Victorious Imperial German Arms
Victorious Imperial German Arms
It starts with a tire puncture on a Bavarian Alpine road. Why an auto
accident? Because in a state that is ruled by court politics getting the
wrong people out of the way becomes key. My list of true Teutonic idiots is
short - one Kaiser, two generals (von Moltke the younger and Falkenhym), one
admiral (Tirpitz), and one Chancellor (Berthman Hollwig and apologies in
advance to one and all for the fact that I cannot spell).
This leaves a young Crown Prince with no strong convictions on ANYTHING to
ascend the throne. The changes (all of them historically discussed and none
of them implemented):
1. Navalism: This was Willie’s preoccupation. It took nothing for the new
Kaiser’s Army advisors to gut the Navy’s budget by pointing out that more
battleships meant less field artillery. A naval treaty is negotiated with
the UK. Germany will limit her dreadnought production to the Russian total
in the Baltic and North Sea plus three (allowing Germany 2 capital ships in
the Med. and one on a colonial station). Similar limits on the German fleet
not stationed in Home waters - enough ships to overawe the natives without
enough to annoy the Brits.
2. Colonialism: It takes no genius to figure out that the colonies are dead
meat in the event of a real war. Therefore why take more of them if there
is any real cost involved? However, several of the African colonies have
large interiors. Quiet buildup of native light troops with large supply
depots nowhere near the sea or unfriendly rail heads. Idea is to retire to
the depths of SW Afrika, East Africa, and Cameroon and tie up as many
Western troops for as long as possible. Point also gotten to over-officer
the colonial forces with surplus its, captains and warrant officers so that
a larger number learn the basics of combat by on the job training.
3. Pacific and the Merchant Fleet - Both are indefensible. Provision made
to transfer the merchant fleet to US flag at the first danger of war.
Discussion begun with the US for sale of Pacific territories. TR jumps at
it. Bismarks, part of NG, part of Solomons, Western Samoa, Marshalls,
Marianas, Carolines, Pelau and Yap pass to US flag by purchase. German
investment protected by treaty.
4. Army enlargement - Germany’s steel industry would have had cardiac
arrest at loss of naval contracts. Replace them with artillery, especially
fortress guns, heavy and super-heavy. Also more machine guns and armored
cars. Allow Army to be built up to proper strength (in OTL German Army was
kept below conscriptable population base so as to avoid putting excess
Socialist city boys in the ranks and middle class students in officer
5. Deployment: seriously examine Schliffen’s plan. Plan on Belgian
resistance. Plan on a long war. Build up reserves of nitrates, rubber,
etc. Plan on the Western campaign not being decisive. Purpose now is to
grab a big wedge of France and then force the West to try and take it back
(the 1940 plan). This time the last man will brush the Channel with his
sleeve as seizing the Channel coast rates ahead of seizing Paris (which is
probably logistically impossible). Six new corps (15th and 16th armies)
dedicated to sweep west of historic 1st Army. Units are to be mounted rifle
and bicycle divisions backed by motorcycle brigades and armored car
(wheeled/ road only) battalions. Three more corps are made into new 11th
Army which will attack Belgrade in support of Austria. Six more corps in
new 12th and 14th will support the Austrians in Poland and Galacia. They
will be backed by numerous German artillery, machine-gun and engineer bns
that will be parceled out as corset stays to the less well equipped Austrian
divisions. Late mobilizing older troops will form a 9th and 10th army group
with 8 more Corps in East Prussia. War plan will be give France a bloody
nose, seize the economic assets of Belgium and industrial North France,
destroy Serbia and let the Russian offensive destroy the Russian army in
places convenient to Germany and Austria. If the war continues, march up
the Baltic and take Petrograd to force Russia out of the war. All of this
was discussed in OTL but never implemented because Willie’s obsessions lay
with confronting England and securing a place in the sun. Bismarck and
Moltke the Elder would have seen and approved.
6. The actual war - 1914 - immediate German official descent on Vienna
bullies AH into an immediate declaration of war against Serbia. War starts
22 days early. Russia mobilizes as soon as the three German armies cross
the AH frontier. Germany then goes to full mob and implements war plan.
Western advance ends with German sweep to Somme - Aisne line. Verdun
pinched out. French offensive casualties are much higher than in OTL as
Germans use sponge defense to keep luring French in deeper. Germans use
artillery and MG’s behind trenches, only counterattack to inflict
casualties. When western sweep forces French retreat only advance to take
Brey-Longway iron ore mines - no huge German losses at Vosges. German
advance from Aisne to Marne is only recon in force, quick pullback to Aisne
and fortress warfare. Belgians and Brits destroyed in Antwerp. So compared
to OTL British losses as severe, Belgians out of war, French are 50% higher.
Economic loss to France greater and use of Channel ports lost to UK - new
supply is through LeHavre and Cherbourg. Serbia dies in 3 month holocaust -
Bulgars enter war on second day, Serb retreat through Albania to sea and
evacuation. Greece brought into war as Allied satellite. Turkey enters
as Central Power but no Caucasus attacks to destroy regular army. They give
up Sinai and Basra easily and concentrate on defending the Empire while
waiting for a German victory to give them their goodies. AustroGerman Med.
fleets (4 capital ships, 5 cruisers) under Admiral Horthy escape to
Constantinople for later use in Black Sea.
