What if?

Discussion in 'World War I' started by schwarzpanzer, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. schwarzpanzer

    schwarzpanzer Member

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    What if the 'Allies' didn't enter the war?

    Russia would have been defeated by Prussia, the French wouldn't have started Versailles, no territory will have been stolen from Germany and WW2 would never have happened?

    How would life today be then? I reckon less technological and less 'left'?
     
  2. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

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    Or hey, what if the Belgian held The Germans Longer until the French got there.
     
  3. schwarzpanzer

    schwarzpanzer Member

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    The French would have stayed 5mins, then scarpered. :lol:

    Man you Canucks showed some mettle with that mustard gas, brave souls.:salute:

    Pity about that crucifiction too. :cry:
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Actually, I was reading a story about a scenario Winston Churchill cooked up in the 30's. Dont know if it was true...........

    If the USA didnt enter the war, then the brits and french would have signed a peace treaty with Germany. That means, no Versaille Treaty and the humiliation of Germany. So that means no nazism and no Lenin going to Russia to stir things up. So no communism.

    the second world war probably would never have happened. Think of how the world would be different today had this happened
     
  5. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

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    The Difference between the French in WW1 WW2 is they actually fought.
     
  6. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

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    .. I remember I read a good science fiction book about aviation and history.
    Basically the concept was that some 'evil organization' found the way to travel in time and change the pattern of WW1, making it last longer and changing all the subsequent history.
    The final goal was to have a different political structure in Jugoslavia and east Europe (it was the time of Bosnia etc.)
    I'll check if I find author and title and if it was translated in english, was a very nice 'one day reading', with some entertaining fantasy development of WW1 airfare and air combat.
     
  7. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    It was inevitable that Britain entered the war, as guarantors of Belgian neutrality. The war also provided a convenient diversion from the state of mutiny and near civil war existing in Ireland at the time.
    However, had the USA not joined in, I believe the British and French may well have lost the war during the Peace Offensive of 1918. In that case, things would be very different. We would indeed be far less 'left', as the conditions which gave rise to Leninism/socialism in Europe would never have arisen. The conservative-authoritarian dynastic monarchies of the pre-1914 era would, in all probability, still be in power today.
     
  8. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I don't believe the French and British could have lost World War I, even without the U.S help. As Hitler noted when returning home on leave the German war machine had been crippled and he thought of the German people that were out in the streets as cowards.

    At worst for the French and British a 'white peace' would have been achieved with all borders moving back to the pre-war state and the entire war being for nought.

    Not only was the German industrial machine grinding slowly to a halt, the German forces had little tanks and nothing to counter the tank. With every passing month and every passing offensive the Allied forces were learning the ability of the 'wonder weapon' - and unlike 1916 the British and French were throwing the tank into battle in ever increasing numbers like they were with man, artillery and aircraft.

    The naval war was won, the German high seas fleet was crippled and the North Sea was blockaded throughout the war. I honestly believe that the U.S intervention wasn't actually needed to end the war but it was needed to end the war so quickly.
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I believe it was in 1916 that the French ran out of their manpower reserves. In 1917, the Brits ran out of theirs. And only the timely arrival of US forces in 1918 stopped the Germans from doing to much harm in their final offensives.
     
  10. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    No they did not run out of manpower reserves. They were stretched of manpower, and Germany was in the exact same state. Only now, the British and French produced a weapon that was capable of capturing an amount of terrority that before would have cost the lives of hundreds, even thousands.

    And as always, there were the French and British Empires to still draw on. India had hardly been tapped in the Great War.
     
  11. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I have to agree with syscom on this one...bear in mind that after Passchendaele, there was never another British/Commonwealth offensive - they only chased the disorganised and overstretched Germans back to where they came from.And US manpower was very important to both that chase, and to the halting of the Peace Offensive in the first place. We could have lost...the naval war was won, yes, but had the Allies been defeated in the field, the shock would probably have been enough for the public to demand peace at all costs.
     
  12. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Unless you can actively enter the minds of the majority of the French and British citizens then you cannot say the shock would be enough to sue for peace. At worst for the Allies it would have gone back to pre-war borders.

    The industry of the combined British and French empires out-stripped Germany's, which was crumbling just that little bit more everyday. The German population wasn't too happy to be involved in the war either.

