Feb 212014

The British Guardian newspaper website has this terribly newsworthy piece:

Time travellers: please don’t kill Hitler

Gives the usual set of reasons why time travellers shouldn’t go gunning for Adolf. But perhaps the most important reason isn’t given: a world without Hitler might well have been *worse.* Consider this hypothetical:

1918: Corporal Hitler gets whacked deader’n Disco on the battlefield. Germany still loses WWI.

1920’s: Weimar Germany is a badly-run pile of awful. On the political fringes, you have the National Socialists on the Left, and the Communists on the far Left. These two groups of idiots have the same idiot street battles they had in Real History. But sans Hitler, the Nazis never really get anywhere. The fascist movement in Germany remains a disunited mess of knuckleheads. But with Soviet assistance, the Commies gain in power, effectively unopposed by the Nazis.

1930’s: Instead of being taken over by fascism, Germany is taken over by Communists. With a strong Commie Germany, France will probably slip into at least strong socialism by the late 30’s/early 40’s.

So when Stalin’s war does break out, likely in the early 1940’s with an invasion of Poland to solidify Communism in eastern Europe, Germany will likely be on their side. France almost certainly won’t go to war with the Soviets… they certainly didn’t in Real World 1939 when the USSR invaded Poland (people forget that Germany invaded Poland from the west with the USSR simultaneously invading from the east). So by the mid/late 1940’s, Europe will probably be one gigantic Soviet all the way through France, with a very, very nervous Britain offshore (not sure where Spain would be… without the Nazis, the Spanish Civil War might well have resulted in a Commie Spain.

Japan probably would have been just as militaristic and expansionist as IRL. So the US and japan probably would have tangled at about the same time. Unclear what would have happened in Europe. But if history is any guide, you can expect the death toll from Communist Europe, even without a giant war, to approximate the death toll of World War II. There would be vast numbers of rich/well-off/middle-class Germans and French and Spaniards who would be given the Kulak treatment. Famines would wipe out more as local agriculture is taken over by Five Year Plans; the Soviets would very likely put Nazi dream of “Lebensraum” to shame as western Europeans are shuffled off East, and Russians and Siberians and such are shoved West. With the guts of Europe eaten by Stalinism, would Italy, Scandinavia, Portugal, Switzerland survive? There would be a whole lot of people in those countries with a whole lot of money, you could expect pretty much most of them to die, followed by many more as chaos and central planning erupts.

And then there would be war. Somewhere along the line, you can bet that a Europe-wise Stalinist state would decide that it was time for Britain to join the club. If the US got sucked into it, you’d add the WWII European theater death toll on top of the tens of millions dead due to Communism. Yay.

In the Pacific: without Hitler to suck America into the European war, the US focuses on Japan. Most likely, this would mean that the US would make faster progress in the push to Japan. But there’s a problem: probably no nukes, or at least delayed. For some reason, a lot of Americans of the time saw Fascism as substantially worse than Communism. And Nazisms weird-ass focus on Da Jooooz aided the US’s atomic program. So… seems fair to assume that the Manhattan Project would have been considerably slowed. And so America would have had little choice but an invasion of Japan… with millions dead on both sides. And this assumes the much richer, much stronger Soviets don’t invade Japan their own selves.

So… yeah. Don’t kill Hitler. If a time traveller wants to kill someone… start with Marx. Then Lenin, then Stalin. *Then* Hitler. Kinda difficult to imagine what European history would have been without this pack of a-holes, but it’s hard to imagine it would’ve been worse.


 Posted by at 10:30 pm

    I can think of one great reason:

    I wouldn’t have been born.

    • Anonymous



        Out of respect to this blog, I won’t respond with fuck you.

        • Adam Holtz

          The fact that you announced what you were going to say means that you might as well have said it anyway.

          • IAMROCKETMAN

            I never said it.

          • Anonymous

            I’m not saying you’re a tool, but you’re a tool.

          • IAMROCKETMAN

            Why is that an insult? Tools are useful and some, like me, are multipurpose.

          • Anonymous

            Tools do not have minds of their own; they are only capable of doing or making what some controlling authority orders.

          • IAMROCKETMAN

            Respect is apparently not two-way.

  • mzungu

    Killing Marx,Lenin and Stalin will only leaves you with bunch of inbred Kings and Queens running Europe…. 😀

    People like to blame Hitler for everything, but I think it’s the whole Germany that need to share the blame, it’s them that voted in the Nazi party, and made him Fuhrer.