7. Russian army suffers historic 3 grand defeats in East Prussia.
Austrians stand on their frontiers and inflict 4 more while shooting
Russians from their trenches. Morale of Slavic units in AH army soars as
events prove propaganda true - this is an defensive war over dead popular
Archduke and the Kaiser actually cares enough about them to preserve their
lives. Russian losses are 100% greater than historic. Their morale is much
worse as no victories in Galacia to cancel out historic German defeats. To
make matters worse HHL team take Congress Poland over winter.
8. 1915 sees HHL strike up Baltic for Petrograd with supply and
fire-support from German Home Fleet. Petrograd falls Xmas, 1915. Czar and
Czarina flee with loyalist rgts to Moscow. Secondary offensives reach Minsk
and Uman after Gorlice-Tarnow type breakthroughs. Russian army reaches the
‘Keagan’ factor - after losses greater than 100% of initial strength WWI
armies start to dissolve. Russia is low on cadre and has massive political
problems so 80% is sufficient. Czarina wins the argument is this TL. The
internal enemy is the more important. The loyal core of the army is
regrouped on Moscow, the mid to upper Volga, Smolensk and the Arctic ports.
The rest is left to dissolve in autodemoblization.
9. Peace is on the order of historic BL. Germans get Finland, Baltic,
Belarus, Congress Poland. AH gets Russian Galacia. Tridominium over
Ukrania and South Russia. Trido of Russia, Turkey and Germany in Cauc,
Islamic Central Asia and Persia. Central Power support for Czarist rump
Russian state via new League of the 3 Emperors. German experts and skilled
workers to help exploit Russian economy for mutual benefit. Central Power
support for a Russian war of revenge in the Far East v Japan.
10. Fall of Russia marks beginning of slow collapse of world credit system
- more later.
11. Fall of Russia gives Germany huge surplus of deployable divisions -
local units plus AH, Bulgar and Turkic units are mostly all that is needed
in the East against varying bands of Reds, White supporters of a continued
war, Greens, Blacks, localists, etc. Part of German surplus used as German
- AH corset stays for Ottomans on Gaza, Gallipoli and Baghdad fronts. Rest
used for takeout blow against Italians. Not Caparetto. Full offensive out
of Tyrolia. Bulk of Italian army pocketed and bagged after spearhead
reaches Adriatic in rear of Italian Izonzo front. New front on Piave more
than half Brit and French. Massive deserter bands of Italians in South and
Romagna. Italy reduced to western satellite like Greece and Portugal.
12. West - 3 years of sponge defense have let the Allies bleed 100% more
than OTL while front moves slowly north of Somme and Somme - Aisne junction.
French army well over Keagan limit. Historic 1917 mutinies. However in
this TL historic Red Revolution in Lisbon spreads to Madrid and Rome and
thence to Paris and Marseilles. French and Italian armies dissolve.
Central powers make only tactical advances, let the cancer work. British
Dunkirks in this TL from Salonika, Genoa, Pisa, Cherbourg. Many clerical
and nationalist French and Italians come with them. Some British deserters
and Reds stay. War essentially over by winter 1917 - 18 although formal
truces won’t come until late 1918 between Red Latin Block and Central
Powers, late 1919 Red Latin Block and British Empire and mid 1920 Central
Powers and AngloJapanese but this truce does not include China or Far East.
The Postwar World
THE LATIN RED BLOCK
Weakest of the great powers.
Inward looking, a Stalinist ‘socialism in one group of countries’ rather
than a Trotsky-ite ‘world revolutionary power’.
Its somewhat of a police state having both the Jacobin and modern Marxist
traditions. However, its leadership is an eclectic mixture of nationalities
and political tendancies ( anarchist, syndicalist, multiple Marxist,
nonMarxist socialist and Jacobin) but Lenin’s successor cliques have little
intellectual and no political power.
There are elections and a very nominal set of approved opposition parties.
The real politics are between the constituent parties of the permanently
governing Popular Front. These form and dsiolve with all the cliquishness
of the sectarian Left rather than the traditions of Western Social Democracy
Lenin took the train to Paris. Trotsky was deported in the Palmer purges.
Stalin stayed behind in Russia as a red delegate in the rump castrated
postwar Dumas, and ultimately showed his true colors when he was given
public rank in the Okrana in the 30’s (head of the internal security
ministries 1941 - 53).
The workers and soldiers were ready for a Red Republic after the slaughter
of the trenches. The rightist nobility and middle classes ran for Britain,
the US or the Empires. However, a fair amount of the educated middle
classes were socialist or Jacobin, so there was no shortage of educated
specialists. There was also two functional economies (France and Italy) out
of four nations, with a long tradition of state directed heavy industry and
There was no civil war beyond the British-led evacuations. Essentially the
White Forces left on ships of the Royal Navy and the Latin Royalist Fleets
for London and Algiers. The few clerical - peasant bands did not call for
police measures any worse than rural south Italy or Iberia were customarily
Relations with Germany and her allies could have been a bigger stumbling
block but weren’t. HHL were content to occupy the Piave, Vosges and Marne
and let the rot fester. Their advances were into the transSomme zone being
vacated by the Brits. Essentially, they expelled unwanted Latin population,
fortified their front and dumped a few tens of thousands of Red militants
across the lines at gunpoint.
