What Would the World Be Like if Germany Had Won World War 1?




 
--
 
November 17th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 

Topic: What Would the World Be Like if Germany Had Won World War 1?


I notice that we have the WW2 topic, but what if Germany (and its allies) had been victorious in the Great War?

For one thing, at the start of WW1 Germany was absolutely huge compared to today. Had they won WW1, we know that they would have added a substantial portion of modern day Ukraine, Belarus, all of modern Poland --- so they would have ended up with an enormous empire within Europe.

With the boot on the other foot, what would the equivalent of the Treaty of Versailles have been like for the UK and France and their allies? Since the USA not entering the war is the most likely scenario for ensuring German victory ... its probably safe to pose the theoretical conclusion to WW1 along those lines. The USA was never involved and Germany wins, etc. Would the UK and France have been required to cede significant portions of their global empires to a victorious Germany? If so, what portions? What happens to Belgium and the Netherlands?

What of Germany's allies? Autria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire were both dying empires -- would they have seen a renewal for awhile? All of Serbia would almost certainly have been handed over to Autria-Hungary if they had wanted it. The Ottomans ... I'm having a hard time sorting out what may or may not have happened with their empire.
November 17th, 2004  
Young Winston
 
 
ww2 probably wouldn't have happened.
November 17th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiejohn
ww2 probably wouldn't have happened.
Well, depending on Germany's version of the Treaty of Versailles imposed upon the UK and France -- I'd say that its EXTREMELY likely that a different scenario for WW2 would have occurred. What nobody sorted out until the Marshall Plan (post WW2) was that the punishing the loser of a war creates the seeds for another conflict. I doubt that Germany (if victorious in WW1) would have realized this. We ARE talking about Kaiser Wilhelm II after all. BTW, he and his government would have remained in power.
--
November 17th, 2004  
Hegario
 
I doubt that the Germans would've held on to all the areas they got in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Most likely they would've held on to the captured Polish territory, and used up the rest to form German puppet/buffer-states in Belarus, Ukraine & Baltics. Ukraine would've prospered because the Germans would've bought huge amounts of grain & foodstuffs from there. Soviet Union would never have probably existed.

In the western front there was not much territory to expand to. The areas there were so ethnically monogenous that they would've proven themselves difficult to rule from Berlin. The people of Alsace-Lorraine felt pretty much outsiders anyway when compared to "real" Germans and they were a part of the reich. Maybe Luxemburg & some parts of eastern Belgium would've been added to the Reich.

Most likely France & Britain would've been stripped of a lot of colonial possessions in Africa. Kenya would've annexed by the Germans for example. And Suez would've been given to the Ottomans.

Austria-Hungary would've probably gone down even if the Germans had won. World War 2 would probably not have occurred.
November 17th, 2004  
AussieNick
 
I don't think it would have been anywhere near as bad as a potential WW2 Germany Wins scenario. Remember the fact that the German leadership in WW1 wasn't all about "libersrelm" or however it is spelt, an aryan nation and denegration of the Jews.
November 17th, 2004  
Hegario
 
Very true. The jews were a part of the Imperial army and a lot of them were awarded for distinguished service. German jews believed in the same things as the regular german soldiers, meaning that everybody believed the war to be justified.

I don't think the Germans even had any magnificent expansion plans on the strategic scale. Seems like they wanted a war but didn't even know what to do if they'd win it. The Second Reich was more about conservative militarism than full-blown world domination.
November 17th, 2004  
Patrick
 
