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WorldWar – Alternatives

Prelude:  In many ways, the WorldWar books were the first Alternate History books I’ve read, although the first ‘pure’ AH book I read was ‘stars and stripes forever’, which did little for my growing enthusiasm.  Inspired by a list of LOTR PODs, I’ve decided to attempt the same thing with the WorldWar books.  This essay is broken up into three sections, WorldWar, the years between the two series, and Colonisation. 

Outcomes: I’ve separated the outcomes into three sections:

-Lizard Victory.  The Lizards win the wars and enslave humanity.  All hail the Emperor!

-Human Victory.  The humans defeat the Lizards and evict them.

-Stalemate.  The wars either stop without a massive defeat or the Earth’s biosphere is destroyed, forcing a stalemate. 


Lizards demand surrenders before landing:  This might lead to no major changes, but if the humans figure out what’s happening, they might be able to give the landing Starships a hot reception.  Maybe nothing, maybe quite important. 

Lizards land in the centre of one or more of the major human powers:  Most of the Lizard landings took place in outside regions, southern US, France, Ukraine, China, instead of landing in the centre of any of the great powers.  If the Lizards had, for example, landed directly in Germany, it is not inconceivable that they would have managed to occupy most of Germany and – more importantly – destroyed their factories before the Germans could adapt to this new threat.  The German forces would be severely disrupted and become dependent upon the USSR and the British.  Most likely outcome, Lizards end up dominating Europe as well as their OTL sphere. 

Lizards land in the UK:  While the UK did have some forces in the home islands, they had most of their forces in Africa and no one expected an invasion.  The lizards might have a walkover, which removes the UK from the game board ahead of time.  No British bombing raids, no support for Germany, no support for the Jewish resistance, no radar development, no jet planes from the UK.  This could be VERY important, but I’m not sure how.  Most important outcome would be major disruption in the remains of the British Empire, making occupation easier.  None of the British colonies could generate more than local military power. 

German atomic program disrupted beyond quick repair:  No German atomic program, for starters.  If the lizards don’t count the Germans as one of the major human powers, they may stay at war with them after peace with the US and USSR.  On the other hand, the Germans were pretty good fighters, so they may still force a peace that left them with Germany proper.  Most likely outcome would be a weaker or lizard occupied Germany.  A weaker Germany would be unable to go to space or to build many nukes and nuclear subs.  A variant on this AH would be the USSR threatening to nuke Germany unless they open their nuclear research labs and forswear building the weapons. 

Lizards nuke Moscow:  The Lizards hit both Washington and Berlin, but achieved little in results beyond some disruption, while Moscow was untouched.  If Moscow had been hit, however, it would have severely disrupted the soviet economy and leadership. 

Russian bomb fizzles, lizards take Moscow:  The Lizards were advancing on Moscow before the Russians detonated a nuke in their path.  If that nuke had fizzled, the lizards might well have taken Moscow and forced the Russians to fall back towards the Urals, which would have put a temporary end to the Russian offensive sprit.   The Lizards would have time to finish off the USSR forces in the west of the USSR and any surviving German forces in the area.  The USSR would probably lose its nuclear program in the disruption.  Most likely outcome – Lizard victory.  At least, there would be no powerful USSR as one of the human powers. 

Atvar gets the boot, Straha takes control: Possibly the defining moment of the war, at least in my view.  Atvar slowly upped the pressure on the humans, Straha wanted to bomb all of the resisting nations until they submitted.  Atvar won a vote, forcing Straha to flee for his life to the US.  However, if Straha had won and taken power, it is likely that he would have picked a human nation (Germany would have posed fewest problems) and systematically destroyed every city and major town within its borders.  (France would probably be targeted as well, at least the parts which are not under Lizard control.)  My suspicion is that the UK and Japan would have surrendered with as much grace as possible, while the USSR and US might have tried to fight on.  The US, however, would be facing massive civilian panic as reports of the destruction of Germany appeared in the US newspapers and Lizard propaganda.  Most likely outcome: Lizard Victory.  This assumes that the Lizards have enough bombs to destroy Germany.  Atvar plans to do so in STB, so I assume that the Lizards have enough.  Germany is the easiest target because it is relatively small compared to the others.

