Author Topic: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate  (Read 80737 times)

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Offline ironduke57

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #100 on: July 20, 2007, 18:02:16 »
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
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Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #101 on: July 20, 2007, 18:20:59 »
If the good Captain would "STAY IN HIS LANE" and stop wandering all over this site we would be reading the next instalment. ;D
"if he was to be hanged for it, he told his brother, he could not accuse a man whom he believed had meant well, and whose error was one of judgment, not of intention"
Wellington

Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #102 on: July 20, 2007, 18:29:44 »
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!
So, there I was....

Offline Greymatters

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #103 on: July 20, 2007, 18:47:21 »
Its a good alternate timeline story, but I cant see the US nuking Berlin.   


Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #104 on: July 20, 2007, 21:40:40 »

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
So, there I was....

Offline Yrys

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #105 on: July 20, 2007, 21:43:27 »
Your wish is my command

mmm, just his wish ? what about others wishes  :D ?
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Offline uncle-midget-Oddball

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #106 on: July 20, 2007, 21:46:12 »
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.
What are you doing?

I'm drinking wine and eating cheese, and catching some rays, you know.

Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #107 on: July 20, 2007, 22:00:16 »
So, there I was....

Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #108 on: August 11, 2007, 14:57:28 »
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!”




"if he was to be hanged for it, he told his brother, he could not accuse a man whom he believed had meant well, and whose error was one of judgment, not of intention"
Wellington

Offline Greymatters

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #109 on: August 13, 2007, 11:13:41 »
Thats amazing - I worked there for 8 years and never heard that story once!

Offline geo

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #110 on: August 13, 2007, 11:57:20 »
Those people in Manitoba musta been crazy!

The logistics to put that event together during WW2 in Manitoba musta been tremendous
Chimo!

Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #111 on: August 13, 2007, 12:30:33 »
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)
 

"if he was to be hanged for it, he told his brother, he could not accuse a man whom he believed had meant well, and whose error was one of judgment, not of intention"
Wellington

Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #112 on: August 14, 2007, 21:48:54 »
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!!
So, there I was....

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #113 on: August 21, 2007, 07:31:53 »
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
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Rick Ruter

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #114 on: August 21, 2007, 11:33:31 »
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.  ;)
Basic Flying Rules: "Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there."

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #115 on: August 22, 2007, 05:29:47 »
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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline geo

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #116 on: August 22, 2007, 08:29:42 »
heh.... here come the Starship troopers.
The bugs can't be far away ;)
Chimo!

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #117 on: August 23, 2007, 07:34:47 »
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.....
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Greymatters

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #118 on: August 26, 2007, 19:20:17 »
5. To extend mission times, "Space gagages" will be established... 

Is that 'space garages' or some new tech word Im not familiar with?

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #119 on: August 27, 2007, 23:59:35 »
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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline DaveTee

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #120 on: August 29, 2007, 11:45:53 »
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.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #121 on: August 31, 2007, 13:17:15 »
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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #122 on: September 10, 2007, 14:25:36 »
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
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Richie

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New Historical "what if" Thread
« Reply #123 on: April 12, 2008, 00:29:57 »
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.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Offline benny88

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Re: New Historical "what if" Thread
« Reply #124 on: April 12, 2008, 01:43:19 »
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.
The people trying to make this world worse, are not taking a day off.