France's population grows much more rapidly in the 19th century

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
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Walled French cities in Algeria came to my mind too. But walls signify the fact that you are in fact not secure and that your occupation is opposed by 90% of the population.
70% of the population in this scenario.

Don't get me wrong, France would have stayed in Algeria longer if no French demogrpahic collapse but de colonization was inevitable imo at least.
Yes, but it didn't have to be as total in this scenario. Having France keep a part of Algeria for itself doesn't seem too unreasonable. As for the Algerians, they could whine, complain, posture, and bluff about this, but once France builds those walls, the Algerians are gradually going to accept this new reality just like the Moroccans did with Ceuta and Melilla in real life.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
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Instead of Plan 17's mad rush to rapid offensives, maybe something more systematic, with heavier artillery. The delusion that the smaller French Army can overcome the larger German Army through speed and sustained offensive becomes totally unnecessary if the French Army is larger than the German.

One of the attractions behind the Maginot Line was its potential as a force multiplier - it was supposed to allow the small French Army to stand up to the larger German Army. Again, if the French Army is larger than the German, then they don't need a Maginot Line. Maybe they would have paid more attention to the emerging theories of mobile warfare and adopt a more mobile defense doctrine. And a mobile defense doctrine could more easily be converted into an offensive doctrine.

Thinking about it a little longer, I suppose if the French Army was large enough, they would have been disincentivized to ally with Britain. And Germany would have come up with a different strategy than the Schlieffen Plan.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Instead of Plan 17's mad rush to rapid offensives, maybe something more systematic, with heavier artillery. The delusion that the smaller French Army can overcome the larger German Army through speed and sustained offensive becomes totally unnecessary if the French Army is larger than the German.

One of the attractions behind the Maginot Line was its potential as a force multiplier - it was supposed to allow the small French Army to stand up to the larger German Army. Again, if the French Army is larger than the German, then they don't need a Maginot Line. Maybe they would have paid more attention to the emerging theories of mobile warfare and adopt a more mobile defense doctrine. And a mobile defense doctrine could more easily be converted into an offensive doctrine.
Makes sense.

Thinking about it a little longer, I suppose if the French Army was large enough, they would have been disincentivized to ally with Britain.
Yeah, France might have big dreams of European domination in this scenario--dreams that Britain is likely to oppose.

And Germany would have come up with a different strategy than the Schlieffen Plan.
Would there have even been a Germany in this scenario, though? I mean, a stronger France would be more capable of standing up to Prussia.
 
Oct 2015
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70% of the population in this scenario.



Yes, but it didn't have to be as total in this scenario. Having France keep a part of Algeria for itself doesn't seem too unreasonable. As for the Algerians, they could whine, complain, posture, and bluff about this, but once France builds those walls, the Algerians are gradually going to accept this new reality just like the Moroccans did with Ceuta and Melilla in real life.
Maybe a partition of Algeria would be the next best thing.
 
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Oct 2015
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Makes sense.



Yeah, France might have big dreams of European domination in this scenario--dreams that Britain is likely to oppose.



Would there have even been a Germany in this scenario, though? I mean, a stronger France would be more capable of standing up to Prussia.
I don't see a powerful Prussia or a unified Germany in a 19th century where the French population remained the largest in Europe. this means Britain and France would remain antagonistic to each other going into the 20th century and a"First World War" would be between the two of them and their respective allies.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
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I don't see a powerful Prussia or a unified Germany in a 19th century where the French population remained the largest in Europe. this means Britain and France would remain antagonistic to each other going into the 20th century and a"First World War" would be between the two of them and their respective allies.
Yeah, if Prussia will attempt to pick a fight with France in this scenario, it would likely become French mincemeat.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
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Would there have even been a Germany in this scenario, though? I mean, a stronger France would be more capable of standing up to Prussia.
France had many problems in the F-P War beyond just a smaller population and army. The Second Empire was rotten to the core. The French general staff was hopelessly ineffcient. The French railroads were not designed with defense in mind. And Germany could still achieve unification some other way. The Germans really wanted to unify. They didn't need a war with France. That was just how it happened, but there were other paths to unification. I agree that without the Franco-Prussian War the 20th century would have seen a different system of alliances emerge.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
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SoCal
France had many problems in the F-P War beyond just a smaller population and army. The Second Empire was rotten to the core. The French general staff was hopelessly ineffcient. The French railroads were not designed with defense in mind. And Germany could still achieve unification some other way. The Germans really wanted to unify. They didn't need a war with France. That was just how it happened, but there were other paths to unification. I agree that without the Franco-Prussian War the 20th century would have seen a different system of alliances emerge.
Would France have actually been willing to allow Germany to unify, though?