Hitler has been credited with having such a tremendous impact on the 20th Century and was provided the opportunity to become the Chancellor of Germany in 1933 as a result of the German defeat in 1918 in which Germany had to accept all blame and responsibility for the war's devastation. It was during the 1920's that a power vacuum ocurred from the disillusionment with the Weimar Republic. The German people, including Hitler, felt betrayed. If Germany had been victorious, the Weimar Republic would have maintained the confidence of the people and therefore would have not been de-throned. In terms of land... I believe it is difficult to state exaclty how much land that Germany would have seized. In short, the 20th century would be vastly different if Germany would have been victorious in 1918.
Patrick
November 17th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hegario
I doubt that the Germans would've held on to all the areas they got in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Most likely they would've held on to the captured Polish territory, and used up the rest to form German puppet/buffer-states in Belarus, Ukraine & Baltics. Ukraine would've prospered because the Germans would've bought huge amounts of grain & foodstuffs from there.
Quite difficult to sayhow it works itself out. Its fair to say that Germany was trying to swallow too much. The Baltic States and Poland probably would have been successfully held. Belarus and the Ukraine would have largely depended upon how Germany handled it. At the very least, Belarus and the Ukraine would have been independent of both Russian and Soviet rulership - they would have been a protectorate of a fully armed and victorious Germany. At the very least, those two nations would probably benefitted from a temporary German rulership. I highly doubt that Germany ever intended to do anything with Finland other than grant its independence from Russia.

The concessions in the Causcuses region is worrisome because it could have led to an continuation and possible expansion of the Armenian Holocaust.

Quote:
Soviet Union would never have probably existed.
Consider that one of the most important thing that Lenin and the Bolsheviks did to win Russia over was getting them out of World War I. On top of that, consider that it was in Germany's best interests for the Bolsheviks to succeed in seizing power. The Soviet Union, as we know it from history, still would have existed -- minus Belarus, the Ukraine, etc. Deprived of roughly half of its population, the USSR would not likely have ever been the enormous military Superpower it was in real history. On the other hand, Belarus and Ukraine were central to the resistance against the Bolsheviks -- take them out of the equation and the Communists takeover would have been more easily accomplished. The USSR would have still developed and still been a significant player on the world stage, but not nearly AS significant.

Quote:
The people of Alsace-Lorraine felt pretty much outsiders anyway when compared to "real" Germans and they were a part of the reich. Maybe Luxemburg & some parts of eastern Belgium would've been added to the Reich.
Regardless of how its people felt in relation to the Reicht, Alsaice-Lorraine started WW1 as part of Germany and would have remained a part of Germany. You could make a strong case for all of Belgium and all of the Netherlands being swallowed up. You most definitely would have seen a German insistance on France disarming, but disarming would have been well nigh impossible to inforce upon the British. I would be surprised if Germany hadn't set up a long term occupation of the portion of France it already occupied -- similar to the French occupation of the Rhineland. Still, with global empires with which to negotiate, Great Britain and France had a lot of options to put on the table in exchange for lessening the direct consequences being applied to their homelands.

The real question in my mind is: Would Russia, France and Britain have seen a revival and quest for vengence akin to Nazi Germany? Certainly not in the same form -- France and Great Britain were to established as democratic nations -- but something similar nonetheless.

Quote:
Austria-Hungary would've probably gone down even if the Germans had won. World War 2 would probably not have occurred.
I think this one is hard to say. Bolstered by victory, the Dying Austo-Hungarian Empire would certainly lasted somewhat longer, but substantial changes would have had to have happened.
November 17th, 2004  
Hegario
 
I feel that I must clarify some of the points I made. Obviously I should've been a little more clear/longer in my statements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
Quite difficult to sayhow it works itself out. Its fair to say that Germany was trying to swallow too much. The Baltic States and Poland probably would have been successfully held.
The Baltic states were already being held successfully when they declared themselves independent. Estonia for example declared independence on January 24th 1918, well before the end of the war. The Germans didn't protest at all. I think this proves that Germany was seeking buffer/puppet states agains Russia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
I highly doubt that Germany ever intended to do anything with Finland other than grant its independence from Russia.
Yeah that's very true. The end result would've most likely been the same, meaning independence for Finland. Heck, the Germans even gave us troops in our own civil war.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
The concessions in the Causcuses region is worrisome because it could have led to an continuation and possible expansion of the Armenian Holocaust.
Very true. Most likely they would've grabbed far more territory than they could've administer properly. The Ottomans were not being exactly tactful when it came to suppressing minorities within their territory. Even if Germany had won, I think that the age of the Ottomans was coming to an end. They were far outclassed in everything by their neighbours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
Consider that one of the most important thing that Lenin and the Bolsheviks did to win Russia over was getting them out of World War I. On top of that, consider that it was in Germany's best interests for the Bolsheviks to succeed in seizing power. The Soviet Union, as we know it from history, still would have existed -- minus Belarus, the Ukraine, etc. Deprived of roughly half of its population, the USSR would not likely have ever been the enormous military Superpower it was in real history. On the other hand, Belarus and Ukraine were central to the resistance against the Bolsheviks -- take them out of the equation and the Communists takeover would have been more easily accomplished. The USSR would have still developed and still been a significant player on the world stage, but not nearly AS significant.
What I was trying to say on the other hand was that with the existence of several bolshevik-hostile German buffer states within their sphere of influence would've most likely changed the outcome of the Russian civil war. I think that the worst mistake made by Germans in WW2 was that they didn't take advantage of the Ukrainian anti-soviet sentiment. Imagine if this would've happened.

