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Topic: Historical What Ifs

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Cincydawg

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Historical What Ifs
« on: November 10, 2019, 03:02:17 PM »
One of my favorites is that the US never entered WW One, the German 1918 offensive succeeded as the French army faded, and Germany won WW I.  Would that have been a better or worse outcome?  

Germany may have taken a bit more French territory and kept Alsace/Lorraine of course.  Germany would have been the major power in Europe.  The seeds of WW II would not have existed, and Hitler would have lived an anonymous life as a bad water color artist.  The German fleet would have remained intact and a threat to the British Navy, but the two countries historically were allies.  The Soviet Union would have had a big thorn in their side.  Poland would not have existed.  The Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires would have persisted a bit longer, but both were sick.

Had the German telegram to Mexico not been sent (or never came to light), perhaps this would have transpired.

billyboy75

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2019, 03:20:43 PM »
What was the German telegram to Mexico?  

billyboy75

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2019, 03:23:20 PM »
Never mind.  I looked up the Zimmerman telegram.  I never read of that before.  Thanks for the tip.

billyboy75

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2019, 03:27:32 PM »
What if Japan did not bomb Pearl Harbor?

What if Hitler did not invade Poland?

What if Hitler did not invade Russia?

What if the Brits had not declared war on Hitler?

What if the US had fought the Korean War to win and MacArthur was allowed to win and invade China?

What if Truman had allowed Patton to destroy Russia when we could?

What if the US would have invaded Iran after the hostage takeover?

Cincydawg

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2019, 03:28:14 PM »
The causus bellum was that combined with the unrestrictied submarine warfare adopted by the Germans.

We might have stayed out otherwise.  The French army has some serious internal issues (for obvious reasons) and mutiny was a real threat.

The 1918 German offensive was slowed by logistics and in part because the German soldiers were hungry, and when they overran some French town, they stopped to eat.  It's plausible the French army could have dissolved under pressure.


DunkingDan

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2019, 03:33:35 PM »

What if the US had fought the Korean War to win and MacArthur was allowed to win and invade China?

It was not just marines involved in the behind the lines battles. My Father In Law was a paratrooper/sniper assigned to help stop the Chinese, The stories he told of his experience is unreal. 


On October 15, 1950, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of UN troops in Korea, convinced President Harry Truman that the Communist forces of Kim Il-sung would be utterly defeated by Thanksgiving. The Chinese, he said with near certainty, would not intervene in the war.

As he was speaking, 300,000 Red Chinese soldiers began secretly crossing the Manchurian border. Led by some 20,000 men of the First Marine Division, the Americans moved deep into the snowy mountains of North Korea, toward the trap Mao had set for the vainglorious MacArthur along the frozen shores of the Chosin Reservoir. What followed was one of the most heroic--and harrowing--operations in American military history, and one of the classic battles of all time. Faced with probable annihilation, and temperatures plunging to 20 degrees below zero, the surrounded, and hugely outnumbered, Marines fought through the enemy forces with ferocity, ingenuity, and nearly unimaginable courage as they marched their way to the sea.

Hampton Sides' superb account of this epic clash relies on years of archival research, unpublished letters, declassified documents, and interviews with scores of Marines and Koreans who survived the siege. While expertly detailing the follies of the American leaders, On Desperate Ground is an immediate, grunt's-eye view of history, enthralling in its narrative pace and powerful in its portrayal of what ordinary men are capable of in the most extreme circumstances.

Hampton Sides has been hailed by critics as one of the best nonfiction writers of his generation. As the Miami Herald wrote, "Sides has a novelist's eye for the propulsive elements that lend momentum and dramatic pace to the best nonfiction narratives."
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

Cincydawg

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2019, 03:39:07 PM »
The relative power of the US allied armies and the Soviet allied armies in 1945 was rather imbalanced, unless you figure on using the A bomb.  The Soviets had some massive numbers, great armor, a credible air force, and experienced troops many of whom had been fighting for four years against the Wehrmacht.  And we still had Japan to beat.

I think a sane evaluation would have realized we had little chance against the Soviets, and the public was tiring of war.

fuzzynavol

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2019, 04:29:40 PM »


Hampton Sides has been hailed by critics as one of the best nonfiction writers of his generation. As the Miami Herald wrote, "Sides has a novelist's eye for the propulsive elements that lend momentum and dramatic pace to the best nonfiction narratives."
Sides is a Memphian - I know him personally (not well).

DunkingDan

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2019, 04:46:33 PM »
Sides is a Memphian - I know him personally (not well).
I've not read the book yet. My wife skimmed it and wanted it so we got it. She says it represents some of what she knew that occurred. There are things that went on I am sure are still classified. So I won't discuss them.

As to you knowing him, have you gotten a impression of him you would like to share?
 
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

fuzzynavol

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2019, 05:20:53 PM »
As to you knowing him, have you gotten a impression of him you would like to share?
It's been decades, but he was regarded as a really great guy, generally talented (especially writing), seriously smart, intellectually ambitious, great student (not a nerd, but a high achiever at MUS - the blue-blood high school in Memphis where he was The star of the school for his era, and later at Yale), looked up to by all his peers who always spoke of him with reverence if not awe - just so highly-respected by everyone.  We shared a close mutual friend - no independent relationship beyond that.  

You could probably watch him on youtube - I'd guess he's on there.  First thing you should say to yourself is, "wut, this guy ever knew fuzzy?).  

Cincydawg

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2019, 05:53:54 PM »
Might we have avoided WW II if the Germans won the Great War?  Would that have been a disaster for some reason?  Great Britain would have still existed with her colonies and Navy and historical alliance with Germany possible to be restored at some point.  The Kaiser and the King were first cousins of course.  The nascent Soviet Union would have faced a serious problem with their powerful neighbor that likely would have contained them.  Communism there might have failed earlier, we'll never know of course.

Italy might have lost a bit of land in the settlement.  Japan would not have gained a few islands in the Pacific that were German territories.  The downside is the Germans would probably have become a Great Power (more than they were), economically and militarily.  Would they have become aggressive as well?  No idea.  Their neighbors probably would have done whatever the Germans told them to do.

After Germany whipped France in 1870-1, the world didn't majorly change for the worst.  Anyway, it didn't happen, so it's obviously just speculation.

roadvol

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While We're Navel Gazing.....
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2019, 10:23:30 PM »
....what if the Pacific fleet had been made aware of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor with the Intelligence information known  to FDR?
The Japanese would in all.probability lost all offensive capability and Germany would most likely not honored it's Tripartite Treaty with Japan.
Then Germany would not have been obligated to declare war on the USA.
Great Britain had already defeated the German air force in the Battle of Britain forcing a stalemate.
German forces would not be split on two fronts so the Germans  and Russians would have been engaged in a bloodbath for years.....bankrupting both countries.
The possibilities are endless.

Cincydawg

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2019, 10:48:21 PM »
The Japanese would have sunk any US fleet in deep waters.  They were way ahead of us in 1941.

Cincydawg

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Re: Historical What Ifs
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2019, 06:09:56 AM »
Another one is if Napoleon had been victorious at Waterloo.  He still faced the armies from Austria and Russia that were beginning to assemble and make ready to march.  His army would have been weakened by Waterloo.  Much has been written about the battle and mistakes made of course.  Grouchy was ineffective and basically lost with 30,000 men.  I'd guess if Napoleon had been successful in defending France at the time against all comers, he would have just remained in France and dropped his visions of some united Europe.  He accomplished some remarkable things during his tenure, the law, building canals and roads and infrastructure, etc.  His life is also an indication of how a "democracy" can be subverted into an imperial dictatorial government.


 

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