WI - Early Reunification for Denuclearized Germany

So, I was thinking of ways and things that "could be different" if the USSR was still around "to the present day". One of the things I thought of, initially for during the 1980s, but it could easily apply to any point during the Cold War, was basically the early reunification of Germany. Both "sides" would be able to maintain conventional forces, but restricted in total size, while the German Armed Forces would also be restricted in size, similar to those two treaties after the end of the Cold War, Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany and Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). As for total size both sides could maintain, it would be equal forces, but maybe either a brigade, each, from the NATO/France Occupying Powers, totaling a division, and a corresponding division from the USSR. As for Air, maybe a "wing" or something like that. Another possibility could be the total number of people, regardless of air, ground, or whatever, is equal to a corp, such as a Marine Expeditionary Force for comparison of total size.

They could even require the reunited Germany be prohibited from joining NATO, while also having a mutual defense pact towards Germany. What I mean by mutual defense pact is, if either side attacked Germany, or entered with prohibited weapons, that don't have any exceptions or procedures to allow, like the nuke transit option, then the other side is immediately required to help defend/throw out the "attacker".

It would also require the removal of any and all nuclear weapons from German Soil, for all time, meaning that while neither NATO nor the USSR could have any nukes in Germany, nor could Germany ever develop or deploy nuclear weapons, though they wouldn't be barred from developing nuclear power stations. In regards to transiting nukes, that would be allowed, but the "Inspecting Authority" would have to be informed at least 3 hours before the plane lands. The 3 hours were to both allow the countries, principally the US, to maintain secrecy and security regarding the transport of nukes, while also not allowing any "secret nukes in Germany". In case of "emergency landings", since they can't be pre-scheduled, the respective oversight authority, most likely SAC or MAC in the US must notify the "Inspecting Authority" within around 90 minutes either before or after the emergency landing. The reason the respective oversight authority does the notification, rather than the flight crew, is they presumably have bigger worries to worry about than the legal requirement to alert the "Inspecting Authority".

Even though conventional weapons, like the conventional Pershing II, or even a conventional version of the GLCM, from the NATO Side, can be based inside of Germany, the "Inspecting Authority" conducts 4 inspections a year, on both sides, and can conduct "intelligence based" surprise inspections as and when needed. For who the "Inspection Authority" is, I'm primarily leaning towards the Swiss, with maybe a couple of other neutral countries as well. While there might be a representative of either or both "sides", both NATO and USSR, during the scheduled inspections, there likely wouldn't be during any surprise inspections.

A couple of advantages, as I viewed it for the USSR were, firstly, they don't have the cost factor of maintaining all of those nukes or other forces inside Germany. Secondly, while they may "loose" Germany, overall, "to the West" because of the nuke ban, the closest to the Soviet/Warsaw Pact Border, NATO could get would be Italy, otherwise they would have to fire over the entire length of Germany, just to target Warsaw Pact targets. Whereas for the USSR, they could put IRBMs/nukes directly up to the border with Germany, in the Warsaw Pact Nations. The reason that would be an advantage, was if they went to war, they would likely be targeting Germany, anyway. In other words, Germany is basically acting as a big "buffer state" between the West/NATO and the USSR/Warsaw Pact.

I realize it's unlikely to ever happen, and upon further thought, I realized there were numerous issues with it ever actually happening, but for the moment, assuming it did, and depending on when, what could the various types of fallout be? I would assume the fallout would be different if it happened in the 1960s versus the 1970s versus the 1980s.
"Strangely, the translation of Marshal Ustinov's response to the proposal was identical to the words uttered by Secretary Weinberger - 'It's a trick. Get an axe.'"

Zbigniew Brzezinsky, Slit Trenches inside the Beltway, A Memoir.

Tyr Anazasi

I have to add, that a neutral Germany won't work. Germany is way too central in Europe and way too big. Thus there have to be also a will to do so.

