Go Back   Alternate History Discussion Board > Discussion > Alternate History Discussion: After 1900

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old May 1st, 2013, 04:33 AM
WrappedInShadows WrappedInShadows is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: My Godly Throne In The Heart Of The Sea
Posts: 441
Communist Germany 1920's

Is it possible for the communists to take control of Germany instead of the Fascists in the 20s/30s?

I Know they were sort of both vying for power, but what if the reds won out?

Certainly WW2 would not have happened, at least not the way we know it.

Could it have been a communist Germany allied with-or even part of-the USSR, against the west?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old May 1st, 2013, 04:47 AM
Enigmajones Enigmajones is offline
Ours Is The Fury
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Look behind you
Posts: 1000 or more
The Communists wont take power in Germany in the 20's, unless the German Revolution can be avoided in 1918. Delay it a few years, like say to 1924, and you may end up with a balkanized Germany. With a Communist government in power in the North of Germany. Bavaria will go its away almost certainly.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 1st, 2013, 05:06 AM
Cook Cook is offline
Mowque's ghost at the banquet
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hell (the cold part)
Posts: 1000 or more
The German Communist Party (KPD) never won more than 16% of the vote in any Federal election during the Weimer republic’s history. In fact its greatest electoral success was in the very last free election, that of March 1933, following which its members were not permitted to sit in the Reichstag anyway. During the 1920s the party’s popularity never crept above 10%. And the only way to power in the Weimer republic after 1919 was via the ballot box and in coalition with other parties; the republic was nowhere near as unstable as many people suggest.

There is an alternative which is probably not quite what you have in mind and that is a Popular Front government. Such governments, where the government is led by Socialist or Social-Democrats with the support of the Communists, took office in both France and Spain despite the previous extreme animosity between the Socialist and Communist parties in both of those countries.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollis Hurlbut View Post
like Truman dropping the atomic bomb on Judy Garland.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thespitron 6000 View Post
Nobody speaks French. Even the French don't. They just pretend to for the tourists.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old May 1st, 2013, 05:08 AM
WrappedInShadows WrappedInShadows is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: My Godly Throne In The Heart Of The Sea
Posts: 441
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook View Post
The German Communist Party (KPD) never won more than 16% of the vote in any Federal election during the Weimer republicís history. In fact its greatest electoral success was in the very last free election, that of March 1933, following which its members were not permitted to sit in the Reichstag anyway. During the 1920s the partyís popularity never crept above 10%. And the only way to power in the Weimer republic after 1919 was via the ballot box and in coalition with other parties; the republic was nowhere near as unstable as many people suggest.
There is an alternative which is probably not quite what you have in mind and that is a Popular Front government. Such governments, where the government is led by Socialist or Social-Democrats with the support of the Communists, took office in both France and Spain despite the previous extreme animosity between the Socialist and Communist parties in both countries.

That sounds interesting enough.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 1st, 2013, 05:08 AM
Cook Cook is offline
Mowque's ghost at the banquet
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hell (the cold part)
Posts: 1000 or more
Such a government would be Centre-Left, rather than Hard Left.

I suggest you get your hands on William Shirerís Rise and Fall of the Third Reich; his coverage of the Machiavellian machinations of various politicians in the late Weimer Republic is outstanding.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollis Hurlbut View Post
like Truman dropping the atomic bomb on Judy Garland.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thespitron 6000 View Post
Nobody speaks French. Even the French don't. They just pretend to for the tourists.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old May 1st, 2013, 05:30 AM
Edward_Elric Edward_Elric is offline
Philosophical stoner
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Miami Commune, Florida ASR, UASR
Posts: 223
1919-1923 was the window of opportunity for Germany's Reds to gain power.

The Spartacist Uprising of January 1919 was probably their single most valuable chance, being just two months after the end of hostilities and with an atmosphere in Berlin much like that of St. Petersburg less than 2 years prior. If the Spartacist brigades were able to spread their uprising nationwide, and thus stretch the Freikorps thin, there would've been Red Flags flying over the Reichstag.

During the OTL crackdown on the Spartacists, a lot of the emerging leadership got killed in the process. Perhaps if said leaders (i.e. Karl Liebknecht) managed to avoid death during that crackdown, they could've taken power during the subsequent turmoil of hyperinflation in 1923 (IOTL, by the time that crisis occurred, the KPD was in a weakened state, and had begun its transformation into a mere instrument of Soviet foreign policy). This latter scenario had a lot more potential to turn into a full-scale civil war, what with the Nazis attempting their first Putsch the same year.

