Would India have been better off had the Axis won World War II?

Discussion in 'Military History' started by civfanatic, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Would India be better off if the Axis won World War II?

    Assume the following:
    1. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and not Nehru, becomes India's first prime minister.
    2. The Bose government is pro-Axis and allied with the Japanese.
    3. Britain is devastated by the war and is in no position to exercise control over its colonies.
    4. Partition, which was historically supported by the British, never occurred.
    5. India and the Axis powers, particularly Japan, maintain friendly relations for the forseeable future.

    Possible benefits for India:
    1. No Partition, no Pakistan, no Kashmir issue. Islamic fundamentalism is not a major problem.
    2. Tibet remains de facto independent, and there is no PRC in India's backyard.
    3. No British/American control over strategic territories in the Indian Ocean, such as Diego Garcia.
    4. The economic needs of India and Japan are complementary. Japan needs raw materials and a large market, which India can provide. India needs investment and technology, which Japan can provide.
    5. No Gandhi dynasty in Indian politics, and marginalization of the Congress Party.

    I might add on to this list as discussion ensues.


    I understand that this a controversial topic for many people, and that many foreign members here have had their countries historically suffer under the Axis powers. However, I request to all posters to avoid making emotional statements, and use clear logic only. As a disclaimer, I am not personally pro-Axis, and this thread is for historical debate purposes only. Please refrain from personal attacks. Thank you.


    EDIT: Assumption 5 added for sake of simplicity in discussion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Great topic and great thread civfanatic!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Thanks LF. What is your opinion?
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I think in many ways it would have been better for India and many other nations( initially) for a very short time. If this had happened there would be no UN security council(P5). No NATO, there would possibly be no islamic terror as we know today??? In many ways the world would be totally different. The questions also arises if Hitler had won knowing his view of "The master race" would he have continued warring??? His philosophy in many ways could not coexist in a multicultural world that we live in today. If the Japanese had won would they have stopped at Burma or pushed westward??? Both the Germans and Japanese had strong convictions and many atrocities were carried out from these beliefs would the world have seen even more atrocities?? What if Germans had completed their work on atomic weapons before USA did?? We also possibly would not have had the relations we had with Russia because Russia may not be what we know today??Also what would happen to other alliances like ABCA?? Israel and many other Eastern European nations may not exist today.
     
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  6. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Indeed, the world would be radically different from what it is today. That's why it's so difficult to predict the "alternate future", so to speak, and why I started this thread.

    The biggest questions that are raised are: 1) Would the Japanese have pushed westwards from Burma?, and 2) How far was Hitler willing and capable of going?

    For Question 1, I don't think they would have. If you look at Japanese policy in Asia, they generally established local puppet governments in the areas they conquered, and usually avoided direct administration. There were a few exceptions in regards to states against which the Japanese had historical enmity, such as Korea. The whole of Korea was directly administered by Japan. However, for territories on the "fringe" of Japanese influence, such as Siam, they let the local governments remain where they were, and simply ensured that they were allied with Japan.

    Considering the sheer size and population of India, its distance from Japan, lack of historical Indo-Japanese enmity, and its unification under strong leaders like S.C. Bose, I don't think it is possible for the Japanese to conquer India like they did with China. Nor do I think it is in Japan's interests to attempt to conquer India.


    Question 2 is far more difficult to answer. I have to leave now, but I will post a response when I get back.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  7. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    I hate to break up the feel good vibe here, but lets be realistic:

    1) There would still be a UN, as it was an extension of the League of Nations started after WWI.
    2) I can assume the lack of a partition and the possibility of Chandra Bose as PM, but I cannot assume that Britain would necessarily be devastated. Britain might take the opportunity to target India first rather than focus on the Japanese; which would have a different outcome.
    3) There would be no Taiwan, and also the chance of no Tibet either. The Kuomintang would not be able to handle attacks from the communists, Japanese fascists, and an Indian enemy on top of this. The Japanese would also be able to inflict greater amounts of genocide against the Chinese, Koreans, and others in their wake.
    4) The possibility of no Russia, but in the mean time the communists would have also targeted India which could have had mixed results. Russian relations would have never developed with India if they survived the war.
    5) Who is to say such a relationship would be realized between Japan and India? Prior to WWII, the Japanese imperialists set up meetings with leaders of various Asian countries which were anti-western in nature, only to attack and annex land from those countries later on. Puppet regimes tended to just be a temporary measure.
    6) There would be no guarantee of an axis victory in Asia. Japan was losing during WWII, who is to say India would not be the next target of allied forces, or even a nuclear strike? India might even be further divided up than it is today.
    7) No guarantee that even if the war ended on a positive note, that Hitler would not target India eventually. Who is to say Japan would pick India over Germany as an ally? Who is to say they would even pick either and just sit out such a conflict?
    8) Israeli relations with India would have also never happened, assuming their country would survive the war. The Germans would have killed them off.
    9) There would be the possibility of no ASEAN. Japan would have annexed most of these countries. Genocide would have been caused here as well.
    10) Eastern Europe would have been wiped off the map and replaced with Lebensraum.
    11) Population and size don't account for much here. India wasn't highly industrialized like most of the Axis and Allied powers, and its population was around the same size of China which was losing (initially) against the Japanese. Also factor in the fact that the Japanese had a very large navy and air force.
     
