How would a Germany versus (Britain + France) matchup in 1914 have looked like?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,713
SoCal
#1
How would WWI have looked like if it was only a war between Germany and (Britain + France), with Russia, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and everyone else remaining neutral throughout the entire war? Basically, I want to recreate the situation in 1939 in 1914. I am not trying to make this realistic but rather as a type of war game/simulation about what would have happened had the alliance system in 1914 been comparable to that in 1939.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,240
here
#2
This would be a dream come true for the Germans in WWI.

So much planning and worrying went into how the Germans were going to fight on two fronts, it would have been a boon for them to only worry about one front. Considerable resources, especially in the early crucial stage of WWI, went to the Eastern Front. I think the Germans would have won the war in a few weeks/months if they didn't have to devote any resources to battling the Russians.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,713
SoCal
#3
Did the Germans actually have the necessary logistics to move much more troops into France in 1914, though?

I do agree with you that the Germans are likely to win the war in the long(er)-run in this scenario; I'm just not sure that they would do so in 1914.
 
Likes: Menshevik
Jun 2017
2,881
Connecticut
#8
This would be a dream come true for the Germans in WWI.

So much planning and worrying went into how the Germans were going to fight on two fronts, it would have been a boon for them to only worry about one front. Considerable resources, especially in the early crucial stage of WWI, went to the Eastern Front. I think the Germans would have won the war in a few weeks/months if they didn't have to devote any resources to battling the Russians.
Not exactly. In Europe, Germany instantly wins in this scenario like you said with little effort. But the British and Japanese would take all of Germany's colonial empire with minimal loss of life in the process. So it's a split decision. Anyhow this scenario wouldn't happen because the French were well aware they couldn't win without the Russians and wouldn't have tried. And even if Russia breaks the alliance, France still doesn't move either likely and the war just doesn't happen.

Given how little territory the Germans could realistically seize in the West(Luxembourg with a Belgian puppet state is really it) while the UK and Japan would be seizing pretty extensive holdings in Africa and Asia, I think on paper Germany loses. France loses more but Germany loses. Remember if the Germans beat France the UK can still put up a blockade Germany has no way of getting rid of. So it would be a bizarre end to the war with the Germans leveraging their European win and the Brits leveraging the fact they took an entire empire and had Germany blockaded that would probably end with Germany losing all her colonies and the Germans gaining Luxembourg and some money from France maybe.

Part of why I consider WWI in Europe such a bad move for the British is there is no earthly way for the Germans to attack them if they win in France(WWII if they'd tried there was a chance in WWI there was none, zero), so they were basically losing a million soldiers to defend a country that had been their ally for 20 years and their adversary for 800. They could have just vastly increased their empire put up a blockade sat in the corner and waited for the Germans to ask for talks under the economic strain.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,713
SoCal
#9
Not exactly. In Europe, Germany instantly wins in this scenario like you said with little effort. But the British and Japanese would take all of Germany's colonial empire with minimal loss of life in the process. So it's a split decision. Anyhow this scenario wouldn't happen because the French were well aware they couldn't win without the Russians and wouldn't have tried. And even if Russia breaks the alliance, France still doesn't move either likely and the war just doesn't happen.

Given how little territory the Germans could realistically seize in the West(Luxembourg with a Belgian puppet state is really it) while the UK and Japan would be seizing pretty extensive holdings in Africa and Asia, I think on paper Germany loses. France loses more but Germany loses. Remember if the Germans beat France the UK can still put up a blockade Germany has no way of getting rid of. So it would be a bizarre end to the war with the Germans leveraging their European win and the Brits leveraging the fact they took an entire empire and had Germany blockaded that would probably end with Germany losing all her colonies and the Germans gaining Luxembourg and some money from France maybe.

Part of why I consider WWI such a bad move for the British is there is no earthly way for the Germans to attack them if they win in France(WWII if they'd tried there was a chance in WWI there was none, zero), so they were basically losing a million soldiers to defend a country that had been their ally for 20 years and their adversary for 800.
Germany could acquire Briey and Longwy from France after WWI in this scenario. They are full of iron ore and taking them would probably severely cripple France.