What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

May 2015
997
The Netherlands
#33
Drang nach Osten (Push to the East) was the German policy in 1914 . No longer was Bismarck's policy of a "sated" Germany in effect. In fact the Kaiser's power ended in 1914. The General Staff (dominated by Hindenburg and Ludendorff by September) took over and told him to go home and stay there until called for. When Germany made peace with Russia in January, 1918 it gained control of Poland, the Baltic states and effectively of the the Ukraine. I would guess that the Baltic States, adjacent to East Prussia, would be annexed. Poland and Ukraine would become vassal states. In the west the annexations specified in the September Program would occur and all Europe would become part of a customs union dominated by Germany.
Expansionism in the East became part of Germany's policy after Hindenburg and Ludendorff took over, but it wasn't the case in the first years of the war. To suggest that 'Drang nach Osten' was the German policy in 1914 is of course blatantly false.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,824
SoCal
#34
Expansionism in the East became part of Germany's policy after Hindenburg and Ludendorff took over, but it wasn't the case in the first years of the war. To suggest that 'Drang nach Osten' was the German policy in 1914 is of course blatantly false.
Wasn't H & L's interest in the East at least in large part the result of Germany being more successful in the East than in the West?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,824
SoCal
#35
BTW, an outright German annexation of Belarus (as opposed to merely making it a German puppet state) is going to severely piss the Russians off, correct? Indeed, this would piss the Russians off much more than a German annexation of the Baltic states, correct?
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,671
Las Vegas, NV USA
#36
Expansionism in the East became part of Germany's policy after Hindenburg and Ludendorff took over, but it wasn't the case in the first years of the war. To suggest that 'Drang nach Osten' was the German policy in 1914 is of course blatantly false.
von Moltke the Younger had already cut the Kaiser out of the loop when Germany mobilized. In September the new commanders Hindenburg and Ludendorff (H&L) effectively took over, so Drang nach Osten was the policy after the loss of the Battle of the Marne 1914. They made good on it in January,1918 with the Russian settlement. In any case it was long the goal of German nationalists.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,824
SoCal
#37
von Moltke the Younger had already cut the Kaiser out of the loop when Germany mobilized. In September the new commanders Hindenburg and Ludendorff (H&L) effectively took over, so Drang nach Osten was the policy after the loss of the Battle of the Marne 1914. They made good on it in January,1918 with the Russian settlement. In any case it was long the goal of German nationalists.
Falkenhayn took over from Moltke after the Marne. H & L only replaced Falkenhayn in 1916.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,824
SoCal
#39
OK. Did von Falkenhayn support the push to the east policy of German nationalists?
He was willing to conquer territory in the East if the opportunity afforded itself--like in 1915 with the Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive. However, he believed that the key to winning the war lay in the West--which is why he did Verdun in 1916 instead of doing another Eastern offensive.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,566
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#40
Probably the largest Germany could become is what it was under the first Reich or holy Roman empire
But remember during the Holy Roman Empire, Germany was a kingdom that, like Italy-Lombardy and Arles-Burgundy, was ruled by the person who was the emperor.

So the Holy Roman Empire was much larger than the Kingdom of Germany.
 
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