What if the Axis were "the good guys"?

Nov 2013
586
Kingdom of Sweden
How much of an impact would it have if the Axis powers were "the good guys" in World War II (as in, objectively superior to the Allies from a moral standpoint) and did not commit any of the heinous acts we remember them for today? Would this change the outcome of any campaigns, or even the war in its entirety? And what about after; would we still see trials for crimes against the peace and subsequent oppression of these nations, or would we look at a very different post-war world?

- There is no holocaust or expulsion of Jews under the German government, and its racial policies are not notably worse than other western nations of the time.
- German, Japanese, Italian and other Axis forces do not commit any notable war crimes and are morally on par with, if not superior, to the Allies in terms of how they conduct the war.
- Germany seeks only to restore its old borders, meaning they will still attack Poland for Danzig, but not conquer the whole country. They do not desire any further Lebensraum.
- Other than the German-speaking territories, Germany will support eastern European nations to independently stand up against the Soviet Union.
- Japan sets aside its imperialistic ambitions and genuinely attempts to liberate Asia from western colonialism, as well as help its allies develop and industrialize. The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere will be an alliance based on equality and mutual benefit for all its member states.
- If Japan sends troops to China, it is solely to help a legitimate and independent Chinese government restore the peace. They commit no massacres, rapes or other war crimes, use no chemical or biological weapons, and treat the Chinese people and POWs well.
- If Germany launches Operation Barbarossa, it is solely to destroy communism and liberate the eastern European people from Soviet oppression. They do not commit genocide or attempt to create Lebensraum, and treat the occupied people and Soviet POWs well.
- Whatever other notable war crimes, crimes against humanity or immoral acts the Axis are guilty of that I may have forgotten to list here, also do not happen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,414
SoCal
How much of an impact would it have if the Axis powers were "the good guys" in World War II (as in, objectively superior to the Allies from a moral standpoint) and did not commit any of the heinous acts we remember them for today? Would this change the outcome of any campaigns, or even the war in its entirety? And what about after; would we still see trials for crimes against the peace and subsequent oppression of these nations, or would we look at a very different post-war world?

- There is no holocaust or expulsion of Jews under the German government, and its racial policies are not notably worse than other western nations of the time.
- German, Japanese, Italian and other Axis forces do not commit any notable war crimes and are morally on par with, if not superior, to the Allies in terms of how they conduct the war.
So far, so good.

- Germany seeks only to restore its old borders, meaning they will still attack Poland for Danzig, but not conquer the whole country. They do not desire any further Lebensraum.
AFAIK, Michael Mills previously said (either here or on the Axis History forum) that conquering all of Poland was a part of the deal that the Nazis had with Stalin in 1939. Hitler wanted to keep a nominally independent German puppet Poland but Stalin rejected the idea of having any Polish state at all. That said, though, Hitler could theoretically go back on this deal after he defeats France in this scenario.

- Other than the German-speaking territories, Germany will support eastern European nations to independently stand up against the Soviet Union.
Hitler did do that in real life with the exception of Poland and the Baltic countries, no?

- Japan sets aside its imperialistic ambitions and genuinely attempts to liberate Asia from western colonialism, as well as help its allies develop and industrialize. The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere will be an alliance based on equality and mutual benefit for all its member states.
OK.

- If Japan sends troops to China, it is solely to help a legitimate and independent Chinese government restore the peace. They commit no massacres, rapes or other war crimes, use no chemical or biological weapons, and treat the Chinese people and POWs well.
What is this legitimate Chinese government? The KMT? Or someone else?

- If Germany launches Operation Barbarossa, it is solely to destroy communism and liberate the eastern European people from Soviet oppression. They do not commit genocide or attempt to create Lebensraum, and treat the occupied people and Soviet POWs well.
- Whatever other notable war crimes, crimes against humanity or immoral acts the Axis are guilty of that I may have forgotten to list here, also do not happen.
In such a scenario, the Nazis are probably able to get a lot of Soviet people--especially Ukrainians--to join their war effort. Heck, some anti-Communist Russians might also join the Nazi war effort if the Nazis make it clear that their goal is a liberated and free Russia as opposed to the mass deportation of tens of millions of Slavs east of the Urals. Several dozen million people could form quite a formidable fighting force. In fact, it's possible that this would be enough for the Nazis to be able to bleed the Soviets so dry that the Soviets will agree to a separate peace on relatively pro-Nazi terms. Then, it depends on whether the Western Allies are actually willing to continue the war effort after the USSR's exit from the war.

