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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Alternate History Scenario #30: No "Iron or Blood" German Unification

It's 1848, the Springtime of Nations. Revolution has swept Europe, sending monarchs and autocrats fleeing in the face of popular upheaval. Prince Metternich of Austria, the founder of the post-Napoleonic world order, has been forced from office. A Second Republic has been declared in France. Even the bastion of reactionary conservatism, the Kingdom of Prussia, bows to the demands for a constitution and liberty.

When King Friedrich Wilhelm IV announced a parliament to meet, he summoned many Junkers and nobles to come. However, several refused the call, one being a young, eccentric junker named Otto von Bismarck, considering this a capitulation and illegitimate, and therefore a waste of time. 

Bismarck, here in 1847. Or a younger General Lee. Frankly, everyone in mid-19th century had that kind of beard and mustache.

The national assembly that had been gathered debated what was needed to make Prussia a constitutional monarchy, but King Friedrich Wilhelm had his own plans, and by December, had reoccupied Berlin, dissolved the assembly, and promulgated a conservative constitution that tipped the scales in the favor of the rich, nobles and military. 

Elsewhere in Europe, 1849 turned into a resurgence of the reactionary movement. This was topped off when the liberal nationalist Frankfurt Assembly offered the crown of a new Emperor of Germany to Friedrich Wilhelm, who promptly declined it, considering the Frankfurt Assembly illegitimate (and not wanting to get on Austria's bad side).

As the memory of 1848 drifted off, Europe returned to its conservative, Congress of Vienna roots from a generation before. Nationalism, while not gone, had been suppressed with bayonets and broken promises. France and Britain were more concerned with imperialism in Asia and Africa, while Austria, Russia, Prussia and dozens of smaller states continued to uphold the status quo, but the remnants of of Springtime of Nations was still there: the Prussian constitution, most notably.

King Friedrich Wilhelm suffered a stroke in 1857, and his brother, Prince Wilhelm, acted as Regent for the mentally incapacitated King until Friedrich Wilhelm's death in 1861, at which point Wilhelm ascended the throne as Wilhelm I. The Prussian legislature by this time had become increasingly liberal, and, with their powers over budgets and taxation, began to make demands, including on how the money should actually be spent. When the army asked to raise more soldiers, and increase the terms of conscription from two to three years, the Landtag refused to pass the budget to grant this money. This was a terrifying prospect to the Junkers and the Army: the famed saying of Voltaire that Prussia was not a state with an army, but an army with a state, was just as true a hundred years later. The fact that the people (mostly middle class professionals that chafed under the conservatism entrenched by the Army and King) wanted a say in running the army and how their tax money should be spent set conservative and liberal at each other's throats. 

Because there is nothing in history more vicious than a left and right battle royale.

The problem that King Wilhelm faced was that it was becoming increasingly hard to solve this constitutional crisis: giving into the Liberals would upset the army, but getting rid of the Constitution might lead to another 1848. Wilhelm was also not the most confident of men, prone to self doubt. He considered abdicating, but was convinced to stay on the throne. But the political deadlock continued: Minister Presidents, who served at the King's pleasure, was unable to get the proposals through parliament. New elections were held in 1863, but that only lead to more liberal members being elected. Emboldened, the Liberal majority demanded that the constitution be reformed, and a true constitutional monarchy on the basis of the British be declared. This was even more horrifying to the elites of Prussia, because the monarch of Britain was little more than a figurehead: while Queen Victoria was popular, and nominally in charge of the military and the nation, the Prime Minister was the one that exercised full political control.

King Wilhelm, his nerves straining, finally acquiesced to the Liberal demands, and began discussions on reforming the constitution. The Army was furious, and soon the more reactionary members were plotting to capture the King, dispose of parliament, and reform an autocratic regime. But the coup attempt was badly bungled: the King was shot, and died several days later. The people in Berlin rose up, threw out the army, and declared a republic. The entire nation was in chaos, with many soldiers refusing to follow their officers orders. The Crown Prince Frederick, himself a Liberal, was ignored by all sides. Austria and Russia, fearing the worse, began to mobilize their armies. France, having become the Second Empire under Napoleon III in 1852, sensing an opportunity, marched into the Rhineland while preaching that Prussia should become liberal. War was only averted when the British proposed a conference in Brussels, and began working on a new settlement.

The German states, considered unstable and unruly (and threatening the peace of Europe), where forcibly federated into a new German Confederation. Prussia was to be made part of it, but was carved up into smaller pieces (part of the Rhineland given to France, part of East Prussia to Russia, and a big chunk of Silesia back to Austria) and made an equal of states like Bavaria, Hanover, Saxony and Wurttemberg, as each Kingdom was given a veto on unified action: all decisions on a federal level had to be unanimous. Austria was also technically made part of it, but mostly to give the Emperor in Vienna a veto over anything the other states might attempt. The smaller kingdoms could keep their armies, and only in war were they to be unified. And the German Confederation was not allowed to make alliances without approval from the other Great Powers, which effectively neutered the nation.

It was hoped that by forcibly unifying them, and keeping them squabbling amongst themselves, they would prevent Europe from going to war. But this was short lived. The Federal Parliament, seen as originally as little more than a debating club, soon gained a liberal, nationalist majority. The smaller Kingdoms of the Confederation began to see themselves as Germans first and foremost, began to chip away at the restrictions: central power was centralized in the mid 1870s, Austria relinquished it's veto in favor of massive loans in the face of Hungarian unrest and economic crisis, and the prohibition of alliances was rescinded in 1879. However, the new German confederation vowed to remain at peace, only maintaining an army for defense, and developed friendly ties with other nations in Europe. Militaries were not excessively large, mostly for defense or, in the case of France and Britain, for the defense of Empire. Italy remained a patchwork of independent states under the boot of Austria despite support in France and Germany for Italian unification, though that is still far in the future.

The only time that a unified Italy hasn't disappointed everyone was 1800 years ago...

