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What If: Kaiser Willie Dies In 1909?


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#21 Ken Estes

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 0403 AM

The Fleet Laws of 98, 00, and 07 would see that the German battleships/cruisers are built to a set number and replacement rate. The Navy was popular with the National Liberals. Diplomacy of the period ebbs and flows depending on whether A-H or Turkey is considered the "Sick Man of Europe."

 

The Sarajevo assassination of Archduke Ferdinand need not have ignited the Great War, if only because F was not liked in Vienna and little mourned because of his outrageous notions of freedom for the nationalities and a possible Triple Monarchy. It did show that nobody had control of their generals.

 

The fact was that in 1914, the only place that conflict within Europe was even thought possible was ..... Ireland. There simply were no territorial disputes worthy of war among European powers.


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#22 RETAC21

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 0847 AM

The Fleet Laws of 98, 00, and 07 would see that the German battleships/cruisers are built to a set number and replacement rate. The Navy was popular with the National Liberals. Diplomacy of the period ebbs and flows depending on whether A-H or Turkey is considered the "Sick Man of Europe."

 

The Sarajevo assassination of Archduke Ferdinand need not have ignited the Great War, if only because F was not liked in Vienna and little mourned because of his outrageous notions of freedom for the nationalities and a possible Triple Monarchy. It did show that nobody had control of their generals.

 

The fact was that in 1914, the only place that conflict within Europe was even thought possible was ..... Ireland. There simply were no territorial disputes worthy of war among European powers.

 

The eventual breakdown of the Turkish empire could also ignite a war.


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#23 seahawk

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 1127 AM

For the German side the strategic position would only change if the British relationship with the French would turn sour, but from a British perspective Germany was the stronger rival than the French after 1871, even with no colonial ambitions it would still be the central power in Europe. For the same reason I see nothing that would change the alliance between France and Russia, which also means that Germany should aim to be able to win against the combined navies of France and Russia, so naval ambitions would still exist. Due to this the alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary is also logical.  And to be honest no major power would accept an assassination of the crown prince by the hand of a small country. So the Austirians moving against the Serbians is a given, the line can only be broken if France signals Russia that it won´t join a war on their side and Russia does not mobilize, but in case of a neutral UK, France and Russia would need each other even more strongly.  


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#24 Ken Estes

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 2249 PM

War came in 1914 because of inept diplomats and jump for glory militarists, civilian and military alike. But that did not make it inevitable. Serbia was already bending to AH demands but they already had the idiotic blank check from Wilhelm II. The last hope was the Tsar, but he could not make his cancellation of full mobilization stick.

 

Total miscalculation, not seen again until 2003.


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#25 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 0148 AM

 

The Fleet Laws of 98, 00, and 07 would see that the German battleships/cruisers are built to a set number and replacement rate. The Navy was popular with the National Liberals. Diplomacy of the period ebbs and flows depending on whether A-H or Turkey is considered the "Sick Man of Europe."

 

The Sarajevo assassination of Archduke Ferdinand need not have ignited the Great War, if only because F was not liked in Vienna and little mourned because of his outrageous notions of freedom for the nationalities and a possible Triple Monarchy. It did show that nobody had control of their generals.

 

The fact was that in 1914, the only place that conflict within Europe was even thought possible was ..... Ireland. There simply were no territorial disputes worthy of war among European powers.

 

The eventual breakdown of the Turkish empire could also ignite a war.

 

 

There was at least one historian that claimed the Ottomans were if anything, more stable on the outbreak of war than they had been in years. I gather the industrialization bug had bitten them too. You have to wonder how the modern middle east would now look if we had sunk the Goeben....


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#26 bojan

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 0556 AM

...

There was at least one historian that claimed the Ottomans were if anything, more stable on the outbreak of war than they had been in years. I gather the industrialization bug had bitten them too. You have to wonder how the modern middle east would now look if we had sunk the Goeben....

 

Considering that Ottomans are responsible for the 90% of the shit in the middle east, probably worse.


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#27 glenn239

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 1112 AM

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. 

 

 

Germany, as a land power, did not require victory in any naval race with Britain.  Rather, it required a continental strategy which allowed it to defeat its enemies one by one until only the British remained.  German naval power in any war was within that context - its navy was entirely expendable provided that in doing so it was following a strategy that wins the war on the continent.

 

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.

