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European History European History Forum - Western and Eastern Europe including the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia

View Poll Results: Who's side are you on?
The Central Powers 143 29.48%
The Triple Entente 190 39.18%
Neither one of them 152 31.34%
Voters: 485. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 6th, 2017, 06:43 AM   #1361
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Originally Posted by pugsville View Post
Have you looked at them at all, it was imposition of a new continental system.
Yes, at the outset of war being the operative phrase, as opposed to goals as the war developed.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 06:46 AM   #1362
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Originally Posted by Offspring View Post
I'm not necessarily talking about a threat of war. I'm talking about the threat of having a powerful rival.
You're replying to my posts, but clearly either you're not reading them or you're misconstruing what I'm saying.

A strong, prosperous Germany in the centre of Europe was not a rival. They could only ever become a rival in the event they challenged our global commerce.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 06:54 AM   #1363
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Originally Posted by Kotromanic View Post
Maybe I am being overly specific here.

I will stipulate that long war or short war... if the British leave peace terms to others it would be detrimental to the world order they had worked so hard to achieve.

So, in specifics... I am posting to highlight the role of the French, who seem to have felt they could execute the campaign against Germany with or without the BEF.

In the end (despite the bravery of the British at Mons), the French succeeded at Marne with very little contribution from the BEF, validating their choice to keep Grey uninformed in the early part of the crisis.
Not quite true. The same BEF who fought at Mons was the same BEF that fought at the Marne.

From memory, the French withdrew from Mons exposing a British flank. I can't remember the French general's name but he was sacked before the Marne on the grounds of being too conservative and replaced by someone else. British soldiers couldn't understand why they were being ordered to retreat as they felt they'd held off all German attacks, but what they didn't know was that the French had retreated which meant the Germans were coming across the canal and that meant they could get behind the BEF and rout them.

So, they retreated all the way to the Marne. The French caught the Germans by surprise at the Marne as two German armies lost touch with one another and the French knew that and counter-attacked one of the armies to further increase the division between the two German armies and create a gap which the BEF smashed through causing the Germans to retreat say 40 miles and dig trenches (which was accidental by the way, because the German plans had no contingency for defence; the Schlieffen plan was all about attack. The Germans didn't know what to do in that situation and instinctively just dug in).
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Old August 6th, 2017, 07:00 AM   #1364

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@Peaceful, my impressions of the Marne are informed by the work by Helger, published in 2010. I may have time to in next few days to re-read, but my strong impression after reading Helger in early 2014 is that the BEF was not a necessary component of the ultimate victory. This is particularly true of the key days of 6, 7 September.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 07:08 AM   #1365
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Originally Posted by Kotromanic View Post
@Peaceful, my impressions of the Marne are informed by the work by Helger, published in 2010. I may have time to in next few days to re-read, but my strong impression after reading Helger in early 2014 is that the BEF was not a necessary component of the ultimate victory. This is particularly true of the key days of 6, 7 September.
No bother, mate, whenever you get time.

It's relative really. You have to remember that the BEF numbered 100,000 among nations such as France and Germany who poured their resources into the army and as a result had huge armies. So, yes, small by comparison.

'Certainly not a major player, but there to exploit the gap created by the French army.
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Old August 6th, 2017, 07:23 AM   #1366

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Originally Posted by Peaceful View Post
You're replying to my posts, but clearly either you're not reading them or you're misconstruing what I'm saying.

A strong, prosperous Germany in the centre of Europe was not a rival. They could only ever become a rival in the event they challenged our global commerce.
That was Germany's next step. They would have been in a position to restart their Weltpolitik.
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Old August 7th, 2017, 01:20 PM   #1367
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Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
And saying everything would peaceful with no problems with a German victory ISN'T?

Actually, in the long sad history of genocide and the responses to it... no country has EVER responded to stop a genocidal power. None...

