Proposals and War Aims That Didn't Happen Map Thread

Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by Beedok, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. Mr. Bubbles Well-Known Member

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    My attempt at the Qattara Sea Project, the idea to fill up the largely desolate and uninhabited depression in the Sahara into the world's 13th largest lake.

    The idea has existed for many years, but one variation on the idea by Friedrich Bassler, as a way to make building the necessary canal more economically feasible, was to drill 213 boreholes in a straight line and place a 1.5 megaton nuke in each of them. Blow them up at the same time and instant canal!
     
  2. Admiral A. Kolchak Supreme Leader

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    So a bit of brief research reveals that the average nuke costs about 1.8 million USD, so 213 nukes, even small ones, would be several times less cost effective than the Suez Canal, which is several times longer than the canal needed to connect the Qattara and the Med.

    So not a good idea under any criteria.
     
  3. oshron Emperor of Rplegacy

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    i could see it used in a narrative project displaying the folly of some Egyptian regime, though. they become a nuclear power in their own right, build nukes, work on the canal using those nukes for the excavations, and then it all goes to shit as the nuclear detonations irradiate the nearby area and create some kind of Chernobyl-like conditions and contaminated water or something. i've actually had the mental image of a sign proclaiming the great work done on Qattara and what a glorious thing this is for Egypt with a much crappier-looking sign warning about radiation poisoning along with some barbed wire and such in front of it ever since the concept was mentioned earlier in the thread.
     
  4. GorillaTheater Well-Known Member

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    A total of 320 megatons-worth of explosions going off at once ... That seems, you know, pretty insane.
     
  5. Mr. Bubbles Well-Known Member

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    Bassler was inspired by Eisenhower's speech about "Atoms for Peace" and the potential non-military use of nuclear weapons, such as their earth-moving capabilities. To be fair, he wasn't completely insane. He did calculate the necessary dimensions for the canal and the resulting inflow needed to match the evaporation rate. He thought that this could also be used for its hydroelectric benefits, with designs for generating 5,800 megawatts across multiple different power stations.

    The many problems with his idea:
    • All the radioactive sand, dirt, and water that would result from 213 nukes going off at once, settling in the surrounding areas, potentially spreading across Europe, the Middle East, and across Africa; all resulting in a very unhealthy body of water.
    • While only about 363 people live in the Qattara, 25,000 people would need to moved or evacuated for the project to be constructed. The logistics of that just sound nightmarish, not to mention the 3 million active landmines still around the area left over from the second World War would make that much more difficult. All of which could've been disturbed by the detonation as well.
    • As if millions of old mines weren't bad enough, there were concerns that the shock wave from the explosion could've destabilized the Red Sea Rift. If the shockwaves from a single 50 megaton nuke could circle the Earth 3 times, imagine what a combined yield of 320 megatons could do.
    • More mundane, but still worth consideration are the issues of coastal erosion due to the change in flow from the canal and the salinity of the new Qattara Sea, since there's no way for salt to get out once it's there, which could turn the whole thing hypersaline.
     
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  6. oshron Emperor of Rplegacy

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    i love this idea--and i'm thinking i'll be implementing it in my ASB ATL after i do some more research into it--so i decided to look up the first part of the problems with this. prevailing winds over that rough area blow west and southwest, so said irradiated materials would probably just go over southwest Egypt, possibly into Libya and Chad. not as disastrous as it could be, but obviously still very bad.
     
  7. Mr. Bubbles Well-Known Member

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    I'd definiteley love to see the ATL where this happens!

    Also, while the prevailing winds do go those ways and could still be problematic, there's also the Sirocco winds, which, depending on the time of year, could blow some of the fallout across the Eastern Mediterranean, where it could reach places like Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy, and possibly even Albania and Yugoslavia. Probably not as much as would fall in Chad and Libya, but definitely not healthy for the people there.
     
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  8. oshron Emperor of Rplegacy

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    in which case i'd probably deliberately set it to take place when those Siroccos are blowing--the quasi-apocalyptic concept of a radioactive sandstorm from a botched ATL geoengineering project is just too good to pass up!
     
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  9. Mr. Bubbles Well-Known Member

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    Another on the list of bad geoengineering ideas, here we have the Northern River Reversal, originally conceived of in the 1830's and not officially scrapped until 1986.

    The concept is pretty simple: by changing the flow of the Pechora, Tobol, Ishim, Irtysh, Ob, the Northern Dvina, and other rivers from flowing "uselessly" into the Arctic Ocean, the USSR planned to use their water to irrigate Central Asia. These would bring in new water to refill the shrinking Aral and Caspian seas, and provide food for an estimated 200 million people. This redirected flow could also provide the USSR with huge amounts of hydroelectric power.

    Sounds good, right? Well, the problem is that the proposed Pechora-Kama canal, which would link the Pechora with a tributary of the Volga river, would be built using at least 250 nuclear bombs, with three of them in the 15-kiloton range and spaced 165 meters (540 ft) apart just to open up the Pechora. The Soviet government claimed that surface pollution would be "manageable" and the resulting fallout would be "negligible."

    The environmental impact of this would be even worse than the Qattara Project. Without these rivers flowing into the Arctic, the water around there would become more and more saline, lowering its freezing point and possibly triggering an even worse warming cycle. Others feared the opposite might happen: without warmer water from the rivers, the arctic ice cap might expand. This could change climate patterns across the region and around the world, resulting in less rain falling across Russia and Central Asia. Either way, it was enough to kill the project before any serious construction could be done.
     
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  10. Drex Alférez de caballería

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  11. Chris S Member

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    Did the proposal involve diverting all of the flow of those rivers or just some? Because I'm just wondering how they could stop all of the flow into the Artic. Wouldn't some of the flow still end up in the Artic and some end up in the Aral?
     
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  12. Mr. Bubbles Well-Known Member

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    I can't find many specific details, but I imagine it would be about diverting the majority of the flow, not all of it. Still enough to cause serious environmental concerns, of course.
     
  13. lordroel Well-Known Member

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    Map of how the United States could look like if it entered a war and lost in 1937.

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  14. Clandango Disestablishmentarianist

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    I do love how they never say who would get what. In fact, for the red area they just say it would be divided up. All the map seems to say is that, no matter what, the US would lose a war horrendously. I am guessing it is everyone versus the US.
     
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  15. Chris S Member

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    This doesn't really seem to fit this thread though, since it's less of a proposal and war aim, rather than a projection of what could happen by a domestic publication. It's more of a war scare map.
     
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  16. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    The "Germany will gobble all of the things if they win WWI" maps were also war scare maps, made by the French. Does that mean that they don't belong in this thread either?
     
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  17. Chris S Member

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    I don't really think they do to be honest.

    EDIT: I suppose if those and this most recent map are considered as proposals as to what could happen if the enemy won then they do belong. Kind of a grey area I feel.
     
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  18. Albidoom Fuzzy Thing

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    In the end, they didn't get enough votes...

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  19. htgriffin Member

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    I can see how this is a tempting idea, especially at the time, but pushing for either one or the other (I am inclined towards option A) works far better.
     
  20. Clandango Disestablishmentarianist

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    I presume the highest office any Blacks would be able to reach in that area would still be Vice President.