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  • No Great Depression

    If anybody did this already I'm sorry , but here it is . No stock market crash business is doing well in the U.S. and the entire world , free trade is booming . Now does that stop Hitler in Geranmy , and Mussolini in Italy taking hold ? And if they do what excuse do they use ? If there is no World War Two how does the world evoulve afterwards ? And what would it be like today in the 21st century ?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Yankee View Post
    If anybody did this already I'm sorry , but here it is . No stock market crash business is doing well in the U.S. and the entire world , free trade is booming . Now does that stop Hitler in Geranmy , and Mussolini in Italy taking hold ? And if they do what excuse do they use ? If there is no World War Two how does the world evoulve afterwards ? And what would it be like today in the 21st century ?
    You're not asking much are you!

    Mussolini was already secure as Il Duce come 1929 and with the Italian economy in good shape he can carry on without needing to pursue Imperial adventures to distract his people. Hitler, on the other hand, faces real problems. Germany was hit very hard by the crash and depression because it had borrowed so much money (Dawes Plan and then Young Plan) to help fund the rebuilding of the economy and the reparations payments. With trade flowing, work for just about all, food in their stomachs and roofs over their heads the average German isn't looking for radical solutions because there are no pressing problems to be resolved. Hitler is thus just another far right politician railing against all and sundry with just a hardcore following to his name. I see no reasons for a general European war under these circumstances!

    The fly in the ointment is Japan, here there is a perceived need to expand the empire and secure supplies of the raw materials it lacks. No Depression won't change this much. But it might affect FDR which in turn might change US policies towards Japan and, indeed, the old European colonial powers.
    Signing out.

    Comment


    • #3
      Some good points FM. A few more to add.

      One of the big factors limiting European & American re-armament during the 1930s was the great depression. With the world economy bouncing along nicely Britain, France & America might have more strongly defended their East Asian territories. I also wonder about the impact of more robust militaries on the willingness of nations to use the League of nations to curb someone like Italy.

      It seems unlikely that Germany goes over to Nazism. It may or may not be a democracy (or perhaps just not a very good democracy), but it probably isn't an expansionist dictatorship. The intersting question is what all this means for Eastern Europe. Without Hitler in Central Europe the great threat to the peace looks more & more like Russia. Will France & Britain offer those small nations bordering Russia alliances from Russian expansion? If Germany has behaved itself all through the 30s will it be allowed expanded re-armament & a role in regional alliances effectively aimed at Russia? Where will the Baltic States fit into all of this? Stalin was no gambler. He will grab what he can if it carries minimal risk, but historically he ensured that Britain & France were distracted & Germany in the bag before he got expansionist. Is he going to roll the dice? Probably not. There are opportunities elsewhere.

      I don't know enough about Spanish politics to know what impact the depression had on Spanish politics, but I'll assume that it plays out much as it did up to the start of the Civil War. What happens next? Do the Nationalists do as well wihtout German assistance? Italy will still jump in & if the war continues so will Stalin. Without Nazi Germany & the threat of the war expanding do France & Britain place a more effective arms blockade? Do they act more decisively early on to support the Republic? Not sure on this one.

      In America there is no guarantee that FDR becomes President. It is hard to say what might have happened to Hoover had the Great Depression not hit. It is possible that America might have spent most of the 30s with someone more inclined to the isolationism popular in the Republican Party at the time. That probably still means a strong US Pacific fleet & probably strong US forces in the Pacific (very much America's 'backyard'), but may mean a less confrontational policy toward Japan. Again, this is by no means certain. The China Lobby was very effective & well connected and the issue if China got a lot of play in the US media & in politics.

      This is all bad news for Japan. The European powers aren't going to be distracted by a huge war. Russia isn't going to be nearly as worried about a rabidly anti-communist expansionist state to its east. Russia isn't going to be able to expand its territory to the west. Under those circumstances a second Russo-Japanese war looks much more likely. Lets say Stalin decides after some clashes with Japan in 1938 that Manchuria looks inviting, so he builds up his forces & waits for an excuse. It comes the next year & Russian forces storm south. What happens now? How far do they get? Do the Westren powers just grab some popcorn or do they try to embargo each side? Do they decide that one side winning is preferable, or do thry just not care/ does it matter? It is Christmas for Mao, whose forces join in. It is also good news for the KMT, who are being armed by Stalin too. I suspect the US ups arms shipments to Chiang as well. Not great for Japan. That nice shiny navy is not real useful & its army is a generation behind. Chinese warlords are notoriously good at sniffing the wind & many may decide that Japan is not a good bet. How much can japan hold? Can it keep Korea? Can it keep any of mainland China? How much does Russia take? Does this give mao a kick start to victory or is the KMT still in good enough shape to win? Does Stalin back a side? Lots of fascinating possibilities.
      Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

      Comment


      • #4
        In Japan's case, probably far less military control of the government, along with a much more liberal government in general (not by Western standards, but rather by comparison to the OTL).

