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Old 12-11-2014, 05:57 PM   #21
Ŝorkell
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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Originally Posted by Gedrin View Post
We still get Churchill and Chamberlain, but Churchill will be older, and at an age where it might be significant (though it's possible the war would just invigorate the guy). However, depending on the timing, and the relative confidence of knowing that they'd smote Germany, Chamberlain might not hold on to office as long. I think the Russo/Euro war would break out before Churchill would be out of the picture. I'd say it's a toss up as to if the British Empire is in a better or worse position, relative to the Soviets.
If we assume that Chamberlain lived as long there as he did in our timeline he's likely to die in office (he died in late 1940).
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:07 PM   #22
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

Re. Soviet expansion, how long does it take for them to become militarily effective? Until the relentlessly Darwinian pressure of the Great Patriotic War was applied to the Red Army, they were hardly capable of fighting Finland to a standstill. Post defeating the Wehrmacht, I believe Zhukov mopped up the Imperial Japanese Army occupying China in a matter of days.

I think without the existential threat facing the Soviet Union, Stalin would have continued to purge effective generals, with the attendant deleterious effect on morale and general fighting ability. This would retard the expansive ability of the Soviets, I think.
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:30 PM   #23
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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Re. Soviet expansion, how long does it take for them to become militarily effective? Until the relentlessly Darwinian pressure of the Great Patriotic War was applied to the Red Army, they were hardly capable of fighting Finland to a standstill.
The biggest reason Stalin pushed for the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact after the Munich Agreement was to buy time to rearm. The Soviets had a better idea of German intentions (read: them) due to better intelligence, which is remarkable since the Nazis had a policy of murdering anyone who they thought might be a Soviet agent. Thus, early in the time frame, the Soviets had not ramped up their industrial production enough to handle Finland, while by mid-1941, they stopped the Wehrmacht from reaching Moscow. Furthermore, it kept up its production, keeping away the failure of 1916, when Germany's industrial base exhausted Imperial Russia's and the Russians fell apart.

Thus, if the Soviets were convinced that the Germans were able to invade the Soviet Union in the foreseeable future, Stalin and Molotov would have looked for a way to stall for time and ramped up industrial production for war. And, even if Germany didn't go to war, there is the little matter of land Poland took from the Soviet Union in the Polish-Soviet War. A Soviet invasion to get its land back was going to happen at some point.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:44 PM   #24
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

Stalin was paranoid and likely would have pushed into Poland and the other Eastern European countries and established puppet governments like he did after WW II. It would have taken longer since there was no overrunning of those countries by the Red Army. And it is possible that Soviet expansion would have triggered the same response as German expansion did.

If Roosevelt did not run in 1940 or if he was not re-elected due to the international situation (a big factor in his reelection in history) then whoever got elected in 1940 could ignore Europe, sort of, and concentrate on Japan. Probably there would have been no transfer of large numbers of naval units to the Atlantic nor would the Pacific Fleet have moved to Hawaii from California. War would have happened but later as Japan was determined to get everything they wanted and would accept nothing less and the embargo in the summer of 1941 forced Japan to move quickly while they still had enough oil rather than continue their build-up with the super battleships and general rearmament. American rearmament would have been slightly different: the B-17 would have been replaced by the B-24 instead of supplementing it; the Naval aircraft would not have had the F6F or other aircraft developed after experience with the Japanese aircraft. Radar development would probably be different as Brittan might not have shared their knowledge absent a strong German threat, same for jet power. And it was radar the was the key development in the Pacific as the Japanese had better optics and better night training. American torpedoes would not have had their massive faults discovered so soon and so would still be almost useless until much later (read [I]Silent Victory[I] by Clay Blair Jr. to see what crap the American torpedo was). War probably wouldn't have started until 1942-43 and Japan would be in a better position having had the time to build up and train. Their superior equipment and training would have made the early part of the war worse than that of history but America would have been able to throw full weight at Japan which might have made the war shorter, depending on how divided America would be (absent Pearl Harbor).
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:44 AM   #25
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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The left wing of the NSDAP, which was only on the left economically anyways (otherwise it was just as reactionary), was wiped out on the Night of the Long Knives at the end of June 1934, so it isn't important here. Otto Strasser, its lone leader left alive (Göbbels having defected to Hitler and the party right in 1928), was marginalized.
However, the SA was still a force albeit crippled and it was the primary left-wing force in the Nazi Party. If Hitler dies and a civil war, or even civil unrest, happens then the SA becomes a real factor again.
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:45 AM   #26
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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Stalin was paranoid and likely would have pushed into Poland and the other Eastern European countries and established puppet governments like he did after WW II. It would have taken longer since there was no overrunning of those countries by the Red Army. And it is possible that Soviet expansion would have triggered the same response as German expansion did.
Stalin, after all, had already been involved in one Soviet invasion of Poland, and even then had had plenty of ideas about how he could have run things much better than the people actually in charge ... from which the Poles may have benefitted at the time.
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Old 12-12-2014, 03:41 AM   #27
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