In the case of the Armenian Genocide, the killing actually continued into the 20s when it finally fizzled out and Attaturk gained full control over the Turkish government. The Allied response to the Armenian Genocide effectively amounted to, "the sooner we win, the sooner it will end."

Twenty five years later, you see the Holocaust begin in German occupied Europe, with Jews, Gypsies, and many others falling victim to a dictatorial madman. And despite reports coming from spies and other agencies, the Allies refused to believe a civilized people like the Germans could do such things, and continued to believe that until 1945 when the Allied armies began liberating the Concentration Camps. And as in WWI, often when given options to put a stop to the Holocaust, the response was, "the sooner we win the war, the sooner it will be over."

And the Holocaust would provide the world with the name for the crime... Genocide... but even there, the responses after WWII were still limited by the issue of not wanting to intervene in another country's INTERNAL affairs. And in fact the US wouldn't even sign the UN treaty on Genocide, written in the late 40s, until the 1970s and then with making major amendments to the treaty that effectively state that the US can accuse others of genocide, but despite the fact that American actions regarding Native Americans in the 1800s meeting the treaty's criteria for Genocide, American CANNOT be accused of the crime.

And again, the powers often found some reason to not respond to genocide, and often these countries were "at peace." If one looks at the Crimes of the Khmer Rouge, that's a pretty clear indication. At the time the Cambodian government was not officially at war with anyone... though it had felt the strain of the war in neighboring Vietnam, leading to the Khmer Rouge seizing power. Once in power, they soon began a policy to totally restructure their society and this turned to Genocide, and the only one marked as Genocide in which the killing was NOT on racial or religious grounds (as the killers and victims were all Khmer and the same religion). Yet as people died and news reports got out... the US did nothing, because the Khmer Rouge were CHINESE Communists and the Nixon Administration saw China as a potential typing point against the Soviets as part of Détente. So nothing was done. The Khmer Rouge's genocide of its own people continued on until the Vietnamese declared war and invaded... and even there, the case can be made that the Vietnamese were more interested in their own power in the region and not stopping the genocide.

In the end the saddest issue in the history of Genocide comes down to Rwanda. While there were internal issues... the country was officially at peace, and in the end NO ONE responded. The genocide remains the most cost effective genocide in history, as the method of killing was with machetes that could be used over and over again... and no one did anything. The Rwandan Genocide lasted until the rebel forces finally ousted the government that had been inspiring the killing...

And to this day, the ONLY Genocide that the international community has responded to was the Bosnian/Kosovar genocides in the 1990s, likely because they occurred in Europe... and even there, there was a great effort NOT to call the Serb actions Genocides...

In this, countries will look the other way with regard to Genocide, as there has NEVER been any sign of them doing otherwise in history. And they don't always come as a result of wars. The genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda specifically arose out of internal struggles... Which shows that while the comparison to what might happen in Turkey in a Central Powers victory is "hypothetical," that does not mean that it was without facts that relate...

The Turks were good at keeping their Empire together up until the 1800s when France, Britain, Italy, Austria, and Russia all attacked Turkey for territory for some reason. And in many cases when these Christian powers attacked, they made public claims to be supporting local Christian populations being "oppressed." By 1900, this had resulted in Turkey losing most of its European possessions and feeling very insecure about their position and still had a Russia to their north that wanted the Bosporus...

And at the same time, you had movements within Turkey that were just as influenced by things like nationalism as the European powers had and wanted to push agendas that reflected those sorts of things...

And between feeling insecure and nationalistically driven... the odds are not good that the Turks are going to respond well to any internal tension relating to groups within their empire.

Last I checked, the Germans were European Christians. If the Central Powers win and German businesses ultimately replace British businesses in the Middle East... guys like Bin Laden are not going respond well to that presence. He'd be irritated by the fact that these "Christian infidels" are in the Holy Land, where they have no right to be...

You like WOULD see a 9/11 type event occur. The only difference might be that they attack a city in Germany rather than the US...

