1. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Junior Member

    Not sure if it's been mentioned or there's already an existing forum, but often in posts, members pose the 'what if' question. Eg. What if the D-Day airborne operations had taken place at first light, rather than at night? Or, what if D-Day took place after the storm on 19/6/44. Why not have a home for these?

  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Sorry but we do not do what if........
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    As things stand, I doubt we'll ever have a dedicated area for what-ifs. My own take - that's probably because most are unimaginative and/or instigated for their own sake.

    However, because people were interested in a topic and continued to participate, or because the discussion had some point, what-if type queries have been left to run their course within existing threads here. That's mainly because it's one of many potential ways of asking why things were done the way they were done.

    Your first example could so easily be phrased as:
    Why didn't D-Day airborne ops ... rather than ...?

    or, 2f have a sub-forum ... http://www.ww2f.com/forum/8-alternate-history/
    Rich Payne and von Poop like this.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    This thread should be deleted before Owen see it :lol:
    Slipdigit likes this.
  5. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Pure fantasy
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I ready have & have left it for others to reply.

    Rather than a 'what if' I wish we had a 'things we want to know about ww2 but are too scared to ask.''
    I'm sure some people dont ask questions as they are worried about being laughed at.
    4jonboy and dbf like this.
  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    I personally don't like 'what-ifs' because it detracts from the real history of what really happened. At the same time I think, referring to Toms original post, it is perfectly valid to ask the question 'Why did the airborne forces land at night on D-Day rather than at first light?' The answer to that question could be rather interesting. No-one knows what would have happened (a 'what-if') if they had actually done that as that's not what happened.......! We are where we are!

    On a slightly more scurrilous note, 'what-ifs' raise the question about whether there really is a parallel Universe.....and can we go there to see what the World would have been like if Adolf had been a 'good' guy rather than a 'bad' guy.
  8. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    I maybe wrong, did not the weather dictate the time of the event? It had to happen at that precise moment in time. So "what if" does not arise, me thinks.
  9. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    In the case of the Normandy D-Day, wasn't the choice of date all about a favourable combination of moonlight/lunar phase and tides? My own understanding of why the airborne forces landed when they did was to maintain the element of surprise and doubt for as long as possible and, most importantly, to secure the flanks of the main invasion area before the seaborne landings.
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The real reason we'll not have an 'alternative history' section is, I'm afraid; rocket-powered Iceland-sized aircraft carriers, ...

    Dbf's quite right in that there can be validity in discussing historical alternatives, both in planning & outcomes (and in that there are better ways to frame such queries), and with a complete blanket ban on such considerations 'history' can be a stale field indeed.
    Nothing wrong at all with 'what if' as a question when it builds on detailed or thoughtful assessment of a given subject using genuine real-world possibilities, that's where education and even entertainment can lie, even when the alternative possibility being considered is shot down in flames straight away by some contemporary fact.

    The problem lies, and experience has shown this, in when people just will not let their pet theory lie, even in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary.
    The aircraft carriers mentioned above are a genuine example from the dim & distant... I could add assorted 'Nazi UFO' conspiracies to the list, along with magic time-traveling landing craft and a dreary plethora of why such and such general was obviously an idiot along with a hundred attempts to explain how Germany could have won. If you have an area for solely what-if stuff, then people think they have a right to conjure up any old fiction they like and give it 'Hey! this is the what-if section, I can dream, and you're all being mean to me with your facts and information and stuff'.

    So, I'm not completely against consideration of alternatives. I think that to see history, with all it's missing documents, personal viewpoints, etc. as a completely objective subject is a bit weird. There's subjectivity and uncertainty everywhere, but there has to be some caution regarding letting the thinner end of an alternative wedge force it's way into the central stump of what is actually possible given what we know.

    It's all in how you frame a question, or suggest & defend the alternative. I can't easily define what is and isn't an interesting or acceptable way to bring up such stuff, but have a natural caution about when it goes too far.
    And... anyone playing the game has to accept that they should be ready to concede their point when it hits a reasonable wall of contrary evidence. Some things are subjective, but it's also possible to be, basically, wrong, and to accept that occasionally.
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  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Per usual, I'm confused.

    Airborne landed at night, right?
  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

    No: the airborne landed at night, wrong (mostly).
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I'm sure too, and off-the-wall questions have generated some of the most interesting chats over the years.
    There were a couple of members a fair while back, weren't there (no names etc.,). Used to ask questions that initially made people go 'WTF?!', followed by 'Hmmmm?' and then often triggered the sort of quality nuggets of info that make for genuinely interesting stuff.
  14. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    I still feel I'm not getting whats going on, sorry.

    82nd, 101st and Sixth all jumped between midnight and 3 AM, didn't they?
  15. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Yes, the initial assaults were at night, but there were further drops/landings later in the day.

    My flippant response was picking up on the fact that the landings didn't quite go to plan, i.e. they were 'wrong' more than 'right'.

    One of the earlier posts has misquoted the original question arse-about-face, though.
  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    From my background and experience - 'what ifs' are best used prior to an event to hopefully make sure one has covered all eventualities (or as close as one can) rather than after it.

    dbf, Guy Hudson and von Poop like this.
  17. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Or to bring balance to a discussion eg when Fance is being vilified for the behaviour of many under Vichy - what if the UK had been occupied? Would we have been any different?
  18. SuzQ

    SuzQ Member

    Having realised several weeks ago that I will never have the knowledge or understanding to be able to join in on the topics, here is one I feel I can reply too, because the topic is simply....'What If'

    'What if'.... Owens wish did come true and there was a thread for 'things we want to know, but to scared to ask?'.......well I for one would be in my element because that just about sums me up in one sentence! but instead I spend hour upon hour just going through all the postings in the hope of stumbling across the answers to my fast growing list of silly and naïve questions.

  19. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The point Owen's really making, Suz, is that there shouldn't be such a thing as a silly or naive question.
    Just ask away - if we expected everyone to have some sort of core knowledge to start off with I'm not sure there'd be a whole lot of point in the existence of many of the forum headings here.

    Also, what appear to be basic questions can lead to deeper stuff, and even polishing up half-forgotten core things for the more knowledgeable.
    4jonboy likes this.
  20. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member

    I left WW2F because of this type of thread and the know alls who go to the far end of dot discussing it - just dropped in know and one thread running is what type of tree would you be - life really is too short, just get a life and get out more.


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