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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > History Library > Alternate Timelines

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Alternate Timelines The great "what if's" of military history.

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  #1  
Old 29 Feb 04, 09:56
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What if Germany won WW1

What if Germany won WW1? What if during the First Battle of The Marne, in 1914, Paris was captured and French and British resistance collasped. If France and Britian fell Russia would fall soon after. What would the world be like then? Would their ever be a WW2, if there was would it be fought by the same countries? Would Germany become the new superpower of the world? How long would the Kaisers remain in power? Just intereseted in people's thoughts on this one.
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  #2  
Old 29 Feb 04, 11:27
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Jeez, that's a tough one. People are always asking what would have happened if Hitler had won WWII, I've never really thought about the possibility of Germany winning WWI.

If France fell, no doubt the British would simply retreat to their own shores and defend their islands. I don't see an invasion defeating Britain - it would have been even less likely than it was in “our” WWII, but I do see the serious threat of Britain being starved into submission by the German fleet - and by early U-Boats.

Once Germany had the use of French ports, and without the necessity of diverting vast amounts of supplies to the Army, I think it would be a relatively straightforward task to blockade Britain with a reinforced German fleet and prevent food and other items getting through. Britain would be forced to sue for peace - I don't see that her colonies would have been in any position to assist in her plight.

German terms would no doubt be harsh - and I can imagine that vast areas of the British Empire would have been ceded to Germany to buy the peace.

So now you have an invigorated Germany with a large Empire to contend with. After that, it's anyone's guess what would happen next...

Would there have been a World War II? Yes, but not as we know it. Ultimately, assuming an outright German victory in the Great War, I can see political conflict arising between a German-controlled Europe and the USA. If it ever escalated to actual warfare, this wouldn't be along the lines of warfare as we know it during "our" World War II, but would probably be fought exactly like the Great War in our proper timeline - remember, there would be no Tanks for starters, they were invented by the British in "our" WWI, and none of the tactical lessons uncovered in the actual WWI would have been learned by either side.

Does anyone else want to postulate how a battle like this would resolve itself?

Regards,

Dr. S.
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  #3  
Old 29 Feb 04, 16:28
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Be realistic:

Austria-Hungary would still eventually fall apart.
Italy would get kicked
Russia, very likely the USSR anyways.

However......

95% of the world indemmnity (read debts)
were in NON-Alliance hands. So if the Entente lost the war....
The USA would lose ALOT of money...I mean a HUGE amount.

So the USA would not be left in good shape.
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  #4  
Old 29 Feb 04, 16:51
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irreverent
Be realistic:

Austria-Hungary would still eventually fall apart.
Italy would get kicked
Russia, very likely the USSR anyways.

However......

95% of the world indemmnity (read debts)
were in NON-Alliance hands. So if the Entente lost the war....
The USA would lose ALOT of money...I mean a HUGE amount.

So the USA would not be left in good shape.
I agree that Austria-Hungary would still fragment as it encompassed too many ethnic/religious groups (as we're still seeing today in the former Yugoslavia), but as for the rest I can't see what you propose happening.

Italy didn't enter WW I until 1915, so it may very well have remained neutral in scenario stated.

If Germany was so successful in 1914 I doubt they would have been as inclined to send Lenin back to Russia, hence no communist revolution.

And the US wouldn't have loaned anywhere near the amount you meantion, because the war would have ended much sooner.
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  #5  
Old 29 Feb 04, 21:01
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lance Williams
I agree that Austria-Hungary would still fragment as it encompassed too many ethnic/religious groups (as we're still seeing today in the former Yugoslavia), but as for the rest I can't see what you propose happening.

Italy didn't enter WW I until 1915, so it may very well have remained neutral in scenario stated.

If Germany was so successful in 1914 I doubt they would have been as inclined to send Lenin back to Russia, hence no communist revolution.

And the US wouldn't have loaned anywhere near the amount you meantion, because the war would have ended much sooner.
Russia was ALREADY in trouble, as witness the Russo-Japanese
war. Russia needed to industrialize, and its social inertia was
fighting that every step of the way. I mean they assassinated
a Czar, just for trying to make the system work.

If Germany won in 1914, yes, the USA would not have loaned as much as it had by 1916. But it would still suffer the default
of the British loans.

I see a alternative German victory in 1917 when the USA DOESNT
enter the war, and the French army mutinies.
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  #6  
Old 29 Feb 04, 22:56
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Germany wins WWI

Probably the net loser would be France, though not so bad as one might expect. Britain escapes essentially unscathed, their fleet ends any thought of a German amphibious op. Germany may annex some French territory, though the primary cost to France would be a "leasing" of , say, St Nazaire and La Rochelle to Germany for 99 years. (giving Germany the open seas port they have long coveted) Belgium would also pay for their resistance to Germany, possibly a similar "leasing" of Antwerp to Germany. Netherlands and Denmark are relatively untouched, other than perhaps signing on to a German "defense association" (to protect from who?). Russia, seeing the writing on the wall, makes an early peace with Germany. Their cost: Russian Poland. A small price to pay, but they're in the middle of a revolution. This is better than the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was. Austria-Hungary, already on its deathbed before the "Great War" disintegrates, freeing up the Balkans, Austrian Poland, and Austria's holdings in Italy. Italy is left alone, while a collection of Balkan territories are melded into something a German diplomat calls "Yugoslavia", a client state of the German empire. Poland also falls under a German governorate. The remainder of the Balkans (Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece and Albania) remain relatively sovereign, and Austria reverts to an appendage of Germany.

