USA doesn't join WW1 but Germany still loses?

I'm sorry but this sentence here already is suspect. If such a massive change occures at such a critical time, then it will change the situation for all parties. It has to as in OTL Germany certainly had to change its actions to account for this.
Some points at the top of my mind,
- The Entente will have to reshuffle its economy without the USA entering and allowing them much more borrowing the before the DoW. Add that the British were entering the end of their availeble capital, how that would impact is debated here but it would need actions from them.

That's an example of the Entente having to shift. Not the Germans

So they have reduced imports and a, Imo, much harder time keeping the Blacklist going by buying everything.
- The prior point then leeds to more trade with the neutrals of Europe. But that then can move on to Germany. So instead of making the Blockade tighter, because the USA needed much more itself for the war, the flow into Neutrals and the CP strengthens.
Please note that I do not specify how much, as that would again start the debate on how much room the Entente still had financialy. But there were OTL concerns about how they would finance the war going forward.

No it doesn't, the only neutrals of any relevance are the Dutch, who are completely exposed to Britain over the Dutch East Indies and were in OTL as pro-German as possible, Denmark which is too small an economy to supply all that much to Germany, Norway, who was a British ally, and Sweden who was largely immune to British pressure as British-Swedish trade was fairly insignificant and is a key source of iron ore. But they can't be more helpful than OTL.

And here is my problem, the industrial advantage, and the growth of the British economy in OTL, are often cited. And while true, my problem is that it needed feeding with recources and those may not come in at the rate of OTL. That will have reprecussions going forward. So how much can the Entente compensate if the USA, the biggest and, very important, nearest supplier falters? What would be the impact of having to find new sources rapidly that are there, able and willing to step in.
That leads into the next problem, how will the Entente fill the shortfall in transport? Because longer routes take more ships and will rise the pressure to do something. Add that the a little less of everything at that moment and it could spiral from there.
As I said the Entente will be weaker. But considering that excluding the US they produced nearly twice what the CP produced in 1918 a 1/3rd cut in Entente shell production would still leave them with a significant material advantage.
The manpower is the colonial one, I assume... that would have to be drafted, trained and transportet to Europe... at the same time that the above mentioned problems are happening.

Add in the big moral impacts of no USA troops versus OTL and the situation chages dramatically to OTL.

In my mind, I could see the Entente in the OTL CP situation to have to do something ala "Kaiserschlacht" to keep in the game. Because while the situation for the CP was bad, it was one that was slowly changing. Wheras the Entente, Imo, is looking at "shocks" to the system such as the financial cutback and (probable) earlier Russian withdrawl from the war.

So as a ininformed internet person I rate it at 60% mutual exhaustion with maybe 25% CP and 15% Entente win chances because of the OTL situation of the CP and changes for the Entente.

Mutual Exhaustion is not happening, it is a complete chimera. By 1915 too much blood has split, too much money spent, too many promises made for anyone to return to status quo ante bellum. While there were constant proposals for "compromise peace" on closer inspection they were all completely unrealistic. As for an Entente "Kaiserschlacht" why on earth would they do that? They knew that the blockade was biting, they knew that Germany was starving and there was no prospect of relief on the horizon. The only way you can make them desperate is if a very large source of food stuffs and industrial materials appeared that genuinely would revitalise the German war economy and to be clear the Ukraine is not it. The region was in a state of total anarchy and the entire transport network had fallen apart (thus the Russian Revolution).

But to say the situation for one side would not change? Sorry that is implauseble.

The USA staying out of the war would not put a single extra calorie onto the German diet. Lots of things would change but the most important thing wouldn't, the Central Powers had a clock ticking that was going to run out some time between October and December 1918.
 
Thanks for the compressive reply.
I wonder did the Spanish flu do more damage to the German side or the entente?

Honestly I can't remember but given Germany already suffered 500k-750k deaths due to malnutrition and diseases outside of the Flu in this scenario Germany will be on short rations for longer I don't think they will do well.
It is hard to track exactly the spread of the flu, but AIUI the first wave, that hit the trenches, was comparatively mild. It put a lot of men out on the sick list, but did not tend to kill near as many.

The second and third waves tended to be in the winter of 18-19 and the spring of 19. By then the virus is believed to have mutated to a much more deadly variant. For Germany this would have been a particular problem. In most Famines the real killer is not hunger, but the sickness that inevitably spreads through the weakened population, often causing greater loss of life after the worst of the famine has past. For Germany this would be around when the Spanish flu would have been at its most deadly.
 
