Two Suns Shall Set: A 20th-Century TL Without Nazis

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by AeroTheZealousOne, Oct 26, 2018.

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  1. Threadmarks: Introduction & FAQ

    AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

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    With limited inspiration and motivation for working on my original timeline, I've decided to work on a side-project that will cover a similar scope of time, but will be less in-depth and less detailed. Watch me screw up somewhere.

    Something I've had floating in my head awhile is the premise of taking something that sounds like it's be a good thing, like the Nazis never coming to power in Germany, and turning it on its head, inadvertently creating a world that can be easily argued as worse than ours. I'd agree that a world without them and a world with millions of lives not killed out of hatred for race or status would be better than ours. But at what cost?

    Allow me to clarify what should be an extremely obvious point: Under no circumstances do I condone the hateful, evil, and genocidal ideology that is Nazism, or any of its variants or modern-day derivatives in any of their forms. Its effects on the 20th century and beyond, not to mention the very lives we live today, cannot be denied nor understated. Following the Holocaust and its uncovering in the aftermath of the Second World War in the 1940s, anti-semitism was near-universally discredited, as well as the garbage pseudoscience known as “eugenics”.


    But what if? What if, by freak chance and additional gunshots, the end result is the butterflying away of the Third Reich as we know it? What would be some of the ramifications of this on Europe, nay, the world? I intend to explore this, and not only bring it to its logical conclusions, but to deliberately see how the world could be worse outside of the conventional Cold War or Nazi Victory dystopias that appear on these forums.

    Much world will thrive on Murphy’s Law up until the end of the main story. I have a feeling that a number of you are going to find the twists and turns that I take interesting. And with the introduction out of the way, I'll throw a brief FAQ up and we will get started!


    Q: Is this collaborative?
    A: It's not, but I will definitely take feedback and constructive criticism, as always!


    Q: How far are you taking it?
    A: The main story will end in 2000, with an epilogue foreshadowing events that may occur in the early 21st century.


    Q: What, or who, are some of your inspirations for this timeline?
    A: Way too many to mention, but once it's done I'll definitely mention everybody that played a part in either giving me ideas for this timeline, or otherwise just being an inspiration somehow. I was browsing a certain timeline (that I won't name) where a flamewar had essentially broken out. Naturally, it was in that trash heap of awfulness that prompted me four months later to finally try again at writing.


    Q: What about pop culture?
    A: Not as heavy of a focus here, but I might do a couple of updates glancing over pop culture and trends for TTL depending on the day and how inspired I am. However, if you have any contributions to pop culture feel free to PM me your ideas, and I might just include them in the next pop culture update!


    Q: Any countries where it will be centered?
    A: Not particularly. I'm a bit biased to include more from the United States, as a natural result of me having lived my entire life as of writing this so far there, but I'll definitely be covering the rest of the world, too. And since the Point of Divergence is naturally in Germany they're gonna get plenty of mentions too.


    Q: Will this go on indefinite hiatus like the your other one?
    A: I sure hope not. I feel like writing again and I'll try to pump out updates more regularly. No set schedule but at this point my goal is at least one update per day, or if not possible then one update every other day, until my schedule becomes bogged down once again.
    So much for that. Updates will be whenever I'm up to writing, which might be months apart, or days, depending on factors, excuses, and the like.


    Q: What else should I know?
    A: I'd tell you, but I outright refuse to spoil it beyond some early reveals in the first update below. But expect wars. I mean, what's the 20th century in any world without them?


    Q: Shall we begin?
    A: Let's do it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  2. Threadmarks: Prelude

    AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

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    PRELUDE



    (Below is an excerpt from the transcript of the interview between journalist and television personality Timothy Regan, and Harvard professor and speculative fiction author Dr. Anthony Canada, which first aired the morning of October 28, 2000 on the Global News Network.)[1]




    REGAN: Thank you for joining us today.

    CANADA: Thank you for having me.

    REGAN: Recently, you’ve published a new book about the old Weimar Republic in Germany, would you care tell us more of what it’s about?

    CANADA: Ah, yes, This book here is one of my most recent forays into the genre known as alternative history. It discusses what might have happened had a rather obscure coup attempt in early 1920’s Germany had a bit different outcome.

    REGAN: And why would you focus on something so unknown to many people today?

