Alternate History

Luxembourg (1983: Doomsday)

39,912pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Add New Page Talk42
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Großherzogtum Luxemburg
Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg

Timeline: 1983: Doomsday
Flag of Luxembourg Coat of Arms of Luxembourg
Flag Coat of Arms
Location of Luxembourg

Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn (Luxembourgish)
("We want to remain what we are")

Capital Luxembourg
Largest city Luxembourg
Other cities Diekirch, Saarbrücken, Euphen, Esch-sur-Alzette, Thionville
Language German, French, Luxembourgish
Grand Duke Henri
  Royal house: Nassau-Weilburg
Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker
Area est. 8,000 km²
Population 200,000 
Currency Luxembourgish & Belgian francs

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a small landlocked country located in Western Europe. Luxembourg is a parliamentary representative democracy with a constitutional monarch; it is ruled by a Grand Duke. It is the world's only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy.


Before the War

In the years after World War II, Luxembourg had emerged as a steadfast supporter of the West and a leader on European integration, being a founding member of NATO and the European Economic Community, as well as the United Nations. Luxembourg City was the home of both the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Auditors. Its economy soared from the 1970s onward, propelled by its financial sector, which replaced metallurgy as Luxembourg's chief source of income. Despite being part of the NATO military alliance, the country was militarily and strategically insignificant, with less than 1000 men in its army.


Luxembourg reference map

The situation in the aftermath of the war

Luxembourg was the only NATO country not to be targeted by the USSR or its allies on 26 September 1983. A number of nearby places were targeted by nuclear weapons, the closest being the West German air bases at Bitburg and Sprangdahlem. The city and air base of Metz in France was also hit, as were targets not far away in Belgium. If the European Institutions in Luxembourg City were to be the target of conventional attacks after the initial nuclear strike, those attacks never came to be. Anyway, the courts could hardly be expected to function in the chaotic circumstances gripping Western Europe after the war.

Grand Duke Jean was in the main royal residence at Schlass Berg (Castle Berg) in the center of the country. He reluctantly ordered the rest of the grand ducal family to leave the capital and join him. In the few days after Doomsday, the twin dangers of wind-borne radiation and refugees began to cross the country's borders. The south of the country, around Luxembourg City, was by far the worst affected. Its population was denser, and its economy was focused on commerce and industry, the only significant agriculture being its vineyards. Critical food shortages were worsened by the human flood arriving from the region's road connections with Germany, France, and Belgium. From Germany, refugees from Trier came, fleeing the bombing of German bases to the north and east; refugees from the Metz area, which was bombed directly, come from the other direction. They completely overwhelmed the region's infrastructure.

The central and northern area of the country, part of the Ardennes forest, fared better at the beginning. It was more sparsely populated, it had fewer road connections outside the country, and it still was home to farms growing food that could be eaten locally. Gradually, members of the government fled northward to join Jean at Berg. For a time, they tried to maintain some control over the situation in the capital. The government ordered a general conscription to supplement the soldiers trying to maintain order; this was resisted. They also conscripted local people in the villages around Berg to help protect the royal residence, which was more successful.

In mid-October, the small army fled northward from the capital, unable to maintain order. Eventually they too made their way to the vicinity of Berg. The country's leaders had to resign themselves to operating a government-in-exile within their own borders. The government seized direct control of local administration within the perimeter they controlled, which at this stage was roughly limited to Mirsch canton (see map). For the remaining months of the year, the government resumed contact with the northern half of Luxembourg and tried to reassure everyone that it had survived.


By 1984, it became clear that the Luxembourgish state was failing. The winter of 1983-4 saw famine conditions grip even the north, while death by starvation was the fate of many in the south.

In the capital, gangs had taken control with the breakdown of civil government. Despite repeated efforts, government forces were unable to take control or even coordinate what little aid there was to lend. In Berg, conditions continued to deteriorate. The government-in-exile was torn by disagreements over how to deal with the refugees, who were now beginning to turn northward. Some attempted a conciliatory policy toward the newcomers, but conciliation proved impossible. Several gangs from the city clashed with remnants of the army as both sides foraged for food. Prime Minister Pierre Werner was killed in an accident, which further hurt the government's cohesion. As things continued to fall apart, a number of members of government left Berg for communities farther north. The government still found some time to legislate, however. In 1984 it enacted a long-discussed constitutional revision to make Luxembourgish, the national language, co-official with German and French.

