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Posted: 12/29/2003 12:18:59 PM EDT
My wife and I had a brief discussion last night.  Question was, if you new your child would grow up to be another Adolph Hitler, would/could you kill you child to save millions?  Didn't really get to an answer, but it sparked another thought in my twisted little mind.  What would the world be like if there hadn't been a Hitler, WWII, etc?

Since he didn't really start having an effect on history until the mid 1920's and especially starting in 1933, what was the world like then?  Stock market crash in 1929 had a worldwide effect.  It certainly had a negative effect on our economy and our politics.  WWI and the economy was turning the US isolationist and the trend would likely have continued.  Our military was 2nd rate in the 30's.  Ditto for Britain, but probably worse.  The Spitfire & Hurricane were really reactions to a resurgent Nazi Germany and the Messerschmitt.  But would they have happened without the challenge.

Hitler professed to be the defender of Europe against the Bolshevik threat of the USSR.  Communist doctrine envisioned domination of the entire world, through internal subversion or military conquest.  By the late 1930's the Soviet army was already over 1 million strong.  The T-34, the best tank of WWII, was designed in 1934 and in production in 1940.  Without German assistance to Franco, the communists would probably have won the Spanish Civil War.

Without the devestation done to the Soviet military by the Germans and no NATO organization, does anyone think western Europe could have withstood a Soviet onslaught 1940-45?

Hitler was a murdering beast, an anti-christ, responsible for the deaths of 30 million men, women and children, either in the death camps or in battle.  There is no justification for his actions and no defense.

But if you had a time machine and could go back and kill Hitler in 1918, what would happen in the next 30-60 years?  To summarize, I think the U.S. would have become isolationist and been unwilling or unable to respond to a Soviet conquest of western Europe.  If Britain didn't fall directly, they would have done so later, either through the cooperation of the many communists in Britain, or through economic domination.

We wouldn't have the many scientific advances that were spurred by the war and I think the death toll would be more like 60-90 million by the time the communist purges were over.

If you could change history, would you?
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 12:20:16 PM EDT
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 12:27:08 PM EDT
So you're saying that hitler did(in effect) save europe from communism?? You're probably correct.

Ever seen 'Fatherland' with rutger hauer???
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 12:34:31 PM EDT
"a little slice of turkey
a little spot of grease"
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 12:36:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dorsai:
If you could change history, would you?
View Quote


I would invent the computer.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 12:42:43 PM EDT
One thing you have to take into account would be if Germany became allies with France and England in an attempt to avert Soviet agression. I think eventually we would have come out of isolation to join their side. Factors would be how fast England and Germany could ramp up their weapons programs and the effect of Communists in Germany itself.
Would the allies have gained the intelligence of scientists from both Germany and the allies? Can you imagine the weapons that could have been developed by German-English-U.S. scientists with the resources available to them.
The Russians had a good tank and other pieces of equipment.  Their army was poorly trained at the outbreak of WW2 and their tanks didnt even have radios in them.
On the plus side, with no Hitler, it is possible we might not be having all these middle east problems right now.
I don't think the Spitfire and Hurricane were reactions to the ME-109 as all three were being roughly developed at about the same time. I also don't believe that Britians armed forces were 2nd rate to the Soviets and would say they were overall in fact superior.
WW2 made it known once and for all that we are the top dog.  Would the world be better if we were'nt?
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 1:05:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2003 1:09:14 PM EDT by slacko]
"a little slice of turkey
a little spot of grease"
View Quote


LMAO

People fight, it's human nature.  It's just the scale that increases along with our technology.

If it wouldn't have been him, it would've been someone else (german economy in the shitter,) they would've followed mr. magoo if he promised some daylight from their depression.

edited to add:

War has inspired 99% of all our technology.  So is it good, bad or just inevitable?
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 1:30:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 1:31:16 PM EDT
The point I was trying to make is that the Law of Unintended Consequences sticks its nose into the oddest places.  I have thought and said, "if I had a time machine and could kill Hitler before he got into power, what a better world it would be."  After more analysis, I don't know that is true.  Again, I'm not advocating giving him "credit" for our position today, I'm just saying that his evil actions had an unintended beneficial outcome by giving us time, will, etc., to oppose communism.  I consider Stalin to be as great a villain as Hitler, if not greater.  He killed even more of his citizens than Hitler did.  Had he succeeded in dominating Europe I have no doubt that millions more would have died.  The Brits hated spending a defense dollar in the 30's.  After all, they had fought the War to end all wars and the depression had made money short.  The Weimar Republic (Germany) was a shambles.  The communists were the strongest militant group after the Nazi's.  Germany might have allied with France and Britain against the  USSR, but I don't think so.  There was still too much animosity.  I think Germany would have gone communist and allied with Stalin.    
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 7:26:08 PM EDT
Alternate history is fun.

Remember, Hitler's rise to power did not happen in a vacuum.  Events in the Pacific were proceeding unaffected by what happened in Europe.  The U.S. and Japan would most likely still have gone to war, and the U.S. would still come out as top dog.  The cold war would have looked quite different.  Whether or not this would have been for the better or the worse is another matter.

Germany was under pressure from domestic Communists.  However, the Weimar republic was in better shape in the 1930s than it was in the 1920s (still doesn't say much).  Franco was also getting aid from Italy.  France was a wreck, and was paralyzed by the different political factions.

Many options exist.  It would have been a mess regardless.  If Germany falls to a Communist revolution, most of Europe would probably follow.  Germany was an important buffer for France and the only stabilizing influence to it's neighbors in Central Europe, even weakened as it was.  If Germany stands, the Soviets might have attacked sooner or later, but would be forced to go through Poland on the way.  Poland had defense treaties with Britain and France, and it's doubtful Germany would stand still while the USSR attempted to take over a neighbor.

Another factor to consider.  The Red Army flat out SUCKED in the 30s and 40s.  Read about the Winter War with Finland.  Poland also defeated the Soviet army in a short war in the 1920s.

Italy was also fascist by this point, and Mussolini was generally being a pain in the ass to everyone.  The Balkans were insignificant, and have been since the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

To summarize:

Britain as a strong anti-communist influence on one side of the continent.  It is capable of projecting power into the Balkans through Greece.  France significantly weakened militarily, but fairly strong politically and certain to survive and follow Britain as long as a sort of buffer was maintained.  

Germany as the only possible anti-communist influence in Central Europe.  If Germany goes Communist, the Allies lose all ability to project any sort of power into Central Europe, and France loses it's buffer, severely weakening it and exposing it to Communist revolution.

The Soviet Union has the ability to project power into Central Europe and the Balkans, but only at the cost of drawing Britain and France, and probably Germany, assuming it remains non-Communist, into war (not 100% certain in the Balkans).

Italy is a wild-card.  It can't do much militarily, and Mussolini was probably too cowardly to try without Hitler to save him.  However, it can beat on small countries, screw up attempts to form coalitions, and generally be a pain in the ass to everyone involved.
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