East first! Europe after a German / CP victory in 1916

You might be right with China, how ever why should the UK flip China for Nippon. By the way Germany was better connected with China than the UK. As practical example was the equipment of the Chinese nationalist army.

Hm ... If Japan develops as in OTL and Germany continues to support China, it could develop into a nasty conflict.

In this TL, Japan is neutral during the Great War, but will continue to seek territorial expansion in the future. First of all in Manchuria. As in OTL, I expect the Anglo-Japanese Alliance to be terminated in 1923.
 
Hm ... If Japan develops as in OTL and Germany continues to support China, it could develop into a nasty conflict.

In this TL, Japan is neutral during the Great War, but will continue to seek territorial expansion in the future. First of all in Manchuria. As in OTL, I expect the Anglo-Japanese Alliance to be terminated in 1923.
You are probably correct regarding the territorial expansion of Japan and the re-thinking of the British regarding their alliance with Japan. I only know that Germany had some warm business relations within China. I do not know how deep this relations were or that they were mere what they were, just business relations in order to sell German products. I do think that Imperial Germany does not see any benefit in an alliance with Japan, since China looks a more larger and profitable market and Japan a possible competitor which Japan is, by this time in the Far East.
The expansionist attitude of Japan will have the potential of a large conflict.
 
Meanwhile, I think the biggest problem in Central Europe is going to remain Serbia, partitioned between AH and Bulgaria, and taking the blame for the whole war. I think that Austria-Hungary could survive with various reforms *otherwise*, but bringing Serbia under its direct rule is going to be a nightmare, and Bulgaria is immediately going to be destabilized in this scenario.

Integrating Serbia into Austria-Hungary will indeed be challenging, but not impossible. This has also been achieved with Bosnia. When Serbia gets its own parliament, investments are made in infrastructure, education, etc., tensions will ease. Especially when Serbia is included in a South Slavic kingdom.

I do not expect Bulgaria to destabilize either. Southern Serbia (present-day North Macedonia) was not annexed by Serbia until 1913, after the Balkan Wars. Much of the population did not identify as Serbian, but rather Bulgarian or Macedonian. The town of Nis is a different story, it had been Serbian since 1878. The Bulgarian occupation was very cruel here (see Bulgarian occupation of Serbia), but in the long run the situation will stabilize.
 
Really interesting timeline - and I think mostly plausible.

My gripe is Austria giving up Galicia and Bukovina - especially under the rule of FJ. AFAIK he was proud of never having given up any part of his Empire without a fight. He died OTL in 21 nov. 1916 - after your proposed peace treaty. But even without him, as sensible a decision as this would be I simply dont see the A-H leadership taking it. For gods sake we are speaking of people who OTL wanted to reconquer the povince of Venice or even Lombardia from Italy - they are anything but sensible.
 
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Good stuff, Helmuth (a great map as always).

I have questions about Sweden:

1) How do the Germans get her onside? Granted there was plenty of pro-German tilt in Stockholm, and granted that there's less downside risk for Swedish belligerency with the war in this timeline, but there still needs to be some kind of casus belli to get them in - to make the sale to the broader Swedish public. For one thing, the Swedes were horribly unprepared for war, with an active army strength of less than 13,000 men - only a tenth of that of tiny Belgium! - and even worse logistics. A crash buildup is going to take *a lot* of time. King Gustaf and Wallenberg were all too painfully aware of this.
Admiral Essen perhaps?
 
Really interesting timeline - and I think mostly plausible.

My gripe is Austria giving up Galicia and Bukovina - especially under the rule of FJ. AFAIK he was proud of never having given up any part of his Empire without a fight. He died OTL in 21 nov. 1916 - after your proposed peace treaty. But even without him, as sensible a decision as this would be I simply dont see the A-H leadership taking it. For gods sake we are speaking of people who OTL wanted to reconquer the povince of Venice or even Lombardia from Italy - they are anything but sensible.

You are probably right about the sensibility of A-H leadership. By the way, I did not mention the date on which the peace treaty was concluded, only for the armistice (September 20, 1916). Let's say the peace treaty is concluded a few months later (December 24, 1916, the war is over at Christmas!), Then Franz Joseph dies during the negotiations.

With some German pressure it might be possible to separate Galicia and Bukovina from Austria. Poland becomes a Habsburg kingdom, so Austria still has some influence. And A-H can annex Serbia and Montenegro as 'compensation'. This seems like an interesting development to me, but perhaps too reasonable?
 
