The Promise of a Clean Regime | An Independent State of Croatia TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by John_Smith, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. John_Smith Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    Nope. The thought never crossed his mind. And like you said, even if he tried pulling off a stunt like that, you can be sure that Pribićević will leave the coalition in a flash, and that is the last thing he needs right now. The most influential Orthodox priests in Croatia at the moment are Dositej Vasić (metropolitan of Zagreb-Ljubljana) and Petar Zimonjić (metropolitan of Dabar-Bosna).
  2. General Ripper Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2016
    No, but current Croatia has 4% of Serbs, not 20-25%. After all, just look at Croats in BiH now and situation there in general. How would you look at them having no representatives in Government?

    They might nof fight for Croatia against Serbia, but they might not fight against Croatia if treated with dignity and respect.

    So, if all places in Cabinet aren't filled with Croats, Croatia loses institutional power?
    And moral grandstanding isn't such a bad thing.

    Of course that they will slowly cleanse the police from Serbs ( or at least reduce their numbers to a normal numbers, if higher than their population percentage as IOTL ), especially those that were particulary nasty towards Croats during Yugoslavia. But you would wonder how many Serbs remained in police 1990, as old proffesionals from former Militsia. I personally met some of them. They were experienced police officers that worked their job very well. Many of them were part of Croatian forces in war. Same thing for UDBA ( or Croatian intelligence later ). The hard facts are, without them, the war would not be won. Or we would have a civil war, with them and Croat Communists on one side, and nationalists on other. And we would have lost.

    Oružništvo is under operational control of MUP. So, MUP is important, but not so important as in OTL.

    And what would a Serbian ban mean if his Cabinet is full of Croats? Same thing for minister. I presume that Maček would appoint a deputy from HSS and maybe a secretary general/state secretary from HMO. Just to keep an eye on him.

    The main internal ( within Croatian people ) threat to Maček now are Ustashes. With Serb as minister, you can be sure that police will be eager to fight them. Because they can figure out very well that waits them if pavelić comes on power. And, you can allways appoint another person for a minister, if current isn't good.
  3. machine3589 Fabricator-General

    Sep 18, 2009
    Somewhere in time
    I'm sick of this argument. I'm dropping the issue, and the TL.

    I just have to say one thing before I leave, the number of Serbs that fought for Croatia during the 90's was tiny, especially compared to the number that fought against Croatia.

    That's it from me.
    Zagan likes this.
  4. Magyarország Legitimizta és Szociáldemokrata

    Sep 24, 2010
    Far from Hungary, ironically.
    The 90s wars are completely irrelevent to this. Plus, missing a massive amount of context.
  5. shillinger Well-Known Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    If you read General Ripper's post, you'll clearly see it was a reply to parts of it that specifically mentioned the 90's war.
  6. Magyarország Legitimizta és Szociáldemokrata

    Sep 24, 2010
    Far from Hungary, ironically.
    Then extend my statement to Ripper's too, I suppose.

    The whole argument reeks of post-war toxic nationalism in my eyes, anyways, which shouldn't apply to this TL and discussion.
    Stark and Zagan like this.
  7. Ozzymandias Chief whip of the world

    Sep 2, 2013
    I m sorry, but a this is nonsense !

    Civil war between former communists Croats and new democraticaly elected former communist general Tuđman ? Not even the most extreme serbian nationalist did not claimed this then or now ! Also, most of those "loyal"militia officers joined "Serbian Krajina" or acted as fifth column as affair Labrador showed when they (serbs) attacked jewish centre and graveyard !

    While it is true that some serbs faught for Croatia, most of them were ordinary people, not police or inteligence officer of serbian ethnicity. More than third of prewar Militia were serbs in Croatia, while being 12 % of population ! Also, they (JNA) seized ALL the weapons of Territorial defense except in serb majority regions where it was used for arming "the rebellion".

    So, you are saying this is Yugoslavia, (Croatia in name only) with serbs, muslims, germans and italians running the country ? This Maček would be even more puppet than Pavelić ! This simply does not corespond with HSS politicians views of that time, for neither of three factions (pro-NDH, pro-Tito, pro- wait and see).

    More likely that Croats would join italian supported Ustasha, and serbs to italian supported Chetniks. You are making a claim that serbs would support Maček because of fear from knowlegde of the future events - Ustasha regime ???

