To the Victor, Go the Spoils (Redux): A Plausible Central Powers Victory

Can't believe how many likes some of these posts have got - really great to see. Didn't think I'd get up to 80+!
I think that's an indication that there is a lot of interest in a plausible Central Powers victory timeline that isn't a wank. Also, a lot of people probably want to see Germany do better coming out of WW1 and avoid all that Nazi-nastiness, OTL WW2 and the economic calamity of the early 1920s and the Great Depression.
I'm interested because i do like to see Germany do better (I have somewhat of an inner German nationalist despite not being German myself) and the timeline has been well written thus far.
Edit: Out of curiosity, what are the long term plans for Germany. Seeing as they won the Great War, albeit not overwhelmingly decisively, and would avoid the OTL Versailles treatment and economic collapse/calamity to OTL's extent, I'd imagine they'd do a heck of a lot better over the 1920s. They still have very high debt levels from the Hindenburg Programme and will have to deal with unrest/agitation from various sectors of society who desire reform, so they are not by any means out of the woods and their success or failure may depend on their willingness to commence reforms (eg. universal suffrage and dropping the age for election down to 21/20 from 25, removing the Prussian 3-class franchise system, changing election method from single member constituencies that have remained in place since 1871 and are disproportionately in favour of rural Germany to something else, maybe some other popular reforms to throw the liberals/SPD/pacifists a bone/red meat).
 
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I totally agree; the durability of the Habsburg monarchy is much too often underestimated and prey to tropes and clichès, even in very good timelines.
This stems, IMHO opinion from the fact that most people who write CP victory TLs are either from the anglosphere, where they usually resent Austria for being "illiberal" or "backward", or from Germany, and German posters of CP victory TLs can't usually do without cherishing the idea of GrossDeutschland.
I've seen Austria or Austria-Hungary do plainly idiotic things in otherwise excellent TLs just because the poster was deeply convinced of the austrians being "stupid" and being systematically ruled by incompetent idiots.
That and, oh, Austria-Hungary systematically loses every war they fight, against anyone, anytime, often by virtue of decisions so illogical as to make a good showing in a nonsensical sit-com.
That said, concerning annexations, as @Tom_B put It, I Just see the Austrians take the Bor copper mine, which sits right across the border
Ironically, Austria presented WW1 as a defensive war internally in spite of being the ones to trigger it. While there were voices favouring annexations, by and large they seemed resolved not to use the opportunity to expand and instead favoured setting up puppet regimes (in Serbia and Montenegro).

So, a white peace would be very much spun as a victory, particularly if Serbia is defanged (and nobody is going to care overmuch about it after Russia bowed out).

The nationalists are, as of mid-1918 still set in their demands for autonomy and that is a dangerous minefield that could blow Austria's legs out from under it. There are pro-independence groups, but they're, as yet, not the strongest. And most of the pro-independence national councils were in France at the time and reliant on French support, excepting the Czechoslovak Legion (who are stuck in Russia proper). There's also the issue of the returning troops - the Hungarian revolution didn't come out of nowhere and it can trace its roots to returning PoWs who were exposed to communist ideology in Russia. Hungary, with its restrictive voting franchise dominated by landed nobles proved a fertile ground for communist ideology.

In short, I wouldn't underestimate the durability of the Habsburg monarchy, though the possibility of collapse certainly exists.
 
I think that's an indication that there is a lot of interest in a plausible Central Powers victory timeline that isn't a wank.
I agree. Though there is nothing wrong with a good German-wank - I hope to read one soon.
I'm interested because i do like to see Germany do better (I have somewhat of an inner German nationalist despite not being German myself) and the timeline has been well written thus far.
I would also like to see Germany continue to rise as great power - not merely economic and scientific, but also military and cultural (I am a German Nationalist despite being German myself), and this has to be one of the most well written timelines that I have read so far.
 
I agree. Though there is nothing wrong with a good German-wank - I hope to read one soon.

I would also like to see Germany continue to rise as great power - not merely economic and scientific, but also military and cultural (I am a German Nationalist despite being German myself), and this has to be one of the most well written timelines that I have read so far.
One of the other timelines that I enjoy is A Day in July, regarding how Germany develops - where they actually become a stable parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy and have better luck than OTL.
 
In the Short term, AH should have no troubles with their minorities, long term the state might be unviable with democracy (or it might be fine entirely plausible). The bigger problem is if the Austrians want independence, that is what I think would/could do AH in, at least in the short term.
 
it could be that Austria goes the way of the UK, with member states increasingly locally autonomous. Could be an eventual path to independence (as nearly happened with Scotland) and other dysfunction, but it could work.
 
A common cliche in CP victory TL is that nonetheless Austria-Hungary falls apart afterwards with Austria joining the German Empire and Hungary becoming a loose cannon. Some predominantly Slavic areas cause some trouble. I have long been willing to accept that line of thinking as probable I do not accept it as inevitable. However my own intuition was that the later the war ends the more likely that the breakup will happen. That does not augur well but I waiting to see the author's analysis here.

