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Old September 25th, 2009, 11:35 AM
Winner Winner is offline
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Lightbulb Alternate Cold War scenario

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Alternate Cold War – Background

POD: Eisenhower dies in a road accident in July, 1944.


V-E Day

Eisenhower’s successor is not so cautious and changes allied tactics in Europe towards more blitzkrieg-like operations. Therefore when the Allies break out of Normandy in August, the allied advance is much quicker and bolder than it was in our timeline. Instead of wasting time massacring German armies in Falaise pocket and laying siege to coastal towns in Britanny, the allied divisions advance rapidly into the French interior and towards the Low Countries and Germany itself. Field Marshal Montgomery successfully secures Scheldt Estuary and liberates Antwerp, thus opening the harbor to Allied shipping. This proves to be a crucial point in the Allied campaign, as the emerging logistical problems are thus greatly mitigated and the Allied advance can continue.

In September, Omar Bradely’s 12th Army Group penetrates through Saarland into Germany and together with Montgomery’s 21st Army Group encircles the remnants of Westheer in the so-called Ruhr Pocket. At that point, no relevant German forces can oppose the allied thrust towards Berlin.

Meanwhile, Hitler is stunned by the speed of the allied advance into his Third Reich and the apparent willingness of his armies to surrender to the Allies the moment their communication lines with his headquarters are severed. He becomes obsessed with the developments in the West and rapidly loses interest in other theatres. In a rare stroke of common sense, he appoints Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, whom he sacked as commander of the Army Group South only 4 months earlier, as Oberbefehlshaber Ost (Supreme Commander East) and transfers Walther Model to the West to lead a hopeless defense against the Allies. Manstein promptly reorganizes the battered German armies and begins to apply his plan for a “flexible defense” on the Eastern front.

Stalin is also shocked by the success of the Allies. Fearing that the Westerners could defeat Germany on their own thus denying him the spoils of victory, he orders an immediate general offensive despite the objections of his field commanders, who argue that the Red Army needs to improve the bad supply situation before it can launch another offensive. Stalin remains adamant and so the Red Army begins its hastily prepared offensive across the Vistula in late September, 1944. It is here where von Manstein achieves his last and greatest victory. The Soviets, who are not aware of the major change of German tactics on the Eastern Front, expect the Germans to stand firm and refuse to pull back as it was common when Hitler was in command and Manstein uses their mistake to his advantage. First he feigns a breakup of German defenses along Vistula, but then he launches a brilliant counter-offensive during which he manages to encircle Soviet spearheads on the wrong side of the river. In other places, German forces pull off a fighting retreat and as a result the German lines along the Vistula are now stronger than ever before. Soviet autumn offensive thus completely fails and the Soviets suffer horrendous casualties, especially among their best units which were spearheading the attack.

Furious Stalin responds by sacking Zhukov whom he (unfairly) blames for the disaster and orders Ivan Konev to prepare another offensive. Konev manages to persuade Stalin that the Vistula Line is currently impregnable, but suggests an acceptable alternative: a major push through Romania, Hungary and the Balkans which could flank the German defenses in Poland. Stalin agrees and the offensive begins in October. Despite initial heavy losses in Bessarabia, the Red Army break through and Romania soon surrenders, followed by Bulgaria. However, Manstein manages to save most of German armies by a general withdrawal to Hungary and Slovakia where they form another defensive line blocking the Soviet advance into Germany.

At the same time, Anglo-American armies encircle Berlin. Hitler is shot dead a day later by a disgruntled officer when he refuses to allow the surrender of the city and Berlin is declared an open city by its military commander soon afterwards. Hermann Göring assumes the role of the Führer of the Third Reich, but he is powerless to stop further allied advance across Germany. American armies liberate Bohemia and enter Poland and Austria by early November. German forces along Vistula hold their ground to the very last moment and only surrender to the Americans and the British when they appear on the horizon. The Soviets on the other side of the river are powerless to intervene.

WW2 in Europe finally ends on 17th of November, 1944, when Göring issues a general surrender order to all German forces. Red Army hastily moves to occupy the remaining parts of Hungary, Yugoslavia and Slovakia, while German soldiers flee west to surrender to the allied forces. In Europe, an uneasy peace begins.


Cold War begins

The conflict later known as the Cold War erupts almost immediately after the German capitulation. Stalin immediately demands that the Allies pull back to Elbe and allow the Soviet Union to occupy its own zone in Germany. The Allies refuse arguing that the Soviet forces didn’t enter Germany proper (except East Prussia) and that the Allied armies are well capable of occupying Germany without Soviet assistance. Moreover, the Polish government now reigning over the Allied-controlled Poland refuses to allow the Soviets (who have severed diplomatic relations with it following the uncovering of the Katyn massacre) any military transfer. Although this means little as the Polish government relies on the Allies and their armies, the Polish refusal is used as an argument against the Soviet demand for their own occupation zone in Germany.

Feeling betrayed, Stalin proclaims that he will no longer adhere to any previous agreements made with the Western Allies. As retaliation to what he perceives as an unforgivable injustice after all the sacrifices the Soviet people have made in WW2, he tightens his rule over Soviet “liberated” countries in Central Europe and the Balkans. In Poland, a Communist interim government is established, but pre-war Eastern Poland is annexed to the USSR. Czechoslovakia is definitely split when the USSR annexes Ruthenia and establishes a puppet Communist government in Slovakia, ironically a former puppet of Nazi Germany. Similar development takes place in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and even Finland, which doesn’t escape sovietization this time as Stalin is definitely not in a forgiving mood. In Greece, a brutal civil war erupts between competing partisan groups and the Soviets send massive amount of weapons and supplies to the Greek Communists, who quickly overrun most of the country. Non-communists are forced to flee mainland Greece and most islands, but they manage to fortify themselves in Crete, Rhodos and Cyprus, previously held by the British. And so in just two years following the V-E day, the USSR asserts firm control over the Eastern part of the Continent. Later, Winston Churchill during his address to the British public famously says:

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“From Elbing in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Athens, Helsinki, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow.”

