World war one and USA

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,970
Dispargum
Germany may or may not have decided to launch the spring 1918 offensives. Without those offensives Germany may have been able to stretch the war into 1919, but given that her allies all collapsed in late 1918 and the strangling grip of the British blockade, I don't see Germany lasting longer than 1919. Without Woodrow Wilson at the peace talks, the Allies would have imposed an even harsher peace upon Germany. There would be no League of Nations, but I don't think that would have been a great loss.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,954
Republika Srpska
Yeah, I think Chlodio has got it pretty right. Lloyd George might have been able to somewhat rein in the French and their revanchism given that the Americans and British had actually been to do so in real life.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,426
Portugal
…but I don't think that would have been a great loss.
Well, I mostly agree with your post, even if we are in the speculative field. But here, in the quoted part, I don't agree. The League of Nations was the embryo of the UN.

Both organizations have tons of flaws, but they were the first time, at an almost planetary scale, that men tried to find some general consensus for the mankind. Politically, in my (modest opinion at a planetary scale), that is tremendously positive.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,340
SoCal
Yeah, I think Chlodio has got it pretty right. Lloyd George might have been able to somewhat rein in the French and their revanchism given that the Americans and British had actually been to do so in real life.
Would Britain have actually felt a need for a more moderate peace if it knew from the very beginning that the US won't help it and France enforce the post-WWI peace settlement, though?
 
Jun 2017
3,025
Connecticut
Hello everybody and dear specialists.How would have finished the WWI if USA decided to stay neutral ? Thank you very much.
Central Powers/Allied split decision
France possibly falls in 1918 and the UK continues to starve Germany until they can come to favorable terms. WW1 is a split decision with the UK and Japanese seizing German overseas empire and with Germany winning the war in Europe. Treaty of Brest Litovsk stands, Germany likely takes Luxembourg. Germany would be lighter on France than vice e versa because without Russia as an ally, France wasn't a threat to Germany(individually) and the French settlement at Versailles I our timeline had more to do with making sure Germany couldn't recover than it did for restitution. What this entails is unclear.

US education is very biased on the topic and makes it seem as if the US victory changed the tide of the war. This is overrated at best, a lie at worse. If this is true and the US troops made the difference, the scenario is much more complicated then that. The Germans were being starved out by the Germans but without the US, this means the Germans don't have to necessarily mount a huge offensive in the spring of 1918 and I can see that eventually leading to the French defeat. Or the Spring Offensive could have succeeded not just without the US troops there but without the moral boost with German troops as close to Paris as they were in 1918 it's hard to say. A possibility is also stalemate because things were at a point where if Germany could have stabilized the home front from their Eastern lands, I do not see the French being able to militarily invade and defeat German alone which after the Russia collapse, France largely was. How negotiations would go given France's main territorial goal of Alsace-Lorraine? I don't know.

Ottomans and Austrians survive. Serbia is likely dissolved though I can't see why the Hapsburgs would want to rule it after what happened with Bosnia. Now this is probably in Brest-Litovsk in detail can't recall(or maybe it's not and was meant to be hashed out later)Ottomans get the threat of Russia seizing Constantinople and some Russian territory in all liklihood(sadly this means an even worse Armenian genocide). Territory it'd make sense for the Austrians to acquire would be Catholic Russian Poland(without Nationalism, Poland would probably prefer this). Against the Italians they'd probably seize Venetia undoing that loss of the Austro-Prussian War, it had been the last territory taken from Austria in the unification of Italy. I also can see them restoring the Papal States but those two things would be sufficient to weaken Italy already a weak link among the great powers to where they couldn't attack again. Taking more would be only opening themselves up for problems since the Hapsburgs had been fighting over Italy for at least 400 years at this point.

Per Balkans there would be some sort of Bulgarian and Ottoman partition(possibly all Bulgarian) what makes sense to me is giving majority Islam Bosnia and to the Ottomans Turkey and letting Bulgaria have the rest with Austria-Hungary's border being in Serbia somewhere. Don't know how this would be done. Bulgaria's ability to hold this territory without Ottoman and Austrian support is something I'm skeptical above, Bulgaria wasn't large enough to be an empire of nations whom hated their guts whom outnumbered Bulgaria. A more tame outcome would simply be Bulgaria getting their borders restored to their height during the Balkan wars.

Allied victory
But regardless if the Allies find a way to win(say the Home Front collapses army won't fight etc), the settlement would look very different and would have less to do with Wilson's ideals. It would be more of a formal war settlement rather than establishment of a post monarch, republican new world order(no League of Nations, likely no United Nations) that it became. The main clear consequence of that would be no Fascist Italy as Italy wouldn't be bitter over not being given what was promised. But many things would have to go the same. UK would be exhausted and whatever settlement France could force down Germany's throats and the Central Powers throats they'd be doing largely. Without the larger goal of self determination it's hard to see how France looks at the rest of Europe, France used this US goal as an excuse to create new satellite countries to replace Russia as an ally. How that would look in the Balkans and Eastern Europe might be different. But given how complicated that is, it's impossible to really say. The main thing the US determined was the peace and the French were the ones who enforced it after we retreated from the world again. In this timeline France would end up taking both roles meaning the stage for the same circumstances in Germany and the USSR which happened without our substantial influence anyway.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,340
SoCal
@Emperor of Wurttemburg 43: Do you think that Germany would aim to strip France of iron ore-rich Briey and Longwy if it defeats France? Also, if the Entente still win, I'm presuming that the German monarchy still survives, correct? What about the Austrian and Ottoman monarchies? In addition, if the Entente wins, might France aim to split Germany up into several separate and independent countries due to France knowing ahead of time that the US won't help it enforce the post-WWI peace settlement?
 
