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What if-Atomic Bomb was never made

Discussion in 'What If - Other' started by Major Davies, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. Major Davies

    Major Davies New Member

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    Einstein gets hit by a car and dies. The Manhattan project is shut down for being pointless.

    Two things that led to the development of the nuclear bomb, cleaned out. Here I will give a brief overview of what happens due to this mistake and tragedy. Also President Roosevelt didn't die.

    Pacific Theatre: America continues a bloody and costly war with Japan, both sides being so damaged a peace treaty is signed. The Japanese Empire, whil sorely weakened continues on. Japan has to leave China because of the treaty terms and because of the weakness of the Japanese military. This is contested by the government however. China is still being subject to a civil war, however Russia pours in support to communist China (read on to see how). The islands taken by America become independant, but in name only, becoming puppets of America.

    European Theatre: Russia continues it's advance and defeats Germany. America lacks enough soldiers to continue due to war with Japan, however the allies break through German lines, which are weak due to bad leadership and brittle morale. FDR has Soviet sympathies and does not want to aleniate his ally Stalin, ignoring Churchill's protests, Russia engulfs all of Germany and borders France. Without the war Russia sends support to China and France fortifies in fear of this Red Bear. WW3 looms nearer for the Western allies. However Stalin has no interest (for now) in making his 'empire' bigger. His buffer is truly well set up.

    Mind that no one has Weapons of Mass Destruction, so a cold war won't happen. No threat of a nuclear war. The period of rivalry between the USSR and America may be a lot hotter...

    So what do you think? Could happen or not? What will the future bring?
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I think you have had a few too many...

    Einstein was never directly involved in the Manhattan Project, since he was considered a security risk. As such, his death would very likely be inconsequential to the success or failure of the atomic bomb project. Besides, Leo Szilard was the driving force behind getting the Manhattan Project going.

    Also, since you have stated that, there was in fact, was a Manhattan Project...Einstein can die...As he has already played his part by signing Szilard's letter to FDR.



    Very unlikely. Given these factors:
    1.) The American plans for the invasion.
    2.) Soviet plans for an invasion of the northern home island of Japan.
    3.) The continued American bombing of Japan.
    4.) An unbreakable blockade of Japan by the United States Navy.

    The sun sets on the Japanese Empire by mid-'46 or mid-'47 at the latest.


    Who's "government" is contesting Japan leaving China? The United States, Chinese, Japanese, Soviet, British, etc.?


    Russia did not "pour" in support historically, although they did leave the Chinese Communists plenty of Japanese weapons.


    Most reverted to their original claimants, although several were territories of the United States. The US also maintained, under UN auspices, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

    Really no change historically. Even though the Philippines was granted independence in 1946, they still maintained very close ties with the US.

    To be continued...
     
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  3. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    The US was never going to sign a peace treaty...too much water under the bridge for that...and they were more than able to take the Japanese mainland - estimates 750k US soldiers dead vs 4 Million Japanese if the islands needed to be taken...The US would not want another 750k casualties, so took the nuclear option (and saved 4 million Japanese as a result).
    Cold wars dont depend just on the existence of nuclear weapons...
    Worth noting that by the start of 45, no country wanted more war...everybody was hurting and sick of it...
     
  4. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The changes you suggest would not effect American troop numbers, they would still be along historical lines as Germany surrendered prior to our deploying the Atomic Bombs.
    VE-Day 08 May 1945
    The first core was produced and delivered on 2 July 1945. The first test bomb was detonated on 16 July 1945. Both well after the date of Germany's surrender so the existence/non-existence of a Manhattan project would have had little/no effect on events preceeding it's ability to produce a workable bomb.
     
  5. Major Davies

    Major Davies New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    1. I did not know this, so just simply say the atomic bomb was not made to simplify things.
    2. America did not want to invade. If the Japanese fought hard for little islands imagine their determination in the 'mother' land. The Emperor did not want war, his generals did. Without the atomic bombs America will have to sacrfice hundreds of thousands of casulties. I would even say millions. America may lose popular support for the war, especially if the war ends in Europe. It'll be seen as the war that continues, pointless and uneeded. A kind of thing that still is in the way of 'world peace'. That's just theory, it has no real proof.
    3. The government is the Japanese government. They wouldn't like any sign of weakness or even more loss.
    4. This isn't history. This is alternate history.


