What if...No 1939?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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What if...No 1939?

Post by Karl » 18 Mar 2002 06:50

We’ve done this before I know, but I forgot many of the responses and it has been nagging me.

What if, Germany stopped short of Poland? What if they stopped everything and focused on internal affairs - the country only - in 1939 and onwards? How would the State have handled 'the Jewish problem' in this case? Would there have been an inevitable show down with the Soviet Union? Would there have been a conflict at all, eventually? Would you think the Third Reich would still be in existence today and how would the rest of the world map look like today?

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and for the more cynical...

Post by Karl » 18 Mar 2002 14:50

No takers yet? Either lack of interest or nobody has an opinion. I know you are an opinionated lot so out with it. Consider the world map question. I think that in particular is an interesting one. Here’s another: would Israel be in existence today? Or for the more cynical: would Hitler have realistically gone the peace route at all?


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Post by Vapor Trail » 18 Mar 2002 18:58

I believe I read somewhere that Hitler needed the war economically. Something about he blew all the countries cash on weapons, and he needed the war to keep it going.

BUT, that is not the What if question you proposed.

If Hitler had not started te war in 1939, then perhaps he would of had an extra amount of time to continue his military buildup, work on a solution for the Jews in Germany. I also beleive that eventually the land Hitler demanded in Poland would have been given to him to keep him from attacking.

Also one must consider that Winston Churchill might not have come to power as a result of this.

There are plenty of results, twists and turns for this question, i'm sure someone else can cover it more carefully.

BTW: The "What If" section of the Third Reich Forum is not the most popular or most visited, some replies might take anywhere from a few hours to a few days

see yea later,


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Post by Hannibal » 22 Mar 2002 22:58

I've read somewhere that Stalin planned a "march to the West" somewhere in mid-forties, so sooner or later Wehrmacht would have to meet Red Army...

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Post by rob » 01 Apr 2002 05:31

If no war in 1939 I see a few possibilities. A war between Germany and Russia, with Poland the baltic states Hungary and Rumania on Germany's side breaking out sometime in the 1940s. this is the bloody option.
the peaceful option is the "francoization" (or "peronisation" or any other right-wing dictator who did not disturb the peace of the world, there are others to choose from actually, Metaxas, Salazar etc.) of Hitler in which he contents himself with being Europes top dog but doesn't rock the boat. Under this scenario, the last Jews emigrate successfully out of Germany by the mid 1940's. Chamberlain wins the 1940 British election, dies soon after and is replaced by Halifax perhaps. In the US FDR doesn't run again in 1940. I'll post some others thoughts about this later.

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Post by valadezaj » 02 May 2002 15:02

In my opinion it simply was not possible for Germany to concentrate on it's internal affairs. Germany's economy was so bad that Hitler had to keep expanding to gain economic resources.

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Post by Thunderstruck » 02 May 2002 22:20

Actually, most of Germany's prewar debt was internal. Most of thier borrowing was self financed and very little was owed to external creditors. I think it might have been possible to pay that off with "other than cash" considerations. Such as a one time "tax" equivalent to the amount owed to the company, or the exchange of assets in captured/occupied territories for a debt forgiveness.

Anyway, had Germany taken a couple of years to digest the pieces of Czechoslovakia and the country known as Austria, straightened out their industrial output and consolidated thier gains there Germany would have been a much stronger force to reckon with. Not to mention the promised time allowed to finish building up the Kreigsmarine and Luftwaffe would have materialized. However, Hitler, being a soldier, had little knowlege or care ,imo, for these other branches of the military. He saw the Wehrmacht as the important part and the Luftwaffe as a support for them. As for the Kriegsmarine, I think that branch made him nervous. Can you imagine Germany with 4-5 more years of time to develop new weapons and fill in thier forces? Especially if they could use diplomacy to soothe and lull thier enemies into thinking they were done with any aggression.

It's not too far fetched, imo. Germany had been able to bypass the Versailles restrictions on a limited scale by subterfuge, training in other countries and bold action. I just imagine a continuation and expansion of this to allow enough breathing space to be virtually unstoppable.

However, what this would have spelled for the rest of the world remains to be seen. Even if the Japanese did exactly what we know them to have done, in this scenario Hitler doesn't declare war on the US and the US doesn't learn anything helpful in fighting the Japanese. The Sherman tank the US used was more than up to the task of taking out the Japanese as was the prop driven airplanes. I imagine that without a two front war for the US to fight the urge to develop the nuclear bomb would be missing and even that weapon would not be in the arsenal of democracy.

It might have developed into a cold war with Germany instead of the SU. It's all an interresting mind excerise but fortunately it was never something we had to live thru.


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Post by Pumpkin » 03 May 2002 15:45

Considering that German economy grew 10%+ each year before the war, I think any debt could be controlled. At that growth rate, the state debt's share of GDP would've halved within 7 years even without amortization.

Given that the SU never invades, I think that the domestic politics of the democraties would've been quite different today. Fascism, in different national forms, would've been highly legitimate. It had already defeated communism outside SU. Even social democrats would've used fascist ideas and methods without thinking twice about it. Israel still might've come into existance 1948 as a solution to the "jewish problem". Space exploration would've been delayed. The third world would've remained the domain of the UK and France even today. The US and SU wouldn't have had the power to help abolishing the colonies (in order to open those markets and spreading communism respectively). Europe would've been the centre of the world, and Germany the centre of Europe.

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Post by Geli » 11 Jul 2002 06:31

Israel might have existed, but in Madagascar.

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Re: What if...No 1939?

Post by Cantankerous » 01 Oct 2023 04:16

Geli wrote:
11 Jul 2002 06:31
Israel might have existed, but in Madagascar.
No, a huge proportion of Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Greek, and Yugoslav Jews would have immigrated to historic Palestine.

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Re: What if...No 1939?

Post by wm » 01 Oct 2023 06:45

Although there was no Jewish problem in 1939 Germany.
A majority of the Jews had emigrated by that time already, and the remaining 150,000 weren't a threat.
But they could have been, according to Hitler, in a weakened Germany, weakened, for example, by prolonged war.
Anyway, the remaining Jews would be able to emigrate in the next few years if needed.

The only "good" years to start a war were 1938-1940; later, the rearming Allies would be too strong, and the Wehrmacht not that modern and ready.

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Re: What if...No 1939?

Post by Terry Duncan » 02 Oct 2023 08:20

Thread Necromancy from 2002 brought to people by Cantankerous. Please start acting your age before you find yourself taking an extended holiday.


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