A world war with a country other than Germany as the main "bad guy"?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by HistoricalArthropod, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Letum Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2008
    Hitler is murdered by an unknown individual upon leaving Prison, resulting in a continuously fractuous and weak Weimar regime and a Germany that remains disarmed.

    However this leaves Stalin unchallenged in his domination of Eastern Europe, and in the 1950s a fully industrialised Soviet Army marches into an unprepared and divided Europe that is too busy squabbling with itself to unite and coordinate against the Russian giant until it is too late.

    Aided by local socialist insurgents that have been fueled by an even longer Great Depression, the Soviet Army marches all the way into France, and soon it looks like the British may be the last free peoples in Europe, with the US unwilling to help following a casualty heavy war with Japan in the Pacific.

    But the European Allies rally, eventually smashing the Soviet War machine.
  2. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

    Jan 4, 2004
    Saskatoon, SK
    Fighting a colonial war at the edge of the world isn't the same as fighting a global coalition. The resources utilized weren't even a fraction of the British total.
  3. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2018
    Unrealistic: in 1860’s Russia was not in a condition to declare war on France and Britain economically, militarily and geographically. And anyway the ACW was not of a critical importance to Russia.
  4. Curtain Jerker Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2018
    Now I want to replay Red Alert :)
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  5. funnyhat Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2013
    If the British struggled to project their power fighting against a tiny Boer army, how are they going to fight a global coalition of major powers?

    Besides, we know from WWI that they had trouble defeating Germany even when allied with France and Russia. So why would this same Britain be able to fight everyone by itself?
    alexmilman likes this.
  6. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2018
    But OTOH fighting a global coalition (if it is truly "global") means that the British resources are being spread all over the world instead of being concentrated in one or two places and that the opponents have initiative on their side because a big part of the British naval resources would be needed to defend very long communication lines.
  7. HistoricalArthropod Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2019
    What conditions would be required for some batshit crazy, Hitler-esque warmomger to come to power in Britain?
  8. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2018
    Why would it need such a person for them ending up as a bad guy? Wouldn't it be enough for most of the "civilized world" to get fed up with them playing an upper dog?
  9. Icedaemon Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    The soviets are the obvious choice here, the PoD does not even have to be that late - a WW1 point is sufficient.

    Avert the successful rise of nazism in Germany by hitler dying in the war or not getting the backers he did, what have you. With the general dissatisfaction with both the old conservatives and the current status of Weimar Germany in the 1920s and 30s, a sizable number of people naturally gravitate towards extremists spouting bullshit solutions to the common man's problems. Without a unified far right, the far left will be triumphant in this timeline's Germany, but will likely be even more unpalatable to the largely Junker-led German military. This will lead to a civil war, with the communists having manpower but poor leadership, while the conservatives have excellent well-led elite troops, but only in small numbers. The soviets, claiming to support the will of the German ploretariat, push west. This time, due perhaps to more Polish troops on their western border watching the chaos in Germany, there is no miracle on the Vistula. The former Entente powers react, but both see their own communist fifth columns try to cause as much chaos as possible, thus allowing for the soviets to largely overrun Germany.
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  10. John7755 يوحنا Lightweight Faqih

    Dec 30, 2014
    Why do the Ottomans not have an ideological reason for world war? Ottomans at their height bordered indirectly many plausible world powers:

    Holy Roman Empire
    Etc etc etc
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  11. The Tai-Pan The Pagemaster/Plogmonger

    Jun 10, 2015
    Let's look at them.

    Ottomans: By the time World War's are a ting, the Ottomans are long past their prime. Yes, they were a major player in WW1 but they could never have taken a central role. They crumbled under internal and external threats rather quickly.

    Russia: Easily the best runner-up to Germany in the potential market. Could see it, if things went differently.

    Spain: Was a has been by the time of World Wars.

    Papacy: Never had the temporal power and didn't even exist in the period we need.

    Poland-Lithuania: Long gone by the era of World Wars.

    Safavids: Same.

    France: A good runner-up. Napoleon showed what France unleashed at the peak of it's power was able to do. But by the time of the airplane and industrial warfare France, probably, lacked the power to do it.

    Not saying any are impossible, but Germany was perfectly suited in ways most nations weren't.
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  12. Milites Not a sahib

    May 16, 2011
    In the shade of the Buland Darwaza
    It's not 1880, but I hope 9 years won't make too much of a difference.

    General Boulanger somehow finds some steel within himself and stages a coup d’etat in 1889, establishing a military junta. No more than five years later, an ATL version of the Dreyfuss affair on steroids kicks off. France quickly degenerates into an anti-semitic, hyper-militarised hellhole whose sole purpose is to wash the black stain of Alsace-Lorraine off la France.

    Eventually Boulanger brings in the Comte de Paris or maybe the Prince Napoléon as a figurehead monarch. Or maybe he decides to retain power for himself?