        The Showa financial crisis still happens, along with the depression in the early to mid-20s, so that'll mean that Japan's economy is in a far worse state compared to everyone else than in the OTL. No Great Depression means far less munitions spending and less power in the hands of the military. I'd also suggest that the Kwantung Army would be less influential in foreign policy, but that's just an educated guess.

        Overall you'd likely have a less aggressive and militarily weaker Japan.
        Diadochi Rising Wargame:
        King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

        Comment


        • #5
          Tough one since the Depression had so many fundamental causes. the stock market crash in the US was a symptom of a already declining world economy rather than a cause.

          If the nazis do not come to power the variables are incrediblly complex. I doubt many folks here have enough understanding of European politcs here to grapple with that one. But, it may be wrong to assume no Depression ecludes a nazi government.

          Hitler's nazi party may still have come to power since they played on many types of fear, not just unemployment. To digress a moment unemployment was high but not severe in 1933 Germany. The nazis were gaining votes from the middle class who were employed but afraid of a return to the conditions of 1923 a decade earlier. It must also be noted the nazis never gained more than a third of the votes in a open election. Hitler came to power through political manipulation in the Reichstag, and using his control of the police to arrest the opposing politicians and break up their organizations.

          There are other effects. Globally industrial recapitalization does not stop. The development of oil as a fuel accelerates, factories retool at a more normal pace, new manufactoring facilities are started, railroads do not decline as fast, automotive roads built faster, new bridges/dams/electrical generation/airports built at a larger rate. Point here is the worlds industrial plant would be in better condition.

          Hand in hand with that would be a degree of acceleration in technological development. More engineers would find money to experiment with new aircraft engines, rocket motors, guidance electronics, radios, ship engines....

          That of course includes weapons. Development stagnated in many nations. In the US entire classes of weapons development were halted for nearly a decade. The concepts of 'strike' bombers or close air support aircraft were neglected, tank development fell to a handfull of prototypes with minimal field trials and no tactical or operational tests of equipment or doctrine. Similarly France, Britain, Italy, and others slowed weapons procurement for lack of tax revenues.

          Training suffered. Conscription classes were reduced in France and active training time reduced by thirty to forty percent. In France and most other nations the numbers of officers and senior NCOs trained as the reserve and active service was reduced significantly.

          With tax revenues sustained at 1920s levels or higher the military position of all Germany's enemies would improve. The most important being larger numbers of better trained soldiers to start with in 1939. For France a better trained army means more sophisticated tactics and doctrines can be in place at the start. In terms of the US Army that means a active service strength in 1938 of 150,000 or 180,000 vs 130,000. The officer/NCO reserve of sixty thousand would probably be over 100,000. The national Guard proportionatly larger. All that means a faster and broader mobilization when the US prepares for war. The situation of the British army would be very similar to the US. For the RAF it could mean a even more sophisticated air defense system, and/or a more robust defense.

          Comment


          • #6
            I just want to address one point regarding Hitler's coming to power. He was appointed Chancellor because it was felt that he could deal with the waves of civil unrest (even though the Nazis were as much perpetrators as they were victims!). Many of those on the streets were men who had no jobs, couldn't make ends meet, were hungry and possibly homeless. As William Cobbett stated "I defy you to agitate any fellow with a full stomach." So no Depression probably means no Nazi German State all other things being equal.
            Signing out.

            Comment


            • #7
              Biggest can of worms ever...
              It could be prevented, or at least dealt with better. You don't hear about the crash of 1920 because the Gov't did the right thing, instead of the Socialist thing.

              But, you have a HUGE new direction to take the world.
              I ain't gonna touch this one, way too big.
              "Why is the Rum gone?"

              -Captain Jack

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                Biggest can of worms ever...
                It could be prevented, or at least dealt with better. You don't hear about the crash of 1920 because the Gov't did the right thing, instead of the Socialist thing.
                No American government would do 'the Socialist thing'
                Signing out.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                  No American government would do 'the Socialist thing'
                  Don't get him started. Unfortunately, having decided not to post on 'politics' threads any more it appears we are to have his political views inflicted on us elsewhere, no matter how little it adds to the thread.

                  The topic of this is 'no depression'. Everybody else seems to have understood that & got into the spirit.
                  Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                    I just want to address one point regarding Hitler's coming to power. He was appointed Chancellor because it was felt that he could deal with the waves of civil unrest (even though the Nazis were as much perpetrators as they were victims!). Many of those on the streets were men who had no jobs, couldn't make ends meet, were hungry and possibly homeless. As William Cobbett stated "I defy you to agitate any fellow with a full stomach." So no Depression probably means no Nazi German State all other things being equal.
                    Agree. Minus the economic damage & the problems that entailed it is hard to believe that the sense of crisis that led Hindenburg to effectively suspend democracy is ever so great. The crises immediately following WW1 made Germans a lot more likely to react badly in a crisis. No crisis probably means a much smaller extreme reation. That doesn't mean democracy sails happily on, but it probably means that the Prussian dealmakers who got Hitler into the Chancellorship are less likely to let him that close to power.
                    Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                      Don't get him started. Unfortunately, having decided not to post on 'politics' threads any more it appears we are to have his political views inflicted on us elsewhere, no matter how little it adds to the thread.

