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Old 03-02-2012, 09:08 AM   #1
Dr Archeville
 
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Default [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

Starting some work on a GURPS Infinite Worlds/Supers game, where PCs will visit an assortment of alternate worlds.

I want to do one that's German-centric, but not Nazi-centric. A world that built upon the cultural and intellectual advances of the country, and which came to an alpha position in the world b/c it really is that good, not b/c some goose-steppers forced it on others. Well, maybe no more forcefully than America's done as it has risen to prominence on the world stage.

One big concern is to figure out how WW I and WWII went there.

This would be a non-hostile alternate Earth -- or at least not overtly hostile -- but as such that'd mean there'd be little reason to feature it, except as a place for dimension-hoppers to vacation or to be invaded for its resources by other worlds (perhaps when one of the Nazi-dominant worlds invades, and the PCs must stop them!).

I mentioned the idea to a historian friend, who gave me this advice:
Quote:
I'd do something with the Hanseatic League. A world where the Mongols conquer the rest of Europe, or maybe the Turks, (avoiding Unfortunate Implications, just saying that all the wars in the area tear them down) but northern Europe escapes intact. As the invaders recede, nations reconstruct themselves along the Hanseatic model.

Hanseatic traders stumble across North America and Hansa cities spring up on the coast, and a couple of centuries later, you get a pretty solidly Hansa world, at least as much as our current world is Anglo-Saxon.
I'd appreciate help on fleshing it out!
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

I've tinkered with similar ideas in several contexts. Some possible ideas for alternates might be:

-Germany (or Prussia) achieve greater military success in WWI or before;

-A demogogue rises in post WWI Germany who turns out to be benevolent instead of monstrous; or

-One of the earlier assassination plots against Hitler succeeds and the Nazi regime is instead aggressively swept aside (perhaps by a rennaiscent old establishment, perhaps not).
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

How about this:
http://decadesofdarkness.alternatehistory.com/
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

I do have the feeling that you would have to branch out later, especially considering the timeline of the book you cited (post-Baroque, mostly). If you've got a dominant Hanseatic world, with the rest of contemporary (and/or historic) Germany out of the game, the end result would probably be closer to Dutch colonialism. (One way out of this would be including the Fugger family somehow)

With your premise, the Prussians might seem a good approach (Can't believe I'm saying that). Let them take a grater part in the Napoleonic wars, with Blücher taking over Wellington's role. Then they take over France, form some coalition with the new US. Then the civil war has some slightly different premise and a radically different outcome. Maybe some kind of protectorate system, although you'd have to be careful not to enter some "Man in the High Castle" situation. For a secure dominant position, Prussia has to take over Russia, of course.

Edit: Maybe another starting point would be a unified Germany (1871) that included the Austro-Hungarian Empire - and then either some grand diplomacy preventing the first World War or winning it.

Last edited by mhd; 03-02-2012 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

Maybe a pre-WWI Germany that continued to lead the world in philosophy, science, and institutions of higher learning, while developing its industrial and trade potential while France and Britain had to deal with collapsing colonial empires?

It seems like you might be able to handwave a world where Germany was in a leadership position without having to resort to German übermensch, if you assume stable expansion for the Germans and wrenching instability for the other great powers. Russia has its historical setback with Communism, and Britain and France could have had much greater trouble with the secession of their colonies than they did historically.

America could have remained isolationist, renouncing the "old ways of Europe" and assuming a much smaller role on the world stage than it historically did.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

Have you visited the Alternate History discussion forums? You'll certainly find something interesting there.

That said, the quick-and-dirty way to do this is to set up a late steampunk world where the main country is Germany instead of Britain, and that goes through a Central Powers victory in WWI.
The Germans do choke the British through submarine warfare, before the British strangle them thanks to their surface vessels, because the Germans manage not to say anything foolish to the Mexicans and not to sink US ships and nationals. The British cut their losses and negotiate while Italy collapses and the US stay neutral. The French can do nothing about all that and are permanently maimed.

That ends with a bloated, multinational Germany, just like Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, which are both still in the saddle. it would make sense if the Reds are crushed in Russia, so you'll have a (much reduced in its Western ends) Czarist Russia. Germany also gains more colonies, basing rights in China, Indochina and the Ottoman territories, and influence in other countries' colonies.

Of course the British see their mistake in a couple of decades, because the Germans now really have the wherewithal to outbuild the Royal Navy. German hegemony on the European continent, coupled with a Hochseeflotte that has good chances of defeating the British, mean German hegemony over the world.

Of course things are not all that stable, because everybody has internal enemies. For Germany and its allies, that's the nationalists. For Germany's rivals, that's the communists and anarchists. And there are independence movements in most colonies.

If you could choose and your skin isn't black, you'd live in the USA, who are affluent but isolationist; but the center of the world is Berlin.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolemnGolem View Post
Maybe a pre-WWI Germany that continued to lead the world in philosophy, science, and institutions of higher learning, while developing its industrial and trade potential while France and Britain had to deal with collapsing colonial empires?