By the end of the year, the chaotic state of things had reduced the government's defensive perimeter to little more than the village of Berg itself. It lost contact with most surrounding communities, which were quickly becoming empty themselves through starvation or exodus to the countryside.


By now, Grand Duke Jean and what remained of the Berg government were falling into the role of one faction among many. Their prestige gave them some advantages in competing with the various gangs and other factions, and of course native Luxembourgers still felt loyal to them, but they were unable to hold on to followers if they could not provide for them. The population remained unstable. Many people continued to leave their own communities and settle where they thought they could get food more reliably. Since foreigners now practically matched native Luxembourgers within the country's borders, the government could not rely on the people's automatic loyalty.

Gradually, some communities returned to grand ducal control. The rule of law remained an ideal seldom reached, however. People needed food and protection, and where Jean and the Berg government could provide both, they were able to exert their authority.

In 1985, after two years of trying, the Berg government made radio contact outside the country. The town of Arlon, Belgium had been under the rule of a wandering Belgian army unit for a year. As NATO allies, the Belgians and the Luxembourg government agreed to support one another. One of their first priorities was securing the road between them, the Route d'Arlon. The two governments could reliably travel on the road by mid-1986, though they did not directly control its entire length yet.

Jean was by now more or less personally running the government. In 1986 he took several trips south to treat with local strongmen, but his diplomacy was by and large unsuccessful. He was unable to reassert government control of the capital. However, with help from the Belgian soldiers he greatly improved the government's standing in the north, and the grand duchy again controlled a discernible chunk of territory.


Henri de Luxembourg

Grand Duke Henri

Society had almost completely broken down in the south, but with help from the Belgians, the Berg government had restored some measure of stability to central Luxembourg. Berg was now accepted as the de facto capital. In 1987, the re-establishment of the Luxembourg state continued with the election of a new Chamber of Deputies. All communities loyal to Berg, including some in the far north that were only intermittently in contact with it, elected members. The grand duchy was clearly now more a confederation of survivor villages than a modern unitary state. That same year, Grand Duke Jean died due to complications arising from the difficult circumstances in Berg. Henri, his son, inherited the throne.

The close partnership between Berg and Arlon led to talk about uniting. Local leaders in Arlon, not the soldiers who still governed the town, first raised the issue in 1987. Arlon, after all, had been a part of Luxembourg province in Belgium, which before that had been part of Luxembourg itself. The same local leaders began insistently demanding a greater share of power in Arlon. The military agreed to restore some measure of civilian power in 1988.

In 1988, Henri continued to solidify grand ducal rule in Luxembourg. He put a new administration in place to coordinate the activities of the different villages, so that they did not have to fend for themselves quite so much. The new administration marked the end of the Berg government's behaving like a government-in-exile. It now committed itself to the good governance of the area under its control.

Arlon and Luxembourg formally merged in 1989 by request of the people of Arlon, although the two areas' administration remained separate for some years. From Arlon, the country began to expand westward into the sparsely populated parts of Luxembourg Province. The remnants of the Luxembourgish and Belgian militaries were integrated, and they began a vigorous recruitment drive to help secure Luxembourg's expanding frontiers.

By the early 1990s, Luxembourg was showing signs of recovery. The united Berg-Arlon government had consistent control over its own territory, although it failed in its attempts to expand into the south. A money economy was re-emerging, and the government found itself regulating the value of old Luxembourger and Belgian francs. The country was not yet a democracy, despite the election of a new Chamber of Delegates, which included members from the formerly Belgian territory, in 1992. Citing the emergency, the ruling clique of Grand Duke Henri, the Belgian soldiers, and other unelected leaders often ignored the Chamber's decisions and continued to set policy themselves.


By the mid-1990s, the power of the gangs in Luxembourg City was collapsing. Much of this was simply due to the sharp decline in the region's population. But it was also due to the growing prestige of the grand ducal government, which had been extremely successful in stabilizing the north. In 1996, army troops entered the ruined capital for the first time in more than a decade. Henri followed and raised the grand ducal standard triumphantly over the old palace. A large part of the people, who by now were mostly French- or German-born, welcomed him.

