Would the world be a better place if the Germans had won World War I?

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Would the world be better if Germany won?

  • Yes, things would have been better if the Germans won

    Votes: 12 42.9%
  • No, the correct side won the war

    Votes: 16 57.1%

  • Total voters
    28

Kamov Ka-52

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After hearing people meme about how the wrong side won WWII for years, it finally got me wondering; assuming the war was an inevitability, how would the world be different if the Belgians didn't resist the Germans at the outset of the war? What if Von Schlieffen's Plan had been successful in crushing the French military before they could mobilize and forced the French and British to sue for peace?

I'd argue yes for several reasons:
  • It would have prevented the appalling casualties incurred by both sides on the Western Front
  • Britain and France wouldn't have over-expanded their colonial holdings by tearing apart the Ottoman Empire
  • The Soviet Union is never formed and, arguably, no major world governments end up Communist
  • Continental Europe would have a clearly dominant power, which would help to ensure stability
  • The British and French don't have the opportunity to completely cock up the Middle East's borders
  • The Japanese are not emboldened to continue seizing Chinese territories beyond the ones they grabbed from the Germans
  • The peace terms would almost certainly be less harsh due to the shorter duration of the conflict
  • You don't end up with the Treaty of Versailles, which guarantees a Second World War
  • Israel doesn't exist because the British and French don't promise Palestine to (((them)))
Thoughts?
 
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I

IV 445

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We each of us have gone through at least a little trial and tribulation in our lives. Regret is a natural human emotion, it's why time travel is a popular narrative concept for novels and movies.

But in changing the past, don't you invariably change yourself as well? I would think all of the troubles you have gone through have made you the person you are today. And to change the past would be akin to changing yourself.

And I don't think you have to change yourself. Because I like you for who you are, just as you are. :)
 

ColtWalker1847

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After hearing people meme about how the wrong side won WWII for years, it finally got me wondering; assuming the war was an inevitability, how would the world be different if the Belgians didn't resist the Germans at the outset of the war? What if Von Schlieffen's Plan had been successful in crushing the French military before they could mobilize and forced the French and British to sue for peace?

I'd argue yes for several reasons:
  • It would have prevented the appalling casualties incurred by both sides on the Western Front
  • Britain and France wouldn't have over-expanded their colonial holdings by tearing apart the Ottoman Empire
  • The Soviet Union is never formed and, arguably, no major world governments end up Communist
  • Continental Europe would have a clearly dominant power, which would help to ensure stability
  • The British and French don't have the opportunity to completely cock up the Middle East's borders
  • The Japanese are not emboldened to continue seizing Chinese territories beyond the ones they grabbed from the Germans
  • The peace terms would almost certainly be less harsh due to the shorter duration of the conflict
  • You don't end up with the Treaty of Versailles, which guarantees a Second World War
  • Israel doesn't exist because the British and French don't promise Palestine to (((them)))
Thoughts?
  1. The British wouldn't have quit that easy. No way are they giving up their naval supremacy just because of some losses on the continent and the High Seas Fleet was not strong enough to force a peace on them.
  2. Austria, Russia, and Ottomans were already on borrowed time. This, at best, buys them a bit more time before their collapse.

What we would see is Continental System Mark II until Wilhelm finally admits that he will never be able to beat the RN. But considering his penis envy and inferiority complex (which is basically what led to the war, check out Dreadnought by Robert Massie) I doubt this would happen before he has to face a collapse of his coalition.
 

verissimus

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...I'm not even sure how to respond to this what if scenario having for some time now read up on things related to WW1 and WW2 for some time and still going strong (currently reading about SOE). My understanding is that you want to assume the Germans essentially would have somehow won the war by 1914 assuming say if they got to Paris?

Even if that did happen, and for some inexplicable reason, the French surrendered and the rest of France's allies at the time called for an armistice, there's no reason to believe that Britain, Russia, France, Belgium, etc. would have honored the peace deal made at all for long. So as far as I'm concerned, in this situation there might have been 2 world wars after this where the first would have been all the enemies Germany made seeking vengeance and the second being somewhat a reverse situation of that.