    • Anonymous

      > leaves you with bunch of inbred Kings and Queens running Europe

      Compared to Commies… that’d be a win! Not least because:
      1) It would leave Europe fragmented, but without the industrial bloodshed (or much of it, anyway)
      2) You can pick off the “royals” one at a time and replace them with something actually not stupid, like republics.

      • Adam Holtz

        Finally! Someone who shares my utter disdain for monarchs!

        • Anonymous

          Should be the standard for all Americans. Sadly, too many think that Royalty is just neato, and thus you have Americans fawning all over those inbred jug-eared knock-kneed freaks, or worshiping Hollywood celebrities, or voting for The One. Sad, but true.

          • Adam Holtz

            Why people were lining up to see a baby pop out of some chick who was married to a prince is a mystery that will never be solved for me.

          • Anonymous

            That and the excessive gushing about just how beautiful Princess So-And_so is/was. Dian? Nice, I suppose… but really, if she was just another woman, would anyone have paid to see her photoshoot in a magazine? Would her face ona movie poster have brought in the crowds? Nay nay, I say.

  • Michel Van

    without Hitler there is no NSDAP, but DAP a obscure socialist party in bavaria
    who merge in 1920 with Socialist party
    you forgot the right and conservative force in Germany they gain momentum
    they form a conter-force to lefts, socialist and communist.
    is a realistic option that Weimar Republic died and they proclaim German Kingdom.

    now Germany official not a dictatorship (internal they exterminate the commies)
    could be better accept by there neighbor, except France
    with very divergent Munich agreement in 1938
    German Kingdom get it Boundary of 1914 back
    Poland in exchange get access to Baltic Sea and Defence alliance against USSR. Czechoslovakia lose the Sudeten area, but stay free
    while Italy keep Austria as buffer state between them and Germans
    and naive Neville Chamberlain sign a neutrality pact with German Kingdom.

    He give Namibia back to Germans: “we return merely a strip of dessert to former owner”
    In spain civil war, the USSR gave almost no support to left
    Stalin was more interests to exterminate his opposition in USSR
    Italy under Mussolini support the Fascist generous also the German Kingdom !
    for the germans a loyal Fascist royalist Spain is alley against France.

    Only France and Belgium will refuse to return there occupied areas to Germany
    so the German Royal forces invade in 1939 Belgium, Luxembourg and France
    The second German French War start, with Great Britain stay Neutral.
    while Chamberlain realize he is a donkey, the Germans conquer north France
    in same time Mussolini make some correction on french Italian border
    the Provence and Corsica got visit by italian army.

    The Germans will humiliate the french with surrender accord and Treaty of Berlin.
    there version of Treaty of Versailles only that Belgium and France are the Victims.
    there Africa colonies are divided between Germans, Italy and Spain
    While Japan use the chance and invade french Indochina (Vietnam)
    what piss off the USA and Germans (who want there pacific colonies back from Japan)
    while the German royal army start preparation to Invade the USSR,

    comes the Japanese Attack on Pearl Habor and the invasion of European colonies in Asia
    under victims a german royal Navy ship on good will tour in Pear Harbor
    The German Kingdom, USA, Great Britain and Netherlands form a alliance
    and declare war on Empire of Japan.
    the US and Germans start invasion of Japan areain south east pacific
    the Japanese show heavy resistance more closer the Allies come to Japan
    so in 1945 a Me 264 bomber reach Tokyo, on board a new German Weapon,
    it use the force of Atom, to end this pacific war once and for all…

  • Tony

    If you didn’t have Hitler you might have ended up with fuehrer Hess and Goebells as his mouthpiece. You’d have competent army men running the war and the mistakes might not have been made. I can imagine the RLM building a 4engine heavy without specifying dive bombing…

    • Anonymous

      But without Hitler, why would the NSDAP have been anything more than just another pack of idjits? Say what you will about Hitler, he was a spectacular community organizer; took a bullcrap message of hope and change and turned it into a political powerhouse.

      • Anonymous

        Yes but you will always have folks with good presentation skills. Now let us suppose some of the in-house assassination attempts had worked:


        Damn, looking at that list it is easy to imagine these as time travel failures–that or Hitler had the luck of the devil-bought.

