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Old 06-07-2021, 08:56 AM
Ursus Maior Ursus Maior is offline
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Default On V.1 Background: Germany and the Bundeswehr in the Eighties

In another thread, Raellus and I have started a discussion on how Germany behaved politically in terms of foreign and security politics, and consequently if or under which circumstances (elements of) the Bundeswehr would have exploited the perceived weakness of its neighbors to start a war of agression and revise then-current borders.

In other terms: How likely was the flashpoint or casus belli first edition gave in its narrated history?

I did not want to derail Raellus' thread any further, but felt, I had several comments on his last contribution. So I opened up a new one here.

I will start from the end, because it's a more specific item and then work my way to the more complex question in the beginning of the comment, which is actually not any question, but The German Question.

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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Likewise, a constitution is a piece of paper. It can be rewritten or simply ignored (sadly, this happens rather frequently in the developing world). I don't mean to be glib, but there's precedent for ignoring/rewriting a constitution in 20th century German history. In 1995 (v1 timeline), the W. German constitution was barely 40 years old. Just because it restricted the Bundeswehr from conducting offensive operations against a neighbor, doesn't mean that the Bundeswehr would sit on its hands given the geo-political situation of the timeline.
I think it's a misconception that laws are merely pieces of paper and texts like a constitution could be dismissed so easily in such central points. A constitution is always a common denominator, even if it's probably the least. If one takes a look at the general discourse of changing or amending the US constitution for whatever purpose and how volatile these discourses can become, then "piece of paper" does not grasp the importance of a constitution, especially for democratic societies.

Speaking of that, the idea of 'never again' being the aggressor in a war is so deep-rooted in German culture - both civilian and military - that Germany did not participate in Desert Storm. In fact, military operations outside of NATO's area were deemed unconstitutional until the Federal Constitutional Court ruled otherwise in 1994 and even then the Kosovo War only saw Germany participating militarily, since the 'never again' of looming genocide trumped the 'never again' of military aggression. Participating in the war nonetheless almost tore apart the ruling parties of Social-Democrats and Green party.

In light of this major cultural focus of being non-aggressive and honoring the United Nations Charta of fostering peaceful coexistence between nations, imagining a cabal of German officers planning and conducting an annexation of the GDR, even more since the army of the GDR (the NVA) supposedly stood by doing nothing. Not only would all leadership personnel be in breach of the constitution, but the German penal code has an explicit name for the crime they would be committing: preparation of a war of aggression (§ 80 StGB) and before that incision of a war of aggression (§80a StGB as amended 1975), quite likely that would also qualify as high treason. So everyone would face up to ten years of imprisonment and even lower ranks would face up to five years for just rallying subordinates to the cause.

Additionally, all orders that clearly aid these purposes would be illegal to follow and since such an invasion could very well be perceived as an attempt to alter the constitution of Germany, under Article 20 of the German constitution every German citizen would have the right to resist (including active resistance), as soon as it becomes evident that the authorities do not want to or cannot control the officer's cabal and their force of invasion. Given that Germany at that time had a quite active extremist left that was already conducting 'direct actions' against military and police forces (google 'RAF'), even a sign of military forces behaving unconstitutional would have had huge consequences for Germany. I would say that left-wing terrorist groups would have swollen in ranks and had a field day conducting urban guerilla actions against all kinds of government installations.

This is in addition to internal strife the Bundeswehr would have had to endure. Since the Bundeswehr was a force mainly relying on conscripts, and these conscripts come from all parts of the society - to which they returned each Friday afternoon - keeping secrets was difficult. Since the 1980s there was also a very left-leaning military watchdog group (Darmstädter Signal) that would have blown the whistle on any action remotely looking like an act of aggression. Their work was at least directly supported by the union of soldiers of the Bundeswehr, so strong-arming or silencing such a group would not have been easy. That's getting pretty big picture now, which is why I will switch to the other item.

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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Your location tag says Germany. If you are indeed a German citizen, then I defer to your first-hand knowledge of German culture and national sentiment. I had no idea that West Germans were glad to be rid of their East German counterparts after the forced partition. When I was a kid watching the Berlin Wall come down on my TV screen, it sure looked like the folks on the west side of the wall were happy to welcome their neighbors from the east side. If most West Germans were happy to be separated from the East, why reunify at all? Why not remain two Germanies (albeit both democratic and more or less capitalistic)? Surely, there's more to it than that.
Yes, I am German and this is not making the discussion any easier for me, since I need to balance between my personal experience - I was kid like you, when the Wall came down, but we lived in the Southwest of Germany - my experience as a soldier in the Bundeswehr - I would have certainly served during Operation Reset - and my knowledge as a historian on that topic. Let me give it a try, but bear in mind that this is a topic to fill books and hours of lecture at universities.

Germany works differently from its more centralized neighbors in Europe. Until 1871 Germany was not a unified nation, but a collection of principalities and kingdoms. Borders mattered a lot to people, because they were everywhere. That did not change in the 20th century, though the borders did. The German main population centers were always in Western Germany, except for Berlin, and all large cities were here too, except for Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig. In fact, except for Munich and Hamburg (plus the smaller Hannover and Bremen) all large cities were actually located along the Rhine and its tributaries. This made post-war Western Germany with its width of usually around 200 km a very cozy place. Of course, until 1945 there were also Königsberg and Danzig (Gdansk), plus Silesian Kattowice (then: Kattowitz), but they were 1,000 km away from the Rhine and everyone was of the opinion that loosing these territories was the logical, usually also fair price for loosing the war and having committed the holocaust and other atrocities. Also, even before 1945 had hardly anyone rooted for Eastern Prussia. It was basically synonymous with being underdeveloped, uncivilized and illiberal, plus - as racism was prevalent - full of non-Germans.

Being German was always something that was more a label against outsiders, who were not German, than it was something marking identification inwardly. Within Germany, people were Bavarian, Rhinelanders, Westphalians, Hanseats or Frisian, but not German, thanks to centuries of particularized principalities. So, when in 1946 the Iron Curtain dropped, two very different German identities began to emerge. Yes, certainly, East Germans were Germans, too, but they were living in the less populous, less economically developed and less ancient parts of Germany and so the 15 million citizens of the GDR were always more belittled by their 60+ million West German relatives than actually missed.