The West is forced to respond and in 1948, an alliance of Western democracies is formed around the United States – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In the next 20 years, almost all European countries join it, with the exception of Ireland and Switzerland which decide to remain neutral. Soviet answer to NATO, the Warsaw Pact, is created in 1949 in Eastern Warsaw, the capital of the newly proclaimed People’s Republic of Poland. A barrier of concrete and barbed wire is erected on the eastern bank of Vistula, the famous Warsaw Wall separating Eastern Poland from its Western counterpart now called the Republic of Poland. Later it becomes one of the most famous symbols of the Cold War.

With the advent of nuclear weapons and their first use against Japan in 1945, the world is plunged into a long and bitter ideological conflict which often threatens to engulf the whole world in nuclear fire. Large armies stand opposing each other on the Vistula, Soviet navy operating from Greek bases shadows the Western fleets in the Mediterranean, jet bombers patrol over the Arctic and ever growing number of nuclear missiles are aimed at the enemy targets. Only Gods know if this “Cold War” stays cold...
I started this on a different forum, so here are few other contributions:

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Czech Rep. renamed to Czech Federal Republic (Česká Spolková Republika - ČSR [It's a dig against the commie Slovakia since the abbreviation is the same as the abbreviation of former Czechoslovakia]; Bundesrepublik Böhmen in German). This is meant to explain the post-war development in the Czech lands. Instead of getting rid of the Germans, the leadership was forced by circumstances to seek such a constitutional solution that would prevent a repetition of the Sudetenland crisis. In the end, a federal model was adopted and Bohemia/Moravia were divided into 9 federal states (spolkové země, bundesländer) + the capital Prague district. Three states are predominantly German, three are predominantly Czech and three are mixed. Both languages are official and large effort was made by the authorities to make the population largely bilingual, with partial success (mostly in the mixed states and bigger cities). 27 years after the V-E day, relations between the two nations are mostly without problems, though critics say that instead of living together, Czechs and Germans live alongside each other and mostly mind their own business. Still shamed by their war-era collaboration with the Nazis, talking about a possible secession is a taboo among the Germans in C.F.R. The country is sometimes called "the Belgium of Central Europe" by foreign observers.
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[Concerning the eastern border of Germany] There was no large-scale ethnic cleansing of Germans in this timeline. They had no reason to flee, so Silesia remained thoroughly German-speaking. As such, there was no justification for handing it over to Poland. Only Polish majority areas were given to Western Poland as a form of reparation (plus Danzig, for symbolic reasons).
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I already mentioned that [the USSR] was more vigorous in intervening in the Chinese civil war (the commies won a year earlier than in OTL and Taiwan is not independent). Korea is united under communist rule and Japan is divided with North Japan being communist (an OTL Korea-like situation).
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[Why the USSR dhaven't annexed the whole of Eastern Poland] Soviets needed to have "independent" Polish commie state which would claim the rest of Poland, which was the main reason why they didn't annex eastern Poland (that, and the opposition from ethnic Poles would be too much of a burden).

As for Finland, Stalin was content with making it communist; I think he was afraid of a protracted guerilla warfare in Finland and he still remembred how costly the victory over Finland was.
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As I already mentioned, the Soviet offensive into Poland failed because Stalin rushed it and because Manstein was able to inflict devastating defeat on the Soviet spearheads. As a result, the Soviets were no longer able to advance into Poland in 1944. Instead, they chose to attack on the flanks where their strength was still high - the Balkans and Finland (for irony's sake let's say that after Stalin fired Zhukov, he sent him to lead the Soviet effort in the North to 'redeem' himself).

Since the Soviets now put much higher priority to the Finnish front, Finland didn't really stood a chance and was defeated and occupied. The resistance from partisan groups convinced Stalin, however, that it would be more profitable to have Finland as a puppet and let Finns fight Finns rather than to annex the whole country to the Soviet Union.
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Here's the summary of post-war events in Czechoslovakia (the Czech F. Rep.):

Post-war Czechoslovakia

The rapid Allied victory in Europe caught the Czechoslovak government by surprise. By 1944, the Czechoslovak government-in-exile had already been trying to forge a new and stronger relationship with the Soviet Union as it was largely expected that it would be the Red Army who would liberate the Czechoslovak territory. When Bohemia and Moravia were liberated by the US army instead, the exiled leadership moved from London to Prague in late autumn 1944 and established an interim government based on a wide political coalition called the National Council. For the Communists who had been organizing in Moscow the victory of Western Allies was a blow to their post-war plans. The party was subsequently split and the members of Slovak origin moved to Soviet-occupied Slovakia, whereas the Czech members returned to western Czechoslovakia during the winter 1944/45.

Two biggest issues in the early post-war period were the fate of the Sudeten Germans and the reunification with Slovakia.

The government-in-exile’s preferred solution was to expel the whole Sudeten German population and this stance put it at odds with Sudeten German exile in Britain (mostly social democratic oriented Germans forced into exile by the Nazis). However this plan turned out to be undoable in the reality of post-war Czechoslovakia. The factual loss of Slovakia meant that the population of the state dropped by roughly 3 million and the Sudeten Germans thus made up nearly 1/3 of the country’s population. Their removal would practically ruin the already struggling economy and severely weaken the country. Moreover, the Western Allies voiced strong opposition to any large scale forced transfer of German population which could have destabilized their relatively smooth occupation of Germany. Therefore a lighter variant of the plan was chosen. In a series of trials the notorious Sudeten German Nazi collaborators were sentenced either to death (a minority of cases) or loss of citizenship and deportation in which they were usually joined by their families. After these trials, roughly 300,000 Czechoslovak citizens of German nationality were deported to Germany and Austria. The problem was hardly solved as the remaining Germans were only barely tolerated and there was a real threat of widespread civil unrest in the future.

