establishing the Weimar Republic, who then signed the degrading Treaty of Versailles splitting up German territory and forcing reparations on the Central Powers. The nation recovered somewhat from the War in the 1920's, but the Great Depression sank the German economy.
The German Communist Party, aided by Russian refugees such as Vladimir Lenin, gained popular support and took control of the nation, now renamed the German People's Republic. As the Communists sought to revolutionize the nation and cement control, a struggle for power took place that led to the rise of the militaristic Leo Jogiches, who invaded Poland and declared war on capitalism in 1939, sparking World War II. Despite overrunning most of Europe, allying with Japan and the Pan-American Alliance, and bringing the capitalist world to its knees, the capitalist Allies eventually defeated Germany and occupied it, dividing it into two sections - the American held Rhine Province in the west, and Russian Prussia in the east. After the outbreak of World War III in 1952, Germany became a battleground between Russia and America, though America won control over all of Germany in the early 1960's. Although Germany was harshly suppressed, tight military rule kept the Germans in line, though revolts in 1967 and the 1990's weakened American rule, resulting in an undetermined status today.
The German Empire in the early 20th century was working to establish itself as the world's superpower. Naturally, this brought it into tension with Great Britain. When World War I broke out with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, Germany positioned itself as the leader of the central powers. When America was brought closer to the Allies when Germany attacked neutral shipping, war mongers in the United States pushed for war, so Germany sought to extend aid to Central America. But Germany was overextended, and with the Allies pressing in on all sides, the Kaiser called an armistice on August 9th. Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles, reducing the once proud empire into a smaller nation in turmoil. The kaiser was deposed, and replaced with the weak Weimar Republic. This allowed for the rise of radical elements.
Rise of Communist Germany
Germany had been the home of Karl Marx, and was filled with socialists and radical leftists who theorized on revolution. Germany was a well developed capitalist state, and many German leftists believed the time was ripe for a proletarian revolution. However, in 1919 German leftism did not have enough support to overthrow the Weimar Republic. German Communist Party leader Karl Liebknecht decided to bide his time and gather political support. He established military and civilian wings of the party. The civilian wing would run for office and try to establish popular support. Although many hard line Marxists within the party objected to participation in democracy, the leaders argued popular support and legitimacy were necessary as a prerequisite for revolution. In secret, the military wing, a small, well disciplined group known as the People's arm expanded their numbers, and plotted for control of the republic.
The tolerant political climate allowed for the Communist Party to grow quickly. Many foreign Marxists came to aid the German Communist Party. One, in particular, Vladimir Lenin would have profound influence. Lenin had fled to Germany following a failed revolution in Russia, but was imprisoned during World War I, due to different refugee policies. When the czar was overthrown, Lenin was disappointed to see that a weak coalition government took its place, following a brutal civil war. He was, however, encouraged by a socialist revolution in Hungary. Lenin believed that Germany was closer to revolution, and, as leader of the Communist International, focused worldwide socialist effort on Germany. In a famous speech delivered to students in Berlin on April 20th, 1923 Lenin declared that:
" Germany has entered the final stages of capitalism ... It is only a matter of time, a few years perhaps, when world capitalism shall collapse from bourgeois excesses ... And in Germany the proletariat will rise up against their masters, and from there, the German people will export the revolution to the world."Throughout the 1920's, the Communist Party maintained about 15% of the seats in the Reichstag, largely the Bavarian seats. The Communists largely sought to obstruct the ruling Social Democratic Party, which it viewed as a rival and traitor to the values of socialism. The Communist also attempted to halt the reparations forced by the Treaty of Versailles to gain popular support, which eventually became a major part of the party platform.
When the Great Depression hit Germany in 1930, the economic collapse and harsh reparations crushed the recovering German economy. With millions of Germans living in desperate poverty, the Communists saw their chance. Triumphant Communists including Lenin and Leo Jogiches crisscrossed the country, lecturing on the failures of capitalism. The People's Arm went on open recruiting drives to find soldiers for the upcoming revolution. Aiding the People's Arm was an influx of Leftist refugees from Russia, resulting in a surplus of Communists. Corruption and embezzlement scandals and a split in the Social Democratic Party drove more desperate citizens to join the Communists. The Communists did not neglect their other enemies- when German National People's Party leaders called for violence against the Communists, assassins working for the People's Arm killed the party leaders, including Adolph Hitler, resulting in its collapse. The Communist Party largely consisted of the working class, disillusioned intellectuals, Russian refugees from Rasputin's New Russian Empire, which was created in 1931, and increasingly, feminists, who began to serve as the backbone of the emerging Communist state.
As the German economy continued to sink, the Communist Party gained popularity among the labor unions. Eventually, the pro-Communist factions in the labor unions overthrew the more moderate leadership, giving the Communists total control over the labor unions. Many members of the unions were then recruited into the People's Arm. In 1932, the Communists called for a general strike. Germany was effectively shut down. Unions clashed with police, and riots broke out across Germany. It seemed the proletariat were on the verge of revolution. The Communists used the strike to take over much of Germany, though the Weimar Republic maintained some control. As elections approached, the Communists worked hard to legitimize the coming Communist takeover - with a victory in the elections, they could claim to speak for the people.
