If Germany Had Won World War I - Page 5 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The First World War (1914-1918).
Forum rules: No one line posts please.
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By Batko
#1337238
Good thing that we learned that working together is more beneficial than killing each other once every generation.


QFT.

100% OK with you.
By PBVBROOK
#1337479
In short, the US failed to ratify because of Wilson's Covenant, not the vindictive provisions regarding Germany.


The Senate Opposition centered around the League of Nations. And you are right that both Wilson and Lloyd George thought it was a bad treaty. My point is that the assertion that the bleief that the terms were to harsh was a later invention is not correct. Wilson, Lloyd George and others knew that at the time. Even Churchill said it was a bad treaty but the best they could do at the time.
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By Thoss
#1337540
My point is that the assertion that the bleief that the terms were to harsh was a later invention is not correct.


Probably true. But my point is that in the 20s and 30s, the German war guilt assertion was challenged substantially by German revisionist historians coaxed and funded by the Wiemar state. This line was quickly picked up by some in Anglo-American academia and various political circles.
User avatar
By Demosthenes
#1339026
DO NOT let this thread die.

*Looks around, notices BC tag in Thoss's name*

Clearly, the Canadians are to blame for WWI, had they not sent so many sleeper agents to Austria, the peace loving Hapsburgs might have acquiesced to Serb demands sooner, therby sparing us the whole thing.

SO, Canadians, specifically British Columbians really bear the brunt of the blame for WWI.

For shame you evil Canucks. For shame. :eek: :(
User avatar
By GandalfTheGrey
#1728821
Well you are talking about 2 possible periods - 1st in 1914 and 2nd in 1918. And the subject refers to Germany winning WWI - does taking Paris equate to "winning"? - I'm not sure, but almost certainly not in 1918. Despite gains during the Ludendorf offensive in 1918, Germany was well and trully on the way to losing irrespective of the situation on the front - due to the crippling effects of the naval blockade. Plus you must consider the fact that the allies by that stage had effectively an inexhaustible supply of fresh American troops. But 1914 is a whole different situation. Had the battle of the Marne gone Germany's way, then yes they would have taken Paris, and more than likely France would have been eliminated from the war. As Europe was still in that funny 19th/18th century mindset about warfare (a gentleman's casual passtime, and if you lose its not a big deal - you just shake hands and say "better luck next time"), its more than likely that Britain would sue for peace. Russia would then either do likewise or be easily defeated by Germany. Europe would then enter yet another period of unstable peace - Germany would be burdened with a hostile occupation of France and Britain would busy themselves with "pinprick" campaigns to destabalise Germany's hegemony. Another world war would be inevitable.
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By peter_co
#1729671
Europe would then enter yet another period of unstable peace - Germany would be burdened with a hostile occupation of France and Britain would busy themselves with "pinprick" campaigns to destabalise Germany's hegemony. Another world war would be inevitable.

Though I disagree with the word inevitable (since I don't really believe WWII was inevitable either), I have to agree with the basic premise. German plans from before the war, even those agreed to by the supposedly moderate Bethman-Hollweg would have envisioned the imposition of terms much more drastic than those imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, including significant territorial expansion both to the East and the West (there at the expense of France). It's difficult to predict exactly how things would have developed in the East given the uncertainty regarding the fate of the Russian Empire (and possibly even of the Austro-Hungarian won, even had they won), but in the West in all likelihood Germany would have had to deal with the problems of administering a large unwilling Francophone population, while France was preparing a revanchist policy in earnest (not unlike Germany's in the interwar period), with Britain perhaps deciding that it was once again time to invest somewhat in land forces in order to remove the Germany economic domination of the continent, which was anathema to their policies. In other words, an extremely unstable situation would have emerged that could have brought on another war in a few decades, just as happened in the real scenario.
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By Oxymoron
#1729675
Though I disagree with the word inevitable (since I don't really believe WWII was inevitable either), I have to agree with the basic premise. German plans from before the war, even those agreed to by the supposedly moderate Bethman-Hollweg would have envisioned the imposition of terms much more drastic than those imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, including significant territorial expansion both to the East and the West (there at the expense of France). It's difficult to predict exactly how things would have developed in the East given the uncertainty regarding the fate of the Russian Empire (and possibly even of the Austro-Hungarian won, even had they won), but in the West in all likelihood Germany would have had to deal with the problems of administering a large unwilling Francophone population, while France was preparing a revanchist policy in earnest (not unlike Germany's in the interwar period), with Britain perhaps deciding that it was once again time to invest somewhat in land forces in order to remove the Germany economic domination of the continent, which was anathema to their policies. In other words, an extremely unstable situation would have emerged that could have brought on another war in a few decades, just as happened in the real scenario.


