Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Historyman 14, Dec 10, 2013.
What would happer to all of them?
IOTL the Polish Government-in-exile continued to meet until 1989.
With or without a successful sea lion ?
With, well, they can go in Canada or USA to plan their revange;
without they can stay in UK, planning resistance and terrorist activities in their former country.
this. unless axis control ALL of the world they will remain for a looong time surpassing this date unless the axis fall somehow.
Any ceasefire agreement in 1940 would have included the provision found in the non-aggression pacts signed by the Germans at this time prohibiting the signatories from sheltering organizations hostile to the other party, or from broadcasting hostile propaganda. This would have precluded the governments in exile from remaining in London, or of continuing to use the BBC world service to broadcast to their occupied countries. Individuals could have remained in England, but not the organisations.
What the various governments in exile chose to do then would depend on their individual circumstances. The Dutch would be in the best position; their government and monarchy were free and united, they controlled their entire overseas empire (a source of significant wealth), and they were recognized internationally (i.e. in Washington) as the legitimate government of the Netherlands. They might choose to relocate to Batavia (now Jakarta), capital of the Netherlands East Indies. Alternatively they may try moving to their embassy in Washington, but with an election looming the Roosevelt administration would have been reluctant to host a government lobbying for their involvement in an already lost war, and a colonial power to boot.
For the Belgians things would be significantly worse. When the government had fled to London, the king had chosen to remain in Belgium. This had led to a rift, not just between king and government, but within the ranks of the exiled government. Disunited and with a monarch that accepted the new order in Europe, their morale was extremely low and historically they explored the option of making their peace with Hitler and rejoining their king in occupied Belgium; with Britain out of the war the Belgian government would have almost certainly have done so. Individuals fearing German reprisals might have chosen to stay as private citizens in England, but the government as a whole would have gone back.
The Norwegian situation is somewhere between that of the Dutch and Belgians; king and government were all in exile and united in their opposition to the Germans and their hatred of the puppet regime in Oslo. They also enjoyed recognition in Washington. But while the Norwegian merchant fleet (the 4th largest in the world in 1940) had sailed to safety in Britain when the Germans invaded and remained loyal to the exiled government and king, this was hardly a durable long term power base. With the war over and the writ of Norwegian law extending only to the embassy building in Washington and a modern fleet of flying Dutchmen, captains, crews and their ships would drift home to their families.
The Danish king and government never went into exile, but the Danish king was also the king of Iceland. When Copenhagen was occupied, the government in Reykjavik had appointed a regent to exercise the constitutional powers that the king was deemed unable to freely carry out and asked for protection from the British. With peace, the Icelanders may choose to continue their relationship with the British; it would not be a situation the Germans could challenge or that Hitler would allow to be a deal breaker in a settlement with the British; he was happy for the British to secure their empire (and Iceland would have been seen as a legitimate British security concern), just as long as he had a free hand in Europe. Hitler would definitely prefer an Iceland occupied by Britain to one potentially occupied by the Americans.
For the Poles things would be particularly grim; making what peace they could with the Germans would simply not be an option. Their only hope would be refuge with the large Polish Diaspora in America. But recognition in isolationist America, particularly in an election year, would be very unlikely and support would be seen as impossible and pointless even if it weren’t. The Poles would also face attacks from German propaganda sources in America (never very effective), but with the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact still in place, also from socialist and trade union movements in America (which could be very effective indeed). The Polish exile government would be called fascists and the war ‘far from being a war in defence of democracy, is in fact a war against National Socialism’ (Stalin’s words in 1940, accepted throughout the world by Comintern affiliated socialist parties and trade unions). It takes true talent to condemn fascism and defend National Socialism at the same time. Stalin’s hatred of the Poles exceeded even that of Hitler’s; in 1939 Hitler had initially intended to leave a rump Polish state as a ‘protectorate’ of the Reich, obedient to Germany but with day to day management in the hands of Polish Quislings, but Stalin had insisted in their pact that nothing of Poland must remain.
De Gaulle’s situation is probably the worst; he’d received no recognition outside the British government (the Americans continued to recognize Petain’s regime for a full year after they entered the war) and he and his followers had been condemned as traitors in France. Nor had he been particularly successful gaining support from his fellow exiles; of the more than 100,000 French servicemen that found themselves in England when France surrendered, the vast majority chose to either be repatriated to France or be interned for the duration of the war. Even many in the British establishment regarded him as a traitor to France. The British would never have handed him over to Vichy or the Germans, but they would not have allowed him to remain in England either. Most probably he would have followed his initial inclination and gone into exile in Quebec and Free France would have dissolved.