And regarding the Arab/Israeli conflict, depending on when the Central Powers win, you could well see that sort of continued push and leading towards the conflict. For if the war goes until the 1917-1918, you've still seen the Balfour Declaration issued and the promises made to the Arabs in the Arab Revolt. The Central Powers winning won't change that...

The fact that there was near constant back and forth warfare between the two would demonstrate that they did not coexist... at least not well...

And in terms of Roman/Persian history, actually the Parthians and Sassanids routinely OWNED the Romans in battle. And while the Romans did win at times, it was usually on the defensive and in compact areas where the Persians couldn't use their cavalry advantages to their fullest. The only time when the Romans won wars where they were on the offense was when the Parthians or Sassanids were busy fighting either civil wars or other Central Asian states and couldn't be bothered with the Romans interested in a small portion of the Tigris/Euphrates River valley. Remember, the Sassanids captured and ransomed a Roman Emperor... the Romans NEVER captured and ransomed a Parthian or Sassanid ruler.

But one needs to remember that by the Boulanger Crisis after the Franco-Prussian War, no one expected France to have recovered as well as it had. That's actually a testament to Boulanger's policies with regard to pushing to get France ready for revenge in that war...

There is thus no reason to assume that a revenge minded France could not engage in policies aimed to either narrow the demographic gap or raise the quality of the French army to compensate for their lack in population...

Look at it like this... In 1941, Germany lacked the demographics to take on the Soviet Union in a head on confrontation. When the Axis invaded with over 3.5 million men, the Soviets STILL had more men in uniform and the ability to raise MILLIONS more to replace their losses. In terms of manpower, Germany did not have the people to tangle with the Soviets in a war of attrition. Yet, when they invaded, many Germans held that their training and ability was enough to overcome Soviet numbers, and up until December 1941 it ultimately looked that way...

So, while France would have fewer people than Germany if the Central Powers win... that doesn't mean that France won't either try narrow the gap, either through increasing their birthrate or looking for allies or wouldn't work to improve the army so that they can do more with less.

Actually the French needed the British more for their navy than anything else.

Had France retained the defensive minded plan before they adopted Plan XVII, they had the field guns to essentially catch the Germans in a death trap as they came through Belgium into France. And while the French in their bright uniforms would still stick out on the battlefield, by being dug in and waiting for the Germans to arrive, they'd essentially have enough protection to lessen the effect of still being in navy blue jackets and red pants. The Germans would march into open fields and would themselves overwhelmed by massed fire from dug in 75mm field guns and with French forces being large enough that they couldn't be isolated at individual points the way the Belgians were isolated at Liege. And since these battles would then relate to armies moving in the field and not sitting still in forts, Germany's big siege guns would be ineffective...

In a sense, it'd be the French doing what the British did at Mons (though the French would probably have to rely on their artillery... but the base concept is the same).

But the French plan in 1914 was just as offensive as the German plan, and there, with the rules of taking positions... the French would need British help... though historically the British didn't have the numbers in the field to do this until 1916.

Joffre was equally confident that he could push through the Vosages and restore Alsace/Lorraine to France.

But the French WOULD learn and adapt and the Germans wouldn't, at least not initially. It's an issue that happens with regard to when an army wins there is no perceived need to change things. In fact if you look at the Prussian/German army from the end of the Franco-Prussian War to the Boulanger Crisis, there was NO noticeable change in how the army functioned. The army the Germans had was pretty much the same army they'd had in the Franco-Prussian War. And it was the near scare that the Boulanger Crisis created in Germany that then lead to their own military reforms and changes that made many view the German Army in 1914 so much "better" than its European rivals. They'd had the scare and thus the reason to make changes...