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Japan withdrew from the league of nations in the 1930's. Germany was excluded from the League of nations after ww1 and Italy also withdrew from the league of nations in 1937. The question of the viability of the UN is what would be the relevance of the UN if the losers are running it?? what influence would it have if there was no military power backing it??and what could it do against the axis which would most likely do it's best to prevent or discourage any types of alliances it viewed as a threat??
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This would have been unlikely India was still part of the British Empire during this time,with 5 million Indian soldiers fighting for the allies on many fronts. The British did not view the Indian freedom movement as a threat and viewed it more as rebels. Indians also during this time could have capitalized on England's weakened position and used it as leverage, but most Indians remained loyal to England till the end of ww2.
     
  10. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    Who is to say they would lose if India joined the Axis? The Americans were historically the first to gain nuclear weapons, and they were beating the Japanese.
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Taiwan was already a part of Japan before ww2. Tibet was an independent country and would have possibly remained so if the pressure from the Japanese increased on the Chinese??
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India would have been just gaining independence ;joining any kind of alliance would have been the last thing on any new government's mind.
     
  13. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    That may be true, but India did not have an air force or navy to compete with allied/axis powers at the time. I also stated this in the rest of my points. Having that many soldiers does not guarantee an immediate victory, the Kuomintang had a similar sized armed forces and were losing against the Japanese for years.
     
  14. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    Isn't that part of the premise, that India benefits from the Axis?
     
  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Hypothetically what would stopped an axis power from setting up industry in India if India had decided to join the axis?? India did have an industrial base where many spares and heavy weaponry and raw goods were used to supply the allies.
     
  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    not necessarily I think it is more a debate of would the outcome have been better for India in the present time??
     
  17. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    Hmm.... One point worth considering is if Indians would want this to happen? The Axis powers killed tens of millions of people even when losing the war, imagine the genocide they would have inflicted had they won? Would the Indians be happy with a pro-Axis puppet in charge of their country? What happens if India wanted to move away from such a scenario? Would the Japanese and Germans let them if they are relying on Indian resources? Wouldn't the rest of the world also suffer since quite a large amount of scientific breakthroughs and world prosperity happened under the Americans in the last 65 years?
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This is an interesting point, it would just be another form of colonialism. When the library at Alexandria was burned down it is said the world lost 700 years of knowledge something along the same lines would have happened.
     
  19. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    In that scenario would India hv been able to have a democracy it enjoys today? There could have been no USSR, no UK (or reduced to another Vichy France). The remaining powers surrounding India would hv been the axis Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan, all "totalitarian" plus their likes Spain (Franco) and Portugal. the US would hv been in isolation without the global clout we see today if Allies failed. There could have been no de-colonization in Africa or Mid East as Germany or Italy would have taken over them from old empires.
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This is very true Ohimalaya the Germans demonstrated they were not a loyal ally when Hitler betrayed Stalin and attacked Russia after a treaty was completed between the two. I doubt the Germans or Japanese would have stopped or respected anybody's territorial integrity in the pursuit of their beliefs.
     
  21. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The UN would be even more useless than it is today if the Axis won.

    Britain was overwhelmed by the Japanese on every front in the opening stages of WWII, including in Hong Kong, Malaya, and Singapore. The only reason why they were able to stall the Japanese advance in Burma is because of the millions of Indian soldiers that fought on the British side there. If those Indian soldiers turned against the British, they would have no chance.

    Also, the British were being targetted at home by the Luftwaffe. Would the British consider India more important than their own island?

    We assume that the Japanese retain control of China, which they did throughout World War II. The Tibetans were not Japan's enemies and were not India's enemies either.


    What?

    That was true only in regards to Korea and parts of China, which I have already mentioned.

    Also, the relationship between Japan and India's National Liberation Army (Azad Hind Fauj) existed in real life, so I am not making that up. I am just assuming that they won the war.

    Obviously, the whole point of this thread is to assume that Japan and the Axis won the war.

    The Allies, in this case, would have much more pressing things to worry about than India.

    Why can't they be allies with both? India being Japan's local ally in Asia, Germany being its global ally.

    And the possibility of Hitler invading India are incredibly slim.

    No relevance to India at the time.

    No relevance to India at the time.

    No relevance to India.

    The only reason why the Japanese were able to conquer China was because China was highly unstable politically with numerous competing factions, such as the Nationalists, Communists, petty states like Yunnan and Sinkiang, and warlord families like Xibei San Ma and the Guangxi Clique. It was only because of this atmosphere of political disunity that the Japanese triumphed in China.

    I have already posted the reasons why it would not be likely for Japan to repeat what they did to China in India. It would also be more beneficial for the Japanese to sponsor an already friendly and popular leader than create another enemy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011

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