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The Parade Square => Military History => Topic started by: time expired on July 09, 2007, 08:21:29

Title: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: time expired on July 09, 2007, 08:21:29
History is full of "what ifs" a couple of my favorites are,what if the British
had lost on the Plains of Abraham,what if the Brits. had come into the
US civil war on the side of the Confedracy.But the one I would like to kick
the thread off with is,what if Churchill had made a deal with Hitler in
1940,and decided that there enough Brit. Commonwealth gravesites in
France,and if Hitler kept his hands off British interests and possession's
he could carry on in Europe.Any fellow speculators.
                                           Regards
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: mover1 on July 09, 2007, 08:56:13
Mel Gibson would be happy.  ;D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Old Sweat on July 09, 2007, 09:37:14
Last Monday I sat beside an American historian at a luncheon. His "thing" is the French and Indian Wars. We spent a fair amount of time "what ifing" about the face of the world if the British had traded Quebec back to France, taking Louisiana and the Mississippi Valley in exchange. For starters, with a potentially hostile Quebec on the border and no Quebec Act to constrain westwards expansion, there would not have been a War of Independence. The growth of Quebec would have been limited by Rupert's Land to its north-west, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to the east and who knows how many colonies to the south and south west. After that, it's anybody's guess. 
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Danjanou on July 09, 2007, 10:06:43
Ah one of my personal favourite topic, I admit I’m a sucker for alternate history books
(Turtledove SM Stirling etc.) .

Good potential thread topic here, quick mod hat on for a second to keep it reasonably civil, ok hat off.

Old Sweat I’ve also studied the century of conflict a bit and concur. There would have been no American Revolution had the French not been defeated in North America. The possibilities of this are endless, another century of border war between an increasingly isolated New France and an ever expanding British North America. Would the events in North America change those in Europe, no French Revolution? No Napoleon?

How long before the British and Spanish clashed in the south west? Would the British Colonies eventually evolve into a Dominion as happened here? How would the British have dealt with the Indians, would we have seen an Indian Confederacy rise into a separate nation/power block on the continent perhaps acting as a buffer between British, French and Spanish possessions?
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Danjanou on July 09, 2007, 10:20:54
Time Expired. I think many events in the first year of the ar may have gone more or less similar, with the Germans overrunning Poland and then the low countries and France. Ten British Divisions and limited airpower in France would not have made too much of a difference.

I wonder if Germany would have bothered with the Norway campaign, preferring to keep them benevolently neutral? I also wonder re an incursion into the Balkans in 1941. I think this still would have happened to strengthen lines of communications to Germany’s main allies there Rumania and Hungary. and to provide another jumping off point for Barbarossa. That incidentally would have happened earlier and probably been more successful. I doubt even all the Wehrmact could have bested the Soviets but perhaps pushed them back to the Urals.

Some interesting points. First if/when France fell and a Vichy Government came to power, would the Germans have got the French fleet, or would the British have violated their “neutrality” and attempted to sink it as they did at Oran and Dakar in 1940. Nine battleship, four of them modern, with two more building, a carrier and 20 odd cruisers and a total fleet of 240 odd ships would have given Hitler an instant Blue Water navy. Even if Britain remained neutral in 1939-40, they must have known eventually they’d have to fight perhaps in 1943-44, and they are a maritime nation.

Second Italy. They would still have entered the war  and stabbed France in the back and probably later invaded the Balkans as happened. But would the Italian-British clashes in Libya and Ethiopia/Somaliland in 1940-41 have happened? Possibly a situation similar to Japan and the Soviets would have occurred, with England and Italy at war but England still remaining neutral vis a vis Germany.

Finally move forward a year or two. What would have happened in the Pacific? Perhaps a separate unconnected conflict between the US and Japan?
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: time expired on July 09, 2007, 11:35:35
Danjanou,I think if this agreement had taken place after the Battle of Britain
Hitler would have welcomed a arrangement with Britain.I am also sure that
Churchill would have realised that it would have come to a confrontation
and could have prepared the military much better than it was prepared in
1939.If the Japanese had still attacked the US, Britain could have offered
to assist them and hammered out  a very advantageous treaty for this help.
The French fleet is an interesting point I had not given that much thought
but I think that the Germans may have stayed out of North Africa and not
risked the agreement with Churchill and would have been able to convinced
the Italians to go along, by sharing France with them.Moscow would have
probably fallen but I think the Russians would have fought on and kept the
 Germans busy for a few more years.
                                              Regards
.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Old Sweat on July 09, 2007, 12:02:24
For the British to have signed a truce with the Germans in 1940 (or if they had remained neutral), someone other than Churchill would have had to have been the Prime Minister. In fact there was a power struggle in late May within the British government over whether they should reach an agreement with Hitler or continue to fight. Churchill prevailed, and the rest, as they say, is history.

An interesting bit of speculation is what would have happened if Italy had remained neutral. For starters, the Balkans campaign would not have taken place in the Spring of 1941, which meant the invasion of the USSR could have started a few weeks earlier. A longer campaign season might have made a difference on the Eastern Front in that first year.

A neutral English-speaking world in 1941 could have led to all sorts of odd developments, including Japan turning north instead of into the South Seas to stab a tottering Soviet Union in the back.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 09, 2007, 12:20:19
Oh joy!  I love "what ifs!"
OK, here's my "what if":
February, 1943.  Tunisia and Stalingrad are now bitter memories for the Germans.  Seeing the Fuehrer's inept handling of the two active fronts, frustrated with events all round (less von Manstein's clever handling of the mobile defensive in southern Russia), Hitler is assassinated later that year.
Following a visit to the front in Spring 1943, Hitler's Ju-52, complete with fighter escort, is heading back to Berlin.  On board, known only to a few, are some pressure activated bombs, hidden in Cognac bottles.  The planes encounter a storm front, and ready to go "under" the storm to avoid some heavy clouds.  Just as the planes are about to go lower, the pilot notes a clear patch a bit farther south.  He reckons that there is a good tail wind there, making the long flight that much shorter.  He announces the change to the fighter pilots and throttles up to gain altitude.  As the aircraft climbs, he suddenly hears a lound explosion from within the plane.  He is losing control of the aircraft as it begins to lose altitude.  He sends out his SOS, announcing that his engine has caught fire and exploded.  The Fuehrer is quickly roused from his sleep and his aides begin to strap a parachute to him.  The plane is bucking and  yawing so much that they are not successful.  The planed explodes in a firey ball in the Pripjet marshes.  All aboard are killed instantly.
There is chaos in Berlin as the news reaches every headquarters.  von Manstein, flush with victory at Kharkov, is recalled to Berlin and due to his being one of the few Field Marshalls with a perfect record, is appointed to the OKW.  
The politicos at the high end of the Nazi Food Chain begin to posture for position.  In the end, a nervous (and drug addicted) Hermann Goering is nominated Fuehrer.  He instantly begins to meddle in the military matters of the conduct of the war, but due to some clever background manoeuvring (and some spiking of his heroin cocktails), "Dicker Hermann" begins to slip only into the realm of "Grand Strategy" and "International Politics".  Speer takes over manufacturing as von Manstein, Guderian et al consider the future of the war, less half a million fine young soldiers now permanently struck off the order of battle.
After careful consideration, they make some very key decisions:
First, due to careful examination of events over the previous year, they decide that ENIGMA is somehow compromised.  ENIGMA II is prepared for use.  In the meantime, transmissions are sent using veiled speech, the U Boats are recalled with "fixed" orders awaiting the issuing of ENIGMA II.  As well, "fake" ENIGMA transmissions and directives are sent, and the Western Allies are none the wiser.
Next, the main effort will continue to be the war in the east.  von Manstein's plan for a "Back hand blow" is accepted and put into place for the upcoming summer.  Though the German forces remain quite powerful, they lack sufficient strength to bash through the Russian defenses.  Through a set of strategems, the Russians are lead to believe that a massive offensive will be mounted around Kursk.
The secondary effort is set at the blunting of the Anglo/American air offensive.  Here Speer initiates development and production for "Wasserfall", a radar guided anti aircraft rocket.  First use is anticipated for October, 1943.  The Germans just hope that it isn't too late by then.
The next priority is the Atlantic Wall.  Rommel is dispatched to "do his thing" and starts by strengthening the wall and gets his wish for panzer and panzergrenadier units to be pushed forward in order to meet the invasion, expected for May 1944 at the earliest, at the beaches.
The "offensive" at Kursk kicks off on 5 July 1943.  The Russians commit to their counteroffensive, and learn only on 7 July that the "offensive" was nothing more than a demonstration.  Their forces make great headway and more and more units are thrown into the breach by Stalin, including the strategic reserve, the 5th Guards Tank Army.  After an advance of 200 km in some areas, and in spite of warnings from the STAVKA that the German offensive was nothing but a ruse, Stalin "dismisses" the naysayers and installs a batch of sycophants in their place.  He announces that the Red Army has achieved mastery over the Wehrmacht, even in the summer months.
On 10 July, the same day that Anglo-American forces invade Sicily, the Germans launch their real offensive in the east. Gone are the lofty goals of oil fields in Asia; their goal now is the destruction of the Red Army.  By 12 July, they have sealed the trap and some five complete armies are encircled.  There are no untrapped forces left who can assist in a break out, even though Stalin would have none of that.  Attempts to "link up" are foiled by layers of German AT defences as von Manstein expertly husbands the forces available.
In Sicily, the Anglo American forces are able to advance, albeit slowly in the face of a skillful delaying action: trading infantry space for time.
By the end of August, 1943, the Russian Forces trapped in the so-called "Poltava" pocket begin to show signs that they are soon to be destroyed.  After yet another failed breakout attempt, the pocket begins to contract.  The Germans tighten the noose, and begin to reduce it with patience, employing the large siege artillery used the year before at Sevestapol.  Elsewhere, the front is shortened and divisions are freed up for the intended defense of Italy.
On 1 September 1943, Pravda issues an announcement that "Army Group Poltava" has ceased to exist, destroyed due to traitorous conduct by key members of the STAVKA.  Of the 'convicted', Zhukov is the most important one to be named.  He and the others are hanged in Red Square, and a massive stalement akin to the front in World War One settles across Russia.  Germany has its breathing space: for now.

......

To be continued.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 09, 2007, 12:28:43
Very good Garvin! Hmm, yeah mine is a little less 'strategic' but just as important. What if the Americans never had a force in Iceland to steer of a German invasion, and the Germans consequently invade Iceland and then make their way to Greenland an are ready to make a move into North America as a whole.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Danjanou on July 09, 2007, 15:06:59
Been reading too much Tom Clancy there Mike. German amphibious capabilities were no where good enough for something that large. Take a look at the problems they had in Norway and Crete. There’s also that little thiong called the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

The trick with this is to stay fairly close to reality. One small event can have disastrous consequences. Turtledove did that with his How Few Remain the fist book in the series that has the USA and CSA as separate and warring nations in North America. In that book the CSA wins the ACW because a set of Confederate plans that in real life were lost and found by Union troops aren’t.

Time Expired. I’m now involved in a naval war gaming campaign with my local grognard group and am playing the French fleet. As such I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research on La Marine. It was damn powerful fleet that because of a few accidents of history was never utilized.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 09, 2007, 15:13:34
Yeah, but Dan, what if their amphibious capabilities we much better then they were in the real history???  :D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 09, 2007, 15:21:50
Yeah, but Dan, what if their amphibious capabilities we much better then they were in the real history???  :D
That would involve an intervention by Alien Space Bats.  In my scenario, I talk of two things that nearly happened.  First the attempted "Attentat" on Hitler.  In reality, that plane didn't climb to full altitude due to weather.  Second, "Wasserfall" was real, but not developed due to Hitler's disdain on defensive weapons. 
In reality, von Manstein wanted the summer of 1943 to be one of a backhand blow.  If you look at what I did (one key event with a series of butterfly effects, thrown in with an Alien Space Bat intervention of the ENIGMA/ULTRA compromise), it's not that far off.  Sicily still happens as in our time line (OTL), but things will change in the Autumn of 1943 as more German Divisions become availabe for use in Italy and France. 

In other words, more to come!
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: warspite on July 09, 2007, 15:34:07
Mike it has to be remembered that hitler was never really interested in conquering westwards ( not say it wouldn't have hapened eventually). He followed what he wrote in his book pretty closely and what he wrote was that he wanted to conquer russia up to the ural mountains....

Now for my what ifs  ;D
ww2-
-What if operation barbossa had been launched on time and not delayed a month, what if the divisions ahdn't been given constantly changing objecvives and instead focussed on taking moscow first. If this had happened moscow would probably fallen, and since the country was tied to moscow it could therefore be rolled up and easily defeated. Thus freeing up troops and resources to fight the allies on the western front.....
-What if Hitler had unleashed his submarines from day one of the war. After all Churchill did say that they were the only thing that worried him during the war....
-What if hitlers car had not gotten a flat tire and the bombing run missed him by 15 minutes....
-What if Hitler had been shot in world war one (remember reading an article on a soldier he realized later that he had had him in his sights in ww2, said soldier had recieved a medal for his bravery that day)
-What if the few escort carriers and destroyers had not gone up against a japenese force consisting of heavy cruisers and battleships and battle against them till the japenese turned back. Thus saving the us landing forces in the philipines( I believe these were the islands) from japenese naval bombarment.... ( note: unit won a presidential citation for its actions. The The destroyers charged the enemy fleets and torpedoed them, while the excort carriers aircraft did what they could to hurt the enemy)

And on to a different era....
-What if napoleon had joined the royal navy as a youth ( as was hs first choice)
-What if Nelson had not attacked at the nile when conventional stategy dictated not to. The french army would have had a free hand in eygpt, not been crippled like it was.
-What if napoleon had not been allowed to escape. The war wouldn't have had that brief flair up, there wouldn't have been another peace conference. Brittians forign minister wouldn't have gotten to put his plan of a balance of power and Brittian as the worlds policeman. As a purely imperial power Brittian could have justified strangling euroupe into submission with its navy....
-What if Lord Cochrane had managed to pick up Napoleon and install him as emperor of chile.  This one is a garenteed fact. Cochrane had a major part in chilean independence, weather prevented him from picking up napoleon on his way to chile and napoleon died before he could pick him up after chile was liberated. Despite fighting with a sucsess record short of only Nelson Cochrane was in disfavour with the admiralty for his actions hence his taking up a job offer with chile, and despite fighting against napoleon he admired him.

And back a little further in time....
-What if Cromwell had not seized power in england. It was during this time that the royal navy was provided with a permament financial base and was reformed in terms of effeciency morale and organizations, giving it the edge over all other navies in europe.....

-And although I'm running out of time lets go back a little further yet....
What if rome had remained a republic and continued its expansion over europue and the rest of the world, rather than becoming increasingly dependent on the emporer's direct orders. This killed the ability of local govenors to deal with crisis and rebellion, and killed expansion as the emperor could not trustanyone to command armies for conquest lest they get enough glory to challenge him, and since he couldn't lead the armies ( leaving rome open to an usurper) expansion ceased and from this the empire decayed...

and just cause I'm on a roll lets go to the us civil war....
-What if at gettysburg the confederacy had managed to gain the high ground and won the battle.... leaving them free to march on washington. They were held off by a single company wich used superior tatics to hold off and then out of amuntion rout the enemy...
-What if brittin had done more than just build the confederacy ships, wat if they had declared war...

What if indeed... ( dramatic music)
Man I wished I had more timt to ramble.... ;)
(Excuse me if I have any minor errors in facts goin from memory)
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: mover1 on July 09, 2007, 15:41:07
Technology would be 20-30 years behind. All the technological marvels from the cold war and those started in WW2 wouldn't have been invented.

Germany and Europes indutrial complex wouldn't have been bombed to ruins, meaning no happy 50's for the Americans. Seeing as the only reason everything was made in America is because there was no competition left in the world post 45.

No Baby Boom, No Suez Canal, No Veitnam, no Space Program.
 No 72 Summit Series, No Cold War, No Germany Stories.

No UN
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Staff Weenie on July 09, 2007, 15:44:12
Capt Sensible - you'd also have to 'wish away' the fact that OKW or indeed Hitler's personal staff was heavily compromised. Though I'm not sure who 'Wether' was (possibly Bormann), this agent was passing on details and German plans to the Soviets, reputedly before German field commanders had them.....

Germany's own spies were also all (completely IIRC) compromised....

Same with the Japanese - once Purple was cracked, it went downhill from there.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: S.M.A. on July 09, 2007, 16:10:00
I only skimmed this thread...but have any of you also thought about "what if" Hitler had pulled off Operation Sealion in 1940 after a different outcome in the Battle of Britain?

Or if the Imperial Japanese Navy had won the Battle of Midway and eventually invaded Hawaii and the US mainland? This last scenario is covered in at least one English alternate history novel and one alt. history novel in Japanese- of course Danjanou already mentioned Harry Turtledove- I wonder if he read the "Days of Infamy" series?

 :o
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Danjanou on July 09, 2007, 17:35:11
Yeah I read them.

I find Turtledove rather hit and miss. When he's good he's good when he's off he's as they say in the old country "right the frig outta der bye." case in point ginger addicted alien lizards showing uopmon Earth in 1941 ::)

The two part Pearl Harbour series was ok. Basically he transposed what happened in the Philipinnes to Hawaii, Death March, internment of civillians etc. Having the US Carriers taken out one at a time was quite plausible. In the end history repeats itself but the US is 2-3 years behind schedule and trying to retake Honululu in 1943. That would suggest they won't get to Guam until 1945-46 and Iwo Jima etc until 1948-49. Also he alludes to the fact that the US is so concerned about the Pacific that basically they are offering only minimal support in Africa and Europe, no Torch, no 8th Air force bombing Germany, no Lend Lease.

The surfer dude character was too much though  8)
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: S.M.A. on July 09, 2007, 17:48:33
What about the "Fox on the Rhine" series?

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Danjanou on July 09, 2007, 19:08:06
What about the "Fox on the Rhine" series?

To be honest I haven't read them ....yet. A friend has and highly recommnds them.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on July 12, 2007, 00:06:10
There is a book on "What ifs" (can't remember the title) which ends with a real howler (Al Gore as president in the moments after 9/11 musing on a speech where he tells the Islamic world that the 9/11 attacks were inappropriate), but also looks at what would have happened if Lord Hamilton had become Prime Minister instead of Churchill (which apparently was very close to happening).

Hitler would have had a free hand in the East, neutral Britain would eventually find itself facing a hostile continent across the channel (and locked out of these markets; the same problem they faced during the Napoleonic wars) and things would have gone downhill from there. America was concerned about the Pacific, and might well have concentrated their efforts on Imperial Japan.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: JackD on July 12, 2007, 01:31:14
By the way, i found a 'listening site' on what was - newscasts from the start of the war amongst others - they are a bit of an 'ear opener' - on their analysis, on speculation, and on the issues discussed: http://www.otr.com/news.shtml
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: FascistLibertarian on July 12, 2007, 11:17:18
Mike
If Iceland got invaded then Canadians would be all mad that we sent Z Force there and would see it as part of a Canadian/British plot.
After all, why did we send them to what we knew would be guard duty?
Why did we send them when we knew they could not win or be helped after fighting started?
Books would be written about this selling out. The CBC would drag it up everyonce in awhile. People would know about Z Force.
In short, Iceland would be the new Hong Kong. ;)

What if Germany had put off attacking Russia for another year, built up their supplies and logistics, and attacked as early as they could?

What if the Germans knew either when/where D-Day would happen OR that it would be the real invasion and not a diversion?

What if the Germans knew the allies had Ultra?
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: ArmyVern on July 12, 2007, 11:20:42
On topic ...

I'm speculating ...

"What if I were a blonde??"

 ;D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 12, 2007, 11:23:51
On topic ...

I'm speculating ...

"What if I were a blonde??"

 ;D
Then you would be my favorite Mod  ;) :D

Not saying your not, but, uhhh, uh oh... 

 >:D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: 3rd Herd on July 12, 2007, 12:37:21

Same with the Japanese - once Purple was cracked, it went downhill from there.

Wrong,
although the US had cracked some of the Japanese codes their were several problems, primarily in the area of translation and the lack of personal. The US was never as successful as the Polish, French, British effort and the German codes. My most recent "what if" from Tug of War: The Canadian Victory That Opened Antwerp. What if  "Mad Tuesday" never occurred, the British armoured carried on for another 50 miles. The war would have been over in 1944.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 12, 2007, 12:43:19
Capt Sensible - you'd also have to 'wish away' the fact that OKW or indeed Hitler's personal staff was heavily compromised. Though I'm not sure who 'Wether' was (possibly Bormann), this agent was passing on details and German plans to the Soviets, reputedly before German field commanders had them.....
Fair enough.  I suppose I need a few more Alien Space Bats than I originally intended, but perhaps Canaris is on that plane with Adolf (for whatever reason) and a "new guy" ("Neumann"?) at the Abwehr detects the leaks, eliminates them (effectively plugging the gap).  Perhaps von Manstein, once appointed OKW (or did I say OKH?  I can never remember...) "makes up" a plan, follows up for leaks and observes Soviet reaction to test his and "Neumann"'s theories.  They find the mole, have him secretly executed, and continue to feed the Reds with info: although this time it sends false info for key events, but true info for mundane events.  Would that work?

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Greymatters on July 12, 2007, 12:58:29
Didnt the OKW dislike the use of spies in the first place as part of their 'old school' attitude?  If i recall correctly they liked intelligence but did not approve of 'civilians' who played double roles.   
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Haggis on July 12, 2007, 13:02:51
case in point ginger addicted alien lizards showing up on Earth in 1941 ::)


Everyone knows this happened in 1947 in New Mexico.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 12, 2007, 13:08:16
Didnt the OKW dislike the use of spies in the first place as part of their 'old school' attitude?  If i recall correctly they liked intelligence but did not approve of 'civilians' who played double roles.   
I'm not sure.

OKH became responsible for the conduct of the war in the East, and OKW for "everything else".  Very frigged up.  Maybe "post Hitler" this is all settled and OKW is responsible to provide direction to the Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine and Heer.  Whatever.  I think that OKH may have been more "old school" than OKW, but I could be wrong.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on July 13, 2007, 10:40:45
National Socialist Germany is an object lesson in Jerry Pournelle's "Iron Law of Bureaucracy". The internal organization of the Third Reich was a mess (trying to draw an org chart would be akin to Mike Holmes doing a "before" wiring diagram on one of the houses he fixes), and the petty and not so petty functionaries were willing to go to the mat to protect their bits of turft. The classic example that I recall is the navy was desperately trying to put the Type XXI "Electroboot" into production, but the various shipyards and companies which made the older Type VII simply refused to give up their allocations of workers and raw materials. Given the Type XXI was built out of modular sections and could be made far faster than the traditional type VII, you can only wonder what would have happened if the planned "surge" ever took to sea.

This sort of thing is rife in almost any society, but especially so in societies ruled by fear, force or secrecy; reading about the newly unearthed history of the Soviet space program makes the Byzantine Empire look simple and straightforward.

The Third Reich would have lurched along with or without Hitler (the USSR managed to survive with a similarly disfunctional society) until it was smashed by an external power (real history) or collapsed due to chronic dysfunction (the end of the USSR, and most autocratic societies in history). Given the smaller resource base of Germany, and the ability to apply direct military power against the centre (impossible during the Cold War due to the presence of nuclear weapons), I don't think National Socialist Germany would have survived the 1950's at the latest. It is also quite possible that the United States would have unleashed the first nuclear weapon against an undefeated Germany in the mid to late 1940's in persuit of "unconditional surrender".
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: 3rd Herd on July 14, 2007, 15:05:44
J.T.'s Alternate History Site  http://www.tateville.com/althistory/index.html
"I have a degree in history and have continued to study it and its related fields.  Alternate History, or Counterfactual History, tries to answer the great questions of "What if so and so happened or didn't happened?".  What if Germany had won WW1 or WW2?  What if Britain had crushed the American Revolution?  What if Napoleon had never fallen and had become supreme ruler of Europe? What if the Soviet Union had won the Cold War?  And the most popular one: What if the South had won the Civil War/War Between the States/War of Secession?  The list goes on and on.  Authors such as Harry Turtledove, Robert Sobel, and many others have written books and novels to answer some of these questions.  There are also amateur authors, many who have put up websites of their own."

Some interesting reading. 

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: DaveTee on July 16, 2007, 14:46:35
One question I've wondered about before, and hopefully no one else has posted it here, is what if Nazi ideology hadn't been racist? What if they had accepted the conquered peoples as equals, but as part of Germany once conquered? If they hadn't been so iron handed and evil, would they have found support among the people they oppressed? I mean imagine a conquered France where life goes on, except the mayor is a burgermeister. I mean without the awful concentration camps, the gestapo, the SS, all those loathsome elements of the racial supremacy, could they have formed an empire?
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Drummy on July 16, 2007, 16:13:30
What if Paul Hellyer had never been born?     :)

Part of the answer might be that we would still have 17 Regular Force Bands in the system instead of 6 !

Drummy
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Spencer100 on July 16, 2007, 17:11:29
What if Paul Hellyer had never been born?     :)

Part of the answer might be that we would still have 17 Regular Force Bands in the system instead of 6 !

Drummy

An other part of the answer is some other ex minister would have to be looking for the "ginger addicted aliens."  Or is that two different threads  ::)
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on July 16, 2007, 23:56:10
One question I've wondered about before, and hopefully no one else has posted it here, is what if Nazi ideology hadn't been racist? What if they had accepted the conquered peoples as equals, but as part of Germany once conquered? If they hadn't been so iron handed and evil, would they have found support among the people they oppressed? I mean imagine a conquered France where life goes on, except the mayor is a burgermeister. I mean without the awful concentration camps, the gestapo, the SS, all those loathsome elements of the racial supremacy, could they have formed an empire?

The logic of "National Socialism" may have been explicitly racist, but it only built on the existing foundations of Socialism. One only has to look at full fledged expressions of Socialism to see "awful concentration camps, the gestapo, the SS" existing under different names, and "racial enemies" renamed as "enemies of the people", "Kulacks", "Social Parasites" and so on. In fact, the Third Reich were pikers compared to some of their Socialist counterparts: USSR=20 million + dead; Maoist China est 60 million dead; Pol Pot's Cambodia est 3 million dead.....

If Socialism was persued in a less agressive form, we may have seen something like sleepy and impoverished Francoist Spain, or the chaotic South American Juntas of the post war period (particularly Peronist Argentina) (or Cuba or Venesuala today). Even "Democraatic Socialism" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) simply leads to stagnation at best or the destruction of civil society like we are seeing in the UK today at worst. If Socialism isn't actively opposed, it can exist for a long time (gradually mutating into oligarchy or devolving into something resembling feudalism).

Be thankful the West won WW II and WW III.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 17, 2007, 09:53:08
On 1 September 1943, Pravda issues an announcement that "Army Group Poltava" has ceased to exist, destroyed due to traitorous conduct by key members of the STAVKA.  Of the 'convicted', Zhukov is the most important one to be named.  He and the others are hanged in Red Square, and a massive stalement akin to the front in World War One settles across Russia.  Germany has its breathing space: for now.

MORE
Situation: East Front.  A stalemate akin to the trench warfare on the Western Front in the first world war stretches from Leningrad in the north to the Black Sea in the south.  The Soviet Union had lost massive tank reserves and were again in a rebuilding stage in order to press home another offensive.  The initial dates for the start of their latest offensive was to begin on 1 December 1943, however, due to the sheer numbers of lost tanks and crews, the date was postponed until sometime in the new year.  In the meantime, the Germans were strengthening their positions and placing powerful mobile reserves behind the front in order to once again apply a "back hand blow" to any Soviet offensive, which they suspected to begin sometime around mid December.
In the West, the Allies had finally landed in Italy in early September.  Their gains were less than expected initially.  On the political front, the government in Rome surrendered following a coup that ousted Mussolini et al.  The Germans reacted strongly, reinforcing their own forces in Italy such that they were able to occupy the entire nation, much as they had done with so many other nations they had already conquered.
In France, Rommel's staff, along with OB West, completed an extensive estimate as to the expected cross-channel invasion.  For a timeline, they didn't expect any attempt to land until sometime in the spring.  For a location, they dismissed outright the Pas de Calais.  Although that area was closest to the shores of the UK, it was some distance from the ports that would be required to embark any invasion fleet.  The unanimous opinion was that the area between Cherbourg and Le Havre (Normandy) was the obvious choice for any invasion.  The beaches were suitable for landing draft, it was well within range for fighter support and the distance to the embarking ports was much closer than the Pas de Calais.  As well, Cherbourg and Le Havre could serve initially as ports for supplying any invading army.  Also curious was the rather rampant use of un encoded wireless traffic from Patton's "Army" opposite the Pas de Calais.  Given the lack of traffic from anywhere else in the UK, it was obvious to Canaris and his staff that this was a ruse.  Nevertheless, the armies in the Pas de Calais were readied in the event.
The Abwehr made a key intercept due to interrogations of captured Resistance leaders in France.  Two lines of a poem by Verlain, Chanson d'Autumne, would indicate the landings.  The BBC broadcast "messages" to the occupied nations, most of which were in fact coded instructions for the resistance.  The first line, "Les sanglot longs des violons de l'automne" mean that the day would happen soon.  The follow up, or executive would be broadcast within 48 hours of the invasion: "Blesse mon coeur d'une langueur monotone."  Radio intercept units were listening intently for these lines.  Chiefs of staff were instructed to put cancel leaves whenever the first line were heard.  When the second line was intercepted, all units would go to maximum alert.
The months of winter 1943-1944 dragged on.  Fighting in Italy was savage, but rather small scaled compared to the fighting of the previous years.  The offensive in the East never materialised, which only bought time for the Germans.  Their preparations for their defensive works were carried out.  The only offensive action with any repurcussions at all was the intensifying of the seige at Leningrad.  The Germans brought up their powerful railway guns to put pressure on the city.  They reasoned correctly that any attempt on their part to attack the city would draw in Soviets like moths to a flame.  Repeated attacks to break into the city failed miserably in the face of German opposition.  In a military sense, the continued pressure on Leningrad did little.  On a psychological and political sense, it drained the USSR of vital resources and effort in a fruitless mission.
At the home front of the US/UK bombing offensive over Germany, the autumn raids over Schweinfurt caused such loss that the US daylight raids ceased.  The Wasserfall project was ready for initial implementation, however, the numbers were low.  The Germans decided to place the missile batteries around the Ruhr and to use them exclusively at night: fighters would continue to form the first line of defence against any resumption of the US bomber offensive.
On the night of 1/2 December 1943, a UK raid over the Ruhr was engaged for the first time by Wasserfall.  Night fighters initially conducted their intercepts as they followed the waves of bombers from the coast to the German border.  As one British pilot commented later, they noticed that as soon as they entered German airspace, the fighter attacks ceased completely.  At first the pilots reasoned that these fighters were called off and the next wave of fighters were simply delayed in making their intercept attempts.  As they flew on, they became more and more suspicious of what was to await them.  The normal 88mm FLAK was engaging them throughout their flight; however, there were no fighters at all.
As they passed over the Rhine on their terminal approaches to their targets, something aweful happened.  As the pilot noted, a plane to his left suddenly erupted in a bright flash.  A direct hit by FLAK would do that, and it wasn't all that rare of a sight, though disheartening.  The pilot then noted a slow "tracer" arcing up from the ground towards them.  It hit another plane directly and it too exploded.  Looking around him, the pilot noted at least three other planes had burst into flame and were spiralling towards the earth.  Little did he know that these were radar guided missiles, the "Wasserfall" in their first combat operation.  Of 233 planes heading towards their target that night, 55 were destroyed by the Wasserfall intercepts.  Combined with the 8 lost to night fighters and 3 to FLAK, the 28% casualty rate to the bombing force was totally unacceptable.
Thinking that the high rate was a freak of luck, the UK Bombers approached Germany again the next night.  This time, of 198 planes, 68 were destroyed by Wasserfall, 4 to night fighers and 1 to FLAK.  With a total of 37% of the force destroyed at night, UK Bomber Command suspended all bombing operations until they could figure out was the problem was.
On 8 December 1943, they amended their tactics such that they bombed military targets over France in anticipation of the invasion in the Spring: for the first time in years, the nights were quiet in Germany.

To Be Continued....
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: time expired on July 17, 2007, 12:17:15
Capt. Sensible,excellent post,now were getting somewhere.Can barely wait
for part 2.
               Regards
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 17, 2007, 12:27:11
Capt. Sensible,excellent post,now were getting somewhere.Can barely wait
for part 2.
               Regards

That was part two. Good post Garvin.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: 3rd Herd on July 17, 2007, 12:45:13
That was part two. Good post Garvin.

Historical correction: Garvin= Von Garvin? :king: :king:

Excellent work
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 17, 2007, 13:05:19
Historical correction: Garvin= Von Garvin? :king: :king:

Excellent work

Yep, Garvin is (was?) "von Garvin". 
Historically, that nom de plume was mine about 10 years ago on "Case's Ladder" when I was playing Close Combat 2: A Bridge Too Far.  I usually took the Germans, and like the Germans, had a losing win/loss rate.  Still, I had the coolest toys ;D

EDIT:  And thank you to all  :-[
More to come!  See what happens (happened?) in 1944!

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 17, 2007, 13:18:10
Historical correction: Garvin= Von Garvin? :king: :king:

Excellent work
I prefer Garvin, thank you very much  ;D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 17, 2007, 13:55:20
And more:

As dawn broke over Europe on 1 January 1944, there was a noticable change in the course of the war.  In one year, the Germans had gone from operating on two continents to one.  No longer were they fighting in Africa, and in the Soviet Union, they were on a line roughly from Leningrad in the north to Smolensk in the centre and Zaparozhe in the South.  The Crimea was under German rule, and scores upon scores of blackened hulks of Soviet tanks littered the fields near Belgorod.  The German "Landser", or infantryman, made up the bulk of the German front lines, encased by earth and concrete, and supported with Anti tank guns, minefields and wire.  The scene was eeriely similar to the Western Front in the "old war". 
Italy was no longer a member state of the "Axis" powers.  Mussolini was thrown out and in his place the "new" government sued for peace with the Western Allies.  The Wehrmacht had occupied all of Italy, save for southern parts of the boot now under Anglo-American occupation.
France was being fortified day by day, with particular emphasis on the coast between Cherbourg and Le Havre, as well as many of the other channel ports up to Antwerp.  The bombers were leaving Germany alone, due to the now-implemented Wasserfall air defence system.  As a result, German cities were being repaired and the war production, long since under Speer's guiding hands, were starting to churn out more and more war material.  Still, the losses suffered in the East and in Africa took their toll on the Wehrmacht.  As new replacements were being trained, there just wasn't enough manpower to go around.
ENIGMA II was ready for implementation and soon the U Boats would be free to conduct unrestricted warfare upon the shipping lanes of the Atlantic.  In the meantime, US and Canadian convoys were able to take full advantage of the lull to make the UK a virtual armed camp, sitting like a spring ready to explode upon the continent.
The Soviets weren't able to launch their offensive due to delays in production of tanks and training of crews.  Of the infantry there was always enough, and instead of husbanding this vital resource for the upcoming offensive, they were thrown needlessly at the Germans near Leningrad, in a vain attempt to break that seige.  It was becoming known as "Stalingrad of the North" for the Russians, not because of their vaunted victory there of the year before, but because of the losses they suffered: some regiments were down to 10% of their effective strengths after only one week's worth of combat!
Although the German High Command knew that offensive action was the decisive action in war, they also realised that they didn't have the resources to deal a knockout blow to any of their enemies.  Their Schwerpunkt remained the Eastern Front, and it was decided to bleed off the Soviet Army to the point where a decisive attack could be made.  This time, the goal would not be territorial, but rather would be centred on the destruction of Soviet men and material.
In the West, their goal was to fight a delaying operation across Italy, allowing the Allies and themselves to destroy that nation, if necessary, in order to bleed off western material.  In France, when the invasion came, the plan was to destroy it on the beaches, handing the Western Allies a blow from which they could not recover any time soon.  That would offer the Germans a virtual free hand in the East.  Although they had plans for offensive operations in the East, it would not start until certain conditions were met.  First, the Western Allies would be destroyed on the beaches of France, and secondly the Russians had to attack in order to make the front fluid.  The Germans realised that they lacked the strength to bust through a fortified defensive line at the strategic level, but they had more than enough combat power to destroy any foe on a fluid battlefield.
WASSERFALL DETECTED
The US/UK bombing offensive over the Reich once again started up in early March.  Once again, the bombing forces were decimated.  This time, however, a UK radio operator from a bomber that survived the raids reported picking up some strange signals on his set.  He was an amateur radio junkie and he often wondered if there was a way to pick up the German RADAR signals with his own radio.  As they approached Germany one night, he picked up a strange signal where no RADAR had previously been used.  He dutifully reported this upon his return to the UK, and the intelligence forces investigated further.
A week later, on 28 March 1944, a specially outfitted bomber accompanied a UK raid over the Ruhr.  As was anticipated, the force suffered grave losses.  The bomber that accompanied the force flew some five thousand feet above the others.  It monitored for and recorded the radio intercepts and returned to England for analysis.
It was quickly deduced that the Germans had some specially outfitted rockets that could "home in" on radio returns from the attacking aircraft.  The radio signals detected were the broadcast beams.  In typical eccentric English fashion, a bombing force was specially outfitted with a number of countermeasures.  Some bombers had "Chaff": aluminium foil they would drop upon discovering that they were "painted" by the guiding radar.  Others would broadcast "white noise" on the very frequencies used by the radar.  In one case a bomber made completely from wood (less the engines, naturally) was sent to see if it would look "invisible" to the searching radars.
On 15 April, 1944, a UK bombing force set out for the Ruhr.  The lead planes were to detect and then bomb the searching radars.  Knowing that accuracy for these planes would be dubious at best, a number of "Specials" accompanied the attacking force.  As they crossed into Germany, the usual assortment of night fighters broke off their attacks, and the lead "Pathmakers" soon picked up the radar signals as they searched the night skies for the incoming British bombers.  Using simple radio triangulation, the sources of the RADAR were soon picked out and the "pathmakers" gave instructions to the "Pathfinders" to illuminate the RADAR stations. 
The RADAR operators were shocked to find themselves suddenly illuminated by parachute flares as the pathfinders dropped their loads over their sites.  The follow on forces then attacked.  As was anticipated, the results were poor, but not without psychological effect.  Though only one RADAR site was knocked out, a panicky controller in Cologne ordered all WASSERFALL Radar sites to temporarily shut down.
The follow on "Specials" noted with glee that the RADAR signals all shut off, pretty well at once.  The attacking force was able to proceed with virtually no losses and most bombs were delivered on target: a synthetic oil production facility somewhere in the Ruhr.
In the weeks that followed, the Allies and the Germans played a massive chess game of counter-measure, counter-counter measure.  In the end, the Allied casualty rates for their bombing formations dropped to nearly 15% of attacking formation.  Still a high cost, but certainly much better than the close to 40% they were suffering initially.  As well, the German WASSERFALL Radar sites were forced to go mobile in order to avoid the Allied bombing efforts.


