If WWI ends in a quick CP victory, is there likely to be another Great War sometime down the line?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,936
SoCal
#1
If WWI ends in a quick Central Powers victory, is there likely to be another Great War sometime down the line? For the record, I am thinking of a quick German victory in the West in 1914 followed by a German assault on Russia in 1914-1915. After this TL's WWI, Germany acquires Luxembourg, Briey and Longwy, and perhaps a small part of Belgium (such as the Liege area) in the west (all of which it directly annexes) while creating Polish, Lithuanian, and Courlandish puppet states in the east (Germany might or might not outright annex a Polish Border Strip in this scenario; if it does, though, then the Poles in this strip are going to get expelled to the rest of Poland). I doubt that A-H acquires any territory in this war--though the Ottomans could reacquire most or all of the territories that they lost to Russia in 1877-1878 and the Romanians (who are going to stick to their alliance with the CPs in this scenario) could acquire Bessarabia from Russia.

Anyway, in this scenario, France would have been decisively crushed and stripped of most of its iron ore reserves (due to them mostly being located in Briey and Longwy), but Russia isn't actually going to lose any of its core areas in this TL's WWI. If anything, the loss of the Poles could be a blessing in disguise for Russia since the Poles were previously a huge pain in the ass for Russia. Also, Russia would still be capable of sparking another war at some future point in this scenario--albeit possibly without France by its side due to France becoming crippled by its loss in this TL's WWI. In turn, this raises an interesting question--might another Great War occur in this TL sometime down the line? For instance, might Russia--deciding that Pan-Slavism is a lost cause--decide to shift its focus elsewhere--such as towards Asia? If so, could Russia eventually spark a military conflict with Britain and/or Japan in this scenario? Also, if so, how are the victorious CPs from this TL's (previous) WWI likely to react to the outbreak of such a new war?

Any thoughts on all of this?
 
Mar 2016
1,199
Australia
#2
I'm not exactly sure how to respond to everything you wrote, because there are many different points and topics you mentioned, but in general Europe as a political community simply would not tolerate a single dominant power, be it French, Russian or German. No matter how many times the dominant power was victorious against its many enemies, they would never be left alone until balance was restored. Europe was/is the polar opposite of East Asia, where the continual unification of China created a dominant superpower in the region that remained supreme for centuries at a time.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,936
SoCal
#3
I'm not exactly sure how to respond to everything you wrote, because there are many different points and topics you mentioned, but in general Europe as a political community simply would not tolerate a single dominant power, be it French, Russian or German. No matter how many times the dominant power was victorious against its many enemies, they would never be left alone until balance was restored. Europe was/is the polar opposite of East Asia, where the continual unification of China created a dominant superpower in the region that remained supreme for centuries at a time.
Technically speaking, though, Germany won't be as dominant in this scenario as it briefly was after Brest-Litovsk in 1918 in real life since it won't actually control Ukraine in this scenario; rather, Ukraine will remain a part of Russia in this scenario.
 
Mar 2016
1,199
Australia
#4
Technically speaking, though, Germany won't be as dominant in this scenario as it briefly was after Brest-Litovsk in 1918 in real life since it won't actually control Ukraine in this scenario; rather, Ukraine will remain a part of Russia in this scenario.
Germany was already viewed with much fear and suspicion prior to the war because of their enormous economic and military strength, so even relatively minor territorial extensions would trigger a strongly negative reaction. Just look at the massive backlash that Austria-Hungary received when they annexed Bosnia a few years before the war. The balance of power had remained relatively unchanged in Europe for close to a century, and none of the major powers wanted it to change in a way that didn't benefit them.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,936
SoCal
#5
Germany was already viewed with much fear and suspicion prior to the war because of their enormous economic and military strength, so even relatively minor territorial extensions would trigger a strongly negative reaction. Just look at the massive backlash that Austria-Hungary received when they annexed Bosnia a few years before the war. The balance of power had remained relatively unchanged in Europe for close to a century, and none of the major powers wanted it to change in a way that didn't benefit them.
I thought that a big fuss was raised about Bosnia merely for reasons of Pan-Slavism? After all, I'm pretty sure that Bosnia was a relative backwater, no?
 
