Nuclear non-proliferation feasibility in Harry Turtledove's novel - Settling Accounts: In at the Death

I am currently reading the ebook version of Harry Turtledove's novel - Settling Accounts: In at the Death.

It is the last novel of the Settling Accounts tetralogy that presents an alternate history of World War II.

In the last chapter, at the end of WW2, only the US and German Empire, both allies, have nuclear weapons technology and unlike the Cold War in OITL, both powers agreed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons technology to the other powerful nations of this alternate world, which were mainly Britain, France, Russia and Japan.

Reading the book, I got the impression that it was a a much more militarized world, with censorship levels approaching that of a police state, even in the US.

The President of this alternate world, Thomas Dewey, publicly pledged alongside the German Kaiser to prevent the spread of nuclear technology beyond their own countries.

Is that feasible? Reading through some of the older threads in this forum and on reddit, I sometimes get the impression that some of the forummers here believe that so long as an industrialized state with 1950s technology (which is what Britain, France, Russia and Japan are in this ATL) with a ready supply of uranium put their minds to it, that state will eventually get to atomic weapons.
 
Is that feasible? Reading through some of the older threads in this forum and on reddit, I sometimes get the impression that some of the forummers here believe that so long as an industrialized state with 1950s technology (which is what Britain, France, Russia and Japan are in this ATL) with a ready supply of uranium put their minds to it, that state will eventually get to atomic weapons.

The United States and Germany may be able to prevent nuclear proliferation in their respective backyards. But in Asia, it's open season. Japan's territories effectively give it everything it needs to build it's own arsenal. The US and Germany would have to get the UK on side if they want to stop Japan from becoming a nuclear power.
 
Feasibility depends on the lengths one is willing to take to enforce it. If those lengths include delivering a dose of canned sunshine to any facility deemed as a probable nuclear weapons site, then yes it is absolutely feasible. If they are not willing to go that far, probably not
 
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I imagine that the Imperial Japanese would have exploded their first superbomb somewhere in Outer Mongolia, no later than 1950 or so. There are uranium deposits intermixed with coal seams in Manchuria and Siberia, and if the Imperial Japanese could have figured out how to build the right type of centrifuge needed to refine weapons grade uranium, then what would stop them? If Chairman Mao could build an atomic bomb in our timeline, then probably the Japanese in the 191 universe could do so just as easily. However, I don't think that anyone else, including the Russians would be able to get away with it for a very long time.
 
The United States and Germany may be able to prevent nuclear proliferation in their respective backyards. But in Asia, it's open season. Japan's territories effectively give it everything it needs to build it's own arsenal. The US and Germany would have to get the UK on side if they want to stop Japan from becoming a nuclear power.
The Novel did have a sub-plot where the UK was mentioned as potentially providing Imperial Japan with atomic technologies.
 
I imagine that the Imperial Japanese would have exploded their first superbomb somewhere in Outer Mongolia, no later than 1950 or so. There are uranium deposits intermixed with coal seams in Manchuria and Siberia, and if the Imperial Japanese could have figured out how to build the right type of centrifuge needed to refine weapons grade uranium, then what would stop them? If Chairman Mao could build an atomic bomb in our timeline, then probably the Japanese in the 191 universe could do so just as easily. However, I don't think that anyone else, including the Russians would be able to get away with it for a very long time.
Pardon my ignorance, as I am a newbie but how does the timeline numbering actually works, like assigning 191 to the Settling accounts universe written by Turtledove?
 
During the actual real life US Civil War, Confederate General Lee issued Special Order 191 to his troops during the Battle of Antietam. Unfortunately for the Confederate the courier carrying the order to the field commanders lost it somehow, and it was picked up US Soliders. Once Special Order 191 was in US hands, the Union then had a pretty good idea of what Lee had planned. - So in the Southern Victory series by Harry Turtledove, the main point of departure is supposed to be that the Confederate courier doesn't lose the order he is carrying, Lee is successful, and then the British decide to grant the Confederacy diplomatic recognition. - So I just started referring to events in the Southern Victory series, including In at the Death as events occurring in the 191 universe, or maybe 191 timeline. I think that there is a Wikipedia article about Turtledove's Southern Victory series which explains all of this much better than I can.
 
I am currently reading the ebook version of Harry Turtledove's novel - Settling Accounts: In at the Death.

It is the last novel of the Settling Accounts tetralogy that presents an alternate history of World War II.

In the last chapter, at the end of WW2, only the US and German Empire, both allies, have nuclear weapons technology and unlike the Cold War in OITL, both powers agreed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons technology to the other powerful nations of this alternate world, which were mainly Britain, France, Russia and Japan.

Reading the book, I got the impression that it was a a much more militarized world, with censorship levels approaching that of a police state, even in the US.

