Communist Denmark: the fate of Iceland and Greenland

Let's say that during ww2 the soviets manage to push farther before the end of the war. For all intentions let's say they manage to get control of Denmark. What happens to Iceland and Greenland? I know that Iceland had some degree of authonomy but I'm not sure to what degree. I'm most curious about what would happen to Greenland. The Americans are not going to allow a communist Denmark to keep Greenland. Does Greenland become an independent nation that is militarily and economically weak and dependent on the US, a commonwealth of the United States such as Puerto Rico, or does the US annex it? And what about Iceland?
 
Iceland declared independence in 1944, so it won't be affected by Denmark ending up in the Soviet Bloc.

I would guess Greenland winds up becoming a US Commonwealth; the US occupies it and has a strategic interest interest in it (IIRC, the US actually tried to buy it from Denmark after WW II OTL), and Greenland's population is really low for a viable independent nation. Even if we do get an independent Greenland, it would effectively be a US dependency, since the US would probably build up at least as much military infrastructure as OTL.
 
Iceland declare independence but minister Henrik Kauffmann in Washington declare a goverment in exile to rule Greenland and Faeroe Islands! :D

Iceland was an autonomous Kingdom in personal union with the Kingdom of Denmark; the union treaty being prone to renegotiating 1944 which allowed the Icelanders to secede as per OTL.

Kauffmann was in some position sitting on the Danish gold hoard that had been shipped out 1939 and would also be able to command the merchant marine as well as a couple of Navy cutters at Greenland.
The Faeroe Islands might take advantage of the situation and secede from the Kingdom too.

Difficulty is of course if FDR administration lets Kauffmann go ahead with such a scheme or happily leaves Denmark and its territories to the new Soviet Government... :eek:
 
It would depend on how the actual communist takeover takes place. If there are rigged elections, as in the rest of the Easterne Bloc, and a Danish Government abroad, the US might claim Greenland. But if there is some sort of Pseudo democracy, without any opposition abroad, then it will be difficult for the US, in accordance with international law, to keep territory belonging to another country.

Maybe an agreement could me worked out, declaring Greenland out of bounds for all military forces?
 
It would depend on how the actual communist takeover takes place. If there are rigged elections, as in the rest of the Easterne Bloc, and a Danish Government abroad, the US might claim Greenland. But if there is some sort of Pseudo democracy, without any opposition abroad, then it will be difficult for the US, in accordance with international law, to keep territory belonging to another country.

Maybe an agreement could me worked out, declaring Greenland out of bounds for all military forces?
It is inconceivable for Communists to rule Denmark without massive electoral fraud.

Although this is outside the poster's original question, a Communist Denmark would create a terrible flashpoint in the Cold War. Having Soviet access to the North Sea would be unacceptable to the British. And unlike Eastern Europe which is not easily accessible to the Western powers, Denmark is. Unless the Soviets kept armed forces in Denmark (which in itself would be provocative since it didn't even bother to do that in Czechoslovakia I believe) which was never part of the Axis, an attempted coup by the Communists would either be defeated or lead to civil war which the British would undoubtedly intervene in perhaps even sending in troops. If Stalin really wants to keep Denmark, he is basically accelerating the Cold War and upping the ante a lot. So there would be a lot of other things going on that just deciding the fate of Greenland and Iceland.
 
It is inconceivable for Communists to rule Denmark without massive electoral fraud.

I was referring to the well known communist practice of infiltrating other major parties e.g. the Social Democrats. But otherwise the only thing that could keep Greenland out of the possesion of a communist Denmark, legally, is a government abroad signing over the rights of the Island to e. g. the US.....but I admit it is a very long shot.

I mean what can the US really do in 1945 when the new communist Denmark, decides to send a battalion to Greenland, which rightfully belongs to Denmark?
 
Occupation..

The Red Army was beaten by just four hours in terms of the British getting to the Baltic coast first though that was facilitated by the German Commander in Denmark, Blumentritt, effectively offering no resistance to the British once over the Elbe at Lauenberg on May 1st.

