Germany wins WWI; a new Russo-German war breaks out in the 1940s or 1950s

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,742
SoCal
#1
What if Germany would have won WWI as a result of it not resuming USW and thus causing the US to remain neutral--which eventually causes Britain and France to agree to a compromise peace where Germany keeps its territorial gains in the east in exchange for restoring the status quo ante bellum situation in the west? :



(Without US loans, Britain's and France's financial situation might have become much more precarious in 1917-1918 and thus might have made them more amenable to a compromise peace.)

Anyway, let's say that after it de facto wins WWI (keeping its gains in the east is a de facto win for Germany), Germany proceeds to invade Russia and overthrow the Bolsheviks like it planned to but then withdraws from Russia to avoid getting ensnared in a quagmire. Anyway, let's say that the Whites or at least some White faction wins the Russian Civil War in this scenario, proceeds to engage in a crash industrialization program in Russia afterwards, modernizes the Russian military, and prepares for an eventual rematch with Germany. In this scenario, Russia is going to spark a new war with Germany either sometime in the 1940s or sometime in the 1950s--assuming, of course, that Germany doesn't actually acquire nuclear weapons by that point in time (since that would almost certainly mean that Russia would be compelled to cancel its revanchist plans).

Russia's goals in this new war would be at least to reconquer Ukraine, but if it could reconquer some additional territories as well--especially Estonia, Livonia, and some or all of the Caucasus--it would be willing to do this as well. Meanwhile, Germany's goals in this war would be to preserve the existing Eastern European status quo. You can decide how Austria-Hungary (if it still exists by this point in time, that is), the Ottoman Empire, Britain, France, Japan, and the US will respond to the outbreak of this German-Russian war in this scenario.

Anyway, how do you think that this war would have progressed?
 
Apr 2017
1,240
U.S.A.
#2
Firstly, its unlikely Germany would have won simply by not brining America into the war. By late 1917 it was a war of attrition and Germany was slowly losing it. Britain and France simply had more of everything, even knocking Russia out of the war was not enough to change that. Germany's 1918 offensives were not meant to win the war, rather to put them in a better position to negotiate. By this point Britain and France were determined to win no matter what. Germany could only win by taking Paris, which they no longer had the resources to do.

Putting that aside and running with your premise of a German limited victory.
Although, this raises the question of Germany's colonies, are they returned? What about Japan, I see no reason why they would return Germany's pacific colonies.

Austria-Hungary probably would have disintegrated, Austria being absorbed into Germany and Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Baltic states and the Balkans being organized into German puppet states.
The Ottoman empire (presuming it didn't collapse by the time of this German victory) would be propped up as another German puppet. The Arab rebellions would be put down by German aid.
The Caucasus would be organized as a series of German puppet states.
Russia would become non-communist state, initially neutral towards Germany but eventually drifting to Br/Fr orbit.

I can't see Germany as being threatened by Russia in this alternate reality unless they totally fell asleep at the switch and didn't notice their buildup.
Again, putting that aside Russia would probably ally with Britain and France to get revenge on Germany, which would be a significant threat to them. Ideally they would wait to rebellions in east Europe to intervene (claiming they will "liberate them"). Germany could then ally with Japan, who would attack Br/Fr's colonies in the pacific. This again could potentially bring America into the war but I will assume Germany would follow their ww1 policy and try not to. Ultimately Germany may lose this new more brutal world war as they would have to be unprepared for this concept to work at all.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,742
SoCal
#3
Firstly, its unlikely Germany would have won simply by not brining America into the war. By late 1917 it was a war of attrition and Germany was slowly losing it. Britain and France simply had more of everything, even knocking Russia out of the war was not enough to change that. Germany's 1918 offensives were not meant to win the war, rather to put them in a better position to negotiate. By this point Britain and France were determined to win no matter what. Germany could only win by taking Paris, which they no longer had the resources to do.
You might be correct in regards to this. However, this might still be the most realistic way to achieve a German WWI victory and a Brest-Litovsk-style peace. I want both of these things for my scenario here since if the peace with Russia will be much milder, then Russia might be much less eager for a rematch with Germany.

Putting that aside and running with your premise of a German limited victory.
Although, this raises the question of Germany's colonies, are they returned? What about Japan, I see no reason why they would return Germany's pacific colonies.
Germany certainly isn't getting its Asian colonies back from Japan and I don't think that Germany would have been willing to make the necessary concessions in Europe in order to get Britain and France to return its other colonies to it.

Austria-Hungary probably would have disintegrated, Austria being absorbed into Germany and Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Baltic states and the Balkans being organized into German puppet states.
The Catholicism issue would have probably prevented Austria from being incorporated into Germany proper. I do agree with the rest of what you wrote here, though.

The Ottoman empire (presuming it didn't collapse by the time of this German victory) would be propped up as another German puppet. The Arab rebellions would be put down by German aid.
Actually, I think that Britain and France are going to keep the Arab-majority territories for themselves. They'd gladly trade them in exchange for CP concessions elsewhere--but I just don't see the CPs actually being willing to make the necessary concessions in regards to this. The Ottomans will value Baku more than the Arab lands and the Germans wouldn't want to give up any of their own spoils.

