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German Civil War of 1917 by Eric Lipps

Author says: what if Tsarist Russia exported the revolution to the Kaiser's Germany, muses Eric Lipps? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

In 1917, workers in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg (Petrograd) staged a massive riot for increased food rations. Russia was in the throes of a famine exacerbated by World War I, and popular resentment was stirred by radicals of the Social Revolutionary Party.

Tsar Nicholas II (pictured) responded to the riots with orders to the military to gun down the demonstrators. The result was a bloodbath far beyond what the Russian ruler could have expected, for many of the troops receiving the orders joined the demonstrators instead. On March 15, Nicholas, his wife Alexandra and their daughter Anastasia were forced to flee the city, carrying with them the coffin containing the body of Crown Prince Nicholas, who had died three weeks earlier. Nicholas, a hemophiliac, had sustained fatal internal hemorrhaging following a fall.

Ironically, the death of his beloved son had galvanized the Tsar, who persuaded himself that Nicholas's affliction and eventual demise had been a divine punishment for "weakness" on his part. When in April the Petrograd revolt was joined by radical leftists under the leadership of Vladimir Ulyanov, also known as Lenin, the Tsar demanded the immediate suppression of the revolt "by all means necessary" and rallied loyal forces under Gen. Lavr Kornilov for the purpose. An all-out offensive followed, culminating in the so-called "July Days" in which the provisional government established after the imperial family's flight from the capital was disbanded by force and most of its members, who by then included Lenin and other SRP leaders, arrested and shot.

The Tsar then turned his attention to the still ongoing war with Germany and its allies. The Germans had permitted Lenin and other radicals to cross territory under their control to enter Russia in the hopes of disrupting the Russian war effort; Nicholas II now returned the favor, smuggling German-speaking agents into Germany through divided Poland to carry out acts of sabotage and spread antiwar propaganda. their efforts would contribute to the collapse of the German war effort in October 1918 and to the subsequent revolution, which began with a sailors' mutiny and quickly spread throughout the German Empire, resulting in the establishment of a socialist republic under Karl Liebknicht.

The German civil war which followed was a nightmare for the country's citizens. When it finally ended, in October 1923, Germany was ruled by a military junta under Gen. Erich Ludendorff, who ordered the establishment of a new government agency, the Heimatsicherheitspolizei, or Homeland Security Police, to weed out "subversion". Civilian political activity was severely restricted except for a single party, the Deutschevreiheitspartei or German Freedom Party, a militantly right-wing group dominated by ex-soldiers, in which a former Austrian corporal by the name of Adolf Hitler would emerge as a rising star. The DVP would take full control of Germany, with the generals' assent, in 1930. Then, with the world distracted by the gathering global depression, Germany would quietly begin rearming in preparation for seeking revenge against the West and Russia.

Author says comments on this story can be viewed on the Today in Alternate History web site.

Other Contemporary Variants

Peace Ship Cursed Muzhik Sidney Reilly, Ace of Spies

Eric Lipps

Guest Historians of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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