    She aligns with equally authoritarian Russia and in the early 1910s engages in a World War with this timeline’s Central Powers over Alsace-Lorraine or, as Bismarck supposedly said “... some damn silly thing in the Balkans.”
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  13. John7755 يوحنا Lightweight Faqih

    Dec 30, 2014
    My point was with a right tl, the Ottomans can fit all the criteria as Germany. Say a tl where the ottoman power remains into the 18th century and a world war occurs there.

    Ottomans, France, Russia


    Pick your opponents
  14. HistoricalArthropod Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2019
    Well, you are right. Pure geopolitics could do it. But having such a leader would add some more "oomph" to it, if you get what I mean.
  15. m0585 Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2015
    As others have pointed out, Russia would be a good candidate for this. POD could be Alexander II surviving his assassination in 1881. He could be slightly wounded, but very much changed from his ordeal. Perhaps he's given faulty intelligence that suggests that foreign powers were behind the attempt. This causes him to continue his liberal domestic policies (creating a Duma and empowering the middle/lower classes) while embarking on an aggressive foreign policy. Alexander II lives until 1898 (17 years longer than OTL), and instills in his son and successor, Alexander III, to maintaining his policies. Alexander II's reign has ushered in much social change and an economic boon. Russia has industrialized and is a semi-constitutional monarchy by the end of the 19th Century. The middle and lower classes feel empowered by the government, decreasing the potential for rebellion.

    Alexander II, during his reign, has pushed for military reforms. The military is opened up to reform and pushed to accept leaders basked on meritocracy. By the end of the 19th Century, the Russian Imperial Army stands at 3.7 million (active and reserves). In a patriotic fervor, as pushed by the government, Russia occupies Manchuria, defeats the Japanese in 1905, and makes aggressive moves in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Due to its immense resources, high population, and aggressive foreign policy, Russia is now perceived by many in Europe to be the next major enemy in future wars.
  16. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2018
    I know exactly what you mean and this part is quite easy to accomplish: "Duke of Marlborough, an ancestor of an infamous warmonger Churchill" (Tarle, "The Great Norther War"). x'D

    Basically, any political leader would do if PR is done correctly. After all in OTL "Cousin Willy" was a far cry from Hitler and Nappy was not exactly an "Ogre".
    The Tai-Pan likes this.
  17. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2018
    Are you saying that he suddenly started using his brain for thinking? :)

    His foreign policy was as aggressive as Russia could afford at that time. It is just that aggressiveness did not involve any thinking before, during and after it was applied.

    Actually, economic policy of Alexander II was a complete disaster. The only development was in the area of the railroads and even their construction was completely mismanaged leaving state with a huge debt. Industrialization started only during the reign of Alexander III and only because, thanks to Witte, he completely reversed his father's economic policies.

    He did conduct the military reform and promotion by merit was implemented in the Russian army since the late XVIII so what's new there? Even with the OTL industrialization (which in your schema is delayed by the decades) Russia was incapable to provide enough modern weaponry by 1914.

    Not sure what the "patriotic fervor" has to do with the OTL idiocies like occupation of Manchuria: Bezobrazov's affair was a combination of a pure greed and gross incompetence. Russia could win against Japan in 1905 but the only European country that would give a damn was Britain (not too many years later the same Britain would be trying to limit Japanese naval buildup which brings an obvious question about the wisdom of the British foreign policies).

    As for the CA, in OTL Russia grabbed pretty much everything that made practical sense and, again, the only country "concerned" was Britain.

    Eastern Europe - even on the Balkans by the early XX Russian ability to "move aggressively" were quite limited.

    Then, if Franco-German mutual hate is still there, at least one side keeps looking for the Russian alliance.

    So I'm afraid that your "bad guy" is not quite convincing.
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  18. m0585 Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2015
    Well, there you have it then..........
  19. GDIS Pathe Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2016
    Boulanger was both A: Not an Anti-Semite himself


    B: Would likely be furious at the loss of a good officer in order to cover for the actions of a treasonous one

    This ignores the fact that without Boulanger his coalition falls apart in rather short order and likely does not last long enough to fight in an alt WWI unless said war starts immediately after he comes to power
  20. Tibi088 Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2013
    I could get behind the other things of your post but the last part is simply wrong at least in regards of WWI. Germany had the rhetoric you cite but it was not ready to fight a world war for colonies. The only reason that could produce a world war was an european issue - you could never get the socialist on board for world war for colonies and without them you cant really fight a total war. I think that Germany started WWI as a preventive war as other powers - less interested to keep the status quo in Europe - seemed to gain the upper hand. France wanted Alsace and Russia tried to expand on the Balkans. OTOH Germany had no set of territories it really wanted. I think it was Clemenceau (im not sure but it was a leading french politican) who said that the peace before WWI was a german peace. I believe that he was right and what Germany really wanted was to preserve the status quo - which ment that they were the top dog in Europe - not hegemon but clearly the strongest.
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