In the 1933 elections, the Communist Party, through intimidation and a wide propaganda campaign, was able to win 45% of the seats in the Reichstag. A few Social Democrats were convinced to switch their allegiance to the Communist Party, giving them a majority. The chairwoman of the Reichstag, soon to become the Worker's Congress, Clara Zetkin, called for Chancellor Hindenberg to resign, and then declared the German People's Republic (GPR), abolishing all other political parties, and creating the world's first Communist state. While the tired German government largely complied, reactionary elements mobilized against the Communist takeover. Hermann Goring lead several militias that attempted to storm the Reichstag. Here, the Russian Leftists came into play. An elite group of Bolsheviks, led by Leon Trotsky and Leo Jogiches attacked the makeshift army, killing Hermann Göring, and dispersing the mob, while the People's Arm prowled the streets, killing the survivors. In other German cities, the People's Arm occupied the city centers, and attacked offices of political opponents. Rosa Luxemburg formed feminist squads who seized the property of rich capitalists who funded their enemies. Labor unions attacked and suppressed capitalist forces, and managed to seize control of the cities with the People's Arm. While the Communists controlled Bavaria, the Saxonys and the cities, other parts of Germany were taken by the Whites, a loose alliance of Social Democrats, Moderates, Conservatives, and reactionaries who opposed the Communist regime. Hugo Eberlein led a campaign across the Rhineland to defeat the Whites, relying on local Communists to burn enemy buildings before attacking their camps. In the Battle of Bonn, Eberlein, with skilled soldiers backing him, surrounded and defeated the undisciplined White army despite being outnumbered two to one. The German army, which had been neutral, then declared its allegiance to the GPR. Many Germans, including Fritz Lang and Werner Von Braun were forced to flee the country. While various white cells were scattered across the nation, Communist control over Germany was nearly complete.
The triumphant leaders of the Communist International and the Worker's Congress gathered in Berlin to hold a celebratory ceremony that was broadcast across the world. The ailing Lenin gave a particularly fiery speech declaring that he had been vindicated, and called for other Communist parties to take control in other countries. Lenin unified the quarreling Communist leaders, but only temporarily. Karl Liebknecht became the Chancellor, and maintained Party leadership. But factions within the party and Congress undermined his power. Most large businesses were quickly nationalized, though some private businesses remained to ease the transition to Communism. Certain welfare type plans were instituted to maintain popularity. To support the GPR, which some feared would come under attack from Russia or France, a massive militarization began, producing arms at a large rate, expanding the Wehrmacht, which had been merged into the People's Arm, and the Luftwaffe. Propaganda minister Willi Munzenberg spread literature, posters, and films supporting the government, and decrying the " Capitalist aggressors." The Spartacus Letters became the most widely read newspaper in Germany. Leo Jogiches famously ripped the Treaty of Versailles in half, declaring it a Bourgeois construct. Through coercion and oppression by the Gestapo, lead by Wilhelm Zaisser, and the KFS, the Worker's Congress soon took control of every aspect of life in the nation. Opposing political leaders and capitalists, especially the social democrats, were ruthlessly suppressed in "re-education centers." The rest of the population was completely brainwashed. Totalitarianism had arrived.
The rise of Communism frightened other European powers. The French began supplying arms to White insurgents in the Rhineland. Only political paralysis had prevented direct intervention in the Battle of Bonn. The Rhineland insurgents were unpopular in the region as the unions were powerful there. The insurgents limited terrorist attacks only further increased the popularity of the Communists. Frenchman Marcel Bucard, a fascist politician, began sending his supporters to the Rhineland to support the insurgency. After a military regime seized power in Paris, French support for the Bucard Raids increased. This culminated in April 3rd, 1934, when hundreds of Bucard's soldiers attacked Communist positions in Freiburg. Although, the French were forced to retreat, the Communists took heavy damage. The Germans threatened war, and the French government, beset by internal turmoil, agreed to arrest Bucard and recognize the GPR in the Treaty of Dijon.
Austria, being close to Germany and influenced by the Communists, soon had leftists rioting against the government there. The People's Arm was sent to back the leftists. With overwhelming German support, the Austrian Communist Party took control, and quickly declared union with the GPR, violating the Treaty of Versailles. Yet another nation was under Communist rule.
While the Worker's Congress nationalized the economy, seizing property and political opponents, Lenin sought to promote Communism abroad. Communist and socialist parties in Europe received funding and propaganda from the Communist International. German advisers were sent to help promote the revolution. Of course, often these advisers would eliminate any party members who fell out of line. The advisers were prominent in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, France, and the Ukraine. The Communist International helped the Germans turn Hungary into a puppet state. Hungary had fallen under socialist rule after World War I, but the weak government did little to demobilize capitalism. The Communist International orchestrated a coup, establishing a Pro-German, anti-capitalist government. Due to this, Socialist influence in the Balkans expanded. The Communist International also aided the rebel LAU, and formed alliances with Argentina and Japan. Heavy propaganda campaigns kept foreigners ignorant of the repression within the GPR. With an increasingly strong military, which boosted the economy, and expanding international interests, the GPR began to take an increasingly muscular stance abroad. The Rhineland was reoccupied, yet another violation of the Treaty of Versailles. The GPR soon began openly contemplating invading another country. The British and the French were too busy with their own internal turmoil to care.
