- Jul 1, 2007
Unity - Justice - Liberty
an AH Germany AAR
an AH Germany AAR
In 1918 the Great War ended. The former central powers, Germany and what remained of Austria-Hungary were forced to agree to a hars peace treaty that in itself ( so believed many ) carried the root of new unrest and maybe even war. Both countries established unstable democracies with the German one beeing dubbed “Weimar Republic” after the town where the constitution was signed by the repesentatives. The Weimar Republic was far from stable, and its Constitution far from perfect, its very first article perfectly representing the countrys inner disputes:
§1: The German Reich is a Republic
The galloping Inflation fo the early 1920’s and the general economic decline all across the globe hit the politically divided republic hard, further destabilizing the struggling German Democracy. But Germany was not alone in these troubeled times. All around the globe extremist movements from both the left and the right became stronger and stronger, with France and Belgium beeing the first to fall to facist or in the case of Belgium Stalinist movements within three months in 1924. This, along with the growing Fascist movement in Italy triggered what is now known as the “1925 Beerhall Putsch”. On March 3rd, several right-wing parties in Munich made a bit for power in Germany. Led by some Adolph Hitler and his NSDAP this rag-tag coalition raided the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich, declearing the Gouvernement in Berlin to be dissolved and Hitler as the head of a “Gouvernement of National Unity and Salvation”. After this they proceeded to march on Berlin, imitating a move that had brought the Socialists to power in France when they had marched on Paris in May 1924. Unlike in Paris the German version of the marhc was hampered by the haphazard nature of the whole coup and the resulting abysmal preparation, which had left the police headquaters completely alone, making poossible that about two plattons worth of Bavarian Police augmented by Reichswehr Elements halted the march only three miles outside of munich. The Nazis, always quick to shoot refused to stop when challenged and soon a faceoff had started. It is unclear what happened next but it is known that one side fired several shots, and this in turn sparked of a violent firefight, leaving 32 of the marchers, among them Hitler and Goering, and 24 of the Police and Reichswehr men dead.
This firefight was the beginning of what 98 % of the people call “The reform Summer” and the remaining 2 % : “The great Treason”. Riots and general Violence sparked up all over Germany, and Gustav Stresemann, the Social Democratic Reichs Chancellor realized that immediate and decicive action needed to be taken if the German Democracy was to be saved. The first step was to outlaw most right-wing Parties, and to order the Police to put down the riots. The Police did as it was asked, or at least it tried to, but the SA and the many militias that had sprung up after the “Battle of Munich” as the shootout was called gave the Police a hard time, pushing the Republic close to the edge of a full-scale civil war. The Communists seized this opportunity to announce the great german revolution, hoping to capitalize on the Gouvernements disability to deal with the riots without having to fall back to desperate measures, starting their own riots and estranging the huge majority of the population form the causes of both extremist wings. This in turn provoked the “Extremists Law” where the KPD was outlawed along with all other extremist and non-democratic parties. The next step was the “Emergency Declaration to save the Republic” called for the riots to stop or else the Reichswehr would interviene. When the rioters from the left and the right refused to go home the Chancellor made a sad speech in front of the Reichstag:
Chancellor Stresemann said:My fellow Germans. With a sad heart I am announcing that the riots are continuing. Our misguided countrymen, bent only on the destruction not only of property but also the very institiution of the Republic have refused to take us up on our offer of peace. The riots have increased instead, forcing me to declare a National State of Emergency, ordering the Reichswehr to save the Republic.
The Reichswehr marched and quelled the riots quickly and brutally. Stresemann, a broken man due to the actions he had been forced to take initiated a series of reforms to heal the deep wounds the short “Spring Civil War” had ripped into the country.
