View Full Version : For the historians amongst us: WHAT IF

08-19-2008, 11:07 AM
I'm going to play a game my history teacher threw at us in our final year in high school...and I'd like to invite you to dive in.

(Damn, that man made us THINK....)

He used to teach us with "what if" scenarios..and we gamed out some both far fetched, and very probable scenarios..one that would have been bloody as hell, was a possible outcome if Rommel had opted for a trial..and the entire Afrika Korps had risen in revolt.

Oh, that one raised a few eyebrows..and there is precedent. Mutiny on the front lines has been a stark reality...and it would not be the first time.

So, today, the clock on the wall is being dialled back to early 1937, prior to Anschluss, and Czechoslovakia and other countries are still free...well aware of the coming storm..but free.

For now.

Here's the scenario, and I'll set ground rules in a moment, the idea is to stimulate thinking on both sides. If anyone wants to take Hitlers Germany, and respond to possible moves and countermoves, go for it.

But act in character.

Rules are: we use facts, not fancy.

If you take a position or a policy, you need to back it up with WHY it is being taken and the possible motives.Example: a player might say he'd consider a blockade...fine, but WHY would he do that, and what are the possible consequences?

If you are America, would you have to fight Congress? Would they seek to tie your hands?..see what I mean? If you are Britan, your PM is still Chamberlain..what might he have done under different circumstances?

2. This is for fun, and for the grey matter..and I would consider it an honour if some of our vets would take part....you, more than any of us, know the cost of war. and your voice will be a valued one to hear.

3. NO FLAME WARS, people, this is akin to a "sand table" exercise or a class in military strategy...it's also a chance to indulge the imagination, and to explore what the world had been like...what if?

I dont expect immediate posts, if this takes a few days or a week, fine with me. Some things are better with time.If this goes well, we can do more, and anyone is welcome to set it up.

Play or watch, up to you.

Okay:Here's the question.

The year is 1937, Germany is re arming, and the black uniforms of the SS are everywhere.The Versailles Treaty is broken and gone, Hitler dreams of Lebensraum.

What if the United States and other nations had NOT waited as long as they had..and stepped in to stop the Reich BEFORE Anschluss? What if, instead of being isolationist, the US had decided to take an active hand in Europe? What if Britain had acted sooner, and in concert with the other Allies, laid down an ultimatum: "attack any nation and we go to war."

Would Japan have entered the war sooner and attacked the US? What might Russia have done?

What if?

08-19-2008, 11:32 AM
Put succinctly, the Allied strategy at the onset of the war was faulty and not the timing. The French built the Maginot line that the Germans would have just driven around anyways no matter what the year. The BEF was ill-equipped for any combat across the channel even by the time Dunkirk occured in mid 1940. The European Allies were not ready for war, and their only strength lied in numbers compared to a German war machine that had much better technology and was able to field test it in 1936 in Spain.

Had war been declared earlier Germany might have had less of a spring in their step at the beginning of the war, but France, Poland and pretty much all of continental Europe stood to fall quickly. They weren't ready for the kind of war Germany was going to wage.

As for the United States, our voice was subdued at best in European affairs. We had asked to become a large part of the discussion after World War 1 but the League of Nations was left out of Versailles '19. We had our own problems on the other side of the ocean too, namely the Great Depression which is one of the more immeadiate causes of the whole conflict. The United States would've been willing to assist in an Allied effort already underway, but precedent and attitudes suggest we wouldn't spearhead one from the gates.