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What if Hitler Never Came to Power and the USSR, not Germany, Started World War Two?
If the Treaty of Versailles had been a just peace, Hitler and the Nazis never would have come to power and Stalin would have invaded Poland alone as well as Finland, the Baltic states and Romania
This is the follow-on article to my previous essay entitled “What if the Treaty of Versailles Had Been a Just Negotiated Peace” published a couple of weeks ago which explores the potential “what might have beens” of an alternate history timeline much more peaceful and secure then the one we are living through. Perhaps, one of the biggest impacts of the Treaty of Versailles being much less harsh would have been that the Soviets, not the Germans, would have started World War Two. This essay outlines how much that could have changed history along with some of the other impacts that a just treaty ending World War One would have had upon Europe and the world.
Hitler and the Nazis Never Come to Power
It is acknowledged by most historians that the single most important by-product of the much-hated Versailles Treaty was the ascension to power of a certain Bavarian corporal named Adolf Hitler. Herr Hitler once remarked that he had only to mention the Treaty of Versailles in all of his public speeches to rally tens of thousands more German citizens to his cause since they had suffered so extensively because of it.
However, if the Treaty of Versailles had been a negotiated compromise peace along the lines of Wilson’s ‘Fourteen Points’ and generally included the terms listed in the previous article including self-determination and unity for the ethnically German territories of the German Reich, the humiliation of Germany stemming from the peace Treaty ending World War One would have been far less severe. Hitler would not likely have been able to use the Treaty as an effective rallying cry to achieve political support for his National Socialist Workers’ (Nazi) Party. In fact, he might have even supported the Treaty had it allowed for the fulfillment of his top demand, which was the Anschluss between Germany and his native Austria including the German Sudetenland, which German Austria had voted for in November 1918. His Nazi Party would not likely have ever been able to win more than five to ten percent of the vote in Reichstag elections, thus effectively eliminating any hope he ever had of becoming the Fuhrer of the Germany. The best he could have hoped for would be that he would have been offered a ministerial position as a minor partner in a grand coalition government led by one or more of Germany’s right-of-center political parties such as the German People’s Party, German National People’s Party or its offshoot the Conservative People’s Party. However, even when Hitler was offered the position of Vice Chancellor, he refused insisting on nothing less than the position of Chancellor itself. Accordingly, the chances of him accepting a lowly ministerial position would have been essentially non-existent, effectively locking him out of power for good.
It goes without saying that a Germany in which the Nazis never comes to power would ensure there would never have been a Jewish Holocaust. The German National People’s Party was a predominantly Christian party that supported traditional moral values came out strongly against violence against German Jews but nevertheless supported discrimination against Jews in terms of employment. Had the Treaty of Versailles been perceived as just by Germany, then German political leaders likely have been much less anti-Semitic since the primary reason for anti-Semitism in interwar Germany was the Jewish-led Bolshevik revolutions which brought Germany to her knees in November 1918-1919 and knocked her out of the war. Furthermore, all of the other right-wing parties would likely have been more moderate in terms of their positions and principles as well.
Rather than transforming defeated Germany into a revisionist power trying to regain lost territories as was the case in actual history, Germany, once again, would have reverted to its 1914 status as a satisfied power--independent, confident, united and free. In fact, the motto of the Weimar republic was “Unity, Justice and Freedom.” It would be sufficiently strong enough to defend its own territory against future threats, but without a Navy capable of challenging the British Royal Navy or colonies to give it hopes of ever becoming more than a continental power. It also would have likely produced a Germany that was much more democratically oriented and peaceful, focused more on economic and industrial rather than military pursuits. With the possible exception of Poland, Germany would have had a series of friendly states in eastern Europe with which to do business to help allay its sense of encirclement by their enemies which had led to its ill-fated pre-emptive attack against France in 1914 in a failed attempt to avert a two-front war, which transformed the Austro-Serbian war of July 1914 from a regional war into a world war.
