Alt 30s Europe

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I am going to tread carefully with this one but I think it is worth a look.
Instead of the Hitler regime from 1933 Germany is run by a conventional centrist party. The Weimar Republic survives. But its strong willed Chancellors still seek to overturn the restrictions of the Versailles Treaty on Germany's armed forces and establish an air force and rebuild the army and navy. They remain in the League of Nations and accept the collective security Locarno Agreement.
Accordingly Austria and Czechoslovakia remain independent countries. The Rhineland, however, is still an issue between Berlin and Paris.
Poland still has a military led government and Italy has Mussolini. The Soviet Union still has Stalin.
Britain is preoccupied with pressures for Indian Home Rule and the vulnerability of Hong Kong and Malaya to a Japan which still invades China. Relations with Washington are strained because of US opposition to British colonial rule. The Baldwin and Chamberlain governments try to renegotiate the various limits on Naval construction which are seen as favouring the US and Japan. The RAF focuses on colonial air policing and the Singapore garrison.
Both Berlin and Paris seek British support for their positions on the Rhineland and reparations. Chamberlain's Foreign Secretary, Eden, urges mediation by the League of Nations.
Mussolini tries to invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia) but a robust UK and French response in the Mediterranean coupled with League sanctions forces him to abandon his plans. Bad relations with Germany and Austria over the ethnic Germans in Tyrol focus Mussolini on his own backyard.
Rearmament still occurs but with a more conventional progress.
The Spanish Civil War in 1936 is won by the Soviet backed Republicans. Britain and France block Mussolini's attempts to help the Nationalists by naval policing. The International Brigades ensure that the new Republic is not a Soviet puppet. Spain becomes an uneasy but democratic neighbour.
Plenty of scope for different shaped military and civil developments.
In particular the RAF does not develop Bomber Command as a long range strike force or Fighter Command with Radar sites in southern England. Close air support of the army units in the Middle and Far East remains its main role.
The Fleet Air Arm still returns to RN control and carrier aviation receives a boost from the focus on US and Japanese build ups in the Pacific. But six new battleships (4 KG and 2 Lion) are still ordered.
 
Europe is in a continuous war cycle ranging 75-100 years. While the Balkans have triggered a couple of big ones, they generally revolve around envy and stagnation. Europe is snapping out of another lull and quickly ramping up a hunger to fight. The only question is where.
 
Britain is preoccupied with pressures for Indian Home Rule and the vulnerability of Hong Kong and Malaya to a Japan which still invades China. Relations with Washington are strained because of US opposition to British colonial rule. The Baldwin and Chamberlain governments try to renegotiate the various limits on Naval construction which are seen as favouring the US and Japan. The RAF focuses on colonial air policing and the Singapore garrison.
Historic timeline for Japan's actions in China:-
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So geographically Japan does not even begin to become a direct threat to British interests in the Far East until 1937/38 when they invade Hainan Island & the Canton region around Hong Kong. (While Wei-Hai Wei was returned to Chinese rule in 1930 it was leased back for 10 years & Japan lived with that despite having occupied China around it). It was July 1941 when they occupied southern French Indochina that the direct threat to Malaya emerged. Until around August 1940 invading Malaya wasn't even on the Japanese radar. With the distances involved the RAF was of little use in the 1930s in that theatre.

GOC Malaya, Gen Dobbie, produced a report in 1937 which was the first time that the defence of Malaya from land attack seems to have even been considered. He called for deployment of more forces but this was largely ignored until it was too late.

And what kinds of RAF aircraft? Support for the Army (that wasn't there)? Maritime recce - obviously. Torpedo bombers? The whole Singapore Strategy relied on moving a fleet to Singapore in 3-6 months (the period kept increasing as the 1930s moved on) and then advancing to tackle them in the waters around Taiwan and then moving on to blockade Japan, seizing an intermediate base somewhere near Okinawa. It is all supposed to happen a long way from Malaya & Singapore.

