What If The Berlin Blockade Sparked WWIII?

After the war(WWII) ended and the victors split Europe down the middle, Array it was clear that the guns would now be pointed at each other. The cold war had come. “Bring out your ‘Duck and Cover’ manuals!” “The commies are coming!” As we know, even after a series of close calls, the Soviets and Americans never did duke it out. But Wargaming came to me in the sponsor saying how in their new “World of Tanks: War Stories”, the first crisis, the Berlin crisis, starts World War III, right off the bat, in 1949. So, I imagined: What might’ve happened if the Berlin Blockade escalated into full-out conflict? In an alternate timeline, Europe barely has time to recover before the Americans and Soviets battle in another world war. (Sorry, guys.) Welp, before I talk about the alternate history, let’s talk about the actual history. Even though it seems like, common sense now, after the war, it wasn’t certain that Germany would be split into two parts. It was originally four separate occupied zones. British, French, American, and Soviet respectively. Berlin was divided as well inside the Soviet zone. Western powers began to move towards a more permanent solution. The rebuilding of Germany with a new German currency (the Deutschmark), and the unification of the three zones, including, West Berlin. This plan infuriated the Soviets, who saw it as ganging up on their territory. In a bluff to threaten the western powers to get rid of the Deustchmark and West Berlin, they blockaded the western half of the city, stopping all supplies from coming in. This was the very first Cold War showdown. The allies used a legal loophole which allowed for cargo planes to fly over the city. They were non-combatant, and unless the Soviets straight-up shot them down, they couldn’t do anything. Long story short, American and British planes dropped supply crates to aid the isolated people of the city. The Soviet blockade had failed. It not only made the people trapped hate the Soviets, but it gained sympathy for the Americans. Not wanting this moment to be the hill they died on, the Soviets pulled back the blockade and the crisis was over. West Germany united and the Deutschmark became the currency for West Berlin. But what if in alternate timeline, something had gone wrong? The chance of either side actually forcing a war is very unlikely. Neither wanted a fight. It was just bluster. The Soviets wouldn’t test a nuclear bomb until later that year, so Stalin knew they would lose in an actual fight. The best way World War III could happen… is by accidentally stumbling into it. This could be for many reasons. Say those cargo planes are shot down by Soviet anti-air. There is no Berlin air left to make the blockade obsolete. The people of West Berlin and two American divisions are now trapped in the city with no food. It’s now a humanitarian crisis, needing greater resolve. General Curtis LeMay knew the Soviets were bluffing. He believed the Soviets knew America wouldn’t do anything to risk war. He wanted to challenge them by sending troops through eastern Germany right to Berlin in a show of force. In this alternate timeline, his plan is approved. The Americans, in response to shot down planes, send in tank divisions right over to Berlin to meet the blockade. American and Soviet armor, face to face. The greatest gamble the world has ever seen. Who would back down? The Americans couldn’t afford a war, because they didn’t have the troops to defend West Europe. The Soviets couldn’t afford a war, because they didn’t have a nuclear arsenal. Just one skirmish could spark war that nobody was prepared for. And in this alternate timeline, it does. The Battle of Berlin begins in 1949 as gunfire breaks out. The battle is short-lived as endless Soviet tanks and men pour in from the East. The Americans are overrun. World War III has begun. A war in 1949 would be odd. The West didn’t have the numbers and are easily pushed back by Russian armor. For a bit, the Soviets could hold on to much of France and the West. But this would really be nothing more than a quick last-ditch attack. It’s not like they could hold ON to this territory, and both sides knew it. As without a nuclear arsenal, the Soviets would ultimately lose the war. The U.S. military strategy was to nuke 200 of the largest Soviet cities in event of a war. So if World War III did break out, it’d go back and forth quicker than Korea. As the Russians win in the West, the Americans send an endless barrage of nuclear bombers east. Just one plane getting past Russian defenses means the absolute destruction of a city. In an odd twist, if war broke out in 1949, the Americans could’ve actually won. Nuclear hellfire would bring more destruction to the Soviet home front in the span of a year than Nazi Germany did in all of World War II. There would be no way for the Soviets to fight back as the United States wouldn’t send troops to the eastern front. It simply bombed them into submission, crippling their economy and depopulating their homeland. World War III would be more like nuclear genocide of Eastern Europe. Enough to cause complete collapse of society. The Soviet conventional force would be neutralized without a central command and made obsolete. Western Europe would’ve seen many numerous battles, except for Britain. Yet, soon, they would either surrender from lack of supplies, or be nuked themselves. If complete war broke out like it did in the last two world wars, neither side would hold anything back to reach their objective. In 1949, there is no such thing as mutually assured destruction as ICBM’s were not invented yet, and the Soviets had no bomb. The Americans were in a clear advantage, even though their allies would see most of the home front damaged from Soviet armor. In our timeline, the reason why war didn’t break out was because nobody wanted a fight, and the thought of them fighting is interesting. So, what do you think would’ve happened? Like this video and subscribe if you have not done so. This is Cody of AlternateHistoryHub. You know, while researching this, I actually was interested in how this would look. And as a massive fan of World of Tanks, I was actually excited they introduced “War Stories”. For those that don’t know, World of Tanks is an online multiplayer game where you command a single tank in a game 30 other players. Also in tanks. The are 450 historically accurate World War II tanks from two decades you can pick from. It regularly updates and continuously has new stuff, which my friends actually don’t shut up about. And best of all, it’s free to play. And on all PS4 and XBox One consoles. So, you can get into it easy. Now, they’ve introduced “War Stories: Flashpoint Berlin”. It’s a story-driven alternate history campaign where war actually broke out during the Berilin Blockade. So, you might not actually have to imagine. By clicking the link below, you can grab your free tank, garage slot, and three days of premium game time while this lasts. The number of registration codes is limited, so, sign up while you can. This is Cody of AlternateHistoryHub.
Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm_OglgWvsg

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