The Low Countries
Caught again between two European Great Powers, and both relying on their neutrality, were Belgium thought it was protected with the treaty of 1839.
Although the war of 1870 showed this neutrality could be difficult to enforce. Lessons were learnt form this war and large investments were made by both countries how . First in fortification and later in a restructure of the armies. However the latter this took considerable time and by the 20th century the urge to made this inovations faded away. The Netherlands was a bit earlier in this army reforms but Belgian politicians were too contemplated about this. Also the two small countries did not co-operate with each other. A overture by the Netherlands in 1912 was never answered by Belgium and when the June crises of 1914 spiraled out of control during the next month Belgium asked for military cooperation. This time the Netherlands rejected this since military investigations predicted that the German war machine might pass the Netherlands but not Belgium.
Fortunately for Belgium this assessment of their Northern neighbors was incorrect. Never the less the Belgian mobilization was not really smooth and highlighted the lack or too late investments. More crucial was the multitude of war plans and the internal conflicts within the army staff. The latter was the main reason King Albert took in person the command of the Belgian army.
Even the war seemed to be limited just South of the Belgian border the imminent treat that one of the belligerents would out flank the other via Belgian or Dutch territory remained.
This threat forced the two small neutral countries to cooperation. First a military cooperation and later an, although temporary, custom union. The military cooperation was initially limited to an exchange of military attachés in the general staffs. In 1916, after nearly a year of long leave for most conscripts, the scare of invasion become suddenly imminent. The invasion scare came more from France, both Belgian and Dutch high command had clear information that France could launce an invasion in to Belgium and possible Southern Netherlands a desperate attempt to out flank the Germans.
In order to deal with this threat nearly entire Belgian army would be concentrate to the Franco-Belgian and the fortification line along the river Meuse and Sambre. the The Dutch army would hold the Meuse line North of Liege, with the 3rd and 4th divisions of the filed army, while the 1st division would be relocated between Antwerp and Malines as a reserve for the Southern front or the Eastern front.

The cooperation between the two nations was the combined effort of the monarchs of both nations. King Albert of Belgium and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
King Albert could assured more influence since after he took command of the armed forces he took more and more power, some critics wrote he acted almost as an absolute monarch. For Queen Wilhelmina it was more precarious but never the less due to their effort not only close military cooperation but also economic cooperation was established.
King Albert took the opportunity during this war year not only to speed the modernization of the armed forces but also to implement several reforms, especially to the emancipation of Flanders.
Even both countries had to maintain relative large armies during this period, the economy was booming. The ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and others were open and not hampered by any naval blockade. The exports of both countries to Germany and France exploded, as far as it did not endanger the neutrality too much. In matter of fact the industry had a severe labor shortage, inflicted by the large number of conscripted men and the exploded demand.

The cooperation in both military and economic turned out to be very well and despite this cooperation was intended to be temporary, the international situation dictated differently.
After the Berlin peace conferences the power block which emerged around Germany was intimidating. In order to form some sort of counter force, even limited, and in case of any future conflict between Great Powers, Belgium and the Netherlands decided to extend their cooperation.
In 1920 the Union of Brussels was signed. This was done in a grand ceremony at the Royal Palace of Brussels by King Albert and Queen Wilhelmina. The Union of Brussels referred in a distance tot he Union of Brussels of 1577.
The union comprised a military alliance, safe guarding their neutrality, and a custom union, a Schelde river treaty and over time would be extended with more agreements.
 
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Integrating Serbia into Austria-Hungary will indeed be challenging, but not impossible. This has also been achieved with Bosnia. When Serbia gets its own parliament, investments are made in infrastructure, education, etc., tensions will ease. Especially when Serbia is included in a South Slavic kingdom.

I do not expect Bulgaria to destabilize either. Southern Serbia (present-day North Macedonia) was not annexed by Serbia until 1913, after the Balkan Wars. Much of the population did not identify as Serbian, but rather Bulgarian or Macedonian. The town of Nis is a different story, it had been Serbian since 1878. The Bulgarian occupation was very cruel here (see Bulgarian occupation of Serbia), but in the long run the situation will stabilize.

I think it's plausible, but highly optimistic. Or at least, it will require an extremely significant investment in both reform and counterinsurgency efforts. Bosnia was never fully integrated (Princip himself was Bosnian!) and this is going to lead to a much larger Serbian population in the Empire, and one that was very recently accustomed to independence. Serbia was able to fight off the invading Austrians until Germany committed to the front, so this isn't going to be easy just in military terms. Things might settle down in the long run, but you have to make it to the long run first.