I'm tempted to think that IF the Red Army had got to the Jutland Peninsula first, the Germans would have resisted to try and safeguard the ports of Kiel and others that were handling boatloads of refugees from the east. Perhaps we would have seen a Red Army officer joining the British delegation at Luneburg Heath on May 4th to oversee the German surrender.

Longer-term, I think we might have seen a more active response to Swedish-backed proposals for the creation of a "neutral" Scandinavia on the Austrian model so you'd have Norway and Denmark outside NATO in exchange for a Soviet withdrawal from Denmark. It's also likely the Russians would hold on to Bornholm.

Norway and Denmark would likely stay out of the EU in 1973 and would only join later with Sweden once the Cold War in Europe ended.

Iceland might be tempted to join the EU instead and would likely be a more militarised island as the focal point of NATO efforts to monitor the GIUK gap.
 
I know, but this does not change the fact that Greeland belongs to Denmark....no matter who might be in charge of the country.
It is inconceivable for Communists to rule Denmark without massive electoral fraud.

I was referring to the well known communist practice of infiltrating other major parties e.g. the Social Democrats. But otherwise the only thing that could keep Greenland out of the possesion of a communist Denmark, legally, is a government abroad signing over the rights of the Island to e. g. the US.....but I admit it is a very long shot.

I mean what can the US really do in 1945 when the new communist Denmark, decides to send a battalion to Greenland, which rightfully belongs to Denmark?
But you don't get the USA to re-negotiate the treaty in this setting.
They might let communist Denmark land the battation in Nuuk or somewhere else far off their bases but it won't make the bases vanish nor make Denmark get access to those bases!

That way the USA won't be violating Danish possessions of her territory just adhering to the treaty suggested by the legal Danish representative in Washington 1941. Remember the Danish government of 1941 didn't renounce the treaty but it hated Kauffmann for doing it.
 
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Cook

Banned
Longer-term, I think we might have seen a more active response to Swedish-backed proposals for the creation of a "neutral" Scandinavia on the Austrian model so you'd have Norway and Denmark outside NATO in exchange for a Soviet withdrawal from Denmark. It's also likely the Russians would hold on to Bornholm.
Austria is a small stub of territory on the south of the Central Front; withdrawing Soviet Forces as the price of getting the American’s out is a bonus for Stalin.

Denmark however is far more valuable; it dominates access from to the Baltic Sea and isolates Norway. Stalin would be insane to give up such a prize.
 
But you don't get the USA to re-negotiate the treaty in this setting.
They might let communist Denmark land the battation in Nuuk or somewhere else far off their bases but it won't make the bases vanish nor make Denmark get access to those bases!

That way the USA won't be violating Danish possessions of her territory just adhering to the treaty suggested by the legal Danish representative in Washington 1941. Remember the Danish government of 1941 didn't renounce the treaty but it hated Kauffmann for doing it.
I agree that this could be a solution, that both countries (or maybe also Soviet) can have military personel on Greenland.

How was the treaty that allowed the US to have bases, made up? Would it really not be possible for Denmark to cancel the treaty?
 
Denmark however is far more valuable; it dominates access from to the Baltic Sea and isolates Norway. Stalin would be insane to give up such a prize.
Agreed, as it creates a Soviet lake in the Baltic, as there ain´t much Sweden can do to the Soviets.
 
I agree that this could be a solution, that both countries (or maybe also Soviet) can have military personel on Greenland.

How was the treaty that allowed the US to have bases, made up? Would it really not be possible for Denmark to cancel the treaty?
Put to the point it would.

Kauffmann renounced the Danish government post April 9, 1940 calling it acting without its free will due to German occupation. Acting on his own concluding the treaty with the FDR administration that fully recognized him as Danish representative. (at least according to Dansk Udenrigspolitiks Historie 1914-1945)
The Danish government was furious at Kauffmanns actions but didn't do anyting about. As I recall he was recalled to Copenhagen but refused to go. The other ministers did sort of obey the government; at least until the turning point in 1943.
What really pissed off the government about the treaty was indeed the stipulation that the USA was entitled to maintain bases in Greenland as long as the security of the USA was percieved to be threatened; not for the duration of war as the government would (possibly) have wanted. It wasn't the agreement as such but rather the cecession of Danish territory indefinitely to a foreign power that was the hitch.
 