The President of this alternate world, Thomas Dewey, publicly pledged alongside the German Kaiser to prevent the spread of nuclear technology beyond their own countries.

Is that feasible? Reading through some of the older threads in this forum and on reddit, I sometimes get the impression that some of the forummers here believe that so long as an industrialized state with 1950s technology (which is what Britain, France, Russia and Japan are in this ATL) with a ready supply of uranium put their minds to it, that state will eventually get to atomic weapons.
The UK and the CSA also had developed and used a nuclear weapon 'superbomb" on Germany and the USA although they were on the losing side. One gets the idea that France,Russia and Japan probably were not that far behind. The CSA nuclear specialists were either eliminated or co opted by the USA. Even though Britain and the other Entente nations were on the losing side unless Germany did something similar to their nuclear scientists it seems to me that all of them still would have the ability to make more superbombs since those in the know wouldnt just forget how to make them just because they were on the losing side...
 
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The Novel did have a sub-plot where the UK was mentioned as potentially providing Imperial Japan with atomic technologies.

There's probably a temporary exodus of British and French scientists to Japan after the war, since Japan will want their expertise and will have money to throw at them. Confederates too, if any avoided getting swept up by the US Army. I expect Japan to join the nuclear club by 1950, and if Moscow can get its act together (Petrograd is known to have gone up in nuclear fire; a second RCW might happen in the late 1940s) they might follow by the 1960s.

With a German victory, it's likely that India also gains independence shortly after GWII--so that's another potential nuclear power.

TL191 has at least four nuclear-armed countries by 1944, all of which have used the bomb, and a tripolar world order. There's no way nuclear non-proliferation can be effective in those circumstances.
 
There's probably a temporary exodus of British and French scientists to Japan after the war, since Japan will want their expertise and will have money to throw at them. Confederates too, if any avoided getting swept up by the US Army. I expect Japan to join the nuclear club by 1950, and if Moscow can get its act together (Petrograd is known to have gone up in nuclear fire; a second RCW might happen in the late 1940s) they might follow by the 1960s.

With a German victory, it's likely that India also gains independence shortly after GWII--so that's another potential nuclear power.

TL191 has at least four nuclear-armed countries by 1944, all of which have used the bomb, and a tripolar world order. There's no way nuclear non-proliferation can be effective in those circumstances.
I would expect there is a good chance nuclear proliferation is much worse in this world with not only France,Russia,Japan, and maybe India and Pakistan getting it eventually but perhaps even South Africa and the Ottomans ittl.
 
I would expect there is a good chance nuclear proliferation is much worse in this world with not only France,Russia,Japan, and maybe India and Pakistan getting it eventually but perhaps even South Africa and the Ottomans ittl.
I don't recall any mention of South Africa in the books, though I'm inclined to suggest Germany might have forced independent Boer republics on Britain in the aftermath of GWI, which would be escalated to a German-aligned SA after GWII. If South Africa is a German client state, it might actually be one of the less-likely nuclear powers.

Ottomans: Should be riding high on oil profits after annexing Azerbaijan, and holding Arabia, and possibly gaining a co-dominium over the Suez Canal--the defeat of France might also give them a chance to reassert dominance in Egypt and North Africa, at least in a broad sort of Islamic League (though, IIRC, a lot of the big movers and shakers of WWI-era Turkey were rather contemptuous of North African bedouins due to their experiences in the war with Italy--the Ottomans might not have any interest in Africa outside Egypt). The latter 20th century will be looking very bright for them as that money will help them paper over their OTL problems. Like OTL Iran, a nuclear program is likely for them.

India and Pakistan--maybe the partition doesn't happen at all. But India might look at Japan as an example to follow--so we could be looking at an India that follows Subhas Chandra Bose's lead. Definitely another likely nuclear power.

France: will want nukes, but Germany will be breathing down their necks, so I doubt they'll be able to pull it off without triggering a preemptive strike from Germany.

Then there's the South American countries--who knows what they'll get up to? The US wasn't in a position to enforce the Monroe Doctrine until 1917, so they'll have a lot more British, French, and German interest. Argentina or Brazil might be other places to which French and British scientists run off.

Australia is one last possibility that comes to mind as a nuclear power. A British ally, but with Britain beaten and bankrupt after two consecutive lost world wars--will it go to the Central Powers camp in a show of "white solidarity," or will they fall into Japan's orbit? An Australia still enforcing the White Australia policy might be attractive to ex-Freedomite Confederates. And it has its own uranium. But it's small and sparsely-populated compared to everyone else. Maybe they'll play a TTL role similar to OTL South Africa--something of a pariah state known for its racism but which compensates through militarism.
 
