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Alternative history - no WWI/II? - split from WWII tech thread

quadrapiper

Clanker
Imagine no WWI. Does that mean there would have been no Russian Revolution? Would the Czar still be on the throne in the Russian Empire and would Buckingham Palace be exchanging friendly greetings with their relatives in St. Petersburg? Would the Kaiser still be on the throne in Berlin? Would the Austro-Hungarian Empire have held together, or would it have gone through a long and bloody civil war with outside powers alternately intervening or standing aside and tut-tutting?

Imagine no WWII, which may in itself have been a consequence of no WWI. Would there have been no Cold War? Would there have been no Communist Revolution in China? What would have happened to the European colonial empires which controlled most of the world?

This makes for rather interesting speculation, but I doubt that we could ever really know the answers. Imagining the immediate consequences of something is possible, but we would have a difficult time imagining the secondary and further consequences of those changes. For example, if the Bolsheviks in Russia were successfully suppressed due to there being no WWI to weaken the Russian state, would the Marxist problem have simply cropped up elsewhere, possibly in a Central Europe that was undergoing its own internal cataclysm in the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire? What effect would that have had on world history?

These are questions that are probably better left to another thread, but it shows that while I believe that technological development would have remained more or less the same, the political and diplomatic world in which that technology existed could have been almost unrecognisable to us today.
Rather like this sort of discussion, if only for the details that crop up.

I don't know the globe-spanning interrelationships well enough to say anything credible; however, I expect the Marxists cropping up in Central Europe, as a faction in the already heartily factionalized Austro-Hungarian Empire, wouldn't have been able to achieve the same global momentum as when in control of Russia.

Equally, I wonder if (perhaps assuming a Communist or otherwise unfriendly Russia) more adept handling of the Japanese at some earlier stage might have avoided the Pacific war: "we won't contest anything you might grab that isn't already colonized, feel free to do what you want with China, Siberia, Mongolia, etc., and by the way we'll sell you all the oil you want at Most Favoured rates."

Finally, no WWII, perhaps the southern neighbours would've continued with the New Deal and related measures, rather than, first, having to focus on a global war, and then becoming allergic to anything remotely socialistic after that war.

Looking forward to seeing comment from the better informed!
 
I think given the United States had war plans for invading Canada and wargamed a conflict with the UK, its perfectly possible we could have fought a war against the US in the mid-late 40s with the aid of Germany and France.. With maybe the Soviet Union allied with the americans.
 
I think given the United States had war plans for invading Canada and wargamed a conflict with the UK, its perfectly possible we could have fought a war against the US in the mid-late 40s with the aid of Germany and France.. With maybe the Soviet Union allied with the americans.
Plan Red.
Here's a shorter version.
 
Plan Red.
Here's a shorter version.
Exactly what I was thinking about. They actually gamed the events including a large naval battle in the north atlantic when we tried to reinforce Canada.... One imagines our naval treaty with japan would be intact and they would help us out as well. Weirdly Hitler made it clear that he would be willing to help the british empire in the event of a conflict with the united states.

So much of history is accidental rather than inevitable.
 
On your first paragraph:
I don't know the globe-spanning interrelationships well enough to say anything credible; however, I expect the Marxists cropping up in Central Europe, as a faction in the already heartily factionalized Austro-Hungarian Empire, wouldn't have been able to achieve the same global momentum as when in control of Russia.
A few off the cuff remarks: unless I'm wrong, Austro-Marxism - "the ideology of unity" - was in trouble during WWI. Also iirc 'non-dogmatic' Austro-Marxism as Otto Bauer put it, was finished by the mid-1930s. Others might not agree.

The USSR virtually disappeared in 1991 after decades of totalitarian rule. Nazi and Russian imperial ideologies appear to be similar, but, along with other empires, while Russia was 'victorious', both of those wartime regimes ultimately failed. I did say these are random comments, but so much for empires, communism and ideologies (no, Russia was not an empire in 1939).

Russia was a vast, resource-rich transcontinental Eurasian power before WWII, and then Stalin ruthlessly industrialised it. I don't see Austro-Marxism being capable of that. The Nazis on their anti Bolshevist crusade wanted to colonise and destroy Russia through ethnic cleansing, and "pitiless" annihilation including antisemitic hatred of 'Judeo-Bolshevism', towards "strengthening Germandom". That was I believe the General Plan Ost.

In short, aiui, Germany waged a race war blindly and stupidly followed by its allies, but Russia was still standing in 1945. As for the way things turned out after WW2, some opinions posit the October Revolution and the actions of Bolshevism between the wars as instrumental in shaping the last century.

