USA doesn't join WW1 but Germany still loses?

Alright, here's the idea.

The USA manages to keep out as Zimmerman's telegram isn't intercepted. However, the British blockade works its magic and a starving and war weary Germany collapses in 1918-1919. What are the effects on the German people? What is the effect diplomatically? and would Germany even be able to paint this as a real loss or try for stab in the back myth?
 
Define collapses? Defeat in battle, mutiny at the front, revolution at home, something else?

Even with the blockade and US DoW the CP defeated Russia in 1917 and advanced in the east in order to secure the Ukrainian harvest for themselves, alleviating some of the hunger blockade. Russia also paid reparations installments between Brest-Litovsk and Versailles, alleviating some of the financial pain. With Russia out but the US not in the balance of hope will swing to the CP in Europe itself, so I doubt a 'collapse' is likely.
 
The German effort collapsed because the Kaiserschlacht failed, seen as the last desperate try (which it was) - Driven less by strategy, (apart from the strategic consideration that they had to act before the US got there in Force) and more of a desperate gamble, in many ways way to reminiscent of the Eastern front (where due to the size of the fronts the rules were different) to ever really work.
That being said, With No US troops, because the US isn't in the war - There wouldn't be any strategic need to win right there and then.
Either the strategy is just straight up trying for peace, so no offensives, just telling the French we are willing to leave as soon as you make peace or make us, Or, a decisive offensive like Kaiserschlacht but under no particular stress (say by hitting the vulnerable logistics of the BEF that was ruled out OTL due to the timing). Another option is a limited offensive in France to rally morale, but not some sort of war winning offensive, or, maybe a peripheral strategy say in Italy.

It's also worth noting that just by delaying the end of the war a few more months more facts would be made on the ground in the east that would be hard to unmake, especially with no US seat at the table.

Lets say it's a loss though, it wouldn't be the take it or leave it ultimatum that was Versailles, because absent US manpower it's unlikely the Germans would have felt quite as outnumbered as they did OTL. Certain of their defeat yes, but it would still be a negotiation. That would make it harder to paint as the stab in the back - not impossible, but much harder. This is especially the case if say Austria and the Sudeten are incorporated and the Poles told to be lucky they are back as an independent nation.
In that case you could make the argument that the 'traitors' made a bad deal, and lost the war instead of winning it, but ITTL, the loss would be money and AL, and the gains significant. That peace treaty could be defended as maybe getting out early instead of toughening it out, but saying that Germany couldn't take another winter.
 
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This is a plausible scenario as the British blockade was strangling Germany by this time, and combined with the military regime's mismanagement and incompetence in running the German economy (as a response to the blockade and other pressures), Germany was struggling to feed itself. Having conquered large chunks of the Russian Empire, this papered over some of the cracks, but in reality these lands were devastated by war and were of limited value to Germany's war effort with infrastructure in ruins.

If anything Germany was a mess economically and over-stretched militarily. If they negotiate a peace it would unlikely be a victor's peace, they would almost certainly lose Alsace-Lorraine, and likely when the Bolsheviks/USSR recovers it will take back what it gave up to Germany. I can still see a "stab in the back" myth prevailing, as well as anti-Communism.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
Define collapses? Defeat in battle, mutiny at the front, revolution at home, something else?

Even with the blockade and US DoW the CP defeated Russia in 1917 and advanced in the east in order to secure the Ukrainian harvest for themselves, alleviating some of the hunger blockade. Russia also paid reparations installments between Brest-Litovsk and Versailles, alleviating some of the financial pain. With Russia out but the US not in the balance of hope will swing to the CP in Europe itself, so I doubt a 'collapse' is likely.

Manner of Germany's loss: -
  1. Collapse of Germany's military machine, Allied troops across the Rhine, Spartakist uprisings in major industrial centres, Naval mutiny at Kiel..?
  2. Exhausted Entente agrees that, having pushed Germany back to 1914-frontier / beyond Alsace-Lorraine / to the Rhine, they will accept a peace offer from Berlin?
The manner of peace agreed is rather contingent on the circumstances, as Riain emphasises.
 
Without the US troops, which began conducting Corps and Army level engagements from mid 1918, the Entente without Russia will lack the strength to defeat the CP, I'm afraind I find the scenario implausible, but that's just me, if anyone else thinks it's plausible have at it!
 
