An alternate timeline by Althistorian 2005.
What if Hitler had been killed by an artillery shell in World War 1?
1931: Due to the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression caused by it, Japan decides to invade the Chinese region of Manchuria for natural resources.
1933: Due to the absence of Hitler, the German Communist Party takes power in the weak Weimar Republic.
1934: A Soviet-German alliance is easily signed. The Rhineland is then remilitarised since Britain and France fear a war against the USSR.
1935: Italian dictator Benito Mussolini leads an invasion of the weak African state of Ethiopia. The invasion is widely condemned by the League of Nations, but Britain and France are once again too cowardly to even close the Suez Canal, fearing a war with Italy.
1936: The Spanish Civil War starts, but the Republicans eventually win in 1940 due to the German and Soviet support overpowering the Italian aid.
1937: Soviet troops march into Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Britain and France protest, but are once again deterred by military force. Meanwhile, the occupied countries are annexed as three new Soviet SSRs.
1938: Britain and France try to ally with Japan against the Soviets, but Italy beats them to the prize. Thus, three blocs emerge, just as two blocs had emerged before World War 1:
- The communist bloc/Comintern: Germany, USSR
- The fascist bloc/the Axis: Italy, Japan
- The capitalist bloc/the Entente: Britain, France
Britain and France then try recruiting the smaller states of Europe, hoping they will collectively make a difference. Greece immediately joins the capitalist camp, although others are more reluctant, preferring to stay neutral and hoping the left- and right- wing extremist blocs will simply leave them alone.
1939: Albania is annexed by Italy, but the rest of the smaller states shrug it off.
1940: Without warning, the Red Army storms into Finland, finally giving the signal that the smaller states of Europe will not be left alone, no matter what. The result is that the smaller states of Europe begin flocking to Britain and France, looking for protection from the communists and fascists. Military budgets immediately rise all over the continent, stimulating numerous economies. Later, a Soviet-Finnish armistice is signed.
1941: The European Defense Alliance (EDA) is created to unify the defense against Comintern and the Axis. The members are:
- the Netherlands
That December, Japan attacks British, French, and American bases in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, starting the Pacific theater of World War 2. Italian East Africa, as well as Italy proper, are soon invaded in retaliation.
1942: Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and Yugoslavia join the EDA. Turkey and Czechoslovakia soon follow suit. Then, the entire EDA declares war on Japan and Italy.
1943: Comintern attacks the EDA, starting the European theater of World War 2. By now, Italy has been defeated, essentially ending the Axis, freeing Albania as an EDA member, and enabling the EDA to quickly counterattack. Also, the Chinese Communists turn on their temporary Kuomintang allies.
1944: EDA forces steamroll Germany, but Poland is lost to Soviet troops, although Finland successfully resists the Soviet attacks. Poland is later liberated, followed by a massive EDA offensive that reaches the vital cities of Stalingrad and Leningrad, although Moscow temporarily evades the EDA's grasp.
1945: The Pacific theater ends with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Then, American troops invade eastern Siberia, in accordance with previous agreements. Leningrad and Stalingrad are taken, followed by Moscow, Vladivostok, etc., etc. The Soviet Union is soon defeated, setting the stage for whatever comes next. Stalin is later executed, along with his most loyal generals.
1946: The Soviet Union and Germany are both split into three occupation zones: British, French and American. In Asia, British and French colonies are restored while Korea and the Japanese home islands are completely occupied by the US. Meanwhile, democratic elections are held in Italy while the UN (United Nations) is formed, with Britain, France, and the USA as the only Security Council members, unlike OTL.
1948: Democratic elections are peacefully held in Germany and Russia. Korea is also released from American occupation, although Japan remains under it. Meanwhile, India gains independence, soon being split into India and Pakistan. This sets off the long-term process of decolonization, the independence of former European colonies. Meanwhile, British Palestine also gains independence, but Jewish settlers (with American and EDA support, essentially securing UN support as well) and the native Arabs (with the support of neighboring Arab countries) begin fighting over the land, starting the seemingly endless Arab-Israeli conflict.
1949: Germany, Italy and Russia join the EDA while the Chinese Communists are finally defeated.
1951: Japan is peacefully released from American occupation and the US military budget begins to drop while Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania join the EDA.
1952: Austria, Andorra, and Liechtenstein join the EDA, which is then renamed the EU (European Union).
1954: A joint space program between the EU and the USA begins, aiming to place a man on the moon by at least the end of the next decade (1960's).
Decolonization continues while the space program reaches the moon in 1969.
1974: The Carnation Revolution occurs in Portugal, overthrowing the Estado Novo regime and freeing all Portuguese colonies.
1976: Francisco Franco dies, allowing the Spanish transition to democracy and the freeing of all Spanish colonies.
1977: Spain and Portugal join the EU, which now covers all of Europe except Switzerland.
1979: The Iranian Revolution occurs in Persia, establishing the Islamic Republic of Iran.
1980-8: Saddam Hussein's Iraq attacks Iran, starting the Iran-Iraq War, 8 years of stalemate.
1982: The Falklands War happens.
1990: Bankrupt from the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq invades its southern neighbour Kuwait on the alleged grounds of direct and indirect economic sabotage, including accusations of slant drilling and deliberately increasing oil production to lower oil prices, thus directly and indirectly disrupting Iraqi petroleum revenue, respectively. The UN then forms a coalition to repel Iraqi forces from Kuwait, which succeeds the following year.
1993: The EU agrees to an economic union in addition to the existing military union, furthering the prospect of a European Federation sometime in the future.
2001: Due to the absence of a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in OTL, the 9/11 attacks don't happen.
2007: The 2008 financial crisis begins, eventually being termed the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Not much happens, although the Arab-Israeli conflict continues.