The most ASB moments to happen in history... that still happened (Post-1900)

Your average European from the 19th Century would've called "ASB!" (well, not really, but something with similar meaning) if someone told him/her about the rise of the NSDAP and the Third Reich...
 
Nearly every "Great Power" of the 19th Century either being destroyed, self-destructing, or falling by the wayside through the course of the 20th Century except for the US could possibly count...
Ehh. If a historian from an ATL were to look at TTL in the early 1900s and told that only one Great Power would never collapse, they'd pick the United States. Germany and Austria-Hungary were surrounded by enemies, the Russians and Ottomans were backwards, France and Britain relied on their empires, Japan and Italy were weaker than the others, China was already visibly teetering, and meanwhile there's the United States with no hostile neighbors, massive resources within its borders, and already a top-two economy well on its way to claiming the top spot.
 
ok, keeping with the falling,
No chute, and fell thru a roof.
From 22,000 feet

The tail gunner from a Lancaster did the same thing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Alkemade), 18,000 foot jump out of a burning Lanc, suffered a sprained leg on landing after his fall was broken by pine trees and deep snow.

Edit - just clicking through the related links at the bottom of that article and it's actually happened a few times - Vesna Vulovic holds the world record for the highest fall without a parachute after she was on an airliner that was blown up at 33,000ft and eventually made a virtually full recovery from a fractured skull, three broken vertebrae, broken legs and ribs and a fractured pelvis!
 
Last edited:
If it actually happened in OTL, it is, by definition, not ASB.

ASB does not mean 'unlikely' or 'improbable'. It means for X event to be possible, it would require manipulation by alien space bats to make it possible. A 'one in a million' shot is not ASB, just very unlikely.

To claim that an actual event is ASB literally means that the claimant is asserting that alien space bats exists and are actively involved in human history.

Yes, the ridiculous and extreme over-and-misuse of the term ASB is one of my pet peeves.

I probably have the best claim of anyone alive to know what the original meaning of ASB was (Alison Brooks, who devised the term, was my wife until her untimely death in 2002).

You are quite right that ASB is an impossible event, the rhetorical equivalent of "and I wave a magic wand". It's original use was as a mechanism to grant certain impossible feats to indicate how, even with that, the described course of events is still not going to happen.

The two first examples were: A poster claimed that Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg succeeds (never mind how), and Lee's army marches on Washington and captures it. The ASB deployed was that even if the AoNV had magical bullet pouches that never emptied, and that all their wounded magically got better in an instant, and they marched on Washington, with the strong state of the Washington defences, the lack of heavy siege artillery in the AoNV, and so on, Washington ain't going to fall.

The second was that old chestnut, Sealion. Someone had claimed that with long-range drop fuel tanks, the Germans could have gained air superiority over the RAF and Sealion triumphant. ASBs were deployed to grant the Me109 infinite fuel and ammunition, such that they never needed to return to base except for repairs, but otherwise were 100% available over Britain. Then it was stated that, even granting this, the number of Me109s available was insufficient to carry out the tasks they had been allotted, and etc.

Alison got really pissed off at how ASBs were used as an impossible start for something, as the intention was to use them to indicate where claims fall apart. The "even if we grant this impossible thing, it still ain't gonna work" use. She described the term as a Frankenstein monster that had got completely out of control, with: "ASBs do this and isn't it all very whacky". She grew to accept that it had a place in granting an impossible start point, provided that the logic is followed through. Thus: "What if ASBs grant X-Men like mutant powers to 1 in 100 people on their reaching puberty", from which she developed a story, half-finished, about trying to teach in a High School under such circumstances. Bearing in mind just how unpredictable teenage students going through puberty can be at the best of times. Sadly, she died before being able to complete the story.

Unlikely is not ASB. How I met Alison was unlikely in the extreme, but by definition, it can't be ASB because it happened (even if Mills & Boon did reject the plot concept as being too unrealistic).
 
From Barrack Obama ridiculing Trump at a banquet, were he finishes by dropping the mike to Donald swearing his oath as President ( in front of the largest crowd ever in the world).
 
From Barrack Obama ridiculing Trump at a banquet, were he finishes by dropping the mike to Donald swearing his oath as President ( in front of the largest crowd ever in the world).
This thread is about events that happened, and Trump's inauguration crowd was not the largest in American history, much less the largest crowd period.
 
Al Qaida successfully pulling off 9/11.

I still think about how ridiculous that was. It's like the fever dreams of a Michael Bay movie, except it actually happened. The Hollywood style fireballs coming out of the Twin Towers, the dramatic crash of the second plane on television...there's a part of it that still seems unreal to me even watching stuff about it all these years later.
 
Last edited:
The creation of Israel. Whatever your opinions on that...controversial...topic, the fact that all these European Jews got there, brought back an ENTIRELY DEAD LANGUAGE none of them spoke natively, and then militarily defeated their vastly more populous neighbors in repeated conflicts would seem absurd if it hadn't actually happened.

The rise of Japan is pretty nuts, too. The idea that the only country in Asia with basically no natural resources became an industrialized powerhouse and went from third to first world while dominating the likes of China is pretty ridiculous.

The U.S. staying together in its early years and coming to rule the whole continent is pretty nuts, too. It could have split apart any number of times at the Hartford Convention or along the north-south divide, it could have been conquered, and if the revolution had happened a few years earlier or later, it probably wouldn't have succeeded. Instead...world hyperpower. Wow.
 
Last edited:
The creation of Israel. Whatever your opinions on that...controversial...topic, the fact that all these European Jews got there, brought back an ENTIRELY DEAD LANGUAGE none of them spoke natively, and then militarily defeated their vastly more populous neighbors in repeated conflicts would seem absurd if it hadn't actually happened.
Agreed. The revival of Hebrew is really hard to believe.
The rise of Japan is pretty nuts, too. The idea that the only country in Asia with basically no natural resources became an industrialized powerhouse and went from third to first world while dominating the likes of China is pretty ridiculous.
No, not really. Japan had very favourable circumstances (high literacy, good state institutions) and I would say it’s lack of natural resources actually helped them. The relative uselessness of their land insulated them from any European attempt at conquest; they were simply just not interested. By 1900, Japan had already crushed China 5 years prior. It’s not as if they were particularly lucky anyways, they still lost in WW2. Their only major victory was against Russia in 1905, and that’s not implausible enough to be considered ASB.
The U.S. staying together in its early years and coming to rule the whole continent is pretty nuts, too. It could have split apart any number of times at the Hartford Convention or along the north-south divide, it could have been conquered, and if the revolution had happened a few years earlier or later, it probably wouldn't have succeeded. Instead...world hyperpower. Wow.
I agree, but this is the post-1900 forum, btw. Just a heads-up, you might’ve forgotten to read the headline.
 
That nuclear weapons were only used twice, and that to preempt a bloody and costly invasion expected to take millions of lives, and were never actually used again in armed conflict. That somehow all the various false alarms and heightened tensions did not result in it once would all be considered ASB, despite a little event called the Cold War.
 
From Barrack Obama ridiculing Trump at a banquet, were he finishes by dropping the mike to Donald swearing his oath as President ( in front of the largest crowd ever in the world).
Sir, can you PLEASE not talk about modern politics. I should’ve add anything after 2002 not to be talked about
 
Top