What If Germans Had Won?

Discussion in 'General' started by hellriver, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. hellriver

    hellriver Junior Member

    I have a project at school about WW2.
    So I need some help fromyou;)

    Can you imagin and discribe wold today, if hitler won world war 2?
    And was there any chance for him to win?

    Thnx
     
  2. DirtyDick

    DirtyDick Senior Member

    Firstly, it would be nearly impossible to imagine an alternate, parallel history nearly 60yrs after the end of a Axis-won WW2. Deduction and conjecture can be used, but it is important to note that it is a profoundly difficult and uncertain task. (For example, if in 1962 one were to predict that the USSR etc. would collapse and dissemble, of its own accord and relatively peacefully, without first being defeated in armed conflict with the West it would seem outrageous.)

    In terms of Germany 'winning' WW2: say if UK withdrew from the War in 1940 following Dunkirk (more plausible than any invasion) and left German and Italian forces free to subdue Russia, which they were able to do since they were not fighting the British in the Mediterranean etc.

    I don't think the USA would have allowed Japan to reign supreme in the Pacific and would have ultimately defeated them in any war - unless, perhaps a Germany in charge of Russia had developed Atomic weapons and this brought about an uneasy peace. (Equally, a victorious Germany might not have offered such support to Japan for a war against the USA - and by default UK once again if her colonies and Australia etc. were attacked).

    Anyhow, to answer the question I think that is meant by your essay:

    i) Long-standing Cold War develops between USA (and British and/or Commonwealth); both sides eventually develop atomic weapons.

    If Britain remained 'neutral', USA would have no means of massing troops to invade Europe; and by this stage weapons such as V2 rockets and improved submarines could have made assembly of an invasion force very difficult. Also, D-Day was enough of a challenge for the invaders when Germany was fighting the USSR: probably impossible against a stronger, far better equipped enemy. Hence no invasion.

    ii) Germany would be overstretched and would be vulnerable to insurrection in her European empire and problem of command when Hitler dies (he was ill in 1945, so might have died in '50s). Might suffer similar fate as the USSR if military expenditure proved too great.

    Lots of possibilities. Try looking for Alternative History sites with such essays; be wary of many but all give food for thought.

    Cheers
    Richard
     
  3. hellriver

    hellriver Junior Member

    thnx a lot :)
     
  4. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Nazi victory in World War II has been the stuff of considerable fiction and speculation over the years. The two best-known books on the subject are Len Deighton's thriller "SS-GB," which starts off as a murder mystery in occupied Britain in November 1941, and then spins into webs of deceit over the German imprisonment of King George VI and the quest to build an atomic bomb. As usual in a Deighton book, everyone has mixed motives, everyone is playing a double game, but the book's main contention seems to be that occupied Britain would have been a lot like occupied France. "Fatherland" by Mark Harris is a police procedural set in Berlin in April 1964, with Germany victorious. A disaffected SS detective investigates a series of murders of retired Nazi bigshots that appear to have no connection, and he finds that the connection is that they were the invitees to the Wannsee Conference, and stumbles on the secret of the Holocaust -- just before Hitler invites US President Joseph Kennedy (JFK's father) for a summit to end the Cold War. This book is a little more interesting, as it brushes with broad and narrow strokes the concept of Berlin and German life in the victorious Third Reich 20 years later...a city built by Speer where little children are proud Nazis who turn in their fathers, and college students disrespect their betters by reading the banned books of Graham Greene and packing nightclubs to hear a band of four Englishmen singing, "I wanna hold your haaaaaand!" There are other books on the subject, and movies as well, and even wargames. One thing is certain...it would have been a grim and unpleasant word.
     
  5. Marco

    Marco Senior Member

    Richard,

    Where were you (and internet for that matter) when I was in school?
    Imagine: strangers doing your homework! :D

    Regards,

    Marco
     
  6. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    What sort of project? If it is supposed to be history, go tell your teacher that "counter-factual history" is not history at all and s/he should not be promoting or encouraging it.

    If it is supposed to be literature (for which read fiction), I would pick something a little simpler to get a grip on.
     
  7. DirtyDick

    DirtyDick Senior Member

     
  8. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Some historians say there is no place for it at all.

    I agree that you can look at some alternatives, for instance what if the allies had chosen the pas de Calais or Brittany for D-day, but even then it becomes so hedged with probability and contingency that you can only go a little way with it.

    Another example is what if the Germans had invaded Britain in 1940? Going over what remains of the German plans and looking at what they did elsewhere enables you to have some fun with it, but ignores the more important question of whether, aside from the outcome of the Battle of Britain, they actually had the means to carry it off - even from the basic point of whether they had sufficient lift capacity to maintain supply after the first wave came ashore.

