WI: Austria-Hungary reformed before Second World War

What would happen if AH reformed before Anschluss?

  • Munich anyway

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Molotov-Ribbentrop (without Munich and Anschluss)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sudeten war

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Appeasement (Munich style)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    17
After the WW1 the Austro-Hungarian empire collapsed with new countries emerging from its corpse. Two of them were Austria and Hungary. I propose a two scenarios where it is reformed (though not in its original state) in the interwar period.

First is, that at the second attempt of Karl I. to take his throne in Hungary, he is, under some obligations, supported, or at least tollerated by the Little Entente. After 1935 when the Habsburg law was susspended from being a constitutional law to normal one, I propose that the CSR would allow or even encourage Austria to unite with Hungary in order to detter the pan-germanic idea of the Third Reich.

The second scenario is in reversed order. In 1935 CSR encourage Autria's leader Kurt Schuschnig to take Otto von Habsburg as a monarch (same reasons as previously) and after that presure Hungary to do the same. I know that during the war, Otto proposed to the allies to recreate AH after the war with Belgien-like constitution, so let's say he succeeds (so it is not a personal union but a single country).

My question is, when there is AH present, would Hitler still tried Anschluss? And if so, would they try do defend?
 
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In my opinion, if Czechoslovakia would let the Habsuburg sit on the throne, they would really want to have him there, so they would stand up for the Austria-Hungary. If so, it is possible to gather Italian support as well, but I would not count on them (diplomatic support is much more realistic). France and Britain would try to stay out as they did in OTL, but if Hitler starts a war, they WILL join on the other side, even a economic blockade would be sufficient to defeat Nazi Germany. In case of a war (AH would not comply with demans of annexing Austria), coup is very probable, if not certain, military coup to bring back monarchy, but Hohenzollern (the line of Prussian kings) were not favourite, because of their militarism and absolutism, so perhaps Ruprecht of Bavaria would get a chance on the throne of Germany (Wilhem II. or III. would still be the king of Prussia).
 
The Little Entente was unwilling to tolerate Habsburg restoration in either Austria or Hungary.

Still, it might not be impossible to have a Habsburg restoration after the failed nazi coup attempt in Austria. It would be one way to prevent the Anschluss.

Habsburg restoration in Austria then could reinvigorate the legitimist cause in Hungary. The rivalry between PM Gömbös and former PM Bethlen's clique could provide a perfect opportunity for restoration. Gömbös' death in 1936 October could leave Horthy isolated, leaving him no other choice but to relinquish his position as governor-regent. Austria-Hungary would soon be restored.

Ofcourse, the Little Entente wouldn't be thrilled, but as long as France and Britain do not oppose these happenings, they probably wouldn't act militarily on their misgivings.

As a result of these events, Hitler's Anschluss plans would be delayed and the Sudeten question wouldn't arise for a while.
 
The Little Entente was unwilling to tolerate Habsburg restoration in either Austria or Hungary.
Of course, but I think, with bit of an forsight, CSR government (minister of foreign affairs E. Beneš) would even encourage that. If that was the case, the other members would not stand up against that (or with mere complaint).
 
It's already hard to imagine a single-nation Habsburg restauration - be it in Austria (Italy will not, by any stretch, like it) or Hungary (look at OTL).
Notoriously, the Czech had more intel on Otto and Zita than on Germany up to the Sudetenland Crisis; every Little Entente nation was this much paranoid of possible Habsburg comebacks, so it's difficult to have foresight in such a situation.
But let's say the Austria first scenario happens (Hungary is more difficult because they have claims on all bordering nations) and they luck out in Hungary; Germany is just not going Anschluss, they will focus on Czechia and/or Poland before.
 
Germany is just not going Anschluss, they will focus on Czechia and/or Poland before.
If that is the case, and there would be Sudeten crisis, I don't think Munich Agreement would be done, given how unlikely the agreement was in our timeline. If Hitler decides to still attack Czechoslovakia, they would definitely loose and it means no ww2.
 
But let's say the Austria first scenario happens (Hungary is more difficult because they have claims on all bordering nations) and they luck out in Hungary; Germany is just not going Anschluss, they will focus on Czechia and/or Poland before.
Could the ever increasing German military threat lead to a political shift in Czechoslovakia? German, Hungarian and Czech conservatives could band together and form a government to negotiate reintegration into the Habsburg Monarchy.

