Saturday, July 13, 2019

History Essay: Why Fascists and Racists Never Win Their Wars

Hello ladies and gentlemen, I'm back after a very, very long break.

I'm not going to get into everything I've done since I last posted since... December 2017. Ohh...

Anyway, today I'm going to write a short essay on, as you can tell from the title, on why Fascists and Racists never win in real life, or at least in the long wars and in the long term in general. And I mean capital F and R Fascists and Racists, those that are so blinded by their hatred and perceived superiority that they couldn't comprehend giving others a chance, or even to use them to their greatest effectiveness. I classify lowercase r racists as more the "Well, they are different, and I don't like them, but they can fire a gun or make stuff, so I'll use them." Still not good by any stretch of the imagination, and who still exist today, but much, much better than the Nazis.

This thought as come from a book I've been re-reading recently, Why The Allies Won by Richard Overy. It's a very well written book that dispels a lot of the myths of the war, such as the sheer amount of resources and production that the Allies had on their side allowed them to win. It was more that the Allies managed to reform their economies, tactics and worked together as well as they could, and did so very quickly, while the Axis, especially German, mismanagement of their resources, failure to adapt as their foes did, and the almost constant backstabbing and squabbling of the upper leadership that Hitler couldn't, or wouldn't control.

But there is another aspect that comes up time and again in the book, and can be further extrapolated to other historical entities and time periods, to show why the Fascists and Racists never win their big wars... usually.

And that is, well, their racism.

When Hitler invaded the USSR, his soldiers were greeted as liberators, especially in the Ukraine. They believed they had been freed from the cruelty of the Soviet Union and Stalin's paranoia and megalomania, the death and destruction of the Holodomor still in memory. But this lasted all of five seconds before the SS death squads turned up and began to execute the Jews, Communist party officials, and treated the population as inferior beings, Untermenschen, in the Nazi's twisted view of race. Overnight, Ukrainian and Baltic peasants that were once cheering the arrival of the Wehrmacht were now taking up arms to sabotage it with brutal partisan warfare. Red Army soldiers were driven, not simply by the fear of the NKVD to make defeatists disappear into the Gulags, but by the hatred of the Germans, their brutality, the mass death and destruction they left in their wake. Civilians that raced east to avoid the Germans, to work in the hastily re-assembled factories set up in the Ural Mountains, put up with the starvation rations and deadly working conditions of the factories in sub-zero temperatures to turn out the crude by effective tanks, airplanes and guns that would slow down, halt, and eventually drive back the Nazis because of the righteous fury of the German's and the barbarity they unleashed.

Now, imagine, for a moment, that Hitler let his racism take a back seat to pragmatism, to treat the Slavs as possible allies? How many divisions of anti-Communist, anti-Stalinist Ukrainians as allies? Enough to reach the Caucasus as the oil there? To capture Stalingrad? To reach the fabled Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan Line? Repeal the Allies on D-Day? Or even just to work in the factories of Germany, not as slaves who were starved, beaten and tortured to death, but as willing workers, freeing more manpower to expand the Reich? Instead, tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of German soldiers would fight cat and mouse battles with partisans, who would destroy the railways, kill the horses, slaughter their enemy in barbaric ways to drive them out of the country.

This doesn't mean that the moment that the Soviet's surrendered, and the US and UK agreed to peace, that Hitler couldn't then turn around, backstab his Slavic allies, and enslave them all, drive them from their land and give the rich fields and pastures of the vaunted Lebensraum to pure Germans. But because Hitler and the Nazi's sought to fight the war against both armies of the Great Powers and their perceived racial inferiors in the land they conquered at the same time, they lost both fights.

This goes even further back, to the first target of Hitler's hatred, the Jewish people. Starting as soon as he took the office of Chancellor in 1933 by driving out tens of thousands of the smartest and best educated citizens of Germany, the scientists and engineers like Albert Einstein, from their professions, their homes and businesses to make room for his Aryan master race. Then, as he strengthened his power, he proceeding step by step, with the yellow stars, Kristallnacht, the Ghettos, to finally the horrors of Auschwitz and the Holocaust, the Nazi's killed six million Jews, trying to erase them from history. But even in this, the Nazi's sabatoged themselves, tying up precious transportation services like railways to send hundreds of thousands to their death. By sending Jews to the death camps was given a higher priority than even food and ammunition to the soldiers on the Eastern front. This shouldn't, and isn't, to say that the Holocaust had a silver lining. It was a horrible, inhumane, and criminal endeavour, but in their blind racist rage and hatred to kill as many Jews as possible, they put in place the downfall of the Third Reich.

