What if?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Khyros, May 17, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. What if Churchill had been unsuccessfull in convincing Roosevelt to focus on Germany first rather than Japan? Quite a few senior military commanders and members of Congress were angered by the decision...

    I have no doubt that shipments of equipment to the UK and USSR would have continued unabated, probably would have been stepped up but the man and air power would have most certainly gone West.

    Guess it could be argued the Pacific campaign would have more or less occured the same, perhaps with a shorter timeline but I suspect the end game would have been very differant were that the case. Atomic bombs would not have been ready for use and a ground invasion of the Japanese mainland probably would have occured...

    Hmm... the Soviet juggernaut probably would have still persevered over Germany but with even higher losses... and without an allied force on the continent to halt their advance, would of continued on through France. Ugh... scary thought...
  2. possibly it would the war would have been over sooner leading to another war. The one between the western allies and Russia that churchill and roosevely had to some extent been planning.
  3. I'm not sure that I agree with your analysis. The chain's a little long, but the loss of the Americans would have kept us (British) in North Africa for a hell of a lot longer (no Operation Torch) and obviously this would have kept the Allies out of Italy for a whole lot longer, if at all. It's a fool's guess as to how much the Germans could have reinforced their eastern front by not having to fight in Italy or defend France against invasion, but the sheer fact of not having to fight on so many fronts would have helped them hold the Russians up for a whole lot longer (and commensurately weakened their forces).
    Conjecturing further, without American air power the Germans would have been able to produce much of their newer equipment (and the oil for it) without the damage that was inflicted - the Tiger II tank in particular, but also the Me 262 jet-fighter. I think it safe to say that the Russian job would have been much harder, bloodier and years longer. Time to get to France? I doubt it very much.
  4. What if Churchill joined up with Hitler to fight Stalin???? now then, that was a possiblility, my view was Churchill made the wrong choice, but history is history...we will never know
  5. If you enjoy counterfactuals and alternative history, may I suggest you have a look at the following books. A series of essays by distinguished historians, such as John Keegan for instance. All great reads...

    What If?: Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (Paperback)
    by Robert Cowley (Author)

    More What If?: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been? (Paperback)
    by Robert Cowley (Author)

    Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals (Paperback)
    by Niall Ferguson (Editor)
  6. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Remember also that von Braun was working on a two-stage ballistic missile that was to have been able to propel the fruits of their nuclear ambitions as far as New York.

    I bet THAT would have ensured the Septics kept their eyes on Europe.
  7. Fair play to the rocket engineering - they'd already developed the Me 163 Komet fighter as well as the V weapons, but they were a long way from developing the actual atomic capability.
    Werner Heisenberg and his team claimed for years after the war that they deliberately avoided work on an atomic bomb - but this was untrue. When the Americans captured the Labs at Strasbourg in '45 it was obvious to them that the Germans were nowhere near but they secretly recorded conversations between the German team (the 'Farm Hall' transcripts) which showed that in reality the Germans had been working flat out.
    Funnily enough, the last Physicist of the German team,Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker, only died a fortnight ago.
  8. Considering that Von Braun spent the next thirty years trying to get rockets to work for the US, with negligible success to begin with, it seems doubtful that he could have produced a working ICBM for Adolf in time for WW2 - even a Director's Cut extended version in widescreen. :D
  9. The Americans would not have been able to capture an Enigma machine for us - thus we would have lost the battle of the Atlantic, and therefore the war!
  10. Following on from what I wrote about the German atomic failure, it's interesting to consider what the effect would have been on the Cold War.
    Conjecturing that Germany having to fight only a single front war against the Soviets while the USA fought in Asia, the development of the Russian atomic programme would have been severely curtailed.
    It's well known that the Soviets were well aware of the Manhattan project via Klaus Fuchs in the USA and John Cairncross in the UK, but their efforts to replicate it couldn't begin without access to uranium. The USA made a point of bombing the Czech and Saxon uranium mines as early as they could, but the decisive move for the Russians was the capture of the German Atomic Energy Research Facility at Oranienbourg in the final assault on Berlin in 1945. They captured 100 tonnes of Uranium oxide and, more importantly, an expert on the production of pure Uranium, Nikolaus Riehl - a man they took back to Russia where he supervised the first Russian uranium production which led ultimately to the first Soviet Atomic bomb in 1949.
    Put bluntly, if the Soviets did not take Oranienbourg and its Uranium, then they didn't get the bomb for a long time after they actually did - much longer than the Americans. If it's possible that the Germans could have fought the Russians for much longer, it's also possible that the Soviet plans for Eastern Europe would have been that much more transparent before the Americans demonstrated the power of the bomb. In this case, the Americans would have captured the Rosenbergs and Fuchs well before the Soviets had atomic capability. I think this would have profoundly affected US considerations in the east, perhaps enough to ensure that the Soviets couldn't install the puppet communist governments that they really did. It's likely that Stalin would have died before the Soviet Union became a nuclear power. Would Kruschev's Russia have behaved in the same way if did not have a nuclear arsenal?