In 1936, Chancellor Karl Liebknecht died of heart failure. Only the moderation of Lenin kept the GPR from falling into civil war. By this point, all other political parties were completely destroyed, and the GPR had a heavily socialist economy and was heading towards total public ownership. The political factions were divided into the hardliners, lead by Leo Jogiches and Rosa Luxemburg, and the moderates, lead by Ernst Thaldmann and Paul Levi. The factions held heated political debates on the floor of the Worker's Congress, one of the few places remaining in the nation where free speech was allowed. Radio and newspapers were under the total control of the state. The position of chancellor was held vacant according to a temporary compromise. But in early 1937 Lenin died of a stroke. The uneasy peace fell apart. Leo Jogiches, controlling the People's Arm, was able to storm the Worker's Congress and arrest 21 members of the opposing faction. They were never seen again. Thaldmann was arrested for supposedly being a Russian agent, and after a sham trial, was executed. A purge was conducted, eliminating any dissenters within the Party. Chancellor Leo Jogiches soon had total control over the Communist hierarchy, including the Communist International. Everyone was a Jogichite, though Lenin and Marx's ideas remained the basis of the Communist state. One of Jogiches' first actions was to send troops to support the election of the socialist Benito Mussolini in Italy.
To expand the GPR's borders, Jogiches decided to invoke an obscure border claim to seize Czechoslovakia. Claiming the Sudetenland region was inherently part of Germany, Jogiches threatened invasion. The United Kingdom, wishing to maintain peace in Europe held talks with the Germans. With support from the Labor Party, Liberal Prime Minister John Simon signed a treaty ceding Sudetenland to the Germans saying it "guarantees peace for our time." When Socialists attempted an uprising in Prague, Jogiches sent the People's Arm to occupy the country. It too, became part of the GPR. Britain and France became increasingly nervous with the GPR's growing power, especially considering its influence with dissidents in Europe. Britain, France, and Poland entered an alliance, which Jogiches did not expect them to keep. He soon reached an understanding with the Russian Empire on the division of Eastern Europe between them, formalized in the Dughashvili- Meyer pact. Although Jogiches despised the Russians, it was a necessary strategy to secure Germany's Eastern Front. Many leftists were disillusioned, but party discipline kept them in line- Jogiches used this as an excuse to enact another purge of the party.
Communist agitators in Poland had unified a variety of labor unions, and called a massive strike to paralyze the polish government. Protesters filled the streets, and there was fear of a revolution. After gunshots were fired at the Polish Police, the army was sent in to crush the Communists. This was the excuse that Jogiches needed. At the border city of Danzig, on September 1, 1939 Rosa Luxemburg symbolically fired the opening shots of the war. German and Russian troops stormed Poland, conquering it in a few months. Britain and France declared war on Germany. Jogiches declared the struggle would eventually lead to German and socialist domination of the world, and the destruction of the capitalist order. World War II, the grand conflict between Communism and capitalism, the revolution Marxists were waiting for, had begun.
World War II
After an invasion of Poland fairly similar to OTL, except with Polish backing, the Communists turned West. Leftists in France, with the support of the GPR, soon began guerrilla operations against the Third Republic. While their numbers were limited, their cutting off supply lines and damaging French equipment harried the French. Meanwhile, the Germans planned invasion. Elsewhere, the Italians had invaded Albania, and socialists had seized control in Bulgaria, which had become puppet states of the GPR. The Germans soon mounted an attack on the Kingdom of Romania, which, isolated from the Allies and weakening from leftist rebellion, soon succumbed to the Communist invaders. In April, Denmark and Norway were invaded, and despite the British fortification of Trondheim, quickly fell. Winston Churchill then became British prime minister.
On May 10, 1940, the Communist armies, lead by General Eberlein, invaded France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The low countries fell within six days. The French army was quickly outflanked, and was unable to prevent the People's Arm's occupation of Paris. The French government collapsed, and was replaced by French Communists, who, based in Lyon, declared the French People's Republic. The Communist Luftwaffe then turned to bomb Britain. Jogiches hoped that repeated bombings combined with guerrilla attacks within England would undermine the British position, and collapse during a future invasion. However, Leftists in Britain were suppressed, and under Winston Churchill, the British managed an all-out defense against Germany. Winston Churchill rallied the nation around him against the " Communist menace". Jogiches stubbornly refused to consider peace. Soon America began lending aid to the British. The Luftwaffe was largely repelled by October, the first major Communist defeat. Another defeat would come with Rommel's withdrawal from North Africa in 1942.
When Axis members Japan and Argentina attacked the United States in April of 1941, Germany too, declared war on the U.S. This was a major strategic blunder as the U.S with its huge supplies of manpower could overwhelm the Germans. In June the Germans attacked the Russian Empire, in coordination with rioting by the Ukrainian and Lithuanian Liberation Armies, Marxist anarchist militias. The invasion was encouraged by Russian exiles such as Trotsky, who would lead the campaign. With the support of these guerrilla armies, the Germans were able to push back the large Czar's army into the Russian heartland. Throughout the Russian Empire, Marxists who Rasputin had previously oppressed broke out in revolt. Although Rasputin crushed the revolutionaries, it was a major drain on the Russian army. The Germans continued to push into Russia, but the weather began to take its toll. Rasputin, using harsh propaganda techniques, was able to rally the ethnic Russians around him. Rasputin claimed that the Jews were out to destroy Russia, and that the Slavic peoples had to unite against them. While the People's Arm froze to death, Rasputin increased his manpower. After the failed siege of Tsaritsyn, and the Battle of Kursk, the Russians turned the tide, and the Germans were increasingly forced to rely on Ukrainian and Balkan soldiers. But when ULA General Timoshenko defected to the Russians, citing Slavic brotherhood, along with a huge section of his army, the Communist offensive collapsed, and the Germans were pushed out of Eastern Europe. A revolt in Konigsberg, supported by the Russians lead to the near total withdrawal of Communists from Poland.