    CANADA: I found it interesting how close Germany came to being an authoritarian nationalist state like Italy was up until the early 1970s. Very few people realize how our history could have changed, whether it be for better or worse, during the interwar years up to World War II back in the ‘50s.

    REGAN: One interesting character you focus on is a German soldier who fought in World War I named Adolf Hitler, who, if I recall correctly, died along with nearly three dozen others during this botched coup attempt in Munich.[2]

    CANADA: Correct.

    REGAN: Can you explain why a good fraction of the book focuses on him, and not on more notable figures that went on to fight in the German Civil War like Rudolf Hess, or Erich Ludendorff?

    CANADA: With pleasure. So you see, Hitler didn’t die immediately during the attempt. He lived for a week longer and while he was critically wounded, he stabilized enough to speak very briefly with a guarded Hess, who was recently imprisoned, and he, rather, Hitler, dictated a few pages worth of content to Hess. After Hitler died, Hess took what notes he had along with various essays he wrote supporting Mussolini in Italy and created a manifesto that inspired many to fight for a stronger and more militarized Germany against the crumbling Republic.[3]

    REGAN: What was it that Hitler shared with Hess?

    CANADA: Nobody was around the two at the time, this was a private conversation that Hess admitted to having with Hitler before apprehension by the authorities in 1923, and before his summary execution in 1937. It’s understood my most experts in history dealing with the interwar period in Europe that Hitler revealed the location of his war diaries, and spoke with possible delusion about his ideal German state.

    REGAN: And what were some aspects of this envisioned government, was there anything about German cultural superiority or anti-semitism?[4]

    CANADA: Whether or not Hitler was an antisemite or a real German supremacist is unknown[5], but resources available to us say nothing about him having a grudge against the Jewish population of Germany. Hess has confessed about Hitler speaking of wanting Germany to “seek revenge” shortly before his death, but it’s common knowledge in this field that Hess was the one who envisioned it, and not Hitler.

    REGAN: So, what else is in this book? Are there any other focuses to other points during the time Germany was a republic?

    CANADA: Oh, definitely. Another large focus was how the First Great Depression[6] affected the German economy and was the main catalyst for the three-way civil war that engulfed the struggling nation in the 1930s. At this time, the monarchists and the communists were essentially fighting in the streets, the liberal republicans who supported democracy joined in the fun, and once you throw in some fringe Italian-inspired fascists that almost formed a fourth side in the war, drawn-out conflict over the future of the Germany was inevitable.

    REGAN: Before we take a quick break, I’d like to ask you what kind of effects would we see on the world had Germany not become monarchist again?

    CANADA: Nobody can say for sure, but I have found that Germany is an interesting place to cover for alternate history scenarios by many authors. Had Germany gone Red, perhaps a good chunk of Europe would today be subservient to the whims of the government in Moscow. Had the republic against all odds survived, instead a whole lot might not change at first, but assuming the Soviet Union is still crippled in 1956, the main change would be a deeper and greater shift towards a more liberal mindset in the European Commonwealth than today, and mind you, the EC’s taken a lot of pages from the Iberian playbook and have shifted pretty far to the left on social issues, even more so than today’s resurgent communist regime in Russia.

    REGAN: When we come back, we’ll have more on Professor Canada’s book, as well as his opinions on the debate earlier this week between President Belushi and opponent Joshua Brozman. Stay tuned, we’ll return after these short messages.[7]



    [1] Tim Regan, Anthony Canada, and the GNN are all original to TTL.
    [2] This is your PoD. The Beer Hall Putsch is not only bloodier, but it eventually causes the death of Adolf Hitler twenty-two years ahead of schedule, not to mention a few other people who I've neglected to mention here...
    [3] The Weimar Republic, Nazis or not, is something that I don't see remaining a state unless wise and drastic decisions are made by everybody involved. In this case, they're not.
    [4] A seemingly odd and out-of-place question to pop up in an interview, I threw it in anyway.
    [5] Without Hitler's Mein Kampf being a thing ITTL, this is a natural conclusion drawn within this universe.
    [6] Just one of many instances of foreshadowing in this update. That's right, there's a Second Great Depression, and it sets in motion some of the more... shall I say "implosive" events of the late 20th century.
    [7] That's right, this interview is definitely getting continued. You'll probably see it again next during an interlude.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
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  3. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    I’m interested
     
