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Old May 21st, 2010, 03:24 PM
The Stormlord The Stormlord is offline
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Victory at the Marne: The War that Ended Early

Extracted from: The Franco-German War: The War That Ended Early, by Franz Gottlieb. Engel Publishing, Copyright 2010

The Franco-German war was largely one of manoeuvre, and the Battle of the Marne was to prove its end. The reasons are simple: the French position went from bad to worse throughout the war, never mind the battle, and their generals were too busy bickering with those of the British Expeditionary Force to send reinforcements [1].


French soldiers waiting to attack

The French Sixth Army broke on the 7th of September, having received no reinforcements - there were no trains or buses to move them to the front. Some historians have said that taxi-cabs could have been used, but there is no evidence that this was ever seriously considered [2].

With the Sixth Army broken, the French began to withdraw, but confusion reigned and orders were not clear, resulting in an initial orderly withdrawal being turned into a panicked rout by German attacks.

The result was the complete collapse of the French west flank, which lead to the encirclement and destruction of their eastern flank, which was already under serious attack.

The French defeat at the Marne paved the way for the Fall of Paris...

The French Defeat at the Marne and its Implications, by Robert Autumn. Random House Inc., Copyright 2007

The disaster that was the Battle of the Marne resulted in the Fall of Paris. The Germans dug a series of trenches around the city with typical efficiency, and shelled outlying areas of it heavily before beginning an infantry attack assisted with armoured cars, cavalry, and artillery barrages.


Notre Dame Cathedral, A Parisian Landmark

French and British troops fought a grinding war of attrition within the city itself, assisted by civilians, but were slowly and surely ground into dust beneath the seemingly-invincible hammer of the Germans. As the battle continued, smaller and smaller pockets of troops began to surrender, as the French offices of government were seized and the government was simply forced to surrender, there being simply no other option.

With the humiliation of France and Britain, the peace-talks for the Franco-German War could begin...


[1] POD

[2] Another POD
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Old May 21st, 2010, 04:08 PM
Paul V McNutt Paul V McNutt is online now
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German Central Africa, Germany gets the French and Belgian Congo. Britain with no German troops on its soil doesn't give up anything. I assume that Russia gives up and surrenders some or all of Poland to Germany. I have thought about this and once I saw Britain and Russia not giving up. Gallipoli works and Russia is able to put up a fight. Britain successfully fights the German Navy fights around the world.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 04:50 PM
The Stormlord The Stormlord is offline
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Extracted from: The Franco-German War: The War That Ended Early, by Franz Gottlieb. Engel Publishing, Copyright 2010, Chapter VI: The Treaty of Berlin - A Humiliating Defeat

The Treaty of Berlin was to prove the end of the Franco-German War. French and British dignitaries were not even allowed to visit Berlin during the period the treaty was drafted, and when they were summoned it was to sign the treaty. The terms of the treaty:


  1. Belgium was to become a client state of Germany, and its (and France's) colonies in the Congo given to Germany.
  2. Luxembourg was to be annexed into Germany.
  3. France would void all its claims on Alsace-Lorraine, and would give the town of Verdun to Germany.
  4. France would accept all guilt for the war, and would pay 3 billion Deutschemarks to Germany.
  5. Britain and France would stop attacking the Central Powers.
The Central Powers had other plans for Russia, so they were not included in the treaty...
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Old May 21st, 2010, 05:36 PM
Arachnid Arachnid is offline
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Very unlikely, the British have not been defeated, the Royal Navy still rules the seas and while France may have suffered a knockout blow that is no reason to sign such a humiliating peace treaty.
That said in this situation they would be very open to a compromise peace that let them save face. Most importantly in such a situation the British would never admit guilt or a agree to pay reparations, not without the Royal Navy at the bottom of the North Sea.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 06:05 PM
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As said, the British will give up nothing. Britannia still rules the waves, and even without a war footing, the Royal Navy can hold off the Kaiserliche Marine with one hand. France gives up Elsass-Lothringen claims, and Germany annexes Luxembourg. Other then that, I don't see any redrawing of lines in Western Europe.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 06:07 PM
The Stormlord The Stormlord is offline
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Originally Posted by jaybird View Post
As said, the British will give up nothing. Britannia still rules the waves, and even without a war footing, the Royal Navy can hold off the Kaiserliche Marine with one hand. France gives up Elsass-Lothringen claims, and Germany annexes Luxembourg. Other then that, I don't see any redrawing of lines in Western Europe.
I have edited it to reflect that.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 06:54 PM
Tom_B Tom_B is offline
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Here is a good source for the Battle of the Marne

http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Battle_Of_The_Marne

Clearly from this the earliest you could have a breakdown of the French Sixth Army is midday Sept 8 not Sept 7.