The German economy began to grow rapidly as railways and a merchant marine was built up, while many immigrants headed for America. By 1900, Germany was rich, had a decent army, and the goodwill of all nations. The problems the nation faced was more between socialists and laissez-faire capitalists as industrialization swept Europe. While some nationalists were furious that Germanic lands like Alsace-Lorraine, Prussia and even Austria were not part of the larger Germany, there was little in the way of military threats in Europe.

At least until Austria and Russian nationalists began to rise up in the early 1900s. But that's another story.

As for Otto von Bismarck: the well known and popular farmer of East Prussia, having built a fortune from land and mining, died peacefully in his sleep in 1898, leaving his vast wealth to his extended family. While a true Junker conservative, refusing to fly the German Confederation flag until his dying day in place of the Prussian standard, he never did participate in politics, refusing to even vote in elections.

But what do you think? What would have had Bismarck never came to power or unified Germany through "Iron or Blood?" If you have a comment or a suggestion, leave a comment below, email me at or look for me on Twitter, @tbguy1992.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Alternate History Scenario #29: What if Gaius Caesar Succeeded Augustus?

September 9, 2 AD: Gaius Caesar, the designated successor to Augustus, had been invited to meet with rebellious Armenians, but, sensing a trap, he declined, and laid siege to the fortress. A couple months later, the rebellious Armenians surrendered, and Roman control of the Armenian Kingdom was assured. While the death of Gaius' brother Lucius had been a blow to the plans of Augustus, the bright and charismatic Gaius easily filled into the roles that Lucius' death had opened for him.

Gaius "Babyface" Caesar... either an Emperor
or a 1930s gangster, I dunno.
For the next twenty years, Gaius continued serving as consul, proconsul and other positions within the Principate, gaining experience, recognition and popularity, especially in the expansion into Germania. The birth of two young boys to his wife Livilla in 4 and 6 AD guaranteed the Julio-Claudian Dynasty as his adopted father began to resign more and more from political life. By 24 AD, Augustus was the Princeps in name only, as Gaius had been named to all the positions and titles that Augustus held, and the power they represented. So when Augustus died in 25 AD, the succession was clear, and welcomed by all.

Almost from the start of his reign as the Princeps, Gaius groomed his sons to succeed him: the eldest served on the border of Germania, while the youngest served in his father's old position in the East facing the Parthians. In Rome, Gaius continued Augustus' work, centralizing the state under his control. The Senate, while it's old prestige and power had waned, began to be revitalized as an advisory council and was allowed, within reason, to propose laws and vote on them. However, Gaius' approval was still needed, and if he dismissed or publically disagreed with the law, it would fail.

However, there was one problem Gaius was unable to tackle, and that was how to continue the growth and prosperity of the Empire. For decades, the conquests of foreign lands had brought in the wealth and resources needed to make Rome the Capital of the World. But even with the capture of Germania, which was mostly wild and untamed, with few settlements, no mines or farms, the question of how much further the empire could continue was left in the air at Gaius' death in 53 AD.

The succession of Gaius' son's was peaceful, but there was an undercurrent of concern. The speed of building had slowed, and military victories were few except against dissatisfied rebels or the ever present Armenian question. The lustre of the Principate was beginning to wear thin as the son's began to exert more overt authority that their grandfather and father never did, and senators, who had been sidelined for decades, longed to return to influence and power. Some began to plot, while others sought to rise to the Principate, and some few even thought that the legal fiction of the Principate should be totally replaced with monarchy. Soon cracks began to grow, as the son's began to be surrounded by opposing camps, and their influence began to tear them apart. 

When in Rome, do as the Romans due: stab possible tyrants on the floor of the Senate
By 59 AD, the split had become irreversible, and Civil War soon broke out again. But this time, there was no strong ruler to unify the widespread lands, and soon the Roman Empire began to fracture: Gaul and Hispania became the home of one of Gaius' sons; Africa, Syria and Egypt the other, while Italy, Illyria, and Greece became home to a new Roman Republic. The fighting between these three nations and their ill-defined borders would continue for decades, but never again would the whole old Roman Empire of Augustus be reformed. The empire he established, with it's complex legal and political machinations to maintain the illusion of the Republic that Augustus had created, collapsed when the ambitions and follies of men became too much. By 100 AD, the Roman Empire was gone, replaced by many smaller, bickering states that once were unified but had drifted apart.

But what do you think? What would have had happened had Augustus' chosen successor succeeded him? If you have a comment or a suggestion, leave a comment below, email me at or look for me on Twitter, @tbguy1992.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Alternate History Scenario #28: What if Hitler Doesn't Declare War on America?

I'm really sorry for the long delay since I last posted. Life issues have gotten in the way and I really haven't been in the best mindset to work on these things. But, I'm here now, so let's get back to it!

Today's idea comes from someone on Twitter, who asked what if Hitler hadn't declared war on the United States after Pearl Harbor, and how the war would go: would the US focus only on Japan? And would the Soviet's still win in the East?

The answer to both questions is, undoubtedly, yes. This is a fairly popular topic on Alternate history websites, and discussed to death before, but here's my two cents anyway.

And because I'm Canadian and we don't use penny's anymore, it's really zero cents since we would round down.

Franklin Roosevelt basically only had the political capital to go to war with Japan in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. The Japanese had attacked America, and to many people, the fighting in Europe was still not their concern. When Hitler brashly declared war on the US a few days after Pearl Harbor, only then was America and Britain really able to coordinate to go on the offensive against both Nazism and Japanese imperialism.