So, when the Wall dropped, certainly there were pictures of West Germans that were waving flags as East Germans crossed the border. But that was at the border and this euphoria depleted quickly. Where I was living, near the French border, I guarantee you that I did see not a single flag being waved, but a lot of people were asking how to pay for closing the gap everyone knew existed. And when the East Germans came in masses and stayed looking for work, instead of leaving the next day, returning to the East, they were not greeted any longer. Instead there were articles in (large) newspapers and magazines how 'they' would take our jobs and cost us billions.

So, why then was there a reunification? Because of probably three factors. First, the German Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl seized the opportunity, he saw dawning in 1989. In 1988 the economic crisis hit Germany hard and his reelection in 1990 was dubious at best. When the USSR started to implode and the GDR faced huge weekly demonstrations by civil rights groups, he took the opportunity, once he realized that it was there and it was not opposed by the reformed socialist government.

Second, the people of East Germany at first talked about reforming their nation, not reuniting with the West. But at some point Chancellor Kohl published a Ten Point Plan, talking about "structures of a confederation" between the two German states. However, a confederation would not have given East Germany the economical or fiscal means to reform itself. East Germany would have faced a fate more like the other Eastern European states with years or decades or hardship and little means to close the gap. But while people from other nations were largely not eligible to immigrate into Germany, East Germans would have been able to immigrate into the West German part of that confederation, since they were - under the law of both German states - Germans and thus could not be denied citizenship.

So reunification put an end to the mass-exodus from East Germany, which was eviscerating the already failing economy, while costing West-Germany money, since there were not enough jobs in the West to employ all Germans equally. Jobs were not only scarce because of the economical crisis of 1988, but also because in West Germany industrialization had already begun in the same way the US Steel Belt became the Rust Belt: the economies of the world were integrating rapidly and it was now cheaper to produce iron, steel, copper or cloths in India and ship them around the globe than pay high wages in Europe. To put it simple: Reunification stopped East German unemployment to become a West German problem and thus saved Chancellor Kohl the next two elections, because he could declare the Reconstruction of East Germany a national project that was so large that "everyone will have to tighten their belts", but it could be done.

And the third point is "euphoria". Emotions are a huge deal in politics and can influence elections a lot. Chancellor Kohl was inciting euphoria and his program for the elections of 1990 was simple: I brought you reunification and ended us being a state half occupied by the USSR and half way into nuclear war. His political opponent, a Social Democrat, was unfortunate not to be in this good a position and dumb enough to oppose reunification openly. You see, while West Germans cared little for East Germans and often belittled them, Germans on both sides enjoyed the premise to again "be a nation". This sentiment of "we're back" and being recognized again as one nation under equals was a huge deal on an emotional level, at least for the generation that was in power, who were born in the 1930s and 1940s.

Chancellor Kohl took advantage of these emotions and sentiments, while also taking advantage of the East Germans: It was with their votes that he won the election and they voted for him, because he promised them "blossoming landscapes" within a few years, but instead he was condemning them to years of living in a second-class economy with severely smaller paychecks federally decreed. Though then, what would have been the alternative? Letting East Germany slip into an economical abyss, from which everyone who could walk would have escaped into the West, where no jobs were available? Reunification was not so much a solution as a deferral of the problem what to do with 15 million people, who - economically speaking - were basically "left over" and whose work was of no value to the free market system of Western Nations, but keeping them working in the East was better than having them being unemployed in the West. Of course the economical problem was never properly solved, euphoric sentiments began to turn sour and reconciliation was never properly achieved, also owing to East Germany still being treated differently in many ways.

In yesterday's election in one of East Germany's state legislators, the largest German right-extremist and neo-fascist party barely missed what at the polls for a long time looked like their first possible victory of achieving state government. Among the ranks of this party are also former Bundeswehr soldiers, including at least one general, and other security sensitive personnel. So, for 2035, I would not rule out a scenario like GDW described in 1984 as much as I would for the context of v.1.
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Last edited by Ursus Maior; 06-08-2021 at 01:40 AM. Reason: I missed closing a dash ("-"), my apologies.
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:22 PM
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I don't have any intelligent input on the discussion, but I want to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. This is an exceptionally well-written and well-considered post.

- C.
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Old 06-08-2021, 02:14 PM
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Before Brandt's Ostpolitik of the 1970s, West German maps did show the 1937 borders though and Kohl did briefly mention the idea of compensation for the expulsion of Germans from east of Oder-Neisse in 1990 before being told very firmly to drop the matter if he wanted reunification.
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Old 06-09-2021, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Raellus: View Post
"If most West Germans were happy to be separated from the East, why reunify at all? Why not remain two Germanies (albeit both democratic and more or less capitalistic)?"

The German constitution (Grundgesetz) includes a preamble. Here it says, that at the time of its legal validity (1949), part of the German people had no possibility to take part in certain decisions. The whole Grundgesetz is labelled as temporary. The idea was, that the general public in Western Germany should try to act in the intents of all Germans. It included the sentence:

"Das gesamte Deutsche Volk bleibt aufgefordert, in freier Selbstbestimmung die Einheit und Freiheit Deutschlands zu vollenden." (The entire German people are called upon to complete the unity and freedom of Germany through free self-determination. Translated with Google.)
This was read as some kind of general aim or goal for the future and included the idea, that Germany should be united at one point in the future. I'm not a lawyer, but we were told in school, that this was something, that could be labeled as part of the West German reason of state.

The society in Western Germany in the eighties differed a lot from our time. To add something to Ursus Maior's post, there are two aspects, that should be kept in mind:
1. The peace movement in the FRG/BRD was very strong. The annual easter marches in Western Germany had massive support, in 1983 approximately 700,000 people took part in demonstrations, campaigns and activities of the peace movement. The civilian society was much more aware of what happened in the Bundeswehr. Although the peace movement had its origins in the pacifistic movement, it was not entirely made up of hard core pacifists.
2. The Bundeswehr was a conscript army. And that meant, that the public was more informed and concerned with the military. In most families someone had to do with the military: the older brother, who had returned from his reserve duties, the younger brother, who knew he would be drafted in October. And in many regions the soldiers and vehicles (more vans and trucks, not tracks in most regions) were a common sight. And even in the larger cities in the Rhine-Ruhr-Region soldiers, who served in HQ units, could be seen, taking a break at the local bakery.