There would be major butterflies to history if Germany went Red after WWI. Up until Red October, it was always assumed that the first such revolution would emerge in an industrialized nation with a large urban proletariat. The original Bolsheviks themselves were hoping that the rest of Europe would join them in throwing off capitalism, particularly Germany. After all, Marx and Engels were German.

The Socialist Republic of Germany (SRD) would naturally find itself in an alliance with the Soviet Union, being cut off from the capitalist world. Its existence also leads to major knock-on effects regarding the Soviet leadership, since Stalin's "Socialism in One Country" policy is thoroughly discredited. While remaining a one-party state, the USSR is somewhat less likely to go through a series of purges (and maybe even avoid famine, depending on how German-Soviet cooperation goes re: agriculture) under whichever leader succeeds Lenin, since with the SRD around to help, there's less reason for said leader to develop paranoia.

In the event of a German Revolution, all the other emerging Communist Parties of Europe would feel emboldened by the success of their German Comrades, with butterflies initially leading to a surviving Hungarian Soviet Republic as well as a stronger Italian Left that will rise up against Mussolini if he once again attempts to seize power. The British General Strike of 1926 would potentially become the British Revolution, and the Spanish monarchy may go down even earlier than IOTL.

On the other side of the Atlantic, it's not certain how the US would react to the revolutionary tide engulfing Europe. The socialist movement was pretty thoroughly suppressed during America's entry into WWI, and it never managed to regain its pre-war strength. While a Red Germany might embolden America's leftists, it'd also likely lead to even stronger government suppression and greater post-war isolationism, including stronger immigration restrctions on top of the already restrictive National Origins Quota Act.

Farther afield, the emerging Chinese Communist Party would probably gain a greater sense of independence, thus avoiding the brief period of power-sharing it had w/ the Kuomintang. additionally, the emerging Comintern, with active participation from more than one red state, would pursue a different policy in regards to communist movements in the colonial world, one that puts less support behind bourgeois-nationalist liberation movements. Expect groups like the Indian National Congress to sideline their moderates (i.e. Gandhi) as their more radical members gain greater support.

Future wars? Well, if Germany and the USSR (maybe with Hungary) end up being the only Comintern members before another economic crisis emerges, I'd expect another world war emerging sooner or later. It'll probably happen due to yet another country getting taken over by communists, thus causing the ruling classes of the remaining capitalist nations to finally lose their cool and declare an anti-communist crusade. How that war turns out ultimately depends a lot on factors like the effectiveness of the German-Soviet alliance.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by /r/BadHistory
History is written by smug pseudo-intellectual hacks called Victor.

Last edited by Edward_Elric; May 1st, 2013 at 05:46 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old May 1st, 2013, 05:51 AM
katchen katchen is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1000 or more
I have read 1919 about that revolutionary year. There was a great deal of revolutionary agitation in Canada, too--which was put down ruthlessly.
So we have the US firmly on an anti-Communist path with the unsuccessful White intervention and we have the UK avoiding the initial revolutionary struggle. If France does not break out in revolution we are likely to see the Western allies invade Germany, perhaps with the aid of formerly neutral nations such as Netherlands, Spain, Dennmark, Norway and Sweden to do what the FreiKorps were unable to do; put down the Spartacists and if possible the USSR too (since the Whites are still fighting) and if not, occupy or annex large segments of Germany and at least minimize the effects of the Communist revolution.
If France does rebel, the British obviously cannot put down the revolution alone (or even with the help of the United States), so look to something like the Cold War ITTL scenario ie. the UK, the US--Netherlands, Scandinavian nations, Iberian nations --and Japan-and maybe the rump Ottoman Empire and Persia-which must now hang together or risk hanging separately--engage in an ongoing Cold War with Communism . Perhaps a rump anti-Communist "free" France secedes from Metropolitan France in Algeirs and keeps the French colonies--maybe ditto Belgium in the Congo, rightist Germany in it's colonies. Ironic if Adolf Hitler becomes a rightist refugee coming to prominence in SowthwestAfrica or Mount Hagen, New Guinea.

