Discussion:
What if X dies, or B lives - meta on the two theories of history
(too old to reply)
pyotr filipivich
2013-11-27 19:51:03 UTC
Permalink
This is going to be short, I left an hour ago.

The question underlying most of the "What if So and so dies/lives?" is
the unending question of "Is 'history' a result of actions of The
Great Man, or are there currents to 'history' which make Things
Happen?"

I am of a middle ground - certain sweeps of history are
inevitable, because they are the result of human nature. But a "great
man" can harness those forces, and do things with them. Traditional
Example: "the Diktat" as the Treaty of Versailles was known in Weimar
Germany, was unpopular, considered to be unfair, and a result of the
Foreign Ministry Stabbing the Army in the Back. There was great
unrest, even before the economic ... "difficulties". One could argue
that a rematch of The Great War was inevitable, that much of French
and British Foreign Policy was aimed at preventing just such a repeat.
(One must admit, they succeeded. There was no trench warfare in
France in 1940, nicht wahr?)

But, Herr Hitler, former Staff Sergeant in the Imperial Army, was
able to exploit that tide of discontent, "win friends and influence
people" so that His Plan was the one "accepted" by Germany, so that
the Great War II would be according to His Policy. The end result is
as we have seen, and yet, here we are, seventy years later, still
working what the "tides" set in place by the actions of that one
individual will be.

Likewise, in 1905, the Moroccan Crisis _almost_ lead to war
between Germany and France. It has been argued that because Willy
chickened out, The Great War of 1914 "was inevitable". But if he had
gone to war in 1905, the outcome would have been more along the lines
of 1870, than 1914. "Yet Another European War" preempts the [unknown]
Great War of 1914 (yet the Serbs, et al, would still have had their
three Balkan wars of 1910, 1912, and 1914. And maybe a few more), and
... possibly no Picasso, Salvador Dali, or Elvis Preisly.

That would be an interesting time line to explore - the von
Schilffen plan of 1905, and the "immediate" knock ons, of yet another
'short, victorious war' in France, in terms of physics, music, art,
economics and the development of digital television as an art form.

Have at it.

pyotr

--
pyotr filipovich
There are two things to remember about History, and both are cliches:
The First is "After all, these are Modern Times."
The Second is "The good Old Days, they were Better."
Anthony Buckland
2013-11-27 20:19:25 UTC
Permalink
... There was great
unrest, even before the economic ... "difficulties". One could argue
that a rematch of The Great War was inevitable, that much of French
and British Foreign Policy was aimed at preventing just such a repeat.
(One must admit, they succeeded. There was no trench warfare in
France in 1940, nicht wahr?)
...
In WWII, there was trench warfare when the situation suited it.
Stalingrad, the defense at Kursk, Iwo Jima, Berlin ...
Agreed, in general mobility, better infantry tactics, and the
ability to simply overrun the enemy's defenses meant not much
trench warfare. But I read that Iran and Iraq resorted to
trenches long after WWII. And to the suicidal infantry
attacks that made WWI so horrifying for us to contemplate.

"There are no atheists in foxholes" has meaning only because
there were and are still foxholes.
pyotr filipivich
2013-11-28 06:55:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Anthony Buckland
... There was great
unrest, even before the economic ... "difficulties". One could argue
that a rematch of The Great War was inevitable, that much of French
and British Foreign Policy was aimed at preventing just such a repeat.
(One must admit, they succeeded. There was no trench warfare in
France in 1940, nicht wahr?)
...
In WWII, there was trench warfare when the situation suited it.
This is true. But, not to quibble - those were areas outside the
interest of the French and British Foreign Ministries.
Post by Anthony Buckland
Stalingrad, the defense at Kursk, Iwo Jima, Berlin ...
Agreed, in general mobility, better infantry tactics, and the
ability to simply overrun the enemy's defenses meant not much
trench warfare.
Blitzkrieg works - for a while. Note how fast and far the Third
Reich traveled east in 1941, and how long it took the Soviet Union to
push them back.
Likewise, German Propaganda leaflets pointed out that the Allies
advance up the Italian peninsula was slower than a snail's pace.
OTOH, Patton took the Third Army around German strong points and
attacked their rear. In less than sixty days, the 3rd went from
"behind schedule" to "way too far ahead of schedule" (The Allies had
not reached their D+20 objectives by D+30, when Patton broke out. When
he was halted in September, he was at the D+300 objective line.)

