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Old 07-16-2021, 09:56 AM   #5661
ericthered
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What would the response of an isolationist US be to rockets and nuclear weapons being developed during a world war II it didn't participate in? Lets say that the British and Soviets are victorious in a longer war that sees several German cities bombed, while Japan slowly and somewhat sensibly digests China.

What happens to isolationism when the British can wipe out New York or washington in a day? What would you call this timeline?
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Old 07-16-2021, 12:44 PM   #5662
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Lusitania-2 Teddy Roosevelt's election to a third term as a Republican president led to the United States reacting to the sinking of the Lusitania by declaring war on Germany. As a result the Great War ends in 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution never happens in Russia, and Adolf Hitler dies without causing any problems. The United States goes to war with Japan in 1940 over their threat to American interests in China, but it isn't fought to the bitter end. Instead there is an armistice in 1942.

In the current year of 1966 without a Cold war, nuclear weapons are only a theoretical possibility that nobody has thrown enough money at to make real, rocketry is still little more than an amusement for hobbyists, and aviation is a good 20 years behind the times. However, Germany is currently a military dictatorship working on developing a secret weapon that will blow apart France's invincible border wall with a single bomb....
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Old 07-17-2021, 05:38 AM   #5663
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What would the response of an isolationist US be to rockets and nuclear weapons being developed during a world war II it didn't participate in? Lets say that the British and Soviets are victorious in a longer war that sees several German cities bombed, while Japan slowly and somewhat sensibly digests China.

What happens to isolationism when the British can wipe out New York or washington in a day? What would you call this timeline?
We tend to forget that, until the latter decades of the 19th century, Britain and America weren't close or especially friendly. For many in the British upper classes "democracy" was nearly a swear word. Any example of British writing on America in the early to mid 19th century was likely to be bitterly dismissive.

The promotion of Anglo-American friendship, though many advocates were sincere (shout outs to Conan Doyle and Kipling), was manly a facade with an aim of diplomatic advantage. If you have an ally people are certain will come to your aid, then foes need to take far greater care.

However, after the disaster of the Philippines (most Americans were pro-Philippine Independence by the 1920s) and WWI, the average American was anti-imperialist. Britain as a vast empire was always suspect.

In our history there was always trouble between the USA and the British Empire after WWII because Britain saw their empire as a force for good and the USA saw imperialism as a threat to world peace, a barrier to prosperity for all, and an easy propaganda point for the communists.

An isolationist America, with little or no love for Britain, facing a bellicose imperialist power with a track record of having subjugating a quarter of the world, would be coldly dismissive of British claims of virtue and quick to seek a nuclear deterrent.
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Old 07-17-2021, 09:57 PM   #5664
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What would the response of an isolationist US be to rockets and nuclear weapons being developed during a world war II it didn't participate in? Lets say that the British and Soviets are victorious in a longer war that sees several German cities bombed, while Japan slowly and somewhat sensibly digests China.

