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Prussian Empire

By: Red Dawn


This started out as a mad idea for an alternate history story. In this story, it is all about the rise of the Prussian Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. The POD is in 1871, the year in which this story will start.

Note: This story isn't finished yet.


After the defeat of Austria and her allies in the Austro-Prussian War (1866), Prussia’s power and influence among the German states increases. Otto von Bismarck starts pressing towards a German unification, but as it is considered as an expansion plan of Prussia, most German states distrust him. Some minor states, however, agree to join Prussia and are annexed.
In 1871, a Hohenzollern prince (which is from the same dynasty as Prussia’s Wilhelm I) is placed on the throne of Spain, which is objected by France. The conflict escalates and France declares war on Prussia. The Prussian armies advance deep into France and win the battle of Sedan. The French emperor, Napoleon III, manages to escape1).
As the Prussian armies advance deeper into France, their armies grow weaker and weaker, as they have to stay in control of more and more land and a growing frontline. The French use this disadvantage and, under leadership of their emperor, counterattack. The demoralised Prussian armies are forced to retreat and in December 1871, peace is signed under terms that:

  1. Prussia recognizes Elsace-Lorraine as a French territory
  2. Prussia pays half of a million Reichsmark in war indemnities to France
  3. the North German Confederation is dissolved and the city of Bremen will remain independent.


The great build-up takes place in Prussia. Otto von Bismarck proposes massive investment in industry and the country is slowly dragged out of the economic deep following the peace agreement in 1871. Also, following King Wilhelm I's wish to create a Prussian colonial empire, the Prussian navy is expanded. Prussian diplomats are sent to China and the Ottoman Empire, in attempts to get more influence in these regions.
In 1873, Bavaria, Baden and Württemberg sign a treaty including that they will help each other both military and economically in times of war. Their alliance is known as the SDAI (SüdDeutsche Allianz Initiative). In 1874, Sachsen joins the SDAI.
In 1875 the paying of the war indemnities is over and king Wilhelm I declares himself Emperor of Prussia.



Prussia establishes several trading posts along the Namibian coast and on Madagascar. These trading posts grow and soon Preussisch Namibien and Preussisch Madagaskar are proclaimed as colonial territories of the Prussian Empire.
Prussia buys the Chinese town of Kiao-Chau in 1880 and establishes a colony in New Guinea, called Wilhelmland.
By 1890, Prussian trading posts and colonies are established in Zanzibar, Ifni (Southern Marocco), along the Ivory Coast, Hainan, Indochina and Samoa.


The Berlin Congress - 1887

In the 1870's, in many parts of the European part of the Ottoman Empire, people were revolting. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania, vassals of the Ottoman Empire, wanted to get rid of their vassal status. In Bulgaria, nationalists proclaimed an independent Bulgarian state.
These revolts eventually led to a full-scale war. The Ottoman forces, very weak because of obsolete equipment, poor leadership and low morale, were no match for the rebel forces, aided by Austrian and Russian forces.
The Ottomans suffered many defeats, but kept on fighting. However, when combined Bulgarian and Romanian forces had reached Constantinople (december 1885), the Ottomans agreed to settle an armistice.

A final peace plan was concluded in 1887, at the Berlin Congress. The Ottomans had to give up loads of land in exchange for peace. The Berlin Congress can be summarised as follows:

  1. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania will lose their vassal status and be truly independent in all their decisions
  2. The Sandschak area will be split between Montenegro and Serbia
  3. The Serbian territory will be expanded to the city of Üsküb and the Vardar river
  4. The Dobrudsja territory will be ceded to the Kingdom of Romania
  5. Bulgaria will become an independent nation, capital Sofia
  6. Bosnia-Hercegowina will be occupied by Austrian forces
  7. Thessalia and Crete will be ceded to Greece
  8. Cyprus will be placed under the Crown of Britain



Growing rivalry concerning colonial interests between Prussia and Spain erupt in the two months lasting Prussian-Spanish war. The main cause for this war was both nations’ interests in the Philippine Islands and Morocco.
Operating from Wilhelmsland and Hainan, German warships seized the Philippines. The outnumbered Spanish forces on the Philippine archipelago surrendered after the Battle of Manila, were the Prussian armies under command of Von Moltke crushed the Spanish defenders of the city.
The fighting in Morocco was less intense. The small Prussian defending force in Ifni was quickly overrun by the Spanish forces.
After a couple of weeks of fighting, the average morale among the Spanish forces was at an all-time low. Cuban revolutionaries, oppressed for years, saw their chance and took control of the island. Prussia recognized the independence of the nation, and sent forces to the island to support the revolutionaries. After combined Prussian and Cuban forces defeated the Spanish during the Battle of Santiago, a peace treaty was signed.



Following the victory in the war against Spain, Prussia decides to expand its colonies. The Prussians agree with various native chiefs to “protect” them and thus expand their colonies in Zanzibar, Madagascar and Ivory Coast. A new colony is established in Natal and Prussia expands its grip on various Chinese regions. In a short and unfair war (1893), Prussia conquers Assam and Cambodia. The local population, still using spears and bows, were no match for the Prussian armies and had to accept the Prussian annexation proposal.

Native weaponry in the Assam war

Further, Siam agreed to become an independent protectorate of Prussia. The Siamese king and Emperor Wilhelm I met each other in Bangkok in a meeting known as the Treaty of Siam (1895). Siam and Prussia kept having good relations for decades.


in OTL, the French emperor is captured by the Prussians
timelines/prussian_empire.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/29 15:13 (external edit)