Tuesday, January 31, 2006
What if Hitler hadn't invaded Poland?
"How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing!" Neville Chamberlain, BBC Radio broadcast, 27th September 1938.
"I bring you peace in our time." Neville Chamberlain, 29th September 1938, following the signing of the Munich Pact, which betrayed the Republic of Czechoslovakia in an attempt to appease Hitler and avoid war.
January 1933: Hitler is appointed German Chancellor. Three months later, the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" bans Jews from working in the public service, beginning the process of legal discrimination against the Jewish population which will, over the next 5 years, include removal of their citizenship rights, confiscation of their property for nominal compensation and barring them from professional practice.
(All of this was known to British and French Governments well before the signing of the 1938 Munich Pact.)
March 1936: German troops re-occupy the Rhineland, in contravention of the Treaty of Versailles. No effective action is taken by France or Britain.
March 1938: Austria is annexed. Meanwhile, tension is growing with ethnic German minority in the Sudetenland province of Czechoslovakia demanding union with Germany.
Great Britain, France and Czechoslovakia have a mutual defence pact while Hitler adopts an aggressive stance with regard to “defence” of ethnic germans in Sudentenland.
September 1938: the Munich Pact is signed following quadripartite negotiations between French Prime Minister Deladier, Chamberlain, Hitler and Mussolini. This Pact ceded the Sudetenland to Germany. The Government of Czechoslovakia was not involved in the talks or consulted before the agreement was signed to hand over a critical part of her national territory.
November 1938: Following the Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") pogrom of November 9-10, Jews are barred from all public schools, universities, cinemas, theatres and sports facilities. In many cities, Jews are forbidden to enter designated "Aryan" zones.
March 1939: The Czech provinces of Moravia & Bohemia are invaded and turned into a German Protectorate. Slovakia became a supposedly independent state with a pro-German government. The dismembered Czechoslovakia effectively disappears from the map of Europe.
September 1 1939: Germany invades Poland.
France and Great Britain finally declare war. The rest is history.
But what would have happened if Germany had stopped after Czechoslovakia and had not, in September 1939, invaded Poland, thus avoiding WWII?
The enlarged German Reich, Italy & Spain form the most powerful economic bloc in the world. A variety of treaties have created a single economic market with free movement of goods and labour.
Without the economic impetus of a World War, US industry has grown at a normalised rate and the US economy is considerably outstripped by the European Fascist Bloc.
Without the costs of a continental war, and on the back of a fast-growing and successful economy, Germany invests huge resources to develop nuclear weapons.
By 1950, Prof. Werner Heisenberg and his team have developed stable, functional nuclear weapons, capable of delivery by aircraft or missile.
In parallel, Werhner von Braun’s well-funded missile programme has rapidly progressed beyond the early V-1 & V-2 rockets. His Wolf II rocket is capable of targeted delivery of a nuclear or conventional warhead over a range of 1,500 kms, with an accuracy of +/- 0.5km. This puts all major European population centres within range of German missiles.
In the absence of a war and its major weapons investment, US & Russian physicists are still years away from developing viable nuclear weapons.
Fascist conventional armed forces have a combined strength and capability that easily surpasses the combined strength of the WWI allies.
J Edgar Hoover marvels at the efficacy of the Gestapo in maintaining internal security. FBI agents are seconded to the Gestapo to learn best practices that can be implemented in the USA.
Europe is divided between two opposing ideologies - Fascism and Communism. Societies have become polarised around these two extremes, political violence has become the norm, even in countries which would historically be considered bastions of democratic process.
The economic success of fascist bloc, bloated by effective international propoganda, fosters growth of like-minded parties in other countries.
The British Union of Fascists has become a major force in British politics, a coalition Government partner of Chamberlain’s Conservatives following the 1944 general election. Sir Oswald Mosley is appointed Home Secretary.
In France, …….
In the USA……
Internationally, fascist parties are funded by the Reich for both political and subversive activities. The USSR is also employing the same tactics, often in the same countries, leading to significant political violence and instability.
1950: Armed with the atomic bomb and missile technology capable of delivering warheads as far away as Moscow, the Third Reich is now immune from external aggression or military intervention.
The Nazi Party begins to implement its “final solution” to the “Jewish question“. Despite an international outcry and the lodging of formal diplomatic protests, no attempt is made to intervene militarily on behalf of the Jews. No country offers a safe haven for jewish refugees.
Homosexuals, the mentally & physically handicapped, and any remaining political opponents are openly rounded up and exterminated.
1951: An ultimatum is delivered to the Polish Government demanding the return of the former Prussian territories, ceded under the 1918 Treaty of Versailles. Following the firing of a number of warning missiles armed with conventional warheads, hitting Warsaw and Krakow, the Polish Government capitulates to German demands.
1952: British Government negotiates the return of German African colonies confiscated after WWI, together with reparations for lost revenues.
1953: Following the death of Stalin in March 1953, The Third Reich declares war on international Communism and launches a preemptive nuclear missile strike against Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Stalingrad.
The rest is history. Fill in your own nightmare here.
“For evil to flourish the only thing necessary is for good men to do nothing” Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
"The more things change, the more they stay the same". (Anon. 20th Century)
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