What if nuclear weapons weren’t invented at all

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Goldenarchangel, May 2, 2019.

  1. Goldenarchangel Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2016
    So say that Einstein’s theories were either not taken seriously or accidents and failures cause the Manhattan project to be scrapped (with similar things happening to any other nation developing) . How would the allies deal with japan and not long afterwards would there be a world war 3 between the West and the Soviet Union since there is no MAD risk applied here . Would there even be a Cold War afterwards
  2. Ian_W Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2015
    For a start, the US has a bunch more war economy it can devote to other things.

    Secondly, Japan still surrenders on schedule or starves. I'm also pretty sure the Allied casualties from invading Japan would have been lower than the high-side estimates.

    Thirdly, why would there be a WW3 between the West and the USSR "not long afterwards" ?
  3. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

    Apr 13, 2007
    Syracuse, Haudenosaunee, Vinland
    The simple fact of the matter is that physics was advancing at a steady pace. To stop nuclear weapons with a PoD after 1900 would require a major collapse of society. A disaster on the scale of the Black Death.

    Even if Einstein isn't around, Special Relativity (which is where E=mc^2 comes from), is a direct result of the Michelson-Morley experiment. Things like the Lorenz contraction actually predate Einstein. Sure instead of one genius developing the whole theory in a single paper, it might take several people up to a decade. But it will happen.
    And nuclear physics development is completely independent of Einstein, anyway, up until fission is seen (and the amounts of energy it releases can be calculated).

    Delaying a Bomb past *WWII? Easy. Delaying one past, say, 1960 gets tough, and every decade after it gets exponentially more unlikely.

    So. No.
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  4. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Tennessee, North American Union
    If Japan doesn't surrender before the invasion--which is very possible, since the Soviets had declared war and were rapidly destroying the Kwantung Army and attacking the Kurils, which combined with the impending famine would give serious support to those who advocated peace--then the invasion will be at minimum just as bad as the OTL predictions (which relied on nuclear weapons in many places).

    The extra money the US gets from not having the Manhattan project is interesting though.

    The key factor is how fast can either hypothetical side produce nuclear weapons. The US had the advantage in nuclear weapons into the 1950s, for instance. But if there are no nuclear weapons at all until, say, 1960, then we might not have a serious threat of nuclear war before 1970, which will affect the decisions made by both the US and USSR in the Cold War.
  5. Catsmate Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2008
    1. Not enough to stop nuclear weapons development.
    2. Not sufficient to stop the project.
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