WorldWar – Alternatives
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
The Lizards win the wars and enslave humanity.
All hail the Emperor!
The humans defeat the Lizards and evict them.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.