There is no absolute limit to either knowledge or power

Discussion in 'Finished Timelines and Scenarios' started by mauriceq, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. mauriceq Well-Known Member

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    OOC - I'm combining my posts from this thread into one. The premise of this timeline is the ASB providing the British with nukes in WW1 and convincing Asquith to use some against Germany.

    "There is no absolute limit to either knowledge or power" - The World Set Free (H.G. Wells, 1914)

    Excerpt from The Munich Massacre, published December 31, 1915 in The New York Times

    Two days ago, 31-year old Anton woke up in Munich, the city where he had been born. After a year of food and fuel shortages, the city's condition had deteriorated. He had been gazing at the countryside outside the window of his apartment for a minute when suddenly the most brilliant flash of light obscured his vision and . He had hardly a second to think before the building collapsed, squeezing him between several layers of concrete. An innocent man was left to die from the most cruel and barbaric action taken by the British Empire.

    Sadly, this is not a unique story. Hundreds of thousands of German civilians were killed in less than a second as the United Kingdom launched its new super-weapon, called the "atomic bomb", at Munich, the capital of Bavaria. This marked an unprecedented use of a new technology for the purpose of mass killing. How Germany will react is uncertain, but we can be sure that it will have the support of all its people in avenging this crime.

    Excerpt from Wilhelm II: Martyr of the Second Reich by Alan Palmer

    After the German invasion of France and Belgium, H. H. Asquith set out to destroy Wilhelm II. In the mind of the British Prime Minister, Germany had become too dangerous a rival to be allowed to continue as a united entity. The war had already gone on for a year with no significant changes. Even if Germany were to be defeated through a slow siege, weakened by his own indecision over strategy, conscription, and financing would place too much of a burden on the British people and their industry. Thus, a more efficient solution had to be found. Asquith reasoned he could create such a strong weapon, that it could shock the Germans into a quick submission and bring the end of the war that had been plaguing Britain and the Continent for a year.

    The British Atomic Project was founded in an office at Oxford, and despite all odds being against it, by the end of 1915 it had somehow created not only a device capable of destroying an entire city's population and infrastructure, but also the capability to deliver it within 500 km of its origin. This was a most impressive achievement. It was an incredibly provocative decision, however, to use such a weapon as a surprise attack on a German city, Munich, which was full of civilians. Protests sprang up across the Empire, and any chance of American involvement had been decimated by the American public's reaction to the sheer brutality.

    Excerpt from H.H. Asquith, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by Robert Norman William Blake, Baron Blake, published in Encyclopedia Britannica

    H.H. Asquith, in full Herbert Henry Asquith, (born September 12, 1852, Morley, Yorkshire, England—died February 14, 1925, Oxford, Oxfordshire), Liberal prime minister of Great Britain (1908–16), who was responsible for the Parliament Act of 1911, limiting the power of the House of Lords, who led Britain to victory of World War I through the use of atomic weaponry, which unintentionally resulted in two decades aof immense chaos on the continent.

    ...

    In 1910 he announced a plan to limit the powers of the House of Lords and, after two general elections, persuaded King George V to threaten to create enough new pro-reform peers to swamp the opposition in that chamber. The resulting Parliament Act, passed in August 1911, ended the Lords’ veto power over financial legislation passed by the House of Commons.

    The three years between this episode and the outbreak of World War I were extremely harassing for Asquith. Abroad, the international situation deteriorated rapidly; at home, controversy was caused by charges of corruption in his government, the disestablishment of the Anglican church in Wales (1914), and the conflict between Home Rulers and Unionists in Ireland, which nearly led to civil war in 1914. Asquith’s policies did little to improve the situation in Ireland.

    Though convinced that a German victory over France would be disastrous to the British Empire, Asquith delayed Britain’s entry into World War I until public opinion had been aroused by the German attack on Belgium. In war, he trusted his military experts and in general favoured the view that victory could be won only on the Western Front.