Those who claim that the Entente had access to all ressources

it was buying 75% of its copper from the USA. Less copper, less artillery shells.

it was buying 70% of its oil from the USA. Go figure yourself.

Both cannot be replaced anywhere in the world.

The UK was importing 50% of its food stuff. Good luck in finding another supplier.

The 30% of steel might not be that important after copper has stopped flowing. But for Italy it was 70%.

So assuming the situation in 1918 ITTL is just exactly as OTL is not realizing hard facts.
 
Those who claim that the Entente had access to all ressources

it was buying 75% of its copper from the USA. Less copper, less artillery shells.

it was buying 70% of its oil from the USA. Go figure yourself.

Both cannot be replaced anywhere in the world.

The UK was importing 50% of its food stuff. Good luck in finding another supplier.

The 30% of steel might not be that important after copper has stopped flowing. But for Italy it was 70%.

So assuming the situation in 1918 ITTL is just exactly as OTL is not realizing hard facts.
They probably still would be. Wilson did not shut off American trade. He shut off unsecured loans. Before that happened France had finalized a significant amount of credit that should have sustained their buying into 1918. The British had less but still some credit remaining.

Past that, the entente would have to dig to find things to secure their loans. But they did exist. In Britain, American securities had mostly been collected by voluntary sale to that point. After the US joined in OTL the government sequestered all such securities. The amount gained would have sustained their purchases through much of
1918 IIRC. There was also a subset of the British Banking hierarchy that had, in peacetime, kept gold reserves to aid in foreign lending that was no longer happening. This gold was never touched IOTL but could have been.

France also had a considerable gold reserve that they had not yet exhausted. Now they had reason not to touch it (it was thought important for post-war recovery) but the French had basically always ran their finances like the war was one of survival. If they were required to convert some of that gold to secure credit they are likely to do so.

These sources alone would likely have been enough to sustain entente purchasing in the US through 1918. Probably early 1919 as well. After that they would need to come up with other securities.

All this is assuming that Wilson does not reverse his policy when he realizes that the compromise peace he was trying to force was not going to happen.
 
I doubt that Greece would be offered Smyrna - instead, it's likely that the whole of East Thrace except Constantinople would be ceded to Greece, without Wilson's obstruction over his bizarre insistence that Bulgaria receive landfrom the Turks.
How did Wilson get involved.? The US wasn't at war with either Bulgaria or Turkey.


Honestly I can't remember but given Germany already suffered 500k-750k deaths due to malnutrition and diseases outside of the Flu

Which sounds horrific but is only approx 1% of their total population. Lots of countries have gone on fighting after worse losses than that.
 
Which sounds horrific but is only approx 1% of their total population. Lots of countries have gone on fighting after worse losses than that.
The point was (as per the rest of the sentence) that malnutrition magnifies the effect of disease, so a malnourished Germany will likely be hit hard by the deadlier waves of flu.

and of course any loses from diseases and malnutrition will be as well as those from combat not instead of.
 

Capbeetle61

Banned
I mean, if a 1917 German Spring Offensive after an early peace settlement with the Russian Provisional Government captures both Amiens and Hazebrouck, then the BEF would have evacuated themselves from the continent rather than face outflanking, leaving the French all by themselves.
 

Capbeetle61

Banned
What do they do when all the locals go on strike and civil disobedience as OTL?
Start shooting and hanging them inmass?
That won't look very good to a neutral USA
I mean, the Russians would probably have supported their ally France against Britain and America, so I believe that they'd have eventually turned a blind eye towards the French shootings and en masse hangings, after much public protestation.
 
I mean, if a 1917 German Spring Offensive after an early peace settlement with the Russian Provisional Government captures both Amiens and Hazebrouck, then the BEF would have evacuated themselves from the continent rather than face outflanking, leaving the French all by themselves.

There wouldn't be an early German offensive. Remember Ukraine is the key to keeping Germany fed, and factories supplied and the Germans know it. Even if the Provisional Government offers a peace in spring 1917 the Germans would not accept anything much short of Brest-Litvosk and the Provisional Government could not accept that, they didn't have the political space or revolutionary ruthlessness. Now the Russian Army is at this point in a similar position to the German army in October 1918 so they wouldn't be able to stop a German offensive and eventually someone would come to power in Petrograd, probably the Bolsheviks who would sign Brest-Litvosk. At which point a large section of the German army in the East is tied up securing their new conquests.
 

