What would the world be like if the Central Powers won WW1?

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ToroidalBoat

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If the Central Powers won WW1, how would history have been different? It may be assumed that in order for them to win, the USA would have had to stay out of the war, and England's entrance into the war would've been delayed.

The most obvious and likely consequence of a Central Powers victory would be no Nazis, as the political climate that allowed Hitler's rise to power wouldn't have happened -- no punitive treaty or war reparations.

One speculation I've heard is that a Central Powers victory would've meant no communist governments, as the White Army in the Russian Revolution would've been backed by Germany (they wouldn't want the USSR on their doorstep).
 
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Judge Holden

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All depends on how they won the war.

If britain stayed out from the start then the war would have ended within the year, and would basically be a redo of the Franco-Prussian War, followed by Russia being ground down until they go full revolution (which could butterfly in a thousand different ways, whether germany supported the Whites or not). Germany becomes dominant european power, britain retains the global empire and "top dog" position (and will probably keep ok-ish relations with germany should Wilhelm not fuck things up too much) and america doesnt get the hyperboost of trade that the war gave them.

If britain remained in the war and then some variation of the septemberprogramme likely comes into effect.
  • [*]France should cede some northern territory, such as the iron-ore mines at Briey and a coastal strip running from Dunkirk to Boulogne-sur-Mer, to Belgium or Germany.
    [*]France should pay a war indemnity of 10 billion German Marks, with further payments to cover veterans' funds and to pay off all of Germany's existing national debt. This would prevent French rearmament, make the French economy dependent on Germany, and end trade between France and the British Empire.
    [*]France will partially disarm by demolishing its northern forts.
    [*]Belgium should be annexed to Germany or, preferably, become a "vassal state", which should cede eastern parts and possibly Antwerp to Germany and give Germany military and naval bases.
    [*]Luxembourg should become a member state of the German Empire.
    [*]Buffer states would be created in territory carved out of the western Russian Empire, such as Poland, which would remain under German sovereignty "for all time".[4]
    [*]Germany would create a Mitteleuropa economic association, ostensibly egalitarian but actually dominated by Germany. Members would include the new buffer states.
    [*]The German colonial empire would be expanded. The German possessions in Africa would be enlarged into a contiguous German colony across central Africa (Mittelafrika) at the expense of the French and Belgian colonies. Presumably to leave open future negotiations with Britain, no British colonies were to be taken, but Britain's "intolerable hegemony" in world affairs was to end.
    [*]The Netherlands should be brought into a closer relationship to Germany while avoiding any appearance of coercion.
France would be permanently fucked, Britain would be taken down a hefty peg and may have to face some kind of revolution/coup (though I suspect this will not be as big a probability as many AH writers think it is) but will still remain one of the major global powers, and Germany will head forward into an uncertain future as the most powerful military and industrial power on the planet, with all the problems this will cause them down the line.
 

The Manglement

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All depends on how they won the war.

If britain stayed out from the start then the war would have ended within the year, and would basically be a redo of the Franco-Prussian War, followed by Russia being ground down until they go full revolution (which could butterfly in a thousand different ways, whether germany supported the Whites or not). Germany becomes dominant european power, britain retains the global empire and "top dog" position (and will probably keep ok-ish relations with germany should Wilhelm not fuck things up too much) and america doesnt get the hyperboost of trade that the war gave them.

