If the WAllies had decided to push the Soviet Union out of Europe immediately following WW2

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Malone, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. RightHoJeeves A gentleman's personal gentleman.

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    If a war broke out the Soviets would have no problem pushing the Americans, British and French back. The Western Allies would enjoy air superiority and probably adopt a defensive strategy of falling back across Germany with continuous close air support until reinforcements can arrive for a counterattack. The A-bomb will be used tactically on Soviet staging areas and is probably enough of a shock and awe weapon to prompt a cease fire and negotiations.
     
  2. Mr.J Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, neither side has the ability to launch an offensive war here. For the West to attack the USSR in 1945, they'd need the kind of 1984 doublethink that has Oceania switch from fighting Eurasia to Eastasia in the middle of a rally. That works in a fictional dictatorship, but in a relatively democratic society that was just told they'd won the war and the boys could come home? From the factories to the army to the politicians, nobody is going to want to attack "our Russian allies".

    On the Soviet side, it's a brutal dictatorship and can ignore public opinion, sure. But the leadership also knows how exhausted the USSR is, manpower reserves are almost gone and there was famine in IOTL 1946 without a war on. Stalin's not the kind of leader to try a crazy gamble like attacking westward. I don't think anyone in the Soviet leadership at the time was, at least not anyone with real power.

    Basically neither side is going to be able to start a war easily, both have big reasons to deescalate any conflict. If a war somehow does start, it might well end with massive military mutinies on both sides, like a really scaled up Christmas truce that ends with the soldiers of both sides turning against their governments to rebuild Europe in peace... OK, probably not, but that would be the most poetic ending.
     
  3. Thon Taddeo Well-Known Member

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    The US and UK had manpower issues towards the end of the war. I doubt they could be overcome in the face of immense public opposition.

     
  4. Tovarich Lumpen Proletariat's Proliest Lump

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    Oh well, do a leaflet drop first telling the Soviet troops that, I'm sure they'll understand and just fade away into the night soon as the shells start coming over, definitely won't fear "Oh shit, here goes Barabarossa again," and dig their heels in.
     
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  5. David T Well-Known Member

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    If Truman were to threaten the USSR with war unless it withdrew from eastern Europe, Stalin would laugh and treat it as a bluff--and would be right. There was virtually no support in western public opinion for such a war, and everyone knew it. It would be hard enough to get western Europeans to accept even a defensive war, given the large numbers of Communists and sympathizers. And in the US itself public opinion was all for faster demobilization, not a new war.

    (Of course Stalin would also know the western governments' actual intentions from his espionage network.)
     
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  6. Mitchell Hundred Well-Known Member

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    The whole argument about wallies troops not wanting to fight former/current russian allies ignores that almost immediately after Dunkirk where British and French fought side by side, you actually had French (vichy) and British forces engaged in combat in the seas and in Africa.

    Of all the arguments against this war happening I don't feel the troops not wanting to turn on the Russians is a strong one.
     
  7. lionhead Pretty fly for a white guy

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    The US can forget repayment for lend-lease as well. They were expecting that but OTL they did get it back. And lend-lease stopped in September 1945 anyway so the USSR wouldn't really be deprived of anything anymore if the Wallies declare war. This includes nuclear materials the USSR used for weapons development(though meant for nuclear energy).

    I wonder if the war would last till the USSR builds its own nuke and strikes back. I'm sure they would prioritize the effort of building one, more than OTL. This of course assuming the Wallies can't fin the USSR nuclear research facilities.
     
  8. Mr.J Well-Known Member

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    In that case the French had switched sides though, and the fighting was pretty desultory mostly, wasn't it?

    It's not just the idea that the soldiers would mutiny, they probably wouldn't. But the people back home would call for peace, unlike in the situation with Vichy, the war was over (or maybe, still going on in the Pacific) and now Truman wants to start another world war? If Truman wants the Dems to have any chance in the '46 midterms he won't invade the USSR.
     
