European and world politics in the decades after an early Central Powers victory in WWI


Ad Honoris
May 2014
What would European and world politics have looked like in the decades after an early Central Powers victory in World War I?

I presume that Germany would want to keep the status quo intact (especially considering that Germany will acquire iron ore-rich Briey-Longwy from France as well as some French colonies in the post-WWI peace settlement in this scenario) and will thus want to solidify its alliances with Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire so that there will be a powerful bloc opposing any large-scale territorial revision in Europe and the Middle East. I'm presuming that France would become deeply pacifist as a result of its WWI defeat (the fourth in 110 years) and as a result of its poor demographics relative to other European powers. Thus, France will be eager to avoid new confrontations with any European power and to preserve what is left of its colonial empire. I don't think that either France or Italy would have been willing to join MItteleuropa except at gunpoint due to the fact that there probably simply wouldn't be much in it for them. Post-WWI Franco-Italian relations would probably be strained since Italy would likely enter WWI on the CP side if France looks like it's about to fall and will thus be rewarded with some French territory after the end of WWI--something which is likely to cause a lot of anguish and grief in France. I suppose that Italy--emboldened by its WWI victory in this TL--could eventually try making another grab for Ethiopia, but I don't know if the other European Powers would have approved of such an Italian move.

As for Britain, I expect that it would retreat back to its policy of splendid isolation and not worry too much about what happens in Europe. However, it would certainly try to protect its Empire from any threats that might emerge--such as a newly assertive Russia in Asia. Speaking of Russia, I suspect that a lot in this scenario is going to depend on whether the Tsarist system in Russia survives World War I intact or whether significant changes will be made after the end of WWI which result in either the Tsar's power being significantly curtailed or Tsarism outright being completely abolished in Russia and replaced with a republic. If the CPs win WWI early enough, they might be generous on Russia and thus only strip it of Poland, Lithuania, Courland, Bessarabia, Kars Oblast, and perhaps some territory in southern Central Asia if Afghanistan enters the war and attacks Russia. In such a scenario, Russia would keep the northern Baltics, Ukraine, and Belarus and will thus have its industrial heartland remain intact after the end of WWI. This could be a problem for Germany considering that, once Russia sufficiently strengthens itself (perhaps by 1950), it could eventually make another move for Galicia. While Germany + A-H + the Ottomans could decisively beat Russia in 1914, it's far from clear that this is going to remain the case in, say, 1950. Thus, I think that Germany and its allies are going to try permanently shifting Russia's attention away from Europe after the end of WWI and towards Asia (excluding the Middle East, which is where the Ottoman Empire will want to remain dominant). This could have some interesting implications for relations between Russia and Britain/Japan. After all, Russia might eventually feel sufficiently confident of its ability to defeat Britain and/or Japan in a war that it would indeed be willing to spark such a war in order to expand its territory and influence even further into Asia. Indeed, I strongly suspect that Germany would enjoy watching Russia and Britain/Japan fight each other while it itself sits, watches, and eats popcorn! :D

I'm presuming that the U.S. never enters WWI in this scenario (since otherwise it's very hard for the CPs to actually win this war) and thus remains mostly isolationist but with a focus on the Americas and East Asia. Indeed, I wonder if there is anything that could draw the U.S. into a Russian war with Britain and Japan (presumably on the side of Britain and Japan) at some point in time after the end of WWI.

Anyway, any thoughts on all of this?
Dec 2017
Regnum Teutonicum
I don't see Germany annexing anything from France, because when they asked Britain to stay out of the war, they promised not to annex french or belgian territory. In the Treaty of Brest-Litovks, Germany didn't extend its borders one inch, so why would they do it in the west, which they saw more civilized than Russia during this time?

