The Us And The Destruction Of The British Empire
Posted 10 August 2019 - 2253 PM
Posted 11 August 2019 - 0117 AM
I know, a lot of Conservatives wish that too. But it was unavoidable as soon as the Germans put foot in Belgium. We would have had the German HSF across the channel from us at Dover, which was completely unacceptable. After all, this was a generation raised on 'Riddle of the Sands' and 'The Battle of Dorking'. Like American's, it was imperative we fought our wars abroad.
I know we had a treaty with France over mutual defence, but it was far from certain another Government would honor it. It the attack on Belgium that swung it, and act of such colossal stupidity, you almost wonder if the German Empire wanted to fight the British one.
Having the German fleet in the Channel wouldn't alter the strategic equation. The problem was the same Napoleonic France had, you can't get to the Birtish isles without the Royal Navy appearing at some moment and cutting your lines of communication. In Napoleonic times armies could live off the land, in 1914 that wasn't feasible anymore.
The best result of WW1 would have been a German victory in 1914 if you think about it.
Different times though. That was in the age of sail when the wind direction and the relative difficulty of landing troops made it an all but impossible task. Even then the RN still kept a very large chunk of its fleet in home waters. In the age of steam, wind is nearly irrelevant. You would have had a German army camped in Belgium glowering at Britain, implying it could just take a hope across any time it like. Bearing in mind how weak the British Army was, it would have took maybe a few days of the High Seas Fleet holding the RN off, and London had fallen.
Think of the technical innovations in the 20 odd years before the first world war. Sea mines, Torpedo's, Torpedo Boats, Submarines. And Airpower wasnt sufficiently developed to tip the balance back towards the British.
I think the value of fiction is exaggerated, but Childers Claimed in a later foreword to 'Riddle of the Sands', that his nightmare scenario had made the RN invest in more facilities and warships at Chatham. Ive no reason to disbelieve him.
The best result of WW1 would have been Britain and France staying the hell out and allowing Germany to trounce Russia. The Tsar would have fallen, and its difficult to see the Communists getting control of Russia, because the Germans would have seen no need to allow Lenin back. Its probably the best possible outcome for Russia Ironically.
Good point, although what would Germany have done with the Russian Royal family? Put another member on the throne as a puppet, or perhaps a minor German Prince as Tsar?
I seem to recall the Throne was actually offered to a cousin of the Tsar after he abdicated, he turned it down. Possibly he might have accepted if the circumstances had been different.
Or it could have been a Republic. If the war had been shorter, Kerensky may have had more options. Certainly I cant see the Bolsheviks being half as successful without Lenin being the lightning rod.
Posted 11 August 2019 - 2233 PM
Speaking of a hypothetical German victory in the East in WWI - one that wouldn't be lost to the Western powers - How did the Germans treat the local occupied population in Ukraine? I have to assume that they must have been far more humane than their successors 25 years later. Did they do their "collective punishment for franc-tireur activity" shtick there too?
Edited by Mikel2, 11 August 2019 - 2234 PM.
Posted 12 August 2019 - 0131 AM
I seem to recall a German Ambassador or commissioner was assassinated by local insurgents, but I can remember maddeningly little else about it.
Posted 12 August 2019 - 0442 AM
They stripped every last bit of grain to ship it to Germany that was starving.
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