    But "what if the Germans won the war" is counter-factualism gone stark raving mad - IMHO of course.
     
  9. DirtyDick

    DirtyDick Senior Member

    Quite agree, Angie; a counterfactual would have to have some historical legitimacy - i.e. a legitimate point of divergence from which an alternate could have easily stemmed during 1940 - and the Invasion of Britain in 1940 does not fulfill that criteria in the least (a classic example of 'fictional' alternative history) unless a fictional 1930s is also created including significant and unrealistic decisions being taken.

    I also agree re. the 'if Germany won' scenario, especially with regard to events far ahead in the future, but I suppose its intention is to get the students' imaginations working.

    Cheers
    Richard
     
  10. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Interesting points from Angie and Dirty Dick...alternative history subjects for a history class...sounds more like material for a fiction-writing class. A commentary on the literature of alternative history would certainly be good for a writing class, but I agree...it's kind of tough to see how you do alternative history for a history class. You can't go too far from what actually happened without turning into speculative fiction. Probably best to just keep the paper focused tightly on immediate results and alternatives...stuff that could be clearly seen.
     
  11. Friedrich H

    Friedrich H Senior Member

    In fact, such a scenario is not so difficult to foresee, if you know how the Third Reich was and how it worked.

    A German victory would have meant the complete physical extermination of all Jews within its sphere of influence, as well of the Roma-Sinti populations. The Slav peoples would have been enslaved, then starved and ultimately gassed in Auschwitz like the Jews, when their presence and labour force would have been of no more use. Some 40-60 million people killed.

    But then the Russian steppes would have been slowly but steadily populated by brute German Aryans, thus accomplishing Hitler's main ideas. Then the Catholic Church would have been purged—perhaps the Vatican City would have been invaded— and the Christian religion would have been ultimately destroyed and replaced by the Nazi neo-pagan cult to brute force and race.

    Europe would have been 'aryanised' and been made 'racially pure' and the Führer would just had been considered the graetest German ever lived, who would have presided over an unprecedented European Empire—Switzerland, a Germanic nation, included—sustained by a police empire and an SS state (the armed forces would have been purged as well and severely nazified).

    But then, how long could this last? At least just one generation. After Hitler's death, maybe Reinhardt Heydrich would have become the new Führer —he was certainly more capable and charismatic than Himmler and younger than Göring— and would have faced the decay of the very same Germanic race, due to its intellectual suicide of 1933.

    Once the generations born and/or raised in Nazi Germany grow up and take over the non-nazi-raised ones, then the III Reich starts its downfall. Why? Because by 1939 German universities had 50% less students than in 1933. Why did Germany needed artists? All the good and acceptable art was already there and the new 'degenerated' ones were in concentration camps, dead or in exile. Why did Germany need lawyers if the Law was the Führer's will and they lived in a law-less totalitarian state? Why did Germany need engineers if all able men were expected to be strong and healthy soldiers and stallions?

    How would the Gestapo and the repression system work if the experienced detectives, lawyers and investigators—trained and educated suring the II Reich and Weimar—retired and then died?

    How would the Nazi European Empire would face a cold war against Japan or the US or whomever if all her scientists had fled and the new ones were not capable enough? What would happen once Heisenberg, Speer and Von Braun die? Nazi education system was meant to destroy thought and individuality. How could scientists and artists create something valuable under such a system?

    In other words:

    Germany wins and makes a unified Nazi European Empire, from Dublin to the Urals and from the Antartic to Libya. Many millions of non-aryan people die, culture and faith are destroyed and the Germans become a 'pure race' which is growing a stupid generation which will cause its own downfall.

    Then, Europe would sink into a new Dark Age—as Churchill said—by the 1970s.
     
  12. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Originally posted by Friedrich H@Jan 31 2005, 06:05 PM
    the Germans become a 'pure race' which is growing a stupid generation which will cause its own downfall..
    [post=31087]Quoted post[/post]


    I don't think I agree with the whole of Friedrich's post, but then again - who knows what might have been?

    However, this last statement reminded me of something that actually did happen, though in a different era - an "Aryan Experiment" in the 1880's(?) conducted by Elizabeth Nietsche (the sister of Friedrich Nietszche) which involved the introduction of several "pure germanic" groups into a colony in South America to breed a pure "Aryan" Germanic/Nordic stock in another part of the world. By 1945, they were so backward and interbred that it was practically a lunatic asylum in the jungle. Adolf Eichmann apparantly sought them out, but could not stay long with them as "they were too extreme!!!! :eek: "

    Maybe this is what a "pure world" would have degenerated into over time, on a larger scale? As I said before. Who knows?

    (as a footnote I should add that this colony still exists, but has, over time, also married into and bred with the local indigenous populus, putting paid to the "Aryan ideal" in this "experiment" once and for all!!!!)
     
