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Ironduke
07 Oct 06,, 10:35
Would anybody care to speculate what the world would look like if the Central Powers had defeated the Allies in WWI? Keep in mind, purely hypothetical.

glyn
07 Oct 06,, 10:53
Interesting, as are all the 'what ifs' of history. A good place to start might be to see the manouvering by the diplomatic corps of the combatant powers before the commencement of hostilities, and immediately after. Not all the papers of all the powers are available for study, but what is clear is that ALL sides were ill-informed as to the others intentions. A book that will serve as a primer is "A Peace to End All Peace" by David Fromkin. The sub-title 'The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East' gives one some ideas where lessons can be drawn.

Ironduke
07 Oct 06,, 11:15
One of my favorite books :)

Of course, there are endless scenarios as to how the Central Powers would end up winning the war.

For example, the United States stays out of the war and cuts off trade with all belligerent parties. Any thoughts on how this would play out?

astralis
07 Oct 06,, 17:51
For example, the United States stays out of the war and cuts off trade with all belligerent parties. Any thoughts on how this would play out?

why would the US do that? part of the reason why the US jumped in on the side of the Allies in WWI was because of masterful british propaganda...and also british trade, which exceeded that of german trade.

Kansas Bear
07 Oct 06,, 18:42
The complete extermination of the Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.

PubFather
07 Oct 06,, 18:56
One of my favorite books :)

Of course, there are endless scenarios as to how the Central Powers would end up winning the war.

For example, the United States stays out of the war and cuts off trade with all belligerent parties. Any thoughts on how this would play out?
The US intervention into the war was not all that decisive. Had the US cut all trade with the UK - it would have seriously weakened the UK. It wouldnt have changed the fact that the UK still had a naval stranglehold on Germany and was still capable of moving resources by sea through the Empire.

Britain and France managed to break the "Spring Offensive". Without US troops - would they have? Probably (although not to underplay US heroism a Belleau Wood for example).

The difference would be that the allies would not be able to replace their manpower losses with American troops so both sides would be in the same situation.

Most likely result - the war ends in a negociated peace late 1918/19. Germany comes to the table after internal revolts/revolutions. Return to status quo of 1914 borders in France. Austria-Hungary collapses anyway, as does the Ottoman Empire.

No Treaty of Versailles - and probably no WWII either...

Goatboy
07 Oct 06,, 22:36
Would anybody care to speculate what the world would look like if the Central Powers had defeated the Allies in WWI? Keep in mind, purely hypothetical.


That's a tough question. It's quite possible that the world would have been a better place -- all the way to 2006, if the central powers had won, say with a negotiated peace.

Goatboy
07 Oct 06,, 22:56
The US intervention into the war was not all that
Most likely result - the war ends in a negociated peace late 1918/19. Germany comes to the table after internal revolts/revolutions. Return to status quo of 1914 borders in France. Austria-Hungary collapses anyway, as does the Ottoman Empire.

No Treaty of Versailles - and probably no WWII either...


I don't see a victorious Austria-Hungary collapsing actually. I see revolts in some areas perhaps. Neither do I see the Ottoman empire collapsing. The Ottoman empire would certainly gain territory at the expense of Southern Russia, and why wouldn't they? many of these areas are Turkic. The Brest-Litovsk treaty of course wouldn't be voided by allied victory in the west, so Russia would have shrunk, and become more homogeneous in it's ethnicity.

German colonies would be returned, and France would lose some of hers to Germany.

glyn
07 Oct 06,, 23:00
One of my favorite books :)

Of course, there are endless scenarios as to how the Central Powers would end up winning the war.

For example, the United States stays out of the war and cuts off trade with all belligerent parties. Any thoughts on how this would play out?

In many ways the First World War was the making of the USA into a major power, certainly it was not one before the outbreak of war. Europe was where the power and wealth lay until they collectively commited suicide in four and a quarter years of total war that left much of the continent in ruins.
America supplied the allies with material, and profited mightily by so doing.This money was most wisely invested in industry.
By November 1918 Europe was exhausted and broke, and America was energised and rich. Would America have been so powerful had the German/Austro-Hungarian/Turkish Alliance won? Possibly. But it would have had to live in a different world as the Austro-Hungarian 'empire' was going to collapse from within, just as Imperial Russia had, and the Ottoman empire was about to do.
As PubFather has said, the Royal Navy was blockading Germany and her people were facing starvation, so I can't really see Germany winning the war. I'm fairly sure she would have sued for peace. If that had happened, and the Kaiser remained there may well have not been WW2. However, what could then have happened................?

PubFather
07 Oct 06,, 23:34
I don't see a victorious Austria-Hungary collapsing actually. I see revolts in some areas perhaps. Neither do I see the Ottoman empire collapsing. The Ottoman empire would certainly gain territory at the expense of Southern Russia, and why wouldn't they? many of these areas are Turkic. The Brest-Litovsk treaty of course wouldn't be voided by allied victory in the west, so Russia would have shrunk, and become more homogeneous in it's ethnicity.

German colonies would be returned, and France would lose some of hers to Germany.
You misunderstand... no one would really be victorious - certainly not Austria-Hugary. AH was already tearing itself apart pre-war, the costs of the war would only have hastened this - especially with the "disease from the east" communism.

You obviously dont understand that the Ottoman Empire had been destroyed (more or less) by Allenby et al in the Mid East, they had been crushed already in Palestine and Syria and Iraq. If you think that being part of the Central Powers would have gained them an ounce at the negociating table after the war - even with a European stalemate - then you greatly overestimate the willingness of Germany to prop up a failed ally.

The periphal powers would have failed - they were always empires on borrowed time and the war simply hastened their demise...

Goatboy
08 Oct 06,, 03:30
You misunderstand... no one would really be victorious - certainly not Austria-Hugary. AH was already tearing itself apart pre-war, the costs of the war would only have hastened this - especially with the "disease from the east" communism.

You obviously dont understand that the Ottoman Empire had been destroyed (more or less) by Allenby et al in the Mid East, they had been crushed already in Palestine and Syria and Iraq. If you think that being part of the Central Powers would have gained them an ounce at the negociating table after the war - even with a European stalemate - then you greatly overestimate the willingness of Germany to prop up a failed ally.



Huh? IronDuke already set the premise of this thread which is: "Would anybody care to speculate what the world would look like if the Central Powers had defeated the Allies in WWI? Keep in mind, purely hypothetical."
So we've already established a victorious Central powers victory in this case, not a stalement. Of course what "kind" of victory it would be is definitely open to discussion, such as the obvious: France and Russia are defeated on land, but England is certainly territorially intact -- I'm thinking England wouldn't be prepared to make any concessions, pay any indemnity, etc.

