A Blunted Sickle - Thread II

Yes! That's more like it. History tends to forget the little guys, usually by lumping them in with a bigger neighbour/coalition partner. Looking at you, Britain (& Australia).
Yes very true. And the end of that series hints very strongly at why the NATO corps areas in West Germany during the Cold War ended up as they were (the French Forces in Germany aren't shown in this map but from what I gather they were deployed in the same approximate area as their old occupation zone):

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Using the map above and a little info about the French Forces in Germany and this info on the BAOR, I whipped up this very rough map of mid 1955 to contrast with the 1952 map in the previous series (note the Luxembourg deployment would end shortly after this before late 1955):


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What was essentially the British Occupation Zone became NORTHAG (Northern Army Group) with Schleswig-Holstein being under a Danish/German command as part of Allied Forces Northern Europe from 1962 (incidentally the Norwegian brigade was redeployed to northern Norway in 1953 having been deployed to northern Schleswig-Holstein because Norway was concerned about its force being at the heart of any Western-Soviet conflict (see for example page 12 of this report showing the thinking in 1947 of any such conflict) in the original deployment area and being in Schleswig-Holstein offered the ability to evacuate them through the ports if necessary to continue the defence of Norway). NORTHAG was commanded by the same commander as the BAOR throughtout its history I believe . Allied Forces Northern Europe was often (if not always) commanded by a British officer as well.

The American Occupation Zone (and French Occupation Zone) became CENTAG (Central Army Group) and was commanded by US Army Forces, Europe commander. There may have been French commanders at some points in the 1950s and 1960s.

NORTHAG and CENTAG were subordinate commands to Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) which had French (and later West German) commanders. AFCENT itself of course was subordinate to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) of NATO.
 
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Does this apply to Austria too, or will the Entente treat the Austrians as more of a victim of German aggression and withdraw relatively quickly?
Regarding Austria, what happened with it why the Hungarians and Czechoslovaks aren't occupying zones or sectors in it? (incidentally Czechoslovakia might also get a sector in the French or British zone subordinate to the French or British respectively, or maybe get their own small sector....maybe in Sorbia?) I can't see the French attacking the Hungarians to take Vienna, nor I can see them allowing an independent Austria to have a strong association with a resurgent Hungary (remember in TTL, World War I is still a bit fresher in the memory as this World War II is a lot shorter and unlike OTL Hungary isn't utterly defeated and not really a threat, rather it is seen as opportunistic and untrustworthy).

Logically this Austria should also get the same treatment as Germany from what pdf27 said (a very long occupation), especially as the "Nazi's first victim" theory about Austria hasn't really had time to develop in TTL as it did in OTL (it would still be around as in OTL it had its genesis around 1938, but it really took off in OTL in 1943; here views on Austria would probably be mixed between it being a victim and it being no better than Germany and just continuing off from World War I).

Because of the Hungarian position in Austria, perhaps the Entente will aim for a 10 year occupation of Austria with Hungary and Czechoslovakia and attempt to turn Austria into a model state for what Germany should look like after occupation where it is reintegrated economically to the Entente but castrated as @Tanc49 noted so that it can't be a military threat again but can still contribute to the Entente's economic prosperity (in essence I guess Germany would become a very large Entente protectorate that is economically geared towards the Entente in a not too dissimilar fashion to their colonies around the world?) With the continued occupation of Germany occurring even after Austrian sovereignty is restored, the Entente would not have to worry about Germany and Austria attempting to unify again.
 
What is this thing that you speak of? You refer to it in factual terms, so I’m assuming it is a thing that actually happened?
Allegations of black troops on occupation duty after WW1 raping German women were a staple of Nazi propaganda before the war (indeed, predated the Nazis), and appear to have had some impact on the large number of massacres/murders of black soldiers during the battle of France.
 

