Es Geloybte Aretz Continuation Thread

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by carlton_bach, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. carlton_bach Member

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    In simple terms: poorly. Up until the war, the German Empire could trade on the fiction that it was a federation of princes, a system in which one royal house exceeded the others in power by degree, but not kind. Subjection to Prussia was acutely felt in some quarters, but the imperial centre was always careful not to rub it in, actually went out of its way to keep up the pretense that the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz or the Prince of Reuss in the Junior Line was a brother sovereign ruler who had voluntarily abdicated some functions of that sovereignty for the greater good.

    Now, the imperial centre has run roughshod over all that. It was made clear for all to see that the word of of a Corps commander outweighs that of an imperial prince, that the emperor and reichstag can decide whatever they choose as long as it touches the safety of the reich (and everything does, ultimately), and that any decision made to apply in Prussia will quickly be used all over Germany because that is how political gravity works. They built railways and enforced production quotas, price controls and rationing, standardised schooling and pulled millions of people from their village homes to show them the world (or at least the part of it they were currently fighting over). All resistance to modernisation was ended by fiat. There is zero tolerance for the quaint, the venerable or the eccentric in this new order. And that is before we even get to the economic and social impact.

    Some princedoms managed to make themselves comfortable in the new role of a federal state. Hamburg and Bremen make money hand over fist trading on creatively exploiting the limted options they have. Baden and Saxony are big enough to retain a cultural identity that can be fully German, yet clearly themselves. Bavaria is too big to do that comfortably and there is friction. But a lot of the old order is crumbling. By the end of the century, the Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont, though still wealthy and living in comfort, will have about the same real-world importance as Punxsatawney Phil.
     
  2. J. de Vos Oude Maasweg, kwart voor drie.

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    Princes sminces.

    Now on to the really important aristocrats. How are the peeps from Taxis und Thurn doing? Still filthy rich? Or schaumburg-lippe, even in otl today they're richer than many reigning monarchs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  3. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    so is this akin to the old indian rajs in modern day alot of them are rich and get special privileges such as not paying certain taxes but have lost there titles etc or similar to the British extended royal family such as they only used for ribbon cutting and show off fashion at weddings. So in modern germany with the minor monarchies will it be similar to otl princess beatrice her wedding was televised but no holiday or anything really important happening even she has a title, will the prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont have his wedding televised but thats it for him.
     
  4. Droman الفينيقي

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    Will some of them accept mediatization and become a part of the Prussian order of nobility or is that a step too far for the imperial leanings?
     
  5. htgriffin Member

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    Doubt it unless guns are involved. They may have independence of action on the level of an FRG Landkreis, but they will have their thrones....
     
  6. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    @carlton_bach of the new carved out states germany created we only know the monarch of poland. Who are the monarchs of the baltic states, finland, ukraine? Atleast which monarchies/ german houses are they from wettins etc. Did the dutch or swedes get a thrones?
     
  7. carlton_bach Member

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    All of the old landed families have the chance to be quite rich. Without the loss of the great Eastelbian estates to collectivisation, the nobility is going to remain one of Germany's largest landowning groups, especially after the imperial house and the churches sold off so much of their estate in the postwar housing boom. This is going to be more of a boon for mediatised than reigning families because many of the ruling houses will follow the example of the Hohenzollern. In a rapidly urbanising Germany - especially in the western parts - land is going to be worth a mint and that old parcel of farms your ancestors acquired somewhere in the vicinity of Hannover could cover all the cost of turning you ancestral forests into a cash mashine (lumber for building...)
    Of course some will be unlucky enough to have sold at low prices and invested poorly, others lost to three or four deaths at the time of high inheritance taxes. But most won't (and the estates of reigning houses are tax-exempt...)

    They have a little more influence than that, but not a lot, eventually. Technically, their signature is required to validate all laws passed at the level of their states, and their agreement in the Reichsrat is necessary to pass changes to the constitution. But much of this is a formality by the end of the century - much as the role of a modern European royal family, only in many cases on a much smaller scale. Postcolonial Africa has some monarchies like that.

    It wouldn't even be in the interest of the emperor. The constitution is federal by design, and the very suggestion that this could change would threaten the existence of Germany. Waldeck-Pyrmont or Reuss could be swallowed up at any point, easdily, but this would immediately suggest to Bavaria, Saxony or Baden that they may be last, but are very much on the menu now. State's rights are a holy cow in Germany (and Föderalismus will produce many good things). But the idea of state sovereignty will die, quietly and completely.