The issue of reunification with Slovakia was an equally complicated one. When the Soviets were denied their own occupation zone in Germany proper, they began sealing the borders drawn along the demarcation line and setting up puppet Communist regimes in the countries ‘liberated’ by the Red Army. This had proven to be very difficult in Slovakia, where Communism had almost negligible support among the traditionally rural and Catholic population. Slovakia was thus ruled by an interim government formed from former members of the Czechoslovak Communist Party for a period of 3 years following the end of WW2 in Europe. This government was seen by most Slovaks as an illegitimate one and the Soviet occupation forces soon began to clash with anti-communist partisans in the mountainous regions of central Slovakia.

In this situation, the Soviets laid out a plan for reunification which asked for withdrawal of both Western and Soviet armies from all of Czechoslovakia (except the sub-Carpathian Ruthenia which had already been annexed by the USSR) and federalization of the country based on tolerance of the pro-Soviet Communist government in Slovakia. As it was clearly unworkable, the Czechs refused this plan and demanded free elections to be held in whole Czechoslovakia, which in turn was not acceptable to the Soviets who feared than instead of using Slovakia as a Trojan horse to introduce Communism in Czechoslovakia, Slovakia would be de-communized and thus lost for the Soviets. When the negotiations finally broke up in 1945, the Soviet Union formally recognized the existence of the Slovak state (soon renamed to Slovak Socialist Republic) and guaranteed it’s ‘independence’. Following this outright violation of the territorial sovereignty of Czechoslovakia which had now become merely a virtual country, the Czech government in Prague renounced the Czechoslovak-Soviet treaty of 1943 and suspended diplomatic relations with Moscow.

1946 elections

As the long-planned elections approached, the newly re-constituted political parties in (western) Czechoslovakia began their election campaigns. Major parties were:
- the Agrarian Party representing the rural Czech population led by Josef Černý;
- the National Democratic Coalition, an alliance of pre-war center-right parties oriented mostly towards liberal urban middle-class, led by Petr Zenkl;
- the Czechoslovak People’s Party, a strongly Catholic conservative party led by Jan Šrámek;
- the Czech Social Democratic Party, a party split between pro-communist and non-communist wings, led by Zdeněk Fierlinger;
- the Czech Communist Party, a pro-Soviet Bolshevik party led by Klement Gottwald;
In addition, two major Sudeten German parties were set to win seats in the parliament, the German Social Democratic Party led by Wenzel Jaksch and the German Christian Social People's Party, a conservative party led by Robert Mayr-Harting.

It soon became clear that the Communists were set to win the elections, carried on a wave of dissatisfaction with the post-war development. CPP program was essentially a populist one. It promised a new round of negotiations with the USSR on the reunification of Czechoslovakia, a nationalization of key industries, an agrarian reform and redistribution of land among small farmers and most of all, more punishment for the ‘German collaborators’. Secretly funded and supported by the Soviets, the Communist Party was well-organized and very influential. It managed to infiltrate many non-Communist organizations and parties (Czech Social Democrats were heavily under the Communist influence by 1946), trade unions, the police and it also had many supporters in the military, mostly those who were fighting in the ranks of Red Army during the war. In addition to that, it had established a paramilitary arm called the People’s Militia (Lidové milice) which it often used to demonstrate its power and strength.

Other parties were naturally scared by the prospect of Communist-dominated government, yet they were not able to form a wide pre-election coalition which would face the Communist-Social Democratic bloc. As expected, the Communist party won the elections in May, 1946, but they failed to obtain absolute majority with the Social Democrats, who fared bad in the elections since they were seen largely as a mere puppet of the CPP.

A difficult political situation ensued. The Czech parties wanted to form a purely Czech government, without the German parties, but except the Social Democrats, none of them was willing to enter a Communist-dominated government. Although President Edvard Beneš first asked the CPP leader Klement Gottwald to form a government, he was unable to do so as he couldn’t obtain any support from other Czech political parties and cooperation with German parties was out of question. When the first attempt had failed, Beneš asked the leader of the 2nd strongest Czech party, the National Democratic Coalition, to try to form a government. Zenkl’s only option now was to invite both German parties into the government to form the widest possible non-Communist coalition. After other parties agreed to negotiate with the Germans about a future constitutional reform granting the German-speaking parts of Czechoslovakia fair representation in the country’s political system, it was publicly announced that an agreement was reached.

The Communists were outraged; they clearly failed to take the possibility of wide Czech-German anti-Communist coalition into consideration. Believing that it was the right time to strike (and incited by Soviet spies), they denounced the new government as “a bunch of traitors who would sell the country back to the Germans” and called for a general strike. People’s Militias began attacking the Germans and “bourgeois enemies” in the streets and clashing with the police. However, the Communist Party overplayed its hand. Despite some response to their call for a general strike, majority of trade unions didn’t take part in it and the Party’s reputation was thus greatly damaged. Also the violence displayed by the People’s Militia surprised many of CPP’s voters who realized that the Communist scare tactics was awfully similar to that used by the Nazis. As a result, many of its supporters turned away from after the post-election turmoil.

Meanwhile, the President and the Prime Minister jointly announced an ultimatum to the Communists, ordering them to dissolve the People’s Militia and end all incitement to violence. When the Communists failed to respond, a state of emergency was declared in many cities and the police accompanied by selected reliable army units were send in to disarm them. This was eventually accomplished after severe clashes which led to the death of several policemen. In the following weeks, the violence ebbed out and the Communists realized that they had lost the gambit. But the worst was yet to come: in a trial held before the Constitutional Court, the Czech Communist Party was banned for an obvious subversion of democratic order and an attempt to stage a coup d’etat. Klement Gottwald fled to Slovakia to escape imprisonment, but many top-ranking officials of the Communist Party were sentenced to many years in prison in the follow-up trials. The armed forces including the police and the military also underwent a series of purges in which pro-Communist officers were either dismissed or shifted to less important positions. Remaining Communist party members either went into illegality or they joined the Social Democratic party, now purged of the pro-Bolshevik wing after the resignation of its pro-Communist chairman Zdeněk Fierlinger. In the end, the failed Communist takeover of 1946 turned out to have been a mortal blow to the credibility of Communist ideas in Czech lands.