Ironically the only way I could think about such a solution might be a Germany under Kurt Schumacher instead of Konrad Adenauer being chancellor. It's ironical, as Schumacher, SPD, was in no way a Soviet lover and as much a "commie eater" as Adenauer. However, Stalin would have to mean it honest and make a real offer in 1952. This is the only way I can assume such a scenario. However, Stalin would have been forced to accept such a step and giving up his occupied part (aka "GDR"). It would require he would gain something in the long run more "profitable".

Another situation may have happened in about 1965. At this time the USSR had great debt problems. Ludwig Ehrhard, CDU, wanted to "buy" the reunification. In the end the British and Japanese gave them loans.
I have to add, that a neutral Germany won't work. Germany is way too central in Europe and way too big. Thus there have to be also a will to do so.

Ironically the only way I could think about such a solution might be a Germany under Kurt Schumacher instead of Konrad Adenauer being chancellor. It's ironical, as Schumacher, SPD, was in no way a Soviet lover and as much a "commie eater" as Adenauer. However, Stalin would have to mean it honest and make a real offer in 1952. This is the only way I can assume such a scenario. However, Stalin would have been forced to accept such a step and giving up his occupied part (aka "GDR"). It would require he would gain something in the long run more "profitable".

Another situation may have happened in about 1965. At this time the USSR had great debt problems. Ludwig Ehrhard, CDU, wanted to "buy" the reunification. In the end the British and Japanese gave them loans.
Wasn't Beria interested in proposing German re-unification and permanent neutrality in the brief period between Stalin's death and Beria's removal from power? In return the USSR would get US financial help. There is little on the Net about this other than a suggestion that it was why he was removed...or one reason. He was a truly dangerous man but efficient and probably with a good grasp of Realpolitik.

Tyr Anazasi

Hmmm. If it's so, it must happen in the brief period, when Beria is at power. The deal must be made, so that the Soviets can't retake it. In any case, we would need Schumacher being chancellor and Beria Soviet leader. If a conference happens in the time Beria being dictator or having so much power to implement that, it might work.
There is strong evidence that the famous Stalin note of March 1952 was simply a propaganda move neither expected nor intended to be accepted; but in 1947 there may have been a real chance for German unity, as I note at https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...tarised-postwar-germany.426392/#post-15655789 Also, after Stalin's death, not only Beria but Malenkov may have been willing to consider a unified Germany. See my post at https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...lve-the-issue-of-berlin.391803/#post-12607513

Here's an old soc.history.what-if post of mine on Malenkov's position in 1953:


We have had some discussions here about whether there was a real chance
for German reunification in 1953 before the Berlin Rising and the fall of
Beria. For some evidence that Soviet leaders at that time--not just
Beria, who was subsequently made the scapegoat--were serious about
reunification, there is an interesting "document [which] is undated and
untitled but the text and other evidence indicates that it was a speech
that Malenkov made to a visiting government delegation from the German
Democratic Republic (GDR) on 2 June 1953...

"The background to the composition of the document was the imminent
arrival in Moscow of the GDR delegation--summoned to the Soviet capital to
discuss the growing refugee crisis in East Germany. In the first four
months of 1953 over 120,000 people had migrated from East to West Germany,
and Moscow was anxious to stabilize the political and economic situation
in the GDR.[4] Prior to the arrival of the delegation, Malenkov worked
with Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and KGB chief Lavrentii Beria on
the text of a resolution 'On Measures to Improve the Health of the
Political Situation in the GDR.' Under the terms of this resolution the
East German communists were ordered to abandon the forced construction of
socialism and to implement a series of economic and political reforms.
Among the measures proposed were 'to put the tasks of the political
struggle to reestablish the national unity of Germany and to conclude a
peace treaty at the center of the attention of the broad mass of people
both in the GDR and in West Germany.'[5]