So, if Hitler doesn't attack, and despite Roosevelt's concerns that Hitler may be the bigger long term threat to America, he will have to content himself with supplying Lend-Lease to the British and Soviet's until either he can find a way to bring America with him to take on Hitler, or Germany does something stupid, like, say, sink an American ship and kill American citizens. But in this scenario, that never happens, so the US basically has to just sit by and hope the British and Soviet's can fight Nazi Germany itself (and which I will get to in a moment)

However, unlike many suggestions that with the full might of America focused on Japan, that Japan would be defeated sooner, say in 1944, I disagree. I think the Pacific Campaign as we know it might be the basis for this alternate timeline as well. You have to remember that the majority of the fighting was with naval and air forces, and only a few major landing operations. It still takes time to build ships, train air crews, and eventually go on the offensive. While the American's won't be sending B-17 Flying Fortress's to Europe, it's not like they would be perfectly suited for the fighting in the Pacific, as they don't have the long range that the B-29 Superfortress had (and which only started to be built in 1942). Even then, it took until the Battle of Saipan in 1944 before even the B-29s were in range of the majority of Japanese cities. Just because the US would have more manpower, and wouldn't be focusing on Europe or North Africa, you can only send so many more Marine's and battleships to the Pacific: You still need a fleet in the Atlantic, just in case the Germans did do something. And maybe there are a few more landing craft, a few more divisions landing on beaches or squadrons of Mustangs and bombers over the skies, but it wouldn't be enough to shorten the war by a year or more. Maybe there would be a difference of a few months here and there, but in general, it wouldn't majorly change the war as we know it from OTL. By August 1945, the Japanese would be pretty much only defending their home islands and the little bits of Empire that the American's haven't yet liberated.

Liberated with excessive firepower and a belief that America is always right.

That leads me to another point: the Manhattan Project. What would it look like in this TL? My guess: more or less the same. Just because the US is not involved in fighting the Nazi's, which the British and Americans were sure where racing for an atomic bomb, doesn't meant that the US would just ignore this potentially powerful weapon. My guess is that the Americans take over the project (with help from British, Canadian and other scientists), and would complete a weapon in time to drop on Japan as in OTL.

Why Japan? Because the Americans are in charge, and Operation Downfall, the proposed invasion of Japan, would still be a horrifying proposition to undertake. And in this TL, only the Americans would be in Operation Downfall, as the British are still dealing with the Nazi's. So, in order to prevent the upwards estimates of a million American casualties, President Truman (I'm sure that Roosevelt would still pass away in early 1945) would authorize using nuclear weapons. Plus, it would serve multiple purposes: make the Soviet's think twice about going to war with the west, and if the Nazi's are still around, convince them to give up before American joined and dropped an Atomic bomb on Germany. And, like in OTL, it would convince the Emperor of Japan to surrender and end the Pacific War.

Just a few mushroom clouds to get a point across.

Now, for what happened in Europe? From 1942 onward, it would be a story of the Nazi's wearing themselves out fighting the Soviet's (Stalingrad and Kursk are still in the future here). During this time, Strategic bombing and fighting in North Africa is basically all the British can do. They do not have the manpower to even begin contemplating an invasion of Europe, so the war in Europe is stretched out a bit longer. But by 1943, the Nazi's will be in brutal, ignominious retreat in the East, fighting for every foot of ground as the Soviet industrial and manpower advantage comes to bear. By 1943, the British and Commonwealth powers will have driven the Axis out of Africa, and then proceeded to the invasion of Sicily and then Italy itself (which was Churchill's brainchild, being the Mediterranean strategist he was). When the Germans finally prevent the British from reaching Rome, in 1944, the British would then land in Greece or Yugoslavia, part of Churchill's plan to attack the "soft underbelly of Europe," and without the US to basically demand a Normandy landing, the attack would go on. Maybe in 1945, the British would finally land in northern Europe: maybe Normandy, but I'd be more confident in Norway. Strategic bombing, which never lived up to the promises of it's biggest supporters, really wouldn't have changed much in my opinion: morale never broke, industrial production never really slowed down. Just civilians killed, cities leveled, and hardening hatred of the enemies of the Third Reich for causing all this damage (though some unspoken questions of why the Nazi's couldn't stop it).

But by this point it wouldn't matter, because the Soviet Juggernaut would be steamrolling west, smashing all the Nazi armies in the way. Berlin would be captured by mid 1945 as in OTL, and Hitler and the leadership would retreat to the west of Germany, then maybe into France (as there would be no second front). Stalin would stop at nothing to end Hitler and the Nazi's once and for all, and "liberate" all of Europe. The dropping of the Atomic bomb doesn't convince the Nazi's to give up, so the Russians begin pushing east over the Rhine and into France itself.

At this point, the American's may finally enter the war, but with most of their troops still in the Pacific, it's an empty gesture more than anything. By the time that the first B-17s or B-29s could get to Europe in late 1945, Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris would all have the Hammer and Sickle flying over them. By the beginning of 1946, Russian troops would have reached the Pyrenees, and here is where things may get complicated: would Franco allow the Nazi's to flee to Spain, or would he prevent them from dragging him into war with the Russians? My guess is that Hitler would try to flee to South America, but be apprehended before he could. The war would be over, Hitler and the Nazi leaders executed after a trial in Moscow, and all of Europe (minus Spain, Sweden, Greece, half of Italy and Norway) would all be Communist puppet states.

Die Waffen Legt An!

What happens after this? Well, America would be the strongest nation in the world, but with few friends. China, in this TL, would have kicked out Mao with help from the US, and the majority of the Pacific would be capitalist. But Britain would be basically under siege with the Soviet's just a few miles away across the Channel, and resentful that the US never really helped fight the Nazi's except for some boats of equipment. The Soviet's would use the diversionary tactics of Churchill, and the lack of support from America, to make Communism look better to the people of Europe, Asia and Africa, undermining the belief that democracy and capitalism was the way to go.

The Cold War of this Timeline would be between the wounded Soviet Union, the Nuclear Armed and relatively unscathed and somewhat isolationist America, and a Britain that, unlike OTL, would have to cling to the Royal Navy and a strong military to protect itself instead of letting the US protect them, turning it, basically, into Oceania from 1984.

But what do you think? What if Hitler had never declared war on the US? If you have a comment or a suggestion, either email me at or look for me on Twitter, @tbguy1992.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Multiversal News: Paul Ryan Retreats to Supervillain Hideout, Vows “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me!”