Back to the original point: IMHO, because wars are "chaotic
systems" where "minor" events can have a disproportionate impact,
"there is chaos under heaven and the situation is excellent". While
it is highly probably that the failure to repulse Overlord mean that
the Third Empire was definitely going to lose the war, the timing was
still very much a "non-linear" problem not open to any reducible
calculus. At the same time, things were of such a state of flux, that
a "Great Man" could have a massive impact on the conduct of the war.
Patton is an example of leadership - but IMHO there were many less
well known but as equally effective individuals under his (and
other's) commands, who made things happen.
Post by Anthony Buckland
But I read that Iran and Iraq resorted to
trenches long after WWII. And to the suicidal infantry
attacks that made WWI so horrifying for us to contemplate.
"There are no atheists in foxholes" has meaning only because
there were and are still foxholes.
And even the Air Force and the Navy say that, even if they don't
have foxholes.
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
Rich Rostrom
2013-11-28 18:50:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by pyotr filipivich
Blitzkrieg works - for a while. Note how fast and far the Third
Reich traveled east in 1941, and how long it took the Soviet Union to
push them back.
There were several periods of rapid Soviet
advances to the west. BAGRATION was the most
spectacular.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Likewise, German Propaganda leaflets pointed out that the Allies
advance up the Italian peninsula was slower than a snail's pace.
At times. At other times it was fast.
Post by pyotr filipivich
OTOH, Patton took the Third Army around German strong points and
attacked their rear. In less than sixty days, the 3rd went from
"behind schedule" to "way too far ahead of schedule" (The Allies had
not reached their D+20 objectives by D+30, when Patton broke out. When
he was halted in September, he was at the D+300 objective line.)
U.S. First Army moved just as far.

So did the British and Canadian forces on
the other flank, and 7th Army advancing
from the Mediterranean.

After German forces rallied at the end of
August, blitz attacks stopped dead.

There were "short blitzes" against for
instance the Saar-Palatinate triangle;
i.e. once initial resistance was overcome,
the Allies moved forward rapidly until
the next major obstacle was reached.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
pyotr filipivich
2013-11-29 17:03:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by pyotr filipivich
Blitzkrieg works - for a while. Note how fast and far the Third
Reich traveled east in 1941, and how long it took the Soviet Union to
push them back.
There were several periods of rapid Soviet
advances to the west. BAGRATION was the most
spectacular.
Lets see - 1941 June to December, the German army moves east how
many hundreds of kilometers? Along all fronts? Granted the terrain
favors maneuver, and there are not a lot of defensive features on the
steppes.
From December 1941, it takes the Red Army how many months to drive
back those same miles? Again, the terrain favors maneuver, and there
are not a lot of defensive features on the steppes.

I am in agreement basically - the tactic of "blitzkrieg" works,
particularly under "favorable conditions". Like a Highlander charge,
when it works, it works wonderfully; when it fails, it fails
spectacularly.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by pyotr filipivich
Likewise, German Propaganda leaflets pointed out that the Allies
advance up the Italian peninsula was slower than a snail's pace.
At times. At other times it was fast.
Yep. But it took a lot to
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by pyotr filipivich
OTOH, Patton took the Third Army around German strong points and
attacked their rear. In less than sixty days, the 3rd went from
"behind schedule" to "way too far ahead of schedule" (The Allies had
not reached their D+20 objectives by D+30, when Patton broke out. When
he was halted in September, he was at the D+300 objective line.)
U.S. First Army moved just as far.
Yes. Over a shorter arc, but yes, the 21st Army Group was moving
quickly.
¿Is the pursuit of a retreating army's rout "blitzkrieg"? Hmm ...
a question to ponder.
Post by Rich Rostrom
So did the British and Canadian forces on
the other flank, and 7th Army advancing
from the Mediterranean.
After German forces rallied at the end of
August, blitz attacks stopped dead.
There were "short blitzes" against for
instance the Saar-Palatinate triangle;
i.e. once initial resistance was overcome,
the Allies moved forward rapidly until
the next major obstacle was reached.
Again, "Blitzkrieg" is a strategy/tactic of maneuver, works best
against an enemy which is not expecting it. It van also be used when
the local situations "allow" it. Mechanized troops are "better" at
these kinds of attacks, as the actual troops can sleep in the
trucks/tracks.
OTOH, Sherman "blitzed" through the south without mechanized
support, so it is possible. But He also took advantage of conditions
on the ground, avoiding pitched battles and continually advancing on a
broad front.
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
Anthony Buckland
2013-12-01 19:24:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by pyotr filipivich
...
¿Is the pursuit of a retreating army's rout "blitzkrieg"? Hmm ...
a question to ponder.
...
Maybe it depends on how strictly you insist on the
definition of Blitzkrieg being followed. Surprise
as an essential component, for instance: Barbarossa,
for instance, might be the last German Blitzkrieg
in that sense. Patton's launch of his advance in
Europe might have been surprising enough to qualify.
Market Garden was a surprise, but the terrain
prevented the rest of the idea being employed --
one fast-moving armored column on a single road
could hardly maneuver properly. The Battle of the
Bulge came closer, but its dependence on the weather
frustrating the defending air units couldn't make up
for not having air offense for more than a brief
time.