  13. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    For us, that lived and fought in those far off days, We know exactly what would have happened to us. The young men would have been shipped off to be worked to death for the good of the fatherland. God Knows what would have happened tp pur wives and daughters. But lookng at what happend in other invaded countries the outlook was bleak in the extreme.

    Our lives in this Country wqould have been slavery for the arrogant Bosche. It would not be long before the extermination camps would be up and running.

    Sapper
     
  14. Friedrich H

    Friedrich H Senior Member

    I don't think I agree with the whole of Friedrich's post, but then again - who knows what might have been?

    Why not? You're stating that yourself. The Germans were raising a generation whose whole esence was blind obedience, thus destroying individual thought and, therefore, all substance of human progress.

    The fact is that Germany committed intelectual, artistic and scientific suicide in 1933. Berlin, in the 1920s, has at last taken the cultural-vangard away from Paris. After 1933 German culture fell into a dark age of which it hasn't yet managed to get out completely. All their talents fled Germany and came to the US, which explains why from the 1940s onwards, XX Century culture was dominated by American one.
     
  15. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Friedrich has some good points...which are actually echoed in Mark Harris's "Fatherland." He depicts the victorious Third Reich in 1964 as being a creaky and inefficient state, dependent on slave labor, starting to crack at the seams. Certainly a state obsessed with race and obedience, not much for arts or creativity. And absolutely an ugly nation, dominated by sadistic bullies.
     
  16. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Originally posted by Friedrich H@Feb 1 2005, 05:41 PM
    I don't think I agree with the whole of Friedrich's post, but then again - who knows what might have been?

    Why not? You're stating that yourself. [post=31120]Quoted post[/post]


    Friedrich.

    I do have a right to disagree you know! After all, that right is one of the things that people like Sapper (above) were fighting for! ;)

    What exactly am I stating myself? I said who knows what might have been. You don't, I don't - nobody does. You could be correct. Then again, you could be wrong.
    My little example involves only the racial aspect, not the social or political part which could have gone down a myriad of different paths as time went on. What if Hitler was deposed from within? What if his replacement had slightly different ideas (either more extreme or more liberal)? What if Hitler himself bactracked on certain ideas? This is the point about a (theoretical) "changing of History" - nothing in the (theoretical) future can be certain.

    Anyway, this particular "history" never happened, so we didn't have to find out the "theoretical" future in reality. For this, I think we should just be thankful. :)
     
  17. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Originally posted by Kiwiwriter@Feb 1 2005, 06:45 PM
    Friedrich has some good points...which are actually echoed in Mark Harris's "Fatherland." He depicts the victorious Third Reich in 1964 as being a creaky and inefficient state, dependent on slave labor, starting to crack at the seams. Certainly a state obsessed with race and obedience, not much for arts or creativity. And absolutely an ugly nation, dominated by sadistic bullies.
    [post=31127]Quoted post[/post]


    ...and still fighting a "Northern Ireland" style war in Siberia? Is that the one? If it is, I think I may have read it a while back - is it basically a detective/police/murder novel? I think they might have made it into a film starring Rutger Hauer (?) in the lead role?
     
  18. Friedrich H

    Friedrich H Senior Member

    Friedrich.

    I do have a right to disagree you know! After all, that right is one of the things that people like Sapper (above) were fighting for!

    Thanks for the response, Croon. And yes, you do have a right to disagree, I'm perfectly aware of that. But why is people so sensitive when I tell them to explain to me why they do so?

    My little example involves only the racial aspect, not the social or political part which could have gone down a myriad of different paths as time went on.

    Ah! Here's the whole point! Now you specify. I asked not to say you were wrong, I stated what I stated because I needed a more precise response. Now that you've provided it, I thank you.

    In the racial aspect? Who knows? There's not even enough evidence to back Nazi pseudo-scientific arguments about race. The bloody idiots were not aware that the true Aryans are from northern India and that it was their blood and culture which influenced most of Europe many centuries ago… :rolleyes:
     
  19. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Originally posted by Friedrich H@Feb 2 2005, 12:36 AM
    why is people so sensitive when I tell them to explain to me why they do so?




    I think it's in the reading. The way it read (to me) , it seemed rather abrupt and seemed to be almost demanding to know why I disagreed. If it was spoken, the phrase "Why not?" could be said in several ways. When it's written, the tone is only in the eye of the reader. A person who reads it as rather demanding would probably go automatically onto the defensive.

    It's one of those things - I've fallen victim to this myself on many occasions. :)
     
  20. Friedrich H

    Friedrich H Senior Member

    I actually felt the same thing when reading "I do have a right to disagree you know!", it may sound too harsh when read on a bloody computer! :D
     

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