Where was Hanna Reitsch going to take Hitler?

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Admiral Beez

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Oct 21, 2019
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26 April 1945, Hanna Reitsch and Field Marshall von Greim flew into Berlin, where Reitsch begged Hitler to escape in her Fieseler Fi 156 Storch. If Hitler and presumably Eva Braun agreed and left with Reitch, where would they go? Historically Reitsch flew to Plön so that von Greim could arrest Himmler.

With a range of 390 km and assuming they could refuel in Berlin, what's the likely plan? Von Greim might be best left behind in Berlin to make space for Blondi. Here's a 300 km circle around the Reichstag, to give an idea where Reitsch could go.

calcmaps-map-radius-215113-09052023.png


Here's the front line as of May 1, 1945.

614px-1945-05-01GerWW2BattlefrontAtlas.jpg


I'm not proposing a What If, but more of a what was possible or likely. But if the Mods want to move this to What'If that's fine too.
 
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Where did she fly from to get to Berlin? The only option I see is to land near the Swiss border, use some of the stolen gold to cross, more gold to get a civil aircraft to try to fly to Spain, then to the ratline.
 
I'm sure that's where they ended up.
This came up in catechism class once. A young girl was furious at the thought that Hitler could have made a deathbed confession, received absolution, and be in heaven, while a person who failed to confess a single mortal sin would be banished to Hell forever.
Our pastor turned the premise on its head by pointing out that if a sinner as notorious as Hitler showed true contrition for his sins, Heaven would rejoice. He then reminded the young girl that frequent reception of the sacraments was a surefire way to grow in Christian virtue, and avoid Hell.
As far as I know, no priests were available in the Bunker.
 
This came up in catechism class once. A young girl was furious at the thought that Hitler could have made a deathbed confession, received absolution, and be in heaven, while a person who failed to confess a single mortal sin would be banished to Hell forever.

When it comes to Hell, I always think of the novel Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Near the end, the main character expresses what he thinks the purpose of Hell actually is:

"There's only one possible excuse for Hell, and I almost missed it in the ravings of a crazy psychiatrist. It has to be the final training ground. If nothing can get a soul into Heaven in its life, there's still Hell, God's last attempt to get his attention. Like a catatonic in a hotbox, like me in that bottle, if Hell won't make a man yell for help, then it was still worth a try."
 
This came up in catechism class once. A young girl was furious at the thought that Hitler could have made a deathbed confession, received absolution, and be in heaven, while a person who failed to confess a single mortal sin would be banished to Hell forever.
Our pastor turned the premise on its head by pointing out that if a sinner as notorious as Hitler showed true contrition for his sins, Heaven would rejoice. He then reminded the young girl that frequent reception of the sacraments was a surefire way to grow in Christian virtue, and avoid Hell.
As far as I know, no priests were available in the Bunker.
In the very least, he should have ended up smoking a turd in purgatory.
 
Hannah was asked that question in a Whirly Girls event in Washington, DC in the '70s, and said she didn't know. Expected Hitler would decide? At another discussion involving Nuremburg jurists and some period historians, one person made a very cogent case that at that stage, Hitler was so stressed, deluded and paranoid, that he was incapable of any sort of leadership. Also, the opinion was raised that if he had left his circle of fanatic protectors, his life would have been at high risk, not only from Allied Forces, but soldiers and citizens who had flipped from hero worship to convictions of being betrayed by a charlatan.



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If Hitler was willing to hide in a concrete bunker, I don't see why he would be adverse to taking refuge in a sub.

Aside from several U-Boats available, I believe there was a Japanese sub on a Yanagi mission still in the area by late April.

However, Japan was not in a real good position to be of any help for refuge though, they only had three months left before their bill came due, so his only option would be to flee to South America or *maybe* a former German colony in Africa.

But U-Boat was the only way out - air, land or surface vessel was entirely out of the question.
 
If Hitler was willing to hide in a concrete bunker, I don't see why he would be adverse to taking refuge in a sub.

Aside from several U-Boats available, I believe there was a Japanese sub on a Yanagi mission still in the area by late April.

However, Japan was not in a real good position to be of any help for refuge though, they only had three months left before their bill came due, so his only option would be to flee to South America or *maybe* a former German colony in Africa.

