If Yugoslavia manages to remain neutral in WWII, does it still break up several decades later?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by CaliGuy, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. CaliGuy Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    If Yugoslavia manages to remain neutral in WWII (such as if France doesn't fall in WWII), does it still break up several decades (or more) later (like it did at the start of the 1990s in our TL)? Or does Yugoslavia remain united indefinitely in this TL?

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. wiking The One and Only

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    I'd say it probably collapses sooner. There were was a lot of bad blood during the Nazi occupation that was exploited by the occupier (technically occupiers, as Italy and Hungary had their shares of the country) and even during the invasion there were elements of the military that refused to fight for the government. It seems then that the strong man Tito was what kept the country together and the only reason it really formed was out of the ashes of WW1 and on the power of the victors as well as fear of external domination if they didn't form (mainly from Italy IIRC); in power the nation was largely treated as Greater Serbia by the ruling class, so there was a lot of dissatisfaction with the situation that helped undermine the country when the war came.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavia#Kingdom_of_Yugoslavia
    There was no option to stay neutral other than join the Axis (as Hitler made it clear join or face invasion; if you join you don't have to fight, but if you don't we invade), which the Regent Paul did, but that doomed his government and neutrality. They had been in talks with the Soviets too, but the Nazis came before that got far as I understand it. So for neutrality you'd have to have the coup stopped during the war and then a defection to the Allies in 1944. Still, it is likely that by trying to buy off Hitler the government would fracture and without the civil war during WW2, Stalin especially pushing for communism in the region would probably help fracture the nation into a civil war post-WW2. Events, internal and external, would just put too much pressure on an already failing state.
     
    riskyrofl, impspy, CaliGuy and 5 others like this.
  3. Halagaz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Location:
    Best Moesia
    It could still break up, but it's far less likely to (and the break-up, if it happens, is less likely to be violent).

    If Yugoslavia breaks its neutrality by joining the Allies in the late stage of the war, then the Royal government might be the one to take Zara and Istria instead of the Communists, further shoring up its position with Croats and Slovenes (the Slovenes never really presented a problem, but hey).

    But that is just a minor factor. There are two major factors:
    -By avoiding Yugoslavia's participation in WW2, you'd also avoid the genocidal reign of the Ustashe, the Chetnik massacres, and a few other events - things that, in OTL, greatly contributed to radicalization and inter-ethnic hatred in Yugoslavia.
    -The Royal Yugoslav government also started federalizing shortly before the war, under the so-called Cvetković-Maček agreement. And - judging by its beginnings, anyway - this form of federalization would be a more stable one than the Communist-imposed federal divisions of OTL.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    plenka, Nofix, rfmcdonald and 2 others like this.
  4. wiking The One and Only

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Sure, but once the Axis pact threat comes along, and the only way that isn't coming along is if Nazi Germany screws up earlier and changes history by bogging down in France, or WW2 doesn't happen, which changes everything.
     
  5. Halagaz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Location:
    Best Moesia
    I'm not sure about of Stalin organizing a Greek-style civil war. You may be right that it constitutes a serious risk; but events could also conspire against it. In any case, OP seems to be working under the assumption that there is no break-up during or immediately after WW2.
     
  6. wiking The One and Only

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Not saying it would be intentional, he'd just be pushing his faction, which with existing internal pressure, might result in resentments boiling over around political as well as ethnic tensions.
     
  7. CaliGuy Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Couldn't Yugoslavia remain neutral if France avoids falling during WWII?

    Also, wouldn't Soviet attempts to spread Communism to Yugoslavia be opposed by Britain, France, Germany, and Italy in the absence of WWII/the Fall of France?

    What exactly was the problem with the post-WWII Communist-imposed federalization of Yugoslavia?
     
  8. JackLumber Mildly belligerent Canuck

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Location:
    The Great White North
    Ethnic based divisions.
     
  9. CaliGuy Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Those existed in the pre-WWII years as well, though.
     
  10. Anarch King of Dipsodes Overlord of All Thirst

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Location:
    The heights of glory, the depths of despair.
    Less likely to break up, in the absence of the violence and disruption of the war.

    But bear in mind that separatism has been quite strong in Europe. E.g. the Scottish Nationalists, the Velvet Divorce in Czechoslovakia, Catalan separatism in Spain. Yugoslavia was a recent and artificial creation; how likely is it that it would not have a spasm of separatism sufficient to rupture its fragile nationality?
     
  11. JackLumber Mildly belligerent Canuck

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Location:
    The Great White North
    No I mean the actual nation was divided into ethnic based SRs
     
  12. Halagaz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Location:
    Best Moesia
    Part of the problem was that it was not even loosely based on ethnic borders. And - arguably - it shafted not even one (which would have been bad enough), but both of Yugoslavia's two biggest nationalities.
     
    CaliGuy and KACKO like this.
  13. Michele Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Well, it's likely it will break apart sooner or later, but, not like it did in OTL. The reason is that ethnic hatred, already present in 1939, was seriously strengthened by events during WWII. Tito managed to put a lid on that and keep it to a simmer, but it was all there waiting to explode again. If Yugoslavia breezes through WWII with its groups not going at each other's throat on a grand scale (some low level of strife seems inherent), then maybe they will part ways later on all the same - but less violently.
     
  14. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Location:
    Britain
    I'd argue more likely. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a multiethnic state that was heavily dominated by the Serbs. One of the main factors of Yugoslavia's OTL collapse was economic inequalities between the regions, which is likely to be worse ITTL without a Communist government actively trying to counteract this through redistribution. Finally, assuming that the Soviets are able to reach Bulgaria and Hungary, the Soviets are going to be sending supplies to pro-Soviet groups in the country. All in all, not a recipe for long-term stability.
     
  15. yourworstnightmare Trubbelmakare

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Tusen Sjöars Land
    Actually if Hungary and Bulgaria end up in the Soviet sphere, the USSR might back Hungarian and Bulgarian territorial ambitions on Yugoslavia.
     
    Alexander the Average likes this.