So I think yes, the victorious Ottoman and AH empires had plenty of pull in negotiations and why wouldn't they? Would a victorious Germany let defeated France pour troops into Palestine? Would a victorious Germany abandon its allies AFTER their combined efforts defeated the Entente? Of course not. There's no way Austria-Hungary would have fallen apart in 1918 anyway, Later perhaps, but not right away.



The periphal powers would have failed - they were always empires on borrowed time and the war simply hastened their demise...

The Soviet Union was a huge multi-ethnic empire and weathered defeat -- (i.e. didn't split up into all it's little pieces) so what's so different about a victorious Austria-Hungary, (an entity which had existed for several hundred years -- im including Hapsburg administration of Austria here ) pulling through despite insurrection? What makes Austria-Hungary more difficult to hold together than all the many ethnicities in imperial Russia?

PubFather
08 Oct 06,, 16:21
Huh? IronDuke already set the premise of this thread which is: "Would anybody care to speculate what the world would look like if the Central Powers had defeated the Allies in WWI? Keep in mind, purely hypothetical."
So we've already established a victorious Central powers victory in this case, not a stalement. Of course what "kind" of victory it would be is definitely open to discussion, such as the obvious: France and Russia are defeated on land, but England is certainly territorially intact -- I'm thinking England wouldn't be prepared to make any concessions, pay any indemnity, etc.
I was actually responding to IronDuke's later suggestion of continued American neutrality leading to a Central Power victory.

Any victory for the Germans would have come at the start - so we would then need to think along the lines of the Schlieffen Plan actually working - and therefore France is largely defeated by the end of 1914 ala the Franco-Prussian war.


So I think yes, the victorious Ottoman and AH empires had plenty of pull in negotiations and why wouldn't they? Would a victorious Germany let defeated France pour troops into Palestine? Would a victorious Germany abandon its allies AFTER their combined efforts defeated the Entente? Of course not. There's no way Austria-Hungary would have fallen apart in 1918 anyway, Later perhaps, but not right away.

With an early victory - in 1914/15 possibly correct, but not in the circumstances I was talking about in my post.


The Soviet Union was a huge multi-ethnic empire and weathered defeat -- (i.e. didn't split up into all it's little pieces) so what's so different about a victorious Austria-Hungary, (an entity which had existed for several hundred years -- im including Hapsburg administration of Austria here ) pulling through despite insurrection? What makes Austria-Hungary more difficult to hold together than all the many ethnicities in imperial Russia?
Bad example. The Russian Empire did indeed fragment during the civil wars that followed WWI. It was pulled back together after a long period of hostility, huge casualities and then controlled by one of the most repressive regimes in the history of the world. Such as regime could have held Austria-Hungary together - but this was not on the horizon in 1914/15. The same holds true for the "sick man of Europe", the Ottoman Empire. With an early and successful close to the war - they would have persisted longer.

However, what I was talking about was a war ending circa 1918/19.

With regards to the "peace terms" of such a conflict ending in 1914/15 - I would imagine some limited French territorial losses, mostly colonial. Britain would not consider itself to be defeated and so would more likely negociate a ceasefire, leading to a peace treaty - rather than a full blown surrender.
Russia would probably face a watered down version of Brest-Litovsk - depending on how great the German advances had been after the defeat of France. Russia would - in all likelyhood - have come to table after the defeat of France.

Longterm - the stage would have been set for quite a different WWII. There would have been less pressure for disarmament, certainly in the UK and probably in Russia also (France, would likely be restricted from full rearmament for some years after the war). The arms races - naval and otherwise would have continued. Proxy wars in the Mid East and Balkaans also seem likely.
The other possibility is greater British-German cooperation - especially if Russia did suffer a communist revolution, or perhaps its own version of facism.
Russia was still the real bete noir for Germany, and a strong Russia threatened the British Empire far more than than Germany.

Pablo Cortez
03 Sep 07,, 23:20
The question of the effects of a victory of the Central Powers in World War I is something that deserves an extensive consideration because it provides the opportunity to exorcise some of the corrosive popular notions created by the British propagandists as part of an effort to sell a skeptical British public an unpopular war.

One of history's great ironies is that Hitler is identified as the creator of the "Big Lie"---yet the quote that identifies it from Mein Kampf is actually an analysis of British policy and practice in WWI and how Germany should do likewise in the future. Sadly American leadership has faithfully followed the British model of duping public opinion in all the major conflicts since 1914.

Another piece of historical orthodoxy is the nearly universal condemnation of the Treaty of Breat-Litovsk as a demonstration of German rapacity. Interestingly enough, the frontiers it established were virtually identical to those arising in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR. Does that invalidate the self-determination of its peoples, or does it indicate that the negative evaluation of the treaty was essentially propaganda? Worse still, did it demonstrate the will of the Central Powers to establish a postwar system more just than that of the Paris treaties inflicted by the Allies?

The survival of Austria-Hungary is another, and closely related, example of Allied historical orthodoxy. Rather than admit that they had destroyed a nation simply to sate their greed (as demontrated by the promises of the secret Treaty of London in 1915), it was convenient to attribute the end of the Habsburg Monarchy to inevitable internal conflict. Yet the monarchy had held together well throughout the entire course of the war without any uprising of any of its various peoples. The collapse came only after military defeat and by the agency of external committees fomenting partition between greedy neighbors and new homeland for expatriate patriots. A militarily successful Austria-Hungary might more likely have become a Superswitzerland or a prototype of a European Union.

Much more to say, but hoping there is still interest in this subject.

deadkenny
04 Sep 07,, 00:11
Not sure how I 'missed' this one the first go around ;) however, I'll add my 2 cents worth now. I would say a lot depends on exactly when and how the Central Powers are victorious. For example, if Germany 'wins' the first Battle of the Marne (for that to be plausible, you'd obviously have to have other things go differently leading up to it) and there's a 'peace treaty' in 1914, that looks very different than if you assume that the war fights out historically through to 1918, the Germans 'impose' the Treay of Brest-Litovsk in the east and then there's some 'settlement' in the west - either a German victory (somehow) in their final offensives or a stalemate and a negotiated peace in the west that leaves the eastern situation as per B-L. Either scenario could be considered a 'victory' by the Central Powers, depending on the particulars (Germany might decide that they didn't really care much about the Turks or the Middle East and 'buy' Britain off by allowing them to keep parts of the Ottoman Empire for example, not exactly a 'victory' for the Ottomans).

deadkenny
04 Sep 07,, 00:18
...Another piece of historical orthodoxy is the nearly universal condemnation of the Treaty of Breat-Litovsk as a demonstration of German rapacity. Interestingly enough, the frontiers it established were virtually identical to those arising in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR....

Well, IIRC I do believe that Germany's eastern border was rather further east in the earlier version. ;)


...
The survival of Austria-Hungary is another, and closely related, example of Allied historical orthodoxy. Rather than admit that they had destroyed a nation simply to sate their greed (as demontrated by the promises of the secret Treaty of London in 1915), it was convenient to attribute the end of the Habsburg Monarchy to inevitable internal conflict. Yet the monarchy had held together well throughout the entire course of the war without any uprising of any of its various peoples. The collapse came only after military defeat and by the agency of external committees fomenting partition between greedy neighbors and new homeland for expatriate patriots...