Iceland would become independent, since that was already decided. As others have pointed out: Greenland and the Faeroe Islands would be problematic (everyone always forget the Faeroe Islands), since on one hand US and allies would have problems accepting Communist and Soviet bases in the Atlantic, but on the other hand, these territories are legally Danish, and seizing them would be problematic, since it risk starting a war with the Soviet block.
 

loughery111

Banned
There is no way in hell that the United States will agree even to the neutralization of Iceland and Greenland, let alone allow them to fall into the Soviet orbit. Initially, they're needed to maintain radar coverage of the North Atlantic. Later on, they're needed to maintain radar coverage of the Pole for bomber and ICBM early warning systems. Lastly, when SOSUS becomes operational, they're the linchpin of the USN and RN's strategy for the Atlantic. There is no point in the Cold War in which they're not in some way indispensable; if Denmark falls, the US would sooner directly annex both of them than see them neutralized.
 
There is no way in hell that the United States will agree even to the neutralization of Iceland and Greenland, let alone allow them to fall into the Soviet orbit. Initially, they're needed to maintain radar coverage of the North Atlantic. Later on, they're needed to maintain radar coverage of the Pole for bomber and ICBM early warning systems. Lastly, when SOSUS becomes operational, they're the linchpin of the USN and RN's strategy for the Atlantic. There is no point in the Cold War in which they're not in some way indispensable; if Denmark falls, the US would sooner directly annex both of them than see them neutralized.
Well, Icelandic independence was already decided, and US could easily dominate the new state. As my post above states: Greenland and the Faeroe islands would become very problematic.
 
Put to the point it would.

Kauffmann renounced the Danish government post April 9, 1940 calling it acting without its free will due to German occupation. Acting on his own concluding the treaty with the FDR administration that fully recognized him as Danish representative. (at least according to Dansk Udenrigspolitiks Historie 1914-1945)
The Danish government was furious at Kauffmanns actions but didn't do anyting about. As I recall he was recalled to Copenhagen but refused to go. The other ministers did sort of obey the government; at least until the turning point in 1943.
What really pissed off the government about the treaty was indeed the stipulation that the USA was entitled to maintain bases in Greenland as long as the security of the USA was percieved to be threatened; not for the duration of war as the government would (possibly) have wanted. It wasn't the agreement as such but rather the cecession of Danish territory indefinitely to a foreign power that was the hitch.
So we can assume a communist Denmark would try to tear up the treaty, based upon the "loose" wording in the treaty. The question is if the US will fight this, and how?

I know that the Thule Base, especially in the early part of the Cold War, had great significance to the US, but isn't this significance lost somewhat, know that (ITL) a potential hostile country, communist Denmark, is in control of the rest of Greenland?
 
There is no way in hell that the United States will agree even to the neutralization of Iceland and Greenland, let alone allow them to fall into the Soviet orbit. Initially, they're needed to maintain radar coverage of the North Atlantic. Later on, they're needed to maintain radar coverage of the Pole for bomber and ICBM early warning systems. Lastly, when SOSUS becomes operational, they're the linchpin of the USN and RN's strategy for the Atlantic. There is no point in the Cold War in which they're not in some way indispensable; if Denmark falls, the US would sooner directly annex both of them than see them neutralized.
I know the scenario would be problematic for the US. But in 1945 they are still (officially) allies to The Soviets, as well as to communist Denmark. Annexing the territory of another state is similar to a declaration of war, in accordance with international law, and I doubt the US will really risk this in 1945, where the significance of the Thule Airbase is relatively low.

Again what would the US do if communist Denmark in 1945, decides to send its' military to Greenland once again....after all the island belongs to Denmark?
 
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