Second Franco Prussian ( German ) war 1914

Let’s assume for a second the European alliance system didn’t work as planned and only Germany and France go to war in 1914 how will this turn out militarily?
Will Germany be able sustain French attacks ?
Will France try a naval attack on Germany or vice Versa?
Assuming Belgium Is not involved, do Germans have the ability to attack France ?
How does the French artillery compare to German?

please ignore the political aspect in this scenario
 
The Germans may dig in and let the French batter their heads against their lines before counter-attacking. The biggest problems the Germans will have are logistics. If absolutely no help is coming for the French, Germany wins within three years. No naval attack, but the Germans will most likely hold the upper hand. Yes, the Germans could attack France without Belgium, but it will be difficult. The Germans will most likely target Brie-Longwy first since it had a majority of French steel production.
 
German artillery was vastly better than France's, in terms of quantity of modern guns and with the number of howitzers available in quality too.
The German navy was vastly larger than France's and I think of better quality too.

However the Franco-German border was a nightmare so I don't know how a head to head campaign in 1914 would fare.
 
Then France goes for defensive, cause France's strategy otl iirc was for Russia and Them to attack at the same time.

Germany meanwhile bang their head at French lines, likely failing their task successfully.
 
Then France goes for defensive, cause France's strategy otl iirc was for Russia and Them to attack at the same time.

Germany meanwhile bang their head at French lines, likely failing their task successfully.
Of course this strategy has two flaws in that Russia isn't joining, and Germany is in possession of the CB, AL.
 
Of course this strategy has two flaws in that Russia isn't joining, and Germany is in possession of the CB, AL.
I mean if I'm right, France going on defensive seems to be good, especially knowing that iirc they're at defensible terrain.

It's not like otl where they will attack with Russia. If no, meaning then France goes on defensive
 
If France is still following their very attacking doctrine it could end badly for them.
How deeply embedded was that? In other words, how easily could it be stopped and replaced with a more practical balanced approach the included defending where useful?
 
German artillery was vastly better than France's, in terms of quantity of modern guns and with the number of howitzers available in quality too.
The German navy was vastly larger than France's and I think of better quality too.

However the Franco-German border was a nightmare so I don't know how a head to head campaign in 1914 would fare.
Is a German blockade of France possible here?
 
Is a German blockade of France possible here?
Not unless the British agree. Germany is on the wrong side of France and doesn’t have the bases to implement a blockade. The Germans would need to be able to use British bases at will. And even then it would be difficult. Made more so as, at least IOTL, the German Navy was not built for that sort of thing.
 
Then France goes for defensive, cause France's strategy otl iirc was for Russia and Them to attack at the same time.

Germany meanwhile bang their head at French lines, likely failing their task successfully.
This strategy would be totally irreceptive of the french way of thinking, military wise, and very stupid as well.
The french way ti war, at that time, completely revolved around offensive Spirit, or "elàn".
Even assuming the french someway revert to a defensive posture, fine, the Germans navy has such an advantage over the french one, that the Germans are Just going to blockade France into submission.
That said, Germany had a vast advantage over France, in terms of manpower, and production capacità. There Is no way the french are going to hold forever
 
Once would think there would be an initial battle for the ore fields right near the Lorraine border (Briery basin on French side).

After a while it would turn into the Germans trying to "Verdun 1916 style" their way to victory, a bit at a time.

Navally the Germans might need to restrain from pushing their superior fleet down the channel. But I imagine there would be an imperial convoy leaving pretty quickly with a marine brigade and supplies heading to Togo and Kamerun pretty quickly, German reservists from South America could make it easier to such places, and supplies to such places would be easier as well.
 
Didn’t the French have supposedly the best gun the famous 75
Or the numerically inferior German howitzers can compensate for their deficiencies in field guns?
 