From my own memory I can tell you, the majority of the conscripts in my unit (Integral Jäger company in a Panzergrenadier bataillon in 1985/1986) were not entirely committed. About the half of us had tried to avoid the draft and instead conduct civilian service instead. The civilian service was longer than the regular time of service in the German forces. You had to declare your intent in front of a local agency. Most of us did not succeed.
On the other hand, the idea of a citizen army ("Staatsbürger in Uniform") was strong. I cannot imagine, that any rightwing group in the Bundeswehr had the chances to plan anything "evil", without being reported by soldiers, who fully supported the ideas of the democratic Grundgesetz.
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Old 06-09-2021, 01:26 PM
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To our German members, do you see any circumstances at all in which the Bundeswehr launches a pre-emptive attack to liberate the DDR?

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Old 06-09-2021, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
To our German members, do you see any circumstances at all in which the Bundeswehr launches a pre-emptive attack to liberate the DDR?

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Please let one of these circumstances include Falco, please let one of these circumstances include Falco... repeats mantra 27 times...
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
To our German members, do you see any circumstances at all in which the Bundeswehr launches a pre-emptive attack to liberate the DDR?
That's complex question with many parts: "The Bundeswehr" as the main agent? No, certainly not.

"Pre-emptive" in the true sense of "without direct cause"? No, absolutely not. That probably the hardest part to heal, because pre-emptive strikes without a direct cause are almost always legally "wars of agression". Someone would need to prove an imminent attack or something along that line. That's hard to argue consistently.

Don't forget that West Germany was always branded by the the USSR and the GDR as successor state to Nazi Germany. Since Germany started the attack on Poland as a pre-emptive strike after Poland allegedly had attacked a German radio station in the border town of Gleiwitz (today 'Gliwice': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident) and other similar incidents. These incidents were in fact false flag operations enacted by the SS. So any strike against East Germany by the FRG would have needed credible evidence. Also, West Germany was not a fully sovereign state before the reunification. Although occupation had ended in 1949, certain rights an decisions remained with the Western Allies.

"Attack to liberate the DDR"? Liberation is not an issue here as the GDR (DDR) was a free state in the same sense as the FRG itself. De jure the USSR was not an occupational force since 1949 and the FRG had accepted the existence of the GDR in 1972. The forces of the USSR thus had every legal right to be there: 1) They had come as force of occupation and denying this would have meant denying the cause for the occupation (i. e. Germany had started the World War Two and lost it). 2) The GDR had invited the USSR to help protecting it as much as the FRG had invited the USA, UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Canada.

The last point is that NATO was a defensive army and all its posture was about not getting overrun by Warsaw Pact forces. There probably were plans for counterattacks, once the initial Soviet assault had been beaten back and then a "liberation" of East Germany and probably the ČSSR would have been on the horizon, but these scenarios were highly unlikely. I am not aware of any concrete plans for that.

This defensive posture would make it very hard for offensive operations of that scale to take place. You need to rearrange basically all gear differently to accomplish that, i. e. bridge engineers need to take part in the assault, covering forces need to be present, long-range artillery in the staging areas etc. This is easily spotted by recon and intelligence units, on both sides. NATO would know the Germans are gearing up for attack, especially since all troop movement in Germany is either ordered by NATO or its commands receive at least a carbon copy. You cannot even fuel up tanks without NATO knowing, because gasoline reserves are a a strategic issue and filling up a battalion of tanks means the brigade has to pay and resupply, meaning the division has to sign off, meaning the corps will get a copy, meaning it will ask who signed off the exercise. You can do snap exercises, sure, but everything beyond a brigade will need complicated planning.

The only way circumventing NATO is using the Territorial Army, but that means calling up reservists and using gear that's even unfit for your second line troops. You don't start a war, not even one disguised as a peace operation, with a superpower. In fact, the last war showed, you don't attack the USSR at all. Period.

So, if one wants "Germany" crossing the border first, one needs to make this a NATO operation. And that needs a really good cause. Because, if NATO gears up, so does the Warsaw Pact or at least the USSR. Maybe, in 1989/1990, when everything turned volatile, and the USSR would have take the big stick and started beating down on Poland, ČSSR and the GDR, NATO would have acted differently than in 1968. Maybe, the GDR leader, Erich Honecker, would have geared into overdrive, going full Tiananmen on his own people (he wanted to AFAIK) in fear he would be disposed by Moscow, if he did not. So, maybe NATO decides they will not have it this time, maybe under pressure from the German chancellor, and they signal Moscow: "That's enough. You can brutalize Poland and the ČSSR, but Germans were demonstrating peacefully and just voted in a new government and it's even nominally by your favorite pet-party, so either accept that or we'll do that for you."

And maybe Moscow tells Honecker to take a trip to a nice house on Crimea and he refuses and calls the current leader in Moscow a softy on television, shooting another group of "imperialist insurgents". And maybe the USSR helps him, but isn't super happy about it and there is some talk to the US. And maybe then NATO decides they were hearing "the Berlin Brigade should enforce law and order in collaboration with their Soviet allies" and moves to apprehend Honecker. And maybe the Soviet detachments in Berlin don't listen or the order didn't come through or it's all a big misunderstanding and Berlin becomes a battlefield. Then the Germans, having geared up already, because they were told to, start being helpful and start talking to the rest of the newly elected GDR-government, where maybe a two disgruntled East German NVA colonels were designated as new ministers of defense and interior security and these colonels say they want law and order and would not take up arms against a stabilization and peace force. Maybe one even says the word "liberation". Word gets back to NATO and since Western forces in Berlin desperately need help, the US signal the USSR: We're going in, don't stand in our way. This is about Germany only. The US step down readiness in Bavaria, so the ČSSR doesn't feel as threatened and NATO goes into the GDR. German Bundeswehr first, just for the effect, followed by UK and USA. The rest remains put, because a lot of NATO countries think the idea is stupid.

The whole thing is as much about relieving Berlin as it is about ending Honecker's rule over East Germany. It's also not well planned, very fluid and a logistical mess. So troop strength at first is around 25 % in the Bundeswehr units and slightly higher in US and UK forces.

The designated defense minister of the GDR gives his orders, but since he's just designated and the real minister won't have it, telephone calls to East German units are really conflicting each other. In the end half of the NVA remains put and the other half, mostly around Berlin and the Eastern parts of the GDR gear up to defend against the "imperialist invasion". Some units are split right in the middle in their loyalties and reports of blue on blue action come up, when gunfire erupts in several NVA barracks.

