Who would have been the most likely person to succeed Hitler if the Nazis had won WWII?

I think we have a guide in actual history to the likely outcome. Initially the real power would have been in the hands of Himmler (parallel: Beriya). But the other major players would have been too afraid to let that go on for too long. Enlisting the army they would "discover" the treachery of the "Treue Heinrich", remove him and land on some compromise figure ... Göring? Goebbels? Speer? even Ribbentrop. Perhaps a military figure like Dönitz; or if they wanted a complete puppet, Keitel (who was derisively called Lakeitel by many after all).

Certainly not Bormann. He was a nobody who owed his entire power to controlling Hitler's secretariat. With Hitler gone, that power would disappear.

One man, the former Deputy Führer of Germany and one of Hitler's closest friends; Rudolf Hess.

Thanks for the A2A. Though this not an easy question.

It depends on when and why Germany won WWII (which, by the way, in my opinion would have been impossible). Shortly before Germany finally had to surrender, Hitler was betrayed both by Himmler and Göring who wanted to save their heads by negotiating peace with the Western Allies. He was very disappointed about that, wasting some of his last hours in the bunker swaggering about their betrayal.

Göring was formally declared his sucessor at the beginning of the Nazi reign, but was continously loosing power the longer the third Reich lasted. That speeded up when his Luftwaffe was not able to win the battle of Britain, not able to prevent the Allies from bombing German cities and not able to supply the 6th Army in Stalingrad with sufficient supplies. Another candidate would have been Rudolf Hess, if he would have not flown to Scotland in 1941, for reasons only he knew. Himmler was very ambitious, I agree, but not very popular. Unlike Göring, who presented himself as the lovable jovial fat unlce-type of Nazi.

Still, another likely succesor would have been Albert Speer. Being an architect, he was a good friend of Addi H. They could talk for hours about rebuilding Berlin (with its new name "Germania"), and were rather close. And: Speer, being responsible for the production of military supplies and arms, did achieve that Germanies military production reached its peak in early 1944, despite the lack of raw materials and Allied bombing raids.

And, another possible successor could be a high-ranking officer, who would take the opportunity of Hitlers dead to make a coup d'etat and get rid of the Nazis altogether.


With the deity gone, the head of the temple will take control. This supposes

  • Himmler's ambition
  • Himmler prevails against the players with military and political power bases.

Himmler's rise to power is somewhat in parallel to Stalin's. His situation was somewhat different as Hitler differs from Lenin, and as a coup-like acquisition of power* differs from a revolution.

Himmler increased his own power at every opportunity. Even his failure to detect the July 20, 1944 assassination plot was used to increase his power. This even was also used to crush dissent in the military. There were 5,000 executions.

Himmler was motivated by belief. His mystical belief in Aryanism exceeded Hitler's. His ambition was to lead the Teutonic race to world dominance. He actively plotted for power against rivals. His power did not depend on Hitler.

When Hitler died, there would be one man who controlled his own elite sector of the military and every single police officer in Germany. A man who had intelligence information on everyone with the least power and the means to use it with utter ruthlessness.

Only two things could have prevented Himmler's rise to total rule. A concerted military uprising would have to defeat the SS militarily. But little leadership for such a risky undertaking remained.

The other thing would be the victorious Allied armies.

I would bet on Goering. If Germany had won the war - a long shot by any stretch - then it meant that things had come up roses for the Germans at nearly every turn. It means that Goering's reputation wouldn't have been tarnished with all the Luftwaffe failures in our timeline and all the boasts he couldn't back up and guarantees he made but couldn't fulfill.

Depends when the Nazis would've won WWII. If they won it in around 1942–1944, then my guess is Martin Bormann. He was Hitler's secretary. Hitler called him his most trusted and loyal party colleague who was always by his side and made him his successor as the leader of the NSDAP. Bormann was also the successor of Hitler's original "heir", Rudolf Hess, who became severely mentally ill and was replaced by Bormann.

Hermann Göring was a popular WWI veteran and the official heir of Hitler, but he was a morphine addict. I don't believe Göring could've succeeded Hitler.

I can bet anything the most likely successor would have been Reihard Heydrich.

He died quite early in the war (1942), and I'm sure that had the Nazis won the war, Hitler would have regretted not having Heydrich around to succeed him. Though technically he reported to Himmler, the head of the SS and the Gestapo, who in turn reported to Hitler, Hitler had started trusting Heydrich even more than his boss, that is, Himmler. Heydrich was a professional officer, and a ruthless executive who could be relied upon to get the job done.

Interestingly, Heydrich was the only senior Nazi leader who got a decent funeral and burial.

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