Also, are the Axis actually going to be able to feed the entire population under their rule in such a scenario? After all, without the Holocaust, they are going to have several million additional mouths to feed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Darth Raidius

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,756
Australia
Complicated. I can see Germany getting away with restoring its old boundaries, although France would have some strong objections. Britain would perhaps make some disapproving noises but would not go to war over it, and may be secretly pleased to see Germany acting as a balance to France as a continental power, and acting to contain the USSR.

Japan though would be a different story. The European powers would not give up their colonies without a fight, although some may well rethink if there is a real determination among the local people for independence. Independence may well be offered in return for the new nation having a pro European policy instead of getting into bed with Japan.
 
Mar 2019
1,992
Kansas
- If Germany launches Operation Barbarossa, it is solely to destroy communism and liberate the eastern European people from Soviet oppression. They do not commit genocide or attempt to create Lebensraum, and treat the occupied people and Soviet POWs well.
Point of order here - Without Poland dismembered. How does Germany launch Barbarossa?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rodger and Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,414
SoCal
Complicated. I can see Germany getting away with restoring its old boundaries, although France would have some strong objections. Britain would perhaps make some disapproving noises but would not go to war over it, and may be secretly pleased to see Germany acting as a balance to France as a continental power, and acting to contain the USSR.
The only way that Britain and France refuse to fight over Poland is if Germany doesn't occupy Czechia earlier.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,675
How much of an impact would it have if the Axis powers were "the good guys" in World War II (as in, objectively superior to the Allies from a moral standpoint) and did not commit any of the heinous acts we remember them for today? Would this change the outcome of any campaigns, or even the war in its entirety? And what about after; would we still see trials for crimes against the peace and subsequent oppression of these nations, or would we look at a very different post-war world?

- There is no holocaust or expulsion of Jews under the German government, and its racial policies are not notably worse than other western nations of the time.
- German, Japanese, Italian and other Axis forces do not commit any notable war crimes and are morally on par with, if not superior, to the Allies in terms of how they conduct the war.
- Germany seeks only to restore its old borders, meaning they will still attack Poland for Danzig, but not conquer the whole country. They do not desire any further Lebensraum.
- Other than the German-speaking territories, Germany will support eastern European nations to independently stand up against the Soviet Union.
- Japan sets aside its imperialistic ambitions and genuinely attempts to liberate Asia from western colonialism, as well as help its allies develop and industrialize. The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere will be an alliance based on equality and mutual benefit for all its member states.
- If Japan sends troops to China, it is solely to help a legitimate and independent Chinese government restore the peace. They commit no massacres, rapes or other war crimes, use no chemical or biological weapons, and treat the Chinese people and POWs well.
- If Germany launches Operation Barbarossa, it is solely to destroy communism and liberate the eastern European people from Soviet oppression. They do not commit genocide or attempt to create Lebensraum, and treat the occupied people and Soviet POWs well.
- Whatever other notable war crimes, crimes against humanity or immoral acts the Axis are guilty of that I may have forgotten to list here, also do not happen.
It would chnage the entire leadup and context of the war such that it's NOT ww2.
 
Last edited:

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,624
Dispargum
If Germany does not persecute the Jews German science and weapons development probably receives a boost. Many Jews were scientists and technicians who would have worked to develop Germany's wonder weapons if not for Nazi racial policies.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,248
Italy, Lago Maggiore
To be really [but just partially] the "Good Guys" Italians and Germans had to be attacked by US, France and UK. That is to say the Western allies would have had to invade Germany and Italy [may be to topple the two dictatorships].

The first problem is that a dictatorship is never good and you cannot be a good guy if you run an expansionist policy regardless existing borders, international treaties, agreements ...

So, no, there was no possibility for the Axis powers to be the "Good Guys".