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What If: Kaiser Willie Dies In 1909?


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#1 Murph

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 2038 PM

What if Kaiser Willie died in 1909 in the aftermath of the Eulenberg scandal?


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#2 RETAC21

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 0421 AM

Given the Crown prince was a rather reasonable man, things can only improve.


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#3 seahawk

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 0621 AM

Most likely not much in regard to WW1. Maybe there is a bit less tension between Germany and the UK, but after the Austrian crown prince is killed, it would probably go down the same route.


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#4 glenn239

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 0724 AM

What if Kaiser Willie died in 1909 in the aftermath of the Eulenberg scandal?

 

A brief reading about the Kaiser's eldest son Wilhelm suggests that his outlook was strongly nationalist, and he wanted to expand the army.   His military career suggests a more professional and focused approach to leadership than his impulsive father.  The 1909-1912 was the period in which Germany was trying for détente with each of the Entente partners.  It is possible another Chancellor is appointed rather than Bethmann and the new Chancellor may have more freedom to pursue a naval treaty in favor of army expansion.  The most interesting choice for Chancellor would be Adolf Marschall von Bieberstein the closest thing to a Bismarck the Germans had.  It is unlikely that malleable amateur Lichnowsky is appointed ambassador to Great Britain, and the German foreign office's understanding of this complex relationship improves.  


Edited by glenn239, 07 September 2019 - 0724 AM.

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#5 Murph

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 1544 PM

 

What if Kaiser Willie died in 1909 in the aftermath of the Eulenberg scandal?

 

A brief reading about the Kaiser's eldest son Wilhelm suggests that his outlook was strongly nationalist, and he wanted to expand the army.   His military career suggests a more professional and focused approach to leadership than his impulsive father.  The 1909-1912 was the period in which Germany was trying for détente with each of the Entente partners.  It is possible another Chancellor is appointed rather than Bethmann and the new Chancellor may have more freedom to pursue a naval treaty in favor of army expansion.  The most interesting choice for Chancellor would be Adolf Marschall von Bieberstein the closest thing to a Bismarck the Germans had.  It is unlikely that malleable amateur Lichnowsky is appointed ambassador to Great Britain, and the German foreign office's understanding of this complex relationship improves.  

 

Very good point.  Also the Crown Prince (Kaiser Willie III) would also be more likely to do personal diplomacy with his British cousins I suspect, than is irresponsible father.  I think he would look at at Tsar as the major danger rather then the British.  Also he might be more interested in the colonies, and German Colonial expansion?


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#6 Rickard N

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 1606 PM

Would any change in any of the participants of WW1 prior to the war mean that the trench warfare was abandoned? I'm thinking that someone was very interested in how to change the way war was being performed like what the Boers did for example or is it just the invention of the tank that will change this?

 

/R


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#7 Murph

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 1624 PM

Would any change in any of the participants of WW1 prior to the war mean that the trench warfare was abandoned? I'm thinking that someone was very interested in how to change the way war was being performed like what the Boers did for example or is it just the invention of the tank that will change this?

 

/R

I am not sure, but I think it was the tank.  No one really learned the lessons of the Boer war (at least on the British side).


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#8 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 1743 PM


Would any change in any of the participants of WW1 prior to the war mean that the trench warfare was abandoned? I'm thinking that someone was very interested in how to change the way war was being performed like what the Boers did for example or is it just the invention of the tank that will change this?
 
/R

I am not sure, but I think it was the tank.  No one really learned the lessons of the Boer war (at least on the British side).

Theres actually a (debatable) case that the ACW predicted a lot of Ww1.
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#9 Murph

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 0515 AM

 

 

Would any change in any of the participants of WW1 prior to the war mean that the trench warfare was abandoned? I'm thinking that someone was very interested in how to change the way war was being performed like what the Boers did for example or is it just the invention of the tank that will change this?
 
/R

I am not sure, but I think it was the tank.  No one really learned the lessons of the Boer war (at least on the British side).

Theres actually a (debatable) case that the ACW predicted a lot of Ww1.

 

I cannot disagree with that.


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#10 Murph

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 0516 AM

Would the Crown Prince have been a more stable presence than Kaiser Willie II?  Or would he have kept tweaking the lion's tale?


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#11 glenn239

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 0814 AM

 

 

What if Kaiser Willie died in 1909 in the aftermath of the Eulenberg scandal?

 

A brief reading about the Kaiser's eldest son Wilhelm suggests that his outlook was strongly nationalist, and he wanted to expand the army.   His military career suggests a more professional and focused approach to leadership than his impulsive father.  The 1909-1912 was the period in which Germany was trying for détente with each of the Entente partners.  It is possible another Chancellor is appointed rather than Bethmann and the new Chancellor may have more freedom to pursue a naval treaty in favor of army expansion.  The most interesting choice for Chancellor would be Adolf Marschall von Bieberstein the closest thing to a Bismarck the Germans had.  It is unlikely that malleable amateur Lichnowsky is appointed ambassador to Great Britain, and the German foreign office's understanding of this complex relationship improves.  

 

Very good point.  Also the Crown Prince (Kaiser Willie III) would also be more likely to do personal diplomacy with his British cousins I suspect, than is irresponsible father.  I think he would look at at Tsar as the major danger rather then the British.  Also he might be more interested in the colonies, and German Colonial expansion?

 

 

I think the Crown Prince would make a more consistent Kaiser, but I doubt he'd be any more focused on colonial expansion than his dad.  That's because Wilhelm was already pretty keen on the idea of colonial expansion, the roadblock being that the established colonial powers did not want to make room for Germany, moreso than any lack of enthusiasm for it in Berlin.


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#12 Rickard N

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 0641 AM

 

 

Would any change in any of the participants of WW1 prior to the war mean that the trench warfare was abandoned? I'm thinking that someone was very interested in how to change the way war was being performed like what the Boers did for example or is it just the invention of the tank that will change this?
 
/R

I am not sure, but I think it was the tank.  No one really learned the lessons of the Boer war (at least on the British side).

Theres actually a (debatable) case that the ACW predicted a lot of Ww1.

 

I'm guessing that ACW is the civil war (I did have to google it), in what way did i predict WW1?

 

Would the sort-of-guerilla tactics used by the Boers work in the battlefield in Europe, is there any way it could break up the trench way of thinking?

Am I getting to it from the wrong angle and the trench warfare is a reaction to the Boers running circles around the very static formations of the British troops and since you're dug in the Boer tactics won't work?

 

(No I haven't studied tactics very much)

 

/R


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#13 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 0713 AM

Well, the Boer tactics didnt even work for the Boers in the end, so probably not. :)

 

Not taking anything away from the civil war, which had trenchworks very similar to that seen in WW1 at the very end, but you can draw examples of trenchworks a long way back in history.

https://www.quora.co...Napoleonic-Wars

 

It was not uncommon in the English civil war either, at least in sieges.

 

Even tunnelling which became such a staple of WW1 can owe its origin's as far back as the middle ages, when they used it as a means of undermining walls. Dig a hole under a wall, fill it up with pit props, fill the tunnel up with pg carcass which you set fire to. I gather Dover Castle shows some signs of that.

 

The ACW showed a change in the use of Trenches, when they were used on a much larger scale, presumably because field armies were much larger, and railways made it much easier to bring in materials and men to build them. But I think the trend had began even before then with other wars.


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#14 Harold Jones

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 1830 PM

 

 

 

Would any change in any of the participants of WW1 prior to the war mean that the trench warfare was abandoned? I'm thinking that someone was very interested in how to change the way war was being performed like what the Boers did for example or is it just the invention of the tank that will change this?
 
/R

I am not sure, but I think it was the tank.  No one really learned the lessons of the Boer war (at least on the British side).

Theres actually a (debatable) case that the ACW predicted a lot of Ww1.

 

I'm guessing that ACW is the civil war (I did have to google it), in what way did i predict WW1?

 

Would the sort-of-guerilla tactics used by the Boers work in the battlefield in Europe, is there any way it could break up the trench way of thinking?

Am I getting to it from the wrong angle and the trench warfare is a reaction to the Boers running circles around the very static formations of the British troops and since you're dug in the Boer tactics won't work?

 

(No I haven't studied tactics very much)

 

/R

 

Regarding the American Civil War, towards the end trench warfare became a feature of the battles in the east.   https://en.wikipedia...e_of_Petersburg  


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#15 Ken Estes

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 1545 PM

ACW is best regarded as both the last of the 19th C great captain conflicts and the first total war.


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#16 Rick

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 0614 AM

ACW is best regarded as both the last of the 19th C great captain conflicts and the first total war.

What is a "great captain conflict?" 

Thank you.


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#17 Ken Estes

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 0728 AM

It refers to the period when a commander could stand on a position and see the entire battlefield and give orders by visual signal or messenger. 

 

https://warroom.army...ho-did-it-best/

 

Actually, by the time Napoleon led his armies into Russia, this was no longer the case, and time and distance outpaced the abilities of a single person, however 'great,' to exercise command.


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#18 Inhapi

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 1253 PM

 

 

It was not uncommon in the English civil war either, at least in sieges.

 

 

 

Trenchworks were essential to every well conducted siege in the age of artillery. Handbooks on siege warfare (most notably by Vauban) spend a lot of pages on trenchworks: localisation, how to dig etc etc..  In a sense a WWI front was just an extended siege, the lines of wich could essentially have been build in the 17th century ...... (they had parrallell trench lines, broken traces to stop enfilading fire, communication trenches, etc...)


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#19 Murph

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 0528 AM

 

 

 

It was not uncommon in the English civil war either, at least in sieges.

 

 

 

Trenchworks were essential to every well conducted siege in the age of artillery. Handbooks on siege warfare (most notably by Vauban) spend a lot of pages on trenchworks: localisation, how to dig etc etc..  In a sense a WWI front was just an extended siege, the lines of wich could essentially have been build in the 17th century ...... (they had parrallell trench lines, broken traces to stop enfilading fire, communication trenches, etc...)

 

Good point.  


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#20 Redbeard

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 1612 PM

In 1909 the naval race with Britain was at a climax, but also where it should be clear to the Germans that they couldn't win that race. In that context anyone on the Throne just a little less fixed on new shiny battleships might have a chance to reach a naval agreement with Britain - ie. Britain needing a much bigger provocation to join the war. 

 

Apart from the obvious diplomatic and strategic effects it will also mean a larger part of public spending going to the army. The German navy had taken a surprisingly large part of the budget for a country basically not needing a navy but relying on an army to survive. A "no  High Seas Fleet" timeline might also mean the advancement of various chemical inventions to replace overseas import, as there now is no chance of breaking a blockade.

 

IMHO this can mean two things. Either there will never be a WWI as the French and Russians realise it will be too risky - or - the French and Russians will loose.

 

A no WWI timeline will have implications beyond imagination, but even a quick German victory might be interesting. My theory is that the Socialdemocrats will win the elections after the war and soon strike the usual contract with capital - stable labor for a larger share of economy and power. That will only leave space for the Kaiser if he accepts a mainly symbolic role - so it was in all the other places where Monarchy survived and anyway Germany by early 20th century wasn't anywhere near an absolute monarchy. 

 

If Russia stays stable it will probably grow fast industrially as will Austria-Hungary. Combined with a probably still revanchist France that might mean trouble, but I would guess the British might support the Germans here, as the Russians probably will put a lot of the growing capacity into building a seagoing navy. By 1914 Russia had a very ambitious naval expansions programme.

 

OTOH a socialdemocratic Germany (Sweden on steroids) might be quite keen on speaking up against colonialism and thus appear quite annoying seen from London. But what the heck, they can say what they want as long as it isn't from the bridge of a battleshjp! 


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