Generally, the quality of the German economy declined as the war wore on. Allied raids on shipping and factories, along with the large Communist bureaucracy the revolution had spawned impeded German production. Morale dropped heavily, as the nation was increasingly ruined. The German atomic program was also facing difficulty, as many German scientists had been expelled or executed due to supposed "bourgeois values." Albert Einstein, who headed the atomic program, attempted to sabotage the project, resulting in his execution. Jogiches futilely poured millions into the atomic program. Nevertheless, the Germans were able to produce two small atom bombs by 1945. It would not win them the war.
In Western Europe, the temporary Communist advantage had eroded. Right wing groups such as Action Francaise set up resistance movements, which grew as Europe grew increasingly disenchanted with Communist rule. Massive concentration camps had been set up by Zaisser to kill political enemies and capitalists, which increased resistance. Jogiches stubbornly decided to follow the course. The allies of Britain and the U.S had also worn away the German navy and air force, and had launched an invasion of Italy. Mussolini's government was defeated, despite backing from the People's Arm. On September 9th, 1944, the allies lead by Jacob Devers landed on the beaches of Normandy. The Axis lost control of Northern France, and the People's Arm was pushed back. Paris fell on December 1st, and the allied forces stormed France. The French Peoples' Republic was overthrown by French right-wing groups. Communist guerrilla warfare ensued against the allies, but waned away. In early 1945, the low countries were liberated. The Communists, acting on a plan designed by Hugo Eberlein, attempted to cut them off with and attempted assault from Lorraine to Calais, which lead to heavy Allied casualties. However, allied forces based in the Jura mountains launched a surprise assault into the Saarland, cutting off German supply routes, and leading to an allied Pyrrhic victory in the Battle of Lorraine.The Germans, in a last ditch effort to wipe out the allies, sent two forces of planes, one to London, the other to Tsaritysn to drop two atomic bombs. The forces sent to London were unable to reach the city and dropped the bomb on Canterbury; while the Tsaritsyn force was able to wipe out part of the city. However, it was too late to stop the outcome of the war. Allied propaganda campaigns had overcome the Communist International's effort. All across Europe, former collaborators turned against the Germans. With Allied attacks on both sides, the People's Arm soon occupied only Central Europe. As the allies converged on Berlin, Jogiches showed no signs of surrender. An atomic bomb was dropped on Vienna, where Rommel had been rallying potential resistance. As the allies converged on Berlin, Jogiches lead a suicide attack on the Russian lines, which occupied much of Prussia. The new chancellor, Walter Ulbricht surrendered to the Allies on November 11th, 1945. The German People's Republic had come to an end.
With the end of World War II, Germany was divided into two parts - the British, French and American occupied West Germany, and the Russian occupied East Germany, which was annexed into the Russian Empire as the Prussian Oblast in 1947. The allied occupiers soon set about removing any Communist influence within the nation. Businesses were privatized, falling into the hands of Russian oligarchs or American corporations. The nation was completely demilitarized. Under the Montgomery plan, billions were poured in to rebuild the nation. War crime trials executed Communists such as Hugo Eberlein and Wilhelm Zaisser. However, a strong Communist undercurrent remained. Small scale guerrilla warfare ensued against the occupiers, especially the Russians. But the allies soon became enemies. Tension was brewing between the United States and the Russian Empire. Control of Germany fed these tensions. The Russians blockaded the ruins of Vienna in 1948 in protest of the establishment of Israel. War came close, but the crisis was averted. When Douglas MacArthur was elected President of the United States, he turned West Germany into the Rhine Province, the newest territory in the American Empire. The British and French, recovering from the war made small objections. U.S corporations such as U.S Steel, J.P Morgan and General Motors had taken over much of the Communist bureaucracy, and reverted it to the private sector. Corporate logos and workers soon sprouted over Germany and most of Western Europe. Such capitalism kept the Marxist ideologies popular. The U.S army remained in large numbers to guard against the Russians. Some right wing Germans joined the corporations and the Army, and they were appointed to high offices in Germany. In Prussia, concentration camps were set up, and the Russians rounded up Jews and prominent Communists. Forced Labor was commonly used in both Germanys.
When World War III broke out in July 16, 1952, the Russians stormed Vienna, overcoming the small garrison established there. The Czar's Army, headed by Alexei Brusilov II, launched a massive offensive westward through Germany. The Americans and their allies had a significant garrison in the country, but were far outnumbered by the Russians. The cities of Lubeck and Erfurt were taken with two thousand American prisoners. The Americans and the British had built a line stretching from Nuremberg through Munich to the Adriatic to keep control of Bavaria and southern Germany. But Russian tanks based in Czechoslovakia were attempting to break through. In the battle of Nuremberg, a four week battle with three major Russian assaults, the Czar's Army was able to break through the Allied lines, crushing the American army, taking Nuremberg, and securing control of Bavaria. Munich managed to hold out temporarily, but a few days later Brusilov surrounded the city and forced the garrison to surrender.In the north, the Americans fared little better. The Russians had smashed through the Allied defensive lines and were storming Hesse and Hanover, against heavy allied resistance. The allied mines and bazookas destroyed many Russian tanks. The Americans made a stand in Hamburg in September, in an area where the Russians had been moving slowly. At first, the Allies, with both British and American divisions, seemed to be able to hold off the Czar's Army. But the attacks were brutal and effective, razing much of Hamburg, and Brusilov eventually destroyed the garrison there. British casualties were particularly high - the Battle of Hamburg had a devastating impact on British morale. The allies withdrew from the city, giving Russia free reign over Central Germany.
