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View Full Version : Quantum Leap: A Hypothetical Study of WWII Hindsight


Wilson
06-21-2005, 02:31 PM
You wake up one odd morning as Dr. Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap. After gathering your wits and reviewing the situation of your latest leap you find yourself in the role of a British MI6 agent outside an anonymous building in Berlin Germany. In your hands is a scoped .303 rifle.

Through the scope you can see several men dressed in military uniforms looking over maps of Poland and the rest of Europe. Studying each man, one catches your eye and is easily recognizable; the funny mustache, exaggerated hand movements.

It’s 1934 and you’re witnessing the ‘Fuhrer Conference’. Arguably ‘the’ moment Hitler begins his plans for a war of aggression in Europe.

You raise the rifle to put a round into his skull but then your history begins to come back to you and you begin to second guess yourself. What if Hitler doesn’t double cross Stalin or didn’t want his generals to disturb his sleep in the opening hours of the invasion of Normandy? What if he didn’t insist on micro-managing every aspect of the war?

Does the pull of a trigger prevent the most destructive and deadliest war in history or does that pull of the trigger open the door for a more competent leader to step in and run the war more efficiently and eventually win the campaign. A few better well thought out steps and Germany could have most definitely won the war.

Did God (if you don’t watch Quantum Leap just play along here) send you there to pull the trigger or to prevent the trigger from being pulled?

What would you do?

dilligaf
06-21-2005, 02:37 PM
Put one right between the eyes. :harumph:

Rain Man
06-21-2005, 02:40 PM
Can I catch a train and go kill a baby Yasser Arafat instead? I'm pretty happy with how WWII turned out.

mcan
06-21-2005, 02:50 PM
Just a few points.

1. I would start to really worry about the "project." Why has it now allowed me to leap outside of my own lifetime? 1934!? This has only happened once and I lept into somebody that was related to me, and had a similar genetic pattern.

2. I've never been "supposed" to kill somebody before. But I have lept into L.H. Oswald. I was supposed to PREVENT him from shooting, but couldn't do it. At the last second, I lept into a secret servicman and actually ended up saving Jackie O from her husband's fate.

3. Where's AL? I need to know if there are any other historical mishaps (perhaps something a little less global) that I need to fix before I go shooting somebody.

4. WHAT IF I MISS? I have several degrees and am an expert in Karate, but I have no idea how to shoot a sniper rifle. I would need AL here just to make sure that I fire it correctly.

5. So, assume that I do kill Hitler. What happens if that wasn't my objective? I won't leap, and I will have given away my position. What happens if I get killed or captured before I leap out?


NO WAY AM I TAKING THIS SHOT.

duncan_idaho
06-21-2005, 03:00 PM
I wrote a paper about this for a PoliSci class last year... my basic suggestion was that the German people were ripe for manipulation by a war-minded leader... and there were certainly plenty of those around.

I went on to go through two scenarios:
1) A more sane leader rises to power. Someone like Goring or Himmler. Someone who doesn't break the pact with the Soviets too early. (In my paper, I postulated that if Hitler had waited until the war in the West was over or at least closer to being over and dedicated the Eastern troops to defensive groupings, Germany eventually could have been successful in the East). THis leader would have taken control of Great Britain and Western Europe, removing America's foothold and limiting its effectiveness. Then Germany would have turned to the East and put the Soviets on the ropes. America would have had to send its troops through the Bering Sea to get them to the continent (because of the Japanese), which would have slowed the troop movement significantly. Bleak, bleak scenario.

2) Germany never rises to power. The Soviet Union and Stalin turn their eyes to Eastern Europe and move in... they start slowly, with the countries no one cared about (Czec., etc). Then they turn to Germany... and no one really cries out because... well, they started WWI. America feels no need to help Germany, in an entirely European affair. GB and France don't have the power or the guts to stand up to the Soviets. The USSR's influence increases.... and we eventually have a huge war, this time with the Soviets and the Japanese, only it's five years down the road. The Jewish scientists that fled Germany and built the Manhattan project would have been doing their work for the Soviets. World War II begins 5-7 years later, and this time nuclear weapons are a factor from the beginning... even more bleak than the previous scenario.

Fun to think about...

Saulbadguy
06-21-2005, 03:09 PM
Shoot him in the knee cap.

whoman69
06-21-2005, 03:14 PM
Nobody could accurately predict what would have happened to Germany without Hitler. As has been stated, worse things could happen. I would focus on other major events if I wanted to change history that much, say the MLK or RFK assasinations.

Frazod
06-21-2005, 03:17 PM
Let it go. Who knows who would have risen to power if Hitler had been whacked? A sane German leader could have easily conquered the world, or not conquered the world, thus allowing Stalin to do so. As bad as it was, it could have been much worse. Instead, Germany and Russia cancelled each other out nicely until America got its shit together.

patteeu
06-21-2005, 03:23 PM
Shoot him in the knee cap.

That would just make him mad.

Hoover
06-21-2005, 03:27 PM
Germany without Hitler got its ass kicked.

Ghostof
06-21-2005, 03:33 PM
Doing that would be a waste of time.



Regardless, I would fly to the US and start betting on all the horse races, and various other sporting events, clearly making a mint, then retire by purchasing several castles overseas and also funding/building a downtown football stadium in KC...just to have in case years down the road the city needs it.

Rain Man
06-21-2005, 03:38 PM
That would just make him mad.

And then he'd start up a concentration camp to kill high jumpers.

Amnorix
06-21-2005, 03:41 PM
1) A more sane leader rises to power. Someone like Goring or Himmler.

Most of your points are valid and interesting, but I gotta call this one out.

Himmler wasn't "more sane" than anybody that held high office in any country in the history of the world.