If France loses WWI and is humiliated (especially if the war goes long), there would be no perceived reason for the Germans to enact radical changes or improvements. As they had won and their primary enemies would be perceived to be weak. Thus... no reason to change things... at least not change things radically so. Especially when most often the officers that push radical change tend to be younger officers and the officers in charge tend to be older officers that don't either understand the changes the younger ones push for or outright oppose it. And there are times in history where you see even German officers show a lack of a full comprehension of many tactical changes... As is often seen with temperament of older officers like Rundstedt and the fact that Barbarossa was anything BUT "blitzkrieg." A win in WWI would reinforce the opinions of the older officers in the German army that no change is needed, particularly with the French and Russians weaker...

Arguing that the Germans would enact radical change would be akin to saying that the British with memories of Waterloo would send a MASSIVE number of men to fight the Zulus BEFORE they got destroyed at Isandwana. And even with the changes that Germany made historically, much of Seeckt's theories had similarities to Allenby's tactics in his war against the Turks in 1917-1918 and much of Guderian's theories on armored warfare has some origin in the ideas from JFC Fuller, Estienne, and Charles De Gaulle, who had all made arguments for an increased use of tanks in warfare.

Could the Germans put changes together? Sure, but there would need to be a reason to do so... and so long as they saw France and Russia as weak and their efforts in WWI as successful, there wouldn't be...

And yet there is a German officer, I think it was Ludendorff, who famously quoted as saying of Austria's military actions in WWI, "We are shackled to a corpse."

The Germans frequently had to rescue their Austrian allies in WWI. And I'd even argue that the Austrians only did as well in Italy as they did was due to Cadorna being just as big of an idiot as Hotzendorf.

But the Croats were FINE with being part of Yugoslavia when it was formed. They were fine with the union so long as it was balanced between the Serbs, Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians, Macedonians, and Montenegroans. Later unrest really came more due to the fact that Serbia wanted greater control within Yugoslavia.

The Hungarians who ended up in Romania were also in the minority of the people in the territory lost. And while one could make the case for perhaps the border areas being drawn better, there were numerous "islands" in Transylvania as well. And if that is to be decried as "unfair" then the only solution is to leave all of Transylvania to Hungary and let a group that made up closer to 40% rule over the population that was over 50% Romanian. Not fair to Romania.

And with Czechoslovakia, while, yes, Germans ended up living there, you'll need to understand that 1) the victorious Allies aren't going to decide to let a defeated Germany grow and 2) the Sudeten Mountains made of a defendable border. Look at when the Sudetenland was given to German... the invasion of what remained came months later, and was so quick that the Czechs were not able to even mobilize.

And Austrian rule would NOT remove the racial tension. The racial tension was there before WWI and that sort of tension is partially what inflamed Bosnian Serbs, who'd rather be with Serbia than Austria, to assassinate Franz Ferdinand in the first place. And the rampaging murders of Serbs within Austrian territory after war started shows how little control Franz Joseph's government had over the ethnic groups inside his own borders. And those tensions were already there, preserving Austrian rule is not going to remove that tension, which then puts the question on Austrian policy after Franz Joseph. If they grant greater autonomy, maybe tensions lower... If not, tensions remain the same.

But that assumes that the only ones that Germany has humiliated would be France and Italy...

But if the Allies are forced as a coalition to surrender, its not a question of how strong the German navy is in comparison to Britain. If the coalition surrenders, then the British would have to agree to German terms, which would likely be harsh if the war goes beyond 1917, particularly with the perception of the British doing Germany the most harm...

Look at it this way... in history, no Allied army EVER occupied large portions of Germany in WWI, and the German army had NOT been destroyed in 1918. Defeated and weakened, but not destroyed. Yet, Germany was made to agree to give up having a real standing army and was not allowed to even place what troops it did have in German territory (the Rhineland).