As the Russians poured through the Rhineland in the winter of 1952, it seemed that Germany would fall under fascist rule. But the Russians had taken heavy casualties, particularly their valuable tanks. Their supply lines were long and indefensible. And as his methods grew increasingly brutal, Brusilov found the Germans turned increasingly against him. The burning of many German towns and killings of civilians lead to a strong resistance network., ironically lead by several former Communists, who were joined by Americans. Allied propaganda encouraged the resistance. Heavy bombing continued on Russian bases and Berlin. Supply lines collapsed, heavy casualties taken, and the Czar's Army was encircled and isolated in the German heartland. Brusilov's plan fell apart. The offensive halted by February, and the Americans began to push back in April as the weather grew warmer. Although many of the resistance leaders were killed, their cause was successful. The allies, lead by General Matthew Ridgeway, were able to regroup and lead a major offensive in May starting in Ingoldstadt, which was used as a base to retake Bavaria. The Russians made a couple of further offensives in Hesse that slowed the Allies, but nevertheless, the Russians were losing ground. Hamburg was retaken in July, and Thuringia in August. The heavy ground taken was made possible by a revolt in Dresden, whose leaders became martyrs, and distracted the Russians. By early September, the pre-war border had been reached, and by November the allies were closing on Berlin. However, lines were overextended, and the Russians were preparing a counter-offensive. General Ridgeway, who had designed the plan, realized the Americans needed more time before a final assault. Acting against orders from MacArthur, he raided Berlin and withdrew to Wolfsberg. MacArthur was originally enraged, but when the Allies were able to defeat a massive Russian offensive from their position, Ridgeway was forgiven. Although border skirmishes and frequent bombings continued until 1955, there were no further territorial changes.
When an armistice was signed in 1955, temporarily halting the fighting, the prewar boundary was reinstated. The Montgomery Plan continued, and Germany made a rapid recovery from the wars. To prevent disasters such as the Battles of Nuremberg and Hamburg, the U.S, now the Imperial States of America, increased troop levels, drafted local Germans, and prepared for a potential push through Prussia. Factories spawned out products on a massive scale. Germany was slowly being rebuilt. Prussia meanwhile lay in ruins, as the Czar's Army occupied a desolate province. Weakened by the prolonged war, the Russians could not rebuild as fast as the Americans. The economy of the Rhine Province became the strongest in Europe by the 1960's.
When the armistice was broken in 1959, General Norstad ordered the I.S air force to target Russian bases in Berlin and the Brandenburg region. The Russians had limited bombings of Bonn and Frankfurt. However, there was no large-scale land warfare. As tensions escalated, border skirmishes increased, which threatened to explode into an all out war. When the Armenian missile crisis in 1961 lead to a renewal of land engagements, the Russians, expecting an offensive, made an attempted march to take Bonn. Brusilov behaved predictably, and the Russian forces were surrounded and crushed by the reinforced army. General Gruethner, under direct command from President MacArthur, began an attack on East Germany that would eventually would take the Russian capital of Petrograd. In the Battle of Leipzig, the better armed Americans defeated 50,000 Russian troops. With heavy air power, the I.S began a final assault on Berlin. MacArthur himself arrived to command the siege. The I.S was able to destroy the Russian fort in Potsdam, and after continuous air raids, 100,000 soldiers breached the outer defenses, surrounding the city after defeating the Russian rear guard. The Russians fought for every bit of ground, but with declining supplies, were eventually all killed or captured after a month. A few more battles were fought with the retreating Russians, including a large success at Danzig, before the I.S controlled all of Germany. Gruethner would eventually take the ruins of Petrograd. The wars for control of Germany were over.
An American Territory
The conquest of Prussia unified Germany for the first time in 15 years. The Rhine Province was reunified with Prussia into the German Commonwealth, established as part of the Imperial States in 1965. By this point, much of Germany had recovered. Rationing had ended, and most of the cities in the West had been rebuilt through the Montgomery Plan and investments by various corporations. Industrial capacity skyrocketed. Berlin was quickly rebuilt by the I.S, with the rest of the former Prussia Oblast recovering slowly. The living standard and GDP rose to the highest level since the outbreak of World War I. However, this economic advancement came at a price. Starting in 1950, the occupying powers forced Germany to continue paying the reparations mandated by the Treaty of Versailles. This slowed economic growth considerably. Also, prominent Communists were persecuted, and when Prussia was conquered, collaborators with the Russians were imprisoned. Most real political parties were banned by the Americans. The National Centre Party theoretically controlled the government, headed by the Commonwealth legislature and the appointed Chancellor governor. But the Americans, in both Federal and private institutions, really ran the country. The CIA and the German National Police patrolled the cities of Germany to crush any political opposition. A hundred thousand American troops remained based in the country after World War III to cement the occupation. When workers in Germany struck in 1960, in solidarity with their American counterparts, U.S soldiers fired upon the demonstrators, killing hundreds. The army later justified this in claiming the workers were Russian agents. American dominance seemed to be total. Save for some battered ruins in Brandenburg, Germany was the crown province of American Europe.
