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

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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wm
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Re: What if Russia hadn't gone communist would it have survived?

Post by wm » 03 Jan 2017 00:40

The realistic alternative to the USSR is not Tsarist Russia because we know as a fact that Tsarist Russia didn't make beyond 1917. The true alternative is a successor of the Russian Provisional Government ruling more or less a democratic Russia.
A democratic Russia would be stronger and more modern that the actual USSR. For the simple reason it would unlock the natural energy and resourcefulness of the Russians, not to mention the additional wealth brought by free trade and cooperation with the West.

And Czarist Russia wasn't that backward. At that time, from an economic point of view it was a country no different than Japan or Spain.
During the Great War, for four long years Russia was able to wage war against two major powers: Germany and Austria-Hungary, quite successfully to boot, fielding an array of impressive modern weapons, including about a thousand armored vehicles, the Fedorov Avtomat (the first in the world assault rifle), Sikorsky Russky Vityaz (the first four-engine bomber), Sikorsky Ilya Muromets (the first four-engine strategic bomber), and innovative tactics including shock troops - later so successfully copied by the Germans.

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

Post by T. A. Gardner » 03 Jan 2017 22:05

If you had a Social-Democrat government in Russia during this period, it is likely that while they might not have moved forward militarily as far as the Soviet Union did, economically they'd have been better off in the long run. That would have dramatically changed not just Russian history but that of much of Eastern and Central Europe too.
I could still see companies like Ford moving into Russia with the hope of expanding business. But, unlike under the USSR, such expansion and construction of factories would have remained in Capitalist hands. If agriculture became based on individual farm ownership production likely would have increased substantially over time rather than fallen as it did with the collectivization of the farms under Stalin.
I'd also suspect that innovation would have increased in this scenario with many Russian inventors, engineers, and scientists now free to pursue and profit from their ideas.
Between these and the ability of foreign nations to invest in Russia, by the late 30's the nation would be in a better position economically than it was. It is likely that much stronger ties to nations with investment capital would have occurred. This would have put a damper on the rise of Fascism as well.

This in turn would have had effects outside Russia. If Russian productivity increases, it means they'll have more exports possible and their markets will likely be those countries closest to them. With a more open government ties to foreign nations would have been significantly higher too.

All of this would argue towards the potential failure of Fascism and the rise of the Nazis in Germany to power. Franco would probably lose in Spain without Russian backing. That leaves Mussolini in Italy as the sole Fascist state.

WW 2 might still happen, but it would be radically different in Europe than it was. A Social-Democrat Russia would be unlikely to back or assist a Fascist Germany for example.

In Asia, I'd think not much would change. But, there would be one significant change. Mao wouldn't have had much, if any, support and the Chinese communist revolution likely would never happen. Mao can't rise to power without massive Soviet support and that's gone. On the other hand, a war between Japan and the US is still likely to happen, mostly over Japan's actions in China which would largely, or completely be the same in this scenario.

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

Post by georgica » 03 Jan 2017 23:50

It would not be a divided Europe and construction of a Berlin Wall . Also no formation of Warsaw Pact , no inslave domination of Soviets Comunism over:
Romania, Hungary, Checkoslovakia, Polonia ,Bulgaria, Albania and no Russia divided in SSR Republics, No borders rearrange ither , no abolishment of Monarchs ...TZAR on Trone .There would be : NO LENIN , NO STALIN NO KRUSCHEV NO BREJNEV None of those IDIOTS.. Who killed millions of their own. No Communist CUBA, Sandinista in Central America , parts of Africa , fair to say Communism World wide and of course No Liberalism in USA and many others not mentioned here.. Communism spreads like CANCER , Imagine a world free of Communist Plague If that was the case and History changed.. WOW..
Yeah, but we would not have AK 47 and other arrays of Kalashnikovs ...HA,HA. But so what....
I guess I'm just MAD on COMMUNISM and I lived it for three decades... first hand experience!!!.
HAPPY NEW YEAR YA'LL

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Jan 2017 05:16

T. A. Gardner wrote:...

WW 2 might still happen, but it would be radically different in Europe than it was. A Social-Democrat Russia would be unlikely to back or assist a Fascist Germany for example.

...
Indeed. The primary reason a French anti German alliance with the USSR did not revive in the 1920s was the presence of the Communist government. In the spring of 1939 the Soviet government made a serious attempt to establish a anti German alliance with France. Anti Communists within the Brit and French governments discouraged this. Absent the Bolshiviks nazi Germany will be surrounded by a firm Franco Russian allianceThe Austrian Anschluss may play out differently, & the Cezch crisis of 1938 certainly will.

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

Post by wm » 08 Jan 2017 13:37

Not everybody believes the Soviet government made a serious attempt, some say the Soviets were fishing for the most profitable deal.