Capbeetle61

Banned
There wouldn't be an early German offensive. Remember Ukraine is the key to keeping Germany fed, and factories supplied and the Germans know it. Even if the Provisional Government offers a peace in spring 1917 the Germans would not accept anything much short of Brest-Litvosk and the Provisional Government could not accept that, they didn't have the political space or revolutionary ruthlessness. Now the Russian Army is at this point in a similar position to the German army in October 1918 so they wouldn't be able to stop a German offensive and eventually someone would come to power in Petrograd, probably the Bolsheviks who would sign Brest-Litvosk. At which point a large section of the German army in the East is tied up securing their new conquests.
See the initial German offers for peace at Brest-Litovsk.

The Bolsheviks truly squandered away the golden opportunity for a far more generous peace settlement for Russia by bone-headedly charging back into war against the Germans.
 
Any thoughts on what happens if the British government, (with no Doughboys in the offing) goes ahead with extending conscription to *Ireland*?

Not sure myself but I suspect things could get very lively there.
 
Those who claim that the Entente had access to all ressources

it was buying 75% of its copper from the USA. Less copper, less artillery shells.

it was buying 70% of its oil from the USA. Go figure yourself.

Both cannot be replaced anywhere in the world.

The UK was importing 50% of its food stuff. Good luck in finding another supplier.

The 30% of steel might not be that important after copper has stopped flowing. But for Italy it was 70%.

So assuming the situation in 1918 ITTL is just exactly as OTL is not realizing hard facts.
What you're describing is an embargo, far cry from neutrality, think 1941 we think you're gonna attack Japan, this is a last resort thing. Not one single man of note in the Wilson administration was for that and no sane British man in parliament wanted that. The US isn't imposing autarky, the Entente can still loan on credit; its a function of any modern economy; uncollateralized loans simply have higher interest rates (or a British/French possession or two is given to America). Its only when people are starving in the cities, that reformers are being repressed and revolution seems likely that loans aren't given on credit since they might not be paid back; oh just like AH and Germany.
 
Last edited:
See the initial German offers for peace at Brest-Litovsk.

The Bolsheviks truly squandered away the golden opportunity for a far more generous peace settlement for Russia by bone-headedly charging back into war against the Germans.

That was Hoffman not Berlin, when Berlin found out they were absolutely furious that he had suggested no annexations because they knew they needed the Ukraine. I think even if Joffe had accepted that initial offer the Germans would have repudiated it themselves.
 

Capbeetle61

Banned
That was Hoffman not Berlin, when Berlin found out they were absolutely furious that he had suggested no annexations because they knew they needed the Ukraine. I think even if Joffe had accepted that initial offer the Germans would have repudiated it themselves.
Neither Hoffman nor Berlin suggested no annexations: everyone in the OHL accepted that Poland and the Baltics would have to be declared independent from Russia to secure Germany's eastern frontiers.

Without Berlin being angered by the Soviets' initial repudiation of the treaty, it is likely that the Germans would have settled down for "indefinite" grain reparations from the Bolsheviks. Occupation of the Ukraine tied down 1 million German troops sitting on their hands during wartime, which is not what what was initially intended.
 
Last edited:
I would point out that the Italians will precipitate a collapse of Austrian lines with or without the US, and that the Entente have deeper reserves and deeper pockets. For instance, the French could have pawned off Indochina for US loans, or the Japanese could have been enticed to field an army in the West in return for colonial concessions. Add to this that the true cause of Germany's defeat was 1) the blockade, 2) starvation, and 3) development of combined-arms including proto-blitzkrieg on the Anglo-French part and Germany is not going to win even without direct US involvement.

Now a war which the Entente have to grind out for another year until Germany collapses into revolution and/or they need to make painful concessions to their colonial subjects is going to be very different in the post-war. Among other things, there won't be any sop to self-determination- Germany probably loses East Prussia and Upper Silesia to Poland, France annexes the Saarland, Italy gains her Treaty of London borders, and you might see an independent Bavaria as well.
 
Neither Hoffman nor Berlin suggested no annexations: everyone in the OHL accepted that Poland and the Baltics would have to be declared independent from Russia to secure Germany's eastern frontiers.

Without Berlin being angered by the Soviets' initial repudiation of the treaty, it is likely that the Germans would have settled down for "indefinite" grain reparations from the Bolsheviks. Occupation of the Ukraine tied down 1 million German troops sitting on their hands during wartime, which is not what what was initially intended.

