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A common topic in alternate history fiction works is what would have happened if a major war had been won by the other side. These usually focus on the events after the war, and the change itself is not depicted realistically: it's either not discussed, or attributed to a superweapon or deus ex machina.

I know that WW1 was a very complex war, with a huge number of social and economic factors in it so that there was no single realistic "miracle" which would have guaranteed a certain different outcome. Therefore I list a number of disclaimers in order to make this question fit into the topic of this site.

  1. It doesn't have to guarantee an Central Powers victory, but it has to increase its probability significantly.
  2. A victory doesn't necessarily mean global domination. If Germany ends up with France, Russia, Britain and all the fish in Europe (As would say Bismark of weak countries) as a allied by treaties of peace, so Europe can counter the world domination ambitions of America, it counts as a victory for Germany.
  3. The change has to be a single event, or a collection of tightly coupled and interdependent events. It has to happen either during the war, or not more than a few years before it. The war should, at least in the beginning, look very similar to what happened in real life: the Triple Entete should be roughly the same, etc.
  4. The change should have a realistic justification (so no secret Kaiserreich super laser), I would think in the following changes: events progressing slightly faster or slightly slower than in real life, a single large battle or series of interconnected battles won by the opposite side (if that had even a small chance of happening)
  5. And the new allies of Germany should join the Zollverin.

Edit:

For acomplish the requiriment number two (2), is required for the European powers to no be broke, or anything that resembles it. And no leftism founding campaings.

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    $\begingroup$ (1) How large is the group of people? (2) Kaiserreich is a German word meaning "empire" (literally, a realm having an emperor as head of state); for example, the Austrian Empire is called the "Kaiserreich Österreich", and the Russian Empire is called the "Russisches Kaiserreich". Why are you using a German word in English text when English has a perfectly equivalent word? (3) Which specific empire do you have in mind? The resources of the Chinesisches Kaiserreich or the Kaiserreich Indien were not the same as the resources of the Deutsches Kaiserreich. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Oct 24 '21 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome Erdel. Please take our tour and refer to the help center as and when for details as to our ways. This could do with more details, you can edit to provide them. $\endgroup$ Oct 24 '21 at 23:38
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    $\begingroup$ "Could Weapon XYZ have been built earlier," and variations on that question, is a very common question here. And the usual answer is that if it could have been built earlier, it likely would have been built. And the usual corollary is that the extra materials, technologies, and knowledge required to produce/use XYZ will diffuse through that society until it resembles the later period. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Oct 25 '21 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings I don't it again. $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 5:38

10 Answers 10

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Make Woodrow Wilson not a Moron

For details i suggestThe Road Less Traveled: The Secret Battle to End the Great War, 1916-1917. Essentially by late 1916 the British, and by extension the Allies, as the Brits were basically footing the bill for France as well by that time, were out of money. They were literally seizing gold from British citizens to send to Canada to trade to america for stuff. They were desperate for a way out. The Central Powers had the finances to keep things going (and obviously they did another two years). However the Germans knew things were rocky on their end, especially Austria-Hungry, and did NOT know how close Britain was to bankruptcy. Enter Wilson.

Wilson wanted to be the statesman that ended the war. The Germans wanted a peace conference, and wanted Wilson to propose it. The British likewise. However Wilson (because he had no actual experience being a politician and used as proxy a man so ignorant he was worried about a UK/Japanese invasion of america DURING WWI) bungled the whole process until, because of the aforementioned proxy and several others who wanted the US in the war, the entire thing collapsed and the US decided to start funding the British government on the way to joining the war. Again this is all VERY "rough overview."

So what happens instead?

Wilson declares a conference at The Hague to discuss the end of the war, with a general ceasefire, lifting of all blockades, and the understanding that at the end of the conference Germany will evacuate and restore Belgium. (that was the Central power's offer to start talks) The British would be in a hard place to say no (since ostensibly they went to war to save Belgium) and also Wilson could simply deny them access to american money/materiel which would have crippled the allied war effort. The Germans also discussed (internally) returning captured french territory and part/all of Alsace/Lorraine in return for certain territorial concessions either in Europe or colonial holdings.