A major advance would have possibly rallied the French and Italian armies.
HHL were content to swat the ultraleftist raids until police ontrol
reasserted itself in the mid-20’s.
The two killer questions remained - Rome (The RC Church) and the peasants.
The Roman question settled itself. The prisoner in the Vatican remained in
his selfimposed internal exile. The state was highly anticlerical but
applied the policy more lightly in highly RC peasant areas. Church
observance was a mark to retard state rewards (education, promotion) but was felt to be a matter of generations, not months. No Christero Rebellions
The peasant policy was aligned on the RC rural policy. Some collectives
were launched where the rural populace would approve. Mostly, land was
given to the tillers and the villages left to rot. The best and brightest
left the land for education and economics. The rest would come around in
The few military clashes were in the obvious places - Istria, Tyrolia,
Dalmatia, Albania and the Med. By the late 20’s all had died out except the
occassional tit for tat commando raid between the Reds in Europe and the
Clercials in North Africa. The British would not allow either to impede
merchant transit trade and had the means in the RN and RAF to enforce their
The Red Block’s relations with Germany are better than with the other
surviving powers. As the home of the world Left, Paris is home to every
liberation movement from the Indian National Congress to the NAACP and the
Nation of Islam. This makes relations with Russia, Britain, Japan and the
US endlessly frosty.
The Latin Red Block remained the capital of the world avant guarde. They
were a scientific equal. They were somewhat behind in GDP per head but then
they included three very backward states being brought up to French
standards. There is little trade beyond mineral necessities and colonial
products (ex: coffee, tea). The Reds prefer autarchy. Student and
cultural travel is OK. Tourism is kept very limited.
In OTL, Russia basically auto-distructs under the strain of war and
Revolution. In this TL, the Austro-German concentration against them
concentrates the mind, much as hanging is said to have done.
Here there are no Galacian and Carpathian victories to make up for the East
Prussian, Baltic and Polish disasters. The war is an unbroken disaster from
start to finish.
Here also the German drive up the Baltic coast for Petrograd forces the
Czar to confront early and repeatedly the question of whether a losing
external war is worth a revolutionary repeat of 05-06.
In this TL the combination of the loss of Petrograd and the Czarina’s
influence lead to his placing the internal enemy first. Better a
humiliating peace than the fall of the dynasty. Loyal units (including a
very large loaylist Petrograd garrison) are concentrated on Moscow and the
rest of the Army is abandoned to its fate.
So there is no Allied intervention or sealed German train to prolong the
agony (except in the Far East and Central Asia - see below). Instead of the
chaos of 1917 - 1919, you have Russian Czarist forces, aided by German,
Austrian, Polish, Balt, Finnish, Bulgar and Turks and localist militias of
all stripes and hues chasing down Reds of many stripes, Greens, Blacks,
localists, bandits and Allied backed PanSlavs. Its a rout. Central Power
specialists rapidly bring the economy back on line. Land reform is hit or
miss, but just enough happens to keep the lid on (barely). A very heavy
handed Okrana helps.
The weak Czar quickly becomes the creature of his wife’s German court
circle and of his German ‘advisors’. The exploitation of Russia’s resources
is an afront to Russia’s pride but its Stalinist force draft heavy
industrialization without anywhere near as heavy a hand (think: in OTL many
Russians found the SS and Gestapo to be a nicer master than the Cheka).
The Germans force a second round of land reform to get more grain out of the
East. Times are harsh but people have bread, a chance at land, their
traditional Czar and some hope.
They also have foreign enemies. The Brits forment risings in Central Asia.
The Brits and Japanese supply Chinese incursions throughout the East and
especially into Mongolia. The Japanese, aided by the PanSlavs, overrun the
Far East till past Bikal. The 1920’s see the re-establishment of Czarist
rule over most of Siberia (the US keeps a small piece along the Berring).
By the time the war runs down in the late 20’s they also have a good chunk
of Persia, north Afghanistan, Sinkiang, both Mongolias, Manchuria, North
China and far North Korea. Sakhalin is lost.
The resultant Russia is a police and garrison state of the first order. A
puppet Duma sits but the ‘left’ includes the Cadets. The Czar reigns. The
Czarina rules. The old aristocracy is mostly dead. A new service
aristocracy of hard men from the 20 years war, liberally spiced with central
Power soldiers of fortune is the white Nomenklatura.
Science exists mostly as technology. Theory is left to the Germans and
theorists (who are hard for the police to supervise) are encouraged to
migrate to Germany as are liberals. Islamicists are advised to seek their
future in the Ottoman lands. Think Stalin’s Russia from the right - the
Church replaces the Bolshie ideologues and Great Russians replace the
overrepresentation of minor nationalities and Jews.
Relations with Germany are ‘correct’. Year by year Russia recovers bits
and pieces of her sovereignty in the borderlands. German provides science,
culture, capital goods, intellectual fashion and high tech. German
investment is heavy. Migration in both directions is strong but a German
surrenders his ‘rights’ at the Russian border.