But if you just want an overwhelming attack against
an inadequate defense, then something like Blitzkrieg
was employed, in the sense of the question asked
above, in medieval times whenever the defending
cavalry (if any) had been more or less wiped out:
then the offending cavalry could move quickly to cut
off and break up the fleeing infantry so that the
offending infantry could move in and massacre them
(or capture them if the offenders were having a
kindly day).
Bradipus
2013-12-01 20:06:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by pyotr filipivich
Likewise, German Propaganda leaflets pointed out that the
Allies advance up the Italian peninsula was slower than a
snail's pace.
At times. At other times it was fast.
Yep.  But it took a lot to
In Italian peninsula terrain favours defenders, and Allies
didn't push with their whole force, and their best generals
were planning D-Day.
--
o o
Larry Headlund
2013-11-28 15:08:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Anthony Buckland
... There was great
unrest, even before the economic ... "difficulties". One could argue
that a rematch of The Great War was inevitable, that much of French
and British Foreign Policy was aimed at preventing just such a repeat.
(One must admit, they succeeded. There was no trench warfare in
France in 1940, nicht wahr?)
...
In WWII, there was trench warfare when the situation suited it.
Stalingrad, the defense at Kursk, Iwo Jima, Berlin ...
Agreed, in general mobility, better infantry tactics, and the
ability to simply overrun the enemy's defenses meant not much
trench warfare. But I read that Iran and Iraq resorted to
trenches long after WWII. And to the suicidal infantry
attacks that made WWI so horrifying for us to contemplate.
"There are no atheists in foxholes" has meaning only because
there were and are still foxholes.
The latter part of the Korean War was also trench warfare.
The Horny Goat
2013-11-28 16:26:51 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 27 Nov 2013 12:19:25 -0800, Anthony Buckland
Post by Anthony Buckland
In WWII, there was trench warfare when the situation suited it.
Stalingrad, the defense at Kursk, Iwo Jima, Berlin ...
Agreed, in general mobility, better infantry tactics, and the
ability to simply overrun the enemy's defenses meant not much
trench warfare. But I read that Iran and Iraq resorted to
trenches long after WWII. And to the suicidal infantry
attacks that made WWI so horrifying for us to contemplate.
We have a member in my Toastmasters club who came here from Iran in
the early 90s and gave a speech on Nov 6 (i.e. our last meeting before
Nov 11th) on what a terrible thing war was specifically focussing on
his personal participation in that war.

Rather graphic in a way most of us can never imagine - and the
Iran-Iraqi war was one of the nastier wars in modern times.