Soon, a new trialist system would be implemented: Austria, Bohemia and Hungary would be all equal partners in this union. Meanwhile, the union would also garantuee the minority rights of the Germans in Bohemia, and of the Slovaks and Rusyns in Hungary.

This scenario is a bit out there, sure, but it's far from ASB. If the Brits and French actively encourage this whole process (to create a stronger counterweight to Germany in the East), then it's not even *that* far fetched, imo.

As for what could happen later on, I have a few ideas. Without the boons of the Anschluss and the Czechoslovak affairs, the Germans would be in a difficult position. The crazy pace of their militarisation was unsustainable even IOTL, this would apply here even moreso. The Germans either slow down their armament program and face a potential economic downturn or keep the pace until breaking point and go to war. I don't doubt the nazis would opt for the second option.

The question is: Who would the Germans be targeting when the time comes? Despite the existing non-aggression declaration between Germany and Poland, Poland would be a more likely target, imo. The existing territorial disputes could provide an easier justification for war, while the abovementioned declaration already made Poland seem like an unreliable ally in the eyes of the French (this could actually be the French motive for supporting the Habsburg restoration ITTL). Furthermore, the British were quite willing to give way to German claims in the East if it meant that European peace is maintained.

So, sometime between 1938 and '40, there would be a Corridor crisis mirroring OTL's Sudeten crisis. The conflict would be "solved" by an alternate Munich Agreement according to which Poland would be forced to surrender West Prussia to Germany. Danzig would also get reintegrated into Germany. Concerning the port of Gdynia, a solution similar to Memel would be implemented.

Just like OTL however, Hitler wouldn't be satisfied by just this. The full on invasion of Poland would kick off within 6 months...
 
Could the ever increasing German military threat lead to a political shift in Czechoslovakia? German, Hungarian and Czech conservatives could band together and form a government to negotiate reintegration into the Habsburg Monarchy.

Soon, a new trialist system would be implemented: Austria, Bohemia and Hungary would be all equal partners in this union. Meanwhile, the union would also garantuee the minority rights of the Germans in Bohemia, and of the Slovaks and Rusyns in Hungary.

This scenario is a bit out there, sure, but it's far from ASB. If the Brits and French actively encourage this whole process (to create a stronger counterweight to Germany in the East), then it's not even *that* far fetched, imo.
This is definitely an ASB. If you have a sovereign independent country, you are not willing to just give up the independence. There wasn't any party or political force in Czechoslovakia to reintegrate to the AH empire, quite the opposite. It's a stretch to even think about restoring Habsburg monarchy at all as Evil Crusader says, but I think an uneasy alliance between restored AH and CSR is possible, in order to stop German aggression towards the "Greater Germany". What I am not sure about at all is, what ii going to happen, after restoration in Austria in 1935. If the restoration would be in Austria only, the Anschluss was inevitable, but if the AH state was reformed, Otto, or Karl, would be less willing to give up Austria, more so if they are guaranteed by CSR.
 
Could the ever increasing German military threat lead to a political shift in Czechoslovakia? German, Hungarian and Czech conservatives could band together and form a government to negotiate reintegration into the Habsburg Monarchy.

Soon, a new trialist system would be implemented: Austria, Bohemia and Hungary would be all equal partners in this union. Meanwhile, the union would also garantuee the minority rights of the Germans in Bohemia, and of the Slovaks and Rusyns in Hungary.

This scenario is a bit out there, sure, but it's far from ASB. If the Brits and French actively encourage this whole process (to create a stronger counterweight to Germany in the East), then it's not even *that* far fetched, imo.
Big nope.

To restore the Habsburg monarchy immediately already is no trivial task, as the events of 1920 and the Czech memories of 1936 in OTL show.
To get it to be AH (even if AH only) in just a few years really pushes the envelope of how many perfect diplomatic plays and lucky circumstances have to happen.
For Czechoslovakia, who I must stress was fearful enough just of Otto becoming ruler again, to come back willingly to the fold, is indeed ASB.
If the French and the English somehow decide they want to prop up that thing which they have no love for, and probably isn't that able to defend itself if Germany really comes to it, the Little Entente goes its own way, possibly with Italy accepting to put aside its own differences with Jugoslavia and help it as they probably dislike New AH a lot too.