    And since the German offensive still relied on massed artillery and massed infantry it was too slow to achieve a breakthrough. Without a breakthrough the German forces would have achieved nothing but a break-in on the Allied lines which would have resulted in a massive loss of man for little gain in strategic situation.

    After Cambrai, 1917, the Allied forces had learnt the use of the tank. And even to some extent understood the co-ordination needed between all arms of the service. This tactical achievement would ultimately be the downfall of the German forces strategically. For the Germans to achieve total victory, they had to achieve what had failed for the past four years with nothing new.

    The Allies had won at sea, won in the air and the only place left to secure victory was on the land. This would have been done, maybe not completely, by the advantages the Allied forces had in industry, technology and strategy.
     
  13. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I thought that once the Russians were out of the war, the Germans moved their eastern forces to the west where they went on a final offensive. The US forces in place was the deciding factor in the failure of their plans. Not because the US had any type of superiority, but we had just enough troops and firepower in place.
     
  14. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    You are right, the Germans did move manpower from the East to the West. However, as I see it, a mere increase in manpower does not win that kind of war. Throughout the war battles had attempted to be won by increasing the amount of man and machine thrown into the battle. When aircraft were deployed the same was done, more and more were thrown in. Only, in the air the more aircraft actually achieved an aerial superiority for the Allied forces.

    On the ground, however, the increase in man merely increased the cost with little more in gain and no practical or strategic gain was achieved for such a high cost. I think this is going to be a agree to disagree because while I will agree that the U.S forces aided the war effort greatly and ulimately led to the final defeat of Germany to the scale that was achieved. I do not think Germany could have achieved total domination of the Allied forces without a new tactic of assault beyond that of using just more and more men like they were.

    As I say, at the worst (in my opinion) the Allies would have had to sue for peace on the basis of a return to pre-war borders. I honestly think that Germany would have been all too happy to return to them because all history writes about the crippling effects on the French and British forces. The Germans were just the same, if not worse. Even those from the Eastern Front weren't fresh. And the German industry was a shambles.

    I think, at best, the Germans would have achieved a large break-in. They weren't fast enough to stop the Allied forces stepping up new defensive lines in front of them.
     
  15. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I agree. Good point.
     
  16. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    I have to counter you there and say that it is possible that the Germans may just have been able to effect a breakthrough. Don't forget that they had been investigating all sorts of things such as storm-troopers to storm the Allied Lines. A lot of those well equipped and the Allies could have been in trouble. WW1 was not about resources, it is also about the breaking point of those on the front-line. If the US hadn't joined in, I think the Germans could very well have reinforced their hand at the bargaining table with a very great victory. Don't forget that the British and French had been fighting since 1914-1918 so it would have been getting to the stage where some soldiers may have been thinking: 'What's the use in killing them, there's always more seeming to come.' Also Britain had its hands partially tied holding Northern Island down. If the USA hadn't come in you can bet the Germans would have planned an uprising and I do think I recall one in 1918 but I can't remember the dates. This would have tied up British troops closer to home as the British population would have viewed this as more of a threat, it being right on their doorstep virtually.
     
  17. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    That's not a very good counter. The storm-troops weren't fast enough to enact a breakthrough. They came in before the attack to disrupt the Allied lines, but they're still men on foot. Not fast enough.

    Ireland had a few problems during World War I that were quelled by the home units. And Germany had been fighting from the start too, they weren't fresh, they were tired. World War I was just as much about resources as any other, if not more about resources.
     
  18. carpenoctem1689

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    Sure it was about resources, but Morale was a big factor too. The french were very low on morale, as were the british. The germans too were, but were happy that the russians had pulled out. If the germans, with the lack of american assistance factored in, attacked with troops from the east under massed artillery like before, after launching gas attacks on the other far end of the front, they could have broken in deep through the allied lines, giving the german people and soldiers a very big boost in morale, helping the common man on the street, and helping the economy back on its feet. The germans, though beaten in the air for the most part, had some good aircraft in theyre midst, and if concentrated, could have acheived superiority above theyre offensive battlefield, if only for a short time, also giving the ground troops more morale boosting, because airmen were greatly glorified. The germans could have pushed in deep, and negotiated peace easily if it had gone down that way.
     
  19. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Morale doesn't build an industry in a day. And the massing of everything achieves success ...like it did so all the four years beforehand, right?
     
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