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BTW, this whole discussion has been extremely helpful in working out how to write the end of the war - it’s mostly done, but there is a bit still to write. No updates until next week at the earliest though - I spent today visiting somewhere whose history ITTL will be virtually unrecognizable, with even the flag being different...
 

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BTW, this whole discussion has been extremely helpful in working out how to write the end of the war - it’s mostly done, but there is a bit still to write. No updates until next week at the earliest though - I spent today visiting somewhere whose history ITTL will be virtually unrecognizable, with even the flag being different...
It’d be nice if they did become a full part of the UK.
 
Regarding Austria, what happened with it why the Hungarians and Czechoslovaks aren't occupying zones or sectors in it? (incidentally Czechoslovakia might also get a sector in the French or British zone subordinate to the French or British respectively, or maybe get their own small sector....maybe in Sorbia?) I can't see the French attacking the Hungarians to take Vienna, nor I can see them allowing an independent Austria to have a strong association with a resurgent Hungary (remember in TTL, World War I is still a bit fresher in the memory as this World War II is a lot shorter and unlike OTL Hungary isn't utterly defeated and not really a threat, rather it is seen as opportunistic and untrustworthy).
Thank you for the maps. I see that my Belgian zone in Proposal C matches their initial zone iOTL, which was later extended across southern Westphalia. The evolution of the zones is interesting. I see that it took about two years before the Norwegians and the Danes were given any occupation responsibilities, but not initially in Schleswig-Holstein. I find it curious that the Norwegians were at first positioned in Braunschweig, opposite the Soviets. I don't see any zones for the Dutch, were they not involved in the occupation or were their units just placed under British forces without any specific sector assigned? I'm a little concerned that the zone I've marked out for the Dutch might be too large for them.

I suppose iOTL that there were both administrative and logistical (and possibly political) reasons why the minor country occupation zones were subordinated to the US and British sectors rather than being independent. If that logic holds for TTL, then my original proposal (less the Polish zone) would be more accurate for the top-level delineation of the occupation zones.

As for why I didn't indicate a Hungarian zone, my reading of pdf27's timeline is that the Entente regarded them as late comers and not true members of the Entente. Neither Paris nor London would want the Hungarians to meddle with their post-war plans for Austria, so they would most likely kindly ask the Hungarians to withdraw back to the Hungary. I don't really see the Hungarians refusing such a request. The Entente might be willing to give the Hungarians a zone in Burgenland, but I don't think that they would want them anywhere near Vienna.

As for Czechoslovakia, at least initially they will have their hands full dealing with the Germans in Sudetenland and rebuilding their army. Later they might be given a sector (or subsector), perhaps in Saxony.
 
Thank you for the maps. I see that my Belgian zone in Proposal C matches their initial zone iOTL, which was later extended across southern Westphalia. The evolution of the zones is interesting. I see that it took about two years before the Norwegians and the Danes were given any occupation responsibilities, but not initially in Schleswig-Holstein. I find it curious that the Norwegians were at first positioned in Braunschweig, opposite the Soviets. I don't see any zones for the Dutch, were they not involved in the occupation or were their units just placed under British forces without any specific sector assigned? I'm a little concerned that the zone I've marked out for the Dutch might be too large for them.
There was no Dutch sector OTL, though there were some, small and shortlived, annexations. The reason for that is most probably that the Netherlands send some 200,000 soldiers to Indonesia right after the war so there simply was no manpower for such an endeavour. ATL there will be none of that (even if there is an uprising in the DEI the KNIL is more than ready to handle that) so there is ample manpower.
 
There was no Dutch sector OTL, though there were some, small and shortlived, annexations. The reason for that is most probably that the Netherlands send some 200,000 soldiers to Indonesia right after the war so there simply was no manpower for such an endeavour. ATL there will be none of that (even if there is an uprising in the DEI the KNIL is more than ready to handle that) so there is ample manpower.
Plus, of course, the Dutch will have an army that has spent a few years existing for real. The soldiers who were there during the war will leave, but the officers and structure will make an excellent base for its continued existence above the bare-minimum level it had degraded to in the interbellum.
 