Interesting, how do you think the Germans would have handled the Russian situation? Would they have forced a pro German goverment into play? Would World War 2 then be between Germany+Russia+Italy+Austria Against Britain+France+US + Japan?
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By peter_co
#1729698
Interesting, how do you think the Germans would have handled the Russian situation? Would they have forced a pro German goverment into play? Would World War 2 then be between Germany+Russia+Italy+Austria Against Britain+France+US + Japan?

Well as I said, it's very difficult to predict how things could have worked out on the Eastern front. However, if the Germans had been able to win the war in 1914, in all likelihood, Russia would have been able to negotiate a not too onerous peace. Perhaps Russia would have had to make some minor territorial concessions (minor from their point of view) and they would have been forced to accept the Austrian domination of the Balkans, but beyond that the Central Powers did not have any reason to press the Russians any further, and they had no interest in regime change in Russia. After all, Russia's government was actually quite friendly towards Germany's (which is not that surprising considering that Nicholas was William's cousin) and many members of Russia's government had actually strongly advocated for a closer relationship with monarchist Germany instead of revolutionary France. Russia's alliance with France at the eve of the war was driven mostly by its rivalry with Austria and the lobbying populist Pan-Slavs, whom the ruling family did not regard entirely sympathetically.

Of course, then the question comes whether the monarchy would have survived in any case. This is were things are murkiest. Certainly, without the war and the hardships it brought on, a strong catalyst for revolution would have been removed. Nevertheless, Russia's internal situation had been precarious at the utmost since the Russo-Japanese War, and it's certainly plausible that the country could have either broken up or have had its government removed even in the absence of exogenous driving forces. There is just no way to know.

So, regarding your question about whether WWII might have been between the Central Powers+Russia on one side vs. Britain, France, and Japan, that is certainly possible given Russia's enmity with Britain (since they probably would still have wanted the Straits) and their wish to settle scores with Japan. It's hard to see Japan on the side of Britain though (and much less the US, and it's hard to see why the US would have joined such a conflict in the first place).

That's the problem with alternate history when taken to such a level, there are so many variables that it's pretty much impossible to try to speculate beyond one event.
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By Thoss
#1729726
That's the problem with alternate history when taken to such a level, there are so many variables that it's pretty much impossible to try to speculate beyond one event.


Bingo. Once you start postulating on large scale counter-factual historical details, almost anything becomes speculative.

Nevertheless, counter-factual is still fun, from time to time.
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By Dave
#1729729
I agree with the posters who say Germany could've won in 1914 or 1918. Winning in 1914 would've required rolling over the Entente faster and capturing Paris. This would've led to a negotiated peace with France involving the annexation of some French territory, and like the restoration of the status quo ante bellum with Britain. I am not convinced they would've pursued peace with Russia then. Many Germans were convinced that the Russian Empire needed to be destroyed until it became too powerful.

As to 1918, Germany would've had to better deploy its reserves for the Kaiser Schlact. More divisions from the dead Eastern Front and possibly even some Austro-Hungarian divisions could've been helpful as well. Germany could've successfully overrun and destroyed the entire British Army in France in 1918, and it would then have been a simple matter to smash the French. France would then be subjected to a bitter, devastating peace. America would've sued for status quo ante bellum. The behavior of Britain is somewhat more difficult to predict here. While defeated in France, it still would've won huge gains in the Ottoman Empire and the German colonies.

