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Customer Discussions > History forum

The 20th Century "what if" of all "what if's"?

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Showing 1-25 of 85 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jan 24, 2016 2:26:47 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 24, 2016 2:27:07 PM PST]

Posted on Jul 7, 2013 1:01:54 PM PDT
In an attempt to derail the BS threads and deemphasize them ... BUMP

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2013 11:36:45 AM PDT

The "what if" postulated here is what if the balloon when up between USSR and US/UK.

There is an awesome thread discussing the what if's of history. There are some great one in there. As a matter of fact, please look it up and post the same query there as it is a thread I'd really like to see resurrected.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2013 10:02:58 AM PDT
John says:
As with any 'what if...' scenario there are a number of variables to consider. You have specifically set up the 'what if...' playing field in your post. Here's a couple of thoughts to consider if the war was to re-ignite in late 1945.

The fatigue factor was a real issue throughout the world. Armies, politicians and civilians were physically and spiritually exhausted by the war. In our long debate about the use of atomic weapons against Japan, the one fact that I feel is underestimated is how tired the United States was and how much they longed to end the hostilities. By 1945 the war had essentially been won. In Europe, after the Rhine crossings, the die-hard antics of SS and Hitler Youth elements met a particularly harsh response from the war-weary GIs. Likewise, in the Pacific, the fanatical stand off by Japanese defenders on Iwo Jima and Okinawa led to some of the fiercest fighting of the war. I believe that the decision to use atomic weapons at this point was not made lightly. President Truman and and his military and scientific advisors were likewise exhausted and looking for a knockout blow. The point is the US has this weapon and certainly would be able to develop a delivery system to use it against the Soviets in the case of this 'what if...' incursion.

As for alliances, I believe the US and what we may already refer to as the West may be the steadier coalition. In addition to US forces in Europe in late 1945, UK and France I am not certain the USSR of late 1945 would be able to count on on their recently occupied territories - East Germany, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and certainly not the Balkans, none of whom were feeling particularly liberated by the Red Army - for any real assistance. The Soviet troops in eastern Europe at this point were essentially an occupying force and I wonder if they would be available for an incursion into western Europe. As you mention, the legions of German prisoners now lingering in POW cages would make for a highly motivated and disciplined force. If the scenario were to begin where World War II ended - on a front leading from Berlin through Prague and Vienna - our new German allies could be mobilized fairly quickly.

A final thought for this scenario - In my view, sly old Joe Stalin always seemed to be a few steps ahead of the allies toward the end of the war. Soviet intelligence was exemplary and they had alarming access to Allied strategy in 1945 particularly within the British diplomatic corps. If, as our scenario suggests, Stalin chooses to break the many international agreements made at Yalta and Potsdam, what does he know about the West's current state of military readiness to risk such a bold move on the continent?

The deal breaker remains the Bomb. The US has it at the close of 1945 and they have shown a willingness to use it when the chips are down. The Soviets are closing in on the technology but at this point are highly vulnerable to the deal breaking realities of the Atomic Age.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2013 4:35:27 AM PDT
How about McKinley not being shot?

Posted on Apr 9, 2013 8:18:04 AM PDT

!7 threads on Israel, Jews, and Zionism, interesting topics to be sure ... but 17

I think one and all. it is time to stop responding to Al (Bundy), Woodruff (puppy), LAD (A-Ƕɷɩɇ). and their venomous spleen filled ilk on the other side. It is time to cut them off, and simply not respond. C'mon guys! Don't play the game.

Posted on Mar 8, 2013 10:16:11 PM PST
I think you have a point about the P47s, Tempests and Typhoons being used for battlefield interdiction. While they might not have been effective at knocking out Soviet tanks, they would have been superb at knocking out fuel and supply trucks.