The GDR completely goes down in flames now. Civilian demonstrators, armed Stasi, NVA forces loyal to Honecker, rebel forces, they all start shooting each other. The Bundeswehr gets into fights with loyalist NVA units. UK and US forces start shooting and somewhere down the road to Berlin the whole show changes its pace when small detachments of Soviet troops side with loyalist NVA forces, some retreat into Poland and the ČSSR and some of all these three get shot up by NATO forces. About at the same time, the leadership in Moscow get's overthrown by hardliners for being to soft and letting this all get out of hand. Then the USSR declares full mobilization and states its intent to return to a status quo ante. Unfortunately the first step to do so is bombing West German NATO airbases and crossing the border between ČSSR and Bavaria to encircle NATO forces fighting in Thuringia. Now, NATO mobilizes fully and the Cold War goes fully hot.

That's a quick write up how I think it could go down. Still extremely unlikely, because NATO crossing the GDR border would be crossing a line that - historically - was uncrossable to NATO, unless war had already broken out. But other than a really big diplomatic screw up in communications and too many people with good intentions, but little sense of the situation, I just don't see it happen.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:14 AM
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Ursus sums up the situation and historical circumstance really well.
Without NATO Bundeswehr would/could do nothing offensive.
Regardless of other circumstance, "the East" had to be aggressive towards NATO first.

And don't forget: Western Germany was not a really free country. All military decisions had to be cleared with NATO. (Ursus mentioned it in his above post.)

Rae, without altering the history in both German states, beginning a write-up in the 70ies, I - as Ursus - can't see any chance for a inter-German war, starting with actions from the Bundeswehr.
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Last edited by B.T.; 06-10-2021 at 04:11 AM. Reason: spelling/grammar
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:18 AM
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Please let one of these circumstances include Falco, please let one of these circumstances include Falco... repeats mantra 27 times...
Which Falco are we talking about? Not the Austrian singer I assume.
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:04 AM
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Is there another Falco?
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:45 AM
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Well, there is this one:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Didius_Falco

Trying to recover from killing the gag has there ever been a discussion of the P.I. as a 'career' in T2K? After all people are missing and their friends & family could have the power / influence / resources to get a search started?

IIRC The UK PM's Son is M.I.A. ...
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Silent Hunter UK View Post
Which Falco are we talking about? Not the Austrian singer I assume.
Yes - in my alternate timeline, Falco tours both DDR and BDR, then partners with the Scorpions to write a power ballad that sends the Berlin wall crumbling in Jericho-like fashion, remediates all superfund sites around the world, reforms ardent Communists throughout the USSR, and makes even Reagan weep at its power and beauty!

With the concept of German reunification trounced and the prospect of a USSR and China war debunked separately, my beautiful Falco dream is as believable as anything now! :P
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan-117 View Post
Yes - in my alternate timeline, Falco tours both DDR and BDR, then partners with the Scorpions to write a power ballad that sends the Berlin wall crumbling in Jericho-like fashion, remediates all superfund sites around the world, reforms ardent Communists throughout the USSR, and makes even Reagan weep at its power and beauty!
At least it wasn't David Hasselhoff...

And c'mon, seriously guys, I can't believe we're this far into the thread and no one has mentioned Nena. Neunundneunzig Luftballoon for the win (auf Deutsche naturlich - it sounds so much better than the English version).
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
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At least it wasn't David Hasselhoff...
Dang! Beat me to it. I was going to posit that The Hoff was the CIA contact that encouraged the Germans (Scorpions) and the Austrian (Falco) to go for it.

Falco Fun fact: Falco has the only German language #1 single in the USA (Rock Me Amadeus, of course).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Six View Post
And c'mon, seriously guys, I can't believe we're this far into the thread and no one has mentioned Nena. Neunundneunzig Luftballoon for the win (auf Deutsche naturlich - it sounds so much better than the English version).


I confess, I forgot about Nena. When I was in Berlin in 2016, there were tour posters for her all over the place. I take it she was still pretty popular there?

Nena Fun Fact: 99 Luftballoons only hit #2 in the USA. Nena also released an English language version of the song, but it didn't chart as well as the original German version.

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Old 06-10-2021, 10:37 AM
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Thanks, Ursus & BT. I hope I am not frustrating you with my questions and continued attempts at making the v1 timeline work. Here are a couple more:

What if a faction in the Bundeswehr launched a false-flag op to create the illusion of a DDR attack on West Germany?

If that's still too far-fetched, what if the anti-communist DDR military faction decided to launch an attack on West Germany, to give the Bundeswehr a pretext to counter? This attack, of course, would be mostly for show, but it would provide a justification for a punitive Bundeswehr drive into East Germany which would then prompt a coup by the NVA. West Germany would have its fait accompli, and NATO would have a reason to intervene (Article 9 of the charter).

As a bit of an aside, how do you German T2k'ers handle the beginning of the Twilight War?

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Old 06-10-2021, 11:54 AM
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Related to Raellus' serious questions for Ursus and BT, what about the possibility that the NVA Generals stage an outright coup, seize power, declare themselves the legitimate Government of the DDR and then "invite" West German forces into East Germany to assist the NVA in maintaining law and order? (Obviously that presumes a fair amount of collusion between NVA and Bundeswehr senior officers beforehand, which is essentially how V1 plays out).

Nena fun fact #2 - as I recall in the UK there was only one release, with the English version as the A side and the German version as the B side.
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:16 PM
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Could you not have the scenario where East German refugees escaping the crackdown in the DDR are pursued by the NVA into the FRG causing a major incident. This would then give NATO an excuse to advance into the DDR.
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:23 PM
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has there ever been a discussion of the P.I. as a 'career' in T2K? After all people are missing and their friends & family could have the power / influence / resources to get a search started?
...
IIRC the P.I. is a career choice in Ver2.2. Not completely sure, but I think I remember rolling a former P.I., who had been recalled to serve with the military police.

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At least it wasn't David Hasselhoff...

And c'mon, seriously guys, I can't believe we're this far into the thread and no one has mentioned Nena. Neunundneunzig Luftballoon for the win (auf Deutsche naturlich - it sounds so much better than the English version).
Arglhh ... The eighties started good, Manfred Mann's Earth Band with "Angel Station" and the unbelievable "You are - I am", Rush with "Spirit of Radio" and so on. But the soundtrack of the reunification -seriously, the Hoff, the Scorps and a lot of songs, you had to think of as disgusting, if you had been into Punk, Hard Rock, Metal und the like. It was, from the musicians and music-fan perspective, not the best soundtrack.

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Thanks, Ursus & BT. I hope I am not frustrating you with my questions and continued attempts at making the v1 timeline work. Here are a couple more:

What if a faction in the Bundeswehr launched a false-flag op to create the illusion of a DDR attack on West Germany?