The Russian defense burden is MUCH less than Stalin’s. The boundaries with
MittleEurope and the Ottomans are essentially police matters. The internal
garrisons are in fact militarized police units. The real borders run from
Afghanistan to the Pacific. Essentially Russia is at a stalemate line
against the Anglo-Japanese and the various Chinese. Any further advance
would cost more in blood and treasure than its worth. Surpression of the
Chinese and Korean territory already taken already exerts a high price. The
small Russian pacific fleet is essentially a coast defense force. It has no
chance of competing against the combined RN - IJN to say nothing of the USN.
The 30’s see the Okrana ‘sleepers’ in the opposition and underground
brought home, starting with Stalin who gleefully publishes lists of Okrana
doubles, starting with Lenin.
So Russia has more people than in OTL. Life is better. The GDP / person
is higher. Her sovereignty is much less. There is some personal and civic
freedom but the informer level is roughly the same as the Statsi in late
80’s East Germany.
Better than OTL? A matter of opinion. As a longtime reactionary, I’d say
Germany and Mittleeuropa
For Germany one can say that the war never really ended. Rather it closed
down slowly and sporadicly.
Nominally the Russian campaign ended with the peace of Moscow in February
of 1916. In fact, all it did was bring the Czar and such forces as he could
take with him, into Germany’s camp. Thirteen years later, German ‘advisors’
and ‘volunteers’ still stand with the Russian Far East Fronts and fight on
in mixed units in China. Russia is at the same time a very close military
ally, an exploited economic subordinate, and a potential rival for the
political leadership of Mittleeuropa. It has been a decade and a half of an
The ‘front’ v the Latin Block was essentially a German selected final
advance line beyond which the HHL leadership and the Kaiser decided there
were no further objectives worth the risk of reuniting the Latins with the
Unlike our TL, the German leadership clearly understood that the
Central Powers were strategically a beseiged fortress. With the addition of
Russia the seige was broken. This meant that they wouldn't lose. It did
not mean that Germany could win an offensive war. Their enemies had been
good enough to disolve. Germany was content to let sleeping Latins lie.
So a war time army stood on fortified lines in France and Italy through the
20’s. Quarter by quarter, guns, mines, concrete and wire were substituted
for men. Thus every few months another age class got to go home. And just
to keep things lively, every so often the left-ultras would organize a raid
of some sort. There was trade by the mid 20’s but only of the most
elementary sort - mostly barter of Russian petroleum or key minerals for
Latin art treasures or specie.
The case of the British Empire was crazier still. The North Sea and
Channel were phased out as war zones in return for a few negotiated holes in
the blockade. Germany lacked the Fleet to get at the British Isles and
Britain lacked the army to invade the continent.
The Mid East war ended in stages with the Med declared a zone of peace
in 1922, Palestine in 1923 and Iraq in 1924. The formal partition of Persia
and Afghanistan wasn’t until 1931, but warfare effectively was reduced to
tribal raids by the mid 1920’s. In each landbased case the endlines are
mostly a matter of logistical balance. A further push by either side would
just cost too much and yield too little.
The frontiers of Tibet and Sinkiang are still areas of small raids,
although logistics precludes anything larger. The final truces with the
Anglo-Japanese still leave China as a theater of war. Effectively speaking
North China is stalemated and logistics and vast numbers of Chinese preclude
the beligerants getting at each other through Central, South and West China.
The slow end of the war in the Ottoman lands allowed their full integration
into the German economic zone. The Ottoman bureaucracy and military are
butressed with European specialists and specialist units (everything from
specialist AA gun units to specialist tax auditor teams). The economy works
via joint ventures. Surplus unwanted Christians and Jews have been removed
and replaced with Islamics from Europe and Central Asia. An Ottoman
changeover to the British side would just bring a full occupation of the key
Turkish zones and remove Turkey’s joint zone in the Caucasus. The Turks are
realists. Their GDP / person is higher than our TL but the Attaturk reforms
have been only partially implemented. It is still a more cosmopolitan
Oriental state than Attaturk’s Turkey.
AH came out of the war regarding itself as lucky to be alive. The new
Kaiser leaves economic and military policy in Berlin and contents himself
with the endless round of political soothing necessary to keep AH’s
bickering nationalities in line. In OTL the combination of loss of prestige
from military defeats and war privations would have made this hopeless. In
this TL AH has had an unbroken line of victories and many fewer casualties,
especially in the critical first year. The bulk of the population sees the
war as defensive, brought on by a regicide and Russian hostility.
Those Slavs unwilling to live with things as they slowly evolve can seek
their fortunes in Russia. To the degree the Russians can control it, they
prefer assimilable Slavic (still better Orthodox) specialists to Tuetons and
Magyars. With Russia undergoing a force draft rebuilt and development
process, anyone at the skilled line worker level or higher is welcome. The
combines provide language classes and transport in return for several years
of labor service after which the opportunities are so vast that most strike
out on their own.
