The Hartung Project Edit
In late June 1940, the Germans invaded the Channel Islands, occupying Guernsey on 30 June. Oberst Steinmann was placed in charge of the Luftwaffe zbV division, attached to the Hartung Project, the creation of the stealth bombers Hugin and Munin.
By March 1941, Steinmann was posted between Gurnsey and the hidden German airbase outside the town of Granville on the northern French coast. He attempted to recruit the Seventh Doctor as an agent of the Third Reich to aid the Project after Emil Hartung's death when he crashed Hugin on 1 March.
Steinmann took over from Joachim Wolff's interrogation of Bernice Summerfield after she was captured as a spy on Guernsey. Summerfield admitted that she was a time traveller from the 26th century, which Steirnmann disbelieved. On 5 March, the Royal Air Force heavily bombed Granville in a bid to destroy Munin and Steinmann was called away to examine the damage, allowing Summerfield to escape.
On 6 March, Steinmann met the Doctor and Chris Cwej in the devastated town. Unbeknownst to him, the Doctor emptied his pistol of its bullets. Steinmann allowed the Doctor and Cwej to examine Munin at the hidden airbase. The Doctor and Cwej were able to hijack Munin and fly back to London, blowing up the aircraft and ending the Hartung Project.
In another version of events, it was Summerfield and Jason Kane who were involved rather than the Doctor and Cwej. (AUDIO: Just War) Both versions of events seem to have taken place, (PROSE: Paydirt) as Summerfield was able to recall them both, (PROSE: Dear Friend) although Steinmann's role was largely unchanged. (PROSE: Just War, AUDIO: Just War)
Later in the war Edit
Steinmann continued to read Summerfield's diary and eventually realised that the events recorded were coming true. He memorised several passages including the Soviet advance on Berlin, the execution of Benito Mussolini, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the destruction of the Reich. Steinmann tried to warn others about future events, but his warnings were not heeded and he failed in altering history.
After the Germans invaded the Soviet Union later that year, Steinmann and the Luftwaffe were called in from Guernsey to help the invasion force when the December weather allowed the Red Army to counterattack outside Moscow. His efforts helped the Germans stabilise the situation but from the point, Germany's war became a defensive one.
By 24 December 1942, Steinmann had been promoted to the rank of Generalmajor. Due to his role in the Hartung Project, he was called in to aid in the creation of war-winning Wunderwaffen. On that Christmas Eve, he was present at Peenemünde to observe the first test of the V1 flying bomb. He claimed the weapon would not win Germany the war, to the disgust of a teenage Unteroffizier present alongside him, who accused him of being a traitor and a defeatist. (PROSE: Just War)
After the war Edit
Following the end of the war, Steinman was among twenty-three senior Nazis who were tried for war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials of 1945 and 1946. He was found guilty and spent more than two decades in prison. In 1969, he was released on medical grounds. He died in 1972 from a form of spinal cancer. (PROSE: Just War)
Nazi Party faithful Edit
Steinmann was totally dedicated to the cause of Nazism and Fascism. He believed they would inevitably sweep away the corrupt old order and lead the way to a new age of strength and unity across the world. He refused to believe that Bernice Summerfield was from the future on the reasoning that everyone in the future would be a Nazi.
Steinmann confidently and proudly challenged anyone who denounced Nazism and Fascism. When confronted with accusations of the barbarity of his ideology, Steinmann countered by extolling its virtues and pointing to evidence in the health and discipline displayed by those under his command. To him, it was the only logical way of thinking, going to far as to claim that Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and France all welcomed Nazi rule.
In his view, the Allied ideology was old-fashioned and contradictory. He argued along the lines of Nazi propaganda. He stated the Allies had started the war in October 1939 by refusing to Germany's offer to negotiate, while dismissing the Invasion of Poland on account of the "draconian" Treaty of Versailles. He claimed Germany's ban of phosphorus bombs and dum-dum bullets, observation of Christmas cease-fires, humane treatment of spies, and avoidance of civilian targets during the Blitz all showed Germany was more civilised that the Allied nations.
When he caught Joachim Wolff torturing Bernice Summerfield, Steinmann reprimanded him, saying Wolff "couldn't be humane if [he] tried". Steinmann took a more subtle approach to the interrogation, although Summerfield suspected this was part of a coordinated interrogation technique on their part. When he began to run out of patience with Summerfield's answers, however, he stubbed a cigarette out on the back of her hand when she said she said she had lost her sense of touch. (PROSE: Just War, AUDIO: Just War)
Chris Cwej thought Steinmann, like every other Nazi, was a "monster". The Doctor agreed but cautioned that those same monsters did not share their perspective, which had to be understood if it was to be beaten, and that the passion and eloquence of "monsters" such as Steinmann was not to be underestimated. Steinmann was shocked by the suffering he observed after the RAF Granville raid but still looked forward to Munin's planned raid on Southampton. (PROSE: Just War)
Knowing the future Edit
After reading about the future of the war in Bernice Summerfield's diary, Steinmann's faith in his beliefs was shaken for the first time. He audibly denied that what was written could be true after reading about the death of the Führer. (AUDIO: Just War)
As the war progressed, Steinmann witnessed more of the diary's events come to pass and experienced constantly failure in his efforts to alter them. As the evidence mounted, he became less sure in his conviction that the Nazis would win the war, and by the end of 1942, he was resigned to the course of history.
At the Peenemünde site on Christmas Eve, Steinmann acknowledged the impressive engineering feat achieved by the V1 stated it would not win the war. He spoke more of its shortcomings and claimed it was mostly useful as a psychological weapon: it would take a year and a half before it could be put to practical use and it could not carry the same explosive payload as a light bomber.When the younger and more optimistic Unteroffizier accompanying him at Peenemünde asked him if he was saying Germany would be defeated, Steinmann replied, "Perhaps I am." The soldier accused him of being a traitor but Steinmann only maintained his newfound philosophical outlook: (PROSE: Just War)
Behind the scenes Edit
- In the real world, only twenty-two Nazis were tried at Nuremberg. In the Doctor Who universe, the fictional Oskar Steinmann in the twenty-third, as the glossary of Just War acknowledges.
- Lance Parkin wrote Steinmann as a reaction to Hitler's portrayal in Timewyrm: Exodus, in which the Timewyrm plays a big role in much of Hitler's early success. Parkin described Steinmann as "a talented, intelligent, cultured man who chooses to be a Nazi. That is much scarier than the thought he's been hypnotised by aliens."