Was there a realistic way for Germany to quickly lose WWI?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,580
SoCal
#21
The Main Russian attack was in Gallica, The Germans sent a couple corps east after the Russians laucnhed a couple of armies at East Prussia but I odubt that a couple of corps if they remained would of swung the western Front, the wheeling flank logistical concerns mean the two corps could not have been there to turn the Battle of the Marne in 1914.
How sure are you about this?
 
May 2018
589
Michigan
#22
Quick, in relative terms, could have been achieved if the US entered the war in 1914. Not under Wilson, but let's say a less isolationist president is in office, like Theodore Roosevelt. Assuming this is possible due to Taft not seeking a second term or whatever.

If the US mobilized when Britain entered the war, 10,000 troops a week would be pouring into Europe by the end of 1915, providing a massive manpower advantage for the Allies.

This assumes that the US and Royal Navy can achieve success in countering U Boats earlier than they did.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,580
SoCal
#23
Quick, in relative terms, could have been achieved if the US entered the war in 1914. Not under Wilson, but let's say a less isolationist president is in office, like Theodore Roosevelt. Assuming this is possible due to Taft not seeking a second term or whatever.

If the US mobilized when Britain entered the war, 10,000 troops a week would be pouring into Europe by the end of 1915, providing a massive manpower advantage for the Allies.

This assumes that the US and Royal Navy can achieve success in countering U Boats earlier than they did.
Without tanks, though, can the Western Allies actually break through the trenches earlier or would this simply mean more cannon fodder for the Germans to mow down, though?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#24
Quick, in relative terms, could have been achieved if the US entered the war in 1914. Not under Wilson, but let's say a less isolationist president is in office, like Theodore Roosevelt. Assuming this is possible due to Taft not seeking a second term or whatever.

If the US mobilized when Britain entered the war, 10,000 troops a week would be pouring into Europe by the end of 1915, providing a massive manpower advantage for the Allies.

This assumes that the US and Royal Navy can achieve success in countering U Boats earlier than they did.
Just back of teh evelope math, what something like 4 million French and British troops, 10,000 a week is not "pouring in " after a year of that 500,000 US troops that's a 10% more troops it's not that massive.

The Effectiveness of troops in ww1 to large degree depended on equipment and training. France and Britain do not have the excess weapons to equip the US troops like they did in 1918. So Troops without machine guns or artillery are less than totally effective, Even rifles would have been in very short supply. The US troops were mostly equipped with Pattern 14 rifles, which while made in the US were factories lines fully funded and developed by the British, and were only able to reaches high production numbers in 1917 because of that work. The scaling up of rifle production wodl be a serious problem in 1915. US prodcution really benefited from supplying the Entente the kinks got worked out. The US did not have the same mass production lines laready set up for rifles that it did later.
 
Likes: Futurist
May 2018
589
Michigan
#26
Without tanks, though, can the Western Allies actually break through the trenches earlier or would this simply mean more cannon fodder for the Germans to mow down, though?
Difficult to say in these types of thought experiments. However, if the US joined the war very early on, it could cause some nations to not join the Central Powers.

In any case, having the US on the side of the Allies early on may have been a hindrance: exercises conducted between 1914-1917 by the peacetime army revealed serious deficiencies in mobilization. Had the US tried to mobilize for real without these lessons learned...

Another way the Allies could have scored an early 'victory' is a controversial one: if Lord Grey had made Britain's position on joining the Allies sooner, the war might have been averted because the promise of British economic weight allied to France and Russia would cause the Central Powers to back down. No war, no Versailles, no Hitler. A victory. This isn't a theory i entirely agree with, but it is out there among credible academics.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,005
#27
Possibly the 1914 Marne battle ends even more badly for the Germans than historically, and they then both the development of their lines on the western front?

I.e. the Germans bungle the timing of their withdrawal, ending up with its 1st Army cut off on the western outskirts of Paris, where the Entente manages to force its surrender and capture.

