What if Russia hadn't gone communist would it have survived?

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Sieger
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What if Russia hadn't gone communist would it have survived?

Post by Sieger » 02 Feb 2003 06:51

The Soviet Regime accelerated the social and economic trends of Russia,
for example the Czarist regime had planned to have universal education by aroun the early mid 1940s which the communist accelerated. The country was well on its way to industrializing in the early 20th century but they were just a few dots of concentrated industries over the whole Russian Empire(i.e. St.Petersburg). The 5 yr plans begun in the late 20s forcibly acceleraetd the development of industries at great cost (social and environmental). This rapid industrialization gets cited as one fo the reasons that the USSR was able to survive the Nazi German assault. The industrialization under the Czarist regime would have been much more efficient (albeit not fair the the sense of few industrialist becoming filthy rich while the vast majority of workers toiling long hours for meager pay)
in the economics sense driven by market forces. The trend for Czarist Russia would have been a slower rate of industrialization. Do you think Czarist Russia would have survived in 1941?

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peter_suciu
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Post by peter_suciu » 02 Feb 2003 07:26

I can't see a possible "what if" situation that could allow the Czar to survive and for World War II to occur. It just simply isn't really possible.

But I think a slightly different "what if" would be if Kerensky manages to hold power. In 1917 the governments of England and France suggested he arrest some of the radicals like Lenin. So I see that Kerensky and the socialists do arrest Lenin, and then decide that the war with Germany is lost they sue for peace and cede Poland as a buffer state. When Lenin came to power he surrendered and gave away Poland the Urkaine -- why did it matter because he assumed the revolution would spread anyway!

So if Lenin sits in prison and the Reds are defeated by Kerensky with support from the Whites (who together allow the Czar to go into exile to Sweden), the war ends and Russia rebuilds. Germany would still lose the war to the West in 1918, albeit possibly a few weeks later as they would be able to move forces from the East sooner. The 1918 summer offensive I imagine was doomed no matter what happened and thus the war.

There would be no attempted invasion of Poland by the Soviets and Poland would be less inclined to become allies of Germany (as they were until the mid-1930s). Hitler would still come to power, BUT it is very unlikely that German officers would secretly train in Russia in the 1920s and 1930s as they did in real life. This would also possibly affect the tank program in Germany and in Russia.

Thus the German tank program would be a few years behind while the Russians would likely be buying Char B tanks from France instead of developing the T-26 and later T-34. There would however be no major purge of the army in the 1930s, no invasion of Finland in 1939 and most importantly probably no victory with the Japanese in 1940. Instead it is likely that the Japanese would many to cede a bit of territory while Russia would go about modernizing its nation.

There wouldn't be a five year plan -- so no big dams to blow up. But it is also possible that the Germans would simply seize all of Poland and demand the Baltic states, possibly invading the Urkaine. Keep in mind that the Urkaine was given independence in 1919 but the Soviets occupied it shortly there after.

I very much doubt that this newly independent nation would have a treaty with Russia, possibly with a state like Romania. And if Romania doesn't have to fear the Soviets and only Hungary, it is possible that the Germans would invade the Ukraine while letting Romania be gobbled up by Hungary.

So my World War II if the Soviet Union doesn't exist is as follows:

1) Germany invades Poland and goes to war with England, France, etc. Germany defeats these nations and is able to finish off England before America enters the war.
2)Spain joins the Germans to get control of Portugal and part of Southern France as well as French Morocco.
3)Italy gets Greece and Albania -- but that spurs a Third Balkan War between Germany/Hungary and Croatia against Serbia, Romania, Greece and Bulgaria. Turkey would join with Germany to get a piece of Greece and a piece of Bulgaria as well as Georgia.
4)Russia would stay out of the conflict because they would fear a war could possibly stir up another civil war -- the last World War didn't do the society any good.

