Saturday, July 03, 2010
The "What If" Scenario of History
Looking back on history, it can often be easy to overlook
But in the case of Operation Sealion, Nazi Germany's planned invsion of Britain -- averted by defeat in the Battle of Britain -- historical distance should actually increase the sense of the urgency Britons must have felt while fighting the air battle against the Luftwaffe.
The documented plans for the occupation of Britain revealled a plan to lull Britons into a false sense of security, then oppress them brutally.
It seems clear that econommics was at least one of the weapons to be used against the populace in occupied Britain. The exchange rate set by the Nazi government was to be extravagantly favourable to the British Pound.
One can see this in the true-life occupation of the Channel Islands (occupied as a prelude to the attempted invasion of Britain).
This was to be followed by systematically hunting and killing those whose names were found in the pages of the "Black book" -- German emigres like Sigmund Freud and Britain's literary and intellectual elites.
Even authors as otherwise unthreatening as Virginia Woolf were to be killed by Nazi death squads operating in Britain.
The "what if" scenario is one that has proven popular in history as in fiction. The "what if" scenarios presented by history are all the more unsettling because of the looming prospect of reality.