Meanwhile the BEF and French Fifth Army are still preparing to exploit the gap between the German First and Second Armies. Note that if Maunoury orders a general retreat midafternoon that turns into a rout and Kluck vigorously pursues the gap is widened.

The best case is that a badly hurt Sixth Army scurries back to Paris and Kluck reacts to the threat of the BEF soon after it crosses the Marne and manages to quickly forces it south of the Marne maybe due to a mood swing by French the Singular.

Meanwhile French the plural in the form of Desperate Frankie are also busy turning the right flank of Bulow's Second Army which at a minimum will be forced north of the Marne dragging Third Army north with it.

So there is no taking of Paris which in any case would not cause an immediate German victory in the West anyway (another common misconception) but merely stabilization of the line along the Marne instead of the Aisne.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 07:00 PM
The Stormlord The Stormlord is offline
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Extracted from The War in the East: The Russo-German Conflict, by Franz Gottlieb. Engel Publishing, Copyright 2010

As Austria-Hungary continued to push into Serbia, Germany could now afford to focus its full might on ending the Russian threat. Millions of men were raised or sent off from the west, to strike at Russia as more and more territory fell to the Germans, the ill-disciplined Russian army falling back to defend Moscow in mid-1915.

But the Germans never came, as they had learned from Napoleon's mistakes, having built a system of trenches and fortifications in their occupied territory that would later form the basis of the Zitadelle System. The Russians, for all their military might, could not evict the Germans from the trenches.

Eventually, negotiations began at Saint-Petersburg. Eventually, it was decided that the Baltic States (which were to be united into one nation under the name of Lithuania), Poland, Finland (which was not to become part of Mitteleuropa) and the Ukraine would become independent of Russia. Serbia was to be annexed into Austria-Hungary.

Signing the Treaty of K
nigsberg (as that was where it was drafted), the Tsar committed political suicide. The Mensheviks, led by Lavr Kornilov, launched a putsch against the Tsar, who fled to the United Kingdom with his family. The Bolsheviks were purged and fled underground, without the support of a popular leader, and became a large terrorist group that was to plague Russia for decades.

The war was over...but could Germany win the peace?



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Old May 21st, 2010, 07:29 PM
Communist Wizard Communist Wizard is offline
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Defending Moscow in 1915? What? Besides the fact that I doubt German capabilities to even reach Moscow in 1915, a quick victory over France would mean that the eastern war would be over quickly as well, since the Russians have lost their allies and would not be willing to fight the war for years on end. The resulting peace would be nothing like Brest-Livotsk. OTL German demands up until 1917 saw Poland and Courland/Lithuania going into the German sphere, at best.
The Tsar would lose greatly in his prestige, and it is likely there would be some sort of regime change in Russia (violent or through the Duma), but... the Tsar killing himself? Some sort of massive Bolshevik insurgency? No.
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 06:29 AM
The Stormlord The Stormlord is offline
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Originally Posted by Communist Wizard View Post
Defending Moscow in 1915? What? Besides the fact that I doubt German capabilities to even reach Moscow in 1915, a quick victory over France would mean that the eastern war would be over quickly as well, since the Russians have lost their allies and would not be willing to fight the war for years on end. The resulting peace would be nothing like Brest-Livotsk. OTL German demands up until 1917 saw Poland and Courland/Lithuania going into the German sphere, at best.
The Tsar would lose greatly in his prestige, and it is likely there would be some sort of regime change in Russia (violent or through the Duma), but... the Tsar killing himself? Some sort of massive Bolshevik insurgency? No.
No. The German plan ITTL was to take over large areas of Russia and then dig in, not to take Moscow. The Russians only thought the Germans planned to take Moscow. The war against Russia only took till mid-1915 ITTL, hardly 'years on end'. For the treaty, the Germans, seeing that they didn't have to fight a two-front war, decided to humiliate Russia (and expand their sphere of influence in the process) with the treaty.

As for the Tsar killing himself, he didn't. He rather fled to Great Britain when the putsch occurred. And for the Bolshevik insurgency, the Bolsheviks, after being purged, went underground and became a terrorist group.
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 08:49 AM
The Stormlord The Stormlord is offline
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Extracted from: The Interbellum: A Spoiled Peace, by Franz Gottlieb. Engel Publishing, Copyright 2010

The Interbellum Era properly begins with the signing of the Treaty of K
nigsberg and with it, the end of the Russo-German Conflict. The result was the expansion of Germany's sphere of influence, and the final recognition of it as a Great Power, having bested France and Russia. But Germany's course was unclear. The quick victory at the Marne had seemingly vindicated the militarist and reactionary elements in German politics, allowing them to solidify their power bases. But the more liberal SPD continued to rise in power, albeit at a slower rate than before.