The Soviets never had to operate on the offensive against a capable tactical air force, by the time they were truly on the offensive the western allies bomber offensive had drawn off most of the experten to defend the fatherland. The Soviet fighters were decent, but only that. They were all short legged and lightly armed and had little armor. The average Soviet pilot was nowhere near a match for the average allied pilot in flying hours or combat time. They took too many losses and never took their experienced pilots off the line to train new pilots. They were much like the Japanese in that respect. I think that the allied fighters would obtain parity very quickly and superiority not too long after that. Aircraft like the P51 and the P47 would bring their pilots home with far more damage than the more fragile Laggs, Yaks and MiGs could. The allied fighters all had higher service ceilings than the Soviets, so they could control the engagements by using that altitude advantage. Add in that the Soviets never faced any Luftwaffe bombers as tough as the B25s, B26s, A20s, A26s, B24s and B17s that they'd be facing and their losses would be extreme.

So what I think would happen is that allied airpower would isolate the Soviet combat groups and leave them to run out of food, ammo and fuel leaving them to be easy targets. Remember that even by the time the Soviets got to Berlin they were at the end of a very long and fragile supply line. Add in several hundred more miles through devastated Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and German countrysides and they would be hard pressed to support their combat formations without interference by partisans or air power.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2013 9:42:41 PM PST
The B32 was the low tech insurance police in case the B29 failed. You have to remember that the B29 was well in advance of the state of the art in the early forties.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2013 9:40:32 PM PST
I don't think the B17s bomb bay was physically large enough to carry a nuke regardless of the weight.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2013 9:38:20 PM PST
The VVS didn't have any fighters capable of intercepting B29s at altitude. The B29s were faster than the Soviet fighters and routinely flew at altitudes of over 30,000 feet. The Soviets didn't have any fighters with turbo-superchargers, the MiG 7s and 9s were optimized for combat below 17,000 feet and could only do a max of 398mph there, the Yak 1, 3 and 9 were 35 mph faster but still low altitude fighters, it would have been like P40s trying to intercept B29s. The B29s could do 358mph at 25,000 feet and had a range of 4100 miles. I believe that would give them a combat radius of about 1800 miles. According to my reference books the B17 did have a maximum range of 2,000 miles, so it's radius would be about 900 miles with a bomb load of around 2,000 pounds.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2013 9:24:37 PM PST
About the Soviet trucks, they weren't in any way comparable to the Studebaker duece and a halfs they were gettiing from the US. The best Soviet trucks were Ford AAs and AAAs, 4 x 2 two drive one and a half ton, and 6x4 two ton trucks. They were licensed copies of Ford model A trucks. By 1942 they had become VERY austere and even cruder that the models they were based on. I agree that it was all logistics and that's where the western allies shone. In this event, the allies had the ability to throttle the Soviet's already ramshackle logistics system with deep-strike airpower and the Soviets couldn't touch the western allie's. The Red Air Force was strictly a tactical air force much like the Luftwaffe was in 1941. It was barely adequate for projecting power on the battlefield. I think the US could have forced the Soviets to fight on two, or even three fronts by invading Valdisvostok and possibly coming up through Persia. There's no way the Soviets could have defended against that. Plus the US could have destroyed the factories beyond the Urals with B29s based in France and Germany. Once those factories were damaged or destroyed, it would be all over but the singing, the Soviet war machine would grind to a stop for lack of spares, fuel and food. All those tanks would be pillboxes and those millions of troops wold be starving refugees walking East.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 4:37:51 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
James Summers says:

[Really before the Soviets announced that they also had the atomic bomb in 1949 the U.S. could have done a lot to end the Cold War before it had even started.]

The Russians created their atomic bomb using secrets stolen from the United States didn't they ? My understanding is they had a spy working directly on the Manhattan Project. That same guy also sold his knowledge to China.

This is probably one of the most egregious security lapses in human history.

Then a scientist in Pakistan in more modern times was trying to make a few bucks selling atomic knowledge to terrorists.

Well it will be interesting to see what happens if one of those things goes off in a population center. That will change things.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2013 3:41:05 PM PST

You've obviously read much more extensively on this subject than I have, especially on Soviet capabilities in the final stages of the war. The main reason I brought up the subject of tactical, as opposed to strategic air power (which several other posters have addressed) is because, yes, I am looking at France in '44 and what Allied tactical air power did to the Germans in the breakout from Normandy. Could it have been done on a larger scale to the Soviets? I argue yes, but as you rightly point out, the precondition for this is control of the air. As you also point out, that might have proved problematic.