More to come.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 17, 2007, 14:12:53
Sweet! Thanks!
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 17, 2007, 14:58:41
PREPARATIONS IN THE EAST
The Soviets finally had the resources together for an offensive in the East.  Operation BAGRATION was ready to launch for early June, 1944.  Its aim was to isolate those forces in the North of the USSR that were right now isolating Leningrad.  Striking westward from the area of Novgorod, the Soviets initial objective was Pskov (Peskau as renamed by the Germans) and then on to the final objective of Riga.  The force would then seal off the entire Baltic region and trap within it, it was hoped, the entirety of Army Group North.
To accomplish this task, some three tank armies and six guards armies were earmarked.  The plan was simple: following a massive artillery and aircraft bombardment of the front from Leningrad to Novgorod, infantry forces would infiltrate the German front lines, clearing a path for the tanks to break through.  Once in Pskov, two guards armies would cover the northern flank as the remaining elements of the "Moscow Front" would drive on to Riga.  The Germans would not be able to handle such a massive force and they believed that the Germans were expecting an attack further south.
As it turned out, the Germans were well aware of BAGRATION and its intended objectives.  Though the start date was as yet unknown, preparations were well in hand.  Realising that they needed the Russians on the move to be able to defeat them, woefully few improvements were made at the front.  Here and there bridges in the depth behind the German front were destroyed or "weakened": the hope being that this would help channel the advancing Soviet forces into preset killing zones.  Powerful tank and panzergrenadier reserves were concealed from prying Soviet eyes in the hinterlands of the Baltic nations.  In this area, the Germans were relatively secure from Partisan operations: most Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians hated the Germans, but they hated the Russians even more and thus were not inclined to take part in operations that were seen further south in White Russia and in the Ukraine.  The Germans were ready for their backhand blow.  The only question remained: would the western allies attack prior to BAGRATION?
INVASION!
Their answer came on 6 June 1944.  On the first day of that month, the opening line of Verlane's poem was broadcast by the BBC.  As a result, all leave in France was cancelled.  In order to not tip their hand that they realised the invasion was coming, the reason for the cancellation of leave was for an upcoming exercise to take place on 15 June.  As well, rolling stock was "heading east" for upcoming operations in Russia.  Though rolling stock was indeed "heading east" in anticipation for the countermoves to BAGRATION, no exercise, or Kriegspiel was planned for June
At 0001 hours on 6 June, the second line of Verlane's poem was broadcast.  Immediately all forces in France and Belgium went to full alert status.  The conditions were ripe for invasion: though the weather was spotty at best, there was a late moon and ideal tide conditions for an invasion.  Soon after midnight, intense allied bombings centred roughly on Caen, followed by reports of parachute landings all across Normandy confirmed the suspicions of many.  Panzer Lehr, 21st Panzer Division and the 12th SS "Hitlerjugend" were ordered forward to just behind the coast, centred on Caen.  Though dead for over six months, Hitler was still, even in death, a powerful figure in Germany.  Now that he couldn't interfere with operations from the grave, his name was often used in vain to rally the German soldiers and Germany itself. 
All throughout the night, Germans and Allied paratroopers battled in a confused set of pitched battles as the last quarter of the moon rose over Europe.  Key bridges were seized in the British sector, and in the US sector, Ste Mere Eglise was one of the first French cities to be liberated from the Germans.
Three hours prior to first light, German coastal radar picked up a massive force approaching the coast off Normandy.  Most were centred on the Caen sector, with a second large "blip" a bit farther west.  Hurried intelligence assessments put the allied landing into two roughly equal halves: one near Caen and one near Ste Mere Eglise.  As things turned out, they weren't far off.
Though hampered by the Parachute landings, the 12th SS and 21st Panzer made their way to Caen prior to first light.  Due to the sheer size of the forces, the low light conditions and the rubble in the streets, both forces had to make their way around the city in order to have a clear path to the coast.  21st Panzer took the eastern side, with their centre for advancing being Cabourg.  12th SS took the western side, with their centre of advance being Lion sur Mer.  The divisional boundary was set as the Orne river.  As it turned out, 21st Panzer would miss the beaches, while 12th SS would hit squre into Sword beach, as it was called by the Allies.
At first light, the landings started.  At Utah beach, the opposition facing the allies was less than spectacular.  Though suffering some 66 fatalities at sea, these were largely due to mishaps than enemy action.  On the beaches, remarkably accurate allied bombing and naval gunnery silenced most opposition.  As a result, the US forces landing here were able to link up with Airborne forces at Ste Mere Eglise by nightfall.
At Omaha, the US forces were virtually wiped out at the beach.   It took several small acts of courage, but by 1500, the US forces were able to clear the beaches and establish enough of a beachhead to allow follow on forces to begin landing.  Casualties were severe in the first waves, but by the end of the day, the forces were ashore and more were coming in.
The British and Canadian beaches of Gold and Juno suffered moderate casualties in their first waves, but by 1000 they were able to declare the beaches "secure" and were fighting their way inland against mounting opposition.  The Canadians drove for the Carpiquet airfield, but were unable to reach it, due to mounting pressure and concerns to their left flank: Sword beach.
The British never had a chance as Sword.  Though their first few waves made it ashore with relatively light casualties and though they quickly linked up with their airborne forces, the sounds of tanks could soon be heard coming from the south.
By 1000, without having properly established their positions, the first tanks of the 12th SS began to attack into Quistreham.  By 1130, the town was cleared of all allied forces and soon the Panthers and Mark IVs were firing directly onto the landing beaches.  Using the coastal buildings for cover, the young fanatics of the 12th SS were able to avoid most allied efforts to destroy them from the air.  By the end of the day, SWORD was abandoned, and the Allied invasion beaches now went from Ste Mere Eglise in the west to St Aubin sur Mer in the East.  The Canadian division at St Aubin sur Mer stopped their advance and deployed in a defensive position to cover the flank of the beaches.  6th Para was now surrounded and was fighting off the attacks of two panzer divisions.
Over the month that followed, the US forces were able to drive to the Atlantic coast, but at great cost.  The German forces defended with infantry heavy forces and manoeuvred their heavy forces mostly at night, attacking near first light in almost every case.  Though far from "destroyed on the beaches", the Allies were quickly losing the race to reinforce the Normandy front.  Events would soon tip the scales in their favour, if ever so slightly.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Greymatters on July 17, 2007, 15:08:10
Interesting... who do you see as replacing Hitler?  I dont mean as per the party org chart but after the scuffle that would be bound to ensue.  That would have a tremendous impact on future operations...
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 17, 2007, 15:12:30
Interesting... who do you see as replacing Hitler?  I dont mean as per the party org chart but after the scuffle that would be bound to ensue.  That would have a tremendous impact on future operations...
In a previous post, I had Goering going in, but he centres mostly on "Five year plans" and "national socialism" as opposed to the conduct of operations (except for air operations).  As well, he is fed a steady diet of information, misinformation and heroin to keep him "under wraps".  In essence, the army has staged a coup so quiet that nobody actually realises it.  The SS and other nazi organisations keep functioning with the mistaken belief that they actually run things.  The Waffen SS, closer to the Wehrmacht in philosophy than with Nazism, go along with the army coup. 
Militarily, von Manstein is running things as the "Berlin" level.

Not being a politico, I'm trying to avoid "all that mess", but this is my take on things.  In short, the army is running things, though nobody seems to realise it yet.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: sdfgsdfgfd on July 17, 2007, 15:23:06
Write a book on this because i am actually waiting for your next post lol
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: BulletMagnet on July 17, 2007, 15:26:31
Where is Rommel in all this or did I miss it?
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 17, 2007, 15:29:34
Where is Rommel in all this or did I miss it?
Rommel is in Normandy (as he was in Our Time Line: "OTL"), but he didn't go home "on leave" as what really happened (his real reason to head home to was talk to Hitler directly, as was the perogative of any Field Marshall)

von Manstien, Guderian et al are running "the show" at upper levels, but Rommel was a driving force for the defensive preparations, which are meeting mixed results, though with better results (for them) than as occured in OTL.

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 17, 2007, 15:30:49
FIRE IN THE EAST
22 June 1944, the third anniversary of the opening of the Great Patriotic War was chosen by Stalin himself for the date for BAGRATION to open.  Reasoning that German eyes were focussed on France, Stalin wanted to wait for two weeks prior to launching "his" offensive.  He calculated that two weeks would give enough time to the Germans to let them think that there would be no offensive this summer.  He was wrong.
At 0200 hours on 22 June, the bombardment began.  It was unlike any other suffered by the Germans thus far in the war.  Front lines were reduced to dust and massive holes began to appear in the lines.  At division level and below, a sense of panic began to creep in as reports flooded in of the sounds of impending attack: tank engines revving up in the lines opposite their own.  Contact was lost with battalion after battalion, as the Red Army's infantry was successful in cutting off land line communications.  At dawn the Red Air Force joined in the attack, striking deeper targets and providing battle damage assessments to the artillery.  Their attack is not without heavy loss, however, as the Luftwaffe is able to intercept many of the attacking waves.  By noon, the Red Air Force has pretty well shot its bolt and with very few exceptions, had no further effect on the opening stages of the battle.
By 1500, under a cloud of dust, smoke and fire, the tanks of the Red Army moved forward to exploit the gains of 10 hours of infantry combat.  By last light, some formations have broken through to a depth of 20 miles, though in most places the gains are more modest.  Still, the majority of the German front line is broken and into the gap pour the tanks of three entire tank armies.
The Germans were ready for the onslaught, and all things being equal, fully expected the results of the opening rounds.  Their only problem was to restrain the panzers from launching their attacks too soon.  The staffs all calculated that they needed to see the echelons of the attacking armies moving forward before they could strike back.  In one case, a division commander could no longer bear to hear the calls for help going unanswered.  He sent forward a tank regiment in order to make contact with the beleaguered Landsers at the front.  They linked up by 1800, but soon found themselves surrounded.  In the end, they were destroyed to a machine, the divisional commander replaced and the division reverted to "reserve" status for replacements.  In the end, however, this wayward attack helped the Russians believe that they were making greater gains than they actually were.  They miscalculated and thought that the Germans were in desparate shape, throwing into the breach all that they had left.  Unbeknownst to them, two powerful Panzer corps stood ready to allow the Russians to pass by, and then to cut it off as the advancing Tanks would then run headlong into a PAK front from which they could not escape.
Unlike in the West, the Germans were able to read the Soviets like an open book.  Much as in a staff exercise, the Germans were able to calculate their timings for attack, and the Soviets unwittingly complied with virtually every German course of action.  Although they didn't know it, the Soviets were heading closer to disaster with every mile moved westward.
30 June 1944 was the blackest day in Soviet War History.  Two previously undetected Panzer Corps, backed by two infantry corps, attacked into the flanks of their advancing armies.  Within a day, 3 tank armies, representing some 90% of the Soviet Tank force, along with two guards armies, were cut off.  They had just suffered massive losses after running headlong into what was essentially an army sized kill zone east of Pskov.  Powerful anti tank forces (PAKs) blunted all attacks forward.  Luftwaffe FW-190s struck at the depths of the columns, reducing ammo and fuel trains to burning piles.  There was no hope for survival, and the Germans once again demonstrated their mastery at mobile warfare. 
SITUATION IN THE WEST
Due to BAGRATION, however, the Germans were forced to allocate some forces to the East that were previously scheduled to go to France to fight off the invasion, now heading into its second month.  The Western Allies, under constant pressure, were fighting for their virtual lives on the coast, instead of running roughshod across Europe, straight into Berlin as was originally hoped.  Though the US forces were able to liberate most of the Cherbourg Peninsula, the port itself remained in German hands.  Even so, they had sabotaged it to the point that it would take upwards of a week to clear it for use.  British and Canadian forces, on the other hand, were still trying to make their way into Caen.  Though they had effectively destroyed the 12th SS Panzer in a month's continuous fighting, the 21st Panzer and Panzer Lehr, now reinforced by 2nd SS and other heavy formations, were starting to put the squeeze on the eastern beachheads.  Plans for a second "Dunkirk" were readied in London


More to come!

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Greymatters on July 17, 2007, 15:31:52
Hmmm... so you dont see Himmler taking over?  Or is Himmler already dead in your scenario?

Then what about Heydrich?  In your world, (haha!) did Heydrich survive the assassination attempt of 1942 or is he dead?

If either or both of these two are still alive, I dont see a successful army takeover as being able to occur.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 17, 2007, 15:35:57
Hmmm... so you dont see Himmler taking over?  Or is Himmler already dead in your scenario?

Then what about Heydrich?  In your world, (haha!) did Heydrich survivie or is he dead?

If either or both of these two are still alive, I dont see a successful army takeover as being able to occur.
My "split" from reality into fantasy occured in 1943: after Stalingrad but before Kursk.  Heydrich is already dead, and I never thought of Himmler.  Still, he is perhaps fed a "pablum" by the Army that he has to concentrate on the occupied territories in the east vice running the show in Germany.  Though the SS was powerful, the Army was much more powerful, and the SS would lose any civil "war" if it would have showed down versus the army.  As well, the Waffen-SS were pretty well without exception "SS" in name only.  In fact, any foreign units that fought "for germany" were almost exclusively brought under the "SS" banner for a pan-european force "to fight bolshevism".  (Most foreign SS units fought in Russia, with some exceptions, of course)
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Greymatters on July 17, 2007, 15:40:25
I would disagree about Himmler's ability to remain in power, mostly due to his control (through the SS) over conventional police, security forces, and intelligence departments.  In the past, control of these types of security organs tends to have much more power even when outnumbered by military forces (see the KBG vs Red Army for a comparison).

However, that distracts from your story.  Carry on, Im also interested in how you see history occuring...
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 17, 2007, 15:44:59
I would disagree about Himmler's ability to remain in power, mostly due to his control (through the SS) over conventional police, security forces, and intelligence departments.  In the past, control of these types of security organs tends to have much more power even when outnumbered by military forces (see the KBG vs Red Army for a comparison).
Maybe the army has "uncompromising photos" of Himmler?  That or Alien Space Bats help.  In any event, I guess I could say that Himmler et al believe that they are running things, and that running the army and military operations is "beneath them".  Stuff like production of widgets, Schwerpunkts and the like aren't becoming of them.  The path of the Aryan Nation, the glory of Germany: THAT is the stuff for them to worry about!
However, that distracts from your story.  Carry on, Im also interested in how you see history occuring...
Will do, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow ;)

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: BulletMagnet on July 17, 2007, 15:51:00
But I don't wanna wait  :crybaby:

I am curious about Operations on the Italian front as that would be putting pressure on the German Army from the South splitting thier focus into 3 distinct areas.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Sir_Spams_a_lot on July 17, 2007, 16:14:59
Err, one quick question, Herr Hauptmann.... Where are all these Germans coming from?  You've got them covering virtually the entire circumference of Europe.  One more, where is the limitless supply of steel and other raw materials coming from?  Do carry on though, a right rivetin' read, this is.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 17, 2007, 17:20:33
Good job, once again. I can't waite until tomorrow  ;D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Spencer100 on July 17, 2007, 17:32:11
Write a book on this because i am actually waiting for your next post lol

This is a great outline for a book, at some characters, personnel stories and sex, (alway need the sex to sell a story) you got a book.  You'll give Turtledove a run for his money....and you won't need the ginger addicted aliens!  (I can't believe I read that whole series)

Always, I am enjoying this thread. Thanks
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Danjanou on July 17, 2007, 19:31:08
Well he’s already got Goering in there for the sex.  :o :o

Kat I would say that this alternate history is not too far off the real thing and therefore the numbers both manpower and natural resources would be consistent with what they were in our world. Sweden was supplying iron ore to Germany almost until he end IIRC.

As for troops, a large portion of the forces on the Ost front were not German, The Romanian and Hungarian Armies were rather large, italy had a corps there and Spain A Division as did Slovenia. Add in the Ost troops, turncoat Ukrainian and Cossack formations and foreign volunteers (both Heer and Waffen SS) and you should be goods to go.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Sir_Spams_a_lot on July 17, 2007, 19:34:17
I won't disagree, but press ganged troops are about as effective as a cheap tent in a high wind, and all the good Captain has described are German formations.  I'm just pickin' nits, it's good stuff.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: ironduke57 on July 17, 2007, 20:04:22
... Will do, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow ;)

 :P Here it is already tomorrow! So get your lazy *** before your keyboard and type! :threat:

j/k ;D

SCNR,
ironduke57
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on July 18, 2007, 01:55:53
A second career as a novelist could be in store for you, but first you have to deal with the critics (like me!  >:D ;))

Overall, this is very good, but the only implausibility is the way National Socialist Germany becomes "friction free" after the death of Hitler. Ic could be argued things would go quite the other way (fratricide among the elites as they fight for power, as some posters have alluded to), although I would suggest the more probable outcome would be continuing low level chaos and disorganization as petty functionaries work to defend their positions. While people like Rommel or Albert Speer might know how to plan and organize at the "macro" level, things could get derailed as people lower on the food chain reserve "their" allocations of manpower, money and resources for "their" projects.

This leads me to the issue of "wonder weapons". Although Germany was introducing many revolutionary concepts as things went south and in OTL, there was little interest in rockets, jet aircraft, guided weapons etc. until things really did start going south for the Germans, there was a lack of focus (see petty functionaries above) as well as the inevitable teething problems inherent in new technologies. The sort of kill ratios "Wasserfall" is claiming are improbable, the early introduction of SAMs to protect Hanoi in the mid to late 1960's or the opening air campaign of the Yom Kippur War didn't reach these levels. (note: this is just going from memory, I will have to check when I get home and can look at the library. Note 2: there are special circumstances as well; the USAF did not vary their flight plans during the Christmas bombing campaign, and the IAF (I believe) were aware of the SAM threat, but came in low and ran into a hail of machine gun and AAA fire).

Finally, if Germany was able to gain and maintain their position in the way described, they would have had to deal with "America '46"; where the incomparably greater financial, economic and material power of the United States would have been brought to bear. Round the clock raids by B-29's, Iowa class battleships heading into the North Sea (escorting carrier battle groups) to bombard the coastal regions of Germany (or even Marine "Storm landings") would be distinct possibilities. The first American atomic bomb might also have been targetted against Berlin should the Third Reich have proven too tough a nut to crack. (A German counter-strike with the Sanger "Silver Bird" rocket bomber is not allowed! I will allow the use of A-10 two stage rockets, though  ;)).
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 18, 2007, 09:17:09
I must say a heartfelt "Thank You" to all who have responded to this thread.  As I've PM'ed to A_Majoor, this is a beast that has taken on its own life.  In my defence, some of the casualty rates were pulled directly, well, you know where I got them!  Second: I've avoided most political things, because, well, (a) they're boring and (b) I've used "literary license" and wished it away.
As for "all my Germans", there really isn't all that much difference in my "what if" and reality.  Yes, the Germans have "Wasserfall" instead of the "V" weapons, but in the East, the army is able to conduct the war without Hitler's interference.  In Italy, things go pretty much as what happened.  In the west (so far), the big difference is on the order of 10 hours.  In our time line, the 12th SS and Panzer Lehr were given the green light 10 hours later than in my time line.  Why?  People were afraid of the Cult of Personality of Hitler.  In my universe, they attack sooner, though Panzer Lehr is not able to make it until the 7th (they ran into a bunch of high Frenchmen who were rambling on about "Ginger Addicted Aliens", whatever they are!) ;D
Anyway, more to come!  And thanks again, this has been a hoot!
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: DaveTee on July 18, 2007, 09:36:55
A great read, thank you for writing it.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 18, 2007, 10:22:06
STALEMATE IN EUROPE
The Germans had intended to launch a great counter offensive in the East when two conditions were met.  First, the Western Allied invasion had to be defeated and second, the expected Soviet offensive had to be drawn in and quartered.  Neither condition was met.  In France, the western allies had cleared up to and including Cherbourg and by August, the port was functioning, albeit in limited capacity.  British and Canadian forces on the eastern part of the beachhead had barely pressed 10 miles inland, and Caen remained in German hands.  This was not due to poor performance, rather, it was due to having to scrap with battle hardened Panzer and Panzergrenadier divisions.  Had the US forces had to deal with the German panzers, things would have gone differently.  Though the US had mass in terms of tank power, they could not go toe to toe with the Germans.  They lacked the powerful 17 pounder guns that the Commonwealth forces, though in limited numbers, in their Sherman variant, the Firefly.  Nevertheless, the US forces were closing in on Brest, forcing the U Boat fleet to move south to other ports.  The net result was that the planned "U Boat Offensive" in the Atlantic never materialised, ENIGMA II or not.
In Italy, the Allies continued their long, hard slog up the boot of Italy.  Though they were closing in on Rome, "Smiling Albert" Kesselring was able to conduct what would later be termed a textbook delay action.  US, British, Canadian and Polish forces weren't receiving the logistical support that their counterparts were getting in France; however, the Germans opposite them also felt as though they were in some sort of "Side Show".  Still, the fighting was brutal, conducted in rough terrain, and the weather was less than forgiving.  Still, as was the case in Africa, military chivalry remained extant, even between the Poles and the Germans, though to a lesser degree than with the other Allied Forces.
In the East, the Soviet offensive "Bagration" was a total failure.  3 tank armies were smashed near Pskov.  A further 2 whole Guards armies were destroyed, and the remnants of the attacking forces were making themselves back to the East.  It was only due to the shortage of German forces that they were able to break through and make their way back to Soviet lines.  In the end, Leningrad was still under seige, Army Group North was still a powerful formation, and the Germans had bought more time to build up. 
At the high command, another winter of stalemate was making them restless.  They feared another strategic stalemate that would lead to massive uprisings across the Reich as what happened in 1918.  But this time, the Germans weren't starving: yet.  Production of coal and other necessities for survival in Winter carried on, even in the occupied lands.  Iron Ore and other materials flowed uninteruppted across the Baltic from Sweden and Norway.  Ploesti, now the Reich's only real oil production facility, was the most heavily guarded site in the Reich, after Berlin.  Wasserfall batteries, along with interceptor squadrons, including the Me 262 Schwalbe squadrons, guarded its airspace.
In France, the Americans had finally landed enough tank forces to make a difference.  Though their tanks were inferior to even the Mark IV, they were numerous and backed up by massive artillery and the dreaded "Jabos" (as the Germans called the US fighter-bombers).  Progress was slow, but as summer turned to Autumn, the planned landings in the South of France were called off so that only one front line would need support: the landing craft simply weren't available.
In short, a "Sitzkrieg" threatened to settle across Europe.  The Soviets were running out of ideas, and men.  Hundreds of thousands of young Russians, Ukrainians, Kazakhs and others from the far flung Soviet Empire were needlessly fed into the sausage grinder of the East.  Rumours were spread (thanks to the Germans, once again) of incompetence at STAVKA and the Soviet high command, and even Stalin, began to realise that something would have to be done to crack the nut, as it were.
Frustration was being felt in Berlin as well.  Though the Anglo American bomber offensive was still threatening the Reich, its effects were not as bad as feared, due mainly to a more effective air defense system, including Wasserfall and the Schwalbe.  Though Reichsführer Goering wanted such fantastical planes as a "New York Bomber", he realised that the fighter wing would be more decisive for Germany.  Also, being a former fighter pilot, he still reserved special affection for that arm.  Though development of more advanced rockets and other systems carried on, they rarely made it through the development stage.  The German high command also felt that "something" had to happen.  And it had to happen soon.  The USSR was still a formidable foe, even though for the past 18 months, every major offensive conducted by the Red Army was blunted at great cost to the Soviets.  Vast stretches of land remained under German rule, and the Ukraine was becoming the Breadbasket for the Reich.  Though about half of Italy was under Allied occupation, the repurcussions of losing ground in Italy were slight: once they reached the Alps, the allies would be hard pressed to keep on their advance (with or without elephants!)
The Western Allies were also feeling the crunch.  Though the North Atlantic was finally virtually U-Boat free, Italy was proving harder than expected, and advances in France were measured in yards, not miles.  Fears of another stalemate as was seen in 1915-1918 loomed, especially for the British.  As things turned out, their forces were facing the cream of the Panzer divisions.  They were faring well, but they were losing replacements.  Adding to the drain was the continuing war in the Pacific, specifically in India and Burma.  "Germany First" remained the mantra for the Western Allies, but even the US found itself splitting resources between two parts of the globe.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 18, 2007, 11:12:38
BREAKING THE STALEMATE
Throughout history, wars have changed course due sometimes to happenstance, or fate.  Such an event was about to happen in France, though nobody realised it at the time.  It didn't happen on the front near Caen or Brest, but farther east, near Strasbourg, or Straßburg, as the Germans now called it.  (Technically, it was in Germany, as Alsace was annexed into the Reich back in 1940).  A novel FLAR ("FlugzeugAbwehrRakete", or Anti-Aircraft Missile) battery commander was tinkering around with the RADAR element and wondered "what if" the emitter were separate from the receiver element.  He brought this forward to some technicians who seemed excited with the idea.  Even when mobile, the RADAR was a large, ungainly beast.  Mounted on a large truck, the components it carried were massive and quiet vulnerable.  By the end of the week, the technicians had jury rigged a separate emitter and receiver.  The battery commander got an airforce friend of his to have his squadron conduct "training" over Strasbourg as the new emitter set was tested at tracking.  The technicians noted that there was no loss in fidelity.  The net result was that emitter, receiver and launcher could all be decentralised from each other, linked only by radio commands if necessary.  Such a decentralisation would make all elements smaller and harder to detect.  As well, if one element were lost, the other two would probably survive, given their separation from each other.  As well, a smaller rocket was developed.  It wasn't anywhere near man portable, but it was the aim of the scientists who were working on it.  Much as the Anti Tank gun had evolved into a hand held weapon by 1943, the same was being attempted for the Anti Aircraft gun.
The newly developed FLAR Wasserfall II was fielded for the first time in November of 1944.  The effect on the war for the airspace over Germany was negligable.  Its real effect was the impetus for the Germans to further develop a hand held anti aircraft rocket.  Their hypothesis was that a ground based RADAR emitter would "illuminate" enemy aircraft as they flew overhead.  The ground based soldiers manning the FLAR Wasserfall II would point their rockets at the planes until a tone were emitted by the launcher, that indicated that the system was picking up a good RADAR reflection from the target.  Then the soldier would simply initiate the launch and the rocket would do the rest.
Initial testings were a dismal failure to the casual observer.  Not only did the rockets fail to pick up the RADAR reflections, but when launched, they cartwheeled across the sky, threatening all who were in attendance.  In actuality, the faults were troubleshooted and the technicians and scientists were able to sort out the "bugs": they wished to avoid fielding a substandard product too soon, as what happened with the initial Panzer Mark Vs in 1943.  The first successful test occured at Peenemünde in February, 1945.  The target was a remotely piloted Me-109.  Though it was flying level and didn't attempt to outmanoeuvre the rocket, scientists considered it a full success.  Nevertheless, results would be carefully monitored during the initial fielding phase.
It was decided to first field the Wasserfall II in France in March 1945.  Though the Western Allies still didn't have air supremacy in France, it was getting that way.  US and British fighters were being replaced at a faster rate than Luftwaffe crews, in spite of Goering personal influence in emphasising the need for the modern day Knights.  Air superiority was having a dreadful effect on German tank formations in France.  Although units were almost always able to make it through, the losses were beginning to mount and it seemed as though the allies, the US forces in particular, had an endless supply of men and material.
7 March 1945 saw Wasserfall II implemented with mixed physical results.  An element of the reformed 12th SS was moving up to the front near Caen when it was attacked by Jabos of the US Army Air Force.  As they came in for their strafing runs, Wasserfall II rockets reached up to greet the attacking planes.  Mixed with 20mm FLAK and machine gun fire, the Americans ran into a virtual wall of lead.  Though no fighters were actually hit by the Wasserfall rockets (only ten were fired, and of them, only 1 launcher actually had positive lock: the remainder had emitted the "lock" tone in error, which was soon sorted out), the attack was aborted with no loss to the 12th SS.  To say the least, morale within the ranks of the mostly 16 year old soldiers was heightened almost to the point of frenzy!  Other air attacks on German field formations were also met with Wasserfall FLAR units.  Soon the US Army Air Force reverted to attacking FLAR and FLAK units in an effort to once again have a free hand in attacking German field units.  Naturally, German logistics were well protected by FLAR and FLAK, and as a result, these rear units suffered more from air attack than the front line Panzer and Panzergrenadier units. 
The net result was that German field units were able to move with more freedom in France.  Though the Jabos always remained a threat, mounting pressure on them by the FLAR and FLAK, combined with the occasional surge by the Luftwaffe over the battlefield, gave the Germans their first real victory in France since their destruction of SWORD back in June of 1944.
Noting the danger to Brest, the staff of OB West planned an offensive to relieve the pressure on that city (and its vital ports).  Such a port would allow the Western Allies to double their logistical intake.  As it stood now, the only thing holding back the US, UK and Canadian forces was their own supply trails.  The port of Brest would double logistical intake and allow the Western Allies to unleash fully into the Germans opposite them.
The German plan was relatively simple.  Two tank divisions, supported by a Panzergrenadier division, a motorised division and several infantry divisions, would attack straight north from just south of Brest.  The city was under the control of neither side, and the port was fully functional: the Germans had it rigged for sabotage, but failed to actually carry out this destruction.  The local commander "disappeared" once he reached Paris, but rumours abounded that he was in fact a British spy!
Due to the US Army Airforce's concentration on suppressing the German air defences, the German build up went unnoticed until it was too late.  The night prior to the launching of the offensive, prepatory moves by the advance elements of the Germans tipped off to the US forces opposite them that "something was up".  Though alerted, it was too late.  At 0400 on 28 March 1945, the Germans attacked.  By noon, the US forward lines were overwhelmed in spite of heroic stands.  The Germans simply bypassed the strongpoints and allowed follow on Infantry Divisions to "deal with them".  The bulk of the US forces were farther east, and the Commonwealth forces were in no shape to come to their aid. 
The offensive was successful beyond any expectations of the Germans.  Not only was Brest secured, but the advance carried on much farther north than was expected.  Still, by 4 April, the US opposition had stiffened to the point where an entire Panzer Regiment was virtually destroyed by strongly held positions 25 miles north of Brest.  This combined with a surge by the dreaded Jabos blunted any further advance.  Still, the Germans secured Brest and denied the Western Allies their greatly needed second port!
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 18, 2007, 11:43:13
Good work, keep going  ;D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Greymatters on July 18, 2007, 12:25:15
Well he’s already got Goering in there for the sex.  :o :o 

:rofl:
Hilarious.


Back to the story.   :tank:   

I think though that by this time, if Rommel has not been implicated in a plot aginst Hitler, beause Hitler is already dead, then Rommel would have been unleashed against the less experienced US forces in France.  Are we going to see a Patton versus Rommel juggernaut?  Is Peiper still leading Waffen SS panzer forces? Is Wittman and/or Carius still expanding their Panzer Ace records?  Youve already talked about leaving out politics so I wont harp on it, although another summit between Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt is about due.  The ground action is good, as is some air force and advanced technology stuff, but needs a bit about what naval activity is ongoing.

Hope this gives you some ideas...
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 18, 2007, 12:39:58
FIRE OVER BERLIN
Robert Oppenheimer.  He was the head scientist running Operation MANHATTAN, a super-secret experiment being conducted in the deserts of Nevada.  The plan was to creat a bomb so powerful that it would render an entire city into flame.  There were nay-sayers at all levels, but even the new president, Harry Truman, felt that "something had to happen" to end the war.  Though "Germany First" was the policy, it was proving to be more difficult.  The Japanese were being driven back on all fronts, due in thanks mostly to the US.  If successful, the new "Atomic" bombs would be dropped on Germany.  It was hoped that by destroying an entire city with just one bomb would  break the back of resistance.
The USSR was bogged down in an extended line of trench warfare with the Germans.  This gave the Germans the opportunity to rotate divisions in and out of the line, as well as to give new divisions some combat experience before heading to the Western or Italian front.  Unlike 1943, the Eastern Front was the "quiet" front for Germany.  The Western Allies noted that there were several attacks being conducted by the Soviets, but in every case, they were blunted by the Germans.  Manpower was also in decline in the Soviet Union.  Some "divisions" had fewer than 5000 soldiers!  Tanks were plentiful, but tank crews were not.  Any crewmen with experience were either dead or captured.  Every year, it seemed, the Soviet tank arm had to reinvent itself.
The Italian front bogged down north of Rome.  When liberated from the Germans in October 1944, the Pope himself greeted the British General commanding the forces upon his arrival at The Holy See.  Following a short audience with His Holiness, the British and Americans went back to the deadly business of fighting the Germans.  By April 1945, they were only 20 miles north of Rome: the terrain and dogged resistance of the Germans prevented any marked advance.
In France, the offensive near Brest was a psychological blow to the US forces.  Thus far, they had conducted all offensive operations above division level.  Though the Commonwealth forces had faced their share of offensives, all with mixed results, the allocation of the US Army Air Force to Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) missions had let them down.  They were unable to note the build up of some six divisions south of Brest, in spite of warnings from the Resistance.  It was noted, however, that the Resistance was heavily compromised by Canaris' effective counter insurgency campaign.  In short, the Resistance was basically ignored.  For the first time since 5 June 1944, there were no major combat operations occurring in France: both sides were spent, and the Allies decided to keep up the pressure with their air units, allowing the ground units to build up for a surge to finally break the back of German resistance in France.
6 June 1945, the first anniversary of the landings in France came and went with nary a fan fare.  "Signal" magazine noted the anniversary with a photo respective of the event, and included an extensive photo spread of the 12th SS's attack into SWORD beach.  Some of the photos were published for the first time, including one in which a smiling young Hitler Youth, brandishing an MG-42, is seen standing over the bodies of unidentified Allied soldiers.  Later, the UK press used this very photo to accuse Germany of Warcrimes, suggesting that the dead were just gunned down by the smiling fanatic.  In actuality, the photo was staged, and the "dead" were simply friends of the soldier lying face down in the sand, field grey greatcoats covering their distinctive "Flecktarn" tunics.  In fact, the photo was taken well before D-Day, back in Germany, on exercise!
The summer of 1945 was one of flow and ebb in France.  In the end, the US forces on the Allied right wing were able to break through the thinning German ranks and reached Brest.  Though the city was still garrisoned by some 10,000 Germans, the Americans carried on their advance.  It was not without loss, but once more, the front was moving, albeit at a snail's pace.
By the end of July, the Americans had doubled the amount of "liberated" French territory.  The Germans simply failed to have sufficient forces to push the Americans back, though they still retained enough combat power to keep their advances minimal.
The summer of 1945 was quite quiet in the Eastern Front.  The soviets simply didn't have any ideas left.  Stalin was enraged and initiated his third purge.  This time, the Generals had enough!  Once word spread that any purge was underway, a group of generals, under a young Nikita Kruschev, branded Stalin as a Nazi puppet and called for his head.  Stalin was to blame, they asserted, and slowly but surely the USSR split into two camps.  The effect on the front was negligible at first, as the front line divisions were content to let the rear echelon pigeons sort out the national leadership.  As far as they were concerned, it mattered not who was in charge, for nothing would change the fact that they were at war with Germany.  As the Communists fought amongst themselves in the rear, production was curtailed, limited supplies to the front.  The Germans were well aware of the situation and chose to exploit it by not attacking.  They simply allowed the USSR to fight amongst itself.  The German High Command estimated that the USSR would implode in a matter of months, if not weeks, much as had happend back in 1917.
Early August would bring about an end to the war, much swifter than anyone had expected.  The USSR was for all intents and purposes embroiled in a civil war, though the front was still maintained.  German forces opposite curtailed combat operations there such that Soviets were free to emerge from their bunkers and in some cases, mingle with German, Hungarian, Dutch, Finnish and even Rumanian soldiers in the bunkers opposite.  This practice was officially forbidden, but in reality, it happened more often than the High Command cared to know about.
At Bremenhaven at 0100 on 6 August 1945, a coastal RADAR detected a single bomber approaching the airspace of the Reich.  This was not unusual: single bombers usually made reconnaissance flights over the Reich.  They flew too high for most fighters, but due to operations elsewhere, none of the high flying jets were available for intercept.  As well, Wasserfall wasn't very good against solo aircraft.  To be most effective, the enemy bombers had to be in a mass formation, which they themselves needed to have any accuracy when they bombed.   So, the operators reported the contact and began to track it. 
The plane was a single RAF Lancaster.  On board was a mixed Allied crew.  The pilot was Canadian, the rest of the flight crew were British, but the bombardier and "special crewman" were American.  Though the US wanted to use a high flying B-29 for this mission, Eisenhower decided against it.  None were used as yet in Europe, and he didn't want anything tipping off the Germans that this mission was different.  For purely political reasons, the crew was a mixed Commonwealth crew, but the bombardier and "special crewman" had to be American.  The bombardier was trained in the use of the "Little Boy" Atomic Bomb.  The target for the crew was Berlin.  Specifically, the Reichstag. 
Berlin was chosen for a few key reasons.  First, as capital of the Reich, it was serve to give notice to the Germans that not even their vaunted "Reichshauptstadt" were safe.  Also, it had been nearly two years since the Allies had bombed Berlin in any serious level.  Therefore, any and all damage in the heart of the city would be seen to have been caused by one plane carrying one bomb.  As well, with any luck, the German government may be caught in the blast, decapitating the German war machine, giving the Allies the upperhand they most desparately needed!
At 0315 on 6 August 1945, parts of Eastern Germany reported "the greatest flash of light" ever seen coming from Berlin.  On the ground moments before the blast it was a calm Monday morning.  The explosion changed all that in an instant.  Though most people were sleeping, those who were out in the open were killed instantly.  Farther away from the epicentre, there were survivors from the initial effects of the explosion, but soon the air was filled with flying debris of all kinds, from the expected, such as masonry, to the macabre, including bodies and parts of bodies.  As fortune would have it, the German Government was readying for a meeting that was to start at 0330.  An emergency session was called due to a recent telegram received "through Switzerland" from Kruschev.  Apparently he was seeking terms for a ceasefire, to be followed up by a peace agreement.  The first elements of the government were just arriving at the Reichstag when the Little Boy exploded some 1,500 feet above them.  There were no survivors.
 Goering was still in Potsdam, his driver waiting for him outside a dank apartment building.  What was going on in there was never questioned.  Once it was clear that Berlin had just suffered an attack on a biblical scale, Goering and the remnants of his staff drove hell bent for leather for Rastenburg.  Orders were given to shoot down any unidentified planes that came within 100 miles, and a signifigant number of Wasserfall batteries were positioned.  Goering went into a radio silence mode as he contemplated his next moves.As the first streaks of sun began to fill the skies of Europe, Germans awoke to the sight of dark, foreboding clouds over Berlin.  Though it was true that most of the city was unharmed by the blast, the centre had been gutted.  There was no communication coming from Berlin, and a general sense of panic began to creep into the national German psyche.
The western allies were estatic with the results.  The Germans were so shocked that most messages were sent in the clear and un encrypted, and therefore intercepted.  Units were screaming for direction from above, but nobody seemed to know what to do, or even what was going on.  The only front that remained somewhat calm was the Eastern Front, where they had their own problems to deal with, least the "unfounded" rumours that Berlin had just been destroyed by a single plane!
As they pored over the results, the western allies struggled with finding a suitable second target.  Though offers of ceasefire were given, no replies were received.  Though they intended to inflict a severe blow to the German government, they didn't think that they would be so effective, and as a result, nobody in the German camp knew who had authority any more!  Given that a second attempt by a solo bomber would probably not go through the air defence systems so easily, a coastal city would be chosen so that the air defences would have less of a chance to engage the bomber.  This time, Hamburg was chosen.  Not only was it on the coast, it was large enough to psychologically attack the Germans. 
Three nights later, on 9 August 1945, the raid on Hamburg was underway.  The Lancaster approached the coast low so as to avoid RADAR.  A deception mission was currently underway with a number of "solo" bombers approaching the Reich that night.  One raid was actually intercepted by an Me-110 night fighter, but the rest got through.  Most importantly, the Lancaster with the "Fat Man" bomb aboard made it to Hamburg.  The crew climbed to altitude and dropped their load right over the harbour.  As the explosion ripped through the yards, fires spread through the city.  Panic reigned supreme over the normal staid Germans and they began to flee the city.  Normal bombing raids were hard on a person, but there was nothing like the effect of awakening from a deep slumber to only suddenly realise that your city was on fire!
Panic spread throughout the Reich right to the front.  First Berlin, and now Hamburg were in flames!  The government had somehow reformed, and there were violent arguments in the depths of Berlin as to what to do next.  Some argued for staying the course.  Others argued that any further resistance would be in vain.  And it would destroy Germany in the mean time.  The tipping point came in his broadcast to the union on the morning of 9 August.  President Truman announced the Atomic Bombings of Berlin and Hamburg.  He promised his citizens that the rain of Atomic Bombs would continue until the German government surrendered to "the Western Allies".
Upon hearing the two words "Western Allies", the German High Command realised that they got their wish: the end of the war with the West.  Though the Soviet Union was vast and had a seemingly endless supply of men, the industry of the West, and the United States in Particular, was what they feared most.  Also, the USSR was in the midst of full blown civil war.  Nothing was to be gained by continuing the war.  Germany was relatively unscathed, the forces in moderate shape, and they could finally have "peace with honour".
At 1245 9 August 1945, Field Marshall Jodl announced on the radio that he had ordered "All German forces on land, at sea and in the air" to cease combat operations effective 1800 9 August, Berlin time.  Though the negotiations would continue, specifically regarding reparations to France, the war was over.  The USSR was in the midst of a bloody civil war.  It was ironic that the Western Allies asked the Germans to continue their occupation of western Russia and the Ukraine to maintain "Law and Order".  Unknown to Washington and London, but the German sense of "Law and Order" for the slavic peoples was rather brutish: the concentration camps had pretty well finished up exterminating the European Jewish population, and was beginning to work overtime on other 'undesirables'.  Though the war was over, and France, the low countries, Denmark and Norway were liberated, the Germans "maintained" a presence over Eastern Europe, at least for the time being.
By 1948, the civil war in the USSR was over.  Stalin's supporters had emerged victorious, with Kruschev's group being all but eliminated.  The Germans had handed over control of Poland and the rest of eastern Europe, only after they eliminated all traces of the death camps.  Though rumours abounded as to their existance, most people wished these away as fanciful propaganda.  Stalin wanted to press on the war against Germany, but the US and UK would have none of it.  Though no longer supported by the lend-lease convoys, the USSR was still a formidable opponent. 
MORE TO COME.....