Probably there will be a World War II in some form. Maybe the Bolsheviks decide they want Poland back. Maybe France (and possibly Belgium) grow tired of German hegemony. Maybe Germany just decides it has been peaceful for too long, and decides to start something.

In the end, even Germany's empire will fall. Such is the fate of all empires (including the American). Empire breeds entropy, entropy breeds decay, and decay is the beginning of the end of empire.
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Old 01 Mar 04, 18:07
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We forget that WWII was drivin by conflicting left wing idiologies, National Socialism (Fascism) and International Socialism (Communism). Historically, National Socialism, which defines the world in terms of a struggle be ethnic nation states, found a fertal ground in a defeated Germany. I would suggest that it would have even more fertal ground in a defeated France. And a Nazi France would have been more dangerous and more horrific than Nazi Germany was - and it was already a close run thing. As for Russia, while the Tsar was tottering, it is not clear that communism would have won out in 1915. They may have turned to some form of republic or forced the Tsar to cede power to the Senate, while remaining Tsar, in an attempt to copy the British system.
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  #8  
Old 02 Mar 04, 15:31
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Re: Germany wins WWI

Quote:
Originally posted by hogdriver
Probably the net loser would be France, though not so bad as one might expect. Britain escapes essentially unscathed, their fleet ends any thought of a German amphibious op. Germany may annex some French territory, though the primary cost to France would be a "leasing" of , say, St Nazaire and La Rochelle to Germany for 99 years. (giving Germany the open seas port they have long coveted) Belgium would also pay for their resistance to Germany, possibly a similar "leasing" of Antwerp to Germany. Netherlands and Denmark are relatively untouched, other than perhaps signing on to a German "defense association" (to protect from who?). Russia, seeing the writing on the wall, makes an early peace with Germany. Their cost: Russian Poland. A small price to pay, but they're in the middle of a revolution. This is better than the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was. Austria-Hungary, already on its deathbed before the "Great War" disintegrates, freeing up the Balkans, Austrian Poland, and Austria's holdings in Italy. Italy is left alone, while a collection of Balkan territories are melded into something a German diplomat calls "Yugoslavia", a client state of the German empire. Poland also falls under a German governorate. The remainder of the Balkans (Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece and Albania) remain relatively sovereign, and Austria reverts to an appendage of Germany.

Probably there will be a World War II in some form. Maybe the Bolsheviks decide they want Poland back. Maybe France (and possibly Belgium) grow tired of German hegemony. Maybe Germany just decides it has been peaceful for too long, and decides to start something.

In the end, even Germany's empire will fall. Such is the fate of all empires (including the American). Empire breeds entropy, entropy breeds decay, and decay is the beginning of the end of empire.
I think that's a pretty good capsulization of what might have happened. I agree England would lose little on the international stage, maybe some of its African colonies to Germany.
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  #9  
Old 04 Mar 04, 22:41
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History tends to show that people join the winning or stronger side. If Germany in fact, had won world war 1, instead of being attacked, it would get more allies. Smaller countries side with the large countries that are winning the war.
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Old 05 Mar 04, 03:59
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The notion of a National socialist France isnt so far-fetched. After all,many dont realize that most countries of the period had Neo-nazi parties in the open just as they did communist ones.

Since France and quite possibly England would lose a lot of hold on their colonial possissions,I cant halp but wonder the fate of
Africa and Indo-china and quite possibly India.
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Old 05 Mar 04, 17:59
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Quote:
Originally posted by SGT Long
The notion of a National socialist France isnt so far-fetched. After all,many dont realize that most countries of the period had Neo-nazi parties in the open just as they did communist ones.

Since France and quite possibly England would lose a lot of hold on their colonial possissions,I cant halp but wonder the fate of
Africa and Indo-china and quite possibly India.
Just what we need, one MORE reason to dislike the French.
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Old 05 Mar 04, 19:38
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Or how about this,John Mosley becomes PM of England?
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Old 07 Mar 04, 07:50
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Well, it is a possibility that the US might not have been dragged into the war soon enough, that is if Germany had been a little more cautious with their U-Boats, and the Ludendorff offensives, which were only repelled by massive UNITED STATES counterattacks, could have broken through to Paris. If they fortified the posistion quickly, then the French and British counterattacks that were BOUND to come might not have retaken the city and eventually the would have given up.
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Old 07 Mar 04, 16:15
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My guess is that Germany would have found itself being involved in a prolonged series of military actions in Eastern Europe. There would have been uprisings against the Habsburgs, the Romanovs, and the Ottomans and Germany would have been continuously obliged to prop up these powers to maintain the status quo.

I think Britain would have become isolationist within its Empire. France would have probably turned fascist. Italy and the other lesser powers would have fell under Germany's sway. Japan would have followed the same course as it did historically. And the United States would have remained isolationist until it began to feel threatened by Japanese expansion.
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Old 25 Mar 04, 17:59
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THE GERMANS WIN!!!

If the Germans won the United states would now be in their hands. The only slightly positive outcome would be that Hiter would not have come to power.:thumb:
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