I was in the awkward position of having the evaluate his speech
(Toastmasters is at least as much about giving and receiving
evaluation as actually giving the speeches) and it's difficult to know
what to say when someone breaks down 20 seconds before the end.
Don Phillipson
2013-11-28 14:19:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by pyotr filipivich
The question underlying most of the "What if So and so dies/lives?" is
the unending question of "Is 'history' a result of actions of The
Great Man, or are there currents to 'history' which make Things
Happen?"
. . . One could argue
that a rematch of The Great War was inevitable, that much of French
and British Foreign Policy was aimed at preventing just such a repeat.
(One must admit, they succeeded. There was no trench warfare in
France in 1940, nicht wahr?)
British and French armies trained in 1939 for trench warfare (as in
most of WW1) cf. the Maginot Line etc. German armies trained
otherwise for Blitzkrieg = Lightning War, seeking rapid penetration
by tanks supported by dive bombers.
Post by pyotr filipivich
But, Herr Hitler, former Staff Sergeant in the Imperial Army, was
Hitler was a Gefreiter (corporal) in the Bavarian Army. There was
no "imperial army." All German forces were deployed by the
General Staff (effectively Prussian.)
Post by pyotr filipivich
able to exploit that tide of discontent, "win friends and influence
people" so that His Plan was the one "accepted" by Germany, so that
the Great War II would be according to His Policy.
Plans and policies seem to have counted for little in either the
Nazis' electoral vote or Hindenburg's offer of the Chancellorship
to Hitler. The theme of the Nazi "plan" was the offer of Hitler's
personality to effect (1) revolutionary change leading to (2)
"order" (cf. the OP's comments on Great Man Theory.) Later
historians agree Hitler was more an opportunist than a planner.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Likewise, in 1905, the Moroccan Crisis _almost_ lead to war
between Germany and France. It has been argued that because Willy
chickened out, The Great War of 1914 "was inevitable". But if he had
gone to war in 1905, the outcome would have been more along the lines
of 1870, than 1914.
This seems unconvincing. Had war come in 1905 it would have been
a naval war for overseas colonies, something quite different from both
1870 and 1914.
Post by pyotr filipivich
That would be an interesting time line to explore - the von
Schilffen plan of 1905, and the "immediate" knock ons, of yet another
'short, victorious war' in France, in terms of physics, music, art,
economics and the development of digital television as an art form.
Margaret Macmillan's new book discusses 1905-1914 in detail but
does not speculate about cultural implications.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Bill
2013-11-28 15:10:44 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 28 Nov 2013 09:19:02 -0500, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
British and French armies trained in 1939 for trench warfare (as in
most of WW1) cf. the Maginot Line etc.
The French may well have done so but the British certainly did not.

Almost all British large scale tactical training was based on 'Plan
1919' which was about an armored breakout.

The British infantry combat advance using the 'section drill'
supported by the section LMG was highly formalised but seems to have
been reasonably effective throughout WWII.
Paul J. Adam
2013-11-28 18:07:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Phillipson
British and French armies trained in 1939 for trench warfare (as in
most of WW1) cf. the Maginot Line etc.
Which explains why the British Expeditionary Force was fully mechanised
and planned for, and trained for, mobile warfare? (c.f. the
counterattack at Arras for a good example).
--
He thinks too much, such men are dangerous.
pyotr filipivich
2013-11-29 17:03:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by pyotr filipivich
The question underlying most of the "What if So and so dies/lives?" is
the unending question of "Is 'history' a result of actions of The
Great Man, or are there currents to 'history' which make Things
Happen?"
. . . One could argue
that a rematch of The Great War was inevitable, that much of French
and British Foreign Policy was aimed at preventing just such a repeat.
(One must admit, they succeeded. There was no trench warfare in
France in 1940, nicht wahr?)
British and French armies trained in 1939 for trench warfare (as in
most of WW1) cf. the Maginot Line etc. German armies trained
otherwise for Blitzkrieg = Lightning War, seeking rapid penetration
by tanks supported by dive bombers.
Post by pyotr filipivich
But, Herr Hitler, former Staff Sergeant in the Imperial Army, was
Hitler was a Gefreiter (corporal) in the Bavarian Army.
And made Staff Sergeant. He was assigned as part of Military
Intelligence to keep an eye on the National Socialist German Worker's
Party, which he subsequently joined for his own reasons.
Post by Don Phillipson
There was
no "imperial army." All German forces were deployed by the
General Staff (effectively Prussian.)
Post by pyotr filipivich
able to exploit that tide of discontent, "win friends and influence
people" so that His Plan was the one "accepted" by Germany, so that
the Great War II would be according to His Policy.
Plans and policies seem to have counted for little in either the
Nazis' electoral vote or Hindenburg's offer of the Chancellorship
to Hitler. The theme of the Nazi "plan" was the offer of Hitler's
personality to effect (1) revolutionary change leading to (2)
"order" (cf. the OP's comments on Great Man Theory.) Later
historians agree Hitler was more an opportunist than a planner.
Hitler ran on "hope and change" and won. That he didn't have an
Actual Plan, doesn't change that he was able to harness the general
discontent in Germany, and use it for his own purposes: meet chicks
and drink beer. Oh, and revamp the country as it Ought to Be.
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by pyotr filipivich
Likewise, in 1905, the Moroccan Crisis _almost_ lead to war
between Germany and France. It has been argued that because Willy
chickened out, The Great War of 1914 "was inevitable". But if he had
gone to war in 1905, the outcome would have been more along the lines
of 1870, than 1914.
This seems unconvincing. Had war come in 1905 it would have been
a naval war for overseas colonies, something quite different from both
1870 and 1914.
Possibly. I've read that as part of that overseas conflict,
taking the French capital would have made the overseas operations much
more easily resolved.
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by pyotr filipivich
That would be an interesting time line to explore - the von
Schilffen plan of 1905, and the "immediate" knock ons, of yet another
'short, victorious war' in France, in terms of physics, music, art,
economics and the development of digital television as an art form.
Margaret Macmillan's new book discusses 1905-1914 in detail but
does not speculate about cultural implications.
I'd say that one of the problems with Alt-history is just that:
how does one measure the cultural impact of an event which did or
didn't happen.
For example, there have been a number of threads about the impact
on general aviation had there been no Great War in 1914-1919. Mostly
along the lines of there being a lack of development in the area of
"civil aviation" particularly the development of airlines which were
more than a passenger in the back seat of a war surplus Jenny (etc).
Assuming a German victory in the War of 1905, there is no WWI, no
hot house development of aviation, no great Depression in the 30s.
What impact does the lack of "advanced" prop planes in 1919 have on
the development of jet engines? And the subsequent development of
"cheap" and quick air transportation across the Atlantic on the very
idea of The Jet Set, as well as the whole idea of students taking a
flight to Europe and then heading East along the Hippie Trail?