1925 Constitutional Reform said:1. The German Reich is dissolved.
2. A new Constitution is to be made
3. Germany is reorganized into a Federal Republic
4. The former States of Germany are to be reintegrated into this Republic
5. No Party with less than 5 % of the Votes is to have seats in the Bundestag
This meant the end of the Civil War, however short it might have been, but it was by no mens the end of the unrest. When they had been outlawed the extremist parties had faded into the background, and Thälmann, the head of the KPD had fled to Paris where he tried to get the French to intervene on behalf of the besieged Communist Militias in the Ruhr Area, but France, itself still struggling with forces loyal to the republic and could not spare the forces. He had to make do with political asylum for any that managed to escape from Germany
and propagandistical support. he took up residence in Paris, to remain there for several years while trying to organize a communist insurgency, but failing to do so as the KPD lost much of its popular support due to the improvin economical situation and the stabilized democracy. The Nazis were a different story alltogether. After the Reichswehr had put down the riots they faded back into obscurity in Munich, officially disbanding due to beein banned, but working in the small but active right-wing underground in Bavaria. To all accounts the illegal NSDAP today has about 150 members scattered all over Germany. Why did they collapse so fast when the communists at the same time managed to keep at least the facade of a functioning party apparatus? This question will most likely never been answered satisfactory, but it is widely believed that the loss of their "Führer" gave these men such a shock that they could not decide what do without their demi-god and just went back to business as usual. Democracy in Germany was saved. In the rest of Europe country after country fell to extremist movements from the right, each movement using the fear from communist takeovers, either orchestrated by Moscow or by Paris. In 1929 the great depression was racing around the Globe, drawing even more nations into the Facist or Stalinist Camps, and when the United States more and more drifted into the Facist camp after the Stock Market Crash Chancellor Brüning, knowing that he would not be reelected in 1930 anyways made a secret speech to the Bundestag:
The Chancellors Speach said:My fellow Germans, this night I am speaking to you with a heavy heart. More and more of our neighbours are falling to Facist or communist Dictatorships. England has been couped by the Facists. France has already fallen years ago. Switzerland is National Socialist. And now, even the oldest Democracy on the globe, the United States of America is starting to slide into the dark Abyss. Now it is my opinion that it will be only a matter of time until our neigbours will cease beein such and take up arms, in an attempt to bring the forces our countrymen so bravely fought in 1925 to power in this country. I will not allow that, and the germans out there in our beloved Fatherland will do so neither. So what can we do? The Versailles treaty, forcing us to limit our Army to 100.000 men. This was so far enough, but now, facing the greatest danger since Atilla the Hun was roaring across Russia Germany needs to rearm. Now I know many of you dont like this thought, and let me tell you: Neither do I. I do not like acting against the treaty, and doing so might provoke what whe are trying to prevent by breaking it in the first place, but if we do rearm, in a defensive posture we can at least say we have done our duty when the sword of damokles comes crashing down on us.
The motion was approved.
The Elections in 1930 brought the Zentrum to power, but the new Chancellor, Adenauer vovwed to continue the policies his predecessor had started, and he chose a internal political course that was more liberal and social anyone would have expected of him, making himself one of the most loved Chancellors of the pre-war eara, as his reforms continued to pull out of the comparatively small but still feelable depression after 1929. This secured his reelction in 1934.
Now in 1936 the world is tri-polar. On one side the Facists, led by Britain. On the other the Communists with both the USSR and France trying to take over the leading role, and with Germany, the last truely democratic Nation in Europe, and by all accounts only one of three left in the world, but acting alone since Australia and New Zealand had closed their broders to everyone years ago.
Now the question is: How could democracy survive in Germany, by all accounts the least democratic Nation by the end of the Great War?
Several factors contributed: Germany was more than stable after the constitunon of 1925 was introduced. The 5% barrier, once decried as the first step towards dictatorship by many had proven its worth. For the first time since the great war a gouvernement acutally lasted the full four years instead of breaking up. The poeple, originally beeing against democracy saw in the late 1920's that the republic was providing the things the Extremist PArties had promised them: Peace, Stability and economic prosperity. Germany had also been the nation least hit by the great depression, Chancellor Brüning who had indeed not been reelected in 1930 had seen the implosion of the Stock Market coming, and as he had already been working towards decoupling the German Economy form the world market the measures he took after the crash enabeled the German Economy to circum navigate the worst effects.
The third and most probably the decicive factor was that the Gouvernements since 1925 had laboured hard to purge the system of all the nationalist and anti-republican officers and judges, replacing them with young, promising young men, loyal to the republic not only by oath but also by heart.
So, by 1936 Germany stood alone. Would it be able to defend this last true democracy? Would it be able to weather the coming storm? This remains to be seen.
HOI2 DDA 1.1, mods: several new events, of course massive political modifications, Skif and as usual stuff will be added as needed.
This AAR has been isnpired by several others, and when I read "The last tattered flag of democracy" I decided taht I had to do one like that myself, and went into thinking mode. US? Naa. to easy. Russia? naa. too man SU AARs around. and then it hit me: Germany! See this as a germany redemption AAR.