France loses the Franco-Prussian war... but not quite as bad?

The Franco-Prussian war was of course an astounding success for the Prussians, but I wonder if it’s success didn’t cause more problems in the long run of Germany.

The humiliation of having Paris occupied, having the German Empire proclaimed in Versailles and of course losing Alsace-Lorraine caused intense enemity between France and Germany. But perhaps more than this the rapid victory convinced much of the west’s military leaders that modern wars were quick affairs where big decisive battles should be pursued over all else. This would in turn be part of why the European powers thought WW1 could be over ”by christmas”.

Now what if Prussia still won the war, but not quite as decisively? There’s battles and sieges all over western France and although Prussia clearly outclasses the French, there’s no catastrophic collapse of resistance as in otl and peace is agreed to together with the other Great Powers in a peace conference without Paris fallen. In a less extatic feeling of victory, the more rational goals of Bismarck may prevail and A-L remain French.

How would such a peace change the latter half of the 19th century, the Scramble for Africa, european alliance patterns and eventually the events leading up to ww1?
 
But perhaps more than this the rapid victory convinced much of the west’s military leaders that modern wars were quick affairs where big decisive battles should be pursued over all else. This would in turn be part of why the European powers thought WW1 could be over ”by christmas”.
The problem here was not that just the Franco-Prussian was was won rapidly, but nearly all wars in the era. Between the Napoleonic war and ww1, most wars lasted a single campaign season, were very decisive and getting the right foot forward and into it was half the victory. Only when the lack of professional armies (US Civil War) or infrastructure (Crimean War) made a decisive blow impossible did wars last longer. A year or a year and a half at most. The Franco-Prussian war was one in a long line of wars that were quick and decisive, and there were really no reasons for the politicians and generals of 1914 to expect the next one to be any different.

If the Franco-Prussian war turns into a slow slog, Prussia will have problems. While they had recently learned to cast steel to make steel barrels, the Dreyse rifle had problems with production and with reliability on a long campaign. France's economy is much stronger and both Austria and Denmark might be looking into getting something back if the Prussians can't pull a quick victory. Russia may keep Austria honest, or maybe not - France has a lot of influence in the Ottoman Empire and on the Balkans, and were willing to support the Poles in 1863. Russia and Prussia might have to worry about their flanks should they aim to keep Austria out of it.
 
Even on a quick victory, bismarck never wanted E-L, that was south german state wish, heck even Willy I wanted colonies from france.
Yeah, I think the security of Alsace-Lorraine was necessary for unification, as the Southern German states refused to have Prussian fortifications on their land.
 
Yeah, I think the security of Alsace-Lorraine was necessary for unification, as the Southern German states refused to have Prussian fortifications on their land.
Excatly the thing is even SGS wanted to partition A-L among themselves, so we got the mess E-L as just a 'federal land' an issue only Willy II got the idea to solve(give it to FF kids, as they were set to not inhert anything because their parents morganic marriage and for Willy II that was a travesty) sadly OTL WW1 derailed those plans
 
Excatly the thing is even SGS wanted to partition A-L among themselves, so we got the mess E-L as just a 'federal land' an issue only Willy II got the idea to solve(give it to FF kids, as they were set to not inhert anything because their parents morganic marriage and for Willy II that was a travesty) sadly OTL WW1 derailed those plans
I mean props to Wilhelm II that's a pretty nice thing to do. House Hapsburg-Lotharingian?
 
I mean props to Wilhelm II that's a pretty nice thing to do. House Hapsburg-Lotharingian?
That was the Intent, as FF kids were settle to set aside from austria and for the romantic of Willy II that was something low, giving the kids a minor throne(people forgot the GE was a federation) in germany was to double as a gift for them and to settle the issue, not war, that might have happened by 1920(when both Sofie and Maximiliam would have been adults)
 
I mean props to Wilhelm II that's a pretty nice thing to do. House Hapsburg-Lotharingian?
The ruling Habsburg line already being the House of Habsburg-Lothringen, the restoration of at least a part of Lorraine to FF's descendants would've been a sort of happy accident/poetic justice... as FJ found FF's marriage to Sophie eminently distasteful, they would've otherwise only been entitled to the recently-created and lesser title of Dukes/Duchesses of Hohenberg...
 
I mean props to Wilhelm II that's a pretty nice thing to do. House Hapsburg-Lotharingian?
The ruling Habsburg line already being the House of Habsburg-Lothringen, the restoration of at least a part of Lorraine to FF's descendants would've been a sort of happy accident/poetic justice... as FJ found FF's marriage to Sophie eminently distasteful, they would've otherwise only been entitled to the recently-created and lesser title of Dukes/Duchesses of Hohenberg...
And it would've been even more ironic since Franz Ferdinand wasn't a member of the main line of the House of Hapsburg-Lorraine, but the cadet branch of Hapsburg/Austria-Este.
 
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