The Caucasus would be organized as a series of German puppet states.
Russia would become non-communist state, initially neutral towards Germany but eventually drifting to Br/Fr orbit.
Agreed.

I can't see Germany as being threatened by Russia in this alternate reality unless they totally fell asleep at the switch and didn't notice their buildup.
Maybe Germany is too busy dealing with the shock of the Great Depression and managing its Eastern European possessions to deal with a Russian buildup? Also, dealing with a Russian buildup might be difficult since Germany isn't going to be able to occupy all of Russia and even occupying Russia's major cities could result in a lot of armed resistance against Germany.

Again, putting that aside Russia would probably ally with Britain and France to get revenge on Germany, which would be a significant threat to them.
Would Britain and France really have the appetite for another war, though?

Ideally they would wait to rebellions in east Europe to intervene (claiming they will "liberate them").
There might not be any rebellions if Eastern Europeans are more afraid of the Russian devil than of the German devil, though.

Germany could then ally with Japan, who would attack Br/Fr's colonies in the pacific. This again could potentially bring America into the war but I will assume Germany would follow their ww1 policy and try not to. Ultimately Germany may lose this new more brutal world war as they would have to be unprepared for this concept to work at all.
If Germany has to simultaneously fight Britain, France, and Russia, then Yes, Germany is likely to lose this alt-WWII even with Japan at its side. However, I'm just not sure that Britain and France are actually going to be interested in a rematch with Germany.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,742
SoCal
#4
For the record, I was thinking of having Russia become a right-wing totalitarian regime after the Bolsheviks are overthrown in this scenario--perhaps comparable to Fascist Italy or to Nazi Germany without the genocide. Such a right-wing totalitarian state would probably have no problem achieving rapid mass industrialization and using extreme brutality to do this if necessary.
 
Apr 2017
1,240
U.S.A.
#5
You might be correct in regards to this. However, this might still be the most realistic way to achieve a German WWI victory and a Brest-Litovsk-style peace. I want both of these things for my scenario here since if the peace with Russia will be much milder, then Russia might be much less eager for a rematch with Germany.

Germany certainly isn't getting its Asian colonies back from Japan and I don't think that Germany would have been willing to make the necessary concessions in Europe in order to get Britain and France to return its other colonies to it.

The Catholicism issue would have probably prevented Austria from being incorporated into Germany proper. I do agree with the rest of what you wrote here, though.

Actually, I think that Britain and France are going to keep the Arab-majority territories for themselves. They'd gladly trade them in exchange for CP concessions elsewhere--but I just don't see the CPs actually being willing to make the necessary concessions in regards to this. The Ottomans will value Baku more than the Arab lands and the Germans wouldn't want to give up any of their own spoils.

Agreed.

Maybe Germany is too busy dealing with the shock of the Great Depression and managing its Eastern European possessions to deal with a Russian buildup? Also, dealing with a Russian buildup might be difficult since Germany isn't going to be able to occupy all of Russia and even occupying Russia's major cities could result in a lot of armed resistance against Germany.

Would Britain and France really have the appetite for another war, though?

There might not be any rebellions if Eastern Europeans are more afraid of the Russian devil than of the German devil, though.

If Germany has to simultaneously fight Britain, France, and Russia, then Yes, Germany is likely to lose this alt-WWII even with Japan at its side. However, I'm just not sure that Britain and France are actually going to be interested in a rematch with Germany.
By 1918 Germany was changing, even in victory things would be different. As a result religion would be less important, similar to how it was less relevant in Weimar Germany.

Germany in real life didn't plan on giving the Ottomans Baku, they were going to take it for themselves.

The depression would hit Russia hard too.

France would view a strong Germany as a threat. Britain would view a maritime Germany as a threat. If Russia initiated a war and eastern Europe rebelled they would almost assuredly intervene to some degree to weaken their rival.

Eastern Europe would see Germany as their main antagonist, as they were currently occupying them. Poland, Czechia and Serbia especially. Poland, the Baltic states and the Ukraine would be wary of Russia but that doesn't mean they would be happy about being German occupied.

Even if fascist Russia tried to industrialize quickly, I can't see it happening any faster than how it did with the communists.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,742
SoCal
#6
By 1918 Germany was changing, even in victory things would be different. As a result religion would be less important, similar to how it was less relevant in Weimar Germany.
Weimar Germany didn't have a monarch, though.

Germany in real life didn't plan on giving the Ottomans Baku, they were going to take it for themselves.
I thought that they wanted to let the Bolsheviks keep it in exchange for getting 25% of its oil profits?

Anyway, though, that's irrelevant because the Ottomans actually did capture Baku without German permission in 1918 and are highly unlikely to give it up except by force. I don't think that Germany would have been willing to go to war with the Ottomans over this.

The depression would hit Russia hard too.
Yes, certainly--though if Russia is totalitarian it might weather the storm at least somewhat better than semi-democratic Germany would.