It seems like you might be able to handwave a world where Germany was in a leadership position without having to resort to German übermensch, if you assume stable expansion for the Germans and wrenching instability for the other great powers. Russia has its historical setback with Communism, and Britain and France could have had much greater trouble with the secession of their colonies than they did historically.

America could have remained isolationist, renouncing the "old ways of Europe" and assuming a much smaller role on the world stage than it historically did.
That's probably the direction I'd go. The post-Bismark generation works very hard to keep Europe stable through diplomacy and trade agreements. A succession of business-minded chancellors marginalize the militarily-inclined kaisers in order to pursue a web of treaties with Germany's neighbors each of which grants the Germans considerable flexibility. The nation becomes a center of finance and industry while France bogs itself down in West Africa and Great Britain diverts resources into keeping up a vast but, in this peaceful age, largely useless fleet.

The greatest threat to world peace is the Russian revolution, which inspires socialist uprisings in France, Turkey, and, again, the Balkans. Russia collapses, but the Whites and Reds are largely contained to the old empire's borders. France barely hangs on despite taking nearly three years to recover the second Paris commune and losing most of its overseas colonies. Turkey comes in for a soft landing. The Balkans completely go to pieces, but without a hair-trigger series of military alliances across the continent and the Russians safely out of the picture, the conflict is contained.

Despite its stable borders and its boast of being the only country which has never fought a war, Germany is the undisputed master of the continent. With revolts and independence movements in India and Africa, Britain is technically still the ruler of a quarter of the globe, but it's a hollow shell of an empire. Japan, which controls a sphere of influence encompassing Korea and eastern China, and the United States, whose foreign involvement rarely goes farther than Cuba and Panama, are potential rivals for the future, but for now limit their interests to their own quarters of the globe.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

IIRC the write-up of Gernsbeck in 3e IW features a prominant non-natzi germany.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolemnGolem View Post
Maybe a pre-WWI Germany that continued to lead the world in philosophy, science, and institutions of higher learning, while developing its industrial and trade potential while France and Britain had to deal with collapsing colonial empires?

It seems like you might be able to handwave a world where Germany was in a leadership position without having to resort to German übermensch, if you assume stable expansion for the Germans and wrenching instability for the other great powers. Russia has its historical setback with Communism, and Britain and France could have had much greater trouble with the secession of their colonies than they did historically.

America could have remained isolationist, renouncing the "old ways of Europe" and assuming a much smaller role on the world stage than it historically did.

The Plague breaks out in England at the start of the Industrial revolution. The plague, somewhat suspiciously, does not jump the channel and it is thought the Cabal may have had something to do with this.

England ends up being an agrarian lower tech state tied up in a civil war with Scotland. There is much secret or not so secret joy in Ireland about this. France & Prussia take the lead in technology until the Franco Prussian War of 1855 in which Germany united wins and makes apolicy of keeping France suppressed. Again Iswat thinks there is a Cabal influence in this and the Constitution Convention of 1850, which fractures the US into the CSA, the new England Federation, the Federal Republic of the Great Lakes, and the Bear Republic of the West Coast, which nominally controls those Western territories not protectorates of the Federal Lakes. (I'll leave the exact make up of the map to you.)

By the current year of 1963, Germany is the undisputed Superpower of the world with the CSA and New England chasing after 2nd place.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: [IW] Non-Nazi Germany-Dominant World?

The problem with a late divergence post-WWI is that a lot of the uglier facets of German identity have already surfaced: Modern Anti-Semitism started in the 1870s in Berlin, Apartheid-like laws were first introduced in German Namibia, the coupling of militarism and ant culture was strengthened in the 1914 Manifesto of the 93 and of course Prussian reactionaries would be on top after the war. There would have been some reforms (universal suffrage in Prussia was promised), but it's kind of hard to justify sweeping changes in such a situation.

The Hansa solution is a more likely scenario, but, as mentioned, it is runs the risk of looking rather non-German without an extra push into the direction of our timeline.

Personally I would diverge in the late 15th century. If something happened to Isabella I of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon the Spanish kingdoms would remain separate for a longer time and Charles V would not become Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. That would keep Austria weaker and the Reformation more interesting. It would preclude heavy-handed crushing of the Protestant opposition and necessitate a more open dialogue.

The following centuries could see the Empire grow into a real Confederation (maybe after a Swiss model) with Imperial cities as important seats of learning and trade. The Swiss and the Dutch might stay inside the Empire and strengthen it. The main problem would be how to neutralise the French, but by making the French Wars of Religion much worse that could be achieved. At the same time the German model of tolerance might have even greater influence. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was already on that way in our timeline and here they might be more heavily influenced by German thought. The end result might be a smaller-scaled more federated Europe. The largest danger in the later centuries would probably be a strong Russia, but without Austria and Prussia waiting to dismember it the Commonwealth could maybe defeat them and open up Eastern Europe for German influence.

Of course, this approach also makes a lot of optimistic assumptions, but it's pretty neat to think of non-Prussian dominant German culture.
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