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Not unless the British agree. Germany is on the wrong side of France and doesn’t have the bases to implement a blockade. The Germans would need to be able to use British bases at will. And even then it would be difficult. Made more so as, at least IOTL, the German Navy was not built for that sort of thing.
Can German fleet outflank the French by landing forces at the back of the front ?
Most French battleships were in Mediterranean anyway
 
Didn’t the French have supposedly the best gun the famous 75
Or the numerically inferior German howitzers can compensate for their deficiencies in field guns?
The 75 is a fantastic piece of LIGHT artillery. The Germans have, IIRC, a serious preponderance of heavy artillery.
The Germans can sortie a LOT of raiders, which can stop ships under the cruiser rules.
The neutrals are a critical consideration. Who are they neutral in favor of? If Germany can purchase grain from Russia, that really helps the war effort.
(No one should stop grain sailing in American or British ships to belligerent powers...)
 
Can German fleet outflank the French by landing forces at the back of the front ?
Most French battleships were in Mediterranean anyway
The French fleet in the Channel was stripped down when Britain promised to cover that area. If they are not, and there is a serious threat of German attack, the Channel fleet would be larger.

As far as landing behind the lines. Maybe, but it would not be an easy operation. Landing anywhere was not a big part of anybody’s doctrine at the time (besides a few marine forces, Germany not among them that I know of). If the landing is opposed it gets trickier.

Once ashore the force could possibly cause a lot of havoc, but they cannot be adequately supported. This it is likely to be limited to raiding.
 
If possible let’s briefly discuss fortifications around the border too, I was reading Terence Zubers works and seems like they were quite formidable on both sides , add to that the terrain then maneuver warfare may not be possible
 
Didn’t the French have supposedly the best gun the famous 75
Or the numerically inferior German howitzers can compensate for their deficiencies in field guns?
Yes. But it was a low-angle, short ranged, anti-infantry piece, initially firing mainly airburst shrapnel, not HE. Hence it was a terrible weapon for the Great War as happened, and, in this scenario, for supporting attacks on fortified positions.
 
Let’s assume for a second the European alliance system didn’t work as planned and only Germany and France go to war in 1914 how will this turn out militarily?
Will Germany be able sustain French attacks ?
Will France try a naval attack on Germany or vice Versa?
Assuming Belgium Is not involved, do Germans have the ability to attack France ?
How does the French artillery compare to German?

please ignore the political aspect in this scenario
What interests me is why this happens and when history diverged.

If, for example, the Triple Entente fails, perhaps due to Dogger Bank, then France and Russia have several years to plan for a different strategy for the inevitable European war.
So the next question is why isn't Russia getting involved? Perhaps the Revolution of 1905 resurges earlier and Russia has other things to deal with, leaving France alone. If this happens relatively soon before the Franco-German war erupts, France has a huge problem; they know that they are no match for Germany and need a new strategy and fast.
Logically they will alter plans and remain on the defensive; however I suspect this might not happen and the Poilus in their sky blue uniforms soon discover that élan isn't enough. Especially if the Germans stick to their original plans and remain on the defensive.

Then there is The Matter of Britain; even if Britain isn't part of the Entente there will be a political desire to support France, and oppose Germany; this matches British Grand Strategy for Europe. So Britain needs something to divert their attention; this could be overspill from Russia threatening India, worse civil unrest in Wales and elsewhere and, my favourite, the Irish Home Rule Act and the unrest there. For this it would be helpful if matters in Europe erupted a little later, or 3HRB passed a little earlier.

So, Russia is in no position to attack Germany or Austria-Hungary but probably exists as a threat, so Germany has to maintain some substantial forces in the East, and can't simply steamroll France. Britain is distracted, but wary, and can probably exert some influence (e.g. opposing German control of the Channel coast).
France is alone, and probably doomed fairly quickly.

BTW, what about Austria-Hungary? If they're not involved I assume Franz-Ferdinand wasn't killed? Do they war has another spark.

Finally there are the other countries; Italy becomes moderately important and will be pressured by both France and Germany.

OK, more details will have to wait until I have a keyboard, the tablet isn't enough.
 
i can't see Britain allowing German warships through the English Channel. Since they're probably closet supporting France I think they close it down to military traffic over hand waved reasons to passively cover the French flank.
 
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