But U-Boat was the only way out - air, land or surface vessel was entirely out of the question.
The last Japanese I-boat to undertake a Yanagi mission was sunk in the Atlantic in June 1944 on its way to Germany.

The last U-boat to leave for Japan, U-234, left Germany on 25th March and Norway on 15th April 1945. So too early to be of assistance to an escaping Hitler at the end of April. It surrendered off Portsmouth USA on 19 May 1945.

Many U-boats attempted to escape German and Danish Baltic ports in April/May 1945 but had to run a gauntlet of Allied minefields, Coastal Command Liberators and Strike Wings and, by the beginning of May, Typhoons of 2nd TAF (the last are credited with at least 3 sunk) as they negotiated the Kattegat and Skagerrak. Sinkings in the area went on until 5th May. But these U-boats were what was left in the training flotillas or were working up.

Scuttling of the incomplete and otherwise unready U-boats went on 1-7 May 1945.

Operational U-boats were by then based in Norway, with the last beginning their patrols in the first few days of May. One of the last to leave was Type VIIc U-977 on 2nd May. It finally surrendered off Argentina on 17 Aug 1945 which included a spell of 66 continuous days underwater.

Not sure how Hitler would have fared. The journey apparently drove a number of the crew to the edge of nervous breakdown.

The other U-boat to surrender off Argentina was U-530 on 10 July 1945. But it left Norway on 3 March 1945.

I doubt he would have headed for any of the former German colonies in Africa. Britain & France had them firmly under control. French Cameroon went Free French in 1940. The German regime in SW Africa / Namibia pre-WW1 had been pretty brutal on the natives, so I doubt his presence could have been kept secret for long.
 
The last Japanese I-boat to undertake a Yanagi mission was sunk in the Atlantic in June 1944 on its way to Germany.

The last U-boat to leave for Japan, U-234, left Germany on 25th March and Norway on 15th April 1945. So too early to be of assistance to an escaping Hitler at the end of April. It surrendered off Portsmouth USA on 19 May 1945.

Many U-boats attempted to escape German and Danish Baltic ports in April/May 1945 but had to run a gauntlet of Allied minefields, Coastal Command Liberators and Strike Wings and, by the beginning of May, Typhoons of 2nd TAF (the last are credited with at least 3 sunk) as they negotiated the Kattegat and Skagerrak. Sinkings in the area went on until 5th May. But these U-boats were what was left in the training flotillas or were working up.

Scuttling of the incomplete and otherwise unready U-boats went on 1-7 May 1945.

Operational U-boats were by then based in Norway, with the last beginning their patrols in the first few days of May. One of the last to leave was Type VIIc U-977 on 2nd May. It finally surrendered off Argentina on 17 Aug 1945 which included a spell of 66 continuous days underwater.

Not sure how Hitler would have fared. The journey apparently drove a number of the crew to the edge of nervous breakdown.

The other U-boat to surrender off Argentina was U-530 on 10 July 1945. But it left Norway on 3 March 1945.

I doubt he would have headed for any of the former German colonies in Africa. Britain & France had them firmly under control. French Cameroon went Free French in 1940. The German regime in SW Africa / Namibia pre-WW1 had been pretty brutal on the natives, so I doubt his presence could have been kept secret for long.
"Pretty brutal" is overly kind. "Near genocidal" may be a bit overblown, but I really don't have the information or access to resources to compare Germany's behavior with that of the other imperialists in Africa.
 
I did have stuff about than in an interrogation, but I cant find the damn thing now. All I remember from it was that Hanna proposed to fly in on a Storch
and persuade Hitler to leave with her.

I have a vague recollection that she was told not to because it was impossible to land anywhere near safely anymore, and that someone reckoned
he would never agree to leave anyway.

I am having a look to see if I can find it again.

I think it might be in the separate account which is mentioned at the end of this one which is Hanna`s interrogation istelf (or one of them)
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But U-Boat was the only way out - air, land or surface vessel was entirely out of the question.
So, Reitsch flies Hitler and Eva to the Baltic where they board a Type XXI submarine. Wikipedia lists several design and manufacturing errors for this uboat class, but it has the submerged range and speed to best escape the Baltic undetected. Assuming the submarine is fulling fueled and stored, it was a range of 15,500 Nmi. Where to? The Germans still hold Norway.
 
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