  9. David T Well-Known Member

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    In 1945, unlike 1940, the troops (both British and American) thought the war was over and that they would finally be going home. And they were serious about going home: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Air_Force_mutiny
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post–World_War_II_demobilization_strikes
    https://web.archive.org/web/20080113073052/http://www.marxist.com/usa/postww2_US_soldiers.html
    (a biased source but the incidents were real...)

    Moreover, in 1940 the British no doubt thought of what they were doing as part of the same war they had been fighting all along--they were still fighting against Nazi Germany, only to do so they would now have to fight what they thought of as a puppet regime that had been forced on France. There is simply no way that an attack on the USSR in 1945 can be portrayed as still fighting the same enemy. It would be a new war--period.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  10. Mr.Wigglemunch Well-Known Member

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    There is a massive difference between fighting Vichy collaborators after a year of war and fighting Soviets after six years of the most bloodiest conflict in history against the most vile regime in history. And to boot, as already mentioned there were large populations in France, Italy, not to mention Greece, and even Britain had two Communist MP's in 45.

    And as for the colonial world, well, if the west are the aggressors, I can see much more ending up in the Soviet sphere.
     
  11. Histor32 Well-Known Member

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    I call bull on that..
    I also call bull on invading Russia proper
    They get to the polish border of 1939 and that's it
     
  12. Histor32 Well-Known Member

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    Soviets are tired.. Everyone is tired
    Who really wanted communism? At least is Stalin form..

    It would be a war of principle at that point.
    Everyone knew clear well that the nation's taken by the soviets were not going to be anything but communist.

    America would use the bomb.. Millions more die..

    Even 3 or 4 at a clip is a bad situation, America has better logistics and money and untouched land..

    Again it was unthinkable for a reason.

    But the idea of mass communist uprisings is hogwash

    This would have one or two effects .
    Either colonialism is vilified.. Or speeds the process up.

    The American body count would be huge and as others have mentioned this would be categorized as a new war.. But lest we forget the soviets were happy to invade Poland and finland and the Baltic . They were far from clean

    Not that anyone else was either at this point

    America would. Go down as pretty brutal using the bomb and still being an apartheid state
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  13. lionhead Pretty fly for a white guy

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    well there is some merit to it, since it would be an act of aggression and imperialism by the Wallies. One that can't be excused as freeing Europe from the Soviet Union, agreements were made. I'm not saying its going to be a "communist uprising" as in people rising up and becoming pro-Stalin, but there will be uprisings against the Wallies aggression. And it doesn't matter a damn that the Soviet Union is acting in imperialistic fashion as well, as they are seen as liberators from the Nazis for those countries like Poland. Fighting yet again, this time by the people that were supposed to sto pthe fighting and imperialism and deaths, thats going to cause a permanent scar right from the getgo. Nothing is going to be right afterwards.
     
  14. Histor32 Well-Known Member

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    Now that I much agree with..
    In that Sam breath though there will be equal numbers fighting the other side too..

    Biggest thing is how it's spun.

    We don't want to fight the people, we want free honest postwar Europe . Unfortunately that doesn't work if free and and honest are only one sided.

    Europe is a shambles
    Continued fighting or a new war 1 year later only makes eastern Europe more screwed over

    I guess it depends on how it starts in all honestly. If Patton goes off and goes full tilt or if uncle Joe decides to run for the Rhine.

    The west will need cause to start a new conflict.. Not just we dont like communism.

    You do have to sell the war back home too.
    Most Americans don't want to die in Poland or Belarus or Ukraine or on the road to Moscow. So a flat out west attacking the east is a hard bitter pill to swallow if it doesn't have some cause real cause.

    Who wins.. Russians hold the line for a month but the logistics don't favor them, nor does the current state of eastern Europe.