... In history, the Royal Navy NEVER destroyed the Germans in battle at sea. They managed to contain the German fleet, but they never made a suicidal charge into Hamburg or Wilhelmshaven to sink the German fleet, and one could argue that the British had no wish to incur those sorts of risks to try a repeat of the Battle of Copenhagen against Germany. It wasn't that the Royal Navy was bad or that the German fleet was better... but that the German fleet was good enough that the risks were too great. Yet, Germany was forced to surrender pretty much their entire navy to the Allies, with many German ships being scuttled at Scapa Flow to prevent them from falling into British hands.

In this, the Allies did not FORCE the Germans into a position to accept these sorts of terms. In that sense, the Germans could have decided to fight on... But they didn't and accepted those terms...

Had Germany won and forced the Allies as a coalition to surrender, they would try to humiliate their enemies and particularly with regard to the British, who they saw as their greatest threat. And if the British accept, they'd be expected to abide by whatever terms the Germans demand. If not... then the war would continue... but with France out of the war and neither the Americans nor British prepared for amphibious warfare in 1918 on the scale needed in 1944... that could well lead to the war going on and the Germans using France and the Ukraine as a means to escape the pressures brought on by the blockade... And given commentary by Hindenburg to American reporters after the war... I don't think he was really that concerned with the Germans starving at home, as his comment seemed to claim that the Germans could have won regardless of the blockade...

Not at the levels to which the Germans were starving at the end of the war in history. If by some miracle they then pull off a victory in the west, the German people wouldn't suddenly jump to a major war of conquest in the Soviet Union. Protecting the gains from the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk might be tolerated, but not a war of conquest in the East... not in 1918. In this, while the Soviets certainly would be weaker, they would survive.

But fixing a lot of the exact problems of today depends more on later events. Just because many of todays problems have origins in WWI doesn't mean that they were destined to happen because of WWI. There are many things that played into them, and I don't see a Central Powers victory removing those problems... merely changing the exact path in which they happen.

In a sense, they'd be depending on the British government deciding to accept terms. They may not be able to force them into these things outright, but at the same time when Germany surrendered in November 1918, the Allies had not yet destroyed the German army and had at best only contained the German navy, and yet in the peace terms they demanded, Germany had to give up both. Tired and exhausted, the Germans agreed, despite not being truly "forced" to, yet. If they can force the British to feel the same sort of strain... they'd expect the British to abide by their demands. If not... the war would then continue on until that situation changes... And again, considering Hindenburg's opinion of the blockade versus American involvement on what lost the war in history, I'd imagine had at least France and Italy been defeated, the war would have continued...

And if the terms ultimately reached DON'T punish Britain, you'd then see the real potential that some extremist political movement pushing for a more fanatical, potentially Fascist, government for the same reasons Italy did in history, not getting everything they wanted.

But if the tension remains, you haven't solved the problem. Merely changed it. And if that tension remains... pushes for independence are eventually bound to pop up.

But the Croats were fine with being part of Yugoslavia in 1918-1919. In fact it was the Croats who made the offer to Serbia to join to form Yugoslavia. In that, forming Yugoslavia doesn't guarantee the later problems. More responsible actions on the part of the Serbs MIGHT have prevented it just as much as arguing to let the Austrians continue to rule the territory.

I don't deny that a lot of that sentiment was popular within extremist circles, but not all Germans were extremist. And if it WAS that popular, it would have succeeded, as the Wiemar government really wasn't challenging it and Hitler promised to do so...

I've seen the map, yes, but again, the Hungarian population in the region lost was not in the majority, Romanians were. One could argue that perhaps at least the borders more adjacent to Hungary be drawn better... but at the same time, appeasing Hungarian nationalist by saying Hungary doesn't lose any land because we're afraid of revenge in 25 years ins't exactly fair to Romania...
While the fact the genocide continued is sad, once again this happened in our timeline where the Entente won. Same with all the other great genocides of the 20th century you've mentioned. No saying some of them(besides the ones I've previously outlined) wouldn't have happened if the Central Powers had won but it's possible. Holocaust is of course the largest example. You'd have to stretch really hard to say that still happens with an Imperial German victory. The "sooner we win the war or better" sounds horrible but if you're fighting a great power with human rights abuses that's mostly all you can do(I guess Allies could have tried to get the Nazi's to stop by dangling conditional surrender if they did). You also point out the Holocaust didn't deter future genocide which makes the Allied scenario even darker. Again Central Powers victors don't need to improve much to create a better world. Sad though that the world hasn't learned from the lesson though.