The end of Czechoslovakia

When the post-election turmoil finally receded, serious negotiation began between Czech and German representatives about the future of Czechoslovakia. As it was now clear that reunification is no longer viable, it was obvious that a major constitutional overhaul was necessary and with the Parliament cleansed of radical Communists, such a reform became possible.

Several models were discussed, ranging from purely unitary republic based on French concept of a political nation to a Swiss model of semi-independent cantons. In the end, a compromise solution was chosen. The constitutional reform would include an administrative reform abolishing the old Czechoslovak system of land governments and replacing it with a system of federal states of similar size and population, each with its own government and parliament. Since the territorial distribution of ethnic Germans didn’t always follow the borders of the new states, this reform resulted in 3 majority German states, 3 mixed states where no nationality had a clear majority and 3 majority Czech states. Both languages were declared official and the government committed itself to promoting bilingualism in all parts of the country. Also, the name of the country was changed to Czech Federal Republic (Bundesrepublik Böhmen was chosen as the official German translation after prolonged disputes over semantics), a clear sign that old Czechoslovakia had now definitely ceased to exist.

Despite the initial skepticism, the new system proved to be a stable one. To the surprise of many, it helped to defuse the national tensions in the C.F.R. and gradually as the economic situation began to improve, both Czechs and Germans learned to live alongside each other in peace and respect. This is not to say that this coexistence was without problems, but the pessimism of the early post-war era eventually made way to cautious optimism and a new faith that despite their differences and past disputes, the Czechs and Germans are capable of mutually profitable cooperation inside the borders of the historical Czech lands.
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[written by another poster] Had a bit of a think about Scandinavia in this. Pretty speculative, but still.

Finland weathers the first Soviet offensive in the summer of 1944 as per history. This time the Soviets decide to go for broke, amps up the effort and overrun the Finnish defenses, fair enough.

As per history and then some we will be seeing Soviet troops pushing into northern Norway in pursuit of retreating German forces. The real question might be why they should leave, and if they are focusing on this front, why not push hard and fast at least to somewhere useful, like Trondheim to perhaps secure a port directly on the North Atlantic?

As per history, Soviet units will perhaps also make it to the Danish island of Bornholm - and maybe then some. If the Soviets focus on this front, Denmark is an achievable objective, depending on the rapidity of the British advance. There might be a race for Denmark? Again the prospect of direct access to the Atlantic is a Soviet strategic objective.

If Finland goes down in the Autumn of 1944, this brings Soviet troops directly to the Swedish border along Torne river in the north. That is guaranteed to make the Swedes nervous. It also brings up the question whether the Soviets would break for Sweden here, or just keep pushing their offensive? There were some serious considerations about forcing Sweden to enter the war against Germany towards the end of the historical WWII. Had the 200 000 German troops in Norway not surrendered in 1945, it is possible Sweden would have committed to fighting these. Churchill pushed for such a move.

At least the Soviets would be looking at picking up the Swedish island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic, especially if they are racing towards Denmark and can use it as a stepping stone, whether that would be a permanent arrangement or not.

I guess it is possible that Sweden might actually enter WWII as a belligerent on the Allied side, and take a fight with the German troops in Norway in 1944, as a way of preempting some kind of hostile move by the Soviet Union having hove very much into view in Sweden.

As per Winner's map for this scenario, it might be that Sweden enters the war alongside the Allies in 1944, to preempt possible Soviet designs on both Sweden, northern Norway and Denmark, while the British successfully race from the west and south to beat the Soviets to these areas. (Thus I get to make my native land enter WWII to eventually do what was after all the right thing in that war.)

Finland ends up as a Soviet satellite, a People's Republic of Finland, headed by the leader of the Finnish Communist Party founded in Moscow in 1918, Otto Ville Kuusinen, whose Finnish puppet government was initially set up at Terijoki already during the Winter War in 1939. Curiously the situation would mean the vindication of Finnish Fieldmarshall Mannerheim's idea of sending 70 000 Finnish children to grow up in Sweden, as was done in 1939-1945, as a means of ensuring a generation of Finns would grow up in freedom, to possibly return to liberate Finland at some later point in time. Not counting the potentially large number of direct refugees from Finland to Sweden beginning in 1944. Considering how historically 30 000 refugees made it to Sweden from the Baltic States at the Soviet occupation of their lands, we can assume they turn up, complemented with at least a similar number of Finns.

While Finland is lost, that sets Sweden, Denmark and Norway up as western allied democracies in the post-war era. The post-war idea of a Nordic defensive alliance of these three countries might be viable, but considering all three nations were belligerents on the side of the Allies eventually, NATO membership for all three is more likely.

Historically in the immediate post-war period Sweden were doing all kinds of things in cahoots with especially the UK, in the form of surveillance photography of Soviet military installations along the Baltic, and the introduction of numerous spies and agents into the Baltic states — an utter failure, since the British intelligence community was riddled with Soviet double-agents (Kim Philby et al.) All it would take would be a formalisation of this actual cooperation.

A bit dramatically, if the Swedes would be more immediately worried about being a direct frontline state in a possible showdown with the Soviet Union, it might mean that independent nuclear deterrence capability would get a higher priority, and the Swedish nuclear weapons program would not be scrapped in the early 1970's. With NATO resources at its back, Sweden might decide that their invasion defense would be large enough at maybe 600 000 men or so (instead of 900 000 in the late 1980's), and thus find the money for the nukes as well?
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[Would there be a Cold War?] Of course there would be a Cold War. Soviets are royally pissed by the result of WW2 and they want more power in the world, which means Cold War is going to happen.

They would be less dangerous with regard to their nuclear/rocket arsenals but it would be a huge mistake to underestimate their capability to make life difficult to the West by other means.

They don't control most of Central Europe in this timeline, but they penetrated deeper in Asia and their grip over the Balkans is much firmer than in OTL. They also have better access to the Middle East thanks to their alliance with commie Greece and annexed parts of Northern Iran, so we can expect more trouble in this region. For example, I don't think they would support Israel in its war of independence in this timeline, maybe they'd rather support the Arabs.