Mm ... regardless of any other factor, I think that without Hitler, WWII never starts, and if so, Germany loses decisively and early.

Sure, as a commander, Hitler proved squirrely well before the end. But for years, his nerve was good and his luck was superlative. He took risk after risk that no one else would take (and which left his generals gaping in horror), and kept on succeeding.

Who else would've done that? Goering? The Army never would've allowed his accession -- aristos almost to a man, they considered him a jumped-up parvenu. Himmler? It was only later in 1936 that he became anything beyond head of the SS, which wasn't yet the behemoth it'd soon become, and the Gestapo wasn't given carte blanche for summary arrests until that time. Blomberg? He wasn't popular in the army, and Goering and Himmler were his enemies.

I don't necessarily think there'd have been a civil war scenario, but I don't see anyone filling Hitler's boots either.
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:28 AM   #28
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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Stalin, after all, had already been involved in one Soviet invasion of Poland.
Poland invaded the Russian Republic in 1920, not the other way around. Piłsudski was taking advantage of the chaos of the Russian Civil War to expand Poland back to its old Commonwealth borders, backstabbing the Ukranians in the process.

Regardless, the Soviets will try to push back into Eastern Europe and take back the Tsarist system of buffer states. Stalin had almost the same foreign policy as the Romanovs because of geography: Russia doesn't have many warm water ports and doesn't have good farmland. It would have taken more time if Germany doesn't try to take western Poland, however. Poland had the fifth-biggest military in the world in 1939 and would have held out longer against only one foe.

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Who else would've done that? Goering? The Army never would've allowed his accession -- aristos almost to a man, they considered him a jumped-up parvenu.
The guy was a war hero, which made him popular with the public. His father was a colonial administrator in Namibia and he had the highest possible marks from his military schooling, earning him the personal commendation of the Kaiser. If they could accept a hick Bavarian corporal like Hitler, they could accept Göring. (And Hess, not Himmler, was the other choice at this time. Since Hess was a known bisexual and four years from going mad, he would have been nixed fast.) Göring almost assuredly would have been a weak leader, and wasted his time trying to loot the German treasury. After the Night of the Long Knives, the military was not mighty enough to fight a leadership change, and would have welcomed one who was nearer to them than the last guy and weak enough to let the generals grow in might again.

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However, the SA was still a force albeit crippled and it was the primary left-wing force in the Nazi Party.
It was still a force. However, it was now a force under the oversight of the SS, and its ideological moorings for spreading the wealth were gone with Röhm and the Strassers out of the picture. Other than maybe Robert Ley, who was so corrupt that he made Göring look honest, there weren't any left-wing Nazis left.
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:49 AM   #29
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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Old 12-12-2014, 10:09 AM   #30
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Default Re: Alternate History Idea - Hitler dies in early 1936 - then what?

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If we assume that Chamberlain lived as long there as he did in our timeline he's likely to die in office (he died in late 1940).
Good point. I'd put it there with FDR. Both men would live longer in the alt-timeline. FDR due to the stress of being POTUS and Chamberlain from the stresses (perhaps guilt) of his late life. It's a race to determine if either would still be alive before Soviet expansion into central Europe begins. I think Chamberlain died of cancer (been a few years since reading The Last Lion), so he might just never get cancer... However, it's unlikely that he'd be in office, and Churchill taking the role of anti-Soviet rather than anti-Nazi is natural.
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