The Ottomans were not the Hapsburg's, the problem was the Balkans rather than the Ottomans. Syria, Iraq and Lebanon were Western constructs and if nationalist revolution occurs it would be along actual demographic lines which deters all sorts of conflict even if the Ottomans don't retain control of the area. It was not the same as in the Balkans. Even in our timeline the Russians southern ambitions were dealt with as Russia had to focus on regaining it's territory it had surrendered. Russia in the event of a Central Powers victory would be even less able to threaten the Ottomans or the Balkans.

Germans wouldn't have the same interest in the Middle East as the Brits most likely because the Brits and French took down the power in the Middle East while the Germans were propping them up. Once again even if the Germans win, UK still would be in Egypt and East Africa and Germany's victory probably doesn't lead them down the same path as the UK. This links back to the previous paragraph were I believe that instead of Western controlled mandates with artificial borders if the Ottomans had collapsed it would have been among actual demographic lines and the Allies would have had a harder time gaining influence.

However let's say you're right and German influence does replace Western influence(let's say Ottomans become dependent on Germany) and the same resentment takes hold and there's a major attack. This is going to sound really self centered but for me being an American who grew up in NYC, 9/11 occurring somewhere else rather than the US is a positive especially seeing how the US's reaction to those attacks are still impacting the country today. Call me self centered there.

Point taken on Balfour but it took more than that for the crisis to get where it was today.

In terms of the Roman/Eastern power wars I feel you're cherry picking facts. The Parthians/Sassanians never came close to the Roman capital(with the exception of Constantinople once) while the Persian heartland was invaded several times and Ctesiphon captured. Those Roman emperors were captured deep in Persian territory. Tigris and Euphrates also are no random small region, it is where Seleucus and Ctesiphon the capital(s) of the empire were located. That area had been the center of classical civilization. Hardly worthless territory. Like saying the Persians were only interested on land near the Tiber River.

France's main solution though wasn't to prepare to defeat Germany in one on one war but to recruit the Russians as an ally to make a revenge war with Germany viable. We know now from the events of the war, that this wouldn't have been enough and France/Russia v Germany/Austria without the UK, Italy and USA(UK's interference ended up dragging in the latter two) would have almost certainly resulted in Central Powers victory and probably in 1914.

Your idea that the French could have stopped the Germans with a different defensive plan in WWI has merit but this would still result in an Allied victory and doesn't change which side's victory would be better.

The whole "not broke don't fix it" logic does infect victorious powers to a degree. However it is not a military law that this has to happen. Military commanders can keep up with military technology and can make decisions on how that technology is used. Of course defeat is more incentive to undertake more radical changes. Doesn't mean the German military's strategy will be obsolete in WWII. Before Boulanger episode the Germans were unprepared for a war against France because France wanting a 1 on 1 with the Germans was seen as laughable. At this point basically every great power would either side with Germany or be neutral. Once France got the Russians as an Ally the dynamic changed and Germany had to plan for a two front war that for the first few decades after the Franco-Prussian War wasn't a top concern.

French plan in 1914 was just as offensive as the German plan calling for the seizure of Alsace and Lorraine. While the German offensive plan almost worked the French did not capture Alscace and Lorraine and were held back.