At this point in the war the German terms seem more than generous. The Western allies would almost certainly agree, because it gets what they want (more or less) and the Americans could pull their economic levers if they seemed hesitant. Wilson would have a lot of support in that too, as in 1914-1916 the American Populace is very pro-neutral and leaned more towards the central powers than the allies. (lots of Germans and Irish in the US!) The Central powers would likely get Poland/Balkan concessions and maybe even other bits of Russia they control. In 1916 Russia isn't collapsing, but it's certainly tottering and with the Brits/french pushing for peace would have little choice but to do a deal. The Brits/french would claim they'd won their defensive war and protected Belgium/restored France, the Central powers get to say they won THEIR defensive war (propaganda had ALL the major powers fighting defensive wars) and come out of it with some new territories. The only true losers would be the Russians.

I should point out that the above came CRAZILY close to happening. Literally twice Wilson gave a speech that had Allied/Central governments expecting a call to the peace table they could accept... and Wilson instead was an idiot, muddled the waters, and lost the moment. Everyone at the time agreed that if a peace conference took place fighting wouldn't start again no matter what. The Central powers were prepared to be generous and still "get theirs" which to my mind means they would have "won" the war.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've upvoted because this is a shrewd summary of the state of the world at that time, but I wonder if this truly answers the question. I mean, "Wilson isn't a dumbfuck" is closer to "a miracle happens" than it is to a "single event". One can believe that many events were decided on random factors that might have gone either way, but that man was a disaster for many years prior to the advent of the war. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Oct 25 '21 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ note for other people who have also no idea who that person was: apparently Woodrow Wilson was president of the USA during WWI $\endgroup$
    – njzk2
    Oct 25 '21 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ (1) The british no enter the war to save belgium. It was just the pretext, but if they hestitate, the british population would get very angry, and their reputation in public opinion. (2) Looks like kill Teddy the demagogos. $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ And if the european powers are in neraly bankrup state, then the requeirment of Europe is able to counter the America's World Domination Ambitions is no acomplished. $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 22:50
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think Wilson was a moron. He was certainly an idiot in some respects, true (KKK racist comes to mind in the first place), but it's hard to argue with the outcome of Wilson's bungling: USA rose to prominence in the aftermath of WWI, with decline of all other great powers: Great Britain, France, Germany and Russia. All of them emerged weakened, smaller and in the meantime literally paid USA for it. America was not a superpower yet, but rocketed to the top three in no time... $\endgroup$
    – AcePL
    Oct 26 '21 at 8:13
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The One-Front Option: start the war in 1905

Sarajevo was not the first powder keg that could have triggered the war.

The Tangier Crisis could have done so as well. Had Germany been intent on sparking a war to alter the European balance of power in their favor, this would have been their best opportunity.

Russia would have almost certainly sat out, being busy with the Russo-Japanese war. So the Central Powers would be free to throw everything against the west. This would put Germany in a very good position to take Paris before the battle lines solidify.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was under the impression that the relative economic and military strength of Germany was growing relative to France in early 1900s. It was a game of Germany growing in power, reaching the point where it could beat France but not France and its Allies, then the war is triggered by a mobilization cascade; Germany's plan was it could beat France if it only fought France, so once Russia started to mobilize it had to start the war. But 10 years before that date, Germany wouldn't have been ready. $\endgroup$
    – Yakk
    Oct 25 '21 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Yakk What do you mean by "ready"? Apparently Germany was not "ready" for WWI since it lost, nor for WWII either since it lost again. What matters is positioning of resources. If you can concentrate greater force against your enemy than normally, one could say this is a good definition of "ready". Cutting out an entire front certainly helps Germany more than a few years of growth. $\endgroup$
    – Priska
    Oct 25 '21 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure that Russia will no flight a two front-war? $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @ErdelvonMises Your comment makes no sense. We are talking about alternate history. You can fabricate a story where X happened, or you can make one where it didn't happen. Things can turn out any way the author wants. $\endgroup$
    – Priska
    Oct 26 '21 at 1:50
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    $\begingroup$ in 1905, in response to its loss to japan, Russia erupted in bloody revolution that would ultimately lead to the Tsars ousting. With most of its military material still in the East, Russia in no position to honor its alliances to declare war on Germany. Now, Germany, if it declared war, would go up against France and UK on its own, since its alliances was mostly defensive in nature. In this early stage, it may also keep Italy out of the war and possibly more on the side of the triple Alliance. $\endgroup$
    – Sonvar
    Oct 29 '21 at 21:09
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Make the Central Powers invent the Tank Early in the War

WWI started off as an absolute stalemate without either side having the ability to press a meaningful offensive. Each offensive was so costly that any strategic gain of footing was worth far less than the cost; so, each time one side believed they had the strength to push through, they weakened themselves so much trying that the other side had an immediate, and decisive upper hand.