That's my take. Any other opinions.
Last edited by peter_suciu on 02 Feb 2003 07:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Nagelfar » 02 Feb 2003 07:26

I think there would have been no '1941', i.e. Barbarossa, had tzarist russia never ceased to be. nor would there been such a willing levy of communists in germany to think that government overthrow would work, if it hadnt in such a large country as russia already. thus no need for a Nazi party at all.

but in purely speculative terms, I would say sure, the morale of the russians may have been different, but if the germans made the same mistakes, I think it is certainly possible that the non-communist russians could have won against a speculative Nazi-german invasion. mostly because the entire insane thinking of mass-attrition for use of soldiers to die for the state, would have been absent, and they would have relied more on tactics instead of communist theory, to fight their war for them. so the extra industry used would have been made up for in way of conventional warfare without any political points needed to be made.

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Post by Sieger » 03 Feb 2003 05:52

The Germans shipped Lenin to Russia, what if they hadn't allowed that?
The only way I think Kerensky would have held on to power was to either move the government from St.Petersburg or stop the war altogether.

I think the Czar might have survived had he seem the gravity of the situation of gettin pummeled by Germany and withdrawn from the war sooner, say around late 1916.

Russia should have stayed neutral initially then joined the war after Austria-Hungary and Germany were fully engaged in the west. This meant they could have lost some prestige for not immediately backing the Serbs.

I don't understand why Russia got involved in WWI when they clearly saw signs that they were in trouble especially after the 1905 debacle.

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Post by peter_suciu » 03 Feb 2003 06:26

The Germans shipped Lenin to Russia, what if they hadn't allowed that? The only way I think Kerensky would have held on to power was to either move the government from St.Petersburg or stop the war altogether.


Well if he arrested Lenin he might have held onto power. Lenin was the communists at that point.

I think the Czar might have survived had he seem the gravity of the situation of gettin pummeled by Germany and withdrawn from the war sooner, say around late 1916.


I would argue that the Czar even more than the Kaiser or the Emperor in Austria was really out of touch with the situation. Withdrawing would still have meant giving up some power. I think Nicky seriously thought there was a chance he could be victorious.

Russia should have stayed neutral initially then joined the war after Austria-Hungary and Germany were fully engaged in the west. This meant they could have lost some prestige for not immediately backing the Serbs.


If Russia doesn't come into the war than there is no war. France didn't enter the war until Germany declared war on Russia. If Russia backs down than Germany backs down and poor Serbia is left out to dry by themselves. That however could have triggered troubles for Russia too.

I don't understand why Russia got involved in WWI when they clearly saw signs that they were in trouble especially after the 1905 debacle.


Nicky didn't see the writing on the wall because he didn't see the wall! He was utterly out of touch. Watch a movie like Nicholas and Alexandria or better yet the mini-series Fall of Eagles. That shows you how out of touch Nicky, Willy and Franz Josef really were -- these were not your modern rulers. They really felt their people loved them and they expected wars where society would funcion as it had in the past. There would be war but it would still be fought by gentlemen leading the peasants.

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Post by Tim Smith » 03 Feb 2003 12:07

I think that a Czarist or semi-democratic Russia would keep its alliance with France after WWI. France, Russia and Britain would therefore be united in resisting German expansion by 1938. Hitler would have to back down over Czechoslovakia - and if he didn't Germany would find herself fighting Czechoslovakia, France, Russia and Britain simultaneously in 1938 - this scenario can only result in a German defeat.

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Post by peter_suciu » 03 Feb 2003 16:01

I think that a Czarist or semi-democratic Russia would keep its alliance with France after WWI. France, Russia and Britain would therefore be united in resisting German expansion by 1938. Hitler would have to back down over Czechoslovakia - and if he didn't Germany would find herself fighting Czechoslovakia, France, Russia and Britain simultaneously in 1938 - this scenario can only result in a German defeat.


Why would Hitler have to back down over Czechoslovakia in this scenario if everyone else blinked in the real world one? I still think Chamberline would be saying "peace in our time."

I also strongly think that the Urkraine would be independent of Russia and possibly allied with Poland. Poland only turned to France after Germany became hostile. Germany and Poland had been allies in the 1920s. If Poland could turn to the Ukraine they might not turn to France.

I further would argue that Russia would do whatever it took to stay out of another war.