For those sick of the endless ethnic politics but not so adventurous, there
are endless opportunities in the depopulated (by deportation) lands of
conquored North Italy. The crown of Milan is a Euro melting pot of people
who prefer the light hand of Vienna to the stricter hands of Berlin and
Scandinavia, Holland and Switzerland found their fate settled for them by
the absence of a peace. They could try to continue to trade through the
teeth of the British blockade or make their peace with the continent’s main
power and serve as junior allies in the development of Russia, the East, and
the Ottoman lands. It was a no brainer. Holland came over first and
Switzerland last. All made trade deals before ultimately joining their
armies to the Central Powers collosus. The fact that AH allowed its army to
be a part of Germany’s since the merger period of 1917-1920 was key. If a
great power could cede military policy and control of its active forces
without loss of cultural or political independence, surely a minor power
could do so as well.
The eastern states - Finland, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Ukrania, Lithuania,
Georgia and Azberjain are another story. Think of them as semiindependent.
German advisors supervise every ministery. Russian advisors also serve in
the ones formerly part of the Russian Empire. A layer of Euro advisors is
layered in by the locals where possible as balance. Even their police
forces have ‘advisors’ and ‘volunteer officers’. They are evolving into
Lander (the German view), will be reintegrated into the Rodina over time
(the Russian view) or are on the road to effectual independence within
Mittleeuropa (the Euro and local view). No one goes out of their way to
overly define a very ad hoc situation.
The internal German situation is more democratic than 1913 but by no means
a democracy. The ‘government’ is a mixture of SD’s, Royalists (a postwar
Crown party), and Liberals. It has some lawmaking and budgetary power but
exerts power mostly by negotiation with Crown, Court and Ministries. It is
neither true parliamentary democracy or true autocracy.
Luddendorf forms a Veterans party with Goring, Hitler, the Strasser
brothers, etc. It holds occassional office in Bavaria and the western lands
but is treated as a joke nationally. The Kaiser governs through Noske
(politically) and Groner (economics and military). The state run capitalist
economy of the war years never ends. Small trade is gradually freed and
land reform in the German East takes place slowly over the 20's but this is
still a garrison state. GDP / person is higher than in OTL but the standard
of living is lower as the bulk of production goes to the military, to the
capital development of the East and Southeast and to infrastructure. Think
of the result as well run Junker Stalinism but without as heavy a police
Culturally it is not the bright Berlin of our 20’s. The folks running
things are the junior officers who survived the trenches. They are
ruthlessly practical men. Beyond an aristo high culture layer in Berlin and
Vienna, culture is folk, localist and cheap.
Hollywood movies are cut off by the blockade. Jazz music isn't. Germany
can only trade within its block or by British sufferance and that sufferance
is grudgingly negotiated.
Is it a better result than our 29-46? YES. The second blood bath will
NEVER happen. Civil liberties are worse than 1925 but much better than 1935
or 1945. The second and thrid world war induced techno progress is slower
but just as sure and more widespread (all the majors except China and Latin
America share through parrallel development and patent swaps between the
combines (ex Du Pont - Imperial Chemical - I G Farben all handle each
others’ patents within the trade blocks). Red revolution is a Latin and
colonial peoples pastime.
Local juvie Reds get deported to the Latin republics if police warnings
won't do and can never come home. For more dangerous adult reds, there are
strict regime work camps in the East (Kolyma’s gold still needs mining).
Note 'wrok camps' not Gulags or death factories.
There is a permissible zone of political opinion which has a larger
opening right than left. However, extraparliamentary politics, anti-crown
agitation, nonGerman ethnic chauvinism or anything that makes real waves has
immediate police consequences. The police have informer nets and provos
galore. Its freer in the little states and AH. It worst in Russia. The
East, Southeast and Germany are somewhere in between. An American would
find the lack of freedom stiffling. A central european would be occassional
irritated but have the sense to keep his opinions to his coffee table or
mates at the bar.
Japan’s war through the fall of Russia goes on schedule of OTL - take
Pacific Islands that the British don’t, then beseige Shantung, then
basically do nothing.
Response to Russian defection is to accelerate to 1918 in OTL. Japanese
take Russian positions in Manchuria, Far East, Mongolia, North China and
Bikal. They cooperate with OTL’s whites - this TL’s Allied loyalist PanSlav
Blues. They create their own dependent warlords among the Russians,
Manchus, Mongols, and Chinese. They also fund basically bandit gangs to
terrorize those regions they cannot occupy themselves.
This puts Japan in the middle of both the Chinese and Russian CW’s. They
get far more aid than the UK provided in OTL. They also sell the Pacific
Islands to the US for purchasing credit lines. However, they are also
fighting a MUCH stronger Russia and one with no other fronts to fight on
except a MUCH lesser one in Central Asia.
The war itself goes in fits and starts. Think of 3 drunk zombies staggering
on in a barroom brawl while their flesh cleaves off. The Japanese have the
logistic edge. The Chinese have pure numbers. The Russians have the best
balance of numbers, logistics and tech. The end result is to run the
Japanese ALMOST off the mainland. They will hold 3/4th’s of Korea, Shantung
and Fukien plus isolated garrisons in the Chinese interior. The formal
Japanese-Russian fronts are formally at Truce - think Korea in the 60’s. No
truce beyond the line applies to the bulk of China.