In France, the feeling was a mixture of humiliation and resentment. The filthy Allemands had defeated the flower of French youth once more, a feeling that was echoed in Russia, despite the Mensheviks' attempts to fix the damaged economy and allow Russia to recover from the depredations of the Romanovs.

In Austria-Hungary, the death of Franz-Joseph in 1916 led to the rise of Karl as Emperor of Austria. Karl was willing to put into action Franz Ferdinand's federalisation plans, but was concerned that it would drive Hungary to leave its personal union with Austria. But in an age of increasing nationalism, and with Serbia's newly-annexed populace filled with rising discontent, there was no time for half-measures, and the seeds of the Austrian Civil War were sown in that time.

In late 1918, a flu epidemic spread out of Spain into France, causing around 10,000 deaths in Paris alone, mostly among the urban poor. However, the plague did not spread far, and did not cause appreciable losses in Germany.

In 1919, work was begun on the Landkreuzer Mark 1, an armoured vehicle designed to take out fortifications and infantry. It was infernally hot, very slow and prone to mechanical breakdowns, but it worked. Nobody at the testing grounds understood how much this newfangled invention would define warfare, and the reaction to this development outside Germany was very much mocking.


A picture of a replica of the first Landkreuzer, named 'Wotan'. Berlin Landkreuzermuseum.

However, the British and French realised the value of having Landkreuzers of their own, and began experiments of their own in developing armoured vehicles. The arms race was on...

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Old May 22nd, 2010, 10:24 AM
The Stormlord The Stormlord is offline
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 12:44 PM
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Hi, Insanity!
Has potential, but one point, so often made by authors that my teeth cant stop grinding, needs to be addressed. This "merde" about a counter-Versailles is nothing more than entente propaganda regurcitated. Beside some fringe Ultras no one in the german upper echolon had such a farce (like the Entente did to Germany OTL) in mind.
Besides that im looking forward to what you make with this TL.