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

Post by Delwin » 18 Jan 2017 22:16

The changes would happen much earlier... First - it is completely unclear how Russia would look like. Assuming (by lucky shot) that Kierenski government survived and managed to contain communists, we do not know what would be the outcome of the IWW. In OTL Red Russia fought until 1918 against Germany. What happens with the war? Certainly, if Russia survived 6 months of extra fight the war ends and they are among the victors - there is no baltci states and Poland is much smaller (if any). It means that we have three major powers in Europe keeping eyes on Germany - even if Russia is weaker military power than USSR (in numbers - quality would be superior). It means no Kama training site and no deal R-M 1939. Russia was traditionally pro-Czech so they would had never permitted Germans to seize Czechoslovakia in first place. Russia is close ally at least with France (IWW repeated) and there is not deliveries of Soviet oil to Germans. How Panzerwaffe is going to survive global blockade? The IIWW may had never happened...

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

Post by James A Pratt III » 08 Mar 2017 22:41

If the Russian Empire had held together in early 1917. The Feb/mar 1917 came close to failing a number of times. The following probably would have happened: The Russian Army which outnumbered the Central powers about 2 to 1. Add to this the central powers are holding a long front from the Baltic to the Black sea. The Russians would begin by launching attacks near Riga and along the Black sea. Then would have an offensive on the northern part of the Western front. Then they would have had an offensive by the SouthWest front against the Austrians towards Kovel and Lemberg. Based on how the Austrians collapsed during the Kerensky offensive conducted by a almost combat ineffective Russian army a still effective Russian army would have broken through them as in the 1916 Brusilov offensive. This will force the Germans to withdraw troops from the rest of the Eastern front and other fronts which they really can't spare to plug this hole up. meanwhile if the other Russian Fronts (army groups) can launch effective attacks which they failed to do in 1916. They will break through on other parts of the Eastern front and the Germans will find themselves with too few troops to plug up the gaps. By the end of 1917 the Russians will have made some impressive by WW I standard gains and the Central powers will have no choice but to ask for peace during the winter of 1917/1918.

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

Post by James A Pratt III » 08 Mar 2017 22:47

If the peace talks break down 1918 will sort of look like a slow motion version of 1944/45. The German army continues to fight on as its Allies give up one by one. Since Kaiser Wilhem II is not Hitler he will make peace sometime in 1918. German advantages they don't have the treaty of Brest-Litovsk to hurt them and will probably get better terms. A smaller Austro-Hungarian Empire will also survive. There is also no stab in the back myth. so Hitler does not come to power.

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

Post by James A Pratt III » 08 Mar 2017 22:50

Ooops! it should be Feb/Mar 1917 Revolution in the first line.

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

Post by Guaporense » 25 Apr 2017 03:28

The Second World War would never happen without the USSR because Fascism would never happen since it was a reaction against communism: no communism, no fascism, no nazis, no WW2. Hitler made it very clear that his goals with his WW2 were essentially to destroy the Bolsheviks.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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

Post by Explorator » 05 May 2017 23:30

Guaporense wrote:The Second World War would never happen without the USSR because Fascism would never happen since it was a reaction against communism: no communism, no fascism, no nazis, no WW2. Hitler made it very clear that his goals with his WW2 were essentially to destroy the Bolsheviks.
This was a theme of a book by Ernst Nolte: "European Civil war 1917-1945" - one of those major controversial history works that have not been translated into English.

As for Russia, an alternative scenario could be the victory of the White Armies of Wrangel and Kolchak with the help of a more vigorous intervention by the USA and the UK. A Wrangel government would probably have introduced land reform (as it did in the Crimea in OTL) and modernized the economy.

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

Post by Guaporense » 07 May 2017 00:04

If Russia liberalized it's economy they could have grown extremely fast from 1917 up to 1940. Russia GDP was about 2,400 million 1905 British pounds in 1913 at official exchange rates, or about the same size as the UK's and about half of the US's. Given it's a 200 million strong country, by the 1940's they could have become the world's foremost power, it could achieve a moderate to fast growth rate of around 3.5% a year from 1913 to 1943 which would mean a Russian GDP if about 6,700 million pounds, which would be about 80% of the US's GDP back in 1939 (equivalent to about 8,500 million 1905 British pounds) and much bigger than Germany's (which would be equivalent to about 4,140 million British pounds in 1938).

A liberal Russia with an economy closer to the scale of the US's than Germany would surely deter a German invasion just as a function of the country's massive size.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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

Post by Delwin » 17 Jan 2019 18:52

No way. Russia had potential but number of illiterate people would have prevented such superb development. Russia for sure would have formidable army - better trained than SU OTL but it would be far from being power surpassing UK in industry, not mentioning USA.

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

Post by wm » 17 Jan 2019 21:25

To be correct both fascism and communism developed parallelly and both were a reaction to the failure of international socialism.

First fascist ideologues published their works in the nineteenth century.
Mussolini (earlier one of the top socialist leaders) joined revolutionary nationalism (called later fascism) in 1914, three years before the October revolution.

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

Post by South » 17 Jan 2019 21:38

Good afternoon Wm,

Agree, - if - I can add an addendum......

They both developed in parallel AND ALSO in reaction to the new and rapid rise of capitalism. Changing from an agricultural society and towns with small shops were part of the trend fading away toward the tenement housing for workers to be near the factories, etc.

Dostoevsky and later, Arthur Koestler, "tinkered" around with the new "socialism" - but these 2 people were the smartest of the bunch and left it for what is was/is. Most were lost in the material of the propagandists.


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