Had Hitler and the Nazis never come to power and started World War II, Winston Churchill likely never would have become Prime Minister as he was not well-liked by members of his Conservative Party due to his past record of political disloyalty and backbiting among other reasons. More likely British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who died in 1940 would have been replaced by Lord Halifax who may have been less hesitant to challenge Soviet aggression than was Churchill. In actual history, Churchill became enamored with the idea of a Grand Alliance between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union against Germany in 1937 following Germany’s reoccupation of the Rhineland. However, had the Treaty of Versailles never mandated total German disarmament as in actual history, it is likely both he and France would have sought to align with the Soviet Union against Germany far earlier, perhaps in the mid-1920’s.
World War II Starts with Soviet, Not German, Aggression
A strong, yet peaceful, democratically-led German republic would have certainly avoided war with the Western Allies and would have likely served as an arsenal for freedom and liberation against Communism. In actual history, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin never gave up his goal to Communize most, if not all, of continental Europe from Poland to France. The Soviets first attempted to do so in 1920 when they employed the Red Army to invade Poland as a precursor to occupying Germany and Hungary to ensure the Communist revolutions which had taken place there from 1918-1919 would be successful. Vladimir Lenin, believed that the key to the Communization of Europe lay with Germany and Stalin likely agreed. In accordance with this goal, the Soviets mass produced tens of thousands of tanks and tens of thousands of combat aircraft during the Interwar Period and from 1938-June 1941 more than tripled the number of deployed army troops from 1.5 million to over 5 million men and increased the number of their tank divisions by 61.
Stalin’s reported May 1941 offensive plan to invade western Poland, Nazi Germany and Romania which was planned to occur in July 1941 but Hitler struck first preventing the plan from ever being implemented.
As part of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, they divided Eastern Europe with Nazi Germany, starting with their September 1939 invasion of Poland, followed by their invasion of Finland later that year and their occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania along with the Romanian provinces of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina the following summer. Thus by summer 1940, the Soviet Union had invaded six countries without even the most minimal military response from the Allies. According to a number of respected military historians, drawing on recently declassified Soviet archives, most notably Vladimir Rezun, a former Soviet GRU officer writing under the pseudonym, Viktor Suvorov, Stalin was preparing to invade Germany, western Poland and Romania in July 1941 and was only prevented from doing so by the earlier German military offensive Operation Barbarossa which began on June 22, 1941 and effectively served to pre-empt the planned Soviet offensive. The German invasion was successful in capturing millions of Red Army troops near the border, which had made no serious defensive preparations, despite the fact the Soviets had seven times more tanks and over five times as many aircraft as the Germans. However, a Germany that was not banned from developing tanks and combat aircraft would not have provided the Soviets with critically important military industrial assistance in the 1920’s under the Treaty of Rapallo and 1930s potentially reducing their ability to mass produce as many tanks and planes.
Even in the absence of the Hitler-Stalin Pact dividing East Europe into spheres of influence, Stalin most likely would have engaged in an invasion of Poland, Finland, Romania and the Baltic in an attempt to achieve the same territorial gains he did in actual history from 1939-1940. Assuming the Soviets invaded Poland in September 1939 as in actual history, the Red Army, with overwhelming superiority in numbers of troops, tanks and aircraft, likely would have overrun the Baltic States fairly quickly cutting off Poland from British and French military assistance, which would likely have led to guaranteed Polish defeat without German military intervention. Stalin might have offered Germany a return to its 1914 borders in exchange for it remaining neutral in the ensuing conflict and allowing a Soviet annexation of the rest of Poland.
