What if France had won the Franco-Prussian war?

Sep 2010
Somewhere in the former First French Empire
What if the Armies of the Second French Empire had vanquished the German armies? What would have been the results for both France, Germany and perhaps the rest of Europe? What would France's plan have been with Germany? Divide it into satellite states loyal to France? Would France have dominated the continent instead of Germany?

Your thoughts?

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3IvXo0W1YI]Mireille Mathieu - La Marseillaise (France National Anthem) - YouTube[/ame]


Space Shark

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
Redneck Country, AKA Texas
Should'nt this go in spectlative history?

And to answer your original questions, I'm thinking that Germany gets broken up further to keep away agression from France to to keep the states hostile with each other.


Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
New Amsterdam
Germany would have been born ruled by Austria instead of Prussia.
For Austria to unite Germany it would need to lose Hungary. What Austria wanted was to remain the most influential state, not the unifying state.

If France won, a united Germany would still form. Bismarck goaded France knowing that if France was aggressive if would get the South German states to join the Prussian dominated North into a single empire.

Even though there is a united Germany, France will be stronger than it was historically. It will still have Alsace-Lorraine, it will have purchased Luxembourg, and it will have conquered the Saar. Plus Denmark will be given back North Schleswig as part of the final treaties.

France with Luxembourg is a greater threat to Belgium. I think Britain and Germany will be closer in this world. France would be closer to Austria.
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Dec 2011
Indeed a very interesting topic. First of all the odds of France defeating Germany in 1870 are rather small.

However, let's assume that the French are winning the first battles and that the front stabilizes as in WW I in Alsace and more or less alongside the French / German border. I do not see in anyway the possibility of a French offensive in German territory.

After a while the Prussians request an armistice and a peace is concluded. This may save the independence of the South German states but the Northern German Confederation is too solidly under Prussia to be dismantled. The French get Luxembourg, and perhaps some territory in the Rhineland.

What happens next? I don't know. France is really unhappy and tired of Napoleon III. He is also ill but showed no intention of liberalising his regime. Let's assume he dies and the Empire survives. Still I see a lot of potential French domestic troubles from Republicans and later from Socialists. This and the fatigue of the French people may prevent a bid for European domination.

Prussia still is leading Northern Germany and Austria may be happy with Bavaria and other princely states under its' influence and as a bufer between it, Prussia and France.

Don't forget it is the 19th century so the population of these states may be seduced by the nationalist ideas and become irredentist and seduced by the possibility of an united Germany.

Or the Catholics may be skeptical towards the Prussian led North Germany and remain happy with the status quo.

What will be the impact on th balance of power on the Continent? On the relations between Austria and Russia? I don't have an opinion now but I'll come back to it.
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emperor of seleucid

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
Arche Seleukeia
Would kind of be highly unlikely, but France wouldn't have been able to take advantage of a victory. It wouldn't have been a large victory anyways.


Forum Staff
Oct 2009
It would clearly be a setback in the development of Germany as a unifed state. Perhaps a victory for the French army would have the same effect that the Civil War had on the contemporary American army, making it a more efficient and streamlined force, full of embittered veterans.


Ad Honoris
May 2014
France with Luxembourg is a greater threat to Belgium. I think Britain and Germany will be closer in this world. France would be closer to Austria.
To whom will Russia be closer to in this world, though?