If that's still too far-fetched, what if the anti-communist DDR military faction decided to launch an attack on West Germany, to give the Bundeswehr a pretext to counter? This attack, of course, would be mostly for show, but it would provide a justification for a punitive Bundeswehr drive into East Germany which would then prompt a coup by the NVA. West Germany would have its fait accompli, and NATO would have a reason to intervene (Article 9 of the charter).

As a bit of an aside, how do you German T2k'ers handle the beginning of the Twilight War?

-
Rae, wouldn't that, in a way, be repeating the beginning of WWII? The Soviet Bloc analysists and intelligence guys weren't that dumb.

But than again: Your idea is better, than the "canon" version. I would say: Go for it, it's your world, in the end

I personally play ver2.2, because of two reasons:

1. Although the background is still unbelievable, if you look at the real history, it makes more sense to me, than ver1 did. And after all - it's the background for a game, not history.
2. The career choices and some of the rules (IIRC there was no rule for single shots in ver1, right?) fit my way of gaming better.

I play BAW (You've guessed it: Background as written ), but my group plays so seldom, that the big story and the whole international background do almost never reach our gameplay. When players read the background of T2k, every single German player, that I know, rolls his eyes and utters something that involves 4-letter words (not the nice ones, the used words mostly start with an F).
As I've said: It's the background story for a game. I don't take it too serious. And, whenever I feel, I should do that, I can always adapt the story to my needs.

Phui, this took longer than I thought ...
With socialist greetings ... erh ... Up the Irons ... ehm, you know, what I mean (hopefully), time for my medication, I guess.

Have a nice evening, everybody.

Sorry, Ewan, I was to slow and couldn't read yor question.
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:54 PM
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The designated defense minister of the GDR gives his orders, but since he's just designated and the real minister won't have it, telephone calls to East German units are really conflicting each other. In the end half of the NVA remains put and the other half, mostly around Berlin and the Eastern parts of the GDR gear up to defend against the "imperialist invasion". Some units are split right in the middle in their loyalties and reports of blue on blue action come up, when gunfire erupts in several NVA barracks.

The GDR completely goes down in flames now. Civilian demonstrators, armed Stasi, NVA forces loyal to Honecker, rebel forces, they all start shooting each other. The Bundeswehr gets into fights with loyalist NVA units. UK and US forces start shooting and somewhere down the road to Berlin the whole show changes its pace when small detachments of Soviet troops side with loyalist NVA forces, some retreat into Poland and the ČSSR and some of all these three get shot up by NATO forces. About at the same time, the leadership in Moscow get's overthrown by hardliners for being to soft and letting this all get out of hand. Then the USSR declares full mobilization and states its intent to return to a status quo ante. Unfortunately the first step to do so is bombing West German NATO airbases and crossing the border between ČSSR and Bavaria to encircle NATO forces fighting in Thuringia. Now, NATO mobilizes fully and the Cold War goes fully hot.
This is exceptionally similar to the setup I used to start up my 4th edition campaign. Since we started with the alpha, and the alpha background had some... issues... I had to change it up a bit. 4th edition keeps the historical fall of the Berlin Wall. I had essentially the situation you spelled out occur in Poland, however. A crackdown on Solidarity, the assassination of Lech Walesa, and a couple other fuses lit gets Poles fighting Poles and a Constitutional crisis that draws both sides into a war.

Transplanting it all to Poland is more interesting anyway, I think. Since that's the actual location of the campaign, it creates a lot of local political dynamics and infighting potentially wherever you go.

(sorry if that's taking this OT)
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Old 06-10-2021, 04:39 PM
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What if a faction in the Bundeswehr launched a false-flag op to create the illusion of a DDR attack on West Germany?
It doesn't solve the basic problems of such a premise at all. Let me remind you of the premise again:

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If that's still too far-fetched, what if the anti-communist DDR military faction decided to launch an attack on West Germany, to give the Bundeswehr a pretext to counter? This attack, of course, would be mostly for show, but it would provide a justification for a punitive Bundeswehr drive into East Germany which would then prompt a coup by the NVA. West Germany would have its fait accompli, and NATO would have a reason to intervene (Article 9 of the charter).
  1. Starting a shooting war is likely to set off a nuclear war and Germany would be the epicentre. If you have any love for your live, your family and/or your country, you keep the peace at (almost) all costs. Nuclear war will devestate most of Europe, large parts of North America and the USSR. No one wins in this game, unless you don't play. This not debatable, since it - by design - is a key concept of T2K as well as popular knowledge at the time.
  2. Both, West and East German military and political leadership is closely observed and guided by their respective hegemonial powers. Both German states and their militaries are so confined in their alliances that larger plans involving one's own military or talking to the other side will be impossible. Especially between members of both security aparatuses, i. e. high-ranking officers, members of the intelligence communities, relatives by blood or marriage etc. While low-ranking soldiers or officers could probably grab a few rifles and start shooting across the border, they couldn't pass it. Also, no-one would start a war over a lieutenant and a couple of guys going all murder hobo.
  3. Anyone who tries that in the East, will fail and face the severest punishment. The GDR by then hadn't executed anyone since the early 80s, but torture and labor camp were still on the menu.
  4. If you're politically unreliable, you don't get to be in the army, let alone in a position of power. That's a given for both German armies. However, being in the East German NVA puts you under direct and often intense scrutiny of the Stasi (the intelligence service of the GDR): 96 percent of all officers are members of the ruling Socialist party (the SED). The remaining 4 percent are members of one of the other allowed parties (so called bloc parties). None of these four percent of none SED-officers make it beyond the rank of major. While there was a nationalistic party that had been specifically founded (by Stalin) for East Germany to have a party that could harbor former NSDAP members and Wehrmacht officers, the party didn't play a huge roll for the armed forces. As mentioned, almost all officers were SED members and each and everyone was constantly vetted by the Stasi.

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As a bit of an aside, how do you German T2k'ers handle the beginning of the Twilight War?
Not exactly sure yet. But it needs to be quick and ugly as I think premeditated plans are unlikely to work and very risky to be uncovered. Additionally, as mentioned above, I don't think anyone would plan an incident like that in the 80s or 90s for feat of annihilating most of humanity. China, for me, has to be a factor as explained elsewhere.