If that is the case, and there would be Sudeten crisis, I don't think Munich Agreement would be done, given how unlikely the agreement was in our timeline. If Hitler decides to still attack Czechoslovakia, they would definitely loose and it means no ww2.

It would certainly be a very different world, and where the various players stand has a large impact on what happens next.
For sure, something like the Sudeten crisis would not happen or be essentially unrecognizable (hence my vague 'focus on'); in fact I wouldn't be 100% sure the Nazi takeover still happens, as ripples from New AH would be felt throughout the German-speaking areas.
 
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It would certainly be a very different world, and where the various players stand has a large impact on what happens next.
For sure, something like the Sudeten crisis would not happen or be essentially unrecognizable (hence my vague 'focus on'); in fact I wouldn't be 100% sure the Nazi takeover still happens, as ripples from New AH would be felt throughout the German-speaking areas.
What do you mean? NSDAP and Hitler took over Germany in 1933 and Austria wouldn't in any scenario be monarchy before 1935, well into Nazi German period.
 
Big nope.

To restore the Habsburg monarchy immediately already is no trivial task, as the events of 1920 and the Czech memories of 1936 in OTL show.
To get it to be AH (even if AH only) in just a few years really pushes the envelope of how many perfect diplomatic plays and lucky circumstances have to happen.
For Czechoslovakia, who I must stress was fearful enough just of Otto becoming ruler again, to come back willingly to the fold, is indeed ASB.
If the French and the English somehow decide they want to prop up that thing which they have no love for, and probably isn't that able to defend itself if Germany really comes to it, the Little Entente goes its own way, possibly with Italy accepting to put aside its own differences with Jugoslavia and help it as they probably dislike New AH a lot too.



It would certainly be a very different world, and where the various players stand has a large impact on what happens next.
For sure, something like the Sudeten crisis would not happen or be essentially unrecognizable (hence my vague 'focus on'); in fact I wouldn't be 100% sure the Nazi takeover still happens, as ripples from New AH would be felt throughout the German-speaking areas.
^ This, nobody in the region really wanted the Habsburg's back (to the point I'm even wondering if the Little Entente was nervous about the Kingdom of Hungary because the institution is still there, and that institution is the reason for its refusal to accept Trianon, yeah I know it's ten times more complex than that, but all the same. Once the genie of independence is out of the bottle, nobody is willing to put it back, and nobody, not Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia is willing to sacrifice their independence for the sake of bringing this back, despite ironically, Austria and Czechia ultimately sacrificing their independence to Germany.
 
What do you mean? NSDAP and Hitler took over Germany in 1933 and Austria wouldn't in any scenario be monarchy before 1935, well into Nazi German period.
The train either must be boarded super early, like 1920 for the first half and early 30s for the second at most, or after 1950 when nostalgia sets in.
In my opinion, by 1935 it's a very awkward situation: the hatred is still alive enough that no one has real incentive in allowing such a restoration, so toppling it will be tolerated by all other parties.
If in such a scenario a restoration happens, I can see the Anschluss actually happening ahead of time with tacit support of almost everybody.
 
So, now let's consider a scenario, where Czechoslovak government recognises the danger Nazi Germany poses for the security of CSR and after failed nazi coup in Austria cooperates with Schuschnigg and Otto to get Otto in 1935 on the throne as Archduke of Austria and later that year or in 1936 as king of Hungary, uniting these to into single country with Constitution similar to Belgian. The other members of little entente would oppose these developments through mere diplomatic channels.

Condition for these to happen would be recognition of the interwar status que in addition to mutual defensive pact between CSR and AH against Germany. What would happen in years past 1936.
 
What if Hitler attempted a inverted Anchluss? Instead of annexing Austria (Hungary), he simply pushes for Germany to be annexed into Austria (Hungary), thus creating the comically named Grossosterreich Reich, or Greater Austrian Reich.
 
