Plausibility check: is there actually any scenario in which the US would fight alongside the Central Powers?

What is the plausibility of the US joining the Central Powers and fighting against the Entente?

  • Not as implausible as many believe

    Votes: 34 25.6%
  • Very unlikely

    Votes: 70 52.6%
  • Borderline ASB

    Votes: 23 17.3%
  • No less likely than them joining the Entente

    Votes: 6 4.5%

  • Total voters
    133
Another might be a better foreign office built up. There is a historical school that regards the German foreign office having some systemic problems. I wonder if that was actually the case.
Considering that Zimmerman made a giant Own Goal by confirming the Zimmerman telegram when it looked like a British forgery and the fact there was a Count in the Washington embassy who was actively sponsoring terrorism in the US for years before war was declared, I’d say yes they had issues.
 
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Another might be a better foreign office built up. There is a historical school that regards the German foreign office having some systemic problems. I wonder if that was actually the case.
exactly my point. Bismarck was not just good, he was GREAT at managing foreign affairs. the best example for me would have been the Anglo-German Arms race, where Bismarck was against the building of a high seas fleet, but the Kaiser wanted it and sacked Bismarck. This angered the British, who punished them severely.
 
exactly my point. Bismarck was not just good, he was GREAT at managing foreign affairs. the best example for me would have been the Anglo-German Arms race, where Bismarck was against the building of a high seas fleet, but the Kaiser wanted it and sacked Bismarck. This angered the British, who punished them severely.
This is a important point. Did German foreign policy go south because Bismarck departed, or was his departure the start of wrecking the foreign office by Kaiser Wilhelm III ? A properly organized FO would survive the departure of Bismarck but not Willy breaking another of his toys. Or did Bismarck departing leave Willy with a already defective tool?
 
This is a important point. Did German foreign policy go south because Bismarck departed, or was his departure the start of wrecking the foreign office by Kaiser Wilhelm III ? A properly organized FO would survive the departure of Bismarck but not Willy breaking another of his toys. Or did Bismarck departing leave Willy with a already defective tool?
I think its a bit of both. Wilhelm was obsessed with his public image, obsessed with his popularity etc. This led to some... Erratic decisions on their part. while one CAN argue that the German Foreign policy was kinda going to shit, without a strong counter like Bismarck against Willy, this was sort of inevitable.

(this is just my take)
 
Considering that Zimmerman made a giant Own Goal by confirming the Zimmerman telegram when it looked like a British forgery
He had little choice but to own it. The coded telegram in all the American telegraph stations matched the one that the German foreign ministry handed to the American Embasy in Berlin. The Embasy objected to it being in a code and not knowing what the contents were but it was sent over the American cable anyway. The origin was indisputably German.
 
A possible late PoD would be the Germans winning the Race to the Sea and holding the Channel Coast down to the Somme mouth. This would make blockade running possible, although difficult, and extremely profitable as the distance between German held Boulogne Sur Mer and the 'narrows' of Portland Bill - Cherbourg and beyond could be transited in a single night at reasonable speed.

Doubtless there would be Americans who tied this and when they are interfered with by the British they would be annoyed. Annoy the US enough and it will go to war.

The US can be placated by the British authorities just buying stuff they confiscate from blockade runners, this is what happened OTL when US cargos were seized.


Moving the lines from the Yser estuary to the Somme estuary would have it's own ramifications on the conflict however!

(The Somme estuary is still really the RN's back yard though).


FWIW I voted "very unlikely", and I also think it takes a pre-1900 POD
 
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This is a important point. Did German foreign policy go south because Bismarck departed, or was his departure the start of wrecking the foreign office by Kaiser Wilhelm III ? A properly organized FO would survive the departure of Bismarck but not Willy breaking another of his toys. Or did Bismarck departing leave Willy with a already defective tool?
I suspect Bismarck exited as German ran out of low hanging fruit. Germany was at the cusp of being a major power. Major powers (and the public) have wants and needs commensurate with their majesty. See the push for useless colonies. That wasn't just coming from Willy.
Look at the contemporaneous USA stretching its new found muscles. It is what nations do when they reach a certain level of importance.
While the German diplomatic corps didn't handle it well I am not sure Bismarck could have handled the underlying internal forces much better.
 
....I'm of the view that it would have made far more sense for the United States to join the Central Powers than the Entente in the Draka-verse, given the Drakian aid to the Confederacy (not to mention their very existence as a slaveholding power vs a US that actually had a more thorough Reconstruction...and also a US even more Expansionist/Imperialist than OTL that would likely be eager to "liberate" large swathes of western Africa as either a direct colony or as a mega-Liberia) would greatly worsen Anglo-American relations in the latter half of the 19th century. Tales of Drakian depredations against the Ottomans would be icing on the cake.

That's not a post-1900 POD though, that's a 1700s or 1600s POD with a ridiculous number of butterfly nets and is at least borderline if not fully ASB.
 
....I'm of the view that it would have made far more sense for the United States to join the Central Powers than the Entente in the Draka-verse, given the Drakian aid to the Confederacy

Although Draka-verse and realistic are not terms that belong in the same sentence.

Besides, to the best of my knowledge, the Draka-verse is fictional, and not relevant to post-1900.
 
I imagine it's possible simply by having an actual neutralist - say, William Jennings Bryan - as President.