As for the Naval Treaties, 1922 Washington & 1930 London were only due to expire on 31 Dec 1936, so it is too late to do anything about those with your starting point in 1933. Japan was aggrieved about her treatment in both of those Treaties as she was not going to be treated as an equal, something unacceptable to both Britain & the USA. So her announcement in Dec 1934, in compliance with the Treaties, of her intention to withdraw from the Treaty system has to go ahead as historical.

The next naval conference took place between 9 Dec 1935 & was signed 25 March 1936. I don't see that timescale being advanced. That cut the battleship gun limit from 16" to 14", but the Japanese had until 1 April 1937 to announce compliance, even though not a signitory, which didn't come. So it reverted to 16".

With less political pressure in Europe the RN has less need to rush into laying down the first pair of KGV on 1 Jan 1937. A wait of a few months allows the KGVs to be built with 9x15" guns which was the RN's first choice of armament in 1935/36. The "Escalator Clause" to increase the tonnage limit to 45,000 tons would have to go ahead in mid-1938 as it was driven by what it was believed Japan was doing. It is unlikely that as historical, Britain would build up to that limit as it would have involved a massive spend on new dockyard facilities around the world.

Rearmament for the RN is as much about replacement of aging vessels of all types as it was about preparing for the next war. Ships take a long time to build so I don't see the RN wanting to slow down the ordering & laying down of major vessels. Particularly so since there was a tentative plan, never formally accepted, for a New Standard Fleet to be built through to the mid-1940s. Actual construction through to 1939 stuck fairly closely to this.

The 1936 London Naval Treaty actually played to Britain's advantage when it came to cruisers. Britain needed some 70-100 but had a lot of old stock dating back to WW1. It was a size v numbers game. The US wanted 10,000 ton ships for Pacific operations. Britain wanted more smaller vessels. Both sides got something.
In particular the RAF does not develop Bomber Command as a long range strike force or Fighter Command with Radar sites in southern England. Close air support of the army units in the Middle and Far East remains its main role.
The Fleet Air Arm still returns to RN control and carrier aviation receives a boost from the focus on US and Japanese build ups in the Pacific. But six new battleships (4 KG and 2 Lion) are still ordered.
Radar development would I believe go ahead pretty much as historical. The problems of air defence had been recognised in the early 1930s. Money for radar began to be made available for it in early 1935 and it featured in Fighter Command (formed July 1936) exercises from late 1936. By 1937 industry was involved in developing equipment. 1937 also saw the recognition that it was no good just having radar information, it needed to be processed and turned into useable data to direct fighters. So began the whole development of the fighter control network.

Without the growing threat from Germany, they might have taken their time and produced a more sophisticated radar system than Chain Home to productionise as Germany did with its Freya system.

So it would be a question of not if the radar network was developed, but the speed with which it was rolled out.

Again with less political urgency, more time could be taken to design & develop a lesser number of more effective aircraft from the mid-1930s. Too many duds were ordered straight off the drawing board. But one of the big issues was the development of suitably powerful new generation of engines.

As for the FAA, alas I can see no solution. The fundamental problem was the deteriorating relationship between the RN & RAF from the late 1920s, with fault on both sides. That hampered the development of both carriers & naval aircraft throughout the 1930s. It was only brought to a head in late 1937 with the Inskip Report but it took another 18 months for it to be implemented. Curiously, co-operation between the services seems to have improved after the decision was made.

Instituting the Inskip Inquiry was a political matter brought to a head by RN & RAF reports brought about by the Abyssinian Crisis & the Spanish Civil War. So I can't really see the process being speeded up very much if at all.
 
Radar development would I believe go ahead pretty much as historical. The problems of air defence had been recognised in the early 1930s. Money for radar began to be made available for it in early 1935 and it featured in Fighter Command (formed July 1936) exercises from late 1936. By 1937 industry was involved in developing equipment. 1937 also saw the recognition that it was no good just having radar information, it needed to be processed and turned into useable data to direct fighters. So began the whole development of the fighter control network.