EDIT: Goering now has sex and lives through the atomic bombing of Berlin, but flees and goes into 'radio silence' mode.  The German government is not answering the phone, as it were.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 18, 2007, 12:48:37
Great! Got more?  :D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on July 18, 2007, 13:13:18
Excellent. I was looking forward to the epic rematch between Patton and Rommel (who's book was on Infantry warfare, BTW. Line up those script writers in the front rank.......)

That boring political stuff really is important to the conduct of military affairs (look at a nation at war called Canada in 2007), so I will politely suggest you give this a closer look when you write the novel this fine outline is becoming. (And yes, you do have Goering for the sex scenes  ;D). I suspect that a nuclear attack on Berlin could trigger a civil war in the Reich, after all, the government apparatus is gone but the military, the SS and various other groups will certainly try and move into the power vacuum, either with good or bad intentions. Remember Secretary of State Alexander Haig declaring everything was all right; he was in charge?

Other than that, I await the next episode.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 18, 2007, 13:18:47
Excellent. I was looking forward to the epic rematch between Patton and Rommel (who's book was on Infantry warfare, BTW. Line up those script writers in the front rank.......)



TEASER: I was thinking "War in Europe: NATO vs the Lvov Pact in 1952, starring Patton AND Rommel as rival commanders facing off against Zhukov (but since I've killed him off, any other 'respectable' Soviet Generals come to mind?)

;D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 18, 2007, 14:57:06
AFTERMATH

Berlin and Hamburg lay in ruins.  The Americans had been able to force a Japanese surrender in September 1945, shortly after Germany threw in the towel.  Massive US forces surrounded the home island and promises of Atomic Bombs falling on Japanese cities forced the hand of the Emporer.  In Europe, Germany withdrew from the occupied territories and returned her meagre fleet to ports.  As they withdrew from Soviet Russia, White Russia and the Ukraine, the follow on Soviet forces were met with occassional resistance from ethnic groups bent on resisting a return to Soviet rule.  They had been under German occupation for so long, that they no longer wanted more rule: they wanted autonomy.  Soviet reaction was brutish.  Thousands were killed as the Red Army took out its revenge for not being able to beat the Germans on the field of battle.  Though battered, the German forces were still a force to be contended with, and under terms of the Paris Treaty of 1945, withdrew their forces to their Autumn 1939 borders.
This caused a rift with ex patriated Poles in particular.  They feared that the eastern half of their nation would fall under Soviet rule.  Upon returning to Warsaw, a government was quickly formed that established Polish Borders as they were prior to the Soviet and Nazi invasions of 1939.  Unfortunately for them, expatriate Poles who had spent the previous six plus years in the Soviet Union had other ideas.  Not wanting the just ended war to spark up again, the Western Allies sought talks with the Soviet Union over the future of Poland.  The Soviets wanted the borders reset to June 21, 1941.  That would encompass over half of Poland!  For the Americans in particular, this was just not acceptable.  In the end, a compromise was made, and Poland was divided into two spheres of influence with the Bug river forming the boundary between "East Poland" and "West Poland".  West Poland had as its capital Warsaw, right on the border, and East Poland had Lvov as its capital.  By 1948, the USSR had established several "Friendship Divisions" in East Poland to aid in the fledgling communist nation's "security".  The Poles of west, also known by now as "Warsaw Poles" invited US and UK forces to counterbalance. 
As the demobilisation of the Wehrmacht carried on, Rommel was named to head the General Staff.  Berlin, now in ruins, was no longer the seat of government as the clean up continued.  A new Reichstag was established in Bonn, on the Rhine, where Reichsführer Goering was "allowed" by the west to carry on as leader of the nation.  Even though the Americans wanted a change in the regime, they realised that Goering was immensely popular in Germany, and that any overt attempt to remove his influence could prove disasterous.  As well, Goering now had the Western Allies to counterbalance the SS under Himmler.  He wanted them gone, in a new "Night of the Long Knives", but feared the back lash.  He was uncertain if the Wehrmacht in general, the Heer in particular, would support him.  He had the full backing of the Luftwaffe, who openly referred to him as "Onkel Hermann" (Uncle Hermann).  The Kriegsmarine was so minute that its support or opposition was virtually negligible, as far as he was concerned.
Looking east, the Western Allies feared that the USSR would indeed be bent on expanding westward, Atomic bomb or no Atomic bomb!  Though the Poles, White Russians, Latvians and others were nominally running their own nations, it was clear that all direction came from Moscow.  In an effort to counter this threat, they formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).  The initial member states, including Canada and the United States as well as the UK and Germany, all vowed to come to the aid if any of the member states were attacked.  In other words, if the USSR decided to attack Norway, then they may as well be attacking all member states.
Moscow smelled a propaganda coup.  The poor communist nations were now facing an overt alliance of capitalist states, all aligned against them!  It was regrettable, but their hand was forced: they formed their very own alliance: the Lvov Pact!  The Democratic Republic of Poland, the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic and even the White Russian Soviet Socialist Republic all joined this "alliance", who similarily decreed to go to war to protect one another.  In reality, the Soviets ran everything from Moscow.  The signing of the Pact did nothing to alter the reality: Russians were in charge of everything, even Polish divisions and in one case, there was a Russian Regimental Commander in a Latvian division!
In the end, the Heer was allowed to retain 10 divisions dispersed in three corps.  Three divisions were Panzer, six were Panzergrenadier and one was Fallschirmjäger.  The Luftwaffe was more lavishly outfitted, but only with fighter squadrons: a mix of FW-190 and Me-262.  The navy was allowed a small surface fleet, but no submersibles were allowed.  In the end, the Germans weren't humiliated as they were in 1918/1919.  They retained an effective combat force and were part of an alliance against the Soviet Union.  Their withdrawal from the Soviet Union had been fairly orderly and many a young landser was happy to return to civilian life.
By 1949, Europe was once again an armed camp.  The border between the two Polands had been sealed off under what Churchill called an "Iron Curtain".  Moscow was more paranoid than ever and vowed to never again suffer what it did in 1941: betrayal at the hands of a supposed ally.  Powerful tank forces were stationed near the intra Polish border and the socialist rhetoric implied that the Nazis and the West were allied the whole time against the USSR.  NATO forces in Poland included a number of Polish units, as well as US, UK and French units.  German units remained in Germany, in spite of them being equipped with the most advanced armour in Europe.  Still, it was much too soon to have German troops back in Poland.  In any event, if war came, they were out of harms way and it was reasoned that they would make a very effective counter attack, if needed.  After all, they already had much practice in Poland and they knew the countryside quite well.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 18, 2007, 15:13:06
TEASER: I was thinking "War in Europe: NATO vs the Lvov Pact in 1952, starring Patton AND Rommel as rival commanders facing off against Zhukov (but since I've killed him off, any other 'respectable' Soviet Generals come to mind?)

Some of the possible Soviet generals would be Timoshenko (after Zhukov's departure he could come back into favour but he is not quite equal to Zhukov's talent), Konev and Malinovsky (or Chuikov who during WW2 was slightly younger and junior but very aggressive).  Sokolovsky could also play a role but would be considered more of a strategic planner than a field commander.

As for Patton, as much as it would be interesting to see a Patton/Rommel rivalry like that with Montgomery, by 1952 he would probably have been mandatory retired.  When Patton died in 1945 he was 60 years old.  Other significant American commanders who were still in the mix in 1952 (Eisenhower, Bradley, Clark, Ridgeway, Collins among others) were all at least 5 or more years younger than Patton.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 18, 2007, 15:21:00
Sokolovsky could also play a role but would be considered more of a strategic planner than a field commander.
Soviet field commanders were plentiful, and in spite of asinine orders "from the top", I think they mostly did a splendid job.  Strategic planning and staffing at the FRONT level is what was needed (in my universe, anyway)

Thanks for the hints!  I just may ruin everyone's day and have Patton invite Rommel for a ride in his new jeep ;D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 18, 2007, 15:25:00
When is the next part comming? I'm hooked  ;D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 18, 2007, 15:28:40
When is the next part comming? I'm hooked  ;D
For only $9.99, I'll send to you "Twisted Bottle: the alternate history of the 20th Century".  Quick, order now, and I'll give you, FREE, an autographed SIGNED hardcopy of my first "what if" :"She said 'yes'"


;)
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 18, 2007, 15:37:59
For only $9.99, I'll send to you "Twisted Bottle: the alternate history of the 20th Century".  Quick, order now, and I'll give you, FREE, an autographed SIGNED hardcopy of my first "what if" :"She said 'yes'"


;)

Hmm, very tempting, but I will wait until it is free on the web.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Greymatters on July 18, 2007, 17:27:13
(And yes, you do have Goering for the sex scenes  ;D).

 :P Eww...  at least get Marlene Dietrich...

Hmmmm... will you include the Gouzenko defection and its impact on the post-war alliance as well? 

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Old Sweat on July 18, 2007, 17:50:38
Capt Sensible,

You killed Goering off with the first bomb, but then have him running a puppet government. Otherwise, good stuff.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Yrys on July 18, 2007, 17:52:10
You killed Goering off with the first bomb, but then have him running a puppet government. Otherwise, good stuff.

It's Goering. Normal space-time continuum doesn't apply here ;) .
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Danjanou on July 18, 2007, 18:19:40
Capt Sensible,

You killed Goering off with the first bomb, but then have him running a puppet government. Otherwise, good stuff.

"e's not quite dead yet."  8)
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 18, 2007, 21:45:32
Capt Sensible,

You killed Goering off with the first bomb, but then have him running a puppet government. Otherwise, good stuff.
ROLMAO!
Naturally a Ginger Addicted Alien saved him!

(Is there a delete button?)

I'll fix that "minor" error tomorrow!  I'm off to play Squad Leader!  Cheers!

:D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 18, 2007, 21:46:13
"e's not quite dead yet."  8)
"Is there anything you can do guv'nr?"
"I feel happy!  I feel happy!"
*BONK*
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on July 18, 2007, 23:54:36
Capt Sensible,

You killed Goering off with the first bomb, but then have him running a puppet government. Otherwise, good stuff.

Well he’s already got Goering in there for the sex.  :o :o

See, the problem is solved. Goering was supposed to be at that meeting, but was rather rudely interrupted by a blinding flash of light coming in through the bedroom window (not his bedroom window BTW.) very early in the morning........
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: RangerRay on July 19, 2007, 00:23:41
Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss (the actor) wrote an interesting mystery set in a world where the American Revolution never took place:

http://www.amazon.com/Two-Georges-Novel-Alternate-America/dp/0812544595

http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/review.html#mcgregor

Quote
THE TWO GEORGES by Richard Dreyfuss and Harry Turtledove reviewed by Alayne McGregor

It's 1996: King-Emperor Charles III is the middle of his glorious reign over a British Empire covering the globe, while the Sons of Liberty plot his overthrow. Giant airships carry passengers from Victoria, the capital of the North American Union, across the continent to New Liverpool; however, when Governor-General Sir Martin Luther King wants to cross to the California coast, he does it by train, with political speeches at every whistle-stop.

You may have gathered this world is slightly different from ours.

In this world, there never was an American Revolution. Instead, George III and George Washington reached an agreement in the 1760s to create a separate privy council for the American colonies, satisfying the colonists' concerns and keeping North America securely in the Empire. That agreement was immortalized by Gainsborough in his painting The Two Georges, which has become an icon in the NAU. Copies of the painting even adorn paper banknotes.

It's no wonder Colonel Thomas Bushnell of the Royal American Mounted Police is nervous. He has the duty of guarding The Two Georges for a two-month stay in a museum in New Liverpool. Everything looks secure at the opening reception at the governor's mansion, but the Sons of Liberty are cleverer; a guest is assassinated, and, in the confusion, the painting is spirited away.

That's the signal for Bushnell to embark on a search across the continent from the far north-western islands to the east coast, trying to discover the Sons' network. On the way, we see a very different society than today's United States or Canada: more hierarchical and linked to Britain, but also more peaceful, and with better treatment of its black, Hispanic, and Indian minorities.

Together with his stalwart black adjutant, Samuel Stanley, and Kathleen Flannery, the chief curator for the travelling exhibition (who can't quite be dropped from the list of suspects), Bushnell has to dodge Russian bullets and grenades as he fights for his country against a bunch of xenophobic extremists, who will do anything to make America "free".

Some things of note in this book:

The great empires still exist.
Edward VIII never abdicated.
John F. Kennedy is an crotchety 70 year old publisher of a small independence newspaper.
Technology and values are about 50 or 60 years behind.
Honest (Tricky) Dick is a steamer (steam-powered car) salesman.

EDIT to add Amazon.com link.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on July 19, 2007, 11:30:34
For a very bent alternate history try Philip K Dick. Many people know "The Man in the High Castle", an alternate history where Germany and Japan win WW II and America is occupied and divided between them.

But then there is this.....

Quote
Radio Free Albemuth
By Philip K. Dick

Originally published in 1985
Trade paperback published by Vintage
Currently available

Plot Summary:
In the late 1960's, a paranoid incompetent has schemed his way into the White House and convulsed America in a vicious war against imaginary internal enemies. A struggling science fiction writer named Philip K. Dick is trying to keep from becoming one of that war's casualties. And Dick's best friend, a record executive named Nicholas Brady, is receiving transmissions from an extraterrestrial entity that may also happen to be God - an entity that apparently wants him to overthrow the President.

In Radio Free Albemuth, his last novel, Philip K. Dick morphed and recombined themes that had informed his fiction from A Scanner Darkly to VALIS and produced a wild, impassioned work that reads like a visionary alternate history of the United States. Agonizingly suspenseful, darkly hilarious, and filled with enough conspiracy theories to thrill the most hardened paranoid, Radio Free Albemuth is proof of Dick's stature as our century's greatest prankster-prophet.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 19, 2007, 11:32:23
For a very bent alternate history try Philip K Dick. Many people know "The Man in the High Castle", an alternate history where Germany and Japan win WW II and America is occupied and divided between them.
Didn't P.K. Dick write "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: BulletMagnet on July 19, 2007, 11:36:15
So Sensible..when is the next instalment ???
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Danjanou on July 19, 2007, 11:36:49
Didn't P.K. Dick write "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Yup
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 19, 2007, 11:37:23
So Sensible..when is the next instalment????
Holy crap: I should charge admission!

(Actually have some work on the go right now.  Hopefully early this afternoon, Atlantic time)
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 19, 2007, 11:59:22
FIRE OVER BERLIN
Robert Oppenheimer.  He was the head scientist running Operation MANHATTAN, a super-secret experiment being conducted in the deserts of Nevada.  The plan was to creat a bomb so powerful that it would render an entire city into flame.  There were nay-sayers at all levels, but even the new president, Harry Truman, felt that "something had to happen" to end the war.  Though "Germany First" was the policy, it was proving to be more difficult.  The Japanese were being driven back on all fronts, due in thanks mostly to the US.  If successful, the new "Atomic" bombs would be dropped on Germany.  It was hoped that by destroying an entire city with just one bomb would  break the back of resistance.
The USSR was bogged down in an extended line of trench warfare with the Germans.  This gave the Germans the opportunity to rotate divisions in and out of the line, as well as to give new divisions some combat experience before heading to the Western or Italian front.  Unlike 1943, the Eastern Front was the "quiet" front for Germany.  The Western Allies noted that there were several attacks being conducted by the Soviets, but in every case, they were blunted by the Germans.  Manpower was also in decline in the Soviet Union.  Some "divisions" had fewer than 5000 soldiers!  Tanks were plentiful, but tank crews were not.  Any crewmen with experience were either dead or captured.  Every year, it seemed, the Soviet tank arm had to reinvent itself.
The Italian front bogged down north of Rome.  When liberated from the Germans in October 1944, the Pope himself greeted the British General commanding the forces upon his arrival at The Holy See.  Following a short audience with His Holiness, the British and Americans went back to the deadly business of fighting the Germans.  By April 1945, they were only 20 miles north of Rome: the terrain and dogged resistance of the Germans prevented any marked advance.
In France, the offensive near Brest was a psychological blow to the US forces.  Thus far, they had conducted all offensive operations above division level.  Though the Commonwealth forces had faced their share of offensives, all with mixed results, the allocation of the US Army Air Force to Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) missions had let them down.  They were unable to note the build up of some six divisions south of Brest, in spite of warnings from the Resistance.  It was noted, however, that the Resistance was heavily compromised by Canaris' effective counter insurgency campaign.  In short, the Resistance was basically ignored.  For the first time since 5 June 1944, there were no major combat operations occurring in France: both sides were spent, and the Allies decided to keep up the pressure with their air units, allowing the ground units to build up for a surge to finally break the back of German resistance in France.
6 June 1945, the first anniversary of the landings in France came and went with nary a fan fare.  "Signal" magazine noted the anniversary with a photo respective of the event, and included an extensive photo spread of the 12th SS's attack into SWORD beach.  Some of the photos were published for the first time, including one in which a smiling young Hitler Youth, brandishing an MG-42, is seen standing over the bodies of unidentified Allied soldiers.  Later, the UK press used this very photo to accuse Germany of Warcrimes, suggesting that the dead were just gunned down by the smiling fanatic.  In actuality, the photo was staged, and the "dead" were simply friends of the soldier lying face down in the sand, field grey greatcoats covering their distinctive "Flecktarn" tunics.  In fact, the photo was taken well before D-Day, back in Germany, on exercise!
The summer of 1945 was one of flow and ebb in France.  In the end, the US forces on the Allied right wing were able to break through the thinning German ranks and reached Brest.  Though the city was still garrisoned by some 10,000 Germans, the Americans carried on their advance.  It was not without loss, but once more, the front was moving, albeit at a snail's pace.
By the end of July, the Americans had doubled the amount of "liberated" French territory.  The Germans simply failed to have sufficient forces to push the Americans back, though they still retained enough combat power to keep their advances minimal.
The summer of 1945 was quite quiet in the Eastern Front.  The soviets simply didn't have any ideas left.  Stalin was enraged and initiated his third purge.  This time, the Generals had enough!  Once word spread that any purge was underway, a group of generals, under a young Nikita Kruschev, branded Stalin as a Nazi puppet and called for his head.  Stalin was to blame, they asserted, and slowly but surely the USSR split into two camps.  The effect on the front was negligible at first, as the front line divisions were content to let the rear echelon pigeons sort out the national leadership.  As far as they were concerned, it mattered not who was in charge, for nothing would change the fact that they were at war with Germany.  As the Communists fought amongst themselves in the rear, production was curtailed, limited supplies to the front.  The Germans were well aware of the situation and chose to exploit it by not attacking.  They simply allowed the USSR to fight amongst itself.  The German High Command estimated that the USSR would implode in a matter of months, if not weeks, much as had happend back in 1917.
Early August would bring about an end to the war, much swifter than anyone had expected.  The USSR was for all intents and purposes embroiled in a civil war, though the front was still maintained.  German forces opposite curtailed combat operations there such that Soviets were free to emerge from their bunkers and in some cases, mingle with German, Hungarian, Dutch, Finnish and even Rumanian soldiers in the bunkers opposite.  This practice was officially forbidden, but in reality, it happened more often than the High Command cared to know about.
At Bremenhaven at 0100 on 6 August 1945, a coastal RADAR detected a single bomber approaching the airspace of the Reich.  This was not unusual: single bombers usually made reconnaissance flights over the Reich.  They flew too high for most fighters, but due to operations elsewhere, none of the high flying jets were available for intercept.  As well, Wasserfall wasn't very good against solo aircraft.  To be most effective, the enemy bombers had to be in a mass formation, which they themselves needed to have any accuracy when they bombed.   So, the operators reported the contact and began to track it. 
The plane was a single RAF Lancaster.  On board was a mixed Allied crew.  The pilot was Canadian, the rest of the flight crew were British, but the bombardier and "special crewman" were American.  Though the US wanted to use a high flying B-29 for this mission, Eisenhower decided against it.  None were used as yet in Europe, and he didn't want anything tipping off the Germans that this mission was different.  For purely political reasons, the crew was a mixed Commonwealth crew, but the bombardier and "special crewman" had to be American.  The bombardier was trained in the use of the "Little Boy" Atomic Bomb.  The target for the crew was Berlin.  Specifically, the Reichstag. 
Berlin was chosen for a few key reasons.  First, as capital of the Reich, it was serve to give notice to the Germans that not even their vaunted "Reichshauptstadt" were safe.  Also, it had been nearly two years since the Allies had bombed Berlin in any serious level.  Therefore, any and all damage in the heart of the city would be seen to have been caused by one plane carrying one bomb.  As well, with any luck, the German government may be caught in the blast, decapitating the German war machine, giving the Allies the upperhand they most desparately needed!
At 0315 on 6 August 1945, parts of Eastern Germany reported "the greatest flash of light" ever seen coming from Berlin.  On the ground moments before the blast it was a calm Monday morning.  The explosion changed all that in an instant.  Though most people were sleeping, those who were out in the open were killed instantly.  Farther away from the epicentre, there were survivors from the initial effects of the explosion, but soon the air was filled with flying debris of all kinds, from the expected, such as masonry, to the macabre, including bodies and parts of bodies.  As fortune would have it, the German Government was readying for a meeting that was to start at 0330.  An emergency session was called due to a recent telegram received "through Switzerland" from Kruschev.  Apparently he was seeking terms for a ceasefire, to be followed up by a peace agreement.  The first elements of the government were just arriving at the Reichstag when the Little Boy exploded some 1,500 feet above them.  There were no survivors.
 Goering was still in Potsdam, his driver waiting for him outside a dank apartment building.  What was going on in there was never questioned.  Once it was clear that Berlin had just suffered an attack on a biblical scale, Goering and the remnants of his staff drove hell bent for leather for Rastenburg.  Orders were given to shoot down any unidentified planes that came within 100 miles, and a signifigant number of Wasserfall batteries were positioned.  Goering went into a radio silence mode as he contemplated his next moves.As the first streaks of sun began to fill the skies of Europe, Germans awoke to the sight of dark, foreboding clouds over Berlin.  Though it was true that most of the city was unharmed by the blast, the centre had been gutted.  There was no communication coming from Berlin, and a general sense of panic began to creep into the national German psyche.
The western allies were estatic with the results.  The Germans were so shocked that most messages were sent in the clear and un encrypted, and therefore intercepted.  Units were screaming for direction from above, but nobody seemed to know what to do, or even what was going on.  The only front that remained somewhat calm was the Eastern Front, where they had their own problems to deal with, least the "unfounded" rumours that Berlin had just been destroyed by a single plane!
As they pored over the results, the western allies struggled with finding a suitable second target.  Though offers of ceasefire were given, no replies were received.  Though they intended to inflict a severe blow to the German government, they didn't think that they would be so effective, and as a result, nobody in the German camp knew who had authority any more!  Given that a second attempt by a solo bomber would probably not go through the air defence systems so easily, a coastal city would be chosen so that the air defences would have less of a chance to engage the bomber.  This time, Hamburg was chosen.  Not only was it on the coast, it was large enough to psychologically attack the Germans. 
Three nights later, on 9 August 1945, the raid on Hamburg was underway.  The Lancaster approached the coast low so as to avoid RADAR.  A deception mission was currently underway with a number of "solo" bombers approaching the Reich that night.  One raid was actually intercepted by an Me-110 night fighter, but the rest got through.  Most importantly, the Lancaster with the "Fat Man" bomb aboard made it to Hamburg.  The crew climbed to altitude and dropped their load right over the harbour.  As the explosion ripped through the yards, fires spread through the city.  Panic reigned supreme over the normal staid Germans and they began to flee the city.  Normal bombing raids were hard on a person, but there was nothing like the effect of awakening from a deep slumber to only suddenly realise that your city was on fire!
Panic spread throughout the Reich right to the front.  First Berlin, and now Hamburg were in flames!  The government had somehow reformed, and there were violent arguments in the depths of Berlin as to what to do next.  Some argued for staying the course.  Others argued that any further resistance would be in vain.  And it would destroy Germany in the mean time.  The tipping point came in his broadcast to the union on the morning of 9 August.  President Truman announced the Atomic Bombings of Berlin and Hamburg.  He promised his citizens that the rain of Atomic Bombs would continue until the German government surrendered to "the Western Allies".
Upon hearing the two words "Western Allies", the German High Command realised that they got their wish: the end of the war with the West.  Though the Soviet Union was vast and had a seemingly endless supply of men, the industry of the West, and the United States in Particular, was what they feared most.  Also, the USSR was in the midst of full blown civil war.  Nothing was to be gained by continuing the war.  Germany was relatively unscathed, the forces in moderate shape, and they could finally have "peace with honour".
At 1245 9 August 1945, Field Marshall Jodl announced on the radio that he had ordered "All German forces on land, at sea and in the air" to cease combat operations effective 1800 9 August, Berlin time.  Though the negotiations would continue, specifically regarding reparations to France, the war was over.  The USSR was in the midst of a bloody civil war.  It was ironic that the Western Allies asked the Germans to continue their occupation of western Russia and the Ukraine to maintain "Law and Order".  Unknown to Washington and London, but the German sense of "Law and Order" for the slavic peoples was rather brutish: the concentration camps had pretty well finished up exterminating the European Jewish population, and was beginning to work overtime on other 'undesirables'.  Though the war was over, and France, the low countries, Denmark and Norway were liberated, the Germans "maintained" a presence over Eastern Europe, at least for the time being.
By 1948, the civil war in the USSR was over.  Stalin's supporters had emerged victorious, with Kruschev's group being all but eliminated.  The Germans had handed over control of Poland and the rest of eastern Europe, only after they eliminated all traces of the death camps.  Though rumours abounded as to their existance, most people wished these away as fanciful propaganda.  Stalin wanted to press on the war against Germany, but the US and UK would have none of it.  Though no longer supported by the lend-lease convoys, the USSR was still a formidable opponent. 
MORE TO COME.....

EDIT: Goering now has sex and lives through the atomic bombing of Berlin, but flees and goes into 'radio silence' mode.  The German government is not answering the phone, as it were.


Just reposting this here to correct my "minor" error of killing off Goering and then having his stunt double appear in my latest installment :D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 19, 2007, 12:09:50
Man, I'm a "write a holic".  I just cut and paste all I wrote into 12 pitch, times new roman, double spaced, and I have THIRTY FOUR pages! 
"Hi, My name is David, and I'm a write a holic"
"Hi David"
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on July 19, 2007, 12:24:35
Man, I'm a "write a holic".  I just cut and paste all I wrote into 12 pitch, times new roman, double spaced, and I have THIRTY FOUR pages! 
"Hi, My name is David, and I'm a write a holic"
"Hi David"



Something that I think would be helpful to all of us who are following this epic 'what if' of yours:
 Each part that has been posted so far are put into one long thread so that the reading can be un interupted. A thread devoted entirely to the writings of 'Sensible's what if,' a thread without commentary (there could possibly a seperate thread for commentary).
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 19, 2007, 12:35:33

Something that I think would be helpful to all of us who are following this epic 'what if' of yours:
 Each part that has been posted so far are put into one long thread so that the reading can be un interupted. A thread devoted entirely to the writings of 'Sensible's what if,' a thread without commentary (there could possibly a seperate thread for commentary).

If the mods could do that, that would be alright with me.  I won't post one HUGE message, however.  Those are just awefully hard to read :D

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Haggis on July 19, 2007, 12:37:49
If the mods could do that, that would be alright with me.  I won't post one HUGE message, however.  Those are just awefully hard to read :D

As long as it's not the "water thread".
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on July 19, 2007, 12:50:21
If the mods could do that, that would be alright with me.  I won't post one HUGE message, however.  Those are just awefully hard to read :D


No, not one HUGE message. I like it being broken down into individual posts like they are now. Easy to read and you get the chance to sit on the edge of your seat eaiting for the next chapter. :D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: sdfgsdfgfd on July 19, 2007, 12:54:26
Speaking of which whens the next one coming lol  ;D im about ready to fall of the chair dam gravity
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on July 20, 2007, 00:02:52
As long as it's not the "water thread".

The water thread was the finest collective literary achevement of Army.ca (The good Captain's alternate history is a singular effort [and a darned fine one at that]), and should be on Amazon.com real soon now.........once the royalty arrangements are worked out.

For anyone lookn1g for a Canadian Alternate History story to start, consider the Current Affairs and News thread about Government to Fund the reforming of CMR. Change the wording slightly ("reforming of the CMR") and you can go in all kinds of different directions.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Haggis on July 20, 2007, 08:53:59
For anyone lookn1g for a Canadian Alternate History story to start, consider the Current Affairs and News thread about Government to Fund the reforming of CMR. Change the wording slightly ("reforming of the CMR") and you can go in all kinds of different directions.

Armoured Cav on the cheap??
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: ironduke57 on July 20, 2007, 19:02:16
Three day´s (at least for me) since the last part. Come on, Captain Sensible! We are longing for the next part. :nana:

(Maybe a small inspiration from an artist I know from another forum: - http://godwin.ralert.net/pics2/dov_lunar0102.jpg  ;D)

Regards,
ironduke57
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: 3rd Herd on July 20, 2007, 19:20:59
If the good Captain would "STAY IN HIS LANE" and stop wandering all over this site we would be reading the next instalment. ;D
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 20, 2007, 19:29:44
If the good Captain would "STAY IN HIS LANE" and stop wandering all over this site we would be reading the next instalment. ;D
Actually, if the "good" Captain would stop drinking whiskey on this, his first night of THREE WEEKS OF LEAVE......  ;D



:cheers:

I hope to have more soon.

Thanks again for the encouragement!
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Greymatters on July 20, 2007, 19:47:21
Its a good alternate timeline story, but I cant see the US nuking Berlin.   

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 20, 2007, 22:40:40

Something that I think would be helpful to all of us who are following this epic 'what if' of yours:
 Each part that has been posted so far are put into one long thread so that the reading can be un interupted. A thread devoted entirely to the writings of 'Sensible's what if,' a thread without commentary (there could possibly a seperate thread for commentary).
Your wish is my command:
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,64400.msg592338.html#msg592338
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Yrys on July 20, 2007, 22:43:27
Your wish is my command

mmm, just his wish ? what about others wishes  :D ?
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on July 20, 2007, 22:46:12
Your wish is my command:
I'll hold you on that one. I've still got 2 (two) wishes left my personal genie. But for the meantime.. just get back in your lamp and write away.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on July 20, 2007, 23:00:16
If you want more of my "writing", check this out:
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,64402.msg592365.html#msg592365
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: 3rd Herd on August 11, 2007, 15:57:28
For the "Good Captain"
"During World War II, Canadians were certainly supportive of the allied cause, but for many, it was something happening Over There. It was not something directly affecting them. After all there hadn’t been a war in North America for years. “If Day” was designed to change this attitude and give North Americans (most North American newspapers covered the event) and Manitobans in particular, a very personal sample of the Nazi war machine.

It was co-ordinated with the Victory Loan Campaign, a campaign (the second) of the federal government to raise $600,000,000 in Victory bonds to fund the war effort. The campaign was opened on February 16 and ran for three weeks, until March 9. Each province, city, and even some companies had their own prescribed objectives: Manitoba’s was $45 million and Winnipeg’s was $23,569,000. These were not mandatory objectives, but goals. Most, however, over-fulfilled their quotas.

Advertisements for the bonds often carried descriptions of soldiers’ dedication to freedom and democracy, asking if the reader could not at least buy a bond. “Brave men will not die because I faltered!” was a common slogan during the campaign. Although the federal government contributed most of the advertising, many private companies placed ads as well.

The idea was to stage a fake Nazi invasion of Manitoba. The “Nazis” were to occupy and administer the province for the rest of the day. The key was realism. One couldn’t ignore these Nazis any more than real ones.

Participation in the event was excellent. Both the active and reserve forces, as well as numerous volunteer organizations, were involved in making If Day as realistic as possible. Col. D. S. McKay was the commander of the “defence” forces. RCAF planes were used as Nazi dive-bombers. Trucks, anti-aircraft guns and other military equipment were used during If Day.

Nazi aircraft came in from the north, first sighted at Norway House. Selkirk was the first to fall prey, but by no means the last. The Nazi war machine was converging on Winnipeg. At 6 a.m., the sirens sounded and troops were stationed along a line five miles from city hall. By seven o’clock, the Nazis arrived at the first line of defence. Artillery opened fire in East Kildonan, and the fighting began. Forty-five minutes later, the defenders were forced to retreat. They blew up the main bridges, but the Nazis were not to be stopped so easily. They were forced to retreat twice more, the last line but a mile from city hall.

By 9:30, there was nothing left to do, and Winnipeg unconditionally surrendered. Brandon, Flin Flon, Selkirk and many other small towns, comprising most of Manitoba, had also been captured by this time. Manitoba was now a German province.

It was an incredibly realistic invasion, yet, aside from a soldier who sprained his ankle and a Miss Gorin who cut her thumb in her blacked-out apartment, there were no casualties. All of the shells and ammunition were blanks. The bridges were strewn with rubble and declared “blown up”. There were some faked casualties, though, giving the ambulances and medical officers some practice.

All of the maneuvers were planned out beforehand: the stands, the retreats, and the troop movements. There were many “warnings” in newspapers describing the events to come. There were still some people who had managed to miss the advance publicity and were caught by surprise, but this merely gave them an extra dose of realism, certainly not a disadvantage considering that was the overriding priority on If Day.

The government of the city was taken over by the Nazis, with Erich Von Neuremburg installed as Gauleiter of Winnipeg. He started his rule by arresting most municipal and provincial officials.

Mayor John Queen, Premier Bracken, Lieutenant-Governor McWilliams, the Norwegian minister to the U.S., who was visiting McWilliams at the time, several aldermen and the city clerk were all arrested and imprisoned in Lower Fort Garry, the Nazi internment centre. The Union Jack over the Fort was (of course) replaced with the Swastika. One alderman, Col. Dan McClean, managed to escape by hiding in an empty room. Fortunately, he was later captured—the Nazis might have held the rest of Winnipeg responsible for his escape.

Meanwhile other stormtroopers scoured police headquarters for Chief George Smith. He was on his lunch break and had thus avoided capture. So they went upstairs (there was a store on the second floor of the police station at the time) and confiscated dozens of buffalo coats. It was, after all, the middle of February.

Proclamations and commands were plastered all over telephone poles, announcing Nazi supremacy and new civil rules, such as the following:

Ankundigung

IT IS HEREBY PROCLAIMED THAT:

1. This territory is now a part of the Greater Reich and under the jurisdiction of Col. Erich Von Neuremburg, Gauleiter of the Fuehrer.