Taking into account all the strengths of the Soviet war machine you've outlined above, what would be the outcome? Pretty bleak, I would say. In fact, I think civilization would have been tipped into the abyss after having just barely survived the onslaught of Nazism. A doctrine equally malignant, with an equally evil leader, submerges the entire continent of Europe, as the Soviets sweep to the English Channel. Of course, this is not done without a fight, and how many more millions perish? G.I.'s, Tommies, Ivans, Fritzes re-armed by the Allies in a desperate effort to stave off the Red tide, and of course, countless civilians. Any cities remaining unscathed in central Europe are reduced to rubble. As the tide rolls towards them, the Front Populaire in France disposes of de Gaulle and lets the T-34s roll into Paris. Soon, the NKVD agents follow the Red Army, instructing the local comrades in all the most efficient ways to dispose of the bourgeoisie and other counter-revolutionaries. How many millions more disappear all across the continent?

Attlee and his decidedly leftist colleagues cut a deal with Stalin. We Brits can be proud that we helped save the world from one menace but the struggle to do so has drained our strength. Besides, is Stalin really such a menace? In the end, we really want what he wants, (Marxism) but we're willing to get there much more slowly and not kill anybody on the way. The war weary populace of the UK backs the Labour government's accommodation with Stalin. The Grand Alliance is severed and the Americans are denied use of the British Isles as a base. Stalin is content to allow a parlor pink Labour regime to subsist in the UK, knowing full well that within due time, the hammer and sickle will fly over Whitehall.

Stateside, President Truman refuses to compromise with Stalin. This evil must be defeated just as Germany and Japan were. In principle, the American people are behind him. But how is this to be achieved? Under this scenario, the use of nuclear weapons becomes almost inevitable. And not just one or two. It will take multiple atomic bombs to destroy Soviet cities the size of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, because of the stouter construction of Russian buildings. (Source: The Fifty Year War: Conflict and Strategy in the Cold War by Norman Friedman) The U.S. exploits its nuclear monopoly to the full. Feverishly, new atomic bombs are assembled. The first blow is struck when a fleet of B-29s flying from bases in Alaska obliterate Vladivostok. The B-36 intercontinental bomber is rushed into production, and inevitably, more Soviet cities are wiped off the map, along with tens of millions more lives. What are tens of millions of lives to Stalin? Unlike that contemptible weakling, the Japanese emperor, he refuses to save his people from annihilation. Retreating to his underground caverns in the Urals, he pushes the USSR's development of its own A-bombs. The atomic bomb becomes "just another weapon" setting mankind's most horrific precedent...

Talk about going on too long!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 7:24:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2013 8:27:31 AM PST


Yes much of this has already been covered. But since no one has chimed in, I'll discuss.

" ... tactical air power. The USAAF was supreme in this realm in 1945."

First of all I'd say that the Allied air branches were excellent. But, I'd also say that the Red Air Force was the supreme proponent of tactical air warfare. The best CAS and battlefield isolation weapon of the war (the IL-2) was a Soviet weapon. The Soviets were very, very good at this. In fact, that is what their air force was purposed for. They were better than the UK/US. I will say that all reports of battlefield effectiveness of these weapons (US & USSR) was very much overrated at the tome.

"How about B-24's laying waste to these hordes and carpeting central Europe with millions of dead Soviets?"

In the absence of total air dominance, I don't think that is going to work. This isn't going to be France in 1944.

"Similarly, P-47 Thunderbolt tank busters would have devastated Soviet armor."

I'd rather point out that as to being a CAS weapon, the Thunderbolt and Tempest were largely overrated. The USSBS, has a good deal of commentary on this. There position was that the US air branch grossly exaggerated their impact on the battlefield and very few tanks were even hit, let alone destroyed. CAS was not something the US was very good at. On the other hand, they were very good at battlefield isolation and interdiction, that's where the Tempests, Typhoons, P-47's, and P-38's did the most damage. But then again, that is in a complete air dominance environment. I'd rather say that is the US armor that is going to be shot up by the IL-2's. I'd also point out that the IL-2 (and IL-10) are rather the progenitors of the A-10. Dang hard to shoot down.