Without the US troops, which began conducting Corps and Army level engagements from mid 1918, the Entente without Russia will lack the strength to defeat the CP, I'm afraind I find the scenario implausible, but that's just me, if anyone else thinks it's plausible have at it!
I think you need to separate Germany from the rest of the Central Powers.

By the end of September the Ottoman Empire was soundly defeated; Bulgaria had asked for an armistice and the Allies were advancing through the Balkans, and Austria-Hungary was decomposing into separate countries. As the dominoes fall, Germany's position becomes weaker.
 
I think you need to separate Germany from the rest of the Central Powers.

By the end of September the Ottoman Empire was soundly defeated; Bulgaria had asked for an armistice and the Allies were advancing through the Balkans, and Austria-Hungary was decomposing into separate countries. As the dominoes fall, Germany's position becomes weaker.

All of which was financially underwritten by the US Government for over a year and operationally by Russia for half a year.

IIUC Britain had exhausted it's liquid assets right about the time of the US DoW and from then on would have to undertake different means to finance the war; likely a mix of unsecured loans with poor terms, increasing taxation in Britain, cutting into Britain's economy with things like broad based rationing, cutting back on superfluous operations and taking operational risks to realise operational efficiencies. The East vs West strategy which Britain never really made a decision about would have to be made and Britain will either stand of the defensive in the West and try to make the gains in the East or vice versa, without Russia and the US Britain and France cannot do both.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
Without the US troops, which began conducting Corps and Army level engagements from mid 1918, the Entente without Russia will lack the strength to defeat the CP, I'm afraind I find the scenario implausible, but that's just me, if anyone else thinks it's plausible have at it!
I believe that the French OTL thought the war would be won in 1919 on the backs of their own colonial troops as well as the Americans.

If the Entente sought to maximise the number of non-European troops, say Britain tried to increase the size and widen the deployment of the Indian Army, that would have butterflies over & above the Easterners vs Westerners and who triumphed on the field of battle.
 
I believe that the French OTL thought the war would be won in 1919 on the backs of their own colonial troops as well as the Americans.

If the Entente sought to maximise the number of non-European troops, say Britain tried to increase the size and widen the deployment of the Indian Army, that would have butterflies over & above the Easterners vs Westerners and who triumphed on the field of battle.

I don't think the number of troops per se was the problem, rather who was going to pay for the materiel they used. I think the British in particular would run out of money before they run out of troops, but I think the French had run out of money in 1916 and were running out of troops by 1918.
 
i don't think anyone is a fan of their thread getting derailed by endless arguments over plausibility such as "germany wins because duh" or "germany wins because breast-livtosk solves all their internal problems" or whatever. so I'm just going to link to a thread I did a while ago where everything that could be said on this debate was said. it's thirty-two pages of both the best and worst analysis I've seen from the board. read at your own risk, i saw some personal attacks.

regardless, any meaningful discussion does need to answer what sort of collapse? political? military? violent revolution? etcetera. I believe that in the case of the foremost, a military collapse is inevitable, and would allow harsh terms, but a revolution could see a lighter treaty so that Germany survives as either a monarchy or republic
 
My opinion has always been that without the US DoW providing the Entente with unsecured loans and making the leaky blockade watertight and the CP being seen by neutral powers as the winning side after the defeat of Russia, the Entente would loose.
That said I think the Entente had some chances to win earlier. A competent leadership for the Army that invaded Prussia in 1914 together with the kind of lucky throw of the dice that the Axis got several times, might have scored a big enough victory to bring it to the gates of Berlin and see Germany decide to cut it's losses.
Same thing for the Anglo-French attempt to seize control of the Dardanelles. Odds were against them, but with skill and lucky it could have worked and that probably would have been enough to win the war before a US bailout became neccessary.
Or for a really easy way to hand victory to the Entente: A pre-war PoD delays the developement of the Haber process.
 