2. No civilians will be permitted on the streets between 9:30 p.m. and daybreak.

3. All public places are out of bounds to civilians, and not more than 8 persons can gather at one time in any place.

4. Every householder must provide billeting for 5 soldiers.

5. All organizations of a military, semi-military or fraternal nature are hereby disbanded and banned. Girl Guide, Boy Scout and similar youth organizations will remain in existence but under direction of the Gauleiter and Storm troops.

6. All owners of motor cars, trucks and buses must register same at Occupation Headquarters where they will be taken over by the Army of Occupation.

7. Each farmer must immediately report all stocks of grain and livestock and no farm produce may be sold except through the office of the Kommandant of supplies in Winnipeg. He may not keep any for his own consumption but must buy it back through the Central Authority in Winnipeg.

8. All national emblems excluding the Swastika must be immediately destroyed.

9. Each inhabitant will be furnished with a ration card, and food and clothing may only be purchased on presentation of this card.

10. The following offences will result in death without trial

a) Attempting to organize resistance against the Army of Occupation

b) Entering or leaving the province without permission.

c) Failure to report all goods possessed when ordered to do so.

d) Possession of firearms.

NO ONE WILL ACT, SPEAK, OR THINK CONTRARY TO OUR DECREES

published and ordered by the Authority of (signed) Erich Von Neuremburg


In front of the Main library (then on William Ave.), all books relating to liberty, democracy, freedom, or anything else the Nazis didn’t approve of, were burned. They were all old books headed for the incinerator anyway, but that didn’t dampen the effect.

Reichmarks were given out as change, and were to replace the dollar. One group of Nazis burst into the cafeteria at Great-West Life. Employees were kicked out and some jailed, while the Nazis grabbed all the food.

All churches were boarded up, and clergy members arrested or blacklisted. “Services of worship” were forbidden and people attempting to enter a church were arrested. Any ethnic, religious, and especially (of course) Jewish organizations were disbanded and all funds and property confiscated.

Nazi troops with Bren gun carriers patrolled Portage Ave. during the course of the day. As a final statement of conquest, the city was renamed “Himmlerstadt”.

But the occupation was not confined to Winnipeg. Although they could not afford the grandiose display, many of the smaller towns put on some sort of occupation. Virden was renamed “Virdenberg.” Registration was distributed by Gestapo in most towns. In Russell, all cars were redirected to the “registration office” (the Victory Loan purchase HQ) to obtain a vehicle permit. After all, the whole idea was to get people to go there anyway.
The Tribune published a special four page supplement on If Day, reflecting its views on what a Nazi controlled press would look like, and some theories of what Nazis might do in a long-term occupation of Manitoba. It was entitled “Das Winnipeger Lugenblatt.”

An editorial apologized for the lack of good quality articles and promised to remedy the situation quickly. The Nazis did not have time to bring in “good” reporters so they had to use mildly censored articles written by “accursed freedom writers.” [1] These were merely blank columns with titles, a few odd words and a blacked-out picture of the author. The Nazis even left in a blank space entitled “Bible Message.” [2]

Regular columns were replaced by Nazi “equivalents.” A popular society column was replaced by a Nazi version. It described, in bad English, permissable humour: “Explained it should be that whenever the word (Joke) appears thus in this column from now on, the reader is expected to laugh.” [3] But the Nazis were not always cruel. They approved for use a “very popular Canadian joke”:

Q: “Who was that lady last night I saw you out with?”
A: “That lady was my wife!”
(Joke) Ha Ha Ha! [4]

At 6 p.m., the head of the family MUST read this column out loud, while family members laugh three regulation German laughs in unison at each (Joke). Dissidents were to be reported to the Gestapo by other members of the family. Only official jokes from this column may be told and all of them must be memorized. Official “laughing classes” were to be set up as soon as possible to better instruct the population in German humour. This was (obviously) one of the less serious proclamations of If Day.

A regular food column was printed, but also in a modified form. It displayed warnings of new rationing limits. Milk was only given to children five years old or younger—3½ cups per week. The Nazis were appalled at the huge amounts of soap available, and immediately reduced this to one tablet per family per month—including detergent.

It also contained a recipe for “a meat dish approved and recommended by Der Fuehrer: a hamburger made from a cow’s udder.” [5] None of these rations were actually carried out. They merely served as an example of how trivial the war-time rations and other sacrifices were, compared with what would be enforced in a Nazi state.

Politically, the Nazis had plans for their new prize. All of Canada would surely fall, with so little population for its area. Hitler (as well as Emperor Hirohito and Premier Mussolini) supposedly planned to colonize Canada, exterminate the Canadians and use it as a colony to accommodate excess population in the Axis nations. Although they hadn’t used any of their conquered countries as colonies, the Nazis (the real ones) certainly had exterminated enough people to make this supposed plan quite believable in this situation.

Special lessons were taught in schools on If Day. Most classes were let out at 11:30 so that they could hear “Swastika over Canada,” a radio play broadcast by the CBC. At Robert H. Smith school, the principal was arrested and the sole curricular teaching was to be the “Nazi Truth.”

At the end of If Day, a huge map was erected on the Bank of Montreal building at the corner of Portage and Main. It was divided into 45 sections, one for each million dollars of Manitoba’s objective. For every million dollars actually collected, one Union Jack was placed on the map. When the map was full, Manitoba would have successfully defended itself, and it would be symbolically freed. Anything after that would be an “offensive drive” against the Nazis. [6]

Manitoba achieved its quota (of $45 million) on March 3, 12 days after If Day. Winnipeg, much more involved in If Day, was 10% over its objective (of $23,569,000) by February 25, 6 days after If Day. The day certainly had an impact.

On March 4, the Lieutenant-Governor congratulated Manitobans on their commitment to the Loan Drive, and encouraged them to pass on to offensive maneuvers (over-fulfill their quota). They certainly did this. Even though the objective was later raised to $60 million, Manitoba’s final total was near $65 million, 45% over the original goal.

The actual occupation lasted only one day. At 5:30 p.m., the participating groups held a parade down Portage Ave., waving signs proclaiming “It Must Not Happen Here” or “Buy Victory Bonds.” A banquet was held that evening to round off the event. It was attended by the Mayor, Premier, and many other officials. They had nothing but praise for the day’s efforts. It was judged quite a success. The visiting Norwegian minister to the U.S., De Morgensterne, called If Day a noble, constructive action in the war against the Axis Powers.” [7] As a military operation, If Day was also judged a complete success. Col. D.S. McKay, the commander of the defensive forces said that the troops got more practice and benefit out of 2½ hours of If Day maneuvers than they would get out of a week’s worth of training. [8]

There was one very un-Nazi aspect of If Day: reporters and cameramen followed them everywhere completely uninhibited. Nearly every major North American newspaper and all the newsreel companies covered the event. It is estimated that 40 million people saw Winnipeg fall prey to the Nazis. [9] Local radio stations broadcast Hitler’s speeches and martial music throughout the day to set the atmosphere. Warnings were given to neighboring U.S. towns, as well as customs officials. Reports of Nazi armies and nothing but Hitler on Canadian radio stations could have created mass hysteria in the U.S.

Vancouver later planned an invasion of its own, borrowing German currency and other materials from Winnipeg. The United States government even wrote, asking for details of organization.

If Day brought home the reality of Nazi occupation. Manitobans got a very bitter taste of nearly every aspect of Nazi brutality. Support this war with a bond purchase or Manitoba might someday go through this for real."

“IT MUST NOT HAPPEN HERE!”
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/13/ifday.shtml




Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Greymatters on August 13, 2007, 12:13:41
Thats amazing - I worked there for 8 years and never heard that story once!
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: geo on August 13, 2007, 12:57:20
Those people in Manitoba musta been crazy!

The logistics to put that event together during WW2 in Manitoba musta been tremendous
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: 3rd Herd on August 13, 2007, 13:30:33
For the textually challenged:
If Day: The Nazi Invasion of Winnipeg
Aaron Floresco, Writer/Director, 2006
Scare tactics sell War Bonds! Imagine that Winnipeg is invaded by Nazi soldiers, and that the city and its surrounding municipalities are conquered in the name of the Führer. It happened in February of 1942 on "If Day", an event that was as bizarre as it was financially successful for the Canadian government.

High definition
22 minutes
Colour 
Producer: Kyle Bornais
Director and Scriptwriter: Aaron Floresco
Production : Past Perfect Productions Inc. 129 Machray Ave. Winnipeg, Manitoba R2W 0Z2 (204) 223-5997 (204) 772-0045
aaronf23@yahoo.com
With the support of
Canadian Television Fund (LFP)
 

Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Technoviking on August 14, 2007, 22:48:54
I would have posted more; however, I am en route to Petawawa right now, using the Hotel internet, so, unfortunately, it hasn't been sloth that's kept me from writing: it's been spending the last week with my wife and our kids.  I promise, more to come!!
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on August 21, 2007, 08:31:53
Going the other way, this is a nice SF story which extrapolates many current social, political and economic ideas and events into the future. Ideas covered in some of our threads like the expansion of China, the "realignment" of the United States and North America and the rise of new "superpowers" are all considered and potential outcomes described:

http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?t=93496
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Rick Ruter on August 21, 2007, 12:33:31
The Russians have fuelled the Bears and are flying again with the Chinese on major Exercises. Don't know why they are using those huge missile sponges anymore but they still carry a big load that can do some serious damage. Providing they can pass through our amazing NORAD defence.  ;)
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on August 22, 2007, 06:29:47
Since our defence currently consists of a very small handfull of interceptor missiles, this is a "wide open" area. My thoughts:

1. In order to be effective, the missile shield needs to be expanded. Interceptor bases will be established on the east and west coasts of the United States, and the Alaska base will be expanded to cover the northern approaches.

2. Another ABM base will be established in Diego Garcia to cover the Indian Ocean. This is important to the United States as a maritime power, since the Indian Ocean is central to the "Islamic Arc" (for want of a better term) and freedom of movement for the US and allied forces in the Indian Ocean is needed for containment or offensive action anywhere in the arc. This system will be supplimented by ship and airborn ABM systems, but should be considered the centerpiece. Ship and airborn systems will provide operational and tactical coverage in selected areas.

3. The serial production of ABM interceptors will provide a line of low cost launchers and "busses" which can be used to support other military space missions.The company which produces the ABM launcher and busses will also have an incentive to expand the production line and sell their product to serve civilian markets as well. I'm thinking of small satellites for various military, commercial and scientific missions.

4. Expanded activity in space will eventually demand manned response to support and protect the space infrastructure. Since the standard launcher will be a relatively small solid fuelled booster, the manned spaceship will be equally small and stripped down (see: http://www.astronautix.com/craft/spauiser.htm). Space operations will resemble fighter missions rather than long duration space shuttle missions due to the limited fuel and on board resources of small spacecraft.

5. To extend mission times, "Space gagages" will be established. Because any object in a fixed orbit may be vulnerable to ground and space based interference, these will actually be capable spaceships in their own right, nuclear powered to dispense with vulnerable solar panels, and capable of operating as far as cis-lunar space to provide a degree of sheilding through distance and strategic depth. Once that is possible, there will need to be bases on the Moon and near Earth asteroids to provide extended support, and also keep assets far enough from Earth that no action can eliminate all of them at once.

This will be the foundation of the US Space Navy, which will have both "Carriers" and "Fighters" as the major combat systems. Space opera fans may rejoice.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: geo on August 22, 2007, 09:29:42
heh.... here come the Starship troopers.
The bugs can't be far away ;)
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on August 23, 2007, 08:34:47
heh.... here come the Starship troopers.
The bugs can't be far away ;)

You're so right! There would need to be a Marine contingent on various bases, and a carrier load of Marines with re-entry gliders could (in theory) insert to any point on Earth in a matter of hours. Even a Marine Space-Ground Task Force orbiting the moon would only be three days away or less.....
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Greymatters on August 26, 2007, 20:20:17
5. To extend mission times, "Space gagages" will be established... 

Is that 'space garages' or some new tech word Im not familiar with?
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on August 28, 2007, 00:59:35
Is that 'space garages' or some new tech word Im not familiar with?

Since this is the speculation thread, you can decide if this is some sort of ultra tech or just the malfunctioning "low tech" finger on the spell check button.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: DaveTee on August 29, 2007, 12:45:53
This is going way back in time, but I thought it might create a little speculation and fun.

So what do you think would have happened if England had been victorious in the 100 Years war with France? Let's say Joan of Arc never came along and France became a province of England. The impact on Europe would have been massive I think. England would have been the dominant power in Europe even before the Brittish Empire came along, so would the Spanish Armada ever sailed? Would Napoleon ever done anything notable? Would Nelson be famous? Even more importantly would Canada be a few centuries ahead of where it is as a country due to England colonizing North America early and not having to fight the French. Would we be one massive country with the current USA still under British rule?

I guess this one is wildly speculative but it's a little different then most threads so far. Let me know your opinions.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on August 31, 2007, 14:17:15
I guess this one is wildly speculative but it's a little different then most threads so far. Let me know your opinions.

Is it ever!  ;D

I think the long term effects would have been so multi faceted that the modern world as we know it might never have existed. France, being much larger, more populated and wealthier than England at the time would have grown to dominate the  Lancastrian Empire. English nobles would have preferentially settled in France, French nobility would have began occupying high positions in the ruling councils and French trade would effectively dominate the economy.

Because of this, French interests on the continent would predominate the interests of the Lancastrian Empire, and they would become embroiled in many of the same wars that France was involved in, including the Crusades, attempting to conquer Italy in the 1500's, various religious wars etc. The players would be different though, since in most of the wars in our history England threw in with the opponents of France to maintain the balance of power on the continent. A Lancastrian Empire might have actively supported the claims of the "anti-pope" and ignited a series of wars to establish their claim to the Papacy as well.

Other factors would include the extinction of the Valois and Bourbons as ruling families in France, the probable suppression of Protestantism in England and perhaps even throughout Europe (with a powerful Catholic Lancastrian Empire and most of Southern Europe to supply manpower, the Germans would have been overwhelmed in the religious wars of the 15 and 1600's). This would lead to the most remarkable outcome; no Treaty of Westphalia and the prevention or long delay of the idea of the Nation State.

We can also imagine this leads to the retention of feudal forms of government for a very extended period and perhaps no Enlightenment or Industrial Revolution. Since no other civilization ever embarked on these pivotal events, there would be no globe spanning Chinese or Indian Empires, and the entire world might have remained locked in a permanent middle ages. You and I would be having this discussion over a beer in a local tavern, and other topics of discussion in a hypothetical Army.ca broadsheet might be "future chainmail",  "military to receive new swords and polearms" or "tactical employment of longbows with pike formations". (The recruiting thread would be subdivided into "Press gangs" and "What Mercenary band should I join?", and George Wallace would be using the tag line "You need hooves to make a manoeuvre army"  ;).

I'm sure you could make all kinds of other extrapolations, about the only certainty is most of the people who were important in our history would never have made an appearance in this version of history.
Title: Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
Post by: Thucydides on September 10, 2007, 15:25:36
Going a short distance into the past: at the height of the Cold War, the United States made plans to establish a military outpost on the moon. The groundwork was laid in the mid 1950's and lots of detailed planning was done, culminating in a report issued in 1959.

The Americans were well aware of rocketry and had the "cream" of the German V2 program. Without knowing about Sputnik, the US was moving towards launching a satellite in late 1958 for International Geophysical Year, and Vannavar Bush aside, many members of the US scientific and military community were well aware and supportive of the idea of long range rockets and missiles. The US Air Force was particularly enamoured of the idea, and pushed for a manned rocket plane to perform bombing and recce missions (mostly because computer technology was so primitive at the time the idea of unmanned spy satellites and ICBMs was simply unthinkable).

The rational for Horizon was undercut by the development of nuclear submarines capable of launching SLBMs (which was accomplished much faster and more cheaply than building 60+ Saturn I and 80+ Saturn II launch vehicles proposed to build the moon base), and space planes in general were done in by rapidly advancing computer technology which allowed smaller and cheaper ICBM RVs to perform the nuclear strike role and automated satellites to perform spy missions.

Space planes like RoBo and missions like Horizon were at the edge of technology in the late 1950's, and with the right "push" or set of circumstances, it is possible that these projects could have come to fruition, leading to the sort of future with space forces, rocket patrols and other ideas we associate with 1950's era Science Fiction! (You might consider a future where disgruntled Bell engineers migrate to Canada after their rocket bomber was cancelled and help create the successful AVRO Arrow project)

Some links:

http://www.astronautix.com/project/horizon.htm
http://astronautix.com/articles/prorizon.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/robo.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/bomi.htm
Title: New Historical "what if" Thread
Post by: Richie on April 12, 2008, 01:29:57
The other thread has been dormant for over six months, so I'm starting a new one.

Here's my "what if" scenario: what if Kaiser Frederick III had not succumbed to cancer but instead had reigned for much longer than just ninety-nine days?

Frederick was an Anglophile, the husband of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter and would have taken Germany in a much different direction than did his son, Kaiser Wilhelm II. But for the onset of Fritz's throat cancer, Germany may well have developed into a liberal democratic society with much greater power given to the Reichstag and much less to the Kaiser. The Prussian factor in German history would have been diluted.

The Great War would likely have been avoided and Great Britain and Germany might have been allies as the twentieth century progressed. Hitler may well have died aimless and in poverty in Vienna, the Second World War may not have taken place (at least not in the form it did in Europe) and the confrontation with Soviet Russia would either have been avoided all together or have been much "hotter" than the Cold War which we all know and love. Perhaps Nicholas II would have abdicated or have allowed the Russian tsarist system to develop into a constitutional monarchy and liberal democratic traditions would have had a chance to consolidate and grow without interference from Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Would Russia and the West still be deadly enemies if Russia had followed Germany's example and developed into a liberal democratic state?

With a little luck, Europe would have avoided losing an entire generation in World War I and then again twenty years later.
Would Canadians feel as "Canadian" as we now do if Vimy Ridge were just another name on the map? If Dieppe were known to historians simply as a nice beach resort in Normandy?

America, free to concentrate on the war with Japan, may have decided to use a naval blockade of Japan's Home Islands to end the war and not have developed the atom bomb.

Russia would not have had access to German rocket scientists and hence the first man in space would likely have been an American and the first satellite would not have been called Sputnik.

Think about everything in the last one hundred years that would be different if only Frederick III had not developed cancer.
Title: Re: New Historical "what if" Thread
Post by: benny88 on April 12, 2008, 02:43:19
And if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle. Just kidding, interesting question Richie. While I'm not knowledgable enough in history to contribute much, I'll tag this thread and anticipate those of you with active imaginations.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: RandomAVS on April 12, 2008, 18:03:31
I think Im living in that alternate worlds you all speak of...I work at a call center...it''s JUST like working at one of those commie camps from what I hear.
Title: Re: New Historical "what if" Thread
Post by: Richie on April 12, 2008, 18:40:09
And if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle. Just kidding, interesting question Richie. While I'm not knowledgable enough in history to contribute much, I'll tag this thread and anticipate those of you with active imaginations.

If your aunt had balls, I'd advise you to sit down and have a very serious talk with your uncle!  ;D

As far as my hypothetical situation goes, feel free to throw in anything that comes to mind. I am by no means a professional historian, I just like throwing things out there to see what other folks have in their minds. Think of it as a historical beef stew and if you have an ingredient to throw in, feel free! You never know where it may lead!
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Richie on April 12, 2008, 18:43:56
I think Im living in that alternate worlds you all speak of...I work at a call center...it''s JUST like working at one of those commie camps from what I hear.

 :rofl:  I work in a call centre too! My mind wanders as I listen to those people complain about how they can't receive email on their Crack Berries and can't SMS on their cell phones. Oh noooo! Their world is ending... ::)
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: FascistLibertarian on April 25, 2008, 15:12:34
What if in 1990 Saddam had kept his tanks in his cities and had made plans to react agressively to operation desert shield?
What if he used chemical weapons on the American troops during this stage of the war and his crack republican guard units attacked while the US troops on the ground were few and disorganized?

From what I have read, during the first few months of operation desert shield there was a lot of fear, disorganization, and confusion (marines seem to have been better than the army and it depended on units).

As well, the US military has not had a big test since vietnam. The iraqi army came to look like a paper tiger but the reverse could have happened.

If they had taken the offensive sooner, could Iraq have held Kuwait?
Title: Re: New Historical "what if" Thread
Post by: S.M.A. on April 25, 2008, 15:56:09
And if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle. Just kidding, interesting question Richie. While I'm not knowledgable enough in history to contribute much, I'll tag this thread and anticipate those of you with active imaginations.

You're the guy who posted the ff. response to this thread at military.com, weren't you?  ;D

Quote
Quote
Originally posted by foxred03:
What if your aunt had balls?


...I guess then she'd be your uncle.


" What is to prevent an insane US president from launching a nuclear strike?"

http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5291911282/m/5310009971001   :rofl:
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on April 25, 2008, 17:23:16
I was in J3 Plans in NDHQ at the time and spent most of the August 1990 to March 1991 period studying the detailed situation as part of a team assembled to track both sides. We had a naval task group and a large fighter squadron in the region for most of that period and lated added a field hospital. The latter included Charles Company which actually saw some operational activity collecting Iraqi PWs.

What if in 1990 Saddam had kept his tanks in his cities and had made plans to react agressively to operation desert shield?

I don't understand your drift here. Saddam had occupied Kuwait because of a misleading diplomatic signal from the US. He was not prepared to react to Desert Shield, perhaps because he thought the US was just going through the motions.

What if he used chemical weapons on the American troops during this stage of the war and his crack republican guard units attacked while the US troops on the ground were few and disorganized?

A great unknown, but I suspect if he used chemical weapons at an early stage, Iraq would have disappeared under an aluminum overcast. He was playing with the opposition at this stage. In fact he was doing what ultimately led to his downfall a dozen years later.

There was a period where he could have overrun northern Saudi Arabia and the US build-up. What would his purpose have been? He already had what he wanted, the oil fields in Kuwait. He did not have the forces to occupy and hold the whole of SA. The West would not have allowed him to do so, anyway, and neither would the other Middle East states. It seems to me that Jordan was his only supporter and it stayed on the sidelines.

Having said all that, Saddam was a military moron surrounded by yes men. He seemed to be on one hand sly and cagey, and on the other hopelessly out to lunch.

From what I have read, during the first few months of operation desert shield there was a lot of fear, disorganization, and confusion (marines seem to have been better than the army and it depended on units).

This is the first I have heard of this theory, except for some silly speculation on As It Happens. The US military was in very good shape; the re-equipment program of the eighties and the conversion to a proper volunteer force had produced a first rate military. The major glitch I recall involved an aviation brigade in the US. Its commander, perhaps in an effort to get a higher priority for equipment, declared his brigade non-operational after receiving a warning order for deployment. Result, another aviation brigade was sent in its place.

That is not to say there were not screw ups and glitches. Obviously there were, however the Americans moved the majority of their army and marine divisions as well as overwhelming superiority in naval and air forces halfway around the world and maintained them there, all the while assembling and preserving a fragile alliance made up of middle eastern states as well as force from virtually every continent on earth.

As well, the US military has not had a big test since vietnam. The iraqi army came to look like a paper tiger but the reverse could have happened.

It had had some little tests. Grenada in particular revealed some shortcomings which the army worked hard to correct. While the intelligence picture painted the Iraqi army as formidable in numbers, it did not have the leadership, organization and logistics to fight the forces arrayed against it. Whether it was by deliberate Iraqi deception or because of a misreading of intelligence, the Iraqi forces were credited with some capabilities that it did not have. The Scud/chemical threat comes to mind, as does its armoured forces.
Title: Re: New Historical "what if" Thread
Post by: benny88 on April 25, 2008, 20:55:19
You're the guy who posted the ff. response to this thread at military.com, weren't you?  ;D

http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5291911282/m/5310009971001   :rofl:


   Hahaha, no I'm not the same guy, but I like his style.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on April 26, 2008, 00:07:45
I believe the United States sent some clear signals that any use of WMD (including chemical or biological weapons) wold be responded to in kind. Unlike Iraq, the Americans only have one type of WMD, and it's pretty darned effective.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: dglad on May 11, 2008, 19:27:14
What fascinates me about alternate histories are the "little" tipping points that make up the past.  For example, the first bombing of London during the Battle of Britain was essentially a mistake; on 24 August, German bombers, on a raid against oil installations at Thameshaven and an aircraft factory at Rochester got lost and jettisoned their bombs while they were above London.  This ultimately led to the shift of German attention away from British airfields and onto the bombing campaign against London which, as we now know, in turn led to the failure of the Luftwaffe to break the RAF and pave the way for a German invasion of the UK in 1940.  A simple mistake by German bomb crews (and probably, in the end, by one man...the officer commanding the German bomber formation that night) led to a huge change in the course of the battle, the war and, of course, history.  Fascinating.

One wonders how many other decisions or actions throughout history by individuals or small groups of men and women could have, if they have varied slightly, led to a huge change in the course of events.  And I'm not talking about different decisions by the "great leaders"; sure, if Hannibal or Julius Caesar or Gustavus Adophus or Napoleon Bonaparte or any number of other great names had made different decisions than they did, the world could be a very different place than it is.  I'm more interested in the "little folk".  It's mind-boggling to think that, had a Russian platoon commander at Kursk or an American squad leader on Guadalcanal decided to...I don't know, go left, instead of right, or hold back, instead of advancing a few dozen metres (or, for that matter, go for a pee instead of holding it and doing whatever it was he actually did do) history could have been completely changed.

And, of course, we'll never know, because all of these little acts get swallowed up in the great, vast whole.  Still, I find the thought utterly compelling.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Richie on May 15, 2008, 18:18:28
What fascinates me about alternate histories are the "little" tipping points that make up the past. 

That's what fascinates me, as well. My alternative history scenario of Kaiser Frederick III is what I think of as a tipping point in history. While a German Kaiser is definitely not one of the little people, the fact that a German Kaiser, an Anglophile married to Queen Victoria's daughter, reigned for only ninety nine days because he developed cancer is a tipping point if I ever saw one.
His father, William I, had lived to be ninety and it's likely that Frederick III could have been Kaiser for thirty years or so (1888-1918) and aligned his nation with Great Britain after promoting liberal democratic traditions in Germany. Frederick III's German doctors advised removing the part of his vocal chords affected by the cancer, a British doctor brought in recommended a vacation to ease the then Crown Prince's "sore throat". If the advice of the German doctors had been followed, Frederick would still have a voice (literally and politically) and may have lived and reigned much longer.

I consider World War I to be the pivotal event in the twentieth century: it brought an end to the Hohenzollern dynasty, the Romanov dynasty, the Habsburg dynasty, led to the creation of the Soviet Union, gave Hitler a reason for being. It brought an end to the nineteenth century way of life.
World War I would not have occurred or at least would not have dragged in the major powers of Europe if Kaiser Frederick III had not developed cancer and if his treatment had not been misdiagnosed. The "Great War" may have gone down in the history books as simply another Balkan conflict if only one man had not been stricken with cancer.

Anyway that's my pet historical "what-if", I'll get off my soap box for now.  :)



Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: armyguy62 on May 16, 2008, 20:42:05
I'm more interested in the "little folk".  It's mind-boggling to think that, had a Russian platoon commander at Kursk or an American squad leader on Guadalcanal decided to...I don't know, go left, instead of right, or hold back, instead of advancing a few dozen metres (or, for that matter, go for a pee instead of holding it and doing whatever it was he actually did do) history could have been completely changed.
   I am of the same mind... I often give thought to the "little guy" who fought with no hope of survival, knowing full well that no one would know how he died, but he did it because it was what needed to be done. I think the Russians have a particular claim to fame in this thought experiment.... (granted Barbarossa started late) how might the world look now if Pte Ivan had not fought to his last ounce of blood?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: lone bugler on June 07, 2008, 01:13:22
History is full of "what ifs" a couple of my favorites are,what if the British
had lost on the Plains of Abraham,what if the Brits. had come into the
US civil war on the side of the Confedracy.But the one I would like to kick
the thread off with is,what if Churchill had made a deal with Hitler in
1940,and decided that there enough Brit. Commonwealth gravesites in
France,and if Hitler kept his hands off British interests and possession's
he could carry on in Europe.Any fellow speculators.
                                           Regards

You do know that Brits did come into the US civil war on the confederacy side right? Although not officially declaring war. They were awfully happy about the civil war weakening their major problem at the time, an emerging super power, the USA. and provided a great amount of essential goods to the confederacy, not to mention ships (look up CSS Alabama) ,weapons, etc.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: time expired on June 07, 2008, 19:20:38
If the Confederation had won the Gettysburg battle the Brits
would have likely come in on the side of the south.The Federal
blockade of the south was very damaging to the British weaving
industry ,no cotton, and at the very least the British would have
broken this blockade and probably supplied the Confederation.
                                Regards
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on June 08, 2008, 12:05:53
If the Confederation had won the Gettysburg battle the Brits would have likely come in on the side of the south.

Since Canada wasn't yet a nation at the time, this is a very speculative "what if"  ;)

On a more serious note, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in September 22, 1862, well before the battle of Gettysburg (July 1 – July 3, 1863). The proclamation had converted the meaning of the Civil war to the fight to abolish slavery in the minds of both the Americans fighting the war and European observers. There was no way that England would openly side with the Confederate States of America and uphold the institution of slavery, regardless of the economic impact of the cotton embargo.

On a more purely military note, there are several possible outcomes to a Confederate victory at Gettysburg. The most probable outcome is the Army of the Potomac would have withdrawn to the "Pipe Creek" line (where General Meade had already made dispositions expecting to meet the Army of Northern Virginia there, near Taneytown, Maryland, and from  which he marched once advanced elements of his force made contact with Lee's forces on July 1, 1863). The Confederates would have followed (quickly, if they had managed to capitalise on the virtual destruction of MGen Sickles's III Corps of 2 July, or slowly if " Pickett's Charge" had succeeded on 3 July), but I suspect that casualties and the Confederate habit of looting abandoned Union stores to restock would have made any sort of close persuit impossible.

The other alternative (one which is more difficult to quantify) would be for General Lee to have followed MGen Longstreet's suggestion and interpose the Army of Virginia between the Army of the Potomac and Washington, D.C. This would have required Lee to leave the field at Gettysburg still in control of the Union (something he would have resisted), and also to move without his cavalry screen to scout ahead or screen his moves. The chances of success would be low due to these factors, but if the Confederates could find suitable ground, the Army of the Potomac would be forced to attack an entrenched Confederate force.

More capable historians may dispute this, but I suggest that on strictly military grounds, the Battle of Gettysburg is rather overrated as the "turning point" of the Civil War. General Grant's victory at Vicksburg placed the Mississippi river under control of the Union and enabled the other half of the pre war "Anaconda" strategy of economically strangulating the Confederacy to take effect (since the oceanic blockade was already in place). In the long term, this reduced the ability of the Confederacy to continue the war, and Sherman's "Army of the West" would still be free to greatly damage the Confederate economy regardless of what happened on the eastern front.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on June 08, 2008, 12:28:08
While speculation about little events changing history, it really is a mug's game when applied to modern military history. There are so many events taking place more or less at the same time that one successful defence of a key hill or the failure of a bridgehead to hold or an air raid gone astray matters little in except in national and regimental mythology. It is a combination of events rather than one key incident that decides the outcome of the war. This is especially true of modern conflicts (including the US Civil War) where the net military, industrial and financial resources as well as the mental attitude and moral authority of the warring factions decides the outcome in the majority of cases.

We all can probably point to cases where this theory is disproven (one could [wrongly] cite the 1982 Falklands campaign for example), but I believe it holds true overall.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on June 08, 2008, 14:14:19
This is a "yes and no" sort of thing you are suggesting, Old Sweat, which is why these speculations are so fascinating! One event which comes to mind in a recent conflict is the destruction of a civilian air raid bunker in Baghdad during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Although it was probably not a significant event individually (except for the people who were in the bunker), the resulting propaganda and political fallout changed the character of the Desert Storm [the air war], and might have affected the prosecution of Desert Sabre [the ground war, yet to be launched at that point].

Here we have a single event (pin point attack on a bunker), caused by faulty or unclear intelligence (the USAF apparently believed it was a command and control bunker, or perhaps a shelter for Ba'athist leadership), with potentially war changing secondary effects (slowed down targetting cycles and more targets placed off limits). Of course in a different time and place, the American leadership would have said "Tough luck", which might have had other war changing effects (Iraqi civilians move en mass from target cities causing economic and social chaos, undermining the effectiveness and authority of the Ba'athist regime).

Just like the Internet; although everything is interconnected there are still some points where the connections are much more important than others.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on June 08, 2008, 15:24:48
I remember the Bunker incident, Thucydides, now that you mention it. However, while it changed the methodology of the persecution of the air war, it did not alter the ultimate result. Further, I would argue that it had minimal effect on the ground campaign, and thus of the war. To me the great unknown of the Gulf War is what would have happened if Bush 41 had not agreed to halt the ground offensive. It may have been statesmenlike, although this is open to debate; it may have been an act of political calculation to avoid disturbing his Middle East allies; it may have been many thing, but it was not militarily sound. That is not to say that the coalition needed to have advanced pass the area of Basra. Another 48 hours would have seen the last of the Iraqui RG forces in the south destroyed and with it, Saddam's power base. Some judicious bribery, cohersion and some nudge, nudge, wink, wink diplomacy may well have brought about a regime change. And the rest, as they say, is not history.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on July 29, 2008, 21:51:29
Wow, is this ever a "what if?"

http://returnofthetory.btblogs.ca/2008/07/28/france-could-have-won-world-war-ii-when-it-began/

Quote
France Invades Germany!

All across the Internet, there have been several examples of alternate history surrounding World War II, which, if you’re a history buff like me, could send you off into hours of research on the topic.

Now, alternate endings aren’t the only interest.  One can often wonder what would have happened with an alternate beginning.

Sure, we all know that the British could have immediately issued an ultimatum to Hitler to pound salt on his Anschluss with Austria.  They could have drawn the line at Hitler’s claims to the Sudatenland.  Hell, they could have sent a clear message with regards to the Fuhrer’s blatant disregard of the Treaty of Versailles with regards to Germany’s rearmament.

But when you begin to research even deeper, you find gems like this, but what’s more interesting, is this:

France could have defeated Germany while German forces were tied up in Poland.

“…By then the French divisions had advanced approximately eight kilometres into Germany on a 24 kilometre-long strip of the frontier in the Saarland area. Maurice Gamelin ordered his troops to stop not closer than 1 kilometre from the German positions along the Siegfried Line. Poland was not notified of this decision. Instead, Gamelin informed marshal Edward Rydz-Smigly that half of his divisions were in contact with the enemy, and that French advances had forced the Wehrmacht to withdraw at least six divisions from Poland.”

This, of course, was an outright lie, but one has to wonder exactly why there was a need to lie.

I’m sure it’s easy for me to sit here 65 years after the fact and start an online debate on the subject, but one has to wonder if the whole conflict was even necessary.

Forgive me, I love reading about this stuff.

Go to the link and look at the embedded links as well!
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: time expired on July 30, 2008, 12:31:51
Possibly Hitlers re militarizing of the the Rhineland in 1935 could
have been the time and place that WW2 could have been nipped
in the bud.Robust reaction (military) by the Western allies,would
have been a tremendous defeat and loss of face for Herr Hitler.It
may have caused the loss of Army support and even the industrialists
who had large interests in this region may have had second thoughts.
 The problem was that the British were so deeply committed to the
Peace in Our Time,Appeasement policy that it is hard to see the
Government taking such action even if the will had existed.France
on the other hand was so divided politically, the Right actually
sympathized with the Nazis, that it was effectively paralyzed.All
that notwithstanding the opportunity was there,oh how little we
learn from history.
                        Regards
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on March 18, 2009, 13:04:04
A "what if" for the unreconstituted Cold Warriors:

http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/

Quote
356 - The World War That Never Happened: US Occupies USSR
Filed under: Uncategorized — strangemaps @ 10:45 pm

On 27 October 1951, the US magazine Collier’s devoted an entire 130-page issue to the theme of “Russia’s Defeat and Occupation, 1952-1960; Preview of the War We Do Not Want.” The cover showed an American soldier in a helmet emblazoned with US and UN insignia, reading MP (Military Police) Occupation Forces.

Collier’s Magazine devoted 60,000 words to the hypothetical aftermath of a Third World War, which would start in 1952 and in which the US and UN would defeat the Soviet Union. The articles described, among others, an “A-Bomb Mission to Moscow” (the famous broadcaster Edward R. Murrow writing about a hypothetical B-36 raid destroying the Soviet capital from an ‘embedded’ perspective).

In the introduction, Collier’s proclaimed that it had chosen this theme: “To warn the evil masters of the Russian people that their conspiracy to enslave humanity is the dark, downhill road to World War III; to sound a powerful call for reason and understanding between the peoples of East and West — before it’s too late; to demonstrate that if the war we do not want is forced upon us, we will win.”

According to Collier’s scenario, World War Three would start with an attempted assassination of Yugoslavia’s leader, Marshal Tito (a communist but also a maverick, for refusing to align his country with the Soviets). This would lead to an uprising in Yugoslavia and to its invasion by (Kremlin-loyal) Warsaw Pact armies. It is not clear from the magazine cover how the US/UN victory would work out on the ground.

The map behind the soldier shows the UN flag flying over Moscow, with the Eastern Bloc countries, the Baltic Soviet republics and Ukraine (but not Belarus) marked as ‘occupied’. Does this leave the rest of the Soviet Union as ‘unoccupied’, or ‘less occupied’, while Moscow nevertheless is under US/UN control?
.
Thanks to Ilya Vinarsky for sending in a link to this map.

Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 18, 2009, 14:18:20
1985: War in Europe:

(NOTE: This was "gamed" using 'NATO: The Next War in Europe' (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2079) by victory games, copyright 1983.)
The summer of 1985 began as almost any other summer.  The days were longer, the sun shone brightly and things seemed normal.  They were anything but.  The Politburo had decided to send arms and other war supplies to counter US influence in Central America, yet their shipments had been compromised.  Covert action had failed, so the new Premier, the relatively unknown Mikhail Gorbachev, decided to put the hawks in the Kremlin at bay by acquiescing to their requests for a showdown with the Americans.  They had reasoned that it would heighten tensions for the summer, taking international attention away from their ever-growing problems in Afghanistan.  US reaction, they reasoned, would end up starving the Mujahedeen and allow their forces there to finally quash all resistance, for once and for all.
A Soviet naval force set sail from Murmansk late in June and was immediately shadowed by US and British submarines.  Escorting a number of transport ships, all ostensibly loaded with humanitarian supplies for the war-weary Latin Americans was a formidable force of Cruisers and lesser ships.  Also being tracked, but not reported in the media, were a number of attack submarines, which the Soviets had intended to use to track NATO submarines beneath the depths of the Atlantic.  As soon as the force passed the Greenland-Iceland-UK Gap (GIUK Gap), the US quietly put it forces to Defence Condition 4.  As well, NATO fleets formed up on both sides of the Atlantic and set sail, to shadow the Soviet force.
As the Soviet fleet passed Cuba, it kept sailing to the South of the island, between it and Hispaniola.  It was here where the world came dangerously close to an accidental war.  For the previous week, NATO planes had routinely entered to within just a few thousand yards of the Soviet fleet as a deterrent.  On the 1st of July, a US F-15 Eagle, flying out of Florida, actually passed over the Soviet force at an altitude of just over 300 feet.  This was not the pilot’s intent.  His navigation system was in error, and he had thought that he was going to pass in front of the Soviet force.  The weather was overcast with a low ceiling, and the pilot was flying on instruments.  Keeping above the clouds, he flew to the point where he would drop below the cover and pass in front of the leading ships, at full afterburner. 
As he dove into the clouds, he readied to level off, and he began to increase his speed to just under subsonic.  Breaking out of the clouds at 1000 feet, he engaged his afterburners as he scanned off to his left.  He was immediately confused at seeing an empty ocean.  Had the Soviets changed course?  He turned to his right and his heart leapt into his throat.  There, in front of him was a large foreign ship.  It was gray, and looked menacing.  His eye was immediately drawn to the Red Ensign flying at its stern: Soviet!
Unknown to the pilot, he was heading directly for the Kiev, and its air defences were active.  They had just tracked a plane on a perfect intercept course flying steady at 5000 feet, when it dove right at them, with increasing speed!  The captain wasted no time and ordered all defences ready and cleared them to fire.  A battery of anti-aircraft guns tracked the F-15 and opened fire.  The F-15 appeared to attempt to evade by pulling back up into the clouds, but it was too late.  Anti-Aircraft fire tore into the plane’s wings and it immediately spun wildly out of control, crashing into the sea.  There were no parachutes.
US naval forces in the area had picked up a short SOS call that ended abruptly.  A search and rescue mission was launched immediately, but it was to no avail.  No wreckage or any sign of the mysterious SOS call was found.
In Washington, the Soviet Ambassador appeared un-announced at the White House.  He requested, no, demanded to speak to President Reagan about the unprovoked attack on Soviet warships in international waters!  By this time, the US had pieced together the evidence and concluded that their overdue pilot had somehow strayed over the Soviet fleet in what must have appeared to be an attack.  President Reagan talked with the ambassador, but he chose his words carefully.  Instead of acknowledging the actions of the previous hours, he only repeated his demands that the Soviet Fleet’s presence in waters so close to the US was unacceptable and that it must return to the Atlantic Ocean immediately. 
Following the meeting, the President met with his Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had already prepared options for him. 
“Mr President.  We have only a few options right now.  First of all, I recommend that we put our forces on DEFCON 3 immediately.  The Soviets will see this as a show of strength on our part.  And if nothing comes of this, we can stand back down to DEFCON 4 as a show of good faith.”
The President agreed, and after a few instructions to an aide, who left the room in a hurry, the briefing went on.  The first option was simple: plead ignorance and keep insisting that the Soviet force return to the Ocean.  The next two options were anything but simple.  The first complex option was to put US forces between the Soviets and their intended port, and force the Soviets to either fight or flee.  The second complex option, and perhaps the most dangerous, was to sink the accompanying Soviet submarines.  The Soviets would know about this; however, this event could be kept from the press, which was even now reporting that the US was missing a fighter and that there were reports of battle in the ocean.  A message would be sent to the Kremlin that would be loud and clear, and it would give them the option to flee with apparent honour.
“Gentlemen, I will have an answer for you in two hours.  For the time being, we will maintain the status quo.  And if anyone in here even hints anything to CNN, I’ll personally see to it that I send him to Siberia – strapped to an MX Missile!”
President Reagan discussed the events with Prime Minister Thatcher of England.  The Royal Navy provided the bulk of non-American ships in the NATO fleet, and one of their submarines was covertly tracking the Soviet subs that were escorting the Soviet surface fleet.  Together with the US submarines, all escorting subs could be sunk in one fell swoop.  The president wanted her opinion of his possible plan to eliminate the Soviet subs.
“Ronald, this is a very serious decision we have to make.  We found that with the Argentineans we had to be bold and show them that we would not stand for their aggression.  It worked, Ronald, it worked.  If we can neuter their force without anyone noticing but us and them, we have them on the ropes.  The ball will be in their court, and we can leave it to them to find a way out of this whole rotten mess.  I say sink them.”
The president and the prime minister passed on their orders to their respective militaries, and operation “MEDUSA” was put into action later that evening.  The American and British subs had received their orders during their routine surfacing that afternoon, and by midnight, they were all in attack position.  All five Soviet submarines were being successfully tracked, and the synchronised attack caught all Soviet crews unawares. 
The Soviet fleet was only a few hours away from putting into port when the Commander of the Fleet was informed of several simultaneous and powerful underwater explosions, all coinciding with the projected locations of the Soviet submarines.  The Commander went pale and ordered all forces to search for survivors.  He knew that something horrible had happened and the order of the day was for the subs to be located.  Without them, his fleet was naked and vulnerable, and could be sunk with nary a warning.
Wreckage from the destroyed submarines was located across the Caribbean, but there were no survivors.  The fleet had stopped its progress towards the port, and the world press, lead by CNN, was reporting its absence from all ports in Central America.  PRAVDA later reported that the Soviets had decided to abandon its efforts to deliver aid to Central America, as it was apparent that the US and UK forces were manoeuvring into blocking positions.  Theirs was a mission of peace, and the forces of capitalism, bent on making money from waging war, had stood in their way.  The deaths of the innocents would be on the hands of the West, specifically Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.  Demands were made of the west at the United Nations in New York, loudest coming from member states of the Warsaw Pact.  The German Democratic Republic submitted a resolution proposal that the US and the UK be sanctioned with a worldwide boycott as punishment for their war-like actions of the previous weeks.  It failed to pass.

Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 18, 2009, 14:20:00
The Road to War
Following the loss of the five submarines in the Caribbean, the Politburo had decided to publicly humiliate NATO.  The aim of which was to dissolve the alliance, thus giving the Warsaw Pact in general, and the Soviet Union in particular, more freedom of action elsewhere.  The long-term standoff of conventional forces in Europe was limiting the USSR’s ability to project its influence elsewhere.  Afghanistan needed just a few more divisions and it would be a settled issue, once and for all.  Africa begged for military intervention on behalf of the Soviets.  Yet none of this could be achieved while five armies were being maintained in the German Democratic Republic, along with the myriad of other divisions and armies in the West of the USSR.
The plan was relatively simple.  The USSR would “expose” a West German spy ring in Berlin that was actively collecting on the German Democratic Republic.  Then, a “defecting spy” would profess to the world that some of the new Pershing rockets were being covertly stationed in West Berlin, with a view to achieving even greater range into the USSR, as well as to hit Soviet and German forces with nuclear weapons with virtually no warning.  This would allow NATO to attack the Warsaw Pact and enslave its citizens, leaving them to the mercy of the big corporations of the United States.
Once NATO was thus discredited, the KGB would watch for indications of dissention within the ranks of the western alliance, inform the Politburo, which would then press for the dissolution of the alliance.  Moscow had no delusions that the Americans or British would ever leave the Federal Republic; however, the exit of the minor nations from the alliance, especially of Norway, would give the Pact the leeway to reduce its presence in Europe.  It would be a public relations victory!
On the 23rd of July, Otto Kretschmer, a STASI agent, was presented to the press in Berlin as a defecting spy.  He alleged that he was born in a small town on the Elbe near the Inter German Border, and that he was recruited by the German security forces during his time in the Bundeswehr, due to his ability to speak Russian.  The fact that a West German could speak Russian was not all that uncommon, and he spoke the dialect of the region from which he professed to come.  In fact, he grew up on just the other side of the border and had actually worked in the West under false documentation for some time.  He said that he was part of a team that was selected for service in West Berlin, which was part of neither East nor West Germany.  This in itself was in violation of the terms of the occupation of Germany dating back to 1945.  He then dropped the bomb-shell that he was part of a site selection team for the placement of the new Pershing rockets that were just being deployed in Germany by the US, and that several dozen of the nuclear tipped rockets were already in place within West Berlin.  He even showed as evidence several photographs that he claimed he took.  He further alleged that he was speaking only now in order to save his country, Germany, from a nuclear holocaust.
The reaction was immediate.  The world press had a field day with the story of Kretschmer and soon the entire world was familiar with his face.  Media agents flocked to his alleged home town and found many people who remembered him from school, or work, and how he was just an average man, the stereotypical “man next door”.  Naturally, everyone was surprised by his “confession” that appeared in all the press.
On the 25th of July, the USSR representative in the United Nations rose and demanded the withdrawal of all Western Military forces from Berlin.  This was met with a rousing applause from several client states along with member states of the Warsaw Pact.  The UN debated the issue, and the governments of the US, Great Britain and the Federal Republic of Germany all vehemently denied Kretschmer’s allegations.   Soon there were protests all across the major cities of Western Europe, all demanding that the “evil” U.S. and British imperialist forces withdraw from Berlin and from Germany itself.

The Politburo was quite pleased with the events as they were panning out and were ready to enact their next stage of their ruse: the blockade of West Berlin.  On the 28th of July, Erich Honecker, premier of the German Democratic Republic, announced that all land access to West Berlin would be halted, effective immediately, and would only re-open once all Western Forces withdrew their nuclear forces from that part of the city.  He demanded access to the sites for his government in order to verify that the city was a nuclear free zone.
The west merely responded that since there were no such sites in Berlin, such a request was impossible to fulfill.  They demanded that the land access corridors be re-opened immediately.  They received their answer on the 1st of August when the head of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany held a press conference and announced that he had just received orders to completely restrict air travel to and from the city until such time as his “socialist brothers” in Germany received a satisfactory answer from the Bundeskanzler, Helmut Kohl.  When pressed, he simply stated that all air traffic would be blocked and turned back towards its point of origin.
By the 4th of August, the city was in dire straits.  Fresh food was virtually non-existent, and there were notable signs of disorder within the city.  NATO announced to the Warsaw Pact, and to the world, that they were flying in unescorted and unarmed transports on a humanitarian mission to Berlin.  The 50 aircraft that were assembled for the first wave took off from all over the Federal Republic and formed up in a giant queue and headed east.  As they passed over Braunschweig, the world press was there to record the historic event.  Cargo planes of all shapes and sizes flew in tight formation, all heading east.  As they reached the border, they were met by a flight of MiG-23 jets.  The transports attempted to press on, but the East German jets fired warning shots in front of the lead aircraft, showing their resolve to use force if necessary.  Reluctantly, SACEUR ordered the planes to return.
The President of the US, the Prime Ministers of Great Britain, Holland and Canada met with Chancellor Kohl later that evening in an emergency summit, held in Bonn.  The time was now for force.
“But what if it doesn’t work?” asked Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney. 
“It will work.  It must work, Brian,” replied President Reagan.
“But what if it doesn’t?  What do we do then?”
“I suppose we have no choice.  We have to break the blockade using whatever force is necessary.  We cannot allow Berlin to starve, and there is no way that we will abandon it, either,” came the president’s reply. 
Chancellor Kohl nodded in agreement.  Through his translator, he said, “I will place the forces of the Federal Republic on alert and mobilise my reserves.  We must immediately instruct SACEUR to prepare to break the blockade by land.  I hope and pray that this will not come to blows; however, we will not stand idly by as Berlin starves.”
The KGB had yet to report to the Politburo on their latest assessment of NATO’s unity.  They didn’t need to.  On the morning of the 5th of August, from in front of the Bundestag in Bonn, every NATO head of state stood behind Chancellor Kohl as he announced that NATO was unsuccessful in its attempt to relieve Berlin with unarmed air forces, and that a second attempt would be made within hours, and this force would have armed German Tornadoes as escort to ensure their safe passage.  Notable in this press conference was French President Mitterrand.  Not only had the Soviet ruse failed to cause dissension within NATO, but it had even brought the French in on the side of NATO.
France was a NATO member state, of course; however, it was no longer part of the military structure since de Gaulle withdrew his forces from the alliance back in the 1960’s.  This ended on 5 August 1985 when President Mitterrand announced that effective immediately, the forces of France were again part of the military alliance.  NATO was speaking with one voice, and it caused great concern in Moscow.
At precisely 3 pm on the 5th of August, the relief flight crossed the Inter German Border over Helmstedt.  Within minutes, MiG 23’s of the Luftstreitkraefte moved in to intercept.  Their movements were picked up well ahead of time by a NATO AWACS flying several hundred kilometres to the west.  Four escorting Luftwaffe Tornadoes peeled off to intercept the interceptors.  They moved into a position behind the East German jets and fired warning shots.  The MiGs attempted to evade the Tornadoes, and one even moved into an attack position.  Other MiGs were moving into the area, as picked up by the AWACS, so a flight of Dutch F-16s moved quickly to intercept them.  Within minutes, dozens of NATO and Warsaw Pact fighters flew in mock dogfights over the skies of the Democratic Republic.  Meanwhile, the relief flight kept moving East, Berlin now in sight far away on the horizon.  80 kilometres west of Berlin, a Soviet MiG 23 that had joined the “fray” was able to shake off a pair of Belgian F-16’s and moved in on the transports.  He approached one from the rear, and loosed off a warning shot.  Unintentionally, one of his rounds actually struck the wing of a Canadian CC-130 Hercules, and it began to emit heavy smoke from its port wing.  The Belgians had since reacquired the Soviet MiG, and concluded that it had intended to shoot down the transport.  The lead aircraft moved quickly and was behind the MiG within seconds.  As the pilot of the MiG moved back for a second run at the Hercules, he suddenly heard his air attack siren go off.  Looking back, he noted the thin wispy smoke of an air to air missile.  He immediately attempted to evade, but it was to no avail.  The MiG exploded in mid air, and its wreckage scattered across the fields below.
The NATO escort fleet now assumed that the Warsaw Pact fighters had received clearance to engage the transports.  The Canadian plane was losing fuel and altitude quickly.  With the Belgian F-16s on either flank, the plane dropped lower and lower, seeking a place to put down the plane.  They were a scant 3 kilometres from the border of Greater West Berlin, and they had located a field where they would attempt an emergency landing.  The remainder of the transports were in their final approaches to the airfield in Berlin, and were in fact already in West Berlin airspace.
As the Hercules prepared for a crash landing, the NATO pilots received instructions over their radios.  They could not believe their ears.  They were to shoot down any Warsaw Pact aircraft that came within 5 nautical miles of any of the transports.  Moments later, a group of MiGs approached the transports from the East.  Switching to afterburner, four Tornadoes cut in front of the transports at supersonic speeds.  The controllers reported that the latest “bogies” were 4.8 nautical miles away from the transports, and that they were to be shot down.  The pilots complied.  The Soviet pilots were caught unawares as they suddenly found themselves evading radar guided missiles.  Two jets were able to evade the missiles; however, the other two were both shot down.  Within minutes, the Soviet and East German fighters were receiving support from ground based anti-aircraft batteries that surrounded Berlin.  All NATO fighters peeled back for the Federal Republic only moments after the Canadian transport crashed and burned in a field in rural West Berlin.  There were no survivors.  In all, five Warsaw Pact jets were shot down and several others damaged.  Three NATO aircraft received some minor damage from ground fire, but other than the Canadian transport, all NATO aircraft landed safely, the transports now “stranded” in West Berlin. 
In all, the NATO transports were able to bring in only enough food and supplies for 15,000 people for five days.  In a city of millions, it was nothing; however, the NATO leaders were able to stand before the world press and announce a success of sorts.  Prime Minister Mulroney was given the honour to make the announcement to the world (in both English and French).  He mentioned the sacrifice of the Canadians who were killed “in the service of peace”.  He condemned the recent actions of the Warsaw Pact in general, and the USSR in particular.  He then demanded, on the behalf of all NATO member states, that the blockade be lifted immediately.  All throughout West Germany, and especially along the border, a sense of panic began to emerge.  By early the next morning, the Autobahns were clogged with cars full of people, all heading west.  There was a vacuum forming along the Inter German border, and within three days, a strip of almost 50 kilometres was almost bereft of any civilian population.
In Moscow, the Politburo held an emergency meeting.  Their efforts to split the western alliance had failed.  As the premier said, they had two choices.  The first choice was to back down and open the border “in the interest of peace”.  They could then begin the long and difficult process to unilaterally withdraw forces from Germany, for use elsewhere, and shame the West to do the same.  The second choice was to maintain the blockade and prepare to destroy NATO by the use of force.  There were several war-plans from which to choose, and the Category II divisions were nearing completion of mobilisation.  Both options were viable and the Politburo argued well into the night over the merits of both.  In the end, the hawks were successful.  The general plan was agreed to, and the mechanism of war began to churn forward.
In Brussels, the leaders of NATO also held an emergency meeting.  The forces of all member nations were in the process of mobilising, and the US 9th Air Force was already deploying forward to Germany.  Elements of the REFORGER divisions were preparing to deploy, and the leaders were briefed that all NATO forces would be at 80% readiness within days.
“Ready for what?” asked Chancellor Kohl.
“To defend against a Soviet attack,” came the reply from SACEUR.
“Not good enough,” said the Chancellor.  “They must be ready to attack the Soviets!”  The room was silent for several moments until SACEUR was excused from the room by Prime Minister Thatcher.  As soon as the door closed, the leaders engaged in strong discussion.  The discussion weighed the merits of striking first versus of just digging in along the border.  Their decision was a compromise.  NATO forces would deploy along the border and prepare to repel any Soviet assault; however, they would move to relieve Berlin by ground if certain conditions were met.  First, it had to be apparent that a Soviet attack was imminent.  Second, the prospects of success had to be judged to be reasonable.  Finally, the goal of any attack was to relieve Berlin, not to conquer East Germany, and it had to be clear to the Honecker regime that “liberation” was not the goal of NATO. 
SACEUR was recalled and informed of the decision.  Now it was up to the military to achieve political aims “by other means.”  SACEUR assembled his staff, and orders were produced.  Plans and contingency plans were brought up at all levels and in all militaries in Europe.  Fleets were assembled, supplies stockpiled and finally, in a move the cemented the seriousness of the situation to the press, was the beginning of the evacuation of British, American and Canadian dependents back to their homelands.  NATO was now on a war-footing, and it was apparent to the Politburo that they had made the right decision to attack.  The question remained, who would strike first?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 18, 2009, 14:23:19
The Warsaw Pact Deploys
The decision having been made, the Politburo assembled with their military advisors and gave them clear direction.  NATO was to be destroyed.  The Politburo would hold release authority for nuclear weapons, as well as, for the time being, chemical weapons.  The commander-in-chief for the Western Strategic Direction was informed that in all likelihood, he could receive the authority to employ chemical weapons anytime after the start of hostilities. 
The plan was rather simple in its nature.  The Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, consisting of five armies (The GSFG consisted of the 1st Guards Tank Army, the 2nd Guards Tank Army, the 3rd Shock Army, the 8th Guards Army and the 20th Guards Army.  In all, the GSFG counted 11 Tank Divisions and 14 Motor Rifle Divisions.  There were also a number of independent Tank Regiments and a Motor Rifle Brigade) , would strike in a concentrated blow along the border, with a view to breaking through to the Ruhr.  Once the Rhine had been reached, the Politburo would then seek a cessation of hostilities.  Terms would include the withdrawal of US and Soviet forces from Germany.  The USSR had no wishes to hold on to the Federal Republic.  They reasoned that its infrastructure would be shattered and they wanted no part in the reconstruction.  As well, the forces needed to garrison the Federal Republic would cause a further drain on their stretched forces.  The aim was, and remained, the dissolution of NATO so that the USSR could project its influence elsewhere, namely, in South Asia: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran would be ripe for the picking. 
From North to South, the individual armies were tasked as follows:
The 2nd Guards Tank Army would assemble near the border across from Lübeck.  Its goal was to advance across Schleswig Holstein up to the Kiel Canal and on to the North Sea.  This would split Germany from Denmark, and threaten the flanks of NATO on the other bank of the Elbe River, as well as Hamburg itself.  Two airmobile brigades, along with Soviet and Polish Marines would assist the 2nd Guards in their advance, providing flank protection as well as to seize vital objectives ahead of the columns of tanks.
3rd Shock, in conjunction with 1st Guards Tank Army, would be the Pact main effort.  Together, they would attack in the area of Braunschweig and Hannover, with a view to forcing a crossing of the Weser River south of Bremen.  They would be preceded to the river by two brigades of airmobile troops, as well as a drop by an airborne (Desant) division.  This thrust, consisting of nine heavy divisions, four independent tank regiments, along with the airborne and airmobile troops would be too much for NATO to resist.  From their estimates, there would only be three or possibly four NATO divisions deployed in this area.  Combined with air attacks, as well as the shock of an attack in depth, the Commander of the GSFG estimated that only a day’s worth of battle, possible two, would put his forces on the Weser, with nothing between him and the Ruhr. 
Guarding the flank to the south of the main effort was the 20th Guards and 8th Guards Armies.  They would be augmented by an army from Czechoslovakia, the Boleslav Army.  20th Guards and 8th Guards would attack just to the north of Kassel, with a view to drawing in NATO divisions, as well as to provide secondary crossing sites in the upper Weser Valley.  The Boleslav Army, meanwhile, would deploy across the southern border of the German Democratic Republic and advance only so as to guard the southern flank of the attack further north.
In Czechoslovakia, the Olo Army would move into a guarding position along the border with the Federal Republic.  It would advance into Bavaria only if the opportunity presented itself. 
In the area around Berlin, the 20th Guards Army, which was based around the metropolis, would conduct a relief in place with the SM and PM armies out of Poland.  They were responsible for the occupation of West Berlin following its surrender; both armies would then move west and act as an exploitation force for the advance on the Ruhr.
Follow on Category II armies, 5th Guards Tank Army, 11th Guards Army, 13th Army and 7th Guards Tank Army would add a total of eight tank and four motor rifle divisions.  They constituted the Operational Manoeuvre Group (OMG) and they would follow the exploitation force and seize the Ruhr.  Once in place, they would fan out north and south along the Rhine.
The Soviet plan was simple but brutal.  It would attack in depth, employing three echelons.  The first echelon would smash the NATO front line, the Exploitation force would engage the follow on NATO divisions, leaving the Ruhr open for the OMG to seize.  The commander of the GSFG estimated that his forces would be on the Rhine in seven to ten days.  He acknowledged that there would be set backs and heavy losses, but, in the end, NATO would suffer more and he would achieve his political masters’ aim.  He pleaded for release authority for his chemical warfare stocks.  His request was denied.  The politburo wanted to keep them in reserve, for employment if the advance stalled.  As well, given that NATO didn’t have nearly the same stockpile of chemical weapons, they feared that the response would be nuclear. 
The Politburo had several war-plans that called for an initial nuclear strike; however, in this case, they were wary of US and UK submarines along their coast.  The actions back in June, in which their submarines were lost, led the politburo to believe that they had lost the ability to accurately and effectively track enemy subs.  For all they knew, the subs were already in launching positions along the coast.  Thus far, their own attack subs were having trouble just getting through the Greenland – Iceland – UK Gap!  As for the Pacific Ocean, their subs were still well out of launching positions to threaten California and the rest of the western US Coast.  As well, they couldn’t ignore China, which was staying out of the conflict for the time being.  As a result, the Soviet Fleets in the Pacific were meagre compared to the Atlantic.  And it was here where they knew that the war could be won or lost.  The US Navy, the Canadian Navy, the Royal Navy and the French Navy all combined to form several fleets, all of which were already escorting a number of convoys from the US and Canada to Europe.
So, with the war-plans in place and orders issued, the ground and air forces of the Warsaw Pact prepared to launch their attack on the Federal Republic.  D Day was set for the 15th of August.  On the 10th of August, two armies from Poland crossed the Elbe and conducted their relief-in-place with the 20th Guards Army.  The HQ of the 20th Guards, along with two divisions, prepared to entrain and head west.  The remainder of the army moved into assembly positions near the Inter German Border.  The Boleslav Army crossed the border with the German Democratic Republic and moved into position.  Its HQ, along with a division, also entrained for its move west. 
This movement was exactly what NATO Intelligence was looking for.  Satellite and signal intelligence confirmed the movement of these armies, along with the rest of the GSFG.  NATO concluded that H Hour for the attack would occur sometime on the 14th or 15th of August.  SACEUR informed his political masters of this on the evening of the 11th, and that his assessment was that if NATO were to pre-empt this attack, he would have to do so no later than the 13th.  After a brief meeting, the leaders of the NATO nations all agreed.  Thus, it was decided: NATO would strike at 0300 on the 13 August, 1985, the time that the Third World War would begin.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 18, 2009, 14:25:39
NATO Strikes First!
NATO had a plan, and it was ready.  At precisely 0300 on Tuesday, the 13th of August, NATO aircraft, led by the secret F-117 Stealth Bombers, would strike all across the German Democratic Republic, targeting Warsaw Pact formations, logistical stockpiles and so forth.  Concurrent to this, NATO land units would cross the border with a view to striking the depth echelons and headquarters of the Armies poised to strike at them.  The aim was to decapitate the majority of the armies before driving on to West Berlin.  It would be 1000 pm the evening of the 12th on the West Coast of the US, 7 pm in California.  The start of the war would be in Prime Time in the US.  President Reagan prepared his speech to the nation to begin at precisely five minutes after the start of the war. 
NATO had a plan that was risky, but if it paid off, it would put the Warsaw Pact well out of position at the start of the war, and if followed up with the proper political measures, it would relieve the pressure on Berlin and open up the corridor.  Put simply, NATO intended to strike the forward armies just as they moved into their final assembly positions.  If it were timed correctly, they would even hit some of the divisions as they were still entrained.  In the north, the 1st German Corps (I GE) was to strike into the flanks of both the 2nd Guards Tank Army and the 3rd Shock Army.  Not only would it take the initiative away from the Pact, but it would also place the Corps across the Elbe and halfway on the road to Berlin.  I GE was to be assisted in its attack by the 3rd US Corps (III US), which was even now moving by rail into assembly areas south east of Hamburg.  In total, seven heavy NATO divisions were poised to strike at the Pact forces before they were ready.
In the south, three NATO corps, the German 3rd Corps (III GE), the 5th US (V US) and 7th US (VII US) were poised to strike at the south of the Warsaw Pact’s main effort.  8th Guards and 20th Guards were the targets of this force.  These three corps had seven heavy divisions ready to strike into the German Democratic Republic.  The British Army of the Rhine was deployed in a blocking position in the front of the Pact main effort.  The Dutch, Belgians, French and the 2nd German Corps (II GE) were deployed throughout the remainder of Germany, all with a view to block any flanking Pact moves.  Though NATO was prepared to strike with 14 heavy divisions, all backed by intense air strikes, their prospects were by no means assured. There were now over 35 Pact divisions in the German Democratic Republic, most of which were west of Berlin.  Yet NATO could not afford to wait any longer, for there were more divisions on the way, and worse yet would be to cede the initiative to the Pact.
At precisely 0230 on the 13th, the Commander of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany was holding his daily conference with his Army Commanders, this time at the headquarters of the 1st Guards Tank Army, just outside of Magdeburg.  During the intelligence briefing, the generals were informed of the latest NATO movements.  US REFORGER elements were reported to be arriving at their various sites.  Thus far, a Headquarters, a division and an Armoured Cavalry Regiment were in place.  More disturbing to the generals was the report that six reserve Bundeswehr brigades were reported to be on the move.  Two moved into the area around Munich, and others were scattered across the Federal Republic of Germany.  Though these brigades didn’t offer that much of a threat to the Warsaw Pact plans, it did signal that NATO preparations were moving along quite well.  They were moving better than expected as a matter of fact.  The Dutch were reported to be moving into the area around Hamburg, as were some US units.  They were assessed to be from III US, and the Intelligence Chief briefed the assessment that they were probably deploying there to block any Pact moves on Hamburg.  Further south, some German units were noted to be deploying along the border.  Though they were quite close to the border, the intelligence chief briefed that this was exactly in line with NATO doctrine of forward defence.  This bode well for the Pact, he briefed, because since they were not deployed in depth, once a breakthrough were achieved, it would be a clean one with little force left to overcome in the enemy depth.  Further south, the British were deploying near Hannover, which was some distance back from the border. 
“Why does NATO profess to defend on the border, while the British are so far back?” asked the commander of the 3rd Shock.
“The British are more apt to follow reasonable military doctrine rather than heed the wishes of idiotic political masters.  They really don’t care about Germany, or the Germans.  We have intercepted some messages from the NATO command to the British General in command of the so-called ‘British Army of the Rhine’.  They want them further forward, near Braunschweig.  In short, we assess this dissention to show a crack in the alliance.  It’s not big, but we are working on ways to exploit it.”
The Intelligence chief continued on and briefed about the anticipated weather conditions, the terrain problems anticipated, and so forth.  He was finished at 0255 and the conference turned over to the chief of operations.  He started by briefing on the status of the various armies.  Most were close to being set in their assembly areas.  20th Guards had sorted out their problems with getting entrained and were even now on the move from Berlin.  Berlin was fully invested by the Poles, with a further three divisions bivouacking for the evening, in anticipation of moving into their attack positions the next day.
He was just finishing up briefing on the progress of the 3rd Shock when an air raid siren sounded off in the distance.  Since this was not that an unusual of an occurrence, the briefing carried on.  Suddenly, a very loud explosion caused everyone to stop and instinctively look at the ceiling.  Just then, a duty officer busted open the door and shouted at the top of his lungs: “AIR ATTACK!”  The generals all got up and calmly headed off to the air raid shelter as more explosions rocked the ground around them.  Only the Commander of the 1st Guards Tank went off in a separate direction.  This was his Headquarters and he needed to be updated on what was happening.  He realised that his staff wouldn’t know much, but they would know more than he. 
“Update,” he commanded as he entered the duty centre. 
“Comrade General. We appear to be under air attack; however, our radars are picking up nothing.  We are too far from the border for this to be artillery, and the explosions are too accurate anyway.”
“Any damage reports as of yet?”
“We have yet to assess any damage, comrade General.  We have lost landline communications with the 7th Guards Tank Division, but otherwise, wireless communications are clear.  Our forward divisions report no enemy actions.  There are no further reports from our flanking armies either.  Comrade General, we have no idea what this is.  We haven’t ruled out accidental explosion in an ammo dump either.”
“Then why bust in and report air attack?”
“At first we thought we heard jets flying overhead just before the explosions.  We thought it to be prudent.”
“Very well.  Anything else?”
“No sir.  The explosions have seemed to stop.  I’ll give the security forces a few more minutes to assess the situation before pressing them for information.  They heard the explosions as well as – “.  The Duty officer stopped in mid sentence as an explosion close to the duty centre nearly knocked both officers off of their feet.  It was followed up by two more in close proximity to the centre, and the lights dimmed temporarily.
“This is no ammo accident!  Tell all forces to be on maximum alert for air and ground attack!” screamed the commander as he raced out of the room.  He went to brief the commander of the GSFG of the attack and of his direction to his forces.
Unknown to the Soviets, they were indeed under air attack.  There were no radar contacts because they were being hit by the most secret of all US aircraft: the F-117.  The Stealth Bomber led a wave of hundreds of NATO aircraft that were in the process of striking Pact forces across the German Democratic Republic.  The attack on the HQ of the 1st Guards tank was deliberate.  The commanders had been tracked to the HQ by NATO intelligence sources, and this was a decapitation mission.  Though it failed to kill or wound any of the generals, the attack did destroy their helicopters awaiting them in the makeshift field outside of the HQ.  For the time being, they were immobile, and given the coördinated electronic attack, they were also without the ability to pass on direction.   The forward divisions were not being targeted as of yet, and for all they knew, the war would not begin for another 36 hours.  They could not be further from the truth.
At 1005 pm New York Time, President Ronald Reagan addressed the US as well as the world in a televised address.
My fellow Americans, it is my duty to inform you that as of five minutes ago, US and NATO forces have begun the relief of Berlin...”
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 18, 2009, 14:26:55
Invasion!
NATO’s build up for the invasion went completely unnoticed by the Warsaw Pact.  Though the build up of divisions on the border was noted, the intent of NATO wasn’t even dreamt as possible by any in the GSFG HQ.  In the North, I GE Corps led the attack, with III US following up along both sides of the Elbe.  6 Panzer Division from I GE was able to overrun the HQ of 2nd Guards Tank Army with relative ease.  The remainder of the corps struck deep into the German Democratic Republic, in the general direction of Berlin.  3 and 7 Panzer Divisions advanced south of the Elbe, overrunning the HQ of the powerful 3rd Shock Army and the 207th Motor Rifle Division; however, they both suffered greatly under relentless Warsaw Pact close air attacks that almost stalled their advances.  Only 11th and 1st Panzer Divisions advanced straight east, overrunning and destroying two airmobile brigades.  These brigades were only 24 hours away from launching their assaults on the Weser River Valley.  As such, 1st Western Front lost virtually all of its airmobile assets. 
With the loss of these brigades, relatively small though they were, the pact lost a greater part of its ability to project deep into NATO’s rear areas, and thus attack in depth.  It was due to this loss that the attack in the north was cancelled even before it began.  3rd Shock and 2nd Guards Tank Armies were in dire straits and confusion reigned in the front line divisions, which had lost their respective headquarters in the opening hours of the attack.  This combined with two NATO heavy divisions barely 30 miles from Berlin, with more hot on their heels, caused the Warsaw Pact to reluctantly revert to the defensive north of the Elbe: the 1st Western Front had lost all offensive spirit. 
To the south of the Pact main effort, the three-corps attack by the Germans and Americans tore into the south east portion of the German Democratic Republic with relative ease.  8th Guards Army lost its headquarters to the 10th Panzer Division, transferred to III GE Corps from II Corps in the south.  Meanwhile, 5th and 12th Panzer Divisions threatened 20th Guards Army as it was entering railheads south of Magdeburg.  Only a spirited defence by 14th Guards Motor Rifle division averted disaster.  Nevertheless, Pact losses were heavy, and more importantly, combined with the loss of three of five Army Headquarters, and upwards of 14 heavy divisions driving on either flank, a fateful decision was made by commander GSFG by 1800 on the 13th of August: the entire force was to move back to the Saale and Elbe Rivers in order to stall the NATO attack.  NATO aircraft were threatening his divisions across Germany, logistical stocks were in ruins and without the withdrawal, even the entire 1st Guards Tank Army, which had hitherto avoided any major attacks by NATO was in grave danger of encirclement.
Elements of the 8th Guards Army, severely depleted in their numbers, narrowly avoided complete encirclement just south of the Harz Mountains.  Elements of the US V and VII Corps were stopped in their advance by the terrain as much as due to hostile action.  As such, 20th Guards and 39th Guards Motor Rifle Divisions lost many of their numbers to the advancing Americans.  They were able to reach to only within 30 miles of the Saale before nightfall, harassed by NATO aircraft the entire time.  Nevertheless, all across the front, the withdrawal never reverted to a rout only due to the strong leadership of all ranks, from the platoon leaders up to and including the divisional commanders.
The assault on Berlin went ahead by the PM and SM armies out of Poland in spite of heavy NATO attacks by deep strike air craft.  The Pact suffered grave losses, including the entire 20th Tank Division.  The garrison also suffered heavily, as did the city itself.  Only the US brigade avoided complete destruction, and its hold within the city centre was tenuous at best.  Still, the soldiers were emboldened by reports that two Bundeswehr panzer divisions were a scant 30 miles from the city, and advancing against lessening opposition.  Most heartening of all was the arrival of PAH-1 attack helicopters on the evening of the 13th.  They had flown directly from the divisional front line.  Their support was nominal at best; however, it boosted morale for the force that nearly saw complete annihilation during the day’s fighting.  The only thing that saved them, as assessed by the US G2, was that the Pact’s hand was forced before they were ready to attack.  In fact, the attack was not well-coördinated.  Air support never seemed to arrive when it was needed by the Pact forces, and the Berlin Garrison was often able to counterattack lone battalions across the city as the fighting raged.  In short, it was nearly a disaster for the Pact, in spite of the extra offensive support that was allotted for the attack.
At the Politburo, the premier was furious.  “How the hell could you miss the signs of such a massive attack by NATO?  You told us that their alliance was fracturing!” yelled the premier at his minister of defence.
“This is impossible...” he began before the premier’s response stopped him.
“Impossible?  Their tanks are almost in Berlin!  The god-damned Poles are digging in to stop them instead of attacking into the city itself!”
“I don’t know what you want me to say,” replied the minister.
“Just tell me that you quit!” 
With that, the minister got up and left the room.  His face was ashen, and he was visibly upset at the recent turn of events.  President Reagan’s address made it clear that any use of chemical weapons would be considered an attack by weapons of mass destruction, and NATO would reply in kind.  Knowing that NATO’s chemical warfare stocks were meagre at best, there was only one possible option for NATO: nuclear weapons.  The minister was found dead the next morning.  He took an overdose of sleeping pills and died in his sleep the evening of the 15th.
Instead of causing a fracture within NATO, the pact itself seemed to be dissolving.  Poland had instructed its divisions to cease all attacks on Berlin and to prepare to defend itself against the advancing NATO divisions.  The Olo and Boleslav armies likewise reverted to the defence, leaving only the militaries of the German Democratic Republic and of the Soviet Union even considering going on the attack.  In the case of the GDR, the forces of the Nationalvolksarmee saw the NATO attack for what it was: an invasion of their homeland.  It was also rather insulting that the forces of the Federal Republic were on the spearhead of the invasion.  This led to some rather odd events to transpire in the now-occupied city of Erfurt.
Seeing the panzers of the 5th Panzer Division in the streets of his town, the Bürgermeister approached one of the battalion commanders and asked him his intentions.
“We are relieving Berlin,” came the terse reply.
“From whom?  The Americans?” asked the mayor. 
“No, from Honecker,” answered the Oberstleutnant. 
“Why would Berlin need to be relieved from the leader of Germany?” asked the mayor.  The lieutenant-colonel offered no reply.  Smiling, the mayor of Erfurt turned and went back to his office.  He informed the local population to coöperate with the occupying forces of the Federal Republic.  He also ensured them that the forces of the Nationalvolksarmee would return shortly.  The battalion commander was nonplussed by this announcement.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 18, 2009, 14:29:03
Note: I'm still working on this, and the forces are indeed poised to strike on Berlin in my room (on my gaming table).  I hope to have more soon.  I just couldn't wait any longer!  (Now everyone knows what I did for the weekend between hockey games and Crown Royal!!)
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Sir_Spams_a_lot on May 18, 2009, 15:15:24
God luv, ya, you giant nerdburger, you!
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 18, 2009, 15:16:32
God luv, ya, you giant nerdburger, you!
Hey, it was either that or head to the Warehouse and attempt to make a mockery of my wedding vows!  LOL
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Mr.Newf on May 18, 2009, 18:39:02
More please :)
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 18, 2009, 20:09:50
Relief of Berlin
As the 14th arrived, NATO was ready to complete the ground link-up with Berlin with elements of I GE Corps.  Due to the heavy fighting in the city the day previous, the clouds from the burning fires within the city were quite visible to the members of the advancing German Panzer Divisions.  Just before dawn, if they were listening, they also would have heard the sounds of military transports above them.  The 25th, 26th and 27th Fallschirmjäger brigades were being flown into the city to act as reinforcements for the beleaguered American defenders. 
As they flew toward the city in the false dawn created by the burning city of Berlin, the transports were escorted by a myriad of NATO fighters.  This large formation was easily detected by the defending Warsaw Pact.  In order to avoid ground fire, the formation flew roughly along the axis of advance of the Panzer divisions.  As such, the main threat was from enemy fighters.  On several occasions, the defences were all too effective, but in the end, most of the transports survived.  Nevertheless, the losses were gruesome, and amounted to nearly one third of the paratroopers en route to Berlin.  Within hours of the first landings at Tempelhof, the German Paras were on the front lines, now eerily silent as the Poles opposite them were still gearing up for their next attack.  The reinforcement of Berlin by what were effectively two brigades of troops airlifted in gave the Americans much needed breathing room, not to mention some rest for its weary troops. 
Unknown to NATO, the SM and PM armies were not quite ready to attack.  They were seeking authority to employ chemical weapons; however, the Politburo refused to grant release authority.  They truly feared NATO submarines, even though two probable attack subs were sunk north of Norway.  (One was indeed a sub, an American nuclear attack sub.  The other “sub” was actually a pod of whales that was grossly misidentified during the same skirmish that sunk the Americans).  As such, the Poles (with the associated Soviet divisions) were well-dispersed for fear of NATO airstrikes, yet in the final stages of preparation for the next round of attacks. 
The Poles didn’t get a chance to start their attack.  At 1800 on the 14th, some 36 hours after the war started, the Polish 8th Motor Rifle Division reported that it was in contact with German tanks that had advanced from the West.  Dispersed as they were in the surrounding villages, woods and hills to the north of Berlin, most of the division was able to avoid being struck in the first assault by the 1st and the 11th Panzergrenadier Divisions.  Nevertheless, their attempt to conduct countermoves ended in disaster for the Poles.  Just as one of its Motor Rifle Regiments had stepped off into what should have been an open flank, they themselves were struck in their flank by the 6th Panzergrenadier Division.  By midnight, the 8th Motor Rifle Division ceased to exist as a fighting formation, its survivors either retreating in a full rout east, or marching reluctantly west into NATO prisoner of war cages.  As a result, elements of the 1st Panzergrenadier Division made contact with the Berlin garrison at 0230 hours on the 15th of August.  Ironically, this was the planned H Hour for the Warsaw Pact for their invasion of the Federal Republic.
Meanwhile, in the south west of the German Democratic Republic, the NATO assault let up.  The Warsaw Pact elements that had escaped encirclement were now safely behind the Saale River, and they were digging in.  Given the success up north, it was considered no longer necessary to advance on Berlin from this direction.  Nevertheless, this portion of the front had to be maintained, lest the Pact forces here be freed up to conduct countermoves on the main drive east.  So, SACEUR ordered V and VII US to “maintain contact” with the opposing forces along the Saale and the Elbe, whilst III GE headed further north, feeding itself into the breach heading towards Berlin. 
Into this ever-growing salient were fed more formations by SACEUR.  In the North, the 1st Netherlands Corps (I NE) moved into defensive positions to the north of the Elbe, roughly in line with Schwerin.  Thus, they formed the hard left shoulder of the “bulge”, as the front was even now being described in the media.  The hard right shoulder of the salient was held by the British Army of the Rhine.  The British Forces hadn’t conducted much in the way of offensive operations as of yet: they were until now being held in reserve by SACEUR.  By committing them, he was left with no significant reserves, and he knew that this was a gamble. 
So, as the morning of the 15th broke, a German and a US Corps had made it to Berlin, and even now these two corps were consolidating, making good on Helmut Kohl’s claim that this was simply a mission to relieve Berlin and not an attempt to “liberate” the German Democratic Republic and force the issue of reunification.  Of course, though NATO had just demonstrated significant ability to break open the front, they were by no means able to take the rest of the country.  Though battered, the Warsaw Pact was still a formidable force.  Over half of the GDR remained in Pact hands, and even now the 1st Guards Tank Army had broken off contact with the front near Magdeburg and had reappeared in the north, opposite I GE.  It was only through the use of surprise in a well-coördinated attack that NATO was able to achieve the successes it did.  Now all elements of surprise were gone, and it was only a matter of holding on to what they gained.
Though there were some front line skirmishes and exchange of artillery fire, for the most part, the fighting had stopped – at least on the front lines.  The pact had abandoned all efforts at taking Berlin by force and had even withdrawn to their starting positions.  At least along the border of West Berlin there were already field fortifications, complete with cleared fields of fire that the Poles could use.  As it was, they were barely in a condition to fight, let alone carry on the attack!
Behind the NATO lines, massive convoys were beginning to move east.  They were under heavy air cover as they moved with their humanitarian supplies.  Even though this move was detected quite early by the Pact, they made no efforts to attack it.  The front was stagnant.  The military forces had fought themselves to a stalemate, and it was now up to the Politicians to make the next move.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Dennis Ruhl on May 20, 2009, 19:18:10
The "what if" if the cold war ran hot was a bit obvious to me.  I remember asking a tank squadrom leader in the early 1980s what NATO's 5,000 tanks would do against the Warsaw Pact's 50,000 and he voiced confidence in our superior equipment.  Personally, I suspect Russian troops would have been sipping borscht on the Channel within 2 weeks.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Sir_Spams_a_lot on May 20, 2009, 20:00:36
Actually, closer to 26 000 tanks crewed by poorly trained conscripts, vs roughly 11 000 NATO tanks crewed by motivated volunteer soldiers.  In a conventional punchup, if Ivan didn't finish us off completely within 10 days or so, his odds of victory dropped rapidly.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Michael O'Leary on May 20, 2009, 20:05:20
What about numbers of other anti-tank weapon systems, land-based and airborne?  Not every land battle in the cold war was projected to be tank vs tank.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 20, 2009, 22:24:41
In terms of aircraft, NATO had the definite edge in the long term.  And to amplify Mr. O'Leary's statement, air power alone wouldn't win any war (nor would tanks).  There was a cartoon popular in NATO air squadrons back in the Cold War that depicted two Soviet tankers sipping coffee at a cafe in Paris.  One asks the other "Tell me, Ivan, who did win the air war?"

