The Socialist Fatherland is in Danger: WI no Brest-Litovsk Treaty

So IOTL, Lenin was able to unify various Bolshevik leaders against the two anti-peace positions - Trotsky's "no war, no peace" and Bukharin's "revolutionary war". In this case, let's say Lenin has a stroke and is incapacitated in January 1918. As a result, the Bolsheviks end up narrowly embracing a position of delaying the Germans at Brest for as long as possible while building a new Red Army to re-enter the war. Trotsky (Foreign Affairs Commissar at the time) reaches out to the Entente in mid-January asking for armaments and military support, as he did in March 1918 IOTL. Over the course of the next few months a sizable Entente buildup occurs, and by September you have 20,000+ Entente troops in Northwest Russia fighting alongside the Red Army.

The Germans repudiate the December armistice in February and pause at about where they halted IOTL when they realize that the Bolsheviks have no intention of negotiating further. The German forces in the East were incapable of managing what they held IOTL and rushing deeper into Russia only complicates the logistics of occupation. I could see Germany trying to occupy Petrograd, though IOTL the option was dismissed in summer 1918 for being undesirable (Lots more Russians to manage) and infeasible due to the manpower requirements.

The two biggest immediate changes I see are that the Entente recognizes the Bolsheviks by summer 1918 for political expediency's sake, with the royal family going into exile in Britain, and the worst of the Civil War is largely butterflied for the moment. With the Bolsheviks now assuming the mantle of defenders of Russia against German aggression, the vast majority of the officer corps and patriotic political parties (SRs, Kadets, etc.) will remain on their side at least until the war ends, giving the Bolsheviks much of 1918 to consolidate power and receive a major equipment boost from the Entente.

Also, Trotsky at Versailles sounds fun.
 
The war would likely drag out into the early twenties. The Germans wouldn't be able to launch the spring offensives in 1918, so if worse comes to worse in the west, they can withdraw to the Hindenburg line. The Red army wouldn't have the capacity to launch an offensive into Germany. Eventually Germany would be overwhelmed in the West, but there'd be a much more favourable peace deal, whenever that comes into effect.
 

Ulyanovsk

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The war would likely drag out into the early twenties. The Germans wouldn't be able to launch the spring offensives in 1918, so if worse comes to worse in the west, they can withdraw to the Hindenburg line. The Red army wouldn't have the capacity to launch an offensive into Germany. Eventually Germany would be overwhelmed in the West, but there'd be a much more favourable peace deal, whenever that comes into effect.
I think this scenario is going to shorten the lifespan of the Central Powers, not prolong it. Even with a 'relatively' peaceful eastern border after OTL Brest-Litovsk, Germany was on the ropes in terms of domestic food supply and industrial capacity by the end of 1918. A scenario in which the East instead remains a battleground and in which the Western Front is much weaker than OTL around Operation Michael, instead of a slower German collapse I see a quicker one. Even if they withdraw to the Hindenburg Line like you say, Austria-Hungary is finished and the domestic situation in Germany is disastrous. If armistice is not signed before the winter of 1918, revolution at home will do the Germans in (if not sooner).

Even with a peace in the East, the First World War continuing into the early 1920's is ASB.
 
The war would likely drag out into the early twenties. The Germans wouldn't be able to launch the spring offensives in 1918, so if worse comes to worse in the west, they can withdraw to the Hindenburg line. The Red army wouldn't have the capacity to launch an offensive into Germany. Eventually Germany would be overwhelmed in the West, but there'd be a much more favourable peace deal, whenever that comes into effect.
No. Austria-Hungary implodes in 1918 after the Battle of Vittorio Veneto and the Ottomans and Bulgarians surrender as well. Germany's two-front war becomes a three-front war as the Germans have to occupy as much of what used to be Austria-Hungary in order to keep extracting its resources and prevent the Italians from attacking into South Germany itself. The blockade continues to take its toll and Germany is forced to surrender in early 1919 as American forces swell Allied numbers on the Western Front and the Allies finally breakthrough. The peace treaty is even harsher.
 
The war would likely drag out into the early twenties. The Germans wouldn't be able to launch the spring offensives in 1918, so if worse comes to worse in the west, they can withdraw to the Hindenburg line. The Red army wouldn't have the capacity to launch an offensive into Germany. Eventually Germany would be overwhelmed in the West, but there'd be a much more favourable peace deal, whenever that comes into effect.
They'd still be able to launch the spring offensives, the vast majority of Germany's strategic transfers occurred before February 1918. Further, the Entente was well equipped to break German defenses by Fall 1918 - most of the material factors had finally come together to enable them to achieve breakthroughs.
 