        Germany could have kept some of its gains, and without Hitler the worst of the fighting may have been avoided.
        Perhaps Rommel would have taken a role in calming things down, and I can see him and Donitz giving Germany a more sober direction. Over time peace is made, and both Germany and the United States stand unified against Stalin.

  • Siergen

    Worst case scenario: Hitler gets assassinated right after the fall of France.

  • Bob

    It’s interesting to speculate what would have happened if there had been no WW1 or WW2. There would have been no Cold War. No trip to the moon. No atom bomb. They say that WW1 WW2 and the Cold War each advanced aviation by 20 years technically. So without those wars it would be like 60 years ago. We would still be flying multiengine pistons like the Connie. Maybe right about now someone like Pratt or Wright might be coming out with the first turbojet. Tsar Nicholas the Nth would be ruling Russia. Kaiser Wilhelm the Mth would be in charge of Germany. The Austro-Hungarian Empire would still be in business. Of course Liz the 2nd would be in England. it would be more like the 19th Century than the 21st. Maybe not so bad a kinder gentler world.

    • Anonymous

      > No trip to the moon. No atom bomb.

      Maybe, maybe not. Nuclear power would have almost certainly happened, jsut a bit slower, and probably more commercialized. And spaceflight might also have been less of a government kludge.

      > it would be more like the 19th Century than the 21st.

      The end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th was a time of revolutions. People in Europe were getting pretty sick of monarchs. The anarchists, socialists and commies were all over the place causing all kinds of trouble; it’s possible that if WWI were somehow prevented, it would’ve just popped up six months later somewhere else. Britain and Germany against France and Russia, maybe.

      • Bob

        What I’m saying is what if Germany and Russia and the other Eastern countries had liberalized like Britain did? Maybe all the crackpots wouldn’t have had any pull. Just speculating on what it would be like. There might be nuclear power maybe these liquid thorium salt reactors they’re proposing now. Uranium reactors were developed originally to produce weapon grade fissionables. I doubt if there would be any space program that was a military thing. With no atom bomb there would be no reason to develop rockets. Probably just private enthusiasts like Goddard. Maybe about now someone will have built something like a V2 sounding rocket for civilian atmospheric research. Cars would be about like 40 years ago. Most of the electronics we have were a result of the Cold War. Maybe no web no personal computers. Someone ought to write a science fiction novel (hint hint). Something like Ward Moore’s BRING THE JUBILEE.

  • archipeppe

    Ok No Hitler, no Nazism.

    But Mussolini still existed even in such alternate timeline scenario, so Fascism existed as opposite to Communism (in effect it was mainly the “raison d’etre” of Fascism at least initially).

    Probably without nazi, Germany’s Weimar would be engulfed by USSR and also probably France would very “left”. But I think that at least Italy would remain Fascist, probably far more than reality beacuse the “Red Peril” was really closer.

    Probably Spain Civil War could be the same, because Franco was mainly a Fascist rather than Nazist (I mean there is differences between those two political orders). Only I don’t know if Franco could win or not onlty with Italian support (probably not).

    Britain would be attracted by Fascism far more than in reality (and we cannot forget that in our timeline Britain got a British Fascist Party and Sir Winston Churchill was in touch with Mussolini and he exstimated him), and it would be natural reaction to all those Communist Nations surrounding it.

    U.S. Also could be attracted by Fascism more than Communism, but I don’t think that it could change the U.S.A. DNA beacuse Democracy is deeply connected to the heart of the Nation, indeed Fascims could be regarded with a more benign eye than Communism.

    I agree that a separate US-Japanese war would end up with a Japanese homeland invasion a millions more of deaths…

    • Bob

      Fascism seems to be the default option for any government. It’s interesting that MILLIONS of Russians died like flies to oppose and defeat Fascism during WW2 but now they have devolved into a Fascist state themselves under rasPutin. Of course the United States is a Fascist Oligarchy and more so every day. I’m sure Adolf and Heinrich and Martin and the boys burning down in Hell are looking up here and beaming in approval.

  • Murray Smith

    Unfortunately going back in time and whacking some one is a BIG paradox, If you remove the motivation to go back in time, say Hitler, there is now no motivation to go back in time, Hitler who?Its like the paradox of going back and whacking your parents before you are conceived, you then don’t exist to go back in time and then you cannot go back and whack them.

    On the other hand going back in time an being a fly on the wall is entirely possible.