2nd February

Birth of Konstantin von Neurath Meanwhile, in Alternate History....Lord Dover, Saviour of the Royal Navy
Aristocrat, Diplomat, convicted Nazi War Criminal Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath born on this day one hundred and forty years ago at the baronic manor of Kleinglattbach in the South German Kingdom of W├╝rttemberg.

Appointed into the "Cabinet of the Barons", it was his prestigious long-service as Foreign Minister (a post his father earlier held) during the Governments of Chancellors Franz von Papen, Kurt von Schleicher and then Adolf Hitler (1932-8) that gave crucial international credibility disguising the triumph of the criminal right. And it was more the long-term damage caused by this false respectability rather than the expression of his own direct authority as a Reich Minister (and later Protectkor of Occupied Czechoslovakia) that led to his sentencing at the Nuremburg Trial (pictured; the headphones were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial).

Perhaps most damning of all he knew better, having witnessed the Armenian Genocide first hand on the diplomatic service of the Kaiser, he issued orders from his office in Prague Castle to persecute Jews in Bohemia and Morovia.

Held as a war criminal in Spandau Prison until November 1954, he was released in the wake of the Paris Conference, officially due to his ill health - he had suffered a heart attack. He retired to his family's estates in Enzweihingen, where he died two years later, aged 83.

"I have neither intrigued nor caballed; I have in a great degree secluded myself from company to avoid all suspicion and misrepresentation, and have rested with a most resigned confidence in your Majesty's goodness to me, and having assured your Majesty that I was only your's, I have carefully avoided every other connexion and support". (Welbore Ellis, Lord Dover)

Succeeding Lord Hawke today, 242 years ago, as First Lord of Admiralty, Welbore Ellis, Lord Dover, not only kept on the good work of his predecessor in reforming the Royal Navy but surpassed him - mostly by being one of the few upright persons in the otherwise chaotic and corrupt government of Lord North.

With the growing problems in Britain's American Colonies, Dover's reform of the naval yards and especially naval suppliers saw the Royal Navy well prepared, when troubles became all-out war and the European powers joined in.

Dover's reforms did not only cut costs for fleet maintenance by more than 25%, allowing for a sufficient number of ships-of-the-line in European waters as well as on the North American station but had a lasting effect on the virulent nepotism up to then prevailing in the promotional system of the Navy. 

Today's dual post follows the structure of our weekly collaboration: Alternate Historian writes about a real event in German History, whilst Dirk writes about a fictionalized event in English Alternate History.


  1. The Lord Dover article looks interesting.

  2. Thank you,CKO92 - in our timeline, Welbore Ellis was just Treasurer of the Navy and was somehow... overlooked, well, trust the government of Lord North to ignore a basically decent and able man and promote a bastard like Lord Sandwich.

    More about Ellis on:





  3. Always eerie to see the workings of government and how smoothly and slowly they can move to support such evil or what good men can do.