Germany and the Soviet Union were both larger countries than France even though the Soviets had a huge advantage. It also was a failed invasion that in the initial stages couldn't have went better catching the Soviets completely off guard. Germany also had access to non German Axis armies from across Europe. In the end though the Soviets man power did completely overwhelm the Germans. Again France had less people than Germany and having a 2:1 population deficit of (hypothetical not exact)85-170 is much more favorable than having a 2:1 population deficit of 40-80. The more soldiers you have the better the chances of survival are in a death match like that even when outnumbered. It'd be much easier for Nazi Germany to invade the USSR than for Fascist France to invade Germany. Germany also had allies from all over Europe against the lonely Soviet Union while there is no guarantee France wouldn't draw any more enemy's to the fight.

In the East Austria simply was outperformed by Germany. I am in agreement in the 1880s and 1890s Austria was the worst great power to get into permanent alliance with, alienating the most great powers while providing the least assistance. This is not to say the Austrians were hapless they almost beat the Italians in a war where they were never fighting full strength until near the end due to the Eastern and Balkan front. Russia and Serbia were not doormats and they were simply difficult opponents to defeat. Russia in pure numbers(not technology) severely outnumbered a combined German-Austria Hungary and those numbers were an advantage that made up for industrial shortcomings. You have a fair point about Italy but Austria was not a liability in the war. Were they the worst alliance option? Yes, but that doesn't mean they were an in war liability like the Italians were in WWII.

Hapsburg Empire's decline would not lead to all out collapse without a Central Powers defeat. Croats were fine with being part of the Hapsburg state too. The dual monarchy also proved that adding a third title could bring another area into deeper allegiance towards the Hapsburg crown.

France, Italy, Belguim and Russia were not in the same situation as the UK. UK could negotiate as part of a coalition who's main job was to prevent a German invasion of Belgium and France that failed. UK does not have to nor could be compelled to accept any consequences. Also look at WWII where the French were defeated and surrendered yet their UK allies retreated across the channel with no actual territorial losses. Unlike in WWII however there are no airplanes to make an invasion of the UK feasible and the war ends there with both sides reaching a settlement.

Saying the Allies didn't conquer or touch Germany so it'd be the same as Britain not conquering or touching France just isn't true. Germany had an exhausted army defending Germany proper that would not be able to continue the war and a population nearing revolt. The reason Germany signed an armistice is that they had no choice. If Germany conquers France the situation is not the same for the British, if an armistice ends what can the Germans do to British troops outside of France? Nothing, British naval supremacy keeps them out and keeps the blockade going. I explained in my last post in detail why the British navy's supremacy after Jutland was very clear and how there was very little risk if any of that changing. In our timeline UK had levarage over Germany on both land and sea. UK was starving the Germans out by sea and there was nothing the Germans could do to stop this as there navy was severely outnumbered. Western Allies would continue pushing east against the German army. If Germany conquers France this is not true in the UK. UK's army is mostly safe across the channel(probably uses the armistice to get away) while their navy also has no pressure on them. UK's also got all of Germany's African colonies in this scenario. You are very informed but I think you honestly misunderstand the diplomacy here and I implore you to ask anyone you know knowledgeable about the period about what would happen to the UK if Germany wins the war. I really do think this is that obvious. Wars can end with settlements that benefit parties in some regions and hurt them in others. There is no rule that says there needs to be a total winner across every fight nor is there a rule that everyone on the losing side has to suffer consequences if they can't all be equally compelled to do the wishes of the winner. Examine the settlements of other big European wars and you'll see something similar. Think of it as a very large scale proxy war, UK, US and Japan are helping protect South Vietnam(France and Belgium) but when South Vietnam falls(German victory in Europe) it doesn't mean the US has to play a price except in terms of money, men and material spent, they just have to leave and stop contesting the Northern Vietnamese invasion. Of course France and Germany are way stronger than the Vietnam's and Germany's stronger than the UK but the UK is intervening in a conflict on behalf of nations being invaded rather than being invaded itself and if German invasion(or even continued battle) isn't possible that remains something. There is simply no reason for the Germans not to end the war with the UK recognizing German gains they can't do anything about and the Germans recognizing UK aims they can't do anything about.