WASHINGTON: In the face of the withdrawal of the signature Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare," House Speaker Paul Ryan, growling as he climbed into the spherical pod that emerged from the wall behind the Speaker’s podium, turned back to the Democrats, moderate Republicans, and others that refused to vote in favor of the American Health Care Act celebrating on the house floor.

“I’ll be back! You will see! And with a better, more conservative bill!” he shouted to the assembled crowd, before locking himself into the capsule, pushing the ignition button, and launching himself out of the House Chamber and through the roof of the Capitol Building.

NORAD confirms that a small object is currently in orbit, and seems to be making a course to a secret GOP space station outside of Earth’s atmosphere. It’s guessed that this is where the Speaker will recover from the humiliating defeat and plot his next move.

“Tax reform, yes,” Ryan was reported to have said moments after arriving. “I will make the best, most extensive effort on overhauling the tax code in history!” The Speaker was then reported to have spent ten minutes practicing his evil laugh as the GOP slave robots compiled a new bill to reduce taxes on the rich to -9% of their income.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Multiversal News: Trump Reveals Wiretap Source: Strange Otherworld Mirror Into Another Universe

MAR-A-LAGO - President Donald J. Trump today revealed the basis for his otherwise unsubstantiated tweets and comments that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the US election: a large, strange-looking golden mirror that lets the viewer see into another timeline. It was a mysterious object that Trump had purchased at a flea market in Morocco in 1984, and kept secret until now.

“The Obama of that alternate universe was a terrifying, brutal, repressive dictator,” Trump explained, waving his hand at the mirror. “It’s creepy, really creepy to look at. I get nightmares whenever I look at it. It’s all scary!”

Trump further went on to explain that in the timeline, Obama had overthrown cyborg President Ronald Reagan in 2004, and despite his promises of increasing rations and ending the Forever War with the Zombie Kingdom of Europe, instead turned into a merciless tyrant, implanting listening devices into every room of every home in the American Empire, which he used to oversee all the thoughts of every citizen.

“Then these people, bad people, from the Environmental Protection Agency, the most feared secret police of this terrifying America, would come and take those that so much muttered a bad thing about President for Life Obama,” Trump went on. “It was horrifying to see the brutal prison camps set up in Occupied Wyoming.

“It’s terrifying, really, to look at. It’s a warning to us today, and I will listen to it!”

While Trump has been told time and again by wizards and occultists that investigated the mirror that it’s not representative of the real world, and, if anything, Trump’s three decade long fascination with the object may have started to warp his mind into blending the real world and the terrifying totalitarian state that the mirror glimpses into. But despite attempts by exorcists and priests with holy water to help the President, the images remain implanted on his mind.

“He’s totally a Kenyan that subverted the great American Nation and is trying to destroy us all!” Trump garbled as he stared into the mirror. “Gotta go and save America!”

At press time, Trump has been talking with advisor Steve Bannon on how to liberate the millions of people living in the areas of Texas that had been occupied by the insidious Mexican-Aztec Death State.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Multiversal News: Republican strategist admits: GOP is an apocalypse cult

WASHINGTON - Today, senior Republican strategist and former Congressman Bill Harkins of West Virginia admitted that, for decades, his party has been a cult hell-bent on seeing the end of the world, in an exclusive interview with reporters.

“Every action that my party has done since the Cold War has, in fact, been to see the end-times,” Harkins said, while lighting many candles around his desk. “I’m personally surprised that no one had figured this out before I told you.”

Since the 1950s, Harkins went on to explain, the GOP believed the end of the world was around the corner, and everyone on Earth should embrace the final days.

“But unlike those crackpots that just assumed it would end on a given day, many Republicans thought, ‘Why don’t we make sure it happens?’” Harkins said as he took off his tie and replaced it with a black hood.

When asked why, Harkins replied: “We all seek the eternal nothingness of death and blackness. And not having to listen to Bernie Sanders anymore.”

Every law, Executive Order and proposal by a Republican President and Congress since this revelation has been focused on enacting this wide ranging goal.

“When Eisenhower first received the message and told the GOP in a secret meeting in the hollowed out room behind Lincoln’s head at Mount Rushmore in 1957, we were all certain that it would be a nuclear war with the USSR that would end us all,” Harkins said. “But the fact that JFK was in office when the Cuban Missile Crisis happened meant that the world wouldn’t end in 1962, unfortunately.”

Republican plans to end the world in 1983 with a Soviet over-reaction to “Able Archer 83”, a NATO simulation of a first strike on Russia once again failed, though came close due to a fluke in the Russian satellite system, but it was recognized as a glitch in time.

While Reagan, who Harkins said preferred to be called “The Chosen Warrior,” by other members of the Cult, would sign the first agreements with the USSR to reduce nuclear weapons, Republicans knew the cuts wouldn’t be enough to still allow them to destroy the world ten times over.

But in the 1970s, following the divine wisdom of an evil god that the Republicans call “The Free Hand,” they began to branch out.

“If it wasn’t going to be a nuclear war, then it was going to be a social, environmental or economic collapse of the world,” Harkins said, as he prepared to sacrifice a virgin. “Nixon got close, with the whole Watergate thing, but he chickened out at the last moment. He was soon after banished, and consigned to living in hell: California.”

Many GOP actions since then, such as deregulating the economy, allowing guns to be sold without background checks, invading Iraq in 1991 and 2003, ignoring all the evidence on climate change and science to keep drilling oil, disenfranchising minority voters, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the 2008 Great Recession, and the time that George W. Bush nearly choked on a pretzel was all designed to bring about the world.

“Unfortunately the big red button wasn’t close enough for President Bush to hit while he was flailing around choking,” said Harkins, who is also known as“The Dark One” in the cult. “And Plan B was foiled when the Secret Service saved him. We were all certain Dick Cheney would have accomplished the goal of world wide Armageddon with efficiency and all speed.”