That's all I know or can think of.
 

Pisseduppardre

Old-Salt
Interesting.
If there had been no WW1 as we know it, there was still the German move to create an empire in Africa and possibly other territorial ambitions of other nations in the Dark Continent.

Could we not have seen a global conflict start between colonial forces in Africa that then spread to Europe?
 
Interesting.
If there had been no WW1 as we know it, there was still the German move to create an empire in Africa and possibly other territorial ambitions of other nations in the Dark Continent.

Could we not have seen a global conflict start between colonial forces in Africa that then spread to Europe?
WWI nearly started in 1911 over the Agadir Crisis in Morocco. Agadir Crisis - Wikipedia

Britain and France cut a deal giving France complete control over Morocco. Germany rocked up and said "where's my share?" The actual German intention was to try to split the British-French alliance by threatening war, but when they thought this wasn't going to succeed the Germans backed down.

The main problem for the Germans was that they got into the overseas colony game late, after all the tastiest bits had been snapped up by the early arrivals. The same was true for the Americans, which is why they launched an aggressive war against Spain to take some of theirs.

If the Germans had followed the American example, they could conceivably have conducted a war against the Netherlands, Belgium, or Portugal to seize some of their colonies. It is a good question though whether this would have drawn in Britain, France, and Russia in support of the selected victim, which would mean the Germans would have to beat them first, and we're back to WWI again.
 
Interesting.
If there had been no WW1 as we know it, there was still the German move to create an empire in Africa and possibly other territorial ambitions of other nations in the Dark Continent.

Could we not have seen a global conflict start between colonial forces in Africa that then spread to Europe?
Colonial forces probably weren't big enough for a war, but Afrikaners were fighters against capitalism and colonialism after the Boer war. Ergo there were Bolshevist sympathies in Africa. However it looks as if war between European rivals in Africa was inevitable before WWI, considering conflicting colonial ambitions in Africa which maybe were more significant than the Balkans or Germany and Austria-Hungary.
 
(...) Equally, I wonder if (perhaps assuming a Communist or otherwise unfriendly Russia) more adept handling of the Japanese at some earlier stage might have avoided the Pacific war: "we won't contest anything you might grab that isn't already colonized, feel free to do what you want with China, Siberia, Mongolia, etc., and by the way we'll sell you all the oil you want at Most Favoured rates." (...)
The Russians and the Japanese had rival ambitions in China, and had already fought a war (Russo-Japanese War) over that in 1904 and again in 1939. In fact the start of WWII was delayed because the Russians had just given the Japanese an epic kicking and were waiting for the Japanese to accept the terms of the peace treaty.

So, the chances of the Russians being willing to give the Japanese a free hand in China and Mongolia were slim.

The Britain-Japan alliance in the late 19th to early 20th century was based around Britain supporting Japan so the Japanese would keep the Russians tied down in north eastern Asia so they couldn't threaten British colonial interests elsewhere (e.g. Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier of India).

American diplomacy after WWI was focused on splitting the Britain-Japan alliance, as the Americans had their own ideas of dominating China and saw Japan as threatening that goal. They succeeded brilliantly in their immediate goal, but utterly failed to prepare for the consequences and ended up seeing their own fleet sunk in Hawaii.

So it would appear that one of the conditions for assuming no WWI or WWII would have to be all the colonial powers coming to an agreement over who got what in China.
 
Yep. As has been said a WW1 was on the cards, they saw it coming down the road - I don't know if they identified it as Thucydide's Trap then but that's what it was.
In fact there was a school of thought that some naive twats thought it would do them good! Society's too decadent, too many pencil necked clerkish types, let's have a jolly good war and put a bit of backbone back into our country what! Glorious cavalry charges, Thin red Line etc. It'll be magnificent! What's not to like?
Of course what with advances in artillery and the newfangled Maxim gun the cream of European aristocracy and their horses got turned into several tons of dogfood in short order, the more perspicacious saw that one coming - apparently the British top brass wanted as many Maxim guns as they could get their hands on. Not such donkeys maybe?
 
Depends how “centric” this debate could get. As some of my ancestors are from eastern Europe, where borders have shifted quite a bit, it’s sad to say but without world war 2 (and possibly the first one), I and lots of my family would not be living now.
 
This is a bit of thread drift, for which I apologise, but I thought those interested in alternative histories might quite like this time travel yarn by Ben Elton.
Time and Time Again
 
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