This is a bit more interesting. The Allies broke up a 'multi-national' state but in effect created 2 new ones (Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, both of which ended up breaking up ultimately, in spite of the 'ethnic cleansing' of the peoples on the 'losing side' after WWII).

Big K
04 Sep 07,, 10:58
what would happen in the social psychology if US failed in WW1?

wabpilot
04 Sep 07,, 14:05
Failed at what? Do you mean if we had not entered the war? Do you mean if we entered on the side of the central powers and they still lost? Do you mean if we entered on the side of the allies and stalemate continued? Do you mean if we entered on the side of the allies and the central powers won?

Big K
05 Sep 07,, 08:15
Do you mean if we entered on the side of the allies and the central powers won?

yes the last one.. :) sorry

wabpilot
05 Sep 07,, 19:56
yes the last one.. :) sorry
That probably depends on the scope of the defeat. The US offered Germany very generous terms in our separate peace treaty. If defeated on the battlefield, the US would not have been nearly as generous. And, Germany had no means of dictating terms to the US. It could take Paris. Not Washington.

Kansas Bear
06 Sep 07,, 06:13
The question of the effects of a victory of the Central Powers in World War I is something that deserves an extensive consideration because it provides the opportunity to exorcise some of the corrosive popular notions created by the British propagandists as part of an effort to sell a skeptical British public an unpopular war.

Never mind that 'invasion of Belgium' nonsense!! :rolleyes:


Sadly American leadership has faithfully followed the British model of duping public opinion in all the major conflicts since 1914.

coughVietnam War protestscough


Another piece of historical orthodoxy is the nearly universal condemnation of the Treaty of Breat-Litovsk as a demonstration of German rapacity. Interestingly enough, the frontiers it established were virtually identical to those arising in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR. Does that invalidate the self-determination of its peoples, or does it indicate that the negative evaluation of the treaty was essentially propaganda? Worse still, did it demonstrate the will of the Central Powers to establish a postwar system more just than that of the Paris treaties inflicted by the Allies?

And who declared war on Russia?? And why?? :rolleyes:


The survival of Austria-Hungary is another, and closely related, example of Allied historical orthodoxy. Rather than admit that they had destroyed a nation simply to sate their greed (as demontrated by the promises of the secret Treaty of London in 1915), it was convenient to attribute the end of the Habsburg Monarchy to inevitable internal conflict. Yet the monarchy had held together well throughout the entire course of the war without any uprising of any of its various peoples. The collapse came only after military defeat and by the agency of external committees fomenting partition between greedy neighbors and new homeland for expatriate patriots. A militarily successful Austria-Hungary might more likely have become a Superswitzerland or a prototype of a European Union.

Right. Lets go over this shall we?

1. Austria, following the declaration of war, imposed martial law on the country. Unrestricted censorship of the press, prohibition of assemblies, resorting to military court in political matters. Which violated the "Compromise".

2. Austria, prorogued it's parliament until May 1917. Which violated the "Compromise".

3. Hungary, refused to ship food supplies to Austria.

4. In May 1917, when the parliament was reinstated, Slavic nationals gave notice of severing their allegiance to Austria.

5. Jan 1918, strikes by munitions and armament workers in and around Vienna.

6. Following Emperor Charles' attempt to alter the 'Compromise of 1867', Hungary, declared it's Realunion with Austria ended, Oct 31, 1918.


Now, call me crazy, but this doesn't sound like the 'nirvana' you've told us.


Much more to say, but hoping there is still interest in this subject.

Hopefully you'll be reading more about WWI before posting...

Feanor
06 Sep 07,, 08:50
The victory of the Central Powers would give much more strength to the Communist movements in Europe. Actually such a victory would inadvertedly give ground for massive uprisings all over Europe. It would also lend more ground to the Trotskiy wing of the Communist party, who demanded immediate opening of hostilities with all capitalist nations. The war with poland of 1920 wouldn't have happened. Instead the Red Army would have a direct border with the victorious, but internally unstable Austrian Empire. Even if it managed to stay together, it would have been a virtual breeding ground for destabilizing elements. While an actual series of Communist revolutions is questionable, it is certainly plausible.

Big K
06 Sep 07,, 09:25
That probably depends on the scope of the defeat. The US offered Germany very generous terms in our separate peace treaty. If defeated on the battlefield, the US would not have been nearly as generous. And, Germany had no means of dictating terms to the US. It could take Paris. Not Washington.

i was wondering what would be the effects of a WW1 defeat at the time of deciding to enter WW2?

wabpilot
06 Sep 07,, 13:26
i was wondering what would be the effects of a WW1 defeat at the time of deciding to enter WW2?I think it would depend on the scope of the defeat. Say the US sent the historical number of troops, but those did not stop the German advance. Ultimately, the French sue for peace leaving the US and UK holding some small part of France. Perhaps a beach head around Dunkirk. Some sort of armistace is reached.

Then, I figure WWII happens just as soon as the German economy collapses. Probably 1920 or 21. The US and UK will probably work at bringing about a German economic collapse. The US would probably have dealt harshly with Germany over the Claims Commission. Think Germany losing most of her overseas business investments and the money held in US banks and banks who wanted to do business in the US. Germany would have also found herself cut out of most international financing systems at least until all the US claims had been paid. Rather than the orderly process that really took place. The US would have likely squeezed the German economy into collapse. Then, the US "would have had no choice" but to enter Germany and restore order or "protect it from the communists."

astralis
06 Sep 07,, 15:06
feanor,


The victory of the Central Powers would give much more strength to the Communist movements in Europe. Actually such a victory would inadvertedly give ground for massive uprisings all over Europe

i doubt that. the prussian leadership of germany detested the communists with a passion, and any victory by the central powers would lead to crackdown of the socialists and communists, which the kaiser could not safely do (politically) before the war.

i suppose it would depend on when the central powers won. had they won in 1918 with their offensive, then your scenario becomes more likely. if they had won in 1914, then not at all.

astralis
06 Sep 07,, 15:14
wabpilot,


Then, I figure WWII happens just as soon as the German economy collapses. Probably 1920 or 21. The US and UK will probably work at bringing about a German economic collapse. The US would probably have dealt harshly with Germany over the Claims Commission. Think Germany losing most of her overseas business investments and the money held in US banks and banks who wanted to do business in the US. Germany would have also found herself cut out of most international financing systems at least until all the US claims had been paid. Rather than the orderly process that really took place. The US would have likely squeezed the German economy into collapse. Then, the US "would have had no choice" but to enter Germany and restore order or "protect it from the communists."

i'm not sure how the germans could have pulled off victory against the allies after US involvement, but even assuming they had, a victory in 1918 means that they'd push like hell to punish the allies (much as the allies did in regards to the central powers). the US and UK would probably get off lightest, because as you say, the germans really could not touch them. but france would have been screwed up the wall, both landwise and reparations. the germans were looking to take something along the order of 2/3 of belgium, the border forts of france, and demilitarizing the rest of belgium and a further strip of territory in france. (as well as the creation of a german-dominated trade zone.)

the monies the germans realized from these reparations would probably have lasted until the inevitable post-war recession, probably followed by a depression for much the same reasons as in our timeline. but it wouldn't collapse- hell, germany didn't collapse even after defeat.

the US, especially after a (non-catastrophic) defeat in the war, probably would have pulled even deeper into isolationism.