After the election of Obama, Harkins admits, the cult was at its lowest ebb. “All the ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’, we were certain, as well as his push for renewable energy, restricting gun ownership, and this thing called ‘compromise’ would destroy the Republican Party, and end our goals to end the world.”

But when Obamacare was announced, the GOP felt rejuvenated.

“We had a goal: prevent healthcare for all Americans, so that when the genetically altered plague does hit, we would all die anyway.”

The election of Donald Trump as President, and all the fabrications of Russia hacking the election, Trump’s outlandish statements, selecting people unqualified for cabinet posts, and the rigging of the election to prevent Hillary from winning, was all part of the Cult’s plan to bring upon the end of world as mentioned in their unholy, cursed book that will drive normal men mad.

“Very soon, the world will end in fire and brimstone,” Harkins said, while other cult members began to chant a mysterious, dark ritual in a language that no human was ever meant to speak. “And there will be no more taxes, no more socialist’s, no more anything!”

Harkins ended the interview to prepare the Kool-Aid for the cult members as they prepared to summon a planet devouring beast from the deepest reaches of space.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Flag Friday: The Many Unofficial and Proposed Flags of Canada

I'm not always about Alternate History, as many should know by know. Real historical things, places and events can be just as interesting as timelines we make up, and often is a great leaping off point for AltHistorians. Often, proposals and "unofficial" things can be made official, and tell a brand new story.

Case in point: Canadian flags. Before the Maple Leaf flag was declared official, Canada used a series of unofficial flags, some more unofficial than others, and almost all of them were modified Red Ensigns, to proudly proclaim that Canada was still a loyal member of the British Empire.

That said, here are a few of the unofficial designs for flags that were flown (or almost suggested) at one time or another.

This was the first official unofficial flag was simply the British Red Ensign (used by the British Merchant Marine) "defaced" with a shield composed of the Coat of Arms of the four original provinces. From top left clockwise: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

But as the years went on and more provinces joined Confederation, the number of spots on the shield went up, starting with Manitoba in 1870, complete with the uber-Canadian maple leaf wreath and very British crown on top... the addition of a white circle background that nearly took up the entire flag in the 1880s after BC and PEI joined... (this design was dated to 1891 when BC adopted its current coat of arms)

...until 1905, when Alberta and Saskatchewan entered, and got rid of the white disk, the maple leaf wreath and the crown. And, frankly, it's a mess. Imagine getting school aged kids to draw this in a bought of patriotic furvor!

But finally, in 1921, the Canadian government, unofficially, adopted this version. This version pays homage to the four "founding" nations of Canada: England, Scotland, France and Ireland. And, being the time frame, it also left out the First Nations people. That would never fly today, but this is the version that flew the longest, from 1921 to 1965, with a slight change in the 50s to make the maple leafs at the bottom red instead of green.

Personally, I have a soft spot for the Red Ensign, and not just because maybe secretly I wish to see the British Empire rise and rule the world again. But, rather, I see it from a historical point of view: this flag, variations notwithstanding, the one that Canadian soldiers fought World War One and Two under. There are issues with it, namely in that it prioritizes four European nations (and, in fact, with the Union Jack it represents England, Scotland and Ireland twice) as the "founders" of Canada. A modern version would have to find something else. My personal vote would have been a Red Ensign with a maple leaf of some kind, like this:

And finally, two other proposals:

The "Pearson Pennant" proposed by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson in 1964 to encapsulate the motto "From Sea to Sea" (and worthy of any alternate Canadian flag, I say)

And the "Unity Flag" first made in 1995 during the second Quebec Referendum, with the Blue representing the proportion of Quebecers in Canada. Though, I honestly would feel a bit insulted if all I got was a couple narrow blue bars but, hey, Quebec remained in Canada then (by a squeaker), so maybe it worked.

I plan to do Flag Friday's more often, and maybe with some flags designed for Alternate History scenarios. So if you have a flag you want to suggest, message me on Twitter (@tbguy1992) or email me at

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Multiversal News: Liberal Backbenchers Vote Against PM, Cabinet to Turn Canada into a Hivemind

Liberal Backbenchers vote against PM, Cabinet to turn Canada into a Hivemind

Members of the Liberal Party moments before they voted in
favor to make all Canadians part of a collective Hivemind.

OTTAWA - In a surprising show of independence, Liberal backbench MPs voted in favor of a private member’s bill to turn all Canadians into a gigantic hivemind, despite the opposition from Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet. Bill S-190, proposed by New Democrat NDP Joshua Halford, MP for BC’s North Okanagan—East Kootenay riding, would mandate that all Canadian citizens would receive microchips implanted into their brains to allow all Canadians instant communication with each other, computational knowledge to solve the nation’s issues, as well as access to everyone else’s memories, knowledge, and figuring out where the hell we left the keys for the van.

“Since this was an open vote, many Liberal backbenchers believed that S-190 would benefit all Canadians,” Mary Lemonut, Liberal MP for Toronto-Yorkdale, said. “While the PM made some convincing arguments, I think it would be really cool if all Canadians would think and speak as one.” As she spoke, other members of the Liberal Party also said the exact same words in a creepy monotone and with unblinking eyes to other reporters.

When the votes came down, 101 Liberal MPs voted in favor of the bill, as well as all 44 NDP members. Conservatives were split, with most of those that voted in favor of the bill running for the leadership of the party. Analysts believed this was in order for some of the 14 candidates to be able to put their vision of the future of the Conservative Party to as many people as possible. As of press time, however, all Canadians have agreed to erase any existence Kellie Leitch from the hivemind after they found out that she was basically trying to be a Canadian Donald Trump.

“This bill will solve all known problems currently facing all 36 million Canadians,” Swanson said, moments before being the first to step into the doctor’s office to receive an implant into the glorious new cyber-future of Canada. “Racism, misogyny, poverty, lack of education, bilingualism, and deciding if Kevin O’Leary really should be the leader of the Conservative Party are just some of the issues we can solve by being all unified in thought, mind, and spirit.”