Goring I will give you, until he became a drug addict. Quite brilliant in many ways, actually, although he had many fatal flaws in his character (like all Nazi leadership, of course, though fewer than most).

Swanman
06-21-2005, 03:42 PM
Doing that would be a waste of time.



Regardless, I would fly to the US and start betting on all the horse races, and various other sporting events, clearly making a mint, then retire by purchasing several castles overseas and also funding/building a downtown football stadium in KC...just to have in case years down the road the city needs it.

Okay Biff

Rain Man
06-21-2005, 03:51 PM
Seriously, from a strategic perspective, why would we interfere with World War II? We came out of that war as the world's foremost superpower, and haven't looked back since. At the end of the war, all of our economic and social competitors were smoking piles of rubble, and we were this enormous, pulsing economic juggernaut.

Go to the middle east, use modern technology to make a holographic Muhammad appear, and have him say, "Y'know, I was just a parlor room trickster. There's nothing inside that big box in Mecca. Now just go on with your lives and welcome my good friends from Israel."

duncan_idaho
06-21-2005, 03:51 PM
Amnorix,

Oh, I know they were crazy by the normal definition too... what I meant by "more sane" was more likely to listen to the sound advice Germany's military men gave Hitler, which was ignored. Basically, the best of Germany's military strategists were telliing him not to open a two-front war, because it would crush Germany's economy and lead to defeat. If I remember correctly, Goring even supported this. But Hitler didn't listen, feeling that Germany's offensive capabilities could counteract anything the world could throw at it. Obviously they couldn't...

And anybody is sane when compared to Hitler, aren't they?

As for what I'd do if I could "leap" back anywhere... I'd come back as the doctor that delivered John Elway's dad and make sure Daddy Elway could never procreate...

Amnorix
06-21-2005, 04:03 PM
Amnorix,

Oh, I know they were crazy by the normal definition too... what I meant by "more sane" was more likely to listen to the sound advice Germany's military men gave Hitler, which was ignored. Basically, the best of Germany's military strategists were telliing him not to open a two-front war, because it would crush Germany's economy and lead to defeat. If I remember correctly, Goring even supported this. But Hitler didn't listen, feeling that Germany's offensive capabilities could counteract anything the world could throw at it. Obviously they couldn't...

And anybody is sane when compared to Hitler, aren't they?

As for what I'd do if I could "leap" back anywhere... I'd come back as the doctor that delivered John Elway's dad and make sure Daddy Elway could never procreate...

Hitler's military knowledge was questionable at best, but he had uncanny instincts early in the war which actually greatly assisted in Germany's early victories. Examples:

1. Hitler gave great impetus to Heinz Guderian and other advocates of blitzkrieg warfare, over the complaints of many senior officers who were tied to old notions of the infantry. The same squabbles over the proper use of armor were taking place in every country's military of the time. France retained the old notions, which was a significant part of its ultimate defeat (France had MORE tanks than Germany when it was invaded in the spring of 1940).

2. Hitler overruled many senior officers in adopting von Manstein's somewhat risky plan to invade France. The original plan, which was meant to be carried out in the fall of '39 but was not for several reasons, was a slight variant on the old Schleiffen Plan which was used in World War I. Hitler was not pleased with this plan, but it was the best his generals were giving him. After the invasion was cancelled (for numerous reasons, not least of which was unfavorable weather), a plan developed by a junior general -- Erich von Manstein, which had been rejected by his senior officers no less than SIX times, was finally brought to Hitler's attention by an indirect route. Hitler was instrumental in having the plan adopted. The plan, which involved an invasion through the Ardennes forest (thought impenetrable by the French) worked to spectacular success, and should have resulted in both the fall of France and the complete destruction of the BEF.

3. After some unquestioned screw-ups in the invasion of Russia, his order to stand firm without giving up a yard of territory in the late fall of '41 on the Eastern Front quite possibly avoided a general rout. Subsequently, his continued insistence on static defenses would prove to be a bane to his generals, but in THIS instance, ti was probably for the best.

4. His invasion of Norway in the spring of 1940 circumvented the wishes of many of his senior staffers, was very risky, but was spectacularly successful (although it cost him a significant portion of his surface fleet).

Finally, wrt the invasion of Russia -- sooner or later those two would have tangled anyway. The more I read, the more I believe that the spring of 1940 was the BEST time for Germany to hit Russia. Unfortunately for Germany (and fortunately for the rest of teh world), Barbarossa was delayed for some wweeks while Germany cleaned up the mess Italy had spawned by invading Greece.

Otter
06-21-2005, 04:09 PM
Doing that would be a waste of time.

Regardless, I would fly to the US and start betting on all the horse races, and various other sporting events, clearly making a mint, then retire by purchasing several castles overseas and also funding/building a downtown football stadium in KC...just to have in case years down the road the city needs it.

In this scenerio your Dr. Sam Becket, a man of morals controlled by God. I'm guessing that scenrio was used to try and prevent these posts.

I'm with Frazod, let it go.

munkey
06-21-2005, 04:35 PM
1) A more sane leader rises to power. Someone like Goring or Himmler. Someone who doesn't break the pact with the Soviets too early.

What "sane" leader could have done what Hitler did?

ct
06-21-2005, 04:37 PM
What "sane" leader could have done what Hitler did?

GW Bush

ROFL

I just couldn't resist!

redsurfer11
06-21-2005, 06:23 PM
In the show Quantum Leap, Sam Beckett was locked into a certain time period.1960's thru early 90's. I think.

Inspector
06-21-2005, 06:48 PM
I'd drop the gun, race back home and buy all the land around Overland Park.

And a Tucker. I'd get me one of them Tuckers - after it was built.