  4. Byzantine fanatic Pasha of the Rumistan beylik

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  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 1: The First Great Depression

    AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

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    Much of what went down in the 1920s, aside from small political developments and butterflies in Germany following the failed Putsch, is pretty close to being as per OTL. That’s why much of it is glossed over, instead focusing on the years following 1930. For now, here is:



    CHAPTER 1: The First Great Depression


    While the First Great Depression began as a recession in August of 1929 as a recession in the United States, the Wall Street Crash on October 24th that same year would bring down many of the world’s economies. Japan was not heavily affected, but its gross domestic product fell eight percent. China, India, Spain, and even Ireland went by largely unscathed by its effects. The Soviet Union, with very few international ties (as at the time, it was the world’s only communist state), barely felt a scratch. The economies of Europe and their colonies were hit extraordinarily hard within one to two years of the crash in America.[1]


    Naturally having many dealings with countries such as Britain, France, and the U.S, Germany was no exception. When it was hit, it was hit very hard, and once American loans were withdrawn from Germany, the situation became quite grim. The deflationary policies of the Republic during the Depression were, as one interviewee put it thirty years later, “as useful as a furnace in the Sahara Desert”, and things were beginning to spiral out of control. Many of those people that, in another universe, would have supported a radical right-wing populist as a leader in Germany, here had no such mainstream figure to look towards.[2] Some Germans were swayed by the promises of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), led by the charismatic Ernst Thälmann. Others were, in spite of the ailing economy, fervent supporters of the Republic. And then the restorationists supported lifting the exile of Wilhelm II, former Kaiser of the German Empire, and possibly seeing him return to his rightful spot as Germany’s head of state. Throw in some fringe groups such as the small National Socialist Party[3] (which did not align at all with the KPD) and the even smaller anarchist organizations, and ultimately there was going to be more trouble than what was bargained for.

    By the end of 1932, the situation has not improved at all, and the people turned towards more radical solutions. The Communists and the Social Democratic Parties had enough members in the government to establish a coalition government, but as expected, due to ideological differences and significant infighting, this was not to be, and by halfway into 1933, riots across the nation were commonplace, with the economic situation resembling that of over a decade prior.[4] A collapse into multi-sided fighting by this point was inevitable.

    The situation across the ocean was not a particularly good one, either. The assassination of President-Elect Franklin Roosevelt at the hands of Italian-born immigrant Giuseppe Zangara on February 21st in Atlanta[5] meant that former Vice-President Elect John Nance Garner would be sworn in as President on March 4th, setting off to work on implementing some of his late predecessor's proposed reforms and programs...


    [1] Everything in this paragraph occurred OTL.
    [2] That’s not entirely true here.
    [3] I should also note that the ban on the NSDAP in Bavaria is not lifted in 1925 ITTL, and while ripple effects bring the rest of the movement much closer to OTL’s Strasserism, it and almost all of its leaders were consigned to obscurity.
    [4] Without all of the wheelbarrows of money. Germany at this point has the opposite economic problem, in case you didn’t catch on to this.
    [5] Minor butterflies shifted the date, time, and location of the attempt, which was, needless to say, much more successful ITTL. Zangara was promptly shot and killed by nearby police seconds afterwards.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  6. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    Ok, makes sense to me that the Communist could gather a lot of OTL nsdap support. And even arms for their paramilitary wing from the SU.
     
  7. Ozzymandias Chief whip of the world

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    Not bad. Keep it coming.
    German civil war with background (FDR killed) of Man in High Castle. Will this be the world of Grasshopper lies heavy (British superpower) in conflict wth USA ?
    .
    .
    P.S.
    Are two suns British and Japanese Empires ?
     
  8. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

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    I'm not sure whether or not I will have a British-American Cold War, but collaboration between the two will be vastly minimized, considering the Brits will never be truly threatened by military invasion at any point in this timeline, even during TTL's World War II. Britain's colonial empire doesn't fall apart as early, but you'll have to see where things go. It's definitely an idea I can consider, it would definitely make the post-'50s world much more interesting.

    As for the two suns guess, you nailed it! One's imperial disintegration will, for the most part, be a peaceful process. The other one, not so much.
     