AS for Yugoslavia, I do fear what happens to the exiled King Peter II.
How long would the "Free French" last?
I think it would largely depend on how things turn out elsewhere. If UK remains hostile to Germany then they would continue to recognise them and aid them in some small ways but short of full support and free hand in order not to p/o Germany.
If there is some sort of detante (likely by 1950s) then they would cut the ties, told them to tone things down or told them to GTFO. Considering any peace treaty between UK and Germany would require change in british governemnt new, more pro-Germany or at least more accomodating one, would see them as an embarassment and obstacle.
Also a lot depends on how Pacific war goes. If Japan rolls over them as per OTL then US will be in much better position to dictate to them how to act after the war.
When is this victory? If in 1940, as Cook said, only the Dutch have a rear base to fall back on, though who knows how long they can hold on. If later, say 1943 the USSR's defeated and sues for terms but the UK's still unconquered, then they all trundle along as great propaganda pieces but with rapidly diminishing political cachet.
IIRC the Dutch government wanted to deal with the Germans, but the Queen held them back, as she was worried that the Germans would turn over the East Indies to the Japanese; here with the Brits out of the war they would have to rely on the Germans to hold the East Indies, as the US was in no position to stop the Japanese in 1940, nor was it on a war footing to even want to. So I'd say the Dutch actually are in a pretty precarious situation, as their government in exile was already divided even with the British in the war and would have no protection against the Japanese occupying their colony like they did Indochina.
More likely because of her passionate hatred of the Germans; in late 1944, when her Son-in-Law Prince Bernard told her that the allies would be shortly liberating some of the Dutch royal castles and estates she replied 'burn them all!'. When the startled prince asked her why, she said that she would 'never again set foot in a place where the Germans have been sitting in my chairs'. After a lot of persuading Bernard managed to get her to settle for fumigating them with DDT, but he said that she never fully forgave him for it. Wilhelmina was a tough old chook.
Oddly enough, Belgium had ended up being annexed officially by the Third Reich while the Netherlands did not. Anyways, Hitler did not seem to take kindly to monarchs and would have likely eliminated them in the Low Countries and Scandinavia. He might have been the Bulgarian Tsar was the only one who impressed him. I believe that the Norwegians would continue to be unhappy and to give the lack of cooperation and semi-passive resistance that they had done since the start of the war when they sank a battleship, cooking alive the Germans send over to be administrators of the country. The King may stay in London unless for some reason the Icelanders invite him over. He would need to take the entire Norwegian gold reserves with him, though. To make it worth there while. He wasn't a bad king by any means and was elected to the position, with a far higher majority than any of the ruling parties.
A lot happened between 1940-44 to drive that hatred; I'm sure she was angry about the invasion in 1940, but just prior the Dutch and Germans had been friendly for a very long time. It was the events of the long occupation that drove that hatred.
If Britain exits the war then there is no hope for US entry and USSR entry doesn't mean much for Dutch liberation.
It would be curious what the Belgians would do or how the US would react, as they had $300 million in gold in US banks; if they surrendered would the US freeze the assets or would they return them? Would the Germans get access to that money? IIRC that was enough to buy nearly 10 million tons of high octane aviation fuel. Then there is Congolese rubber and copper (and Uranium) for the German economy.
In the event of a limited Axis Victory, ie. one when the peace treaty has Germany compromising on some issues, instead of simply dictating the terms, some of the governments-in-exile might be allowed to return to their countries after the Germans withdraw all or most of their occupying troops. The Greek Government, for one, and also possibly Yugoslavia. Belgium?
The Czechoslovak government is likely screwed, IIRC Hitler was adamant that Czechoslovakia not be resurrected under any circumstances.
I also read that a tiny part of Poland, the Restpolen, was to be a bargaining chip in negotiations with the allies, however, even if the Nazis allow a nominally independent rump Poland to exist, they probably wouldn't allow the legitimate government to come back. Hell, the Polish government might see agreeing to rule such a tiny strip of territory next to Greater Germany as a betrayal of their own people and refuse even if asked.
One of the real question is: does the japanese still invade the dutch, french, english indies ? If yes, well, England still have a war to fight and will probably need the help of the french and the dutch. Maybe the free french will ask to seize french north africa as well. ( very not sure about this one tough)
If no they can fall back in their colony.
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