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

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#1
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
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.
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
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.
Nor can I see the US ever breaking that economic supremacy under those circumstances.
 
#6
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.
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!
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#7
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.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#8
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
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.
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
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.
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
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....
Indeed, my old mob might still be going & Africa might not be the corrupt shithole much of it is today!!
 
#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.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
If only Gavrilo Princip had chucked a fire extinguisher like other stoodents eh!
My thoughts - Almost all the international issues of the 20th Century and today can be traced back to one man and his revolver.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#17
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....
Russia was going to have a revolution - probably later without WW1.
Austro-Hungary were allied to the Turks, and therefore the Balkans were too - the Italians were only going to back a winner, put them in the hat too, especially if they were offered the Cote d'Azur. Without Russia kicking off in the East A-H were still formidable for the time, especially with ze Germans only likely to play with them not against them - we would have been booted out of the Middle East from the top down.....
The White War describes such scenarios.
 
#18
- we would have been booted out of the Middle East from the top down.....
The White War describes such scenarios.
I'm not sure about that. We already dominated the Med and, assuming we spend our hypothetical WW1 savings on our fleet and overseas garrisons, the RN is probably capable of wiping out every other fleet in the Med (France, Italy, A-H, Ottoman, Russian) and subsequently blockading as needed. The "Coalition of European Powers" would then have to attack us via Ottoman territory into Sinai and Egypt (our closest faux colony) or through Persia into western India (as was). The Russkies might try to come down through the 'Stans and Afghanistan into the same theatre. In response, as we "own" Africa, the Med, the Red Sea, the Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and have potentially two or three million troops available in the Indian armies, we have so much strategic flexibility that even a British General would be hard-pressed to bugger up a successful campaign. Sinai/Egypt is a bottle neck for an invader; Persia into India is a heck of a logistic problem for an invader - and both have open maritime flanks controlled by UK.

Its a pity that there isn't a WW1-era version of the PC game "Empire:Total War" to test this out with a wargame..
 
#19
One thing that no one has really adressed is the social ramifications. Germany was looking for a treaty in 1916 but was turned down IIRC.
But a line from Mª Remarque's All Quiet on the Western front has stayed with me.

He was talking about going home wearily in 1918 but says that if they had gone home in 1916 they would have created a storm.

I wonder about that, all sides lost so many of their best in 17/18 and we had a negative cull of the finest. Had the war ended in 16 then after the Somme and Verdun there were still many of the idealistic men surviving who enlisted and had their ideals destroyed in the carnage. Distrusting the old men and system that put them there what would they have done to create social change? I think storm might just be the word as the fighting men of both sides would have had more in common with the trench rats of the other side than with those at home, and might even have made common cause.
Food for thought.
 
#20
From what I remember
Germany knew she had to win a quick decisive war with France before she turned East and dealt with the Ponderous Russian War Machine.
Germany did not have the necessary internal resources , Iron, Oil, perhaps she had enough coal but any exotic metals where obtained externally.
Somewhere I read that the High Command did not fear the British Army, far too small but did consider the Royal Navy and the Overseas Empire to be major factors that could be deployed in the event of a long drawn out war.
The Blockade of the Napoleonic Wars would be well known to such professional Officers.
Count von S knew he had to plan for Short Sharp Quick war in the West, otherwise Germany was on a losing streak.
von Moltke attempted to implement the Laid down strategy, got it wrong early on, Reserve Divisions marching the longest distance, and Germany was no position for a Result in 14 or 15, hence the mass deportations of French/Belgian civilians for work in Germany and the introduction of Poison Gas.

john
 

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