I'd say that this Cold War would be even more dangerous than the OTL one. Soviets in TTL are more assertive and more angry at the West, and the lack of early nuclear deterrence could mean that the Soviets would build even bigger conventional military, and also invest in the Navy and Air Force. At the same time, the West would probably rely more on nuclear weapons than it did in OTL, which would leave it weaker by the time the Soviets will have caught up with them in the nuclear race.

There is a distinct possibility that WW3 might start in the 1970s. Or the Soviet empire will collapse under the weight of the costs of maintaining such a huge military without developed satellite states in Central Europe to share the costs...
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About East Asia - I don't know. I admit I am focusing on Europe. Few guidelines about Asia:

China is united and Communist, and there was no early Sino-Soviet split in this timeline.
Korea is united and Communist, balancing between China and the USSR.
Japan is split between the southern democratic part and northern Communist puppet republic controlled by the USSR. I thing that there would be a lot of tension there as both superpowers kept their military forces on the home islands.
Vietnam conflict happened in this timeline too and it was longer and more violent.

India - I don't know. Ralph wants it to turn Communist, but I don't know enough to come up with a realistic way to do it. I leave it to others if anybody is interested.

Last edited by Winner; September 25th, 2009 at 11:42 AM..
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Old September 25th, 2009, 12:41 PM
Krix Krix is offline
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The borders of divided Poland are completely implausible.
Upper Silesia and Pomerania remaining in German hands is implausible.
The Eastern Poland lacks both population or any resources to function as state.
No removal of Germans from invaded countries is implausible.
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However this plan turned out to be undoable in the reality of post-war Czechoslovakia. The factual loss of Slovakia meant that the population of the state dropped by roughly 3 million and the Sudeten Germans thus made up nearly 1/3 of the country’s population.
Poles lost more population and more territory in OTL and yet they decided to pursue the population transfer, despite the economic consequences. The desire to prevent repeat of German invasion and atrocities was stronger then economic considerations.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 05:18 PM
Xen Xen is offline
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Originally Posted by Krix View Post
The borders of divided Poland are completely implausible.
Why? Is it any more implausible than the borders of OTL Germany, Korea or Vietnam? The short answer is no!

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Upper Silesia and Pomerania remaining in German hands is implausible.
Not in an alternate scenario especially with a divided Poland. In spite of your negative response the only thing about the map that is implausible is a unified German nation. The allies were pretty determined in 1945 to carve Germany up into as many as three to four seperate states.

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The Eastern Poland lacks both population or any resources to function as state.
Maybe you would like to educate us on what is the bare minimum population needed to function as a state. I am really interested in this, please fill us in.

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No removal of Germans from invaded countries is implausible.
Poles lost more population and more territory in OTL and yet they decided to pursue the population transfer, despite the economic consequences. The desire to prevent repeat of German invasion and atrocities was stronger then economic considerations.
For once I agree. Germans are going to be expelled from territory they invaded, no ands ifs and buts about it. All four of the major allies agreed on this.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Mulder Mulder is offline
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For once I agree. Germans are going to be expelled from territory they invaded, no ands ifs and buts about it. All four of the major allies agreed on this.
But Germans were not expelled from either Belgium or Denmark in OTL.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 06:31 PM
DireSituation DireSituation is offline
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Tis a good ATL. It's unlikely with the POD, but still plausible if one looks at the broad picture.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 06:55 PM
Krix Krix is offline
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But Germans were not expelled from either Belgium or Denmark in OTL.
The Germans there didn't classify local population as untermenschen, and German minorities didn't assume the role of Nazi master race.

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Is it any more implausible than the borders of OTL Germany, Korea or Vietnam? The short answer is no!
The short answer is yes, since they are based on eastern border of Poland that was established in 1945 while the POD is in 1944. Also unlike Germany or Korea or Vietnam they don't contain any significant population, industry and so on, also they are completely un-defendable.

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Not in an alternate scenario especially with a divided Poland.
Not really, Upper Silesia was the important for German arms industry and keeping it in German hands was considered foolish by Allies due to experience of Second World War. Also Allies agreed to territorial changes on western Polish border well before 1944.

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Maybe you would like to educate us on what is the bare minimum population needed to function as a state.
One that allows for successful competition with its divided part. I am afraid that this proposed state not only would be dwarfed by its divided part by terms of population, industry, but due to fact that it is almost completely rural territory, and a few of its cities are right on its border.

Besides in 1944 there was already a government of national unity and Soviets grabed power only by 1947-well too late for any two states to developed.

The proposal that "Polish government refuses military transfer to Soviets" would be rejected by both Allies, implausible since Polish military worked with Red Army in OTL, and Soviets had 500,000 strong Polish army of their own at their disposal.
No serious politician in the West would deny Soviets their influence in post-war decision making over Germany-they relations at that point were quite good, and especially Americans were not interested in hostilities(and people like Patton didn't really matter in politics).
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Old September 25th, 2009, 10:33 PM
Xen Xen is offline
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Originally Posted by Krix View Post
The short answer is yes, since they are based on eastern border of Poland that was established in 1945 while the POD is in 1944. Also unlike Germany or Korea or Vietnam they don't contain any significant population, industry and so on, also they are completely un-defendable.
The way I took it and the way it appears to be written is the border is established along where the Soviets and Allies met, not some pre-existing condition so therefore the border is similiar to what we have in Korea.

Eastern Poland is not annexed into the Soviets because the Soviets wanted a buffer to the capitalist West Poland.


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Not really, Upper Silesia was the important for German arms industry and keeping it in German hands was considered foolish by Allies due to experience of Second World War. Also Allies agreed to territorial changes on western Polish border well before 1944.
However I also suggested that they break Germany up into several states, if Upper Silesia is part of a smaller German state. The allies could also break down all the industry in Upper Silesia.