    Most of the serbian people in Croatia would remained passive if left alone. Most of them rebelled only after massive exiles into Serbia and crimes of Ustasha. However, mountain serbs in southern Croatia and Bosnia were in rebellion against ANY Croat state, regardless who leads it. So it was in 1875. in Bosnia, in 1941. and in 1991.

    Idea that Maček would bemore lenient towards serbs and tried to preserve life on most peoples and peace for as long as possible in one thing, but idea that he would start a war with Itally, that Germany would support Croatia over Italy and that SERBIAN minister of interior will lead serbian police officers to fight against Chetnics is ASB.

    I am truly interested in seeing where this is going, but I hope that you shall try to maintain realism. Machek was pacifist and "Cunctator", not a gambler willing to sacrifice thousands of lives. He was no Tito. He would delayed and avoid to recognize Italian occupation, but to wage war ? Ridicilous ! Also, why would Ustasha simply disappier when Italy has more use for them in south Croatia than in our timeline ? What is a role of Kvaternik in this Croatia ?

    Also, just to mention a rather not known fact, muslim have tried to get german support for autonomy of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Croatia in 1942. In this timeline, they would be even more vocal about it.
    machine3589 likes this.
  8. machine3589 Fabricator-General

    Sep 18, 2009
    Somewhere in time
    "Toxic nationalism" shouldn't apply to an argument about 1941.? And you then talk about lack of context?

    My only goal was to remind the author to be mindful of the era his TL is set in. Too many TL's on this website are ruined completely when authors project their 2018. views onto historical figures. You may scoff at these issues and reject them as petty nationalism, but I'd bet everything I own that people in 1941. wouldn't be so dismissive of them like an American living in 2018.
  9. General Ripper Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2016
    Ozzymandias and Machine

    No need to be so excited about this. This is just a discussion. You have one opinion, I have other, what's the problem?

    I'm not the author od this TL. JS is. He makes the decisions. I also think that this part about attacking the Italians is unrealistic, allmost ASB.
  10. Ozzymandias Chief whip of the world

    Sep 2, 2013
    I have no problem with your or anyone elses opinion. I believe all of us want to support John Smith in making it the best possible thread. However, we may have difference of opinions, but not a difference of facts. All best to you, mon général :)

    Croatia had one of probably deepest dug diplomatic holes in WW2. Without recognition from allies, without strong partisan movement, with unrecognized borders and 50 % minority population how will it work ?

    My humble advice to author is: Remember the spirit of that evil time, and keep persons in character. This is 1941, not 2018.
    Don`t give up.
    Zagan likes this.
  11. John_Smith Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    I am really bummed at the moment: Do I continue with the war or do I delete the last two chapters completely?

    I know that this conflict with Italy was a dumb idea (both mine as a writer as well as Maček's for listening to the General Staff), but everyone is prone to mistakes, national leaders included (Churchill had Gallipoli, Mussolini had his entrance to WW2 in 1940 with which he ended up on the losing side, etc.). That's not to say I am trying to justify the mistake I've made in trying to portray the war, I'm just saying.

    I don't know how to proceed right now, since I have many infoboxes and stuff already prepped for the rest of the war, so any help would be appreciated.
    Zagan likes this.
  12. Zagan Donor

    Apr 22, 2015
    I'd say you go on. I liked the idea, what should they have done? Cede territory without a fight like in OTL? We saw how well that worked! It simply threw the people in the arms of Tito!
    John_Smith likes this.
  13. Ozzymandias Chief whip of the world

    Sep 2, 2013
    I hope you will continue.
    Many threads have retcons. That`s the reason for discussion, to help you create the more realistic timeline.
    Hell, you made me try to write my own timeline, figure out alternative moves that would result in different outcome than OTL.
    I`m just not certain that anything could be done with POD so small, that would create western style Croatia (capitalist, democratic) in 1945.

    Maybe you should delay the war with Italy untill 1943 ? And have similar situation as with Hungary, simply not recognizing anexation ?
    Maybe accept Italian king in 1941 ? Take your pick.
  14. General Ripper Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2016
    I would drop the war. At least until after the negotiations in June. After that, when Croatia rejects Italian offers and Italians try to take evereything south of Jastrebarsko-Foča line, Croats start resisting them.
    John_Smith likes this.
  15. John_Smith Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    Thanks a lot for the advice, man, I'll certainly keep it in mind. I'm definitely leaning more toward the early-interventionist camp since it seems like the way to go. Maček doesn't strike me as a man who thought he was an expert in everything, so I think it would've made sense if he listened to his General Staff.

