With the interminable wait for season three of Amazon Prime’s portrayal of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle concluding on October 5th, we pose the singular question underlying the series thus far: How could the Axis powers have defeated the United States and its Allies in The Man in the High Castle Universe? The following interpretation is one possible “universe” of The Man in the High Castle. One in which we explore the biggest question for most viewers: How the Axis won WW2, or more specifically, “How did the US lose World War II?”
As the show straddles the genres of Alternate History and Science Fiction, the world of High Castle is based on counter-factual history. That being said, the scenario below is extrapolated from historical events that could explain the tragic collapse of the Allies, and ultimate rise of the Axis powers.
The Man in the High Castle Universe: What went wrong?
(A stark contrast in the two above maps that mark the conclusion of the historical and fictional WW2)
For an American living in the 21st Century, Allied victory in the Second World War is even more fundamental to their worldview than the American Revolution of 1776. It is, after all, the founding story of the modern United States and the current world order as we know it.
The concept of the Allies losing to the satanic enemy of Nazi Germany and its Axis collaborators hits home in primordial fashion. Axis victory is a concept so deeply disturbing, the dystopia such a defeat would entail is nearly unthinkable. Yet in the High Castle universe, that is exactly what happened. So, what exactly went wrong in the High Castle timeline?
How the Axis won WW2: The Man in the High Castle Universe Historical Contradiction
In the High Castle universe, many well known events of the Second World War have outcomes clearly contrary to the viewer’s universe. In both the series and the classic novel, details are scarce as to exactly how the Axis managed victory over the Allies.
Putting aside the little information divulged by the show so far – including Nazi Germany’s clear development and use of the first strategic nuclear weapon – what happened to the Allied nations that allowed this disaster to occur? While there are several distinct possibilities, one must start with the life and career of one Sir Winston Spencer Churchill.