Following a Polish military collapse and a Soviet capture of Warsaw, the Germans might have accepted Polish pleas to declare war on the Soviets instead and help liberate Poland, fearing imminent Sovietization of all of Poland, after a Red Army capture of Warsaw in return for a border adjustment which returned some or all of Germany’s eastern territories lost under the Treaty of Versailles. The Poles, realizing they had no choice, would likely have reluctantly agreed. Had the Polish Corridor not been retained by Germany in the Treaty of Versailles than the price of German intervention might have been limited to the return of the Polish Corridor. Just as in actual history, German forces likely would have employed Blitzkrieg tactics to encircle and capture millions of Soviet troops, nearly all of which might have opted to join German-organized Russian and Ukrainian Liberation Armies (making them much larger than actual history), particularly if they were treated well and promised freedom under a Russian-Ukrainian government-in-exile which Germany and its allies could have set up to govern captured Soviet territory. However, German forces likely would have started any war with the USSR with a substantial number of obsolescent World War I era weapons and equipment, which may have inhibited their offensive potential early in the war before they had a chance to mass produce more modern weaponry.
Such Soviet aggression would have likely led to the replacement of a German center-left government with a center-right nationalist coalition-led government in the federal 1940 elections dedicated to rebuilding Germany’s military strength to repel Soviet aggression. The most likely candidates for Chancellor in a right-wing led government would have been German National People’s Party leaders Alfred Hugenberg, Kuno von Westarp or actual history Hitler coup plotters Carl Friedrich Goerdeler or Ulrich von Hassel, both of whom were executed by Hitler following the tragically unsuccessful July 20, 1944 coup against him. Of these, Hugenberg would likely have been too objectionable to the Centrist Party leaders to serve as Reichskanzler making von Westarp, who was considerably more moderate, the next logical choice. Given the fact that the conservative parties of the Weimar Republic were almost uniformly monarchist, they might have attempted to elevate one of the Hohenzollern princes such as former Crown Prince William or one of his sons to serve as a new German Kaiser. Any new Kaiser would have served as a largely ceremonial head of state similar to the British monarch though it is uncertain whether they would have been successful in so doing. However, it is unlikely that they would have been successful in persuading the other political parties to agree to restore the monarchy, particularly the Centre Party which likely would have controlled the German Presidency after former President Hindenburg died in 1934. Accordingly, the so-called Weimar Republic would likely have continued to exist indefinitely.
A number of conservative leaders in both Britain and France had advocated for direct military aid to Finland to defend against Soviet invasion in actual history and some even lobbied for an Allied declaration of war against the Soviets. However, given that they were already at war with Nazi Germany, such a declaration of war, was seen as impractical and swiftly abandoned. However, had Germany been a peaceful republic fighting against Soviet aggression, the chances of a Anglo-French military intervention on behalf of Finland and likely Poland as well as a declaration of war on the Soviet Union, would have been far higher, particularly if Winston Churchill was not serving as British Prime Minister. This would have created a situation where British, French and German forces were all fighting alongside one another against Soviet aggression, thus increasing the chances of closer ties between the former enemy nations.
Britain and France likely would have sent expeditionary forces, consisting of a few to several divisions each, as well as naval and air forces to help defend Finland and then Poland once the Germans had liberated Lithuania from Red Army control. Then they would have joined the German Navy in blockading western Soviet ports in the Barents Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea/Mediterranean Sea. British and French forces might then have manned the northernmost frontline against the Soviets in the Baltic States under their own separate command structure rather than subordinate their forces to a German High Command.
Had the Treaty of Versailles remained unjust, German rearmament and a resumption of conscription by the mid-1930s would have been necessary to avoid Germany from being Sovietized along with Poland after being invaded by the Red Army in 1939. That would have likely required the election of a right-wing government in the 1932 or, at the very latest, the 1936 German federal elections which given Hitler’s strong showing in 1932 would have been a strong possibility. In actual history, Hitler waited until March 1935 to begin rearming Germany and reintroduce conscription, but began working to prepare German industries to build large quantities of modern arms a couple years earlier. It took four and a half years before Germany was close to being ready for fight a major war and even then its tanks were woefully under-gunned due to delays getting their industries re-accustomed to building heavy weapons after being banned from doing so for sixteen years. This was due to the fact that Hitler had not anticipated the outbreak of war prior to 1943 or 1941 at the earliest and thus German rearmament was far from complete and was caught by complete surprise by the British and French declarations of war in September 1939, which he should have anticipated. However, if Germany had waited until late 1936 or 1937 to begin the long process of rearmament, then the Soviets likely would have defeated and Sovietized Germany had the war begun in fall 1939 without full-scale Anglo-French intervention on her behalf.
