Thursday, November 28, 2019

Alternate History Scenario: A Secret German Atomic Bomb?

Here's the latest interesting scenario from the alternate history forum--what if Germany had a secret nuclear arsenal? Given how anti-nuclear much of the German public is to the point they'll shut down nuclear plants and go back to coal, even if it means increasing carbon-dioxide emissions, and anti-military, plus the absolute fury that would result from countries Germany ravaged during World War II if this was discovered (the treaties that allowed German reunification renounce forever nuclear weapons, for starters) it seems unlikely. That said, democratic states can be swayed by popular opinion, but a dictatorship has much less reason to care.

So behold "Die Atombomben der Bundesrepublik: An Oral History of Germany's Nuclear Weapons Program," in which the new chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany learns that the reason the East German leadership was treated so leniently after the fall of the Wall is because they bequeathed a secret East German nuclear arsenal to the new united Germany. Unlike South Africa, the new leadership decided to keep said weapons rather than dismantle them. And given the drama that would result if this ever became public, only a few top military officials and the chancellor themselves are aware of this--the new chancellor receives a special one-hour briefing upon their ascension.

(That reminds me a lot of the reveal in I think Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that the Muggle Prime Minister is only informed of the existence of a secret magical society in Great Britain when they take office and it's a massive shock for them.)

The author has gone into a lot of detail about the suppression of the Prague Spring, the East German internal political situation, East Germany's infamous espionage apparatus, etc. It's a really interesting read.

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