Plausibility Check: A German-Ukrainian alliance after a German WWI victory?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,981
SoCal
This might require a German Kaiser with a bit more brains for this to successfully work; however, here goes:

Would it have been plausible for Germany (with a sufficiently smart leadership) to do this? :

-Avoid resuming unrestricted submarine warfare; basically, have the Kaiser block Hindy and Ludy from doing this in early 1917 due to his belief that it is better to wait than to act imprudently.

(In turn, this causes U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to stick to his earlier desire to cut off all U.S. loans to the Entente--thus causing the Entente (or at least Britain) to be put in a much worse financial situation to the extent that they can no longer afford to fight effectively in World War I. Thus, Germany ends up winning WWI in the West by default as a result of Entente/British bankruptcy and then goes for the kill in the East and ends up winning WWI there as well.)

-In the East, Germany still acquires Brest-Litovsk-style territorial gains--with one significant change: In this TL, Germany decides to create an independent, democratic (albeit possibly led by a constitutional monarch, such as Vasyl von Habsburg) Ukraine in order to both weaken Russia and prevent Ukraine from being too much of a burden on Germany.

(Indeed, in this TL, Ukraine would have its own large army, et cetera.)

Basically, the logic of this is quite simple: Germany cannot sustain a Ukrainian puppet state for very long due to its limited resources; however, Germany still wants an independent Ukraine to weaken Russia. Thus, Germany will allow Ukraine to run its own affairs--with its own large army and everything--in exchange for an anti-Russian alliance with Germany. Plus, the Ukrainians can also help Germany suppress the Poles, Balts, and Romanians in their neighborhood.

Also, having Ukraine as a genuinely independent ally would allow Germany to be compensated for Austria-Hungary's upcoming implosion as well as to have a large source of cheap labor which is Christian but not Catholic.

Anyway, would this scenario be realistic with a smarter German Kaiser being in charge of Germany back in the 1910s and 1920s?
 
Jun 2014
1,221
VA
This might require a German Kaiser with a bit more brains for this to successfully work; however, here goes:

Would it have been plausible for Germany (with a sufficiently smart leadership) to do this? :

-Avoid resuming unrestricted submarine warfare; basically, have the Kaiser block Hindy and Ludy from doing this in early 1917 due to his belief that it is better to wait than to act imprudently.

(In turn, this causes U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to stick to his earlier desire to cut off all U.S. loans to the Entente--thus causing the Entente (or at least Britain) to be put in a much worse financial situation to the extent that they can no longer afford to fight effectively in World War I. Thus, Germany ends up winning WWI in the West by default as a result of Entente/British bankruptcy and then goes for the kill in the East and ends up winning WWI there as well.)

-In the East, Germany still acquires Brest-Litovsk-style territorial gains--with one significant change: In this TL, Germany decides to create an independent, democratic (albeit possibly led by a constitutional monarch, such as Vasyl von Habsburg) Ukraine in order to both weaken Russia and prevent Ukraine from being too much of a burden on Germany.

(Indeed, in this TL, Ukraine would have its own large army, et cetera.)

Basically, the logic of this is quite simple: Germany cannot sustain a Ukrainian puppet state for very long due to its limited resources; however, Germany still wants an independent Ukraine to weaken Russia. Thus, Germany will allow Ukraine to run its own affairs--with its own large army and everything--in exchange for an anti-Russian alliance with Germany. Plus, the Ukrainians can also help Germany suppress the Poles, Balts, and Romanians in their neighborhood.

Also, having Ukraine as a genuinely independent ally would allow Germany to be compensated for Austria-Hungary's upcoming implosion as well as to have a large source of cheap labor which is Christian but not Catholic.

Anyway, would this scenario be realistic with a smarter German Kaiser being in charge of Germany back in the 1910s and 1920s?
The Kaiser himself was becoming more and more sidelined in policy making by Ludendorf at that point. Had he been as you said wise enough to do it Ludendorf would have foiled him.