How much of the Roaring Twenties, in our time line, was a reaction
to the "recent unpleasantness" American expats living in Paris
because they could afford to. The psychological impact of the war -
and the meaninglessness of life drawn from that. I've read that in
one sense, quantum mechanics is the physicists version of Dadaism.
Could be.

So we are back to the issues of the forces of history being
composed of the aggregate of individual choices, and the impact of an
individual to direct those choices. Just because the majority of
people agree that the country is going in the wrong direction, does
not mean they all agree on the "correct" direction. Just that some
body ought to do some thing. Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton
- they did their own thing, yet had great impact outside their own
immediate circle of friends. Mick Jagger formed a band in order to
play American Blues - sans WW2, what exposure to American Music would
an English lad at university have had?
And so forth.
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
The Horny Goat
2013-11-30 00:37:07 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 29 Nov 2013 09:03:52 -0800, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Hitler ran on "hope and change" and won. That he didn't have an
Actual Plan, doesn't change that he was able to harness the general
discontent in Germany, and use it for his own purposes: meet chicks
and drink beer. Oh, and revamp the country as it Ought to Be.
"meet chicks"? Uh - a lot of people believe that the great love of
Hitler's life (most likely unrequired) was his niece Geli Raubal who
committed suicide in 1931. Surprisingly her suicide didn't unduly
affect Hitler's political career though an interesting WI might have
been what if it had? The Nazis had just made their electoral
breakthrough and having to change leaders due to an incestuous sexual
scandal might well have ended the Party then and there.