There's also no proof communism wouldn't have reared its ugly head in Russia later on or in defeated France.

Edit : Ok, I'm sorry. I know this is a crazy, if not ridiculous, what-if scenario but after reading the point regarding the Japanese, I have to sperg because there is no goddamn way the Japanese would have curbed its expansion in the East just because Germany won the war (though it is possible they could have they slowed their expansion assuming Russia was not bloodied enough during the war).
 
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Red Guy

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The whole war never should have happened honestly. The Triple Alliance ( Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary) and the Triple Entente (Russia, France, and Britain) were formed to pressure the other side in not causing a war in the first place. But Austria-Hungary had to fuck everyone over because they refused to give Bosnia independence.
 

iRON-mAn

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Or, emboldened by their victory, German peoples feel an overwhelming pride in their country leading to a surge in nationalism and national socialism and...

Oh, hi, Hitler.

Fascism had been on the rise in Europe since the early 1900's. World War I was a catalyst, not the cause.
 

Kamov Ka-52

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  1. The British wouldn't have quit that easy. No way are they giving up their naval supremacy just because of some losses on the continent and the High Seas Fleet was not strong enough to force a peace on them.

The Germans didn't really want to fight the British though. They felt being encircled on the continent by France and Russia posed an existential threat to Germany, and they weren't wrong. Besides, the only reason Britain joined the war was because the Germans violated Belgium's neutrality, had the Belgians not resisted/allowed the Germans through the British probably wouldn't have entered the war. Don't forget that the British and French are historic enemies, there was still a degree of animosity.

Austria, Russia, and Ottomans were already on borrowed time. This, at best, buys them a bit more time before their collapse.
Austria Hungary and the Ottomans were fucked, sure, but their break-ups could've been handled much better than it was by the Allies in the treaty of Versailles. Plus, without the Germans supporting commies and bring Lenin from his sausage factory adjacent flat in Switzerland you don't end up with the Soviet Union. Hell, the provincial government that formed after the overthrow of Nicholas II was trying to craft a constitution based on the United State's before their failed attempts to fight the Germans led to them losing legitimacy. So a democratic Russia would not be out of the realm of possibility either.

But Austria-Hungary had to fuck everyone over because they refused to give Bosnia independence.
Austria-Hungary didn't have much of a choice. Letting the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand ride would be akin to the United States letting a country off without consequence after an important official was killed in an act of state sponsored terrorism. By that same logic, Russia fucked everyone over by starting to mobilize their armies after Austria-Hungary issued their ultimatum. Germany could not win a two-front war, thus once the Russians started to mobilize the Germans were forced to act, or face certain defeat.

Fascism had been on the rise in Europe since the 1920's. World War I was a catalyst, not the cause.
Fascism arose because of the devastation inflicted on Europe's economy through the course of the First World War, as well as dissatisfaction with the perceived impotence of democratically elected governments. Without WWI dragging out, the socialist movement likely wouldn't have gained as much traction as it did as quickly as it did, thus the communist and fascists likely don't take power power until maybe the Great Depression.
 

Red Guy

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Austria-Hungary didn't have much of a choice. Letting the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand ride would be akin to the United States letting a country off without consequence after an important official was killed in an act of state sponsored terrorism. By that same logic, Russia fucked everyone over by starting to mobilize their armies after Austria-Hungary issued their ultimatum. Germany could not win a two-front war, thus once the Russians started to mobilize the Germans were forced to act, or face certain defeat.
That's still the fault of Austria-Hungary though. No other country was going to attack them as long as they were in the Triple Alliance, so they had no real reason to keep Bosnia in their control. If they had given Bosnia independence, Ferdinand wouldn't have been killed.
 

verissimus

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The Treaty of Versailles should have never happened.