  9. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

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    Definitely an idea. Without the radical nationalism being popularized, communist ideology would most likely take its place in this scenario on levels of early popularity. It's something to consider as I do some light rewriting of Chapter 2.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  10. Threadmarks: Chapter 2: Civil Warfare in Germany

    AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

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    A brief overview of the German Civil War, a glimpse of hope for the future, and the opening act to a dark play that will last for quite a time can all be found in:



    CHAPTER 2: Civil Warfare in Germany


    November of 1933 saw the official beginning of the German Civil War. With no solutions being implemented and the appearance of a Communist majority in the Reichstag, the military[1] acted, and within days many prominent communists were either killed or imprisoned. Some lucky ones over the course of the Civil War and shortly beyond escaped to the Soviet Union, luckier ones escaped Stalin’s Great Terror of 1936-38, and the luckiest ones, including figures such as Kurt Schumacher and Ernst Schneider, made it to the Spanish Republic in the early 1940s.[2] Ernst Thälmann, however, was martyred on December 17, 1933 when he was executed after capture by Royalist elements in the Army whilst attempting to depart the city of Hamburg.

    Thälmann’s death, fortunately for the KPD (and unfortunately for the liberals and the monarchists), did not cause the immediate disintegration of the Red Army Faction[3] of the Civil War. Instead, Wilhelm Pieck ascended to the revolutionary leadership of the Party. Pieck was not a popular figure, but he was nowhere near being hated, either. It was difficult for him to rally the masses, but the masses that rallied were, at the time, sufficient for fighting an insurgency against two reactionary states.​

    Battle lines were drawn by the beginning of 1934. The communists controlled much of the industrial heartland of Western Germany and stretched from the Rhineland[4] in the South to Schleswig-Holstein in the north. The supporters and loyalists to the Republic held Bavaria, Swabia, and areas in the southern part of Germany including a good chunk of Hesse. The Royalists controlled Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, areas west of that towards (but excluding) Hamburg, and all points east as a result of their quick action in securing the capital. This situation would remain, as even though all three sides made gains (and suffered losses) within the first year, a stalemate ensued beyond until late 1935, when the German Red Army made multiple breakthroughs on their Eastern lines But just as victory seemed to be within the grasp of Pieck and the Red Army, Germany ultimately had to face its own internal ideological conflicts. Some of these were fueled by the Soviet Union’s fears of "Trotskyism" (and other heresy to Soviet ideological supremacy in the International) within their ranks. Others by the spectre of the Spartacist Uprising right after the First World War, and fears of “counter-revolutionary activity” that might be caused by any remaining council communists or anarchists within the German Left. This series of events ultimately paved the way for the collapse of the German war effort for the Reds in early 1936, when the already meager support coming from the Soviet Union was both cut off (as the Civil War at this point was seen as a lost cause) and redirected the resources towards Soviet army modernization. General Secretary Stalin focused inward, furthering industrialization in Russia and continuing what would later be known as the Great Purge.

    With disunity internally, there was a surprising amount of collaboration between the Republicans and the Monarchists in snuffing out the Red Army Faction of the German Civil War. The sudden gains by communist forces in 1935 convinced monarchist and republican officers to temporarily set aside fighting each other to wipe out the Reds. The fighting starter off with difficulty, but as conditions deteriorate, advances are made faster, and famous last stands were made in Dortmund and Essen, later the subjects of photographs taken by Robert Capa. By August of 1936, the Reds had fallen, Pieck was arrested and detained following the fall of the Red provisional capital Essen[5], and those that made it out alive were either imprisoned and/or escaped. Fighting resumed between supporters of the old Weimar government and those seeking to restore the Hohenzollern Family to the German throne for less than a year following that.