Big K
06 Sep 07,, 18:06
I think it would depend on the scope of the defeat. Say the US sent the historical number of troops, but those did not stop the German advance. Ultimately, the French sue for peace leaving the US and UK holding some small part of France. Perhaps a beach head around Dunkirk. Some sort of armistace is reached.

Then, I figure WWII happens just as soon as the German economy collapses. Probably 1920 or 21. The US and UK will probably work at bringing about a German economic collapse. The US would probably have dealt harshly with Germany over the Claims Commission. Think Germany losing most of her overseas business investments and the money held in US banks and banks who wanted to do business in the US. Germany would have also found herself cut out of most international financing systems at least until all the US claims had been paid. Rather than the orderly process that really took place. The US would have likely squeezed the German economy into collapse. Then, the US "would have had no choice" but to enter Germany and restore order or "protect it from the communists."


why German economy collapsing??? if Germany wins ww1 they'll reach a lot of economic resources? a winner Germany would have take the control of limitless Russian farming areas right?? also with Ottomans maybe they gain a major control/influence on the ME?

btw i highly doubt that US will debate with a winner Germany who controls the Europe. i mean whats the point? i also doubt about the financial issues...i mean "money talks" right?

another question is if GErmany had won ww1 will there be a 2nd ww?

astralis
06 Sep 07,, 18:30
big k,


another question is if GErmany had won ww1 will there be a 2nd ww?

most certainly. the germans, if anything, were going to come down just as hard as the allies did. france and the UK would be itching for round 2.

wabpilot
07 Sep 07,, 00:42
why German economy collapsing??? if Germany wins ww1 they'll reach a lot of economic resources? a winner Germany would have take the control of limitless Russian farming areas right?? also with Ottomans maybe they gain a major control/influence on the ME? That does not offset their losses to the US claims commission. Further, it still does not gain them access to international banking, controlled by London and Washington. Nor, does it get them any help from the US Federal Reserve in holding off a recession. If Germany pulls off a win, it's still bankrupt and owes the US more than it can ever repay. Further, the US holds a great deal of German financial assets as well as businesses.


btw i highly doubt that US will debate with a winner Germany who controls the Europe. i mean whats the point? i also doubt about the financial issues...i mean "money talks" right?It's more like a poker game where one player holds a royal flush, everyone knows it, but has to keep betting.


another question is if GErmany had won ww1 will there be a 2nd ww?Yes. Japan and the west are on a collision course. History dictates that Germany join the club of reasonably well behaved nations, or it perishes. The same is true for Japan.

lemontree
07 Sep 07,, 07:26
Would anybody care to speculate what the world would look like if the Central Powers had defeated the Allies in WWI? Keep in mind, purely hypothetical.
Palestine remains in the hands of the Turks.
Idn Bin Saud remains a brigand in the deserats of Arabia. Instead of the the Brits/ Americans the Germans own the Arabian oil fields.

Feanor
07 Sep 07,, 11:26
feanor,



i doubt that. the prussian leadership of germany detested the communists with a passion, and any victory by the central powers would lead to crackdown of the socialists and communists, which the kaiser could not safely do (politically) before the war.

i suppose it would depend on when the central powers won. had they won in 1918 with their offensive, then your scenario becomes more likely. if they had won in 1914, then not at all.

Cracking down on communism always encourages more of it. I'd be more worried if they simply ignored it, and brought it within legal bounds. Then the communist movements would have had no chance to win.

kind of reminiscent of good old Putin. If he keeps this up soon people will be ready to revolt in the streets. People are more likely to revolt and follow a radical ideology if the government is cracking down on it. Especially if it's violent.

Kansas Bear
08 Sep 07,, 01:04
Palestine remains in the hands of the Turks.
Idn Bin Saud remains a brigand in the deserats of Arabia. Instead of the the Brits/ Americans the Germans own the Arabian oil fields.

Imagine the Ottoman Empire's retaliation to the REAL revolt enacted by the Arab tribes!

Yeah, the Germans would own the Arabian oil fields since there wouldn't be (hardly)any Arabs left!

Big K
09 Sep 07,, 17:16
Imagine the Ottoman Empire's retaliation to the REAL revolt enacted by the Arab tribes!

Yeah, the Germans would own the Arabian oil fields since there wouldn't be (hardly)any Arabs left!

hahahahahahahaha

you are still there??? anyway i only laugh at your attacks to Turks.... :)

good dreams with your little imaginery world hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Kansas Bear
09 Sep 07,, 17:40
hahahahahahahaha

you are still there??? anyway i only laugh at your attacks to Turks.... :)

good dreams with your little imaginery world hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


While you wallow in your own ignorance, read the topic of this thread.

My assessment as to the Ottoman Empire's reaction is not out of the realm of possibilities.

So instead of posting FACTS, you continue trolling.

Big K
10 Sep 07,, 15:55
While you wallow in your own ignorance, read the topic of this thread.

My assessment as to the Ottoman Empire's reaction is not out of the realm of possibilities.

So instead of posting FACTS, you continue trolling.

oh really??? you are so innocent right? hahaha so bin laden is too...

ah yes the facts again....blablablabla...yes i ignore people singlesided like you...

Parihaka
11 Sep 07,, 00:22
ah yes the facts again....blablablabla...yes i ignore people singlesided like you...
Then its better if you do actually ignore him.
Either that or use facts to back up your case, whatever that may be.

Either way, pointless ad hominems aren't appreciated.

Monkey Business
15 Oct 07,, 05:00
I don't know much about WW1. However, "What-If" scenarios intrigue me to no end. So I feel I will contribute.

I think the biggest effect is that there would be no WW2. But even then, that is not entirely true. Although not nessicarily WW1, I could hypothetically see Soviet Russia under Stalin as a "replacement" for Hitler's Germany. And of course, one would also have to account for the Imperial designs of the Japanese Empire.

Maybe I am going out on a limb here, but I could see Russia attempting to support potential partisan movements in Eastern European countries. Or flat out trying to steam-roll them with their own form of Blitz. I don't expect the Empires of Europe would treat the Bolsheviks with open arms, considering their brutality to the Romanovs.