Australia is one last possibility that comes to mind as a nuclear power. A British ally, but with Britain beaten and bankrupt after two consecutive lost world wars--will it go to the Central Powers camp in a show of "white solidarity," or will they fall into Japan's orbit? An Australia still enforcing the White Australia policy might be attractive to ex-Freedomite Confederates. And it has its own uranium. But it's small and sparsely-populated compared to everyone else. Maybe they'll play a TTL role similar to OTL South Africa--something of a pariah state known for its racism but which compensates through militarism.

As an Australian, this intrigues me.

Falling into the orbit of an Asian power was one of the worst nightmares of Australian politicians in the years after Federation.

Australia has 30% of the world's uranium and at least in OTL, is considered a nuclear capable state. International politics would certainly convince the government to at least investigate the possibility of nuclear weapons and there was a nuclear enrichment program in the 70s'-80s' that was cancelled by the Hawke government, but one of the major factors that killed Australia's interest in nukes in OTL was the cost of maintaining such a program.

 
As an Australian, this intrigues me.

Falling into the orbit of an Asian power was one of the worst nightmares of Australian politicians in the years after Federation.

Australia has 30% of the world's uranium and at least in OTL, is considered a nuclear capable state. International politics would certainly convince the government to at least investigate the possibility of nuclear weapons and there was a nuclear enrichment program in the 70s'-80s' that was cancelled by the Hawke government, but one of the major factors that killed Australia's interest in nukes in OTL was the cost of maintaining such a program.


In that case, with a militaristic Japan and possibly a militaristic India as their geographically closest neighbors, I think a nuclear-armed Australia by the 1960s is a certainty. The US and Germany won’t like it, but I doubt they’ll have the stomach to do anything about it, and might prefer it to Japanese or Indian hegemony in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific.

Which makes Australia a very likely destination for CS scientists, and war criminals, if they can make it across the Pacific.
 
In that case, with a militaristic Japan and possibly a militaristic India as their geographically closest neighbors, I think a nuclear-armed Australia by the 1960s is a certainty. The US and Germany won’t like it, but I doubt they’ll have the stomach to do anything about it, and might prefer it to Japanese or Indian hegemony in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific.

Agreed. Since Australia cannot rely on Britain to defend it, then it will resort to any methods to ensuring their security, which means a lot of Australian desert is going to be irradiated by nuclear testing.




Which makes Australia a very likely destination for CS scientists, and war criminals, if they can make it across the Pacific.

It'd certainly be a perilous trip, but I think it's possible if they're fleeing the country by plane. If they try to go by sea, then they're sitting ducks since most of South America is aligned with the Central Powers.
 
What about Austria-Hungary? Without the Holocaust, Vienna will have a lot of the nuclear physics talent that IOTL went to the Manhattan Project. During the war, their program is probably subsumed into the German one as Tube Alloys was IOTL to the Manhattan Project--but after the war? Would the Hapsburgs have their own bombs, or would Germany keep them on a leash?

And Italy, further down the line? Which side did they take in TL191's GW and GWII?
 
What about Austria-Hungary? Without the Holocaust, Vienna will have a lot of the nuclear physics talent that IOTL went to the Manhattan Project. During the war, their program is probably subsumed into the German one as Tube Alloys was IOTL to the Manhattan Project--but after the war? Would the Hapsburgs have their own bombs, or would Germany keep them on a leash?

If I was Germany, I would not want Austria-Hungary, an unstable mish-mash of ethnic groups, having access to nuclear weapons (A bit frustrating that Turtledove never said if Austria-Hungary adopted Franz Ferdinand's reforms)


And Italy, further down the line? Which side did they take in TL191's GW and GWII?

Italy was neutral in both Great Wars
 
If I was Germany, I would not want Austria-Hungary, an unstable mish-mash of ethnic groups, having access to nuclear weapons (A bit frustrating that Turtledove never said if Austria-Hungary adopted Franz Ferdinand's reforms)
Since its still around in 1944 the implication is that it did.
 
There's probably a temporary exodus of British and French scientists to Japan after the war, since Japan will want their expertise and will have money to throw at them. Confederates too, if any avoided getting swept up by the US Army. I expect Japan to join the nuclear club by 1950, and if Moscow can get its act together (Petrograd is known to have gone up in nuclear fire; a second RCW might happen in the late 1940s) they might follow by the 1960s.

With a German victory, it's likely that India also gains independence shortly after GWII--so that's another potential nuclear power.

TL191 has at least four nuclear-armed countries by 1944, all of which have used the bomb, and a tripolar world order. There's no way nuclear non-proliferation can be effective in those circumstances.
Actually. I kind of wanted to know, would that have been inevitable? Or isx it because those 4 countries were among the most industralized?
 
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