    I have to admit I never took the time to think this through carefully. Ideas so far:

    Poland - to Habsburg (Karl Stephan). A compromise solution, and one that ensured Habsburg could make no further demands, having walked away with the biggest piece already.

    Finland - a royal crown to a Protestant German candidate. I was thinking Welf, maybe. Certainly somerthging the Wasa might want, but I doubt the historical memories would allolw any suggestion of making Finland "Swedish".

    Alsace-Lorraine (to become Großherzogtum) - I was also thinking habsburg, the children of Franz Ferdinand. But that sounds like giving them too much. Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen is right out for political reasons. Not pursued this farther, but there must be a good line to make grand dukes somewhere

    Estonia (to become dukedom) - no idea. Too small for a Wasa candidate, I think.

    Latvia (to become dukedom) - similar.

    Lithuania (to become grand dukedom) - could go to Wasa for reason of both history and status, but might look like a consolation prize. Plus, the religious issue. Maybe Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen or Wettin? I thought of one of the old Polish dynasties, but the frontier issue is too contentious for that.

    Ruthenia (to become Hetmanate, ranking on par with grand duke) - no idea.
     
  8. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    whats that?
    Sorry i don't know much about german empire politics why cant catholic Hohenzollern become duke of alsace, whats the politic issue behind it?

    with Estonia and Latvia could those be used to bribe the german princes to keep them in line as you stated grand illusion of princely federation is gone, might as well throw a bone to them to save face.

    With the three other states Lithuania, Ruthenia and Alsace what about a Wittelsbach they are second to the prussian monarchy and rule Bavaria. You stated Bavaria is not happy with the state so could placate them by doing that.

    Also the House of Hanover still remains landless they can be brought back into the fold.
     
  9. Droman الفينيقي

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    I feel like Estonia-Latvia could be merged as the Grand Duchy of Livonia? And I believe the OTL candidate was Duke Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg?

    Meanwhile, Lithuania feels like it could be a kingdom, especially if merged with Courland. Perhaps the OTL Duke William of Urach could finally have his crown, with a Biron descendant of Ernst Johann von Biron confirmed as Duke of Courland within the Kingdom of Lithuania.

    Ruthenia might need a Catholic king. Perhaps a Bavarian could get the nod over there?

    Finland could go to one of the Holstein Germans, which as as close to Swedish as you'll get.

    Alsace-Lorraine to the House of Nassau? Is Luxembourg a free state here or part of the empire?
     
  10. Droman الفينيقي

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    Alsace-Lorraine is both a wealthy province and the border to France. It would be diplomatically difficult to make that an Imperial Province under the suzerain gaze of the King of Prussia when it is a province that Prussia specifically used to unify the German states against French aims.
     
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  11. Martin Member

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    The Nassaus have the wrong religion and barring butterflies no male heirs, so that could get problematic


    How about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_Egon_II,_Prince_of_Fürstenberg for Alsace-Lorraine?

    Catholic, well connected but not related whatsoever with Austria, Prussia and Baden, as close from the neighborhood as it can get and personally rich enough not to be a major burden for the state?

    Yeah, the Fürstenbergs were a mediatized house, but definitively one of the bigger fish among them.
    Alternatively, perhaps a Löwenstein-Wertheim?
     
  12. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    Can Alsace Lorraine not be broken up into smaller states and various dukes be placed there? Make the french majority area a republic inside the empire similar to the free cities.
     
  13. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

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    In English and Swedish, the family is spelled Vasa, think Gustavus Adolphus. In German and Polish, it's spelled with a W.
     
  14. avernite Well-Known Member

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    Weren't the Wasa's replaced by the Bernadotte's by this point?
     
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  15. Ullegulle Member

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    Yes, very much so, and no. The last ruler of true Wasa dynasty was Kristina, but Gustav III got the idea of claiming a Wasa heritage trough his mother. Kings can be vain and silly at times.

    Through that line, there was a branch of the Holstein-Gottorp line that claimed to be "Vasa", although, that lineage in the beginning of the 20th century is a true exercise of semi-salic law. But here it goes.

