What if German had won the war?

Discussion in 'World War I' started by olbrat, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. olbrat

    olbrat Member

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    Verganza had mentioned this in the last thread and I find it a curious question so I thought I would throw it out there.

    I suspect holding acquired territories would be a nightmare (somewhat like a certain middle east conflict today). But what of other results? Would WWII have happened sooner? Would it have been avoided? Remember also that Germany had not been defeated in Africa and could have made a lot of strong trade/political alliances there too if it won the war. Africa would have been sources for natural and stategic resources. That would have really changed the outlook of WWII if it were to happen.

    I'm curious of other opinions and thoughts. How about it?
     
  2. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    What do you mean by "Germany had not been defeated in Africa"? IIRC, they were run out of Afrika by the British 8th Army in 1943.

    The only territory that Germany should've attempted to invade and secure were the Caucuses; IMO, the northern invasion into Russia, with Moscow as it's goal, was a mistake. They should've concentrated their resources on the southern sector of the Russian front, and captured the Ukraine, the Crimea, and the Caucasus where the natural resources were. This also would've effectively prevented the Allied forces in the Middle East from linking up with any Russian forces to the north.
     
  3. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    I just read the novel "Fatherland" which describes exactly that situation, Germany won. Very interesting although fiction of course.
     
  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Sod Stitch, I believe he is referring to WWI, not WWII. Correct me if I'm mistaken.
     
  5. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Another good book along these lines is "SS-GB", by Len Deighton.
     
  6. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    If Germany won WWI there is a good chance that they would've become followers of Lenin and Marx in the 1920s'.
     
  7. Venganza

    Venganza Member

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    If not in the '20's, Amsel, then perhaps in the '30's, if the Great Depression had still happened. Remember that in the last freely-elected Reichstag, 1932, the Communists were the second largest party behind the Nazis. The moderate center and center-left parties like the Catholic Zentrum and the Social Democrats had been pretty much squeezed out. It was the so-called "stab in the back" and general disgust with the outcome of WWI and the Versailles Treaty that gave so much impetus to the Nazis. Without this impetus, the Communists might have come out on top.

    Venganza
     
  8. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    It could have been horrifying to find Germany in an alliance with the Soviet Union. If NSDAP did not gain power and the communist party gained control of the country WW2 might not have happened but if it did the results would have been horrible for the free world. The "cold war" resulting from such a strong alliance would be extremely tense to say the least.
     
  9. Venganza

    Venganza Member

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    I was also thinking about that. If the Soviet Union had still been created, despite a German WWI victory, it might have helped the German Communists gain control of Germany and the cold war might have started in the 1930's, not the 1940's. With German retention of its colonies, and the French colonies it would have taken over in the wake of its WWI victory, the Communists would have started this Cold War with footholds around the world. The Depression-wracked Western "Powers" like the United Kingdom and France, and an isolationist U.S., would not have been in much shape to do anything about it. Not a pretty picture.

    Venganza
     
  10. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    No, not a pretty picture at all. I wonder if the U.S. would also lean toward communism in the face of such a strong foe. The socialist party was growing also.

    The effects of the first half of the 20th century outcomes and decisions will be felt for centuries I believe.
     
  11. olbrat

    olbrat Member

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    Great information guys! Thanks! Good food for thought.

    I hadn't thought about the rise of communism/socialism, but I agree. I also agree that considering the influence and push of socialist and communists after 1900 and into the 1930's the USA could have easily headed in another direction. If Germany had a good foothold in Africa, I can see an easy growth there as well. I also think the resulting "cold war" would have been an extremely nasty one that could easily have lead to another world war.

    If another world war would have arisen under those conditions, would Japan have tried to remain neutral (or independant)? Allied itself to the USA? I don't think it would have joined the commusists. There still would have been a major war in the Pacific, but we may not have been fighting Japan. We may have allied ourselves with them so they were the "buffer" instead of California.
     
  12. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I would argue that a German victory in WW1 would have stopped Communism dead in it's tracks. If Germany had won, the Hohenzollerns would have undoubtedly have remained on the throne. Wilhelm was an authoritarian and a reactionary, and would have had a large, conservative and victorious army with which to enforce his will. Furthermore, he could have used this force to directly intervene in the Russian Civil War - an intervention that might have proved decisive. After all, the revolutions in Germany were stoked by dissatisfaction and privation resulting from the Royal Navy's blockade of Germany. If you assume Germany won, you must also assume that the blockade was broken - removing a lot of the social pressure which led to the political violence of 1919. If Germany had allowed the unoccupied parts of France to remain French after the war (unlikely IMHO), they may well have gone socialist or even Communist - but the Germans would have been in control of France's most vital industrial areas and natural resources, so any French state would have been very weak.

