What if Austria Won the Austro-Prussian War?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by PoeFacedKilla, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. PoeFacedKilla Prussian Killer Bee

    Oct 14, 2011
    The Slums of Berialand
    I don't want to debate whether or not they could have, but I've been putting alot of thought into an Austrian run German empire. Germany would have definitely been bigger, alot bigger in terms of both population and size. Their population would have been the size of Russia or close to it, but I don't know if the Industrialization that allowed the German empire to devistate the allies of WWI would have happened, so IDK if they still would have lost WWI or not. What do you think?
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  2. Alex Richards Still, at least we're not Heanor UDC Donor

    Jun 8, 2009
    Empire of Nova Elysium
    Austria wouldn't have created a German Empire, but a more balanced German Confederation with herself as sole head. Bavaria, Hannover, Saxony, Baden, Wurrtemburg, the Hesses and Nassau would have been expanded at the expense of Prussia and her allies, possibly to the extent of stripping Prussia of Silesia, though even removing the Rhineland and Saxon territories annexed in 1815 puts Prussia within the Confederation on a much lower pegging.
  3. MSZ Banned

    Sep 13, 2011
    Victorious Austria wouldn't expand territorially so much. Most likely would annex Silesia and Schleswig-Holstein and expel Prussia from the Deutscher Bund - or form another Pan-German organization with itself as de facto leader (South German Union perhaps?). I don't think a Prussian loss would cause it to lose much territory - they didn't lose anything after Olmutz despite hostilities, the only thing that would change in this scenario would be a possible French intervention (due to anti-austrian Napoleon III being in charge).
  4. Boto von Ageduch Mostly Harmless

    Dec 10, 2007
    ├╗ff eime steine
    That's an intriguing scenario! And very plausible.
  5. wietze Figment of my own Imagination

    Feb 24, 2010
    The Netherlands
    would there be a possibility of prussia loosing territory to the Netherlands?
  6. victoria944 Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2011
    Very interesting.

    However first of all to clear up one point, Austria couldn't form a German Empire, possibly a new confederation.

    The bigger the defeat the more likely the peace is to be harsher. Presuming France does not intervene. Lets suppose that the Hannoverian army escapes as well - to Bavaria, as it could have done.

    A number of things intrigue me about this. Here they are not in any order of gravity.

    Will Sweden and/or Denmark be motivated to act. Will one or both join the war. What sort of reception would Austria give them.

    What do Hannover and Saxony get.

    What of Westphalia.

    What will Austria annexe, can she claim all of Silesia - that would be a disaster fo Prussia.

    How likely is it that Italy gains Venetia now. Napoleon III has a direct stake here.

    How does a triumphant, more confident Austria react to the Hungarian question.

    Presumably a revanchist Prussia will look to Russia as it's ally over Austria.
    Prussia is possibly irrelevant from now on.

    In OTL Prussia became Austrias ally after the defeat of France, this is not going to happen, Russia and Austria are lined up to be at odds in the Balkans, France has a conflict with Austria over Italy and Venetia.

    Well i imagine Hannover annexes Oldenburg. Saxony gains her 1815 losses from Prussia.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  7. Keb Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2010
    amidst the ruins of an empire
    That was the plan in the initial stages of the war. Vienna was all fired up to recover Silesia from Prussia ... incidentally, not only would it be a significant economic boost, but it would also increase the German population of the Empire, meaning less need to rely on Hungarians to match the Slavic population. They'd still need them, but less so ... certainly some kind of agreement with Budapest, but not the Dual Monarchy that proved so disastrous to the Empire.

    After all, there's less need to appease the Hungarians.

    Austria had already promised Napoleon III to give Venetia to Italy. While I see them trying to wriggle their way out of the agreement, I suspect Vienna would use it as a negotiating chip with Napoleon III. They'd still give it over, but they'd try their best to exact as many concessions in Germany as possible.

    Considering how taken Napoleon III was with the Italian question, I see this working.

    Without Silesia and, possibly, the Rhenish territories? Prussia is reduced to an agrarian second-string power. Worse, they'd likely be facing a revolution over leaving the Bund. They didn't OTL because, well, nothing breeds support like victory, but with a crushing defeat? I could see Prussia getting hit with pan-Germanist revolts, especially if Austria pushes for stronger centralization of the Confederation.

    Russia is still likely to be hostile. The Austrian betrayal during the Crimean War really stung. Still, with an Austria increasingly focused on Germany, there's some territory for rapprochement and compromise.

    That was IIRC, also the plan. Vienna was really keen on ripping Prussia apart in the war.
  8. victoria944 Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2011
    What is significant for me here is that this may be a road to more a balanced German unification without a mad Kaiser at the helm.

    Russia is in a bit of a temporary paralysis here, Russia is the only power that can realistically offer Prussia an effective help. So Prussia is effecively alone. Napoleon III may be given a bone such as being able to pretend it was all his iea, i think you know what i mean.

    As regards Venetia i'm not sure if Austria had already agreed to cede it prior to the A-P war, or if it was a means of bringing the war to a speedy end. I dont see what France can do if Austria decided not to cede it.

    It would be nice to imagine that a state arises comprising Westphalian/Hannoverian/Hessen territories would arise in the west. Maybe they would unite Germany without any overblown militarisitc goals or self delusions
  9. Keb Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2010
    amidst the ruins of an empire
    Well, it would certainly be a lot looser than OTL. To be honest, a better comparison would be a sort of centralized EU rather than the German Empire of OTL.

    By any standard, such a country couldn't be as aggressive as OTL's Germany. No colonial Empire, for one. No naval arms race with Britain.

    The Confederation would still become an economic behemoth (though probably less so than OTL Germany). While Austria (-Hungary) was somewhat late to the game, by WWI it was growing almost as fast as Russia. More in absolute terms, less when looking at percentages due to a head start compared to Russia.

    I know they offered to sell it in the lead-up to the Italian declaration of war as a way to avoid a second front.

    I honestly can't remember when the deal was made and the books I presently have with me don't really cover the period after Metternich's dismissal. I'm operating on memory only here.