    That's not true. The common soldier... may like it or not but the thought of the common soldier does not matter to a general. They don't go through the trials of war. A peace may be better for the long term, less money and lifes spent on a possible victory.
    I know that, but without the threat of nuclear weaponry more volatile areas would be prone to war.

    Exactly. No one wanted war, which was just what the invasion of Japan promised, more death and fighting. America was always the least detached to the war. Well it's citizens were (again theory. I never lived in those times) but my grandparents did, in Russia. That was a war of life and death. Germany didn't have the navy to attack America.

    Any more?
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Continuing...IIRC, there is a quote limit, but I forget how many it is

    PS...BTW, a belated Welcome to the Forum!



    How do you figure? Given the "Germany/Europe First" decision, and the fact that the PTO was receiving far less of the US largess than was the ETO.

    Remember, that the US, and her Allies finished the war with Germany before and invasion of Japan was contemplated. Further, a few large Allied Operations in the Pacific were cancelled because they were predicated on an early end to the war in Europe.



    The Allies had already broken through German lines and were well inside Germany...While Roosevelt was still alive.
    [​IMG]
    The only main US move that would be missing(after FDR's death), but would likely occur, was the US push toward the "Alpine Redoubt.", while the Soviets were preoccupied with their envelopment of Berlin. Still, the post-war dismemberment of Germany was still an open question when Roosevelt died. However, both the Roosevelt Plan and the Morgenthau Plan saw the Western Allies occupying Southern German. So we can presume that the Alpine Redoubt push would still be a "go."

    As much as FDR cow-towed to Stalin, I don't see FDR giving up all of the territory hard-won by the Western Allies.



    Not going to happen...They were too busy pillaging Manchuria, as it was historically.



    Again...Not going to happen. As I had previously stated, the Western Allies were well inside Germany and driven even deeper into Northern and Southern Germany, in accordance with presumed plans for the dismemberment of Germany.



    Let's see...

    Britain had an atomic weapons program, as did the Soviet Union, and Germany, as well as Japan.

    Odds are that some nation will have the "Big One" by the mid-50's at the latest, even without the US program.

    And it's effects will not be known...As opposed to the likes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Thus, the nuclear line will be far easier for a nation to cross.



    Yep...Hot as the sun, turning the ground to glass...That kind of "hot."
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It won't simplify things...Only make them more complicated.

    With several nations pursuing the development of the Atomic Bomb, one of them is going to get it right. Probably by the mid-50s, but likely sooner.

    And there will be far less compunction about using the Bomb without Hiroshima and Nagasaki.





    Troop movements and the stockpiling of supplies, not to mention the ongoing planning of Operations Olympic and Coronet arue otherwise.


    We did...And then planned Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet.



    The Emperor has a funny way of showing it then. After all, he approved the war plans, Japan could not go to war without his blessing.



    Yes...Those casualty figures had already been gone over...Several times. Yet, the decision was still made to invade Japan, and the process was already well under way.



    The war had ended in Europe.



    Germany did not bomb Pearl Harbor...No matter what "Bluto" Blutarsky says. Germany did not commit the Bataan Death March. Germany did not make mass use of Kamikazes. Etc.

    Pointless and unneeded...I don't think so.



    The only "thing" that stood in the way of "world peace" was the continuing existence of the ever-shrinking Japanese Empire.



    That fact is obvious.



    3. Then why were Japanese government officials offering for Japan to withdraw from China as part of their "unofficial" negotiations to end the war?

    4. It is also not fantasy.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Actually, it had been discussed. The invasion of Japan promised a "quick" end to the war.

    The "long" version, was a naval blockade of Japan that was expected to last well into 1947. The benefit was that it was expected to be the least costliest in American lives(most costliest in terms of Japanese lives), but the most expensive both in fiscal cost and cost the most time before it was expected to have the desired effect.
     
