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Old 08-29-2011, 07:53 PM
Location: Grove City, Ohio
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What if that baby born in 1889 had died of disease at three months old?

WW1 would obviously have happened but what about the period between 1927 and 1933 especially?

War with Japan most likely would have happened anyway but what about Europe?
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:11 PM
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
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Would war with Japan have happened? Maybe a slower, smoldering war, no surprise attack on Pearl Harbor ..... I wonder if maybe Japan was counting on Nazi Germany to distract us (like two dogs taking turns attacking) to be so bold. Still, they wanted us out of their faces.

Italy would have been fascist for a while, perhaps not as long as with Hitler's wholehearted support.

Germany would have continued with a weak economy and ineffectual politicians. No doubt that Hitler caused both their renaissance and their downfall. He got Germans jobs, made the trains run on time, greatly increased national pride and optimism, etc. He was at the tail-end of the imperialistic conquest period, when going out and grabbing weaker countries to build an empire was still morally acceptable in the minds of ordinary people.

I guess Europe would have muddled along, but there would have been no great impetus to industrialize. So the US would likely still have come to be a world power, but not one that spends a huge percentage of its budget on the war industry as now, and we would have kept on with reduced isolationist tendencies.

Probably Asia would have come under Japanese domination, we wouldn't have kept up with a smoldering war sans Pearl Harbor, since we still had isolationist tendencies.

The Soviet Union with its Marxist tendencies ..... who knows what would have happened to them without such severe destruction.

By the way, I'm not a historian, I just came across this on New Posts. It's all off the top of my head.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:42 PM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
War with Japan most likely would have happened anyway but what about Europe?
I do not think that we can assume the above, once you start altering any aspect of the past, you unavoidably trigger a chain of alterations. If there had been no European war consuming their resources, both the US and Great Britain could have concentrated their naval power in the Pacific and that might have served to make Japan look North, and take on the Russians again rather than the Southern strategy which they actually followed.

If the National Socialists sans Hitler had made no impact, might Germany's socialists have triumphed after the Great Depression rewrecked the economy which was just recovering from the war? A socialist Germany might have cozied up to the USSR and made the same sort of deal to carve up Poland. If Fritz and Ivan were suddenly pals, (Churchill has heart attack) Japan might have become concerned enough to seek an alliance with Britain and the US. There might have been some big three way conference where a mutual defense pact was signed, predicated upon Japan agreeing to accept Manchuria and a few coastal colonies in China, and shifting the rest of their army North to threaten the Soviets.

It is actually impossible to predict such things because the variables are infinite, the possibilities unlimited. Our personalities are the product of our genetics and our experiences. Consider that every person who was anywhere at a specific time due to reasons related to Hitler, will now be somewhere else doing something else, meeting different people, having different experiences, and becoming different people as a consequence. People who became husbands and wives in reality, now do not meet and people who were born, do not get born. The chain continues and eventually everything is different.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:12 PM
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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This topic can never be anything but deep speculation.

Fascism started in Italy, but the Spanish revolution next door was also won by Fascists. While Spain stayed neutral in WWII, it was sympathetic to the Germans and Italians. Mussolini's empire war in Ethiopia began long before WWII, and it is possible that Spain may have wanted to re-establish some empire in Africa or the Middle East as well. Italy and Spain could have allied for such purposes.

I think that Germany would have become a military power without Hitler. Another similar fascist leader would have arisen out of Austria.
Remember that Hitler was not a specially gifted man- he was influenced by others who were fascist leaders of the day, and it was his common-man appeal that helped him rise. The early Nazi party was full of guys like him, and Germany was really looking for a scapegoat. Jews fit the bill for all of them. Hitler's great ability lay in his endurance and perseverance as much as his speaking ability, and his willingness to kill his second tier leadership.

Rohm, Hitler's Brown shirt commander, was assassinated because he was as popular as Hitler and commanded a powerful militia that was more loyal to him than to Hitler.
Goehring was more famous than Hitler, as he was a genuine war hero, an officer, and was wealthy. He could have done as well at leadership as Rohm if he had the same amount of political desire. There were other military leaders like Goehring, and other politicians as adept as Hitler, all with similar ambitions.

The German people were desperate for an quick easy fix, and were looking for anyone who would give them direction, put them to work, and make them feel good about themselves again. Hitler's greatest political stroke was burning down the Reichstag- their capitol building- after he was elected Prime Minister. He declared martial law, and from then on, the country was in dictatorship. Without that, Hitler may well have faded from the scene, as there were other elected representatives with reconstruction plans. Hitler used some of those plans.
Another Nazi could have done things differently, as Hitler got into deep opposition as soon as he was elected, and he wasn't all that skilled in the national democratic arena. His support base was also too small to win over Germany by political means alone.
Another, more politically skilled leader with some similar objectives could have done a better job. Think of a German Roosevelt, and that's the picture. Europe really didn't want another war. A less confrontational German could have seized the same territory without a resulting fight if it was done more slowly and carefully. Western Europe only grew alarmed when the German military took over so much, so fast. Germany would have gone into the Sudatenland, Czechoslovakia and Poland without Hitler. There would have been a Nazi government with a strong leader sooner, not later, but it's likely that a different leader may not have been so over reaching as Hitler was.