A Yugoslav kingdom might help, but it could also backfire and allow for a restive, rebellious population to start consolidating power. And it's a big ask, I think, to imagine that Charles is going to overcome the anti-Serb prejudices already in place, and which would seem vindicated by the victory.
 
This is all a bitt too much gloom and doom.... which is a much made AH time frame....thinking the way things went in OTL during the interbellum was an inevitable course of events, but which of course never is.
I also read the, nearly, classic AH modus that France, losing the Great War will decline is a Fascist dictature, or communist one. The same can count for the idea of a nearly inevitable rise of a Mussolini kind of dictator or an other grieved Italy.
According to the Berlin treaties of TTL France are relative mild treated, and despite the North East cantons it is nearly untouched by destructions of the war.
As for Italy, they were not invited in the conflict, and due to this they did not had to suffer the massive casualties as they did in OTL and above all, since there is no war the treasury is not wrecked.
I do not know much of the UK but, why should they not be contemplated with the Empire they have and try to develop it more in order to make the overseas possession more profitable. At the end this was the goal of having overseas possession's. It only will encounter some economic paradoxes during the next decades, since Indian production and manufacturing will be more than competitive with UK production and manufacturing.
You might be right with China, how ever why should the UK flip China for Nippon. By the way Germany was better connected with China than the UK. As practical example was the equipment of the Chinese nationalist army.
The UK will however extend it interest in the Middle East, since it seemed this is the place were the valued commodity of the 20th century is burred. This will un doubtly led to conflict with the Ottoman Empire.

Some things end up as cliche for a reason! And nationalist pressures within Austria-Hungary and extremist movements in France both have ample precedents *before* the war, so I don't think it's a stretch to anticipate them continuing and gaining strength in the aftermath of a defeat.

You're right that this isn't a reversed Versailles, but I think that misses that revanchism helped push France into World War I in the first place; they don't need something new to avenge, and national humiliation isn't going away because of fairly lenient armistice terms. France also had its share of extremists even after *victory*, I don't know why they'd fade after defeat. French Communist and other leftist parties were doing pretty well in the inter-war period, and it survived a far-right coup attempt in 1934.
 
... left ... right ... why not both for France ? Some french National Bolshevism as also developed in Germany post Versailles. ... or the spanish JONS as one of the parents of the Falangism of Franco.

Yeah - and I think the form of anything to come out of this in France is somewhat unpredictable, but the key point will be that a defeat to Germany is going to really cause problems for the future of the Third Republic, and it's hard to see something more democratic or liberal arising in its place. By 1916, the legacy of the Third Republic is one of defeat, both on the battlefield, and in a broader sense, of faltering competitiveness in industry or culture with the Anglo-American and Germanic worlds.

I think it's possible that you don't get a sort of pseudo-fascist, populist-racist movement, but a much more conservative, tradition-minded kind of thing, particularly with the victory here going to traditional monarchies. I don't know if it's plausible that, say, Phillippe actually gets his claim to the throne realized, but I think you could see things going in that direction, especially if tied to the church, in a kind of joint campaign against modern decadence that weakened France.
 
I think it's plausible, but highly optimistic. Or at least, it will require an extremely significant investment in both reform and counterinsurgency efforts. Bosnia was never fully integrated (Princip himself was Bosnian!) and this is going to lead to a much larger Serbian population in the Empire, and one that was very recently accustomed to independence. Serbia was able to fight off the invading Austrians until Germany committed to the front, so this isn't going to be easy just in military terms. Things might settle down in the long run, but you have to make it to the long run first.

A Yugoslav kingdom might help, but it could also backfire and allow for a restive, rebellious population to start consolidating power. And it's a big ask, I think, to imagine that Charles is going to overcome the anti-Serb prejudices already in place, and which would seem vindicated by the victory.
I would like to point out that in military terms Astria was concentrating the majority of its armies to fight Russia. On the Serbian front they had inferior numbers I think and were supposed to defend - but Potiorek the idiot thought it better to attack using a plan which resulted in serbian victory even in their own prewar wargames. - result were no surprise.

The point im trying to make is that though the serbian forces performed admirably lets not pretend that they took on Austria 1 vs 1 - its a very common mistake that makes the really grossly incompetent austrian military leadership look much worse than it was - which is a serious challenge on its own.
 
