WI: WWI Delayed till 1920

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by iddt3, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. iddt3 Herald of the New Board Donor

    Jul 14, 2010
    How does a six year delay affect the combatants alliances, tech, and outcomes? For the purposes of the WI, assume similar trigger to OTL, ie some damn fool thing in the Balkans. For bonus points, were the Alliances of OTL even stable enough to last another six years w/o a war?
  2. Curtain Jerker Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2018
    Isn't Russia in a far better place militarily in 1920 as opposed to OTL in this scenario? I think those extra six years would be good for them.
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  3. Carl Schwamberger Kicked

    Dec 14, 2012
    Yes Russia will be better. Austria & Germany worse both relatively & in real terms with Austria. France may have a improved artillery with modern medium & heavy cannon entering service.

    Politically the wild card is Britain. A recovered Russia may be seen as a greater threat than a Germany past its peak. This may lead Britain to neutrality, or even opposing Russian in some circumstances.
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  4. Lalli Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Yes, six more yars would help greatly Russians if then that idiot Nicky doesn't mess everything. Russia was already in 1910's building railroads to Western parts of Russia and its economy was rising so it would be in better situation in 1920. There might be too some military reforms.

    But another thing is how emperor Frans Ferdinand I handle Ausgleich negotiations. He wanted create triple monarchy with Croats which Hungarians wouldn't accept.
  5. Escape Zeppelin Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    Last Tuesday
    It could go either way but I think it depends on what Nicholas does and when exactly the POD is. The economy and industry was growing well and the Third Duma pushed for military improvements. The Fourth Duma though seems to have been severely reduced in power and Nicholas took on a lot more autocratic approach. It seems plausible to me that political chaos in Russia might hamper any major attempts at improving the military.

    Yea, he seems to be the weak link in all this.
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  6. Mr_Fanboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    Perhaps there are a handful of smaller wars in the Balkans in the interim that further erode the Ottoman Empire’s position? But even in the absence of that, what would be the likely status of the empire in this scenario?
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  7. 1940LaSalle Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Southern New Jersey
    As a side effect, it probably means Wilson is done after one term since he wouldn't have "he kept us out of war" to run with. Assuming things play out close to OTL, Hughes likely wins the 1916 election and is still in the White House in 1920 when war erupts.
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  8. unclepatrick Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Huntsville Al
    Was there any work on Tanks before World War One ?
    I know that there were two or three design that were not follow up on before World War One.
    Would any government decide to work on them without the war happening?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
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  9. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2010
    Peterborough, UK.

    Wilson was re-elected because his domestic policies were popular. No WW1 means that the election is entirely about domestic concerns, so he probably wins bigger than OTL. It wouldn't take much to switch IN, MN and WV into his column, so that he wins 310-221 instead of 277-254.
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  10. New Cleo Genesis Ṣrtô nag lavēskiy drûotnec?

    Dec 12, 2013
    I guess the British Army would eventually have considered Lancelot de Mole's ideas, war or no war.
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  11. BeardedHoplite Nixon/Haig '88

    Jan 7, 2013
    Russia would be in a better spot, but how much better is somewhat debatable. The French-backed industrial and infrastructural improvements had already plucked all the low hanging fruit and any more was going to require much heavier levels of funding for lesser results. I've also heard French investors and public in general were growing colder toward the absolutist state. Perhaps there's a diplomatic falling out between the countries after Nicholas clamps down on another protest too hard
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  12. Catspoke Member

    Sep 23, 2005
    Russian railway improvements will shorten mobilization times, and provide commercial benefit.
    Russia had a good aviation industry, and due to the nature of the country (huge), a commercial need too, so I expect the Russians to lead in aviation.
    Russian navy will be large and modern, will totally own the Black Sea.
    Diesel tech will quickly make submarines rangy and big, people will think of possible uses for them, stealthy offensive mine layers if nothing else.
    Commercial tech won't be slowed by the war, air conditioning, refrigeration, commercial radio, commercial vehicle, agricultural tractor use greater than 1920 OTL.
    The powers will continue to sink money into colonial infrastructure, more of that than OTL 1920, Germany for example will have railways to Lake Victoria and Lake Chad.
    Berlin to Baghdad railway will be completed.
    Countries without much oil like Germany are going to look for sources.
    Ottoman empire areas like Armenia and Kurdistan will continue to be restive. Ottomans will have more problems than anybody still with minorities.

