What should the United States, Britain, and France, have done differently regarding Germany, and Europe, at the End of World War One?

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Sign the peace, admit Serbian fault for starting the war, Germans admit fault for invading Belgium and are fully commited to rebuilding the damage they caused to that nation. Russia is blamed for turning the war into a world war by not letting Serbia get punched. Germany pays for rebuilding of France, Britain and France pay restitution to Germany for civilian deaths and starvation, Germans do likewise for their part. Join Austria, Germany and German inhabited areas of Poland and Czechia to German Union state, everyone else gets right of national self determination, Balkans are Balkanized and Yugoslavia is not created. Bulgarians keep Macedonia and get an apology for murdering the Bulgarian priesthood and intelligence within. France, Britain Germany and other states mutually commit to pursuing the war against the Soviets as top priority with agreements to demobilize, demilitarize and enter into arms limitation agreements following the victory. Let Germans keep a colony somewhere to keep them occupied. See about a plebiscite in Alsace Lorraine and split the region between the two if possible. Prop up the ottomans as unifying force in the Middle East.

Oh and make sure a Habsburg is leading this German state as an apology to them. Thanks.
 
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You really have yo determine the actual goal.
Do you want a mire stable Europe? Then you need to find a way to make Germany a stable country with relatively safe boarders
Do you want to punish Germany? then take territory and reparations and make them take the full blame for a war that everyone helped start. (pretty much what happened)
Do you want to destroy Germany? Then divide it up and sit back and watch about half of Europe turn into a quagmire like the Balkans historically have been.

By the way what do you want Germany to do? It is surrounded by counties that individually would he hard yo fight that have joined up.
And in the early 1900s anyonecthat wanted to be a significantvplayer. had a fleet. And GB had historicaly used it fleet against almsot everyone. So i don't think you can blame Germany or anyone elsre for wanting yo have a fleet yo resist GB. But a lot of folks on this board seam to t hink that up through WW1 GB somehow had a hod given right to be the biggest navy on the planet.
Well perhaps if GB stopped using its fleet to intimidate everyone around then they would not have other countries building huge fleets to be aboe to stand up yo them

I still say that Germany was bad at politics in the early 1900s but they are no more yo blame for WW1 then mist of the other major countries are.
 
Sign the peace, admit Serbian fault for starting the war,

Serbia never would accept.

Russia is blamed for turning the war into a world war by not letting Serbia get punched.

Russia was already in civil war so not much point. And accusing that escalating whole case is ridicolous. It wouldn't accept that. Perhaps you could blame that Russia left the war but it would be pointless too.

Germany pays for rebuilding of France, Britain and France pay restitution to Germany for civilian deaths and starvation, Germans do likewise for their part.

Britain and France never would accept that.

Join Austria, Germany and German inhabited areas of Poland and Czechia to German Union state, everyone else gets right of national self determination,

This too probably faces some issues.

Balkans are Balkanized and Yugoslavia is not created.

Whilst establishing of Yugoslavia was mistake, might be still better allow Serbia to do that. Or another option is that for Croats and Slovenes is allowed plescipite whether they want be independent or join to Yugoslavia. But Serbia hardly would accept that. But great powers could get Serbia accept that.

Bulgarians keep Macedonia and get an apology for murdering the Bulgarian priesthood and intelligence within.

Macedonia was already part of Serbia in 1914 so that not going to happen.

France, Britain Germany and other states mutually commit to pursuing the war against the Soviets as top priority with agreements to demobilize, demilitarize and enter into arms limitation agreements following the victory. Let Germans keep a colony somewhere to keep them occupied. See about a plebiscite in Alsace Lorraine and split the region between the two if possible. Prop up the ottomans as unifying force in the Middle East.

Not sure if everybody can agree that.

Oh and make sure a Habsburg is leading this German state as an apology to them. Thanks.

Do even Germans want Habsburgs rule them?
 
Serbia never would accept.