The following year the government, which had been split between Arlon and Berg, officially moved back to Luxembourg City. Henri and the military announced their intention to restore constitutional rule, and they empowered the Chamber of Deputies to modify Luxembourg's old constitution in light of the current situation. Work began immediately; the biggest change was a provision to allow the legislature to create new cantons out of reclaimed territory.

In 1998, 14 Doomsday survivors who had been teachers or had held advanced degrees formed Luxembourger University, the country's first. Its purpose was to preserve higher learning and provide for the intellectual needs of young people who had grown up since the disaster. Before long, their effort would be officially recognized, and later co-funded, by the Grand Duke and the government.

The constitution went into effect early in 1999. With the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, Henri finally stepped aside to adopt a mostly ceremonial role. The formerly Belgian territories centered on Arlon were finally fully integrated into the country. The new constitution highlighted Luxembourg's successful recovery. It had restored a functioning state in the chaotic mess of western Europe. It had gained control over almost all Luxembourgish territory, plus adjacent parts of Belgium. Through the person of the grand duke, and such old guard as Delegate Jean-Claude Juncker, the government could claim direct continuity with prewar Luxembourg.

Luxembourg was also emerging as a regional power, relatively speaking. Survivor communities in the surrounding area were looking to it for aid. In 1999 the parliament voted to send aid to survivors in the Trier region, beginning the steady growth of Luxembourgish influence in Germany.

Since 2000

Priemier Ministre Juncker

Prime Minister Juncker being sworn in, 2007

In the 2000s the outside world discovered Luxembourg. The Flemish Republic of Lille made contact in 2000, and in 2003 contact was made with Burgundy. These small, successful survivor republics in France had much in common with postwar Luxembourg, and friendly relations immediately began. Also in 2003, explorers from North Germany, the Northern German survivor state, reached the grand duchy.

The country continued to expand. In 2001, the Chamber of Deputies created a canton for a part of Pfalz under Luxembourgish control, the first canton of many in Germany. In 2003, a military expedition pacified a belligerent community in northwestern Saarland. Internally, Luxembourg was also improving. A large rebuilding program in the capital began in 2002.

In 2005, Luxembourg made contact with new major powers of Europe, the Alpine Confederation and the Nordic Union. Luxembourg was still very isolated, but was now an accepted member of the community of survivor nations. In 2008 Luxembourg decided not yet to join the League of Nations when news of its creation reached the country: it cited the expense of sending a delegate to far-off Tonga. However, it did accept offers of closer ties with the Atlantic Defense Community. The old NATO allies offered it an "partner status" in 2009, praising it for its successes and recognizing its former role in the alliance. Luxembourg officially joined as a partner on March 10, 2010. The unique status within the organization allowed Luxembourg to participate more fully than a mere observer, but not on the same level as the full members. The area served as a stopover base for ADC aircraft heading southward during the Second Sicily War. In 2012, Luxembourg became a full member when the ADC carried out its plans to make it the headquarters of its Mainland Brigade, the center of all operations in central Europe.



A view of downtown Luxembourg City, the capital and largest city of the Grand Duchy

In addition to controlling its original territory, Luxembourg has now expanded into its neighboring countries. To the east it occupies around half of the former German state of Saarland as well as small parts of Rhineland-Palatinate. It has seen smaller growth into the French région of Lorraine. Luxembourgish expansion here has been kept small, partly because of its larger population, and partly because most of this territory now belongs to Bourgogne-et-Franche-Comté.

It largest territorial gains have been to the north in Belgium. Here it controls parts Belgian Walloon Region, in particular the latter's provinces of Luxembourg and Liège, more in particular the German-speaking Community of Belgium. Because of this the countries territory now covers most of the areas lost in the 1659 partitions of Luxembourg. These gains however are more due to necessity in restoring order to surrounding regions than they are at regaining long lost territory.