    On January 20, 1937, a rudimentary ceasefire between the royalists in the North and the republicans dominating the South of Germany was proclaimed, ending the fighting that plagued Germany for over three years, with a peace treaty to be drawn up at a later date. Spain was an ideological battlefield, and would be until late January of 1939. The Russians would have their own troubles, and their own desire to “liberate” Europe would soon become apparent. And Romania, since the end of World War I a quiet and unassuming part of the Balkans, would find itself thrust forward with three shots directed at King Carol II, not only killing him, but paving a dark path for the nation in the coming years…[6]



    [1] The military mainly aligned with the Royalist faction but there were plenty of divisions that remained with the Weimar government. All the rest that weren't die-hard authoritarians or Republicans defected to the workers' cause.
    [2] The Spanish Civil War ITTL takes a different turn, with a few of the details of thus covered next chapter. Time will tell whether or not they’re crushed by the rest of Europe, or whether or not they’re brought in line with orthodox Marxism-Leninism as promoted by the Soviet Union.
    [3] No relation to the OTL organization with the same name. This is one of many common names for the communist side in this world’s German Civil War. The official name of the socialist provisional state was the Union of Germany.
    [4] So much for its demilitarization post-Versailles now, huh?
    [5] Following the seizure of Berlin by the monarchist-aligned military, the remnants of the civilian government fled to Stuttgart and established a temporary capital there.
    [6] The importance of this foreboding detail will be revealed shortly. The end result is not going to be pretty, that I will assure you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  11. eldandythedoubter Well-Known Member

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    And Otto Von Bismark's corpse spins in his grave while screaming "Für Fuck's Sake, warum werde ich immer richtig bewiesen, wenn es um die Balkan geht?"
     
  12. Kennedy4Ever Kennedy Curse: it’s NOT a curse, stupid! Banned

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    Oh no..... I think I might know where this is going! :eek:
     
  13. Seandineen Member

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    Carol, bought romania time, fighting both the communistS, and aNTANESCU'S FASCISTS. He was a benign autocrat
     
  14. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

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    "The powderkeg never disappoints." -Kaiserreich


    If I'm thinking what you're thinking, you might just be right. :cryingface:

    I'm not sure on how I feel about him. On one hand, what you said. On the other, he seemed indifferent to the plight of his own people under Octavian Goga's malevolent administration, among other things.
     
  15. jerseyguy Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully the Romanian fascists of otl doesn't take power for long in this timeline. The iron guard probably had the most brutal and sadistic antisemites in Europe, the torture inflicted during the Bucharest pogrom in '41 was worse than a saw movie.
     
  16. King_Arthur The Once and Present King

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    Yes. Even Hitler had to tell them to tone things down.
     
  17. Threadmarks: Chapter 3: Recovery and Renewal

    AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

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    The good, the "not bad", and the godforsakenly ugly can and will be found while you read:



    CHAPTER 3: Recovery and Renewal


    January 20, 1937, marked the beginning of John Nance Garner's second term as President of the United States, winning the electoral vote with a less than comfortable margin against Republican challenger Hiram Johnson. With a slim but working majority in Congress, Garner immediately continued his slow but steady work on setting the economy straight again.[1] Many Americans went to work on public projects. Multiple banks were bailed out. Laws were passed in an effort to prevent another economic crash like this from occurring again. And even some small protections for workers, albeit a majority of them token provisions pushed by progressive elements of the Republican Party, got passed in Congress.[2] The worst of the First Great Depression was over, and while there was still a ways to go, the citizens of the United States had a renewed sense of hope for the first time in years. And across much of Europe, there was hope for a brighter future as well.

    Against the odds, the republican and monarchist factions in Germany worked out quite a few of their many compatibility issues and engaged in a reconciliation process both tense yet at the same time surprisingly cordial.[3] It was agreed that the old Weimar government failed Germany, and while each acknowledged that strong leadership was needed for the challenges of future years, neither side could agree on the scale of a restoration of the Kaiser for roughly five months after the ceasefire. Eventually, on August 12, 1937, a deal was reached: Wilhelm II would be allowed to leave his exile in the Netherlands and return to Germany, yet he would not be placed on the Hohenzollern throne. Instead, his son would be crowned as Kaiser Wilhelm III of the reorganized German Empire. Other details were hashed out over the course of the next few months. Some were obvious, including the implementation of constitutional checks and balances upon the Kaiser and other miscellaneous figures in power. Others less so, such as restructuring the German government similar to that of the British Empire, albeit with more powers enumerated to the Kaiser. By the end of 1937, the German Empire would be re-established as a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system under the Reichstag[4], and peace would, for the forseeable future, return to Central Europe.

