The dangers of allowing
Hitler to have unimpeded control of Germany passed most observers by until it
was too late. However, there was
one nation that did understand the warning; Poland. The Poles quietly suggested a pre-emptive strike to the
French in late 1933, but were rebuffed, which forced them to sign a
non-aggression agreement. Pause for
French politics during
that period were very much in flux. Delay
the polish offer or move it forward and a very different power structure in
France might receive it. Let’s
assume that a more nationalist French government is in power when the Poles make
their offer and, as the French are in economic trouble, they decide that a
‘short victorious war’ is exactly what they need.
The British may or may
not be involved. Given the trouble
in Manchuria and the economic problems, I suspect that they will only offer
tacit support and some arms supplies. Anyway,
the French and the Poles deliver a joint ultimation to Adolf, demanding that
Germany disarm, crease constructing weapons and remove their nazi government.
Hitler is not going to agree and he orders suicidal defence.
The Germans were limited,
at the time, to ten divisions of regular troops, with no tanks and only a
handful of outdated aircraft. The
French will outnumber and outgun them in almost every category.
On the other hand, there will be massive partisan activity in Germany
(there was major passive resistance when the French occupied the Rhineland in
the 1920s) and the Nazi organisations (mainly street thug level) such as the SS
and SA. It won’t take much effort
for Hitler to inspire fanatical resistance.
The French and Poles
launch an attack into Germany. The
Germans concentrate on defending against the Poles and manage to score a few
small victories, while leaving only a small force against the French.
The Poles get more careful and occupy East Prussia, while poking along
the German border. The French
occupy the Rhineland and head eastwards, although they have constant supply
problems and face partisan attacks.
The German organised
defence ends within a month. The
French and Poles are too numerous and better armed, which means that the Germans
have got to spread their forces too thin. The
French have problems and are forced to keep troops in the rear, while using
brutal anti-partisan tactics. However,
Berlin falls to the Poles after a short fight and the Poles capture Hitler,
keeping him as a hostage.
The German government
collapses with the loss of Berlin. Small
units go underground and continue to hit French forces.
Others surrender or head home. The
French escenslly occupy most of Germany, while the Poles have the reminder and
annex East Prussia. The Nazi party
is wiped out.
This has long-term
effects. The French and Poles have
to keep occupation troops in their areas for years.
There is a constant bloody sore as they lose troops and lose world favour
as news of atrocities gets out. With
the Nazi’s gone; the German communists emerge as the leaders of the
resistance, fighting the French while maintaining links to the French
The most likely outcome
is no world war two or at least a significantly delayed war.
Without Germany, Japan would probably not attack the combined US/UK/USSR
powers, as all three would be notably stronger.
The French would probably get tired of constant draining partisan warfare
and would start a withdrawal from Germany (annexing the Rhineland) in 1940ish.
The Germans would probably be left with a number of puppet governments
instead of a strong central government. Poland
would have a more modern army and a strong alliance with France, which would
allow it to deter the USSR.
In the long run, the
Germans would probably rise again. France
would have its hands tied down with warfare in Algeria and Poland would be wary
of the USSR. Can you see a WW2
fought with nukes?
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