Ghastly Victories: The United States in the World Wars

Part 2-34 New
…The German high command had resolved that an armistice would be necessary as early as May 13th, contrary to what many of them would later write. However they did not want to be the ones to deliver the armistice, as was traditionally the case. Instead they insisted that role go to the civilian government, most particularly to the more liberal parties of the Reichstag. To lead this new government Georg von Hertling would resign and Wilhelm Solf would become chancellor, being someone the Kaiser was willing to appoint, unconnected to the military and acceptable to the Reichstag.

Von Hertling resigned on the 16th and Solf took over as Chancellor and Minister President of Prussia, presiding over a coalition of the SDP, Centre Part and FVP. Negotiations began with the Entente for an Armistice immediately…

…The sticking point for the negotiations soon proved to be the Kaiser. President Marshall insisted on the abdication of the Kaiser as a condition for an armistice. In part this was out of loyalty to Wilson, who had said such before, indicating the Kaiser as the supreme threat to peace. In part this was also due to American public opinion, the Kaiser had been painted as the enemy by propaganda and Marshall thought that maintaining him would not be acceptable.

However, for the German Army and certain members of the German government the abdication of the Kaiser was unacceptable. Rather it was hoped that changing the German Constitution into something closely resembling the British system would be enough to mollify Marshall and the Entente…

…The decision of Austria to exit the war on the 20th changed the German situation enormously. German troops in Austria, a mix of detachments that had been supporting the Austrians, and those evacuated from the other members of the Central Powers as they left the war, were forced to withdraw into Germany. However there was no plan for a rapid withdrawal, and they were ordered to withdraw on their own at their best speed.

During this withdrawal the officers lost control of the men. Morale was at its weakest in these units, having been exposed to defeatist and revolutionary rhetoric in Austria and not subject to the tight information control of the troops on the Western front. When many of these troops arrived in Munich on the 22nd, and when the local military leadership attempted to reorganize them into provisional formations to secure the southern flank, mutiny broke out.

Local military command focused primarily on preventing the spread of the mutiny to the reserve forces gathered elsewhere in Bavaria, rather than attempting to immediately crush the mutiny. As such the mutineers were able to send delegations to the factories and industrial areas of Munich, and inspired by the events in Russia, formed workers and soldier’s councils. These councils, with the support of the railway workers sent delegations to the other cities of Germany. By the 27th the revolution had reached Berlin.

With this the situation of the government was truly desperate. Seeing no other option to prevent revolution from totally overtaking the country, on the 28th Solf, after consultation with the rest of the government and other prominent politicians and civil servants, announced both the abdication of the Kaiser, and his own resignation as Chancellor and Minister President in favor of Friedrich Ebert of the SPD…

…The Kaiser had not been consulted on his abdication, being at Army headquarters in Spa, Belgium. At first, he intended to play for time and return at the head of the army when an armistice was signed. After being convinced by Hindenburg that would not work, he attempted to abdicate only as Kaiser and remain the King of Prussia in order to steer the country that way, however that was constitutionally impossible. Eventually he was convinced to abdicate, in mid-June long after it had become an accomplished fact…

…Solf’s resignation and replacement with Ebert was what Marshall had been waiting for. On the 30th he approved an armistice to go into effect at noon on June 1st. At 12:00 on the fateful day the guns of WWI fell silent. The War was over.

Or was it?

There were still an enormous number of sticking points and issues that remained to be dealt with before the war could truly be called over…

…Ebert’s replacement of Solf gave the German Army High Command exactly what they wanted. It would be Ebert and the SPD who would be associated with the peace agreement and the end of the war, not them. It would be Ebert and the SPD who would be associated with the current chaos in Germany, not them. And it would be Ebert and the SPD who would be discredited from the aftermath of the war, and not them…

-Excerpt from The Loss of Innocence: America in the Great War, Harper & Brothers, New York 2014
 
Did the Kaisar abdicate in favor of his heir, or is Germany (boringly)* becoming a Republic now?

*I mean boringly in the sense that from a reader of history standpoint republics tend to be more boring, at least for me, not as a knock on your writing choices/story/etc.
 
Looking at the time, well soon Marshall will need to deal with the election and while he is the president...well it's not a given he get the nomination as he had the position due to Wilson stroke so unlike him i don't see the current president leave the USA for months to partecipate at the negotiation table at Versailles and frankly except for the creation of the League of the Nations (at the time every partecipant at the war was ok with a international body where discuss and attempt to resolve peacefully any dispute) and while attempting to follow his predecessor objective i will not see so interested in foreign policy or so stubbornly attached at his ideological position, add the american pubblic opinion turning sour over all this european adventure (and the various european nation starting to point that they don't have the money to repay the debt) and so there is the strong possibility that the USA delegation want just close this matter as soon as possible and go back on their version of 'splendid isolation'. *

* and as italian and looking to the consequence of Wilson attitude i'm not really unhappy about this
 
Did the Kaisar abdicate in favor of his heir, or is Germany (boringly)* becoming a Republic now?

*I mean boringly in the sense that from a reader of history standpoint republics tend to be more boring, at least for me, not as a knock on your writing choices/story/etc.
He tried the former but given the situation the latter is functionally inevitable, the monarchy is stronger than OTL, but not that much stronger

Anyways I have plans for interwar Germany's politics don't you worry
 
I personally like the idea of Richthofen surviving the war to later lead the German air force.

Could it be that in one of these battles the casualties included a certain Austrian corporal? Because while WWII is basically inevitable it'd be more interesting to see who'd come to power in the absence of ol' Adolf.
 
But earlier, you say "even shot down the famed Red Baron, who would be hospitalized for the remainder of the war".
Is he flying the entire hospital, perhaps?
I do like the mental image, though.

Red Baron: Enough! I am needed at the front!
Nurse: Herr von Richtofen, you are not leaving this hospital until you are healed!
Red Baron: Then I'll fly the damn hospital!
 
Nah. I bet it's for Huey Long to become president of the US and wage war against the Anarchist Communal Federation of Greater Central Europe 🤣
Since we all seem to be throwing our hats in:

Trotsky attempts to prop up a Communist revolution in Germany, France and Britain attempt to prop up the moribund government, and it all spirals into open warfare.
 
Is the plan for a right-wing government to rise in Germany and start another war?
Honestly, I'd love to see someone on here have the SPD fucking call the Generals on their BS plan to shuffle all the blame onto them, and demand that as the idiots who dragged them into the war, they can sign the peace deal.

Simply for the sheer value of "We're not that stupid, dumbkoffs."
 
Honestly, I'd love to see someone on here have the SPD fucking call the Generals on their BS plan to shuffle all the blame onto them, and demand that as the idiots who dragged them into the war, they can sign the peace deal.

Simply for the sheer value of "We're not that stupid, dumbkoffs."
Yeah well the world seems to show that a lot of people are naive enough to believe in the best of people. The truth seems to be people who are evil or cynical to an extreme will always win.
 
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