Essentially the Japanese ground position by 1930 will be analagous to their
mainland position in the mid 40’s. They have suffered vast casualties and
occupied far more than they can hope to assimilate or administer but cannot
let go without making those millions of dead meaningless. The difference is
that they are not simultaneously in a war of material with the Anglo-Saxons.
Rather instead they are the active allies of the British Empire and the
open trade partners of the US. Their credit is good on both Wall Street and
in the City of London.
However, the war plus massive Empire investment will make a major industrial
power out of them. They will endure the millions of dead. They will win
many battles but lose most campaigns. They will wind up with an
unprofitable Empire in North East Asia plus a highly profitable set of
codominiums with the British in Siam and the East Indies and with the
colonial French in Indochina.
The Japan of 1930 will be an imperial autocracy on the level of preWWI
Germany : a Diet of some power, a military caste of some power, a rising
cartelized heavy industry, powerful trade unions and an ever more powerful
state administration all under the balance and dominion of an Emperor who
actively rules rather than just reigns in the British sense.
Economically think of the Japanese economy of the 60’s - heavy industry and
cheap consumer goods with the beginnings of a tech sector. GDP / person is
on a mid50’s level. The Japanese in the street thinks its all worth it.
Technically they buy Empire and US tech the way they bought it after WWII in
The IJN is smaller than in OTL and much more of a brown water navy. Its
allied with the RN. The Empire has correct relations with the US. So
beyond having a big enough battlefleet so as not to tempt the US Navy League
fanatics there is simply no need for more battleships, heavy cruisers, etc.
Russia doesn’t even have open water fishing boats. The Japanese merchant
marine is second in the world and rpaidly gaining on the Empire.
The IJA has a small highly modern mech army for home defense. It has a
large army of fortress troops to hold its mainland strongholds. These
include many mainlander and other Asiatic mercs. Its forces for the Chinese
interior are highly trained light infantry with many professional units on
the level of SAS or Speznatz. There is no true cavalry but many mounted
rifles and mixed armored cavalry. China’s lack of roads and bridges puts
severe weight limits on vehicles and guns.
The Japanese air forces - each service has one - are effecient but
technically somewhat strange. They have enough of the most modern types to
counter the Russians and for home defense. Many of these are Empire or US
designs made on license. They then have vast numbers of light, easy to
maintain, able to work from primitive dirt fields planes for use in China
and as antipartisan firepower for the codos. Essentially as with the IJA
they have separate militaries for separate theaters.
Education levels are rising. They are not yet on a technical par with
Germany, the Empire or the US but are clearly on a course to get there
someday. They have a quite distinct culture from the Euro oriented one the
rest of the world forms pieces of. They are happy in their differences.
They want Western tech, power and prosperity. They have no wish for
flappers, modernism or the West's other fads.
The US and the Collapse and Revival of World Trade and Credit
When war broke out, Wilson, Morgan, DuPont and Wall Street basically bet
the US financial system and much of the economy, on a British victory. At
the time it seemed a no-brainer. The City of London was the heart of the
world credit system. The British empire was the richest in the world. The
war couldn’t possibly last out the year. America was in a depression and
desperately needed the business.
The resultant boom enabled Wilson, who had snuck in in 1912 on a GOP -
Progressive split, to manage re-election. However, it was a devil’s
bargain. Britain was by now borrowing on behalf of all the allies as only
her credit was still good. Yet unless those Allied debts were collectible
Britain herself was probably financially bankrupt.
Stage 1 of the collapse was Russia’s repudiation after the Peace of Moscow.
By itself this hurt France more than the Anglo-Saxons. The crushing blow
was the Red Latin Revolutions. All four repudiated. Britain was forced to
follow de facto. Wall Street fell with a crash big enough to make OTL’s
1929-33 look tame. Wilson survived three impeachment attempts from 1917
until he fled office in 1921 for exile at Oxford. Broken in health from
multiple strokes, his last years were spent a virtual prisoner of his wife
and doctor while his cabinet and the huge GOP / Progressive Congressional
majorities virtually ignored him.
The Depression of 1917-1919 brought in massive GOP / Progressive majorities
in both Houses such that the Democrats were basically wiped out beyond Inner
Dixie and the Irish ghettos of the North. They had become a third party
with a limited regional basis.
The emerging Congressional Junta basically solved the Gordian knot by
repudiating their own ideology. Stallwarts became temporary Progressives.
Progresives discovered that to save Main Street they had to revive Wall
The destroyed banks were nationalized as were the destroyed major firms
starting with DuPont and Bethleham Steel. Nationalization meant that the
Feds assumed the debts and put people back to work. Bank deposits were
retroactively insured up to $20K reliquifying the economy. Economic peace
was made with the Empire - British and Empire investment in the Americas and
the Antipodes was largely transfered to US control. Much valuable art work
and specie followed. Exports resumed as state to state trade, saving the
Note two things: 1 this was a union of expediency over ideology. The Brit
empire urgently needed US trade for capital goods, tech, raw materials and
food. The US overproduced in all areas and lacked an Empire big enough to
dump the surplus in.