Suddenly the German field army has been significantly reduced, they have a rather sever frontage problem for the next stage, which historically became The Race to the Sea, but under the circumstances might rather be a German race back northwards to establish a working defensive line. Not only would the distances needed for the German to traverse to get a shortened frontline to then fortify be longer, but it might also take more time. Meaning the war on the western front in late 1914 would be more mobile for longer than historically, with the Germans at a greater disadvantage.

At some point the German HQ, Kaiser, whomever, might decide that the quick-war gamble had failed, and try asking for terms. Since the French likely would now be in possession of all their pre-war territory, fighting up in Belgium, close to the German border itself, they might grant it.

Then again Russia might demand a continuation, seeing how well things were going in the west, with the Germans on the run, relatively.

Then again, with a successful Russian attack in the east, and victory leaving East Prussian exposed and Germany defeated militarily on both fronts, either Germany would buckle down for a desperate defensive war, or also seek terms from the Russians.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#28
In any case, having the US on the side of the Allies early on may have been a hindrance: exercises conducted between 1914-1917 by the peacetime army revealed serious deficiencies in mobilization. Had the US tried to mobilize for real without these lessons learned...
WOW you think it was possible to bungle the mobilizatyion worce than the historical mobilizatiuon and training of the AEF. The training in the states was unbeleiveably woeful.
 
Nov 2009
3,870
Outer world
#29
Possibly the 1914 Marne battle ends even more badly for the Germans than historically, and they then both the development of their lines on the western front?

I.e. the Germans bungle the timing of their withdrawal, ending up with its 1st Army cut off on the western outskirts of Paris, where the Entente manages to force its surrender and capture.

Suddenly the German field army has been significantly reduced, they have a rather sever frontage problem for the next stage, which historically became The Race to the Sea, but under the circumstances might rather be a German race back northwards to establish a working defensive line. Not only would the distances needed for the German to traverse to get a shortened frontline to then fortify be longer, but it might also take more time. Meaning the war on the western front in late 1914 would be more mobile for longer than historically, with the Germans at a greater disadvantage.

At some point the German HQ, Kaiser, whomever, might decide that the quick-war gamble had failed, and try asking for terms. Since the French likely would now be in possession of all their pre-war territory, fighting up in Belgium, close to the German border itself, they might grant it.

Then again Russia might demand a continuation, seeing how well things were going in the west, with the Germans on the run, relatively.

Then again, with a successful Russian attack in the east, and victory leaving East Prussian exposed and Germany defeated militarily on both fronts, either Germany would buckle down for a desperate defensive war, or also seek terms from the Russians.
I feel this is the best way for Germany to lose.
Had the Allies decisively chased the Germany army during the retreat from the Marne and had Germans being more worn down, then the battle of the Marne might have ended in a total disaster for the Germans with half of the right wing armies being massively depleted of men and resources.
In addition, had Von Rennenkampf been aggressive before Tannenberg and Samsonov a little more careful when deploying his forces, then the Russian may have fared much better at that battle (historically they fought rather well defensively): if they somehow managed to swiftly and thoroughly crush Von Prittwitz and even capture Koenigsberg, then the combined impact of two strategic defeats on both fronts might have been too much for the German public: after all, in 1914 there had not yet been the massive casualties and the consequent determination to win, so a country may have been more prone to ask for terms.
Conversely, another chance is if Austria-Hungary abruptly collapses in late 1914 as a result of Russian and Serbian offensives: Germany could not hope to match the Entente's resources alone.
 
Likes: frogsofwar
May 2018
589
Michigan
#30
WOW you think it was possible to bungle the mobilizatyion worce than the historical mobilizatiuon and training of the AEF. The training in the states was unbeleiveably woeful.
Believe it or not, yes they could have fucked it up. There was a mock mobilization a few years before the US entered the war, and it was a disaster. The poor performance of the US Army in the exercise was a factor in German planning for unrestricted submarine warfare: the US was bad at mobilizing, and thus wouldn't be a factor until 1919 (so they thought).