    In Romania, however, the situation would take a grim turn. A very grim turn. The cry of public killing of King Carol II in the city of Craiova on October 20th of this same year by an unknown assassin shouting slogans supportive of far-right parties[5] was the first of multiple events that ultimately culminated into the coup d’etat that ousted the recently-coronated King Michael I and his regency council on November 2nd, ultimately causing them to flee into exile within Yugoslavia, allowing the further rise and the cementing of the Garda de Fier’s[6] state power in Romania. Like the title of “Il Duce” used by Mussolini in Italy, the title of “Conducător” was bestowed upon one Corneliu Zelea Codreanu[7], the dictator of Romania and just one of multiple people who would guide the nation down two paths: one of cooperation with like-minded (but ultimately less genocidal) governments in the region, and one of pure evil, with atrocities committed against many people and fanatic worship of Orthodox Christianity. Codreanu’s Romania, while an important factor in the eventual defeat of the Soviet Union in World War II[8], was a black spot on the map of Europe and would remain so for years to come.

    While Romania fell to the Legionaries, most of the rest of Europe dragged its way out of the economic mess of the decade. With no war to gear up for, most economies would make a slow recovery and the true end to the Depression, for most nations, would be during the early-to-mid 1940s. It would be during this time of relative worldwide peace that a new cultural renaissance similar to that of the Roaring Twenties would emerge across the West, Even in Japan, despite its own antagonism with European colonial powers in the Far East, a cultural opening-up took place, and music from the West eventually found niche success in some circles. A new age of prosperity, albeit a very brief one, would engulf much of the world toward the end of the Great Depression and fading with the tensions that would result in major conflict over the fate of multiple continents...



    [1] Garner's reforms here are more of a watered-down New Deal than anything else, but they’d work well enough to pull America back to some semblance of normalcy by the early-to-mid 1940s.
    [2] Those reading this timeline in a completed state in the future and beyond know very well that the repeal of such laws passed during the administrations of Garner and the next three Presidents would directly result in the economic woes of the 1970s.
    [3] I do realize that it was explicitly stated in the Prelude that Germany went monarchist. This was partially a misnomer, as the government is still constitutional and still has a few of the trappings of representative democracy. It is also partially a failure to clarify this detail on the part of Professor Canada back in the Prelude.
    [4] Technically, the Weimar Republic used the name of the German Empire. Now it’s technically more of a de facto state of affairs, and the name actually fits once again.
    [5] The assassin's identity may be lost to history, but their motive was clear as day...
    [6] The Romanian name for the Iron Guard, a pretty nasty far-right ultranationalist party with plenty of anti-Hungarian sentiment abound and loads of anti-Semitism to go about. Oh, and they’re clerical fascists to boot. These bastards, unfortunately, existed IOTL.
    [7] Also a damn monster of a historical figure. He's not the only one Romania has to deal with, however.
    [8] Not in the way you'd think, however. What do I mean? Well, you'll just have to keep on reading!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  18. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

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    In which case, I should probably make a correction to the FAQ:

    But in all seriousness, Romania's... well, Romania's not going to be a pleasant place to live if you're Jewish. Or Hungarian. Or [insert scapegoated minority here]. How long they last is anyone's guess, but if it's any comfort, they don't make it into the 21st century.

    If Adolf Hitler of all people thought such fanatics were going too far...
     
  19. KuboCaskett Resident Otaku

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    Something tells me this Codreanu guy and his gang would give the Nazis a run for their money ITTL, and I always thought outside of the Soviets and other such ilk it'd be Ultra-Militarist Imperial Japan that would fit that role.
     
  20. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

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    Oh absolutely. and while they'll go for some remilitarization and a formal alliance with Italy, the Bolsheviks to tiny Romania are pretty scary, and even with fearless Legionaries wishing to give all for the Fatherland, they'd prefer not to be accidentally caught off-guard while they're attempting to... uh, "cleanse" the Balkans. If there's any conflict in Europe before 1950 it'll probably be some minor border skirmishes conflicts with Hungary, or possibly Bulgaria.

    Regarding Imperial Japan, I've yet to dedicate any real story development to them, but by the time alt-World War II ends they'll not only be at the height of their power, but they will also be quite high on it. Japan will start to play a much bigger role in the world stage in roughly a decade or so. After the 1940s pop culture update, you'll see the first of them.
     
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