Wednesday 4 November 2015

Germany's Stalin and Russia's Hitler

Chapter 2: The failed revolution of the East

While Germany erupted after World War One in chaos, the Russian Empire was during the First World War in total chaos. There were many subsequent governments within a short amount of time, who never seemed to get the right foot hold. The most growing movement came with an interesting and rather surprising promise compared to other movements: PEACE! We are talking about the Bolsheviks with their prominent leader Lenin.

However in this timeline Lenin would never gain the same fame as he did originally and Stalin would be totally unknown. It should be noted that most battles if  not all, of WW1 would be the same and also the fact that the Bolshevists came for a short, significant time to power should be clear. The Brest-Litovsk treaty was concluded and set up many new states free which we know as Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The Caucasus states had short free days, but were to re-annexed later. For a short while the independent states were mere satellites of Germany. After the German defeat Poland emerged as regional power and filled the void. 

The upset among the Russian nationalists was huge, as Ukraine and Belarus were seen as core part of Russia, of the old Kievan Rus. This feeling was used by the White Army to recruit new soldiers. Slowly but surely the more nationalist character of the White Army became clear and the support for the Tsar was a secondary thought among very convinced monarchists. Cossacks were the early ones who opposed the Bolshevik rule. The Don republic, as the one of Kuban came in touch with the White Army. All of them formed step by step a more unified force and became the Russian National Forces, who coordinated attacks with others, such as pro-German militias, independentist forces, Ex-Green Army members and the anarchists of Nestor Machno.

Kolchak, the first leader of the White Army, was shortly removed, as many generals thought his ideas were ineffective and that after beating the Bolsheviks, they could deal with the national minorities and various leftists. So already in 1918 Denikin and other generals formed a military council, in which he became the head of. Denikin and the White Army used the divide and conquer tactics, which proved to be efficient. Only in the later years some Russians were still upset by losing the territories and saw the year 1917 as huge betrayal by the 'Jews' and the Fifth column. Kerensky and the Duma never became powerful again and the Tsar was ignored by Denikin. He saw the Tsar family as inefficient and also as reason why Russia declined in power. He lead an authoritarian government style, but tolerated Belarusian and Ukrainian independence.
The same year the White Army was able to retake Moscow as they concluded a temporary alliance with Nestor Machno. Nestor Machno, the leader of the anarchist, and his troops drove the Bolsheviks from the Ukrainian territory away, while the White Army focused on other weak points. The White Army left Machno Nestor, Symon Petlyura and his Polish allies to their own in the Ukraine. In Belarus with Pyotra Krecheuski, Jan Sierada, Stanislaw Bulak-Balachowicz and Poland as well the rest which was left of the Red Army, there were many factions who fought for power. In Ukraine Symon Petlyura imposed himself and destroyed the anarchists and became an ally of Poland. Belarus saw more insurrections and Stanislaw Bulak came in terms with Sierada. Sierada remained president of the unstable republic, whereas Bulak-Balachowicz became supreme commander of the Belarusian army. However rumours were spread, where Sierada was just a puppet of Bulak.

All of this was seen as favourable by Denikin, for him it was a matter of years to retake old Russian territories. Cold conflicts could be exploited by the future Russian government. Kerensky died without any further explanation, the tsarist family fled all over the world, mostly to London/Belgrad. In 1919 Denikin proclaimed the Russian People's Republic and the military council became the official government, the Duma was re-activated, had soldiers and ex-soldiers as parliamentarians, however their role was only a consultative one. The Red Army retreated further and further to the wasteland of Siberia and moved their capitals constantly. It took still some more years to completely destroy them and around 1923 there were no more official incidents linked to the Red Army and Bolshevism.

The RPR was now busy in reactivating the economy, but also social reforms were undertaken. It was clear that the government would only be supported if it offered something to the population in exchange. The RPR forced just as the Bolsheviks, all national minorities to use the Cyrillic alphabet and all children were sent to school and had  to learn Russian. This was partly due to the nationalists, who feared that the minorities, by retaining their language, could split off from Russia. Russian Orthodoxy was also strengthened. The government took specially care of the alimentation of the population, as for them this was the key to have physically strong soldiers. Holodomor was never heart off in this timeline.

There was however a group of soldiers/parliamentarians  who pushed for more consequent and more nationalist policies. They were inspired by Benito Mussolini and asked for a corporatist state and the reestablishment of the old imperial borders, as fast as possible. Additional spending should be done in technology and education, which would improve Russia, wasn't it seen as backwards because of the Jews and the fifth column.  This group was known as Russian Fascist Organisation and was founded in 1925. On contrary to other fascist movements there was no charismatic person at first.  First leader Prof. N.I. Nikiforov, wasn't popular, but due to his ties with the government, they tolerated him and even gave him some important positions. It was only much later with Konstantin Rodzaevsky and Anastasy Vonsyatsky, where fascism gained more popularity among the people. Denikin didn't see them as thread until they forced him to step down. Officially it has been said, that the power has been transferred into younger hands. The military, after the years of peace, wasn't any more dominant. Most generals were sympathetic to fascism and welcomed Rodzaevsky and Vonsyatsky, as they were seen as leaders who are inexperienced and easy to control.

Quite the opposite happened...Rodzaevsky imposed himself as only leader and he killed most generals who took part in the Russian Civil War. Like that he could promote new generals, officers etc, who would depend on him, as they made a huge step forward in their career because of Rodzaevsky. Vonsyatsky would become the second man of the state, similar to Goebbels in OTL Germany. Even though both had some differences, what united them was the thought of taking revenge to anyone and everyone who was seen as guilty for Russia's decline. Dark times were coming to the Jews and some of them were deported in Gulags in Siberia. Not only them...also 'bolshevists' (everyone who was too critical, too strong to deal with by legal means etc) were deported in the long, far-away and harsh wastelands of Siberia, a hell on Earth in which nobody could escape from.

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Gothic Invasion

This series will show an alternate timeline where Justinian the Great doesn't attack the Ostrogoths and the Ostrogoths as the Visigoths would become dominant powers in Europe.