"The Mustangs would have swept the skies of any Soviet fighters"

On what would you base this? The Red Army had been flying against some of the best pilots in the Luftwaffe, guys like Ademeit, Barkhorn, Krupinski, Hartmann, and the like. And they had been flying against them for four long years. There were guys that had flown over 800 missions against the Luftwaffe, many well over 2000. They had some very excellent pilots. They also had some wicked planes like the LaGG-5, the Yak 9, & the La-7. And they had 10's of thousands of them. This is going to be a wicked fight and wasn't going to be decided for years.

Ah! Now I understand, you used the words "the Red horde". That explains a lot about your post. Based on this statement I understand where you are coming from. You have a point of view that I once had, years ago, before I really started getting serious about understanding this period. From the sound of it, you have probably haven't read much recent work in this area. Perhaps have not read a scholarly work on the East Front in well over 20 years. The initial studies on the East Front were based largely on the initial German memoirs after the war. They painted my first views of the war. That the Russians were "a Bolshevik horde" that destroyed the Wehrmacht through Hitler's bad choices and sheer numbers. Seemingly true at first. This contrasted with the Red Army propaganda pieces which patriotically stated just the opposite, in general these could be dismissed out of hand. Then, in the late 80's and early 90's a second generation of more deeply educated scholars fluent in Russian and German began translating and compiling and comparing German and Russian documents. A very different picture of the war began to appear. In 1941 and most of '42 the Red Army was basically just a clumsy oaf, relying largely on numbers and set piece battles to keep afloat. Particularly lacking in elegance. In late '42 and 43 a different beast begins to be forged. Most of the chaff has been removed from command or is dead. By 1944, a far more formidable killing machine is made. This machine was as good as any. It had its flaws but it also had assets. In short it was just like any other army. I think that it lacked a certain tactical and strategic flexibility. But it also had a good deal more firepower than the West. This is of course a gross simplification, but in gross measure an adequate encapsulation. But I would urge you to read an number of more modern treatments in English. For a first blush I would try "When Titans Clashed" and "Colossus Reborn" and for context "Stumbling Colossus", by Glantz who is one of the preeminent writers in the field. Supremely well read author with a fairly readable style. There are others, but he is pretty accessible.

"A highly mobile armored striking force commanded by perhaps the greatest tank commander in history, "Old Blood and Guts" himself."

The Red Army was very mobile as well. If we are to address Patton directly, he wasn't the best tank general of the war, much less, the best ever. Heck I'd submit that he wasn't even the best allied general. I'd say that O'Connor probably takes that honor. Let alone about a dozen Germans, including the incomparable Manstein who was probably the best general of the 20th century. But as for Patton and the Russians, I don't see how you could objectively rate him above others like Zhukov, Vatutin, or Konev. No, he had plenty of competition. The Soviets knew what they were doing.

"all they knew how to do was mass troops and feed them into the meat grinder."

Hardly, see above.

"Once the Red Army started being obliterated in central Europe by firepower that made the Germans look like schoolboys on a lark by comparison"

Ah ... I'll just let that one alone. Germans who served on both the West and East very definitively speak to the kind of firepower the Soviets brought to the table. I think the people in for a rude shock would be the Americans. At the end of war, the Russians had 10 artillery corps ... 750 guns and heavy caliber mortars each, 37 artillery divisions (roughly 350 tubes each, 31 artillery breakthrough divisions 420 tubes each. This does not take into consideration the artillery of each of the 300 divisions in Germany at the time, nor the army and corps assets. This is excess of 50,000 gun tubes, probably a good deal more. At any given point on the battlefield it was possible to concentrate 10,000 or more guns. Add to that the Katyushas. We are talking 1000 tons of ammunition, a minute, for hours, if need be. No, I venture to say that it's the Americans that are in for a shock.

"Now, what were they dying in their millions for?"

To expand the glorious communist revolution as per Leninist doctrine, Comrade. They would have bought it hook line and sinker.

"I think it would have all ended with Stalin getting a well deserved bullet to the back of the head"

I think that if it did not come out right, you are absolutely correct.

