Germany vs USA 1912-1913

If Germany and the United States went to war in, say....1912 or 1913, how would that conflict have unfolded? Would the US Navy have a chance against the mighty High Seas Fleet? What would Britain do? France?


Historum Emeritas
Jun 2006
Jacksonville, FL
Britain and France would have joined up with the United States to fight Germany. The Royal Navy combined with the United States Navy could have maintained the blockade around Germany.
Jul 2006
I don't know if Britain would've allied with the US against Germany, I'm not sure France would either. What interest would they have in protecting American interests?
Despite the largest army in the world, and one of the largest Navies, There would be no chance of Germany conquering the United States or of any major battles on either nation's home soil. It would instead devolve into a contest on the seas, with raids on commerce and colonial / territorial posessions.
What I am interested to know, is what if The Archduke was still assinated in 1914? Would Germany still support her Austrian ally? Would the war end sooner with the German military stretched around the globe and the US ready to assist straightaway?
Good questions. Not sure bout the answers. I agree with you about Britain an France, US wasnt particularly close to either of them, and we were in no alliances. How would US battleships stack up against German?
Not sure I agree with that. The US Navy had a history and tradition of fighting......and the numbers were not all that bad. By mid 1912 the US had 8 dreadnaught battleships, while Germany had 10 plus 2 battlecruisers. By mid 1913 Germany would have had a total of 13 dreadnaughts and 3 battlecruisers, while the US didnt get another 2 BBs till 1914. The US also could call on scads of predreadnaughts and armored cruisers.
Jul 2006
When faced with the superior Royal Navy in the Rev War and War of 1812, the United States resorted to privateers and lone duels between frigates.

During the American Civil War and Spanish American War, the US Navy faced opponents that were inferior to them.

So, against germany in 1912, the US Navy finally has an opponent on par with them. If they did go head to head, it would be an interesting and rather bloody showdown. Though if I were the American Admiral in charge, I would use the size of the Atlantic to my advantage and try to divide and conquer the High Seas Fleet.
Interesting. Just how long could the German battleships operate on this side of the pond befor having to coal? Some sort of anchorage would be very nessessary. Also....German gunnery would have been MUCH better than American.............
Nov 2006
Sitting in a wheelie chair.
Commander said:
Britain and France would have joined up with the United States to fight Germany. The Royal Navy combined with the United States Navy could have maintained the blockade around Germany.
Not a chance about Britain. Britain declared war on Germany because of the German advance through Belgium. The French however was still bitter about the German annexation of Alsace-Lorraine in 1871 so they may have joined the Americans. However I don't see a reason why the Americans and Germans would go to war. Without Britain going to war with Germany then Germany would never have sank the Lustaina. (spl?)
Anyways if this hypothetical engagement had happened Germany would have won. The German navy was second only to the British navy and they had one of the most feared armies of the time. The Americans would need to bring troops across the Atlantic which would make it a pain in the a** as far as replacements were concerned. Then there is their airforces to consider. The German airforce was superior until 1916 I believe. The Americans however didn't have an airforce for a long while and had to play catch up. All in all, America would have gotten their butts kicked back across the Atlantic ocean.
Sep 2006
Korea (but I'm American!)
Oddly enough, this scenario isn't all that imaginative. During the Venezuela crisis of 1902-1903, Germany and the United States almost went to war. Germany and Britain both had a squadron near Venezuela and Teddy R. thought the Germans might be planning on occupying Venezuela, so he sent Admiral Dewey(who as pretty old at the time), and the American fleet into the Carribean and warned the Germans not to land in Venezuela. The British were also involved and Teddy warned them not to try anything either. Both Germany and Britain assured Teddy that they would not occupy Venezuela and the crisis ended.
Neither country wanted to start any trouble with Roosevelt because they knew he was crazy. It would have also been stupid to waste their resources fighting the United States while all their main threats were in Europe.

As for a war in 1912? I don't think the Germans would be stupid enough to waste their resources fighting the US and making a new enemy while war was on the horizon in Europe. Wasn't the High Seas Fleet created to fight for dominance in the North Sea? If I'm not mistaken, it was made for short range operations, meaning that it was made to fight the Royal Navy.

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