If the Allies had Fallen (Review)

If the Allies had Fallen (Review)

ound this on the bargain aisle-cap at Barnes-n-Noble while holding an armful already. Very catchy cover with a picture of Big Ben draped with a huge Nazi flag. And the title. For ten bucks, why not?

There has been a lot of speculative literature on this. In The Man in the High Castle, it’s just a given that the Axis had won. Same thing in a lot of alt-hist. The problem comes down to the actuals, which this collection of pieces studies.

If the Allies had Fallen is not written by scifi writers looking for a nifty new background for their stories of disastrous timelines, no. It’s a collection of pieces by actual historians who have studied and discussed these points. This isn’t just showing what would happen if the Germans had taken Moscow but rather what would happen if they did (could they have even held it? There were a lot of armies moving around them – it could have just turned into Stalingrad North). But many aspects of the Second World War are studied to varying degrees of effect. What if the Allies had invaded France a year earlier? Or two? What if Rommel had greater control over his armor during D-Day? What if the Philippines had not been re-invaded. What if the Japanese had hung around Pearl Harbor for another day or two? What if they’d never attacked Pearl Harbor at all (which, in retrospect, seems like a very good idea)? What if we’d  been forced to invade Japan. What if France had not surrendered but formed a nation in exile in North Africa?

Really, there were so many concepts, grouped in a number of chapters, all so fascinating.

But it comes down to this – the Germans didn’t have that good of a chance of winning. Once they under-estimated Russia and went in, it was only a matter of time (though perhaps an armistice could have been arranged to give both sides a chance to rebuild and look for ways to break the truce). Knocking Britain out would have helped (capturing it was a long shot). But there were blunders (on both sides). Had the Germans not wasted efforts on a showy blue-water navy, they could have put the resources into 300 more submarines, which would have shut down the Atlantic. And if the allies had invaded France earlier, the beaches would not have been as fortified, the defenses would have been lighter, and possibly they could have driven east all the way across Germany and changed the parameters of the cold war entirely (there were a number of German (not Nazi) commanders who might have let them pass right though, to preserve their nation against the Slavic wave).

All very good thoughts, well researched. It put everything in a new perspective for me. Good book and worth rooting around for.