"In January 1955 Malenkov was dismissed as Soviet premier. Included in the
bill of indictment at the CC plenum was the accusation that he had been
too close to Beria and had supported the latter's proposal for a united,
neutral and bourgeois Germany.[8] In response Malenkov confessed: 'I was
wrong when at a session of the [Presidium] in April or May 1953 that
discussed the German question I thought that in the then international
situation, when we had begun a big political campaign on the question of a
united Germany, we should not put forward the task of developing socialism
in Germany. I considered this question only from the tactical point of
view.'[9] However, it was not until the end of 1955 that the Soviets
finally abandoned the strategy of Germany's reunification as a peaceful
and democratic state and fully embraced the perspective implicit in the
critique of Malenkov's advocacy of a bourgeois-democratic Germany--
Khrushchev's perspective that German unity was only acceptable if the
socialist system in the GDR was protected.[10]"


Ayway, here are some excerpts from Malenkov's speech to the GDR

"It should be emphasized that the most important problem of the
international situation is the problem of German unity, of Germany's
transformation into a peaceful democratic state. Some people, it seems,
are inclined to think that we put forward the question of the restoration
of Germany's unity in pursuit of some propaganda ends only, that really we
are not striving to end the division of Germany, that we are not
interested in the restoration of a united Germany. This is a profound
error. It should be finished with if instead of innuendo we wish to pursue
a firm and clear political line in relation to one of the major
contemporary international issues. We consider the unity of Germany and
its transformation into a democratic and peace-loving state as the most
important condition, as one of the essential guarantees, for the
maintenance of European and, consequently, of world security, and for
guaranteeing the strength of the peace.

"Profoundly mistaken are those who think that Germany can exist for a long
time under conditions of dismemberment in the form of two independent

"To stick to the position of the existence of a dismembered Germany means
to keep on the course for a new war in the near future. A dismembered
Germany in the center of Europe means nothing else than the accelerated
remilitarization of West Germany, the open preparation for a new war,
which at a certain stage will grow into the direct unleashing of war. Have
no doubt that the presence of a dismembered Germany plays into the hands
of those nurturing plans for a new world war.

"To struggle for the unification of Germany under certain conditions, for
its transformation into a peaceful and democratic state, means to the stay
on course for the prevention of a new world war. Have no doubt that a
successful solution of the task of uniting East and West Germany into a
united peaceful and democratic state means to foil plans for the
preparation of a new world war.

"4. On what basis can the unification of Germany be achieved in the
current international situation?

"In our opinion, only on the basis that Germany will be a bourgeois-
democratic republic.

"Under present conditions the national unification of Germany on the basis
of Germany's transformation into a land of the dictatorship of the
proletariat in the form of people's democracy is not feasible. It was this
approach to perspectives for Germany that determined proposals by the
Soviet Union to use the Weimar constitution, with certain amendments, as a
model for the constitution of a united Germany. And what is the Weimar
constitution? What is the Weimar Republic? It is, one can say, a classic
model of a bourgeois-democratic state, created by ruling circles in
German, including the Social-Democrats, trying to take into account the
lessons of the First World War.

"And if this is so, it is necessary to recognize that the forced
construction of socialism in the GDR is under present international
conditions leading to the consolidation of Germany's dismemberment and is
an obstacle to the unification of Germany.

"In economic relations the GDR cannot be considered as something closed,
as isolated from the rest of Germany. Nobody would deny that any attempt
to break the ties between the population of the GDR and that of West
Germany is doomed to failure. In these conditions it is impossible to base
the economy of Germany for very long on two mutually exclusive
foundations: in one part of Germany--socialism; in the other,
significantly larger, part of Germany--capitalism..."

http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.c...&sort=Collection&item=Germany in the Cold War

Malenkov was thus saying that there could not be two Germanies, one
capitalist, one socialist--and since the larger Germany by far was
capitalist, this system would have to prevail in all Germany. He also
warned that the alternative to German unity on a "bourgeois democratic"
basis was a dangerous rearming of West Germany. If this were said in
public to a world audience, it could easily be dismissed as mere
propaganda, but remember that here is he speaking to GDR officials and in
effect telling them to be prepared for the dissolution of their own state
into a larger "bourgeois" Germany.