Again forces aren't forced to surrender as coalitions. Germany, A-H and Ottomans were all defeated mostly separately and surrendered due to their own individual circumstances. We are merely bunching them into one due to WWI title. If a nation cannot be compelled to surrender they will reach a settlement and that a negotiated settlement and surrender are often not the same. If France and Italy had surrendered the war might have continued but there would have been no reason to for long and there would be little actual fighting. Brits and Japs in German colonies and Germany can't do anything about it. Germany imposes harsh terms on Russia, France and Belgium UK can't do anything about it(actually given the layout of Africa maybe they can, isn't hard to see Brits invading French and Belgian Africa to keep it out of German hands) and the Brits have a blockade in the north sea and there is nothing the Germans can do about it.

War at this point reaches a point where there's four options. 1) UK/USA do D Day 0.5, 2) Germans do a suicide mission to remove UK naval superiority, 3)both sides don't sign an armistice and do nothing 4) armistice is signed largely just recognizing whatever happened over the last few years. 4 is the only real option here.

In terms of the Italy example, it's opponent the Austrian Empire collapsed and it's territory was given away to other new states. If the Central Powers win and the UK simply holds the territory that is desired that is not a parallel to what happened to the Italians. The Italians saw it as they defeated the Austrians were promised land to fight them and had the other powers give away their promised territory to Yugoslavia and Greece. I can't really see this kind of event happening in a Central Powers victory with no Woodrow Wilson crying about self determination and decrying "secret deals". Italian example was quite unique.

Last edited by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43; August 7th, 2017 at 01:36 PM.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 02:33 PM   #1368
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In most wars, it's difficult to say what side is good and what side is bad, since all sides eventually end up doing terrible things, to soldiers and civilians.

Even at the political aspect it's difficult to determine a bad and a good side in this war; yes, an austrian monarch was killed, but there were never strong evidences of any support of the servian government to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. Besides, Servia accepted almost all the requirements of the austrian ultimato that followed the assassination.

First World War happened, we can say with some level of certain, because of the paranoia that was going threw the european people and the european leaders. The declaration of war to Russia made by Germany, and the german declaration of war to France were made for strategic reasons, because germans believed that if they were not the first to attack, another country would. No country really wanted a world war, and if it's true that the german emperor transmitted to the austrian emperor full support for an action against Servia, it's also true that he only supported that idea because he thought Russia wouldn't react, so, in worst case scenario, Austria would just attack Servia. The german emperor didn't want a world war, the russian czar didn't want a world war (his country didn't have the conditions for it), and France and Great Britain also made efforts to avoid belligerance.

But it's also true that all countries eventually looked at the war as an opportunity to gain something; Russia could expand the western border and finally take Poland, France could regain many territories lost in 1870, Great Britain could end the german expansion in Africa and in Asia, Germany would occupy Eastern European and african territories, Austria would occupy Servia and Montenegro... at a certain point, the war seemed a good bargain. So, no one was really naive and innocent.

And both sides commited awful crimes during the war. The russian persecutions of jews, the enslavement of belgians by the germans, the killing of german soldiers trying to surrender by the german and french, the armenian genocide commited by the turkish... it was an awful, awful war.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 10:48 PM   #1369
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And both sides commited awful crimes during the war. The russian persecutions of jews, the enslavement of belgians by the germans, the killing of german soldiers trying to surrender by the german and french, the armenian genocide commited by the turkish... it was an awful, awful war.
What was russian persectuion of jews in ww1?Any notable example?Crimes agaisn civolians commited by other entente powers?

On other hand we have rape of Belgium,Austrohungartian crimes against civilians in nrothern serbia and Bulgarian crimes in Serbia and Turkish genocide attempts.I dont see eqivalence between Entente and Central powers-central powers seems worse to me.Open to be proven wrong.

Last edited by Azatoth; August 11th, 2017 at 10:56 PM.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 11:40 PM   #1370

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