If only the Gernmans had won the Great War in 1914 or 15.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by BuggerAll, Jan 21, 2011.

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  1. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I'm reading A World Undone which I was given for Chrimbo. I don't think it's telling me anything I have not heard before but it's giving some things a different slant.

    Idle speculation I know but given how close the Germans and their allies came to winning in 1914/15 I wondered how much better such an outcome would have been for the world.
  2. Hard to see how a "win" situation would come about. Germany gets to occupy or control France, but still has to make some sort of peace with UK. The war has mostly come about because UK and France need to put Germany back in its box, so UK is not likely to allow a Germanic Empire to emerge.
  3. Interesting idea.
    Would the Russian Revolution taken place?
    Ireland may have been a much more peaceable place
    Would Britain have continued the war the occupation of France? I'm not so sure
    No 2nd World War
    Would Britain still be the worlds economic and militarily dominant power?
  4. Hang on; UK was an economic super-power prior to WW1. If the cost of the western front ground war 1915-18 never happens, then UK is free to build the mother of all navies and expeditionary forces. UK then proceeds to hoover up all of Germany's overseas possessions. If France is in some sort of "Vichy" stasis, then UK also hoovers up much of the French Empire. UK easily has the maritime power to blockade Germany and its allies, and to move ground forces to wherever clashes occur (presumably in the Middle East).

    Don't know how you see a western front defeat as being particularly significant for UK - only a relatively expendable part of the army is lost, the Navy, the Empire, and UK's economic resources remain untouched. I'd see UK growing even stronger.
  5. Nor can I see the US ever breaking that economic supremacy under those circumstances.
  6. Hmm.. lots of what ifs here, it would depend on when the War actually finished and on what terms, if it was in late 1914, it was only our "contemptible little Army", as the Kaiser put it, involved! The Navy would be more or less intact! The huge "Kitcheners army" of volunteers and later the conscripts would be untouched! We had held our own in S.W. & East Africa, so those colonies would stay as was! India would not have had the drain of troops to fight in the Middle East or Europe so our grip would remain firm there, our Merchant navy would still remain the leading conveyor of goods worldwide! More of the adventurous British gene pool who were decimated on the Western Front, would have been available to colonise & populate our Colonies & Dominions thus increasing our hold on them! The bigger question mark comes with the Germany/Austria-Hungarian v Russia confrontation and the innumerable possibilities of that outcome! The USA would have definately become more isolationist and not attempted to interfere as much in the rest of the world!
  7. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I was having similar thoughts to those expressed above.

    An early defeat of the French may not really have been a defeat of the BEF. It probably would have withdrawn in reasonably good order post armistice.

    If the war on the Eastern front had come to an equally swift conclusion it's possible the Tzar may not have fallen and instead of the Soviet Union we may have had a constitutional Monarchy.

    With the Balkans tidied up by the Austrians even that tinder keg might have been tamed and the Ottoman Empire might have kept it's subjects in order instead of becoming the trouble makers they are. Turkey's version of Islam being much more user friendly much of the rest of the ME.

    I'm not so sure about Ireland. They were already pretty uppity before 1914. Who knows?

    Interesting speculation.

    It may also have led to all put superpower confrontation between

    Sent from my iPhone using ARRSE so please excuse fat fingers and slips of the keyboard.
  8. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    The first issue is the Ottomans would control the Middle East and the worlds oil based economies would have to kiss Turkish arse - but I cannot see any way a second war could not have kicked off between any combination of Ottomans, Red Russia, Austro-Hungary, Germany and UK.
  9. If its in the fabled Turkish wrestlers jock strap it wouldn't be a pleasant thought! :) However no war with Turkey might have resulted in Kemal Ataturk never coming to power and he was the great modernising/moderating force in Turkey in the 20's!!
  10. I think the Ottomans, Russia and Austria-Hungary were all due to go tits-up anyway, regardless of events in Europe. With UK's move towards an oil-powered Fleet, its likely that events in the Middle East would have panned out in much the same way as they did anyway.

    As there were no real early 20th C oil economies apart from UK and USA (then over-supplied from domestic sources), it leaves the field clear for UK to consolidate these strategic colonial possessions. With no League of Nations mandates to satisfy, UK is free to carve out the oil-bearing parts of the Middle East for itself, setting up its Muslim(/Jewish) client states centred on the religious sites only.

    If only....
  11. You forget, there may not have been a red Russia. Had the Great War ended in 1914/5 Russia may well never have had a revolution.
  12. Indeed, my old mob might still be going & Africa might not be the corrupt shithole much of it is today!!
  13. If only Gavrilo Princip had chucked a fire extinguisher like other stoodents eh!
  14. Different wouldn't necessarily mean "better" BuggerAll...

    Beating France and the BEF would have been one thing - remember how close we came to victory in 1915 too. That would still have left the "Russian steam roller, six million bayonets" baying at the Huns back door. No long war, no Bolshevik revolution? Probably would still have come to pass but perhaps not in such a bloody way. Or with a Leninist success.

    What about Ireland? That could have been very different. Especially the '16.
  15. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    My thoughts - Almost all the international issues of the 20th Century and today can be traced back to one man and his revolver.