But even more than that, because it was Jews like Einstein that explored atomic power, Hitler classified it as "Jewish" science, and refused to give it the funding and resources that would have allowed them build an atomic bomb, a true wonder weapon that maybe could have turned the tide of war. And the Jewish scientists and engineers that escaped would be instrumental in the Manhattan Project to develop the bomb that would be used on Japan.

It's difficult to say that, had Hitler just not been racist and given the German atomic programme the resources it needed to develop the bomb. It took the US, the richest country in the world in 1945, nearly $2 billion, along with the work of 150,000 highly skilled men and women, to build the first one. Germany, while on the verge of being an economic superpower, wasted much of their resources on jet engines, super tanks, ballistic missiles, and many, many Wunderwaffen projects that were years ahead of it's time. It's incredibly unlikely that the Nazi's would have gotten the A-bomb first, but they would have had a much better shot had racism not blinded them.

The same thing happened the Japanese, who considered the many people they conquered as inferior to themselves, especially the Chinese, and suffered the brutal struggle in China that lead to their war against the US, Britain, the Dutch and others. And this was just some of the brutal atrocities that they inflicted on the people they conquered. And even further back in history, with the Confederate States in the US Civil War, they kept a third of the total population of the Southern States in bondage, when they were already had a smaller population and resource base compared to the North. And on and on throughout history, it always seems that the empire that enslaves and brutalizes a large portion of their subjects that, in the long run, die out. The Spanish Empire set up in the Americas crumbled once the locals, and those that were Spanish descendant but had lived in the colonies and were considered inferior to those born in Europe, saw that the Spanish were not invulnerable after Napoleon invaded. Napoleon himself failed to retake Haiti in 1804, most due to disease, but also to the army of former slave Toussaint Louverture.

But then, of course, there are the times when those that believed themselves to be racially superior did win: the British built a massive empire where the sun never set, and tried to turn their new subjects into Christian and British and erase their old cultures. The Russian Empire tried to make the many, many people they conquered in Eastern Europe and Central Asia into Russians, a policy continued by the Soviets with very mixed results. Same with the US as they spread westward and drove the Native Americans into reservations. Even Canada tried to turn the Aboriginals in their lands into "proper" citizens (i.e.: Christian) through Residential Schools.

But all these empires and nations, however, didn't simply try to systematically kill and brutalize those they conquered like the Nazis, and now the long, difficult process to try to make up for the brutality and racism of the past is ongoing around the world. Even during the age of "scientific racism," the British used troops from their colonies, like India, to fight their wars. Native Americans served in the armies of the US and Canada in the World Wars: the famous Navajo Code Talkers and Tommy Prince, the most decorated Canadian soldier of the Second World War. And in Jim Crow America, African Americans served in the US military, such as in Harlem Hellfighters, and in the factories that turned out the guns and tanks and planes of the Arsenal of Democracy.

So, yes. Fascists and Racists (almost) never win their wars. That doesn't mean that racists societies don't win, but they will at least let their second class citizens to serve in their armies and fight. And oftentimes, it leads to the destruction of said society after the war as civil rights or decolonization rears it's head to try to make humanity just a little bit better.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Editorial: Last Post of 2017

Hello everyone! Here we are, at last, on the final day of this God forsaken year. It's been stressful, chaotic, and at times mortifyingly painful to experience, but, here we are.

Normally I don't talk alot about myself, but, suffice to say, 2017 has not turned out to be one of the years I'll remember fondly. I lost my first post-university job in March because of computer stuff, and it has been nine months of worrying about how to pay student loans, high expectations of what kind of time I had at my disposal, and in turn outlandish goals that I just really never had any hope of completing, including multiple writing projects and helping out on the family farm at the same time. I had hoped to get a couple fairly large alternate history writing projects done, but neither are close.

On the bright side, I do have a new job at a local furniture store. It's been pretty good so far, and will help with the student loans. But with a full 9-6 day Monday to Saturday, that basically means that writing is now very much a secondary concern of mine, for weekends and a few hours in the evening after supper and before bed.