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Post by Tim Smith » 04 Feb 2003 14:34

The point is, Britain and France didn't trust Stalin, and neither did Poland or Rumania. That's why the West effectively refused Soviet help in the Czech crisis. And they didn't want to fight Germany on their own in 1938, largely because their rearmament programs were not complete (especially Britain's radar defence network).

But with a non-Communist Russia, which would still be in the League of Nations, the Allies have much less reason to distrust Russia. And with Russia, the Allies are far superior militarily than 1938 Germany. So Chamberlain doesn't have to appease Hitler anymore - he can fight.

One big question remaining, is whether a non-communist Russian government would accept the independence of Poland and the Ukraine. They certainly wouldn't be keen on the idea, as it reduces Russian power significantly. I think the Czarist government would definitely have fought to keep Poland and Ukraine, but the Kerensky government might possibly have backed down if Britain and France opposed them strongly enough.

The Red revolution destroyed the old Imperial Russian Army, and the early Red Army of 1920 was little more than an armed mob, and was beaten by the Poles. But without a Communist revolution, the old army will still be intact, and this army would be more than a match for the Poles and Ukrainians on their own.

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Post by Sieger » 06 Feb 2003 05:40

Tim Smith wrote:The point is, Britain and France didn't trust Stalin, and neither did Poland or Rumania. That's why the West effectively refused Soviet help in the Czech crisis. And they didn't want to fight Germany on their own in 1938, largely because their rearmament programs were not complete (especially Britain's radar defence network).

But with a non-Communist Russia, which would still be in the League of Nations, the Allies have much less reason to distrust Russia. And with Russia, the Allies are far superior militarily than 1938 Germany. So Chamberlain doesn't have to appease Hitler anymore - he can fight.

One big question remaining, is whether a non-communist Russian government would accept the independence of Poland and the Ukraine. They certainly wouldn't be keen on the idea, as it reduces Russian power significantly. I think the Czarist government would definitely have fought to keep Poland and Ukraine, but the Kerensky government might possibly have backed down if Britain and France opposed them strongly enough.

The Red revolution destroyed the old Imperial Russian Army, and the early Red Army of 1920 was little more than an armed mob, and was beaten by the Poles. But without a Communist revolution, the old army will still be intact, and this army would be more than a match for the Poles and Ukrainians on their own.


But if Czarist Russia had survived WWI it would have been rattled so I don't think they had the confidence to standup internationally when they survived several close calls. Also the Imperial Russian Army had a officer culture that was lagging behind the British and French. One of the French observers of the Russian staff noted that it felt like a gentleman's club, and when he inquired about the horrible losses that the Russian suffered at Tannenberg campaign the response that he got was something to the effect of "We are honored to have fought on behalf of our allies".
It seems to me that the Russian soldiers fought courageously but their commanding officers were not that competent. Also they weren't that great with supplying their troops. A lot soldiers din't have rifles and were told to get them from their comrades as soon as they fell from battle.

While the Russians did well against a fading Austro-Hungarian Empire they didn't stand a chance against a first rate power like Germany.

Also I would like to make a correction the last part of your response tim.
The collapse of the Imperial Russian Army enabled the Red Revolution to happen without this happening the communist would have been put down.

Without getting hung up with if the Revolution hadn't happened this wouldn't had happend and this and that. If the revolution hadn't happened and everything else happened(Hitler rising to power in Germany) and Germany having the same borders with Russia as before WWI(necessary adjustment to this scenario since Russia wouldn't had given up the Polish province and other allies would have acceded to that). Do you think that Russia would had survived the shock of being invaded on June 22nd 1941.
Without the communist there wouldn't had been the accelerated industrialization of the 5 yrs plan (Russia was on a trend to industrialize at a slower pace). Would a less industrialized Czarist Russia had survived this shock of being invaded?

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Post by peter_suciu » 06 Feb 2003 05:50

But with a non-Communist Russia, which would still be in the League of Nations, the Allies have much less reason to distrust Russia. And with Russia, the Allies are far superior militarily than 1938 Germany. So Chamberlain doesn't have to appease Hitler anymore - he can fight.


A non-communist Russia would be 25 years behind every one else. The French and British would trust them...to lose lots of men and be of virtually no help at all. Chamberlain just didn't want to fight, he was all about peace in his time.