    Really? I am glad I was able to do that, it's always good to see more and more people starting to write their own unique timelines. The more the merrier in my opinion.
    There's a chance. There always is. HSS leadership just has to proceed with caution and try to garner as much international support as possible.

    The problem with that comes from the fact that Maček will be seen as a weak leader because he did not do anything in regards to Italy, and the situation with Hungary was easier, due to the fact that Hungarians have recognized the Croatian state (first to do so, as a matter of fact), while Italy ITTL did not do so as a way of pressuring the HSS into resolving the issue of borders sooner (and for the results to be more favorable to Italy).

    But wouldn't that make Italy have the upper hand? Since their army wouldn't be caught off-guard as it was in my chapters. I think that would only increase the chances of Croatia getting screwed. That's not to say the early attack is any better, but it's still equal in terms of Croatia getting lucky in the end.
    Zagan likes this.
  16. General Ripper Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2016
    Yes, but, if anyone, Maček was very careful man. Not coward, but the last person to initiate fight that you know that you will loose, especially if not absolutely forced to do so. And he wasn't such a fool in military affairs, he served as reserve oficer during WW1 and has some military experience. Also, do you really think that military proffesionals in General Staff would really think that they can defeat the Italians with only a month after the Domobranstvo was created ( they might, just MIGHT think that they have 50% of chance to resist Italians if they try to take more of Croatia, but to get them out of allready conquered parts and withstand counterattack- nope )? Sorry, generals are, very often, much more realistic in that regard than their political masters. Also, I don't think that all diplomatic options are exausted here, at least, we didn't see any counter-proposal by Croatia?
    Ozzymandias likes this.
  17. John_Smith Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    Warfare of WW1 is quite different when compared to the warfare of WW2. And not all people who were attending the General Staff meetings were active members of the army at the time (for example, Kvaternik was not in the army since 1921, and Štancer since 1918) so they're bound to overestimate their knowledge of tactics and strategy in general. That's why Laxa (who was a nonstop member of different armies since 1890) abstained when the General Staff voted on their conflict with Italy in Chapter I.XII while others voted in favor, except Kovačević (who was against it from the beginning). As a matter of fact, there was a Croatian proposal, in Chapter I.XI (expansion of the Zara enclave to the Zrmanja and the Krka rivers).
  18. General Ripper Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2016
    IMHO, there's no military experience, either from WW1 or WW2 that could tell you that Domobranstvo in TTL is ready to attack the Italians with any sucess. That should be clear to Thucididdes, or von Clausewitz or Kvaternik in 1941. Defence, maybe, but attack? No chance at all.

    So, why not try some other diplomatic options, free trade with Italy, giving them concessions of minerals and woods, maybe even king from Italy, or even a personal union with them? But not giving them a territory...
  19. Threadmarks: II.III | There's A Darkened Sky Before Me - June 3, 1941

    John_Smith Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    Opening his eyes slowly, he took in his surroundings. His vision remained foggy, and he couldn't help but sigh. His head has shifted slightly on the uncomfortable pillow, making him realize he was in an unfamiliar place.

    „Your Excellency?“

    His head turned in the direction of the person's voice. He barely managed to make a few words leave his dry throat.

    „Who… Who are you?“

    „It is me, Ivanko.“


    „Is… Where are we?“

    „Dugo Selo [1], we had to evacuate Zagreb after what happened.“

    „And what exactly happened?“

    „You do not remember?“


    „Those damn Greens bombed Banski dvori.“

    „How… How many?“


    „How many perished?“

    Minister Farolfi shifted in his seat uncomfortably. He did not know the precise number, but he has seen the bodies. Lightly tapping his fingers on his lap, he replied

    „Around a dozen, Your Excellency.“

    Maček's throat started burning. Regret and sadness started enveloping his being. He looked at the cracked ceiling, as if hoping he could just vanish and finally be at peace. Memories started to slowly return to him, making him remember yesterday's events. He remembered the pain, the smoke, the blood… And him.