Then again, who is to say Bolshevism gets that far? The Royal families of Germany and Austria-Hungary might try and back the "White" Russians during that long Civil War. Maybe even send combat aid, however weakened by that horrific war they may be. A new Russian Empire is established?

However, I still see Japan as a force that would attempt to expand her empire, most likely through conquest. I would imagine that if they were to try and engage in hostile action against both the waining British Empire and against American interests in the Philippines. And of course, an attack on China would likely have little resistance internationally from an Isolationist America and a War-Weary Europe. I think that is the most plausible of those scenarios. I find it interesting that out of many post WW1 scenarios I have heard in the past, very few--if any--mention the effect the war would have in the Asian Theater aside from the Ottoman Empire.

And speaking of them, I still think the Ottoman Empire would fracture under it's own weight, though maybe not quite as soon as it would have had the Central Powers won--maybe. A real powder keg.

Kansas Bear
15 Oct 07,, 05:21
Then again, who is to say Bolshevism gets that far? The Royal families of Germany and Austria-Hungary might try and back the "White" Russians during that long Civil War. Maybe even send combat aid, however weakened by that horrific war they may be. A new Russian Empire is established?

Germany had already occupied the Ukraine, and following a Central Powers victory, wouldn't have relinquished it. Austria-Hungary was neck deep in nationalistic fractures, and most likely would be facing rebellions from Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Slavs, and Ruthenians. The reprisals would be quite troubling.

As for backing the "whites", it's a viable possibility to keep a rival nation divided and weak.


And speaking of them, I still think the Ottoman Empire would fracture under it's own weight, though maybe not quite as soon as it would have had the Central Powers won--maybe. A real powder keg.

Not really. With the complete extermination of the Armenians; the Arabs, since they had staged a REAL revolt, would have been hunted down.

Pablo Cortez
15 Oct 07,, 20:05
Intervention by the Central Powers to overthrow the Bolsheviks would have been inevitable, if only to forestall a communist revolution in Germany (as in 1918). Since the USA and other Allied powers had already intervened, the final chapter of the conflict on the Eastern Front might have witnessed the supreme irony of both Allies and Central Powers backing the Whites against the Reds!

Whatever White faction eventually won, it almost certainly would have been an extremely nationalistic dictatorship and bent on revenge---setting the stage for a possibly very turbulent post-war Europe.

Although Kansas Bear insists on parroting the canard of Austro-Hungarian disintegration from uprisings by its minorities, none of these actually occurred until after military defeat in Ocotober. More important, but often overlooked, were the serious disagreements arising between Germany and Austria-Hungary following the Russian and Romanian surrenders. These indicated that the alliance had become one of necessity rather than conviction and that substantial changes lay ahead. The two extremes were an Austro-Hungarian withdrawal from the alliance (favored by the Emperor Karl and his ministers) and a dismantling of Austria-Hungary by Germany (favored by nost of the pan-German groups).
Either of these would have been far too risky for either Germany or Austria-Hungary, so the new relationship was likely to have been tentative and occasionally stormy.

Bulgaria and Albania would have been the only unalloyed winners of the war---annexing all the areas inhabited by their compatriots in Montenegro, Serbia, Greece, and Romania.

As you observed, the future of the Ottoman Empire might have well been problematic even with a Central Powers victory. The Saudis were already taking over large portions of the Arabian peninsula, and might well have been able to amputate the Hejaz and Nejd regions from Turkish rule as they did from the Hashemites. With no conversion of the Middle East into British, French, and Italian colonies, and no creation of a Zionist colony in Palestine, attitudes of the Arabs toward the Allies would have remained basciallly positive, and Arab nationalism would probably have become an increasingly difficult problem for the Turks. The Germans might have covertly supported a pan-Arab nationalism as a way of undermining the British and French colonies of North Africa and at the same time increasing the dependence of the Turks on themselves.

That Japan was the big winner in the Pacific chapter of WWI is undeniable. That they were bent on further expansion is just as undeniable. Japan's involvment in the Allied intervention against Soviet Russia was not so much to contain communism as self-aggrandizement. Even after their forces withdrew from Siberia in 1922, they continued to sporadically raid Soviet territory through most of the '30's. An excellent book on the what-if's of the Pacific is War Plan Orange: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897-1945 bu Edward S. Miller.

Ironduke
23 Oct 07,, 11:16
Not really. With the complete extermination of the Armenians; the Arabs, since they had staged a REAL revolt, would have been hunted down.
I disagree, not only were the Arab revolts under the Sherif much smaller than TE Lawrence would have us believe, Turkish reprisals against a bunch of nomadic Bedouins on their own turf would be difficult. Furthermore the Armenians were officially dhimmi, whereas the Arabs were fellow Muslims, non-Turks to be sure, but Muslims nonetheless. The Armenians were also much closer to home than the Arabs were, with extensive populations in Thrace and western Anatolia as well as eastern Anatolia. The Arabs, in addition to being more distant from the actual Turkish portion of the Empire, were also far more numerous than the Armenians.

During the course of WWI, the Turks had all but abandoned its Arab territories, and focused on the conquest of Turkic portions of the Russian Empire, such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and other parts of Central Asia. The ideology of the Young Turks was Turkish nationalism, and many of them saw shedding their Arab subjects in exchange for Turkic ones as a great swap.

With a German victory over Russia consecrated by an armistice favorable to Germany with the Western Allies, there would have been some jostling between the Ottomans and the Germans in the former Russian Empire. Azerbaijan for instance, a traditionally Turkic land with large Armenian and Russian populations in Baku, was sought by both the Turks and the Germans, causing bitter division between them. I don't have any maps on hand, but the Ottomans made huge conquests in the former Russian Empire.

If you really want to learn more about the situations in the Middle East during WWII and during the interwar period, I'd recommend A Peace to End All Peace by Fromkin.

Germany had already occupied the Ukraine, and following a Central Powers victory, wouldn't have relinquished it. Austria-Hungary was neck deep in nationalistic fractures, and most likely would be facing rebellions from Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Slavs, and Ruthenians. The reprisals would be quite troubling.
I believe the rulers of Austria-Hungary had something like a type of "United States" planned, but never got around to it for obvious reasons.

Kansas Bear
23 Oct 07,, 15:44
Although Kansas Bear insists on parroting the canard of Austro-Hungarian disintegration from uprisings by its minorities, none of these actually occurred until after military defeat in Ocotober. More important, but often overlooked, were the serious disagreements arising between Germany and Austria-Hungary following the Russian and Romanian surrenders. These indicated that the alliance had become one of necessity rather than conviction and that substantial changes lay ahead. The two extremes were an Austro-Hungarian withdrawal from the alliance (favored by the Emperor Karl and his ministers) and a dismantling of Austria-Hungary by Germany (favored by nost of the pan-German groups).
Either of these would have been far too risky for either Germany or Austria-Hungary, so the new relationship was likely to have been tentative and occasionally stormy.


