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11 Alternative World War II Scenarios in Modern Pop Culture

My name is Stas Zhalnin (full: Stanislav Andreevich Zhalnin), I am originally from Tambov (Russia), currently living in Moscow.

Introduction

May 9, 1945 was marked by the defeat of the Axis in World War II. Every year, millions of people celebrate this date, everyone knows the main battles, events and names. But how many people thought about what would have happened if the outcome of the war had been different? For example, let's say the allies lost an important battle or an important general died. Reasoning on this topic appeared a very long time ago and there are already many versions. Each is more interesting than the other. Let’s see how they look in video game or cinematic format.

11 Alternate Theory Versions of WWII

1. We Happy Few (video game)
2. The Man In the High Castle (book/TV series)
3. Turning Point: Fall of Liberty (video game)
4. Inglourious Basterds (film)
5. War Front: Turning Point (video game)
6. C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (film)
7. Afterfall: Insanity (video game)
8. Fatherland (book/film)
9. Wolfenstein: The New Order (video game)
10. Iron Sky (film)
11. Command & Conquer: Red Alert (video game)

"We Happy Few"

"We Happy Few"

1. We Happy Few (video game)

Germany suffered its first military defeat in 1940, it was the Battle of Britain, which ended at the end of October and prevented the Nazis from taking over the kingdom. We Happy Few tells the dystopian story of what would have happened if Hitler had succeeded. No, he did not win the war, but the British lost a lot. The inhabitants of the occupied city of Wellington Wells did something so terrible for the sake of liberation that they all fell into the deepest depression and apathy. They successfully drove off the invaders, but it did not get any easier. In order not to go crazy, the townspeople began to massively get addicted to drugs. One of these was “Joy”. He clouded their brains so much that in the mid-1960s the whole city was forced to sit on it, and teetotalers were beaten to death with great joy. The city looks at least strange — some parts have become ruins, and some resemble a mental house. The main character lived in such a madhouse before he decided to become a healthy lifestyle and give up bad habits. Whether he can escape this utopia is up to the players.

"The Man In the High Castle"

"The Man In the High Castle"

2. The Man In the High Castle (book/TV series)

On February 15, 1933, there was an assassination attempt on US President Franklin Roosevelt in Miami. Giuseppe Zangara, an Italian immigrant, fired five shots at the president’s motorcade, but Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak died instead. The killer was later executed. In the universe of the novel and its television adaptation of the same name, The Man in the High Castle, the assassination attempt was more successful and America lost a president, which hit its economy. The country was unable to overcome the Great Depression and weakened. At that time, the Sino-Japanese War was going on in Asia, which China won in real life. Philip Dick, the author of the book, corrected this by giving the empire victory. The USSR alone could not cope with the onslaught of the enemy and its entire population was completely sent to the gas chambers. Japan easily defeated Pearl Harbor and moved into the United States. The Germans and the Japanese captured the country and divided it into two zones of influence, leaving part of the states as a buffer zone. They had a reason for this, because a Cold war began between them. The book and the series talk about it. In the 1960s, the world stood on the threshold of a nuclear threat, and the former allies staged an arms race.

"Turning Point: Fall of Liberty"

"Turning Point: Fall of Liberty"

3. Turning Point: Fall of Liberty (video game)

Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of Great Britain and one of the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition. Thanks to him, Europe decided to fight the Axis, despite the decline in morale in the leadership of Western European countries. In 1931, he was hit by a car while crossing Fifth Avenue in New York. The leader of the British was not seriously injured, he was carried away on a stretcher, smiling and smoking a cigar. The writer of Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty thought it would be more interesting if he didn’t survive. Without him, the Nazis broke Europe and got the opportunity to take over the world, and Britain and the United States could not conclude a strong alliance, which is why Uncle Sam did not get into the war. The Third Reich successfully implements the Barbarossa plan and captures the USSR (though without genocide, as in the example above). Then the Italians, supported by the Germans, take over Africa and the war ends. A Cold war ensues between the states and the Axis. Then you can find out for yourself, during the plot of the game. (picture hints)