If britain remained in the war and then some variation of the septemberprogramme likely comes into effect.
  • [*]France should cede some northern territory, such as the iron-ore mines at Briey and a coastal strip running from Dunkirk to Boulogne-sur-Mer, to Belgium or Germany.
    [*]France should pay a war indemnity of 10 billion German Marks, with further payments to cover veterans' funds and to pay off all of Germany's existing national debt. This would prevent French rearmament, make the French economy dependent on Germany, and end trade between France and the British Empire.
    [*]France will partially disarm by demolishing its northern forts.
    [*]Belgium should be annexed to Germany or, preferably, become a "vassal state", which should cede eastern parts and possibly Antwerp to Germany and give Germany military and naval bases.
    [*]Luxembourg should become a member state of the German Empire.
    [*]Buffer states would be created in territory carved out of the western Russian Empire, such as Poland, which would remain under German sovereignty "for all time".[4]
    [*]Germany would create a Mitteleuropa economic association, ostensibly egalitarian but actually dominated by Germany. Members would include the new buffer states.
    [*]The German colonial empire would be expanded. The German possessions in Africa would be enlarged into a contiguous German colony across central Africa (Mittelafrika) at the expense of the French and Belgian colonies. Presumably to leave open future negotiations with Britain, no British colonies were to be taken, but Britain's "intolerable hegemony" in world affairs was to end.
    [*]The Netherlands should be brought into a closer relationship to Germany while avoiding any appearance of coercion.
France would be permanently fucked, Britain would be taken down a hefty peg and may have to face some kind of revolution/coup (though I suspect this will not be as big a probability as many AH writers think it is) but will still remain one of the major global powers, and Germany will head forward into an uncertain future as the most powerful military and industrial power on the planet, with all the problems this will cause them down the line.

I would love an alternate history book where France got fucked over by war reparations, was miserable for a decade until Charles de Gaulle started the French Nationalist Party and started fucking shit up. Maybe the UK ends up full fascist too, and WWII is fought with fascist France, the UK, Italy, and Spain fighting democratic US and imperial Germany and Austro-hungaria.

Maybe the Welsh end up in concentration camps, where they fucking belong?
 

Y2K Baby

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All depends on how they won the war.

If britain stayed out from the start then the war would have ended within the year, and would basically be a redo of the Franco-Prussian War, followed by Russia being ground down until they go full revolution (which could butterfly in a thousand different ways, whether germany supported the Whites or not). Germany becomes dominant european power, britain retains the global empire and "top dog" position (and will probably keep ok-ish relations with germany should Wilhelm not fuck things up too much) and america doesnt get the hyperboost of trade that the war gave them.

If britain remained in the war and then some variation of the septemberprogramme likely comes into effect.
  • [*]France should cede some northern territory, such as the iron-ore mines at Briey and a coastal strip running from Dunkirk to Boulogne-sur-Mer, to Belgium or Germany.
    [*]France should pay a war indemnity of 10 billion German Marks, with further payments to cover veterans' funds and to pay off all of Germany's existing national debt. This would prevent French rearmament, make the French economy dependent on Germany, and end trade between France and the British Empire.
    [*]France will partially disarm by demolishing its northern forts.
    [*]Belgium should be annexed to Germany or, preferably, become a "vassal state", which should cede eastern parts and possibly Antwerp to Germany and give Germany military and naval bases.
    [*]Luxembourg should become a member state of the German Empire.
    [*]Buffer states would be created in territory carved out of the western Russian Empire, such as Poland, which would remain under German sovereignty "for all time".[4]
    [*]Germany would create a Mitteleuropa economic association, ostensibly egalitarian but actually dominated by Germany. Members would include the new buffer states.
    [*]The German colonial empire would be expanded. The German possessions in Africa would be enlarged into a contiguous German colony across central Africa (Mittelafrika) at the expense of the French and Belgian colonies. Presumably to leave open future negotiations with Britain, no British colonies were to be taken, but Britain's "intolerable hegemony" in world affairs was to end.
    [*]The Netherlands should be brought into a closer relationship to Germany while avoiding any appearance of coercion.
France would be permanently fucked, Britain would be taken down a hefty peg and may have to face some kind of revolution/coup (though I suspect this will not be as big a probability as many AH writers think it is) but will still remain one of the major global powers, and Germany will head forward into an uncertain future as the most powerful military and industrial power on the planet, with all the problems this will cause them down the line.
Sounds bretty good tbh.
 

