What a wonderful World it would be – redux

Thought about my alternate history story in my previous post and it occurred to me that I had forgotten one of the major players – Stalin and the Soviet Union.  I decided it didn’t matter.  At the beginning of WW II, Germany and the Soviet Union were allies.  The war started with Germany invaded Poland.  What rarely gets mentioned is that shortly (like days later) the Soviets invaded Poland from the east.  The German Soviet Non-Aggression Pact had not just made Germany and the Soviet Union buddies, it also laid out the agreement to divide Poland between them.  So President O’bama would still have been on Germany’s side as he would have been on Stalin’s side.  Once Germany invaded the Soviet Union, O’bama would have to pick sides.  While siding with Stalin to protect the socialist revolution would have been the natural inclination, he would have been powerless to intervene because unlike Roosevelt who began a military build up in the late ’30s as the threat of a major war in both Europe and the Pacific loomed, O’bama would have continued to neglect the military.  The United States would not have had anything to fight with in 1940-41.

Note that this little story may sound a bit hyperbolic.  But in reality, there were many crossroads during World War II where the war truly lay in the balance and could have gone either way.  Churchill said in his memoirs that if Germany had invaded after the retreat from Dunkirk, England very likely would not have been able to resist.  If the Battle of Midway had seen the Japanese finding the American carrier task force first instead of the other way around, the US Navy would have been effectively driven from the Central Pacific and the Japanese would have been unchallenged there for years.  The German U-boat campaign almost brought down the British.  Again in Churchill’s memoirs, England was being starved by the blockade and Churchill was contemplating surrender when he heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor and knew that the US was going to enter the war.  Hitler was owed favors by Franco in Spain.  If Hitler had pressured Franco to close the British base at Gibraltar, the Mediterranean would have been an Axis lake.  Over and over again, these situations occurred.  But through bad decision making on the part of the Axis leaders, fortunate decisions on the part of the Allied leaders and pure, dumb, blind luck that bordered on divine intervention saw the Allies victorious.

What if one of the Allied leaders weren’t as decisive or have the best interests of the free world in mind?

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