No. Austria-Hungary implodes in 1918 after the Battle of Vittorio Veneto and the Ottomans and Bulgarians surrender as well. Germany's two-front war becomes a three-front war as the Germans have to occupy as much of what used to be Austria-Hungary in order to keep extracting its resources and prevent the Italians from attacking into South Germany itself. The blockade continues to take its toll and Germany is forced to surrender in early 1919 as American forces swell Allied numbers on the Western Front and the Allies finally breakthrough. The peace treaty is even harsher.
With this thread's POD and sufficient flow-on changes, including a necessarily more defensive stance on the Western Front, the Germans might see fit to persuade the Austro-Hungarians not to engage in their disastrous offensive at the Piave River in June 1918 and stand on the defense themselves, potentially butterflying OTL Vittorio Veneto and the subsequently swift Austrian collapse. One might see Germany and Austria-Hungary stringing things out as late as autumn 1919 in such a scenario, although certainly not 1920.
 
If Germany launches an offensive against the Bolsheviks wouldn't it be basically a 'children's crusade' since they were running low on manpower.
 
the Germans might see fit to persuade the Austro-Hungarians not to engage in their disastrous offensive at the Piave River in June 1918 and stand on the defense themselves, potentially butterflying OTL Vittorio Veneto
June of 1918 is to late for the Austro-Hungarian army. The Italian Army was superior to them at this point and even if the aquit themselves better, Diaz will still defeat them. With Austria still having to fight in Russia, it'll be just as bad.
 
With this thread's POD and sufficient flow-on changes, including a necessarily more defensive stance on the Western Front, the Germans might see fit to persuade the Austro-Hungarians not to engage in their disastrous offensive at the Piave River in June 1918 and stand on the defense themselves, potentially butterflying OTL Vittorio Veneto and the subsequently swift Austrian collapse. One might see Germany and Austria-Hungary stringing things out as late as autumn 1919 in such a scenario, although certainly not 1920.
Germany wouldn't stay on the defensive, a Russia still in the war doesn't tie down much more than IOTL and launching an offensive before America rolls through is hardcoded into Germany's 1918 plans. Brest-Litovsk wasn't signed IOTL until a couple weeks before Michael began.
 

raharris1973

Donor
Monthly Donor
So IOTL, Lenin was able to unify various Bolshevik leaders against the two anti-peace positions - Trotsky's "no war, no peace" and Bukharin's "revolutionary war". In this case, let's say Lenin has a stroke and is incapacitated in January 1918. As a result, the Bolsheviks end up narrowly embracing a position of delaying the Germans at Brest for as long as possible while building a new Red Army to re-enter the war. Trotsky (Foreign Affairs Commissar at the time) reaches out to the Entente in mid-January asking for armaments and military support, as he did in March 1918 IOTL. Over the course of the next few months a sizable Entente buildup occurs, and by September you have 20,000+ Entente troops in Northwest Russia fighting alongside the Red Army.

The Germans repudiate the December armistice in February and pause at about where they halted IOTL when they realize that the Bolsheviks have no intention of negotiating further. The German forces in the East were incapable of managing what they held IOTL and rushing deeper into Russia only complicates the logistics of occupation. I could see Germany trying to occupy Petrograd, though IOTL the option was dismissed in summer 1918 for being undesirable (Lots more Russians to manage) and infeasible due to the manpower requirements.

The two biggest immediate changes I see are that the Entente recognizes the Bolsheviks by summer 1918 for political expediency's sake, with the royal family going into exile in Britain, and the worst of the Civil War is largely butterflied for the moment. With the Bolsheviks now assuming the mantle of defenders of Russia against German aggression, the vast majority of the officer corps and patriotic political parties (SRs, Kadets, etc.) will remain on their side at least until the war ends, giving the Bolsheviks much of 1918 to consolidate power and receive a major equipment boost from the Entente.

Also, Trotsky at Versailles sounds fun.
Diplomatic consequences may include: no Bolshevik release of secret treaties, therefore no 14 Points in the exact form they took, encouraging worker's revolution in Central Powers homelands is part of Entente coalition strategy.

Some ethnic factions and even some reactionary ethnic Russian factions will be willing to work with the Germans as puppets. Pyotr Krasnov perhaps.