  9. Major Davies

    Major Davies New Member

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    Ahh this is what I get with arguing with real history buffs! Oh and thanks. By FDR alive, I mean he survived after the time he died in real history. Russia only got the atomic bomb after stealing from America. They went from there. The Japanese emperor was weak, his country basically run by the military. I can continue arguing but it'll be succesfully put down... I'll continue arguing because I learn a lot from you guys. The allies may withdraw from Germany. They don't want war with Russia and they don't have atomic leverage. They can declare war but would you continue fighting against former allies, in what you would see as pointless? The British may make it but the idea is that the atomic bomb never happened.

    And saying it's not fantasy... well let me put up Harry Turtledove. If you say that's not fantasy, yet it's seen as alternate history... that's a wierd comparison. I can mention examples. Alternate history is fantasy, depending on who's view. Fantasy is just imagining things that have not happened. Yes most people say it's wizards and dragons but that is not the case... usually. No matter if the government planned it or not, invading Japan would have been costly and maybe not even a victory. I'm surprised everyone says it's a straight up though costly victory. There's always that one percent. The continued war in Japan could be seen as pointless and uneeded, especially if peace can be made. America/Japan war wasn't as all deiciding as the war in Russia. They hated each other and only a bigger threat could make a temporary peace. In the A/J war Japan only wanted a large empire. It didn't 'hate' America, looked down at them yes, hated no (well technically yes, but not as strong as the one between Russia and Germany, that was hate!). Most Americans aren't directly affected. No bombings just rationing and propaganda. The threat of invasion is there but that's another thread (whether Japan has the power to succesfully invade America).

    Ehh... I think I missed some of your good points.
     
  10. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    The Japanese were widely despised...i wont use the word hate (thats for the individual to answer) - But after Pearl Harbour, the Japanese were enemy number one in many people eyes...As stories came back describing the treatment of PoWs and villagers...(and China) - The rest of the western world despised them also...they bombed my home town...thats doesnt get you brownie points, that gets you hated.
     
  11. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I think he's talking America hating the Japanese and not the larger west, hating the Japanese. You're correct in that they were seen in the US, early in the war as the primary enemy. There was anger over the perceived "sneak attack" on Pearl Harbor. I do agree with him that I don't think American anger at the Japanese ever approached the visceral level of hate that existed between the Russians and the Germans, simply because their homes and civilian populations were right in the middle of the fighting. He's also correct about war weariness, it was setting in in the US. The Iwo Jima picture became so iconic because of the way it resonated with a war weary public. Then Okinawa, it was slaughter on a new scale both on land and at sea. Okinawa had only ended on 22 June and the full impact of what had occurred there had not fully settled in with the public. Once the public started thinking of Okinawa type fighting on a much larger scale, the political will to push on with invasion might have not been there. FDR still being alive (part of the what if) would have made a difference, I haven't fully considered how, but he was better at manipulating public sentiment than Truman, and understood mlitary capabilities and costs much better than Truman did. (Truman did understand costs on the micro level having chaired the Senate's Committee on Military Affairs, and set up the investigating committee, "The Truman Committee", that looked into waste and profiteering in war time defense spending, but not on the macro, strategic, military level like Roosevelt). Truman also didn't like and didn't trust the West Pointers and Annapolis men that ran the military. So no atomic bomb may be a game changer, but as Takao said, there was the backup plan, the naval blockade of Japan. One way or the other, Japan was done.
     
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  12. Major Davies

    Major Davies New Member

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    Thanks for the support! Though I do understand my what if has flaws, everyone's has because no one know if that would have happened. I see what you mean, many looked down on the little yellow men. But that's more of a racist opinion of white superiority.
     
  13. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Russia did not "just get the bomb by stealing the technology". There was an ongoing research and development inside the USSR itself. Historian Paul Josephson remarked that by the eve of the Nazi invasion, the Soviets could not only boast of scientists who contributed significantly to the worldwide growth of nuclear physics, but had laid the foundation for work on an atomic bomb.

