There are times when every site owner struggles through a day with comparatively few hits. Many years ago, the late Alan Coren was told by his publisher that three types of article sold well: those about pets, those about sport, and those about Hitler. So he put a swastika on the cover of his next anthology, and called it ‘Golfing for Cats’.
Anyway, I’m in luck – because today’s press makes several mentions of Adolf the Austrian Monoballistic Invader. And as it happens, the subject matter has a contemporary relevance.
It has emerged, in a new book, that there was an Allied plot during World War II to feminise Adolf Hitler by putting oestrogen in his food. The idea, apparently, was ‘to calm him down…to change his sex so he would become more feminine and less aggressive’. It just goes to show how much we’ve learned about the nature of gender during the seventy years since then.
The idea behind the plan, of course, was based on the general rule that women don’t do war. But rules are made to be broken: Boadicea, Elizabeth I and Joan of Arc were pretty formidable. And anyway, the definition ‘do war’ doesn’t take account of the undocumented possibility: women inheriting a war. About the time this British plan was due to be put into operation, Hitler was at his peak, but suffering from a nasty case of hubris exacerbated by cojones-driven megalomania. Had he been changed – over, say, three months – into attractive, pert, willowy temptress Fraulein Hitler, the global conflict could’ve had some very different endings – none of them favourable for our side.
It would be hard to do justice to how terrible the results might have been had the plot been successful. Adolf was, for example, pretty much of a complete barmpot after 1941, and almost every military decision he took until his suicide in 1945 was pure macho vengeance mixed with male-domination fantasies. Had the Fuhrer been allowed to get in touch with his feminine side, however, there can be no doubt that, for the second push into Russia for example, every soldier would’ve been kitted out with the best thermal boots and blankets money could buy, and luxurious lughole-hugging balaclavas.
While women in general – and mums in particular – think about provisioning things, men don’t. Women heading out into the Russian winter stock up on canned stuff and buy mini-gas cookers. Men (sent off to buy low freezing-point engine oil) wander about aimlessly in a supermarket looking at the beer offers and the magazine rack.
It’s also very likely that a feline Adolf would’ve had the sense to lose battles but win wars. There’d have been no Stalingrad, where seventeen divisions got rounded up complete with all their equipment thanks to Dolfi’s stubbornness: a Ms Hitler would’ve taken one look at the appalling Communist shops and command economy fashions before heading back towards the German border with all speed.
But the most frightening aspect of this plot – hatched no doubt by bald, henpecked MI5 misogynists from the Home Counties – is the thought of half-trained sorcerers meddling with the mystery that is woman. Can you imagine how bad it would’ve been had a more womanly Hitler turned into Harriet Harman? Forty per cent of all tank divisions would’ve been female – and young German girls are far from unattractive. Soviet soldiers hitherto presented with lumpy moustachioed Regional Commissars called Olga would’ve laid down their arms and surrendered to the siren calls of Claudia the Nazi dominatrix.
The other parallels are too frightening to contemplate: Tina Turner taking Leningrad armed only with her voice; Cleopatra seducing every leader in her way from Mao Tse Tung to Harry Truman; and Margaret ‘No turning back’ Thatcher careering past Moscow on her way to the annihilation of China, prior to the invasion of the Pacific Ocean.
The picture I present here is of the irritating female tendency to display guts, strength and perseverance at times….along with that truly humiliating habit they have of knowing what to buy, where everything is, and how to fight a war on two fronts at the same time. A multi-tasking Hitler would’ve been in Washington by 1946.
But there’s also that simpering, manipulative side. The ability to get men to do stuff they don’t really want to do. That knack they have of quite falsely pretending they couldn’t do without us.
Suppose during the German retreat of 1944 in France, Nazi tanks had been manned by women – or womened by persons, whatever the phrase might be. The allies are belting towards the Rhine, when an American division comes across three specially trained SS beauties looking forlornly at a tank with a flat battery and a knackered wheel-track. Unbeknown to them however, the 37 other French, US and British divisions are also encountering the same scene. The invasion could’ve come to a dead halt as 200,000 men armed with spanners, jacks and foot pumps did their best to be impress. Feminine wiles at their most deadly are superior to any nuclear weapon – and they leave less mess to clear up afterwards.
Finally, a cross-dressing Hitler, even if caught, would’ve been a tricky fish to land. Thirty commandos nab him speeding up the autobahn back to Berlin, but the Fuhrerine changeling bursts into tears and promises never to do it again. His captors would’ve been falling over themselves to send him on his way, with an admonition to drive more carefully in future.
You see, the flaw in the plan was very simple: it was invented by men. Had a group of blue-stockings from the Ultra decoding team been given the task of working out how to neutralise Adolf Hitler, they would’ve recommended further injections of testosterone. That way, the war would’ve been over by September 1943. Only this time, in our favour.