 

 

In reading a bit, the United States appears to have maintained a strategic nitrates reserve (300,000 tons?) as a hedge against supplies being interdicted from Chile.  High Seas Fleet or not, why Germany maintained no strategic oil, rubber or nitrates reserves is hard to understand outside the context of a fair degree of incompetence in German planning from the Kaiser on down.


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#28 Ken Estes

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 0015 AM

The Short War Illusion. Everybody had it. A  few quick victories and then a general peace settlement. Nobody saw the likelihood of stalemate except for one man, a Polish banker named Bloch.

 

 

https://www.armyupre...ture-of-War.pdf


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#29 glenn239

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 0753 AM

That is true, but it was also some burocratic infighting.  Kind of a No War Illusion.  Tirpitz and the navy would often use blockade and the need for resources as an argument for budget share, (the argument being that the navy could defend SLOC during war), but nobody actually devoted any of their budget to stockpiling.  As if the vulnerability was recognised theoretically but not acted upon.  Meanwhile, lower priority items (in terms of usefulness in a real war) such as the dreadnought fleet and horse cavalry divisions, these got scads of cash.

 

Germany failed to stockpile strategic resources (oil, nitrates, copper, etc.) and failed to build the fleet it needed to fight the war it was going to realistically face.  Since in both these domains the navy was front and center, and it was the Kaiser that was the head of the navy and had deliberately allowed a confused and divided command structure, one assumes that a different Kaiser might perhaps have reformed this mess before the war and come up with something a little more streamlined?


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#30 seahawk

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 0945 AM

It was a war nobody wanted to fight and nobody expect a conflict to last years. Sadly that was overlooked when it came to finding a solution after the war, which then led to round 2.


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#31 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 0208 AM

Well there was a couple of guys that got the long war theory. There was a French General, according to Tuchman, that told anyone that would listen it would take years. But he was ignored because reportedly he was slow to make a decision and not strong in command. Which was certainly true, but then JC Fuller was probably not a good battlefield commander either.

 

Then there was Lord Kitchener whom, if I remember rightly, was instrumental for keeping a division back from Europe to provide a nucleus for training the next generation of the British Army. If that had not been done, the British Army would probably have run out of recruits, or at the very least, capable recruits, in 1916.


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#32 Ken Estes

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Posted Today, 03:38 AM

It was a war nobody wanted to fight and nobody expect a conflict to last years. Sadly that was overlooked when it came to finding a solution after the war, which then led to round 2.

 

The 'solution' was to assign blame to the losers, but with the wartime/postwar collapse of empires and governments, only one remained intact enough to so punish. The real rub, though, was that country's obligation to bear sole responsibility for starting the war, which was in no case the truth. Hence, as you put it leading to round two. That was not inevitable, but the economic collapse and the nature of a victor's peace invited some to take advantage of the instabilities at hand in the 1930s.

 

The failure of the major powers to fairly adjudicate the war's origins and conclusion reflected the same type of inept diplomats and political leaders that brought the war in the first place.

 

As a historian, I always had the notion that these were particular times [1929-89] and events that would not be repeated in the modern era. Sadly, they seem to be upon us again, still with inept diplomats and political leaders....


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#33 RETAC21

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Posted Today, 04:20 AM

 

It was a war nobody wanted to fight and nobody expect a conflict to last years. Sadly that was overlooked when it came to finding a solution after the war, which then led to round 2.

 

The 'solution' was to assign blame to the losers, but with the wartime/postwar collapse of empires and governments, only one remained intact enough to so punish. The real rub, though, was that country's obligation to bear sole responsibility for starting the war, which was in no case the truth. Hence, as you put it leading to round two. That was not inevitable, but the economic collapse and the nature of a victor's peace invited some to take advantage of the instabilities at hand in the 1930s.

 

The failure of the major powers to fairly adjudicate the war's origins and conclusion reflected the same type of inept diplomats and political leaders that brought the war in the first place.

 

As a historian, I always had the notion that these were particular times [1929-89] and events that would not be repeated in the modern era. Sadly, they seem to be upon us again, still with inept diplomats and political leaders....

 

 

It should be note that the post-war mistakes were only avoided in the previous European war (the Napoleonic ones) through the good offices of chancellor Metternich and the Congress of Vienna. No comparable statist was available post-WW1 and the blood bill was so huge that the defeated would never be able to repay the winners.


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