Since 'Pablo Cortez' is incapable or to terrified to give references......


"Eventually, by spring 1918, Hlinka, steadily harassed and several times imprisoned by the Hungarian authorities, turned to the concept of Czecho Slovak union."

"More serious, even from the Magyar point of view, was the problem of Roumanian nationalism. This movement was supported by the Roumanian Cultural League, founded in Bucharest in 1891. Its goals were after all objectives compatible with loyalty to the empire and the Hungarian crown, but incompatible with persistant Magyar national intransigence."

"The outcome of the Hungarian state crisis of 1905-1906 was disappointing. It did not, as hoped for, lead to equal franchise, of which the nationalities would have been chief beneficiaries. Further repressive Magyar measures could only add fuel to a fire that could no longer be extinguished."

"All things considered, the Magyar nationality policy after 1867 and particularly under Kalman Tisza and afterward was not always as atrocious as pictured by the various national irredenta movements. The fairly liberal Hungarian nationality law of 1868 was respected at certain times in dealings with individual national groups, though never with all of them at the same time. Absent, however, was the understanding for the desire not only of individuals but of national groups for identification in the form of autonomy, whether territorial or personal. Lacking also was the understanding that national discrimination, added to social discrimination, aggravated the lot of the socially under privileged non-Magyar peasant and worker still further. Social and political dissatisfaction, illustrated by increased emigration were symptoms of a situation waiting for an explosion that was bound to happen."

"The historian who deals with the evolution and the disintegration of an empire in four centuries cannot take this forward-looking position. To him the dissolution must be primarily linked to the past and not to the future. If we look backward, we will recognize the significance of the great historical process of the dissolution. What happened within a few war years is in essence only an abstract of a long-drawn-out process of decline."

"The one exeception at first was the autonomous region of Croatia. In view of the Serbian army's success against Hapburg forces in August 1914, the eastern part of Croatia had temporarily become a war zone under military jurisdiction. When the Serbians were forced to retreat in September, the military wreaked vengeance upon those local Serb 'collaborators', executing more than 120 and deporting hundreds for resettlement in the Croatian hinterland."

"As in Bosnia and Dalmatia, they had singled out key individuals for detention, Serb politicians such as the Pribicevic brothers and Srdjan Budisavljevic."

"Another tendency was to blame enemy propaganda for many aspects of the domestic unrest which was engulfing the Empire. In May, when a revolt occurred in a Slovene regiment in Judenburg, the court martial proceedings concluded: 'It can certainly be said with regard to the influence of national political factors, that the Yugoslav parties and, in the broadest sense, also the revolutionary campaign of the Entente and therefore the English propaganda ministry played some role, although there is no immediate evidence available for this'. "

"It may well have been the case that the scale of executions in Galicia at this time was exaggerated, feeding the rumour-mill of atrocity stories. But it was also a fact that the military regime set a standard of behaviour which could only alienate Ruthenes and Poles from believing that the war was being fought on their behalf. It deal a blow at the start of the war to any possible unity in the hinterland, while providing a crisis of conscience for many Serbs, Ruthenes or Poles in the armed forces."

"Similarly in Galicia, the army was so paranoid about civilian links to the enemy that it sent thousands of Ruthenes westward into the hinterland."

"Undoubtedly, it was expecting too much of the non-German representatives after almost three years of dictatorship. Many of them had been imprisoned at the outbreak of war, their 'homelands' had been subject to arbitrary military rule, and they were now still faced with an Austrian government which was largely German in outlook. On 30 May, on the opening of the Reichsrat, the Czech, South Slav, and Ruthene deputies duly presented radical demands for the Czechoslovak, Yugoslav, and Urkrainian unity. When the government of Ernst von Seidler refused to discuss any such ideas, a secondary mobilization did intensify in Austria, but it was not one on behalf of the Habsburg war effort."

"It allowed the AOK to interfere directly in what were otherwise non-military spheres of influence in the Austrian hinterland, ordering local military officials to arrest suspect individuals, or the regional censors to suprress 'unpatriotic' news in the press. Because of the secrecy which surrounded its activity, the KUA's influence has probably been exaggerated, but its very existence was symptomatic of the type of regime which ran Austria for the first three years of the war. Both would be responsible together for the powerful backlash wich would come from the 'oppressed peoples' in the new constitutional circumstance of 1917."

"In Carinthia and Styria there were 910 arrests in the first four months of the war. In Dalmatia, hundreds were arrested on the outbreak of hostilities, put on a prison-ship at Split, and taken northward to Maribor to be interned."

"By the end of 1914 in Bohemia, 950 people had been arrested for political offences and 32 societies dissolved. As Emperor Franz Joseph told Sturgkh on 22 November 1914, the behaviour of Czech soldiers could be traced back directly to 'unhealthy political conditions' at home. They arrested Karel Kramar, the leading Czech politician, put him on trial and sentenced him to death; Kramar thereby gained the status of martyr."


The survival of Austria-Hungary is another, and closely related, example of Allied historical orthodoxy. Rather than admit that they had destroyed a nation simply to sate their greed (as demontrated by the promises of the secret Treaty of London in 1915), it was convenient to attribute the end of the Habsburg Monarchy to inevitable internal conflict. Yet the monarchy had held together well throughout the entire course of the war without any uprising of any of its various peoples.
Martial law.

Imprisonment.


The collapse came only after military defeat and by the agency of external committees fomenting partition between greedy neighbors and new homeland for expatriate patriots. A militarily successful Austria-Hungary might more likely have become a Superswitzerland or a prototype of a European Union.

The situation in Austria-Hungary was far from ideal. The naive thought of a "Superswitzerland" or "European Union" shows ignorance in this regard.

"Undoubtedly, it was expecting too much of the non-German representatives after almost three years of dictatorship. Many of them had been imprisoned at the outbreak of war, their 'homelands' had been subject to arbitrary military rule, and they were now still faced with an Austrian government which was largely German in outlook. On 30 May 1917, on the opening of the Reichsrat, the Czech, South Slav, and Ruthene deputies duly presented radical demands for the Czechoslovak, Yugoslav, and Urkrainian unity. When the government of Ernst von Seidler refused to discuss any such ideas, a secondary mobilization did intensify in Austria, but it was not one on behalf of the Habsburg war effort.

In this way, from the summer of 1917, there began that polarization of national and social groupings which would eventually tear the Empire apart. The irony was that in the early years of the war, when a certain consensus was evident, the military authorities had operated ruthlessly and done much to alienate large sections of the population. From 1917, however, when social and nationalist unrest was intensifying, there were relatively powerless to control events in the Austrian hinterland."