Britain had too big an empire to effectively exploit itself. It came out of
the war with all the Euro colonies in Africa and Asia plus Japan’s empire
and South America within its sphere. To that add the white Commonwealth and
you have a majority of the earth’s people and resources. London lacked the
resources to hold all that, much less exploit it effectively.
The US was the world’s #1 economy. It overproduced farm products, minerals,
basic industrial and high tech. It needed markets to export but because it
made virtually everything could not allow any major level of imports without
setting off internal regional economic wars. Its tiny Carib and Pacific
Empire could not really help.
The solution was both obvious and unpleasant. The US became the Empire’s
supplier, banker and guarantor. The Empire became the policeman of a huge
zone over which the Empire had political control but had to share economic
#2 The US acquired and kept a very large state sector in its economy more
like France or Italy in OTL. While pieces were sold off to the public
during bouts of prosperity, laisez faire died in the Depression, never to
arise again. The US would be the least statist economy of this world but by
the standards of OTL it was a state managed economy.
Domestic politics: the Democrats lost their last bastion in the North when
the British surpression of Eire led to another wave of fanatic Irish exiles.
These exiles and the political machines they fostered, gave the
Progressives urban allies against the WASP country club set. American
internal politics turned on the issues of blame for the Depression, measures
to insure it would never happen again and the psychology of becoming the
British Empire's banker. Ideologically what worked went against all 3
parties official line. So the various Presidents (TR - Progressive -
Republican 1920, 1924; Hoover Republican 1928; FDR Progressive/ Democrat
1932) all promised a return to 'normalcy' and then did what they had to in
office. Think of a mix of eisenhower's national security state with FDR's
New Deal and you're in the picture. Government run cartels exported
America's surpluses and then handled the reinvestment through Wall Street
and the Treasury Dept.
There was no Second Depression - the Mississippi Flood and the Florida Land
Bubble bursting in 1928 took down the stock market in 1929 - in this TL the
Fed is directly under the Treasury - liquidity trumps price stability - no
bank failures as far as the public is concerned - just another round of
renationalizations under FDIC and NRA. Its like the Bush Depression of OTL
- bad enough to cost the sitting President the White House but of no real
Militarilly the US builds a navy second to none. Its an insurance policy
against a British double cross and a subsidy to big steel. We build an even
bigger air force, geared to coast defense, attack on ships at sea and
homeland defense. It dominates the Carib and Pacific. Our Army is a
colonial garrison force - black, colonial and foreign rankers with a
predominantly Dixie senior NCO and officer corps. Homeland defense is the
job of the National Guard backed by a regular mechanized force. The bulk of
the 600K man active army serves in the empire or as a training cadre for the
NG. Its the military of a satisfied defensive power which is what we are.
Socially there are major changes from our 20's and 30's. The Palmer
deportations in this TL run to several million instead of the several
thousand in OTL. They include native born Reds. The US Left is smashed and
never recovers. Paradoxically the surviving trade union movement is
stronger as the Red smear doesn't work and the US government needs a labor
member of each acrtel to help insure stability. Immigration is greater than
OTL but different. We take in millions of Irish, fleeing Latin nonReds, and
Europeans fleeing their garrison - police states. We also open our shores
to Carib, Mex and Filippinos from the Empire. We actively export black
Americans to the same (colonization as oppossed to integration - the black
man can be an American official in the Empire going to places no white man
could survive in - in effect Jim Crow is fought by dilution of the blacks
under it - no party will challange Jim Crow in the actual South).
The resulting mix is a stew of ethnic neighborhoods and special priviledges
- Irish police, Jewish school teachers, suburban developements de facto only
open to the 'right' people. It is les hypocritical than OTL but has less
chance of a true melting pot. Immigrants are expected to americanize.
Those that don't are often threatened with expulsion. Think of the
McCathyite 50's on a grander scale. Civil liberties are much less - group
power much greater.
Note three major changes:
1. the farm depression of the 1920's never happens. Small twon America dies
much more slowly in this TL.
2. As the state owns the railroads and only slowly and partially privatizes
them, urbanization will trump suburbanization. The trend still happens but
much more slowly. The cities of the 30's are strong and vibrant with burbs
served more by rail than auto.
3. The decentralization of the US economy comes earlier but differently than
in OTL. In OTL the South and West are essentially economic colonies of the
MidWest and North East until FDR's time. The next 50 years see the
development of the South and West at the expense of the old cities. Here
the Progressives bring the West into the national economy in the 20's. The
Democrats prefer to keep Dixie poor and seg. So the West, MidWest and East
and stronger. Dixie is weaker. Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Dallas, Charlotte,
etc will never grow the way they did in OTL. The launch center for the
space program will still be in Florida but the Manned Space Center will be
in Passadena, not Houston. The Oak Ridge Complex will be in Utah.
Most of our empire is given de facto independence backed with American
garrisons and practial integration. Liberia, Phil, Central America, Cuba,
Hati, DR, PR all have their presidents but their local military are
effectively under US command. They are inside the US tarriff wall. Their
supreme courts can be appealed to the US Supreme Court. They have delegates
(voting members) in the House but not the Senate. Its sloppy but it works.