Anyway, I didn't just pull the story out of my hoop.  Though Mr. Clancy and Mr. Peters both wrote novels about the cold war going hot, so did a few others.  In my case, I gamed this using one of the many games on the subject, and just wrote a story around the military resolution.

My aim was to provide a bit of reading and "what if" pleasure for the members and guests of this forum.  I hope that I was successful. ;D
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on May 21, 2009, 10:16:48
Very enjoyable; sort of a mirror image of "Red Army" by Ralph Peters (IMO "the" best contrafactual Cold War novel).

My writing career was aborted by the end of the Cold War. While in Cyprus in 1988 I was (like so many other troops) writing a novel to pass the time. The story line was the fate of 4 CMBG after a Warsaw pact invasion; the Soviets destroyed 4 CMBG, but were coming to the realization that the Canadians hadn't stopped fighting......(one of the characters was scavenging wreaked German AFV's for fuel and parts to repair the Leopard hidden in a barn for a final raid). The disintigration of the Warsaw Pact put paid to that scenario.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: time expired on May 21, 2009, 11:06:50
From a strictly military point of view I suppose you scenario has some
merit,we may have done even better.From what we discovered after
1989 the tip of the Soviet spear was sharp and bright however what
was behind that tip was inefficient, worn and riven with corruption.
Add to that is the fact that following a couple of Russian setbacks
the Poles,Czechs and the Hungarians would have become very reluctant
allies, they may have decided that now would have been a very good
time to settle a couple of scores with their occupiers.
The airwar may not have gone so well as you claim,the Nato airforces
were equipped with plenty of F4s and F104s 2 very "not fit for purpose"
aircraft, one needs only look at the Vietnam air ops to see how poorly
both these aircraft did against a somewhat less than "first team"
equipped with various types of Mig.
Where the whole scenario comes apart is in the political arena.The
European governments IMHO would never have sanctioned a preemptive
strike even if the evidence of an upcoming Soviet attack had been
staring them in the face,they would instead have argued against the
evidence particularly if this evidence had been supplied by the US.
The "better red than dead" crowd would have attempted to stop
Nato troops from reaching their assembly areas,the railway union
in Germany would have paralysed the whole system and the large
number of Soviet sympathisers in West Germany would have ensured
that any element of surprise would have been lost.The truth of the
matter is that our Nato allies were even more unreliable that those
in the Warsaw Pact.
                           Regards 
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: ironduke57 on May 21, 2009, 11:16:58
Just a side note: You let german Tornado´s escort the Cargo plane´s. That´s highly unlikely as we only have/had IDS, RECCE and ECR version´s. No ADV´s. So if you use german escorts they are most probably Phantom´s.

Regards,
ironduke57
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 21, 2009, 12:22:09
Just a side note: You let german Tornado´s escort the Cargo plane´s. That´s highly unlikely as we only have/had IDS, RECCE and ECR version´s. No ADV´s. So if you use german escorts they are most probably Phantom´s.

Regards,
ironduke57
Actually, I didn't let them escort the cargo planes, it was SACEUR ;D

(Thanks).  I knew that the Luftwaffe had (and still has) Tornadoes, but I figured that even the IDS and other variants still had the capability to conduct air/air missions.  Still, the idea of Phantoms flying escort never even popped into my head.

Cheers
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 21, 2009, 12:35:51
From a strictly military point of view I suppose you scenario has some
merit,we may have done even better.From what we discovered after
1989 the tip of the Soviet spear was sharp and bright however what
was behind that tip was inefficient, worn and riven with corruption.
Add to that is the fact that following a couple of Russian setbacks
the Poles,Czechs and the Hungarians would have become very reluctant
allies, they may have decided that now would have been a very good
time to settle a couple of scores with their occupiers.
The airwar may not have gone so well as you claim,the Nato airforces
were equipped with plenty of F4s and F104s 2 very "not fit for purpose"
aircraft, one needs only look at the Vietnam air ops to see how poorly
both these aircraft did against a somewhat less than "first team"
equipped with various types of Mig.
Where the whole scenario comes apart is in the political arena.The
European governments IMHO would never have sanctioned a preemptive
strike even if the evidence of an upcoming Soviet attack had been
staring them in the face,they would instead have argued against the
evidence particularly if this evidence had been supplied by the US.
The "better red than dead" crowd would have attempted to stop
Nato troops from reaching their assembly areas,the railway union
in Germany would have paralysed the whole system and the large
number of Soviet sympathisers in West Germany would have ensured
that any element of surprise would have been lost.The truth of the
matter is that our Nato allies were even more unreliable that those
in the Warsaw Pact.
                           Regards
Thanks for the feedback.  As for the minor Pact allies, the Hungarians aren't even brought to the table.  The Czechs are in defensive modes only.  Only the Poles and the Germans (of the eastern variety) are in on the attack plans.  The Poles cease offensive ops after the I GE Corps finalises the link up with Berlin, so...
As for the air war, yes, NATO had plenty of F 104s and F 4s.  I wouldn't look at Vietnam for an indicator, as the US already did that in the 1970's and applied "lessons learned".  NATO also had F 15s, F 16s and the like.  Canada was just beginning to field the CF-188.  Also, never discount surprise (such as the F-117, which achieved it's initial operational capability in 1983). 
As for the politics, one never knows.  The evidence of the build up in this case was provided by the Pact themselves when the barred access to Berlin. Also, I'm fairly certain that Herr Kohl would have been adamant as I portrayed in this story.

Even though you may have felt that our NATO allies were less reliable than the Pact Allies, please note the major combatants: Federal Germans and the Americans.  The Brits are in reserve (perhaps there was an underlying reluctance on their part?).  The Dutch play a peripheral role, and other than the shot-down Hercules, Canada isn't mentioned. 

Finally, it's just a story.  I tried to write something for people to enjoy.  I hope I succeeded.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: time expired on May 21, 2009, 12:58:32
Midnight Rambler
                    I was somewhat confused about the time frame
of your scenerio.
                    Regards
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 21, 2009, 12:59:31
1985.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Michael O'Leary on May 21, 2009, 13:02:46
1985: War in Europe:

(NOTE: This was "gamed" using 'NATO: The Next War in Europe' (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2079) by victory games, copyright 1983.)
The summer of 1985 began as almost any other summer.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: ironduke57 on May 21, 2009, 16:18:35
Actually, I didn't let them escort the cargo planes, it was SACEUR ;D

(Thanks).  I knew that the Luftwaffe had (and still has) Tornadoes, but I figured that even the IDS and other variants still had the capability to conduct air/air missions.  Still, the idea of Phantoms flying escort never even popped into my head.

Cheers

AFAIK they are able to fire Sidewinder and IRIS-T but that´s it on AA missiles for the german Tornado´s.
--
If the war goes longer please let the Luftwaffe have some MBB Lampyridae fighter´s:
- http://www.rp-one.net/lampyridae/lampy.html
- http://www.f-104.de/exponates/english/exp_lampyridae_eng.html
They look so cool!

Regards,
ironduke57
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on May 22, 2009, 16:33:07
AFAIK they are able to fire Sidewinder and IRIS-T but that´s it on AA missiles for the german Tornado´s.
--
If the war goes longer please let the Luftwaffe have some MBB Lampyridae fighter´s:
- http://www.rp-one.net/lampyridae/lampy.html
- http://www.f-104.de/exponates/english/exp_lampyridae_eng.html
They look so cool!

Regards,
ironduke57:0

If you go that route, then CF-105 "Arrows" have to be included as well....;)
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Dennis Ruhl on May 22, 2009, 17:55:27
Actually, closer to 26 000 tanks crewed by poorly trained conscripts, vs roughly 11 000 NATO tanks crewed by motivated volunteer soldiers.  In a conventional punchup, if Ivan didn't finish us off completely within 10 days or so, his odds of victory dropped rapidly.

Apparantly the Soviet Union itself had 53,000 tanks dating back to T54s with about 20,000 deployed in central Europe.  The other Warsaw Pact countries had somewhere around 6,000.  NATOS's European troops were mostly conscripts but probably better trained.  While Soviet troops failed miserably in Afghanistan they may very well have been highly motivated in a fight for their homeland as it would have been sold.



Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: ironduke57 on May 22, 2009, 19:19:41
If you go that route, then CF-105 "Arrows" have to be included as well....;)

Except the Lampyridae would fit in the timeframe. The CF-105 not.

Regards,
ironduke57
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Michael O'Leary on May 22, 2009, 19:35:53
Except the Lampyridae would fit in the timframe. The CF-105 not.

Regards,
ironduke57

Sure they would, on their third life extension program.    ;D

Of course, it's not like if they were fielded and actually lived up to the hype, that the WP wouldn't have spent any time, money or energy on matching technologies.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Sir_Spams_a_lot on May 22, 2009, 23:13:46
Apparantly the Soviet Union itself had 53,000 tanks dating back to T54s with about 20,000 deployed in central Europe.  The other Warsaw Pact countries had somewhere around 6,000.  NATOS's European troops were mostly conscripts but probably better trained.  While Soviet troops failed miserably in Afghanistan they may very well have been highly motivated in a fight for their homeland as it would have been sold.

53 000 Russian tanks in total, most of them antiques.  Not all of them were in Europe, don't forget Ivan had a pretty big land mass to dominate that would more than likely have rebelled as soon as the first tank unit headed West.  Every NATO gun in Europe was pointed East, not every Soviet gun was pointed West.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on May 23, 2009, 01:48:43
Except the Lampyridae would fit in the timeframe. The CF-105 not.

Regards,
ironduke57

Considering how long we have made our other equipment last, having Arrows in service in 1985 would work out in this timeline (they would have been introduced into Squadron service starting in the early 1960's). Consider we still use CF-18's in front line service in 2009 and they reached service in 1982.

Oh, our Navy should be hunting Soviet submarines with FHE-400 series hydrofoils as well...... ;D
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: time expired on May 24, 2009, 13:07:47
Thucydides,pray tell what role do you see the CF 105 fullfilling
in a Euro war in 1985?.The Arrow was a one trick pony a all
weather interceptor designed to shoot down,with missiles,a
high flying bomber.This threat dissapeared shortly after the
CF 105 would have gone into service,with the shotdown of
Gary Powers U2 by a Russian SAM.
                             Regards
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Michael O'Leary on May 24, 2009, 13:13:43
Perhaps he envisioned the air frame seeing other roles developed over the hypothetical 30 years of the projected lifespan in this discussion.

Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on May 24, 2009, 22:13:22
Perhaps he envisioned the air frame seeing other roles developed over the hypothetical 30 years of the projected lifespan in this discussion.
Exactly.  The CF-104 "Starfighter" was designed for high altitude intercept, adapted for low level, high speed nuclear strike, and ended up in the close support role (I believe).

Not being the air dude expert here (After all, I had Luftwaffe Tornadoes in the escort role!  I mean, what was I thinking?  LOL
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Pat_Y on May 24, 2009, 23:06:39
Hitler's Britain.... a movie that shows what it would be like after the war for the uk and what the Nazis had in store.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on October 30, 2011, 16:42:12
Reviving a fine old thread, although formating makes this post pretty disjointed, go to link:

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2053692/Resistance-When-Nazis-took-Wales-new-film-Britains-secret-underground-army.html

Quote
When the Nazis took Wales: The truth behind Resistance, the new film about Britain's secret underground army
By DAN DAVIES
Last updated at 10:01 PM on 29th October 2011

In 1940 Churchill built a top secret army: a British resistance movement primed for a Nazi occupation. History tells us it was never needed – but a new movie imagines a very different scenario...

Resistance shines a light on the little-known story of the British Resistance Organisation (BRO). This top-secret and highly trained civilian army was designed to wreak havoc on occupying enemy forces

Autumn, 1944: Russia has fallen, the D-Day landings have failed and the German Wehrmacht has invaded Britain. The country is now under enemy occupation. Panzer divisions and columns of Nazi troops sweep westwards, striking fear into a demoralised nation whose forces lie decimated across the shell-pocked landscape of mainland Europe.

In a remote valley in the Black Mountains of Wales, farmers’ wives awake to discover that the men of the village have vanished during the night. Like women across Britain, they silently suspect their husbands, brothers and sons have melted away to join the Resistance, whose members are hiding out in the hills and woods, awaiting the inevitable arrival of German troops.

Although this might sound like just another imagined account of what might have been had Britain failed to hold Hitler at bay, Resistance, a new British film starring Michael Sheen, famous for his portrayals of Tony Blair and Brian Clough, shines a light on the little-known story of the British Resistance Organisation (BRO). This top-secret and highly trained civilian army was designed to wreak havoc on occupying enemy forces.
The author of the novel the film is based on insists this fictional past is based on ‘what was, at one point in time, an all too possible future’.
Owen Sheers explains his book was inspired by the stories he heard of wartime farmers in his native Wales going on training missions in the dead of night, armed with caches of weapons that were stashed away in elaborate underground bunkers in the woods. Such stories, it transpires, were not the stuff of local folklore, but rooted in the truth.

Established in 1940 on the orders of Winston Churchill, the British Resistance Organisation was the government’s highly classified response to the threat of imminent invasion following the evacuation of British troops at Dunkirk. Churchill stated that regular defences required ‘supplementing with guerrilla-type troops’ that would ‘be responsible for hitting the enemy in the comparatively soft spots behind zones of concentrated attack’.
The aim was to deny mobility and disrupt vital supply lines.

‘The order for a government-funded and -trained insurgency was extremely controversial,’ says Sheers. ‘It casts a chilling new light on Churchill’s 1940 speech in which he vowed that “we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”. Churchill was effectively advocating continuing acts of sabotage regardless of the reprisals.’

Sheers goes on to explain that members of these Auxiliary Units recruited throughout Britain were informed that their average life expectancy would be two weeks once the enemy had been engaged.

They were also under orders to carry out selective executions of collaborators – even if they happened to be family members, friends or colleagues – if they compromised the security of a patrol.

‘We all assume we’d want to resist,’ says Sheers, ‘but the reality opens up some difficult moral questions.’

Colonel Colin McVean Gubbins was put in charge of recruiting about a dozen regional ‘Intelligence Officers’, who were in turn ordered to enlist this predominantly rural network of civilian saboteurs.

More than 100 cells were formed, each operating in areas with a 15-mile radius.
Units were divided into Special Duty Sections, who were required to gather intelligence and leave reports in secret locations, and Operational Patrols, or ‘combat units’, which were smaller groups of four to eight men who would carry out attacks using plastic explosives, bombs ingeniously concealed in tobacco tins and tyre-bursting mines disguised as lumps of coal.

The men recruited for operational duties were selected chiefly for their knowledge of the local terrain – farmers, poachers and gamekeepers among them. Having signed the Official Secrets Act, they received intensive training in guerrilla-warfare techniques, including unarmed combat, sabotage and demolition, on weekend courses at Coleshill House, the Auxiliary Units’ HQ near Swindon.

Colonel Gubbins published several training manuals, including ‘The Art of Guerrilla Warfare’. This set out nine principles to which the Auxiliary Units were to adhere, outlining the necessity of going to ground, operating under the cover of darkness and only embarking on missions when there was a secure line of retreat.

Some of the weaponry made available to resistance fighters on display at the Museum of the British Resistance Organisation in Suffolk
Other, similar booklets were also issued to the units, with innocuous titles such as ‘The Countryman’s Diary’ belying their deadly contents. Some of the men who read them would go on to join the SAS years after the Auxiliary units were shut down in 1944.

Among the trainees was Les Bulley, a lathe setter in a  munitions factory in Glascoed, Monmouthshire, just a few miles from the Olchon Valley, where Resistance is set. Bulley and his brother Charles were members of Jonah Patrol, one of eight Auxiliary Units in the county. They were issued with Home Guard uniforms, as a cover for their frequent nocturnal activities, and told to wait for ‘when the balloon went up’.
Sallie Mogford, a 50-year-old civil servant who acted as an adviser on the film,  only learned of her grandfather’s involvement in the British Resistance Organisation after his death in 2002.

‘I was shocked,’  she says. ‘Both he and his brother Charles were very gentle people who loved the country and were never aggressive. It’s hard to imagine them as trained killers and saboteurs, but the truth is that with their commando-style training and the weaponry  they had, they were better-equipped than most of the regular soldiers.

‘Some time after my grandfather’s death, I visited Oradour-sur-Glane in France. Hundreds of men, women and children had been murdered there by the Germans during the war because they suspected a resistance cell was operating from the village.

'If the Germans had invaded Britain and my grandfather had been called into action, this could well have been the fate that awaited my mother, grandmother and aunts.’

Mogford is a member of the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART), a group of volunteers that has been uncovering the story of Britain’s secret wartime army since 2009. CART’s investigations have also unearthed the remains of many of the 500-plus underground bunkers from which these patrols would have launched their clandestine raids on the enemy.

These concealed bunkers, or Operational Bases (OBs), were dug out by Auxiliary Unit members, or in some cases created by the Royal Engineers. Accessed via a camouflaged entrance, they generally consisted of a corrugated-iron main chamber fitted out with bunks, a cooking stove and provisions to sustain a patrol for up to a month, as well as a smaller secondary chamber and an emergency escape tunnel.

Some were more elaborate, with chimneys incorporated into hollow tree trunks or spring-loaded entrance hatches designed to look like woodpiles, while others existed in disused mines or caves. In Kent, the architect of some of the most ingenious bunker designs was none other than Captain Peter Fleming, older brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming.

(Indeed, the author refers to an ‘ingenious secret bunker’ hidden in a woodland setting in a Bond short story, most recently published in a collection under the title Quantum Of Solace. Fleming had obviously been inspired by the work of his younger brother.)

Some 20 miles away from the steep escarpments of the Olchon Valley, the remains of the OB for Jonah Patrol can still be seen off a wooded path in Wentwood Forest. The second chamber and tunnel have now collapsed, although much of the brickwork remains intact.

In an early scene in Resistance we see a group of civilian fighters being pulled out of just such a bunker by Nazi soldiers before being executed.
Thankfully, the Germans never did manage to invade Britain, meaning the brave men of the Auxiliary Units weren’t made to suffer a similar fate.

‘Resistance’ is out on November 25.

For more information on the Auxiliary Units, visit coleshillhouse.com

Established in 1940 on the orders of Winston Churchill, the BRO was the government's highly classified response to the threat of imminent invasion following the evacuation of British troops at Dunkirk


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2053692/Resistance-When-Nazis-took-Wales-new-film-Britains-secret-underground-army.html#ixzz1cIO5xjyW
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Retired AF Guy on October 30, 2011, 18:02:42
A bit of speculation from the UK Daily Mail on the possible future of Europe. Reproduced under the relevant sections of the Copyright Act.

Quote
Europe at war - 2018. German troops storm Greece. Putin's tanks crush Latvia. France humbles the British Army. etc...

The date is October 29, 2018, and Britain faces its darkest hour. On the battlefields of Europe, our Armed Forces have been humiliated. In makeshift prison camps on the continent, thousands of our young men and women sit forlornly, testament to the collapse of our ambitions.

From the killing grounds of Belgium to the scarred streets of Athens, a continent continues to bleed. And, in the east, the Russian bear inexorably tightens its grip, an old empire rising from the wreckage of the European dream.
 
The crisis had been 'made in London', Sarkozy told French television in August 2016. By 2017, Britain's land forces were down to just 75,000 Yesterday, after a run of military defeats unequalled in our history, the Prime Minister offered his resignation. There is talk of a National Government, but no one has any illusions of another Churchill waiting in the wings.

In suburban streets across Britain, old men and callow teenagers are digging defensive positions in the cold autumn air. But with equipment scarce and ammunition non-existent, the Home Guard would barely last a week. And all the time, across the Channel, enemy forces make their final preparations for the inevitable invasion. Some talk of surrender;  no one speaks of victory. Less than ten years ago, millions still believed in a peaceful, united Europe. How did it come to this?

When future historians look back on our humiliation, they will surely judge that the turning point was the last week in October 2011.
 
Largely forgotten today, the main event was yet another interminable European summit in Brussels — the 14th attempt to ‘save the euro’ in just 20 months. Hoping to secure German support for a massive one trillion euro rescue package, Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her parliamentarians a chillingly prescient warning.

‘No one should believe that another half century of peace in Europe is a given — it’s not,’ she said.

‘So I say again: if the euro collapses, Europe collapses. That can’t happen.’

At the time, many observers scoffed that she was being absurdly melodramatic. But, seven years on, no one is laughing.

What Mrs Merkel had grasped — and what many European leaders refused to recognise — was that the Continent was threatened by a toxic combination of spiralling debt, economic recession, surging anarchism and a pervasive collapse of confidence in capitalism itself.
 
'No one should believe that another half century of peace in Europe is a given - it's not,' said Angela Merkel

That week, even St Paul’s Cathedral in London — whose survival had been a memorable symbol of British defiance during the last European war — was shut down by anti-capitalist protesters. At the time it seemed a tiny, even trivial incident. But it was merely a taste of what was coming.

For by February 2012, it was terrifyingly obvious that the latest eurozone package had failed. In Greece, protests against the government’s austerity measures had turned into daily running battles, while much of Western Europe had now sunk back into recession. A month later, after an angry mob had invaded the Greek parliament itself, Greece announced it was withdrawing from the euro. Almost overnight, the European markets were hit by the biggest losses in financial history.
As law and order collapsed on the streets of Athens, France and Germany sent in 5,000 ‘peacekeepers’ to restore calm. But when they came under attack from petrol-bomb throwing demonstrators, it was clear that more drastic action might be needed.

Meanwhile, the Greek collapse was sending shockwaves across Europe.

With the markets turning their attention to Italy, and Silvio Berlusconi’s beleaguered government struggling to maintain order, Europe’s fifth largest economy was suddenly at risk.

In the summer of 2012, massive anti-capitalist demonstrations in major Italian cities turned into outright rebellion. And when Berlusconi sent in the army to maintain order, the first bombs began exploding in the banks of Rome, Milan and Turin.

Anti-capitalism had caught the imagination of a generation. And the bomb alert at the Bank of England —when the entire City had to be evacuated after warnings from the so-called ‘Guy Fawkes Anti-Cuts Collective’ — was merely the first of many. July 2012, three people were killed by a bank bomb in Frankfurt. A month later, 15 people were killed in Dublin. And in September, in tragic events that will never be forgotten, 36 people were killed by explosions across the City of London.

By now demonstrations and riots were fixtures on the evening news. And as Germany and France struggled to keep the eurozone alive, there were the first signs of a disturbing new authoritarianism.

In Italy, where the Berlusconi government had declared a permanent state of emergency, some cities had degenerated into virtual civil war. And when Berlusconi formally requested assistance from his European partners, the French president Nicolas Sarkozy — who had narrowly won re-election earlier that year — was only too keen to flex his muscles.

By the end of 2012, there were an estimated 15,000 French troops on the streets of northern Italy — as well as a further 14,000 ‘European peacekeepers’ in Athens and Thessaloniki. Slowly but surely, the continent was sliding towards armed confrontation.
 
In Greece, protests against the government's austerity measures had turned into daily running battles

By the following year, a peaceful settlement to the implosion of the European Union seemed increasingly unlikely.

The last major Brussels summit, in March 2013, broke up acrimoniously when many smaller European nations refused to accept Germany’s demands for greater fiscal austerity and economic integration. With alarming speed, the threads of peaceful unity were unravelling. 

With the European economy heading into depression, nationalist movements were gaining support across the Continent. Skinheads were on the march; in cities from Madrid to Budapest, foreigners and immigrants were the victims of violent abuse.
'Europe's crisis is Russia's opportunity,' Putin announced.
'The days of humiliation are over; our empire will be restored.'

At another time, the terrible Spanish riots in the spring of 2014, when 63 people were killed in a shocking outbreak of arson and looting, would have dominated the headlines.

But most people’s attention was focused further east. No country had been hit harder by the financial crisis than little Latvia, which by 2014 had an unemployment rate of more than 35 per cent. And with almost one in three of its citizens being ethnic Russians, economic frustration soon turned into nationalist confrontation.

On August 12, 2015, after days of fighting on the streets of Riga, the Russian army rumbled across the border. The Russians had come to ‘restore order’, Vladimir Putin assured the world.

But his statement to the Russian people told a different story.

‘Europe’s crisis is Russia’s opportunity,’ Putin announced. ‘The days of humiliation are over; our empire will be restored.’

Once, the West would have come to Latvia’s aid. It was, after all, a member of both the European Union and of Nato — though the new American isolationism meant that Nato membership was effectively worthless.

But since French troops were already committed to Greece and Italy, Paris refused to intervene.
 
Apocalyptic: Fear and suffering emerge from the wreckage of the European dream

And in London, the new Prime Minister, Ed Miliband, assured the nation that he would never commit British troops to help ‘a faraway country of which we know nothing’.

In Moscow, the message was clear. Six months later, Russian ‘peacekeepers’ crossed the border into Estonia, and in March 2016, Putin’s army occupied Lithuania, Belarus and Moldova.

When Brussels complained, the Kremlin pointed out that European peacekeepers were already on the streets of Athens, Rome and Madrid. Why, Putin asked, should the rules be any different in the east?

And, indeed, he had a point. Even in Paris, there was chilling evidence of a slide towards ruthless suppression of civil dissent — justified as a short-term measure to check the rise of anti-capitalist terrorism. Aided by Spanish and Italian auxiliaries, backed by German money and quietly supported by neo-imperialist Russia, the French army has encircled our expeditionary force on the other side of the Channel and cut it to shreds.

That summer, Sarkozy amended the French constitution so that he could seek a third term, claiming that stability mattered more than legal niceties. Now more than ever he seemed to see himself as the reincarnation of Napoleon Bonaparte, ostentatiously tucking his hand into his military-style greatcoat.

Back in October 2011, he had told David Cameron to ‘shut up’, claiming that Europe had ‘had enough’ of British advice. Now he seemed to have tipped over into outright Anglophobia.

The crisis had been ‘made in London’, Sarkozy told French television in August 2016.

‘But Britain’s day is done. The future lies in a Russian east and a European — that is to say, French — west.’

For some British newspapers, his words were proof of an unspoken alliance between Moscow and Paris, sweetened with Russian oil and gas money. And, by now, Napoleonic ambitions seemed to have gone to the French president’s head.

Five days before Christmas 2016, Sarkozy told a cheering crowd in Vichy that ‘all European Union members must fully embrace our project and join the euro, or they will pay the price’.

In Britain, his remarks provoked a storm of outrage. Many insiders suggested that left to his own devices, Ed Miliband would have been more than happy to join the euro. But, by now, the weak Prime Minister was almost completely ruled by his overweening Chancellor, Ed Balls, who insisted that Britain simply could not afford to join a patently unfair Franco-German currency.

As France tightened the pressure, with French farmers ritually burning British imports outside the Channel ports, Miliband cracked, handing in his resignation and scuttling off to take up a teaching post at Harvard.
 
In a desperate attempt to reinvigorate Labour’s popularity, Ed Balls announced that he was opening talks on British secession from the European Union — even though France and Germany insisted that they would block this ‘illegal nationalist piracy’. But now events across the Channel took a bloody and decisive twist.

For years, Belgium had been crippled by antagonism between Dutch-speaking Flemings and French-speaking Walloons.
The country had not even had a proper government since the summer of 2010, being run first by a caretaker coalition and then, from 2014, by the European Union itself. But in the summer of 2017 inter-community rioting in the centre of Brussels became terrifyingly brutal.

From Wallonia, there came reports of Dutch speakers being beaten and intimidated out of their homes. On August 1, Sarkozy sent in French paratroopers.

‘Brussels is the very heart of Europe,’ he said. ‘Which is to say, it is properly part of France.’
In the summer of 2012, massive anti-capitalist demonstrations in major Italian cities turned into outright rebellion. And when Berlusconi sent in the army to maintain order, the first bombs began exploding in the banks of Rome, Milan and Turin.

For Britain, this was the final provocation. All parties agreed that, thanks to Britain’s long-standing pledge to defend Belgian independence, we had no choice but to dispatch peacekeepers of our own.

The events of the next few months make sorry reading. Even in 2011, Britain had only 101,000 regular soldiers to France’s 123,000, but years of swingeing spending cuts had taken their toll.

By 2017, Britain’s land forces were down to just 75,000. And when fighting broke out between French and British peacekeepers in the outskirts of Ghent, no one seriously doubted that the French would win.

So it is that, a year later, we find ourselves at our lowest ebb. Aided by Spanish and Italian auxiliaries, backed by German money and quietly supported by neo-imperialist Russia, the French army has encircled our expeditionary force on the other side of the Channel and cut it to shreds.

The Americans have deserted us, while every week brings fresh anti-war and anti-capitalist riots in our cities. The shelves are increasingly empty; national morale has hit  rock bottom.

In Scotland, polls show that  more than 70 per cent independence; in Northern Ireland, the bombs of the Real IRA explode almost daily.

Last week, addressing a vast crowd in French-occupied Brussels, Nicolas Sarkozy declared that it was ‘time to extinguish the stain of Waterloo’.

‘Britain has always been part of Europe — even if they have refused to recognise it,’ he said.

‘It is time to welcome them into our family — by force, if necessary.’

A few diehards talk of fighting in the last ditch. But no one seriously believes that Britain can hold out for long.

The Union flag hangs tattered and forlorn; our days of glory are long gone. And, in Brussels, our new masters are preparing for victory.

Even now, the transformation in our fortunes seems almost incredible.

Seven years ago, Angela Merkel’s talk of the threat to peace seemed implausible, even absurd.

What a tragedy that we did not listen when we still had a chance.


 Article Link  (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2054913/Europe-war-2018-As-Angela-Merkel-says-euro-meltdown-spark-battle.html)
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 30, 2011, 18:23:44
Sadly the Daily Mail's speculation is grounded in reality:

1. Financial crises tend to produce populist movements offering easy answers to complex problems - both the Tea Party and the "Occupy ____" movement qualify;

2. Populist movements have a sad history of turning violent and then totalitarian - the Italian Fascists started as a populist movement;

3. Blaming the "other guy," as the Daily Mail suggests Sarkozy will blame Britain, is also common politics;

4. Russia cannot be trusted;

5. Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy are all likely to see troops on the streets as a matter of routine and the violence and unrest will spread across Europe; and

6. America might turn isolationist.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: ironduke57 on October 30, 2011, 18:31:33
The only thing missing is that our Angie is sitting in her Kanzleramt in a dark chamber laughing madly as her little puppet Sarko conquers the world for us. >:D

SCNR,
ironduke57
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on October 30, 2011, 18:40:16
The only thing missing is that our Angie is sitting in her Kanzleramt in a dark chamber laughing madly as her little puppet Sarko conquers the world for us. >:D

SCNR,
ironduke57
That's it.  I think it's time to mobilise.  But this time, I think you Germans ought to be on the correct side: fight with England, but this time, against France ;)

 >:D
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 30, 2011, 19:28:31
Franco-Prussian wars are, generally, good things ... for the gene pool, if nothing else.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on October 30, 2011, 19:30:37
Franco-Prussian wars are, generally, good things ... for the gene pool, if nothing else.
Sometimes we're with the Germans, sometimes with the French.  It's all good :)
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 30, 2011, 19:43:11
Way back when, I was nearly drummed out of university for an essay that suggested that the First World War had been a major foreign policy blunder and that every shell fired and every life lost was a waste that cost Britain everything. The professor didn't so much argue with my analysis and conclusions as he did with the very brief summary we were required to put on the cover page. I forget what it said, but it implied, to him, that the men who fought and died had, somehow, wasted themselves. His father or favourite uncle, maybe both, had been killed in the 'Great War.' Anyway, after a dressing down he gave me a quite good mark (maybe I'm looking back through rose coloured glasses) and suggested that I put more effort into the summary and less into being a smart-***. It was good advice.

Decades on I remain convinced of the validity of my argument: the Entente Cordiale (1904) was the biggest foreign policy blunder in 2,000 years of British history - and that includes Boadicea being beastly to the Romans and Harold Godwinson screwing over the Duke of Normandy. Britain didn't have a side in Franco-Prussian wars, which was all that 1914 would have been but for the British guarantee. The only 'side' Britain should have taken was to sell whatever to both sides. But ...

Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: buck13 on October 30, 2011, 19:43:34

6. America might turn isolationist.

That is the biggest issue I have with this article. I can't see the USA completely dropping the special relationship they have with Britain or becoming so isolationist in the next six years that they would not intervene, especially in a war of conquest against the UK.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on October 30, 2011, 20:39:26
Way back when, I was nearly drummed out of university for an essay that suggested that the First World War had been a major foreign policy blunder and that every shell fired and every life lost was a waste that cost Britain everything. The professor didn't so much argue with my analysis and conclusions as he did with the very brief summary we were required to put on the cover page. I forget what it said, but it implied, to him, that the men who fought and died had, somehow, wasted themselves. His father or favourite uncle, maybe both, had been killed in the 'Great War.' Anyway, after a dressing down he gave me a quite good mark (maybe I'm looking back through rose coloured glasses) and suggested that I put more effort into the summary and less into being a smart-***. It was good advice.

Decades on I remain convinced of the validity of my argument: the Entente Cordiale (1904) was the biggest foreign policy blunder in 2,000 years of British history - and that includes Boadicea being beastly to the Romans and Harold Godwinson screwing over the Duke of Normandy. Britain didn't have a side in Franco-Prussian wars, which was all that 1914 would have been but for the British guarantee. The only 'side' Britain should have taken was to sell whatever to both sides. But ...

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2F5%2F5e%2FGermany_GB_France.gif%2F459px-Germany_GB_France.gif&hash=55555ea4ee74f7164fed5180a2b93d47)
Quote
A cartoon on the Entente Cordiale from the German perspective, with John Bull stalking off with the harlot Marianne, turning his back on the Kaiser. The tip of the scabbard of a cavalry sabre protrudes from beneath Germany's army overcoat, implying a potential resort to force.


It all came down to that "scrap of paper (http://www.scottmanning.com/content/treaty-of-london-1839/)" being the official pre-text for British involvement in the war, not so much out of interest to keep Belgium neutral, but more to keep German ships out of Belgian ports.  Ironically, if Belgium is in NATO today, then is the treaty no longer in effect?


Not the case: it is very much in effect (http://www.pca-cpa.org/showpage.asp?pag_id=1155).


(Edited to resize image)
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on October 30, 2011, 21:02:00
Given the economic crisis gripping the United States, it is quite possible in this timeline that whatever administration is in power will choose to conserve its resources and watch. Given the rebuff the Obama administration has given the UK and other traditional allies, they might not even be looking to America for help.

If anything, the United States will be in "1941" mode, rapidly mobilizing its resources for a potential military challenges both from Europe/Russia and China, and probably still with a foot in the Middle East as well. This provides a potential strategic response; a rapid pullout of the Middle East to encourage destabilization and trigger wars between the Shia and Sunnis, Arabs and Persians etc. The United States is becoming far more energy self sufficient with new technologies in gas and oil production today, so will be in a better position to weather the oil shocks that disruption of Middle Eastern production will have on her rivals in this future.

One other thing which does not seem to be taken into account in this scenario is the informal alliance that has been set up by the New European nations  (led by Poland), which might decide to mobilize against the EU and Russia. While maybe not a military threat to either side, they can make things tough for either party or both (and if they are clever they may find a way to play off Russia against the EU...)
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on November 04, 2011, 22:26:38
Following in the footsteps of TV (who has still left us hanging with his WWII Alt history epic, BTW), here is the opening of a "future history" starting with the post upthread. The title will come clear in a later installment:


World War Seven

Prologue (http://Forums.Army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,64004.msg1086812.html#msg1086812)

Chapter 1

The President glanced out the window as the Cabinet assembled.  Outside a pair of Secret Service agents, bulked out in black combat uniforms, battle gear and assault rifles walked across the lawn with a guard dog. They faded into the shadows of the bushes in the grey light of the rainy day, a sight that fitted his mood. It was going to be a long day.

“Sir, the Cabinet is ready for you,” the Chief of Staff said softly.

The President turned around and walked into the meeting room. The assembled members stood around the table, while their aides scrambled to stand across the back of the narrow room. The President nodded and made a gesture to seat everyone as he took his seat at the head of the table.

“We have a long day ahead of us, so lets get started with the domestic issues. What is the latest on the Social Security riots in California?”

The Director Homeland Security looked embarrassed as he started. Behind him, the briefing screen came to life, cued to his voice.

“I’m afraid it isn’t good, Mr. President. The situation has devolved into a low-grade civil war after the official announcement of the financial collapse of CalPERS, and the State Police, various local agencies and the prison guards leaving their jobs as a result. There is some gruesome video making the rounds today on the Internet as a so-called “Gadsden Militia” stormed the UC Berkley campus and lynched several of the faculty. Another Gadsden Militia outfit apparently lost a gun battle in Beverly Hills, the Hollywood types have imported a pretty sizable mercenary army under the guise of security contractors, an irony I’m sure is lost on most of them.

Gangs are pretty much in control of most of LA and several cities in Southern California, but the California National Guard has been of no use, with large numbers of them deserting to one side or the other and the rest refusing to venture beyond secure perimeters. The Army and Marine units in place are calling the Division “The California Crybabies”, which isn’t helping the situation at all.”

The President snorted in annoyance.

“California Crybabies indeed. Are there any forces that can bolster what we already have to restore some sort of order?”

The Secretary of Defense glanced at her SmartPad.

“I believe elements of the 3rd Infantry Division are currently finishing training, and can be dispatched in a matter of days”.

“How about the rest of the Division? We’re talking about one of the biggest states in the Union here, the security of the west coast and billions of dollars in critical infrastructure and property.”

The Secretary whispered a question to the SmartPad, and nodded at the response from the machine.

“The readiness report for the division says they can send advance elements starting 24 hours after the order to deploy, with the bulk of the division arriving in 48 hours. The divisional tail will be on the ground in 72 hours and the entire division will be able to commence operations at that point in time. I’m assuming they will replace the 25th “Sunshine” Division, insert at the north end of the Central Valley and start to work their way down as per the previous plan.”

The President nodded.

“Tell the Joint Chief’s to look at other options as well for the evening briefing, but we can go with this for now.”

The remaining brief by the Director of Homeland Security was equally dismal; “Social Security” riots in New York, Illinois, Michigan, and most of the Eastern seaboard consuming virtually all the police and emergency response resources in the embattled communities. Further outbreaks of violence marked the boundaries of many states, as groups as varied as State Troopers and local “militias” turned back people attempting to flee the disorder.  There was little that could be done for the moment but send relief supplies to the refugees and orders to the authorities to disband or displace the “militias”. The President turned down the idea of sending Federal troops to more riots, and no one was eager to test other National Guard units against the spreading disorder.

“If the State Governors want to activate their National Guards to clear out the militias and carry out relief operations, I won’t interfere. California is a pretty clear indication that we can’t count on Federalizing the National Guard for this sort of emergency.

“Now tell me some good news,” he demanded.

The Secretary of the Interior stood up, and her briefing screen lit up behind her. She was a carry over from the previous administration, and the President reflected that she had once been a political celebrity of sorts. She had served the last administration well, and the President had come to rely on her “can do” spirit and political experience.

“We do have good news from this department that should start taking pressure off the coasts in the medium term. Oil production continues to increase, offsetting the effects of the international embargo. The ongoing high prices of oil, combined with the withdrawal of many regulatory roadblocks has unleashed a wave of new industrialization in the Midwest, everything from solar collector balloons up in the stratosphere to an explosion of biodiesel, ethanol and methanol production to take up the slack. As you know, these plants are mostly big distilleries, so employers can use mostly low skilled labor to build. This is causing the unemployment problem to ease, and as a side effect is soaking up a lot of the leftover cash from previous stimulus packages, lowering inflation as well. I’m sure the Secretary of State will have more, but the world price of oil is unraveling as our demands for imports decreases, and putting the folks who set up the embargo in a pretty pickle as their income collapses.

The Chinese have also gotten a hard smack in the market. They started to manipulate the supply of the rare earth minerals needed for modern electronics back in 2008, mostly by cutting the supply. Well I can announce that American companies have been working hard since 2008 to rectify the situation, reopening several old mines in the continental US to provide a small but secure supply. The deep ocean dredges off Hawaii have finally gone into production, filling our domestic supply needs and collapsing the Chinese positions in the commodities markets. They have worked hard not to get burned as we ramped up, but there is only so much you can do if you are trying to be the monopoly supplier.”

“Thank you. At least we have some pockets of good news to pass out later today. I’m sure you all know about the three congressional delegations I’m seeing after lunch”.

The assembled Cabinet members and their staffs chuckled in amusement, but the President could see some uncomfortable faces as well. With the economic collapse had come a splintering of the American political system, and a constellation of new parties now vied for control of the Congress, while the President and Cabinet represented holdovers from the old system. There was a saying about age and experience, the President reflected.

“Anyway, back to business. We need to look at this European crisis. I have viewed the backgrounders” making a quick wave to his SmartPad “And I can’t say I like what I am seeing. Our oldest ally humiliated without us being able to do anything, France, Germany and Russia in the grip of some sort of Empire building frenzy and China nipping at our heels in the Pacific. The Islamists have built themselves a ramshackle empire as well, and everyone seems to be getting a bit big for their britches.

I have several concerns.

First, how do these developments directly threaten the welfare and safety of the United States?

Second, if these people start getting into conflicts with each other, and they will, what is the impact on the United States going to be?

Thirdly, what steps can we actively take to do something about this to make things work in our favor? I know there are lots of long term advantages we have, like our positive demographics against their negative growth, but I hardly think the voters are going to sit quietly until the 2030’s or whatever waiting for these new Napoleons to run out of people. I’d much rather set the direction now, rather than pick up the pieces later.”

The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State looked at each other. With a nod, the secretary of Defense gave the floor to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State was a small man with quick gestures, which made the President think of a bird. The briefing screen activating and backlighting the Secretary with a large map of the world heightened the illusion.

“The situation in Europe is driven by several overlapping factors. As you are aware, the primary issue is the Franco-German core of the EU moving aggressively to secure their creditors, primarily banks and government institutions, against crippling losses from the default of sovereign debtors in Southern Europe. In 2011, the crisis in Greece alone threatened to drain the entire 450 billion Euro fund established to deal with defaulting nations, and Greece was hardly the largest of the potential defaulters. The alternative 60% “haircut” that Greek bondholders were going to take would have wiped out many French banks, and German taxpayers were not going to pony up the money it would take to bail out Greece, much less the other PIIG nations.

The current response of sending military units to quell disorder is really the beginning of what amounts to economic colonization of these nations. The French and Germans intend to impose their own tax structure on Southern Europe in order to ensure payment of the sovereign debt and prevent the economic collapse of their own institutions. Once the precedent had been set in Greece, it became easy to extend the idea to the remainder of the EU nations, and Europe in general. The French have been chafing under the limitations of the original EU structure, and have been seething about the rejection of their “European Constitution” and the ability of various sub groups of EU nations like the UK or the Eastern European nations to defy or obstruct French leadership and direction of the EU project. This flexing of military muscle is payback.

The Russians are playing the straight Empire game once again to shore up their own shaky internal political and economic situation. Blaming external powers and engaging in short, low cost wars is usually a good way of getting people’s minds off their troubles at home, and distracts then from the looting that is going on right outside their own doorsteps by their own elites. The Russians can put the squeeze on the EU through the control of the natural gas supply, but are happy to put real military pressure on Eastern Europe in order to bring them back into what they see as the natural sphere of influence, and provide a glacis in case Europe turns hostile. The French and Germans are probably not thinking that far ahead, but like the idea that the Eastern European nations will fall in line with them in order to gain protection against Russia. In return, I’m sure they will be treated as captive markets, once again to keep the economies of the French and German heartland going.

As for direct impact on the United States, the EU and Russia have already been working on excluding the United States from their markets, although there is a great deal of both formal and informal resistance from people and nations within the EU desiring our advanced export products. This is slowing down our economic recovery efforts, as our export markets become less diversified. Of more direct impact is the potential loss of US assets in the UK if the French invade. There are many bases and military and intelligence facilities, some dating back to the Second World War, that will be at risk. There are also the military and diplomatic personnel as well as American civilians who are either living or working in the UK at the present time, who may become victims or hostages to the invaders.

We must also consider that the British Government also holds a great deal of sensitive information in their files based on reciprocal agreements and information sharing going back decades, some of which could be quite compromising and most which will probably be released in an attempt to embarrass the United States or damage our reputation with various target audiences and third party nations.”

“Well, what are we going to do about this?” the President demanded angrily

The Secretary of Defense took over from the Secretary of State, smoothly replacing the graphics from the previous screen with her own.

“There are many options to choose from Mr. President, depending on the level of response and how open we want to be.

The short term response which the Joint Chiefs of Staff have suggested is to send the 82nd Airborne Division to England in order to garrison American assets and display our resolve and assert our sovereignty. Even if there is a full-scale invasion, the French may well hesitate to directly attack American bases. This will also provide a fallback position for British units and civilians to escape from the French.

At the same time, an air and sea bridge will be established to evacuate American civilians from the UK, which also allows us to have Air Force and Naval assets in place to monitor the situation, and potentially as a springboard for future actions. This will be fairly transparent to the EU and the Russians, but they will have to extend themselves in order to observe our forces and provide options of their own, which will complicate their game plan and make them move more slowly.”

The President nodded.

“Then what?”

“Sir, the Joint Chiefs are war gaming many options right now, but the consensus is emerging that our best option may lie in Eastern Europe”.

The President nodded, but remained silent.

“As you heard the Secretary of State say earlier, Eastern Europe is going to be a contested area between the EU and Russia. The people of these nations will resent being placed back under the Russian yoke, and equally being forced into servitude for the benefit of the EU’s banking institutions. They tasted freedom and opportunity starting in the 1990’s, and will be pretty eager to seize opportunities to keep clear of both sides.

The broad outline of the plan is to use a combination of messaging, cyberwar and some limited direct actions by Special forces and Special Operating Forces to bring the situation in Eastern Europe to a rapid boil, force the EU and Russians to commit disproportionate resources to the area and then cripple their ability to continue military, economic or political actions in the region. We need to calibrate our activities in order to prevent or minimize the possibility of a military clash between the Russians and the EU, since escalation would have negative consequences to the Eastern Europeans, the British and potentially the United States as well.”
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on November 12, 2011, 11:38:36
While still working on Chapter one, I come across this: looks like WW7 in Europe is going to be a popular topic for the next few years:

http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2011/11/09/if/?print=1

Quote
If

Posted By Richard Fernandez On November 9, 2011 @ 10:45 pm In Uncategorized | 114 Comments

    It began unexpectedly. Ramon was standing behind a German at an airport cash machine for about five minutes before he realized something was wrong. The man, who had been conversing normally with someone over his cell phone in a jaunty German just a few minutes before was having trouble with his cash cards. He was inserting cards one after the other at the cashpoint. At first he had punched in his PIN with the practiced hand of someone who did it routinely but when the machine rejected his card he retried the password more carefully.

    It didn't work. In the intervening minutes the German tried every piece of plastic in his wallet with varying combinations of passwords without result. The man left the line and went over to another cash machine. Ramon stepped up to the ATM and inserted his card. It worked perfectly. He checked his balance and saw the usual pitifully small balance correctly displayed and was about to withdraw $50 when he became aware of a growing buzz in the airport concourse. It came from a number of individuals at the other cash machines. They too were having trouble withdrawing money. On an impulse Ramon cleared the $50 amount from the screen and entered his cash limit: $1,000 and pressed OK.

    The cash machine whirred and 20 $50 bills were pushed out between the rollers of the ATM. Ramon took the money and stepped away from the device to place the bills in his wallet. The next man in line behind him had just inserted his debit card when the ATM's display turned yellow and displayed the following message. This machine is unavailable. For inquiries call 1-800-715-4345. He glanced over to the ATM queue that the German had joined. Its display too had gone yellow. The murmur in the concourse grew louder and some of those in line were leaving it to make cell phone calls in quieter alcoves.

    “Excuse me sir,” a man in a dark tailored suit said to Ramon, “but can you direct me to the office of … and he mentioned a credit card company … I’m having trouble with my cards and I don’t have any cash on me at all.”

    Ramon gestured in the direction of where he thought it might be and briefly glanced at the well-dressed middle aged man walk off pulling his baggage trolley. A vague suspicion that had been growing in his mind took approximate shape. Acting on the hunch, he took out his phone and opened a browser on it to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/, a site that he knew to be following the dramatic economic events in Europe closely.

    There was nothing except the routine story of the deepening Eurozone debt crisis. Using his thumb to push up the page on the touchscreen display he noticed an item two down in that day’s rolling, live coverage of events: “Unconfirmed reports of dozens of major companies emptying their accounts at …” and it gave a list of banks. And then he knew.

    In the coming weeks everyone would remember where he was at that precise moment, at 08:47 Australian Eastern Standard Time reckoned as 16:47 Eastern Standard Time the previous day in New York. Most people in America were at work. Most people in Europe were asleep. But everyone would remember where they were the way earlier generations recalled the assassination of JFK and people an increasingly long time ago heard that two airliners had crashed into the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

From this fictional beginning we can imagine a series of events unfolding across five continents. There is China without any real food or real energy resources coping with the problem of growing fast enough to keep down internal unrest. We have the North Korea's population moving with Biblical implacability across the border to the North and pushing, despite fearful losses to landmines, in desperate hungry numbers across the DMZ toward the lights of Seoul. There is a Europe, facing hunger for the first time in 60 years, convulsed with civil unrest as its political fabric, so long divided between the left and the not-so-left is torn, driven by desperation to rally around the banners of creeds which had been forgotten for decades.

The Arab Spring had long since turned into regional chaos. Faced with a declining demand for oil, the House of Saud had collapsed and was saved from occupation only by the circumstance that every other country in the region was in turmoil. In all the Gulf States hundreds of thousands of people, from Western expatriates to impoverished contract workers were waiting at airports and seaports for a way out.

There is America with every seeming advantage paralyzed by a debate over whether to allow drilling for oil on the continental United States.

And our hero Ramon Delgato [1] gets bundled into a car by one person he never wanted to hear from again, Bill Greer, to learn that Pakistani nuclear components have gone missing, transported according to the best available intelligence to the one place Ramon knows best. Where seven groups of Pakistanis unknown to each other might meet on neutral ground; to the place where the September 11 plot had first been hatched. That place [2]. And Greer was wondering whether someone — someone who knew the ground — a person who had America's best interests honestly at heart, might be of assistance, or whether he preferred to spend the next six months in Guantanamo prison, which was of course officially closed, because no word of the offer must ever leak out. And so it begins.

I would write the book if I could, had I either the time or the talent. But consider that in a worldwide crisis the dramatic scenario above — without the literary embellishments — might not be too far from the truth. It would be a world where America could blunder its way into a new century of dominance while Europe commits economic suicide and the Middle East tears itself apart. That is, if the men in Washington can keep the world itself from going up in smoke.

So with that introduction, this open thread is inaugurated. What happens if the EU implodes?

Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99 [3]
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $3.99, print $9.99 [1]
Tip Jar or Subscribe for $5 [4]

Article printed from Belmont Club: http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2011/11/09/if/

URLs in this post:

[1] Ramon Delgato: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1453892818/wwwfallbackbe-20

[2] That place: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bojinka_plot

[3] Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005MH19XI/wwwfallbackbe-20

[4] Tip Jar or Subscribe for $5: http://wretchard.com/tipjar.html

For those of you wondering about which WW this is:

WWI:   the Seven Years War. First war fought with campaigns across the globe
WWII:  Napoleonic Wars
WWIII: The Great War 1914-1918
WWIV: "Second World War" 1939-45 (although it could be argued the war actually began earlier as several regional wars coalesced)
WWV:  The "Cold War" between the USSR and the United States
WWVI: GWOT- Radical Islam vs the West. (current war)
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on November 13, 2011, 15:17:02
World War Seven (cont)


“So the general idea is to get the EU and Russians to face off in Eastern Europe, taking their attention away from the UK?”

“That is the thrust of this plan, Mr. President,” the Secretary of Defense answered with assurance.

“We also had the same concerns that you expressed about the situation spiraling out of control. I believe there are several factors that limit the ability of the conflict to spread out of control.

Starting with Russia, her internal situation is a shambles right now. Decades of Communist rule left the nation with a degraded environment and a totally malformed economic base, as development was forced into the distorted straight jackets of their five-year plans. The transition to democracy and market economies never really happened, the oligarchies that were established looted what was left, and the new Russian Empire is simply trying to expand to pillage the nations of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact, particularly the nations which seized the opportunities to become wealthy after the fall of the wall.

Their ability to sustain long term operations is therefore in doubt due to the generally poor state of Russian infrastructure and the uncertain logistical chain. This will be compounded by the fact that Russia is actually pressed on three sides, with the Islamists on their south and the Chinese to their east. Russia cannot afford to commit too much of her strength to Europe in case that invites the other powers to take advantage of her uncovered flanks. The demographic crash that affects Russia is probably more advanced than the EU or China, so they potentially have less manpower to carry out the subjugation of Eastern Europe while still guarding their borders and manning the factory floors.

The situation in the EU is somewhat different. The nations of Europe have been generally disarmed by tacit agreement for over 60 years, relying on the United States to carry the burden of their defense, so most of the military forces of the EU are rather small. The economic crisis has been very prolonged in Europe due to the massive amount of debt and the reluctance of all the EU nations to actively deleverage. Their ability to carry out long-term actions is also in doubt, as they simply don’t have the capital to sustain themselves. The economic colonization may allow France and Germany to cover over some of the structural defects for a period of time, but if they have to extract a lot of tribute from the southern European nations in a hurry, especially to sustain military operations, that will generate a lot of resentment, and require a great deal of the EU’s military power to be diverted from the UK and Eastern Europe to maintain order.

Europe also still has large unassimilated Muslim populations, which they view with a great deal of suspicion and fear. The Islamic block also threatens Europe from the south with large populations of poor people who can be unleashed as economic migrants to overwhelm the EU social safety net or simply as cannon fodder in any military confrontations, as well as wielding the energy weapon in the form of access to oil.

Finally, like Russia, Europe is facing a demographic decline, although not as severe as the Russian one. They face two real enemies in the form of Russia and the Islamic Block, as well as a third front from our ability to project force from the sea, which will stretch their resources to the utmost.”

While the Secretary of Defense paused to take some water, the President looked at the map of Europe on the display.

“What about China and the Islamic Block? How will they figure into this? There are already a lot of pieces on the board now, and it seems too easy for things to get out of hand.”

“Yes, sir, it does. The Islamic Block is fairly predatory, and not very predictable. Nevertheless, we believe that there are factors which mitigate the risk, as well as some steps we can take to aid the process.”

The map reshaped to follow her briefing, centering on Asia.

“First off, the Block is not anywhere as well integrated as the EU or Russia. There are pockets of wealth and industry, but also areas of extreme poverty and underdevelopment. There are multiple competing sects of Islam that have made a shotgun marriage of convenience to strike the “Infidels”, but who generally exist in mutual loathing of each other as apostates against their “true” version of Islam.

While they are demographically sound, they have very limited ability to project power, or even move industrial scales of manpower, raw material and finished products around their region. Masses of manpower in Central Asia or the African east coast are really only useful to maintain their hold on the region, rather than to strike at external enemies. The economic potential of the Block is also strangled by the essentially feudal nature of their societies, which leaves large amounts of human resources wasted as peasant farmers or locked away since women are almost universally excluded from education, the economy, politics or the military. Really the only reason they are able to do as well as they have is their geographic reach from Africa, the Middle East and across Asia, encompassing over a billion people. Their economy is suffering with the unexpected collapse of the price of oil, negatively affecting the incomes of many of the nations in the Block, and causing social stress as subsidies for food and other essentials is cut. The limited ability to move resources around the Block also provides the United States with a series of choke points that can be squeezed or throttled altogether to degrade their economies and war making potential at the time and place of our own choosing.

Indonesia is aligned with the Islamic block, although a great deal of the population is chafing under the strict Sharia laws the revolutionaries brought in. The nation is rich in manpower and natural resources, as well as sitting astride major sea routes in and out of the Indian Ocean, so you can be assured the Islamists won’t be loosening their grip there. They see it as their resource treasure box, and aren’t shy to use conscription and coercion to get at the men and materials they want. The Philippines suffered much the same fate, and both those places have enough easily available resources that even with low efficiency and restive populations they can still be valuable additions to support the Imperial ambitions of their Islamist masters.

China is another matter altogether. China is a near peer competitor with a large and modern military force and an advanced economy. She sees herself as the central hegemonic power in the world, with the rest of us as tributaries, and the historical period from1800 to the end of the 20th century as a sort of aberration to be corrected. The Chinese have been working diligently since at least the 1980’s to reclaim their rightful place in the world and put the rest of us, particularly Americans, in our place. You can be sure that the Chinese are offering subtle support and maybe even funding to keep the European crisis going, and are probably hoping to have us engaged there in order to limit our ability to act elsewhere. If we were to suffer a defeat or humiliation in Europe, they certainly would be pleased as well.

The economic crisis has put the Imperial project in a great deal of jeopardy, however. Internal stresses over the unequal distribution of wealth between the coastal region and the interior have been causing large and growing internal unrest. The collapse of the Chinese economic bubble has thrown tens of millions of people out of work and nullified the value of billions of dollars of assets. Military modernization programs have been suspended in order to free resources to deal with the economy, and many military units are now employed full time to quell rioting.

Geographic factors hamper China as well. She is hemmed in by the Himalayan Mountains to the west, and the routes to the oceans are all dominated by the island archipelagos of Indonesia in the south and by our allies Taiwan and Japan in the east, as well as the Korean peninsula to the north, which limits the ability of the Chinese to carry out force projection. The Islamic Block pressing against her western borders hems in China, and Russia maintains a large force in Siberia to prevent China from having easy access to the resources there. Finally, like Russia and the EU, the Chinese are undergoing a demographic dislocation from the “one child” policy. This causes social stresses in Chinese society as family structures are breaking down and large masses of men are unable to find wives or even female companionship, much less support during times of unemployment. As well, the large and growing Islamic population in the western regions of China is demanding autonomy from Chinese rule, and looking to the Islamic Block for support, which is drawing a lot of attention away from the Imperial project and towards stabilizing and securing her internal borders. In the longer term, the Chinese will also suffer a demographic decline, but this won’t be a factor in the time frame we are talking about.”

The President thought for a moment.

“So you’re saying these nations all have their hands full of their own problems, and won’t have the energy or resources to make more than a minor disturbance to the plan?”

“Not at all sir. We understand that there are a great many variables beyond our control, and that war is always the domain of chance events. However, the planners in the Pentagon are reasonably confident that the various factors mentioned here will limit the responses these players can make, and rational considerations of self preservation will keep any of these powers from overextending themselves, even if only to keep their borders secure from the others.”

“I’m not convinced” the President replied. “Virtually every nation or group you mentioned is suffering from various problems, but you people haven’t considered their means of gaining resolution to these problems. If Europe sees economic colonization as the answer to their problems, why would they stop in Southern or Eastern Europe? The Germans had far fewer resources in either World War, but that didn’t stop them from trying to expand far beyond the limits you have outlined to create an economic plantation for themselves. The Russians, the Islamists and the Chinese all have a burning vision of what they want the world to look like, and all these visions offer them positions of power and prestige in the global order, a powerful spur to action once the masks come off.

I want the planners to carefully consider scenarios where things go out of control. Most of what we are seeing seems to be motivated by greed or pride, and people in the grip of these emotions are not easily swayed by appeals to reason. When things start going wrong, then the people will be in the grip of fear, and people looking for an escape may trample any rational response.

While I have no doubt the staff have carefully crafted this plan, my overriding concern must be to the American people and the safety of the nation. We have spent a long five years trying to rebuild from the economic crisis, and it will take decades to rebuild and correct all the mistakes. A general war, or even a large scale regional conflict involving the United States will set back the recovery, and the threat of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction simply raises the risks and the stakes far to high to take risks lightly.

Our tasks are fairly clear.

I want the State Department to extend their diplomatic efforts to shore up and strengthen our alliances and prepare them for the coming conflicts. Friends will make a huge difference and maybe give us options we haven’t considered yet.

The Defense Department will continue to refine the plan, both to reduce the risks as much as possible as well as to provide a wide series of options in case things don’t go as planned. I will authorize the insertion of the 82nd Airborne Division to England to secure our bases, and the air and sea bridge to evacuate US citizens from the UK at the earliest opportunity, but no actions in the European mainland until the plan has been worked out.

Commerce and Treasury, we need to have the economy firing on all cylinders. Identify roadblocks to recovery, particularly outdated regulations and policies. This also has to be calibrated to prevent inflation or credit bubbles. We also need to ensure that we will be able to move to a war footing if needed.

Interior, we will need a cataloguing of our natural resource base and the ability to access land and materials if needed. Like Commerce and Treasury, your department will have to review its operations to remove regulatory and policy obstructions to development. Unlike most of the world, the United States is blessed with a rich and diversified resource base to feed our industrial plant, an advantage I’d like to make full use of.

Ladies and gentleman, I thank you for your time and attention, and will let you carry on with your tasks. I look forward to seeing you all again next week, and hearing your progress on these issues.”

With that, the President stood while the Cabinet and the assembled aids scrambled to their feet. Wishing everyone a “good morning”, the President and his Chief of Staff left the room.

“That was putting us on a war footing” the Chief of Staff said bluntly

“Indeed it was. We have far too many people out there wanting to dominate their portions of the world and take a swing at us, so I think we have to be ready. You remember your history, right?”

The Chief of Staff smiled. Before entering politics, he had been a full professor of American history and occasional host for various television shows. The President often used this as an inside joke, but today the mood was not light enough for that to be considered a joking matter.

“Of course, Mr. President. What period do you have in mind?”

“I’m thinking about the First World War, the one they called ‘The War to end all Wars’. It happened after a long period of peace and prosperity, and most people then thought it would be over very quickly. The major powers have been at peace for over 70 years now, with only regional wars between lesser powers and the occasional proxy battle between the superpowers during that time. Our staff doing the planning may be experienced and even battle hardened from our proxy wars during the last decade, but I sense they believe this conflict will be over by Christmas, and achievable at a very low cost.

As politicians we know how to whip up people’s emotions to gain support for the causes we believe in, and to move people to action. Politicians have known this for a long time, back to the days of Greece and Rome.” He hesitated.

“The Framers of the Constitution knew these things well” the Chief of staff put in. “Our Constitution and system of government is designed to limit the opportunities of demagogues to seize the popular will and create a dictatorship”.

“We have the Constitution, but most nations of the world do not; especially our opponents.” The President replied. “Even in our own history there have been many times the Constitution has been more observed in the breech than in practice. Woodrow Wilson basically imposed a Fascist government during the First World War. FDR ran pretty roughshod over the Constitution to implement the “New Deal”. I’m sure you are aware of other examples.

So that is the danger we face, getting lost and moving away from our principles during a time of war or crisis. I’m more worried about the other side, where there are few institutional barriers to direct rule and the temptation to use demagoguery to whip up the population into some sort of frenzy to make that last effort achieve victory or stave off defeat will be overwhelming. Once the EU or the Russians get to that point, then I think the situation will spiral out of control for the rest of us.

Can the United States take on the combined might of the world?"
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Chispa on November 18, 2011, 21:45:11
Interesting, If the Brits would of lost in the Plains of Abraham. We would be speaking French and part of the USA.

As for Winnie the Poo-Warmonger, Ifs are not needed. Winnie would of never excepted peace with Hitler, since he argued vigorously
pre war that Germany should be attacked. I would love to bring Old British skeletons out of the closet, however not worth the irritation.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 18, 2011, 22:09:40
Interesting, If the Brits would of lost in the Plains of Abraham. We would be speaking French and part of the USA.

As for Winnie the Poo-Warmonger, Ifs are not needed. Winnie would of never excepted peace with Hitler, since he argued vigorously
pre war that Germany should be attacked. I would love to bring Old British skeletons out of the closet, however not worth the irritation.



If Canada, such as it was in 1763, had become part of the USA then Canadians would not be speaking French.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Chispa on November 19, 2011, 20:36:02

If Canada, such as it was in 1763, had become part of the USA then Canadians would not be speaking French.

Hi  I'm in Quebec, however I'm not French therefore giving the perspective of les Frances Ici. Bataille des Plaines d'Abraham was in 1759 part of the 7 year war.
Ok Quebec would have ties to the US and the Maritimes would be speaking English and be part of Britain. Remember what happened in the 1837-38 rebellion, when Les Frères Chasseurs, Patroite Leaders and English supporters who succeeded in evading the English army which they reorganised in the United States.

Now Ici in Quebec even though we became British, in this day and age "French is the Official language of Québec". As an English speaking person Ici, I'm treated like a 3rd class citizen, and don't get me started on the racist bull I have to endure from some Frances, Ont est oux Quebec and Ici ont parlé français. However not all since some  Français ont a defrent view and go out of their way to speak English.

Its funny when U hear a French indavedual speaking in English to Moi and I'm responding en Français.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 19, 2011, 21:38:03
Hi  I'm in Quebec, however I'm not French therefore giving the perspective of les Frances Ici. Bataille des Plaines d'Abraham was in 1759 part of the 7 year war.
Ok Quebec would have ties to the US and the Maritimes would be speaking English and be part of Britain. Remember what happened in the 1837-38 rebellion, when Les Frères Chasseurs, Patroite Leaders and English supporters who succeeded in evading the English army which they reorganised in the United States.

Now Ici in Quebec even though we became British, in this day and age "French is the Official language of Québec". As an English speaking person Ici, I'm treated like a 3rd class citizen, and don't get me started on the racist bull I have to endure from some Frances, Ont est oux Quebec and Ici ont parlé français. However not all since some  Français ont a defrent view and go out of their way to speak English.

Its funny when U hear a French indavedual speaking in English to Moi and I'm responding en Français.


I don't really care where you are or what languages you or your neighbours might speak; I'm giving you a simple historical perspective. Had the French won in 1759 the expanding Americans - who had already taken Louisborg (1758) - would have taken French Québec, too, if not by 1763 then, certainly, by 1814. Québec would sound a lot like Florida, Louisiana and Texas: English.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Chispa on November 19, 2011, 22:26:28

I don't really care where you are or what languages you or your neighbours might speak; I'm giving you a simple historical perspective. Had the French won in 1759 the expanding Americans - who had already taken Louisborg (1758) - would have taken French Québec, too, if not by 1763 then, certainly, by 1814. Québec would sound a lot like Florida,
Louisiana and Texas: English.

Well I don't share your perspective, like I stated the British won and today "French is the Official language of Québec". No Ifs need Ici.
As for comparing Florida which was part of Spain and sold for $5,000,000, or a claim settlement, Louisiana Ak Arcadian and Texas your in the wrong field.

Have you been to Florida, you'll fined many areas that speak French and even have Case-Pop ect. Today a good portion of Americans speak Spanish then English, in a decade+ more Americans will be speaking Spanish then English.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on November 19, 2011, 23:13:37
Chispa:
The point is this: the Americans would not have been as generous as the British were in guaranteeing religious and language rights for Quebec.  Just as there are parts of the US in which one can find languages spoken other than English, ALL official public discourse would be in english.  That's the point that Mr. Campbell is making.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Retired AF Guy on November 20, 2011, 00:22:03

Have you been to Florida, you'll fined many areas that speak French and even have Case-Pop ect.

The only people who speak French in Florida are Quebecers who go there on holidays and live in their little enclaves.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: mariomike on November 20, 2011, 02:23:00
The only people who speak French in Florida are Quebecers who go there on holidays and live in their little enclaves.

"The dramatic increase in the number of people speaking French at home in Florida is largely attributable to a recent influx of Haitian immigrants, but French-Canadians still account for a large part of Florida's French fact."

"Now Haitian immigrants, whose French Creole is grouped with French for the purposes of the U.S. census, easily outnumber new arrivals from the north.  Dr. Jedwab said that 17,000 Haitians immigrated to Florida in 2001 alone. "

National Post
"French language thriving...in Florida"
October 15, 2003

Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: rmc_wannabe on November 20, 2011, 09:09:55

I don't really care where you are or what languages you or your neighbours might speak; I'm giving you a simple historical perspective. Had the French won in 1759 the expanding Americans - who had already taken Louisborg (1758) - would have taken French Québec, too, if not by 1763 then, certainly, by 1814. Québec would sound a lot like Florida, Louisiana and Texas: English.

This is a bit of a segway, but I was having this discussion with a colleague one night over beers:

What would Canada look like if the British weren't as lenient as they were with Quebec? Historically, Quebec was an odd exception in the Empire's history in that non-Protestants were allowed to swear allegiance and hold public office, the cultural laws of the people were allowed in private matters, and language rights were protected.

What if the British just said "No?" Would the American Revolutionaries have had an ally to the North? Would there have been a Revolution in the first place due to the RP of 1763 and Quebec Act (a major stinging point for the Americans) being non existent or not as aggravating? Perhaps the revolution would have started in Quebec?

Also, with the lack of a distinct and separate culture in our midst, would Canada have pushed for more independence/distance from the Crown? Would there even be a modern Separatist issue with Quebec, since they would have melted into the pot like the rest of the continent?

Any thoughts?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on November 20, 2011, 09:25:09
Perhaps if the British had not been so lenient, there might have been a migration to Louisiana, which remained as a French possession, or to the colonies in the West Indies. While we think of Louisiana as a state, it once was quite a bit larger. Consider the places in the mid west with names like St Louis, Terre Haute and Des Moines. There probably would still have been a revolution because of issues like taxation withour representation and the attempt to limit the westward expansion of the population. Which way Quebec and Nova Scotia would have gone is an open question, not to mention PEI and Newfoundland?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 20, 2011, 09:28:25
This is a bit of a segway, but I was having this discussion with a colleague one night over beers:

What would Canada look like if the British weren't as lenient as they were with Quebec? Historically, Quebec was an odd exception in the Empire's history in that non-Protestants were allowed to swear allegiance and hold public office, the cultural laws of the people were allowed in private matters, and language rights were protected.

What if the British just said "No?" Would the American Revolutionaries have had an ally to the North? Would there have been a Revolution in the first place due to the RP of 1763 and Quebec Act (a major stinging point for the Americans) being non existent or not as aggravating? Perhaps the revolution would have started in Quebec?

Also, with the lack of a distinct and separate culture in our midst, would Canada have pushed for more independence/distance from the Crown? Would there even be a modern Separatist issue with Quebec, since they would have melted into the pot like the rest of the continent?

Any thoughts?


I can deal only with your last point.

