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Old 04-06-2016, 01:26 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2015
Default Alternate History: 1956 Hungarian Revolution

While looking at a "what if" scenario in the Cold War, research led me to the conclusion that USSR General Secretary Andropov (helped) steer the cold war into a longer, more tense period. What might have been a cold war where he was never in power? At first I looked at after-effects, then I noticed a precursor event that might result in such a situation and would cast ripples of its own: a major event in his life was seeing the crumbling of the Hungarian communist party in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The incident began with students demanding a withdraw of Soviet military, reduction or cessation of interference in internal economic and political affairs, and election of their own officials. USSR's politburo announced a willingness to withdraw military forces, but suddenly changed their minds (likely much as a result of Andropov's appeal to Khrushchev).

If Andropov was killed during the random violence and the politburo followed through on its military withdraw, a political upheaval might sweep through Hungary. Assuming that the USSR maintained their presence in Poland, the lack of a brutal crackdown would lessen tensions between NATO and Warsaw Pact members, as well as lead to much slower reduction in communist/Marxist support among NATO. Given the indications that Hungary wanted expulsion of outside powers and control of themselves from iconography to all levels of government, they'd likely be given patronizing support from NATO nations that could drive them into an isolationism or neutral state like Switzerland. Most likely conflict and talks would go until 1957, maybe later.

The Korean War already closed by this time and the Second Indochina War (Vietnam War) already began, but the Soviet-Afghan War won't begin for another 20 years. Those are the biggest military collisions I can think of between Soviet or American forces in the cold war.

Based on what I can find on the General Secretaries of the USSR, it's likely that later ones like Chernko (and possibly Gorbachev) would've still come to power. What other kinds of changes can all of you think of from the removal of Andropov before his rise to power, and the breakaway of a Soviet Bloc member in ~1956?
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:02 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bristol
Default Re: Alternate History: 1956 Hungarian Revolution

The Russian monolith had already seen quite a few fractures by 1956.

You could also have a communist revolution against Russia, keeping the Hungarian traditions of 1919 alive.

Poland had a few strikes by the 1956. Also some unease in East Germany too.

Coupled with the Suez Crisis it could have been possible for succession in Hungary and the disintegration of the Russian Empire.

There are some historical works on the events of labour unrest within the Russian dominated spheres.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:39 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Kentucky
Default Re: Alternate History: 1956 Hungarian Revolution

The problem is how Andropov is removed from the scene. If there is any hint it was done through actions of the Hungarian dissidents/rebels/crowd I suspect the Soviet Union will react in a fierce manner.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:52 PM   #4
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Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default Re: Alternate History: 1956 Hungarian Revolution

Pancreatic cancer. Quick and almost certainly deadly.
“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ...” Marcus Aurelius
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alternate history, cold war, history, revolution

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