Russia was already in civil war so not much point. And accusing that escalating whole case is ridicolous. It wouldn't accept that. Perhaps you could blame that Russia left the war but it would be pointless too.



Britain and France never would accept that.



This too probably faces some issues.



Whilst establishing of Yugoslavia was mistake, might be still better allow Serbia to do that. Or another option is that for Croats and Slovenes is allowed plescipite whether they want be independent or join to Yugoslavia. But Serbia hardly would accept that. But great powers could get Serbia accept that.



Macedonia was already part of Serbia in 1914 so that not going to happen.



Not sure if everybody can agree that.



Do even Germans want Habsburgs rule them?
Well it’s not what would be done or could be but what should have been done to create a more just and peaceful world and avoid WW2. Germans are decently tired of kings by the end, wilhelm especially considering the revolution against him but they may accept a Habsburg as cost of uniting Germany. I’d see no reason for Germany to reject this peace as opposed to accepting Versailles.
 
Poland’s western frontier should’ve been the east bank of the Rhine. I jest but allowing a lot of the institutions of the Second Reich to come through the war intact was a big mistake. Not supporting the Armenians and Kurds against Ataturk was another major failing.
 

Garrison

Donor
Well it’s not what would be done or could be but what should have been done to create a more just and peaceful world and avoid WW2. Germans are decently tired of kings by the end, wilhelm especially considering the revolution against him but they may accept a Habsburg as cost of uniting Germany. I’d see no reason for Germany to reject this peace as opposed to accepting Versailles.
I'm not sure where you get the idea that this would be remotely just, nor why the victorious Entente would offer such ludicrously generous terms to Germany.
 

kham_coc

Banned
I'm not sure where you get the idea that this would be remotely just, nor why the victorious Entente would offer such ludicrously generous terms to Germany.
In what universe is letting Austria join Germany 'Generous'?
Letting Alsatians stay in Germany that would be generous - Letting the Austrians join Germany is not generous.
 
Nope, AH was dead and nobody wanted revive the corpse sorry.
I disagree. The collapse of Austria-Hungary was a direct consequence of the Entente's determined policy towards that end, which began with the conclusion of the Congress of Rome(1918 April 8-10). If the leaders of the Entente countries change course on the matter (even as late as the first half of 1918 October), then Austria-Hungary's survival remains a likely development. The best course of action would be the rejection of A-H's breakup already at Rome, but I'm not sure if 1918 April is still within the scope of "at the end of world war one").

A surviving Austria-Hungary should be desirable to the Entente Powers. Austria-Hungary would be:
- more able to actually pay reparations (unlike Austria and Hungary IOTL),
- less prone to fall under complete German domination (compared to OTL's feuding statelets)
- a roadblock to German expansion in the region (no Anschluss, no Sudeten question, etc.),
- a useful potential ally against Communist Russia.

Preventing OTL's utter chaos in the region could also speed up the recovery of trade and economic activity, which indirectly also benefits countries of the Entente too.
 
The problem in 1919 was that the Allies were in nowhere near as strong a position as in 1945. Their immediate capacity to impose terms in Germany was not limitless.ore importantly, their commitment to enforcing the terms was shaky and ultimately ended up being pretty weak. In that context, a settlement that Germany can live with and which ties it to Europe would be more stable than one that tries to crush it. If militarism couldn't be destroyed by boots on the ground, then the conditions needed to be conducive for the German people to abandon it.

Obviously this is a big ask in the context of 1919, in particular because the expectations of the German population and those of the Allied countries were so far apart.
 
