No clear point-of-divergence; largest noticeable divergence occurred in 1934 and butterflied out. The purge within Nazi Germany that was the Night of the Long Knives reached the public more widely and in particular the Wehrmacht. In early 1936, a faction of the German armed forces gained enough influence to stage a coup and national uprising, pitted against the Nazi Party and subsumed civilian government. After almost half a year of armed conflict, the German Civil War ended in a Wehrmacht victory, with the majority of high-ranking Nazi officials incarcerated - sentenced to life imprisonment to distinguish the military from the murderous Nazis - and Adolf Hitler himself executed for what the military called crimes against Germany and her people, and the Nazis demonized in German propaganda for their evils.
The resultant military-led transition regime, and following civilian government, in Germany was largely conservative and consisted of significant monarchist elements; because of this, there was a brief debate within Germany as to the nature of its new civilian government. The compromise between the civilian conservatives and the military royalists was a British-style constitutional monarchy, with the reigning monarchy serving as a ceremonial role. With this, Wilhelm II of the House of Hohenzollern was invited back to Germany from exile in the Netherlands, and Germany began preparations to restore the monarchical system with stability and sustainability of the structure in mind.
The elections of 1938 - the first free and open elections since the NDSP came to power - saw the rise of Konrad Adenauer from Nazi-destitution and persecution to Chancellery; his ordoliberal economic strategy and political methods resulting in the post-civil war German Economic Miracle. Through the remaining two years of the '30s, the German government would focus on the growing threat of the USSR to the east and the growing danger of communism - especially the strain headed by Joseph Stalin - to European civilization, both from the east and the west. In Spain, by 1939, the Republicans - supported by the Soviet Union and French - had triumphed over the fascist Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, and by 1940, France's government was taken over by the French Communist Party.
Using anti-communist rhetoric, by 1940, Germany had built up a prominent, unified alliance system in Europe - the first-ever in history. Initially called the Union of Central Europe, it soon composed of the nations of Belgium, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, and Yugoslavia. With this, it was renamed the European Union. Sweden was invited to join but had declined for reasons of neutrality. Portugal joined in 1941 under threat of possible invasion by the militarily industrializing Spanish. The European Union was initially simply a military pact and trading union, but its functions grew as its benefits became more wildly accepted. In mid-1940, Austria was annexed into Germany following a national vote that saw the Austrians overwhelmingly favor unification with their northern counterparts.
The EU was pushed further; in late 1941, the Baltic states, and then in early 1942, an uncomfortable Finland, joined the alliance - putting the Union's borders directly against the Soviets. Startled, the USSR initiated a delayed invasion of the Polish nation as to secure their borders against the Union's expansion. Poland's eastern territories fell away within weeks of the advance of the Soviet colossus, and Germany and the whole of the EU rushed to Poland's defense - having guaranteed Poland's independence in the face of communist aggression, Germany and the whole of the EU formally declared war on the USSR in 1942. Months following this, Red France aligned itself with the USSR and declared war on the EU and Germany. Spain, at the time, remained neutral.
Facing a two-front war, the German military worker harder than it had ever on economically growing the member nations of the Union and consolidating their military commands into a unified European defense force. Very early into the conflict, analysts quickly realized Germany and the Union nations could not survive a protracted two-front war with both France and the USSR - regardless of what they were fighting for, such a thing could not be done in 1914 or 1941, even with central Europe on their side.
With this in mind, Union research and development programs shifted from traditional science and technology to military innovations; pooling the knowledge of Europe to grow the technological disparity between EU and Soviet-aligned forces. The brilliant German scientists Werner Heisenberg and Wernher von Braun, in particular, were placed in charge of the development of two branches of the greater gefahrwaffe program; the Norway Project and the unified ballistics effort, the hope of the most imaginative German scientists being the merger of the two projects to create the ultimate weapon.
The United States remained neutral in the war until 1943, although the American nation - especially President Franklin D. Roosevelt - was sympathetic to democratic Europe. While the U.S. remained neutral, it quietly supported the Germans and the EU with weapons and ships being traded to democratic Europe, pushing against the American neutrality. The tipping point of the balance was in 1943 when a Soviet cruiser sank an American heavy freighter without warning in the North Atlantic in the vicinity of Iceland in international waters, killing 42 Americans. This incident caused outrage and directly led to the United States entering the war on the side of Germany three months later.
The EU's great turning point in the war was in 1948 when the Germans initiated the Ragnarok Test; an early, 25-kiloton nuclear device was detonated in the cover of the rocky mountains of northern Norway. This technology was swiftly merged with the German military's advanced, experimental rocketry to develop the G-5 rocket, or 'Gefahrwaffe-5'. The G-5 was the first mass-produced long-range nuclear missile, powered by an early solid-propellant rocket engine, the G-5 was the fear weapon the Germans had imagined from the start of the war; combining the immense destructive capabilities of atomic fission, the aerodynamic potential of the rocket, and the speed and precision of the jet engine, with 100% of tested G-5 rockets falling within just 2 kilometers of their target. Held off until a number of the rockets were manufactured by 1950, the first G-5 rockets were launched toward Soviet armies in Ukraine and French armies in northern France.
Despite the utter confusion and rout of advancing and entrenched Soviet-aligned forces in target areas, the Soviet bloc refused to surrender, and so the last active G-5 rockets were utilized to flatten the cities of Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Reims, forcing the Comintern to unconditionally surrender, fearing total devastation. The Germans replaced the governments of the USSR and France with democratic, pro-european governments.
Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean, an unprecedented regional economic crisis that formed during the 1920s resulted in communist coups and uprisings in Anatolia, Greece, and colonies in North Africa. Although the uprisings within the colonial regions were quickly quashed, the movements and groups remained underground. During the chaos of the 1940s, the colonies within North Africa finally severed ties with their European oppressors. Initially various disparate communist states, Republican Spain - having unified Iberia militarily - rallied these various socialist regimes to form a unified workers' commonwealth of the Mediterranean. This nascent state supplied a communist coup in Italy, which resulted in civil war, with southern Italy joining the newly formed "Custodia of Socialist Republics".
While the Second World War ended in German-aligned victory, the Custodia held onto southern France and southern Italy and further centralized its control over the Mediterranean by the 1950s. The Germans saw little threat in the impoverished Mediterranean state and instead focused on rebuilding Europe, dismantling the USSR and rebuilding Russia, and coordinating with the Americans to end the war in Asia and southern Africa, letting the 'military unification of Iberia' by the communists slide. The CSR took in a sizable portion of the Soviet military command and assets; claiming to defect to the Custodia from the crumbling Soviet Union. In the postbellum Mediterranean, a new variation of communist ideology developed; custodian socialism. Integrating the state capitalism of Leninism and the repression and military focus of Stalinism, the Mediterranean would see fast industrialization under the CSR regime and by the 1970s, with the development of nuclear weapons by the CSR, Germany and its close American allies finally realized the gradually amassing danger of the CSR/FCSA-aligned international communist bloc.
Dumb little thing. This timeline was a ton of work spread over my break, vaguely inspired by a Hearts of Iron 4 game. :c
Points of interest will be finished up later.