So, now let's consider a scenario, where Czechoslovak government recognises the danger Nazi Germany poses for the security of CSR and after failed nazi coup in Austria cooperates with Schuschnigg and Otto to get Otto in 1935 on the throne as Archduke of Austria and later that year or in 1936 as king of Hungary, uniting these to into single country with Constitution similar to Belgian. The other members of little entente would oppose these developments through mere diplomatic channels.
not sure belgium constition would be a good choise in this
1936 it only existed in french & neglected the majority dutch population until 1967.
belgium was a unitary state back then with no specific rights for dutch/flemish and everything happend in french
thats like treating germans/hungarians as secund rate in a chzech dominated union and not begging for massive issues
 
not sure belgium constition would be a good choise in this
1936 it only existed in french & neglected the majority dutch population until 1967.
belgium was a unitary state back then with no specific rights for dutch/flemish and everything happend in french
thats like treating germans/hungarians as secund rate in a chzech dominated union and not begging for massive issues
I took it from Otto himself. When I read about his life on Wiki he supposedly argued for post war Austria Hungary with Belgian like Constitution.
 
So, now let's consider a scenario, where Czechoslovak government recognises the danger Nazi Germany poses for the security of CSR and after failed nazi coup in Austria cooperates with Schuschnigg and Otto to get Otto in 1935 on the throne as Archduke of Austria and later that year or in 1936 as king of Hungary, uniting these to into single country with Constitution similar to Belgian. The other members of little entente would oppose these developments through mere diplomatic channels.

Condition for these to happen would be recognition of the interwar status que in addition to mutual defensive pact between CSR and AH against Germany. What would happen in years past 1936.
Germany turns on the next target on the list, Poland, who, essentially diplomatically isolated, gets dismembered much like OTL but without any French or British DOW.
This turn of events, possibly even more shocking than the OTL Molotov-Ribbentrop, encourages the Little Entente to happily go back together, securing France, but encouraging Germany and the USSR to cooperate even more (and bring Italy in) so that each gets a slice of the Balkan pie they want.
After that, Italy will however drift towards the Entente again. as the French are less vulnerable and the Germans more dangerous; meanwhile the USSR will start preparing to backstab them and so will the Germans, leading to a Barbarossa equivalent of some sort.
 
Germany turns on the next target on the list, Poland, who, essentially diplomatically isolated, gets dismembered much like OTL but without any French or British DOW.
This turn of events, possibly even more shocking than the OTL Molotov-Ribbentrop, encourages the Little Entente to happily go back together, securing France, but encouraging Germany and the USSR to cooperate even more (and bring Italy in) so that each gets a slice of the Balkan pie they want.
After that, Italy will however drift towards the Entente again. as the French are less vulnerable and the Germans more dangerous; meanwhile the USSR will start preparing to backstab them and so will the Germans, leading to a Barbarossa equivalent of some sort.
Can't agree with your scenario there. The condition for even considering invading Poland was previous diplomatical succeses, Anschluss and Munich for internal stability and Molotov-Ribbentrop for external. Without West betraying Czechoslovakia, Molotov-Ribbentrop was a hardly possible, since SU and Third Reich were cardinal enemies. So there would be no cooperation, and without it, no invasion of Poland. If in such case Germany still attacked Poland, the Nazi regime would be toppled by military junta, possibly restoring monarchy.

If some miraculous understanding between these came in TTL's MR pact, I doubt that Britain and Poland would sit idly by. The Munich agreement was a miracle of diplomacy and very uncertain at best. Since Poland was viewed (in my opinion) as Cordon Sanitaire for comunism, West didn't want to get rid of it.

They might try to appease Germans and similar to OTL Munich would diplomaticaly give the coridor to Germany, however I doubt, that Poles would have any of that. They would defend to their last breath. If they would do that, there is a good chance that after SU invasion of Poland, Britain and France would turn and try to save the Poles. If such an agreement is made, Germany gets the corridor, SU the east Poland, Lithuania the Vilnius region and CSR the Polish Czeshin. Only a mere rump state with borders roughly the same as Congress Poland would remain.

Or not. Maybe they would give it up, or give up only the corridor and SU would get nothing. After that, there is no way they won't try to save the rest of their country. Maybe reaproaching CSR and Little Entente to form mutual defense alliance. I doubt that, but maybe. But after the corridor is secured, there is little to no manipulation space for Germany.

This is why I am asking anyway for opinions. This would change history in such crucial balancing time, that I have no good thought of how it would turn out.
 
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