I'm going to use a modification of the new 4th edition. Probably, it'll revolve around the Third Taiwan Strait crisis and the USSR reclaiming its former member states in the Baltics, as well as Armenia, Moldavia etc. I still need to come with an idea, why proper war would break out in/over/against Poland or along a wider front. I could see the USSR attack Poland over people of Russian descent, in a similar spiel as in the Baltics. With Poland aspiring NATO-membership, a hardliner government in Moscow might try to pull a fast one on Poland, before it's to late.

Also, in our history, Polish government and civilian agencies helped Chechen separatists quite openly. That could go wrong quickly with a resurgent USSR in 1997. Maybe pro-Chechen-independence protests happen at the same time as a joint maneuver by forces of NATO and Poland. A combination of several of these factors might do the trick. The Czech Republic and Slovakia just get to be in the way, much like Belgium was in 1914. Romania and the USSR might clash over Transnistria in Moldavia, drawing the two in an unwanted war just prior to the Polish incident. The Bulgarian government was historically in the 90s constantly undermined by Russia, so similar things could happen in a timeline featuring the USSR, with the latter actively trying to destabilize the country and make it a satellite state through installing its own government choice. Hungary suffers a similar fate with both nations descending into civil war, Soviet occupation and hostilities with neighbours, until parts of NATO's Southern members (Italy, Turkey, Greece, maybe Spain and Portugal, too) try to stabilize the greater Balkan area, as the second wave of the Yugoslavian breakup (Kosovo) begins.

I've not yet written it down. We'll see.
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Old 06-10-2021, 04:59 PM
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Related to Raellus' serious questions for Ursus and BT, what about the possibility that the NVA Generals stage an outright coup, seize power, declare themselves the legitimate Government of the DDR and then "invite" West German forces into East Germany to assist the NVA in maintaining law and order?
Less than nil. Generals are high-ranking party-members and these kinds of actions need long-term planning and deep conspiracies. A big chunk of Stasi was about not letting this stuff happen. If it's only generals and only of the NVA, they get taken out before they can stage the coup. If the Stasi is in on it, the KGB will know and Moscow will resolve the situation more forcefully.

Any coup in the GDR needs Moscow's blessing. And if Moscow is in on it, it's not a coup, it's the former leadership retiring "after a long life dedicated to the victory of the socialist way of life". Could that go wrong? Possible, but not likely. But let's assume a wors-case scenario:

Amidst peaceful protests against the ruling governement (like in 1989), members of the security apparatus of the GDR try to stage a similar coup as it historically happened in 1991 in the USSR. They ask for Moscow's blessing, citing concerns over the softness of the current leadership and it being possibly compromised by the West. Moscow green-lights the regime change and it goes down. Bloody. Peaceful protesters get in harms way, a couple of NVA tanks shoot at each other and at the end of the night, there is one clear winner.

A) The winner is the new government. This is basically a lot like 1968 in the ČSSR. Publically, NATO wouldn't twitch a finger, for fear of starting a war. The diplomatic wires will burn hot however.

B) The original ruling government prevails and now know that Moscow wants them gone. How to react to that? They cannot turn to the West for help, but have visibly fallen out of grace with Moscow. So, they can either make amends, shoot more protestors and try to get back into good graces with Moscow. Or they amp up the rhetoric, tell the world the current leadership in Moscow is "irresponsible" and "warmongering". Of course that's a risky move, but they don't have a place to go, so they go on the (political) offensive.

I still don't see NATO intervene, but the situation might be bad enough for refugees to come in the tens of thousands. Germany would use the Bundeswehr to handle that kind of border situation. If Soviet or hardliner NVA troops now act irresponsible, a border skirmish might happen. In a tense situation, where the leadership of GDR and USSR mistrust each other, an incident involving the Bundeswehr might evolve into something bigger. And in that case, maybe the East German NVA would actually stay put, since their SED masters tell them to. So its just Soviet troops shooting Bundeswehr soldiers protecting refugees from the GDR. If the Soviets don't apologize really fast, that could spiral out of control.
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:21 PM
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Starting a shooting war is likely to set off a nuclear war and Germany would be the epicentre. If you have any love for your live, your family and/or your country, you keep the peace at (almost) all costs. Nuclear war will devestate most of Europe, large parts of North America and the USSR. No one wins in this game, unless you don't play. This not debatable, since it - by design - is a key concept of T2K as well as popular knowledge at the time.
I'm not questioning the validity of your arguments, but this thinking strikes me as somewhat inflexible. We're not talking about reality here, we're talking about realism, and that's not quite the same thing.

If the excerpt quoted above is an incontrovertible fact, then why wouldn't this principle apply equally to every other nation in Europe- or anywhere on the planet, for that matter (barring the occasional unhinged, tin pot dictator)? It wouldn't only be German politicians on both sides of the Iron Curtain that understand that a shooting war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact in Europe stands a good chance of going nuclear at some point. So, if this premise applies universally, then no one starts a war, and you don't end up with Twilight 2000- you end up with reality. Not very fun. Perhaps reality is the enemy of realism, in this case.

But back to the main topic of discussion here. During the course of its nearly fifty years as a polity, did the West German gov't always behave in wholly rational, totally lawful, and completely risk-averse ways? I don't know enough about its post-war history to answer that question accurately- I defer to your knowledge regarding the subject. However, to believe that constitutional democracies somehow can't or won't start wars of aggression is, IMHO, a bit naive. As a US citizen, I am painfully aware that constitutional democracies can and do start wars, sometimes purely to advance their own interests. The same holds true of constitutional democracies who are signatories to international treaties, and/or members of alliances. If the Germanies are incapable (and I'm obviouslystill having a hard time accepting that proposition) of kicking off a shooting in Europe, then some other country has to, as you put it, willfully commit the world to self-immolation, and start the war. That seems like passing the buck, or playing favorites. I suppose one could take the easy way out and throw a maniacal dictator- the deus ex machina of alternate history- into the mix to trigger WW3, but that's a bit of a copout, IMHO.

I think the key to creating a realistic start to WW3 in Europe is to create a stumble-into-it scenario. The participants don't necessarily intend to start a major shooting war, but things take a turn and spiral out of control. This requires tension, misunderstandings, miscalculations, mistakes, accidents even. Are German governments and military leaders somehow immune to these stumbling blocks? Is this approach realistic only if it's the Polish, American, or Soviet governments and/or military leaders displaying poor judgment and making bad decisions? Again, seems like playing favorites.

If a German trigger point doesn't work for you, it doesn't work, and I don't begrudge you going with something that does. Even though we see things a little differently, I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and answer my questions. You've given me a lot of food for thought.