My guess is that if this had happened we'd have ended with something
like the DBWI scenario.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by pyotr filipivich
Likewise, in 1905, the Moroccan Crisis _almost_ lead to war
between Germany and France. It has been argued that because Willy
chickened out, The Great War of 1914 "was inevitable". But if he had
gone to war in 1905, the outcome would have been more along the lines
of 1870, than 1914.
I'm not so sure - between 1905 and 1914 the German army greatly
improved their artillery - they felt by 1914 that their feldartillerie
was fully capable of matching the French 75 on equal terms which was
NOT the case 10 years earlier.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by Don Phillipson
This seems unconvincing. Had war come in 1905 it would have been
a naval war for overseas colonies, something quite different from both
1870 and 1914.
A naval war in 1905 between Britain and Germany would have been much
more favorable to the Royal Navy than in 1914-18.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Possibly. I've read that as part of that overseas conflict,
taking the French capital would have made the overseas operations much
more easily resolved.
Again I'm skeptical largely due to the French lead in artillery in
1905 which didn't exist in 1914.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by pyotr filipivich
That would be an interesting time line to explore - the von
Schilffen plan of 1905, and the "immediate" knock ons, of yet another
'short, victorious war' in France, in terms of physics, music, art,
economics and the development of digital television as an art form.
Certainly a war that lasted 6-12 months would have had far less
societal impact than one that lasted 4 years whether it took place in
1905 or 1914.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Assuming a German victory in the War of 1905, there is no WWI, no
hot house development of aviation, no great Depression in the 30s.
What impact does the lack of "advanced" prop planes in 1919 have on
the development of jet engines? And the subsequent development of
"cheap" and quick air transportation across the Atlantic on the very
idea of The Jet Set, as well as the whole idea of students taking a
flight to Europe and then heading East along the Hippie Trail?
There had been economic downturns before 1929 (which was brought into
effect as much due to problems with the Austrian banks as much as Wall
Street speculation) and war or no war they would occur again at somie
point.
Post by pyotr filipivich
So we are back to the issues of the forces of history being
composed of the aggregate of individual choices, and the impact of an
individual to direct those choices. Just because the majority of
people agree that the country is going in the wrong direction, does
not mean they all agree on the "correct" direction. Just that some
body ought to do some thing. Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton
- they did their own thing, yet had great impact outside their own
immediate circle of friends. Mick Jagger formed a band in order to
play American Blues - sans WW2, what exposure to American Music would
an English lad at university have had?
Somehow I think you've got a lot of work to do before you make the
scenario that the London School of Economics trained Michael Jagger
would someday head the Bank of England.

