For want of a nail the shoe was lost
For want of shoe the horse was lost
For want of a horse the rider was lost
For want of a rider the message was lost
For want of a message the battle was lost
For want of a battle the war was lost
There have been instances where, if a single action had not been taken, history would have been very different. Let us look at just one example (remember, imagination goes into this as there is no way of telling for sure what would and wouldn’t have happened).
It is known that Arch Duke Fedinand was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, thus starting off WW1. What isn’t often explained is the following. Ferdinand’s motorcade was actually attacked earlier in the day by people in league with Princip, injuring several police officers. Princip thought he had lost his chance and went to a cafe, where he sat outside. Ferdinand went to the hospital to visit those injured in the attack, and it was on his drive back that the driver took a wrong turn only for the car to break down…..right outside the cafe Princip was sat outside. The rest is history.
If not for the assassination, WW1 likely wouldn’t have happened the way it did.
Britain could have stayed out of the war, there was no real economic reason for us to get involved. there was no threat to our country or our empire. If they had, the Germans would have most likely swept across France and Belgium, winning the war on the Western Front easily.
Without a Western front the Russians would have been quickly overwhelmed (in the first 30 days of the conflict they had used nearly half of all their artillery ammunition for example). There would thus have been no need for the Germans to smuggle Lenin into Russia to ferment the Russian revolution. The Tsar likely wouldn’t have been overthrown, and Communism would have likely not taken foot in Russia the way it did. It would have remained an idea pondered over by Absinthe swilling intellectuals.
Without the loss of WW1, there would have been no Treaty of Versailles, and this no reparations for Germany to pay. The communist wouldn’t have got a foot hold in Germany, which meant the countries credit rating wouldn’t have been decimated and thus the hyperinflation would most likely not have happened.
Hitler would have returned to Austria, and would not have had the environment that was right for him to preach his doctrine. There would have been no need for the fascists to rise up against the communist threat because the country would have been strong enough to cut that head off the snake, and the Beer Hall Putsch likely wouldn’t have happened. Mein Kampf would never have been written.
The Ottoman Empire would not have collapsed the way it did, and the Western powers wouldn’t have divided up the middle east into the countries that are now threatening to tear each other a new one.
– WW2 wouldn’t have happened as it did.
– Einstein would never have left Germany and he would never have written his letter to Roosevelt urging the USA to build the atomic bomb
– Stalin wouldn’t have come to power
– Chairman Moa wouldn’t have made his great leap forward
– There would have been no Nazi death camps
– 2.5 million German soldiers wouldn’t have been starved to death in USA and French prisoner of war camps at the end of the war.
All because a car broke down after making a wrong turn.
There is also the view that the events happened the way they did because there was no other way for them to occur.
What one thing that happened in your life changed things for the better or the worse? Perhaps it hasn’t happened yet.
That’s the way it looks from here
Dr Stephen Hudson BDS, MSc, PGD Med law, PGC Dental Law & Ethics