Taken from...
"A History of the Habsburg Empire" by Kann
"The Undermining of Austria-Hungary" by Cornwall

Kansas Bear
23 Oct 07,, 19:14
I disagree, not only were the Arab revolts under the Sherif much smaller than TE Lawrence would have us believe, Turkish reprisals against a bunch of nomadic Bedouins on their own turf would be difficult. Furthermore the Armenians were officially dhimmi, whereas the Arabs were fellow Muslims, non-Turks to be sure, but Muslims nonetheless. The Armenians were also much closer to home than the Arabs were, with extensive populations in Thrace and western Anatolia as well as eastern Anatolia. The Arabs, in addition to being more distant from the actual Turkish portion of the Empire, were also far more numerous than the Armenians.

During the course of WWI, the Turks had all but abandoned its Arab territories, and focused on the conquest of Turkic portions of the Russian Empire, such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and other parts of Central Asia. The ideology of the Young Turks was Turkish nationalism, and many of them saw shedding their Arab subjects in exchange for Turkic ones as a great swap.

With a German victory over Russia consecrated by an armistice favorable to Germany with the Western Allies, there would have been some jostling between the Ottomans and the Germans in the former Russian Empire. Azerbaijan for instance, a traditionally Turkic land with large Armenian and Russian populations in Baku, was sought by both the Turks and the Germans, causing bitter division between them. I don't have any maps on hand, but the Ottomans made huge conquests in the former Russian Empire.

If you really want to learn more about the situations in the Middle East during WWII and during the interwar period, I'd recommend A Peace to End All Peace by Fromkin.


I've read Fromkin, good book, although he leaves a few things out.

"In 1915 and 1916 scores of Syrians, both Muslim and Christians, were accused of anti-Turkish conspiracies and executed." --The Shaping of the Arabs, by Carmichael.

"Several months later the Arab Literary Club and the Turkish Society came into existence. These literary societies have been ascribed an undue share in the politicization of Arabism and Turkism, because some of the leaders of Al-muntada subsequently played a leading role in Arab nationalist activity and were among those executed by ??Cemal??(Djemal) Pasha in 1915–16; and Türk Derneği and its successors had prominent Unionists, including some deputies, as members." --Arabs and Young Turks, by Kayalı

My apologies to Ucar, I believe in this edition, Kayali's writing may have been mis-translated. I find no evidence of Cemal Pasha in Syria from 1915-1916. Djemal Pasha was the person involved in Syria.

Pablo Cortez
23 Oct 07,, 21:05
Quoting one of the foremost proponents(Kann) of the theory that Austria-Hungary was on the verge of disintegration to prove that theory is illogical, circular reasoning. Actual events, particularly the empire's ability to survive four years of war and food shortages, show a state much more resilient than its destroyers like to "remember". Even in defeat Austria-Hungary would almost certainly have survived if the territorial greed of the Allies and Wilson's deadly combination of idealism, ignorance, and expediency had not been in place. Best single volume supporting my position is Peace or Partition: The Habsburg Monarchy and British Policy 1914-1918 by Wilfried Fest; Prior Publishers; London; 1978. The minorities of Austria-Hungary for the most part were of the opinion expressed by Palacky to the Frankfurt Assembly during the revolutions of 1848---"if Austria did not exist, it would be necessary to invent her". He rightly discribed the inevitable chaos if the Habsburg Monarchy were either partitioned or dissolved into its ethnical components.

On a different level, personal attack hardly strikes me as a worthwhile way to conduct a discussion. Since my very first posting, Kansas Bear has seen fit to reply with more rudeness and invective than reason. After years of participation with colleagues in academic arguments on all sorts of issues, I supposed that adults all knew that disagreements could be both profound and still cordial. Apparently that view is not shared by Kansas Bear. The very idea of an absolutely correct interpretation of an historical "might-have-been" is preposterous. To try and insult others into accepting your own position is self-defeating.

All history should be under continous review free of popular and idological orthodoxies. Since 1989 many of the policies and theories of 1918 have been found wanting, e.g. there never was a "Czechoslovak" idea. The Czechs wanted their own mini-empire and laid claim to the Slovaks as a means to achieve it despite Slovak reticence. It didn't require Hitler's intervention to create the antipathy that led Slovakia to sever its bond to the Czechs in 1939 any more than it did in 1991. The Slovaks were "Habsburgertreu", and dispite their problems with the Hungarians, had even less desire to become the poor relatives of the Czechs. The Croats had essentially the same attitude toward the Serbs, separating in 1941 as well as 1991. All the South Slavic peoples fought bravely and determinedly against the Italians, preferring the relative autonomy they enjoyed under the Habsburgs to the probability of vigorous efforts at Italianization should the Allies win.

Every nightmare of Palacky has already come true, but if the EU is unsuccessful at uniting Europe, the band of non-viable ministates populating Central and Eastern Europe is a geopolitical disaster waiting to happen.

Ironduke
24 Oct 07,, 00:03
"In 1915 and 1916 scores of Syrians, both Muslim and Christians, were accused of anti-Turkish conspiracies and executed."
First of all, score, in the strict sense, means twenty, so that passage could be properly interpreted as "twenties of Syrians were executed". Fromkin is a much more established and reputable historian, and if there was an action in Syria anything near a fraction of what happened to the Armenians, it surely would have been touched on to a great degree in his book. IIRC, a number of the community leaders who advocated independence/revolt against the Ottomans were executed or imprisoned, and these included both Christians and Muslims.

Syria is also in much closer proximity to Turkey proper, than say Mesopotamia which lay across mountainous Kurdistan or the Hejaz which was on the western coast of Arabia. It would be much harder to deal with the Sherif or Ibn Saud than it would be the Syrians.

gunnut
24 Oct 07,, 00:24
If Germany won WW1, there would be no place for National Socialist Party and no Adolf Hitler. There might still be a WW2. France might take the part of Germany to avenge a humiliating defeat. Would the British Empire allow Kaiser's navy to strengthen and threaten British dominance? Would hte Ottoman Empire get a piece of the French and British pie in Africa? I don't know.

It seems to me that WW1 didn't solve anything, either way. WW2 was inevitable. WW1 was to set the stage for the real solution later on in the 20th century. We couldn't solve all our problems in one huge global war. We had to wait for technology to catch up. Anything before was just to shape the world for the inevitablel.

Ironduke
25 Oct 07,, 08:54
France might take the part of Germany to avenge a humiliating defeat.
Now that would be interesting... a revanchist fascist France sparking WWII. In place of Sudetenland, maybe Wallonia & western Switzerland, then they march in and take the rest of both countries. That would be an interesting discussion.

cape_royds
28 Oct 07,, 07:27
A Central Powers victory would really mean a German victory, because neither Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, nor Bulgaria would have been strong enough to take full advantage of the big shift in the world balance-of-power that would result.

The Germans wanted to establish themselves as a true World Power, on par with the continent-sized USA or globe-girdling British Empire. "Go Big or Go Under" would sum up the point-of-view. If you don't have enough population, enough raw materials, or a big enough market, you just won't rate in the competitive world of the future!