Far from it, I think that an even harsher treaty being imposed upon Germany, by it's weaker neighbor, would only incite hatred, and when TTL Red Army starts rolling west, they will have popular support from all the shattered little German vassal states, who want nothing more than to drag down France, as well.
This wouldn't be a big problem if the French have the stomach to enforce the terms of the treaty before the Germans can rearm. The French were relying on support from Britain though. If the communist revolution could be prevented, I can see a restoration of the Franco-Russian alliance that keeps Germany in check.
 

kham_coc

Banned
This wouldn't be a big problem if the French have the stomach to enforce the terms of the treaty before the Germans can rearm. The French were relying on support from Britain though.
Which they did not have, and if they did have, there is the USSR.
If the communist revolution could be prevented, I can see a restoration of the Franco-Russian alliance that keeps Germany in check.
No, Russia would be utterly uninterested in that. There is nothing France can do that helps them, and their concern would be revanchism, no paranoia about Germany.
 
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Which they did not have, and if they did have, there is the USSR.

No, Russia would be utterly uninterested in that. There is nothing France can do that helps them, and their concern would be revanchism, no paranoia about Germany.
The French could have enforced it by themselves. They just didn't take the risk. When Dolfuss was assassinated, Mussolini sent to troops to the border and the Nazi's backed down. If France had invaded, the Germans definitely wouldn't have been prepared to stop them. From what I remember, Pilsudski wanted to join them in a pre-emptive strike. Having Poland on their side isn't equal to having Russia or the Soviet Union on their side, but it's not nothing either. The French probably wouldn't have even had to go it alone.

No. It would definitely be anti-German. Hitler's goal was always to invade Russia. I can see a tsarist government wanting to expand and retake lost territory, but protecting themselves from Germany would have taken precedence and the best ally to stop Germany with was France.
 
The French could have enforced it by themselves. They just didn't take the risk. When Dolfuss was assassinated, Mussolini sent to troops to the border and the Nazi's backed down. If France had invaded, the Germans definitely wouldn't have been prepared to stop them. From what I remember, Pilsudski wanted to join them in a pre-emptive strike. Having Poland on their side isn't equal to having Russia or the Soviet Union on their side, but it's not nothing either. The French probably wouldn't have even had to go it alone.
France did not have the political will to contest the Rhineland.
 
Russian Empire OTL got an even worse deal. Germany will not die, it will be weaker. But shattered is hyperpole.
As I mentioned before, the Ukrainians had declared independence when the Bolsheviks took Petrograd and there were similar declarations of independence in many of the regions the Russians lost as Brest-Litovsk, so there’s some nuance to that question.
 
The problem in 1919 was that the Allies were in nowhere near as strong a position as in 1945. Their immediate capacity to impose terms in Germany was not limitless.ore importantly, their commitment to enforcing the terms was shaky and ultimately ended up being pretty weak. In that context, a settlement that Germany can live with and which ties it to Europe would be more stable than one that tries to crush it. If militarism couldn't be destroyed by boots on the ground, then the conditions needed to be conducive for the German people to abandon it.

Obviously this is a big ask in the context of 1919, in particular because the expectations of the German population and those of the Allied countries were so far apart.
Which is why I am of the opinion that stricter terms or enforcement would require either avoiding the October Revolution or having the White Army win in Russia, without the specter of the Soviets/revolution/Bolshevism requiring a strong Germany. On the contrary, having the Spartakists take over for a few months then be crushed by the Entente could be another way to provide for such stricter terms as well.
 

Garrison

Donor
In what universe is letting Austria join Germany 'Generous'?
Letting Alsatians stay in Germany that would be generous - Letting the Austrians join Germany is not generous.
It is when they lost the war, a peace that pretends otherwise is just guaranteeing round two in a few years.
 
In what universe is letting Austria join Germany 'Generous'?
Letting Alsatians stay in Germany that would be generous - Letting the Austrians join Germany is not generous.
Letting Alsatians stay in Germany is not generous when their collective identity is a rejection of Germany
"Can't be French, won't be German, am Alsatian" is the oft-quoted phrase when referring to Alsatian identity under the IInd Reich.
 
It did back in 1923, until the Anglos began to strangle it economically.
Once burned twice shy; had the British provided guarantees that it would not oppose France intervening in the Rhineland, and would forestall the Americans, then France probably would have marched in.
 
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