So plausibility in the ot? Zero

Plausible in an alternate timeline that breaks with reality much earlier? Anything is possible
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,981
SoCal
The Kaiser himself was becoming more and more sidelined in policy making by Ludendorf at that point. Had he been as you said wise enough to do it Ludendorf would have foiled him.

So plausibility in the ot? Zero

Plausible in an alternate timeline that breaks with reality much earlier? Anything is possible
Can't the Kaiser simply fire Ludendorff, though?
 
Jun 2014
1,221
VA
Can't the Kaiser simply fire Ludendorff, though?
Theoretically, but then you would need a different Kaiser entirely because not losing control isn't a matter of be a little smarter you need someone with an altogether different and fundamentally tougher personality.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,981
SoCal
Theoretically, but then you would need a different Kaiser entirely because not losing control isn't a matter of be a little smarter you need someone with an altogether different and fundamentally tougher personality.
Completely agreed.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,488
Dispargum
To fire Ludendorf, the Kaiser would need cause, for instance if Ludendorf had lost a battle or had disobeyed a reasonable order, or publicly displayed insubordination. Think Truman and MacArthur - which still hurt Truman in the long run.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,981
SoCal
To fire Ludendorf, the Kaiser would need cause, for instance if Ludendorf had lost a battle or had disobeyed a reasonable order, or publicly displayed insubordination. Think Truman and MacArthur - which still hurt Truman in the long run.
Resuming USW without the Kaiser's permission would certainly work for this, though--as would trying to puppetize Ukraine without the Kaiser's permission.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,980
Iowa USA
To fire Ludendorf, the Kaiser would need cause, for instance if Ludendorf had lost a battle or had disobeyed a reasonable order, or publicly displayed insubordination. Think Truman and MacArthur - which still hurt Truman in the long run.
Thanks for that analogy, as I hadn't considered the similarities of EL and MacArthur before. My first impression is that those personalities have some overlapping traits.

So..

To Futurist's OP: I don't think it is necessary to seek a single "fulcrum", a single "butterfly wing flap" to make an interesting alternate timeline. As I know you, Futurist, have done some reading about American domestic politics in the years preceding 1917, my guess is that you would agree that the Declaration of War was in support not of the Entente, but specifically in support of France.

So... rather than necessarily drilling down lower into the interesting but very speculative pseudo-psychology of Wilhelm, I would say you should also consider simply a scenario in which the military dictatorship of Germany and elements of the hard Left in French government begin negotiating a "limited" defeat of France (and exclude the English since up to the end of 1916 the French public would not necessarily be aware of any decisive victory on the Western Front which the British were part of...).

Just a thought for you.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,521
The Germans were sort of allied with Ukraine after Brest-Litvoosk but the German army's behaviour rapidly soured that relationship.

The German Empire really had problems working with others. It's hard too see the German Empire developing a good relationship with the Ukraine or any state to their east.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,981
SoCal
Thanks for that analogy, as I hadn't considered the similarities of EL and MacArthur before. My first impression is that those personalities have some overlapping traits.

So..

To Futurist's OP: I don't think it is necessary to seek a single "fulcrum", a single "butterfly wing flap" to make an interesting alternate timeline. As I know you, Futurist, have done some reading about American domestic politics in the years preceding 1917, my guess is that you would agree that the Declaration of War was in support not of the Entente, but specifically in support of France.

So... rather than necessarily drilling down lower into the interesting but very speculative pseudo-psychology of Wilhelm, I would say you should also consider simply a scenario in which the military dictatorship of Germany and elements of the hard Left in French government begin negotiating a "limited" defeat of France (and exclude the English since up to the end of 1916 the French public would not necessarily be aware of any decisive victory on the Western Front which the British were part of...).

Just a thought for you.
What exactly is your source about the U.S.'s 1917 declaration of war being specifically in support of France, though?