    „Did… Did August make it?“

    Farolfi expected the dreaded question, but its weight still hit him like a ton of bricks.

    „No. He… The constables have taken his body to safety. A burial will take place soon, whenever all this blows over.“

    A lone tear escaped Maček's right eye. He felt like he would choke on his own sorrow. Still, he felt like he deserved nothing less. The ponderosity of the mistake he has made warrants even greater punishments, and he was ready to take them as they come. He sacrificed the lives of innocent people, men and women who still had so much left in them, so many ideas and wishes that they wanted to and had the power to fulfil. He did not feel ready to face the consequences, he did not feel ready for all this. These past two months have been nothing short of torture and inescapable stress.

    He wanted to return back to that train compartment and just decline what Veesenmayer had to offer. Maybe things would have turned out better for everyone. He could have just simply sat on the sidelines, waiting for his opportunity, waiting for the United Kingdom to restore freedom to his country whenever the time comes because, despite everything that has happened so far, he still retained his faith in the human spirit, in human empathy, in doing what was right. He believed that freedom belonged to the people, and that it will always prevail, no matter what the circumstances are. His optimism still lives on deep inside him, despite being drowned out by the heartless people that have poured into his country from seemingly nowhere.

    He was ready to ask Ivanko Farolfi a very important question

    „Ivanko, do you… Do you want to succeed August as Vice President?“

    The younger man was surprised at Maček's question. He expected him to ask Juraj Krnjević [2], Ljudevit Tomašić, or anyone younger and more qualified than him. It was difficult to comprehend that this position actually meant that he would become Maček's successor when the time comes. A lot more weight would be on top of his shoulders, but if the Ban wants him to do so, and if his homeland needs him to do so, then he will accept.

    „I do.“


    Vladko Maček breathed out a sigh of relief

    „Thank you, Ivanko, you have no idea how much I am grateful for that.“

    „It's… It isn't an issue, Your Excellency, if it means the safety of the Republic.“

    „Did everyone else make it?“

    „Yes, but Minister Pernar was heavily wounded, however his condition is stable at this moment. German minority representative Josef Meier [3] was also not as lucky. His arm was apparently torn off in the initial explosion.“

    „Jesus Christ… Is he alright now?“

    „Yes, he is, surprisingly enough.“

    „Thank God. And what about the civilians?“

    „They have all been taken care of as well.“

    „Great. That's great.“

    Comfortable silence has befallen the two men. Despite the situation they found themselves in, they could still enjoy the occasional calmness that sometimes came to them, wrapping them in a bubble of peace and relaxed thoughts. But alas, all good things must come to an end.



    „I can't see.“


    „My left eye. I can't see anything. Everything is dark and blurry.“

    „Oh God… I'm going to go fetch the doctor.“

    „Don't… Look, just don't. I need some rest. I don't want any doctors looking over me.“

    „Alright, but if you change your mind, please tell me.“

    „I will, don't worry.“

    Four soft, barely audible knocks on the door disrupted their conversation. Farolfi immediately turned to the door, inviting the person inside. That person turned out to be Juraj Krnjević, secretary of the HSS as well as president of the now-abolished Croatian Sports Union [4]. He warmly greeted the men with a smile, taking off his black pork pie hat in the process. He sat next to Farolfi, holding his fashion accessory in his lap. Newly-chosen vice president decided to begin the conversation anew

    „I take it you have good news for us, Juraj?“

    „Indeed I do. I was informed by Minister Kemfelja that Operation Hajduk was a resounding Croatian victory.“

    „Seriously? Those are terrific news!“

    „Indeed they are. The mouth of the Neretva river has been secured and General Laxa has been working on fortyfing the positions there.“

    „Excellent. Things are looking really good right now.“

    „What of the northern sector, though?“

    „General Štancer is slowly making progress, but Chetnik bands are making his job really difficult.“

    „Chetnik bands?“

    „Yes. Apparently Italian authorities have been systematically recruiting Serbs as well as Yugoslav soldiers from the occupied territories and turning them into their own militia who do their dirty work.“

    Gears are slowly turning in Maček's head. The new revelation hit him like a ton of bricks. Now he understood.