    In May 1915 Asquith had to reconstruct his cabinet on a coalition basis, admitting Unionists as well as Liberals, and appointing Lloyd George minister of munitions. The coalition was not successful under his leadership. The Dardanelles expedition failed, and there was no sign of a breakthrough on the Western Front. At the end of 1915 Asquith substituted Sir Douglas Haig for Sir John French as British commander in chief in France and appointed Sir William Robertson as the new chief of the imperial general staff. Fearing that 1916 would be an even unhappier year, he began the British Atomic Project, which promised a quick end to the fighting to spare British lives. Within a month of its inception, the British Atomic Project had succeeded in creating a working atomic bomb, accordingly the first use of an atomic weapon in warfare was on the German city of Munich on December 29, 1915; in the following month the cities of Stettin, Dresden, Hamburg and Wiesbaden would also be subject to the use of atomic weapons. Although this decision and the numerous issues that arose as a result of it remain the subject of debate to this day, most historians agree that it was the principal factor that forced Germany's surrender.

    Asquith was condemned for his actions by the British government, and under considerable pressure he resigned from politics in 1916. In the last years of his life he was driven to insanity, relatively impoverished and wrote a number of books to make money, the best known being The Genesis of the War (1923), Britain and the Suffering on the Continent (1925), before committing suicide by shooting himself.

    Asquith was neither a competent statesman nor a great one. He had no original or innovating genius and lacked the sense of the dramatic needed to convince Britain that it was in good hands in a time of national crisis. His approval of the use of atomic bombs not only massacred hundreds of thousands of German civilians, but also directly led to millions more through the collapse of the German government and the chaos which utterly decimated Europe in the aftermath.


    Excerpt from Wilhelm II: Martyr of the Second Reich by Alan Palmer

    Publically, many Germans suspected that it had been a meteor impact which had destroyed Munich, and disbelieved that mankind had the capability to cause such damage. This belief was reinforced when Pope Benedict XV claimed, "The moral force of right must be substituted for the material force of arms. The Lord will continue to smite all of the warring parties so long as the collective suicide of the European people continues. No one person can be held responsible for the event in Munich and it was inevitable and impossible to guard against. Do not believe those who take credit for the Lord's actions. We must all withdrawal all of our weapons and end the suffering so that we face no future punishments." The claim that Britain had the capacity to destroy a city so deep into Germany was absurd and impossible to verify. The German public, instead, believed the event to be a an act of divine punishment, perhaps as a message to draw Germany out of the war and into peace. The calls for a fight

    There was no clear consensus on what kind of action to take after Munich had been destroyed. Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg, outlining aggressive, expansionist goals for the war and seeing a new opportunity, hypothesized that Germany could build a similar device as Britain, while the rest of the cabinet argued that Germany simply did not have the capability to do so if it were to continue the war. Ultimately, the Kaiser supported the development of a German atomic project, which began sometime around January 1916, and ultimately came nowhere close to making any atomic development and an immense drain of Germany's scarce resources, comparable to his earlier plans of producing dreadnoughts. Wilhelm II's vision of matching Britain wherever possible, as he had tried throughout his reign, proved impossible.

    On New Year's Day 1916, H.H. Asquith made the announcement that one German city would be atomically destroyed every two weeks until Germany surrendered. After hearing this, the Kaiser kept fighting. Ultimately a complete lack of faith in the German government's ability to fed or pay them and a general despair associated with the destruction of German cities led to a German army mutiny in Verdun as the soldiers refused to march on the city and instead turned on their officers. Realising that they had no hope of winning the war, their officers agreed to halt further offensive actions along the Western front, and instead dug in until they heard word from Berlin to continue.

    Many Germans wanted an end to the war and increasing numbers of Germans began to associate with the political left, including the anti-war Communist Party of Germany. Seeing that Germany could no longer sustain its population and the immense suffering caused by the war, the German people begin to riot and protest. Hindenburg and the senior generals lost confidence in the Kaiser and his government. The Kaiser called for and received an armistice on 1 March 1916; in practice it was a surrender, and the Allies kept up the food blockade to guarantee an upper hand in negotiations.