    I can say this it would be drastically different world.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  15. David T Well-Known Member

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    Enough people to make the PCF the largest party in France, with 28.3 percent in 1946: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_legislative_election,_November_1946

    Enough people to give the People's Democratic Front (of the Communists and the pro-Stalin wing of the Socialists) 31 percent of the vote in Italy (and that was in 1948--a couple of years earlier the percentage would probably be higher) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_general_election,_1948

    Enough people to give the Communists 38 percent of the vote in Czechoslovakia in 1946 (and yes, that election was basically free--the Soviet troops had been withdrawn): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czechoslovak_parliamentary_election,_1946 (and that doesn't even count Communist sympathizers in the Social Democratic party, led by the very pro-Stalin Fierlinger).

    Even in western Germany where people knew perfectly well about the rapes the Red Army was committing in the Soviet zone ("Frau, komm!") the KPD won 9.2% of the vote in the initial Landtag elections… https://books.google.com/books?id=t28rBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA115

    Even in countries where the Communists had historically been very weak, they got in double digits. For example, in Denmark the Communists got only 2.4 percent in 1939 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_Folketing_election,_1939 but 12.5 percent in 1945: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_Folketing_election,_1945 In Norway the Communists went from 0.3 percent in 1936 to 11.9 percent in 1945. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_Party_of_Norway#Storting_(parliament)
     
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  16. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    Absent LL the Soviets will be severely hampered logistically (both military and civilian) the longer the war goes on. LL food was an essential and starving workers don't produce well. They are in a worse manpower situation than the USA. While the Soviets have a lot of aircraft, and some are quite good (like the Sturmovik), overall the Allies have better and will have jets soon. The Soviets have no long range aviation. While the Soviets do have submarines, their submarine force in 1945 is not the submarine force of the later Cold War. The flow of men and supplies across the Atlantic will be essentially untouched. Of course the USA has the bomb, it can be delivered to Baku by B-29 from bases in iran or Iraq quite easily - boom goes Soviet fuel production. Having said all that pushing the USSR back to the 1939 borders will be a bloody mess, the Allies will have issues with communist insurgents in their rear, and the Soviets will have the same in Eastern Europe.

    In the end, IMHO the "numbers" (manpower, production, raw materials, quality (mostly)) favor the Allies. The problem is political - I don't see any way this kicks off from the US/UK standpoint absent some sort of Soviet action/provocation way more than subjugating Eastern Europe. If the Soviets decide to try and push beyond agreed upon demarcation lines, kill Allied forces etc, then "betrayal" will solve the political issue. I simply don't see any way that the USA, and especially the UK and France, can be convinced that the now evil USSR must be pushed back to 1939 borders with the attendant costs in blood and treasure if the west just does it.
     
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  17. lionhead Pretty fly for a white guy

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    I don't think so, fighting a war of aggression is not really Europe's cup of tea at this point. The Americans and British will go for it fully, but not the French, Italians, Germans, Dutch, Belgians, Austrians. They'd protest against it. Concerning agreements made i think its a good bet for some of those countries to side with the Soviets, since they will still retain their sovereignity. The French had rights to Berlin and German lands to occupy too. And i don't think Stalin was so mad as to think he could occupy all of Europe and turn it all into a Soviet puppet. Just what was agreed upon.
     
  18. David T Well-Known Member

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    The Americans and British won't go for it either...
     
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  19. lionhead Pretty fly for a white guy

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    thats the scenario...
     
  20. David T Well-Known Member

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    One other thing about Operation Unthinkable: It contemplated using Wehrmacht troops! ("The plan was taken by the British Chiefs of Staff Committee as militarily unfeasible due to an anticipated 2.5 to 1 superiority in divisions of Soviet land forces in Europe and the Middle East by 1 July, where the conflict was projected to take place.[5] The majority of any offensive operation would have been undertaken by American and British forces, as well as Polish forces and up to 100,000 German Wehrmacht soldiers." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Unthinkable)

    Is it really necessary to explain what millions of Europeans--many without any Communist sympathies--who had experienced Wehrmacht occupation would have thought about that?