"Our Struggle: What if Hitler Had Been A Communist?" is an ongoing alternate history timeline by The Red, a member of AlternateHistory.com - which can be read here. It asks a simple, and yet at the same time complicated question - what if Hitler had been a communist instead of a Nazi? The story is very much a work in progress, only reaching to the early 1920s, and yet it has already been nominated for and won the website's native Turtledove Prize for Best 20th Century Timeline.
The story is written in an engaging third-person format which provides both an overarching view of the events happening as well as the thoughts and psyche of the dramatis personae themselves, of which there are plenty, but Adolf Hitler is solidly the main.
The timeline was published by Sea Lion Press in 2018 under the title "The Red Führer".
Our Struggle provides examples of:
- All Elections Are Serious Business: Played with. After years of being sidelined by the Social Democrats and seeing revolutionary activities being brutally crushed, the German Communist Party under Heinrich Brandler prefers to take a pragmatic position of seeking to increase popularity and endear itself to sympathetic trade unions
- America Saves the Day: The entrance of the US in World War One saves the increasinly demoralized Entente and dooms Germany to defeat.
- Blatant Lies: The German high command tries to create a "stab in the back" myth by blaming defeat not in the aristocracy that lead the war effort but leftists, centrists and other "subversives".
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Hitler already saw the Austrian Hapsburgs as decandent and criminally incompetent but after four years of war this view would extend to German aristocrats as well.
- Capitalism Is Bad: Duh
- Chummy Commies: Rosa Luxemburg and her Spartacist League, along with Kurt Eisner and his Bavarian Soviet Republic.
- Dirty Communists: Averted, as the timeline focuses on one of them. Red Hitler is still very dirty, though....
- Enemy Mine: The German Social Democrats form an alliance with the reactionary Freikorps to crush the Spartacists.
- Later, said Social Democrats team up with Hitler's KPD electorally.
- Evil Reactionary: The Freikorps
- From Camouflage to Criminal: The first arc of the TL is basically this. It comes to fruiton as Hitler's actual combat experience and later experience with the failed revolutions in Munich and Bavaria turn into an ruthlessly efficient guerrilla leader who commands the Red Front sucessfully against the French occupation of the Ruhr
- Hollywood Tactics: The German military seeks to sent Cannon Fodder to bleed the French to death during the Battle of Verdun. It doesn't work.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Hitler and some of his comrades are sent away as part of backlash against the Gutmann Petition before his regiment is massacrated in the Battle of the Somme.
- Occupiers Out of Our Country: When the French occupy the Rhine because they fear Germany might refuse to pay the reparations, Hitler organizes a militant resistance called Red Front to oppose them.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: The German military establishment rejects a petition signed by various soldiers to grant Lietnant Hugo Gutmann a Iron Cross First Class medal initially rejected for "lack of evidence" because Hugo was Jewish.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: The Bavarian Soviet Republic is an inversion. The Bavarian Soviet Republic was a libertarian socialist project and one of its founders Kurt Eisner said that the Republic would protect property rights and sought to distance himself from the Bolsheviks.
- The Purge: Hitler purged Ernst Thalmann's supporters from the KPD, due to him being beholden to Moscow and endangering Hitler's plans.
- The Coup: Kurt von Schleicher and Paul von Hindenburg launched one to restore the German Empire and crush the leftists in Reichstag.
- Returning War Vet: Adolf Hitler, whom this time around has actual combat experience. Ernst Thällmann also counts
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: As a revolutionary wave sweeps Germany in wake of military defeat, factory councils and art collectives form to seize power. Some of those workers' councils take a more hands on approach and punish incompetent managers, including punching and throwing them into mineshafts.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Inverted. Both the initial revolutionary wave and the revolutionary backlash to Eisner's death are eventually crushed.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Played with. Crown Prince Wilhelm, heir to the German throne, is given an actual leadership role in the military but he's incompetent and becomes quickly unpopular amongst low-ranking military. Made worse by the prince being praised by the media.
- Later, he plans a Fascist coup against the Weimar Republic with Italian funding.
- Rightful King Returns: A villainous example, as Schleicher and Hindenburg's coup establishes the Third Reich and presumably invited the aforementioned crown prince as Kaiser.
- Shown Their Work: The writer even goes as far as to detail Hitler's choice in his artistic movement and how it affected his developing ideology.
- The description is of warfare in World War One is gritty and very much Truth in Television.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Truth in Television, many German women were drafted to work in factories to make up for loss of manpower as Germany institutes a draft. However the management constantly reminds them that their position is temporary and they will be asked to hand over their jobs and return to their "proper place" once the war ends
- Storming the Castle: To undermine the French occupation of the Rhine, the Red Front storms the Castle of Wetter while most of the guarrison is away, slaughters everyone, takes the supplies and sets the castle ablaze
- Sympathy for the Devil: It's hard to make someone feel sympathetic for Adolf Hitler of all people, but the writer managed it. And it's good. That is, until you read the first chapter of the timeline closely, and come across the line "yet in the first half of the twentieth century tens of millions saw that belief skewed to the extent that the bodies piled higher than ever during the revolutionary terror in France.". This is still Hitler we are talking about.
- Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: The Social Democrats are not seen in good light by Hitler after they joined forces with the Freikorps to crush the leftist uprisings.
- The Quisling: George Orwell.
- Unwanted Assistance: How the Soviet troika note views the Red Front
- We Have Reserves: Played with. The German military uses political subversives as part of their war of attrition.