Thank you for the maps. I see that my Belgian zone in Proposal C matches their initial zone iOTL, which was later extended across southern Westphalia. The evolution of the zones is interesting. I see that it took about two years before the Norwegians and the Danes were given any occupation responsibilities, but not initially in Schleswig-Holstein. I find it curious that the Norwegians were at first positioned in Braunschweig, opposite the Soviets. I don't see any zones for the Dutch, were they not involved in the occupation or were their units just placed under British forces without any specific sector assigned? I'm a little concerned that the zone I've marked out for the Dutch might be too large for them.

I suppose iOTL that there were both administrative and logistical (and possibly political) reasons why the minor country occupation zones were subordinated to the US and British sectors rather than being independent. If that logic holds for TTL, then my original proposal (less the Polish zone) would be more accurate for the top-level delineation of the occupation zones.

As for why I didn't indicate a Hungarian zone, my reading of pdf27's timeline is that the Entente regarded them as late comers and not true members of the Entente. Neither Paris nor London would want the Hungarians to meddle with their post-war plans for Austria, so they would most likely kindly ask the Hungarians to withdraw back to the Hungary. I don't really see the Hungarians refusing such a request. The Entente might be willing to give the Hungarians a zone in Burgenland, but I don't think that they would want them anywhere near Vienna.

As for Czechoslovakia, at least initially they will have their hands full dealing with the Germans in Sudetenland and rebuilding their army. Later they might be given a sector (or subsector), perhaps in Saxony.
Yes, you got the original Belgian sector pretty much spot on!

Well yes there were administrative, logistical and political reasons why the minor Allies had their sectors subordinated to the US, British, French (and very, very briefly so as to not even have really happened) Soviet zones but that followed on from a very very different war in OTL than in TTL. This TL is a bit more akin to World War I on the Western Front except without the Trench Warfare in that the majority of the fight is done by the French, British and Belgians (with the Dutch added in this time). After World War I there were also occupation zones in Germany. In the Rhineland. And there, the Belgians had their own zone outright.

So I would expect that here the British, Dutch, Belgians and French have their own zones. Poland is given territory as a zone/annexed land as you showed in the original proposal (probably a little bit more in Pomerania to act as a buffer to Gdansk-Danzig area) and that the Danes and Norwegians might get subordinated sectors within the British zone (though an outright Danish zone in Schleswig-Holstein also seems real possibility to me as well). Luxembourg will probably have a sector within the French zone as in OTL

Re: Czechoslovakia, I doubt they would be troubled with the Sudeten Germans that long as to be unable to participate in any occupation of Germany and/or Austria (in fact they are already occupying parts of Austria). In OTL locally organized expulsions happened in May-August 1945 and then a large nationally organized and Allied sanctioned expulsion happened from January-October 1946. The expulsions ended in 1948 by which time pretty much all the Germans were expelled.

Overall I think something like this might be close to what could happen with a Czechoslovak zone in northern Austria along the Danube, the Hungarians withdrawing from Vienna to allow a Entente occupation of the city and the French occupying the rest.

I don't see the Hungarians refusing a request to withdraw from Vienna but they almost certainly wouldn't do so without securing something from the Entente (such as recognition of their territorial gains) first. So there might be no Hungarian zone at all in Austria, but it would likely come at a price.

Also the Saarland would almost certainly be separated from the French zone and administered differently as an outright French protectorate as in OTL.

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There was no Dutch sector OTL, though there were some, small and shortlived, annexations. The reason for that is most probably that the Netherlands send some 200,000 soldiers to Indonesia right after the war so there simply was no manpower for such an endeavour. ATL there will be none of that (even if there is an uprising in the DEI the KNIL is more than ready to handle that) so there is ample manpower.
Frankly, it's tough to tell who did better iTTL relative to OTL, the French or the Dutch.

