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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tomorrow is the 20th of July

This is Steven Petrick Posting.

Tomorrow is the 65th Anniversary of operation Valkyrie, the failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. There will always be a "what if" hanging over that event. If it had succeeded, would the Germans have been able to negotiate an earlier end to the conflict? Would that end have forestalled the Communist occupation of most of Eastern Europe? There were competing "governments in exile" for Poland (Stalin had rescinded his previous recognition of the Polish Government in Exile in London in favor of a new one established in the Soviet Union). Would the war have gone on, becoming one of Soviet Conquest if the Germans had simply decided to have their troops in the West lay down their arms (those that could not be quickly transferred to the Soviet Front until the Allies had advanced far enough)? What would the Western Allies do if the Germans simply started moving their troops to the Soviet Front as quickly as they could while leaving the roads open for the Western Allies to advance? Demand that the Germans keep fighting them as well? Refuse to advance unless the Germans resisted? Advance to the Elbe and stop? Would Stalin have accepted any sort of peace that did not give him Control of Eastern Europe? Would the allies have allowed Stalin to still install his puppet governments?

The world would be somewhat different, how different is, of course, impossible to say.