On the other hand, had the Treaty been just, a German military defeat in the war would have been an unlikely outcome providing that the Germans conserved their limited military strength by fighting a mostly defensive war along the Riga-Odessa line or farther to the west, especially with likely British and French military intervention against the Soviets on behalf of Poland, at least until they had rebuilt their military strength and were ready to advance further. If Germany had moved immediately to mass production, which Hitler failed to do until 1943, then they could have likely increased production to 1,000 modern medium Panzer III/IV/Panther-type tanks (enough to equip three Panzer divisions) a month, greatly increasing the ability of the German Army to conduct mobile warfare against the Red Army. Additionally, Soviet forces would have been less mobile given the fact that they would not be receiving the 23,000 tanks, 18,000 combat aircraft and 430,000 trucks the U.S. and U.K. provided them to fight the Germans in actual history. They also would have lacked access to Enigma intelligence provided by Britain in actual history leaving them unable to accurately predict future German military operations. German forces in turn would have been greatly advantaged to be led by the proven, capable German Army General Staff rather than Adolf Hitler’s foolish demands to engage in suicidal offensives that expended massive amounts of German military strength and issuance of no-retreat orders that resulted in entire German armies being surrounded, captured and destroyed.
Artists rendering of a 35-ton German VK 30.01(D) “Panther-lite” medium tank which Hitler rejected in actual history in favor of the famous 45-ton Panther tank in actual history
If the Germans had been able to deploy a force of at least 10,000 operational tanks and 10,000 half-tracks in 30-35 Panzer divisions (about three times more armored vehicles than they deployed on the Eastern front in actual history) and if they had motorized a lot more of their infantry divisions, then they could likely have captured Moscow in a spring 1941 or more likely a spring 1942 offensive, particularly if they had attacked on a broad front including Turkey and Finland. Such a production level was well within the capability of German military industries which produced nearly 50,000 armored fighting vehicles in actual history including nearly 19,000 in 1944 alone (at the height of the Allied strategic bombing campaign) along with over 44,000 half-tracks.
If they had captured Moscow and succeeded in holding it, Stalin would likely have sought a temporary armistice perhaps even giving up all Russian territory west of the Archangel-Volga-Astrakhan line, which Hitler had stated was his final objective. However, since this is more speculative, I believe the most likely outcome of the war would be along the lines of a second Treaty of Brest-Litovsk as Stalin offered Hitler in actual history.
No Pacific War between the US and Japan
Pearl Harbor—the attack that never happened
In actual history, following US President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s July 1941 imposition of the crushing US-UK-Dutch oil embargo that, had it been continued for over a year, would have left Japan unable to sail its warships, Japan offered to withdraw from China (excluding Manchuria and Jehol province) and Indochina as a last ditch effort to avoid war with the United States. In light of an alliance between Britain and a democratically-led German republic against the Soviet Union, President Roosevelt would not have been obsessed with finding a way to provoke the Japanese to engage in a ‘surprise attack’ on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 as ‘a back door to war’ to galvanize an anti-war public and anti-war Congress into declaring war on Nazi Germany. In fact, were it not for the fall of France to the Nazis which never happens in this timeline, he likely would have followed through on his reported plans to retire and support his Secretary of State Cordell Hull for the 1940 presidential nomination. Meanwhile, Robert A. Taft likely would have won the 1940 Republican presidential nomination as Wendell Wilkie likely would not have been recruited by British intelligence to run.
Robert A. Taft, 33rd President of the United States, elected on a platform of keeping the U.S. out of the European War while supporting Lend Lease to the democracies of Europe fighting to defend themselves from Soviet aggression.