"a negotiated peace between East and West silences the guns"

I am in agreement, but I am not sure at all where the borders are.

Whoah, this post is WAAAAAAAY too long

Posted on Feb 24, 2013 1:46:30 PM PST
Also late to the thread...

I agree that the premise that the Soviet Union initiates the conflict is essential to the plausibility of the scenario. Anything else is a political non-starter.

Timing is critical. The thread proposes a "short pause". However, we need to define "short". For example, how far along is Magic Carpet? In mid-to-late '45 there will be more US units in Europe and they will be comprised of a much higher proportion of experienced troops. However, the further along you go, the smaller and greener the force on hand to receive the initial onslaught will be.

Here's another problem. Does the conflict break out before or after Japan surrenders?

The Soviets gain by allowing Western forces to draw down after the defeat of Germany. However, they also gain by attacking while Western forces are still tied down in the Pacific. I'd also point out that if the USSR attacks before Japan surrenders, there's a very real possibility that Japan would refuse to give up the fight. In turn, this raises questions regarding the allocation of of bombs, B-29s, long-range escorts etc. Do you give immediate prioprity to Europe, or do you keep pounding Japan with the thought of driving it out of the war and shutting the whole theater down? Alternatively, do you open a Pacific Front against the Soviet Union?

There was a lot of discussion regarding aircraft ranges earlier in the thread. Of course, it's not just a question of range, but also a question of where the aircraft are based. If you're talking about launching from France or western Germany, then it is indeed a very long flight to anything worthwhile in Russia. OTOH, if you can launch from Finland, or establish a foothold on the Kurland peninsula, or the off-shore islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Riga, then a great deal more of European Russia comes in range. Operating out of Iran might also be an option. These latter options might not be immediately available, but I do think that they would be viable components of a counter-attack strategy. Another issue is whether the Soviets could have effectively countered British night bombers, which by the end of the war, had licked many of the problems of accurate nightime bombing.

Oh, and here's another wild card...

Both sides could potentially face painful hemorrhoids (i.e problems in the rear areas). For the Soviets, there are active anti-Soviet partisans in the Baltic states, Poland, and especially the Ukraine. Conversely, the West has to watch its back in Greece, Italy, and France, and I'm not sure that the British docks would be immune from the possibility of communist inspired strikes. There's also the problem of the Soviet's extensive spy networks. I suspect that the West would have a major OPSEC problem.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 12:27:44 PM PST
Smallchief says:
US air power didn't beat the Germans. I doubt it would beat the Soviets. I think over-extended supply lines would be the most likely factor to stop the Soviet's advance through Western Europe. Not that I think Stalin had any intention of starting WW III. He was cautious -- and he got what he wanted out of WW II -- a ring of satellites separating him from the West and a Germany reduced in size and split into two countries. .

Stalin showed his caution when he didn't intervene in Yugoslavia or Greece after WW II to try to extend his influence that far. Neither of those countries borders on the USSR and thus were not important enough for him to take a risk.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 11:37:40 AM PST
that what Hitler and Nepoleon thought

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 11:21:57 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 24, 2013 11:22:52 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 24, 2013 11:04:39 AM PST
If Russia would have kept coming west i doubt if the Americans would have been up to the sky high losses,and their only option would have been atomic bombs of many more then against Japan.Europe would probably been wiped clean that no marshall plan could have fixed.

Posted on Feb 24, 2013 9:56:32 AM PST
Sorry if I'm rather late to this party, but here's my two cents worth:

One aspect I think that no one in this thread has addressed is the use of tactical air power. The USAAF was supreme in this realm in 1945. Millions of Soviet infantry, massed to roll over anything in their path? How about B-24's laying waste to these hordes and carpeting central Europe with millions of dead Soviets? The reason the Germans hadn't done the same thing? Compare the bomb load of a Heinkel 111 to a B-24.

Similarly, P-47 Thunderbolt tank busters would have devastated Soviet armor. The Mustangs would have swept the skies of any Soviet fighters, and the Red horde on the ground would have been at our mercy. And who and what did we have on the ground? A highly mobile armored striking force commanded by perhaps the greatest tank commander in history, "Old Blood and Guts" himself. Neither Zhukov nor any of his underlings would have been a match for Patton or any other American general for that matter; all they knew how to do was mass troops and feed them into the meat grinder.