Mexico is a little different. The US intervenes in the Mex CW on schedule -
1916-17. However is this TL Villa and TR reach a deal. Mexico is
partitioned into three countries under Zapata in the South, Carranza and
Obregon in the center and Villa in the North. The US Army protects Villa
from the center, the Marines do the same for Zapata. Zapata's realm has US
protection but little US control. The center is as antiAmerican as it can
get away with - a little autocratic nationalist to red statelet more trouble
than its worth to conquor. Villa's north includes all the mines and the
coastal oil. It is a US economic colony. It prospers as a mixed culture.
It is an affront to Mexican nationalism but there is little Mexico can do
beyond permanent raids. the raids serve to justify a large US garrison and
give it combat practice. Stalemate. The anticlericism of the center just
provides more immigrants to Villaland.
So overall the US is richer, more prosperous, less free. Its missed both
the world war and the great depression. It will never have the American
century and never miss it.
DuBois is President of Liberia. The talented tenth is better off. The
bottom tenth is still be treated like animals in rural Dixie. Not anything
to be proud of but better than OTL managed.
The problem with some of the changes you've made in the POD is that it has too much foresight. Scrapping the navy is believable, although the German goal was not to overpower the British (as was the common belief and is still sworn to by Anglophiles) but to ensure that the British couldn't overpower the Germans. It was to prevent, well, exactly what happened OTL.
But some changes don't make sense: change in tactics, planning on an indecisive front against France? Why? Germany had had a brilliant record against France, particularly in that last little war they had. The German military was the finest in all of Europe, and it was by no means evident, or even apparent, that Britain would join in a Continental war, and it would certain not send troops into combat, a belief shared by both the Triple Alliance and the other Entente members (and by the British leadership, actually). There is too much 2004 in the POD (increase in the army size? Just not going to happen; the military was Prussian, and was concerned with making sure that the establishment was pro-Prussian and pro-Kaiser).
Otherwise, very good ATL. Keep it going.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
-Ancient Klingon proverb
Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!
Bethman-Hollwegg was not an idiot, and he was strongly opposed to Tirpitz, who was not exactly an idiot either - just a nasty little man. von Moltke and Falkenhayn were not idiots either - I'm not sure why you feel that way. They were products of their times, believers in "rational warfare", and although perhaps not the most imaginitive men, were certainly intelligent and competent. KWII himself was perhaps insecure an blustery, but he just wanted to be loved (is that so wrong?) and if he had been in Germany he would have prevented the war.
However, I must agree that the removal of the Kaiser and Tirpitz would have prevented the naval race and souring of relations with Britain. Note that Britain encouraged and facilitated Germany's colonial ambitions, although Germany's late start meant that all the best stuff was taken.
With regard to the Ottomans, I don't know what you mean by "unwanted Christians and Jews" - with a population density as low as the Ottoman, an type of person was wanted - the Ottomans even had a program granting 12 years tax exemption to anyone settling in Asia and 6 years for Europe. If anything, the Empire could be a dumping ground for unwanted minorities in the German sphere - Jews were particularly welcome in the Ottoman Empire.
Mustafa Kemal's reforms were all continuations of Ottoman programs, including secularization, so a victorious Ottoman Empire would have moved in that direction, so what you wrote seems logical. German technical advisors filling the gaps also makes sense, but the Ottomans had lots of experience balancing the interests of the Powers and would be unlikely to rely too much on just one - for instance, pre-War the navy had British advisors, the Army German, and the Gendermes French. In the economic sphere, the British and French predominated, but the Ottomans were consciously trying to increase trade with Germany to balance this.
Ottoman and German interests are going to begin to conflict in the Caucasus and Central Asia, and Britain is well-placed to exploit that divide. Once the war is over and the oil fields of the Empire begin to enter serivce, the Ottomans are going to look increasingly formidable, as this will solve their financial problems and decrease dependence on foreign powers, especially if Baku is held by the Ottomans.
Very good timeline - impressively thought out and constructed.
My take is that most things happen but far more slowly. There is a
conservatism in arms similar to 1650 - 1815. Vast investments in existing
weapons make nations unwilling to go to production quickly on marginalkly
better prototypes. Its like the 20's and early 30's - there are tiny
quantities of all sorts of unproven odd designs.
Also remember that no government is going to throw money at big science as
OTL did 1940 to date. Progress is semicivilian labs doing theor and hoping
they can get something industry will invest in for commercial purposes.
Also actually military action is at the COIN, police action and limited war
phases (only active theater is inland China which has no logistics -rest is
varying forms of surpression work).
Very little work on better submarines. The three naval powers are dominated
by surface warfare and carrier guys who simply don't like subs. The others
basically have little or no navy.
Nuke reactors happen. Say 1960. A bomb is theoretical - no one will fund.
Space is funded but we've barely reached Comsat by the end of the century.
Higher GDP is spread through more people - fewer cars, more trains, etc. It
is a 1920's Futurist future.
Sorry, but the PoD doesn't work. If anything OTL Kronprinz was even worse than his father when it came to prussian militarism ( vide his reaction to the savern affair ). You need either to off him also, and find someone with forknowledge in the line of succession or to give him a brain transplant ( in the YWUA level ). Either is ASB territory.