    Russia with a rebuilt Navy and better transportation infrastructure will be threatening to Britain. But maybe not enough to change the Alliance system.
    Germany will have to be more cautious, West first war plans are not going to work, war planning will have to consider a long war.
    Sweden and Romania might be brought into the German alliance system if Russia threatens.
    Austria will be just fine still in 1920. Germans/Hungarians/Poles are fine with current state of things. Command language/monarchy system will tie her to Germany still.
    I could see Germany getting really aggressive toward Belgian and Portuguese colonies.

    War in 1920 could be some stupid thing in the Balkans, or Russia might try to "liberate" Armenia from Turkey, and trigger events that way.
  13. Open Green Fields Banned

    Nov 7, 2018
    A few things come to mind

    Russia would possibly have Europes first semi automatic rifle issued to its troops: The Fedorov semi automatic chambered in Fedorovs own cartridge. 150 of them were ordered in 1913 and by 1920 that future version with some minor tweaks would have started to be issued. The amount may be anything from a few thousand up to maybe 100,000, but it is unlikely that it will become standard issue.

    Russia would have had 4 engine commercial airplanes flying across the country and maybe to other countries and these countries may be in the process of starting their own air lines

    Russia would have anywhere from a few 100 up to maybe a few thousand four engine bombers

    Now politically and economically in Russia it is hard to predict. The right wing parties in Russia were only able to win because about 650 factory workers counted as 1 land owners vote, and about 350 landless peasants counted as 1 land owners vote.

    If the Tzar and duma are forced to give 1 vote per adult man, and possibly even per adult person then everything changes and we have a completely different system, that may not intervene if Austria-Hungary attacks Serbia.

    As for the rest of Europe it is also difficult to predict, it all depends on how much democracy there is, the more democracy then the greater the % left leaning parties will get at this time. So there may be no war at all.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  14. Driftless Geezer

    Sep 16, 2011
    Out in the Driftless Area
    A wild card for Russia: does Tsarevitch Alexei survive to 1920? That could impact both the Tsar's frame of mind and the political situation if he dies by some misadventure tied to his haemophilia.
  15. Lalli Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Good question. Alexei might survive to 1920 but ti not be sure. Him had already severe seizures before these infamous events in Yekaterinburg altough I don't know if it had more doing with prisoner condition or not. But generally Nicholas II and whole Romanov dynasty is so wild card that it is hard to predict what would happen. And one thing is how the tsar will handle with some social and ethnic problems possibility demonstrations and riots.
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  16. NHBL Long Time Member, CMII

    Jan 1, 2004
    Britain will have Irish Home Rule in place finally, and might manage to keep it in the empire long term. There also could be a bleeding sore with the people opposed to home rule rather upset.
  17. trurle bored blue collar worker Banned

    Dec 12, 2013
    The result will be terrible bloodbath, for everybody involved. Six years without major war forcing tactics update, while everybody is collecting new weapons (including likely large amounts of machine guns, aircraft and armoured cars) is the recipe for fast, brutal learning. The WWI rush for effective anti-tank and anti-air measures would be even more frantic and desperate.
    Aircraft 30% faster, carrying twice the bomb payload at twice the range. Armoured cars with light cannons. Defensive positions saturated with machine guns. Overall, will be heavy losses in combatants and even heavier losses among civilian population. War will likely end in multiple revolts, and will be perceived even more meaningless compared to OTL WWI. Given initially stronger position of Russia, we may be looking for communistic Europe.
  18. NHBL Long Time Member, CMII

    Jan 1, 2004
    Aircraft will likely carry more than twice the load; the Russian 4 engine bomber will be a terror!
  19. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

    Jan 9, 2010

    The main problem with Nicky though is his bloody wife and Rasputin who were pretty much whispering in his ear. They were able to take advantage of that moreso during the war - I guess the problem is whether or not a delayed WW1 enhances or stops their influence. ....
  20. trurle bored blue collar worker Banned

    Dec 12, 2013
    And German Zeppelin-Staaken bombers would be even worse.
    Actually worst thing would be no civil defence against air raids. Each ton of bomb-load would kill ~20 and wound ~40 civilians (it dropped to 6 kills/ton by 1940, and to 1 kill/ton by 2015). By 1920, daily bomb-load capacity would be measured in thousands of tons per day, therefore initial stage of war will depopulate several of previously prospering cities in rapid sequence, each in just few days.
    Likely delaying WWI is enhancing the influence of Rasputing or whoever takes his role. Less external pressure = more focus on Tzar family health issues.
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