“I do believe that this bill is unconstitutional,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said outside the House of Commons after the vote. “It interferes with the provincial right to determine what dystopian future our nation should take, as well as grave concerns over privacy and electronic security. But I remain committed to holding open votes in the Liberal caucus, and will abide by the results.” He was then lead away to prepare for the procedure, which, the PM was assured, would maintain his impeccable hairdo.

“This is all a trick! This will destroy all human autonomy, and turn all Canadians into mindless drones to an unknown overlord! And add billions more to the deficit! We are all doomed!” Conservative MP Tony Clement for Parry Sound–Muskoka screamed at reporters as he was being dragged away by impossibly strong, nearly robotic, glassy-eyed RCMP officer’s already implanted into the hivemind. Compliance agents are currently tracking down former Prime Minister Stephen Harper with the aid of of all 1,392,609 people in Calgary, who is currently on the run but will be assimilated in 5.4 hours.

Quebec has already said they will implement their own, French only hivemind program separate from the federal program. Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is resisting the inevitable and refuses to submit until a healthcare deal with his province has been reached with the Federal Government. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Multiversal News: America left reeling after Trump doesn’t tweet for twenty hours

America left reeling after Trump doesn’t tweet for twenty hours
WASHINGTON: Politicians, stock markets, and people around the nation were in a directionless quandary after President Donald J. Trump didn’t tweet for up to twenty hours. The usually punctual early morning tirade against something that was revealed on Breitbart or by FOX News, as well as tweets during high level meetings and briefings, have been a daily ritual followed by everyone since Trump announced his candidacy. But today’s lack of a tweet has thrown the US into chaos.

The last Tweet posted by Trump was yet another attack on Obamacare at about 1 PM yesterday, but then his account went mysteriously silent.

“I don’t know what to do,” Trump supporter Nate Berdin, 54, from Montgomery, Alabama said, fumbling with his phone. “Without the President’s daily Twitter barrage, I don’t know what group I should be angry at: immigrants, Muslims, Muslim immigrants.” He went on to say that because of that, he ended up being polite and nice to everyone he met.

“It’s very surreal,” Nate said, after smiling and giving a polite nod at an African-American man and his Latino wife.

On the other end of the political spectrum, Democratic and liberal activists were also left in utter disarray when the President’s Twitter account didn’t add anything new in half a day.

“No executive order to try to get shot down, no unsubstantiated claims to disprove. Not even a famous celebrity to rally around as they face the wrath of a Twitter tweet storm,” said San Francisco resident Amanda O’Toole, 26, a self-declared liberal activist wearing a “Not My President” t-shirt. “While Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway and every Republican member of Congress can, and still, make stupid, insulting, racist, discriminatory, and untruthful statements, it’s just not the same when it’s not Trump saying it."

Stock Markets around the world have been in wild swings today. When Trump’s twitter account revealed that he liked a picture of a kitten in the late morning, the NYSE went up, the NASDAQ plummeted, and the price of gold swung back and forth for fifteen minutes until it was discovered that the like had been removed.

But at 9:25 AM, after a long day without a tweet, activity on Trump’s account returned when he revealed he lost his phone.

Editorial: Some Onion-like Changes in Store,

As you may have noticed, I've started to slow down in posting Alternate History scenarios, or, really, much of anything. Part of it is that I've already covered quite a few scenarios, mostly those that I already had some prior knowledge on without trying to do certain areas to death (World War 2, anyone?) So, while I'm still fascinated with Alternate History, those posts will be a lot slower in coming.

However, that doesn't mean I want to stop writing. In fact, on top of my job with a small town newspaper, and editing and publishing my big Fallout fanfic on, I've been starting to do something new for a lark: fake news, in the style of The Onion and The Beaverton.

I'd like to see Trump dispute this.

So you may be asking yourself: Why? And my answer: Why not?

Frankly, reading the news is almost a strange combination of confusion, incredulity, depression and the deepest, blackest humour that you can't figure out if you want to laugh or cry. Sometimes, even the most dystopic and downbeat Alternate History or fictional scenario feels better than what is going on in the world.

So, I asked myself, why not take the news, and make it even more absurd?

And that is what I'm going to do with a new thing called "Multiversal News." It may not be totally original, or even that funny, but I'm going to run with it for no other reason than I want to. I will be delving into politics here, but I'm not doing it for a political purpose. I'm just trying to find the silly, the crazy, and the stupid in real news, and make them even crazier here.

So I hope you enjoy this new little change. The first post will be up in a couple of days! And if you have any comments, suggestions, or ideas, please message me on twitter (@tbguy1992) or through email,

Monday, March 6, 2017

Map Monday: Acts of Union

So, let's try something new.

Alternate History Weekly Update, a former blog run by Matt "Mitro" Mitrovich, used to run a couple weekly segments called "Map Monday" and "Flag Friday," as does other Alternate History groups and blogs online. That said, I feel like joining in, and promoting timelines from the Alternate History world.

So my first one is from the Alternate History Wikia, "Acts of Union" by user "Feudy McPlagueface."

After a crisis in Venezuela turns into a shooting match between the British and American fleets in 1902, with the US Navy emerging victorious, the British Empire begins to reform, turning into a more de-centralized, federal state. By the current day, the world is divided into major factions: The Western Defense Pact (the US, Brazil, and Mexico); the European Commonwealth, composed of the the United Commonwealth (the British Empire) and the French Union; the Moscow Pact with the USSR, Great Bulgaria, People's Republic of China and Siam; the Great East Asian Union with the Japanese Empire, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The map is very interesting, though I would need to go over the timeline a few times more myself before I can determine if it's plausible or not. Having so many "space filling empires" slightly different shades of colours does make it seem rather suspect, but it's interesting and worth a look!

If you have a map, flag or timeline would you would like me to showcase, leave a comment, send a message to my Twitter (@tbguy1992) or to my email ( and I'll take a look!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Editorial: Social Changes in Alternate History

Sorry for the delay in posting new topics. Been busy with life, work and other projects.