The Luxembourgish franc

Luxembourg maintains a small survivalist economy. Although it maintains good agriculture as well as metallurgy the loss of tourism, banking, and telecommunications came as a huge blow to the country. The country currently lacks any significant reserves of oil or natural gas. Though hydroelectric and wind power plants have been set up it is only enough to supply Luxembourg's minimum energy requirements. To prevent an overflow of refugees, much of the countries transportation systems were intentionally destroyed in the years after 1983. Luxembourg still maintains a small airport though it hasn't seen much activity post doomsday. Luxembourg is currently in negotiations with the Alpine Confederation and the Nordic Union to get transport and cargo flights restarted here.

Major corporations that have survived or been re-founded in the country include ARBED, RTL Group, Ferrero Rocher Chocolate, and Radio Luxembourg. The Luxembourgish franc is used as the national currency, though the designs on some of the coins and banknotes have been changed to reflect the annexed parts of the bordering nations. The franc is subdivided into 100 centimes. As the currency was already pegged 1:1 to the Belgian franc, old Belgian currency can be used interchangeably with the Luxembourgish franc. The Germans and French, however, had to completely convert their currency.


Luxembourg standard

Personal standard of the Grand Duke

Luxembourg is a parliamentary democracy headed by a constitutional monarch who holds the title of Grand Duke. The political system of Luxembourg is almost identical to the one used before Doomsday. However with new territory added onto the country a few changes have been made. Most notable is that the administrative divisions of Luxembourg have greatly grown. The country is now divided into seven districts which are further divided into 39 cantons and then 322 communes. This is up from a pre-nuclear war three districts, 12 cantons, and 116 communes. Also a few political parties from France, Germany, and Belgium have established a presence in the country.

International relations

Luxembourg has for years struggled to maintain presence in the international community. Contact with the French countries of Lille-et-Terres-Flamande and Bourgogne-et-Franche-Comté remains relatively easy to establish. However, since these are mere survivor states relations with them, while friendly, have remained a low priority. Thanks to widespread destruction of telecommunication networks across Europe Luxembourg can only communicate with the outside world via radio. The League of Nations has offered the country membership, which Luxembourg states it will accept when it can actively participate in the organization.

It remains to be seen the future status of Luxembourg's current borders. The Republic of the French Southern Territories still claims the French mainland. However, it lacks the abilities to control the area, so the issue will remain unimportant for some time. As Belgium's government was wiped out on the attack on Brussels, the Belgian areas of Luxembourg remain a non-issue. North Germany has actually thanked Luxembourg for helping the former German areas and has dropped any territorial claims against the country.

Luxembourg is a member of the Atlantic Defense Community.


Soldats luxembourgeois

Luxembourgish soldiers during national day.

With numerous raiding parties harassing the country as well as increased influx of refugees, the national army had to be quickly enlarged. Despite its unpopularity Luxembourg had no choice but to enact forced conscription. Since 1983 the military has quickly grown from about 800 men to over 5000 today. Most of these forces are simply foot solders set up to patrol the border as well as put down any unrest. In recent years Luxembourg has been trying to replace its conscript army with a professional one, but this has been a long and troublesome process. Luxembourg is able to produce its own weapons, but lack of petroleum limits use of armored vehicles to emergencies only.

As headquarters of the ADC's Mainland Brigade, Luxembourg has housed many foreign military personnel since the Brigade began operations in 2012. The largest installation is the old civilian airport just east of the capital, which has been fully restored as a military air base. Most land troops are based to the north in the town of Diekirch. Other ADC personnel work in offices in the central capital. Most foreign troops and staff come from the Nordic countries and North Germany, but small numbers can be found from all member countries. The presence of the Brigade has transformed Luxembourg into a key point on the strategic map of Europe. It is expected that the country will be the center for all future ADC action in Europe's interior.


The country is unique in that it has a majority of minorities. Although Luxembourgers form the largest group, if combined the number of French, Belgian and Germans would outnumber them easily. Still given that Luxembourg has a history between these nations as well as a large number of cross border workers, these "foreigners" were easily incorporated into the country. In recent years these people have been increasingly assimilated into mainstream Luxembourgish culture and many have fully embraced their new identities.

After a constitutional revision in 1984 Luxemborg is officially a trilingual nation; French, German, and Luxembourgish are all used. French is the main language, followed by German. Luxembourgish is the least spoken language, but holds a special status as the countries "language of heart". Luxembourg is a secular state, though most of its citizens are Catholic Christians. Atheism has also has a large following and has been on the rise in recent years.

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki