Discussion:
A few 1914 what-ifs:
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Rob
2017-07-20 03:29:37 UTC
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1. What if somehow (by changing the person or personality of the King or senior politicians perhaps) Belgium decides to not resist German invaders and let them pass?

Where could the front-line end at the end of 1914, and to what ultimate impact on WWI?

2. If France fell in 1914, might German success cause multiple powers to bandwagon their way?

perhaps:

a. China - After the Germans win in France, the Germans have also lost Shantung to Japan, so now it is all Entente nations that have an unwanted presence in China. Might Yuan Shikai decide to get on the German bandwagon that appears to be to be set to dominate Europe and could be a powerful ally helping China win back concessions forced on them by the British, Russians, Japanese and French? Or, even with Germany dominating in Europe, would Yuan see China as too weak and the Entente powers as too strong *within the Far East* for China to dare turn against them?

b. Bulgaria - aligns with CP earlier, in anticipation of CP victory? (territorial objective - Serbian Macedonia)

c. Romania - aligns with CP after France falls, in anticipation of CP victory? (territorial objective - Moldova)

d. Sweden, same reason? (territorial objective - Finland)

e. Greece? (a piece of Albania or Serbian Macedonia?)

f. Italy (territorial objective - gains at French expense in any or all of Nice, Savoy, Corsica or Tunisia)

g. Japan - (possibly seeks to end the war with Germany if it started, hang back from further offending Germany and then possibly seek gains in the Russian Far East and Indochina?)

h. United States - possibly seeks to inherit any of these French territories (St. Pierre, Miquelon, French Caribbean, French Polynesia)?

i. Brazil - French Guiana?

j. Chile - French Polynesia?

3. Well wait a minute, is Germany defeating France in 1914 even plausible? How?
If a full victory in 1914 is not plausible, can the 1914 campaign change enough in Germany's favor to put a major down-payment towards a victory finally realized in 1915 or 1916?
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-07-20 09:02:00 UTC
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Post by Rob
Well wait a minute, is Germany defeating France in 1914 even
plausible? How? If a full victory in 1914 is not plausible, can
the 1914 campaign change enough in Germany's favor to put a major
down-payment towards a victory finally realized in 1915 or 1916?
The ability to use Belgium railways will greatly improve German
logistics and if Belgium cooperates British intervention is far less
likely. I still think Germany will loose a long war but taking Paris and
knocking France out of the war in 1914 is a strong possibility.
Rob
2017-07-22 00:52:29 UTC
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Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
Post by Rob
Well wait a minute, is Germany defeating France in 1914 even
plausible? How? If a full victory in 1914 is not plausible, can
the 1914 campaign change enough in Germany's favor to put a major
down-payment towards a victory finally realized in 1915 or 1916?
The ability to use Belgium railways will greatly improve German
logistics
I would think so, plus no hang ups at any fortresses



and if Belgium cooperates British intervention is far less
Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
likely.
this I'm not sure of.

On the one hand, with Belgium being cooperative even under duress it's not likely to generate atrocity stories

OTOH - Belgian permission or not, the situation still gravely threatens the position of France as a great power, the European balance of power, and risks the extension of German seapower into the Atlantic.

OTOH2 - Britain may not want to intervene out of a feeling it would be militarily future



I still think Germany will loose a long war but taking Paris and
Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
knocking France out of the war in 1914 is a strong possibility.
I've not seen many argue that Germany *can lose* if it takes down France early in the war. A successful D-Day or anything like a fast exploitation a la 1944-45 even if a British return to the continent did occur. But it's an interesting question.
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