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The most obvious and likely consequence of a Central Powers victory would be no Nazis, as the political climate that allowed Hitler's rise to power wouldn't have happened -- no punitive treaty or war reparations.

One speculation I've heard is that a Central Powers victory would've meant no communist governments, as the White Army in the Russian Revolution would've been backed by Germany (they wouldn't want the USSR on their doorstep).

In 1918 the German population was on the brink of national starvation and its armies were drained of everything necessary to fight a modern war. A hypothetical victory in my mind is the USA not entering the war and Russia losing as it historically did.

Following its victory in the east, Germany would loot its new provinces for food and amass conscripts for an ultra-aggressive push on Paris (I doubt this is possible but I'm stretching). Frances armies had mutinied and were likely to do so again so I'm sure another year of fighting would have been untenable for the Entente.

I see a victory turning out either negatively or horrifyingly for Germany.

(Negative)
The idea of Lebensraum was alive and well during the 2nd Reich so it's likely that Germany would have made an effort to colonize the Baltics, Belorussia, Poland and Ukraine. Slavs in the colonies would be second class citizens and the Germans would employ brutal methods to crack down on dissent. German culture would probably continue down its leftist and liberal path and the government would reform itself to align with those values. This change in values would contribute to these colonizing efforts failing and eastern Europe would probably gain Independence in a very chaotic and violent way decades later. Germany does not enter another war but it doesexperience constant chaos in the east and political turmoil because of the crisis's its facing due to its success. The German economic situation would probably remain similar to OTL. From the 1930s onwards, Germany would not experience as much brain drain and remain a leader in every single science.

(Horrifying)
On the other hand, the German economy would still be in shambles after the war as the policies that lead to the hyperinflation of the early 1920s were simply continuations of policies enacted during the war. Looting eastern Europe would not solve these problems as the wars in these regions, refugees and food-aid efforts would consume the budget. Germany even feeding its own population would be difficult even with reparations and Britain would probably get off with no reparations thanks to its navy. The political situation would be tenuous as Hindenburg and Ludendorf had basically replaced the Kaiser and established a dictatorship. The traditional right could end up disgraced by both the failures of the monarchy and the conservative generals so either some extreme would have to take the generals place (Nazis) or the left would have to triumph. A socialist uprising followed by the loss of all gains from the war could very well lead to Hitler rising to power.

Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire could grow depending on the treaties but the internal problems of these empires would only intensify. The Ottomans would probably experience an officers uprising that would attempt to hold the empire together rather than break it apart and Austria-Hungary would probably stick together with Hungary playing more of a role in oppressing other minorities. Chaos in the Balkans would resume as Austria-Hungary would almost-certainly hold of the entire area that would have become Yugoslavia and far-right ultra-nationalists would take power in the Balkans as they did historically due to revanchism.

I can't predict the situation in the UK but France would most definitely experience a hardline socialist uprising or right-wing military coup to prevent such an uprising. The USA would probably still have create a loan scheme to keep all of Europe functioning and it would probably spend the war years hunting for Pancho Villa. Canada would probably follow a historical path.

Lenin's revolution would probably succeed. The Germans would be too busy with their colonies and the Entente have a broken spine and have even less power to help the whites. In this timeline the USSR is without its bread basket and industrial centers and can be easily ignored. The Germans would make an effort to help the whites but it wouldn't be enough to prop up the old guards incompetence.
 
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WW1/WW2 aficionado checking in!

Well, we can speculate until we're blue in the face but I think the most likely outcome would have been a continuation of the Imperial/Colonial system of the great European powers that were seen in the decades leading up to WWI, only with Germany and Austria having greater prestige and influence. Italy surely would've been punished for her treachery of stabbing the Central Powers in the back, and the basis for her later expansions up to and during WWII probably wouldn't have happened. Whether Mussolini would've started something or another anyway, I don't know. Hitler almost certainly wouldn't have risen to power. France would've still existed but would have been influentially impotent. Britain wouldn't have been too adversely affected globally, but in European affairs her influence wouldn't have amounted to a hill of beans. The Ottoman Empire...well, the Sick Man wouldn't have got much healthier but they would have continued to control the Levant. Especially with outright defeat, I think Russia would still have had a bolshevik revolution (that just seemed inevitable), but with the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires still powerful, the White armies that would have inevitably formed to deal with it would have fared better and probably succeeded in squashing the reds in Russia for good.
 