But after a few years, the Americans slowly turned their focus away from Europe to other parts of the world, though their grip remained tight. The troop levels were slowly reduced. In secret, opposition to the regime began to materialize. The illegal Social Democratic Party, rebuilt itself after the wars, this time firmly allied to other Social Democratic Parties throughout Europe. This new SPD, now lead by Willy Brandt, contained strong anarchist streaks. With other anti- occupation parties, the SPD formed the European Alliance (EA). Workers and former Communists also joined the efforts. Low key meetings and recruitment drives were held, often headed by enthusiastic students. The Americans were only vaguely aware of these efforts, as the organization was kept very secret. Some cells were infiltrated by the CIA, but these cells were then cut off from the EA at large. The Americans had no idea what was coming.
The Second Spanish-American war proved the trigger for the explosion of the Great European Revolt in 1967. In the past twenty years, the I.S had continued their occupation of Europe, oppressed its political life, and taken over its economy through corporations. Even worse were the conscription and drafts that forced millions of young Europeans, including Germans, to serve in the armies and factories of the Americans. This indignity was made worse by their fighting in wars that were viewed as unjust, such as the invasion of Switzerland, where thousands of conscripts died. The successful resistance of Spain against the I.S encouraged the Europeans to similarly rise against the Americans. Spain was aware of this current, and gave money, supplies, and arms to the European Alliance. While the EA was predominant in France, Germany contained thousands of members.On May 10, 1967, in coordination with other groups in Europe, the SPD, students, secret labor unions, and anarchists all took to the streets in protest of American rule. Ernest Mandel and student leaders Kurt Orbe and Oskar Lafontaine organized the protests in hope of a revolution. When the CIA attempted to quash the protests, the EA turned violent. In Bonn, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Hanover, Erfurt and Bremen, riots stormed American businesses, offices, and outposts. Government and Corporate offices were targeted alike. The German National Police, which received low wages, and had been infiltrated by the SPD, gave up stopping the protesters. Many policemen threw off their badges and joined the protestors. With the German National Police defecting to the protestors, the CIA was left powerless to respond. I.S president Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. was forced to allocate 50,000 troops from the war against the Spanish in North Africa to quell the revolt.
The Europeans took up arms against the Americans. Based in Hamburg, the I.S 63rd Division, headed by General Warner, tried to defeat the revolutionaries on their own turf. I.S troops stormed every major German city, along with smaller towns that held similar rallies. But the protests grew into the hundreds of thousands. The I.S was at first unable to force back the protestors, even with bayonets and tear gas. After a few weeks, expensive tanks were sent to roll over the protestors. The I.S took casualties, but pushed back the protestors. The revolutionaries resorted to Urban guerrilla warfare. Frequently, bombs were set off at American bases, and German gangs ambushed any American or collaborationist who they could find. The movement spread to the countryside, where the rebels could be less easily tracked. Control of some roads were seized by the revolutionaries, barring the movement of the I.S army. The cities remained a fierce battleground. When the Republic of Europe was declared in 1968, the movement resurged. I.S operations in Germany seemed to be falling apart. Independence seemed possible.
But, with heavier resources, and heavy firepower, the Americans managed to defeat the revolutionaries. The Sheridan tanks played a key role in holding back the protestors. EA neighborhoods were bombed, and food supplies to the Germans cut off. Slowly, the student based movement lost morale. With thousands dying in the protests, the movement began to fall apart. The ranks of the German National Police were refilled with Americans. The CIA arrested most of the prominent leaders of the EA. Mandel and Lafontaine were executed. Only Willy Brandt managed to escape the CIA. The country side militias continued their struggle for a while longer, but with I.S commandos routing out their bases, withered away. Even into the mid 1970's, however, secret bombings and revolutionary effort remained frequent and kept the I.S on edge.
Although the protests/riots in Germany had been a serious threat to American rule, the farther west of Germany a nation was, the stronger the resistance against the I.S France and Spain became the most heavily occupied, while Germany was neglected. As a result, Willy Brandt was able to keep alive part of the base of the Revolt.
Though a brief financial panic occurred in 1968 due to the Great European Revolt, the German economy remained the strongest in Europe. By 1975, the economy was booming again. When Andrew Goodpaster became I.S president, he ended some of the repressive policies in the German Commonwealth. The CIA's powers were limited, and the SPD was legalized. More I.S troops were withdrawn from Germany. Seeking to avoid another Revolt, Goodpaster allowed some concessions to the Germans to increase popular support. A minimum wage was instituted, and fair elections were held for the first time. Germany began to gain some limited control over its destiny. In 1978, however, a worldwide economic slump caused by a drop in manufacturing caused a Depression. Corporations laid off workers en masse, moving their factories to find cheaper labor. Goodpaster's reforms seemed small comfort against high unemployment rates and inflation. And for the most part, the military and corporations still controlled Germany. The opposition leaders decided to press Goodpaster harder for further reforms.