"Inglourious Basterds"

"Inglourious Basterds"

4. Inglourious Basterds (film)

Here’s a story without a historical basis. If you do not take into account conspiracy theories about the Fuhrer’s visits to Paris, then we can say for sure that during the war he was not in this city, but Quentin Tarantino fantasizes that he came to the premiere of Goebbels’ propaganda film. In France, at that time, there was a division of American Jews who actively used sadism and cruel reprisals in their adventures. Such methods demoralized the soldiers of the Wehrmacht, which is why the German leadership gave the unit the wonderful name “Bastards”. These bastards decide to kill Hitler and Goebbels in the cinema. The presence of the film on this list already makes it clear that Adolf will not get out of there alive. But if you think that this spoiler will spoil your viewing experience, then you are mistaken, because this is only part of the plot, and there are a lot of events here. The most important thing is that no one takes this black comedy seriously (after watching some schoolchildren, they really began to think that Brad Pitt killed Hitler in France).

"War Front: Turning Point"

"War Front: Turning Point"

5. War Front: Turning Point (video game)

On July 16, 1940, the Sea Lion Operation plan was established, according to which 25 divisions of paratroopers were to land on the British Isles. After the Battle of Britain (mentioned above), the operation was postponed and then canceled by Hitler. Everything would be fine, but in the universe of the game War Front: Turning Point, the Fuhrer was killed back in 1939, and the new Reich Chancellor is more decisive and successfully occupies Foggy Albion. The US invades England and pushes the Nazis out. Later, the Allies capture the leader of the party and Germany seems to capitulate, but on the other side of Eurasia there is another totalitarian regime that decides to go to war in the West. Evil communists invade Europe and because of this, the second world war resumes. It is not clear why, but all three sides miraculously develop military technologies, bringing them to retrofuturism.

"C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America"

"C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America"

6. C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (film)

From 1861 to 1865 there was a civil war in America. The northerners, who called themselves the USA and opposed slavery, fought with the southerners, who called themselves the KSA and were all in favor. It is known who won, BUT! What if it were different? This pseudo-documentary film will tell you about it. After the victory, Confederate President Davis retained slavery, and all religions except Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism were banned. Then the Americans completely captured both American continents (except Canada), became a rich country and did without the Great Depression. Here and the second world war on the way. The Americans officially approved and supported Germany’s racial policy and the countries became best friends. A war began in which the CSA did not waste time on operations like the Normandy landings and African companies, immediately attacking Japan and achieving surrender by dropping just one bomb. On the other hand, this does not save Germany, and the USSR successfully defeats the Nazis, spreading communism almost all over the world. Then the Cold war with Canada begins, but that’s another story…

"Afterfall: Insanity"

"Afterfall: Insanity"

7. Afterfall: Insanity (video game)

Many people have heard of the American nuclear weapons program, the Manhattan Project. Nazi Germany had its own analogue — the “Uranium Project”. Despite the successes, the German scientists did not have time to complete their experiments. In the reality of the game Afterfall: Insanity everything turned out the other way around — they created this weapon in the middle of the war and used it against the Soviet army. The USSR by that time also had something to answer, the Americans too. The Second World War immediately turned cold and the parties began to divide the zones of influence. The USSR occupied part of Poland, and the rest was taken by Krainov’s army (partisans). The Poles also had nuclear weapons, threatening which they managed to drive the Soviet and American armies out of the country. General Kaiser took power into his own hands. He was a brutal dictator, but he was the only one who was bothered by the fact that anyone had atomic bombs. The Cold War continued until 2012 and ended with Fallout, that is, an exchange of nuclear strikes. The only one who thought of creating underground shelters and infrastructure in advance was Kaiser. Thanks to him, the Poles became the last people on the planet.