Is it plausible for Kerensky government to not fall if they stay on the defensive in 1917. Perhaps no USA loans means they can't do an offensive. With Russia even nominally still in an Allied victory with no USA is possible.
 
i don't think anyone is a fan of their thread getting derailed by endless arguments over plausibility such as "germany wins because duh" or "germany wins because breast-livtosk solves all their internal problems" or whatever. so I'm just going to link to a thread I did a while ago where everything that could be said on this debate was said. it's thirty-two pages of both the best and worst analysis I've seen from the board. read at your own risk, i saw some personal attacks.

regardless, any meaningful discussion does need to answer what sort of collapse? political? military? violent revolution? etcetera. I believe that in the case of the foremost, a military collapse is inevitable, and would allow harsh terms, but a revolution could see a lighter treaty so that Germany survives as either a monarchy or republic
That was such a great thread :) and about as toxic as toasting marshmallows over a backyard tire-fire :p
 
One long term result of the USA not declaring war, no matter who wins, IMVHO: If there's unsecured loans, the USA will not be forgiving them. Secured loans that aren't paid will have the collateral taken.
Also, the American battleships that were delayed by the need to start up a destroyer PEZ dispenser won't be delayed.
 
My opinion has always been that without the US DoW providing the Entente with unsecured loans and making the leaky blockade watertight and the CP being seen by neutral powers as the winning side after the defeat of Russia, the Entente would loose.
That said I think the Entente had some chances to win earlier. A competent leadership for the Army that invaded Prussia in 1914 together with the kind of lucky throw of the dice that the Axis got several times, might have scored a big enough victory to bring it to the gates of Berlin and see Germany decide to cut it's losses.
Same thing for the Anglo-French attempt to seize control of the Dardanelles. Odds were against them, but with skill and lucky it could have worked and that probably would have been enough to win the war before a US bailout became neccessary.
Or for a really easy way to hand victory to the Entente: A pre-war PoD delays the developement of the Haber process.
Pretty much my thoughts as well, 1917 was to late but it only got to that point thanks to some pretty tarable disitions by the Entente, for example the British war economy was trably managed until mid 1917.

The US falling into a significant economic catastrophe do to leaving the New York stock extange open in 1914 would both keep the us out of the war (do to the Entente being seen as both causing said economic collapse as well as profiting from it) and allow the Ententes caladeral last a lot longer thanks to a better negotiation position.
 
i don't think anyone is a fan of their thread getting derailed by endless arguments over plausibility such as "germany wins because duh" or "germany wins because breast-livtosk solves all their internal problems" or whatever. so I'm just going to link to a thread I did a while ago where everything that could be said on this debate was said. it's thirty-two pages of both the best and worst analysis I've seen from the board. read at your own risk, i saw some personal attacks.

regardless, any meaningful discussion does need to answer what sort of collapse? political? military? violent revolution? etcetera. I believe that in the case of the foremost, a military collapse is inevitable, and would allow harsh terms, but a revolution could see a lighter treaty so that Germany survives as either a monarchy or republic
germany by 1917-1918 was collapsing in on itself. it had no supplies, the people were starving, revolutions and rebellions were starting to pop up everywhere, Austria-Hungary had collapsed, Bulgaria had left the war, the Ottomans also had collapsed. if it wasnt militarily, they would have died socially and politically. it was actually ludendorff who recommended armistice because he saw he situation as hopeless. even if it wasnt the Americans, the Italians were threatening the southern border. the germans were getting desperate. they were fighting on fumes, just like france.
 
One long term result of the USA not declaring war, no matter who wins, IMVHO: If there's unsecured loans, the USA will not be forgiving them. Secured loans that aren't paid will have the collateral taken.
Also, the American battleships that were delayed by the need to start up a destroyer PEZ dispenser won't be delayed.

No 100+ Clemson Class in reserve.

Stock Answer to this PoD/question.

The US does not gain all the experience of mobilization of 1917/1918. And loses any experience of combat on the Western Front, & the Russian interventions. Its Army doctrines are more largely informed by the Spanish war, the PI Insurrection, and the Mexican interventions. Or the Banana Wars. War Department budgets will be even smaller post 1920 than OTL. The armies artillery will be less influenced by the French, or Germans equipment. Its cannons and future techniques will be more home grown, with more diverse foreign influences.

As OTL the Navy will be focused for two decades on War Plan ORANGE little changes here.

Politically there is less of the post 1918 disillusionment in the US, which. affects the Isolationist thinking two decades later. Ditto for the interventionists and Warhawks.
 
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