    „Who is their leader?“

    „I do not know. No one knows. None of the prisoners that General Kvaternik took in Knin would say his name. They only kept repeating his nickname, Pop Vatra [5].“

    „That is incredibly ominous.“

    „I know. No one is sure many Chetniks there are, but rumor has it that there are over a couple thousand of them.“

    „Oh God…“

    „You do not have to worry, Your Excellency. They don't stand a chance against our Home Guardsmen, I assure you.“

    „Thank you, Juraj.“

    „And the northwestern defences are safe for n…“


    „Uh… Yes, Your Excellency?“

    „Is my family safe?“

    „Yes, they are carefully watched by a battalion of constables. They can visit you whenever you wish.“

    „Thank you.“

    „You are welcome.“

    „Juraj, I have to ask you another thing.“

    „Of course, Your Excellency, Anything you want.“

    „Would you like to become acting Minister of Foreign Affairs? It is only temporary, for a month and a half or so.“

    „Oh… Are you sure I would be a good pick? That position holds many responsibilities and powers. Something I am unsure I will be able to get a grasp of.“

    „Please… I have known you for almost two decades now. I know very well what you are capable of, and I have complete faith in you. You can save Croatia, and I know you will.“

    „I don't know if I'll be able to survive living with the fact that I was the one gambled the faith of my country away.“

    „You won't have to, because that will never happen.“

    „You have proven yourself numerous times, and I am certain you will countless times more as Minister.“

    Secretary Krnjević stared at the floor, still wrapped in deep thought. His fingers tapped lightly against his hat, creating soft sounds that slowly filled the quiet room.

    This quietness was disturbed my Đuka Kemfelja, who with loud steps entered the room, his face red from stress and lack of sleep. He frantically searched the room until his eyes focused on Maček.

    „Your Excellency! I have grave news to report!“

    „Tell me?“

    „Is it really a good time right now? The Ban needs some res…“

    „Ivanko, please.“

    „Mostar, Bihać, Karlovac and Sisak have been bombed in attacks similar to the one yesterday. However this time they went for civilian objects and buildings. I fear they are using intimidation tactics to sway public opinion against the effort of the Home Guard.“

    „Oh no… How many people died?“

    „I do not know. Over forty, that is for sure. Our anti-aircraft batteries were able to take down five planes, but none of the pilots have survived, so no further questioning is possible.“

    „No. No, no, no!“

    Maček punched the wooden side of his bed with his tightly clenched fist repeatedly, feeling completely dreadful and hopeless.

    „Minister Kemfelja, please. Can you leave?“

    Minister Farolfi stood up, telling everyone in the room

    „I will escort Minister Kemfelja out.“

    And with that the two left the old man's new room. Krnjević put his hand on Maček's shoulder, trying to calm him down

    „Your Excellency. We'll make it through this. I believe in Croatia, and I will try my damnedest as Foreign Minister to help in any way possible.“

    That made Vladko Maček's teary eyes focus on his secretary. His look was that of surprise and shock. He reclined his old body back into the uncomfortable bed without saying a word, only faintly smiling.


    [1] A small town around 23 kilometers east from Zagreb. It seems like a good location for the constables to evacuate Maček and his cabinet.

    [2] Coincidentally enough, Juraj Krnjević succeeded Maček as leader of the HSS after his death in 1964.

    [3] Couldn't find much information on him, but he was a leader of the Volksdeutschers in the NDH IOTL and was quickly replaced by Branimir Altgayer.

    [4] Croatian Sports Union (Hrvatska športska sloga) was the supreme sports body during the Banovina of Croatia, with its main task being the liberation of Croatian sport from the Yugoslav one. It is reasonable to assume this organization would be abolished after Maček's Proclamation of the Republic, since the Croatian Football Federation already left the HŠS in its initial year (1939) and it is reasonable to assume other sports organizations would follow suit after April 1941.

    [5] Translated to Father Fire (with Pop being a term used for Christian priests).

    1st Infobox Stuff: Mira Radić was the daughter of Stjepan Radić, founder of the Croatian Peasant Party, making Košutić have very close connections in the party after Radić's demise.

    2nd Infobox Stuff: Pretty self-explanatory. The two Italians mentioned are fictional, while Mile Balaban was found on the list just like the previous guy in Chapter II.I.
  20. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Hitler has to be thinking "Mussolini, you f***ing idiot." at this point...