All of this changed with the invention of the tank. By 1916, the first allied tanks started to cross over no-mans-land shielding infantry and soaking up machinegun fire, and by 1917 the MK-IVs became reliable enough to do so without constantly breaking down. This gave the Allies the ability to attack whereas the Central Powers could only defend. The Central Powers did not begin to field tanks until 1918 during the last 6 months of the war, but by then they were already too depleted to make a difference.

The reason early access to tanks would have been so meaningful to the Central Powers is that they never had the population to win a sustained war (a fact that was recognized by the Germans in WWII and dictated Blitzkrieg tactics). When you look at the casualty lists of WWI, nearly every battle favored the Central Powers with some estimates favoring the central powers by nearly 2-1 across the whole war. This better military performance puts them as the prime candidate for a quick victory IF they could have pushed their advantages in the early war, but they could not. Instead, they were stuck on the defense. Because the total populations of the allied nations were nearly 7 times that of the Central Powers, the Central Powers suffered greater proportional losses with each victory until they simply ran out of fighting aged men to send to the frontline.

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  • $\begingroup$ It can be made in secret? $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 22:44
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    $\begingroup$ British certainly could. The name tank is derived from that secret program - they pretended they were building something to hold some fluid in it, not a self-propelled bunker made of steel and guns, all in hopes of misleading German spies. $\endgroup$
    – AcePL
    Oct 26 '21 at 8:07
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I wonder if relatively small changes in the West could change the Battle of the Marne, and if that would lead domino-style to the fall of France. The latter part is the problem -- would a German victory in September get them into Paris by Christmas?

  • A few airplane enthusiasts meet with a few general staff officers to integrate aerial reconnaissance with command and control. Headquarters knows much better where each own and enemy division is, on that day.
  • Related to that, two-seater or three-seater airplanes to carry senior staff and even commanders on a tour of the forward command posts. Officers might crash every now and then, but the improved command and control is worth it.
  • Unrelated, general staff officers who make more pessimistic assumptions on marching speed and resupply, and then do something about it. One more horse wagon per company, say, or more mobile light artillery. The result is to make the German troops move just a bit faster.
  • An inventor comes up with a workable GPMG.

If that causes Germany to overrun France, Russia falls next.

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Free speech in America: Espionage Bill is Defeated!

The World War was a rich man's war and a poor man's fight - one where any American drafted to face the machine guns and nerve gas for the Europeans could pay for a substitute to be sent instead, if they could pay. From the American point of view, the war was at best a chickenhawk's story of romantic adventure, and at worst an application of the new cutting-edge science of eugenics to remove some members of the lower class.

To popularize the war, the congress came up with the Espionage Act of 1917 (the same one Julian Assange has been facing extradition for). The war was almost over before the congress passed the Sedition Act of 1918, and the Supreme Court did not invent the phrase "shouting fire in a crowded theater" to epitomize opposition to war and draft (even by religious groups such as the Watchtower Society) until 1919. Nonetheless, these developments illustrate the intensity of concern within the government that American citizens, who had opted for Wilson as the "peace candidate", might not be willing to keep going over the wire.

Without this extra support, it is possible that the allies would have had to accept some manner of negotiated defeat in 1917.

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  • $\begingroup$ This no acomplish the requeriment of Europe being able to counter America's ambitions of world domination. With this depth in the War, Europe is no longer able to counter America's World Domination Ambitions. $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 9:55
  • $\begingroup$ But maybe kill Teddy the demagogos $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 9:57
  • $\begingroup$ That part of the question isn't entirely clear. In any case, a more favorable deal for the Germans would have hindered right-wing claims that they were "stabbed in the back", and a lack of onerous reparations and disarmament conditions would mean there was no immediate payoff for choosing a leader who would ignore those terms. Without the second World War, there would never be American dominance in Europe - especially not if people had mobilized en masse to end the first war. $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ It still no acomplish thie requeriment: "Germany ends up with France, Russia, Britain and all the fish in Europe (As would say Bismark of weak countries) as a allied" and this "And the new allies of Germany should join the Zollverin.". $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 10:36
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    $\begingroup$ +1 This is a good answer that meets the criteria. What's unstated is how the stalemate in Europe works out...but that's politics and diplomacy, so you can have it work out any way that your plot requires. The USA also had a strong German immigrant community and there were vociferous pro-German and pro-peace political movements; those were suppressed after the USA entered the war. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Oct 25 '21 at 14:35
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Germany's most successful wartime operation was releasing Lenin from prison and sending him back to Russia.