What happens to isolationism when the British can wipe out New York or washington in a day? What would you call this timeline?
Makes me think of Stormbomb-1 from a Pyramid - U.S. never entered WWI, Britain developed a banestorm bomb that sent all the people in Berlin & Vienna to another timeline. An increasingly fascist Britain (Moseley government) is supreme; FDR doesn't want "bloody British money" to fight the Great Depression, and views Canada as a threat.
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Old 07-18-2021, 03:17 AM   #5665
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You probably need an earlier "actual" divergence point to make that plausible. The German atomic program maybe had a chance, but Japan was quite a bit further behind and probably lacked a lot of the resources to have done better. It might not take all that much - people were talking about the possibility of nuclear power and weapons as early as 1930, and a little more government interest, in say 1934 right after the first open publication of the possibility in Japan, when research equipment could still be bought from the US and importing a cargo of uranium ore would've been difficult, might be all that was needed to accelerate the program. It doesn't even need to start as a bomb program - using nuclear reactions as a naval power source that didn't need to carry huge volumes of fuel was in fact a lot more plausible sounding than hoping you'd be able to get the energy out fast enough to produce an explosion.
So what if they do develop reactors but not bombs. They have a couple of carriers using reactors built so the oil embargo hurts less and they can send a taskforce all the way across the Pacific without it running out of fuel. Plus a few power plants that can be added to which reduces the dependence on imported oil and coal. Maybe nuclear powered large freighters which again reduces dependency. Does this make them less desperate so they don't take the high risk path of declaring war?
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Old 07-18-2021, 03:33 AM   #5666
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... The German atomic program maybe had a chance, but Japan was quite a bit further behind and probably lacked a lot of the resources to have done better.
Curiously, just watched a Dark Files YT vid "Japan's Own Secret Atomic Bomb Project"
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Old 07-18-2021, 05:00 AM   #5667
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So what if they do develop reactors but not bombs. They have a couple of carriers using reactors built so the oil embargo hurts less and they can send a taskforce all the way across the Pacific without it running out of fuel. Plus a few power plants that can be added to which reduces the dependence on imported oil and coal. Maybe nuclear powered large freighters which again reduces dependency. Does this make them less desperate so they don't take the high risk path of declaring war?
At the moment they did, maybe. But oil would've still mattered a lot, Japan wanted the other resources of the Dutch East Indies too, and despite the fact that Japan spins World War II as about resources these days, they'd been at war in China for 4 years at that point, which the US had been protesting the entire time. That had less to do with resources than the prestige of being a real Empire, though admittedly some of that was a tendency of the commanders in the field in China to go for the glory of capturing more territory than their orders actually authorized them too. Also sooner or later Roosevelt will succeed in his efforts to get the US into the war in Europe, at which point the Japanese will surely honor their commitment to join the war if any new powers enter it, especially given that he was already "lending" arms to China since March 1941. It wasn't like the embargo was the only offence of the US against Japan.
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:26 PM   #5668
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At the moment they did, maybe. But oil would've still mattered a lot, Japan wanted the other resources of the Dutch East Indies too, and despite the fact that Japan spins World War II as about resources these days, they'd been at war in China for 4 years at that point, which the US had been protesting the entire time. That had less to do with resources than the prestige of being a real Empire, though admittedly some of that was a tendency of the commanders in the field in China to go for the glory of capturing more territory than their orders actually authorized them too. Also sooner or later Roosevelt will succeed in his efforts to get the US into the war in Europe, at which point the Japanese will surely honor their commitment to join the war if any new powers enter it, especially given that he was already "lending" arms to China since March 1941. It wasn't like the embargo was the only offence of the US against Japan.
Japan, from the time it started going seriously for empire, saw two nations as threats. Russia, which had been bullying Japan and China since the late 18th century, and the USA which forced Japan's opening. Japan saw all other nearby territories held as colonies as threats both to its Empire and prestige. Even Alaska and Hawaii were seen as threats to Japan's independence,

War was going to happen if for no other reason than prestige. Most East Asian Nations are still deeply ethnocentric and see those outside their group as biologically inferior, as well as having lesser souls. WWII was baked into in dozens of ways.
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:33 AM   #5669
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We tend to forget that, until the latter decades of the 19th century, Britain and America weren't close or especially friendly. For many in the British upper classes "democracy" was nearly a swear word. Any example of British writing on America in the early to mid 19th century was likely to be bitterly dismissive.

The promotion of Anglo-American friendship, though many advocates were sincere (shout outs to Conan Doyle and Kipling), was manly a facade with an aim of diplomatic advantage. If you have an ally people are certain will come to your aid, then foes need to take far greater care.

However, after the disaster of the Philippines (most Americans were pro-Philippine Independence by the 1920s) and WWI, the average American was anti-imperialist. Britain as a vast empire was always suspect.

In our history there was always trouble between the USA and the British Empire after WWII because Britain saw their empire as a force for good and the USA saw imperialism as a threat to world peace, a barrier to prosperity for all, and an easy propaganda point for the communists.

An isolationist America, with little or no love for Britain, facing a bellicose imperialist power with a track record of having subjugating a quarter of the world, would be coldly dismissive of British claims of virtue and quick to seek a nuclear deterrent.

This makes an interesting alternate reality but I don't give it much credence realistically. America has always been divided concerning the Brits and I'm sure we grew closer in the late 1800's but even right after the revolution the founding fathers were very divided about where their loyalties lay. Washington of course wanted to stay out of European affairs entirely but there were others very much wanting a close relationship with Britain. Others of course preferred France because France helped the USA gain independence. This was a fight though so British sympathies existed.

Even at the time of the Civil War, the south was hoping to get Britain to come into the war on their side. They were massive trading partners at the time.
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:50 PM   #5670
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Even at the time of the Civil War, the south was hoping to get Britain to come into the war on their side. They were massive trading partners at the time.
There were British politicians who wanted to do that, but didn't push much for it, due to knowing something that the Old Planters either didn't know or thought wasn't important: The British public were very hostile to the peculiar institution of slavery. It was politically impossible for the British to support the Confederacy militarily against the Union (some of the politicians might have been worried about being lynched, though the Old Planters wouldn't have believed that that was a serious option), even ignoring that the British doing that would lead to their enemies militarily supporting the Union against the Confederacy and the British.
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