ZeCommissar

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WW2 except french are nazis due to german demands wrecking the economy.

In all seriousness the world would be extremely different yet similar. I think Japan would still rampage across Asia, we could have a war with the European countries that hold colonies in Asia trying to hold back the Japanese.

Russia would still try to have a revolution, whether or not the reds would succeed is up for debate.

Holocaust wouldn't happen. Wouldn't surprise me if a similar genocide happened elsewhere on such a scale.

I think a ultra-nationalist nazi-like state would crop up and threaten the world like the Nazis in Germany did, it is bound to happen sooner or later in history.
 

Replicant Sasquatch

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WW2 except french are nazis due to german demands wrecking the economy.

In all seriousness the world would be extremely different yet similar. I think Japan would still rampage across Asia, we could have a war with the European countries that hold colonies in Asia trying to hold back the Japanese.

Russia would still try to have a revolution, whether or not the reds would succeed is up for debate.

Holocaust wouldn't happen. Wouldn't surprise me if a similar genocide happened elsewhere on such a scale.

I think a ultra-nationalist nazi-like state would crop up and threaten the world like the Nazis in Germany did, it is bound to happen sooner or later in history.

Reparations didn't pave the way for the Nazis. The Germans recovered from that before Hitler even got out of jail. The Great Depression is what fucked their economy and allowed the Nazis to secure power.

Frankly I'm convinced Hitler or someone like him would've taken over Germany and World War II would have gone on pretty much as it did.
 

Antipathy

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For the Central Powers to win (in a way we can reasonably historically extrapolate from), submarine warfare as conducted by Germany would have to remain restricted, and the telegraph the Germans sent to Mexico (telling them to attack the U.S) would have to either not be sent or not be intercepted by the British. With this, American interference would be stalled for a while, possibly until the end of the war.

The war itself would change with Russia's capitulation. At this moment, as in our history, the Russians would officially cede Poland and most of Ukraine, losing a lot of what was left of both their industry and agriculture. Russia is effectively neutered in this timeline, as stated above. The battered German, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian armies might revolt or demand rest after fighting on the Eastern front, but in the Western front, morale effectively collapses for the French, and soars for the Germans

With the loss of their Eastern ally (and no U.S to assist), mutinies would spread through the French trenches like wildfire, and the Germans, emboldened by their victory in the East, would likely send a massive counteroffensive. This would cause those few French that didn't surrender immediately to capitulate under the force, as the Eastern troops finally arrive two months later. Paris is encircled and seized after a short, brutal city battle, and the UK's forces withdraw across the Channel.

We have two possibilities from here. A British pseudo Cold War as the UK and Germany stare at each other from across the channel, while bitter fighting happens in the colonies (somewhat similar to the real Cold War with fighting in Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Korea. Just on a larger scale.), to which, I do believe the Germans and Ottomans would gradually force the British out. This would take another five years, however, assuming the British and Germans don't do what I consider the more likely scenario. I will no longer extrapolate in the Continued War possibility, because I authentically don't know that much about the fighting in that area.

The British, well aware of the bloodshed and probable loss of several colonies, would accept German terms, (really just throw France under a bus), losing very little. The war ends around February, 1919. Casualties are about two million greater than in our timeline.