Accordingly, the US would likely have accepted the Japanese peace offer to withdraw its forces from China. At that point, the Japanese would have been left with only one remaining option to expand their empire, which would have been by joining the war then underway against the Soviet Union in return for tacit Allied support for her territorial claims on Eastern Siberia and perhaps (Outer) Mongolia. After withdrawing its forces from China, Japan would likely have invaded the Soviet Far East in early 1942 in an attempt to seize control of its oil reserves to try to become self-sufficient in fuel oil so that the U.S. could never again force it to withdraw from its imperial conquests.
Following a Japanese declaration of war and likely rapid initial advances, Stalin would have most likely sought a separate peace either with the Western Allies or Imperial Japan to give him time to concentrate on defeating one enemy and rebuild his military strength to begin a counteroffensive to regain lost territory in a few years’ time. Given the fact that Stalin’s greatest fear was the loss of the Soviet capitol city of Moscow which was the effective center of his control of the USSR, his most likely choice would have been to request an armistice from the Western Allies to allow him the chance to repel the weaker Japanese enemy in the East. Japan likely would have captured much of the Soviet Far East and Mongolia but then Soviets would have used their advantage in tanks to recapture most lost ground in addition to Japanese-held Manchuria while the Japanese would likely have been able to retain control of Korea, the Kamchatka Peninsula and Sakhalin Island due to their naval superiority.
However, Stalin’s inability to invade Japan due to Japan’s naval supremacy likely would have caused him to seek a peace based upon a return to prewar borders which Japan likely would've accepted while attempting to annex the oil-rich territories of northern Sakhalin Island and the Kamchatka Peninsula as part of any peace agreement. Whether or not, Japan was successful in retaining control of this Soviet held territory, the Empire of the Rising Sun likely would have endured into the 1960’s or perhaps even 1970’s at which point Japan would have been pressured to grant independence to their remaining colonial possessions as were the British, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian Empires.
Outcome of the War
In actual history, after making a similar peace offer shortly after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, Stalin offered Hitler what amounted to a second Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in May 1942 offering to cede the Baltics, Belarus and Ukraine to German military occupation in exchange for an end to the war, an offer which Hitler stupidly refused. Accordingly, we know that Stalin would have been willing to cede those territories if he felt it was necessary as he might deem it to be in order to conclude a separate peace to allow him to focus on defeating Japan. If Turkey had entered the war, he very well might have been willing to give up control of the Soviet republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia in exchange for an armistice agreement just as the Soviets did as part of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Such an agreement would have reduced Russia to its modern-day western borders, except with regards to Central Asia which would have remained Soviet and Finland which would have retained its 1939 border with the Soviet Union.
A new constitutional republic of Russia-Ukraine could have been formed from the territory ceded by Stalin, as a German protectorate (similar to Slovakia in actual history along with the Baltic states and the Czech Republic), possibly including much or most of eastern Poland, which was ethnically Russian and Ukrainian, pending the results of a plebiscite. The Russian, Ukrainian and Don Cossack Liberation Armies, consisting of 3-6 million captured Red Army troops, could have helped defend this new republic against future Soviet aggression.
Such Soviet aggression, along with German, British and French military interventions in defense of the East European nations invaded by Stalin’s Red Army, would likely have helped to unite Europe with the formation of a Grand Anti-Soviet Alliance consisting of Germany, Britain, France, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Fascist Italy (which, in absence of a protracted all-out war, would likely have remained under the control of Benito Mussolini for many years longer than actual history). Additionally, Turkey, Austria and Spain might have joined the alliance at some point along with Imperial Japan and Germany’s historic ally, Nationalist China, after the Sino-Japanese War had ended. This wartime military alliance might very well have persisted or even been formalized into a more permanent defense alliance roughly similar to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after the war ended. However, it likely would have proven far less cohesive, with non-binding mutual defense obligations and without a joint command structure given near certain Anglo-French refusal to serve under a German Supreme Commander.