    Not all Germans, however, wanted to surrender. Karl von Plettenberg, head of the Gardekorps, organized a conspiracy with the intent of forcing the Wilhelm II to continue the war. Originally, Plattenberg hoped that simply occupying the Berlin Palace and showing the beginnings of a rebellion would inspire the rest of the Army to rise up against the move to surrender. This notion guided him through much of the last days and hours and gave him the blind optimism to move ahead with the plan, despite having little support from his superiors. Plattenberg's 50 men had encountered Wilhelm II and, in a panic, shot their own Emperor assuming he was an enemy combatant. The 50 men who volunteered to go through with the plan found themselves surrounded and the 32 that survived surrendered shortly after reinforcements arrived to Berlin. Their subsequent extrajudicial execution marked the end of German involvement in the Great War, and the beginning of a German Civil War.

    A Brief Summary of the German Civil War by John Ali


    The German Civil War (also known as the German Revolution, German War of National Liberation and the German Anti-Imperialist Resistance War) began in Berlin on 19 June 1916, and lasted until 1 August 1920. Fighting for control of Germany began almost immediately after the German surrender in the end of the Great War. The conflict brought in a wide variety of forces, the monarchists, republicans, fascists and fought together against German communists, social democrats and anarchists. Most of the fighting occurred in Brandenburg and the surrounding area, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and also extended into the neighboring Austria and Czechoslovakia. The conflict resulted in the emergence and lasting international isolation of the Socialist German Republic under the leadership of Premier Karl Liebknecht, and the nominal independence of the Rhenish Republic, which was under de facto French occupation in following decades.


    Although there was initial support for the Great War in order to defend German honour and territory, support shifted to removing Germany from the war in order once it was clear after the Munich atomic massacre, that Germany would be subject to such immense destruction that it could never win.


    The conflict commenced in the immediate aftermath of the Great War, which annihilated German industry, and left large portions of the population unemployed, homeless, disillusioned and vengeful. Social tensions emerged between the lower and middle classes and the elite of aristocrats and who held power and had just lost the war. The communists blamed the imperial government for starting a war Germany could not have won and provoking the wrath of the Entente into bombing Germany.


    When it was clear that all-out civil war in Germany between militant workers and reactionary conservatives was emerging, the communists stripped the old German upper classes completely of their power and privileges and arrested or executed thousands of landlords or business owners. The communism of Marx and Engels had had a sizable following among German workers for decades, and there was immense public support for vengeance for the atomic bombings.


    The German right-wing republican militias, the most prominent being Stalhelm, led by Franze Seldte, were the primary opposition force against the Socialist German Republic. Many of its recruits were Great War veterans filled with angst, anger and frustration over the loss and horror of the war, and also ideologically opposed to communism. They ultimately failed to gain significant public support and lost the German Civil War at the Battle of Freiburg in 1920.


    After losing the war, Stalhelm reorganised as a guerilla group and conducted sporadic raids from across the border of the Rhineland and France into Germany.


    The allies were not willing to go retake Berlin in the aftermath of the Great War, but they also refused to compensate Germany for damages caused by atomic weapons and refused to recognise the communist government of Germany and did continue to occupy the Rhineland under a puppet government and threatened to nuke Germany if it annexed Rhineland or Austria. Likewise, Germany never paid the reparations nor accepted the validity of the Oxford Treaty which ended the Great War.
     
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  2. mauriceq Well-Known Member

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    Excerpt from The Treaty of Oxford: A Reassessment After 75 Years by Manfred F. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman, Elisabeth Glaeser

    This treaty was intended to officially end Germany's position as an imperial power, to allocate compensation to Allied civilians and former prisoners of war who had suffered German war crimes during the Great War, and to return sovereignty to that nation under a non-communist government. However, the extent of the devastation against Germany and the subsequent civil war made it impossible to force the reparations out of Germany, and a communist government formed in the aftermath led to its remilitarization and several failed attempts to reconquer the Rhineland.

    The Treaty was signed in the Oxford Malmaison Hotel. As Oxford was the location of the British Atomic Project's headquarters, it was deliberately chosen to put the proverbial boot to Germany. The Socialist German Republic led by Liebknecht, which controlled Berlin, was not invited to the treaty, because the allies did not recognise it, instead they brought in the German Federal Republic, led by Friedrich Ebert. This was the main reason that the provisions of the Oxford Treaty were not followed following the war, because the German government argued they never signed it.

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    The Central Powers had to provide territories to the allies as shown in the map above.