Britain, one way or the other, would have been sucked in to a war with Germany, but it may have been more limited. They still had an empire, part in the Middle East and Africa, and were treaty bound to Poles and the Czechs. The outcome may have have been shorter, but that would only be possible if Churchill had been Prime Minister- he was earlier, and lost the job. Churchill saw the storm on the horizon long before the others did.

Even with a Churchill head start on preparation, Britain was still so depleted from WWI that I think the US would have done exactly what it did in providing early convoys of arms and food. While that was disputed a lot in the US, it put a lot of people to work. But the details could have been done differently- Canada could have played a much bigger role in the convoy supply if the ships and cargo were done with Canada becoming the official supplier.

But to change the supply picture would have required Roosevelt losing his 2nd election. Republicans were much more isolationist, as was the country was generally.

France would probably have been attacked by any German leader eventually. The French were the biggest and fiercest German opposition in WWI, and the most feared by Germany. The Free French probably would have sought our support, and we probably would have given it to them. The naval war would have been larger as a consequence, because Morrocco was French, and is the closest supply point to the US. The French fleet was very powerful.

Holland and Belgium would probably have been invaded, as the Germans needed warm water ports in the North Sea.

Japan would have done what it did. The Bushido culture and the military ruled, and Japan wanted to become a world power and needed the natural resources.
The United States would have been pulled in, and Pearl Harbor would have happened- it was the the Japanese coup stroke to weaken the US, and the Japanese were well aware of the consequences. The US would have still militarized, but the war may have been shorter, as our resources may not have been split, but would have been just as bloody and drawn out.

The Philippines were an American protectorate, and one of the biggest prizes in the Pacific. The US also possessed Wake Island, which was a critical Pacific supply point for both Japan and the US. The US was the biggest naval power in the Pacific. That conflict was inevitable, and the Japanese knew it long before we did.

The Russians wanted a protective barrier between them and Western Europe. The countries they occupied at the end of WWII were exactly what they wanted, and Stalin may have moved against them, even with no war against the Germans. Russia, by the outbreak of WWII, had already been beaten badly by the Japanese in 1909 and by the Germans in WWI. Poland and some of the other W. European nations were old enemies, and I think Stalin would have grabbed as much as he could there.

The Russians could have looked north and seized some territory- Chinese Mongolia and Korea- as a Japanese buffer, and probably would have still become our allies to do so. For sure, the Russians didn't want to mess with Germany. We would have fought the Pacific war any way the ball is spun.

Last edited by banjomike; 08-29-2011 at 11:45 PM..
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:57 AM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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This topic can never be anything but deep speculation.
You begin with the above recognition, but then follow it with a series of absolute oraculations such as:
Japan would have done what it did.
We would have fought the Pacific war any way the ball is spun.
Do you not see the contradiction between "...it can only be speculation"....and "this would have happened no matter what?"
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:39 AM
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As has been stated, such an assumption as Hitler never existing throws everything asunder and we are dealing with a total unknown. I think there are a couple reasonable scenarios we could draw from:

1. Dissolution of Germany into component states. Many people think of Germany as "Germany", but as a nation a united Germany only existed since 1871. Even then the component states of that united Germany remained largely autonomous in many aspects. Essentially it was a federation of states/kingdoms that all shared a common ruler. The Prussian state dominated the process as it was the largest, most powerful state and the one the kaiser hailed from. There were many regional differences in the political leanings.

For instance Bavaria was the hotbed for the fascists, while the industrial areas of Germany were largely socialist. Given the inherent issues of the Weimar Republic, especially in the way it allocated seats in Parliament in a direct manner (10% of votes equalled 10% of seats) it was ripe for fracturing. Absent a Hitler-esque personality to lead the NSDAP to success the German nation as a whole may very well have fractured back into its components with fascist/monarchy governments rising in Bavaria, socialist governments in industrial regions and perhaps even democracies in other areas. There is even a case that could be made for a military dictatorship rising in areas of Prussia.

This would have permanently broken German power, but it would have also drawn in other nations as they attempted to gain influence and allies in the former German territories. The Soviets would have actively supported the socialists, Italy would have actively supported the fascists, France and Britain would have buttressed the democracies, etc. It may have given rise to another war, but this one would have been over the influence over the former German territories.

2. Someone else besides Hitler rises to prominence in the NSDAP and things play out much like they did. This is probably the most likely scenario as there were other leaders who could have filled a Hitlerless power vacuum. Who that would have been is anyone's guess (Hitler himself was pretty much an unknown), but all of the basic pieces that allowed Hitler to gain power were still there, Hitler didn't so much as machinate his rise as he simply took the opportunity to do so and then consolidated his power once he was there.

3. Absent a strong NSDAP the socialists rapidly rise to power. This scenario is pretty believable as it was the socialist blocks that created the Weimar Republic to begin with. I do think that a true socialist government if in power, would face unrest that may have seen the country splinter as per number 1. However, if the country was held together and a true socialist state rose in Germany, it would make for a very interesting scenario.

The Soviets would have been very supportive of a socialist Germany, even if it was not as socialist as Russia was. This alliance would have faced/caused a couple interesting scenarios:

-The fate of Eastern Europe, especially Poland would have been in serious doubt. Surrounded by powerful socialist states the Poles only hope would be the continuing support of their allies France and Britain. Perhaps a division of Poland still occurs and triggers a war, this time between Britain and France vs. Germany and Russia.

-Ignoring the question of Poland, a succesful socialist state in Germany would have had large political ramifications in other nations, particularly France and Britain, possibly the United States. France had a strong socialist party already and was leaning toward social democracy as it was. A socialist "revolution" in Germany could have very easily spread to France and France did not possess nearly the size of the "power elite" that existed in Britain, the United States and even in Germany historically. A socialist government in France may very well have led to a strong reactionary element in Britain and given rise to a British fascist government. It is not a far stretch to see the United States taking a similar course under the threat of spreading socialism, or at least adopting a stronger fascist stance while retaining the veneer of republican democracy.

If France were to fall to the socialists we would end up with a French, German, Russian socialist continental block that was now diametrically opposed by fascist governments in Italy, Spain, Britain and the United States. The trigger for a war under these conditions would be a revolution in France or Germany to overthrow the socialist government that is then supported by the "fascist block", or an exporting of a socialist revolution to threaten other areas.

If the "socialist block" just settled down and did nothing, we would end up with a Cold War, earlier than it was. If that block sees the opportunity to expand across all of Europe, it would most likely trigger a much larger world war. I would envision Japan solidly on the fascist side in such a conflict.

4. Call this one the "Command and Conquer Red Alert" scenario. The Weimar Republic limps along buttressed by American and British money. No clear cut party ever gains control and Germany remains a weak "secondary" nation in Europe. As the Soviets expand and strengthen their military, they eventually set their sites on Western Europe. Sometime in the mid-late 1940's the Soviets invade Poland, eastern German territory and SE Europe. This move is responded to by a block of much less militarily prepared western nations such as Weimar Germany, France and Britain. The republics end up fighting the communists for control of Europe. The United States remains neutral while supplying large amounts of material aid to the western allies.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:24 PM
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
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...... and selling lots of weapons to both sides.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:47 PM
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
What if that baby born in 1889 had died of disease at three months old?

WW1 would obviously have happened but what about the period between 1927 and 1933 especially?

War with Japan most likely would have happened anyway but what about Europe?
The we'd be talking about Feuhr Goering or Himmler instead.

Hitler didn't invent the nazi party, he was chosen by the nazi party because of his oratory skills.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:33 PM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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The fate of Eastern Europe, especially Poland would have been in serious doubt. Surrounded by powerful socialist states the Poles only hope would be the continuing support of their allies France and Britain. Perhaps a division of Poland still occurs and triggers a war, this time between Britain and France vs. Germany and Russia.
First, that was a terrific essay which you provided, covering numerous possible scenarios.

I'd like to run with the one above.

In reality, the threat of the fascists ultimately produced the strange bed partners of capitalists and communists working as allies to defeat them.

If Germany had gone socialist and had forged some sort of alliance with the USSR, might it not have been possible that the western democracies would have found common cause with fascist Italy and fascist Japan..under the bigger threat theory?

I would guess that under the Russian/German alliance scenario, Japan's aggression against China would have suddenly seemed not so offensive at all...better Japan overrunning China than the Russians. Rather than denying Japan oil, the US and Britain would have been laboring to make sure that Japan had enough to sustain their armies in Manchuria so that they constituted an ongoing threat to the Russians and forced them to keep a good chunk of their army away from any efforts in the west.

As for WW II...who can say? In this scenario, we may readily imagine the fate of middle Europe as the German and Soviet super alliance would have divided up those nations and installed socialist governments there. Britain and France might have threatened war over this, but it would have been a hollow threat. Instead the world might have settled down to a spheres of influence arrangement whereby Eastern Europe was considered lost to the socialists, while the British/French/US/Italy/Japan alliance would have been designed to make sure that socialism spread no further...a stand off, as you mentioned in speculating about a premature cold war.

In sum, the above would represent more or less the outcome of WW II, but without it having been fought.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:34 PM
Location: Here.
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Leaders don't create the crises; the crises create the leaders.
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