    Stealing technology accelerates your programme, because it shortcuts making a whole bunch of mistakes, Eventually, a determined state will gain the necessary knowledge and skills. It's basic science and engineering, not some wierd brand of zen mythology.

    Paul Josephson believes that by the eve of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Soviet scientists had the technical capability to embark upon an atomics weapons program. He cites the significant contributions made by Soviet physicists to the growing international study of the nucleus, including the 1932 splitting of the lithium atom by proton bombardment,7 Igor Kurchatov’s 1935 discovery of the isomerism of artificially radioactive atoms, and the fact that L. D. Landau, Kirill Sinelnikov, and A. I. Leipunskii were the first scientists in the world to repeat Cockcroft and Walton’s experimental splitting of the atom by artificial means. Additionally, Semenov established the conditions necessary for the nuclear fission chain reaction between 1939 and 1941, work for which he would later receive the 1956 Nobel Prize in physics.

    Soviet physicists understood that nuclear fission had military significance as it could be used to develop and extraordinarily powerful bomb. Igor Tamm explained this realization to some of his students in 1939 when he discussed fission, saying, “Do you know what this new discovery [fission] means? It means a bomb can be built that will destroy a city out to a radius of maybe 10 kilometers.” By June 1940, a specific Uranium Commission had been developed, which set out to locate uranium deposits, develop a method for the production of heavy water, provide for the rapid construction of cyclotrons, study isotope separation, and to measure nuclear constants, all in the interests of harnessing the energy of the nucleus.


    The bomb became an issue in the Soviet Union in May of 1942. Flyorov, while serving in the air force, became alarmed when there was no published response to his discovery of spontaneous fission and when he noticed that the Western physics journals no longer published articles dealing with nuclear fission. He concluded that the Americans must be making a bomb and alerted Stalin of the situation. Consequently, Stalin authorized a small scale project at the Academy of Sciences for the investigation into the possibility of an atomic bomb in 1942, and Igor Kurchatov was appointed director of the project. Although the Soviet Union embarked on such a program in 1942, Kurchatov did not start work until March 1943. He moved slowly to build his team, as the most optimistic of scientists, Flyorov, predicted that the project would take 10-12 years, while Leipunskii estimated 15 to 20.

    Riehl estimates that without the aid of German refugee scientists, the bomb project would have taken an additional 1-2 years. He attributes many successes of the Soviet project to unconventional measures that the Germans employed, disregarding much of the routine procedure used by the Soviets. Germans Baron von Ardenne, Gustav Hertz, and Peter Thiessen made important contributions to isotope separation, gaseous diffusion, and chemical research respectively.

    Igor Golovin, a scientist who worked on the project and was a deputy to Kurchatov, said that the first Soviet atom bomb was based on a drawing of the U.S. bomb provided to the researchers by spies. He also later added that the Soviet program lagged behind the futile German effort. Kurchatov explicitly said that Soviet espionage accounted for 50% of the project’s success.

    Scientific and intelligence experts who have seen both the material released by the KGB and other still secret information have remarked that “even Edward Teller and Andrei Sakharov could not have built a bomb on that information.” But it is undeniable, that it accelerated their programme, perhaps by as much as 5 to 10 years.

    As another side note, the "spies" that delivered intelligence to Soviets on the A-bomb, almost to a man approached the Soviets first themselves (Fuchs, Greenglass, Hall), and were then encouraged to continue to do so by the Soviets. Ideology is a powerful tool.
     
  14. Major Davies

    Major Davies New Member

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    It sure is and interesting information. And 50% percent is a lot. That's about half of the research. Which basically ends up proving my point. And imagine, a half of that research gone, never existing. It may take time for Russia's nuke. But remember this is all before 1950 as so many like to point out the bomb would be made in the mid 1950's or early 50's.
     
  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Yes, I know...You stated that clearly in your OP. However, it changes nothing.



    Regretfully, this is in error.

    The Soviets had their own Bomb program, and were doing their own research. While the Soviets did spy on the American program, and the espionage gained did help advance the Soviet program, however, no American Bomb does not mean no Soviet Bomb.