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One that allows for successful competition with its divided part. I am afraid that this proposed state not only would be dwarfed by its divided part by terms of population, industry, but due to fact that it is almost completely rural territory, and a few of its cities are right on its border.
This would sort of being like the Confederate States winning the American Civil War. It would be interesting for you to tell them they could not successfully compete with its divided part in the north because it is dwarfed in terms of population, industry and due to the fact it is almost completly rural territories and most of populous cities are south of the border. Got it

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Besides in 1944 there was already a government of national unity and Soviets grabed power only by 1947-well too late for any two states to developed.
So the Soviets control one portion of the country and will install what ever government they wish and if the west is unhappy with the government in their portion they will force an election and maybe even fudge the poll numbers a little. The west was not beyond that.

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No serious politician in the West would deny Soviets their influence in post-war decision making over Germany-they relations at that point were quite good, and especially Americans were not interested in hostilities(and people like Patton didn't really matter in politics).
I can agree to this too. Perhaps by breaking Germany down into numerous states (like I said three or four) and have them all "Austriaized" would be a better solution.

I truley think if the allies performed this much better we will likely see the Soviets more willing to negotiate the control of Eastern Europe. In my no Cold War TL, the Soviets allowed Eastern Europe what ever form of government they wanted under internationally supervised elections and a promise made good not to interefere with the domestic politics of Eastern Europe. In return Eastern Europe was neutralized and became a group of Soviet protectorates which gave the Soviets influence on the foreign policies of their neighbors. Not a perfect solution by any means but certainly more agreeable.
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  #8  
Old September 25th, 2009, 10:45 PM
The Kiat The Kiat is offline
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Not so sure about the plausablility, but I like the map
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  #9  
Old September 26th, 2009, 01:15 AM
Mulder Mulder is offline
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Originally Posted by Xen View Post
I can agree to this too. Perhaps by breaking Germany down into numerous states (like I said three or four) and have them all "Austriaized" would be a better solution.
It is impossible to "austriaize" any component of germany save maybe bavaria. places like hesse, mecklenburg, thuringia or baden never had any national identity while austria had one (although extremely undedeveloped until 1945) the best example for this is the otl situation in 1990. East Germany and West Germany wanted to unify immediately since there was no seperate identity at all.
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  #10  
Old September 26th, 2009, 01:25 AM
Kneze Kneze is offline
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this map only seems possible if Valkyrie was successful
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  #11  
Old September 26th, 2009, 02:50 AM
Eurofed Eurofed is offline
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Some considerations:

I indeed agree that this map looks more likely if Valkyrie is successful, esp. as it concerns having the Iron Curtain at the Vistula instead of the Warta or the Oder. If we pick the PoD of the Anglo-Americans making a decisive move for Berlin and Vienna, this surely moves the Iron Curtain to the Oder-Neisse or the Oder, or maybe the Warta, but the Vistula is pushing it. However, I also acknowledge that the sequence of PoDs that the OP assembled to justify the outcome seems plausible.

If the Soviets never reach within Germany-Austria, it wholly makes sense that they do not get an occupation zone there and Germany keeps Pomerania and Silesia (and actually I make strong objections to the fact that the map gives pre-war German Upper Silesia to Poland). IOTL the occupation zones in Germany-Austria and the Oder-Neisse border were only really finalized at Potsdam and were greately shaped by the military facts on the ground, any previous agreements in merit were vague and provisional. Roosevelt and Churchill were never really interested in giving the Soviets a foothold in Germany or the Poles Pomerania and Silesia, as far as they were concerned, the German-Polish issue would have been setled by giving East Prussia to Poland. As far as they were concerned, the issue of ending German threat would be settled by enforcing vigorous Allied control and reshaping of German society with denazification, democratization, disarmament, "deprussianization", and an political-military protectorate on Germany. Moreover, ITTL the Soviets never occupy Pomerania and Silesia, there is no flight of the German population, the Anglo-Americans would loathe to stage a large-scale ethnic cleasing of an area under their administration that has no Polish population and never was Polish in the last millennium. It is indeed even very questionable whether they would let the Czech stage mass ethnic cleansing of the Sudentenland in a Czechia under their control, but in Eastern Germany it is outlandish.

In all likelihood, if they get a free hand in Germany, they are going to enforce something much like the Roosevelt plan. I.e. Germany (including Austria) would be divided into several occupated zones, Hanover, Hessen, Bavaria, Austria, Prussia, and Saxony. The original intention would be to make them into separate nations, however, they would gradually change their intention, as the Cold War gets heated, anti-German animosity dies out, and the invaluable contribution of Germany to the Western bloc becomes clear.

Therefore, I propose that ITTL the division of Greater Germany in allied occupation zones lasts a bit longer, then they are gradually allowed to unite in a single nation, under Allied protectorate that is then gradually lessened. Say the various zones are allowed to unify in 1955, after various referendums indicates that this is the will of the people, Germany is given back autonomy in internal affairs, and in 1960 is allowed autonomy in foreign affairs and to rebuild an army (within the strict bounds of the NATO/EU framework, of course). Austria remains part of the German nation because the Western Allies never get much interested into treating it differently from the rest of Germany, without Soviet occupation the Austrians are never moved to develop a neutral separate national identity to escape it, and vote for reunification.

The presence of a West Poland makes Stalin willing to keep trans-Vistula East Poland as a separate satellite to claim rival legitimacy to rule the Polish nation, and it looks viable. At the very most, Stalin might give Lwow back to East Poland to buffer it, i.e. to use Curzon Line "B", not "A", as the Soviet-East Poland border, but it is unlikely.

I would point out that while a Communist Finland makes a lot of sense ITTL, like the division of Iran, Stalin would also likely keep hold of Finnmark and annex it to Finland. In Asia, while Stalin would indeed try to recoup the loss of Central Europe by making a stronger, earlier push to take control of Manchuria, conquer all of Korea before the Americans land in South Korea, and perhaps even to make the planned landing in Hokkaido and set it as a Communist North Japan. Howeve, such blatant Soviet land-grabs would push the Anglo-Americans even more into a Cold War mood. So we may expect the Americans to make a stronger effort to support the GMD in the Chinese Civil War, and if the Soviets take full control of Manchuria, the Chinese Nationalists would never try to reconquer it, which crippled their military chances against the Chinese Communists. So in all likelihood the Chinese Civil War ends into division of China into Communist North (which makes no Sino-Soviet split as the Soviets entrench their control) and a Capitalist South, with the demarcation line at the Yellow River. The North Korea-South Korea dynamic gets played out between the two Chinas ITTL. Without support from the PRC to the Vietminh, the French crush the Viets with American support.