"They called it a ramshackle empire. I wish to God there were more such empires" -- James Joyce
 
I have long been willing to accept that line of thinking as probable I do not accept it as inevitable.
I would downgrade probable to possible
AH was salvageable even until 1919, were there any desire among the victors to do so (unfortunately, the Entente nations were the Entente nations)
However my own intuition was that the later the war ends the more likely that the breakup will happen
Depends on how badly AH does - successes could be something that succeeds in glueing everyone together on a rally round the flag effect.
 
I’ve enjoyed the writing so far. As far as plausibility unfortunately any spring offensive victory is largely implausible because every breakthrough of the German army after mid 1916 always collapsed on itself when they would capture regimental bakeries and field kitchens and the men would stop to gorge and refuse orders to continue the advance. By 1917 their discipline level was hardly any better than the Russian or Italian army… it’s good writing and not a deal breaker for me

That’s always the roadblock (and why I always regarded zabecki as nonsense/treating infantry like digits on a piece of paper); the ww1 German army in every single offensive where they broke through stopped to loot, which would always let the enemy bring up reserves and seal off the breakthrough, and alternate histories never address this item either by finding a solution to their starvation before the offensive started or finding a way to correct the offensive discipline issues

say what one wants about Rommel short comings as a commander his troops always pursued the defeated enemy without stopping to gorge in the middle of battle even when they had gone without for months in the desert, the man ran a tight ship
 
As far as plausibility unfortunately any spring offensive victory is largely implausible because every breakthrough of the German army after mid 1916 always collapsed on itself when they would capture regimental bakeries and field kitchens and the men would stop to gorge and refuse orders to continue the advance.
This is true until you remove the logistical structures of the Entente forces - which counteracts the Germans' own loss of cohesion. I intentionally made the offensives see only limited changes early on, for example; the diversion of forces to prop up the northern 'wing' of Operation Michael. By doing that they push further and thus cut off the main axis of advance of the Australian brigades that IRL defended Villiers Bretonneux. By doing that the Germans almost certainly would have met no opposition, or at least minimal opposition, to their capture of the town and thus establish artillery positions there. By doing that, Amiens falls under fire - and thus makes it largely indefensible and pointless to continue to hold - the train station doesnt work if it's being shelled directly.

Secondly; the attack in Georgette where historically German forces attacked Mount Kemmel. This was historically held by a small number of extremely ill-prepared French units that, again, are not here. Obviously that doesnt mean there would be no troops ittl, but whatever forces are there would be spread just as thin and exhausted British forces - who ittl are attacked rather than holding back after the Army actually listens to it's Chief of Staff. The fall of Mt Kemmel means the almost certain collapse of the Ypres wing of the British line, which would force a withdrawal of Ypres (as was initially ordered by Haig before it was countermanded by Foch). The absence of Amiens as a logistical hub before Georgette means a weaker British line (subjective but still plausible) which means that German forces can push on to near Hazebrouck and again break the British logistical structure - even without capturing it. Thus forcing a total British withdrawal back to the Channel ports (again, as Haig ordered irl and would have ordered in such a scenario as the front would become logistically untenable).

So, to conclude; Saying...
As far as plausibility unfortunately any spring offensive victory is largely implausible because every breakthrough of the German army after mid 1916 always collapsed on itself when they would capture regimental bakeries and field kitchens and the men would stop to gorge and refuse orders to continue the advance. By 1917 their discipline level was hardly any better than the Russian or Italian army… it’s good writing and not a deal breaker for me
Is kind of a frustrating point to make. To dismiss the timeline for a sole reason which I've gone to great pains to outmanoeuvre, and then try to make up for it by saying "good writing tho" is nice, but also doesn't actually make me feel any better lol.

It's entirely plausible.
 
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This is true until you remove the logistical structures of the Entente forces - which counteracts the Germans' own loss of cohesion. I intentionally made the offensives see only limited changes early on, for example; the diversion of forces to prop up the northern 'wing' of Operation Michael. By doing that they push further and thus cut off the main axis of advance of the Australian brigades that IRL defended Villiers Bretonneux. By doing that the Germans almost certainly would have met no opposition, or at least minimal opposition, to their capture of the town and thus establish artillery positions there. By doing that, Amiens falls under fire - and thus makes it largely indefensible and pointless to continue to hold - the train station doesnt work if it's being shelled directly.

