July 30, 2006 at 4:30 pm #246PhidippidesKeymaster
It appears that the Soviet Union could have gone either of two ways in the 1920s. From Military History of the Soviet Union:
Following the death of Lenin, the Soviet Union was enmeshed in a struggle for succession that pitted Trotsky and his policy of "world revolution" against Stalin and his policy of "socialism in one country." Stalin prevailed and Trotsky was removed as war commissar in 1925, resulting in a turn away from the policy of spreading the revolution abroad in favour of focusing on domestic issues and defending the country against the possibility of foreign invasion.
Had Trotsky prevailed over Stalin, what would have happened? Evidently, this would have included some way of forcing Communism to spread to other countries, perhaps by arming foreign revolutionaries or by using direct military force. So which countries do you think the USSR would have gone after first? How would this have changed the course of world events? Would this have prevented Hitler and Germany's rise to power in the 1930s?March 16, 2008 at 8:46 pm #5922skiguyModerator
Well, after thinking about this thread for almost two years….. 😀
So which countries do you think the USSR would have gone after first?
I would guess it would be Asian or Near East countries. Most likely it would have caused more problems (than already existed) with the mandates in the Middle East too.
fought a brief undeclared border war (together with its ally Mongolia) with Japan
How would this have changed the course of world events? Would this have prevented Hitler and Germany's rise to power in the 1930s?
Considering all of Russia's internal struggles at that time, I wonder if it would have any effect at all.January 24, 2021 at 1:08 am #58855PhidippidesKeymaster
Well, after thinking about this question for 15 years 😂 I think I may have an answer. Trotsky was a more “revolutionary” type and desired “constant” revolution. Stalin, in contrast, wanted to strengthen the homeland first. Trotsky seems to have been the more charismatic figure, while Stalin was more of a bureaucratic thinker.
Had Trotsky been victorious in succeeding Lenin in the late 1920s, my guess is he would have tried to expand the USSR too fast. He would have been unable to secure economic development at home to support long-term expansion and would have tried to do something drastic in order to suppress kulaks from gaining power. Basically, Trotsky does not seem to have had the economic knowledge to support the USSR at home while also expanding militarily abroad.
With that said, his natural choice might have been to invade China to help Mao’s Communist forces against Chiang Kai-shek, which could have made China a Communist country Pre-World War II. I suppose he might have invaded Germany in the late 1920s/early 30s, but I wonder how the League of Nations would have responded. A collective response from Western democracies could have utterly crushed the Soviet Union at that point in history.
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