Dec 2011
4,808
Iowa USA
#6
If WWI ends in a quick Central Powers victory, is there likely to be another Great War sometime down the line? For the record, I am thinking of a quick German victory in the West in 1914 followed by a German assault on Russia in 1914-1915. After this TL's WWI, Germany acquires Luxembourg, Briey and Longwy, and perhaps a small part of Belgium (such as the Liege area) in the west (all of which it directly annexes) while creating Polish, Lithuanian, and Courlandish puppet states in the east (Germany might or might not outright annex a Polish Border Strip in this scenario; if it does, though, then the Poles in this strip are going to get expelled to the rest of Poland). I doubt that A-H acquires any territory in this war--though the Ottomans could reacquire most or all of the territories that they lost to Russia in 1877-1878 and the Romanians (who are going to stick to their alliance with the CPs in this scenario) could acquire Bessarabia from Russia.

Anyway, in this scenario, France would have been decisively crushed and stripped of most of its iron ore reserves (due to them mostly being located in Briey and Longwy), but Russia isn't actually going to lose any of its core areas in this TL's WWI. If anything, the loss of the Poles could be a blessing in disguise for Russia since the Poles were previously a huge pain in the ass for Russia. Also, Russia would still be capable of sparking another war at some future point in this scenario--albeit possibly without France by its side due to France becoming crippled by its loss in this TL's WWI. In turn, this raises an interesting question--might another Great War occur in this TL sometime down the line? For instance, might Russia--deciding that Pan-Slavism is a lost cause--decide to shift its focus elsewhere--such as towards Asia? If so, could Russia eventually spark a military conflict with Britain and/or Japan in this scenario? Also, if so, how are the victorious CPs from this TL's (previous) WWI likely to react to the outbreak of such a new war?

Any thoughts on all of this?
I don't like this alternate time line at all.

I'd suggest that Austria and Germany winning bigger in 1915 than in the real war along with Italy remaining neutral would lead to a more plausible early end of the war.

In the West, Germany evacuates Belgium and Flanders. The Russians cede some of Western Ukraine, Congress Poland becomes independent and Germany may annex some land to the Northeast of E. Prussia.

In this scenario, the German Staff looks at Schlieffen Plan skeptically and does not delude itself that it can win in France in 40 to 50 days.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,936
SoCal
#7
I don't like this alternate time line at all.
Why not?

I'd suggest that Austria and Germany winning bigger in 1915 than in the real war along with Italy remaining neutral would lead to a more plausible early end of the war.
You're going to need real deep penetration to Russia if you actually want the Russians to agree to a separate peace, though.

In the West, Germany evacuates Belgium and Flanders. The Russians cede some of Western Ukraine, Congress Poland becomes independent and Germany may annex some land to the Northeast of E. Prussia.
Where's the new German-Russian border going to be?

In this scenario, the German Staff looks at Schlieffen Plan skeptically and does not delude itself that it can win in France in 40 to 50 days.
So, no German attack through Belgium at all?
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,575
#8
Put it like this, if Germany wins a quick victory in 1914, the destruction to all combatants will be relatively minor, and the losses for the losers as well (some border revision, colonial territories handed around – and the colonies never provided that much real advantage to any of those empires, so Germany gets mostly bragging rights and little material advantge).

That means Germany might find itself again encircled by a group of further begrudged nations, and that likely sets up the conditions for a new great-power-conflict sooner rather than later.

What Germany needs to do is "win the peace". It does not strut its imperial stuff, dick-waving in everyone's face, but rather implements some kind of "Kaiser Wilhelm Plan" for the economic development of all of Europe, former adversaries included, while implementing some European wide power-sharing scheme, effectively directly and self-imposedly curtailing its own power. I.e. if acts as a real Hegemon, rather than just the imperialistic ruler winning a war – up to and including acting first in the interests of former adversaries like the French, or Russians, ahead of direct German interest – with an eye to indirect long-term German interests. It would take some superhumanly visionary Germany political leadership, but it's not entirely impossible. It's a bit of "What if a victorious Germany after WWI went ahead like the US in 1945?"
 
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