12-months research fellowship on West German – Chinese cultural relations during the Cold War (University of Venice)
I can't agree that Germany's strategic situation was better in the 1920s than it was in 1914. This was true in both the long-term and the short-term.
Larry Grant writes in jest, of course, of the "Austrian paper hanger" but where this urban legend begin? As we know, young Adolph in his Vienna years (not so horrific as he has led us to believe) spent his free time making cheap paintings for the backs of chairs, etc. and doing a lot of reading. I've done enough paper-hanging myself to know what damnable chore it is, and well beyond his scatter-brained abilities in those pre-pre glued paper-hanging days.
This discussion is very interesting. I am especially intrigued by John T Kuehn's post about Stalin's geopolitical focus on China, since I'm currently doing research related this matter. One thing that strikes me is that although the Soviet Union is both a European as an Asian power, much of its center of gravity is in Europe. The Soviet Union's ability to project itself into Asia is limited due to a lower population and also over-reliant on the Trans-Siberian railroad.
Enjoying the “what if’s” as an exercise in intellectual gymnastics. A few related thoughts....
I remember a similar paper/book based on the idea of the South winning our Civil War. One of the suggestions was that the North would not have had the money nor interest to buy Alaska from Russia. Couple that with these thoughts just posted - makes for another interesting twist to things.
Going with Larry's counterfactual approach in the first part of his post, I think what we might see then is a different dynamic in the far east. This will be the area for a more dynamic and violent history rather than Europe.