So, with that, I'm going to have to drastically change how I do things.

First, this blog will be pretty much on indefinite hiatus (which, to be frank, is where it was already). I had been working on several scenarios to post on here, but I just haven't got them done thanks to the holiday season, NaNoWriMo and other things. Hopefully in a couple months, once work has settled down and I've managed to take some major steps in writing (see the point below!), I can come back and provide some new scenarios for you all to enjoy.

Second, I'm going to be focusing on one of my larger projects, a series of short stories in alternate histories that involve transportation. My goal, my New Years Resolution, is to complete that story, edit it, and get it published (most likely as an e-book) by the end of 2018. If I manage to get another story somewhat close to publishing after, that will be a big bonus, but not my ultimate goal.

Third, when this blog does come back, it will change a lot. The Fake News/Onion-esque thing, while it was fun to write, isn't really what most of you came here to read. And while fun to write when I have the idea, It's been nearly impossible to actually make more of them, if for no other reason than the total information and news overload of the past years. Somedays looking at the headlines on CBC News and the New York Times is like browsing the Onion, and it's just so... exhausting to rehash it all again. And the scenario's I've written, while interesting and fun, are really, really long. So, I'm going to be working on trying to make them shorter, sweeter, and to the point, similar to This Day in Alternate History blog.

So, TL;DR version: I'm putting the blog on hold to write stuff, and when I come back, it will be AltHistory all the time, and hopefully shorter and better.

So off to 2018, and see you all next year!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Map Monday: The Gomberg Map

I've been meaning to do more of these Map Monday's and Flag Friday's, so let's start with one of the more famous, and mysterious, of Alternate History Maps for this Monday (and one that I have currently on the wall above my desk): the Gomberg Map, and previously covered by my friend Matt Mittrovich on his YouTube channel, here.

Also known as Outline of Post-War New World Map, this map, self-published by Maurice Gomberg in 1942, shows how he believed the world after the defeat of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan would turn out. It's really interesting, the more you look at it, but the version I have doesn't explain much about how this would come about. But, there are a few things I want to bring up, and determine their plausibility.

First: the United States of America, which has more than doubled in size to include Canada and Mexico and almost the entire Caribbean, an old Manifest Destiny ideal, as well as a lot of "USA Peace - Security Outposts" in the Atlantic and Pacific. These include most of the Azores (which was held by Portugal), Bermuda (which was a British Colony), Greenland and Iceland (both held by Denmark before the war) and many Islands that were held by France, Britain and Japan before the war in the Pacific. While many of these islands would be turned over to the US (Guam, Micronesia and the Marshal Islands), most are now independent or still under the control of their old Colonial masters for no better reason than they couldn't survive in the modern world without that help. Also included in the dark blue are Formosa (Taiwan), Mainan, and several island chains of Indonesia, presumably as part of the Philippines.

The other big country on the map is, of course, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, here stretching from the Rhine to Manchuria. Almost half of Europe, including a "Quarantined Germany" is part of the USSR, as well as all of Iran. If we looked at just Europe on this map, we could see the OTL border divisions that occurred, except with all of Germany, including Austria, being in the Soviet sphere of influence, and all being a direct part of the USSR. There are also a lot of other divisions of Russia within the USSR, either as Oblasts or "independent" Socialist Republics. I'm not sure what he meant here, if they are to be further administrative divisions or independent SSR's.

But the one thing that Gomberg loves (and is very much a failing of many a first time alternate history or futurist map maker) is continent spanning nations: the United States of Scandinavia, the United States of Europe (including Quarantined Italy), the United States of South America, the Union of African Republics, the Federated Republics of India (which includes Afghanistan), the Arabian Federated Republics, and the United Republics of China, which includes Indochina, Thailand and Malaya. Australia, New Zealand, the UK (minus Northern Ireland, surprisingly), Madagascar, Ceylon, most of Indonesia not taken over by the US, and New Guinea are part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, as well as small outposts in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.