    The US would undoubtedly stay very conservative, as they did in the history we all know. The willingness of American business to use extreme violence against striking workers was demonstrated in the WV coalfields - I can't see a German victory making such actions any less likely. The UK might have gone either way - the defeat of the RN and the Army would have been incredibly traumatic for the British public, and they might have gone either way.

    Sorry if this is a bit messy, I have extrapolated a lot 'on the fly' as it were, but in a nutshell, I think a victorious Germany would have served as a rallying point for international conservatism, rather than fuel for Communism/socialism.
     
  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Very good book, I have the movie as well.

    [​IMG]

    I do not think so, because the Depression was still bound to happen, if Germany had won it might even have happened sooner. Lets also remember that fear of Communism is something that fed the NSDP following.
     
  14. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    You may be right.
     
  15. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    I would agree with your assesment, my only doubt would be the status of the Hohenzollerns. In my opinion, the Hohenzollerns would have become weaker and remained solely as symbolic figureheads of Germany. I believe the real power would have rested on squarely on the shoulders of Hindenburg and Lundendorf, the "victors" of WW 1. Ever since the great victory over the Russians at Tannenburg, the two generals became such huge national heroes, I often wonder how difficult it would have been for them to usurp near or complete totalitarian power in Germany? Probably not very difficult at all.

    In the territorial sense, a German victory would have also meant the permanent annexation of Alsace and Lorraine provinces. It would also mean the loss of Belgian, French and British colonies in Central and Northern Africa and the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine), resulting from the shared spoils of Germany, Austro-Hungary, and particulary the Ottoman empire.

    Lastlty, regardless of American intervention, the fact that the US was across the ocean and not one of Germany's traditional enemies, I believe the sudden accumulation of Germany's wealth and power in territorial concessions and in reparation payments, it is quite possible the US would have most likely become an international partner, if not an outright ally of Germany, seeing the huge economical benefits of such a relationship.
     
  16. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Would a German victory in the First world War have implications that bettered the world situation for the rest of the century? Especially without the revolution in Russia and its more famous counter-revolution led by Lenin? Also the NSDAP most likely unable to gain power due to the nonexistance of the treaty that crushed Germany?
     
  17. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    I think the Communist revolution would have been easily contained in the West, unless of course the western industrialists became overwhelmingly monopolistic in their acquisitions and abusive of it's workforce. The Communist expansion to Russia's east could have been another story though. However, if we can assume that France would have also lost her far-East colonies of Indochina, Thailand, and etc., it's possible that Germany's influence would have had an toehold of Western influence there as well.

    As for NSDAP, it's possible it could have still existed, but without it's cruel penchant for ethnic and/or racial scapegoating, as they would have found less reason in a govermental take-over in a post-war economic boom. It simply wouldn't have been supported by populace enjoying their newly found nationalwealth and international influence.

    This I highly doubt, since rule would have swung back and forth from autocratic to militaristic-totalitarianism. By 1919, other than the Parlementarian-Monarchy UK and Republican France (and perhaps Belgium and the lowland countries), there were few real democracies in Europe. Communisism would have been contained, but at the expense of a Western-style democracy in all Europe, and possibly throughout the entire Eurasian continent. A scary thought actually.

    Taking this one step further -who is to say that there would not have been a 2nd world war? Perhaps naceant fascistic organizations would have come instead from countries like France and the UK?? It's not entirely impossible, but France still seething over that fact that Alsace and Lorraine were still in German hands after that massive loss of human lives? Or perhaps Great Britain smarting over the fact that German prospectors have just discovered unbelievably huge oil reserves in it's former zone of control, the Arabian penninsula? In both former powers, there could have been great momentum in extreme right-wing political movements in such groups as the Croix de Feu (FR) or Black Shirt Unions (GB).
     
  18. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Prussia, and it's political power would have also remained intact, along with the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    The Ottoman Empire and it's holdings in the middle-east would have been preserved, which would have changed things considerably compared to how it is today in that region.
     
  19. Syclonus

    Syclonus New Member

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    Germany might have kept its colonies in Southern Africa too.
    maybe even in the pacific, remember they had New Guinea.
     
  20. Venganza

    Venganza Member

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    I think there might very well have eventually been some conflict between France and Germany over Alsace-Lorraine and France's lost colonies. The question is whether it would have dragged in other countries, like the U.K., into the war, and started another world war. What would the U.S.'s response have been? And Russia (whether monarchic or communist)? I also wonder what would have happened with Austria-Hungary after WWI. Even with victory, how long could this patched-together conglomeration have lasted? The Soviet Union lasted for over 70 years, but the ethnic Russians were always in the majority (albeit barely at the end), and its control over its restive ethnic minorities came at the cost of a brutally repressive totalitarianism. The Austrians were in the minority, and Austria-Hungary was already partially decentralized by the dual monarchy, with Hungary as the junior partner. The other minorities might have demanded the same deal Hungary got after the 1848 revolutions, and this might have quickly lead to Austria-Hungary's dissolution.

    Venganza
     
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