And to speak more hypothetically, imagine if the germans wouldn't have allowed Lenin to travel to Russia at all, and Vladimir Ilyich would've just stayed in Switzerland learning to make clocks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
Regardless of how its people felt in relation to the Reicht, Alsaice-Lorraine started WW1 as part of Germany and would have remained a part of Germany. You could make a strong case for all of Belgium and all of the Netherlands being swallowed up. You most definitely would have seen a German insistance on France disarming, but disarming would have been well nigh impossible to inforce upon the British. I would be surprised if Germany hadn't set up a long term occupation of the portion of France it already occupied -- similar to the French occupation of the Rhineland. Still, with global empires with which to negotiate, Great Britain and France had a lot of options to put on the table in exchange for lessening the direct consequences being applied to their homelands.
Alsace-Lorraine was indeed a part of the Reich and would've remained a part of Germany, but I think you fail to realise that the unified Germany was far less unified than it appears. The old Holy Roman Empire-period differences were still a part of the politics of the era, not to mention the threat of socialism. The Reichstag elections of 1912 for example had seen 110 socialists elected. OTHO the military was being led by right-wing reactionaries. There were noble families for all provinces and there were rather strong independence movements for Bavaria, Alsace-Lorraine and other provinces. One of the reasons for war was to unify the nation against the evil Brits and French. This was the main point of my reasoning when I stated that the Germans wouldn't have probably grabbed too much territory in the west.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
The real question in my mind is: Would Russia, France and Britain have seen a revival and quest for vengence akin to Nazi Germany? Certainly not in the same form -- France and Great Britain were to established as democratic nations -- but something similar nonetheless.
Oh boy, this is a tough one. The revanchist movement was definitely strong in French politics after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871. Most likely the jingoists would've won several elections if France would've been defeated in the Great War. I do believe that Great Britain would not have supported an offensive war against Germany. Maybe even a fascist France.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
I think this one is hard to say. Bolstered by victory, the Dying Austo-Hungarian Empire would certainly lasted somewhat longer, but substantial changes would have had to have happened.
IMHO the Habsburgs were doomed way before WW1. The Hungarian movement for indepence was strong and there were similar movements for Rumanians, Czechs, Slovaks, Croats, Slovenes and the Bosnians as well. In the 1800's, there were lots of ethnic revolts in several provinces like Galizia for example. But I must say that despite of the multi-ethnic background and the huge frontlines, the Austro-Hungarians fared exceptionally well in battle.

And finally... Have you ever heard of a computer game called Victoria - An empire under the sun. I highly recommend it.
November 17th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
You see, its all very interesting to think about, isn't it?

One thing on Austria-Hungary -- their armed forces saw a higher overall percentage lost/destroyed than any other participant in WW1 ... so they didn't fare too well in battle. They saw little success on any front other than the Italian front, and they saw several catastrophes. But still, its conceivable that victory might have prolonged the inevitable. Eventially they'd have fallen appart, but perhaps not as soon. The Ottoman Empire was in similar

I think that Germany definitely was interested in Eastward expansion of its Empire, but regardless of what direction they had taken, their sphere of influence would have been greatly expanded. Hard to say what they keep and what they don't.