Hoffman said no annexations, by which he meant nothing beyond the front line which German troops had advanced to, i.e. the Baltics and Poland:

Wikipedia isn't great but for the basics:

When the conference convened Kühlmann asked Joffe to present the Russian conditions for peace. He made six points, all variations of the Bolshevik slogan of peace with "no annexations or indemnities". The Central Powers accepted the principles "but only in case all belligerents [including the nations of the Entente] without exception pledge themselves to do the same".[13] They did not intend to annex territories occupied by force. Joffe telegraphed the marvelous news to Petrograd. Thanks to informal chatting in the mess, one of Hoffmann's aides, Colonel Friedrich Brinckmann, realized that the Russians had optimistically misinterpreted the Central Powers' meaning.[14] It fell to Hoffmann to set matters straight at dinner on 27 December: Poland, Lithuania and Courland, already occupied by the Central Powers, were determined to separate from Russia on the principle of self-determination that the Bolsheviks themselves espoused. Joffe "looked as if he had received a blow on the head".[15] Pokrovsky wept as he asked how they could speak of "peace without annexations when Germany was tearing eighteen provinces away from the Russian state".[16] The Germans and the Austro-Hungarians planned to annex slices of Polish territory and to set up a rump Polish state with what remained. The Baltic provinces were to become client states ruled by German princes.

That was what sent the Kaiser and Ludendorff mad.

The minute a representative from the Ukrainian Rada arrived the Germans and Austrians leapt at it they knew they needed grain and they the trusted their own troops to extract it far more than they trusted the Soviets and that isn't going to change.
 
I would point out that the Italians will precipitate a collapse of Austrian lines with or without the US, and that the Entente have deeper reserves and deeper pockets. For instance, the French could have pawned off Indochina for US loans, or the Japanese could have been enticed to field an army in the West in return for colonial concessions. Add to this that the true cause of Germany's defeat was 1) the blockade, 2) starvation, and 3) development of combined-arms including proto-blitzkrieg on the Anglo-French part and Germany is not going to win even without direct US involvement.

Now a war which the Entente have to grind out for another year until Germany collapses into revolution and/or they need to make painful concessions to their colonial subjects is going to be very different in the post-war. Among other things, there won't be any sop to self-determination- Germany probably loses East Prussia and Upper Silesia to Poland, France annexes the Saarland, Italy gains her Treaty of London borders, and you might see an independent Bavaria as well.
AH good point, AH was running on scraps by 1917 whereas Italy still had more men for Cadorna and finally learned the lessons of modern warfare.
Neither Hoffman nor Berlin suggested no annexations: everyone in the OHL accepted that Poland and the Baltics would have to be declared independent from Russia to secure Germany's eastern frontiers.

Without Berlin being angered by the Soviets' initial repudiation of the treaty, it is likely that the Germans would have settled down for "indefinite" grain reparations from the Bolsheviks. Occupation of the Ukraine tied down 1 million German troops sitting on their hands during wartime, which is not what what was initially intended.
That's a different POD, and how? The Bolsheviks' power was very fragile, it started a civil-war trying to consolidate power and confiscate grain from the country-side to feed the cities; they won't stay in power if the cities starve, even less so if they stole grain for the Germans and AH while the cities starved.

At the end of the day, there was less food in Former Russia due to the war, and what surplus there was no one was offering consumer goods for so a bayonet was the only way.
 
Last edited:

Capbeetle61

Banned
Hoffman said no annexations, by which he meant nothing beyond the front line which German troops had advanced to, i.e. the Baltics and Poland:

Wikipedia isn't great but for the basics:



That was what sent the Kaiser and Ludendorff mad.

The minute a representative from the Ukrainian Rada arrived the Germans and Austrians leapt at it they knew they needed grain and they the trusted their own troops to extract it far more than they trusted the Soviets and that isn't going to change.
1. No annexations was completely different from taking control of the Baltics and Poland. Ludendorff was surely mad, but the Kaiser did not comment on B-L until after the treaty had been concluded in March 1918.
2. If the Provisional Government inevitably dithered on the treaty, the Russian Army fighting at the front-lines would probably have collapsed along with the political chaos that would have resulted from Lvov and Kerensky's adminstration being torn apart by the right and the left.
AH good point, AH was running on scraps by 1917 whereas Italy still had more men for Cadorna and finally learned the lessons of modern warfare.

That's a different POD, and how? The Bolsheviks' power was very fragile, it started a civil-war trying to consolidate power and confiscate grain from the country-side to feed the cities; they won't stay in power if the cities starve, even less so if they stole grain for the Germans and AH while the cities starved.
The Bolsheviks are pretty much at the mercy of the CPs: if they reject the treaty any further, the CPs would have pretty much marched into Petrograd and Moscow, given the state of the Russian Army at this point during the war.
 
Top