In July of 1980, the SPD released a manifesto that was secretly distributed across Germany. Known as the Brandt Manifesto, named after its author, it outlined ten points for the restoration of fair government in Germany. The manifesto included limited public ownership, the withdrawal of the CIA, privacy rights, real power for the German Legislature, and free elections for a national chancellor. The manifesto halted at requesting outright independence, as Brandt considered it unrealistic. Over several months, the manifesto grew support as the economy continued to sink. Seeking to avoid a repeat of the disastrous Great European Revolt, Brandt encouraged civic discourse and nonviolence as an alternative to full blown revolt. The more moderate German Student's Union, lead by Hans Hirsch, began planning a massive protest as the beginning of a non violent resistance movement. The protests were designed to hasten Goodpaster's reforms.
On August 1, 1981, thousands of students assembled in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to begin these protests. The Police were sent in to contain the protests. As the protests grew into the hundreds of thousands, the army was sent in. When hecklers in the crowd taunted the American troops, the army shot into the crowd, killing dozens. Hirsch lead students in blocking the army, chanting slogans. Berlin was on the verge of being shut down. Colonel Hayworth sent in tanks to disperse the protests. Many students were killed, and the protests broke out into riots. Soldiers continued to shoot at the students, some of whom entrenched themselves across Berlin. Televised broadcasts showed I.S troops burning down buildings and picket lines manned by heavily outgunned students. Many turned to violence, and bombed the I.S office in Berlin, essentially the capital building. As a result, the occupying I.S administration neared collapse. However, Hans Hirsch, the very public face of the movement, went on a hunger strike to protest. He too, was shot by a squad of CIA agents. Although far worse had occurred in German history, with Goodpaster's loosening of media restrictions, the protests were televised across the world. Millions were horrified at the students' massacre. When Goodpaster stood by the government's reaction, his popular support collapsed. Reformists were angry at Goodpaster's imperialist actions, while the Imperialists questioned how Goodpaster had allowed Germany to be effectively shut down for a month. The protests had stopped government functions in the capital, but in the end, the protests had failed.
Goodpaster then reversed several of his reforms. Thousands of extra troops were sent to patrol Germany. The CIA's powers were reinstated, and agents quickly arrested many opposition leaders. Willy Brandt managed to elude arrest again. The SPD was outlawed, and the small unions were abolished. When Standard Oil President David Rockefeller assumed the I.S presidency in 1983, any hope for reform vanished. But the protests had managed to stir unrest against the Americans, and the Brandenburg Gate riot leaders were remembered as martyrs. As the Imperial Depression wore on, the increasingly poor and oppressed people of Europe grew increasingly desperate- all they needed was a leader to spark rebellion. They would find that leader in a mysterious french woman who called herself Joan.
The Wars of Independence
The early 1980's saw the beginning of the Imperial Depression. The I.S directed economy stagnated due to long periods of wars and insurgencies. The arms industry, traditionally the third rail of the I.S economy, had been in decline since the Second Spanish-American War. By 1983, the arms industry was nearing bankruptcy, resulting in the closure of factories and the weakening of financial institutions. Germany had one of the strongest economies in the I.S.A, but they still suffered from the Depression. Unemployment rose, and basic necessities became increasingly expensive. In the first two years after the Brandenburg Marches, open opposition to the Americans was extremely limited, although the majority of Germans wanted the Americans to leave. They were simply too intimidated to act. France was a different story. Occasional riots and vandalism was becoming more frequent. French politicians were also more aggressive in opposing the Americans. The Mayor of Paris was eventually executed in 1985 in response to his reformist and anti-American policies. In response to this, Joan began her insurgency.
Joan began organizing a guerrilla army to attack American forces in Europe. She also released an anarchist manifesto and a popular underground newsletter. At first, her organization was based primarily in France. After Joan assassinated the Supreme Imperial Commander for Europe, Harold Haig, the remnants of the German Resistance took notice. Former Brandenburg marchers and students organized into loosely united militias. Willy Brandt smuggled arms, both from Germany and from the former Russia, to insurgents across Europe. He was somewhat marginalized as more radical leaders such as Horst Mahler gained prominence. But active violence didn't begin until after the Munich Massacre, where the I.S indiscriminately firebombed neighborhoods in Munich while trying to oppress a strike. This lead to riots and outright attacks on Americans in Germany. The militias began targeting American installations and their German collaborators. The central offices of the Americans in Berlin were completely destroyed, severely effecting Imperial rule. The militias bombed buildings in the night, and made targeted assassinations and kidnappings. Roadside bombs targeted American troops, and incognito militia members killed any Imperialist they saw in the streets. The former union members also organized into militias and began a campaign of industrial sabotage. Although the militias were independent, they were allied with each other, and considered themselves a part of Joan's Army. Willy Brandt and a few other professional dissidents served as a central leadership for The Resistance, though their power was limited. After a time, Joan herself began sending insurgents and arms to aid the Germans. Feelings of mistrust between the Germans and French had eroded due to a growth of Pan-Europeanism and anti-Americanism. The Germans were as much a part of Joan's army as the French.
