Monday, April 19, 2021

Two WWII Alternate Timelines: Sweden Attacks Germany In 1945, Smarter German Defense Post-1942

Even though I'm still self-banned from the Internet's premiere alternate history forum, I still check out cool stuff in the public forums. Here're my latest finds:

Footsteps In The Snow: The Swedish Intervention, April-May 1945-Historically Sweden was neutral during World War II and over the course of the conflict had built up a large military for a country its size to deter or fight off an attack by either Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. However, this neutrality involved selling the Germans iron ore and even allowing the passage of German soldiers through Swedish territory, something that raised eyebrows among many in the Allied camp. The Swedes also trained Norwegian and Danish exiles as "police troops," provided intelligence to the Allies, hosted Jewish refugees, and allowed U.S. planes to use Swedish airbases, so it wasn't like the Swedes were semi-allies of Germany either. 

(This article describes Sweden's WWII policy in more detail and includes some rather critical commentary from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.)

It's not early on why Sweden chooses this time around to break neutrality to attack the weakening German army in Norway, but it's hinted the goal is to strengthen Sweden's position in postwar Europe and in particular give them a say in what's done with Norway. The Swedes also assist with the ejection of the last German forces from the Nazis' former ally Finland--perhaps this time around, the Finns will avoid getting, well, Finlandized. And the timeline's author suggests that Soviets could have been the ones liberating Denmark from the Nazis and it took conniving between the Germans and Western Allies to keep them out. Keeping Denmark out of Soviet hands might be another reason.

Prolonging the Futility-Hitler dies in 1942 after a bite from his dog (with whom he was playing too roughly) becomes infected, much like how a king of Greece died twenty-odd years before after being bitten by a monkey. However, the Germans still lose at Stalingrad. The Allies are coming and they're angry. Without Hitler's micromanaging and bad military decisions, how long can the Axis drag things out? The author admits the Germans in some cases are rolling sixes and the Allies are rolling ones, which might explains how the Germans are doing better than expected even without a drug-addled lunatic in charge, but it's not completely without reason. If you've read An Army At Dawn, you'll see how incompetent the U.S. Army was early in the war and how skilled the Germans were, even with the Germans running their North African operation on a shoestring and with the Allies' massive materiel superiority and control the air. And it's Goering, more flexible and less fanatical than Hitler (IIRC he was the only top Nazi diagnosed as a sociopath, which would explain his being self-seeking rather than serving a Goal greater than himself), who succeeds Hitler and that would explain a lot of it. I think some of the events later in the timeline are starting to stretch disbelief, but that's my main quibble.

No comments:

Post a Comment