This new European defense alliance could have defended the newly-independent eastern frontier republics against any future Soviet aggression, with the Germans helping Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Russia-Ukraine to construct a new fortified defense line and helping to train and equip their armies with modern tanks and combat aircraft defended by its own permanent military garrisons. Such an alliance would have made Germany the dominant military power in Europe, second only to the Soviet Union, as Germany helped to lead an alliance of states, some of which, like the Baltics and Russia-Ukraine, would have been almost entirely dependent on it for their future existence.
Stalin likely would have wanted to resume the war against the Western Allies in 1944-1946 after he had rebuilt his forces but given the threat of resumption a two-front war he would have wanted to sign a Non-Aggression Pact with Japan first, which Japanese likely would have agreed to rather than risk losing another war. He would likely have first tried to reconquer Russia-Ukraine and perhaps other lost territories once he had rebuilt his forces, but then might have encountered modernized German and allied forces and German jet fighters. If Stalin had restricted the war to the territories he lost at the end of the first Soviet war--Russia-Ukraine and perhaps Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan--Britain and France might have opted not to intervene militarily.
A democratically-led German republic that had fought alongside Britain and France in a Second multi-year World War fought against the Soviet Union, would likely have seen further international support for its desires to annex ethnically German territories of Austria and the Sudetenland, which should have been allowed to hold plebiscites and vote whether to join Germany, following the war. In addition, French and especially British leaders would have been much more likely to return most or all of the German African and Pacific colonies they and Australia had seized following Germany’s defeat in World War I.
After the armistice was signed, the Germans might have formed a customs union with Italy and their east European allies as the Germans had planned to do after World War I had the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk been allowed to remain in force, except on more fair and equal terms. Nationalist China might have also joined a German-Italian-led customs union as an associate member. Germany would then likely have become an economic, technological, industrial and potentially military superpower.
Weimar Germany stuns the world by conducting its first atomic bomb test in the South Pacific Ocean in 1947
Had Germany been led by a series of center-left coalition governments following World War I (as was the case from 1918-1933), there would have been no persecution of the Jews by the German government. Under these circumstances, renowned nuclear physicist and German Jewish scientist Albert Einstein, along with other Jewish scientists, might have continued to work at the Prussian Academy of Sciences rather than emigrating to the U.S. in 1933 and might have urged German, rather than American, leaders to begin developing the atomic bomb in 1939 in order to ensure the defense of Europe against Soviet aggression, perhaps leading Germany to be the first to develop the atomic bomb in the mid or more likely late 1940’s timeframe. The Germans could have then tested an atomic bomb whenever they ended up developing it at one of their Pacific island atolls as the U.S. did after the war or alternatively at a remote Arctic location such as Franz-Josef Island in the Barents Sea. However, had a right-wing government been elected in 1940 that passed discriminatory laws against Jewish employment then Einstein might well have emigrated at that time dealing a major blow to the fledgling German atomic bomb program.
This might have been followed by a Cold War, not between the United States and the Soviet Union, but between Germany and its allies (in a sort of alternate history NATO alliance) and a Soviet Union that was still a military superpower. In this alternate history Cold War, both sides might have developed nuclear weapons and engaged in building up their respective nuclear arsenals, but it would be one in which the Cold War demarcation line was not in central Germany but rather likely one stretching from Murmansk in the north to Rostov in the south. Additionally, had Britain fought a war less than half the length of the one it fought in actual history, the brunt of which was born by Germany rather than by herself, the British Empire might have endured substantially longer.
Nationalist China Wins the Chinese Civil War
In actual history, the Allied victory over Germany in World War II led to the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe at Yalta while Japan’s defeat in the Pacific War led to the Communization of mainland China, which alone cost the lives of 60-65 million innocent people (not counting forced abortions and infanticides) mass murdered by the Communists. Both of these Communist victories likely would have likely been averted had Germany been granted a negotiated peace settlement following the First World War due to the absence of any German military aggressions.