They weren't all wrong. They predicted that if Germany could not "break out" then the Anglo-Saxon powers would dominate world trade and finance, while a modernizing Asia would loom in the East. Either way, Germany gets dwarfed. Not far off the mark, really. While the century between their time and ours has seen many events they didn't predict, nevertheless the global outcome wouldn't have surprised a German arch-nationalist of, say, 1910.

A Central Powers victory in the Great War would have placed Germany in the hegemonic position in western Eurasia. That's why France, Russia, and Britain all went to the wall to try to stop them.

While a Central Powers victory would be humiliating to the French, France would still have retained its independence and most of its empire. However, its industry and finance, along with those of the Low Countries, would be "integrated" on terms favourable to Germany. The Germans might have been able to appeal to anglophobic sentiment in France to get cooperation on naval and imperial issues. Basically France would become a "junior partner" in a German-led European system--like an EU that could actually make decisions.

The biggest losers would be the Slavic peoples. Sorry, folks, make way for the spread of "civilization"! Lebensraum was not a Nazi invention; the notion of utilizing Russia and the Ukraine as areas for future Germanic settlement was shared by a lot of pre-WWI German nationalists. The notion was that German emigrants could go east rather than to the Americas, and that way the German nation would not "lose blood." And why should those backward Russians be permitted to keep all those lands and resources anyway? No, only German settlement and investment could ever possibly make the most out of that vast region. However, unlike the Nazis in the East, a German victory in the Great War would probably resulted in a more generous German overlordship in Eastern Europe.

While the navalist school in Germany would push for additions to the overseas tropical empire, I doubt that they would get their way. Instead, I think attempts would be made to conciliate the British by offering them chunks of the French Empire--at least until Europe was consolidated. A German push into the Middle East would be unnecessary, since the acquisition (or investment penetration) of the Caucasus would provide all the necessary oil--Baku was already flourishing pre-WWI.

When you think about these consequences, it's not hard to understand why the USA eventually felt compelled to go to war. Their first choice would have been to let those "damn fool Europeans" keep killing each other forever, but in the end it was better for the USA to keep a divided Europe rather than risk it being dominanated by a single power. The US policy towards Eurasia isn't too much different than Britain's towards the "Continent", just on a much bigger scale: never let one power dominate it.

Pablo Cortez
29 Oct 07,, 16:42
"Follow the money!"
The USA went to war for the simplest of all reasons to a capitalist economy. Britain and France had borrowed so much American money to purchase munitions and other war goods (despite the much vaunted but actuall non-existent American neutrality) that J.P. Morgan etc. convinced Wilson that a Central Powers victory would bring about a deep recession in the USA.

Most Americans (the Irish and the Germans) would have preferred a Central Powers victory, but the Anglophiles that dominated the monied class and the "intelligentsia" were able to fool the electorate in the elections of 1916 (He kept us out of war!) and then show their true colors once it was over. Wilson's cynicism was especially apparent when he tried to persuade the British to postpone the trials of the Irish captured in the Easter uprising to avoid antagonizing the Irish who were so important to the Democrats.

Only the crazies (who had no influence) in the pan-German movement had any interest in colonizing the East.
Even Fischer, who is certainly not one to minimize any "proto-Nazi" tendencies or policies doesn't buy into any sort of Lebensraum colonization scheme. Niall Ferguson in The Pity of War makes essentially the same point as you with a post war Europe organized into a German dominated EU.

cape_royds
04 Nov 07,, 05:57
The reason why the Allies (principally the UK) could borrow so much, so easily from America in the first place was that large and powerful factions in the USA preferred an Allied victory right from the outset.

Why? Because Britain was a "sated power" with whom the USA had already reached an economic and military modus vivendi, whereas a victorious Germany would be a huge unknown.

Once the loans got big enough, nothing but a decisive victory could possibly get those loans ever paid back. But the war just dragged on and on. The "sunk costs problem" arose. The USA had to keep lending in order to have a chance of getting anything repaid.

Ultimately, the USA had to enter the war to ensure an Allied victory. The debts by that time were economically impossible for anyone to repay, but politically impossible to cancel. In turn this led to the farce of US banks lending to Germany to pay reparations so that the Allies could repay war debts to the USA!

But that gets ahead of the story here. The motivation for the USA was indeed geopolitical: they did not want Europe dominated by any one power. It's just that they thought they could achieve that aim simply by subsidizing the Allies. However, they eventually had to go fight.

I disagree that a majority of American people wanted a Central Powers' victory. While the recent German and Irish immigrant populations were large, vocal, and anti-British, these people were by no means any sort of majority of Americans.

There was always a strong pro-Allied sentiment in the USA. Very popular politicians such as Theodore Roosevelt advocated a US entry into the war from the very beginning.

It's interesting to consider what might have happened had the Republican party not disintegrated in the Taft-Roosevelt feud of 1912, because that's the principal reason TR wasn't in the White House when the war broke out in 1914.

Regarding German eastern ambitions, settlement is only one of the themes. Economic colonization was another, i.e. monopolizing Russia as a export market and place of investment, with other powers' capital and goods shut out. The "crazies" you refer to were the ones who wanted a pure German empire in the east; they were, as you say, a fringe. But the overall idea of a German political and economic domination of the Slavic territories was mainstream among German nationalists. So I reiterate that the biggest losers by far from a Central Powers victory in WWI would have been the Russians, Ukrainians, and Poles.

As for Ferguson, he errs in thinking that a German dominated Europe would be safe for Great Britain. Maybe in the short term, but not in the long term, which is why every British government went to the utmost to stop Germany (or any one power) from ruling the continent. It is true that Britain lost its empire in the process of denying Germany the dominance of Europe, but the American dominance the UK had to accept in exchange has proven tolerable, helped no doubt by ethnic kinship.

lwarmonger
08 Nov 07,, 23:29
Cape Royds is correct. Germany did have Pan-Hegemonic goals (at least once they had thought through the consequences of a victory... which happened after the war had started not before), however most continental European nations did. France needed a quick win against Germany to retake Alsace-Lorraine and re-establish a favorable states system in Europe (much like what existed prior to the 7 years war, or in between 1850 and 1870). Russia wished for a quick victory to cement their hegemony in Eastern Europe. And both the United States and Britian wished for Europe to remain divided, because a divided Europe was not a significant long term threat.

The line of thinking in those days was that there were going to be 3-4 great powers within the next 50 years (from 1900-1950). The United States and Russia were automatic members of that club due to their size and position. The strongest of the European nations (possibly Britain, Germany, or France) could also maintain that "Great Power" status, but those who didn't advance would be eclipsed by the continental giants. "Advancing" in this case is the expansion of industry and market share in other nations in order to outpace ones rivals... to do that one needs favorable trade treaties.