At the same time Germany should give free hand to Jozef Pilsudski and Kazimierz Sosnkowski. If they gave some meaningful autonomy to ethnic Polish regions annexed by Prussia years earlier they would immediately had secure Eastern Flank. Of course, long term it would be a problem for Germany, but it all depends. Anyway, that would allow concentrating on the West and it would somewhat alleviate food shortage problem stemming from Britain's blockade of Germany's ports.

Austro-Hungary should follow suit with their parts of Poland annexed at the same time.

Edit to address questions in comments.

It is very hard to come up with a solution that would have an impact on WWI outcome BEFORE it started. The war itself was a complex issue, as is rightly pointed out, but it also had many fathers. In my opinion, after reading quite a bit on the topic, Kaiser is equally at fault for starting it as was Britain and USA, though I also acknowledge it may be unpopular opinion. Regardless, there are some points that can be accepted:

  1. German public opinion may not be fully aware of the treatment of ethnically Polish "citizens" of the Kaiserreich and if propagandized it may lead to autonomy or independence within customs union with Germany.
  2. The same may be said of Austro-Hungary, but they would have to relinquish their claim to their part of Partition to the newly re-created Polish state.
  3. The situation could develop further to encompass Russian part of former Poland and it may be possible that Russia would follow suit with independence for the Vistula Country, though it would be in customs union with Russia.

Poland to re-unite literally needs the war between Partition Powers (Prussia, Russia and Austro-Hungary), so that development may result in stalemate again if no war breaks out. In order for Polish independence to work in Germany's favor it needs to encompass as much pre-partition territories as possible, and for that Tsarist Russia needs to be weak.

Enter Lenin. He is the key to destabilizing Russia and making Eastern Front purely Polish-Russian one, but even then, not immediately. Some German support would be necessary, say until the end of 1917 or so. Contrary to popular belief, Russians fought well in WWI and Poles in Tsarist Russia needed the chaos of Revolution to actually make their way back to Poland (in our timeline there were Polish military units attached to US Expeditionary Corps in Siberia, for example, and on both sides of the Civil War in Russia - Whites (mostly) and Bolsheviks).

The main problem was that of Three Partition Powers Prussia/Germany were most hated and least trusted, with Russia being the literal opposite. Making the plan to grant independence to Poland would work only if Germany decided to roll back over a century of cultural extermination of Poles and with a series of moves that would confirm that sincerity. Unfortunately, since it was Germans who in reality could not hold up their end of any bargain with Poles, so with all good will gone I can't really see what they could do to confirm that sincere will to grant independence.

As for question on How Britain and France was enticing Poles to switch sides - in 1915 Germany actually announced it will create the Königreich Polen, but it was actually a ruse which involved also ethnic cleansing of Poles... You'd need to make the effort sincere. Anyway, same idea came to Entente, especially Russia. However there was, later in the war a so-called "Blue Army", which was raised in France, but as mentioned earlier included forces in Ukraine and Siberia. Central Powers were out-bid in Polish case by Allies, when Woodrow Wilson made his 14-point speech.

