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WI: Immediate Effects of Soviet Europe After WW2?

cikka

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Could the classic althist trope of Soviet Europe after WW2 even happen? What would be the immediate domestic effects on France, Germany, Italy etc? Would the borders be changed? And would possible invasions of Spain, Portugal, etc. be on the table?

Apologies if this question has been asked before or is a bit basic, I just think asking classic althist tropes is a fun thing to do on a forum that's gone quite beyond them.
 

Artaxerxes

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Well, the Second Red Scare is going to be rough, and how is europe turned red?
Most common scenario is a botched D-Day.

If D-Day goes absolutely utterly wrong then it'll be what another year for allies to land or they throw all into Italy instead which is going to be bloody.

So no battle of the bulge and other iconic allied moments but Germany still fucked, just able to fight harder against Russia before it collapses.

Best case I'm thinking Russia gets up to the French border, probably don't take Belgium and Netherlands but maybe Denmark. If Berlin falls the western German forces are going to shatter and in most cases surrender to the allies but there will be a few cowboys. France will be a fight between De Gaulle and the commies and probably a few shots fired.


So we'll be seeing a lot more civilian deaths, like a lot more, not to mention the concentration camps now get another 6-12 months action and covering up. So holocaust denial will be stronger, the Russians will be murdering through Europe to stamp out fascism and anyone they don't like. It's going to be grim.


Britain will muddle through but it'll be revamping most of its high command and Churchill will cling on by blaming everyone but himself. Finances and manpower will be fucked. Another year of doodlebugs.

America manages to ride it out but it's dented it's confidence a lot, especially with Roosevelt dying. The navy might wrestle a Japan First policy out of it. I can see the nukes heading west not over Hiroshima and being lit up over the Rhine
 

cikka

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So we'll be seeing a lot more civilian deaths, like a lot more, not to mention the concentration camps now get another 6-12 months action and covering up. So holocaust denial will be stronger, the Russians will be murdering through Europe to stamp out fascism and anyone they don't like. It's going to be grim.
god it happens like that with most world war 2 pods
"can thing happen"
"yes if you want everyone to fucking die"
it's almost like it's a world war or something
 

The Red

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Most common scenario is a botched D-Day.

If D-Day goes absolutely utterly wrong then it'll be what another year for allies to land or they throw all into Italy instead which is going to be bloody.
I'd wager the WAllies might still go ahead with Dragoon. Not quite a second front but if they can capture Marseillie and Toulon quickly enough they could have a dash up the Rhône valley and/or towards the Atlantic coast. At the very least they could put more pressure on German-occupied Italy and show the Soviets they're tying some more German forces down.

Regardless I can't see D-Day failing causing the war to last 12 or even 6 more months. However events in the west play out, the Soviet offensives in 1944 would likely ensure a speedy German collapse in early to mid-1945. Particularly if Hitler still opts to die in Berlin. Using nukes probably wouldn't be considered worthwhile unless Truman is going full-on Atomic Diplomacy.
 

Artaxerxes

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I'd wager the WAllies might still go ahead with Dragoon. Not quite a second front but if they can capture Marseillie and Toulon quickly enough they could have a dash up the Rhône valley and/or towards the Atlantic coast. At the very least they could put more pressure on German-occupied Italy and show the Soviets they're tying some more German forces down.

Regardless I can't see D-Day failing causing the war to last 12 or even 6 more months. However events in the west play out, the Soviet offensives in 1944 would likely ensure a speedy German collapse in early to mid-1945. Particularly if Hitler still opts to die in Berlin. Using nukes probably wouldn't be considered worthwhile unless Truman is going full-on Atomic Diplomacy.
Oh the War certainly ends in 45, maybe a month or two later though.

I’m mostly just wondering how long it takes for the allies to poke the rapidly crumbling German Westwall and a lot depends on how paranoid Hitler is about getting stabbed in back via France.
 

Torten

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I've thought about this more in the context of an Anglo-Nazi cold war, but post war British defence policy could be interesting with a Communist France just across the channel. Do you see National Service continue for longer post war, and perhaps more investment in anti-ship missiles to try and maintain some control of the channel?
 

Joshuapooleanox

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Would be fascinating if we ended up with basically Vichy France give or take some territory as the WAllies government due to more resources being put into Dragoon, while the north/formerly German occupied section becomes a Soviet aligned state.

I know 'immediate effects' are the main focus here but the Soviets probably couldn't afford to manage so much of Europe. The Warsaw Pact was just about manageable but all of Germany, Low Countries and much of if not all of France may be too much for a post-WW2 Soviet Union to handle, especially if there's any uprisings.
 
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Creekmench

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Would be fascinating if we ended up with basically Vichy France give or take some territory as the WAllies government due to more resources being put into Dragoon, while the north/formerly German occupied section becomes a Soviet aligned state.

I know 'immediate effects' are the main focus here but the Soviets probably couldn't afford to manage so much of Europe. The Warsaw Pact was just about manageable but all of Germany, Low Countries and much of if not all of France may be too much for a post-WW2 Soviet Union to handle, especially if there's any uprisings.
IMO the best way to get a Soviet Europe is to make the opening stages of barbarossa less botchy and reach less into its' industrial heartland.
 

Charles EP M.

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I know 'immediate effects' are the main focus here but the Soviets probably couldn't afford to manage so much of Europe.
This is a point - how much of Europe can the Soviet Union actually occupy and manage long-term? What happens with the Cold War if the entire European continent falls but the Russians are struggling to hold onto it while still rebuilding & feeding people at home? You could end up with a much shorter Cold War where Stalin dies and the USSR abruptly yanks back to just the "buffer" countries on its border.
 