    The best estimates by the current experts has the Soviet Bomb program being advanced because of espionage by 6 months to 2 years. This would push the successful detonation of a Soviet Bomb back to the early '50s. Which is what I have contended earlier.



    Fairly certain of that, but if you want, argue away.



    The Western Allies are not going to withdraw from Germany just because Stalin snaps his fingers.

    They Western Allies don't have atomic leverage, but the do have the leverage of the strategic bomber...Something the Germans lacked.

    Since you have placed a very high importance on Public Opinion...How would the American public view a President that gives up the majority of the territory that was paid for with the blood of American soldiers? How would FDR explain to all those gold star and blue star families...That their sacrifices was all for nothing.

    FDR may have had a naive view pertaining to Stalin, but he was far from stupid.

    Of course, a war with the Soviets would be predicated on Uncle Joe pushing the issue. But would Uncle Joe push the issue? Or was he to focused on rebuilding the Soviet Union?



    Your OP was predicated only on the American Bomb never happening.

    You either did not know about or had forgotten that several nations had dogs in this race. The failure of one, is just that, the failure of one, it is not the failure of all.



    Pleas don't...Thinking about Turtledove makes me nauseous.


    Probably more like 0.000000000000000001%. Japan had dug it's own grave way to deep, and they were now at the bottom looking up.


    Not after Pearl Harbor...And not after the failure of Versailles. We had fought two "war to end all wars", the difference is that only with the second did we actually mean it.



    Except there was no "bigger threat" when the Germans and Soviets made their "temporary peace" in 1939. So, it is not just a "bigger threat" that trumps hatred, but also opportunistic gain. Much the same can be said for the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact of 1939.

    In the A/J war, Japan already had a large empire...The problem was that she could not properly supply it with the necessary raw materials.

    Hatred comes in many forms...In the case of the Germans and Soviets, it was an ideological hatred, and so too with the Japanese towards the Americans and the Soviet communists(authors argue which one was greater). With the Americans toward the Japanese, it was on a more personal level. The Japanese were hated because they followed the code of Bushido and rather than surrender, they fought to the death, so you had to kill every last one of them before the soldiers could get off the island.

    America was bombed, albeit ineffectively, and the American government thought it better to hide this fact from the American public, as opposed to making the bombing known, because it was believed that this would assist the Japanese in making their bombing campaign more effective. Read up on the Japanese "balloon bombs." Further along those lines, even though not directly attacked, fear played a great part in the American public's response...Just read up on "The Battle of Los Angeles." and the ensuing panic that took place. Still, that threat had mostly been removed by 1945.
     
  16. Major Davies

    Major Davies New Member

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    Damn you Takoa! You know too much!

    1. It changes a lot. Leaders are the public face of the nation. They make choices that affect their country and the world.
    2. Read the post above yours.
    3. Yeah... I will only because I like arguing and as this is alternate history I find your posts... a bit arrogant? Like you're saying you're definitely right and anything else is wrong. And I don't really like that. You have better points but in alternate history virtually anything can happen.
    4. Stalin does not snap his fingers. The allies don't want war and it the USSR was politically close to taking over all of Germany. Factors such as the Atomic bomb, Truman, Churchill and the general dislike of another war stopped it. Reverse that and you get enough to make the allies fall back. Remember it's Germany, not the Netherlands or Austria, or more.
    5. I did not forget, more like I did not expect this staunch opposition.
    6. Hehehe...
    7. Again speculation. That's a typical evaluation. From the onset of Barbarossa it looked like Russia had no chance. Not now but then it did.
    8. We never meant that. It was the war against evil such as Nazism. There were no claims about ending all wars.
    9. Stalin was too naive. And I mean during the war not before. American's had the common war hatred and racist hatred. They were shocked that these little yellow monkeys could beat the cr*p out of them before America returned the favour. It wasn't extreme (again personal interpretation).
     