On the other hand, failed artists did end up being the Supreme Warlord
of Europe so I'd argue Jagger heading the Bank of England requires
less alien space bats than Hitler becoming ruler of Germany! Certainly
no one denies Jagger's intelligence or physical energy. (Not anyone
who has ever seen him live on stage in his 60s that is - my brother
attended a Stones concert last year and was amazed not so much by the
music but by Jagger's stamina.)
pyotr filipivich
2013-11-30 05:22:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 29 Nov 2013 09:03:52 -0800, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Hitler ran on "hope and change" and won. That he didn't have an
Actual Plan, doesn't change that he was able to harness the general
discontent in Germany, and use it for his own purposes: meet chicks
and drink beer. Oh, and revamp the country as it Ought to Be.
"meet chicks"?
It does seem to be one reason guys go into politics.
Post by The Horny Goat
Uh - a lot of people believe that the great love of
Hitler's life (most likely unrequired) was his niece Geli Raubal who
committed suicide in 1931. Surprisingly her suicide didn't unduly
affect Hitler's political career though an interesting WI might have
been what if it had? The Nazis had just made their electoral
breakthrough and having to change leaders due to an incestuous sexual
scandal might well have ended the Party then and there.
My guess is that if this had happened we'd have ended with something
like the DBWI scenario.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by pyotr filipivich
Likewise, in 1905, the Moroccan Crisis _almost_ lead to war
between Germany and France. It has been argued that because Willy
chickened out, The Great War of 1914 "was inevitable". But if he had
gone to war in 1905, the outcome would have been more along the lines
of 1870, than 1914.
I'm not so sure - between 1905 and 1914 the German army greatly
improved their artillery - they felt by 1914 that their feldartillerie
was fully capable of matching the French 75 on equal terms which was
NOT the case 10 years earlier.
To use a phrase - I don't know enough to even guess.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by Don Phillipson
This seems unconvincing. Had war come in 1905 it would have been
a naval war for overseas colonies, something quite different from both
1870 and 1914.
A naval war in 1905 between Britain and Germany would have been much
more favorable to the Royal Navy than in 1914-18.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Possibly. I've read that as part of that overseas conflict,
taking the French capital would have made the overseas operations much
more easily resolved.
Again I'm skeptical largely due to the French lead in artillery in
1905 which didn't exist in 1914.
Also a high probability.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by pyotr filipivich
That would be an interesting time line to explore - the von
Schilffen plan of 1905, and the "immediate" knock ons, of yet another
'short, victorious war' in France, in terms of physics, music, art,
economics and the development of digital television as an art form.
Certainly a war that lasted 6-12 months would have had far less
societal impact than one that lasted 4 years whether it took place in
1905 or 1914.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Assuming a German victory in the War of 1905, there is no WWI, no
hot house development of aviation, no great Depression in the 30s.
What impact does the lack of "advanced" prop planes in 1919 have on
the development of jet engines? And the subsequent development of
"cheap" and quick air transportation across the Atlantic on the very
idea of The Jet Set, as well as the whole idea of students taking a
flight to Europe and then heading East along the Hippie Trail?
There had been economic downturns before 1929 (which was brought into
effect as much due to problems with the Austrian banks as much as Wall
Street speculation) and war or no war they would occur again at somie
point.
True. However, the economic crisis of 1923/28/32 were exacerbated
by the political crisis of 1919 (The Diktat). I would like to think
that with just one or the other, the NaSDAP would not have gained
traction, as they did.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by pyotr filipivich
So we are back to the issues of the forces of history being
composed of the aggregate of individual choices, and the impact of an
individual to direct those choices. Just because the majority of
people agree that the country is going in the wrong direction, does
not mean they all agree on the "correct" direction. Just that some
body ought to do some thing. Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton
- they did their own thing, yet had great impact outside their own
immediate circle of friends. Mick Jagger formed a band in order to
play American Blues - sans WW2, what exposure to American Music would
an English lad at university have had?
Somehow I think you've got a lot of work to do before you make the
scenario that the London School of Economics trained Michael Jagger
would someday head the Bank of England.
Stranger things have happened.
Post by The Horny Goat
On the other hand, failed artists did end up being the Supreme Warlord
of Europe so I'd argue Jagger heading the Bank of England requires
less alien space bats than Hitler becoming ruler of Germany! Certainly
no one denies Jagger's intelligence or physical energy. (Not anyone
who has ever seen him live on stage in his 60s that is - my brother
attended a Stones concert last year and was amazed not so much by the
music but by Jagger's stamina.)
So I've heard. Part of that is probably just "good genes" and the
rest is being rich enough to afford the gym time. And . there is an
element of "OMG- He's 70!" (And Jagger is thinking "I'm 70 - I have to
prove that I'm not whipped out.")
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
The Horny Goat
2013-11-30 19:03:23 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 29 Nov 2013 21:22:27 -0800, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by pyotr filipivich
Hitler ran on "hope and change" and won. That he didn't have an
Actual Plan, doesn't change that he was able to harness the general
discontent in Germany, and use it for his own purposes: meet chicks
and drink beer. Oh, and revamp the country as it Ought to Be.
"meet chicks"?
It does seem to be one reason guys go into politics.
I'm assuming you're excluding Berlusconi who is rich enough he could
play his bunga bunga games outside politics and nobody would care.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by The Horny Goat
I'm not so sure - between 1905 and 1914 the German army greatly
improved their artillery - they felt by 1914 that their feldartillerie
was fully capable of matching the French 75 on equal terms which was
NOT the case 10 years earlier.
To use a phrase - I don't know enough to even guess.
Check out 'The Real German War Plan 1904-1914" by Terrence Zuber -
each year during that period the German General Staff revised their
plans for war and he analyses each. He makes the point that there were
several "Schlieffen Plans" some more dangerous than others and that
the German high command felt increasingly confident towards the end of
that period as they felt initially that their field artillery was
inferior to the French but increasingly less inferior and finally
superior and that their super-heavy artillery (the 305mm and 430mm
guns) gave them an ability to reduce fortresses than the field
artillery - which was primarily infantry support - just didn't have.

I note in passing that you should check out French casualties during
the "Plan 17" phase of the war (basically Aug-Dec 1914) - they were
heavy.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Also a high probability.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
That would be an interesting time line to explore - the von
Schilffen plan of 1905, and the "immediate" knock ons, of yet another
'short, victorious war' in France, in terms of physics, music, art,
economics and the development of digital television as an art form.
French military strategy post 1871 was to build up both their mobile
artillery and their fixed fortifications. I think there was a clear
understanding in France that they had no hope of defeating Germany
alone given the economic and industrial disparity so that their
diplomatic strategy was critical.