                      The topic of this is 'no depression'. Everybody else seems to have understood that & got into the spirit.
                      Mea Culpa.
                      Signing out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Excellent thread.

                        I think most historians will argue Hitler came to power because of what happened to Germany in the early 1920s-in terms of unemployment, devaluation of the Deutschmark, homelessness, hunger, etc. This was incredibly traumatic, it infuriated Germany's middle class, and occurred years before the stock market crash of 1929. In other words, by the time Germany starts feeling the full effect of the Great Depression, Hitler is already a done deal. He's a product of the national humiliation of the immediate years after WWI.

                        "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                        --Frederick II, King of Prussia

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                          Don't get him started. Unfortunately, having decided not to post on 'politics' threads any more it appears we are to have his political views inflicted on us elsewhere, no matter how little it adds to the thread.
                          Having Vultures like you hovering, waiting to pounce if I ever do, makes it all that much easier to stay away from all that.
                          As if the NDAA wasn't enough.

                          Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                          The topic of this is 'no depression'. Everybody else seems to have understood that & got into the spirit.
                          Nit-pick away all you like, I was illustrating the fact that the Great Depression was NOT inevitable, thus keeping the thread on track.
                          You are the one that is diverting it with this curious little vendetta you seem to have with me.

                          You remind of of that scene in Casablanca, where the seedy little black-marketeer says "You despise me, don't you?"
                          Bogart takes the words right out of my mouth when he says "Well, if I gave it any thought, I probably would."
                          "Why is the Rum gone?"

                          -Captain Jack

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                            Having Vultures like you hovering, waiting to pounce if I ever do, makes it all that much easier to stay away from all that.
                            As if the NDAA wasn't enough.


                            Nit-pick away all you like, I was illustrating the fact that the Great Depression was NOT inevitable, thus keeping the thread on track.
                            You are the one that is diverting it with this curious little vendetta you seem to have with me.

                            You remind of of that scene in Casablanca, where the seedy little black-marketeer says "You despise me, don't you?"
                            Bogart takes the words right out of my mouth when he says "Well, if I gave it any thought, I probably would."
                            Very Good points...all of them . Now lets hear from our British freinds how would the U. K. be with no depression ?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                              Tough one since the Depression had so many fundamental causes. the stock market crash in the US was a symptom of a already declining world economy rather than a cause.

                              If the nazis do not come to power the variables are incrediblly complex. I doubt many folks here have enough understanding of European politcs here to grapple with that one. But, it may be wrong to assume no Depression ecludes a nazi government.

                              Hitler's nazi party may still have come to power since they played on many types of fear, not just unemployment. To digress a moment unemployment was high but not severe in 1933 Germany. The nazis were gaining votes from the middle class who were employed but afraid of a return to the conditions of 1923 a decade earlier. It must also be noted the nazis never gained more than a third of the votes in a open election. Hitler came to power through political manipulation in the Reichstag, and using his control of the police to arrest the opposing politicians and break up their organizations.

                              There are other effects. Globally industrial recapitalization does not stop. The development of oil as a fuel accelerates, factories retool at a more normal pace, new manufactoring facilities are started, railroads do not decline as fast, automotive roads built faster, new bridges/dams/electrical generation/airports built at a larger rate. Point here is the worlds industrial plant would be in better condition.

                              Hand in hand with that would be a degree of acceleration in technological development. More engineers would find money to experiment with new aircraft engines, rocket motors, guidance electronics, radios, ship engines....

                              That of course includes weapons. Development stagnated in many nations. In the US entire classes of weapons development were halted for nearly a decade. The concepts of 'strike' bombers or close air support aircraft were neglected, tank development fell to a handfull of prototypes with minimal field trials and no tactical or operational tests of equipment or doctrine. Similarly France, Britain, Italy, and others slowed weapons procurement for lack of tax revenues.

                              Training suffered. Conscription classes were reduced in France and active training time reduced by thirty to forty percent. In France and most other nations the numbers of officers and senior NCOs trained as the reserve and active service was reduced significantly.

                              With tax revenues sustained at 1920s levels or higher the military position of all Germany's enemies would improve. The most important being larger numbers of better trained soldiers to start with in 1939. For France a better trained army means more sophisticated tactics and doctrines can be in place at the start. In terms of the US Army that means a active service strength in 1938 of 150,000 or 180,000 vs 130,000. The officer/NCO reserve of sixty thousand would probably be over 100,000. The national Guard proportionatly larger. All that means a faster and broader mobilization when the US prepares for war. The situation of the British army would be very similar to the US. For the RAF it could mean a even more sophisticated air defense system, and/or a more robust defense.
                              Yes Carl In agree there are many reasons for the depression but let's all say the world was swinging along at full speed . And yes Hitler told everyone what they wanted to hear. But I still think there would be more people in Germany who would point at him and laugh. Rememebr there still were people who wanted the Kaiser back on the throne .
                              Last edited by Yankee; 22 Jan 12, 16:46.

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