    Gustav IV Adolf abdicated in favour of his son, Crown Prince Gustav, but this succession was not accepted by the Riksdag. Gustav died without a male heir, and the claimed passed on to his daughter, Carola of Vasa. She, in turn died without an heir, and the claim passed on to Frederick II, Grand duke of Baden, who died without an heir in 1918. This, in turn, made Max von Baden, son of his cousin, heir of the Duchy of Baden, and his daughter, Viktoria of Baden, Wasa-claimant to the Swedish throne.

    Viktoria of Baden married Gustaf V Bernadotte, so that kind of sorted itself out.

    A while ago, I wrote a non-canon piece on how Max could have been king of Finland.

    https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/es-geloybte-aretz-a-germanwank.219653/page-349
     
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  16. carlton_bach Member

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    The story of the Reichsluftmacht is often told as a morality play: How the greatest military power in Europe wilfully, and against the advice of many wiser men, bet its future on a misguided doctrine and nearly lost everything. In this account, the young Emperor plays the role of the fool, misled by the conniving and wilfully ignorant while those in the know were silenced. Germany thus invested vast sums in an airfleet that was neither cable to fulfil its mission nor defend its airspace. Reality, as ever, is more complex.

    Firstly, though it is true that the emperor was deeply enamoured of aviation, the creation of the Reichsluftmacht as a separate service in 1909 was a bureaucratic maneuver that removed it from the jurisdiction of the member states' jurisdictions and put it on par with the navy under direct imperial command. This meant a centrally governed structure with funding from imperial revenues and no interference from the army commands, many of whom were distrustful of the new technology and unwilling to invest heavily. Considering the fate of many other advanced technologies in the hands of the Bavarian or Saxon army commands, it is not unreasonable to assume that this decision allowed the creation of a serious German air power at all.

    The early creation of the German airfleet did give its fathers the opportunity to make the kind of mistakes competitors would learn from. Commitment to lighter-than-air flight would have looked like a winning strategy in 1909, more than a decade before the innovations in engine technology that turned aeroplanes into viable war-winning weapons. With the decision to prioritise airships came a focus their utility – reconnaissance and strategic high-altitude bombing.

    This, too, turned out to be a vision of the future that technology failed to realise to the extent its adherents expected. As a concept, it was intuitive and obvious: a zeppelin airship was capable of reaching altitudes beyond the range of anti-air fire or interceptor aeroplanes, and though it was relatively slow, it had the range to reach enemy targets far behind the front and was also quiet (an asset at a time when detection often still relied on engine noise) and stable. Bombs dropped from that height would follow a predictable ballistic path and could thus be targeted like artillery shells whereas the bumpy rides of low-flying, fast aeroplanes required the pilot to bring the weapon almost right onto the target. Early airship development was fast, eventually producing ships capable of carrying upwards of twenty tonnes of bombs over several thousand kilometres. The famous friendly visit of SMLS Frundsberg and Wallenstein to New York in 1927, at the height of the airship armament spiral, even caused concern in the US military. If Germany were to decide to bomb every city on the East Coast, the Joint Chiefs of Staff briefed the President, neither the Navy nor the Army Air Forces would be capable of stopping them. Though Germany led the world in airship technology, Britain, France and Italy also invested heavily in bombing airships and no industrialised nation was without a long-range airship fleet, however small by comparison. It certainly looked like an idea whose time had come.

    When advances in materials and engines turned airships into a technological dead end in the late 1920s, Germany had a decade's worth of building schedules still open and nobody in the military establishment had the courage to cancel them. The last bombing airship, SMLS Mansfeld, was launched in 1940 into a world that already had no further need of its kind. Germany was investing millions of marks into the development of bomber aeroplanes that would match the range and altitude of the airship while being faster and more defensible. These, too, backed by the expertise of German industry and the deep pockets of the Reich, proved impressive designs.

    If there was a cardinal sin inside the defense establishment of Germany, it was excessive reliance on established players. It was the Zeppelin Aktiengesellschaft with its proven expertise in light materials and powerful aero engines that built the bomber fleets, focusing on the things its engineers knew best: payload, altitude and range. The underlying doctrine remained unchanged. This would now require an investment not only in large bombers – with the enormous six-engined ZAG 35 Kondor astonishing the world by crossing the Atlantic in 1942 – but in fast escort planes that could shield them from interceptors. The resulting planes were miracles of engineering – lightweight, highly manoeuvrable, equipped with powerful engines that could deliver high performance even at 8,000 metres and able to carry enormous fuel loads in ancillary drop tanks. Swarms of these fighters taking to the air from fields near the front would join bomber fleets on their missions, suppressing interception as the big planes flattened their targets.