One big question remaining, is whether a non-communist Russian government would accept the independence of Poland and the Ukraine. They certainly wouldn't be keen on the idea, as it reduces Russian power significantly. I think the Czarist government would definitely have fought to keep Poland and Ukraine, but the Kerensky government might possibly have backed down if Britain and France opposed them strongly enough.


The non-communist Russian government would have to accept it, especially if they wanted in the league. The Czarist government would have done anything to remain in power and thus the independence of Poland the Ukraine might have been a small price to pay.

The Kerensky goverment would have probably wanted to be the ones to put up a fight more than the Czarists. Kerensky wanted to continue the war to make it worth the price that had already been paid in blood. If the Ukraine transistion to a socialist state like Kerensky's Russia than it is possible. Poland was going to be independent no matter what...Wilson wanted it that way and no one was going back to the trenches.

Either a Czarist or Socialist government would be too weak to stand up to the Hilterites.

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Post by Tim Smith » 06 Feb 2003 12:38

Sorry, Peter, but you are wrong about Chamberlain. He wanted peace, but not at any price. The reason he went to Munich was not only because he wanted a peaceful solution, but because the British military leaders were telling him that the British armed forces weren't ready for war yet, especially the Army and RAF, and that it was better to put the war off until late 1939 or 1940.

British and French intelligence experts vastly overestimated German military power in 1938 and in 1939. Chamberlain was afraid that German bombers could destroy London easily, in only one or two raids, and that the RAF couldn't stop them, ('the bomber will always get through') - also that the Londoners would panic. This was quite wrong of course, but that is what his own military experts were telling him at the time. When you factor this in, Chamberlain's actions become comprehensible.

Back to the original topic. I think that the Czarists, had they survived into 1941, would have been too unpopular with the Russian people to survive a Nazi invasion. Under the Socialists the army would be too weak, since the Socialists would fear a military coup more than the Nazis.

However, Poland's response to the Nazi threat was to install a military dictatorship in the 1930's - the Russians might have done the same. A Russian military dictatorship probably could have been strong enough to fight off Hitler.

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Post by peter_suciu » 06 Feb 2003 15:17

However, Poland's response to the Nazi threat was to install a military dictatorship in the 1930's - the Russians might have done the same. A Russian military dictatorship probably could have been strong enough to fight off Hitler.


If a Russian military dictatorship is installed than a civil war would break out. The remaining communists that had gone underground would rise up and the Second Russian Revolution might break out. Either way, in 1940/1941 Russia would be too weak to fight off a German invasion.

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Post by Tim Smith » 06 Feb 2003 17:20

Why would a Russian military dictatorship result in a civil war? This didn't happen in Poland, or in the Baltics.

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Post by DarthMaur » 06 Feb 2003 18:13

peter_suciu wrote:I also strongly think that the Urkraine would be independent of Russia and possibly allied with Poland. Poland only turned to France after Germany became hostile. Germany and Poland had been allies in the 1920s. If Poland could turn to the Ukraine they might not turn to France.

I further would argue that Russia would do whatever it took to stay out of another war.

You are wrong. Poland was allied to France since 1921, it wasn't in alliance with Germany at any point.

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Post by peter_suciu » 07 Feb 2003 00:09

You are wrong. Poland was allied to France since 1921, it wasn't in alliance with Germany at any point.


You are right, there wasn't any official "alliance" but in the 1920s Germany had signed arbitration treaties with Poland and Czechoslovakia and agreed to maintain the territorial status quo determined by the Versailles Treaty.

As you also know, Józef Pilsudski was the Polish leader throughout the 1920s and until 1935. While it has been written that he feared Germany he also made efforts to get on the good side of the Germans. Germany and Poland did sign a non-aggression pact in 1934, much to the surprise of the Czech and French governments. This non-aggression pact was called a treaty by the Western media of the day and did cause some distrust of Poland in the West as it appeared Poland had allied herself with Germany.

Poland obviously wouldn't need to be PRO-GERMAN if the Communists weren't in power but if the Russians in either a Socialist or Czarist form attempt to retake some of Poland's territory that might try the Poles closer to Germany.

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