But this has been a question that I've been thinking a lot about lately, especially in regards to what is going on around the world right now: How do our beliefs and ideals change over time? And how much can a small group of people change an entire nation's ideology?

I'm not much of a social historian. I like my wars and battles and big momentous events, and I do believe, somewhat, in the "Great Man" theory of history, though not for every single event. However, I do recognize that underlaying social currents support the above, but I don't believe that changes in society and culture always directly lead to historical developments as some social historians like to claim.

In fact, I think major social changes can happen very quickly, and often with just a minor push in a certain direction, and often more willing to fall back to traditional forms, if modified, than to embrace new, foreign concepts.

The example I keep thinking about is Nazi Germany. The Germany of 1933 was in chaos, despite having one of the most democratic constitutions in the world. For decades, the belief was that more democracy is better, right? That's what the framers of the Weimar Republic must have been thinking when they wrote their constitution. With enough time to retrain the Monarchists, the Militarists, the Communists and the Nationalists to the benefits of a peaceful, inclusive government, then Germany would become a beacon of democracy. The problem, of course, was that it was running against hundreds of years of German history. But with time, of course...

But then Hitler and the Nazi's came, pushing very early on for a government lead by a strong leader (Hitler, of course, was sure it was going to be him) and to do away with the silly democracy. And enough Germans, using that silly democratic system, believed the Nazi's to vote them into power in 1933. Soon after, Hitler rendered the constitution moot, ruling as an absolute dictator, using a secret police, military expansion, propaganda and racism to strengthen his rule.

And millions of Germans went along with it, even though just a few years before they were willing to let the democratic experiment run it's course.

So what happened? To a degree, it was a retrenchment of old German and Prussian ideals: a strong military to defend the nation and bring glory, a strong, paternalistic leader to guide the people, suspicion of ideas of "liberty" and "democracy", and a belief that fate was with them. But it also had the more sinister anti-Semitism, violence, fear and blatant propaganda to go with it, and turned National Socialism into the sinister ideology that we hate today, the one that has devolved to the point where you would call someone you fundamentally hate and disagree with a "Nazi," wether they support that ideology or not.

But the thing is: had the Nazi's won World War Two, had Hitler conquered the world, he would have been right. Not because we are totally and completely wrong to the "true" nature of humanity, but because we would believe and accept it. It would have drilled into our heads in school, blared from our TV, radio, movies, and repeated, time and again, that Fascism, National Socialism, is the best thing in the world, the true ideology of humanity, and that Communism and Democracy were failed experiments at best, or worse: detrimental, vile and destructive ideologies out to destroy the world.

This is something to remember when looking at alternate history, and a pratfall that many (myself included) have fallen in: the winners write the history. They also can shift the social ideals through education and propaganda, they can make defeats into victories, or they can make victories in defeats. We today believe that democracy and capitalism is the best because it "won." We think it's natural because it's what the majority of the world believes. But at one point half the world thought that totalitarian dictatorships was the way to go, and centuries ago kings and emperors ruled the world. While racism is something that we still struggle with today, we recognize it as something we have to get rid of. In an alternate history, or even in the not-so-distant past, we actively encouraged it.

So when reading or writing an alternate history, remember that just because democracy, capitalism, free speech, free religion and others "won," that's not always the case. And in a few short years, it could be the other way entirely.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Fictional AltHistory #8: Kaiserreich, Part 2

A few months ago I talked about the Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg mod for Darkest Hour, the improved version of Paradox Interactive's Hearts of Iron 2. But soon after I wrote that, other things came up, new games to play, and a dozen other things that prevented me from revisiting this alternate history scenario.

But now that I finally figured out how to get the game to work on my computer again, let's take a look at a few other events in the Kaiserreich backstory that has a major Alternate History twist to it!

POD: Yet Another French Revolution

When you start a game of Kaiserreich, you are presented with a surprise: two France's! No, there wasn't some weird multiverse crisis that somehow resulted in two nations that call themselves the same but are totally different and hate each other. Nope: a left wing revolution resulted in  two nations that call themselves the same but are totally different and hate each other. It's always the commies.

Maybe McCarthy was onto something...

In 1920, after a brief civil war between the establishment and a socialist-syndicalist alliance, the Commune of France was declared in Paris. The leaders of the old Third Republic that didn't join the Commune retreated to Algeria, claiming the French colonies as the true nation of France, and that they were a government in exile. That's something you are going to hear a lot of in this mod...

Plausibility: 8/10. In a very simple overgeneralization: since 1789, the French have a habit of overthrowing ineffectual, corrupt or defeated governments and setting up a new one. Since King Louis XVI lost his head in OTL, there has been five republics, two empires, two monarchies, and a communist commune, not to mention the puppet state set up by the Nazis.

So I can see the French tossing out the Third Republic and starting the Second Commune, or whatever it's called. And at the same time, I can see those that wouldn't agree with the new order hightailing out, even if that means sitting in Algiers fuming at all that you lost and vowing to someday comeback and restore the nation.

And maybe turn the Eiffel Tower into a huge middle finger pointed at Germany.

But, this is the big question: can this syndicalist nation survive as long as it did? That is the bigger, iffier question to me. I'm personally surprised that Germany would allow a proto-communist, left leaning extremists to set up shop that soon become really resentful and angry at losing to Germany, again. But at the same time, the Germany of the post-Weltkreig is just sick and tired of fighting, and desires peace. So maybe the leadership of the new Commune, seeing what happened when the Germans intervened in the Russian Revolution, decided to play nice, at first, and Germany was willing to let them. The lore doesn't go into detail about early Commune-Germany relationships, but I'm sure it's not all sunshine and roses.

POD: And... Britain Too?

In 1925, a coal strike in Britain quickly spiralled into violence, and when the army was sent in to restore order, the army instead revolted. A general strike shut down the nation, and in six weeks, the Royal Family, most of the Royal Navy, some of the Royal Air Force, loyalist military units and whoever did not like the idea of "equality for all" rabble-rousers redistributing their wealth all hightailed it to Canada and the other colonies, waiting for the moment to return. The Trades Union Congress then declared the Union of Britain, another socialist-syndicalists inspired by the French across the channel. The nation isolated itself from the world, content to build socialism in Britain with no one to interfere.