Although the Imperial government successfully crushed the militias who initially launched attacks, their later efforts were disorganized and ineffective. The German insurgency was primarily focused on sabotage and quiet attacks, in contrast to the more robust Spanish, French, Serbian, and Polish insurgencies. The Americans thus did not focus much on the Germans, allowing the militias to rapidly expand. As the Imperial Depression dragged on into the late 1980's, Joan's Army gained more popular support. Moderate Germans, initially repelled by Joan's Army's terrorist tactics, supported them as the country continued to suffer under American rule. An underground economy also developed, as I.S corporate control over Germany weakened. The Americans largely remained in their bases and "Green Zones" as the streets became more dangerous. Nevertheless, they still had superior firepower and heavy political control.
Finally, in 1990, the Germans took their struggle into the open. After the invasion of Afghanistan and the South African Revolution, Black Americans rioted. The riots soon spread across the I.S.A, including Europe. With the I.S.A facing war and revolt across the world, these riots were particularly effective. A million Germans took to the streets and attacked any institution or person representing American rule they could find. For a time, it seemed the Americans had completely lost control of the country. The lack of organization and infighting amongst the militias hampered attempts to completely overthrow the Americans however. When President Rockefeller was overthrown by Secretary of War Cheney, the Americans responded fast. I.S forces were sent to clear the streets, shooting and bombing the rioters without remorse. Therefore the rioters retreated and the Americans reasserted control.
Cheney's strategy was far more brutal and direct then that of Rockefeller. He sent in more troops, and ordered random killings and night raids. Thousands perished due to his counter-insurgency tactics. But Cheney was most focused on killing Joan and crushing the French. As the French insurgency took heavy damage, Joan was forced to flee to the Alps. Therefore, the relatively undamaged German insurgency took on increased importance in the struggle for European liberation. Willy Brandt thus launched an intensive bombing campaign to wipe out the American bases and take the focus off Joan. This campaign resulted in renewed focus by the I.S, as their bases, their primary seat of power, took heavy damage. Their bases in Bavaria and Austria took particularly heavy damage. Cheney inserted more troops to crush the insurgents, and they maintained order, for a while.
Following the assassination of Cheney in 1993, a brief civil war erupted in the I.S between imperialists and reformers. The Germans attempted to take advantage of this by stepping up their bombing campaign and trying to wipe out all I.S bases. The increasingly autonomous I.S forces in Germany, headed by the Reformist general Theodore Zumwalt, managed to stop any extra rebel efforts during the civil war. The new I.S president, Reformist James Forbes, took a more conciliatory approach to the Germans. He implemented less harsh tactics, and gave more control to the German government, who had been largely sidelined during the insurgency. Anti-Imperialist politicians who had left the government during the riots of 1990 returned to nominal control. Forbes called for calm and promised to address European concerns, even as Joan was killed in Hungary. The European economy also improved as the Imperial Depression lessened. As a result, insurgent attacks declined and moderate Germans started to co-operate more with the Americans.
By 1996, this sense of goodwill towards the Americans had evaporated. It was time for yet another major revolt against the Americans. This revolt was more focused in Eastern Europe and the Balkans as opposed to the primarily French and Dutch revolts. Rebels began asserting direct control in Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo. As these Balkan insurgents smuggled arms and supplies into Germany, Horst Mahler ordered a series of armed riots. They were moderately successful in Prussia, but especially so in Hamburg. The rioters and insurgents managed to destroy the American base and completely overthrow American rule, establishing the Free City of Hamburg. As Forbes lost control over the Balkans, the Imperialist General Jones of Poland decided to declare himself President of the I.S.A and completely rejected Forbes' authority. He thus invaded Germany in an attempt to "restore order." Forbes thus focused I.S forces into Germany to stop Jones. After Jones bombed Berlin, Dresden, and Nuremburg, killing thousands of German civilians, Forbes and the insurgents agreed to a temporary truce. The Germans then focused most of their attacks on General Jones' invading forces. After the Republic of the Volga attacked Poland and the Baltic nations in the summer of 1997, Jones' offensive collapsed, and by 1998 his domains were divided among the Volgans, Americans and insurgents.
Because of the invasion, I.S forces were still heavily present in Northern Germany, occupying Hamburg. There was a temporary lull in the insurgency. But Austria had declared independence in 1997, and the I.S, busy in China and elsewhere, was unwilling to contest this. By 1998, the near total destruction of American bases resulted in rebels gaining complete control over Bavaria. From there, the German Democratic Republic was declared, and insurgents attacked I.S forces in the North. The I.S still held Berlin and most of the major cities, but the countryside fell under rebel control. Baden-Wurttemburg was under rebel control by the beginning of 1999. By the summer of 2000, I.S control was limited to Prussia, Saxony, and the Northern Rhineland.
In 2002, the I.S lost control of Tokyo, resulting in the total collapse of the war with China. The I.S armed forces then rejected the authority of the government in Washington, and civil war broke out as various I.S factions sought to establish control. The remaining I.S forces in Berlin and Saxony thus surrendered to the German Democratic Republic, disbanded, and fled to America. Many German collaborators fled with them. Ludwig Herzog thus assumed the presidency of a united, independent Germany. His power was very limited, however. Militias and insurgents, particularly anarchists, largely held local control. The Germans, having lost their nationalism to a sense of Pan-Europeanism, fractured politically even as boundaries became increasingly meaningless. Since 1871, Germans had submitted to a central power in Berlin or Hamburg. That time was at an end, as the German state became irrelevant and a United leftist Europe arose from the ashes. Although the Communists had failed to make their ideology permanent, the revolution in Europe was a success.