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Old May 22nd, 2010, 06:02 PM
Communist Wizard Communist Wizard is offline
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I think there was a miscommunication, Insanity, because your response has rather little to do with my complaints. Basically, what I'm saying is..
1) The Germans would not get to Moscow in the space of a year (or take over huge chunks of Russia, enough to demand a Brest-Livotsk type of peace), because:
1a) The Germans lack the strategy and military capability to do so. No one has blitzkrieg except maybe Brusilov, who is noticeably absent from the ranks of the Central Powers. It is, however, the age of mass armies and the machine gun. Even if both sides went into "meatgrinder" and "total war" mentality, it would be a hard slog for the Germans to get anywhere near Moscow so as to have the Russians think about "defending it." Even if Germany immediately sends the entirety of it's western army to the eastern front in 1915, the situation will see Russia getting pushed out of Poland and then a very slow advance eastwards. Without the revolutionary situation of 1917, the Germans would have to fight a long time to get anywhere like they did. Them occupying large chunks of Russia by 1915, enough to demand the Ukraine as a puppet, is far-fetched.
1b) There is no "total war" mentality in either side. Germany just quickly defeated France. Since demanding Brest-Livotsk in 1915 is impossible due to 1a, and the fact that the Germans never demanded a Brest-Livotsk peace until the time when Russia was in the middle of a Bolshevik-White civil war (and largely the peace was signed because Lenin felt that Europe would collapse into revolution anyways), it is likely the Germans would demand what they demanded OTL - Poland, perhaps Courland-Lithuania, as well as the Balkans going to the Austrians. To demand anything more would be require a long war. How would the Kaiser explain the war - your sons are dying for the Ukraine? Simply not happening.
2) The political situation in Russia also shows a deficit of research. The Tsar had at least some control up until 1917. A non-victorious peace of course does not bode well for him, but the situation is not going to be that of violent revolution. What we will likely see is the Tsar getting sidelined and someone like Kerensky in charge. As for the Bolsheviks. Lenin (the main character of Bolshevism) is still in Switzerland, and has no German backing. Even if he does go to Russia, it is likely he will be one of the hard-left politicians. Political terror against the Tsar's police state worked since it had popular support, but a bunch of loonies going against a Centrist Duma government? That will work about as much as the Red Army Faction without the media publicity they received.
3) Your update shows another place you did no research in. The tank has no viability without the developments of 1917 and 1918 on the Western Front. Early tanks did well against static defences, but on both the eastern and westen fronts Germany enjoyed quick victories made by infantry and machine guns, with trench warfare not entering the strategic lexicon. There is no technological impetus to develp slow-moving tanks because the static defenses they did well gainst are not there. The Germans will not waste money on a slow-moving hunk of metal that does absolutely nothing useful on the battlefield - they'd rather build a pillbox from scratch. Strategy is still dominated by infantry armed with bolt-action rifles, and their movements. You can see some developments in armoured cars, but these will not lead to tanks or blitzkrieg.
---
Generally, you seem to be making the classic mistakes of all early CP Victories. A quick war means a quick peace, not Brest-Livotsk and a reverse Versailles. The situation of a post-quick defeat Russia is by no means anything close to OTL 1917. Similarily, with a quick victory, the Germans will not be making the same military technology developments as the Weimar/Nazi governments did, because they have no impetus to do so. Without a textbook on OTL, the Kaiserreich would not do the things you describe. Yet you seem to want both a very quick victory for Germany, and one without the benefits of either defeat of even a long war in terms of the resulting peace or military technology. You can't have both.
Sorry if I'm being a bit harsh, but a CP Victory scenario is ground that has been well-trod on this site, with several massive threads on it that refute the same mistakes you have made here. If it is not me, it will be someone else.
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 07:29 PM
Tom_B Tom_B is offline
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Originally Posted by Communist Wizard View Post
I think there was a miscommunication, Insanity, because your response has rather little to do with my complaints. Basically, what I'm saying is..
1) The Germans would not get to Moscow in the space of a year (or take over huge chunks of Russia, enough to demand a Brest-Livotsk type of peace), because:
1a) The Germans lack the strategy and military capability to do so. No one has blitzkrieg except maybe Brusilov, who is noticeably absent from the ranks of the Central Powers. It is, however, the age of mass armies and the machine gun. Even if both sides went into "meatgrinder" and "total war" mentality, it would be a hard slog for the Germans to get anywhere near Moscow so as to have the Russians think about "defending it." Even if Germany immediately sends the entirety of it's western army to the eastern front in 1915, the situation will see Russia getting pushed out of Poland and then a very slow advance eastwards. Without the revolutionary situation of 1917, the Germans would have to fight a long time to get anywhere like they did. Them occupying large chunks of Russia by 1915, enough to demand the Ukraine as a puppet, is far-fetched.
1b) There is no "total war" mentality in either side. Germany just quickly defeated France. Since demanding Brest-Livotsk in 1915 is impossible due to 1a, and the fact that the Germans never demanded a Brest-Livotsk peace until the time when Russia was in the middle of a Bolshevik-White civil war (and largely the peace was signed because Lenin felt that Europe would collapse into revolution anyways), it is likely the Germans would demand what they demanded OTL - Poland, perhaps Courland-Lithuania, as well as the Balkans going to the Austrians. To demand anything more would be require a long war. How would the Kaiser explain the war - your sons are dying for the Ukraine? Simply not happening.
2) The political situation in Russia also shows a deficit of research. The Tsar had at least some control up until 1917. A non-victorious peace of course does not bode well for him, but the situation is not going to be that of violent revolution. What we will likely see is the Tsar getting sidelined and someone like Kerensky in charge. As for the Bolsheviks. Lenin (the main character of Bolshevism) is still in Switzerland, and has no German backing. Even if he does go to Russia, it is likely he will be one of the hard-left politicians. Political terror against the Tsar's police state worked since it had popular support, but a bunch of loonies going against a Centrist Duma government? That will work about as much as the Red Army Faction without the media publicity they received.
3) Your update shows another place you did no research in. The tank has no viability without the developments of 1917 and 1918 on the Western Front. Early tanks did well against static defences, but on both the eastern and westen fronts Germany enjoyed quick victories made by infantry and machine guns, with trench warfare not entering the strategic lexicon. There is no technological impetus to develp slow-moving tanks because the static defenses they did well gainst are not there. The Germans will not waste money on a slow-moving hunk of metal that does absolutely nothing useful on the battlefield - they'd rather build a pillbox from scratch. Strategy is still dominated by infantry armed with bolt-action rifles, and their movements. You can see some developments in armoured cars, but these will not lead to tanks or blitzkrieg.
---
Generally, you seem to be making the classic mistakes of all early CP Victories. A quick war means a quick peace, not Brest-Livotsk and a reverse Versailles. The situation of a post-quick defeat Russia is by no means anything close to OTL 1917. Similarily, with a quick victory, the Germans will not be making the same military technology developments as the Weimar/Nazi governments did, because they have no impetus to do so. Without a textbook on OTL, the Kaiserreich would not do the things you describe. Yet you seem to want both a very quick victory for Germany, and one without the benefits of either defeat of even a long war in terms of the resulting peace or military technology. You can't have both.
Sorry if I'm being a bit harsh, but a CP Victory scenario is ground that has been well-trod on this site, with several massive threads on it that refute the same mistakes you have made here. If it is not me, it will be someone else.
I concur with all of this. This TL is a veritable cornucopia of common WWI misconceptions. I have already tried in vain to demonstrate the Western Front errors it has.
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