Of course keeping France diplomatically isolated was the whole point
of Bismarck's post 1871 strategy as Bismarck felt that Germany had
achieved all its objectives and that "racing for colonies" was a self
defeating effort. All of which was overturned under Kaiser Wilhelm
II...
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by The Horny Goat
Certainly a war that lasted 6-12 months would have had far less
societal impact than one that lasted 4 years whether it took place in
1905 or 1914.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Assuming a German victory in the War of 1905, there is no WWI, no
hot house development of aviation, no great Depression in the 30s.
What impact does the lack of "advanced" prop planes in 1919 have on
the development of jet engines? And the subsequent development of
"cheap" and quick air transportation across the Atlantic on the very
idea of The Jet Set, as well as the whole idea of students taking a
flight to Europe and then heading East along the Hippie Trail?
War in 1905 probably also butterflies away the Titanic and many other
great ocean liners. It would certainly change my life since my
mother's paternal grandfather brought his family to Canada from the UK
in 1912 while my mother's maternal grandfather worked on the Titanic
(which was not as big an accomplishment as it sounds - if you were in
the construction trades in Belfast 1907-1911 and were any good at your
trade at all you were hired as it was the construction project of the
decade!)
Post by pyotr filipivich
True. However, the economic crisis of 1923/28/32 were exacerbated
by the political crisis of 1919 (The Diktat). I would like to think
that with just one or the other, the NaSDAP would not have gained
traction, as they did.
I have repeated argued the point in this newsgroup that the Versailles
Treaties (and I include the various treaties with the other Central
Powers besides Germany) was no more onerous than most of the major
European treaties that ended wars involving the European great powers
since Napoleonic times. No question there was the mythology promoted
by various political parties in Weimar Germany that Versailles was
particularly harsh but when you look at the treaties that ended the
Crimean War, the war of 1866, the Franco-Prussian War (there was an
initial and a permanent treaty to this one), the various Balkan wars
and Brest-Litovsk, Versailles seems not so onerous.

The difference of course is that Versailles was the only one of those
where Germany was on the losing end - in all the others Prussia /
Germany was either neutral or victorious.
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by The Horny Goat
On the other hand, failed artists did end up being the Supreme Warlord
of Europe so I'd argue Jagger heading the Bank of England requires
less alien space bats than Hitler becoming ruler of Germany! Certainly
no one denies Jagger's intelligence or physical energy. (Not anyone
who has ever seen him live on stage in his 60s that is - my brother
attended a Stones concert last year and was amazed not so much by the
music but by Jagger's stamina.)
So I've heard. Part of that is probably just "good genes" and the
rest is being rich enough to afford the gym time. And . there is an
element of "OMG- He's 70!" (And Jagger is thinking "I'm 70 - I have to
prove that I'm not whipped out.")
And of course the evidence seems to be that Jagger himself was not
nearly as into the "rock star lifestyle" as many of his bandmates. I'm
not saying he was a choirboy - Marianne Faithful in her memoirs (which
I highly recommend if you're interested in the subject) makes that
point all too clear - but he avoided the excesses far more than
someone like Ronnie Wood for instance.
Matt Giwer
2013-12-01 21:59:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by pyotr filipivich
This is going to be short, I left an hour ago.
The question underlying most of the "What if So and so dies/lives?" is
the unending question of "Is 'history' a result of actions of The
Great Man, or are there currents to 'history' which make Things
Happen?"
As I pointed out a decade or more ago that question is a rehash of the
predestination or free will debate.

The answer as I presented a few years later is history is chaotic and
therefore neither concept applies. Take your wayback machine to a market
in Rome. Shout. Return.

In the extremely unlikely event that the only consequence of that is a
single different sperm fertilizes and egg a different person will be
born. In the unlikely event that nothing is different through all the
gestation once the different child is born everything starts being
different as all children are different. More different sperm start
reaching different eggs and different children are born. And as the odds
of a different sperm producing a different sex are 50/50 there are
massive changes within a single generation.

Pick a number but I would suggest in ten generations that shout in Rome
would have spread to the entire Eurasian and African land masses. Almost
everyone is a different person in a few generations. We know for a fact
even same sex siblings are not interchangeable and thus course of
history would have to be different.
--
All learning begins with unlearning nonsense.
-- The Iron Webmaster, 4444
http://www.giwersworld.org/disinfo/occupied-2.phtml a6
Sun, Dec 01, 2013 4:40:26 PM
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