Now, a period of instability occurs in Africa, Russia, Belgium and France. With Africa, the changing of ownership would be slow and messy, French and Belgians resisting at every opportunity. But without mainland France or Belgium, their rebellions are crushed one at a time. Life is very similar for the natives, so they don't take any one side in general. In Russia, Belgium and France, anger over their loss and the humiliating terms they had to agree to leads to resentment and hatred. In Russia, the Reds overtake the White army, as the German force would still be recovering from the Great War, and the government would be more interested in affairs closer to home. In France and Belgium, civil war rages for months, and the Germans intervene for the factions most useful to them. Nevertheless, the war takes months to resolve. A decent portion of Germany's gains are basically useless, but the rebels do not gain sovereignty. Resentment builds in the west.

In Germany itself, the November Revolution's first phase occurs, but the second ends in February with German victory. The Kaiser remains in power, using their victory as a means to cling to power and as a result, the Wiemar Republic does not form. This blocks Hitler from forming the Nazi party at all, as there would be no need for it. Hitler himself, however, along with all of the veterans of the War, now face the problem of reintegrating into society. Germany's economy is still damaged by the war, and looting the remnants of Russia simply patches the holes. But for now, it remains stable, if a little shaky. Over time, the Kaiser would gradually see the homeland rebellions drop off as he focuses on turning their African colonies into successful endeavors.

Italy, however, nearly collapses as the furious Central Powers focus their fire on it after the fall of France, seizing much of Veneto, Trintina and South Tyrol. Mussolini's March on Rome occurs, possibly earlier than normal, and Italy now awkwardly attempts to endear itself to the Central Powers.

Japan maintains the fight for a little while, but soon comes to terms with the Central Powers, ceding much of the land they gained. They focus on the weakened China and Russia, carving swathes of territory for themselves. Manchuria, Korea, and possibly even parts of Sibera are now Japanese. With Russia basically obliterated, they slowly start marching west, but don't get too far, the frozen wastes of Siberia far more effective than the shattered Red and White armies. They seize enough, however, to start really trading with the Central Powers, possibly overland, if not, then around the Cape of Good Hope.

In France, revolution after revolution occurs until a French super-nationalist party claws its way to the top, using the message of reclaiming French territory. Similar revolutions occur in Belgium, and these paramilitaries are sheltered in Britain, who is still nominally against the Germans. Over time, this rebel force trains itself and grows through discreet recruitment in the homelands.

World War II does not happen the way we know it, and monarchies remain in power. Gradually Japan would expand its sphere of influence, possibly annexing most of China in time. The U.S.A starts trading with the Central Powers, and although the Spanish Influenza pandemic strikes hard, the world remains stable.

For a time.

As an addendum the Ottomans and Austro-Hungarians still stumble on, although Lawrence of Arabia makes things irritating for the Sultan. The Sick Man of Europe still is slowly dying, and Germany and Austro-Hungary are eager to carve their old ally to pieces.
 

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As an addendum the Ottomans and Austro-Hungarians still stumble on, although Lawrence of Arabia makes things irritating for the Sultan. The Sick Man of Europe still is slowly dying, and Germany and Austro-Hungary are eager to carve their old ally to pieces.
Agree, although I do think in the Middle Easts' situation with the Ottomans still in power for a short amount of time, I think most of the Middle East (excluding the Arabian Peninsula) would adopt the more moderate beliefs of the Ottomans as the governmental norm, and that would probably mean very few extremist groups in the future.
 

Antipathy

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Agree, although I do think in the Middle Easts' situation with the Ottomans still in power for a short amount of time, I think most of the Middle East (excluding the Arabian Peninsula) would adopt the more moderate beliefs of the Ottomans as the governmental norm, and that would probably mean very few extremist groups in the future.

I don't know, the inevitable German/Austro-Hungarian (Possibly even with a little British) backstab would probably push a few guys to radical Islam either way.
 

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I don't know, the inevitable German/Austro-Hungarian (Possibly even with a little British) backstab would probably push a few guys to radical Islam either way.
Yeah, the Germans, Austro-Hungarians, and the British would probably orchestrate radical Islamic rebel groups across the Mespotamian area, and probably some areas like Palestine, and Syria.