"Fatherland"

"Fatherland"

8. Fatherland (book/film)

Like a Tarantino film, there is no historical basis here. It’s just that the Third Reich turned out to be a little more lucky than in real life, and was able to capture the European part of the Soviet Union, beat off the landing in Normandy and win the war. Almost all of Europe ended up under Hitler’s rule, which helped him hide the Holocaust from the world community. Then the Germans threatened the Americans with nuclear weapons and advised them to be friends. So there are only 2 superpowers left in the world. The book and film adaptation, set in the 1960s, tells the story of a series of assassinations in the leadership of the Reich that began shortly before John F. Kennedy’s visit to Berlin.

"Wolfenstein: The New Order"

"Wolfenstein: The New Order"

9. Wolfenstein: The New Order (video game)

In Germany there was a wonderful laboratory called Ahnenerbe. In the imagination of many, this is the place where the Nazis summoned Satan, although this is not true. Initially, the Ahnenerbe was an authority that verified the Aryan origin of candidates for the SS, then Heinrich Himmler became its leader, and began to study the heritage of the Aryan race. And it was the Anenerbe that kept famous sadistic doctors like Mengele, who traveled to concentration camps and did terrible things to people. In the game’s universe, in 1942, they found the technology of the secret society Daat Yishud, which allowed them to win the war. In 1945, the Germans capture Moscow and not weakly move the border of the USSR, then they occupy Britain. In 1946, the Red Army soldiers kill Stalin and the new leadership capitulates to the Reich. Within a few years, Canada is subject to annexation, then Hitler betrays Japan and conquers China. The Germans drop nuclear bombs on the US, leading them to defeat. In 1949, the Nazis overthrew the fascist regime in Italy … In general, everyone got it! Now fast forward…yes, back to the sixties again. Germany would have already captured the entire galaxy if William Blazhkovich, the protagonist of the Wolfenstein series, had not come out of a 12-year coma. Now it’s his turn to break everything around and wipe his ass with a portrait of Hitler.

"Iron Sky"

"Iron Sky"

10. Iron Sky (film)

If you were not enough trash, then here’s more for you. Everyone knows the theories about Nazi flying saucers? Many have heard of a base on the far side of the moon. If not, then watch this film, in which the Germans did not give up, but only gave time for a break. While the Red Army took Berlin, and Hitler shot himself in the head, Aryan flying saucers plowed through the expanses of space in search of a new home. The other side of the moon became this home, where they erected a castle in the shape of you know what sign. Now they have a place to develop and they have Helium-3, this is a very valuable fossil, which in our reality most countries of the world are eyeing. In the film, which takes place in 2018, a bunch of ships are already about to be sent to him. The Fourth Reich, meanwhile, sent its agents to the ground. Believe me, this will not end peacefully.

"Command & Conquer: Red Alert"

"Command & Conquer: Red Alert"

11. Command & Conquer: Red Alert (video game)

Perhaps, let logic and common sense go to hell … Einstein won the war! He just created a time machine and killed Hitler. Just do not forget that there was also Stalin, and if the Russians want to fight, they will sit on their riding bear and find an enemy. Guilty or not, it doesn’t matter. Did the Germans attack? Let’s go to the Americans! Yes, here the Russians just want to conquer the world, although the Americans are ridiculed no less, and in the third part, Japan also joined this madness.

Conclusion

But seriously speaking, the war is scary enough without mutants, time travel, flying saucers and secret Nazi technologies. In 1945, the world saw the ending with the victory of the anti-Hitler coalition, and let it be canonical. We can only hope that no one will burn with the desire to see alternative endings. Even the original plot would be better left in the history books and films. Such games are too expensive, it is better not to touch them. Let the war be possible only in the rich imagination of the authors of games or films, where it belongs.

This is especially true today, when a terrible war is going on in the world. Let’s hope that it will end as soon as possible and after it all the people of the world will return to useful things again. May we build a new world without violence, grief and destruction.

© 2022 Stas Zhalnin