I see the scenario unfolding the following way:
  • The Entente lost the First World War
  • Differences to the original timeline:
  • Duration 1914 – 1920
  • After battle of Tsingtao Germany gives Japan some colonies for exiting the war (Kiautschou including Tsingtao, the german parts of the Solomons, German New Guinee, the Carolines and Palau)
  • To safe Germanys face Japan „exchanges“ them for the uninhabited Volcano Islands (= Bonin Islands, Nishinoshima and Marcus Island, but not Okinotorishima/Parece Vela and Daito Islands)
  • Later similar deal to keep the USA out of the war (USA gets Marshall Islands, Togoland and Kamerun; Germany gets eastern Samoa)
  • A big fleet of trade u-boats keeps the trade between Germany and the USA open
  • The soviets don’t immideatly start to attack Germanys allies liberated with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, but initally focus on consolidating their power internally
  • This allows for a massiv shift of german and austro-hungarian troops from the eastern to the western and southern fronts
  • As a result France collapses in the spring offensive
  • Austria-Hungary collapses shortly after and desintegrates (few weeks of civil unrest and internal fighting)
  • For the rest of the war the UK largely fights alone, until first rebellions in England (in Ireland they happened earlier)force them to surrender to a very lenient peace (like paying 1 gold pound reparations)
  • Like in the OTL a lot of minor south american countries join the winners side (in this case the Central Powers)
  • This is how europe looks after the war:
  • Soviet Russia like in original timeline after Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the follow-up treaty that gave them Belarus (after all belorussians felt russian); (no reparations exactly like in OT)
  • Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Centrocaspian Dictatorship and Commune of Baku are still around in the caucasus
  • Romania cedes Dobruja to Bulgaria
  • Former Austria-Hungary:
  • Hungary sovereign (incl. Banat, Crisana, Transsylvania, Maramaros, southern Bukovina and eastern Slovakia)
  • Croatia (without Kuestenland but incl. Herzegovina) and Bosnia are puppet states of Hungary
  • Czechoslovakia (Bohemia, Moravia and western Slovakia) independent (10 year non-aggression pact with Germany in exchange for the protection of the german minorities)
  • Slovenia (all of Kuestenland, Krain, Uebermur-Territory and lower Styria, but no part of Carinthia) independent
  • Trentino independent
  • Tyrol, Salzburg, Austria (lower and upper), Vorarlberg, the austrian part of Silesia, Carinthia and Styria (upper) all hold elections and join Germany
  • A little later, after a referendum, Burgenland joins Germany
  • Serbia pays reparations and has to renounce all claims to hungarian, bosnian and croatian territory
  • The Ottoman Empire gained disputed Kars from Russia in the war, but obviously loses their status as great power
  • Emirat of the Shamar gets most of the other arab states on the arabian peninsula and forms Shammar-Arabia (continues to be a puppet state of the Ottoman Empire)
  • Italy pays reparations, has to give Senussi far reaching autonomy and has to demilitarized the territory north of the Po river
  • San Marino and Andorra pay reparations
  • France pays reparations and cedes the french parts of Vlaanderen and Hennegau (essentialythe departement Nord)
  • Those are given to Belgium to compensate them for violating their neutrality
  • The UK gives the parts of todays Oman under their controll back to the arabs in exchange for keeping the Darfur Sultanate and pays symbolic reparations of 1 gold Pound to Germany and in turn Germany promises to not enlarge her colonial posessions (so no new german colonies)
  • Secret treaty between Germany and the UK:
  • 15 year non-agression pact
  • UK starts trade relations with Germany
  • In return Germany promises to keep her fleet size on 1/3 plus one boat of the british fleet during this time (Germany had seen the undisputed control of the Royal Navy in the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and parts of the North Sea)
  • The rest of the Entente countries (e.g. Cuba, Centrocaspian Dictatorship,…) keep the status quo and pay no reparations (only peace treaties are signed)
  • Remaining german colonies after WW1: German East Africa, German South West Africa, Nauru, Samoa, Volcano Islands and Mariana Islands
Dec 2017
Regnum Teutonicum
In the interwar years a cold war develops:
  • Three blocks rise: the Axis, the Central Powers and the Minsk Pact
  • Soviet Russia tries to export communism (world revolution)
  • First foreign policy move: it strengthens the only other communist country – the Commune of Baku
  • It installs a communist government in its puppet state Tuva
  • Communism is exported to Mongolia
  • Next the easy pray Bosnia (which had in the meantime separated in a moment of weakness from Hungary and went trough a brutal civil war)
  • The first communist country in the new world is Cuba (Cuba Crisis)
  • Bolivia follows
  • The greatest foreign policy victory during the interwar years: they achieved to lure away Ukraine from Germany, Ukaraine leaves the Central Powers and joins the Minsk Pact (plus of course getting a communist government) (Ukraine Crisis; heavy diplomatic failure for Germany)
  • The last country getting communism and joining the Minsk Pact in the interwar years is Haiti
  • In Italy Benito Mussolini gains power and introduces fascism to the world
  • After a few years the monarchy is totally abolished
  • Mussolini and his successors cleverly use moments when the world is distracted for aggressive military moves
  • Major moves:
  • Remilitarization of the territory north of the Po
  • Appeasement: Monaco Agreement
  • The sovereign countries San Marino and Trentino are ceded against their will in an international treaty to Italy
  • Senussi autonomy was brutally ended
  • Albania was subdued and converted to a puppet state and later annexed
  • Short Italian-Ethiopian war - south-eastern parts of Ethiopia are annexed into a new italian colony
  • The conquest and annexation of the Vatican was the current duces‘ last coup
  • After this, the Central Powers threaten war, if Italy starts a new war (rumors: Berlusconi and his wife Mussolini focuses their attention into the direction of Greece)
  • Italy exported fascism to Spain, Romania, Portugal, Hungary (and with this Hungarys satellite state Croatia) and the destabilized France (it went trough constant new governments and elections)
  • France annexes Monaco and exports fascism through the Wallons to Belgium
  • Andorra, although still democratic, has now two fascist heads of states (from France and Spain)
  • The members of each block:
  • Minsk Pact:
  • Soviet Russia
  • Tuva
  • Cuba
  • Mongolia
  • Ukraine
  • Bolivia
  • Commune of Baku
  • Haiti
  • Bosnia
  • Serbia (not communist)
  • Centrocaspian Dictatorship (not communist)
  • Axis:
  • Italy
  • France
  • Japan (not fascist)
  • Manchuoko (not fascist)
  • Brazil (will they be fascist via Portugal or not?)
  • Spain
  • Hungary
  • Croatia
  • Romania
  • Portugal
  • Belgium
  • Persia (not fascist)
  • Central Powers:
  • Germany
  • USA
  • China (not democratic)
  • Bulgaria
  • Poland
  • Finland
  • Dervish State (not democratic)
  • Georgia
  • Lithuania
  • Courland and Semigallia
  • Latvia
  • Estonia
  • Norway
  • Slovenia
  • Greece (not democratic)
  • Armenia
  • Montenegro (not democratic)
  • Chile
  • Argentina (flawed democracy)
  • Ethiopia (was E. in OT democratic?)
  • The rest of the countries are neutral
  • Important events for Germany:
  • Has a mostly isolationist policy outside its allies and focuses on the economy
  • Most important diplomatic failures: Ukraine Crisis and Anaxation of Vatican
  • Most important diplomatic successes: After Cuba Crisis the USA join the Central Powers; After Sino-Japanese War: China joins the Central Powers
  • June 17th, 1953: scandal leads to end of monarchy -> Germany now a republic
  • Rocket fever starts to grow in the german population and results in Germanys lonely race to space (famous: Ente; Aggregat 4; Wikinger 1 and 2; Sheffex 2)
  • German space ports in present: Kumersdorf, Berlin, Peenemünde and Cuxhaven
  • First german space colony: Mondstadt (Moon Town)
  • The Moon is now german (and shown on all maps of the world in a little corner as part of Germany)
  • The settled areas are under giant to small glass(?) cupolas
Now is the question how World War 2 would develop.


Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
I don't see Germany annexing anything from France, because when they asked Britain to stay out of the war, they promised not to annex french or belgian territory. In the Treaty of Brest-Litovks, Germany didn't extend its borders one inch, so why would they do it in the west, which they saw more civilized than Russia during this time?
Just so wrong.

Brest-Livosk saw massive gains in the east, it created puppet states that where in effect part of the German empire.

By spetemeber the minimium German program was wholesale annexation in the west. The Long term crippling of France was viewed as a must, the reduction of Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark to puppet clienet states (regardless of two being neutral in teh conflict)
Jun 2017
Something I spent a great deal of time arguing with someone else and that I don't think is understood given the "unconditional surrender" type nature of these wars in our timeline is that a "Central Powers victory" doesn't apply uniformally to the Allies the same way an Allied victory did to the Central Powers and the war would be a split decision of sorts(you could argue it already is with Russia's defeat to an extent but you know what I mean). The Japanese will have taken all of Germany's colonial empire in Asia and the UK will have taken all of Germany's African one and Germany regardless of whether or not they conquer France would still not be in a position to change those outcomes(Germany conquering France doesn't change the naval situation), so Germany would still lose her colonial empire to the British. The Ottomans might also be finished though there the Germans would have the option of continuing the fight with the UK, though given how things were going by 1917 I'm not sure that they'd care enough to be honest. The UK and the US had much less skin in the game than the French, Italians and Russians as the UK and USA could simply eat the PR bullet, sign a settlement where the Germans really couldn't force them to do anything and retreat across their channel/ocean respectively that the Germans have no way of continuing the conflict over. So a Central Power victory would more be France and Italy being defeated by Germany and Austria, the UK and Japan's victories elsewhere were sealed and the US was just sending a expeditionary force and the worst case scenario there was a PR nightmare.

So the UK, Japan and the US are inherent parts of the great power lineup regardless of WWI's outcome given their geography's and powerful navy's. The main difference is swapping France and Italy(the two smallest great powers in our timeline by population) for Germany and Austria-Hungary.
Likes: Futurist
Dec 2018
Also would the Great Depression still have occured?
As the American stock exchange would still have boomed and therefore eventually crashed.
But it wouldn't have had as much money spread out around the world so it wouldn't have been able to spread.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
An interesting point ,
Germany was utterly broke and any peace would have seen some dire difficulties
so would France and to a lesser extend Britain ,
the US interwar dominance was less it's military than it's deep pockets
this led to some exuberance in trading junk but this was not really war related