Lizards knock out US nuclear program:  At several points, Denver and (unwittingly) the US nuke program were considered as targets for atomic bombs by the lizards, but was passed over every time.  If it had been hit, however, the US would have lost most of its scientists and all of the experienced bomb makers.  The US would have had few bombs left (probably as few as one) and no prospect of making more for at least a year.  How quickly the US can rebuild the program depends on how much of their knowledge was copied to an outside location.  The Lizards won’t know, at first, what they’ve done, but as the US detonates no more atomic blasts, they might well suspect what they’ve managed to do. 

Lizards successfully invade the UK:  See ‘Lizards land in the UK’, above. 

Lizards use nukes on the UK:  As Atvar noted, a couple of nukes would ruin the UK, although they would need to be used carefully.  The UK might surrender or be left alone, probably knocking the British back down for a few years.  The UK might become a German protectorate or remain a backwater. 

Germany restarts the war:  Most likely outcome of Skorzeny succeeding in his mad mission would be Germany getting nuked.  Then there would be two human powers, both scrambling to get into space and build more missiles, and a very uneasy balance of power. 

In-between years

Lizards successfully block human space programs:  Lizards maintain strategic dominance and some tech advantages.  When the colonisation fleet arrives, the Lizards will make their advantage permanent.  Lizard Victory. 

UK leans towards US:  In OTL, the UK leant slowly towards Nazi Germany, becoming partly fascistic itself.  This could have involved the UK in the German-Lizard war.  If the UK had leant towards the US, there would have been less persecution of the Jews in the UK.  Not sure what other effects it might have.

Home orders Atvar to go to war again:  Presumably, Atvar does so, unless he’s willing to defy the Emperor.  The humans would have a few weeks warning, as they were able to intercept transmissions, so they might strike first.  The most likely outcome is a destroyed earth – Stalemate. 


US responsibility for the attack discovered at the start: if the US responsibility for the attack were somehow discovered from the start, Atvar would probably have started a war with the US in revenge.  The US is bigger than Germany and more powerful, so the lizards would have had more damage and fewer resources to take the fight to the Americans.  Most likely result would be a destroyed or occupied America, unless Germany joins in the war, which might destroy Earth’s biosphere.  Stalemate

USSR Joins the German-Lizard war:  The USSR’s tech is way behind the Lizards or the Germans, so unless they somehow draw the US in as well, they’ll just be destroyed as well, and as the lizards would be less than keen about occupying all of the cold, bleak US, they’d probably destroy the cities and leave the rest to starve.  However, the destruction of the USSR would tempt Atvar to go for broke and hit the US when the truth about the Colonisation fleet attack comes out, or even without such proof.  The other major effect is that the Polish forces and the lizard colonists would be crushed before the two human powers were destroyed, which would have major implications for later. 

Germany destroyed/occupied:  Lizards become a little more stretched out than in OTL.  A Chinese revolt might provide a spark for German and Arab revolts, which might end with the nuclear destruction of a Germany city. 

France occupied:  Probably not many effects in the global picture.  Monique gets less trouble from the French vigilantes after her rape. 

USSR blunders into a war with the Lizards over Finland:  My own impression of the Finnish/Lizard alliance was that it was arranged very quickly and the Finnish ambassador was told about it just before Molotov presented his demands.  If he had not been told and rejected the demands anyway (following 1939 precedent), the USSR might just attack Finland and go to war with the Lizards as well.  That war would remove the USSR from the game board, which would make the US major paranoid. 

US goes to war with the Lizards: see ‘US responsibility for the attack discovered at the start’, but with the USSR in place of Germany. 

US never found out:  A small cabal within the US government orchestrated a brutal attack on the Lizard Colonisation fleet, killing thousands of helpless Lizards.  The Lizards only found out by accident, so what might have happened if they did not?  Presumably, the US president has another term and there is no massive tension between the Lizards and the US. 

Lizards allow ChiComms to take part in government:  Possibly very significant, possibly a dead end.  Historically, until the ‘great leap forward’, the ChiComms did  very good works on behalf of the local population; ending landlord abuses, ensuring better diets and education and even ensuring better health.  A human element in the government of china that really cared about the population could do great things for the Empire, not to mention for humans who might otherwise be abandoned.  On the other hand, Mao might try to claim a greater voice in Lizard affairs than his status allowed him, knocking back China into a war, which would devastate the nation.  The good thing is that the lizards would be unlikely to allow a collectivising program, which they would –correctly – see as a threat to their position. 

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