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Old 06-11-2021, 01:39 AM
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If one tries to understand, how Germany worked after WWII, one has to consider quite a lot of factors.
Both German states were newly formed with the assistance or even guidiance of one or more allied nations of WWII; the Soviet Union was the leading political force in the institution of the DDR/GDR, the Western Allies USA, Great Britain and France were the leading powers in the West, that was to be known as the BRD/FRG after 1949.

One can not underestimate the outcome of WWII on German society. The founders of the Grundgesetz were absolutely clear in the approach, that never again in any future, a war should be started by German forces. In the beginning of the FRG, Western Germany did not even have an army or armed forces at all.
In 1950/51 the Bundesgrenzschutz was formed. The tasks of that paramilitary force were:

"Border police protection of the federal territory: police surveillance of the borders on land, sea and from the air; police control of cross-border traffic including checking of the border crossing papers and the authorization to cross the border as well as the border search; the defense against dangers that impair the security of the borders in the border area up to a depth of 30 km and from the seaward boundary to a depth of 50 km" (From the German Wikipedia, translated with Google translater)

The desire of West-German authorities to field a paramilitary force was a reaction to the formation of the East-German Kasernierte Volkspolizei in 1948. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasernierte_Volkspolizei)

Some kind of rearmament was something that the majority of Germans (at least in the West, I don't know, how this was viewed at in the East) rejected. The discussion about the rearmement from 1949 till 1956 can be labelled as one kind of political crisis in the early years of Western Germany.
We all know the outcome: The Bundeswehr was founded in 1955. The same year saw the entry of the FRG into NATO. The BGS lend a helping hand in the build-up of the Bundeswehr.

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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
But back to the main topic of discussion here. During the course of its nearly fifty years as a polity, did the West German gov't always behave in wholly rational, totally lawful, and completely risk-averse ways? I don't know enough about its post-war history to answer that question accurately- I defer to your knowledge regarding the subject. However, to believe that constitutional democracies somehow can't or won't start wars of aggression is, IMHO, a bit naive. As a US citizen, I am painfully aware that constitutional democracies can and do start wars, sometimes purely to advance their own interests. The same holds true of constitutional democracies who are signatories to international treaties, and/or members of alliances. If the Germanies are incapable (and I'm obviouslystill having a hard time accepting that proposition) of kicking off a shooting in Europe, then some other country has to, as you put it, willfully commit the world to self-immolation, and start the war. That seems like passing the buck, or playing favorites. I suppose one could take the easy way out and throw a maniacal dictator- the deus ex machina of alternate history- into the mix to trigger WW3, but that's a bit of a copout, IMHO.

I think the key to creating a realistic start to WW3 in Europe is to create a stumble-into-it scenario. The participants don't necessarily intend to start a major shooting war, but things take a turn and spiral out of control. This requires tension, misunderstandings, miscalculations, mistakes, accidents even. Are German governments and military leaders somehow immune to these stumbling blocks? Is this approach realistic only if it's the Polish, American, or Soviet governments and/or military leaders displaying poor judgment and making bad decisions? Again, seems like playing favorites.
-
Now, I don't want to turn this into a historical lecture, but I think, some aspects have to be clarified:

What follows is my own, personal opinion. Others may see it differently.
Germans are a strange kind of people. We are (Simplified and in general, thank God - there are exceptions!) so obsessed with "doing it the right way". In any given political debate we almost always have to save the whole world. So, it is either bright white or darkest black. Political talks do very seldom see the grays inbetween. From a philosophical viewpoint that seems to be ... erh ... correct, but sometimes philisophy and reality are different kettle of fish. German politicians are not better or worse than politicians in other parts of the world. But that "doing it the right way" sometimes prevents a more appropriate way of acting. Sometimes German politics seem to be the fiercest foe to German politics.
If some kind of military or paramilitary action should be conducted by West-German forces, that could not happen without the permission of at least one allied partner, who allows such action.


If we talk about a ver1 only backgroundstory, the role of the BGS is something, that could be used as a game changer. I personally - being a miniature builder and painter - miss the BGS in ver2.n.
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:55 AM
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Indeed, realism is not always fun, and we're trying to walk a very fine line here between fun and not being able to suspend disbelief. I'm glad we're having a solid, argument based discussion here.

Quote:
If the excerpt quoted above is an incontrovertible fact, then why wouldn't this principle apply equally to every other nation in Europe- or anywhere on the planet, for that matter (barring the occasional unhinged, tin pot dictator)?
Two points to keep in mind here: A) German contemporary history and B) the immediate geopolitical context.

A) Germany had lost two world wars in the 70 years before the Wall came down. This was well within the lifetime of individual person and if you're beaten twice, you draw different lessions from war than if you won both rounds and your homeland wasn't even touched (or hardly, as was the case of the US). The USSR equally drew completely different lessions, having formed in the aftermath of the Great War and being almost physically eradicated during the Second World War.

West and East Germany concluded that, since they were no longer masters of their own land and indeed their land had actually been split between the victors, any third round would spell doom on the very idea of having a German state at all. Unless of course, they were not loosing it. However, since any war conceivable at that time would certainly have one of the German states on each side, Germany itself would always loose. The bigger question in the background was thus the so called German question, which had been the governing question in all European great power politics. It basically boils down to: can Europe (and that meant most of the world, too) be stable, if a large and powerful Central European power exists (i. e. Germany) or is it better to have larger powers at Europe's periphery (France, UK, Russia/USSR) and leave the center politically weaker.

Word War Two answered that question until 1990 and Europe was very stable during that time. If that's a consequence or a correlation is hard to decide, but everyone was happy with it.

B) The immediate context was that Germany could not decide any of this on its own. Both states had these things decided for them. This isn't a question of being a purely rational actor, its about not having any agency.

Case in point, constitutional democracies to not wage more or less wars on the basis of them being governed like they are. The type of government is not responsible for the likelihood of warfare. Otherwise Canada, Estonia and the US couldn't be all liberal democracies sporting constitutions. What makes a state go to war are very diverse reasons, but mostly it has to be a credible option. In NATO, that only works for France, UK and USA, the rest cannot do it, so they don't. However, from this inability also roots a different way of thinking. If you know you cannot, you think about other options. So, if you're used to solve problems without force and then an opportunity arises where you could use force, you have different and proven instruments at your disposal.

This got nothing to do with risk-aversion either. War isn't the only risky thing to do. Not being able to defend yourself is risky too. Germany needed NATO to survive. There would have been no stopping the USSR without NATO. So Germany had to believe NATO would step in for Germans, despite Germany having waged war twice during the 20th century against most NATO partners. That was risky, but it paid off.