    The failure of this idea is common knowledge today, but at the time it was hard to see how anyone inside the bubble of the bombing profession could have predicted it. The degree of its failure is frequently exaggerated. The complete inability of the vaunted German giant to affect the conduct of the war from the air is an artefact of Russian propaganda more than a reflection of historical fact. The Luftmacht did considerable damage to rail installations and factories throughout the war, drawing resources away from the front and causing supply bottlenecks. The impact of their attacks was less than anticipated partly because the predicted accuracy never materialised – even in perfect visibility, a given bomb could not realistically be targeted on anything smaller than half a kilometre across – and partly because the resilience of modern infrastructure had been underestimated. It was calculated after the war that in order to have the anticipated effect, the German airfleet would have had to be increased sevenfold, consuming a full third of the Reich's military expenditure. This was never feasible.

    Yet for all its apparent weaknesses, and caught by war in the middle of generational shift in aeroplanes, the Reichsluftmacht was a formidable foe to the Russians. Even in frontal aviation, Russia's strength and ever the stepchild of German planners, their fighter pilots acquitted themselves well. Powerful engines and nimble machines made them the terror of Russian bombers. Strategic attacks, while not war-winning, were important in degrading enemy effectiveness, and ultimately it was the Luftmacht's strategic reach that delivered Mjölnir to strike the decisive blow of the war. This is hardly a record of failure.

    Kerbie, David: Hammerschlag. German Strategic Bombing in the Second Russo-German War, Osprey, London 1998
     
  17. carlton_bach Member

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    Rarely in history has the fall of a great government been precipitated by something as seemingly trivial as that of Germany' Social Democratic coalition of 1920-23. In retrospect, the defection of the Zentrum on the matter of unemployment insurance is sometimes cast as a Macchiavellian conservative power grab, but if it was that, the years under Völkische government will have given Erzberger and Adenauer ample scope for regret.

    Introduced after long parliamentary battles in 1918, unemployment insurance was one of the contentious issues of the 1920 elections. As the economy emerged from a periodic downturn that had motivated the scheme, conservative commentators made hay with the claim that all it did was take another cut from already inadequate wages. Though the Reichstag election delivered the last SPD plurality in decades, losses were painful and the party depended on a coalition with the Zentrum and numerous small liberal and ethnic parties in the face of assaults from the USPD and the growing Völkische bloc. The political concessions this required – the 'Krötenwettessen' – fatally tarnished the image of Chancellor Meynert's cabinet. When an ill-thought-out proposal from the DNVP benches called for the unemployment insurance funds to be converted into purpose-bound bonds funding the expansion of the navy – this was under the impression of a colonial scare and at a time of growing employment – the Zentrum decided to break ranks and vote in favour. The intensity of the public debate of 1922 is hard to credit today, and the Reichstag vote of 21 October resulted in all SPD ministers and chancellor Meynert stepping down. A provisional cabinet under Erzberger managed the affairs of government to a degree, but the inability to create a lasting coalition forced the dissolution of the Reichstag and the fateful, noisy election of 1923 that brought the Conservative Revolution to power. With reference to the paltry sum that the unemployed would ultimately receive from the depleted insurance coffers when the crisis struck in 1928-34, Reichstag member Marie Juchacz famously quipped that the 'blacks' did not have governing skill worth 2 marks 30. (“Die Schwarzen haben nicht für 2 Mark 30 Regierungsverantwortung”)
     
  18. JohnOfNottingham Well-Known Member

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    Good to see new chapters.

    Another glimpse at the second Russo-German war at that, too.
    And more details on the conservative revolution.... They then continued ruling throughout the second war, right?
     
  19. scretchy Well-Known Member

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    so germany the first to the atomic bomb?
     
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  20. Kvasir We shall overcome #EU

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    Yeah. This has been known for a while. Really interested to hear about how the dropping of the bomb is covered culturally without the ethnic component for OTL.