Secondly; the attack in Georgette where historically German forces attacked Mount Kemmel. This was historically held by a small number of extremely ill-prepared French units that, again, are not here. Obviously that doesnt mean there would be no troops ittl, but whatever forces are there would be spread just as thin and exhausted British forces - who ittl are attacked rather than holding back after the Army actually listens to it's Chief of Staff. The fall of Mt Kemmel means the almost certain collapse of the Ypres wing of the British line, which would force a withdrawal of Ypres (as was initially ordered by Haig before it was countermanded by Foch). The absence of Amiens as a logistical hub before Georgette means a weaker British line (subjective but still plausible) which means that German forces can push on to near Hazebrouck and again break the British logistical structure - even without capturing it. Thus forcing a total British withdrawal back to the Channel ports (again, as Haig ordered irl and would have ordered in such a scenario as the front would become logistically untenable).

So, to conclude; Saying...

Is kind of a frustrating point to make. To dismiss the timeline for a sole reason which I've gone to great pains to outmanoeuvre, and then try to make up for it by saying "good writing tho" is nice, but also doesn't actually make me feel any better lol.

It's entirely plausible.
Try not to take things too personally, as that whole mess earlier showed, there's only so much you can do to convince people and letting yourself react to every person that doesnt agree with you is just gonna burn you out In the long run.
 
This is true until you remove the logistical structures of the Entente forces - which counteracts the Germans' own loss of cohesion. I intentionally made the offensives see only limited changes early on, for example; the diversion of forces to prop up the northern 'wing' of Operation Michael. By doing that they push further and thus cut off the main axis of advance of the Australian brigades that IRL defended Villiers Bretonneux. By doing that the Germans almost certainly would have met no opposition, or at least minimal opposition, to their capture of the town and thus establish artillery positions there. By doing that, Amiens falls under fire - and thus makes it largely indefensible and pointless to continue to hold - the train station doesnt work if it's being shelled directly.

Secondly; the attack in Georgette where historically German forces attacked Mount Kemmel. This was historically held by a small number of extremely ill-prepared French units that, again, are not here. Obviously that doesnt mean there would be no troops ittl, but whatever forces are there would be spread just as thin and exhausted British forces - who ittl are attacked rather than holding back after the Army actually listens to it's Chief of Staff. The fall of Mt Kemmel means the almost certain collapse of the Ypres wing of the British line, which would force a withdrawal of Ypres (as was initially ordered by Haig before it was countermanded by Foch). The absence of Amiens as a logistical hub before Georgette means a weaker British line (subjective but still plausible) which means that German forces can push on to near Hazebrouck and again break the British logistical structure - even without capturing it. Thus forcing a total British withdrawal back to the Channel ports (again, as Haig ordered irl and would have ordered in such a scenario as the front would become logistically untenable).

So, to conclude; Saying...

Is kind of a frustrating point to make. To dismiss the timeline for a sole reason which I've gone to great pains to outmanoeuvre, and then try to make up for it by saying "good writing tho" is nice, but also doesn't actually make me feel any better lol.

It's entirely plausible.
The research and mapping is well done don’t get me wrong, im following and enjoying. the operation Michael forces stopped to gorge once they got deep in the 5th army’s rear areas (and also took heavy casualties overrunning them too) and refused orders to keep moving, we can blame it on lundendorffs dithering and lack of objective focus all we want but that’s the crux to overcome; feeding more forces into the one place there was fresh bread in German control doesn’t improve the situation, it just adds to the mobs looking for a warm meal who wont obey orders; the exact same
Thing happened (with many of the same troops) at caporetto. Rommel advance spears got across the piave and where already snatching up ccc prisoners but the rest of the divisions had stopped to gorge and where disobeying orders to continue the advance which forced Rommel and the alpenkorps to have to withdraw to avoid being cut off

Michael was a fools errand like the second stage of operation typhoon or operation Aida, the only way to win was to not play. Implausible isn’t impossible, it’s just under the circumstances it needs more points of departure than just superior offensive planning
 
One of the other timelines that I enjoy is A Day in July, regarding how Germany develops - where they actually become a stable parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy and have better luck than OTL.
One of the best, though so far this one is up there alongside it
 
One of the other timelines that I enjoy is A Day in July, regarding how Germany develops - where they actually become a stable parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy and have better luck than OTL.
A Day In July might just be the best TL on the entire website.
 
One of the other timelines that I enjoy is A Day in July, regarding how Germany develops - where they actually become a stable parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy and have better luck than OTL.
I like Es Geloybte Aretz because it seems to challenge the German Empire to improve rather than just giving it fortunate fixes for its flaws. Also, the narrative sections in the first part of the timeline are excellent.
 
Compared to OTLs Treaty of Versailles a White Peace basically is a "Germanwank" by default. A peace where they loose some Colonies and get B-L recognised even more so.
That's why people throw out that term way too freely.
An actual Germanwank would be them winning in 1915 after a much more successful Schlieffen Plan resulting in a victory with much much less economic damage and casualties than one in 1917 or 1918 would entail, followed by reconciliation with France which becomes a happy junior partner in Mittereuropa.
 
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