France would view a strong Germany as a threat. Britain would view a maritime Germany as a threat. If Russia initiated a war and eastern Europe rebelled they would almost assuredly intervene to some degree to weaken their rival.
Even at the price of losing another couple million young men of theirs?

Eastern Europe would see Germany as their main antagonist, as they were currently occupying them. Poland, Czechia and Serbia especially. Poland, the Baltic states and the Ukraine would be wary of Russia but that doesn't mean they would be happy about being German occupied.
The risk is, though, that if Germany will withdraw, then Russia will move back in.

Even if fascist Russia tried to industrialize quickly, I can't see it happening any faster than how it did with the communists.
Agreed; it won't be any faster than it was under the Communists in real life. Of course, a fascist Russia might not purge its military like the Communists did in real life.
 
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Apr 2017
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#7
Weimar Germany didn't have a monarch, though.

I thought that they wanted to let the Bolsheviks keep it in exchange for getting 25% of its oil profits?

Anyway, though, that's irrelevant because the Ottomans actually did capture Baku without German permission in 1918 and are highly unlikely to give it up except by force. I don't think that Germany would have been willing to go to war with the Ottomans over this.

Yes, certainly--though if Russia is totalitarian it might weather the storm at least somewhat better than semi-democratic Germany would.

Even at the price of losing another couple million young men of theirs?

The risk is, though, that if Germany will withdraw, then Russia will move back in.

Agreed; it won't be any faster than it was under the Communists in real life. Of course, a fascist Russia might not purge its military like the Communists did in real life.
The Kaiser would be forced by this point to limit his power, this would change things.

Accounts I read say German generals were planning expeditions to take Baku for themselves. The ottomans could be easily defeated or starved into submission. Without the arab lands Turkey wasn't all that important, Germany could easily afford to spurn them.

Totalitarian states don't weather economic hardship better, they simply ignore the suffering of the people and focus on government and military power.

Britain and France may feel Germany would come for them eventually.

Poland in real life still refused to ally with either Germany or Russia and chose to stand by itself (with theoretical British and French support).
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,742
SoCal
#8
The Kaiser would be forced by this point to limit his power, this would change things.
Sure, but the question is to what extent? I mean, might he not be perceived to be a great wartime leader if Germany will (largely) win the war?

Accounts I read say German generals were planning expeditions to take Baku for themselves. The ottomans could be easily defeated or starved into submission. Without the arab lands Turkey wasn't all that important, Germany could easily afford to spurn them.
Do you have a link for this, please? I'd certainly like to see it.

Totalitarian states don't weather economic hardship better, they simply ignore the suffering of the people and focus on government and military power.
That's a good point but this doesn't undermine my general message and scenario here in any way.

Britain and France may feel Germany would come for them eventually.
Maybe, but Britain and France simply don't have that much to offer Germany. I mean, Yes, France has Briey and Longwy, but that's pretty much it. Not worth losing Germany's Eastern European empire over this.

Poland in real life still refused to ally with either Germany or Russia and chose to stand by itself (with theoretical British and French support).
That's because Poland had a genuinely independent government in real life as opposed to being ruled by some German or Austrian prince.
 
Apr 2017
1,240
U.S.A.
#10
Sure, but the question is to what extent? I mean, might he not be perceived to be a great wartime leader if Germany will (largely) win the war?

Do you have a link for this, please? I'd certainly like to see it.

That's a good point but this doesn't undermine my general message and scenario here in any way.

Maybe, but Britain and France simply don't have that much to offer Germany. I mean, Yes, France has Briey and Longwy, but that's pretty much it. Not worth losing Germany's Eastern European empire over this.

That's because Poland had a genuinely independent government in real life as opposed to being ruled by some German or Austrian prince.
Considering the german population was starving for years and scraping to get by, not really. Grand territorial gains in the east mean little to common people with no money and empty stomachs.

The war in the Caucasus gets very messy in 1918.
I quote from Wikipedia: Caucasus Campaign - Wikipedia
In June, German troops arrived to compete with the Ottomans for Caucasian influence and resources, notably the oilfields at Baku. Early in June, the Ottoman army under Vehip Pasha renewed its offensive on the main road to Tiflis, where they confronted a joint German-Georgian force. On June 10, the 3rd Army attacked and took many prisoners, leading to an official threat from Berlin to withdraw all of its troops and support from Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman government had to concede to German pressure and to halt, for the moment, a further advance into Georgia, reorienting its strategic direction towards Azerbaijan and Iran. A Georgian delegation composed of Chkhenkeli, Zurab Avalishvili and Niklo Nikoladze went to Berlin to negotiate a treaty — which was aborted by the German collapse in November.
The conflict continued with the Ottomans after the German surrender.

Germany wouldn't go to war against france/Britain, they would go to war against Germany to weaken them. As for territory for Germany to take from them, there's plenty. Germany could retake its colonies, expand into Africa, the middle east, or simply dominate france and remove all western threats.

Poland wouldn't view it as Germany is better than Russia. They would see it as Independence is better than Germany and Russia.
 
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