Note, this is in general. It would not surprise me if there were parts of the French empire (particularly French West Africa) that had more combat Deaths than iOTL. However, in the long run, the fact that the average Frenchman of the Metropole *saw* this happen is worth much.
 
This talk of annexation reminds me that ITTL postwar Poland is likely to have a rather different shape.

Some years ago I read a two-volume history of Poland titled "God's Playground". I enjoyed it and learned a great deal from it and I believe it's still considered the best synoptic history of Poland available in English. The final section had a lot to say about the impact of WWII on Poland, of course, and one of the parts I remember most vividly was a discussion of the border adjustments.

It is generally well-known that pre-war Germany extended much further to the east than it does today and ruled lots of areas where its dominant ethic group was a minority. What is less well known is that Poland was in a like situation! Everybody who has even a nodding acquaintance with the history of OTL knows that under pressure from a victorious Stalin, the western border of Poland was pushed to the historically unprecedented Oder-Niesse line. What is semi-forgotten is that the Soviets quietly lopped off and annexed rather large portions of Eastern Poland, notably in what was then known as Polish Ruthenia. That area included at least half of what is now Belarus; Polish kings and Russian tsars had been playing tug-of-war with it for centuries and following the Russo-Soviet war of 1921-1922 the extent of Polish territory eastward was larger than usual.

The rationale for the Soviet annexation was that the population there were Russians and Ukrainians, not ethic Poles. There is a very deep rabbit hole at the center of the Ruthenian/Polish/Belorussian/Ukrainian identity question which I am absolutely not going to go down; suffice it to note the parallel with the rationale for the cession of German territory east of the Oder-Neisse line on the grounds that ethnic Germans were in a minority there.

But in this timeline conditions are very different. Stalin has a far weaker hand. The U.S. is not at the victors' table, so Wilsonian pressure to redraw borders to better match the distribution of self-asserting ethnolinguistic groups is going to be largely absent.

Under the circumstances I don't see Germany losing everything east of the Oder-Niesse line. I can also see the Poles pressing for the Soviets to withdraw from Polish Ruthenia and getting a hearing from the Allies, who are none too pleased with Stalin and will be reluctant to see him walk out of the war in a better position than he entered it. And there are going to be Allied troops in Poland, which of course never happened OTL.

So I expect Poland's postwar borders will change rather less from those of the Second Polish Republic than they did OTL. The lesser variable is what happens adjacent to Germany; cession of Danzig and a permanent Polish Corridor certainly, and I also can see Prussia getting wiped off the map and its German population dispersed because "Prussian militarism bad" is what the allies have settled on as an explanation for the both World Wars. I expect much less to change west and south of Danzig, becaue most of that region had never been Polish territory and Polish revanchist/nationalists didn't have their eyes on it - one thing "God's Playground" made clear is that the Oder-Neisse line was Stalin's idea, not theirs.

Possibly there would be plebiscites west of Danzig, but it's not a given that the re-established Polish government would win those. Today it has been forgotten that the interwar Polish government was authoritarian and rather nasty; iTTL 1941 a lot of ethnic Poles in Pommern might think their prospects better in an occupied Germany.

The greater variable is what happens along the Russo-Polish border. Having made as big a deal of Polish self-determination as they have, will the Allies continue the logic of that position and threaten war if the Soviets don't disgorge occupied Polish Ruthenia? And if they do, will Stalin fold?

Discuss...
 
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The greater variable is what happens along the Russo-Polish border. Having made as big a deal of Polish self-determination as they have, will the Allies continue the logic of that position and threaten war if the Soviets don't disgorge occupied Polish Ruthenia? And if they do, will Stalin fold?

Discuss...
Stalin isn't going to give it up.

There is also the factor that ITTL the Poles gave the *Hungarians* more of a heads-up as to the Christmas Revolt than they gave to the Entente.