From 1926-1937, the Germans provided extensive training and substantial military assistance to Chiang Kai Shek’s National Revolutionary Army helping to organize it into a modern fighting force and providing much needed assistance with Chinese military-industrial modernization, which greatly increased their ability to resist the Japanese invaders. This assistance was only ended reluctantly by Hitler’s decision to accept Japan’s offer to sign the Tripartite Pact in 1937 if Germany ceased all military aid to the Chinese. A negotiated peace agreement permitting continued German tank and aircraft production could have enabled the Germans to not only train and provide small arms, artillery and trucks to the Nationalist Chinese, but to sell them tanks and combat aircraft as well. Without Hitler, the Germans would have felt no need to ally with or appease the Japanese by cutting off military assistance to their Chinese allies.
The withdrawal of all Japanese forces from most of mainland China would have provided a golden opportunity for the Nationalist Chinese, led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek, to defeat Communist Chinese dictator Mao Tse Tung’s Red Army once and for all at a time when they were still very weak. In this objective, the Nationalists would have been greatly aided by a resumption of robust German military assistance, which would have been previously blocked by the Japanese occupation of Chinese port facilities. Nationalist China likely would have seized control of all of modern-day China including Sinkiang and Tibet with the exception of Manchuria and Jehol province (which were then part of Manchukuo, a Japanese puppet state), which would remain under Japanese control, while Mongolia would have likely remained under Soviet control. The Germans could have also aided their Chinese allies in greatly expanding their military industrial base to mass produce their own weapons. Any resulting alliance between Nationalist China and a German republic would have likely have been enduring.
A better and more peaceful world
In conclusion, a negotiated, compromise peace to end World War I would likely have resulted in the saving not only of tens of millions who died in World War II but it also would have saved the lives of 60-65 million innocent people who were mass murdered by Communist China, North Korea, Cambodia and Vietnam. Rather, than have the outcome of World War II be to consign much of central Europe and all of Eastern Europe and mainland China to Communist enslavement, the outcome of the war would likely have been the liberation of the captive nations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, while keeping central and eastern Europe free along with mainland China (other than Manchuria). The Jewish Holocaust would have been entirely averted leaving open the possibility of a Jewish state being founded with as many as three times the current population of Israel, though admittedly the impetus for founding the Jewish state would have been lessened without Nazi persecution and genocide. Furthermore, the principle of self-determination would have been far more respected as eighteen million ethnic Germans would not have been forced out of the homelands where their ancestors had settled centuries earlier.
A just peace to follow the Great War also would likely have resulted in a much less interventionist United States of America that was much less involved if at all engaging in proxy wars in a world in which the Soviet Union and Japan had been the sole aggressors in the 1930’s and 1940s. In fact, the United States might not have gotten involved in the conflict at all retaining its dominant economic and industrial superpower status. While Germany would have ended up much more powerful today and would likely have been among the first, if not the first nation to develop nuclear weapons, it would have likely been much more peaceful and far more dedicated to maintaining the world order established by the Great Powers following World War I. It also likely would have served, along with Nationalist China and Imperial Japan, as a powerful counterweight to Soviet aggression and might have even replaced the U.S. as the primary antagonist of the Cold War, at least in terms of the defense of Europe against Communism. Instead of having the U.S., Russia and Communist China as the three nuclear superpowers by the early 21st century, we would more likely have had the U.S., Russia and a democratically-led German republic, since Communist China would not likely exist, again leading to a more peaceful and safer world. Imperial Japan, and subsequently Nationalist China, might also have joined the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and the Soviet Union as nuclear powers.
© David T. Pyne 2022
David T. Pyne, Esq. is a former U.S. Army combat arms and Headquarters staff officer, who was in charge of armaments cooperation with the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas from 2000-2003, with an M.A. in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. He currently serves as Deputy Director of National Operations for the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security and is a contributor to Dr. Peter Pry’s new book Blackout Warfare. He also serves as the host of the Defend America Radio Show on KTALK AM 1640 and as Editor of “The Real War” newsletter at dpyne.substack.com. He may be reached at email@example.com.