I have given several examples of how I could think a third world war could go down in Europe. I don't see a planned war anywhere on the horizon, however. Nothing planned by a conspiracy and certainly nothing planned by state governments. Unless we radically change the political landscape and give a new government a reason to try to reverse history. That's what v.2 and v.4 do with the August Coup in 1991 succeeding and a resurgent USSR going to war.

That seems the better option over v.1 since it is far more credible. It's similar to why Germany started the Second World War in 1939.
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:13 AM
Ursus Maior Ursus Maior is offline
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If we talk about a ver1 only backgroundstory, the role of the BGS is something, that could be used as a game changer. I personally - being a miniature builder and painter - miss the BGS in ver2.n.
I think the absence of the BGS is historically correct, but GDW could not have known that at the time. Until 1994 BGS forces had the status of combatants. Even in a v.4 timeline that could still be the case, since a missing or reduced Peace Dividend might lead to the BGS remain in that role. However, since the lower ranks of the border guard had been disbanded by 1976 already, there would have been no rank-and-file units for around 20 years once the Twilight War starts.

Of course, if one wants to maliciously circumvent a treaty like CFE, you abolish combatant status for the BGS in the 90s but keep the heavier equipment and move ex-NVA East German soldiers into newly established BGS training units in East Germany. Declaring these units as "anti-riot police" only while crosstraining them for deployment in international ("UN only") missions (Somalia, Yugoslavia etc.), including EOD, COIN, force protection etc. could give you a third federal component next to field army and territorial army.

Then again, what's the motive here? What is the higher strategy in circumventing arms control treatise?
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Old 06-11-2021, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
But back to the main topic of discussion here. During the course of its nearly fifty years as a polity, did the West German gov't always behave in wholly rational, totally lawful, and completely risk-averse ways? I don't know enough about its post-war history to answer that question accurately- I defer to your knowledge regarding the subject. However, to believe that constitutional democracies somehow can't or won't start wars of aggression is, IMHO, a bit naive. As a US citizen, I am painfully aware that constitutional democracies can and do start wars, sometimes purely to advance their own interests.
I think the "US" angle taints that perspective substantially. US has for 80 years enjoyed a much more bigger appetite for military adventure. I think the reasons for this are clear: the isolation of the nation which secures it from any direct destruction as a result, which also ties into relative public opinion, and the huge gains made by US industry as a result of WW2.

Reagan was far more reckless and aggressive in his foreign policy than any German I can think of (although of course I don't know a lot), and the same can be said of most US presidents, really. And that's not even getting into people like LeMay who wanted a war at any cost whenever they could get one.

The threat of nuclear war brought "peace." But even so, the Germans knew that if a war started, they were the ones that would be first to feel it, even if it somehow against all odds avoided going nuclear. German policy had to be based around avoiding that outcome at all costs. Think of the pronounced, significant opposition to US nuclear weapons in Germany. The German people knew that made them targets. It's not a good position to be in. (of course, the Russians did the same thing, they just didn't bother to tell anyone. No one knew there were Soviet nukes in Poland until the '90s.)

I just think there's a lot of reasons realistic and otherwise why "Germans start WW3" is an inherently silly place to start from.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:46 PM
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I just think there's a lot of reasons realistic and otherwise why "Germans start WW3" is an inherently silly place to start from.
Well, when you put it that way, yeah, it is.

I don't think that's really what GDW was going for in v1. That's certainly not what I've been arguing for. Technically, the USSR had already started WW3 over in Asia. In v1 the West German military saw an opportunity to reunify the two Germanies and they took it. They're not portrayed as warmongers, I don't think. They're portrayed as patriotic opportunists who were egged on by counterparts in the NVA. It's more that they made two fatal miscalculations. One, they underestimated the USSR's resolve to maintain its grip on the DDR and two, they underestimated the USSR's ability to fight a two front war (they probably assume that the Soviets were overcommitted in China).

So, perhaps v1's Germany scenario doesn't work as written.

How about Berlin as a flashpoint? It's got NATO and PACT forces in close proximity. We know from RL that many people in East Berlin wanted out. There've been major Cold War crises there before.

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Last edited by Raellus; 06-12-2021 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 06-12-2021, 01:21 PM
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Two more questions for my German friends:

Given the points you've made about West German mindset, politics, and the mission of the Bundeswehr, do you see German forces operating on foreign soil (say, during a counteroffensive into Poland for example)?

I don't think it's too OT to ask how you view Germany's treatment in the v2 timeline? Is it any better? Worse? Looking at it again today- given what I've learned from this thread over the past few days- it seems problematic as well.

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Old 06-12-2021, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Two more questions for my German friends:

Given the points you've made about West German mindset, politics, and the mission of the Bundeswehr, do you see German forces operating on foreign soil (say, during a counteroffensive into Poland for example)?

I don't think it's too OT to ask how you view Germany's treatment in the v2 timeline? Is it any better? Worse? Looking at it again today- given what I've learned from this thread over the past few days- it seems problematic as well.

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I have to read v.2 again and will share my thoughts later. I think Germany would follow its obligations to NATO in the event of a war. We were on board with Afghanistan from day 1 and we'll leave close to last this year. It won't be easy for the government to sell a full war, but once the Soviets bomb Germany, it's a very different game. There would probably still be large pacifist demonstrations, though. Even today many defend Russia's invasion of Crimea and otehr policies, plus I would expect the USSR to go full hybrid and propaganda warfare on Germany. Taking Germany of the war would be the end for all NATO logistics, so it's worth almost every investment.

But as I said, attacking German soil will set the machinery into motion and once the federal government takes full control, calls up reservists and starts handing out checks like candy to keep the war going, there will be enormous pressure to follow along, condemn the Soviets and take up arms. I could even see peace protestors getting lynched or rightwing terrorists start hunting Soviet sympathizers (i. e. the notorious Red Army Faction). From what we learned during the last years and various political scandals, rightwing terrorists and German internal intelligence services had a few cozy relationships for decades, so I could see some of these rightwing terrorists getting tipped off about leftwing terrorists, leading to hunting parties and something akin to gang warfare, even before the state's monopoly on violence visibly softens up after the nukes hit and the army conscripts police officers etc.
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Old 06-12-2021, 08:38 PM
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I mean that's all basically Operation Gladio.

As you said, the Soviets are well aware of the logistical importance of Germany in all things. So is the CIA.
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