Most historians (with whose work I am familiar, at least) agree that independence, such as it was in 1867, was not so much sought by the Canadians as it was imposed by the British, largely for economic reasons - they, the Brits, were tired of paying for colonial defence. Thus, Québec is less a catalyst for independence than it is a 'victim,' and Québec's culture of 'humiliation' begins in the run-up to 1867 when French speaking colonists begin to worry that there is an English plot to take away their linguistic, legal and political rights.

I think the Québec separatist movement is a result of the 20th century 'world' rather than anything particularly Canadian. There was, still is I suspect, a lot of Anglo disdain for French and for French Canadians as people, but my guess is that disdain was/is fuel for the fire rather than the fire starter.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: rmc_wannabe on November 20, 2011, 12:18:40
Perhaps if the British had not been so lenient, there might have been a migration to Louisiana, which remained as a French possession, or to the colonies in the West Indies. While we think of Louisiana as a state, it once was quite a bit larger. Consider the places in the mid west with names like St Louis, Terre Haute and Des Moines. There probably would still have been a revolution because of issues like taxation withour representation and the attempt to limit the westward expansion of the population. Which way Quebec and Nova Scotia would have gone is an open question, not to mention PEI and Newfoundland?

From what I have read, its seems that all those taxes were merely the Deficit Reduction Action Plan of the day for the most part.

The Quebec Act seemed to sour your average American because of

a) a distinct hatred of the French (their former enemy now getting preferential treatment over loyal subjects who served the Crown to fight the French),

b) the expansion of Quebec's borders into the Ohio Valley, which was previously banned in the RP 1763 but also given in Royal Charter to companies in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and

c) it was viewed by some in the Thirteen colonies as an encroachment on religious beliefs by allow Catholicism in one of the colonies.

I wonder if the independence movement would have gone as far as it did if it hadn't reached the lower tiers of society in such a way. Merchants and the upper-class for the most part opposed the taxation. Frontiersmen and protestants really rallied to the cause after there was an affront to their interests.

As for the Louisiana migration, I wonder if they would have gone. King Louis pretty much left New France to the wolves, and if my memory serves me correctly, Louisiana became under Spanish control in the Treaty of Fontainebleau of 1763. they were already taking in quite a few Acadians after the Expulsion by the British, how many is too many? If anything, my guess is that New France would have become Newer France somewhere in Manitoba or Alberta.


Quote
I can deal only with your last point.

Most historians (with whose work I am familiar, at least) agree that independence, such as it was in 1867, was not so much sought by the Canadians as it was imposed by the British, largely for economic reasons - they, the Brits, were tired of paying for colonial defence.


Interesting, I've never seen that point of view on the BNA Act. I was always of the school of thought that it was the teenager getting frustrated rather than the parents telling us to spread our wings. I'll have to read into this a little more. "


Quote
Thus, Québec is less a catalyst for independence than it is a 'victim,' and Québec's culture of 'humiliation' begins in the run-up to 1867 when French speaking colonists begin to worry that there is an English plot to take away their linguistic, legal and political rights.

So does this mean if there were no linguistic, legal, or political rights in the first place (meaning, no Quebec Act 1774) would the separatist movement of the 20th Century have taken form? Its hard to fight oppression if the culture you had has been conquered, and eventually bred out through co-mingling.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on November 20, 2011, 12:35:48
Confederation was by no means a done deal as late as 1866. It can be argued that the Fenians were the catalyst that finally drove the project. Interestingly, of the three invasions of 1866, it was the least well known one - the foray into Southwestern New Brunswick - that persuaded that colony to join the Confederation movement.

The government of the United Provinces of Canada and later the Dominion of Canada was obsessed with the Fenian threat, by the way. Sir John A Macdonald's papers in the Public Archives consist of some 17,000 items. Recently an historian who had examined them asked an audience for their estimates of how many of Sir John A's papers mentioned the Fenians. Guesses were in the nature of zero to five. The correct answer was 5,000.

What would have happened if the Fenian movement has not moved on Canada? It is quite possible Confederation would not have taken place.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 20, 2011, 13:22:54
Confederation was by no means a done deal as late as 1866. It can be argued that the Fenians were the catalyst that finally drove the project. Interestingly, of the three invasions of 1866, it was the least well known one - the foray into Southwestern New Brunswick - that persuaded that colony to join the Confederation movement.

The government of the United Provinces of Canada and later the Dominion of Canada was obsessed with the Fenian threat, by the way. Sir John A Macdonald's papers in the Public Archives consist of some 17,000 items. Recently an historian who had examined them asked an audience for their estimates of how many of Sir John A's papers mentioned the Fenians. Guesses were in the nature of zero to five. The correct answer was 5,000.

What would have happened if the Fenian movement has not moved on Canada? It is quite possible Confederation would not have taken place.


But, I would argue, we would still have had three or maybe even four dominions in what is now Canada: Ontario, Québec and one or more Atlantic dominions, because the British were hell bent on having us "spread our wings" and, more importantly, pay our own way. I strongly doubt, after the united Canada experiment that Upper Canada/Canada West/Ontario and Lower Canada/Canada East/Québec would have agreed to be one unitary dominion. But there might never have been a separatist movement if Québec had been an independent (as independent as Canada was in 1867) dominion in 1867.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: rmc_wannabe on November 20, 2011, 13:52:58

But, I would argue, we would still have had three or maybe even four dominions in what is now Canada: Ontario, Québec and one or more Atlantic dominions, because the British were hell bent on having us "spread our wings" and, more importantly, pay our own way. I strongly doubt, after the united Canada experiment that Upper Canada/Canada West/Ontario and Lower Canada/Canada East/Québec would have agreed to be one unitary dominion. But there might never have been a separatist movement if Québec had been an independent (as independent as Canada was in 1867) dominion in 1867.

Perhaps one of the follies of history? Would there be the same perceived political imbalance, and the separatist movements in the federation that is Canada (as we see it now) if Confederation happened post dominion status for Quebec? Perhaps having an independent Quebec, Ontario, Atlantic Provinces, etc. for a little while (50-60 years) would have worked out a lot of the kinks in today's Canada.. Mainly, the provinces would be in more of a position to realize "Man, this  is hard to do by yourself... maybe we are stronger as a group than by ourselves" etc.  It seemingly did for Newfoundland; pride in one's roots, but loyalty to the collective.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on November 20, 2011, 14:21:17
Perhaps one of the follies of history? Would there be the same perceived political imbalance, and the separatist movements in the federation that is Canada (as we see it now) if Confederation happened post dominion status for Quebec? Perhaps having an independent Quebec, Ontario, Atlantic Provinces, etc. for a little while (50-60 years) would have worked out a lot of the kinks in today's Canada.. Mainly, the provinces would be in more of a position to realize "Man, this  is hard to do by yourself... maybe we are stronger as a group than by ourselves" etc.  It seemingly did for Newfoundland; pride in one's roots, but loyalty to the collective.
It is also quite possible that one by one some or all of the (self-governing or not) colonies of British North America could have slipped into the American union. There also is the issue of what would have happened to Rupert's Land, the vast territory administered by the HBC. It could have been transferred to one of the dominions, or it could have slipped into American control. The second Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Alexander MacKenzie, suggested to the Governor General that rather than going to the expense of forming the NWMP, the US Army be invited to pacify the Canadian prairies.

Without Atlantic Canada, which was very, very prosperous back then, I could not see Canada having the financial werwithal to absorb Rupert's Land and to start to construct the CPR. That also meant that BC may not have joined the Dominion. Without the CPR to provide access across the top of Lake Superior to the West, a Canada stretching from sea to sea was not a viable option.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Retired AF Guy on November 20, 2011, 14:23:26
"The dramatic increase in the number of people speaking French at home in Florida is largely attributable to a recent influx of Haitian immigrants, but French-Canadians still account for a large part of Florida's French fact."

"Now Haitian immigrants, whose French Creole is grouped with French for the purposes of the U.S. census, easily outnumber new arrivals from the north.  Dr. Jedwab said that 17,000 Haitians immigrated to Florida in 2001 alone. "

National Post
"French language thriving...in Florida"
October 15, 2003

Didn't realize there were so many Haitians in Florida. Appreciate the clarification.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Retired AF Guy on November 20, 2011, 14:38:21
This is a bit of a segway, but I was having this discussion with a colleague one night over beers:

What would Canada look like if the British weren't as lenient as they were with Quebec? Historically, Quebec was an odd exception in the Empire's history in that non-Protestants were allowed to swear allegiance and hold public office, the cultural laws of the people were allowed in private matters, and language rights were protected.

What if the British just said "No?" Would the American Revolutionaries have had an ally to the North? Would there have been a Revolution in the first place due to the RP of 1763 and Quebec Act (a major stinging point for the Americans) being non existent or not as aggravating? Perhaps the revolution would have started in Quebec?

Also, with the lack of a distinct and separate culture in our midst, would Canada have pushed for more independence/distance from the Crown? Would there even be a modern Separatist issue with Quebec, since they would have melted into the pot like the rest of the continent?

Any thoughts?

Look at what happened in Nova Scotia. The British were outraged at what they saw as a betrayal by the French after the British forces had surrendered at  Fort William Henry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_William_Henry). After Fort William Henry, the British and Americans took a hardline stance regarding the fight against the French. Therefore, when Louisbourg fell, all the French colonists in Nova Scotia were deported in retaliation. I would think the same thing could have happened to the French in Quebec if Wolfe hadn't been so generous.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: rmc_wannabe on November 20, 2011, 14:50:01
Look at what happened in Nova Scotia. The British were outraged at what they saw as a betrayal by the French after the British forces had surrendered at  Fort William Henry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_William_Henry). After Fort William Henry, the British and Americans took a hardline stance regarding the fight against the French. Therefore, when Louisbourg fell, all the French colonists in Nova Scotia were deported in retaliation. I would think the same thing could have happened to the French in Quebec if Wolfe hadn't been so generous.

Wolfe was dead before the fat lady sang. You bring up a good point. Perhaps if he was still alive he would have pushed for a more hardline stance on the Quebecios like he did in Acadia. He sure as hell was prepared to raze Quebec City in his tactics.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on November 20, 2011, 15:05:50
Wolfe was dead before the fat lady sang. You bring up a good point. Perhaps if he was still alive he would have pushed for a more hardline stance on the Quebecios like he did in Acadia. He sure as hell was prepared to raze Quebec City in his tactics.
While the siege was underway Rangers from New England were burning and pillaging along the lower St Lawrence, so there is some merit in the point.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: rmc_wannabe on November 20, 2011, 15:18:11
While the siege was underway Rangers from New England were burning and pillaging along the lower St Lawrence, so there is some merit in the point.

Oh I was in agreement, I was just pointing out that Wolfe died before the end of the campaign and therefore had no hand in the policy making after the war. I think its no secret Wolfe had a passion for killing, destroying and pillaging the French.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: RangerRay on November 20, 2011, 16:58:27
If the eastern provinces had not joined together in Confederation, it would be interesting to know what would have happened to the Crown Colony of British Columbia.  Before the Fraser and Cariboo gold rushes of the 1850's, what is now the British Columbia mainland (i.e. New Caledonia) was British territory administered by the HBC.  It was not until boatloads of American miners started to arrive in Victoria and New Westminster to head up the Fraser Canyon that Governor Douglas of the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island unilaterally asserted British authority on the Mainland territory.  This led to the creation of the Crown Colony of British Columbia and the eventual merger of Vancouver Island and British Columbia colonies.

Now, around the time that BC joined Confederation in the late 1860's - early 1870's, there were three camps: those who wanted the US to annex BC, those who wanted BC to join Confederation, and those who wanted BC to remain a British crown colony.  London wanted to be rid of BC and it's huge debt.  BC eventually joined Confederation because Canada promised to build a railway and take on the colony's debts, as well as pressure from London to do so.  So had Confederation of the eastern provinces never happened, would BC have become a self-governing Dominion, or would it have been annexed by the US?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Retired AF Guy on November 20, 2011, 18:18:37
Wolfe was dead before the fat lady sang. You bring up a good point. Perhaps if he was still alive he would have pushed for a more hardline stance on the Quebecios like he did in Acadia. He sure as hell was prepared to raze Quebec City in his tactics.

Yes, the British and Americans forces burned and pillaged the Quebec countryside, but that was a pretty standard tactic in those days and was intended to force the French forces besieged in Q.C. to either surrender or to come out and do battle. And it was my understanding was that it was Wolfe who had drawn up the generous provisions that preserved the Quebecers language/religious/political institutions
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: rmc_wannabe on November 21, 2011, 09:10:19
Yes, the British and Americans forces burned and pillaged the Quebec countryside, but that was a pretty standard tactic in those days and was intended to force the French forces besieged in Q.C. to either surrender or to come out and do battle. And it was my understanding was that it was Wolfe who had drawn up the generous provisions that preserved the Quebecers language/religious/political institutions

From Wolfe's letters to Amherst in 1759:"If, by accident in the river, by the enemy’s resistance, by sickness or slaughter in the army, or, from any other cause, we find that Quebec is not likely to fall into our hands (persevering however to the last moment), I propose to set the town on fire with shells, to destroy the harvest, houses and cattle, both above and below, to send off as many Canadians as possible to Europe and to leave famine and desolation behind me; but we must teach these scoundrels to make war in a more gentleman like manner."

The Articles for Caputulation for Quebec were drafted and agreed upon by Admiral Sir Charles Saunders and General George Townshend . It wasn't until Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas-Roch de Ramezay, King's Lieutenant for Quebec placed his terms:the honours of war, the protection of the civilians and their properties, the free exercise of the Roman Catholic religion that Quebec had any hope in hell to retain their way of life.

Wolfe's previous statment doesn't marry up to these terms and my guess is that if he was alive to see the Articles he'd have refused them.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Chispa on November 21, 2011, 21:07:08
Chispa:
The point is this: the Americans would not have been as generous as the British were in guaranteeing religious and language rights for Quebec.  Just as there are parts of the US in which one can find languages spoken other than English, ALL official public discourse would be in english.  That's the point that Mr. Campbell is making.

His point was clear, however his simple perspective on history as dates given???

The British were generous? After they murdered, burned, raped, ect., according to French Québec Historians, ect. Also see "Chateau Clique" which L.J. Papineau Jr., of the "Patriotes Party" complained vigorously with an assembly with no power, since any legislation passed was revoked by the Big Wigs if they developed a stiff upper lip. And the Powers given to Les Frances aka Canadien, was just smoke and mirrors.

The Acadians were given by Spain and the USA Guaranteed religious and language rights ect., In Louisiana, Texas, Florida, ect. The US would of giving “Les Canadien” those same rights or would of never attacked them Under French Rule. Why? History clearly showed, if Spain wouldn't of helped France and the American colonists, the British would have surely defeated the Independence movement of the Thirteen Colonies. Its Historically noted by the USA. General Bernardo De Galvez of Spain were providing the American colonists along the entire length of the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico, as far north as Canada with food, medicine, guns/cannons, gunpowder, uniforms and money etc.

 “ALL official public discourse would be in English”. Therefore ALL official public discourse were not in English, maybe Louisiana only starting in 1804. I believe only 12 counties and completely English by 1812.

As for Canadians having our Independence from the British in 1867 ect., the umbilical cord hasn't been served Yet. Canadian money has British all over it, remember there's three sides to a coin, not two. When we become Canadians or join CF. we have to swear our allegiance to the Queen of England, no mention of Canada, which I fined appalling ect., in fact I refused.  Make no mistake, my alliance is to Canada and to the Brave women and men that serve the Canadian Corps.

The unjustified -270 points or point system the site has are trivial.  P.S. this or all open forums are for friendly discussion and shouldn't be taken seriously, since we all have different opinions. Mutual respect ect., should be the rule of thumb, even if we don't share the same point of view or especially getting the History wrong or because not properly informed.

However I do thank you for the heads-up, and your civil response.



Quote
I'm giving you a simple historical perspective. Had the French won in 1759 the expanding Americans - who had already taken Louisborg (1758) - would have taken French Québec, too, if not by 1763 then, certainly, by 1814. Québec would sound a lot like Florida, Louisiana and Texas: English.


TEXAS
French Texas 1684–1689= French
Spanish Texas 1690–1821= Spanish
Mexican Texas 1821–1836= Spanish
Republic of Texas 1836-1845=English

Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, and became an independent Republic. However it only joined the USA in 1845, as the “28th State”.


Florida became an organized territory of the United States only on March 30, 1822.


Louisiana remained under Spain's control until a transfer of power to France in 1803. Then came the "Louisiana Purchase" 1804, however certain areas still remained under Spain's control until 1812. It’s to be noted, “The Louisiana Purchase” was illegal, described pointedly by, historian Henry Adams, who wrote: "The sale of Louisiana to the United States was trebly invalid; if it were French property, Bonaparte could not constitutionally alienate it without the consent of the Chambers; if it were “Spanish Property”, he could not alienate it at all; if Spain had a right of reclamation, his sale was worthless." according to Walter Nugent. Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansionism. pp. 65–68.

Today 5.5m live in Louisiana around  200,000 households speak French, which is taught in schools as a second language. Source; Louisiana Sensuous.

This is Fact French Haitians all over Florida in this day and age.


Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: RangerRay on November 22, 2011, 22:14:19
When we become Canadians or join CF. we have to swear our allegiance to the Queen of England, no mention of Canada, which I fined appalling ect., .

 :off topic:

Funny...my oath of allegiance scroll read "...I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, QUEEN OF CANADA, etc., etc..." (my emphasis added).

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Ex-SHAD on February 21, 2012, 07:23:20
Now here's an interesting "What If":

What if the Government of Canada, had against both international opinion at the time, and the "Official" opinion of members of the Commonwealth, openly support Ian Smith and his Rhodesian Government?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: medicineman on February 21, 2012, 10:29:03
Now here's an interesting "What If":

What if the Government of Canada, had against both international opinion at the time, and the "Official" opinion of members of the Commonwealth, openly support Ian Smith and his Rhodesian Government?

We'd be short 1 large province and gained two smaller one's in St Pierre and Miquelon?

MM
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Remius on February 21, 2012, 11:13:29
I like how most here gloss over or forget the rebellions in Lower Canada.  The "canadiens" obviously felt slighted and treated unfairly so much so that they had open rebellions over it.  Oh and about the raping and pillaging that went on...keep in mind that was after the second rebellion.  the instigators had been pardonned for the first one as a show of good will.  Also, in one of the last battles the "canadiens" feigned surrender and then open fire on the approaching British troops.  Let's just say they weren't too happy about that one.  But you don't learn that in french school.

So one could assume that if they had not been allowed to keep their civil code of law and freedom of religion rebellion or revolt or collusion with the US could have happened sooner.  You might have even seen a french version of Ireland develop.

They key though was allowing the Catholic Church to continue and hold its own power.  Had the British gone after the church things would be a lot different.  They had a LOT of influence and by keeping them, placated and in cahoots with them they could keep the population happy and docile.  Maybe not happy but docile.  To this day there is still resentment against the church for their part in working with the English.  After the quiet revolution Quebec moved to unshackle itself of the church.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on February 21, 2012, 17:06:59
Of course during that period, all churches had a great deal of civil as well as moral authority. The British used the Catholic Church in Quebec as a stabilizing force much the way the Church of England was seen as a stabilizing force back home. (Even during the Napoleonic wars, less than a half century later, English Christians who were not part of the Anglican Church were treated with suspicion, and Methodists in particular were harrassed and persecuted for their beliefs).

The question as to if this was the correct decision needs to be examined in light of what was known and understood at the time, not with 20/20 hindsight. Even with 20/20 hindsight, if you asked this question in 1950, you would get a much different answer than the same question in 1960, 1970, 1980 etc.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Remius on February 21, 2012, 18:37:56
So true.  What we perceive as being ruthless by today's standards might have been seen as progressive or compromising back then.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on January 24, 2013, 00:21:29
Bringing back a fun thread. Here is the real life basis for a "what if" of epic proportions: Operation UNTHINKABLE, the liberation of Eastern Europe by the Western Allies starting 1 July 1945:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/01/operation-unthinkable-even-with-nuclear.html

Quote
Operation Unthinkable - Even With Nuclear Weapons Western Powers Had No way to Free Eastern Europe by Force of Arms
 
Operation Unthinkable was a code-name of two related plans of a conflict between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. Both were ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces' Joint Planning Staff at the end of World War II in Europe.
 
The first of the two assumed a surprise attack on the Soviet forces stationed in Germany in order to "impose the will of the Western Allies" on the Soviets and force Joseph Stalin to honour the agreements in regards to the future of Central Europe. When the odds were judged "fanciful", the original plan was abandoned. The code-name was used instead for a defensive scenario, in which the British were to defend against a Soviet drive towards the North Sea and the Atlantic following the withdrawal of the American forces from the continent.
 
The study became the first of Cold War-era contingency plans for war with the Soviet Union. Both plans were highly secret at the time of their creation and it was not until 1998 that they were made public
 
The Soviet numerical superiority was roughly 4:1 in men and 2:1 in tanks at the end of hostilities in Europe. The Soviet Union had yet to launch its attack on Japan, and so one assumption in the report was that the Soviet Union would instead ally with Japan if the Western Allies commenced hostilities.
 
The hypothetical date for the start of the Allied invasion of Soviet-held Europe was scheduled for 1 July 1945. The plan assumed a surprise attack by up to 47 British and American divisions in the area of Dresden, in the middle of Soviet lines. This represented almost a half of roughly 100 divisions (ca. 2.5 million men) available to the British, American and Canadian headquarters at that time.
 
The plan was taken by the British Chiefs of Staff Committee as militarily unfeasible due to a three-to-one superiority of Soviet land forces in Europe and the Middle East, where the conflict was projected to take place. The majority of any offensive operation would have been undertaken by American and British forces, as well as Polish forces and up to 100,000 German Wehrmacht soldiers. Any quick success would be due to surprise alone. If a quick success could not be obtained before the onset of winter, the assessment was that the Allies would be committed to a total war which would be protracted. In the report of 22 May 1945, an offensive operation was deemed "hazardous".
 
The Dailymail had coverage when this information was first released.
 
Given the acute sensitivity of their draft proposal for what was termed Operation Unthinkable, security was at a premium. Needless to say, too, Stalin learned very quickly what was going on in the British camp.

One of the many spies he had in Whitehall swiftly conveyed to Moscow tidings of an instruction that had gone out from London to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, the senior British commander in Germany, urging him to stockpile captured German weapons for possible future use.

In the report the planners drew up for the PM, they were quick with their reservations, pointing out that the Russians could resort to the same tactics they had employed with such success against the Germans, giving ground amid the infinite spaces of the Soviet Union.
 
Ultimately, Churchill knew in his heart that the tyranny established by the Red Army could not be undone either through diplomacy or by force of arms. But he never doubted the malevolence of Soviet intentions in Eastern Europe, and indeed around the world, and in that regard he was ahead of his time.

In the years after the war, it became progressively apparent that the Western Allies would have to adopt the strongest possible defensive measures against further Soviet aggression in Europe.
 
The U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Japanese town Nagasaki, on August 9, 1945 - the month before Churchill got inside knowledge at Potsdam that they had completed a successful test of the bomb emboldening him to bring Stalin to heel
 
In August 1946, the U.S. chiefs of staff became sufficiently fearful of conflict with the Russians to initiate military planning for such a contingency. In London, the 'Unthinkable' file was taken out and dusted down.

Though at no time was it ever deemed politically acceptable or militarily practicable to attempt to free Eastern Europe by force of arms, military preparations for a conflict with the Soviet Union became a staple of the Cold War.
 
NBF - If the US did not have nuclear weapons, Stalin probably would not have been deterred from taking the rest of Europe after WW2.

Populations
 
Russia had a population of about 110 million in 1945 and the Soviet Union a population of about 180 million.
 
The US population was 140 million in 1945
 
Britain's population in 1945 was 47 million.

From a military perspective it may or may not have been doable (read the comments following the post at the link), obviously there was no political will to carry it out in our history, but Winston Churchill could be persuasive, and of course a big "what if" might be if FDR had not died in office when he did.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Danjanou on January 24, 2013, 15:57:07
We'd be short 1 large province and gained two smaller one's in St Pierre and Miquelon?

MM

Ok I'll bite which Province would leave as a result of us supporting UDI?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on January 24, 2013, 22:03:06
Bringing back a fun thread. Here is the real life basis for a "what if" of epic proportions: Operation UNTHINKABLE, the liberation of Eastern Europe by the Western Allies starting 1 July 1945:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/01/operation-unthinkable-even-with-nuclear.html

From a military perspective it may or may not have been doable (read the comments following the post at the link), obviously there was no political will to carry it out in our history, but Winston Churchill could be persuasive, and of course a big "what if" might be if FDR had not died in office when he did.

Interesting.  The Soviet Union was in tatters thanks to the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS.  It would all come down to logistics.  Without the supply coming from the Allies, the USSR would have folded in probably 1942.  It would be interesting to game this out...
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on January 25, 2013, 07:29:24
I think it was not on the cards and would not have been after the end of the war in the Pacific. Our propaganda machine had spent several years extolling "Uncle Joe" and the Red Army as our heroic allies battling the Nazi hordes. To turn around and go to war against the USSR would have been politcally unthinkable, and Churchill was out of office, replaced by the Labour Party which saw the Soviets as its natural comrades in the class struggle.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on January 25, 2013, 08:17:53
No, it was not in the cards (the British staff were not very keen on the idea in the first place, and the political will was not there), but Churchill was not the only one who was thinking that way (Patton was not very subtle about viewing the Russians as potential enemies, and it must have crossed a lot of other minds as well), and there is one school of thought which suggests that the use of the atomic bomb was a warning to Stalin as well as a quick way to end the Pacific war.

So as a "what if" we have a massive Red Army flush with victory but at the end of a long logistical train, a probably ambivilent Allied force, millions of newly conquered people yearning for liberation and still (at that time) willing to fight for it. It would also be interesting to see what the various Allied powers would see as "Victory". Do they drive to Moscow or just stop at the Dneiper River? The Polish Border? The Baltic States? The final question is would the United States be willing to go nuclear in such a war?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Sythen on January 25, 2013, 19:43:23
I was browsing reddit.com today, and saw this post:

http://www.reddit.com/r/HistoryPorn/comments/178t5q/adolf_hitler_age_35_on_his_release_from/c83eqme

In it, user taranaki says the following:

Quote
I would bet that in about 100 years there will be a pseudo-lionization of Adolf Hitler. The emotional horror he inflicted will have worn off, and thus history will view his shadow rather than the ugly man he was. He will still be seen as a "bad" man, who did horrible things. However I suspect there will be a creeping undercurrent of sentiment similar to that of say Ghengis Khan. That he was a man who "DID" things. He had drive, initiative, and daring. Many of his actions will still be seen as monstrous, but the sentiment that he was a "Great" man in the sense of his objective actions may exist (again ignoring morality because history rarely remembers OR cares). Someone who grabbed the reins of a crumbled dilapidated country and in under a decade took it to the brink of conquering the entire world vs an alliance of nearly every other major power. How many others could claim such a feat? Yes he failed, but so did Napoleon. Yes he invaded, murdered, and conquered other countries, but so did Ghengis Khan. Yes he took a republic and turned it into a dictatorship, but so did Julias Caesar. All these men have been lionized by history none the less.

I am not saying I agree, but you can see the subtle undercurrent happening already. And frankly it happens to almost everyone. Napoleon as I mentioned a man who today is seen as "great" though at the time his name was spit upon by anyone outside of France. Ghengis Khan is another example. Put thousands of innocents to the sword. Seen as a great man. Who here even remembers, yet alone vilifies, the mongolians for the Sack of Merv, where 600,000-1,000,000 men, women, and children in ONE CITY were put to the sword? One of the single bloodies acts in all human history. Hell even PIRATES are seen as awesome now. You know, the guys would would enslave your son and daughter while raping your wife during your travel by ship.

Even in 100 years I doubt anyone will be openly praising Hitler, but a kind of begrudged respect (respect is not quite the word im looking for) might develop. By 300 years, who knows how he will be talked about. History plays interesting tricks on the human collective psyche

Most what ifs people talk about are imagining what might have happened. I think this is an interesting what might happen, if I worded that right?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Thucydides on January 25, 2013, 21:10:38
In SFnal circles this is called "future history", and indeed cycles of novels have been written using this as a basis. The main issue with future history is that real history rarely cooperates.

Jerry Pournelle wrote a great series (now collectively known as the Co Dominium cycle, with one of the better sub parts known as Falkenberg's Legion). The basis was the apparent permanence of the Cold War as seen from the mid 1970's, and the creeping growth of the Bureucratic welfare state in the United States at the same time. In this future history, the US and USSR decide that while they hate each other, they hate the idea of other nations rising to challenge them even more, and band together to divide the Earth between them (The Co Dominium) and take control of science and industry to prevent unexpected scientific or industreal developments from threatening their position. Perhaps luckily for them, a form of cheap spaceflight is discovered during the consolodation, and the Co Dominium uses this to send criminals, non conformists and even entire populations into permanent exile away from Earth. Pournell knows his stuff, and predicted that the Co Dominium itself would become ossified and eventually collapse under internal stress.

In the real world, of course, internal stresses did in the USSR and the Cold War was won by the United States, setting up an entirely different set of conditions.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on January 11, 2017, 15:23:05
NECRO THREAD BUMP

So, A while back I wrote what amounted to a short story about an alternate history where Hitler is assassinated in 1943.  Well, I'm going to alternate *that* history. 

I learned recently that in 1943, after Stalingrad but before Kursk, the USSR made feelers for peace with the Germans.  In real life, these weren't considered seriously by Germany until later 1943.  By then, the Soviets were less serious, changed their conditions and of course as the fortunes turned more and more against Germany, those offers were withdrawn.

So, I will take this thread thus:

Stalingrad occurs just as in our timeline.
Von Manstein's counter blow restores the front and deals the Reds a serious blow, just as in our timeline.
Hitler goes to the Ukraine to meet with his front HQs to discuss the upcoming summer offensive, just as in our timeline.
German and Soviet agents meet in Sweden to discuss feelers for peace, returning to the borders of September 1, 1939 (this means a free Baltic States and for Finland as well, FYI), just as in our timeline
*Plot Twist*  The assassination attempt on Hitler (which failed in real life) succeeds in my alternate universe.  The new Führer, Hermann Goering, pursues the feelers, makes some counter proposals for borders (nothing major) and suspends the Kursk offensive.
So, how would the war in the West proceed?  Would the USSR then pursue a war with Japan?  Would Stalin survive?  The invasion of Sicily and subsequently Italy would occur, just as in our timeline, but by October 1943, the German Army is really reinforcing the west (It maintains a strong presence on the Eastern "border" with the USSR and its puppet state of Poland, naturally), but how would this affect the war in Italy?  How would the defences of France look?  In our timeline, 3rd Canadian Division faced off against 3 Panzer Divisions (albeit they were sent in piecemeal and not as a proper corps) and emerged victorious.  How would the landings survive a counter blow by the 1st SS Panzer Korps?  Would there be landings?


I'll ponder this and ponder that and see what I can come up with! 

Cheers!

:salute:
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on January 11, 2017, 15:49:44
To pursue the Normandy scenario, I wonder if the Allied grand strategy would have remained in place. Re 1 SS Panzer Corps, would Diettrich, who was a crony of Hitler, have stayed in command, or would he even have survived?

As you probably know, the mission of the 3rd Canadian Division was to hold the key terrain in Normandy and defeat the German armoured counter-attack, which it did. However the corps was without 1st SS Panzer Division for a significant period as it was watching the Pas de Calais. I refer here to Mark Milner's Stopping the Panzers.

Would Goering and the Nazis have remained in power? Would whoever took over really have trusted Stalin? What would Stalin have done in the Nazis were deposed. I suggest he would have resumed the struggle against the Germans, and let Japan wait.

(You are making my head hurt.)
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on January 11, 2017, 16:12:11
To pursue the Normandy scenario, I wonder if the Allied grand strategy would have remained in place. Re 1 SS Panzer Corps, would Diettrich, who was a crony of Hitler, have stayed in command, or would he even have survived?

As you probably know, the mission of the 3rd Canadian Division was to hold the key terrain in Normandy and defeat the German armoured counter-attack, which it did. However the corps was without 1st SS Panzer Division for a significant period as it was watching the Pas de Calais. I refer here to Mark Milner's Stopping the Panzers.

Would Goering and the Nazis have remained in power? Would whoever took over really have trusted Stalin? What would Stalin have done in the Nazis were deposed. I suggest he would have resumed the struggle against the Germans, and let Japan wait.

(You are making my head hurt.)
I have indeed read Marc Milner's book (I have an autographed copy). 

So, instead of a June 1944 invasion in Normandy, would they instead invade much further south, away from Germany, supported by a fleet of Air Craft Carriers, drawing the Germans in for a war of attrition as they developed The Bomb?

(I mention 1 SS Panzer Corps only because it was a very powerful force.  Heck, any Panzer Corps, ably handled, would have given us headaches at Normandy.  Thankfully we had the infighting between 12 SS, the Thugs lead by Criminals as Milner calls them, and Panzer Lehr and 21st Panzer)

Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on January 11, 2017, 17:21:10
Some moot points, but I don't think even an armada of aircraft carriers would have given the Allies the air power to operate outside of fighter range of the UK.

As you have read Marc's book, you will recall the assessment by a Canadian officer about the Germans including the Waffen SS, that they tried to fight the invaders as if they were Russians and failed miserably. Despite having been bombarded by "history" that made the Germans out to be super soldiers, I concluded quite a while ago that they failed miserably, when they had a fair chance of succeeding, and that was because of sloppy tactics. They had a major tactical shortcoming, which was the same one we used against them in the Great War; they had an almost automatic response to any tactical set back, to mount a local counter-attack with whatever was available without considering the situation other than to adopt the most obvious course. They were real good soldiers at the company and below and pretty good at the battalion level, but above that they operated by rote. Fortunately for them, they had some really good kit.

Do you think you could see the Allies mounting the invasion through the south of France where the 15 August "follow-on" landing took place?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on January 11, 2017, 18:33:37

Do you think you could see the Allies mounting the invasion through the south of France where the 15 August "follow-on" landing took place?

I'm not sure.
Another thing I hadn't thought was the relative "safety" of Romania,  etc from bombing raids.  Also a Luftwaffe that wasn't as badly mauled as we faced in 1944.

Maybe we decide to avoid their strength and just wait for The Bomb? Or invade in Normandy (for the same reasons as in our timeline), and let them blunt themselves against us. Even without the USSR, we had greater depths of resources.

I think that once the war ends (in stalemate or otherwise), the post war world would be quite interesting.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Old Sweat on January 11, 2017, 18:50:52
I had considered the state of the Luftwaffe. What is moot is the prospect of another "trench warfare" stalemate in Western Europe. I do think Churchill and perhaps Roosevelt would have pondered the possibility of negotiations with a Nazi-less Germany. The former would also have considered the requirement to contain the USSR, although the latter was more "progressive" in his outlook. Both would have looked forward to turning their attention to Japan, the Americans to avenge Pearl Harbor, and the British to re-establish the Empire.

Re the Bomb, the very few people aware of the programme, and that included MacKenzie King as we were providing much of the fissionable material, must also have had wondered if it would work. Yes, and the Allies were working to derail the German efforts in the same area.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: rmc_wannabe on January 11, 2017, 22:29:11
Plot twist:

Its 1944. Things are going badly for the Germans on all fronts. Hitler realises he cannot win unless he slows the Allied advance. So he does something unthinkable; He uses captured Jews as human shields.

Not in the literal sense, however, rather than transporting them to Dachau or Auschwitz; thousands of sick, injured, and malnourished refugees flood Allied held territories. This sudden humanitarian crisis brings the advance to a crawl and buys Hitler time to either capitulate or counter attack.

Forgetting the fact that the Nazis were fanatical about commiting these attrocities, in what if terms; what if the Nazis put aside ideology in favour of a military stalemate or possible victory? How much man power would it have freed up, and also, how big of a drain would it have been on the allies to cope with a humanitarian crisis of that scale?
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Rifleman62 on January 12, 2017, 11:49:05
The war in the Pacific continues, the two atomic bombs are used, the Russians "steal" the bomb secrets, develop their own bomb - all actual. Stalin, being Stalin, uses their atomic bombs without notice on numerous (many) cities in Germany continuing to prove he treacherous/ruthless. Germany surrenders to Stalin. Stalin says to the western allies, you will get the same medicine if you bother me. Russia/Communism takes over the rest of Europe (the UK started with the Labour party anyway). Arms race commences - actual.

Trudeau never has children. ;D
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Technoviking on January 12, 2017, 12:48:56
Trudeau never has children. ;D
So...a happy ending?  ;D
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Infanteer on January 12, 2017, 14:02:32
A few random thoughts:

1.  No landing in Europe is possible in the way we understand it to have happened due to the fact that the Soviets were tying up 188 (1943)/150 (1944) German divisions in the Eastern Front.

http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations/134-campaigns-a-operations/campaigns-a-operations/2085-number-of-german-divisions-by-front-in-world-war-ii

2.  Perhaps, with Russia out of the war, the US realizes it cannot take the "90 Division gamble" and aims to produce the 213 division Army to make up for the loss of the Red Army.

http://www.history.army.mil/books/70-7_15.htm

3.  By the time it is able to mobilize that number, it has already nuked Nuremberg to get a surrender out of a Germany still in possession of some of its conquests but exhausted from continual US Bombing and economic blockade (like Japan in mid-45); so the end result of occupation of Germany is the same.....
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: Sir_Spams_a_lot on January 12, 2017, 19:44:56
How about, invasion goes ahead, later than planned, but in the south of France, possibly after the Italians are completely out of the equation.  Stalin sees an opportunity to be the treacherous prick he was as more and more German forces are committed to stemming the invasion, and drives hard into the German heartland, possibly overrunning Berlin and most of the northern cities due to the lack of depth defence. Instead of an East/West dividing line, we end up with a North/Southdividing line, with the soviets posing a direct threat to a severely depleted U.K.
Title: Re: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate
Post by: MilEME09 on January 12, 2017, 20:04:22
How about, invasion goes ahead, later than planned, but in the south of France, possibly after the Italians are completely out of the equation.  Stalin sees an opportunity to be the treacherous prick he was as more and more German forces are committed to stemming the invasion, and drives hard into the German heartland, possibly overrunning Berlin and most of the northern cities due to the lack of depth defence. Instead of an East/West dividing line, we end up with a North/Southdividing line, with the soviets posing a direct threat to a severely depleted U.K.

So basically you are saying Overlord doesn't happen or fails, but Operation Dragoon (the invasion of southern France which took place on August 15th 1944) does go ahead. The problem with that line of thinking I have is allied commanders like Montgomery would advocate hard to drive into Germany. I would predict Dragoon would be more at that point to relieve pressure and draw German Divisions off the Italian lines. Meanwhile a major allied offensive would push for the Austrian alps, with the strategic objective of Munich, and possibly branching out to Vienna.