Nov 2019
334
United States
Hello everybody and dear specialists.How would have finished the WWI if USA decided to stay neutral ? Thank you very much.
So to dig deeper into your question; to what degree would that entail US neutrality? Since in truth the United States had not been functioning as a true neutral since about late 1915, that would potentially mean a very different war. The United States was producing specifically for French and British a lot of war materials, and supplying foodstuffs. Had the United States been functioning as a Neutral during that entire period it would have demanded that Britain not interfere with US shipments of food, and non war-essential products to the "Central Powers", this would not have been the war we knew at all. It would have also meant that the United States would not have been producing things like ammunition to the Triple Entente which it had since late 1915.

In the Napoleonic Wars this led to a great deal of hostility and eventually war between the US and Britain. The US has historically defended the neutral rights of shipping.
 
Jun 2017
3,025
Connecticut
@Emperor of Wurttemburg 43: Do you think that Germany would aim to strip France of iron ore-rich Briey and Longwy if it defeats France? Also, if the Entente still win, I'm presuming that the German monarchy still survives, correct? What about the Austrian and Ottoman monarchies? In addition, if the Entente wins, might France aim to split Germany up into several separate and independent countries due to France knowing ahead of time that the US won't help it enforce the post-WWI peace settlement?
I am not sure. That would be part of the settlement. I think they'd go the France route. Germany didn't need to weaken the French more if they are isolated(which was the Bismarckian goal that failed)and they'd still have to negotiate themselves out of the chokehold the UK has them in. If Germany doesn't need a concession don't see them pushing the issue. After all UK was scared of one power dominating Europe and they'd need to ease those concerns. Generally given what an incredible deal they got to the East, I really think a Central Powers settlement would focus little on territory to the West though they'd be some form of restitution from France, France's defeat alone would do more to satisfy Germany than Germany's did France because France didn't have the ability to beat Germany and they were trying to compensate. Luxembourg makes sense one of the last German states not in Germany but nothing else does, Alsace-Lorraine in 1870 had been a stretch and look what happened.

If the Entente wins via the home front collapsing the monarchy is gone. The same applies to the Hapsburgs and Ottomans, the thing the US pushed was self determination but those Kings still had Kingdoms to rule regardless, their governments collapsed and the Kings abdicated(less familar with the Ottoman sultan couldn't tell you). This wasn't enforced on the Germans(who weren't ruling any other historic nations) and Hapsburgs by the allies, those empires collapsed in a series of revolutions, marxist, fascist and socialist(not in germany, socialist and centre were new establishment)revolutionary's. For example Austria overthrew the Hapsburgs and in Hungary while the King could have remained on the throne that didn't happen for several reasons. Those were internal decision not one made by the Allies. The republic of Austria could have been the Kingdom of Austria but the regime was paying the cost for the war. In Germany more of an alliance between the Socialists/Centres and the military to preserve themselves by getting rid of the Kaiser. Liken it to how the Second Empire ended in 1870 in Paris with the defeat leading to a bunch of smaller factions jousting for control(such as the Communists in Paris). General wars in the post monarchy, political world were new in the west, in 1815 the Kings had decided who ruled. In 1870 and 1918-1919 these were internal political revolutions by ideologues trying to insert the government of their choice, not the monarch of their choice as was the case prior to 1848(which really set the stage for what these sort of coups may look like).

France wasn't counting on US support in our timeline. They were aware the US was an isolationist country that had joined over Germany's actions on the Atlatnic and in Mexico. France was trying to simply construct a European map where France replaced Austria-Hungary with French allies and a settlement that wouldn't allow Germany to fight France compensating for her industrial and population deficit. France had been isolated and before WWI had brought the allies together. Russia was gone and the UK on the verge of bankruptcy/the public furious(which is why Chamberlain acted the way he did in 1938). The UK didn't actually need to lose most of it's 1 million casualties they could have put on the blockade and just sat there and waited, most of those men died fighting in France. Historically unlike say the French, Russians or Austrians who'd had their fair share of large scale land wars over the centuries, the UK and the British public weren't used to large scale land wars. Italy while a great power due to it's size did not have the ability nor the will to project it's power outward.

Historically France and Italy made sense. However even f the French had given the Italians what they'd promised(similar to the 19th century), and if they had a good historical relationship due to the unification, the Triple Alliance in 1882 showed that Italy was willing to turn on an alliance if it meant territorial gain. With the Hapsburgs gone, the French were the Italians main rivals(having taken traditionally Italian land in exchange for helping in unification), and were their rivals in North Africa, they were also the Great Power the Italians had the best chance of defeating, as they were set to pass France in population and had the next smallest industrial base. Even if this didn't come to pass Italy did not seem to have a desire to project her power outward until the Fascists took over. Mussolini's alliance with Hitler was also predicated on the belief Hitler would win, in 1934, Italy had intervened to stop Germany unifying with Austria. France was seeking allies because she couldn't win a war without them. The two smallest/arguably weakest great powers joining forces simply wouldn't make sense, their mid 19th century alliance was pre German unification when France could help Sardinia defeat the Hapsburgs. What was there in Germany for the Italians to take? Were there German territories in North Africa?

And while some German states especially Bavaria had a strong nationalist identity and some level of separation, it had been 60 years since the unification which included Catholic Germany. It had been a good century since most of Protestant states had been united under Prussian rule. Splitting Germany up wasn't really plausible and the Germans were undergoing several violent revolutions around the country at this point in time.