Serbia will see the results of Bulgarian occupation/cleansing/(worse) and be glad they are on the other side of the border. Refugees will amass and, of notnspread throughout the Empire, will cause trouble and irredentism in their half/third of former Serbia.
 
Regarding Poland and Austria: it isn't in Habsburg character to surrender Galicia to a reborn Poland, but the political fallout of refusing that outright would worry Karl. Poles were among the most dependably pro-Habsburg nationality in the empire, but that loyalty was perceived by most Poles as a means to an independent end. Galicia having to tolerate looking over the border at a free Poland wouldn't go over well at all, and that's palpably dangerous to Austrian political life - the Austrian half of Imperial diet depended on Galician delegates to narrowly out-vote the transleithanian (Hungarian) bloc. Of course, by that same logic Karl and other Austrian political leadership might be fearful of letting Galicia leave the empire. As mentioned by others earlier in the thread, passing Galicia over to a new Kingdom of Poland would probably be done in exchange for strong Habsburg influence over the new state. An unlikely alternative is the new Poland turning out to be such a shitshow (somehow) that union with it looks unappealing to Galicians.
I could agree with some of the things you say here but on one ocassion your post betray's such a lack of knowledge that its hard to take seriously the rest.
It was the Dual Monarchy or Austria-Hungary becuase Hungary was in most ways a separate state. There was not an imperial diet with a Hungarian bloc to outvote because the Kingdom of Hungary had its own separate diet and did not send delegates to the Austrian or Imperial parliament.

AFAIK - but I havent read up on austrian politics of the period in quite a while - the opposing sides in the Austrian pairlament were usually between a german and a czech led slavic bloc. The polish were important because on occassions they could be induced to vote with the germans.
 
I could agree with some of the things you say here but on one ocassion your post betray's such a lack of knowledge that its hard to take seriously the rest.
It was the Dual Monarchy or Austria-Hungary becuase Hungary was in most ways a separate state. There was not an imperial diet with a Hungarian bloc to outvote because the Kingdom of Hungary had its own separate diet and did not send delegates to the Austrian or Imperial parliament.

AFAIK - but I havent read up on austrian politics of the period in quite a while - the opposing sides in the Austrian pairlament were usually between a german and a czech led slavic bloc. The polish were important because on occassions they could be induced to vote with the germans.
Reading up, I'm not really sure what "Imperial diet" I was referring to - I remember reading how the Galician Poles were a vital tiebreaker for Vienna, but that must have been in the cisleithanian diet. Either way, I've deleted the post in question.
 
I guess what remains open in my mind, for this whole scenario, is how exactly Austria-Hungary fares in the war. Yes, they're on the winning side, and they've got less to worry about since Italy never joins the war, but it's not exactly clear is they acquit themselves very well, or if they're just bailed out by their German (and Balkan) allies so that they end up victorious, but lightly embarrassed.

It sounds like the victory over Serbia came only after Bulgaria came in, which makes the Habsburgs all the more dependent on allies. Bulgaria is also Orthodox, not Catholic, and its ruling house isn't too close to them. Romania has a Hohenzollern king. Austria's status as junior partner is getting more apparent, and it's not even exclusive with these upstarts in Eastern Europe. They do have Poland leaning their way, as a Catholic state with a Habsburg monarch.
 
I guess what remains open in my mind, for this whole scenario, is how exactly Austria-Hungary fares in the war. Yes, they're on the winning side, and they've got less to worry about since Italy never joins the war, but it's not exactly clear is they acquit themselves very well, or if they're just bailed out by their German (and Balkan) allies so that they end up victorious, but lightly embarrassed.

It sounds like the victory over Serbia came only after Bulgaria came in, which makes the Habsburgs all the more dependent on allies. Bulgaria is also Orthodox, not Catholic, and its ruling house isn't too close to them. Romania has a Hohenzollern king. Austria's status as junior partner is getting more apparent, and it's not even exclusive with these upstarts in Eastern Europe. They do have Poland leaning their way, as a Catholic state with a Habsburg monarch.

I have the same thoughts about Austria-Hungary. Without German support, A-H would have been completely defeated in Galicia in 1914. And without Bulgaria's entry into the war, the conquest of Serbia was not possible (same as OTL). The German influence will therefore increase.

I can therefore imagine that at some point in the 20th century, Austria and Hungary would dissolve their 'customs union' and 'military partnership' (what Austria-Hungary was in fact) and become part of the German customs union (Mitteleuropa ) in this TL. Especially when democratization diminishes the role of the monarchy. After all, it is only the monarchy that connects Austria and Hungary.
 
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