It seems like Petrograd in particular would not be too hard for the Germans to take. Of course if the Germans take Petrograd and Moscow, the Bolsheviks could just set their base to the east. So as long as their not dumb enough to get caught by storm, the regime shouldn't be doomed.

Of course the Bolsheviks won't get any of the German subsidies they got in 1918, to pay their mercenaries like Latvian rifles.

What people/factions in Russia are going to hate the Bolsheviks so much that they'll side with the Germans against them?
 
Diplomatic consequences may include: no Bolshevik release of secret treaties, therefore no 14 Points in the exact form they took, encouraging worker's revolution in Central Powers homelands is part of Entente coalition strategy.

Some ethnic factions and even some reactionary ethnic Russian factions will be willing to work with the Germans as puppets. Pyotr Krasnov perhaps.

It seems like Petrograd in particular would not be too hard for the Germans to take. Of course if the Germans take Petrograd and Moscow, the Bolsheviks could just set their base to the east. So as long as their not dumb enough to get caught by storm, the regime shouldn't be doomed.

Of course the Bolsheviks won't get any of the German subsidies they got in 1918, to pay their mercenaries like Latvian rifles.

What people/factions in Russia are going to hate the Bolsheviks so much that they'll side with the Germans against them?
Not seizing Petrograd was always more a matter of policy rather than ability necessarily. Ludendorff wanted to do it in Summer 1918, but OberOst was against it because of the additional resource drain from occupying millions of Russians. I could see Petrograd being occupied in March/April to try to force the Bolsheviks to negotiate, but once they refuse Moscow seems like a bridge too far. The Germans were barely able to manage what they seized IOTL as is.

One of the core motivators for the anti-Bolshevik revolt in spring-summer 1918 was anti-German/BL nationalism. Even the Volunteer Army was explicitly patriotic and anti-German. The Bolsheviks seizing the patriotic mantle of “defenders of Russia” is a real propaganda coup which unites a lot of IOTL White military/government personnel behind them (Or at least keeps them neutral). Conservative officials were able to rationalize the Bolsheviks as the next “evolutionary” step on Russia’s path to modernity IOTL even with BL. Most Russian military/state people by 1918 prioritized some combination of statism, patriotism, and modernization over reactionary conservatism necessarily.
 
My TL (see signature) Explores a militarily similar scenario (albeit not with quite the Same political leadership).

In short, I think OHL would go for Petrograd, and restructuring the Army would be a tough Task for your Trotsky, but Revolutionary Russia on the Entente's Side is going to be a victorious and much more stable regime earlier on.

Now, with Trotsky replacing Lenin, there are implications for Economy etc. too...
 
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Another interesting question is what would happen to Hungary? OTL they went red and I see that loosing the war is going to result in that, How would the soviets react? Would they protect the communist regime in Hungary from the romanian attack that destroyed it OTL? Would Red Hungary get a more lenient peace thanks to russian support?
 

raharris1973

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Monthly Donor
Ludendorff wanted to do it in Summer 1918,
What was the point of doing it then? What was to be gained. By that moment it was Paris or bust. There was already a deal in the east. It seems like a random static electricity idea of Ludendorff's.
 
What was the point of doing it then? What was to be gained. By that moment it was Paris or bust. There was already a deal in the east. It seems like a random static electricity idea of Ludendorff's.
Partly adding to his dreams of an even larger eastern empire, partly to punish the Bolsheviks for continuing to build up the Red Army in secret and skirmishing with the Germans/Austrians in the Donbas.
 
Just as Hitler was able to extract less net resources from the USSR after invading it than he was getting under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Hindenburg and Ludendorff will extract less from the former Russian Empire than they were OTL. Getting that grain from Ukraine will be a lot harder if the Germans aren't just occupying Ukraine but rather trying to occupy everything up to Petrograd and Moscow.
 
Just what would the likelihood have been though, of the Entente powers making any kind of significant military commitment to the Bolsheviks? Even while fighting a mutual enemy, strengthening Lenin's hand was probably the last thing any of the Entente leadership wanted to do. 1918 was a different world from 1941...
 
Just what would the likelihood have been though, of the Entente powers making any kind of significant military commitment to the Bolsheviks? Even while fighting a mutual enemy, strengthening Lenin's hand was probably the last thing any of the Entente leadership wanted to do. 1918 was a different world from 1941...
Actually a lot, the Entente was dead serious about the military aid they promised in spring 1918 in order to stave off a Bolshevik defection. The first group of British marines deployed to Murmansk was invited by Trotsky. Recognition was also on the table, again hinging on the Bolsheviks remaining loyal allies.
 
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