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  • $\begingroup$ No it does no is a Problem, actually is better give they independency. Just they have the compromise to stay with Germany for at least the next 100 years. and join the Zollverin. $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 7:08
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    $\begingroup$ @ErdelvonMises - sorry, but not sure what you mean. Post in German if it's easier for you, I'll manage. But to the point: no, Reich would not give independence to Poles. They worked hard to get rid of Poland before, they know Germany's and Poland's interests are opposites. Germany's has no good will credit with Poles they oppressed for a long time, only chance with them to be first to deal with them. And even then it's short-term solution EXCEPT in the case Reich gives Poland free reign on the East and gives back territories annexed. This would be successful for maybe 50-60 years. $\endgroup$
    – AcePL
    Oct 25 '21 at 7:17
  • $\begingroup$ (1) Germany, should have give the poles independency. With the condition of (1a) join the Zollverin and (1b) being allies for at least the next 50 years. (2) 50 years is neough so the poles are now co-dependent economically with Germany, and they must be friend because Economy. (2) Respect for all the European blooded people. Just a apoligize with the poles. $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ @ErdelvonMises - except for the two things: 1. Poles knew this war was their time to act. That was the moment to exploit, and they knew it, the Partitioners of Poland knew it, too (Prussia, Russia and Austro-Hungary) and Poles could be picky. Yes, independence would be a good start, but again: Prussia was main driver of the Partition of Poland, I don't think they would undo all those centuries of hard work... And 2. Russia was also baiting Poles, as were Britons and French... $\endgroup$
    – AcePL
    Oct 25 '21 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ (1) Why no?. Germany is the country of the Germans, so every citizen must be German. And force they to adopt German tradition no will make them Germans and extermination is no a option, so give them their own country. (2) Closer ties with Russia was anyway unfeasible, the French what are about this affair, and Brittons?. $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 7:45
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King Victor Emmanuel III (1869-1947) of Italy dies before the Italian decision to join the Entante in 1915, and preferably before the Italian decision not to join its allies in 1914.

That would make his son Umberto II (1904-1983) king as a child, with a regency.

Unfortunately Umberto's mother, and a logical choice for the regent, was Elena of Montenegro (1873-1952) was a daughter of King Nicholas I of Montenegro (1841-1921), who became an ally of Serbia in WWI in 1914. So maybe Elena would have to die also, or maybe King Victor Emmanuel III might have married an Archduchess or a German princess instead of Elana.

When World War I began, Italy at first remained neutral, despite being part of the Triple Alliance (albeit it was signed on defensive terms and Italy objected that the Sarajevo assassination did not qualify as aggression). However, in 1915, Italy signed several secret treaties committing her to enter the war on the side of the Triple Entente. Most of the politicians opposed war, however, and the Italian Chamber of Deputies forced Prime Minister Antonio Salandra to resign. At this juncture, Victor Emmanuel declined Salandra's resignation and personally made the decision for Italy to enter the war. He was well within his rights to do so under the Statuto, which stipulated that ultimate authority for declaring war rested with the crown.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Emmanuel_III_of_Italy

So if Victor Emmanuel III and and Prime Minister Salandra, and no doubt several other politicians who shared their desire for war against the central powers, died before Italy entered the war, and preferably before the war started in 1914, there would have been a much lower probability that Italy would have entered the war on the side of the Entante.

If Italy joined the war on the side of the central powers, or even if Italy remained neutral, a more or less "victorious" outcome for the central powers would have been much more probable.

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    $\begingroup$ Specifically, a neutral Italy secures Austria-Hungary's southwestern flank, freeing up at least quarter-million soldiers for other fronts; a Central Powers Italy gives France a second front to worry about. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Oct 25 '21 at 22:51
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A successful blockade of Britain.

Britain at the time was a net importer of food.

Imagine a successful blockade combined with an (outlandishly) effective propaganda campaign...and perhaps a few generous payoffs and other intrigues to key leaders.

One can imagine food riots leading to a strong pro-peace Parliament faction that becomes part of the Government. They negotiate a face-saving exit for the British Expeditionary Force in exchange for lifting the blockade, and perhaps even an overseas colony might change hands in order to capture headlines and distract from the real changes taking place. Secret money from Berlin keeps a cadre of pro-German Parliamentarians in power for the next decade.

As far as the British people are concerned, they feel like they won: No more blockade, no more worries about food, a peace treaty with Germany, the BEF came home, and they even got Cameroon out of the deal. And this new government seems to know what they are doing. Pity those poor French still fighting.

With Britain out of the war, the reciprocal blockade of German ports is lifted, and the USA becomes much less likely to enter the war.

With France effectively isolated, one can imagine a somewhat similar negotiation near Paris, with German troops eventually withdrawing in exchange for a new, friendlier French government. Again, a colony or two might change hands to make the French people excited about their wartime "success". Again, with many senior leaders secretly in the pay of Berlin.