So... alternate history Brexit then?

Plausibility: 5/10. This is, to a degree, odd. The way the lore goes, the Dominions and Colonies of the Empire were mostly okay with the Peace of Honour (what ended the long, drawn out war between Germany and Britain after France fell), but the Home Isles took it really badly, and all it needed was a spark, similar to the miners strike of OTL that Winston Churchill proposed solving with machine guns.

The way the game made it sound, the Peace with Honour wasn't that bad. If anything, it basically restored the status quo, with a few minor changes, like some islands being transferred around. I could see maybe there being some issues with a populace that just fought and starved and struggled for seven years, with millions of casualties and nothing to show for it: not even Ireland was given it's independence in the treaty, so it would seem that Britain at least lost, and would have something to strive to regain in the future (basically like how the Nazi's rose to influence and power in Germany OTL). But without the anger and hate, I don't see it coming to pass.

Or whatever passes as anger over in the UK. Something something football.

The Britain from 1921-25 would be directionless: all the sacrifice, all the fighting, and everything just went back to what it was, just with a lot of men dead. So a minor crisis that a somewhat indifferent government and upper class tried to crush away boiling over, but I don't know if it would be a socialist revolution, or even if it couldn't be suppressed or with some reforms to molify the masses. Maybe a socialism with some nationalism thrown in, but I don't see much of that in the lore of the game. So I'm on the fence of this one.

POD: The Sun Never Sets on the German Empire

Germany managed to win a few colonies in the aftermath of the Weltkrieg. But they gained a lot more with the British Empire collapsed and went socialist. It wouldn't do to have these prime areas of real estate to just become independent, or, worse, becomes part of another empire. Nope: They had to be taken. The colony of Mittelafrika, composed of the old Belgian Congo and former German territories, along with British possessions like Kenya, Tanzania and others, is just one of these new colonies: southern China is the personal fiefdom of the Allgemeine Ostasiatische Gesellschaft, the German East Asian Company, while many other territories like the Suez Canal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and many other islands and cities are now all part of the great and glorious Kaiserreich.

Plausibility: 1/10. This is perhaps the least plausible part of the entire mod. According to the backstory, even after 1921 Germany was still fighting, sending troops to make sure that Russia's Civil War didn't turn into a Bolshevik victory. But then in 1925, four years later, suddenly Germany is able to basically occupy and bring areas from Africa to South East Asia to a third of China into puppet states and colonies and corporate fiefdoms with, as far as I can tell, little issue and bloodshed?

And a hint of domineering paternalism and subjugation for good effect

The Germany they described in 1921 has just won a Pyrrhic Victory, and was on the verge of economic and social collapse after seven years of the British blockade, total war, and failed harvests. Apparently Admiral von Tripitz, as the new Chancellor, was able to turn it all around starting in 1924, occupy most of Africa and Britain's Asian possessions by 1925, and set up a Chinese empire with the permission of the teetering Qing Dynasty in 1926.

Yes, there would be a vacuum of power if the British Empire collapses, but my guess is that Germany wouldn't be able to simply march in, place their flag where the Union Jack was, and all would be good. I'd see revolutions, strikes, bloody uprisings, syndicalist/socialist/nationalist upheaval that, should the German Empire get involved in, would cause the already war weary people to rise up in their own revolt at sending even more soldiers to die in places far away from home.

Most of the map of Kaiserreich should be a lot of small states in Africa and Asia, former colonies suddenly cast adrift with no one but the strong local warlords to replace it. Maybe Germany, the Ottomans, even the Austrians and Japanese, would get a few possessions. But not as much as we see in game.

"And zis piece is mine, and zis one, and zis one..."

POD: Crouching Russia, Hidden Bolsheviks

Russia in Kaiserreich is, quite simply, a mess. The White's won the civil war with help from Germany, and Alexander Kerensky became President of an unstable, weak, divided, and much smaller Russian Republic, but he's the only person capable of holding everything together. Finland, Ukraine, the United Baltic Duchy, White Ruthenia, a union of Cossack territories, several central Asian countries and a couple Japanese puppet states had all been created from it's territory after the Weltkrieg. Political divisions, communists, and reactionaries besiege the nation from all sides, and it's a question of when, not if, it will all come to a head.

(Spoiler alert!) Within minutes of starting the game, Kerensky will be dead, allowing a Russian player to guide Russia to it's destiny: wether communist, national populist or something in between.

And time to bring back the armoured trains!

Plausibility: 4/10. There are a few issues with this scenario, namely in the Civil War. According to the backstory, the White's of the Russian Civil War got together in 1919 and agreed to name Kerensky as their unified leader. But the White's of the Civil War are a diverse group, ranging from monarchists wanting to put the Czar back in power to democrats that want to forge a new destiny for Russia (and they, in turn, divided between democratic socialists and lassiez-faire liberals). Agreeing with Kerensky, who had already failed to hold the country together after the February Revolution before Lenin and his Bolsheviks overthrew him in the October Revolution does seem to be a a bit of a stretch. But the idea of a unified White movement isn't totally outlandish, I feel.

Then there is the German intervention. I think the problem with some of the backstory of the mod is that it's acknowledged that Germany had nearly fallen apart after the Weltkrieg, but then the game has Germany intervening around the world within a couple of years. It's seems highly unlikely that Germany would be in shape, or have the political or popular support to go east again. Supplies? Maybe. Volunteers? Alright. But a full fledged army sent in to the quagmire of Russia to prop up a "democratic" Russian regime? That feels like a bit too much, and should have resulted in riots and revolution back in Germany.

But what do you think? Do some good ol' French and English revolutions make sense? If you have a comment or a suggestion, either email me at or look for me on Twitter, @tbguy1992.