Also, if ITTL the Western Allies advance further east in Germany, they would do so in northern Italy, too, and so beat the Yugoslav Communists to Gorizia-Gradisca, Trieste, and Istria, too. As a result, surely Gorizia, Kars, Trieste hinterland, western Istria, which was majority Italian, and quite likely even all the Julian March would stay with Italy. Even IOTL the Allies were not willing to hand Trieste back to Yugoslavia, they had poor relationships with the Yugoslav Communists, they would have even less reason to hand back the Julian March if they reach it first, control all of it, and Yugoslavia remains a Soviet satellite. The 1919 border is rather better strategically than the OTL 1947 one against an hostile Soviet bloc. Quite likely Italy keeps the pre-war border with Yugoslavia (which was internationally recognized) or something close to it.

I would also point out that ITTL, with the need to keep a stronger Greater Germany under control and to exploit its potential for NATO against a more aggressive Soviets, France would get more reason to go ahead with the EDC/EPC European military-political integration when the Americans start to pressure for German rearmament. So ITTL we may easily see a more federal EU getting an integrated European army and political integration from the start in addition to the EEC economic integration. If this be the case, we may easily see a strong EU be born in 1955-60.

Last edited by Eurofed; September 26th, 2009 at 04:38 AM..
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  #12  
Old September 26th, 2009, 04:36 AM
Eurofed Eurofed is offline
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Here, I've edited the 1971 European map with what I deem necessary adjustments (the Italo-Yugoslav border has been retraced by hand, so it may not be exact, but it is supposed to be the 1919 one or something close to it).

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Old September 26th, 2009, 04:42 AM
Citizen Samuel Citizen Samuel is offline
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Anschluss with a POD after 1944? Are you crazy?
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Old September 26th, 2009, 05:31 AM
Eurofed Eurofed is offline
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Originally Posted by The Gonzo View Post
Anschluss with a POD after 1944? Are you crazy?
Over the long term, Americans and Western Europeans are not going to keep Germany and Austria separate against their will any more than they did or would with Hanover and Bavaria, or West Germany and East Germany. And without Soviet occupation, a separate Austrian national consciousness or Austrian neutrality (which are strongly interwined) never develop.

Do not think of this as something that would happen in 1946 or 1948, think it as something that happens in 1955-1960, as part of the gradual reunification and autonomy of the various occupation zones in Greater Germany, quite likely as part of its integration in a strong early EU. For the first several years after WWII, Germany would look rather like this, and Austria would be one zone among several, nothing special:




This is the original plan that the Western Allies developed for Germany on their own, and would follow, if they do not need to take heed of the Soviets. Of course, over the years, as anti-German animosity dies down, the "new" Germans look like they have genuinely reformed to peaceful democracy and loyalty to the Western bloc, and the Soviet threat looks more and more like the overriding concern, there shall be more and more willingness to allow the various German zones to recover national unity and poltical autonomy, within the strict bounds of the NATO/EU framework of course, and there is no reason why Austria, Hanover, Saxony, or Bavaria would not be part of the process, if the Soviets do not control any of them.

Last edited by Eurofed; September 26th, 2009 at 05:43 AM..
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Old September 26th, 2009, 11:41 AM
Krix Krix is offline
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The map is taken from Wikipedia and is original creation. It doesn't follow the actual changes proposed from Allies.
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I indeed agree that this map looks more likely if Valkyrie is successful, esp. as it concerns having the Iron Curtain at the Vistula instead of the Warta or the Oder.
That was never the goal of Valkyrie group. In fact it couldn't be since the term of Iron Curtain was invented much later after their attempt to keep German occupation of Central and Eastern Europe by killing Hitler and making deal with Western Allies(which they wouldn't make).

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the occupation zones in Germany-Austria and the Oder-Neisse border were only really finalized at Potsdam and were greately shaped by the military facts on the ground,
Incorrect. The territorial changes were decided long before by the Allies. Some changes were last minute like Szczecin or deciding or giving Lower Silesia but the Oder River was decided long before fights on German soil.

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as far as they were concerned, the German-Polish issue would have been setled by giving East Prussia to Poland.
A simple glance into diplomatic materials from all Allied conferences will prove this to be incorrect. In all talks there was no opposition whatsoever to Silesia becoming part of Poland. Not to mention nobody wanted to give East Prussia to Poland, since Stalin demanded and was given Konigsberg as warm water port early on. The parts of East Prussia were very small and not considered a compensation for its eastern losses, nor enough to secure its safety from Germany. Really-all of this is freely available thanks to US government who published the documented talks and conference material on the net. I really sugggest you read it, as it will give you an influence for more plausible AH scenarios.
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Moreover, ITTL the Soviets never occupy Pomerania and Silesia, there is no flight of the German population, the Anglo-Americans would loathe to stage a large-scale ethnic cleasing of an area under their administration that has no Polish population and never was Polish in the last millennium.
There would be no ethnic cleansing but population transfer just like in OTL.
Parts of Upper Silesia was already part of Poland before WW2 and like in its other parts where German minority organisations assisted Nazi invasion and overwhelmingly took part in atrocities-Germans would be transferred away. Just like in Czechoslovaki.
As to your claim of no Polish population-I am afraid that again you have to reach for historical material on that subject. There were milions of Poles in Silesia, mainly in Upper Silesian part, but also in cities like Wrocław(known as Breslau) where for instance the local minority engaged in resistance against the Nazis during the war.
As to claim "ever was Polish in the last millennium" -that is a gross historical ignorance. Polish kings resigned the dynastic right to inherit Silesia in 1348, however parts of Silesia were restored to Polish kings in 1645 in the Opole region, until bought back by Habsburgs in 1666.