Both would be good TLs to develop.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old May 1st, 2013, 06:15 AM
Edward_Elric Edward_Elric is offline
Philosophical stoner
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Miami Commune, Florida ASR, UASR
Posts: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by katchen View Post
I have read 1919 about that revolutionary year. There was a great deal of revolutionary agitation in Canada, too--which was put down ruthlessly.
So we have the US firmly on an anti-Communist path with the unsuccessful White intervention and we have the UK avoiding the initial revolutionary struggle. If France does not break out in revolution we are likely to see the Western allies invade Germany, perhaps with the aid of formerly neutral nations such as Netherlands, Spain, Dennmark, Norway and Sweden to do what the FreiKorps were unable to do; put down the Spartacists and if possible the USSR too (since the Whites are still fighting) and if not, occupy or annex large segments of Germany and at least minimize the effects of the Communist revolution.
If France does rebel, the British obviously cannot put down the revolution alone (or even with the help of the United States), so look to something like the Cold War ITTL scenario ie. the UK, the US--Netherlands, Scandinavian nations, Iberian nations --and Japan-and maybe the rump Ottoman Empire and Persia-which must now hang together or risk hanging separately--engage in an ongoing Cold War with Communism . Perhaps a rump anti-Communist "free" France secedes from Metropolitan France in Algeirs and keeps the French colonies--maybe ditto Belgium in the Congo, rightist Germany in it's colonies. Ironic if Adolf Hitler becomes a rightist refugee coming to prominence in SowthwestAfrica or Mount Hagen, New Guinea.

Both would be good TLs to develop.
The thing about a great-power rush to squash Red Germany is that these countries were suffering from war weariness, which would grow even harder to control if there's mobilization for intervening in Germany on top of the interventions in Russia. As for the neutral countries intervening: well, how willing would workers in said nations be in going to war - especially after having had the luxury of sitting out WWI? In this situation I certainly see France collapsing into revolution as well, and if Lord Brisbane's Bayonets Won't Cut Coal TL is any indication, even the UK could be in for a treat in your first scenario.

In your second scenario, i somehow doubt that a rump "Free France" would be able to do much in regards to its colonies, unless it pretty much integrates itself with the British Empire. Besides that, Communism would have much greater strength then it did IOTL, with all the industrial capacity of Germany working in tandem w/ the Soviets to spread revolution beyond their borders. If revolution fails to initially spread in Europe itself, expect anticolonial movements to gain more and more support.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by /r/BadHistory
History is written by smug pseudo-intellectual hacks called Victor.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old May 1st, 2013, 10:28 PM
Enigmajones Enigmajones is offline
Ours Is The Fury
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Look behind you
Posts: 1000 or more
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Elric View Post
1919-1923 was the window of opportunity for Germany's Reds to gain power.

The Spartacist Uprising of January 1919 was probably their single most valuable chance, being just two months after the end of hostilities and with an atmosphere in Berlin much like that of St. Petersburg less than 2 years prior. If the Spartacist brigades were able to spread their uprising nationwide, and thus stretch the Freikorps thin, there would've been Red Flags flying over the Reichstag.
I would disagree. Now the far better option is that the German Revolution, and in particular the Spartacist Uprising is delayed. The German Republic is founded on more republican principles and the German Communists become a major part of the government, also, the FreiKrops get much less funding and involvement in Germany proper.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old May 3rd, 2013, 12:59 AM
Cook Cook is offline
Mowque's ghost at the banquet
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hell (the cold part)
Posts: 1000 or more
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Elric View Post
The Socialist Republic of Germany (SRD) would naturally find itself in an alliance with the Soviet Union, being cut off from the capitalist world. Its existence also leads to major knock-on effects regarding the Soviet leadership, since Stalin's "Socialism in One Country" policy is thoroughly discredited.
Stalin didnít come forward with the idea of Socialism in One Country until 1924 and only as a consequence of the failed revolutions in the rest of Europe. If any of those revolutions had survived, he would not have developed the policy; it would have been nonsensical to do so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Elric View Post
While remaining a one-party state, the USSR is somewhat less likely to go through a series of purges...
The purges were the product of rivalries between within the Soviet leadership; a surviving German and Hungarian revolution does nothing to change that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Elric View Post
(and maybe even avoid famine, depending on how German-Soviet cooperation goes re: agriculture)
The Soviet Union was exporting food at the same time as the engineered famines were taking place in the Ukraine; advice on tractors isnít going to alter that.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollis Hurlbut View Post
like Truman dropping the atomic bomb on Judy Garland.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thespitron 6000 View Post
Nobody speaks French. Even the French don't. They just pretend to for the tourists.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old May 3rd, 2013, 07:09 PM
RGB RGB is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 1000 or more
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook View Post
The Soviet Union was exporting food at the same time as the engineered famines were taking place in the Ukraine; advice on tractors isn’t going to alter that.
In all fairness, exporting food from starving peasantry in exchange for material needed for development and then acting all surprised when the starving peasants starved was something fully explored as an option under the Tsars already. The Bolsheviks were just way more efficient at this as they were at everything else
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old May 3rd, 2013, 09:31 PM
History_Pintobean History_Pintobean is offline
An Alternate Historian
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 599
Quote:
Is it possible for the communists to take control of Germany instead of the Fascists in the 20s/30s?]
It's possible, and something that I've been toying with for my alternate history "Petrograd, The Red Flame of Russia."