  17. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    The American leadership was well aware of the likely costs of invading Japan, and while I would not say that they "wanted" to undertake it, they accepted it as necessary to end the war. You're probably familiar with Operation Downfall; plans and preparations for invasion were ongoing. We should also keep in mind that until July 16, 1945, no one knew if the atomic bomb would work or how effective it would be. Nor could we be sure it would cause the Japanese to accept defeat if it did work. Many in the Japanese military were prepared to fight to the point of national suicide both before and after Hiroshima and Nagasaki; there was even the attempt to prevent the Emperor's surrender announcement from being broadcast. If the bomb had fizzled or failed the conventional war would have gone on, all the more so if the Manhattan Project never existed.

    Incidentally that would have freed up a couple of billion dollars and a lot of manpower and engineering and scientific talent for other aspects of the war effort. It would be interesting to consider what that might have produced, but the bottom line is we would have more conventional combat power in this scenario.

    I'm not clear how the lack of the atomic bomb would change anything in Europe. Or Roosevelt's continuing in office; the stop lines and occupation zones had already been agreed with the Soviets. The war in Europe would end just as it did. The Cold War could be a topic for discussion, but I'm not sure what Roosevelt would have done better than Truman.
     
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  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It changes little if anything.

    The Leader is the public face of the nation...However, the Leader's advisers are the men who provide the information for the Leader to make his decisions, and most of Truman's advisers were FDR's advisers.


    Haven't had the time, just came back in from doing some necessary yard work. Although I will get to them.


    Probably because we have different views on what constitutes "alternative history." For you, and IIRC, Mr. Turtledove, the wave of a magic wand seems to constitute sufficient basis for a "What If". Whereas, I prefer a "What if" to have a more plausible basis, one that does not require a suspension of disbelief...For instance, your opening example of Einstein dying in a car accident = no atom bomb.

    I don't say I am definitely right and everything else is wrong...I say that based on the historical evidence provided, your conclusion is highly unlikely. Convince me that your outcome is not just possible, but that it would be plausible, and 10 times out of 10, I will agree with you.

    Yes, this is alternate history, and anything is possible. Just as Adolf Hitler on a secret Nazi base on the moon during WW2 is possible, and it would be "alternate", but would it be really be "history."


    Stalin does snap his fingers...Gimme all of Germany or I will take it for myself. Conveniently forgetting that the Western Allies had occupied a good part of Germany, and were heading for the Alps very soon.

    How was the Soviet Union ever politically close to taking over all of Germany?

    The Atomic Bomb had a negligible effect on Stalin, nor would it be that potent of a decision-maker for the US, as they knew that production of Atomic Bombs would remain low for the foreseeable future.

    If you reverse it, you have Stalin snapping his fingers, and the Western Allies wanting war? I don't think this is what you mean.

    I do remember that it is Germany. I also remember that the United States and Great Britain are also deep within Germany, because of advances paid for in American and British blood...I would think that any political leader willing to give up such gains would remain a political leader for long.



    FYI, the late Terry Pratchett is my favorite fantasy author, Turtledove is a two-bit hack.

    Since, it never happened...Yes, it is speculation, but I believe the facts strongly support my conclusion. Also, there is a vast gulf between Operation Barbarossa and an invasion of Japan. The two, on many levels, are very different Operations.



    We did not say it or claim it, but we certainly meant it.

    We had said "never again!" at the end of World War I. However, there was a negotiated peace, which, later would be turned on it's head, and 20-some years later, we were at it again. The political and military leaders of the Allies were determined not to make the same mistake twice, as such, the Allied Armies would march through the streets of Rome, then Berlin, and finally Tokyo. This time around, the decision was made that there could be no mistaking who had "won", who had "lost", and the reason why the "losers" had "lost." This time, there would be no claims made, 20-some years later, about being sold out by the politicians.



    Stalin wasn't naive, he was nobody's fool. You don't rise to Stalin's position of power by being naive.

    As I said, the American hatred of the Japanese was more on a personal level, than the German-Soviet one, which was on an ideological level.
     
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  19. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Well said and very much true
     
  20. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    If the USA hadn't wasted spent their money for the Manhattan Project, they would have had much more to build tanks, planes etc. and the war in Europe would have ended much sooner.
     

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