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Interesting PODs not commonly used

#21
Apparently Callaghan seriously considered scrapping the television license fee and bringing funding of the BBC into general government spending in the second half of the 1970s. IIRC there were two or three years where they only gave them one-year settlements, ostensibly to help with inflation but it keeping the Corporation reliant on the government was also a benefit. It probably wouldn't have made much of a difference to begin with but then the Conservatives won the general election a year or two later.
 
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Cook

an obscure historical reference.
#22
Leo Szilard doesn't catch the flu.

In 1918, twenty year old Szilard was training with his regiment at Kufstein in Austria when he fell ill with the Spanish Flu and was hospitalised. While he was in hospital recovering, his regiment was sent to the Italian front and completely wiped out at the battle of Vittorio Veneto; had young Leo not been fighting for his life against a disease that killed over a hundred million people worldwide that year, he most probably would have died in battle in northern Italy.

Leo Szilard was one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century. It was Szilard who, in 1933 realised that not only was a nuclear chain reaction possible, but that it would be possible to generate enormous amounts of energy from such a reaction - directly contradicting several papers by the renowned Ernest Rutherford.

Not only did his theoretical paper inspire a series of experiments that, in 1938, proved that a nuclear chain reaction was possible, but Szilard realised that the energy released from such a reaction could, in theory, be used to create a bomb several thousand times more powerful than any ever made before. Szilard was by then a refugee in the United States. Concerned that Nazi Germany might already be building such a bomb he wrote a letter to president Roosevelt, and had it endorsed by his former teacher Albert Einstein. That letter began the government research that led to the Manhattan Project and the Atomic bomb.

Had Szilard died on the trenches of the first would war, science would have lost one of its greatest minds, Rutherford's 1933 paper arguing that a nuclear chain reaction could not be maintained might not have been challenged for years and Otto Hahn wouldn't have developed the experiments to determine that a nuclear chain reaction was possible in 1938. Since there was no other physicist in the United States in 1939-40 who was considering the possibility of an atomic bomb, there would not have been any impetus to develop one then, and possibly for several more years at least.

The end of the Second World War, the beginning of the Cold War would have been fundamentally changed, with the atomic bomb being developed much later.
 
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Comisario

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Location
Plaistow, London
#23
Just been reading Leslie Hunter’s The Road to Brighton Pier and one of the more interesting PODs that I’ve talked about before on The Other Place is Bevan’s expulsion from the party, as facilitated by union leader Arthur Deakin. According to this book, however, the expulsion also appears to have been setting the stage for a constitutional innovation on the part of Deakin which would have abolished the CLP section of the party’s National Executive Committee. Now, this didn’t happen because the excruciatingly tight vote against Bevan went the other way and Deakin died in May 1955. Had the vote gone as expected (and Greenwood, Mikardo, Castle, Wilson, and Crossman all resigned their positions in protest) and Deakin had maybe lived a few months more, then the Labour Party would have been more under the thumb of right-wing trade union leaders than it was IOTL and the Labour left probably would have organised around an anti-union position in the build-up to the 1959 election.

The really zany butterflies here cannot be underestimated.
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#25
I'm just writing about a very different 'Stalin' in volume nine of my House of Stuart Sequence ("The Longest Road"). The volume is almost finished and, hopefully, together with volume eight, will be published shortly.
 

Bonniecanuck

get a feeling so complicated
Location
Ford Nation
#26
I'm going to post a proper thread on this, but I believe that the Battle of Mohács has never been given its proper due in alternate history just for its sheer consequences that completely shaped the destiny of Central Europe. Perhaps no battle has been so thoroughly mythologised as the literal end of a golden age in one nation's historiography, yet I've not seen any timeline that's dealt with it at all.
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#27
I'm going to post a proper thread on this, but I believe that the Battle of Mohács has never been given its proper due in alternate history just for its sheer consequences that completely shaped the destiny of Central Europe. Perhaps no battle has been so thoroughly mythologised as the literal end of a golden age in one nation's historiography, yet I've not seen any timeline that's dealt with it at all.
I quite agree - and look forward to the thread....
 

Tabac Iberez

Impetious
Published by SLP
#28
1. Instead of braving the Kachin Mountains and returning to China, V Corps of the Chinese Expeditionary Force retreated into India;
2. No Battle of Peleliu;
3. MacArthur either dies or was incapacitated some time after Seoul was liberated, his successor (let's go with Ridgway) didn't see the need to drive all the way to the Yalu and instead stops at Pyongyang;
4. 1st Battalion, 7th Air Cavalry was destroyed at Ia Drang Valley after a CAS mishap resulting in a blue-on-blue incident that wiped out the battalion command element in the heat of battle;
5. General William Garrison cancels the 3rd October 1993 mission to capture Omar Salad Elmi Mohamed Hassan Awal;

Marc A
Most of these don't make much sense. A Chinese force, especially V Corps, will always retreat to China considering how much bad blood they have with the English. Likewise, Pelileu was a reasonably important objective to take to ensure flank security of the Philippines operations, since parking a seaplane tender out in the ocean is far worse than using land based MPAs. Stopping at Pyongyang meanwhile doesn't complete political war goals and is less defensive terrain, which is an important factor considering the ferocity and utility of Chinese light infantry. Meanwhile, Na Drang was already considered a loss on the ground when they called in the broken arrow strikes, which are the only strikes that reasonably had a chance to hit the 1/7 HQ company. Taking it out doesn't stop the individual elements from being lunatics and pressing assaults of firepower into the Vietcong lines, and that plus the absolute horde of CAS strikes are what won the battle.