The Gomberg Map is, very much, an idealized view of what the world would look like, but also somewhat sinister: the fact that many countries that fought brutal wars to overthrow colonialists and unpopular, superpower backed leaders like Indochina/Vietnam, Iran, Afghanistan and Cuba are all just grouped in with the closest "big power" is very much a continuation of colonialist mindset, and very much a sign that Gomberg thinks that, only with massive, continent spanning nations like in South America and Africa can smaller nations experience peace. But, at the same time, Gomberg is very much a democrat: there are no true "Kingdoms" mentioned anywhere on the map: everything is a "Republic" or a "Commonwealth," or "United States of ___". Even today, when some of the most stable countries in the world are Constitutional Monarchies, and there are many dictatorships that claim they are Republics, this is a very noticeable distinction.

So, in the end, I personally think that the Gomberg Map, as a map for a true ideal of a post war world, is incredibly idealistic, but incredibly naive. I could already see the Union of African Republics tearing itself apart soon after the War when you have South Africa, which was on the verge of institutionalizing Apartheid, with many black African dominated colonies being thrust together into one nation with little experience and backwards economies and infrastructure. And having so many non Russians directly in the USSR would seriously upset the balance of power, which was a reason that Stalin prefered to set up puppet dictatorships in Eastern Europe instead of bringing them all into the Soviet Union. And I can't see the US willingly take all of South America and the Caribbean into the US: the old "banana republic" system of government served US interests much better than allowing dozens of islands and much, much weaker economies into the US, not to mention that Canada had spent decades (and still continues) to try to differentiate themselves from America to allow themselves to become part of the USA.

But what do you think? Is the Gomberg Map little more than idealism on paper, or could it have actually worked in real life? If you have a comment or a suggestion, leave a comment below, email me at or look for me on Twitter, @tbguy1992.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Fictional AltHistory #9: Command & Conquer Red Alert Timeline Headcanon

So lately I've been on a Command & Conquer kick, partly thanks to the excellent work done by the OpenRA Team, who have taken the freeware files of the original Command & Conquer (1995), Red Alert (1996) and Dune 2000 (1998) and turned them into a fully functional, modern RTS for modern computers. If you want to relive an RTS classic, then go check them out!

Since I'm absolutely positive that EA will never make a good C&C again.

That said, I once did a fictional AltHistory scenario on the first C&C here, well over a year and a half ago, and I think it's time to revisit the grandfather of all RTS games, this time with it's slightly loopy and campy B-movie quality of it's brother, Red Alert 1.

So, Point of Divergence. Hmmm... This is actually harder than I thought, mostly because RA1 is an alternate history already, asking "what if Albert Einstein built a time machine and erased Hitler from history?" And, considering all the talk about Nazi's today, I'd rather not get into that right now...

Well, the games themselves feature the heroic Allies fighting the brutal Soviets for control of Europe, introducing new technologies and desperate tactics to try to change the tide of battle: attack dogs, flamethrowers, Tesla coils, double barreled Mammoth Tanks, nuclear weapons, invulnerability and teleportation devices... the list goes on. Oh, and Tanya.

But, there is one thing about Red Alert 1 that popped up, but then never came up again...

Who is that handsome guy in the back there? Zoom in!
... damn low resolutions. Find a better picture for this joke!

Ahah! You magnificent bald, goateed bastard Kane, you!

An aborted attempt to tie the Red Alert series to the original Command & Conquer, the Tiberium series.

Now, over the years, a myth, persay, has developed on how this tie together would work. But this scenario never struck me as likely, because it was that a Soviet Victory in the "Second World War" of this timeline was what would lead to the establishment of the Global Defense Initiative and the emergence of the Brotherhood of Nod. But it just doesn't feel right to me, that, the Soviet Union manages to conquer all of Europe but then allows a United Nations organization (which should never have been established in this alternate timeline) to then build a global military force. It just always struck me as wrong that the Soviet's would allow something like that to happen, or that the United Nations would be formed, and then in turn form GDI, after a collapse of the USSR.

No, my headcanon for tying RA1 and C&C1 together involves an Allied Victory.

"But wait!" the C&C fans would begin to bellow. "The Allied Victory is what leads to Red Alert 2, and then to Red Alert 3! So it can't be used for C&C1. How can that work?"

Ah, well here is where it gets weird: I say that Red Alert 1 and 2 are both in the timeline.

Not sure what he's confused about. Most likely why watermarks are hovering all over him.

Okay, let me explain.

