Author Topic: Random ideas...can we pull them into a coherent story?  (Read 275 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Random ideas...can we pull them into a coherent story?
« on: June 27, 2021, 03:21:12 AM »
Hi folks,  I am toying with the bare bones of a story and I'd welcome contributions to see if it can be developed into a story for this GB.

Basic premise is if there is a scenario whereby the period between the wars can be spun so as to avoid the end result of WWII.  Basically, after the cataclysm of WW1/The Great War, can society actually learn its lesson and avoid war.  Some of the ideas I am toying with include:

  • The League of Nations actually works - perhaps by having the USA actually join; maybe have it turn into a real mechanism for preventing wars;
  • Veterans on both sides unite on the basis of common horrors experienced and collaborate to prevent re-occurence;
  • The Treaty of Versailles not being treated as a way to punish Germany;
  • Something akin to the Marshall Plan being enacted to rebuild Europe and inject economic growth thus avoiding some of the economic factors which led to the Nazis;
  • Perhaps the rise of Socialism in a more Democratic form across more of Europe rather than the barstardized dictatorial version seen in the USSR which was socialism only in name - again this could come from the desire to rebel against the fact that WW1 might be viewed as a fight between the kings etc;
  • An investment in the new technologies released by the war, especially aircraft.
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: Random ideas...can we pull them into a coherent story?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2021, 06:34:29 AM »
Maybe a more realistic version of "Wings over the World" from "Things to Come"  or Kipling's "Aerial Board of Control" from "With the Night Mail" but closer to the UN forces that patrol trouble spots, maybe with more political teeth.

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: Random ideas...can we pull them into a coherent story?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2021, 08:25:45 AM »
From my POV, the Versailles treaty excesses and Post War "Marshal Plan" idea are perhaps the best fit at a high political level. Some of the other more "ideal" ideas presented, could all be usurped/diminished/shutdown at the same high political level.

Therein lies the problem, where no matter how good the idea, politics can get in the way if it does not meet the sometime narrow doctrinal view of politicians.
The other frightening thought is how would the Nazi regime have went if they had something like the current Internet, where wild arse theories can gain significant traction with only a few smart lines and a bazillion clicks.

What was that line Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy about First up against the wall ? ;)

Offline apophenia

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Re: Random ideas...can we pull them into a coherent story?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2021, 10:29:21 AM »
Well, this will require some pondering!  As Brian says, the biggest obstacles are political instincts (not to mention the jingoistic attitudes that fanned the flames to begin with) ...

One notion occurs about the US and the League of Nations. Suppose Woodrow Wilson or advisors anticipates the mood in the Senate. Full LoN membership was a threat to some Senators (mainly Southerners, IIRC). What if the vote was on options? (I) Full Membership; (II) 'Observer Status' (as a 'founding member'); (III) No Involvement with LoN.

Historically, we know that (I) was rejected in the Senate. (II) would allow DC to keep tabs on those pesky Europeans - without US sovereignty being infringed. (III) ensures US sovereignty remains uncompromised. But isolationism also means almost zero input into international affairs.

The big unknown is, should (II) prevail, would American policymakers see advantages in taking on full membership? Or would it prove to be just a slower route to US isolationism?

Marshall Plan: There was self-interest in the Marshall Plan (thwarting the growth of 'domestic' communism in Western Europe, maintaining trade and a global market for US goods, etc.). But the Marshall Plan also represents astonishing generosity. The mood of US citizens and policymakers in 1919 was a lot more insular (and hard-nosed). But, OTOH, the US was far less militarily dominant after WW1 (compared with WW2). So how, for example, did US policymakers intend to back up debt-collection?

In a sense, the US was relying upon Europe's central bankers to honour their wartime debt repayment promises. But what if those central bankers had argued to boycott those debts to force what's now dubbed a 'haircut'? Could the governors of the Bank of England and Banque de France have forced the hand of their American creditors during the Depression of 1920–21? If so, renegotiated loan payments could have freed up funds to rebuild European shattered economies, provided jobs for returning veterans, etc. In other words, US largesse à la the Marshall Plan may not have been necessary.

Veterans: A lot of returning veterans faced unemployment. I'm wondering about international military units in the name of the League of Nations. It would have to be toothier than UN peacekeeping - eg: no invite required from the offending nation state(s). For manning, perhaps some formula for set percentages of troops whose origins were in former Entente Powers, Central Power, and neutral powers?
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