The Poles will get a hearing, but the Entente isn't going to war against Russia for Poland to expand beyond the Curzon Line.
 
Given that the British and French didn't declare war on the USSR when *it* invaded Poland, which as far as I can tell was basically the same type of invasion, the idea of doing so in 1942 is unlikely. Other than a shorter path to a Nuclear Weapon, what do the Entente have that OTL's Nazis didn't have at basically the same point in time? (or have more of)

Sounds like simply removing Germans from East Prussia and giving it to the Poles is a possible outcome.
 
The USSR has still annexed the same territory it did OTL and the Entente will be looking to remove Prussian influence from Germany which was most of the territory given to Poland. And TTL Kalingrad isn't going to happen so Königsberg would most likely become Krolewiec.
 
The USSR has still annexed the same territory it did OTL and the Entente will be looking to remove Prussian influence from Germany which was most of the territory given to Poland. And TTL Kalingrad isn't going to happen so Königsberg would most likely become Krolewiec.
IOTL it did return to Poland some of the territory it annexed. IIRC around Bialystok ?
 
Most likely borders for Poland are OTL plus the bits of East Prussia the soviets carved off. Why, Stalin knows the Entente does not want to fight for Kresy and Poland is the key frontline state not Germany ITTL going into the Cold War.
 
Some things that the Entente will seek to improve from their experiences in the war:
Radios for everything that you can squeeze one into or onto.
Copy the British & motorize your entire army.
Copy the Germans and steal the design of their refueling cans.
Develop a truly decent mobile refueling system for all of your vehicles, including the tanks.
Universal tanks are better than cavalry/infantry tanks, if only to streamline your logistics.
Big tank guns are better than little ones.
No more one or two man turrets (France!).
More self-propelled guns.
Your air force MUST talk to and train with your army & navy and vice versa.
Your engineers are worth more than their weight in gold.
Train all of your troops, including the fortress ones, to the same standard.
Equip all of your troops, including the fortress ones, to the same standard.
 
Some things that the Entente will seek to improve from their experiences in the war:
Will they learn to stop building specialist "infantry" vs. "cavalry" tanks in favor of a general-purpose medium tank?

IOTL, experience gained later in the war (1943-44) is what taught that lesson. Actually, two lessons: (1) tanks heavy enough that they can't go over bridges and trash your road net are bad ideas, and (2) complicating your logistics to have "infantry" and "cavalry" tanks is not worth the marginal gains from role specialization. (The light scout tank passed that test, but only barely.)

ITTL, the war might be over before that lesson is fully absorbed.
 
If the Entente worked out that throwing out the requirement that they can fit in rail tunnels is worth it, then they can work towards it, definitely. And there's probably enough instances of "Cavalry" and "Infantry" tanks ending up doing the other's job because nothing else was there that the convergence seems like a good idea.

Also, developments in Anti-Tank methods (hello Charlie G!) Means that the "Minimum acceptable armour" for a "Line Tank" (Tank expected to fight other tanks) has shot up, disincentivising the Cruiser Tank concept (and thus, the Cruiser/Infantry Tank split.)
 
Will they learn to stop building specialist "infantry" vs. "cavalry" tanks in favor of a general-purpose medium tank?

IOTL, experience gained later in the war (1943-44) is what taught that lesson. Actually, two lessons: (1) tanks heavy enough that they can't go over bridges and trash your road net are bad ideas, and (2) complicating your logistics to have "infantry" and "cavalry" tanks is not worth the marginal gains from role specialization. (The light scout tank passed that test, but only barely.)

ITTL, the war might be over before that lesson is fully absorbed.
Considering the relatively low mechanical reliability of British (and others) tanks, both infantry & cavalry types, the bean-counters & the logistics types should already be screaming that one tank design that can do both jobs is a good idea. Only need to keep parts for one design, much simpler to resupply and helps keep unit costs down when buying the damn things in the first place.
 
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