So, we start with Einstein going back in time in the late 1940s, killing Hitler, and returning to his time, just to see the Soviets rise up, and try to take over Europe. With the United States still isolationist, it's all up to Europe (including a non-Nazi Germany) to unite and hold back the Soviets, forming the Allies, or, rather, the United Nations. It was only after the USSR tried to develop atomic bombs that the US joined the United Nations, sending men, weapons and supplies to help the beleaguered Allies, and invade Russia itself, and topple Stalin, and the USSR.

After this, the US and her European Allies begin to rebuild, and Michael Romanov is placed in charge of the much smaller Soviet Union. But in the 1970s, with the USSR rebuilt and gearing up for revenge, they launch a multi-pronged attack on the United States, which wasn't the great military power it was in OTL because it only helped at the very end of the previous World War, and then went back to a semi-isolationist stance, content that the damn Commies are contained. But now with the US the prime target of the USSR (with their mind control agents, attack squids, missile launching battleships and flying airships of death), and the Allies (which have dolphins, tanks that turn into trees, weather control superweapons and, of course, Tanya), perhaps because the US didn't come to their immediate aid or because they were afraid of the Soviet Union, wouldn't join until later, at which point the Allies manage to overcome the destruction, and bring down the USSR.

Up until now, this is based on the lore of the first two Red Alert games. Now is where the Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey stuff comes into play.

That noise you hear is Daleks allying with the Brotherhood of Nod and the Soviets.

The expansion for Red Alert 2 featured a campaign by the psychic Yuri trying to take over the world. Now, in the Allied Campaign, at the last mission, there is a... thing that happens, where the screen gets all wobbly, and the "timelines merge" with the ending of Red Alert 2. And with the world now at peace, and the United Nations dominate, all the major powers agree to dismantle, or at least decommission their most advanced weapons, with many of the blueprints being destroyed or locked away. And, with all of Europe, North America and Russia now a war torn ruin, and with no "superpower" to easily fill in the slot, the United Nations forms several unified military commands. One of which, after some name changes (including the catchy Operations Group Echo: Black Ops Nine) becomes the Global Defense Initiative.

"But wait! What about Red Alert 3?"

Simple: it's a branching timeline from the end of Red Alert 2, but it's not the "main" timeline of our history, perhaps  branching after Cherdenko (SPACE!) activates his time machine before Yuri's mind control starts? It's an alternate scenario of the events of Red Alert 2, and therefore not associated with the Tiberium Timeline.

"And Kane? And the Brotherhood of Nod?"

Ahh, well here is where they finally come in: they have always been an enigmatic, mysterious organization, and mentioned all the way back in the 1950s. If I remember correctly, there is even something at the end of the RA1 campaign where someone mentions they didn't find all of Stalin's advisors. It's quite simple to assume that Kane and the Brotherhood went into hiding for the events of RA2, and only emerged afterwards when Tiberium finally arrived on Earth.

This was really the Scrin's way of welcoming Humanity to the spacefaring community. A planet warming gift.

"Then why didn't the Allies/GDI just take the weapons from the previous war and use them?"

Well, what says they didn't? Well, some of the technology, at least. For example, Nod's Stealth tank? What if it's a refinement on the Mirage Tanks of Red Alert 2, just they don't turn into trees now. And the Apocalypse tank could have been used to build the first Mammoth Tanks for GDI. But other technology, like the Iron Curtain, Chronosphere, Weather Control Device, Prism Tanks and others would have degraded, or purposefully/accidently destroyed over the forty some years between the war in Red Alert 2, and the late 1990s/early 2000s that Tiberium Dawn takes place. Even if they had the blueprints, it would take time to rebuild it all, if it wasn't seen as not useful: after all, GDI isn't exactly running on a big budget, and even has its budget cut halfway through the campaign after Nod media manipulation. So I don't see GDI investing in trying to rebuild old technology, most of which may only have limited use on the modern battlefield, after years of rusting in bunkers and warehouses around the world.

So, this does take some leaps of faith and assumptions, but this is how I would tie the two branches of Command & Conquer together. Is it perfect? No: after all, why would the allies give up on, say, Prism tanks after showing their usefulness? Though, there have been efforts to restrict and eliminate certain types of weapon over time, so I could see that happening here as well. But, I think it provides a somewhat satisfactory explanation for the two timelines intersecting.

But what do you think? How do you think the timelines of Command and Conquer being tied together, or if they should at all? If you have a comment or a suggestion, leave a comment below, email me at or look for me on Twitter, @tbguy1992.