Without the growing threat from Germany, they might have taken their time and produced a more sophisticated radar system than Chain Home to productionise as Germany did with its Freya system.

So it would be a question of not if the radar network was developed, but the speed with which it was rolled out.

Industry was not involved soon enough from I understand, largely due to security issues as a result of the strange idea that only the UK had radar.........

A more advanced radar is an interesting what if....do the German miss it as they did OTL as it wasn't what they were looking for and do they get an idea of the Dowding system at al.
 
Some material in this video might be worth studying, if you've got a couple hours to spare:


The video's about what happens if neither the Washington nor London naval treaties go into effect, which is obviously off the prompt for this thread, but still, I think it's applicable under the general theme of "drastically different late 1920s and 1930s." Some of his conclusions, like the UK probably being able to stare down Mussolini over Abyssinia if they had been able to build without restrictions, broadly align with your hypotheses. I thought it was interesting stuff.
 
I have assumed (mainly to prevent a WW2 in Europe) that the two main centrist groupings in Weimar Germany were able to work along lines similar to the SPD and CDU/CSU in postwar W Germany. As with most alt-history this is a device rather than a likely scenario. There had been successful Chancellors (Stresemann for example), so I just assume similar men follow.
 
With no Hitler
It’s realistic that centrum, conservative with Military take control.
The Weimar Republic would still died in 1930s
Replace by German Monarchy
this Germany still have same goals:

The end of the Versailles Treaty
Reunite Germany and get to colonies back
Avenge the French
 
A Second World War, by all counts it seems, is inevitable, however perhaps it simply occurs later? A start point in 1944, perhaps? As German forces attempt to break through the Maginot line, which is completed on schedule?
 
A Second World War, by all counts it seems, is inevitable, however perhaps it simply occurs later? A start point in 1944, perhaps? As German forces attempt to break through the Maginot line, which is completed on schedule?
Good question
Still there is Belgium detour to get into France…
 
A German Bulwark against the USSR was increasingly a position amongst the UK Elite. Part of why they turned blind eyes to rearmament.

A Germany that reverts to monarchy actually gells with the UK view here and arguably a German Elite that now accepts not contesting maritime supremacy with the British is one the British can work with. Even reward with imperial access as a collective counter to US and Soviet influence.
Ironically a Polish buffer is also in both parties interests.
 
Oh dear. If you want WW2 in Europe so badly start a different thread or just go back to real history.
What I was trying (clumsily I admit) was to create a Europe where suspicious countries still rearm but only within the bounds of Locarno and the League of Nations.
I had to keep Mussolini because removing him too was beyond my skills.
Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia all offer interesting civil and military options.
Local wars and confrontations are going to happen but Chamberlain and then Halifax send no British Grenadiers to die for Danzig.
 
Oh dear. If you want WW2 in Europe so badly start a different thread or just go back to real history.
What I was trying (clumsily I admit) was to create a Europe where suspicious countries still rearm but only within the bounds of Locarno and the League of Nations.
I had to keep Mussolini because removing him too was beyond my skills.
Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia all offer interesting civil and military options.
Local wars and confrontations are going to happen but Chamberlain and then Halifax send no British Grenadiers to die for Danzig.
Right, but you do not account for other interests in Europe starting a Second World War with or without Hitler. The USSR is a good contender for this in OTL. Ultimately, to achieve the scenario you espouse, you have to change a whole lot more than what you initially describe.
 
oh well so no interest in alternative thirtys military and civil tech. well, I tried.
 
oh well so no interest in alternative thirtys military and civil tech. well, I tried.
Friend, you did not try hard enough. You literally started this thread yesterday. To change the course of WW1 to suit my anthology narrative, I had to create a timeline that spanned back to 1830, which required a lot of reading, and a lot of butterflies to justify what changed. JSTOR became my best friend; I could fill a library with the number of historical journals and articles I downloaded from there, meaning I could talk ad nauseam on the subject matter of my timeline. That being said, you need to be more enthusiastic and bring more substance to spark discussion or debate. Otherwise, it will fizzle out.
 