Apparently Malenkov never abandoned this position until after he fell from
power in 1955. "A conference held under Communist auspices in Warsaw in
February 1955 had proposed simultaneous withdrawal of occupation armies
from Germany and of Soviet troops from Poland, the unification of Germany
and free elections under the plan put forward by Eden at the Berlin
Conference in January 1954 (and then rejected by Molotov), and urged that
Germany should not enter any military coalition and her frontiers be
guaranteed by the European states and the United States (*Trybuna Ludu*,
February 9, 1955). Malenkov fell at this time, and no further mention of
this conference's decisions was ever made." Robert Conquest, *Power and
Policy in the USSR: The Struggle for Stalin's Succession 1945-1960,* p.
261. See my posts at

Certainly Malenkov in 1953 had some immediate tactical ends in mind: he
hoped to block West German rearmament, bring down the Adenauer government
in West Germany, and replace it with a Social Democratic government. As
he said in the speech, "In West Germany, the Social Democrats can defeat
Adenauer in the elections and come to power. Such a prospect cannot be
ruled out. It is common knowledge that German Social Democracy is
maneuvering on the issue of German unity and sometimes making it difficult
for Adenauer to hold his line. Under these circumstances it is necessary
for our comrades in Germany to make serious corrections in their tactics
toward and relations with the Social Democrats...." He and the rest of
the Presidium may have been aware that the Western Allies would not accept a
neutralized Germany, even as a democratic and capitalist republic, and may
therefore have felt that it was safe to propose such a state. At least
this realization may be one reason why Khrushchev and Molotov, who were
later to take a harder line on German unification, were willing to go
along with the "soft-liners" Beria and Malenkov in the Spring of 1953.

Yet I am by no means certain that this was a bluff--and even if it was,
what if the West had been willing to call it by agreeing to a neutralized
"bourgeois democratic" Germany? That the most celebrated earlier Soviet
offer on German unity--Stalin's March 1952 note--was neither intended nor
desired by Stalin to be accepted but was simply meant as a propaganda tool
is strongly argued by John Lewis Gaddis in *We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War
History* (Oxford UP 1997) where he notes that "Soviet diplomat Vladimir
Semyonov recalled Stalin asking: Is it *certain* the Americans would turn the
note down? Only when assured that it was did the Soviet leader give his
approval, but with the warning that there would be grave consequences for
Semyonov if this did not prove to be the case." p. 127. With Beria and
Malenkov, however--and perhaps even with their colleagues in 1953, even if
some of them later changed their minds--the West may have passed up a real
chance for a deal.

Limitations on Germany's military and a guarantee of its non-membership in
NATO do not seem to me an excessive price for the freedom of the East
Germans, and it seems unfortunate that the West did not take the possibility
of such a trade-off more seriously while it may still have been available.
(True, West Germany would have had problems integrating East Germany's
economy--even though it had not yet been fully socialized--into its own, but
it seems to me that in that era of the *Wirtschaftswunder* it would have been
easier than it was in OTL after 1989...)
For me, especially in the first couple of decades after WW2, I would expect both sides, but especially the USSR and the UK/France to be concerned about a re-militarization of Germany, especially if you didn't ban them from having any military or self-defense force. That was why I suggested in my WI proposal that, despite the fact that both sides would be prohibited from stationing any nukes in Germany, and Germany, itself, would be forever and permanently barred from ever developing nukes, both sides could keep conventional forces based in Germany. Part of their "role" would be to act as a check, both on each other but also on Germany, itself.

As for numbers of those "foreign forces", while I didn't have any hard numbers in mind, one thing I did think of would be that each "side" had the same maximum amount. Not each country in the Occupation Powers, but both sides, with one side being the USSR, and the other side being the US, UK, and France, as the occupying powers. So, while the Western Powers would have to decide and agree, among themselves, how many each country would be allowed, each, the Soviets, as the only Occupation Power on the "other side", wouldn't have that difficulty. Whether that would include air forces, and how much, or if they were "governed" as a separate force, is much more up in the air.