If the US, under Presidential pressure to do so, adopts policies to "guarantee neutrality" -- ban Americans extending credit to belligerents (similar to what Bryan suggested as Secretary of State), banning belligerents' ships from US ports and US ships from belligerents' ports (inspired by Napoleonic-era US laws), refusing to recognize the right of belligerents to restrict US trade with other neutrals in any way at all (a typical position of neutrals), and banning US citizens from traveling on the ships of belligerents -- the war tilts to the Central Powers, and then a desperate Britain might manage to bungle its way into the US entering the war.

For example, under this scenario, the US will ship plenty of food (and steel, etc.) to the Netherlands and Denmark, with the locals then selling it on to Germany on credit. Cutting this off would require violating US neutrality or declaring war on the Dutch and Danes (and, logically, to avoid slightly-further neutral transshipment, the Swedes and Norwegians). At the same time, the Germans could pursue submarine warfare against Entente-flagged shipping with minimal risk of actually upsetting the US (since the ships neither stop at US ports nor legally have any US passengers on them).

Now, in general, I expect the outcome of that will much more likely be US neutrality all the way through, with an Entente defeat at the end. But the British acting desperately after the collapse of Russia and managing to bring the US in on the side of the Central Powers looks entirely possible.
 
Cutting this off would require violating US neutrality or declaring war on the Dutch and Danes (and, logically, to avoid slightly-further neutral transshipment, the Swedes and Norwegians).

Or bribing them to declare war on Germany.

ETA: Or simply offering more than Germany can afford to pay, to buy these transshipped goods instead.
 
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I wonder what those who voted "Not as implausible as many believe" thought what many believed. If they thought many believed "Borderline ASB" then "not as implausable" translates to "very unlikely" or "unlikely". But if they thought many believed "Very unlikely", it still translates as "unlikely", although might also be "possible".

I interpreted "Not as implausible as many believe" as "unlikely".

I think options in the poll could be better worded, because of above possible interpretations. I think you can also discuss what exactly is meant with "no less likely than joining the Entente". That could mean "likely" or "possible".
IMO it should have been "Borderline ASB"; "Very unlikely"; "Unlikely"; "possible"; "likely" and "very likely".
 
I will return to my earlier post and restate that a stronger stance towards true neutrality and subsequent British bungling on a grand scale could bring the USA into a naval war against Britain alone but not as a member of the CP or an actual ally of Germany. For the USA to be an actual member of the CP would require a 19th century POD or several POD's that keep Anglo-American relations on a tense razor's edge. The 1895 'crisis' is too little too late to cause a break without prior POD's creating a latent and enduring hostility. These could go back as far as the AWR, 1812, a different outcome in Oregon or the Maine border, a different British approach to the Confederacy, excessive use of British naval power to continually humiliate Cousin Johnathan, Ireland and the influence of the Irish disapora in the US, American resentment of British financial power, an eclipse in the degree of Anglophilla among the 'Eastern Establishment' or the prevention of that pro-Anglo WASP establishment gaining political and especially social/economic power, and certainly others. And of course there is always that ACW timeline that must not be named.
 
Moving the lines from the Yser estuary to the Somme estuary would have it's own ramifications on the conflict however!

(The Somme estuary is still really the RN's back yard though).

Given the fine balance between the Entente and CP I think holding the French coast down to the Somme estuary is a war winner for the CP.

For starters imagine these guns emplaced in Flanders IOTL emplaced instead on Cap Griz Nez west of Calais. The Tirpitz and Kaiser Wilhelm batteries wold be able to reach the beaches in Kent and the railway guns up to 20km inland, while even the 210mm and 170mm guns could reach well past half way, making the Dover narows a dead zone akin to the Heligolland bight and Flanders coast. That's just for starters.
 

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Or bribing them to declare war on Germany.

ETA: Or simply offering more than Germany can afford to pay, to buy these transshipped goods instead.
The Entente is not remotely in a position to persuade the Dutch and Danes to declare war on Germany, nor to bid up the price of food or other basics so far that the Germans can't manage to buy any.
 
Canada was never conquered by the US and by the time of WWI, they’d been independent and self-governing for 50 years. The idea that they’d lay down and accept ownership by the US without an insurgency is absurd.
Self-governing, yes, independent, no. Which is the key to avoiding an insurgency.

Sure, bring Canada inside the US tariffs/customs border, make Quebec an independent Republic of Canada, and disband the Permanent Active Militia. But otherwise simply replace the British appointees to the offices of Governor-General and Lieutenant-Governor with US appointees, and let the U.S. Dominion of Canada continue under a mildly-amended British North America Act. Pretty soon, statehood parties will be active in all the provinces, except maybe PEI.
 
The Entente is not remotely in a position to persuade the Dutch and Danes to declare war on Germany, nor to bid up the price of food or other basics so far that the Germans can't manage to buy any.
Buying up merchandise is what they did in OTL. That is part of why they were successful in setting up the blockade. Because they were willing to pay for what is seized. And they are very much in a position to outbid the CP. IOTL at least.
 
Given the fine balance between the Entente and CP I think holding the French coast down to the Somme estuary is a war winner for the CP.

For starters imagine these guns emplaced in Flanders IOTL emplaced instead on Cap Griz Nez west of Calais. The Tirpitz and Kaiser Wilhelm batteries wold be able to reach the beaches in Kent and the railway guns up to 20km inland, while even the 210mm and 170mm guns could reach well past half way, making the Dover narows a dead zone akin to the Heligolland bight and Flanders coast. That's just for starters.
Well I don't know about war winning but I agree it will certainly have an impact (if nothing else the fact they got there suggests some other advantages over OTL)!

of course your suggestion of big guns goes both ways, the Brits can build them too. Using really big guns for anti shipping at this point is harder than at later times with radar guidance etc
 
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