My point stands. The stated aim was to allow discussion of possible trends and types of mil and civ tech in a different Europe. I made it clear this was a device not a historical paper on possible pasts.

Sadly it confirms the trend in this area of the site to use it to pursue pet themes and projects rather than encourage new and interesting options.
 
My point stands. The stated aim was to allow discussion of possible trends and types of mil and civ tech in a different Europe. I made it clear this was a device not a historical paper on possible pasts.

Sadly it confirms the trend in this area of the site to use it to pursue pet themes and projects rather than encourage new and interesting options.
well, considering that the pre-nazi German army was quite interested in the development of rocket weapons, could we see Ballistic missiles developed in this timeline? Possibly even ICBM's by 1945?
 
Irrespective of the German regime, the military situation calls for similar solutions.
Germany has logistic bottlenecks going east beyond Poland that really require substantial investment to rectify.
 
Well there's a series of German developments that be very sound and I wouldn't expect them to be ditched. If anything without Hitler some of those would progress to service sooner.

There were a number of interesting efforts throughout Europe.
From Hungary's SMG (lever delayed blowback) to Poland's semi-automatic rifle to Romanian fighters.

It's rather hard to pick something out of a vibrant era of technological developments.
 
Well there's a series of German developments that be very sound and I wouldn't expect them to be ditched. If anything without Hitler some of those would progress to service sooner.

There were a number of interesting efforts throughout Europe.
From Hungary's SMG (lever delayed blowback) to Poland's semi-automatic rifle to Romanian fighters.

It's rather hard to pick something out of a vibrant era of technological developments.
true, so why not just have them happen all at once?
 
Here's a thought. What did the Czechoslovakian Union plan?

Thanks to Forgotten Weapons, we have some insight on a quite extensive rifle effort and the obviously excellent LMG that formed the basis of the Bren.
But their armour was literally stolen by the Wehrmacht after they were conquered. How would they develop if they hadn't been handed to Germany at Munich?
 
Somewhat off the wall idea, and not related to military procurement, but there’s a notable amount of high voltage dc transmission connecting European countries now, but I don’t think they really got going until the 50s or 60s? The Germans made an earlier stab at building the Elbe Project (which Wikipedia rather euphemistically says failed due to “the collapse of the German government in 1945,” which makes the annihilation of a major world capital at the hands of the Red Army sound something like a bad round of elections for a coalition government with thin margins, but I digress).

I’m wondering if a little more peace, if it can be had, and if it’s not too tenuous, might lead to something like a modern integrated power network, but earlier?
 
A Second World War, by all counts it seems, is inevitable, however perhaps it simply occurs later? A start point in 1944, perhaps? As German forces attempt to break through the Maginot line, which is completed on schedule?
I have a tendency to agree, what with the animosity and impact of the Versailles Treaty, The Great Depression, failing of the League of Nations, Colonialism and nationalism......

Regards
Pioneer
 
That there would be a second world war can be taken as fact. The French demands in the Treaty of Versailles guaranteed it.

But I'm not sure how much expansion past Alsace-Lorraine and the other German-speaking parts of Europe there'd be without That Failed Austrian Painter. The whole "invade the Soviet Union" thing was pretty specific to the thoughts of the Austrian Painter.
 
That there would be a second world war can be taken as fact. The French demands in the Treaty of Versailles guaranteed it.

But I'm not sure how much expansion past Alsace-Lorraine and the other German-speaking parts of Europe there'd be without That Failed Austrian Painter. The whole "invade the Soviet Union" thing was pretty specific to the thoughts of the Austrian Painter.
depends who runs the country I suppose, if it were the spartacists for example they'd want to align themselves with the USSR as fast as possible, however if it were Kapp and his men, they'd likely just push for the return of Alsace-lorraine and naught more
 

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