I do not agree with the idea that a German victory would've caused another world war at all. The problem with a defeated Germany was that Germany was the most powerful European country. France and Britain could not have pulled off anything similar, and presumably Germany would've destroyed Russia to prevent her from rising in the same way. However, I am comfortable forecasting no bolshevism and no nazism.
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By peter_co
#1729772
France and Britain could not have pulled off anything similar

Why not?
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By R_G
#1729840
I really can't see the Germans " winning " The Great War.

Plus for Germany to win Austro-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire would also have to win I believe.

No, I think the first world war was more unwinnable for the Germans than the Second.

I seriously do.

The Battle of the Somme wasn't a victory for either side, but I suppose had the Germans " won ", they may have had control over France.

Then so what? If you're going on about what would have happened had Germany effectively conquered France, well then not much...
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By Dave
#1729858
peter_co wrote:Why not?

Too small. And in France's case, too backwards. If Britain had formed an imperial federation as Chamberlain desired it would be a different story of course.
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By GandalfTheGrey
#1730033
I do not agree with the idea that a German victory would've caused another world war at all.

The analogy I think of is Napoleon - master of Europe, but couldn't hope to defeat Britain since he couldn't challenge her naval power. Exactly the same situation in a post-WWI German hegemony. Plus the French would inevitably fight back at some point (supported by Britain) remembering they were already pissed to start with over the loss of Alsace and Lorraine.
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By Dave
#1730041
I don't think Britain would continue fighting. During the Napoleonic Wars Britain could generally fight in some form of coalition, and coastal defense was not what it was now. With the defeat of France and Russia in total war, who would be Britain's allies on the continent? How would Britain challenge Germany?
User avatar
By peter_co
#1730200
Too small. And in France's case, too backwards. If Britain had formed an imperial federation as Chamberlain desired it would be a different story of course.

Well in 1914 Great Britain had a population of 46 million and France 40 million compared to Germany's 65 million (this is excluding their respective empires). Of course, Austria Hungary might have survived, which would have added to the German numbers, but if these two powers would have dominated Europe by the principle of balance of power, more states could have joined the allied side. In other words, from a strictly numerical perspective you can't give the advantage to the Germans.

As for the argument of backwardness, I find that hard to swallow. On the eve of WWII for instance France had a technological advantage in various armaments relative to Germany, especially their tanks and planes. Germany's success was due mostly to a superior strategy and tactics, not anything else. Of course, had Germany won WWI, this might not have been the case, but we simply don't know. I just don't see why it would have been implausible for a Anlgo-French based coalition to have defeated Germany in this hypothetical scenario.
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By Thunderhawk
#1730318
So, regarding your question about whether WWII might have been between the Central Powers+Russia on one side vs. Britain, France, and Japan, that is certainly possible given Russia's enmity with Britain (since they probably would still have wanted the Straits) and their wish to settle scores with Japan. It's hard to see Japan on the side of Britain though (and much less the US, and it's hard to see why the US would have joined such a conflict in the first place).


I can see the British allying themselves with Japan actually.
I dont see the USA entering the war aside from selling arms.
By Manuel
#1730601
Of course, then the question comes whether the monarchy would have survived in any case. This is were things are murkiest. Certainly, without the war and the hardships it brought on, a strong catalyst for revolution would have been removed. Nevertheless, Russia's internal situation had been precarious at the utmost since the Russo-Japanese War, and it's certainly plausible that the country could have either broken up or have had its government removed even in the absence of exogenous driving forces. There is just no way to know.


Don't forget that a strong German ally in Russia would have counted on German support during the Revolution. The Tsar was forced to defend himself due to his allies being stuck in WWI, and if the limited support given following the Bolshevik victory is any indicator [to the White Army], many nations had it in their best interest to avoid a communist government, Germany included.

Also, the fact that Germany wouldn't ship Lenin to Russia would have had a drastic effect.
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