Superpower Australia

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Hannibal.Caesar, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Hannibal.Caesar Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2007
    I am not sure whether or not this should be posted in the pre-1900 forum, but I'm posting it here since most of the WIs I'm interested in involve the 20th century. I'm definitely open to hearing that this is the wrong place for it, or if there's way too many butterflies for this to happen.

    Anyway, what would the situation look like in the south Pacific at the dawn of WWII if the English, instead of the Dutch, controlled what is now known as Indonesia? IMO I could see the Australians in control of the islands under a British mandate, much like the early situation South Africa and South West Africa.

    What would the Japanese response to this situation be like? Barring any history-devolving butterflies, would this change the course of WWII much?
  2. Riain Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    Australia controlled German New Guinea mostly, as a mandate, between WW1 and 1975 and it didn't do us much good in WW2. Nor did the Dutch controlling the East Indies, the French in Indochina or British in Malaya and Borneo. But if I understand your intention correctly, you'd like the Japanese advance contested less by absentee landlords and more by powerful-ish locals, ie Australia?

    There are plenty of scenarios which see Australia more populous and developed, and therefore much more powerful, by 1940. There was a very detailed one a while ago which had Ausrtalia undertaking the post WW2 immigrastion and industrialisation in 1919 rather than 1946. I think it went too far, but an Australia with 12-15 million in 1940, and some serious industrial development over 20 year could really put up a fight against the Japanese in 1942, although I don't know that the Japanese would do to counter this. My favorite is to have Australia settled from 1650 in the wake of slightly better Dutch exploration. An extra century of settlement would make a huge difference in 1940, in this secnario the Japanese would do nothing because it would be the established order of things for them.
  3. Ferdinand Koenig Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    San Jose, Northern California
    The Japanese would still have intended to include Australia within the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, even if it had been settled by the Dutch in the 1600s. A richer, more powerful Australia would have given the Japanese further impetus to push south, not less. They bombed Darwin IOTL. If the Japanese hadn't been stopped at New Guinea and Guadalcanal, invading Australia was definitely on the menu.
  4. Riain Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    No it wasn't, the IJArmy rejected it when the IJNavy proposed it, saying that it would be too hard. Making Australia more powerful would only make it harder, and perhaps even prevent the IJN suggesting it in the first place.

    A more developed Australia would have greater infrastructure, like a rail link to Darwin, which enable Australia to use Darwin as a base for offensive action.
  5. Joseph Solis in Australia Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2008
    Kingdom of Australia
    My favorite Superpower Australia scenario is:

    In 1630, Dutch explorers from Batavia in Indonesia reached the coast of Darwin Australia. Ten years later, Dutch government decides to colonise Australia and first batch of Dutch settlers from Batavia in Indonesia have arrived in Darwin. Then, the Dutch explore the continent of Australia for almost hundred years until they reach the South east Australia (comprises the present day of Sydney and Melbourne) and by 1680, Dutch have reached Tasmania and decides to colonise it. During the colonisation of Dutch in Australia for 200 years, Dutch population increased extraordinarily and by 1850, almost all people in Australian continent are Dutch with few remaining Aborigines. The population of Dutch Australia in 1940 is 15 million. Much rapid industrialisation in Australia starting 1850. Much better standard of living in Australia than in OTL with GDP per capita of $50,000 (exchange rate basis). Australia is a military superpower in Asia-Pacific. In 1942, Australians repulsed the Japanese at the Coral Sea.
  6. Weaver Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2008
    New South Wales, Australia
    Nah, the Brits would have taken it from the Dutch at the same time as the Cape Colony, during the Napoleonic War in 1806 for the second and final time.

    The Dutch problem was being occupied by the French, making all their colonies fair game for the Brits. I'll never understand how they were permitted to keep the Dutch East Indies.
  7. Letum Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2008
    This is all, of course, assuming that the British controlling the only major dutch colony, and one with significant natural resources, has absolutely no impact on the colonial development of other, less attractive areas (including Australia), no effect on their financial might and thus on the wars of the latter few centuries, will not cause the British to see south-east Asia as a strategically important holding, will still allow Japan to modernize with little foreign influence, gain significant overseas islands and possessions in China and be swept up by a rabidly nationalist and expansionist movement, will still lead to a Sino-Japanese war in 37, will still lead to an oil embargo, and still result in a Japanese march to the south in 41.
  8. Nugax talks in diagrams

    Mar 15, 2008
    London's sludgy aorta
    They were required to open the DEI to british business to a large extent, and were pretty much dependent on British naval supremacy to underwrite their policies. Thus Britain got money and commercial access without the trouble and expense of having to actually run things (see Argentina ;)).