I really don't think you would have needed an A-bomb drop or a Western advance to Moscow to end this sequel to WW2. Once the Red Army started being obliterated in central Europe by firepower that made the Germans look like schoolboys on a lark by comparison, the Soviet war machine would have started falling apart. Remember, they had fought so hard during the "Great Patriotic War" because the Germans were invading and devastating Holy Mother Russia. Now, what were they dying in their millions for? To realize Stalin's insane dream of conquering all of Europe?

I think it would have all ended with Stalin getting a well deserved bullet to the back of the head from Zhukov or one of the other generals. Perhaps even Beria, out of sheer self preservation, might have turned against his master (as he possibly did in reality in '53?) and offed him. The Soviets are pushed back to their borders, a negotiated peace between East and West silences the guns, and an exhausted world tries to pick up the pieces.

Posted on Feb 24, 2013 9:44:48 AM PST

" As it was, the planned transfer of American troops from Europe to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan caused a near mutiny in Europe."

Exactly, that is why it would have to be a USSR first kind of thing. Running over a few hundred thousand US soldiers is the motivator. I don't know that the chances of that were zero. If Uncle Joe thought he could take the US in Europe with something like a 2/3rd chance, he would have tried it. We were not friends. It was just for the time being we both hated the Germans a bit more than we hated each other. We were in fact irreconcilable enemies.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 9:00:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2013 9:01:41 AM PST
Smallchief says:
I don't believe that the possibility of a US-initiated war with the Soviet Union at the end of WW II (with or without the help of Germany) makes it to the "what if" category -- but rather is a fantasy with a probability of nil plus the square root of zero.

The American people would never have stood for the war going on one day longer than it took to beat Germany and Japan. As it was, the planned transfer of American troops from Europe to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan caused a near mutiny in Europe. A war initiated by the US with the USSR would have caused our government to fall, our people and our soldiers to revolt.

For the US to have continued WWII with US action against the Soviet Union would have required an an all-out assault by the USSR on the American army. The chances of that occurring were only slightly better than 0.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 7:46:14 AM PST

I don't think there is any possibility of US 1st strike, none whatever. In a "what if" scenario, I know exactly how that one plays out. With out a direct provocation in western Europe the US public gives no support to the idea and we surrender the moral authority upon which the US war effort was based. A shocked and stunned Europe renders the US a pariah state and asks that the US leave. Nope, that one is a dead bang loser. It is the USSR that will have to go first.

As for bombing Russian cities, easier said than done. Complicated further due to the fact that it has to be flown well over 1000 miles of enemy airspace to reach anything the USSR cares about. Made more complicated by the fact that there are not many of these bombs and the soviets know that.

It would have had to come from a soviet attack. The interesting questions are military choices who, where, & how ... & how much.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 12:52:36 AM PST
The U.S. could have dropped an atomic bomb on a Soviet city in 1946 and issued a warning that other cities would be hit next unless the Soviets withdrew their troops and domination from Central and Eastern Europe. Really before the Soviets announced that they also had the atomic bomb in 1949 the U.S. could have done a lot to end the Cold War before it had even started.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 5:24:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2013 5:28:30 PM PST

Vietnam cost nearly 400,000 US casualties. The US was not likely to suffer 8 million casualties, not even close. 5-8 Vietnam's tops, perhaps, and a tough price to be sure, but for that price you buy 60-70 million lives, and 40 years of peace, probably worth it. I don't know that going all the way to Moscow would be necessary, but probably. Just enough to fatally cripple the bear.

Don't you wonder how it would play out? Good idea or bad, I don't know. But I am curious what the effects would have been or played out.

i suspect that it did not happen because Stalin figured he would lose or at least suffer a setback so severe he might lose power or worse, the whole communist system would collapse. That was a risk he was not willing to take. He wasn't a risk taker, many of his enemies could attest to that.

As an aside, what did you think of "Red Star over the Pacific: China's Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy"
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