Weird World War
Conventional, historical war with sci-fi, fantasy or supernatural elements thrown in.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-01-24 07:53:43 sponsor: vynsane edited by: marcoasalazarm (last reply: 2014-01-18 13:05:14)

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Tags: Needs More Examples, Do We Have This, Rolling Updates

This specific flavor of Alternate History deals with a point of divergence that occurs during one of the larger-scale wars, usually (but not limited to) World War One or World War II, with the added caveat of sci-fi, fantasy or supernatural elements thrown in for good measure. Examples can include use of weapons or technology that haven't been invented yet, vampire and/or werewolf soldiers, mysticism, and alien intervention.

World War II examples will overlap heavily with Ghostapo, Stupid Jetpack Hitler and We Didn't Start The Führer. Often is a sub-trope of Diesel Punk.


  • Arrowsmith is set in an Alternate History Earth in which the United States of America is actually the United States of Columbia, Magic is real, and the World War One is fought with and by dragons, spells, Vampire$ and all other kinds of magical weapons and beings.
  • AtomicRobo features the eponymous nuclear-powered automaton in adventures throughout his 80-year backstory. So far one story has taken place during his time as a soldier in World War II.
  • The Captain America franchise in general. The USA and Germany both have science research departments that result in Super Soldier programs, crazy technologies, weird semi-demonic villains, and more.
  • DC Comics had a series entitled WeirdWar; heavily on the supernatural side.
  • Hellboy - On the brink of defeat, The Nazis, with the help of Grigori Rasputin, are about to bring forth The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Dr. Manhattan was used as a weapon in Vietnam in Watchmen, which changed the course of the war.



  • "The Fantastic World War II" includes stories by A.E. Van Vogt, C.M. Kornbluth, Lester Del Rey, and Harry Turtledove. Basically every story is an example of the genre of "weird WWII" in some way or another. It includes such stories about Sir Francis Drake participating in the Dunkirk evacuation, Count Dracula dining on Nazis, a Nazi teleportation device, and an entire army of cloned Hitlers.
  • Subverted in Harry Potter - Grindelwald played a big part in World War II. Had it not been for Dumbledore's intervention, perhaps it WOULD have changed history.
  • The Guns of the South, by Harry Turtledove, racists from the future travel back in time and give modern machine guns to the (at that point in the war) losing southern army. Needless to say, they crush the north after receiving this unfair advantage.
  • Leviathan takes place during an Alternate History World War One fought between the steampunk technology-using Clankers (Central Axis) and the Darwinists (Allies), who are using genetically engineered animals.
  • The non-fiction book My Tank Is Fight! by Zack Parson shows the various Real Life plans the Nazis had drawn up for WWII tanks and other vehicles, which if they had been built would have certainly qualified for this trope. For example, the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte, a super-large tank that would have been 35 feet long and over one thousand tons heavy. Other examples include bizarre spinning rocket planes and an aircraft carrier made out of ice.
  • World War by Harry Turtledove involves the Earth invaded by aliens during World War II.


  • The GURPS "World War II" line included Weird War II. Want to use rune magic to send giant monsters against the alien supersoldiers working for the other side? It's in here.

Tabletop RPG
  • Pinnacle Games published a Weird Wars line of d20 games taking place in Real Life past and future wars with supernatural additions. For example, Weird War II had the PCs playing Allied soldiers during World War II, but the Nazis had mutant soldiers, characters could use haunted vehicles and cast spells, and there were monsters. Lots of monsters. The Updated Re-release of the game line for Savage Worlds so far includes World War II ("Weird War II"), The Vietnam War ("Tour Of Darkness"), and the Roman Empire and its campaigns of conquest ("Weird Wars Rome").


  • The Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series deals with Albert Einstein developing a time machine during World War 2, finally finishing it in 1946 and killing Hitler in 1924, only to have World War II now involve America and her Allies (including Germany) fighting the Soviet Union and their allies.
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