I think that by 1932 it was rather late for the German Communist Party to seize power through elections, seeing as to how the German C.P. only won 14.3 percent of the voted in the 1932 elections (up slightly from 10.6 percent in 1928).

In contrast 33.1 percent of voters voted for the Nazi Party during the 1932 elections. (source: The 12-Year Reich: A Social History Of Nazi Germany 1933-1945)

However, a major problem for the German C.P. was Stalin's stubborn insistence that the communists should not see the Nazis, but the Social-Democrats as the main threat to a successful revolution in Germany.

Trotsky may have not made the same mistakes as Stalin concerning foreign policy towards the German communists.

Being as he was a different person with (very) different views I'm assuming for the sake of alternate history that he doesn't bungle Germany by allowing it to fall electorally to the Nazis.

The question remains by 1932 for the German communists: seeing as to how they can't win power electorally (being as they were far down the list votes-wise) and, realizing the threat posed by Nazi Party paramilitary Storm Troopers, what should they do?

The Nazi's victory being almost assured in the 1932 elections (their electoral success partially the result of backing from businesses), what to do?

Which is why I think that a communist triumph in Germany in 1932 is a very poor choice for a POD.

The only way that the communists could have seized power was through illegitimate means, i.e. through force.

Assuming that Trotsky is in charge in the Soviet Union, a policy-shift different from Stalin's would and could have taken place. The Nazis, and not the Social-Democrats, could very well be stressed by Moscow as being the bigger threat to a German revolution.

Emphasis could be put on an insurrection waged in the streets of Berlin rather then on a slim hope of an electoral victory. Perhaps the Alliance of Red Front Fighters could seize power militarily.

Assuming that this succeeds, I'm assuming that the Nazi Party would be banned, as well as any other significant opposition parties. In effect Germany would become similar to the USSR, i.e. as single-party socialist state.

Another earlier attempt at revolution could very well happen in 1923, but even then it's a stretch, but maybe not as a great a stretch as the communists winning power in 1932 electorally.

My bets are on the dates 1923 and/or 1932, but not before or after. Past 1933 a German revolution is impossible, the German C.P. having been banned by the victorious Nazi Party in 1933 which took steps to make its rule permanent.

The other method to have a successful German "revolution" is to have the Red Army march into Berlin as in OTL, but that hardly counts as a true revolution as it did not originate domestically and in fact was exported by the Soviets like in OTL.

Furthermore I think it is unlikely that a successful German Revolution could occur in 1918-19, the German soviets themselves losing power historically to a German Constituent Assembly. (Which is a major reason why the OTL Bolsheviks closed their own Constituent Assembly in 1918)

Barring the dissolution of the German Constituent Assembly, German soviet power in 1919 is unlikely.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old May 3rd, 2013, 11:42 PM
Cook Cook is offline
Mowque's ghost at the banquet
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hell (the cold part)
Posts: 1000 or more
Quote:
Originally Posted by History_Pintobean View Post
The only way that the communists could have seized power was through illegitimate means, i.e. through force.
There was never any possibility of that; even Hitler recognised that the Weimer republic had to be taken by electoral wins and shifty deals with other politicians Ė from the mid-1920s the institutions of the state were just too stable and too strong for any mobs to tackle.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollis Hurlbut View Post
like Truman dropping the atomic bomb on Judy Garland.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thespitron 6000 View Post
Nobody speaks French. Even the French don't. They just pretend to for the tourists.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.