Time Enough

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You could end up with a much shorter Cold War where Stalin dies and the USSR abruptly yanks back to just the "buffer" countries on its border.
The USSR would probably much prefer a West Europe that is very Finlandised if anything. Actually Stalin would probably actually prefer that over actual occupation (given his whole ‘Socialism in One Country’ idea).
 

Time Enough

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That is interesting. A Cold War/20th century where most of the big European nations are quiet neutral states and all the exciting geopolitical stuff is going on elsewhere.
Probably, but a bunch of Big European nations being neutral and having ‘substantial’ Communists Parties would very much change things. Meanwhile Asia and the Middle East is fucked.
 
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Torten

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Would be fascinating if we ended up with basically Vichy France give or take some territory as the WAllies government due to more resources being put into Dragoon while the north becomes a Soviet aligned state.

I know 'immediate effects' are the main focus here but the Soviets probably couldn't afford to manage so much of Europe. The Warsaw Pact was just about manageable but All of Germany, Low Countries and much of if not all of France may be too much for a post-WW2 Soviet Union to handle, especially if there's any uprisings.
Note - I started writing this and went off on a slight tangent - sorry in advance.

If D-Day fails, then Operation Dragoon might not go ahead in it's OTL form - it was only approved a month before it happened OTL, and Churchill tried lobbying for it to be launched in Brittany less than two weeks before the operation went ahead, and before that, wanted to land in Trieste.

I would have thought that if D-Day had failed, then one of the intial responses would have been to send more troops into Italy (Probably American roops earmarked for D-day + 60 etc), and if Dragoon does go ahead, the troops, besides from perhaps the Free French Division, are drawn from elsewhere. Italy is not tank country, but even with German reinforcements, you probably see Allied forces on the Alpine foothills by the end of 1944.

Instead of Dragoon, I suspect you would see a D-Day 2.0 sometime in August/September 1944, which could be anywhere from Dunkirk to Brittany, or roughly around the site of OTL Dragoon. I suspect D-Day 2.0 would succeed, even if it involves strafing everything that moves within a 20 mile radius of landing beaches. The V1's and V2's would also be hitting Britain in full force by this point and Churchill would be looking weak domestically, so a Northern landing might win out.

Paris is probably liberated by Jan 1945, taking into account the winter weather, the possible lack of Mulberry harbours, and the butchery of the French resistance and anyone who the Germans don't like in Northern France following a failed landing.

All things considered, the Americans and the Soviets probably meet up on the Rhine in May/June 1945. I would be surprised if the Red Army would attempt to cross the Rhine if the Americans were through the Ardennes, given crossing the Rhine challenged even the Americans, and the Red Army had a general lack of amphibious capabilities and would have been fighting on a pretty long supply chain. Denmark and most of Germany are under Soviet occupation, as could possibly be some of the Netherlands, unless the British try to land in Frisia with some degree of German co-operation - see Operation Manna.

If for whatever reason, Operation D-Day 2.0 doesn't go ahead, fails, or turns into an invasion of Norway, Greece, or Trieste, then I would expect the OKW and the Generals in the east would have stripped the forces in the west of most of their armoured and veteran units to try and stop the Red Army on the Vistula.

Ignoring the effects that an Norway invasion (Not very much from OTL) Greek Invasion (Bulgaria in the western sphere?) or Trieste landing (Hard to tell) would have on the war, then by 1945, I cannot believe that the British or the Americans wouldn't attempt some kind of landing in Northern France. By this point, Churchill, Eisenhower, and Monty are probably not key players. At worst, you might see a landing in March or April 1945, possibly in the Med, possibly a breakout over the Alps (Rather bloody with even third rate German opposition) or D-Day 3.0 - And you thought June was choppy! This might be combined with virtually unopposed landings once the Germans have collapsed in Belgium, the Netherlands and maybe even North West Germany. If the Red Army does manage to cross the Rhine, they wouldn't get very far before they run into British or American forces.

France could, to be fair, go Communist after the war, particularly if a narrative develops that the Allies only swooped in at the last moment after the Soviets did all the work, De Gaulle is a British puppet etc...

With Denmark and Norway, it is entirely possible that the Swedes might have liberated/invaded in order to avoid being surrounded by the Soviets.

To conclude, you probably need a POD earlier than D-Day for a Soviet dominiated Europe.
 

The Red

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To conclude, you probably need a POD earlier than D-Day for a Soviet dominiated Europe.
I can see the appeal of using a failed D-Day as the PoD; the Germans are already well on the back foot, the Red Army has completed its transformation into a hardened steamroller and Communist resistance movements are at their strongest and most popular across Europe. Plus it's a well known event in the war and less abstract than, say, AGC being destroyed in the Battle of Moscow. I think it's doable as well but with the toll the war will already have taken on the Soviets ITTL they would have to rely on the support of resistance movements much more to spread Communism throughout Europe and subsequently maintain it.

The Soviets could barely manage to feed Eastern Europe IOTL whilst still undergoing a great deal of suffering themselves, a Communist regime in France would be expected to help carry the burden of European reconstruction rather than simply becoming another satellite. In the aftermath you wouldn't so much have a Soviet-dominated Europe as a Europe which was broadly Soviet aligned but with some much more assertive and powerful actors in this expanded Warsaw pact. Some might not be so keen on Moscow remaining the spiritual centre of international Communism in such a scenario.
 
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