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  • $\begingroup$ But how you block Britain? $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 5:11
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    $\begingroup$ Well, historically, that was the submarines strategic purpose, the justification for their expense, and guided their design: To blockade Britain, forcing them to negotiate or starve. This answer merely assumes a better, stronger blockade that achieved the intended purpose. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Oct 25 '21 at 5:16
  • $\begingroup$ I just can think of submarine that can travel fast under water and sonar as the Type XXI. And possibly it still needs radio $\endgroup$ Oct 25 '21 at 5:18
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    $\begingroup$ Consider looking at WWI subs. You don't even need to improve them. Maybe you just have more of them. Maybe you have better Captains who developed better, less risky tactics. Maybe you have better intelligence on convoy movements. Lost of possibilities that don't require a jump in technology. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Oct 25 '21 at 5:23
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    $\begingroup$ You forgot that it was Britain that successfully blockaded Germany in the first place. Germany wasn't maybe net importer of food at the outbreak, but after a year or two of fighting east of the Oder it was huge problem. $\endgroup$
    – AcePL
    Oct 25 '21 at 6:49
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The Austro-Hungarian Empire understands their power has gone

According to Kerensky the Russian offensive pushed by the government after the February revolution created the pretext for the Bolshevik uprising, but at the same time helped to determine the result of the war, because it forced the central powers to keep a lot of resources locked on the Eastern front and gave time to the Americans to deploy their troops.

I don't know whether it is true, but for sure the southern part of the eastern front was a weak point for a big part of the war. The problem is that the Checks, Moravian, Croats and even a lot of Hungarians were unwilling to fight to defend the empire that oppressed them. Had the Empire realised that their time was gone they could have promised to all the subjects to create a federation at the end of the war. This would have persuaded all those people to fight on the Eastern front to defend themselves from the Russian invasion and thus they could have moved the ethnic German troops on the Western front.

Another completely different idea: Krupp won't sell their armour

To be honest I don't know how the Krupp armor ended up in British hands, from what I understood reading around it seems that they immediately publicised their results and sold licences to the process all over the world. So, eventually in the battle of the Jutland the German navy faced many enemy warships equipped with an armour invented by the Germans themselves. Let's imagine that the Krupp kept their armour secret and they could even find some further improvements (adding molybdenum or vanadium?), then in the battle of the Jutland the German navy would have faced warships equipped with a weaker and heavier armour. That battle had quite a big impact over the course of the war. Winning it probably would not have meant a total reverse of the naval blockade, because the British navy was too big, but the necessity to resort to the unlimited submarine warfare would have been postponed.

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  • $\begingroup$ So, Franz's Plan without Franz? $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '21 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ @ErdelvonMises Maybe. A bolder Karl plan (Not the peace talks with France). Or Franz giving up a little bit earlier. $\endgroup$
    – FluidCode
    Nov 9 '21 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ What is the bolder Karl plan? and What do you mean with "Franz giving up a little bit earlier"? $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '21 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ @ErdelvonMises That after Franz death actually turning the empire into a federation was one of the options taken into account. But not seriously enough. $\endgroup$
    – FluidCode
    Nov 9 '21 at 15:22
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Don't start the unlimited submarine warfare

One of the main considerations that brought the Americans into the war was the Germans exercising unlimited submarine warfare in the Atlantic in the early months of 1917. In late 1917 the Soviet revolution occurred, effectively ending the war in the western front. As soon as the treaty would be signed it would free Germany to fully commit to the eastern front without a new major force fighting against them.

This possibility is even slightly credible since kaiser Wilhelm didn't want to start unlimited naval war and only decided to commit at the urging of his navy chiefs. It should still be noted that the other reason for entry into the war was to protect the Americans investment in Britain and France, so the Americans would likely enter the war eventually anyway, the question being would they be able to commit enough forces fast enough.

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  • $\begingroup$ "other reason for entry into the war was to protect the Americans investment in Britain and France" This goes against the traditional American Capitalism $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '21 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ Also, Don't found Leftism idiots is a condition. read again last paragraph. $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '21 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ I think you misunderstood - this was more like hypercapitalism then anything else. France and Britain had both loaned immense amounts of money from American banks and bought American steel with credit in large amounts. If the allies we're to default on these loans it would have wreaked havoc on the American economy. This was, in practice, one of the main issues that eventually pushed the Americans into the war. That's just how history happened.... $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '21 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ (1) There is no thing like Hypercapitalism, and (2) that the American Banks made the desition to loan to the Entete, is their desition and they should have the consequenses of it, does no matter what goverment intervention for rescue failed business (like the loan to the entete) is against any kind of real capitalism. $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '21 at 15:16
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    $\begingroup$ For future reference - please make it clear that you want to address a society with values that aren't historically accurate, your edit did not make this clear. I was basically just repeating what is written here: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '21 at 15:42

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