View Full Version : One book, one person-- an interesting what if

11 Mar 11,, 14:14
From the SM Stirling list, a very interesting what-if/what-would-you-do type of adventure.

Alien Space Bats appear before you and will transport you and one- and only one- book to the Dec 1941 wartime meeting of Churchill and FDR in Washington, as they are planning the grand strategy of WWII.

You appear in a glowing flash of light right in their midst, so they have an inclination to take you a bit more seriously.

What book would you choose?

Tarek Morgen
11 Mar 11,, 14:19
Does it have to be a book that currently is in ones personal belongings? (Meaning, go to your bookshelf, grab a book and then jump into the Delorean, or could we pick any book in existence?

If a work/book was released in several volumes, does it count as a single Book? Or would we have to choose one specific one?

11 Mar 11,, 14:40
I suppose the most recent CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics and my own memory of history and engineering would be of some use. A lot of work went into those tables of materials and such. And the articles on technology could speed things up a bit - electronics, materials etc..

11 Mar 11,, 14:46
Probably reach for 'old faithful' - Wint & Calvocoressi's single volume history of WW2 (ut has gone under various names). A necessarily flawed work, but manages to capture all the important stuff in one volume.

Other single volume works by Martin Gilbert & Basil Liddell hart might be possibilities, thouhg I wonted if Churchill would tal B L-H seriously.

11 Mar 11,, 18:22

nope, doesn't need to be in your belongings. i'd say just one specific book, too.

we discussed what if one had a kindle, which would allow you to stuff 3000+ books...with that in hand, i wouldn't be surprised if by 1945 the US was using late-50s/early 60s technology!

11 Mar 11,, 18:25

i considered WWII histories but for the most part butterfly effects would make them useless for all but general lessons after a few months. if you're a WWII buff like me, you could get that down into a few lines, say:

-change/fix the malfunctioning Mark 14 torpedoes
-develop an assault rifle/at least changing the Garand to hold more rounds,
-making an upgunned/uparmored Sherman,
-having soldiers practice more realistic drills/shooting

on a more strategic level, imprinting in Roosevelt that Stalin really -was- an incorrigible bastard and to change the makeup of Lend-Lease (more food, ammo, artillery, fewer trucks), and to tell Churchill that the Empire was inevitably going to break up after the war and to do a better job with decolonization. Memorize the names of some major Soviet spies...

Tarek Morgen
11 Mar 11,, 18:44
I assume the hitchhiker's guide is not allowed?

My first idea was (if limited to books in my beloging) was the complete diary (well ok the first few months of the war are missing) of the OKW. The other idea (though not really based on any specific books) would be less directed at improving the allies warfare, but to prevent/slow the holocaust. Though the given timeframe would be a bit short for any hope of a raid during the Wannsee Conference.

On the other hand it would also be quite conflicting to do anything at all. All the advices and information one could bring might give the allies some early victories, but might change the overall outcome of the war to one even less desirable.

21 Mar 11,, 00:24
How to Make a Nuke.

21 Mar 11,, 07:03
So, we have to take back a book that was already in print when the meeting takes place? Did Patton write a book before he was fired.:)

Albany Rifles
21 Mar 11,, 18:57
Harry Potter...that way they could stop Voldemort before he got to strong. :-)