For those of us who continue to be interested in World War Two and its many ramifications, you may be interested in a book called ‘Hitler Triumphant : alternate histories of WWII’, edited by Peter Tsouras. This book is a series of what ifs? For instance, what if Winston Churchill has not been called to Buckingham Palace and asked to form a government in those very first days of the so called phony war? What if Lord Halifax, Neville Chamberlains, right hand man had been asked instead? It was, as they say a near run thing since the Royal Family and many of Churchill’s own conservative party loathed him. But good fortune prevailed. What if Hitler had not, rather stupidly, gone to war with Russia, thus having to deploy tens of thousands of men and much weaponry to a second front? And what if having taken on the enormous Russian Army he had actually beaten them at Stalingrad and elsewhere?
This book contains clever such ‘what ifs’, alternative versions of the history that unfolded in fact. Written by military historians, these pieces are no airy-fairy fiction but are scenarios based on facts and possible outcomes if different decisions had been made at the time. I found the alternative versions of recent history most interesting, maybe you will too.
Previously heard on Radio Eketahuna
Note: there are many alternative or imaginary histories available at the library, about all sorts of subjects!