All in all your claims and propositions are implausible, and reflect lack of historic knowledge. I suggest you read the contents of Allied talks that are available on the net, they will surely enlighten you as to the possible decisions and changes that are possible.

This link contains most of them, with a search function
http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/FRUS/

I hope you will enjoye it, and in future we can patricipate in fun realistic AH scenarios
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  #16  
Old September 26th, 2009, 11:45 AM
Pikers3 Pikers3 is online now
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i cant see Britain or France allowing Germany & Austria to unite as it would make Germany way to powerful. Also it would seem to the public that all Germany can be united. This would cause Italy, Belguim, Denmark and the Czech federal Republic to be very worried as the German populations in those countries would now have a option to be annexed to Germany. I can imagine the only countries that would be for a greater Germany would be Spain, Sweden and Portugal. As in the rest of Europe, America and Canada there would still be some anti german feeling.
Uniting Austria with Germany is not the same as uniting Hannover & Germany. Austria was never part of the united Germany and they had their own empire. I think Austria has been distinct from Germany/Prussia for at least 500 years.
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  #17  
Old September 26th, 2009, 02:08 PM
Citizen Samuel Citizen Samuel is offline
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Originally Posted by Eurofed View Post
Over the long term, Americans and Western Europeans are not going to keep Germany and Austria separate against their will any more than they did or would with Hanover and Bavaria, or West Germany and East Germany. And without Soviet occupation, a separate Austrian national consciousness or Austrian neutrality (which are strongly interwined) never develop.
The difference between Austria and Bavaria is that Austria was a nation that had only ever been part of Germany from 1938-1945. Britain and France opposed German reunification in 1990 OTL, how do you think they would react to Anschluss in the 60's?
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Old September 26th, 2009, 02:23 PM
Hanzo Hanzo is offline
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Originally Posted by The Gonzo View Post
The difference between Austria and Bavaria is that Austria was a nation that had only ever been part of Germany from 1938-1945. Britain and France opposed German reunification in 1990 OTL, how do you think they would react to Anschluss in the 60's?
Becuase the HRE never happend at all And Bavaria too was a independant nation for a set amount of time (1806-1871) and even when it was absorbed into the German empire continued to have it's own monarchy and such.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 02:30 PM
Eurofed Eurofed is offline
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Originally Posted by Pikers3 View Post
i cant see Britain or France allowing Germany & Austria to unite as it would make Germany way to powerful.
Don't forget that ITTL we still have British and French troops in Germany throughout the Cold War, Germany would still be "economic giant, political dwarf" throughout the Cold War, its economy, foreign policy, and military kept under close rein by the NATO and EU framework. In all likelihood, either the last Allied control powers are phased out at the end of the Cold War, or Germany is soon subsumed into a strong quasi-federal EU framework, as it would have happened if the EDC/EPC had been successful, which it quite likely with a united Germany. France would be even more eager to apply their "if you can't cripple them, harness them" strategy. As for the British, they would have their usual misgivings about a strong French-German EU, true, but about the Americans, as long as NATO keeps a firm rein over Germany, and they have their troops in the country, they would not really worry.

Quote:
Also it would seem to the public that all Germany can be united. This would cause Italy, Belguim, Denmark and the Czech federal Republic to be very worried as the German populations in those countries would now have a option to be annexed to Germany.
There is a big difference, however. Austria is a purely German land, and its unity with Germany proper does not threaten their rights of any non-German nation or minority. Indeed I would absolutely expect that the Allies make it very sure that any irredentist movement about South Tyrol or the Sudetenland has to be crushed hard within Germany as one of the precondition to give back Germany any political autonomy. But it would not be any really different from OTL, where such movements have been strongly marginalized to the far right fringes in Germany & Austria. The Allies have free rein as the occupation government of Germany for a considerable tiem, they can easily enforce the meme that irredentism on Italian and Czech stuff is a neo-Nazi thing and a no-no. Moreover, in all likelihood, this Germany is strongly bound within a NATO/EU framework where Italy, Belgium, Czechia, Demmark would all have clout. In all likelihood, Germany remains something of a NATO/EU quasi-protectorate throughout the Cold War, with its army under the direct control of a Pan-European high command and not its national government (as it was in the EDC/EPC project). But IMO only South Tyrol and Sudetenland might theoretically be a concern, the numbers of the German minority in Blegium and Denmark always were so pitiful that they failed to sustain any significant irredentist movement in the interwar period.

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As in the rest of Europe, America and Canada there would still be some anti german feeling.
According to OTL example, it would be quickly fleeting. If a good thing can be said about American national character, it is that they are demonstrably very quick to forgive a vanquished enemy that is a gracious loser. As soon as the Germans look like they are reformed and make themselves useful against the Soviets, the Americans would soon become the greatest sponsors of giving them a reliatively loose rein.

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Austria was never part of the united Germany and they had their own empire.
This is historically untrue. Austria was part of the HRE just like the rest of Germany, and whatever one may rightfully think about the horrible abuse the Nazis did of it, the Anschluss was in all evidence a national unification carried with the support of the vast majority of the people. And anyway, the Allies have a quick and reliable democratic way to settle the issue for good, named a referendum under their supervision. Without Soviet occupation, it would in all evidence go just like Saar.

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I think Austria has been distinct from Germany/Prussia for at least 500 years.
More like between 1866 and 1918.
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  #20  
Old September 26th, 2009, 02:33 PM
Citizen Samuel Citizen Samuel is offline
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Originally Posted by Hanzo View Post
Becuase the HRE never happend at all And Bavaria too was a independant nation for a set amount of time (1806-1871) and even when it was absorbed into the German empire continued to have it's own monarchy and such.
The HRE was never a centralised nation-state. Austria was independent of Germany before WW1, after WW1 and before and after WW2. The only period of its history when it has ever been part of Germany itself has been during the Nazi regime. This is why anschluss is never an option post '45.
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