Just a few months later, the United States began withdrawing troopers from Germany. Heydrich's plans had succeeded beyond his expectations, as he had not expected the U.S. to withdraw so soon. He knew that Britain would probably follow soon, but that France (a country he detested for riding on its allies' coattails) and the USSR weren't going anywhere.
American forces, under the command of CIC Lt. Lou Weissberg ultimately discovered Heydrich's hideout and forced his followers into the open. They received help from one Shmuel Birnbaum, a survivor of Auschwitz. Heydrich, who'd played a critical role in the Nazis' mass-murder of Jews, did not guess at the truth, believing the murder machine was too efficient. After ordering the death of all of the German scientists save Karl Wirtz and Kurt Diebner, Heydrich attempted to escape under the cover of darkness and in the confusion of a firefight. Der Reichsprotektor was killed by U.S. soldier Bernie Cobb as he appeared out of a tunnel. The unfortunate Diebner was also killed. Wirtz survived.
Hans von Kaltenborn announced the fatal wounding of Reinhard Heydrich just days before the Race Invasion began. The Nazis inflicted harsh revenge for Heydrich's death, a fact that was not fully understood by the rest of the world until years after the Peace of Cairo.
Reinhard Heydrich in "The Last Article"Edit
As reported by the British broadcaster William Joyce, Reichminister Reinhard Heydrich issued a statement congratulating Walther Model on his handling of Indian protesters in 1947. Mohandas Gandhi had assumed, incorrectly, that Model would be censured for ordering the Qutb Road Massacre.
Reinhard Heydrich in The War That Came EarlyEdit
When the Committee for the Salvation of the German Nation killed both Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler in April 1944, Heydrich very briefly assumed the title of Reichsführer-SS during the civil war that followed. Some worried that he might even assume the mantle of Führer, but the Committee for the Salvation of the German Nation ultimately prevailed.
Heydrich's final fate is unrevealed.
- Ivan Koniev, a Soviet Marshal of World War II in OTL. In The War That Came Early, Koniev is assassinated in an attack that broadly parallels Heydrich's assassination in OTL.
- ↑ The Man With the Iron Heart, pgs. 3-5.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 5-11.
- ↑ Ibid., Chapters 1-8, generally.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 201-204
- ↑ Ibid., ch. 13.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 227-228.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 240-243.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 261-262.
- ↑ Ibid. pg. 289-290.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 321-323.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 405-409.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 411.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 477-486.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 493.
- ↑ In the Balance, pg. 8.
- ↑ Down to Earth, pg. 548.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 343.
- ↑ See, e.g., The Best Military Science Fiction of the Twentieth Century, Harry Turtledove and Martin H. Greenberg, eds, pg. 254.
- ↑ See, e.g., Hitler's War, pg. 100.
- ↑ West and East, pg. 75.
- ↑ Last Orders, pg. 326.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 314.
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