I'm honestly going to have to agree with the point (and it was pretty much the only good point she made) Margaret MacMillan made in her book regarding the treaty, and that was that most of terms of the treaty were either a fait accompli (for example the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the consequent fighting brought forth by the new countries) or not unexpected (Germany losing its colonies which it had militarily lost, Germany returning Alsace-Lorraine, etc.) The only really stupid terms that comes to mind with regard to the treaty which were sheer rubbish was Germany's admission of guilt for supposedly causing the war and the terms aimed at limiting Germany's future military which were utterly unenforceable.

Edit

"Fascism arose because of the devastation inflicted on Europe's economy through the course of the First World War"

...not accurate. I'm quite sure from what I've read of the lead up to the Spanish Civil War, that fascism didn't arrive there because of economic problems. I also don't believe this description applies to Italy or Japan (if you're among the camp that thinks Japan was fascist) either. It does of course apply to Germany
 
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Kamov Ka-52

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That's still the fault of Austria-Hungary though. No other country was going to attack them as long as they were in the Triple Alliance, so they had no real reason to keep Bosnia in their control. If they had given Bosnia independence, Ferdinand wouldn't have been killed.
That sets a very dangerous precedent when your empire is already coming apart at the seams, and was absolutely an untenable position for A-H to take.

It tells anyone who might think about agitating for their own ethnic group to get its own state (of which there were many in A-H including the Hungarians):
  1. Violence is an acceptable tool to accomplish your political ends
  2. There will be no consequences for killing one of our heads of state
The Austro-Hungarians had to take an aggressive stance, otherwise it would compromise their status as a great European power, and because it would potentially expose them to further nationalistic violence.

The only really stupid terms that comes to mind with regard to the treaty which were sheer rubbish was Germany's admission of guilt for supposedly causing the war and the terms aimed at limiting Germany's future military which were utterly unenforceable.
coughImpossible to pay war reparations that wrecked the German economycough
 

ColtWalker1847

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The Germans didn't really want to fight the British though. They felt being encircled on the continent by France and Russia posed an existential threat to Germany, and they weren't wrong. Besides, the only reason Britain joined the war was because the Germans violated Belgium's neutrality, had the Belgians not resisted/allowed the Germans through the British probably wouldn't have entered the war. Don't forget that the British and French are historic enemies, there was still a degree of animosity.
Revisionist bullshit. They might not have wanted to fight the British in 1914. But it was going to happen eventually. Ol' Kaiser Willy stump-arm was engaged in a naval arms race with Britain well before the war. This significantly increased tensions and that's why the UK allied with France and guaranteed Belgian neutrality. Then Wilhelm went and cemented it with the First Moroccan Crisis.

What you are missing here is that the Germans pretty nakedly wanted an overseas empire and the only way to that was through the British. So they built a no-shit navy, not just a colonial fleet like what the Dutch had. If they would have just cooled their tits and focused on the continent I doubt there would have been an Entente at all. But the Kaiser got outmaneuvered diplomatically (you can just see German foreign policy go in the shitter the minute Bismarck left) and when he couldn't get what he wanted at the bargaining table he buddied up with Austria in an alliance to take what he wanted by force.

Imperial Germany was the belligerent one. Not the Entente.
 

Kamov Ka-52

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They might not have wanted to fight the British in 1914. But it was going to happen eventually. Ol' Kaiser Willy stump-arm was engaged in a naval arms race with Britain well before the war.
You missed the part where I pointed out that the only reason the British entered the war against the Germans, despite being at best, divided on the subject before, was because the Germans violated Belgian neutrality. If in this hypothetical the Belgians don't resist then its doubtful the British would've come into the war. Further, given Germany's unification was the impetus for the Franco-Prussian War, the Germans weren't without cause in fearing that France especially was out to get them. Plus the Germans knew that it would be near impossible for them to beat the Royal Navy.

Tbh the Kaiser's decision to fire Bismark and alienate the Russians was fucking retarded and I'm not even going to try to defend that choice.